Why are so many Jews on the left, even as it works to destroy America?
Yesterday was Yom Kippur, the holiest day in the Jewish calendar. It is meant to be a time of intense self-examination. In light of that, I offer this column.
The question I receive more than any other from non-Jews is: Why are so many Jews on the left?
Before addressing it, I should note that the same question could be asked of Christians and other non-Jews. Why have so many mainstream Protestants and Catholics (up to and including the pope) embraced the left? Why have nearly all blacks, the majority of Hispanics and Asian Americans, the most successful ethnic group in America, embraced the left? And outside of the United States, why have most Germans, French, Canadians, Australians and others in the West embraced the left?
This question could be asked about almost every group in the world.
Nevertheless, it is valid to ask it about Jews because, if any group should be wary of dismantling a society, especially a decent one, it is the Jews. The moment civilization begins to disintegrate, the Jews are the first victims -- never the only, but always the first. That's why Jews have so often been likened to the proverbial canary in the mine. Miners take canaries down with them because when there are noxious fumes, canaries die, and when the miners see the dead canaries, they know there are toxic fumes they must fight, or they, too, will die.
That's why decent non-Jews who don't fight anti-Semitism are fools. They don't understand that anti-Semitism represents a mortal threat to them. Tens of millions of non-Jews were killed because decent non-Jews ignored Hitler early on, dismissing him and Nazism as a Jewish problem.
It is often asked how the most culturally advanced country in Europe, perhaps in the world, could produce Nazism and the Holocaust. Or, as it is often put, "How did the country that gave us Bach, Beethoven, Heine and Schiller give us Auschwitz?"
One answer is that advanced culture and advanced morality are not the same. The Nazis loved classical music.
The other, more important, answer is that civilization is fragile.
It is fragile because civilization consists of human beings, and human nature is profoundly flawed. Exceptional evil is as common as exceptional good. It takes a great deal of effort and a great deal of time to make a decent society. But it takes little effort and little time to destroy a society.