“American Rabbis For Israel First” is the current column, now on WND. An excerpt:
“Here is an angry and cogent Israeli response to incessant provocation and violence, and one of the factors that triggered the Gaza campaign,” wrote a reader. In his missive, the reader had attached an article for my edification. Chief among the problems with the article is that its author, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, is not an Israeli. Rabbi Boteach is an American. Online, he describes himself as “‘America’s Rabbi,’ whom The Washington Post calls ‘the most famous Rabbi in America.”
Rabbi Boteach’s Huffington Post defense of Israel titled “Fed Up With Dead Jews” is thus not an “Israeli” response to the latest flare-up between Hamas and Israel, but a Jewish-American one.
Mistaking a Jewish-American defense of Israel for an “Israeli” one is understandable. When it comes to things Israel, very many American Jews sound like Israelis. While one would expect an Israeli to vigorously defend his homeland, in theory and in practice, one does not expect an American—Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist or Baha’i—to defend the interests of a foreign country, with the intensity ordinarily reserved for one’s own.
In “Fed Up,” Rabbi Boteach inveighs: “We have every right to be fed-up. No nation should have to live like this. No nation should have to die like this. … what we do know is that the option of dead Jews is no longer acceptable. We have a right to live.”
Rabbi Boteach and Israel are as one.
Far be it from me to question the Rabbi’s capacity to commit to two countries. Seamlessly does Boteach spread passion and “Kosher Lust” (his new book) wherever he goes. In question here is the unseemliness of dual patriotism; the conflict of interest, if you will. …
… Contra Boteach, my own passions are tempered by time and place. I live in America. My neighbors are American. This is my home. I may be a Jew, but I’m an American patriot first. My loyalties lie with my (war-weary) countrymen, first. …
… An American writer’s intellectual energy ought to focus on American interests, first. Personal probity demands it! Otherwise, the columnist is a fifth column. …
… Read the complete column. “American Rabbis For Israel First” is now on WND.
UPDATE: GOOD COLUMN; BACK PAGE. From the Facebook Thread:
Kerry Crowel: “Whoa … Ilana, that is one hell of a good column.”
Ilana Mercer: “Kerry Crowel, thanks. I thought so. But it’s on second page, as usual, on WND. Second page is more or less the rule for one of the site’s longest standing columns. When thinking of where to publish next book, one takes into account the kind of promotion the column gets. Or no promotion, rather. But thanks for your kind comment.”