What Obama's Jewish Heritage Month proclamation teaches us about left-wing anti-Semitism

|The Volokh Conspiracy |

President Obama in London in April. (Matt Dunham/Associated Press)

I wrote a piece for Commentary inspired by President Obama's proclamation of May as Jewish Heritage Month, and in particular the proclamation's focus on American Jews' contribution to various social justice causes and liberation movements. I point out that while for mainstream liberals, emphasizing Jews' liberal activism does not preclude recognizing other Jewish contributions, including Jews' contribution to the well-being of their fellow Jews, "for some fraction of the far left, the Jewish contribution to various liberation movements is not simply the Jews' most important contribution to the world, and is not simply the only one worth mentioning if you have limited space, as with President Obama's proclamation. It is, rather, the only legitimate praise one can give to the Jews." After explaining why this is so, I conclude that "to many on the far left, the only good Jew is a secular left-wing internationalist political activist with no particular interest in the well-being of his fellow Jews. . . . Given that only a small fraction of Jews fit that model, anti-Semitism is therefore a natural consequence." If you are interested in further elaboration, with accompanying nuances, read the whole thing.