Jews, according to both anti-Semites and philo-Semites, are smart folks. Anti-Semites claim that Jews are highly intelligent -- and therefore threaten the world via conspiratorial monetary and political control. Philo-Semites point out that Jews have provided a vastly disproportionate number of Nobel Prize winners, as well as various leading scientists, philosophers, writers and artists.
Virtually everyone agrees, then, that Jews are intelligent. And yet for all of our intelligence (I am an Orthodox Jew), large groups of American Jews lack the most basic instinct for self-preservation; they lack the understanding to protect Jews by acting to protect Israel.
The non-religious Jewish community demonstrates particular blindness. Most non-religious Jews, who see no special value in Jewish identity, distract themselves with "social justice" policies -- policies like abortion-on-demand and gay marriage -- that directly contravene traditional Jewish values. Meanwhile, they ignore existential threats to Jews worldwide -- threats they cannot escape with protestations that they aren't practicing Jews, or that their Judaism only goes as far as the occasional bagel. For many non-religious Jews, political liberalism trumps both Jewish values and Jewish existence.
How else to explain the disastrous series of events last week in New York? The United Jewish Appeal Federation of New York scheduled an anti-Iran rally highlighting the blatant Jew-hatred of visiting Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The Federation invited both Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) and Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin (R-AK). Palin accepted. So, at first, did Clinton -- but when she learned that she would be appearing on the same stage as Palin, she backed out.
At that point, the organizers of the rally made a terrible decision: They disinvited Palin. Politico.com reported that the decision was made after Democrats complained that they did not want the rally turned into a partisan event.
This is the height of idiocy. In the possibility of a nuclear Iran, Jews face the gravest menace since the 1973 Yom Kippur War. They must mobilize every ally, unearth every friend, in order to create a groundswell of support for a military strike against Iran by Israel -- the only true solution to Iranian nuclear ambition. And yet they turned away Sarah Palin -- perhaps the future vice president of the United States, and at the moment, the most popular female politician in the United States -- because they feared offending Democrats.