Apparently eager to disprove the Jewish reputation for intelligence, the Union for Reform Judaism recently adopted a resolution condemning the Iraq War and demanding that President Bush provide "a clear exit strategy," including a plan for troop withdrawals. In a letter to President Bush alerting him to the URJ's action, Robert Heller and Rabbi Eric Yoffe lost no opportunity to flaunt their supposed moral sensitivity. Calling the war a "major tragedy" that has "discredited … America in the international community" and "contributed to the growth of terrorism," the two Reform leaders informed the president: "We also call on Congress to provide more effective oversight of the war and to ensure that the financial burden of the war falls not just on the poor and on future generations but is shared equitably. … We condemn, in the strongest possible terms, violations of the Geneva Conventions and other applicable laws, including torture and abuse of detainees in U.S. custody … " And so on.
The Reform movement is the largest Jewish denomination in America and the most liberal (politically and religiously). There is nothing new about Reform Jews adopting leftist positions. But this one is particularly galling. Consider the irony: Throughout the Muslim world, from Indonesia to Egypt to Pakistan, huge numbers are convinced that the United States is engaged in Iraq only because a powerful cabal of Jews lured the nation into it. Millions are certain that Jews did not show up for work at the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, because they were in on the sinister plan by the Israeli Mossad or the CIA to hijack planes, fly them into the buildings and then blame Al Qaeda. There is only one group that our Islamist enemy hates more than Americans, and that is -- guess who?
Surely, of all people, American Jews ought to have the clearest insight into the stakes in the war on terror. Is Daniel Pearl's fate not instructive?