The American Jewish Congress sent an ad to be run in Ms. Magazine featuring three women in Israeli political life who have broken through the glass ceiling. The organization thought that a woman’s magazine calling for complete enfranchisement of women would be eager to highlight in its pages an ad showing that enfranchisement has indeed happened, in Israel. Pictures of Israel’s President of Supreme Court, its Vice Prime Minister, and Knesset/Parliment Speaker — all women — were to be placed under a heading " Women in Israel".
To the amazement of the AJC, Ms. Magazine refused to run the ready-to-be-paid-for ad because, as it said, "it would set off a fire storm" and that "there are very strong opinions" on the matter. In other words, the people who run Ms. Magazine maintain that featuring anything posotive about mainstream Israel is contrary to its editorial convictions and the wishes of its readers. Ms. Magazine’s message: Israel is bad and we want no part of it, even if Israel fulfills the aspirations we have for years called for.
Some at Ms. Magazine are now trying to cover themselves by saying that highlighting women in the political arena is "political". This is specious given that over the years Ms. has run not just ads but articles about prominent women in political circles. Has there never been a sentence in its pages about Hillary Clinton or Nancy Pelosi? Would an ad featuring a woman leader, Queen Nour, from the now politically-correct country, Jordan, been as speedily rejected? No.
The avant garde of the left has now made it official: Israel is not a victim and is therefore not good; worse, it is part of the problem. In today’s world of victimhood solidarity so adored among the chic and "progressive", there can be no room and no understanding granted those considered outside the victim category. There can be no virtue nor place for those who achieve and produce since, as the Left believes, "it is accomplished through the ‘oppression’ of those underneath", i.e., those wailing the loudest.
The hate-America crowd now hates Israel, even Israel’s liberals — as some of the women in the ad are — so long as they identify with Israel, the politically incorrect country unwilling to submit to those demanding its territorial suicide and insisting, still, to defend itself from those wishing to destroy it. Israel is politically incorrect because it has not renounced its right to exist and maintain its culture and religion in a guilt-ridden, multi-cultural world that disdains distinctiveness unless that distinctiveness is Third World, African, or Islamic.
Israel should not be surprised. In the who’s good vs. who’s bad paradigm of the Left, nothing trumps victimhood, and righteous victimhood is not something earned but precisely unearned. One is born into it. It is a group thing. Anything too male, too physically strong or too Western or American is bad.
Women, Blacks, Homosexuals, Arabs and Moslems thus are victims no matter how wealthy and how much power they wield. White males, especially of Christian faith, coming from European ancestry are never victims, no matter the odds stacked against an individual in that group.
As a leftist women’s magazine, Ms. sees women as born into victimhood and alligns itself politically, therefore, with those in today’s world assigned victim status. Israel like America has its roots in European Founders, European thought, and is guided not by Third World motifs but a Western set of values borne not of whining but hard work, sacrifice and rule of law. Because Israel is succesful, it evokes little compassion from those who always attribute success (except their own success, of course) to "having done so on the backs of others".
The many wealthy women in charge of Ms. and the upwardly mobile who read it, never consider themselves privileged but victims because they were born as women in a male-dominated society. Oh, how sweet is the taste of victimhood! The struggling white fellow in Alabama who attends church and is finding it difficult to keep together the family he loves is never a subject of sympathy.
The Arabs and Moslems in the Middle East know the under-belly of those in the West who shape opinion. Though the Saudis and Arab Emirates could have absorbed their brothers into their vast empire or financially helped them with their oil $ trillions, they shrewdly chose to make them live in squalor so as to portray them as victims. No matter how Israel tries to resolve things, no matter how humanitarian it is, it cannot evoke the "victim’ card since it is militarily and spiritually strong. It has been penalized for the hard work and sacrifice it has endured in order to achieve healthy strength and a livable society.
Why do people who celebrate victimhood and assign virtue to victimhood not choose, instead, those who overcome difficult odds and make the desert bloom and the prairies blossom? Why do they choose those who destroy greenhouses given to them for free (the Arab Palestinians) over those who created the greenhouses from scratch (the Israelis)? Because it is so much easier to be a victim by simply being born one than being virtuous through acting responsibly and correctly.
Truth be told, many of us are not let down nor surprised by Ms. Magazine’s disavowal of Israel. We’ve known for a long time what the left thinks of Israel just as we know what they think of America, the America in which they live and has provided them their prosperity. Their aversion, I surmise, to ladies such as Lynn Cheney, Margaret Thatcher or Kay Bailey Hutchinson is just as nauseating to me as their aversion to Israeli female politicians. For Ms., not all women are sisters, just as for the NAACP, conservative blacks are not brothers. Ms. is not a venue where I would run ads.
The problem, and awakening, is for those in the Jewish organizational establishment who have long thought their allegiance to leftist politics and "progressive" thinking would somehow shield Israel. It won’t. No matter how this ad issue will be resolved — and it will — the Left’s disassociation from Israel will continue and grow.