Worried More About Iran or Climate Change?

April 23, 2015

What an upside-down world most American Jews live in.

Most American — not Israeli — Jews are far more concerned with global warming, aka climate change, than with Iran.

Let’s compare the two threats.

The Iranian regime has sponsored Holocaust-denial conferences; bombed the Jewish Community Center in Buenos Aires, Argentina, killing 85 people and injuring hundreds; sponsors Hezbollah, the dominant force in Lebanon and dedicated to Israel’s destruction; and repeatedly announces its intention to annihilate Israel. It is feverishly working on developing nuclear weapons in order to make it the dominant country in the Middle East and to eradicate Israel. Russia has just signed a deal to sell anti-aircraft missiles to Iran that are so potent that few American jets will be able to attack Iran. And Iran has become the most dangerous enemy of the United States, aiding the most radical anti-American regimes in the world from North Korea to Venezuela.

But this is far from what most troubles most American Jews. What troubles most American Jews is global warming, which, according to computer models (that failed to accurately predict the amount of warming in the last 15 years), will inundate coastal cities in various parts of the world about a half century from now. 

Two questions:

How is one to explain this?

And why don’t Israel’s Jews, including some of the most articulate men and women of the Israeli left, share American Jews’ preoccupation with global warming and their minimizing of the Iranian threat?

It would be fascinating to have those American Jews who worry more about global warming than about Iran respond. 

But allow me to posit some responses.

One possible answer would be that the supposition is wrong, that most American Jews worry about both equally. But if that is the case, then the second question needs a response: Why do Israeli Jews worry so much less about global warming and so much more about Iran than American Jews do?

There is but one answer – a rather uncomfortable one for most American Jews. Israeli Jews know that it is they and their families who will die in an Iranian attack and that it is their country that will be devastated. From the safety afforded by continents and oceans, that fact simply doesn’t trouble most American Jews as much.

A second answer to the original two questions might be that those Jews in Israel and America (and non-Jews, for that matter) who fear Iran more than global warming are exaggerating the Iranian threat to Israel (and to America, to America’s Arab allies and to Sunni Muslims worldwide). The Iranian regime does not really intend to destroy Israel, and it is only developing nuclear power, not nuclear weapons.

A third answer that most American Jews might offer is that it’s just nearsighted not to fear global warming more than anything else.

That would be quite a response. It means that the immediate existential threat – by the violent Islamist regime of Iran that puts gays and adulterers to death, fosters gangs of Muslim youths in religious sections of Iran to terrorize women who show their hair in public, bombs Jewish targets, foments Israel- and America-hatred around world, and ardently pursues nuclear weapons — is far less worrisome than what might happen half a century from now as predicted by computer models.

I would venture a different response than all of those.

Most American Jews have been influenced by leftist thinking more than by any other way of looking at life. Overwhelmingly, throughout the world, those who fear global warming more than Iran are on the left, whereas there are virtually no conservatives in America or elsewhere who share this overriding fear. That is something both progressives and conservatives can agree upon. That’s why Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper doesn’t fear global warming nearly as much as does President Barack Obama. Mr. Harper is a conservative.

At the same time, the further left one goes — among Jews and non-Jews — the less the concern over Iran’s threat to Israel. Indeed, as one goes further left, the greater the hatred of Israel. American Jews on the left have been so influenced by the left that many of them undoubtedly have more disdain for Benjamin Netanyahu’s government than for Iran’s. That is certainly true for George Soros (who helped fund J Street); for Tom Steyer, the billionaire who devotes his fortune to funding green politicians; for those Jewish academics and students who support the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) Movement against Israel; for Jewish Voice for Peace; and for many other Jews on the left.

This is all just another example of how morally corrosive leftism has been to American Jewish life. If there is a better explanation for why most American Jews fear global warming more than Iran, what is it?

Finally, one has to wonder how all these American Jews would react if Israel were actually attacked by Iran with nuclear weapons. What will they say? That they had been too busy fighting carbon emissions?

Dennis Prager is a nationally syndicated radio talk-show host (AM 870 in Los Angeles) and founder of PragerUniversity.com.

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