September 20, 2019

Ministry of Ignorant Absorption?

This was published a week ago or so on Arnie Eisen’s On My Mind blog, but I only got to see it yesterday. It is JTS’ Eisen take on the bring-Israelis-back ad campaign controversy. A nuanced and balanced take, but even more importantly, a humorous one: 

Jewish leaders on this side of the ocean have long tolerated with affection (if also with irritation) Israeli denunciations of our community and our convictions. We have made allowances for remarks that we would never accept from the leader of one Diaspora community speaking about another. We roll our eyes knowingly and think nothing of it when Israelis so totally ignorant of Judaism that they make fools of themselves when visiting a synagogue have no hesitation in lecturing us about what it means to be a Jew. And – most serious of all – we quietly forgive Israelis who live under constant threat of terrorist attacks, missiles, and (soon, perhaps) Iranian nukes for telling us how insecure the American Jewish future is.

So before we finally archive this whole brouhaha, here’s a possible way of tagging it, Eisen’s style: The controversial campaign of the Ministry of Ignorant Absorption.