Demonizing liberal Jews

Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb tells us how far “Israel, not Torah” firsters. will go to demonize a fellow Jew who dares to move beyond tribal narrowness to universal values.

Last week, I stopped being Rabbi Lynn, educator, activist, and one of the first woman rabbis in the United States.

Overnight, I became “Obama’s Radical Rabbi” according to the Republican Jewish Committee and Iraq War architect Bill Kristol – all because I’m a member of Jewish Voice for Peace.


If people like that are so terribly afraid of me because of my association with this brave and bold organization – well, we must be doing something right.

My story just isn’t that unusual. Last week, I joined hundreds of other rabbis to publicly support President Obama’s re-election. Immediately, the Republican Jewish Coalition, Bill Kristol, and others publicly demanded that President Obama drop me and other peace-supporting rabbis from the list.*

They claimed I was too extreme. Is advocating for peace really that radical? I don’t think so.

\For me, my commitment has only deepened. For me, the value of of standing up for the humanity of all peoples whether they be Palestinian or Jew, American or Iranian, is worth it.

When absurd distortions were printed about me in the right wing press, my phone started ringing off the hook with reporters asking for “Obama’s Radical Rabbi.” And in the days that followed, every other member of JVP’s Rabbinic Council who endorsed President Obama was under attack as well.

Commentary Magazine, the National Review, the Jewish and Israeli press —everyone was coming at us at once. Under other circumstances, we would have felt completely overwhelmed. 

In one sense Lynn Gottlieb is radical. She and other Jews who dare criticize israel are getting to the real roots—solidarity for those on the margins, the Palestinians of modern day Israel.

Three cheers for Jewish Voices for Peace

Bill Kristol should be ashamed of himself.


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