Max Naumann was the founder of Verband nationaldeutscher Juden (League of National German Jews). In his efforts to resolve his brand of “the Jewish Question,” he called for the elimination of Jewish ethnic identity through Jewish assimilation. Naumann advocated total assimilation as an answer to Jew-hatred. With Hitler’s rise to power in 1933, while many German Jews were still very much in denial about their precarious future in Germany, Naumann’s league, a minority within a minority having only about 6,000 followers, took it further, pushing his skewed ideology.
During the Weimar Republic, Naumann was active with the German People’s Party. Advancing a delusional perspective, the League supported a Nazi-led national revolution, which was to realize the “rebirth of Germandom.” Nauman continued to be faithful to the “fatherland.” Detesting the Zionist Jews, he was noted as saying, “Unwilling to slough off their oriental traits, they are a disturbing factor to us who are bound to the soil.”
The Zionists were an embarrassment to the patriotic German Jews like Max Naumann, and went so far as to say that the Nazis were justified in putting a price on Albert Einstein’s head for speaking out against the Nazis and for being supportive of Zionism. But, like all patriotic German Jews, Max was in for a rude awakening.
With the rise of Hitler, the German People’s Party naturally did not want anything to do with Nauman’s group. His league was outlawed by the Nazis and dissolved by the Gestapo in 1935. Naumann was imprisoned and later released. Max Naumann was one of the lucky ones—he ended up dying from cancer in 1939.
Today we have Peter Beinart. An American Jew who fashions himself a progressive intellectual, Beinart recently declared to the world in successive articles in the leftist publications Jewish Currents and The New York Times that he does not support the existence of the Jewish State of Israel. In what was no more than a nonsensical diatribe, he asserted that he is against the Zionist vision of the indigenous Jewish nation having self-determination as a sovereign state in their land.
Like Naumann, Beinart appears to be disturbed and embarrassed by his fellow Jews in Israel who are rather obstinate in their loyalty to their heritage, 4,000 years strong. He also believes he knows what makes Israeli Jews tick, as well as what the essence of Zionism is. I barely was able to type out that last sentence without going into hysterical laughter.
In actuality, this pampered, upper West Side New Yorker is clueless. Clueless about his brethren in Israel, about the Land of Israel, and I suspect, about himself. It is not my intention to dissect and refute all that Beinart wrote. That’s been done by many. Quite well. My point is to show yet another pathetic example of a Diaspora Jew desperately attempting to claw his way to acceptance in the “popular” prevailing American leftist crowd, which is saturated with Jew-hatred.
A well-seasoned disciple of American progressivism, Beinart is moving fast and furiously to solidify his acceptance by his co-progressives at a time when Jew-hatred permeates their politics. What better way to be a prince among the anti-Israel progressive movement than declare your own betrayal of the State of Israel.
Apparently, he is not stopping with his inane little article. He is taking part in a live-streamed “debate” with his co-American Jewish progressive religionists, namely, Jeremy Ben-Ami, president of J Street, and Rabbi Jill Jacobs, executive director of T’ruah. All share an anti-Zionist philosophy in one version or another, and all share a determination to convey that they are anything but “Jew first,” and if this requires taking a perfidious stance against Israel and their brethren, so be it.
However, much like Max Naumann, Peter Beinart, as well as his pseudo-intellectual partners, is in for a rude awakening.
Zahava Englard Shapiro is an Israel-based author and writes articles on Israel for several online publications.