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February 16, 2012 11:07 am

Liberal Montgomery County Drops Israel, Goes for FGM

avatar by Arik Elman


Montgomery County MD County Executive Ike Legget. Photo: EnLorax G. Edward Johnson.

American Jewish liberals can congratulate themselves – finally, the boycott of Israel has gone mainstream with Montgomery County, MD, deciding to drop its “Sister City” agreement with the Israeli town of Beth Shemesh.

The reason for this unprecedented decision to stick it to a poor Jewish township within the “green line” has to do not with the Palestinians, but with the internal affairs of the Jewish state – namely, the recent spate of ugly attacks against women by some members of a local ultra-Orthodox sect. Celebrating this “brave” decision by his hometown, Marc Tracy pointed out in “Tablet” that Montgomery County is a “disproportionately Jewish liberal suburb”. He also used the opportunity to lecture Israel, that while it is fighting Iran it must not allow itself to be “overran by religiosity.” This is not surprising, as Montgomery County is a place where young Jews are brought up to believe that, when Iran-sponsored terrorists attack Israelis, Israelis “were asking for this”.

The formal reasoning of the Montgomery County officials (badgered by the usual crowd of anti-Israeli activists, some of them Jewish) is, to put it simply, quite insane. There’s no “systemic” policy of segregation against women in Beth Shemesh – simply because the Israeli law forbids this kind of thing. What happened in Beth Shemesh was an intrusion of (oh, the irony) an American-lead and inspired sect on a certain neighborhood. Since the Israeli municipalities do not control their police precincts, there wasn’t much the mayor could do, especially since the extremists are a self-organized community that strives to be left alone. While the violent attempts of the sect to impose their beliefs on others brought upon it well-deserved condemnation, it’s not entirely clear why the liberals of Montgomery County should punish the mayor Moshe Abutbul, who, while a strident Orthodox Jew himself, has condemned the attacks on women and instructed the city inspectors to act to prevent future violence.

It’s not as if the women of the Montgomery Country don’t have their own problems. According to the police statistics, during the first three quarters of 2011 there were 82 rapes in the county and only 17 arrests were made. Call me suspicious, but doesn’t that constitute clear evidence of a “systemic” problem?

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But even more telling than the undeserved collective punishment that the liberals of Montgomery County had meted out to the people of Beth Shemesh is their chosen replacement as a new “sister city” – “the historic Ethiopian city of Gondar”, as the Washington Post called it. The other valid description for the picturesque Gondar would be “a place where little girls are traditionally mutilated to ensure male dominance”. According to a 2009 report by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation, girls in Gondar “are cut between 7-10 days after birth and the labia minora with or without clitoris are excised” – and this is considered a “milder” form of the traditional Ethiopian FGM! Maybe the good folk of Montgomery County made the right choice after all. On the other hand, those girls do get married off at the tender age of nine, so there’s that.

So here’s a glimpse into the workings of the American Jewish liberal mind: between Beth Shemesh – a town under Israeli law which ensures safety and equality for women – and the Ethiopian FGM capital, they prefer Gondar. Is it because Ethiopians are Black and can do no wrong, and people in Beth Shemesh are religious Jews and can do no right?

The atrocious double standard of the Montgomery County officials could not prevail if not for the collaboration of the local Jewish “activists”. For the self-respecting Jewish liberal in America today, Israel is always in the dock, it is always guilty before proven innocent, it is a country of perennial sinners against the liberal catechism, who are too dumb to understand the Gospel of the Progressive Jew and cling to the outdated ideas of nation, homeland and faith. Fed on a steady diet of distortion and misinformation by their Israeli brethren (who are totally dependent on them for support and therefore eager to feed their paranoia), they are growing more and more detached from the reality of Israel in 2012, yet they expect Israelis to conform to their views and mores. If these people will be allowed to set an agenda for the relations between Israeli Jews and the greatest Diaspora on Earth, the end can be nothing but a tragedy of historic proportions.

Not so long ago, a respected American Jewish leader explained to a group of incredulous Israeli visitors that he prefers a Jew who is critical of Israel to a Jew who is apathetic. From his point of view, this was sound logic – better a Jew who can be engaged than somebody who has lost all interest. From the Israeli point of view, there’s absolutely no use for a Jewish second-guesser, backstabber and ankle-biter – in fact, he’s of a great value to the enemy, since a Jew who is willing to trash Israel is worth several Gentiles. Beth Shemesh will survive without the partnership with Montgomery County. About the survival of the Jews of Montgomery County, without Israel, I am not so sure.

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