American Jews on the left were beside themselves last week. Israels Jews did something that utterly infuriated these American Jews: Israels Jews overwhelmingly voted for a man of the right (or for other right-of-center parties). And not just any right-winger, but the only leader in the Western world to publicly differ from their hero, President Barack Obama.
To understand their fury, one must first understand that no one is more certain of their moral superiority than the left. This is true the world over, and among Jews it is particularly so. For the leaders of the American Jewish religious left (Reform, Reconstructionist, and now Conservative Judaism), Jews who are politically or socially conservative are a disgrace to Judaism, which, for left-wing Jews, is essentially the same as leftism.
But certitude of their moral superiority is not the only reason American Jews on the left went ballistic last week. There are deeper, psychological, reasons. Left-wing Jews live, work and socialize with left-wing non-Jews, and they believe that they are to their great regret identified with the Jewish state in the eyes of fellow leftists.