Left wing social and political groups have historically been good friends of the Jewish populations of the West. From the positions on more liberal immigration to their supporting of civil and equal rights for the entire population, they have helped the Jewish community, especially in North America, become an integral part of society. As a result, there is generally an assumption on the part of secular Jews that being a good Jew means believing in the values of the secular left culture. Unions, feminist groups, etc. are all over-populated by Jews who believe they are expressing their ethnic background by trying to change the world for the better.
In contrast, there is an instinctive repulsion between Jews and the right. Influenced by right-wing politicians who campaigned on xenophobic themes decades ago and, of course, by the Nazis y"sh, Jews generally look at the right with disdain. A Jewish Democrat or Liberal is seen as a natural things, a Jewish Republican or Conservative as something unusual or weird.
A keen observer of world politics, however, will usually concur that the world has changed since the time that these stereotypes were set in stone. Over the last 20 years, the greatest threat to Israel, for example, has come not from the political right but from the left. Israel has faced the least animosity in the US government when a Republican has been the President or when that party has controlled congress. The last three Democratic presidents (present one include), however, have been quite dangerous for Israel.
In social terms, the left has also been quite anti-Jewish although people are less willing to notice that. Jews being blamed for the financial crisis is just one example of how the socialist left in U.S. has abandoned its supposed partnership with Jewish America. Meanwhile, while evangelical Chrisians show more support for Israel and Judaism than most American Jews, we continue to regard them with fear and suspicion. Union leaders may be openly crying for boycotts of Israel but what are those sneaky evangelicals up to, eh?
As this article from JTA notes, about the only update to this hardened pro-left, anti-right attitude has been a grudging admission that maybe the left is finally a source of threat to Jews today:
After years of worrying about the threat posed by Muslim terrorists, is Wednesday's shooting attack on the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum -- coming soon after the murder of a prominent abortion doctor -- a signal that the Jewish community should be ratcheting up its concern about right-wing extremism?
Those who track extremism and security threats in the Jewish community say that a variety of current factors -- such as the poor economy, the first black president and increased immigration -- make the prospect of terror attacks from the right something to watch carefully. But, they stress, the Jewish community should be concerned about threats from extremists of all kinds.
“The real threat is lone wolves with extremist views from the right or left,” said Paul Goldenberg, national director of the Secure Community Network, an initiative of the Jewish Federations of North America and the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.
I disagree with Mr. Goldberg. A "lone wolf" might be a threat due to his unpredictability but the threat from the left is quite real. While the extreme right wing in America is pretty much limited to the pathetic Neo-Nazi/KKK crowd which lacks any real social influence outside its limited circles, the left enjoys excellent popularity and an immunity from any serious investigation by mainstream media.
Think about it: how many tenured professors in major North American universities preach views that Israel is an apartheid state or that it is the cause of all evil in the world? If someone in a pointy hat and a bad sheet said that, we'd call him a racist. When a left wing professor says it, we talk about academic freedom and the need for dialogue.
When a good ol' boy commits a racist act, everyone learns about his background. When Muslims attempt to commit terrorist acts, like the bunch of losers who laughingly plotted to kidnap Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper a couple of years ago, we surpress their nationality and deny any connection to international movements that are dedicated to destroying Israel.
It is time to update our thinking, re-identify who our really friends in this society are, and concentrate on fighting our enemies instead of trying to make nice with them and ignore their tireless efforts to destroy our State.