American Jews – Shame, Guilt, Silence. The tragic case of Marc Raskin and IPS

13 02 2018


First of all Marc Raskin was quite a great man so let’s “stipulate that”.   Great for his views, passions, visions, tireless efforts, family life, and for creating and sustaining a “progressive think-tank” known as the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS).

Some seven weeks after his passing family, friends (many), and IPS supporters held a moving tribute to Marc Raskin on Monday.  And how fitting that they held the “celebration” at the famous Sixth Street Synagogue in DC where family and many of those attending wore white Yamulkas and everything took place under the huge Star of David.   For Raskin was indeed quite a Jewish personality — old-school type like Chomsky, Hersh, I.F. Stone, Asner, and Schwartzchild (all of whom I also personally know or knew).

BUT even though so many of the major issues of his lifetime — which he and IPS so appropriately condemned and sometimes championed — were mentioned, there was a glaring and telling omission.  While one or more of the speakers spoke about so many domestic and international issues that Raskin and IPS were known for, one of the most important issues of his lifetime, and one which impacted so many others, was totally ignored.

Never mentioned were Israel, Palestine and the extreme complicity of the USA and American Jews in what has happened in the Middle East, and for that matter with regard to 9/11.   In that sense — and it’s a very important and telling one — “Progressive” Jewish guilt, shame, and silence, as well as the reasons behind yesterday’s venue, were the carefully avoided backdrop to the “celebration”.