I’m Done Asking for Sympathy, Lefty Friends

Gabe Zichermann
5 min readOct 25, 2023
cc Nenad Stojkovic

I’m done trying to get your sympathy, thanks very much.

Like many liberal Jews, I’ve been concerned with the increasing antisemitism in progressive circles over the last 20 years. Of course liberals like me made common cause with progressives for two core reasons:

  1. We thought we had a shared belief in progress, humanism and the idea that raising everyone’s standard of living and safety would result in better outcomes for individuals and society, and
  2. As the descendents of survivors of the largest actual modern genocide, we were uniquely aware of the racism and violence that long infested conservative and right-wing circles.

Time and again in history we were willing to sacrifice ourselves and subsume our identities to our belief in a greater good. The modern liberal institutions of the US, from the ACLU to Planned Parenthood count Jews among their founders, leaders and major donors. From marches on Selma to Washington, gay rights and Black Lives Matter, Jewish liberalism has been a key funder in terms of labor and capital to the advancement of progress in society.

And our commitment to higher education as a core cultural value made us major allies to the rapaciously-growing American university system. Never mind that we had been excluded from the ivy leagues for over a hundred years, once we finally made our way into the schools (not without a few lawsuits), we did everything we could to support their desire for open and interference-free thought. Our money and power helped shield and bloat these institutions even as they descended into racist and trigger-free madness.

Of course, we expected right-wing folks to hate us. Blood libel and racist animus aside, we generally vote like George Soros, and spend our money accordingly. No group is more reliably Democratic and liberal than Jews. And if you sincerely believe in a conspiracy to control thoughts via chips implanted in vaccines (or the mainstream media), we’ve always been the “man behind the curtain” to despots and slow-thinkers trying to whip up orgies of hate.

But it’s been very difficult to swallow what’s happened in progressive circles since Hamas’ terror attacks of October 7. Emboldened by a lefty and university culture that seems to think Jews…

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Gabe Zichermann

Author and Public Speaker on Gamification, The 4th Industrial Revolution, the Future of Work and Failure. More about me: https://gabezichermann.com