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Bernie Sanders Is Moving the Democratic Party toward the Anti-Israel Left

Although Bernie Sanders is unlikely to win the Democratic nomination, the relative success of his candidacy, argues Ron Radosh, will nonetheless have the effect of moving his party leftward—with results that bode ill for U.S.-Israel relations. The evidence can be seen in Sanders’s appointments to the fifteen-member committee responsible for writing the party’s platform:

Worried about keeping the support of Bernie’s people after her nomination is wrapped up, [Hillary] Clinton is being forced to tilt further to the left than she would like, making it much harder for her to shift back to the center in the general election campaign. . . .

[Furthermore], let us look at the five members [of the platform committee] that Bernie Sanders has appointed. What stands out is their well-known animosity to Israel, and support of not only the Palestinians but of Hamas. The most prominent name is that of the African-American professor, philosopher, and radical Cornel West. West has toured with Sanders and opened up rallies for him. West, moreover, is a leading BDS activist, who has said that the Gaza Strip is “the ’hood on steroids,’” and in 2014 wrote that the crimes of Hamas “pale in the face of the U.S.-supported Israeli slaughters of innocent civilians.” . . .

The second person appointed by Sanders is the American pro-Palestinian activist James Zogby, president of the Arab American Institute. . . . In 1996, . . . his group sponsored a rally at which protestors held signs saying “Peres and Hitler are the same—the only difference is the name.” . . . Sanders also put on the platform committee Representative Keith Ellison, who is also . . . a major critic of Israel, and will undoubtedly stand with Zogby and West. All three will work, probably successfully, to create a strong anti-Israel stance as the official platform to be implemented should a Democratic nominee become president. . . . Clinton’s choices for the platform committee likewise reflect her leftward tilt.

Read more at PJ Media

More about: BDS, Bernie Sanders, Democrats, Hillary Clinton, Israel & Zionism, US-Israel relations

Hannah Arendt, Adolf Eichmann, and the Jews

Feb. 23 2018

In 1963—a year after Adolf Eichmann’s sentencing by an Israeli court—reports on the trial by the German-born Jewish philosopher Hannah Arendt appeared in the New Yorker and were soon published as a book. This “report on the banality of evil,” as the book was subtitled, outraged many Jews, including many of her erstwhile friends and admirers, on account of her manifest contempt for the entire preceding, her disgust for the state of Israel, her accusation that a wide array of European Jewish leaders (if not the majority of the victims) were complicit in their own murder, and her bizarre insistence that Eichmann was “not a monster,” or even an anti-Semite, but a mindless, faceless bureaucrat. While extensive evidence has been brought to light that Arendt was wrong both in her claims of Jewish passivity and her evaluation of Eichmann as the head of the SS’s Jewish section, her book remains widely read and admired. Ruth Wisse comments on its enduring legacy:

When Arendt volunteered to report on the Eichmann trial, it was presumed that she was doing so in her role as a Jew. . . . But Arendt actually traveled to Jerusalem for a deeper purpose—to reclaim Eichmann for German philosophy. She did not exonerate Nazism and in fact excoriated the postwar Adenauer government for not doing enough to punish known Nazi killers, but she rehabilitated the German mind and demonstrated how that could be done by going—not beyond, but around, good and evil. She came to erase Judaism philosophically, to complicate its search for moral clarity, and to unseat a conviction [that, in Saul Bellow’s words], “everybody . . . knows what murder is.”

Arendt was to remain the heroine of postmodernists, deconstructionists, feminists, relativists, and internationalist ideologues who deny the stability of Truth. Not coincidentally, many of them have also disputed the rights of the sovereign Jewish people to its national homeland. Indeed, as anti-Zionism cemented the coalition of leftists, Arabs, and dissident minorities, Arendt herself was conscripted, sometimes unfairly and in ways she might have protested, as an ally in their destabilizing cause. They were enchanted by her “perversity” and were undeterred in their enthusiasm by subsequent revelations, like those of the historian Bernard Wasserstein, who documented Arendt’s scholarly reliance on anti-Semitic sources in her study of totalitarianism, or of revelations about her resumed friendship with Martin Heidegger despite his Nazi associations.

At the same time, however, the Arendt report on the Eichmann trial became one of the catalysts for something no one could have predicted—an intellectual movement that came to be known as neoconservatism. A cohort of writers and thinkers, many of them Jews from immigrant families who had turned to leftism as naturally as calves to their mother’s teats, but who had slowly moved away from the Marxism of their youth during the Stalin years and World War II, now spotted corruption and dishonesty and something antithetical to them in some of their very models of the intellectual life.

They and their Gentile colleagues had constituted the only European-style intelligentsia to flourish in America. Most of them were only one generation removed from Europe, after all, so what could be more natural than for them to serve as the conduit of European intelligence to America? Arendt’s ingenious twist of the Eichmann trial showed them how Jewish and American they actually were—and how morally clear they aspired to be.

Read more at Commentary

More about: Adolf Eichmann, Hannah Arendt, History & Ideas, Holocaust, Neoconservatism, New York Intellectuals