If Syrian Refugees Are the New Jews, Who Are the New Nazis?

Last summer, the New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof declared that “Anne Frank today is like a Syrian girl.” Such comparisons have become quite commonplace over the past week. But, wonders Lee Smith, if, according to this analogy, Syrians civilians are like Jewish victims of the Holocaust, and Donald Trump is like Franklin D. Roosevelt (whose government turned away many Jews fleeing Europe), then who are the Nazis?

Sunni Muslims have been the target of a campaign of sectarian cleansing and slaughter since the earliest days of the nearly six-year-long Syrian conflict. [They] make up the preponderance of those seeking refuge the world over, from Turkey and Lebanon to Europe and North America. At first the Sunnis were fleeing the Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, but Assad has become a relatively insignificant factor in the war. In this scenario, Assad is rather like Mussolini, a dictator in charge of incompetent and dwindling forces incapable of holding ground. . . . Hence, Assad needed to mobilize his allies, especially his regime’s chief protector, the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Iran sent in its crack troops, the Quds Force, the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps’ expeditionary unit led by Qassem Soleimani. Also at Iran’s disposal was a large number of regional organizations, ranging from the elite Lebanese militia Hizballah to less prestigious fighting outfits. . . . It was these groups, later joined by Russia, that hunted Sunni Arabs like animals and slaughtered them, or sent them running for their lives. These are the Nazis [in the present analogy].

It is terrible that Syrian refugees are suffering. It is wrong that the Trump administration has cruelly shut America’s doors on children who have known nothing during their short lives except running from the jaws of a machine of death. But America’s shame is much, much worse than that. For in securing his chief foreign-policy initiative, Barack Obama made billions of dollars and American diplomatic and military cover available to Iran, which has used both to wage a [ruthless] war against Syria’s Sunni Arab population.

Not only have we failed so far to protect “today’s Jews” by stopping today’s Nazis, the 44th president of the United States assisted the latter in their campaign of mass murder. That’s why, when people liken Syrian refugees to Jewish refugees fleeing the Nazis, no one dares to complete the analogy and identify Iran as today’s Nazis. America’s shame is worse than anything that the protesters at airports imagine.

You have 2 free articles left this month

Sign up now for unlimited access

Subscribe Now

Read more at Tablet

More about: Barack Obama, Bashar al-Assad, Donald Trump, Holocaust, Iran, Politics & Current Affairs, Refugees, Syrian civil war

Israel’s Nation-State Law and the Hysteria of the Western Media

Aug. 17 2018

Nearly a month after it was passed by the Knesset, the new Basic Law defining Israel as “the nation-state of the Jewish people” is still causing outrage in the American and European press. The attacks, however, are almost uniformly incommensurate with this largely symbolic law, whose text, in the English translation found on the Knesset website, is barely over 400 words in length. Matthew Continetti comments:

Major journalistic institutions have become so wedded to a pro-Palestinian, anti-Benjamin Netanyahu narrative, in which Israel is part of a global trend toward nationalist authoritarian populism, that they have abdicated any responsibility for presenting the news in a dispassionate and balanced manner. The shameful result of this inflammatory coverage is the normalization of anti-Israel rhetoric and policies and widening divisions between Israel and the diaspora.

For example, a July 18, 2018, article in the Los Angeles Times described the nation-state law as “granting an advantageous status to Jewish-only communities.” But that is false: the bill contained no such language. (An earlier version might have been interpreted in this way, but the provision was removed.) Yet, as I write, the Los Angeles Times has not corrected the piece that contained the error. . . .

Such through-the-looking-glass analysis riddled [the five] news articles and four op-eds the New York Times has published on the matter at the time of this writing. In these pieces, “democracy” is defined as results favored by the New York Times editorial board, and Israel’s national self-understanding as in irrevocable conflict with its democratic form of government. . . .

The truth is that democracy is thriving in Israel. . . .  The New York Times quoted Avi Shilon, a historian at Ben-Gurion University, who said [that] “Mr. Netanyahu and his colleagues are acting like we are still in the battle of 1948, or in a previous era.” Judging by the fallacious, paranoid, fevered, and at times bigoted reaction to the nation-state bill, however, Bibi may have good reason to believe that Israel is still in the battle of 1948, and still defending itself against assaults on the very idea of a Jewish state.

You have 1 free article left this month

Sign up now for unlimited access

Subscribe Now

Read more at Commentary

More about: Israel & Zionism, Israel's Basic Law, Israeli democracy, Media, New York Times