At a Chicago Gay Pride March, No Jewish Symbols Allowed

June 28 2017

In Chicago last Saturday, the organizers of the “Dyke March”—an event that billed itself as “more inclusive” than the following day’s Gay Pride Parade—told some of its Jewish participants that they had to leave. The reason: they had had the temerity to display rainbow flags bearing Stars of David. A spokeswoman for the group that sponsors the event later clarified that “we don’t want anything . . . that can inadvertently or advertently express Zionism.” Charles Lipson writes:

When the organizers of Chicago’s “Dyke March” prohibited [the Star of David’s] display, they were saying, “Jews are not welcome here if they display any symbol of their faith or cultural history.” . . . It’s a bizarre contortion of “progressive ideology,” one they could test by marching through Ramallah or Gaza City.

The organizers were open about why they prohibited the Jewish symbol. They loathe Israel and love Palestinian opposition to it. Of course, you could hold those views and still let others march. But that wasn’t “progressive” enough for them. Incidents like this are not confined to a few wackos. They occur regularly at leftist protests and on college campuses. . . .

The incident reveals several . . . disturbing trends. It shows how easily the disparagement of Israel, which is nearly universal on the left, spills over into denigration of all Jews. . . .

We could point to other lessons: the heckler’s veto, where a few voices can prevent others from being heard and still others from listening and engaging. That happened at the march. A few people objected to the Star of David and that was enough for the organizers. . . . To buttress their political position, they mouth the magic words, “I feel unsafe,” and demand protection. They don’t mean some genuine physical danger or threat of intimidation, which is non-existent. They mean exposure to ideas, [or in this case symbols], they don’t like.

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More about: Anti-Semitism, Anti-Zionism, Homosexuality, Jewish World, Leftism

 

The U.S. Should Recognize Israeli Sovereignty over the Golan Heights

July 19 2018

Since the 1970s, American governments have sporadically pressured Jerusalem to negotiate the return of the Golan to Syria in exchange for peace. Had Israel given up this territory, Iranian forces would now be preparing to establish themselves on its strategically advantageous high ground. Michael Doran, testifying before the House of Representatives, argues that for this and other reasons, Congress should recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan. (Video is available at the link below.)

Between 1949 and 1967, [the period during which Syria held the Golan], thousands of clashes erupted [there]. By contrast, ever since Israel took control of the Golan Heights in June 1967, they have served as a natural buffer between the two belligerents. The last 70 years serve as a laboratory of real life, and the results [of the experiment conducted therein] are incontrovertible: when in the hands of Syria, the Golan Heights promoted conflict. When in the hands of Israel, they have promoted stability. . . .

From the outbreak of the [Syrian] civil war, Iran and Russia have worked aggressively to shape the conflict so as to serve their interests. The influence of Iran is particularly worrisome because, in the division of labor between Moscow and Tehran, Russia provides the air power while Iran provides much of the ground forces. . . . Thanks to Iran’s newfound ground presence [in Syria], it is well on the way to completing a so-called “land bridge” stretching from Tehran to Beirut. There can be no doubt that a major aim of the land bridge is to increase the military pressure on Israel (and Jordan, too). . . .

Would Americans ever consciously choose to place Iranian soldiers on the Golan Heights, so that they could peer down their riflescopes at Jewish civilians below? Is there any American interest that would be served by allowing Iran to have direct access to the Sea of Galilee, Israel’s primary water reservoir? Would it ever be wise to place Iranian troops [where they could] serve as a wedge between Jordan and Israel? The answer to all of these questions, obviously, is no. And the clearest way to send that message to the world is to pass a law recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights.

As for the claim that the Jewish state’s seizure of the Golan in 1967 violates international law, Doran notes that Washington undermined this claim with its attempts in the 1990s to broker a deal between Jerusalem and Damascus:

The ready American (and Israeli) acceptance of the June 4, 1967 cease-fire line [as the basis for such a deal] is nothing short of startling. That line . . . leaves Syria in possession of territory along the shores of the Sea of Galilee and elsewhere that it acquired by force in 1948. In other words, to win over its enemy, [Syria], the Clinton administration dispensed with the principle of the impermissibility of the acquisition of territory by force—the very principle that the United States has remained ever-vigilant in applying to its ally, Israel.

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More about: Congress, Golan Heights, Iran, Israel & Zionism, Syrian civil war, U.S. Foreign policy