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 Struggle for Iraq, and What It Means for Israel

Oct. 17 2018

Almost immediately after the 2003 invasion, Iraq became a battleground between the U.S. and Iran, as the latter sent troops, money, and arms to foment and support an insurgency. The war on Islamic State, along with the Obama administration’s effort to align itself with the Islamic Republic, led to a temporary truce, but also gave Tehran-backed militias a great deal of power. Iran has also established a major conduit of supplies through Iraq to support its efforts in Syria. Meanwhile, it is hard to say if the recent elections have brought a government to Baghdad that will be pro-American or pro-Iranian. Eldad Shavit and Raz Zimmt comment how these developments might affect Israel:

Although statements by the U.S. administration have addressed Iran’s overall activity in the region, they appear to emphasize the potential for confrontation in Iraq. First and foremost, this [emphasis] stems from the U.S. perception of this arena as posing the greatest danger, in light of the extensive presence of U.S. military and civilian personnel operating throughout the country, and in light of past experience, which saw many American soldiers attacked by Shiite militias under Iranian supervision. The American media have reported that U.S. intelligence possesses information indicating that the Shiite militias and other elements under Iranian auspices intend to carry out attacks against American targets and interests. . . .

In light of Iran’s intensifying confrontation with the United States and its mounting economic crisis, Tehran finds it essential to maintain its influence in Iraq, particularly in the event of a future clash with the United States. The Iranian leadership has striven to send a message of deterrence to the United States regarding the implications of a military clash. . . .

A recently published report also indicates that Iran transferred ballistic missiles to the Shiite militias it supports in Iraq. Although Iran has denied this report, it might indeed attempt to transfer advanced military equipment to the Shiite militias in order to improve their capabilities in the event of a military confrontation between Iran and the United States and/or Israel, or a confrontation between [the militias] and the central government in Baghdad.

From Israel’s perspective, after years when the Iraqi arena received little attention from Israeli decision makers, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman have mentioned the possibility of Israel’s taking action against Iranian targets in Iraq. In this context, and particularly in light of the possibility that Iraq could become an arena of greater conflict between the United States and Iran, it is critical that there be full coordination between Israel and the United States. This is of particular importance due to [the American estimation of] stability in Iraq as a major element of the the campaign against Islamic State, which, though declared a success, is not yet complete.

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More about: Barack Obama, Iran, Iraq, ISIS, Israel & Zionism, U.S. Foreign policy