How the Most Recent Progressive Madness Has Led Jews to Embrace Anti-Semites

The Arab-American activist Linda Sarsour has recently become a darling of the progressive left—treated to fawning magazine profiles, chosen to lead the anti-Trump women’s march, and invited to speak at academic and leftist events even while defending Saudi Arabia’s shameful record on women’s rights, insulting feminists who don’t share her opinions, singing the praises of Shariah law, and dilating on the alleged evils of Zionism. To James Kirchick, the ability to ignore certain forms of bigotry, especially anti-Semitism, typifies a certain kind of distorted thinking increasingly prevalent on the left:

For Sarsour and others of her ilk, it is crucial to claim that Jews can’t be real victims of discrimination because they are “white,” and in the world of [these] progressive activists, there’s no such thing as anti-white racism. . . . But to tribalist progressives like Sarsour, Jews are more than simply another flavor of “white.” The investiture of Jews, as a people, with moral authority derives from a sense that their long history of oppression has endowed them with an almost mystical power. . . .

Anguish over the fate of the Jews is . . . considered a parochial, bourgeois concern that unfairly competes with the proletariat for the sympathy of enlightened mankind. The fate of the Jews is an obnoxious, even perfidious diversion, particularly as it relates to Muslims—reigning champions in the progressive hierarchy of victimhood for reasons that are hard even for progressives to explain with any reference to liberal values like free speech, LGBT equality, or women’s rights. . . .

This worldview, Kirchick continues, has seeped not only into fringe Jewish organizations like Jewish Voice for Peace but even into mainstream agencies like the Anti-Defamation League (ADL):

[In a recent poll of European opinion] asking respondents about the prevalence of anti-Semitism on the political right and left, the ADL left out the third, and deadliest, form of Jew-hatred in Europe today: Muslim anti-Semitism. Instead, the ADL reverses the clear link between Muslim anti-Semitism and murderous violence against Jews in France and other European countries and claims instead that “not surprisingly, there are strong ties between anti-Semitism and prejudice against Muslim refugees.” The ADL comes to this . . . conclusion by conflating agreement with the statement that countries have “let in too many immigrants” with “anti-Muslim prejudice.” . . .

In fact, the ADL also found that majorities of Europeans in all three countries associate Muslim immigration with increased anti-Semitism, a not unreasonable conclusion given the ADL’s own public-opinion surveys in the countries from which these people are emigrating; 74 percent of those living in the Middle East and North Africa, according to the ADL, hold anti-Semitic views.

Read more at Tablet

More about: ADL, Anti-Semitism, Jewish Voice for Peace, Political correctness, Politics & Current Affairs, Progressivism


Lessons for the U.S. from Israel’s 2007 Bombing of the Syrian Nuclear Reactor

March 23 2018

In 2007, then-Mossad chief Meir Dagan came to Washington with overwhelming evidence that Syria, with North Korean help, had built a nuclear reactor for military use. After a debate among his advisers, President Bush told then-Prime Minister Ehud Olmert that he had chosen to pressure Bashar al-Assad diplomatically to give up his nuclear program. Israel itself then bombed the reactor, which was located in an area that in a few years would become the heartland of Islamic State. Earlier this week, for the first time, Jerusalem publicly took responsibility for the attack. (Amnon Lord explores possible reasons for that decision here.) Elliott Abrams—then the deputy national security adviser for the Middle East—related the discussion within the White House over what to do about the reactor, and also explained what could be learned from the affair, in a 2013 article for Commentary:

The Israelis believed that if they [or American officials] spoke about the strike [after it happened], Assad might be forced to react to this humiliation by trying to attack Israel. If, however, we all shut up, he might do nothing—nothing at all. He might try to hide the fact that anything had happened. And with every day that passed, the possibility that he would acknowledge the event and fight back diminished. That had been the Israeli theory, and the Israelis knew their man. We maintained silence and so did Israel—no leaks. As the weeks went by, the chances of an Israeli-Syrian confrontation grew slim and then disappeared. Syria has never admitted that there was a reactor at the site. . . .

Two final points are worth noting. First, in May 2008, Turkish-mediated peace talks between Israel and Syria were publicly announced in Istanbul. The discussions had begun secretly in February 2007, and obviously had continued after the Israeli strike on [the reactor]. It would appear that the strike . . . made the Syrians more, not less, desirous of talking to the Israelis because it made them afraid of Israeli power. It also made them more afraid of American power until we undermined our own position, which is the second point.

A very well-placed Arab diplomat later told us that the strike had left Assad deeply worried as to what was coming next. He had turned Syria into the main transit route for jihadists going to Iraq to kill American soldiers. From Libya or Indonesia, Pakistan or Egypt, they would fly to Damascus International Airport and be shepherded into Iraq. Assad was afraid that on the heels of the Israeli strike would come American action to punish him for all this involvement. But just weeks later, Assad received his invitation to send a Syrian delegation to [a] big international confab [organized by] then-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, the Annapolis Conference, and according to the Arab envoy, Assad relaxed immediately; he knew he would be OK. . . .

Finally, this incident is a reminder that there is no substitute for military strength and the will to use it. Think of how much more dangerous to the entire region the Syrian civil war would be today if Assad had a nuclear reactor, and even perhaps nuclear weapons, in hand. Israel was right to bomb that reactor before construction was completed, and President Bush was right to support its decision to do so. Israel was also right in rejecting fears that the incident would lead to a larger war and in believing that it, and the United States, would be better off after this assertion of leadership and determination.

Read more at Commentary

More about: Bashar al-Assad, George W. Bush, Israel & Zionism, Nuclear proliferation, Syria, US-Israel relations