How Left-Wing Thinking Leads to Ignoring, or Justifying, Anti-Semitism

Perhaps as disturbing as the resurgence of anti-Semitism on the hard left is the reluctance of leftists who aren’t anti-Semites to acknowledge it. This reluctance, argues John-Paul Pagano, stems directly from trends in left-wing thinking that have created a special blindness to the hatred of Jews.

[This] erasure of anti-Semitism . . . exposes a huge moral failure at the heart of the modern left. Under the enveloping paradigm of “intersectionality,” people are granularly defined by their various identities—except for white Jews, whose Jewishness is often overwritten by their skin color. . . .

[I]n a key sense, regular racism, [directed] against blacks and Latinos for example, is the opposite of anti-Semitism. [This sort of bigotry] comes from white people believing they are superior to people of [other races]. But the hatred of Jews stems from the belief that Jews are a cabal with supernatural, [or near-supernatural], powers. . . . Whereas the white racist regards blacks as inferior, the anti-Semite imagines that Jews have preternatural power to afflict humankind. . . . If Jews have power, then “punching up” at Jews is a form of “speaking truth to power”—a form of speech of which the left is currently enamored. In other words, it is because anti-Semitism pretends to strike at power that the left cannot see it, and is doomed to erase—and even reproduce—its tropes. . . .

Above all else, anti-Semitism is a conspiracy theory about the maleficent Jewish elite. And it’s this that makes it easy to disguise anti-Semitism as a “politics of liberation,” or at least, to embed it quietly in efforts for social justice. You can see this in the resuscitated efforts of groups like Black4Palestine and Jewish Voice for Peace to portray Israel and America as bastions of capitalist white supremacy that collude to brutalize “people of color.” . . .

When the Palestinian Authority’s President Mahmoud Abbas delivered his recent rant of over two hours to assembled Palestinian leaders, he alleged wild conspiracies, . . . [declaring] that “Israel has imported frightening amounts of drugs in order to destroy our younger generation.” In response, the [lobbying] group J Street, after rejecting “the divisive and inflammatory rhetoric used by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas,” complained that Donald Trump had provoked Abbas to despair [rather than acknowledging that Abbas has thought and said such things about Jews for his entire career].

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More about: Anti-Semitism, J Street, Leftism, Mahmoud Abbas, Politics & Current Affairs, Racism

Yasir Arafat’s Decades-Long Alliance with Iran and Its Consequences for Both Palestinians and Iranians

Jan. 18 2019

In 2002—at the height of the second intifada—the Israeli navy intercepted the Karina A, a Lebanese vessel carrying 50 tons of Iranian arms to the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). But Yasir Arafat’s relationship with the Islamic Republic goes much farther back, to before its founding in 1979. The terrorist leader had forged ties with followers of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini that grew especially strong in the years when Lebanon became a base of operations both for Iranian opponents of the shah and for the PLO itself. Tony Badran writes:

The relationship between the Iranian revolutionary factions and the Palestinians began in the late 1960s, in parallel with Arafat’s own rise in preeminence within the PLO. . . . [D]uring the 1970s, Lebanon became the site where the major part of the Iranian revolutionaries’ encounter with the Palestinians played out. . . .

The number of guerrillas that trained in Lebanon with the Palestinians was not particularly large. But the Iranian cadres in Lebanon learned useful skills and procured weapons and equipment, which they smuggled back into Iran. . . . The PLO established close working ties with the Khomeinist faction. . . . [W]orking [especially] closely with the PLO [was] Mohammad Montazeri, son of the senior cleric Ayatollah Hossein-Ali Montazeri and a militant who had a leading role in developing the idea of establishing the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) once the revolution was won.

The Lebanese terrorist and PLO operative Anis Naccache, who coordinated with [the] Iranian revolutionaries, . . . takes personal credit for the idea. Naccache claims that Jalaleddin Farsi, [a leading Iranian revolutionary]. approached him specifically and asked him directly to draft the plan to form the main pillar of the Khomeinist regime. The formation of the IRGC may well be the greatest single contribution that the PLO made to the Iranian revolution. . . .

Arafat’s fantasy of pulling the strings and balancing the Iranians and the Arabs in a grand anti-Israel camp of regional states never stood much of a chance. However, his wish to see Iran back the Palestinian armed struggle is now a fact, as Tehran has effectively become the principal, if not the only, sponsor of the Palestinian military option though its direct sponsorship of Islamic Jihad and its sustaining strategic and organizational ties with Hamas. By forging ties with the Khomeinists, Arafat unwittingly helped to achieve the very opposite of his dream. Iran has turned [two] Palestinian factions into its proxies, and the PLO has been relegated to the regional sidelines.

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More about: Hamas, History & Ideas, Iran, Lebanon, PLO, Yasir Arafat