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What the Rush to Defend Farrakhan Reveals about Left-Wing Anti-Semitism and “Israel Criticism”

March 6 2018

On February 25, the leader of the Nation of Islam, Louis Farrakhan, delivered a three-hour speech in which he engaged in the naked anti-Semitism that has come to be his trademark. Among those in attendance was Tamika Mallory, a leader of the 2017 Women’s March, who has posted pictures of herself with Farrakhan and praised him on numerous occasions. Mallory was quickly criticized for her association with Farrakhan, but rather than distancing herself from him, or at least from his rantings about Jews, she stuck fast in her support, and was defended by some of her fellow Women’s March leaders. David Schraub comments:

This oddity—defiant refusal to concede any ground on the anti-Semitism count, coupled with no attempt to . . . rationalize the anti-Semitic content [of Farrakhan’s remarks]—demands explanation. My hypothesis is [that] leftists don’t like thinking about anti-Semitism in their own ranks. At the same time, they’d never admit this is so. Fortunately, most anti-Semitism controversies that implicate the left relate to Israel in some fashion, and so [apologists] can respond with their favorite chestnut: “criticism of Israel isn’t anti-Semitic.” On its face, this response assures the audience that [these apologists] do care about anti-Semitism (the “real” anti-Semitism), but that the case at hand doesn’t count as such. (That it never seems to count as such is suspicious in its own right. But leave that aside.)

But Farrakhan’s anti-Semitism isn’t really tied to Israel. Which means that the stand-by response won’t work. And these leftists are left flummoxed, because they don’t really have another thought on anti-Semitism beyond “criticism of Israel isn’t [anti-Semitic].” Forced into a situation where it seems necessary to say something else, they find themselves at a loss. Suddenly, they can’t play their get-out-of-talking-about-anti-Semitism-free card.

And this is revealing. If the problem really were Israel, the Farrakhan case shouldn’t present any difficulty. But if the problem is that these leftists just don’t want to have to reckon with anti-Semitism in their community (and Israel is a convenient but ultimately epiphenomenal factor), then Farrakhan presents a huge problem.

Read more at Debate Link

More about: Anti-Semitism, Leftism, Louis Farrakhan, Politics & Current Affairs

 

Hamas’s Dangerous Escalation in Gaza

June 22 2018

As Hamas has stepped up its attacks on communities near the Gaza Strip—using incendiary devices attached to kites and balloons—Israel has begun to retaliate more forcefully. In response, the terrorist group has begun firing rockets and mortars into Israel. Yoav Limor comments:

What made Wednesday’s rocket salvo different is that ‎unlike previous flare-ups on the border [since 2014], this time it ‎was Hamas operatives who fired at Israel, as opposed ‎to Islamic Jihad or the ‎rogue terrorist group in the coastal enclave. ‎Still, Hamas made sure the attack followed most of ‎the familiar “rules”—only [firing] at night and only at the ‎ communities in the vicinity of Gaza, and apparently while also ‎trying to minimize any casualties, to avoid further ‎escalation. ‎. . .

The first reason [for the shift in tactics] is Israel’s own change of policy ‎with regard to kite terrorism. It took Israel far ‎too long to define the incessant waves of incendiary ‎kites sent over the border as actionable acts of ‎terror, but once it did, the IDF began ‎systematically countering them, including firing ‎warning shots at terrorist kite cells and targeting ‎Hamas assets in Gaza in retaliation.‎

The second reason is Hamas’s own frustration and ‎distress in Gaza. Since the border-riot campaign was ‎launched on March 30, some 150 of its operatives ‎have been killed and the Israeli military has ‎carried out over 100 strikes on Hamas positions in ‎the coastal enclave, all while Hamas has nothing to ‎show for it. ‎In this situation, Hamas is searching for [some sort of victory] by declaring that “bombings will be ‎met with bombings,” as Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum ‎said Wednesday, in order to portray itself as defending Gaza from ‎Israel.‎ . . .

Hamas is banking on Israel opting against a military ‎campaign in Gaza at this time so as not to split its ‎focus from the [developments in Syria], but it is sorely ‎mistaken if it thinks Israel will simply contain ‎kite terrorism or shy away from action given the new ‎equation it has presented. ‎At some point, Israel’s patience will expire.

Read more at Israel Hayom

More about: Gaza Strip, Hamas, Israel & Zionism, Israeli Security