In Israel, Tamika Mallory Discovers a New Avenue for Her Anti-Semitism

Tamika Mallory, one of the chairwomen of the anti-Trump Women’s March, recently returned from a trip to Israel, where she had a chance to meet with representatives of various groups dedicated to defaming the country. The trip came on the heels of, first, revelations about her close connections with Louis Farrakhan and, second, her condemnations of the Anti-Defamation League. Upon her return, she announced that those policies of President Trump that she finds most odious are “lines out of the Netanyahu book of oppression.” To David Schraub Mallory didn’t go to Israel in order—as many assumed—to improve her credibility with potential supporters wary of her anti-Semitism but in order to make her own anti-Semitism acceptable:

If one dislikes Jews, there are many ways for that disdain to manifest itself. But among these diverse options, people with anti-Semitic views want to express those views in ways that will gain social approval—at least in the communities they care about. Hence, we should expect that anti-Semitic sentiments will be systematically channeled in directions where their expression can expect to find validation. . . . The content of those sentiments will vary from community to community. In some, railing against “globalist financiers” will do the trick. In others, speaking of those who “crucified Christ” will work. And of course, in still others, lambasting Zionist perfidy is the winning ticket.

In Mallory’s case, then, the shift from Farrakhan to the ADL to Israel is a move from forms of anti-Semitism that have encountered great resistance to one which will (again, in the relevant communities) gain plaudits. [Her trip to Israel] is a rehabilitation tour because it moves her sense of grievance toward Jews out of a context where even her allies would have trouble defending her, to an arena where people in her community are quite accustomed to dismissing Jewish complaints. Even though the sequence of events for Mallory offers compelling evidence that she’s at least in part motivated by a sense of antipathy toward Jews, the fact that she’s now expressing her disdain in terms of anti-Israel sentiment suggests, ironically, that people will view further complaints about her anti-Semitism as weaker rather than stronger. . . .

There is [even] a perverse form of patriotism at work here. By suggesting that American misdeeds are actually instances of a foreign (Jewish) infection, the implication is that the American body itself is not the problem. The issue is outward, not inward. The fundamental appeal of [the slogan] “the Jews are our misfortune” is that it . . . allows for a sort of redemptive American narrative to emerge, and for even those most critical of contemporary American policies to lay claim to it.

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More about: ADL, Anti-Semitism, Israel & Zionism, Louis Farrakhan, Women's March

The Syrian Civil War May Be Coming to an End, but Three New Wars Are Rising There

March 26 2019

With both Islamic State and the major insurgent forces largely defeated, Syria now stands divided into three parts. Some 60 percent of the country, in the west and south, is in the hands of Bashar al-Assad and his allies. Another 30 percent, in the northeast, is in the hands of the mostly Kurdish, and American-backed, Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). The final 10 percent, in the northwest, is held by Sunni jihadists, some affiliated with al-Qaeda, under Turkish protection. But, writes Jonathan Spyer, the situation is far from stable. Kurds, likely linked to the SDF, have been waging an insurgency in the Turkish areas, and that’s only one of the problems:

The U.S.- and SDF-controlled area east of the Euphrates is also witnessing the stirrings of internal insurgency directed from outside. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, “236 [SDF] fighters, civilians, oil workers, and officials” have been killed since August 2018 in incidents unrelated to the frontline conflict against Islamic State. . . . The SDF blames Turkey for these actions, and for earlier killings such as that of a prominent local Kurdish official. . . . There are other plausible suspects within Syria, however, including the Assad regime (or its Iranian allies) or Islamic State, all of which are enemies of the U.S.-supported Kurds.

The area controlled by the regime is by far the most secure of Syria’s three separate regions. [But, for instance, in] the restive Daraa province in the southwest, [there has been] a renewed small-scale insurgency against the Assad regime. . . .

As Islamic State’s caliphate disappears from Syria’s map, the country is settling into a twilight reality of de-facto division, in which a variety of low-burning insurgencies continue to claim lives. Open warfare in Syria is largely over. Peace, however, will remain a distant hope.

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More about: ISIS, Kurds, Politics & Current Affairs, Syrian civil war, Turkey