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 Reasons for Prime Minister Netanyahu’s Staying Power

Nov. 20 2018

This week, Benjamin Netanyahu seems to have narrowly avoided the collapse of his governing coalition despite the fact that one party, Yisrael Beiteinu, withdrew and another, the Jewish Home, threatened to follow suit. Moreover, he kept the latter from defecting without conceding its leader’s demand to be appointed minister of defense. Even if the government were to collapse, resulting in early elections, Netanyahu would almost certainly win, writes Elliot Jager:

[Netanyahu’s] detractors think him Machiavellian, duplicitous, and smug—willing to do anything to stay in power. His supporters would not automatically disagree. Over 60 percent of Israelis tell pollsters that they will be voting for a party other than Likud—some supposing their favored party will join a Netanyahu-led coalition while others hoping against the odds that Likud can be ousted.

Opponents would [also] like to think the prime minister’s core voters are by definition illiberal, hawkish, and religiously inclined. However, the 30 percent of voters who plan to vote Likud reflect a broad segment of the population. . . .

Journalists who have observed Netanyahu over the years admire his fitness for office even if they disagree with his actions. A strategic thinker, Netanyahu’s scope of knowledge is both broad and deep. He is a voracious reader and a quick study. . . . Foreign leaders may not like what he says but cannot deny that he speaks with panache and authority. . . .

The prime minister or those around him are under multiple police investigations for possible fraud and moral turpitude. Under Israel’s system, the police investigate and can recommend that the attorney general issue an indictment. . . . Separately, Mrs. Netanyahu is in court for allegedly using public monies to pay for restaurant meals. . . . The veteran Jerusalem Post political reporter Gil Hoffman maintains that Israelis do not mind if Netanyahu appears a tad corrupt because they admire a politician who is nobody’s fool. Better to have a political figure who cannot be taken advantage of than one who is incorruptible but naïve.

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More about: Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel & Zionism, Israeli politics