Radical Islam, Anti-Semitism, and the Left

July 23 2015

In an essay published earlier this year, the American political philosopher Michael Walzer strongly criticized his left-wing comrades for their blindness to the dangers of Islamism. In a recent discussion with a group of British thinkers and activists, he was asked why the left seems paralyzed by a fear of “encouraging Islamophobia” while having no such qualms about encouraging anti-Semitism. His reply:

[T]he fear of Islamophobia is related to the hostility to Israel. There is this eagerness— I’ve heard this often in America, I don’t know if it happens [in Britain]—to describe the Islamic minority in the U.S., or in Europe, as the “new Jews.” Somehow, that gives you license to ignore the “old Jews,” and to focus on these “new Jews,” and to claim that we must not repeat with them what we did to the “old Jews.” But that can lead to any criticism being interpreted as hostility to this minority and a way of targeting this minority. The argument becomes “if you are critical of Islam, you are joining hands with the new xenophobes of the West.”

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More about: Anti-Semitism, History & Ideas, Islamism, Islamophobia, Leftism, Michael Walzer

Terror Returns to Israel

Nov. 28 2022

On Wednesday, a double bombing in Jerusalem left two dead, and many others injured—an attack the likes of which has not been seen since 2016. In a Jenin hospital, meanwhile, armed Palestinians removed an Israeli who had been injured in a car accident, reportedly murdering him in the process, and held his body hostage for two days. All this comes as a year that has seen numerous stabbings, shootings, and other terrorist attacks is drawing to a close. Yaakov Lappin comments:

Unlike the individual or small groups of terrorists who, acting on radical ideology and incitement to violence, picked up a gun, a knife, or embarked on a car-ramming attack, this time a better organized terrorist cell detonated two bombs—apparently by remote control—at bus stops in the capital. Police and the Shin Bet have exhausted their immediate physical searches, and the hunt for the perpetrators will now move to the intelligence front.

It is too soon to know who, or which organization, conducted the attack, but it is possible to note that in recent years, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) has taken a lead in remote-control-bombing terrorism. Last week, a car bomb that likely contained explosives detonated by remote control was discovered by the Israel Defense Forces in Samaria, after it caught fire prematurely. In August 2019, a PFLP cell detonated a remote-control bomb in Dolev, seventeen miles northwest of Jerusalem, killing a seventeen-year-old Israeli girl and seriously wounding her father and brother. Members of that terror cell were later arrested.

With the Palestinian Authority (PA) losing its grip in parts of Samaria to armed terror gangs, and the image of the PA at an all-time low among Palestinians, in no small part due to corruption, nepotism, and its violation of human rights . . . the current situation does not look promising.

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More about: Israeli Security, Jerusalem, Palestinian terror