Radical Islam, Anti-Semitism, and the Left

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.”

Read more at Fathom

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


Hamas’s Hostage Diplomacy

Ron Ben-Yishai explains Hamas’s current calculations:

Strategically speaking, Hamas is hoping to add more and more days to the pause currently in effect, setting a new reality in stone, one which will convince the United States to get Israel to end the war. At the same time, they still have most of the hostages hidden in every underground crevice they could find, and hope to exchange those with as many Hamas and Islamic Jihad prisoners currently in Israeli prisons, planning on “revitalizing” their terrorist inclinations to even the odds against the seemingly unstoppable Israeli war machine.

Chances are that if pressured to do so by Qatar and Egypt, they will release men over 60 with the same “three-for-one” deal they’ve had in place so far, but when Israeli soldiers are all they have left to exchange, they are unlikely to extend the arrangement, instead insisting that for every IDF soldier released, thousands of their people would be set free.

In one of his last speeches prior to October 7, the Gaza-based Hamas chief Yahya Sinwar said, “remember the number one, one, one, one.” While he did not elaborate, it is believed he meant he wants 1,111 Hamas terrorists held in Israel released for every Israeli soldier, and those words came out of his mouth before he could even believe he would be able to abduct Israelis in the hundreds. This added leverage is likely to get him to aim for the release for all prisoners from Israeli facilities, not just some or even most.

Read more at Ynet

More about: Gaza War 2023, Hamas, Israeli Security