Anti-Semitism Is a Disease of the Intellectuals

June 15 2020

In Los Angeles, the recent riots have left several synagogues and Jewish-owned business looted or vandalized, including with such pointed slogans as “F— Israel” and “Free Palestine.” To find the real culprits behind such acts of violence, writes Cynthia Ozick, one must look to the intellectuals—and it has ever been thus:

The Inquisition was the brainchild not of illiterates, but of the most lettered and lofty prelates. Goebbels had a degree in philology. Hitler fancied himself a painter and doubtless knew something of Dürer and da Vinci. . . . The hounding and ultimate expulsion of Jewish students from German universities was abetted by the violence of their Aryan classmates, but it was the rectors who decreed that only full-blooded Germans could occupy the front seats. Martin Heidegger, the celebrated philosopher of being and nonbeing, was quick to join the Nazi party, and as himself a rector promptly oversaw the summary ejection of Jewish colleagues. Stupid mobs are spurred by clever goaders: the book burners were inspired by the temperamentally bookish—who else could know which books to burn?

Anti-Semitism dressed in the sheep’s clothing of social justice is the province of elevated pitchmen—cultivated elites, learned professors, scholarly theorists.

At the heart of the dangerous theories of today, writes Ozick, is the doctrine of “intersectionality,” according to which various groups of people are ranked so that the most oppressed are categorized as the most righteous:

On the lowest rung of [intersectionality’s] hierarchy of ethnic worthiness, Jews are designated as white oppressors of marginal peoples. They are accused of complicity in a colonialist plot against Palestinians and as accomplices in the training of police brutality. If they profess to be liberals, or radicals of the left, they are shunted aside as persecutors of the weak. Even as they are scorned as unfairly privileged, they are treated as campus pariahs.

Marxism is a movement of the deluded; anti-Semitism is a movement of the cleverest. When students become inquisitors and administrations are feeble, when the elect succumb to the political haters, so will a nation’s conscience. A vengeful mob is a fearsome thing, but the true monsters are its teachers.

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Read more at Wall Street Journal

More about: Anti-Semitism, Cynthia Ozick, Intersectionality

Why Is Iran Acquiring Property in Venezuela?

In June Tehran and Caracas concluded a major twenty-year cooperation treaty. One of its many provisions—kept secret until recently—was the transfer of 4,000 square miles of Venezuelan land to Iranian control. Although the territory is ostensibly for agricultural use, Lawrence Franklin suspects the Islamic Republic might have other plans:

Hizballah already runs paramilitary training centers in restricted sections of Venezuela’s Margarita Island, a tourist area northeast of the country’s mainland. The terrorist group has considerable support from some of Venezuela’s prominent Lebanese clans such as the Nasr al-Din family, who reportedly facilitated Iran’s penetration of Margarita Island. . . . The Maduro regime has apparently been so welcoming to Iranian intelligence agents that some of Hizballah’s long-established Latin American network at the tri-border nexus of Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay has been overtaken by Hizballah activities on Venezuela’s Margarita Island.

Iran’s alliance with Venezuela most importantly provides Tehran with opportunities to target U.S. interests in Latin America and potentially the southern United States. Iran, along with the Chinese Communist Party, is in the process of strengthening Venezuela’s military against the U.S., for instance by deliveries of military drones, which are also considered a threat by Colombia.

While air and seaborne arms deliveries are high-profile evidence of Iran’s ties with Venezuela, Tehran’s cooperation with Venezuelan intelligence agencies, although less visible, is also intense. The Islamic Republic’s support for Hizballah terrorist operations is pervasive throughout Latin America. Hizballah recruits from Venezuela’s ten-million-strong Lebanese diaspora. Iran and Hizballah cooperate in training of intelligence agents and in developing sources who reside in Venezuela and Colombia, as well as in the tri-border region of Brazil, Paraguay, and Argentina.

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Read more at Gatestone

More about: Iran, Latin America, Venezuela