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.

Read more at Debate Link

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

Why Haredi Jews Are Enlisting in the IDF

Unless it can get an extension from the Supreme Court, the Israeli government has until the end of March to formulate a law requiring more haredi Jews to serve in the military. This always contentious issue has become more contentious still with the IDF’s recently announced plan to extend the term of service for male conscripts from 32 to 36 months and to require reservists to spend more time in uniform. All this in addition to the unprecedented demands placed on reservists since the war began and the greater dangers to which troops are being exposed.

At the same time, the war has changed haredi attitudes toward the IDF and the Jewish state, leading some 2,000 young haredi men to volunteer. Cole Aronson interviewed several of them, and describes the attitudes he discovered:

Nobody I spoke to described enlisting as rebellion. These men are proud to serve and proud to be haredi. It is doubtful that their community’s leaders share this dual pride.

They do not care for the Z-word, but the new haredi soldiers I’ve spoken to sound remarkably like pre-state Zionists. Meir of Bnei Brak says he enlisted for the sake of “unity, responsibility, and re’ut.” The Hebrew means “friendship,” but “solidarity” may be more apt in context. However much Jews disagree about their spiritual destiny, they share a physical fate so long as they share a physical home. Of his recent decision to enlist, Meir Edelman of Beit Shemesh says that “this isn’t Zionism, it’s survival,” citing the main justification for the ideology in opposition to the ideology itself.

Read more at Jewish Review of Books

More about: Haredim, IDF, Israeli society