When Israel Is Demonized and Hatred of Jews Doesn’t Meet the Definition of Bigotry, It Is Little Wonder That Anti-Semitism Flourishes

In an examination of the growing presence of anti-Semitic currents in American left-wing social and political movements, Sylvia Barack Fishman outlines the underlying problem:

Today, anti-Semitic tropes are repeatedly articulated by celebrity public figures. . . . And yet, in academic settings, despite the realities of the Holocaust in which Jews were massacred as an inferior “race,” anti-Semitism is not included in many definitions of “racial hatred,” because Jewish socioeconomic success—according to . . . academic theories—obliterates the position of Jews as a minority; [instead] they are portrayed as a mere subset of the privileged white majority.

Such assumptions then give free rein to a vocal anti-Israel movement that leaves many on the sidelines with the vague impression that the Jewish state is especially brutal or immoral. And often members of this movement ensure that their anti-Semitism is not mistaken for mere criticism of Israel. Take, for instance, Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), which Fishman calls one of the “most virulently anti-Semitic and destructive groups today.”

In addition to being extremely well-organized, SJP utilizes propaganda techniques that emphasize shock and emotion, rather than factual coherent dialogue. Some of SJP’s dramatic methods are described by a Jewish student at Rutgers University, who recalled, [referring to the seven-day orgy of anti-Israel propaganda that takes place on many campuses]: “During apartheid week the SJP club stood in front of the dining hall wearing white shirts with red ‘blood’ spatter [with] signs saying, ‘This is what the Jews did to us.’ . . . I saw complete hatred.”

Fishman also notes the variety of Jewish organizations that in one way or another give oxygen, and grant legitimacy, to the anti-Israel movement, ranging from the moderate and respected New Israel Fund to the fanatical Jewish Voice for Peace, which is neither peaceful nor especially Jewish. She notes the cumulative effects on a generation of young American Jews, many of whom are susceptible to the argument that Jews are “privileged” and that anti-Semitism is not “in the same category” as racism, sexism, and other ills:

A majority of younger Americans have no memory of Jews as a disadvantaged and persecuted minority. They have broad lacunae in their knowledge of world history in general and the evolution of modern Zionism in particular. They have no memory of a world without a strong Israel, and little sense of how tiny the worldwide population of Jews is compared to other ethnic and religious groups.

[Some] American Jews distance themselves from the sins of white privilege not only by declaring themselves to be “allies” of “minoritized” non-white populations but also by condemning other, less “woke” Jews. In its most extreme guises, it is as if Jews who wish to distance themselves are saying to anti-Semites: “Don’t hate me—I’m not that kind of a Jew.”

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Read more at ISGAP

More about: Anti-Semitism, Israel on campus, Jewish Voice for Peace, Students for Justice in Palestine

 

The New Iran Deal Will Reward Terrorism, Help Russia, and Get Nothing in Return

After many months of negotiations, Washington and Tehran—thanks to Russian mediation—appear close to renewing the 2015 agreement concerning the Iranian nuclear program. Richard Goldberg comments:

Under a new deal, Iran would receive $275 billion of sanctions relief in the first year and $1 trillion by 2030. [Moreover], Tehran would face no changes in the old deal’s sunset clauses—that is, expiration dates on key restrictions—and would be allowed to keep its newly deployed arsenal of advanced uranium centrifuges in storage, guaranteeing the regime the ability to cross the nuclear threshold at any time of its choosing. . . . And worst of all, Iran would win all these concessions while actively plotting to assassinate former U.S. officials like John Bolton, Mike Pompeo, and [his] adviser Brian Hook, and trying to kidnap and kill the Iranian-American journalist Masih Alinejad on U.S. soil.

Moscow, meanwhile, would receive billions of dollars to construct additional nuclear power plants in Iran, and potentially more for storage of nuclear material. . . . Following a visit by the Russian president Vladimir Putin to Tehran last month, Iran reportedly started transferring armed drones for Russian use against Ukraine. On Tuesday, Putin launched an Iranian satellite into orbit reportedly on the condition that Moscow can task it to support Russian operations in Ukraine.

With American and European sanctions on Russia escalating, particularly with respect to Russian energy sales, Putin may finally see net value in the U.S. lifting of sanctions on Iran’s financial and commercial sectors. While the return of Iranian crude to the global market could lead to a modest reduction in oil prices, thereby reducing Putin’s revenue, Russia may be able to head off U.S. secondary sanctions by routing key transactions through Tehran. After all, what would the Biden administration do if Iran allowed Russia to use its major banks and companies to bypass Western sanctions?

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Read more at Dispatch

More about: Iran nuclear deal, Russia, U.S. Foreign policy