An Environmental Group Refused to Join a Protest So Long as Jewish Organizations Were Participating

Last week, the Washington, DC chapter of the environmentalist group Sunrise Movement announced that it would not take part in an upcoming rally in favor of statehood for the District of Columbia, because of the involvement of three left-wing Jewish groups that it described as “in alignment with and in support of Zionism and the state of Israel.” Subsequently, the national organization issued a very tepid apology, followed by a statement from the DC branch admitting that its original decision had “fueled anti-Semitism,” but then going on to explain that, while Palestinians and Washingtonians deserve “statehood and political sovereignty,” Jews do not.

Daniel Gordis comments on the affair:

If [the national organization’s] statement makes you feel better, it shouldn’t. Because note what they said. They’re opposed to anti-Semitism and “anti-Palestinian racism.” It’s a deft move, but an important one. The conflict between Israel and the Palestinians (is there any other issue regarding which people in the United States think about Palestinians?), they’re now suggesting, is not territorial, or national, or even military. It’s a conflict about race.

That, of course, is ludicrous. If Israel had a problem with Palestinians’ “race,” it would have a problem with the race of Egyptians or Jordanians, too; but the conflict with those countries is over. . . . What stands between Israelis and Palestinians is the Palestinians’ commitment to destroying Israel (Hamas and Hizballah are explicit, Fatah a bit less so until you scratch the surface). What stands between Israelis and Palestinians are, from Israelis’ perspective, Palestinian terror, and from Palestinians’ perspective, occupation. But whatever one may think about those issues, none of them has to do with race.

Why, then, would Sunrise want to frame the conflict in terms of race? Because . . . race is a trump card. Once you’re accused of racism, you’re forever on the defensive. . . . If the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is about race, there are not two sides with narratives that need to be heard. . . . If you’re a Zionist, you’re a racist. If you’re involved with the Religious Action Center of the Reform movement (aligned though it is on many important liberal issues in America), you’re racist. If you’re affiliated with the National Council of Jewish Women, which feels positively about Israel, you’re a racist.

Zionists are racists. Jews are oppressors. We’ve been here before.

Read more at Israel from the Inside

More about: Anti-Semitism, Anti-Zionism, Environmentalism, Leftism, Washington D.C.

The IDF’s First Investigation of Its Conduct on October 7 Is Out

For several months, the Israel Defense Forces has been investigating its own actions on and preparedness for October 7, with an eye to understanding its failures. The first of what are expected to be many reports stemming from this investigation was released yesterday, and it showed a series of colossal strategic and tactical errors surrounding the battle at Kibbutz Be’eri, writes Emanuel Fabian. The probe, he reports, was led by Maj. Gen. (res.) Mickey Edelstein.

Edelstein and his team—none of whom had any involvement in the events themselves, according to the IDF—spent hundreds of hours investigating the onslaught and battle at Be’eri, reviewing every possible source of information, from residents’ WhatsApp messages to both Israeli and Hamas radio communications, as well as surveillance videos, aerial footage, interviews of survivors and those who fought, plus visits to the scene.

There will be a series of further reports issued this summer.

IDF chief Halevi in a statement issued alongside the probe said that while this was just the first investigation into the onslaught, which does not reflect the entire picture of October 7, it “clearly illustrates the magnitude of the failure and the dimensions of the disaster that befell the residents of the south who protected their families with their bodies for many hours, and the IDF was not there to protect them.” . . .

The IDF hopes to present all battle investigations by the end of August.

The IDF’s probes are strictly limited to its own conduct. For a broader look at what went wrong, Israel will have to wait for a formal state commission of inquiry to be appointed—which happens to be the subject of this month’s featured essay in Mosaic.

Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Gaza War 2023, IDF, Israel & Zionism, October 7