Can the Democrats Be Stopped from Abandoning Israel?

Since the presidency of Jimmy Carter, writes Ronald Radosh, the Democratic party’s relationship with the Jewish state has been a troubled one. Even if a general pro-Israel consensus continues to dominate the party mainstream, the influence of anti-Israel progressives appears to be growing steadily. This was in evidence last week, when Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib introduced a resolution calling on the federal government to “commemorate” the creation of Israel as a “catastrophe.” It was also in evidence a few days later, when Tlaib’s fellow “Squad” member Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (a/k/a AOC) claimed that Israel had killed a journalist, and should therefore be denied American aid. But, as Radosh notes, there is also the contrary example of Ritchie Torres:

Torres, the young congressman from the Bronx, who seems to check every box in the progressive identity [roster]: gay, black, Hispanic, born to a single mother, raised in a housing project. Yet Torres has distinguished himself as an outspoken defender of Israel. (He likes to joke that the reason he’s pro-Israel is that he dropped out of college.) In a series of recent tweets, Torres wrote that the Abraham Accords “created a path to peace that fundamentally altered the Middle East, while the BDS movement offers no positive change for Israelis or Palestinians.”

The case of Torres, who is firmly a member of the party’s progressive wing, leads Radosh to address a crucial question:

What then, can be done to turn this around—to encourage more of the politics of Ritchie Torres, and less of AOC’s?

First, it’s essential to break the mental and rhetorical grip of “intersectionality” as it now applies to Israel—the idea that if one is against the oppression of black people in America, one must also be anti-Israel.

Second, pro-Israel Democrats must fight the accusation that they are using “dark money” from reactionary (or Republican) sources. In her concession speech, Nina Turner, [who recently lost a Democratic congressional primary in Ohio to the more moderate Shontel Brown], said, “We didn’t lose this race, evil money manipulated and maligned the election.” The charge is itself reminiscent of the infamous statement made by Representative Ilhan Omar that American support for Israel is “all about the Benjamins”—that is, Jewish money.

Read more at Sapir

More about: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Democrats, Rashida Tlaib, US-Israel relations


Universities Are in Thrall to a Constituency That Sees Israel as an Affront to Its Identity

Commenting on the hearings of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce on Tuesday about anti-Semitism on college campuses, and the dismaying testimony of three university presidents, Jonah Goldberg writes:

If some retrograde poltroon called for lynching black people or, heck, if they simply used the wrong adjective to describe black people, the all-seeing panopticon would spot it and deploy whatever resources were required to deal with the problem. If the spark of intolerance flickered even for a moment and offended the transgendered, the Muslim, the neurodivergent, or whomever, the fire-suppression systems would rain down the retardant foams of justice and enlightenment. But calls for liquidating the Jews? Those reside outside the sensory spectrum of the system.

It’s ironic that the term colorblind is “problematic” for these institutions such that the monitoring systems will spot any hint of it, in or out of the classroom (or admissions!). But actual intolerance for Jews is lathered with a kind of stealth paint that renders the same systems Jew-blind.

I can understand the predicament. The receptors on the Islamophobia sensors have been set to 11 for so long, a constituency has built up around it. This constituency—which is multi-ethnic, non-denominational, and well entrenched among students, administrators, and faculty alike—sees Israel and the non-Israeli Jews who tolerate its existence as an affront to their worldview and Muslim “identity.” . . . Blaming the Jews for all manner of evils, including the shortcomings of the people who scapegoat Jews, is protected because, at minimum, it’s a “personal truth,” and for some just the plain truth. But taking offense at such things is evidence of a mulish inability to understand the “context.”

Shocking as all that is, Goldberg goes on to argue, the anti-Semitism is merely a “symptom” of the insidious ideology that has taken over much of the universities as well as an important segment of the hard left. And Jews make the easiest targets.

Read more at Dispatch

More about: Anti-Semitism, Israel on campus, University