Anti-Zionism, Transgenderism, and the Fashionable Bigotry of the Radical Left

Much of the current debate over transsexuality that has been roiling the West grew out of the radical position that a man who chooses to “identify” as a woman should be considered a woman in every possible respect, regardless of his biological or anatomical characteristics. The same goes for a woman who wishes to be a man. At the extremes, this situation leads to male transexuals demanding entry to women’s locker rooms and prisons, and even rape shelters, and accusing lesbians who reject their sexual advances of “transphobic” bigotry. Adherents to this set of ideas have engaged in an ongoing crusade against dissenters, especially those of their fellow leftists whom they label “TERFS” or “trans-exclusionary radical feminists.”

Kathleen Hayes points to parallels between the radical transgender movement and another intellectual trend that predominates in the same academic and far-left circles, and that similarly disguises the most vicious intolerance as enlightened concern for the oppressed: namely left-wing anti-Semitism. The two movements even share as their “high priestess” one of the most influential contemporary figures in the humanities, the philosopher Judith Butler:

It’s maybe significant that this is the same Judith Butler who has expressed her appreciation of Hamas as “part of a global left” and presides over the grotesquely misnamed Jewish Voice for Peace. It is Butler who, . . . in the mid to late 1980s, . . . hit on the bright idea of defeating biological determinism—the traditional argument that biology dooms women to subordinate status—by decree. Butler argued that not only is gender (culturally variable beliefs about “proper” roles for men and women) socially determined, but so is biological sex. The claim that “anatomy is destiny” would thereby be vanquished.

Only a small mental sleight of hand is necessary for today’s bien pensant to hate Jews and women with a deliciously clear conscience. Jews are fine people, some of my best friends, the leftist will declare—it’s the Zionists who are racists and must be driven from the planet. I love women, he’ll say; of course they deserve equality and dignity—it’s the TERFs who are fascists and must be annihilated. He knows anti-Semitism and misogyny must be repudiated, but even as he congratulates himself on his lack of prejudice, progressive and identity politics allow him to indulge in a socially sanctioned variety of . . . anti-Semitism and misogyny.

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More about: Anti-Semitism, Anti-Zionism, Jewish Voice for Peace, Judith Butler, Sexism, Transsexuals

 

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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More about: Iran, Latin America, Venezuela