How American Anti-Racists Came to Seek Israel’s Destruction

Beginning in the 1960s with Soviet efforts to brand Zionism as racism, and with the embrace of anti-Semitism by some radical black activists, Gil Troy tells the story of how the Palestinian cause became accepted by a large segment of the American progressive left as part and parcel of the fight against racism and discrimination at home:

The equation of Zionism and racism, no matter how obviously ahistorical and unfair—no other form of nationalism is accused of being inherently racist—resonates and contaminates, inasmuch as race continues to have a hold on American emotions. The purpose of the slur is obvious and toxic: it aims to place American Jews, the vast majority of whom identify as some form of Zionist, outside the bounds of normal American morality, while stigmatizing Israel with America’s own historical guilt over race relations.

Time and again, the Palestinian cause gets a free pass other movements somehow don’t merit. When the Black Lives Matter movement emerged, its activists policed any attempts to broaden their slogan to include other identity groups. Yet pro-Palestinian activists were allowed to appropriate the slogan “Palestinian Lives Matter” and to embed themselves in an internationalized framework against “oppression” that extends “from Ferguson to Gaza.”

In what was dubbed the “deadly exchange,” intersectional propagandists for Palestine charged that the “Israeli military trains U.S. police in racist and repressive policing tactics, which systematically target Black and Brown bodies.” This lie transformed some police junkets into nonexistent IDF boot camps where innocent American cops were systematically reeducated into specialized Israeli techniques of racial brutality.

The point of this bizarre accusation was not just that the Jews are oppressors. It was that “the Jews” are guilty of the most heinous crime in the American cosmos. Eerily echoing traditional blood libels, Jews became racist oppressors, complicit in, even responsible for, America’s original sin: racist oppression. After all, it was the IDF that “perfected” the chokehold “used to murder George Floyd,” hundreds of academics and students in the University of California system declared. In other words, it was “the Jews” who had actually killed the 21st century’s leading American Black martyr.

Read more at Tablet

More about: Anti-Semitism, Black Lives Matter, Progressivism


Iran’s Calculations and America’s Mistake

There is little doubt that if Hizballah had participated more intensively in Saturday’s attack, Israeli air defenses would have been pushed past their limits, and far more damage would have been done. Daniel Byman and Kenneth Pollack, trying to look at things from Tehran’s perspective, see this as an important sign of caution—but caution that shouldn’t be exaggerated:

Iran is well aware of the extent and capability of Israel’s air defenses. The scale of the strike was almost certainly designed to enable at least some of the attacking munitions to penetrate those defenses and cause some degree of damage. Their inability to do so was doubtless a disappointment to Tehran, but the Iranians can probably still console themselves that the attack was frightening for the Israeli people and alarming to their government. Iran probably hopes that it was unpleasant enough to give Israeli leaders pause the next time they consider an operation like the embassy strike.

Hizballah is Iran’s ace in the hole. With more than 150,000 rockets and missiles, the Lebanese militant group could overwhelm Israeli air defenses. . . . All of this reinforces the strategic assessment that Iran is not looking to escalate with Israel and is, in fact, working very hard to avoid escalation. . . . Still, Iran has crossed a Rubicon, although it may not recognize it. Iran had never struck Israel directly from its own territory before Saturday.

Byman and Pollack see here an important lesson for America:

What Saturday’s fireworks hopefully also illustrated is the danger of U.S. disengagement from the Middle East. . . . The latest round of violence shows why it is important for the United States to take the lead on pushing back on Iran and its proxies and bolstering U.S. allies.

Read more at Foreign Policy

More about: Iran, Israeli Security, U.S. Foreign policy