America Should Learn from Europe’s Mistakes When It Comes to Ignoring Anti-Semitism

Last week, CNN released the results of a survey of European attitudes toward Jews that, although shocking to many, will come as little to surprise to anyone who has paid attention to the issue over the past two decades. Nearly one in four respondents, for instance, reported believing that Jews have too much influence on conflict and wars, and a similar number said the same about business and finance. Yet, writes Bari Weiss, these data don’t capture the “three-headed dragon” that is anti-Semitism in Europe today: violent and often deadly attacks perpetrated almost exclusively by Muslims, obsessive hatred of Israel from a hard left that is becoming increasingly mainstream, and a resurgent anti-Semitic far right. And these trends might not stay in Europe:

[On the far right] is the anti-Semitism of the “Jews will not replace us” marchers in Charlottesville and the killer at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh who ranted against globalists and the “kike infestation.” . . .

Islamism is far less of a threat in the United States than in Europe—we do not, contrary to what the president would have you believe, have caravans of terrorists crossing our border. Still, a Muslim American who expressed hatred of Israel shot six people, killing one of them, at the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle, in 2006. Four Muslim men were arrested in a plot to bomb two Bronx synagogues in 2009. A Muslim convert was thwarted by the FBI in his plan to blow up a Florida synagogue in 2016. Just last week, Mohamed Mohamed Abdi, a Somalian immigrant, shouted anti-Semitic slurs while trying to run down with his car people leaving a Los Angeles synagogue.

[Then] there is the hatred from the left, which comes cloaked in the language of progressive values. This includes the perhaps unwitting anti-Semitism of college professors who refuse to write letters of recommendation for students wanting to study abroad in Israel or who seek to suspend study-abroad programs to Israel entirely, without thinking of sanctioning, say, China or Russia. Or turning a blind eye to unconscionable comments like one from Minnesota’s new congresswoman Ilhan Omar, who tweeted in 2012 “Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel”—because she is breaking ground as a Muslim woman of color.

For reasons historical, aesthetic, and political, we Jews are most attuned to the anti-Semitism of the far right—and we find the most sympathy among our progressive allies when these are our attackers. But when Jews point out the other two kinds, we are often dismissed as sensitive or hysterical, or as mistaking legitimate criticism of Israel for something darker. This is nonsense. The same was said of the Jews in Europe when they sounded the alarm bells. Look where they are now.

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Read more at New York Times

More about: American Jewry, Anti-Semitism, European Islam, European Jewry, Jewish World

 

Israeli Indecision on the Palestinian Issue Is a Sign of Strength, Not Weakness

Oct. 11 2019

In their recent book Be Strong and of Good Courage: How Israel’s Most Important Leaders Shaped Its Destiny, Dennis Ross and David Makovsky—who both have had long careers as Middle East experts inside and outside the U.S. government—analyze the “courageous decisions” made by David Ben-Gurion, Menachem Begin, Yitzḥak Rabin, and Ariel Sharon. Not coincidentally, three of these four decisions involved territorial concessions. Ross and Makovsky use the book’s final chapter to compare their profiles in courage with Benjamin Netanyahu’s cautious approach on the Palestinian front. Calling this an “almost cartoonish juxtaposition,” Haviv Rettig Gur writes:

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Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli history, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict