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

 

UN Peacekeepers in Lebanon Risk Their Lives, but Still May Do More Harm Than Good

Jan. 27 2023

Last month an Irish member of the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) was killed by Hizballah guerrillas who opened fire on his vehicle. To David Schenker, it is likely the peacekeeper was “assassinated” to send “a clear message of Hizballah’s growing hostility toward UNIFIL.” The peacekeeping force has had a presence in south Lebanon since 1978, serving first to maintain calm between Israel and the PLO, and later between Israel and Hizballah. But, Schenker explains, it seems to be accomplishing little in that regard:

In its biannual reports to the Security Council, UNIFIL openly concedes its failure to interdict weapons destined for Hizballah. While the contingent acknowledges allegations of “arms transfers to non-state actors” in Lebanon, i.e., Hizballah, UNIFIL says it’s “not in a position to substantiate” them. Given how ubiquitous UN peacekeepers are in the Hizballah heartland, this perennial failure to observe—let alone appropriate—even a single weapons delivery is a fair measure of the utter failure of UNIFIL’s mission. Regardless, Washington continues to pour hundreds of millions of dollars into this failed enterprise, and its local partner, the Lebanese Armed Forces.

Since 2006, UNIFIL patrols have periodically been subjected to Hizballah roadside bombs in what quickly proved to be a successful effort to discourage the organization proactively from executing its charge. In recent years, though, UN peacekeepers have increasingly been targeted by the terror organization that runs Lebanon, and which tightly controls the region that UNIFIL was set up to secure. The latest UN reports tell a harrowing story of a spike in the pattern of harassment and assaults on the force. . . .

Four decades on, UNIFIL’s mission has clearly become untenable. Not only is the organization ineffective, its deployment serves as a key driver of the economy in south Lebanon, employing and sustaining Hizballah’s supporters and constituents. At $500 million a year—$125 million of which is paid by Washington—the deployment is also expensive. Already, the force is in harm’s way, and during the inevitable next war between Israel and Hizballah, this 10,000-strong contingent will provide the militia with an impressive human shield.

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Read more at Tablet

More about: Hizballah, Lebanon, Peacekeepers, U.S. Foreign policy