How Left-Wing Thinking Leads to Ignoring, or Justifying, Anti-Semitism

Perhaps as disturbing as the resurgence of anti-Semitism on the hard left is the reluctance of leftists who aren’t anti-Semites to acknowledge it. This reluctance, argues John-Paul Pagano, stems directly from trends in left-wing thinking that have created a special blindness to the hatred of Jews.

[This] erasure of anti-Semitism . . . exposes a huge moral failure at the heart of the modern left. Under the enveloping paradigm of “intersectionality,” people are granularly defined by their various identities—except for white Jews, whose Jewishness is often overwritten by their skin color. . . .

[I]n a key sense, regular racism, [directed] against blacks and Latinos for example, is the opposite of anti-Semitism. [This sort of bigotry] comes from white people believing they are superior to people of [other races]. But the hatred of Jews stems from the belief that Jews are a cabal with supernatural, [or near-supernatural], powers. . . . Whereas the white racist regards blacks as inferior, the anti-Semite imagines that Jews have preternatural power to afflict humankind. . . . If Jews have power, then “punching up” at Jews is a form of “speaking truth to power”—a form of speech of which the left is currently enamored. In other words, it is because anti-Semitism pretends to strike at power that the left cannot see it, and is doomed to erase—and even reproduce—its tropes. . . .

Above all else, anti-Semitism is a conspiracy theory about the maleficent Jewish elite. And it’s this that makes it easy to disguise anti-Semitism as a “politics of liberation,” or at least, to embed it quietly in efforts for social justice. You can see this in the resuscitated efforts of groups like Black4Palestine and Jewish Voice for Peace to portray Israel and America as bastions of capitalist white supremacy that collude to brutalize “people of color.” . . .

When the Palestinian Authority’s President Mahmoud Abbas delivered his recent rant of over two hours to assembled Palestinian leaders, he alleged wild conspiracies, . . . [declaring] that “Israel has imported frightening amounts of drugs in order to destroy our younger generation.” In response, the [lobbying] group J Street, after rejecting “the divisive and inflammatory rhetoric used by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas,” complained that Donald Trump had provoked Abbas to despair [rather than acknowledging that Abbas has thought and said such things about Jews for his entire career].

Read more at Forward

More about: Anti-Semitism, J Street, Leftism, Mahmoud Abbas, Politics & Current Affairs, Racism

Hamas Wants a Renewed Ceasefire, but Doesn’t Understand Israel’s Changed Attitude

Yohanan Tzoreff, writing yesterday, believes that Hamas still wishes to return to the truce that it ended Friday morning with renewed rocket attacks on Israel, but hopes it can do so on better terms—raising the price, so to speak, of each hostage released. Examining recent statements from the terrorist group’s leaders, he tries to make sense of what it is thinking:

These [Hamas] senior officials do not reflect any awareness of the changed attitude in Israel toward Hamas following the October 7 massacre carried out by the organization in the western Negev communities. They continue to estimate that as before, Israel will be willing to pay high prices for its people and that time is working in their favor. In their opinion, Israel’s interest in the release of its people, the pressure of the hostages’ families, and the public’s broad support for these families will ultimately be decisive in favor of a deal that will meet the new conditions set by Hamas.

In other words, the culture of summud (steadfastness), still guides Hamas. Its [rhetoric] does not show at all that it has internalized or recognized the change in the attitude of the Israeli public toward it—which makes it clear that Israel still has a lot of work to do.

Read more at Institute for National Security Studies

More about: Gaza War 2023, Hamas, Israeli Security