The American Left’s Abandonment of Both Israel and the Jews

While anti-Semitism exists everywhere, and the U.S. has never been an exception, writes Ross Douthat, what has made America stand out is its persistent strain of philo-Semitism. He sees in the left’s response to the Ilhan Omar controversy an abandonment of this attitude:

This is what the left seems to want, . . . and what I suspect it will eventually get: a left-of-center politics that remembers the Holocaust as one great historical tragedy among many, that judges Israel primarily on its [supposedly] conservative and nationalist political orientation, rather than on its status as a Jewish sanctuary, and that regards the success of American Jews as a reason for them to join white Gentiles in check-your-privilege self-criticism, ceding moral authority to minority groups who are more immediately oppressed. (This last shift was helpfully distilled by James Clyburn, the Democratic House whip, who defended [Ilhan] Omar last week by basically saying that the Holocaust was a long time ago and her personal experience as a refugee and Muslim immigrant was more immediate and relevant.)

The shifts here would not just be, as is sometimes suggested, a reaction to Israeli politics [or] to the right-wing Netanyahu government. . . . If the occupation [of the West Bank] ended tomorrow, Israel would still have a nationalist and religious identity at odds with the left’s broadly post-nationalist and post-religious vision. Secularization would still be separating the left from any specifically Christian sense of guilt over the Holocaust—which was an important spur to postwar philo-Semitism. Many American Jews would still enjoy advantages that expose them to the left’s intersectional critiques, and the Orthodox Jewish population (growing apace relative to more secular and liberal forms of Judaism) would still have religious beliefs and practices that are the very opposite of “woke.”

Finally, a great deal of the new anti-Semitism—from the recent wave of hate crimes in New York City to the anti-Jewish violence befouling Europe—would still be coming from minority and immigrant communities that are seen as essential to left-of-center and especially radical-left politics going forward, making them more difficult than right-wing anti-Semitism for the left to full-throatedly condemn.

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Read more at New York Times

More about: American Jewry, Anti-Semitism, Ilhan Omar, Philo-Semitism, Politics & Current Affairs, US-Israel relations

 

As Vladimir Putin Sidles Up to the Mullahs, the Threat to the U.S. and Israel Grows

On Tuesday, Russia launched an Iranian surveillance satellite into space, which the Islamic Republic will undoubtedly use to increase the precision of its military operations against its enemies. The launch is one of many indications that the longstanding alliance between Moscow and Tehran has been growing stronger and deeper since the Kremlin’s escalation in Ukraine in February. Nicholas Carl, Kitaneh Fitzpatrick, and Katherine Lawlor write:

Presidents Vladimir Putin and Ebrahim Raisi have spoken at least four times since the invasion began—more than either individual has engaged most other world leaders. Putin visited Tehran in July 2022, marking his first foreign travel outside the territory of the former Soviet Union since the war began. These interactions reflect a deepening and potentially more balanced relationship wherein Russia is no longer the dominant party. This partnership will likely challenge U.S. and allied interests in Europe, the Middle East, and around the globe.

Tehran has traditionally sought to purchase military technologies from Moscow rather than the inverse. The Kremlin fielding Iranian drones in Ukraine will showcase these platforms to other potential international buyers, further benefitting Iran. Furthermore, Russia has previously tried to limit Iranian influence in Syria but is now enabling its expansion.

Deepening Russo-Iranian ties will almost certainly threaten U.S. and allied interests in Europe, the Middle East, and around the globe. Iranian material support to Russia may help the Kremlin achieve some of its military objectives in Ukraine and eastern Europe. Russian support of Iran’s nascent military space program and air force could improve Iranian targeting and increase the threat it poses to the U.S. and its partners in the Middle East. Growing Iranian control and influence in Syria will enable the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps [to use its forces in that country] to threaten U.S. military bases in the Middle East and our regional partners, such as Israel and Turkey, more effectively. Finally, Moscow and Tehran will likely leverage their deepening economic ties to mitigate U.S. sanctions.

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Read more at Critical Threats

More about: Iran, Israeli Security, Russia, U.S. Security, Vladimir Putin