The New Reality of Progressive Anti-Semitism

Once again, elements of the American left are rushing to defend an anti-Semite, in this case Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib. Victor Davis Hanson, surveying several such recent outbursts, comments:

The far left is intertwined with Islamist activists. Both share a hatred of the U.S. and see the Middle East as a postcolonial victim of Western imperialism. . . . Radical Muslims and the left disguise their hatred of Jews by claiming that they are only championing downtrodden Palestinians. Few bother to ask them why a tiny democracy in a sea of autocracy is always singled out any time global attention turns to the question of refugees, disputed territories, or treatment of supposed religious minorities. In other words, the hater of Jews always says, “I have no problem with the Jewish people, but I do not like the imperialist and colonial policies of the Jewish state of Israel.” . . .

Anti-Semitism . . . is also deeply embedded among the elite black progressive community. Numerous contemporary African-American national leaders —Jesse Jackson (“Hymietown”), Al Sharpton (“If the Jews want to get it on, tell them to pin their yarmulkes back and come over to my house”), the Reverend Jeremiah Wright (“Them Jews aren’t going to let him [Obama] talk to me.”)—have at some point trafficked in anti-Semitism.

The Jew-hating Louis Farrakhan is no outlier. He has been prominent in the progressive Women’s March, has had his picture taken with a then-smiling Senator Barack Obama (the photo was repressed until after Obama left the presidency), and he was once close to the former Democratic National Party vice-chairman Keith Ellison. Representative Hank Johnson, like Farrakhan, has compared West Bank Jews to “termites.” . . .

In such old-new binaries, Jews and Israelis are now recast as “privileged whites.” So their frequent attackers expect immunity from condemnation; they seek refuge as marginalized people for whom charges of bias or privilege do not so readily apply. . . .

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More about: Democrats, Leftism, Louis Farrakhan, Rashida Tlaib

What Egypt’s Withdrawal from the “Arab NATO” Signifies for U.S. Strategy

A few weeks ago, Egypt quietly announced its withdrawal from the Middle East Strategic Alliance (MESA), a coalition—which also includes Jordan, the Gulf states, and the U.S.—founded at President Trump’s urging to serve as an “Arab NATO” that could work to contain Iran. Jonathan Ariel notes three major factors that most likely contributed to Egyptian President Sisi’s abandonment of MESA: his distrust of Donald Trump (and concern that Trump might lose the 2020 election) and of Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman; Cairo’s perception that Iran does not pose a major threat to its security; and the current situation in Gaza:

Gaza . . . is ruled by Hamas, defined by its covenant as “one of the wings of the Muslim Brotherhood in Palestine.” Sisi has ruthlessly persecuted the Brotherhood in Egypt. [But] Egypt, despite its dependence on Saudi largesse, has continued to maintain its ties with Qatar, which is under Saudi blockade over its unwillingness to toe the Saudi line regarding Iran. . . . Qatar is also supportive of the Muslim Brotherhood, . . . and of course Hamas.

[Qatar’s ruler] Sheikh Tamim is one of the key “go-to guys” when the situation in Gaza gets out of hand. Qatar has provided the cash that keeps Hamas solvent, and therefore at least somewhat restrained. . . . In return, Hamas listens to Qatar, which does not want it to help the Islamic State-affiliated factions involved in an armed insurrection against Egyptian forces in northern Sinai. Egypt’s military is having a hard enough time coping with the insurgency as it is. The last thing it needs is for Hamas to be given a green light to cooperate with Islamic State forces in Sinai. . . .

Over the past decade, ever since Benjamin Netanyahu returned to power, Israel has also been gradually placing more and more chips in its still covert but growing alliance with Saudi Arabia. Egypt’s decision to pull out of MESA should give it cause to reconsider. Without Egypt, MESA has zero viability unless it is to include either U.S. forces or Israeli ones. [But] one’s chances of winning the lottery seem infinitely higher than those of MESA’s including the IDF. . . . Given that Egypt, the Arab world’s biggest and militarily most powerful state and its traditional leader, has clearly indicated its lack of confidence in the Saudi leadership, Israel should urgently reexamine its strategy in this regard.

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More about: Egypt, Gaza Strip, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, U.S. Foreign policy