Anti-Semitism Is a Threat to Western Civilization Itself

On Saturday night, a man burst into a rabbi’s home in Monsey, NY, where a Hanukkah party was taking place, and began stabbing people with a machete. In North London, that same night, the walls of a synagogue and several shops were spray-painted with anti-Semitic slogans. Daniel Johnson comments on both incidents:

The appearance of graffiti in North London seems, by comparison, merely symbolic. Yet the fact that it happened against the background of Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership of the Labor party gives it a sinister significance.

The fact that these incidents happened at Hanukkah is also ominous. In the German city of Halle, a synagogue was attacked by a gunman at Yom Kippur only last month. Jewish festivals present opportunities for anti-Semites to target victims wherever they gather together. By deliberately turning solemn occasions of communal worship into times of fear and anxiety, anti-Semites seek to disrupt the rhythm of the religious calendar that is the essence of Judaism.

Yet the Jewish people has never allowed itself to be intimidated, let alone subdued, by such threats. The Hebrew Bible is the story of a nation that survived every attempt to crush its identity and suppress its faith in the God of Abraham and Isaac.

It is up to the rest of society to show their Jewish friends and neighbors that they will not look the other way as the oldest hatred renews itself. . . . Western leaders, too, have a responsibility to protect their Jewish citizens. This Hanukkah, Boris Johnson tweeted: “Britain would not be Britain without its Jewish community.” True enough, but tweets and gestures are not an adequate answer to lies, murder, and mayhem. Anti-Semitism is a mortal threat not only to the Jewish people but to Western civilization itself.

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Read more at The Article

More about: American Jewry, Anti-Semitism, Boris Johnson, British Jewry, Jeremy Corbyn

The Arab Press Blames Iran Rather Than Israel for Gaza’s Woes

Following the fighting between Israel and Islamic Jihad over the weekend, many journalists and commentators in Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia didn’t rush to condemn the Jewish state. Instead, as the translators at the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) note, they criticized the terrorist group for “operating in service of Iranian interests and thus inflicting suffering on the Gaza Strip’s residents.” One Saudi intellectual, Turki al-Hamad, wrote the following on Twitter:

It is apparent that, if at one time any confrontation between Israel and the Palestinian organizations would attract world and Arab attention and provoke a wave of anger [against Israel], today it does not shock most Arabs and most of the world’s [countries]. Furthermore, even a sense of human solidarity [with the Palestinians] has become rare and embarrassing, raising the question, “Why [is this happening] and who is to blame?”

I believe that the main reason is the lack of confidence in all the Palestinian leaders. . . . From the Arabs’ and the world’s perspective, it is already clear that these leaders are manipulating the [Palestinian] cause out of self-interest and diplomatic, economic, or even personal motives, and that the Palestinian issue is completely unconnected to this. The Palestinian cause has become a bargaining chip in the hands of these and other organizations and states headed by the [Iranian] ayatollah regime.

A, article in a major Arabic-language newspaper took a similar approach:

In a lengthy front-page report on August 7, the London-based UAE daily Al-Arab criticized Islamic Jihad, writing that “Gaza again became an arena for the settling of accounts between Iran and Israel, while the Palestinian citizens are the ones paying the price.” It added that Iran does not want to confront Israel directly for its bombings in Syria and its attacks on Iranian scientists and nuclear facilities.

“The war in Gaza is not the first, nor will it be the last. But it proves . . . that Iran is exploiting Gaza as it exploits Lebanon, in order to strengthen its hand in negotiations with the West. We all know that Iran hasn’t fired a single bullet at Israel, and it also will not do this to defend Gaza or Lebanon.”

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Read more at MEMRI

More about: Gaza Strip, Iran, Islamic Jihad, Israel-Arab relations, Persian Gulf