The American Jewish Establishment Has Failed to Grapple with the Threat of Anti-Semitism

Feb. 17 2020

When the White House released its plan for the creation of a Palestinian state that also gives due consideration to Israeli security, writes Seth Mandel, a number of major Jewish organizations rushed to condemn it. The self-styled “pro-Israel, pro-peace” group J Street lambasted the plan for being too pro-Israel, as did the Israel Policy Forum—founded in the 1990s at the behest of Yitzḥak Rabin. Even the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) responded equivocally. To Mandel, this attitude is only a symptom of a deeper problem:

What we are seeing is [that] American Jewish leaders fail to take seriously the rising tide of anti-Semitism that masquerades as “anti-Zionism”—and even the way progressive groups enable it.

Consider the story of the anti-Semitic crime spree in New York. . . . The media ignored the violence until there was blood in the streets; the organized Jewish world reacted like a deer in the headlights; non-Orthodox rabbis sneered at the ḥaredi community as it absorbed daily assaults; Jewish intellectuals pretended nothing was happening. [One journalist wrote that] far-right extremism “constitutes the paramount threat to American Jewish life today.” It was a line the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) had been pushing hard as well.

But the renewed violence in the New York area wasn’t coming from white nationalists or alt-right poseurs. Many of the attacks caught on tape featured African-American suspects in outer-borough neighborhoods where religious Jews were framed as land-grabbing outsiders, with some residents telling interviewers they viewed Israel as the point of origin for these Jews. In Jersey City, the shooters were reportedly Black Hebrew Israelites, a kind of extreme black nationalist group, apparently motivated by a conspiracy theory that Jews pull the strings of the police to kill black people—a calumny that took original form as a claim that Israel was training U.S. cops to persecute minorities. “Israel” very quickly becomes “Jews.”

Following the October 2018 mass shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue, the Jerusalem Post asked the ADL whether it would finally drop its long-held opposition to federal security grants for synagogues and other houses of worship. The answer was no. The ADL, an official explained, was still opposed on constitutional grounds. In 2004, the [Reform movement’s] Religious Action Center put out a memo opposing security funding for Jewish institutions. It dropped its opposition [only] after the Pittsburgh shooting. The “constitutional” issues were a pretext to elevate liberal political stances over Jewish communal needs, but now appear not to be worth the public-relations headache.

Read more at Commentary

More about: ADL, AIPAC, American Jewry, Anti-Semitism


Israel Is Courting Saudi Arabia by Confronting Iran

Most likely, it was the Israeli Air Force that attacked eastern Syria Monday night, apparently destroying a convoy carrying Iranian weapons. Yoav Limor comments:

Israel reportedly carried out 32 attacks in Syria in 2022, and since early 2023 it has already struck 25 times in the country—at the very least. . . . The Iranian-Israeli clash stands out in the wake of the dramatic events in the region, chiefly among them is the effort to strike a normalization deal between Israel and Saudi Arabia, and later on with various other Muslim-Sunni states. Iran is trying to torpedo this process and has even publicly warned Saudi Arabia not to “gamble on a losing horse” because Israel’s demise is near. Riyadh is unlikely to heed that demand, for its own reasons.

Despite the thaw in relations between the kingdom and the Islamic Republic—including the exchange of ambassadors—the Saudis remain very suspicious of the Iranians. A strategic manifestation of that is that Riyadh is trying to forge a defense pact with the U.S.; a tactical manifestation took place this week when Saudi soccer players refused to play a match in Iran because of a bust of the former Revolutionary Guard commander Qassem Suleimani, [a master terrorist whose militias have wreaked havoc throughout the Middle East, including within Saudi borders].

Of course, Israel is trying to bring Saudi Arabia into its orbit and to create a strong common front against Iran. The attack in Syria is ostensibly unrelated to the normalization process and is meant to prevent the terrorists on Israel’s northern border from laying their hands on sophisticated arms, but it nevertheless serves as a clear reminder for Riyadh that it must not scale back its fight against the constant danger posed by Iran.

Read more at Israel Hayom

More about: Iran, Israeli Security, Saudi Arabia, Syria