The NAACP’s Timid Reaction to Anti-Semitism in Its Ranks

Aug. 12 2020

Last month, Rodney Muhammad, the president of the Philadelphia chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) posted a crass anti-Semitic cartoon on his personal Facebook page. Despite protests from the local Jewish community—soon joined by black leaders, the Pennsylvania governor, and others—the national organization took two weeks to react. Ben Cohen considers the belated and anemic statement from the national NAACP spokeswoman, stating that the group is “saddened and deeply disappointed” and that Muhammad “now recognizes the offensive nature of the imagery” he used:

The Facebook post that got [Muhammad] into trouble showed the faces of three celebrities who recently made anti-Semitic statements (Ice Cube, Nick Cannon, and DeSean Jackson) above a cartoon of a hook-nosed Jew wearing an evil grin and rubbing his hands together in glee. It is exactly the kind of image one would expect to find on a neo-Nazi website, as exactly the same image of Jews was promoted in the gutter press of Nazi Germany itself.

As a follower of the Nation of Islam, [Rodney] will doubtless deflect the charge of appropriating Nazi imagery by referring to the views of his master, Louis Farrakhan, on the Holocaust. According to Farrakhan, who pals around with Holocaust deniers among other conspiracy kooks, the Holocaust was just another Jewish swindle.

Similarly, on the website of the Nation of Islam’s Mosque No. 12 in Philadelphia, where Muhammad presides, numerous videos are available in which speakers matter-of-factly outline Farrakhan’s conceptualization of Hollywood’s hold on the American public as the “Synagogue of Satan.”

None of this is very subtle—and that is what makes the NAACP’s response so bitterly disappointing. . . . Whether the NAACP national leadership likes it or not, their point man in Philadelphia has embraced a view of the Jewish people that would sit happily with any and every white supremacist. In the meantime, Jewish organizations should freeze all contact with the NAACP until Rodney Muhammad is a part of its past.

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Read more at JNS

More about: American Jewry, Anti-Semitism, Louis Farrakhan, Nation of Islam

UN Peacekeepers in Lebanon Risk Their Lives, but Still May Do More Harm Than Good

Jan. 27 2023

Last month an Irish member of the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) was killed by Hizballah guerrillas who opened fire on his vehicle. To David Schenker, it is likely the peacekeeper was “assassinated” to send “a clear message of Hizballah’s growing hostility toward UNIFIL.” The peacekeeping force has had a presence in south Lebanon since 1978, serving first to maintain calm between Israel and the PLO, and later between Israel and Hizballah. But, Schenker explains, it seems to be accomplishing little in that regard:

In its biannual reports to the Security Council, UNIFIL openly concedes its failure to interdict weapons destined for Hizballah. While the contingent acknowledges allegations of “arms transfers to non-state actors” in Lebanon, i.e., Hizballah, UNIFIL says it’s “not in a position to substantiate” them. Given how ubiquitous UN peacekeepers are in the Hizballah heartland, this perennial failure to observe—let alone appropriate—even a single weapons delivery is a fair measure of the utter failure of UNIFIL’s mission. Regardless, Washington continues to pour hundreds of millions of dollars into this failed enterprise, and its local partner, the Lebanese Armed Forces.

Since 2006, UNIFIL patrols have periodically been subjected to Hizballah roadside bombs in what quickly proved to be a successful effort to discourage the organization proactively from executing its charge. In recent years, though, UN peacekeepers have increasingly been targeted by the terror organization that runs Lebanon, and which tightly controls the region that UNIFIL was set up to secure. The latest UN reports tell a harrowing story of a spike in the pattern of harassment and assaults on the force. . . .

Four decades on, UNIFIL’s mission has clearly become untenable. Not only is the organization ineffective, its deployment serves as a key driver of the economy in south Lebanon, employing and sustaining Hizballah’s supporters and constituents. At $500 million a year—$125 million of which is paid by Washington—the deployment is also expensive. Already, the force is in harm’s way, and during the inevitable next war between Israel and Hizballah, this 10,000-strong contingent will provide the militia with an impressive human shield.

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Read more at Tablet

More about: Hizballah, Lebanon, Peacekeepers, U.S. Foreign policy