Why They Scrawl “Free Palestine” on Synagogues

Aug. 31 2020

When the unrest that has been striking so many American cities hit Kenosha, Wisconsin, someone spray painted “Free Palestine” on the driveway of Beth Hillel Temple. Jonathan Tobin observes:

Stacked up against the toll of dead and injured, the businesses and homes that have been destroyed along with the savings and lifetimes of hard work they represented, as well as the concerns about the shooting [by police of Jacob] Blake, a slogan scrawled on a sidewalk or even on the walls of synagogues or other Jewish institutions—as happened in Los Angeles during the post-George Floyd riots there three months ago—doesn’t amount to much.

But it is still important to ask why, with so much else going on, there seems almost always to be both time and effort available to lash out at symbols of the Jews.

[T]here is also no escaping the fact that the driving force behind the justifications for the Black Lives Matter protests and some of those protesting is a belief in “intersectionalism.” Intersectional ideology holds that, among other causes, the Palestinian war to eliminate Israel is a struggle of “indigenous people of color” against white colonialists [and thus] somehow analogous to the struggle for civil rights in the United States.

That this claim is a lie in every respect doesn’t make the notion any less toxic. Far-left groups that are loud and increasingly influential voices in American politics have promoted such ideas. That creates a national constituency for the demonization of Israel on college campuses, as well as in minority communities. Add to that the way it is amplified by sympathizers of the Nation of Islam, whose leader, Louis Farrakhan, is the leading purveyor of anti-Semitism in the African-American community, and you have a growing audience for claims that saying “free Palestine” is the moral equivalent of uttering slogans like “black lives matter.”

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Read more at JNS

More about: 2020 Riots, Anti-Semitism, Black Lives Matter, Intersectionality, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Nation of Islam

 

Will America Invite Israel to Join Its Multinational Coalitions?

From the Korean War onward, the U.S. has rarely fought wars alone, but has instead led coalitions of various allied states. Israel stands out in that it has close military and diplomatic relations with Washington yet its forces have never been part of these coalitions—even in the 1991 Gulf War, when Iraqi missiles were raining down on its cities. The primary reason for its exclusion was the sensitivity of participating Arab and Muslim nations. But now that Jerusalem has diplomatic relations with several Arab countries and indeed regularly participates alongside them in U.S.-led joint military exercises, David Levy believes it may someday soon be asked to contribute to an American expedition.

It is unlikely that Israel would be expected by the U.S. to deploy the Golani [infantry] brigade or any other major army unit. Instead, Washington will likely solicit areas of IDF niche expertise. These include missile defense and special forces, two areas in which Israel is a world leader. The IDF has capabilities that it can share by providing trainers and observers. Naval and air support would also be expected as these assets are inherently deployable. Israel can also provide allies in foreign wars with intelligence and cyber-warfare support, much of which can be accomplished without the physical deployment of troops.

Jerusalem’s previous reasons for abstention from coalitions were legitimate. Since its independence, Israel has faced existential threats. Conventional Arab armies sought to eliminate the nascent state in 1948-49, 1967, and again in 1973. This danger remained ever-present until the 1978 signing of the Camp David Accords, which established peace between Egypt and Israel. Post-Camp David, the threats to Israel remain serious but are no longer existential. If Iran were to become a nuclear power, this would pose a new existential threat. Until then, Israel is relatively well secured.

Jerusalem’s new Arab allies would welcome its aid. Western capitals, especially Washington, should be expected to pursue Israel’s military assistance, and Jerusalem will have little choice but to acquiesce to the expeditionary expectation.

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Read more at BESA Center

More about: IDF, U.S. military, U.S.-Israel relationship