Anti-Semitism Has No Place at the Pentagon

During the recent staff shake-up at the Defense Department, the new acting secretary Christopher Miller appointed Douglas Macgregor, a retired Army officer, as his senior adviser. Melissa Braunstein comments:

Macgregor has made fairly extensive comments about “the Israel lobby,” which he claims has bought off high-level American officials, including the former national security adviser John Bolton and the secretary of state Mike Pompeo.

Like Representative Ilhan Omar, Macgregor criticized the “enormous influence” Israel supporters have on Congress and attacked the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. Macgregor, who was once in line to be ambassador to Germany, lost out after [news] outlets reported on his saying that Germany’s efforts to grapple with its role in the Holocaust [reflected] a “sick mentality,” among other jaw-dropping comments.

But just as most elected Democrats—with a few notable exceptions—were loath to condemn Omar’s comments, most elected Republicans have not yet voiced displeasure over Macgregor’s appointment. And there are consequences to such spinelessness, notes Braunstein:

Public officials’ unwillingness to take deterrent action increases the likelihood that overt anti-Semitism would recur in government. It’s happening outside government too, by the way, and the FBI’s recently-released 2019 hate-crime statistics bear that out: Jews were targeted in 63 percent of religiously-oriented hate crimes last year, a 14-percent jump over 2018, even though Jews represent less than 2 percent of the population. This would certainly be a good time for Republican officials to pipe up about Macgregor. However, they remain notably quiet.

The proper conduct of foreign policy requires that government officials understand the world as it is, not as they believe it to be. That requires studying and acknowledging facts rather than allowing one’s vision to be clouded by conspiracy theories [about Jewish influence]. As such, Omar shouldn’t be on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Macgregor shouldn’t be advising the acting secretary of defense. Anti-Semitism harms Jews, to be sure, but it also disfigures the judgment of those it infects.

Read more at Washington Examiner

More about: American politics, Anti-Semitism, Ilhan Omar

The Ugly Roots of Ireland’s Anti-Israel Policies

Prime Minister Varadkar’s meretricious messaging concerning the freeing of a kidnapped child is only one example of the Irish government’s perverse reaction to Hamas’s assault on Israel. Varadkar has accused the IDF of pursuing “something approaching revenge” in Gaza, and compared the Israeli war effort to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. His parliament, meanwhile, came close to expelling the Israeli ambassador. Terry Glavin writes:

In a recent interview, . . . the retired Irish diplomat Niall Holohan put it this way: “We feel we have been victimized over the centuries. It’s part of our psyche—underneath it all we side with the underdog.” But there’s something else in the Irish psyche that’s impolite to mention in the comfy Dublin pubs and bistros. . . . Not a few of Ireland’s gallant and celebrated champions of the underdog, its heroes of Irish freedom, were vulgar anti-Semites and Nazi collaborators.

And in recent years, Irish Jews are commonly baited, harassed, and badgered every time there is some eruption in Israel involving Palestinian “resistance.”

The republican pamphleteer Arthur Griffith approved [of anti-Jewish agitation in Limerick in 1904], calling Jews “usurers and parasites.” Griffiths was one of the founders of Sinn Féin, in 1905, and he served as Sinn Féin’s president in 1911.

There was always a deep division in the Irish nationalist movement between Irish republicans who felt an affinity with the Jews owing to a shared history of dispossession and exile, and Catholic extremists who ranted and raved about Jews. Those Catholic shouters are still abroad, apparently unaware that for half a century, Catholic doctrine has established that anti-Semitism is a mortal sin.

Read more at National Post

More about: Anti-Semitism, Gaza War 2023, Ireland