A Republican Party with Room for Marjorie Taylor Greene Has No Room for Jews

Yesterday, under pressure from her fellow House Republicans, the Georgia congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene distanced herself from some of the outré conspiracy theories that she has touted during her time in public life—including her claims that the September 11 attack on the Pentagon did not occur and her devotion to QAnon. She said nothing about her suggestion in a 2018 speech that the U.S. government was responsible for the destruction of the World Trade Center in 2001, nor about the video she shared on her Facebook page that blames “Zionist supremacists” for seeking to undermine Europe by flooding it with Muslim immigrants. Her apologia didn’t stop the House of Representatives from taking the extraordinary step of removing her from committee assignments, a measure for which eleven Republican congressmen voted.

Writing on Wednesday, Jonathan Tobin argued that a Republican party that tolerates Taylor Greene is not one where Jews can find a political home. “How,” Tobin asked, “do [Jewish Republicans] stay in a party that is willing to wink at someone who has, among other things, claimed that space lasers directed by someone at the Rothschilds’ bank were responsible for California wildfires?” He added:

Tolerance of a sort for Taylor Greene may be just one more sign of the impact of tribal-war politics. Many Republicans will answer all criticism of her with [tu-quoque arguments] in which the sins of the Democrats will be used to excuse those committed by the GOP. That’s especially discouraging since should Taylor Greene retain her committee assignments and avoid being expelled, she will—as was the case with [the anti-Semitic Democratic congresswoman Ilhan] Omar, . . . wind up having far more influence and publicity than any normal freshman legislator would have.

The impact of [the Republican establishment’s continued indulgence of Taylor Greene] will be devastating to Jewish Republicans, especially after they expended so much effort assailing Democrats over their toleration for supporters of the movement to boycott Israel.

[Worst of all], just as Omar has helped legitimize one form of prejudice against Jews, Taylor Greene’s continued presence as a member in good standing of the GOP caucus will do the same for a particularly toxic variety of right-wing extremists. That’s the sort of thing that no amount of . . . partisanship can excuse.

Read more at Haaretz

More about: Anti-Semitism, Republicans, U.S. Politics

An Israeli Buffer Zone in the Gaza Strip Doesn’t Violate International Law

 The IDF announced on Thursday that it is safe for residents to return to some of the towns and villages near the Gaza Strip that have been abandoned since October 7. Yet on the same day, rocket sirens sounded in one of those communities, Kibbutz Mefalsim. To help ensure security in the area, Israel is considering the creation of a buffer zone within the Strip that would be closed to Palestinian civilians and buildings. The U.S. has indicated, however, that it would not look favorably on such a step.

Avraham Shalev explains why it’s necessary:

The creation of a security buffer along the Gaza-Israel border serves the purpose of destroying Hamas’s infrastructure and eliminating the threat to Israel. . . . Some Palestinian structures are practically on the border, and only several hundred yards away from Israeli communities such as Kfar Aza, Kerem Shalom, and Sderot. The Palestinian terrorists that carried out the murderous October 7 attacks crossed into Israel from many of these border-adjacent areas. Hamas officials have already vowed that “we will do this again and again. The al-Aqsa Flood [the October 7th massacre] is just the first time, and there will be a second, a third, a fourth.”

In 2018 and 2019, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad organized mass marches towards the Israeli border with the goal of breaking into Israel. Billed by Palestinians as “the Great March of Return,” its name reveals its purpose—invasion. Although the marches were supposedly non-violent, they featured largescale attacks on Israeli forces as well as arson and damage to Israeli agriculture and civilian communities. Moreover, the October 7 massacre was made possible by Hamas’s prepositioning military hardware along the border under false cover of civilian activity. The security perimeter is intended to prevent a reprise of these events.

Shalev goes on to dismantle the arguments put forth about why international law prohibits Israel from creating the buffer zone. He notes:

By way of comparison, following the defeat of Nazi Germany, France occupied the Saar [River Valley] directly until 1947 and then indirectly until reintegration with Germany in 1957, and the Allied occupation of Berlin continued until the reunification of Germany in 1990. The Allies maintained their occupation long after the fall of the Nazi regime, due to the threat of Soviet invasion and conquest of West Berlin, and by extension Western Europe.

Read more at Kohelet

More about: Gaza Strip, Gaza War 2023, International Law, Israeli Security