What Andrew Yang Gets Right about BDS and Anti-Semitism

It has been remarked that New York City is the only American municipality with a foreign policy, and perhaps for that reason the mayoral candidate Andrew Yang mentioned his attitude toward the movement to boycott, divest from, and sanction Israel (BDS) in an article he wrote for a Jewish newspaper outlining his “vision” for the local Jewish community. Therein he pledged that if elected he would “push back against the BDS movement,” which, he added, is “rooted in anti-Semitic thought and history, hearkening back to fascist boycotts of Jewish businesses.” The statement drew outrage from the usual quarters. Stephen Norwood and Rafael Medoff defend it:

The best known “fascist boycott” against Jews was waged by the government of Nazi Germany, beginning with a one-day nationwide action, on April 1, 1933, shortly after Hitler’s rise to power. Throughout the Reich on that day, stormtroopers were stationed at entrances to Jewish stores and offices, and above the doors, they posted a yellow circle—the medieval symbol associating Jews with gold and prostitution. The boycott was intended to demonstrate that the Nazis could readily threaten Jews’ economic survival. In subsequent years, the Nazis avidly enforced local boycotts of Jewish-owned businesses across Germany.

Obviously, there are many differences between the anti-Jewish boycotts of the 1930s and the BDS campaigns of our own time. Yet we dare not ignore the parallels.

Today’s BDS advocates heatedly deny that they are fascists or anti-Semites. They claim they are “only” boycotting Israelis, not Jews. Likewise, advocates of “partial” BDS say they are boycotting “only” Israeli “settlers,” not residents of Israeli towns within the pre-1967 areas.

If that were true, the BDS movement would boycott Israeli Arabs as well as Israeli Jews. And the “partial boycotters” would target Israeli Arab residents of communities beyond the pre-1967 lines. They would also refrain from boycotting foreign-born Jewish “settlers” who are not Israeli citizens.

Of course, this is not the case.

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More about: Andrew Yang, Anti-Semitism, BDS, New York Mayoral Election

Why the Leader of Hamas Went to Russia

Sept. 30 2022

Earlier this month, the Hamas chairman Ismail Haniyeh and several of his colleagues visited Moscow, where they met with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and other Russian officials. According to Arabic-language media, Haniyeh came seeking “new ideas” about how to wage war against the Jewish state. The terrorist group has had good relations with the Kremlin for several years, and even maintains an office in Moscow. John Hardie and Ivana Stradner comment on the timing of the visit:

For Moscow, the visit likely reflects a continuation of its efforts to leverage the Palestinians and other issues to pressure Israel over its stance on Russia’s war in Ukraine. Russia and Israel built friendly relations in the decades following the Soviet Union’s dissolution. After Russia invaded Ukraine in February, Jerusalem condemned the war, but made sure to tread carefully in order to preserve working ties with Moscow, lest Russian military forces in Syria disrupt Israel’s strategically important air operations there.

Nevertheless, bilateral tensions spiked in April after Yair Lapid, then serving as Israel’s foreign minister, joined the chorus of voices worldwide accusing Russia of committing war crimes in Ukraine. Jerusalem later provided Kyiv with some non-lethal military aid and a field hospital. In response, Moscow hardened its rhetoric about Israeli actions in the Palestinian territories.

The Palestinian issue isn’t the only way that Russia has sought to pressure Israel. Moscow is also threatening, on seemingly spurious grounds, to shutter the Russian branch of the Jewish Agency.

Moscow likely has little appetite for outright conflict with Israel, particularly when the bulk of Russia’s military is floundering in Ukraine. But there are plenty of other ways that Russia, which maintains an active intelligence presence in the Jewish state, could damage Israel’s interests. As Moscow cozies up with Hamas, Iran, and other enemies of Israel, Jerusalem—and its American allies—would do well to keep a watchful eye.

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Read more at Algemeiner

More about: Hamas, Israeli Security, Russia