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.

Read more at JNS

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

How America Sowed the Seeds of the Current Middle East Crisis in 2015

Analyzing the recent direct Iranian attack on Israel, and Israel’s security situation more generally, Michael Oren looks to the 2015 agreement to restrain Iran’s nuclear program. That, and President Biden’s efforts to resurrect the deal after Donald Trump left it, are in his view the source of the current crisis:

Of the original motivations for the deal—blocking Iran’s path to the bomb and transforming Iran into a peaceful nation—neither remained. All Biden was left with was the ability to kick the can down the road and to uphold Barack Obama’s singular foreign-policy achievement.

In order to achieve that result, the administration has repeatedly refused to punish Iran for its malign actions:

Historians will survey this inexplicable record and wonder how the United States not only allowed Iran repeatedly to assault its citizens, soldiers, and allies but consistently rewarded it for doing so. They may well conclude that in a desperate effort to avoid getting dragged into a regional Middle Eastern war, the U.S. might well have precipitated one.

While America’s friends in the Middle East, especially Israel, have every reason to feel grateful for the vital assistance they received in intercepting Iran’s missile and drone onslaught, they might also ask what the U.S. can now do differently to deter Iran from further aggression. . . . Tehran will see this weekend’s direct attack on Israel as a victory—their own—for their ability to continue threatening Israel and destabilizing the Middle East with impunity.

Israel, of course, must respond differently. Our target cannot simply be the Iranian proxies that surround our country and that have waged war on us since October 7, but, as the Saudis call it, “the head of the snake.”

Read more at Free Press

More about: Barack Obama, Gaza War 2023, Iran, Iran nuclear deal, U.S. Foreign policy