Cancel Culture, Anti-Semitism, and the Great Awokening

For those who follow the endless cycle of media and social-media outrage, last week’s outburst was over the anathematization—in today’s lingo, “cancelling”—of certain works by the children’s author Dr. Seuss, which are no longer sold on Amazon and which are being dutifully removed from public libraries. This is but one example of the workings of a new breed of radicalism, which, to Peter Savodnik, is built on three pillars: “antiracism” (not to be confused with mere objections to racism), and an “opposition to any debate” about its own principles:

The anti-Semitism is the apotheosis of the antiracism. It cloaks itself, as it must these days, in anti-Zionism, and it was remarkable because, at first blush, it struck one as so off-topic. What did Israel have to do with [the killing of] George Floyd or equity or “white supremacy”? But it wasn’t off-topic. It was the logical outgrowth of a long and inextinguishable hate.

For a couple of years [after the Holocaust], the non-Jewish world (sort of) admired the Jews—when they were wandering and emaciated. But then [came] Israel, which was founded in 1949 and has morphed into the rationalization for the new anti-Semitism. Today, a good progressive doesn’t hate Jews qua Jews, or as racial inferiors, but as “colonizers” of “black people.” Exponents of a latter-day apartheid.

This [vision of the] Jew is just a version of the white-nationalist vision of the Jew: instead of imposing his will clandestinely, in the fashion of the Elders of Zion, he oppresses openly, in an IDF uniform, with his automatic rifle pointed at the head of a Palestinian. He is all-powerful, but instead of his power standing in opposition to “whiteness,” as the white nationalist understands things, it embodies whiteness. Viewed through the lens of the new radicalism, anti-Semitism is really anti-colonialism, and anti-colonialism is really antiracism in its most distilled form. Which means [that woke anti-Semitism] cannot be anti-Semitic, and if you say it is, you’re anti-antiracist. Which is the worst thing anyone can be.

Read more at Medium

More about: Anti-Semitism, Anti-Zionism, Progressivism, Racism

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