Why the Anti-Israel Left Can’t Condemn Anti-Semitism Without Condemning Islamophobia

As a wave of anti-Semitic attacks swept America Democratic politicians were generally silent, with the noble exception of Congressman Ritchie Torres of the Bronx. And then, suddenly, progressive Democratic politicians began issuing near-identical statements condemning anti-Semitism alongside, as Bernie Sanders put it, “a troubling rise in Islamophobia.” (The exception was Ilhan Omar, who couldn’t bring herself to use the term “anti-Semitism.) Christine Rosen observes:

The only problem with this strategy of lumping together anti-Semitism and Islamophobia? There is no rise in Islamophobia in the country. According to the most recent FBI hate crime statistics, of the 1,715 victims of religiously motivated hate crimes in 2019, 60.2 percent of the victims were Jews while 13.2 percent were Muslim. The most recent wave of attacks has targeted Jews or people who were perceived to be Jews almost exclusively.

Perhaps Democratic party leaders realized that its members tweeting out genocidal slogans (such as “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free”) and reprehensible lies (such as that Israel is an “apartheid” state) wasn’t great for the party’s image. At least, not while Americans watched footage of Jews being hunted down and beaten on American streets by Palestinian flag-waving gangs. But they also couldn’t countenance an unequivocal denunciation of anti-Semitism. Why not?

One reason: the left will only call out anti-Semitism when committed by people they can denounce as white supremacists, thus keeping their narrative about race intact. . . . Another reason? The linking of anti-Semitism and Islamophobia as equivalent risks is part of a larger attempt by the progressive left to craft a narrative wherein support for Israel (Zionism) is itself viewed as a form of Islamophobia.

It’s not a coincidence that the members of Congress who are most eager to peddle misinformation about Israel and promote anti-Semitism are also the ones most enthusiastic about equating the current round of violent attacks on Jews with Islamophobia. It gives them cover from having to take responsibility for the ways in which their own rhetoric has encouraged anti-Semitic attacks.

Read more at Commentary

More about: Anti-Semitism, Bernie Sanders, Ilhan Omar, U.S. Politics

The Right and Wrong Ways for the U.S. to Support the Palestinians

Sept. 29 2023

On Wednesday, Elliott Abrams testified before Congress about the Taylor Force Act, passed in 2018 to withhold U.S. funds from the Palestinian Authority (PA) so long as it continues to reward terrorists and their families with cash. Abrams cites several factors explaining the sharp increase in Palestinian terrorism this year, among them Iran’s attempt to wage proxy war on Israel; another is the “Palestinian Authority’s continuing refusal to fight terrorism.” (Video is available at the link below.)

As long as the “pay for slay” system continues, the message to Palestinians is that terrorists should be honored and rewarded. And indeed year after year, the PA honors individuals who have committed acts of terror by naming plazas or schools after them or announcing what heroes they are or were.

There are clear alternatives to “pay to slay.” It would be reasonable for the PA to say that, whatever the crime committed, the criminal’s family and children should not suffer for it. The PA could have implemented a welfare-based system, a system of family allowances based on the number of children—as one example. It has steadfastly refused to do so, precisely because such a system would no longer honor and reward terrorists based on the seriousness of their crimes.

These efforts, like the act itself, are not at all meant to diminish assistance to the Palestinian people. Rather, they are efforts to direct aid to the Palestinian people rather than to convicted terrorists. . . . [T]he Taylor Force Act does not stop U.S. assistance to Palestinians, but keeps it out of hands in the PA that are channels for paying rewards for terror.

[S]hould the United States continue to aid the Palestinian security forces? My answer is yes, and I note that it is also the answer of Israel and Jordan. As I’ve noted, PA efforts against Hamas or other groups may be self-interested—fights among rivals, not principled fights against terrorism. Yet they can have the same effect of lessening the Iranian-backed terrorism committed by Palestinian groups that Iran supports.

Read more at Council on Foreign Relations

More about: Palestinian Authority, Palestinian terror, U.S. Foreign policy