Anti-Semitism Is an Attack on American Principles

In a recent statement, Congresswoman Ilhan Omar expressed her concern over “unthinkable atrocities committed by the U.S., Hamas, Israel, Afghanistan, and the Taliban.” (After tepid criticism from some of her Democratic colleagues, she issued a correspondingly tepid clarification.) While it may be surprising to see Omar criticize Hamas, there is nothing surprising or unusual about her combination of anti-Americanism and anti-Israelism. Anti-Semitism, which Omar has also indulged in more blatantly, has in the 20th and 21st centuries often gone hand-in-hand with anti-Americanism. Joseph Loconte, writing before Omar’s statement, sheds some light on the connection:

Anti-Semitism . . . represents a unique assault on America’s founding principles of equality and freedom. . . . Religious freedom, considered the “first freedom” by the American Founders, was the linchpin. . . . The result, for Jews and all other minority faiths, was transformative. As nowhere else in the world, Jews were free to worship God according to the demands of their faith and conscience. They were also free to dissent from the religious views of the majority without fear of persecution.

Another reason for America’s warm embrace of the Jewish people must not be overlooked: the influence of the Bible. . . . According to the late Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, the chief rabbi of Great Britain, the “self-evident” truths of the Declaration of Independence—that “all men are created equal and endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights”—were anything but self-evident. “They would have been unintelligible to Plato, to Aristotle, or to every hierarchical society the world has ever known,” he wrote. “They are self-evident only to people, to Jews and Christians, who have internalized the Hebrew Bible.”

American Christians of all denominations recognized in Judaism one of the great gifts to Western civilization: the concept of a moral law given to mankind by a divine Lawgiver. From their very beginnings as a nation—like no one else in the ancient world—the Jewish people sought to order their social, political, and religious life according to these norms. The Ten Commandments supplied the ethical bedrock not only for Judaism but also—quite remarkably—for Western civilization throughout the centuries.

The American Founders were acutely aware of this cultural inheritance and its importance to their new republic. They paid homage to it in countless ways, not least of which was in the physical architecture of their most important political institutions. . . . As James Madison explained: “We have staked the whole of our political institutions upon the capacity of mankind for self-government, upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God.”

If this is so, then the answer to anti-Semitism (a partial answer, to be sure) is the reassertion of America’s first principles: the recovery of our historic commitment to the God-given worth and dignity of every human soul.

Read more at National Review

More about: American founding, anti-Americanism, Anti-Semitism, Ilhan Omar, Jonathan Sacks

Why Saturday Was a Resounding Defeat for Iran

Yaakov Lappin provides a concise and useful overview of what transpired on Saturday. For him, the bottom line is this:

Iran and its jihadist Middle Eastern axis sustained a resounding strategic defeat. . . . The fact that 99 percent of the threats were intercepted means that a central pillar of Iranian force projection—its missile and UAV arsenals—has been proven to be no match for Israel’s air force, for its multilayered air-defense system, or for regional cooperation with allies.

Iran must now await Israel’s retaliation, and unlike Israel, Iranian air defenses are by comparison limited in scope. After its own failure on Sunday, Iran now relies almost exclusively on Hizballah for an ability to threaten Israel.

And even as Iran continues to work on developing newer and deadlier missiles, the IDF is staying a few steps ahead:

Israel is expecting its Iron Beam laser-interception system, which can shoot down rockets, mortars, and UAVs, to become operational soon, and is developing an interceptor (Sky Sonic) for Iran’s future hypersonic missile (Fattah), which is in development.

The Iron Beam will change the situation in a crucial way. Israell’s defensive response on Saturday reportedly cost it around $1 billion. While Iron Beam may have to be used in concert with other systems, it is far cheaper and doesn’t run the risk of running out of ammunition.

Read more at JNS

More about: Hizballah, Iran, Iron Dome, Israeli Security, Israeli technology