When Anti-Racism Encourages Anti-Semitism

June 23 2021

In an in-depth conversation, the economist Glenn Loury and the journalist Bari Weiss discuss racism, anti-Semitism, black-Jewish relations, and much else. Loury emphasizes the dangers of the new “anti-racism,” which seems more interested in highlighting racial differences than bridging them and portrays any discrepancy in outcomes as ipso-facto evidence of racial discrimination:

I . . . think that one consequence of a fixation on group disparities understood to be the necessary consequence of oppression or racism is that the groups that do well come under suspicion. Their success will be thought to be the flipside of the disadvantage of the groups that do poorly. If African Americans are underrepresented in this or that venue because of systemic racism and Jews are, let’s say, overrepresented in those very same venues, how could it be otherwise but that the overrepresentation of the Jews is somehow the bitter fruit, the necessary consequence of that very system of oppression that excludes African Americans?

And that delegitimation of the success of groups that do well is very, very dangerous, it strikes me. It does fuel resentment, envy, and a kind of antipathy that can easily express itself in violence.

But, despite the growing influence of such pernicious ideas, Loury stresses that he is, nonetheless, “betting on America.” (Moderated by Hannah Meyers. Video, 63 minutes.)

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Read more at Glenn Loury

More about: African Americans, American society, Anti-Semitism, Racism

Reforms to Israel’s Judiciary Must Be Carefully Calibrated

The central topic of debate in Israel now is the new coalition government’s proposed reforms of the nation’s judiciary and unwritten constitution. Peter Berkowitz agrees that reform is necessary, but that “the proper scope and pace of reform, however, are open to debate and must be carefully calibrated.”

In particular, Berkowitz argues,

to preserve political cohesiveness, substantial changes to the structure of the Israeli regime must earn support that extends beyond these partisan divisions.

In a deft analysis of the conservative spirit in Israel, bestselling author Micah Goodman warns in the Hebrew language newspaper Makor Rishon that unintended consequences flowing from the constitutional counterrevolution are likely to intensify political instability. When a center-left coalition returns to power, Goodman points out, it may well repeal through a simple majority vote the major changes Netanyahu’s right-wing coalition seeks to enact. Or it may use the legislature’s expanded powers, say, to ram through laws that impair the religious liberty of the ultra-Orthodox. Either way, in a torn nation, constitutional counterrevolution amplifies division.

Conservatives make a compelling case that balance must be restored to the separation of powers in Israel. A prudent concern for the need to harmonize Israel’s free, democratic, and Jewish character counsels deliberation in the pursuit of necessary constitutional reform.

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Read more at RealClearPolitics

More about: Israel & Zionism, Israeli Judicial Reform