When Anti-Racism Encourages Anti-Semitism

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.)

Read more at Glenn Loury

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