When Jews, and Jewish Institutions, Give Cover to Anti-Semites

June 22 2021

During the recent round of fighting between Israel and Hamas, a few left-wing members of Congress not only condemned the Jewish state, but repeated libelous claims about “attacks” on al-Aqsa mosque. Worse still, their rhetoric seemed to imply, in classic anti-Semitic fashion, that Israel is not just a particularly problematic country, but one somehow at the root of all the world’s other problems. Seth Mandel writes:

One by one, these members of Congress, Democrats all, sought to make the Jewish state the stand-in for “systems of oppression here in the United States and globally,” as Representative Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts put it. Everyone in the world, according to these diatribes, had something to fear from Jerusalem. . . . Missouri’s Representative Cori Bush made a point of referring to the holy city as “Jerusalem, Palestine,” and suggested that the U.S. was following an Israeli playbook when it “brutalized” black protesters.

None of this was sufficient, however, to provoke anything but the meekest responses or from mainstream Democrats. Mandel continues:

When called out for their silence, progressive Democratic lawmakers condemned “anti-Semitism and Islamophobia” as one, knowing that their audience would interpret any specific denunciation of anti-Semitism as a statement in support of Israel. . . . Throughout this whole affair, not a single congressional Democrat would criticize any of his colleagues by name. That includes Chuck Schumer, now the Senate majority leader (whose former top aide is also on the executive committee of the National Jewish Democratic Council), who couldn’t be roused from his cowardly torpor even when explosive devices were thrown at Jews in his own city.

But in Mandel’s estimation, the most craven behavior has come from the Antidefamation League (ADL):

If there’s one organization whose responsibility it is to prepare not just the Jewish community but the wider United States public and its government for emerging anti-Semitic threats, it’s the ADL. Instead, the head of the ADL has been spreading a cynical left-wing myth about anti-Semitism while threats to the Jewish community fester.

And it’s even worse than it looks, because while there’s long been a willful blindness toward anti-Semitism from the left, the ADL and other partisan groups aren’t the ones experiencing this blindness. They’re the blinder.

Subscribe to Mosaic

Welcome to Mosaic

Subscribe now to get unlimited access to the best of Jewish thought and culture

Subscribe

Subscribe to Mosaic

Welcome to Mosaic

Subscribe now to get unlimited access to the best of Jewish thought and culture

Subscribe

Read more at Commentary

More about: ADL, Anti-Semitism, Anti-Zionism, Chuck Schumer, Congress

 

Will Costco Go to Israel?

Social-media users have mocked this week new Israeli finance minister Bezalel Smotrich for a poorly translated letter. But far more interesting than the finance minister’s use of Google Translate (or some such technology) is what the letter reveals about the Jewish state. In it, Smotrich asks none other than Costco to consider opening stores in Israel.

Why?

Israel, reports Sharon Wrobel, has one of the highest costs of living of any country in the 38-member Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.

This

has been generally attributed to a lack of competition among local importers and manufacturers. The top three local supermarket chains account for over half of the food retail market, limiting competition and putting upward pressure on prices. Meanwhile, import tariffs, value-added tax costs and kosher restrictions have been keeping out international retail chains.

Is the move likely to happen?

“We do see a recent trend of international retailers entering the Israeli market as some barriers to food imports from abroad have been eased,” Chen Herzog, chief economist at BDO Israel accounting firm, told The Times of Israel. “The purchasing power and technology used by big global retailers for logistics and in the area of online sales where Israel has been lagging behind could lead to a potential shift in the market and more competitive prices.”

Still, the same economist noted that in Israel “the cost of real estate and other costs such as the VAT on fruit and vegetables means that big retailers such as Costco may not be able to offer the same competitive prices than in other places.”

Subscribe to Mosaic

Welcome to Mosaic

Subscribe now to get unlimited access to the best of Jewish thought and culture

Subscribe

Subscribe to Mosaic

Welcome to Mosaic

Subscribe now to get unlimited access to the best of Jewish thought and culture

Subscribe

Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Costco, Israel & Zionism