The Woman Driven from Her Job for Condemning Anti-Semitism

July 13 2021

On June 11, in response to a series of attacks on Jews in the U.S., the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI)—the major professional organization of its kind—posted a condemnation of anti-Semitism and other “forms of hate” on its Facebook page. Soon an outraged response swelled on social media over the absence of any explicit condemnation of violence against Palestinians, although the statement made no mention of Israel. The virtual mob focused its ire on April Powers, the SCBWI’s “chief equity and inclusion officer” and the author of the post. As a result, Powers—a Jew—resigned, and the organization’s director apologized for the original defense of Jews. Kat Rosenfield comments:

What disturbs Powers the most wasn’t the harassment or the threats. It’s that when she tried to do the job she was hired to do, her Jewishness was seen as inherently suspect—and, for some, as a reason to discredit her. “It was, ‘You’re Jewish, you can’t be in a role like this,’” she said. “I lost credibility in that exchange because I’m Jewish.”

What happened to April Powers demonstrates how high-minded ideals about intersectionality and social justice now operate in practice. . . . According to the tenets of social justice, Powers’s “lived experience” and multiple minority status [as a black Jew] should have made her unassailable on the topic of her own people’s oppression, and anyone who tried to use Powers’s identity to discredit her should have been roundly condemned. According to the tenets of social justice, the continuing violence—vandalism, harassment, a rabbi stabbed in broad daylight just the other day—means that “we” should be listening to the [Jewish] community now more than ever. But [because] that community is Jewish, progressives suddenly have very different ideas about who deserves to be heard.

For the moment, at least, Jews are Schrödinger’s victims; they may or may not be deserving of sympathy, depending on who’s doing the victimizing. When a group of tiki torch-wielding white nationalists chant “Jews will not replace us!,” the condemnation is swift. But replace the tiki torch with a Palestinian flag, and call the Jews “settler colonialists,” and the equivocations roll in.

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Read more at Common Sense

More about: Anti-Semitism, Political correctness, Social media

 

The Attempted Murder of Salman Rushdie Should Render the New Iran Deal Dead in the Water

Aug. 15 2022

On Friday, the Indian-born, Anglo-American novelist Salman Rushdie was repeatedly stabbed and severely wounded while giving a public lecture in western New York. Reports have since emerged—although as yet unverified—that the would-be assassin had been in contact with agents of Iran, whose supreme leaders have repeatedly called on Muslims to murder Rushdie. Meanwhile U.S. and European diplomats are trying to restore the 2015 nuclear agreement with Tehran. Stephen Daisley comments:

Salman Rushdie’s would-be assassin might have been a lone wolf. He might have had no contact with military or intelligence figures. He might never even have set foot in Tehran. But be in no doubt: he acted, in effect, as an agent of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Under the terms of the fatwa issued by Ayatollah Khomeini in February 1989, Rushdie “and all those involved in [his novel The Satanic Verses’s] publication who were aware of its content, are sentenced to death.” Khomeini urged “brave Muslims to kill them quickly wherever they find them so that no one ever again would dare to insult the sanctities of Muslims,” adding: “anyone killed while trying to execute Rushdie would, God willing, be a martyr.”

An American citizen has been the victim of an attempted assassination on American soil by, it appears, another American after decades of the Iranian supreme leader agitating for his murder. No country that is serious about its national security, to say nothing of its national self-worth, can pretend this is some everyday stabbing with no broader political implications.

Those implications relate not only to the attack on Rushdie. . . . In July, a man armed with an AK-47 was arrested outside the Brooklyn home of Masih Alinejad, an Iranian dissident who was also the intended target of an abduction plot last year orchestrated by an Iranian intelligence agent. The cumulative weight of these outrages should render the new Iran deal dead in the water.

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Read more at Spectator

More about: Freedom of Speech, Iran, U.S. Foreign policy