How Turning a Blind Eye to Anti-Semitism Paved the Way for the Colleyville Attack

Malik Faisal Akram, who held four Jews hostage at gunpoint in a Texas synagogue last Saturday, was a British Muslim who came to the United States apparently for the purpose of carrying out a terror attack. Since then, English police have taken two people into custody in connection with the case, and it seems that Akram should have raised red flags. Daniel Johnson writes:

Where did Akram acquire the beliefs that led him to commit such an act of terrorism? In Blackburn, where he lived, there is a large Muslim community; he is reported to be related to some of its most influential members. How is it that Akram’s hatred of Jews seemingly aroused no surprise or resistance in the community? Opinion polls have long suggested that Muslims are much more likely to hold anti-Semitic beliefs than the average Briton.

It is of course also true that Muslims are themselves subject to prejudice and attacks. This may explain but does not excuse the fact that reports on the BBC and other mainstream media made virtually no reference to Islamist anti-Semitism as a factor in Akram’s decision to target the Texas synagogue. Yet such lethal hatred is a daily reality for Jews on both sides of the Atlantic.

Turning a blind eye to “the oldest hatred” is not the action of a great nation and could never be condoned by decent Britons of all faiths and none. The transatlantic investigation of Akram’s crime must be rigorous and thorough. But the Muslim community, not only in Blackburn but elsewhere across Britain, should also take responsibility for the culture of casual anti-Semitism that allowed him first to drift into extremist territory, then to hatch his plot and carry it out, without anyone sounding the alarm. There have been too many Akrams before for him to be dismissed as just another “lone wolf.”

Read more at The Article

More about: Anti-Semitism, European Islam, United Kingdom

 

Israel Can’t Stake Its Fate on “Ironclad” Promises from Allies

Israeli tanks reportedly reached the center of the Gazan city of Rafah yesterday, suggesting that the campaign there is progressing swiftly. And despite repeatedly warning Jerusalem not to undertake an operation in Rafah, Washington has not indicated any displeasure, nor is it following through on its threat to withhold arms. Even after an IDF airstrike led to the deaths of Gazan civilians on Sunday night, the White House refrained from outright condemnation.

What caused this apparent American change of heart is unclear. But the temporary suspension of arms shipments, the threat of a complete embargo if Israel continued the war, and comments like the president’s assertion in February that the Israeli military response has been “over the top” all call into question the reliability of Joe Biden’s earlier promises of an “ironclad” commitment to Israel’s security. Douglas Feith and Ze’ev Jabotinsky write:

There’s a lesson here: the promises of foreign officials are never entirely trustworthy. Moreover, those officials cannot always be counted on to protect even their own country’s interests, let alone those of others.

Israelis, like Americans, often have excessive faith in the trustworthiness of promises from abroad. This applies to arms-control and peacekeeping arrangements, diplomatic accords, mutual-defense agreements, and membership in multilateral organizations. There can be value in such things—and countries do have interests in their reputations for reliability—but one should be realistic. Commitments from foreign powers are never “ironclad.”

Israel should, of course, maintain and cultivate connections with the United States and other powers. But Zionism is, in essence, about the Jewish people taking responsibility for their own fate.

Read more at JNS

More about: Israeli Security, Joseph Biden, U.S.-Israel relationship