Neither Left nor Right Will Condemn Kanye West’s Anti-Semitism So Long as He Appears to Be on Their Side

Oct. 19 2022

Yesterday, the rapper Kanye West appeared on Chris Cuomo’s television program to discuss his series of anti-Semitic outbursts over the past week; he used the opportunity to make clear his conviction that he is a victim of “the Jewish underground media mafia,” and said much else in that vein. Since West has repeatedly voiced his support for Donald Trump—who praised West in an interview yesterday—certain segments of the American right rushed to defend him amid the latest controversy. Stephen Daisley comments:

David Horowitz, a conservative writer, says that: “Jews in Hollywood and Big Tech and in the donor base of the Democrat party and in the media” are out to “destroy” Kanye. “Realizing that his words would be twisted by the fascist left, Kanye added that blacks are Jews,” he added.

Progressives can’t claim the moral high ground. . . . Vice frets that [West] “has recently displayed an intense negative fixation on Jews.” There is nothing recent about it. Back in 2013, when he was a cookie-cutter celebrity Democrat, Kanye told a U.S. radio show Barack Obama was struggling to make good on his promises “because he ain’t got those connections. Black people don’t have the same level of connections as Jewish people.”

A Think Progress piece described the [2013] comments as “unfortunate and frustrating” but decided “it’s worth parsing what West actually said, rather than dismissing him as a crude anti-Semite” because “his remarks do capture a number of important anxieties.”

What conclusions can we draw from all this? One is that the new right, the very-online millennial right that calls itself conservative but is really just anti-liberal, is not doing enough to patrol its own boundaries.

Another conclusion is that Kanye’s anti-Semitic statements only became a problem for progressives when he stopped being one. This volte-face is another reminder of Jewish invisibility in the politics of anti-racism, a problem that afflicts progressives but many others too. Whether Kanye is a hate-filled anti-Semite or a desperately disturbed man—or whether the truth lies somewhere in between—he is not the only one who needs to reflect. He’s been saying these things for years and his fans, old and new, have told him it was okay.

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Read more at Spectator

More about: Anti-Semitism, Donald Trump, U.S. Politics

Will America Invite Israel to Join Its Multinational Coalitions?

From the Korean War onward, the U.S. has rarely fought wars alone, but has instead led coalitions of various allied states. Israel stands out in that it has close military and diplomatic relations with Washington yet its forces have never been part of these coalitions—even in the 1991 Gulf War, when Iraqi missiles were raining down on its cities. The primary reason for its exclusion was the sensitivity of participating Arab and Muslim nations. But now that Jerusalem has diplomatic relations with several Arab countries and indeed regularly participates alongside them in U.S.-led joint military exercises, David Levy believes it may someday soon be asked to contribute to an American expedition.

It is unlikely that Israel would be expected by the U.S. to deploy the Golani [infantry] brigade or any other major army unit. Instead, Washington will likely solicit areas of IDF niche expertise. These include missile defense and special forces, two areas in which Israel is a world leader. The IDF has capabilities that it can share by providing trainers and observers. Naval and air support would also be expected as these assets are inherently deployable. Israel can also provide allies in foreign wars with intelligence and cyber-warfare support, much of which can be accomplished without the physical deployment of troops.

Jerusalem’s previous reasons for abstention from coalitions were legitimate. Since its independence, Israel has faced existential threats. Conventional Arab armies sought to eliminate the nascent state in 1948-49, 1967, and again in 1973. This danger remained ever-present until the 1978 signing of the Camp David Accords, which established peace between Egypt and Israel. Post-Camp David, the threats to Israel remain serious but are no longer existential. If Iran were to become a nuclear power, this would pose a new existential threat. Until then, Israel is relatively well secured.

Jerusalem’s new Arab allies would welcome its aid. Western capitals, especially Washington, should be expected to pursue Israel’s military assistance, and Jerusalem will have little choice but to acquiesce to the expeditionary expectation.

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Read more at BESA Center

More about: IDF, U.S. military, U.S.-Israel relationship