Anti-Semitism Really Is about the Jews

Jan. 29 2020

Reflecting on the attack last month on the home of a rabbi in the New York town of Monsey, Meir  Soloveichik notes the symbolism of the fact that it fell on the holiday of Hanukkah:

The miracle commemorated on Hanukkah—a small flask of oil whose flame lasted much longer than expected—is often [disparaged] as a very minor miracle. But the rabbis chose to remember it because of its poetic power, as the oil embodies Israel itself, mysteriously enduring throughout the passage of time and therefore a proof of God in history. So the attack on the menorah ceremony embodies anti-Semitism itself. In the Bible, the miracles of the Exodus are immediately followed by the attack of the Amalekites; it is as if the Torah is telling us that chosenness and anti-Semitism, the miracle of the Jews and the existence of Jew-hatred, go hand in hand.

It is this concept that many, including some Jews, find difficult to accept. Following Monsey, and an eventual recognition of the unremitting spate of attacks on Ḥasidim in and around New York City, it was commonly said that anti-Semitism has little to do with Jews, that it reflects the dysfunctions of society, that we are targeted because we are different, or outsiders. It is true, of course, that anti-Semitism is not the fault of the Jews, but there are plenty of other outsiders, and people who are different, in the New York area, yet it is Jews who are targeted. . . . [W]hat we have been witnessing over the past months are attacks on Jews who, like the menorah once placed publicly outside the door, publicize their Judaism by wearing their faith quite literally on their sleeve.

Strikingly, the writer with the best understanding of the situation has not been Jewish at all. He is Robert Nicholson, a friend of mine and a young Christian leader. . . . Nicholson argues that the disease of anti-Semitism “almost always grows from a resentment of ‘chosenness’: the idea that the Jewish God appointed one nation, the nation of Israel, to play a special role in history.”

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Read more at Commentary

More about: Amalek, Anti-Semitism, Hanukkah, Judaism

 

Why Is Iran Acquiring Property in Venezuela?

In June Tehran and Caracas concluded a major twenty-year cooperation treaty. One of its many provisions—kept secret until recently—was the transfer of 4,000 square miles of Venezuelan land to Iranian control. Although the territory is ostensibly for agricultural use, Lawrence Franklin suspects the Islamic Republic might have other plans:

Hizballah already runs paramilitary training centers in restricted sections of Venezuela’s Margarita Island, a tourist area northeast of the country’s mainland. The terrorist group has considerable support from some of Venezuela’s prominent Lebanese clans such as the Nasr al-Din family, who reportedly facilitated Iran’s penetration of Margarita Island. . . . The Maduro regime has apparently been so welcoming to Iranian intelligence agents that some of Hizballah’s long-established Latin American network at the tri-border nexus of Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay has been overtaken by Hizballah activities on Venezuela’s Margarita Island.

Iran’s alliance with Venezuela most importantly provides Tehran with opportunities to target U.S. interests in Latin America and potentially the southern United States. Iran, along with the Chinese Communist Party, is in the process of strengthening Venezuela’s military against the U.S., for instance by deliveries of military drones, which are also considered a threat by Colombia.

While air and seaborne arms deliveries are high-profile evidence of Iran’s ties with Venezuela, Tehran’s cooperation with Venezuelan intelligence agencies, although less visible, is also intense. The Islamic Republic’s support for Hizballah terrorist operations is pervasive throughout Latin America. Hizballah recruits from Venezuela’s ten-million-strong Lebanese diaspora. Iran and Hizballah cooperate in training of intelligence agents and in developing sources who reside in Venezuela and Colombia, as well as in the tri-border region of Brazil, Paraguay, and Argentina.

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Read more at Gatestone

More about: Iran, Latin America, Venezuela