I have long hypothesized that President Obama, among his many dubious achievements, has made anti-Semitism respectable again. Surely, his open contempt for the prime minister of Israel sends a message. It’s acceptable to hate Israel, to hate the leader of the Jewish state and to hate Jews.
It’s not for nothing that Obama comes to us from the church of Jeremiah Wright or that Wright is bosom buddies with Louis Farrakhan or that both of them have been trafficking the idea that Jesus was a Palestinian. It was about the company you keep. It still is.
In Obama’s old bailiwick, Harvard Law School a recent incident showed the extent to which the school and even Jewish students—to their everlasting shame- were willing to defend an anti-Semite.
Kevin Williamson has the story:
In the United States, the Harvard Law Record went to some lengths to conceal the identity of a law student who attacked a visiting Israeli dignitary as — in the classic anti-Semitic formulation — “smelly.” That student was Husam El-Qoulaq, a Palestinian leftist. The campus Left has, to no one’s surprise, rallied to his defense. Among those defending him were a number of Jewish law students, who insisted that El-Qoulaq couldn’t possibly have known the anti-Semitic history of “smelly Jew” rhetoric, in spite of his having been reared at the world center of such nonsense.
It almost goes without saying, but if Husam El-Qoulag had uttered the least disparaging word about a transgendered individual, he would have been run off the campus. Had he uttered the least racist slur he would have been expelled. But, when he harassed an Israeli woman in public—note that she was a woman—many at Harvard stood up for him.
If things are bad over here, they are worse in Great Britain. Especially in the British Labor Party. Anti-Semitism has now become coin of the intellectual realm in the Anglophone left.
Writing in Time Magazine Rabbi David Wolpe calls our attention to the current bigotry in the British Labour Party:
The Labour party is enduring a spasm of public anti-Semitism. First MP Naz Shah posted on her Facebook page: “Solution for Israel-Palestine conflict. Relocate Israel into the United States… The transportation costs will be less than 3 years of defence spending.” Shockingly she was then defended by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who said in a dizzying display of spin: “She made remarks … that she doesn’t agree with.”
The public outcry led to her suspension and to an apology. The deeper question is not her retraction but the constituents who, presumably aware of her beliefs, voted her into office in the first place.
Into the fray steps, or rather goosesteps, the egregious former Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone. He delivered himself of this inaccurate scurrility: “Let’s remember when Hitler won his election in 1932,” he told BBC Radio London. “His policy was then that Jews should be moved to Israel. He was supporting Zionism before he went mad and ended up killing six million Jews.” Livingstone followed this up byinsisting that it is “over the top” to equate racism and anti-Semitism.
Now, we should not be surprised to see this disease take root in the Labour Party. After all, its leader, Jeremy Corbyn is a rabid anti-Zionist.
Richard Ferrer writes in the International Business Times:
The Labour leader appears to hate Israel and all it stands for. The psychopaths of Hamas seem to be his "friends", and Israel his enemy. He has an unshakable one-eyed view of the Jewish state – refusing even to utter the word "Israel" after being forced to speak at a Friends of Israel fringe meeting at last year's party conference.
Alongside George Galloway and Ken Livingstone, Corbyn is a poster boy for the British anti-Zionism movement. When the Labour Party, in an act of self-slaughter, crowned him leader, the Jew-haters began hovering around to Her Majesty's Opposition like flies to honey.
No one should really be surprised. Those who hate Western civilization, who consider it a criminal conspiracy, who want to repeal the Industrial Revolution and return to the state of nature, who want to fight against capitalism and liberal democracy in the name of a gauzy ideal of social justice, must hate the religion that provided the foundation for the civilization they hate. And they surely must hate the nation that proves, by its successes, that Western values and Western culture have a valid claim to superiority.
Writing in National Review Williamson takes the measure of the newly fashionable anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic sentiment. He addresses the argument that the Israelis stole land that belonged to someone else. He does not accept that Allah deeded Palestine to the Palestinian people for all eternity.
Anyway, Williamson addresses the argument:
It is true that most of the current Jewish population of Israel descends from people who were not precisely sons of the soil they now inhabit. But then, neither are the so-called Palestinians, who are Arabs. Arabs famously come from Arabia, but they are located all over the world. No one talks about the need to get the Arabs out of Egypt or Libya — or Palestine, for that matter — any more than anybody seriously thinks about returning the Americas to the descendants of the aboriginal population, which, of course, wasn’t aboriginal, either, but merely the first to emigrate. The Irish are descended of people not native to Ireland, as indeed ultimately is every population in the world, including those in the African cradle of humanity.
And it isn’t because the establishment of Israel is, relatively speaking, fresh in the historical memory, and therefore an open wound. Before the end of World War II, there was no Pakistan, and to the extent that there was an “India,” it was a geographical rather than a political term, much like “Palestine.” There was no independent Ireland until the 1920s and no Republic of Ireland until 1948. There was no People’s Republic of China until 1949. There was no Zimbabwe until 1980, no Czech Republic until 1993, and no modern Democratic Republic of the Congo until 1997. Israel is an ancient state compared with geopolitical newcomers such as the 30-odd countries created since 1990.
So much for the argument that Israel is a special case. Williamson might have added that one Osama bin Laden believed fervently that Andalusia had to be returned to the Moors. We will avoid the argument of who was there first: clearly Jews occupied the land that constitutes Israel well before Islam existed.
In America, today’s anti-Semitism is often couched in terms of an attack on Wall Street. A leading Democratic presidential candidate—who is apparently Jewish—has been railing against Wall Street bankers and has been attracting legions of brainwashed youth.
The Occupy Wall Street movement was tinged with anti-Semitism, sometimes not so well hidden:
For Henry Ford and more than a few on the modern left, the Jews are the international bankers secretly pulling the strings of the global economy. As one widely circulated Occupy video put it: “The smallest group in America controls the money, media, and all other things. The fingerprints belong to the Jewish bankers who control Wall Street. I am against Jews who rob America. They are 1 percent who control America. President Obama is a Jewish puppet. The entire economy is Jewish. Every federal judge [on] the East Coast is Jewish.”
And then there are the culture wars. Following Edward Said, the radical left believes that the Jews are colonialists who are forcing capitalism, liberal democracy and the Industrial Revolution on the noble savages of the Middle East:
For those who learned at the feet of that old fraud Edward Said, the Jews are the colonialists, the European modernists inflicting capitalism and technology upon the noble savages of their imaginations. The Israeli Jews commit the double crime of insisting upon being Jews and refusing to be sacrificial victims. They were okay, in the Left’s estimate, for about five minutes, back when Israel’s future was assumed to be one of low-impact kibbutz socialism. History went in a different direction, and today Israel has one of the world’s most sophisticated economies.
The problem with Israel and the problem with Jews in general, to say nothing of the problem with Western civilization is its success and its achievement. Israel and Jews did not succeed because they were constantly complaining about being oppressed and persecuted. They did not succeed by finding excuses for repeated failures. They put it behind them and got down to work.
Williamson explains it well:
Throw the Jews out of Spain, and they thrive abroad. Send them to the poorest slums in New York, and those slums stop being slums. Keep them out of the Ivy League and watch NYU become a world-class institution inspired by men such as Jonas Salk, son of largely uneducated Polish immigrants. Put the Jewish state in a desert wasteland and watch it bloom, first with produce and then with technology. Israel today has more companies listed on NASDAQ than any other country except the United States and China. The economy under Palestinian management? Olives and handicrafts, and a GDP per capita that barely exceeds that of Sudan.
That is why the Palestinians hate Israel. Its success makes them look like especially miserable failures.
Israel isn’t my country, but it is my country’s ally, and it is impossible for a liberty-loving American to fail to admire what the Jewish state has done.
And that, of course, is why the Left wants to see the Jewish state exterminated.