Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Anti-Semitism Rising on the Left

Once upon a time anti-Semitism was confined to the right wing. In the minds of many liberals it still is. Unfortunately, such liberals are living in a time warp. They fail to see the resurgence of anti-Semitism in the Democratic Party and the black community.

What does it mean? The deeper psychological meaning is that when cultures fail they sometimes seek scapegoats. Since the Obama presidency did little to improve the lives of black Americans, some leaders of the black community have chosen to blame it on the Jews. Ignore the fact that Jewish voters strongly supported Obama. When you need a scapegoat, go after the Jews.

Victor Davis Hanson tracks its advent to the time of the Vietnam counterculture, where radical leftists began to see solidarity with Palestinian terrorists. The latter were considered part of the vanguard of the revolution against Western capitalism and imperialism and colonialism:

The new form of the old bias grew most rapidly on the 1960s campus and was fueled by a number of leftist catalysts. The novel romance of the Palestinians and corresponding demonization of Israel, especially after the 1967 Six-Day War, gradually allowed former Jew-hatred to be cloaked by new rabid and often unhinged opposition to Israel. In particular, these anti-Semites fixated on Israel’s misdemeanors and exaggerated them while excusing and downplaying the felonies of abhorrent and rogue nations.

Indeed, evidence of the new anti-Semitism was that the Left was neutral, and even favorable, to racist, authoritarian, deadly regimes of the then Third World while singling out democratic Israel for supposed humanitarian crimes. By the late 1970s, Israelis and often by extension Jews in general were demagogued by the Left as Western white oppressors. Israel’s supposed victims were romanticized abroad as exploited Middle Easterners. And by extension, Jews were similarly exploiting minorities at home….

The new anti-Semitism that grew up in the 1960s was certainly in part legitimized by the rise of overt African-American bigotry against Jews (and coupled by a romantic affinity for Islam). It was further nursed on old stereotypes of cold and callous Jewish ghetto storeowners (e.g., “The Pawnbroker” character), and expressed boldly in the assumption that black Americans were exempt from charges of bias and hatred.

Here Hanson makes a crucial point. As a victim group, blacks were not held to the same standards. They were exempted from charges of bigotry. If you were black you could not be a bigot.

This allowed notable bigots like Tamika Mallory and Linda Sarsour to be lionized as leaders of the Women’s March. Among positive developments, we have lately seen that their flagrant anti-Semitism has cost the Women's March the support of groups like the DNC and the NAACP.

Anyway, leaders of the black community have long trafficked in anti-Semitism:

James Baldwin (“Negroes are anti-Semitic because they’re anti-white”), Louis Farrakhan (“When they talk about Farrakhan, call me a hater, you know what they do, call me an anti-Semite. Stop it. I am anti-termite. The Jews don’t like Farrakhan, so they call me Hitler. Well, that’s a great name. Hitler was a very great man”), Jesse Jackson (“Hymietown”), Al Sharpton (“If the Jews want to get it on, tell them to pin their yarmulkes back and come over to my house”), and the Reverend Jeremiah Wright (“The Jews ain’t gonna let him [Obama] talk to me”).

Note that Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton both ran as Democratic candidates for president. Sharpton officially visited the Obama White House more than 100 times, and Wright was the Obamas’ longtime personal pastor who officiated at the couple’s wedding and the baptism of their daughters and inspired the title of Obama’s second book.

We note that the election of Wright’s protégé, Barack Obama to the presidency legitimized anti-Semitism. If two decades at the feet of Wright did not register among American voters, they had clearly chosen to ignore blatant anti-Semitism. Some people imagine that Obama discarded twenty years of indoctrination with a twenty-minute speech and that he had been absent when Wright indulged in hate speech. Anyone who believes such a lie should be called out for flagrant stupidity.

Those who are still fighting the Revolution against capitalism have naturally been drawn toward Jew hatred. Jews are too successful to count as victims. They enjoy white privilege:

But the new, new anti-Semitism has added a number of subtler twists, namely that Jews are part of the old guard whose anachronistic standards of privilege block the emerging new constituency of woke Muslims, blacks, Latinos, and feminists.

And, Hanson astutely notes, the legitimization of visceral and irrational hatred of Trump has made it safe to be anti-Semitic:

Likewise, the generic invective against Trump — perhaps the most pro-Israel and pro-Jewish president of the modern era — as an anti-Semite and racist provides additional cover. Hating the supposedly Jew-hating Trump implies that you are not a Jew-hater yourself.

And also:

The new, new anti-Semites do not see themselves as giving new life to an ancient pathological hatred; they’re only voicing claims of the victims themselves against their supposed oppressors. The new, new anti-Semites’ venom is contextualized as an “intersectional” defense from the hip, the young, and the woke against a Jewish component of privileged white establishmentarians — which explains why the bigoted are so surprised that anyone would be offended by their slurs.

In a more subtle form, such anti-Semitism and hatred of Israel has infected the pages of the New York Times. Caroline Glick points out some of the more flagrant instances, beginning with the Times acting as the propaganda arm of Hezbollah:

Last month, the paper published a paean to Hezbollah, Iran’s Lebanese terror army, which controls Lebanon and remains the most powerful and dangerous terror organization in the world.

In an article ostensibly about Christmas celebrations in Beirut, the paper singled out Hezbollah for praise for its permissive stance on observing the Christian holy day.

Noting wistfully that “because of financial constraints,” the terror group ditched its past practice of dispatching a Santa to give out gifts in Christian neighborhoods, the Times lauded Hezbollah, which seeks the annihilation of world Jewry and has seeded terror cells across the globe, because it sent representatives to a Christmas concert sponsored by Iran.

The presence of Lebanese terror operatives at the festival, sponsored by their Iranian state sponsor, the Times cooed, “demonstrate Hezbollah’s inclusivity as a major political and military force in Lebanese society and … highlight its political alliances with Christian parties.”

It was not just a one-off incident. Glick continues to denounce the paper for promoting anti-Semitism:

What may be worse is the Times’ campaign to effectively disenfranchise American Jews. The paper undertakes this campaign by using its pages to legitimize antisemitism emanating from the left, delegitimize friends of Jews on the political right, and shame American Jews who stubbornly refuse to abandon Israel, or turn their back on Israel’s friends. These American Jews also impertinently notice the galloping Jew hatred on the political left.

This move by the Times is more dangerous because it is more difficult to criticize. It is easy to spot apologetics for terrorism. It is harder, and more controversial, to call the Times out for manipulating American Jews in the service of left-wing antisemites.

The Times’ influence operation against American Jews and American Jewish supporters of Israel is being carried out – conveniently enough — by its Jewish columnists. These writers run the gamut from far-leftists to neo-liberal former conservatives in the Never Trump camp.

Indeed. Glick calls them out for their anti-Israel bias. She begins with Michelle Goldberg, whose useful idiocy I have had occasion to highlight:

Far-left Times columnist Michele Goldberg has a prolific record of anti-Israel writing. So it wasn’t much of a surprise when, on December 8, she published an article arguing that it isn’t antisemitic to reject the Jewish people’s right to self-determination and political freedom in their homeland.

Goldberg insisted that the Jewish people’s right to self-determination is contingent on Israel’s satisfaction of the Palestinians’ demands and its appeasement of the left’s ever-expanding list of grievances. Israel is guilty of a raft of sins, she alleged — from failing to give the Palestinians a state (despite the fact that the Palestinians have rejected every offer of statehood Israel has put forward); to standing with right-wing European governments – which stand with Israel; to supporting President Donald Trump – who supports Israel; to cultivating good relations with Saudi Arabia – which is supposed to be the point of peace processes Goldberg and her comrades supposedly want to advance.

And then there is Bret Stephens, formerly editor if the Jerusalem Post. Stephens has often taken pro-Israeli positions. Now that he has joined the Times, he has dug in as a Never Trumper:. Stephens has argued that Trump's pro-Israeli stance is compromised by his failure to kowtow to Western European anti-Israeli elites.

Now a vocal member of the Never Trump clique, Stephens, who has abandoned several of his formerly held positions to advocate against the president, published an intellectually dubious article on December 26 titled “Donald Trump is bad for Israel.”

In it, Stephens insisted that all of Trump’s pro-Israel policies are basically meaningless. Moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem; scrapping the Obama administration’s nuclear deal with Iran; reinstating crippling economic sanctions on the Iranian regime; defunding the Palestinian Authority and UN agencies devoted to the perpetuation of Palestinian suffering and hatred for Israel — these are all meaningless gestures, by Stephens’s telling.

And whatever marginally positive effect these policies may have had on Israel’s international position pales in comparison to the damage Trump has allegedlycaused Israel through his failure to support what Stephens refers to as “the liberal international order against totalitarian states,” and his preference for “a purely transactional foreign policy based on the needs of the moment or the whims of the president.”

Stephens’s apparent purpose in publishing his column was to shame Jews who support Trump because of his friendship and support for Israel.

Finally, there is Jonathan Weisman, the Times’ deputy Washington editor, who wrote a news analysis explaining that Israeli and American Jews were about to break up. One might ask whose interest that would serve, but that would not be polite:

On January 4, the Times’ deputy Washington editor Jonathan Weisman published an essay titled, “American Jews and Israeli Jews are headed for a messy breakup.”

Although presented as a news analysis, Weisman’s article was really a threat against Israeli Jews and the American Jews who support them, and a diatribe against Judaism as it has been practiced for thousands of years.

Weisman first received national attention in September 2015 when he published a news analysis of lawmakers who opposed Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran. Weisman inserted a table in the analysis that highlighted the names of Jewish lawmakers who opposed the deal in yellow. He specifically categorized them as Jews. Also highlighted in yellow was the percentage of Jews residing in states and Congressional districts of lawmakers who opposed the nuclear deal.
Glick explains:

Following the 2016 presidential election, Weisman wrote a book which purported to be about anti-Semitism titled, (((Semitism))): Being Jewish in America in the Age of Trump.

Weisman did three things in his book. He used the presence of antisemitism on the right as a means to castigate the entire Republican party and conservative movement as antisemitic. He ignored and dismissed antisemitism on the Left. And finally, Weisman attacked Judaism, Jews who observe Judaism, and Jews who support Israel.

Weisman accused pro-Israel American Jews of disloyalty to America, arguing, “The American Jewish obsession with Israel has taken our eyes off not only the politics of our own country, the growing gulf between rich and poor, and the rising tide of nationalism but also our own grounding in faith.”

Weisman’s January 4 article in the Times was an amplification of the arguments he made in his book. Again he ignored left wing anti-Semitism. He regurgitated Goldberg’s allegations of Israeli moral infirmity. He defended Tlaib and Omar and their hatred for Israel. And thne, Weisman insisted that American Jewry should forget its ties to Jewish tradition and to the Jewish people and instead embrace an identity based entirely on leftist ideology and propaganda.

In his words, “American Jewry has been going its own way for 150 years, a drift that has created something of a new religion, or at least a new branch of one of the world’s most ancient faiths.”

Apparently, Weisman fears that American Jews will be tempted to join the Republican Party. He fears that they might not be willing to ignore the growing anti-Semitism in the Democratic Party. And he fears that they might understand that Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran was in the worst interests of Israel and America.

We cannot have that.


sestamibi said...

Jonathan Weisman shouldn't be concerned about Jews defecting to the GOP. Ain't never happened, despite dozens of such predictions over the last twenty years, and it ain't never gonna happen. As I've said all too many times here, if Hitler came back and were non-white, we'd be fighting for first place in line for the ovens/gas chambers.

On the other hand, given our rates of intermarriage and lack of fecundity (at least among our secular types), we have no doubt reached "peak Jew" in terms of political and economic influence. The Jewish population of the future will be far more Orthodox--a boutique religion and a curiosity characterized (by Lion of the Blogosphere) as a people who are poor, dress funny, and have lots of kids.

In the shorter term, the Democratic party is putting a lid on its own internal fissures. It will soon become apparent that it has no room for Eliot Engel, Jerry Nadler, and Nita Lowey on one hand, and Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar on the other.

Sam L. said...

"The deeper psychological meaning is that when cultures fail they sometimes seek scapegoats. Since the Obama presidency did little to improve the lives of black Americans, some leaders of the black community have chosen to blame it on the Jews."
BECAUSE, as WE ALL KNOW, the Jews are behind everything bad. Yup!

"The new, new anti-Semites’ venom is contextualized as an “intersectional” defense..."
"Intersectional": Like, totally BOGUS, mannnnnnnnn.

"Last month, the paper published a paean to Hezbollah, Iran’s Lebanese terror army, which controls Lebanon and remains the most powerful and dangerous terror organization in the world." One more reason to despise, detest, and distrust the obviously anti-American NYT.

"Stephens has argued that Trump's pro-Israeli stance is compromised by his failure to kowtow to Western European anti-Israeli elites." Can you say, "This is insane", boys and girls? Yes, I KNEW you could.

"Weisman accused pro-Israel American Jews of disloyalty to America,..." What a schmuck! (I think I have that right. Editorial assistance gratefully accepted.)

Walt said...

Though it's become increasingly blatant of late, the Times (run for decades by the Jewish Ochs) has for a very long time seemed to bend over backwards to not side with Israel or, as crucially, to not identify with or as Jews.

Anonymous said...

The leftist American Jews won't drift to the Republican party. They would lose all of their friends, family, social life, status, everything. Any evidence, no matter how solid, of anti-Semitism in the Democratic party is summarily dismissed and thrown in the trash. (I am Jewish.)

Kansas Scout said...

Good post. It's alarming to see this happening and important people being silent about it. Its pandering to black racism. Arab oil money pervades our institutions and corporations. Where are the American Jews? why are they silent? (Except you and a few others)