Liberals Can’t Be Silent As the Left Incites Anti-Semitism
By JONATHAN S. TOBIN

eHezi Bias / Bigotry, History, Israel, Judaism, People, Political Analysis, Politics 6 Comments

Jonathan S. Tobin is the Editor-in-Chief of JNS — Jewish News Syndicate. He is also a contributing writer for National Review and a columnist for the New York Post, Haaretz and other publications.

It’s time to connect the dots between a surge of Jew-hatred and progressives demonizing Israel. Equally important, Jewish liberals must stop treating “The Squad” as allies.

JNS.org – May 23, 2021 —  In recent days, there has been a surge of incidents in which supporters of the Palestinians and Hamas terrorists have engaged in hate crimes against Jews in cities across the nation. In New York and Los Angeles, London and Germany, Jews have been singled out for verbal and physical abuse. But unlike cases of extremist right-wing Jew-hatred, it’s not clear yet whether these attacks will generate much alarm in a community that is usually ready to sound the alarm about anti-Semitism at the drop of a hat. Nor has there been an effort on the part of those who are nominally tasked with defending the American Jews, such as the Anti-Defamation League, to ponder who or what is fomenting this sort of hatred.

That’s disappointing because the identity of those encouraging the demonization of the Jewish state and legitimizing the hate being directed at American Jews is not exactly a secret.

US Reps Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) and Ilhan Omar (D-MN) hold a news conference after Democrats in the US Congress moved to formally condemn President Donald Trump’s attacks on the four minority congresswomen on Capitol Hill in Washington, US, July 15, 2019. Photo: Reuters / Erin Scott..

Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) and the newest member of “The Squad,” Cori Bush (D-Miss.), all took to the floor of Congress last week to falsely accuse Israel of “war crimes” and being an “apartheid state.” Their diatribes there and elsewhere, including on social media, have helped create an atmosphere where hatred for Israel has become not merely fashionable, but obligatory for many on the left.

Of course, they and their fellow travelers on the left and in the media deny being anti-Semites, although Omar and Tlaib are supporters of the anti-Israel BDS movement and have promoted memes of Jew-hatred.

Is it unfair to link the leftist “Squad,” whose numbers have grown in the current Congress from the original quartet, to anti-Semitic attacks?

There’s little doubt that their liberal Democratic allies think so. Some Jews defended Omar and Tlaib against credible charges of anti-Semitism when they were first called to account for claiming that congressional support for Israel was being bought by American Jews (“It’s all about the Benjamins”). A Democratic Party intimidated by its left-wing base refused to censure them. They were treated as heroines and victims of unfair abuse by former President Donald Trump and his supporters, fawned over by late-night comedians (some of whom now repeat their lies about Israel) and put on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine. The notion of left-wing anti-Semitism was itself treated as a Republican talking point rather than a stark reality.

Others told us not to pay too much attention to them because they were merely backbench members of Congress, and said the focus on their statements was just media hype or rooted in racism. Any attempt to connect the dots between their anti-Zionist incitement and acts of anti-Semitism was considered gutter politics.

That’s in marked contrast to the way much of organized American Jewry worked hard trying to connect Trump to anti-Semitic extremists on the far-right during his time in office. Though Trump was the greatest friend Israel had ever had in the White House, had many Jews among his inner circle of advisers and appointees, as well as having a Jewish son-in-law, daughter and grandchildren, liberal Jews treated accusations of anti-Semitism lodged against Trump as not so much a point for discussion as a proven fact. That was seen in his response to the 2017 neo-Nazi march in Charlottesville, Va., which was taken out of context and then treated as proof-positive that he had incited tragedies like the synagogue shootings in Pittsburgh and Poway, Calif.

Even normally responsible voices on anti-Semitism were prepared to saythat there was nothing wrong with calling Trump a Nazi. But when it comes to figures on the left who are amplifying anti-Semitic memes and promoting talking points about Israel right out of the International Holocaust Remembrance Association’s widely accepted working definition of anti-Semitism, all we hear from liberal thought leaders and organizations is crickets.

The reasons are not hard to figure out.

The first is that many of those who have been targeted by anti-Semites are easily identified as Jews because they are visibly Orthodox. When a spate of anti-Semitic attacks occurred on Orthodox Jews in the Greater New York area by African-American assailants in 2019, their plight didn’t interest many in the non-Orthodox community who either felt immune from such threats or were hesitant to say anything about attitudes in the black population that led to these incidents. Ever since the renewed focus on racism after the death of George Floyd last year, it’s likely that reluctance is even greater among those who themselves feel vulnerable to charges of “white privilege.”

The other is that many left-wing Jews are more ready to blame Israel for defending itself against terrorism—as thousands of missiles and rockets were launched from Gaza at Israeli civilians—than they are to focus on the lies being told about it being an apartheid state or an oppressor of innocent Palestinians. The acceptance by so many liberals of the illiberal ideas behind intersectionality, critical race theory and talk of “white privilege” associated with the Black Lives Matter movement has been readily applied to Israel.

So pervasive is the success of the calumnies hurled at Israel that many Jews are either willing to go along with them or are unwilling to connect the dots to those promoting these lies for political or ideological reasons. For many progressives, the rights of Jews to their ancient homeland—and even their right to defend themselves against terrorism and groups like Hamas dedicated to the destruction of the Jewish state and the slaughter of its people—are readily erased in the name of solidarity with intersectional allies.

But when prominent figures in minority communities and much-admired politicians signal that Israel and its Jewish supporters are responsible for human-rights abuses and have commandeered American taxpayer dollars in order to finance such alleged crimes, what do you think will happen? How can anyone be surprised when some of those who listen to them are willing to act out their hatred for Jews?

That is why it is long past time for Jewish Democrats to not merely register polite disagreement with the left-wing activist base of their party and its standard-bearers—if they’re even prepared to do even that—but to call them out for their legitimization of anti-Semitism. They need to recognize that the ideologies underpinning the Black Lives Matter movement have given a permission slip not merely to theoretical anti-Semitic attitudes, but to real-life anti-Semitic violence. They need to realize that treating these radicals as allies is no longer acceptable. They must cut ties with them, just as they demand that conservatives have nothing to do with right-wing extremists. What’s more, they need to understand that if the lies of these Israel-haters are not merely answered but properly labeled as Jew-hatred, then we may well see an even greater surge in incidents that can no longer be ignored or minimized.

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Jonathan S. Tobin is editor in chief of JNS—Jewish News Syndicate. Follow him on Twitter at: @jonathans_tobin.

eHeziLiberals Can’t Be Silent As the Left Incites Anti-Semitism
By JONATHAN S. TOBIN

Comments 6

  1. I’m a Jewish woman. I have people speak to me in Italian and Spanish. Greek men seem to see me as Greek and start speaking in their native tongue. I haven’t a clue as to what any of these people are saying. I do know that there are many Jewish haters since they spill their hate in public with friends, family or strangers. I over hear them, they aren’t aware I’m Jewish. What do I do, what do I say? Nothing. Why feed evil with evil? G_d will take care of us as Jews.

    1. Ilhan Omar and the other Squad members bashing Israel are thriving because calling out people as anti-Semites has been careless and cloying. Most of the goyim think Jews are crying wolf when they screech about Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib and the rest

  2. you are way off base..the anti semitism that has arisen in the United States is a direct result of the words and actions of Donald J Trump….at Charlottesville when he said “THERE ARE FINE PEOPLE ON BOTH SIDES”…when the alt right unite the right marchers were chanting “Jews shall not replace us” Trump’s continuing effort to placate US far right wingers has opened the door to anti semitism in this country “like you have never seen before” Groups like the 3per centers, oath takers, preach anti semitic memes which are backed up by Qanon…see marjorie taylor greene recently elected to the congress from Georgia…these far right hate groups believe in Jewish lasers coming from outer space causing wild fires…they believe that George Soros is funding left wing radical groups including BLM and that Jewish Bankers like the Rothchilds are planning to run the world…The ADL reports more than 2100 acts of assault vandalism and harassment last year the highest since they began tracking it in 1979. In this regard the author fails to distinguish between having an anti Israeli government position and being anti semitic..they are not the same…In fact Bibi Netanyahu has done everything possible to retain power by making deals with ultra right wing Orthodox political parties in order to totally oust Palestinians from the lands they now live in..This GOD motivated territorial grab is undemocratic…and serves only to pour salt on the open wound that the Israeli Palestinian conflict has revealed. It is not the “squad” that is anti semitic…they are anti the present political position taken by the government of Israel..and so is Bernie Sanders among other notable American Jews who also oppose the occupation and oppression taking place on the west bank and in gaza. The groups that should trouble the author include but are not limited to ARYAN NATIONS, KKK, MILITIAS, NATIONAL ALLIANCE, SKINHEADS,WHITE ARYAN RESISTANCE, and others all of which the ADL has categorized as NEO NAZI…political positions do NOT indicate a bias towards or against any religion including judaism…However being against the Jews as a group, blaming them for supporting racial justice or being in the banking business or media business is vile and that should be the target of any discussion of antisemitism in America

    1. The Jewish people are unfortunately once again the canaries in the coal mines. From someone far more experienced than me:

      Starting with the attack on Trump’s inauguration, antiracist violence has become omnipresent in the Trump era. Though only a handful of its actions drew more than passing notice from the largely sympathetic press—those in Portland, Berkeley, and Charlottesville—a partial list of the cities where Antifa thugs have assaulted peaceful marchers and otherwise inflicted mayhem include: Kansas City, Saint Paul, Minneapolis, New Orleans, Washington, Berkeley, Laguna Beach, Sacramento, Tucson, Portland, Milwaukee, Richmond, Atlanta, Asheville, Lexington, Phoenix, Chicago, Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Seattle, Vancouver (Washington), Tacoma and Cambridge, Massachusetts. Many “actions” were on college campuses, and are excluded from this count.
      Antifa remains hard to define by traditional terminology. It is not a gang, a political party, or even a national collective. Rather than a readily identifiable organization with a distinct purpose, vision, and leadership, it is a loose confederation of far-left, semi-autonomous cells and individuals in an open-source movement. In a Fifth Generation Warfare environment, these entities unite for specific actions and disband, often connecting only over social media. This phenomenon not only spans the United States, but extends to like-minded groups abroad. Antifa originated in Europe, and its members are united by vaguely articulated but passionately held core beliefs: a commitment to “social justice” in its fluid varieties and an equally intense hatred of capitalism and its practitioners. Its activity ebbs and flows, but its goals remain the same.
      Antifa preaches international revolution. Like their comrades elsewhere, the Americans in its ranks have no regard for national sovereignty. Their loyalty is to the religions of anti-capitalism, “social justice,” and, now, fiercely “woke” identity victimology. Crimethinc, one of Antifa’s most popular websites, promotes violence worldwide and has posted videos celebrating the burning of Chilean churches.
      I’ve reported both online and on the One America News Network (OANN) about the connections between Antifa and the Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK-YPG), designated a terrorist group by the U.S. government in the 1970s, and responsible for hundreds of bombings, and between 30,000 and 40,000 deaths. PKK has drawn as many as five hundred Antifa fighters to Syria from Western nations, including America. One was arrested after coming home and participating in Seattle’s Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (CHAZ), and later, planning to attack the Florida capital on inauguration day 2021.
      For years I infiltrated Antifa meetings. Through this, I came to understand Antifa’s structure, organization, and strategic intent. Like the Taliban, Antifa operates through localized cells, and both employ an organizing principle intelligence professionals refer to as TTP (Tactics, Techniques and Procedures), which allows for procedures in one place to be followed in another with a minimum of direct coordination. These groups are comprised of innumerable individual groups and operate under a variety of names. Most similarly, despite being small, Antifa’s reach is vast, extending to cities and towns across the country.
      Perhaps most chilling is its adherents’ absolute confidence in the righteousness of their cause and their certainty about its eventual triumph. Like the Taliban—and those behind The Terror in Revolutionary France or the Bolsheviks in Russia—it is a belief system that allows not the slightest reflection or hesitation. The most extreme measures and heinous acts are acceptable when done on its behalf.
      In fact, they are so secure in their beliefs (and so confident of not being fully exposed in today’s media and civic environment) that they rarely bother to hide them. A year before the summer 2020 riots, a New York Antifa member identifying herself as Maura blithely explained to a CNN reporter why she and her comrades felt no hesitation wreaking havoc on private property—and against those with whom they disagree. “Violence against windows,” she scoffed, “there’s no such thing as violence against windows. Windows don’t have—they’re not persons. And even when they are persons, the people we fight back against, they are evil. They are the living embodiment, they are the second coming of Hitler.”
      Antifa’s leading academic apologist Mark Bray, an assistant philosophy professor and author of Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook (2017), the widely-cited true-believing authority on Antifa’s beliefs and tactics, once noted that Antifa adherents “have no allegiance to liberal democracy… They’re anarchists and communists who are way outside the traditional conservative-liberal spectrum.”
      That view is evident in Antifa’s online TTP guide, Black Bloc Tactics Communique, which mocks pacifism and sets out Antifa’s immediate goals:
      Increased organization of street fighting force.
      Regular physical training in between actions.
      Facilitation of pre-emptive strikes.
      Preparation for eventuality of intensified state oppression and the shifting of the movement of social protest into that of direct social revolution.
      In short, what we’ve seen to date is only a prelude

    2. When Trump referred to “fine people on both sides,” a few moments later in the same interview he says:

      “…and I’m not talking about the neo-Nazis and the white nationalists — because they should be condemned totally. But you had many people in that group other than neo-Nazis and white nationalists. Okay?”

      1. Jewish Democrats, Biden, and Pelosi will not be vociferously repudiating The Squad for its putative “anti-Semitism”. A big majority of Americans do not buy the Big Lie that the Congresswomen are Jew haters of any kind. Only Jews have convinced themselves of that delusion.

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