May 28, 2021

Anti-Semitism

Editor's Note: We’ll be taking some time to remember the fallen over the Memorial Day weekend, and will be back in full swing Wednesday morning. Pro tip if you’re visiting family: mentioning The Flip Side is a great way to diffuse tense political debates!

“U.S. President Joe Biden condemned violence against Jewish communities in the United States and abroad on Monday after a string of attacks… ‘The recent attacks on the Jewish community are despicable, and they must stop. I condemn this hateful behavior at home and abroad — it’s up to all of us to give hate no safe harbor,’ Biden wrote in a Twitter post.” Reuters

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From the Left

The left condemns anti-Semitic violence and stresses that criticism of the Israeli government is not necessarily anti-Semitic.

“The most vexing aspect of such acts of hatred is their persistence. Even bigots have a right to their soapbox in this country, but we can counter their message by better informing their potential audience. Experts suggest that the best antidote to racism is education, exposure and inclusion — the more people see and understand one another and their differences, the less likely they are to act on their prejudices…

“In truth, we can’t end antisemitism any more than we can end anti-Black and anti-Asian racism. But we all must work harder to reduce it and to recognize that society doesn’t function for all when so many have to constantly look over their shoulders.”
Editorial Board, Los Angeles Times

The CEO and National Director of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) writes, “To prevent these attacks and turn the tide… We want to see the President fill the vacant office of the White House Jewish liaison. We hope the Administration will work with Congress to increase the non-profit security grants program so we effectively can protect houses of worship. And we implore Secretary Blinken to appoint a Special Envoy at the State Department to monitor and combat global antisemitism…

“There is ample space in public life for legitimate forms of criticism of the Jewish state as is the case with any other country… But you cross the line when you demonize Israelis and Zionism; delegitimize the Jewish state and its very existence; and hold Israel to double standards in comparison to other countries…

“Just as we have asked partisans on the political right to speak out unequivocally against right-wing extremists who sought to harm Jews and other minorities, we now want to see partisans on the political left speak out unequivocally against left-wing extremists seeking to harm Jews and spread hate.”
Jonathan A. Greenblatt, Forward

“Israel is the self-proclaimed ‘nation-state of the Jewish people.’ That has been added to the country’s basic law (the Israeli equivalent of a constitution). The Israeli Declaration of Independence also promises that the new nation ‘would open the gates of the homeland wide to every Jew.’… But conflating Israel with Judaism — and Israelis with Jews — is unfair and leads to tropes about dual national loyalties…

“Obviously, antisemitism exists in the Israeli-Palestinian discourse… [But] In the past few days, as more and more incidents were reported, I was heartened by the many Palestinians who took to social media to condemn antisemitism. One tweeted, ‘Our struggle is for justice, liberty, and life and it can’t be tainted by hatred.’… The freedom and safety of Jewish Israelis and the freedom and safety of Christian and Muslim Palestinians are not mutually exclusive — in fact, they are secured through co-existence.”
Abraham Gutman, NBC News Think

“Are Israel and Jewishness often conflated? Yes. Do some people who critique Israel make antisemitic remarks? Sure (though we could also note that the same could be said of some people who purport to stand with Israel). Have some taken Israeli government policy and mass protests against it as an excuse to attack random Jews and Jewish houses of worship and Jewish shops? It certainly seems that way…

“But that is about them, the antisemites, not about the call for Palestinian rights, and not about progressive Jews, for whom speaking out against the military or government or police or practices of another country—even, yes, the only Jewish country—is perfectly consistent with speaking out against antisemitism. Both are about creating a future in which everyone is afforded dignity.”
Emily Tamkin, Slate

From the Right

The right condemns anti-Semitic violence and calls on the left to more strongly denounce anti-Semitism.

The right condemns anti-Semitic violence and calls on the left to more strongly denounce anti-Semitism.

“In recent years it has become an article of faith on the progressive left that anti-Zionism is not anti-Semitism and that it’s slander to assume that someone who hates Israel also hates Jews. Not everyone got the memo

“Not the people who, waving Palestinian flags and chanting ‘Death to Jews,’ according to a witness, assaulted Jewish diners at a Los Angeles sushi restaurant. Not the people who threw fireworks in New York’s diamond district. Not the people who brutally beat up a man wearing a yarmulke in Times Square. Not the people who drove through London slurring Jews and yelling, ‘Rape their daughters.’ Not the people who gathered outside a synagogue in Germany shouting slurs. Not the people who, at a protest in Brussels, chanted, ‘Jews, remember Khaybar. The army of Muhammad is returning.’…

“In this storm of hate, political leaders such as Mayor Eric Garcetti of Los Angeles, President Biden and Prime Minister Boris Johnson of Britain have issued appropriate statements of condemnation… But if there’s been a massive online campaign of progressive allyship with Jews, I’ve missed it. If corporate executives have sent out workplace memos expressing concern for the safety of Jewish employees, I’ve missed it. If academic associations have issued public letters denouncing the use of anti-Semitic tropes by pro-Palestinian activists, I’ve missed them. It’s a curious silence.”
Bret Stephens, New York Times

“Plenty of protesters may initially be drawn to the notion of supporting Palestinian civilians. However, these gatherings carry a strong current of violent antisemitism…

“We should demand more leadership against these injustices. Law enforcement should prosecute antisemitic hate crimes to the fullest extent possible under the law. American Jews must think seriously about personal security. Other Americans should educate themselves about antisemitism so that they can better recognize and help combat it.”
Melissa Langsam Braunstein, Washington Examiner

Regarding statements from progressive politicians denouncing both anti-semitism and islamophobia together, “[this] formulation is the left-wing equivalent of some righties dismissing the slogan ‘black lives matter’ by saying ‘all lives matter.’ It’s true that all lives matter, just as it’s true that violence against Jews and against Muslims is wrong. But in both cases, a minority that faces unique risks from a history of persecution is confronted by opponents seeking to diminish that uniqueness for political reasons.”
Allahpundit, Hot Air

“This conflation of antisemitism with Islamophobia is more malevolent than it appears… Their goal is also to deny outright that there is a particularly hateful strain of anti-Jewish ideology in pro-Palestinian advocacy. This is the movement whose charters — those of the PLO and of Hamas — originally called for the destruction of Israel…

“Some have said that there has been a rise in Islamophobia too, so why not call out both forms of hatred? But there are actually no data to indicate any noticeable rise in anti-Muslim hate crimes, whereas anti-Jewish hate crimes have skyrocketed (according to the NYPD, there has been one anti-Muslim attack in Q1 of this year compared with 27 anti-Jewish attacks)…

“And even if anti-Muslim hate crimes had risen, these same members of Congress showed they understood the need to focus on a particular hatred especially when it rises meteorically. We got #StopAsianHate from the same crowd that gave us #NoMuslimBan and #NoToTransphobia. But no #StopJewHate was offered.”
Dov Hikind, National Review

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