Mariners of antiquity avoided venturing too far asea for fear of falling off the face of the world. They thought the world was flat, and so too do those who think politics can be mapped on a single dimension from left to right. Both our planet and our politics are circuitous. Setting sail into the uncharted extremity of one end of the spectrum will bring you to the other. The shortest route from Stalin to Hitler would scarcely require an overnight bag.
A daring piece by Thomas Chatterton Williams reveals the narrow gulf between the indentitarianism of Richard Spencer and the identity politics of progressive intellectual Ta-Nehisi Coates. “Both sides eagerly reduce people to abstract color categories,” Williams writes, “while those of us searching for gray areas and common ground get devoured twice.” Spencer reasons this bodes well for the future of his cause, confident “leftists will be the easiest ones to flip.”
Formerly respectable liberal publications like The New Republic and The Atlantic sully their reputations with op-eds hurling baseless allegations of anti-Semitism at Donald Trump, while they fail contemptibly at keeping their own house in order.
While the liberal intelligentsia has been asleep at the helm, the political center has been pulled sharply leftward. A Rockefeller Republican like Donald Trump is now labeled extreme for holding positions on, say, immigration that are in line with those of former President Clinton.
Lifelong liberal Democrat Alan Dershowitz is regularly showered with brickbats from his left flank for purportedly scoring on his own net, simply because he’s stayed put while the goalposts were surreptitiously shifted.
The leftward forced march has pulled the center perilously close to the outstretched tentacles of anti-Semitism.
The boycott, divest, and sanction (BDS) movement, whose stated purpose is the economic strangulation of Israel, has become central to left-wing activism.
Linda Sarsour, the darling of millennial progressives, in spite (or perhaps because) of her vocal hatred of Israel, was elevated to co-chair of the star-studded 2017 Women’s March. Ironic, given her equally vocal support for Sharia law which, in practice, subjugates women.
Hand in Hand with the Nation of Islam
Then comes the “Farrakhan problem.”
Last year, the Democratic National Committee narrowly and mercifully avoided electing Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) as its chairman, a man whose sordid past includes the adulation and public defense of Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam.
For context, the Nation of Islam’s “prophet,” Elijah Mohammad, once found a kindred spirit in George Lincoln Rockwell, founder of the American Nazi Party, because of their shared hatred for the Jews and support for racial segregation.
Farrakhan has been a fervent peddler of anti-Jewish conspiracy theories for decades. When disparaged as the “black Hitler,” he bore the comparison proudly, calling Hitler a “great man,” who “raised the German people up from the ashes,” which Farrakhan likened to his own purported raising-up of African-Americans.
If presented with unlabeled transcripts of Farrakhan’s anti-Jewish rhetoric and those of David Duke, one would struggle to distinguish who authored which. Yet, a photograph recently surfaced of then-Senator Barack Obama hobnobbing with Farrakhan—evidently a regular Democrat pastime.
Under political pressure in 2006, facing a tight election race, Rep. Ellison backpedaled his Farrakhan ties, claiming he did “not adequately scrutinize his positions and statements” before repeatedly defending them in print. However, Ellison evidently doubled-back on this retraction in 2013, when he, along with two other Democratic congressmen, attended a private dinner with Farrakhan hosted by Iranian president Hassan Rouhani.
Sidling Up to Iran
Bringing us to the Iran problem.
Iran’s official position on Israel, endorsed by its “supreme leader,” Ayatollah Khamenei, at whose pleasure Rouhani serves, is succinctly summarized in a 2012 Khamenei-sponsored report claiming to provide “jurisprudential justification” and strategic guidance on how to “kill all the Jews and annihilate Israel.”
Under Obama, diluted anti-Semitism poisoned the mainstream groundwater and tinged U.S. foreign policy. The United States turned a cold shoulder to Israel while it sidled up to Iran, and broke with the noble tradition of wielding its veto to shield Israel from hypocritical U.N. intimidation.
As the only multicultural liberal democracy in the Middle East, Israel is a natural Western ally. A fifth of its population is Muslim, who enjoy equality, religious freedom, and proportional representation. By contrast, Israel’s immediate neighbors, representing a combined population of 130 million, are host to 76 Jews, forced to worship in secret.
A two-state solution and lasting peace between Israel and Palestine, in exchange for the mere acknowledgment of Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state, is spat upon while the international left hoists the Palestinians to the apex of a meretricious hierarchy of victimhood—for which Israel is blamed, despite being largely at the blood-soaked hands of Hamas, Hezbollah, and the PLO.
The Left has bought the lie and, in so doing, wheeled the Trojan horse of anti-Semitic bigotry through the front door and into the living room.
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