Democrats • Donald Trump • Identity Politics • Israel • Political Parties • Post • Republicans • The Left

Are Jews Ready to Pass Over the Democrats?

Yeah, OK, bad pun. But a bit of shtick to open this column seemed appropriate.

The allegiance of so many Jews to the Democrats is a matter of long established faith. There I go again, start over…

As far as modern records show a plurality of Jews have not voted Republican since 1920 and that year it was only because a socialist split the Jewish vote. There have been times over the last century when they have hedged their bets as in Reagan 1980 with 39 percent, Ike in 1956 with 40 percent, and Hughes in 1916 with 45 percent. The GOP has never cracked the 50 percent mark with Jews. Is there anything that could affect that ongoing loyalty in the future?

Truth in advertising: I grew up Jewish, although I converted to Roman Catholicism in my mid-30s. I am still proud of my Jewish heritage, however, and I still retain many of the intellectual and cultural habits I picked up in several years of Hebrew School before my Bar Mitzvah and in the decades that followed before I converted.

That being said . . .

Yes, possibly. Three things could nudge Jews away from the Democrats.

First, the Trump Administration’s strong pro-Israel policy. That’s good for several polling points and several more points of covert support. Second, as Trump is so clearly pro-Israel, the Democrats go institutionally anti-Israel and possibly even anti-Semitic.

And third, demographics. The growing numbers of intermarriages of Jews outside of the faith and Jews who are religiously indifferent also mixes up the political cocktail. This makes many of the next generation possibly not as tied to Jewish political habits and tradition. Against that is the simultaneous rise in numbers of Orthodox Jews who are usually more politically conservative than their Reform and Conservative brethren.

Donald Trump’s presidency has been philosemitic and solidly pro-Israel. Not even Reagan or Bush the Younger, both pro-Israel presidents, can match his record. Moving the embassy to Jerusalem, strong ties with Netanyahu and Likud, and an overt hostility to the Palestinian Authority and regional foes of the Jewish state ranks him as the friendliest U.S. president in Israeli history. Inside the Trump White House the story is no different.

Daughter Ivanka and her husband are Orthodox Jews. Both are close advisors to Trump. Jews fill cabinet slots and other vital posts. You would think that on these facts alone, and the Israeli relationship, Jews would be flocking over to the GOP and Trump in droves. Yet they are not. Oh, he’s gaining points, to be sure, but nowhere near a majority, as prior conditioning takes precedence.

“Since the Jewish people came to Ellis Island, the party they have identified with most often is the Democrats,” says Alexandra Levine, national treasurer for #Jexit, a group trying to lead Jews out of Democrat bondage and into the GOP promised land. “The problem is the party has changed from the party of Truman and JFK. That party is possibly gone forever.”

The lady has a point. Which brings us to the Democrats.

One does not have to be a Talmudic scholar to understand the consequences of the words of influential Democrats such as Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.). Their casual anti-Semitism is not only tolerated but also encouraged by modern Democrats. This was heralded several decades earlier by the conversion of the entire global Left to a virulent strain of anti-Semitism as evidenced by their rabid policies and bigoted statements over Israel. One look at the British Labour Party’s very recent controversy on this question shines a light on that contention.

Though some Democrat bigfoots have remained publicly pro-Israel (Elizabeth Warren is an exception) neither do they slap down loons like Omar and Tlaib when their anti-Semitism emerges. Jews are rightly concerned about this, as sensible modern Jewish thinking has it that there are only two places left in the world Jews can feel safe: the United States and Israel. If the leftist wingnut crowd in the Democratic Party gains power, by sheer seniority and aging if nothing else, then that very short list of nations is reduced by one.

An ironic fact of the matter, however, is that there are leaders of the anti-Israel U.S. and global Left who have been and are ethnic Jews, prompting all sorts of tinfoil helmet theories regarding the so-called “Worldwide Jewish Conspiracy,” Protocols of the Elders of Zion, and the lean brisket at Herschel’s in Philly.

I mean, it’s really lean.

I digress.

In the United States the J Street crowd of Vichy Jews showcases an appeasement attitude towards evil and the enemies of Israel not limited to Jews. In their case it goes past mere cowardice and, if one truly regards them as concerned about Israel, it borders on suicidal. You’d think history has shown Jews that acquiescence to threats and violence against them only leads to mass murder. J Street disregards such common sense and remind me of the Jews who entered the showers of Treblinka clutching their World War I Iron Crosses.

A question arises here. When does legitimate criticism of Israel in a purely political sense (which is possible as the Israeli state, as any other state, is far from perfect) cross into anti-Semitism and an irrational hatred of Jews? I would contend there is a line, perhaps thinish, between the two. I’m not saying that every utterance not in keeping with the Likud party line is written by Goebbels. What I am saying is that if one accepts that Israel is a Jewish state comprised mainly of Jews and is the incarnation of millennia of Jewish hopes and aspirations then an overheated animosity towards it may bespeak something other than a simple political bone to pick.

This is certainly true of the Left, which sees Israel as something akin to a Western colonial outpost in a sea of blameless Arab victims of Israeli brutality. The historical record means nothing to them. To use Israel as a hammer to beat the West is their strategic motivation.

Will these factors draw Jews away from the Democrats? Yes, to a point. The following factors may do much more in a relative sense, as they highlight the definition of who is a Jew, who remains a Jew, and who is not a Jew.

According to #Jexit’s Levine, only 41 percent of U.S. Jews, in a 2012 Gallup poll say religion is important to them in their daily life (I think the numbers have increased since then); 34 percent attend religious services monthly; 22 percent say they have no religion. Only 38 percent say their Jewish identity has anything to do with Judaism.

That last one is nonsensical.

This group of stats is a double-edged sword. Those who fall away from the faith by various means, most of them emanating from the cultural Left, will likely decrease the number of liberal Jews, as they will no longer be counted, strictly speaking, as Jews. Combine that with the burgeoning birth rates, tactical political conservatism, and cultural hard conservatism of Orthodox Jews (and low birth rates among secular Jews who still cling to Jewish identity) and the Orthodox share of the Jewish vote could increase exponentially in the years to come.

Trump, by my guess, will take over 30 percent of the Jewish vote in 2020. That would be up from 24 percent in 2016, according to the Pew Research Center. If this trend continues (and there is no foreseeable demographic barrier to it), then with the Orthodox relatively soon making up a majority of the Jewish electorate, Jewish majorities for the GOP could be a reality in two to three decades.

That is, if we define Judaism by religious practice and not ethnic heritage.

That road, bringing secular Jews into the political land of milk and honey, will be a much longer journey.

Photo Credit: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

Democrats • Foreign Policy • Israel • Middle East • Post

In the Mideast, Statecraft is Not Soulcraft

For the last decade, Iran has been a rising power in the greater Middle East. Tehran’s influence now stretches across the “Shia Crescent”—the half-moon-shaped part of the Mideast in which many Shiite Muslims reside (and therefore have a nominally religious allegiance to Iran). U.S. military operations in the region have only exacerbated Iran’s rise. Today, Iran has strategic positions in Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon, which threaten our allies in Israel, Qatar, Afghanistan, and Yemen.

To counter this growing threat, the United States has had to turn to its regional allies, primarily Israel and the Sunni Arab states led nominally by Saudi Arabia. Yet, to be truly effective in deterring and containing malign Iranian influence, the Sunni Arab states must build up militarily as well as connect with their one-time rival, Israel.

President Trump and his administration have fostered some of this since 2017, repairing the U.S. relationship with Israel and bolstering our strategic ties with Sunni Arab nations. But that progress is being jeopardized as a bipartisan group in Congress threatens to end arms sales to Saudi Arabia over human rights concerns.

In effect, Washington’s bipartisan fusion party has decided to replace viable statecraft in the Persian Gulf with what George F. Will famously called “soulcraft.” It is an embarrassment and it will lead to more deaths—probably American ones.

Building an Israeli-Sunni Arab Alliance
The Iranian threat has made for strange bedfellows. The last half of the 20th century was dominated by headlines of various Sunni Arab military alliances attempting to drive the Jews of Israel “into the sea.” Now, for the first time, there is real hope not only for a lasting peace between these two sides but for a genuine alliance to be born.

Much like NATO at the dawn of the Cold War, this alliance would be born out of real strategic needs: nations drawing closer to deter an ideological foe from threatening their interests and territory, while preserving and perhaps building upon what little stability exists in the region.

Even three years ago, this budding alliance would have been unthinkable.

During the Obama Administration, the United States marched down the feckless path of retrenchment and realignment away from Israel and the Sunni Arab powers and toward Iran.

Thanks to the consistent efforts of the Trump Administration, the Saudis have been reinforced with American weapons, training, and greater intelligence-sharing while the Israelis have been reassured that the United States is not looking for the chicken switch when it comes to Iran.

Saudi Arabia Does America’s Dirty Work
In Saudi Arabia, particularly, the internal political dynamic is finally working in America’s favor. Long a hotbed radical Islamist sentiment and jihadist activity, Saudi Arabia under the leadership of the 32-year-old, Georgetown University-educated Mohammed Bin Salman (MBS) has taken real steps toward modernity. While he is castigated for jailing political opponents, MBS has shepherded several reforms meant to make life better for the long-repressed women in his country. MBS is also striving to move Saudi Arabia from a single-resource petro-state to a leading modern economy in the region.

Western pundits excoriate MBS for the pace of his efforts (after all, MBS has merely allowed women to drive in the country—why aren’t they yet burning their bras?) What’s more, the political opponents MBS has jailed (and, at times, tortured or killed) have had deep ties to the jihadist communities throughout Saudi Arabia and the wider region.

Notably, Western elites appear incapable or unwilling to forgive MBS for his apparent role in the heinous slaughter of Islamist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Turkey. As gruesome as the murder was, it by no means stands out among the most horrific things that a Mideast state has done.

More importantly, though, Saudi Arabia under MBS is now serving U.S. geostrategic interests without question.

The Saudis have taken the lead in rolling back malign Iranian influence in both the Gulf sheikhdom of Qatar and in the ongoing Yemen civil war. Yemen has served as the festering wound in the inaptly named “Global War on Terror” since former President Obama declared his administration’s anti-terrorism campaign in that country a “success.”

After much neglect by Obama, Yemen had to endure the terror of Iranian-backed forces tearing through the Yemeni countryside and destabilizing the entire country. This occurred as Iran spread its reach across neighboring Iraq into Syria. Saudi Arabia acted quickly and decisively to prevent Yemen from falling completely into Iran’s orbit.

Statecraft Is Not Soulcraft
The conflict in Yemen has lasted years. And, since Bin Salman’s rise to power in Riyadh, the Saudis have renewed their struggle against the Iranian-back Houthi rebels with vigor.

Yet, in the United States, the threat of American retaliation against its ally persists out of concerns over human rights violations. Confusing statecraft with soulcraft, a bipartisan group of American political leaders have taken to the House and Senate Floors to decry Saudi excesses in their fight against the Iranian scourge in Yemen.

These politicians, who are more interested in making sure people know that they think the Saudis are not morally pure than in protecting real American interests, routinely threaten the vital military aid that the United States gives to the Saudis, demanding that MBS supplicate himself on the altar of Western ethical standards. This isn’t helpful.

Of course, the loss of innocent life in Yemen is detestable, just as was the death of Khashoogi. Such atrocities are also commonplace in the region, and Saudi Arabia is hardly alone among Arab nations in spilling civilian blood in the course of fighting its enemies. Nobody passes the purity test.

Saudi resistance to Iran in Yemen has prevented an Iranian encirclement of the Gulf states. Threatening the military readiness of Saudi Arabia in order to display one’s purportedly superior morality makes the situation in the region worse by denying vital equipment and assistance to forces that are acting in America’s interest.

What’s more, Saudi Arabia’s military is primed to fight against terrorists in their own land. Bolstering their capabilities so as to build a credible threat to a rival state, like Iran, on a battlefield outside of their territory, like Yemen, means that their military will make mistakes—and that those mistakes will lead to many innocent people dying. But, the alternative is that we keep Saudi Arabia down, they lose their fight against Iran, and we either have to accept Iranian hegemony in the region or commit more of our forces to yet another distant battlefield.

These are not tenable solutions.

Far better, in this instance, for Washington to back Riyadh in its efforts both to modernize its society and military while they resist Iran, rather than blow up a valuable alliance because Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.) want to look good by demonstrating their “higher” morality.

This isn’t a moral issue. This is about preserving U.S. interests in the region.

Photo Credit: Xinhua/Nidal Eshtayeh via Getty Images

Donald Trump • Israel • Post • Religion and Society

What Donald Trump and King David Have in Common

Around the middle of Barack Obama’s second term, I began to hear from several ministers that their congregations (of different denominations) had begun to spontaneously and fervently pray for our country.

These were not the generic “God Bless America” prayers; they were heartfelt anguish over America’s drift from God’s Truth and way, begging for God’s mercy and grace to give us another chance.

Like the old Anglican general confession, they were admissions that “we as sheep, have gone astray” and “Lord have mercy upon us!”

There seemed to be a recognition that our country’s inexorable departure from divine standards of morality—fidelity, honesty, decency, responsibility—had now come home to roost in broken marriages, shattered families, damaged parenthood, shady business practices, and political corruption. Moral breakdown, in turn, created much needless suffering: crime, drug addiction, mental illness, and a rising suicide rate, especially among the young. We seemed on the brink of losing everything: social order, the rule of law, freedom of religion, any meaning of happiness. Millions of Christians were crying out to God to save us from this destruction, perversion, depravity, indecency, profanity, hopelessness and pain.

Then Donald Trump was elected president. Some have suggested that he was God’s answer to those prayers. Others have regarded that suggestion as blasphemous and dangerous. I find the answer in another traditional prayer in the Anglican Liturgy: that “God will answer our prayers in the time and in the way that is best for us.”

Trump may seem an unlikely vessel of God’s providence and grace. But it may help to understand how this could be the case by looking at the Biblical character that I think he most resembles: King David of Israel.

David was an unlikely Leader of God’s nation, but he was chosen by the Almighty for some very specific reasons: he defended his people’s honor and God’s ways. His very human moral failings caused him great pain, and although he was able to establish his nation, God did not let him (because of his sins) build the temple.

President Trump once said how much he appreciated the tremendous support of Evangelical Christians, “even though I don’t deserve it.” Both remind me of God’s promise to Abram and his people Israel: “I will bless those who bless you, and curse those who curse you.”

David was an unlikely candidate for king of Israel. When the Prophet Samuel came to anoint one of Jesse’s sons for the kingship, David wasn’t even there—he was out tending his sheep. But David had done something as a shepherd that qualified him to be king. When his flock had been attacked by ferocious animals (lions and bears) he single-handedly and fearlessly defended his sheep. This is the first duty of a ruler: to protect his people. Our American tradition, viewed in light of the social contract theory of John Locke, posits that free individuals form a government explicitly to protect our natural rights to life, liberty, and property.

President Trump’s chief concern with protecting America from military threats, from unfair trade practices and from the drugs and crime of illegal immigration all show this essential concern for the government preserving its people.

Despite his courage and devotion to duty, David was still viewed with skepticism. His inexperience disqualified him to rule in the eyes of his father and brothers. When David’s resolve was tested by the attack of the monster warrior Goliath, his comrades insisted he put on all the accoutrements of battle: armor, a helmet, a coat of mail and an enormous sword. David found he could not move weighted down by this equipment: he couldn’t be himself. One thinks of Trump rejecting all the “requirements” of running for president: lobbyists and consultants, advisors and party connections, interest groups, even daily intelligence briefings. He said, “I cannot be myself in all this garb!”

So, David faced a massive army and giant warrior with his staff, a slingshot, and a few stones. The monster killer Goliath mocked him: “Am I a dog that you come out to meet me with sticks?!” Goliath told David he would kill him, cut him into pieces, and feed him to the birds and the beasts. David proclaimed that he came “in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel whom you have defied.” He proceeded to kill the enemy with one small stone from his slingshot. The powerful enemy army fled in fear and King David established Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. President Trump confirmed that by recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel by moving the U.S. embassy there.

King David was not a perfect man and he suffered much for it. His infidelities caused him to lose a son; other family members rebelled against him. He was misunderstood and persecuted. His sins disqualified him from building the temple, leaving that honor to his son Solomon. But like another rescuer of Israel, Esther, he was “for such a time as this.”

And so is President Trump.

Photo Credit: Stefano Bianchetti/Corbis via Getty Images

 

EU • Europe • Israel • NATO • Post

Greece Finds New Footing as a Player on the World Stage

ATHENS—After Greece temporarily hosted a pair of U.S. military drones, Greek Defense Minister Panagiotis Kammenos said last fall that, “It’s very important for Greece that the United States deploy military assets in Greece on a more permanent base.”

Indeed, Greece just took delivery of some 70 military helicopters that it had purchased from the U.S., and there have been discussions about basing American drones, air tankers and other military aircraft on Greek soil.

COSCO, a state-owned Chinese shipping and logistics services company, has invested more than 3.5 billion euros in renovating the historic Greek port of Piraeus, which is now the second-largest port in the Mediterranean. The Chinese brag that it will soon become the busiest. The massive renovation is part of China’s 35-year lease of two of the port’s container terminals and the Chinese purchase of a majority stake in Piraeus’ port authority.

Despite recent spats, Vladimir Putin’s Russia remains a supposed ally of Greece, given historic religious ties and the envisioned completion of a natural-gas pipeline that will supply Russian gas to energy-starved Greece.

Greece has a complicated relationship with its European Union partners after its catastrophic financial meltdown and the often Dickensian terms of reform and repayment demanded by German bankers. Yet Greece appreciates that more European Union money goes into the country than goes out, even if many Greeks resent bitterly high-handed German dictates—and being manipulated as the frontline transit center for hundreds of thousands of migrants swarming into Europe from Africa and the Middle East.

New Greek freeways are less congested and more impressive than California’s, despite the fact that Greek GDP is less than one-twelfth that of California.

During the 1970s and 1980s Greece was more or less anti-Israel (like much of Europe). Not any longer. The two countries are becoming fast friends.

Greece’s new multifaceted foreign policy might be best summed up by 19th-century British Prime Minister Lord Palmerston’s famous dictum: “Nations have no permanent friends or allies, they only have permanent interests.”

Greece seems to have found lots of semi-permanent interests.

In other words, relatively small and vulnerable but strategically located Greece lives in a tough neighborhood with historic enemies such as Turkey and radical Islamic groups. As a window on the Mediterranean and three continents, Greece sits at the intersection of great-power rivalries between Europe, America, China and Russia.

In the old days, Greece, a member of both NATO and the EU, grumbled that its European and American big brothers took it for granted as either an insignificant subordinate or a whiny nuisance—despite its key location and its iconic status as the birthplace of Western civilization.

Now, things have changed—and often to Greek advantage.

Greece has gone from its traditionally defiant (if not insecure) role as an outlier to that of a crafty insider. There are lots of reasons for the new Greek realpolitik, besides learning from the vulnerability of its past dependencies.

The rise of a neo-Ottoman Turkey, with a population seven times that of Greece, a territory six times as large and renewed territorial ambitions in the Greek Aegean, has made Greece turn to the U.S. military for protection. America, too, is increasingly wary of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Islamist, anti-American and Mediterranean agendas.

Instead of trusting fellow EU members, Greece has merely found them useful in scheduling its debt repayments and providing critical tourist dollars.

Doing business with China is dangerous, given Chinese neo-imperial schemes that occasionally have led to blatant Chinese blackmail and bullying of its vulnerable clients. But the Chinese presence has pumped billions of euros into the ailing Greek economy while reminding the EU that Greece has other options when it comes to foreign investment, infrastructure and trade.

Few nations trust the reptilian Putin. But when the Russian president poses as a defender of Orthodox Christianity and as a protector of Eastern Europe and the Balkans from German bullying and Islamic troublemaking, the Greeks may find him useful in supplying energy and in foreign-policy triangulation.

Israel has also been recalibrated as a useful asset for democratic Greece. Like other traditionally persecuted peoples, the Greeks and Israelis share a mistrust of great powers. Israel now plans to build a massive underwater pipeline to link its natural gas supplies with Greece and Cyprus.

Both Greece and Israel have resentments against the European Union. Both have given up on detente with Erdogan’s bellicose Turkey. Both count on U.S. military aid. Both no longer are so dependent on unstable Arab countries for imported gas and oil.

Greece is, of course, walking a tightrope. By balancing between rivals and finding new friendly interests, Greece magnifies its own importance. As it does, it also becomes an even greater focal point of big-power rivalries and global commercial jostling.

We should not be too surprised by Greek realpolitik. After all, Greece gave the world Themistocles, the fifth-century B.C. wheeler-dealer politician and general who increased ancient Athenian power by being interested in everyone—and permanently allied to no one.

Photo Credit: Giorgos Zachos/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

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America • Foreign Policy • Israel • Post • Religion and Society

The Hour of Avigdor

The connections between America and Israel are deep: grounded on religious cultural, and political ties that go well back before Israel’s founding.

What’s more, Prime Minister Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu’s whole political existence has been a decades-long struggle against globalist leaders and transnational institutions that aim to subvert national independence and democratic rule. The stability and success that Netanyahu has brought to Israel in the past 10 years are the foundation of the Trump Administration’s Middle East policy.

Netanyahu’s governance also provides an example that President Trump and his supporters know America should heed, at least when it comes to confident but reasonable self-assertion and immigration policy that puts fellow citizens first. Anything, therefore, that threatens the continuation of the populist conservative free-market-oriented Netanyahu government is both an omen and an obstacle for the populist conservative, market-oriented Trump Administration.

Yet Netanyahu now faces the most serious political crisis of his second premiership. Having seemingly won the April elections, Netanyahu has found himself without a governing coalition.

Though Israelis just went through a general election barely two months ago, they will head to the polls again on September 17. For the first time in 70 years and 21 elections, the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, will have convened and been dissolved without any party having successfully formed a coalition.

Although 65 of the120 members elected in April supported Netanyahu to remain as prime minister, Netanyahu was nonetheless unable to get a majority coalition because of disagreement on what might seem from an American point of view to be an odd issue of principle: The parties that supported Netanyahu could not agree as to whether the wide exemption of young ultra-orthodox Jewish men from the draft should be enshrined in a law protected from judicial meddling.

The political impasse that has stymied Netanyahu was the product of many forces, but one person is key: Veteran Russian-Israeli politician Avigdor Lieberman, who founded and has led the Yisrael Beiteinu party since 1999, refused to support an exemption law that would be acceptable to the ultra-orthodox parties Shas and United Torah Judaism.

Under the shadow of Israeli leaders of world renown such as Netanyahu and Ariel Sharon, Lieberman is little known outside Israel, though he has been foreign minister, defense minister, and deputy prime minister, and first entered the cabinet in 2001. He is also poorly understood inside Israel, labeled in the anti-Netanyahu media as more hawkish than Netanyahu, even though he favors a two-state solution and substantial territorial concessions to a Palestinian state.

Like Netanyahu and other nationalist politicians, Lieberman has been targeted repeatedly by the police and prosecutors acting in concert with the press (the Israeli version of the deep state), but the one time the charges were truly menacing, the process ended with a unanimous acquittal.

Lieberman got his start in politics, as did so many Israeli politicians of his generation, in student government. At the beginning of the 1980s he along with other future politicians founded the first successful discotheque in Jerusalem on the campus of the Hebrew University. While his friends were partying inside, Lieberman worked as the bouncer, filling the time waiting to expel the drunk and unruly by reading Nietzsche.

Lieberman subsequently held a sheaf of political jobs culminating in a short stint as director of the Prime Minister’s Office in Netanyahu’s first government. But after falling out with Netanyahu over the handling of negotiations with the Palestinian Authority, Lieberman founded his own political party and has managed to win seats in the Knesset at every election since 1999.

After 20 years in elective office, it seems the hour of Avigdor has finally arrived, thanks also to the political ineptitude of Israel’s center and center-Left. Former IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz led his “Blue and White” bloc to 35 seats, tying Netanyahu’s Likud; but when Netanyahu was unable to close a coalition deal, Gantz proved utterly incapable of exploiting Netanyahu’s failure through backroom deals. A majority of the Knesset preferred to risk their seats in a new election, rather than see President Reuven Rivlin give Gantz the chance to form a government in Netanyahu’s stead.

In the April elections, Gantz united a crowd of centrist and center-Left Bibi-haters, but he offered no constructive policy alternative. Since the April votes were counted, Gantz has displayed no talent for political maneuvering. The consultants and the Israeli press successfully marketed him as the alternative to Netanyahu, but they will not be able to repeat the performance with the same success.

A few of Lieberman’s voters will punish him for his intransigence, but he will be more than rewarded by centrist voters from secular homes: Those voters are overwhelmingly veterans or the parents of veterans, and they do not see why ultra-orthodox boys should continue to be exempted when their boys serve.

Netanyahu can shore himself up to some extent on the right by demonizing Lieberman—the result will be to build up Lieberman as Netanyahu’s rival. Center-left voters would return in substantial numbers from Gantz to Labor, but for many Netanyahu-haters Lieberman is likely to stand out as the sensible alternative to the man they detest.

Can Lieberman be the not-Netanyahu fashion for fall as Gantz was for spring? It would shocking and novel for a politician with a thick Russian accent and a short and uneventful military service record to beat the generals. But despite two decades of centrist whining about the ultra-orthodox draft exemption, until Lieberman nobody has managed to transform those complaints into political action. Having failed to beat Netanyahu with Gantz the political amateur, the haters may be smart enough to try again with Lieberman the consummate professional.

Lieberman’s party won five seats in April, and he was able to bring about an unprecedented impasse. In the hour of Avigdor, the Israeli centrist voter may be willing to experiment with what he can do with 25.

What for Israel, America, and the world, heralds the hour of Avigdor? Israel’s greatest weakness is that Netanyahu, while seemingly indispensable, is politically mortal. Legal troubles, physical or mental exhaustion, or electoral defeat will eventually bring his career to a close.

Avigdor is not Bibi, in ways both good and bad. But if he can use the present crisis to enlarge his political base, he may be the best prospect for transition to a post-Netanyahu era in which the methods and policies that Netanyahu has used to make Israel greater are continued as far as possible. That would be a good sign for sensible American aspirations in the Middle East, as well as for the future of populist, market-oriented conservative politics in America and worldwide.

Photo Credit: Amir Levy/Getty Images

Center for American Greatness • Democrats • Identity Politics • Israel • Post • Religion of Peace • The Left

The Rantings of Rashida

For once, I find myself agreeing with the contemptible Rashida Tlaib, the freshman Democratic representative from Michigan. Her vile comment that she gets a “calming feeling” when she thinks about how Palestinians allegedly offered refuge to Jews fleeing the Holocaust indeed was “twisted” and “taken out of context,” as she tweeted over the weekend.

In fact, what she said in a May 10 podcast interview is much worse—and it wasn’t a gaffe or even an example of her propagating the myth that Palestinians aided European Jews after World War II. Tlaib knew exactly what she was talking about.

The “safe haven” Tlaib referred to is the state of Israel, which officially declared its independence 71 years ago Tuesday. Make no mistake: Tlaib, a Muslim who supports a Palestinian-backed “one-state solution” that could make Jews a minority in Israel, views the formation of modern-day Israel as a crime against the Palestinian people. She soothes her rage with the fabulist belief that the sacrifices of Palestinians paved the way for Israel currently to exist—hence her weird “calming feeling” remark.

And far from an act of compassion by the Palestinian people, according to Tlaib, the creation of this “safe haven” was violently forced upon the Palestinians after the World War II.

“It was my ancestors, Palestinians, who lost their land and some lost their lives, their human dignity, their existence in many ways had been wiped out . . . all of it was in the name of trying to create a safe haven for Jews post the Holocaust, post the tragedy and horrific persecution of Jews across the world,” Tlaib told reporters Michael Isikoff and Daniel Klaidman. “But they did it in a way that took their dignity away, right? And it was forced on them.”

Tlaib again reiterated her claim later in the interview. “I want a safe haven for Jews, who doesn’t want to be safe? I am humbled by the fact it was my ancestors that had to suffer for that to happen.”

The congresswoman is referring to the diaspora of Palestinians from now-Israeli territory just before and after 1948, which happened for a number of reasons, including the reapportionment of the land and the threat of war. (Arab countries rejected the United Nations’ 1947 partition plan; five of its Arab neighbors attacked Israel the day after it declared independence.)

All About Israel
So, far from trying to sugar-coat Palestinians’ helpfulness in a post-Holocaust world, Tlaib was venting her anger about the 1948 establishment of the state of Israel, backed by the United Nations and the United States. She is traveling to the region in August on a junket sponsored by the Humpty Dumpty Institute; in a flyer distributed by her office, Tlaib asks her colleagues to join her on a “congressional delegation to occupied territories in Palestine.” (Her grandmother reportedly lives in the West Bank.)

During the trip, Tlaib explained, she wants her colleagues to see the injustice perpetrated against Palestinians by the Israelis. Tlaib often invokes her upbringing in Detroit and compares the plight of black Americans to that of Palestinians.

“I grew up in a city that is the most beautiful, blackest city in the country, the city of Detroit. I saw what oppression and inequality looks like,” she insisted. “I saw that separate but equal doesn’t work.” Tlaib is 42.

She claimed that being raised in an oppressed, segregated city is the “lens” she brings to her support of the Palestinian-backed one-state solution. When pressed that she holds the same view as Hamas, Tlaib babbled that the difference between herself and the terrorist organization is that “she comes from a place of love.”

Remember, this is the same lunatic who threatened to “impeach the motherfucker,” referring to President Trump, the night she was sworn into office in January.

But there were more anti-Semitic rantings during Tlaib’s interview. The congresswoman’s hatred for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is palpable. (I suggest watching the interview on video rather than the audio version for the full effect.)

Netanyahu solely is to blame, according to Tlaib, for the condition of the Palestinian people and for a failure to bring peace to the region. She condemned Netanyahu for supporting Trump’s proposed security wall along the southern border, then claimed the Israeli leader wouldn’t look her grandmother in the eye and say “you are equal to me, you are as human as I am to you, and yes, you deserve to die with human dignity.”

Tlaib’s passing mentions of the horrors of the Holocaust and her exploitation of the historical struggles of black Americans expose her base instinct to leverage any tragedy to traffic in her anti-Semitic garbage. And her repeated insistence that her only motivation is “love”—often through gritted teeth—is a tactic used by the most dishonest propagandists. (Isikoff even buys into her ploy, naming the podcast, “From Rashida with Love.”)

Anti-Semitic Democrats Go Mainstream
The drumbeat of anti-Semitic remarks from some of the outspoken Democratic members of the freshman class should alarm House elders, but it does not. A congressional resolution originally intended to admonish anti-Semitic comments was so watered down by an intimidated Democratic leadership that it probably worked to encourage more aggressive anti-semitism from those it targeted. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) on Monday afternoon demanded an apology from congressional Republicans and President Trump, not from Tlaib, for their criticism of her appalling remarks.

But both Tlaib and Representative Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) seem determined to agitate the flat-footed Democratic leadership on the subject of Israel; both Muslim women support the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, even though that pernicious campaign has been condemned by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). (As always, Omar accused Tlaib’s critics of being Islamophobes.) The pair also have questioned the so-called “dual loyalty” of lawmakers who support Israel, even accusing pro-Israel legislators of being paid off by Jewish lobbyists. On May 9, Tlaib joined Women’s March co-founder and anti-Semite Linda Sarsour at an impeachment rally on Capitol Hill.

Tlaib’s comments are more than mere downplaying of the atrocity of the Holocaust or even intentionally misrepresenting historical fact to put a shine on her heritage. It is an attempt to delegitimize the existence of the state of Israel and claim that it was created upon the persecution of Palestinians for the sake of creating a “safe haven” for Jews after World War II. In other words, she’s saying Israel exists at the pleasure of the Palestinians and that its existence is otherwise illegitimate.

This isn’t an attempt by a serious lawmaker to scrutinize U.S. policy toward Israel or pursue an honest peace-seeking plan. Tlaib regurgitates the most vituperative accusations about one of our most trusted allies at a time when anti-Semitic sentiment around the world is on the rise. Apparently, the halls of Congress are yet another place where anti-Semitism is now tolerated and even excused.

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Democrats • Identity Politics • Israel • Post • Satire • The Left

Real Hitler Responds to Democratic Party’s Anti-Semitism

The movie “Downfall” is best known for a scene where a distraught Hitler learns from his loyalists that the war is lost. This scene has spawned an endless series of YouTube parodies as Hitler “responds” to modern-day events. It’s an angry and distressed Hitler who learns that Barack Obama won the election, that Obamacare will not permit him to keep his doctor, and that Donald Trump was elected president.

Bruno Ganz, the actor who brought Hitler to life in the movie, died in February. His ersatz Hitler, commenting on today’s important issues, kept us entertained. Now that Ganz is gone, an ersatz media will do what they can to emulate Der Führer. But can the likes of Jim Acosta and Rachel Maddow really fill the void?

Thankfully, we won’t have to find out. Through the wonders of modern technology, the real Hitler has emerged, rested and ready to provide us with his insights. Not surprisingly, he’s very unhappy about the many Hitler impersonators, speaking in his name.

***

This is not how I planned it. I was supposed to be Chancellor of the World. Instead . . . here I am. Where? Definitely not Argentina. From here, even Venezuela looks pretty good. But one thing I can tell you: It’s as hot as advertised. But it’s a dry heat.

The good news is I’m not alone. Many kindred spirits are here with me. It’s true what they say. There is a special place here for me and for Goebbels, and Goering, and Himmler. And for newcomers like Osama bin Laden and Fidel Castro. Oh, I can’t forget Comrade Stalin. He may have won, but winning isn’t everything. And just for the record, he would never have won if not for the verdammt Russian winter.

But what I really can’t stand is seeing others profit from my likeness and my name. There was that Communist, Chaplin, who had the nerve to call himself “The Great Dictator.” And that Jew, mocking me with “Springtime for Hitler”!

And those stupid videos. Only a dummkopf would bother with such nonsense. Though I’ll admit, the one about Harvey Weinstein was pretty funny.

Sure, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. But genug! From now on, I’m doing the talking. And there’s so much to talk about. I never thought I’d live to see to the day—OK I didn’t really—but who could have believed that American soldiers would still be in Germany? Or that anyone would still be keeping up with the Kardashians.

Worst of all is what’s happening to my beloved Deutschland. I was trying to create a Master Race. And now the vaterland is swarming with foreigners who wouldn’t know a bratwurst from a sauerbraten.

And you think it doesn’t hurt me when I hear America called the one superpower? It could have been me. It should have been me!

But now, America, of all places, is giving me hope. I actually feel re-Jewvenated. Get it?

Because, you know, first I came for the Jews. Before the Czechs, before the Poles, first I came for the Jews. But then that Jew-lover Roosevelt, he came for me. The next thing you know I’m kaput. Or, as the Americans say, I bought the bunker.

So who would think that the day would come when Democrats, the party of Roosevelt, would first come for the Jews. Yes it’s true. Democrats are now the party of Jew-haters. It’s Democrats who elected two raging anti-Semites to the Congress. Elected mind you. I had to burn down the Reichstag to get my way. Democrats simply elected them.

And what do these women do? First, they come for the Jews. Immediately, they accuse the Jews of having a dual loyalty.

“I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is okay for people to push for allegiance to a foreign country.” Ilhan Omar really said that.

She got some criticism, but she wasn’t deterred. She just kept talking. “I should not be expected to have allegiance/pledge support to a foreign country in order to serve my country.”

I tell you, this is music, sweeter than Wagner, to my ears.

And let’s face it, Omar got her talking points from me. I used the dual loyalty card to perfection. I always said the Jews stabbed us in the back, and made us lose the war. So it would have been nice if she had taken just a minute to give me a little shout-out. But that’s okay. I’ll accept what Pelosi said about her. “I think she has a different experience in the use of words.” It’s still flattering to know she’s using my tactics.

She also used the Jewish money angle. If she asked―and she didn’t―I would have told her to do exactly the same thing.

It’s all about the Benjamins baby,” is how she put it. Not since my good friend Heinrich Ford has anyone so prominent been saying such things about the Jews. Ford could have made a difference. But in the end, he cared too much about that farshtunken Model T.

What really surprises me is how this Omar woman knows about all this. I’d like to think that she’s been busy reading Mein Kampf and The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, but I don’t want to kid myself. No one reads these classics anymore. You’d sooner find someone reading Hillary Clinton’s last book.

No matter. She’s following the script to the letter. And that also goes for that other woman, Rashida Tlaib. First she came for . . . well, Donald Trump actually. OK, she deviated from the script a little when she cursed out America’s president. I must say that was a wonderful moment. Still, I can’t understand how such a thing can happen. In Deutschland, the SS had ways of making people not say things like that about me. Not that anyone would have said such a thing.

Anyway, after her Trump comment, she lashed out at American Jews for being supportive of Israel. “They forgot what country they represent,” is how she phrased it.

Very impressive! Even more so because she forgot what country her dress represents. Yes, true story. Rather than picking up something at Walmart, she makes a big deal about wearing a dress worn by women in some foreign country. This is like me driving around Berlin in a Chevrolet. The Jews call this chutzpah.

But it’s exactly this attitude and her long history of associating with well-known anti-Semites and anti-Jewish causes that makes her so special. If I could, I wouldn’t replace her even with Martin Bormann. Of course, I can’t. He’s here. Just down the hall.

Most importantly, her words hit the mark. Some Republican senator immediately responded with “This ‘dual loyalty’ canard is a typical anti-Semitic line.”

Exactly! That’s the point!

You know how it goes. A Republican here and a Republican there will offer some criticism. But everyone else―the entire Democratic Party and their media acolytes―go into full Neville Chamberlain mode. And you remember how well that worked out?

The best thing about these women is how their words get right to the point. And I know a thing or two about words. I had the volk mesmerized by my every word. But even I could never speak 140 characters at a time like these women. Das ist verrückt! I would never have allowed that.

So I give them a lot of credit. Especially that Omar. I envy how she thinks. If only I had been able to see things the way she does, I might have skipped the cyanide and gone straight to my trial. They would go on and on about the carnage in Europe, and they’d show pictures of the death camps, with the remains of the millions of Jews, who were gassed and incinerated.

But when it was my turn to speak, I would have calmly replied: “Some people did something.”

I might have ended up in Argentina after all.

Editor’s Note: The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed above belong solely to Hitler, and do not necessarily reflect views, thoughts, and opinions of American Greatness.

Photo Credit: Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images

Democrats • Israel • Post • Religion of Peace • Terrorism • The Left

Ilhan Omar’s Ignorance and Bigotry on Gaza Rockets

All decent people should be outraged at the terrorist groups in the Gaza Strip that fired 698 rockets at Israeli civilians, killing four, injuring 234 and traumatizing thousands of innocent children. Imagine what other countries, including the United States, would do if lethal rockets targeted their civilians. Yet, Israel has responded with restraint. To be sure, 30 Palestinians were killed and 154 injured by Israeli efforts to stop the rocket rampage. Many of these were terrorists, but some were civilians who were put in harm’s way by the terrorists.

These deaths and injuries were caused by the tactic employed by Hamas and Islamic Jihad: they deliberately place their rocket launchers in densely populated areas—near schools, hospitals and mosques—in a deliberate effort to maximize Arab civilian casualties. This has been called “the dead baby” or “CNN” strategy. The goal is to have CNN and other media show the children and other civilians that Israeli counter-measures have inadvertently killed in trying to stop the terrorist rockets from killing Israeli children and other civilians.

Tragically, this strategy works, because with the media, “if it bleeds, it leads.” The visual media loves to show dead and injured children, without explaining that they are actually encouraging such casualties by playing into the hands of the terrorists.

So, too, is Congresswoman Ilhan Omar encouraging the firing of rockets by Hamas and Islamic Jihad by blaming the Israeli victims for what she calls the “cycle of violence,” instead of blaming Hamas and Islamic Jihad for initiating terrorist violence against innocent Israeli civilians.

In a tweet following the rocket barrage, Omar justifies the double war crimes committed by terrorists who target Israeli civilians while using Palestinian civilians as human shields. She asks rhetorically, how many “rockets must be fired, and little kids must be killed until the endless cycle of violence ends?” This implies that these war crimes are justified by what she calls the “occupation and humanitarian crisis in Gaza.”

Does Omar not realize that Israel ended its occupation of Gaza in 2005, when Israel removed every soldier and settler from that area? Gaza could have become Singapore on the Mediterranean, with its port and location. The Israelis left behind greenhouses and other facilities. Europe and Qatar poured money into the Gaza Strip. But Hamas—which forcefully took over from the Palestinian Authority—decided to turn it instead into a large-scale rocket launcher. Instead of using its newly acquired resources to provide humanitarian benefits to its residents, it used them to build terror rockets and tunnels that targeted Israeli civilians. This forced Israel to take counter-measures to protect its citizens. To use the “occupation”—there is no longer any occupation—as a justification for why “rockets must be fired” is to show both ignorance and bigotry.

Nor is Omar alone in blaming Israel for the rocket attacks on its civilians. The ADC (American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee) issued a statement condemning Israel for “targeting and killing Palestinian civilians, including children and infants.” Irresponsibly, it never once mentioned the firing of 698 rockets by the rulers of Gaza that target Israeli civilians, and it never mentioned the sad reality that Hamas and Islamic Jihad deliberately use “Palestinian civilians, including children and infants” as human shields in order to increase the number of Palestinian civilians who are inadvertently killed or injured by Israel’s legitimate efforts to protect its civilians from unlawful rocket attacks.

The conflict in Gaza will only get worse if terrorism is encouraged by the lies of commission and omission told by Omar, ADC and other supporters of Hamas and Islamic Jihad. All decent people must try to discourage the targeting of civilians by terrorist rockets and tunnels. A good beginning would be to tell the truth.

I write these words from Israel, which is now commemorating the many soldiers who have fallen during its years of fighting against those who would destroy the nation state of the Jewish people. Israel is also celebrating its 71st year of independence. No nation has contributed so much to humankind in so short a period of time. No nation faced with threats compared to those faced by Israel has ever had a better record of human rights, compliance with the rule of law or concern with avoiding civilian casualties. The world should join Israeli in celebrating its 71 years of statehood. The world should also recognize that if Israel’s enemies stopped attacking its citizens, there would be peace. But if Israel stopped defending its citizens, there would be genocide.

Editor’s note: This article was first published by the Gatestone Institute and is republished here by permission.

Photo Credit: Jack Guez/AFP/Getty Images

America • Big Media • civic culture/friendship • Cultural Marxism • Donald Trump • Identity Politics • Israel • Post • Religion and Society

Why Most Jews Aren’t Bothered by the Times’ Anti-Semitic Cartoon

Last week, The New York Times published a cartoon so anti-Semitic that Bret Stephens wrote in his Times column that it was “an image that, in another age, might have been published in the pages of Der Stürmer.” Der Stürmer was the Nazis’ major anti-Semitic newspaper.

A Times columnist charging the Times with publishing a Nazi-like cartoon is quite a moment in American publishing history.

For those who haven’t seen the cartoon, here is Stephens’ description:

The Jew in the form of a dog. The small but wily Jew leading the dumb and trusting American. The hated Trump being Judaized with a skullcap. The nominal servant acting as the true master. The cartoon checked so many anti-Semitic boxes that the only thing missing was a dollar sign.

The dog leading Trump had the face of Benjamin Netanyahu and was wearing a Star of David necklace. Trump was wearing a back yarmulke.

For those naifs and Israel-haters who dismiss such depictions as merely “anti-Zionist” or “anti-Israel” but not anti-Semitic, the yarmulke on Trump’s head should be the giveaway, as should the theme itself—the Jew leading the Gentile astray, one of the oldest anti-Semitic canards.

Of course, the cartoon is not just about Israel or Jews. It is about Trump, whom the Left so hates. It depicts him as the stooge of both Vladimir Putin and Netanyahu. There is no truth to either depiction, but if truth mattered to the Left, there would be no Left. Truth is a liberal value, and it is a conservative value, but it is not a leftist value. Truth to the Left is pravda. Pravda, the Russian word for “truth,” was also the name of the Soviet Communist Party newspaper.

So, the question is: Why would the New York Times, published in the city where more Jews live than any other city in the world outside of Israel, whose publisher is a Jew and whose editors are disproportionately Jewish, publish a Nazi-like anti-Semitic cartoon?

Here is Stephens’ answer:

For some Times readers—or, as often, former readers—the answer is clear: The Times has a longstanding Jewish problem, dating back to World War II, when it mostly buried news about the Holocaust, and continuing into the present day in the form of intensely adversarial coverage of Israel. The criticism goes double when it comes to the editorial pages, whose overall approach toward the Jewish state tends to range, with some notable exceptions, from tut-tutting disappointment to thunderous condemnation.

For these readers, the cartoon would have come like the slip of the tongue that reveals the deeper institutional prejudice. What was long suspected is, at last, revealed.

Stephens continues:

How have even the most blatant expressions of anti-Semitism become almost undetectable to editors who think it’s part of their job to stand up to bigotry?

The reason is the almost torrential criticism of Israel and the mainstreaming of anti-Zionism, including by this paper, which has become so common that people have been desensitized to its inherent bigotry. So long as anti-Semitic arguments or images are framed, however speciously, as commentary about Israel, there will be a tendency to view them as a form of political opinion, not ethnic prejudice. But as I noted in a Sunday Review essay in February, anti-Zionism is all but indistinguishable from anti-Semitism in practice and often in intent, however much progressives try to deny this.

Exactly right. As I wrote in Why the Jews? The Reason for Anti-Semitism 40 years before Stephens wrote his column, there is no difference between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism. Of course, one can criticize Israel, just as one can criticize any country, but that is not anti-Zionism. Anti-Zionism is not criticism of Israel. It is a hatred of Israel—a hatred greater than that of any other country and a delegitimization of Zionism, the movement to reestablish the Jewish national home. Imagine someone who argued that the establishment of the Italian state—Italy—was illegitimate and who hated Italy more than any other country in the world yet claimed that he was in no way anti-Italian, as he had Italian friends and loved Italian culture. No one would believe such an absurdity.

Why aren’t most American Jews troubled by the Times’ cartoon? Why were all American Jews horrified by the anti-Semitic shootings at the California synagogue this past weekend, while most barely had their feathers ruffled by the anti-Semitic cartoon in one of the most influential media in America?

The answer is most American Jews, while ethnically Jewish, are ethically leftist. And ethics trump ethnicity—as they should. For most American Jews, therefore, the Times is far more consonant with their ethical values than are Jewish values (if, by Jewish values, we are talking about the Torah and traditional Jewish religious/moral teachings). So, then, when you combine hatred of the right-wing prime minister of Israel and reverence for the left-wing Times, even a Nazi-like cartoon—if it negatively depicts Benjamin Netanyahu and Donald Trump and is published in the New York Times—is no big deal.

Photo credit:  Getty Images

America • Democrats • Donald Trump • Foreign Policy • Israel • Post

Trump Is Cyrus

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Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence, found inspiration in the writings of Xenophon, a contemporary of Socrates, who chronicled the life of the great Persian, King Cyrus, whose vast empire was known for toleration of religious minorities and for demanding no single state religion.

For his military prowess and political statesmanship, Cyrus is the most admired ancient king, a hero to Alexander the Great, future Greco-Roman leaders, and philosophers of both the European and American Enlightenment.

Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben Gurion, and modern Iran’s last Shah, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, also considered Cyrus a model.

When U.S. President Harry S. Truman recognized Israel’s independence on May 14, 1948, over the objections of his State Department, he entered Jewish history. Soon after he left office, in November 1953, Truman met with leaders at the Jewish Theological Seminary, accompanied by his former Army buddy, business partner, and lifelong good friend Eddie Jacobson. Jacobson introduced Truman: “This is the man who helped create the state of Israel.” Truman asserted, “What do you mean, ‘helped to create’? I am Cyrus. I am Cyrus.”

Truman was honest, not immodest. Though he lacked a college education, as a boy he had studied the Hebrew Bible (known to him as the Christian Old Testament) which celebrated Cyrus II (“the Great”) for defeating the Babylonian empire in 539 B.C. and subsidizing the return to Jerusalem of the Jewish community that been held captive in Babylon for 70 years.

Cyrus’s successors allowed the rebuilding of the Jerusalem Temple and city walls. Throughout the two-and-a-half millennia of historical difficulties that followed, Cyrus has been the symbol of the righteous gentile ruler who promoted the return of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel and promoted Jewish security against enemies.

Today, President Donald Trump has established himself as another in the long line of pro-Israel American leaders, with a record that history will record as among the best.

First, Trump quickly got the U.S.-Israel special alliance back on track after the extraordinary hostility of his predecessor. Barack Obama, mentored by a range of anti-Israel thinkers including Edward Said, Rashid Khalidi, Ali Abunimah, and Pastor Jeremiah Wright, sought to reverse the warm political goodwill expressed to Israel by President George W. Bush.

Obama asserted it was time for “daylight” between the United States and Israel. He pressured Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on land settlement policy, including building apartments in Jerusalem. Obama advocated and then immediately reversed his position that Jerusalem was Israel’s capital. He called for an Israeli return to the 1967 armistice lines, widely considered indefensible borders. Speaking in Cairo, Obama pandered to Arabs by equating Palestinian demands with Israeli statehood, which he claimed resulted from the Holocaust, rather than 3,000 years of Jewish history.

Ignoring wide objection in Israel, Obama tilted toward the Iran, which threatens to annihilate Israel, conducts aggressive regional terrorism, and remains at war with the United States. In the political battle over the Iran nuclear deal, Obama disclosed secret Israeli military actions in Syria and hinted that American Jews were dual loyalists.

Finally, opening the door to the deteriorating relationship between the American Left and Israel, Obama crossed the line to support an anti-Israel resolution at the United Nations.

Acting quickly, President Trump rejected the flawed Iran deal and re-imposed sanctions on the Iranians, hitting them in the pocket and challenging their hegemonic ambitions.

Trump’s administration consistently has combated the anti-Israel posture of so many at the United Nations. The president also signed the Taylor Force Act which prevents U.S. financial assistance to the Palestinians until they cease payments to the families of terrorists, and he closed the PLO mission in Washington, D.C. for failing to offer sincere efforts at peacemaking.

Finally, in moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, and now recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, President Trump has powerfully put into diplomatic and strategic deeds his own heartfelt words: “My administration will always stand in solidarity with our Jewish brothers and sisters, and we will always stand strong with our cherished friend and partner, the state of Israel.”

Photo Credit: The Elisha Whittelsey Collection, The Elisha Whittelsey Fund, 1949

Congress • Democrats • Identity Politics • Israel • Post • The Left

Illin’ Omar

Minnesota anti-Semite Ilhan Omar (D) has been on a tear. Late last month, at a political event at a Washington, D.C. bookstore, the freshman Democrat said she wanted “to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is OK to push for allegiance to a foreign country.”

When her fellow Democrat, Representative Nita Lowey of New York, called her out, Omar tweeted her reply: “Our democracy is built on debate, Congresswoman! I should not be expected to have allegiance/pledge support to a foreign country in order to serve my country in Congress or serve on committee. The people of the 5th elected me to serve their interest. I am sure we agree on that!”

In case you haven’t figured it out, the country in question is Israel, the pressure to sing “Hatikvah” before first pitch comes in the form of AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee)-distributed Benjamins, backed up by the full faith and credit of the Rothschilds, I suppose.

Omar’s immediate purpose is to weaken U.S. support for Israel by making its allies refute charges of the thoughtcrime of disloyalty. But this isn’t really an Israel issue, it’s an anti-Semitism issue. This sort of virus in the long run poses an existential threat to the U.S. Jewish community.

In fact, the best defenses of the U.S.-Israel alliance have always been based on the fact that the alliance is in U.S. interests and also promotes U.S. values abroad. That’s still the best argument. Even aside from the military and intelligence cooperation in the Middle East and elsewhere, abandoning Israel to find allies in an increasingly authoritarian world runs the risk of reversing Israel’s movement away from socialism and toward freedom.

If these were just the rantings of a fringe freshman grabbing some headlines before flaming out, it might be dismissed as a passing fancy. No doubt that was the House Democratic leadership’s hope and intent.

What’s particularly worrisome is that Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who had her caucus thinking that she was fearless in standing up to President Trump over the wall, seems intimidated by this woman.

You think Sam Rayburn would have put up with this?

Omar would have discovered that her bills couldn’t get assigned bill numbers, and committee chairmen magically couldn’t hear her asking for the floor. “I’m sorry, did you say you needed the copying machine? They’re all out of order.”

Speaking of committees, “What committee assignment did you say you’d like? Joint Committee on Printing? Yes, of course there’s an opening just for you.”

Within a week, major contributors wouldn’t be returning phone calls. If she kept it up, rumors of a primary challenge wouldn’t reach her ears until the challenger was already on the ballot.

And if Rayburn really needed to play dirty, you can be sure he’d have Omar’s marriage records. All of them.

Rayburn, like Pelosi, wouldn’t have cared much about her issues one way or the other, but he knew how to keep his caucus in line. In particular, he wouldn’t have relished a freshman troublemaker splitting the party down the middle for the sole purpose of alienating one of its main coalition groups.

That’s the key to the problem.

Jews are simply no longer one of the Democrats’ main coalition groups, and not only because of feckless leadership. Jewish Democrats who pretended to be mortally offended when James Baker said, “to hell with them—the Jews don’t vote for us, anyway,” accept it with perfect equanimity when Democrats make the same observation.

Objectively, Jewish votes simply matter less as the nation’s demographics change. Jewish population centers are not in competitive states at the presidential level, except perhaps for Florida. Omar and her colleague Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) are from swing states, at least in 2016 and 2020. Most Jewish voters are in urban districts almost certain to remain in Democrats’ hands regardless.

This didn’t appear overnight; it bubbled up from the minor leagues. In Colorado, when the legislature passed an anti-BDS bill in 2016, the three state senators whose districts include the bulk of the state’s Jewish population all voted against it. Despite claims of coalition-building, only JewishColorado and the Jewish Community Relations Council showed up to testify in favor of the bill, and nobody else.

As the country’s demographics change, so is the Democratic Party having a change of heart.

Every Republican’s favorite Democrat, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, used to say, “The central conservative truth is that it is culture, not politics, that determines the success of a society. The central liberal truth is that politics can change a culture and save it from itself.”

Once again, conservative truth is giving us an unpleasant lesson in the limitation of liberal truth.

Photo Credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Democrats • Elections • feminists • Identity Politics • Israel • Middle East • Post • race • Religion of Peace • The Left

Why the Democratic Party Will Become More Anti-Semitic

Women’s March co-president Tamika Mallory appeared Thursday night on “Firing Line” to discuss her controversial organization, particularly the claims of anti-Semitism that have dogged the group for months. Host Margaret Hoover asked Mallory directly if Israel has the right to exist. “Everyone has a right to exist,” Mallory replied. “I just don’t feel that everyone has a right to exist at the disposal of another group.” Hoover gave Mallory multiple opportunities to state Israel’s right to exist. She refused.

Of course she refused. This is hardly surprising for someone with Mallory’s history and relationships. She has close ties to one of the most virulent anti-Semites in America today, Louis Farrakhan. She called Farrakhan “the GOAT” (as in “Greatest of All Time”) on her Instagram feed. Mallory and others in the leadership of the Women’s March attend Nation of Islam events, even using the Nation of Islam for security in the past.

In light of her comments and relationships, people have wondered why the Women’s March hasn’t distanced itself from Mallory. The fact is, the organization won’t because it doesn’t see a need to: Mallory’s comments are consistent with others in the leadership of the march and as well as with a great many march participants.

Don’t believe me? Consider Linda Sarsour, another Women’s March co-founder with close ties to Louis Farrakhan. Sarsour also has a history of making comments perceived as anti-Semitic.

Take, for example, her statement to the 2018 Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) convention in Houston just a few months ago. “In my opinion, on an issue like Palestine, you gotta choose the side of the oppressed,” she said. “And if you’re on the side of the oppressor, or you’re defending the oppressor, and you’re actually trying to humanize the oppressor, then that’s a problem, sisters and brothers, and we’ve gotta be able to say ‘That is not the position of the Muslim-American community.’” In Sarsour’s mind, to defend Israel’s right to exist and defend itself is to humanize Israel and the Israelis, which is unacceptable.

BDS on the Rise in the Democratic Party
Some people have been taken aback at these recent comments of Mallory and Sarsour, but that’s because they haven’t been following the growth of anti-Semitism on the progressive Left through the Boycott, Divest and Sanction Movement (BDS) that began just over 10 years ago. Sarsour and others associated with the Women’s March are strong proponents and advocates of the BDS movement. From the stage in Washington, D.C., at Saturday’s march, Sarsour proclaimed her constitutional right to “boycott, divestment, and sanction in these United States.” Her comments were met with loud cheers.

The BDS movement, launched by the Palestinian BDS National Committee, is nothing but an attempt politically and economically to weaken and slowly strangle the nation of Israel. It is financed in part by organizations such as the Muslim Brotherhood and even those with links to Hamas and others with known links to terrorism.

For those who have been following the BDS movement, it has gained significant momentum in recent years on college campuses throughout the United States. It has spread throughout the Progressive Left and has now infected the Democratic Party.

Just two weeks ago, U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) tweeted: “The shutdown is not the reason Senate Democrats don’t want to move to the Middle East Security Bill. A huge argument broke out at the Senate Democratic meeting last week over BDS. A significant number of Senate Democrats now support #BDS & Democratic leaders want to avoid a floor vote that reveals that.”

And it’s not just Senate Democrats who support the BDS movement. Last week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) appointed radical anti-Israel and BDS proponent Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) to the powerful House Foreign Affairs committee. Not only should that be seen as a nod to the progressive Left, it should also be seen as a clear sign that the establishment Democratic Party is moving further away from supporting and defending our closest and most reliable ally in the Middle East.

Democrats Veer Further Left
All of this is the result of a far-left movement that relies on social justice warriors, “intersectionality,” and noxious identity politics to guide them. The BDS movement is yet more proof that the parasitic Left has eaten the Democratic Party from within. It might appear on the surface that there are still some vestiges of the party of JFK and Bill Clinton. But the Democratic Party’s essence has changed dramatically and that is changing its core principles.  

This process will continue if traditional Democrats don’t fight for their party. They have quite an uphill battle: the Left has the grassroots and small donor power inside the Democratic Party, as well as mega-donors such as George Soros and Tom Steyer. Add to this mix the change of the super delegate rules for the 2020 primary, which was one of the last bastions of defense by more centrist Democrats and it’s hard not to imagine that only a candidate who swears fealty to the far-left progressive views has any chance of really winning the party’s presidential nomination.

It’s early yet, but it’s a fair bet that the 2020 presidential election between the Democratic Party nominee and President Trump will be one of the starkest and most clarifying moments in American history, pitting Trump’s America First agenda against a radical left-wing, un-American vision for the future. Which course will America choose?

Photo credit: Aaron J. Thornton/Getty Images

Donald Trump • Foreign Policy • Israel • Middle East • Post • Russia

Out of Syria

Wednesday afternoon Israel time I was outlining with my collaborator Yoav Kapshuk our paper on the meaning of the Syrian civil war and its resolution for the future of world order. As soon as I got off the phone with Dr. Kapshuk, I saw on my news feed that President Trump had declared victory against ISIS and ordered American troops out of Syria.

On Thursday afternoon, Defense Secretary James Mattis resigned over the president’s decision, choosing not to emulate General George Marshall who refused to resign when overruled by President Truman on the recognition of the Jewish State.

We are seeing a lot of criticism of the president’s decision to pull out of Syria from people who, until Wednesday, were unaware the United States had troops in Syria. We are also seeing a lot of talk about America betraying the Kurds to Assad from people who don’t know that Bashar al-Assad and the Kurds aren’t enemies, that they haven’t really been fighting, and that Assad for all his atrocities is a better strategist than to wind up a civil war he didn’t start by starting a new one for no reason at all. Assad has no reason to side with the Turks, who are hostile to his regime, against the Syrian Kurds, who are not, or to welcome Turkish intervention against the Kurds within Syria.

Whether we like it or not, Assad has won his war. True, he needed the help of the Iranians, the Iranian-backed Hezbollah from Lebanon, and the Russians. But it is also true that some of the Sunni Islamists who fought him were jihadis who are actually genocidal, who proudly rape and enslave, and who inspire copycat groups and lone wolves throughout the world.

A continued U.S. presence in northern Syria is obviously in the interest of the Syrian Kurds. The Kurds do not have a recognized state of their own but are, thanks to the settlement of World War I, divided among Iraq, Turkey, Iran and Syria. The Kurds have fought so many battles that it is understandable they welcome the help of anybody willing to fight their battles for them. And here in Israel the defense and foreign policy establishments, the same people who have been wrong for a generation on the conflict with Palestinians and run to the media to undermine the elected Prime Minister at every opportunity, are sure that the United States has created a vacuum that will be filled by Putin and the Iranians to Israel’s detriment.

I see things playing out a bit differently. As Assad consolidates his rule, the role of foreign forces in his country will diminish, not increase. Hezbollah fighters are in Syria as mercenaries, and Assad is not going to pay them when he has no battles to fight. The Iranian ability to project power abroad is threatened by unrest and a crumbling economy at home—though it doesn’t help that the same people attacking President Trump for withdrawing in Syria were just a short while ago trying to undermine the war against Iran and her proxies in Yemen.

The Russian presence in Syria, viewed from a strictly Israeli lens, is basically a tripwire force: it does not menace Israel directly, but interferes with our ability to act in Syria because it is backed by Russia’s offshore nuclear might.

Apart from Israel, I cannot see how Russia’s presence in Syria threatens America’s interests or America’s allies. The Russians have and will continue to have bases in Syria, but they do not have the modern navy or air force to project power from those bases that has anything like the capacities of the United States and its allies in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Declaring victory and getting out may not always be the right move. But perpetual war in Syria would be the way to go only as part of a strategy of containment. President Trump’s critics need to explain to Americans who engagement in Syria means to contain. They need to explain why those threats are of the magnitude to require a global strategy of containment. They need to explain why Syria is a good place to fight.

Mattis in his resignation cites the menace of China and Russia. China, which in the foreseeable future will overtake the United States as an economic power, is projecting power and influence into the Caribbean through its increasing entanglement with the collapsing Maduro regime in Venezuela, and is currently trying to cow the Canadians to do its bidding rather than that of the United States.

Russia, as wise man Paul Nitze used to say of the Soviet Union before it, is basically a third-world country with nuclear missiles. According to 2017 figures, Russia ranks 73rd, just behind the Seychelles, in per capita GDP. Would-be architects of a new new world order, those who want to show how America can continue to lead the world to greater peace and wider prosperity, need to to show how, when, and where a rising China, not a stagnating Russia and a collapsing Iran, need to be contained. Syrian Kurdistan is surely not the place.

Photo Credit: Ali Imran/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

America • Immigration • Israel • military • Post • The Left

Let’s Mobilize an Army of Stone Throwers on the Border

In the United States, even our Customs and Border Protection apologizes for doing its job. Allegedly, CBP “protects the public from dangerous people and materials attempting to cross the border …”

On one of the media networks that wants all people, dangerous or not, to cross the southern border into the United States if they so desire, a CBP officer was bending over backwards to appear like a “global force for good.” (That, believe it or not, was the U.S. Navy’s motto, between 2009 and 2015!)

Tear-gassing rabble-rousing migrants, who were charging his officers and breaching the U.S.-Mexico border, was in the service of protecting … the migrants, especially The Children. Perhaps that’s in the oath of office a CBP officer takes?

Law enforcement officers entrusted with the safety of the American people struggle to articulate pride in executing their mandate. Attached to the expected self-loathing repartee is, invariably, a declaration of loyalties to The World. (Of a piece with this confused loyalty is the typical argument made by the typical TV talker: Illegal immigration must be stopped, so as to … save migrants from the journey’s depredations.)

It’s instructive to contrast the apologies around defending the U.S. border and the American people with the absence of apologies on Israel’s borders.

In May of this year, The Economist reported, “Tens of thousands of Palestinians massed near Gaza’s border fence, threatening to ‘return’ to the lands their forefathers lost when Israel was created in 1948.” They wanted in.

Israeli soldiers responded not with tear gas, but with bullets. They killed over 60 protesters who threatened to breach the border. The number has since risen to 120.

Most of us, this writer included, would condemn such excessive force.

Yet surprisingly, The Economist—a liberal, pro-Palestinian, most excellent weekly—pondered but briefly and nonchalantly about Israel’s army having used excessive force, concluding almost callously: “Every state has a right to defend its borders.”

Come again?!

This from the very same editorialists who never tire of protesting any disruption in the holy quest of weary columns of Christ-like caravanners, planning to defy the U.S. government, by illegally entering the United States of America.

Moreover, calmly and with no histrionics does The Economist report, matter-of-fact, that “Any Palestinian, even a farmer, coming within 300 meters of the fence [with Gaza] is liable to be shot.”

And while the august magazine has declaimed dutifully that “Israel must answer for the deaths in Gaza,” its writers have also evinced a good deal of impatience with the M.O.P.E (Most Oppressed People Ever), stating: “It is time for Palestinians to take up genuine non-violence.”

In other words, grow up. The stone throwing was cute when your “struggle” was in its infancy, but no more.

Go figure.

For the longest time, the world raged about Israel’s refusal to accept the necessity for its citizens to be blown to bits or be overrun demographically (by people likewise said only to be “seeking a better life” for themselves and their posterity).

Israel paid no attention to the liberal lunatics aligned against its oft-excessive habit of defending the rights of its citizenry.

In fact, the Jewish State has recently gone one better. Israel has automated the process of defense, creating a set of “auto kill-zones” “by networking together remote-controlled machine guns, ground sensors, and drones along the 60-kilometer border.”

Bluntly put, Israel has deployed gizmos to Gaza; “robo-snipers” instead of flesh-and-blood men and women.

The nation’s “19- and 20-year-old soldiers” are still deployed to the front—but virtually. They sit at a safe distance “behind computer screens,” waiting on “approval by a commanding officer” before “pushing the kill button.”

The IDF Southern Command’s rules of engagement along the Gaza fence are, shall we say, particularly aggressive.

Oh, it’s still pro forma for the U.N. General Assembly and Security Council to open every one of their sessions with a rote condemnation of Israel’s actions on its borders and everywhere else.

But even the U.N., a cesspit of venality and stupidity, has gotten the message over the decades. And it is this:

Israel’s army is not going to put down its guns and mobilize an army of stone throwers to lob back the stones thrown at them by the “persecuted” Arabs. They are not concerned with the U.N.’s habit of labeling what they do as the crime of using “excessive force.”

Israel’s action on its own borders is not unlike many actions taken by the U.S. Armed Forces in defense of borders not our own, after all. Maybe we should consider bringing that strategy home.

Photo Credit: Hassan Jedi/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Israel • Post • Religion of Peace • Terrorism • The Left

Airbnb: More Dangerous Than Pittsburgh

After the horrific attack upon a synagogue in Pittsburgh, I wrote that it is tremendously misguided, not to mention dangerous, to associate anti-Semitism with any single political cause. Rather, extremists at both ends of the political spectrum fall into the same trap. As I wrote then, “That Louis Farrakhan referred to Jews as termites, while the Tree of Life murderer referred to a ‘kike infestation,’ is no coincidence.”

Airbnb, an American company given to ostentatious displays of left-wing rectitude even as it causes unending grief for cities and homeowners, recently announced it would no longer list short-term rental properties in what it describes as “the occupied West Bank.” Not only is this anti-Semitic, but this form of anti-Semitism is in fact much more dangerous than what happened in Pittsburgh last month.

This may appear to be an astounding statement. Why is this obviously anti-Semitic, and how could denial of property listings somehow be more dangerous than a gunman openly murdering Jews?

Begin with the fact that an explanation of the anti-Semitic nature of this decision is even necessary, although it is obvious. It is so obvious that a continuous, leftist false narrative has been necessary to mask it.

There are numerous areas around the world where a government is occupying and controlling the homeland of a distinct ethnicity, a different people, and even forcing them from their homes. Prominent examples include Northern Cyprus, Chechnya, the Western Sahara, and Tibet. According to Airbnb’s own statement that “companies should not profit on lands where people have been displaced,” Airbnb’s continued business in those locations is a moral abomination.

In fact, it is not, because it is never appropriate to target individual citizens. In most cases, it isn’t feasible, either—it is difficult to know if a particular home is owned by members of the occupying or indigenous populations, or even by a third party.

Only thanks to the Oslo Accords can one distinguish a “settler” from a “Palestinian”—and the homes of the latter are not targeted. Indeed, the only unique facet of the homes delisted by Airbnb, contrary to its practices in every other location where it is permitted to operate by law, is that these homes are owned by Jews.

In the wake of the Arab armies’ catastrophic loss in 1967, after their third organized attempt to destroy the young nation of Israel, the United Nations passed Resolution 242 calling for a peaceful end to the conflict. One who reads this document is shocked to learn that Israel is neither expected to withdraw to its 1967 borders, nor to withdraw at all prior to conclusion of a comprehensive peace agreement with full recognition of all parties. At a time when the Palestinian Authority is actively rewarding murderers, and its logo depicts its borders as comprising all of Israel, a claim that Israel is violating international law by permitting its citizens to live in contested areas is utterly vacuous.

It is also morally abhorrent. The city of Hebron is depicted as a “Palestinian” city with an “Israeli settlement.” In fact, Hebron has enjoyed nearly 3,500 years as a city with unique significance in Judaism: it is identified as the burial place of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, along with their wives. Jews have never left that city voluntarily, and most recently that was a consequence of the 1929 Arab massacre. So to call Hebron a “Palestinian” city inverts reality, and endorses the result of ethnic cleansing.

Finally, boycotting Israel is an exemplary paradigm for the word “counterproductive.” Not only did the Arabs boycott Jewish settlement in then-Palestine before Israel’s formation, but it was a tactic they learned from the Nazis, who began with their boycott in 1932. So today’s boycotters claim to believe that replicating an old Nazi tactic is a good way to convince Jews to compromise the security of their children. One has to be an idiot, an ignoramus, or truly evil, to imagine Boycott Divest Sanction (BDS) to be a good idea.

And that is what makes the Airbnb move so dangerous: the company now traffics in evil.

The belief that all Jewish property is somehow stolen, acquired fraudulently, is a basic notion of anti-Semitism identified in rabbinic thought for hundreds of years, and traced back directly to the Bible itself. That is what we find today in the fundamentally wrongheaded depiction of Jewish presence in Hebron and elsewhere as an “occupation” of marauders from the Arabian Peninsula. It is a return to old, hateful lies.

No one in positions of legitimate influence or power endorses the behavior of the murderer in Pittsburgh. But numerous organizations, and left-wing politicians such as Rashida Tlaib, favor boycotts of Jews to “punish” them for living in their homeland.

This lie rapidly leads to an equally false corollary: “resistance is justified, when people are occupied.” By “resistance” they mean, of course, the murder of civilians. Civilian casualties nearly destroyed the Irish Republican Army and completely ended the Chechen rebellion, although both were truly indigenous people fighting occupation. No one tolerates the murder of civilians in any situation, unless, once again, the victims are Jews.

Condemnations of Israel’s defense at the Gaza border, while ignoring the war crimes that demanded Israel’s response, just encourages the murderers. Consider the number of knife, gun, and missile attacks against Jews in Israel, and it is obvious that the incitement leads to far more casualties over time than do a few neo-Nazi shooters. And this is the thinking with which the unthinking left-wingers at Airbnb have aligned themselves.

Photo Credit: Menahem Kahana/AFP/Getty Images

Identity Politics • Israel • Post • Progressivism • The Left

The Politicization of Anti-Semitism

In the October 24 issue of Mishpacha magazine, popular in the Orthodox Jewish community, columnist Jonathan Rosenblum interviewed Jonathan Neumann, author of the excellent book dismantling the false equivalence between Jewish values and liberal activism, “To Heal the World?” Rosenblum closed by asking “what, short of an outbreak of violent anti-Semitism, might recreate a feeling among young Jews as being members of a unique people.”

While Neumann’s answer remains instructive, the intervening days have shown that the premise was wrong. An outbreak of violent anti-Semitism transpired that same weekend, but a celebration of Jewish unity has not resulted. For many Jews, liberal activism came first.

I feel I have yet to process adequately my grief and sorrow regarding the horrific slaughter at the Tree of Life Congregation in Pittsburgh. This is due not only to denial, but also to how I learned about this atrocity.

As a Sabbath-observant Jew, I knew nothing about what had transpired until after nightfall, when I had returned from synagogue and started up my computer. I happened to look at social media before the news.

So the first thing I read was not the report of the worst anti-Semitic crime in U.S. history. What I read first was that it was my fault.

The blood of the victims was not yet dry, and already people were diverting our attention from the simple fact that Jews are still murdered for being Jews—and not hesitating to blame Jews for anti-Semitism, in classically anti-Semitic fashion.

The question for Trump-haters was why the president was to blame. By that, I do not mean an incredulous “why” as in, “Why would Trump be responsible for the actions of an individual who opposed him?” Though this is a good question given that the shooter opposed Trump specifically because Trump is “surrounded by kikes” and “there is no #MAGA as long as there is a kike infestation.” Trump-haters had had no such questions; for them, blaming the president was a given.

Rather, a better word to describe their leap in logic is “how.” They proposed to show “how” they justify this improbable connection. They offered multiple, mutually contradictory rationales, connected by nothing other than the writers’ pre-existing hostility to the president. Others incriminated Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, with no greater consistency other than that it aligned with previous opinions of their target.

Consider that many of those who say this barbarian felt empowered by Trump also claim that anti-Semites in Gaza turn to violence because they feel powerless. There is no consistency, for none is required. Their underlying concern is not understanding anti-Semitism, but understanding how to leverage anti-Semitism for political gain. For multiple Jewish writers, tweeters, and pundits, partisan agendas come before Jewish unity. It is possible that this thoughtless division is an even greater tragedy than this attack itself.

Anti-Semitism is a unique form of hatred. Xenophobia says the “other” is shiftless, worthless, and criminal. The Jew, on the other hand, is conniving, resourceful, plotting. The “other” robs banks; the Jew controls the banks. And one of the basic anti-Semitic ideas is that hatred of Jews is something other than Jew-hatred, and that to the extent that it is Jew-hatred, the Jews brought it upon themselves.

No one likes to be hated, and without a clear theological understanding of why anti-Semitism exists, it is comforting to pretend that it is going away, or tied to a political ideology that we can hope to eliminate. And thus it is understandable why Jews fall into this trap. Understandable, but horribly wrong.

Anti-Semitism is found at the extreme ends of all political movements; it does not stem from only one. That Louis Farrakhan referred to Jews as termites, while the Tree of Life murderer referred to a “kike infestation,” is no coincidence. Their ideology is the same, at least when it comes to Jews. The image of Jews as parasites was common in Nazi literature, and long before.

It is true that anti-Semitism increased in 2017—if we include the 163 bomb threats against Jewish community centers made by a mentally disturbed Israeli teen and the Obama volunteer who was stalking his former girlfriend. Of the 12 violent hate crimes against Jews in New York State, nine—fully three-quarters—were in Brooklyn and directed against easily identified Orthodox Jews—the vast majority of whom (more than 90 percent) support President Trump. Not one of the perpetrators has been identified as a white supremacist. So the leftists are not merely wrong, but are engaged in blaming the very Jews who clearly have a better grasp on the nature of anti-Semitism than they do.

No explanation of the Pittsburgh massacre is valid that does not address the shootings at the Overland Park, Kansas JCC in 2014 and the U.S. Holocaust Museum in 2009, and the Crown Heights riot of 1991. It must also encompass the Hypercacher killings in 2015, why synagogues from France to Denmark are defended with armed troops less than 75 years after the Holocaust . . . and the Holocaust itself. Finally, it must explain why international media reported a rioting mob in Gaza—gathered in order to “rip down the border, and rip the Jews’ hearts from their bodies”—as a “peaceful protest”  and simultaneously described the precision elimination of 50 terrorists in that mob as a “massacre.”

Jews cannot pretend that this hatred afflicts only those of particular political affiliations. That delusion only makes all Jews less safe.

Jew-hatred is not about politics. It is tied to no other agenda. As it has been for thousands of years, it is about hatred for God, Torah, and values—and the same genocidal mission shared by Haman, Hitler, and Pittsburgh synagogue shooter: “All Jews Must Die.” It cares not whether a Jew is conservative or liberal, religious or secular, rich or poor.

That is exactly why all decent people must fight it, and why all Jews must continue proudly to identify as Jews. Together.

Photo Credit: Justin Merriman/For The Washington Post via Getty Images

Democrats • Israel • Obama • Post • The Left

‘Louie, Louie’ Farrakhan’s Tehran Concert

Fresh off his declaration that he’s not an anti-Semite, only “anti-termite,” and with the 39th anniversary of the Iranian hostage crisis looming, Nation of Islam boss Louis Farrakhan flew to the Islamic Republic of Iran. There in 1979, the Ayatollah Khomeini took 52 Americans hostage and held them for 444 days. That was then, during the administration of Jimmy Carter. Current president Donald Trump takes a harder line toward Iran and Farrakhan doesn’t like it one bit.

“Today, I warn the American government that sanctioning Iran is a big mistake,” Farrakhan said. So like Barack Obama, who relaxed sanctions and shipped the regime plane loads of cash, the Nation of Islam leader believes mullahs know best. His speech came just before the U.S. midterm elections, but Farrakhan told law students at Tehran University that “America has never been a democracy.” He even led the students in chants of  “Death to America,” and  “Death to Israel,” a sequel to his Jews-are-termites number. How does he get away with it?

“Louis Farrakhan has ingratiated himself with the liberal elite in the United States,” Howard Feldman noted after the “termites” speech. “Both Obama and the Clintons have been photographed alongside him. And whereas they publicly denounce his attitude towards Jews, the fact that they continue to be seen with him is that which empowers him.” That is indeed the case.

At the funeral of Aretha Franklin this summer, Farrakhan sat right up front with Bill Clinton, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, and Eric Holder. Many Democrats exploited Franklin’s funeral to trash President Trump, but the Nation of Islam leader got a free pass. So Farrakhan knows he can call Jews termites and lead chants of “Death to America,” and prominent Democrats will say little if anything against him. In a way, that makes sense, even after the Tehran show.

In reality, Farrakhan’s “Death to America” differs only in degree from “No Trump, no wall, no USA at all”. Democrats, now completely dominated by the Left, despise the America that actually exists, with its own culture, history, traditions and above all its borders. The Democrats’ ideal America has no borders and is little more than a vast refugee clearance center where anybody in any caravan can get free stuff, stay forever, and vote for Democrats only.

In this view, only Trump and his deplorables are evil, so no surprise that Democrats pay little attention to Farrakhan. The establishment media have also taken a “don’t ask don’t tell” posture, so Millennials may not know what he is about. Fortunately, there is a good source from back in the day.

As Stanley Crouch explained in the Village Voice in 1985, in the view of Farrakhan, “the white man was a devil ‘grafted’ from black people in an evil genetic experiment by a mad, pumpkin-headed scientist named Yacub. That experiment took place 6,000 years ago. Now the white man was doomed, sentenced to destruction by Allah.”

So people like Leonardo Da Vinci, Eleanor Roosevelt, Joan of Arc and Thomas Edison are the devilish result of Yacub’s experiment. It’s kind of racist, when you think about it. But like the Democrats and the media, pop culture won’t touch the former Calypso singer. Since Farrakhan no longer records, someone might adapt the classic rock standard “Louie Louie” to the Tehran performance.

A-Louie Louie, oh no, I say he gotta go. (repeat)

Down in Tehran, Louie had his say

Trashed USA all kinda ways

“America ain’t no democracy”

Mullahs know best, and they agree

A-Louie Louie, oh no, I say he gotta go

And so on. Don’t look for it on “Saturday Night Live,” which prefers to target disabled war veterans. Maybe the “Greg Gutfeld Show” could hold a contest for additional verses. The original “Louie Louie” lyrics were kind of hard to understand, so why not? With Farrakhan, the possibilities for satire are truly endless. So as the Kingsmen said at the end, “Let’s go!”

Photo Credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Cultural Marxism • Identity Politics • Israel • Post • The Culture • The Left

Left-Wing Jews: a Jewish and American Tragedy

It is probably impossible to overstate the damage left-wing—not liberal but left-wing—Jews are doing to Judaism, Jews and America. Of course, the same can be said of the damage left-wing Catholics are doing to Catholicism and America, other left-wing Christians are doing to Christianity and America, and, most obviously, the damage the secular left-wing is doing. But since anti-Semitism is in the news, and given the prominence of many left-wing Jews, I will focus on them.

The damage done to Jews by left-wing Jews is not new. It began at the beginning of the left with Karl Marx, the grandson of two Orthodox rabbis (his parents had undergone pro forma conversion to Christianity). He wrote one of the most anti-Semitic tracts of the 19th century, “On the Jewish Question,” published in 1844. In it he wrote, among other things:

“What is the worldly religion of the Jew? Huckstering …”

“What is his worldly God? Money …”

“Money is the jealous god of Israel, in face of which no other god may exist …”

“In the final analysis, the emancipation of the Jews is the emancipation of mankind from Judaism.”

In the early 20th century, another left-wing Jew, Leon Trotsky, who, along with Lenin, led the Bolshevik Party in Russia, was a catastrophe for Jews and for humanity. In 1920, when Trotsky was head of the Red Army, Moscow’s chief rabbi, Rabbi Jacob Mazeh, asked him to use the army to protect the Jews from pogromist attacks in which tens thousands of Jews were murdered. Trotsky is reported to have responded: “Why do you come to me? I am not a Jew,” to which Rabbi Mazeh answered: “That’s the tragedy. It’s the Trotskys who make revolutions, and it’s the Bronsteins who pay the price.”

That is the story of the many Jewish leftists to this day: Jewish leftists make revolutions, and all the Jews (among millions of others) pay the price.Thus, many of the leaders of the movement to economically strangle Israel—the Boycott, Divest, Sanctions (BDS) movement—are left-wing Jews.

A few years ago, I was invited to the world’s most famous debating forum, the Oxford Union, to debate the farcical question of whether Israel or Hamas is a greater obstacle to peace in the Middle East. One of my two adversaries was a Jewish former professor at Oxford. He argued that Israel was a greater threat to peace than Hamas.

Another prominent left-wing Jew, MIT professor Noam Chomsky, has devoted his life to writing and speaking against two countries: the United States and Israel.The security of the world’s only Jewish state is by far the greatest security issue for world Jewry. Yet many left-wing Jews attack Israel, support many of those who wish to destroy Israel or, at the very least, do nothing to strengthen Israel’s security.In America today, leftism has poisoned so many non-Orthodox synagogues, they differ only from the American Civil Liberties Union or the Democratic Party in their use of Hebrew liturgy.

Many non-Orthodox synagogues sat shiva—Judaism’s seven days of mourning after the death of an immediate relative—when Donald Trump was elected president. This perversion of Judaism is an example of what leftism does to every religion it infiltrates. I suspect none of those synagogues sat shiva after the murder of 11 Jews in Pittsburgh. Why? Did the election of Donald Trump bother them more? Left-wing Jews are ethnically Jewish, but their values derive from leftism (just as the current pope is Catholic in his identity but his values derive from leftism).

The current charge that the Pittsburgh massacre was caused by President Trump is one of the greatest libels in American history. Virtually every left-wing columnist and commentator has spread this lie, most of them written by left-wing Jews such as the Washington Post’s Dana Milbank. One of their lies is that attacks on George Soros are anti-Semitic.

I think George Soros is a malevolent force. Am I an anti-Semite? (To answer that, let’s compare what I have done for Jews and Judaism with what any of these left-wing Jews have done.) But left-wing Jews have always done this. They attributed the execution of the Rosenbergs—who, immoral leftists that they were, passed on the secrets to the atom bomb to Stalin—to anti-Semitism. The judge in the Rosenberg case was a Jew. But to left-wing Jews, that didn’t matter. Ever since Stalin labeled Trotsky a “fascist,” leftists have always depicted their opponents as “Nazis,” “racists,” “anti-Semites,” “fascists,” “haters” and “bigots.” That is their modus operandi.

Many of these left-wing Jews base this libel about President Trump’s “role” in the context of an equally libelous claim that there has been a great rise in American anti-Semitism in the Trump era—resulting in the Pittsburgh massacre—based on an Anti-Defamation League study. The study’s mendacity is fully exposed by David E. Bernstein, a professor of law at George Mason University Law School and (SET ITAL) a Trump opponent (END ITAL), in two devastating reviews (one on Reason.com and one in Tablet Magazine). Read them and you will understand one of the most important things you need to know about the left: Truth is not a left-wing value. The ADL, which at one time was preoccupied with fighting anti-Semitism, is now preoccupied with fighting Donald Trump and fighting on behalf of the American left.

In 1970, a Harris study showed that 23 percent of Jewish college students termed themselves “far left” versus 4 percent of Protestants and 2 percent of Catholics.Many of those college students are now many of the non-Orthodox rabbis and lay leaders in American Jewish life. Given the rule that whatever the left touches it ultimately ruins (the universities, for example), the Bronsteins will continue to pay the price for the Trotskys’ revolutions.

Photo Credit: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

America • Big Media • Democrats • Education • Identity Politics • Israel • Law and Order • Political Parties • Post • race • The Culture • The Left • The Media

Why Democrats Depend Upon Antisemitic Votes

The Anti-Defamation League’s map of antisemitic incidents is almost the same as the map of blue states. Liberal Massachusetts, Florida, Pennsylvania, and California are the worst, with up to 400 antisemitic hate crimes. West Virginia, supposedly full of deplorable people, comes in with just two incidents. Idaho, still smeared as a home to white militias, had only five, compared to liberal Connecticut’s 50.

Democrats rely on anti-Jewish voting blocks to win elections. Hispanic immigrants are 30-40 percent antisemitic, three or four times the national average. Blacks are twice the national average, 20-30 percent antisemitic. Our millions of new Muslim immigrants are doubly antisemitic, by religion and by the legacy of the Third Reich.

On college campuses, Jew-hatred is everywhere—in course lectures, public programs, hate incidents, and boycotts of Israel. We are not talking about ordinary political discourse. We are talking about claims that Jews are subhuman, rule the world, murder children, that Israel should be a pariah nation, and that Jews should be killed. Anti-Jewish programming is protected by college administrators and paid for with public funds. Millennials have absorbed antisemitic libels in large numbers.

Common antisemitism among the black community is now visible to outsiders, thanks to social media. “Black Woman Destroys White Privilege Myth” is a million-hit YouTube success. It starts out so sensibly. The creator, a small-town Texas Millennial, cheerfully admits black privilege got her into college without the required SAT scores. She forcefully disagrees there is such a thing as white privilege—with one exception:

If you go to work every single day for a 40-hour work week, you are not privileged. If you pay taxes, you are not privileged. You got a mortgage, you got a car payment, you’re not privileged. If you had to apply for your job, you’re not privileged. The real privileged people in our society are the movie makers, the politicians, etc. etc. And all of those people happen to be Jewish. Jewish people have privilege.

I suspect it sounds normal to the black Washington, D.C. council member who posted his own antisemitic Facebook video rant last month about a snowstorm.

Man, it just started snowing out of nowhere this morning, man. Y’all better pay attention to this climate control, man, this climate manipulation . . . And D.C. keep talking about, “We a resilient city.” And that’s a model based off the Rothschilds controlling the climate to create natural disasters they can pay for to own the cities, man.

A rally followed to support the antisemitic council member; a speaker called Jewish people “termites” and attacked a Jewish council member.

From Farrakhan to Black Lives Matter
Antisemitism is ordinary among many American blacks, from small-town Texas to big city D.C. We know it is accepted by the way every single member of the Congressional Black Caucus flocks to Farrakhan at election time. Barack Obama did the same until a primary debate in 2008. White party leaders lend their silence.

Perhaps it is Farrakhan’s long reign teaching antisemitism—he blames slavery on Jews and idolizes Hitler—that is behind the two reprehensible examples above, but he is far from singular. Obama’s beloved Reverend Wright, one of the most popular pastors in Chicago, is also a crude antisemite. Democrats normalize Farrakhan by saying the Nation of Islam helps inner-city blacks. Translation: if we criticized Farrakhan, we would lose crucial black votes.

Think Farrakhan is old news? Black Lives Matter’s official platform blasts Israel for genocide and apartheid. That how leftists talk antisemitism. It’s the same old hate: Jews are evil.

Corrupting the Youth
Kindergarten through college, antisemitic incidents are off the historical 
charts, and have been doubling yearly.

Progressive faculty, black activists, feminists and pro-Muslim organizations actively demonize and intimidate Jewish students on campus, according to the AMCHA Initiative (the leading group fighting antisemitism in the California university system). Professors inject emotional, odious imagery, and lies about Jews into their classroom lectures, emails to students, and academic symposia.

Liberals mobilize their voting blocs by tolerating popular anti-Semites. Black, Muslim, and feminist antisemites are powerful in their progressive circles. They are often promoted to leadership roles—witness the DNC’s second-in-command, U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), with his hateful Nation of Islam past.

Linda Sarsour and Tamika Mallory, co-leaders of the Women’s March against then-newly elected President Trump, are prime examples of “intersectionality”—the progressive credo of integrating hatred of whites, Jews, and men into one unified creed of a noxious identity politics.

Mallory worked for the infamous antisemite Al Sharpton and made headlines for her support of cop-killer Assata Shakur, as well as Farrakhan—before going mainstream and working with Obama and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio. The Jew-hating Muslim feminist, Linda Sarsour, and Jew-hating leftist Amy Goodman, both “influential thought leaders in the progressive wing of the Democratic party,” are given a powerful podium by NPR, college and community radio stations.

“For the Greater Good”
Jews in progressive and feminist groups long ago learned to put up with this or get out. Still, it is shocking to see LGBTQ groups join in the Jew-bashing. Jewish gays were kicked out of a gay pride parade in Chicago and
 attacked by fellow gays parading in New York.

The Democratic leadership will never repudiate, let along kick out, their Jew-haters. Politicians, their donors, including Jewish donors, and their partisans prefer to go along with the antisemitism. They justify it in the usual way, by libeling and excommunicating anyone who protests.

Like liberal toleration of sexual predators, tolerating antisemites is necessary for the greater good, meaning Democrat power. Money, power, spoils—all ride on promoting anti-Semites.

This is the new Democratic Party. The Kumbaya people are united around hatred of whites, Jews, and serious Christians. Jew hatred is not only normal in identity politics. It is necessary to the Democrats’ victory.

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Making International Relations Great Again

The fumbling and waffling in the American and international media on three urgent contemporary issues: North Korea, Iran, and Palestine, reveal the dangers of the vacuum created by the Obama Administration in international relations, and the efficacy with which the Trump Administration is filling the vacuum. Obviously they are distinct crises with different origins. But in each case, the permissive withdrawal of the Obama Administration incited the escalation of these problems to the point where they disturb the peace of the world.

Summitry Sideshow
North Korea simply made and broke agreements with consecutive American administrations as it continued to develop nuclear weapons. The Chinese, who had as much to fear from such a development as anyone, cynically enabled North Korean misconduct until they belatedly recognized that they were potentially damaging their own interests by midwifing a nuclear porcupine across the Yalu.    

All the agitated discussion leading up to  President Trump’s decision Thursday to cancel the the June 12 summit  with the North Korean leader, like the redundant controversy about whether Trump was becoming too excited about the Nobel Prize, is unfounded. One of three events is going to occur, regardless: there will be a denuclearization agreement that is verifiable and durable along with the end of sanctions and normalization of relations, or there will be a continued period of intense sanctions until North Korea accepts such an outcome, or North Korea will resume its nuclear development and its program will be utterly destroyed by the U.S. naval air forces with minimal casualties.

The physical meeting between the leaders would be an image-builder if Kim wants it, but it is a sideshow and there is little need for negotiations: Kim has a short menu presenting his options.

Pressuring Tehran the Right Way
Iran is in many respects a similar problem. Though an ancient country and a more distinguished civilization than North Korea, it was not only allowed to swindle the United States as North Korea was, it was directly enabled by the Obama Administration to become a nuclear power, over 10 years, even as it continued its sponsorship of terrorism, and  continued to threaten to obliterate Israel.

Here the United States is effectively offering the same formula as it is to North Korea. Iran can agree to denuclearize militarily or it can face what Hillary Clinton in her more purposeful moments used to call “crippling sanctions,” (before she folded like a garden chair in perfect synchronization with President Obama). These sanctions would be backed by the same military force that the United States could deploy to destroy the North Korean (and Iranian) nuclear program.

Ignore the histrionics of the European Union about the impact of American sanctions should it continue to trade with Iran. Europe’s economic relations with the United States are worth 50 times its commerce with Iran, and like the reluctant and fair-weather, self-serving allies most of them are, they will dutifully get into lock step with Washington with a bit of authoritative leadership.

Commercial arithmetic generally prevails over misplaced righteousness. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has usefully reminded the world that all the United States asks of Iran is to desist from deploying nuclear weapons while it is threatening genocide, and for it to behave like all other international law-abiding countries and cease to export terrorism and aggression.     

President Trump has the strongest national security team (Pompeo, Mattis, and Bolton) since President Reagan (Shultz, Weinberger, Carlucci), if not Truman (General Marshall and Dean Acheson), as President Nixon and Henry Kissinger were brilliant but there wasn’t a good defense secretary until James Schlesinger.

The United States will tighten its grip on Iran until it produces a solution quite close to what is about to unfold in North Korea. Press unease about disguised “regime change” is rubbish. President Trump will end the intolerable behavior of Iran. If the antediluvian theocracy of the ayatollahs goes down as well, it will be by domestic revolt and will be a bonus for the benighted people of Iran who were cast into bondage when President Jimmy Carter deserted the Shah in 1979.

Elusive Middle East Peace
Israel and Gaza are, of course, more complicated. There has never been any possible solution to the Israeli-Palestine problem except a division of territory between the two peoples, since Great Britain, in the desperate days of World War I, promised that that piece of the Ottoman empire would become a “homeland for the Jews” without compromising the rights of the Arabs. That solution was impossible while the major Arab powers used Israel as a distraction of the Arab masses from the misrule they were inflicting upon them, and while the Soviet Union exercised a mischievous influence in the region.

Once Nixon and Kissinger had effectively expelled the USSR from the region and after Israel accepted the two-state solution, it was possible but not sufficiently enthusiastically embraced by the Arab powers to persuade the Palestinian leadership to accept Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state. That would have ended the Arafat-Abbas tour as the self-enriching focal point of the world’s attention that they were as long as the Israel-Palestine conflict continued, and to accept peace and the mere leadership of another small Middle-Eastern country.  

The combination of the Islamic revolution in Iran, Europe’s rejection of Turkey and it’s pivot to attempt to exercise influence in the Arab world, and the disintegration of the Soviet Union, Syria, and Iraq, have caused the principal Arab powers, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, to look upon Israel as a benign associate in repulsing the incursions of their ancient Turkish and Iranian foes and occupiers.

The Palestinians are no longer the favorites and protégés of the Arab powers and are grossly overplaying their hand. They are a few million people at the bottom of the proverbial local pyramid and Saudi Arabia‘s peace proposals for them are less generous than Israel’s.

Now is the time for the United States, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Israel to agree to a territorial demarcation. Israel cannot go back to being nine miles wide so the West Bank must be narrowed; the Palestinians can be compensated with a thickened Gaza and the two connected by a secure road. That has been presaged in previous discussions. The right of return will be to Palestine and not to Israel. Some such solution as this can be agreed and imposed, and the Palestinians can accept it and with it substantial development assistance and general recognition, or they can face the entire elimination of the physical remnants of the state that awaits them if they continue to inflict violence on Israel.

This problem, as President Trump has hinted that he understands, can now be solved. But there is no point in negotiating with the Palestinians. They have to be given a state, incentivized to accept it, and need to understand that if they do not accept it, they will get no material assistance from outsiders and will suffer continuous torment until they do accept it.  Hamas’ recruitment of paid cannon fodder for attacks on the Israeli border should be ignored; only the gullible useful idiots in the Western media and academia still pay the least attention to such stale and futile propaganda gestures.

Finally, after more than a century, this is a terrible problem ripe for resolution, but by the imposition of the consensus, not by another orgy of accusatory polemics billed as a peace process.

Photo credit:  Mark Wilson/Getty Images