Anti-Semitism Continues to Rise

Six months ago, I wrote about seeing a resurgence of anti-Semitism in the world, and in the last half year it has gotten worse. 

Last month, scholar David Horowitz spoke at UCSD and, during a question and answer session, confronted a young woman who asked him why he identified her student association with terrorists.  Horowitz turned the question on her and asked her to denounce Hamas, the internationally labelled terrorist organization in charge of Gaza which calls for the destruction of Israel in its charter.  When the woman demurred, Horowitz directed another question at her: are you for or against the destruction of Israel?  She said she was for it. 

Watch the video:

(Incidentally, the answer to the student’s question about ties between her student association and terrorist networks is well documented, such as here.)

Of course, since then we’ve seen the international controversy over Israel’s raid of a Gaza-bound flotilla, an ostensibly humanitarian mission which was obviously moving in weapons and, more importantly, setting up Israel for a public relations coup in the press.  And that trap worked–Israel has come under international denunciations for its actions, with the worst slap in the face perhaps being the one coming from the White House, where Barack Obama has pledged $400 million in aid to Gaza, despite all the money we already give them and the dire economic situation here at home. 

Israel offered to inspect the flotilla and deliver the aid supplies.  Gaza refused.  Israel’s blockade is legal and, in fact, perfectly normal.  Gaza has launched hundreds of rockets into Israel–they are at war.  Why shouldn’t Israel be allowed to defend itself?

This is hardly the first time this administration has let down one of our strongest allies.  Since taking office, Obama has alienated and offended Israel several times, with trust and relations between the U.S. and Israel frequently described in the mainstream press as at an all-time low.  Here is a British article on the tensions from March, before the flotilla controversy, which has made it even worse.  The headline: “Benjamin Netanyahu’s efforts to heal rift marred as Barack Obama branded ‘disaster for Israel’.”  Examples of such dismal diplomacy abound.  So much for this administration “fixing our image” in the world. 

Most recently, there is media darling Helen Thomas’s angry remarks about how the Jews should just leave Israel and go home to Germany and Poland.  Video of that revealing confession is below.  Much has been made of how she’s been a staple of White House press conferences for decades and has been forced to retire by this scandal, but nobody seems to be noting that until last week, she was a queen of the Left.  I remember seeing a laudatory report about her on 60 Minutes once because she openly hated George Bush so much that she was temporarily denied her usual front row seat at White House press conferences during his tenure.  60 Minutes painted her as a martyr in the fight against Bush, a badge she clearly wore with honor.

And now we know who she really is. But nobody is connecting the dots between her previously-celebrated beliefs and her shocking newly-public ones.  Anti-Semitism does not exist in a vacuum.

In my post last December, I speculated that this rise in anti-Semitism is being fostered by an allegiance to multiculturistic tolerance so blind that it makes people assume that there must be plenty of truth and blame on all sides of an argument, and by an aggressive secularism that hates the existence of Israel for the traditional Biblical history it represents.  These recent events support both of those ideas.

Hatred of Israel isn’t connected to secularism?  In this video, which I found while searching for the Helen Thomas clip, an online commentator responds to Thomas’s call for Jews to “go back to Germany” by ridiculing Elijah and the Hebrew Bible.  What does this spiteful attitude toward Judaism have to do with Thomas’s remarks?  Nothing, but I guess a lot of people can’t pass up a chance to show where their anti-Israeli beliefs come from–their rejection of traditional Western beliefs.

What other than a slavish devotion to relativistic ideology can account for the massive tacit agreement in our society to ignore the world’s violent anti-Semitism, even in our own country?  Just within the last few weeks, anti-Israel protests around the world, including in America, have featured songs and signs alternately praising Nazis and comparing Israel to them, or calling for the destruction of Israel.  Why don’t these pictures make the evening news coverage of these protests?  You have to look online to find them.  The only signs shown in the mainstream media are those decrying Israel’s “apartheid” and “occupation,”  which are just manufactured buzzwords to get the sympathy of the Left.

So what have we seen recently?

  • A radical jihadist exposed at UCSD
  • The media’s and the world’s disturbing knee-jerk, reflexive condemnation of Israel’s flotilla raid
  • The Obama administration’s consistent mistreatment of Israel, a staunch ally
  • Leftist media dean Helen Thomas’s anti-Semitic revelation
  • Mainstream acceptance of violently anti-Semitict protests, even within our borders

Why is our society’s historic support of Israel decaying so quickly?  Where, especially in America, are the Arabs and Muslims who publicly and unequivocally agree with Israel’s right to exist, who will say that they do not want Jews killed?  Where are those who will condemn the ones who do say those awful things?  Is that too much to ask?

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3 comments on “Anti-Semitism Continues to Rise

  1. I’d like to point out that your next post says being wrong does not equal being evil. One might as well say the other way around that being evil does not equal being wrong. People can be right for the wrong reasons, and wrong despite being upstanding and honest.

    Usually, if someone calls for Israel’s giving up land — or lately for discontinuing the blockade of Gaza — I ask if they agree with Hamas, Hezbollah and Ahmadinejad that Israel needs to be wiped off the map. What shocks me most are people, who say with a shrug that Israel has no right for the Palestine homeland, so they might as well get out.

    Now, I don’t know if we can use the Bible as evidence, but if not, then at least the fact that prior to the WWI there were both Arabs* and Jews in Palestine, and the British promised the land for the both of them. Those people had been there quite some time, too, so long that they had established communities, living more or less in peace, except for local skirmishes about grazing lands or such.

    * Let’s face it, what people call Palestinians are Arabs, and Arab countries have refused them citizenship rights in order to be able to keep the “Palestine Question” open.

  2. I ran across this page in a search for the Rebels basketball team and just thought I’d respond to this post.
    You seem to equivocate anti-Israeli sentiment with anti-semitism or anti-Judaism, and I’m actually a bit offended. Israel is a theocratic democracy, and as such, legitimate criticism of its policies may just be aimed at its policies, not its inhabitants. Not denouncing Hamas was a stupid, completely offensive action and suggesting that Jews return to Germany is as insulting. However, this should not be used as an instrument to stop people questioning why a blockade (on foods including jam and herbs) was on the Palestinian people.
    Israel has made missteps, and as is so often the case with nations, it has refused to admit them. As such, they’ve helped to bolster Hamas’s claims in Gaza that Israelis could care less whether Palestinians live or starve to death. When this happens, more Palestinians go off and join Hamas, rooted on by troublemaking nations like Iran.
    I’m certainly not blaming Israel for groups like Hamas, whose view of Islam is a twisted as that of Bin Laden, but you have to remember that people tend to overestimate their own good intentions and overestimate the faults of the other side. I guarantee that, had Israel removed sanctions without international pressure years ago and attempted to bolster the legitimacy of a two-state solution with a democratically elected Palestinian authority, Hamas would have dwindled to nothing by now.
    As for Israel’s right to defend itself–it absolutely has one. But its citizens have an obligation, as members of the human race, to remember that the suffering of innocent people should not simply be strewn aside as the casualty of war. When it does that, it stoops to the level of the people that is so despises.

  3. Velska, it seems we mostly agree, but I wonder what you think of the less controversial but far more arbitrary establishment of Pakistan by outside forces for ethnic settlement?

    Dana, surely you don’t think I was trying to be offensive, so I’m sure we can cool that angle. That being said, of course people can criticize Israel without being anti-Semitic, and it stands to reason that some people do, but my point is that much of the harsh criticism targeted at Israel is borne of a larger trend of anti-Semitism. Considering the state of things in our world, as I summarized in my post, that seems reasonable.

    Further, I notice a tendency in those who try to separate anti-Semitism from political analysis to equivocate perceived mistakes by Israel with the terrorist atrocities by Palestinians. Do you see any of this in your comment? To use your own examples, creating a blockade in a time of war is hardly the same as joining and supporting a violent terrorist organization like Hamas, right? Even “objective” critics can’t suggest that the two sides here are evenly moral, can they?

    Also, there are huge flaws in how you present the situation of the blockade. Israel did agree to a two-state solution once. It was rejected. I noted that in my post. There is zero suffering among Palestinians due solely to the blockade. Israel lets in tons of supplies…heck, Israel itself send tons of aid…but a blockade is necessary for them to preserve their physical safety–Palestinians want to destroy them with the weapons they’re trying to import, period. The suffering among Palestinians is ultimately the fault of the many Arab nations around them who do nothing to help them, just to create better PR in the West for their cause. That’s despicable.

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