Jewish World Update Nov/Dec 2021
You Can’t Be ‘Pro-Israel’ If You Defend Anti-Zionists
(JNS)—It appears Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) may have finally gone too far in her ongoing campaign to demonize Israel and Jews. Speaking at an online conference of kindred spirits from the Democratic Socialists of America, the first Palestinian American to sit in the U.S. House of Representatives decided to draw a straight line between what she falsely characterized as oppression of Palestinians by Israel and the treatment of African Americans in the United States. In doing so, Tlaib invoked a shadowy, villainous conspiracy behind wrongdoing on two continents.
“They do it from Gaza to Detroit. The structure we’ve been living under right now is designed by those who exploit the rest of us, for their own profit. If you open the curtain and look behind the curtain, it’s the same people that make money—and yes, they do—off of racism.”
There wasn’t much doubt about who “they” are. This is the same woman who trafficked in anti-Semitic stereotypes and in May took part in a session of Israel-bashing on the House floor, spouting lies about the Jewish state and rationalizing Hamas terrorism. She also made it clear she thinks the only just solution for the Middle East conflict is to erase the only Jewish state on the planet.
But claiming the same people who prevent the Palestinians from getting rid of the Jews are also exploiting “regular Americans” tied a conspiratorial bow that would have made fellow Michigan icon and anti-Semite Henry Ford proud.
After her remarks, The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank had a hard time understanding why people he so desperately wants to think well of, like Tlaib, are anti-Semites. He ignored the fact that Tlaib’s beliefs exemplify centuries of Palestinian thinking, as well as the kind of conspiracy-mongering about Jewish power that has been employed by elements on the far-left going back to Karl Marx himself.
The real question here is what Tlaib’s party is willing to do to establish that it won’t tolerate the open Jew-hatred she is spouting. The answer is “nothing.”
How can House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer—both of whom proclaim their friendship and support for Jews and Israel—let Tlaib off the hook? The answer is the same one they’ve given for refusing to discipline Tlaib’s “squad” colleague Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN). As “women of color,” they get a free pass to engage in anti-Semitism.
In June, Omar made a specious and outrageous analogy between terrorist groups like Hamas and the Taliban and Israel and the United States, for which she gave one of her trademark “clarifications” that didn’t come close to a retraction or apology. Omar has accused American Jews of buying Congress with her notorious line, “It’s all about the Benjamins.” Yet her comment didn’t prevent her from being embraced by the House leadership, as well as being feted as a celebrity by late-night television comedians whose shows constitute a daily in-kind contribution to the Democratic Party.
“Squad” star Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) opposed aid to Israel and sought to reward Hamas for its terrorist attacks on the Jewish state. The response from leading Democrats and liberal Jewish groups was outrage directed, not at the “squad,” but at the pro-Israel lobby for having the temerity to call out “squad” members for what they had said.
The expanded 2021 version of the “squad” lies about Israel and incites anti-Semitic violence. Yet their fellow Democrats are still more offended by attempts to hold these people accountable than they are by open anti-Semitism.
We know Democratic Socialists and other members of the left-wing base of the party that control both the White House and Congress are increasingly embracing anti-Zionist, anti-Semitic positions, making it politically dangerous for mainstream Democrats to confront them.
Liberal Jewish groups—not to mention Pelosi and Hoyer—must not be allowed to feign efforts to distance themselves from these haters while not actually condemning them or calling for their removal from Congress. Attempts to distract us from the reality of what now amounts to an informal, pro-anti-Semitism caucus in the House just won’t cut it anymore.
by Jonathan S. Tobin
Jonathan is the editor-in-chief of JNS—Jewish News Syndicate. Follow him on Twitter at @jonathans_tobin.
50 Profs Quit Anti-Israel CUNY Union
(JNS)—“I will not be a part of an organization that supports those who wish to destroy us,” said Prof. Yedidyah Langsam after the Professional Staff Congress (PSC) faculty union for the City University of New York (CUNY) passed an anti-Israel resolution denouncing Israel. PSC told the New York Post at least 50 educators have resigned or intend to. “With the PSC-CUNY resolution, you have chosen to support a terrorist organization, Hamas, whose goal (‘From the River to the Sea’) is to destroy the State of Israel and kill all my relatives who live there,” said Langsam, a union member for more than 40 years and chairman of Brooklyn College’s Computer and Information Science Department. The resolution says, “PSC-CUNY condemns the massacre of Palestinians by the Israeli state’’ and denounces Israel’s “expansionism and violent incursions into occupied territories.” It also parallels the Palestinian struggle for “self-determination” with those of “indigenous people and people of color in the United States” and blacks in “apartheid South Africa,” according to the Post.
Big Backlash Bites Ben & Jerry’s, Unilever
The state of Arizona has sold $93 million of its holdings in Unilever, as it divests itself from the British parent company of Ben & Jerry’s after the Vermont ice cream maker announced it will no longer sell its product in the West Bank—which it considers “occupied Palestinian territory.” New Jersey is also poised to divest, and Texas is investigating the possibility. The Washington Times reported Arizona plans to sell “the remaining $50 million it has invested in the consumer products company.” JNS reported, “While it’s not immediately clear the number of Unilever assets that New Jersey currently holds, the state has a $90 billion pension fund. New Jersey is giving Unilever 90 days to appeal the findings before the state government formally goes ahead with the decision to divest.” Arizona and New Jersey are two of 35 states that have Israel anti-boycott laws. Unilever president says Unilever itself remains “fully committed” to doing business in Israel. The Ben & Jerry’s board wanted to boycott all of Israel, reported The Jerusalem Post.
Israel Prepares For Shot #4
Although Israel is considered the most vaccinated country in the world, it is struggling mightily with COVID-19 cases. “The virus . . . is here to stay,” Dr. Salman Zarka, Israel’s coronavirus czar, said recently. “We must also ready ourselves for the fourth jab,” i24news.tv reported. More than 6 million Israelis have received at least one shot of the Pfizer vaccine, while more than 5.5 million received two. Zarka said the fourth booster should be modified to offer better protection.
Majority of Hate Crimes in U.S. Directed at Jews
“Jews in America are the target of 58 percent of all religiously motivated hate crimes in the U.S. despite constituting a mere 2 percent of the population,” reported The Jerusalem Post. The Post said FBI statistics for 2020 show “Jews constitute the third largest target of hate crimes out of all minorities in the entire country, more than Hispanics, Muslims, Asians, and virtually all other groups.”
World Jewish Population Now 15.2 Million
New statistics published by the Jewish Agency place the world Jewish population at 15.2 million, up from 15.1 million in 2020, reported The Jerusalem Post. “Of those, 6.9 million Jews live in Israel, . . . with another 8.3 million living in the Jewish Diaspora around the world, meaning 45.3 percent of the world’s Jews live in the Jewish state.” To put things in perspective, however, Tokyo alone has 37.39 million people—more than twice the number of Jews in the world. Jews still constitute barely two tenths of 1 percent of the world population.
Amazon Removes Anti-Semitic Clothing From Site
Why would Amazon even sell such clothing? That’s the question people are asking after the retail behemoth agreed to remove items sold on its UK site emblazoned with a notorious Holocaust photo in which a Jewish man in Ukraine is kneeling in front of a mass grave as a Nazi points a gun to his head, moments before shooting him. TimesofIsrael.com said Amazon “took down the items plastered with the photo, known as ‘The Last Jew in Vinnitsa,’ after it was contacted by the Israeli TV network.” The same horrendous photo was displayed on hoodies, T-shirts, and sweater pullovers in various colors. In the description of the items, the sellers from Harma Art wrote, “Choose from our great collection of authentic designs and stand out from the crowd!” timesofisrael.com reported.
Hamas Hides Terror Tunnel Under Un-Funded School
Hamas has blocked UN staff from inspecting a UN-funded school because the terror group wants to hide a terror tunnel underneath it, Kan News reported. According to worldisraelnews.com, “Some 4,000 Gazan schoolchildren will not be able to resume in-person learning at the two UNRWA schools . . . unless Hamas decides to allow the inspectors to survey the institutions.”
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