Archive for the ‘Democrats and Israel’ category

American Jews and the Trump Administration

March 12, 2017

American Jews and the Trump Administration, The Jewish PressAviel Sheyin-Stevens, March 12, 2017


President Trump speaking to a joint session of Congress, Feb. 28, 2017

After the election of perhaps the most pro-Israel U.S. administration in history, American Jews seem to have lost the plot. When Donald Trump was elected president of the U.S., many Jews sat shiva to mourn Hillary Clinton’s defeat as if it was a death in the family, making religion out of politics. A number of Conservative and Reform synagogues held special mourning services to bewail the advent of fascism in America. One prominent Conservative rabbi in New York compared the Trump victory to the rise of Nazism prior to the Holocaust. The essence of politics is persuasion; not hysterics.

Trump repeatedly praises Israel and refers to Israel as America’s greatest ally. He has been closely associated with Jews in business and politics. His daughter observes an Orthodox religious lifestyle, after converting to Judaism. Apart from his family, his senior appointments include many Jews and staunch friends of Israel. He endorsed Israel’s position on defensible borders and stated that he has no objection to construction in the major settlement blocs and Jerusalem. He called on the Palestinians to recognize Israel as a Jewish state and stated that the only way to peace is by direct negotiations between both parties. He repudiated Obama’s criticism of Israel for failing to make progress in peace talks, and Obama’s application of moral equivalence between Israelis and Palestinians. He has begun to pressure the Iranians to adhere to their commitments to the treaty of catastrophe, and would terminate it for any violation by the Iranian terrorist regime.

One of the negative repercussions of the Trump victory is the growing influence of the radical anti-Israel wing of the Democratic Party. The anti-Israel Muslim Congressman Keith Ellison, who was initially funded by the Hamas-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations, is the deputy chairman of the Democratic National Committee; supported by leading Jewish Senator Chuck Schumer. While, anti-Israel Jewish Senator Bernie Sanders emerged as a powerful force in the defeated radicalized Democratic Party.

The Jewish establishment ignored and pretended away the Democratic anti-Semites, even when they were burning Israeli flags at the Democratic convention. They condemned legitimate criticisms of anti-Israel financier George Soros as anti-Semitic while leaving unaddressed truly anti-Semitic assaults by Hillary backers on Trump donor Sheldon Adelson. Moreover, significant sectors of the Jewish community are falsely accusing the Trump administration of promoting anti-Semitism. It is noteworthy that the Zionist Organization of America protested against this partisan defamatory campaign.

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) launched a scornful assault against Trump’s chief strategist, former Breitbart CEO Steve Bannon accusing him of being an anti-Semite, while ignoring Ellison’s record of anti-Semitism and support for Israel’s enemies, as well as Ellison’s ties to unindicted co-conspirators in funding Hamas. The accusation that Bannon is anti-Semitic is appalling on its face. Bannon is surrounded by Jews in his media company, Breitbart News, and is known for his fervent support for Israel, opposition to anti-Semitism, disapproval of anti-Israel activism on campuses, and condemnations of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement. Jonathan Greenblatt, the CEO of ADL, accused Bannon of being an anti-Semite who would pave the way for a return to anti-Semitism and white supremacy. In alleging that a friend of the Jews is a Jew hater while ignoring the actual anti-Semitism of another man, the ADL appears to be giving cover to the rising forces of anti-Semitism in the Democratic Party.

Greenblatt did not call for Jews to boycott the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement despite its anti-Semitism and promotion of BDS against Israel, and he referred approvingly to the “positive” aspects of its work. The use of the ADL, created to combat anti-Semitism, to promote Greenblatt’s partisan political agenda is scandalous.

Greenblatt had earlier used the ADL to condemn Republicans as “anti-Zionist” because they excluded a two-state solution in their Middle East policy platform. When Trump declined to dignify David Duke and the Ku Klux Klan by responding to their expressions of support for him, Greenblatt condemned him for “tolerating” anti-Semites. This contrasted with the muted response by Jewish liberals to Barack Obama’s relationship with various radical anti-Semites.

Obama has long-held close alliances with Bill Ayers, Jeremiah Wright, Louis Farrakhan, Rashid Khalidi, etc. Obama’s political career was launched in the house of the anti-Semite Ayers, a former leader of the Weather Underground, a left-wing terrorist organization that issued a “Declaration of a State of War” against the U.S. government. Obama attended Wright’s sermons with his family, and he officiated at Obama’s wedding and was appointed by him in 2007 to the African American Religious Leadership Committee. He only dissociated himself from Wright’s views after media exposure but refused to disown him personally, relating to him as “an old uncle.” No critic of Trump could suggest any comparable relationship with any identifiable anti-Semite.

Establishment anger over Trump’s weeks-old administration is growing. The mainstream global media, progressive activists, Democratic Party leaders, and many Republicans are essentially at war with him. New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman recently compared his victory to disasters in American history that killed and wounded thousands like the Pearl Harbor bombing and the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Some op-ed writers and pundits have openly hoped for his violent death. The progressive “Resistance” talks of removing the new president through impeachment, or even military coup. About one-third of House Democrats boycotted the Inauguration. Congressional Republicans ignore the Constitution, ignore the balance of powers, and ignore written law, while relinquishing their own constitutional authority allowing the courts to run American foreign policy, just to be a part of the establishment’s ‘Stop Trump’ movement.

After Trump had secured the Republican nomination, prominent Jewish conservative editors, like Bill Kristol and Jonah Goldberg, led the “Never Trump” movement. They betrayed the Republican Party, the American people, and Jews when they set out to undermine Trump, which could have elected the criminally challenged Hillary.

The sympathies of Hillary and Obama lie with the Muslim Brotherhood, the organization that launched the Arab drive to destroy Israel and push its Jews into the sea. If Hillary and Obama had their way, Egypt’s leader al-Sisi would be overthrown, the Brotherhood would be back in power, and Israel could be facing a threat from the biggest military power in the Middle East and war with Islamic terrorists who openly call for the extermination of the Jews.

Elements of the U.S. government have been actively opposing the duly elected U.S. president. Employees of the Environmental Protection Agency have been disrupting Trump administration reforms. U.S. government employees recorded Trump’s private calls to the president of Mexico and the Australian prime minister, and leaked selected segments to suggest that Trump was either a buffoon or trigger-happy. The Wall Street Journal reported in February 2017 that career intelligence officers have decided to withhold information from Trump, because in their view he is unfit to receive it. Kristol suggested in a tweet that if he faced a choice between the constitutionally, democratically elected president and career government officials’ efforts to thwart or remove him, he would come down on the side of the revolutionary, anti-democratic “deep state.”

American voters elected Trump because they regarded him as the only opportunity to break with the status quo, a revolt against the postmodernism that has undermined the moral fiber of the West and its willingness to defend itself, facilitating the emergence of brutal Islamic terror. The refusal of Trump’s opponents to accept the outcome of the election was despicable and unprecedented, and contrasts with the acquiescence of the defeated Republicans when Obama won both of his elections. An aspect of the election result is the hysterical reaction by liberal segments of the Jewish community. It is not surprising that 70% of Jews supported Hillary Clinton. This is consistent with their long-standing obsession with liberalism. But the manipulation of Jewish issues as a political vehicle by some American Jewish leaders to oppose Trump could be an act of infamy.

After Israel, the U.S. has the largest Jewish population in the world. Despite credible evidence that Islamic terrorists infiltrate migrants from Muslim conflict zones, American Jews have been at the forefront of the opposition to the Trump administration’s plan to pause immigration for a few months from six Muslim countries with vetting challenges. In America, anti-Semitic attacks are generally by Muslims or radical liberals; however, American Jews supported the presidential candidacy of Hillary Clinton that promised significant increase in immigration from Muslim conflict zones. During the recent migration crisis in Europe, British Jews repeatedly clamored for massive immigration from Muslim conflict zones; however, in March 2017, the British Home Secretary issued a warning of ‘significant’ radical Islamic terrorist threat to British Jews. From Bombay to Toulouse and beyond, Jews suffer disproportionately from Muslim attackers.

Some Democratic Party Muslim Americans with records of anti-Semitism condemned the recent anti-Semitic attacks against Jewish cemeteries. The Democratic Party is becoming more open in its embrace of anti-Semitism. Terrorist murderers of Jews (Ramsea Odeh, etc.) and supporters of terrorist murderers of Jews (Keith Ellison, Linda Sarsour, etc.) have prominent positions in the party. Odeh is a terrorist that participated in a PLO attack at a Jerusalem supermarket in 1970 that murdered two Jews. Ellison is an anti-Semite that also defends cop killers. He was a long standing member of the anti-Semitic Nation of Islam. Sarsour calls for Israel’s destruction and she supports Palestinian mass murderers of Jews. Malcolm Hoenlein, the head of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, pretends that even anti-Semites oppose anti-Semitism, stating that “we can’t afford a split” on Israel among the Democrats and the Republicans. The fight against anti-Semitism is compromised if Jew hating Democrats are viewed as legitimate partners in fighting anti-Semitism, when they aid and abet anti-Semitism.

There are no Christian states striving to wipe Israel off the map, and there no groups in Hinduism or Buddhism seeking to push Jews into the sea; however, Iran repeatedly states its desire to wipe Israel off the map, and large sections of the Muslim world have become a cesspit of Jewish hatred. Polls of Muslims from various countries indicate significant percentages of Muslims have rabid hatred of Jews.

American Jews undermining Trump because of hurt feelings, irrational fear or lust for power will do more to put Israel and Jews in jeopardy than any Trump administration official or travel ban on foreign nationals from hostile regions ever could. Whatever tensions exist between Trump and both Republican-controlled houses of Congress, they share one thing in common: support of Israel. This should not be interpreted that the Trump administration will favor annexation or a one-state policy. Trump has made it clear that he endorses a two-state policy but, in contrast to Obama, he stipulates that it cannot be imposed without providing Israel with defensible borders and all of the security guarantees it requires. Presently, this objective is unattainable.

During the Obama administration, leaders of the American Jewish community demanded increased Muslim immigration, and supported the lawlessness promoted by BLM. Now, like Captain Renault in Casablanca, they are shocked, shocked that there are increased anti-Semitic attacks and increasing bomb threats to Jewish Centers in the U.S. Unfettered immigration from many Muslim countries pose a problem for Jews more than most. If Jews cannot remove leaders that put their party before their community, they should form new organizations to defend their interests. Moreover, American Jews should wish President Trump well. May his triumphs be many.

A Test for the Anti-Trump Movement

February 28, 2017

A Test for the Anti-Trump Movement, Tablet MagazineBari Weiss, February 28, 2017

(Please see also, Perez, Ellison and the Meaning of Anti-Semitism. — DM)

A movement that has so much to say about the value of black lives, of transgender lives, of women’s lives, of Latino lives, of Muslim lives, of the lives of the disabled and the poor and the weak, but becomes mealy-mouthed and contingent about the lives of Jews when those Jews happen to live in the land of Israel should make any person of conscience question the sincerity of that movement.

Indeed, what’s perhaps even more disturbing is the increasing tendency on the part of Jews to silence themselves on these fundamental moral matters to fit in or to avoid accusations of being soft on Trump. On this, our leaders must do better, even though it will surely mean fewer likes and retweets from popular progressives. It’s incumbent upon those who assert themselves as representatives of the Jewish community not to paper over this disturbing hypocrisy—especially if what they are trying to do is convince amcha that it’s still in their best interest to be at the anti-Trump table.

Somehow it seems that Jews are always the ones being asked to check their identity at the door in movements driven by identity politics. We may assiduously follow the “two-thirds and 51 percent” rule, but our partners often do not. If asking for something so minimal—to disassociate and condemn a woman who murdered innocent Jews—seems impolite or greedy, then perhaps the compromise we have made is rotten.

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In the week leading up to the presidential election, like hockey players who refuse to shave during the playoffs, the women of the Weiss family lived in their “Pussy Grabs Back” T-shirts. For months, our family texts had buzzed day and night with emoji-laden reactions to the latest Trump outrage, while my mother waged a very personal campaign against the Republican candidate. When the first Tuesday in November was upon us, my dad, who has a giant poster of William F. Buckley in his office, bowed to shalom bayit and wrote in Steph Curry.

All of this camaraderie put me in a strange position. Since the crucible of my college years—in which being an outspoken Zionist made you fascist, supporting the war in Iraq made you an imperialist, and believing that some cultures are indeed more enlightened than others a hegemon—I’ve gotten used to feeling politically homeless. I’m typically the hardass among the squishes. All of a sudden, I found myself making common cause with those whom I disagree with vehemently on, say, the Iran deal (bad), the necessity of teaching Western Civ. (good), and most certainly Israel. It is the difference on the Jewish state that has been the starkest and the most painful, as anyone who has paid any attention to the increasingly leftward tilt of the Democratic Party will not be surprised to learn.

One of the rising stars of this new generation of progressive politicos is Linda Sarsour, who was honored as a “champion of change” by the Obama administration and is now one of the anti-Trump movement’s most visible leaders. Sarsour, a longtime Arab-American community organizer, was one of the heads of the Women’s March in Washington and is the named plaintiff in the high-profile lawsuit against Trump’s immigration ban. The image of her, hijab-clad and flashing a defiant smile, rivaled the pink knitted hat as the unofficial symbol of the march.

She is also a proudly outspoken supporter of BDS. “Nothing is creepier than Zionism,” she has tweeted, a remark that, along with the fact that in December she posed for a photo with a former Hamas operative, stirred a series of critical pieces on right-wing websites in the days following the march on the capital. Within hours, Sarsour’s newfound friends and supporters—do I even need mention that Mark Ruffalo and Susan Sarandon were among them?—burst forth with a social-media-driven campaign dubbed #IMarchWithLinda, in which the stories about her background and views were presented as vicious hatchet jobs by pro-Trump legions determined to slow the momentum of the anti-Trump brigades. Indeed, how could a woman who last week made headlines for organizing a fundraising drive that raised more than $56,000 to repair the desecrated Jewish cemetery in St. Louis harbor hostility to Jews?

Among those who have pledged allegiance to Sarsour are prominent Jewish leaders and rabbis. Criticism of the Muslim activist was nothing but “a deliberate smear campaign from the far right to delegitimize the march itself,” said Los Angeles Rabbi Sharon Brous, expressing the view of many other anti-Trump Jews. “This is a time for serious coalition-building, for standing beside other minority populations that are targeted. It is time for people to stand for and with each other. There will be in the mix a number of different perspectives. I don’t feel at all uncomfortable about that,” Brous has said. “A much greater problem would be if the Jewish community stepped out of activism because we’re afraid that someone on the stage has a position on BDS different than our own.”

This was something of a dodge, because, as Brous and others must know, Sarsour’s odious views aren’t limited to BDS, and stretch particularly into issues that directly relate to the systemic oppression of women. “You’ll know when you’re living under Sharia Law if suddenly all your loans & credit cards become interest-free. Sound nice, doesn’t it?” Sarsour tweeted about the Islamic law code that justifies beating women and considers the testimony of a woman half that of a man. She has also denigrated the anti-Islamist feminist Ayaan Hirsi Ali in astonishingly vulgar terms, insisting that Hirsi Ali is “not a real woman” and joking that she wishes she could take away Ali’s vagina—a particularly vicious bon mot, given that Hirsi Ali was well-known as a victim of genital mutilation in her native Somalia.

Still, anti-Trumpers argued, Sarsour’s personal imperfections didn’t come close to forcing Jews to disavow her and her movement. Echoing Brous, Yehuda Kurtzer, president of the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America, pushed back against those who use support of Israel as a single-issue litmus test. In a piece in the Jewish Journal, he made the case that American Jews should stick to what he dubbed the “two-thirds and 51 percent” rule: “We identify in political communities, or organize for particular causes, with people who share, or at least do not operate in contradistinction to, two-thirds of our core moral imperatives, and with whom we agree on a minimum of 51 percent of our moral concerns,” he writes. By this standard, Sarsour’s leadership role is not a deal breaker. “Rotten compromise, the kind we must not do,” wrote Kurtzer, “entails making common cause with evil.”

So what does boundary-crossing evil look like? Is it OK, for example, to support the civil rights of Palestinians, undocumented immigrants, and women who wear hijab while also calling for the denial of the national and indigenous rights of Jews, and rejecting the rights of women in Muslim-majority countries to control their own bodies? Is that a fair definition of Kurtzer’s 51-percent rule? If you call for the death of Zionists but support Palestinian nationalism, is being against Donald Trump the moral tie-breaker that makes you a legitimate ally of American Jews like me—and immune from our criticism? Kurtzer doesn’t say, but the assumption was that nothing had thus far emerged in the anti-Trump movement to meet the rotten compromise test.

That logic resonated with almost all the anti-Trump Jews I know, who either actively rallied around Sarsour, or—like me—held their tongues. I justified it by telling myself that no political movement is perfect, no coalition entirely pure. Opposing this president, I reasoned, is too critical a priority.

Now, unhappily, the anti-Trump movement has produced a leader far worse than Sarsour: a woman whose actions must surely qualify as evil. If they don’t, the problem doesn’t belong to Zionists or Jews, but to the movement itself—and even more so to the spiritual health of the political party angling to benefit from it.

***

The names Leon Kaner and Edward Jaffe are now lost to history, but Rasmea Odeh surely remembers them well. Kaner and Jaffe are the 21-year-old and 22-year-old who went to a Jerusalem supermarket on Feb. 21, 1969 to pick up food for a trip and were blown up thanks to a bomb that Odeh and an accomplice had placed there. Nine others were injured in the blast. Four days later, a second bomb that the duo planted exploded at the British Consulate. Odeh was sentenced to life in prison by Israel but was released in a prisoner exchange in the early 1980s.

This convicted terrorist has surfaced since the march on Washington as a new leader of the women’s movement, announcing its next global action in the pages of the Guardian: a worldwide women’s strike on March 8. Along with Angela Davis and several others, Odeh called for a day of “striking, marching, blocking roads, bridges, and squares, abstaining from domestic care and sex work, boycotting, calling out misogynistic politicians and companies, striking in educational institutions.” And the organizers of the Washington March followed Odeh’s lead, recently announcing their participation in this international “day without women.”

The political stupidity of embracing Odeh is plain. What better ammunition could there possibly be for a White House all too keen to dismiss a genuine grassroots movement as paid professional protestors and anti-American anarchists than the public participation of a bona fide terrorist? If the anti-Trump movement is going to stand for tolerance, genuine liberalism, civility, and decency—everything we disdain Trump for disdaining—Odeh and her ilk can have no place in it.

But there is a deeper, darker point here beyond strategy: It concerns the alarming cheapness of Jewish blood. A movement that has so much to say about the value of black lives, of transgender lives, of women’s lives, of Latino lives, of Muslim lives, of the lives of the disabled and the poor and the weak, but becomes mealy-mouthed and contingent about the lives of Jews when those Jews happen to live in the land of Israel should make any person of conscience question the sincerity of that movement.

Indeed, what’s perhaps even more disturbing is the increasing tendency on the part of Jews to silence themselves on these fundamental moral matters to fit in or to avoid accusations of being soft on Trump. On this, our leaders must do better, even though it will surely mean fewer likes and retweets from popular progressives. It’s incumbent upon those who assert themselves as representatives of the Jewish community not to paper over this disturbing hypocrisy—especially if what they are trying to do is convince amcha that it’s still in their best interest to be at the anti-Trump table.

Somehow it seems that Jews are always the ones being asked to check their identity at the door in movements driven by identity politics. We may assiduously follow the “two-thirds and 51 percent” rule, but our partners often do not. If asking for something so minimal—to disassociate and condemn a woman who murdered innocent Jews—seems impolite or greedy, then perhaps the compromise we have made is rotten.

Perez, Ellison and the Meaning of Anti-Semitism

February 28, 2017

Perez, Ellison and the Meaning of Anti-Semitism, Front Page MagazineCaroline Glick, February 28, 2017

perez

Originally published by the Jerusalem Post

While America as a whole will suffer from the radicalization of the Democratic Party, perhaps no group will suffer more from the far Left’s takeover of the party than the American Jewish community. The vast majority of American Jews give their partisan allegiance to the Democratic Party and their ideological allegiance to the Left.

With each passing day, the Left becomes more open in its embrace of anti-Jewish voices. If Sarsour’s leadership role last month in the anti-Trump women’s protests constituted a new low in progressive politics, a month later the bar has dropped even lower. At the next round of women’s protests, Ramsea Odeh is one of the announced organizers.

Whereas Sarsour simply supports the terrorist murder of Jews, Odeh is an actual terrorist murderer of Jews. Odeh participated in a PLO terrorist attack at a Jerusalem supermarket in 1970 in which two Jews were murdered.

****************************

Was former secretary of labor and assistant attorney-general Tom Perez’s victory over Congressman Keith Ellison over the weekend in the race to serve as the new chairman of the Democratic National Committee a victory of centrist Democrats over radical leftists in the party? That is how the mainstream media is portraying Perez’s victory.

Along these lines, Prof. Allen Dershowitz, a lifelong Democrat who promised to quit the party if Ellison was elected due to his documented history of antisemitism and hostility toward Israel, hailed Perez’s election. Speaking to Fox News, Dershowitz said that Perez’s election over Ellison “is a victory in the war against bigotry, antisemitism, the anti-Israel push of the hard Left within the Democratic Party.”

There are two problems with Dershowitz’s view. First, Perez barely won. Ellison received nearly half the votes in two rounds of voting.

Tipping his hat to Ellison’s massive popularity among the party’s leadership and grassroots, Perez appointed the former Nation of Islam spokesman to serve as deputy DNC chairman as soon as his own victory was announced.

There is a good reason that Perez is so willing to cooperate with Ellison in running the DNC. And this points to the second problem with the claim that Perez’s election signals a move toward the center by Democratic leaders.

Perez is ready to cooperate with Ellison because the two men have the same ideological worldview and the same vision for the Democratic Party. As Mother Jones explained, “There’s truly not much ideological distance between the two.”

Far from being a victory for the centrist forces in the party, Perez’s win marks the solidification of the far Left’s control over the party of Harry Truman. Only hard leftists participated in a meaningful way in the race for leadership of the second largest party in America – a party that less than a decade ago controlled the White House and both houses of Congress.

The implications of this state of affairs are disastrous for the US generally. It is inherently destabilizing for a nation when one of the parties in a two-party political system is taken over by people who have a negative view of the country.

While America as a whole will suffer from the radicalization of the Democratic Party, perhaps no group will suffer more from the far Left’s takeover of the party than the American Jewish community. The vast majority of American Jews give their partisan allegiance to the Democratic Party and their ideological allegiance to the Left.

While Perez made a name for himself by fighting the enforcement of US immigration and naturalization laws against illegal immigrants, and Ellison rose to prominence for his activism in radical African American and Islamic circles, thanks to the so-called intersectionality of the far Left, that makes the cause of one faction the cause of all factions, today Perez is as much an apologist for Israel bashers as Ellison.

Perhaps in response to the danger that the far Left’s takeover of the Democratic Party represents, Malcolm Hoenlein, the long-serving professional head of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations called on Sunday for the convening of a global conference on antisemitism. In a meeting with The Jerusalem Post’s editorial board, Hoenlein said that one of the goals of the proposed conference would be to reach a universally accepted definition of antisemitism.

At the same meeting at the Post, Hoenlein insisted that “we can’t afford a split” on Israel among the Republicans and the Democrats.

On the surface, Hoenlein’s position makes sense. Israel and the Jewish community in the US are both endangered by the partisan split. If a broad consensus can be reached on the definition of antisemitism, in theory, such a move could force the radical Left, which now controls the Democratic Party, to eschew Jew hatred.

The problem with Hoenlein’s view is that to get everyone on board, it is necessary to pretend that even antisemites oppose antisemitism.

This sad state of affairs has been on prominent display in the wake of the recent spate of antisemitic attacks against Jewish cemeteries in the US. Muslim Americans with records of antisemitism have been quick to condemn the attacks.

On the face of it, statements by Ellison, Hamas supporter Linda Sarsour and others condemning the attacks on Jewish cemeteries are welcome. Sarsour’s support for Palestinian mass murderers of Jews and open calls for Israel’s destruction have been ongoing for more than a decade. It’s nice that she is suddenly raising money to repair broken Jewish graves in St. Louis.

The problem is if Sarsour and her Jew hating comrades are viewed as legitimate partners in fighting antisemitism, when they themselves are abetting and popularizing antisemitism, then the notion of fighting antisemitism is destroyed.

If Sarsour, who wrote in 2012 that “nothing is creepier than Zionism,” is a legitimate voice in the fight against anti-Jewish discrimination and violence, then the fight against anti-Jewish discrimination and violence is reduced to farce.

Sarsour, like Ellison, is no fringe figure on the Left. She has become a major mover and shaker in the second party in America. Sarsour was one of the organizers of the anti-Trump women’s protests the day after the president was inaugurated.

Sarsour’s rising prominence in progressive and Democratic circles despite her open support for Hamas shows why it is important today to draw a line in the sand and reject the notion that antisemites can suddenly become defenders of Jews.

With each passing day, the Left becomes more open in its embrace of anti-Jewish voices. If Sarsour’s leadership role last month in the anti-Trump women’s protests constituted a new low in progressive politics, a month later the bar has dropped even lower. At the next round of women’s protests, Ramsea Odeh is one of the announced organizers.

Whereas Sarsour simply supports the terrorist murder of Jews, Odeh is an actual terrorist murderer of Jews. Odeh participated in a PLO terrorist attack at a Jerusalem supermarket in 1970 in which two Jews were murdered.

According to Politico, the radical Left’s takeover of the Democratic Party apparatus through Perez and Ellison isn’t enough to satisfy the party’s young activists. They also want for long-serving Democratic lawmakers in Congress to retire and clear the path for their takeover of the Democratic congressional roster.

Following my column last week, where I harshly criticized Senator Robert Menendez for questioning the loyalty of David Friedman, Trump’s ambassador designate to Israel, a number of prominent American Jews insisted that in asking the question Menendez was not embracing the antisemitic dual loyalty slur. He was trying to protect Friedman from his more radical Democratic colleagues.

There is good reason to accept their argument. Menendez has a long record of standing up for Israel and he has paid a political price for that support.

The problem is that such justifications of Menendez’s actions indicate that American Jews have already lowered the bar on what constitutes antisemitism too far and made defending their own interests all but impossible.

The Democrats are in a dangerous place for themselves, for the US and for the American Jewish community. They will not move back to the center if standards for judging what it means to be antisemitic are lowered. The only chance that they will return to their senses is if they are made to choose between the Sarsours of the world and the Dershowitzes. And this cannot happen by looking for a consensus on what antisemitism means. It can only be done – if it can be done at all – by drawing a line and demanding that it be respected.

Israeli PM Netanyahu Becomes D.C. Darling as Democrats Clamor for Meetings

February 13, 2017

Israeli PM Netanyahu Becomes D.C. Darling as Democrats Clamor for Meetings, Washington Free Beacon, , February 13, 2017

(“Now that our Dear Leader is gone, we sure do love Israel.” — DM)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu chairs the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem on February 12, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / GALI TIBBON

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu chairs the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem on February 12, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / GALI TIBBON

After years of tense relations with the United States under former President Barack Obama, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is emerging as one of the most prominent international personalities, according to multiple sources who told the Washington Free Beacon that Democrats, Republicans, and high-level White House officials are clamoring for a sit down with the Israeli leader when he arrives in town on Tuesday.

Senior officials across party lines hope to let Netanyahu know that America has Israel’s back and that years of tension during the Obama administration is just water under the bridge, according to both congressional sources and those close to the Trump administration.

Netanyahu’s schedule is already packed with powwows between President Trump, senior administration officials, and a cast of leading lawmakers on Capitol Hill from both sides of the aisle.

Meetings will center on U.S. lawmakers’ desire to reset relations with the Jewish state. Multiple sources told the Free Beacon that sit downs with White House officials will focus on holding Iran accountable for violations of the nuclear deal, moving the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, and combatting efforts at the United Nations to delegitimize Israel.

Netanyahu already has confirmed a 6:30 p.m. dinner Tuesday evening with newly installed Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. The meeting will take place inside the State Department.

Netanyahu is expected to meet with Trump and other senior officials Wednesday before heading to Capitol Hill, where he will meet with leading Democrats and Republicans.

Netanyahu is expected to take separate meetings with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.), sources told the Free Beacon.

Further meetings could take place with members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee before Netanyahu travels to the House side of the Capitol for an evening meeting with House Speaker Paul Ryan (R., Wis.).

There is a strong desire among all parties to show Netanyahu that after nearly a decade of chilly relations during the former administration, the United States is prepared to restore the historic relationship with the Jewish state.

“Netanyahu’s schedule is so full that he literally can’t find time for all the high level meetings people want to have with him,” said one veteran foreign policy adviser who is closely in touch with the White House on Middle East issues. “The truth of this is, it’s nature taking its course.”

Recent polling shows that support for Israel is at an all-time high among Democrats and Republicans. Democratic lawmakers in particular are no longer being pressured by the former administration to distance themselves from Netanyahu and Israel.

“Without Obama trying to force Democratic lawmakers to choose between Israel and the United States nature is taking its course and everyone wants to see how they can help bolster the U.S.-Israel relationship,” the source said. “Voters want to see this.”

One source characterized Netanyahu as the “cool kid in town.”

On Capitol Hill, senior sources focused on the Middle East expect that lawmakers will emphasize a reset in relations with Israel. They also will seek to reassure Netanyahu that key foreign aid packages to Israel will remain robust and fully funded.

“There’s broad recognition that it’s time to turn a page on years of hostility towards Israel from the Obama administration. President Trump and the Republican Congress are focused on strengthening Israel’s security and the U.S.-Israel relationship—not condemning housing projects in disputed territories and pushing anti-Semitic U.N. resolutions,” said one senior congressional aide familiar with the Israeli leader’s travel itinerary.

“This provides a major opportunity for both the United States and Israel to stand up to Iran and all those who seek to defame and destroy the Jewish state,” the source said. “Given the warm relationship between Bibi and Trump, everyone seems upbeat and optimistic about the future of the alliance moving forward.”

Dennis Ross, a veteran Middle East hand who worked for former presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Obama, told reporters on Monday that there is a strong desire to cast sour relations between the United States and Israel as a byproduct of the Obama administration.

That, Ross said during a conference call hosted by the Israel Project, is the “overriding message that emerges from this week,”

“Democrats will be anxious to show they’re close to Israel as well,” Ross said, adding that Netanyahu will convey the message that Israel’s relationship is with America as a whole, not any one administration.

The Left Lost Its Logic On Israel

January 24, 2017

The Left Lost Its Logic On Israel, Investigative Project on Terrorism, Noah Beck, January 24, 2017

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Support for Israel among Democrats has plummeted in recent years, a new Pew poll shows, with about as many – 31 percent – saying they sympathize more with the Palestinians than with Israel, which garnered 33 percent support.

By contrast, 74 percent of Republicans surveyed sympathize more with the Jewish state. That is the widest partisan gap since 1978.

A similar poll last year found a deep divide within the party, with conservative and moderate Democrats favoring Israel over the Palestinians by 53-19 percent.

This trend has accelerated during President Barack Obama’s tenure. During Israel’s 2014 war with Hamas, 61 percent of Democrats sympathized with Hamas and hundreds of left-wing historians openly sided with the terrorist group.

Bernie Sanders, whose liberal support nearly won him the 2016 Democratic primary, sought to empower anti-Israel figures like Cornel West – a supporter of the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement – and James Zogby of the Arab American Institute.

President Obama’s refusal to veto an anti-Israel U.N. resolution last month was ranked as the most anti-Semitic incident of 2016 by the Simon Wiesenthal Center. When Congress condemned that resolution, U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, a leading contender to run the Democratic National Committee, voted against it.

This hostility toward Israel is not limited to the American Left.

In the UK, it often coincides with anti-Semitism. As Jonathan Tobin observed, Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has been “openly sympathetic with Hamas and Hezbollah,” has “campaigned for the release of terrorists convicted of attacking Jewish targets,” and “praised vicious anti-Semites.” The co-chairman of the Oxford University Labour Club resigned after the organization voted to endorse Israel Apartheid Week. The club has a growing record of anti-Semitic and anti-Israel incidents. Last May, Britain’s Labour Party secretly suspended 50 of its members for anti-Semitic and racist comments.

France’s left-wing government just convened a 70-nation “peace conference” that was hostile to Israel. France has summoned far less international pressure to the exponentially bloodier conflict next door in Syria. Moreover, the French government funds French, Israeli, and Palestinian organizations that support and promote BDS campaigns against Israel, a report by NGO Monitor shows. Such boycotts are illegal under French law.

France also funds several other NGOs with alleged ties to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terror group, the report notes.

In the West, the political left considers itself “progressive,” yet it increasingly targets the only Mideast country that actually embraces progressive values such as the rule of law, gender and sexual equality, and freedom of religion and speech. “Progressives” attack the only Mideast country making progress for all of humanity in science, technology, and medicine – from a crowdsourced solution to traffic (Waze) to breakthrough research on melanoma and leukemia.

Yet, on university campuses, where the minds of future politicians are formed, hatred of Israel and Jews has become endemic. The AMCHA Initiative, a non-profit organization that tracks BDS and anti-Semitic activity on U.S. campuses, reported more than 600 instances of such activity in 2016.

So why do liberals embrace illiberal players in the Arab-Israeli conflict? Double standards, underdog favoritism, media bias and group think, and prejudice at institutions like the United Nations.

Because Israel is a country of laws and Western values, Western critics often hold Israel to a standard that no democracy could meet. Alan Dershowitz captures the standard that should apply: “Name a single country in the history of the world faced with internal and external threats comparable to those faced by Israel that has ever had a better record in human rights; a better record with compliance of the rule of law; a better record of concern for civilians?”

In addition, media coverage often is skewed by Palestinian intimidation and deception, by reporters who uncritically favor underdogs, and by sloppy journalism and outright bias.

Hamas physically intimidates journalists who dare to defy its propaganda goals, thus distorting both the “facts” and the photos distributed to the world.

Pallywood – the practice of staging casualties and defaming Israel – has been deceiving journalists for at least 16 years. A particularly galling Pallywood example from 2015 was the inflammatory lie – by “moderate” Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas – that Israeli forces “executed” a 13-year old after an attempted terrorist attack. The truth: the child was treated in the same Israeli hospital as the boy he tried to murder.

Even Amnesty International acknowledged the unreliability of “eyewitnesses” in the conflict.

By contrast, during the 2014 war, Hamas executed 23 Gazans and tortured dozens of others.

In September 2015, Hamas imprisoned Gazans for protesting over a lack of electricity, causing some Gazans to admit that they prefer Israeli rule to Hamas.

Consistently sloppy journalism also poisons public opinion against Israel. News organizations often fail to identify the terrorist and the victim when reporting on Arabs killed by Israelis trying to defend themselves from a terrorist attack. Such missing context creates the false impression that Israelis wake up every morning asking how they can hurt Arabs.

The BBC’s distortions often turn terrorists into victims. Its bias is so egregious that even its former chief complained: “Regrettably, this is not the first time the standard of reporting and impartiality has been unsatisfactory in recent weeks. On Saturday 3rd October, I was disappointed to see the BBC News website publish a misleading and counter-factual headline: ‘Palestinian shot dead after Jerusalem attacks kills two’. I note reports that this headline underwent four revisions following public criticism.” The BBC’s horrible headlines continue, describing the terrorist in last month’s Jerusalem track-ramming attack as a “Driver of a lorry…allegedly ramming pedestrians.”

Worse still, mainstream political figures sometimes promote anti-Israel calumnies. Last April, Sanders claimed that Israelis killed “over 10,000 innocents in Gaza,” an estimate nearly seven times higher than Hamas’s propaganda estimate of civilian deaths. Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes falsely claimed in a recent PBS interview that Israel has built “thousands of new settlements” (rather than about 200). PBS never corrected this falsehood.

Thus, the “free press,” which is supposed to act as a check on the government, ends up abetting its misinformation campaign against Israel.

The Obama administration and most of the political left promote a kind of anti-settlement religion that blames the lack of peace with the Palestinians on settlements. This position ignores the last century of Arab Muslim attacks on Israelis, starting decades before any settlements existed. The anti-settlement religion axiomatically affirms that settlements are illegal, even though legal scholars have concluded otherwise. The same religion also ignores Israel’s removing the settlement of Yamit for peace with Egypt in 1982, and its unilateral withdrawal from Gaza in 2005. Those actions did nothing to persuade Palestinians to pursue peace, as they responded with more than 10,000 jihadi rocket attacks aimed at Israeli civilians.

Liberal support for illiberal players is illogical and counterproductive. If “progressives” choose only to blame Israel and never ask Palestinians to embrace liberal values, stop their incitement to violence, renounce terror, and accept Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people, then such “liberals” have mislabeled themselves while making peace less likely.