Tag: Anti-Semitism

Wall Street Journal letters editor Elliot Kaufman joins Theodore Kupfer to discuss Kaufman’s report on the Crown Heights riots, which happened 30 years ago last weekend.

Find the transcript of this conversation and more at City Journal.

Hubwonk host Joe Selvaggi talks with Boston Globe opinion writer Jeff Jacoby about the troubling increase in antisemitic incidents, including the recent attack on a Boston rabbi, and how our current political rancor fans the flames of bigotry nationwide.
Related: The Boston Globe: How to speak out against antisemitism

Guest:

Canary in the Coal Mine, or You Could Be Next

 

After the last attacks on Israel by Hamas, the canards began to escalate against Israelis once more: they stole the land, they abuse the Palestinians—well, the list goes on. In recent months there has also been discussion on this site about whether anti-Semitic attacks in this country are increasing or not, whether the concern was being exaggerated or should be seriously addressed.

I’ve decided to take a different approach to the “Jewish question.” From my perspective, there are three types of attacks on Jews that have a great deal to teach us and serve as a warning: (1) the relevance of the merging of anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist thought in these times; (2) the subtlety of criticisms of Jews, and how Jews are adding credence to these statements, (3) the lessons that need to be learned from the current situation by Jews and non-Jews alike.

*     *     *     *

Was Henry Ford a Nazi?

 

A lot of people already think they know. Such a stark, blunt question deserves a direct answer: No, he wasn’t. Ford did not support Hitler or his ideology. He wasn’t a Nazi, officially or unofficially.  What Ford was, however, was pretty awful without ever getting near a swastika armband. He was one of the most powerful, influential anti-Semites in history, and did immense harm all over the world by lending his once-golden name to vicious lies. Ford didn’t go around quoting Hitler, but Hitler was grateful that “a great man like Ford” was sounding the alarm.

Ford’s notorious publicity campaign against the Jews began after World War I when he bought a local newspaper, The Dearborn Independent, and turned it into a heavily subsidized powerhouse of anti-Jewish agitation. That campaign largely ended by the end of the Twenties, by which time he had other, more pressing problems. Hitler didn’t come to power until 1933. But the effects of Ford’s pseudo-history lingered for decades to come, for the millions of Jews he slurred, and for the reputation of Henry Ford himself.

Where Have You Gone, Samuil? A Journey Through Identity and Exile with Vladislav Khodasevich (Borscht Report #9/Group Writing)

 

When it comes to pre-WWII Russian literary critics and poets, Vladislav Khodasevich is not well known, particularly in the West. Compared to someone like, say, Bunin or Tsvetaeva, he’s been largely ignored. But Khodasevich deserves attention, both as a skilled memoirist and poet, and as one of the few who chronicled the whole journey of his generation through the realities of WWI and the White exile, grappling with issues of right, honor, and Russian identity, especially for those who carried non-Russian blood in the vast multiethnic empire. 

Born in Moscow in May of 1886, Khodasevich was the son of a Polish nobleman and a Jewish woman. Unlike the union of Vera and Vladimir Nabokov, though, theirs was not an unusual act of mutual tolerance. Jacob Brafman, Khodasevich’s maternal grandfather, was a famous convert from Judaism to Orthodoxy, who wrote The Book of Kahal, a forerunner to The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. He entered the law faculty of Moscow University in 1904, then switched to history and philology the next year, staying on until 1910. It was during his time at the university that Vladislav met Samuil Kissin, a law student and aspiring poet from Orsha who was a year older than he. Twenty years later, he said Kissin, whom he affectionately nicknamed Muni, was “как бы вторым «я»” (like my second self) and reflected on how “we lived in such a faithful brotherhood, in such close love, which now seems wonderful to me.”

Despite his training, Khodasevich did not want to be a historian or a philologist, but, like Kissin, a poet, and dropped out in the final year of his course. He frequented Moscow’s literary salons and cafes, and published articles and poems for famous literary magazines, like Golden Fleece and Libra. Although he was the descendant of a noble family, his father had come to Russia impoverished, and Kissin, who hailed from an observant Jewish merchant family (he was trained in Hebrew and the Talmud at home during his childhood) actually had a much more secure financial position, though he was always willing and happy to support his friend along with himself. 

This Time It’s Personal

 

When I heard that the chancellor of Rutgers University had retracted his statement condemning anti-Semitism, I was spitting mad. And I’m trying to get my head around the spineless, hateful, and bigoted statements that university executives all over the country are prepared to make in order to pacify the angry crowds.

In case you missed this story, chancellor Christopher Molloy initially sent out the following email:

Recent incidents of hate directed toward Jewish members of our community again remind us of what history has to teach us. Tragically, in the last century alone, acts of prejudice and hatred left unaddressed have served as the foundation for many atrocities against targeted groups around the world . . .

How Not to Win Friends and Influence People: Noa Tishby

 

red green capitalI wanted to like Noa Tishby. I was prepared to hear her out as a courageous voice in Hollywood and a potential cobelligerent against the new Red-Green alliance.* I value Scott Johnson’s opinions in the main, having followed PowerLine Blog since they eviscerated Dan Rather’s attempt to steal the 2004 election with a blatantly fraudulent story about George W. Bush’s Texas Air Guard service record. Scott recommended readers to “meet Noa Tishby.” So, I read Robert Sarner’s Times of Israel profile “Israeli actress Noa Tishby’s ‘Simple Guide’ to Israel shakes up US progressives.” So far so good. Then, I followed the link to Matt Lewis’s long-form web video interview of Noa Tisby on the new book she reportedly wrote entirely on her own, Israel: A Simple Guide to the Most Misunderstood Country on Earth. Sad.

I embed, you go watch and decide, then come back to check my opinion. Or read on and then go check my assessment against the tape. By way of warning, this was not safe for younger children’s ears. This is so for all too many web-exclusive videos. She asks the profanity question, common these days as a “mind if I smoke” question used to be. Once the cursing/smoking light is on, the filter comes off, especially late in the interview when she talks about being a woman in Hollywood with “Weinstein” being the daily norm for decades.

Quote of the Day: Miracles Do Happen

 

“Bahrain, for its part continues to astonish Israelis with its enthusiasm over its the newly opened peaceful ties with Israel. Last weekend, Sheikh Khaled bin Khalifa al Khalifa, a member of Bahrain’s royal family who serves as the Chairman of the King Hamad Global Center for Co-Existence and Peace signed an agreement in Washington with Elan Carr, the US anti-Semitism monitor where both sides committed to work together to fight anti-Semitism. The Bahraini center adopted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of anti-Semitism. The IHRA definition defines anti-Zionism as a form of anti-Semitism.” —Caroline Glick

Although the outcome of the Abraham Accords in August was shocking and difficult to imagine, this next step is also deeply satisfying.

The United Arab Emirates and Bahrain have joined Israel in the Accords, and I’m sure it took a great deal of effort to bring it to fruition. Also, Sudan has been removed from the terrorist list and is working on normalizing relations with Israel, as are at least four other Arab countries.

Member Post

 

Nick Cannon gets to keep his stupid Fox show despite his Farrakhan-style racism, anti-Semitism and apology, which he didn’t mean. Can this be anything but Black Privilege™️, the state of being held to lower standards due to race…the ultimate condescension from racist whites who expect less of you? Preview Open

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Member Post

 

In recent days I have read several fascinating articles on Islam as it Jews.  Several have focused on the increasing anti-Semitism in France where Jews have faced a violence that reminiscent of the 1930s Nazi occupation.  Representative of these articles is this from the New York Times, which I highlight only because of its Liberal […]

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Prospective Fact Check on Monsey Machete Attack

 

There has already been plenty of finger pointing over the attempted massacre of a group of Orthodox Jewish men in Monsey, New York. The FBI is now on the case. Whatever explanations are offered up, by whatever source, check them against the map and what we have been told about the location of the attack and the attacker’s life.

Does Someone Have to Die?

 

I’ve been reaching a point where I dislike beating the drum about anti-Semitism. But the recent crimes in New York City and the denials that have accompanied them have convinced me that I can’t beat that drum enough. The media is reluctantly covering the story of the latest attacks on Jews in New York:

In Rockland County last night, during a Chanukah celebration at a synagogue a man stormed in with a machete and stabbed at least five victims, who were taken to the hospital. This is the latest in a string of antisemitic attacks in the New York City area, coming in the wake of the tragic killing of four people during an attack on a Jewish grocery store in Jersey City.

Several excuses have been given for the most recent attacks: Bill DeBlasio has blamed a white supremacist group; others have blamed the rhetoric of Donald Trump inciting people (which is absurd, given the fact that his daughter and son-in-law are Jewish). But it’s a good idea to look at some facts:

Three Important Hanukkah Messages

 

Two messages by President Trump, and one exceptional video message from Prime Minister Johnson, set the right tone for the two nations’ recognition of a minority faith that has been under increasing assault. President Trump, having earlier held an annual Hanukkah reception, at which he signed a significant executive order to combat universities increasingly open anti-Semitism, published a warm presidential message on Hanukkah 2019. Yet, this year, it was Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Chanukah message that cut to the heart of the history and current problems in the United Kingdom. In the context of Labour being rejected by the British people, in significant part due to the exceptionally nasty piece of work leading that party, Jeremy Corbyn, PM Johnston spoke strongly and plainly about the right of British Jews to be both, publicly, without fear of harassment or worse.

Note that this video, like the one below, is official. 10 Downing Street is the official YouTube channel of the British Prime Minister, as White House is the official YouTube channel of the President of the United States.

Another fruitless search for good news today but we have plenty to say about our bad and crazy martini!  Join Jim and Greg as they react to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez openly cheering on anti-Semitic, America-hating Jeremy Corbyn to be the next prime minister in the United Kingdom.  They fume as Rep. Rashida Tlaib falsely assumes the race of the people responsible for targeting and killing of Jewish people in Jersey City.  They also slam the media for losing interest in the murders when the facts of the case don’t support their preferred narrative.  And while Democrats haven’t even taken over the Virginia General Assembly yet, they’re already talking about deploying the National Guard to counties that refuse to enforce their upcoming gun control legislation.

Man Bites Dog: Leftists Betray Leftists Before UK Election

 

The British Parliament will stand for election on 12 December 2019. The norm, which all of us have come to expect, is for “October surprises.” That is, carefully hoarded negative stories to be sprung on the “conservative” party just in time to decisively tilt the election. Obama’s college transcripts have never been leaked, nor has the damning Los Angeles Times recording of Obama with Rashid Khalidi, a Jew-hating Muslim radical. So, it is a true “man bites dog” story when the Times of London publishes a crushing story, based on a massive leak of potentially fatal internal Labour Party documents. The updated story starts:

John McDonnell has apologised to the Jewish community “for the suffering we have inflicted on them” after Labour’s failure to stamp out rampant anti-semitism in the party was exposed in a massive leak of documents from its own disciplinary department.

Progressive Jews, Secularism and the Future of Judaism

 

In the last few years, I’ve written about American Jews and their future, especially regarding their allegiance to the Democrat or Republican parties; recently, the numbers haven’t changed much. Most non-traditional Jews (about 70 percent) identify as Democrats and the remainder of Jews, mostly Orthodox, support Republicans.

Rather than look at party affiliation, however, I’ve become increasingly concerned with the growing emergence of the radical Left and the Jewish affiliation with them. In addition, the efforts to make Judaism more “palatable” to Jews who are not Orthodox is slowly tearing at the fabric of the Jewish faith. Ultimately, my concern is that the existence of the faith could be in jeopardy on two fronts: the growth of anti-Semitism, and the disinterest in continuing the Jewish faith in a form that resembles its roots.

The first front, anti-Semitism, has been of growing concern. The main source for data is the Anti-Defamation League, which has become strongly influenced by the Left. In 2017 the League reported an increase in anti-Semitism of 57 percent, ranging from anti-Semitic tweets to bomb threats sent to Jewish institutions. Our federal government also collects information on anti-Semitism here. At the federal government level, we have also seen a reluctance to hold members of Congress accountable for anti-Semitic rhetoric.

Attacks on Jews, and a Leftist’s Attempt to Speak a Bit of Inconvenient Truth

 

I read Bari Weiss’s new book, How to Fight Anti-Semitism out of curiosity. I wondered if she would really speak truth to power and slap the hand that pays her salary, the New York Times. She did not. She is a woman of the left and a talented columnist, both of which come across in this small, easily read volume. I do not envy her the task she set for herself. I do not know if anyone could write an approachable appeal, that would both address the prominent sources of anti-Semitism and keep the ear of even one major faction on either side of the great political divide.

This is a lengthy and critical review, arranged with the following section headers: “A few administrative details,” “Book outline,” “Too far right?” “Not far enough left?” “Naming radical Islam,” “Review of reviews,” and finally some closing thoughts under “Civility?” Fair warning: this ended up being a very critical review. For balance, you should go read Cathy Young’s review, and Melissa Langsam Braunstein at the Federalist, both of which I link and excerpt in the “Review of reviews” section.

A few administrative details:

More Corruption in the House of Representatives

 

Children in Gaza holding real gunsJust when we thought the anti-Semitic activities in the House of Representatives might be quieting down, Rashid Tlaib and Ilhan Omar have decided to push their hateful actions one step farther. Even worse, we are watching the House of Representatives being attacked from within, and no one is taking notice; the cries against anti-Semitism are pushing the questions about the integrity of the House into the background. These two issues arise due to Tlaib, Omar, and their fellow representative from Minnesota, Betty McCollum, who are co-sponsoring legislation that is filled with an abundance of false information directed—of course—against the state of Israel.

The story actually begins in 1979 with the creation of an organization called Defense for Children International; the Palestinian branch was founded in 1991 (DCI-P). This organization has extensive links to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. For those who may not know, PFLP is a well-known terrorist organization.

Fast forward to November 2017, when McCollum sponsored bill HR4391, which would prohibit “U.S. assistance to Israel from being used to support military detention, interrogation or ill-treatment of Palestinian children in violation of international humanitarian law.” It’s important to note that our federal law already prohibits providing funds to a foreign security force that commits gross human rights violations; clearly, Israel was being targeted in this new bill. Also, the bill did die in committee, but was re-introduced on April 30, 2019.

Trump Chastises Jewish Democrats

 

President Trump continues to amaze me each time he alienates another group of Americans. And this time he’s correct: Jews who are Democrats clearly are misguided and foolish regarding their attitudes toward Judaism, the Democrat party, America and Israel. Here’s Trump’s brief remark:

I think any Jewish people that vote for a Democrat — it shows either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty.

In response, several Jewish groups denounced the comment: