Ricochet is the best place on the internet to discuss the issues of the day, either through commenting on posts or writing your own for our active and dynamic community in a fully moderated environment. In addition, the Ricochet Audio Network offers over 50 original podcasts with new episodes released every day.
Just 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.
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:
At least someone has decided to stand up to Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib’s anti-Semitic and anti-Israel agenda. It’s clear that our Congress will not.
Last month, a visit to Israel by these two lawmakers had been approved. Just two days before the trip, however, both women announced that they planned to use the trip to promote the Boycott-Divest-Sanction (BDS) movement, an international effort to cripple the Israeli economy and delegitimize the Jewish state. When their agenda became clear, Israel enforced a law passed in 2017 which prohibits entry to those who promote boycotting the country. Foreign Minister Israel Katz spoke out supporting the ban–referring to their support of BDS, terrorism and minimizing the Holocaust:
This is a follow up to the excellent post on May 14th by James Gawron calling out the falsity inherent in the following assertion by Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D. Mich.): “There’s always kind of a calming feeling when I think of the tragedy of the Holocaust, that it was my ancestors — Palestinians — who […]
It seems that few people are willing to recognize and say these words about Rashida Tlaib: she is dangerous. So I will. I don’t say these words lightly, because they are as destructive as the words that Tlaib utters. The difference is: they’re true.
Missing from the heated discussion about Rep. Tlaib is the larger picture. The media, Left and Right, have either been focusing on whether or not she is anti-Semitic, whether she is only anti-Zionist, whether her comments are “inartful” (as I heard one commentator say, or overhyped, as another writer said. I want to establish the case that Rep. is anti-Semitic, intentional, and strategic in her remarks, and why it matters. And that as long as we get tangled in the details, we won’t see her true aims. First, I will explain that although she was born in Detroit (not in the Middle East), she is very adept in pressing the case for the Palestinians, her parents’ country of origin. In true Palestinian extremist fashion, she is also crafty at demonizing Jews and Israelis through insinuation and lies. Second, I will show why her behavior is not only dangerous to Congress, but to the principles of this country.
Let’s begin with her take on the history of the Middle East. Like many Palestinians, she has a distorted view of the ancient presence of Jews in the region. Recently she made the following remark regarding the Jews who went to Israel after the Holocaust:
That’s INCITING https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-47938268 Preview Open
Finally. The news is coming out that efforts, although small ones, are being made by Jews to break away from the Democrat party. Most of those activities are happening within the Orthodox Jewish community, but they are vocal and excited, wearing MAGA hats and celebrating Donald Trump.
One of those organizations is the National Council of Young Israel (NCYI) . The organization has existed since the early 20th century:
This is a pretty good explanation of what happened with the House’s resolution against Rep Omar’s anti-semitic comments. Preview Open
Dear Members of Congress,
You should be embarrassed by your lack of courage regarding the anti-Semitism resolution that has been proposed, and apologize to Jews everywhere. How could you even think of changing the resolution to include every single group discriminated against? I am insulted and disgusted by your decisions to consider these changes, since you are either politically stupid or historically uneducated. Let me explain why:
Many Jews (and even non-Jews) are preoccupied with the nightmare of the Holocaust. In one sense, that obsession is understandable; what took place, its horrors, exceed the imagination. I also believe that anti-Semitism is still a danger to the survival of the Jewish people.
At the same time, that period during WWII demonstrated the courage of many people who were prepared to rescue the Jews, even at the risk of their own lives. People like Oskar Schindler and Corrie Ten Boom are probably two of the best-known people who saved the Jews from certain death. But the museum at Yad Vashem in Israel has memorialized 26,500 people, who also aided Jews; they are called the Righteous Among the Nations. Here’s one story of one family’s courage:
In 1925, Alexander Weber converted to Judaism. A year later, he married Lina Banda, a Jewish woman from Hungary. The couple moved to Berlin, where they raised their seven children. In their building, at 48 Dragonerstrasse Street, was a shop rented by a farmer named Arthur Schmidt. Schmidt used the shop to store the fruit and vegetables he brought from his farm in Worin, Brandenburg.
“Hear, O Israel, Save Us” “Oh God Almighty! Help us! Take care of us, give us your blessing.”
Last week I was given a copy of the November issue of Smithsonian magazine, featuring a story on a young Jewish girl in Poland named Renia Spiegel. She created a diary right before she unknowingly entered Hell, as the horrors of the Holocaust infiltrated her innocent world. It’s a miracle that this diary survived at all if you read how it came to be found, and how it traveled over 70 years to become a powerfully troubled voice once again in 2018. The Smithsonian translated it in its entirety.
She is being compared to Anne Frank. My friend who subscribes and shared this issue with us said she cried as she read her story. The entire issue is dedicated to remembering. Let Us Never Forget.
The suspect in the first of two closely timed attacks on Orthodox Jewish boys sure doesn’t look like a skinhead or Klansman, which is why there is not a word about the suspects’ race.
The boy was walking home with his mother around 6 p.m. Sunday near Throop Avenue and Walton Street in Williamsburg.
Without saying a word, the passerby approached and punched him repeatedly in the face before rushing off, police said.
In the days following the murder rampage at the Tree of Life synagogue, I received several expressions of grief from friends who are committed Christians. One included in her note a verse from John Donne:
No man is an island entire of itself . . .
any man’s death diminishes me,
because I am involved in mankind.
And therefore never send to know for whom
the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.
This largeness of spirit is what I have come to know and love in America. The incubus of anti-Semitism, so ineradicable and durable everywhere else in the world, has been gloriously and nearly miraculously minimized in the United States. Of course there were episodes. Leo Frank, a young factory manager, was lynched in Georgia in 1915. Henry Ford publicized the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Following Kristallnacht in 1938, radio preacher Father Coughlin told his large audience that the Jews had brought it on themselves. “Jewish persecution only followed after Christians first were persecuted.” The Ivy League and other institutions maintained Jewish quotas, and country clubs and sometimes whole neighborhoods were “restricted.”
Since Saturday, I’ve had a hypothetical in mind: what if this shooting had happened to Haredi Jews, like those in Brooklyn or Lakewood? Would we have had such an outpouring of support, such an outcry against what transpired?
For as much as we’ve heard about increases in anti-Semitism, the vast majority of the incidents contained within the statistics are vandalism incidents in cemeteries, etc. The most horrifying stories I’ve ever heard, bar none, come from my friends who can never hide their Jewishness (not that they would ever try); Haredi Jews and those who wear yarmulkes; women who wear a wig and a long skirt with stockings.
The outpouring of love and support for Jews following the Pittsburgh synagogue shootings has deeply touched me. I’m not surprised by it, but the reminder of the inclusiveness in our community is one more tribute to Ricochet. In one of the many posts I read, someone asked, “Why have the Jews always been treated this way?” It may have been a rhetorical question, but I took it at face value and decided to share my views about the reasons for anti-Semitism.
It’s important to say at the start that there is no way to provide every explanation for anti-Semitism:
Perhaps the most striking facet about Jew-hatred is its irrationality. There are as many reasons for hating Jews as there are people. Everything that upsets, hurts, or displeases people they often attribute to the Jews. Jews have been blamed for manipulating the media to their needs, usury, blood libels of various forms, well poisoning, dominating slave trade, disloyalty to their host countries, organ harvesting and AIDS spreading.
Engelhard contrasts the removal of Megyn Kelly from a daily TV show, despite her tearful apology for a blackface comment, with the apathy towards overt expressions of anti-Semitism, which are not even a blip on the radar of the media and academia. Al Roker self-righteously condemned Kelly, her apology notwithstanding. Per Engelhard: “Will she ever be forgiven? I ask because as King Solomon would have had it, there is a time to accuse, and there is a time to forgive. But this is not the time to forgive, here in America.”
While all of us were shouting about freedom and due process, and the Left was screaming back about sexual predators, the continuous creep of Islam continued unabated. I came across three programs that are paid for with our tax dollars: a program with the innocuous title, Primary Source; a program developed for Newton, MA schools by the Harvard Center for Middle Eastern Studies (CMES); and a program funded by the Department of Education and distributed by PBS, called Access Islam. I’d like to describe each one and then offer some thoughts.
Recently The Federalist printed a story about a high school in Newton, MA that was teaching classes that were anti-Semitic. In particular a history teacher, David Bedar attended a five-day summer teacher training course for teaching about “the dynamics of the Middle East.” Called Primary Source, the program is funded by the Mass Cultural Council, Mass Humanities, the Cummings Foundation and lastly, the Qatar Foundation International. Bedar’s course is filled with anti-Israel and anti-Semitic lies and distortions. The Federalist presented an example:
Here’s Bedar’s ‘Israeli perspective’: ‘During the war [of Israeli independence] there were a number of massacres, robbery and rape by Jewish fighters.’ His ‘Palestinian perspective’? The Palestinians say they ‘had been exposed to the most barbaric kinds of torture and immoral and inhuman practices’ by Jewish fighters.
The idea of special protections in this country has always been objectionable to me; it requires another reason for government intrusion into our lives. We take pride in extending the Bill of Rights to everyone, and equal opportunity transcends special classes.
Enforcement has previously fallen under the jurisdiction of the Justice Department, but now the new Assistant Secretary of Education for Civil Rights, Ken Marcus, has decided to add a new protected group: religion. In particular, he is concerned about anti-Semitism.
Mr. Marcus is motivated by a childhood incident that took place in the predominantly Jewish Sharon, Mass, where a group of children saw him: