Friday, March 8, 2019

The Anti-Semitism of the Left

From The Federalist:
Every few days I get a call from my dad. Last week, after catching up on family stuff and moving to the news, he asked me what a trope is, and why he’s been hearing the word so much in the past few weeks. I joked that “trope” is a word that is primarily used to make anti-Semitism sound not so bad. That is to say, that when Rep. Ilhan Omar consistently says things that most Jews say are hurtful, it’s supposedly not anti-Semitic, but rather her “engaging in anti-Semitic tropes.”

So, what is a trope? Technically, it is the metaphorical or figurative use of a word or expression. So, in fact, my satirical definition wasn’t far off the mark. When the news media suggests that Omar is merely trading in tropes, they are absolving her of actual anti-Semitism. And it does seem to be uniquely used in this context — nobody suggested that by wearing blackface in the 1980s, Ralph Northam was engaging in a racist trope. He was just being a racist. 
Omar, her colleague Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and many others on the far left have argued that there is no anti-Semitism here. They say Omar is merely criticizing Israel and America’s policies towards it. It is certainly true that one can criticize policy without being anti-Semitic, but that’s not what is going on here. Omar, for one, has said two very specific things that are flat-out anti-Semitic.

The first, harkening back to her claims that Israel is “hypnotizing the world,” is that Jews are using their money to buy off the American government’s support of Israel. She has falsely claimed that the American Israel Public Affairs Committee has paid politicians to ignore right and wrong and simply do what their Jewish benefactors demand. This claim is absurd on its face and makes reference to centuries-old claims that greedy Jews are subverting decent society with their big bags of shekels. 
The second claim is that American Jews who support Israel are engaged in dual loyalty. That their real allegiance is not to the United States but to Israel and Judaism. This is also an ancient and disquieting claim, one that Nazis used to great effect in convincing Germans that Jews weren’t really on their side. 
Neither of these vicious and pernicious claims has the slightest thing to do with actual American policy towards Israel — a subject on which Omar and Ocasio-Cortez are oddly quiet, for all their cackling about Jewish influence. Rather, they are blatant attacks on Jews that claim they are not acting in good faith. The idea here is that Jews and others who support Israel don’t actually care about preserving a homeland for a historically marginalized global minority, but seek only to oppress Palestinians. (Read more.)

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