A New Tol­er­ance for Anti-Semitism

The Jewish Voice - - FRONT PAGE - By: Alan M. Der­showitz

All over the world anti-Semites are be­com­ing main­streamed. It is no longer dis­qual­i­fy­ing to be outed as a Jew hater. This is es­pe­cially so if the anti-Semite uses the cover of rabid ha­tred for the na­tion-state of the Jewish peo­ple. The e bigots suc­ceed in be­com­ing ac­cepted — even praised — not be­cause of their anti-Semitism, but de­spite it. In­creas­ingly, they are given a pass on their Jew-ha­tred be­cause those who sup­port them ad­mire or share other as­pects of what they rep­re­sent. Thi im­plicit tol­er­ance of anti-Semitism — as long as it comes from some­one whose other views are ac­cept­able — rep­re­sents a dan­ger­ous new trend from both the right and left

In the United States, al­though there has been hard-right anti-Semitism for decades, the big­otry of the hard-left is far more preva­lent and in­flu­en­tial on many univer­sity cam­puses. Tho e on the left who sup­port left-wi g anti-Semites try to down­play, ig­nore or deny that those they sup­port are re­ally anti-Semites. "Th y are anti-Zion­ist" is the ex­cuse du jour. Tho e on the right do es­sen­tially the same: "they are na­tion­al­ists." Nei­ther side would ac­cept such trans­par­ent and hol­low jus­tifi cations if the shoe were on the other foot. I be­lieve that when an­a­lyz­ing and ex­pos­ing th­ese dan­ger­ous trends, a sin­gle stan­dard of crit­i­cism must be di­rected at each.

Gen­er­ally speak­ing, ex­treme right-wing anti-Semitism con­tin­ues to be a prob­lem in many parts of Europe and among a rel­a­tively small group of "alt-right" Amer­i­cans. But it also ex­ists among those who self-iden­tify as run-of-the-mill con­ser­va­tives. Con­sider, for ex­am­ple, for­mer pres­i­den­tial can­di­date and Rea­gan staffer, Pat Buchanan.

The list of Buchanan's anti-Jewish big­otry is ex­haus­tive. Over the years, he has con­sis­tently blamed Jews for wide-rang­ing so­ci­etal and po­lit­i­cal prob­lems. In his crit­i­cism of the Iraq War, for ex­am­ple, Buchanan in­fa­mously quipped: "The e are only two groups that are beat­ing the drums for war in the Mid­dle East-the Is­raeli De­fense Min­istry and its amen cor­ner in the United States." He then sin­gled out for re­buke only Jewish po­lit­i­cal fig­ures and com­men­ta­tors such as Henry Kissinger, Charles Krauthammer and A.M. Rosen­thal. Buchanan did not men­tion any of the vo­cal non-Jewish sup­port­ers of the war. Fur­ther­more, Buchanan also said that "the Is­raeli lobby" would be re­spon­si­ble if Pres­i­dent Obama de­cided to strike Iran, threat­en­ing that if it were to hap­pen, "Ne­tanyahu and his amen cor­ner in Congress" would face "back­lash world­wide." Buchanan's sor­did fli tation with Nazi re­vi­sion­ism is also well doc­u­mented.

Mean­while, on univer­sity cam­puses, the ab­surd con­cept of "in­ter­sec­tion­al­ity" — which has be­come a code word for anti-Semitism — is dom­i­nat­ing dis­cus­sions and ac­tions by the hard-left The warm embrace of Pales­tinian-Amer­i­can ac­tivist, Linda Sar­sour — who re­cently de­liv­ered the com­mence­ment ad­dress at a City Univer­sity of New York grad­u­a­tion — is a case in point. A co-or­ga­nizer of the Women's March on Wash­ing­ton in Jan­uary, she has said that fem­i­nism and Zion­ism are in­com­pat­i­ble, stat­ing: "You ei­ther stand up for the rights of all women, in­clud­ing Pales­tini­ans, or none. The e's just no way around it." And when speak­ing about two lead­ing fe­male anti-Is­lamists, Brigitte Gabriel and Ayaan Hirsi Ali (who is a vic­tim of fe­male gen­i­tal mu­ti­la­tion) the fem­i­nist du jour, Linda Sar­sour, said: "I wish I could take away their vagi­nas."

The irony is breath­tak­ing. Un­der her own all-or-noth­ing cri­te­ria, Sar­sour — who is also a staunch sup­porter of try­ing to de­stroy Is­rael eco­nom­i­cally — can­not be pro-Pales­tinian and a fem­i­nist be­cause the Pales­tinian Au­thor­ity and Ha­mas sub­ju­gate women and treat gays far worse than Is­rael does.

Sar­sour sup­ports Is­lamic re­li­gious law, Sharia. If taken lit­er­ally, this would pre­sum­ably mean that she also sup­ports pun­ish­ing ho­mo­sex­u­al­ity by death; am­pu­ta­tion for theft; death by ston­ing for "adul­tery" (which can in­clude be­ing raped); women be­ing val­ued at half the worth of a man, be­ing flo ged for drink­ing al­co­hol, and above all, slav­ery (see here, here and here).

Yet, Sar­sour has emerged as a cham­pion of the hard-left. Both New York City Mayor Bill De Bla­sio and Bernie San­ders have sought her en­dorse­ment. More­over, Deputy DNC Chair, Keith El­li­son — who him­self has a sor­did his­tory with anti-Semitism, stem­ming from his as­so­ci­a­tion with Louis Far­rakhan (who pub­licly boasted about his own Jew ha­tred) — has come out in sup­port of the big­oted Sar­sour. When it comes to El­li­son, an old id­iom comes to mind: a man is known by the com­pany he keeps.

The same trend is de­tectable among the hard-left in Europe, par­tic­u­larly in Bri­tain, which is days away from an elec­tion. Th Bri­tish Labour Party has now been hi­jacked by rad­i­cal ex­trem­ists on the left, and is known for be­ing soft n anti-Semitism.

In a re­cent in­ter­view with a BBC re­porter, Emma Bar­nett — who hap­pens to be Jewish — Labour Party leader Jeremy Cor­byn fum­bled when an­swer­ing a ques­tion about how much his pro­posed child­care pol­icy would cost. Rather than cri­tique

Al­though there has been hard-right anti-Semitism for decades, the big­otry of the hard-left is far more preva­lent and in­flu­en­tial on many univer­sity cam­puses

Cor­byn, Labour sup­port­ers vi­ciously trolled the Jewish BBC re­porter. Tweets such as th­ese abounded: "Al­le­ga­tions have sur­faced that @Emmabar­nett is a Zion­ist" and "Zion­ist Emma Bar­nett (fam­ily lived off broth­els) at­tacks Jeremy Cor­byn." Cor­byn has also been ac­cused of anti-Jewish big­otry him­self. He has said in the past that the geno­ci­dal Ha­mas ter­ror­ist group should be re­moved from the UK's des­ig­nated ter­ror list, and has called Hezbol­lah and Ha­mas (which are both vowed to the destruc­tion of the na­tion-state of the Jewish peo­ple) "my friends." (I re­cently wrote ex­ten­sively on Cor­byn's as­so­ci­a­tion with some of Bri­tain's most no­to­ri­ous Holo­caust-de­niers and anti-Semites.)

In­creas­ingly, anti-Semitic dis­course is also seep­ing into the arts and academia. Con­sider the anti-Is­rael and anti-Jewish big­otry of for­mer Pink Floyd front man, Roger Wa­ters. A staunch sup­porter of the so­called BDS move­ment, Wa­ters

has said about the Pales­tini­ans that "par­al­lels with what went on in the 30's in Ger­many are so crush­ingly ob­vi­ous." He also had a pig-shaped bal­loon with a Star of David on it at one of his con­certs. And when asked about his ag­gres­sive ef­fort to re­cruit peo­ple to join the BDS, Wa­ters blamed "the Jewish lobby," which he ex­plained is "ex­tra­or­di­nary pow­er­ful here and par­tic­u­larly in the in­dus­try that I work in, the mu­sic in­dus­try." In 2013, the ADL de­clared that "anti-Semitic con­spir­acy the­o­ries" had "seeped into the to­tal­ity" of Wa­ters' views.

Like­wise, the mar­ket­place of ideas on univer­sity cam­puses and within aca­demic in­sti­tu­tions has seen an embrace of anti-Semitism of­ten dis­guised as anti-Zion­ism. Sev­eral years ago, I iden­ti­fied the dan­ger­ous trend of aca­demics cross­ing a red line be­tween ac­cept­able crit­i­cism of Is­rael and le­git­imiz­ing Jew-ha­tred. This was in light of the dis­grace­ful en­dorse­ment by a num­ber of prom­i­nent aca­demics of an anti-Semitic book writ­ten by Gi­lad Atz­mon — a no­to­ri­ous Jew-hater who de­nies the Holo­caust and at­trib­uted wide­spread eco­nomic trou­bles to a "Zio-punch."

When asked re­cently about the hul­la­baloo sur­round­ing her CUNY ad­dress, Linda Sar­sour disin­gen­u­ously played the vic­tim card:

"...since the Women's March on Wash­ing­ton, once the rightwing saw a very prom­i­nent Mus­lim-Amer­i­can woman in a hi­jab who was a Pales­tinian who was res­onat­ing with a com­mu­nity in a very large way, they made it their mis­sion to do every­thing they can to take my plat­form away."

No, Ms. Sar­sour. You are wrong. This is not a smear cam­paign by the "right-wing," but rather, a show that peo­ple of good­will re­ject your man­i­fes­ta­tions of big­otry.

Tho e who tol­er­ate anti-Semitism from those they oth­er­wise ad­mire would never ac­cept other forms of big­otry, such as racism, sex­ism or ho­mo­pho­bia. It's dif­fi­cult to imag­ine Bernie San­ders cam­paign­ing for a so­cial­ist who didn't like black peo­ple or who was against gay mar­riage. But he is com­fort­able cam­paign­ing for Jeremy Cor­byn, who has made a ca­reer out of con­demn­ing Zion­ists — by which he means Jews.

The grow­ing tol­er­ance for anti-Semitism by both the ex­treme left and right is quickly be­com­ing main­stream. Th t is why it is so dan­ger­ous and must be ex­posed for what it is: com­plic­ity in, and en­cour­age­ment of, the old­est form of big­otry. Shame on those who tol­er­ate anti-Semitism when it comes from their side of the po­lit­i­cal spectrum.

Peo­ple on both sides of the aisle must have the same zero tol­er­ance for anti-Semitism as they do for sex­ism, racism and ho­mo­pho­bia. De­cent peo­ple ev­ery­where — Jews and nonJews — must con­demn with equal vigor all man­i­fes­ta­tions of big­otry whether they em­anate from the hard alt-right or hard alt-left. I will con­tinue to judge in­di­vid­u­als on the ba­sis of their own state­ments and ac­tions, re­gard­less of which side of the aisle they come from.

Alan M. Der­showitz, Felix Frank­furter Pro­fes­sor of Law, Emer­i­tus, at Har­vard Law School and au­thor of "Tak­ing the Stand: My Life in the Law" and "Elec­tile Dys­func­tion: A Guide for the Unaroused Voter."

Mem­bers of the Na­tional So­cial­ist Move­ment (NSM) march across the City Hall lawn in Los An­ge­les, Cal­i­for­nia, on April 17, 2010. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Im­ages)

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