The recent skirmish between Hamas, the Palestinian governing authority, and Israel is nothing new. Similar events have been going on for decades. But what has changed is the composition and opinions of a significant portion of the Democratic Left who view Israel – and by extension Jewish Americans – as privileged oppressors.
Jews are now routinely attacked. Jewish fraternities are painted with swastikas. Jews are punched and spat upon upon while dining in Midtown Manhattan. People parade in front of synagogues with signs saying “Hitler was right.” One Jewish leader even suggested that that Jews not wear yarmulkes and tallits (prayer shawls) in public to avoid being attacked!
Years ago, such behavior would have generated national outrage from the media. But now the silence is deafening. This is because our ruling class and media acolytes have decided that a certain amount of Anti-Semitism must be tolerated rather than disrupt the coalition that prevented President Trump from being re-elected.
One Democratic congresswoman, Rashida Tlaib, intimated that Israel should be destroyed by tweeting (now deleted) “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.” Another Democratic congresswoman, Ilhan Omar, tweeted that support for Israel in the US Congress was “all about the Benjamins,” suggesting that that American Jews were buying off American politicians. Twenty years ago, such statements would have ended political careers. But not now. Anti-Semitism is now mainstream among the Democratic Left.
The Palestinian people have a legitimate compliant. Jews lived in peace for centuries in the Arab world. It was so-called Christian Europe that perpetrated the mass atrocities against the Jewish people. And while many are aware of the horrors of the Holocaust, this hideous event was the culmination of centuries of anti-Semitism as recorded in Constantine’s Sword. This book was not written by some hard-core Zionist. It was written by a former Roman Catholic priest, James Carroll.
But even at the time of Israel’s creation in 1948, the Palestinians did not have a homeland. They were one of the many ethnic groups that inhabited Syria, Jordon and Lebanon, countries created by carving up the Muslim Ottoman Empire by the European powers at the end of World War I. Nonetheless, Israel has offered to give the Palestinians their own homeland – something the Ottoman Empire or Europe never did – in return for peace and acknowledging Israel’s right to exist. The Palestinians have refused this offer not once – but at least four times: when Israel was created, after the Yom Kippur War in 1967, after the Oslo accords in 1993 and during President Clinton’s efforts at Camp David in 2000.
The tragedy is that had the Biden administration continued with former President Trump’s Mideast policy, this skirmish may have been avoided. President Trump had the foresight to realize that negotiations for Palestinian statehood were going nowhere and was building a coalition of Arab states that were willing to work with Israel. Peace was breaking out. But when President Trump lost, the Biden administration made the political calculation to never acknowledge the effectiveness of Trump’s policy. They reversed course – restoring the funding to the Palestinian authority that President Trump had terminated. This feckless policy was a disaster: Hamas bombed Israel.
When Israel responded, Democratic Senator Chris Murphy said “Israel has the right to defend itself from Hamas’ rocket attacks, in a manner proportionate with the threat its citizens are facing.” A “proportionate response?” There is no such thing as a “proportional response” when your country is being bombed.
The Democrats own this mess. This is Joe Biden’s America. And President Biden and mainstream Democratic politicians need to do more than issue tepid statements. Those attacking Jewish Americans must be arrested and prosecuted with ample media coverage. As the Irish philosopher Edmund Burke stated “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”