Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam.
After years of studiously ignoring it, dismissing it, whitewashing it, excusing it and even justifying it, progressives have rediscovered anti-Semitism. With this amazing archeological find the intrepid Indiana Jones’ of the left dug up anti-Semitism, brushed it off and put it up on the shelf right behind Islamophobia, transphobia, racism, homophobia and sexism (in that order of importance).
Anti-Semitism on the left has been abruptly transformed from an excuse that Jews use to silence discussion about whether the Jewish State should be nuked or merely boycotted, to an issue worthy of concern. Assorted liberal celebrities with Jewish last names have surfaced to voice amazement that they had “not expected to see anti-Semitism return in my lifetime.”
As if anti-Semitism had been vacationing in the Alps until it came to their attention. The truth is that anti-Semitism never went anywhere. The left just endorsed it. And therefore it ceased to be a bad thing.
There was plenty of anti-Semitism to find even on the local college campus. Almost every synagogue I have been to in the past few months has armed guards outside giving visitors the TSA treatment. Jews are fleeing to America, Canada and Israel from major European cities because of Muslim persecution. The largest Jewish population in the world faces an endless war against a genocidal ideology that not only calls for their extermination, but works toward it, from suicide bombers to nuclear weapons.
But there is a progressive gentleman’s agreement not to discuss that real wave of anti-Semitism which has cost thousands of Jewish lives and ethnically cleansed cities because of the left’s complicity in it.
The recent interest in anti-Semitism across editorial pages and social media carefully avoids discussing the anti-Semitic past of Keith Ellison, progressive favorite for DNC chair, and his time with the anti-Semitic Nation of Islam cult whose ugly views and hatred he had defended. The left isn’t interested in Muslim anti-Semitism. It is greatly interested in discussing and promoting a small group of loathsome neo-Nazi trolls who recently held a conference in D.C. attended by a few hundred of history’s losers.
These Twitter troll babies cling to Trump’s legs almost as eagerly as he tries to shake them off. The “Hail Trump” stunt was a calculated gesture based on the certain knowledge that the media will only give their movement publicity if they try to smear Trump by associating him with their failed movement.
Despite the media’s lies, they’re not President-elect Trump’s allies, but his needy desperate stalkers.
The Neo-Nazis rebranded by weaponizing their own loathsomeness, whether it’s aimed at Trump or at Jews on Twitter. Instead of trying and failing to gain legitimacy, they embraced the classic troll tactic of trying to gain attention by becoming as repulsive as possible. But while it’s easy to tweet Nazi propaganda from a thousand sockpuppet accounts at famous people on Twitter until someone writes it up, the scam falls apart when you try to fill up the back half of a Holiday Inn conference room.
It’s easy to tell a real threat from a fake threat. Fake threats go away if you ignore them. Real threats only grow deadlier if you ignore them. Internet trolls are the former. Islamic terror is the latter.
The very same liberal organizations that claim to be very concerned about Twitter trolls, whitewash real anti-Semitism. The star of the ADL’s conference on anti-Semitism was the inventor of Pepe, a cartoon frog adopted as a meme by a wide range of online communities, including by Neo-Nazis. The ADL won headlines and ridicule by adding Pepe to its database of hate symbols.
While the ADL was battling the threat of a cartoon frog, its conference featured a panel debating whether delegitimization of Israel was anti-Semitism and providing a platform to anti-Israel activists who defended attacks on Israel and even some forms of BDS. The ADL believes that a cartoon frog on social media is a serious threat, but that the delegitimization of the Jewish State is open to debate.
The brand of anti-Semitism embodied by Neo-Nazi trolls on Twitter is vile in content, but is helpless to deprive anyone of any rights. The anti-Semitism we should be worried about is the systematic delegitimization of Jews as a people. It’s the rise to power of a political ideology that denies Jews basic civil rights, such as the right to live where they choose and just the right to live. Anti-Semitism is at its most dangerous when it can’t even be seen because it has become a mainstream consensus.
Anti-Semitism is at its most dangerous when no one dares call it out for what it is.
The ADL and other liberal groups have defended Keith Ellison despite his history of anti-Semitism. Asked about his support for Ellison, Senator Schumer shrugged. “I’m not worried about the Israel stuff.” The “Israel stuff” that Schumer wasn’t worried about included labeling Israel an apartheid state and attacking its right to self-defense. It included a past promoting and defending the vilest anti-Semitism.
But at its heart the “Israel stuff” is about the question of whether our country will continue challenging the right of Jews to live in their homeland and to defend themselves against a genocidal cult.
The “Israel stuff” is the question of whether Jews have rights as a people. The left answered that question in the negative. Jews were not a people. They had no rights. They had to be eradicated.
And that is what the left proceeded to do.
When the left achieved total power, whether in the USSR or Nicaragua, it began to eradicate the Jews as a people. The left is as anti-Semitic as any Twitter troll. It just has better public relations.
The left would like Jews to believe that the bigger threat come from a cartoon frog than from a DNC head who was a member of one of the vilest anti-Semitic cults in the country and continues to work against the Jewish State. That’s the dangerous and deadly lie of cowards complicit in anti-Semitism.
It is easy to condemn gas chamber cartoons on social media. It’s also lazy and evasive. There is no great moral virtue in denouncing behavior that everyone already considers abhorrent. The real challenge of fighting anti-Semitism doesn’t come from denouncing the political equivalent of public urination.
To truly fight anti-Semitism is to confront it in its whitewashed and mainstreamed forms. Anything less is the lazy cowardice of an Abe Foxman or the conniving complicity of a Jonathan Greenblatt.
Should we talk about actual anti-Semitism or a cartoon frog?
The Jewish communities of Europe that survived and rebuilt after the Holocaust are being depopulated by persecution from Muslim migrants and settlers. Muslim violence continues to be the main source of dangerous attacks on Jewish synagogues in Europe and America. Despite this, Germany encouraged huge numbers of Muslims to enter the country despite vocal warnings from Jewish leaders.
The single most successful ideology that calls for denying Jews equal rights today in the West isn’t the half a conference room of Neo-Nazis, it’s Islamism. Islamist organizations, including CAIR and ISNA, have formed close alliances with the left despite their anti-Semitism. Their goal is the revival of a system of discriminatory Islamic law which would deny equal rights to Jews and all other non-Muslims.
The rise of Islam depopulated the Jewish communities of the Middle East. Israel continues to hold out against the tide of violent Islamic bigotry by force of arms. And its right to defend Jews from racist Islamic violence is constantly under attack by the left. As the Jewish communities of Europe begin to vanish, the last refuge of the Jews in the West has become the United States of America. But the left demands that Muslim migration be empowered do to the Jews of America what it did to them in Europe.
Obama launched a diplomatic reset with a genocidal terror state that openly plots the murder of millions of Jews. And he financed that reset with billions of taxpayer dollars illegally smuggled on unmarked cargo planes, countless billions more in sanctions relief and a pass for its nuclear weapons program. He even spied on Israel to prevent it from taking out Iran’s nuclear weapons program.
Money illegally smuggled by a left-wing administration to terrorists can be used to finance anti-Semitic violence and a nuclear weapons program whose objective is the murder of millions of Jews.
But by all means, let’s talk about cartoon frogs. It’s easier than discussing the real threat of anti-Semitism.