Poses as Anti-Racism in ‘The New York Times’
By Jonathan S.
March 29, 2019
about intersectional theory used to be confined to the fever swamps of the far
left. But this idea—the idea that seeks to link the struggle for civil rights
in the United States with the Palestinian war on Israel’s existence and every
other cause that can be falsely portrayed as one of the underprivileged against
the privileged—has now gone mainstream.
latest evidence of the success of this attempt to dress up anti-Semitism in the
clothing of human-rights advocacy arrives with the new edition of The New
York Times Sunday Magazine, which includes an
article titled, “How the Battle Over Israel and Anti-Semitism Is
Fracturing American Politics” by Israel critic Nathan Thrall.
object is to justify BDS campaigns that anchor the debate about the subject in
“Black-Palestinian solidarity” and the effort to view the war on Israel
through the “racial justice prism.” The result is an 11,000-word essay that
seeks to subtly paint Zionism as inherently racist and efforts to destroy Israel
as idealistic efforts to defend human rights. The article’s thesis is also to
portray the pro-Israel movement’s effort to push back at anti-Semitic attacks
as tainted by prejudice against African-Americans and fueled primarily by the
heavy-handed efforts of Jewish donors to manipulate the Democratic Party.
of Thrall’s primary sources is former Deputy National Security Advisor Ben
Rhodes, who seeks to depict the struggle for the future of the Democratic Party
as one that will be determined by whether its leaders learn to overcome the
“fear factor” about losing the support of Jewish donors.
an author of a book seeking to justify U.S. pressure on the Jewish state, gives
a deeply sympathetic hearing to Rhodes’ account of how the worries of
Democratic politicians about retribution from the “donor class” (i.e., Jews)
inhibited the Obama administration’s efforts to hammer Israel even more than
article also amplifies Rhodes’ specious claim that Obama’s inability to
persuade Israel’s supporters to back him on the issue was due to racial
prejudice. He claims that supporters of Israel assumed that Barack Obama was
pro-Palestinian because he was black. Rhodes’ thesis, which Thrall endorses,
is that this alleged fear of Obama was the result of the pro-Israel
community’s understanding that the Jewish state really was “an oppressor.”
According to Rhodes, Obama’s critics were “acknowledging, through your own
fears, that Israel treats the Palestinians like black people had been treated in
the United States.”
argument has it backwards. Jewish Democrats bent over backwards to maintain
their faith that Obama had been sincere in his professions of support for Israel
when he ran for president in 2008, in spite of evidence to the contrary, both
then and later. Far from being prejudiced against him, most American Jews stuck
loyally to Obama, despite his belief that more “daylight” was needed between
Israel and the United States. They even supported his efforts to appease an
Iranian regime that was bent on genocide.
assumption that Palestinians and Israeli Arabs are treated the same way as the
African-American victims of Jim Crow in the pre-civil-rights era in the South is
a big lie. Israeli Arabs have equal rights under the law. Nor does the
nation-state law passed last year by the Knesset impinge on any of their rights.
The standoff about the future of the West Bank is because the Palestinians have
repeatedly rejected offers of peace and statehood. They would have had attained
independence long ago had they been willing to recognize the legitimacy of a
Jewish state, no matter where its borders might be drawn. Those who accept these
fallacious arguments are either ignorant of the conflict or expressing their own
the problem with the BDS movement. Its supporters are not so much against
alleged Israeli oppression as they are about the existence of Israel since they
view the presence of even one Jewish state on the planet as one too many.
example is the Jewish Voice for Peace group’s “Deadly Exchange” protest
mentioned by Thrall. It depicts the exchange programs that allow U.S. law
enforcement and first responders to get Israeli training as responsible for
police murders of blacks in American cities. That is a classic anti-Semitic
blood libel. Yet it is presented by Thrall as one more example of how idealists
are rejecting Israel.
the notion that there is a natural affinity between the effort to achieve equal
rights for African-Americans and Palestinian efforts to destroy Israel requires
a willingness to ignore the truth about Israel and that of the movement to
to the point, the article presents criticism of the anti-Semitic invective of
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) as being the result of racism.
reason why Obama was criticized for his Middle East stands had nothing to do
with his race, and everything to do with his refusal to accept that hatred for
Israel and anti-Semitism was the obstacle to peace, not the pro-Israel
community’s racism or Israel’s intransigence. If Omar is singled out for
criticism, it’s not because she’s black or Muslim, but because, like the BDS
movement she supports, she’s guilty of flagrant anti-Semitism.
was a time when intersectional myths seeking to conflate anti-black racism with
Zionism and the Jews would be dismissed as prejudiced anti-Semitic claptrap that
didn’t deserve a hearing in a prominent forum like the Times. But that
was before some on the left began their successful efforts to divide the
Democratic Party and to legitimize anti-Semitism.
the battle for the soul of the Democratic Party, it is Israel’s foes that have
embraced hate, not its defenders. It is they who talk about Jewish money, while
trying to delegitimize the Jewish state and whitewash its enemies. Liberals who
wish to reclaim their party’s integrity, and that of the flagship publication
of their movement, have an uphill struggle in front of them.