OUR WORLD: Perez, Ellison and the meaning of antisemitism

T. Belman. Israel can no longer try to be bipartisan. Israel must do what it must do and let the cards fall where they may. American Jews no longer control the Democratic Party. AIPAC is useless. It couldn’t prevent the takeover of the party. Did it even try? American Jews must rethink what it means to be pro-Israel. This will align them more with Israel and less with the Democratic Party.

The Democrats are in a dangerous place for themselves, for the US and for the American Jewish community.

By Caroline Glick, JPOST

US labor secretary Tom Perez

Was former Secretary of labor and assistant attorney-general Tom Perez’s victory over Congressman Keith Ellison over the weekend in the race to serve as the new chairman of the Democratic National Committee a victory of centrist Democrats over radical leftists in the party? That is how the mainstream media is portraying Perez’s victory.

Along these lines, Prof. Allen Dershowitz, a lifelong Democrat who promised to quit the party if Ellison was elected due to his documented history of antisemitism and hostility toward Israel, hailed Perez’s election. Speaking to Fox News, Dershowitz said that Perez’s election over Ellison “is a victory in the war against bigotry, antisemitism, the anti-Israel push of the hard Left within the Democratic Party.”

There are two problems with Dershowitz’s view. First, Perez barely won. Ellison received nearly half the votes in two rounds of voting.

Tipping his hat to Ellison’s massive popularity among the party’s leadership and grassroots, Perez appointed the former Nation of Islam spokesman to serve as deputy DNC chairman as soon as his own victory was announced.

There is a good reason that Perez is so willing to cooperate with Ellison in running the DNC. And this points to the second problem with the claim that Perez’s election signals a move toward the center by Democratic leaders.

Perez is ready to cooperate with Ellison because the two men have the same ideological worldview and the same vision for the Democratic Party. As Mother Jones explained, “There’s truly not much ideological distance between the two.”

Far from being a victory for the centrist forces in the party, Perez’s win marks the solidification of the far Left’s control over the party of Harry Truman. Only hard leftists participated in a meaningful way in the race for leadership of the second largest party in America – a party that less than a decade ago controlled the White House and both houses of Congress.

The implications of this state of affairs are disastrous for the US generally. It is inherently destabilizing for a nation when one of the parties in a two-party political system is taken over by people who have a negative view of the country.

While America as a whole will suffer from the radicalization of the Democratic Party, perhaps no group will suffer more from the far Left’s takeover of the party than the American Jewish community. The vast majority of American Jews give their partisan allegiance to the Democratic Party and their ideological allegiance to the Left.

While Perez made a name for himself by fighting the enforcement of US immigration and naturalization laws against illegal immigrants, and Ellison rose to prominence for his activism in radical African American and Islamic circles, thanks to the so-called intersectionality of the far Left, that makes the cause of one faction the cause of all factions, today Perez is as much an apologist for Israel bashers as Ellison.

Perhaps in response to the danger that the far Left’s takeover of the Democratic Party represents, Malcolm Hoenlein, the long-serving professional head of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations called on Sunday for the convening of a global conference on antisemitism. In a meeting with The Jerusalem Post’s editorial board, Hoenlein said that one of the goals of the proposed conference would be to reach a universally accepted definition of antisemitism.

At the same meeting at the Post, Hoenlein insisted that “we can’t afford a split” on Israel among the Republicans and the Democrats.

On the surface, Hoenlein’s position makes sense. Israel and the Jewish community in the US are both endangered by the partisan split. If a broad consensus can be reached on the definition of antisemitism, in theory, such a move could force the radical Left, which now controls the Democratic Party, to eschew Jew hatred.

The problem with Hoenlein’s view is that to get everyone on board, it is necessary to pretend that even antisemites oppose antisemitism.

This sad state of affairs has been on prominent display in the wake of the recent spate of antisemitic attacks against Jewish cemeteries in the US. Muslim Americans with records of antisemitism have been quick to condemn the attacks.

On the face of it, statements by Ellison, Hamas supporter Linda Sarsour and others condemning the attacks on Jewish cemeteries are welcome. Sarsour’s support for Palestinian mass murderers of Jews and open calls for Israel’s destruction have been ongoing for more than a decade. It’s nice that she is suddenly raising money to repair broken Jewish graves in St. Louis.

The problem is if Sarsour and her Jew hating comrades are viewed as legitimate partners in fighting antisemitism, when they themselves are abetting and popularizing antisemitism, then the notion of fighting antisemitism is destroyed.

If Sarsour, who wrote in 2012 that “nothing is creepier than Zionism,” is a legitimate voice in the fight against anti-Jewish discrimination and violence, then the fight against anti-Jewish discrimination and violence is reduced to farce.

Sarsour, like Ellison, is no fringe figure on the Left. She has become a major mover and shaker in the second party in America. Sarsour was one of the organizers of the anti-Trump women’s protests the day after the president was inaugurated.

Sarsour’s rising prominence in progressive and Democratic circles despite her open support for Hamas shows why it is important today to draw a line in the sand and reject the notion that antisemites can suddenly become defenders of Jews.

With each passing day, the Left becomes more open in its embrace of anti-Jewish voices. If Sarsour’s leadership role last month in the anti-Trump women’s protests constituted a new low in progressive politics, a month later the bar has dropped even lower. At the next round of women’s protests, Ramsea Odeh is one of the announced organizers.

Whereas Sarsour simply supports the terrorist murder of Jews, Odeh is an actual terrorist murderer of Jews. Odeh participated in a PLO terrorist attack at a Jerusalem supermarket in 1970 in which two Jews were murdered.

According to Politico, the radical Left’s takeover of the Democratic Party apparatus through Perez and Ellison isn’t enough to satisfy the party’s young activists. They also want for long-serving Democratic lawmakers in Congress to retire and clear the path for their takeover of the Democratic congressional roster.

Following my column last week, where I harshly criticized Senator Robert Menendez for questioning the loyalty of David Friedman, Trump’s ambassador designate to Israel, a number of prominent American Jews insisted that in asking the question Menendez was not embracing the antisemitic dual loyalty slur. He was trying to protect Friedman from his more radical Democratic colleagues.

There is good reason to accept their argument. Menendez has a long record of standing up for Israel and he has paid a political price for that support.

The problem is that such justifications of Menendez’s actions indicate that American Jews have already lowered the bar on what constitutes antisemitism too far and made defending their own interests all but impossible.

The Democrats are in a dangerous place for themselves, for the US and for the American Jewish community. They will not move back to the center if standards for judging what it means to be antisemitic are lowered. The only chance that they will return to their senses is if they are made to choose between the Sarsours of the world and the Dershowitzes. And this cannot happen by looking for a consensus on what antisemitism means. It can only be done – if it can be done at all – by drawing a line and demanding that it be respected.

Subscribe to Israpundit Daily Digest

10 Comments / 10 Comments

  1. rongrand

    Caroline in on target as usual.

    Unfortunately, liberal Americans have not realized the Democrat party has been hijacked by the far left and I mean far.

    The liberals have been mesmerized by the likes of Obama, G Soros & the liberal left media.

    Anti-Semitism is their bag and they favor world order.

    Screw world order, time to get the hell out of the UN (worthless body) they hate the US & Israel.

    Time to flush them down the toilet.

  2. jim hane

    Anti-Semitism in Europe is at levels not seen since the heyday of Nazi Germany, and is growing more savage by the moment. Last week, i24News reported that “two French Jewish brothers were briefly abducted and abused by a group of men in a Paris suburb in an incident that ended with the brothers being beaten and attacked with a wood saw.” This is the new Europe, the same as the old Europe, because of Muslim immigration: the attackers were “a group of men described as having a Middle Eastern appearance.”

    A group of men having a Middle Eastern appearance would have every reason, by their own lights, to abduct, beat, and attempt to mutilate two random Jews. The Qur’an depicts the Jews as inveterately evil and bent on destroying the wellbeing of the Muslims. They are the strongest of all people in enmity toward the Muslims (5:82); as fabricating things and falsely ascribing them to Allah (2:79; 3:75, 3:181); claiming that Allah’s power is limited (5:64); loving to listen to lies (5:41); disobeying Allah and never observing his commands (5:13); disputing and quarreling (2:247); hiding the truth and misleading people (3:78); staging rebellion against the prophets and rejecting their guidance (2:55); being hypocritical (2:14, 2:44); giving preference to their own interests over the teachings of Muhammad (2:87); wishing evil for people and trying to mislead them (2:109); feeling pain when others are happy or fortunate (3:120); being arrogant about their being Allah’s beloved people (5:18); devouring people’s wealth by subterfuge (4:161); slandering the true religion and being cursed by Allah (4:46); killing the prophets (2:61); being merciless and heartless (2:74); never keeping their promises or fulfilling their words (2:100); being unrestrained in committing sins (5:79); being cowardly (59:13-14); being miserly (4:53); being transformed into apes and pigs for breaking the Sabbath (2:63-65; 5:59-60; 7:166); and more.

    The classic Qur’anic commentators not do not mitigate the Qur’an’s words against Jews, but only add fuel to the fire. Ibn Kathir explained Qur’an 2:61 (“They were covered with humiliation and misery; they drew on themselves the wrath of Allah”) this way: “This Ayah [verse] indicates that the Children of Israel were plagued with humiliation, and that this will continue, meaning that it will never cease. They will continue to suffer humiliation at the hands of all who interact with them, along with the disgrace that they feel inwardly.” Another Middle Ages commentator of lingering influence, Abdallah ibn Umar al-Baidawi, explains the same verse this way: “The Jews are mostly humiliated and wretched either of their own accord, or out of coercion of the fear of having their jizya [punitive tax] doubled.”

    Ibn Kathir notes Islamic traditions that predict that at the end of the world, “the Jews will support the Dajjal (False Messiah), and the Muslims, along with ‘Isa [Jesus], son of Mary, will kill the Jews.” The idea in Islam that the end times will be marked by Muslims killing Jews comes from the prophet Muhammad himself, who said, “The Hour will not be established until you fight with the Jews, and the stone behind which a Jew will be hiding will say. ‘O Muslim! There is a Jew hiding behind me, so kill him.'” This is, not unexpectedly, a favorite motif among contemporary jihadists.

    Not just contemporary jihadists, but modern-day mainstream Islamic authorities take these passages seriously. The former Grand Sheikh of Al-Azhar, Muhammad Sayyid Tantawi, who was the most respected cleric in the world among Sunni Muslims, called Jews “the enemies of Allah, descendants of apes and pigs.” The late Saudi sheikh Abd al-Rahman al-Sudayyis, imam of the principal mosque in the holiest city in Islam, Mecca, said in a sermon that Jews are “the scum of the human race, the rats of the world, the violators of pacts and agreements, the murderers of the prophets, and the offspring of apes and pigs.”

    Another Saudi sheikh, Ba’d bin Abdallah al-Ajameh al-Ghamidi, made the connection explicit: “The current behavior of the brothers of apes and pigs, their treachery, violation of agreements, and defiling of holy places … is connected with the deeds of their forefathers during the early period of Islam–which proves the great similarity between all the Jews living today and the Jews who lived at the dawn of Islam.”

    All this shows that leading Muslim authorities approach the Qur’an not as a document rooted in history, but as a blueprint for understanding the world today. Indeed, it is the primary blueprint for such understanding, and yet the one most persistently ignored by authorities. That’s why those authorities keep misunderstanding the rising problem of Islamic anti-Semitism, and are woefully ill-equipped to deal with it.

    Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and author of the New York Times bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His latest book is The Complete Infidel’s Guide to ISIS.

  3. jim hane

    The hatred of Jews runs very deep in the Muslim psyche. It comes directly from their Prophet Muhammad. He committed all sorts of atrocities against Jews. These are all detailed in the canonical texts of Islam.

  4. Stuart L. Meyer

    The idea of Hoenlein is stupid that getting a consensus on what antisemitism means is helpful.Getting a consensus from those including anti-Semites and/or anti-Israel will cloud the resulting definition with qualifications and conditions (e.g. Jews are OK so long as they aren’t greedy, or part of the worldwide conspiracy, or oppressing Palestinians,or have dual loyalties etc etc )that will obscure the meaning.

    The American Jewish community has largely been oblivious to its own interests, the interests of the Jewish people (and perhaps these two are not identical! ) and certainly not heedful of the interests of the survival of Israel as a Jewish state.Three of my grandsons were bar mitzvah in a “Center” (not even a synaogogue or temple ) where the rabbi was pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel ( but properly liberal and globalist! )

    The definitions can be boiled down simply: it’s discrimination against, or hatred of. someone because he/she is identifiable as Jewish or criticism of Israel because it is a Jewish state. How can Israel’s treatment at the U.N. be considered anything else?

    Those who have replaced their Jewish religion and loyalty with that of liberalism, leftism, globalism, universalism, etc have jeopardized the future of the Jewish people and in particular the state of Israel. The ambition of the logical among the extremist haters to get a lot of Jews in one place, and destroy them with a WMD, is horrifying both in its plausibility and,certainly, in its evil. Yet, we have seen this before, with even the efficient Nazis not reaching this definitive goal.

    The American Jewish Community seems not very concerned about
    Jewish peoplehood, not in comparison to the political Left and liberal ideologies. Assimilation is perhaps a greater threat than non-violent anti-Semitism. How many of the Sulzbergers, Guggenheims, Pritzkers et al still consider themselves Jewish let alone denying their antecedents like Madeleine Albright or John Kerry? Hillel seems determined to reach out to students who aren’t even Jewish.

    Of course liberals generally often don’t approve of or even like their own country, the U.S. It’s not surprising that Jewish liberals similarly exhibit little loyalty. Perhaps it’s a version of the Stockholm Syndrome.

  5. Birdalone

    Will we ever know who chose former Gov. Beshear, Kentucky, for the Democratic Party response to POTUS speech last night?

    I did not hear what Beshear said because I was so confused by a white, southern, religious male who sounded just like a Republican…representing the party of Perez/Ellison.

    American Jews who cling to Perez’s win are just postponing the inevitable, but they SHALL destroy the over-assimilated Jews who still think it is an actual political party…sorry this schism is very painful past four years.

  6. honeybee

    yamit82 Said:

    Right on

    “Right on ” , boychik does that date you.

  7. bernard ross

    Jews in the USA should be frightened of the Frankenstein monster which they have helped to create as a result of their ignorance, their selfish opportunism, their vain fantasies of their”principled” selves.

    200 out of 435 dem delegates just voted to elect as their chairman a man,Keith Ellison,who supported one of the vilest hitlerite Jew haters on the face of the globe:Black Muslim leader Louis Farrakhan. If Farrakhan had the power I have no doubt that he would be more frighteningly barbaric to Jews than Adolph Hitler. One needs only to read him or hear his speeches to recognize immediately that his Jew hatred is deeply ingrained and huge. He would be like those Muslims who enjoy torturing Jews in France whereas Hitler was efficient and aloof.

    Most astoundingly Ellison was vociferously supported by two lunatic opportunistic influential Jews, Schumer and Sanders, which likely convinced wary Jews and Gentiles to enter the oven of their future.

    It matters not that Ellison lost the number one seat because the real victory for the Jew haters is the 200 votes of influence to further their agenda to influence one of the only two parties who will without a doubt come again to power in the WH. Furthermore, the competence of the organization of the anti Semites to call the shots is much higher than anything to their right. They will no doubt remake the dem party, the folly of the dem Jews is irreversible. It will be easy to engineer another downfall like Wasserman Schultz in the form of Perez.

    Jews should begin to plan an alternate future outside of the USA. The only hope is for Jews to fully support Trump dismantling the Muslim mole network in the US and the leftist network who ally with and enable them. Of supreme importance, and very difficult to achieve,is to declare the MB and CAIR as terror orgs. If Trump can accomplish this all the moles can be ferreted out and destroyed, if not it is only downhill as they will remain in place to sabotage and reemerge. I have little faith in the ability of Jews to fathom this obvious catastrophe. Even now Jewish lunatics pretend that Trump is a Nazi while they give control of a party of rule to a follower of Hitlers Jew killing goals. If it makes Jews more confident they can place hope in Ellison saying he does not follow the Jew hating black Hitler any longer, after all that was enough for Sanders and Schumer to convince others of Ellison’s convenient conversion.

  8. Bear Klein

    The good news for the moment at least is that the Democratic Party is very dysfunctional and has very little power.

    They have truly become a far left socialist anti Israel and and anti-Semitic party for the most parts.

    If the USA Economy does well and Trump keeps helps it to progress the Democrats will not rise any time soon.

Comments are closed.