I see the Somali woman who has somehow become a US Congresswoman is once again fending off accusations of antisemitism following a series of tweets which suggested American politicians defend Israel because lobbyists pay them to.
This prompted a Twitter thread by a British contributor to The Economist on the practice of disguising antisemitism as anti-Zionism, and the similarities between its adoption by hard-left American politicians and what we’ve seen in the Labour party under Jeremy Corbyn. It’s actually not a bad thread, but here’s how it ends:
And just to make it clear, if you’re making excuses today for Omar and Corbyn that they’re “only criticizing Israel,” you’re no different to someone overlooking the racism of Trump, Netanyahu, Orban and Bolsonaro because they’re “pro-Israel.” END
— Anshel Pfeffer (@AnshelPfeffer) February 11, 2019
It seems a lot of Jews in the media are incapable of speaking about antisemitism without an obligatory swipe at Trump and other right wing politicians who hold unapproved views. I’ve written about this before; it’s a common phenomenon. Trump is the most pro-Jewish president America has ever had; he had absolutely no problem with his daughter converting to Judaism and marrying her Jewish boyfriend, who Trump fully embraced. He’s also the most pro-Israeli American president for a long time, motivated by such concerns as security and sovereignty. This ought to have Jews on both sides of the Atlantic turning cartwheels in celebration, but it appears their concerns over antisemitism are outweighed by a desire to remain popular in left wing, liberal circles and keep those dinner party invites flowing.
Trump is racist only by the insane definition of metropolitan newsrooms and western academia. What Orban is supposed to have done that is not part of Israel’s founding policy I don’t know. And I bet this Pfeffer chap took his views on Bolsonaro from an article some know-nothing, idiot journalist wrote from an office in London. Hell, it was probably a colleague at The Economist with a pencil neck and an English degree from Oxford hanging over his desk. Ilhan Omar, on the other hand, really is racist and the same goes for a good portion of those allowed to settle in the UK under successive governments. If the likes of Pfeffer can’t bring himself to differentiate between them and Trump, is the problem as grave as he makes out? Personally I think it is, but if Jewish journalists aren’t going to take it seriously, why should I? He should be looking to recruit allies and build bridges with those (like me) who have no skin in the game. Ordinarily I’d side with British and American Jews over racist Somalis, but if their spokesmen are going to spend time bashing Hungarian and Brazilian politicians and virtue-signalling about how much they despise Trump, maybe I’ll just sit on the sidelines and say nothing. What’s my incentive to get involved?
I’ve written recently about how American Jews are going to have to decide whether they want to join the ranks of white deplorables or continue to stoke the fires of identity politics which enable those who truly detest them. British Jews are similarly going to have to decide whether they want to enlist the help of ordinary, decent people in opposing antisemitism or continue to paint themselves into a corner because maintaining their social status is more important than ensuring their safety.