Tag: israel

Far Left And Far Right Come Together In Their Antisemitic Rage

They came waving Palestinian flags and clad in the keffiyehs that have become a symbol of the Palestinian cause. Dozens of chanting protesters crowded the street outside Goldie, a vegan restaurant serving Israeli-inspired dishes in central Philadelphia, blocking traffic and chanting, "Goldie, Goldie, you can't hide. We charge you with genocide."

What does this restaurant have to do with the war in Gaza? Nothing. It serves falafel to Philadelphians. It is owned by a Jew, who was born near Tel Aviv. And that's enough.

Around the world, synagogues, Jewish cemeteries, Jewish-owned businesses, and individual Jews are facing harassment, vandalism and even murder. Just two days after the Hamas terror attack, a Jewish student who tried to paint the Israeli flag on a "free speech rock" at Wayne State University was shoved and called a "f—-ing Zionist." A week later, a woman was punched in the face at Grand Central Terminal. When she asked her attacker why, he said "You are Jewish."

At the University of Minnesota, the Jewish student center erected a display showing the faces of children kidnapped by Hamas. It's been kicked over and damaged twice.

In Pittsburgh, just a few blocks from the Tree of Life synagogue, scene of the deadliest attack on Jews in American history, homes were defaced with graffiti proclaiming, "Free Palestine," "Death 2 America" and "I stand with Gaza."

In Thousand Oaks, California, a pro-Palestine demonstrator struck a 69-year-old Jewish man in the head. He later died of his wounds.

These are snapshots of a broad phenomenon. The Anti-Defamation League reports that anti-Jewish acts have increased more than 300% since the 10/7 attacks.

The Israel/Hamas war has also inflamed anti-Palestinian rage. A six-year-old child whose parents were from the West Bank was stabbed to death and his mother seriously wounded by a knife-wielding landlord in Illinois. And in Burlington, Vermont, three Palestinian college students were shot on the street simply for being identifiably Palestinian.

There are also reports of an increase in threats against American Muslims, though aside from the two terrible attacks in Illinois and Vermont, there doesn't seem to be a great wave of anti-Muslim sentiment surging in the nation or the world.

What would the response have been if we had seen one? If, in the wake of 10/7, we had seen mosques defaced, Muslim students harassed, Muslim homes vandalized, posters of kidnapped Palestinian children ripped down (work with me here), death threats posted online against Muslim Students Associations, individual Muslims shoved, slapped and punched "because you're a Muslim" and hordes of protesters carrying Israeli flags and chanting "From the river to the sea, Israel will be Arab-free!" we'd have no trouble labeling what was going on, would we?

We don't hold Muslims in Dearborn responsible for the acts of Muslims in Jakarta. We don't call in threats to their mosques or harass random Muslim engineers because Muslim regimes elsewhere are persecuting Christians.

Nor, of course, did we harass or persecute Buddhists due to the actions of the Burmese regime, which viciously persecuted its Rohingya Muslim minority, or individual Chinese Americans for China's oppression of the Uyghurs, or individual Catholics for the actions of the IRA, or individual Protestants for the acts of the Ulster Defense Association. We don't harass individual Russians for Putin's invasion of Ukraine.

In America, we believe in treating everyone as an individual, not as the mere representative of the group he or she may belong to.

So why is it so hard to see what is happening to Jews in the United States and around the world for what it is? Individual American (or European or Australian) Jews are not responsible for Israel's actions. They may support them, though surprisingly often they do not. But that's irrelevant. Isn't it odd that the very people decrying what they call "collective punishment" of Palestinians in Gaza can't see a contradiction in holding a Jew in Los Angeles responsible for what happens in Khan Younis?

Many of the antisemitic protests and harassments began before Israel retaliated for the 10/7 terror attack. They were, in effect, celebrations of Israeli victimization. They didn't chant, "Not in our name" after Hamas gang-raped women to the point of breaking their pelvises and filled their vaginas with nails and rocks before shooting them in the face. Protesters carried placards proclaiming, "By any means necessary" — as blatant an endorsement of terrorizing civilians as you can find.

There are no rallies in London or Paris demanding that Hamas release the hostages or permit the Red Cross to visit them. And the United Nations organization responsible for speaking up for women? Silence about the brutal attacks on Israeli women and girls. Israeli first responders forwarded the evidence to UN Women. Nothing for eight long weeks until Sheryl Sandberg and protesters in the UN lobby shamed them into a belated statement.

No, the upsurge in antisemitism wasn't a response to the IDF's campaign to wipe out Hamas. The initial wave was approval for killing and torturing Jews.

Some on the far left couldn't see that, but guess who could? The far right. Remember Charlottesville? Some of the same lowlifes, like the National Justice Party, are now showing up at anti-Israel rallies. Another neo-Nazi group, NSC-131, hung banners from an overpass near Boston that read "Free Palestine" and "End Jewish terror."

Those groups are fringe, but they have friends in very influential places. Tucker Carlson, for example, has used his X-supported platform to denounce those who warn of rising antisemitism on college campuses as "hypocrites" because they have not condemned the supposed support for "white genocide" at American universities. Carlson has brought the "great replacement" conspiracy theory into the mainstream. That was the very idea that motivated the Tree of Life killer.

Similarly, Carlson's patron, Elon Musk, has opened the sluice gates for bigotry and antisemitism on X.

The fever swamps are on our phones and in our social media feeds now. When conspiracies are loosed upon the world, it always comes back to the Jews. Whatever side you're on, if you think it's only the other side that has this problem, think again.

Mona Charen is policy editor of The Bulwark and host of the "Beg to Differ" podcast. Her new book, Hard Right: The GOP's Drift Toward Extremism, is available now.

Reprinted with permission from Creators.

Danziger Draws

Danziger Draws

Jeff Danziger lives in New York City and Vermont. He is a long time cartoonist for The Rutland Herald and is represented by Counterpoint Syndicate. He is a recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons, a novel and a memoir. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.

Why Americans Should Stop Idolizing The Ivy League

Why Americans Should Stop Idolizing The Ivy League

After Hamas massacred 1,200 Israelis, gang-raped teens and kidnapped hundreds of innocents, 30 student groups at Harvard issued a statement reading, "We, the undersigned student organizations, hold the Israeli regime entirely responsible for all unfolding violence."

The anger that followed went beyond this dismissal of Isis-type barbarity. It pursued Harvard president Claudine Gay after she issued a mealy-mouthed response.

There was bit of a turnaround when prestigious law firms and other employers started rescinding job offers to students involved in these groups. Some companies may have objected to what they saw as overt displays of antisemitism. They may have also been shocked by the TikTok-level display of ignorance of the conflict's complexities, which these alleged top students had put on full display.

The main subject here isn't the current Mideast tragedy, but let us note: Students have every right to say stupid things, and employers have every right not to hire students who say stupid things. As for college administrators frightened of the children, that's a problem for the colleges.

This is about the undeserved reverence shown to these colleges no better than others with lesser brand names. How many times have my new acquaintances used the H-word to elevate their ordinary views?

Without a doubt, brilliant minds have attended and taught at Harvard, Yale, and the rest. But so have many mediocrities whose rich parents hired consultants to turn their offspring into the perfect packages these institutions want. That meant tutors to ensure high scores alongside some angle, such as prowess in a sport or carefully selected do-gooding.

Many in the media play the Ivy worship game. Reporters commonly put "Harvard-educated" or "Yale-educated" in front of some expert's name. If the person being interviewed went to the University of Nebraska or, say, Colgate, the alma mater is left a mystery. Never mind if the interviewee's less-glamorous school exceled in the area of expertise they were writing about.

My late husband, a senior editor at Princeton Press, set me straight on the hot air that fills the balloons of Ivy puffery. (I went to New York University.) Himself a product of elite education from prep school on up, he talked of seeking out writers at small colleges in the Dakotas who were actually doing original things. He found the professors who had spent their entire lives climbing the grades, from kindergarten to Ph.D. with hardly a break, tended toward the immature.

The most interesting intellectuals had held regular, non-academic jobs at some point: They had worked on a road crew or run a shoe store or painted houses. He was grateful to have been shaken out of his assumptions by time spent in the Marines. (He laughed about having to hide his background as an "Ivy flower" while being schooled on Parris Island.)

If these latest displays of cowardice by administrators at Harvard, Columbia and Yale vacuum up some of the fairy dust the worshippers sprinkle around these schools, so much the better. And that goes double if they prompt some rich alumni to move their donations elsewhere. How about funding organizations that help kids from struggling backgrounds get a foothold in a secure life?

One of the reasons so many super rich graduates give multimillions to the richest colleges is the same reason so many parents want their children to get into them. It gives them an opportunity to hobnob with other rich people or those whom they consider socially desirable.

"Should Ivy League Schools Randomly Select Students?" was the subject of a recent essay about how the COVID shutdowns gave the well-to-do an extra leg-up in these admissions. The more interesting question would have been, "When Can Everyone Stop Worshipping the Ivy League?"

Follow Froma Harrop on Twitter @FromaHarrop. She can be reached at fharrop@gmail.com. To find out more about Froma Harrop and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators webpage at www.creators.com.

Reprinted with permission from Creators.


Christian Nationalists And Right-Wing Media Hail War As Sign Of 'End Times'

Christian nationalists and several right-wing media figures have embraced the war between Israel and Hamas as a sign of the End Times, claimed “the role of Christians is to convert the Jews,” and asserted that Christians must support Israel because “God has a covenant plan as part of the End Times."

Hamas launched its attack against Israel on October 7, with militants from the Gaza Strip targeting both civilians and Israeli military personnel. Israel has since pledged to eradicate Hamas, leading the Israeli military to target Gaza in an ongoing conflict that has reportedly left more than 1,400 Israelis and more than 8,000 Palestinians dead. Right-wing media have spewed misinformation and hate about the conflict, spreading anti-Islamic bigotry and antisemitic conspiracy theories, defending the thousands of civilian deaths in the Gaza Strip, and even calling for the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians.

Right-wing evangelical support for Israel has long been connected to end-time beliefs and Christian Zionism. In a recent MSNBC op-ed, columnist Sarah Posner spotlighted this phenomenon in light of the war between Israel and Hamas:

For many “Christians Zionists,” and particularly for popular evangelists with significant clout within the Republican Party, their support for Israel is rooted in its role in the supposed end times: Jesus’ return to Earth, a bloody final battle at Armageddon, and Jesus ruling the world from the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. In this scenario, war is not something to be avoided, but something inevitable, desired by God, and celebratory.

Amid the Hamas-Israel war, right-wing and Christian nationalist media outlets and figures have connected the war to biblical End Times prophecy:

  • Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk hosted Christian nationalist pastor Jack Hibbs on his Salem Media radio show, where Hibbs connected the war to biblical prophecy of the End Times and urged listeners to convert Jews to Christianity. Hibbs claimed, “The government of Israel has been brought together by the will of God.” Kirk himself later noted that “when we start to see war and rumors of war break out … that is something that Christ our lord said explicitly in regard to the end of time.” Kirk also asked Hibbs to explain why Christians should support Israel even though it is not “a godly nation.” In response, Hibbs declared, “The Christian is commanded to provoke the Jew to jealousy,” and that Christians “need to look past the sins of Israel and the sins of the Jew and give them the hope of Jesus.”

  • BlazeTV founder Glenn Beck, who began claiming the End Times were imminent at least a decade ago, cited the ongoing war and claimed, “I know everybody's been saying that forever, but it's kinda looking like, you know, Jesus might be coming.” His guest, Daily Wire host Andrew Klavan, agreed that the End Times are near and asserted that “Jews are the theater in which God plays out his relationship with man.” Earlier in the week, Beck posted on X (formerly Twitter) that “the growing unrest around the world signals that end times are approaching.”
  • At an October 26 event attended by Republican members of congress and Israeli diplomats, right-wing pastor John Hagee — who has blamed Catholics for the Holocaust and called Hitler a “half-breed Jew” — cited End Times prophecy and called for military support for Israel and U.S. strikes on Iran. Hagee later echoed a similar message on Mark Levin’s Fox News program, declaring that Iran was behind Hamas’ attack and that God has a “covenant with [Jewish people] that they should own this land forever.” Levin praised Hagee and his group, Christians United for Israel, saying that it “doesn't get the attention that it deserves, you have millions of people who support this effort.”
  • At the outbreak of the war, Jenna Ellis, a host for Salem Media and former Trump lawyer who pleaded guilty to charges related to former President Donald Trump’s scheme to subvert the results of the 2020 election, told her audience, “When we see what's going on in Israel, it is very possible that this is setting the stage for the End Times, or the end of all things, to begin happening.” She warned that “biblical prophecy has been fulfilled so that the rapture literally could happen at any moment” and that Christians “will return with [Jesus] on white horses.” Ellis elaborated that because of the events in Israel, people “need to be prepared with the knowledge of God, with the hope of salvation, and with trusting in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ to know that if the rapture happens today, or if you die today, you know that you will meet your creator.” Two weeks later, Ellis hosted Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) on her American Family Radio program, where Jordan declared that Christians should support Israel for both geopolitical and "scriptural reasons.”
  • On his radio show, self-described “Christian nationalist” Lance Wallnau said that Christians should “be encouraged” by the war, claiming that “God is going to have a harvest of nations and people, and you're going to live to see how this circumstance … is going to work out for that very purpose.” Wallnau expanded: “Only Christians can look at these events and see the patterns from the past, see them in the present, and weave them into the fulfillment of the Feast of Israel. Because I really believe we're watching the end-time feast. It will not be interrupted. It will not be stopped. Remember what the Lord said. He said, he said he's going to shake all the nations so that the glory comes where he wants it to go.”
  • On the Christian nationalist program FlashPoint, where Wallnau serves as a contributor and Republican politicians, including Trump, have been interviewed, he again cited the war as part of the End Times and said “the good part” of the war is that it will cause Jews in Israel to “realize how dependent they are on God.” Warning about a potential alliance uniting Russia, China, and Iran, Wallnau also said, “When you put Persia, Russia, and China together … you’ve got an End Time — the formation of the early phase of the beast. When you have that kind of starting to consolidate against Israel, you've got end-time stuff.”
  • Steve Strang, founder of the right-wing Christian outlet Charisma News, cited the war as a potential sign of the End Times and coming “tribulation.” Strang claimed that as part of the end of times “tribulation,” half the world's population could die. Strang also said that even though “most of the Israelis don’t acknowledge God,” Christians should support Israel because “God blesses those who bless Israel,” and “God has a covenant plan as part of the End Times.” Notably, Charisma News is a top corporate sponsor of the ReAwaken America tour, which Media Matters previously documented as having repeatedly featured antisemitic speakers who have praised or defended Adolf Hitler.
  • Several other right-wing Christian outlets also linked the war to biblical prophecy and covered the outbreak of the war as a sign of the End Times, including Trinity Broadcasting Network and Christian Broadcasting Network.
  • “Doomsday prophet” Jonathan Cahn, who posts so-called “prophetic updates” on YouTube, used the war to promote his “guide for the End Times.”
  • Christian nationalist singer and right-wing media figure Sean Feucht posted on social media that “this a prophetic hour and Christians everywhere must stand with Israel,” asserting that “a covenant keeping God never backs down from keeping his promises (Genesis 12). A two state solution will never be the answer for peace.” Feucht has been connected to high profile Republican politicians and has traveled the country promoting “Biblical moral law” on a joint tour with Turning Point USA.
  • Right-wing host of The Absolute Truth, Emerald Robinson, posted on X that, amid the war, “the role of Christians is to convert the Jews by preaching the Gospel to them.” She declared, “That’s what Jesus Christ commanded us to do.”

For years, prominent evangelical leaders and various right-wing media figures have warned that the End Times are either here or imminent, citing various conflicts in Israel. In 2011 on Fox News, Glenn Beck invoked “Gog and Magog,” as “a huge, huge sign,” of the End Times. (According to Britannica, in the Bible, “the names Gog and Magog are applied to the evil forces that will join with Satan in the great struggle at the end of time.”) In 2023, Beck is still invoking “Gog and Magog” as evidence of an imminent return of Jesus Christ, declaring last week, “We’ve got Gog and Magog for the very first time conspiring against Israel.”

Reprinted with permission from Media Matters.