Is a perfect storm brewing against Israel?

The singling out of Jews or other faith-based groups on campuses, simply because of religious beliefs, would no longer be ignored or tolerated.

By BRUCE PORTNOY
February 23, 2019 20:46
Is a perfect storm brewing against Israel?

Members of the United Nations Security Council observe a moment of silence for those killed in the Gaza Strip on Monday, before the start of a UN Security Council meeting concerning the violence at the border of Israel and the Gaza Strip, at United Nations headquarters, May 15. (photo credit: DREW ANGERER / AFP)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

Since the 1975 United Nations General Assembly voted to adopt the “Zionism Is Racism” resolution (3379), numerous other forms of anti-Israel condemnations were forthcoming and continuous.

One of the most heinous was the Boycott, Divestment and Sanction anti-Israel tactic. Actually, BDS was initiated and perfected in pre-World War II, Nazi Germany.

The intention then was to marginalize their Jews socially, politically and economically, until they were reduced to poverty and became categorically insignificant. At which point, it led to unopposed state-sanctioned elimination, an action that has not gone unrecognized by today’s generation of organized haters of Israel and Jews.

An unwelcome byproduct of the present day contempt toward Israel is the heretofore unexpected enmity connection shared between Islamic extremists, far-right neo-Nazis and white supremacists, elements within the far-left – including some newly elected freshman Democrats, and a suspect Republican or two, as well as the never ending anti-Israel sanctions spewing forward from the United Nations.

This is a particularly dangerous combination when supplemented with organized hostility and agitation from Students for Justice in Palestine, Jewish Voices for Peace, American Peace Now, and J-Street, each with an agenda that ironically does not appear to endorse peace and justice for Israel and Jews.

Within the past four years, incidents of property damage as well as threats of actual and implied violence targeting Jews – particularly pro-Israel, Jewish students, and their non-Jewish supporters – have dramatically escalated on campuses across the United States.

Meanwhile, the administrations of the affected institutions of higher learning appear reluctant to intervene against obviously discriminating and dangerous behavior.

Recognizing the potential for deadly consequences, and understanding that the provocateurs do not speak for the majority of Americans, Congress initiated the 2016 Antisemitism Awareness Act (ASA).

This initiative passed the Senate floor vote virtually unopposed. Among its key elements, was the codification of “antisemitism,” necessary to hold accountable those who pursue group focused, hate-based, repetitive attacks.

The singling out of Jews or other faith-based groups on campuses, simply because of religious beliefs, would no longer be ignored or tolerated.

These confrontations then morphed into “anti-Zionism” political actions, to make them appear more palatable, and deflect attention away from the often spewed antisemitic verbiage. In this format, the press proved more sympathetic to the protesters, especially when Zionism was presented in terms of a David-verses-Goliath struggle, with Israel painted as the brutal aggressor. 

With the threats of First Amendment Free Speech issues to be raised during the House hearings, the House initiative was relegated to committee, until it was eventually voided for lack of follow-through within the designated time period allowed. Score one victory for the purveyors of hate.

In 2018, another version of the ASA, the HR 5924 Initiative, was introduced, but sadly this legislation seems unlikely to also reach the House Floor for a vote, for the same free-speech issues that brought down its predecessor. Score two victories for the purveyors of hate.
Add to this list, the recent Strengthening America’s Security in the Middle East Act of 2019 (S.1), which like the 2016 ASA act successfully passed the bipartisan Senate test but is expected to encounter fierce challenges within the new Democratic-controlled House of Representatives. This is mainly due to a provision included that is intended to curb malicious legal challenges to individual states and local governments’ rights to pass anti-BDS legislation.
It is important to understand that the Boycott, Divestment and Sanction anti-Israel tactic, if not vigorously opposed, may at least in theory lead to the economic collapse of our only friendship and trusted military ally in the Middle East.

For a third time, even with its other well-defined security provisions, the chances of this act passing is slim at best. Score yet another “potential” victory for the purveyors of hate.

INVOLVEMENT OF Congress might not have been necessary had Title VI of the US Civil Rights Act of 1964 not limited its list of prohibited forms of discrimination to race, color, and national origin. By religious discrimination’s omission, both overt and covert acts of such hate became difficult to confront on campus and elsewhere.


Yet, this oversight may lend itself to be corrected by amending said Title VI, to include acts of religious discrimination. When accomplished, all individuals – Muslims, Christians, and Jews, as well as other targeted religious minorities – who currently suffer these indignities in silence, could avail themselves of such protections.

For far too long the rights of dangerous provocateurs appear to trump those of their victims. American society is gradually becoming insensitive to the actual threats posed by hate-motivated groups who feel empowered to deprive others of their basic rights and to get away with it, simply because they can.

As a cumulative result of the above, we appear to be entering another dangerous era where attacks against Jews and Christians are proceeding effectively unchallenged and thereby gaining some level of validation, most especially within Europe.

Perpetrators employ the same tactics to gain legitimacy as did the earlier Nazi regime when they targeted Jews: employing half-truths, misconceptions, misdirection, boycotts, as well as demonizing, delegitimizing and double standards.

They have elected easy to mold, frustrated, gullible, already angry individuals into the ranks of existing haters. Readily, they succumb to nefarious propaganda that Israel – and anyone who supports Israel (Jews) – are the primary cause of discontent worldwide, particularly in the Middle East.

Although a sophisticated society such as ours should be highly suspicious of a hostile group’s labeling practices and should be totally intolerant of religious scapegoating, too many prefer to shut their eyes and close their minds to what is going on, until they find themselves on the receiving end of such ugly behavior.

Meanwhile, sympathies have been shifting, away from Israel and Jews towards the Middle East Arab and Palestinian populations.

Frequently labeled as the new underdog, they have been repeatedly indoctrinated to believe that they will never succeed as long as they are continuously oppressed by Israel and its Jews, adding that violence is an acceptable means to achieve parity.

This emulates the philosophy of Nazi leaders Gerbils, Himmler and Guerring: “Tell a lie big enough and repeat it often enough and people will start to believe and rely on it. Suppress the truth as it is the mortal enemy of the lie and construct a visible enemy upon which to focus resentment.”

Lastly, in Iran’s repeated vow to wipe Israel off the Middle East map, one can sense the building of the perfect storm to challenge the existing balance of power.

This threat should not be trivialized, especially as it is firmly entrenched within the psyche of terror organizations Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza. Each acquires a seemingly endless supply of ever-more sophisticated missile armament.

With the IRGC’s access to billions of dollars – courtesy of the prior American administration – in exchange for vague and hard-to-verify promises to cease Iran’s history of enriching weapons-grade fissionable material, the risk to Israel and Jews rises, more so as they continue perfecting their ICBM payload delivery systems.

An understanding for the wise and a reality for the foolish: Israel is not going to sit passively by in the face of repeated existential threats to its people and to their tiny refuge in the Middle East. Possessing nuclear weapons and the means to reciprocate, if ever necessary, and living by the code, “Never Again,” Israel’s enemies would be best served to not write them off.

The memory of the Holocaust and what led up to it is fast fading, yet the same evil that brought it about so many years ago is as much present today as it was in pre-World War II Germany. The question on the table remains: Are Jews doomed to endure another Holocaust?

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

March 21, 2019
Recognize the Golan

By JPOST EDITORIAL