The barbarous attack of Hamas on Israel resulting in the massacre of 1,200 people and the subsequent taking of hostages has caused the Israelis to launch a military offensive with the intention of removing Hamas as the governing power in Gaza.
Yet a branch of Democratic progressives believes Israel is getting its comeuppance. Pro-Palestinian protests are common in our major cities and on elite college campuses. Jewish people are routinely being assaulted – not by redneck White Supremacists – but by progressives.
Consider the following:
At the University of Massachusetts, a Jewish student was spit upon and the Israeli flag trampled.
Jewish students at New York University have been physically and verbally harassed to such an extent they have sued the university because it refuses to protect them.
At the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Jewish students were prevented from going to class. The administration refused to fully suspend the aggressors because many of them were on foreign visas and could be forced to return to their country if prosecuted.
Some Jewish students at Columbia are afraid to wear their yarmulkes!
A list of similar outrages could go on for several pages, but you get the point.
Yet, President Biden who initially gave Israel strong support is waffling, suggesting that Israel have a prolonged cease fire to see if a settlement can be reached.
This is even affecting Senator Chris Murphy, who as a member of the Foreign Relations Committee and chairman of a subcommittee on the Middle East, tried to thread the political needle by pushing for an Israeli ceasefire. But the progressive anti-Semitic base of his party protested him at a recent fundraiser in Avon carrying posters with his face overprinted with “Complicit Genocide.” Some protesters even paid the fee to enter the fundraiser to heckle him.
Senator Blumenthal who is Jewish and whose father escaped from Nazi Germany in a nick of time, has stated that Israel has the right to defend itself but has been quite tepid in his response to such blatant anti-Semitism.
Why is this?
Because the Democrats have made the political calculation that boldly speaking out against anti-Semitism and giving unwavering support of Israel increases the chance of Trump’s reelection.
Anti-Semitic progressives are a significant voting block of the Democratic party, especially on elite campuses. The increased Arab population views Israelis as colonialists but votes Democratic as many are on public assistance and receive free health care. The Arab vote is huge in Michigan, a swing state that Trump won in 2016 but lost in 2020.
There is little chance that either of these groups will vote for President Trump (or another Republican nominee), but it is possible they will stay home on Election Day or vote for a third-party candidate such as Cornel West (who sympathizes with the Palestinian cause) assuming that Democrat-appointed judges don’t restrict West from the ballot in the swing states.
But is enabling anti-Semitism simply to keep Trump out of the White House a smart call? Do Biden, Murphy and Blumenthal honestly believe they can contain this contagion once Biden has won reelection?
This is a fool’s errand. The Holocaust did not occur in a vacuum. It was the culmination of centuries of anti-Semitism as chronicled in James Carroll’s book, Constantine’s Sword. And Carroll is not some ardent Zionist; he is a former Roman Catholic priest.
Men and women of good will from both political parties must have the guts to speak out against this new and virulent anti-Semitism. Those who harass Jewish students must be prosecuted. And, if they are here on student visas, they must be deported. Protesters who damage property must be imprisoned. Otherwise, we will soon see more aggressive attacks not only on Jewish citizens but also on their homes and synagogues. It has happened before, and it can happen again. All that is required for evil to flourish is for good men to do nothing.