The American Left’s Hypocrisy on Anti-Semitism

Leftists (and decent people) were justifiably outraged when Donald Trump appointed Steve Bannon as chief executive of his campaign for president and then hired Bannon to be the incoming chief White House strategist.

By closely working with a person who has made anti-Semitic, racist and misogynistic statements, Trump generated tons of negative press and protest.

But now a man with past shady associations and current positions that align with anti-Semitic groups is running to head the Democratic National Committee and the left is mostly silent. Actually,many prominent figures who loudly condemned Bannon are actually supporting Keith Ellison.

Ellison, according to The Wall Street Journal, “has won the backing of the self-described progressive wing of the party, including Mr. Sanders. The fact that Mr. Ellison is a Muslim African-American adds to his appeal to Democrats who want to showcase their party’s embrace of diversity.”

Unfortunately, Ellison hasn’t always embraced diversity. He has admitted that he worked with the anti-Semitic Nation of Islam cult for 18 months and he even defended leader Louis Farrakhan from accusations of anti-Semitism in the University of Minnesota’s student newspaper while he was a law student there.

After receiving criticism for his stance during a 2006 campaign, Ellison finally repudiated Farrakhan and other NOI leaders: “They were and are anti-Semitic, and I should have come to that conclusion earlier than I did.”

Case closed? Not exactly. To this day Ellison continues to propagate the anti-Semitic trope that Israel is an apartheid state. He has also publicly compared the Bush administration’s actions following 9/11 to Adolph Hitler’s actions to consolidate power after the notorious Reichstag fire, in what seemed like an attempt to absolve the radical jihadists who killed thousands of Americans from blame.

Over at Commentary Magazine, Noah Rothman has a good run-down of Ellison’s noxious views on Israel:

He has accused Israel of being an apartheid state and advocated that Israel provide security concessions to Hamas, the terrorist organization that uses the Gaza Strip and its people as leverage in a perpetual war against Israel. Ellison has also voted against funding Israel’s Iron Dome, which has saved countless lives from the perpetual threat of rocket assault from Gaza. He contended that Israel’s ability to shield its civilians from Hamas terror prevents dialogue and, in the case of the Gaza War of 2014, a swift ceasefire.

Are these the accepted views of the progressive left?

It’s good and just that the American left fights right-wing anti-Semitism. But as prominent Israeli twitter personality and lawyer Arsen Ostrovsky noted, it’s a shame that the left is too often blind to the anti-Semitism emanating from its own ranks.

Writing in The Jerusalem Post, author and professor Gil Troy detailed the nasty deluge of anti-Semitic abuse he received online from Bernie Sanders supporters after Troy dared to suggest that Sanders’ candidacy pushed Hillary Clinton too far left.

This nastiness reflects the apocalyptic despair Trump’s victory triggered – suggesting an “alt-left” is emerging, paralleling the meanness of the “alt-right.”

Those of us who care about fighting anti-Semitism should remain consistent and condemn it on all sides of the political aisle.

About the Author
Eric Danis lives in Modi'in, Israel with his wife and three cute kids. Whenever possible, he tries to dispel misconceptions and stereotypes about Israel and Judaism.
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