Sebastian Gorka: A True Friend to Israel and the Jewish People
It’s well known in Washington that politics is a lethal sport. Personal attacks, smear campaigns and character assassinations are too often the order of the day. But occasionally things go a step too far, even for Washington.
That’s been the case for the attacks exhibited against Sebastian Gorka recently published at The Forward.
The decision by The Forward to publish an article that sinks to the level of guilt by association and scurrilously unproven accusations of antisemitism is detrimental, both to a good man’s name and to the cause of fighting antisemitism.
I have had the pleasure of meeting and working with both Sebastian and his wife, Katie, whom I have found to be strong supporters of Israel and the Jewish people’s struggle against the same brand of jihadist terror that threatens the United States.
As Congressman Trent Franks, chair of the Congressional Israel Allies Caucus, stated on February 27, “I have followed the recent press and social media attacks against Dr. Sebastian Gorka and am compelled to respond with disgust at the attempt to libel this American patriot. Most disturbing of all is the attempt to portray Dr. Gorka in any way as antisemitic. Having called upon his expertise on counterterrorism repeatedly in Congress and used his analysis to inform our work, I can attest that Dr. Gorka is the staunchest friend of Israel and the Jewish people.”
President Trump’s appointment of Gorka as one of his advisers tells us that this administration’s policy towards Israel is going to be 180 degrees different from that of its predecessor, which all too often chose to condemn and isolate Israel, rather than support it.
Recently, The Forward published a piece in which supporters of the inherently antisemitic Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) effort were referred to as merely “dovish.” But BDS is not merely a question of a difference of political opinion. As that great ethical voice Natan Sharansky has shown us, this effort to demonize and delegitimize the only Jewish state is the new antisemitism, and we should not allow it to be disguised as anything but.
Yet this creates an absurd double standard.
What are we to do when a Jewish paper smears Israel’s friends, and yet chooses to cover up for its opponents? We should not accept it as normal or right that leftist anti-Israel and antisemitic sentiments are to be excused in the same publication that invokes antisemitism without evidence as a club with which to suppress voices it disagrees with, simply because they are from the Right.
It is folly to “cry wolf” at a time like this, when there are already far too many wolves in the fold.
Antisemitism is spreading like a cancer among America’s colleges and universities. All too often that antisemitism is supported and enabled by groups like the Muslim Students Association (MSA) and Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), which have ideological and financial ties to Israel’s enemies.
When the Islamic State threatens Israel and is described by the Israeli Shin Bet as a “serious security threat,” should pro-Israel Jews expend their energy debasing and smearing a man who has committed himself to educating us on the very threat that group possesses, and how best to defeat them?
Since we have only recently transitioned from an administration which far too often attempted to obfuscate and downplay the threats that face both Israel and the United States, it is heartening to have voices like Sebastian’s which speak clearly and eruditely about the challenges we face as a nation.
I, for one, am proud to stand with the Gorkas in their effort to “defeat Jihad,” (to borrow the title of Sebastian’s latest book) and I believe all people of good will, on the right or the left, should feel the same.
Sarah N. Stern is Founder and President of the Endowment for Middle East Truth an unabashedly pro-Israel and pro-American think tank and policy shop in Washington, DC.