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May 18, 2017 11:21 am

‘Tis the Season of Antisemitism

avatar by Abraham H. Miller


Linda Sarsour. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

It’s been a good year for antisemites.

Jewish students graduating from one CUNY program will hear some inspiring words from professional antisemite Linda Sarsour. Sarsour, of course, believes that a Jewish homeland has no place in the community of nations, that Sharia law should be implemented, and that Zionists cannot be feminists.

Former London Mayor Ken Livingstone, who has been involved in a long string of antisemitic controversies, finally did something even the British Labour Party could not ignore: he called Hitler a Zionist.

But Livingstone was merely suspended from the party, not expelled. And why should he have been? After all, he was merely echoing sentiments similar to those that many in his party seem to hold.

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In the Middle East, as the Palestinian Authority seeks to loosen Hamas’ grip on Gaza by refusing to pay its electricity bills, the UN has told Israel that it has an obligation, as the “occupying” party, to intervene and supply its sworn existential enemy with power for free. Israel, of course, has not occupied Gaza since 2005.

That’s right. In the Alice in Wonderland world of the UN, Israel is still occupying Gaza, but its presence in a united Jerusalem has no legal standing.

Despite what the antisemitic UN says and does, however, Jerusalem is the eternal capital of the Jewish people — and has been for more than 3,000 years. As one Israeli official put it, Jewish history is embedded in every stone.

And if this were not enough, New York Jews are now being treated to a political campaign that has simultaneously weaponized and politicized antisemitism.

Thomas Lopez-Pierre, a candidate for New York City Council, ran a campaign steeped in antisemitic tropes of the exploitive, greedy Jew. Lopez-Pierre lashed out at his rival Mark Levine for being white and Jewish. And, without any evidence, Lopez-Pierre argued that greedy Jewish developers (with the help of Israeli money) were responsible for 80% of the gentrification of Harlem that is displacing blacks and Latinos.

Among antisemites, this Shylock trope resonates well. But apparently cooler heads convinced Lopez-Pierre, who never had a chance of winning, to fold his smutty tent and leave the electoral field to real candidates.

But at the University of Wisconsin, intelligence did not prevail against bigotry. The student legislative group there passed a BDS resolution against Israel, as well as companies that aid the American war effort against ISIS. That’s right. On college campuses, ISIS is good, and American soldiers are bad.

And, of course, no other people are the target of boycotts. Not Syrians for their use of chemical weapons, not Russians for the invasion of the Crimea, not Chinese for the invasion of Tibet, and not Turkey for its war against journalists and civilians, and its occupation of Northern Cyprus. Only Israel is targeted, and only Israelis are held responsible for the alleged and often misrepresented actions of their government.

So why boycott Jews? The answer is simple. Antisemitism is not only the oldest hatred — it is also the one that is most readily tolerated, especially in the groves of academia. But bigots should remember an important lesson of history: What begins with the Jews, never ends with the Jews.

Abraham H. Miller is a Distinguished Fellow with the Haym Salomon Center and an emeritus professor of political science, University of Cincinnati. He served on the faculty of the University of California, Davis and the University of Illinois, Urbana.

A version of this article was originally published by the Daily Caller.

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