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Tags: anti-semitism | left | sanctions

Academia, Media, and Trump Must Forcefully Defend Israel

Academia, Media, and Trump Must Forcefully Defend Israel

United States U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley addresses the United Nations Security Council on Feb. 21, 2017. (Richard Drew/AP)  

Luis Fleischman By Friday, 24 February 2017 12:31 PM EST Current | Bio | Archive

President Donald J. Trump recently issued a statement condemning anti-Semitism.

This came as a great relief to those concerned lately that there has been an increase in anti-Semitic threats, and attacks promoted by white supremacists.

Indeed, dozens of Jewish community centers have received threats and Jewish community institutions have been on high alert.

It is good that the president condemned these acts and it is also important that efforts to fight these hateful white supremacist groups continue now — and into the future.

Yet, what caught my attention in this set of events is how many times the media actually reported on these anti-Semitic incidents. I was indeed happy to see that anti-Semitism was being acknowledged. However, as these reports of anti-Semitism are repeated over and over again, a sense of skepticism began to strike me.

I had the feeling that the only anti-Semitism that could be defined as such is the old anti-Semitism coming from Nazi, neo-Nazi groups, KKK, and right-wing groups.

The anti-Semitism of the left is either not defined as such, is subtle, or is justified on the grounds of "Israeli policies" or "the occupation" of Palestinian territories.

Arab and Palestinian nationalists, radical Islamists, and extreme left wing groups have cooperated for some time in the delegitimizing of the only Jewish state.

There is indeed an organized campaign aimed at isolating the only country specifically to provide the Jewish people with self-determination and protection from the dangers of anti-Semitism.

Delegitimization means insistence on denying Israel’s right to exist, which in reality serves to justify the perpetuation of war against the Jewish state.

Of course, people who are in charge of this campaign distance themselves from anti-Semitism. Yet, in reality, this campaign of boycotts has a tremendously negative impact on Jewish students on campus, on Israeli academics and scientists, and on the Jewish community in general.

Their right to work is being denied; they are bullied and ostracized — and in the best case scenario — they are forced to hide their Jewish identity.

All of them care very little whether those who would delegitimize Israel intend to be anti-Semitic or not. They are simply hurt by open acts of hostility.

But the problem is not merely generated by those who intentionally delegitimize Israel.

Over-criticism of Israeli policies, even when it is not aimed at undermining the state’s very existence, generates an atmosphere of hate against Israel and a stigma against the country. One often very difficult to repair. The U.N. is the most extreme example of where countries of the West join the crowds of third world and Arab countries who condemn Israel.

Certain countries are concerned about relations with the Arabs, but many of them do not depend on the Arab world. They simply rely on the anti-Israel stigma. Systematic and organized attacks against Israel add to the labeling of the state of Israel, painfully affecting the Jewish people.

This is why the recent speech by Nikki Haley, the U.S Ambassador to the U.N. was right on point. It denounced the hypocrisy and the obsession of the U.N. with Israel, while it continues to ignore not only the Palestinian rejectionist approach, but also the genocide in Syria, Arab despotism, and human rights violations.

By the same token, publications such as The New York Times and others continuously stress the wrongdoings of the Israeli government and its leaders while downplaying the ill- conceived actions of the Palestinian Authority (PA), including rejections of peace proposals, continuous incitement, and indoctrination of their youth against Israel.

Likewise, the press focuses on Palestinian suffering at the hands of the Israelis.

They constantly interview Palestinians who lie out of fear from the oppressive hand of the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Hamas, both of whom oppressively rule over the majority of the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza.

Even former President Barack Obama gave legitimacy to the notion that since Israel is the strongest side, it is logical that we apply a tougher judgement on Israel.

If the recognition of anti-Semitism by the media, academics, and others is merely a matter of political expediency, it does not help the cause.

The Trump administration indeed must continue to condemn anti-Semitism, distancing itself from any anti-Semitic and racist elements.

Likewise, it must also continue to combat attempts by the international community to label and isolate Israel, as Haley’s speech at the U.N. has done.

However, elements in the media and the academia must speak up against boycotts of Israel and reflect on the injustice and bias in which they often engage.

It is always easier to recognize defects in others rather than in one's self.

Luis Fleischman has worked as adviser for the Menges Hemispheric Security Project at the Center for Security Policy on issues related to Latin America. He is the author of "Latin America in the Post-Chavez Era: The Threat to U.S. Security." Fleischman is an adjunct professor of sociology and political science at Barry University. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.

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The Trump administration must continue to condemn anti-Semitism. However, elements in the media and the academia must speak up against boycotts of Israel and reflect on the injustice and bias in which they often engage. It is always easier to recognize defects in others rather than in one's self.
anti-semitism, left, sanctions
Friday, 24 February 2017 12:31 PM
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