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OPINION: Anti-Semitism Is a Problem for Us All

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This story was first published on The Daily Signal, authored by Sara A. Carter and James Carafano.

Hating Jews is abhorrent. As revolting as the practice of anti-Semitism is, it’s a problem that lies hidden right in the midst of America—and it’s more widespread than we like to admit.

There are countless ways in which Jews are marginalized and persecuted in the United States and abroad. Threats against the freedom of speech and freedom of religion of Jews and attacks on their lives and livelihoods are weapons of hate which—left unchallenged—will be turned on the rest of us.

These are the undeniable instruments of oppression, the arsenal that will take away our liberty and undermine our friends and allies around the world. When we fight back against anti-Semitism, we fight for all of us.

Anti-Semitism is a common denominator among hate groups and dictatorial regimes. Jews have historically been among the first target of illiberal, fascist forces. The rise of anti-Semitism is only gathering speed in the current climate of radical extremism in the U.S. and across the free world, under the perverse guise of “social justice.”

The Left has declared war on our culture, but we should never back down, nor compromise our principles. Learn more now >>

This perversion is fueled by recasting disputes between Palestinians and Israel as a one-sided act of oppression. Moreover, the rise of anti-Semitism is only gathering speed in the current climate of far-left extremism. It is under the perverse guise of “social justice.” 

“The pro-Palestinian, post-modern attack against Israel came under the banner of human rights,” explains Natan Sharansky in his recent book, “Never Alone: Prison, Politics and My People.” The attacks are part of a political agenda—an Orwellian effort that is trying to limit human freedom by pretending to advocate for them.

The greatest exploiters of the Palestinian people are the people that govern them. The anti-Semitic campaign solidifies their control, enriches them, and serves their foreign masters that seek to destroy an American ally.

The Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement, which uses boycotts and other measures to harm Israel, is a deplorable example. Active in America—especially university campuses—and internationally as well, the campaign is little more than economic warfare on a U.S. ally.

Current economic and social anxieties only serve as an empowering catalyst for extremist movements. Blaming Jews for everything that is wrong with the world is just one part of the strategy. These campaigns of hate are undercutting the foundation of decency at home and abroad.

The most disturbing expression of anti-Semitism is the use of violence. The most recent release of the FBI’s hate crime report revealed that one of the biggest targets were Jews. Crimes against Jews accounted for 60.2% of all religious-based hate crimes that year.

Beyond outright violence is a swamp of tactics that promote oppression, persecution, and discrimination.

America is facing the rise of three distinct radical groups that seek not only Jewish destruction, but America’s destruction: the radical left, the radical right, and radical Islamists. While these factions have widely diverging worldviews, they share anti-Semitic ideas and a deep hatred for America as it is today. They use similar tactics and take advantage of society’s vulnerabilities to advance their un-American aims. 

The far left aims to achieve their utopian vision of “social justice” by dismantling and destroying America’s institutions and core values, including capitalism, freedom, and democratic governance. Its goal is to brush aside the Constitution’s unshakable commitment to freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and equal protection under the law.

At the same time, the far-right is waging a war against minorities in this country, in direct opposition to the deeply rooted American concepts of diversity and tolerance.

It is also shocking how often these agendas align with the goals of radical Islamists at home and overseas. They seek to curtail, if not eliminate, freedom of religion, equality under law, and the rights of women and minorities. It is what radical Islamists have done in other parts of the world, and it’s what they envision for America and the rest of the free world.

This alliance of fellow travelers includes nation-states all too willing to throw napalm on the fire. Russian disinformation frequently peddles anti-Semitic tropes.  Rogue regimes like Iran use anti-Semitic conspiracies as a justification for the destruction of Israel and America. Other self-serving states peddle anti-Semitism in the United Nations and other international forums.

Here is the point: The rise of anti-Semitism is not just an accident of history or an unfortunate recurring plague. The spread and weaponization of anti-Semitism is explicit and intentional. It is a part of a plot to remake America and undermine the freedom and security of the free world. 

If we don’t defeat anti-Semitism at home and abroad, we will not just lose a fight for the survival of a secure, safe, and free America. It will be perhaps the most powerful indicator that we will have forgotten who we are and what we stand for.

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EXCLUSIVE: Former Trump appointee explains an ‘America First Strategy’ in the ME

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Photo: Israeli Government

The author interviewed Ellie Cohanim, one of the authors of the new book: “An America First Approach to US National Security.” Ellie is the former U.S. Deputy Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism under the Trump administration. She is currently a Senior Fellow with the Independent Women’s Forum focusing on Iran, Israel, and global antisemitism, and is a national security contributor for the Christian Broadcasting Network. In 2021, Ellie launched and hosted for Jewish News Syndicate 30 plus episodes of the show “Global Perspectives with Ellie Cohanim.” Ellie spent 15 years in media and NGO management before serving in the public sector. How would you define an “America First” strategy in the Middle East?

Cohanim: An America First strategy in the Middle East would seek to advance American national security interests in that region, while maintaining our status as THE global superpower. To do that, the US would ensure that our principal allies in the region, countries like Saudi Arabia and Israel, are economically and militarily strong, and that our adversaries in the region are deterred.

Postal: How has the United States’ standing in the Middle East differed between the Trump and Biden administrations?

Cohanim: Under President Trump, for four years we had peace, stability and prosperity in the Middle East/North Africa (MENA) region. Under President Biden, in just three tumultuous years there has been war in the region, which holds the potential for becoming a regional conflict and even a nuclear confrontation. Meanwhile, the US’ status in the region and the world has diminished due to Biden’s disastrous mishandling of the Afghanistan withdrawal, his emboldening of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and his weak response to Iranian attacks on our personnel and assets in the region. 

 

Postal: Do you think the United States and Israel are/were in a stronger position to deter Iran’s nuclear and territorial ambitions in Biden or Trump’s administration?

Cohanim: America’s position of strength has not changed under either administration vis-à-vis the Islamic Republic of Iran. What has changed is our Iran policy. Under President Trump’s administration, the US contained and constrained Tehran. Trump applied a “Maximum Pressure” sanctions campaign which left the Iranian Regime with only $4 billion in accessible foreign currency reserves by the end of his term, giving the Iranians less cash and less ability to fund their terror proxies and their nuclear program, and Trump eliminated Qassem Soleimani. While all President Biden needed to do was to continue implementing such successful policies, his administration instead did the exact opposite.  Under the Biden administration, Israel, our leading ally in the region, was attacked for the first time directly from Iranian soil. This was an unprecedented escalatory attack by the Iranian regime, and could only happen under the Biden administration.

Postal: In your chapter of the book, you discuss the weakening of US relations with Israel and Saudi Arabia under the Biden administration. How has the Biden administration affected the likelihood of future normalization between Israel and Saudi Arabia, and deals between Israel and other Muslim countries (i.e., new Abraham Accords)?

Cohanim: The good news is that the Abraham Accords have withstood the test of multiple Hamas provocations against Israel, and now the current war. Despite numerous claims from the Biden administration regarding “successful” efforts to normalize ties between Saudi Arabia and Israel, I do not think that the Biden administration will be able to clinch such a deal. In the Middle East, people have a long memory. Saudi Arabia’s de-facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) has not forgotten President Biden’s snub when he first came into office, and Biden’s incredibly poorly advised behavior towards the Crown Prince when he made his first visit to the Kingdom as president. The last thing the Crown Prince wants is to hand Biden his first foreign policy success with a Rose Garden peace deal ceremony. So, I do not believe President Biden can broker Saudi/Israeli normalization.

However, I am also convinced that it is a matter of “when” and not “if” such a peace deal will happen between those two countries, as it serves both of their interests to make such a deal. The Saudis understand better than anyone that it is the Islamic Republic of Iran that threatens the Kingdom’s security and stability, not Israel.

Postal: What do you think of the Biden administration’s latest statements withholding arms to Israel?

Cohanim: President Biden will go down in history for his abject moral failure in not standing by Israel while she fights a five-front war. Biden has shown his despicable personality for trying to keep his anti-Israel arms embargo concealed until he could first deliver a speech on the Holocaust. Biden’s behavior is despicable on so many levels.

Ultimately, Biden is betraying the American people. He came into office presenting himself as a “centrist Democrat,” but has proven repeatedly to be beholden to the radical, extremist, pro-Hamas wing of his party.

Postal: How does the Biden administration’s support of a Palestinian state differ from the Trump administration’s support of a Palestinian state under its Peace to Prosperity framework?

Cohanim: The Biden administration stated that they will “unilaterally recognize” a Palestinian state. What the borders of that state are and who would lead it, nobody knows. 

The Trump administration’s “Peace to Prosperity” was a detailed plan that was premised on the realities on the ground in Israel. The plan required that the Palestinians reach benchmarks proving a real desire to live in peace with their Israeli neighbors. It included over $50 billion in investment in the region, which would have been a road to prosperity for all. Perhaps most significantly, the Palestinian state envisioned under the Trump plan would have been demilitarized, the wisdom of which could not be more clear following the October 7 massacre and attack.

The author would like to thank Ellie Cohanim for participating in this interview.

 

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