Politicizing Anti-Semitism on the campaign trail
by Matthew M. Hausman.
As the 2016 presidential season heats up, Jewish Democrats are elevating partisan politics over concern for Israel and distorting their party’s and Hillary Clinton’s record on the Jewish State. They dismiss Donald Trump as unqualified, and in order to dissuade Jews from voting Republican have accused him of arousing populist anti-Semitism.
Trump’s bombast and lack of experience may well be legitimate concerns, but Democrats who accuse him of anti-Semitism conveniently ignore the hatred for Jews and Israel that has become common on the left and in their own party. Those who defend BDS activism as political speech and indulge false accusations of Israeli apartheid should look in the mirror before wielding the fear of anti-Semitism as a political weapon.
Progressive Jews are oblivious to anti-Semitism when it comes from the left, and sometimes they are complicit. During the Democratic National Convention they tolerated the presence of BDS supporters – including Cornell West and James Zogby – on the platform committee, ignored chants of “the intifada lives” by hostile crowds who burned Israeli flags just outside the convention center, and overlooked anti-Israel comments by Palestinian flag-wavers.
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