Joe Biden has named notorious anti-Semites and Israel-haters to key national security posts.
Editor’s note: An abridged version of this article was recently published by American Greatness.
The currency of politics in our age has progressively descended into scouring a person’s past utterances to find “gotcha” moments that will get him canceled. And yet, in stark contrast, the tendency to exempt and excuse a record of anti-Semitism as a disqualification for positions of power, influence, and trust has become ever more frequent.
While anti-Semitism exists across our political spectrum, it is alarming that the Left, which desolates those who dare praise Christopher Columbus, indulges swelling, blatant anti-Semitism to the point at which it appears no longer even to rise to the level of a tiny speed bump in a left-wing anti-Semite’s career.
This dangerous process of normalizing anti-Semitism, especially on the far Left, thereby validating it, has now moved the very pinnacles of power in the United States. Regrettably, the Biden Administration is oblivious to this problem and is allowing leftist radicals to place notorious anti-Semites and Israel haters in key national security posts.
Anti-Semites in the Mainstream Media and Hollywood
The press on the left is of course leading the validation of anti-Semitism hiring and even featuring people with clear records of anti-Semitic and other racist behavior, some of which has led verifiably to Jews’ being killed for the crime of being a Jew. In 1991, Sharpton defending Leonard Jeffries anti-Semitic theories that “rich Jews” financed the slave trade and control the film industry to paint a brutal stereotype of blacks, and after he called a senior US official a “sophisticated Texas Jew,” “a debonair racist” and “Miss Daisy” by saying to his critics: “If the Jews want to get it on, tell them to pin their yarmulkes back and come over to my house.” After the Jeffries controversy, after a traffic accident in Brooklyn, Sharpton spoke to agitated crowds which had gathered and peddled the patently false accusation that an ambulance came to treat an injured Jewish child at the scene, but not a black. He then went on to triggered the first pogrom of Jews in recent history in the United States, as several eyewitnesses testified that Al Sharpton egged the rioters. Witnesses testified that, “Then we had a famous man, Al Sharpton, who came down, and he said Tuesday night, kill the Jews, two times. I heard him, and he started to lead a charge across the street to Utica.” Jews died in the ensuing rampage of mobs who screamed “kill the Jews, kill the Jews.
Of course, Sharpton has not only honed his anti-Semitic rhetoric, but anti-Asian as well. Indeed, has much Asian blood on his hands as well. In the east LA riots in the 1992, he enflamed the situation and encouraged rioters for weeks before the violence began to attack Korean business whom he accused of stealing the livelihood and housing from blacks. Between April 29 and May 4, 1992, 4,500 stores in LA were destroyed — more than half Korean owned — 63 people were killed and 2,383 injured in the riots he incited and then fueled with prolonged determination.
Al Sharpton now has a prime time weekend show on MSNBC.
MSNBS’s Joy Reid has a record of being a 9/-11 truther, a homophobe, and engaged in murderous incitement against John McCain. She has throughout her career saying negative things about Judaism. After having advanced the view that Iran’s call for destroying Israel should be of no concern for Americans, she in 2005 dropped this doozey: ““How does the modern Jewish teen spend her bat mitzvah? Why with Irv Gotti and his soon to be rudderless label icons, Ashanti and Ja Rule, plus Omarion and about half a million dollars of your parent’s cash, that’s how. Oh, and you use the night to launch you’re own clothing line too. Bling Bling!” For all this, she now a daily 7 PM show on MSNBC.
As disturbing as the distorted moral compass of the media is, this validation of anti-Semitism has infiltrated to mainstream Democratic party politics as well. Events staged by Al Sharpton have become the requisite pilgrimage for all potential Democratic candidates who feel the need to pay him respect and kiss the ring. Jeremiah Wright and Louis Farrakhan are just behind Al Sharpton as rising stars whose vile and shrill anti-Semitism is balanced and thus tolerated against their focus on race and “intersectionality” have rendered them worthy of respect and of homage. Sports figures and Hollywood luminaries – such as Rosanne Arquette, Samuel Jackson, Jennifer Aniston and many others — regularly retweet their tweets and herald them as some sort of shaman imparting must-heed wisdoms.
Anti-Semites on the Progressive Left
The progressive wing of the Democratic Party, led by Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), has the greatest appetite to excuse and empower anti-Semites within their ranks. Sanders has displayed a particular penchant for relying on anti-Semites as his senior foreign policy advisors.
For years, Sanders’ top advisor on Middle East affairs was Larry Wilkerson, a close ally of Colin Powell and Richard Armitage. He consistently dismissed any senior Jewish official in the Bush Administration with whom he disagreed as “traitors” loyal to Israel. In fact, Wilkerson has questioned the loyalty of any official with a pro-Israeli stance.
After Wilkerson left, Sanders turned to Matt Duss, who echoed Wilkerson and peddled the idea that American Jews who are not anti-Israeli are also traitors, loyal to Israel only. Duss at that point had been recently fired as the head of the Middle East program at the Center for American Progress for his anti-Semitic remarks. As part of the Think Progress blog, his writings were so shrill that the Obama administration felt impelled to dissociate themselves from them. Lest anyone that he was contrite after being called out, he went on to stir the pot by recycling and reprinting Nazi cartoons about Jews to attack the Israeli prime minister. And yet, there he is, as the one of the main foreign policy advisors to Bernie Sanders to this day. He just last week supported Ilhan Omar in cheering the International Criminal Court in imposing its jurisdiction without foundation on Israel to pursue war crimes charges.
The latest disturbing twist in all of this goes further. Anti-Semitism no longer is just tolerated in public discourse for fear of offending various favored “intersectional” groups, but seems now to have been removed as a barrier for high public offices of trust. We all witnessed how the repeated anti-Semitic statements by Ilhan Omar and others met with a toothless response from the Democratic House leadership, but one could shrug that off as democratic aversion to second-guess voters who knew she had these ideas and nonetheless elected her. That said, while perhaps House Democrat leaders could do little to second-guess voters, they moved ahead to appoint her to several important House committees. Omar recently was named the vice-Chairwoman of the House Subcommittee on Africa which is part of the House Committee on Foreign Relations. The newly minted Senator, Raphael Warnock, from Georgia has unapologetically supported both Reverends Wright and Farrakhan and also signed letters supporting the anti-Semitic BDS movement and has accused Israel of “shooting down Palestinian sisters and brothers” like birds of prey.
There are others in Congress who have praised one or both Farrakhan or Wright as well. And all pay the demanded homage to Reverend Al Sharpton. The consistent, sustained expression of anti-Semitism, not one unguarded slip, appears to have disappeared as disqualifying factor for the Democrat’s internal House leadership track.
An Anti-Jewish Administration?
Now this disturbing intolerance has transferred to the executive branch. Joe Biden himself has never shown any particular traffic with anti-Israeli figures, let alone with anti-Semitic ones. And indeed, he has appointed a number of top officials who may not be on board with many of the extremely pro-Israeli positions of the Trump Administration, but nonetheless hold establishment views considered mainstream and traditional regarding Israel.
And yet, whether out of calculated political payoff to progressives or out of inattentiveness, the ranks of Biden’s Administration just under the cabinet-level are being filled with a disturbing number of appointees who have expressed strongly anti-Jewish or pro-BDS positions. Duss is apparently in serious contention for a top job at either the State Department or the National Security Council.
But even without Duss, the Biden Administration is shaping up to be a reunion of the most recent Boycott, Divest, Sanction (BDS) conference, which has been acknowledged by nonpartisan watchdogs as blatantly anti-Semitic.
The new senior advisor at the White House coordinating all intelligence matters—a liaison position between the White House and the intelligence community that controls the intelligence content the president sees—is Maher Bitar. Bitar spent his college years as an executive board member of the Students for Justice in Palestine, organizing BDS events at Georgetown featuring Hamas speakers advocating terrorism against the Jews—activity that drew condemnation from the Washington Post in 2006.
Bitar went on to write anti-Israel screeds at Oxford University, followed by a stint earlier this decade at the Jerusalem office of the United Nations Relief Works Agency. From 2006 until 2016, UNRWA knew and acquiesced in the use of Palestinian schools to store Hamas weapons and serve as launching platforms for missiles fired into Israel—an activity even a casual observer could follow with ease. Bitar either did not see the obvious—a disturbing lapse for a future senior intelligence official—or he did not care.
Bitar will have good company. Other BDS alumni in the Biden Administration include Reema Dodin, the new deputy director of the White House Office of Legislative Affairs. While at UC Berkeley, she demanded her university boycott, divest, and sanction Israel. She went on to justify Palestinian suicide bombers in public speeches at demonstrations.
Then there is Karine Jean-Pierre, the new White House principal deputy press secretary. Apart from alleging Israel committed war crimes in Gaza, she has bragged often she was the person who ensured no Democratic Party candidate would ever show up at the annual American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) conference. She also has accused AIPAC of spreading anti-Muslim racism, and has said, without evidence, the organization “has become known for trafficking in anti-Muslim and anti-Arab rhetoric while lifting up Islamophobic voices and attitudes.” She is also vociferous in publicly defending Representatives Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) every time they dabble in anti-Semitic tropes.
Moving along, the new Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division, Kristen Clarke, has a long history of bizarre racial theories and calls to eliminate the police to her resume. Her antipathy to Jews is no exception. While at Harvard, Clarke invited the rabidly anti-Semitic, Tony Martin, to speak and. “denounce the Jewish tradition and the Jewish people for holding a ‘monopoly’ on centuries-worth of the notion of divinely ordained African inferiority” and repeat his belief “that the ‘so-called Sages’ of the Babylonian Talmud were the earliest racists of recorded history.” As Fox News’ Tucker Carlson noted, not only did she fail to condemn Martin, but defended him instead, saying: “Professor Martin is an intelligent, well-versed Black intellectual who bases his information on indisputable fact.” Since she refers to Israel’s creation by the Palestinian term “the Nakba (disaster)” and tweets support for HAMAS, it is no surprise that she has joined another White House official, Symone Sanders (Senior Advisor and Chief Spokesperson to the Vice President), to consistently support Linda Sarsour, another leading purveyor of anti-Semitic tropes and virulently anti-Semitic propaganda accusing Israel of every crime great and small. She also helped Katherine Franke organize a delegation designed to humiliate Israel – the “#Justice Delegation’ — and defended Franke strongly after she tweeted: “Palestinian resistance 2 Israeli policy isn’t ‘Islamic terrorism’ – it’s anti-colonial resistance.” As one of the most Orwellian inversions an truth, she has taken recently to lead an attack on the Anti-Defamation League – an organization dedicated to fighting racism which itself is headed by a former senior Obama administration official — for colluding with Israel nefariously to suppress American people of color. She said: “US and Israeli officials trade surveillance and suppression tactics and technology honed through both countries’ legacies of state violence against Black, brown, and native communities” and tweeting: “The @ADL has ‘passed’ as a civil rights org while attacking progressive social mvts & activists, esp POC [People of Color]. A group of left orgs have joined an open letter to “progressives” calling for an end to collaborating with @ADL. https://droptheadl.org@theCCR @pal_legal @JFREJNYC @jvplive.”
There are others about whom there should be substantial concern for anybody who cares about the American-Israeli relationship, but in all fairness they never blatantly indulged in a pattern of anti-Semitic conspiracies, advocacy or public incitement. Being critical of Israel is not the same as being anti-Semitic overtly or slyly appealing to the worst anti-Semitic tropes to attack Israel and then hiding behind the formula of feigned, befuddled innocence that questions why critique of a foreign country is off the table.
“Validation Culture” Rising
Elections have consequences, and the president does have the right to choose his team, and he chooses to have an more unsympathetic policy toward Israel than I would, then so be it. Thus, policy choices and advocates who are unsympathetic to Israel but have no record of being overtly anti-Semitic should be challenged on the level of policy push back. But anti-Semites in office is a different – and far more corrupting and dangerous — matter.
One of our First Amendment rights that should never be abridged unless in the most extreme and rare circumstances (e.g., falsely yelling fire in a crowded theater) is to be idiotic, offensive, or even vile. It gets a bit dicier when you are talking about people of influence, like clergy, since incitement on that level can kill. But it is an entirely different matter to empower and entrust people with extremist, anti-Semitic views in positions at the top of the U.S. government. Such positions at once validate their beyond-the-pale views and demean their offices.
America is now seized with the problem of “cancel culture,” with half the nation seeking to expand and reinforce it, and the other half horrified at the increasing limits on freedom of expression. But we should not be oblivious to an equally dangerous development.
What we face from the Left is not only “cancel culture, but “validation culture.” This culture of validating anti-Semitism in positions of influence and power is the dynamic that led Britain’s Labour Party into the abyss. The Democratic Party today, unless it exorcises its ranks of this rising class of anti-Semitic freshmen rather than continue to empower them, will and should follow their British colleagues down the path to irrelevance.
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