When it comes to Israel, memes have replaced morality.
Why is it that the liberal media only sees the Palestinian plight in Gaza and the West Bank, yet they're blind to the abysmal treatment that the millions of Palestinians receive who are domiciled, without citizenship, in Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, and Iraq? Where are the "journalists" when it comes to criticizing the "apartheid-like" Palestinian refugee camps which exist in these Muslim-Arab nations?
Where's the fair minded Western journalistic integrity when it comes to explaining how non-Jewish Arabs, 20% of the population of Israel, live lives with all of the rights and privileges of its Jewish citizens? Find a Muslim-Arab woman who's an Israeli citizen who says she'd rather live in Islamic Pakistan or Afghanistan, or oil rich Saudi Arabia, and I'll show you a bald-faced liar.
Honor killings still thrive in Arab nations, but are illegal in Israel. Bari can enjoy being gay in Israel, as can any woman living or vacationing with the borders of Israel, yet homosexuality is still a criminal offense in the Arab nations of: Algeria, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, the PALESTINIAN terrorizes, Qatar, and of course...Saudi Arabia.
If you're a Muslim-Israeli citizen, you can pursue any career you want...doctor, lawyer, politician, educator, military officer, entrepreneur, or an Imam at one of the 20 mosques located within Israel...there are no limitations.
There are four Arab political parties that have full voting rights in Israel [Balad, Hadash, Ta'al and the Arab Democratic Party], and have become a formidable voting block (i.e. The Joint List), one which will most certainly hold sway in the formation of the next Israeli government. Of the 50 Muslim dominated countries in the world, 45 of which are deemed Islamic nations, how many allow Jews to form a voting party? Answer: NONE.
The media likes to feature the "right to return" to the ancestral homeland when it comes to "Palestinians"...but, they seem to forget that Jews, during the 20th Century, were systematically ethnically cleansed from: Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, Iran, UAE, Morocco, Algeria, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Egypt, and Tunisia. The majority of Israeli Jews have roots in Arab nations, but you wouldn't know it from the way the media focuses in the European and U.S. originated Jewish population. Jews have absolutely no rights under international law to return to these lands...just as they had no right to return to Poland, Germany, Austria, Belarus, Ukraine, and most other European nations to reclaim their confiscated (pre-WWII) property rights and bank accounts.
I'm an American Jew. I'm a Zionist. I'm a Bari Weiss fan.
In May of 1968, more than 50 years ago, Eric Hoffer wrote about the bad optics of defending yourself. Many people are familiar with a truncated quote that includes just the first four paragraphs, That's unfortunate, because it's the last sentence of the ninth paragraph that should wake us all up. Here's the longer version:
"The Jews are a peculiar people: things permitted to other nations are forbidden to the Jews.
Other nations drive out thousands, even millions of people and there is no refugee problem. Russian did it, Poland and Czechoslovakia did it, Turkey threw out a million Greeks, and Algeria a million Frenchman. Indonesia threw out heaven knows how many Chinese-and no one says a word about refugees. But in the case of Israel the displaced Arabs have become eternal refugees.
Everyone insists that Israel must take back every single Arab. Arnold Toynbee calls the displacement of the Arabs an atrocity greater than any committed by the Nazis.
Other nations when victorious on the battlefield dictate peace terms. But when Israel is victorious it must sue for peace. Everyone expects the Jews to be the only real Christians in this world.
Other nations when they are defeated survive and recover but should Israel be defeated it would be destroyed. Had Nasser triumphed last June he would have wiped Israel off the map, and no one would have lifted a finger to save the Jews.
No commitment to the Jews by any government, including our own, is worth the paper it is written on. There is a cry of outrage all over the world when people die in Vietnam or when two Negroes are executed in Rhodesia. But when Hitler slaughtered Jews no one remonstrated with him.
The Swedes, who are ready to break off diplomatic relations with America because of what we do in Vietnam, did not let out a peep when Hitler was slaughtering Jews. They sent Hitler choice iron ore, and ball bearings, and serviced his troop trains to Norway.
The Jews are alone in the world. If Israel survives, it will be solely because of Jewish efforts. And Jewish resources. Yet at this moment Israel is our only reliable and unconditional ally. We can rely more on Israel than Israel can rely on us. And one has only to imagine what would have happened last summer had the Arabs and their Russian backers won the war to realize how vital the survival of Israel is to America and the West in general.
I have a premonition that will not leave me; as it goes with Israel so will it go with all of us. Should Israel perish the holocaust will be upon us."
Bari, I admire your courage and your writing, and I wish you the best of luck with the pregnancy. I understand that you hate Trump with passion. So I am not finding your turn of phrasing unexpected, but please, can you just admit that previous administration, not "past year"
"has brought unprecedented ties between Israeli Jews and Arabs in Israel and across the region, not least with the Abraham Accords".
Yes, it's happening because Biden and his Dem cronies, led by #JihadSquad resumed pay per slay, and signaled to Iran that they are friends again. Biden has Jewish blood on his hands, and the Dems became a party of rabid antisemites. Nancy Pelosi endorsed Ilhan Omar in Dem primaries, and called here a "leader" and a "valuable member of the party". Yet, almost 70% of the Jews voted Democrat - so this is exactly what they voted for. This is the Democrat Party, and time for #Jexit was yesterday.
And I am sorry, but not mentioning in this context everything that President Trump did for Israel and the Jewish People, even today condemning Hamas and it's puppet Biden in the strongest possible terms - we must learn who our friends are and act accordingly.
Everything you say is right. But you still leave out the elephant in the room. The genie released by the Biden? administration which is trying to give a green light to Iran and which has declared the "Palestine" situation more important than the nascent Middle East peace. Which has refunded Palestinian organisations who act against peace or settlement of issues - even rewarding murderers of Jewish civilians. Trump has nailed it today with his comment on the War against Israel. Every aspect of the administration's actions was advertised before the election. Yet you and the rest of the 80% refused to see it. Elsewhere, I saw a comment from an American Jewish Democrat who implied Israel deserved everthing it gets because of "the Trump", Netanyahu. American Jews have sown and Israeli Jews are reaping - not quite what you and others had in mind.
If you're looking to the Democrats to save Israel all you need to see how foolish that hope is, is their current (and former) obsession with making "peace" with Iran. While there are many things to dislike about the GOP, they may be Israel's last true allies in the entire world.
Think about that for a moment while I remind everyone here that elections have consequences. Not just at the gas station or for inflation because the current administration is printing money in such volume it would make Hugo Chavez think twice. No, our elections have consequences all around the world.
I didn't vote for Trump either time for personal reasons, because I find him an abhorant human being, and I can't vote for a "lesser evil" because it's still voting for evil. However, look at our last six months, and look at the world over the last six months, and truly ask yourselves if we would be in this mess or if Israel would be in this mess had Trump been reelected.
As much as I don't like Trump and most of y'all don't like Trump, we are in a world of crap the next three and a half years because "Trump had to go."
This article tells the truth! PM Ariel Sharon gave Gaza to the Pals in 2005 w/o being asked. It was in line to become a prosperous coastal nation but Hamas only uses it as a launching pad. My own Mom, a Reform Jew, and pro-Palestinian was shocked in horror when she found out that the Arabs in Gaza had destroyed the greenhouses and refused to learn how to work the power grid because they did not want to be instructed by "Jewish pigs." Obviously Ken Sinclair is not my real name. As a public school teacher I have to hide my identity from Cancel Culture. Israel has a right to defend herself and if Trump were in office, this would not be happening. We had peace in the Middle East under Trump. Now everything is coming apart after the pro-Palestinian, anti-Jewish Democratic Party stole our election last November. Only Hashem knows if we'll make it through this darkness.
This is apparently going to come up a lot: Trump got Israel, the Palestinians and Iran way more right than Biden, yet Trump was and remains unfit to be President and Biden -- well, we'll see. Both things can be true.
I think Ms. Weiss should take the Administration, not just various Congresspeople, to task for its behavior and its pronouncements. They were wrong to refund UNRWA, wrong to rejoin the UNHRC, wrong to want to remove sanctions on Iran and wrong to lecture Israel (about Sheikh Jarrah, about its security policies in general and about its handling of the Hamas attacks in particular). And as she points out, this kind of wrong is also dangerous.
But one can do that without extolling Trump. If you want nuanced opinions, there you have one: The Biden administration is egregiously, dangerously wrong on Israel and the Middle East, and Trump has no business being President.
Yes, it is complicated. But what is not complicated is that Israel was safer under the previous administration, led by he who shall not be named. Biden wins: all hell breaks loose.
I was suspended from Facebook for 30 days yesterday, for writing a post in support of Israel. It was a simple reminder of the history of anti-semitism and the persecution of the Jews under Pharaoh, Hitler, Black September, the PLO and now Hamas. I referenced the Munich Olympic games of 1972. I ended with, God save Israel. I was told my post violated community standards. This is the crippling power of The Narrative, especially on social media. I am an immigration lawyer. I practice asylum and refugee law. I see what happens when you demonize a group of people. What allows the demonization to metastasize is the silence, forced or acquiescent, of those who would defend the humanity of the demonized. This is not new, but it is frightening.
The silence of liberal American Jews is deafening. I’ve posted on social media about this over the past four years to the point where I don’t even care to listen or want to begin to understand the reasons why liberal American Jews have decided to remain silent. I no longer care about their opinions and don’t even want to engage with them. So much so, that it has forced me into silence - which is terribly wrong. So, it’s time to ruffle some feathers and piss some people off.
Thank you Bari, your sanity, your very stiff spine and willingness to speak out are refreshing.
Another strong piece from Ms Weiss. Most of the people bashing Israel don't really care about the Palestinian arabs, but are only using them as cover for their antisemitic lunacy.
I would love to see Bari’s reaction to the following tweet of the Vice-President’s niece: “One cannot advocate for racial equality, LGBT & women's rights, condemn corrupt and abusive regimes and other injustices yet choose to ignore the Palestinian oppression”. The level of ignorance and lack of any self-reflection is impressive.
Good Morning, Ms Weiss. I read your piece last night and the first passage in my devotional this morning was Isaiah 60. I'm a New Testament guy myself, but in the wake of your piece the beauty of Isiah's language and God's promise for Israel were too poignant not to pass along to you. I suggest reading the whole chapter, but will give you:
"On your walls, O Jerusalem, I have set watchmen, all the day and night they shall never be silent...'Say to the daughter of Zion, 'Behold, your salvation comes; behold his reward is with him, and his recompense before him. And they shall be called The Holy People, The Redeemed of the Lord, and you will be called Sought Out, a City Not Forsaken'".
I'm not sure when Isaiah was written, but it was definitely long before the 1940s! As you note, Jews are long native to this region. So, as between God and the Squad, I'll stick with the big guy.
You are among the watchmen of Jerusalem. Prayers for all those affected by this conflict and for you and the safe and happy beginning of your family.
Perhaps what Bari really laments is not so much the rank dishonesty of The Narrative, but Israel’s loss of control over a long-running narrative that has, since the end of the Six Day War, successfully maintained strong support for Israel among key American constituencies: media elites and the left, the national security establishment, and Evangelical Christians, among others. This tightly controlled narrative depicted Israel as indispensable to America’s national security—and to its oil supply. Perhaps more powerfully, Israel and her people were an island of democratic, western enlightenment in an exotic, unpredictable eastern sea. Was this narrative true? To some extent, yes. Did it obscure the complexity of life for both Jews and Arabs living in the Israeli state? Absolutely. But the narrative did its job. With enduring American support, Israel has survived and thrived. Then came social media which, as we are witnessing, makes it near impossible to control a strategic narrative. It has handed the microphone to an anti-Israel, anti-Semitic mob which, sadly, now includes large segments of the American left. They vomit forth woke pieties about “oppressors” and “colonizers” and reduce historical fact and crippling complexity to good versus evil diatribes. This is the new narrative to which Bari refers. It is as corrosive as it is uncontrollable. Welcome to the 21st century.