Pun Salad PG13 Policy Continues to Erode

but in Hebrew, so it's OK.

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Jeff Maurer points out the underlying context: The Groups Protesting on College Campuses Don't Think Israel Should Exist.

In the official request for divestment filed by Columbia University Apartheid Divest, the group said that the Israeli occupation of Palestine had caused “immeasurable violence” to the Palestinian people for 75 years. That number — 75 years — dates the “occupation” to 1948, the establishment of Israel. It cannot be a reference to the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, which began in 1967. The reference to 75 years is not buried deep in the document — it’s in the second sentence. This letter that considers the very existence of Israel to be an occupation was signed by 89 student groups on December 1.

It's not just the Ku Klux Kollege Kids. Just last week, we mentioned the Action Alerts page of the Community Church of Durham (NH); their lead item demands "Justice for Palestine-Israel" and traces back the real problem to:

For over 73 years, Israel has created and maintained laws, policies, and practices that deliberately oppress Palestinians.

As Maurer says, this number is not arrived at by accident. The "problem", according to this Christian church, is linked to the mere existence of the Jewish state.

One more bit from Maurer:

Is calling for the elimination of Israel automatically antisemitic? I don’t know. But it is definitely a call for something bad to happen to the almost seven million Jews who live there (plus I wouldn’t assume that everything would be lollipops and rainbows for the more than two million non-Jewish Israelis). Affirming Israel’s right to exist is usually the starting point for any discussion of Israel-Palestine in American politics. Every member of The Squad except for Rashida Tlaib voted for a resolution affirming Israel’s right to exist, and AOC recently joined a statement affirming Israel’s right to self-defense. Debates about the bounds of antisemitism usually rest on questions that are subjective and unknowable, which is why I’m not addressing them. Instead, I’m focusing on the plain fact that the groups protesting at Columbia and elsewhere have adopted positions that not even the fringiest left-wing figures in American politics support.

Maurer is more charitable toward the "peace activists" than I am. Should they get their way, God forbid, Jews would be violently purged "from the river to the sea". The activists, safe in America, would shrug and smugly say: "well, I wasn't in favor of that, although Israel was asking for it"… and proceed to their next crusade.

Also of note:

  • For those who think otherwise… or if you just want some rhetorical ammo to provide to those asserting otherwise: Israel Is Not Committing ‘Genocide’ in Gaza. (My last gifted NR link for this month.)

    Has Israel erred in service of its aims? Absolutely. The recent accidental killing of seven World Central Kitchen aid workers is a tragedy, and those who played a role have rightly been held accountable. But such is the reality of all war; miscalculations are made, the wrong people get killed. And that is especially true in a war against an enemy that strategically embeds itself within civilian sites for the express purpose of maximizing death tolls among its own people. Yet that hasn’t stopped widespread accusations against Israel of systematically targeting civilians. And while some may be ignorant of the relevant statutes, the Geneva Conventions and other elements of international humanitarian law are clear: The standard for the death of civilians is the word “willful.” No credible source has presented evidence of Israel’s willful targeting of Palestinian civilians.

    These distinctions matter for putting genocide charges into the context of antisemitism. The term “genocide” was coined for the specific purpose of naming the systematic, state-sponsored persecution of the Jewish people during the Holocaust. Recognition of the special nature of Jewish suffering has given way to frequent accusations that Jews seek to benefit from an exclusive claim on victimhood, that they have weaponized the Holocaust as a way to insulate Israel from all criticism and moral obligation, and have turned the Nazi genocide into a get-out-of-jail free card. This manipulation of the Holocaust and the concept of genocide is textbook antisemitism, according to the widely adopted International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition. That it is being used by, among others, deniers of the Holocaust only deepens the irony.

    The world must not ignore the sadistic pleasure taken by those charging Israel with genocide. It is an attempt to neuter Jewish trauma in order to wage political war against Israel. By positing a moral equivalency between what was done to Jews then and what the Jewish state is now doing in its defensive war against Hamas, the atrocities of the Holocaust are delegitimized, and Jews can no longer reap the supposed illicit advantages granted by their history. Indeed, the false charge of “genocide” is what has allowed critics to continue excusing Hamas’s terrorism as a justifiable act of resistance, desecrating Jewish storefronts with swastikas and slurs, or holding signs saying “Hitler would be proud” with total impunity.

    A similarly-weaponized word from Israel-haters: "apartheid".

  • Not exactly "contempt" in my case, but… Louis Markos asserts at the Federalist: Contempt For Ordinary Voters Undermines Opposition To Trump.

    A complaint I hear increasingly leveled at contemporary American politicians is that they are out of touch with voters, if not downright contemptuous of them. On a number of core issues, politicians seem less concerned with pursuing policies that are deeply unpopular with ordinary Americans than with upholding the ideologies and self-interests of the ruling elite. Two dramatic examples of this political disconnect with average citizens are the refusal of urban governments to prosecute violent criminals, which has caused a surge in crime, and the White House’s tolerance of mass immigration, which threatens jobs, security, and the rule of law.

    As I survey the current political and intellectual landscape, I cannot help but see a resurgence of the arrogance and disdain of the 18th-century French revolutionaries for those they considered to be incapable of rational thought and moral behavior. But I am moving too fast. Let me slow down and give some historical background.

    Not to kvetch, but I really think the headline should be "underlies", not "undermines".

    Markos's thesis is that today's progressives echo the attitude of Diderot toward the "multitude", which he thought was shot through with "wickedness, stupidity, inhumanity, unreason, and prejudice".

    I am a mild-mannered Trump opponent myself. And I don't get all misty-eyed about the voting public; see my reports on Bryan Caplan's The Myth of the Rational Voter, Jason Brennan's Against Democracy, and Garett Jones' 10% Less Democracy.

  • A KDW article outside the Dispatch paywall! So check it out: Pinching Pennies for Putin.

    There is a William F. Buckley Jr. line for every occasion, and the one for Sen. J.D. Vance is: “I won’t insult your intelligence by suggesting that you really believe what you just said.”

    Vance came to his heartland populism via an education at Yale Law School, Peter Thiel’s money, Hollywood, and the New York Times bestseller list. A venture capital man who once denounced Donald Trump as unfit for the presidency and who currently is so intimately and uncomfortably attached to Trump that it is impossible to distinguish him from a hemorrhoid, Vance has decided to be the clown prince of a very small kingdom: the realm of people who feel very strongly that the U.S. government should accommodate Vladimir Putin’s imperial project in Ukraine and beyond. Vance is not stupid, and he has seen how far a clown prince can go in Washington. He even has some reason to hope that he is 1,659 days away from being elected president of these United States after serving as Donald Trump’s vice president and riding that lame duck as far as he will waddle.

    It is difficult to feel much other than contempt for what Vance has become and pity for the way he became it. My own background is similar to his in the worst ways, and I sympathize when it comes to the temptation to say to the world, as Vance has, “Tell me what sort of man you want me to be, and I’ll pretend to be that sort of man.” I can understand it, and even forgive it. (Eventually.) But you can never trust a man who has decided to be the Tom Ripley of American politics.

    I liked Vance's book Hillbilly Elegy. Now I wonder how honest he was being there.