December 20, 2019
“Fight for freedom, stand with Hong Kong,” Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey tweeted back in October about the pro-democracy demonstrations in Hong Kong. Although many people involved with the NBA, from players and coaches to team owners, league executives, and sportswriters, have used their public platforms to decry the U.S. as a “racist society,” one marked by an “epidemic” of police violence against blacks, for LeBron James, James Harden, and other NBA bigwigs, it was wrong of Morey to express opposition to China’s brutal treatment of its own citizens—because it was bad for business. Such shameless hypocrisy, many conservative journalists noted, made the indignant criticisms of the U.S. by NBA players and others associated with the league seem rather hollow. Besides, Morey had a constitutional right to support the protesters in Hong Kong.
In general, conservative journalists are quick to oppose threats to our constitutional rights and liberties. But there is one exception, namely, the ongoing Zionist campaign to stifle free speech. The reasons for this are plain enough. Like our two major political parties, conservative publications try to stay on the right side of their Zionist donors. Moreover, just as feminists, as a group, tend to equate criticism or disagreement with “sexism” or “misogyny,” so Jews and Zionists, as groups, tend to equate criticism of Zionism, of Israel, and of Jews with “anti-Semitism.” While this false equation is not always disingenuous in intent, there can be no doubt that, in effect, it is utterly manipulative. Being smeared as an “anti-Semite” can be ruinous to a person’s career, so most intellectuals on the right are either pro-Zionist or have nothing to say regarding the Zionist threat to free speech (or regarding Zionist influence on U.S. foreign policy).
The Zionist campaign against free speech received a boost on Dec. 11, in the form of President Trump’s executive order declaring Jewishness a race or nationality, not just a religion; and predictably, few people in conservative media have criticized the executive order, even though it’s quite problematic. The ostensible purpose of the executive order is to combat anti-Semitism on college campuses. Under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Department of Education can withhold funding from any college or educational program that discriminates “on the ground of race, color, or national origin.” With Jewishness being defined in the broadest of terms, Zionists can use the power of the state to shut down any dissent from their party line.
That should be easy enough to do, since the executive order uses the definition of anti-Semitism maintained by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (a definition that has also been adopted by the State Department). It is a definition that begs a lot of questions. It defines anti-Semitism as, among other things, “Accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations.” But is it true a priori that there are no Jewish citizens who are “more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations”? Certainly not. That is no more true a priori than it is that there are no Chinese or Mexican citizens who have “dual loyalties” or a greater loyalty to China or Mexico than to the U.S. To be sure, talk about Jewish “dual loyalty” or lesser loyalty (in regard to the U.S.) is perfectly consistent with anti-Semitism, but such talk, in and of itself, doesn’t entail anti-Semitism.
The U.S. had nothing to gain, and indeed gained nothing, from its unnecessary invasion of Iraq in 2003. But for this war Bill Kristol, David Frum, Max Boot, and other Jewish Zionists were strong advocates, since Iraq was perceived as a threat to Israel. (Naturally, the same Zionist neocon crowd continues to call for war with Iran—another enemy of Israel, and therefore, Zionist propaganda seeks to persuade us, of the U.S.) Were these persons not more loyal to Israeli interests than to the U.S.? They either were or they were not. That is to say, this is an empirical matter, and to reduce it to mere anti-Semitism is simply not serious.
The executive order defines as anti-Semitic “Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.” The trouble with this is that it begs the question against those who hold, whether rightly or wrongly, that the nation of Israel is illegitimate, being an occupation of stolen land. I don’t have the space to go into the complicated history of the Israel-Palestine conflict, but suffice it to say that the people who believe Israel is illegitimate are not obviously anti-Semitic. They may or may not be, and as it happens, many of these persons are Jewish themselves. We should also recognize, again from a logical point of view, that the belief that the Israeli treatment of the Palestinians is racist—so that the state itself is racist—does nothing to establish “anti-Semitism.” Analogously, if I think there’s a bias against men in the female-dominated American Psychological Association, it doesn’t follow that I am anti-women or that I hate them, or what you will. (There are other problems with the executive order’s definition of anti-Semitism, but I must pass over these for want of space.)
The main target of Trump’s executive order is the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement that is popular on college campuses. Indeed, in lefty academia, it’s fashionable to be critical of Israel, and it’s likely that many of the people who are so are no more knowledgeable (or sincere) concerning the Israel-Palestine conflict than they are about racial differences in crime rates (or in intelligence), the gender wage gap, or the Civil War. But however that may be, it is the very purpose of academia to inquire into and debate such difficult issues. Yet this is not possible if all it takes to be considered “anti-Semitic” is not sharing certain Zionist premises.
Nor is it desirable to unleash academia’s kangaroo courts on more students (as has happened throughout the #MeToo movement). A Dec. 12 article in The Jerusalem Post reports:
A senior [Trump] administration official said on Tuesday that antisemitism on campuses is often hidden in an anti-Israel agenda. If campuses that receive money from the government adopt the IHRA definition of antisemitism in cases of discrimination, students who will feel that they are being bullied on college campuses would be able to complain to their institution’s administration, who will then need to decide if the incident is considered antisemitic.
Events in recent years have demonstrated that American colleges abound with immature students who haven’t learned to distinguish their hurt feelings from “discrimination.” Well, no wonder. Surrounded by the identity-politics farce of the vulgar professorate, students have been given to understand that it’s virtuous to appear as victims. Language is by its very nature overdetermined, and people are constantly interpreting others with a view to advancing their own interests (usually unconsciously), thereby simplifying the complexity of human affairs. I do not mean to suggest that anti-Semitism doesn’t exist in academia or that it’s not a moral evil. But we have a criminal justice system to deal with actual crimes and with matters that merit a criminal investigation. There is simply no good reason for campus bureaucrats to decide whether or not a student is guilty of “anti-Semitism” because another student claims that his view of the Israel-Palestine conflict is tantamount to “Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination.” Nor should colleges be denied federal funding just because they don’t share the Trump administration’s position on Israel. Needless to say, colleges do not exist—or should not exist—in order to determine what people are supposed to think.
Besides, in NAACP v. Claiborne Hardware, the Supreme Court ruled that the First Amendment protects the right to participate in political boycotts. Conservatives know that, from the boycotts of British goods during the American Revolution to the Montgomery bus boycott to the campaign to divest from apartheid South Africa, political boycotts, including boycotts of foreign nations, have been an important part of American political life. And yet, the same conservatives who purport to value nothing so much as their constitutional rights and liberties, and who often rail against government overreach, dare not support the right of students and faculty to participate in the BDS movement, or to oppose Trump’s executive order that effectively aims to ban it from academia.
Such cowardice is very troubling. “In 2017,” Jesse Singal writes at New York magazine, “almost 300 members of the House and Senate co-sponsored bills that would have made certain boycotts of Israel a federal felony.” Glenn Greenwald reported in 2018 that
A children’s speech pathologist who has worked for the last nine years with developmentally disabled, autistic, and speech-impaired elementary school students in Austin, Texas, has been told that she can no longer work with the public school district, after she refused to sign an oath vowing that she “does not” and “will not” engage in a boycott of Israel or “otherwise tak[e] any action that is intended to inflict economic harm” on that foreign nation.
In fact, “26 states now have measures that require them to deny contracts to and divest from any companies that are involved in BDS,” Kelley Beaucar Vlahos reported earlier this year in The American Conservative.
While many on the right take it for granted that Israel is “our greatest ally,” such that United States interests and Israeli interests always are aligned, Israel has sold military technology to China, which the Trump administration regards as its chief adversary in Asia. Israel’s sales of weapons to China are surely a threat to American interests in Asia, the sort of thing that merits robust criticism from those who really want to put America first. But, when it comes to policy, the Trump administration’s primary interest is not what is good for the U.S., but what is good for Israel.
Why? Most likely, the power of money, though of course, this opinion, too, would strike many as “anti-Semitic,” since, for many, all negative stereotypes are false by definition. (In reality, the overwhelming accuracy of stereotypes is one of the most well-established findings in social psychology.) President Trump undoubtedly learned many decades ago from his business dealings in New York City that it can be very useful to have Jewish money on your side. (Amusingly, Trump’s characteristic bluntness has sometimes got him into trouble with Jews, for you aren’t supposed to say, as he often has, that as groups go, Jews are unusually wealthy.) “Work on the presidential executive order,” according to Philip Giraldi, “was initiated in the summer inside the White House by a team led by Jared Kushner, Trump’s [Jewish] son-in-law and senior adviser, together with his close [Jewish] aide special assistant to the president Avi Berkowitz.” Although Jews are only slightly more than 2 percent of the U.S. population, between one-quarter and one-third of the wealthiest families and individuals are Jewish, including Jewish billionaires with huge amounts of influence. Fifty percent of all donations to the Democratic Party, and 25 percent of all donations to the Republican Party, originate from Jewish sources, The Jerusalem Post stated in a 2016 article. “Last-minute funds from multi-billionaire Sheldon Adelson were quite likely the key to Trump’s hairbreadth victory in the 2016 election,” writes Stephen J. Sniegoski. At any rate, those funds may well have inspired a sense of obligation in Trump the longtime dealmaker, and considering the collective influence of his Jewish family members and his Zionist foreign policy team, it’s no surprise that Trump moved the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, recognized Syria’s Golan Heights as part of Israel, placed severe sanctions on Iran, and, in a ridiculous gesture, awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Adelson’s wife, Miriam. The executive order is just the latest instance of the Zionism that Trump advances whether it’s in the national interest or not.
White people are perpetually bashed in academia, where they are blamed for everything that is wrong with the world. It wouldn’t be desirable, of course, for the president to issue an executive order declaring that criticism of the white working class is a civil rights violation or a hate crime. Still, that such an executive order is quite unimaginable, even though it was mainly the white working class (as opposed to Jewish Zionists) who elected Trump, is instructive. “Politics is a deleterious profession, like some poisonous handicrafts. Men in power have no opinions, but may be had cheap for any opinion, for any purpose….,” Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote in his great essay “Power.” Donald Trump has shown that he is perfectly fine with the ongoing Zionist campaign against free speech, civil liberties, and academic freedom. Given the nature of politics, only a naive person could believe that Trump would support this pernicious campaign without standing to personally benefit from it.
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