Rep. Andy Levin: Blaming Israel for anti-Semitism
In a breathtakingly absurd statement, Congressman Andy Levin (D-Mich.) asserted during a February 1 webinar that anti-Semitism cannot truly be defeated until "Palestinian human rights are respected."
Levin is blaming anti-Semitism on the Jews, the very victims of anti-Semitism. This is cruel. Anti-Semitism predates the Israel-Arab conflict and will be with us, unfortunately, in future decades. The world's anti-Semitism is not a function of the lack of conclusion to the Israeli-Palestinian Arab situation. The Jews of Israel have made countless efforts towards peace and have implemented thousands of acts of humanitarianism toward the Arab and Muslim population, which is seldom requited. Yet anti-Semitism still exists. Jewish families and Israeli schools are constantly bombarded by groups of Arab Palestinians whose hatred of Jews predated by centuries the establishment of a Jewish state.
Reading Levin's other comments, it is obvious that his leftist ideology places blame on those parties continually demonized by today's left-wing leaders. Israel is one of those targets. His statements show that he appears to see anti-Semitism as coming from the political right only. This willful blindness allows the widespread, dangerous anti-Semitism fomenting in today's left-wing camp. It is obvious that Levin, as with many wayward Jews who sadly have lost their way, is focused much more on hurting the political right than actually stopping anti-Semitism.
Levin boasts of his friendship with Ilhan Omar and of his warm cooperation with "his sister" Rashida Tlaib, both widely known for expressing disparaging and pejorative remarks not only about Israel, but also about Jews who support Israel. This should be proof enough that Mr. Levin is not an honest broker when talking about anti-Semitism.
Levin is representative of many secular Jews who see Judaism as exclusively and nothing more than supporting groups in the preferred "social justice" orbit, often doing so at the expense and disregard of the Jewish people itself. He, like so many on the Jewish left, demonstrates Jewish nationhood as something cheap. It is not surprising therefore that in his webinar, he speaks of the need to redefine what it is to be a Jew. For him, Jewishness is left-wing ideology at all costs.
That Levin blames anti-Semitism on Jews who do not surrender to Palestinian Arab leadership calling for Israel's destruction is akin to blaming Jews for the dislike of them by the Third Reich. Unfortunately, it seems that many people born Jewish, carrying a distinctive Jewish last name, are the last people in the world upon which the Jewish people and America should place their hope for eliminating anti-Semitism.
Rabbi Aryeh Spero is author of Push Back: The Battle to Save our American Judeo-Christian Heritage and president of Conference of Jewish Affairs.
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