American elites are tight-lipped on an upsurge in anti-Semitism
As protests and riots consumed the country last summer in the wake of George Floyd’s death, the nation’s top corporate leaders weighed in almost in unison to condemn Floyd’s murder and voice solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.
Ninety percent of Fortune 100 companies issued such statements, according to a Washington Free Beacon analysis. Amazon decried “the inequitable and brutal treatment of Black people in our country”; Apple called for recognition of “the fear, hurt, and outrage” in the black community; and Google parent company Alphabet vowed to do “the harder work” of rectifying structural inequities.
The nation’s top universities followed suit. Every one, from top-ranked Princeton to 20th-ranked UCLA, recommitted itself to addressing what they all described in one formulation or another as the structural and enduring racism in American society. They were similarly responsive in March to an epidemic of violence targeting Asian Americans—every school responded publicly to the attacks.
But in corporate America and academia alike, the solidarity did not extend to the American Jewish community when it experienced a more recent surge of anti-Semitic attacks and violence in the wake of renewed Middle East violence. The sudden silence of corporate America is a striking contrast to the flood of corporate speech on hot-button political issues over the last year.
Among the Fortune 100, it is easier to count the companies that spoke up than those that stayed silent: Just two, Amerisource Bergen and Pfizer, issued statements about the rash of anti-Semitic violence that extended from New York City to Los Angeles in the wake of last month’s conflagration between Israel and Hamas. Google acknowledged an “alarming increase in anti-Semitic attacks” after sheepishly reassigning a top member of its diversity team, Kamau Bobb, whose anti-Semitic writings the Free Beacon exposed.
Just 6 of the top 20 institutions of higher education issued statements about the attacks. Of those that did, some, like Columbia, offered a variation of the “All Lives Matter” trope, condemning “harassment … of people who are Jewish or Palestinian or anyone else.” Others, like Yale University, saw faculty members voice support for “the Palestinian struggle as an indigenous liberation movement confronting a settler colonial state” while making no mention of anti-Semitism.
The anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism of the intersectional left have been largely ignored by a cultural and business elite eager to embrace the social justice movement—or inoculate itself from the movement’s attacks.
But for Jews, the institutionalizing of this new anti-Semitism at schools and businesses across the country—complete with a bureaucracy of diversity officers like Google’s house anti-Semite to enforce it—is a threat that cannot be ignored.
About two years ago, one of my wife’s best friends began to turn down invitations to get together. Then, out of the blue, she unfriended my wife on Facebook.
That’s kind of a rude way to brush off someone, so my wife finally asked her: What gives? Have I offended you? Her terse text response was full of self-righteousness: “John (her husband) and I are so appalled by the things that Steve writes that we don’t want to associate with you anymore.”
I wasn’t offended that they disagree with my positions or even that they felt our political disagreements are so wide that we probably shouldn’t hang out together anymore. After all, we are two Americas today.
What stuck in my craw was the word “appalled.” It was her way of saying: “We are better people than you. We have higher standards.” “Appalled” is the outrage you feel when someone gets drunk and starts hitting on your wife.
I recite the incident because it is an example of how liberals have anointed themselves as not just intellectually but morally superior to those on the right. Welcome to the “religious left.”
A case in point: the Boston Globe recently printed a front-page opinion piece by the paper’s liberal columnist Yvonne Abraham, who denounced the idea of any “unity” agenda with Republicans or conservatives. “Here’s the thing about unity,” she snuffed. “To achieve it, you have to believe in a common good. And most members of this Republican Party have demonstrated over and over that they simply don’t.” You can’t find common ground with a movement “defined by lies.”
Of course, the irony here is that it is President Joe Biden, not Republicans, who is pledging an agenda to unify the country. But so far, the new administration’s position seems to be: Why bother to find common ground when you control all of the levers of governmental power and you can steamroll over them instead?
What is to be gained by uniting with people who are “white supremacists” or “insurrectionists”?
Most everyone I know on the right agrees that violence is rarely, if ever, an acceptable form of political protest.
Do liberals? The new vice president of the United States called the liberal mobs who ransacked cities this summer “social justice warriors.” Apparently, it is excusable to burn down a building or assault a police officer if you are protesting racial injustice, climate change, abortion rights or cuts in social programs.
The Trump Haters say that the rioters who stormed the U.S. Capitol are guilty of a treasonable offense. OK, but several years ago, when many thousands of “social justice warriors” (i.e., union thugs) stormed past the police and occupied the domed Capital building in Madison for days, the media celebrated.
Abraham is right about unity. America is now a country divided into Hatfields and McCoys. In just his first four days in office, it’s clear there isn’t going to be any unifying of the country under Biden. That was a hollow campaign slogan that has swirled down the drain as the White House issued executive orders, such as killing the Keystone XL pipeline, that have infuriated conservatives. The absurd House snap-impeachment of former President Donald Trump a few days before he was to leave office was absurd enough, but not nearly as divisive as the apparent Senate plans to go ahead with a trial.
Biden said he “doesn’t see red states and blue states, only sees the United States.” Really? Then why is one of his first proposals a blue-state bailout to the tune of $350 billion — to be paid by the Republicans in red states. That is a financial insurrection against the half of the states that are not run by Democrats.
The left doesn’t want unity with the right. It wants submission. They don’t think we live up to their standards of proper behavior and righteousness.
If these are the people that are collectively “unfriending” us on Facebook and in the grocery stores, that’s fine by us. Frankly, the feeling is mutual.
Following the shooting of a man who allegedly threatened two police officers with a knife, Philadelphia has become the latest site in the ongoing racially-motivated protests, riots, and looting that have marked 2020.
Walter Wallace, a 27-year-old African American, was shot to death by police in “The City of Brotherly Love” who said he refused orders to drop his weapon and advanced on them. His death, the latest in a series of police-related incidents that started in Minneapolis and over the last few months have fueled wanton destruction of public and private property in Seattle, Louisville, Portland, Washington D.C., Richmond, Va, Atlanta, and other cities.
The destruction that is becoming near-commonplace has put the issue of police conduct squarely in the center of the national conversation. President Donald J. Trump repeatedly denounces the activities of the rioters and has taken steps to rein in their campaign of terror. Former Vice President Joe Biden, on the other hand, continues to be somewhat lackluster when attempting to repudiate the violence and those who commit it. More than once he has made it clear that he, like his running mate, U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris, supports many of the stated objectives of those who consider themselves members of the movement known as Black Lives Matter.
Biden and Harris have, for example, repeatedly seconded many of the BLM’s comments and criticisms made on social media including the charge the nation is “systemically racist” and have mimicked the movement’s calls for policies that advance racial “equity” in place of equality. Yet the Democratic presidential candidate has remained strangely mute regarding The BREATHE Act, the passage of which through Congress has been defined by some as the chief goal of those who have taken to the streets in protest.
The legislation, which has been endorsed by several prominent House Democrats, could see early action early in the next session of Congress if Biden wins the presidency and his party takes control of the U.S. Senate while retaining the majority in the House of Representatives under Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.
In October the American Principles Project, a non-partisan organization, released a report that took a deep dive into The BREATHE Act, examining its implications for law enforcement and other areas of public policy. The group concluded the bill, which is being marketed as an aggressive and thoughtful approach to the problem of police brutality is in reality “a radical left-wing wish list” that includes provisions that would turn the nation on its head.
Among the provisions found by APP in the bill are:
“Joe Biden should answer some simple questions: Does he support the BREATHE Act? Would he sign it into law? If the answer is no, which provisions does he disagree with? Does he support establishing reparations commissions? Would he get rid of federal law enforcement? Would he abolish prisons? Would he provide criminals under the age of 24 with total immunity from prosecution for crimes they commit? Would he fund abortions and sex changes? Which parts of the BREATHE Act does he support, and which parts does he oppose?” asked Terry Schilling, executive director of the American Principles Project upon the report’s release.
Needless to say, each of these provisions is well outside the American mainstream. This may be why Biden has been less-than-forthcoming in his comments on the proposed legislation. His endorsement of any or all of these radical ideas raises significant questions about his vision for the nation’s future.