Center for Security Policy Holds Crucial Panel on Anti-Semitism, Defending Israel and the Trump Administration
Experts Raise Alarm About Danger of Growing Anti-Semitism and Israel Hatred on the Left
WASHINGTON—On Sept. 24, 2019, the Center for Security Policy hosted a riveting 90-minute panel with five leading national security experts to discuss a threat that endangers both religious liberty and U.S. national security: the surge in anti-Semitism and hatred of Israel on the Left. The panel also discussed President Donald Trump’s strong record supporting the Jewish people and the State of Israel.
Center President and CEO Fred Fleitz chaired this all-star panel. He was joined by Morton Klein, National President of the Zionist Organization of America; Rabbi Yechezkel Moskowitz, Founder and CEO of MBLA International; James Carafano, Vice President of Heritage’s Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy and the E.W. Richardson Fellow and Matthew Brodsky, geopolitical analyst and Senior Fellow at the Gold Institute for International Strategy.
Fleitz opened the discussion by stating there has been a horrendous rise in anti-Semitism in the United States from both the far right and the Left. He condemned this surge in hatred on the far-right, but stated growing anti-Semitism on the Left, in partnership with Islamists, is far more dangerous because it is being legitimized and tolerated by the mainstream media, academics and politicians.
Fleitz said this hatred has even penetrated the U.S. Congress. He noted that although most Democratic members of Congress, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi, remain strong supporters of the Jewish people and Israel, the Democratic Party is moving away from this mindset as it is slowly taken over by radicals who are not just socialists but also anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist.
Fleitz said, “Let’s be clear that this growing anti-Semitism on the Left and hatred of Israel are threats not just to religious freedom and the Jewish people. This is a threat to one of America’s closest and most important allies, which is a crucial partner for peace and stability in the Middle East. The Left’s efforts to weaken this ally and America’s relationship with it could have dire consequences for American and international security.”
Morton Klein gave powerful remarks to the panel regarding how radical Muslim Imans and Muslim leaders in the United States are promoting anti-Semitism and hostility toward Israel. Klein ripped Congresswomen Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib for their sharply anti-Israel statements, including Omar “comparing boycotting Israel to boycotting Nazi Germany” and Tlaib, who called for an end to all aid to Israel, consistently referring to it as an apartheid state. Klein condemned House Democrats not only for failing to condemn Omar and Tlaib by name for their hateful statements, but for their blatant defense of them as well. Klein stated that these kinds of anti-Semitic Islamic sermons and hateful rhetoric have led to violence in Europe, and he worries this could happen in America. Klein said it is crucial that Omar and Tlaib’s disturbing rhetoric and radical Imans in the U.S. be condemned before their words lead to violence.
Moskowitz discussed the failure of many in the Jewish community to speak out against the surge of anti-Semitism and hostility toward Israel on the Left in the United States. The Rabbi said there are now three types of Jews in in the U.S.: those who embrace their heritage and values and are proud to be Americans; those who are indifferent to their faith’s culture and values and only use its symbols; and those who have embraced liberal progressivism. Moskowitz said the latter group resulted from decisions by Jewish leaders in the 1960s and 70s to replace Jewish culture with liberal progressivism and social justice. Moskowitz explained how liberal progressive Jews are not only failing to condemn anti-Semitism and hostility toward Israel, they are engaging in activities such as “IfNotNow” and the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement, which are designed to undermine support for Israel. Moskowitz was pessimistic that liberal progressive Jews could be convinced to acknowledge the error of their ways and how they are actually facilitating hate.
Carafano expressed the urgency that one of America’s most important constitutional values is freedom of religion and it is therefore crucial that Americans speak out against the threat to freedom of religion that anti-Semitism encompasses. Carafano also explicated why the U.S.-Israel relationship is essential to protecting America’s interests in the Middle East and stability in that region. He called Israel America’s anchor in the region and its “most longstanding, most dependable, most capable, most reliable ally.” Carafano added, “let’s be honest, the anti-Semitic campaign is at its root a project to destroy Israel” by “destroying its legitimacy a credibility in the international community and scare people away from partnering, shouldering and working with the Israelis.” Carafano conveyed that America must counter this campaign by remaining a strong partner of Israel and leading a global campaign against anti-Semitism.
Brodsky provided an in-depth analysis of the history and nature of the anti-Semitic and anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement. He noted that the BDS movement began not as a human rights-related movement by Palestinians, but dates back to an Arab League boycott of Jewish and Zionist goods in 1948. He noted such boycotts have been promoted for decades by Israel haters, Islamists and the Left for decades by portraying Israel as a racist state and undermining its legitimacy. He explained that, contrary to conventional wisdom that the current BDS movement was founded by Palestinians, it was actually founded in 2001 “by leftwing socialists and Marxists explicitly to undermine Israel’s sovereignty, skillfully exploiting the language of peace, justice and human rights to appeal to Western audiences.” He explained that the groups currently behind the BDS movement include Islamist organizations linked to the Muslim brotherhood, terrorist organizations, and leftwing organizations. Some group in the U.S. include J Street, the ACLU and Black Lives Matter. Brodsky said that although not all BDS supporters are anti-Semitic, BDS is at its core an anti-Semitic platform intended to delegitimize and destroy Israel.
After the panelists spoke, they engaged in an important discussion which covered the seriousness of the recent surge of anti-Semitism and hostility toward Israel on the Left. Panelists also discussed the exemplary record of President Trump’s support for Israel and the Jewish people. You can watch the entire panel below.