Late last week, Israel and Hamas agreed to a cease-fire that, as of Monday, appears to be holding. Over 250 Israelis and Palestinians, mostly civilians were killed during the 11 days of hostility. But the fallout from this conflict is reaching far beyond the Middle East.
Across America and much of the developed world, incidents of violence against the Jewish people have skyrocketed. In the last two weeks alone, almost thirty anti-Semitic attacks have taken place in the United States.
In Los Angeles, a group of restaurant diners were attacked by a mob of pro-Palestinians who threw bottles and shouted, “Dirty Jew” while pummeling a man in the street. In Arizona, a synagogue attended by former Arizona Rep. Gabby Giffords had its door smashed in by vandals. Alarmingly, a 55-year-old woman in New York was wounded when a group of pro-Palestinian protesters threw fireworks into a crowd of people. Last week, a freelance reporter for CNN was fired after he was found to have tweeted out, “The World Today Needs a Hitler.” On Monday, the BBC announced it was investigating one of its digital journalists over an old tweet. The tweet in question: “Hitler Was Right. IDF Go to Hell.”
Now that the immediate conflict in the Holy Land has ebbed, some television networks and elite opinion-makers have expressed support for Jewish communities. However, the overwhelming majority of mainstream media coverage is aggressively asserting that Israel is in the wrong.
MSNBC hosts Ali Velshi and Joy-Ann Reid outright accused Israel of engaging in “Apartheid, Ethnic Cleansing, and Human Rights Violations.” Fox News commentator Geraldo Rivera said: “The United States of America is providing Israel many of the weapons Israel is using today to kill Palestinian civilians without even demanding a ceasefire…that makes us complicit in an ongoing crime against humanity.”
Arguably one of the most inflammatory responses came from liberal commentator and former comedian John Oliver who aggressively implied that feeling sympathy or anger over Israeli deaths was wrong simply because more Palestinians died than did Israelis.
Glaringly absent from all of these “hot takes” was any mention of the terrorist pseudo-state Hamas and the role of Hamas in encouraging civilian deaths. Hamas has explicitly stated that all Israeli settlers are legitimate military targets. In fact, over the course of the conflict, terrorist groups, led by Hamas, fired an estimated 4,350 rockets into Israel. Though the Iron Dome intercepted more than 90%, their explicit targets were high population centers across Israel. The majority of the rockets were also launched from high population areas, ensuring that innocent civilians would be caught in the crossfire one way or the other. But why would any terror group welcome the deaths of its own civilians whom it ostensibly exists to protect?
The Pakistani Foreign Minister may have inadvertently revealed the truth. In a recent interview on CNN, Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi seemed pleased with the recent civilian deaths of Palestinians when he identified what he believes was the consequence of those innocent victims: “Israel is losing out…. they’re losing the media war.”
In Congress, multiple Democrat leaders also placed the blame on Israel for the recent violence. Rep. Rashida Talib accused Israel of a “sustained campaign of harassment and terror by Israeli police.” Last December, she was heavily criticized for sharing a tweet with the message: “From the River to the Sea, Palestine Will Be Free.” This message is a Hamas slogan used by that terrorist organization to claim Israel is an illegitimate state and needs to be annihilated for Palestinians to be free. The same Hamas slogan was shouted by protesters in Brooklyn this past week.
Over the weekend, the New York Times suggested that Israel, by permitting a private company to evict several tenants in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, gave “Hamas an excuse to fire rockets or lone-wolf attackers grievances to channel into killings by knives or automobiles.”
Such formulations are making clear that for much of the progressive left and the media and some Congressional Democrats, their hatred of Israel is lurking just beneath the surface. In the heat of last week’s armed conflict, this smoldering animus has given way to an open anti-Semitism that is leading to new waves of attacks against Jews across America.
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