The end of June 2022 encapsulated the far-left and anti-Israel sentiments of J Street. While it is not news that the group is slightly more centrist than anti-Israel groups like Jewish Voice for Peace and IfNotNow, it is interesting to see how the group is relishing defeating moderate Democrats, much like the left-wing anti-Zionist extremists from the Democratic Socialists of America.
On June 29, J Street posted about its elation that its alt-left candidate for Congress in Illinois defeated the primary challenger favored by the centrist group Democratic Majority for Israel (DMFI). J Street led its press release with “Following principled progressive Delia Ramirez’s landslide victory over DMFI-endorsed Gilbert Villegas in the Democratic primary for Illinois’ 3rd congressional district,…” The group just could have led that it’s happy its preferred candidate won, but it opted to focus on the defeat of DMFI’s preferred candidate.
J Street said that its PAC spent $140,000 on supporting the Working Families’ Party candidate, to combat funds from “the AIPAC-aligned Democratic Majority For Israel (DMFI) and other right-leaning groups.” Note that AIPAC and DMFI are not “right-leaning groups” but centrist; it’s J Street that’s far-left, making those groups appear right-leaning from their perspective.
J Street then doubled down on mischaracterizing the centrist pro-Israel groups stating “In an election cycle that has seen the ultra-hawkish right-wing group AIPAC and its allies like DMFI… (emphasis is J Street’s)” These are inflammatory and blatantly untrue statements that DMFI – a purely Democratic group! – is “ultra-hawkish” and “right-wing.”
J Street is completely untethered from reality.
J Street is continuing on its far-left, Arab-centered mission on June 30th.
Jeremy Ben Ami, the president of J Street, is going to speak with Jim Zogby of the Arab American Institute. Their topic is rebuking the United States for the alleged crimes of the Jewish State. It will continue Zogby’s assertion that “Sanctions [against Israel] and accountability become absolutely essential to this discussion. We’re beyond dialogue, we’ve been beyond dialogue for decades now. We are now at the point where there must be a price paid.“
Ben-Ami is featured with Zogby, who came after the Anti-Defamation League in May 2022, because it correctly pointed out the anti-Semitic comments from the head of CAIR in San Francisco who said that Zionist synagogues are enemies. Zogby added that Israel has “brutal and aggressive hardline apartheid policies” and decries “settler colonialism.“
Sounds like the right company for J Street’s president.
J Street is the home for left-wing pro-Palestinians who seek to market themselves as pro-Israel centrists to mislead the public that their extremist views are in line with the government of Israel and Zionists around the world. The group is slowly revealing its true alt-left bent, stating that its opponents are not limited to the Republican Jewish Coalition, but centrist Democrats like DMFI which it falsely labels as “ultra-hawkish” and “right-wing,” as it simultaneously joins forces with leading Arab critics of Israel.
The Supreme Court voted to overturn the 1973 ruling of Roe v. Wade, putting the issue of abortion to each state to decide. In the coming months and years, lobbyists and legislators will lob arguments as they listen to constituents on the rights of women and the unborn. Extremists will win the day in both deep blue and red states, while purple ones may find compromise positions.
The extreme wings are fortified with devotees of deeply-held dogma. Religious conviction will drive some to seek the banning of abortion at the very moment of conception, when the potential life is simply a cluster of cells. The religion without deity has christened the desire of a woman supreme, and push legislation to permit abortion for any reason until the very moment of birth.
Both positions are nonsensical and harmful.
A cluster of cells is just that. Women likely have monthly periods that pass as much without notice. The mass has neither brain nor heart, so the basis of calling the coagulation “life” seems as silly and mundane as “What is a Woman?” To deprive women the right to manage their lives early in pregnancy is invasive and draconian.
At the other extreme, to sanction infanticide before a baby is born, is to legalize and bless the murder of the innocent. Even pro-Choice people say that if an eight-month pregnant woman dies in a car accident, doctors should save the fetus. They therefore admit that the fetus is an actual life worth saving, at least once the mother’s desire is no longer a factor. Such flawed reasoning could permit a mother to kill her two-year old if her finances or relationship become impaired (the main reasons for having an abortion are about bad timing, and financial or relationship difficulties according to a study by the Guttmacher Institute).
Each side protests that their cause is just. The desires to protect a woman and the infant are noble as each party is worthy of protection. And rights.
According to the Guttmacher Institute, 95% of abortions occur during the first 15 weeks of pregnancy. Roughly 4.1% occur between weeks 16 and 20, and 1.3% happen after the 21st week. Using 2017 data suggests that approximately 11,200 abortions in the US were late term. To put the late term abortion statistic in perspective, in 2018, there were 19,660 deaths among children 1-19. The leading causes were motor vehicle accidents (20%), firearms (15%) and cancer (9%). In other words, the number of late term abortions in the US far exceeds the number of deaths for all children under 20 years old from car accidents, firearms and cancer COMBINED.
While there is not a large recent comprehensive study on who gets these late term abortions and why, there was a study conducted between 2008 and 2010 and published in 2013 on this very issue. It reported that “data suggest that most women seeking later terminations are not doing so for reasons of fetal anomaly or life endangerment. (emphasis added)” More specifically, it added that “Most women seeking later abortion fit at least one of five profiles: They were raising children alone, were depressed or using illicit substances, were in conflict with a male partner or experiencing domestic violence, had trouble deciding and then had access problems, or were young and nulliparous.”
The Bizarre Contradictory Liberal Laws of New York State
New York has some of the most left-wing laws in the country. When it comes to protecting the very young, recent laws have been enacted that are at odds with each other.
In August 2018, the state passed a law banning smoking in any facility that provides child care services. Governor Andrew Cuomo said at the time that “the dangers of secondhand smoke are indisputable and we must do everything in our power to protect children.” Other people in the State Assembly added that “second and third-hand smoke is a detriment the development of our kids.“
Five months later, Cuomo signed the Reproductive Health Act which decriminalized abortion at any time for any reason. The act specifically removed the killing of an “unborn child with which a female has been pregnant for more than twenty-four weeks” from the definition of a homicide. Somehow, the danger of secondhand smoke are “indisputable” but the targeted killing of a fully viable fetus is not a “detriment to its development.”
Most Americans are very disturbed by late term abortions. According to a 2018 Gallup poll, 77% of people believe that an abortion should be illegal in the third trimester if the rationale is a woman’s wishes / “choice”, although attitudes flip if the mother’s life is in danger. In the May 2022 polling, the favorability of banning abortions jumped from 27% to 55% to 71% during the first, second and third trimester, respectively.
The 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling was thrown out because the Supreme Court justices concluded that there wasn’t a constitutional right to the procedure and pushed each state to decide for itself how to handle the matter. Now the states must consider the rights of the unborn and of women, and whether they change based on time and circumstances. Citizens in states like New York should look to the original Roe decision that they celebrated, and pressure the legislature to adopt Roe’s delineation of fetal viability, and repeal the repeals that the far-left extremists enacted just a few years ago.
The nation has been in the throws of being pulled apart for several years now and the abortion map may set the borders of the Mason-Dixon Plaid for years to come.
Jews continue to be the most targeted group of hate crimes in the United States every year. The reasons that anti-Semites give are varied but include the idea that Jews control the media, financial markets and the government.
Consider the case in January 2022 of a British man going to Texas and taking members of a synagogue hostage, and placing a call to a rabbi in New York City to get a convicted terrorist released. Why would someone possibly think that any Jew – let alone a rabbi in New York – could free someone in jail?
Adherents of the Great Replacement Theory posit that Jews are conspiring to bring non-White people into the United States to make Whites a minority. Other conspiracy theorists adopted an idea that Jews are behind COVID-19 so they can sell more drugs to people and then control them.
The insanity always targets the Jews. Why?
Certainly there have been noxious forgeries like Protocols of the Elders of Zion that fostered anti-Semitic conspiracy theories of Jewish control. But today’s mainstream media like The New York Times peddle the smear as well.
The Times ran a story on the cover of its June 23, 2022 edition that the number of Jews representing New York City in Congress could potentially fall to zero. Rather than discuss this most persecuted minority losing representation in the city with the greatest number of Jews outside of Israel, the paper used incendiary terms like “Jewish power,” “Jewish clout” and “Jewish influence” throughout the article.
This is a growing trend in the liberal paper, as well as at other outlets like CNN and MSNBC. They would never consider writing about “Asian power” taking over coveted spots in elite schools. The media companies would emphasize the change in the number of Blacks or gay people gaining positions in congress or becoming CEOs of companies.
But not for Jews. They are not described by numbers, which are anemic, but by the perception of their “power.” The media tacitly agrees with Rep. Ilhan Omar’s anti-Semitic tropes that Jews “hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel.” They believe the Jews are powerful, and to blame for world problems.
The anti-Semitic narrative has never been built on facts or figures, but on a fictitious conspiracy of Jewish power. Even now, as the number of Jews in Congress, the Supreme Court and elsewhere dwindle. Even now, as Jews on campuses are told to shut up. Even now, as the Jewish State is being targeted for boycott. Even now, as anti-Semitic attacks reach new heights.
It’s quite easy to spot an anti-Semite: they peddle in “Jewish power.” Sometimes, on the front page.
New York’s 16th Congressional district has been reshaped by the latest census, and now includes more of Westchester than it had earlier, and drops sections of the Bronx which are now in NY-15 held by Rep. Ritchie Torres. The current congressman for NY-16 is Rep. Jamaal Bowman, who is facing a number of challengers in the Democratic primaries to be held on August 23rd (early voting begins August 13).
According to the non-partisan website fivethirtyeight, the newly redrawn NY-16 leans heavily towards the Democratic Party, voting for Joe Biden over Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential election by a margin of +40. That means that the Democratic primary is truly the election for this congressional seat.
One of the Democratic contenders, Vedat Gashi, spoke with me about issues of particular concern to the Jewish community.
Gashi describes himself as a “common sense” Democrat who has nothing in common with the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) which has backed Bowman. Gashi grew up in Kosovo and came to the United States at age four. He later returned to Kosovo as an adult to work for the United Nations as the country gained its independence in the dissolution of Yugoslavia. His memories of Israel’s involvement with Kosovo – even before it became independent – left a positive mark on him.
Gashi is appreciative of the Jewish community as well. As a secular Muslim, he said he was appalled at President Trump’s so-called “Muslim ban” which would have restricted people like him from coming to the US (writer’s note: Trump did not ban all Muslims, but people from seven Muslim-majority countries, which did not include Kosovo). When Gashi went to JFK Airport to protest the ban, the first people he saw protesting were Jewish groups. These incidents gave Gashi a sense of warmth toward the Jewish community.
A full background of Gashi’s background can be found on his website. Unfortunately, there is little else on the site, such as his positions on important issues.
Gashi is instinctively pro-Israel but not very well versed on specific topics.
As it relates to Bowman’s vote against supporting the Abraham Accords in April 2021, Gashi said he was “disappointed” in Bowman’s vote because the Accords clearly advanced US’s foreign policy interests. He assumed that Bowman did so because of pressure from the DSA, and Gashi used that point to highlight that he would not abide by any party orthodoxy but consider each issue as it impacted the people in his district. He added that the DSA’s comments which blamed American and NATO policies for causing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as indicative of the far-left group’s “tenuous grasp of reality.”
Gashi said that the people behind the Boycott, Divest and Sanction (BDS) of Israel are anti-Semitic. He believes that people who call Israel an “apartheid state”, such as Bowman’s senior policy advisor Rajiv Sicora, “don’t want Israel to even exist”. In contrast, Gashi believes that Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East and is a strong American ally.
Bowman is tied to other DSA-backed politicians like Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) and Ilhan Omar (D-MN), as he votes alongside them 98% of the time. Gashi thinks that Tlaib and Omar have made many anti-Semitic comments, such as Tlaib’s screed that Jews and Zionists profit from racism “from Gaza to Detroit,” and Omar’s comments about Jews buying control of Congress and hypnotizing the world. He finds their comments “deeply racist” and offensive.
Regarding Bowman co-sponsoring the May 2022 Tlaib-led legislation that called the founding of Israel a ‘Nakba’ (catastrophe), Gashi said that sponsors of such legislation do not believe Israel has the right to exist. He said he arrived at such a conclusion from being informed about how Serbs treated Kosovo. Serbs believed Kosovo to be “nothing more than a parking lot,” an empty vessel without meaning or ownership, much the way some anti-Israel people continue to look at the Jewish State today. He noted that the founding of many countries included wars and displacements but that doesn’t mean the new country shouldn’t exist.
Gashi did not have a strong opinion about “settlements.” He noted that he saw some when he visited friends in Israel several years ago, with many being fully established towns which are a far cry from what the name implies, which is a couple of shacks. He offered no opinion about whether they are legal or whether UN Resolution 2334 was appropriate.
As it relates to a number of other regional issues such as the Taylor Force Act and the Palestinian Authority’s desire for a consulate in Jerusalem, Gashi knew little about the topics.
United Nations / Iran
Gashi worked for the United Nations in Kosovo for a number of years and believes that the organization is an “unwieldy animal” with many difficult actors like Russia, however, Gashi believes that there is opportunity for the United Nations to be a positive force. During our interview, Gashi noted he was not familiar with the many resolutions and committees within the United Nations that attack the Jewish State but seemed interested to learn more.
Regarding the Iranian nuclear deal, Gashi said that “Iran achieving nuclear capacity would be a terrible outcome and needs to be opposed every which way we can, if not diplomatically, then by other means”. He added that “it is an existential problem”.
Anti-Semitism / Religion
Gashi was not familiar with the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism but stressed that “words are important.” Drawing on his experience in Kosovo, he shared that politicians were reluctant to use the term “genocide” because it would compel certain actions, even though avoiding its usage “led to more ethnic cleansing” in his home country. He did not know why President Biden agreed to the IHRA definition and then refused to enact it for Title VI to protect Jewish and Zionist students on campuses, until December 2022, which is after mid-term elections.
Gashi was also unfamiliar with Senator Diane Feinstein grilling of Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett saying “the dogma lives loudly within you and that’s of concern,” as it related to ACB’s Catholic beliefs, suggesting it would possibly disqualify her for office. He said that “all manners of good and bad deeds have been attributed to religiosity. Religiosity in and of itself, is neither good nor bad. Faith, in general, is a good thing.” He did say that Feinstein’s comment was inappropriate.
Schools / Police
Gashi would not engage in a discussion about charter schools or monies for parochial schools. He seemed more concerned about upsetting teacher unions and keeping funding inside of the public school system. Whether he would tackle the issue of prioritizing educating children rather than winning support of powerful unions remains to be seen, as he would not voice an opinion going into a Democratic primary where he is competing against a radical socialist who was formerly a teacher.
Gashi did come after Bowman about his stance to “Defund the Police.” He felt that Bowman’s endorsement of the socialist platform was dangerous for the district and country. He added that Bowman continues to lie about his comments and vote on the manner, much as Bowman clearly lied to his constituents about supporting the infrastructure bill when he voted against it.
Gashi presents as a left-leaning politician, yet far to the right and much more honest than Bowman. He is not well-versed in various issues of concern to the Jewish people in his district but seems eager to learn and approach the issues thoughtfully.
On June 1, 2022, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken issued a press release “Commemorating Pride Month.” In his comments he said that “the U.S. Department of State recommits to protecting and promoting the human rights of LGBTQI+ persons around the world.“
Does it really?
The US Embassy in Israel put the Blinken press release on its website. It even added a rainbow logo with “Pride 2022” beneath “U.S. Embassy Jerusalem” in the article.
Yet there wasn’t a single other US embassy anywhere in the entire Middle East and North Africa region (MENA) that reposted the pride press release. Not in Egypt. Not in Jordan. Not in Iraq. Not in Saudi Arabia.
According to the Williams Institute that did a country ranking of LGBT acceptance, Israel ranked as the 44th most accepting country. Egypt ranked 159. Jordan was 167. Iraq was 94.
“Palestine” was ranked at 130 and was called out as one of five lands that had “very little change in acceptance between 2010 and 2020.“
It would seem that the United States will only work at “protecting and promoting the human rights of LGBTQI+ persons” in countries that already protect and promote human rights.
The Islamic spiritual leader of Iran, Ayatollah Khamenei, addressed the Muslim world on May 7, 2021 to inspire them to reject any peaceful relations with the Jewish State and its supporters. He said that “Israel is not a state, but a terrorist camp against the Palestinian people and other Muslim peoples” and that “Muslim and Christian scholars must declare that normalization is forbidden by Sharia.” He encouraged Palestinian youth to battle the “usurping entity” and urged the 14 million Palestinians around the world to return to “the Holy Land” to decide “the fate of the [Jewish] foreign settlers.“
The focus of this [Muslim] unity should be internal jihad and distrust of enemies. And Palestinian politics should not depend on the main enemy of the Palestinians, namely America, the British and the vile Zionists.
Islamic spiritual leader of Iran, Ayatollah Khamenei, May 7, 2021
Khamenei concluded his remarks calling for waging war: “The Palestinian Mujahideen [militant jihadists] must ably continue their legitimate and moral struggle against the usurping entity [Israel] until this entity acquiesced [surrenders].“
These sentiments were echoed in California by the San Francisco Executive Director of the Council of American Islamic Relations (CAIR), Zahra Billoo, six months later. While addressing the American Muslims for Palestine conference, she made clear that all Zionists are enemies. “Know your enemies, and I’m not going to sugar-coat that. They are your enemies. There are organizations and infrastructure out there who are working to harm you. Make no mistake of it. They would sell you down the line if they could, and they very often do behind your back. I mean the Zionist organizations, I mean the foreign policy organizations that say they’re not Zionists but want a two-state solution. I’m not a Palestinian myself but it’s my understanding that that is laughable. So know your enemies.” Billoo listed some of them: “We need to pay attention to the Anti-Defamation League. We need to pay attention to the Jewish Federation. We need to pay attention to the Zionist synagogues. We need to pay attention to the Hillel chapters on our campuses. Because just because they’re your friend today, doesn’t mean that they have your back when it comes to human rights. So oppose the vehement fascists but oppose the polite Zionists too. They are not your friends.“
Billoo continued that “We have to connect the dots between the organizations that promote Zionist agendas, materials, marketing and legislation are the same ones that want to ban Muslims, are the same ones that want to pass anti-sharia legislation.“
CAIR came out strongly to support Billoo’s remarks, stating it “continue[s] to proudly stand by Zahra and all American Muslim leaders who face smears and threats because they dare to express an opinion about Palestinian human rights.”
A Massachusetts-based socialist extremist group that stands against “the colonization of Palestine, US imperialism, policing, displacement, and other interlocking systems of oppression” produced an anti-Semitic “Mapping Project,” which embraced the anti-normalization of any Zionist – person or organization. The group falsely claimed that “institutional support for the colonization of Palestine is structurally tied to policing and systemic white supremacy.” It listed names and addresses of organizations like Yachad New England which helps individuals with disabilities. The site called out this aid organization as “complicit in propaganda/normalization of Zionism.” It included Yachad’s address so extremists can easily track down and target disabled Jews.
Amalek would blush.
Socialists have bonded with Islamic extremists in Iran and the United States in calling for a jihad against anyone who supports the rights of Jews to live in the Jewish holy land and to have self-determination. These jihadists are branding Zionists and their supporters as enemies not just to Palestinians, but to the entire world.
Anti-normalization is now enshrined in Sharia and Progressive law, and is coming to a community near you.
There is perhaps nothing as shocking and horrible as the murder of young children at school.
The United States has seen and mourned the tragedy too often, most recently at Uvalde, TX where an 18-year old killed 19 students and two teachers. Ten people were killed and 13 wounded in 2018 when a 17-year old shot people in a high school in Santa Fe, TX. In February of that year, a 19-year old killed 17 and injured the same number at a high school in Parkland, FL, and a month earlier, a 15-year old killed two students and injured 18 others in Marshall County, KY.
Not all of the shooters in the school attacks are teenagers. Almost all are male and every attack was committed by “lone wolves” acting out of hatred or mental distress.
Society has uniformly mourned the innocent victims, even while debating how to deal with the terrible violence. The loss of young lives is a shocking amputation for the families, a scar on society.
Civil society is appalled at the senseless violence. It ponders how to treat mental sickness and retard the hatred of killers and would-be murderers, methods to keep armaments out of those hands, and ways to better protect vulnerable schools. The media and public officials even consider not mentioning killers’ names or publishing any ‘manifestos’, in the hopes that it will dissuade other killers.
At least in the United States. That’s not the tactic the world applies to slaughtered children in Israel.
Palestinian Arab terrorists have long targeted Jewish children for murder. Palestinian society celebrates the slaughter and the world excuses those murderers.
Consider the May 1974 attack in Ma’alot, in northern Israel. Several Palestinian men coordinated an attack (not a lone person with mental illness) which took 115 people, including 105 children, hostage at the Netiv Meir Elementary School. The two-day rampage left 31 Israelis dead (including 22 children) and 70 injured.
The three armed Palestinian terrorists were members of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP). The leader of the DFLP, Nayef Hawatmeh, was awarded the “Star of Honor” for his contribution to Palestinian society by Mahmoud Abbas, the acting president of the Palestinian Authority (PA).
“By the authority vested in us, and for the public good, we have decreed the following: ‘Brother Nayef Hawatmeh is decorated with the highest order of the Star of Honor in recognition of his important national role in service of the Palestinian cause and the Palestinian people, and in recognition of his efforts to raise the flag of Palestine since the launch of the Palestinian revolution, through the stages of the ongoing struggle. [Signed by] Mahmoud Abbas, President of the State of Palestine.“
Another Palestinian terrorist group, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) also attacked a school in northern Israel in April 1974. The Kiryat Shmona massacre killed 18 Israelis, including 8 children. The three Palestinian Arab murderers were killed at that time.
Marking the 42nd anniversary of the massacre, the official PA newspaper celebrated the attack and called out the terrorists heroes: “The heroes [of the operation] were the Martyrs Munir Mughrabi ‘Abu Shaker’, a Palestinian born in 1954, Ahmad Mahmoud ‘Abu Shaker’, a Syrian born in Halab in 1954, and Yassin Al-Hourani ‘Abu Hadi’, who was born in southern Iraq in 1954.“
Palestinian Arabs have also targeted school buses carrying Jewish children. In May 1970, Arabs fired rocket-propelled grenades at a bus which killed twelve people, including nine schoolchildren. In April 2011, the political-terrorist group Hamas fired a laser-guided anti-tank missile at a school bus, killing a young child.
Hamas has killed hundreds of Israeli civilians, including bombing the Hebrew University cafeteria in 2002, killing nine people, including 5 Americans. The attack was celebrated with hundreds of Palestinians pouring into the streets of Gaza City, vowing more attacks. The Palestinians love and support Hamas, with over half supporting the terrorist group and likely to elect the Hamas leader president of the PA, should elections ever be held.
In 2015, a United States court found the PA liable for supporting the terrorist attacks and ordered to pay $218 million to the victims, which was tripled due to its being related to terrorism. The courts ultimately threw out the ruling because Americans weren’t specifically targeted and the attacks did not happen on US soil.
While the fines were deemed inappropriate to enforce, the judgment which concluded that the PA was behind attacks on schools and civilians remains valid. Yet President Biden plans on meeting with PA President Abbas next month in any event. A representative of the European Union said yesterday that Israelis are to blame for Palestinian terrorism, as young Palestinians see homes being demolished, as he ignored the glorification of murderers at Palestinian schools.
How can the world mourn the killing of young American children at school by lone gunmen, while simultaneously excusing the slaughter of Jewish children by organized Palestinian political and terrorist groups?