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An Update from CUFI Action Fund
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This week’s Action Update looks back at some of the obscene rhetoric we saw during the recent conflagration between Hamas and Israel, and assesses the consequences of that commentary in the context of the massive increase in antisemitism we’ve seen in recent days here in the US. But before we get into all of that, let’s start with a bit of positive analysis.

The Good

Americans stand with Israel. For decades, poll after poll shows that the US population recognizes that Israel is a kindred democracy which shares our values and serves as a vital ally to the United States in a very unfriendly part of the world.

This support for Israel stretches across partisan lines and it knows no socio-economic or racial boundaries. Being pro-Israel is as American as apple pie. And this reality was on full display during the recent conflict. Republican and Democratic leaders lined up to express their support for the Jewish state in its battle against the terrorist group Hamas.

President Biden, in the tradition of so many of his predecessors, conducted US foreign policy in a manner that ensured the international community’s disdain for Israel was kept at bay, and as a result, Israel had the time and space it needed to respond to Hamas and deliver a critical blow to the terrorists in Gaza.

The Bad

Sadly, fringe radicals like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortes attacked Israel and tried to block a US weapons sale to the Jewish state (they lost, the sale moved forward). This small but loud group of elected officials opposed Biden’s pro-Israel stance and condemned the Jewish state for defending her citizens from a terrorist group’s attempts to murder innocents. But that’s not all….

There are many examples of Israel-haters being aided and abetted in their mission by the press. And what became crystal clear during this conflict is that from AOC to the Washington Post there are those who actually believe that Israel is too good at protecting its citizens, and that this is a net negative. They claim that the Jewish state’s defensive weapons, such as its missile defense shield Iron Dome, are too effective. There’s no way around the fact that the core of this argument is that if more Israelis would just die, peace would breakout in the Middle East.

The Ugly

The late Irving Roth, a Holocaust survivor and educator whose memory is a blessing to us all, including the thousands of students with whom he shared his life story, once said “in begins with words.” He was right.

Not long after the fringe and radical elected officials screamed their condemnations of Israel on the floor of the House of Representatives and the press belied and lied about the Jewish state, from New York to Los Angeles, mobs of bigots began attacking Jews in the streets.

Of course, the Israel-haters will say they’re not antisemitic, just anti-Israel. They’ll condemn any connection between attacking the Jewish state and attacks on Jewish people. But here’s the simple truth, whether you’re from the BDS movement or the Proud Boys, whether the world calls you AOC or MTG, your anti-Jewish conspiracy theories and anti-Israel vitriol are simply different flavors of the same hatred.

Radicalism from the right or the left shares a number of things in common, chief among them, antisemitism. And leaders from the right or the left, share a common responsibility: condemn this bigotry at every turn.

Sincerely,

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