Originally written May 19, 2021
As rocket fire continues to pound Israeli cities in the latest series of attacks from Hamas, the Biden administration is attempting to straddle the fence between the mainstream American and the extreme Left flank of the Democratic Party. Biden today called on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to “de-escalate” the attacks on Hamas, as if Israel really wants to be drawn into a long conflict while her citizens hide underground.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken is also putting political pressure on Israel, but some of his language violates the State Department’s own definition of anti-semitism. Blinken, as reported by i24 news in Israel, said, “”I think Israel has an extra burden in trying to do everything they possibly can to avoid civilian casualties, even as it is rightfully responding in defense of its people.”
The question for Blinken is, an “extra-burden” compared to whom? Could it be compared to Hamas, which has no burden to avoid civilian casualties, as they fire indiscriminately into civilian areas. Or could it be compared to other democracies worldwide, and how they would respond to such attacks?
This “extra burden” is something that the State Department itself recognizes as anti-Semitism. In the non-exhaustive list of examples of anti-Semitism, the State department concludes that, “Applying double standards by requiring of [the State of Israel] a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.”
Would any other democratic nation do what Israel has done to prevent civilian death? Israel deliberately gives up the element of surprise when they level buildings used by the enemy, by dropping leaflets, making phone calls, and first dropping warning bombs. Israel has sent its troops into harm’s way to go door to door to take out terrorists. Any other nation would have leveled a city block to remove one threat, let alone dozens.
So when Secretary Blinken says that Israel has an “extra burden”, which nation on Earth is he comparing Israel to? And since he’s comparing the two, isn’t he applying a “double standard… not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation?”
The Left has routinely violated this very guideline issued by the State department regarding anti-Semitic attacks. The Trump administration, in 2019, expanded the list in response to a House Resolution introduced by Ilhan Omar. When Omar included in the text of her resolution comparison of Boycotting Israel to boycotting Nazi germany, the State department added, “Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis,” to the list.
Today, throughout the United States, and specifically in New York, Boca Raton and Los Angeles, Jews are being attacked by Palestinian sympathizers simply because they are Jewish. While any politician with half a brain would condemn these attacks, will they say that they violate the State department definition, because the attackers are, “Holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the state of Israel.”
The Jewish people have endured anti-Semitic attacks throughout recorded history, and 2021 will be no different. But when these attacks originate from the top of the American government, in violation of its own definitions, that is a significant problem.
Moshe Hill is a political columnist and Senior Fellow at Chovevei Zion. You can find Moshe on his blog at www.aHillwithaView.com, facebook.com/aHillwithaView, or twitter.com/TheMoHill.