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New study on anti-Zionism's gains in U.S. discourse sounds like reefer madness: There's an "Islamo-leftist" coalition of progressives allying with Muslims associated with "Muslim Brotherhood organizations" that are "driven by a vision of establishing an Islamic Caliphate." Who knew!
Here’s a disturbing blip from late last year. The Reut Group is a Tel Aviv thinktank that has often advised American Israel lobby groups on how to wage the propaganda war, and it has a new study out saying that the “Jewish establishment” must work to marginalize Jewish progressives who are critical of Israel, because they threaten Israeli national security by undermining Jewish consensus on Israel and sapping the strength of the Israel lobby.
That’s a familiar theme for the Zionists these days, but Reut takes it to the conspiratorial realm by saying that progressives are allied with conservative Muslims associated with “Muslim Brotherhood organizations” that are “driven by a vision of establishing an Islamic Caliphate.” And those Muslims are gaining power in the U.S. — look at two “radical” Muslims in Congress, Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar.
In its crude portrayal of the Muslim Brotherhood’s efforts to influence the “American political elite,” the new study has a conspiratorial, Islamophobic air. Just consider the clumsy title: “The Red Green Alliance is Coming to America: The impact of the Islamo-Leftist Coalition on US Jewry & Foreign Policy, & Israel’s National Security.”
I didn’t even know about Islamo-leftism!
The report begins in an alarmist manner by asserting that there’s a “radical shift” underway in US policy towards its allies in the Middle East. For decades the U.S. was committed to “aggressive anti-terrorism activity” and “the promotion of democracy” and “nation-building” and both political parties agreed we should be the “global policeman.” But now the U.S. is dramatically reducing its military presence.
Why is this happening? Because of the “deepening political and social alliance between progressive radical entities and entities that are identified with political Islam, in particular entities that are identified with the Muslim Brotherhood ideology.” Islamo-leftism!
The study soon brings in intersectionality and identity politics– and of course the “rise of critical race theory” too. Because of these trends in leftwing thinking, Jews are now categorized as white and privileged, with responsibility in the power structure, and the result is “Jewish-Israeli erasure in the progressive discourse.” (Very much the pro-Israel argument that political consultant Alexis Grenell made in The Nation last week.) Even Jewish progressives have taken this new order to heart, and they “undermine” Jewish “identity, values, narrative, and relations with Israel.”
These changes in Jewish identity are hurting the Israel lobby by challenging “community cohesion and Jewish political criticalness.” Israel can no longer count on the community as a whole. But Reut calls on the “Jewish establishment” and “philanthropists” — i.e., older wealthy Jews who love Israel — to rebuild Jewish identity “on the basis of a vision of peoplehood,” i.e., Zionism.
The Jewish community is too polarized to expect a ‘total’ Jewish mobilization, but it is possible to mobilize a critical mass… This critical mass should comprise a mix that includes the Jewish establishment, community relations organizations, philanthropists, non-establishment center and left organizations, and ‘communities in the making’ (such as the Israeli, Russian, and ‘non-white’ populations)…
Reut says that many Jews see Israel as a “liability,” and Jewish organizations are walking away from Israel.
Israel has become a wedge issue in Jewish communities, due to the erosion of Israel’s image in their eyes as a peace seeking, pluralistic, and democratic country.Many Jews see Israel’s conduct as a threat on their identity and standing as American citizens, and increasingly experience Israel turning from an asset to a liability. In this reality, many organizations are reducing their allocation of resources to Israel and their activities related to Israel, and many even encourage complete disassociation from dealing with Israel.
Some Jews lead the BDS campaign, while others don’t wish to oppose it.
Even when they do not feel comfortable with the boycott campaign against Israel, many Jews choose not to oppose it publically, because of their ambivalence towards Israel. Moreover, there are many Jews who are leading the boycott campaign against Israel and even sharply criticize the Jewish establishment for its support of Israel,
That’s a national security threat to Israel.
The gap between Israel and mainstream American Jews undermines the legitimacy of Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people, and the progressive discourse undermines also the right of Jews to national self-determination.
Reut and I agree about this: Israel depends on the prosperity of American Jews who can influence U.S. policy.
The relationship with the US to a large degree rests on the connection between American Jews and Israel. One of the key drivers of the special relationship between the US and Israel is the political influence, power and prosperity of American Jews. Therefore, beyond the consideration of core values, relations with American Jews have important security, diplomatic, and financial dimension to Israel.
Back to the Islamophobic part… The Muslim Brotherhood is not popular here but organizations associated with the Brotherhood try to cultivate the American “elite,” Reut says.
[M]ost Muslims in America do not identify with the Muslim Brotherhood agenda… The decision to focus on building organizations, which ain [sic] is to establish relations with the American political elite, is a compensation for the lack of general support in Muslim communities.
You probably didn’t know, but many American progressive leaders support suicide bombing, thanks to the Muslim Brotherhood:
Even the most liberal American leaders identified with the Muslim Brotherhood promote an anti-Israel agenda, and most consider Israel to be a colonial entity born in sin, and justify, for example, suicide bombings against Israelis
The Muslim Brotherhood organizations had a “low point” during the Trump administration but they see Biden’s election “as a historic opportunity.” And the delay that progressives in the House caused in Iron Dome funding in September shows that the Muslim Brotherhood is now “at the peak of their power” and in “a unique position to have a real influence on US foreign policy.”
They want to reestablish the caliphate:
The Muslim Brotherhood has a conservative and fundamentalist Islamist’s agenda and is driven by a vision of establishing an Islamic Caliphate…
They’re colluding with the progressive wing of the Democratic Party and are exploiting social networks and diplomatic openings “financed by Qatar and Turkey” to change the U.S. discourse and try to gain a foothold for anti-Zionism in Washington. Though they are still “marginal” in the Biden White House, progressives are everywhere else, Reut says. This sounds like reefer madness:
They have become dominant in many important centers of power in the US, including politics, the defense forces, legal system, universities, the education system, media, Silicon Valley, and even in trade unions.
There is nothing in the report about Israel changing its conduct. Nothing about the occupation, nothing about giving Palestinians a right to vote, nothing about the racist Nation-State law of 2018 which precipitated Human Rights Watch’s apartheid judgment last year. No, Israel’s image has changed because the U.S. has changed. The Jewish establishment needs to go to war against progressives:
The order of the day of the entire Jewish establishment and Jewish community organizations is to vigorously and broadly go against the Jewish-Israeli erasure in the progressive discourse.
Reut’s answer is a lot like Democratic Majority for Israel’s answer, and the American Jewish Committee’s. “Rehabilitate” the Democratic Party’s support for Israel and solidify the Jewish establishment to keep the Islamo-leftists at bay.
Because the Israel lobby is essential. “Rebuilding and rehabilitating support for Israel across the political spectrum must be a strategic objective.”
The special relationship with the US has become one of the pillars of Israel’s national security. There are diverse reasons and motives for it, including shared values, interests, and the work of the US Jewish community. The Jewish-Israeli erasure in the progressive discourse is challenging these special relations.
I think Reut is also right about this part: that the Israel lobby’s power depends on the cohesion of the Jewish community. Right now, politicians fear they will lose the Jewish vote/Jewish donors if they go against Israel. But if the Jewish community is widely seen as splintered on Israel, the lobby loses its power and politicians will be free to vote as they please.
One of the factors that made the special relationship between the US and Israel possible was the political capital of American Jewish communal organizations. But such organizations can only claim that they represent the Jewish community on issues for which there is a community consensus. The progressive discourse undermines the unity of the Jewish community, harming its ability to achieve such a consensus, especially on disputed subjects. The progressive discourse therefore undermines pro-Israeli voices.
To keep Israel support bipartisan, the lobby needs to reach young alienated Jews.
Building a political center could serve as a platform through which it will be possible to reach many young Jews who are alienated from Israel, because this will create coalitions and platforms for constructive debate on disputed issues, in contrast to the current reality in which there is almost a complete disconnect between the Jewish right and left, and between many young Jews and the Jewish establishment.
One other point of interest. Reut shares my view, that the Israel lobby serves as a global influencer/gatekeeper. Countries perceive that to get ahead in Washington they need to get right with Israel:
[T]he perception that the road to Washington passes through Jerusalem still holds sway in the Middle East. Stereotypes of the power, money, and influence of the American Jewish community have turned Israel into an object of diplomatic courtship and contributed to the creation of the image of Israeli power. Foreign leaders court Jerusalem. Even now, the image of Israeli power among its friends and foes in the Middle East is derived from the special relationship with the US, which is still of great importance in the Middle East.
The lobby plainly cultivates these “stereotypes,” so that Israel is courted. And those stereotypes may actually be true: i.e., Sheldon Adelson did turn Trump into his “perfect little puppet,” as Trump once characterized Adelson’s influence on a rival.
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