Ledger editorial engages in one-sided outrage
No matter who you voted for in this past election, the Nov. 18 editorial by the Ledger’s Editorial Advisory Board (“Uncharted Territory”) should raise the hackles of anyone who respects fair play, and has even a passing familiarity with the Holocaust.
In focusing its fear on Steve Bannon, Donald Trump’s choice for chief strategist and currently editor of the Breitbart News website, the Ledger Board engages in the cafeteria politics of selective outrage – picking and choosing who on which to bestow its award for antisemitism and Nazi-like ideology.
Never mind Bannon is a steadfast combatant of BDS, strongly opposed the Iran nuclear agreement, and joined with the Zionist Organization of America in fighting the antisemitic rallies at CUNY [City University of New York], the Board incredibly ignores the unmistakable vituperation and odious sentiments toward Jews and Israel of Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison, the choice of Chuck Schumer and Harry Reid to chair the Democratic National Committee. Ellison was a long-standing member of the unabashedly antisemitic Nation of Islam and acolyte of Louis Farrakhan, the latter a tireless hate-monger and critic of Israel, and defender of cop killers, who has referred to Judaism as a “gutter religion.” It has further been reported Ellison maintains strong ties with Muslim Brotherhood-related groups, like the Council on American Islamic Relations and Islamic Society of North America, both unindicted co-conspirators in the Holy Land Foundation terror funding trial.
As if in a folie a deux, the Ledger Board shares the same monomaniacal trepidation with the Anti-Defamation League, which similarly raised the paranoia flag about Bannon, while surrendering any negative comments about Ellison. Unfortunately, members of the Ledger Board showed they are in thrall to their impulses of self-righteousness rather than to self-interests of the Jewish community.
Joel S. Pachter, Ph.D.
Antisemitism is bipartisan
Re: the Nov. 18 editorial, “Uncharted Territory,” while Donald Trump’s election would have been shocking a month before the election, it shouldn’t have shocked anyone after the letter from FBI Director James Comey turned the dynamics of the election campaign completely around.
The same editorial was incorrect in asserting “America has not seen open and organized antisemitism since the 1930s.”
America has been in the midst of a vicious antisemitic campaign for years: the well-known, well-financed BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) campaign. While some of the followers in the movement may be ignorant dupes, the founders and leaders have been quite clear that their goal is the destruction of Israel. For example, the most prominent founder of the BDS movement, Marwan Barghouti, has bragged “Definitely, most definitely we oppose a Jewish state in any part of Palestine. No Palestinian, rational Palestinian, not a sell-out Palestinian, will ever accept a Jewish state in Palestine.”
This puts the lie to any alleged claims BDS has anything to do with opposition to policies of a particular Israeli government; rather, it makes clear the goal is to deny to the Jewish people what’s assumed to be the right of all other peoples, a sovereign nation-state of their own.
This election campaign was by far the most divisive I’ve ever seen. Almost everyone I know, both in America and Israel, vociferously expressed the view either that he or she couldn’t understand how anyone could possibly vote for Donald Trump or that he or she couldn’t understand how anyone could possibly vote for Hillary Clinton. Regardless of how the vote went, it was clear roughly half the country would be bitterly disappointed.
Now, we all need to come together and do what we can to make sure the incoming administration succeeds. The country will be better served if we wait at least until next year before we all start tearing the country apart again in anticipation of the 2020 presidential election.
We also need to acknowledge we live in an age where antisemitism is bipartisan, coming from fanatics on both the extreme left and the extreme right.