“We don’t hate the Jews. We just hate Israel,” a Queens shop owner from North Africa once told a member of the Chronicle’s editorial board as the two were discussing the endless horror show known as Mideast politics.
Don’t believe it. Our boy’s an anti-Semite. He’d love to see “Palestine free, from the river to the sea,” as the old mantra goes, meaning the disappearance of not just Israel but of all the Jews in it. Where would they go? Back to Europe, as the late media doyenne Helen Thomas once suggested? No. They wouldn’t go anywhere. They’d be dead. That’s the anti-Semite’s goal.
You can see it in the Democratic Socialists of America, with their request that candidates for the City Council who want their endorsement pledge not to visit Israel “in solidarity with Palestinians living under occupation.” They also expect the candidates to support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, which seeks to destroy Israel by destroying its economy. They’re too blind to see how that also would harm the Palestinian people because what keeps the Mideast economy strong is a combination of Arab oil and Israel ingenuity. And things should only get better with the diplomatic breakthrough achieved among Israel, the United Arab Emirates and the United States last week. Yet in the face of progress, the anti-Semite’s goal, as it has been throughout history, is to marginalize, weaken and decimate the Jews. It’s despicable.
Many in New York, which has more Jews than anyplace in the world outside Israel, recognize this. A group of more than 50 state assemblymembers said Tuesday that the DSA’s position is “offensive, antisemitic, and dangerous.” It added that the group should not be welcome in the halls of the Legislature.
And yet five DSA-backed candidates won Democratic Party primaries for that very Legislature in June, including one from Queens. Another winner here did not get the DSA endorsement but is a member. And of course they all follow on the success of DSA-backed U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
We doubt a political lurch to the left is wise, but at least it’s acceptable, unlike the DSA’s anti-Semitism. We urge the group and its supporters to purge this poison from their ranks before it’s too late.