The new Israeli government that is likely to be approved later this month features a broad coalition of parties, from left to right, and includes an Arab Muslim party.
It is a timely retort to the false accusation that Israel is an “apartheid” state, a lie that has gained traction on the American left because it suits the “intersectionality” of the racial identity politics that dominate today’s Democratic Party. Israel’s Arabs not only have the vote, but now also wield significant political power.
If Israel’s critics were sincere, they would welcome the new Israeli government, especially in the wake of the recent war with Palestinian Hamas terrorists, during which mob violence broke out between Arabs and Jews in some Israeli towns.
Democrats should be particularly effusive in their displays of friendship toward Israel, given that they claimed for years that Benjamin Netanyahu and his Likud Party, who will leave office, were the reasons they could not love the place.
But Democrats will not embrace Israel, post-Netanyahu. With a few exceptions, they will continue to shun it.
That has little to do with Israel, and everything to do with what the Democratic Party has become: a radical, race-obsessed party.
Today’s Democrats believe the United States is a fundamentally racist country.
“The original sin of slavery weaved white supremacy into our founding documents and principles,” UN Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield said in a speech in April.
The core purpose of President Joe Biden’s administration is to overcome that “systemic racism” through the pursuit of what he calls “equity,” which means giving special consideration to those groups perceived as having less than others.
Biden’s old boss, President Barack Obama, illustrated what that approach would mean in the context of the Middle East when he addressed a group of students in Israel in 2013. “It is not fair that a Palestinian child cannot grow up in a state of their own,” he said.
In fact, both Jews and Arabs had a fair chance to create states of their own. That was the purpose of the UN partition plan in 1947.
But the Palestinian Arabs tried to destroy Israel rather than build their own state. After they failed, they continued to pursue their national ambitions through terrorism. And whenever they have been offered a chance for peace, they rejected it.
The fact that Palestinians do not have a state is the result of their own choices. That seems “fair.” But to the left, “fairness” is simply about who has something, and who does not — not why that is the case.
“Fairness” is also about race, with a moral continuum, in ascending order, from white to black — and the left has decided Jews are “white.”
Never mind that Jews are racially diverse, particularly in Israel with dark-skinned Mizrachi Jews and a significant Ethiopian Jewish population. The left has imposed, in colonial fashion, a first-world racial template on the Middle East. Jews in the West tend to be of European origin; hence Israelis are “white” and Palestinians are “black.”
That is why Democrats — including President Biden — were slow to criticize the wave of antisemitism that swept the U.S. last month. The perpetrators were not right-wing extremists or white supremacist, but largely pro-Palestinian activists. Criticizing their Jew-hatred is as difficult for the left as criticizing the anti-white racism of Black Lives Matter.
For similar reasons, many left-wing Jews are committed to criticizing Israel — regardless of what Israel does, right or wrong. It is a part of “owning your privilege,” a ritual display of self-effacement that affirms loyalty to the party and its ideology.
Steve Sheffey, a left-wing activist who is now an adviser to the Jewish Democratic Council of America, claimed Thursday that “commitment to Israel’s safety and security sometimes requires criticism of Israeli policies.” Which policies? He did not say, because it does not matter to the left. It is the critical posture that is most important.
Israeli politics is also afflicted by these displays of “wokeness,” though less so over the past two decades, faced with the reality of suicide bombers and rockets that do not distinguish between left-wing and right-wing civilians (or between Jews and Arabs). Hence the only government that could replace Netanyahu had to at least pretend to be further to the right.
That new government will have the same approach as Netanyahu toward the Palestinians, and the Iran deal, because the core issue is not “Israeli policies,” but defending the right of Israel to exist. It is a right that the “progressive” base of the Democratic Party is increasingly willing to challenge, in public.
Whatever benefit a Jewish-Arab government provides for coexistence in Israel, it will not mollify Israel’s opponents in the U.S. They will invent new reasons to hate it.
The one way to overcome that hatred is through strength.
For four years, while President Donald Trump was in office, not only did Israel enjoy relative peace and quiet, but the anti-Israel radicals who became ubiquitous on college campuses and in street demonstrations during the Obama-Biden administration also seemed to disappear from view.
When Trump moved the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, the only demonstrations were staged by Hamas terrorists at the Gaza border fence.
Weakness, not strength, provokes opposition.
Israel’s likely new government could strengthen the country’s internal cohesion by bringing Jews and Arabs together. It could also bolster emerging alliances between Israel and the Arab world, which will strengthen Israel in the region. The new government should, theoretically, evoke praise from Israel’s Western critics.
But will it?
Americans will see, in the coming days, who really cares about Israel, and peace.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the new e-book, The Zionist Conspiracy (and how to join it). His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.