On April 25, The New York Times published – and a week later finally disavowed – a blatantly anti-Semitic cartoon. In depicts Prime Minister Netanyahu as a dog with a Star of David dangling from his collar leading a blind President Trump sporting a yarmulke.
The Times editors acknowledged their error in printing the cartoon and said it fears it reflects the contemporary “creep” of anti-Semitism. In its apology, though, the Times’ editors cherry pick their criminals. Thus, they highlight “white nationalists” as perpetrators of hate while largely confining minority groups to the role of victims.
The gunman who killed a Jewish woman at the Chabad of Poway on the last day of Passover is, thus, a “white nationalist,” according to the Times – white nationalism apparently being what motivated the shooter. But the manifesto the gunman posted online features classic Christian anti-Semitism. Addressing “my brothers in Christ,” he warns that the Jew “will attempt to corrupt your soul with the sin and perversion he spews” and reminds everyone that they can only find protection in the Christian savior.
The Times also ignores the seminal role of black nationalists and their numerous acolytes in spreading anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist libels from the 1960s to the present. Nor do the editors mention the prominent role played by Muslims on campuses across the country through the Organization of Arab Students (OAS) and, more recently, the Muslim Student Union (MSU) and Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), all of which engage in endless, determined efforts to dehumanize the Jewish people and delegitimize the Jewish state.
It is, however, not just those who identify as progressives who don blinders when faced with Muslim anti-Semitism. In an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal the same day the Times’ cartoon was added to the anti-Semitic mix, the conservative Karl Rove – former senior advisor and assistant to President George W. Bush – also obscured the nature of the elephant in the middle of the room.
Strangely, he did this even as he condemned Minnesota Congresswoman Ilhan Omar’s dismissive characterization of the 9/11 attacks as “some people did something” and denounced her stream of unmistakably anti-Semitic invective.
In criticizing Omar, Rove praised his former boss’s response to 9/11. Bush said the “acts of violence against innocents violate the fundamental tenets of the Islamic faith” and added that “Muslims all across the world” were appalled. Rove went on to claim that by quoting the Koran – “In the long run, evil in the extreme will be the end of those who do evil” – Bush showed that “Islam is peace” and terrorists are “perverting the Muslim faith.”
In fact, the Koranic quote – which Bush and his writers carefully truncated – does not support the former president’s conclusion, a conclusion which, in fact, prevented Rove from recognizing some of the roots of Omar’s anti-Jewish venom. Notably, the omitted portion of the quote identifies “those who do evil” as those who “rejected the Signs of Allah and held them up to ridicule.”
It is not terrorists, but Jews – the “descendants of apes and pigs” – whom the Koran singles out as those who rejected or “disbelieved the Signs of Allah” and “held them up to ridicule.” According to the Koran, it was the Jews – because they were “puffed up with pride” – who dared deny the truth of the “final revelation granted to Muhammad” and whom Allah therefore promised “degradation in this world and a mighty chastisement in the next world.”
It was the Jews toward whom Allah was “severe in retaliation,” commanding Muhammad to have all the men of the Jewish Qurayzah tribe beheaded, the women and children sold into slavery, and their possessions distributed among Muslims.
It is these facts that the progressive editors of the Times evade and the conservative Bush and Rove obscure.
Recently, 250 prominent French intellectuals and political figures issued a statement demanding the excision of those verses of the Koran that call for “the killing and punishment of Jews” as well as “Christians and unbelievers.” But given that Islam teaches that the Koran consists of the actual words of Allah, it is difficult to imagine how they can be expunged.
Still, those of us who recognize the absurdity and the danger of the libels about the Jewish people and the Jewish state that have come to saturate many campuses and media outlets must insist – again and again – on exposing all the roots of contemporary anti-Semitism that “progressive” ideology have done so much to bury, distort, and deny.