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Intersectionality and Anti-Semitism: Complementary Ideologies

March 21 2018

Having moved out of academic theorizing into left-wing political activism, “intersectionality”—the idea that all struggles against injustice must be related to one another—has now made its way into the mainstream. Sohrab Ahmari notes that those who frequently appeal to intersectionality have a tendency not only to ignore anti-Semitism when it “intersects” with other forms of prejudice, but to be hostile to the Jewish state and even Jews in general. He believes this is not a coincidence:

Precisely because it is a theory of generalized victimhood, intersectionality targets the Jews—the 20th century’s ultimate victims. Acknowledging the Jews’ profound claims to victimhood would force the intersectional left to admit the existential necessity of the state of Israel. But the intersectional left is not prepared to do so because, under intersectionality’s rules, . . . Israel [is] prejudged an outpost of Western colonialism. Therefore, the Jews cannot possibly be allowed to “win” the intersectional victimhood Olympics.

Intersectionality, moreover, allows its proponents to apply hideous double standards when judging between Israel and its enemies. Judged against a fair and universal standard, the Jewish state comes out looking very good indeed, especially when one takes into consideration the fact that it has been at war since its founding. But the intersectional left dreams of perfect justice without a standard of justice. It can, therefore, condemn the sole democracy in the Middle East while ignoring or whitewashing the far worse crimes of its enemies. And even the most progressive aspects of Israeli society count against it in the victimhood Olympics.

Finally, Jewish victimhood, whether at the hands of the Nazis or the Soviets, requires the intersectional left to admit that, by contrast, and for all their faults, the Western democracies (including Israel) are pretty decent, even admirable. But again, the intersectional left is committed to the opposite idea—that everywhere in the West, there are hidden “structures of oppression” that trap minorities along the lines of race, gender, and sexuality. Thus, again, the Jews will lose the intersectional victimhood Olympics.

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More about: Anti-Semitism, Anti-Zionism, Politics & Current Affairs, Postmodernism

Germany’s Bid to Keep Israel off the UN Security Council

March 21 2018

The Jewish state has never held a temporary seat on the United Nations Security Council. For the first 50 years of its existence, it was denied membership in any of the UN’s regional groups, which control candidacies for these rotating seats. Then it was finally admitted to the Western European and Others Group, which promptly agreed to wait another twenty years before approving Jerusalem for a Security Council candidacy. Now, Benny Avni notes, Germany is poised to block action:

As a good-faith gesture, the Western European and Others Group promised Israel that it and Belgium would run uncontested for the two open 2019-20 [Security Council] seats. Then, in 2016, Germany announced it would also run—even though it already served as a council member [multiple times, including] as recently as 2011-12. . . . [U]nless Belgium yields, Israel’s hopes for UN respect seem doomed for now—and maybe for the foreseeable future.

Why? Diplomats have been telling me Israel violates too many Security Council resolutions to be a member—as in the one passed during the last weeks of Barack Obama’s presidency, which marked Jewish holy sites as occupied Palestinian territory. But is building a porch in [the West Bank town of] Ma’ale Adumim really such a huge threat to world peace?

How about, then, a report released last week by UN experts on the Security Council’s North Korea sanctions? It found Germany violated a council ban on sparkling wines, exporting $151,840 worth of bubbly and other luxury goods to Kim Jong Un’s cronies. Or how about, as the Jerusalem Post’s Benjamin Weinthal reports, German companies exporting to Iran banned materials that were later used in chemical attacks in Syria?

Never mind. Germany (and Belgium) will surely benefit from the UN’s habit of magnifying Israel’s violations beyond all proportion. Thus, Israel’s petition to join the most prestigious UN club will likely be rejected, thanks to a late entry by a shameless [and] cynical German power play against the Jewish state.

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More about: Germany, Israel & Zionism, Israeli-German relations, United Nations