“People Love Dead Jews: Reports from a Haunted Present” is the title of Dara Horn’s new book. I happened to receive a copy last week just as anti-Israeli members of Congress were doing their best to ensure the proliferation of more endearing corpses in the future.
In case you missed it: On Wednesday, members of the “Squad,” far-left House Democrats including Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, blocked a bill to keep the federal government operating until it was stripped of funds to replenish Israel’s Iron Dome.
To be clear: The Iron Dome is not a weapon. It is a shield. It intercepts and destroys short-range missiles before they can reach their intended victims.
Developed through a blossoming partnership that produces next-generation military technology for Israeli and U.S. warfighters, this miracle of engineering is now used to protect American troops as well.
The Iron Dome also defends Israelis who are not Jews. Say a missile strikes an Israeli hospital. Those inside will likely include Israeli Arabs, Muslims, Christians, Druze, and other minorities. They may be doctors, nurses, or patients because Israel has no laws separating by race, ethnicity, or religion.
In other words, Israel is not an apartheid state, although that’s the slander you now incessantly hear from the Squad and others intent on demonizing, delegitimizing, and, ultimately, destroying Israel.
The Iron Dome saves the lives of Gazans, too, because, without this missile defense system, Israelis would not sit quietly as Hamas, which rules Gaza, rained death on them. They’d counterattack hard and fast, which would make it difficult to minimize civilian casualties to the extraordinary extent Israelis have managed in past conflicts.
And since Hamas routinely employs Palestinians as human shields – an egregious violation of American and international law but beneficial for its public relations efforts – Gaza would soon resemble Syria, Yemen, and Libya (countries from which, incidentally, millennia-old Jewish communities have been “cleansed”).
Returning to the apartheid slander: It’s a twist on the “Zionism is racism” resolution first promulgated by Israel-haters at the U.N. General Assembly in 1975. Repealed overwhelmingly in 1991, it was revived at a U.N. conference in Durban in 2001.
Zionism implies nothing more than the right of the Jewish people to self-determination in part of their ancient homeland. And, as anyone who has walked down a street in Jerusalem knows, Israelis come in all colors, including black Jews from Africa and brown Jews from India and Pakistan.
Last week, the U.N. sponsored another Durban conference. Three dozen nations boycotted rather than participate in one more festival of Israel-bashing and antisemitism. Many of the nations that did attend are egregious abusers of fundamental human rights.
The U.N. General Assembly was in session last week, too, and among those speaking was the newly appointed foreign minister of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Hossein Amir Abdollahian. He utilized both new and old slanders, saying he was “honored to announce that my nation’s willpower is dedicated to the total elimination of all forms of racial discrimination, including apartheid and Zionism.” In other words, Tehran’s goal is the “elimination” of Israel. Its nuclear weapons development program is the means envisioned to realize that goal.
How did he respond when NBC’s Andrea Mitchell, in a subsequent interview, grilled him about this genocidal threat? Sorry, that was a trick question. Ms. Mitchell didn’t bother to ask.
Nor did she touch upon the fact that Tehran funds, arms, and instructs both Hezbollah in Lebanon, which has roughly150,000 missiles aimed at Israelis, and Hamas, which fired more than 4,000 missiles at Israeli civilians last May.
Like Tehran, Hamas is not coy about its genocidal goals. “Israel will rise and will remain erect until Islam eliminates it as it had eliminated its predecessors,” the Hamas Charter proclaims. “Muslims will fight the Jews,” and even those Jews who “hide behind rocks and trees” will not escape because the rocks and trees “will cry: Muslim: There is a Jew hiding behind me, come on and kill him!”
Claims that Hamas has moderated over recent years are untrue. “We support the eradication of Israel through armed jihad and struggle,” Hamas leader Yahya Al-Sinwar said in May. “This is our doctrine.”
Here’s the rest of the story that unfolded last week: On Thursday, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer brought Iron Dome up as a stand-alone bill. There were 420 votes in favor and nine opposed – eight from members of the Squad plus one Republican (who says he opposes all foreign aid). Just before the vote closed, Ms. Ocasio-Cortez changed from “nay” to “present” – and then broke into tears.
One plausible explanation: She plans to run for the Senate and calculates that many New York voters may prefer not to be represented by an ideologue eager to help terrorists murder Jews and kill off the Jewish state.
Perhaps she’ll counter that she favors a two-state solution. Fine, but it’s impossible to imagine Hamas or the Palestinian Authority (which rules the West Bank) accepting such a compromise until and unless they conclude that the dream of exterminating Israel is unattainable. People such as Mr. Abdollahian and Ms. Ocasio-Cortez keep that dream alive.
By the way, the New York Times asserted that she’d been diverted from her “principles” by “influential lobbyists and rabbis.” Those darn lobbyists and rabbis!
I had intended to write more about Dara Horn’s new book but I’m out of space. For now, I’ll just note that her theme is “the many strange and sickening ways in which the world’s affection for dead Jews shapes the present moment.” She doesn’t mention the contributions being made by the Squad. I hope she won’t mind that I’ve done so here.
• Clifford D. May is founder and president of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) and a columnist for the Washington Times.