Amnesty International’s fixation on Israel veered into antisemitism with the publication of a “report” accusing the liberal democracy of employing “apartheid.” This ludicrous accusation — Arab Israelis, not without their own troubles, are perhaps the freest Arabs in the Middle East — is meant to associate the Jewish state with the defunct racist South African regime in the mind of Westerners to help spark an effort to isolate and economically destroy it.
If you think this is an exaggeration, let Amnesty International’s United States director Paul O’Brien set you straight. Speaking to the Women’s National Democratic Club last week, O’Brien argued that Israel “shouldn’t exist as a Jewish state,” and that the purpose of Amnesty’s report was to “collectively change the conversation,” which “needs to start first and foremost with the Jewish community.”
O’Brien contends that “we are opposed to the idea — and this, I think, is an existential part of the debate — that Israel should be preserved as a state for the Jewish people.” Though polls still show support for Israel among Jews, O’Brien told the group, his “gut” tells him that most do not actually support the Jewish state, per se, but a “safe Jewish space” that is predicated on “core Jewish values.”
A Jewish safe space was forged with rifles, tanks, and fighter jets. Today, O’Brien, and those like him, believe Israel should surrender to their enemies without firing a shot and again leave themselves defenseless. And for those unfamiliar with this debate, “Jewish values” is leftist lingo for “progressive values” — ideas untethered from any semblance of traditional Jewish culture or faith. Advocates of tikkun olam (“world repair”), a malleable nugget of mysticism excavated and highlighted by the Left to mysteriously align with the aims of progressive social-justice warriors and Marxism, have more ideological commonality with Noam Chomsky or Ilhan Omar than with Rabbi Akiba or Bar Kokhba.
Though I do wonder how, in this non-Jewish Greater Israel O’Brien envisions, the Hamas–Fatah unity government will implement Jewish values and protect Jewish safety. And what happens if they don’t? Will Amnesty International send troops to defend them? Or will it be the United Nations?
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