NEWS! Over the last 9 months, I've been working on a video explainer series tackling big questions about antisemitism that many people have, but are afraid to ask. We now have a release date! August 4. Can't wait to share it all with you. Here's a taste:
Israeli prime minister Bennett gave a primetime address last night about the Delta variant and what the country is doing about it. It's worth watching it here with English subtitles, simply because what they're facing now is what we'll be facing soon.
"Dear citizens, those who refuse vaccines are endangering their health, those around them and the freedom of every Israeli citizen. They are endangering our freedom to work, the freedom of our children to learn and the freedom to hold celebrations with the family."
If you are triggered by Jewish people, Jewish ritual objects, or the ancient language of the Jewish people, and feel the need to attack those things, you aren't anti-Israel, you're just antisemitic, and you should probably look into that.
Saying "Free Palestine" isn't an attack on Jews. Defacing Jewish institutions, ritual objects, and other property around the world with "Free Palestine," as above, is an attack on Jews. Random Jews in Brooklyn are not Israel any more than random Muslim there are Saudi Arabia.
When most of your people are vaccinated, most of your remaining coronavirus cases will be among the vaccinated. This does not mean that the vaccines "failed." It means that there aren't many unvaccinated people left to infect.
No one has ever claimed that the vaccines stop you from getting infected. They are a certain % effective, as has been repeatedly reported. When most people are vaccinated, you'd expect some people to still get coronavirus, and for most of them to have been vaccinated. It's math.
As I've said here repeatedly, Israel's data suggests the Pfizer vaccine is less effective against the Delta variant, though still over 60% effective at preventing infection, and 90%+ at preventing severe disease. So again, you should expect some vaccinated folks to get infected.
Here's the director of Human Rights Watch blaming Jews for antisemitism. Antisemites, like all bigots, have used alleged acts of their targets to justify attacks on them ("they killed Jesus! they swindle!"). Obscene for an ostensible human rights group to push their propaganda.
Antisemites have offered countless justifications for their antisemitism for thousands of years. Knock down one pretext & a new one takes its place. They were attacking Jews before Israel existed, and they'd be doing it if it didn't. Jews don't cause antisemitism. Antisemites do.
Antisemitism wasn't caused by Jews "killing Jesus" in the Middle East centuries ago. That was the bigot's excuse. Antisemitism isn't caused by Israeli actions in 2021. That's the bigot's excuse. Antisemitism is caused by the hate of the bigot, who will always find a new excuse.
Today is Tisha B’av, the Jewish day of mourning which commemorates many past tragedies, beginning with the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem. It’s an occasion with much to teach us, but whose lessons are often misunderstood. I wrote about one of them: yair.substack.com/p/other-people…
"National tragedy, in the traditional Jewish understanding, is not an opportunity to assert our own sense of superiority, but to foster a spirit of self-critique." yair.substack.com/p/other-people…
Proud that this newsletter illustrates the ancient story of Tisha B'av with a painting from 1867 and a Star Wars meme from 2021. We cater to all demographics.
Here it is, my Q&A with @AdamSerwer on the occasion of his new book. We talked about everything from the origins of antisemitism, to the untold story of American Jewry’s debate over slavery, to whether Jesus Christ did karate. Read it all here: yair.substack.com/p/q-and-a-with…
@AdamSerwer "Antisemitism … is not something that is inherent to right or left, because it so predates the modern conception of both ... It’s just not something that you can immunize yourself from as a result of having correct beliefs.” -@AdamSerweryair.substack.com/p/q-and-a-with…
My latest: Last month, Israel's new government announced it would transfer 1.2 million vaccines to the Palestinian Authority. Yesterday, 700,000 of those doses landed in South Korea instead. I wrote about how this deal fell apart, and why it matters: tabletmag.com/sections/israe…
Israel, which is mostly vaccinated, traded its soon-to-expire doses to South Korea, which desperately needs them, in exchange for South Korea's scheduled fall shipment of Pfizer vaccines. That's the exact arrangement Israel originally had with the Palestinians. So what happened?
After the deal with Israel was announced, extremists began protesting it. Rather than stand up to them, the Palestinian Authority cancelled the entire deal on the pretext that some of the doses would soon expire—which was exactly the point of the swap, and agreed upon in advance!
This is kind of amazing. Now that Israel's president Reuven Rivlin is leaving office, Israel's security service released a photo showing how they disguised him so he could walk among the general public. Take a look:
If you want to see how unreliable Wikipedia can be: observe how NY State Senator Julia Salazar's page has been scrubbed to remove or sanitize her documented lies about her background, wealth, (false) immigration history, education, and criminal record. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julia_Sal…
I recommend checking out the history & talk pages for NY State Senator Julia Salazar's Wikipedia page to see how a politician's lies and criminal history, reported everywhere from the New York Times to NY Mag to Vox, can be systematically erased by ideologically inclined editors.
This is Nick Fuentes. He is a white supremacist anti-Semite. That's not Twitter hyperbole, just a straight-up description. Here he is smilingly denying the Holocaust:
This is Republican congressman @DrPaulGosar. He spoke after Fuentes at a political event in February. Fuentes claims that he is doing an actual fundraiser with Gosar on July 1. Fuentes is a liar, so this needs to be confirmed, but if true, Gosar should be expelled from Congress.
@DrPaulGosar The most racist member of the U.S. Congress, a story in two parts
This looks VERY bad. On June 10, after anti-Jewish crimes spiked, the Black Jewish diversity officer for the Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators @scbwi posted a condemnation of antisemitism. Today, she was fired, apparently for not mentioning Islamophobia? Yikes.
@scbwi To emphasize: The statement condemning antisemitism was put out by an American organization, and did not mention Israel at all. That some people would interpret it as an attack on Muslims or Palestinians says something unfortunate about their worldview, not the statement.
People think crazy people being congresspeople is new, but this person was a Democratic member of Congress from 1993-2003 and 2005-2007, then was the Green party candidate for president in 2008. None of this is new, it's just more obvious thanks to social media.
This person is no longer consequential, but the antisemitic bigotry she is reflecting still is. Notice how she doesn't say "the Jews" did 9/11, she says "the Zionists" did it. This substitution is one of the most common ways antisemites today lazily try to launder their hate.
Anti-Zionism is not ipso facto antisemitism, as I've said before. But many antisemites use anti-Zionism as a flimsy cover for their old-school anti-Jewish ideas. It's important to be aware of this common bait-and-switch and not to fall for it.
The idea that the Biden administration was reversing Golan recognition never passed the smell test. If they're going to pick a fight, it's not going to be over ceding the Golan to Bashar Assad, something no serious person entertains. Come on.
As I wrote in my piece today, Netanyahu is doing everything he can to poison the well between the new Israeli government and both Democrats & Republicans. Leaking false claims about shifting US positions to undermine the relationship wouldn't surprise me. tabletmag.com/sections/israe…
The Biden administration has plenty of actual issues of consequence to negotiate with Israel, from Iran to the Palestinians. A symbolic spat over the Golan, which isn't going anywhere, isn't one of them.
As is standard practice, Israel sent the vaccine doses that would expire soonest first. If you think the Palestinian Authority didn't carefully negotiate and sign on to all these details in advance, I have some Trump University courses to sell you.
Hopefully they adjust the deal so everyone is happy, but what seems to have happened is that the Palestinian Authority got cold feet after getting social media backlash for working with Israel. If issue was really expiration dates, you don't cancel the deal, you just renegotiate.
The problem here is that the Palestinian territories already have significant vaccine hesitancy (35%), so once people say "I won't take vaccines from Israel" on top of that, it's unclear whether it's worth it for the Palestinian Authority to take the vaccines in the first place.
Israel has an independent judiciary. Netanyahu's case is in the court system. The new government has nothing to do with how fast it proceeds. (The charges were brought against Netanyahu by his own attorney general.) Worth learning something about Israel before tweeting about it!
That @mattgaetz tweet is ignorant about Israel, but revealing about America: some Republicans who claim to support Israel actually just support it as a partisan wedge issue against Democrats. When the new Israeli government refuses to play along with this, they will turn on it.
The big questions are:
(a) Will Netanyahu explicitly encourage Republicans to turn on the new Israeli government and hold out for his return?
(b) How many Republicans will side with their party's pro-Israel base, and how many will instead go with Bibi and their partisan interest?
Right now, right-wing Knesset members are heckling Bennett non-stop as he tries to give his maiden speech laying out the agenda of the new government. This is unlikely to impact the new government other than remind its members why they got together in the first place.
Watching an assortment of racists and populist demagogues act like spoiled children in parliament is an excellent illustration of precisely the sort of thing that the new government's component parties, despite their manifold differences, ran against.
Yair Lapid ditches long speech he prepared, and instead just apologizes to his 86-year-old mother for what she just witnessed from the opposition in the Knesset, and closes by saying that this is precisely why they need to be replaced.
I hope every major paper in the world is prepping a profile on Mansour Abbas, soon to be the most powerful Arab politician in Israeli history, and the man as much as anyone who brought Netanyahu down. He definitely has a lot to celebrate today.
Because Israeli politics for so long has been reducible to the English-speaking Netanyahu, there's been less international coverage of the many other (non-English speaking) politicians and parties that comprise Israel's parliament. With this new coalition, that'll need to change.
Netanyahu increasingly centralized power in his office, holding multiple ministries for himself at once. But that not's how Israel's parliamentary democracy normally works, with its many small parties and divided power centers. A lot of different players are going to matter now.