Thursday, January 14, 2016

Progressivism: Easing the Way to Mass Murder

First published on, September 26, 2015

The progressive creed as it relates to foreign policy, and as represented most notably by our Progressive-in-Chief, President Obama, holds that the impact of United States behavior in the world has largely been negative. It casts American foreign policy as a variation on European colonialism: exploitative, indifferent to the peoples subjected to American attention and intervention, and inexorably engendering anti-American sentiment among those peoples.

The translation of this comprehension of the world into a progressivism-informed foreign policy has had the effect of making the world safer for mass murder.

President Obama has offered apologies for past American policy to Europeans, to Arabs and the Muslim world more broadly, to the peoples of Central and South America. Various media outlets have noted that, according to a 2011 Wikileaks publication, only a negative response by the Japanese government prevented Mr. Obama from going to Hiroshima in September, 2009, and offering apologies for America’s atomic bomb attack on the city.

But whatever the President’s erstwhile intentions vis-a-vis Hiroshima, the broader focus of his apologetics has been on those nations and peoples that are hostile to America. His key foreign policy syllogism, and that of America’s progressive camp, is that anti-American sentiment is essentially a product of American abuses and that American self-reform and accommodation, a kinder, gentler United States, will bring an end to current hostility and engender a new comity between this nation and its long-time victims.

Most of the world’s nations offer their citizens at best very limited rights. Some authoritarian regimes have close relations with the United States; others are hostile to the United States. One might think that progressives would object to despots of whatever sort and aspire to the liberation of populations from such governments.

But that is not the case. The progressivist pattern, rather, is to oppose despotic regimes with which this nation has had positive relations but to be sympathetic and accommodating towards those that have viewed us as the enemy -- that view being congruent with progressive orthodoxy.

Moreover, the advocates of genuine democratic reform in closed societies of either sort, pro- or anti-American, are essentially given short shrift. Such advocates typically look to the United States as a model for their aspirations, and that is sufficient to alienate, and preclude any hoped for support from, the progressive camp. Within pro-American authoritarian regimes, American progressives reserve their sympathy primarily for anti-regime forces that likewise look to America as the source of their respective nations’ ills and seek to replace those in power with a despotism of their own, a despotism with an anti-American stamp.

In Latin America, a number of democracies have in recent decades been subverted by left-wing populists who gained power at the ballot box and then proceeded to dismantle their nations’ democratic institutions with, for example, measures against competing parties, a free media and an independent judiciary. The pattern was established by Hugo Chavez, who became president of Venezuela in 1998, and was followed by, among others, Evo Morales in Bolivia and Rafael Correa in Ecuador. The new despots commonly justified their anti-democratic measures as necessary to counter the supposed nefarious aims of parties domestic and foreign, among which the United States is commonly trotted out as key bogeyman.

Obama and his administration displayed a notable sympathy for Chavez and have likewise done so for his emulators. The victims -- among media figures or political opponents -- that suffered at the hands of the post-democratic strongmen have enjoyed no such sympathy. Amazingly, when President Manuel Zelaya of Honduras likewise sought to undo his nation’s democracy and consolidate his personal control of the country but had his subversion of Honduras’s constitution blocked by the nation’s parliament and courts, the Obama administration backed Zelaya, attacked the "coup" that pushed him from power, and sought his reinstatement.

All of these populist despots were supported, of course, by Castro’s Cuba, which remains the chief example of anti-democratic leftism in Latin America both in terms of its longevity and in terms of its record of thousands murdered and myriad more imprisoned among those who have dared to take issue with the island’s dictatorship. But here, too, the progressive camp, and the Obama administration, have chosen to look upon the regime’s anti-American cant sympathetically, to see the proper way forward as American reform and cultivation of the Castros, and to close their ears and eyes to the regime’s victims.

But this progressivist cultivating of despotic forces which have only their anti-Americanism to recommend them takes on an even more sinister hue -- indeed, much more sinister, in terms of the slaughters perpetrated by such forces and essentially ignored by American progressives -- in the arena of the Muslim Middle East.

Virtually from its inception, the Obama administration has demonstrated support for the Muslim Brotherhood. The Brotherhood, founded in 1928 and closely linked to the Nazis during World War II, has consistently promoted an anti-American, anti-Western and anti-Semitic agenda. Its offshoot, Hamas, openly declares its dedication not only to the murder of all Israel’s Jews but of all Jews worldwide. Yet the Obama administration has appointed American Muslims associated with the Muslim Brotherhood to government posts and even as liaisons with federal law enforcement and security agencies and the military, and Brotherhood associates have been frequent guests at the White House.

Obama intervened to provide Brotherhood leaders prominent audience placement for his 2009 Cairo speech in which he apologized for America’s past role in the Middle East and sought more generally to propitiate the Arab and broader Muslim world. The President subsequently undercut pro-American Egyptian strongman Hosni Mubarak when the so-called "Arab spring" exploded in Egypt. He helped force Mubarak from office, and, as in Latin America, rather than support moderate, democratically oriented, groups in Egyptian society in the shaping of an alternative to Mubarak (including groups that consisted of Muslims and Coptic Christians working together for a democratic Egypt), threw his support behind the Brotherhood. One expression of this was the administration’s pushing for quick elections, which provided less time for challengers to the Brotherhood -- the best organized political group in Egypt -- to mount effective campaigns.

The election in June 2012, did bring the Brotherhood to power, with Mohamed Morsi as president and with the White House’s blessing. In the ensuing months, which saw increased murderous Brotherhood assaults on Egypt’s Coptic Christians -- more than ten percent of the population and the Middle East’s largest Christian community -- as well as Brotherhood cultivation of its Hamas protégés, the Obama administration continued to offer its support.
(The only high profile criticism of Morsi came in the wake of the rarest of events, a New York Times front page, above-the-fold piece on Muslim anti-Semitism, in this instance a newly revealed Morsi anti-Semitic diatribe recorded some years earlier. On this occasion, the White House finally felt obliged to break from its typical indulgence of the Brotherhood and its leaders by releasing some comment condemning Morsi’s remarks.)

The Brotherhood ultimately lost popular favor, in large part because of its failure to address Egypt’s economic ills. But Egyptians were also put off by Morsi’s pursuit of the Brotherhood’s Islamist agenda. As, for example, The Economist noted

"... [I]n power the Brotherhood began to abandon its previous caution regarding its foes. Mr Morsi appeared to dismiss secular opponents and minorities as politically negligible. Instead of enacting the deeper reforms that had been a focus of popular revolutionary demands, such as choosing provincial governors by election rather than presidential appointment, or punishing corrupt Mubarak-era officials, the Brothers simply inserted themselves in key positions... 

"When nearly all the non-Islamist members of a body charged with drafting a new constitution resigned  in November 2012, the Brothers brushed the problem aside. Mr Morsi issued a snap decree rendering him and his constitution-writers immune from court oversight. This was when his popularity started to slide...

"The Brothers pushed through a hastily drafted constitution to a national referendum despite angry criticism from all other parties, and the referendum went Mr Morsi’s way. But his high-handedness lost him a crucial part of the electorate..."
But, again, none of this seemed to dampen Obama’s enthusiasm for Morsi and the Brotherhood, and when the Egyptian army under Abdel Fattah al-Sisi deposed Morsi in July, 2013, with wide popular support, the White House condemned the coup and dismissed its popular backing and the transgressions of the Morsi regime that generated that support. For much of the subsequent two years, the administration has given the pro-American al-Sisi the cold shoulder. Its withholding of military grants and sales to Egypt -- only recently softened to some degree -- has pushed al-Sisi to renew Egypt’s long dormant military links with Russia.

Before its victory in Egypt, the country where the Muslim Brotherhood had been most successful in gaining power had been Sudan, where its members made up a large part of the government following the 1989 coup d'état by General Omar Hassan al-Bashir. Bashir, who still rules Sudan, led a genocidal campaign against the black and non-Muslim -- Christian and animist -- population of southern Sudan over many years, until that region successfully seceded and established its independence. He currently continues a campaign of mass murder and displacement of the Muslim -- but, again, black rather than Arab -- population of Darfur. Bashir is under indictment by the International Criminal Court for genocide in Darfur.

President Obama, during his 2008 campaign as well as in earlier speeches, promised to act against the Darfur genocide. But he has done nothing, even as the slaughter, displacement and suffering continue. On the contrary, the Obama administration has reached out to Bashir. In addition, consistent with the Sudan government’s wishes and despite the horrible consequences for the people of Darfur, the administration appears to be supporting the downsizing of the UN peacekeeping mission in Darfur. Once again, for President Obama, appeasing anti-American entities such as the Muslim Brotherhood, an appeasement consistent with progressive orthodoxy, trumps supporting the victims of those entities.

Obama’s favorite Middle East leader has long been, according to various sources, Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Turkey is, of course, a NATO member and remains so even under Erdogan’s Islamist regime. It is not openly anti-American. But Erdogan has clearly turned away from the West, has developed close ties with the Muslim Brotherhood and has sought to establish himself as the leading figure in a Middle East and broader Muslim world dominated by Islamist policies that emulate those of the Brotherhood.

Having notably described democracy as like a streetcar from which one exits upon reaching one’s destination, Erdogan has done much to undermine Turkish democracy. He has essentially dismantled the nation’s independent judiciary, closed down opposition media and arrested journalists -- with Turkey having more journalists incarcerated than either China or Iran -- and engineered his Islamist camp’s infiltrating and seizing control over other Turkish institutions, both public and private.

Erdogan was an enthusiastic supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood’s rise to power in Egypt, is reported to have cried over the downfall of Morsi and the Brotherhood, and some months ago declared that he still regards Morsi rather than al-Sisi as Egypt’s president. He remained silent over and apparently indifferent to the Brotherhood’s slaughter of Egyptian Christians both before and during its period in power.

Erdogan likewise supports the Brotherhood offshoot Hamas in its genocidal war against Israel and has, through statements by him and leaders of his party and through his party-controlled media, whipped up domestic anti-Israel and anti-Jewish sentiment. He has opened Turkey as a refuge for members of both Hamas and the Egyptian Brotherhood, and attacks on Israelis, such as the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers last year, have been orchestrated by senior Hamas agents in Turkey.

Yet none of this seems to have shaken President Obama’s enthusiasm for the Turkish leader. On the contrary, Erdogan’s turning from the West and embracing an agenda close to that of the Brotherhood has, once more consistent with the president’s progressive world view, rendered him worthy of the administration’s propitiation.

Obama’s reaching out to the Iranian mullahs virtually from the moment of his taking office in 2009 is likewise in line with his progressivist comprehension of foreign hostility to the United States as a response to past American transgressions. Following from this, his path to ending the hostility lay in breaking from that past, offering mea culpas for it, and cultivating new policies of understanding and comity.

More particularly, the CIA’s involvement in the overthrow of Iranian Prime Minister Mossadegh in 1953 (which in fact at the time had the support of Iran’s religious establishment) and America’s subsequent ongoing support for Shah Reza Pahlavi are construed as the source of Iranian enmity and the history for which the President seeks to apologize and atone.

The popular uprising that followed the disputed reelection of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in June, 2009, led to the regime’s killing of dozens of protesters and the arrest and reported torture and rape of thousands more. Protesters urged the outside world, particularly the United States and President Obama, to support them, but Obama refrained even from offering significant verbal support, apparently not wanting to do anything that might undermine his outreach to the mullahs.

In the ensuing years, torture, including rape, and murder of political prisoners, among them suspected student critics of the regime culled in raids on Iranian universities, have been an ongoing fact of life in Iran. So, too, have been the imprisonment and execution of homosexuals and individuals accused of religious crimes, and abuses targeting members of the embattled Baha’i community and elements of Iran’s ethnic minorities, who represent more than fifty percent of the nation’s population.

But on all of this the Obama administration has been essentially silent as it has pursued its policy of winning over the apocalyptic Iranian theocracy through accommodation and concessions. That policy culminated this summer in the agreement on the Iranian nuclear program, which provides Iran with a path to nuclear weapons and even offers American aid to Iran in defending its nuclear program against sabotage and attack.

Nor has the administration let Iran’s role in killing Americans in Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan and Iraq, and Iran’s assertions of never compromising in its enmity towards America, interfere with Obama’s agenda of pursuing its progressivist fantasies of peace with Iran through accommodation. Nor has the mullahs’ genocidal anti-Semitism, including their openly and repeatedly declared determination to destroy Israel, or their arming and training of Hezb’allah and Hamas to pursue Israel’s annihilation, led to the administration’s wavering from its course. On the contrary, the nuclear agreement appears to offer Iran protection against any Israeli attempt to derail the Islamo-fascist theocracy’s development of nuclear weapons. It also promises to soon provide the regime with tens of billions of dollars in previously embargoed funds, which has already translated into Iran’s embarking on a massive acquisition of advanced warplanes and other major weapons systems from China and Russia and its promising enhanced military aid to Hezb’allah and its other terrorist allies for use in pursuit of Israel’s destruction.

But the off-handedness regarding existential threats to Israel, and regarding as well myriad instances of wholesale human rights abuses, including mass slaughter by those the Obama administration has sought to propitiate, is apparently due to such matters being regarded as of no great consequence when measured against the central international dynamic as construed by progressivism. Administration indifference to the fact of some of those hostile regimes and non-state entities -- the objects of American cultivation -- having dismantled working democracies or having strangled incipient democratic movements derives from the same worldview. All their various crimes are mere epiphenomena, at most secondary, and potentially an unwelcome distraction, when measured against what is comprehended as the essential world-shaping dynamic: hostility towards America whose roots lie in past American abuses, and an end to hostility and creation of a more peaceful world through American contrition and accommodation.

In this way, Obama’s, and the progressive camp’s, comprehension of reality and playing out of that delusional "reality" on the world stage inexorably makes the world safer for the crimes, including mass murder, of the anti-American forces that are the object of progressivist propitiation.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Obama, the Jews and the Iran Deal

First published on, August 28, 2015
The Iran deal, by President Obama’s own admission, opens the path to Iran’s acquiring a nuclear arsenal, even as Iranian leaders continue to assert their determination to annihilate Israel. While the President has claimed at times that the agreement will prevent Iran from ever developing nuclear weapons, he has on other occasions acknowledged that, in fact, after fifteen years Iran will have a clear, short path to doing so.

Israelis across the political spectrum oppose the deal, fearful of the existential threat it represents, and most American Jews share their opposition. A significant majority of non-Jewish Americans do as well, both out of sympathy for Israel and out of fear of the apocalyptic Iranian theocrats gaining the ability to act on their threats against America as well as Israel.

But while objections to his Iran deal go far beyond Israel and elements of the American Jewish community, President Obama insists Israel’s is the only government opposing the agreement - an outright lie, given, for example, the clear if less publicly and forcefully articulated opposition of such countries as Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates. He has also slandered American Jewish objectors with suggestions of dual loyalty, of mounting an expensive, unpatriotic campaign against the deal and in defiance of America’s best interests and of trying to push the nation to war. These hoary anti-Jewish canards have led many to call out the President for dabbling in anti-Semitism.

But, while clearly not averse to such dabbling, the President appears to be motivated less by anti-Semitism than by his immovable, and uneducable, progressivist ideology, according to which foreign hostility to the United States derives from past American transgressions in the international arena, and American apologies and concessions will end that hostility and lead to a more peaceful world. There is no evidence to support this comprehension of reality, and much evidence to the contrary, including words and deeds of the Iranian leadership, but this is Obama’s conviction.

Given the obvious risks to the nation, why would anyone in Congress go along with the President’s Iran deal? Some may share his delusional progressivist ideology. Others may support the agreement out of loyalty to the President, or to the Democrat party, or out of political calculation regarding their own career interests.

One also sees clergy of various denominations declaring support for the Iran debacle. Again, those who do so may share the President’s progressivist world-view. They may also buy into the notion that any delay in Iran acquiring nuclear weapons - a delay at any price - is worthwhile. But this ignores the many questions about whether such a delay is really in the offing, given Iran’s history of cheating on other international commitments regarding its nuclear weapons program. In addition, what is beyond refutation is that the price being paid for the deal includes immediate triggering of nuclear proliferation by states in the Middle East that fear being a target of a nuclear-armed Iran. Similarly beyond refutation is that the price also includes providing the wherewithal for Iran to very quickly start sending even more weaponry and related support to the murderous Assad government in Syria and to terrorist organizations such as Hezbollah, which will translate in short order into increased large-scale bloodletting.

And how should one understand Jews in Congress supporting the deal, or the hundreds of Jewish clergy who have likewise endorsed it? Iranian leaders have been declaring their determination to annihilate Israel with even more frequency and ferocity since the signing of the agreement in July, and, as noted, virtually all Israelis - whatever their politics - take the threat seriously and are appalled by the agreement. (While Jews and non-Jews alike should be concerned about the potential threats a nuclear Iran presents to both countries, Iran has been even more fixated on destroying Israel than wiping out the United States, and Iranian leaders talk of being able to tolerate the losses they would incur in a nuclear exchange with Israel but would obviously face the possibility of much more devastating retaliation in the wake of a nuclear attack on America. And, of course, while Iranian funding of terrorist groups has claimed many hundreds of American lives, those groups have focused their killing particularly on Israelis and other Jews.) In the face of all the facts that point to the deal further enabling a genocidal regime, why would Jews in Congress or the clergy close their eyes to the threat and allow other considerations to sway their support?

Broadly speaking, one can reference the centuries-old anti-Semitic indictment of Jews as being too preoccupied with Jewish interests, too particularist or parochial, and the response by many Jews of seeking to appease the bigots by demonstrating their devotion to broader causes and interests and of eschewing stances on issues of vital concern to the Jewish community. And as always when embracing the indictments of haters and seeking to accommodate those indictments - and there has virtually never been an anti-Semitic canard that did not have its Jewish supporters - the Jews who did so cast their stance not as trying to appease the haters but as embracing a more ethical, virtuous position. In this way, many Jews embraced ostensibly “universalist” causes even at the cost of Jewish lives. They did so as the defining characteristic of their Jewish identity or as an alternative to that identity. Or, in the pithy observation of Cynthia Ozick, “Universalism is the ultimate Jewish parochialism.”

The impulse to stick to this tack is no doubt, if anything, enhanced when a President characterizes the Jewish state’s government and its Jewish supporters in America as the chief opponents to an Iran agreement that serves the interests of America and the world.

One can also look at specific historical precedent in trying to comprehend the stances of some Jewish clergy and many Jewish members of Congress in support of the President’s Iran agreement. Consider, for example, these precedents drawn from World War II:

With regard to Jewish clergy, the dominating figure in Jewish communal life during the war was Rabbi Stephen Wise. Wise worked to promote rescue of those European Jews for whom rescue was possible, and his efforts increased after the Nazi policy of pursuing the extermination of all of European Jewry was officially acknowledged by the government and reported in the media in late 1942. But the Roosevelt Administration refused to take steps readily available to it to save lives, and Roosevelt’s State Department consistently obstructed rescue efforts, even keeping out Jews with American visas. So unconscionable was State Department policy that four senior Treasury Department officials who had direct exposure to it - all non-Jews - on their own initiative prepared and presented to the Treasury Secretary a memorandum entitled “Report to the Secretary on the Acquiescence of This Government in the Murder of the Jews.”

The State Department’s opposition to rescue was matched by the stance of Britain’s Foreign Office. But for the Foreign Office, the objective was not simply to prevent the entry of more Jews into Britain. Britain, of course, controlled Mandate Palestine and was obliged under the terms of its League of Nations mandate to promote the immigration of Jews into the Mandate territory and foster “close settlement” of the land by Jewish immigrants. (The Mandate was part of the post-World War I establishment of many new states, from lands of the German, Austro-Hungarian, Russian and Ottoman empires, for peoples previously without sovereignty, a process that included, for example, mandates for establishment of Arab states in Iraq and Syria.) But, ignoring its Mandate commitments, and protests from the League of Nations, Britain had repeatedly - in the service of what it construed to be its own imperial interests - reneged on its obligations to foster Jewish admission to the Mandate territories. In 1939, despite the Nazi menace to European Jews, and again despite protests from the League of Nations, it had virtually ended Jewish entry to the Mandate.

In the context of the war, the position of the Foreign Office was essentially to prevent the escape of Jews from the Nazi killing machine, viewing survivors as potentially increasing future pressures for a change in Britain’s Mandate policy. Thus, while the Foreign Office and the State Department might publicly refer to the difficulty of rescuing Jews from Europe, cables from the Foreign Office to the State Department conveyed a different message. One, arguing against rescue efforts, spoke of “the difficulties of disposing of any considerable number of Jews should they be rescued.” Another, elaborating on the same theme in the spring of 1943, expressed the concern that: “There is a possibility that the Germans or their satellites may change over from the policy of extermination to one of extrusion, and aim as they did before the war of embarrassing other countries by flooding them with alien immigrants.”

This was the background to the Republican National Convention, in June, 1944, inserting into its platform for the upcoming election a strong pro-Zionist plank criticizing Roosevelt for not pressing Britain - then totally dependent on the United States - to open Mandate Palestine to Jews capable of being rescued from Europe.

But Rabbi Wise, instead of welcoming the Republican stance and urging Roosevelt to intervene with the British, wrote to Roosevelt criticizing the Republicans’ indictment and conveying his support for the President. Even in the face of the worst of tragedies befalling Jews, the nation’s leading rabbi compromised the fight for rescue in the service of a catastrophically misplaced obeisance to “non-particularist” political loyalty.

As to Jewish members of Congress at the time, historian David Wyman, in "The Abandonment of the Jews," notes that, “Only Emanuel Celler persistently urged government rescue actions. Samuel Dickstein joined the struggle from time to time. Four others [out of the total of seven] seldom raised the issue. Sol Bloom [as Wyman documents] sided with the State Department throughout.” Bloom was chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and in a particularly good position to exert some pressure to promote rescue. But he appears to have been most concerned with overcoming whatever prejudice there might be toward him as a Jew, especially in the State Department, by demonstrating his capacity to rise above “particularist” issues like the fate of European Jewry.

In view of the threat Iran presents to the United States and its allies, all members of Congress, and of the clergy who choose to take a stance on the agreement, ought to oppose it. With Israel being the object of the most explicit and obsessive genocidal threats from Iran, those interested in Israel’s well-being ought to be leading the fight against the deal. Many non-Jews in and out of Congress are doing so. That Jewish members of Congress slouch towards endorsing the agreement, and hundreds of Jewish clergy provide a supporting chorus for that endorsement, are sad if all too familiar reprises of an old, morally bankrupt pattern.

America's Institutional Enablers of the New Anti-Semitism

First published on, April 26, 2015

Incitement and indoctrination are at the heart of the Jew-hatred raging through the Arab and broader Muslim world and now infecting much of Europe.

Within the Palestinian realm, both Palestinian governments - the Palestinian Authority (PA) in the West Bank and Hamas in Gaza - regularly call for annihilation of the Jews. Hamas’s charter cites the oft-quoted Hadith (a statement attributed to Muhammed but not found in the Koran) declaring that Judgement Day will not come until all Jews are killed. It pledges the organization’s dedication to that goal. The necessity of exterminating the Jews has likewise been declared by PA-appointed religious leaders, and genocidal Jew-hatred is routinely promoted in PA mosques, media and schools.

Similar genocidal rhetoric is a fixture of media, mosques and schools throughout most of the Arab world and, largely through Arab financing and disseminating, has become a constant theme in much of the wider Muslim world and within Muslim communities elsewhere, not least in Europe.

Beyond explicit calls for genocide, anti-Jewish indoctrination entails labeling Jews as sub-human, blaming them for virtually all the world’s ills, characterizing them as a disease within the body of humanity, and attributing to them the most reprehensible qualities and the most vile crimes. This demonization of Jews routinely draws upon both old anti-Jewish Islamic texts and classic European anti-Semitic materials including medieval European blood libels, the czarist-generated "Protocols of the Elders of Zion," and Nazi anti-Semitic propaganda and caricatures.

This indoctrination is obviously not a matter of objection to particular policies of the state of Israel or to the so-called "occupation." It, of course, insists that Israel, the Jewish state, cannot be allowed to exist within any borders. Its essential message and popularity pre-date Israel’s entry into the West Bank and Gaza in the 1967 war.

In part because there are so many Muslims disseminating this anti-Jewish indoctrination in Europe, in part because its message also has a receptive audience among much of the indigenous European population, which is more than ready to rationalize, justify and embrace the Jew-hatred, Europe has seen a dramatic rise in what is labeled the "new anti-Semitism."

Contributing to this phenomenon in Europe is the fact that very few European institutions have addressed the indoctrination and challenged its promotion of murderous hatred.

The United States has largely remained unscarred by this ugly bigotry. But incitement to it exists in America as elsewhere, and major American institutions, whose exposure of the hate-indoctrination as it flourishes in the Middle East and has spread across the globe could have a salutary effect, have instead been essentially silent. Their speaking out, calling the hatred’s propagators to account, alerting the public to the phenomenon and casting some potentially detoxifying sunlight upon it, could even have a salutary effect beyond our shores. Still, key institutions remain silent.

By their silence they serve, in effect, as enablers of anti-Semitic hate indoctrination.

Three major American institutions are particularly culpable, not least because they are all especially well-positioned to have a positive impact were they acting otherwise.

1) The Obama Administration. Throughout his tenure President Obama has said virtually nothing on Muslim anti-Semitic hate indoctrination.

In his push for a Palestinian-Israeli accord, his administration has consistently put the greater onus on Israel for the absence of progress and has commented little on the PA’s refusal to recognize Israel as the Jewish national homeland or to give up the so-called "right of return," the right to destroy Israel demographically by flooding it with the descendants of Palestinian refugees. While designating Hamas a terrorist organization and occasionally acknowledging Hamas’s goal of annihilating Israel, the Administration has hardly spoken out about Hamas’s call for the murder of all Jews and has been entirely silent on advocacy of the same goal by PA operatives.

The Administration has reserved what seems to be particularly warm relations vis-a-vis Middle East leaders for the heads of Turkey and Qatar, the two states that, aside from Iran, are most aligned with Hamas. Both Turkey and Qatar host leading Hamas operatives, and Hamas terror attacks in Israel have been choreographed from Turkey. The issue of the two nations’ support for a group promoting genocide has elicited little public comment from the Administration.

Also with respect to the wider Muslim world, the Obama Administration has consistently supported the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. It did so first against the Mubarak regime, then after the Brotherhood’s rise to power following the fall of Mubarak. (The Administration also abetted that rise by backing early elections, before any other political force in Egypt, including pro-Western moderates, had a chance to organize and Islamist forces alone were in a position to mount a campaign.) It continued to do so when - responding to the Morsi regime’s excesses and failures - popular Egyptian opinion turned against the Brotherhood, General al-Sisi seized power and was subsequently elected president.

The Administration today remains cool to al-Sisi and sympathetic to the Brotherhood, even as the Brotherhood - the parent organization of Hamas, as acknowledged in Hamas’s charter - has been a chief source of anti-Jewish (as well as anti-Christian) hate indoctrination. (For example, in the lead-up to the post-Mubarak parliamentary elections in Egypt, numerous media outlets reported on a Muslim Brotherhood rally at Cairo’s most prestigious mosque where some 5,000 worshipers vowed to "one day kill all Jews.") Anti-Jewish hate indoctrination by the Muslim Brotherhood has also been absent from Administration talking points. In addition, individuals with affiliations to Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood have figured prominently in gatherings of American Muslim leaders at the White House and among those enlisted to represent Muslim concerns in interactions with government agencies.

President Obama has had much to say about Islam as a religion of peace, yet those who most openly represent Muslims genuinely appalled by the hate-indoctrination against non-Muslims, particularly Jews, promoted in much of the Muslim world, those such as Zudhi Jasser, head of the "American Islamic Forum for Democracy," have not figured prominently among invitees to the Obama White House or as interlocutors recruited to speak to government agencies.

The Administration’s refusal to even acknowledge Muslim anti-Semitic hate indoctrination and its consequences was recently, and rather dramatically, reflected in President Obama’s reference to the murder of four Jews in a Paris delicatessen. The killer, a Muslim imbiber of the genocidal anti-Jewish incitement widely purveyed in mosques and Muslim media, openly declared that his intention was to kill Jews. Yet the President characterized the murderer simply as a "violent, vicious zealot" and the slayings as the "random" shooting of "a bunch of folks."

2) Mainstream media. The promotion of genocidal Jew-hatred, although virtually ubiquitous in the Arab and broader Muslim world, is rarely noted in mainstream American media, whether leading newspapers, news services, television networks, or, except for Fox, cable news networks.

This is not for lack of access to relevant examples and documentation. For instance, examples of Muslim clerics and other leaders calling for the annihilation of the Jews are readily available, both in the original Arabic or other local language and in English translation, from the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) and, in the Palestinian arena, Palestinian Media Watch (PMW).

In all the coverage of last summer’s Israel-Gaza war, triggered by Hamas rocket attacks on Israeli villages, towns and cities, while there was occasional mention of Hamas’s dedication to Israel’s destruction, one would be hard-pressed to find reference to the Islamist organization’s commitment to the killing of all Jews. Likewise essentially absent from American media is the Arab and broader Muslim world’s incessant demonization of Jews.

Among print media, the New York Times, America’s "newspaper of record," whose priorities regarding what is newsworthy still have considerable impact on what stories are covered by other media outlets, has consistently failed to cover Palestinian and broader Arab and Muslim anti-Jewish hate indoctrination. This failure has been compared by many observers to the Times’ providing no more than minimal and perfunctory coverage to the mass murder of Europe’s Jews during the Holocaust. (The Nazi program of genocide was publicly reported and confirmed by late 1942.)

The Times has offered mea culpas for its lack of reporting on the Holocaust and its problematic coverage of Nazi anti-Jewish policies and actions in the years leading up to the Holocaust, but it has yet to waver from its general refusal to cover anti-Semitism and the promotion of genocide in the Arab and broader Muslim world. When it has mentioned the issue at all, it has tended to characterize the problem as something Israelis or others claim rather than as a genuine phenomenon. On occasion it has even ridiculed complaints about incitement to genocidal Jew-hatred by Palestinian leaders and others in the Arab and Muslim worlds.

The significance of mainstream American media’s failure to cover the story of anti-Jewish hate indoctrination - its, in effect, contributing to the flourishing of murderous incitement by refusing to expose it - was indirectly illustrated by a New York Times column of January 14, 2013. In a step virtually unprecedented for the Times, not only did it publish a story touching on anti-Semitism but did so on the front page above the fold. (Some have suggested that it did so because it had recently been subjected to increased criticism regarding its failure to report on Palestinian and broader Arab and Muslim anti-Semitism.)

The story (which had been published elsewhere earlier but without the impact of the Times piece) concerned then Egyptian president Morsi and reported the recent release of tapes dating from 2010 in which Morsi - at the time head of the Muslim Brotherhood’s "political arm" - spouts what the Times itself characterizes as "anti-Semitic statements." It cites Morsi declaring, "We must never forget, brothers, to nurse our children and grandchildren on hatred for... the Jews... The hatred must go on for God and as a form of worshiping him." Elsewhere, Morsi, referring to "Zionists," invokes the trope of "the descendants of apes and pigs," which the Times article describes as "a slur for Jews that is familiar across the Muslim world," and the article notes that Morsi "echoed [additional] historic anti-Semitic themes."

Response to the piece was dramatic. It was picked up widely by other media outlets, and the Obama Administration, which had been, as noted, more than supportive of the Muslim Brotherhood and was similarly supportive of Morsi, reacted by, in the words of one news outlet, giving "a blistering review of remarks that... Morsi [had] made... about Jews and called for him to repudiate what it called unacceptable rhetoric. ... In blunt comments, the White House and State Department said Morsi's statements were ‘deeply offensive’ and ran counter to the goal of peace in the region."

Morsi’s anti-Semitic comments also became the lead issue in his visit to Germany shortly after the Times piece. A story on Der Spiegel’s English website opened with, "Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi came in for some heavy criticism on his one-day trip to Berlin, with German Chancellor Angela Merkel taking him to task over his past comments describing Jews as ‘the descendants of apes and pigs’..."

Response to the Morsi story illustrates the potential power of the media in informing the public about the ugly phenomenon of incitement to Jew-hatred across the Muslim world, obliging world leaders to take note of the phenomenon and speak out against it, putting its purveyors on the defensive and making clear to the purveyors a cost to their genocidal hate-mongering. (Morsi was in Germany appealing for increased financial aid and was seeking the same from the Obama Administration.) In contrast, the media’s broad failure to report on Muslim indoctrination in Jew-hatred has served to ease its proliferation and render it all the more dangerous.

3) Academia. One might think that if there were any place the phenomenon of contemporary genocidal anti-Semitism in the Arab and broader Muslim world would receive attention it would be in academia, particularly in Middle East studies departments; but one would be wrong. It is the exception among such departments to address the issue and, for example, an undergraduate in most universities which offer Middle East studies degrees can earn such a degree without the matter ever having been addressed in any of his or her classes.

The prevailing attitude in such departments is perhaps indicated by the fact that at the last annual meeting of the Middle East Studies Association (MESA), the umbrella organization of Middle East studies departments, in December, 2014, of the 275 sessions listed in the meeting agenda, none addressed the issue of Jew-hatred.

MESA did offer a "special pre-program session" that indirectly touched on the matter of anti-Semitism in the Middle East. During last summer’s Gaza war - triggered, again, by Hamas’s unleashing rocket bombardments of Israeli villages, towns and cities - one Middle East scholar, Steven Salaita, sent out numerous anti-Israel tweets, including one in which he declared that "Zionists" had "transform[ed] ‘anti-Semitism’ from something horrible into something honorable..."

The University of Illinois subsequently withdrew the offer of an academic position to Salaita. In the face of criticism of its decision, the university’s chancellor issued a statement which included:
"What we cannot and will not tolerate at the University of Illinois are personal and disrespectful words or actions that demean and abuse either viewpoints themselves or those who express them. We have a particular duty to our students to ensure that they live in a community of scholarship that challenges their assumptions about the world but that also respects their rights as individuals."
But the prevailing opinion at MESA was different. That "special pre-program session" at MESA’s 2014 meeting was entitled: "The Salaita Case and New Assaults on Academic Freedom."

The threats to student’s rights represented by bigoted faculty and alluded to by the University of Illinois’s chancellor is all too real, as more and more Jewish students face attacks on America’s campuses ranging from "eviction notices" attached to, or slipped under, their dormitory room doors, to verbal abuse, to, on occasion, physical assaults. In too many universities and colleges, administrations, rather than making campuses safe for all students, including Jewish students, are allowing their campuses to become havens for anti-Semitism under the flimsy guise of "academic freedom."

One of the very few places in American academia that did dare to address Palestinian, Arab and broader Muslim incitement of Jew-hatred was the Yale Initiative for the Interdisciplinary Study of Antisemitism (YIISA), founded in 2006. As historian Jeffrey Herf, writing in the New Republic in July, 2011, noted shortly after Yale announced it was closing YIISA, "YIISA was to be a research center devoted to examining the history and nature of contemporary anti-Semitism - that is, not only the much examined anti-Semitism of the Nazi era but also Jew-hatred in the Middle East, including Iran, and in Islamist ideology and politics as well. [YIISA director Charles] Small was aware that there was a hard road to travel because the area specialists who read Arabic or, in the case of Iran, Farsi were almost universally opposed to even posing the question of anti-Semitism in the Middle East... Indeed, rather than engendering thoughtful discussion, posing the issue of Arab, Iranian, or Islamist anti-Semitism, quickly leads to accusations of ‘anti-Arab racism’ and ‘Islamophobia.’"

Yale justified closing the center by alleging its programs were not sufficiently scholarly. This is a ludicrous claim given the scholars who participated in YIISA’s programs and the level of their work, as one can see, for example, by surveying YIISA lectures accessible on YouTube. YIISA programs covered a wide range of issues, as well as the matter of anti-Semitism in the Arab Middle East and the wider Muslim world, and included many world-renowned academics. (In the service of full disclosure, I, too, presented a paper at the invitation of YIISA; it was not about Muslim anti-Semitism.)

Some at Yale complained that YIISA was "advocating" against anti-Semitism rather than approaching the subject in a purely scholarly manner. Walter Reich, former director of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Professor of International Affairs and of Psychiatry at George Washington University, and long a member of the Yale faculty, observed of Yale’s closing of YIISA: "Yale just killed the country’s best institute for the study of anti-Semitism." Regarding the complaint of YIISA "advocating" against anti-Semitism, Reich responded: "Such eminent scholars as Bassam Tibi - a Syrian emigre, a distinguished professor at the University of Goettingen and a devout Muslim - spoke [at a YIISA conference] about anti-Semitism in that part of the world, as did others. To be sure, some presenters expressed alarm and took an activist stance - as do some presenters at academic conferences on genocide, human rights, women’s studies, African American studies, Hispanic studies, gay and lesbian studies, and nuclear proliferation."

In the face of widespread criticism for closing down YIISA, Yale promised the formation of a new center, the Yale Program for the Study of Anti-Semitism (YPSA). But its establishment was to be led by a professor whose scholarship, as Jeffrey Herf noted, was focused on the representation of Jews in French literature. It was anticipated that the work of the new center might be primarily on European anti-Semitism and its history, with relatively little attention given to contemporary anti-Semitism and anti-Semitic incitement in the Muslim world. (The YPSA calendar of events for the present academic year did include one focused on the issue of Muslim Jew-hatred, an April 1 lecture by Gunther Jikeli on "European Muslim Anti-Semitism.")

The general ignoring in American academia of the subject of Muslim incitement to and indoctrination in Jew-hatred, and at times the militant hostility to any acknowledgment of such incitement and indoctrination and even the promotion of such hatred on American campuses, have all filtered down to American grade schools as well. School texts, teachers’ "training" programs based at times in American universities, and university-based programs that provide speakers to public and private schools, commonly whitewash organizations such as Hamas, presenting it and others in positive terms without noting their promotion of Jew-hatred and genocide, and themselves engage in defamation and demonization of Israel and of Jews.

That these three institutions - the Obama Administration, America’s mainstream media and American colleges and universities - are essentially silent on the incitement and indoctrination stoking the new anti-Semitism is not mere coincidence. All three are marked by the prevalence of so-called "progressivist" political perspectives, and all are predisposed to look at the world through the prism of an anti-Western bias and sympathy towards non-Western cultures and ideologies. Their silence regarding anti-Semitic hate-mongering in the Palestinian and broader Arab and Muslim worlds is in large part bound up with this mind-set, and in the service of their "progressivism" they are helping the world progress towards increasing acceptance of new campaigns aimed at the mass murder of Jews.