July 22, 2012

LAWRENCE SOLOMON: Losing the Anti-Semite Card.

The anti-Semite card that Democrats have played so deftly over the years — the single-biggest reason Jews provide Democrats with more than 50% of their campaign funding — looks phony to many Jews. When Schultz got up to speak in praise of Obama, the normally sedate Jewish audience heckled her, leaving her visibly rattled.

The upset many Jews feel today is mostly directed toward Obama, whom they see as tolerant of anti-Semites such as Louis Farrakhan, tolerant of anti-Semitic organizations such as the Muslim Brotherhood, and intolerant, even hostile, to Israel. But Democrats on the whole need beware — more than a presidential election is at stake.

When Jews began to perceive Canada’s Liberal Party as being tolerant of anti-Semitism and unfair to Israel — such as through Liberal participation in the UN Durban conference and the accusation that Israel had committed a war crime — the rock-solid support that the Liberals had long enjoyed from Jews evaporated. . . .

Anti-Semitic, anti-Israeli venom is on the rise, and it is coming mostly from the left. Anti-Semitism on U.S. college campuses is a “serious problem,” concluded the 2006 U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. “There is more sympathy for Hamas [on U.S. campuses] than there is in Ramallah,” wrote award-winning Palestinian journalist Khaled Abu Toameh, who found during a 2009 speaking tour of the U.S. that it “is not about supporting the Palestinians as much as it is about promoting hatred for the Jewish state.”

Surveys by Jewish organizations confirm that anti-Semitism is on the rise, as does a 2009 survey by researchers at Stanford and Columbia University, designed to find explicit prejudice toward Jews as a result of the financial meltdown. To the researchers’ surprise, they found that “Democrats were especially prone to blaming Jews: while 32% of Democrats accorded at least moderate blame, only 18.4% of Republicans did so,” a difference that jars “given the presumed higher degree of racial tolerance among liberals and the fact that Jews are a central part of the Democratic Party’s electoral coalition.” Warning that “we must take heed of prejudice and bigotry that have already started to sink roots in the United States,” the authors noted that “Crises often have the potential to stoke fears and resentment, and the current economic collapse is likely no exception.”

Almost as if on cue, the Occupy Wall Street movement arose, with Jews often crudely singled out for blame, and with prominent Democrats, Obama and Pelosi among them, stoking the anti-1% sentiment.

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