This past month has seen the worst attack on Jews since the Holocaust.
It has also seen the worst global spike in antisemitism since the Holocaust. According to Reuters, "In countries where figures are available from police or civil society groups, including the United States, Britain, France, Germany and South Africa, the pattern is clear: The number of antisemitic incidents has gone up since Oct. 7 by several hundred percent compared with the same period last year."
But there's something peculiar about all the media reports about the extravagant spike in antisemitism: They all carry notes about a supposedly concomitant rise in "Islamophobia."
This is odd, to say the least.
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What the hell does Islamophobia have to do with antisemitism?
The answer is: precisely nothing.
Precisely nothing, that is, unless you wish to suggest that response to antisemitism is linked with Islamophobia – that if you wish to oppose radical Muslim antisemitism, that is an aspect of Islamophobia.
Which, of course, is precisely what antisemites are suggesting these days. Take, for example, Corey Saylor of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. CAIR is the most frequently cited group on "rising Islamophobia." CAIR is a group that, by the way, was an unindicted co-conspirator in the trial of Hamas front charity, the Holy Land Foundation. Saylor refuses to condemn boycotts on Jewish businesses; he told The Washington Post that "it is 100 percent on the table to criticize supporters of Israeli apartheid."
CAIR itself accuses Israel of "textbook ethnic cleansing" and "war crime" for defending itself, trots out antisemite extraordinaire Linda Sarsour, and promotes the Hamas lie that Israel bombed a hospital (it was Palestinian Islamic Jihad). On Oct. 7, the date of the Hamas massacre, CAIR National tweeted, "We join @USCMO and the American Muslim community in reaffirming our support for the Palestinian people's right to freedom and calling for an end to the Israeli occupation, which kills hundreds of Palestinian civilians every year, subjects millions of Palestinians to racist oppression, and sparks the deadly violence that we see again and again, including today." On Oct. 7, before any Israeli response, they also called for an end to American aid to Israel and the Abraham Accords.
The group has not offered a single word condemning Hamas.
CAIR is, by any stretch of the imagination, a fomenter of antisemitism.
But that's the point of focusing on supposed Islamophobia: The goal is to treat response to antisemitism as a form of Islamophobia. So Saylor claims that it is Islamophobia to publicize the names of students who sign petitions siding with Hamas, while claiming it is not antisemitism to boycott Jewish businesses.
The legacy media feel the same way. That's precisely why, since Oct. 7, the media have rushed to link antisemitism and Islamophobia, as though the two phenomena are part of a "cycle of hatred."
That's a disgusting and wrong take that excuses antisemitism through false charges of Islamophobia. But it's extraordinarily common on the Left these days. One variation on the theme comes from Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who has emerged as one of the nation's leading antisemites. She now accuses the American Israel Public Affairs Committee of being an "extremist group" attempting to undermine American democracy and targeting "members of color."
The Biden administration is falling into the trap of linking antisemitism and Islamophobia – a link that has the purposeful goal of demonizing opposition to Hamas. Fearful of their own base, the Biden administration announced recently a White House National Strategy to combat Islamophobia. Karine Jean-Pierre explained, "For too long, Muslims in America, and those perceived to be Muslim, such as Arabs and Sikhs, have endured a disproportionate number of hate-fueled attacks and other discriminatory incidents."
Why is the White House playing this game? Because they're attempting to buy back the support of Muslims across the United States who are enraged that the White House has sided with Israel instead of Hamas. The latest polls show that nearly six in 10 American Muslims agree that "Hamas was justified in attacking Israel as part of their struggle for a Palestinian state." The White House is trying to buy off the Hamas fans by jabbering about the supposed victimhood to which they are subjected.
It's perverse. It continues to drive a false narrative that opposition to Hamas is opposition to Muslims – a proposition that Muslims themselves should reject, although precious few have done so publicly. It is not Islamophobic to oppose Hamas and its supporters. It is antisemitic to push that lie.