As I write this, the massive Israeli military assault on Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank, coupled with the widespread — and disproportionately ineffective — rocket assault on multiple Israeli cities by Hamas militants, threatens to propel Israel and Palestine into a new and cataclysmic phase of the decades-long conflict between the two states.
It is a precarious state of affairs that has once again pushed the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land into headlines, trending topics, and Instagram feeds around the world, raising legitimate questions about America's role in enabling Israel's ongoing hegemony in the region — and whether that role has hampered, rather than eased, the path toward Palestinian statehood. What's happening between Israel and Palestine right now is an incredibly complex, changing manifestation of forces that have been at play long before the pending expulsion of families living in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah touched off this latest round of violence.
Having said that. You know what is not helping anyone on any of the many, many sides of this conflict? Overt anti-Semitism masquerading as political point-scoring and partisan neener-neener-ing.
Unfortunately, here's Newsmax, the more-Fox-than-Fox, ultra-nationalist network that caters almost exclusively to former President Donald Trump's political base.
Isn't accusing Jews of dual loyalty — or worse still, singular loyalty! — to Israel over their home nation a cornerstone of modern anti-Semitism? And here I thought that if you are Jewish and a Democrat living in America today, then your home country is ... America. Silly me! Thank you "avid sportsman and firearms enthusiast" Grant Stinchfield, for making perfectly clear that people like me and my family are simply guests in this country.
The notion that Israel is the only true home for Jews, no matter where they're actually from, has in fact become extremely popular of late among ethno-nationalists and white supremacists, who see Israel as a manifestation of their goal of having nations founded and ruled by a specific race or ethnic group. And while Stinchfield doesn't say that during his segment, the American right's use of Israel as a cudgel for domestic politics, coupled with the far- right's undeniable overlap with overt racism and white nationalism, makes comments like these an obvious dogwhistle for those who might already be inclined toward bigotry against anyone they deem un-American.
Most importantly, though, Stinchfield's comments don't actually do anything to address the reality of what's happening overseas, where people are dying, are being pushed out of their homes, are cowering for fear for their lives, and wondering how this will all end this time.