“We must never ignore the vile poison of anti-Semitism, or those who spread its venomous creed. With one voice, we must confront this hatred anywhere and everywhere it occurs.” Even this welcome passage in President Trump’s State of the Union address prompted nitpicking from self-proclaimed fact-checkers, who took issue with the sentence immediately preceding it: “We will not avert our eyes from a regime [Iran] that chants death to America and threatens genocide against the Jewish people.” As one progressive put it in her so-called “fact checking,” “Iran opposes Israel but has never threatened ‘genocide’ to Jews.”
One can only make this argument with a straight face by adopting a different definition of genocide for Jews than for other groups. As law professor David Bernstein notes, “Iran has threatened to destroy Israel, most recently a general said that Iran can destroy Israel in 3 days. Over 40% of the world’s Jewish population lives in Israel.” Trying to wipe out 40% of a group is genocide.
Indeed, under international law, trying to wipe out a much smaller percentage of a group can constitute genocide. International tribunals prosecuted Serbian war criminals in the former Yugoslavia for genocide because they attempted to wipe out a much smaller fraction of certain minority groups: those groups’ adult male members, in certain disputed areas.
Alas, the poison of anti-Semitism is spreading. Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of England’s Labour Party, has a good chance of being England’s next Prime Minister, despite being an anti-Semite and a defender of foreign dictatorships. He has defended the dictatorial communist regimes in Cuba and Venezuela — especially the regime in Venezuela, which has presided over the economic collapse of that country, despite oil prices being higher than they were in 1999 when the left took power in that country.
Venezuelan dictator Nicolas Maduro has presided over widespread malnutrition, torture, and disappearances, that have driven over two million Venezuelans to flee the country. As “Venezuela collapses, children are dying of hunger,” noted the New York Times. As El Pais reported a year ago, “The majority” of Venezuelans “have lost weight and are going to bed hungry. Around 64.3% of people surveyed said they had lost 11 kilograms [24 pounds] in 2017. ” Yet, notes The Spectator, “In 2014, Jeremy Corbyn rang President Maduro live on a Venezuelan television channel to congratulate him.”
Yet, last year, polls showed Corbyn’s Labour Party leading in opinion polls, meaning that if an election had been held then, Corbyn would have become Prime Minister.
Corbyn has also praised the supposed “heroism” of Cuban Communist dictator Fidel Castro, whose regime killed thousands of people and reduced to poverty what was once one of the most prosperous countries in Latin America. Pre-Castro Cuba had good healthcare and educational systems, by world standards, long before Castro appeared on the scene, as a Washington Post fact-check illustrates. Today, noted the Washington Post’s Charles Lane, Cuba is economically and socially backward in important measures.
Sadly, anti-Semitism persists in the United states as well. The anti-Semitic Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan was given a place of honor — a front-row seat — a few spaces away from former President Bill Clinton at Aretha Franklin’s funeral, reported the London Daily Mail. Clinton shook hands and chatted with the virulently anti-Semitic Farrakhan, who has called Judaism a “gutter religion” and said Jews belong to the “synagogue of Satan.” Farrakhan has become less vitriolic over the years, but last year, he still said that “powerful Jews are my enemy” and “white folks are going down.”
A few media outlets, such as the New York Times, published photos of Clinton and Farrakhan. But Farrakhan was cropped out of the photos of the event published by most news networks, including ABC. In 2005, Farrakhan appeared with then U.S. Senator Barack Obama, as memorialized in a photo that the media did not publish until after Obama left office. Obama reportedly had Nation of Islam members working in his office at the time.