Last week, the preening populist Tucker Carlson sneered that Ben Shapiro and other pro-Israel Americans don’t “care” about America “at all” and are too “focused on a conflict in a foreign country as their own country becomes dangerously unstable.”
The podcaster Saagar Enjeti goaded Carlson into the attack by claiming that “so many of these people don’t seem to have this same level of care about actual American citizens.”
Just as Jew-hating Palestinian terrorists united Israeli Jews, Jew-hating American populists clump the right-wing Ben Shapiro with America’s overwhelming liberal Jewish community. But these bigots have a point. Pro-Israel and anti-Israel voices do champion contrasting visions of America. In pro-Israel America, the blue-and-white resonates with the red, white, and blue; in anti-Israel America, the Jew-hating bile tries poisoning America, too.
Anti-Israel Americans harass holiday revelers from coast-to-coast, in shopping malls, at the Rockefeller Center tree lighting ceremony, when the ball drops in Times Square, or when they’re simply trying to reach JFK airport or LAX airport during Christmas week. These “activists” place bloody handprints on the White House gates and smear red paint on the Lincoln Memorial’s plaza, adding a graffitied call to “Free Palestine.” They think it’s legitimate to disrupt business in the Capitol Rotunda and at the Democratic National Committee.
The anti-Israel Americans’ notion of national security includes politely, pathetically, having the U.S. absorb more than 100 rocket attacks from Iranian proxies, without counterattacking the launching pads or the source of the evil, the Iranian mullahs. How do you stop bullies that way? And as for international shipping, they’d let the Houthis reign.
Pro-Israel Americans understand that this harassment from third-rate militias must end, immediately.
Anti-Israeli Americans find terrorism “exhilarating.” They cheer Hamas‘s mass rapists, maimers, kidnappers, killers, who torture the old, the young, the vulnerable.
Their America is a goonocracy, where thugs on the streets and on campuses harass fellow Americans who disagree with them, or don’t join their cause.
In short, anti-Israel America is un-American. It’s an America lost, adrift, with no moral compass, unwilling to stand up for democratic principles, American patriotism, or national pride.
And yes, anti-Israel America also illustrates Jew-hatred’s age-old blinding power. In their Jew-hating frenzy, feminists rationalize rape, gays tolerate homophobia, and supposed nationalists like Tucker Carlson end up allying with those who assail American icons, institutions, sensibilities, and values.
The Lunatic Left and the Raving Right unite in their shared disdain for Israel, and their stereotyping of Jews as too powerful and disloyal, wrong for standing up for themselves and for fitting in, as being too left, for those on the right — and too right for those on the left.
Once again, transcending partisanship, the Israel question is not a left-versus-right issue but about right and wrong. The Democratic President, Joe Biden, represents the Democrats‘ traditional pro-Israel majority—although the Democrats’ hip anti-Israel minority commands disproportionate attention. In defending Israel, Biden has worked with Republicans, who overwhelmingly support Israel. In short, bipartisan support for Israel continues—defying the headlines. Such bipartisanship is good for America too, not just Israel. Healthy democracies need some issues on which opposing parties agree—every issue should not risk civil war.
And, while doom-and-gloomers from left-to-right loved agonizing that 50 percent of young Americans support Hamas, that same Harvard/CAPS/Harris poll had mostly good news for Israel. Eighty-four percent of Americans recognize Oct. 7 as a “terrorist attack. As a result, 81 percent of Americans support Israel over Hamas, and 69 percent recognize that “Israel is trying to avoid civilian casualties” in Gaza—despite the daily media and social media exaggerations caricaturing Israel’s self-defense campaign as unprecedentedly brutal.
These poll numbers echo Gallup poll numbers over 20 years showing consistent support for Israel – no matter the hysterical headlines or the biased news stories.
We hear far too much from the anti-Israel thugs protesting and the demagogues bloviating. It’s a structural problem—extremists command attention. But it’s an existential problem too. Too many decent, hard-working, fair-minded pro-Israel Americans, are so fed up with the shouting, the aggression, they withdraw. Their passivity hurts America too. Because as Ben Shapiro, Joe Biden, and most Americans know, America and Israel share common values, common interests, common challenges, common enemies, and a common fate, especially now.
In 2024, let’s work doubly hard to stop the shrill haters from drowning out America’s all-too Silenced and Decent Majority, aka known as pro-Israel America.
Professor Gil Troy, an American presidential historian, is a Senior Fellow in Zionist Thought at the JPPI, the Global Think Tank of the Jewish People, and, most recently, the co-author with Natan Sharansky of Never Alone: Prison, Politics, and My People, recently released in paperback.