The New Inquisition: Left Claims Jewishness While Discriminating Against Jews

The New Inquisition: Left Claims Jewishness While Discriminating Against Jews, by Caroline Glick.

The Left’s identity politics are becoming curiouser and curiouser for Jews.

On the one hand, prominent leftists like Marc Lamont Hill, Tamika Mallory, and Linda Sarsour have no problem blowing on anti-Jewish dog whistles. On the other hand, some of their hard left comrades, like Representative-elect Alexandra Ocasio Cortez (D-NY) and New York state Senator-elect Julia Salazar (D-Brooklyn) are going out of their way to embrace their Jewish roots — whether real or imagined.

How can we explain these seemingly opposed phenomena? After all, these activists share the belief at the core of identity politics that people are defined by what they are, as opposed to what they do. And all of them oppose the Jewish state because the identity politics commissars have determined that Israel is irredeemably deplorable, and the vast majority of Jews are also deplorable because they support Israel.

So how can they embrace hatred of Zionist Jews and Israel, and publicize their Jewishness at the same time? What gives?

The answer is that their embrace of their Jewishness and their rejection of Jews and Israel are two sides of the same anti-Jewish coin. …

Sarsour (top)

Sarsour has arguably played the greatest role in mainstreaming Jew hatred on the left in recent years. That hatred is most prominently expressed in the left’s willingness to reject the human rights of Israeli Jews, including their right not to be murdered by Palestinian terrorists. It is also expressed in the left’s embrace of the view that American Jews have no right to support openly Israel’s right to exist. Last month Sarsour implied that Jews on the left who support Israel cannot be real progressives because their true “allegiance” is to Israel.

In other words, the antisemitism that Sarsour has been instrumental in spreading — and which Mallory, Hill, Perez and many others express openly — is focused on the Jewish state and Jews who support it.

Which brings us to Ocasio-Cortez and Salazar. Like their comrades, both women have embraced harshly anti-Israel positions. But on the face of it, their claims to Jewish heritage seems to indicate that their positions do not stem from an underlying animus towards Jews or Judaism.

But they do. And to understand why they do, it is important to understand the nature of the left’s antisemitism.

This isn’t the antisemitism of the Nazis.

The closest historical precedent to the identity-politics-rooted Jew-hatred on today’s left is the Catholic Inquisition.


The Inquisition, which began in the 12th century and lasted until the early 20th century, was directed towards abolishing anti-Catholic “heresy” in all forms. In southern France, in Spain, and Portugal, the Inquisition was largely directed against the Jews. Under its edicts, Jewish practice and scholarship were officially curtailed and censored beginning in the mid-13th century. The Inquisition culminated in the execution, expulsion or forced conversion of the Jews of Spain and Portugal between 1371 and 1492.

While the vast majority of Jews suffered massively under the Church’s official persecution, there was one sort of “Jew” that prospered. The “good Jews” were former Jews who converted to Christianity and used their status as former Jews to lead the Church’s persecution of the Jews who refused to convert. …

Ocasio-Cortez made her remarks at a Chanukah party hosted by the far-left Jews for Racial and Economic Equality (JFREJ). The group views itself as a Jewish member of the far-left and embraces identity politics. When the Black Lives Matter movement’s published its virulently antisemitic platform statement — which accuses Israel of committing “genocide” against the Palestinians, refers to Israel as an “apartheid state,” and endorses a full economic boycott of Israel — Jewish and Jewish groups across the political spectrum condemned the move. JFREJ defended it. …

This, then, brings us to the meeting point between Sarsour, Hill, Mallory, Ocasio-Cortez, and Salazar. Like their ideological predecessors in the Inquisition, they are united in their hostility towards “bad Jews” who maintain the convictions of the vast majority of the Jewish people.

In the Middle Ages, those convictions related to the Torah. Today, those convictions relate to support for the Jewish state. And like their predecessors in the Middle Ages, they see Jews who denounce Jews and the Jewish state as “good Jews.”

hat-tip Scott of the Pacific