What Progressives Should Learn From the Left-Wing Anti-Semite Challenging California’s State Assembl
We know that there are at least a couple of anti-Semitic candidates running as Republicans this year. What isn't being publicized is that there is also at least one running as a progressive.
On social media, she has declared that, “I, for one, enjoy listening to Farrakhan’s sermons.” Louis Farrakhan, for those in need of a refresher, is the anti-Semitic and homophobic cult leader who has blamed Jews for everything from 9/11 to the slave trade. (In fact, while this article was being written, Estrada exhorted her Twitter followers to “listen to Louis Farrakhan.”) This past May, Estrada also attacked Eric Bauman, the chairman of the California Democratic Party, telling him to “try keeping your party, your religion and your people in check.” (Bauman is an openly gay Orthodox Jew.) She repeatedly accused Israel of committing Palestinian “genocide,” a blood libel on a national scale given that the Palestinian Bureau of Central Statistics records a four-fold increase in the Palestinian population since Israel’s founding.
What have you heard about her in the mainstream media, if anything?
Indeed, when confronted with her history of anti-Semitic statements, Estrada knew exactly what to say. “To be clear, I am anti-Zionism, not anti-Semitic,” she told The Forward. Estrada did not explain how attacking California Jewish political figures over their religion or promoting Farrakhan were “anti-Zionist” positions. But she knew that by simply throwing Israel into the conversation and bashing it, she might be able to cash a “Get Out of Anti-Semitism Free” card among her compatriots. Similarly, after Women’s March organizer Tamika Mallory was exposed as a longtime promoter of Farrakhan and refused to repudiate him, she belatedly bookedherself a trip to Israel and the West Bank with an anti-Israel group, in an effort to gloss over her promotion of an anti-Jewish preacher with some newfound anti-Zionism.
All anti-Semites, left, right, and center must be called out. There is no excuse for accepting this kind of sophistry. We know that "anti-Zionism" is a cheap cover for anti-Semitism.
Something similar, writes Schraub, is happening in progressive spaces today: The entirely legitimate enterprise of criticizing Israel is being used by anti-Semites to launder their hate. “Precisely because there are perfectly valid critiques of Israel that are, on their face, wholly laudable from within a progressive paradigm, a speaker harboring antipathy towards Jews and looking for a socially acceptable vector to express them will gravitate toward that issue.” In this manner, anti-Semitism is repackaged as “Israel criticism” in left-wing spaces.
This is where we disagree with Rosenberg. Estrada has not offered a single bit of criticism against Israel. Promoting the libels of Israeli "apartheid" and "genocide" is demonization. It's the Jew-haters who try to pass that demonization off as criticism and foolish progressives who buy that lie. It's not hard to distinguish between honest criticism and the shrill exaggeration and hatred from people like Estrada. It is hard for some Jews (unfortunately) to call out progressive anti-Semites because they're in tune with the rest of the progressive platform.
Maybe it's time to question whether a platform that includes demonization of Israel is the best platform to support. You know, maybe examine all of your political beliefs.
UPDATE: Besides Estrada, there are others, including this progressive, democratic socialist media darling, who struggles to put her beliefs into words, as if she is trying to bend reality to her politics without understanding what the reality is: