Political anti-semitism is on the rise across the West’s Left. Britain’s Labor party seemingly embraces it, France’s is notoriously virulent and persistent, and now the pathogen is in the USA.

Minnesota’s Congresswoman Ilhan Omar has made a whole series of problematic utterances that might be debatably anti-Semitic, if not for the hyper-attention paid to race comments of any other flavor. But the deeply concerning rub was the pretzel of “whataboutism” the entire Democratic party tied themselves into, when called on to simply call it out.

Now we can add, to my own shock, the publication of an anti-Semitic cartoon in the New York Times, self-proclaimed standard bearer of the American Left, that might have been pulled from Der Sturmer. Again, this would be somewhat debatable, if not for the NY Times’ sonic dismissal of any possibility for any honest motives on race utterances of any other flavor. Double-standard is one of the few concrete definitions of racism Americans on either side of the aisle can agree on.

Out of that putrid pot I pulled Congresswoman Omar’s quote regarding American support of Israel being “all about the Benjamins” for special attention. The reality is that America has never gotten any money or advantage out of our support for Israel. One must be a real wonk to point to Israel’s decisive, region-transforming take-down of Saddam’s atomic bomb program, as one of the few examples. Americans have paid a real price for our support of Israel, it was cited as a cause for Jihad by Osama Bin Laden. We paid, what did we get?

Not much, because our support for Israel is the same as it is for Japan or South Korea or the Western nations in NATO. It’s part of the price America pays to have a global liberal (make that classical-liberal) order. It’s a values-based support because of our century-long commitment to support free, democratic countries.

America supports the post war liberal order arguably too expensively and to the detriment of our own interests: look at the price we pay in Iraq and Afghanistan. Had anything been about Benjamins there, we might have helped ourselves to some oil. Do you know who won the contract to manage Iraq’s oil? France.

That Israel’s support comes from American values is explained by their core support: American evangelicals. They read their Bible, take it as fact, and act, and donate, according to the conscience of their religious teaching. This is the very epitome of acting out of values, which is not about any Benjamins.

Israeli Muslims are the only ones who enjoy the same panoply of rights as we Westerners. They are the only ones in the Muslim ummah governed cleanly, and transparently, with the right to court remedy by an independent judiciary. Turkish Muslims are now short the rights enjoyed by Israeli Muslims.

The slur is doubly shocking coming from a Somali refugee like Omar, who should know the price America paid to deliver that blighted county from her co-religionists, to no discernible financial or geo-political advantage to us. We did it because it was a humanitarian catastrophe. We did it without asking for anything, once again, like always, in return. It was anti-Benjamins, a true commitment to honest humanitarian values, in Somalia, too.

In fact, Canada spends more to lobby the US Government than Israel. Israel lobbies the US government so little because they don’t need to, fitting entirely into the American post-WWII framework of fostering freedom and human rights.

As if voices raised to defend the only defensible nation in the region must needs come from some nefarious bribery scheme.

Which is not to say Israel does not betray standards of lawfulness for a Western nation. But America fails in this too. By my lights, they have the right to lecture us on human rights, as evidenced by the ramifications of our policies, which killed hundreds of thousands of Muslims across the Middle East, and created the worst refugee crisis since WWII.

An example of someone who pimps us with “Benjamins” would be the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). We share no values. The Beatles had a hit single the year the KSA outlawed slavery. Just recently, the KSA beheaded a group of gays, crazy people, and people accused of sorcery (foregoing their Nobel Prize for proving the existence of sorcery). Their war in Yemen is the actual war crime Israel is incessantly falsely accused of: the UN believes Yemen is at the greatest risk of famine in the world. The lion’s share of hijackers on 9/11, which set off the whole Global War on Terror, were Saudis (to this day we are forbidden to know fully of their role in it).

The KSA pimps us to the point where Mike Lee had to introduce a bill to apply the illegality of prostitution to the US Government’s relationship with the KSA. What was the upshot? In our supposedly fundamentally divided government, President Trump has vetoed exactly two bills. One of them was Lee’s.

That’s what “all about the Benjamins” looks like.

Eugene Darden Nicholas

About Eugene Darden Nicholas

Eugene Darden (Ed) Nicholas is from Flushing Queens, where he grew up sheltered from the hard world, learning the true things after graduating college and becoming a paramedic in Harlem. School continues to inform and entertain in all its true, Shakespearean glory. It's a lot of fun, really. In that career, dozens of people walk the earth now who would not be otherwise. (The number depends on how literally or figuratively you choose to add). He added a beloved wife to his little family, which is healthy. He is also well blessed in friends and colleagues.


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