A few reflections on the several thoughtful critiques and observations posted:

1) True, the essay is in some significant part aspirational - although both polling data and anecdotal ("lived") experience suggest that the illiberal racialism discussed in the essay is more of an elite minority view than a widely popular outlook among both the Black and Jewish demographics. Hence folks like John McWhorter, Wilfred Reilly, David Bernstein, and the editors of Commentary Magazine may well better reflect those non-elite views than the academics and activists critiqued in the essay. If so, there is good ground to be hopeful. And if ideas do matter, then these more recent contrarian writings are additionally encouragement.

2) The commentary on Israel does reflect the all-too-common double standards, selective cherry-picking, and omission of pertinent explanatory context characteristic of the ubiquitous "Israel: Good or Bad?" debate. I've written at length on this in my book War on Hate, esp. in Chaps. 7, 9, and 10 (which BTW will be out in paperback this March: https://www.amazon.com/War-Hate-Genocide-Terrorism-Freedom/dp/1793627606). For a short corrective, these two columns/reports may be useful: https://blogs.timesofisrael.com/the-human-rights-communitys-war-on-israel-a-catastrophic-moral-failure/; and https://www.jewishnewhaven.org/press-releases/agpi-statement-on-amnesty-internationals-apartheid-charge-against-israel.

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I don't see any renewal of a black-Jewish alliance. I see hatred of blacks toward Jews. I see verbal attacks against Israel. And I see all of this supported and abetted by left-wing whites. It seems to me that Mr. Kopel's observations fall into the "I have a dream" category.

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Jan 23Liked by Henry Kopel

There is as yet no "resurgence" of a black/Jewish alliance, but there is strong leadership and articulation of the issue that has been suppressed and simmering but not acknowledged for years. Let us hope the new leadership will spur and recruit people to the point where they constitute not just an alliance but a movement strong enough to curb and smother religious and racial hate.

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Jan 23·edited Jan 24

Dream on - The antipathy that is spewed from the Black community towards Jews today can be breathtaking. Exhibit #1, is Ilhan Omar's nasty anti-Semitic comments where the Democrats conveniently chose to ignore her not once, but twice. Omar did apologize, but she escaped with barely a wrist slap. This vitriol came from the mouth of a Congresswoman sitting the in the US Capitol. The new GOP-controlled US House is correct in keeping her and her filthy mouth off of important committees. Hate like that spreads, better to keep it away and contained. Exhibit # 2 - Black culture today informs and educates young blacks, especially its music which has been disparaging Jews for decades; Rappa Lupe, B.o.B.m Ice Cube, and Jay Z for just a few. They have never been taken to the mat for their Jew hatred. Whinge all you want to about Kanye, these others guys have written music and lyrics about their Jew hate, whereas Kanye hasn't taken it to his craft - he's tweeted. Exhibit #3 - Just ordinary Black discourse in the media and in print has been anti-Semitic, perhaps more than any other group even the Klu Klux Klan itself. (And can we add the number of blacks that have been beating Jews and Asians in the NYC subways?).

So perhaps Black leadership is expressing their mea culpas in an effort to form 'a new alliance' with the Jewish Community? Who knows? Call me cynical, but I'm guessing "it's all about the Benjamins" as clearly stated by Ilhan Omar in one of her nuttier anti-semitic rants.

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"there are signs of a resurgence in the Black-Jewish alliance"

Difficult to see that really happening at other than an intellectual elite level.

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Jan 24·edited Jan 24

I love this piece! The one thing I am concerned about is to connect Kanye West with the political right, and apply him equally as BLM to the political left. That threatens to alienate people on the right who would otherwise be in support of what you are saying. Kanye West is widely seen as a profoundly disturbed person who, if he were not a billionaire hip hop star, would be virtually unknown. BLM is widely supported on the left. They are hardly equivalent. That aside, bravo on the important points you make!

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Oops, bet on the wrong horse—again!

The only topic more slathered with schmaltz than the "American Civil Rights Movement" is immigration. Oh, for the halcyon days of the 1890s!

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Oversimplified. First of all, the majority of Jews who joined the Civil Rights Movement were secular (one could say "cultural" Jews, whatever that means). And now, given the ascendancy of the Ultra-Orthodox lunatics in Israel and, thanks to their numbers (after decades of intentional over-reproduction), their dominance in Israeli politics, that country which began so idealistically has become more like the segregationist South, or S. African apartheid. Those of us who lived in and loved Israel for years (and marched with King) are dismayed to see what it has become.

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A thoughtful essay, with a good road map forward.

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My fellow Jews decried, as we all should, Kanye West's antics. Yet, when I pointed out to them the photo of Barak Obama standing and smiling with Louis Farakhan, they had not known about it at all. One official of my synagogue even accused me of "making political points." As her attitude cooled she researched the Obama-Farakhan issue and found that the Jewish Anti-Defamation League had pointed out the photo about a three years previously and had asked Obama for an apology. Such will likely never come or even an acknowledgement to ADL

As a Jewish Republican I am not surprised having not heard of the ADL's stance. Yet, my friend, a loyal Democrat and synagogue official had not heard of it and that doesn't surprise me either. The political impetus to get a Democrat, ie Obama, elected by Jews was strong enough and forgiving enough to trump the disgusting and heinous anti-semitic recordo of Farakhan. Democrats hid this photo purposely and have admitted this now that it could not matter. The politics of American partisanship, in which Jews are largely Democrats, wins here for now hands down. This includes the ADL.

If Kanye West were a Democrat, would Jews just sweep his offensive behavior under the rug? We likely would never know, but a sound guess would expect Jews to be much more forgiving and mute if this were true.

The stronger alliance is not between Jews and Blacks. It is between Jews and the Democratic party.

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How to Stop Genocide, Fight Terrorism and Defend Freedom with Henry Kopel


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Alliances that seek to put the members of the alliance on the par with the mainstream are good. But alliances such as that of the ADL with BLM where they seek to perpetuate the grievance industry are not.

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Jan 24·edited Jan 24

Sounds too good to be true, and it is: in 2005 the entire Congressional Black Caucus attended its DC dinner to hear the invited keynote speaker, Louis Farrakhan, America's most outspoken anti-Semite.

Al Sharpton, organizer of the 1991 Crown Heights pogrom, where a Jewish student was murdered and all suspects released without charge, is still treated in the mainstream media as a "civil rights leader".

Courageous Black leaders decry the rise of antisemitism in their community but they are a minority. As were the Black leaders who decried the targeting of the Korean community during the 1984 LA Rodney King riots.


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As a FAIR member, and as a person who recommends FAIR to his friends, I am embarrassed to find find this essay here. It is problematic and polarizing. I know Henry Kopel’s work and his book, War on Hate: How to Stop Genocide, Fight Terrorism, and Defend Freedom.

I find Kopel to be so strongly predisposed toward defending Israel and its policies that I do not find him to be a dispassionate writer on the subject upon which he writes.

In writing of a reconciliation of American Blacks and Jews, the author entirely sidesteps the issue of the historical injustices that arose out of the Jewish resettlement and colonization of Israel in the 20th century. He fails to acknowledge the grievances that have arisen, justifiably, among Israel’s Arab population.

The assertion that Israel, a Zionist theocratic state, effectively ruled by its Orthodox religious members, is a democracy, is an untenable claim.

As a person, with Jewish heritage, who wants the best for the Jewish people, I find many of Israel’s contemporary national policies toward its Arab and Black population to be unjust and counterproductive to Israel’s own best interests.

As long as Israel’s inhumane policies remain—the confiscation of Arab land for Jewish settlement, the extrajudicial killings, the vocal public encouragement of racism, by some of Israel’s religious leaders, etc.—the conflict among Arabs and American Blacks, In opposition to American Jews, is destined to continue.

In a full and honest discussion of these topics, it must be recognized that many Jewish Israelis and Jewish Americans are in agreement with a large contingent of American Blacks in condemning certain Israeli policies.

While the long relationship of mutual support between American Jews and Blacks, should be nurtured, that mutual support is an American project. It’s Americanness should emphasized.

Nonetheless. discussions of Israel and its policies are unavoidable. They will continue to be contentious.

I believe that FAIR should be careful to publish only essays that conform with the FAIR pro-human principles. I believe that in ignoring the legitimate contemporary case for anger among Black Americans, essays such as this are counterproductive to FAIR’s noble purpose.

Below is a 10 minute video, from The Nation, that illustrates clearly one cause of legitimate Black grievance. I share it with you, reluctantly, knowing that participants on all sides, Israelis, American Jews and American Blacks, are guilty of bigotry.

Israel's New Racism: The Persecution of African Migrants in the Holy Land

The Nation


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