Thursday, Apr 18, 2024

Compassion That Kills

 

The Dark Side of Progressive ‘Humanitarianism’ 

 

Beware of compassion; it can kill.

One often reads of “a deep political divide” within the Democratic Party on the subject of the Israel-Hamas war. That is a diplomatic nicety covering up a nasty truth; the Democratic Party today is abandoning Israel; it is being effectively hijacked by left wing progressives who are openly hostile to the Jewish state.

But not out of hatred or cruelty, of course. All under the guise of compassion and solidarity with the “poor and oppressed.”

About half of Democrats today sympathize with Palestinians over Israel. Shockingly, this is even after Hamas’ horrific massacre of Israelis and barbaric torture of children, woman and elderly.

Sympathy among progressive Democrats for the Palestinians persists even as Hamas proclaims its intention to “repeat Oct. 7” and annihilate Israel, and even after polls report that the majority of Palestinian civilians approve of this genocidal goal.

After the House overwhelmingly passed a resolution condemning Hamas for its horrific attacks in southern Israel Oct. 7, New Jersey Democrat Josh Gottheimer wrote on social media that the 15 Democrats who didn’t vote for the measure were “despicable and do not speak for the party.”

“Mr. Gottheimer was only half right,” a Wall Street Journal op-ed commented. “Those 15 members from progressive constituencies may in fact represent the Democratic future. The party of Franklin D. Roosevelt has an anti-Semitism problem.”

“This week progressive activist groups released a “Gaza 2024 statement” asserting they won’t vote for Joe Biden “if he does not end U.S. support for Israel’s brutal war in Gaza. The announcement offers background on ‘Israeli ethnic cleansing and genocide in Gaza,’” the WSJ wrote.

“The Democratic Party never expected Jew-hatred to be a feature of its coalition. Now it is,” the article noted.

“This [shift in allegiance] is the culmination of a trend decades in the making,” a NY Post op-ed argued. The article ascribed the Democratic Party’s embrace of progressive goals to relentless efforts by anti-Israel activists to undermine support for Israel.

The younger, progressive wing of the Democratic Party, ignorant of history and indoctrinated by woke ideology that champions all “people of color” as victims of oppressors, has firmly embraced the Palestinian cause, propelling the party’s base towards the left.

 

Democrats and Republicans Swapped IDs

The NY Post op-ed by Jonathan Tobin, editor of JNS, notes the irony in how the Republican and Democratic parties have “largely swapped identities in the last 60 years when it comes to Israel.”

Decades ago, beginning with the founding of the Jewish state, Democrats were overwhelmingly sympathetic to Israel, viewing the country as a tiny island of democracy fighting for its life against Arab and Muslim regimes that sought its annihilation.

Republican ranks were divided, with many opting to throw their support behind oil-rich Arab countries and even oppose aid to Israel.

That paradigm changed with the election of Ronald Reagan who was in office from 1981-1989, and was staunchly pro-Israel, the article noted. By the 1990s, the GOP had aligned with Reagan’s view that Israel shared common values with Americans and was a crucial regional ally.

Republicans today back Israel by an overwhelming margin, while congressional Democrats who still support Israel are out of touch with their party’s left-wing base.

Some ascribe the Democratic Party’s reversal to the legacy of the Obama administration, which was hostile to Israel in the extreme. Obama expressed that animus by embracing the nuclear deal with Iran that endangered Israel’s existence, and by its policy of appeasing Teheran and strengthening the rogue nation’s clout in the region to Israel’s detriment.

The Biden administration and certainly the State Department remain wedded to that platform, writes noted columnist and Middle East expert Caroline Glick.

 

Propaganda Machine Betting on Public’s Ignorance

The real explanation for the Democrats’ shift in alliance, experts say, is the rise of a left wing movement that falsely equates the Palestinian war on Israel to the struggle for civil rights in the United States.

Its propaganda machine ludicrously casts the Jewish state as an “apartheid regime,” descendants of “white colonizers,” and an oppressor of Palestinians who are supposedly “indigenous” to Israel—the earliest natives of the land. Laughable, but it works if you can count on the public’s ignorance.

A significant proportion of Congressional Democrats, testing the direction in which political winds blow, have begun alienating themselves from Israel, following the lead of the congressional pro-Palestinian “Squad” who propagate anti-Semitic tropes as part of their hate-Israel tirades.

These propagandists also count on the capacity of people to blindly swallow wholesale lies. Shrieking pro-Palestinian protesters will never have to digest the historical fact that the majority of Israeli Jews have roots in Middle Eastern countries, and are in no way descendants of “white European colonizers.”

They will never stumble across the fact that ancient Jewish monarchies presided for centuries over the land of Israel before a Muslim ever existed.

Progressive activists also hide from the uninformed the fact that Arab Israelis comprise 21 percent of the Israeli population, are represented in the Knesset and in every strata of Israeli society, and enjoy full civil and political rights.

Luckily for the propaganda artists, the average American college student has no idea or interest about these real world facts, or the entire edifice of lies would collapse.

“Until our entire educational system was hijacked by Marxist radicals, Israel was popular with Americans of all backgrounds,” notes the NY Post op-ed. “And it remains so among those, like most GOP voters, who don’t buy into the left’s lies about history and race.”

It is no longer possible to pretend that despite a “political divide” among Democrats, both parties are committed to Israel’s defense, the author contends.

“Thanks to the influence of the ideology to which even President Joe Biden bends his knee,” and which he apparently hopes will help secure him the Arab vote, “the Democrats have reached a tipping point on Israel from which there may be no road back.”

 

All In the Name of Compassion

A closer look at the progressives’ platform, reveals, in addition to its anti-Israel agenda, a political end game to radically change the United States—again under the guise of compassion and humanitarianism.

Many of the major cities such as NY, LA, San Francisco, Chicago, Philadelphia, Boston, Portland, Washington D.C., are witness to the havoc wreaked by progressive soft-on-crime prosecutors, who refuse to prosecute crimes of shoplifting, carjacking, vandalizing property, home break-ins and violent assaults on innocent pedestrians.

The Target chain is closing nine locations across the country — including the liberal-DA strongholds Manhattan, Seattle, San Francisco and Portland, Oregon — because they haven’t figured out a way to combat crime in these soft-on-crimes cities,” a National Review article reported.

“We cannot continue operating these stores because theft and organized retail crime are threatening the safety of our team and guests, and contributing to unsustainable business performance,” the article quoted the company’s statement.

In Washington, D.C., thieves have looted dozens of convenience stores around the city, afterwards selling their stolen goods in “pop-up shops”—sometimes just a short distance from the stores they just robbed, noted AMAC Newsline, a news outlet operated by a conservative think tank.

“The carjacking craze which has gripped major cities throughout the country has also been particularly acute in D.C., more than double the number from 2022,” the article said. Strikingly, “most of the offenders have been juveniles, some as young as 12 or 13 years old.”

Despite the crisis, the D.C. City Council has advanced “reform” legislation reducing penalties for crimes, and making it more difficult for prosecutors to score convictions.

Last year, over the veto of Mayor Muriel Bowser, the council passed a radical overhaul of the city’s criminal justice code that would have slashed prison sentences and ended the prosecution of many crimes. After much feuding and litigation, the bill was ultimately blocked by Congress.

One would hope that real world consequences of unbridled compassion toward lawbreakers would shatter left-wing delusions and dangerous fantasies about “redemption” and “restorative justice” for hardened criminals in place of jail time.

That doesn’t seem to be the case. In one beleaguered city after another, the elimination of cash bail for arrested suspects; policies that phase out jail time for convicted lawbreakers in favor of counseling, parole or community service; and the premature release of violent criminals have collectively led to a dramatic surge in crime. [See Sidebar]

 

Migrants Ratcheting Up Crime Wave

The current migrant wave has exacerbated the crime surge in big cities, authorities say.

‘Over 125,000 migrants have flooded New York City since last spring, looking for shelter at places like the Roosevelt Hotel reception center,” writes USA Today. “Looters are storming electronic, department and liquor stores for expensive tech, designer goods and alcohol.”

In a shocking incident, two violent migrants who were captured on CCTV stomping and kicking two police officers during a vicious Times Square attack late last month, have yet to be apprehended.  They are still at large, according to the NYPD.

In another incident, a 15-year-old teen from Venezuela was arrested for opening fire in Manhattan, while fleeing from police after suspected shoplifting, an AP article said. The shooting injured a tourist from Brazil.

In yet another migrant assault, a video released last week shows members of a migrant crime gang dragging a woman down a New York City street, grabbing her purse and hurling her into a steel pole before speeding off, the NY Post reported.

It turns out that the crime gang has its members steal cell phones and other IDs, and then hires hackers to break into the victims’ bank accounts and drain their funds.

Several immigrants already arrested for these and other crimes were released on bail and have fled the state, prompting outraged calls for Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg to be removed from office.

The incidents have galvanized authorities to impose an 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew at 20 migrant shelters starting next Monday, a spokesperson for Mayor Eric Adams’ office said.

The curfew impacts about 3,600 migrants, with the largest of the emergency centers housing nearly 1,000 migrants in Long Island City, Queens. A total of 24 migrant shelters are now subject to the restrictions, but this represents only a fraction of the more than 200 such facilities the city operates to house some 66,000 newly arrived immigrants, an AP article said.

As hotels commandeered for the new arrivals are bursting at the seams; schools are overwhelmed; New Yorkers are being displaced; and government services are cut back to cater to the newcomers, Mayor Adams is railing at the federal government for not extending more financial help.

He apparently has forgotten his words in 2022.

In a now memorable speech, Mayor Adams boasted that he was “proud that this is a Right to Shelter state.” Within a year, he was begging for the buses of incoming migrants to stop, saying “It will ruin our city. We are losing the New York City we know.”

*****

Jews Targeted in ‘Tzunami of Hate’
In an alarming trend, the lawlessness in New York and other major cities is increasingly targeting Jews.

Los Angeles Area Plagued by Anti-Semitic Attacks in ‘Tsunami’ of Hate,” declared an ABC News headline on December 1, 2023

Anti-Semitic Hate Crimes Surge 200 Percent in NYC over Same Period Last Year,” the National Review wrote around the same time. “Despite overall crime declining in New York City in October, hate crimes against the Jewish community jumped by over 200 percent compared to the same period last year,” the article said.

In the weeks following Hamas’s surprise terror attack on Israel, the NYPD’s Hate Crime Task Force registered a 214 percent “spike in anti-Jewish incidents,” compared to the same period last year, according to an NYPD press release.

“Hate has no place in our city. Our Jewish neighbors are being targeted more and more just on the basis of their faith,” the mayor said in response to the surge of anti-Semitic incidents. “That is unacceptable, and it’s why the NYPD is surging resources to synagogues and key locations in communities across the entire city.”

The latest numbers from NYPD’s hate crime bureau underscore FBI director Christopher Wray’s earlier warning on Capitol Hill in late October about growing threats to the Jewish community.

“This is a threat that is reaching sort of historic levels,” the director told the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, shortly after Israel began its invasion of Gaza following the Hamas atrocities of Oct. 7.

“The Jewish community is targeted by terrorists really across the spectrum,” Wray said, adding that the FBI predicts that “the actions of Hamas and its allies” will likely galvanize terrorists “in a way we haven’t seen since ISIS launched its so-called caliphate years ago.”

“In just the past few weeks, multiple foreign terrorist organizations have called for attacks against Americans and the West. Al-Qaeda issued a call to attack the United States. ISIS urged its followers to target Jewish communities in the United States and Europe.”

“Hizballah has publicly expressed its support for Hamas and threatened to attack U.S. interests in the Middle East. And we’ve seen an increase in attacks on U.S. military bases overseas carried out by militia groups backed by Iran,” Wray added.

“This is not a time for panic, but it is a time for vigilance,” the FBI director said. “We shouldn’t stop conducting our daily lives – going to schools, houses of worship, and so forth – but we should be vigilant.”


******

Criminal Justice Reform or a Push for Anarchy?

Just a few years ago, being tough on crime was a surefire way to bolster a DA’s political aspirations. In a stunning shift, the pendulum has swung wildly in the opposite direction with the emergence of the “progressive prosecutor”—radical reformers who are reinventing the role of the modern district attorney.

While many agree on the need for reform in the American criminal justice system, progressive prosecutors have instituted drastic soft-on-crime changes that, far from dispensing justice, have notably jacked up crime rates in their cities.

Political analysts studying the new trend have pointed to the immense influence wielded by left-wing billionaire George Soros in having soft-on-crime candidates elected to office. Soros created local, independent political action committees which allowed him to bypass the contribution limits on giving to a candidate’s own committee. He then was then able to spend unlimited amounts on behalf of the candidate of his choice.

Soros’s ultimate calculation was that he could make enough of these investments in radical prosecutors that it would cause a major shift in law enforcement in American cities.

His scheme worked and scores of his candidates won elections. By one calculation, 20 percent of the population of the United States was covered by Soros-funded prosecutors, according to City Journal.

But after crime rates soared in cities where Soros-backed prosecutors systematically let lawbreakers of the hook, the soft-on-crime movement has run into bitter grassroots resistance.

Is The Tide Turning?

Since 2022, at least 15 Soros-backed district attorneys have resigned, been recalled, or lost re-election, according to a recent report from the watchdog group “Virginians for Safe Communities.”

In one case, St. Louis circuit attorney Kim Gardner, a self-professed “progressive prosecutor,” released a repeat criminal on bail. The man then hit a young girl with his vehicle at a high speed, resulting in her having her legs amputated. Amid several lawsuits to remove her from office, Gardner finally resigned.

On January 8, Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm became the latest Soros DA to announce he would not seek re-election this year. Chisholm’s policies received national attention in 2021 after it was revealed that a man who intentionally drove his car into a holiday parade in Wisconsin, killing five civilians and injuring at least 48 more, was out on $1,000 cash bail.

“Chisholm’s decision to not seek re-election is particularly significant considering that he was the blueprint for other far-left Soros prosecutors throughout the country, often acting as the movement’s top cheerleader in the media,” the AMAC article said.

In another ouster, voters overwhelmingly chose to recall San Francisco DA Chesa Boudin after the city—one of the most liberal in America—deteriorated into one of the most dangerous zones in the country. That recall sparked a national backlash against soft-on-crime prosecutors.

A month later, Baltimore DA Marilyn Mosby, another far-left prosecutor who received millions from Soros, was defeated in the Democrat primary by a challenger promising to get tougher on crime.

Another major blow to the Soros prosecutor movement came last November, Soros-backed DA Buta Biberaj lost re-election in Loudoun, Virginia, a deep blue county.

“One of the most notorious soft-on-crime prosecutors is Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascon, who was elected in 2020 and is up for reelection this year,” a Fox News article said.

After just one year in office, criticism of Gascon was so intense that a recall campaign was begun. While it failed, more than a half-million signatures have been collected for another recall.

Across the country, it seems millions of Americans, even in liberal cities, are rejecting Soros’s vision of criminal justice “reform.” More than 70 Soros prosecutors are still in office, however, and wield enormous influence, including in the nation’s largest cities like New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago.

“Americans will have their next opportunity to deliver a further rebuke of the radical criminal justice “reform” movement in primary and general elections this year,” writes AMAC. “With cities continuing to succumb to chaos and lawlessness, the worst backlash for Soros prosecutors may be yet to come.”

 

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