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How Critical Race Theory Bred American Leftists’ Jew Hatred

Critical race theory teaches that support for Israel is an extension of Jewish ‘privilege’ and influence in America.

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Since the terrorist attack of Oct. 7, the war in Gaza has captivated the attention of the American public. As a result, interest in the conflict has quickly manifested into yet another theater in America’s greater culture war.

American views on the war in Gaza have become increasingly centered around issues of diversity here in our own country. A large contingent of protesters and Palestinian sympathizers see and even openly acknowledge that they are in fact fighting to dismantle Jewish “privilege” in America and the system that supports it.

When a campus protester at an American college dons a veil and holds up a “Free Hamas” sign, their intention is clear. It is to criticize not only the actions of the Israeli government but the larger system of “settler colonialism” and the Jewish community’s role in its supposed perpetuation.

Meanwhile, when a Jewish student rightly calls out a protester for being antisemitic, he becomes, in the eyes of the protester, a representative of a system that is unfairly and structurally pro-Jewish — and, in turn, pro-white — at its core.

Black left-wingers use the images of Jews as “white” and Palestinians as “dark” to compare America’s exploitation of blacks to Israel’s treatment of Gaza, which they regard as genocidal. Rapper SEB! exploited this comparison in his song FREE PALESTINE! — released in 2023 and played repeatedly on Yale University student commons.

F-ck Israel, Israel a b-tch / B-tch we out here mobbin’ on some Palestine sh-t / Free Palestine b-tch, Israel gon’ die b-tch / N-gga its they land why you out here tryna rob it / Bullsh-t prophets, y’all just want the profit

“Robbing” land? “Want the profit?” The rapper channels resentment against the notion that Jews in America are primarily devoted to the almighty dollar rather than the social welfare of their country. In this sense, left-wing campus activism follows the European anti-Jewish tradition, which has historically drummed up accusations against Jews for using their wealth in the service of undue influence on governments.

Alarmingly, this anti-Jewish sentiment has grown increasingly popular among a diverse spectrum of the American population.

“Palestine is Arab,” shouted protesters in New York City, seeking to deny the Arabness of Israeli Jews and reflecting long-held, open anti-Jewish views of many younger Americans. A 2021 study by the Anti-Defamation League revealed that at least 40 percent of Americans between the ages of 18 and 30 believe between two and five statements revealing strong beliefs about Jewish power and privilege — which is the same percentage of Americans over 30 who believe the same. Youth and a supposedly more “progressive” education are not eliminating anti-Jewish sentiment; they are fanning the flames.

These anti-Jewish sentiments, built upon theories of racial power and privilege, are a direct product of critical race theory. For instance, prior to protests by the Jewish community, California’s Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum omitted Jewish Americans as ethnic minorities. Diversity trainers in California claimed famously that only “Jews of color” were supported under their diversity framework.

Simmering anti-Jewish resentment also plays out in campus protesters’ reaction against administrative actions used against them, which they claim are unfairly harsh and influenced by Jewish donors. Pro-Palestine publications like the Middle East Monitor published accounts of “Pro-Israel Jewish Billionaires” using their campaign and university donations as cudgels to influence the university’s policy on protests. 

Younger anti-Jewish campus activism has also received support from older Middle Eastern immigrants to the United States. Seventy-three-year-old Palestinian businessman Mustafa Khader said pro-Palestine protests are “totally American” because they represent the value of free speech in America to criticize.

“I might differ with Hamas on their ideological beliefs,” he also says, distancing himself from the terrorist group. “But I cannot condemn Hamas for what they’re doing. They’re part of the oppressed population and an oppressed population and occupied population have by law, the right to resist, by all means possible.”

“My understanding is that Palestinian hate for Jews is bred in the bone, taught in the schools and fortified by their leaders,” writes Naomi Levine, a Jewish Winnipeg lawyer. It is the same story in America. Anti-Israel protests are buttressed and fortified by the idea that Jews control America, to the detriment of less powerful and oppressed minorities.

Both sides are starting to acknowledge more and more that criticism of Israel is interrelated to criticism of Jews in America. To get to the heart of the campus protests over Israel, look on the inside of our country, which encases the conflict in the lens of privilege and oppression and identifies the heart of privilege squarely in the American Jewry.


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