The Red Green Alliance is Coming to America

The Impact of the Islamo-Leftist Coalition on US Jewry & Foreign Policy, & Israel's National Security

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IN A NUTSHELL 


This document focuses on a social phenomenon and its current manifestation and significance known as the red-green alliance – the nexus between radical progressive groups to Islamists organizations, which has been ‘migrating’ from Europe to the US. In light of the rise of identity politics, the collaboration between these two streams creates a powerful social and political axis, that has an increasing influence on American foreign policy in the Middle East, as well as on the status of both Israel and the Jewish community in the US.

Among others, this document explains: the radical shift in the US policy towards its traditional allies in the Middle East; the slowing momentum in the normalization process and the Abraham Accords; the hesitant American approach towards Iran; and the seemingly surprising support of many within the progressive movement in the Hamas’ struggle for Palestinian hegemony on the expanse of the seemingly more moderate Palestinian Authority.



ACKNOWLEDGEMENT


The Reut Institute wishes to thank the Nagen Project and David Bernstein, Founder of the Jewish Institute for Liberal Values, for their support and encouragement of the Reut Institute to engage in this topic.

We wish to thank Reut USA, and Gidi Grinstein, Founder and President of Reut, for both the financial support and being part of the content development. We wish to acknowledge the following donors of Reut USA: Dana and Yossie Hollander, the Michael and Lisa Leffel Foundation, and the Adam and Gila Milstein Foundation.

The lead authors of this paper are Eran Shayshon, Adi Levy, and Abed Assli, but a whole team was involved in this project, including Barak Sella, Alex Grinberg, and Dr. Sara Hirshhorn. Part of this paper relies on previous work led by Daphna Kaufman.



EXECUTIVE SUMMARY


1. On 21 September 2021, at the last moment, progressive legislators from the Democratic Party in Congress succeeded in removing a section in the American budget bill that was intended to regulate the aid package to Israel in the wake of Operation Guardian of the Walls (in May 2021). Even though, a day later, the House of Representatives approved it with a huge majority, this unprecedented event is just a symptom of a fundamental change that Washington is undergoing and of the growing influence of ideological currents on American foreign policy in the Middle East and towards Israel.


2. This fundamental change is, to a great extent, the result of the deepening political and social alliance between progressive radical entities and entities that are identified with political Islam, in particular entities that are identified with the Muslim Brotherhood ideology. As a social phenomenon, this alliance has been migratiing in the past ten years from Europe to the US and this collaboration occurs as part of the framework of intersectionality.


3. With the strengthening of identity politics in the US, the influence of progressive radical streams on mainstream discourses is growing. The binary progressive discourse categorized social groups as privileged or, alternatively, as oppressed, usually on the basis of economic and social status and the color of their skin. The progressive discourse applies a uniform universal moral code on disputes and struggles in the world, and eschews unique, cultural, political, security, social or economic nuances.


4. Jews are catalogued among progressive groups as white and privileged, with a certain degree of responsibility for the current social power structure the progressive movement is battling. In the progressive discourse, the State of Israel is catalogued as a European colonial enterprise. In this way, the progressive discourse fails to capture the exceptional challenges, history, and experience of Jewish life in the US, as well as the unique circumstances and challenges around the establishment and existence of the State of Israel.


5. This dynamic creates what the Reut Institute calls ‘Jewish-Israeli erasure in the progressive discourse’; i.e. the way in which Jews are catalogued in the progressive discourse undermines, in practice, the Jewish right right to define their own identity, values, narrative, and relations with Israel. Cataloging Jews as privileged dismisses Jewish legitimization to allege discrimination or any kind of harm and makes it difficult to cope with antisemitism. The erasure also dismisses the Jewish right to define themselves as a people (‘peoplehood’).


6. In contrast to "classic" antisemitism, progressive erasure is not necessarily derived from hatred, but is a side-effect of the difference between the characteristics of the discourse and Jewish history and experience in the US.


7. Even though the progressive erasure is not always deliberate, since the Ferguson demonstrations (2014) a number of anti-Israel organizations are increasingly able to leverage the erasure to more effectively promote their agenda. In this way, the anti-Israeli agenda and rhetoric have become more widespread, penetrating mainstream liberal organizations and even the Democratic Party. One of the side-effects of this trend is that different aspects of antisemitism become normalized and erode the social norms that protected the Jewish community.


8. Jewish-Israeli erasure in the progressive discourse exacerbate the identity crisis among many American Jews, as the Jewish community is struggling to create a cohesive and united front against the challenge. Internalizing the progressive discourse among a growing number of Jews, who consider themselves to be white and privileged, undermines Jewish identity in the US, and challenges community cohesion and Jewish political criticalness.


9. At the same time, since its founding in Egypt more than ninety years ago, the Muslim Brotherhood movement has become one of the most important Islamists movements in the world, even through organizations identified with it outside of the Middle East have no official organizational affiliation with it. Despite the substantial changes that organizations identified with the movement around the world are undergoing, they still share a common vision, ideological ties, and a common agenda.


10. The Muslim Brotherhood has a conservative and fundamentalist Islamist’s agenda and is driven by a vision of establishing an Islamic Caliphate. The movement is considered part of the political Islam, which characterizes organizations that do not undermine the legitimacy of state institutions and strive to become legitimate political players. As such, despite its radical vision, the movement displays considerable tactical pragmatism.


11. Since they began to consolidate in the early 1960s, organizations in the US identified with the Muslim Brotherhood have become the most organized Islamic power there and have gained the informal status as the representative of the Muslim community in the eyes of law enforcement authorities, even though most Muslims in America do not identify with the movement's agenda.


12. Following the twenty ‘lean years’ after the September 11, 2001 attacks, Muslim Brotherhood organizations in the US are at the peak of their power. The 2001 attacks had serious consequences for Muslims in America and they experienced a wave of anti-Muslim acts and strict domestic policy. Some of these organizations have contended with unsuccessful legislative attempts to classify them as terrorist organizations. Many of them consider the term of President Trump as a low point, while election of a Democratic administration in the last elections as a historic opportunity.


13. The strategy and level of organization of groups identified with the Muslim Brotherhood in the US, make it possible for them to increasingly influence US foreign policy in the Middle East, and to promote an anti-Israel agenda in particular. First and foremost, the progressive wing of the Democratic Party is a unique platform that is able to influence the agenda of American foreign policy. Some members of this political wing even participate frequently in anti-Israel events organized by these organizations. Furthermore, the process of institutionalization of organizations identified with the Muslim Brotherhood in the Washington is gradually increasing, and they benefit from the use of diplomatic platforms financed by Qatar and Turkey, as well as media platforms and social networks, especially Qatar's Al Jazeera. Moreover, these organizations are part of an effective array of global social networks that promote an anti-Zionist agenda – that of the global Muslim Brotherhood, and the network of anti-Zionist organizations in the US.


14. The strategic partnership between the radical left and political Islam, known as the red-green alliance, emerged in Europe, but it has migrated to the US in recent years. Despite the differences and even the opposites between these streams, their cooperation is deep and anchored in an intellectual and philosophical effort to legitimize it. The red-green alliance agenda in Europe includes clear anti-Western, anti-American, and anti-Zionist elements. In the US, this cooperation is accelerated as part of trend of intersectionality (see lexicon).


15. The red-green alliance agenda has expanded in the face of the "progressivization process" of Muslim Brotherhood organizations in the US. These organizations are gradually adopting the rhetoric and certain parts of the progressive movement's agenda, such as demanding prison reform and raising the minimum wage.


16. However, the Islamophobia trap enables the existence of crude antisemitism in the red-green alliance – even blunt antisemitism on the part of leaders of organizations identified with the Muslim Brotherhood are not strongly condemned because of what is called by critics of the progressive discourse ‘racism of low expectations’ and the accusation of Islamophobia, which prevent a discourse on the antisemitism present in these organizations.


17. ‘The red-green foreign policy with respect to the Middle East’ is a wide mix of ideas that begin to coalesce into a coherent perception of an ideal American foreign policy that progressive and Islamist bodies in the US are advancing. This approach rests on an American tradition of commitment to bequeath liberal democratic values and human rights in the world and the coalescing consensus in the US on limiting American military involvement in the world.


18. However, although human rights are ostensibly at the core of the red-green foreign policy outlook, in practice, it is an ideological diversion derived from an interpretation of the Middle East through the framework of idenity politics, and the Muslim Brotherhood agenda in the Middle East. For example, while international human rights organizations sharply criticize all countries in the Middle East in view their tendency to suppress protest through surveillance and force, the red-green alliance in the US focuses its criticism almost exclusively on the pro-Western axis of countries, which are the ideological enemies of the Muslim Brotherhood axis of countries led by Qatar and Turkey.


19. Even though the red-green foreign policy approach is not the dominant approach of the current administration, its influence on decision-making in Washington is growing:

  • The red-green alliance is unable at this time to have a substantial influence on the special relationship between the US and Israel, but it is able to change the discourse about Israel in the US.

  • the red-green alliance has real influence on American policy in the Middle East, in a way that creates significant challenges to Israel's national security. This influence manifests itself, e.g., in the cold shoulder that the administration is giving to America's traditional pro-Western allies, and in the curbing the normalization momentum of the Abraham Accords.

  • The changing relations towards moderate Arab states together with the current American drawdown in the region weakens in proactive the pro-Western axis of countries and Israel in their struggle against Iran.


20. The hostility towards Israel is only a partial explanation of the progressive's non-activism against Iran. The red-green alliance shows no great enthusiasm towards Iran but its agenda strengthens Iran in practice. This result is accepted with indifference among red-green alliance organizations, because Iran is not perceived as a threat to US national security in the eyes of progressives, and because in the view of the Muslim Brotherhood, the struggle against pro-Western Sunni Muslim states supersede the struggle against Iran. The danger to Israel from the nuclear project does not ‘interest’ the red-green alliance. At the same time, the threat to which Israel is exposed from the spread of Iranian proxy forces in the region and the creation of a kinetic "ring of fire" against Israel is deliberately denied or ignored.


21. Whereas progressive streams are allegedly passively silent about Iran, they are actively vocal in their support for Hamas. This support of Hamas, which was established as a branch of the Muslim Brotherhood in Gaza, and not of the more secular-liberal streams ostensibly identified with the political process, may be surprising. But this support is the direct result of the progressive alliance with Muslim Brotherhood organizations and the influence of Palestinians from the radical left.


22. Despite its considerable influence on Israeli national security, the red-green alliance is primarily a domestic American social phenomenon in which Israel has no legitimacy to intervene. Nonetheless, Israel has maneuvering room with respect to a number of fields that may influence the erasure of Israel in the progressive discourse and which will improve Israel's bargaining power with the US on a number of issues related to American foreign policy.


23. First, Israel has to support the statements of its leaders in regards to the need to rehabilitate the relations with the Democratic party with an action plan and dedicated resources; second, Israel must strengthen relations with US Jews, which until now played a critical role in the special relations established between Israel and the US; third, Israel should expose ties that certainly exit (on the basis of the European experience) between Hamas and American organizations.


24. Currently, there is no broad systematic Jewish attempt to challenge the Jewish-Israeli erasure in the progressive discourse. Therefore, this document proposes a number of recommendations to Jewish communal organizations in the US, which are based on a realistic understanding of the polarization in the Jewish community, and its increasingly complex relationship with Israel:

  • The Jewish community is too polarized to expect a ‘total’ Jewish mobilization, but it is possible to mobilize a critical mass of Jewish organization by creating a shared comprehension of the challenge and a galvanizing vision – it is likely to be possible to motivate dozens of organizations even without a wall-to-wall consensus in order to achieve the necessary threshold to challenge the Jewish-Israeli erasure in the progressive discourse. This critical mass should comprise a mix that includes the Jewish establishment, community relations organizations, philanthropists, non-establishment center and left organizations, and ‘communities in the making’ (such as the Israeli, Russian, and 'non-white' populations).

  • It is reccomended to focus on the Jewish-Israeli erasure, not on a war against the progressive movement – targeted activity against the Jewish-Israeli erasure 'speaks' the language of identity politics, and may be a good basis to establish broad coalitions that will include both liberal non-establishment organizations and the Jewish establishment.

  • The Jewish community can exploit the unique opportunity to lead the effort to ‘rebuild the center’, to generate a Jewish renewal, and to strengthen internal community cohesion on the basis of a vision of peoplehood. Such an agenda has a real potential to effectively strengthen Jewish identity and position the Jewish community at the forefront of rehabilitating the mainstream political discourse, because it would resonate with the Jewish silent majority.

  • It is necessary to work to leverage the Abraham Accords paradigm and neutralize the Muslim Brotherhood doctrine. Such an effort could be pursued by cooperating with local Muslims organizations, as well as cooperating with the existing lobbying activity of the Abraham Accords countries in order to re-motivate the normalization drive in the Middle East. It is also possible to charge the Israeli-Jewish "legitimacy battery" through joint tikun olam projects with Abraham Accords nations.

  • Bolstering the community relations field– this network of organizations, which represent the American Jewish community on critical public affairs issues affecting the Jewish community, and engages with government entities, minority groups, and other parties, reflects the Jewish community's most promising toolkit for dealing with the challenge of the rise of identity politics.

  • It is necessary to integrate new emerging communities in the effort, including the Israeli community, who, in recent years, have been increasing their involvement and political capital. Especially interesting is the emergence of a Russian-speaking Jewish community in the US, in which there is the rise of a new class of young philanthropists, activists, and intellectuals who usually have a strong pro-Israel agenda. At least in part, this emergence is a reaction to the Jewish-Israeli erasure, which in their eyes, parallels the attempts to erase Jewish identity in the Soviet Union.


25.  New thinking must be given to the attitude of Jewish separatism towards antisemitism – criticism of organizations identified with the Muslim Brotherhood prompts accusations of Islamophobia and prevents a discussion on antisemitism among these groups. At the same time, the widespread Jewish approach, which rejects looking at antisemitism as part of a wider phenomenon of xenophobia, lest antisemitism loses its uniqueness, makes it difficult for Jewish to find allies to fight antisemitism. The traditional Jewish separatism approach towards antisemitism, may have antisemitim into a sacred cow worth slaughtering in the eyes of progressive and African-American groups.

Therefore, a new approach is needed, the core of which is cooperation with other groups that are dealing with xenophobia, discrimination, hatred, and racism - on the basis of identification, empathy, and sharing the experience and historic lessons of the struggle against antisemitism – and based on the definition of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA). Paradoxically, this approach might actually emphasize the uniqueness of hatred and racism against Jews, and create a foundation for cooperation with moderate Muslim communities and other minorities in the US.


BACKGROUND 1: ISRAEL & JEWISH ERASURE IN THE PROGRESSIVE DISCOURSE

26.The past decade has been characterized by a sharp rise in identity politics in the US. Although the beginning of identity politics goes back to the 1970s, in the past decade, it has become an accepted discourse framework and also a strategic and political approach to emphasize the uniqueness of disadvantaged groups and minorities, which are seeking to advance their interests against the oppression of the dominant groups in society. These positive trends have side effects that create challenges for Jewish communities and Israel.


Intersectionality & the erasive progressive discourse


27. The rise of critical race theory[1] has contributed to the creation of a very diverse and influential social movement that focuses on equal opportunities and correcting economic and social discrimination. ‘Intersectionality,’ for example – a concept that was coined in 1989 by the theoretician Kimberlé Crenshaw in connection with the feminist struggle for gender equality and to emphasize the great similarity and overlap between different kinds of oppression against disadvantaged groups and minorities – is an academic theory that turned into an organizing logic that is translated into cooperation, support, and solidarity between disadvantaged groups and minorities in the US for the sake of social justice, and against against the white establishment that is perceived as the root of oppression.


28. The rise of intersectionality occurred against the backdrop of radicalization in the social discourse in the US and turned the progressive discourse dichotomous, a discourse that catalogues social groups as privileged or, alternatively, oppressed. Ranking the status of groups in this context mostly focuses on differentiation on the basis of class and skin color, and dividing the category between supporters of the status quo and those seeking to radically change it. The progressive discourse applies a uniform universal moral code to disputes and struggles in the world, and over look unique cultural, political, security, social or economic nuances.


29. Since the Ferguson unrest, which occurred at the same time as the fighting between Israel and Hamas during Operation Protective Edge (2014), organizations with an anti-Israel agenda became an integral part of the coalition of minorities. Since then, the support in the coalition for the boycott campaign against Israel has grown, especially among African- American and Latino communities.


30. In recent years, the progressive movement has been experiencing a revival and greater influence on the mainstream liberal discourse and growing influence in the Democratic Party.Progressives have become dominant in many important centers of power in the US, including politics, the defense forces, legal system, universities, the education system, media, Silicon Valley, and even in trade unions.[2] The election to Congress of a number of women identified with the uncompromising progressive agenda is indicative of the fundamental change that the Democratic Party in undergoing and of a centralizing process of highly critical rhetoric against Israel in the Democratic Party.


31. There is an pbvious mismatch between characteristics of the contemporary progressive discourse and the Jewish experience in the US - the terminology, symbols, and values of the progressive discourse is mainly fed from the experience of African-Americans. The incongruence between the characteristics of this discourse and the Jewish experience results in Jews frequently being perceived as party that bears responsibility for the mechanism of white social oppression. In the progressive discourse, Jews are perceived as privileged whites, and consequently it fails to capture the unique collective Jewish vulnerability.


32. As a result, Israel and American Jewry are practically ‘erased’ in the progressive discourse.Characteristics of the contemporary progressive discourse deny, usually unconsciously, the right of Jews to define themselves, either individually or collectively, the basic elements of their identity, including their relations to Israel, the challenges that they face. The progressive discourse does not recognize the current discrimination against Jews and their vulnerabilities, and it rejects the self-perception of many Jews on themselves as a people.


33. The erasive progressive discourse poses a national security challenge for the State of Israel, because it ultimately undermines the relationship between Israel and the US, the bipartisan support for Israel and the relations of the Jewish State with American Jews (see  here).


34. In contrast to ‘classic’ antisemitism, or crude anti-Zionist campaigns, the progressive erasure is usually not fed from hate, but is the result of characteristics of the current discourse in the American left. Its initial dissemintors are not anti-Semites, even though their possible involvement in discriminatory actions may be perceived as crushing and offensive. In contrast to the common forms of discrimination against Jews, this strain of discrimination does not rely on classifying Jews as belonging to a distinct ethnic category.


35. However, one of the side effects of this trend is that some antisemitic strains are normalized. The political and social polarization souple with the radicalization of rhetoric, allow the growing acceptance and normalization of expressions of anti-Zionism and antsemitism in the progressive discourse, and erodes the cultural and social norms that protected the Jewish community.

36. And yet, it is not possible to ignore that there is a radical stream that deliberately focuses on antisemitic and anti-Israel agendas and which exploits the characteristics of the progressive discourse to accumulate influence in the left. Members of this stream use the make-up of the present discourse to prevent the inclusion of Jews on the left and to undermine existing Jewish or pro-Israel agendas on the left. One of the prominent streams in this context is political Islam, and especially American organizations that are identified with the Muslim Brotherhood ideology.


The distancing of Jewish mainstream from Israel & the threat of the collapse of the peoplehood concept


37. In recent years, mainstream[3]American Jewish support for and identification with Israel has eroded, due to demographic changes in which the affiliation of the young generation of Jews to Judaism and community institutions has weakened. One of the most prominent changes is that Israel has become a wedge issue in Jewish communities, due to the erosion of Israel's image in their eyes as a peace seeking, pluralistic, and democratic country.


38. Many Jews see Israel's conduct as a threat on their identity and standing as American citizens, and increasingly experience Israel turning from an asset to a liability. [4] In this reality, many organizations are reducing their allocation of resources to Israel and their activities related to Israel, and many even encourage complete disassociation from dealing with Israel.


39. The Jewish-Israeli erasure in the progressive discourse is accelerating an identity crisis among many American Jews, making it more difficult for Jewish communities to create a cohesive and united front against the challenge. the identity politics discourse in the US puts the American Jewish community in a trap. Many Jews feel that they are forced to choose between their loyalty to Israel in community structures and their liberal values. Internalizing the framework of the progressive discourse among a growing number of Jews who see themselves as white and privileged undermines their Jewish American identity, and challenges community cohesion and the collective Jewish political vitality.


40. Jewish solidarity and consensus are being eroded even over the struggle against progressive antisemitism, and anti-Zionist campaigns. Even when they do not feel comfortable with the boycott campaign against Israel, many Jews choose not to oppose it publically, because of their ambivalence towards Israel. Moreover, there are many Jews who are leading the boycott campaign against Israel and even sharply criticize the Jewish establishment for its support of Israel, arguing that it contributes to the current oppressive power structure in the US against which the progressive movement is fighting.


41. The relationship with the US to a large degree rests on the connection between American Jews and Israel. One of the key drivers of the special relationship between the US and Israel is the political influence, power and prosperity of American Jews. Therefore, beyond the consideration of core values, relations with American Jews have important security, diplomatic, and financial dimension to Israel.[5]


42. There is no question that the distancing between Israel and mainstream American Judaism is feeding the Jewish-Israeli erasure in the progressive discourse, but it is also fed by the erasure. The destructive consequence of the distancing of many Jews is liable to be the collapse of the ideal of Jewish peoplehood; i.e. the collective self-perception of the Jews as a people. The gap between Israel and mainstream American Jews undermines the legitimacy of Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people, and the progressive discourse undermines also the right of Jews to national self-determination.



BACKGROUND 2: THE GROWING STRENGTH OF ORGANIZATIONS IN THE US IDENTIFIED WITH THE MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD


43. The Muslim Brotherhood was founded by Hassan al-Banna in Egypt in 1928 as a conservative and fundamentalist organization, with a clear antisemitic agenda.[6] Its vision is to establish an Islamic Caliphate on the basis of the movement's slogan in Egypt, "Islam is the solution". Nonetheless the movement and organizations identified with it show pragmatism in implementing the vision.


From an Egyptian organization to a global movement


44. The popularity of the Muslim Brotherhood outside Egypt is largely the result of its effective congruence between the way it is organized as a social movement and its objectives.[7] In almost every Western country where bodies identified with the Muslim Brotherhood are active, considerable thought is given to adapting the structure, organization, and strategy.


45. The effective modus-operandiof the Muslim Brotherhood has turned them into informal representatives of the Muslim community in the eyes of the authorities in Europe, Australia, and the US. [8] The establishment of the Muslim Brotherhood in Europe and the concurrent persecution that the movement has undergone in Middle Eastern countries has turned a number of European cities (especially in the United Kingdom, France, Belgium, and Germany) into the most important Muslim Brotherhood global hubs.


46.  Moderate Islamic streams in the Middle East are frustrated by the informal status of Muslim Brotherhood organizations in the West as the representatives of the Muslim communities in Western countries vis-à-vis the authorities and civil society organizations. For example, the collaboration between Muslim Brotherhood organizations and the radical left organiations against the Abraham Accords frustrates many in the Arab countries that signed the Accords with Israel – the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Morocco – which are more open to the West and, which embody a more tolerant Islam.


47. None of the organizations outside of Egypt that are identified with the Muslim Brotherhood, including those in the US to which this document refers, have any direct formal connection with the organization, but there are deep ideological ties, as well as a common conceptual platform that creates affiliation and belonging to a social movement.[9] Organizations identified with the Muslim Brotherhood loosely and collectively cooperate to promote social changes and a range of common causes, while their agenda has many similar, albeit not always identical, features.


48. These organizations currently operate in a more decentralized way than in the past, sometimes making more difficult to understand the movement's center of gravity with respect to particular issues. Thus, Hamas, which was founded as the Muslim Brotherhood in Gaza, considers Ra'am, which is part of the Israeli government coalition and which has roots in the Muslim Brotherhood, as its ideological enemy. [10]Another example from the US is the clear generation gap between young Muslims (a large proportion of whom were born in the US) and the immigrant generation of their parents on various issues, such as on the LBGTQ issue. [11]


The Muslim Brotherhood in the US


49. The establishment of organizations in the US identified with the Muslim Brotherhood began in the 1960s. [12] Gradually, these organizations became the strongest organized Islamic force in the US, founding mosques, businesses, social initiatives, influence groups and lobbies, increasing their media presence, and building their center near in Washington DC. Organizations such as the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), for example, are well led, financed, and connected with the American elite. [13]


50. The September 11, 2001 attacks were a severe blow to the Muslim community in the US, including to organizations identified with the Muslim Brotherhood – anti-Muslim sentiment, harsh domestic policy, and a rise in hatred of Muslims brought the standing of the Muslim community in the US to a low point. At the same time, precisely because of the sense of persecution, it seems in retrospect that this period created a new generation of young Muslim leaders determined to integrate and promote the interests of the community. [14]


51. A number of legislative attempts in the US over the years to declare the Muslim Brotherhood and some of its associated organizations in US[15] as terrorist organizations, failed. These efforts peaked following Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development trial in 2007-08, in which the founders of the foundation, which is identified with the Muslim Brotherhood, were convicted and imprisoned of fundraising for Hamas and the encouragement of suicide attacks.


52. During the term of President Donald Trump, many Muslims again felt that they were on the defensive.President Trump issued a sweeping ban against entry to the US of citizens of a number of Muslim countries in the Middle East, and several of his comments were perceived as anti-Muslim, intensifying fear among Muslims in the US. [16]


53. Equally, these organizations consider the election of Joe Biden as president as a historic opportunity. [17] Indeed, many in the American Muslim community perceive the current era as a record time for social integration of Muslims in the US. [18]


54. It should be noted thatthe main focus of organizations identified with the Muslim Brotherhood is the promotion of domestic American objectives, which is broader than this narrow paper covers. Among other things, these organizations are trying to advance protection from federal authorities (especially the FBI), which they claim persecute Muslims, opposition to US immigration policy, fighting institutional racism in police departments, and the struggle for equal Muslim representation in the federal government. [19]


55. Even though a number of organizations identified with the Muslim Brotherhood are perceived as the informal representative of the Muslim community by the American authorities[20], actually most Muslims in America do not identify with the Muslim Brotherhood agenda. Demographically, most Muslims in the US live in rural areas and not necessarily in large cities where the organizations identified with the Muslim Brotherhood are located, and they are a very diverse population.


56. The decision to focus on building organizations, which ain is to establish relations with the American political elite, is a compensation for the lack of general support in Muslim communities. In effect, Muslim Brotherhood organizations try to obtain internal legitimacy to represent Muslim communities, through their relations with the government,[21] the platforms that they establish, and deepening cooperation with progressive organizations.



THE RED-GREEN ALLIANCE: PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN THE PROGRESSIVE MOVEMENT & ISLAMISTS


57. The alliance between the radical left and political Islam[22] emerged in Europe, where it is called the red-green alliance. [23]The collaboration of these two streams has accelerated in the past two decades, and a broad bipartisan effort is aimed at bridging their intellectual and theoretical differences. [24] This process has migrated in the past decade to the US, and the collaboration there is part of the coalition of minorities phenomenon and intersectionality. The agenda of the radical red-green alliance in Europe includes clear anti-Western, anti-American, and anti-Zionist elements.


The "migration" of the red-green alliance to the US


58. Following the Holy Land Foundation trial (see above), a rapid Americanization process[25] began among organizations in US identified with the Muslim Brotherhood ideology. This process enabled the strengthening of the collaboration between the progressive movement and political Islam, as well as Muslim integration in the US.Americanization is the internalization of the rules of the game in the US, and the development of activism and plans that focus on activity within structures permitted by law enforcement authorities. The process enabled organization ideologically identified with the Muslim Brotherhood to establish political Islam as a stream that can offer a response to the radicalism of Salafi movement, from which al-Qaeda and ISIS emerged (the Lambertism doctrine[26]). The Americanization process succeeded in turn in growing legitimization[27] of organizations in the US identified with the Muslim Brotherhood. Although collaboration between political Islam and the progressive movement is not new in the US, in 2015-2016, it became possible to see a qualitative jump in collaboration between these two streams.


59. The progressivization of the Muslim Brotherhood – organizations and leaders in the US identified with the Muslim Brotherhood are increasingly seen as an integral part of the progressive movement. While collaboration between the progressives and political Islam seeminglhy ought to create a friction (for example over the role of religion or the LGBTQ issues), intersectionality enables both these streams to find numerous interfaces. Morover, a key part of Americanization of Muslim Brotherhood organizations includes adopting the rhetoric and some parts of the progressive agenda. Thus, organizations such as CAIR, which ten years ago was accused in federal court of being part of a network that supported the financing of terrorism, is at the forefront of the struggle for social justice as part of the Black Lives Matter campaign and is also promoting prison reform and the minimum wage. [28]Even though the emergence of the red-green alliance in the US is more recent than in Europe, it appears that the ties between these two streams are deeper in the US than in Europe.


60. There is no doubt that organizations identified with the Muslim Brotherhood are undergoing far-reaching changes, but the movement has not fundamentally changed the long-term objectives and goals of political Islam, and definitely not its approach towards Israel, and it still acts as a global movement. There is lively debate among scholars of political Islam about the change that political Islam is undergoing in the US. There are many organizations and leaders that consider cooperation with the left as merely opportunistic and have reservations about it, while others who believe that the change reflects real transformation in the young Muslim generation. [29] Nonetheless, there are no signs of a deep transformation that redefines the movement's vision, its long-term objectives, and strategic goals.


The red-green alliance promotes an anti-Israel and antisemitic agenda


61. The red-green alliance, as a key factor in the spread of Israel's delegitimization in Europe.  In the early 2010s, the Reut Institute shone a spotlight on the consequences of the red-green alliance's activities against Israel in London (see here). The document stated that, even though the bodies comprising the red-green alliance were considered marginal political forces, almost everywhere that they operated in Europe, their disproportionate power with respect to Israel was due to their success in influencing the ‘framing’ of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by appropriating the liberal terminology to their softening real agenda and goals. The result is that ideas that were considered radical a few years earlier have gradually penetrated the Western mainstream dialogue, and the Reut Institute even warned that the red-green alliance was liable to spread to the US.


62. As in Europe, the red-green alliance carries a clear anti-Israeli agenda -


  • On the one hand, political Islam's broadening spectrum in the US is not wide enough to include diverse opinions about Israel or on the Jewish establishment. Even the most liberal American leaders identified with the Muslim Brotherhood promote an anti-Israel agenda, and most consider Israel to be a colonial entity born in sin, and justify, for example, suicide bombings against Israelis.[30]

  • On the other hand, the progressive movement in the West, initially in Europe and subsequently in the US, has undergone a complete reversal with respect to Israel, which the Reut Institute at the time called "from kibbutz to kibbush (occupation)"; i.e. switching from a perspective of Israel as a model of ideal socialist society in the 1960s to a country that represents all the evils of the contemporary West. [31]


63. Within the red-green alliance there is a "racism of low expectations" and an "Islamophobia trap" that enable the existence of crude antisemitism – Muslim Brotherhood organizations and activists are integrating into liberal and progressive groups, but retain a hostile line against Israel and even crude antisemitism, which is accepted with understanding because of what is called by critics of the progressive discourse the "racism of low expectations". Even scandalous remarks by Muslim leaders against Jews or Israel are not strongly or comprehensively condemned. Moreover, the polarized progressive discourse that divides the world into the oppressed and oppressors, criticism of remarks by leaders or organizations identified with the Muslim Brotherhood results in accusations of Islamophobia and prevents discussion on the current antisemitism in these bodies.


The organization and platform that enables the red-green alliance to influence foreign policy


64. The structure, strategy, relationships with the progressive movement, and the level of organization in the US, puts Muslim Brotherhood organizations in a unique position to have a real influence on US foreign policy in the Middle East.


65. First and foremost, the rising progressive wing in the Democratic Party is a unique platform that has succeeded in influencing the American foreign policy agenda. An example is the delay in Congress of the Israel aid package arrangements following Operation Guardian of the Walls and the administration's decision to freeze 10% of the annual defense aid to Egypt over criticism of its human rights, especially its treatment of activists identified with the Muslim Brotherhood movement. [32]


66. In 2018, the first two Muslim Members of Congress identified with the radical progressive wing were elected, Representatives Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar, with the support of votes from Muslim and progressive communities alike. Both Congresswomen were able to influence the critical dialogue against Israel in the mainstream Democratic Party, especially during Operation Guardian of the Walls in May 2021. [33]Both Congresswomen frequently participate in anti-Israel events of organizations identified with the Muslim Brotherhood, and even with Hamas. [34]


67. The level of American organization identified with the Muslim Brotherhood and even with Hamas is gradually increasing. For example, American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), which is identified with the Muslim Brotherhood ideology, has a clear pro-Hamas outlook and has established a new lobby in Washington DC, Americans for Justice in Palestine Action (AJP). [35]It works with the progressive wing of the Democratic Party and beyond. [36]


68. Using Qatari and Turkish diplomatic platforms – in recent years, Qatar, which in effect supports the global Muslim Brotherhood movement (see below), has been expanding its lobbying and public relations operations in the US, [37] promoting a foreign policy agenda that largely overlaps the agenda of organizations identified with the Muslim Brotherhood in the US. Turkey, which also supports the global Muslim Brotherhood movement, has expanded its efforts to influence Washington, and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has even held periodic meetings with leaders in the US identified with the Muslim Brotherhood. [38] American organizations that are promoting Turkish interests cooperate with organizations identified with the Muslim Brotherhood to advance an anti-Israel agenda. [39]


69. The global coalition of Muslim Brotherhood organizations – organizations outside the US identified with the global Muslim Brotherhood movement are harnessed for the struggles that American organizations are waging on behalf of the movement. They operate from a common vision and strategic objectives of the global movement. [40]


70. The Al Jazeera empire is harnessed to the "revolution" – Al Jazeera English, a global media platform owned and in the service of Qatar, has been a main channel of the progressive movement worldwide, and a platform for advancing a prominent anti-Israel agenda and the boycott campaign against Israel. The Al Jazeera social media channel, AJ+, has become especially popular, and alongside promoting issues that are important to the progressive movement, it also promotes a clear anti-Israel agenda. [41]


71. Powerful media and social media platforms – the progressive movement, including organizations identified with the Muslim Brotherhood, exploit the options to communicate on their own platforms on traditional and social media, thereby bypassing mainstream or establishment media. The decentralization of the internet enables radical bodies to create powerful media platforms to directly reach new audiences on unfiltered social media, especially Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok.


72. A network of anti-Zionist organizations in the US and pro-Palestinian leftist organizations – in the past twenty years, Israel has been dealing with a systematic global assault by a network of organizations that reject Israel's existence for a range of political, philosophical, and ideological reasons. In everything related to the shaping of a hawkish agenda against Israel, the red-green alliance is assisted in practice by what Reut called ‘the delegitimization network’ that works to to turn Israel into a pariah state and deliberately promote the association of Israel with the former Apartheid regime in South Africa. This network has grown in recent years in the US, and includes, inter alia, progressive anti-Zionist organizations, leftist pro-Palestinian organizations, anti-Zionist ultra-orthodox organizations, radical African-American organizations, progressive churches, and even Iranian exile organizations.



THE RED-GREEN FOREIGN POLICY IN THE MIDDLE EAST


73. The US has dramatically changed its foreign policy in recent months, in particular in regards to the Middle East. The need to change US foreign policy, as well as key components with respect to the nature of the change, is a rare convergence between Democrats and Republicans. This chapter will try to point to the fundamental change in this policy that is a consequence of the spirit of the time and unique circumstances, but it will also try to assess the important role played by progressive and islamist bodies on the US administration's positions on particular issues.


Restraint Foreign Policy


74. US policy in the Middle East in recent decades has focused on aggressive anti-terrorism activity, the promotion of democracy, nation-building, and humanitarian aid. Although the two parties have had different perspectives on foreign policy, in general, there was consensus on the central role of the US as the global policeman. The post-September 11 attacks era was characterized by increased US military involvement in the world, especially in the Middle East.


75. But, in the past few years, a consensus has been emerging in Washington in both parties for a need to adopt a restraint foreign policy, which includes a dramatic reduction of the US military presence in the Middle East and elsewhere in the world. This approach is more passive and emphasizes economic and diplomatic measures over military ones.[42]


76. The ideological and political justifications for a restraint foreign policy are diverse, and are raised by both realist conservatives and by pacifist progressive groups. For example, it is possible to find in both the conservative and progressive dialogues similar lessons on the limitations of military force; recognition of the rise of new regional and global powers, which are putting an end to America's international dominance; and a perception that the US is safe within its borders: with its nuclear power and its military strength, there is no significant military threat to the US. Both political streams also agree that the Middle East has become less important to the US, because of the US energy independence, and therefore its military presence in the regions should therefore be reduced or ended.


Principles of the progressive ‘inclusive’ foreign policy in the Middle East


77. Despite the current rare relative consensus in the US on the need for foreign policy restraint, there are a number of unique principles in the way that the red-green alliance perceives the ideal foreign policy. The red-green foreign policy is a restraint foreign policy seasoned with the interpretation of global struggles through the prism of US identity politics, human rights and ideological principles of political Islam.


78. The ‘inclusive’ approach to foreign policy - Progressive groups often use the concept of ‘inclusive foreign policy’,[43] which calls for the US to stop its tolerance of its allies that allegedly violate human rights, and to apply uniform universal standards on human rights violations on friends and foes alike. The elements and principles of the inclusive foreign policy are –

  • Understanding the Middle East through American identity politics - progressives tend to interpret conflicts in the Middle East on the basis of discourse categories of social struggles in the US, as a dispute in which the privileged always oppress weaker groups, whether minorities or labor migrants.[44]

  • A universal utopian vision.[45] Invlusive foreign policy is based on the perception that despite difference in cultural, national and social values, there are universal truth and justice, as the foundations of human interaction.


79. Breaking the barriers between domestic and foreign policy. The progressive outlook emphasizes examination of US foreign policy on the basis of domestic policy, in particular how foreign policy affects the American economy. [46]


80. Human rights and social justice are more important than security interests. The progressive approach redefines national security considerations and tries to advance a policy that will focus on human development rather than developing and fostering interstate relations based on security interests.


81. Equity of outcomes approach towards international conflicts. US support for various entities in conflict in the Middle East should be based on the perception that if one group is privileged or enjoys an advantage on another group, the logical conclusion is that that group should bear the blame for the dispute and war crimes. For example, in the last round of fighting between Israel and Gaza, the balance of victims to the detriment of the Palestinians is a clear indication for the progressive movement to blame Israel.


82. Anti-Trumpism. Although this element is ostensibly not ideological, in practice the tendency to oppose every American position or measure during President Trump's term was given almost ideological standing. Examples include the widespread opposition of the progressive movement to the Abraham Accords between Israel and several Arab States, which were achieved during his term, and certainly Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.



The red-green foreign policy and the Middle Eastern game of thrones


83. In recent years, in view of the accelerating US withdrawal from the Middle East, which began under President Barack Obama, there is an intensive competition for regional hegemony by three key parties with different ideological agendas: 1) the Muslim Brotherhood axis, which is mainly led by Turkey[47] and Qatar[48]; 2)the Shia axis led by Iran, which includes Hezbollah and loyal militias scattered throughout the Middle East, especially in Iraq, Yemen and Syria; and3) the moderate Sunni Arab and pro-Western states, dominated by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Egypt.


84. The red-green alliance impact on US policy in the region, influences the balance of power between these axes, which have a strong effect on Israel's national security. It is not always possible to directly link the influence of progressive groups on the foreign policy of the Biden administration. At the same time, it is unlikely to be a coincidence that a number of issues on the progressive movement's agenda have become part of US policy in the region. In practice, there is strong congruence between the progressive foreign policy ideal for the region and the contemporary US policy in the region.


Moderate axis is perceived as comprising of rogue states


85. Among international human rights organizations, there is sharp criticism of Middle Eastern countries that tend to brutally oppress popular protests and apply surveillance and suppression of opponents of the government. Most of the criticism of these internationalorganizations focuses on Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Iran, and Syria. Ahead of the upcoming World Cup in 2022, Qatar is drawing especially heavy fire in view of its treatment of minorities and foreign workers in the country. In general, the international criticism ignores the competition for regional hegemony at a time when all the countries in the region are the subject of sharp criticism.


86. Nonetheless, the progressive movement in the US focuses its criticism almost exclusively on the moderate pro-Western states. The reason is the influence of American organizations identified with the Muslim Brotherhood, which have a hostile ideology towards the moderate axis.Indeed, activity and publications of organizations in the US identified with the Muslim Brotherhood[49] are free of any criticism of the policies of Turkey, Qatar, the government in western Libya, and Muslim Brotherhood organizations in the Middle East, but have an intense agenda against Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain the United Arab Emirates, and, of course, Israel. [50]


87. Although there is no full overlap between the administration's position and the foreign policy ideal of the red-green alliance (for example, the administration's hard line against Turkey, which is not central to the red-green alliance's agenda), it seems that US policy in the region is deeply influenced by the latter's foreign policy outlook. For example:


  • Saudi Arabia receives a cold shoulder[51] - in the name of a universal foreign policy (see above), and what almost looks like an orchestrated campaign and vigorous activity in Congress, red-green alliance organizations and their leaders have marked Saudi Arabia as a target over its involvement in Yemen and the murder of journalist and government critic Jamal Khashoggi. [52] Indeed, since President Biden assumed office, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman, has received a cold shoulder by the administration.

  • Moreover, the American decision to retract its definition of the Yemeni Houtis – the Saudi's enemy and allies of Iran – as a terrorist organization, indicates a sharp change in the American approach towards its traditional ally, and allows the Iranian ring of fire around Israel to expand. Recently, the administration suspended the sale of precision arms to Saudi Arabia and even removed an air defense battery that had been positioned in the country following an Iranian attack on Aramco facilities in 2019. In view of the changing American attitude, Saudi Arabia has struggled even more to operate against the pro-Iranian Houti rebels in Yemen, and Iran has almost a free hand to complete the building of the Houti's kinetic capabilities, which are part of Iran's circle of fire against Israel.[53]

  • The sale of American F-35s to the United Arab Emirates, which is perceived as part of the deal surrounding the Abraham Accords with Israel, is under long review. In the eyes of the progressives, the deal as a whole is fundamentally unacceptable; it completely contravenes the trend to significantly reduce reliance on military power in the international arena, which only undermines, rather than contributes, to regional stability.

  • Tough approaach against Egypt – The administration decided to freeze 10% of the annual military aid to Egypt - $130 million – in view of criticism of human rights in the country, especially its treatment of activists indentified with the Muslim Brotherhood. The decision was the result of an ongoing campaign by progressive groups,[54] and in particular the result of a compromise between the progressive wing, which initially sought to cut $300 million, and more centrist wing of the Democratic Party.[55]

  • The de-factofreezing of the Abraham Accords in practice – progressive groups and Muslim Brotherhood organizations have criticized the peace agreements and normalization between Israel and a number of Arab states. In the progressive discourse, the Abraham Accords are described as sacrificing the Palestinian issue, [56] and as agreements between totalitarian regimes. There have also been calls by prominent Members of Congress for the Biden administration to void the agreements.[57]Moreover, while the Abraham Accords have won formal support of both parties,[58] in practice, the administration has not advanced the normalization momentum between Israel and Arab states, headed by Saudi Arabia.


88. In conclusion, the change in attitudes towards moderate pro-Western Arab states combined with the reduced American presence in the region effectively weakens the axis of pro-Western Arab states. The American attempts to renew the nuclear agreement with Iran, simultaneously with the drawdown of its forces in the UAE, Bahrain, and Qatar, as well as the withdrawal from Iraq and Syria, damage the sense of security of the Gulf States against Iran, at the same time as the disorderly American retreat from Afghanistan continues to reverberate.


Iran is not a real threat to the US


89. Iran's human rights record should have mad it a key target for progressive movements. Iran is a country where woman are denied many rights, where homosexuals and government opponents are hanged, which supports and finances terrorist organizations throughout the Middle East, and which has proven involvement in international terrorism. Ostensibly, Iran should be at the heart of the progressive campaign, which is based on protecting human rights and democratic values. Indeed, studies show that there is no enthusiasm for Iran among progressive groups, and embarrassingly, it is perceived in the same way as Israel. [59]


90. However, the progressive movement and Islamist organizations keep a thunderous silence about Iran, especially in comparison with their criticism against Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates.


91. A main reason is the US withdrawal from the nuclear deal with Iran, which is in tension with the liberal worldview, which is based on faith in the international order and international law. US attempts to renew the nuclear deal certainly encourage restraint among those who might criticize human rights in Iran. And yet, the silence towards a recalcitrant country like Iran could be depicted as unreasonable if the ideological and political positions of the red-green alliance are not taken into account.


92. Notwithstanding the historic and ideological hostility between Shia and Sunni Islam, there is an ideological affiliation between the Muslim Brotherhood and Iran.Relations between Shia groups in Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood began in 1940s, and it was Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei who first contributed to the distribution of the book of Muslim Brotherhood founder Sayid Qutb and Iran's issue of a commemoration stamp for him in 1984.[60] In recent years, Sunni political Islam groups and Shia groups have held dialogues and cooperated on overlapping interests, one of the most prominent of which is support for Hamas. The détente between Sunni political Islam and Iran's Shias is also seen in the agenda of groups identified with the Muslim Brotherhood in the West – Iran is simply on this agenda.


93. Moreover, positions expressed by progressive leaders and even Members of Congress indicate that they do not perceive Iran as a threat to US national security.[61]


94. Ignoring Iran's ring of fire around Israel. Iran and its proxies continue to be the greatest regional threat to Israel at a time when Iran is investing heavily to encircle Israel with a ring of tens of thousands of missiles in a geographical space that spreads from Iran and Yemen to the Gaza Strip, and through Iraq, Lebanon and Syria. [62]Nonetheless, Senator Chris Murphy, chairman of Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Near East, South Asia, Central Asia and Counterterrorism, who is considered one of the prominent leaders of the progressive foreign policy line, declared that Iranian missiles are not targeting Israel, ignoring the 150,000 missiles of Hezbollah, which already target Israel, while describing Hezbollah as a legitimate Lebanese actor. [63]


95. Therefore, while Iran is not on the red-green alliance's agenda, the strengthening in practice of Iran and its regional proxies as a consequence of the weakening of the moderate Arab states’ axis, is accepted at least as an unharmful side effect by progressive movement and islamists.


The red-green foreign policy and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict


96. The US and Israel have a ‘special relationship’, supported by both the Democrats and Republicans, from which diplomatic, defense, and economic cooperation is derived. The special relationship with the US has become one of the pillars of Israel's national security. There are diverse reasons and motives for it, including shared values, interests, and the work of the US Jewish community. The Jewish-Israeli erasure in the progressive discourse is challenging these special relations, so far without real success at the state level, but does dramatically change the dialogue around Israel.


Only a marginal effect on US approach towards Israel


97. Israel has become a wedge issue between the progressive and centrist wings of the Democratic Party and a source of power struggles in the Biden administration. Many in the progressive movement criticize American foreign policy for not treating Israel as a ‘roughe state’ in the way that the progressive discourse depicts it.


98. Nonetheless, while the Biden administration is committed to the special relationship with Israel and to the latter's security, the influence of the progressives on the administration's policy remains marginal. The Biden administration is providing Israel with extensive support, even though the position of Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on the Palestinian question is more hard line than that of former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Israel also earned broad credit from the administration during Operation Guardian of the Walls in Gaza (albeit the critical discourse against Israel entered the centrist stream of the Democratic Party during the campaign). It seems that the Biden Administration was determined to open a new page between the countries, following the acrimonious relations between Netanyahu and two Democratic presidents. [64]


99. The pressure of the progressive wing of the Democratic Party has only been able to tactically undermine Israel's relations with the US at this stage. For example, even though the $1 billion in US financing to renew the inventory of Iron Dome missile interceptors was delayed for only 24 hours, the incident is liable to be ultimately remembered as a critical turning point in US-Israeli relations. Representatives Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, and Rashida Tlaib, whom Israel's previous government denied entry because of their anti-Israel comments and activity, are particularly identified with the measure. That incident could provide an opening to future challenges to Israel's national security.


100. Moreover, at this time, the perception that the road to Washington passes through Jerusalem still holds sway in the Middle East. Stereotypes of the power, money, and influence of the American Jewish community have turned Israel into an object of diplomatic courtship and contributed to the creation of the image of Israeli power. Foreign leaders court Jerusalem. [65]Even now, the image of Israeli power among its friends and foes in the Middle East is derived from the special relationship with the US, which is still of great importance in the Middle East. [66]


The Jewish-Israeli erasure is changing the public discourse about Israel



101. The progressive discourse frames the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as a conflict between the white privileged oppressor and the brown oppressed Palestinians. Israel is depicted in the progressive discourse as an ethnonationalist project and inherently racist, that was born in sin and which intersectional social groups should oppose.[67] The progressive discourse effectively undermines the legitimacy of Jews to identify with Israel or define themselves as Zionists. Many progressive movements and organizations accept Jews on the condition that they reject Israel and Zionism.


102. Furthermore, the progressive discourse neutralizes pro-Israeli voices in the US. One of the factors that made the special relationship between the US and Israel possible was the political capital of American Jewish communal organizations. But such organizations can only claim that they represent the Jewish community on issues for which there is a community consensus. The progressive discourse undermines the unity of the Jewish community, harming its ability to achieve such a consensus, especially on disputed subjects. The progressive discourse therefore undermines pro-Israeli voices.


103. In the name of inclusive foreign policy, the progressive movement calls for cancellation in practice of the special relationship,[68]returning the American Embassy to Tel Aviv, putting IDF officer and Israeli leaders on trial at the International Court of Justice in the Hague,[69]stopping arms sales to Israel[70]and even the annual US aid to Israel. [71]Many progressives consider Israeli settlements in Judea and Samaria as violations of international law. Politically, it is also possible to find in the progressive movement opinions supporting the two-state solution as well as a one-state solution.


104. The dichotomies of the progressive discourse do not allow an understanding of the exclusive geopolitical circumstances or the complexities and uniqueness of Israel in the region. The erasure in the progressive discourse expropriates the Jewish narrative from Jews, rejects their legitimacy to express their vulnerabilities, and thereby undermines their ability to ensure their security.


105. The fighting in Gaza during Operation Guardian of the Walls brought these processes to a peak: the progressive discourse during the escalation prominently framed Israel as a white oppressive state and compared the structural discrimination from which African-Americans suffer to the struggle of the Palestinians. This framework intensifies the impact among progressive groups of the comparison of Israel to the former regime of apartheid in South Africa that is promoted by anti-Zionist groups.


Hamas is the big winner of the red-green foreign policy


106. Ostensibly, Hamas should also be a target of progressive criticism, as Both the US and the EU classify Hamas a terrorist organization. Hamas was established as the Gaza branch of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, and its vision is to establish a religious Islamic state throughout ‘historic Palestine’. Hamas presents a radical-religious agenda for the Palestinian national struggle, rejecting the right of the Jewish people for self-determination, it does not recognize Israel, uses terror to achieve its objectives, persecutes homosexuals, and discriminates against women. Nonetheless, whereas the progressive movement is ‘silent’ about Iran, in practice it proactively supports Hamas, even at the expense of more liberal Palestinian factions.


107. As part of the establishment of the Muslim Brotherhood in Europe, organizations identified with Hamas[72]are at the forefront of collaboration with progressive organizations in anti-Israel campaigns.[73] The establishment of the Muslim Brotherhood in Europe and the roles played there by organizations identified with Hamas, have resulted in the Hamas narrative being adopted by radical left groups wrapped in progressive terminology to the point that Hamas has effectively become a loyal representative of the Palestinian people in these groups' eyes.


108. Sympathy for Hamas plays an important role in the progressive movement's hostility towards the Palestinian Authority.Hamas' narrative against the Palestinian Authority has been adopted by broad progressive audiences. Many progressives consider the Palestinian Authority to be the creation of the Oslo process between the PLO and Israel, and therefore describe it as a subcontractor of the Israeli occupation. [74] While violent responses of the Palestinian Authority against human rights activists result in a wave of condemnation by the left, progressives are indifferent towards similar offenses by Hamas.[75]


109. The paradox of Operation Guardian of the Walls: Progressive support the radical Hamas in its domestic struggle against the ‘moderate’ Fatah. Following the cancellation of the Palestinian Authority elections by President Mahmoud Abbas, Hamas turned Jerusalem into the key cause for opening a campaign against Israel in order to position itself as an alternative to the PLO and Palestinain Authority that are controlled by Fatah. Operation Guardian of the Walls in fact an attempt by Hamas to domestically challenge: 1) the dominance of Fatah in the Palestinian movement; 2) and the two-state solution that Fatah, justifiably or not, is identified with.


However, during Operation Guardian of the Walls, the red-green alliance was drafted in favor of Hamas to help change the discourse and improve Hamas' position both domestically and internationally as the legitimate representative of the Palestinians. During the campaign, the criticism of Israel reached a peak, penetrating the Democratic Party mainstream, even though Hamas was the party that clearly initiated the confrontation by firing missiles at Israeli population centers.


THE NEED: A CRITICAL MASS TO CHALLENGE THE DISCOURSE


110. Do not foster vain expectations about the Jewish community's ability to be recruited to the challenge of the Jewish-Israeli erasure in the progressive discourse. The contemporary Jewish community is politically, socially, and organizationally polarized, and there is a proliferation of non-establishment organizations, a weakening of the Jewish establishment and the degree that it represents the community. The Jewish community does not speak in one voice, and cannot replicate the near total mobilization and recruitment in favor of common objectives that characterized it in the past, such as the mobilization for the release of Prisoners of Zion in the Soviet Union in the 1970s.


111. The key to effectively challenge Jewish erasure in the current progressive discourse lies in recruiting a critical mass of organizations and leaders who will implement a common understanding of the challenge and unifying vision to drive change in Jewish communities. A critical mass of the Jewish community does not mean total recruitment. Although it is not possible to replicate the comprehensive mobilization that characterized the Jewish community in the past, it is possible motivate several dozen organizations of different kinds to achieve the threshold needed to create momentum to challenge the Jewish-Israeli erasure in the progressive discourse.


112. The Reut Institute proposes that this critical mass should comprise 1) the Jewish establishment; 2) community relations organizations; 3) non-establishment center and left organizations; 4) emerging communities (beginning with the Israeli, Russian, and Jews of Color communities); and 5) Jewish philanthropy. The following recommendations are therefore directed to these bodies.


Focus on the Jewish erasure in the progressive discourse, not on the progressive movement


113. The order of the day of the entire Jewish establishment and Jewish community organizations is to vigorously and broadly go against the Jewish-Israeli erasure in the progressive discourse.  Many Jewish communal organizations are confused and perplexed against an undefined threat, or sometimes consciously choose to ignore it, and focus exclusively only on challenges around which there is broad consensus, such as the struggle against traditional antisemitism. Official Jewish community organizations' challenging the Jewish erasure is a threshold condition against the threat.


114. Therefore, it is necessary to reassess the practice that requires building consensus as a condition for acting on core community issues.Support for Israel and Jewish-Israeli erasure in the progressive discourse are two subjects for which no broad consensus can exist as in the past, but reality demands that the Jewish establishment act on these issues. This reality could have dramatic consequences on the activity of mainstream Jewish community organizations, including the lobby groups, communal organizations and community relations organizations, which ostensibly can act only on issues for which there is a very broad consensus.


115. The Jewish establishment will be able to, and also should, focus its struggle against the Jewish-Israeli erasure in the progressive discourse, and not against the entire progressive movement. Naturally, there is a link between patterns of activity and the progressive discourse as a whole and the Jewish-Israeli erasure in the progressive discourse. But the differences in defining the challenge have significant consequences on the nature of the activity, the chances of success, and the chances of harnessing the Jewish community as a whole. Going against the progressive movement is politically fraught and bitterly divisive in the Jewish community. Conversely, going against the Jewish-Israeli erasure only "speaks" the political language of identity politics and can be an issue around which broad coalitions can be built that include progressive Jewish bodies.


Strengthening the political center & internal cohesion on the basis of the peoplehood vision


116. The Jewish struggle against the Jewish-Israeli erasure requires rebooting Jewish politics and focusing on building a political center and commitment to democratic norms and liberal values.[76] The distress in which Jews are between the hammer of right-wing antisemitism and the anvil of left-wing antisemitism gives them an opportunity to lead the rebuilding of the discourse in the center of the political and cultural map in which the radicalization of discourse is almost eliminated and which is based on the following insights:

  • Leveraging the crisis into an opportunity for Jewish renewal on the basis of the concept of peoplehood. The identity challenge that the Jewish-Israeli erasure in the progressive discourse creates is also an opportunity to promote a reexamination of the collective Jewish identity and strengthen the perception that Jews in Israel and the US are a nation. Even though the "peoplehood paradigm" is not intuitive for many Israeli Jews and American Jews, it has real potential for effectively building the political center and strengthening Jewish identity, because it "speaks" to the silent majority of American Jews who are still connected to Israel.

  • Building a political center could serve as a platform through which it will be possible to reach many young Jews who are alienated from Israel, because this will create coalitions and platforms for constructive debate on disputed issues, in contrast to the current reality in which there is almost a complete disconnect between the Jewish right and left, and between many young Jews and the Jewish establishment. Such platforms are critical for Jewish political and cultural activity.

  • The center must reflect a broad Jewish coalition against the Jewish-Israeli erasure in the progressive discourse. For such a coalition to be broad, it must focus on the struggle against the Jewish-Israeli erasure in the progressive discourse and try to create a barrier between the ideological hostility against Israel and the Jewish community and progressives who support their struggle out of solidarity. Such a coalition does not have to have uniform perspectives across the organizations that comprise it, nor in their attitudes towards the other. In fact, a range of opinions and disagreement may enrich the center and are essential to meet the challenge.


"Neutralizing" the Muslim Brotherhood doctrine and leveraging the Abraham Accords paradigm


117. Israel's peace agreements with the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Morocco, may affect the ability of the Jewish community to deal with the growing impact of organizations identified with the Muslim Brotherhood. Even though Israel's normalization momentum in the region has slowed since the new administration took office, Israel's standing in the Middle East has been irreversibly upgraded to the point of being a member in the bloc of moderate Arab states. These agreements, coupled with the deep relations Israel has with moderate Muslim countries such as Azerbaijan and Kosovo, undermine the branding of Israel in the progressive discourse as a foreign seed in the Middle East and as a colonial enterprise.


118. In the American arena, the Abraham Accords states and pro-Israel organizations have a common interest in containing the influence of the red-green alliance in Washington, in particular stopping the regional agenda that it is promoting in the Middle East.


119. It is necessary to examine whether it is possible to coordinate and cooperate with lobbying efforts and public relations of the Abraham Accords states in order to reignite the normalization momentum in the Middle East and strengthen the moderate Arab axis states against extremist groups in the region. The Abraham Accords states - the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain – as well as Egypt and Saudi Arabia, are all operating openly in Washington, lobbying, and employing public relations firms. At this stage, there is no joint activity with Jewish communities on renewing Israel's normalization momentum in the region. Therefore, for now, there is no attempt to challenge the Turkish and Qatari diplomatic platforms that leverage organizations in the US identified with the Muslim Brotherhood.

Building such a political center (see above) may bypass the Muslim Brotherhood to the Muslim silent majority. As mentioned, Muslim Brotherhood organizations represent Muslims in the eyes of the authorities, even though most American Muslims do not identify with the movement. Muslim communities are dispersed in rural areas, and this population tends to be more conservative and has reservations about many of the goals on the red-green allinace’s agenda. This population could be part of the new center.


120. Charging the legitimacy battery and creating common tikun olam projects. The Abraham Accords have created an opportunity to generate joint projects on campuses and other social platforms of the Arab Abraham Accords states and Israel or of local Jewish communities, the objective of which is to create a response to global challenges, including those at the top of the agenda of current progressive movements.


Investing in community relations


121. There is a need to invest in the community reltions field and adapt its modus operandi. The US Jewish community, which was once a persecuted and discriminated community until the 1960s, has experienced an incredible jump in standing by creating a strong community infrastructure and ability to act collectively to advance its goals. At the forefront of this revolution were organizations known as community relations organizations, which in effect managed "foreign relations" with the local, state, and federal government, and minority and other groups. Today, these organizations are in the front line of the struggle against movements that call for boycotting Israel. In view of the decline in discrimination against Jews in 1970s and 1980s, and the Oslo Accords, which caused many to think that Israel was now "safe", there has been a drastic decline in the scope of activity and resources of these organizations. It is now clear that the kind of current challenges require new and even greater investment in this sector. Below are a number of recommended principles for these organizations and their leaders:


The directive and challenge in harnessing liberal progressive groups in the struggle against the Jewish erasure


122. Liberal and progressive voices in the Jewish community are in the best position to challenge the Jewish-Israeli erasure in the progressive discourse. Ostensibly, there is a golden opportunity to leverage the record social and political involvement of Jews, many of whom have directly experienced left-wing antisemitism for the first time.


123. However, the Jewish community's strategy cannot be based solely on exercising this principle in view of the difficulty in achieving it. [77] The great challenge in harnessing progressive Jewish organizations in the struggle against Jewish-Israeli erasure is the perception among many of them that engaging in the progressive discourse enables Israel to evade discussion on Israel's policy towards the Palestinians. For many of them, criticism of Israel is, to a large extent, the reason for the professional-organizational existence. Moreover, many progressive organizations perceive criticism of the Jewish-Israeli erasure as an attack on the progressive movement as a whole – a movement to which they proudly belong. Therefore, until now, the willingness of progressive Jewish organizations to go against the Jewish-Israeli erasure in the progressive discourse was negligible, and usually local.


Integrating reserves: the Israeli and Russian communities


124. A substantial part of the insights, conclusions, and strategies that Jewish community organizations create rely on familiarity with mainstream US Jewry, which is the target audience of the traditional Jewish establishment. This is also the target audience for which there is the most accessible information, and it is usually the subject of surveys. However, it is a known fact that many, and maybe most, American Jews do not actively participate in Jewish politics and that passes through known community structures.


125. Among them are a number of distinct communities whose structures are not connected to the Jewish establishment and whose attitude towards Israel is based on and influenced by unique experiences, such as Israeli-Americans, ultra-orthodox, Sephardic, Russian, and Jews of Color.


126. Two of these communities – Israeli-Americans and Russian Jews – have, in recent years, undergone social, political, and organizational processes that have increased their involvement and political capital:

  • For example, the Israeli American Council (IAC), which was established just a few years ago as a local organization in Los Angeles, has rapidly become a large organization. In addition to this organization, elsewhere in the US and the world, the Israeli diaspora has undergone an unprecedented process of establishment and organization. [78]

  • The rise of a new and young echelon of activists, intellectuals, and philanthropists in the Russian-speaking Jewish community, who usually have a strong pro-Israel agenda,[79] is especially impressive. What apparently makes this group special is the strong connection that it sees between the Jewish-Israeli erasure in the progressive discourse in the US and the attempts to eliminate Jewish identity by the Bolsheviks during their rule from the 1920s until the fall of the in the Soviet Union in 1991.

127. Therefore, it seems that there is growth potential in the Israeli diaspora and the Russian-speaking Jewish community to be a political, economic, social, and cultural asset. Jewish communities are accepting the idea that these communities may strengthen the Jewish "peoplehood" and contribute to strengthening Jewish identity in the Diaspora.


ISRAEL: WHAT IS TO BE DONE?


128. The dynamics around the struggle of the progressive movement in the US and the red-green alliance are American social trends that are unrelated to Israel and Israel therefore cannot nor should not try to intervene in them. The US finds itself in the midst of a profound struggle over its image and nature. Even though this development puts the Jewish community in a radical reality that challenges US-Israeli relations, Israel's legitimacy or ability to change this dynamic is very limited. Nonetheless, Israel can do a lot to deal with other ‘peripheral’ aspects of the challenge that may have an impact on its ability to purse its interests.


An intelligence services' effort to expose the link between the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas


129. The US and EU classify Hamas as a terrorist organization. Many aspects of the ties that Hamas has with organizations in Europe that are identified with the Muslim Brotherhood are known,[80] but less is known about such ties with organizations in the US.


130. Therefore, it is necessary to frame the possible link between Hamas and American organizations into a focus area for the intelligence community. It has already been demonstrated how people identified with Hamas, both in the Gaza Strip and Europe, planned attacks to raise awareness against Israel, beginning with the Gaza flotilla.[81] It is possible that this and other kinds of relations also exist between Hamas and organizations in the US identified with the Muslim Brotherhood. Because Hamas is classified as a terrorist organization, these ties are undoubtedly more discrete and exposing them requires tools that the intelligence world possesses.


An operating plan, backed by resources, to rehabilitate Israel's two-party standing


131. Rehabilitation the relationships between Israel and the Democratic Party is critical. During the term of President Trump, the political identification of Israel with the Republican Party strengthened. Many supporters of the Democratic Party interpreted the warm relations between former Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Trump as a conscious decision by the Israeli government to turn a cold shoulder to the Democratic Party and the American Jewish community. The conduct of the former Israeli government created among many people the feeling that the drawing closer of the two countries during the Trump administration expressed a clear preference for the evangelical conservative Christian alternative, which was perceived as unreservedly pro-Israel, over the Democratic Party alternative, where there were also skeptical liberal voices. [82]


132. Rebuilding and rehabilitating support for Israel across the political spectrum must be a strategic objective, backed by an operating plan and resources of Israeli diplomacy and the political leadership. It should be remembered that Israel still enjoys broad public support in the US, so this is not a lost cause. This plan should include, among other things, the establishment of direct relations with public leaders of the African-American and Latino communities, which are the electoral base of the Democratic Party.


Strengthening the link with Diaspora Jewry must become an Israeli national objective


133. Relations with Diaspora Jewry should receive the status of national security and relations with the Jewish world should be an integral part of the array of national considerations. Israeli government bodies must draw up an orderly system-wide outlook on relations with the Jewish world, which includes the following elements: [83]

  • On key issues, which shape the relationship, it is necessary to draw up an clear policies, instead of the current situation in which Israeli policy on this subject is basically unsynchronized and uncoordinated activity of a large number of bodies that do not report to any integrated entity.

  • A review of the effect of Israeli policies and actions on the security and strength of Jews around the world.

  • Relations with the Jewish world should be on the agenda of the absolute majority of ministries, even if only some of their operations have a significant influence on these relations.

  • The public sector should train its people to recognize the issue and the importance of relations with the Jewish world.


REEXAMINATION OF JEWISH SEPARATISM AGAINST ANTISEMITISM


134. The separatist approach against antisemitism. The traditional approach of the US Jewish establishment, as well as Israel, held that antisemitism is a unique kind of hate and racism, and that its unprecedented historic price as reflected in the Holocaust, requires separate treatment, as if it were a unique phenomenon that is unrelated to other atrocities in human history. Comparing or referring to the Holocaust to other acts of horror is liable to cheapen the Holocaust, turn it into one event among many, and render to engage it further unnecessary in the eyes of many.

For example, when, at the Global Forum for Combatting Antisemitism, Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid described antisemitism as a kind of racism, and US Secretary of State linked the Holocaust with other expressions of hatred (racism, sexism, homophobia, and xenophobia),[84] they were sharply criticized for daring to undermine the isolationist approach to antisemitism.[85]


135. But precisely the separatist approach makes it difficult for Jews to find the allies they need to combat antisemitism. In view of the cooperation of disadvantaged populations and the fusion of struggles of discriminated minorities, the isolationist approach excludes the Jewish community from the coalition of minorities, and provides at least a partial explanation why Jewish communities have "lost the American street" and their place in the American left. This exclusion has affected why Jews have almost lost the "right" to talk about antisemitism in the American left. Moreover, Jewish separatism limits the discourse on antisemitism and the Holocaust to the Jewish community, causes ignorance among other discriminated populations, and is perceived as privileged arrogance by progressive groups.


136. Moreover, it seems that the traditional Jewish separatism about antisemitism has actually turned it into a sacred cow worthy of slaughter in the eyes of radical progressive groups. In recent years, there has been deliberate generalization of antisemitism as a kind of xenophobia by progressive groups, but in a way that defies and diminishes the discourse on the unique characteristics of antisemitism. There are many attempts to redefine antisemitism and thereby expropriate the concept of antisemitism from the Jewish community. One of the great absurdities in this context is the attempt to legitimize school curricula to focus on "counter perspectives" of the Holocaust. [86]


137. A new proactive approach is therefore needed at the center of which is a partnership with other groups in society that are dealing with xenophobia, discrimination, hate, and racism on the basis of identity, empathy, and making accessible the experience and historic lesson of the struggle against antisemitism, as it is defined by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA). Paradoxically, this approach may actually emphasize the uniqueness of the Holocaust and racism against Jews, to obtain recognition by liberal and progressive groups. It is possible that such an approach will also establish a basis for cooperation with moderate Muslim communities in the US, which may be a counterweight to Muslim Brotherhood organizations in the US.


138. Special emphasis should be placed on developing a relationship with the African-American population, where antisemitism and Holocaust denial have become widespread, and accompanied by the feeling that the ethos of the Holocaust minimizes the tragedy of Negro slavery in the US.Indeed, in recent years, arguments have been common among African-Americans that Jewish power is part of the mechanism of white oppression in the US and is a key element rejecting the rights of the African-American population. [87]



End



APPENDIX 1: LEXICON

(Terms underlined are terms that the Reut Institute coined)

Critical mass to challenge the Jewish-Israeli erasure

This is how the Reut Institute defines   the goal of the current effort against the Jewish-Israeli erasure in the   progressive discourse:

the emergence of a loose cooperation   and coordination between a few dozens of Jewish and pro-Israel organizations   that would publically challenge the Jewish-Israeli erasure in a way that   would meet the necessary threshold to change it.

A ‘critical mass’ does not mean total   mobilization, but may only include dozens of organizations that have a common   understanding of the challenge and a galvanizing vision that unites the drive   to change, and which includes: the Jewish establishment, community relations   organizations, liberal progressive organizations, philanthropy, and emerging   communities (beginning with Israeli and Russian speaking Jews ).


Inclusive foreign policy

An approach that calls to apply equal   standards for friends and foes in the US foreign policy. At the heart of this   call is a criticsm on the traditional conduct of the US that accepts the   violation of human rights of some of its allies. In   practice, in the name of this approach the red-green alliance calls for the   US to severe it ties with some of its Middle Eastern allies, including Egypt,   UAE, Saudi Arabia and Israel.


Intersectionality

Intersectionality   is a concept coined by Kimberlé Crenshaw with respect to the feminist   struggle for gender equality and to emphasize the large similarity and   overlap between different kinds of oppression of disadvantaged groups and   minorities, which are discriminated against on the basis of race, religion,   gender, culture, and society. This academic theory turned into an organizing   logic that is translated into cooperation, support, and solidarity between   disadvantaged groups and minorities in the US, against the perceived systemic oppression.


The Jewish-Israeli erasure in the progressive discourse

The way the current progressive   discourse de-facto undermines the right of Jews to self-determine   their identity, values, narrative, vulnerability, and discrimination, as well   as their relations with Israel. The phenomenon of erasure is not necessarily   based on hate, but is a result of the binary structure of the progressive   discourse, which categorizes Jews as white, privileged and oppressors and   Israel as a white European colonial state.


The Jewish separatist approach to antisemitism

The US Jewish establishment and   Israel's traditional approach held that antisemitism is a unique kind of hate   and racism that is dissimilar to any other kind of hate, especially   considering its terrible consequences as expressed in the Holocaust.   Therefore, antisemitism should not be compared nor bundle it with any other kind   of hate. Criticsm about this approach focuses on the difficulties it imposes   for Jews to find allies who may suffer from different forms of xenophobia, in   order to combat antisemitism.


Lambertism doctrine

Lambertism   is a security concept, which emphasizes the importance of ties of law   enforcement authorities with bodies identified with political Islam as a mean   to restrain the influence of radical Salafi Muslim streams, such as al Qaeda   and ISIS. This concept was developed in the UK and influences the approach of   various countries. The doctrine is named after British police officer Robert   Lambert, who headed the unit that managed contacts with the Muslim community.


Political Islam/ Islamism

A   modern political ideology that emerged as a reaction to the secularization of   Middle East states by fundamentalist Islamic parties or movements, which   attribute to Islam a political role. Their guiding vision is to reshape the   state in accordance with Sharia (Islamic religious law). Political Islam   demonstrates pragmatism in advancing its goals through a willingness to   participate in the rules of the political systems in different countries (as   oppose to undermining them or proposing an alternative). The Muslim Brotherhood   movement is considered one of the most organized and influential forces of   political Islam.


Progressivization of the Muslim Brotherhood

A phenomenon in which organizations and   leaders in the US identified with the fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood   movement are perceived and becoming an integral part of the array identified   with the progressive movement. The process has accerlated in light of the   rising framework of intersectionality.


Red-green foreign policy

An ensemble of ideas that are beginning   to be formulated into a coherent perception with respect to an ideal US   foreign policy. This approach rests on an American tradition of commitment to   liberal democratic values and human rights, but also includes rigid   ideological elements that are based on the political struggles of progressive   movements in the US, and those of the the Muslim Brotherhood in the Middle   East.

While this approach is not the dominant   approach of the current administration, its influence on in Washington is   growing and it is mostly identified with rising progressive wing in the   Democratic Party. This approach challenges US foreign policy patterns in the   Middle East and US relations with its traditional allies in the region,   including with Israel.


‘Restraint’ foreign policy

A concept that is becoming a consensus in Washington on the need to dramatically reduce US military presence in the Middle East and elsewhere in the world. This approach is less keen to actively intervene in world affairs,   and emphasizes the importance of diplomatic and economic measures over military ones.




APPENDIX 2: MAPPING THE MAIN POLITICAL ISLAMIC ORGANIZATIONS IN THE US (only for distribution by hard copy)






______

[1]  A critical theory that examines the legal relation to issues of race in the United States, on the basis of an approach that assumes that American liberalism has throughout history been characterized by a racist approach and an institutional racism. See Gordon, Lewis R. "A Short History of the 'Critical' in Critical Race Theory". American Philosophy Association Newsletter(Spring 1999).

[2]  Yossi Hollander, Loss of American support – an existential strategic threat to Israel, September 2021 (limited distribution)

[3]  For the purpose of this paper, "mainstream" refers to the population that is the traditional target audience of the Jewish establishment. This is a target audience for which there is more accessible information, and is usually the subject of surveys. The trends mentioned above mostly characterize this stream. It is difficult to assess the extent to which these trends are also present among populations that traditionally are not affiliated with the Jewish establishment, and whose relations with Israel should be different, such as Israeli-Americans, ultra-orthodox, or Jews from the former Soviet Union.

[4]  Many Jews in the world fear that Israel is weighing on building their identity and community at a number of levels, as manifested, for exampale, in the rabbinate, which denies their Judaism or how they express their Judaism. See Loveday Morris and Ruth Eglash, The Washington Post, 16.08.2017

[5]  The circumstances and motives of the special relations are diverse and rest on the combination of values, interests, and organizational powers of the Jewish community. These relations are supported by the pro-Israel lobby, the presence of Jews in the US administration, activity of Jewish Representatives and Senators, and American Jewish influences in the American media, society, and economy, which create broad public support for US support for Israel. See the Reut Institute document, יחסי ישראל והעולם היהודי: לקראת הפתעת יום כיפור,June 2019

[6]  One of the Muslim Brotherhood's prominent leaders, Sayid Qutb even published a book called "Our War with the Jews."Bassam Tibi, From Sayid Qutb to Hamas: The Middle East Conflict and the Islamization of Antisemitism, The Yale Initiative for the Interdisciplinary Study of Antisemitism, Working Papers Series, 2010

[7]  Ziad Munson, Islamic Mobilization: Social Movement Theory and the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, The Sociological Quarterly, Volume 42, 2001 – Issue 4.

[8]   Lorenzo Vidino, Muslim Brotherhood Organizations in America, E-Notes, Foreign Policy Research Institute, December 2011.

[9]  Steven Brooke, The Muslim Brotherhood Between Party and Movement, The University of Louisville

[10]  For example, on 19 September 2021, Hamas spokesman condemned the remarks of Ra'am party leader Walid Taha that the war in Gaza would not  jeopardize the Israeli government coalition of which his party was a part, as nothing less than disengagement from Palestinian and Arab identity. See the telegram channel شبكة قدس الإخبارية (https://t.me/QudsN) from the same day.

[11]  For example, a survey published in Newsweek found that Muslim millennials in the US support LBGTQ acceptance in society at substantially high rates. See the video attached to article, Steve Friess, Since 9/11, US Muslims Have Gained Unprecedented Political, Cultural Influence, Newsweek Magazine, 1/9/2021

[12]  John Mintz and Douglas Farah, In Search of Friends Among the Foes, Washington Post 09/11/2004

[13]   Vidino, Ibid.

[14]  Friess, Ibid.

[15]  Legislative bills cited three such organizations: Council on American Islamic Relations [CAIR]; The Islamic Society of North America [ISNA], North American Islamic Trust [NAIT Muslim Brotherhood Terrorist Designation Act | The Counter Jihad Report". counterjihadreport.com. Retrieved 9 December 2016.

[16]  Friess, Ibid.

[17]  See for example, the CAIR executive summary: The first 100 days: Biden Harris Administration

[18]   Friess, Ibid.

[19]  The first 100 days: Biden Harris Administration, CAIR

[20]  Vidino, Ibid.

[21]  Vidino, Ibid.

[22]  While Islam is a global religion and civilization, political Islam, or Islamism, is a modern political ideology. The concept of political Islam refers to Islamic parties or movements that were established in reaction to secularization in Middle Eastern countries, and seek to influence the political process in different countries through the existing political system, not undermining its legitimacy. In Western countries, various Islamic parties and Islamic organizations participate in the democratic process. The Muslim Brotherhood is considered one of political Islam's most organized forces and with the greatest influence. Jocelyne Cesari, Political Islam: More than Islamism, Religions 2021, 12(5),299.

[23]  For a comprehensive survey of the links between the radical left and political Islam, going beyond the Muslim Brotherhood, see Sir John Jenkins, Islamism and the left, Policy Exchange, 2021.

[24]  See, for example, أي دور للماركسية في عصر الشعبوية والإسلام السياسي, العرب, 2018/05/05; الإسلاميون والماركسيون.. فرقهم الفكر وجمعتهم السياسة (1من2), عربي21, 2020/06/23; ما الذي قد يجمع بين الماركسي والسلفي؟,  ; CNN, 27/02/2014; Pierre-Andres Taguiyeff, Aux sources de l'«islamo-gauchisme», Libération, 26/10/2020.

[25]   Fraternal Islamists: Getting to Know the Muslim Brotherhood, FDD Foreign Policy, with Clifford May, Jonathan Schanzer and Samuel Tadros, 1/7/2019.

26  The Lambertism doctrine is a security concept first developed in the UK, under which the British authorities engaged with bodies identified with political Islam, including the Muslim Brotherhood, with the understanding that they might moderate the extremism of al-Qaeda. The plan is named for a British police officer, Robert Lambert, who headed the unit engaged with the Muslim community. A result of Lambertism, even Hamas underwent public legitimization n London. See, The Reut Institute, The Assault on Israel’s Legitimacy: London as a case study, November 2010.

[27]  The Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Watch, (hereinafter, GMBWatch), 24/9/20.

[28]  Sam Westrop, Creeping Theo-Progressivism, City Journal 2019/03/12.

[29]   Two articles with different perspectives on the subject: Ayaan Hirsi Ali, What Islamists and ‘Wokeists’ Have in Common, The Wall Street Journal, 10/9/2020;  Adis Duderija, What it means to be a “progressive Islamist”, ABC, 18/9/2020.

[30]  FDD Foreign Policy, with May, Schanzer and Tadros, Ibid.

[31]  Colin Shindler, Israel and the European Left: Between Solidarity and Delegitimization, Continuum, 2011

[32]  See Politico, 13/9/2021 and Amos Harel in Haaretz, 15/9/2021. At the time this paper was written, it seems that US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has not exercised his veto to bypass the decision, evidence of the growing power of the progressive wing.

[33]  Friess, Ibid.

[34]  See the example in Global Influence Operations Report (hereinafter GIOR), 3/12/2020

[35]  GIOR, 6/9/2021.

[36]  See the example here  from the AJP Action virtual conference between 27 September and 1 October 2021.

[37]  GIOR, 18/3/2021.

[38]   GIOR, 19/10/2021.

[39]  GIOR, 28/6/2021.

[40]  GIOR, 10/17/21.

[41]  Westrop, Ibid.

[42]   Emma Ashford, Remaking America’s Broken Foreign Policy, Foreign Affairs, September October 2021

[43]  The most prominent spokeswoman for a "universal foreign policy" is Congresswoman Ilhan Omar: Ilhan Omar, We must apply our universal values to all nations. Only then will we achieve peace, Washington Post, 17/3/2019

[44]   Susie Linfield, Palestine Isn’t Ferguson, The Atlantic, 25/10/2021.

[45]  Omar, Ibid

[46]  Ganesh Sitraman, The Emergence of Progressive Foreign Policy, War on the Rocks, 15/4/2021

[47]  For an excellent review of Turkey's aims and considerations, see: Efraim Inbar, Eran Lerman, Hay Eytan Cohen Yanarocak: Turkey as a Major Challenge for Israel (and its Neighbors) in the 21st Century, Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security, 16/9/2020.

[48]  See event of the FDD, 23/5/2017, Qatar and the Muslim Brotherhood’s Global Affiliates: New U.S. Administration Considers New Policies.

[49]   The first 100 days: Biden Harris Administration, CAIR.

[50]  See, for example, the CAIR press release from 20/9/2021 which objects to arms sales to Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and the United Emirates, and condemns Egypt. See here

[51]  See, for example, an interview with Senator Chris Murphy, chairman of Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Near East, South Asia, Central Asia and Counterterrorism, who is considered on the leaders of the progressive foreign policy line, in a lethal criticism of Saudi Arabia, CSIS podcast, 10/8/2021.

[52]  Interview with Senator Chris Murphy, CSIS podcastt, 10/8/2021

[53]  Democratic Senators Bernie Sanders and Chris Murphy led measures in Congress to end American support for the Saudi war in Yemen, and were joined by Republican Senators Rand Paul and Mike Lee. Ashford, Ibid.

[54]  Mathew Rotschild, End U.S. Aid to Egypt, the Progressive Magazine, 15/6/2020.

[55]  See Politico, 13/9/2021, and Amos Harel in Haaretz, 15/9/2021. During the writing of this paper, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has not exercised his veto to bypass the resolution, evidence of the growing power of the progressive wing.

[56]  Cliff Smith, Washington celebrates Abraham Accords, but must prepare for challenges, JNS, 27/9/2020; Atara Beck, Rashida Tlaib Slams UAE-Israel Peace, Opposes Normalization, The Jerusalem Connection Report.

[57]  Ilhan Omar calls on Biden to reverse Trump’s deals with the Middle East, Pressenza, 24/11/2020.

[58]  Omri Nahmias, The Jerusalem Post, 22/10/2020.

[59]   Laura Royden and Eitan Hersh, The Young American Left and Attitudes about Israel, 9/6/2021.

[60]  Yusuf Unal, Saayid Qutb in Iran: Translating the Islamist Ideologue in the Islamic Republic, Journal of Islamic and Muslim Studies Vol. 1, No. 2 (November 2016), pp. 35-60.

[61]  See, for example, an interview with Senator Chris Murphy, chairman of Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Near East, South Asia, Central Asia and Counterterrorism, who is considered on the leaders of the progressive foreign policy line, in a lethal criticism of Saudi Arabia, CSIS podcast, 10/8/2021.

[62]  Eran Shayshon, Adi Levy, Alex Grinberg, Middle Eastern Game of Thrones, Reut Institute, 14/10/2020.

[63]  Senator Chris Murphy, chairman of Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Near East, South Asia, Central Asia and Counterterrorism, declared that he does not see Israel as a direct threat to the US, claims that Iranian missiles are not targeting Israel, describes Hezbollah as a legitimate Lebanese actor, and believes that support for Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates only perpetuates the conflict. See the CSIS podcast, 10/8/2021.

[64]  Amos Harel, Haaretz, 28/8/21.

[65]   Shain, Yossi, and Barry Bristman. Diaspora, kinship and loyalty: the renewal of Jewish national security. 2002. International Affairs 78.1: 69-96.‏

[66]  At a meeting between Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, Egypt went out its way to welcome Bennett. The general explanation was that Egypt expects Israel to act in Washington against the cut in the annual US aid to Egypt. See Calcalist, 14/9/2021.

[67]   Daphna Kaufman, Trend Detector no. 10, The Reut Institute, February 2021.

[68]  Omar, Ibid

[69]  Rashida Tlaib on ICC Decision: ‘No One is Above the Law’. Times of Israel, 4/3/2021.

[70]  This trend peaked during the last round of fighting in the form of an explicit challenge against American support for Israel and of the "special relationship between Israel and the US", which has become one of the pillars of Israel's national defense concept. The foreign policy of President Biden was attacked, because it ostensibly exempts Israel and does not impose on it the same values and human rights that it applies in other conflicts. See the declaration published by 140 progressive groups calling on the Biden administration to condemn the Israeli government on the grounds that "the Biden administration said that it will respect human rights around the world and that Israel is not exception"; On the subject of US aid to Israel, see Representative Betty McCollum: "“By treating Israel differently than any other country receiving U.S. assistance, the U.S. is effectively giving a green light to Israel to demolish Palestinian homes and annex Palestinian land for Jewish settlements,"; see also an op-ed by Senator Bernie Sanders in The New York Times, which calls for an immediate cease-fire in the Middle East and adopting an "impartial approach". (Conversely, wee the arguments of Secretary of State Antony Blinken against the idea of comparison between terrorist organizations, which fire rockets and Israel's defense measures, for example, here.

[71]  For example, here, and Senator Bernie Sanders calling for a cease-fire, and in the same  tweet, “end. We must also take a hard look at nearly $4 billion a year in military aid to Israel. It is illegal for U.S. aid to support human rights violations”. It should be noted that commentaries frequently frame US aid to Israel as depriving investment in the American people. For example, see the claim that US aid to Israel comes at the expense of aid for Africa-Americans here; and Nicholas Kristof in his op-ed column in The New York Times, entitled, "What your taxes are paying for in Israel."

[72]  The EU classifies Hamas as a terrorist organization, so it therefore operates unofficially in Europe through extensive use of infrastructures of organizations and movements in Europe unofficially identified with the Muslim Brotherhood, which it emerged. See: The Reut Institute, The Gaza Flotilla: A Collapse of Israeli’s Firewall, 15/8/2010.

[73]   Building a Political Firewall against the Assault on Israel’s Legitimacy: London as a case Study, The Reut Institute, November 2019.

[74]  Somdeep Sen, Al Jazeera, 6/8/2021, and also Yara Hawari, Al Jazeera, 14/7/2021

[75]  For example, see the tweet in this spirit by Representative Cori Bush;  https://twitter.com/CoriBush/status/1429849291061874689

[76]  David Bernstein, A Strategic Reset for Jewish Community Relation and Avocacy, eJP, 18/10/2021; and Steven Windmueller interviewed by David Bernstein, Episode 30, of Speeachcast.

[77]  For example, David Bernstein, founder, The Jewish Institute for Liberal Values, argues that the attempt to harness progressives has failed and that the Jewish community should focus on building the center. Bernstein, Ibid.

[78]  The Reut Institute, Engaing the Israeli Diaspora: Toronto as a Case Study, May 2013.

[79]  Izabella Tabarovsky, Russian Lessons for American Jews, Sapir, Volume three, Automn 2021.

[80]  Below is a fresh example of an annual European conference, held in September 2021 in Copenhagen, Denmark, sponsored by in Europe organizations identified with the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas leaders, and radical leftists European Members of Parliament. GIOR, 6/10/2021

[81]  See  The Gaza Flotilla: A Collapse of Israeli’s Firewall, 15/8/2010.

[82]  For example, President Trump is quoted as saying, "There are Jews who do not love Israel enough." Globes, 8/12/2019.

[83]   For further reading: Reut Institute document, מיפוי הממשל בישראל עם יהדות התפוצות, August 2017.

[84]  The remarks appear in a message sent by US Secretary of State Antony Blinked to Department of State employees on 27/7/2021.

[85]  See these arguments in an article in response to a speech by Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, Yehuda Bauer,  Haaretz , 16/9/2021

[86]  Independent, October 15th , 2021

[87]  The Reut Institute, The Pro Israel Community: Navigating the George Floyd Protests, Corona & Annexation, 18/6/2020; Antoniou, Georgios, Elias Dinas and Spyros Kosmidis. 2020. “Collective Victimhood 122 and Social Prejudice: A Post-Holocaust Theory of Antisemitism.” Political Psychology .886–861 (5)4

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