Politics & Policy

Who’S Afraid of “Uncle Fidel”?

Abe Foxman, evidently.

When one thinks of Abraham Foxman, timid isn’t a word that comes to mind.

#ad#In his new book Never Again? The Threat of the New Anti-Semitism, the national director of the Anti-Defamation League condemns anti-Semitism in countries ranging from Argentina and Mexico to France and Iran. But there is a conspicuous omission: Cuba.

“[A]nti-Zionism is not a politically legitimate point of view but rather an expression of bigotry and hatred,” Foxman writes. Here is some recent coverage of Israel in Cuban media (all state-controlled, of course):

‐ “American and Jewish money seek to expand its global reach” (March 3)

Coverage last year included:

‐ “Sharon announces continuation of Palestinian holocaust” (April 9)

“I am assaulted by the anti-Israel propaganda,” Cuban Jew Ricardo Behar remarks. “It is a constant nightmare over our minds.” Cuban Jew Tony Fune refers to the regime’s “persistent Judeophobia” that manifests itself in the media’s “endless hours of hatred against Israel.”

Foxman writes of the U.N.’s 1975 resolution that equated Zionism with racism:

Thankfully, the “Zionism is racism” resolution was revoked in 1991 by a U.N. vote of 87 to 25–although this vote of course indicates that, as of 1991, at least twenty-five states were still willing to openly maintain the position that Zionism is a form of racism, thereby seeking to delegitimize Israel and threaten the Jewish right of self-determination.

Cuba cosponsored the resolution and was one of the 25 countries that opposed its revocation.

Foxman writes of the 2001 United Nations World Conference Against Racism in Durban, South Africa:

‐ “Events like Durban make it clear that anti-Zionism is nothing more than the newest mask worn by hatred–a façade of legitimacy used in an attempt to make anti-Semitism welcome in mainstream cultural and political circles, in Europe, in America, and around the world.”

In a speech at Durban, Fidel Castro referred to “the horrible genocide committed at this moment against our Palestinian brothers.” That year he went on a solidarity tour to Iran, Libya, and Syria. (Unlike ordinary Cubans, Castro doesn’t need permission to travel.)

Foxman has condemned anti-Semitism by individuals such as Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad, Russian politician Vladimir Zhirinovsky, and Saudi prince Nayef Ibn Abd Al-Aziz. Why does he ignore Fidel Castro?

Myles Kantor is the president of the Center for Free Emigration.

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