Saturday, December 02, 2023

Pot Committed

The Israel/Hamas war in Gaza has resumed. Hamas ended the pause with rocket fire into Israel slightly before the expiration of the ceasefire Friday morning (it also conducted a mass shooting in Jerusalem, though I suppose one could argue that was outside the "theater of operations" covered by the ceasefire).

There's no joy in seeing a period of relative calm -- hostages being returned to Israel, humanitarian aid reaching Gazans -- yield to the resumption of hostilities. But I'll admit I was cynical that this ceasefire would last. Indeed, despite the growing intense international pressure on Israel in particular to wrap up its military operation, I thought it was quite likely that they'd see through their campaign to the end (whatever "end" means in this context). A durable ceasefire, in the present moment, always felt out of reach.

Why? For starters, Israel has been quite public that the ceasefire was temporary and that it would resume operations at its conclusion. There was no hiding the ball on that. There's also the fact that most political observers think that Netanyahu is toast the second the war concludes, which obviously gives him a political incentive to drag the war out for as long as possible in the hopes that some deus ex machina will reverse his fortune. Of course, that's contingent on Bibi's willingness to put his own private political interests over the good of his country while indefinitely imperiling millions in the process. Which is to say, obviously Bibi will try to drag the war out for as long as possible.

But aside from all of that, I think the Israeli government may well think that this is their last, best chance to destroy Hamas. As I've written, I think even some relatively hard-bitten "pro-Israel" (and Israeli) observers were stunned at just how quickly the world's sympathy evaporated towards Israel in the aftermath of the October 7 attack (and these were people whom I suspect, if you talked to them on October 6, would have described themselves as hard to surprise on that front). Even though Hamas has promised it will try to conduct October 7-style attacks again and again in the future, it is unlikely that one of those future attacks would give Israel even the limited window for responsive actions it enjoyed this time around -- the turnabout will if anything occur even faster.

Given all that, Israel might calculate that it's now or never. It could conclude that it's already absorbed the brunt of international opprobrium overs its Gaza campaign -- things have already topped out; they won't get worse if the campaign drags on for another month or two (that's the problem with going to the "genocide" accusation too quickly -- you don't have anything to escalate to). The question of destroying Hamas, from Israel's vantage point, was always something like "is the benefit worth the cost in terms of the international reputational consequences that would inevitably flow from the campaign?" But for better or worse, now Israel's already eaten the costs. It's pot committed. So it might as well gain the benefit of destroying Hamas; take some sweet to go with the bitter. After all, it might argue, the only thing worse than wreaking all this devastation on Gaza in the course of destroying Hamas would be to wreak all this devastation on Gaza and not destroy Hamas.

That's the logic on the Israeli side. But it's worth noting (though far fewer do) that Hamas doesn't seem especially interested in an enduring ceasefire either. 

Again, we can start with their own revealed preferences: Hamas broke a ceasefire that existed on October 6, and it was the party that ended the ceasefire that was negotiated at the end of November. It is not acting like a party that feels significant pressure to wind down the conflict.

Beyond that, Hamas' entire mid-term strategy behind October 7, after all, was to bait Israel into an apocalyptic conflict whose inevitable destruction upon the Palestinian population would fixate the world's gaze -- and in that endeavor, October 7 can only be seen as a smashing success for Hamas. A durable ceasefire doesn't help that strategy, it thwarts it -- Hamas needs the scenes of death and devastation in Gaza to rivet international attention and keep the world's eyes on the Palestinian situation. Under normal circumstances, the countervailing pressure on Hamas would be a desire to limit Palestinian casualties, but it's beyond clear that Hamas simply does not care about Palestinian life. The dead are martyrs to the cause, and just as Israel has been clear about its intent to continue the fighting, so too has Hamas been clear about its willingness to sacrifice Palestine's civilian population to its military agenda. And once you take limiting Palestinian misery off the table, what exactly does Hamas gain from a ceasefire?

Moreover, any realistic proposal for getting a durable ceasefire will likely include terms that Hamas will have little interest in accepting. It's not going to return the male, military-age hostages without a lot more than Israel probably is willing to give (it got a 1:3 ratio this time around exchanging the elderly and toddlers for Palestinian security prisoners; it's obviously going to ask for more in the next round and it's equally obvious that Israel will want to give less). Disarmament (as several Arab nations have proposed)? Fat chance it agrees to that. And there's little chance Israel will make its own offerings that will sweeten the deal. I've said from the get-go that Israel cannot, under any circumstances, let "the moral of the story" for 10/7 be that massacring Israeli civilians is a winning Palestinian strategy, which means that Israel couldn't offer a "good deal" to Hamas even if it were hypothetically interested in doing so (which it won't be). Again, given the fact that Hamas doesn't seem especially motivated to pursue a durable ceasefire, these obstacles are likely fatal to the endeavor.

I give the above analysis without any normative endorsement of any party's behavior. There's no joy in a prediction of more weeks or months of violence and death. But I'm not optimistic. The structural dynamics here just aren't good.

Friday, December 01, 2023

Intelligence Incompetence and Probabilistic Terrorism

When news of Hamas' 10/7 attacks broke, one of the first things I wrote was straightforward: "a massive intelligence and operational failure the likes of which Israel's security services have never seen in my lifetime." Now, the New York Times has a blockbuster report detailing exactly the magnitude of these failures, including the fact that Israeli intelligence did have knowledge that such an attack was being planned but nonetheless dismissed it as infeasible and unlikely to actually occur.
As always, I bow to nobody in my utter contempt for the Netanyahu administration. And there's little question that no matter what curve you grade them on, this was a spectacular failure of Israel's intelligence and security apparatus. Nonetheless, even in these cases one can't claim too much benefit from hindsight. And the "lessons" that many are implicitly seeking to draw from these reports are ones that I worry are neither reasonable ones nor, ultimately, salutary ones.

Every potential event, until it actually happens, is a probability cluster. It's something that might happen, but also, might not. Proximity and evidence can make the probability more or less certain; and probability will also inevitably contingent on the presence or absence of certain interventions (whose effects, again, can only be measured probabilistically). Most importantly, a prospective future event that is successfully forestalled by definition never happens, and so we can never know whether its probability cluster would have borne fruit. In these deliberations, we're always weighing the reality that did occur against a hypothesized alternative that never did, and so it's understandable and inevitable that the former is going to carry disproportionate weight.

Consider the oft-fantasized prospect of assassinating Hitler in 1933. Let's stipulate that doing so would have averted the worst horrors of the following decade: no World War II, no gas chambers, no Holocaust. Knowing what we know now, it's essentially indisputable that this would have been a justified and salutary act that could have forestalled incalculable levels of human misery. But the problem is that, if Hitler was assassinated in 1933, they wouldn't -- they could never -- "know what we know now." They would never know the horrors that would have been averted. All they would know is that the new leader of Germany was assassinated, as well as whatever fallout resulted from that act. Without knowledge of what happened in the prime timeline, it'd be virtually impossible to persuade anyone that killing Hitler meant averting the most destructive war and the most brutal genocide of the modern era. All of that would simply be a probability cluster that now wouldn't ever come to fruition. Indeed, imagine, as I think is plausible, that the assassination of Hitler resulted in a series of Kristallnacht style riots against Germany's Jewish population, but that things stopped there -- no World War II, no gas chambers, no Holocaust. The history books in our alternative-universe probably would treat the assassination of Hitler as a disaster for Germany's Jewish community. They'd never know differently.

And the problem is worse than that. I have a relative who periodically sends me emails regarding the latest emerging global leader who's spouted off some antisemitic nonsense. Typically, I do my best to assuage her that this person is fringe, is not actually that influential, and is not in a position to do anything especially dangerous. She then inevitably replies to me by saying "that's what they said about Hitler." And the thing is -- she's right! That is what they said about Hitler! The problem is that that's also what they said about a lot of people who didn't turn out to be Hitler. If we violently removed from power every person who possibly could become Hitler, that's a recipe for geopolitical chaos -- and most of the violence would be directed in cases where it wasn't necessary, where the threat would dissipate on its own. In any event, we'd never know which case was real and which ones were false alarms.

Return to the matter at a hand. Roll back the clock to October 1. Israel has intelligence suggesting Hamas is planning an attack like Al-Aqsa Flood. In our parallel universe, they do take this intelligence seriously. What results? Most likely, some sort of preemptive attack or assault into Gaza meant to degrade Hamas' military capacity so that the attack cannot be launched. Would that have been justified? With the benefit of hindsight, we know that such an operation would have forestalled a much greater evil, both in terms of stopping the Hamas attack but also almost certainly avoiding the blistering Israeli response that's occurred over the past two months. But that's the problem -- if the operation is successful, none of that future would ever come to past, so the only thing people would see would be the preemptive, "unprovoked" Israeli attack into Gaza, justified at most by a hypothetical probability that if they hadn't acted, Hamas would have launched a brutal terrorist attack of its own.

There's no getting around this. Perhaps, you say, Israel could release the intelligence showcasing Hamas' plans. But again, try to rewind your mind to October 1. How likely is it that Israel would be believed? Many would dismiss the intelligence as warmongering propaganda. There's rampant denialism about the atrocities Hamas actually did commit; can you imagine how likely people would be to accept the proposed destruction of a hypothesized Hamas attack that never occurred? And even persons who did not believe that Israel was flatly lying might be quite likely to be dismissive of Hamas' actual capacity to launch the attack -- sure, they might fantasize about it, the argument would go, but it's rank fear-mongering to act as if they could actually pull it off against the Most Powerful Military in the Middle East. I've seen more than a few commentators suggest that it was "racism" on the part of the IDF to assume that Hamas was not operationally capable of successfully conducting Al-Aqsa Flood; but if we had publicly pitched this scenario on October 1, realistically it's Palestine sympathizers who would have been most dismissive of the prospect. The right-wing hawks, whatever their other sins, are not typically known for understating Hamas' threat; it's the left that has long treated Hamas' military capacity as essentially a null entity against the Israeli juggernaut, its rockets as glorified sparklers and its calls for antisemitic annihilation as slightly-overwrought rhetoric from impassioned revolutionaries. The uncertain probability of a future Hamas attack -- one that, in our alternative universe, never would happen (because it was successfully forestalled) -- will have little persuasive power against the reality of the Israeli intervention.

I don't want to suggest, however, that this is merely a PR problem. Again, the troubles run deeper than that. I have to assume that Israeli intelligence gets reports on the daily of incipient Palestinian militant activity, including desires for large-scale, major operations. Most, it's almost certainly the case, fizzle out without ever reaching fruition; just as most potential-Hitlers never actually become Hitler. For that reason, it is both good and necessary that Israel not respond to every one of these incipient threats as if it is the next October 7, for the same reason why it's good and necessary that we not preemptively assassinate every global politician who "could be Hitler". An Israel which is single-mindedly determined to stop the next 10/7 would be beyond aggressive, it would be lashing into the Palestinian territories with overwhelming force every week -- way beyond even the baseline levels of military activity and suppression that occur as part of the occupation, and in most cases it'd be in response to intelligence about activity that would have never led to a 10/7 anyway. Such behavior, in addition to its catastrophic impact on the Palestinian population, would have unpredictable (or perhaps all too predictable) knock on effects on Israeli security -- it's not sustainable, which is a good thing, because if it was sustainable it'd be horrifyingly dystopian.

Again, I'm not trying to downplay the magnitude of the intelligence failure in this case. The inevitable uncertainties and probabilistic reasoning I identify above is an inherent feature of life; one has to make better or worse choices within that uncertainty, and the Israeli security apparatus made a terrible choice. That assessment is not, I think, merely a product of hindsight. But recognizing that Israeli intelligence could have made a better choice knowing what they did at the time doesn't mean the problem of hindsight isn't real. A "good" choice by Israel likely would have been met with harsh condemnation, because (thankfully) people would never know what hell had been averted. And even that stipulation is too generous, since in the real world where we don't know and never will know what events we've averted, we can't actually know if we're killing the metaphorical Hitler or just unnecessarily engaging in superfluous preemptive violence.

Thursday, November 30, 2023

Roundup for Reading Days

We've just concluded our semester here at Lewis & Clark -- it's now "reading days" as students prepare for exams. I've already written my exam, so I'm going to use this time to clear some tabs off my browser. It's a roundup!

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My latest article, "Liberal Jews and Religious Liberty," has been published in the N.Y.U. Law Review. It's good -- you should read it!

Standing Together is a joint Jewish-Arab Israeli group with a simple idea: under any future for Israel and Palestine, Jews and Arabs are going to have to live together. So no matter what your plan is for the future of Israel and Palestine, we have to start laying the foundations for mutual co-existence now. In that vein, organizational co-head Sally Abed, a Palestinian feminist socialist, had a message for the way international leftists are talking about current goings-on in Israel and Palestine: "If it's not helping, then shut the fuck up." I already posted a link to this on BlueSky and it basically went viral, but it's worth being memorialized here (and the entire piece is worth reading).

It's not surprising that Arab-Americans are reacting negatively to the Biden administration's policies regarding the Israel/Hamas war, but it may be surprising that more Arab-Americans now identify as Republicans than Democrats. That said, maybe not that surprising -- up through the 1990s, Arab-Americans were a swingy but lean-GOP voting bloc. And that makes sense when you think about it: it's a relatively socially conservative and comparatively affluent community; there's plenty of room for GOP appeal. 9/11 changed things dramatically, and one might think that continued rampant anti-Arab racism and Islamophobia would make the GOP brand toxic today. But between frustration with Democrats' continued pro-Israel stances and a backlash against socially liberal policies, there does seem to be an at least momentary shift back towards the Republican camp. We'll see if it holds through 2024.

I don't speak German so I can't backcheck the cited study, but this post claims that antisemitism is on the rise in Austria's Turkish- and Arabic-speaking communities ... but that rates are actually higher amongst persons who were born in Austria or lived there for some time compared to new immigrant arrivals. So far from validating the "imported antisemitism" narrative, the problem perhaps is that immigrants are assimilating a bit too well into traditional Austrian culture.

A sometimes-overlooked variable in the Israel/Hamas conflict is that most neighboring Arab states are not fans of Hamas either, viewing it as a destabilizing influence. Though Hamas' threat isn't as immediate to them as it is to Israel, it definitely still poses a threat. So there is quiet pressure emerging from Arab nations on Hamas to "disarm before it is destroyed."

Mark Harris is much, much more empathetic towards folks tearing down posters of Israeli hostages than I am, but in some ways that makes this essay -- documenting the sense of abandonment such an act generates amongst the Jews who see it -- even more powerful.

Tom Friedman has a great column from a few weeks ago on the "rescuers" in the Israeli Arab community who helped save their compatriots in the midst of Hamas' 10/7 attack.

I first heard about today's shooting attack in Jerusalem (which killed three civilians) via a social media post which used it to further emphasize the need for a "ceasefire". My first thought was "we're already in a ceasefire"; my second thought was "this demonstrates a problem with a 'ceasefire' -- even if Hamas agrees to it, other armed Palestinian factions won't feel bound." But apparently Hamas actually has claimed responsibility for this attack, so, take from that what you will vis-a-vis the vitality of the ceasefire.

I try not to be an alarmist about campus antisemitism, while simultaneously not being a denialist about its presence. Jews are not perpetually on the verge of mass expulsion, but nor is the entire concept of campus antisemitism a concocted astroturf campaign by bad faith right-wingers. All that said, this account in Rolling Stone (from a current student at Columbia) feels fairly reported and is harrowing.

"Jews Don't Count" vs. "All Lives Mattering"

A few days ago, three Palestinian-American students were shot in Vermont.

One of the wounded students attended Brown University, and so Brown University president Christina Paxson led a vigil on Monday. In her prepared remarks, Paxton planned to say the following:

At a faculty meeting last month, I said that "Every student, faculty and staff member should be able to proudly wear a Star of David or don a keffiyeh on the Brown campus, or to cover their head with a hijab or yarmulke."

But in the actual presentation, the "Star of David" and "yarmulke" references were dropped (the story states this occurred after anti-Israel heckling, but it's not clear what the exact causal relationship was).

I learned of all this via the National Review, which of course wants you to be aghast. "Jews Don't Count" and all that. But I'm so old, I remember when many Jewish actors, particularly on the center-right, were furious at what they termed "all lives mattering" antisemitism -- responding to an incident of antisemitism by condemning an array of other prejudices alongside antisemitism, rather than letting a condemnation of antisemitism stand alone. And the thing is, under that metric, we could say that Paxson's sin was -- in a vigil about an incident of anti-Palestinian racism -- including a reference to antisemitism. By doing so, she would have "all lives mattered" anti-Palestinian racism. She should have condemned anti-Palestinian violence "alone".

Now for my part, I don't believe that. I don't generally think that tying different forms of discrimination together is objectionable "all lives mattering", and so I don't think that condemning Islamophobia or racism weakens a condemnation of antisemitism (or vice versa). I also don't think that every condemnation of antisemitism has to include a condemnation of other forms of oppression (or again, vice versa). It's fine when they're linked together, and it's fine when they stand alone (and for what it's worth, it's just wrong to assert that antisemitism is never condemned "alone"). Either way Paxson could have done it would have been okay.

More broadly, I've argued that the concept of "all lives mattering" is not properly applied to any case where "where someone tries to link different forms of oppression or marginalization together." Rather, "all lives mattering" only obtains where one

respond[s] to a complaint of an injustice experienced by a particular community by suggesting the complaint is illegitimate or exclusionary unless it is reframed away from focusing on the particular community and instead presented in more universal language.

So it is not "all lives mattering" for Paxson to loop in an issue of antisemitism to her vigil responding to a claim of anti-Palestinian racism, but it would be "all lives mattering" if it was suggested that her vigil would be inappropriate or illegitimate if it didn't also talk about oppression in more universal terms. The National Review piece, though written in neutral tones, certainly carries the subtext of such an assertion.

But more to the point, my definition of "all lives mattering" is not the one I've been seeing in the quarters of the Jewish community who've been leveling the charge. Based on their more expansive account, Paxson would absolutely have been "all lives mattering" had she included the line about the Star of David, and so she was wise to omit it. But I don't think that the critics in question believe that -- they're more likely to be offended that the line was taken out (proving that "Jews don't count") than they were at the prospect it would be kept in. That suggests that their position on "all lives mattering" is not a consistent one (and I'd argue, that inconsistency at root derives from their position being fundamentally untenable). Worth keeping in mind.

Sunday, November 26, 2023

Swapping Strategies

Different minority groups often swap strategies for protection in the context of trying to overcome societal oppression, and an advance for one group often can lead to advances for others. In a recent interview I did with Lewis & Clark's alumni magazine, for instance, I talked about how the pathway used to ensure Jews receive Title VI protections (notwithstanding the fact that Title VI doesn't cover religion, only race, ethnicity, and nationality) was quickly adopted to also secure similar protections for Muslims. Security tips meant to keep synagogues safe are often used to help secure mosques as well. And so on.

Another example of this that's less remarked upon, though which is (depending on your vantage) more interesting, more amusing, or more grim, is how the legal arguments pro-Israel advocates have used to try to extend anti-discrimination protections to cover backlash against Jews-as-Zionists have increasingly been adapted by pro-Palestine advocates to try and create discrimination claims around backlash directed at Palestinians-as-anti-Zionists.

I think we're all familiar with the contours of these arguments, and the controversy surrounding them, in the context of the "anti-Zionism as antisemitism" play. A Jewish student says something "Zionist" and is targeted by adverse action as a result. The student's supporters say "this is antisemitism -- Zionism is an integral part of my Jewish identity, and so attacking me on the basis of 'Zionism' is tantamount to attacking me as a Jew." Opponents reply that Zionism is a political ideology and criticisms of that ideology -- whether ultimately well- or ill-taken -- cannot be deemed to be targeting persons on the basis of an ascriptive identity. Not all Jews are Zionists, and in any event there is a difference between an identity and an ideology many members of a given identity happen to believe in.

Yet increasingly, we're seeing similar arguments being raised to bolster claims of anti-Palestinian discrimination. Consider the civil rights complaint Palestine Legal filed on behalf of Ahmad Daraldik, who was removed from his position as head of the Florida State University in part due to speech characterized as anti-Israel, anti-Zionist, or antisemitic. This complaint followed shortly after a high-profile complaint filed against USC on behalf of a Rose Ritch, a Jewish student ousted from student government for being a "Zionist". There are more than a few similarities between how the cases are framed that may not be coincidental. While Ritch's case is not mentioned in Daraldik's complaint, there does seem to be something to the notion that Palestine Legal (which undoubtedly was aware of the Ritch case), thought something along the lines of "if the Zionists can make claims like this, than so can we."

To be sure, some of Daraldik's allegations are quite "traditional" cases of discrimination (e.g., social media messages directed at him containing racial slurs). But others very much seek to present Daraldik's anti-Zionist speech as integral to his identity as a Palestinian, such that backlash against the speech ought to be viewed as tantamount to attacking him as a Palestinian. For example, he characterizes the hostility he endured as resulting from his "speaking about my life as a Palestinian growing up under Israel’s violent system of apartheid". And his lawyers likewise argued that statements by the university president characterizing some of Daraldik's own speech as antisemitic (a social media post which referred to an IDF soldier as a "stupid Jew" was probably the most prominent) was said to "reinforc[e] the anti-Palestinian stereotype that Palestinians reacting to experiences of violence and oppression by the Israeli government/military are inspired by anti-Jewish animus, not their own oppression" -- what many wearing other shoes might characterize (favorably or derisively) a "trope-based" argument.

These arguments, too, try to present a political orientation vis-a-vis Israel and Zionism as an integral part of an ascriptive identity. In that respect, they parallel Ritch's efforts to make the same argument at USC, and they're vulnerable to the same objections: anti-Zionism, like Zionism, is a political ideology, and so we might also say that criticisms of that ideology -- whether ultimately well- or ill-taken -- cannot be deemed to be targeting persons on the basis of their Palestinian identity. But -- without taking a position on the substance of his complaint -- I have more sympathy for Daraldik's conceptual argument here than one might suspect (precisely because I have some sympathy for Ritch's iteration too). While it's true that "not all Palestinians" likely agree with what Daraldik said or believes (what is Bassem Eid doing these days?), that does not mean there is no connection between what Daraldik said (and the backlash to it) and his Palestinian identity. I can absolutely see how not being able to level criticisms of the Israeli government or its policies would be experienced as an oppressive blanket that functionally obstructs the ability of Palestinian students to participate as equals in educational spaces. And the belief that there is "pure" animus against outgroups that does not drape itself in the garb of reasons seems unrealistic to me; the problem of disentangling "political" speech from bigotry is assuredly difficult, but it's also unavoidable. These responses don't tell us, of course, how the law should handle cases like Daraldik's or Ritch's -- at most, they show why they present genuinely nettlesome problems. But the point is they present the same problems, and the strategies for trying to make Daraldik's claims legally legible are similar to those used to do the same for Ritch's -- an overlap which simply does not seem coincidental.

A few days ago, we saw another example of this overlap in Tannous v. Cabrini University, involving a Palestinian professor terminated from his position due to social media posts that were alleged to be antisemitic but which he insisted were actually anti-Zionist (among the offending messages was one reading: "zio controlled USGOV politicians promise to cancel 2T$ of student loan debt ... yet they sent that 2T$ to Ukraine, Nato, and Israel to arm NAZIs.... Israel and Ukraine are societal cancers and must be eradicated."). 

The professor sued under a variety of theories, including claiming racial discrimination (he was at one point represented by Palestine Legal, though I don't know if they remained his attorneys throughout the litigation). In general, the district court concluded that a belief that a plaintiff is racist -- even if "wrong" -- does not equate to showing that adverse action occurred due to unlawful prejudice. In other words, it's not discriminatory to (even wrongly) accuse people of antisemitism. The exception might be if there was evidence that the only reason why a person holding X views was deemed to be racist was because they were also a member of a given identity group (another person of a different identity, but holding otherwise similar views, wouldn't be targeted). And indeed, the professor did argue that "[d]ue to his status as a Palestinian American, [the university] presumed that his tweets critical of Israel were actually criticism of Jews." The court rejected this argument as conclusory (there was no evidence presented that the university wouldn't have been equally offended no matter who wrote these tweets) -- but again, the core claim being raised here is one relying on the existence of a "trope" that seeks to convert backlash against "tweets critical of Israel" into an ascriptive attack on his Palestinian identity.

Indeed, there's a part of me that read the Tannous case and wondered if there might be a bit of 10-dimensional chess going on. The main basis for the court's decision in Tannous was that even unfairly accusing someone of "racism" or "antisemitism" is not tantamount to discrimination on basis of a protected class. Tough luck for Professor Tannous. But also, maybe, tough luck for Rose Ritch, whose detractors also could say that they acted against her not because she was Jewish, but based on their belief that her ideology was racist. That belief might be wrongheaded, but under the logic of Tannous it is not antisemitism. Tannous might have lost the battle, but Palestine Legal may have won the war -- and in any event, one can see the logic of them pursuing the case as a win-win: if arguments like the one they made on behalf of Tannous are rejected, then these arguments aren't going to be available for Zionist Jews making similar claims of discrimination where the underlying facts suggest the antisemitism is cloaked in antisemitic garb; and by contrast if those arguments are in fact legal winners, then there's no reason why they shouldn't leverage them for their own clientele.

To be clear: there's nothing unsavory about what's going on here. Legal arguments and precedents travel, and it's entirely normal and ordinary that various groups will decry the outrageous, abusive advocacy tactics of their opponents in one moment and furiously crib off them in the next. Jewish groups do it too (witness the blinding oscillation between "DEI is the devil" and "let's use contemporary DEI language to explain antisemitism"). But it's still interesting/amusing/grim (take your pick) to witness the unacknowledged but almost certainly significant influence contemporary Zionist legal advocacy is having on developing the strategies of their anti-Zionist adversaries (and, probably, vice versa).