Kantor’s Cuban Jewry: Crisis or Overstatement?

In today’s National Review Online, Myles Kantor raises concern about the “conspicuous omission” of Cuba from ADL director Abe Foxman’s new book Never Again? The Threat of the New Anti-Semitism (discussed yesterday on The JTA newsire), and accuses Foxman of being “afraid” of Cuban dictator Fidel Castro.

Ya know, I abhor Castro as much as the next guy, but according to The Jewish Agency itself, “Despite anti-Israel sentiment that existed in Cuba, the only time blatant anti-Semitic attacks occurred in all of Cuban history was during the Gulf War,” while others have reported that after years of restricted practice, Judaism has once again begun to thrive there. If this is truly the case, should Cuba then even warrant Foxman’s attention?

Kantor has continually criticized the ADL’s neglect of Cuba in such conservative rags as Newsmax.com and Frontpage Magazine, but his resentment of Castro seems to lie solely in Castro’s hardline stance against Israel. Does this even remotely justify his remarks against Foxman? Is it the ADL’s job to reprimand anyone who has beef with Israel?

Generally speaking, it would appear that life has sucked for just about everyone in Cuba since the Revolution, and that Jews were never really singled out, as so much as they’ve just suffered the same hardships as the rest of the population. Thus, does a country’s opposition to Israeli governmental policy automatically translate into hostility towards Jews? Can’t you criticize Israel without being regarded as an antisemite, despite, perhaps, a poor choice in words?

And let’s say Kantor is right about Cuba, isn’t it possible that Foxman is just keeping his mouth shut to avoid inciting any state repression against the current Jewish population there? Do you really want to rock that boat?

This dude obviously has a chip on his shoulder. I’d love to find out why.

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