Home inFocus Agenda: America (Summer 2024) The Islamo-Leftist Alliance: Threatening Jews and the US

The Islamo-Leftist Alliance: Threatening Jews and the US

Adam Milstein Summer 2024
An anti-Western protest in London. (Photo: David Wimsett / Zuma Press)

In the rapidly shifting geopolitical landscape of the 21st century, a disturbing alliance has emerged. It poses a profound threat not only to Jews but to Americans and Western civilization. The confluence of radical Islamic ideologies and extreme leftist orthodoxy, often referred to as the “Islamo-leftist alliance,” represents a paradoxical yet potent coalition united by a shared animosity toward Israel, Jews, and the values underpinning Western democracy. Part of this alliance, the Palestinian wing of the global Muslim Brotherhood, murdered 1,300 Israelis on October 7. Since then, American leftists wear keffiyehs, set up encampments across American universities, and openly endorse the murder of Jews. The alliance uses the pulpit in Tehran to condemn the “Zionist regime” and the bullhorn to shout “*** the Police” across American cities. Understanding this odd, yet burgeoning partnership and the threat it poses is crucial for all who value freedom, democracy, and human rights.

The Genesis of the Alliance

The origins of the Islamo-leftist alliance are rooted in a convergence of mutual interests and ideological blind spots. On one side, radical Islamic groups espouse a fundamentalist worldview that seeks to impose its interpretation of Sharia law in the West and oppose Western influence in the Muslim world. On the other side, extreme leftists advocate for radical social and political revolution, often viewing Western capitalism as the primary source of global injustice.

While these two groups appear ideologically disparate, their collaboration is driven by a hatred toward a common enemy: the West and its allies. The Islamo-leftist alliance holds a particular hatred of Israel, the Jewish people, and their Western values in the Middle East. In the United States, the Occupy Movement, Black Lives Matter, Antifa, and the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement are key actors. And abroad, their unlikely yet staunch allies in Iran and across the Middle East encourage their advocacy. Leftist activists and radical Islamists unite in terminology, tactics, and vitriol to delegitimize, demonize, and defame Israel and the United States. This movement, which consistently traffics in blatant antisemitism, targets Jews globally and fosters an environment of anti-American hatred and intolerance.

The Threat to Jewish Communities

For Jewish communities worldwide, the implications of this alliance are severe. Antisemitism, which reached its horrific zenith during the Holocaust, has resurged with alarming intensity. The Islamo-leftist alliance’s rhetoric and actions seek to normalize antisemitic discourse by rebranding it as political criticism and labeling it as “anti-Zionism.” Throughout history, antisemitism has taken many forms, today’s most common version comes with “anti-Zionist” wrapping. The question “Are you a Zionist?” is the new litmus test for entry to the left. The natural consequence, and likely its goal, is to exclude Jews from communal spaces, organizations, and institutions. Since October 7, Jewish students on college campuses have faced violent harassment, intimidation, and hatred, while synagogues and Jewish institutions are increasingly targeted with hate crimes.

This wave of modern antisemitism not only endangers the physical safety of Jews but also seeks to undermine their historical and cultural identity. The delegitimization of Israel is a core tactic of the Islamo-leftist agenda, aiming to strip Jews of their connection to their ancestral homeland. For decades, the Muslim world attempted to delegitimize and isolate the Jewish state, but  its collective impact was limited. Today, leftist leaders in South Africa, Ireland, Spain, and Norway carry the torch of the delegitimization efforts. This strategy not only affects Jews in Israel but reverberates through Jewish communities globally, instilling fear and insecurity. For many leftist leaders, to associate with and legitimize the Jewish state is politically toxic, so they appease the will of antisemitic activists, and put more Jews in danger.

The Broader Threat to America

While Jews are often the immediate targets, the Islamo-leftist alliance poses a broader threat to America and its foundational values. At its core, this coalition seeks to dismantle the principles of democracy, individual liberty, and pluralism that define Western civilization. Their hatred toward Israel and the Jewish people overlaps with their rejection of American exceptionalism and America’s international power. It’s not a coincidence that every “pro-Hamas” march and rally – disguised as “Pro-Palestinian” – is drenched not only in antisemitic imagery and rhetoric, but also in anti-American vitriol. American flags are burned alongside Israeli flags. Calls for the destruction of Israel are followed by anti-American chants. When Israel and the Jewish community are assaulted, American civil liberties, values, and freedoms are next. The alliance threatens America in the following ways:

1. Undermining Institutions: The extreme left and radical Islamists disdain the foundational values underpinning Western civilization. Together, they promote a narrative-based view of history, avoiding fact-based objective analysis. This can be best seen across American academia, where ideological views are given priority over academic integrity and the pursuit of truth. The same leftist worldview, and the commitment to a stringent Marxist political orthodoxy, has also taken over American corporations and much of the media. The recent leftist obsession with demonizing the police perfectly encapsulates the Islamo-leftist overlap. The Black Lives Matter movement and associated protests maintain a posture that’s anti-police and anti-Israel. Furthering this connection, both radical Islamists and leftists disseminate propaganda that connects Israel to American policing practices and training.

2. Erosion of Free Speech and Expression: A key component of the Islamo-leftist strategy is to silence dissent through social and political pressure. Radical leftists often employ “cancel culture” to stifle voices that challenge their orthodoxy, while Islamists use accusations of Islamophobia to suppress criticism of extremist ideologies. Leftists also increasingly look to compel speech, mandating terminology to limit freedom of expression. Land acknowledgements, mandatory pronouns, and disclaimers are all arrows in the leftist quiver. Anyone who refuses to comply with their speech code faces discrimination and ostracization. This assault on freedom of speech and freedom of expression threatens the open discourse essential to a functioning democracy.

3. The Rigid Adoption of Identity Politics: Both groups exploit identity politics to fracture society along strictly defined racial, religious, and ideological lines. By emphasizing group identity over individual merit, they create an environment ripe for conflict and division. American corporations and the public school system obsess over DEI policies, Critical Race Theory (CRT), and intersectionality. These ideological movements threaten American prosperity and cohesion. Additionally, meritocracy, a fundamental component of the American capitalist system, is verboten in leftist circles. Meritocracy has a proven track record of transcending identity and is often the most useful tool for economic advancement. Despite its value, leftists view meritocracy as a fundamentally racist concept and eagerly seek its demise. This poses a grave threat to the American economic, educational, and political future.

4. Support for Extremist Groups: The Islamo-leftist alliance operating model relies on international reciprocity. Domestic leftist groups and international Islamic groups offer tacit political cover and explicit financial funding to one another. Leftist groups adhere to critical theory and simplify every interaction based on power dynamics, where there’s an “oppressor” and an “oppressed.” This is why they sympathize with terrorist organizations such as Hamas and Hezbollah (the “oppressed”). Their continued anti-Israel activism in the West validates terrorism in the Middle East. Concurrently, anti-Israel groups like Students for Justice in Palestine, Jewish Voice for Peace, and Codepink receive direct funding from anti-American entities around the globe including Qatar, China, Russia, and Iran. America’s enemies effectively weaponize these groups as influence campaigns to sow division in America from within. The Islamo-leftist global alignment not only endangers lives but also destabilizes regions crucial to global security.

The Global Implications

The consequences of the Islamo-leftist alliance extend beyond America, threatening the stability and security of the entire West. This alliance emboldens authoritarian regimes that oppose democratic values and human rights, and are eager to diminish America’s leading role in the world. By undermining the moral and political authority of the West, specifically America, the Islamo-leftist coalition provides cover for regimes including Iran, China, and Russia, all of which seek to expand their influence through subversion and aggression.

Moreover, the spread of this ideology threatens to disrupt global cooperation on critical issues such as counterterrorism, climate change, and economic stability. As the United States becomes more divided and inward-focused, its ability to respond to global challenges diminishes, leaving a vacuum that can be exploited by malign actors.

The Path Forward: Defending Western Values

To counter the threat posed by the Islamo-leftist alliance, it is imperative for Americans and their allies to understand the gravity of the threat to American exceptionalism, and to reaffirm their commitment to the core values that define Western civilization. This requires a robust approach that includes the following:

1. A Staunch Commitment to Free Speech: Upholding the principle of free speech is essential to the future health of American democracy. This means protecting the right to criticize and debate ideas without fear of retribution, and ensuring that compelled speech does not become further normalized.

2. Strengthening Alliances: Building and maintaining strong alliances with other democracies and moderate Muslim-majority nations is vital. These alliances, including the Abraham Accords, stymie the spread of radical ideologies and support efforts to promote peace, security, and economic opportunity.

3. Supporting Israel: As the frontline state in the battle against radical Islam and a key ally in the fight for democratic values, Israel’s security and legitimacy must be staunchly defended. This includes opposing efforts to delegitimize and demonize Israel through movements such as BDS, and supporting initiatives that promote peace and cooperation throughout the Middle East.

4. Defending Liberalism: It’s imperative to continue to combat the nefarious efforts of radical leftist orthodoxy in the United States. Concurrently, leaders should make a better case for why American liberal values are worth promoting, not just defending. First Amendment rights, American multiculturalism, and capitalism have powered America to world power and historic prosperity. This case should be made unabashedly with confidence. The Islamo-leftist alliance relies on a fractured West. American leaders should make the case that our culture is united.

5. Countering Extremism and International Influence: Radical activists use America’s public education system to advance extremist ideologies. America’s enemies can sow dissent and chaos with ease. The US government must investigate and prevent international funding for radical leftist domestic groups. Robust counterterrorism strategies and efforts to combat radicalization are critical in mitigating the threat posed by extremist groups. This includes both domestic measures to prevent homegrown terrorism and international cooperation to disrupt the networks that support and finance terrorism.

The Islamo-leftist alliance represents a formidable challenge to Jews, Americans, and the broader Western world. Its insidious blend of radical ideologies seek to undermine the very foundations of democracy, freedom, and human rights that define our societies. To preserve these values and protect our communities, it is essential to recognize this threat and mobilize a comprehensive and united response.

By reaffirming our commitment to the principles of liberalism, strengthening alliances, and countering extremism, we can confront the Islamo-leftist alliance and safeguard the future of the West. This is not merely a battle for the survival of the Jewish people or the security of Israel; it is a fight for the very soul of Western civilization. Let us stand united in this endeavor, resolute in our defense of liberty and justice for all.

Adam Milstein is co-founder of the Israeli-American Council. He can be found on X @AdamMilstein.