"You're damn right I'm condemning Zionism," ranted the longstanding Georgetown University associate and leftist "Islamophobia" scam artist Nathan Lean to this author two years ago on Twitter. The normally bombastic Lean, who has previously launched twitter tirades against this author, has recently scrubbed almost all of his tweets, but screenshots taken over the years preserve this bigoted man's obsessive hatred of Israel.
Contrary to the historical evidence of Zionist leaders who recognized the rights of Arab inhabitants in what would become the Jewish national home, Lean has maligned Zionism. This ideology "asserts that a certain group of people have the 'right' to a certain tract of land, and can thus expel all others."
Thus his "Criticism of Zionism makes good sense."
Lean regurgitates the standard leftist slanders that
Israel is not a democracy. It's an 'ethnocracy,' which gives rights to one privileged ethnic group and denies them to the (occupied) others. Further, Israel ethnically cleansed those others—Palestinians—from their own land.
Therefore Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is the "leader of an apartheid project."
Lean accordingly has tweeted this screed:
Because it's an apartheid state. Because it steals Palestinians' land. Destroys their homes. Drops bombs on their children. Rations their food and water. Monitors their movement. Abuses human rights. And violates international law. Screw your 'democracy.'
Lean sometimes qualifies that apartheid encompasses "not the entire country. The Occupied Territories, for sure, though."
The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) are a primary target for Lean's caricatures, a military that he sees as a driving force behind Israel's supposed historical land theft. He condemns that the "IDF...doesn't apologize for, ahem, all the land they've stolen from the Palestinians over the past 7 decades."
Lean offered no condemnation of this anti-Semitic tweeted response that "Old habits die hard. For generations they have been thieves."
Lean tweeted the Palestinian propaganda that the violent 2018 Great March of Return "protests were peaceful" and involved "unarmed refugees" whom the IDF merely "slaughtered"
Lean dismissed any Israeli concern for self-defense, stating that
There are not 'two sides' in the Israeli slaughter of Palestinians. It's not a 'conflict,' either. There are oppressed and oppressed. Murderers and murdered. Rag-tag rocket launchers and high-powered missiles.
Lean has outright mocked the "'Israel has a right to defend itself' shtick."
Lean slandered the IDF, which makes great efforts to be discriminate, stating that
Israeli forces slaughtered a dozen-plus Palestinians in cold blood. Nothing new. They've been doing it for years. They're not just 'trigger happy.' They're beastly war criminals.
Lean has repeatedly recurred to dehumanizing language about IDF soldiers, such as when discussing the case of Razan al-Najjar, a Gazan nurse killed by Israeli snipers under unclear circumstances. He tweeted that Palestinians have been "brutally & intentionally murdered by Israeli snipers for whom this savagery is quotidian."
Therefore "gruesome, premeditated murder" exemplified for Lean the "Israeli snipers, long known for their animal-like savagery."
"If anyone is a terrorist, you insufferable savages fit the bill," Lean has tweeted about IDF soldiers.
Lean added that a "Bloodthirsty Israeli sniper" shows "just what Israel is good for: slaughtering the very people whose homes and land they stole."
Lean has reiterated his Israeli "bloodthirsty 'soldiers'" trope.
Lean continued his whitewash of Palestinian terrorism while mourning Yasser Murtaja, who used his media credentials to cover his operations with Hamas. In Lean's vile language Israel is the "Beast of the Middle East, doing what it does best: killing innocent Palestinians" with "odious snipers" who have "murdered" Palestinians.
Lean has repeated his blood libels of the "real problem of continued Israeli apartheid and murder."
Yet again Lean has tweeted about how Israel has "murdered" supposedly innocent Palestinians.
Lean condemned Palestinians "murdered by cowardly Israeli snipers" as a "war crime. This is what Israel is."
The self-appointed judge Lean has summarily pronounced that "Israel is, of course, guilty of war crimes."
While distorting comments by Israel's defense minister, Lean in his vitriol also added that "Israeli politics today is driven by nothing less than a desire to kill Palestinians."
Lean in his haughty judgment therefore concluded that:
Let's be clear: Israel's violence against the Palestinians is terrorism. No other way around it. Confining scores of people to an open air prison, rationing their food, tracking their movement, & then routinely shooting and killing dozens of them should qualify if anything does.
"Killing scores of occupied people is just what they do," Lean caustically tweeted, as if Israelis simply killed Palestinians for sport.
Lean's Israel-hatred mirrored an anti-Semitic tweet by Representative Ilhan Omar. "All in a day's job for the IDF: killing unarmed Palestinian children. The world will wake up to this evil one day, I hope," he tweeted.
Lean unsurprisingly has mocked Israeli casualties, such as an IDF soldier killed by a marble slab dropped on him. "Oh dear! A poor IDF soldier is struck in the head by a rock and people are begging for prayers."
Lean has rejected any Israeli demands for well-justified security controls over any future Palestinian polity. "States are sovereign, & can defend themselves without the complete control of, ahem, another state," he has tweeted.
Lean has ludicrously dismissed Israeli rejection of a Palestinian "right of return" for millions of descendants of probably 600,000 Arab refugees from Israel's 1948 independence war. This influx would demographically destroy Israel and is therefore completely unacceptable to Israelis in any peace process with the Palestinians. "There is nothing to suggest that a right of Palestinian return would 'destroy' Israel. That's conjecture based on fear," he has tweeted with insufferable unreality.
Not even free trade with Israel's "start-up nation" escaped Lean's protectionist wrath. While American-Israeli trade has grown over 450 percent under the successful US-Israeli Free Trade Agreement, he tweeted that the "US is drained from that farce-of-an-agreement, and billions of dollars in debt (annually) because of it."
It amazes me that conservatives accuse the Left of attacking free speech and then, as if they were completely oblivious to their own hypocrisy, try to force measures that would limit criticism of the Israeli government and its policies.
Lean has repeated the hackneyed canard that people like him who demonize Israel merely criticize policies and do not have any animus towards Jews. Thus "criticizing Israeli policy does not make one 'anti-Semitic.'"
Lean has disingenuously protested that "I have no love of or hate for Israel. Its government, and their discriminatory policies, ethnic cleansing, segregation, etc., I abhor."
Lean has found good company in Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), a radical Israel-hating group whose Jewish figureheads enable "Jew-washing" of numerous anti-Semitic JVP Gentile members like him. "Today, I renewed my membership to Jewish Voices for Peace. They, perhaps more than any other group, fight for the rights of the Palestinians and against the obnoxious voices that demonize critics of Israeli policies as 'anti-Semites,'" he tweeted.
Lean has repeatedly praised JVP. "Just made a donation. I encourage those who abhor apartheid and want just treatment of Palestinians to do the same here," he tweeted.
Lean also defended Marc Lamont Hill, whose coded calls ("From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.") for Israel's destruction cost him his position as a CNN commentator. "Professor Marc Lamont Hill advocates that Palestinians be treated with dignity and given basic human rights, and @CNN fires him."
Lean likewise engaged in spurious defenses of Omar against condemnation of her antisemitism, claiming that denunciations of her were merely racist, religiously bigoted, and sexist. "Brown Muslim women are coming and I'm scared of them!" Lean tweeted in response to Congressman Lee Zeldin.
Playing the race card is typical for leftists like Lean. He tweeted that Omar
is being singled out for one reason: she is a brown woman. Critics of Obama couldn't admit that they hated him because he was black, so they accused him of being a Muslim, instead. Representative Omar is both brown and a Muslim, and as such is a double threat to racists.
Lean tried to give Omar's antisemitism a veneer of respectability by citing the discredited "Israel Lobby" thesis of the "reputable scholars" John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt. Lean tweeted:
Many reputable scholars, including political scientists Mearsheimer (U Chicago) and Walt (Harvard) have advanced arguments about Israel's influence in American politics. But unlike them, @IlhanMN is a brown, veiled Muslim woman, and thus the reason for attacks on her character.
Lean can only see supporters of Israel like this author in the most diabolical terms. "Well if it was up to you, Palestinians would all be exterminated with no claim to any land or territory. Typical Nazi," he has tweeted with a typical leftist trite invocation of Nazism.
Lean has confirmed that cries of "Islamophobia" from people like him, among other things, enables antisemitism and hatred of Israel. Like undefined "white privilege" charges, "Islamophobia" accusations intend to silence without argument any critical inquiry into Islam; particularly Jews should not suggest that they face dangers in any Islamic doctrines. By contrast, antisemitism watchdog groups like Canary Mission would do well to keep an eye on Lean, who resembles Steve Salaita, a former professor who lost his job due to anti-Semitic tweets and now drives a bus.
Yet Lean's bigoted views on Israel's Jewish state are not the only warped beliefs he has, as a forthcoming article will demonstrate.
Andrew Harrod holds a PhD from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and a JD from George Washington University Law School. He is admitted to the Virginia State Bar.