As to commentary and clarifying comments in brackets [ ] only: © Mark Rosenblit
Zionism, as defined by Moses, speaking in God’s Name: “‘See, I have given the Land before you; come and possess the Land that HaShem swore to your forefathers, to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob, to give to them and to their offspring after them.’” (Deuteronomy 1:8)
Anti-Zionism = Antisemitism
[Note: The true author of the following letter is unknown. However, for the past several decades, the authorship of this essay has been falsely attributed to Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. -- the famous United States civil rights leader who was felled by an assassin's bullet in 1968. The letter was most likely inspired by King’s harsh retort to a college student at a dinner that was given in King’s honor at the home of Professor Martin Peretz in Cambridge, MA on October 27, 1967: “Don’t talk like that. When people criticize Zionists, they mean Jews. You’re talking Antisemitism!” Although King didn't write the following letter, I wish that he had; for, it rings so true. -- Mark Rosenblit]
LETTER TO AN ANTI-ZIONIST FRIEND
"You declare, my friend, that you do not hate the Jews; you are merely 'anti-Zionist.' And I say, let the truth ring forth from the high mountain tops, let it echo through the valleys of God's green Earth: When people criticize Zionism, they mean Jews -- this is God's own Truth.
Antisemitism, the hatred of the Jewish people, has been and remains a blot on the soul of Mankind. In this we are in full agreement. So know also this: 'anti-Zionist' is inherently Antisemitic, and ever will be so.
Why is this? You know that Zionism is nothing less than the dream and ideal
of the Jewish people returning to live in their own Land. The Jewish people,
the Scriptures tell us, once enjoyed a flourishing Commonwealth in the
The Negro people, my friend, know what it is to suffer the torment of
tyranny under rulers not of our choosing. Our brothers in
How easy it should be, for anyone who holds dear this inalienable right of
all Mankind, to understand and support the right of the Jewish people to live
in their ancient
And what is anti-Zionist? It is the denial to the Jewish people of a
fundamental right that we justly claim for the people of
The Antisemite rejoices at any opportunity to vent his malice. The times have made it unpopular, in the West, to proclaim openly a hatred of the Jews. This being the case, the Antisemite must constantly seek new forms and forums for his poison. How he must revel in the new masquerade! He does not hate the Jews, he is just 'anti-Zionist'!
My friend, I do not accuse you of deliberate Antisemitism. I know you feel, as I do, a deep love of truth and justice and a revulsion for racism, prejudice, and discrimination. But I know you have been misled -- as others have been -- into thinking you can be 'anti-Zionist' and yet remain true to these heartfelt principles that you and I share. Let my words echo in the depths of your soul: When people criticize Zionism, they mean Jews -- make no mistake about it."
[Note: The following article by former Soviet Union political prisoner and current Israeli Cabinet Minister Natan (formerly Anatoly) Sharansky more precisely explains how, and the mechanisms by which, anti-Zionism becomes a mere fig leaf for Antisemitism. Read on!]
Seeing anti-Semitism in 3D
By NATAN SHARANSKY
The question is how the sincere intentions of the participants to combat this evil can be translated into effective action.
My experience has convinced me that moral clarity is critical in taking a stand against evil. Evil cannot be defeated if it cannot be recognized, and the only way to recognize evil is to draw clear moral lines. Evil thrives when those lines are blurred, when right and wrong is a matter of opinion rather than objective truth.
That is what makes the battle against the so-called new anti-Semitism so difficult. To the free world's modern eyes, classical anti-Semitism is easily discernible. If we watch films that show Jews draining the blood of gentile children or plotting to take over the world, most of us would immediately recognize it as anti-Semitism.
Such movies, produced recently by the government-controlled media in
But the new anti-Semitism is far more subtle. Whereas classical
anti-Semitism was seen as being aimed at the Jewish religion or the Jewish
people, the new anti-Semitism is ostensibly directed against the Jewish State.
Since this anti-Semitism can hide behind the veneer of legitimate criticism of
In fact, over the past year, whenever we have criticized particularly
virulent anti-Israel statements as being rooted in anti-Semitism, the response
has invariably been that we are trying to stifle legitimate criticism of
What emerged from this conference was an admission by European leaders
themselves that not all criticism of
If not all criticism is valid, how then do we define the boundary line?
I propose the following test for differentiating legitimate criticism of
The first D is the test of Demonization.
Whether it came in the theological form of a collective accusation of Deicide or in the literary depiction of Shakespeare's Shylock, Jews were demonized for centuries as the embodiment of evil. Therefore, today we must be wary of whether the Jewish State is being demonized by having its actions blown out of all sensible proportion.
For example, the comparisons of Israelis to Nazis and of the Palestinian
refugee camps to [Nazi death camp] Auschwitz -- comparisons heard practically
every day within the "enlightened" quarters of Europe -- can only be
considered anti-Semitic. Those who draw such analogies either do not know
anything about Nazi Germany or, more plausibly, are deliberately trying to
The second D is the test of Double Standards.
For thousands of years a clear sign of anti-Semitism was treating Jews differently than other peoples, from the discriminatory laws many nations enacted against them to the tendency to judge their behavior by a different yardstick.
Similarly, today we must ask whether criticism of
It is anti-Semitism, for instance, when
Likewise, it is anti-Semitism when
The third D is the test of Delegitimization.
In the past, anti-Semites tried to deny the legitimacy of the Jewish religion, the Jewish people, or both. Today, they are trying to deny the legitimacy of the Jewish State, presenting it, among other things, as the last vestige of colonialism.
While criticism of an Israeli policy may not be anti-Semitic, the denial of
To remember the 3D test I suggest we recall those 3D movies we enjoyed as children. Without those special glasses the movie was flat and blurred. But when we put on our glasses the screen came alive, and we saw everything with perfect clarity.
In the same way, if we do not wear the right glasses, the line between
legitimate criticism of
But if we wear the special glasses provided by the 3D test -- if we check
And with moral clarity, I have no doubt that our efforts to combat this evil will prove far more effective.
The writer is
[Note: I would add a 4th element to the 3D test, namely, that of the “Big Lie”, defined as outlandish mendacities about the Jewish State that are so incessantly repeated that they eventually become part of generally-accepted discourse and, consequently, History. Although, the “Big Lie” is often embedded in the three components of the 3D test, I think that it deserves both special mention and special attention. -- Mark Rosenblit]
[Note: The Palestinian Authority does
not even bother trying to hide its Antisemitism. It has perfected the art of demonizing
Young terrorists are made, not born
By Itamar Marcus and Barbara Crook
(Jerusalem Post, April 18, 2006) What drives a young Palestinian to turn his body into a bomb? Children are not born hating. It is something they learn -- and the Palestinian Authority has been the ideal teacher. It has perfected the art of fomenting hatred, and promoting suicide terror.
The first component in creating a terrorist is to promote hatred within the society by demonizing a target group. This target group is portrayed as so evil and threatening that killing its members is seen not as murder, but as justified revenge and admirable self-defense.
Examples of the PA's incessant demonization of Jews and Israelis include a recent article in the official PA daily Al Hayat al Jadida describing Israeli military actions against missile launching sites in Gaza: "It seems that the rivers of blood in our cities, villages and refugee camps are not yet satisfying the thirst of the blood-thirsty for Palestinian blood among the Israeli politicians and military officers." [March 4, 2006]
PA TV has been in recent weeks running daily video clips with actors depicting Palestinian prisoners going through horrific torture at the hands of Israeli guards. Hate libels are a common, including the "drug libel" that
Another component of this demonization is to depict
The essence of this first PA message is to turn Israelis into the ultimate enemy: Israelis are evil and dangerous. Their very existence is illegal, and so they must be defeated and destroyed. Killing them is transformed into justice and self-defense.
But it's not enough to establish
There are no greater heroes and role models in PA society than terrorists. Summer camps for children have been named for Wafa Idris and Ayyat Al Achras - woman suicide terrorists. Sporting events are routinely named for terrorists, including a soccer match for14-year-olds named after the terrorist who killed 31 Israelis four years ago at at the Park Hotel Passover Seder in Netanya. The PA Ministry of Culture recently produced a poetry collection named for Hanadi Jaradat, the woman terrorist who killed 21 in a
And just last month, the PA announced it was granting honorary citizenship to Lebanese terrorist Samir Quntar, who is serving a life sentence in an Israeli jail. Smadar Haran, wife and mother of Quntar's murder victims, wrote in The Washington Post: "It was a murder of unimaginable cruelty. The terrorists took (husband) Danny and (daughter) Einat down to the beach. One of them shot Danny in front of Einat. Then he smashed my little girl's skull in against a rock with his rifle butt. That terrorist was Samir Quntar."
The message that the PA is sending to its people and its children by honoring Quntar and other terrorists is that killing Israelis is a ticket to honor and eternal glory.
A special program broadcast just last week on PA TV captures the essence of this message - and its acceptance within the highest levels of PA leadership. This is part of the poem a young girl chanted on Palestinian Children's Day: "Even if all the Jews arrived (in
Her audience included PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas, seated in the front row along with senior PA officials. Their reaction to these words of hate from the mouth of a young girl? A round of applause.
With messages to children fomenting hatred of Israelis and glorifying terrorists, and when the supposedly moderate Abbas appears on TV to applaud a young girl's message of hatred and martyrdom, is it any wonder that a Palestinian youngster becomes a suicide terrorist?
Itamar Marcus is Director and Barbara Crook is Associate Director of Palestinian Media Watch (http://www.pmw.org.il/)
[Note: Some Jews play a prominent role in helping publicly-expressed Antisemitisim -- in the guise of publicly-expressed anti-Zionism -- to flourish among their gentile compatriots. For, not only does a Jew who delights in comparing Israel to Nazi Germany thereby provide so-inclined Gentiles with a socially acceptable mechanism for expressing their extant Jew-hatred, but in certain countries (i.e., those which, in the aftermath of the Holocaust, have outlawed public expressions of Antisemitic sentiment) such a malevolent paradigm also provides them with the only legal means of doing so. Read on!]
'Kosher anti-Semitism' in
By Benjamin Weinthal, The Jerusalem Post, Berlin
(Jerusalem Post, August 15, 2008) The bell has rung for the first round of a legal fight between renowned German-Jewish columnist Henryk M. Broder and Evelyn Hecht-Galinski, a hardcore anti-Zionist critic of Israel who happens to be a German Jew herself.
At issue is whether Broder may write that statements made by Hecht-Galinski are anti-Semitic.
In an open letter to Monika Piel, director of Westdeutsche Rundfunk (Western German Broadcasting), Broder referred to Hecht-Galinski and wrote that "anti-Semitic, anti-Zionist statements are her specialty."
The Westdeutsche Rundfunk radio program Hallo U-Wagen had invited Hecht-Galinski to talk about
While Hecht-Galinski did not legally object to his characterization of her as anti-Zionist, she wants Broder to withdraw the anti-Semitic label.
The dispute has a number of subplots, the first of which will proceed within the German judiciary. A temporary injunction prohibits Broder from posting his open letter on his Web site "Die Achse des Guten" (The Axis of the Good).
As reported in the Aachener Zeitung newspaper on Thursday, Hecht-Galinski's attorney, Gernot Lehr, favors a settlement to resolve the dispute.
However, Broder told The Jerusalem Post that he opposes a deal "allowing anti-Semites to decide what anti-Semitism is. It is as if pedophiles can decide what real love toward children is."
A settlement would "muzzle" his free-speech rights and set an unacceptable legal precedent for future criticism of Jews who voiced anti-Semitic remarks and demonized
After Wednesday's hearing in
He said the court recognized that the restraining order was too broad, and that the court had been unaware of the nature of Hecht-Galinski's anti-Israeli tirades.
Hecht-Galinski has applauded parallels drawn between Israeli policies and Nazism, and raged against a world-wide Israel lobby that seeks to prevent criticism of the Jewish State.
Her attorney Lehr told the Post he was not prepared to comment on the case until the court issued a ruling.
After his legal victory last year in which a court of appeals in Frankfurt affirmed Der Spiegel magazine journalist Broder's claim that Jews are just as capable of voicing anti-Zionist and anti-Semitic statements as non-Jews, Broder said, "There are nurses who kill their patients, attorneys who commit insurance fraud. Why can there not therefore be Jews who are anti-Semites?"
The second subplot will play out within German society. Hecht-Galinski's father, Heinz Galinski, survived [Nazi death camp] Auschwitz and became the first chairman of the Berlin German Jewish community following the Holocaust. He also served as the president of the Central Council of Jews in
Some of Hecht-Galinski's critics say she is misusing her deceased father's stature as an esteemed public figure to mount an anti-Israel campaign. She has invoked the phrase "as the daughter of Heinz Galinski" to defend her criticisms of
In a Deutschlandradio interview last year, she defended the remarks of German Catholic Bishops Gregor Maria Hanke and Walter Mixa, who, while visiting
"This morning we saw pictures of the Warsaw Ghetto at Yad Vashem and this evening we are going to the Ramallah ghetto," Hanke said. For Mixa, Ramallah was "ghetto-like" and "almost racism."
Hecht-Galinski told the radio interviewer she found the Nazi analogy to be "very moderate" and that she "regretted" the decision by then-German Cardinal Karl Lehmann to issue an apology on behalf of his colleagues.
But an apology for such remarks is in order, suggested Prof. Alvin Rosenfeld, director of the Jewish Studies program at
"Anyone who tars
His essay, "'Progressive' Jewish Thought and the New Anti-Semitism," which has been translated into German, asserts that vicious anti-Israeli statements and books from a number of British and American Jews are contributing to modern anti-Semitism.
Further commenting on Hecht-Galinski, Rosenfeld cited the US State Department report "Contemporary Global anti-Semitism," which defines "drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis" as anti-Semitic.
On this side of the
Reached at her home in Malsburg-Marzell, Baden-Wurttemberg, on Wednesday evening, Hecht-Galinski declined to comment and referred questions to her attorney.
In her frequent media appearances, Hecht-Galinski argues that a "tacit gag order" exists in
"The Jewish-Israel lobby with its active network is extended over the world" to clamp down on criticism of
"For the practitioner to cry 'foul' by claiming that the 'Israel lobby' is out to silence all legitimate criticism of Israel is itself nothing more than another rhetorical trick in the standard lexicon of anti-Zionism," Rosenfeld said. "If Henryk Broder exposed one more example of this mendacious behavior, then good for him."
Media critics in Germany have observed the ubiquitous presence of a few anti-Israel Jews who are provided platforms in major press outlets to stoke criticism of the Jewish State.
In an e-mail to the Post, the general-secretary of the Central Council of Jews in
In an interview with Deutschlandradio in 2006, Hecht-Galinski described the Central Council of Jews in
Broder, who is considered a leading expert on anti-Semitism in
And in reference to the "memory culture" in
Broder cited lawmaker Norman Paech, the foreign policy spokesman of
"Devote your attention to the modern anti-Semitism that wears the disguise of anti-Zionism, and to its representatives. You will find some of the latter among your own ranks," Broder told the politicians from across the spectrum present at the Domestic Affairs Committee hearing.
[With help of a Jewish Holocaust survivor]
By JONNY PAUL, Jerusalem Post correspondent in
(Jerusalem Post, November 7, 2008)
The Student Union at Goldsmiths college,
The event is being organized by the Palestine Twinning Campaign, a student union group that won a vote last February to twin Goldsmiths with
Speaking at Wednesday event will be Suzanne Weiss, a Holocaust survivor and member of the Toronto-based "Not in our Name: Jews against Zionism," and academic Ghada Ageel, who grew up in Gaza and now teaches Middle Eastern politics at Exeter University.
Jennifer Jones, the campaigns and communications officer for Goldsmiths' Student Union, is also an officer for the twinning campaign and supports the boycott of Israeli academia.
"The Student Union supports the event and we are formally hosting Suzanne Weiss. The Goldsmiths Staff Union (UCU) also support the Palestine Twinning and are therefore supporting the event," Jones said.
The warden of Goldsmiths, Prof. Geoffrey Crossick, said in a statement: "The warden wishes to make it clear that he has at no time given his support to the Public Twinning Campaign nor to the lecture planned for next week."
However, the twinning campaign says on its Facebook page: "The warden of Goldsmiths has also responded positively to our campaign and shown an interest in collaborating with the union on furthering the links we have made."
In an article titled "Holocaust survivor responds to Zionism," Weiss explained the ethos of her group: "In Canada, we have built a broad alliance for Palestinian liberation called the Coalition against Israeli Apartheid. 'Not In Our Name' is one of its Jewish sister organizations and stands for the right of Palestinians to return to their homeland.
"The coalition has launched a nationwide joint campaign for boycott, divestment and sanctions against the
With imperialism a running theme in her politics, Weiss says it was also the root cause of the Holocaust.
"This Jewish Holocaust was a by-product of the catastrophic world wars in the last century which are linked to the social system that we call imperialism."
She goes on to compare Israeli policies to those of the Third Reich.
"In fact, the Zionist state uses many of the methods of Nazism to oppress the Palestinians, including confining them in walled ghettos," she wrote.
According to Weiss, the Jewish people are threatened by
"We are told that because Hitler killed the Jews, the Zionist state is needed today, supposedly to protect the Jewish people. But there is no Nazi threat against the Jews in
The university said in a statement that it had worked hard with the Student Union to ensure that all activities "focus on benefiting the wider student experience" at the college.
"Goldsmiths welcomes people from all cultures, religions and nationalities and encourages respect for all social and ethnic groups. The college and the Students Union work hard to maintain an open dialogue with the student body and with presidents of all the student societies to continue to maintain positive relationships and to ensure that all activities focus on benefiting the wider student experience at Goldsmiths," the statement read.
Yossi Unterman, president of the Jewish Society at Goldsmiths, said the twinning campaign was led by a small number of "fanatic and obsessed" students alongside even fewer well-meaning but misinformed students.
"It is probably supported by only a small minority of students at Goldsmiths. The majority of students are against such one-sided politics of hate and just want to study and have fun, and don't get involved in drawn-out, boring Student Union meetings.
"This event is typical in that it adopts a totally one-sided and biased position, usually within a Marxist framework, but presented as unequivocal moral truth. The fact that people will get upset by the event does not bother the organizers one bit, in fact it probably encourages them," Unterman said.
The Union of Jewish Students has condemned the event, saying it cheapened the Holocaust for political gain.
"The Union of Jewish Students finds the premise and the title of this talk highly offensive and insensitive. While we welcome debate about the
The twinning campaign has a notice board in the main building of the university that some students say glorifies suicide bombing, The Jerusalem Post has learned. Students said it had pictures of a "martyr's" grave, suicide bombers and a child paying homage to pictures of "martyrs." At press time, the university said it would look into it.
Between 1941 and 1943, starvation, disease and deportations to death camps reduced the population of the Warsaw Ghetto from an estimated 450,000 to approximately 71,000. At least 56,065 people were killed during the ghetto uprising in 1943 or deported to German concentration and death camps, mostly to Treblinka, where most died.
[Note: The real truth about
the situation in Gaza establishes why anti-Israel events, such as those hosted
at University of London, are really motivated, not by a noble urge to
protect a beleaguered population of innocent souls, but rather by a
malevolent obsession to delegitimize Israel’ attempts, however passive, to
defend itself against genocidal Arab aggression. The ultimate endgame of the organizers of
such condemnatory events is a furtive hope that, in the face of such
The Gaza 'siege'
(Jerusalem Post, November 13, 2008) Here's what anyone who follows events in the Gaza Strip -- cursorily -- might reasonably conclude: An Israeli "siege" periodically leaves 1.5 million people hungry and in darkness. Innocents are "collectively punished" while the IDF capriciously "raids"
Yesterday, the UN agency which for the past 60 years has been charged with providing Palestinian Arabs with direct relief (though forbidden to permanently resettle them) warned that its Gaza operations could run out of wheat, meat, powdered milk and cooking oil by the weekend.
THE TRUTH is that
But Hamas cares about how the West perceives it. Its spokesmen have resurrected an offer of a 10-year truce. The cost? Total Israeli withdrawal to the 1949 Armistice Lines, release of all Palestinian prisoners [arrested for acts of terrorism against Israel], creation of a militarized Palestinian state, and flooding Israel [within its 1949 armistice demarcation lines] with millions of Palestinian refugees.
When Hamas ousted Abbas, taking control of
With Hamas in control of
The shekel continues to be
But lately, Hamas has been setting the stage for the next round. On November 4, the IDF destroyed a tunnel that Israeli intelligence believed was going to be used -- at any moment -- to infiltrate into
With Hamas shooting,
The plant, in fact, provides just a quarter of the Strip's electricity.
Hamas has used the truce to further enhance its sophisticated subterranean supply lines. Advanced weaponry is brought in; so too, is everything from tobacco and sheep to car parts -- all taxed by Hamas's "tunnels administration." So much diesel fuel has been flowing through pipelines under the Philadelphi Corridor that a glut on the market has reportedly been created. Only cement and iron can't easily be smuggled.
What now? Israeli defense officials do not want the cease-fire to fall apart. At the same time,
Over the long haul,
Those concerned about the well-being of the people of
[Note: A German appeals court has ruled that it does not violate the law for someone to publicly label statements of a self-described anti-Zionist Jew as being anti-Semitic. Read on!]
By Benjamin Weinthal, the Jerusalem Post,
(Jerusalem Post, January 7, 2009) A Cologne appeals court ruled on Tuesday that German-Jewish journalist Henryk Broder is allowed to describe the statements of fellow Jew Evelyn Hecht-Galinski as anti-Semitic.
"Even German courts are beginning to understand that it is not enough to be Jewish in order not to be anti-Semitic," Broder told The Jerusalem Post by phone. He is in
Hecht-Galinski equates Israeli policies with Nazi Germany's, and has said that a "Jewish-Israel lobby with its active network is extended over the world, and thanks to America its power has become so great..."
The appeals court overturned a regional court ruling barring Broder from labeling Hecht-Galinski's statements as anti-Semitic without citing reasons for his assertions.
Broder's attorney Nathan Gelbart told the Post the ruling "is a victory for freedom of speech" in
The appeals court said Broder's criticism of Hecht-Galinski contributed to a public discussion on
Hecht-Galinski said Broder statements defamed her character.
[Note: Many self-professed anti-Zionists, being outraged that Israel has finally begun to retaliate against Hamas for almost 8 years of Gazan rockets and mortars, have -- in response -- now jettisoned their thin veneer of anti-Zionism in favor of open Antisemitism. Read on!]
By Haviv Rettig Gur
(Jerusalem Post, January 15, 2008) Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni has expressed concern over "a wave of anti-Semitic attacks" faced by Jewish communities worldwide.
"We have received with great concern and revulsion many reports of physical, moral, verbal and other manifestations of anti-Semitic attacks towards Jews and Israeli citizens in many parts of the world," the Foreign Ministry said in a statement issued this week.
"Examples of these include physical assault, violence and abuse towards Jews, the desecration of cemeteries and synagogues, the use of anti-Semitic incitement in pro-Palestinian demonstrations, the writing of anti-Semitic graffiti on Jewish property, as well as cartoons, editorials and other press stories reminiscent of the kind that appeared in the media of certain countries during the darkest days of the early 20th century," the statement read.
Attacks on Jews in recent days range from a burning car driven into a gate outside a synagogue in
Last week, Danish school headmasters asked not to enroll Jewish schoolchildren in their schools because they could not guarantee their safety from Muslim pupils and protesters. The Caroline Skole, a Jewish school in
The government called on "the leaders of the world to condemn, suppress and curb any and all forms of such incitement and hate, and to further hold accountable those responsible for their actions."
The attacks "have crystallized following our defensive operations against the Hamas terror organization," said Aviva Raz-Shechter, director of the ministry's Department for Combating Anti-Semitism, who added that the ministry has been closely tracking the wave of attacks.
Such attacks are intolerable, Raz-Shechter added, "as criticism of
The beatings, shootings and Holocaust language brought to bear against Jews in
According to the Anti-Defamation League, these sentiments have been found in the media as well.
The ADL reported this week on a
Similarly, "caricatures that depict Israelis as Nazis are appearing daily in the Arab press, in Latin American and even in some mainstream European newspapers," the organization said in a statement.
"The dangers that lie within the Pandora's box that appears to have been opened with this current wave of anti-Semitism are known too well to humanity," the government said.
Nevertheless, the ministry insisted that "
[Note: More proof that anti-Zionism and Antisemitism are really the same disease. Read on!]
By BENJAMIN WEINTHAL, Jerusalem Post correspondent, Berlin
(Jerusalem Post, January 18, 2009) A court in the German capital struck down an administrative ban on Hamas flags, clothing and banners on Friday, but left in place the ban on invoking Hamas Foreign Minister Mahmoud Zahar's call to murder Israeli children worldwide.
The decision paved the way for supporters of the Islamist movement to march in anti-Israeli rallies on Saturday with pro-Hamas paraphernalia.
The German Peace Council and the Palestinian community in
However, the court prohibited calls to murder Israelis at the demonstrations.
Körting told the Berlin Morgenpost daily "that because of their terrorist attacks, and especially their constant rocket attacks on Israeli citizens, Hamas has been on the European Union's list of terrorist organizations since September 2003. Support for Hamas in
Körting added that if a court permits support for "verifiably anti-constitutional and anti-Semitic organizations "due to freedom of speech protections, other ways must be found to restrict pro-Hamas activity.
Anti-Israeli demonstrations across
A political commentator in the Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger wrote a column titled "About looking away and forgetting" that "blatant anti-Semitism is blossoming.
A handful of critics have bemoaned German political and societal indifference to the widespread loathing of the Jewish State at the mass demonstrations in German cities. In Kassel, in Hesse state, protesters were greeted by cheers as they attacked a solidarity stand for Israel and attempted to tear down Israeli flags and banners on Saturday.
Police departments in
Kai Süssenbach, a police spokesman in
Süssenbach added that since the activists were not Israelis, it could be assumed they were provocateurs. The Kaufhof department store issued an order banning the pro-Israeli group from the store's premises.
Ironically, the Nazis stripped the Jewish owner of Kaufhof, Leonhard Tietz, of his property in 1933 and "aryanized" the store.
By Etgar Lefkovits
The e-mail, sent out by Trine Lilleng, a first secretary at the Norwegian Embassy in
"The grandchildren of Holocaust survivors from World War II are doing to the Palestinians exactly what was done to them by Nazi Germany," the e-mail states.
A copy of the e-mail was obtained by The Jerusalem Post.
The 40-plus pictures included as attachments in the e-mail include the famous image of a Jewish boy with his hands raised as a German soldier points his gun at him, next to an image of an Israeli soldier aiming his weapon at a Palestinian boy.
Another depicts a German soldier firing his weapon, next to an IDF soldier shooting his, while others juxtapose the barbed wire surrounding ghettos and concentration camps to the fence around
The e-mail asks recipients to forward the message to others.
Reached on her cellphone in
She would not say whether it was proper for her to use her ministry e-mail account for such a controversial message.
"I am not interested in saying anything about that," she said.
The Oslo-based Center Against Anti-Semitism in
"The Center Against Anti-Semitism regrets that
The center noted that the Norwegian government, along with other European governments, has sought to play a role as a mediator in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as part of an Egyptian-proposed agreement.
"We fail to see that the distribution of anti-Semitic pictures is compatible with such a role," the letter states.
The center has asked the Norwegian Foreign Ministry to recall the disseminated pictures immediately and to apologize publicly for the incident.
The letter was hand-delivered to the ministry in
"This demonization of both
The Norwegian Embassy in Tel Aviv did not immediately respond when asked for comment on Tuesday.
(www.ynetnews.com, January 22, 2009)
Over 30,000 people marched in Catalunya's streets in support of Hamas, during the three-week campaign, burning Israeli flags and handing out flyers threatening local pro-Israel journalists.
The overwhelming public support for the Palestinians has prompted the
government to cancel the Holocaust Remembrance Day service. This was to be the
only public event marking the day, and was scheduled to take place in
"Marking the Jewish Holocaust while a Palestinian Holocaust is taking
place is not right," a local City official told
'Comparison a distortion of history'
Rafael Shutz, the Israeli ambassador to
Meanwhile, other European countries have also compared Israel's actions in Operation Cast Lead to those of Nazi Germany: A Norwegian diplomat stationed in Saudi Arabia sent a mass-distributed email stating that "the grandchildren of Holocaust survivors are doing the same thing to the Palestinians as the Nazis did to their grandparents," using her official Norwegian Foreign Ministry address.
Avner Shalev, head of the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum, admonished both the comparison and the use of Nazi symbols in many of the anti-Gaza operation protests around the world.
"These comparisons are a manipulative distortion of history," he said, adding that the Holocaust would be best left out of the contemporary political discourse.
Eldad Beck in
Copyright © Yedioth Internet. All rights reserved.
The new blood libel
By ELI KAVON
(Jerusalem Post, January 28, 2009) On February 5, 1840, a Capuchin monk in
In the end, the Muslim authorities released the surviving Jews and dropped the heinous charges. Thus, what became known as "The Damascus Affair," passed into history as just one of many libels against the Jews that repeat themselves-in a somewhat different guise-in today's world.
In the 21st century, the charge of the "blood libel" against the Jews is no longer solely a European phenomenon. In a disturbing transformation, Arabs and Muslims in the
That is the "New Blood Libel' -- the charge that the modern Jewish State murders Palestinian civilians, especially children, in the name of Zionism. At rallies around the world organized by Muslims protesting
The death of civilians in war is always a tragedy. The Israeli army in
The enemies of
How pathetic it is that the Damascus Blood Libel is still alive. The new libel is as disgusting and untrue as its medieval predecessor. To combat the new accusations we must arm ourselves with the facts and counter the lies with truth. Perhaps, one day, the world will move beyond outright lies and come to know the truth.
The writer is on the faculty of
'Erdogan's remarks aid anti-Semitism'
By Haviv Rettig Gur
(Jerusalem Post, January 29, 2009) Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is encouraging expressions of anti-Semitism in his country by espousing biased views and wholeheartedly accepting the Hamas narrative of the recent
Yet during the fighting, Erdogan "did not utter one word that placed even one percent of the responsibility for the conflict on Hamas," said the Israeli official. "He has utterly adopted the Hamas narrative."
One example cited by the official of Erdogan's alleged encouragement of anti-Semitic sentiments came in a January 13 speech to
"Media outlets supported by Jews are disseminating false reports on what happens in
As the country's prime minister was lambasting
The community, estimated to number some 26,000, has seen a spate of anti-Semitic incidents in the wake of
At anti-Israel demonstrations throughout the country, demonstrators were seen carrying blatantly anti-Semitic signs. At a demonstration in the industrial city of
Posters placed on billboards throughout
In the weeks since the
At least one store in
"I feel worried, sad and scared for myself and for my country's future, which is leaning towards racism," Turkish-Jewish academic Leyla Navaro wrote in the Radikal newspaper, Reuters reported.
Despite Jewish concern from
Members of the Turkish Jewish community either did not return calls or refused to speak on the matter, with one Turkish Jew in
According to Israeli diplomatic sources, official Israeli-Turkish relations have not been harmed, and the close military cooperation between the two states continues.
There have, however, been reports of a 70 percent drop in Israeli tourism to
Perhaps to allay opposition anger at home over Erdogan's apparent siding with Hamas, the country's Foreign Minister Ali Babacan called on Hamas to abandon its violent ways.
"Hamas should make a decision. Do they want to be an armed organization or a political movement?" he said.
Speaking to Turkish television station NTV, Babacan reiterated that both
"The relations between
Despite the apparent conciliatory tone of Babacan's remarks, Israeli officials say it is Erdogan who determines policy and sets the political tone in the country.
Criticism of Erdogan's comments have also come from inside
American Jewish groups were widely reported in the Turkish press to have complained to the Turkish government about the rise in anti-Semitic incidents, including the closure of synagogues in
A call to the Turkish Embassy seeking comment was not returned.
By Tori Cheifetz
(Jerusalem Post, January 29, 2009) "
That's according to Dr. Asle Toje, a researcher at the BI Norwegian School of Management and foreign policy adviser to the Progress Party of Norway (Fremskrittspartiet).
Toje is a staunch advocate of Siv Jensen, chairwoman of the main opposition Progress Party, who has recently come under fire for her pro-Israel stance. Following her appearance at a pro-Israel rally in
"I have never experienced this kind of hatred in
Along with expressions of support for
The Socialist Left Party (Sosialistisk Venstreparti), which is part of the current coalition, has proposed a number of boycotts against
"The first was a general boycott," said Toje. "Next came an academic boycott and then a boycott on arms." The boycotts, though not implemented, have exacerbated an already hostile atmosphere.
Israeli/Nazi comparisons and anti-Semitic incidents are now commonplace, Toje said.
On January 21, Etgar Lefkovits reported in The Jerusalem Post on an e-mail sent out by Trine Lilleng, a senior Norwegian diplomat based in
Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre (Labor), in his recent memoir, To Make a Difference, makes an implicit comparison, noting, when writing of
In August 2006, Jostein Gaardner, an esteemed Norwegian author and a friend of Støre's, published an op-ed in the Aftenposten daily under the headline, "God's chosen people."
A week later, Gaarder penned another op-ed, expressing his "regret if I have hurt anyone -- though I intended and still intend to be harsh in my critique of the State of Israel."
In September 2006, 10 shots were fired at an
On June 2, 2008, Bhatti was acquitted of terrorism charges and convicted of "aggravated vandalism." He is now serving an eight-year prison sentence.
He posited that this was connected with the mass immigration from Muslim countries that began in the 1970s.
In defying that trend, Toje praised Jensen as "a very bold politician. She stood up and made her voice heard at a time when it was not the popular thing to do -- which is usually when it really matters."
Center Field: Disproportionate, dishonest and discriminatory critics
By Gil Troy
(Jerusalem Post, January 30, 2009)
Although calling the response disproportionate implicitly conceded that some response was justified, most critics went further. Critics silent about Muslim murders of fellow Muslims in
Demonstrating this dishonesty in prominent essays in The Washington Post, Guardian and The New York Times, respectively, former [Unites States] president Jimmy Carter, Avi Shlaim of
Carter treated Hamas as a peace-loving movement seeking a "comprehensive cease-fire in both the West Bank and
Shaim wrote of Hamas: "Denied the fruit of its electoral victory and confronted with an unscrupulous adversary, it has resorted to the weapon of the weak -- terror." It is particularly disingenuous for an historian to claim Hamas only "resorted" to terror due to the evil Israelis -- as if Hamas had not first used such "weapons of the weak" back in the early 1990s, to sabotage the Oslo peace process.
Despicably, others used Holocaust shorthand to berate
Moreover, there is something particularly dastardly about preying on an ethnic group's historic sensitivities. [
MANY OF these anti-Zionist attacks resurrected the historic ghost of anti-Semitic essentialism. When asked about his fellow protester in
the cause of the situation in the entire
For centuries, critics of Jews have degenerated from criticizing specific Jews' individual actions to generalizing about Jews and Judaism. Generalizing about Zionism's essence condemns Jewish nationalism with this age-old anti-Semitic tactic. A sign at a
The ugly inverted rhetoric follows its inexorable logic: accusing the victims of the 20th-century's most horrific genocide of committing genocide, then essentializing and demonizing their movement for collective national fulfillment, leads to calls for eradication. (It also excuses Iranian calls for
Essentialism poisons the environment and corrupts other arenas. In the past 40 years, no Western power has engaged in any major military action that did not trigger massive criticism. However, the broad lynch-mob atmosphere against
It is depressing in the 21st century to see such anti-Semitism, especially among those who designate themselves knights in the fight against racism. But the disproportionate demonization, the idealization of Hamas, the essentialism, the animosity coursing through so much criticism of Israeli actions suggests that the world has yet to heal from one of its most persistent afflictions.
The writer is professor of history at
S. African Jews to take on deputy FM over slurs
By Amir Mizroch
(Jerusalem Post, January 30, 2009) South Africa's Jewish Board of Deputies has lodged a complaint of hate speech with the country's Human Rights Commission against Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Fatima Hajaig of the ruling African National Congress.
In remarks tape-recorded during a pro-Palestinian rally outside
"No matter which government comes into power, whether Republican or Democratic, whether Barack Obama or George Bush, the control of
"If Jewish money controls their country, you cannot expect anything else," she said, referring to support for
Her words were welcomed by thunderous applause.
The January 14 rally was organized by the Congress of South African Trade Unions, Palestine Solidarity and the SA Council of Churches.
According to South African media reports, the Jewish Board of Deputies called Hajaig's statement "an embarrassment to
In its complaint, the board said the statement demonstrated "a clear intention to be hurtful, be harmful or incite harm and especially to promote or propagate hatred against the Jewish people."
David Saks, the board's associate director, told the South African publication Business Day the statement was anti-Semitic because it alleged "that Jews are a scheming, manipulative, behind-the-scenes influence in their host societies, who control the affairs of the societies for their own selfish, usually evil, gains."
Saks said the idea of "a Jew who uses his money to undermine the well-being of the human race" was "a classic anti-Semitic stereotype."
The board's national chairman, Zev Krengel, told The Jerusalem Post that apart from the apology, the board wanted Hajaig to "educate herself" about anti-Semitism and the Holocaust, possibly with visits to
The board said Hajaig had crossed the line between being pro-Palestinian, which was legitimate, to being anti-Semitic, which was not.
Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesman Ronnie Mamoepa said the department was "not [familiar] with the contents of the alleged statement made by the deputy minister," and that Hajaig was in
The Jewish governing body said it would give the cabinet a limited
period of time to convene and decide what to do.
The spokesman for
coming days. He said it first would have to decide whether it was the right body to handle the complaint, after which it would assess whether there was an opportunity to mediate between the parties or take the matter to court.
The commission was also waiting to see how Hajaig responded before making a decision.
The commission has dealt with previous cases of hate speech, including one in which the minister of labor made unfavorable comments about people of Chinese origin. Moaga said that following a complaint, the minister had been cooperative and, at a meeting between the sides, a solution had been found.
Should Hajaig fail to respond to the Jewish Board of Deputies's satisfaction, or should mediation efforts fail, there is a good chance the Human Rights Commission will take the minister to court on charges of hate speech.
On December 29, just two days after the start of Operation Cast Lead, Hajaig summoned Israeli ambassador Dov Segev-Steinberg to explain the IDF's push into
Segev-Steinberg later said he was "bashed very, very badly" by Hajaig.
There are an estimated 70,000 to 75,000 Jews in
Venezuelan synagogue vandalized
By Haviv Rettig Gur
(Jerusalem Post, February 1, 2009) The vandalizing of a Caracas [, Venezuela] synagogue late Friday only underscores the feeling of growing anti-Semitic sentiment in the South American nation, Jewish community members said over the weekend.
A group of people -- reports run as high as 15 -- broke into Caracas's Sephardic synagogue late on Friday, held the guard at gunpoint, wreaked havoc on the building and damaged the Torah scrolls.
Before leaving at around 3 a.m., the vandals scrawled "Death to the Jews" and "We don't want Jews here" on the synagogue's walls.
The damage was discovered by community members on Saturday morning. The guard was found on the floor, one community leader said.
According to Paul Hariton, a former leader of the Ashkenazi community in
The US-based Anti-Defamation League (ADL) said the attack was "not a random event in
The suggestion of government sanction for the attack was heard many times from Venezuelan Jews over the weekend, though most of them would not speak on the record.
"I do not expect the law to be enforced," Hariton said simply.
The ADL called on Chavez "to abandon the official government rhetoric of demonization of
Chavez called on the Venezuelan Jewish community to "declare itself against this barbarity" --
"Don't Jews repudiate the Holocaust? And this is precisely what we're witnessing," Chavez told the network.
According to Miami Herald columnist and
For example, he relates, "As I'm writing this [on Thursday], a quick look at the Web site of Telesur, the Venezuela-based regional television network owned by the governments of Venezuela, Argentina, Bolivia, Cuba, Ecuador, Nicaragua and Paraguay, shows me a story entitled 'Gaza's Ruins,' which accuses Israel 'and the world's Jews' of failing to denounce alleged atrocities by Israeli troops and 'Jewish planes' in Gaza."
"We've never had such an incident. It looks well-planned," Daniel Ben-Naim, spokesman for the Federation of Jewish Communities in
"We were afraid something like this would happen. The official press was becoming more and more anti-Israeli and anti-Jews. There are hundreds of anti-Semitic articles, ads and fliers."
According to Hariton, the government is using the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as a "scapegoat" to distract attention from
With crime at one of the highest levels in the world, "where does the Venezuelan government find the time to talk about terrorists getting killed in
"You can disagree with
Anti-Semitism rears head in
By MAX SOCOL
(Jerusalem Post, February 2, 2009) One of the popuations most severely hit by the worldwide rise in anti-Semitism that's followed Operation Cast Lead has been one of the easiest to overlook: the minuscule Jewish community of
"In Icelandic, 'Zionist' is a derogatory term," said Dr. Vilhjálmur Örn Vilhjálmsson, a Danish professor who has studied the history of
Now, a bicycle repair shop owner in
The shop owner's stance may reflect a coming shift in the public face of anti-Israel feeling in the country. In the midst of a recession that has all but destroyed the Icelandic economy, a new far-left government has been carried to power.
"I am afraid because the members of the cabinet we're going to see created today have expressed in recent weeks and in the past that they want to cut ties with
A local Jewish resident, who was reluctant to give his name due to safety concerns, agreed.
"I'm trying to see if there will be any consequences for Jews [because of the new government]," he said. "I imagine they might cut diplomatic ties with
Originally from the
"Being Jewish in
He cited the lack of a synagogue, rabbi, or any organized community.
Vilhjálmsson, who is also Jewish, has roots in
"Every time there's a conflict between
Now, anti-Semitism and anti-Israel sentiment have blurred in a country that, according to Vilhjálmsson, rarely receives balanced coverage of the
The poll suggests that Jews and Israelis have not gained the public trust in
"When the bankruptcy came, you could see people expressing a new view [about Mussaieff]," said Vilhjálmsson. "Even though she was very good for
However, despite the popular sentiment, the local source said he did not feel that Jews in
"Of the few Jews that are here, how many have bikes? How many are visiting his shop?" he asked. "It's just a publicity stunt. And anyway, there's 10 inches of snow on the ground."
By TORI CHEIFETZ
(Jerusalem Post, February 4, 2009) With the start of the IDF's
"Since [the] last day of Hanukka (December 29), we have been subjected to anti-Semitic offenses coming mainly from people of Muslim origin," Raskin wrote in an e-mail to benefactors of
Perhaps hardest hit has been
On the last day of Hanukka, a car carrying a hanukkia on its roof and traveling around the country in celebration of the holiday had two of its windows broken.
In another incident, a hanukkia that had been placed in Limassol, the second-largest city in
On January 25, 50 policemen surrounded the Chabad House, located in the capital city of
In addition to stone-throwings and on one occasion, the egging of Chabad House, verbal assaults have been mounted against the Jewish community by telephone.
"We received phone calls in which people accused us of killing innocent people," Raskin said. "I tried to explain to them that we are a Jewish educational organization and that we have nothing to do with the Israeli government."
Raskin and members of the Jewish community have met with local security officials as well as Israelis to discuss the situation.
"They have recommended us putting up heavy walls and doors, and security alarms," he said. "It's not something that makes us happy, but we have to take some kind of action."
In his e-mail message, Raskin appealed for donations to fund a more comprehensive security system for the Chabad House, which serves as the multi-purpose building for the entire Jewish community.
"Due to this, meetings with security specialists, police and civil authorities were arranged, and plans for the enhancement of our security systems were drawn up," he wrote. "We find ourselves facing a different and totally unexpected horizon, which requires expenses that we were not ready for."
With the increase in violent attacks, Raskin expressed concern for what he sees as the ineffectiveness of the authorities in Larnaca.
"The local authority doesn't recognize the situation we're in," he said. "They say, 'Don't worry, we're looking after you.'"
"Last Friday night we saw two suspicious-looking men standing in front of Chabad House. We called the police and it took them 40 minutes to come!" Raskin declared.
Raskin attributed the rise in anti-Semitism to a growth of the Muslim population in
The Second Lebanon War in 2006 saw the arrival of more than 100,000 Lebanese refugees in
Raskin and his family moved to the island in 2003 as emissaries of the Chabad movement. The Jewish community at the time was free of anti-Semitic attacks.
"When we came, everything was open," he said. "The gates to Chabad House were open and you could lie on the grass and take a nap."
The feelings of Cypriots toward the Jewish community have changed, he said. "You feel it in the street. The locals are not smiling at us like they used to," he said.
Raskin said the Jewish community of
"If God forbid anything happens, they're going to lose more than we are," he said. "There are business people and tourists coming here all the time from
"The Jewish business people are coming not only from
Shots fired at Jewish center in
By Elana Kirsh
(Jerusalem Post, February 5, 2009) Two gunshots were fired at the 'Sinai' Jewish center in
No one was wounded in the incident, and the bullet holes in a window were only discovered on Wednesday morning when a maintenance man arrived at the premises.
Hardov, who also works with the Jewish Agency, said that police were investigating the alleged shooting, and did not yet know whether anti-Semitic or anti-Israel motives were behind it.
Approximately 30,000 Jews live in the
The group, Musevi Cemaati, or Jewish Community in Turkish, said that some Turkish "fringe" newspapers and other media were continuing to disseminate anti-Semitic messages, including terms such as "bloody Jews" and criticism of the Torah.
Silvyo Ovadya, the head of Musevi Cemaati, said last week in an interview with Haberturk television that there were several hundred examples of recently published articles with anti-Semitic messages linked to the
By Jerusalem Post Staff
(Jerusalem Post, February 10, 2009) A top
Rowan Laxton, who is head of the South Asia Group at the Foreign Office, was watching TV reports of the IDF offensive in Gaza while on an exercise bike at a gym when he was allegedly heard shouting: "F**king Israelis, f**king Jews," and saying that IDF soldiers should be wiped off the face of the earth, the UK newspaper reported.
His tirade reportedly continued even after he was approached by other exercisers at the
After a police complaint was filed, Laxton was arrested on suspicion of inciting religious hatred through threatening words and behavior. He was bailed until late March, said the Mail.
Laxton has worked extensively in the Middle East and has been deputy ambassador to
"I was in the gym around 9pm and I heard this guy shouting something about "f**king Israelis," the paper quoted one witness as saying. "This bald guy was cycling away on his machine in the middle of the exercise room. When another guy approached him he shouted ‘f**king Jews, f**king Israelis.’"
"The gym was pretty full and everyone looked totally shocked," he continued. "That sort of racist language is totally unacceptable. The gym staff called security and I think the guy was asked to leave."
The Mail quoted Mark Gardner, deputy director of the Community Security Trust which monitors anti-Semitism, as saying that "we must not allow an overseas conflict to cause racism here in
"We hope that the appropriate disciplinary actions will
be taken forthwith, as they would be if these comments had been made against
any other section of the population," continued
A Foreign Office spokesman said: "It is too early to comment in detail on a matter that is currently the subject of police inquiries. But we take extremely seriously any allegation of inappropriate conduct on the part of our staff and continue to follow developments closely," the Mail reported.
When contacted by the British newspaper, Laxton denied his remarks were anti-Semitic but declined comment when asked if they were anti-Israeli.
Search linked to synagogue vandalism, bomb threat [in
Federal agents executed a search warrant this morning at a North Side apartment building in connection with last month's vandalism at four synagogues and Jewish schools in Chicago and Lincolnwood as well as a bomb threat to a Jewish high school.
The FBI's search warrant was related to a former
The search of an apartment in the 6000 block of
A computer hard drive and a laptop computer were seen being taken out of the building. Agents also seized a Chevrolet van and a Nissan sport-utility vehicle.
Shortly after the FBI and Chicago police left the scene this afternoon, a 24-year-old man answered the door to the apartment and told a Tribune reporter authorities suspected him because he's Muslim. When asked why authorities would be after him, the man said he asked authorities the same question.
The Tribune is not naming the man because he hasn't been charged. The man, who is studying to be an engineer, said authorities found no evidence in the apartment and said no one was arrested.
"I'm too busy studying and working to commit [hate crimes]," the man said.
A Chicago police detective on the scene said investigators had recovered evidence that a member of the family living in the apartment had sent a threatening letter to Ida Crown Jewish Academy, an orthodox Jewish high school at 2828 W. Pratt Blvd. Rabbi Leonard Matanky, the dean of the school, told the Tribune that he understood the person apparently targeted by authorities today is suspected of sending a bomb threat to the school Dec. 31.
Four synagogues and Jewish schools in Chicago and Lincolnwood were vandalized last month in the wake of Israeli airstrikes and troop incursions into the Gaza Strip.
At Lubavitch Mesivta of Chicago, a
rabbinical school and synagogue at
Two windows were smashed at Young Israel Congregation of
West Rogers Park,
Glass doors were shattered and "Free Palestine"
and "Death to
Commenting on today's search, Judy Alexander, an administrator at the congregation, said, "You can catch one of these people, but there are five others .... That's the sad part."
Eli Azzo, 38, a neighbor of the target of the search warrant, said the man and his extended family have lived on the second floor of the building for about six years. He said the family consists of the man, his wife and a child, as well as an adult son, his wife and their baby.
"The family is nice," he said. "The guy is quick always to say hello. ... They all seem like really nice people."
-- Noreen Ahmed-Ullah, Jeff Coen, Matthew Walberg and Jeremy Gorner
Jewish students 'held hostage' in TO uni
By TORI CHEIFETZ
(Jerusalem Post, February 16, 2009) Jewish students at
The students had taken part in a press conference held to call for an impeachment of the student government at
Hillel at York partnered with other campus groups in a campaign called Drop YFS (York Federation of Students), aimed at impeaching the student government for its support of the 12-week strike at the university, which ended on February 2.
Daniel Ferman, president of Hillel at
Students outside the meeting room banged on the doors and chanted "Let the colored people in," even though students from a variety of backgrounds were present, which led to the cancellation of the press conference, according to a first person account by student Orit Tepper.
In the hallway of the student center, students attempting to exit the meeting room were greeted with cries of "Zionism equals racism!" and "Racists off campus!"
A YouTube video called "York University 2009" documents the hallway encounter. Jesse Zimmerman, a student at the university, can be heard declaring, "Zionism does not speak for Jews. Zionism is an embarrassment. Shame on the Zionists."
During the clash in the hallway, Jewish students were singled out and pursued by a mob of more than 100 students. Tepper and the 15-20 other Jewish students escaped upstairs to Hillel's offices, where the situation worsened.
While students sat in the shelter of the Hillel office, listening to the "pounding" from the York Federation of Students office below, demonstrators reached the Hillel office, banging on the glass doors and made it impossible for students to leave.
Campus security personnel arrived and advised the Jewish students to stay in the Hillel office.
The police arrived almost an hour after the incident had begun and tried to "remain neutral," Tepper wrote.
The students in the Hillel office were evacuated soon after by police escort, amid cries of "Get off our campus" and "Shame on Hillel."
"I have never in my life felt threatened and hated like I did that night," Tepper said.
Ferman, the Hillel president, who was called a "f*****g Jew" and a "dirty Jew" by the protesters, said, "We were basically being held hostage in our own space."
The incident was somewhat "ironic," Ferman said, because 45 minutes before the press
conference, members of Hillel and the Hasbara student organization had met with
members of Students Against Israeli Apartheid, in an attempt to "decrease
tensions" between the groups.
In an interview with
"I heard nothing of that nature at all," he said,
adding that demonstrators chanted, "Racism off campus" and
"Students united will never be defeated."
Students involved in the demonstration were from both the York Federation of Students and Students Against Israeli Apartheid, which is a main organizer of Israeli Apartheid Week set to happen on campuses internationally next month.
A bulletin put out by The Jewish Federation of Greater Vancouver reported that "University campuses across Canada are becoming more challenging environments for Jewish students, as anti-Israel campus groups engage in increasingly hostile and occasionally violent activities."
The bulletin referred to
Wednesday night was the second time last week that police were called regarding anti-Semitic acts at
According to Ferman, a main organizer of the Drop YFS campaign received a call in the first few days of the campaign threatening his life and the lives of his family members. The threat was made in both Hebrew and English. Police were looking into the incident, he said.
By ABRAHAM COOPER and HAROLD BRACKMAN
(Jerusalem Post, March 9, 2009) Neutral Sweden's mixed World War II legacy is still debated by historians. On the one hand it supplied Nazi Germany with iron ore and ball bearings and allowed the Wehrmacht to use the Swedish railway system to transport soldiers. On the other hand, spurred on by the Danes, it accepted Danish Jews marked for mass murder by the Nazis. Ultimately, the good name of Sweden was redeemed by the unparalleled heroics of one of its own - Raoul Wallenberg, who, using the cover of a Swedish diplomat, helped save tens of thousands of Hungarian Jews destined for [Nazi death camp] Auschwitz, only to disappear into the Soviet Gulag. For decades, no Swedish government had the courage to demand his return from the jaws of the neighboring Russian bear.
While this Swede will forever be revered by the Jewish nation, it is brutally clear in 2009 that Jews and especially those uppity ones from
INTERNATIONAL SPORTS strive to be free of politics and prejudice. But here they provide real-time proof of the poisoning of Swedish public life by biases that have echoes in Nazi Europe's anti-Semitism. In
The losers are tennis players and fans of every nationality. The winners are the "Stop the Match" campaign which prevailed on the council's Socialist-Left majority to quarantine Israelis and Jews behind an apartheid police cordon to protest
That controversy has had zero impact in
Spare us the alleged "public safety" nonsense. The same 7,000 anti-Israel demonstrators in downtown Malmo would have chanted the same slogans and the few dozen who attacked the police vans for the benefit of media coverage would have tossed the same projectiles had the stadium been packed with tennis fans on Saturday.
No the security card was invoked not to protect but to stigmatize Israeli athletes as pariahs.
None of this is about sports. It's about Jews.
FOR DECADES, Sweden has allowed demagogues like Ahmed Rami , whose Radio Islam is a 22-language flagship of Holocaust denial, Jew-hatred and demonization of the State of Israel, to poison the well among the nation's Muslim minority.
Over-the-top vilification anti-Israel rhetoric is a hallmark of a large swathe of the Swedish political establishment.
On the right, Carl Bildt, Sweden's foreign minister, after visiting Gaza charged Israel with intentionally targeting economic infrastructure and called its policies "neither morally nor politically defensible." In 2004, when a Europewide poll revealed that 59 percent of respondents identified Israel as "the greatest threat to world peace," a Swedish government conference on preventing genocide was coordinated with a Stockholm museum exhibit, entitled "Snow White and the Madness of Truth," that glorified an Islamic Jihad homicide bomber who mass murdered 22 Israeli Jews and Arabs at a Haifa cafe.
IN 2005, a US State Department report documented that anti-Semitic incidents against Sweden's tiny Jewish community spiked to over 100 a year after 2000, with attacks on Jewish shopkeepers and members of the Jewish Burial Society in Malmo, arson and vandalism of a Jewish cemetery, a swastika painted near the Jewish community building in Gothenburg, three Arab men disrupted the Rosh Hashana service shouting "I'll kill you, Zionists!" at the Great Synagogue in Stockholm where a pro-Israel street demonstration was violently disrupted by counterdemonstrators and members of Hizb ut-Tahrir [meaning: “Party of Liberation”] handed out leaflets near a mosque that urged the liquidation of Jews in Palestine.
A 2006 poll showed 30 percent of all Swedes harbored moderate to strong anti-Semitic attitudes.
In 2008-2009 since the
Rabbi Abraham Cooper is associate dean of the
Israel Apartheid Week bigger than ever
By ELAN LUBLINER
(Jerusalem Post, March 12, 2009) The fifth annual Israel Apartheid Week, which ended on Sunday, was a more popular, better attended, and more aggressive series of anti-Israel rallies and lectures than ever before.
"Forty-four international cities held IAW events, which is twice as much as last year, and in
The rise in participation was largely due to the world's reaction to the recent war in
"After Cast Lead, it was easier for certain 'students for life' to manipulate opinion on campuses. They're equipped and very well funded by Arab countries and anti-Israel organizations to set up an agenda against
Dr. Edward S. Beck, co-founder of Scholars for Peace in the
"It's the same rhetoric, but it's being delivered in a more aggressive and sometimes even violent fashion," said Orna Hollander, executive director of The Canadian Center for Israel Activism.
In one example of such violence, Isaac Apter, a Jewish alumnus of the
A private security guard hired by Students Against Israel Apartheid then approached Apter from behind. He turned around, only to be grabbed by the neck and pulled face to face with the guard, who repeatedly yelled, "You shut the f*** up!"
Another Jewish student was threatened with beheading.
Daniel S. Mariaschin, executive vice president of B'nai B'rith International, said Israel Apartheid Week must be taken seriously. "This anti-Israel activity has been going on for a long time, but it was worse this year," he said.
"For example, Holocaust deniers recently became engaged in IAW's events. This shows an unsettling link between
Some are less concerned. Leor Ben-Dor, spokesman for the Foreign Ministry, explained that
"If we were to react, we'd only be giving them more media coverage," he said.
While Apartheid Week has definitely grown since it began in
Apartheid Week has faced censorship on some campuses. The administrators of the
Nevertheless, 2009's Israel Apartheid Week was the most "successful" yet, the Students Against Israel Apartheid's spokeswoman said. "People are slowly becoming aware of
"Next year it will be even bigger."
Swiss Jews worried by pre-Durban II anti-Semitism spike
By MAYA SPITZER
With the United Nations Durban Review Conference to be held April 20-24 in Geneva -- during the same week as Holocaust Remembrance Day -- Jews there are concerned about security.
According to the soon-to-be-released CICAD annual report,
anti-Semitic acts have spiked in the country, with 38 attacks in 2007 and 96
occurring just last year in French-speaking
CICAD held an urgent meeting in January with the heads of
the Jewish communities of
"It's worse than [it's been] in a very long time. This
is the first time I was confronted with this sort of anti-Semitism in
"We have no specific information to back that up,"
he conceded, but the climate in
Eliane Meyer, secretary of the Zahal Disabled Veterans Association (ZDVO) in
However, Brandt Jean Philippe, a spokesman for the
The Swiss police, along with Swiss federal security, plan to reassess the situation in the coming weeks.
The latest anti-Semitic incident was on March 2 at the ZDVO
annual fundraiser, held at the famed Teatre du Leman
in the Kempinski Hotel in
Pro-Palestinian group the Collectif Urgance Palestine (CUP), clad in black masks, threw stones, made Nazi salutes, verbally assaulted the event participants and videotaped and photographed the entrance, yelling, "We're going to find each of you!"
Police apprehended the stone-throwers, but those taking videos were left alone -- even though according to Swiss law, it is illegal to film people without their consent.
Prior to the event, the CUP posted the invitation to the ZDVO's event on its Web site, along with a page of intimidating calls to protest the event for "Jewish army murderers," recounted Meyer.
The lead entertainer for the event, French-Jewish comedian
Anne Roumanoff, received a flurry of threatening
letters from French Muslims, according to Meyer, including one stating that
there were 1,200 dead in
The Friday before the fundraiser, according to Meyer, the
police received information about on-line calls from the mosque in neighboring
In Meyer's opinion, the situation "went way beyond our
event. It turned into something between French Muslims and
Meyer said the ZDVO had decided to reimburse all who had bought tickets, but asked that everyone come and show support for their Jewish community.
"We had a solidarity movement -- the Jews of Geneva were united in standing up to this," said Meyer.
In the end, some 900 Jews attended the event -- a huge part
Although there was no all-out outbreak of violence at the fundraiser, Jewish community leaders, including Meyer and Gurfinkiel, saw the demonstrators and their letters as a genuine threat to their community's further activities.
"We are not protected, we are not taken care of by the
police. There is a general feeling in
According to Philippe, "there was no incident at the Kempinski. Two little stones were thrown, not even big ones. There was a lot of crying and harsh words, but it was a non-event."
Meyer cited another incident earlier this year in which the
"It depends on the point of view," said Philippe. Aside from that, he noted, it was "an isolated event."
In 2007, Hekhal Ha-Nes, the main
Since the culprit has not been found, said Philippe, "we can not conclude anything."
Regarding the purported threatening letters ahead of the ZDVO fundraiser, Philippe admitted, "I have heard that rumor, but it hasn't been investigated. We judged it was not useful to investigate because we arrived at the conclusion that it was a false rumor."
CICAD met this past week with Laurent Moutinop,
"They were very open to our thoughts," said Gurfinkiel. However, "the government said it does not focus on anti-Semitism, but on global intolerance. They were unresponsive [on] this issue."
Gurfinkiel said the Swiss government claimed it did not receive information on the anti-Semitic acts taking place, but "they choose [whether] to discover or not discover this information."
Echoing Meyer's sentiment, Gurfinkiel explained that "there is a Swiss attitude that everything is all right and wonderful. I am optimistic they are on our side; it's just a question of information and communication. I hope that CICAD's upcoming report will make a difference in their attitude. They must face the situation and the reality."
British film director: Rise in anti-Semitism understandable
By JONNY PAUL, JPOST CORRESPONDENT IN
Speaking last week in Brussels at the launch of the
"Russell Tribunal on Palestine" - a symbolic citizens' initiative
that claims to reaffirm the importance of international law in conflict
resolution - award-winning director Ken Loach said, "If there has been a
rise I am not surprised. In fact, it is perfectly understandable because
Calling for people to take a stand, he said, "When history comes to be written, I think this will be seen as one of the great crimes of the past decades because of the cold blooded massacre that we witnessed. Unless we take a stand against it, we are complicit."
Loach dismissed reports of a rise in anti-Semitism following Operation Cast Lead as a "red herring" designed to distract attention away from Israel's military actions.
In 2006, Loach called for a boycott of state-sponsored
Israeli cultural institutions in response to
"Palestinians are driven to call for this boycott after 40 years of the occupation of their land, destruction of their homes and the kidnapping and murder of their civilians. They have no immediate hope that this oppression will end," he said at the time.
Speaking about the tribunal, which has no legal jurisdiction, Italian MP Luisa Morgantini said, "It will not be legally binding, but the aim is for it to operate in the same way as a court of law."
"If it is proved that
According to the tribunal's organizers, a committee will "establish the facts and build up the legal arguments" and present them to the tribunal, which is scheduled to take place at the beginning of 2010.
"A jury made up of well-known personalities who are respected for their high moral standing will consider the reports and hear the witnesses for and against," a statement from the group said.
The organizers also claimed that the tribunal results will help contribute to peace in the region.
"The jury will announce its conclusions which, we are
persuaded, will attract widespread international public and political support,
thereby contributing to a just and durable peace in the
French Jews end dialogue with Muslims
By Haviv Rettig Gur
(Jerusalem Post, March 24, 2009) The Representative Council of French Jewish Institutions (CRIF), the umbrella body of French Jewry, will not renew dialogue with French Muslim groups that equated Operation Cast Lead in
During Operation Cast Lead, some Muslim organizers of pro-Palestinian demonstrations equated
One group in particular, the influential Union des Organisations Islamiques de France (UOIF), was so virulent in its anti-Israel rhetoric that French Jewry's umbrella body cut all ties and dialogue with the group.
"We understand the Muslim support for the Palestinians. It's as natural as the Jewish support for the Israelis," Habib said. "I was an organizer of a 15,000-person demonstration for
"But within the [UOIF] demonstrations there were signs calling for 'death to the Jews.' Some of the organizers from respectable organizations were comparing
"These are dangerous comparisons," he said. "Until they apologize - which I don't think will happen anytime soon - we will have no contact with them."
Habib was reiterating the policy expressed in an early March speech by CRIF president Richard Prasquier, in which Prasquier warned that the
According to Prasquier, January alone -- the month of the operation -- saw 352 anti-Semitic acts in
"Anti-Semitism is back," he said.
Meanwhile, on Friday a body of French Jewish groups filed a complaint with the public prosecutor of the Bobigny district, northeast of
The complaint concerned "the invasion of
They said the language of the campaign - which targeted Carrefour supermarkets around Paris -- included "incitement to hatred against Israel" and instigated "anti-Jewish acts in the country."
"This boycott campaign should be viewed as a discriminatory and punishable crime, inasmuch as many of the targeted products serve the kosher dietary needs of Jewish citizens," according to the groups, which included the Simon Wiesenthal Center-affiliated National Bureau Against Anti-Semitism (BNVCA), the French Association for Assistance to Israel (SFSI) and the Jewish Communities Council of Seine-Saint Denis (CCJ 93).
The groups submitted flyers, stickers and a list of products targeted by the boycotters to the public prosecutor.
Increased anti-Semitism in
By MAYA SPITZER
(Jerusalem Post, March 30, 2009) Anti-Israel and anti-Semitic sentiment has exploded in Norway -- driven by the Norwegian media and intellectual elite -- due to Operation Cast Lead, according to Norwegian Jewish leaders.
During the war, Olso was fraught with violent anti-Israel demonstrations. Numerous government officials decried
Even before the war began, local Jews were tense because of anti-Semitic cartoons, recent boycotts of Israeli merchandise, and the highly publicized affair of Norwegian comic Otto Jespersen, who made anti-Semitic remarks on national television.
This wave continued with renowned Norwegian painter Hakon Gullvag's opening a new exhibition entitled "Requiem for the Children of Gaza" in
Kygell Nyhuus, secretary of the Norwegian Press Professional Association, told The Jerusalem Post recently that the Jespersen incident -- in which the comedian's anti-Semitic remarks on the TV2 network were deemed "in bad conduct" earlier this year, and the network forced to publish an adjudication -- was the first time satire had ever been censored in
"I don't see lots of anti-Semitism in
However, according to Manfred Gerstenfeld, chairman of the Jerusalem Center of Public Affairs, "the elite, the academics, politicians and media consider themselves to be great moralists, with very little self-introspection. Their self-righteousness, arrogance, and inherited Lutheran prejudices against Jews has led to a huge amount of anti-Israel sentiment.
Rabbi Yoav Melchior, considered the leading rabbi of
"Hatred spread in a fast, dangerous way. This was blind emotionalism against
Gerstenfeld, who authored and recently published Behind the Humanitarian Mask: The Nordic Countries,
In addition, "the Norwegians are pioneers in boycotting
In an NGO Monitor report released March 12,
According to Gerstenfeld, "because
Now that the world is becoming aware of the situation in
Echoes of the '30s in
By Gabe Ledeen
(March 31, 2009) It is one thing to read reports about state-sponsored anti-Semitism from the comfort and security of the United States, but it is entirely different to step into the world of those who are persecuted and experience their fear as your own.
On a recent mission of discovery, I traveled to
The Venezuelan Jewish community traces its roots back more than 200 years and has no history of tension with the local population. Before the rise of Hugo Chavez, the Jews were a welcome part of a society known for its warm temperament and amiable disposition, free from the discrimination and anti-Semitic violence in many other countries. Over the last 10 years conditions have worsened dramatically, and although 15,000 still remain, more than half the Jewish population has already fled.
CHAVEZ'S CAMPAIGN against the Jews has three principal components. The first is the systematic stigmatizing of
All of this takes place in the context of anti-capitalist class warfare, in which "enemies of the people" are labeled by the government-controlled media to provide both justification and an outlet for bitter frustration and anger. This strategy was used to great effect in the national socialist movements of the 20th century, where Jews were specifically targeted as "elitist" to subject them to the anger and resentment of collectivist masses.
With crime exploding to astonishing levels, and disastrous economic policies destroying the middle class, Chavez is applying this same model. He uses his charisma and populist appeal to instill hatred of Jews and capitalists in his supporters, who are mainly from the lower class, the military and those who profit from his power.
This process began years ago, but reached unprecedented heights (or depths) after
There is public documentation of more than 400 anti-Semitic and anti-Israel public statements made by government officials since the expulsion, including a call to action in a state-run newspaper urging Venezuelans to "challenge Jews" where they live and work. "Denounce publicly, with names and last names, the members of the powerful Jewish groups present in
THIS CAMPAIGN is intensifying. I visited the Beit Shmuel synagogue and saw where a hand grenade exploded on February 26 outside the main entrance, damaging a vehicle and the building's exterior. I saw the Tifereth Israel synagogue where a highly coordinated and well-equipped team broke through extensive security, spray-painted hate messages throughout the house of worship, desecrated the holy texts in the sanctuary and, most ominously, stole the congregation's membership information from a locked safe and a desktop computer.
I visited the Hebraica school and community center, where Venezuelan police pushed past students on their way to class to raid the facility on November 29, 2004 and again on December 1, 2007. The latter raid occurred on the eve of an important referendum vote for Chavez, and the former occurred on a day for international solidarity with the Palestinian people -- during which Chavez also met with Iranian leaders in Teheran.
Hugo Chavez continues to deny any involvement in these incidents and claims to have no antipathy toward the Jews. Instead, he cunningly offers them a Faustian deal by demanding their support in publicly denouncing
Here is how he put it in a recent interview, "I ask Venezuelan Jews to speak out against these barbaric actions... Don't you forcefully reject any act of persecution? Don't the Jews reject the Holocaust? What do you think this is? The cowardly army of
His exterior minister called the Israeli army "the worst criminal armed forces known by humanity" and dramatically demanded a "change of attitude of the Jewish people worldwide."
The Jews of Venezuela are afraid, as well they should be. Walking their streets and visiting their homes and synagogues, I could feel the sense of foreboding that weighs heavier on them day by day. I could hear it in the urgency of their prayers during religious services, feel it in the embraces and handshakes I received when I introduced myself and my mission and see it in the eyes of the Hebraica high school students as I listened to their stories of frustrated youth. They are asking for our help, for our strength, and our voices. They cannot speak out; will we speak for them?
The writer is a former
Shell-shocked in DePaul [University, Chicago, Illinois, United States]
Apr. 4, 2009
JACOB SHRYBMAN, THE
I wasn't 30 hours off the plane from
Several anti-Israel posters draped the entrance to the
building in which I began my presentation to a small audience of around 20.
Then the room began filling with people not merely against
When I invited a question-and-answer session following my
presentation, the very right of free speech which I offered the audience -- now
numbering more than 100 -- was denied me. One audience member verbally attacked
me, declared his support for the firing of rockets into
Before I could finish answering, I was interrupted and silenced by the Hamas supporters. Then a student rose up in the front of the room and called me a "dirty whore" in Arabic. He then grabbed his crotch and screamed, "Here's your Kassam!" -- in Arabic.
I wasn't able to utter a word, so the event was shut down. After I'd collected my belongings, the local police -- teamed with university security -- escorted me to my car. The combination of unceasing anti-Semitic chants, personal harassment and solidarity with a terrorist organization hijacked the event.
I HAD COME to tell the human side of the daily reality of
rockets, but these Hamas supporters only laughed at raw footage of kindergarten
children running for shelter as a Kassam rocket was fired at them, or of my
personal stories of having 15 seconds to run for my life before a rocket
landed. If it wasn't before, it was clear to me then that these people were not
here to learn about reality, gain understanding of the trauma and suffering, or
even to object to my presentation. These people were there for the sole reason
that it was an event regarding
The following week I answered e-mail after e-mail, phone call after phone call from everyone ranging from people at the event to the event organizers, to reporters and journalists, to heads of major organizations - but not one of the e-mails or phone calls concerned the fact that more than three out of four children in Sderot have post traumatic stress disorder, or that one million Israelis now live under the daily threat of rockets. No one remembered the story I told of the baby in the stroller gasping while pointing to the sky as the Color Red alarm sounded in Sderot. My message was lost.
For the past eight years, it's been acceptable to the world that rockets are fired into the South. The longer anti-Semitic harassment and hate-filled propaganda is common in cities and campuses across the globe, the more the targeting of innocent Israelis by terrorists becomes acceptable.
The writer recently spoke on American campuses on behalf of
Copyright 1995 - 2009 The
Anti-Semitic slurs yelled at
May 5, 2009
Herb Keinon, THE
Ambassador to Spain Rafi Shotz came under an anti-Semitic verbal barrage when he and his wife walked home from Real Madrid's Santiago Bernabéu Stadium on Saturday.
Shotz said that following the game against FC Barcelona, three men wearing Real Madrid scarves spotted him and began screaming anti-Semitic epithets such as "dirty Jew," "Jew bastard" and "Jew murderer."
Shotz, who said that the shouts were heard all over the street, was told by his two Spanish bodyguards to keep walking.
The ambassador, who reported the incident to
According to the envoy, his bodyguards made their presence known, which likely kept the three men in their 20s from trying to do anything physical. The taunts continued until he walked some 50 or 100 meters away.
Both an official from the Spanish Foreign Ministry, and the
Spanish ambassador in
"I didn't feel physically threatened," he said. "I felt uncomfortable, but I did not feel threatened physically because of the two Spanish bodyguards with me."
Shotz, who has served in
The men did not seem to be drunk, and their Spanish was fluent, he said. No one attempted to silence them, even though they were screaming for quite some time.
Shotz said he was recognized
because during the recent war in
Shotz said that there was
undoubtedly anti-Semitism in
"We need to be careful about generalizations," he
said, "but on the other hand we have to be careful about dismissing this
simply as an act of football hooliganism. There is an anti-Semitic problem that
is perhaps not unique to
"This was like a blow to the stomach," he said. "I was not physically afraid, but the depth of the hatred -- these are things you read about and hear about in the media, but when you face it personally, it is different."
Copyright 1995 - 2009 The
'It's so typical of
By REBECCA BASKIN
(Jerusalem Post, August 24, 2009) Swedes living in
Dennis Kahn, who made aliya from
"The Swedish press is very pro-Palestinian and very anti-Israel, especially this newspaper that published the article," he explained to The Jerusalem Post. "The Swedish media is [full of] left-wing intellectuals, who will definitely be critical of
He said that
Roxanne Harris, who came from
According to Mirjam David, who made aliya from
"Especially since the last war [Operation Cast Lead] it's like Pandora's Box has been opened. It's okay to criticize
All three said that they experienced anti-Semitism in
Kahn said that he experienced some anti-Semitism in
Harris said she didn't think it was hard to live in
She said that the anti-Semitism in
"People have been beaten up for wearing a Magen David," she said. "Wearing a Magen David is definitely provoking it. When I worked in security at my synagogue, we would remind men to take off their kippa as they left."
"I wouldn't tell people I was Jewish, because I don't look Jewish," said Harris. "My sister looks more Jewish, she has dark curly hair, and for her it is more natural to say that she is Jewish."
For David, problems with anti-Semitism began only when she became religious.
"I did not encounter anti-Semitism as a child... [Only] when I became religious -- when I started showing people I was Jewish," she said. "If I would wear a Magen David on the street I would be stopped, both by Swedes and Arabs. When I was walking around with people who were very Jewish-looking, I would hear comments from normal people all the time."
David decided when she became religious that she would tell people she was Jewish. "Most people in
For her, the decision to make aliya was directly connected to the anti-Semitism she experienced at home. She agreed with Harris that the anti-Semitism was so deeply ingrained in society that people didn't even realize it existed, but acknowledged that not every Swedish Jew had the same experience she did.
"When I told people that I experienced this anti-Semitism, a lot of people -- even Jews in
All three cited the growing Arab population as a large influence on
"When I was growing up, in my school, there were a lot of neo-Nazis. Swedish neo-Nazis," recalled Kahn. "During the '90s, this was a big problem in
David thinks that the article, and reactions by the Swedish media and government, are partly reflective of the growing Arab population. More so, she said that "people [now] feel free to speak their minds. I think there's always been anti-Semitism in
Harris agrees, saying, "Anti-Semitism is now anti-Zionism."
More than anything, David is sad to see what her country has become. "It's not the country I grew up in," she said. "It's changed so much. I am just glad I am not living there... I am ashamed to be Swedish."
When blood libel becomes part of 'Kultur'
By Petra Marquardt-Bigman
(Jerusalem Post, August 25, 2009) Few readers of the Israeli or Jewish media will have missed the reports about a recent article in a Swedish tabloid that accused Israel of abducting and killing Palestinian civilians to harvest their organs.
Since the story broke last week, a number of interesting commentaries have been written; among the most worthwhile to check out is JPost Columnist Barry Rubin's article "Stop the pressses: Blood libel goes mainstream" on his blog The Rubin Report, which includes several updates on additional developments and information.
I must confess that I was struck by a perhaps rather marginal aspect of the story: the fact that the article was published in the "Kultur" [English-language translation: “Culture”] section of the paper. There may be some entirely mundane reasons for this arguably odd placement, but I felt that by publishing the article in the "Kultur" section, the paper's editors had -- probably unwittingly -- made a very fitting choice.
AS ARIEH Kovler notes in a superb article "Recycling Old Libels" on the website of the European Institute for the Study of Contemporary Anti-Semitism, the author of the Swedish tabloid article claims that rumors of organ theft by Israelis are common among Palestinians. Kovler suggests that one reason for the popularity of such rumors could be the
According to a Memri report on the series, one episode also included a story that claimed that "the Israeli president is being kept alive by organs stolen from Palestinian children." Barry Rubin mentions a similarly-themed Turkish film.
Another very important point highlighted by Kovler is that the accusations in the Swedish paper not only echo the blood libels of the past, but also suggest that Israelis resemble the Nazis: "The Nazis treated Jews as raw materials rather than people, to be worked, killed or experimented on. The accusation that
As chance would have it, just a day after the Swedish paper published this article, the British Guardian carried a piece by the much celebrated philosopher Slavoj Zizek. Commenting on
It is worth noting that the online version of the article, unlike the print version, originally included the term "Palestinian-frei", obviously intended to invoke the Nazis' "Judenfrei" [English-language translation: “Jew-free”]. Moreover, Zizek not only suggested that it is becoming ever more legitimate to compare Gaza to a concentration camp; by asserting that "Israel is clearly
engaged in a slow, invisible process", he also invoked the familiar theme that after 1945, all too many people claimed that they had not "known" what was happening to the Jews.
Needless to say, Zizek's claim that anything
It was doubtless a coincidence that on two consecutive days, two major publications in two European countries gave out the message that
It's even more revealing when you check out Memri's "Anti-Semitism Documentation Project". Here are just a few recent titles: August 12, 2009: Article in Syrian Government Daily: The Holocaust - Part of a Reciprocal Conflict between Hitler and the Jewish Capitalists; Its Real Victims Are the Germans and the Palestinians; June 11, 2009: Saudi Columnist: The Real Holocaust - Israel's Slaughter of the Palestinians; May 11, 2009: Articles in Syrian Government Dailies on 'Bloodsucking,' 'Blood-Letting' Jews; April 7, 2009: Jews Portrayed as Blood-Drinkers in Anti-Semitic Drama Aired on Hamas TV; March 4, 2009: Omani Columnist: What the Jews Did in Germany 'Impelled Hitler to Punish [Them] For Their Bad Deeds'; 'The US Today Finds Itself in the Same Predicament as Germany Back Then.'
SO MAYBE it's time for a variation on the last item: what the Jews do today in
As Zizek demonstrated so well, it doesn't matter if it's about an "invisible process" -- if you are a clear-sighted philosopher, you can see that it doesn't really matter that today, there are more Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza than ever before in history, and you can clearly foresee the day when "the world will awake and discover that... the land is Palestinian-frei" -- ehm, make that "free", that's just so much more subtle, isn't it?
This article first appeared in the blog The Warped Mirror on JPost's BlogCentral.
ADL: Anti-Semitism in
Sep. 22, 2009
Elana Kirsh, THE
The report noted "viciously anti-Semitic" cartoons
published in major Spanish newspapers such as El Pais and El Mundo, as well as
opinion pieces which equate
Also cited in the report was a 2009 ADL poll, which found that 75 percent of all Spaniards believe Jews possess "too much power" in financial markets, and more than half think Jews have "too much power in business," echoing classic anti-Semitic sentiments.
The report detailed the occurrence of anti-Semitic
placards at anti-Israel demonstrations in
In terms of anti-Semitic acts, the report noted three incidents so far this year: "The vandalism of a Chabad House in Barcelona on January 11; a violet attack against an employee of a synagogue in Barcelona on January 30; and the harassment of Israel's ambassador to Spain, who was verbally assaulted on the street on May 5 by three men who shouted 'dirty Jew,' 'Jew bastard' and 'Jewish dog.'"
ADL National Director Abe Foxman said in the report that the
organization was "deeply concerned about the mainstreaming of
"Among the major European countries, only in
Foxman noted that while attacks on the Spanish Jewish community were rare, "history tells us that incitement by some and indifference by many can create an atmosphere conducive to violence against Jews."
Tuesday's ADL statement added that the report, entitled
Copyright 1995 - 2009
[Note: “Palestinian” anti-Zionism is driven by a Nazi-like demonization of Jews. Read on!]
Beyond mere hatred
By ITAMAR MARCUS and BARBARA CROOK
The Palestinian Authority depicts Jews as the archetypal force of evil throughout history. Jews are said to be responsible for all the world's problems: wars, financial crises, even the spreading of AIDS. Jews are a danger to humanity.
Whereas this paradigm has been used before, the Palestinians
take it a step further, turning demonization of Jews into the basis for
Palestinian denial of
Because of Jews' evil nature, according to this Palestinian principle, nations of the world have been involved in continuous defensive actions to protect themselves. The anti-Semitic oppression, persecution and expulsions suffered by Jews throughout history are presented as the legitimate self-defense responses of nations.
Ibrahim Mudayris, a PA religious
official, delineated this ideology: "The Jews are a virus similar to AIDS,
from which the entire world is suffering. This has been proven in history...
The apex of this Palestinian ideology, and possibly its
purpose, is to use this demonization of Jews as the basis for denying
Political commentator Fathi Buzia recently explained this on official PA television:
"Europe, led by
THIS DEMONIZATION of Jews as the reason for delegitimizing
This is not merely incitement; this is the foundation of
Indeed, even in the period of the Annapolis Conference, the
PA has never stopped disseminating a steady diet of hatred of Jews and
Israelis. It has accused Jews and
All this and much more, since the renewal of the peace process.
The tragic reality is that this Palestinian anti-Semitism and its conclusions may already be ingrained in Palestinian society. During a talk show for teens on official PA TV, a young girl explained the reason Jews live in Israel: "About the problem of the Jewish presence: You'd agree that the Jewish presence in the land of Palestine was nothing but the liberation of all the countries of the world from the source of Evil. The Evil that is found in the Jews has become a germ among us, which is a cancer that buried us and is still burying. And we are the ones who suffer from this cancer" (PA TV, June 23, 2002). The adult moderator did not correct her. And why should he? She was merely reiterating the basis of Palestinian national identity.
IN OTHER countries, anti-Semitism has been a [governmental]
tool to promote hatred for a variety of internal reasons. As such, when hatred
was no longer necessary, anti-Semitism as a government policy could be
eradicated, as in post-Nazi
But the goal of PA demonization of Jews transcends mere
hatred. Anti-Semitism is its political tool to defame Zionism, deny
If there is ever to be peace in the region, Palestinians
must define a new Palestinian national identity -- one that doesn't rely on
anti-Semitism and the eradication of
Itamar Marcus is director and Barbara Crook associate director of Palestinian Media Watch.
Analysis: Hedy Epstein's European media sex appeal: Anti-Zionism and survivor of the Holocaust
By BENJAMIN WEINTHAL
(Jerusalem Post, January 5, 2010) There is a tried and true Jewish method in Europe to garner instant media coverage and awards of recognition: Scream the trendy anti-Israeli slogans equating the Jewish State with Nazi Germany and the former Apartheid regime in South Africa while highlighting one's background as a Holocaust survivor.
According to seasoned media observers in
Epstein declared her hunger strike on Monday, as part of a campaign involving 1,400 activists from 42 countries who traveled to
The European laws of supply and demand (similar ones apply on many American college campuses) show an endless demand for Jewish senior citizens willing to invoke anti-Israeli language that meets the definitions of contemporary anti-Semitism.
According to a
Writing this past week from
The US State Department and the European Union both define parallels between Nazi Germany and
To circumvent the unsavory Nazi-equals-Israel comparison, pro-Palestinian and anti-Israeli groups in Europe frequently outsource the new anti-Semitism to a minuscule group of anti-Zionist Jews who seek to strip
The fringe group of anti-Zionist Jews who fled the Hitler movement or survived the extermination camps are passing out of existence because of their age. Within the European Union, anti-Zionist Holocaust survivors hold enormous media and political currency. Telling examples are the 85-year-old Hajo Meyer, who argues that "the earliest cause for anti-Semitism is situated in Jewry," and equates IDF checkpoints with the Nazis. German President Horst Kohler last year awarded his country's most important award, the Federal Cross of Merit, to 80-year-old hard-core anti-Zionist attorney Felicia Langer, a dual German-Israel citizen who is widely sought as a lecturer in
German critics argue that anti-Zionist Jews such as Epstein, Langer and Meyer have cornered the European media and speaking-tour markets because they sanitize guilt in countries which are plagued by their complicity during the Holocaust. Epstein contributes, according to the social-psychology of post-Holocaust anti-Semitism, to depicting Israelis as the new Nazis and the Palestinians as the new European Jews.
The cottage industry of anti-Zionist Jews pushing, wittingly or unwittingly, a modern anti-Semitic agenda serves to cleanse the guilt chords of a non-Jewish audience and turn
Epstein told The Jerusalem Post this week that "when people are suffering it comes upon the rest of us to do whatever we can."
The pressing question for the critics of Epstein's human rights activism is, why are she and other activists not engaging in a hunger strike for persecuted Iranians risking their lives for democracy on the streets of the Islamic Republic? Where are the hunger strikes opposing the Islamist Sudanese government-sponsored genocide against its black population in the
The media sex appeal of catapulting Epstein into a poster girl for criticizing
Epstein’s self-description as a Holocaust “survivor” is fraudulent at worst and
self-delusional at best. Since she never
spent a day in a Nazi slave labor camp or a Nazi death camp, but instead spent
the entire War in
[Note: Member of
Parliament claims that
By JONNY PAUL,
Speaking at a fringe meeting in the House of Commons on
March 23, Martin Linton, founder and chairman of Labor Friends of
“You must consider over the next few weeks, when you make decisions about how you vote and how you advise constituents to vote, you must make them aware of the attempt by Israelis and by pro-Israelis to influence the election,” he said.
Another Labor MP, the anti-Israel activist Gerald Kaufman [who is himself a Jew], said Lord Ashcroft, the wealthy Conservative Party donor [who is not Jewish], owned most of the [Conservative] Party, and “right-wing Jewish millionaires” the rest.
“Anybody who understands anti-Semitism will recognize just
how ugly and objectionable these quotes are, with their imagery of Jewish
control and money power,” said Mark Gardner of the Community Security Trust, a
charity that monitors anti-Semitism and aims to provide security for the Jewish
“Ask the average voter who had made these comments, and they
would most likely answer that it was the British National Party, not a pair of
“It is shameful to see MPs using classic conspiracy theory language,” said Danny Stone, director of the All-Party Parliamentary Group Against Anti-Semitism. “Both the Labor and the Conservative parties have previously indicated to us their intentions to crack down on any and all racist language or behavior; I hope we will see swift action taken.”
Linton, who has been the member of Parliament for Battersea since 1997, told the Jewish Chronicle on Friday that he was sorry for any offense caused but was not aware of the anti-Semitic nature of his comments. However, the MP said he still believes that a powerful pro-Israel lobby is influential in British politics.
“I am sorry if a word I used caused unintended offence because of connotations of which I was unaware, but completely understand and sympathize with,” he said.
Last month Linton commended the government’s decision to
expel an Israeli diplomat in the wake of the
“May I urge my right honorable friend [Foreign Secretary David Miliband] to take similar action every time Israel disregards the law, whether it is by building settlements, building the wall in occupied territory, the annexation of east Jerusalem, targeting civilians in Gaza or the use of human shields?” Linton said.
Meanwhile, a radical Muslim Web site exposed for publishing a host of anti-Semitic material has published a list of “Zionist MPs,” in an attempt to rally British Muslims to vote against them in May’s election.
Asking if “your MP is a Zionist,” the Muslim Public Affairs Committee (MPAC) has published a list of the names of MPs, as well as “Zionist prospective MPs,” from the Conservative, Labor and Liberal Democrat parties who are members of their party’s Friends of Israel organizations.
The 2006 All-Party Parliamentary Report into Anti-Semitism showed how the anti-Israel MPAC group used material from Holocaust denial and neo-Nazi publications, uses the word “Zionist” as a replacement for “Jew,” and spreads conspiracy theories about Jews. In 2006, it was discovered that MPAC founder Asghar Bukhari made a donation to convicted Holocaust denier David Irving.
In other Web entries, MPAC accuses both Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Conservative leader David Cameron of being Zionists and racists.
[German prosecutor claims that a publicly-displayed cartoon depicting a Jew eating the body parts and drinking the blood of an Arab child does not incite hatred against Jews because the cartoon is merely critical of Israel. Read on!]
Israel Embassy slams German anti-Semitic cartoon
By BENJAMIN WEINTHAL, JPOST CORRESPONDENT IN BERL
“The claim that one must distinguish between hatred of the Jewish people and hatred of the State of Israel leaves a bad taste.”
“If one shows a figure with an Israeli flag devouring a
Palestinian child, this reminds us of the most scurrilous accusations of ritual
murder in European anti-Semitism,” the embassy said in a statement.
The embassy added: “We don’t interfere in the decisions of German judicial authorities. But at the same time, we are convinced that the cartoon was of a clearly anti-Semitic nature and that it incites hatred and violence. The claim that one must distinguish between hatred of the Jewish people and hatred of the State of Israel is absolutely inappropriate and leaves a bad taste.”
The public prosecutor last week dismissed a legal complaint
by Gerd Buurmann, a non-Jewish theater director, that
the cartoon violated
After reports in The Jerusalem Post and the regional daily Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger in February, the Post has learned
that Israeli diplomats traveled to
It appears that the discussions with Roters
and city officials proved to be futile and the Israeli Embassy, departing from
diplomatic protocol, blasted the
The embassy circulated its criticism on its electronic daily
Rainer Wolf, a spokeswoman for the public prosecutor in
According to informed observers in
“Hatred of Jews has led to catastrophe, and encouraging this hatred under the cover of ‘freedom of opinion’ and supposed ‘political criticism’ leads to the same sort of hatred and violence,” the Israeli Embassy said.
“To our regret, the accusation of ritual murder has been
given legal confirmation. Despite this decision by the prosecutor, we will
continue the public and moral struggle against any form of Jew hatred in
Buurmann, the theater director who
has spearheaded a campaign to shut down Hermann’s festival of Israel-hate, said
in a statement: “Only the left-wing parties and with them the mayor of
A spokewoman for the mayor`s office, Inge Schürmann, said in response that the city of Cologne and the mayor “are against anti-Semitism.”
But the simmering dispute about
The new [three] “Ds” of European anti-Semitism
By DENIS MACSHANE
10/05/2011 [May 10, 2011]
Recent events in Europe suggest that the time has come to add de-tabooization of anti-Semitic discourse.
Natan Sharansky famously described the three “Ds” of hostility to Israel and Jews – Demonization, Double standards and Delegitimization. Recent events in Europe suggest that the time has come to add some more, as observers grapple with the rise of a new anti-Semitism and deepening hatred of Israel.
What we are witnessing in European politics today is the accelerating erosion of the taboo against anti-Semitic discourse which has been in place since 1945. This [first new “D”] Detabooization – an ugly neologism for ugly politics – is part of a broader global ideological drive against Jewishness. John Galliano may have been fired by Dior, but only after Natalie Portman said she would quit as the French firm’s public face. Before that threat, the fashion house looked as if it wanted to ride out the storm. Wikileaks boss Julian Assange has accused critics on The Guardian of being part of a “Jewish” media conspiracy against him, even if none of the journalists he named, including the paper’s editor, Alan Rusbridger, is Jewish.
Or how do we deal with Laurent Wauquiez, secretary of state for European affairs in President Nicolas Sarkozy’s government, who announced that Dominique Strauss-Kahn does not have “roots” in France? Strauss-Kahn, who is currently head of the IMF in Washington, is likely to be the French Socialist Party’s candidate against Sarkozy next April. Another right-wing minister in Paris said the socialist did not represent “the soil of France.”
French rightists have yet to call Strauss-Kahn “cosmopolitan” or make direct reference to the fact that he is a Jew, but the noise they are making is a lot louder than a dog whistle, and no one in France has any doubt about the insinuation.
And there is the German social democrat, Thilo Sarazzin, until recently a member of the board of Germany’s central bank. He told the paper, Welt am Sonntag last year that “all Jews share a certain gene... that makes them different from other people.”
This flashback to pre-war pseudo-genetics was echoed by Karel de Gucht, the powerful European Union Trade Commissioner who said last year: “Don’t underestimate the power of the Jewish lobby” and “it is not easy even with a moderate Jew to have a conversation” about Israel. Germany’s Social Democratic Party says there is no reason for Mr. Sarazzin to give up his party card. Brussels has not sanctioned Mr. de Gucht in any way.
IN SHORT, as with Galliano, Assange, or the questionable anti-Jewish outbursts of actor Charlie Sheen, we are seeing the slow re-entry of anti-Semitism into public discourse. The British Member of the European Parliament, Nick Griffin, is a notorious Holocaust denier. In a by-election for the Commons held in March, Griffin’s British National Party won more votes than the mainstream Liberal Democrats who are in coalition with David Cameron. As with the openly anti-Jewish Jobbik Party in Hungary, voters no longer feel nervous about voting for anti-Semitic policies.
The second [new] “D” is the Devaluation of the Holocaust, or the “Double-genocide” thesis now advanced across Eastern and Baltic Europe. This does not deny the Holocaust, but argues that Hitler was no different from Stalin in his murderous intent. According to this argument, the mass starvations under communism – especially in the Ukraine in the 1930s – or the murders and deportations of Baltic peoples amounted to crimes against humanity on a par with the Shoah.
Stalin’s crimes and Soviet cruelties deserve a high place in European school-teaching, but they were not the same as the Holocaust – the high-tech, industrial and logistical transportation of Jews from all over Europe to death camps because of an anti-Jewish ideology.
As Professor Timothy Snyder, author of Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin, writes: “the Germans deliberately killed about 11 million non-combatants” (including 5.4 million Jews shot or gassed) and “the Soviets approximately six million.”
This Double-genocide revisionism, while not the same as out-and-out Holocaust denial, seeks to relativize the death of Jews, and is widely supported by anti-Semites.
In Latvia there is an annual commemoration of the Waffen SS Latvian division which took part in many anti-Jewish atrocities. A court in Lithuania has declared the swastika to be a national symbol. Jewish partisans who fought German Nazis and their collaborators in Lithuania have found themselves on trial as war criminals. Of course, there are many decent politicians in Baltic states who want to condemn Soviet crimes without condoning anti-Jewish acts. But when eight EU ambassadors were moved recently to write a letter to the Lithuanian government about attacks on Jewishness in the country, then the EU has a problem with one of its member states.
Richard Beeston, foreign editor of The London Times, who knows both the Arab world, France and, like all distinguished editors at The Times, knows the dinner parties of London, told the BBC World Service this month that while criticism of Israel is legitimate, some of it – especially in Arab countries– is little better than “anti-Semitism by the back door.”
It is the intellectual denial of this backdoor anti-Semitism underlying hatred of Israel that is final new “D.”
The writer is MP for Rotherham and was Minister of Europe. His book Globalising Hatred: The new Antisemitism is published by Weidenfeld and Nicolson.
All rights reserved © 1995 - 2011 The Jerusalem Post.
[Persecuted Christian Arabs blame both Zionism and the Jewish people for their plight. Read on!]
Middle Eastern Christians and anti-Semitism
By AYMENN JAWAD
Statements by Arab clerics reveal that blood libels are still very much alive.
(Jerusalem Post, August 1, 2011) I was recently told by my aunt in Baghdad that there was a widespread belief among Iraqis that some external force was behind the protests and uprisings across the Middle East. What outside conspiracy, I wondered, could be responsible for the Arab Spring? Not to worry, however; George Saliba -- the Syriac Orthodox Church’s bishop in Lebanon -- offers us a simple answer. In an interview with Al-Dunya TV on July 24, Saliba declared that “the source... behind all these movements, all these civil wars, and all these evils” in the Arab world is nothing other than Zionism, “deeply rooted in Judaism.” The Jews, he says, are responsible for financing and inciting the turmoil in accordance with The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.
These remarks are not an isolated case among Middle Eastern Christians. The anti-Semitic trend has become especially apparent in the aftermath of Iraq’s assault last October on the Syriac Catholic Our Lady of Salvation Church in Baghdad, leaving 58 dead and 67 wounded in the worst attack on the Iraqi Christian community since 2003.
Two months after the atrocity, for example, the Melkite Greek Patriarch Gregory III Laham characterized the terrorist attacks on Iraq’s Christians as part of “a Zionist conspiracy against Islam.”
He further affirmed, “All this behavior has nothing to do with Islam... but it is actually a conspiracy planned by Zionism... and it aims at undermining and giving a bad image of Islam.”
He then said the massacre “is also a conspiracy against Arabs and the predominantly Muslim Arab world that aims at depicting Arabs and Muslims in Arab countries as terrorist and fundamentalist murderers in order to deny them their rights, and especially those of the Palestinians.”
While the patriarch has warned of the dangers of Christian emigration and the formation of a “society uniquely Muslim,” he attributed the risk of “demographic extinction” solely to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Similarly, in an interview with NBN TV on November 9, 2010, Iraqi priest Father Suheil Qasha claimed that the Jews consider all gentiles to be beasts, and asserted that the “real danger” to Middle Eastern Christians came from Zionism. He went on to state that those who perpetrated the attack on the church in Baghdad were certainly not Muslims, but probably those trained and supervised “by global Zionism.”
Anti-Semitism extends to the Coptic Orthodox Church, which, serving around 10 percent of Egypt’s population, is the largest single church in the Middle East and North Africa. As liberal Egyptian blogger Samuel Tadros points out, a certain Father Marcos Aziz Khalil wrote in the newspaper Nahdet Masr: “The Jews saw that the Church is their No. 1 enemy, and that without [the] priesthood the Church loses its most important component . Thus the Masonic movement was the secret Zionist hand to create revolution against the clergy.”
AT THIS point, many would no doubt be inclined to explain away this anti-Semitism by pointing to the anti- Jewish sentiments that are mainstream among the Muslim populations of the region. Living in such an environment -- the reasoning goes -- Christians would naturally be careful not to denounce deeply held convictions among their Muslim neighbors for fear of provoking persecution.
However, the cancer of hostility toward Jews among Middle Eastern Christians goes much deeper than that.
Indeed, it is telling that other non-Muslim minorities that have suffered discrimination and violence at the hands of Islamists -- including the Yezidis, Mandeans and Bahá’ís -- have never blamed Jews or Zionism for their persecution; their religions have not featured anti-Semitic doctrines.
The case of the Bahá’í community is especially important because, with the religion’s global center located in Haifa, charges of collaboration with Israel can easily be leveled against Bahá’ís. Yet the Universal House of Justice has never complained of a Jewish/Zionist conspiracy against the Bahá’í communities in Iran and the wider region. Rather, it has always rightly identified the problem as enforcement of traditional Islamic law on the treatment of non-Muslims and apostasy, along with the supremacist attitudes fostered by the promotion of Shari’a.
Ultimately the malaise of anti-Semitism among Middle Eastern Christians is entrenched in charges of deicide (i.e., of killing Jesus) against the Jewish people as a whole. As Saliba put it, Jewish conspiracies are “only natural” because the Jews repaid Christ for his miracles by crucifying him. In particular, Pope Shenouda III of the Coptic Orthodox Church lambasted the Western churches for exonerating Jews for Christ’s death, in a televised interview on April 8, 2007. He argued that Jews were “Christ-killers” because “the New Testament says they are.”
It is clear that in general, the Eastern churches have yet to move beyond the noxious anti-Semitic motifs repudiated by the Vatican in its Nostra Aetate declaration issued in 1965, after the Second Vatican Council. If anti-Semitism in the Middle East and North Africa is to be eradicated, the burden of theological reform will evidently not be a task for Muslims alone.
The writer is an intern at the Middle East Forum and a student at Oxford University. His website is www.aymennjawad.org.
All rights reserved © 1995 - 2011 The Jerusalem Post.
The newest avatar of an ancient hatred
By DANIEL GORDIS
August 19, 2011
When all is said and done, what has really changed in Europe? Not enough.
If you don’t know any better, Tykotzin actually looks like a decent place to live. A small town in northeast Poland, it’s just a nice looking Polish village. Modest but well-maintained homes, clean streets and a well-coiffed central square with a church at its edge. The people of Tykotzin are probably not particularly wealthy, but neither do they seem poor.
They’re reasonably well-dressed, and the town is actually pretty. Just a pleasant little place in the middle of nowhere.
Were it not for the extraordinarily beautiful synagogue that’s been turned into a museum (it’s cared for by non-Jews, of course, for there are no Jews in Tykotzin), you’d have very little way of knowing that a couple of thousand Jews once lived there. Yes, if you dared to venture up to the front doors of some of the homes, you might notice the now painted-over indentations on the right doorposts. But if you didn’t look that carefully, you’d find no indication of what happened there. Nothing about the people of Tykotzin suggests anything awry. They have nothing to hide. “Things happen,” their nonchalance seems to say as you try to take it all in. “And it was a long time ago, anyway.” But it wasn’t all that long ago. It was 70 years ago, precisely, this coming week. August 25 is the anniversary of the eradication of Tykotzin’s Jews.
Tykotzin – or Tiktin, as the Jews called it – isn’t a shtetl anymore. A town needs Jews to be a shtetl. Two months after the Nazis recaptured that area of Poland from the Russians in Operation Barbarossa in June 1941, centuries of Jewish life came to an end. According to some accounts, the Nazis first required that all Jewish stores be labeled as such. The stores were then boycotted; long before the Germans eradicated the Jews, their non-Jewish neighbors shunned them. Then the Nazis encouraged the townspeople to loot Jewish property, a command that was apparently happily obeyed. By the time the Jews were rounded up in the public square in August 1941, no one even bothered to pretend they didn’t hate the Jews. Looking at the smiling, friendly natives today, you can almost feel their collective relief that finally the town is theirs, and only theirs.
You stand at the edge of the central square of Tykotzin and try to imagine that day in August. All the Jews of the town were gathered there. Their longtime gentile neighbors watched. Some jeered. Some used the moment to enter Jewish homes and steal more property even before the Jews were gone. But no one joined the Jews. No one said anything like, “We’ve lived together for centuries, and wherever you take them, you’re taking me.” Not a single soul, as far as we know.
Not the local priest, to be sure. But what would have happened, I asked myself, if all across Europe, as the Nazis gathered the Jews into central squares of shtetlach like Tiktin, parish priests had said, “Not on my watch. Our church stands for something.” What would have happened if, as the Nazis marched the men down the road and out of the village and took them to the verdant green of the Lupachowa Forest, all the other townsmen had joined and mingled with the Jews? Would the Jewish men, and the women and children who soon followed on trucks, still have been shot en masse and dumped into group graves? Might even minimal resistance have somehow unglued the SS Einsatzkommando firing squad, making them wonder if they could really do this? We’ll never know. The priest of Tykotzin didn’t say anything. Neither did priests in hundreds of other villages. The gentiles did not join the Jews, not in Tykotzin or almost anywhere else.
Will the residents of Tykotzin commemorate their horrific anniversary this week? I have no idea. But we, at least, ought to pause and remember.
Not only because of what happened, but because of why it happened. And because not enough has changed. It’s no longer politically correct to hate Jews too obviously, so the venom has morphed. Today, anti-Zionism is simply the newest avatar of that ancient hatred – and anti-Zionism flourishes in Europe. As Prof. Mark Lilla notes in his book, The End of Politics, “The Zionist tradition... remembers what it was to be stateless.... It remembers the wisdom of borders and the need for collective autonomy to establish self-respect and to demand respect from others.... Eventually Western Europeans will have to re-learn these lessons, which are, after all, the lessons of their own pre-modern history. Until they do, the mutual incomprehension regarding Israel between Europeans and Jews committed to Zionism will remain deep.” Jewish sovereignty, Lilla understands, is about Jews’ reestablishing self-respect and demanding respect from others. It is about Jewish normalcy. Is it any surprise, then, that the UN may well recognize a Palestinian state next month, before the Palestinians declare an end to their desire to destroy Israel, before they recognize Israel as a Jewish State, before they give up on the right of return, which would destroy Israel’s Jewish character? Sadly it’s no surprise at all. Because if and when the UN votes, the real issue will not be the Palestinians, but the Jews. Will anyone stand beside the Jews, insisting that the Palestinians first acknowledge Israel’s permanence, only then voting for Palestinian statehood? The people of Tykotzin know what you’ve come to see. But they don’t avoid your gaze in shame. They look you in the eye, and smile and wave. Life goes on, and so does hatred. If there’s a UN vote next month, there will be no shame, no embarrassment that the vote will have been a scantily concealed attempt to undermine the State that might just give the Jews a future. No, there will be just smiles and handshakes, a sense that real progress has been made.
But progress toward what? When all is said and done, what has really changed in Europe? Not enough. That alone is reason to stop and to weep this week, not only for the Jews of Tiktin, but for the hatred that lingers at the heart of the World that we still inhabit.
The writer is president of the Shalem Foundation and senior fellow at the Shalem Center in Jerusalem. His latest book, Saving Israel: How the Jewish People Can Win a War that May Never End (Wiley), won the 2009 National Jewish Book Award. He is now writing a book on the defense of Israel and the nation-state.
All rights reserved © 1995 - 2011 The Jerusalem Post.
[Although the Holocaust is receding into History, it is still not acceptable in the enlightened West to publicly incite against Jews for being Jews. Luckily for the determined Antisemite, it continues to be acceptable, even de rigueur, to publicly incite against Israel for being the nation created for and ruled by the Jewish people. Read on!]
Column One: Mainstreaming anti-Semitism
By CAROLINE B. GLICK
Today’s anti-Semitism is predicated on preferring Palestinian and pan-Arab nationalism to Jewish nationalism.
(Jerusalem Post, January 19, 2012) Anti-Semitism may not yet be a litmus test for social acceptability in the US, but it has certainly become acceptable.
Proof of this dismal state of affairs came this week with the publication of a supportive profile of University of Chicago professor John Mearsheimer in The Atlantic monthly written by the magazine’s in-house foreign policy guru Robert Kaplan.
Mearsheimer is the author, together with Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government’s Professor Stephen Walt, of the infamous 2007 book “The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy”. Since the book’s publication, Mearsheimer has become one of the most high-profile anti-Semites in America.
Kaplan’s article was a clear bid to rehabilitate Mearsheimer in order to advance his pre-Israel Lobby theory of realism in international affairs.
Mearsheimer’s realist theory argues that the international arena exists in a state of perpetual anarchy. As a consequence, the factor motivating states’ actions in international affairs is their national interests. Morality, he claims, has no place in international affairs.
This theory’s considerable intellectual underpinning rendered Mearsheimer one of the most prominent political scientists in America during the 1990s. As a realist himself, particularly in relation to the rise of China as a superpower, Kaplan perhaps believed that by rehabilitating Mearsheimer, he would advance his goal of convincing US policy-makers to adopt a realist approach to China.
But whatever his motivations for writing the profile, and whatever its eventual impact on US policy towards China, Kaplan’s profile of Mearsheimer served to mainstream a Jew-hater and in so doing, to give credibility to his bigotry.
It has become necessary to rehabilitate Mearsheimer because in the years since he and Walt published their conspiracy theory against Israel and its American supporters, Mearsheimer has actively embraced fringe elements in the US and the world in order to advance his campaign to discredit Israel and its supporters. As Alan Dershowitz highlighted in November, Mearsheimer wrote an enthusiastic endorsement of a psychotically anti-Semitic book written by British jazz musician and prolific anti-Semite Gilad Atzmon.
The book, titled The Wandering Who? is replete with Holocaust denial, claims that Jews control the world and America, characterizations of the Jewish God as evil and corrupt, and claims that Israel is worse than Nazi Germany.
In his endorsement, Mearsheimer called the book “fascinating,” and said it “should be read widely by Jews and non-Jews alike.”
As far as Kaplan was concerned, Mearsheimer’s embrace of Atzmon was a simple mistake. But it wasn’t. It was part of an apparent decision on Mearsheimer’s part to use his own celebrity to legitimize his anti-Semitic views.
In a speech to the Palestine Center in April 2010, for example, Mearsheimer distinguished between “righteous” Jews and “New Afrikaner” Jews. The former are Jews who oppose and attack Israel and the latter are Jews who support and defend Israel.
By sanitizing Mearsheimer’s bigotry in his sympathetic profile, Kaplan mainstreamed his hatred.
And Kaplan is not alone.
KAPLAN’S PROFILE of Mearsheimer is part of a larger trend in US letters, politics and culture in which anti-Semitism is becoming more and more acceptable. As Adam Kirsch noted in an article in the Tablet online magazine this week, The Israel Lobby’s central contention, that a cabal of disloyal Jews and sympathizers has forced the US to adopt a pro-Israel policy against its national interests, has found recent expression in the writings of mainstream journalists including New York Times’ columnist Tom Friedman and Time’s Joe Klein.
Last week, The Washington Post-owned online magazine Foreign Policy – which publishes a regular blog by Stephen Walt, published an article by Mark Perry claiming that in 2007 and 2008 Mossad agents posed as CIA agents in a false-flag operation [against Iran] whose aim was to build a cooperative relationship with the Pakistani/Iranian Baluchi anti-regime Jundallah terror group.
Perry’s report was based solely on anonymous sources. Its obvious purpose was to discredit the very notion of Israeli-US intelligence cooperation on Iran.
Following the publication of Perry’s article, Israel abandoned its general policy of never commenting on intelligence issues. The Foreign Ministry denounced his report as “utter nonsense.”
What Foreign Policy failed to tell its readers is that Perry is not an objective reporter. He is a former adviser to Yassir Arafat and an advocate of US engagement with Hamas and Hezbollah. By failing to mention his biases, Foreign Policy became an accessory to the mainstreaming of anti-Semitism. Like The Israel Lobby, Perry’s report in Foreign Policy adds to the legitimacy of the attitude that there is something fundamentally wrong with having close relationship with the Jewish State.
Perhaps if Mearsheimer and Walt had published their updated version of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion in 1997 instead of 2007 they would have been received in the same manner.
That is, they would have sat in the mainstream doghouse for a few years but then gradually acceptance and support for their bigotry would have moved from the margins to the mainstream.
And within five years they would have been rehabilitated by the establishment. But in all likelihood, that wouldn’t have been the case.
It is a fact that since the turn of the century, and particularly in the wake of the collapse of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process in 2000 – a collapse precipitated by Arafat’s rejection of Palestinian statehood; and in the aftermath of the September 11 [, 2001] attacks on the US, anti-Semitism has become far more acceptable in the US and throughout the world. The volume of attacks against Jews has skyrocketed and the intellectual war against Israel and its Jewish supporters has grown ever more virulent.
The rise of anti-Semitism in the US has many causes, but three parallel developments stand out. First, the development of Arab satellite stations like Al Jazeera has brought the open Jew-hatred of the Arab world into the Western discourse.
True, most Westerners reject the Arab annihilationist form of anti-Semitic propaganda as crude and wrong. But the Jew-hatred propounded by these broadcasts has had a corrosive impact on the Western discourse. It has deadened observers to the lies at the heart of the propaganda.
That is, whereas they may reject the daily calls to destroy the Jews, Westerners have increasingly internalized the basic claim that Jews deserve to be hated. Take for instance a Washington Post story last week on Egypt’s decision to bar Jewish worshipers from making their annual visit to the grave of Torah sage Rabbi Yaakov Abuhatzeira.
The story claimed that the Egyptians oppose Israel because of its treatment of Palestinians and because the Egyptian cross-border terror attack on Israel last August “led to the killing of at least five Egyptian border guards as Israeli troops pursued alleged militants.”
That is, according to the Washington Post, just as the pan-Arab media claims, Israel is entirely responsible for Arab hatred of Jews.
THEN OF course there is the European media.
This week, the Dutch Christian newspaper Trouw published an article about prenatal care in Israel written by Ilse van Heusden. Van Heusden wrote of the superior medical care she received in Israel where she lived temporarily and where she gave birth to a healthy son.
Rather than extol the dedicated care she received, van Heusden attacked it. She claimed that Israel’s world class prenatal medicine is a product of its embrace of eugenics and its similarity to Nazi Germany. As she put it, “To be pregnant in Israel is comparable to a military operation. Countless ultrasounds and blood tests should produce the perfect baby, nothing can be left to the luck of the draw. The State demands healthy babies and a lot of them too.”
Trouw’s decision to publish van Heusden’s anti-Semitic assault is of a piece with countless articles published in the European media portraying Israelis as evil Jews intent on using science and every other means at their disposal to advance the Jews’ malign goals of global domination, genocide, apartheid, and general evil. When Israel dares to complain about these attacks, European politicians and media celebrities are quick to stand up and defend their right to freedom of expression.
So it was that Sweden’s Foreign Minister Carl Bildt – who [in order not to offend Muslims] barred all the Muhammad cartoons from being published in the Swedish media – stood by Sweden’s leading tabloid Aftonbladet when in 2009 it published an article accusing IDF soldiers of killing Palestinians in order to harvest their organs. In the mind of the anti-Semites, by trying to object to the blood libel, Israel was proving that it seeks to control the media.
The European media’s lies about Israel have been translated into official government policies of lying about Israel. So it is that the French National Assembly published a report last month about the geopolitics of water that included a 20-page diatribe claiming that Israel uses water as a weapon of apartheid against the Palestinians.
To write the report, the French legislators had to ignore not only the content of the Israeli-Palestinian agreement on water in the 1995 Interim Agreement. They had to ignore the basic fact that Israel gives the PA far more water than the agreement requires it to give, and to associate malign intent to the Israeli government. That is, they had to embrace the irrationality of anti-Semitism.
Parallel to the penetration of Arab anti-Semitism into the Western discourse through the pan- Arabic media, and the embrace of overt anti- Semitism by the European media and political class, over the past decade, we have witnessed the development of an alliance between the West’s political Left and Islamist movements.
The international Left’s embrace of the likes of Hamas, the Taliban, Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood has increased leftist and isolationist American policy-makers’ comfort level in adopting hostile postures towards Israel. So it is that at the same time that the Obama administration is assiduously courting the Taliban, the Muslim Brotherhood and the Iranian regime, according to Channel 2, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has refused to meet with Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman during his upcoming trip to Washington. Channel 2 reported that senior US officials said that “Lieberman is an obstacle to peace. We don’t want our pictures taken with him and with what he represents.”
Anti-Semitism is prejudice that is based on a rejection of reason. To fight it, it is not sufficient to disprove the contentions of the likes of Mearsheimer. He and his colleagues must be discredited and their enablers must be shamed.
But before this can happen, world Jewry and Israelis alike need to recognize what is happening.
Anti-Semitism is back in style. Its new justification is not race or religion. It is nationalism. Today’s anti-Semitism is predicated on preferring Palestinian and pan-Arab nationalism to Jewish nationalism.
And like its racist and religious predecessors, its aim is to deny the right of Jews to be free.
In the face of this onslaught the Jewish people in Israel and the Diaspora have two choices. We can either succumb to our enemies, or we can fight back.
All rights reserved © 1995 - 2012 The Jerusalem Post.
[Even Nazi war criminal Gunter Grass, who was a member of Germany’s Waffen-SS during the Holocaust (and has since become a Nobel literature prize laureate), has now mustered the chutzpah to publicly warn the enlightened West that Israel constitutes the greatest threat to World Peace, while simultaneously claiming that he is not an Antisemite. Read on!]
Another Tack: The German robbed Cossack
By SARAH HONIG
The fashionable anti-Israelism of European intellectual salons makes Ahmedinejad’s calls for our extinction palatable.
(Jerusalem Post, April 11, 2012) This week in 1903 Shalom Aleichem, the giant of Yiddish literature, wrote a letter to Leo Tolstoy, the giant of Russian literature. It was shortly after the gruesome Kishinev pogrom. Shalom Aleichem planned to publish a modest compilation about the atrocity, to which he asked Tolstoy to contribute a short message to “Russia’s millions of distraught and disoriented Jews, who more than anything need a word of comfort.” Tolstoy never so much as bothered to reply.
The famed novelist, feted as the conscience of Russia, received dozens such letters urging him to speak out against the slaughters – then a seminal trauma in Jewish annals. The Holocaust was decades away. Nobody 109 years ago could imagine anything more bloodcurdling than the horrors of Kishinev.
But not everyone was moved -- not even a renowned humanitarian like Tolstoy.
Not only did he not speak out, but he resented the entreaties.
He replied to one Jewish correspondent only, Emanuel Grigorievich Linietzky, to whom he caustically complained about being pestered. Tolstoy then blamed the Czar’s government, absolving the masses who bashed the skulls of babies, gouged children’s eyes, raped their mothers and sisters, eviscerated them, beheaded men and boys, quartered and mutilated them and looted all they could carry.
We hear much the same throughout Europe at each memorial to the Holocaust.
The upgraded, systemized, gargantuan-scale German sequel to Kishinev was by all accounts committed by unidentified extraterrestrials called Nazis. All the others, Germans included, were their victims.
But Tolstoy foreshadowed an even more sinister inclination that would fully and hideously burst upon our scene a century and more after the Kishinev devastation. The great author and icon of compassion exhorted Russia’s shaken Jews to behave better.
The implication was that the Jews were somehow guilty, needed to improve themselves and achieve higher virtue in order to merit better treatment.
And so wrote Tolstoy to Emanuel Grigorievich: “The Jews must, for their own good, conduct themselves by the universal principle of ‘do onto others as you would have them do to you.’ They must resist the government nonviolently...by living lives of grace, which precludes not only violence against others, but also the partaking in acts of violence.”
Given the background of Eastern Europe’s downtrodden Jewry, such ‘turn-the-other-cheek’ sermons appear chillingly pitiless (to say the least) because all the Jews had been doing was turning the other cheek. Taken in a broader context, Tolstoy argued against Jewish self-defense before any self-defense was actually attempted. Jews, Tolstoy in effect said, share culpability for their tribulations, must suffer quietly and cannot rise to protect themselves.
Sound familiar? It ought to. It’s exactly what we keep hearing today from current preachers of goodwill, literary or otherwise. The more things change the more they sickeningly stay the same.
Enter Günter Grass. Germany’s Nobel laureate for literature has just warned the world about the danger which the Jewish State poses to global peace and warned that little Israel is out to no less than exterminate the Iranian people, all 80 million of them. It doesn’t matter that we -- including even the loopiest left-wingers on the outermost fringes of our political spectrum -- know that this is utter drivel.
The last thing on any Israeli’s mind is annihilating Iranians. We only want to make sure that they don’t nuke our tiny uber-vulnerable national home.
Too much to ask? When it comes to Jews, anything is apparently too much.
This is particularly pertinent for us in the springtime of the year, when we collectively remember the six million who perished in the very Holocaust in which Grass, by his own candid admission, was an enthusiastic accomplice.
But his stained personal history clearly constitutes no incentive to discreet reticence on his part. Like many Europeans, Grass has lost all shame and the disappearance of shame is the new bon ton among like-minded genteel Jew-haters.
It’s politically incorrect to even accuse Grass of thinly disguised anti-Semitism. That instantly turns him into the muzzled good-guy and us into loathsome Jews seeking to silence yet another legitimate critic of Israel with their doomsday weapon -- charges of anti-Semitism. Moreover, any remote reference to the Holocaust is sure to elicit howls of derision.
This diabolical yet prevalent deformation of perceptions confers on all anti-Semites the freedom to slander, while denying Jews the right to call a spade a spade.
It’s a foolproof arrangement. Jew-revulsion now masquerades behind acutely inflammatory anti- Israel and pro-Arab propaganda, whose disseminators inevitably deny anti-Semitic motives. Their favorite ploy is to present Israel-bashing as just deserts for the Jewish State’s policies.
Post-Holocaust circumspection has bred cleverly camouflaged anti-Semitism -- not less dangerous or less in-your-face but more cunning and deceptive.
Most contemporary anti-Semites are remarkably practiced in accompanying their invective with instant disclaimers -- by now an expected part of the pattern.
Grass is extraordinarily true to form.
Indeed, he already gets star-billing on a host of Judeophobic websites, which celebrate him as yet another upstanding and righteous critic of Israel, an honorable observer pilloried as an anti-Semite in order to suppress his heartfelt outcry.
Thus Grass becomes the ultimate robbed Cossack in a rationalized German adaptation of the infamous Russian tradition. Anti-Semites -- whether they specialized in mere pogroms or outright Holocausts -- habitually portrayed themselves as the aggrieved side.
Robbed Cossack Grass actually volunteered for the barbarous Waffen-SS (branded a “criminal organization” at the [post-War] Nuremberg Trials). But what of it?
He has put it all behind him, wiped his own slate clean and now feels empowered to launch anti-Jewish diatribes at will. Professing to have propelled himself to a loftier leftist plane, he can reproach the Jews and, like Tolstoy before him, demand they do nothing to defend themselves.
If they do, they become, in Grass’s idiom, “the greatest danger to the world.” It’s Israel that threatens Iran and not vice versa. By his criteria, our forebears threatened Egypt’s pharaohs, the Amalekites, the Assyrians, the Babylonians, Haman’s Persians, Greeks, Romans, Crusader marauders, Muslim conquistadors, Spanish inquisitors, Chmielnicki’s Ukrainian mass-murderers, Russian pogromchiks, to say nothing of the Germans, whose fuehrer always screamed hysterically about the danger posed to the world by "the forces of International Judaism,” compelling him to formulate a “final solution” to their problem.
FALLACIES OF the sort which spawned the worst tragedies that befell our nation are still promulgated passionately today. An unbroken chain of lies links the hounding of Jews throughout the ages, rendering flagrant fabrications, like Grass’s, ever pertinent.
With mounting disbelief we witness world callousness toward the Jewish State that arose against all odds from the ashes of that great Holocaust conflagration. It’s beyond our grasp that we are vilified while supposed advocates of justice and seekers of peace cosset Arab/Muslim torchbearers of Nazi genocide.
We can’t comprehend the hypocrisy. We can’t understand how assorted glitterati and literati perennially postulate that those who strive to continue what the Nazis failed to finish are actually the “victims’ victims.” Europe loves to regard Israelis as victimizers and sympathize with “victimized” Arabs/Iranians/Muslims.
It’s nothing less than mind-blowing that the children of murderers, sadists, collaborators, bureaucrats, robbers, those who didn’t see, those who didn’t want to know, those who saw and knew but didn’t act – all now profess to occupy the moral high ground. They now preach to the children of the slain, gassed, burned, shot, buried-alive, starved, tortured, degraded, dehumanized, enslaved, dispossessed, bereaved and orphaned.
How can the moral onus be shifted onto the victims’ progeny? Easily -- if the Holocaust is viewed as a crime without perpetrators. No occupied country colluded in rounding up and deporting its Jews. None produced greedy plunderers and collaborators. The occupiers themselves were a mythical extinct band of no distinct ethnicity, known generically as Nazis, who methodically hunted hidden Jewish babies.
*In our topsy-turvy existence nothing is unthinkable. And so descendants of history’s worst-guys parade as good-guys, while descendants of the most downtrodden are considered as still woefully deficient of decency.
A German friend, Josef H, notes that official reactions in his country to Grass’s diatribe “were 99% negative.” Nevertheless, he writes, “I admit that I very rarely meet people who feel that they have to stand up for Israel when Israeli-Palestinian problems are mentioned. So I normally abstain from using the word ‘Israel’ in any conversation in order not to set fire to explosive material.”
Josef asked a member of his own extended family what he thought of the Grass imbroglio. The relative, Josef relates, “a really decent, reliable, honest man, generally following Christian principles... answered, without thinking twice about it: ‘Grass is right.’”
Such is the climate of opinion around him that Josef requested I not reveal his surname. Significantly, to his mind, Grass echoes his fervent Nazi past, deeply rooted in his psyche.
Grass isn’t the only Nobel literature laureate of such a mind-set. Some, like Britain’s Rudyard Kipling, didn’t even wax indignant pro forma when accused of anti-Semitism. Kipling unflinchingly blamed the 1917 Bolshevik revolution on an “international Jewish plot.” In 1919 he backed the publication in the UK of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.
In 1920, Kipling agreed only conditionally to read proofs of the memoirs of T.E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia) prepublication, vowing to return them if he finds them “pro-Yid.”
Kipling dismissed Einstein’s general theory of relativity as a component of a comprehensive Jewish conspiracy to destabilize world order.
It didn’t matter that it wasn’t so. It doesn’t matter that every Jew knows there’s no Jewish world-domination conspiracy. What matters is that the Kiplings and their ilk expressed the zeitgeist of their day, just as Grass now does -- regardless of whether his country’s establishment sanctions his opinion.
The fashionable, respectable anti-Semitism of European intellectual salons in the early 20th century made the Nazi persecutions of Jews palatable. The fashionable, respectable anti-Israelism of European intellectual salons in the early 21st century makes Ahmedinejad’s calls for our extinction palatable.
And above all hovers Tolstoy’s sanctimonious spirit which hints that our misconduct is the root cause of our misfortune.
All rights reserved © 1995 - 2012 The Jerusalem Post.
[A Jordanian imam has conflated Israel with the Jewish people in his televised declaration of religious war against both. Read on!]
'Jordan will regain J'lem from slayers of prophets'
By OREN KESSLER
"The arrogance of the Jews will be defeated, Allah willing," imam tells worshipers on State TV at Friday prayers in Jordan.
(Jerusalem Post, April 16, 2012) Jordan’s army will destroy Israel and regain Jerusalem from the “killers of prophets” [i.e., the Jewish people] -- that was the message a Jordanian cleric delivered in a Friday sermon on state TV, according to recently released video footage.
“The [Jordanian] army is invincible. Its units are filled with people who pray, with imams, and with people who memorized the Koran. This army will never be defeated, Allah willing,” Imam Ghaleb Rabab’a said in footage translated and released late last week by the Middle East Media Research Institute.
“Jerusalem will be regained, Allah willing, by these modest and pure hands, which hold the Koran high and recite it day and night,” Rabab’a said in the March 23 sermon. “This is an army that bows before none but Allah. Today, we must take pride in our country and its army, which descends from the Prophet Muhammad.”
It remained unclear whether the sermon was delivered from a State-run or private mosque.
Article 11 of the 1994 Israel-Jordan peace treaty calls on both countries “to abstain from hostile or discriminatory propaganda against each other, and to take all possible legal and administrative measures to prevent the dissemination of such propaganda by any organization or individual present in the territory of either party.”
Requests to the Jordanian Embassy in Israel for comment went unanswered Sunday.
“The arrogance of the Jews will be defeated, Allah willing,” Rabab’a said. “This army, my brothers in faith, will shatter the might of Israel, Allah willing, just as the might of the Crusaders and the Byzantines was shattered at Hittin, at Yarmouk, Al-Qadisiyya [and] ‘Ain Jalut.”
Hittin, near Tiberias, was the location of the 12th-Century battle in which Saladin’s Muslim army started its final push of the Crusaders out of the Holy Land. ‘Ain Jalut, near today’s Kibbutz Yizre’el, was the site a century later where Muslim forces struck the first major blow against the invading Mongol armies.
“[Israel’s might] will be shattered by the will of Allah,” Rabab’a said in the sermon. “Allah will not leave for long the first direction of prayer for the Islamic nation in the hands of the slayers of the prophets.”
In January the media monitoring group Palestinian Media Watch released a video of Grand Mutfi of Jerusalem Mohammed Hussein reciting a hadith (saying attributed to Islam’s prophet Mohammed) calling for the killing of Jews.
“The day of judgment will not come until you fight the Jews,” Hussein said in the clip.
“The Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will call, ‘Oh Muslim, Oh servant of God, this is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.’” Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu called on the attorney- general to open an incitement investigation into the cleric’s remarks, and President Shimon Peres encouraged the Justice Ministry to open its own investigation.
Hussein, appointed by the Palestinian Authority, has refused to retract his comments, insisting he had not called for the killing of Jews but had simply been quoting the Islamic prophet, whose words he could not change.
“These allegations come within the Israeli incitement campaign against Jerusalem and its figures,” he said.
Herb Keinon contributed to this report.
All rights reserved © 1995 - 2012 The Jerusalem Post.
[During a debate on the November 2012 war between Gaza and Israel, a Hungarian member of parliament demands that the government compile a list of treasonous Hungarian Jews. Read on!]
Hungary PM raps far-right, vows to protect Jews
Viktor Orban condemns call by far-right lawmaker to draw up lists of Jews "unworthy" of country, promises to eliminate discrimination.
BUDAPEST - Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban on Monday condemned a call by a far-right Jobbik lawmaker to draw up lists of Jews as "unworthy" of his country, promising he would protect all citizens from any kind of discrimination.
Orban was responding to comments by Marton Gyongyosi, one of Jobbik's 44 lawmakers in the 386-seat parliament, who said on November 27 during a debate on violence in the Gaza Strip that it would be "timely" to draw up a list of people of Jewish ancestry who posed a national security risk.
His remarks, for which he later apologized, triggered international outrage. The US Embassy said it condemned "in the strongest terms the outrageous anti-Semitic remarks made on the floor of Parliament by a Jobbik parliamentarian".
Seeking to distance himself and his country from the comments, Orban said Gyongyosi's outburst had no place in modern Hungary.
"Last week sentences were uttered in parliament which are unworthy of Hungary," Orban told parliament, responding to a lawmaker from the opposition Socialist party.
"I rejected this call on behalf of the government and I would like you to know that as long as I am standing in this place, no one in Hungary can be hurt or discriminated against because of their faith, conviction or ancestry."
He and the rest of the country would protect Hungary's Jewish population, he added.
Lawmaker claims is remarks "misunderstood"
Gyongyosi has said his remarks were misunderstood, saying he had only been referring to Hungarians with Israeli passports in the government and parliament. He has refused to resign over the scandal.
On Sunday, more than 10,000 Hungarians protested against the far-right with leaders from governing and opposition parties denouncing Gyongyosi's call, which they said echoed the Nazi era. The rally united the country's deeply divided political scene in an unprecedented way.
Jobbik dismissed the protest as "political alarmism" and Gabor Vona, its leader, told parliament on Monday that Gyongyosi had only been suggesting examining "the citizenship of MPs and government members".
The matter should have been closed after Gyongyosi's apology, he argued.
"But there were those professionally frightful, those policy-bereft hysterics who thought otherwise and put on the old record crying anti-Semitism," he said.
"In between two bouts of hysteria you should not forget that this country had been destroyed by Fidesz and the Socialist party, and not Jobbik. And its Jobbik's task to rebuild it."
Orban's conservative Fidesz party swept to power with a two-thirds parliamentary majority in 2010, ousting the Socialists.
Jobbik became the third-biggest party in parliament after a campaign which vilified the Roma minority and attracted voters frustrated by a deepening economic crisis.
The party has since retained support in the recession-hit central European country and some analysts believe it may hold the balance of power between Fidesz and the left-wing opposition in the next elections in 2014.
All rights reserved © 1995 - 2012 The Jerusalem Post.
[Note: For many Hungarians, there is no difference between hating Israel and hating Jews. Read on!]
Hungarian MP detained for burning Israeli flag
By JPOST.COM STAFF
Balazs Lenhardt participated in an anti-Semitic event where demonstrators shouted "Filthy Jews," "to Auschwitz with you all."
Independent parliamentarian Balazs Lenhardt was detained by Budapest police on Friday evening for burning an Israeli flag at an anti-Zionist demonstration in the Hungarian capital, Hungarian daily Politics reported.
A hundred demonstrators participated in the event organized by the Guardians of Carpathian Homeland Movement and the Guard Federation held in front of the Hungarian Foreign Ministry, according to Politics.
Demonstrators shouted anti-Semitic slogans like "Filthy Jews" and "To Auschwitz With You All."
The Hungarian Foreign Ministry condemned “the shameful, instigatory speeches insulting a minority,” as well as the burning of the Israel flag that the ministry considered "an act suited for instigating hatred against a country, against a nation," Politics reported.
Lenhardt is a former member of the radical nationalist Jobbik party.
This isn't the first Israeli flag burning incident in Hungary. In October, members of the Jobbik party reportedly burned an Israeli flag in front of a a Budapest synagogue.
Last month, Jobbik MP Marton Gyongyosi caused an outrage after suggesting the government drew up a list of Jews in Hungary who posed a "national security threat."
His comments were later condemned by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who promised to protest Hungary's Jewish population.
"I rejected this call on behalf of the government and I would like you to know that as long as I am standing in this place, no one in Hungary can be hurt or discriminated against because of their faith, conviction or ancestry," Orban said.
Gyongyosi late apologized for his comments, saying he only referred to Hungarians with dual Israeli citizenship.
The Jobbik party, the third-largest party in the Hungarian parliament, is fiercely critical of Israel and its members have a history of inflammatory and controversial comments on issues pertaining to the Holocaust and the Jewish state, as well as against his country’s Roma population and homosexuals.
In August, Hungarian soccer fans shouted anti-Semitic slurs and jeered when the Israeli national anthem was played during a match between Israel and Hungary in Budapest.
Reuters, Jeremy Sharon and Gil Hoffman contributed to this report.
All rights reserved © 1995 - 2012 The Jerusalem Post.
[Note: In many places throughout the World, a local population’s historic and, consequently, inherent hatred of Jews has seamlessly mutated into an inherent hatred of the State of Israel (without, of course, erasing the populace’s preexisting Antisemitism) that is so inbred that even the Jewish State’s voluntary demise would not likely undo it. Read on!]
Another Tack: That unwitting indecency
By SARAH HONIG
To deny a grotesque double standard against Israel is either to misperceive reality or to deliberately misrepresent it for narrow political purposes.
(Jerusalem Post, January 24, 2013) I wish more Israelis were with me in outlying County Kerry, Ireland, just recently. There, in the tiny town of Cahersiveen, my doubting compatriots would have been reminded of what we face in the international community and why it has nothing much to do with how liberally we conduct ourselves, how many confidence-building concessions we make at the expense of our physical safety or how much we sacrifice of our rights to our historic homeland.
It’s all gallingly beside the point.
Our image has exasperatingly little to do with who we are. Distortions about us are blithely disseminated to the most susceptible and gullible members of society. Israel’s role as a scoundrel is made an axiomatic given, a premise for decent but distant folks, who know next to nothing (least of all Israel’s actual size) and couldn’t care less about the Mideast and its staggering complexities. But they are convinced that we are the bad guys.
That plays right into the hands of foreign leaders who are not, to resort to understatement, overly understanding of our cause. We were, for example, direly warned, via what appears like carefully timed hearsay, that US President Barack Obama doesn’t like our prime minister and holds Israel’s electorate responsible for the country’s isolation. We bring upon ourselves all the ill-will we encounter in the global arena.
Not to be outdone, Europe fully lives up to all the antagonism we have come to expect from the continent’s denizens. They were always highly adept, especially in the darkest epochs, at dressing up their intense bigotry in holier-than- thou sanctimony. It’s no different now, as warnings emanate from a plethora of EU capitals about an impending offensive to coerce Israel to capitulate to all existentially threatening Arab demands. Getting the Jewish state to sign its own death warrant will apparently buoy sagging spirits in the Euro zone.
Been there, heard that. It’s nothing new. Deep inside, most of us Israelis are inured to diplomatic discrimination, which is the latter-day genteel face of Judeophobia.
But some of us are bent on haughtily pooh-poohing anti-Jewish undercurrents, to say nothing of out-rightly hostile motives. It matters little whether the likes of [former Israeli Foreign Minister and Israeli Prime Minister aspirant] Tzipi Livni actually believe that there’s no thinly disguised prejudice against our vital interests and indeed against our very survival.
Tzipi lectured us in her most stentorian tones against subscribing to theories that anti-Semitism stokes anti-Israeli fervor. Yet to deny a grotesque double standard against Israel is either to misperceive reality or to deliberately misrepresent it for narrow political purposes.
I wonder how Tzipi would have reacted to what I saw in picturesque Cahersiveen, home to a population of some 1,300. It beautifully straddles the Ring of Kerry, a tourist trail in southwestern Ireland.
The town’s imposing Catholic church is the only one in Ireland named after a lay person, Daniel O’Connell. Famed as the Liberator or Emancipator, he campaigned in the 19th century for Catholic rights, thereby in effect triggering the Irish struggle for independence from Britain. In our terms he can be described as Ireland’s Herzl.
One would assume that there, near O’Connell’s birthplace, we’d find sympathy for a far more ancient nation that won its independence from Britain, after a struggle no less bitter. Moreover, our underground fighters – foremost the Irgun, whose leadership included Tzipi’s own father, Eitan Livni – patterned itself openly and proudly on the Irish Republican Army. The late prime minister Yitzhak Shamir’s nom de guerre in the Stern Group underground was Michael, his homage to Michael Collins – the revolutionary Fine Gael leader, who headed Ireland’s provisional government in 1922.
But the warm affections that members of our own “fighting family” felt for Ireland were a galaxy away from Cahersiveen.
There were no hints of affection there for us. On the town’s main thoroughfare, Church Street, I was buttonholed by three boisterous teenagers in Santa hats, carrying a collection box and big signs reading “Free Palestine.” They solicited my contribution.
I asked: “Free Palestine from whom?” The cheery trio’s swift answer was unambiguous: “The Jews.”
I pressed on: “Do you know where your money would go? “The boys: “To plant olive trees.”
“Are you sure,” I continued, as kindly-looking little old ladies generously opened their purses and dropped coins and bills in the collection box, “that this money wouldn’t fund terrorists and murderers?” Their retort threw me for a loop: “What do you have against Palestinians? What have they done to you? They are only against Jews. Jews are evil.”
I pried more. I asked what they know about the conflict. It was nothing except that Israel is the horrid ogre and the oppressed Palestinians are unquestionably worthy of compassion. Indeed the boys never stopped to question any of this.
I inquired who gave them these ideas and who sent them out to seek contributions in the town center. It turned out that it was a school-organized affair and that their teacher brought them all out, as a group, on a school day, during school hours, to do a pre-Christmas Christian good deed by “collecting donations for Palestine.”
I ASKED if they knew of the Palestinian Authority’s and Hamastan’s [i.e., Gaza’s] persecutions of Christians, but my youthful interlocutors had never heard of the Palestinian Authority and didn’t know that Palestinians are overwhelmingly Muslim.
There was little point in lumbering them with elementary information.
Any data seemed entirely alien to the boys, their strongly held opinions notwithstanding. Politely they pointed me down the street where their teacher stood with some of their other classmates.
The teacher, who unsuspectingly volunteered his name to me, said he took out his pupils, all from the town’s single secondary school, as part of a class project “to further a humanitarian goal.” The goal was to collect money to enable the Palestinians to replace olive trees because “Jews stole their lands.”
All around him the cheery kids hoisted “Save Palestine” placards.
There was a lot of hilarity. It was a lark. A good time was had. Outdoor frolic on a mild winter’s morning sure beats lessons in a dreary classroom.
I asked if this was a sanctioned school event and was solemnly assured that it was, all part of inculcating in the children a commitment to charitable work. I wondered aloud if something else wasn’t being inculcated. The teacher remained remarkably unperturbed when I repeated to him what the three boys said earlier about Jews “always being villains,” along with one youngster’s aside that “they crucified our Lord.” In fact, the teacher nodded in agreement, without a word of objection.
“Isn’t there another side to this story?” I asked. I was shown a handwritten poster that boasted the Palestinian flag and proclaimed: “There’s a conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians that began in the early 20th century.” That was the one simplistic token to seeming objectivity.
But it was meaningless and ended there. Another homemade placard read: “Together we’ll get rights for Palestine.”
The squawk was all about rights, but distinctly not about the rights of Jews, which are excluded from the official curriculum. The violated rights are those of Palestinian Arabs and the violators are Israeli Jews. And all this is crudely imparted under the auspices of a state’s school system.
The bottom line for Cahersiveen’s juvenile fund-raisers, without one redeeming exception, was that the Israelis are the tyrants and the Palestinians the sainted victims. It’s black and white, with no grays, no depth, no background. There was no qualm about who deserves the unstinting sympathy of decent folks.
And herein lies our problem – the one too many Israelis avoid, be it out of ignorance or political machination. We, as a people, face bias we can do nothing about.
There’s powerful predisposition against us. It’s not fueled by our behavior, because nobody knows much about how we behave and nobody cares to learn.
The Cahersiveen youngsters will surely grow into charming decent adults, but ingrained in their psyches from a young age will be the vague notion of Jewish villains and Palestinian martyrs. Indoctrination of impressionable minds – who can’t answer back and who regard their instructors as respected experts – creates biased adults.
Their bias, because it was formed so early, is intangible and impervious to all Israeli public relations and learned discourse. Historical dissertations are too convoluted to dispel preconceived antipathy.
Facts are irrelevant.
There’s sadly no remedy for that unwitting indecency of essentially very decent folks. Its parades as high-minded but is irrational.
Some may of course argue that Ireland is a special case. It has a history of anti-Semitism without having ever had a sizable Jewish population. Cases in point are the 1904 pogrom in Limerick, the refusal to allow fleeing Jews (even children) refuge before and during the Holocaust, the fascist Blueshirts, the quasi-Hitlerjugend groupings during the Nazi era and even Taoisseach (premier) Eamon De Valera’s messages of condolence to the German people following the news of Hitler’s demise.
De Valera made a pilgrimage to the German legation in Dublin and visited the home of German envoy, Eduard Hempel, to commiserate with the loss of the Third Reich’s leader. There was no defense for this gesture made after the liberation of [the Nazi death camps] Auschwitz, Bergen-Belsen and Dachau. The Irish government’s censor anyhow allowed no reporting of the Holocaust. On the other hand Dublin gave safe haven to fugitive Nazi war criminals.
Ireland’s hyped ethical imperative was demonstratively missing when it came to Jews. It still is when it comes to the Jewish state.
Until 1975, Ireland had refused to establish diplomatic relations with Israel, accusing it of contravening UN resolutions. Only in the last days of 1993 did it allow an Israeli embassy to open in Dublin. That was after it hosted [the then Chairman of the terrorist Palestine Liberation Organization] Yasser Arafat and agreed to a Palestinian legation.
Cashed-strapped Ireland contributes heftily to Palestinian causes.
Calls to boycott Israeli products and expel its diplomats are rampant.
Decent folks don’t dissent.
But for all that, Ireland isn’t unique. What’s bon ton there is very bon ton in other countries, with other sordid pasts and intrinsic predilections against our sort – predilections that our homegrown left-wing and post-Zionist politicos persuade naïve and complacent Israelis to forget, so we may persist in our self-flagellating ways.
All rights reserved © 1995 - 2013 The Jerusalem Post.
[Note: On the eve of the International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust, a British Member of Parliament, in an effort to demonize Israel, compares Jews to Nazis. Read on!]
UK minister defends making Auschwitz comparison
By JPOST.COM STAFF
David Ward defends comments amid intense criticism after accusing "the Jews" of inflicting daily atrocities on Palestinians.
A member of British parliament on Friday defended comments made on his website over Israel's treatment of the Palestinians, British daily The Guardian reported.
David Ward posted an item on his website accusing the Jewish people of "inflicting atrocities on Palestinians … on a daily basis".
On Ward's website, it stated: "Having visited [Nazi death camp] Auschwitz twice – once with my family and once with local schools – I am saddened that the Jews, who suffered unbelievable levels of persecution during the Holocaust, could within a few years of liberation from the death camps be inflicting atrocities on Palestinians in the new State of Israel and continue to do so on a daily basis in the West Bank and Gaza."
According to the Guardian, the MP defended his comments, saying "I shall try to explain my position. No doubt the chief whip will explain why he feels what I have done is wrong."
The remarks, made ahead of Holocaust Memorial Day on Sunday were described as "sickening" by the Holocaust Educational Trust.
In an official statement, Karen Pollock, chief executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust, said: "I am deeply saddened that at this sombre time, when we remember those who were murdered by the Nazis, Mr Ward has deliberately abused the memory of the Holocaust, causing deep pain and offense – these comments are sickening and unacceptable and have no place in British politics."
All rights reserved © 1995 - 2013 The Jerusalem Post.
[Note: On the “International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust” (more commonly known as “International Holocaust Remembrance Day” or “International Holocaust Memorial Day”), Britain’s “Sunday Times” newspaper chose to promote the most vile of medieval Christian blood libels -- expertly employed by Nazi Germany in the Past and by the Arab World and Islamo-fascist Iran in the Present -- against the Jewish people qua Israel. Read on!]
'Sunday Times' posts Israel cartoon on Holocaust day
By JPOST.COM STAFF
On Holocaust Memorial Day, British weekly publishes cartoon depicting big-nosed Netanyahu paving wall with Palestinian blood, limbs.
The Sunday Times marked Holocaust Memorial Day in a less-than-traditional manner, running a virulently anti-Israel cartoon depicting a big-nosed Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu paving a wall with the blood and limbs of writhing Palestinians.
The cartoon included a caption beneath the image entitled "Israeli elections- will cementing peace continue?" Drawn by Gerald Scarfe, the cartoon appeared in the national paper on Sunday.
“This cartoon would be offensive at any time of the year, but to publish it on International Holocaust Remembrance Day is sickening and expresses a deeply troubling mindset,” said European Jewish Congress President Dr. Moshe Kantor. “This insensitivity demands an immediate apology from both the cartoonist and the paper’s editors.”
“Amazingly, as this cartoon was published days after the only democracy in the Middle East, Israel, underwent fully democratic elections, as others in the Middle East were being butchered by the tens of thousands, the Sunday Times focuses its imagination solely on the Jewish State. This contravenes many of the criteria laid out in EUMC’s Working Definition of Antisemitism and is part of a worrying trend to legitimize the growing assault on Israel by opinion-shapers.”
The Sunday Times defended its cartoon in response to charges of anti-Semitism. "This is a typically robust cartoon by Gerald Scarfe,” a spokesman for the weekly said. “The Sunday Times firmly believes that it is not anti-Semitic. It is aimed squarely at Mr Netanyahu and his policies, not at Israel, let alone at Jewish people."
The publication added that the cartoon appeared on Sunday because that was its first issue since Netanyahu won reelection, and reiterated that it opposes anti-Semitism in all its forms.
British anti-Semitism has made headlines throughout the week after Liberal Democrat MP David Ward accused “the Jews” of inflicting violence on Palestinians on a daily basis,” and questioned how they could do this so soon after their “liberation from the death camps.”
He issued something of a backtrack on Saturday evening, in response to condemnation from his party and a huge backlash on social media. “I was trying to make clear that everybody [i.e., the oppressive Jews] needs to learn the lessons of the Holocaust,” the MP posted on his website.
“I recognize of course the deep sensitivities of these issues at all times, and particularly on occasions of commemoration such as this weekend [Holocaust Memorial Day],” he said.
He added that his criticisms of Israel “remain as strong as ever.”
European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton paid a special tribute to Holocaust survivors on Sunday, in a statement released on International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
Ashton said that the survivors of the Holocaust "remind us of this tragedy that we must never forget."
Jonny Paul contributed to this report
All rights reserved © 1995 - 2012 The Jerusalem Post.
[Note: People who express their hatred of the Jewish people by demonizing Israel often seek to shield themselves from charges of Antisemitism by claiming that such charges are motivated by crass Jewish attempts to stifle their legitimate right of free speech, namely, their legitimate right to “criticize” Israel. Essentially, such people perversely claim that their professed anti-Zionism immunizes them from having to answer charges that they are Antisemites. Read on!]
By JPOST EDITORIAL
29/01/2013 [January 29, 2013]
It is politically incorrect to even hint at their thinly disguised anti-Semitism.
London Sunday Times cartoonist Gerald Scarfe was quick to deny anti-Semitic undertones in his recent depiction of a monstrous Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu cementing the security barrier with the blood of victimized Palestinians, whose arms flail in agony and whose tortured faces are seen screaming among the red-streaked bricks. This cartoon was published on International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
Here it must be interjected that most anti-Semites nowadays are remarkably practiced in accompanying their invective with such instant disclaimers – by now an expected part of the pattern.
It is politically incorrect to even hint at their thinly disguised anti-Semitism. That immediately turns them into the muzzled good guys and the protesters into loathsome Jews seeking to silence yet more righteous critics of Israel with their doomsday weapon – charges of anti-Semitism.
Moreover, any remote reference to the Holocaust is sure to elicit howls of derision.
This diabolical yet prevalent deformation of perceptions confers on all anti-Semites the freedom to slander, while denying Jews the right to speak the truth.
It is a foolproof arrangement. Jew-revulsion now masquerades behind inflammatory anti-Israel and pro-Arab propaganda, whose disseminators inevitably deny anti- Semitism. Their favorite ploy is to present Israel-bashing as just deserts for the Jewish state’s policies.
Post-Holocaust circumspection has bred cleverly camouflaged anti-Semitism – not less dangerous or less in-your-face but more cunning and deceptive.
Scarfe is only one of many. The British establishment, which defends him on the grounds of “freedom of expression,” would have been scandalized had anything similar smeared Muslims or indeed anyone of Asian or African ancestry. In their case it would have been incitement to hate.
There is an eerily comparable British precedent for Scarfe’s vulgar defamation, published exactly 10 years ago.
It targeted then-prime minister Ariel Sharon, no less gruesomely.
A naked Sharon is shown devouring a Palestinian baby, with a “Vote Likud” ribbon functioning as his fig leaf. Not only was Dave Brown’s obscenity in The Independent not denounced, but it gallingly went on to win the Cartoon of the Year prize at the British Political Cartoon Society’s annual competition.
At the time of its publication, Israel’s embassy in London issued the following statement: “As Britain commemorates Holocaust Day, it is shocking that The Independent has chosen to evoke an ancient Jewish stereotype which would not have looked out of place in Der Stürmer, and which can unfortunately still be found in many Arabic newspapers.
“The blood-thirsty imagery not only misrepresents the real reason for the IDF’s operations in Gaza, but also feeds the hostility toward Israel and the Jewish people which lies at the very core of the Arab-Israeli conflict... One must be extremely careful to draw the line between legitimate criticism and the anti-Semitism that often parades as such.”
This same statement could have been made today, and was indeed closely echoed this week. The only difference is the pretext for what can only be seen as a latter-day revival of the medieval blood-libel (which incidentally originated circa 1144 in Norwich, England).
The IDF’s anti-terror offensive of 2002 was replaced by the anti-terror barrier that has drastically reduced Arab terror outrages on Israeli civilians in the heart of Israel. The cold-blooded slaughter of innocent Israelis, which necessitated the fence (that only in few segments looms as a wall), has somehow never elicited the indignation of British opinion-molders. Neither has the use of Arab children as explosives-smugglers or as human shields.
Scarfe’s distasteful cartoon is not a justifiable response to Israeli policy because it miserably fails Jewish Agency chairman Natan Sharansky’s “3-D test.” Judeophobia must be suspected when purported criticism slips into demonization, delegitimization and double-standards. Scarfe resorted to crude demonization, had delegitimized the Jewish state’s right to even passive self-defense (the fence) and evinces gross double-standards in ignoring the genocidal atrocities perpetrated by Israel’s enemies.
Rupert Murdoch, CEO of News Corp which owns The Sunday Times, has apologized for a cartoon he described as “grotesque,” “offensive” and unrepresentative of the newspaper’s opinions. Regretfully, though, the paper itself stood by Scarfe’s spurious spin-off of a malicious calumny that for centuries cost untold numbers of Jewish lives.
All rights reserved © 1995 - 2013 The Jerusalem Post.
[Note: In South Africa, there is no attempt to distinguish between Israel-hatred and Jew-hatred, except to justify the latter by reference to the former. Read on!]
Protesters ‘intimidate’ S. African Jews
By SAM SOKOL
Official for trade unions group linked to assault: Jews cannot ‘cry foul’ of violence when Israel ‘murders and occupies.'
(Jerusalem Post, April 17, 2013) The South African Zionist Federation complained of “intimidation” and a “violent assault” by protesters affiliated with the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) against the Jewish community during its Independence Day celebrations at Johannesburg’s Gold Reef City amusement park.
The protesters “threw stink bombs into the audience, attacked and injured an elderly woman and forced themselves onto the stage, where they attempted to attack the performers,” the SAZF said in a statement, explaining that it views such actions as “blatantly infringing [upon] the right of the Jewish community to celebrate its culture and heritage.”
The SAZF addressed a formal complaint to the police, which they say are considering “appropriate charges.”
“It has become a typical ploy of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement in South Africa to provoke ugly confrontations and then falsely claim to have been victimized,” the organization added.
In response to the SAZF’s complaints, COSATU’s international relations secretary Bongani Masuku told The Jerusalem Post, “They celebrate in South Africa, but murder, occupy and brutalize in Palestine. What justice and freedom can they talk about? “Apartheid South Africa was never free anywhere in the world – why would apartheid Israel expect a different treatment?” he asked, saying that there can be “no celebration for some and genocide for others.
“Our freedom should be the freedom of all,” he stated. “It’s indivisible and not selective. No one shall celebrate until all can celebrate.”
The SAZF and the South African Jewish Board of Deputies are “hypocrites,” Masuku said, adding that they cannot “cry foul” so long as they “are behind the state that murders, occup[ies], colonize[s] [and] practice[s] apartheid and ethnic cleansing.”
Furthermore, he said that South African Jews who serve in the IDF are breaking the law by engaging in “mercenary activities.”
“State terrorism and occupation cannot be tolerated anywhere in the world, so why would it be here in South Africa?” he asked.
Israel has long-denied accusations of apartheid, stating that it ensures social freedoms and civil rights for all of its citizens regardless of race or religion.
All rights reserved © 1995 - 2013 The Jerusalem Post.
[Note: The false identification of Israel and the Jewish people as “white” and the Arab nations and Arab people as “black” provides “antiracism” crusaders with a (racist) justification for demonizing Israel and angelizing the Arabs. Read on!]
Israel and racism
By BENJAMIN KERSTEIN
Israel is both “black” and “white,” and in a world divided into absolute terms of “black” or “white” and especially “black” vs. “white.”
(Jerusalem Post, July 31, 2013) If the reaction to the death of [American Arab journalist] Helen Thomas, with its studied indifference to her cackling demand that the Jews “get the hell out of Palestine [i.e., Israel],” has told us anything, it is that the embrace of racism among Israel’s critics has become so ubiquitous that it has essentially been normalized.
There is a fascinating irony in this, because critics of Israel, however ferocious they may be, almost always portray themselves as anti-racists.
Thomas clearly did not see herself as an anti-Semite, and claimed as much, saying that she was merely anti-Zionist.
Like many – perhaps most – of Israel’s critics, she probably believed this. Indeed, her objections to Israel’s existence, she likely thought, came not in spite of but because of her anti-racist ideology.
If so, she was by no means unusual. Israel’s critics usually claim, and most of them almost certainly believe, that their embrace of anti-racism makes it impossible for them to be racist. They may attack the Jewish state, but they have nothing, can have nothing, against Jews qua Jews. The accusation of racism against them, they say, is nothing more than a tactic, a smear employed by Israel’s unscrupulous supporters.
For most Jews and supporters of Israel, however, this is wholly inadequate. Indeed, even many dedicated critics of Israel, such as [Jewish billionaire entrepreneur] George Soros, have admitted that anti-Israel politics and racism have become intertwined, but they simply choose to blame this on Israel and its policies. Nor can anyone knowledgeable about the history and vocabulary of classic anti-Semitism ignore the presence of racism in anti- Israel polemic. A demand for the ethnic cleansing of the Jews from Israel – indeed, from any country – can hardly be viewed as anything else.
Whether subtle or blatant, then, it nonetheless appears that a bizarre paradox has taken shape: With regard to Israel and the Jews, anti-racism has become racism; or, at the very least, it has unconsciously adopted a racist vocabulary and worldview. And this has occurred not in spite of antiracist ideology but because of it.
TO CONFRONT such a paradox is not easy, but one of the first ways of doing so is to understand how it has happened.
While it appears at first inexplicable, it is nonetheless the result of a fairly clear series of developments.
The first is simply the devaluation of the word “racism” itself. The term once referred to a generally well defined pseudo-scientific ideology which held that some races were biologically superior to others, creating a racial hierarchy in which “white” races were at the top and “black” races at the bottom. The word has now come to mean little more than “something of which I very much disapprove.”
At its least precise, it has simply become a synonym for “pure evil.”
The second is a result of the first: Anti-racism’s development into an ideology that proposes what is, in essence, a Manichean theology, one in which the white races who invented racism as an ideology are perceived as a form of pure evil and non-white races constitute either a population of holy innocents or a redemptive force for good.
This is not “reverse racism” in the classic sense, in that it usually has no pseudo-scientific or pseudo-biological basis (though it does among some groups, such as the Black Muslims), being more akin to a form of religious thought, but it is no more accurate a view of the world than the ideology it ostensibly opposes.
Anti-racism today, in short, has accepted racial categorization as legitimate. The only question is the use to which it is put.
The third factor is specific to the Arab-Israeli conflict. Put simply, Israel and the Jews have come to be identified with “white,” while Arabs and Palestinians have come to be identified with “black.” The consequences of this are troubling at best, since within the rubric of anti-racism as it exists today, it means that Israel and the Jews have been identified with pure evil, and the identification of the Jews with evil is not simply an aspect, but the defining aspect of anti-Jewish racism in all its forms.
It is also – and it is important to point this out – wholly inaccurate even on its own terms.
The majority of Israel’s population is composed of, for lack of a better term, Jews of color, many of them with darker skin than all but a handful of the country’s Arab population.
Their existence has long been ignored by Israel’s critics, for obvious reasons.
Even as perceptive a commentator as George Orwell missed it completely, even though he had been to North Africa, seen Jews of color, and noted their oppressed and beleaguered state. This studied ignorance is, of course, self-serving, but it is also of immense importance.
The reason is that, put simply, today’s anti-racism feels deeply threatened by Israel, because Israel as it actually exists throws the entire antiracist worldview into disarray.
The Manichean division of the world upon which its ideology is based runs headlong into the reality of Judaism and the Jewish people as a collective that essentially transcends race, in that it defines itself according to terms utterly alien to anti-racism as it exists today.
Israel is both “black” and “white,” and in a world divided into absolute terms of “black” or “white” and especially “black” vs. “white,” this should not be possible. And it is a very small step from believing that something cannot exist to thinking that it should not exist.
A fourth and perhaps decisive factor has also come into play. At the same time as antiracism in the West has come to identify Israel and the Jews with evil, traditional anti-Jewish racism has been undergoing a renaissance in the Arab world.
Anti-Semitism has been, in effect, completely normalized in many Arab and Muslim societies. Indeed, those offended by Thomas’ comments should take some comfort in the fact that she still felt at least some need to conceal her racism beneath a political veneer. In the Arab world, anti-Jewish racists feel no such compulsion.
In the West, however, and especially in Europe, the meeting between anti-racism’s distaste for and fear of Israel and the Jews and the traditional anti-Semitism of the Arab and Muslim world has resulted in a situation in which the one has re-legitimized the other.
Perhaps due to anti-racism’s identification of the Arab world with “black,” and thus a form of absolute good – making its beliefs impossible to reject and its enemies impossible to perceive as anything other than absolute evil – a phenomenon has taken shape that some have come to call the New Anti-Semitism.
Very little about it, of course, is new, in that its iconography and vocabulary are largely the same as those of its predecessors. What is new, perhaps, is the identity of its practitioners. Put simply, the cause of anti-racism has, to an extraordinary degree, adopted one of the most ancient forms of racism as its own, and from behind this veil emerge Thomas’ exhortations to ethnic cleansing, the willful indifference to it, and innumerable other depressingly familiar reiterations of a hatred that, despite its age, appears to enjoy something approaching eternal youth.
All rights reserved © 1995 - 2013 The Jerusalem Post.
[Note: South Africans demonstrating against Israel call for the murder of “the Jew”, thereby once again proving that anti-Israel sentiment is merely a thin veneer for Jew-hatred. Read on!]
South Africa BDS leaders defends call to 'kill the Jew'
By SAM SOKOL
Protesters supportive of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) chant in opposition of Johannesburg concert of Israeli musician.
(Jerusalem Post, September 2, 2013) South African supporters of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel chanted "shoot the Jew" during a protest against a performance of Israeli jazz musician at Wits University last Wednesday, leading
A leader of the South African Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel justified calls to "shoot the Jew" during a protest last Wednesday against a concert by an Israeli musician.
Protesters, who gathered at Wits University in Johannesburg last Wednesday in opposition to a performance by Jazz saxophonist Daniel Zamir, screamed at concertgoers slogans such as "Israel is apartheid" and "down, down Israel." Some also threw paper at the Jewish attendees.
Despite condemnations by both University vice-chancellor Adam Habib and the South African Jewish Board of Deputies, BDS coordinator Muhammed Desai defended the call to shoot Jews and told a student newspaper that the word Jews was not meant in a literal fashion.
“Just like you would say kill the Boer at funeral during the eighties it wasn’t about killing white people, it was used as a way of identifying with the apartheid regime," Desai told the Wits Vuvuzela.
"What this incident unmistakably shows is that BDS-SA’s real agenda is not to stand up for the Palestinian cause but to incite hatred, and possibly even violence, against Jewish South Africans,” SAJBD National Chairman Mary Kluk said in a statement.
All rights reserved © 1995 - 2013 The Jerusalem Post.
[Note: In Germany, hatred of Israel translates into hatred of Jews. Read on!]
Synagogues in Germany hit by over 80 attacks between 2008 and 2012
By BENJAMIN WEINTHAL
Israeli experts says there's a strong connection between anti-Israelism and anti-Semitism behind the attacks.
(Jerusalem Post, October 13, 2013) The German government announced in a written statement last week that at least 82 attacks took place on synagogues within a five year period.
In response to a parliamentary questionnaire by the German Left Party, the federal government wrote that most of the attacks (24) occurred in Germany’s most populous state of North Rhine-Westphalia. The state of Rhineland-Palatinate registered 13 attacks, the second largest number of anti-Jewish assaults on synagogues.
In 2010, The Jerusalem Post reported that a synagogue in the city of Worms, in Rhineland- Palatinate state, was attacked by arsonists.
The vandals left a note connecting their torching of the synagogue with the Israel-Palestinian conflict. The regional paper Wiesbadener Kurier reported at the time that German police found eight copies of a note written in “awkward” German, claiming responsibility for the blaze.
“So long as you do not give the Palestinians peace, we are not going to give you peace,” read the note.
According to German media reports, the yearly numbers of synagogue attacks varied between 21 in 2008 to nine in 2010.
The number of cases, which were documented by the Federal criminal agency, covered property damage (roughly 30 instances) and the use of symbols from constitutionally banned organizations (29 cases). An additional 17 cases involved incitement to hate.
Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld, a leading Israeli expert on modern anti-Semitism, told the Post on Sunday, “Israel has been frequently blackened in Europe over many years by leading politicians, media and senior members of civil society. This has helped, bringing out again... the classic anti-Semitism which was latent and politically incorrect after the Second World War, yet never disappeared. Laying the connection between the extreme anti-Israelism and classic anti-Semitism is largely taboo in European circles, even though it is obvious.”
He continued, “At the beginning of the past decade, the University of Bielefeld found that 51 percent of Germans agreed with the demonizing statement that Israel behaves toward the Palestinians like the Nazis behaved toward the Jews. In 2011, the same university asked Germans whether they agreed with the statement that Israel conducts a war of extermination against the Palestinians. Forty-seven percent of those polled answered in the affirmative. If so many people have such an unfounded, extreme, wicked opinion about others, all that that indicates is that one’s self has a criminal mindset. In such a societal climate much worse things can happen than graffiti and other attacks on synagogue buildings.”
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said in August that she felt “very ashamed” that police had to be deployed to protect Jewish organizations and institutions in Germany from damage and attacks.
Shimon Samuels, the director for international relations of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, told the Post from Paris that “the main problem is Germany is doing well in fighting for Holocaust memory but not against anti-Semitism.”
He added that if you decouple Holocaust memory from the [Jewish] victims of today it is worthless. He cited incendiary anti-Jewish and anti-Semitic Arab books at the Frankfurt Book Fair, as well as “Iranian children books extolling the religious obligation to jihad and suicide.”
Meanwhile, Martin Karplus, the Austrian-born Jewish chemist and winner of the Noble Prize in chemistry last week, said there is still anti-Semitism in Austria.
The Austrian news outlet ORF (Austrian Broadcasting) reported that Karplus, the 83-year-old Harvard professor who fled Nazi Austria, commented on a personal experience with anti-Jewish sentiments in Vienna.
While searching for a street named after his uncle – the distinguished neurologist Dr. Johann Palu Karplus – he asked the owner of a small hotel where the street is. Karplus said the woman answered that “she does not understand how one can name a street after a Jew.”
Andreas Mailath-Pokorny, a social democratic politician in Vienna, said Austria suffered an “intellectual vacuum” through the loss of scores of people who fled the Nazis. Mailath-Pokorny added Karplus is an “important part of this intellectual elite” who had to flee Vienna.
He listed some of the important political and intellectual figures who fled Austria, including the late mayor of Jerusalem Teddy Kollek and the former editor-in-chief of The Jerusalem Post Ari Rath.
Samuel Laster, a close observer of Austria-Jewish relations and editor-in-chief of the online news outlet The Jewish, told the Post that “Jews in Austria find themselves prisoners between the ‘old’ Jewish hostility in the FPÖ [Freedom Party of Austria known as right-wing extremist and xenophobic] of the populists... and those of left-wing haters of Israel.”
Laster added that the left-wing, anti-Israel activists carry out their activities on the fringe wing of the social democrats.
All rights reserved © 1995 - 2013 The Jerusalem Post.
[Note: In France, hatred of Israel translates into hatred of Jews. Read on!]
Problems in Paris
By JPost Editorial
20/07/2014 [July 20, 2014]
The shame of it is that this might not be an entirely out-of-favor viewpoint. It will lurk behind official denunciations of anti-Semitism.
Nowadays, hardly any anti-Semites in the West admit they hate Jews. The accepted pose for Judeophobes is to claim that they harbor no ill-will toward Jews – that they are merely anti-Zionist or oppose given Israeli policies. Yet on occasion their words and actions offer a glimpse into the darkness behind the politically correct façade.
So it was last Sunday in the French capital during a demonstration against Israel’s Operation Protective Edge. Some of the marchers broke off and made a beeline for two centrally located synagogues.
The worst incident occurred at the Don Isaac Abravanel Synagogue on Rue de la Roquette (in the heavily Jewish 11th arrondissement). A mob donning keffiyehs, waving jihadist flags and wielding clubs and chairs grabbed from nearby sidewalk cafés tried to storm the synagogue and harm the worshipers trapped inside. Police and Jewish security volunteers fought them. Some Jewish defenders and officers were wounded in the melee.
The attackers chanted “Death to the Jews” in French, along with the Arabic Itbach el-Yahud (“Slaughter the Jews”). The siege on the synagogue lasted for well over an hour.
Sascha Reingewirtz, president of the Union of Jewish Students in France, noted in an interview with Le Parisien that the rioters blamed French Jews for the conflict with the Gaza Strip, “though they have nothing to do with it... Some people use any pretext to attack Jews and call for the death of Jews.”
This is the classic modus operandi of old-school anti-Semites who feel no compulsion to pretend they are anything but Jew-haters. For them any trumped-up excuse suffices to blame all Jews everywhere, and the issue of any actual culpability – individual or otherwise – never enters into it.
If all the Parisian demonstrators wanted was to “free Palestine” (without going into the merit of their incitement on that front), what business do they have in beating up Jews who are clearly apart from Palestine? That this is anti-Semitism is clear to all.
Sunday’s synagogue attacks were not the first violence against Jews under the cover of protesting the current campaign against terrorists in Gaza.
Near a synagogue in the Belleville neighborhood of Paris, a demonstration on Saturday featured the same hoarse shouts of “Slaughter the Jews” and “Death to the Jews.” A day earlier, a firebomb was thrown at another synagogue, this one in Aulnaysous- Bois, a northeastern suburb of the French capital.
On July 8, the day Operation Protective Edge [i.e., Israel’s latest response to the continuous mortar and missile barrage from Gaza] began, a 17-year-old Jewish girl was attacked with pepper spray on a Paris street near the Gare du Nord train station. The Middle Eastern-looking assailant yelled: “Dirty Jewess, inshallah, you shall die.”
The Parisian synagogues and the Parisian Jews targeted cannot be held liable for Israeli actions, not that Israeli self-defense should be regarded as villainous.
Attacking them is every bit as criminal as the wholesale rocketing of Israeli civilians; as the abduction, torture and murder by fire of Ilan Halimi in Paris in 2006; as the shooting of a Jewish teacher, his two toddler sons and a young Jewish girl at the Jewish school in Toulouse two years ago, and May’s shooting at the Jewish Museum in Brussels that killed four people.
One would think that no rational person could justify such acts of unspeakable and unabashed hate.
Yet they are whitewashed, and not necessarily at the expected fascist or Muslim fringes of the arena. Most worrisome is the free pass given such violence by seemingly ultra-liberal sorts. For example, French Green Party activist Pierre Minnaert opined on Monday that “when synagogues start acting like embassies, one cannot be surprised to see them attacked in the same way.”
The shame of it is that this might not be an entirely out-of-favor viewpoint. It will lurk behind official denunciations of anti-Semitism, and it will thrive as long as the world refuses to recognize that the Arab war against Israel often is a war against all Jews everywhere.
All rights reserved © 1995 - 2014 The Jerusalem Post.
[Note: E.U. foreign ministers are forced to admit that anti-Israel demonstrations exude Jew-hatred. Read on!]
European ministers denounce ‘ugly anti-Semitic demonstrations and attacks’
By SAM SOKOL
Pro-Palestinian protests were banned in France, OKed in Paris; demonstrators in Berlin arrested after police clashes ensue.
(Jerusalem Post, July 22, 2014) In response to rising violence across Europe, the foreign ministers of Germany, France and Italy harshly condemned pro-Palestinian demonstrators, vowing to make use of “all legal measures” to maintain public order.
In a joint statement from Brussels, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Laurent Fabius and Federica Mogherini denounced “the ugly anti-Semitic statements, demonstrations and attacks of the last few days,” declaring that "nothing, including the dramatic military confrontation in Gaza, justifies such actions in Europe.”
Arab and Muslim demonstrators have taken to the streets across the continent in protest of the Jerusalem’s military incursion into the Hamas-controlled Gaza strip, attacking synagogues and chanting pejorative slogans about Jews and Israel.
On Sunday in the Parisian suburb of Sarcelles, a town with a mixed Arab-Jewish population colloquially known as “Little Jerusalem,” an Arab mob burned cars, attacked Jewish owned shops and clashed with members of the Jewish community outside of a synagogue, which the rioters attempted to set aflame. That incident was one of several incidents of attacks against Jewish places of worship in the greater Paris area, including the siege of a downtown synagogue just over a week ago.
Several hundred French Jews immigrated to Israel during the course of the conflict, with more expressing interest in leaving following the events of the past week.
Demonstrators were overheard screaming “Jew, Jew, cowardly pig, come on out and fight” at a recent Berlin protest and protesters in Antwerp were reported to have marched while chanting “kill the Jews.” There have been two separate reported incidents of men being beaten for flying Israeli flags in Sweden, according to local media.
In their statement, the ministers vowed to use "all legal measures available to constitutional democracies when the threshold to anti-Semitism, racism and xenophobia is crossed.”
French authorities had refused to allow several pro-Palestinian protests scheduled for the weekend due to fears of violence, but gave the green light for a rally planned in Paris on Wednesday, while the Berlin police banned an anti-Semitic slogan used by protesters, according to media reports.
"Together and in our individual countries, we will do everything to ensure that our citizens can continue to live safely and peacefully and free from anti-Semitic hostility," the ministers asserted.
Jewish organizations have been pushing for tougher action on the issue of anti-Semitism for some time, especially since the murder of four people at a Jewish museum in Brussels in May, and have upped their rhetoric since the outbreak of hostilities between Israel and Hamas.
"At a time when 'Death to the Jews' chants can be heard at public gatherings in European capitals, allegedly in protests against Israel, the bold, timely and unambiguous words of the three foreign ministers send a strong message that should be embraced by all EU member states," said David Harris, the executive director of the American Jewish Committee.
The day before the ministers issued their statement, Harris had called on European Union ministers to convene a special meeting on anti-Semitism.
“Ministers responsible for security and combating anti-Semitism should meet urgently to deal with this poisonous hatred that threatens not only Jews, but the very societies that comprise the EU,” Harris said.
Such incidents are “reminiscent of an earlier, darker time in our history when hatred of Jews was openly and unabashedly expressed both verbally and physically,” Agudath Israel of America, an ultra-orthodox communal umbrella body, said in a statement.
“The pretense that these attacks are not anti-Semitic, but merely a reaction to current events in the Middle East, is cynical and decidedly false. When a Paris mob besieges and throws bricks at a synagogue with 200 congregants inside, it is anti-Semitism. When a synagogue north of Paris is firebombed on Friday night and sustains damage, it is anti-Semitism. When a 17-year-old girl -- referred to as a ‘dirty Jewess’ -- is assaulted on a Paris street by having her face pepper-sprayed, it is anti-Semitism,” the group stated.
During a recent interview with the Jerusalem Post, World Jewish Congress President Ronald Lauder blamed the European media for stirring up anti-Semitism, asserting that unbalanced coverage of the conflict that decontextualized Hamas rocket fire stirs up Europe’s Muslim population.
Despite several public condemnations of anti-Semitism by European politicians, Lauder issued a statement on Tuesday calling for more action by European governments.
“Either you stop this agitation and protect your Jewish population, or you fail to do so and Jews will ultimately turn their back on your countries. This is not a question of whether you agree or not with Israel. It’s about whether or not you are willing and able to do what it takes to prevent the renaissance of anti-Jewish pogroms in your countries,” Lauder said.
The ministers’ words were important, Lauder asserted, “but in order to fight this outbreak of anti-Semitism effectively, they need to be bolstered by further steps.”
Reuters contributed to this report.
All rights reserved © 1995 - 2014 The Jerusalem Post.
Europe’s moral failure
By JPost Editorial
29/07/2014 [July 29, 2014]
In city after city, attempts to draw the line between criticism of Israeli policies and crude anti-Semitism have been utterly abandoned.
Europe’s moral failure Since July 8, when the IDF launched Operation Protective Edge to stop Hamas and other Islamist terrorists from attacking Israeli population centers, a wave of anti-Semitism has overtaken Europe.
In city after city, attempts to draw the line between criticism of Israeli policies and crude anti-Semitism have been utterly abandoned.
“Jews are pigs,” protesters in Berlin shouted.
In the Parisian suburb of Sarcelles – nicknamed “Little Jerusalem” for its large community of Sephardic Jews, dozens of youths, some of them masked, raided shops, wrecking a funeral home and destroying its front window as several protesters shouted: “F**** Israel!” Others raided a drugstore that caught fire. Young girls looted baby formula inside.
Speaking as he commemorated the anniversary of the Vel’ d’Hiv Roundup – a mass arrest of Jews in Paris on July 16 and 17, 1942 – French Prime Minister Manuel Valls warned of “a new form of anti-Semitism.”
Nathan Norman Gelbart, head of Germany’s Keren Hayesod (United Jewish Appeal), reported that the German- Jewish community is frightened “because there are things that have not occurred since 1933.”
Esther Voet, director of the Center of Information and Documentation on Israel in the Netherlands, said that “we are very aware that it’s not about if something will happen in our country, but when.”
Benjamin Albalas, president of the Jewish community of Greece, said delegitimization of the State of Israel was “a first step toward the intimidation of the Jews’ right to live in their own home countries.”
Gelbart, Voet and Albalas all spoke during an emergency meeting held this week in the Knesset’s Diaspora Affairs Committee chaired by MK Yoel Razbozov (Yesh Atid).
A similar refrain was sounded in Washington last week during an annual meeting of Democratic senators and US Jewish groups. “The recurring theme, brought up both by the 24 senators who attended and the Jewish leaders, was a measure of the anxiety aroused by recent reports of attacks on European Jews,” JTA’s Ron Kampeas noted.
As anti-Semitism spirals out of control in Europe – ostensibly over the IDF’s military operation in the Gaza Strip, there has been a surprising amount of support in the US. A CNN/ ORC International poll found that a majority of Americans – 57 percent – believe that Israel’s military actions are justified.
At least part of the difference between American and European reactions has to do with endemic anti-Semitism among native Europeans that remained latent in the aftermath of the Holocaust, but that has re-surfaced in the past few decades. This is most evident in the rise of far-right parties in Hungary and Greece and far-left parties in Germany, Britain and France.
Another big factor is jihadist immigrants.
One of the responses to European anti-Semitism has been the sharp rise in immigration to Israel, particularly from France’s Jewish community, the largest in Europe at about 500,000. In the first three months of the year, 1,407 Jews left France, four times more than in the same period last year.
In any case, European leaders have a moral obligation to fight anti-Semitism. Mass immigration cannot be the only answer.
Unfortunately, in a United Nations Human Rights Council vote last week, leaders of the EU failed their moral duty. The council’s member countries were asked to support a one-sided resolution condemning “in the strongest terms the widespread, systematic and gross violations of international human rights and fundamental freedoms arising from the Israeli military operations.”
Nothing was said of Hamas’s strategy of using Gaza’s civilians as human shields, placing its rocket launchers in the midst of civilian populations, firing at IDF troops from hospitals and schools and denying Gazans access to bomb shelters to maximize civilian deaths.
Instead of taking a decisive and principled stand against Hamas’s aggression and supporting Israel’s right to defend itself, every EU country on the council chose to abstain.
The US was the only member state that voted against the resolution.
By abstaining, EU leaders remained silent in the face of the Human Rights Council drawing a moral equivalence between a terrorist organization motivated by a violent, reactionary interpretation of Islam and a liberal, democratic state. If European leaders are unable to make this distinction, why should we expect more of Europe’s masses?
All rights reserved © 1995 - 2014 The Jerusalem Post.
The anti-Semitism sweeping Europe
By THANE ROSENBAUM
An entire summer spectacle of anti-Semitism is taking place on the very same continent where two out of three Jews were once murdered by the Nazis and their various European enablers.
(Jerusalem Post, August 4, 2014) Despite appearances, Europe is not the back lot for a summer horror film in which Jews fear for their lives, with chants of “Death to the Jews,” “Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the Gas,” “Hitler was Right,” juxtaposed against the faint echo of a similar soundtrack that consumed the continent not too long ago.
Such scenes are available for viewing on cable news and the Internet. But this is no movie, not a “War of the Worlds” media stunt but rather a full-blown pogrom in progress. All of it is in real time, the actors aren’t acting and the violence doesn’t require special effects. The scenes are not moving toward a happy ending, either.
An entire summer spectacle of anti-Semitism is taking place on the very same continent where two out of three Jews were once murdered by the Nazis and their various European enablers.
Sadly, this story is in no need of script doctors to pump up the audience and sensationalize the plot. What’s needed are real doctors to stitch up the wounded. The rioters, seemingly, do not require any motivation to finish the job.
In France, the epicenter of this new-wave anti-Semitism, protesters in Paris attempted to storm two synagogues and succeeded in trapping 200 Jews in a third. In Sarcelles, smoke bombs preceded the vandalizing of a kosher grocery and pharmacy. In Barbès, stone-throwing teenagers burned Israeli flags and unfurled a banner that read, “Israhell.”
Over the past month, eight synagogues in France have been targeted. In Toulouse, the scene where, in 2012, an Islamist murdered a teacher and three children at a Jewish school, two firebombs were hurled at a Jewish community center.
In Germany, arsonists threw firebombs at a synagogue in Wuppertal. An imam in Berlin called on Allah to smite all “Zionist Jews,” and an Orthodox Jewish teenager was assaulted.
When in Rome it’s best not to do what Italy’s neo-Nazis are doing – spray-painting swastikas and anti-Semitic graffiti on Jewish-owned businesses. Four people were murdered at the Jewish Museum in Brussels.
Norway’s Jewish museum is closed due to security concerns.
Thousands of demonstrators, purportedly in solidarity with Gaza’s victims, have protested in England, Vienna and Amsterdam – yet much of the rage is directed at Jews, and not specifically Israelis. England is reporting a 50 percent increase in anti-Semitic acts with 100 hate crimes occurring in July alone.
The climate for Jews in Europe had changed even before the crisis in Gaza. In a 2013 study, one-third of European Jews reported that they no longer wear religious attire or display Jewish symbols in public – 23% avoid Jewish events or venues altogether.
Many said they were contemplating emigration to Israel. France alone is expected to lose 5,000 Jews this year, to Israel’s gain.
Several months ago far-right extremists and neo-Nazis catapulted to victory in the European Parliamentary elections. Not since the 1930s had such a configuration of fascists found themselves in the seat of power.
And here’s a bit of paradoxical chutzpah: while Jews are feeling unwelcome in Europe – their post-Holocaust sanctuary more short-lived than anyone had imagined – some Europeans are charging Israel with genocide.
Surely Europe, a mere generation after the Holocaust, is without the moral authority to point the finger at the descendants of a mass murder that was committed on its soil. Yet, however one may feel about the tremendous suffering in the Middle East, Palestinians, who have actually doubled in number since the occupation, are categorically not facing genocide. Ask any Armenian, Cambodian, Congolese, Sudanese, Rwandan, Mayan, Bosnian and, of course, Holocaust survivor how quickly they would have traded places with Gazans if given the chance.
There are those who say that these premonitions of 1930s Germany have little to do with today’s Europe and everything to do with the many young, unemployed, and culturally isolated Muslims who are raging against Israel, and their own bleak circumstances. The gravitational pull of Gaza is being taken to the European streets where Muslims now just happen to live.
It is true that many of the European protesters are Muslim immigrants – along with a smattering of left- and right-wing extremists who suddenly have something to unite them. It is also true that European foreign ministers have been steadfast in condemning these anti-Semitic attacks against the remnants of European Jewry.
Nonetheless, the sickness of anti-Semitism was surely not cured with the liberation of Auschwitz. As Daniel Jonah Goldhagen argues in his book, The Devil That Never Dies, Jew-hatred may have dissipated during the postwar era, but it still lay dormant, always ready to resurface and reclaim its title as the world’s favorite prejudice.
European Jewry, hardened by history, now more mobile, surely better informed and with Israel as a safe haven, has to decide whether these demonstrations are mere flashpoints, or represent something far deeper.
The author is a novelist, essayist and Senior Fellow at NYU School of Law, is the author, most recently, of Payback: The Case for Revenge.
All rights reserved © 1995 - 2014 The Jerusalem Post.
The global pogrom
By BENJAMIN KERSTEIN
This is not just a Jewish issue. A global pogrom is a global issue. It forces us to ask if the world is capable of doing justice to one of its smallest minorities.
(Jerusalem Post, August 11, 2014) “Everything that needs to be said has already been said. But since no one was listening, everything must be said again.” – Andre Gide
There is a global pogrom underway.
This is a terrible truth. And people tend to ignore terrible truths.
So it must be said again: There is a global pogrom underway.
And there is another terrible truth: The global pogrom has been underway for more than a decade. It has taken lives. It has destroyed property. It has wounded, brutalized and terrified Jews and Jewish communities in many nations. And it is creating a silent exodus, a de facto expulsion, an ethnic cleansing in slow motion.
This is a terrible truth that almost no one wants to acknowledge. But over the past month, it has become a truth that is impossible to ignore.
Violence against Jews has been ongoing since the Palestinian terror war began in 2000. But the moment when the global pogrom became impossible to deny took place last month in France.
On June 13, 2004, an ostensibly pro-Palestinian demonstration in Paris quickly devolved into the pogrom that, perhaps, it was always meant to be. A mob of thugs descended upon the Synagogue de la Roquette, trapped the congregation inside, and tried to break in while brandishing deadly weapons.
An eyewitness described how the crowd threw “stones and bricks at the building, ‘like it was an intifada.’” A Jewish leader made the horrifying statement, “We could have had something like Kristallnacht.”
The attackers, he said, “Had rocks, glass, axes, knives... they were armed and I made sure that no one would leave the synagogue, in order to protect the lives of our people.”
Due to the ineffectiveness of the French police, the synagogue and its congregation were only saved by the actions of Jewish self-defense groups.
We have seen this before. There is only one word for mob attacks on Jews. Attempts to defile and destroy Jewish houses of worship. The desire to wound and kill defenseless human beings because they are Jews. And the indifference, incompetence, or collaboration of non-Jewish authorities: Pogrom.
If what happened at the Synagogue de la Roquette is not a pogrom, then nothing is.
It is far from over. Following the attack on la Roquette, the French authorities banned further anti-Israel demonstrations. The pogromists marched anyway. And, as is their wont, they went on a rampage. They stormed through the Jewish neighborhood of Sarcelles, destroying, looting, defacing and generally acting like what Mayor Francois Pupponi later called “a horde of savages.”
At another illegal demonstration on July 26, protesters gave both the Nazi salute and its now-popular pogromist variation: the so-called “Quenelle,” popularized by a virulently racist comedian in order to skirt France’s laws against racial incitement.
And the pogrom has gone global.
In Antwerp, [the Israel-based daily newspaper] Haaretz reported, 500 people “protested” Israel’s war on Hamas by hailing a progromist who chanted “a call in Arabic [Itbach al-Yahud] that means ‘slaughter the Jews.’” Attendees “also called out ‘Jews, remember Khaybar, the army of Muhammad is returning’”, referencing a seventh-century slaughter against Jews in Saudi Arabia.
In Germany, protesters chanted, “Hamas Hamas Juden ins gas!” (“Hamas Hamas Jews to the gas!”). A 200-strong mob in Essen chimed in, “Scheiss Juden!” (“Jewish s**t”).
In Berlin, “an angry mob” spewed rhetoric that would have enchanted the Fuhrer: “Jude, Jude feiges Schwein! Komm heraus und kämpf allein!” (“Jew, Jew, cowardly swine, come out and fight on your own!”).
In nearby Austria, the pogrom invaded one of Europe’s last truly sacred places: the soccer field. During a friendly match between Lille and Maccabi Haifa, a group of thugs stormed the field and attacked the Israeli team.
In London a series of protests have been fairly peaceful, but the rhetoric remained one of unrelenting incitement and defamation.
As a result, the British Jewish community is now under siege. Death and bomb threats are flowing in by the dozen. Hate crimes are skyrocketing. A Muslim woman threw stones at a Jewish boy. A rabbi was the target of a gang attack. Chants of “Heil Hitler” are defiling Jewish neighborhoods.
A global pogrom does not end at the borders of Europe. It has reached North America.
In Boston, The Times of Israel reported that several pro-Israel students were “Surrounded by pro-Palestinian activists chanting ‘Jesus killers’ and ‘drop dead’” before being physically attacked. In Calgary, an entire family was assaulted by a mob of anti-Israel pogromists, sending several of them to the hospital. The attackers chanted “baby killers,” “kill Jews” and “Hitler should finish you off.” In New York, there were more chants of “baby killers” and the blood libel found itself resurrected.
The pogrom has reached as far as Australia.
Jews have been physically attacked, and the blood libel appeared again. A billboard was unfurled showing a caricature of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu with fangs dripping blood. Above were the words “can’t get enough.”
In Turkey, the only Muslim country where a substantial Jewish population remains, the pogrom reached a fever pitch, with Prime Minister Recip Tayyep Erdogan and the Turkish media spewing anti-Semitic rhetoric. And there was mob violence, this time directed against the Israeli consulate and the ambassador’s residence. Pogromist graffiti read, “Die out murderer Jew!” This ongoing violence and murderous rhetoric has had an ominous result: Turkish Jews are leaving. The younger generation no longer feels it has a future in Turkey.
Soon, this ancient community will likely no longer exist. Put simply, in Turkey, the global pogrom has become an act of expulsion and ethnic cleansing.
And not only in Turkey. Seven decades after it handed most of its Jews over to extermination, France is now acquiescing in their expulsion. The Los Angeles Times reports, “In 2013, 3,288 French Jews left for Israel, a 72% increase from the year before, and the first time French émigrés outnumbered those from the United States.” In other words, French Jews believe that an Israel under Hamas rockets is safer than France.
There is a global pogrom underway. I speak the terrible truth again because it must be spoken again.
The global pogrom is driven by a simple motive: To brutalize, slaughter and expel a people against which it has ignited an inferno of racist hatred.
The global pogrom operates with impunity.
It has made life impossible for Jews in numerous countries.
The global pogrom is now committing a crime against humanity: Expulsion and ethnic cleansing.
And if it is not stopped, the global pogrom will spread.
This is not just a Jewish issue. A global pogrom is a global issue. It forces us to ask if the world is capable of doing justice to one of its smallest minorities. And if it is not, we must speak the terrible truth that Haim Nahman Bialik spoke in the wake of another pogrom: “Let the throne be hurled down forever.”
The author is a Tel Aviv-based writer and editor. His books are available at Amazon.com.
This is a shortened version of an article originally published in Tower Magazine.
All rights reserved © 1995 - 2014 The Jerusalem Post.
It’s anti-Semitism, stupid
By EFRAIM KARSH
In Lord Byron’s memorable words: “The wild dove hath her nest, the fox his cove, mankind their country – Israel but the grave.”
(Jerusalem Post, August 11, 2014) Let’s admit it: Israel can never win the media war against Hamas. No matter what it does, no matter how hard it tries.
Not because the Islamist terror group that is raining missiles on its cities and villages and using its own hapless subjects as human shields is the underdog in this conflict, but because the sight of Arabs killing Jews (or other Arabs for that matter) is hardly news; while the sight of Jews killing Arabs is a man-bite-dog anomaly that cannot be tolerated.
Imagine the following scenario: Thousands of foaming-at-the-mouth Jews rampaging through the streets of London and Paris to protest the blitz bombing of their co-religionists by a murderous al-Qaida/ISIS clone. They carry banners urging the killing of all Muslims wherever they are, hurl rocks and petrol bombs at the police, set fire to mosques, destroy Muslim properties and establishments, and attack all Muslims and Arabs coming their way.
Sound incredible? No doubt. For Jews in western (and Muslim) societies are be expected to know their place: to act maturely, responsibly and compassionately, to never fight fire with fire, to always understand the “other,” to ever be ready to please, appease, and whenever necessary – turn the other cheek.
Not so Israel’s enemies. With a sickening unanimity that has become all too familiar over the past decades, whenever the Jewish state responded in strength to Palestinian terrorism – be it rocket attacks from Lebanon, West Bank-originated suicide bombing campaigns (euphemized as the Aqsa intifada), or rocket, missile and mortar attacks from the Gaza Strip – hordes of hateful, violent demonstrators flocked onto the streets of western cities throughout the world, not to call for peace or an end of violence on all sides but to demonize a sovereign democracy for daring to protect its citizens and to vilify and assault their own Jewish compatriots for no reason other than their different religious and/or ethnic identity.
“Today, non-Israeli Jews feel themselves once again exposed to criticism and vulnerable to attack for things they didn’t do,” the late New York University professor Tony Judt lamented the growing number of hate fests in the early 2000s. “The increased incidence of attacks on Jews in Europe and elsewhere is primarily attributable to misdirected efforts, often by young Muslims, to get back at Israel.”
Anti-Semites, of course, have never been short of excuses for assaulting and killing Jews, and infinitely larger numbers of Jews were exterminated shortly before the founding of the State of Israel than in the 66 years of its existence, not to mention the millions massacred in Europe and the Middle East since antiquity.
Neither did European Jew-haters await Israel’s establishment to unleash on the remnants of the Holocaust.
Anti-Semitic sentiments remained as pronounced as ever, especially in Eastern Europe, which witnessed a few vicious pogroms shortly after the end of World War II. Even in Germany, Jews found themselves attacked and abused in public with 60 percent of Germans condoning overt anti-Jewish acts of violence.
Yet if this bleak record failed to prevent an astute student of European history like Judt from falling for the canard that Israeli actions are the cause, rather than the pretext, for the worst wave of attacks on Jews and Jewish targets in Europe since the 1930s, why should one be surprised by its thoughtless dissemination by the international media? If it were not so appalling, one could even marvel in the irony that 80 years after being forced to wear yellow stars so they could be targeted for persecution, European Jews are being instructed to hide any signs of their Jewish identity, for their own protection.
What makes this phenomenon particularly galling is that instead of clarifying in no uncertain terms the unacceptability of this bigotry in civilized societies, western elites have treated these recurrent hate fests as legitimate, if at times excessive, manifestations of Muslim solidarity with the Palestinians, thus providing a safe environment for outright anti-Semitic attitudes and behavior. (As evidenced by the ongoing bloodbaths in Syria and Iraq, the notion of Muslim solidarity is a myth, with far more Muslims killed throughout history by their co-religionists than by non-Muslims.) Just as western politicians and the media have ignored Hamas’s indiscriminate missile attacks on Israeli civilians but jumped up and down over Israel’s military response, so they have been bending over backward since 9/11 to embrace their Muslim citizens and to accommodate their perceived needs and sensitivities while remaining willfully blind to the fact that it is Jews, not Muslims, whose lives have been most adversely affected by increasing hostile attitudes on the ground – after all it is the Jews, not Muslims of Europe, who are emigrating in record numbers to find a safe haven. It is Jews who feel vulnerable to attack, and who have faced the most violence, and whose institutions from synagogues to community buildings to Jewish newspaper offices have been under heavy police guard for years, because of events in the Middle East – no Muslim community in the West has had to undertake similar security precautions.
The truth of the matter is that since anti-Semites have never really distinguished among Zionists, Israelis and Jews (notwithstanding repeated protestations to the contrary), and since Israel is the world’s only Jewish state, it has been tacitly construed as epitomizing the worst characteristics traditionally associated with Jews and has attracted the full brunt of anti-Jewish bigotry and hatred that has hitherto been reserved for individuals and communities, not least because it has reversed the millenarian Jewish condition of dispersal, minority status and powerlessness. If prior to Israel’s establishment Jews were despised because of their wretchedness and helplessness, they have hitherto been reviled because of their newly discovered physical and political empowerment.
So much so that 66 years after its establishment by an internationally recognized act of self-determination, the Jewish state remains the only state in the world whose right to self-defense, indeed to national existence, is constantly challenged.
In Lord Byron’s memorable words: “The wild dove hath her nest, the fox his cove, mankind their country – Israel but the grave.”
The author is professor of Middle East and Mediterranean Studies at King’s College London, a senior researcher at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies and at the Middle East Forum, and the author most recently of Palestine Betrayed (Yale, 2010).
All rights reserved © 1995 - 2014 The Jerusalem Post.
South African Jewish group presses charges against union head
By JERUSALEM POST STAFF
SA trade union leader Tony Ehrenreich published statement accusing the SAJBD of being “complicit in the murder of the people in Gaza.”
(Jerusalem Post, August 14, 2014) The South African Jewish Board of Deputies [SAJBD] said on Thursday it is in the process of instituting criminal and civil charges against a trade union leader.
Tony Ehrenreich, provincial secretary of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Western Cape branch) [COSATU], was accused of hate speech and incitement to violence against the elected, representative leadership of the South African Jewish community.
This will include laying charges of incitement with the police and lodging a formal complaint with the South African Human Rights Commission.
On August 13, Ehrenreich published a statement on Facebook accusing the SAJBD of being “complicit in the murder of the people in Gaza” and called on the South African population to target it for revenge attacks whenever a woman or child in Gaza was killed.
In his post, Ehrenreich wrote: “The time has come to say very clearly that if a woman or child is killed in Gaza, then the Jewish Board of Deputies, who are complicit, will feel the wrath of the people of SA with the age old biblical teaching of an eye for an eye. The time has come for the conflict to be waged everywhere the Zionist supporters fund and condone the war-killing machine of Israel.”
Board chairwoman Mary Kluk said that the post was a flagrant violation of South African law prohibiting hate speech and incitement to cause harm.
“Ehrenreich’s inflammatory post incites violence and hatred against the representative body for South African Jewry. What makes it even worse is the fact that he holds a leadership position within COSATU, South Africa’s largest trade union organization.
It also comes at a time of heightened tension over the Israel-Gaza conflict, thereby inflaming an already volatile situation” she said.
The latest post by Ehrenreich came in the wake of a recent statement he issued in which the SAJBD was warned to cease its “Zionist propaganda” in Cape Town by August 7 or face a COSATU-led campaign of strikes and boycotts against its members, supporting companies and organizations.
All rights reserved © 1995 - 2014 The Jerusalem Post.
Axis of hostility
By JPost Editorial
20/08/2014 [August 20, 2014]
Why is it that some of the slurs that were traditionally hurled at Jews are now being said about Israel?
An opinion piece in the Telegraph on Tuesday hit the nail on the head. Columnist Brandon O’Neil asked readers to imagine a supermarket manager trying to appease a number of racist customers by firing the “offensive” black employees.
Imagine what outrage there would have been. But that is exactly what happened over the weekend when Britain’s third-largest supermarket chain, Sainsbury’s, removed the kosher products at its central London store in Holborn when facing a protest against Israel’s actions in the Gaza Strip.
On the surface, the absurdity of the move is almost comical.
Let’s take away the matza ball mix so the anti-Israel rabble won’t trash our store. As O’Neil went on to write, however, kosher food is not Israeli, it is part of Jewish dietary requirements, and banning kosher products is an attack on Jews and their right to follow their religion.
That distinction did not prevent other anti-Israel protesters from damaging a range of kosher products on the shelf at a Birmingham branch of Britain’s largest supermarket, Tesco. Apparently supporting a “free Gaza,” as the protesters demanded, is predicated on depriving shoppers of Hebrew National hot dogs.
The distinction between opposition to Israel’s actions during Operation Protective Edge and blatant anti-Semitism disguised as legitimate protest has grown increasingly blurred in the past month. The Sainsbury debacle is only the latest example of anti-Israel equals anti-Jewish thought creeping into public discourse around the world.
In a report released last week, the Anti-Defamation League reported a “dramatic surge” in global anti-Semitic incidents that had “metastasized” since the beginning of Protective Edge. The majority of the incidents occurred in Europe, but others were reported in South Africa, Australia, Turkey, Canada, Morocco and several Latin American countries. Among the displays were physical assaults on Jews, threats to and intimidation of Jewish shops, damage to synagogues, public hate speech, declarations invoking blood libels and Nazi atrocities, and anti-Semitic political cartoons.
The ADL reported that while many of the incidents were tenuously tied to the Gaza operation, they quickly spiraled into general anti-Jewish rhetoric, and in some cases, violence.
Fire bombs were thrown at the security booth of a Jewish community center in Toulouse, France, on July 26, and at a synagogue in Wuppertal, Germany, on July 29.
Speaking to The Jerusalem Post on Monday, Oren Segal, the director of ADL’s Center on Extremism, said a narrative has developed that does not distinguish between Israelis and Jews “It’s one thing to express your criticism, your anger, of Israeli military operations or of Israeli policies. But when trying to do that you interchangeably use Israelis or Jews, it then becomes a different narrative,” he said.
That disturbing narrative is clear, even when it purports to be exclusively about Israel, such as the declaration of an “Israel-free zone” in Bradford, England, made earlier this month by Respect Party MP George Galloway. He envisioned a Bradford without any “Israeli goods... Israeli services... Israeli academics... and Israeli tourists.” Presumably Jews are invited, as long as they do not keep kosher.
Ambassador to the UK Daniel Taub traveled into the eye of the storm on a visit to Bradford on Monday, and he found a far different reality than the one Galloway outlined.
In his speech Taub gave to a gathering there and made available to the Post, he said that he had a chance to hear the “real voice” of Bradford. “And that’s a voice of tolerance, of understanding, of building bridges not breaking them.”
Calling Galloway’s “Israel-free zone” what is it – a “tolerance- free zone, a progress-free zone, a future-free zone,” Taub said the campaign against Israel was a coalition of haters.
“As long as they are shouting about what they are against, Israel or the West, that coalition sort of hangs together. But when you ask: But what are you for? Are you for women’s rights? Are you for gay rights? Are you for freedom of expression? Then, all of a sudden, that coalition simply falls apart. If you can articulate no positive vision, you have no moral compass. Everyone who shares your hatred is your ally in an axis of hostility.”
That blind hostility has reached the outlandish extreme of targeting kosher food and anyone who buys or sells it. That should be an anathema to anyone who stands on the side of tolerance and free speech and against prejudice and racism.
But, as O’Neil wrote in the Telegraph, have anti-Israel protesters asked themselves why is that, with all of the world’s hot spots where far worse acts are being committed with far more casualties, it is Israel that receives their full attention.
And why is that some of the slurs that were traditionally hurled at Jews – that they ore child-killers, they control global politics, they cause international instability – are now being said about Israel? The answers they give themselves might make it hard for them to continue hiding behind the anti-Israel facade.
All rights reserved © 1995 - 2014 The Jerusalem Post.
[Note: Jewish leaders in Europe are finally acknowledging that anti-Israelism is merely a thin veneer for the Jew-hatred that is endemic to that continent. Read on!]
European Parliament: More words replace an anti-Semitism task force
By MANFRED GERSTENFELD
(Jerusalem Post, December 30, 2014) It is important to document what is said by Jewish leaders and by some Jews in the public eye about the current anti-Semitism in their countries.
The European Parliament recently voted down the proposed
establishment of a special task force on anti-Semitism.
This occurred in spite of the unprecedented levels of anti-Semitic incidents in 2014 occurring within many European countries. The Parliament’s decision means that the issue of a special task force dealing with anti-Semitism can only be raised again in 2019, after the next parliamentary elections.
It is important to document what is said by Jewish leaders and by some Jews in the public eye about the current anti-Semitism in their countries.
When the parliamentarians will meet five years hence, they will have this material at their disposal.
There will be little to analyze because the quotes speak for themselves.
One can start with the usually understated comments of British Jews. Journalist Hugo Rifkind of The Times wrote of his recent discomfort on being a British Jew. “Never before have I felt that attitudes towards Jews in Europe – and even, albeit less so, in Britain – could grow far, far worse before a whole swathe of supposedly progressive thought was even prepared to notice.”
In a conversation with Israel’s Channel 2, BBC Television Director Danny Cohen said, “I’ve never felt so uncomfortable being a Jew in the UK as I’ve felt in the last 12 months. And it’s made me think about, you know, is it our long-term home, actually. Because you feel it. I’ve felt it in a way I’ve never felt before actually.”
The only resident chief rabbi of the Netherlands, Binyomin Jacobs, said on a national television program that Jews feel unsafe in the Netherlands and are being threatened and insulted on the streets. He noted that he, himself, also wonders whether or not it is safe for him to remain in the Netherlands. Jacobs has come to the conclusion, however, that he has to stay – “because the captain is the last one to leave the ship.”
David Beesemer is the chairman of Maccabi in the Netherlands. He was quoted by the Jewish weekly Nieuw Israelietisch Weekblad as saying: “I am now constantly busy with wondering whether I can offer my children a safe future here. Before the summer of 2014 I did not even think about this.”
David Serphos, the former director of the Ashkenazi community in Amsterdam, wrote, “I don’t dare to trust the authorities after the mayor of The Hague, and now even of Amsterdam do not interfere when Jews and Judaism are threatened.
“Often I spoke jocularly with friends about reliable addresses to go into hiding [like in the Second World War] if it would ever be necessary.
In recent times I look far more seriously to that very short list.”
In July 2014, after firebombs were thrown at a synagogue in Wuppertal, Germany, Charlotte Knobloch, the former president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany – the national German Jewish umbrella organization – said that Jews should, at least for the moment, hide their identity. Otherwise, the risk of an attack would be too great.
Dieter Graumann, her successor, said, “These are the worst times since the Nazi era.”
“On the streets, you hear things like ‘the Jews should be gassed,’ ‘the Jews should be burned’ – we haven’t had that in Germany for decades.
Anyone saying those slogans isn’t criticizing Israeli politics, it’s just pure hatred against Jews: nothing else. And it’s not just a German phenomenon.
It’s an outbreak of hatred against Jews so intense that it’s very clear indeed.”
As early as 2012, Stephan Kramer, then the secretary general of the Central Council, said he no longer trusts the Germans. “Only the Jews can save themselves.” He added that he always carries a gun, which he had to show to someone who had harassed him on Yom Kippur, in order to frighten him away.
Roger Cukierman, the president of CRIF, the French Jewish umbrella organization, said regarding the anti-Israel protests occurring in France during Israel’s Gaza campaign of 2014, “They are not screaming ‘Death to the Israelis’ on the streets of Paris. They are screaming ‘Death to Jews.’” In March 2014, Cukierman’s predecessor, Richard Prasquier, had already said, “Today, much more acutely than when I left my position as president of CRIF ten months ago, the question of our lasting presence in France is raised.... Today in the Jewish community, there is hardly a conversation when the subject of leaving [France] is not brought up.”
Moshe Kantor, president of the European Jewish Congress, summed it all up: “Normative Jewish life in Europe is unsustainable.”
US Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power sees the problem of anti-Semitism within a much wider context. At a November 2014 OSCE Meeting, she said that anti-Semitic acts “are not only a threat to the Jewish community, they are a threat to the larger project of European liberalism and pluralism.”
In February 2014, Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, wrote to the then-president of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, who has since been re-elected. Cooper wanted Schulz to take action and deal with the prevalent European anti-Israelism.
Schulz replied, “The European Union, European Parliament and I, as president of the European Parliament, have condemned unequivocally, on numerous occasions, any kind of speech, statement or publication inciting hatred or discrimination based on political or religious opinions: racism and anti-Semitism are part of this.”
In this manner, Schulz preannounced what the major contribution of the European Parliament would be in the fight against anti-Semitism, for the coming five years: words, words and... more words. And if the incidents continue or become even worse the parliament of most of Europe – a continent with a horrible past and a degrading present – may further increase the number of its meaningless condemnations of anti-Semitism.
The author’s upcoming book The War of a Million Cuts analyzes how Israel and Jews are delegitimized and how to fight this. He is a former chairman (2000-2012) of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.
All rights reserved © 1995 - 2014 The Jerusalem Post.
[Note: Jew-hatred has mutated throughout History, and yet remains unchanged. The below interviewee opines as to why Jew-hatred is often expressed as anti-Israelism. Read on!]
Anti-Semitism is inherently genocidal, says expert
By SAM SOKOL
First religion, then race, now nation-state lenses used by haters of Jews, Dr. Charles Asher Small tells ‘Post.’
(Jerusalem Post, December 31, 2014) Jew-hatred is by its very nature a violent phenomenon, a leading anti-Semitism researcher told The Jerusalem Post during an interview on Tuesday.
While forms of discrimination such as sexism and racism are “repugnant,” both have a certain logic to them in that they express the desire to “control and dominate a certain group of people, [while] the one thing that distinguishes anti-Semitism from other forms of discrimination is that it’s inherently genocidal,” Dr. Charles Ascher Small, director of the Institute for the Study of Global Anti-Semitism and Policy, said, speaking with the Post during a trip to Israel.
It is difficult to explain the persistence of anti-Semitism over the millennia and across diverse nations and societies, but some common denominators emerge, Small continued.
“It’s inherently genocidal, because when the dominant way of perceiving reality was through the lens of religion, the Jews were the wrong religion and they were blinded by evil for not accepting the Christian notion of the messiah, so in order for the individual Jew to redeemed he or she had to accept the Christian version of the messiah.
But, moreover, for the world to be redeemed, the Jew had to change,” he said.
When people began to view reality through the lens of race, he continued, “Jews were the wrong race and they were poisoning and making impure the purity of the white Aryan race and for the race to be saved they had to get rid of the Jew.”
In contemporary times, Israel, as the Jewish nation-state, has become a stand-in for the Jew in this regard.
“Now people in governments in the Western world, in the United States and Europe, say that for the world to be saved the stubborn Jew has to change. Not only to they have to change to protect their own society, but if only the stubborn Israelis would change, [then] jihadism and radical Islam will dissipate.
The world will be saved.
And this is a very dangerous aspect of anti-Semitism that is irrational,” Small asserted.
“World redemption will come when the Jew changes,” he said, summing up the consistent element linking these three forms of anti-Semitism.
The researcher recalled a recent visit to France, whose Jewish community has been plagued by attacks emanating from the country’s growing Muslim minority and how things have changed since he lived there during the 1990s.
“Even I who research and engage in the issues of anti-Semitism internationally was shocked by what is happening in France,” he said.
In Europe today the intellectual elites and the media have been silent on the issue of growing threat of radical political Islam, he stated, calling such discussions taboo.
“Once you start engaging in that you are dismissed as being right-wing or neoconservative or Zionist and the like.”
Today in France and England you see “Islamists who are using the rhetoric of anti-Semitism to promote their reactionary agenda so they focus on the Jew and the Zionist and they dehumanize and delegitimize Israel, the Zionist and the Jew [who] are making inroads into their societies.”
Meanwhile, a backlash against this trend has fed the growing success of right-wing nationalist movements, he said.
“The silence of the intellectuals and the media of record in defending liberal values has created this vacuum in which the Right or the nascent nationalist movement has begun to express itself with an anti-immigrant sentiment,” he said. “There is anti-Semitism involved, but I would say that the focus is anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim.”
This is “a reawakening of the majority that feels like it’s been marginalized economically, politically and even culturally,” he said, adding that he believes that he believes that far-right leader Marine Le Pen will ride such sentiment to become president of France.
“You now have the bubbling of racist nationalist sentiment which expresses a deep frustration and malaise about this crisis that Europe is finding itself [in],” said Small.
All rights reserved © 1995 - 2014 The Jerusalem Post.
[Note: As the below author points out, anti-Israelism is the result (rather than the cause) of Antisemitism, the former being the logical extension of the latter. Read on!]
Confronting European Anti-Semitism
by Alan M. Dershowitz
January 30, 2015 at 12:00 pm
I just completed a three day visit to Prague and the former Terezin concentration camp. I was there to speak at a conference commemorating the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi death camps. Many European speakers talked about the efforts they are making to confront the rising tide of anti-Semitism throughout Europe. But before one can decide how to confront a sickness like anti-Semitism, one must first describe and diagnose the pathology.
There are several distinct, but sometimes overlapping, types of anti-Semitism. The first is traditional, right wing, fascist Jew hatred that has historically included theological, racial, economic, social, personal and cultural aspects. We are seeing a resurgence of this today in Greece, Hungary and other European countries with rising right wing parties that are anti-Muslim as well as anti-Jewish.
The second is Muslim anti-Semitism. Just as not all Greeks and Hungarians are anti-Semitic, so too not all Muslims suffer from this malady. But far too many do. It is wrong to assume that only Muslims who manifest Jew hatred through violence, harbor anti-Semitic views. Recent polls show an extraordinarily high incidence of anti-Semitism—hatred of Jews as individuals, as a group and as a religion,—throughout North Africa, the Middle East and Muslim areas in Europe. This hatred manifests itself not only in words, but in deeds, such as taunting Jews who wear yarmulkes, vandalizing Jewish institutions, and occasional violence directed at individual Jews. Among a small number of extremists it also results in the kind of deadly violence we have seen in Telouse, Paris, Brussels and other parts of Europe. Several decades ago it manifested itself in attacks on synagogues by Palestinian terrorists, including some operating on behalf of the Palestine Liberation Organization.
Third, there is hard left anti-Zionism that sometimes melds into subtle and occasionally overt anti-Semitism. This pathology is seen in the double standard imposed on everything Jewish, including the nation state of the Jewish people. It is also reflected in blaming "Jewish power", and the "pushiness" of Jews in demanding support for Israel. I'm not referring to criticism of Israeli policies or actions. I'm referring to the singling out of Israel for extreme demonization. The ultimate form of this pathology is the absurd comparison made by some extreme leftist between the extermination of policies of the Nazis and of Israel's efforts to defend itself against terrorist rockets, tunnels, suicide bombers and other threats to its civilians. Comparing Israel's actions to those of the Nazis is a not-so-subtle version of Holocaust denial. Because if all the Nazis really did was what Israel is now doing, there could not have been a Holocaust or an attempt at genocide against the Jewish people. A variation on this perverse theme is apartheid denial: by accusing Israel—which accords equal rights to all its citizens—of apartheid, these haters deny the horrors of actual apartheid, which was so much more horrible than anything Israel has ever done.
Fourth, and most dangerous, is eliminationist anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism of the kind advocated by the leaders of Iran, Hezbollah, Hamas, and ISIS. Listen to Hassan Nasrallah:
"If [the Jews] all gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of going after them worldwide" or "If we search the entire world for a person more cowardly, despicable, weak and feeble in psyche, mind, ideology and religion, we would not find anyone like the Jew. Notice I didn't say the Israeli."
These variations on the theme of anti-Semitism have several elements in common. First, they tend to engage in some form of Holocaust denial, minimization, glorification or comparative victimization. Second, they exaggerate Jewish power, money and influence. Third, they seek the delegitimation and demonization of Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people. Fourth, they impose a double standard on all things Jewish.
Finally, they nearly all deny that they are anti-Semites who hate all Jews. They claim that their hatred is directed against Israel and Jews who support the nation state of the Jewish people.
This common form of the new anti-Semitism — we love the Jews, it's only their nation state that we hate — is pervasive among many European political, media, cultural and academic leaders. It was evident even among some who came to commemorate the liberation of the death camps. A recent poll among Germans showed a significant number of the children, grandchildren and great grandchildren of Nazi supporters didn't want to hear about Nazi atrocities, but believed what Israel was doing to the Palestinians was comparable to what the Nazis had done to the Jews.
This then is the European problem of anti-Semitism that many European leaders are unwilling to confront because they have a built in excuse! It's Israel's fault — if only Israel would do the right thing with regard to the Palestinians, the problem would be solved.
Tragically, it won't be solved, because the reality is that hatred of Israel is not the cause of anti-Semitism. Rather, it is the reverse: anti-Semitism is a primary cause of hatred for the nation state of the Jewish people.
Copyright © 2015 Gatestone Institute. All rights reserved.
Anti-Semitism in the guise of delegitimization and anti-Zionism
By BARRY SHAW
The problems faced by students on campus and the problems that heads of Jewish communities are increasingly dealing with is that anti-Semitism posing as anti-Zionism is rampant worldwide
(Jerusalem Post, May 15, 2015) The Foreign Ministry staged a highly successful event in the 5th Global Forum for Combating Anti-Semitism, held in Jerusalem between May 12 and May 14.
Delegates from around the world gathered to hear an impressive array of speakers, led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The conference was intense. Even the lunches during the three days became platforms for keynote speakers including Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice chairman of the Confederation of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organization, Robert Wistrich, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat and US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro.
The third day was taken up with numerous working groups, each delegated to address specific aspects of global anti-Semitism and come up with solutions and action plans to counter this ongoing plague.
I joined the group discussing “Anti-Semitism in the Guise of Delegitimization and Anti-Zionism,” which was chaired by Mitchell Bard and Dr. Pascal Markowicz. We were presented by a screen listing the many challenges and questions faced by everyone affected by anti-Israel activism that morphs into expressions of Jew-hatred and Israel denial.
It was clear, hearing the problems faced by students on campus to the problems that heads of Jewish communities are increasingly dealing with, that anti-Semitism posing as anti-Zionism is rampant worldwide. Participants from North and South America, Europe including the UK, South Africa and Australia, told of the challenges they are trying to counter in their countries.
True to the title of our session, it became apparent that, although we discussed in depth the difficulties that Jews abroad and Israel in general have been suffering from in recent times, the big black cloud that shadows all our concerns is the anti-Semitism linked to all aspects of the Palestinian cause. As described in my book Fighting Hamas, BDS and Anti-Semitism, its fertile roots are deeply embedded in Gaza and Ramallah. Here is the spearhead of a wider Arab malevolence against Jews rooted in their faith and political systems.
As the title of our working group suggests, this strain of anti-Semitism radiates from the Middle East into Western societies, fanned by far-left agitators, racist professors, lecturers and other voices who call and act for the delegitimization of Israel and an end to anti-Zionism. The excuse that “we don’t hate Jews, we only hate Israelis” won’t wash anymore.
We in the know are now on the case, exposing this fraud, the lie that has replaced the older canard of “I can’t be an anti-Semite, some of my best friends are Jewish.” The evidence is clear and is now being documented. It’s time the name and shame the perpetrators, and call it for what it is.
Anti-Semitism is an international crime. However, despite the efforts of major European Jewish organizations, the EU has been dodging the issue of coming up with a definition of anti-Semitism. We were witness to statements made at the Jerusalem conference by European representatives of an attempt of lumping any resolution or definition of anti-Semitism with other issues such as Islamophobia into a broader mix of “hate crimes.” We need to make the case that we deserve, especially in Europe, specific attention to our individual and collective predicament.
One important outcome of the event was a wall-to-wall affirmation that only Jews have the right to define what is, or isn’t, anti-Semitism. As one person at the conference said, just as most Americans accept that African Americans are the ones to recognize anti-black racism, it is the Jews who instinctively know, from generations of bitter experience in every culture, what anti-Semitism is.
If anti-Semitism is evil, and if the world desperately desires peace between Israel and the Palestinians, it is legitimate to demand that the United Nations, the European Union and the Arab League stop supporting the development of a national movement that has the words “Oh Muslim, there’s a Jew hiding behind me! Come out and kill him” as the cornerstone of its founding charter, as Hamas does.
It is this, together with their declared admission that the Palestinian cause is an Islamic jihadist movement that must give every reasoning mind, let alone the political representatives of Western liberal democracies, pause.
How is it possible that they invest hundreds of millions of dollars and euros in the advancement of a Palestine that will, inevitably, be a Jew-hating, Jew-denying entity? How can there be any doubt of this when Hamas’s hatred and the Palestinian Authority’s denial of the legitimacy of the Jewish state spills over into the manifestos and charters of the PLO (adopted by the PA) and the constitutional document of the Fatah Party? The aims and objectives of the Palestinian cause are blatantly defined. They are consolidated by the statements of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, he of the Holocaust denial doctorate, who denies 3,000 years of Jewish heritage and existence, rejects the Jewish state and the existence of Israel as the national home of the Jewish people as legitimated in the international treaties of the League of Nations and further enshrined in Article 80 of the United Nations Charter. In further anti-Semitic references, Abbas has declared that Palestine will be Jew-free and that any Arab selling land to a Jew will be executed.
This is part of the Palestinian anti-Semitism that denies and delegitimizes Israel.
A question that usually leaves European diplomats with a blank look in their eyes is what sort of Palestine they are trying so hard to create. Some mutter that they are working to develop institutes necessary to achieve a democratic Palestine living in peace with Israel. But they are stumped when asked what responsibility they take if Israel surrenders territory according to their demands and political pressure that results not in peaceful Palestine but a radical Hamastan? According to all Palestinian polls and elections, Hamas consistently gains the support of between 64%-78% of Palestinian society. That’s a majority every time. The latest evidence that Palestine will be Hamastan was the student elections at Bir Zeit University in April where Hamas won 26 seats compared to Fatah’s 19. It must be pointed out that Bir Zeit is not in the Gaza Strip but seven kilometers north of Ramallah, within easy reach of PA headquarters, and only 20 kilometers from Jerusalem. So a Hamas-controlled Palestine is not a possibility. It’s a certainty.
This makes the US administration and European urging for the establishment of a Jew-hating, jihadist state standing on territory belonging to a liberal democracy highly disturbing.
What is equally disturbing is the apparition of the fevered efforts of hundreds of dubious NGOs, supported politically, morally and financially by European governments. Some have politicians who are being exposed for their dislike of Jews.
Those of us active in defense of Israel against the demonization and delegitimization campaigns that use thousands of eager young European volunteers regularly witness that their Palestinian lovefest comes with an equal, if not more passionate, Israeli hatefest which leaves us wondering if Jew-hatred is not at the heart of it.
Therefore, we are entitled to ask why they adopt this aspect of Palestinian concern yet ignore the abuse of Palestinian rights at the hands of both Palestinian leaderships in Ramallah and Gaza. They also do or say nothing about Palestinians that are suffering in Arab lands. Their exaggeration of anti-Israel claims and insults is out of proportion to other world crisis points that apparently do not concern them. This obsessive behavior that targets the Jewish state points to anti-Semitism. In fact, colleagues can attest to fairly regular outbursts of anti-Jewish utterances from these NGO volunteers.
And so we see the spread and growth of anti-Semitism in the guise of delegitimization and anti-Zionism. Once, and for far too long, they claimed victory with a slogan of “Zionism is Racism” which won favor in the United Nations for 16 years until, after a prolonged struggle, it was struck down in 1991. It was struck down, but didn’t die. It is still alive and killing.
It is the anti-Zionists who are the racists. It is the Israel deniers who are the discriminators.
It is essential to define anti-Semitism as including the denial of Jewish rights to freedom of expression, freedom of religion, and the denial of Jewish rights to self-determination as enshrined in internationally binding documents.
The delegitimization of Israel and the attempt to deprive the Jews, and only the Jewish people, of the right to self-determination and nationhood is anti-Semitism.
(These are the personal reflections of the author and not the official positions of the working group or the Israeli government.) The author is the consultant on delegitimization issues to the Strategic Dialogue Center at Netanya Academic College and the author of Fighting Hamas, BDS and Anti-Semitism.
All rights reserved © 1995 - 2015 The Jerusalem Post.
Washington: European anti-Israel sentiment crossed the line into anti-Semitism
By SAM SOKOL
France experienced a 101% increase in anti-Semitic acts last year, says report.
(Jerusalem Post, October 15, 2015) Last summer’s European “wave of anti-Israel sentiments... crossed the line into anti-Semitism,” the US State Department declared in its annual report on international religious freedom.
The annual report, which covered issues of religious freedom worldwide over the course of 2014, was released Wednesday in Washington by Secretary of State John Kerry and US ambassador for religious freedom Rabbi David Saperstein.
The surge in anti-Semitism in Western Europe last year “left many pondering the viability of Jewish communities in some countries,” the report said.
Asked by a reporter how he determined the dividing line between anti-Israel and anti-Semitic sentiments, Saperstein replied that while criticism of any nation is appropriate, the difference is “right on the cusp of that line when it holds one country to different standards than it would hold any other country.”
“Where it has often crossed the line is when groups try to argue that Israel is an inherently illegal state and doesn’t have a right to exist as a Jewish state here and takes actions to delegitimize those fundamental rights,” he said.
“Normally we think of that as the denial of rights to a person that are given to other similarly situated people, or the imposition of obligations on a person not applied to other people. We normally think of that as racism. And this, in the minds of many, feels that when it steps over that line, that it constitutes anti-Semitic activity and not just anti-legitimate discourse about Israel’s policies.”
According to the report, last year France experienced a 101-percent increase in anti-Semitic acts, including “numerous cases of physical violence against the Jewish community where individuals were targeted and beaten and synagogues were fire bombed.”
This led to an upswing in emigration, with 7,231 people making aliya, up from 3,293 in 2013.
The report cited multiple events, including the burning of a kosher grocery in Sarcelles linked to anti-Israel protests at which both anti-Israel and anti-Semitic sentiments were voiced.
In another incident cited by report, this time in Essen in Germany, anti-Israel demonstrators chanted “Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the gas” at a demonstration and protesters attempted to burn down a synagogue.
Sworn in as ambassador in February, Saperstein, the former director of the Religious Action Center for Reform Judaism, was the first Jew to hold his post.
He had been a member of Obama’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships from 2010 to 2011. He also was a member of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom from 1999 to 2001.
Speaking at his swearing-in ceremony, Saperstein touched on the same issue that came up this week. "Even in Western Europe,"he said, “we are witnessing a steady increase in anti-Muslim acts and rhetoric and anti-Semitic discourse and acts of desecration and violence against Jewish individuals, synagogues and institutions and communities that we thought we would never, never see again after World War II.”
Michael Wilner contributed to this report.
Copyright © 2015 Jpost Inc. All rights reserved
[Note: Antisemitism was cloaking itself as Anti-Zionism even before the creation of modern Israel. Read on!]
Anti-Semitism as anti-Zionism, circa 1946 APRIL 28, 2016
BLOGGER Norman Goda
Seventy years ago this month, a committee of 12 scholars and statesmen completed an 80-page report that is all but forgotten today. The Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry Regarding the Problems of European Jewry and Palestine, consisting of six British and six American members, was a British idea.
Under pressure from President Harry Truman to allow 100,000 Jewish survivors in Europe’s DP camps to emigrate to the British Mandate, Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin proposed the joint committee as a way to outflank the White House. Between January and March 1946, the Committee heard testimony in Washington, London, numerous sites in Europe, the Arab capitals, and Jerusalem. Bevin was sure that a sense of Britain’s strategic realities in the Middle East — its dependence on bases and oil for instance — would bring the US members to shy away from antagonizing the Arab world. To ensure the desired outcome, however, the British helped to establish a global anti-Zionist narrative that bled into anti-Semitism, all in the shadow of the Jewish world’s greatest catastrophe.
Jewish witnesses in Washington, London, Europe, and Jerusalem were aggressively cross-examined by British committee members. It was pointless, the British argued, for the Jews to rehash the recent history of pogroms or the Shoah. These were irrelevant. Rather, Jewish speakers had to show how more Jews could be put in [British-administered Mandatory] Palestine without causing an uproar, and why most could not simply return to Poland, Romania, and so on. Thus in Washington, when Joseph Schwartz of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee discussed the recent Krakow pogrom to demonstrate that the Jewish place in Poland was over, British committee chairman Sir John Singleton laconically countered, “History shows, doesn’t it, that in every country where there has been persecution, the people have come back.” Even in Poland, after speaking with Adolf Berman, a former Warsaw Ghetto leader, British committee members asked “whether friction was being caused by returning Jews asking for restitution of their property.”
Similarly, British committee members lost patience with Jews who insisted that Palestine had the space and economic potential such that Arabs and Jews could live at peace. Economist Robert Nathan argued that a properly developed economy in Palestine could accommodate up to a million Jews, thus raising the living standard of everyone. “Is it your view,” Singleton asked, “that the acquisition of more land by the Jews would increase the friendship between Arabs and Jews? . . . [It] doesn’t seem that it would tend toward a solution.”
Singleton was especially tough on British Jews. He lectured British Zionist leader Sir Simon Marks that further Jewish development in Palestine would lead to another war, “and if it did result in trouble, the course having been taken at the request of the Jews, do you think that . . . the lot of the Jews would be happier than it was in the last [war]?” Marks answered: “It could not be worse.”
To ensure that the Arab world was properly heard, the committee solicited Arab testimony in Washington, London, Cairo, Jerusalem, Beirut, Damascus, Baghdad, and Riyadh. Arab speakers attempted to straddle a moral line. Overt anti-Semitism was to be avoided. The Nazis, after all, had recently discredited racism. Instead, they attempted to turn the tables, attacking Zionism as an imperialist and racist political doctrine, very much akin to Nazism itself. Keeping the Jews from Palestine thus was painted as a noble act of tolerance in a post-imperial world.
But the imagined line between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitic tropes could not be maintained. Representatives of the Institute for Arab American Affairs, an organization founded in the US in 1944 to counter so-called Jewish propaganda there, testified in Washington. Princeton Professor Philip Hitti [a Christian Arab] testified that “political Zionism is the rankest kind of imperialism.” The Institute’s director, Khalil Totah, added that trouble caused by Zionism “has spread just like the plague, just like the measles, and just like any other disease.” The Cairo hearings in March 1946 were more carefully choreographed. Richard Crossman, a British member of the Committee remembered that “[the] Arabs were determined not to submit to the detailed cross-questioning, which we had used in dealing with the Zionist spokesman. Their purpose was to deliver to the Committee, as a ritual act, a statement of the Arab attitude, and to make it clear to us that this statement could not be modified. . . .” Thus Habib Bourguiba of Tunisia — a country where the Nazis had persecuted and murdered Jews just three years earlier — insisted that “[It] is for the Jews to change themselves, to change certain contentions that they hold which make them offensive sometimes to the locality where they live.”
Yet the climax of the committee’s work came in Jerusalem. For much of March 1946, committee members heard testimony while touring Jewish settlements and Arab towns. They listened to Zionist leaders such as Chaim Weizmann, David Ben-Gurion, Moshe Sharett, and Golda Meir, all of whom pressed for liberalized immigration, and all of whom predicted that Jews and Arabs would live together in a Jewish state while raising political and economic standards throughout the Middle East. But also there — in spirit anyway — was the grand mufti of Jerusalem Haj Amin al-Husseini, who had collaborated with the Nazis during the war and who was now living in exile in Paris. His cousin Jamal testified in his stead. “Anti-Semitism,” Jamal insisted, “is really our calamity . . . because had there been no anti-Semitism . . . the Jews would not have come to Palestine.” He compared Ben-Gurion’s testimony to “hearing Hitler from beyond the grave.” When asked what might happen should the British quit the Mandate, Jamal answered obliquely that “the whole situation will be turned to what it had been before the First World War.” Other Arab speakers played their part. Ahmad al-Shuqayri, later the first chairman of the PLO [Palestine Liberation Organization], lamented Jewish control of the global media and economy: “We have not the gigantic financial enterprises of Wall Street in New York and the City of London to lure consciences and direct minds.” Albert Hourani [a Christian Arab], later a distinguished historian, said there could be no compromise with the Jews. No more could come; those remaining had to behave as a docile minority or leave.
Following three months of travel and testimony, the committee retreated to Lausanne, where for three weeks in April, they hammered out their report. It was officially published on May 1, 1946, but the outlines leaked earlier. The British members had expected joint recommendations for continued immigration restrictions and the dismantling of the Jewish Agency and the Haganah. Yet the US members — impressed by the urgency of Jewish survivors, Jewish development in Palestine, and Arab intransigence — insisted that Truman’s call for 100,000 immigration certificates for Palestine be honored, and they threatened to leave and write their own report if the recommendation was not made. To preserve Anglo-American unity, the British angrily agreed, thus ending the tight restrictions on immigration imposed by the 1939 White Paper. Or so it seemed. London postponed implementation under a blizzard of delays, procedural requirements, and imagined political solutions. Illegal immigration and Jewish insurgency in Palestine intensified. As its hold on Palestine weakened over the next months and into 1947, London turned Palestine over to the UN.
In the meantime, the committee’s work is worth remembering. For three months, most everyone who was anyone with a stake in Palestine provided extensive written and spoken opinions on the Jewish plight in Europe, the Zionist project, and great power politics in the Middle East. These are telling testimonies indeed for divining how Jews, Arabs, and strategic thinkers imagined the confluence of the Jewish Question and Middle Eastern politics in the wake of the Holocaust itself. Yet the furor with which the Arab world greeted the report is also telling. On the report’s publication, the US legation in Damascus received anonymous death threats. Syrian president Shukri al-Quwatli excused his countrymen to the US minister George Wadsworth: “We fear,” he explained, “the great influence wielded by Jews everywhere, notably [in the] United States. [C]an you not see that, while Muslims and Christians can work together, it is abnormal that either should make common cause with Jews? They have always been troublemakers; our Koran inveighs against them specifically.”
Even as Adolf Hitler’s top subordinates were being tried at Nuremberg, a new blend of anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism was taking hold elsewhere. All who adopted it had their reasons. For London, the fusion was a pragmatic answer to an insoluble and frustrating political constellation; for the Arab world it explained, or seemed to, everything from Jewish misery in Europe to what were still, in retrospect, modest changes in the Middle East. Yet the confluence of Holocaust-minimization (and now denial), the blaming of the Jews themselves for anti-Semitism, and the dressing of anti-Semitic rhetoric in the noble garb of anti-colonialism and anti-nationalism has deep roots indeed.
Norman J.W. Goda is the Braman Professor of Holocaust Studies at the University of Florida. He is the lead editor of To the Gates of Jerusalem: The Diaries and Papers of James G. McDonald, 1945-1947 (Indiana University Press in association with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, 2014).
© 2016 THE TIMES OF ISRAEL, All rights reserved
[Note: After the rise of its Israel-hating leader, many members of Britain’s Labor Party are not even bothering to disguise their Antisemitism as Anti-Zionism. Read on!]
Column One: More than is absolutely necessary
By CAROLINE B. GLICK
The first reason for the uproar over Jew-hatred is that the party is led by Jeremy Corbyn, a man who, at minimum, has a marked, longstanding affection for anti-Semites and respect for their bigotry.
(Jerusalem Post, May 5, 2016) The strangest aspect of the current hullabaloo in Britain about anti-Semitism in the Labor Party is that it is happening at all. Since when has Jew-hatred been something that Labor feels it necessary to abhor? For more than a decade, the party, like the British Left from whence it emanates, has provided a warm home for Jew-haters.
Naz Shah, the Labor MP who set off the alarms with her call to deport the more than six million Jews of Israel to America, has a rich history of Jew-hating. Shah entered parliament by unseating George Galloway.
Galloway was expelled from the Labor Party in 2003 after he called for British soldiers to refuse to follow orders in Iraq and sided with Saddam Hussein against his own country.
But Galloway’s hatred for Britain pales in comparison to his hatred for Jews. During Operation Protective Edge in 2014, Galloway banned Israelis from entering his electoral district in Bradford.
He routinely makes explicit calls for the annihilation of Israel. And for several years now, Galloway refuses to share a stage with Israelis or with Jews who do not reject Israel’s right to exist.
Shah didn’t defeat Galloway by condemning his bigotry. She defeated him by embracing it.
As Nick Cohen wrote this week in The Guardian, a politician cannot be elected in electoral districts with large Muslim populations unless he is an anti-Semite.
Cohen recalled the case of former Liberal Democrat MP David Ward who posted anti-Semitic tweets on Twitter to prove his anti-Jewish bona fides.
Among other things, after the jihadist assaults last January in Paris, Ward wrote, “Je Suis Palestinian” on his Twitter account, while failing to condemn the massacre of Jews at the Hyper Cacher market in Paris.
Anti-Semitism in Labor is not a new or fringe phenomenon. In the 2005 parliamentary elections, when then-prime minister Tony Blair was running for a third term, the party was caught twice using anti-Semitic imagery in its campaign literature.
In the first instance, Conservative leaders Michael Howard and Oliver Letwin – both Jews – were portrayed as fat flying pigs.
In the second, Howard was portrayed as Fagin, Charles Dickens’s anti-Semitic caricature of a Jew in Oliver Twist.
In other words, more than a decade ago, when Labor was led by a man widely considered bereft of anti-Semitic sentiments and sympathetically disposed to Israel, the party used anti-Semitism to reach out to anti-Semitic Muslim voters, signaling them that they had a welcoming home in Labor.
Three years ago, Mehdi Hasan, a Muslim British writer, acknowledged that anti-Semitism is “rampant” in the British Muslim community. Writing in the New Statesman, Hasan said, “anti-Semitism isn’t just tolerated in some sections of the British Muslim community; it’s routine and commonplace.”
Hasan cited as an example the Jew baiting of Lord Nazir Ahmed, from the Labor Party. Ahmed is considered, apparently rightly, a sterling example of Britain’s success in integrating its Muslim citizens into its society. And yet, while he may speak Oxford English, Ahmed is a raving anti-Semite.
In 2012, Ahmed was convicted of reckless driving for running over and killing a pedestrian while sending text messages. He was sent to prison for three months for his crime. In an interview with a Pakistani television station, Ahmed blamed his indictment and conviction on the Jews.
But again, anti-Semitism in Labor’s ranks is not a new phenomenon. So what explains the current outrage over it? Why is it suddenly of interest? There are two apparent reasons that everyone is currently professing shock about something they have known about for years. And these reasons make clear that the current uproar will lead to no real reckoning with the problem.
The first reason for the uproar over Jew-hatred is that the party is led by Jeremy Corbyn, a man who, at a minimum, has a marked, longstanding affection for anti-Semites and respect for their bigotry.
Ahead of Corbyn’s landslide victory in Labor’s leadership race last September, Britain’s Jewish Chronicle detailed his long history of joining hands with leading Holocaust deniers, terrorists and anti-Jewish terrorism supporters. Corbyn referred to Hamas and Hezbollah terrorists as his “friends.”
Corbyn is a leader of the Israel boycott campaign in Britain. A month before his election, he led a BDS demonstration outside a soccer stadium in Wales protesting the fact that Israel’s national team was playing in Cardiff.
This week, at a parliamentary face-off with Corbyn, Prime Minister David Cameron repeatedly demanded that Corbyn take back his characterization of Hamas and Hezbollah terrorists as his “friends.”
Corbyn refused each time, sufficing with doublespeak and attempts to change the subject.
That confrontation took place as Thursday’s mayoral elections in London loomed near.
As he refused to denounce Hamas and Hezbollah, Corbyn demanded that Cameron denounce criticisms of Labor’s mayoral candidate Sadiq Khan sounded by his Conservative colleagues.
Rather than taking the bait, Cameron noted that Khan has longstanding ties with and sympathy for jihadists. Khan defended the ringleader of the July 7, 2005, jihadist massacres in London.
Khan has been an outspoken champion of jihadists imprisoned in Britain and Guantanamo. He wrote sympathetically of Islamic State murderers on his social media postings.
And Thursday he was poised to be elected mayor of London.
When Labor was led by David Miliband, Gordon Brown and of course, by Blair, every time complaints surfaced about anti-Semitism in the party, they easily swept them under the rug by bragging about their personal sympathy for Israel and close ties with Britain’s Jewish community.
With Corbyn at the helm, it is more difficult to wave off concerns with a smile and a visit to a synagogue.
The other reason that Labor’s longstanding Jew-hatred is suddenly headline news is that the old British definition of an anti-Semite still holds.
As far as the British polite classes are concerned, an anti-Semite remains someone who hates Jews more than is absolutely necessary.
Shah crossed the line when she called for the mass expulsion of Israelis to America. Livingstone revealed that he hates Jews more than is absolutely necessary when, rushing to Shah’s defense, he insisted that Hitler was a Zionist.
The two senior Labor politicians’ hateful remarks exposed the dirty secret of leftist Jew-haters in Britain and throughout the Western world.
They revealed that their hatred for the State of Israel is just a dressed-up version of age-old Jew-hatred. For more than a generation, we have been told that libeling IDF soldiers and Israeli political leaders as Nazis is legitimate criticism of Israel. Boycotting Jewish-made Israeli products, the Western Left insists, isn’t racist. It is simply a means to protest Israel’s ill treatment of Palestinians.
But here you have two leftist politicians who spoke like Nazis and defended Hitler. And that was just a bridge too far, even for the BBC that generally backs their libelous claims against Israel.
Disseminators of socially acceptable anti-Semitism are usually more careful. There’s Jew-hatred, which is calling for Jews to go to the gas chambers.
And there’s constructive criticism of Israel which involves calling for Zionists to be hounded out of the public square.
Apparently, in the general anti-Semitic glee over Corbyn’s rise to power, people started getting sloppy. As their leader, Corbyn knows he needs to teach them how to clean up their game.
This is where the committee he formed to investigate anti-Semitism in his “anti-racist” party comes into play.
Following heavy media pressure, Corbyn formed a committee to investigate anti-Semitism in his party. According to Labor’s press release, Corbyn instructed its members to draw up a “code of conduct” that will include guidance on “acceptable behavior and use of language.”
In other words, he wants to remind them to stick to the code – Zionists bad. Jews good.
If that wasn’t enough to tip his intentions, the people Corbyn appointed to serve on his committee give up the game.
The committee’s vice chairman is Prof. David Feldman. Feldman is a member of the anti-Zionist group Independent Jewish Voices.
That outfit, which operates outside Britain’s Jewish community, rushed to publish a statement rejecting the notion that Labor has an anti-Semitism problem and insisting that there is a distinction between anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism.
Actually Corbyn’s appointment of Feldman serves another, more troubling, end as well.
His elevation of a man who has made a name for himself defaming Israel and the British Jewish community for supporting Israel is not a coincidence.
It follows a pattern of Labor members elevating radical Jews to marginalize British Jewry.
Consider the activities of Oxford University’s Labor Student Club.
This past February Alex Chalmers, co-chairman of the club, caused a stir when he resigned his position claiming that he couldn’t abide the anti-Semitism rampant in the party’s ranks.
Following Chalmers’s resignation, Aaron Simons, former leader of Oxford’s Jewish Society, published an article in The Guardian where he reported that one of the goals of the anti-Semitic Labor student club members is to force pro-Israel Jewish students out of campus life.
Simons told of one Labor member who “stated that all Jews should be expected to publicly denounce Zionism and the State of Israel and that we should not associate with any Jew that fails to do so.”
Simons reported that another party member allegedly “organized a group of students to harass a Jewish student and to shout ‘Filthy Zionist’ whenever they saw her.”
Corbyn’s moves to discipline Shah, Livingstone and an additional 50 party members for their expressions of anti-Jewish bigotry also indicate that he has no intention of fighting anti-Semitism.
Corbyn suspended their party membership. He didn’t expel them from the party. He didn’t bar them from serving in leadership positions in the future. The duration of their suspensions is undefined.
And there is little reason to believe that it will extend beyond the headlines. Once this story is forgotten, they will likely be reinstated.
When London residents set out to vote for their next mayor on Thursday morning, it worked out that polling places in north London, home to the largest concentration of Jews in the city, were sent the wrong voter lists. As a result, hundreds of people, including Britain’s Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis and his wife, Valerie, were prohibited from voting.
All the relevant authorities insisted that it was simply a technical mistake. Two-and-a-half hours later, the proper voter rolls arrived and residents were permitted to vote.
Maybe they were telling the truth.
But with Britain’s second largest party, the largest party in London, embracing Jew-hatred and deliberately undermining the ability of British Jewry to freely defend its Zionist values, there is no reason to take their statements at face value.
Copyright © 2016 Jpost Inc. All rights reserved
[The New York Times inadvertently proves that anti-Zionism = Antisemitism when it publishes an anti-Israel cartoon that employs numerous Antisemitic tropes. Read on!]
The New York Times International Edition ran a
cartoon on Thursday of an apparently blind US President Donald Trump wearing
a yarmulke being led by a dog with a Star of David for a collar and the face
of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
In the NYTimes
international: Bibi Netanyahu characterized as a dog leading a blind, Jewish
An Editors' Note to appear in Monday’s international edition.
Copyright © 2019 Jpost Inc. All rights reserved
[Note: In my opinion, the reason that anti-Israel cartoons usually employ Antisemitic tropes is that the most effective way to make the cartoonist’s audience despise Israel is to remind that audience that Israel is the nation-state of the Jewish people, i.e., that it is a nation populated and ruled by Jews. Without using these tropes, it is very difficult for the cartoonist to incite hatred against Israel, as such hatred is primarily fueled by the Antisemitism invoked by these tropes.]
The antisemitic cartoon that ran in the New York
Times international edition was not printed by accident. It comes in
the context of historic antisemitism that is common across western Europe and
is part of more than a thousand years of anti-Jewish stereotypes and
caricatures. The cartoon originally was drawn by a cartoonist who is known
for his work at a Portuguese media outlet. Cartoons similar to this that have
appeared in European newspapers have not led to the kind of controversy that
the New York Times cartoon did.
In 2016 author Mario Vargas llosa
wrote an article condemning Israel in El Pais. The illustrative
photo showed a man dressed in a black hat, of the kind worn by religious
Jews, with a blindfold, as if he was “blind” to the suffering of
Palestinians. Anti-Jewish caricatures and tropes, conflating
Israel with all Jews and using images of religious Jews whenever Israel is
condemned, or Jewish symbols such as the Star of David, are too often the
norm in cartoons and illustrations in Europe. Unlike with the New
York Times controversy where these images and caricatures and tropes
were at least questioned, they appear consistently across Europe and rarely
lead to the kind of controversy that the Times has elicited.
For instance the cartoonist behind the New York
Times cartoon appears on a website called ‘Cartooning for Peace.’
One of the other cartoons from 2006 depicted on the website shows a foot with
an American flag for pants
and a Star of David as spurs. The Star of David is dripping blood.
Why is it dripping blood? Why is the US depicted wearing spurs of a Jewish
symbol? Next to the Star of David is another leg with an Islamic crescent.
The cartoon’s symbolism appears to imply: The Jews are the US weapon against
In 2003 the UK’s Independent was accused
of antisemitism for a cartoon showing Israeli Prime
Minister Ariel Sharon eating children. In 2008 in Italy a cartoonist drew a
caricature of Jewish politician Fiamma Nirenstien with a Star of David and “fascist symbols”
that appeared in a left-wing publication. In Austria a politician in 2012
posted a photo of a banker with a hooked nose and Star of David “gorging himself at the expense of a
thin man representing ‘the people.’”
In 2013 Norway’s Dahbladet ran
a cartoon depicting Jews torturing children which was supposedly a critique of circumcision.In
Sweden the newspaper Aftonbladet ran a cartoon in 2014 showing two Orthodox Jews with a Star of David
and the commentary “Hitler gassed the wrong Jews.” They removed the cartoon.
In Germany in 2018 the Suddeutsche
Zeitung also pulled a cartoon after it showed Benjamin Netanyahu
dressed as Eurovision winner Netta Barzilai throwing
bombs at a Eurovision audience and the Eurovision V symbol replaced with a
Star of David.
In Belgium a school teacher entered Iran’s “Holocaust
cartoon contest” in 2016 drawing an image of a wall in Israel with the Nazi slogan “work makes
you free (Arbeit Macht Frei)” on it.
the youth group of Switzerland’s Social Democratic party ran a
cartoon showing the Swiss Economy Minister “feeding” a large Orthodox Jew who
is labelled the “international finance lobby.” The group apologized.
This isn’t a “trope,” it is a historic form of antisemitism where European antisemitism blames Jews for all the world’s problems. They single out one of the smallest minorities in the world and always blame them. When they can’t blame the Jews they use Jewish symbols to imply the US is controlled by Jews.
Copyright © 2019 Jpost Inc. All rights reserved
[In Europe and in the United States, hatred of Israel = hatred of Jews]
Germany’s lessons for BDS
The discussion of Israel in Germany has historically been filtered through the experience of the Holocaust, which perhaps makes Germans more sensitive to the rising anti-Semitism around them.
(August 28, 2020 / JNS) Three incidents in three different countries during the last week graphically illustrated the ease with which anti-Zionism can serve as a vehicle for anti-Semitism.
In the Austrian city of Graz, the president of the Jewish community, Elie Rosen, was assaulted by a Syrian Islamist outside the synagogue. Fortunately, he escaped unscathed. The attack occurred after Rosen warned in the media of an atmosphere of “left-wing and anti-Israel anti-Semitism” in Graz—a comment he made after the words “Free Palestine” were found on the synagogue’s outer wall. The culprit responsible for that act of vandalism was the same man who returned to the synagogue a few days later to attack Rosen.
In Kenosha, Wis., the same “Free Palestine” slogan was painted on the driveway of the Beth Hillel Temple during a Black Lives Matter protest sparked by the police shooting of Jacob Blake, another black man. Had the synagogue been sprayed with the letters “BLM,” as was the case with the Christ the King Church nearby, then this would have been interpreted as an act of protest, not anti-Semitism. But instead, an institution that serves the local Jewish community specifically was chosen as the target for a message urging the destruction of the Jewish state.
And in Strasbourg, France, a young Jewish graffiti artist working on a project for the local city council was accosted by two seething men who objected to the appearance of the word “Israel,” among a host of other cities and countries, on the T-shirt he was wearing. After haranguing and jostling the Jewish man, one of the pair grabbed one of the paint cans, wrote the words “Forbidden to Jews” on the ground and sauntered off, having utterly humiliated the victim. All this took place, incidentally, on rue Leon Blum—a street named after the French Socialist who became his country’s first Jewish Prime Minister.
Incidents and outrages such as these give the lie to the claim that anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism can be neatly separated from each other, with the former understood as political solidarity with the oppressed Palestinian Arabs and the latter understood as hatred towards Jews qua Jews. In all three cases outlined above, it was the Jewish nature of Israel that provided the rationale for attacking Jews with Austrian, French and American citizenship. That identification marks the singular contribution of today’s anti-Zionists to the ongoing adaptation of classical anti-Semitism.
Which brings me to what is still the main aim of anti-Zionist activists—subjecting Israel to a regime of boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS) as a prelude to its dissolution as a sovereign entity. Over the two decades that the Jewish community has been countering this campaign, the suggestion that Jews deliberately conflate “criticism of Israel” with “anti-Semitism” has frequently been offered up by BDS advocates and their defenders in a bid to convince the uninitiated that their opposition to Israel’s existence as a Jewish state is free of the taint of racism.
This back and forth has occurred in most Western countries where the BDS movement has gained a foothold. One of the more interesting varieties of this debate has emerged in Germany, where the contention that goods of Jewish origin are deserving of a boycott sounds especially discordant.
In a new monograph for the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies (FDD), Benjamin Weinthal—a journalist who has been based in Berlin for many years (and, full disclosure, a personal friend and colleague)—examines the period from 2012, when the first proposals for labeling produce from Israeli communities in the West Bank emerged, to 2019, when the Bundestag, Germany’s parliament, passed a milestone resolution deeming the “arguments and methods” of the BDS movement as anti-Semitic.
Here is Weinthal’s explanation of that resolution’s significance. “The Bundestag resolution had few tangible effects, since it was not legally binding,” he writes. “Yet it challenged the BDS campaign’s portrayal of itself as an advocate for human rights and an opponent of prejudice. While the resolution made points similar to those offered by the campaign’s other critics, it endowed such arguments with the moral weight of Germany’s efforts to grapple with its own history of anti-Semitism.”
On the surface of that history is the slogan Kauft nicht bei Juden! (“Don’t buy from Jews!”), brandished by Nazi thugs in the 1930s as they blockaded Jewish-owned stores in Germany that were eventually consumed in flames during the pogrom of November 1938. As Weinthal’s paper makes clear, discussion of Israel in Germany has historically been filtered through the experience of the Holocaust, which perhaps makes Germans relatively more sensitive to the rising anti-Semitism around them now. He quotes German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s agonized observation in 2019—“There is to this day not a single synagogue, not a single daycare center for Jewish children, not a single school for Jewish children that does not need to be guarded by German policemen”—noting that within this context, “opposition to BDS began to mount.”
Weinthal does not claim that the battle against BDS in Germany has been won, and he offers some policy proposals of his own in this regard. But he does make the critical argument that “the BDS campaign has gained little traction on the German left compared to other Western European countries. Indeed, Germany is a rare case in which the left is also home to pro-Israel voices that arose after the collapse of the Berlin Wall.”
Since the BDS movement elsewhere in Europe and in the United States regards the left as its primary constituency, Germany’s experience is worth further exploration in this regard. As Weinthal says, its “blunting of the BDS campaign, particularly amidst an alarming rise in global anti-Semitism, is a sign that the country has learned some difficult lessons from its past.” Those are lessons that need to be imparted to the rest of the world.
Ben Cohen is a New York City-based journalist and author who writes a weekly column on Jewish and international affairs for JNS.
As to commentary and insertion of clarifying brackets [ ] only: © Mark Rosenblit