By Robin Davis | Countercurrents | June 6, 2009
It has always been those few who can see through the political correctness and hypocrisy of popular attitudes who are considered dangerous.
“Holocaust denial laws” are now in place in about a dozen countries. Defenders of these laws claim that the expression of unconventional views about the Jewish genocide is “hate speech” and “incitement to violence” and therefore must be suppressed.
But history shows the greatest purveyors of lies, hatred and incitement to violence are those with the power to spread their poison by manipulating popular opinion via the control or complicity of the mass media. Through a purposefully constructed lens of political correctness the despicable becomes normal. It is by this insidious process that tyrants make it normal and acceptable to murder those whom they consider threatening or inferior. We have only to turn on the television to see that process at work.
It is not the unpopular views we should fear but the popular.
When the suppression of free speech serves no purpose other than to silence unconventional opinions we should be alarmed. We should be even more alarmed when to question oppressive laws is to risk vilification, in this case by the smear of “Holocaust denier” and “anti-Semite”.
Appropriation of the term “The Holocaust” to the Nazi extermination of the Jews minimises the significance of other genocides, including those that are happening right now. Should these crimes also be closed to opinions that question the accuracy of the official “truth”?
Stifling open discussion and debate also does an injustice to the other millions of victims of the Nazi concentration camps: the Roma, Blacks, Polish and Russian prisoners, Jehovah’s Witnesses, homosexuals and the mentally and physically disabled. It sidelines the slave labourers starved, beaten and worked to death in German war industries and the horrors suffered by anyone expressing anti-Nazi views.
It is likely that most people regard the real deniers of the Jewish genocide – the ones who say the extermination crimes never happened at all – in the same light as those who espouse any number of other oddball ideas. Do we need laws to protect us from those who make obviously unsupportable claims?
The real threat posed by “deniers” is that others might be influenced to undertake serious study and uncover embarrassing facts that would refute Israel’s “victim” status. This would threaten Israel’s moral legitimacy, underpinned by the world’s collective shame for looking the other way. All it takes to invoke that shame is the term anti-Semite, either stated or implied.
But opinions that question the widely accepted WWII Jewish genocide history are not anti-Semitic any more than opinions that question the accepted history of the Ukraine genocide (1) are anti-Russian. That we are led to label any deviation from the official history as “Holocaust denial” and “Holocaust denial” as anti-Semitism is no accident. It has come about by the same semantic sleight of hand that would have us believe anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism are one and the same. They are not.
Many Christians are Zionists while many Jews throughout the world, perhaps even the majority, are anti-Zionist. Anti-Zionism has nothing to do with persecution of the Jews. It is simply anti-racism and anti-colonialism as applied to the occupation of Palestine and the subjugation of its indigenous population. (2)
When anyone goes to great lengths to stifle open inquiry and debate on any subject, alarm bells should ring. Invariably the motivation is suppression of uncomfortable truths. The uncomfortable truth of the Jewish genocide is that millions of lives would certainly have been saved had it been the priority of the Zionist leadership to save them. Their priority instead was establishment of the state of Israel. And then, as now, the suffering of Europe’s Jews and the world’s collective guilt was exploited to that end. (3)
Ironically, when millions of refugees were trying to escape from Europe before the war, and even while the genocide was in progress, prominent leaders of the Zionist movement were “Holocaust deniers”. When the truth could no longer remain hidden, the Zionist leadership opposed attempts to save the European Jews through financial and humanitarian aid and emigration. The exception was migration to Palestine, and even the relative few who were saved were selected not according to their plight but according to their perceived value to the future state of Israel.
One proposal by 270 members of the British Parliament, as a part of diplomatic negotiations with Germany during the height of the killings, was to evacuate 500,000 Jews from Europe and resettle them in British colonies. This offer was rejected by the Zionist leaders with the observation, “Only to Palestine!” (3)
It is clear from the statements and actions of the Zionist leadership that they considered the suffering of the European Jews advantageous in securing future international support for the establishment of the Zionist state.
Shocking? That uncomfortable truth is well documented for those who care or dare to study the subject.
Throughout history Jews, like many other minorities, have indeed been persecuted, but the modern state of Israel never was the victim. Since its inception it has been the coloniser, aggressor, tormentor and oppressor. Exploiting the memory of Hitler’s victims to perpetuate the myth of “victim Israel” is cynical. To do so while attacking its neighbours and inflicting Nazi-style state terrorism, apartheid and genocide on the Palestinians is cynical in the extreme.
While “deniers” are jailed for expressing unacceptable views, the real criminals – those responsible for the agony and death of millions – manipulate popular opinion to make crimes against humanity, war crimes, contempt for international law and indifference to human suffering seem normal and acceptable. And they do so with impunity.
Robin Davis lives in Victoria, Australia. He is a freelance writer and graphic designer. He can be contacted at: email@example.com
The Shoah as State Religion?
Paris – The campaign by the French government, mass media and influential organizations to silence the Franco-Cameroonese humorist Dieudonné M’Bala M’Bala continues to expose a radical split in perception within the French population. The official “mobilization” against the standup comedian, first called for by Interior Minister Manuel Valls at a ruling Socialist Party gathering last summer, portrays the entertainer as a dangerous anti-Semitic rabble rouser, whose “quenelle”* gesture is interpreted as a “Nazi salute in reverse”.
For his fans and supporters, those accusations are false and absurd.
The most significant result of the Dieudonné uproar so far is probably the dawning realization, among more and more people, that the “Shoah”, or Holocaust, functions as the semi-official State Religion of France.
On RTL television last January 10, the well-known nonconformist commentator Eric Zemmour (who happens to be Jewish) observed that it was “grotesque and ridiculous” to associate Dieudonné with the Third Reich. Zemmour described Dieudonné as a product of the French left’s multiculturalism. “It’s the left that has taught us since May ’68 that it is prohibited to prohibit, that we must shock the bourgeois. It is the left that has turned the Shoah into the supreme religion of the Republic…”
Zemmour suggested that Dieudonné was provoking “the respectable left-wing bourgeoisie” and that he “reproaches Jews for wanting to conserve the monopoly of suffering and steal primacy in suffering from descendants of slavery”.
There is more than that at stake. Reminders of the Shoah serve indirectly to justify France’s increasingly pro-Israel foreign policy in the Middle East. Dieudonné opposed the war against Libya enough to go there to show his solidarity with the country being bombed by NATO.
Dieudonné began his career as a militant anti-racist. Instead of apologizing for his 2003 sketch mocking an “extreme Zionist settler”, Dieudonné retorted by gradually extending his sphere of humor to cover the Shoah. The campaign against him can be seen as an effort to restore the sacred character of the Shoah by enforcing repression of a contemporary form of blasphemy.
To confirm this impression, on January 9 an “historic” agreement was reached between the Paris Prosecutor’s Office and the French Shoah Memorial that any teenager found guilty of anti-Semitism may be sentenced to undergo a course of “sensitivity to the extermination of the Jews”. Studying genocide is supposed to teach them “republican values of tolerance and respect for others”.
This is perhaps exactly what they don’t need. The Prosecutor’s Office may be unaware of all the young people who are saying that they have had too much, rather than not enough, Shoah education.
An atypical article in Le Monde of January 8 cited opinions anyone can easily hear from French youth, but which are usually ignored. After interviewing ten left-leaning, middle class spectators who denied any anti-Semitism, Soren Seelow quoted Nico, a 22-year-old left-voting law student at the Sorbonne, who adores Dieudonné for “liberating” laughter in what he considers a stuffy conformist society of “good thoughts”. As for the Shoah, Nico complained that “they’ve been telling us about it since elementary school. When I was 12, I saw a film with bulldozers pushing bodies into ditches. We are subjected to a guilt-inducing morality from the earliest age.”
In addition to history courses, teachers organize commemorations of the Shoah and trips to Auschwitz. Media reminders of the Shoah are almost daily. Unique in French history, the so-called Gayssot law provides that any statement denying or minimizing the Shoah can be prosecuted and even lead to prison.
Scores of messages received from French citizens in response to my earlier article as well as private conversations make it clear to me that reminders of the Shoah are widely experienced by people born decades after the defeat of Nazism as invitations to feel guilty or at least uncomfortable for crimes they did not commit. Like many demands for solemnity, the Shoah can be felt as a subject that imposes uneasy silence. Laughter is then felt as liberation.
But for others, such laughter can only be an abomination.
Dieudonné has been fined 8,000 euros for his song “Shoananas”, and further such condemnations are in the offing. Such lawsuits, brought primarily by LICRA (Ligue internationale contre le racisme et l’antisémitisme), also aim to wipe him out financially.
One line in the chorus against Dieudonné is that he is “no longer a comedian” but has turned his shows into “anti-Semitic political meetings” which spread “hatred”. Even the distant New Yorker magazine has accused the humorist of making a career out of peddling “hatred”. This raises images of terrible things happening that are totally remote from a Dieudonné show or its consequences.
There was no atmosphere of hatred among the thousands of fans left holding their tickets when Dieudonné’s January 9 show in Nantes was banned at the last minute by France’s highest administrative authority, the Conseil d’Etat. Nobody was complaining of being deprived of a “Nazi rally”. Nobody thought of causing harm to anyone. All said they had come to enjoy the show. They represented a normal cross-section of French youth, largely well-educated middle class. The show was banned on the grounds of “immaterial disturbance of public order”. The disappointed crowd dispersed peacefully. Dieudonné’s shows have never led to any public disorder.
But there is no mistaking the virulent hatred against Dieudonné.
Philippe Tesson, a prominent editor, announced during a recent radio interview that he would “profoundly rejoice” at seeing Dieudonné executed by a firing squad. “He is a filthy beast, so get rid of him!” he exclaimed.
The internet Rabbi Rav Haim Dynovisz, in the course of a theology lesson, acknowledged that Darwin’s theory of evolution, which he rejects, had been proved by Dieudonné to apply to “certain” people, who must have descended from gorillas.
Two 17-year-olds have been permanently expelled from their high school for having made the quenelle gesture, on grounds of “crimes against humanity”. The Franco-Israeli web magazine JSSNews is busily investigating the identities of persons making the quenelle sign in order to try to get them fired from their jobs, boasting that it will “add to unemployment in France”.
The owners of the small Paris theater, “La Main d’Or”, rented by Dieudonné on a lease running until 2019, recently rushed back from Israel expressing their intention to use a technicality to end his lease and throw him out.
The worst thing Dieudonné has ever said during his performances, so far as I am aware, was a personal insult against the radio announcer Patrick Cohen. Cohen has insistently urged that persons he calls “sick brains” such as Dieudonné or Tariq Ramadan be banned from television appearances. In late December, French television (which otherwise has kept Dieudonné off the airwaves) recorded Dieudonné saying that “when I hear Patrick Cohen talking, I think to myself, you know, the gas chambers… Too bad…”
With the anti-Dieudonné campaign already well underway, this offensive comment was seized upon as if it were typical of Dieudonné’s shows. It was an excessively crude reaction by Dieudonné to virulent personal attacks against himself.
Irreverence is a staple for standup comics, like it or not. And Dieudonné’s references to the Holocaust, or Shoah, all fall into the category of irreverence.
On matters other than the Shoah, there is no shortage of irreverence in France.
Traditional religions, as well as prominent individuals, are regularly caricatured in a manner so scatological as to make the quenelle look prudish. In October, 2011, Paris police intervened against traditional Catholics who sought to interrupt a play which included (the apparent) pouring of excrement over the face of Jesus. The political-media establishment vigorously defended the play, unconcerned that it was perceived by some people as “offensive”.
Recently, France gave a big welcome to the Ukrainian group calling itself “Femen”, young women who seem to have studied Gene Sharp’s doctrines of provocation, and use their bare breasts as (ambiguous) statements. These women were rapidly granted residence papers (so hard to get for many immigrant workers) and allowed to set up shop in the midst of the main Muslim neighborhood in Paris, where they immediately attempted to try (unsuccessfully) to provoke the incredulous residents. The blonde Femen leader was even chosen to portray the symbol of the Republic, Marianne, on the current French postage stamp, although she does not speak French.
Last December 20, these “new feminists” invaded the Church of the Madeleine near the Elysée Palace in Paris, acted out “the abortion of Jesus” and then pissed on the high altar. There were no cries of indignation from the French government. The Catholic Church is complaining, but such complaints have a feeble echo in France today.
Why the Shoah Must Be Sacred
When Dieudonné sings lightly of the Shoah, he is believed by some to be denying the Holocaust and calling for its repetition (a contradictory proposition, upon reflection). The sacred nature of the Shoah is defended by the argument that keeping alive the memory of the Holocaust is essential to prevent it from “happening again”. By suggesting the possibility of repetition, it keeps fear alive.
This argument is generally accepted as a sort of law of nature. We must keep commemorating genocide to prevent it from happening again. But is there really any evidence to support this argument?
Nothing proves that repeated reminders of an immense historic event that happened in the past prevent it from happening again. History doesn’t work that way. As for the Shoah, gas chambers and all, it is quite preposterous to imagine that it could happen again considering all the factors that made it happen in the first place. Hitler had a project to confirm the role of Germans as the master “Aryan” race in Europe, and hated the Jews as a dangerous rival elite. Who now has such a project? Certainly not a Franco-African humorist! Hitler is not coming back, nor is Napoleon Bonaparte, nor is Attila the Hun.
Constantly recalling the Shoah, in articles, movies, news items, as well as at school, far from preventing anything, can create a morbid fascination with “identities”. It fosters “victim rivalries”. This fascination can lead to unanticipated results. Some 330 schools in Paris bear plaques commemorating the Jewish children who were deported to Nazi concentration camps. How do little Jewish children today react to that? Do they find it reassuring?
This may be useful to the State of Israel, which is currently undertaking a three-year program to encourage more of France’s 600,000 Jews to leave France and go to Israel. In 2013, the number of Aliyah from France rose to more than 3,000, a trend attributed by the European Jewish Press to the “French Jewish community’s increasingly Zionistic mentality, particularly among young French Jews, and a manifestation of efforts by the Jewish Agency, the Israel government, and other non-profits to cultivate Jewish identity in France.”
“If this year we have seen Aliyah from France go from under 2,000 to more than 3,000, I look forward to seeing that number grow to 6,000 and beyond in the near future, as we connect ever more young people to Jewish life and to Israel,” declared Natan Sharansky, Chairman of the Executive of the Jewish Agency for Israel. Surely, one way to encourage Aliyah is to scare Jews with the threat of anti-Semitism, and claiming that Dieudonné’s numerous fans are Nazis in disguise is a good way to do this.
But as for Jews who want to live in France, is it really healthy to keep reminding Jewish children that, if they are not wary, their fellow citizens might one day want to herd them onto freight trains and ship them all to Auschwitz? I have heard people saying privately that this permanent reminder is close to child abuse.
Someone who thinks that way is Jonathan Moadab, a 25-year-old independent journalist who was interviewed by Soren Seelow. Moadab is both anti-Zionist and a practicing Jew. As a child he was taken to tour Auschwitz. He told Seelow that that living with that “victim indoctrination” had engendered a sort of “pre-traumatic stress syndrome”.
“Dieudonné’s jokes about the Shoah, like his song Shoananas, are not aimed at the Shoah itself,” he says, “but at the exploitation of the Holocaust described by the American political writer Norman Finkelstein.”
On January 22, on his web site Agence Info Libre, Jonathan Moadab openly called for “separating the State from the Holocaust religion”. Moadab cites professor Yeshayahu Leibowitz as the first to point out the many ways in which the Holocaust has become the new Jewish religion. If that is so, everyone has the right to practice the religion of the Shoah. But should it be the official religion of France?
French politicians never cease celebrating the “laicité”, the secularism, of the French Republic. Interior Minister Manuel Valls, who proclaims his own devotion to Israel, because his wife is Jewish, recently called the Shoah the “sanctuary that cannot be profaned”. Moadab concludes that if the Shoah is a sanctuary, then the Holocaust is a religion, and the Republic is not secular.
Changes are taking place in the attitude of young people in France. This change is not due to Dieudonné. It is due to the passage of time. The Holocaust became the religion of the West at a time when the generation after World War II was in the mood to blame their parents. Now we are with the grandchildren, or great-grandchildren, of those who lived through that period, and they want to look ahead. No law can stop this.
*As described in my earlier article, the “quenelle” is a vulgar gesture roughly meaning “up yours”, with one hand placed at the top of the other arm stretched down to signify “how far up” this is to be. Using the name of a French dumpling, Dieudonné started using this gesture in a wholly different context years ago, as an expression of defiance, incredulity or indifference.
Diana Johnstone can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
January 23, 2014
Over the centuries, rage and hostility against Jews has repeatedly erupted in terrible violence. Again and again, Jews have been driven out of countries where they’d been living. Why does anti-Semitism exist? And why has furious hostility toward Jews broken out, again and again, in the most varied nations, eras and cultures? Closely related to this is the broader issue of relations between Jews and non-Jews – a subject that many writers and scholars have called “the Jewish question.”
All too often, discussions of anti-Semitism and the “Jewish question” have been distorted by prejudice, bigotry and lack of candor. But this important subject deserves careful, informed and honest consideration.
Prominent Jewish leaders claim to be puzzled by the persistence of anti-Jewish sentiment and behavior. Insisting that anti-Semitism is a baseless and unreasonable prejudice, they often compare it to a mysterious virus or disease.
Elie Wiesel is one of the best-known Jewish authors and community figures of our age. His memoir of wartime experiences, entitled Night, has been obligatory reading in many classrooms. He’s a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, and for years has been a professor at Boston University. Wiesel is considered to be an authority on anti-Semitism, but he says that he’s puzzled by it. The source and endurance of anti-Semitism in history remains a mystery, he told an audience in Germany in April 2004. /1 In another address he described anti-Semitism as an “irrational disease.” Speaking at a conference in October 2002, Wiesel went on to say: “The world has changed in the last 2,000 years, and only anti-Semitism has remained … The only disease that has not found its cure is anti-Semitism.” /2
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) is one of the world’s largest and most influential Jewish-Zionist organizations. It considers itself the foremost center for monitoring and combating anti-Semitism, and educating the public about this dangerous phenomenon. In his 2003 book, Never Again?: The Threat of the New Anti-Semitism, ADL national director Abraham Foxman expressed grave concern about what he sees as rising hostility toward Jews: “I am convinced we currently face as great a threat to the safety and security of the Jewish people as the one we faced in the 1930s – if not a greater one.” /3 Remarkably, he too claimed to be perplexed about the reasons for the origin and durability of discord between Jews and non-Jews. “I think of anti-Semitism as a disease,” Foxman writes. “Anti-Semitism also resembles a disease in being fundamentally irrational … It’s a spiritual and psychological illness.” /4
Wiesel and Foxman, along with other prominent Jewish-Zionist leaders, are unable — or unwilling — to provide an explanation for the persistence of anti-Semitism. They believe, or claim to believe, that because it’s an entirely irrational and baseless “disease,” there’s no relation between what Jews do, and what non-Jews think of Jews. In their view, the strife and tension between Jews and non-Jews that has persisted over the centuries is not caused by, or is even related to, Jewish behavior.
Fortunately, a reasonable explanation for this enduring phenomenon has been provided by one of the most prominent and influential Jewish figures of modern history: Theodor Herzl, the founder of the modern Zionist movement. He laid out his views in a book, written in German, entitled The Jewish State (Der Judenstaat). Published in 1896, this work is the basic manifesto of the Zionist movement. A year and a half later he convened the first international Zionist conference.
In his book Herzl explained that regardless of where they live, or their citizenship, Jews constitute not merely a religious community, but a nationality, a people. He used the German word, Volk. Wherever large numbers of Jews live among non-Jews, he said, conflict is not only likely, it’s inevitable. “The Jewish question exists wherever Jews live in noticeable numbers,” he wrote. “Where it does not exist, it is brought in by arriving Jews … I believe I understand anti-Semitism, which is a very complex phenomenon. I consider this development as a Jew, without hate or fear.” /5
In his public and private writings, Herzl explained that anti-Semitism is not an aberration, but rather a natural response by non-Jews to alien Jewish behavior and attitudes. Anti-Jewish sentiment, he said, is not due to ignorance or bigotry, as so many have claimed. Instead, he concluded, the ancient and seemingly intractable conflict between Jews and non-Jews is entirely understandable, because Jews are a distinct and separate people, with interests that are different from, and which often conflict with, the interests of the people among whom they live.
Anti-Jewish sentiment in the modern era, Herzl believed, arose from the “emancipation” of Jews in the 18th and 19th centuries, which freed them from the confined life of the ghetto and brought them into modern urban society and direct economic dealings with middle class non-Jews. Anti-Semitism, Herzl wrote, is “an understandable reaction to Jewish defects.” In his diary he wrote: “I find the anti-Semites are fully within their rights.” /6
Herzl maintained that Jews must stop pretending — both to themselves and to non-Jews — that they are like everyone else, and instead must frankly acknowledge that they are a distinct and separate people, with distinct and separate goals and interests. The only workable long-term solution, he said, is for Jews to recognize reality and live, finally, as a “normal” people in a separate state of their own. In a memo to the Tsar of Russia, Herzl wrote that Zionism is the “final solution of the Jewish question.” /7
Israel’s first president, Chaim Weizmann, expressed a similar view. In his memoirs, he wrote: “Whenever the quantity of Jews in any country reaches the saturation point, that country reacts against them … [This] reaction … cannot be looked upon as anti-Semitism in the ordinary or vulgar sense of that word; it is a universal social and economic concomitant of Jewish immigration, and we cannot shake it off.” /8
Such candor is rare. Only occasionally do Jewish leaders today explain anti-Semitism as a reaction to the behavior of Jews. One of the wealthiest and most influential figures in today’s world is George Soros, the Hungarian-born billionaire financier. Generally he avoids highlighting his ties to the Jewish community, and only rarely attends purely Jewish gatherings. But in November 2003 he addressed a meeting in New York City of the “Jewish Funders Network.” When he was asked about anti-Semitism in Europe, Soros did not respond by saying that it is an irrational “disease.” Instead, he said that it is the result of the policies of Israel and the United States. “There is a resurgence of anti-Semitism in Europe. The policies of the Bush administration and the Sharon administration contribute to that,” he said. “If we change that direction, then anti-Semitism also will diminish,” he went on. “I can’t see how one could confront it directly.” /9
Jewish community leaders reacted angrily to Soros’ remarks. Elan Steinberg, senior adviser at the World Jewish Congress (and former executive director of that influential organization), said: “Let’s understand things clearly: Anti-Semitism is not caused by Jews; it’s caused by anti-Semites.” Abraham Foxman called Soros’ comments “absolutely obscene.” The ADL director went on to say: “He buys into the stereotype. It’s a simplistic, counterproductive, biased and bigoted perception of what’s out there. It’s blaming the victim for all of Israel’s and the Jewish people’s ills.” /10
Most people readily accept that positive feelings by non-Jews toward Jews have some basis in Jewish behavior. But Jewish leaders such as Foxman, Wiesel and Steinberg seem unwilling to accept that negative feelings toward Jews might similarly have a basis in Jewish behavior.
Along with all other social behavior over time, conflict between Jews and non-Jews has an evident and understandable basis in history and human nature. The historical record suggests that the persistence of anti-Semitism over the centuries is rooted in the unusual way that Jews relate to non-Jews.
Israeli and Jewish- Zionist leaders affirm that Jews constitute a “people” or a “nation” – that is, a distinct nationality group to which Jews everywhere are supposed to feel and express a primary loyalty. /11 Some American Jewish leaders have been explicit about this. Louis Brandeis, a US Supreme Court justice and a leading American Zionist, said: “Let us all recognize that we Jews are a distinctive nationality of which every Jew, whatever his country, his station or shade of belief, is necessarily a member.” /10 Stephen S. Wise, president of the American Jewish Congress and of the World Jewish Congress, told a rally in New York in June 1938: “I am not an American citizen of the Jewish faith. I am a Jew … Hitler was right in one thing. He calls the Jewish people a race, and we are a race.” /13 In keeping with this outlook, Israeli leaders also say that the Zionist state represents not just its own Jewish citizens, but Jews everywhere. /14
While affirming — usually only among themselves – that Jews are members of a separate nationality to which they should feel and express a prime loyalty, Zionists simultaneously insist that Jews must be welcomed as full and equal citizens in whatever country they may wish to live. While Zionist Jews in the US such as Abraham Foxman speak of the “Jewish people” as a distinct nationality, they also claim that Jews are Americans like everyone else, and insist that Jews, including Zionist Jews, must be granted all the rights of US citizens, with no social, legal or institutional obstacles to Jewish power and influence in American life. In short, Jewish-Zionist leaders and organizations (such as the World Jewish Congress and the American Jewish Committee) demand full citizen rights for Zionist Jews not only in “their country,” Israel, but everywhere.
Major Jewish-Zionist organizations, and, more broadly, the organized Jewish community, also promote “pluralism,” “tolerance” and “diversity” in the United States and other countries. They believe this is useful for Jews. “America’s pluralistic society is at the heart of Jewish security,” wrote Abraham Foxmam. “In the long run,” the ADL director went to explain, “what has made American Jewish life a uniquely positive experience in Diaspora history and which has enabled us to be such important allies for the State of Israel, is the health of a pluralistic, tolerant and inclusive American society.” /15
For some time, the ADL has promoted the slogan “Diversity is Our Strength.” In keeping with this motto, which it claims to have invented, the ADL has devoted effort and resources to persuading Americans –especially younger Americans — to welcome and embrace ever more social, cultural and racial “diversity.” /16
This campaign has been very successful. American politicians and educators, and virtually the entire US mass media, promote “diversity,” “multiculturalism” and “pluralism,” and portray those who do not embrace these objectives as hateful and ignorant. At the same time, influential Jewish-Zionist organizations such as the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) insist that the US must recognize and defend Israel as a specifically Jewish ethnic-religious state. /17 Pluralism and diversity, it seems, are only for non-Jews. What’s good for Jews in their own homeland, Jewish-Zionist leaders seem to say, is not pluralism and diversity, but a tribalistic nationalism.
What Jews think is important because the Jewish community has the power to realize its goals. In a remarkable address in May 2013, Vice President Joe Biden said that the “immense” and “outsized” Jewish role in the US mass media and cultural life has been the single most important factor in shaping American attitudes over the past century, and in driving major cultural- political changes. “I bet you 85 percent of those [social- political] changes, whether it’s in Hollywood or social media, are a consequence of Jewish leaders in the industry. The influence is immense,” he said. “Jewish heritage has shaped who we are – all of us, us, me – as much or more than any other factor in the last 223 years. And that’s a fact,” he added. /18
Biden is not alone in acknowledging this clout. “It makes no sense at all to try to deny the reality of Jewish power and prominence in popular culture,” wrote Michael Medved, a well-known Jewish author and film critic in 1996. /19 Joel Stein, a columnist for the Los Angeles Times, wrote in 2008: “As a proud Jew, I want America to know about our accomplishment. Yes, we control Hollywood … I don’t care if Americans think we’re running the news media, Hollywood, Wall Street or the government. I just care that we get to keep running them.” /20
Even though Jews have more influence and power in US political and cultural life than any other ethnic or religious group, Jewish groups are uncomfortable when non- Jews point this out. In fact, says Foxman and the ADL, one sure sign that someone is an anti-Semite is if he agrees with the statement that “Jews have too much power in our country today.” /21 For Foxman, apparently, there can never be “too much” Jewish influence and power.
Anti-Semitism is not a mysterious “disease.” As Herzl and Weizmann suggested, and as history shows, what is often called anti-Semitism is the natural and understandable attitude of people toward a minority with particularist loyalties that wields greatly disproportionate power for its own interests, rather than for the common good.
1. “Wiesel Calls for ‘Manifesto’ on Anti-Semitism.” The Jewish Federations of North America. April 30, 2004.
( http://www.jewishfederations.org/page.aspx?id=64683 )
2. “A Call to Conscience: Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel Opens ADL Conference on Global Anti-Semitism.” Anti-Defamation League. October 31, 2002
( http://archive.adl.org/Anti_semitism/conference/as_conf.asp )
3. Abraham H. Foxman. Never Again?: The Threat of the New Anti-Semitism. (HarperCollins, 2003), p. 4.
4. Abraham H. Foxman. Never Again? (2003), pp. 42, 43.
5. Th. Herzl, Der Judenstaat. ( http://de.wikisource.org/wiki/Der_Judenstaat ; http://www.zionismus.info/judenstaat/02.htm )
6. Kevin MacDonald, Separation and Its Discontents (Praeger,1998), pp. 45, 48. Ref. cited: R. Kornberg, Theodore Herzl (1993), p. 183.
7. Memo of Nov. 22, 1899. R. Patai, ed., The Complete Diaries of Theodor Herzl (New York: 1960), Vol. 3, p. 888. Also cited in: M. Weber, “Zionism and the Third Reich,” The Journal of Historical Review, July-August 1993, p. 29. ( http://www.ihr.org/jhr/v13/v13n4p29_Weber.html )
8. Chaim Weizmann, Trial and Error (1949), p. 90. Quoted in: Albert S. Lindemann, The Jew Accused (Cambridge University Press, 1991), p. 277.
9. Uriel Heilman, Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA). “In Rare Jewish Appearance, George Soros Says Jews and Israel Cause Anti- Semitism.” Nov. 10, 2003
( http://www.jta.org/2003/11/10/archive/in-rare-jewish-appearance-george-soros-says-jews-and-israel-cause-anti-semitism )
10. U. Heilman, JTA. “In Rare Jewish Appearance, George Soros Says Jews and Israel Cause Anti-Semitism.” Nov. 10, 2003.
11. Abraham H. Foxman. Never Again? (2003), pp. 18, 4.
12. Louis D. Brandeis, “The Jewish Problem and How to Solve It.” Speech of April 25, 1915. ( http://www.pbs.org/wnet/supremecourt/personality/sources_document11.html / http://www.law.louisville.edu/library/collections/brandeis/node/234 )
13. “Dr. Wise Urges Jews to Declare Selves as Such,” New York Herald Tribune, June 13, 1938, p. 12.
14. Israel even claims to speak on behalf of Jews who lived and died before the state was established. “Holocaust Victims Given Posthumous Citizenship by Israel,” The Associated Press, Los Angeles Times, May 9, 1985.
( http://articles.latimes.com/1985-05-09/news/mn-6754_1_posthumous-citizenship )
See also: M. Weber , “West Germany’s Holocaust Payoff to Israel and World Jewry,” Summer 1988.
( http://www.ihr.org/jhr/v08/v08p243_Weber.html )
15. Foxman letter of Nov. 11, 2005. Published in The Jerusalem Post, Nov. 18, 2005.
( http://archive.adl.org/media_watch/newspapers/20051111-JPost.htm )
16. ADL On the Frontline (New York), Summer 1997, p. 8. This issue of the ADL bulletin also noted with some pride that President Clinton, in his Feb. 1997 “State of the Union” address, had given an unexpected boost to what it called the “ADL tag line.” In that address, Clinton said: “My fellow Americans, we must never, ever believe that our diversity is a weakness. It is our greatest strength.”
17. Note the address by US ambassador Daniel B. Shapiro, Sept. 6, 2011. See also: M. Weber, “Behind the Campaign For War Against Iran.” April 2013.
( http://www.ihr.org/other/behindwarcampaign )
18. Jennifer Epstein, “Biden: ‘Jewish heritage is American heritage’,” Politico, May 21, 2013.
( http://www.politico.com/politico44/2013/05/biden-jewish-heritage-is-american-heritage-164525.html ); Daniel Halper, “Biden Talks of ‘Outsized Influence’ of Jews: ‘The Influence Is Immense’,” The Weekly Standard, May 22, 2013.
( http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/biden-talks-outsized-influence-jews-influence-immense_728765.html )
19. M. Medved, “Is Hollywood Too Jewish?,” Moment, Vol. 21, No. 4 (1996), p. 37.
20. J. Stein, “How Jewish Is Hollywood?,” Los Angeles Times, Dec. 19, 2008.
( http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-stein19-2008dec19,0,4676183.column ).
21. Abraham H. Foxman. Never Again? (2003), p. 14.
Policing activists for anti-Semitism is a distraction from the fight against Jewish tyranny
By Karin Friedemann with Joachim Martillo | January 15, 2009
My previous article talked about guarding yourself against destructive Jewish behavior patterns. These behaviors are learned and not genetic. Israel Advocacy organizations like the David Project even give workshops in linguistic aggressive-defense tactics for whenever someone uses the word “Jew” or criticizes Israel. Always manipulate the conversation so that the focus is turned on Israel’s accuser. It’s a psychological intimidation tactic aimed at getting the person to apologize for hurting Jewish sensitivities, or for conflating Jews and Zionists, or for thinking all Zionists are bad. Jews do not seem to hold themselves accountable to the same moral standard as they hold others. All Gentiles have to apologize for the Holocaust, yet all Jews don’t have to apologize for Israel. [ecumenical deal: Jews accept Christian apology as long as Christians don't criticize Israel].
The current Jewish argument seems to be:
You are anti-Semitic for linking Zionism and Jewishness.
You are anti-Semitic for not acknowledging the special connection of Israel to Jewishness.
You can’t win!
You are bad.
Therefore we will talk about what you did, not what Jews did.
The socially suicidal person who is bravely trying to do the right thing, to struggle against total evil, is often made to feel guilty and ashamed and very alone, when actually the Jew is the one that should be apologizing for the people he/she chooses to identify with, and I stress chooses, because “Jew” is a chosen identity. Jews are those who call themselves Jews. Nobody knows if you are a Jew or not unless you mention it. Jews who do not wish to participate in Jewish hegemony should be the ones in the front lines, demanding the asset seizure, imprisonment and public execution of the Zionist leadership who did this to the Palestinian people, not to mention the US economy.
Peace Jews are for the most part coordinated by the Israeli government via the various liberal Jewish organizations in the US. They serve to deflect blame from Jews as a group by creating a false cover for the perpetrators of racist genocide. Instead of confronting the supporters of mass murder in their own community, they act as representatives of the Jewish community, creating a false impression of Jewish non-support for Israel. In truth, even the peace Jews tend to unite with the far right when the question is Jewish Israel’s American tax funded existence. An example of this was when Tikkun united aggressively with the Neocon establishment to snuff out a City Council vote on taking public moneys out of Israeli investments in Somerville, Ma. This “peace” Zionist organization deliberately misled the public on the issues involved in a local ballot question regarding the Palestinian Right of Return.
Let’s get this straight. Israel’s existence depends on committing genocide with your tax money. All the aggression that Israel commits is done in defense of Israel’s existence.
Therefore, duh, Israel should not exist. Israel cannot exist as a Jewish state AND give people back their homes and give them all a vote, which is their right under international law.
Any Jew whose family lost their home in Germany or Poland is allowed by law to claim back the property. It’s elementary property rights law. Human rights include property rights. Jews have to give back what they stole. Israel’s existence was dependent on the UN Resolution 181. Israel’s existence depends on the condition that the Jews have to let the Palestinians stay in their homes and give them equal citizenship rights. This has never happened. Within hours of signing that agreement Israel was ethnically cleansing hundreds of thousands of Palestinians in 1948.
Many people in Gaza have property in Sredot. It used to be their land, until they were evicted at gunpoint by Jewish murdering thugs. The racist settlers living on other people’s stolen property in Sredot have absolutely no right to expect to live in security or peace. Americans who hear Jews and non-Jews say such genocidal racist and sick statements like Israel has the right to defend itself should be ashamed. Instead, they want you to apologize for calling Jews “Jews.”
No, I really mean Jews. My fight is with the Jewish power establishment and not the Israelis per se.
Do any of the Jewish organizations support the right of Hamas to exist?
When people accept Israel’s “right” to exist, or more accurately, the Jewish “right” to mass murder and plunder non-Jews including Americans, they are accepting a criminal ideology. Israel’s existence does not exist in a vacuum. It is a result of American Jewish organizations, and to a large extent, European. All Americans are indoctrinated by American Jewish organizations via the media and Hollywood and even the Pentagon is informed of all its plans by the Jewish organizations.
Also alarming, nearly all American Jews go through an indoctrination process within the Jewish community that is even more extreme. It includes training in psychological manipulation tactics aimed at shifting the blame away from Jews any time someone mentions the obvious, for example, “Jews are killing Palestinans.” The trick is always to make the person apologize for believing that Jews would kill Palestinians. All bystanders would be made to revile the person stating the obvious as a flaming racist. It’s an interesting game. But it doesn’t work forever.
The good news is, there is nothing behind the Jewish facade, the linguistic traps of mixed messages. That is, the banal statements of believing in peace plus the absolute refusal to do what it takes to be a good person – give the Palestinians their lands back and give them citizenship rights in some country. It probably doesn’t matter what you call it at this point but that’s the minimum requirement for peace.
Once you get people to the point where they admit the truth, that all humans are created equal, and therefore Israel’s existence is a really bad idea, they can either agree with you, or short-circuit. Those who know Israel is wrong and do not strive against its existence are just like all the Gentiles whom the Jews routinely condemn for “doing nothing” about the Holocaust. Jewish Liberals should not serve as human shields using a battle of guilt trips to stop people from discussing how to limit Jewish power.
The Islamophobic hate campaign was not just created by Israel. It was created, coordinated and disseminated in the US by Jewish organizations. Every Jew in the Jewish community participates in some way with the Zionist agenda of racist indoctrination. They are fed a steady stream of anti-Islam and anti-Arab propaganda and are brainwashed to believe that Israel has a right to exist. If you are not with the genocidaires, then, why are you shielding them?
One may choose to opt out of Jewish organizational behavior; that does not erase the very real and scary fact that this destructive deliberate and well-funded organized violent crime and extortion racket is backed up by all the well-meaning Jewish foot soldiers who are simply loyal to “Israel” or to the Jewish people without fully knowing what that means.
It is hard to see the big picture even once one notices the pattern. One of the reasons is because in polite society we are not allowed to discuss Jewish racism. Always, one of the little footsoldiers chimes in, wanting an exception to the group accusation to Jews. But this policing against anti-semitism, instead of responding in a moral and appropriate way, is exactly the Jewish behavior that the Jew has been programmed for by the B’nai B’rith Society. Rabbi Lerner, who has never been to the Occupied Territories, gets his “media updates” and talking points from the JCRC. The Liberal Zionists are trained and coordinated to cover for the Right Wing Jews. They don’t even realize that their behavior is clinically abnormal and morally bankrupt.
In a recent article, former Israeli philosopher Gilad Atzmon writes:
“The Jewish state is the ultimate threat to humanity and our notion of humanism. Christianity, Islam and humanism came along with an attempt to amend Jewish tribal fundamentalism and to replace it with universal ethics. Enlightenment, liberalism and emancipation allowed Jews to redeem themselves from their ancient tribal supremacist traits. Since the mid 19th century, many Jews had been breaking out of their cultural and tribal chain. Tragically enough, Zionism managed to pull many Jews back in. Currently, Israel and Zionism are the only collective voice available for Jews.
The last twelve days of merciless offensive against the Palestinian civilian population does not leave any room for doubt. Israel is the gravest danger to world peace. Clearly the nations made a tragic mistake in 1947 giving a volatile racially orientated identity an opportunity to set itself into a national state. However, the nations’ duty now is to peacefully dismantle that state before it is too late. We must do it before the Jewish state and its forceful lobbies around the world manage to pull us all into a global war in the ‘name’ of one banal populist ideology or another (democracy, war against terror, cultural clash and so on). We have to wake up now before our one and only planet is transformed into a bursting boil of hatred.”
I think if a Jew wants to live in the Holy Land he or she should accept to live under majority rule: Hamas rule. A modern Islamic state, whose Constitution includes a Bill of Rights for non-Muslims, is really the only viable option for peace in Historic Palestine. Hamas has every right, under international law, to fight against the occupying power, including lobbing pipe bombs over the Apartheid Wall. Israel has no right to blockade any part of a civilian population, preventing them from getting to work, getting food, or medical aid. Israel has no right to build a wall.
I’ve been through this Jewish indignation thing during the Jenin Massacre and so it’s harder to fool me now. Among the various threads of Zionist thought, from the condescending racism of Tikkun to the openly aggressive settler movement, there is nothing cool.
My goal is to stop the evil so it is necessary to observe the evil – not just walk away saying “How sad.”
Levels of guilt:
those who commit atrocities
those who justify the atrocities
those who deny the atrocities
those who benefit from atrocities
those who participated in a society that allows atrocities
So let’s reiterate the obvious.
Israel does NOT have any “right” to exist nor any right to defend itself.
The UN has the right to dismantle Israel.
When Israel says they want to eradicate “Hamas” they mean anyone who might have ever voted for Hamas.
Meaning: all Palestinians
The Palestinians DO have the right to shoot rockets at an occupier.
We are engaged in genocide when we neglect to use the word Palestine in our speech.
We DO need good strategy for eradicating Jewish tyranny.
By Mantiq al-Tayr, June 27, 2009
It must be nice to be a member of a religion that allows, nay encourages, you to steal others people’s land and resources and feel good about it. Then, if anyone objects to your obnoxious disgusting behavior you get to label them as bigots. What a great deal. Want to be an asshole – well here comes your role model.
Aron Raskas is a Baltimore lawyer and Israeli firster who believes that since he is a Jew he gets to live on land stolen from Palestinians and he thinks this is a “morally sound” thing to do. I guess he must be fleeing all the anti-Semitism that is rampant in Baltimore. It’s so bad in Baltimore that Zionist slumlord Sam Zell had to buy the local newspaper – no not the Baltimore Jewish Times – but rather the Baltimore Sun – otherwise the Jews would have been driven out from their over forty synagogues there. Others would have had to seek refugee at the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall or hide out under their desks at the Baltimore Hebrew University. Of course, due to the rampant anti-Semitism in Baltimore, BHU has had to merge with Towson. This will no doubt cause a flood in refugees from Baltimore into the West Bank. But I digress.
No doubt some others would have had to hide in the basement of the Jewish Museum of Maryland. Other hiding places have been fortified by 900 hundred thousand dollars in grants from the federal goverment to protect Jewish places from terrorism. Noted Islamofascist Senator Barbara Mikulski very proudly announced this grant in October of 2007. No doubt her colleague, also an Islamofascist, Senator Benjamin Cardin, approved. Yup, Maryland is a tough place for a Jew to live. So it’s off to the West Bank.
That rascal Raskas had to flee to the “settlement” of Rimonim which he informs us is in the “heart of the West Bank.” (Please note, that means he is living on land acquired by Israel in the 1967 war that Israel started. Therefore he is in violation of the Geneva Conventions. )
Now, Raskas knows that he is doing something illegal and immoral. It pervades the piece he wrote for that great anti-Semitic newspaper known as the Baltimore Sun. So he has to justify it by telling us that there just aren’t any Palestinians there. Obviously, you can’t steal land from people who do not exist – right?
As one looks out from Rimonim, the most telling fact is what one does not see. Over the miles of rolling hills that unfold across the landscape, there is not a village, building, home or even a herd of sheep to be seen. The scene is the same at other Jewish settlements as well.
It would be sort of like going into Jewish parts of Germany or Poland after WWII and taking over empty Jewish houses because you just couldn’t find any Jews anywhere. But again, I digress.
Okay, so he tells us, it’s fine for him to live in Rimonim because the Palestinians do not live there. Nor do they live anywhere else, apparently.
He knows this is a lie, of course. So he has to back it up with – and I am not making this up – with a quote from Mark Twain. Here goes:
When Mark Twain walked this land in 1867, he described in his book, Innocents Abroad, this very same “deserted” and “desolate country” with its “rocky and bare” landscape. Today, despite Palestinian efforts to portray it differently, not all that much has changed outside the few towns and villages that dot the land.
Villages like Hebron with about 170 thousand people (this would make it the second biggest city in Maryland – the land of anti-Semitism) or Nablus with 135 thousand. Damn, I’m digressing again.
Again, Raskas knows he is deliberately misleading his readers. Any idiot, except members of Congress, can tell you that world population figures today are quite different than they were in 1867. Egypt, for example, has about 80 million people today. In 1882, it’s populaton was 8 million.
So, lie upon lie, he were go:
Even the pro-Palestinian group Peace Now concedes that Israeli settlements – mostly bedroom communities of Jerusalem or Tel Aviv – occupy less than 3 percent of the West Bank.
His nose is growing bigger and bigger and he knows this. So we then are told that those nice Jews fleeing persecution in Baltimore – I guess – are really nice urban professionals who would not harm a flea.
Moreover, Israeli professionals living a suburban life with their children in the vast expanse of these territories do not threaten or harm Palestinians.
Good grief. He knows that anyone who has ever been in the West Bank knows that the settlers hate the Arabs and make life hell for them whenever they can. Furthermore, those same people know what happens at the endless check points that only Palestinian Muslims and Christians must endure, but not Jews and certainly not upwardly mobile Jews fleeing anti-Semitism from Baltimore. Therefore, Raskas blames the Palestinains for the check points:
Israeli checkpoints and security measures have been implemented because Palestinians have seemed more interested in destroying Israel and killing Jews than establishing an independent Palestinian state.
This guy hasn’t even peeked yet. Again, he knows that even the simplest research will show that he is completely and obviously deliberately misrepresenting the truth. So he has to go existential on us. But first, let’s summarize the argument so far.
1. He can’t see any Palestinians from his house, therefore it is okay that he went there and lives in violation of the Geneva conventions.
2. Mark Twain was in Palestine in 1867 and he didn’t see many people. Since Palestinians are too stupid to know how to have sex, there aren’t any Palestinians today either.
3. Israeli settlements don’t take up much space anyway. Although about 5 per cent of the Israeli Jewish population lives in them, these lovely bedroom communities are just tiny little things and only vicious anti-Semitic murderous crazed Palestinians plus Mark Glenn and Michael Collins Piper could ever have an objection to these bedrooms.
4. The Jews who live in the settlements are professionals and it would never occur to any of them ever to do anything to harm those goddamn Palestinians.
5. Palestinians are hell-bent on violence for no reason whatsoever. They have no grievances at all, therefore the Israelis have built hundreds of check points and the ungrateful Palestinians don’t even have the courtesy to say thank you.
Got all this? Now since he knows his arguments are just Hasbarah, which is the Hebrew word for “Pure, 100 percent unadulterated bullshit”, we now get yet another justification.
“Nor are Jewish settlements the result of Israeli colonial aspirations. Most represent the return of the Jewish people to the cities of their ancestors.”
So if you take land for the hell of it, that’s being colonial. But if people who might have been related to your 2000 years ago lived there then its okay? Of course it is. Even Mark Twain – yes he is basing this part of his argument on Mark Twain too – would agree.
As Twain painstakingly reported, Jews have lived here since time immemorial, and a drive through these territories highlights the Jewish history – cities, tombs and other landmarks – rooted in this land.
Therefore, Jews today can go to Israel and do whatever the hell they want, which is exactly what they do.
“Yet it is not just ancient history that speaks to the great Jewish legacy. The Jewish presence has been a constant right up to modern times. While many bristle at the terms “Judea” and “Samaria,” dismissing them as propaganda invented by extremist “settlers” for political ends, maps, photographs, travel guides and other books have throughout history described these territories by those time-honored names. Even United Nations resolutions – including, notably, the 1947 Partition resolution – used those terms.”
Let’s see, the UN partition resolution uses the names Judea and Samaria, therefore the Jews have a right to Palestine. Of course Judea and Samaria were supposed to be part of the Arab state according to that partition plan,but damn, I’m digressing again. Oh and that Plan was never adopted by the UN Security Council either.
So the logical conclusion that anyone would draw from this is:
Given this history, the rights of the Jewish people in these lands are rich, historic and firmly enshrined. While negotiations about sharing this land may be necessary for the sake of peace, they cannot proceed from a premise that these are “Palestinian lands” or occupied “Palestinian territory.” They are, at most, “disputed territories.”
It is easy to see why so many people hate lawyers.
About 380 thousand Jews live on land confiscated from Palestinians. Over 120 Jewish-only settlements have been build on Palestinian land and over 100 other settlements called “outposts” have also been built. No Arab settlements have been built on Jewish land and the Arabs have not confiscated any Jewish land, whatever that is, to build Arab-only settlements. Israel’s population is about 7.5 million. About 5.5 million are Jews.
All of the settlements, all of them, are illegal.
International humanitarian law prohibits [an] occupying power [from transferring] citizens from its own territory to the occupied territory (Fourth Geneva Convention, article 49).
The Palestinians have lost control of 50 per cent of the West Bank land due to the settlements.
Israel has used a complex legal and bureaucratic mechanism to take control of more than fifty percent of the land in the West Bank. This land has been used mainly to establish settlements and create reserves of land for the future expansion of the settlements.
Israel uses the seized lands to benefit the settlements, while prohibiting the Palestinian public from using them in any way. This use is forbidden and illegal in itself.
How lovely. And Raskas feels good about it.
Maybe busing is what they need in the West Bank.
The Israeli administration has applied most aspects of Israeli law to the settlers and the settlements, thus effectively annexing them to the State of Israel…. This annexation has resulted in a regime of legalized separation and discrimination.
Under this regime, Israel has stolen hundreds of thousands of dunams of land from the Palestinians. Israel has used this land to establish dozens of settlements in the West Bank and to populate them with hundreds of thousands of Israeli citizens. Israel prohibits the Palestinians as a group from entering and using these lands, and uses the settlements to justify numerous violations of the Palestinians’ human rights, such as the right to housing, to earn a livelihood, and the right to freedom of movement. The drastic change that Israel has made in the map of the West Bank prevents any real possibility for the establishment of an independent, viable Palestinian state as part of the Palestinians’ right to self-determination.
Literally hundreds of Israeli checkpoints have been built throughout the West Bank. These checkpoints cause great harm to the Palestinians making even the simplest of trips an absolute nightmare.
Many checkpoints are manned by heavily-armed Israeli soldiers and sometimes guarded with tanks. Others are made up of gates, which are locked when soldiers are not on duty. In addition there are hundreds of dirt or concrete roadblocks, which prevent the passage of all vehicles – family cars and ambulances alike.
Due in large part to the checkpoints and roadblocks, Palestinian movement is severely restricted. Journeys of short distances can stretch into hours when Palestinians are detained at checkpoints or forced to circumnavigate roadblocks or closed checkpoints.
The Palestinians have not built any checkpoints to stop Jews.
Located in Boston, Northeastern University is a four-year college and graduate school offering degrees in law, political science, African American studies, and various other fields. The school seems to be generally well thought of, and is even involved in a research program to develop high-resolution images of human brain activity. But recently the university, or more specifically some of its faculty members, has come under attack by Zionists.
This of course is not new. Faculty members who criticize Israel have found themselves targeted at one university after another in America. Norman Finkelstein is probably one of the more famous cases in point, but he is not by any means the only one. Attacks at Northeastern have focused in the main on Denis Sullivan, professor of International Affairs and director of the school’s Middle East Center for Peace, Culture and Development; Economics Professor M. Shahid Alam; and Berna Turam, who also teaches in the International Affairs program.
On July 5, 2013 the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) wrote a letter to the university’s president, Joseph Aoun, calling for Sullivan’s and Alam’s dismissal, and also complaining about a campus student group, Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), whose activities—along with classroom comments made by the professors cited—are said to be causing Jewish students at Northeastern to “feel unsafe and uncomfortable.”
The issue has received considerable coverage in the Jewish newspaper, The Algemeiner—this of course would be the same Algemeiner which just a couple of months ago published some fairly rancid accusations made by an official with the Simon Wiesenthal Center against musical entertainer Roger Waters.
In an October 4 article, the Algemeiner reports on “allegations of rampant anti-Semitism” on the Northeastern campus, and also airs an official response from the university that apparently was thought to have been issued in an insufficiently prompt manner:
Boston’s Northeastern University responded on Friday to allegations of rampant anti-Semitism from students by faculty on campus, after The Algemeiner pressed the school on why it hadn’t answered a formal letter from three months ago from the Zionist Organization of America, which helped the students make their case.
Also, it appears that Jewish students at the school have been videotaping classroom lectures—whether openly or clandestinely isn’t specified, but the 12-page letter to Aoun makes reference to “three separate and very disturbing videos,” and accuses faculty members of making “false and demonizing accusations against Jews and Israel.”
Of the three professors, Sullivan seems to have aroused the most ire. The ZOA letter devotes a full two and a half pages to his alleged misdeeds, including the following:
In one course, Professor Sullivan was promoting a so-called “one-state solution” to the Palestinian Arab-Israeli conflict. In effect, he was calling for the elimination of the Jewish State of Israel, to be replaced by another Arab state. A Jewish student in the class raised her hand an asked a legitimate question—what this “solution” would mean for Jews living in Israel. Instead of answering the question, Professor Sullivan personally attacked the student, as the rest of the class snickered. Understandably, the Jewish student felt unable to defend herself against her professor. She was so traumatized by the attack that she began crying in class and had to leave the room. This Jewish student was an international affairs major with a concentration in the Middle East. But she ended up changing her concentration because of the anti-Israel climate in the department.
Another female student—apparently also suffering from anti-Semitism-induced traumatization—“no longer wears a Star of David on campus, nor does she make it known that she is Jewish.”
The ZOA accuses the SJP of “vandalizing” the university by posting “anti-Israel stickers all over the campus,” and also speaks of the vandalization (for three years straight) of a campus menorah during Chanukah season. The damaging of the menorah is not specifically blamed on the SJP, but the student group is taken to task for disrupting a pro-Israel event as well as for posting “hateful falsehoods about Israel that cross the line into anti-Semitism” on a law school bulletin board.
But from the Zionist perspective, perhaps the gravest sin of all was that committed by Professor Alam—who apparently has counseled his students not to be too intimidated should they happen to be accused of anti-Semitism.
One professor not only has made false and demonizing accusations against Jews and Israel, but has also bragged about how students are now too intimidated to speak up and challenge his views. In a lecture delivered on April 10, 2012, M. Shahid Alam, an economics professor, accused “Zionist partisans” and “partisans of Israel”—code for Jews—of “trying to shut out the daylight, the daylight of truth about Zionism, about Israel and the hostility of these two and their crimes against humanity, the war crimes. Their brutality, their massacre, their ethnic cleansing.” Alam also outrageously told students in his lecture that Israelis’ “whole life depends upon defending lies. They have to defend lies.”
In addition to demonizing Jews and Israelis to students at Northeastern, Alam bragged about the hostile environment in his classes, where pro-Israel students are now afraid to speak up: “If there are one or two people who want to say something, they don’t because they can sense that they will get no support from the class.” Alam also embraced claims that he is anti-Semitic and encouraged students to follow in his footsteps: “You know we should really laugh away accusations of anti-Semitism. It has now become laughable. And there may come a time when you wear that label as a mark of distinction.”
A Jewish student, apparently in class at the time Alam made the remarks, reportedly was so “horrified” by the professor’s comments he wrote a letter to Aoun and other university officials, a portion of which is quoted by the ZOA. “I sat painfully listening to Professor Alam insinuate, that students should be proud to be called anti-semitic,” the student wrote. “I had never in my life, ever, experienced anti-semitism first hand until this past year when I witnessed Professor Alam and Professor Sullivan display an age old hatred against the Jewish people.”
As for the ZOA’s letter to Aoun, it is signed by Morton A. Klein, national president, and Susan B. Tuchman, director of the Center for Law and Justice. Moreover, it contains what could be construed as a not-so-thinly veiled threat against the school (emphasis included):
All these problems raise the question of whether Northeastern University is complying with its legal obligations under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. We have enclosed a policy letter issued in October 2010 by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR). OCR has made it clear that schools receiving federal funding must remedy a hostile environment for Jewish students and ensure that the hostility does not recur, pursuant to Title VI. If a school fails to comply with Title VI, then it risks losing its federal funding.
In a brief written statement issued last month, the university speaks of its “incredible diversity” and its commitment to “academically rigorous” standards, commenting also on its efforts to ensure a proper learning environment for all students.
If any member of our community feels marginalized for any reason, the university has a range of offices and avenues where grievances can be heard and resolved. This includes a dedicated Office of Diversity and Inclusion, our extensive student affairs operation, and the university ombudsman. We encourage members of the Northeastern community to take advantage of these many resources, which include the opportunity for confidential discussions.
Specific concerns presented by members of the Northeastern community are swiftly and thoroughly investigated. This is vital to maintaining a productive and enlightened learning environment.
However, unsubstantiated allegations made by third parties are not sufficient for Northeastern—or any university—to launch internal investigations. Pursuing unsubstantiated allegations is just as irresponsible as ignoring legitimate concerns.
“Dismissing the reports in our letter as ‘unsubstantiated’ allows the administration to avoid the real issue, about whether Jewish students are being subjected to a hostile learning environment and what must be done to remedy the problem,” Tuchman commented to the Algemeiner by way of response. “Northeastern’s reaction is just another slap in the face for students and their concerns.”
The videos mentioned above were produced by a 501c-3 organization called Americans for Peace and Tolerance. Whether the organization is affiliated with the ZOA, I do not know, but the video below follows closely the subject matter contained in the ZOA letter. “In many academic institutions around the US, Israel has become the subject of relentless criticism and outright demonization,” the narrator comments at the beginning. Could anything the Jewish state have done possibly account for these negative feelings having been aroused in such large numbers of people? The narrator doesn’t seem to think so. His video focuses almost exclusively on what he narrowly views as anti-Semitism, tendering, like a devalued currency, an official definition of “the new anti-Semitism” issued by the US State Department.
“Alam promotes the anti-Semitic conspiracy notion that a mostly Jewish elite group of neoconservatives sought to place American power in the service of Israel”—one almost has to laugh at an attempt to portray what is so obvious to so many people as being nothing more than a conspiracy fantasy. On the surface what we find here is a coordinated attack upon a university, similar to so many we’ve seen in the past, but looked at from a slightly different angle, the video and the ZOA letter can also be viewed as signs of a growing desperation, as an effort to stave off the rapidly accelerating disintegration of Israel’s “legitimacy” as a nation and the increasing recognition and awareness of its criminality. Compare the relatively benign statements made by the Northeastern University professors in the above video with the the racist, and in some cases outright genocidal, comments quoted in the video below:
If the people at the ZOA were intellectually honest, instead of harping solely upon comments by Sullivan and his colleagues would they not at least have acknowledged that a number of statements of a deplorable nature have been made by prominent Israelis, including officials of the Israeli government? And would this not have supplied some context, maybe even helped people to understand and make sense of the “relentless criticism and outright demonization” the poor Jewish state has had to suffer? I wonder why they left that out? Perhaps it just slipped their minds.
The campaign against me and my work fell apart a while ago. I assume that my Jewish detractors came to realise that I enjoy their attention and use it to affirm my criticism of their tribal and exclusivist identity politics.
But yesterday I had a nostalgic moment reading Max Blumenthal dissing me publicly. When Blumenthal was asked about Israeli critics he ended up talking about the vile ‘anti Semites’, ‘neo Fascists’ and the ‘racists’ in the movements. Interestingly enough, he failed to remember any name but one – Gilad Atzmon.
Atzmon is a “pure anti Semite who believes that all of the problems of Israel flow not from colonialism but from Judaism.” said Blumenthal.
Apparently, not buying into the clumsy ‘colonial paradigm’ makes me into a ‘neo Fascist’, ‘anti Semite’ and a ‘racist’.
It is obviously clear that Blumenthal didn’t read a single word by me. I naively believe that if someone insists to criticise my work, he or she better spend some time to read me first. It is an established fact that Palestinian activist Ali Abunimah also called for my disavowal while admitting to Prof. Norton Mezvinsky that he has never read a single word by me. Tragically enough, the fear of intellectual exchange and open discourse is endemic within the Jewish progressive ghetto but also within some quarters of the solidarity movement.
However, those who are even mildly familiar with my thoughts know that Blumenthal reacts out of hysteria rather than knowledge. My scholarship is not concerned with Judaism (the religion) nor am I referring to Jews (the people). I am critical of Jewish Identity politics and Jewish ideology. I elaborate on Jewish-ness and Jewish culture as opposed to Judaism. Race, genetics or biology have never been part of my study. If anything, I am critical largely of Jewish secular politics and culture rather than the Jewish religion.
I am indeed critical of the ‘colonial paradigm’ which Blumenthal adheres to. Colonialism is defined traditionally as a material exchange between a settler state and a mother state. Israel is clearly a settler state, however, it is far from being clear what is its ‘mother state’. Is it the USA, Britain or actually the Jewish people? In fact I argue adamantly that the colonial paradigm is there to divert the attention from the embarrassing fact that the Jewish State being racially driven, nationalist and expansionist is actually closer in its political nature to Nazi Germany rather than to South Africa. I guess that Max Blumenthal, who operates within Jews-only political cells doesn’t like this equation. Yet, such an argument doesn’t make me into a neo Fascist or an anti-Semite. If anything, it secures my status as an out-spoken observant mind.
Unlike Blumenthal and his comrades, I also believe that if Israel defines itself as the Jewish State, we are more than entitled to verify what its Jewishness stands for. Does this make me into a racist? I guess that the huge lists of scholars and humanists who decided to endorse my work didn’t think so.
But I also believe that since Max Blumenthal identifies politically as a secular Jew who operates within Jews-only political cells (and even signs on ‘Jewish letters’, as he himself admits), is actually a legitimate case study of Jewish tribal political operation.
Sooner or later Blumenthal and his comrades will have to make an effort and tell us what their ‘Jewishness’ stands for. Is it a love of chicken soup they share, or is it something more profound?
Being an expert on the matter and an avid reader of Jewish history, I know pretty well why Blumenthal is tormented by my work. Jewish hegemony within radical movements always backfired. My work indeed exposes an intrinsic dishonest element within the Jewish Left in general and Jewish anti Zionism in particular. I guess that the vastly growing popularity of the descriptive abbreviation AZZ (Anti Zionist Zionists), only suggests that Blumenthal & Co have a good reason to panic. In The Wandering Who I give this very panic a name – Pre Traumatic Stress Disorder (Pre – TSD).
I would like to take this opportunity and advise Blumenthal that killing the messenger is not going to rescue his cause: it would only attribute him the characteristics of just another Judas and he has himself to blame for it.
Below you will find the London Declaration on Antisemitism followed by a great analytical deconstruction by Stuart Littlewood.
The declaration doesn’t leave much room for doubt, Israel and its Lobby are in a state of panic. The London Statement is a clear attempt to stop discussion on issues to do with Jewish past, the Holocaust, the Jewish State and its Jewish nature.
Interestingly enough, the declaration provides us with an insight into Zionist projection. Far from being a universal statement, the declaration is primarily concerned with anti-Jewish discrimination. The declaration is a brutal and crude attempt to interfere with freedom of expression that is still regarded by some as a precious human value.
The declaration is full of logical flaws. Here is one example. Though Israel defines itself as the Jewish State, the declaration calls to stop those who “target the State of Israel as a Jewish collectivity” (1). I guess that the meaning of it is simple. Israel is happy to define itself as a Jewish State but it doesn’t like to be defined as such by others.
The declaration calls “national governments, parliaments, international institutions… to affirm democratic and human values, build societies based on respect and citizenship and combat any manifestations of antisemitism and discrimination.” I would expect the Israeli Government to follow this call and to make sure that Israel, once and for all, becomes a ‘state of its citizens’ and succumb to principles of ‘human values’ and true democracy, because at the moment Israel is still a ‘Jewish State’ and its legal system discriminates non-Jews.
The declaration is an attempt to seal Jewish past “Governments must challenge any foreign leader, politician or public figure who denies, denigrates or trivialises the Holocaust” (3). It is obviously clear that some Jews don’t like it when gentiles look into their past. But the question is why? Is there something secretive in Jewish past? The declaration also fails to define exactly what denial, denigration or trivialization may entail.
I guess that the desperate appeal to law and international community is taking place now because Israel and its supporters grasp that the tide has changed. -resentment towards Israel and its lobbies cannot be contained anymore.
I guess that Israel and its Lobby better learn to self-reflect rather than attempting to silence criticism.
The London Declaration on Combating Antisemitism, signed by some of the worlds leading parliamentarians, represents a new era in global cooperation in the fight against antisemitism.
The London Declaration on Combating Antisemitism
We, Representatives of our respective Parliaments from across the world, convening in London for the founding Conference and Summit of the Inter-parliamentary Coalition for Combating Antisemitism, draw the democratic world’s attention to the resurgence of antisemitism as a potent force in politics, international affairs and society.
We note the dramatic increase in recorded antisemitic hate crimes and attacks targeting Jewish persons and property, and Jewish religious, educational and communal institutions.
We are alarmed at the resurrection of the old language of prejudice and its modern manifestations in rhetoric and political action -against Jews, Jewish belief and practice and the State of Israel.
We are alarmed by Government-backed antisemitism in general, and state-backed genocidal antisemitism, in particular.
We, as Parliamentarians, affirm our commitment to a comprehensive programme of action to meet this challenge.
We call upon national governments, parliaments, international institutions, political and civic leaders, NGOs, and civil society to affirm democratic and human values, build societies based on respect and citizenship and combat any manifestations of antisemitism and discrimination.
We today in London resolve that;
1. Parliamentarians shall expose, challenge, and isolate political actors who engage in hate against Jews and target the State of Israel as a Jewish collectivity;
2. Parliamentarians should speak out against antisemitism and discrimination directed against any minority, and guard against equivocation, hesitation and justification in the face of expressions of hatred;
3. Governments must challenge any foreign leader, politician or public figure who denies, denigrates or trivialises the Holocaust and must encourage civil society to be vigilant to this phenomenon and to openly condemn it;
4. Parliamentarians should campaign for their Government to uphold international commitments on combating antisemitism -including the OSCE Berlin Declaration and its eight main principles;
5. The UN should reaffirm its call for every member state to commit itself to the principles laid out in the Holocaust Remembrance initiative including specific and targeted policies to eradicate Holocaust denial and trivialisation;
6. Governments and the UN should resolve that never again will the institutions of the international community and the dialogue of nation states be abused to try to establish any legitimacy for antisemitism, including the singling out of Israel for discriminatory treatment in the international arena, and we will never witness – or be party to -another gathering like the United Nations World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and other related Intolerances in Durban in 2001;
7. The OSCE should encourage its member states to fulfil their commitments under the 2004 Berlin Declaration and to fully utilise programmes to combat antisemitism including the Law Enforcement programme LEOP;
8. The European Union, inter-state institutions, multilateral fora and religious communities must make a concerted effort to combat antisemitism and lead their members to adopt proven and best practice methods of countering antisemitism;
9. Leaders of all religious faiths should be called upon to use all the means possible to combat antisemitism and all types of discriminatory hostilities among believers and society at large;
- The EU Council of MinistersProhibitions
- Parliamentarians should legislate effective Hate Crime legislation recognising “hate aggravated crimes” and, where consistent with local legal standards, “incitement to hatred” offences and empower law enforcement agencies to convict;
- Governments that are signatories to the Hate Speech Protocol of the Council of Europe ‘Convention on Cybercrime’ (and the ‘Additional Protocol to the Convention on cybercrime, concerning the criminalisation of acts of a racist and xenophobic nature committed through computer systems’) should enact domestic enabling legislation; Identifying the threat
- Parliamentarians should return to their legislature, Parliament or Assembly and establish inquiry scrutiny panels that are tasked with determining the existing nature and state of antisemitism in their countries and developing recommendations for government and civil society action;
- Parliamentarians should engage with their governments in order to measure the effectiveness of existing policies and mechanisms in place and to recommend proven and best practice methods of countering antisemitism;
- Governments should ensure they have publicly accessible incident reporting systems, and that statistics collected on antisemitism should be the subject of regular review and action by government and state prosecutors and that an adequate legislative framework is in place to tackle hate crime;
- Governments must expand the use of the EUMC ‘Working Definition of antisemitism’ to inform policy of national and international organisations and as a basis for training material for use by Criminal Justice Agencies;
- Police services should record allegations of hate crimes and incidents -including antisemitism -as routine part of reporting crimes;
- The OSCE
- Education, awareness and training
- The Council of Europe should act efficiently for the full implementation of its ‘Declaration and Programme for Education for Democratic Citizenship based on the Rights and Responsibilities of the Citizens’, adopted on 7 May 1999 in Budapest;
- Governments should include a comprehensive training programme across the Criminal Justice System using programmes such as the LEOP programme;
- Education Authorities
- The Criminal Justice System should publicly notify local communities when antisemitic hate crimes are prosecuted by the courts to build community confidence in reporting and pursuing convictions through the Criminal Justice system;
Media and the Internet
- Governments should acknowledge the challenge and opportunity of the growing new forms of communication;
- Media Regulatory Bodies should utilise the EUMC ‘Working Definition of antisemitism’ to inform media standards;
- Governments should take appropriate and necessary action to prevent the broadcast of antisemitic programmes on satellite television channels, and to apply pressure on the host broadcast nation to take action to prevent the transmission of antisemitic programmes;
- The OSCE should seek ways to coordinate the response of member states to combat the use of the internet to promote incitement to hatred;
- Law enforcement authorities should use domestic “hate crime”, “incitement to hatred” and other legislation as well as other means to mitigate and, where permissible, to prosecute “Hate on the Internet” where racist and antisemitic content is hosted, published and written;
- An international task force
Inter-parliamentary Coalition for Combating Antisemitism
- Participants will endeavour to maintain contact with fellow delegates through the working group framework, communicating successes or requesting further support where required;
Please click the links below for French, German & Spanish translations.
London Declaration on Anti-Semitism: Seeking to Criminalize Criticism of Israel
Criticism of Israel cannot be regarded as anti-Semitic.
By Stuart Littlewood | June 4 2013
Australian federal and state MPs have been indulging in an orgy of anti-anti-Semitism by signing en masse the London Declaration on Combating Anti-Semitism. Over 100 have put their mark on it.
The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reports that even more of the nation’s 226 federal parliamentarians in Canberra are expected to sign up, and all 105 federal Liberal MPs and senators have done so.
About 300 other lawmakers from some 60 countries have also signed, according to a spokesperson from the Inter-parliamentary Coalition for Combating Anti-Semitism. Fifty of these are Canadians, 18 are British, six are Israeli and two are American (what, only two?).
Moreover, last month Australia’s Julia Gillard became the fourth prime minister to sign, after Britain’s Gordon Brown and David Cameron, and Canada’s Stephen Harper, who in 2010 signed the Ottawa Protocol, reaffirming the London Declaration.
The Stooges’ Pledge
So what exactly have they put their names to? The full document can be found here. It seeks to “draw the democratic world’s attention to the resurgence of anti-Semitism as a potent force in politics, international affairs and society”.
The authors of this one-sided treatise (the aforementioned Inter-parliamentary Coalition for Combating Anti-Semitism) want their 34 “commandments” enforced by all the big battalions – national governments, parliaments, international institutions, political and civic leaders, non-governmental organizations and civil society.
In the process, of course, efforts to expose the tightening noose of Zionism on those very same areas of politics, international affairs and society, will be stifled.
Commandment no.1 states that “Parliamentarians shall expose, challenge, and isolate political actors who engage in hate against Jews and target the state of Israel as a Jewish collectivity”.
Oh dear, how confusing. Here I was foolishly thinking the state of Israel was indeed some sort of Jewish collective since its founding document says:
“We, members of the People’s Council, representatives of the Jewish community of Eretz Israel and of the Zionist movement hereby declare the establishment of a Jewish state in Eretz Israel,to be known as the State of Israel. The State of Israel will be open for Jewish immigration and for the Ingathering of the Exiles… We appeal to the Jewish people throughout the diaspora to rally round the Jews of Eretz-Israel in the tasks of immigration and upbuilding…”
Commandment no.6 states that “Governments and the UN should resolve that never again will the institutions of the international community and the dialogue of nation states be abused to try to establish any legitimacy for anti-Semitism, including the singling out of Israel for discriminatory treatment in the international arena…”
In other words, mustn’t pick on, criticize or punish Israel for its horrendous crimes. It’s an old tune.
Commandment no.24 states that “Education authorities should ensure that freedom of speech is upheld within the law and to protect students and staff from illegal anti-Semitic discourse and a hostile environment in whatever form it takes including calls for boycotts”.
But what exactly constitutes “illegal anti-Semitic discourse”? And is this an attempt to make boycotting illegal? Surely, that would be an infringement of personal and civil liberty.
Commandment no.29 states that “Governments should take appropriate and necessary action to prevent the broadcast of antisemitic programmes on satellite television channels, and to apply pressure on the host broadcast nation to take action to prevent the transmission of antisemitic programmes.”
The heavy hand of state censorship rides again.
“A Flawed Document”
There is good, sensible stuff in the declaration but it is laced with neurotic nonsense. The above are just a few examples. Readers will find more to annoy them when they see the full text, including its hectoring tone, and may feel the whole thing trespasses too far on their personal discretion and good sense.
To their credit two Australian Green MPs, John Kaye and David Shoebridge, have publicly refused to sign the declaration, saying that the document,
“wrongly conflates valid criticism of the state of Israel with anti-Semitism” and is “an unacceptable slander on those of us who speak up for the rights of the Palestinians. Criticism of the state of Israel… that is motivated by concern for a people dispossessed of their land, the consequences of a state that is founded on a religion or ethnicity or the actions of a government that ignores UN resolutions, is a valid contribution to public discourse.”
They add: “It is a tragedy that the London Declaration is a flawed document. The fundamental intent – to combat and end irrational hatred against a people – is too important to be subverted by the political objectives of Zionism.”
They further argue:
“When people of goodwill express their opposition to Israeli soldiers routinely humiliating Palestinians at checkpoints, the construction of an apartheid-style segregation wall through the West Bank or the brutal use of Israeli military force against civilians in Gaza, their motivation is not to denigrate the Jewish people but to highlight injustices perpetrated on the Palestinian people.”
Is there a working definition of anti-Semitism? According to the European Forum on anti-Semitism,
“Anti-Semitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of anti-Semitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.”
Making mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective – such as, especially but not exclusively, the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions.
When did fact become myth? Is Jewish ownership of large sections of the media a myth? Is the subservience of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and the US government to Israel a myth? Is repeated interference in church affairs by Jewish groups a myth?
Accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations.
Legitimate worries over dual loyalty are here to stay.
There’s more to chew on in this part of the document:
Examples of the ways in which anti-Semitism manifests itself with regard to the state of Israel taking into account the overall context could include:
-Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g. by claiming that the existence of a state of Israel is a racist endeavour.
-Applying double standards by requiring of it a behaviour not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.
-Using the symbols and images associated with classic anti-Semitism (e.g. claims of Jews killing Jesus or blood libel) to characterize Israel or Israelis.
-Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.
-Holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the state of Israel. However, criticism of Israel similar to that leveled against any other country cannot be regarded as anti-Semitic.
Self-determination? The Israelis have denied the Palestinians their right to self-determination for decades and just recently opposed their moves towards statehood. And let’s get this straight: critics require from Israel only the same standards of behaviour expected of other countries, i.e. conformity with international law, proper respect for humanitarian law and acceptable standards of justice. This is core.
Furthermore, the state of Israel is always welcome to demonstrate to the world that it is not a racist endeavour after all. Wanted: a declaration against irrational hatred of all kinds, not just anti-Semitism
So, are you entirely comfortable with these “commandments”? Would you brandish the blue pencil or eagerly sign up like those fine, thrusting parliamentarians in Australia and Canada – and Brown and Cameron?
What’s the alternative? It seems to me that some Jews would do well to examine their own thoughts and deeds before pleading a special case. Tackling anti-Jewish hatred is a priority but not the only one. Hatred of non-Jews also needs to be curbed, and I’m thinking especially of the Israelis’ Arab neighbours – Christian and Muslim – whose lands, homes and resources they have stolen, whose economy, wellbeing and livelihoods they daily trash, and whose freedom, security and dignity they have long denied. This hatred often spills over into cruelty, murder and other atrocities such as out-and-out military assaults and mass bombing of civilians and infrastructure essential to life.
So here’s a suggestion for the promoters of both documents. Please delete the word “anti-Semitism” from the title and redraft to make it a fair and balanced undertaking against irrational hatred of all kinds.
That, hopefully, would earn universal support. Note the word “earn”. Reasonable, sensible people won’t be pushed and shoved.
It is astonishing how any self-respecting lawmaker could wholeheartedly subscribe to the declaration as it stands.
Attempting to un-censor my letter to the editor, College of Charleston’s campus newspaper, “CisternYard”
Awhile ago the pro-Israel editor of the College of Charleston’s online campus newspaper published two articles containing offensive accusations against me — one even before I spoke on campus and one afterward.
The newspaper has now finally posted my response – but it isn’t listed in any of the website’s menus; standard practice would be to list it in the Opinion section.
In other words, editor Sarah Sheafer (who calls Israel her “second home”) has officially “published” my response, thus finally adhering to journalistic requirements, while keeping the op-ed virtually invisible to the vast majority of the newspaper’s readers.
My emails to Sheafer about this bizarre situation have brought no change, and now the staff is gone for a week. I plan to continue to request that the newspaper include my letter in the Opinion section, where letters to the editor and op-eds would normally be… but perhaps not if they expose uncomfortable facts about Israel and its partisans…
Op-ed for CisternYard
On April 19th I spoke at the College of Charleston at an event sponsored by the Department of Sociology and Anthropology and a local organization called Charleston Peace One Day.
The title of my lecture was “Israel-Palestine: What the Media Leave Out,” and in it I documented the extremely flawed nature of US news coverage of this conflict. This material was gleaned from 12 years of researching this subject, eight statistical media studies, independent reporting trips to the region, many dozens of articles on the topic, and an upcoming book.
Sadly, the two articles on my talk by the CofC student newspaper, one before my lecture and one after, exemplify the deeply faulty reporting frequently found in articles concerning Israel. In addition to numerous inaccuracies, they violated some of the basic principles of journalism.
Sarah Sheafer, the newspaper’s editor in chief, wrote both articles. Sheafer’s first article consisted of accusations by Israel-partisans claiming that I was “anti-Semitic” and labeling my talk – in advance – “hate speech.” Sheafer repeated inaccurate claims about me without investigating their veracity, and failed to include my very public rebuttals of these falsehoods. While Sheafer included interviews defending the event in the name of academic freedom and free speech, she did not include any defense of me or response to the terrible accusations about me.
Violating a fundamental principle of journalism
And in violation of the most basic tenet of fair reporting, she never attempted to contact me to respond to the claims. This ignored one of the most fundamental requirements of journalistic ethics: According to the Society of Newspaper Editors, “Persons publicly accused should be given the earliest opportunity to respond.”
Her piece similarly failed to quote anyone in favor of my my work, though I have been honored to receive plaudits from diverse sources and have been asked to speak at a multitude of universities and other venues both in the U.S. and abroad. Nor did her very long article contain any information about my multitude of articles describing Palestinian suffering under occupation or those on Israel’s lethal attack on a US Navy ship.
When I discovered Sheafer’s article and emailed and phoned her to discuss it, she did not return my call and did not respond to requests to print a rebuttal. (She did eventually email us back.)
The second article followed my talk. This article again focused on defamatory claims (I am called anti-Semitic in the second paragraph), misquoted me at times, and incompletely depicted what took place, though it included some information from my presentation in the second part of the article (the part least likely to be ready by readers in a hurry).
While Sheafer stated that there was “incivility” during the event, the reality is that a large group of fanatic Israel partisans (perhaps in part stirred up by Sheafer’s first article) attended the event, shouted over my attempts to answer their questions fully and respectfully, and ultimately prevented CofC students from engaging in the kind of extended question-and-answer discussion that normally follows a presentation and that students have a right to expect. Particularly troubling is the fact that apparently some CofC faculty were involved in this behavior.
Several students wrote me after the event apologizing for this group. One said, “This conduct was deeply embarrassing to me as a student. I felt you were treated rudely and disrespected.” The person went on to write, “I respect how calmly you maintained your professional demeanor and continued to be courteous and respectful to the audience.”
Following my presentation, which included a video and numerous slides, Sheafer apologized for not contacting me for her previous story and finally interviewed me. However, she included none of the information I gave her in her second article. Nor did the newspaper print a formal correction or apology.
In the piece, she quoted many of the hostile questions addressed to me by a somewhat organized group that had clearly come to the event to do battle, and then either misquoted my answer, included only a small part of it, or, in most cases, completely left it out.
Perhaps this is because the questioners and allied mob largely shouted over all my answers to their questions; it’s possible that Sheafer often couldn’t hear my full responses. I certainly had trouble hearing myself.
While Sheafer reported on my presentation and included much valuable information, she left out some of the most important points and watered down others.
She failed to report the fact that, in the current uprising, over 12 times more Palestinian children have been killed than Israeli children, and that 91 of them were killed before a single Israeli child was killed. She omitted the fact that US media consistently and erroneously term Israeli actions “retaliation,” and primetime news shows report on Israeli children’s deaths at rates up to 14 times greater than they report on Palestinian children’s deaths.
Sheafer similarly omitted the information I provided about a 2003 Capital Hill briefing in which a commission that included a four-star admiral, a rear admiral, and the highest-ranking recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor reported that Israeli forces had tried to sink a US Navy ship, had killed 34 American servicemen and injured over 170, and that rescue flights had been recalled because the President of the United States said he “didn’t want to embarrass an ally.”
These extremely grave statements on Capitol Hill by this extraordinarily high-ranking commission can be found in the Congressional Record.
Perhaps Sheafer’s most significant violation of journalistic ethics was to assign herself to cover these events in the first place, rather than sending a neutral reporter.
The fact is, as Sheafer publicly admits, she has a strong emotional attachment to Israel, once writing: Israel is “the country I consider my second home.”
The particular article with this statement was written on Nov. 15th, 2012, the day a 10-month-old Gaza baby was killed by Israeli forces – the fourth Palestinian child killed by Israeli forces that week – though Sheafer mentions none of these deaths.
While Sheafer says that she condemns “some of [Israel’s] controversial decisions (i.e. illegal settlements),” her piece focuses on her intense anguish over Israeli difficulties, her deep empathy with Israelis (at one point she writes she wishes she were there), and, tellingly, her anger at those who criticize Israeli actions.
She wrote this column during an Israeli onslaught in which Israeli forces killed at least 169 Gazan men, women, and children, and Palestinians killed 6 Israelis, none of them children. (During the previous year, Israelis had killed 64 Palestinians in Gaza, while Gazans had killed no Israelis.)
None of these facts are in Sheafer’s column, “Israel At War.”
While Sheafer and the group who disrupted this event consider themselves pro-Israel and brevity requires me to identify them as such, in reality I feel that their actions do not benefit Israelis.
Israel was created through violence and has been maintained through violence, a reality that is not only tragic for the Muslim and Christian victims of this violence, but is also tragic for Israelis themselves.
If Israelis are to live a normal existence free of war and conflict, it is essential that they change their policies and become a nation that treats all people with equality, an approach that many Israelis desire, and that they recognize the historic injustice at the core of the conflict.
Such a policy change, however, is unlikely to occur while American politicians continue to bankroll Israel to the tune of over $8 million per day and to provide diplomatic cover no matter what the Israeli state does. This blind support gives the Israeli government such power that its leaders feel free to ignore Palestinians, other world players, and dissenting Israelis alike.
Given this seemingly blank check of American financial and diplomatic support, Israeli leaders feel no need to negotiate honestly to reach a compromise in which Jews, Muslims, and Christians can share the land that is sacred to all three groups. This won’t change until Americans become sufficiently informed on this issue to demand changes to US policy.
It is essential that Americans learn the facts on this issue. I believe strongly that we have the power to bring peace to the core issue in the Middle East – a conflict that has spawned numerous wars, caused dangerous instability to the region and the world, and has placed Americans increasingly in danger.
It is sad that an event on this urgent issue was in many ways sabotaged. I hope that additional speakers providing factual information will be invited to lecture at the College of Charleston, and that they will not receive the treatment I experienced.
Alison Weir is the president of the Council for the National Interest and executive director of If Americans Knew. She is a former journalist and has a degree in journalism.
While this may seem like a relatively small matter, it is part of a significant and disturbing pattern. Please see a related article, How Israel partisans use the press to block facts from reaching Americans, and still another, The Coverage and Non-Coverage of Israel-Palestine, which specifically includes a small section on student journalists:
“…an article entitled “Jewish journalists grapple with ‘doing the write thing,’” in the Nov. 23, 2001 Jewish Bulletin of Northern California [interviewed Jewish] journalism students about how they would cover Israel. Its findings were inconclusive. Some students felt they would cover Israel impartially, some didn’t. The Bulletin described one of the latter, Uzi Safanov: “’I’m a Jew before being a journalist, before someone pays me to write,’ he said. ‘If I find a negative thing about Israel, I will not print it and I will sink into why did it happen and what can I do to change it.’ Safanov said that even if he eventually wrote about negative incidents that happen in Israel, he would try to find the way ‘to shift the blame.’”
Another also spoke of the need to protect Israel: “’On campus there is already so much anti-Israeli sentiment that we have to be careful about any additional criticism against Israel,’ said Marita Gringaus, who used to write for Arizona State University’s newspaper. ‘This is our responsibility as Jews, which obviously contradicts our responsibilities as journalists…’”
In April 2012, Americans for Peace and Tolerance (APT), a Zionist organization headed by Charles Jacobs, began a smear campaign against Muslim students, the staff of Spiritual Life Center, and some faculty at Northeastern University.
The APT posted three videos on the internet accusing Muslims students at Northeastern University of advocating ‘Islamic extremism’ and concocting charges of anti-Semitism against several members of the faculty and staff of the Spiritual Life Center at Northeastern University. I was one of the principal targets of these smears. After launching the videos, the APT has used a variety of tactics to bring pressure on Northeastern University to ‘punish’ the faculty it had targeted in one of its smear videos.
When this campaign persisted I decided to write a letter to the President of Northeastern in November 2012 providing some background to APT’s smear campaign. At the time I had no intention of circulating this letter more widely. However, since APT has persisted in its defamatory campaign against me, I think it proper to publish this letter to set the record straight. Here is the text of the letter (partly revised) that I sent to President Aoun of Northeastern University.
* * *
It has come to my notice that Mr. Charles Jacobs – head of Americans for Peace and Tolerance – has been circulating letters among NU faculty and administration that make baseless and defamatory charges against me. I am concerned about the damage to my reputation and to the reputation of the university from these charges, which is why I am writing to you. In this letter I briefly outline the main charges, and provide you with my key points to refute them.
First, I would like to present some information on the source of the charges, why they are aimed not only at me but at other faculty at NU, and why they are likely to have broader impact beyond just an attack on myself. Mr. Charles Jacobs has been engaging in sustained attacks for several years to silence critics of Israeli human rights violations. He is the co-founder of the David Project, an organization established in 2002 with the specific purpose of silencing critics of Israel. In 2004, the David Project produced Columbia Unbecoming, a documentary that spearheaded a smear campaign against several Arab-American professors, including two very prominent academics at Columbia University. In 2012, he began a campaign directed against Northeastern University, producing a series of videos smearing faculty, staff and students at NU.
Second, I want to set out a few specifics about the three videos produced by APT to smear Northeastern University, several of its faculty, its Muslim students and the staff of Spiritual Life Center. One of these videos, Anti-Semitic Education at Northeastern, directs its smears – amongst others – against Professor Denis Sullivan and myself. In addition, following the release of this video, Mr. Jacobs began sending letters to NU faculty, making false statements about me that he claims are caught on video. In one of his letters to NU faculty, Mr. Jacobs makes the claim: “[Alam] Caught on video urging students to be proud anti-Semites.” In another letter, he claims: “Prof. Alam tells students it’s alright to be called anti-Semitic because it shows they’re on the right side of history.” These charges are simply untrue, and I categorically deny them. They are not supported even by the doctored video clips from a talk I gave at Northeastern University. It is worth noting that my talk was videotaped surreptitiously, without my knowledge or consent.
I would like to set the record straight about the source of the clips on me in the video produced by APT. At the end of a talk I gave last spring at an event organized by Students for Justice in Palestine at NU, a student complained that their advocacy of Palestinian rights often invites slurs of anti-Semitism. She asked, “How should the pro-Palestinian activists respond to these smears?” I responded: If someone smears you as anti-Semitic because of your advocacy of Palestinian rights you should ignore your accusers. I urged the student to disregard such attempts at intimidation, stating that if their accusers persist in these smear tactics, at some point in time those who are falsely accused might wear these smears as a mark of distinction; as a mark of distinction – because this would signify that they have been smeared for supporting a just and honorable cause, the human rights of the long-suffering Palestinians. My remarks were cut and distorted for purposes of the slanderous video.
There are other issues likely being raised by the letters Mr. Jacobs is emailing to some faculty at Northeastern, but I am confident that I can refute every one of them, and shall do so if the need arises. Unfortunately, Mr. Jacobs is not working alone on this campaign. Among others, he has help in his smear campaign from several other organizations, including Campus Watch, headed by Daniel Pipes, Center for Islamic Pluralism, headed by Stephen Schwartz, and Freedom Center, headed by David Horowitz. All of them illustrious organizations headed by men of impeccable reputations as truth-tellers.
Over the 25 years that I have taught at Northeastern I have made a few modest contributions in the fields of economics, politics, history, religious studies, and poetry; launched three new courses on capitalism, the history of the global economy and the economic history of the Middle East; taught four classes every year nearly all of which were filled to capacity; and mentored many students. During this quarter century of teaching courses that critically analyzed many of the assumptions of the social sciences, not one of my students has gone to any of my colleagues or official at Northeastern to complain of bias against any ethnic group or nationality in my classes.
On the contrary, my students can attest that I place the study and critique of biases – whether Orientalist, Eurocentric, racist, nationalist, religious, anti-Semitic, Islamophobic, sexist, jingoist or ethnic – at the center of my approach to the study of the social sciences. I begin every one of my courses with readings, videos and lectures that seek to create an awareness of overt and covert biases in the social science texts, in our public discourse as well as our private conversations. I tell my students that recognition of our biases is the first and necessary step towards pushing back against the same in our own thinking.
In order to help my students in these explorations, I tell them stories from the wisdom traditions of Islam, the West, India and China, I recite to them poems – from Rumi, Shakespeare, Whitman, and contemporary American poets. I show them videos on biases in our perceptions, and I read to them from some of the Founding Fathers and Abraham Lincoln. It is therefore ironic that accusations of anti-Semitic bias should be hurled against me. It is doubly ironic that such accusations should come from individuals who have never taken my classes or engaged me in discussions; and this speaks pointedly to the falsity of their accusations.
At the end, I must confess that as I write this letter I cannot avoid feeling diminished by the need to defend my reputation against outrageous smears by people who have made lucrative careers out of hate-mongering and Islamophobia. A scholar’s life is an open book: you can examine his ideas in his books, articles, essays, and speeches. My work too should speak for itself.
I am available to meet with you at your convenience should you wish to discuss the matter further.
M. Shahid Alam is professor of economics at Northeastern University; he is also the faculty advisor to Students for Justice in Palestine on the campus. He is an economist, essayist, translator and poet. His most recent book, Israeli Exceptionalism, was published in 2007 by Palgrave
“Zionism is much more than settler colonialism; its fundamental opposition is between Jew and gentile everywhere.”
What is to be done?
Worldwide, it is Israel Apartheid Week, 2013, a worthy expression of solidarity with the Palestinians suffering under Israel’s occupation of the territories it conquered in the June, 1967 war. However, the leading lights of the anti-apartheid struggle said a decade and more ago that Israel’s regime is much worse than South African apartheid. After 46 years, “the occupation” is clearly not temporary and transient as the word implies. It is egregiously wrong to use this language, which privileges the oppressors and further oppresses the victims. This language is universal and long-standing, reflecting habits of thought and action long overdue for replacement.
The following was written as notes for a discussion, about 2000 words, divided into 5 headings: Classical Liberal Views of Zionism; Zionism; Zionism in the US; Zionism on the Left; Strategy and Tactics.
Classical Liberal Views of Zionism
The Enlightenment and emancipation ended the subjugation of west European Jews to Judaic authorities, and to gentile regulation. Jews were admitted, gradually but inevitably, to liberal citizenship. The US was created on a modern, liberal basis, with no trace of pre-modern Jewish status.
Reform Judaism modernized traditional Judaism and allowed religious worship with the social status of Christianity. Many Jews abandoned religion for secularism, after Spinoza. Jews contributed disproportionately to modern liberal culture and left and liberal politics.
Zionism was dismissed as reactionary and atavistic. American Reform Judaism in 1885 expressly disavowed it. The Marxism of the Second International period viewed nationalism as reactionary and Zionism as a tool of imperialism. The Yiddish labor movements in the Russian Empire and their immigrant offshoots also opposed Zionism.
Zionism was a marginal, declining cult until World War I, which led to the Balfour Declaration, the British conquest of Palestine, and growth of the “Jewish national home.” Even then Zionism was a minority current, until the rise of Nazism. Yet classical anti-Zionism survived all the changes of World War II.
Elmer Berger, an American Reform rabbi, led a rearguard action against Zionism in the 1940s, and remained an avowed critic of Israel until his death in 1996. Isaac Deutscher and Maxime Rodinson, raised in Marxist internationalism, remained critics of Zionism and Israel until their deaths (Deutscher in August, 1967, Rodinson in 2004)
The Israeli Socialist Organization (Matzpen) attempted to reconstruct internationalism in the 1960s. Israel Shahak cited what he called the “modern, secular Jewish tradition,” which he traced from Spinoza, against Zionism. Shahak and Matzpen put the atrocities of Israel’s occupation on the map from the Israeli side. Shahak died in 2001; some senior Matzpen alumni are still active.
Obviously, these currents have different social bases, and different politics, aside from their rejection of Zionism. Yet they constitute the basis of modernity and any critique of Zionism must derive from them. The people cited were well to the left of what the US has produced since 1967, precisely because the US left has ignored classical sources.
Zionism is the Jewish contribution to right-wing politics and ideology, nothing more or less; it opposed liberalism and embraced anti-Semitism. Zionism agreed that “the Jews comprise a distinctive element among the nations… and as such can neither assimilate nor be readily digested by any nation.” “The only solution is in the creation of a Jewish nationality, of a people living upon its own soil, the auto- emancipation of the Jews; their return to the ranks of the nations by the acquisition of a Jewish homeland.” (Pinsker, Autoemancipation) This was the view of bourgeois Jewish society in the Pale of Settlement, not the impoverished masses, who left by the million for the US.
Zionist “Jewish nationality” was not nationalism; it rejected the actually existing Yiddish nation in eastern Europe, including the Yiddish language, in anti-Semitic terms. Modern Israeli Hebrew was not “revived” but largely invented; modern Hebrew culture is inextricably Zionist, bound up with its conquest and dispossession. The alleged unitary history and historiography of the Jewish people have, unsurprisingly, been demolished by authors like Shlomo Sand, archaeologists Israel Finkelstein and Neil Silberman, linguist Paul Wexler, and others.
Racialism in Zionism dates to the proto-Zionism of Moses Hess; the chauvinism of Heinrich Graetz contributed to German anti-Semitism; German Zionism was Jewish Romantic nationalism, embracing Jewish Blut und Boden. Herzl was steeped in the racism of European colonialism. Zionism was a fraternal twin of anti-Semitism, and cooperated with it practically, down to the Nazi regime itself.
Elmer Berger co-authored the UN resolution on Zionism as a form of racism, and wrote on that theme. Noel Ignatiev called the Zionist “Jewish people” idea Jewish race doctrine. “Jewish genetics” tries to build a biological basis for Zionism. Zionism is much more than settler colonialism; its fundamental opposition is between Jew and gentile everywhere.
Zionism was an elite project of national renewal, concerned with “the problems of Judaism, not the problems of Jewry,” in Ahad Ha’am’s lofty phrase. It always placed its designs ahead of the fate of European Jewry. Hitler might have conquered the Near East; the Judeocide happened because of Nazi Germany, not because there was no Jewish state.
“Cultural Zionism,” “binationalism” and “socialism” were simply Zionism by other means. The culture of Zionist Jewish nationality was racialism. The binationalists wanted Jewish immigration leading to demographic parity and eventually majority, when Jews were a minority. The kibbutz was a means of Jewish settlement and was inspired by 19th c. German settlement plans to counter a Polish “demographic threat” in the eastern Reich.
Today the state of Israel is waging a race war, as fanatical as Nazi Germany, against the enemies of the Jewish people. This potential was inherent in Zionism from the start, though obviously many contingencies have enabled its fruition. Israeli Hebrew nationality is the replacement for Zionist Jewish nationality, secular and open to all, as Boas Evron argued in Jewish State or Israeli Nation.
Zionism in the US
The core of Zionism in the US is organized Jewry, gathered in the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. Many of these groups arose to meet the needs of the Russian Jewish migration before 1914. By the 1930s, this organized Jewish culture inspired the idea of “Judaism as a religious civilization,” and in the postwar period was called a “Jewish polity.”
The polity, and the Jewish public, supported Jewish statehood in the 1940s, but were still mainly concerned with integration and acceptance in American life. In the early 1960s, as this was achieved, liberalism was seen as threatening “Jewish continuity,” just as it was feared by the bourgeoisie in the Pale who founded Zionism. This chauvinism was fatally supercharged by Israel’s dramatic victory in June 1967.
The Jewish polity is the core of US support for Israel, which includes institutions and individuals throughout US culture; the “Israel lobby” is an inadequate term; “Zionocracy,” after the 19th c. “Slaveocracy” that wielded immense power in national politics until the Civil War, better describes it.
The Zionocracy has exercised quasi-sovereign power from the 1940s, when it overturned US diplomatic and military opposition to US support for a Jewish state in Palestine. The US did not create Israel, and does not commission its deeds, for its own purposes. Rather it has adapted to Zionist faits accompli in western Asia and in the US, and pursued its interests in their light.
Since the end of the Cold War Zionism has been the chief driver of US militarism at home and abroad. The Zionocracy influenced the Congressional vote for the Gulf War in 1990, the closest since the War of 1812. The crippling sanctions on Iraq and the “dual containment” of Iran and Iraq in the 1990s were largely by and for the Zionocracy, against substantial business opposition. The 9/11 terrorist attacks, with all their momentous consequences, were chiefly a strike against US patronage of Israel. The 2003 invasion of Iraq would not have happened without the neoconservatives. Only the Zionized left sees “oil” as necessarily and obviously requiring the US to invade Iraq, which has led to the present dissolution of Syria. The end of centuries of Sunni rule in Iraq and the Shia ascendancy there brought the Gulf states, led by Saudi Arabia, to oppose actively the “Shia axis” from Hizbollah to Alawite Syria to Iraq to Iran. The Gulf states are the chief patrons of the armed rebellion in Syria..
Zionism has turned western Asia into the eastern front of the US empire, like the eastern front of the Third Reich, site of its most depraved deeds and ideologies—the annihilation of Arab and Muslim societies, and the Islamophobic “clash of civilizations” and “war on terror.” Disputes over Middle East policy between the miltarists (gentile radicals, and Jewish neoconservatives) and the realists, are like the differences between Nazis and non-Nazi conservatives in Germany.
Zionism on the Left
In the early 1960s the Jewish members of the New Left were universalist, had little interest in “Jewish identity” and identity politics. After the June, 1967 war, there appeared a “Jewish left,” which combined Jewish affirmation with criticism of “the occupation” and support for “Palestinian rights.” This has produced a truncated, minimal critique: “anti-occupation” rhetoric, but no critique of Zionism; “solutions” discourse, of maps and treaties, and false Zionist precedents, rather than overcoming Zionism; ahistorical “law and rights” discourse; the “strategic asset” view of the US-Israel relationship, with little attention to US Zionism; anti-anti-Semitism, but no critique of Jewish chauvinism. With variations, this outlook is hegemonic on the white bread left, including the US Campaign to End the Occupation. It has even absorbed and neutered the “Israel lobby” critique. Phyllis Bennis, long-time “strategic asset” proponent, now dominates Code Pink’s annual anti-AIPAC program, while excluding knowledgeable people like Jeff Blankfort, Janet McMahon, Grant Smith, Stephen Sniegoski, and Alison Weir.
This Orthodox Critique is a form of Zionism. Limiting criticism to “law and rights” trivializes the crimes and diminishes the victims, like calling Nazi aggression and the Judeocide a violation of collective security and minority rights. Referring to Israel’s “occupation,” after nearly 46 years, and to “Israeli apartheid,” when Israel’s regime is much worse than apartheid, is lying. Such apologetics about Zionism, clearest in the “strategic asset” dogma, are Jewish privilege and anti-gentilism, comparable to anti-Semitic essentialism about Jews. The Orthodox Critique replaces a universalist critique from classical sources, which would reject Zionism in its entirety, in Israel, and in the US Zionocracy, and affirm the values of Spinoza, Luxemburg, Berger, et al. against it. Zionism threatens all of us.
Identity can empower the oppressed, but identitarian struggles succeed on broader terrain. The Risorgimento succeeded because national rights were seen as legitimate. The struggles of women and minorities have succeeded because the sphere of rights was broadened. Identity categories are not political, because people have different politics, beyond their universal rights. Past a certain limited point identity politics is chauvinism. Garibaldi recognized the limited progressive value of nationalism. Compare Judith Butler’s attempt to derive liberal obligations from “diasporic Jewish identity,” in the Brooklyn College BDS event, to David Landy’s critique of “diasporic identity” in Jewish Identity and Palestinian Rights.
Strategy and Tactics
The Orthodox Critique has deprived us of the most basic vocabulary and analysis. We are missing decades of literature on Zionism as reaction and racialism, on Zionist radicalization of the US, and on the universalist antipodes, and political organizing on those lines. Meanwhile, Zionism has become ever stronger and more destructive. This is the greatest disaster on the left since the German Communist Party misread Nazism.
The chief concern of US citizens must be the special role of the United States, the indispensable economic, military and political support it provides Israel. To the extent BDS sanctions the state of Israel directly, by boycotting its products, or its institutions, it at least stigmatizes Israel, and raises questions about US policy. BDS directed against “companies profiting from the occupation” implies that corporate profits drive US policies and diverts attention from the real actors.
The Zionocracy is not appeased by such limited terms, which Israeli diplomats and organized Jewry oppose fiercely. We can only gain by calling for Israel to be sanctioned, and by opposing Zionism forthrightly as the chief source of Islamophobia, our Middle East wars, 9/11, and our domestic police state. We should consider “Anti-Zionism Week”.
BDS in the US can be educational, but Europe is the chief market for Israeli products, and BDS is most effective there. Zionist domination of US politics must be our highest concern. Zionism is not a tool of the US, but a quasi-sovereign power in the US, which has activated the worst potentialities of US society. The classical anti-Zionists saw Zionism obviously as an attack on liberal modernity, to be rejected categorically. Liberal traditions allow us—obligate us—to reject Zionism and all its works, and also obligate us to distinguish adherents of Jewish people ideology from Jewish liberal citizens and their rights. They also obligate the latter to join unequivocally a common struggle against Zionism, which threatens us all.