Archive for the ‘Anti-Zionism’ category

The new antisemitism? Or extreme political correctness?

November 17, 2017

The new antisemitism? Or extreme political correctness? | Anne’s Opinions, 16th November 2017

Linda Sarsour is an extreme leftist, “progressive” American activist with a nasty history of supporting terror and antisemitism cloaked as anti-Zionism. The latest saga in which she has become involved is her invitation by New York’s New School to speak at a panel on …. you guessed it… antisemitism – along with that other admirer of Israel, Jewish Voice for Peace (which is hardly Jewish, nor promotes peace).

The New School, a Manhattan- based university, is sponsoring the event in cooperation with the Jewish Voice for Peace and Jacobin Magazine, both of which promote causes of the radical Left.

Sarsour is Muslim activist and unrelenting critic of Israel who supports a boycott against the Jewish state. Among numerous other controversial statements, she tweeted in 2012, “Nothing is creepier than Zionism.”

Rebecca Vilkomerson, executive director of JVP, is also scheduled to speak at the event, which will be moderated by Amy Goodman, host of the radio program Democracy Now.

The mind boggles. Jason Greenblatt, the head of the ADL, tweeted:

Israellycool explained the Tweet for non-Yanks:

It’s just a shame he used a US-specific reference and spelled ‘Oscar Mayer’ (the American meat and cold cut production company, owned by Kraft Heinz) as ‘Oscar Meyer’

Israellycool describes these anti-Israel “activists” thus:

Because the speakers include Linda Sarsour, who denies beingantisemitic, but boy does she hatethose who support a Jewish homeland.

And Rebecca Vilkomerson, executive director of Jewish Voice For Peace (JVP), who sure love their murderers of Jews.

 

Linda Sarsour is also not the great feminist that she promotes herself as being, as the Tower notes:

In a critique of Linda Sarsour, Julie Lenarz, a senior fellow at The Israel Project, observed this past June in The Tower, “Linda Sarsour is not a feminist. She supports a culture that is forcing millions of women into religious slavery. She is a false apostle selling her regressive views to a blinded liberal audience.”

As for Rebecca Vilkomerson, you can read some of her anti-Israel activity and comments here, and below is a clip of her speaking at J Street, promoting BDS:

The New School did not seem to see the enormity of the problem, and assured the Jerusalem Post wide-eyed and disingenuously of their good intentions:

The New School responded in writing to The Jerusalem Post, saying the institution “is founded on principles of tolerance, social justice, and free intellectual exchange. These values remain central to our mission today, and we believe that engaging in debate on a range of issues and ideas is critical to our role as an academic institution”.

A representative who spoke on behalf of the school added: “We understand that there are different views on this issue.

For that reason, the Creative Publishing and Critical Journalism Program has invited representatives of the magazine Tablet to organize an event to present some of these different views on this important topic; the program has also invited to participate Jonathan Greenblatt, national director and CEO of the Anti-Defamation League”.

The ADL declined the invitation.

Liel Leibowitz in The Tablet magazine launched a blistering attack on the New School for twisted thinking that led to their invitations:

Founded in 1919 by progressive New York intellectuals, The New School rose to prominence two decades later, when it took in a small band of Jewish intellectuals fleeing the Nazis. Eminences like Hannah Arednt, Leo Strauss, and Erich Fromm all benefited from the institution’s commitment to taking in the victims of the world’s most ancient and persistent hatred and giving them a place to pursue their ideas in peace.

How things change: Later this month, the university will co-sponsor a panel on anti-Semitism that will feature, among others, Linda Sarsour, who opined that “nothing is creepier than Zionism,” praised Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, and believes one cannot support the right of Jews to a homeland of their own and still be a feminist. Alongside Sarsour will be Rebecca Vilkomerson, who heads the odious Jewish Voice for Peace. The group, as an ADL report aptly put it, “uses its Jewish identity to shield the anti-Israel movement from allegations of anti-Semitism and to provide the movement with a veneer of legitimacy.” Among JVP’s recent achievements are the enthusiastic support of Rasmea Odeh, a Palestinian terrorist convicted of a bombing attack on a Jerusalem supermarket that left two young students dead and who was recently deported from the United States after lying about the incident on her immigration forms. The group is also a frequent supporter, despite its allegations to the contrary, of Alison Weir, an activist robustly promoting modern-day blood libels against Jews.

It goes without saying, sadly, that the event—which is co-sponsored by prominent progressive institutions like the radical magazine Jacobin—features not a single actual scholar of anti-Semitism, nor one voice that doesn’t belong comfortably in the deep left.

The New School, scrambling to respond to the widely broadcast negative reactions it received, offered to organize a second panel “to discuss these issues”:

We understand that there are differing views on the issue of anti-Semitism. For that reason, the Creative Publishing and Critical Journalism Program has invited representatives of the magazine Tablet to organize an event to present some of these differing views on this important topic; the program has also invited to participate Jonathan Greenblatt, National Director and CEO of the Anti-Defamation League.

to which Liel Leibowitz at The Tablet angrily responded:

The aforementioned invitation arrived several moments later, to myself and other editors at Tablet, strongly suggesting that it had more to do with stanching the bleeding of a public relations problem that seriously resolving a brutal moral error. Even more insulting and infuriating is the fact that the invitation suggests that the New School sees this as a matter of balancing out two equally legitimate sides, each with its own point of view.

There ought never to be a debate between those who fan the flames of hatred and those who suffer its consequences. The New School of all institutions ought to know this, and it’s a shame that this once revered institution now peddles in the bluntest form of moral relativism rather than speak out against bigotry of all stripes.

My question remains: can the organizers at the New School really be so ignorant and obtuse as to think there is no problem with the panel of speakers at the antisemitism debate? Do they honestly think having another panel to discuss these “controversial issues” will balance out the problem?

Either they are so open-minded their brains fell out. Or they are outright antisemites. I still have not made up my mind.

The UN – here we go again

November 14, 2017

The UN – here we go again | Anne’s Opinions, 13th November 2017

UN – Useless Nations

It was action replay time at the UN General Assembly last week, as the UN lived down to our expectations and voted to condemn Israel 9 times:

GENEVA, Nov. 10, 2017 – The U.N. General Assembly will condemn Israel nine times today, “part of its annual ritual of enacting 20 Arab-sponsored resolutions singling out the Jewish state, and making no mention of Hamas stabbings, shootings or vehicular attacks against Israelis,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of the Geneva-based monitoring group UN Watch. Click here for list of 9 resolutions.

By contrast, in this year’s session there will be a total of 6 condemnatory resolutions for the rest of the world combined — with one each on Syria, North Korea, Iran, Crimea, Myanmar, as well as one on the U.S. for its Cuba embargo.

All 193 UN member states participate in the initial committee vote today, and then almost always vote the same way in a second and final vote at the GA plenary in December.

“The U.N.’s assault on Israel today with a torrent of one-sided resolutions is surreal,” said Neuer.

“Even after Syrian president Bashar Assad has used chemical weapons against his own people within the past year, the U.N. is about to adopt a resolution — drafted and co-sponsored by Syria — which falsely condemns Israel for ‘repressive measures’ against Syrian citizens on the Golan Heights. It’s obscene,” said Neuer.

“While there will be a total of 20 resolutions against Israel this session, not a single U.N. General Assembly resolution is planned today or this year for gross human rights abusers such as Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Venezuela, China, Cuba, Pakistan or Zimbabwe.”

“At a time when Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and his state-controlled media incite to the continued stabbing and shooting of Israeli Jews, the U.N.’s response is to reflexively condemn Israel in nine separate resolutions, each of them one-sided, each of them utterly silent on Palestinian abuses.”

The resolution drafted annually by Syria condemns Israel for holding on to the Golan Heights, and demands Israel hand the land and its people to Syria.

Israeli military medics assisting wounded Syrians in April. Credit Dusan Vranic/Associated Press

“It’s astonishing,” said Neuer. “After the Syrian regime has killed its own people by the hundreds of thousands over six years, how can the U.N. call for more people to be subject to Assad’s rule? The timing of today’s text is morally galling, and logically absurd.”

“Today’s resolutions claim to care about Palestinians, yet the U.N. is oblivious to the dozens of Palestinians who have been slaughtered, maimed and expelled by Assad’s forces, and more than 3,000 victims killed since 2011.”

“Today’s farce at the General Assembly underscores a simple fact: the U.N.’s automatic majority has no interest in truly helping Palestinians, nor in protecting anyone’s human rights; the goal of these ritual, one-sided condemnations remains the scapegoating of Israel,” said Neuer.

“The U.N.’s disproportionate assault against the Jewish state undermines the institutional credibility of what is supposed to be an impartial international body. Politicization and selectivity harm its founding mission, eroding the U.N. Charter promise of equal treatment to all nations large and small,” Neuer added.

As a further example of the UN’s extreme insanity, there is a possibility that Iran will chair the next UNESCO Executive Board!

A diplomatic battle is under way to prevent Iran’s election to the post of UNESCO Executive Board chairman to replace Michael Worbs of Germany.

The words of Jeremiah in Eicha (Lamentations) illustrated perfectly at UNESCO

Israel has had a contentious relationship with the 58-member board, which in the past has approved resolutions that some say have ignored Jewish ties to Judaim’s holiest site, the Temple Mount.

US and Israeli efforts to block Iran received a boost on Wednesday when the Philippines was one of 27 countries the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s General Assembly elected to a four-year term on the board, effective immediately. Some of those countries are serving their second four-year terms.

In advance of the November 16 election, the board has been split between choosing Iran or South Korea to head the board, but it is possible that the Asia Pacific group will push the Philippines ambassador as a compromise candidate, a diplomatic source speculated in a conversation with The Jerusalem Post.

But the overall make-up of the board with the new members is seen as more hostile to Israel than the previous one.

Germany and the Netherlands lost seats and Turkey gained one. Jordan joined Egypt on the board, thereby providing additional support to any anti-Israel resolutions regarding Jerusalem in the future.

Whether Iran is elected or not, the result is almost irrelevant given the inherent hostility to Israel built in to the organization. The more important issue is the fact that a terror-supporting and revolution-exporting country, which is destabilising the Middle East and holding the world hostage to its desire to build nuclear weapons, could even be considered for such a symbolic post. In fact Iran should not be allowed to be a member of the UN at all.

Then again if the UN expelled every terror-supporting member state, there would be almost no UN left at all. Quite a comforting thought, all in all.

Israel’s Ambassador to UNESCO, Carmel Shama Hacohen, slammed the organization as “the Titanic of international organizations”:

UNESCO is “the Titanic of international organizations,” Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization said, accusing it of deliberately falsifying history to persecute the Jewish people.

Carmel Shama Hacohen argues with a Palestinian diplomat at UNESCO

In a scathing speech Friday to UNESCO’s 39th General Conference in Paris, Carmel Shama-Hacohen also slammed the United Arab Emirates for having given a gift to all member states but Israel, urging delegates to give it back in protest.

“UNESCO is the Titanic of international organizations, which was hijacked and led by the Arab Group into crashing the iceberg of politicization, and which has been sinking ever since,” Shama-Hacohen said.

He added: “Sadly, UNESCO has been hijacked and abused as a tool for the persecution of Israel and the Jewish people, while concocting fake facts and fake history, meant to erase our history in Jerusalem and rewrite global history.”

Shama-Hacohen dedicated a significant part of his speech to the UAE’s October 30 snub of Israel, though he did not name the Gulf state by name.

At the opening of the General Conference in Paris, the Emirati delegation had placed a box containing a silver medal on the desk of each foreign delegation in honor of the UAE having sponsored the renovation of the conference hall. No box, however, was placed on Shama-Hacohen’s desk.

“Even the inauguration of this very hall was contaminated with the poison of politicization, as the donor state handed out to all member missions a greeting letter and a medal memorabilia: all member missions, aside from one — Israel,” the Israeli envoy said Friday. “How petty, how primitive, how pathetic.”

The incident made clear once again “that petro-dollars can buy much, but there’s no price tag on wisdom, manners and etiquette. Your wealth might be in money, but in dignity you are poorer than poor,” he added.

“These wrongs are done in full daylight, and all keep quiet: silent accomplices to discrimination in sports: one of the foundations of education and culture, and silent accomplices to the attempts to isolate and ostracize Israel in the inauguration of this hall,” Shama-Hacohen said Friday.

“As for the silver medal, which was handed to you as a gift, I’d return it if I were you, so as not to partake in a despicable act which has no place in a free and enlightened world.”

Kol hakavod to those diplomats who took Hacohen at his word and handed him their medals:

Many foreign diplomats stationed at UNESCO gave him their medals — which bore a portrait of Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the deputy ruler of Dubai and the country’s finance minister of the UAE — in protest of the UAE’s move, the Israeli envoy said.

“My initial instinct was to put it to good use as a doorstop,” he said. “However, after giving it some more thought, I decided to donate them to the Syrian refugees who are wandering the cold streets of Paris. These refugees include infants and children, who escaped the atrocities of the Syrian regime and the chemical attacks of that member of the Arab Group against its own women, children and innocent civilians.”

He added: “If you only invested in them 1% of the efforts you put in here against Israel, their lives would have been better.”

Watch his speech below. If only his English was better pronunciated he would make a much bigger impact. Nevertheless, kol hakavod on an excellent speech:

As a palate cleanser listen to UN Ambassador the UN Nikki Haley’s fantastic speech to the Israel-American Council as she blasted the previous Obama administration for its betrayal of Israel at the UN, and pledged staunch American support for Israel:

Nikki Haley is a shining example of what a diplomat should look like. Sadly she is a rare diamond in a pig sty.

Kristallnacht, and Our Modern-Day Approach to Antisemitism

November 11, 2017

Kristallnacht, and Our Modern-Day Approach to Antisemitism, AlgemeinerVladimir Sloutsker, November 10, 2017

(Please see also, Family History by our own Anne in PT. She focuses on the Kristallnacht and later experiences of members of her family who were living in Germany. Here is a short video documentary on Kristallnacht:

— DM)

A store damaged during Kristallnacht. Photo: German Federal Archives via Wikimedia Commons.

Kristallnacht is another important reminder that the Holocaust did not begin with the death camps; that’s where it ended. Rather, it began with words, the singling out of one group of people and far too many in society looking the other way in the face of such hatred. Nobody is born to hate; they learn to hate.

Third, we must recognise that oppression is not a uniquely Jewish problem, and that what starts with the Jews, seldom ever ends with the Jews. When we consider the predicament of other minorities, racial or religious, hatred and bigotry is rarely far behind. The Jewish community should consider itself a partner in a wider struggle, and cooperate with other faith groups in the battle for their right to exist peacefully.

***************************

Seventy-nine years ago, Nazis across Germany and Austria razed synagogues, smashed windows and murdered almost 100 innocent Jews in a violent pogrom. Kristallnacht — or the “Night of Broken Glass” — is so named to describe the shattered glass that littered the streets the next morning. In the weeks that followed, approximately 30,000 Jews were transported to concentration camps — a sorrow foreshadowing of what would soon ensue.

On Kristallnacht’s 79th anniversary, I am compelled to address the rising tide of antisemitism sweeping Europe, reaching levels not seen since the end of the darkest chapter in Europe’s history.

In the first half of 2017, some 767 antisemitic attacks were recorded in the UK alone. This represents the highest figure since monitoring began in 1984 — and, staggeringly, was a 30 percent increase from 2016. In the meantime, violent assaults on Jews this year have risen 78 percent compared with the same period in 2016.

The above figures are broadly replicated in other major Jewish communities throughout Europe, including France and Germany. Even in the U.S., according to a recent survey by the ADL, there has been a significant spike in antisemitism across the country.

Kristallnacht is considered by many to represent the transition from the harassment of Jewish communities to outright violence against them.

Seventy-nine years later, many Jews across Europe are once again singled out because of their race — with Jewish property, institutions and even cemeteries, coming under assault.

Clearly, a new way to combat this tide of hatred is required.

Until now, the international community has focused attentions on ‘minimizing’ the problem. This is inherently problematic; it enables us to label a reduction in antisemitism as a ‘success.’ What is needed is the eradication of antisemitism completely. To achieve this, we must be more proactive, smarter and more creative.

As I have said before, I believe that there are five key areas of focus for which all global citizens, not just the Jewish community, should pursue.

First, we must adopt a universal definition of antisemitism in Europe. The Israeli Jewish Congress (IJC) — an organization I co-founded to support Jewish communities —  has advocated for this for some time. Defining the problem is the first step to eradicating it.

In this regard, I commend European countries, including the UK, Germany, Austria, Romania and Bulgaria, for adopting the all-encompassing International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism. This definition accepts that the delegitimization of Israel and attacks on Zionism can also manifest as antisemitism. If we cannot define what we are trying to defeat, how can we defeat it? Therefore, I would call on all IHRA Member States to adopt this definition of antisemitism.

The second necessity is that we promote the value of education in understanding the scale of the problem. This program should not solely focus on the history of antisemitism, bigotry and the Holocaust; we should also touch on the vital contribution of Jewish people and texts to the wider cultural and economic prosperity of Europe.

Kristallnacht is another important reminder that the Holocaust did not begin with the death camps; that’s where it ended. Rather, it began with words, the singling out of one group of people and far too many in society looking the other way in the face of such hatred. Nobody is born to hate; they learn to hate.

Third, we must recognise that oppression is not a uniquely Jewish problem, and that what starts with the Jews, seldom ever ends with the Jews. When we consider the predicament of other minorities, racial or religious, hatred and bigotry is rarely far behind. The Jewish community should consider itself a partner in a wider struggle, and cooperate with other faith groups in the battle for their right to exist peacefully.

Fourth, recognizing that antisemitism and online hatred represents a major challenge today, we need to develop communications strategies that are fit for the digital age. Whilst social media channels are used as platforms for inciting racial hatred against the Jewish community, these platforms can also be used to reach new audiences — and encourage them to be advocates. We must develop engaging and comprehensive strategies to use these tools effectively.

Fifth, we need to energize the global debate on the roles and responsibilities of large technology firms to prevent the sharing of hateful commentary. We can utilize the pre-existing legal frameworks across Europe, as well as supporting modernization efforts to ensure that legislation is fit for the digital age. But the internet knows no state borders, and so our work with technology firms must be conducted at the international level.

In a landmark address before the European Parliament last year, former UK chief rabbi, Lord Jonathan Sacks, described antisemitism as a “mutating virus.” Containment is not enough. It is high time we find an antidote.

Kristallnacht was a murderous example of the capacity of humans to escalate from harassment to violence. Yet the EU was built on a foundation of tolerance and openness. For this reason, it is the responsibility of European governments — and European people — to reconcile this foundation of tolerance with an unequivocal commitment to eradicating harassment and violent antisemitic racism at its source.

Vladimir Sloutsker is the president and co-founder of the Israeli Jewish Congress (IJC).

Trump’s Jewish nominee for Civil Rights Office smeared by Arab groups

November 10, 2017

Trump’s Jewish nominee for Civil Rights Office smeared by Arab groups, Israel National News, Dr. Richard L. Cravatts, November 9, 2017

(Please see also, Trump’s Latest Education Nominee Steps into the Maelstrom. – DM)

No sooner had President Trump nominated Kenneth Marcus, president of the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under the Law, to be Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education, then extremist anti-Israel groups began to mount an aggressive campaign to derail the appointment.

This is a remarkable affront to a civil rights lawyer who has spent his career fighting for the rights of women, the disabled, and members of many minority groups: African Americans, Hispanics, and Asians, as well as Sikhs, Arabs, and Muslim Americans. Marcus’s prior tenure at the federal Office for Civil Rights was widely lauded for effective leadership and support for the rights of all students. For this reason, most civil rights groups have thus far refrained from subjecting Marcus to the vituperation that other recent Trump nominees have faced. 

Some extremist anti-Israel groups have broken ranks, however, attacking the administration’s Jewish civil rights nominee with reckless and malicious falsehoods.

One of these groups, Palestine Legal, whose mission is to bolster the anti-Israel movement by challenging efforts to protect Jewish students from anti-Semitism, immediately issued a letter smearing Mr. Marcus as an “Anti-Palestinian Crusader” and opposing his nomination in terms of the so-called Livingstone Formulation. Under that formulation, as identified by British sociologist David Hirsch, anti-Semites accuse Jews of fabricating anti-Semitism claims in order to silence decent people who are concerned about Israel’s supposed human rights violations.

In this way, Palestine Legal’s director, Dima Khalidi, levels the spurious charge that “Marcus is the architect of a strategy to abuse civil rights law to suppress campus criticism of Israel.” In other words, she contends that Marcus’ campaign to ameliorate campus anti-Semitism is not based on a virtuous desire to end bigotry but is a disingenuous attempt at “shielding Israel from scrutiny,” consistent with the “Livingstone Formulation.”

Part of that notion is “the counteraccusation that the raisers of the issue of anti-Semitism do so with dishonest intent, in order to de-legitimize criticism of Israel. The allegation is that the accuser chooses to ‘play the anti-Semitism card’ rather than to relate seriously to, or to refute, the criticisms of Israel.”

Of course, those who refuse to acknowledge that their speech or behavior may, in fact, be anti-Semitic normally resist such designations, but the allegation of Palestine Legal against Mr. Marcus is particularly odious because it seeks to impugn his integrity as someone fighting anti-Semitism, suggesting instead that his true motive, carefully hidden from view and masked as benign activism, is actually to serve the interests of Israel by trying to delegitimize and libel its campus critics.

Moreover, Palestine Legal claims, in order to shield Israel from scrutiny, to insulate its policies and state behavior from critique, Mr. Marcus, they say, pretends to be interested in anti-Semitism but is actually creating a smokescreen to shield Israel “at the expense of civil and constitutional rights.”

In addition to the Livingstone Formulation, these groups are also going after Marcus with the classic charge that Jews are attempting to use gain control of government power for nefarious purposes. “Marcus has no business enforcing civil rights laws when he has explicitly used such laws to chill the speech activities and violate the civil rights of Arab, Muslim, Jewish, and other students who advocate for Palestinian rights,” Khalidi charged.

It is not coincidental, of course, that a group dedicated to undermining efforts to fight anti-Semitism would have been aware of the efforts of Mr. Marcus and his colleagues as they attempted to identify the causes and corrosive impact of campus anti-Semitic speech and behavior.

For at least the last decade the primary source of anti-Zionist, anti-Israel, and anti-Semitic activism on campuses has been anti-Israel individuals and groups, including the Muslim Student Association and the radical Students for Justice in Palestine, among others. So, even as Ms. Khalidi would have one believe that Mr. Marcus launched a campaign to silence pro-Palestinian activists merely as a tactical ploy to insulate Israel from critique and condemnation, the anti-Israel activism which she so ardently defends has regularly spawned instances in which agitation against Israel has included speech and behavior which has been considered, and in fact often was, anti-Semitic.

Of great concern to those who have observed the invidious byproduct of this radicalism is the frequent appearance of anti-Israel sentiment that often rises to the level of anti-Semitism, when virulent criticism of Israel bleeds into a darker, more sinister level of hatred—enough to make Jewish students, whether or not they support or care about Israel at all, uncomfortable, unsafe, or hated on their own campuses.

That is precisely the type of “hostile environment,” created by generating hostility toward Jewish students over their perceived or actual support of Israel, that may violate Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, one of the legal tools Mr. Marcus has used and may well continue to use in his new role to help insure that universities take steps to ameliorate situations in which such prejudice-laced campus climates are allowed to develop.

Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), another anti-Israel group that also, not insignificantly, supports the BDS movement, published an open letter denouncing the choice of Mr. Marcus for the OCR appointment, as well, repeating the spurious charge that the use of Title VI statutes, and such guidelines as the U.S. State Department Working Definition of Anti-Semitism, would have the perverse side effect of suppressing the free speech of “pro-Palestinian” activists.

And despite Palestine Legal’s fear that the conflation of “criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism    . . .  has really serious consequences for those who advocate for Palestinian human rights and are being condemned and censored and punished as a result of the enormous pressure being placed on universities by the likes of Marcus and dozens of other Israel advocacy groups,” the truth is that not human rights advocates behave in civil ways, and the fact that “pro-Palestinian” activists support a minority group does not justify their misbehavior and extremism, even for what they clearly believe to be a noble cause.

But pro-Palestinian advocacy on campus—the very activism Palestine Legal is so intent on preserving—has been shown to correlate directly to an uptick in anti-Semitic speech and behavior. For example, in two studies it conducted of anti-Semitism on U.S. campuses, the AMCHA Initiative, an organization that investigates and documents anti-Semitism at U.S. universities, found that “Schools with instances of student-produced anti-Zionist expression, including BDS promotion, are 7 times more likely to have incidents that targeted Jewish students for harm than schools with no evidence of students’ anti-Zionist expression and the more such anti-Zionist expression, the higher the likelihood of incidents involving anti-Jewish hostility.” This “anti-Zionist expression” and “BDS promotion are,” of course, the central aspects of Palestinian activism.

That is the issue here, and why it is necessary and important that, in the effort to promote the Palestinian cause, another group—Jewish students on American campuses—do not become victims themselves in a struggle for another group’s self-determination.

Richard L. Cravatts, PhD, President Emeritus of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East, and the author of Dispatches From the Campus War Against Israel and Jews, is also a member of the board of directors of the Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under the Law and the AMCHA Initiative.

The horrifying scale of antisemitism in the British Labour Party

November 8, 2017

The horrifying scale of antisemitism in the British Labour Party | Anne’s Opinions, 7th November 2017

Although this isn’t news any more, (I have written about it on this blog several times) it still bears repeating and stressing: antisemitism in Britain’s Labour Party is rising to unprecedented levels, to a stage where Jews do not feel welcome any more in what was once their natural political home.

The Daily Mail writes about the alarming scale of antisemitism within the Labour Party:

The scale of anti-semitism within Labour has prompted training sessions for 1,200 party members in a drive to stamp out the vile online abuse.

Labour’s Jewish wing is holding the events that use a slide show of hate-filled messages posted on the internet by the party’s own activists.

The Daily Mail has chosen to reproduce the comments despite their shocking content in order to highlight the enormity of the problem.

The abuse includes one Labour member describing Jews as a ‘corrupt master race’ controlling sex-trafficking, pornography and wars worldwide.

Another wrote: ‘Every f****** Jew that died in the Holocaust was a blessing.’

One councillor suggested there was a worldwide Jewish conspiracy and that Israel wanted to commit atrocities across the whole world.

Last night MP John Cryer, who is chairman of the Parliamentary Labour Party, said that the tweets were ‘stomach-churning’ and ‘awful’.

I have no idea why people who hold these views would want to be a member of the Labour Party,’ he said.

‘The Labour Party has been at the forefront of confronting Nazism right from the 1930s – so what possesses these people to become members I don’t understand. I have seen tweets like this at our disciplinary body and what I know is these people are quickly suspended and expelled.’

The Jewish Labour Movement (JLM) held a training session at September’s Labour conference – itself blighted by accusations of anti-semitism – in a doomed attempt to nip the problem in the bud. Some 1,200 members have attended the official Labour Party sessions, which are carried out by the JLM, in the past 14 months.

The event said that among elected Labour representatives ‘denial of anti-semitism is particularly common’, as was the idea that ‘Jewish people are wealthy or interested in wealth or finance’.

Another message from an unknown Labour councillor contained ‘echoes of the blood libel’, the JLM events are told.

The tweet showed an Israeli flag dripping with blood along with the words: ‘The genocidal murderers of innocent women and children: Moses must be proud of you.’ The message was headlined: ‘Israel is evil, long live Palestine.’

A councillor shared a picture saying: ‘The modern state of Israel was created by the Rothschilds, not God – and what they are doing to the Palestinian people now is exactly what they intend for the whole world.’ Alongside a picture of a child in a hospital bed, it said: ‘Today it’s a Palestinian child: soon it will be your child.’

One member wrote: ‘I see the corrupt “master race” side-stepped into this graphic,’ to which another replied: ‘Lol [laugh out loud] be careful you might get accused of being anti-semitic.’

This led to a discussion about ‘paid disinfo agents’ and Blairites ‘running to the MSM [mainstream media]’ with mention of the Zionism ‘problem’. ‘Just look at who owns what,’ one said.

The notes also said that ‘denial of anti-semitism is known as the Livingstone formulation’ in a reference to comments by former London mayor Ken Livingstone in which he said that anyone critical of Israel was accused of anti-semitism.

A JLM spokesman said: ‘The training programme is starting to have an impact across the country. The examples used are actual samples of anti-semitism, and are regularly updated.

‘They are anonymised in order not to prejudice ongoing disciplinary cases.’

The issue of anti-semitism overshadowed the Labour conference after activists at an anti-Zionist fringe event demanded the JLM be expelled.

Jeremy Corbyn was forced to deny he was leading the new ‘nasty party’, and the Labour leader of Brighton council threatened to ban the party from holding its conference in the town unless it cracked down on racism amongst activists.



Jeremy Corbyn can deny his own or his party’s antisemitism and anti-Westernism till he is blue in the face but it will be to no avail since the proof is there for all to see.

Journalist Tom Gross found this little item in the satirical magazine Private Eye which highlights Corbyn’s hypocrisy with two opposing statements:

In this vein, the political blogger Guido Fawkes has done a thorough research job and found 100 times that Jeremy Corbyn has sided with terrorists: – not only Palestinian but Irish and others. Below is just a partial list:

  • Invited two IRA members to parliament two weeks after the Brighton bombing.
  • Attended Bloody Sunday commemoration with bomber Brendan McKenna.
  • Attended meeting with Provisional IRA member Raymond McCartney.
  • Hosted IRA linked Mitchell McLaughlin in parliament.
  • Spoke alongside IRA terrorist Martina Anderson.
  • Attended Sinn Fein dinner with IRA bomber Gerry Kelly.

Jeremy Corbyn standing with the Hezbollah flag some years ago

  • Put up £20,000 bail money for IRA terror suspect Roisin McAliskey.
  • Didn’t support IRA ceasefire.
  • Said Hamas and Hezbollah are his “friends“.
  • Called for Hamas to be removed from terror banned list.
  • Called Hamas “serious and hard-working“.
  • Attended wreath-laying at grave of Munich massacre terrorist.
  • Attended conference with Hamas and PFLP.
  • Photographed smiling with Hezbollah flag.

There is much more in this revolting litany of cosying up to terrorists.

The rise in antisemitism disguised as anti-Zionism in the Labour Party has alarmed even such liberal Jewish stalwarts as Howard Jacobson, Simon Schama and Simon Sebag-Montefiore. Here is their letter to the editor of the Times in which they decry such bigotry:

Letter to the Times protesting antisemitism in the Labour Party (click to enlarge)

Unfortunately these three eminent personalities concede the validity of the Palestinian “narrative” which dilutes their entire argument. The Elder of Ziyon takes issue, correctly, with the writers’ ceding the validity of Palestinian claims to any history in the Land of Israel, whether they did so out of genuine belief or because they feel their message will be more palatable to the British public if they dilute it with support for the Palestinian narrative:

Even if you give these writers the benefit of the doubt and say that they are only making this claim to allow their message about antisemitism to be easier to swallow by British anti-Zionists – doesn’t that mean that they don’t really believe that anti-Zionism is a modern form of antisemitism? It dilutes their argument, instead of strengthening it.

No self-respecting Zionist can accept any part of the Palestinian Arab claims – because the very acceptance of those claims negates Jewish claims. That is the entire point of Palestinian nationalism since the 1910s – to delegitimize Zionism and Jewish peoplehood altogether. If there was no Zionism, there would have never been Palestinian nationalism which exists to combat Zionism. (Where were the Palestinian nationalists demanding self-determination in the territories between 1948 amd 1967?)

If Schama and Montefiore disagree, please, I would love to hear their arguments. I have looked for years for any evidence of a “Palestinian” nation and culture and people that predate Zionism, without luck.

I have no doubt that these three writers love Israel, but they seem very unaware of how much damage they can unwittingly cause to the nation they love by embracing the narrative of those who want to destroy Israel.

The Elder is correct that in order to counteract this constant delegitimization, we must stay on-message and speak with one voice, at least in public.

But to return to the Labour Party, some of them have even turned on their own members if they are viewed as too pro-Israel, or not anti-Israel enough. The British Jewish grass-roots organization Campaign Against Antisemitism reveals that a Labour councillor who took action against antisemitism was the victim of a social media attack that was endorsed by a Shadow Minister:

Shadow Minister Chris Williamson has tweeted a blog article entitled “Revealed: The Labour Party activists behind the ‘antisemitism’ smears”, which he commended as “really interesting”. Despite its grand use of terms such as “raw data” and “the power of weak links”, the article does little more than to insinuate – on the flimsiest of evidence – that a small number of social media users constitute a “network of hate” and to accuse Councillor Warren Morgan – the leader of Brighton and Hove City Council whose brave stand against antisemitism we applauded in September – of lying, bringing the Labour Party into disrepute, and “regurgitating second-hand fabrications about alleged antisemitism”. It was written by internet millionaire and former Daily Mail journalist Greg Hadfield, whose membership of the Labour Party is currently suspended.

The article notes how extraordinary it is for a Shadow Minister to turn on one of his own party’s members so publicly, and continues:

In the UK, it is accepted that an incident perceived as racist should be investigated as such. The idea that one particular ethnic group — and one particular ethnic group alone — cannot be trusted to recognise racism when directed against itself is incompatible with the Macpherson principle that underpins the British approach to racism. It would be regrettable indeed if the endorsement of Mr Hadfield’s article by such a senior politician as Mr Williamson were to have the effect of intimidating party members from coming forward with or responding to complaints about antisemitism. The Labour Party’s new rules on hate speech, adopted by near-unanimous vote after a highly controversial conference debate, cannot begin to have an impact on the Party’s undeniable antisemitism problem unless whistleblowers are able to speak out without fear of reprisals.

In the light of all this bigotry and racism, we are all wondering what is the root of the deep antisemitism now prevailing in its ranks. Melanie Phillips posits a theory as to the roots of Labour’s antisemitism:

… the Labour party is still in denial about the deep roots of this scourge within its own ideology. It still wrongly believes that the examples which have publicly surfaced over the past few months are some kind of aberration. John Cryer MP, the chairman of the Parliamentary Labour Party who described these tweets as “stomach-churning” and “awful”, demonstrated the problem when he said: “I have no idea why people who hold these views would want to be a member of the Labour Party”.

But they hold them precisely because they are members of the Labour party – because they are committed to the thinking that has become an article of faith on the left, which has turned the “Palestinians” into the signature cause for progressive people on the utterly false grounds that aggressive, brutal, colonialist Israel has deprived them of their historic right to a Palestine state.

This thinking uses precisely the same uniquely deranged and obsessional charges – diabolical cosmic power, covert conspiracy against the world, crimes of which the accused is not only innocent but is in fact the victim, expectations of standards of behaviour applied to no other people and overall demonisation based on systematic falsehoods – which have characterised hatred against the Jews as people and now identically characterise hatred against the collective Jew in Israel.

Antisemitism goes far beyond the left. Tragically, it is the prejudice that never dies. But what the left has done is provide the means of sanitising it through support of Palestinianism which provides plausible deniability by couching the venom as being anti-Israel instead of being overtly anti-Jew.

Sadly, none of this analysis provides us with a method for combatting this irrational hatred. All that we can do is keep on pounding away with the truth and facts. We pro-Israel activists must also be much more pro-active on the social and mainstream media in order to counteract the floods of hatred that swamp the media.

Trump’s Latest Education Nominee Steps into the Maelstrom

November 8, 2017

Trump’s Latest Education Nominee Steps into the Maelstrom, American ThinkerRichard L. Cravatts, November 8, 2017

No sooner had President Trump nominated Kenneth Marcus, president of the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights under the Law, to be assistant secretary for civil rights at the U.S. Department of Education than extremist anti-Israel groups mounted an aggressive campaign to derail the appointment.

This is a remarkable affront to a civil rights lawyer who has spent his career fighting for the rights of women, the disabled, and members of many minority groups: black Americans, Hispanics, and Asians, as well as Sikhs, Arabs, and Muslim Americans.  Marcus’s prior tenure at the federal Office for Civil Rights was widely lauded for effective leadership and support for the rights of all students.  For this reason, most civil rights groups have thus far refrained from subjecting Marcus to the vituperation other recent Trump nominees have faced.

Some anti-Israel groups, however, have broken ranks, attacking the administration’s Jewish civil rights nominee with reckless and malicious falsehoods.  One of these groups, Palestine Legal, whose mission is to bolster the anti-Israel movement by challenging efforts to protect Jewish students from anti-Semitism, immediately issued a letter smearing Mr. Marcus as an “anti-Palestinian crusader” and opposing his nomination in terms of the so-called Livingstone Formulation.  Under that formulation, as identified by British sociologist David Hirsch, anti-Semites accuse Jews of fabricating anti-Semitism claims in order to silence decent people concerned about Israel’s supposed human rights violations.  In this way, Palestine Legal’s director, Dima Khalidi, levels the spurious charge that “Marcus is the architect of a strategy to abuse civil rights law to suppress campus criticism of Israel.”  In other words, she contends that Marcus’s campaign to ameliorate campus anti-Semitism is not based on a virtuous desire to end bigotry, but is a disingenuous attempt at “shielding Israel from scrutiny,” consistent with the Livingstone Formulation.  Part of that notion is “the counteraccusation that the raisers of the issue of antisemitism do so with dishonest intent, in order to de-legitimize criticism of Israel. The allegation is that the accuser chooses to ‘play the antisemitism card’ rather than to relate seriously to, or to refute, the criticisms of Israel.”

Those who refuse to acknowledge that their speech or behavior may, in fact, be anti-Semitic normally resist such designations, but the allegation of Palestine Legal against Mr. Marcus is particularly odious because it seeks to impugn his integrity as someone fighting anti-Semitism, suggesting instead that his true motive, carefully hidden from view and masked as benign activism, is actually to serve the interests of Israel by trying to delegitimize and libel Israel’s campus critics.  Moreover, Palestine Legal claims, in order to shield Israel from scrutiny, to insulate its policies and state behavior from critique, Mr. Marcus pretends to be interested in anti-Semitism but is actually creating a smokescreen to shield Israel “at the expense of civil and constitutional rights.”

In addition to the Livingstone Formulation, these groups are also going after Marcus with the classic charge that Jews are attempting to gain control of government power for nefarious purposes.  “Marcus has no business enforcing civil rights laws when he has explicitly used such laws to chill the speech activities and violate the civil rights of Arab, Muslim, Jewish, and other students who advocate for Palestinian rights,” Khalidi charged.  It is not coincidental that a group dedicated to undermining efforts to fight anti-Semitism is aware of the efforts of Mr. Marcus and his colleagues as they attempted to identify the causes and corrosive impact of campus anti-Semitic speech and behavior.

For at least the last decade, the primary source of anti-Zionist, anti-Israel, and anti-Semitic activism on campuses has been anti-Israel individuals and groups, including the Muslim Student Association and the radical Students for Justice in Palestine, among others.  So even as Ms. Khalidi would have one believe that Mr. Marcus launched a campaign to silence pro-Palestinian activists merely as a tactical ploy to insulate Israel from critique and condemnation, the anti-Israel activism she so ardently defends has regularly spawned instances in which agitation against Israel has included speech and behavior that have been considered, and, in fact, often were, anti-Semitic.

Of great concern to those who have observed the invidious byproduct of this radicalism is the frequent appearance of anti-Israel sentiment that often rises to the level of anti-Semitism, when virulent criticism of Israel bleeds into a darker, more sinister level of hatred – enough to make Jewish students, whether or not they support or care about Israel at all, uncomfortable, unsafe, or hated on their own campuses.

That is precisely the type of “hostile environment,” created by generating hostility toward Jewish students over their perceived or actual support of Israel, that may violate Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, one of the legal tools Mr. Marcus has used and may well continue to use in his new role to ensure that universities take steps to ameliorate situations in which such prejudice-laced campus climates are allowed to develop.

Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), another anti-Israel group that also, not insignificantly, supports the BDS movement, published an open letter denouncing the choice of Mr. Marcus for the OCR appointment as well, repeating the spurious charge that the use of Title VI statutes, and such guidelines as the U.S. State Department Working Definition of Anti-Semitism, would have the perverse side-effect of suppressing the free speech of “pro-Palestinian” activists.

And despite Palestine Legal’s fear that the conflation of “criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism    …  has really serious consequences for those who advocate for Palestinian human rights and are being condemned and censored and punished as a result of the enormous pressure being placed on universities by the likes of Marcus and dozens of other Israel advocacy groups,” the fact that “pro-Palestinian” activists support a minority group does not justify their misbehavior and extremism, even for what they clearly believe to be a noble cause.

Pro-Palestinian advocacy on campus – the very activism Palestine Legal is so intent on preserving – has been shown to correlate directly with an uptick in anti-Semitic speech and behavior.  For example, in two studies it conducted of anti-Semitism on U.S. campuses, the AMCHA Initiative, an organization that investigates and documents anti-Semitism at U.S. universities, found that “[s]chools with instances of student-produced anti-Zionist expression, including BDS promotion, are 7 times more likely to have incidents that targeted Jewish students for harm than schools with no evidence of students’ anti-Zionist expression and the more such anti-Zionist expression, the higher the likelihood of incidents involving anti-Jewish hostility.”  This “anti-Zionist expression” and “BDS promotion” are the central aspects of Palestinian activism.

That is the issue here, and why it is necessary and important that, in the effort to promote the Palestinian cause and help the Palestinians to achieve statehood, another group – Jewish students on American campuses – do not become victims themselves in a struggle for another group’s self-determination.

Richard L. Cravatts, Ph.D., president emeritus of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East and the author of Dispatches from the Campus War against Israel and Jews, is also a member of the board of directors of the Brandeis Center for Human Rights under the Law and the AMCHA Initiative.

Why Europe’s New Nationalists Love Israel

October 17, 2017

Why Europe’s New Nationalists Love Israel, PJ MediaDavid P. Goldman, October 17, 2017

(Post-nationalist, antisemitic, anti-Zionist Europe is dying. If, as I consider unlikely, Europe’s new nationalists in Austria emulate them then Austria will probably suffer the same fate. — DM) 

“It’s now or never” (Matthias R’der/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images)

Post-nationalist Europe bears an irrational hatred of Israel, I wrote in this space in 2014.

The flowering of Jewish national life in Israel makes the Europeans crazy. It is not simply envy: it is a terrible reminder of the vanity of European national aspirations over the centuries, of the continent’s ultimate failure as a civilization. Just as the Europeans (most emphatically the Scandinavians) would prefer to dissolve into the post-national stew of European identity, they demand that Israel do the same. Never mind that Israel lacks the option to do so, and would be destroyed were it to try, for reasons that should be obvious to any casual consumer of news media.

It is too early to judge the direction of the new European nationalism, which has some elements that make me cringe, and some that make me release the safety-catch on my Browning. But it also has men and women who do not want to disappear into the dustbin of history and look to Israel for inspiration.

***********************************

“If ponies rode men and grass ate cows,” goes the text of “The World Turned Upside Down,” the tune piped by the Continental Army band at Cornwallis’ surrender of Yorktown. Europeans might consider adopting it as their anthem to replace the present European Community hymn, the overused Ode to Joy. The resurgent nationalists who made the Alternative fuer Deutschland into Germany’s third-largest party and the Austrian Freedom Party into that country’s second-largest (and a likely member of a new governing coalition) have an extreme-right reputation, but they are now the most pro-Israel parties in Europe. The world has indeed turned upside-down, and we might as well sing about it.

Most remarkable is the success of the Austrian Freedom Party (German initials FPŐ) in last Sunday’s Austrian elections. It came in second with 26% of the vote, ahead of the governing Social Democrats. Its chairman, Heinz-Christian Strache, rubbed shoulders with neo-Nazis during his early political career, and four years ago posted an anti-Semitic cartoon on his Facebook page, “showing a banker with a large hooked nose and Star of David cuff links profiting from Europe’s financial crisis,” as the Times of Israel reported. Since then Strache has undergone a Damascus road conversion from Saul to Paul (or perhaps the other way round). He has visited Israel several times, defended Israeli settlers in Judea and Samaria, and demanded that Austria move its embassy to Jerusalem.

Strache brings to mind the canonical definition of a philo-Semite, that is, an anti-Semite who likes Jews. It is widely alleged that he is looking for respectability after emerging from the extreme right swamp into the mainstream of Austrian politics, and hoping to burnish his credentials through gestures of reconciliation with the Jewish State. It is also widely believed that the FPŐ as well as the AfD support Israel as the enemy of their enemy, that is, the flood of Muslim migrants that provoked the surge in their support among voters.

I do not know Herr Strache and have no knowledge of his true motives. But I have had the opportunity to speak at length with a leader of  the Alternative for Germany. Both motives–the desire to shed the stigma of neo-Nazi associations and common cause with Israel against radical Islam–are relevant, but something far more interesting is at work.

There are neo-Nazis and other swamp creatures lurking in the new nationalist right. Earlier this year I stated that, deplorably, I would vote for Angela Merkel rather than the AfD in the German elections, in part because the AfD’s Vice-Chairman Alexander Gauland defended a regional AfD leader who proposed to dismantle Holocaust monuments, in part because Gauland is insultingly anti-American, and in part because Gauland is too friendly with the mystical nationalists around Vladimir Putin. But that is not the whole of the AfD, and it is possible that the AfD will go in quite a different direction.

There are European nationalists who support Israel out of conviction rather than expediency. They admire the accomplishments of the Jewish State, moral as well as military or commercial. They observe that Israeli women bear on average 3 children compared to just 1.3 in Germany. They wish that Europeans could show the same love of country and culture that the Jews evince in Israel, and the same willingness to defend themselves.

That really is the world turned upside-down. European nationalism from its inception drew inspiration from biblical Israel. Greece was not a nation but a collection of small, quarreling city-states. Rome was not a nation but an empire–as were the Egyptians, Hittites, Sumerians, and so forth. Israel is the only exemplar of a nation in the ancient world, and the Davidic kingdom the only instance of a national monarchy. As I explained in my 2011 book How Civilizations Die, the first national monarchies in Europe–the 7th-century Merovingian kingdom in France and the Visigoth kingdom in Spain–emulated the Davidic model under the tutelage, respectively, of St. Gregory of Tours and St. Isidore of Seville.

Isidore and Gregory, I remarked elsewhere, were the Bialystock and Bloom of the Low Middle Ages: They sold 100% of the deal to every investor. That is, they persuaded each national monarch that his line was the new Davidic dynasty and his people the New Israel. This form of supercessionism gave rise to anti-Semitism (how could the Merovingians or Visigoths be the new Israel if the old Israel was still wandering about asserting its claim to divine election?). It also gave rise to perpetual warfare among Europe’s national dynasties for the claim to chosenness. The Thirty Years’ War of 1618-1648, Europe’s most devastating conflict, was fought by fanatics in France and Spain respectively who believed in the divine election of their respective lands. National exclusivity and hatred had the same roots as anti-Semitism.

There is another path, taken by the United States, which allows that every nation can be “almost chosen,” in Lincoln’s memorable phrase. It can emulate Israel without seeking to supercede it. What distinguishes American culture is the radical Protestant belief that the City of God cannot be realized in the City of Man, that life is a pilgrimage whose goal is ever beyond the horizon. This concept defines and shapes American literary as well as popular culture, as I tried to show in this essay.

The existence and success of the State of Israel changes everything. It is not merely a promise, spiritualized by Christianity into a vision of another life beyond this one, but a living, breathing people that punches above its weight in every field of human endeavor. Perhaps the people of Israel will help fulfill their mission to be a light unto the nations by example. Europe’s new nationalists may attempt to emulate Israel not but superceding it or by asserting their claims for election against each other, but by seeking to identify its virtues.

Post-nationalist Europe bears an irrational hatred of Israel, I wrote in this space in 2014.

The flowering of Jewish national life in Israel makes the Europeans crazy. It is not simply envy: it is a terrible reminder of the vanity of European national aspirations over the centuries, of the continent’s ultimate failure as a civilization. Just as the Europeans (most emphatically the Scandinavians) would prefer to dissolve into the post-national stew of European identity, they demand that Israel do the same. Never mind that Israel lacks the option to do so, and would be destroyed were it to try, for reasons that should be obvious to any casual consumer of news media.

It is too early to judge the direction of the new European nationalism, which has some elements that make me cringe, and some that make me release the safety-catch on my Browning. But it also has men and women who do not want to disappear into the dustbin of history and look to Israel for inspiration.