Posted tagged ‘Anti-Zionism’

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.

The Jewashing of George Soros

July 21, 2017

The Jewashing of George Soros, Front Page Magazine, Daniel Greenfield, July 21, 2017

George Soros hates Jews.

He collaborated with the Nazis during the Holocaust and insisted that helping confiscate property from Jews brought him no guilt. “There was no sense that I shouldn’t be there, because that was well, actually, in a funny way, it’s just like in markets that if I weren’t there of course, I wasn’t doing it, but somebody else would.” He described the season of these horrors as “the most exciting time of my life.”

Soros grew up in a “Jewish, anti-Semitic home”. He called his mother a “typical Jewish anti-Semite” who hated his first wife because she was “too Jewish”. After undergoing psychoanalysis, he was able to understand that his shame was rooted in his Jewishness. He had a special contempt for Jewish philanthropies after a failed attempt to defraud a Jewish charity in London.

He was booed when he undermined the presentation of an award to a Holocaust survivor by comparing Israeli Jews to Nazis. Elie Wiesel had declared in disgust, “I heard what happened. If I’d been there—and you can quote me—I would have walked out.”

That same year, Soros blamed the Israeli government for a “resurgence of anti-Semitism in Europe”. He might have been more honest if he took responsibility considering his funding of groups that traffic in anti-Semitic smears. And his own anti-Semitic allegations that “attitudes toward the Jewish community are influenced by the pro-Israel lobby’s success in suppressing divergent views.”

Soros has defended Hamas and Hezbollah who have called for the extermination of the Jews. He championed the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt despite or because of its support for Hitler. Yusuf al-Qaradawi had claimed that Hitler had been sent by Allah to punish the Jews. “Allah willing,” the Brotherhood’s spiritual leadersaid, “the next time will be at the hands of the believers (Muslims).”

There’s no denying that George Soros is a warped and twisted man. Especially when it comes to the Jews. But he’s also the money man behind a great deal of leftist activism. Especially anti-Israel activism.

And so he must be defended.

An editorial at New York Times by a figure linked to the +972 anti-Israel hate site decries “Israel’s War Against George Soros”. That’s right up there with Poland’s war on Nazi Germany.

What does this war consist of? Has Israel sent drones to the Soros estate? Did Mossad agents drag George out of his featherbed to face the justice of those injured through his actions?

No.

The “war” consisted of one statement. The Israeli Foreign Ministry condemned Soros for “continuously undermining Israel’s democratically elected governments,” and backing hate groups “that defame the Jewish state and seek to deny it the right to defend itself.” Not only is it true, but it’s underwhelming.

Even by the low fake news standards of today’s extremist media, you expect something more from a headline screaming “Israel’s War Against George Soros” than a single restrained criticism.

Do the thousands of hit pieces from the New York Times count as a “War on Israel? That includes the aforementioned Mairav Zonszein screed on Soros which in true Sorosesque fashion pivots from defending an anti-Semite to launching bizarre and hopelessly factless smears at the Jewish State.

Mairav claims that Israel is now aligned with “illiberal, autocratic states like Russia, Turkey and Egypt.” That would be news to Turkey which just accused Israel of a “crime against humanity” and backs Hamas. Or to Russia, which backs Iran and whose S-300 missiles guard Iran’s nuclear program against an Israeli strike. But using the stopped clock principle, getting one of three right isn’t bad for the New York Times.

Soros and the Times were aligned with the illiberal autocratic Muslim Brotherhood’s takeover of Egypt under a leader who had urged Muslims to “nurse our children and grandchildren on hatred” of the Jews.

But there’s nothing anti-Semitic to see there.

According to the New York Times, criticizing an anti-Semite whose Jewishness can only be found with a DNA analysis is anti-Semitic, but attacking millions of Jews defending themselves against genocide isn’t.

The government that represents millions of Jews is anti-Semitic for calling out a left-wing anti-Semite. And the millions of Jews, and even the recently deceased Elie Wiesel, probably are too.

According to Mairav Zonszein, Israel’s criticism of Soros aligns it with anti-Semites. “It takes some gall on the part of Mr. Netanyahu to choose this moment to kick Mr. Soros while he’s down — not only because Mr. Soros is, once again, a victim of anti-Semitism,” Mairav fumes.

By “down”, Mairav means he’s the world’s 22nd richest man and dictates policy to entire governments.

Mr. Soros has not refrained from kicking Israeli families when they were being shot and stabbed by Islamic terrorists. He hasn’t stopped funding hate against Jews or blaming Jews for anti-Semitism.

George Soros funds BDS, an organization run by a terrorist and one that defends the murder of Jews. But there’s mean ole Mr. Netanyahu kicking the 22nd richest man in the world when he’s down.

This shameless Jewashing is despicable and typical. The left shrugs at the murderous anti-Semitism in the Muslim world. And at times it even defends it. It loves Jewashing its hatred of Jews by putting activists with a Jewish last name up front in its anti-Semitic activities. And it will defend anti-Semites like George Soros as victims of anti-Semitism at the hands of the government of millions of Jews.

When it’s convenient, George Soros takes a break from fond recollections of the most exciting time in his life, helping rob Jews, to play a victim of the Holocaust. And if it’s useful, he’ll even take a break from defending Hamas and Hezbollah, from funding the types of terrorists who call the murder of Jews “resistance” and from supporting Islamist groups that praise Hitler, to play the victim of anti-Semitism.

George Soros hates Jews. So do his apologists and supporters. They just can’t say so in public. Yet.

There are a thousand euphemisms. They’re not anti-Semites, they’re anti-Zionists. Yes, they just happen to be reviving the Nazi boycott against the Jews. And their favorite Muslim Brotherhood hate groups drew organizational inspiration from the Third Reich. But they’re only concerned for social justice. The social justice they’re concerned with just happens to require the persecution of the Jews. They just happen to disrupt Holocaust memorial events and Jewish holidays to bring attention to the cause of the oppressed Muslim terrorists whose heroic figures had egged on Hitler to wipe out the Jews.

And if you doubt their commitment to opposing anti-Semitism, watch them defend George Soros. Then when the Jewashing is done, they can go back to demanding that we fund the terrorists murdering Jews.

George Soros is not a Holocaust survivor. He has spent much of his life collaborating with totalitarian movements whose goal is the extermination of the Jewish people.

He is not a victim of anti-Semitism. He is a perpetrator of anti-Semitism.

The only thing more despicable than the left’s obsessive hatred of Jews is its Jewashing of anti-Semites. Hating Jews is anti-Semitic no matter what your last name might be. Collaborating with the murderers of Jews is attempted genocide no matter what your DNA may say. When you defend Hamas, fund BDS and defend anti-Semitism, no amount of lies and spin will Jewash your hatred and guilt away.

Jewish Voice for Peace: Fatal Jerusalem Terrorist Attack “Grim,” But Gaza

July 16, 2017

Jewish Voice for Peace: Fatal Jerusalem Terrorist Attack “Grim,” But Gaza, Investigative Project on Terrorism, Ariel Behar, July 16, 2017

(Please see also, Nothing is sacred. — DM)

Friday’s terrorist attack at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem provided yet another example of how apologists avoid acknowledging the reality of Palestinian violence.

Qatar-based Al-Jazeera television’s first headline made it seem like three Palestinians were shot dead for no particular reason. “At least three Palestinians killed in shooting in Jerusalem’s Old City,” the network posted on Twitter.

The three were killed after they shot and killed two police officers and wounded a third in an unprovoked attack.

In the United States, Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), which claims to want a safe and secure state for both Israelis and Palestinians, reacted to the terrorist attack by sharing a Facebook post posting a video about the electricity crisis in the Gaza Strip. “The news today of armed Palestinians killed by Israeli occupying police near Al Aqsa mosque is grim, sad and frightening but won’t include the backdrop of Gaza in the dark, its undrinkable water, children suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder… each day becoming more unlivable,” JVP wrote.

This apparent rationalization of a terrorist attack that killed two Israeli police officers by Israeli Arabs who opened fire after prayer on the Temple Mount is not a surprising move by Jewish Voice for Peace.

A Palestinian activist at a JVP conference earlier this year urged the audience to become “freedom fighters” by utilizing “guerilla disobedience” because activism against the occupation was not enough.

At another panel on Zionism, JVP argued that Israel is an apartheid state ignoring equal rights and opportunities of Israeli Arabs, while also pushing the notion that Zionism should not exist. Zionism was a movement aimed at the reestablishment of a Jewish state.

JVP championed the case of convicted terrorist Rasmieh Odeh, who was responsible for a 1969 grocery store bombing that killed two Israeli students. JVP invited Odeh to speak at its conference in April, just after she pleaded guilty to naturalization fraud and agreed to be deported. Odeh claims her Israeli terrorism conviction resulted from weeks of torture. Though she has no evidence to support this, JVP embraces it as truth.

For a group supposedly inspired by their faith to work for justice and equality for both Israelis and Palestinians, Jewish Voice for Peace is disturbingly quiet about condemning terrorist violence targeting Israelis.