Archive for the ‘Antisemitism’ Category

Pollard still in prison after 27 years — an object lesson for Jews?

Friday, December 14th, 2012

By Vic Rosenthal

Highly redacted CIA document about Jonathan Pollard case. Click for larger version.

Highly redacted CIA document about Jonathan Pollard case. Click for larger version.

I haven’t written about Jonathan Pollard in a while. I’m prompted to do so again by two things: a recent news report that Pollard was taken to the hospital after collapsing in his cell (he is now back in jail), and the release today of formerly classified documents about his case.

Pollard, a Navy intelligence analyst, was arrested for passing classified information to Israel in 1985 and sentenced in 1987 to life imprisonment, when the government reneged on a plea deal. The judge in the case ruled after receiving confidential information about the damage that Pollard’s spying allegedly caused from former Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger.

Weinberger’s memo to the court has now been declassified, but unfortunately the content that persuaded the judge to send Pollard to prison for life has been redacted, so we still don’t know exactly what Pollard is supposed to have done that justified his hugely disproportionate sentence. You can read more about the case here.

Some commentators think that Pollard was accused of being the source of information which led to the deaths of American agents at the hands of the Soviet KGB, when in fact this was provided by traitors Aldrich Ames and Robert Hanssen. But this can’t be determined from what’s left of Weinberger’s memo.

One interesting item that appears in the declassified documents are details about some of what Pollard provided:

The documents provided information on PLO headquarters in Tunisia; specific capabilities of Tunisian and Libyan air defense systems; Iraqi and Syrian chemical warfare productions capabilities (including detailed satellite imagery); Soviet arms shipments to Syria and other Arab states; naval forces, port facilities, and lines of communication of various Middle Eastern and North African countries; the MiG-29 fighter; and Pakistan’s nuclear program. Also included was a U.S. assessment of Israeli military capabilities.

The government has not provided any additional information that makes the reasons for keeping Pollard in prison clear. While he certainly is guilty of transmitting classified information to an ally, his is the only case of this kind that has resulted in a life sentence. I can’t believe, if the government actually has information to justify the sentence, that it could not be provided in a manner that would be convincing without revealing damaging secrets.

There are at least two other possible reasons for not releasing Pollard that come to mind: either

  1. he knows something which still, after 27 years, would embarrass the CIA or some other government entity or official; or,
  2. the administration believes that it is absolutely necessary to send a message that Jewish disloyalty will be treated with maximum harshness.

I’m going with number 2.

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A green light to attempt genocide

Wednesday, June 27th, 2012
Iranian VP Mohammad-Reza Rahimi views Israel's border from Lebanon

Iranian VP Mohammad-Reza Rahimi views Israel’s border from Lebanon

News item:

TEHRAN — Iran’s vice president delivered a baldly anti-Semitic speech on Tuesday at an international antidrug conference here, saying that the Talmud, a central text of Judaism, was responsible for the spread of illegal drugs around the world…

Mr. Rahimi, second in line to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, said the Talmud teaches to “destroy everyone who opposes the Jews.”

The “Zionists” are in firm control of the illegal drug trade, Mr. Rahimi said, asking foreign dignitaries to research his claims. “Zionists” is Iran’s ideological term for Jews who support the state of Israel.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran will pay for anybody who can research and find one single Zionist who is an addict,” Mr. Rahmini said. “They do not exist. This is the proof of their involvement in drugs trade.” …

Mr. Rahimi … told stories of gynecologists’ killing black babies on the orders of the Zionists and claimed that the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917 was started by Jews, adding that mysteriously, no Jews died in that uprising.

He also said the Talmud teaches Jews to think that they are a superior race. “They think God has created the world so that all other nations can serve them,” he said. Halfway through his speech, Mr. Rahimi said there was a difference between Jews who “honestly follow the prophet Moses” and the Zionists, who are “the main elements of the international drugs trade.”

This kind of rant serves several purposes. On the most basic level, a great majority of the world’s Muslims probably believe him (although I doubt that the same could be said for Iranians). Belief that Jews are essentially evil in multiple ways leads to dehumanization, stage 3 in Stanton’s 8 stages of genocide.

On a more emotional level, it doesn’t matter if a listener — or even the speaker — believes it or not. It is intended as a message of hate, a verbalization of the upraised middle finger, and a threat. It’s more of an action than an utterance.

It sends a message to other enemies of Israel as well. It says “we are not afraid of them, we will tell them to their faces that we intend to kill them.”

This is not the first time an Iranian official has sent this same message: “you are not human, we hate you, we will exterminate you.” Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khameini and President Ahmadinejad have both compared Israel to a “cancerous tumor,” with obvious implications.

The Israeli leadership — especially PM Netanyahu — has a sense of history and understands that threats like this have to be taken with the utmost seriousness.

This is a test, but not for Israel, which already understands what it is facing. It is a test for the “international community,” whose representatives were present at the conference and heard this atavistic Jew-hatred, as vile as anything that came from Hitler’s propagandists.

European diplomats in attendance expressed shock. Even Iranian participants in the conference, co-sponsored by Iran and the United Nations, privately wondered at their government’s motive for allowing such a speech, even given its longstanding antagonism toward Israel…

A European diplomat said afterward: “This was definitely one of the worst speeches I have heard in my life. My gut reaction was: why are we supporting any cooperation with these people?”

Now there is no excuse for pretending that the Iranian regime is anything other than it is. They have seen the face of the beast. Will they close their eyes to its intentions, as they did to Hitler’s?

The reaction of the European diplomat quoted above wasn’t encouraging:

But the diplomat, who declined to be identified by name or country, defended his presence at the conference. “If we do not support the United Nations on helping Iran fight drugs, voices like the one of Mr. Rahimi will be the only ones out there,” he said.

Do we really need to explain to a ‘diplomat’ that Rahimi speaks for the regime? That his voice is “the only one out there” in Iran? Of course not.

If the reaction from the “community,” particularly the US, is not swift and substantial — a retraction and apology must be demanded — then it will be taken as a green light.

A green light to attempt genocide.

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The Palestinian movement and Jew hatred

Sunday, June 17th, 2012

We keep hearing how there is a big difference between Jew hatred and anti-Zionism. Those who are promoting boycotts of Israeli goods, academics, athletes, etc. until Israel provides ‘justice’ to Palestinian Arabs — which is defined in terms that would preclude the existence of the Jewish state — vehemently insist that they have no problem with Jews per se.

Often they themselves are Jews. “How can we be Jew-haters,” they ask?

This position is belied by their double standards and by the pathological obsessiveness of their focus on Israel. But they nevertheless maintain that the logical distinction between hating Jews and ‘opposing’ (in fact, hating) Israel on behalf of the Palestinian Arabs means that social sanctions against antisemitism (and in some countries, legal ones) do not apply to them.

But if we look at the Palestinian movement that they are supporting, it is joined at the hip with ideas and people that represent classical racist Jew hatred of the most murderous kind.

We can quickly dispose of Hamas, whose charter — which has not changed since its inception — contains anti-Jewish material taken directly from the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. But did you know that the Palestinian Authority (PA) published a textbook for children in 2004 that asserts that the forged Protocols are historically true?

The PA media and religious appointees also continue to describe Jews as descendants of apes and pigs. Does this count as ‘criticism of Israeli policies’?

We know that the first ‘Palestinian’ leader, Haj Amin al-Husseini, fomented pogroms against Jews in Palestine in the 1920’s and in Iraq in 1941. Then he went to Germany and helped Hitler raise a Bosnian Muslim SS division to fight in Eastern Europe. After the war he helped clandestine networks resettle wanted Nazi war criminals in Arab countries (Egypt and Syria), where some served as military or political advisers. Both Yasser Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas praised him as a Palestinian hero.

It’s well-known that Mahmoud Abbas wrote a ‘doctoral’ dissertation (see also here) in which he claimed that there were fewer than 900,000 Jewish Holocaust victims, that the Nazis did not murder Jews in gas chambers, and that Zionists encouraged Hitler to murder Jews in order to gain the world’s sympathy!

It’s also documented that Abbas, working under the direction of Arafat, provided funds to terrorist Abu Daoud to carry out the massacre of Israeli athletes and coaches at the Munich Olympics 40 years ago this September.

Now it turns out that he and Arafat had help from neo-Nazis. Here is another link in the chain between Palestinian Arab terrorism and Nazi evil:

Berlin – Newly released files from Germany’s domestic intelligence agency reveal that neo-Nazis plotted with the Palestinian group Black September in the 1972 Munich Olympic terror attack that killed 11 Israeli athletes, according to a Der Spiegel magazine story on Sunday.

According to the online Spiegel report, police in the city of Dortmund sent a notice to the German domestic intelligence agency, Verfassungsschutz (BfV), in which “Saad Walli, an ‘Arab looking man’ met conspiratorially with the German neo-Nazi Willi Pohl.” The meeting took place roughly seven weeks before the 1972 terror attack in Munich.

Saad Walli was the cover name for Abu Daoud, who is widely believed to be the ringleader of the 1972 terror attack in Germany. Pohl bragged to his employer about his contact with the extremist PLO wing…

Pohl, the neo-Nazi, is now a crime fiction author and said, “I chauffeured Abu Daoud throughout the entire Federal Republic where he met in different cities with Palestinians.” Pohl helped Daoud obtain false passports and other documents, according to the report.

The Palestinian movement, both the Islamic and nationalist branches, has always worked hand-in-glove with its natural allies, the Nazis and neo-Nazis. It emphasizes anti-Jewish doctrines in Islam, and promulgates the long-discredited myths of European antisemitism.

If you support the Palestinian movement and its goals of replacing Israel with an Arab state — even if you hide behind the fantasy of a ‘democratic state of all its citizens’ — you need to understand exactly who you are supporting and what you have  signed up for.

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The conflict is a result of Jew-hatred, not its cause

Sunday, February 19th, 2012
2-year-old Moshe Holtzberg, son of murdered Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg and wife Rivka, at a memorial service for his parents in Mumbai, India

2-year-old Moshe Holtzberg, son of murdered Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg and wife Rivka, at a memorial service for his parents in Mumbai, India

From a recent report from the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center:

For the past half year (May 2011-February 2012) Iran and Hezbollah have organized and carried out a terrorist campaign against Israeli targets abroad. So far six attacks have been attempted in five Asian countries, four in sequence (Turkey, Azerbaijan, twice in Thailand) and two simultaneously (India and Georgia).

Most were attacks on Israeli institutions or officials, like the one last week in which the wife of a representative of Israel’s Defense Ministry was injured. But

On January 24, 2012, a three-man Azeri terrorist cell was exposed, run by Iran. They planned to attack both the Israeli ambassador to Azerbaijan as well as two Chabad emissaries, the director and head rabbi of the local Jewish school. The cell was handled by an Azeri living in the city of Ardabil in northwestern Iran, and wanted by the authorities in Azerbaijan for kidnapping, murder and arms smuggling. The Azeri, handled by the Iranians, promised the cell $150,000 and in October 2011 smuggled weapons to them (including a sniper rifle with a silencer, three hand guns with suppressors and plastic explosives).

Keep in mind that Chabad has no connection with the Israeli government, and in fact its headquarters is in the US. Its theology is not considered mainstream Orthodox Judaism. Its emissaries are generally not involved in politics and not interested in converting non-Jews to Judaism. They are primarily concerned with the spiritual and physical well-being of Jews wherever they are found.

When my son was taken ill in a remote location in India, he shortly found himself in a local Chabad house. Later he was evacuated to a hospital in Delhi, where a Chabad rabbi brought him candles, wine and bread for kabalat Shabbat.

Chabad has a massive international presence, claiming 4,000 emissaries worldwide, in at least 75 countries. It is the world’s largest single Jewish organization.

In the 2008 Islamic terror attack on targets in Mumbai, India, the Chabad house was singled out. Terrorists invaded the building and ultimately killed Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg and his wife Rivka along with four others. There is no doubt that the Chabad house attack was not an afterthought, but was on the list of targets given to the Pakistani terrorists.

Chabad institutions are attacked because they represent a form of Jewish power, albeit power exercised within the Jewish community. They are visibly Jewish, in their black coats and characteristic fedoras.

There are other examples of the specifically anti-Jewish nature of Muslim terrorism. When Ahlam Tamimi planned the bombing of the Sbarro pizza restaurant in Jerusalem, she told an interviewer, she specifically chose it because it was frequented by religious Jews. And there was the attack on the Mercaz haRav yeshiva in which seven teenage students and a teacher were murdered.

Jews are murdered, as they have been for centuries, because they are Jews. There have always been ‘reasons’ — Jewish ‘stiff-necked’ refusal to accept other religions, blood libels, fantastic stories of international conspiracies, etc.

What’s new today is the excuse that it has something to do with an international conflict. In fact, the conflict is a result of Jew-hatred, not its cause.

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The evolution of the Oldest Hatred

Sunday, January 22nd, 2012
An "anti-Zionist" demonstrates in San Francisco, 2009. No Jew-hatred here!

An "anti-Zionist" demonstrates in San Francisco, 2009. No Jew-hatred here!

Somebody asked me to expand on the remark I made Friday, when I said,

Today the impulse to hate — at least as it affects the more sophisticated Americans and Europeans — is directed at the concrete national expression of the Jewish people, the state of Israel, rather than at ‘the Jews’ … Irrational, obsessive hate is irrational, obsessive hate. Only the object is different. And the bloody results can be the same.

People that hate Israel every bit as viciously as the Nazis hated Jews are at pains to distinguish their hatred from antisemitism, because although anti-Zionism is acceptable, antisemitism is not.

Today, there is an absolute taboo in educated Western society against racist or ‘prejudiced’ speech.  Even some words (or ones that sound like them) are absolutely forbidden. Do you recall this incident?

On January 15, 1999, David Howard, a white aide to Anthony A. Williams, the black mayor of Washington, D.C., used “niggardly” in reference to a budget. This apparently upset one of his black colleagues (identified by Howard as Marshall Brown), who interpreted it as a racial slur and lodged a complaint. As a result, on January 25 Howard tendered his resignation, and Williams accepted it [he was later offered another position] … Howard felt that he had learned from the situation. “I used to think it would be great if we could all be colorblind. That’s naïve, especially for a white person, because a white person can’t afford to be colorblind. They don’t have to think about race every day. An African American does.” — Wikipedia

The Wikipedia article lists several similar incidents. Of course the word ‘niggardly’ has nothing to do with the famous ‘n-word’, in etymology or meaning —  it comes from A Swedish dialect word that means ‘stingy’ or ‘miserly’. I mention this to illustrate how incredibly touchy we can be about this kind of taboo.

How did we get here? In America, the fact of slavery followed by institutionalized racism and the struggle to end it was especially traumatic, in different ways, for both whites and African-Americans. Similarly, the Holocaust created a sensitivity to antisemitism in Europe and America. Explicit Jew-hatred is almost never expressed by the educated classes in the US and Europe (although it is quite common in the Muslim world — a recent poll shows that only 2% of Egyptians have a favorable opinion of Jews).

It is almost unthinkable that a university teacher today would delver a lecture accusing international Jewry of conspiring to take over the world, or saying that Jews have inordinate control over the US government. On the other hand, the equally false propositions that Israel is committing genocide against the Palestinian Arabs (despite the fact that their number has grown steadily since Israel was established), and that US policy is warped by a powerful ‘Israel lobby’ are heard in classrooms every day.

Especially in left-wing circles, where political correctness is carefully enforced and nobody would dream of accusing Jews of putting Christian blood in their matzot,  it is considered perfectly legitimate to accuse Israel of deliberately shooting Palestinian children, or of killing Arabs to steal their organs, on the strength of unsubstantiated statements made by Israel’s enemies — including those who themselves regularly practice murderous terrorism! But that doesn’t matter, because actual evidence is not required when the hatred is irrational.

We find irrational, obsessive and extreme hatred of the Jewish state everywhere on the Left, particularly among Jews. One example is here.

My thesis is that extreme Israel-hatred in this context is simply an evolved form of antisemitism. Let me explain.

Antisemitism is a meme.

A meme is “an idea, behavior or style that spreads from person to person within a culture.”A meme acts as a unit for carrying cultural ideas, symbols or practices, which can be transmitted from one mind to another through writing, speech, gestures, rituals or other imitable phenomena. Supporters of the concept regard memes as cultural analogues to genes in that they self-replicate, mutate and respond to selective pressures. — Wikipedia

While it’s possible to take analogies too far, the biological metaphor seems spot-on in this case. Like a living species, traditional antisemitism developed throughout European cultures (and spread to others) until 1945, because the environment was favorable to it. In fact, one can see the Holocaust as the logical result of this development, the final flowering of it.

But like biological population explosions in which a species’ excessive expansion can change its environment in ways that make it less hospitable to the organism, the horrors of WWII changed the cultural environment in which the antisemitism meme lives. At least among educated Westerners, a resistance to traditional Jew-hatred developed, and the meme was inhibited from reproducing there.

There were other reasons. I mentioned the trauma of white racism in America. An analogy was drawn between racism and antisemitism. A great amount of energy was directed towards extirpating all kinds of prejudice in our society. Political correctness developed, which helped suppress racism and antisemitism, but also has had other non-benign effects.

Unfortunately, like living creatures, memes have the ability to mutate and mutations that improve their ability to reproduce in a particular cultural environment will be strengthened by natural selection. So rather than dying out, the meme evolved. Jew-hatred became Israel-hatred. Instead of  being directed at a group of people because of who or what they are, it was directed at the state that they created for themselves. The taboos against racism and prejudice were circumvented, because the meme could be presented as political opposition to a country rather than hate for a people.

Little else changed. The fundamental irrationality of traditional antisemitism, by which Jewish crimes and the evidence for them could simply be made up, remained. The ability of the antisemite to believe anything negative about the Jew no matter how outlandish, remained. The application of antisemitism to every area of human interaction — literature, music, sports, professions, etc., remained (consider academic boycotts, for example). The extreme vitriol that characterizes it, remained. And it appears that the ultimate goal — the destruction of the hated object — remains.

One way to see the connection between the Oldest Hatred and today’s attacks on Israel’s legitimacy is to note that what is being denied by Israel-haters today is that the Jewish people are a people, and they have a right of self-determination.

Keep this in mind the next time — and I’m sure there will be a next time, probably in the next few months — that there are massive anti-Israel demonstrations against the state of the Jewish people having the chutzpah to defend itself. Not much is new under the sun.

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