Archive for the ‘Zionophobia’ Category

Israel still a place of refuge

Sunday, March 31st, 2013

Barry Rubin published a piece about Jew-hatred in Holland yesterday. He made the point that

Traditionally, the Netherlands was friendly to Israel and while it has always had its anti-Semites and even, historically, fascists, it had far less proportionately than other European countries during the last half-century. In other words, if things are bad in the Netherlands, they’re really bad.

Today they are, he said, and he added,

Last year, the chief rabbi of the Netherlands spoke in a published interview in which he spoke extensively about his love for the country, the good treatment of Jews there, and other such points. Asked at the end, however, whether there was any future for Jews in the country he said, “No,” and advised the community to move to Israel.

A lot has to with the increase in the number of Muslims there, who are strongly anti-Israel and increasingly antisemitic. But it’s not an accident that antisemitism is often compared to a virus, and in Europe the immunity conferred by the Holocaust appears to be wearing off, and it is spreading in the general population.

In a few countries, including some whose Jewish population was almost entirely wiped out, anti-Jewish banners are routinely in evidence at soccer games. In Greece, Golden Dawn party leaders and activists routinely blame Jews for Greece’s economic problems, deny the holocaust, etc. There are only a few thousand Jews left in Greece (from a pre-WW2 population of about 77,000).

The 1,500 Jewish residents of Malmo, Sweden (pop. 300,000) are fleeing because of a combination of violent anti-Jewish acts by Muslims and an official attitude that it is the Jews’ fault. In Norway, with a tiny Jewish contingent of about 1,000 people, ‘Jew’ is a popular insult among high school students.

New figures put the Jewish population of the world at 13,800,000. 6 million of them are in Israel, 5.5 million in the US, 680,000 in Canada, 500,000 in France, and 290,000 in the UK. Jews in Europe are feeling more and more uncomfortable as a result of increasing antisemitism, from Muslim immigrants, the extreme Left, and of course the old-fashioned fascist Right. In France, it has taken a particularly violent form, and many French Jews feel that the authorities are not capable of protecting them.

Although its practitioners are at pains to deny it, the irrational and extreme hatred of Israel evident in many segments of European society has long since become substantially indistinguishable from Jew-hatred. There are similar trends in other places — in South America, where Hugo Chavez exploited anti-Israel and anti-Jewish attitudes in the traditional way, and even to a smaller extent in Australia where there has recently been an influx of  Lebanese Muslims.

All this raises the question, “what about the US?”

On the one hand, in the US there is a very strong taboo against anything perceived as a form of racism — sometimes to the point of silliness. As I’ve written before, the trauma of institutionalized anti-black racism has created a reaction not dissimilar to the European one that followed the Holocaust (which was felt in the US to a lesser extent). Ethnic jokes and stereotypes are not acceptable in polite society or media here — far less so than in the UK, for example — even though our laws about what can be said in public are more permissive.

On the other, extreme anti-Zionism (what one blogger called “misoziony” and Judea Pearl referred to as “Zionophobia“), irrational hatred of the Jewish state, flourishes here on the Left and in academia. It does not trigger the antibodies of the anti-racism taboo, and indeed receives cover as an expression of free speech and academic freedom — the practitioners thereof understand this very well and push it to the limit.

The fact that anti-Zionism has become part of the conventional wisdom in universities is bad, because what happens there is what economists call a ‘leading indicator’ — a measure that has predictive value for the future. Today’s students are tomorrow’s business and political leaders, and we can already see the effects of this in the attitude toward Israel found among officials in the left-leaning Obama Administration (including the President himself).

Although we cannot predict for certain what will happen in the US, the experience of much of the rest of the world is not encouraging. So even American Jews can be excused if they return to the ‘outdated’ idea that the Jewish state exists in part to be a place of refuge for persecuted Jews.

It’s ironic to note that some of the extremists of the Israeli Left might not exist if their parents or grandparents hadn’t found refuge in the ‘Zionist entity’ that they love to revile!

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The myth of Jewish self-hatred

Monday, February 22nd, 2010

Barry Rubin has a fascinating post (here) about recognizing antisemitism, and how so many otherwise smart people can’t do it.

Almost at the end he makes a significant point in an offhand way. Talking about some Jewish communists who displayed great antipathy to Judaism and were “more loyal than the king” in attacking anticommunists, he suggests that they are motivated by “ideology and selfish self-promoting … interests” rather than self-hatred, which he calls “a major myth.”

Of course. Most of the Jewish Israel-haters, from the ones who are out front about it, like Max Blumenthal, to the ones who claim to be “pro-Israel” while they do their best to subvert it, like Jeremy Ben Ami of J Street, do not have a strong enough connection to Judaism to hate themselves over it.

They are probably quite honest in expressing the bemusement they feel when they are called “self-hating Jews.” In truth, they are barely Jews at all. What’s to hate?

Marcy Winograd, a candidate for Congress in Los Angeles, gives us this perfect example:

Though I identify with persecuted Jews, I grow up longing to be part of the dominant culture. I hang little red and green lights on plastic Christmas trees and rarely visit temple except to hava nagila at the boys’ bar mitzvahs or to pray on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, when we never atone for the sin of theft, slaughter, or occupation.

No hate here, just indifference. Rubin’s suggestion is much more straightforward: Jewish anti-Zionists use their Jewish ethnicity to increase their power and importance, to draw attention to themselves and to gain credibility, because in the ceaseless din of the arena of anti-Zionist activism, it’s hard to stand out without a unique shtick.

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Obama picks deaf person to tune piano

Tuesday, December 1st, 2009
Hannah Rosenthal, Obama's Antisemitism Poobah

Hannah Rosenthal, Obama's Antisemitism Poobah

Barack Obama’s appointment of Hannah Rosenthal — no relation to this writer, thank goodness — to be “Special Envoy for Global Anti-Semitism” (definitely not “Antisemitism Czar”) is emblematic of the way this administration has consistently tried to use Jews to justify its anti-Israel policy.

Hannah Rosenthal is a member of the J Street Advisory board and she writes stuff like this (April 2008):

Six years ago this week, JCPA [she was the director of this group] was one of many organizations that helped bring thousands of Jews, and hundreds of our friends and allies, to Washington to support Israel at a National Israel Solidarity Rally. It was an historic occasion, and I recall much of that day with fondness and pride.

I also recall the many rally attendees who pulled me aside to ask why the word “peace” was so absent from the proceedings. How could we talk security without talking peace? Where were the voices representing the will of the broader American Jewish community? Why were there no speakers giving voice to a pro-Israel vision of a secure Israel living side-by-side in peace with its neighbors?

Throughout this day of speeches and rallying cries, I began to ask myself the same questions: Where was the pro-Israel, pro-peace message? Why was the voice of so many American Jews absent from this rally?

How did we arrive at a place where pro-Israel events had come to be dominated by narrow, ultra-conservative views of what it means to be pro-Israel?

Abe Foxman of the ADL took her to task sharply, quoting many of the speakers who did talk about peace, such as Rep. Richard Gephart, Sen. Harry Reid, Paul Wolfowitz, Natan Sharansky, Rudy Giuliani, etc. Considering that the Solidarity Rally was a response to a series of murderous suicide bombings, including the Passover Seder Massacre in which 30 lost their lives, it’s surprising that ‘peace’ was mentioned at all.

But it was. So why did Rosenthal and friends not hear it?

One reason was that the speakers, representing a range of opinion from the Center to the Right, probably did not use their time to accuse Israel of human rights violations, and they probably called for an end to Palestinian terrorism — there was plenty of it at that time — and not Israeli militarism (for J Street, Israeli self-defense should always be condemned, as they did at the beginning of Operation Cast Lead).

Another was that to the J Street mind, anyone who advocates any other policy than surrender to Palestinian demands is an “ultra-conservative” (they also like “neo-con” and “anti-peace” a lot) — and you don’t have to listen to them.

I’m not going to dump on the Arab and Iranian supported and anti-Israel J Street yet again, nor fulminate about the arrogation of the word ‘peace’ by the extreme Left — don’t they think, for example, that Natan Sharansky wants peace? –  but rather point out why Ms Rosenthal is not qualified to be Antisemitism Poobah (hey, it’s better than ‘Czar’).

This is because the nature and source of antisemitism has undergone a change in recent years. The neo-Nazi skinheads and Pat Buchanan are still around, but much antisemitism today comes from the Left in the guise of “opposition to Israeli policies”. But it goes far beyond reasoned political criticism; what it really is is what I called, for lack of a better word, Zionophobia, the extreme and irrational hatred of the Jewish state.

Although traditional right-wing antisemitism never appealed to many Jews — with some exceptions — the “new antisemitism“, which manifests itself primarily as Israel-hatred, is very popular among ‘progressives’ who happen to be Jewish. Excellent examples of ‘progressive’ Jewish antisemites are video terrorist Max Blumenthal and blogger Philip Weissboth of whom were present at J Street’s recent conference in DC.

Hannah Rosenthal and other J Streeters are tolerant of anti-Israel extremism like that of Weiss and Blumenthal, because they simply do not understand the connection between the Jewish people and the land of Israel — in fact, it seems that they share the view of Mahmoud Abbas that there is no Jewish people.

If that’s true, then no wonder that they don’t understand the equivalence of extreme Israel-hatred to antisemitism!

Choosing a J Streeter for this job is like picking a deaf person to tune a piano.

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Max Blumenthal is a video terrorist

Friday, August 28th, 2009
Max Blumenthal -- Oops, no, its Josef Goebbels. I always mix them up!

Max Blumenthal -- Oops, no, it's Josef Goebbels. I always mix them up!

Max Blumenthal is a video terrorist. His target is the Jewish state and like many terrorists he is driven by hate — it oozes from his work — and he really doesn’t care what ethical principles (in this case, basic journalistic ones about truth and fairness) he needs to violate in order to kill his enemy. Blumenthal is a ‘journalist’ like Goebbels was a journalist.

He began his career by making fun of the Christian Right in the US, but he became really well-known for his intrepid interview with dangerous drunken American students in a Jerusalem bar.  His footage of scheming Zionist racists pronouncing the words “Fuck Obama!” before passing out is classic investigative journalism. In response to complaints that, after all, they were drunk, American, and to a certain extent idiots, he turned to tricking Israelis with poor English skills into saying embarrassingly right-wing things on camera.

His early work was quite amateurish but he apparently has professional help now, because his latest effort — a trailer for a documentary called “Israel’s terror inside” is slicker than snot and just as objective. His point — which I’m sure the full documentary will belabor effectively — is that Israel is not a democracy, it’s ruled by fascists who want only to to commit genocide against innocent indigenous Palestinians.

You know — this really isn’t all that funny. The trailer is 5 minutes 48 seconds of lies, false implications and slander. It is really well put together — he probably had generous funding from the usual suspects — and I presume the documentary is also. I absolutely guarantee that my friends at Peace Fresno will be showing it to everyone they can get to watch it, college teachers will show it to their classes, etc. Despite the fact that it will be unmitigated rubbish, people will be influenced by it.

Meanwhile, I want to address myself to Blumenthal himself:

You probably know that you are producing pure propaganda and claiming that it’s journalism. The slander in your work is compounded by the lie that what you are doing is honest work. Probably you think that’s justified, that the end of helping the oppressed Palestinians makes it OK to bend the truth a little. Maybe you ask, “what is truth, anyway?” or think about it in a postmodern way in which truth is relative to politics.

Or maybe you like the funding that you can get for doing the devil’s work [note: no, I don’t believe in the devil. It’s a figure of speech]. Maybe you like to see your name in print, and like seeing those fat numbers of views on YouTube. Maybe being famous helps you meet interesting women. Whatever.

Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency? — Joseph Welch, to Sen. Joseph R. McCarthy, June 9, 1954.


(Thanks to Dvar Dea for bringing this to my attention).

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Swedes, Palestinians use time-honored smear technique

Monday, August 24th, 2009
Texan chicken (see text for relevance)

Yes, it's relevant -- read the post.

Swedish Israel-haters are in good company. The Popular Front for Liberation of Palestine is a Marxist PLO faction which holds that Israel is illegitimate, does not accept the Oslo agreements, and demands a ‘right of return’ for all Palestinian refugees and their descendants. The PFLP was quite active in terrorism in the 1960’s and 1970’s, and again during the second intifada. Their leader, Ahmad Sa’adat, is presently serving a 30-year sentence for directing the assassination of Israeli Tourism Minister Rehavam Ze’evi in 2001.

It’s not a surprise that they support the Aftonbladet newspaper and slime journalist Donald Boström:

Gaza – Ma’an – International human rights organizations must carry out a serious and immediate investigation on media reports published by a Swedish newspaper alleging Israeli forces harvested organs from Palestinian youth, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine demanded Saturday.

The report in Aftonbladet quoted Palestinians claiming Israeli soldiers detained young men who died in custody, and alleged their bodies were returned with organs missing.

A PFLP statement said such reports, given the detailed names, dates and photographs included and the staunch support of the Swedish government of the reporter, must be taken seriously. The group said the story was similar to alleged violations carried out by soldiers in the 1980s in Gaza, where they were said to have stolen organs from children taken to Israeli hospitals.

It has always been normal  for Israeli hospitals to treat Palestinians, even wounded terrorists. They return the favor by sending suicide bombers to blow up hospitals, firing missiles at them and even shelling crossing points between Gaza and Israel while Palestinian patients are being transferred. And tell lies about organ stealing.

One of the interesting points about the organ stories is that Palestinians often talk about bodies of dead Arabs being taken. Of course, it is impossible to harvest organs from cadavers, which is why brain-dead accident victims are in demand as organ donors.

While admitting that there was no actual evidence — other than Palestinian accusations — the author of the Aftonbladet article continues to insist that an ‘investigation’ is called for:

…in an article published Friday, Arab media site Menassat interviewed Donald Boström, the Swedish journalist who wrote the original Aftonbladet story. Boström emphasized that there was “no conclusive evidence” that organ hartvesting was a systematic IDF practice, but rather a “collection of allegations and suspicious circumstances.”

“The point is that we know there is organ trafficking in Israel. And we also know that there are families claiming that their children’s organs have been harvested. These two facts together point to the need for further investigation,” Boström was quoted as saying. — Jerusalem Post

Here we have a time-honored smear technique. I call it the “Texas chickens” method, and it’s attributed to famous Texan Lyndon B. Johnson:

Johnson: Tell the press that our opponent has sex with chickens.
Aide: But we can’t possibly prove that!
Johnson: I know, but I want to see the son-of-a-bitch deny it on television.

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