A New "New Anti-Semitism"? Part I-X

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A New "New Anti-Semitism"? Part I-X

Mesaj Scris de KLEIN_RALU la data de Sam Mar 05, 2016 12:14 am

A New "New Anti-Semitism"? Part I
Whenever Israel commits another atrocity, its propagandists stage a revival of the “New Anti-Semitism” extravaganza to deflect or squelch global condemnation.[2]
Under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s megalomaniacal leadership, climaxing in Operation Protective Edge during summer 2014,[3] Israel has come to rank among the most hated countries on Earth. A 2015 survey of British public opinion found that only North Korea was viewed more unfavorably.[4] As if on cue, the media are now saturated with dire speculations of the “world’s oldest hatred” rearing its ugly head again.
But maybe this time the orchestrated foreboding warrants concern. Although skeptical of the danger posed by Islamic extremism in Europe, respected Israeli diplomat and historian Shlomo Ben-Ami hews to the party line on resurgent anti-Semitism: “What is truly under threat in Europe is its Jewish community.”[5] He cites five incidents across Europe over a ten-year period. Even if accurately represented, they would hardly herald a tsunami of Jew-hatred. But were these in fact anti-Semitic incidents? Ben-Ami reports that “last April, a Jewish couple in a Parisian suburb were robbed, because, as the attackers put it, ‘Jews must have money.’” The female victim was also raped. Heinous as the crime was, one is hard-pressed to make out what makes it anti-Semitic. Jews in Western countries are disproportionately wealthy;[6] if the primary goal of the heist was monetary enrichment, it would have made sense to target Jews;[7] which is also why burglars stake out fancy villas and not homeless shelters. What provoked the criminal act, on Ben-Ami’s account, was not irrational hatred of Jews but rational pursuit of illicit gain.
References
I am grateful to Ruth Bettina Birn, MarenHackmann-Mahajan, Jamie Stern-Weiner and Alfred de Zayas for their critical comments on an earlier draft.
[2] Norman G. Finkelstein, Beyond Chutzpah: On the misuse of anti-Semitism and the abuse of history (Berkeley: 2005; first paperback edition, 2008), Part One.
[3] Norman G. Finkelstein, Method and Madness: The hidden story of Israel’s assaults on Gaza (New York: 2014).
[4] Internationalism or Isolationism?The Chatham House – Yougov Survey (2015).
[5] Shlomo Ben-Ami, “In Defense of the Jews, Again,” Project Syndicate (2 February 2015).
[6] Whereas Jews account for less than two percent of the United Kingdom’s population, 20 percent of British billionaires are Jewish. It’s not just a recent phenomenon. Twenty years ago, whereas Jews accounted for about two percent of the US population, they comprised 16 percent of billionaires.
[7] It is unclear whether the perpetrators knew in advance that the victims were Jewish, or subsequently discovered it.


Ultima editare efectuata de catre KLEIN_RALU in Sam Mar 05, 2016 12:41 am, editata de 1 ori

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Would You Rather be Ugly or Jewish? A New "New Anti-Semitism"? Part 2

Mesaj Scris de KLEIN_RALU la data de Sam Mar 05, 2016 12:16 am


The available polling data does not reveal resurgent anti-Semitism. On the contrary, it suggests that anti-Semitism is a marginal, benign phenomenon in the West.
The other evidence Shlomo Ben-Ami adduces is equally problematic. He gestures to a recent poll that allegedly found pervasive anti-Semitism among the British population.[1] But does this frequently cited poll prove it? Let’s parse some of the damning indicators:

  • 17 percent of respondents believed that “Jews think they are better than other people.”

Between their secular success, on the one hand, and their theological “chosenness,” on the other, many Jews themselves believe in their group superiority. Isn’t that why they kvell over the Jewish pedigree of the seminal figures of modernity—Marx, Einstein, and Freud— and 20 percent of Nobel laureates?[2] The inexorable corollary of the poll finding would appear to be that many Jews are anti-Semitic because they think they are better than other people.

  • 10 percent of respondents “would be unhappy if a family member married a Jew.”

What’s most telling about this percentage is how low it is. It’s easy to predict a qualitatively higher percentage if the prospect posed to respondents was that of a family member marrying a Muslim or African. The fact that Jewish intermarriage nowadays causes so little ado among non-Jews suggests just how trivial a phenomenon anti-Semitism has become. Indeed, the prospect of intermarriage almost certainly induces more unease in the Jewish community (among Orthodox Jews it’s dubbed the “Silent Holocaust”) than in the majority culture. Meanwhile, a 2014 poll of Israeli Jews found that fully 75 percent opposed intermarriage; even among secular Israeli Jews, nearly two-thirds opposed it.[3]

  • 17 percent of respondents believed that “Jews have too much power in the media.”

This “proof” of anti-Semitism is also commonly reported in the US context. But American Jews are proportionally overrepresented as a group in influential media, whether it be Hollywood, book publishing, opinion journals or newspapers. Is it so far-fetched to posit a link between this overrepresentation and the media’s obsessive focus on The Holocaust, putting all other human suffering in the shade? During the past three decades, the US has released more than three times as many films on the Nazi holocaust (110) as on US slavery and the US atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki combined (36).[4] In politically correct liberal precincts, no one would raise an eyebrow if it were said, “White people (as against people of color) have too much power in the media,” or “Men (as against women) have too much power in the media.” Why, then, is it anti-Semitic to flag the overrepresentation of Jews in the media?

  • 20 percent of respondents believed that “Jews’ loyalty to Israel makes them less loyal to Britain than other British people.”

It’s arguable that, as compared to a single allegiance, when a loyalty is divided between a pair of states, a relatively smaller quantum of love will be bestowed on one of them. Love of country doesn’t have to be a zero-sum game, but surely it can be. In the case at hand, if a Zionist tenet holds that Israel is the State of the Jewish people; and if it is the “duty” of Zionists to “assist the State of Israel in all conditions and under any circumstances…whether the government to which the Jews in question owe allegiance desires it or not” (David Ben-Gurion);[5] and if many British Jews claim to be Zionists—doesn’t it ensue that their British loyalty will be shortchanged?

  • 13 percent of respondents believed that “Jews talk about the Holocaust too much in order to get sympathy.”

The most disturbing aspect of this finding is what it suggests about the mental equipoise of the other 87 percent. Does any sane person not think that some Jews talk too much about the Holocaust, or that some Jews have exploited it? Stating the obvious is not anti-Semitism; it is just an empirical observation.
None of these British survey findings presages a resurgence of anti-Semitism; at most, they are indeterminate—the affirmative responses might be indicative of a deep-seated irrational loathing of Jews, but they also might not be.[6] Even in the worst-case scenario, most of the findings fall in the relatively low 10-20 percent range. A 2015 Anti-Defamation League (ADL) poll, posing the same genre of questions but after the brief spell of violent assaults against Jews in Europe earlier in the year, likewise found that among major West European countries (France, the United Kingdom, Germany) just 10-20 percent of those surveyed “harbor anti-Semitic attitudes.”[7] Indeed, the modest percentages in response to manifestly true statements suggest that such poll results are more a testament to the hegemony of political correctness than a genuine gauge of popular opinion. Most of these sorts of findings are also socially inconsequential. Although “a law may not make a man love me,” Martin Luther King, Jr. once prioritized, “it can stop him from lynching me.”[8] Jews in the West not only no longer need fear judicially-sanctioned murder but, judging by intermarriage rates, they even verge on being loved. True, it’s not pleasant to be perceived as cheap, but how many doors are closed to Jews on account of this stereotype? Jews are so tapped into networks of power and privilege that being Jewish, far from being a liability, confers social cachet. When she married Marc Mezvinsky, no one pitied Chelsea Clinton for slipping a rung on the social ladder. If it’s not easy being a Jew, it’s a lot easier to bear than the cross of being short, fat, bald or ugly. Most people carrying one or another social stigma learn to cope—it’s called life. By and large, being Jewish falls, on this spectrum of social stigmata, at the benign pole.
References
[1] The Guardian headlined its article on the findings, “Almost Half of Britons Hold Antisemitic Views, Poll Suggests” (14 January 2015). The poll was commissioned by the Campaign against Antisemitism (CAA), a pro-Israel organization founded after Operation Protective Edge (2014) to counter alleged manifestations of British anti-Semitism.
[2] An article in New York magazine under the title, “Are Jews Smarter?,” pondered the genetic evidence (24 October 2005).
[3] “Poll: Most Israelis oppose intermarriage,” Haaretz (22 August 2014).
[4] I am grateful to Jamie Stern-Weiner for culling this data from Wikipedia.
[5] ZviGanin, An Uneasy Relationship: American Jewish leadership andIsrael, 1948-1957 (Syracuse: 2005), p. 119.
[6] Even the pair of survey statements that prima facie appear to be conclusive evidence of anti-Semitism aren’t so clear-cut:
11 percent of respondents believed that “in business, Jews are not as honest as most people.”
Jews are often said to be consummate businessmen; at any rate, they are disproportionately and conspicuously successful in capitalist enterprise. Of the world’s 50 richest people, 20 percent are Jewish, although Jews constitute less than 0.2 percent of the world’s population. If one subscribes to Balzac’s maxim that “behind every great fortune there is a crime,” or Marx’s that “Capital is dead labor which, vampire-like, lives only by sucking living labor,” then this disproportionate success of Jews in business might also be construed as proof that Jews include a disproportionate share of ruthless shysters. The stereotype might be invidious, but that doesn’t make it a priori false, let alone anti-Semitic, anymore than Martin Luther King, Jr.’s admonition, “the vast majority of white Americans are racist,” was inherently anti-White, or the acknowledgment by revered African-American scholar W. E. B. DuBois of the “accumulated sloth and shirking” of his Black contemporaries was necessarily self-hating. (James H. Cone, Martin & Malcolm & America: A dream or a nightmare (New York: 1991), p. 233; W. E. B. DuBois, The Souls of Black Folk (New York: 1989), p. 6) Many Jews are wont to believe (and not implausibly) that creditable group traits—for example, Jews as “People of the Book”—account for their percentage overrepresentation among Nobel laureates. So, why can’t discreditable group traits account for their identical percentage overrepresentation among the world’s richest people or, for that matter, the fact that, in the 1980s Wall Street insider-trading scandals, Jews figured saliently among the indictees (Ivan Boesky, Dennis Levine, Martin Siegel, Michael Milken) while, in the 1990s, six of the seven “robber-baron” oligarchs who controlled 50 percent of Russia’s economy were Jewish?
25 percent of respondents believed that “Jews chase money more than other British people.”
Immortalized in What Makes Sammy Run?, Jewish ambition surely lies at the heart of outsized Jewish achievement. However bountiful one’s natural endowments, to enter society’s rarefied ranks still requires singular discipline and focus, even a monomaniacal fanaticism. In a materialistic society, ambition often takes the form of aspiring to the most remunerative professions; hence, the coveted advanced degrees are in the fields of business, medicine and law, in all three of which Jews have made a distinctive mark. So, why should it surprise if Jews are perceived as being peculiarly moneygrubbing? It’s just the flipside of the legendary Jewish drive. And, inasmuch as in-house Jewish humor itself plays on the stingy Jew (think Jack Benny’s response to “Your money or your life!”;www.youtube.com/watch?v=-tVzdUczMT0), it would be odd if the stereotype lacked any sociological basis.
[7] The ADL survey questions read:
[list="margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 18px; margin-left: 20px; padding-right: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border: 0px; border-image-source: initial; border-image-slice: initial; border-image-width: initial; border-image-outset: initial; border-image-repeat: initial; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;"]
[*]Jews are more loyal to Israel than to [this country/the countries they live in].
[*]Jews have too much power in the business world.
[*]Jews have too much power in international financial markets.
[*]Jews don’t care about what happens to anyone but their own kind.
[*]Jews have too much control over global affairs.
[*]People hate Jews because of the way Jews behave.
[*]Jews think they are better than other people.
[*]Jews have too much control over the United States government
[*]Jews have too much control over the global media.
[*]Jews still talk too much about what happened to them in the Holocaust.
[*]Jews are responsible for most of the world’s wars.
[/list]
Respondents who said at least 6 out of 11 statements are “probably true” were considered to harbor anti-Semitic attitudes.
[8] Taylor Branch, Parting the Waters: America in the King years, 1954-63(New York: 1988), p. 213.

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When Calculating Anti-Semitism, a Double Negative Equals a Positive Is There a New "New Anti-Semitism"? Part 3

Mesaj Scris de KLEIN_RALU la data de Sam Mar 05, 2016 12:18 am


A vast complex of Jewish and philo-Jewish organizations (often affiliated with Israel) purports to document an explosion of anti-Semitic incidents. Consider the annual report issued by Tel Aviv University’s Kantor Center, Antisemitism Worldwide. It recorded 25 anti-Semitic incidents involving a weapon in 2013 among a global population of seven billion. In this writer’s living memory (circa 1990), more than 40 New Yorkers among a population of seven-and-a-half million used to fall victim to homicides every week. On close scrutiny, many of the alleged anti-Semitic incidents it documents are trivial or errant, nebulous or inconclusive, exaggerated or dubious. Judging by previous research, it’s also probable that many of the alleged incidents are outright fabrications.[1] The report spotlights escalating European criticism of ritual Jewish slaughter and circumcision, which “may well serve traditional antisemitic stereotypes,” and, in the case of the circumcision debate, “could be understood as a veiled attempt to force Jews to leave Europe since, while one can import kosher meat,…Jews cannot forgo traditional circumcision.” In the absence of corroborative evidence, however, this ominous speculation “may well” be, “could be,” indeed, is baseless. In fact, in the infamous German court verdict banning circumcision, the defendant was a physician who had circumcised a Muslim boy.[2] In the report’s bookkeeping, the verdict of a British court exonerating a university union accused of anti-Semitism gets reckoned as further proof of anti-Semitism. When calculating anti-Semitism, a double negative equals a positive.
References
[1] Finkelstein, Beyond Chutzpah, pp. 66ff.
[2] “German Court Bans Circumcision of Young Boys,” Reuters (27 June 2012).

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Are Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem Anti-Semites? Is There a New "New Anti-Semitism"? Part 4

Mesaj Scris de KLEIN_RALU la data de Sam Mar 05, 2016 12:19 am


Among other anti-Semitic manifestations, the Tel Aviv University report ticks off “Russia still does not recognize the uniqueness of the Holocaust”; the leader of a right-wing party in the Ukraine “claimed that the Jews automatically dismiss anyone they do not like as an antisemite”; a Brazilian caricaturist “published a series of cartoons claiming that antisemitism is manipulated by the Israeli lobby for political gain”; it is still “no crime to sell” anti-Semitic books in Chile; the president of Venezuela “maintained that to criticize the State of Israel is not antisemitism, and accused the ‘repressive State of Israel’ of sequestering the ‘noble’ Jewish people”; a Madrid public school “held a market where they sold, among other objects, banners with swastikas and patches with the emblem of the SS”; a Norwegian professor “said to a student paper that he boycotted the university’s Kristallnacht commemoration because it ‘served Israeli propaganda’”; photographs of a far-right party leader’s “swastika tattoo [were] published in…Greece’s largest selling newspaper”; a German newspaper “published a caricature…of Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, showing him poisoning the ‘dove of the Middle East peace’”;[1] Australian “far left elements” promoted “Shlomo Sand’s denial of Jewish peoplehood” and “the slur that Israel practices Apartheid.” To quote Gloria Gaynor’s inspirational refrain, Jews “will survive” this onslaught of nonexistent, pseudo and contrived anti-Semitism. It might also be noted that only the rare public figure has been spared the epithet “anti-Semite.” Neither former US president Jimmy Carter nor current US President Barack Obama,neither Pope Francis nor Human Rights Watch director Kenneth Roth, neither actress Penélope Cruz nor actor Javier Bardem, managed to evade it. This writer is classified in standard compendia of global anti-Semitism as “a leading and damaging source of antisemitism” (Daniel Jonah Goldhagen) and “the go-to Jewish icon for Islamists, neo-Nazis, Holocaust deniers, and deluded leftists” (Robert S. Wistrich)—which, if nothing else, accurately captures the virulence of this strain of anti-Semitism.[2]
References
[1] Curiously, the same political milieus that decried such caricatures lent support to Charlie Hebdo’s pornographic caricatures of Mohammed.
[2] Daniel Jonah Goldhagen, The Devil That Never Dies: The rise and threat of global antisemitism (New York: 2013), p. 24; Robert S. Wistrich, A Lethal Obsession: Anti-Semitism from antiquity to the global jihad (New York: 2010), p. 533.

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From the European Frying Pan Into the Israeli Fire Is There a New "New Anti-Semitism"? Part 5

Mesaj Scris de KLEIN_RALU la data de Sam Mar 05, 2016 12:21 am


An analysis of the available data points ineluctably to the conclusion that, if Israel wants to put a stop to anti-Semitic incidents, it should stop killing Palestinians.
Former Israeli Foreign Minister Shlomo Ben-Ami denies a causal nexus between spikes in Israeli violence against Palestinians and upticks in anti-Semitic violence. But that’s what all the data collected over many years demonstrates.[1] Each time Israel launches another of its murderous assaults, anti-Semitic incidents peak in Europe, often perpetrated by disaffected, angry Muslim youths. (Far-rightists/neo-Nazis also perpetrate a significant portion—in some countries, such as Germany, a majority—of the anti-Semitic violence.) Even the authoritative Tel Aviv University report on anti-Semitism concedes in passing: “Experience shows that as soon as the situation between Israel and the Palestinians, or some of the Arab neighbor states, turn[s] violent, the number of antisemitic incidents increase[s]”; one of the “‘trigger events’ that caused the number of recorded incidents to temporarily increase, or ‘spike’” in Britain was “an escalation in fighting between Israel and Hamas in Gaza and southern Israel in November 2012.”If in recent times, a larger fraction of these incidents is violent, it’s the blowback from the brutish fanaticism currently plaguing the Arab-Muslim world. If the goal is to contain these spurts of anti-Semitism, the prudent thing would be for Israel to cease carrying out massacres or just stop calling itself a Jewish state, or for official Jewish organizations in the diaspora to cease defending Israel’s criminal actions. It surely hasn’t helped matters that Netanyahu has now donned the mantle of “representative of the entire Jewish people.”[2] When Muslim youths in Europe take him at his word, and exact revenge on those whom he claims to represent, it is not right, but it’s not surprising either. Meanwhile, in the face of the alleged “new anti-Semitism” scourge, Netanyahu has been prodding Europe’s endangered Jewish species to migrate to the safe shores of their homeland in Israel. But it’s hard to make out the sense of this counsel if, also according to him, the Jewish state confronts the imminent prospect of a “second Holocaust” from Iran.
References
[1] Norman G. Finkelstein, Beyond Chutzpah: On the misuse of anti-Semitism and the abuse of history (Berkeley: 2008), pp. 77-85; for updated data, see Zack Beauchamp, “It’s Not Just Paris and Copenhagen,” Vox (16 February 2015).
[2] Barak Ravid, “Netanyahu: I will go to Congress like I went to Paris—to speak for all Jews,” Haaretz (9 February 2015).

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Do Jews On US Campuses Suffer from Discrimination or Benefit from Reverse Discrimination? Is There a New "New Anti-Semitism"? (Part 6)

Mesaj Scris de KLEIN_RALU la data de Sam Mar 05, 2016 12:23 am


Whereas it is alleged that US campuses have been hit by a tsunami of anti-Semitism, the fact is, Jewish life at the nation’s colleges is thriving as never before while, at the Ivy Leagues, Jews are probably the beneficiaries of reverse discrimination.
The allegations of a new “new anti-Semitism” have not only been directed at Europe. American college campuses are also said to be awash in anti-Semitism. The New York Times reported a “surge of hostile sentiment directed against Jews at many campuses in the country.”[1] As if in corroboration, a recent survey of Jewish college students purported that 54 percent “personally experienced or witnessed anti-Semitism during the 2013-2014 academic year.” [2] But, if one sets aside the fairly trivial result that 29 percent of those surveyed experienced anti-Semitism “from an individual student,” the report’s findings tell a different story: ten percent experienced anti-Semitism in “clubs/societies” (it appears that some respondents automatically classified campus groups critical of Israel as anti-Semitic), [3] ten percent in “other contexts” (email, graffiti), six percent in a “lecture class,” four percent in the “student union,” and three percent in the “administrative system.” If one discounts from these already exiguous percentages, on the one hand, conflating of criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism (members of pro-Israel campus organizations were much more prone to allege anti-Semitism) [4] and, on the other, Jewish hypersensitivity when it comes to anti-Semitism (the report itself appears to concede this point; for those who doubt it, see Woody Allen’s Annie Hall), the various percentages approach zero. The real news from the survey’s findings is that anti-Semitism has been effectively vanquished on US college campuses. On the key issue of opportunity in higher education, Jews can scarcely sustain a claim to discrimination. Although Jews make up about two percent of the US population, their representation in the Ivy League ranges from 40 percent (Columbia, University of Pennsylvania) to 25 percent (Yale, Harvard, Cornell), to 13-20 percent (Dartmouth, Princeton, Brown). If anything, Jews have arguably been the beneficiaries of a reverse discrimination in their favor, while Asian-Americans have been the actual victims of discriminatory admissions policies.[5]
References
[1] Adam Nagourney, “In U.C.L.A. Debate over Jewish Student, Echoes on Campus of Old Biases,” New York Times (5 March 2015).
[2] Barry A. Kosmin and Ariela Keysar, National Demographic Survey of American Jewish College Students 2014 (Hartford, CT: February 2015).
[3] The report also notes that “anti-Semitism was self-defined by the respondents.” The Jewish DailyForward questioned the poll’s methodology and downplayed its findings (“The Anti-Semitism Surge That Isn’t,” 27 March 2015).
[4] The report’s authors themselves collapse the distinction between anti-Semitism and “anti-Zionism.” Indeed, they lament that “Jewish students and supporters of Israel are not perceived as legitimate victim groups” on college campuses (emphasis added).
[5] Ron Unz, “The Myth of American Meritocracy,” American Conservative (28 November 2012).

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Is It Anti-Semitic to Compare Israel with Nazism? Is There a New "New Anti-Semitism"? Part 7

Mesaj Scris de KLEIN_RALU la data de Sam Mar 05, 2016 12:34 am

Although it’s often alleged that anti-Semitism lurks behind criticism of Israel, the evidence adduced to support this claim is unpersuasive.
The main act of the New Anti-Semitism roadshow homes in on Israel’s critics. It is alleged that Jew-hatred lurks behind much of the denunciation. One influential definition [1] points up these examples of anti-Semitism masquerading as legitimate criticism:

  • “Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.” But, according to Israel’s leading historian, Benny Morris, “transfer [i.e., expulsion] was inevitable and inbuilt into Zionism,” while according to Ari Shavit, in his widely acclaimed bestseller, My Promised Land, “If Zionism was to be, Lydda could not be.”[2] The upshot is, realization of the Jewish people’s right to self-determination by Israel’s founding did inherently entail ethnic cleansing of the indigenous population.
  • “Applying double standards by requiring of it a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.” But, far from holding Israel to a more stringent standard, overwhelmingly its critics have targeted Israel’s immunity to any standard. For example, since 1979 the UN Security Council has repeatedly condemned Israel’s policy of building settlements in occupied Palestinian territory as a “flagrant violation” of international law, while in 2004 the International Court of Justice unanimously declared Israeli settlements “in breach of international law.” Yet, Israel persists in its settlement policy, while the UN, although repeatedly imposing sanctions on other member States, has not imposed any on Israel, even as its settlement policy constitutes a war crime and crime against humanity under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.
  • “Using the symbols and images associated with classic antisemitism (e.g., claims of Jews killing Jesus or blood libel) to characterize Israel or Israelis.” But Israel’s PR machine itself invokes the charge of “blood libel” (i.e., that Jews murdered Christian children for ritual purposes) in order to silence critics by reversing its sting. Thus, mere mention of Palestinian children killed by Israel typically prompts accusations of a “Global Blood Libel against Israel.”[3]
  • “Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.” But, on the one hand, Israelis across the political spectrum have not been averse to making such bone-chilling analogies [4] while, on the other hand, Israel itself routinely depicts its antagonists—including Iran, Hezbollah, and Hamas—as reincarnations of Hitler and Nazi-like.[5] Indeed, a Google search of the key words Netanyahu Iran Nazis brings up more than 800,000 results.
  • “Holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the state of Israel.”But, by representing itself as the state of the Jewish people, Israel itself collectively implicates Jews in its actions, just as Netanyahu collectively implicates Jews when he touts himself as the “representative of the entire Jewish people.”

In sum, these examples of anti-Semitism allegedly hiding behind criticism of Israel comprise factually accurate depictions by Israel’s critics (first bulleted example), factually inaccurate depictions of Israel’s critics by its watchdogs (second bulleted example), and questionable practices of which Israel is as, if not more, culpable than its critics (third, fourth and fifth bulleted examples).
References


[1]“Working Definition of Antisemitism,” European Forum on Antisemitism (www.european-forum-on-antisemitism.org/working-definition-of-antisemitism/english/).
[2] Benny Morris, The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem Revisited (Cambridge: 2004), p. 60; Ari Shavit, My Promised Land: The triumph and tragedy of Israel (New York: 2013), p. 108. For critical analysis of Morris’s work, see Norman G. Finkelstein, Knowing Too Much: Why the American Jewish romance with Israel is coming to an end (New York: 2012), chapter 10; for a dissection of Shavit’s bestseller, see Norman G. Finkelstein, Old Wine, Broken Bottle: Ari Shavit’s Promised Land (New York: 2014).
[3]“The Global Blood Libel against Israel,” Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA) (23 March 2012).
[4] Norman G. Finkelstein, Image and Reality of the Israel-Palestine Conflict (New York: 1995; expanded second paperback edition, 2003), p. xxiii; Finkelstein, Knowing Too Much, pp. 104-5, 270.
[5] Norman G. Finkelstein, Beyond Chutzpah: On the misuse of anti-Semitism and the abuse of history (Berkeley: 2008), pp. 56-58.


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How Israel Has Benefited from an International Double Standard Is There a New "New Anti-Semitism"? Part 8

Mesaj Scris de KLEIN_RALU la data de Sam Mar 05, 2016 12:36 am


Far from singling Israel out for criticism, the international community has repeatedly turned a blind eye to its breaches of international law.
The superficially most compelling case for a lurking new anti-Semitism is the comparative one. It is said that the world is replete with worse cases of oppression and repression; if the international community focuses “obsessively” on Israel, it must be due to an anti-Jewish bias. During the apartheid era, South Africa also alleged that it was being unfairly singled out. The African continent, its defenders parried (with a measure of truth), was dotted with one-party dictatorships, while South African blacks fared better economically than many of their counterparts elsewhere. In significant circles Israel has replaced South Africa as the defining moral issue of our time, and the identical charge of a double standard is now being leveled by it. Indeed, Israel is widely accused of practicing apartheid in the occupied Palestinian territories (and, according to some, in Israel itself), while the popular movement for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel casts itself as the lineal successor of the anti-apartheid sanctions campaign.
As it happens, the South Africa and Palestine struggles bear much in common. The South African cause was initially spearheaded by the African continent, where apartheid constituted a personal affront to every black person and was perceived as a running sore from the humiliating era of Western colonialism. The Palestine cause was initially spearheaded by the Arab world, where Zionist dispossession of the indigenous population deeply resonated and Israel’s founding was also perceived as a festering wound from the imperialist epoch. Neither the South African nor the Palestinian struggle fell into the generic pattern of decolonization—they weren’t overseas non-self-governing territories seeking independence from a metropolitan state—but both were eventually assimilated to the anticolonial paradigm and came to be championed internationally as exemplary of it.
However, when it adopted these kindred struggles as its own, the international community did not deny that the, as it were, alien interlopers had acquired rights. Far from demanding their extirpation, a right of place was conferred on both the White settlers in South Africa and Jewish settlers in Palestine. In the Palestine context, the right of place validated by the 1947 Partition Resolution (181) was much more generous, in that the Zionists, unlike the Afrikaners, had only just recently impressed their physical presence against the manifest will of the indigenous population, and to boot were allotted more than half of Palestine, even as they constituted just a third of its population. From hereon in, public opinion in all its dimensions evinced not hostility but uncommon leniency, forgivingness, even magnanimity toward Israel. Although it eviscerated the Partition Resolution by forcibly expanding its borders and expelling the indigenous population, Israel was admitted to the UN, which eventually acquiesced, wholly or in part, in these egregious transgressions. Whereas the preambular paragraph of Security Council Resolution 242, passed after the 1967 war, emphasized the legal tenet of the “inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war,” it called for Israel’s withdrawal only from those territories “occupied in the recent conflict,” and not also from those territories beyond its UN-designated borders conquered in 1948. Resolution 242 also pointed only to a vague “just settlement of the refugee question,” and not to the Palestinian refugees’ right, stipulated in General Assembly Resolution 194 (1948), “to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbors.” (General Assembly resolution 273 (1949), which secured Israeli admission to the UN, recalled Israel’s obligations under 194.) These concessions/capitulations to Israeli faits accomplis have now been enshrined in the international consensus for resolving the conflict, as set forth in the annual General Assembly resolution, Peaceful Settlement of the Palestine Question, and in the legal analysis of the advisory opinion rendered by the International Court of Justice in 2004. It calls for two states on the 1967 border, and a “just resolution of the problem of Palestine refugees in conformity with [General Assembly] resolution 194.” (In this resolution’s nuanced crafting, “just resolution…in conformity with” waters down the commitment to ensure “implementation of” 194.) Moreover, the UN did not condemn Israel’s first strike in 1967 as an act of aggression, although Israel had breached the UN Charter,[1] and it did not call for Israel’s unconditional and immediate withdrawal from the territories it occupied. Instead, in a spirit of high-minded statesmanship and banking on Israel’s good faith, it required a reciprocal termination of Arab belligerency as the necessary quid pro quo of an Israeli evacuation.[2]
References


[1] John Quigley, The Six-Day War and Israeli Self-Defense: Questioning the legal basis for preventive war (Cambridge: 2013).
[2] Finkelstein, Knowing Too Much, pp. 203-14.


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Why the Tide of World Opinion Turned Against Israel Is There a New "New Anti-Semitism"? Part 9

Mesaj Scris de KLEIN_RALU la data de Sam Mar 05, 2016 12:38 am


The international community only first turned against Israel after its repeated and flagrant flouting of international law and the consensus among nations on how to resolve the conflict. When Israel thumbed its nose at the world one time too many, the world finally started to react.
When the Palestine struggle reemerged after the 1967 war, the international community paid special deference to Israeli rights. Whereas the UN rejected South Africa’s bid to create a majority White state beside Black homelands (Bantustans), it upheld a Palestinian state only in the West Bank and Gaza beside, not in lieu of, Israel, thereby affirming the 1947 Partition Resolution’s support for the creation of “independent Arab and Jewish States.” Insofar as the Partition Resolution was passed when the UN was still unrepresentative of world opinion (it included just 56 member States; today there are 193 member States), and insofar as the rights of colonial peoples received far greater recognition in the ensuing years, it might easily be imagined that in the 1960s-70s, during the heyday of Anti-Imperialism and the Non-Aligned Movement, the principle of partition, which the indigenous population overwhelmingly opposed, would have been dissolved by the UN into the demand for a unitary state in Palestine. But that didn’t happen. ” On the contrary, to gain entry into the UN’s chambers, PLO chairman Yasir Arafat had to scrap the PLO charter and embrace the international consensus of two states. The closest the international community came to reversing itself was the 1975 “Zionism is racism” resolution. However, although asseverating that “the racist regime in occupied Palestine and the racist regime in…South Africa have a common imperialist origin,” the notorious resolution did not call for Israel’s dismantling, only managed to garner 72 votes (nearly an equal number, 67, voted against or abstained), and was eventually rescinded (in 1991). International public opinion first began to turn against Israel when, annulling the quid pro quo inscribed in UN resolution 242 (1967), and embarking on a second round of territorial aggrandizement, it not only refused to withdraw from the territories occupied in 1967 despite an expressed Arab willingness to live at peace with it, but also, via its settlement policy, endeavored to make the occupation irreversible and permanent, denying Palestinians the right to self-determination in even a sliver of their historic homeland. “Neither in 1948 nor in 1967 was Israel subjected to irresistible international pressure to relinquish her territorial gains,” former Israeli foreign minister Ben-Ami observes. “But the international acquiescence…in 1967 was to be extremely short-lived.” Once Israel set out on a “war of conquest, occupation and settlement, the international community recoiled and Israel went on the defensive. She has remained there ever since.”[1] The bottom-line is, the international community only first turned against Israel after its repeated and flagrant flouting of international law and the consensus among nations, inscribed in UN resolution 242, on how to resolve the conflict. When Israel thumbed its nose at the world one time too many, the tide of public opinion started turning against it.
References
[1] Shlomo Ben-Ami, Scars of War, Wounds of Peace: The Israeli-Arab tragedy (New York: 2006), pp. 314-15; cf. Zeev Maoz, Defending the Holy Land: A critical analysis of Israel’s security and foreign policy (Ann Arbor: 2006), p. 167.

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Israel's Current Head of State Is an Obnoxious Loudmouth Jewish Supremacist Is There a New "New Anti-Semitism"? Part 10

Mesaj Scris de KLEIN_RALU la data de Sam Mar 05, 2016 12:40 am


Although it might not be the only epitome of human suffering in the contemporary world, Palestine surely qualifies as a “worthy” candidate.
The historical record shows that Israel’s rights have not been prejudiced but in fact privileged by the international community. It has been not the victim but the beneficiary of a global double standard. Therefore, the thesis that a primal hatred of Jews accounts for its current pariah status cannot be sustained. Still, hasn’t Israel been unfairly targeted? Many more innocents (it is said) have been killed by Arabs in Syria and Darfur, while Tibetans, Kashmiris, and Kurds have also suffered under the incubus of foreign occupations. Nonetheless, public opinion fixates on Israel’s sins. How else to account for this discrepancy except anti-Semitism? But, although South Africa also bemoaned its pariah status, and in some technical sense it perhaps was unfairly singled out, it would have been ludicrous to argue that anti-White-ism figured as a corrupting factor in the international community’s moral calculus. The system of apartheid incarnated an essence so flagrantly antithetical and repugnant to the epochal zeitgeist, that the expostulations of its adherents fell—Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher excepting—on deaf ears.
Precisely why a particular local struggle metamorphoses into an international cause célèbre is not subject to mathematical demonstration. How does one prove that one people’s suffering is the worst? But surely the Palestine struggle possesses sufficient appalling features in its own right such that anti-Semitism need not be dragged in as a critical, let alone the overarching, explanatory factor. If you eliminate the “terrorism” background noise, it’s hard to come up with a more pristine instance of injustice. “What crime did Palestinians commit,” my late mother (who knew something about human suffering) once rhetorically asked, “except to be born in Palestine?”[1] The longevity of the conflict puts it in an “elite” class: if its inception is dated from the Balfour Declaration, nearly a century has elapsed; from the Nakba, seven decades; from the West Bank/Gaza occupation, still, five decades. Its various phases and facets embrace the gamut of human misery: ethnic cleansing, foreign occupation, and siege; massacre, torture, and humiliation. Its inequity endows the conflict with a biblical resonance: is it not David versus Goliath when a tiny battered people does battle with the regional superpower backed by the global superpower? The sheer cruelty and heartlessness bewilders and boggles: in the past decade, Israel has unleashed the full force of its high-tech killing machine on the “giant open-air prison in Gaza” (British Prime Minister David Cameron) not less than eight times: “Operation Rainbow” (2004), “Operation Days of Penitence” (2004), “Operation Summer Rains” (2006), “Operation Autumn Clouds” (2006), “Operation Hot Winter” (2008), “Operation Cast Lead” (2008-9), “Operation Pillar of Defense” (2012), “Operation Protective Edge” (2014). The incommensurability of the suffering makes mockery of affectations of “balance”: during Israel’s last “operation” in Gaza, 550 Palestinian children were killed while one Israeli child was killed, 19,000 Gazan homes were destroyed while one Israeli home was destroyed.
Although it might not be the only epitome of human suffering in the contemporary world, Palestine surely qualifies as a “worthy” candidate. What is more, whereas so much of the world yearns to “Give peace a chance,” Israel conspicuously yearns to “Give war a chance, and another chance, and another chance” (is there a day that goes by without Israel contemplating yet another attack on Gaza, Lebanon, Iran?); Israel flouts the global consensus supporting a two-state solution by appropriating and incorporating the last remnants of Palestine; Israel’s current head of state is an obnoxious loudmouth Jewish supremacist, while the Israeli people “shoot and cry,” “love themselves to death and pity themselves ad nauseam” (Gideon Levy)[2]—don’t Israel’s singular warmongering, brazenness and self-righteous arrogance themselves accentuate the conflict’s image as one of pure good versus pure evil?
If Palestine has become the emblematic cause of our time, it’s not because of a new “New Anti-Semitism,” although no doubt some anti-Semites have infiltrated its ranks. It’s because the martyrdom of Palestine and the meanness of Israel are so wrong.
References
[1] My late mother was a survivor of the Warsaw Ghetto, Maidanek concentration camp, and two slave labor camps. Every other member of her family was exterminated.
[2] Gideon Levy, “Yair Lapid, Israel’s New Propaganda Minister,” Haaretz (22 February 2015).

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