‘NYT’ op-ed equating anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism relied on Nasrallah quote that is in all likelihood a fabrication

Israel/Palestine

Yesterday the New York Times ran a disastrous op-ed equating anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism. Written by the British academic Colin Shindler, it was titled, “The European Left and Its Trouble With Jews.”

The money paragraph of the article is the fourth paragraph, and it contains a supposedly anti-Jewish quote from Hassan Nasrallah, the head of Hezbollah. Shindler writes:

In recent years, there has been an increased blurring of the distinction between Jew, Zionist and Israeli. Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of the militant group Hezbollah, famously commented: “If we searched the entire world for a person more cowardly, despicable, weak and feeble in psyche, mind, ideology and religion, we would not find anyone like the Jew. Notice I do not say the Israeli.”

 

The only problem is that the quote is in all likelihood a fabrication– as the London Review of Books determined.

And it’s damning that the Times apparently demanded nothing from Shindler to back this statement up, even as Times editors demanded that Sarah Schulman produce 300 pages of footnotes and supporting evidence for her argument that Israel seeks to launder occupation with a reputation for gay freedom– an argument that it held up for months during a process of endless vetting. How embarrassing…

To the evidence.

Lara Deeb has demonstrated (at the Middle East Research and Information Project) that the quote has no source, and that the scholar cited by neocons as its original source, Amal Saad-Ghorayeb, actually cited a member of the Lebanese parliament — not Nasrallah — as the source:

[In his book A Privilege to Die: Inside Hezbollah’s Legions and Their Endless War Against Israel, Thanassis] Cambanis quotes Nasrallah as saying, “If we search the entire globe for a more cowardly, lowly, weak and frail individual in his spirit, mind, ideology and religion, we will never find anyone like the Jew — and I am not saying the Israeli. We have to know the enemy we are fighting.” This statement is not sourced in A Privilege to Die, and Cambanis seems to have taken it either from a book of collected English translations of Nasrallah’s speeches [3] or from another book about Hizballah, by the Lebanese scholar Amal Saad-Ghorayeb, who attributes it in a footnote to then Hizballah MP Muhammad Fanayish. [4] The second quote Cambanis cites is a widely circulated excerpt from Nasrallah’s 1998 ‘Ashoura speech in which he mourned the “historic catastrophe and tragic event” of the founding of “the state of the Zionist Jews, the descendants of apes and pigs.” While no specific source is provided in A Privilege to Die, these lines do appear in the text of the speech printed in Hizballah’s weekly al-‘Ahd, as well as in the same English-language collection of Nasrallah’s speeches. [5] In the collection, the lines follow a translated speech that emphasizes that Hizballah’s fight is with Israel and not with Jews.

The most definitive discrediting of the false quote is in this post by Louis Proyect (who is a widely-published Marxist thinker): “Is Nasrallah an anti-Semite?” February 6, 2007. Here is a substantial excerpt of that post. Proyect’s links and footnotes can be found at the link.

As many people know, the London Review of Books has become an outlet for scholarly, reputable but often controversial opposition to Zionism–not the least of which was its publication of the Walt-Mearsheimer article on the Israeli lobby in March of 2006.

More recently, there has been controversy over Charles Glass’s relatively favorable coverage of Hizbollah in Lebanon courtesy of Eugene Goodheart, a professor emeritus of literature at Brandeis University, who complained:

“I do not support the terrible excesses of Israel’s bombing of Lebanon, nor do I regard all criticism of Israel as an expression of anti-semitism, but Charles Glass’s defence of Hizbullah is beyond the pale. Is Glass familiar with these statements, made by Hizbullah’s leader, Hassan Nasrallah? ‘If they [the Jews] all gather in Israel it will save us the trouble of going after them worldwide’ and ‘They [Jews] are a cancer which is liable to spread at any moment.’ The leader of the Party of God (a grotesque conception of a political party, although that doesn’t seem to bother Glass) is not simply a resistance fighter. He is an anti-semite with fantasies of genocide. Glass makes Hizbullah sound like a rational movement that does little harm, but on the contrary does a great deal of good and learns from its mistakes. What lessons had it learned from the debacle of the 1980s when it provoked a war that has brought so much havoc to its own country, without even consulting the government in which it serves? Glass tells us that he was kidnapped by Hizbullah. Has he succumbed to Stockholm syndrome?”

Glass responded in a subsequent issue:

“Eugene Goodheart asks whether I am familiar with two statements he attributes to Hizbullah’s secretary-general, Sayed Hassan Nasrallah (Letters, 7 September). Goodheart uses the inflammatory quotations to accuse Nasrallah of being ‘an anti-semite with fantasies of genocide’. If I am unfamiliar with the statements, it is because they are in all likelihood fabrications. The first (‘If they [the Jews] all gather in Israel it will save us the trouble of going after them worldwide’) was circulated widely on neo-con websites, which give as its original source an article by Badih Chayban in Beirut’s English-language Daily Star on 23 October 2002. It seems that Chayban left the Star three years ago and moved to Washington. The Star’s managing editor writes of Chayban’s article on Nasrallah, that ‘I have faith in neither the accuracy of the translation [from Arabic to English] nor the agenda of the translator [Chayban].’ The editor-in-chief and publisher of the Star, Jamil Mrowe, adds that Chayban was ‘a reporter and briefly local desk sub and certainly did not interview Nasrallah or anyone else.’ The account of Nasrallah’s speech in the Lebanese daily As Safir for the same day makes no reference to any anti-semitic comments. Goodheart’s second quotation – ‘They [the Jews] are a cancer which is liable to spread at any moment’ – comes from the Israeli government’s website at http://tinyurl.com/99hyz. For the record, a Hizbullah spokeswoman, Wafa Hoteit, denies that Nasrallah made either statement.

“Goodheart wonders whether, as a former captive of Hizbullah, I may have succumbed to Stockholm syndrome; may I ask in return whether he is succumbing to the disinformation that passes for scholarship and journalism in certain quarters in the United States?

“Charles Glass

“Paris”

Goodheart was so stung by Glass’s rebuttal that he has written another salvo for Dissent Magazine, a key outlet for Eustonian politics in the USA that he titles “The London Review of Hezbollah”. In the second paragraph, Goodheart alleges:

“The London Review of Books is an egregious instance of this one-sidedness. Almost every issue contains several articles devoted to attacks on Israel, and the target is not simply the governing party, but the whole spectrum of Israeli political life. Absent from the columns of the Review are the injustices and cruelties of political Islam.”

His article has drawn the interest of Crooked Timber, an academic blog that enjoys such food fights. They question the frequency of such alleged attacks based on a fairly rigorous search of the LRB archives:

“Goodheart’s case is not strong. A perusal of the LRB’s back issues reveals a total of 17 articles critical of Israel in 2006, but ten of these come from two issues published during the invasion of Lebanon (and the LRB is published 24 times a year).

“Goodheart, who seems to have been some kind of Marxist in his youth (according to an article that appeared in the Columbia University alumnus magazine), appears to have retained the polemical edge of those days even if his politics are yawningly predictable. Going in for the kill, he informs Glass that the Daily Star is not the only source that confirms Hizbollah anti-Semitism. His ace in the hole is Amal Saad-Ghorayeb’s “Hizbu’llah: Politics and Religion”, a scholarly work supposedly sympathetic to the Shi’ite party. Goodheart calls attention to damning citations found within its covers, including this from Hizbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah:

“‘If we searched the entire world for a person more cowardly, despicable, weak and feeble in psyche, mind, ideology and religion, we would not find anyone like the Jew. Notice, we do not say the Israeli.'”

This led Brendan to astutely comment on the Crooked Timber blog entry devoted to Goodheart’s article:

“The source of the quotation is cited in footnote 20 of Chapter 8 of Saad-Ghorayeb’s book: an interview, not with Nasrallah, but with a Hizbullah member of the Lebanese Parliament, Mohammed Fnaysh, conducted by the author on 15 August 1997.

“Saad-Ghorayeb informs me that the footnote is a mistake, although she is certain there is a valid source for the statement. However, when at my request she examined her PhD dissertation, from which the book originated, she discovered the same mistaken citation. Footnotes in a long work can easily go astray, but it is unfortunate that neither her dissertation adviser nor her publishers spotted the error. Therefore, until someone discovers where and when Nasrallah uttered the words above, the case is unproved.”

Condemned for words he did not utter

So we are dealing with multiple errors in the scholarship department. The LRB is not publishing attacks on Israel in “almost nearly every issue” and Saad-Ghorayeb’s quote is about as solid at the one that appeared in Goodheart’s original complaint. One can only wonder if becoming a professor emeritus dulls the edge you are forced to maintain when part of the academic rat-race. My only recommendation to Eugene is to adhere to more rigorous standards if he wants to be taken seriously in Mideast politics.

I have quite a bit of interest in this topic because I have been openly critical of the Holocaust conference in Iran that brought KKK’er David Duke and David Irving in as “experts”. Since Hizbollah is linked (somewhat unfairly, some would argue) to Iran, is there guilt by association?

Using Lexis-Nexis, I did a full-text search for “Hezbollah” (Lexis-Nexis converts this to the various spellings), “Nasrallah” and “anti-Semitism” for all available dates, which means going back to the mid-1980s, before the group was formed. I assumed that the Western media would be keeping a close eye on his utterances, just as they do with anybody on Washington’s enemies list, ranging from Hugo Chavez to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. As it turns out, only 30 articles turned up.

I went through them assiduously (excluding editorials, which have much looser standards) and could find not a single incriminating quote from Nasrallah. In the precious few articles that did make such an allegation, there was nothing to back it up. A July 23, 2006 Atlanta Constitution article is typical:

“Hezbollah is heralded on the so-called Arab Street as a leader of ‘resistance’ to what many see as Israel’s bullying and the West’s political and legal double standards in dealing with the region’s 1.3 billion Arabs.

“Its message, bathed in the language of ‘martyrdom,’ anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism, is broadcast on radio, regionwide television and over the Internet.”

Too bad the reporter could not provide evidence of such language. Considering the hatred that exists toward political Islam in the USA, the fact that he didn’t speaks volumes.

Meanwhile, Israel has had no problems forging alliances with the Phalangists in Lebanon, whose sister party in Spain was a staunch ally of Adolph Hitler. When Roger Garaudy, the ex-Communist, went on trial in France in 1998 for holocaust denial, Karim Pakradouni, deputy leader of the Kataeb (Phalange), was quoted in the local press: “France will not give up its tradition of free speech . . . to the Jews.” Along the same lines, John Rose, a member of the British SWP, wrote:

“Finally Israel’s backing for the Christian Phalange in Lebanon must be mentioned. The Phalange were founded by Pierre Gemayel in the 1930s. It was a fanatically right-wing armed militia, self-consciously modelled on the fascists. (Phalange means fascist. Gemayel visited Berlin in 1936 and met Hitler.) Gemayel’s son Bashir rose to prominence in the Phalange in the 1970s and then in the wider Christian movement in Lebanon. Bashir Gemayel, also a fascist, came to dominate Christian forces in Lebanon by the simple expedient of murdering all his opponents.

“Gemayel’s faction was enthusiastically, if secretly at first, welcomed in Haifa in 1976 by the then Israeli Labour government. [27] The contacts were cultivated and Israel began arming Gemayel. In August 1982, the month when hundreds of Palestinian refugees were massacred in the Lebanese camps at Sabra and Shatila, Bashir Gemayel was ‘elected’ Lebanon’s president as Israeli guns and tanks stood by.”

One supposes that Israel overlooks the Phalangist history in the same manner that it allies itself with the Christian right in the USA, whose anti-Semitic utterances are far easier to document than Nasrallah’s. Zev Chafets, an IDF veteran and rightwing columnist now residing in the USA, has written something called “A Match Made in Heaven” that looks fondly on the growing alliance between the Christian right and Israel. Like the Phalangists, the Christian right believes that the only good Muslim is a dead Muslim.

Jerry Falwell is one of the Christian rightists whose support he deems critical for Israel’s survival. A July 23, 2006 LA Times piece by Chafets titled “I want Falwell in my foxhole; At the end of the day — or at the End of Days — Israel has plenty of time for anybody who wants to help the Jews” says it all. This is the same Falwell who told the world in 1999 that the Antichrist would have to be a Jew, based on his understanding of Scripture. Not surprisingly, Jewish officialdom sprang to his defense. According to the January 17, 1999 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Rabbi James Rudin of the American Jewish Committee in New York said “the comment surprised him because he knows Falwell is a strong supporter of Israel and is not anti-Jewish.”

Excused for words he did utter

I guess if one is a “strong supporter of Israel,” then just about anything goes. It is the equivalent of getting a “Get out of Jail Free” card in Monopoly.

Max Blumenthal provided the ideas and research for this post. Weiss wrote it up.

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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67 Responses

  1. Philip Munger
    October 29, 2012, 11:46 am

    I’d love to see the NYT give Max Blumenthal an opportunity to respond to Colin Shindler. Or Phil Weiss, for that matter.

  2. David Green
    October 29, 2012, 11:50 am

    Shindler’s article, even aside from the Nasrallah issue, relies completely on stereotypical assertions about Muslims, the Left, etc. that are unsupported by facts or a serious narrative. It simply depends on certain visceral responses among those who still are inclined to equate criticism of Israel with anti-semitism. It also ignores the genuine nature of neo-fascism in Europe, as discussed today by Raimondo, which can in fact be equated with Jewish Israeli politics.

    link to original.antiwar.com

    I appreciate the research, but Shindler’s lack of seriousness is evident regardless of Nasrallah’s alleged statement.

    • Rudolph
      October 29, 2012, 4:53 pm

      Whenever I read about “anti-X” statements by people who have been brutally harmed by “X,” I recall the following comment (below) by “Walter Laqueur, a leading academic stalwart of Israel, who acknowledges that Palestinians’ hostility to Israel and Jews has been an understandable response to the injustice inflicted on them and that, were a just settlement of the conflict reached, Palestinian, and more broadly Arab/Muslim, hostility would largely dissipate:
      “For the Palestinians, the existence of Israel is bound to remain a trauma for as far as one can think ahead, the loss of part of their homeland being the greatest injustice which can be put right only by violence. It is only natural that they will want this state to cease to exist. Once they have a state of their own, however, problems of daily life will loom large and much of their energy will have to be invested in making this state work. The great urge to reconquer what was lost will not disappear, but it will not be pursued as in the days when this was the only issue.”

      Anyone familiar with the horrors of the 1982 and 2006 invasions of Lebanon by Israel–not to mention lesser ones in between–will understand occasional invective against Israel–and yes, even, Jews–by Lebanese of various religions, sects, etc.
      For a brief reminder of Israel’s policy in Lebanon, consider: “Israel’s general strategy in Lebanon from 1985 to 2000 was two-fold: militarily to smash the guerillas themselves, their bases and their personnel; politically to persuade the Lebanese state and people, by punishing them too, to turn against Hizbullah, and then to make a final peace with Israel independently of Syria. For an example of civilians being punished, consider Israel’s 1996 Grapes of Wrath campaign which caused some 500,000 Lebanese to flee north. During the 16-day campaign 25,132 artillery rounds and 2,350 air sorties resulted in killing only thirteen Hizbollah fighters. Once again it was Lebanese civilians who bore the brunt; 165 died, compared with not one Israeli, military or civilian.”

      References available at: link to detailedpoliticalquizzes.wordpress.com link to detailedpoliticalquizzes.wordpress.com

  3. Klaus Bloemker
    October 29, 2012, 12:14 pm

    I read the article this morning in the IHT and ‘liked’ it, too. In particular the quote:
    ————————————————————-
    “In recent years, there has been an increased blurring of the distinction between Jew, Zionist and Israeli.” – without Shindler saying who blurred the distinction.

    But here is quote that goes to the deep fear of the Israelis and Jews in general:
    – “It is often forgotten that a majority of Israelis just happen to be Jews, who fear therefore that what begins with the delegitimization of the state will end with the delegitimization of the people.”

    – What’s the “delegitimization of the (Jewish) people”? – Their right to be Jews?

    • tree
      October 30, 2012, 4:47 pm

      “It is often forgotten that a majority of Israelis just happen to be Jews, who fear therefore that what begins with the delegitimization of the state will end with the delegitimization of the people.”

      This sounds a lot like the son convicted of patricide asking for mercy because he is an orphan. The majority of Israelis don’t “just happen to be Jews”. It was the intent and outcome of violent and malicious actions taken by the state of Israel, and the Zionist agencies before it, which led to Israel becoming, unnaturally, a “majority Jewish state”. This was done through ethnic cleansing, theft and even murder. It is the height of chutzpah to claim that criticism of those egregious acts should be tempered by a “sensitivity” that favors the oppressor over the oppressed. If you don’t want to be accused of heinous acts then don’t commit them, and don’t make excuses for them that rely on such shallow stereotypes.

      • Annie Robbins
        October 30, 2012, 8:50 pm

        This sounds a lot like the son convicted of patricide asking for mercy because he is an orphan.

        brilliant tree

      • Shingo
        October 31, 2012, 8:49 am

        I send that Annie,

        An outstanding post by Tree. Having said that, the Zionists have , given us such an enormous buffet of contradictions, oxymorons and paradoxes to choose from.

  4. seafoid
    October 29, 2012, 12:26 pm

    Even if Nasrallah said that would it justify a second carpet bombing of Dahiya?

    The forthcoming war with Iran- to be destroyed on suspicion of being antisemitic- is nuts in its conception.

    To what can it be reduced? A Jewish guard torturing a Palestinian in the Russian compound because he says the Jews are x. Who is the sinner in this case?

    • piotr
      October 30, 2012, 1:40 am

      The second carpet bombing of Dahiya is pre-justified.

      Alas, despicable Hezbollah have some unspecified amount of weapons that may be numerous and dangerous. Thus any time something upsets stomachs of IDF command, say, a drone appearing out of nowhere, some Hamasniks are killed instead. Bombing of Gaza is thoroughly pre-justified too, and the folks there have small amount of crappy weapons.

      A bit more seriously, people blab all over the world. For example, a spiritual leader of a major Israeli party referred to goyim (presumably, including American supporters of Israel) as “donkeys and other beasts of burden. Or some American spiritual leaders wish Israel to rebuild the Temple so Jesus Christ could rule there for a thousand years, a detail which is perhaps not anti-Semitic but surely anti-Judaistic.

      Israel is of course a gold mine of extreme statements. A pretty juicy example is a pamphlet distributed by a religious group to IDF soldiers claiming that Pope Benedict invited members of Hezbollah to tour Auschwitz and other death camps to instruct them how to build such camps. Members of Knesset are not always as religiously tolerant as they could. When one put on his website a picture of himself tearing a copy of New Testament, there was a debate in which his colleague from another religious party remarked that a copy of Torah written by a Reform rabbi should be burned.

  5. pabelmont
    October 29, 2012, 12:43 pm

    So, once again, we see an attempt to tar a public figure (or political movement such as European anti-Zionism) with the label “anti-Semitism”. How very familiar to anyone who lived through the USA of the 1950s with the McCarthyite tarring of people as communists. Make people afraid to say anti-Zionist things! Make people afraid to listen to them, or to quote them! Smooth move!

    And is it possible that the very people doing the tarring (who would doubtless tar and feather if they could) are themselves “Semites” or “Zionists”? Doing a bit of self-serving work, hmmm? And does THEIR motivation matter?

    We’re in a war, folks, and since much of the war takes place in the realm of “discourse”, much of the war concerns itself with trying to put opponents outside the borders (beyond the pale) of “correct” discussion. Call people “anti-Semites” and you can make many people ignore them. With any luck, the accusers can keep Jews and others who may have contrived to remain ignorant of the doings of Israel permanently ignorant. Goldstone report? Piece of anti-Semitic rubbish, Good riddance!

    If the consideration of Israel and Zionism is a “democratic” undertaking, then what we are seeing is an often successful reduction of the scope and reach of that “democracy” by the removal (or attempted removal) of people from the discussion by means of the accusation of “anti-Semitism.”

    This labeling is serious business. It seeks to remove people (and groups, even whole movements) out of the discussion of matters of public importance. Lives destroyed. Statements of fact or opinion discredited and moved outside the boundaries (beyond the pale) of polite discourse — unlistened to.

    And with the ease with which neocons, Zionists (and everyone else, of course) can spread false quotations, bad translations, etc., over the echo-chamber of the internet (and in books — please recall “From Time Immemorial”) and even in the NYT and other MSM, I would suggest that it is time for serious people to STOP worrying about personal attacks of this sort. Indeed, it is time for people to stop listening at all to labels-of-motivation such as “anti-Semite”, “Zionist”, and instead listen to and react to what people say.

    Who cares, and what does it matter, if Nasrallah or anyone else is an anti-semite? That hardly justifies tarring the entire Anti-Zionist tendency in Europe with the discrediting label of “Anti-Semitism.”

    If an outright unapologetic anti-Semite complains about Israeli bombing of Gaza or Lebanon, war crimes, the non-readmittance of the exiles (called refugees) of 1948, etc., he complains about things which deserve to be complained about. His motivation is of no importance. If he tells lies, call out his lies. And do so even if he is not an “outright unapologetic anti-Semite”.

    On the other hand, if you are wondering if someone is careless or lying due to ideological passion, the accusation of “anti-Semite” might be useful to alert you to a cautious evaluation of what he says. But, even more so, the accusation that a person is an “Zionist” apologist is (these days) just as useful a signal to alert you to take his words with more than a grain of salt.

  6. Walid
    October 29, 2012, 12:56 pm

    A couple of clarifications: While there are 1.3 billion Muslims in the world, only 400 million of them are Arabs. Also, the Sabra and Chatila massacre happened after Bachir Gemayel was elected President and killed before being sworn-in. The phalangists went into the camps seeking revenge after Bachir was assassinated believing the Palestinians were behind his killing.

    A couple of years back, Lebanese Member of Parliament, Sami Gemayel, nephew of Bachir said that “he is not ashamed that his party dealt with Israel against Syria at a certain stage.” He said it was a matter of survival that made the Phalangists have to deal with the devil (Israel).

    link to nowlebanon.com

  7. ThorsteinVeblen2012
    October 29, 2012, 1:11 pm

    ‘If they [the Jews] all gather in Israel it will save us the trouble of going after them worldwide’ and ‘They [Jews] are a cancer which is liable to spread at any moment.’

    I don’t see any concerted worldwide effort to get rid of Jews. Since so many of them live in the United States and Europe it would be a difficult undertaking for a Muslim extremist to presume he could carry out or even imagine.

    Where will this “cancer” of Jews spread that they aren’t or at least weren’t before 1948?

    It all seems like it is scripted to play to the paranoia of the Pam Gellar crowd.

    • talknic
      October 29, 2012, 6:22 pm

      ThorsteinVeblen2012 October 29, 2012 at 1:11 pm

      ‘If they [the Jews] all gather in Israel it will save us the trouble of going after them worldwide’ and ‘They [Jews] are a cancer which is liable to spread at any moment.’

      Do Arabs and/or Persians speak with ‘parenthesis? Who put Jews in parenthesis and why? (other than propaganda)

  8. Dan Crowther
    October 29, 2012, 1:12 pm

    Very well done, gents. I nearly fell off the toilet when I read the Nasrallah “quote.”
    I kept thinking, “wow the hasbara crowd thinks they got a winner with this Greta Berlin/Free Gaza thing.” So I was glad to read this here today. Cheers.

  9. Stephen Shenfield
    October 29, 2012, 1:45 pm

    It is incorrect to take President Ahmedinejad’s venture into holocaust denial as an official line of the Iranian government. First, president is not the top post in the regime (that is the “supreme leader”). I have seen no evidence that other leading figures deny the holocaust. Second, I read that Iranian television broadcast a documentary about the holocaust, and in an authoritarian regime that would only be possible if part of the leadership were opposed to the president’s position. The possibility cannot be excluded that the Jewish community in Iran, which has representation in the parliament, brought some influence to bear.

    • seafoid
      October 30, 2012, 4:15 am

      The whole thing is nuts. But if you hear it 20 times a day on Fox Israel over a 2 year period then obviously a war is justified.

      Thousands of kids of poorer Iranians will die as a result of sanctions but what MEMRI say about Ahmadi-Nejad takes precedence.

  10. eljay
    October 29, 2012, 2:01 pm

    According to this site:

    … On September 28, 2001, Nassrallah said on Al-Manar, “Throughout history the Jews have been Allah’s most cowardly and greedy creatures. If you search the entire face of the earth you will not find anyone more miserly than the Jews or more greedy than they”.

    I wasn’t able to confirm the quote on the Al-Manar website.

    • seafoid
      October 30, 2012, 4:19 am

      It’s amazing that the Arabs managed to speak the Eastern European lingo of antisemitism word for word, isn’t it ? Or is it all made up? I wonder.

    • piotr
      October 31, 2012, 7:18 pm

      I know one example of an article scrubbed from a news website. Several years ago there was a terrorist attack on a theater in Moscow resulting in hundreds of deaths. JPost.com had a commentary “Israel is number 1!” which discussed the event and was very cheerful about superiority of Israeli security over Russian security with not a shred of humane commiseration or compassion. This article was scrubbed, you cannot find it anymore. It was so obnoxious that JPost really outdid itself.

  11. Newclench
    October 29, 2012, 2:51 pm

    Going after someone for anti-Semitism when there is such thin factual evidence makes it all the harder to fight the real incidences of anti-Semitism in the Arab and Muslim world. It is a huge strategic error that ultimately has the effect of making it easier for the read Jew haters to thrive.
    and
    When Arabs and/or Muslims in frontline conflict zones with Israel fall victim to anti-Semitic tropes and language, there is something despicable about linking it to the legacy of European anti-Semitism instead of the modern Arab-Israeli conflict. Beyond anything else, there is a vicious ant-Arab racism at play here that underestimates the political, historical and religious awareness among Arabs. As if they are clueless about the discourse of ‘the new anti-semitism’ and what it means for the culture of resistance, etc.

    For all the folks actually concerned about improving the image of Jews and Judaism in the Middle East – first step is to de-link it to the Israeli national project. Our survival might depend on it – just as it did with the fall of the 2nd Temple.

    • Mooser
      October 29, 2012, 6:00 pm

      “For all the folks actually concerned about improving the image of Jews and Judaism in the Middle East – first step is to de-link it to the Israeli national project. Our survival might depend on it – just as it did with the fall of the 2nd Temple.”

      How long do you estimate it will be until the first avowedly anti-Zionist Jewish denomination (other than the True Torah guys) gets started? My guess is within the next two-to-five years.
      And where do you think it will be? More than likely, USA, of course?

      • Newclench
        October 30, 2012, 9:10 am

        I don’t think you’ll see some kind of ‘explicitly’ anti-Zionist denomination. It’s more that groups of liberal observant Jews will form a large minority or majority in certain locations, enough to stand apart from the ‘typical’ nonsense around Israel.
        But they won’t be waving explicit anti-Zionist flags around, and they won’t stop affirming a sense of peoplehood with Israeli Jews, even as they walk back theologically and politically from supporting a racist Israel. And really, that’s what you want; an alternative leadership ready with a Plan B, not some bridge burners no one would listen to.

      • Rusty Pipes
        October 30, 2012, 6:06 pm

        I think you’ll more likely see a network of liberal anti-Zionist minyans initially. There are probably enough souls who want to worship without seeing the Israeli flag (or even the American flag) on the Bimah, without using a post-67 Zionist prayerbook, without being told that if they want to host a speaker who will tell the facts about Israel, they need to include one who spouts hasbara “for balance,” and without sending some of their charitable giving to Zionist organizations (in honor or memory of some special event or person). The advent of the internet makes it much easier for such likeminded people to find each other than within a congregation where non-Zionists may be too intimidated to identify themselves if they even bother to stick around.

        Such minyans could be starting now. Who knows how long it would take a network of them to either grow into or take over a denomination?

    • Mooser
      October 29, 2012, 6:17 pm

      “Going after someone for anti-Semitism when there is such thin factual evidence makes it all the harder to fight the real incidences of anti-Semitism in the Arab and Muslim world. ” My bold

      Which are what, by the way?

      • gamal
        October 29, 2012, 9:21 pm

        Not only am i sure Harry’s Place will have the definitive list, any of the incidence of anti-semitic acts, laws, statements massacres etc so common place through out the ME, will at least be balanced by general population-phobic acts, how does one explain in these antisemitic nations that the prisons and torture chambers are full of Muslims, a few Leftists, but mainly Muslims drawn from the common populace and any other trouble makers its a conundrum? when nations live under local kleptocrats, sponsored by the global kleptocracy is it any wonder that Jews as well as everyone else get caught up in the resultant mayhem, for Jews it is all rhetorical suffering, for the others blood and immisseration.

        I mean in Egypt despite anti-Christian legislation, mainly to do with property rights the state has been killing Muslims at a quite impressive rate, that much vaunted Arab nationalist Amr Moussa once opined that as Egypt had a population of 80 million his desire to kill, yes he said kill as torture is just too good for some, a mere 500,000 Islamists it would hardly inconvenience the nation. Is he an Islamophobe and why would any one care if he added that badge to his collection. Algeria all that slaughter of Muslims, but not doubt incidental antisemitism, which as Mosser asks above is what exactly, tut tut.

        Just what is the struggle against antisemitism in the Arab world, what does it constitute? whats it all about Alfie?

        The piece so recently sited by a commentator here, from Harry’s Place, was expressive of a kind of profound ignorance about the nature of the relationship of Islamists and Muslims to anti-Jewish ideas, it would be impossible for any avowed Muslim to call the temple a brothel er well because they revere Moses, David, Solomon et al as prophets of their own spiritual lineage, not surprising since they are drawn from the same cultural common wealth that produced them, I mean surat-al-qasas, al-imran etc, really unless the Taurat itself is anti-semitic, and dont give me pigs and monkeys for fs, go read that surah it says no such thing, those who were reduced to a bestial state were so requited by ‘Absolute Reality” as a consequence of their own acts not their ethnic or confessional origins, its a somewhat preachy morality tale, in one sense and a profound statement about the nature of experience and its relation to “Reality” as we experience it, not an antisemitic screed, in this sense the identity Jewish is to all intents and purposes indistinguishable from Arabs and Muslims generally, in the Islamic canon the ancient Jews were the Muslims of their day er obviously, what passes for antisemitism amongst some Muslims is precisely their accurate reading of the Scriptures, or how does the Taurat end, any one know, vive la difference i say. there is of course that jokey error in the Quran when what is Talmudic is wrongly ascribed to the Taurat, and people say the Lord has no sense of humour, scholars agonize about such things poor dears, as if it matters, maybe all this religion and all those millenia of human thought and wisdom is just so much junk, it all depends on how you read it, and what your underlying assumptions are. I see no racism or immorality in any scriptures but then i am not looking for them, or Tayatha gate gate Paragate Parasamgate bodhi soha, as some do say. when all is said and done you have to laugh, here we are the lords of creation who cant tell shit from shinola, me obviously included.

    • seafoid
      October 30, 2012, 4:21 am

      Excellent post, clench.

      The problem for Israel is that antisemitism whether real or manufactured functions as a kind of magic cloak that justifies war without consequences.

      It also helps in ratcheting up the fear amongst the TV watching shmucks in Israel

      And that is very dangerous.

  12. David Samel
    October 29, 2012, 3:23 pm

    The quote about going after the Jews worldwide has spread worldwide and been accepted without any skepticism by those predisposed to believe it. I believe it made it into the NYTimes in a book review. Dershowitz and David Horowitz love to quote it. Horowitz used that quote in asking the young woman at UC Irvine if she agreed, and nervous and slightly confused, she answered yes, “proving” that anti-semitism is rampant on college campuses. And the only person in the world who claims to have heard it is Badih Chayban.
    Great job, Phil and Max.

  13. conchovor
    October 29, 2012, 3:48 pm

    Jeffrey Goldberg met Saad-Ghorayeb in Beirut. She maintains it is quote from Nasrallah, as well as Hizbullah’s anti-Judaism, as she calls it. She certainly isn’t a ‘Zionist’:

    I met Saad-Ghorayeb one afternoon in a cafe near the Lebanese American University, where she is an assistant professor. She was wearing an orange spaghetti-strap tank top, a knee-length skirt, and silver hoop earrings. She is thirty years old and married, and has a four-year-old daughter. Her father, Abdo Saad, is a prominent Shiite pollster; her mother is Christian.

    Saad-Ghorayeb calls Israel “an aberration, a colonialist state that embraces its victimhood in order to displace another people.” Yet her opposition to anti-Semitism seemed sincere, as when she described the anti-Jewish feeling that underlies Hezbollah’s ideology. “There is a real antipathy to Jews as Jews,” she said. “It is exacerbated by Zionism, but it existed before Zionism.” She observed that Hezbollah, like many other Arab groups, is in the thrall of a belief system that she called “moral utilitarianism.” Hezbollah, in other words, will find the religious justification for an act as long as the act is useful. “For the Arabs, the end often justifies the means, even if the means are dubious,” she said. “If it works, it’s moral.”

    In her book, she argues that Hezbollah’s Koranic reading of Jewish history has led its leaders to believe that Jewish theology is evil. She criticizes the scholar Bernard Lewis for downplaying the depth of traditional Islamic antiJudaism, especially when compared with Christian anti-Semitism. “Lewis commits the … grave error of depicting traditional Islam as more tolerant of Jews … thereby implying that Zionism was the cause of Arab-Islamic anti-Semitism,” she writes.

    Saad-Ghorayeb is hesitant to label Hezbollah’s outlook anti-Semitism, however. She prefers the term “antiJudaism,” since in her terms anti-Semitism is a race-based hatred, while anti-Judaism is religion-based. Hezbollah, she says, tries to mask its antiJudaism for “public-relations reasons,” but she argues that a study of its language, spoken and written, reveals an underlying truth. She quoted from a speech delivered by Hassan Nasrallah, in which he said, “If we searched the entire world for a person more cowardly, despicable, weak and feeble in psyche, mind, ideology and religion, we would not find anyone like the Jew. Notice, I do not say the Israeli.” To Saad-Ghorayeb, this statement “provides moral justification and ideological justification for dehumanizing the Jews.” In this view, she went on, “the Israeli Jew becomes a legitimate target for extermination. And it also legitimatizes attacks on non-Israeli Jews.”

    link to jeffreygoldberg.net

    • Annie Robbins
      October 29, 2012, 4:55 pm

      She maintains it is quote from Nasrallah

      no she doesn’t, not the way it’s written anyway. check this out:

      She quoted from a speech delivered by Hassan Nasrallah, in which he said, “If we searched the entire world for a person more cowardly, despicable, weak and feeble in psyche, mind, ideology and religion, we would not find anyone like the Jew. Notice, I do not say the Israeli.”

      goldberg is not making the claim she said that, he’s making a statement about the speech she’s referencing in which goldberg claims he said that. note:

      To Saad-Ghorayeb, this statement “provides moral justification and ideological justification for dehumanizing the Jews.” In this view, she went on, “the Israeli Jew becomes a legitimate target for extermination. And it also legitimatizes attacks on non-Israeli Jews.”

      nothing in there implies she heard the speech herself or that what she quoted from the speech he even wrote down. she could have quoted something else to which goldberg could have said to her, ‘but nasrallah said in the speech (insert alleged quote) bla bla bla what do you think of that? and she said : ‘it provides moral justification and ideological justification for dehumanizing the Jews in which case the Israeli Jew becomes a legitimate target for extermination. And it also legitimatizes attacks on non-Israeli Jews.’

      but where does it say she heard this speech personally? does she claim in her book she heard the speech? no. or is her analysis dependent on the report of this speech no one can confirm? it’s hearsay.

    • tree
      October 30, 2012, 4:36 pm

      “For the Arabs, the end often justifies the means, even if the means are dubious,” she said. “If it works, it’s moral.”

      Is anyone else here taken aback by Saad-Ghorayeb’s stereotyping of “Arabs” here?

      • gamal
        October 31, 2012, 1:38 am

        well at least she didnt say Muslims so Arabs whether they be Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist, Druze, Mandean or entirely uninterested in Religion are we can presume, all the same, does the statement work if we exchange People for Arabs, maybe the young lady is just a bit parochial and idealizes non-Arabs.

      • piotr
        October 31, 2012, 7:21 pm

        Some Lebanese view themselves as Phoenicians who speak Arabic. Perhaps she is a “self-hating Lebanese”, surely not the only one, just read what “Angry Arab” writes about his countrymen.

      • Rusty Pipes
        October 31, 2012, 2:59 pm

        Yes, just as I am taken aback by those Arab Americans who make a living on the neo-con speaking circuit bashing Arabs.

  14. DICKERSON3870
    October 29, 2012, 5:30 pm

    RE: “In recent years, there has been an increased blurring of the distinction between Jew, Zionist and Israeli.” ~ the British “academic” Colin Shindler

    MY COMMENT: It seems to me that it is actually the Zionists, Netanyahu, Israel’s ‘Law of Return’, and the Likudnik government of Israel who are “blurring . . . the distinction between Jew, Zionist and Israeli”.

    FROM URI AVNERY (VIA BERNARD AVISHAI), Feb. 2010:

    [EXCERPTS] The Israeli Interior Ministry recognizes 126 nations, but not the Israeli nation. An Israeli citizen can be registered as belonging to the Assyrian, the Tatar or the Circassian nation. But the Israeli nation? Sorry, no such thing.
    According to the official doctrine, the State of Israel cannot recognize an “Israeli” nation because it is the state of the “Jewish” nation. In other words, it belongs to the Jews of Brooklyn, Budapest and Buenos Aires, even though these consider themselves as belonging to the American, Hungarian or Argentine nations.
    Messy? Indeed.
    THIS MESS started 113 years ago, when the Viennese Journalist Theodor Herzl wrote his book “The State of the Jews”. (That’s the true translation. The generally used name “The Jewish State” is false and means something else.) For this purpose he had to perform an acrobatic exercise. One can say that he used a white lie.
    Modern Zionism was born as a direct response to modern anti-Semitism. Not by accident, the term “Zionismus” came into being some 20 years after the term “Antisemitismus” was invented in Germany. They are twins. . .
    . . . Herzl understood that the new reality was inherently dangerous for the Jews. In the beginning he cherished the idea of complete assimilation: all the Jews would be baptized and disappear in the new nations. As a professional writer for the theater, he even devised the scenario: all Viennese Jews would march together to St. Stephen’s cathedral
    and be baptized en masse.
    When he realized that this scenario was a bit far-fetched, Herzl passed from the idea of individual assimilation to what may be called collective assimilation: if there is no place for the Jews in the new nations, then they should define themselves as a nation like all the others, rooted in a homeland of their own and living in a state of their own. This idea was called Zionism.
    BUT THERE was a problem: a Jewish nation did not exist. The Jews were not a nation but a religious-ethnic community. . . Herzl had to ignore this difference. He pretended that the Jewish ethnic-religious community was also a Jewish nation. In other words: contrary to all other peoples, the Jews were both a nation and a religious community; as far as Jews were concerned, the two were the same. The nation was a religion, the religion was a nation.
    This was the white lie. There was no other way: without it, Zionism could not have come into being. The new movement took the Star of David from the synagogue, the candlestick from the Temple, the blue-and-white flag from the prayer shawl. The holy land became a homeland. Zionism filled the religious symbols with secular, national content. . . The first to detect the falsification were the Orthodox Rabbis. Almost all of them damned Herzl and his Zionism in no uncertain terms.
    When Herzl originated the Zionist idea, he did not intend to found the “State of the Jews” in Palestine, but in Argentina. Even when writing his book, he devoted to the country only a few lines, under the headline “Palestine or Argentina?” However, the movement he created compelled him to divert his endeavors to the Land of Israel, and so the state came into being here.
    When the State of Israel was founded and the Zionist dream realized, there was no further need for the white lie . . .

    . . . [W]hy do the words “Jewish state” appear in our [Israel's] Declaration of Independence? There was a simple reason for that: the UN had adopted a resolution to partition the country between an “Arab state” and a “Jewish state.” That was the legal basis of the new state. The declaration, which was drafted in haste, said therefore that we were establishing “the Jewish state (according to the UN resolution), namely the State of Israel.”…
    . . . LIKE MOST of us at the time [of the founding of Israel in 1948], David Ben-Gurion believed that Zionism had supplanted religion and that religion had become redundant. He was quite sure that it would shrivel and disappear by itself in the new secular state. He decided that we could afford to dispense with the military service of Yeshiva bochers (Talmud school students), believing that their number would dwindle from a few hundred to almost none. The same thought caused him to allow religious schools to continue in existence. Like Herzl, who promised to “keep our Rabbis in the synagogues and our army officers in the barracks,” Ben-Gurion was certain that the state would be entirely secular. . .
    . . . BUT THE white lie of Herzl had results he did not dream of, as did the compromises of Ben-Gurion. Religion did not wither away in Israel, but on the contrary: it is gaining control of the state. The government of Israel does not speak of the nation-state of the Israelis who live here, but of the “nation-state of the Jews” – a state that belongs to the Jews all over the world, most of whom belong to other nations.
    The religious schools are eating up the general education system and are going to overpower it, if we don’t become aware of the danger and assert our Israeli essence. Voting rights are about to be accorded to Israelis residing abroad, and this is a step towards giving the vote to all Jews around the world. And, most important: the ugly weeds growing in the national-religious field – the fanatical settlers – are pushing the state in a direction that may lead to its destruction. . .

    SOURCE – link to bernardavishai.blogspot.com

    • DICKERSON3870
      October 29, 2012, 5:51 pm

      P.S. RE: “It seems to me that it is actually the Zionists, Netanyahu, Israel’s Law of Return’, and the Likudnik government of Israel who are ‘blurring . . . the distinction between Jew, Zionist and Israeli’.” ~ me (above)

      SEE: “Internet intensifies Jewish squabbles over Israel, identity”, By Dave Schechter, CNN, 9/25/12

      [EXCERPT] . . . Among those who, depending on your viewpoint, inspire or provoke online is M.J. Rosenberg, who is active on Twitter, where, as in the writings on his website, he pulls no punches. Rosenberg’s resume ranges from working for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, widely regarded as among the most powerful advocacy organizations in Washington, to a stint as a foreign policy fellow at the Media Matters Action Network, a politically liberal organization.
      Asked why American Jews have such difficulties with civil discourse over matters related to Israel, Rosenberg told CNN: “The answer is that both sides take this issue very seriously and, frankly, believe that the other is risking the survival and security of Israel and the Jewish people. I know I feel that way about the right and I know that people on the right feel that way about my side – the left. I think both sides feel that the other is jeopardizing a basic part of our selves, our Judaism and the Jewish state.
      “And that produces anger and even fury,” he said. “Those on my side are particularly angry because the right tends to act as if it is speaking for all Jews. It isn’t. We need to speak all the more forcefully to be heard. Additionally, they have resources we don’t have. We only have our voices.”
      From what might be termed the other side of the political spectrum is this perspective from Noah Pollak, executive director of the Emergency Committee for Israel, who told CNN . . .

      ENTIRE ARTICLE – link to religion.blogs.cnn.com

      P.P.S. “FREE DON” SIEGELMAN PETITION – link to change.org

    • DICKERSON3870
      October 29, 2012, 6:16 pm

      RE: “It seems to me that it is actually the Zionists, Netanyahu, Israel’s ‘Law of Return’, and the Likudnik government of Israel who are ‘blurring . . . the distinction between Jew, Zionist and Israeli’. ~ me (above)

      MY ADMISSION: Oops! I forgot to mention the mainstream/corporate media here in the good old USA. My bad! ! !

      SEE: “David Gregory walks back bow to Netanyahu as ‘leader of the Jewish people’” ~ By Philip Weiss, Mondoweiss, 9/17/12

      [EXCERPT] David Gregory has walked back his jarring statement, on twitter.
      This am I called Israeli PM the leader of the jewish ppl. Better to say he’s leader of jewish state.”

      Gregory had gotten hammered. By Scott Roth: you made a serious mistake in referring to the Israeli PM as the “leader of the Jewish People.” Josh Marshall doesn’t like it either. The underlying question is, Why did he say it? David Gregory is Jewish; does he believe at any level that Netanyahu is his leader?
      Let’s unpack this some more. Netanyahu at the General Assembly a year ago said he was the leader of the Jewish people:

      On behalf of Israel and the Jewish people, I extend that hand again today . . . As the prime minister of Israel, I speak for a hundred generations of Jews who were dispersed throughout the lands, who suffered every evil under the Sun, but who never gave up hope of restoring their national life in the one and only Jewish state.

      But I guess you are the leader of the Jewish people if Israel is declared the nation of the “Jewish people.” Netanyahu to Congress:

      “President Obama rightly referred to Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people . . .”

      ENTIRE ARTICLE – link to mondoweiss.net

      • DICKERSON3870
        October 29, 2012, 6:33 pm

        P.S. RE: “But I guess you are the leader of the Jewish people if Israel is declared the nation of the ‘Jewish people’. Netanyahu to Congress: ‘President Obama rightly referred to Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people . . .’” ~ Weiss

        MY COMMENT: The Likudnik Revisionist Zionists desperately want everyone to acknowledge “the Jews’ 4,000-year connection” to their homeland* [Judea and Samaria (a/k/a the occupied West Bank)] so that it will legitimate Israel’s continued colonization and ultimate annexation of the West Bank.
        Consequently, the Likudniks were very upset by Obama’s having referred to the Holocaust, etc. as justifying Israel’s existence in his June 2009 Cairo speech. For instance, check out this whiny ‘hissy fit’ by Melanie Phillips in the Spectator on 6/04/09.
        While the Holocaust, etc. might well justify the existence of Israel, the Eretz Israel crowd fears that the international community might not see the Holocaust as necessarily justifying Israel’s absorption of “Judea and Samaria”
        [a/k/a the "disputed" West Bank (f/k/a the occupied West Bank)] . To remedy this, the Likudniks want the “Biblical narrative” used to justify Israel’s existence because they see it as being more specific to “Judea and Samaria”.
        By referring to Israel as the ‘historic homeland’ of ‘the Jewish people’ in his 2010 speech to the U.N. General Assembly, Obama has – for the settlers in the West Bank and their supporters – acknowledged that “Judea and Samaria” is/are a legitimate part of Israel. That was probably the final nail in the coffin of the two-state solution. Of course, the two-state solution had long been in an advanced state of Rigor mortis, so a proper Christian burial was probably in order.
        Obama is a Christian, right? I can never keep that straight.

        * P.S. SEE: “Oren rationalizes Israel’s isolation (then rants about Abbas denying 4000 years of Jewish homeland)”, By Philip Weiss, Mondoweiss, 10/16/11
        LINK – link to mondoweiss.net

        P.P.S. “FREE DON” SIEGELMAN PETITION – link to change.org

  15. conchovor
    October 29, 2012, 5:51 pm

    ‘no she doesn’t, not the way it’s written anyway. check this out’

    Read p. 170 of her book, to which I link.

    This piece maintains Shindler’s error is that the quote dates to 1997, after Nasrallah’s son was killed, not ‘in recent years’. When the author asked Hizbullah to verify the truth of the Arabic transcript of the quotations, in 2007, they didn’t object:

    link to mideastwire.wordpress.com
    However, the author also maintains that recently Nasrallah and Hizbullah have been more careful to distinguish between Israeli and other Jews in last 12 years, at least in public:

    ‘the obvious anti-jewish slurs of the 1990s/references (which I believe are very very likely still harbored in Nasrallah’s mind and many Hizbullah cadre’s minds, private discourses etc.) have actually been noticeably absent in the last 12 years’

    But it isn’t as if Arabic and Islamist discourse isn’t pervaded by anti-Jewish tropes and motifs. I think it is Shindler’s point that so many who profess to be on the left are so ready to turn a blind eye to it.

    Here are the main quotes from the 1997 speech:

    Everyone should understand this message, and should also know that our enemy is weaker than we think, and lowlier than we think. If we search the entire globe for a more cowardly, lowly, weak and frail individual in his spirit, mind, ideology and religion, we will never find anyone like the Jew—and I am not saying the Israeli: we have to know the enemy we are fighting.

    Very regrettably, the 10th of Muharram [the day of Ashoura]2 this year coincides with the fiftieth anniversary of the historic catastrophe and tragic event: namely, the establishment of the state of the Zionist Jews, the descendants of apes and pigs, on the land of Palestine and the holiest of our holy places. This enemy celebrates its overwhelming victory. A few million vagabonds from all over the world, brought together by their Talmud and Jewish fanaticism, are celebrating their victory over the nation of 1.4 billion Muslims.

  16. Mooser
    October 29, 2012, 6:12 pm

    “Hezbollah, in other words, will find the religious justification for an act as long as the act is useful.”

    Now wait a minute. I know I’ve seen this accusation (“moral utilitarianism” or the like) hurled at another religion’s theology and culture, but sheesh, I can’t think who it was they was talking about.

  17. Scott
    October 29, 2012, 6:22 pm

    Great job, Phil and Max. Kind of astonishing that this Saad Ghorayeb woman still hasn’t figured out where the quotation she mis-cited in her dissertation actually came from. It seems that she has now more than five years to track it down. I’m reminded of the Doonesbury cartoon with OJ Simpson saying he’s going to find out the real murderer, any day now.

  18. yourstruly
    October 29, 2012, 7:46 pm

    whatever Nazrallah did or did not say, looks like the Zionists have chosen him to be the latest reincarnation of the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem – someone whose views can be cited to “justify” smearing an entire people/nation with the anti-something or other brush. With the Grand Mufti it was “his actions prove that all Arabs/Muslims are anti-Jewish and the same accusation today re: Hassan Nasrallah & Hezbollah (with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad similarly treated). The premise here seems to be that demonizing an individual can serve as a shortcut to the demonization of an entire group/people.

  19. traintosiberia
    October 29, 2012, 11:04 pm

    NYT in 1992 was publishing articles on S Africa finding and endorsing moral and historical equivalances between neo Nazi Africaner and the black youth dreaming of armed struggle to get rid of colonialism,and was predicting death of anti apartheid struggle to the latest vaporization of applied Marxism in Soviet Russia.
    Here NYT is somewhat treading on same path and resurrecting same arguments only in an opposite direction to assert guilt by association for a large number of followers of Nasrallah and the movement. Is NYT suggetsing that the core problems are also mired in antisemitism and be fought tooth and nail to prevent any solution ? Otherwise why an obscure remarks are being resurrected? It seems the problem is same as that one faced by Ahmednezad.

    Now another guy is doing this dance started by a lies in 2006 then repeated ad libitum by NYT and WaPO-this is latest on the usefullness of a lie – “Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY) introduced legislation to the House last week that calls for Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to be arrested for incitement to genocide.”http://www.rawstory.com/

    This is a familiar pattern often embraced by these media. Despite the lies being exposed multiple times and despite the impotence of such a possible statement(lies) ,media keep on harping and allow the anti muslim politicians to drum up support for war ,sanction,and assassination based on the lies .
    Is NYT is tyrying to achieve something here given the current situation in Levant and given the existence of the wet dreams of the neocons ?
    We have come a long way. At one time the war were legit only if it were in self defense. Then came the idea of ticking time bomb. even if time bombs’s existence were in doubt. It was followed by thought crimes and harbouring of ideas that could be used to wage war. The natural next step to those situations will be to invent ideas and words and project it to the enemies so that war could be started and justified.
    If lies about WMD could be manufactured in a monolithic fashion by lobby,media,and politicians why not lies about statements and speeches to achieve same goal?

    • traintosiberia
      October 29, 2012, 11:11 pm

      “What lessons had it learned from the debacle of the 1980s when it provoked a war that has brought so much havoc to its own country, without even consulting the government in which it serves? ”
      The lies just get better. Doesn’t it?. The same lies about 2006 war that was preceded by numerous violations of Lebanese airspaces,by kidnapping of farmers and incursions into Lebanese territories by Israel and for which Israel was planning in advance for 6-9 months.

  20. yourstruly
    October 30, 2012, 12:39 am

    a world in which there’s no demonizing

    where one equals one
    with each of us of equal importance in both the near & the far
    no call for scapegoats

  21. mcohen
    October 30, 2012, 4:55 am

    I think conchovor has hit the nail on the head,well done

    • Mooser
      October 30, 2012, 5:05 pm

      “I think conchovor has hit the nail on the head,well done”

      Oh, please, read the thread. “conchovor” is looking for a bandage for his thumb about now.

  22. German Lefty
    October 30, 2012, 10:51 am

    Yesterday the New York Times ran a disastrous op-ed equating anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism.

    May I point out that this is not true? The article says, “Today, a sizable section of the European left has been reluctant to take a clear stand when anti-Zionism spills over into anti-Semitism.” The use of “spills over into” shows that the author does NOT equate anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism.
    However, the author seems to believe that anti-Semitism is some extreme form of anti-Zionism. And that’s wrong, of course. He writes, “It is often forgotten that a majority of Israelis just happen to be Jews, who fear therefore that what begins with the delegitimization of the state will end with the delegitimization of the people.” and “Why do today’s European socialists identify with Islamists whose worldview is light-years removed from their own?” Well, just because two groups of people agree on a certain issue doesn’t mean that they identify with each other. The crucial factor is the reason for one’s opinion.
    -> Anti-Semites oppose Jewish ethnic nationalism because it’s Jewish.
    -> Lefties oppose Jewish ethnic nationalism because it’s ethnic nationalism.
    On the surface, this appears to be the same opinion, because both groups of people are against Zionism. However, when you examine the reasons, then you understand that these two groups have fundamentally different values.

    • LeaNder
      October 30, 2012, 11:34 am

      European socialists identify with Islamists

      Good pick Lefty, and I am gone again. So don’t worry about answering. The core question is, can we in the West let regions whose main religion is Islam allow to decide how to develop on their own pace and in their own larger ethical system. Could it be if we simply accepted these core fact, without confronting them with our suspicions, they would have a chance to consider some from our perspective medieval legal customs? I am scratching the surface only of course.

      But strictly starting during the Bush jun (43?) reign, I am observing an “semi-accademic” trend to find the ultimate antisemites on the left. Luckily the German rulers — I guess, I have to consider new comment rules–gaining power 79 years ago called themselves socialists too, didn’t they?

    • seafoid
      October 30, 2012, 12:54 pm

      “It is often forgotten that a majority of Israelis just happen to be Jews”

      Well, you know, it was colonised by Jews as a “Jewish homeland” and in that sort of situation you will tend to find a sizeable number of Jews, really.

      And it doesn’t “just happen” either . There are very specific laws and ethnic cleansings and murder campaigns to make sure it stays like that.

      “Why do today’s European socialists identify with Islamists whose worldview is light-years removed from their own”

      Most Palestinians are not “islamists”. They are ordinary people trying to get by in an environment controlled by a rather disturbed collective

      Most europeans have given up on hasbara and don’t buy the “Israel as victim” schtick.

      • Mayhem
        October 31, 2012, 9:03 am

        @seafoid, if those Palestinians living under Hamas in Gaza are not Islamists then why don’t they vote in a non-Islamic regime?
        I remember the cries of support for Hamas in 2006 because they were ‘democratically’ elected. They haven’t held any elections since they were voted in.

      • Shingo
        November 3, 2012, 6:40 pm

        They haven’t held any elections since they were voted in.

        Probably because they don’t want a repeat of the bombing campaign that followed the Gazan’s voting for the wrong party.
        link to en.wikipedia.org

    • Klaus Bloemker
      October 30, 2012, 12:56 pm

      @ Lefty – “The Left and the Jews”
      —————————————————
      That was the headline of a piece by Dieter Graumann, the head of the Central Council of Jews in Germany (Süddeutsche Zeitung, Jube 20, 2011).

      He bashes ‘The Left’, meaning the Left party in Germany for their “pathological, blind-rage Israel-hate” and goes on to say this:

      – “We in Germany can sit peacefully in a Cafe and send our kinds by bus to school. But we often forget that our happy state of affairs [not having to worry about a school bus being bombed] is also defended by this small state [Israel] in its daily fight against those forces that want to deprive us of our happiness.”

      – So, if it weren’t for Israel keeping the Palestinian militants in check, they would come to Germany and bomb our coffee shops and school busses?
      This guy is nuts or rather “pathological”, not the Left.

      • German Lefty
        October 31, 2012, 2:58 pm

        “The Left and the Jews” – That was the headline of a piece by Dieter Graumann (Süddeutsche Zeitung, June 20, 2011).
        Thanks, Klaus. I found it.
        link to sueddeutsche.de

        This guy is nuts or rather “pathological”, not the Left.
        Does that mean you are going to vote for the Left Party in the next election?
        Don’t be too hard to good old Dieter. You need to give him some credit. He managed to resist the urge to invoke the Holocaust … in the first four sentences.
        It’s also interesting that he only indirectly refers to the Holocaust as “seventy-year-old memory”.
        What I find really strange is that he claims that the Ten Commandments were the moral foundation of the entire world. Yeah, right! Let’s ignore the existence of non-religious people, Muslims, and people of any other religion.
        It’s also very lovely that he refers to anti-Zionist lefties as “concrete heads”, i.e. reactionary die-hards or dinosaurs. He calls us obsessive, conscienceless, irresponsible, and callous.
        Then he tries to distract attention away from Zionism by listing all the terrible things that Muslims do, e.g. stoning women, murdering gay people.
        He goes on by stating that Israel is just a “small state” that exercises her “right of self-defence”. Then he adds the Zionist standard lines, “Of course, criticism against Israel is not anti-Semitic in itself. Nowhere Israeli policies are criticised more passionately and strongly than in Israel.”
        Finally, he talks about “wanting to release the Left Party from the dungeon of Israel hatred”. How very poetic!

      • Klaus Bloemker
        November 3, 2012, 11:31 pm

        “What I find really strange is that he claims that the Ten Commandments were the moral foundation of the entire world.” – Lefty
        ————-
        Yes, he states that right at the beginning of his article.
        You have to know that the Ten Commandments were given by Yahwe to the Israelites – not to mankind in general – at Mt. Sinai (according to the Bible/Old Testament).
        Graumann claims that if it weren’t for the Jews, the rest of the world – Christians (who adopted the commandments), Bhuddists, Hindi, Muslims, or ‘primitive’ peoples would have no moral basis of their own. – This is the ridiculous ‘moral superiority’ of Judaism and the Jewish people. (Am I in violation of the new comment rules?)
        —————
        But Graumann’s attack on the Left party doesn’t make me vote for them.
        Economically I think, ‘how can we get new businesses started to absorb the unemployed?’ That’s not the way the Left approaches the problem.

        -

      • Annie Robbins
        November 4, 2012, 1:11 am

        You have to know that the The Ten Commandments were given by Yahwe to the Israelites – not to mankind …Graumann claims that it weren’t for the Jews, the rest of the world …. would have no moral basis

        uh huh, if it weren’t for “the Jews” it never would have occurred to anyone murder, theft and screwing your neighbor’s wife were socially unacceptable (god doesn’t like it either). do tell. and who’s this Graumann character and why does he matter?

      • RoHa
        November 4, 2012, 1:32 am

        So how did the Classical civilization manage before they heard about the Jews? How did China and Persia and the Sub-continent get any ideas of morality? What did Socrates and Buddha and Mahavira and Confucius and Mo-tze and Aristotle talk about?

      • Klaus Bloemker
        November 4, 2012, 6:33 am

        The exact translation of the first two sentences of Dieter Graumann’s attack article on the Left is this:
        ——–
        – “Honor your father and your mother. This is the fifth of the Ten Commandments, the opus that became the moral foundation of the entire world.” –
        ———
        Who is this Dieter Graumann? He was born David in Israel in 1950 and came with his parents to Frankfurt when he was a baby. When he entered school his mother told him that from now on his first name was Dieter in order to sound more German. – He studied economics and works in real estate and is now the head of the Central Council of Jews in Germany.

        He is not a rabbi or some authority on Judaism and more educated Jews would probably contest the historical and moral validity of his statement. But he is a good case in point – what I discussed with Shmuel – that the Judaism of the common Jews is more chauvinistic than that of the scholars.
        – The absurdity is that when you attack him and his ‘high fly’ Judaism you are called an ‘anti-Semite’, the scum of mankind.

    • traintosiberia
      October 30, 2012, 1:35 pm

      “Anti-Semites oppose Jewish ethnic nationalism because it’s Jewish”
      It helps if you could elborate and expand on this premise . It is the very elastic nature of the concept of Jewish nationalism which includes contradictory elements and demands unconditional acceptance by everybody on earth from every school of poltical thoughts that has genertaed such negative attitude to this ethnocentricism of Jewish nationalistic ideas. It is a poltical idea that can be acceptable to beleivers in nazism and Fascism but cant be accecpted by people following democracy. It is also cant be accecpted by those who are not Jewish for the idea itself is exclusionary. Some one not of Jewish faith has to bend backwards and give up any sense of citizenship living under a system based on this theory to live but only as a separate class with less privileges and protection. Such sytmen are there in the world but they also operate under sanction and disapproval. Antisemtie how ever incorrigible they are has every right to point to this facet to deny it any legitimacy. It is like the argument of 7 day Adventist to refuse blood infusion on the ground that the blood is contaminated

    • Donald
      October 30, 2012, 1:43 pm

      “May I point out that this is not true? ”

      You may, but your reading of the article is naive. If the author really wanted readers to distinguish anti-semitism from anti-zionism he would have pointed out how they are different–how one could be an anti-Zionist because of the Nakba, for instance. The expulsion of the Palestinians goes completely unmentioned in this article, but not because the author isn’t looking back at ancient history. On the contrary, he holds up lefties who were on Israel’s side in the 1948 war as the good sort of lefties. He doesn’t want the reader to think “Wait a minute, maybe there are legitimate reasons for opposing Zionism”.

      And there’s nothing here at all about anti-Zionists who want nothing to do with anti-Semitism and denounce anti-semitism as part of the bigotry they oppose. I don’t think Shindler wants the subject broached.

  23. Mooser
    October 30, 2012, 1:29 pm

    “Anti-Semites oppose Jewish ethnic nationalism because it’s Jewish.
    -> Lefties oppose Jewish ethnic nationalism because it’s ethnic nationalism.
    On the surface, this appears to be the same opinion, because both groups of people are against Zionism. However, when you examine the reasons, then you understand that these two groups have fundamentally different values”

    So, which do you think will be more effective?

  24. David Doppler
    October 30, 2012, 4:31 pm

    Note what is, perhaps, an ulterior motive for fabricating this particular quote. If it is a Zionist doing the fabricating, a double message is sent: 1) Anti-Semitic caricature of Jews from the mouth of Arab leader – justifies Israel’s hardline behavior; 2) even open Anti-Semites with no respect for Jews generally have respect for Israelis – not-so-subtle hint that maybe you should make Aliyah to the one place where you can hold your head high.

    One reason it rings false is that you don’t often meet people spewing the broadest racist generalizations who then like to call attention to the nuance in the language they use. Or one who is profoundly prejudiced against a particular ethnic group, but who also believes that, when they come together in unity to form a country, they are transformed into something altogether different and more respectable.

    On its face, it looks like a false flag effort.

  25. Mooser
    October 30, 2012, 5:29 pm

    “So, which do you think will be more effective?”

    That was a really dumb way I tried to express the idea that Zionism would rather wage war than capitulate on its expansion, among other things.

  26. mcohen
    October 30, 2012, 10:25 pm

    Perhaps miss saad-g should look here

    link to ibncofna.wordpress.com

  27. douglasreed
    October 31, 2012, 4:39 am

    I cannot say it emphatically enough, THE MAJORITY OF JEWS ARE NOT ISRAELI AND HAVE NO WISH TO BE SO! Those like Netanyahu, or even the NYT, who attempt to evade this fact, are trying to distort not only the truth but also history.

    The plain fact is that many, many thousands of Jews all over the world in London, Paris, NY, LA and yes even in Israel itself, are sickened at the policies of this right-wing Likud government that denies human and civil rights to over 5 million Arabs.

    In the long term, no state survives for long when built on the oppression of another people and the state sponsored assassination of those who disagree with it.

    Arrogance and the killing of others in order to reinforce an illegitimate position, will inevitably bring their own retribution. Israel today under this government is laying down a poisonous heritage that will greatly affect its children in the years to come. It is the greatest tragedy that the victims have become the perpetrators and that the lessons of the 20th century were not learned.

    For Jews in the Diaspora, it is the saddest of stories.

  28. jon s
    November 2, 2012, 6:02 am

    I don’t know whether the quote attributed to Nasrallah is genuine or not. What’s more important is Hezbollah’s anti-Jewish deeds. Specifically the bombing of the AMIA building in Buenos Aires in 1994, the single worst anti-Jewish atrocity since World War 2. (85 innocent people were killed, hundreds injured.)

  29. Shingo
    November 3, 2012, 6:38 pm

    Specifically the bombing of the AMIA building in Buenos Aires in 1994, the single worst anti-Jewish atrocity since World War 2.

    Which according to the FBI, evident suggests had nothing to do with Iran or Hezbollah.

    link to thenation.com

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