Wiesenthal Center calls leading German journalist ‘anti-Semite’ for criticizing Israel, then refuses to debate him

This is an amazing story that’s been unfolding over the last few days. At the end of December, the Simon Wiesenthal Center in L.A. published its top ten list of the world’s worst anti-Semites (PDF). Number 9 was a prominent German journalist, Jakob Augstein, whose late father Rudolf was a leading Nazi-exposer. Jakob Augstein’s crime is that he has several times criticized Israel.

For instance, he wrote of Gaza, “Gaza is a place out of the end of times….Israel incubates its own opponents there.” The other four “anti-Semitic” quotes are below.

Der Spiegel, which is partly owned by the Augsteins, has responded angrily, calling the citation a “scandal” and passing along Augstein’s challenge to debate the Simon Wiesenthal Center, which the SWC has declined. From Spiegel:

It seemed like a completely unexpected stab in the back — a startling assault from someone who is generally considered to be harmless.

After the list was published, a passionate debate erupted in German newspapers over what constitutes justifiable criticism of Israeli policies and what exactly defines anti-Semitism. Most journalists felt that the accusation against Augstein was absurd, with the exception of Henryk Broder, a former SPIEGEL writer and well-known polemicist. Broder, in an effort to illustrate Augstein’s lack of self reflection, even went so far as to liken him to a pedophile who views himself as a friend of children.

Salomon Korn, vice president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, seemed to put an end to the debate when he said that he had never had the impression that Augstein’s writings were anti-Semitic, and suggested that the Americans hadn’t done their homework. Korn said on the radio station Deutschlandradio Kultur, that the Americans were “pretty far removed, in a manner of speaking, from German reality.”…

We believed that readers could form their own opinions about the accusations if we presented both positions. So we tried to organize a debate between Augstein and the person at the Wiesenthal Center in charge of the list so as to allow the opponents to argue their sides in detail. We contacted Augstein by telephone, and he agreed.

But who are the people in Los Angeles? Rabbi Abraham Cooper.. took… less than 24 hours to respond by email. He wrote that he appreciated the “kind offer” and that he was willing to participate, but only under certain conditions. “If you wish to interview me together with him,” Cooper wrote, “Mr. Augstein must publicly apologize in advance for the statements that earned him his designation on the Wiesenthal Center’s Top Ten anti-Semitism List.” Otherwise, he added, he would refuse to “sit in the same room with him.”

Such a request is nothing less than a snub, yet Augstein reacted matter-of-factly when told about Cooper’s response. Of course he wouldn’t apologize for criticizing Israel, he said, noting that he is, after all, a journalist.

Here are Augstein’s words that constitute anti-Semitism in the view of the SWC:

“With backing from the US, where the president must secure the support of Jewish lobby groups, and in Germany, where coping with history, in the meantime, has a military component, the Netanyahu government keeps the world on a leash with an ever-swelling war chant.”

“Israel’s nuclear power is a danger to the already fragile peace of the world. This statement has triggered an outcry.Because it’s true. And because it was made by a German, Guenter Grass, author and Nobel Prize winner. That is the key point. One must, therefore, thank him for taking it upon himself to speak for us all.”

“Israel is threatened by Islamic fundamentalists in its neighborhood. But the Jews also have their fundamentalists, the ultra-orthodox Hareidim. They are not a small splinter group. They make up 10% of the Israeli population. They are cut from the same cloth as their Islamic fundamentalist opponents. They follow the law of revenge.”

“The fire burns in Libya, Sudan, Yemen, in countries which are among the poorest on earth. But those who set the fires live elsewhere. Furious young people burn the American, and recently, the German flag. They, too, are victims, just like the dead at Benghazi and Sanaa. Whom does this all this violence benefit? Always the insane and unscrupulous. And this time it’s the U.S. Republicans and Israeli government.”

“Gaza is a place out of the end of times….1.7 million people live there on 360 sq. kilometers. Israel incubates its own opponents there.”

The American Israel lobby group The Israel Project has passed along the Simon Wiesenthal’s “anti-Semitic” judgment in an email without questioning it. But the German news site DW impeaches the judgment of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, questioning the balance of its German canary:

The SWC bases its accusation against Augstein on five quotes. They are all extracts from opinion columns he writes for the online site of Der Spiegel, a German news weekly. In his columns, the journalist criticized Israel’s foreign policy and defended a poem by Nobel laureate Günter Grass that is highly critical of Israel. He has also called Gaza a “place from the apocalypse of humanity.” …

The Center was prompted to include Augstein by Hendryk Broder, a German publicist with a Polish-Jewish background. He is a well-known provocateur who once wrote, “The only reason [Augstein] didn’t make a career with the Gestapo is because he was born after WWII.”

Los Angeles Rabbi Abraham Cooper, in charge of compiling the list, told German broadcaster ARD that he stood by his choice, despite the criticism. According to Cooper, Augstein has crossed the line of demonization. But many Germans, including the Central Council of Jews in Germany, can’t understand why the SWC relied on Broder’s assessment… Several leading politicians also came out in support of Augstein.

Oh and don’t forget, Brazilian cartoonist Carlos Latuff is #3 on the list, cited for slandering Israel. The cartoonist has repeatedly hit out at the idea that anti-Zionism = anti-Semitism, and boldly accepts the award.

We mentioned Augstein last year. Thanks to Annie Robbins, Alex Kane, and Scott McConnell.

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.
Posted in Israel/Palestine

{ 79 comments... read them below or add one }

  1. seafoid says:

    The Hungarian, Ukrainian and Greek parties mentioned are genuinely antisemitic. But the Muslim Brotherhood and Iran? WTF.

    Israel’s most important neighbour is antisemitic ?
    Egypt is supposed to accept what the Israelis are doing to Gaza ?

    • American says:

      Where in the ME are Jews being persecuted or slaughtered or dispossessed?
      No where.

      • seafoid says:

        Left wing Jews are vilified in Israel….

        Natan Blanc was released from military prison on Friday, January 4, 2013, after serving a third, 14-day, term for refusing to serve in the Israeli Army. Yesterday, on Sunday, January 6, he reported back to the induction center and began serving a fourth term in military prison, again for fourteen days.

        A demonstration in support of Natan is planned for this coming Saturday, January 12. Further details will be sent out when they are available.

        Here is a link to some more pictures from the first demonstration, on December 15, 2012: link to yairgil.com

        Poor Jews in Israel have their social security benefits cut to pay for YESHA…

  2. pabelmont says:

    Some good (if not optimal) outcomes:

    [1] One noisy debate did occur: “After the list was published, a passionate debate erupted in German newspapers over what constitutes justifiable criticism of Israeli policies and what exactly defines anti-Semitism.”

    [2] Some truth was spoken to REAL power: “Whom does this all this violence benefit? Always the insane and unscrupulous. And this time it’s the U.S. Republicans and Israeli government.”

    “Gaza is a place out of the end of times….1.7 million people live there on 360 sq. kilometers. Israel incubates its own opponents there.””

    Point #2, however, omits to blame “U.S. Democrats” because Germans are too polite or too distant or too careful to blame the Dems. Elsewhere, Augstein blames Israel’s violence on the “Hareidim”, 10% of Israelis he says, missing that N’hu is a non-Haredi who is even so a warmonger.

    • Abierno says:

      “Gaza is a place out of the end of times …” Is it Augstein’s powerful prose style
      which majorly offends the Wiesenthal center, his powerful role in German
      journalism as well as his family connections, the significant international respect
      for him as a journalist – or all of the above?

  3. marc b. says:

    and thanks to JSF where i first saw this article (more or less). great PR move by the SWC. the ‘anti-semite’ smear is losing impact every day. and way to go, pissing off the germans, the most reliable israel supporters in the EU, for obvious reasons.

  4. Antidote says:

    “Number 9 was a prominent German journalist, Jakob Augstein, whose late father Rudolf was a leading Nazi-exposer. Jakob Augstein’s crime is that he has several times criticized Israel.”

    If this is supposed to mean that Augstein sr exposed the Nazis, and Augstein jr the Zionazis it only shows how out of touch Americans are with European/German reality and history.

    Augstein sr was a much harsher critic of Israel, and compared to the vitriol Rudolf Augstein launched against Israel under PM Begin Jacob Augstein is a rather tame version of his father.

    The classic example is this 1981 Spiegel edition where Augstein goes nuts on Begin who had pushed the collective guilt envelope wrt German chancellor Schmidt’s (who had served in the Luftwaffe) ‘Nazi past’

    link to spiegel.de

    see also the article on/against Broder, who’s still beating his old drums. Nobody in Germany takes him seriously anymore. He is merely a contributor to the media circus without any political relevance. But this stuff sells newspapers, of course

    • antidote, i think his prominence is probably more in relation to the Spiegel scandal ’62. (mentioned in phil’s link)
      link to en.wikipedia.org

      it is mostly remembered for altering the political culture of post-war Germany and — with the first mass demonstrations and public protests — being a turning point from the old Obrigkeitsstaat (authoritarian state) to a modern democracy.

      more on dad here: link to en.wikipedia.org

      augstien jr was born into germany’s jouro royalty, a legacy i assume he intends to live up to . the entire society rioted when the state arrested his father.

      The case also came before the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany, which issued a groundbreaking ruling that laid down the basics of the freedom of the press for decades to come.

      considering his family legacy, the idea he would kowtow to apologize to the Weisenthal center is completely absurd.

  5. MLE says:

    This is why there is a confusion about the “Jewish lobby”. Simon Weisenthal center isn’t necessarily a primarily Israel advocacy foundation but it gets involved in things like this.

    • Simon Weisenthal center isn’t necessarily a primarily Israel advocacy foundation

      neither is the ADL. ‘isn’t necessarily primarily’ is interesting framing. anyway both adl and weisnthal center claim their focus is combating anti semitism and racism. right now on the center’s website in bold centered print ‘mainstream anti semitism threatens world peace.’ whereas clearly racism in general is a much bigger threat.

      • Antidote says:

        ‘mainstream anti semitism threatens world peace.’

        of course it’s a nonsense, but what are they going to say? AS is no major problem, the Nazis are dead or 95 years old and no threat either – but do keep funding our Nazi-hunter organization? It would be like church leaders saying the decline of religion poses no problem to world peace.

        • seafoid says:

          Very hard to take faux antisemitism claims seriously given the role of the Lobby in the demonisation of Islam. Watch them in action against Iran.

          Is it easier to be Jewish or Muslim in the US today?

          ” In heart I am a Moslem; in heart I am an American; in heart I am Moslem, in heart I’m an American artist, and I have no guilt”

    • seanmcbride says:

      MLE,

      This is why there is a confusion about the “Jewish lobby”. Simon Weisenthal center isn’t necessarily a primarily Israel advocacy foundation but it gets involved in things like this.

      Of this there can be little doubt: the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations is the institutional leader of the Jewish lobby, and the Jewish lobby is the core driver of the Israel lobby.

      One can find a list of the current organizational members of the Conference of Presidents on its website:

      link to conferenceofpresidents.org

      1. Ameinu
      2. American Friends of Likud
      3. American Gathering/Federation of Jewish Holocaust Survivors
      4. America-Israel Friendship League
      5. American Israel Public Affairs Committee
      6. American Jewish Committee
      7. American Jewish Congress
      8. American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee
      9. American Sephardi Federation
      10. American Zionist Movement
      11. Americans for Peace Now
      12. AMIT
      13. Anti-Defamation League
      14. Association of Reform Zionists of America
      15. B’nai B’rith International
      16. Bnai Zion
      17. Central Conference of American Rabbis
      18. Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America
      19. Development Corporation for Israel / State of Israel Bonds
      20. Emunah of America
      21. Friends of Israel Defense Forces
      22. Hadassah, Women’s Zionist Organization of America
      23. Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society
      24. Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life
      25. Jewish Community Centers Association
      26. Jewish Council for Public Affairs
      27. The Jewish Federations of North America
      28. Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs
      29. Jewish Labor Committee
      30. Jewish National Fund
      31. Jewish Reconstructionist Federation
      32. Jewish Women International
      33. MERCAZ USA, Zionist Organization of the Conservative Movement
      34. NA’AMAT USA
      35. NCSJ: Advocates on behalf of Jews in Russia, Ukraine, the Baltic States & Eurasia
      36. National Council of Jewish Women
      37. National Council of Young Israel
      38. ORT America
      39. Rabbinical Assembly
      40. Rabbinical Council of America
      41. Religious Zionists of America
      42. Union for Reform Judaism
      43. Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America
      44. United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism
      45. WIZO
      46. Women’s League for Conservative Judaism
      47. Women of Reform Judaism
      48. Workmen’s Circle
      49. World ORT
      50. World Zionist Executive, US
      51. Zionist Organization of America

      The notion that discussion about the role of the Jewish lobby in American and Mideast politics should be forbidden is, frankly, crazy. Those who try to forbid that discussion should be laughed off the stage — ridiculed and derided until they come to their senses and join the ranks of reality-based and rational human beings.

      With regard to the role of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in lobbying on behalf of Israel, Google [simon wiesenthal center israel]:

      link to google.com

      You will be rewarded with nearly a half million hits. Try browsing them to get the lay of the land.

      • Mooser says:

        “Of this there can be little doubt: the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations is the institutional leader of the Jewish lobby, and the Jewish lobby is the core driver of the Israel lobby.”

        And back up the pole we go. So Judaism drives Zionism? Ever since the “dispersion” the entire Jewish experience has been driven by a plot to take back Palestine?
        Wait, Sean, I gotta ask you; did a Zionist tell you this about Jews and Judaism and Zionism? And according to Shmuel, as I remember his answer, there’s another choice.

        • seanmcbride says:

          Mooser,

          And back up the pole we go. So Judaism drives Zionism? Ever since the “dispersion” the entire Jewish experience has been driven by a plot to take back Palestine?

          Wait, Sean, I gotta ask you; did a Zionist tell you this about Jews and Judaism and Zionism? And according to Shmuel, as I remember his answer, there’s another choice.

          I don’t mean to be offensive or rude, but the discussion about the connections between Judaism and Zionism going on among Shmuel, Sibiriak, Byzantium and others is going far over your head. Some of us read serious scholarly books to help us understand the world.

          A man has got to recognize his limitations. (Clint Eastwood said that?) You should stick to the wisecracks.

          I am still waiting for you to respond in a substantive and analytical way to the comment I directed your way here:

          link to mondoweiss.net

          Where is the response?

          These are five key beliefs held by most of the contemporary worldwide Jewish religious establishment:

          link to jpost.com

          1. “there is one worldwide Jewish people”

          2. “that people has one eternal national homeland in the State of Israel”

          3. “loyalty, commitment and connection in Jews around the world to the land of Israel for thousands of years”

          4. “fundamental to Zionism is an abiding recognition that the unbroken historical connection of the Jewish people to its sacred land and history cannot be addressed by substitutions”

          5. “our sacred relationships to God, Torah, Israel and one another.”

          Added note: Harry Callahan (Clint Eastwood) in Magnum Force (1973): “A man has got to know his limitations.”

        • pabelmont says:

          Sean: Nice to see these 5 points. What a crock. Jews can believe what they want, and AIPAC et al. can believe what they want (mayne these 5 points), BUT it’s ABSOLUTELY MENDACIOUS to say that Jews believe this stufrf. Mayne the Jewish establishment, morte power to ‘em and may they keep warm in the winter.

        • Byzantium says:

          In response to Mooser: Judaism certainly does not drive Zionism, since Zionism was created primarily by non-religious Jews. Nor does Judaism constitute a “plot to take back Palestine”, since the Orthodox view for almost 2000 years has been that exile from Palestine was a divine punishment which could only be ended by divine will manifested via the coming of the messiah. This is why most so-called “Torah-true” Jews (really “Talmud-true”) today do not support the State of Israel in its current configuration. That said, and as I have noted in an earlier post, the fact that Orthodox Judaism was constructed around the idea of preserving Israelite temple worship in symbolic form for the express purpose of one day re-actualising it in a rebuilt temple in a re-established Kingdom of David clearly allowed for an eventual philosophical merging of this brand of Judaism with Zionism, as has indeed occurred (and not just philosophical – I have even encountered the notion, among Reform Jews no less, that the State of Israel IS the messiah…try to wrap your head around that!). More scandalous is the non-Orthodox groups jumping on the Zionist bandwagon, this after explicitly rejecting any so-called “return to Zion” as a religious principle. In their case I would agree that there is generally not much of a link between their religion (such as it is) and their Israelophilia. Or perhaps in their case it is better to say that Zionism has become their Judaism (much as Amercian nationalism for many US evangelicals seems to have become their Christianity).

        • seanmcbride says:

          pabelmont,

          The main point is that most of the contemporary Jewish religious establishment believes those five points — Judaism during recent decades has morphed into messianic Jewish ethno-religious nationalism.

          Quite a few Jewish individuals don’t believe those five points — and it would indeed be absolutely mendacious to claim that all Jews do — but they are exerting very little influence on the Jewish establishment and the mainstream Jewish lobby.

          Will Jewish dissenters be able to overthrow the current Jewish establishment in the future? Stay tuned for further developments.

      • Mooser says:

        “The notion that discussion about the role of the Jewish lobby in American and Mideast politics should be forbidden is, frankly, crazy. “

        And that is why…. Sean, are you sitting down? I mean, on the floor? Okay then… that is why you are at a website which is devoted to discussing that very topic!!!! ♫Hallelujah, Hallelujah!!!♫

        Now, yes, Sean, “the notion that discussion about the role of the Jewish lobby in American and Mideast politics should be forbidden” is most assuredly the position of some Zionists, but you won’t find it here. It’s been well-discussed, and will continue to be, I am sure.

        Amazing, just amazing.

        • Mooser says:

          By the way Sean, it’s a good thing none of those organisations you list are non-political, or involved solely in charitable, religious, educational, or local affairs. But of course, that would just be a cover, right?
          Or did you just make the list by word-association (Jewish, Zionist Hebrew) without knowing anything about the organisations? (A few are of course, familiar)
          Now that’s what I call a triumph of artificial intelligence!

        • seanmcbride says:

          Mooser,

          Mondoweiss reaches a very tiny percentage of Americans.

          Chuck Hagel has been the target of a vicious smear campaign in mainstream American politics for having mentioned the Jewish lobby once in a private conversation.

          Are these distinctions lost upon you?

          Amazing, indeed.

        • seanmcbride says:

          Mooser,

          The current state of artificial intelligence is smart enough walk and chew gum at the same time — it is possible to be involved in charitable, religious, educational and local activities AND pro-Israel political activities simultaneously.

          And that list is not my list: that is the verbatim list that was copied from the official site of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.

          How many organizations on that list have strongly challenged Israeli government policies and Zionist ideology? Name them.

        • tree says:

          Or did you just make the list by word-association (Jewish, Zionist Hebrew) without knowing anything about the organisations?

          Another example of your failure to read or comprehend, Mooser. Sean clearly stated that he got the “list of the current organizational members of the Conference of Presidents on its website”. Sean is of course overly fond of lists, but this one is not of his origin. Its the Conference’s own list of member organizations. If you want to claim that the Conference is not part of a Jewish Lobby then have at it, but the listed entities are all members of that organization.

        • Mooser says:

          “Its the Conference’s own list of member organizations.”

          So, then it tells us even less, doesn’t it?

        • LeaNder says:

          Let’s give him a break, Mooser, at least for a while. ;) He is reflecting on how to get the SWC into his database.

          I have encountered many comparable missives or campaigns from the SWC, and I have to admit I lean towards Sean side concerning the SWC. What reached me were clearly always purely one-issue motivated politically, and it is often about denouncing people. I can’t deny a degree of prejudice or negative expectations by now when I their name comes up somewhere. Its power lies in the fact that their stuff is usually distributed far and wide. Occasionally their emails reached me from the most different and unexpected senders at about the same time.

          Where I agree with you is, this may well a Ziocaine side-effect, the result of the new hawkish Jewish-Zionist believe system. In this context it is interesting that the “core column” of the “German Jewish Lobby” does not agree with Broder. I am not sure, but I am assuming that even the president Dieter Grauman, may be on his Augstein’s side. …

          My Axis of the Good “friend” Hendryk M. Broder on the other hand may have had some kind of apparition at one point in his life that led him to the conclusion the German Left in fact be the legacy of the Nazis on German ground.

          Hendryk M. Broder has shifted from left to right over the Landshut hijacking and has declared the German Left almost collectively antisemitic ever since. … The hijacking was part of the “German Autumn” and closely related to the Martin Schleyer kidnapping.

          I wasn’t part of the RAF/Bader-Meinhoff’s support camp, but maybe occasionally felt a secret joy about well chosen target, like Schleyer. For whatever reason, there is no trace of Schleyer’s involvement in the Aryanization of Jewish possessions in Czechoslovakia/Prague, neither about his involvement in the recruitment of forced labor for the Nazis in the English version of Wikipedia.

          During the last decade Broder surfaced prominently serving among sycophants at Bush junior’s court (antisemitic?): He appeared during Jun’s reelection in a talkshow produced in America for a German audience on election night, declaring We are all Americans Now, wearing a jacket made out of an US flag for the event. He founded a blog called the “Axis of the Good” to fight the ideological War Against Terrorism and for more conservative neo-imperialist politics abroad and at home in a circle of like minded friends.

          Politically Broder has become more and more hard to endure, for a long time I had made an exception with his articles on culture, because if he hits the right subject he can be very funny, but the last I read probably a decade ago turned ideologically to the hard right too more and more towards the end, one simply could not ignore it has become part of his psychological make-up. Broder is easy to predict, if one takes a look at his blog entries at specific events. He surely is no individualist, the talking points are always a given.

          He was among the polemicists associated with pro-NRW party in unison with other extreme right parties and supporters, including the occasional surprising, since basically liberal German Jew, in the polemics against the new Cologne Mosque.

          And yes, it is official now, we do not need to base it on our perception alone anymore, e.g. during the high time of polemics against the mosque here in Cologne, or based on our responses to his articles, he is Anti-Islamic, an academic study in which he surfaced concluded not too long ago. Due to the many lawsuits Broder had, there may be more that can be officially/legally said about him by now, but I had to concentrate much more to bring these matters to the surface.

        • seanmcbride says:

          Mooser,

          “Its the Conference’s own list of member organizations.”

          So, then it tells us even less, doesn’t it?

          Perhaps in Mooser-land, but not among the rest of the human race.

        • LeaNder says:

          This is highly interesting imagery, considering DER SPIEGEL is considered a liberal news magazine. Imagery seems to cross from right to left effortlessly. This image should work better in the new technology, than the Carlos Latuff Cartoon I linked to above, concerning the Cologne Mosque polemics.

          A Nazi post-card: Pay attention to the combination of Antisemitism with Anti-Feminism, reminiscent of Otto Weininger’s psychological struggles Gilead Atzmon hardly scratches the surface of.

          It seemed like a completely unexpected stab in the back — a startling assault from someone who is generally considered to be harmless.

          harmless ;) But so you understand he may in fact be a Nazi, we add a little verbal imagery.

        • LeaNder says:

          Hmm, I got some of the context wrong, that alluded to the SWC, ooops I better shouldn’t have pointed out the associations. That is somehow borderline, venting anger?

          Interesting that Augstein has made it even beyond Louis Farrakhan, supposing the statements are true.

          In his email response to the proposal, Cooper was even more adamantly opposed to the idea: “I will not participate in any face-to-face, simultaneous ‘discussion’ live, in the same room or digitally with Mr. Augstein unless he has apologized,” Cooper wrote (italics in original). Instead, he added, he would prefer to have a page for himself in SPIEGEL, apparently so that he could tell its readers about his accusations without having to entertain any opposing arguments.

          SPIEGEL editors sent him another message on Friday afternoon asking whether he would be willing to participate in an ordinary interview, without Augstein sitting in the next room. He would, in principle, Cooper later replied. But by then it was too late, because the magazine was approaching its copy deadline. Besides, Cooper reiterated, he would prefer to have his own page in SPIEGEL.

          He also pointed out that he would be in Germany during the last week of January, and that he might be willing to talk then. We shall see.

          the “simultaneous” italics don’t work in blockquote.

        • thetumta says:

          I think all Americans, Mooser, lately need a break from the Zionist disaster. I know I do. We are up a tree, never a good position?
          Hej!

    • American says:

      This makes the ADL, just like the Weisenthal center, *part of the Lobby*.

      ”In shock reversal, Abe Foxman’s ADL speaks out against rights for Arab Jews

      Submitted by Ali Abunimah on Tue, 01/08/2013 – 06:00

      Reversing a long-standing position, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), one of the most influential Zionist organizations in the United States, has come out against recognition of the rights of Arab Jews.

      In a 7 January press release, the ADL

      welcomed the resignation of a close adviser to Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi who last week called for Jews of Egyptian descent to return to Egypt and “leave Israel.”

      The statement also condemned the advisor, Essam el-Erian’s, criticisms of Israel.

      “This broad-brush negative stereotype of Jews by a senior Egyptian official was inappropriate, unacceptable and raises serious questions about the attitudes of some of Egypt’s leaders towards Jews,” the press release quoted ADL National Director Abraham Foxman as saying.

      El-Erian called for Jews to come home
      But the comments of el-Erian, a leading figure in the ruling Muslim Brotherhood, as reported by the Associated Press, only heaped praise on Jews qua Jews while attacking Israel and Zionism:

      “I wish our Jews return to our country, so they can make room for the Palestinians to return, and Jews return to their homeland in light of the democracy” evolving in Egypt, he said. “I call on them now. Egypt is more deserving of you.”

      “Why stay in a racist entity, an occupation, and be tainted with war crimes that will be punished, all occupation leaders will be punished,” he said. He added in separate comments that the Zionist “project” will end.

      As usual, Foxman – in a blatantly anti-Semitic move – has deliberately conflated criticism of Israel with criticism of all Jews.

      ADL reverses itself
      Foxman’s condemnation of a call for Egypt’s Jews to be invited home represents a sharp reversal for the ADL which in 2008 hailed a US House of Representatives resolution on Jews from Arab lands:

      “In passing this resolution, the House has recognized that any just discussion and resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict must also address the narrative and outstanding claims of the hundreds of thousands of Jews who were forced to flee Arab lands in the years surrounding the establishment of the State of Israel,” said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director.

      “The story of these refugees who were forced to leave behind centuries-old communities had been ignored for too long.”

      Given this position, the ADL ought, if anything, to have warmly welcomed El Erian’s willingness to see the terrible plight of Egyptian Jews exiled in Palestine reversed.

      Cynical manipulation
      While hundreds of thousands of Jews did leave Arab countries after the establishment of Israel, and in many cases were deprived of property and citizenship when they left, the notion that they were “forced” out is false, as Joseph Massad shows in a recent article for Al Jazeera debunking Zionist propaganda.

      Israel itself was involved in terrorizing Jews in Iraq and Egypt in order to encourage them to leave for Palestine.

      The real reason that Zionist organizations and the Israeli government have recently revived propaganda about Arab Jews is not out of concern for them, but rather a cynical campaign campaign to pit Arab Jews against Palestinian refugees and to advance the claim that the expulsion of the Palestinians was part of a “population exchange.”

      There’s no clearer proof of this cynicism than the ADL’s panicked reaction when a senior Egyptian official apparently took the concern for the fate of the Jews from Arab lands seriously.

      After the Israeli government’s renewed campaign last year, some Arab and Kurdish Jews formed the Committee of Baghdadi Jews in Ramat-Gan to reject Israel’s misuse of their history.

      Affirming that the Israeli government “does not represent us,” the group said they would wage an international campaign for compensation from Israel if an investigation found that Israel’s founding prime minister David “Ben-Gurion did, in fact, carry out negotiations over the fate of Iraqi Jewish property and assets in 1950, and directed the Mossad to bomb the community’s synagogue in order to hasten our flight from Iraq.”

    • yourstruly says:

      not necessarily a primarily israel advocacy group yet it gets involved in things like this?

      not in israel first things mostly?

      meanwhile, in america, palestine et al?

      movement towards the just & peaceful world?

      of, by & for the people?

      palestine, just & free?

      & by popular demand?

  6. yourstruly says:

    at long last the truth’s getting out?

    israel, the aggressor?

    palestine, the aggressed upon?

    rather than vice versa?

    later, looking back, it’ll seem as if, presto?

    & then something about a new age now in progress?

    • yourstruly says:

      anyone questioning israel’s right to exist as an apartheid entity is an antisemite?

      & never mind its apartheid nature?

      its occupation of palestine?

      its claiming that the world’s turned against it?

      antisemitism, the world’s greatest threat?

      not what the settler entity is doing to the palestinian people?

      nor global warming?

      palestine, just & free?

      & beyond?

  7. Mooser says:

    “This is why there is a confusion about the “Jewish lobby”.

    Megaphone, money, mimeo, mission, and lots of moxie, that’s all you need. There is no control. It’s not like food. Oh, that leads to an awful thought…if a fraction of the resources used to determine if food is kosher was put into….

  8. the very last link in phil’s article, published here last year, is about Augstien’s very article that Wiesenthal Center cited as evidence of anti semitism. we link directly and blockquote from the der spiegel (english) article. i recommend everyone read the entire Augstien article at the source. not sure how relevant it is but the Wiesenthal translation is a little different:

    Now, backed by a US in which presidents must secure the support of Jewish lobby groups in the run-up to elections as well as by a Germany in which historical penance has assumed a military component, the Netanyahu administration has the entire world holding its breath: “Netanyahu’s Israel has dictated the global agenda as no small state has ever done before,” writes the Israeli daily Haaretz. From oil prices to terrorism, there are plenty of reasons for the world to fear a war between Israel and Iran.

    note how Wiesenthal’s translation does not include the word ‘penance’ but instead says merely ‘coping with history’ which alters the meaning. at least for me. some may not think it is significant but one acknowledges a deep sin (mortification) in the course of communication, the other doesn’t. i find it curious they did not go with the sources translation.

    it also makes me curious what else may have been altered from der spiegel’s original translation, if anything.

    again, i urge everyone to read the original titled: “Why We Need an Open Debate on Israel.”

    my hunch is Wiesenthal center does not want an open debate on israel and considers the very idea anti semitic.

    • seanmcbride says:

      Annie,

      my hunch is Wiesenthal center does not want an open debate on israel and considers the very idea anti semitic.

      I have argued many times here that full, free and open debate is the heart and soul of democratic societies — in fact, I would argue that open debate may be the most important democratic value — the bedrock on which all other democratic values rest.

      Too many Zionists are hostile to full, free and open debate about their beliefs and policies — they exhibit authoritarian and totalitarian tendencies that are typical of many cults. They can’t defend their beliefs and policies against rational and fact-based inquiry.

      Messianic ethno-religious nationalist movements do in fact display all the trappings of cults.

      They enforce censorship through a wide variety of methods, including smears and character assassination.

  9. Avi_G. says:

    I hear the Lobby has tapped Samuel L. Jackson to star in their next Hollywood blockbuster entitled Planet of the Anti-Semites.

    Here’s a quote from one of the scenes:

    “Enough is enough. I have had it with these m*****f****** anti-Semites on this m*****f****** planet!”

  10. American says:

    There is no need for debate about the lobby —-any org or any individual who tries to equate honest criticism of Israel or even condemnation of it’s criminal or unlawful actions with anti semitism is ‘part of’ the Lobby.

    There is no need for debate either about whether truthful, fact based criticism of Israel is anti semitic or not.
    The American Lobby hereby declares such criticism of Israel is not anti semitic.

    If the Lobby and it’s agents dont like this ruling, too bad.
    There will be no meetings or discussions on this with them…they dont’ have a say so and it’s not up for debate.

  11. American says:

    Announcing the…….Emergency Committee for America

    Missions Statement: the Emergency Committee for America is committed to mounting an active defense of U.S interest in foreign relations policy and educating the public about the positions of foreign lobbies, politicians and political candidates on this important issue.”

    Go get ‘em boys and girls…..Anti American, Foreign Agents, Traitors, take no prisoners, no mercy, no quarter…..:):)

    Your politicians…1-877-762-8762

    link to mashable.com

    ”Mere hours after President Barack Obama put forth Chuck Hagel as his choice for Secretary of Defense, a pro-Israel group launched a website with the goal of scuttling the nomination.

    The website, ChuckHagel.com, was launched by the Emergency Committee for Israel, and claims that Hagel “is not a responsible option” for the cabinet position.

    The Emergency Committee for Israel is described on its website as “committed to mounting an active defense of the U.S.-Israel relationship by educating the public about the positions of political candidates on this important issue.” The interest group, led by right-wing commentator and Weekly Standard Editor Bill Kristol, has already posted an anti-Hagel video to YouTube that knocks his stance on economic sanctions and military action against Iran.
    Hagel, a former senator from Nebraska, has in previous comments said that military action against Iran would be ill-advised. He has been criticized by many conservatives and some liberals for those stances and for being, in their view, insufficiently supportive of Israel.
    The committee also plans to buy ad placements on Google that will appear when users search for “Chuck Hagel,” according to Yahoo.”

    • american, you are going to keel over at this wapo framing:

      link to washingtonpost.com

      “Chuck Hagel nomination creates rare partisan fight over Pentagon post”

      (and the two sides are the Emergency Committee for Israel and the White House)

      The opponents, led by a conservative group called the Emergency Committee for Israel, began airing attack ads soon after the Nebraska Republican’s name surfaced weeks ago and on Monday rolled out a Web site, chuckhagel.com, to lay out its case against him. The group has questioned Hagel’s commitment to the security of the Jewish state and accused him of being soft on Iran.

      White House officials, meanwhile, have begun an aggressive push to introduce “the real Chuck Hagel

      wapo’s headline said partisan. in politics that means two political parties. and the name of one party is the emergency committee for israel. the other, none other than the symbol of the executive branch of american government, the white house.

      so when i read “building political organizations in anticipation of a grueling and contentious Senate confirmation process”..it’s almost like we have an election between america and israel over who gets to run defense. and the opposing side “The opponents” are very clear it is about: “the security of the Jewish state”.

      read the article, it’s as if i have stepped into an alternate universe and wapo is unaware of how this reads to a normal america sensibilities. over a cabinet position no less, which is supposed to be the presidents choice. not a foreign governments. hello!

      • American says:

        annie…..I did keel over! …..almost knocked myself unconscious! Can’t believe they framed it that way.

        Israel vr America…wow. If the Lobby defeats Hagel we will have to “officially” fly the Star of David on the capital flag pole?

        Man the ramparts!!! Repel the invaders!!!

    • Mooser says:

      “The website, ChuckHagel.com, was launched by the Emergency Committee for Israel, and claims that Hagel “is not a responsible option” for the cabinet position.”

      If The Emergency Committee for Israel owns the domain name “ChuckHagel.com”, maybe Hagel is not smart enough to be SecDef!

      • Ellen says:

        If the Emergency Committee for Israel owns the domain name “chuckhagel.com” they could be in deep legal waters for not only domain squatting but also intentional identity misrepresentation. Especially that of a private individual, which Hagel still is.

        This would say the EC for Israel is not smart and that Hagel is too busy with other things for a vanity domain registration.

  12. Mooser says:

    “There is no need for debate about the lobby —-any org or any individual who tries to equate honest criticism of Israel or even condemnation of it’s criminal or unlawful actions with anti semitism is ‘part of’ the Lobby.”

    Oh, so you figure you can fight it out on those lines? Good luck.

    “If the Lobby and it’s agents dont like this ruling, too bad.
    There will be no meetings or discussions on this with them…they dont’ have a say so and it’s not up for debate.”

    Do you know what you just said? Look, I really hate to break it to you, but there is someone else involved in this, besides you and The Lobby. There are like, you know, Jews. But of course, if we decry evidences of anti-Semitism, we are automatically, part of “the lobby”.

    Ah, your genuine desire to help is evident.

    • tree says:

      There are like, you know, Jews. But of course, if we decry evidences of anti-Semitism, we are automatically, part of “the lobby”.

      No, again you fail to comprehend what you read.

      The wording was, “any org or any individual who tries to equate honest criticism of Israel or even condemnation of it’s criminal or unlawful actions with anti semitism is ‘part of’ the Lobby.

      Or do I misunderstand you, and you are equating honest criticism of Israel with anti-semitism?

    • American says:

      @ Mooser

      Yea, I know what I just said…lol!
      Yea, I think I can fight it out along those lines.
      So stuff the Jewish stuff……..this isn’t about The Jews or anti semitism.
      This is about giving this Zio Dictatorship-Censorship a nice brick wall they can beat their heads bloody on.
      And quit yur damn whining about Jews and anti semtism. Or if that’s ‘your’ only ‘thing’ go sign up at hasbara central, they’ll pay you to spout that fear mongering bullshit.

  13. ToivoS says:

    This is a good debate to be going on in Germany. First Gunter Grass and now this. Germany is one of the more pro-Israel countries in Europe. Discussions like this will help educate the Germans about how crazy the Zionists really are. Hopefully this will translate into German policy down the road. The fact that the SWC not only refuse to debate Augstein but are demanding free space in Speigel to repeat the slander just adds to indictment of the Zionist mentality.

    This seems to be part of a dynamic that has been going on now for a few years. Whatever Israel or her supporters say these days just blows up in their faces in very negative ways. SWC will obviously gain in their fundraising efforts by keying on their supporters paranoia, but the bigger publicity issues are just one lose-lose proposition after another.

    • German Lefty says:

      “Discussions like this will help educate the Germans about how crazy the Zionists really are.”

      Most Germans already know how crazy the Zionists are. However, there are still some people who don’t get it. I am currently in a discussion with such a person on a German website. He chose the meaningful user name “No Aryan”. I demanded from him to give me some examples of Augstein’s anti-Semitism and to explain why these statements are anti-Semitic. He seriously replied: “The fact that you couldn’t discover any anti-Semitism in Augstein’s articles shows that you are not able to understand German properly.” Yeah, right! It’s MY fault, because I can’t speak my MOTHER TONGUE.

  14. eGuard says:

    I wonder why Gunter Grass himself did not make their top 10.

    • LeaNder says:

      That’s a very, very good question, eGuard. Maybe since Augstein didn’t follow the consent of the vast majority in media? And SWC has realized that it might be more helpful to target a rather prominent media man?

  15. “Israel is threatened by Islamic fundamentalists in its neighborhood. But the Jews also have their fundamentalists, the ultra-orthodox Hareidim. They are not a small splinter group. They make up 10% of the Israeli population. They are cut from the same cloth as their Islamic fundamentalist opponents. They follow the law of revenge.” This is Augstein’s quote.

    Augstein did not say, “Christianity is the religion of forgiveness and Judaism is the religion of revenge.”
    But let’s take this second statement for a moment and analyze it. It is a statement that is not all that uncommon in anti Jewish analyses of the two religions. Christianity believes in “turn the other cheek”, whereas Judaism believes in “an eye for an eye”. Well, it is not exactly true, for the same Christianity that believes in “turn the other cheek” propagates the line from Matthew, “his blood be upon us and on our children”, although placed in the mouths of Jews, it is Matthew which spread the word and the accusation that is still voiced in churches throughout Christendom (not all churches, but in many churches). And Judaism contains a sentiment or two in favor of forgiveness as well. But whether it is true or not, it has been used as an argument for the superiority of Christianity to Judaism for quite some time. Is that antisemitism? Not exactly. It is anti Judaism, which is not precisely the same. But it certainly isn’t neutral either.

    Why do I offer this paraphrase of my own. It is because the Augstein reference to revenge is a surprising non sequitir- “They follow the law of revenge.” That which came before that was essentially true. The ultra Orthodox ARE cut from the same cloth as the Islamic fundamentalists. But I would expect the examples to be other than “they follow the law of revenge”. The commonality of the ultra Orthodox and the Islamic fundamentalists is their attitude towards nonbelievers, women and modernity. Those are the immediate subjects that come to my mind when I compare the two. “They follow the law of revenge”. Nope that’s a total non sequitir. So it stands out. And as such a stand out comment it begs for analysis and the readiest analysis is that it hearkens back to the obnoxious Christianity/forgiveness versus Judaism/vengeance comparison.

    • Woody Tanaka says:

      “Well, it is not exactly true, for the same Christianity that believes in “turn the other cheek” propagates the line from Matthew, “his blood be upon us and on our children”, although placed in the mouths of Jews, it is Matthew which spread the word and the accusation that is still voiced in churches throughout Christendom (not all churches, but in many churches).”

      Which churches, specifically? Please detail a dozen of these “many churches” that teach this…

      • Woody Tanaka- You’re right. I have not attended many churches. Recently a friend of mine who teaches in North Carolina was asked (yet again) by a student of his, why did the Jews kill Jesus?

        And the fact is that Matthew 27:25 has not been removed from the New Testament and anyone reading it without guidance from Vatican II might take it the wrong way.

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          Yonah,

          I’d say you’re talking about two different things when you put “why did the Jews kill Jesus” as a counterpoint to Matt. 27:25.

          And of course, Matthew 27:25 is not going to be removed from the New Testament. It’s cannonical in the Gospels. Why would you think it would be?

          What is it that you believe was accomplished by Vatican II on this subject? (I am actually very interested in knowing your belief on this.)

        • pjdude says:

          so your trying to paint all christians as fundamentalists? north carolina is probably southern baptist and those guys are crazy

        • Woody- We’ll talk on some other topic probably before I develop the needed stick to itiveness to start delving into Christian or Roman Catholic theology.

          To a Jew cognizant of the history of the interplay of Christianity and Jews in Europe, the idea that Christianity embodies forgiveness is a bad joke. That was my point. And the New Testament reads like a book that is in on the bad joke. That was my second point.

          The Jews who handed Jesus over to the Romans were Quislings, like Mahmoud Abbas handing over a Hamasnik to the Israelis to be crucified. (israelis don’t crucify; they only torture. but i think my analogy should be clear, because I’m using the prevalent language here.)

        • LeaNder says:

          yonah, there wouldn’t have been any necessity to squeeze Matthew into your larger argument. I am basically with you concerning religion and bigotry, but that is not the topic here. The topic is the choice of Augstein as a leading antisemite.

          To simply erase the passage in Christian scripture from my perspective would both prevent scholars to look closer into the historical roots of this and education inside the church based on this type of scholarship. It may well be related to the struggle between Jewish Christians and Heathen Christians in the early Church. Some seem to suggest this struggle runs through the whole NT. I am no expert on this, but I find this an interesting field of study in the early church history. Wouldn’t it be much better to develop an awareness for such struggles against “the other” inside religions, instead of censoring it?

          Considering your suggestion he could have chosen everything but the law of revenge, I would like to cite a favorite of mine again, if you don’t mind. It’s the German Egyptologist Jan Assman. I aware he is rather controversial over here too, but I did not bother to look into the larger debate.

          He states, all Monotheist religions contain two basic element, one should never be given up the other should be watched very, very carefully:

          a) to care for the less fortunate that need help.
          b) to fight the other

          Maybe Augstein is aware of Assman’s Mosaic distinction”? If so, he wouldn’t use Judeophobic or antisemitic prejudice but express a basic critical perspective concerning all Monotheist religions.

          Mind you I am basically with you sometimes there is a smooth transition between Judeopobia and antisemitism, but simply not in this case it feels. It is wrong to construct a connection, were it does not exist.

        • Ellen says:

          Yonah, you are saying that Roman Catholic theology is not Christian?

          …before I develop the needed stick to itiveness to start delving into Christian or Roman Catholic theology.

        • Walker says:

          Yonah, perhaps you should not dwell so much on history and look at the present. I was raised as a Protestant, and had several Protestant clergymen and women in my extended family. Based on my experience, the notion that Christianity still broadly considers that Jews inherited the guilt of killing Jesus is completely wrong. No major denomination, Catholic or Protestant (BTW, Catholics are also Christian) considers this to be true. That student in North Carolina was very much an outlier, not a typical Christian.

          Personally I have never – not once – heard this opinion expressed by a Christian of any denomination, and I have two cousins who are fundamentalists. The tradition I was raised in was philosemitic.

          You should get out more.

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          No problem, yonah. The reason I asked is that there is often some confusion as to what Vatican II actually said concerning these issues.

          Christianity absolutely embodies forgiveness. What it doesn’t embody is religious pluralism. (None of the Abrahamic religions do, really.) Speaking from the Medieval Christian perspective: the Jews treatment by the Christians didn’t stem from an absence of forgiveness on the Christians’ part, but on an absence of contrition on the Jews’ part. To them, you forgive when those who’ve transgressed sincerly ask for forgiveness and the Jews did not do that, by virtue of sticking to their rejection of Jesus. They were more than happy to forgive the Jews; they just weren’t willing to give them that forgiveness while they obstanantly retained their religion.

          To modern ears, it’s all very twisted, but it made a certain sense once you accept the irrational predicates. (Of course, both sides share fault in this, albeit very unequally. If someone says, “Pray to my god or I’ll kill you and your children,” only a fool doesn’t pray to that guy’s god. Clearly the bully is primarily responsible, but if the victim sticks to his own god in that situation, he bears a share of the blame.)

        • Leander- My statement did not mean to infer an endorsement of the top 10 list of antisemites (excuse the term). There is some truth to the “looking for antisemites and you’ll find antisemites” theme from the movie “Defamation”. I don’t favor taking high school Israeli kids on a tour of the death sites in Poland and I don’t work for the ADL.

          But we were presented with a quote. I never heard of Augstein before and I will be doing research in Saint Augustine before I will “waste time” researching Augstein.

          But we were presented with a quote. I assume it was not from some stand up comedian but someone who was supposed to be more responsible than say a political cartoonist or Oliver Stone or Mel Gibson.

          The quote says, paraphrase, “the ultra orthodox believe in the law of revenge.” What the f*** does that even mean? Does that mean because a literal reading of the Torah is vengeful? Does it mean because on Purim some orthodox Jews are vengeful that Orthodox Judaism is vengeful? Does it mean because of a handful of Orthodox Jews on the west bank who believe that vengeance and violence is their mode of existence that therefore the ultra orthodox believe in a law of revenge?” what the f does it mean?

          I dunno. He gives this idea not only to the Jews but to the fundamentalist Muslims. I don’t associate them with revenge. I associate them with the difficult (and in my opinion- stupid) struggle to overthrow the West that thinks that it owns the world.

          So when somebody says, “you fundy Muslims and fundy Jews believe in a law of revenge”, what does it mean?

          But listen I really don’t hardly know Saint Augustine, I only know him from a Dylan song, so delving into the words of someone I never heard of before is a bit of a waste of time.

        • pjdude- You are right. Not all christians are fundamentalists.

          I took the quote from Augstein and referenced it to a strain that has existed in Christianity and still exists.

          To illustrate my point:
          What is the number of Christians in South America today? What do they think when they read the book of John and see the word “jews” or Judeos and the ugly references to Judeos and their/our synagogues? I assume the average Sunday bible church goer is there to get close to God and will find the passages from Jesus and about Jesus which inspire and help humans navigate this world and see the God that is all around in nature and humans and in the self, if we are positive and see its light. But there are other people who go to church too and they have hatred. (All humans have anger and frustrations and hatred is one manifestation of these human traits.) And when these people open the Bible they can find verses that help them to hate.

          I think the picking and choosing of verses is important to all people who use the Bible as inspiration. Some sentiments in the Bible are negative. This is the heritage and part of the burden and responsibility to face up to our holy texts and to try to figure out the way forward. Merely labeling someone as fundamentalist is not solving the problem. It is dismissing the problem.

        • No, Woody Tanaka, the man who refuses to pray to your God when you have a gun in your hand, has no blame in the matter. You cannot blame him for the violence done to him any more than you can blame the rape victim who struggles and not only suffers a rape, but also gets injured. Why didn’t you just lie back and enjoy it honey? You share some of the blame for not being more rational, sweetheart.

    • German Lefty says:

      “They follow the law of revenge”. Nope that’s a total non sequitir. So it stands out. And as such a stand out comment it begs for analysis and the readiest analysis is that it hearkens back to the obnoxious Christianity/forgiveness versus Judaism/vengeance comparison.

      You read something into Augstein’s article that isn’t there. Besides, what makes you think that Augstein is a Christian or likes Christianity? 35-50% of Germans are non-religious. Apparently, you overestimate the importance of religion in Germany.

      Recently a friend of mine who teaches in North Carolina was asked (yet again) by a student of his, why did the Jews kill Jesus?

      What’s the problem with that question? The student just tries to understand the content of the bible. Besides, just because someone believes that Jesus was killed by Jews doesn’t mean that this person thinks that ALL Jews are evil and murderous.

      • LeaNder says:

        Besides, what makes you think that Augstein is a Christian or likes Christianity?

        Yes, I wanted to add that while proofreading, adding one missing “am” and one plural “s” and I think one missing “be” or something else somewhere. But then must have pushed to the wrong button.

        Thus, thanks Lefty for adding it. Although, I am not sure if it helps in Jonah’s and Mayhem’s case, a stereotype too deeply ingrained already? They could wiggle out of this argument by suggesting he may have had a religious education anyway and the stuff may have stuck. ;)

    • Woody Tanaka says:

      “Nope that’s a total non sequitir. So it stands out. And as such a stand out comment it begs for analysis and the readiest analysis is that it hearkens back to the obnoxious Christianity/forgiveness versus Judaism/vengeance comparison.”

      I think that it’s less a non-sequitur than it is that Augstein did not appear to share your view as to what constitutes the commonality between ultra-Orthodox and Islamic fundamentalists; coupled with you jumping to the conclusion that he is aping or referencing the forgiveness/vengeance meme. Mr. Cooper appears to have jumped to the same conclusion. But I believe that your
      conclusion is only one possibility of many (and among the least likely in my opinion), especially given the frankly vengance-filled language emanating from some of these people.

      I also would want the original to be examined by someone who is English/German bi-lingual to see if “law of revenge” is even an appropriate translation. It really sounds to me like a literal translation of an idiom, and if that is the case, the kind of assumptions you are making are wholly improper.

      • German Lefty says:

        @ Woody:

        I think that it’s less a non-sequitur than it is that Augstein did not appear to share your view as to what constitutes the commonality between ultra-Orthodox and Islamic fundamentalists

        Yes, that’s precisely what I thought, too. I just didn’t know how to phrase it.

        I also would want the original to be examined by someone who is English/German bi-lingual to see if “law of revenge” is even an appropriate translation.

        Okay, Woody. Just for you :-)
        The quote is from a Spiegel article that deals with Operation Pillar of Defense. The translation that was used by the SWC is accurate. However, the quote is incomplete. That’s why it leaves room for interpretation. I highlight the omitted words in my translation. They explain what Augstein means by “law of revenge”.
        link to spiegel.de
        Title of the article: “Law of Revenge”
        Quote from the article:
        “Israel is threatened by Islamic fundamentalists in its neighborhood. But the Jews have their own fundamentalists. They are just called differently: ultra-orthodox Hareidim. They are not a small and negligible splinter group. They make up 10% of the Israeli population. Benjamin Netanyahu has members of as many as three fundamentalist parties in his cabinet. The same values?
        These people
        are cut from the same cloth as their Islamic fundamentalist opponents. They follow the law of revenge. Hamas already fired rockets into Israel in spring. Israel bombed Gaza. Many Palestinians lost their lives. A 13-year-old Palestinian boy is said to be shot dead while playing soccer from an Israeli helicopter a week ago. A mentally disabled man is said to be killed two weeks ago, because he didn’t listen when the soldiers shouted ‘Stop!’ to him.
        Now the same thing again: Hamas fires rockets. Israel bombs. The law of revenge is unlimited.

        • Leander- Netanyahu bombs Gaza in revenge because of the 10% ultra Orthodox population? The tit for tat described by Augstein is proof that the fundy Islamists and the fundy Jews follow the law of revenge? And what about the tit for tat of the Hatfields and the McCoys does that have to do with their fundamentalism as well? Augstein! Turns out he IS a stand up comedian spouting and I had the stupidity to attribute to him linear thought rather than a comedian’s randomness.

  16. Mayhem says:

    I turned on my anti-semitism detector and read this report. The following section riled me the most

    the ultra-orthodox Hareidim. They are not a small splinter group. They make up 10% of the Israeli population. They are cut from the same cloth as their Islamic fundamentalist opponents. They follow the law of revenge.

    To lump the Hareidim. who are just interested in the fervent pursuit of their religious beliefs, together with Islamists, who KILL other people whose views they dislike is not only anti-semitic but totally ignorant of reality.
    Please one example of hareidim who have been actively pursuing “the law of revenge”?

    • LeaNder says:

      Mayhem, to what extend have you been raised with the idea of Muslim/”Arab” as the absolute other out there in the world. Thus the very, very last you want to be compared to?

    • Cliff says:

      Mayhem

      Israel is the conduit for which religious Jews kill and pillage.

      You can make the same argument regarding Evangelical Christianity, by saying said Evangelical Christians do not blow themselves up in discos, marketplaces, buses, etc.

      Except Zionist Jews (many who were no doubt religious), blew up the same kinds of places (civilian infrastructure) as modern-day Islamists.

      What is the framework that Jewish terrorism during the Mandate (and immediately after) existed within?

      Is there any valid comparisons to modern-day Islamism?

      I think so. I think Islamism exists within an anti-colonial framework. After all, so did scalping. Neither was justified. It was however justified in the minds of the ‘scalpers’.

      I think Jewish terrorists (who have medals, ribbons, streets named after them in Israel; who have gone on to successful political careers) justified killing Palestinian civilians, British politicians, etc. in the same context.

      When did Islamists originate? When did suicide bombing originate? Why did it originate? What is the strategic logic behind suicide bombing?

      These are tactics in asymmetrical warfare against world superpowers.

      Israel has defensible borders. Israel has an army; a navy; an airforce.

      When making such sweeping anthropological pseudo-scientific generalizations, you should qualify such statements.

      There is a gulf of difference between the two groups you mention. And for the simple reason that Zionist terrorism and extremism manifests differently due to different pressures and needs.

      • Mayhem says:

        @cliff, the usual tangential rant and rave. I am still waiting for one concrete example of hareidim (names please) who have committed acts according to the “law of revenge”.

        • Cliff says:

          It’s not tangential at all.

          You are ‘point-scoring’ by issuing a false equivalency.

          There is a reason and context behind human behavior. That’s a truism and it shouldn’t have to be articulated. Yet, when dealing with LIARS like Zionists, even simple self-evident truths must be made painstakingly clear.

          Terrorism did not arise out of a vacuum. Nothing in history spontaneously occurs.

          And the terrorism of hareidim or lack thereof is not the issue. It establishes a false standard.

          Debating against YOUR standard has far-reaching implications from which we are to surmise that ‘Jewish’ fanaticism leads to angry words and some harassment BUT NOT exploding bodies that lead to more exploding bodies.

          I’ve heard this argument before and the point you’re making is that Islamic radicalism is somehow unique.

          It isn’t.

          Jewish terrorism employed rape, bombings, assassination, ethnic cleansing, false flags, etc.

          So limiting the discussion to the hareidim is literally missing the point.

          It’s like looking at the who began the latest batch of tit-for-tat violence in Gaza vs. in Israel. The violence is on-going and constant because the occupation is constant.

          You want simple answers. There aren’t any.

  17. The SWC took his lead from Henryk Broder and quotes him as saying:

    “Jakob Augstein is not a salon anti-Semite, he’s a pure anti-Semite . . . an offender by conviction who only missed the opportunity to make his career with the Gestapo because he was born after the war.”
    ————————————————
    If I were asked to complile a list of the ‘Leading Assholes in German Media’, Henryk Broder would be my number 1.

    BTW, Augstein – as the only staunch defender in the German media of Grass – was probably the SWC’s substitute for Grass.

    • Henryk Broder apologized on Friday in Die Welt for the above mentioned
      (Gestapo) attack on Jakob Augstein and also for his statement:

      “Jakob Augstein and his propaganda is preparing the next final solution of the Jewish question – this time in Palestine.”
      —————————————————————-
      Now I will down-rank Broder on my list of ‘the leading assholes in German media’.
      See how the SWC reacts to Broder’s apology.