What’s wrong with the ADL survey and how it could be improved

Israel/Palestine
on 145 Comments
Jackie Mason

Jackie Mason

There has been a lot of criticism of the ADL’s worldwide survey of anti-Semitism, and many of the obvious flaws in the study already have been discussed (or linked to) here. At the outset, the organization that commissioned the study is hardly a disinterested, unbiased observer. An ADL study on anti-Semitism should be greeted with the same skepticism as a tobacco industry study on the effects of second-hand smoke.

The ADL has multiple interests in exaggerating and even promoting the threat of anti-Semitism. First, ADL perpetually has its hand out for donations, and what better way to motivate donors than a screaming headline that there are one billion anti-Semitic adults on the planet? In fact it wasted no time in doing that here, as ADL’s home page trumpets the frightening results and offers visitors an easy way to “Help ADL Change the World” with a single click. Just have your VISA card ready. It is difficult to imagine that the survey was not planned, at least in part, as a fundraiser, with foreknowledge of a direct relationship between the quantification of the danger and the anticipated revenues.

Second, the ADL enhances its own prestige and even justifies its existence with the looming threat of anti-Semitism. This point was scathingly made a few years ago by an unlikely source, the comedian Jackie Mason, a steadfast pro-Israel voice who has been known to dabble unapologetically in anti-Palestinian racism.  Mason, for reasons of his own,  passionately defended Mel Gibson following his drunken anti-Semitic tirade. Gibson’s detractors were motivated, said Mason, by

jealousy and hate and contempt for a guy who’s doing too good. Also with this guy Abe Foxman, this head of the ADL. Another fake from top to bottom. I don’t talk about people, it’s not my nature, but he’s a total fake. Let’s be honest about it. Anybody who makes a life out of fighting racism in effect has to blow-up racism in order to justify himself and the job he has, otherwise he’d have to go to work. Otherwise he’d have to get up in the morning and get a real job.

Finally, the ADL makes no secret of its own pro-Israel agenda. Israel, like the ADL itself, feeds off the perception of worldwide anti-Semitism, which serves to portray the country as a necessary refuge for Jews from the threat of persecution.

The ADL’s motivation to exaggerate the incidence of anti-Semitism clearly influenced its design of the survey. It used as its cutoff the arbitrary rule that agreement with 6 out of 11 statements regarding Jews makes on an anti-Semite. Several of the statements arguably have little or nothing to do with anti-Semitism, or at least a respondent could easily agree with them without harboring an actual bias against Jews. Take “Jews think they are better than other people.” Is it unreasonable to assume that Jewish doctrinal belief of being chosen by God is equivalent to a feeling of superiority? But even more basically, some might have agreed with that question because they believe that almost every group thinks they are better than other people. Don’t Americans generally feel superior to other people? Certainly most Sean Hannity listeners do. Don’t many people think the French think they are better than other people? What if someone concludes that all groups of people, including Jews, think they’re special? There is plenty of evidence of this universal tendency of self-promotion. Is that anti-Semitic?

Then there is “Jews still talk too much about what happened to them in the Holocaust.” The use of the word “still” strongly implies that at some time in the past, Jews did talk too much about the Holocaust, and the question simply asks if they are continuing to do so.  Such wording is both suggestive and downright weird.  And what about philo-Semitic people who think that Jews should focus more on their glorious present and boundless future, rather than dwell on the catastrophes of the past? Why should they be suspected of anti-Semitism for such views?

At least two of the statements are so similar as to be almost duplicative – “Jews have too much power in the business world.” and “Jews have too much power in international financial markets” – with the expected result that almost every respondent who agreed with one would agree with the other as well.

Perhaps most problematical is the statement “People hate Jews because of the way Jews behave.” Since a large number of respondents reported never having met a Jew, and no doubt many others have had very limited interactions with Jews, it stands to reason that many respondents based their views of Jews on Israeli behavior. Wouldn’t most people’s views of the Russian, Japanese, and Peruvian people depend to a large extent on their views of the behavior of Russia, Japan and Peru? Yet the ADL’s inclusion of this statement as a barometer of anti-Semitism clearly presumes that hostility toward Jews must be unrelated to Israel’s behavior toward Palestinians, and it is irrationally anti-Semitic to believe otherwise. What about a Filipino or Bolivian who identifies Jewish people with Israel, as Israel itself does (!), and blames “Jews” for the acts committed by Israel? In fact, even one who is generally pro-Israel but believes that other people unfairly hate Jews because of Israel’s behavior would agree with the statement as crafted by the ADL! That is not even anti-Israel, much less anti-Jewish.

Most if not all of the ADL’s eleven supposedly anti-Semitic statements are vulnerable to similar criticism. But even if the ADL had the best of intentions to arrive at objectively accurate results, which was certainly not the case, its methodology is suspect. The use of the word “Jews,” without clarifying if it was meant to include all, most, or some Jews, no doubt would have been interpreted very differently by different people. Indeed, there is no general consensus of who is a Jew. I consider myself to be Jewish, though I am an atheist; many Israeli Jews are atheists as well. Yet some might quite reasonably require some actual religious belief to qualify as a Jew. I have no doubt that some religious Jews would scoff at the notion that I am a Jew.

Keep in mind that the ADL did not conduct a single poll with 53,000 respondents, but 101 independent polls in separate countries. Only three – China, India and the US – had a sample size of 1000 respondents, and the remainder had between 500 and 600 respondents. Can the ADL even pretend that it employed rigorous scientific polling methods in each of these countries? The various polling methods employed in different countries yielded head-scratching results. For example, Laos weighed in with a ridiculously low figure of 0.2% anti-Semitism, while nearby Thailand recorded 13% (still low but 65 times Laos’s figure) and Malaysia a whopping 61%. Is there really such a pronounced Laotian affinity for Jews? South Korea weighs in 53% and Japan at 23%; Tanzania at 12 and Kenya at 35. Belgium has a 27% rating, while the Netherlands next door is only 5%.
To make matters worse, the ADL commissioned a similar, though not identical, survey of European countries in 2009. At that time, France had a modest score of 20% while neighboring Spain was more than double at 48%. In the new survey, Spain dropped to 29% while France now exceeds it at 37%. What happened over the last five years to cause these two countries to shift so dramatically in opposite directions?

These improbable discrepancies indicate a large degree of sloppiness, and ADL’s self-serving claim of being accurate within +/- 4.4% is absurd. Yet the ADL extrapolates from these unreliable results of 53,000 respondents that there are 1.09 billion adult anti-Semites in the world, as if that number has the slightest credence.

It’s not that I think that anti-Semitism is a bogus phenomenon unworthy of investigation and analysis. It’s just that the ADL went to great lengths to construct a complicated survey with rather arbitrary rules governing who is and is not an anti-Semite, and the results are wholly unpersuasive. So let me offer a much better and simpler way to quantify the scope of worldwide hatred of Jews. Instead of crafting 11 statements that are vulnerable to different interpretations, many of which are consistent with perfectly innocent rather than truly anti-Semitic views, the ADL could have just gone with one single question:

Do you believe that Jewish and non-Jewish citizens of every country in the world, including yours, should be guaranteed fully equal rights under the law?

Such a poll might not delve into the gray areas the ADL believes may constitute a more subtle form of anti-Semitism, but it would accurately gauge public opinion on the single most important and practical question: Are Jews equal to everyone else?

There are reasons the ADL did not opt for this simple solution. For one, the percentage of anti-Semitism in every polled country (with the exception of Laos – how low could they possibly go?) would decrease if that were the question posed, thereby undermining the ADL’s hope to achieve maximum results.

Much worse would be the results if that question were posed to Israelis as well as the rest of the world. There is no doubt that in Israel, where equality is seen as tantamount to “destruction” and “delegitimization” of the Jewish State, and denial of the Jewish people’s so-called “right to self-determination,” the percentage of “no” votes probably would be the highest in the world. How ironic!

About David Samel

David Samel is an attorney in New York City.

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145 Responses

  1. Citizen
    May 19, 2014, 10:23 am

    OK, now let’s get into Islam:
    link to teachmideast.org

  2. Palikari
    May 19, 2014, 10:47 am

    The ADL is not exaggerating anti-Semitism. Sadly it’s a problem that exists.

    In Greece (anti-Semitism at 69%), for example, the crisis has provoked an increase of anti-Semitism. Two anti-Semitic parties are second and third force in the Parliament (Syriza and Golden Dawn). It is the only country where results are higher than reality. I have been in Greece about ten times, I speak Greek and have Greek friends. I know the country very well.

    In Spain, I also think anti-Semitism is too high in the poll than in reality. In the UK and some other European countries in the poll anti-Semitism is too low than in reality.

    In France, anti-Semitism has grown along Islamic radicalism among “French” Muslims and both left and right-wing extremism.

    Islamic countries are the most anti-Semitic countries in the world. It’s an undeniable fact. It’s in their culture, religion and media, particularly the Egyptian media.

    Being chosen by G-d has nothing to do with being better than other people. G-d chosen us because ALL other peoples on Earth refused G-d’s offer to be chosen, not because we’re better than other people. Some Jews think they are better than other people of course, but to generalize saying that “Jews think they are better than other people” is anti-Semitic, just like to generalize saying that “Americans think they are better than other people” is anti-American. Do you get the difference?

    Without Israel the Jewish people would be about to disappear trough assimilation, intermarriage and genocide in Islamic countries (hey, remember 1948 Jewish refugees?)

    • pjdude
      May 19, 2014, 11:54 am

      I’m sorry but yes the adl is exaggerating anti semitism and it’s methodology is flawed. It’s not designed to find true anti semitism but to generate the highest numbers possible.

      • Hostage
        May 19, 2014, 12:27 pm

        I’m sorry but yes the adl is exaggerating anti semitism and it’s methodology is flawed. It’s not designed to find true anti semitism but to generate the highest numbers possible.

        Agreed. I liked this suggestion for measuring the rationale behind the so-called Palestinian anti-Semitism: See Amira Hass, “The ADL’s strange view of anti-Semitism around the world – and in Hebron, Why didn’t the pollsters ask: How many people do you know whose land was stolen by Jews – people whom the Jews removed from their homes? link to haaretz.com

      • pjdude
        May 19, 2014, 12:56 pm

        Exactly asking what without why doesn’t tell you anything. This poll asks what and than tells why without looking for real truthful answers

      • Zach S
        May 20, 2014, 10:02 am

        Thus proving, once again, that in the minds of Palestinians and their supporters, Israel = Jews.

      • Hostage
        May 20, 2014, 11:56 am

        Thus proving, once again, that in the minds of Palestinians and their supporters, Israel = Jews.

        No, Jews from all over can be culprits, that doesn’t mean that Palestinians think we are all criminals. Sara Yael Hirschhorn Ph.D., “City on a hilltop: The participation of Jewish-American immigrants within the Israeli settler movement, 1967–1987″, The University of Chicago, 2012 link to gradworks.umi.com used confidential information obtained from the US Consul in Jerusalem that indicated around 44,000 US citizens are living in the West Bank settlements which was about 10% percent of the population there at the time.

        In any event, I was quoting Amira Hess. Neither she nor I happen to be Palestinian.

      • Woody Tanaka
        May 20, 2014, 12:02 pm

        “Thus proving, once again, that in the minds of Palestinians and their supporters, Israel = Jews.”

        Well, Gee, they put the Star of David on the Israeli Flag (and thus turn that symbol into something akin to the Hammer and Sickle or worse), call themselves “the Jewish state,” adopt Jewish symbolism as state symbols and enact law which privilege Jews over non-Jews… I guess if you have an issue with this, you might want to talk to the Israelis. (And if you get them drunk enough or in a chatty mood, they might let you in on the secret that they encourage an entangling of “Jewish” and “Israeli” or “Jews” and “Israel” so that they can paint opposition to the state’s actions as the critic’s “hatred.”)

        All Hostage is doing is showing how this twisted intermeshing of “Jewish” and “Israeli” can be tangled to see how much of this supposed “anti-semitism” is merely an objection to acts by the Israeli government and Israeli settlers.

        Only an idiot would contend that high levels of opposition to Germany in the early 1940s demonstrated a hatred, akin to racism, of Germans as an ethnic people, rather than a reflection of the particular acts of the government most associated with the German people at the time. Yet, that same patently idiotic thesis is what the ADL and Zionist excuse-makers are proposing here.

      • pjdude
        May 20, 2014, 12:26 pm

        I’m Zionist jews world wide push the idea that jews and israel are one and the same so it’s your side pushing that idea

      • eljay
        May 20, 2014, 12:31 pm

        >> Thus proving, once again, that in the minds of Palestinians and their supporters, Israel = Jews.

        When the “Jewish State” of Israel and Zio-supremacists everywhere (including here on Mondoweiss) do everything in their power to convince people that “Israel = Jews”, it should come as no surprise to anyone – least of all to a Zio-supremacist – that (some) people believe “Israel = Jews”.

      • LeaNder
        May 20, 2014, 3:14 pm

        Amira Haas article gets at the core of the issue. Great article, great woman, great father.

        Compare, criticism of a different type: ADL anti-Semitism study is historically large, but how accurate?

        Unsurprisingly, the Middle East and North Africa was the region with the highest concentration of anti-Semitism, at 74 percent. Within that region, the West Bank and Gaza had the highest number of respondents, 93 percent, surpassing the anti-Semitic threshold.

        Experts who spoke to JNS.org about the survey were supportive of ADL’s efforts, but had concerns about the accuracy of some of the findings.

        Many countries ADL ranked among the least anti-Semitic are in northern Europe. Sweden was the third-least anti-Semitic nation in the survey, at 4 percent, and the Netherlands was the fourth lowest, at 5 percent. …

        Manfred Gerstenfeld, a Dutch-educated Israeli author and former chairman of the steering committee of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, similarly took issue with the findings on Sweden and the Netherlands.

        “The problem is that anti-Semitism of course doesn’t express itself only through prejudices. It also expresses itself through acts, and this study gives you no insight into that,” said Gerstenfeld, citing a 2013 study by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights in which 60 percent of Swedish Jews interviewed saw anti-Semitism as a very big or fairly big problem in their country.

        Gerstenfeld—the author of “Demonizing Israel and the Jews,” a 2013 book on modern anti-Semitism—said another problem the ADL poll neglects is anti-Israel sentiment.

        By the way the EU survey/poll cited, done by the Institute for Jewish Policy Research and Ipsos MORI does not pretend to be representational. See methodology point 3 and 5 link: here. Interestingly the method wasn’t the main problem concerning the earlier poll for the EU in which the German Center for the Study of Antisemitism was involved. The problem was that the EU tried to shelf it, which in turn was blamed on the Center. As I recall. Thus at the core of these enterprises is always publicity.

    • amigo
      May 19, 2014, 11:58 am

      “Being chosen by G-d has nothing to do with being better than other people. G-d chosen us because ALL other peoples on Earth refused G-d’s offer to be chosen,”Palikari

      So God is an anti semite also.Imagine leaving the Jews until last to ask.I guess he/ she took what he/she could get

      Q, When and under what circumstances did God offer the Christians “Choseness”??.

      I do not recall being asked either.

      • Palikari
        May 19, 2014, 2:36 pm

        Hello, amigo.

        G-d did not offer Christians “choseness” because Christians didn’t exist in that time! Christianity comes after Judaism.

      • eljay
        May 20, 2014, 10:50 am

        >> G-d did not offer Christians “choseness” because Christians didn’t exist in that time! Christianity comes after Judaism.

        And Islam comes after both Christianity and Judaism, and it sets the record straight.

        So, please, stop rejecting Allah. It makes Him omnipotently sad. :-(

      • Hostage
        May 19, 2014, 6:34 pm

        Q, When and under what circumstances did God offer the Christians “Choseness”??.

        I do not recall being asked either.

        snip — “The Holy One blessed be He offered the Torah to every nation and every tongue, but none accepted it, until He came to Israel who received it!” (Abodah Zara 2b).

        According to this well-known midrash, the sources before us recall revelations that were rejected prior to the one experienced by Israel at Sinai. In other words: It was not G-d who chose Israel, it was the other nations that refused to accept the Torah when it was presented to them.” — link to biu.ac.il

        The tradition that all the souls of future generations were present when the Torah was given at Mount Sinai can be found in the Zohar (Genesis 91a), and in Pirkei D’Rabbi Eliezer (chapter 41). According to the Talmud, the souls of all converts were actually present at Mount Sinai when the torah was given (Talmud – Shavuot 39a). link to judaism.about.com

      • LeaNder
        May 19, 2014, 8:50 pm

        Fascinating, Hostage. You always have solid answers. ;)

        Now of course it gets complicated. Seems I cannot really complain. No ancestor soul or his/her leader rejected the offered covenant and thus left me unblessed and unchosen. But since if I have never seriously considered to convert, I must have been a rejector myself? Maybe I didn’t want to give up my old religion? Who knows?

        But maybe, with Rabbi Yaakov Salomon’s suggestion in his video lecture on our topic here: Anti-Semitism Global Study in mind, just maybe, I didn’t want to become good after all? That must be it! ;)

        Why the Jews? Jewish values and beliefs are the things that really cause antisemitism. Because we just cannot harbor the burden of being good. And that’s what Judaism means to the world.

      • Hostage
        May 20, 2014, 6:43 am

        Fascinating, Hostage. You always have solid answers. ;)

        It’s obvious that the Jewish “acceptance” of the Torah was much like our supposed “acceptance” of the UNSCOP recommendations and resolution 181(II). We quickly reinterpreted and avoided the “steps as were necessary” on our part for the implementation of the plans and eliminated the difficult bits, i.e. I commanded them, saying, Hearken unto my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people (Jeremiah 7:23) link to biblehub.com . . . We pay no attention to a divine voice because long ago at Mount Sinai You wrote in your Torah at Mount Sinai, `After the majority must one incline’ (Babylonian Talmud, Baba Metzia 59b) link to halakhah.com

      • LeaNder
        May 20, 2014, 10:11 am

        These Talmud stories are fascinating. I also appreciated following the narrative of Baalam the prophet (seer, magician). I have absolutely no doubt I would have found these stories a lot more interesting than my lessons in Catholic religion. But that I knew before.

        After the majority must one incline’ (Babylonian Talmud, Baba Metzia 59b)

        I take note of the note. A piece of wisdom that I struggled with as a post WWII kid, admittedly. Well yes, R. Elietzer slightly overdoes with all the magic. But I guess it is lost in history why he wanted the oven to be clean to start with. ;)

      • RoHa
        May 19, 2014, 10:04 pm

        “all the souls of future generations were present when the Torah was given at Mount Sinai”

        My memory was never very good, and now that I am beginning to approach the first slopes leading to the foothills of very early middle-age, I find that age very slightly wearies, and, while the years do not entirely condemn, they do make my memory even less reliable than it used to be.

        That said, I have no recall whatsoever of being at Mount Sinai on that occasion. Since it sounds as though it was quite a grand affair, I would think I’d remember something about it. But I don’t.

        I hope I was appropriately dressed.

      • eljay
        May 20, 2014, 1:07 pm

        >> My memory was never very good, and now that I am beginning to approach the first slopes leading to the foothills of very early middle-age, I find that age very slightly wearies, and, while the years do not entirely condemn, they do make my memory even less reliable than it used to be.

        The years may affect memory, but they don’t seem to affect loquaciousness. ;-)

      • Jan
        May 20, 2014, 12:12 pm

        Hostage you wrote

        “The Holy One blessed be He offered the Torah to every nation and every tongue, but none accepted it, until He came to Israel who received it!” (Abodah Zara 2b).

        According to this well-known midrash, the sources before us recall revelations that were rejected prior to the one experienced by Israel at Sinai. In other words: It was not G-d who chose Israel, it was the other nations that refused to accept the Torah when it was presented to them.” — link to biu.ac.il

        This may well be in the Torah or in the Bible but there is no proof that it came from any God or any deity. My guess is that the Jewish rabbis of the time decided that Jews should be chosen because if God chose them they could do whatever they wanted to do including the slaughter of the Canaanites whose land they took.

        As a Jew I am no more ‘chosen” than any other people.

      • RoHa
        May 20, 2014, 6:46 pm

        “The years may affect memory, but they don’t seem to affect loquaciousness.”

        Memory and loquaciousness are inversely proportional.

      • eljay
        May 20, 2014, 9:02 pm

        >> Memory and loquaciousness are inversely proportional.

        That might explain why I never remember babbling as much as my wife says I sometimes do. :-)

      • Hostage
        May 20, 2014, 9:04 pm

        Hostage you wrote

        No that passage was a verbatim quote from the folks at Bar-Ilan University. I noted above that I share your view about the lack of Divine authority for these pronouncements.

    • Citizen
      May 19, 2014, 12:05 pm

      @ Palikari

      Chosen? Anybody who thinks they are chosen by God or G-d, has a problem of major proportions, no matter how they justify such a belief. It’s a gigantic problem for the rest of the world believed to be unchosen. This goes for all religious beliefs. It’s a net source of anti-humanistic conduct. The creed is in the deed.

    • talknic
      May 19, 2014, 1:19 pm

      @ Palikari “The ADL is not exaggerating anti-Semitism”

      What ever you need to believe..

      ” Sadly it’s a problem that exists”

      Indeed it does. However the questions as you yourself show below, lead to only one generalized exaggerated conclusion

      ” I have been in Greece about ten times, I speak Greek and have Greek friends. I know the country very well”

      Why do you believe anyone who has read your lies in previous threads would believe you now?

      “Being chosen by G-d has .. etc etc etc ..”

      That the same G-d who was AWOL during the Holocaust? Good luck with that one.

      ” to generalize saying that “Jews think they are better than other people” is anti-Semitic”

      But that was the generalizing question the ADL put forward you silly person. Likewise other generalized questions led to only one generalized conclusion

      “Without Israel the Jewish people would be about to disappear trough assimilation, intermarriage”

      Tough. Jewish people fall in live with non-Jews, it isn’t illegal. No one dies of it.

      “and genocide in Islamic countries (hey, remember 1948 Jewish refugees?)”

      Normal for countries at war to inter or expel possible traitors. Australia, the US, the UK interred and or expelled Germans and Japanese and froze their assets during WWII. Also normal to free and or allow their return and unfreeze their assets after hostilities have ended.

      Israeli law 1948 (still current) forbade Israeli citizens and residents from entering the territory of hostile states, thereby preventing Jewish refugees from returning to Arab states and BTW from praying in Jordanian territory (the West bank)

      NB: People who take up citizenship in countries other than those of return are no longer refugees = there are no 1948 Jewish refugees.

      • Palikari
        May 20, 2014, 11:26 am

        “Tough. Jewish people fall in live with non-Jews, it isn’t illegal. No one dies of it.”

        Yes, and? I’ve been in love with non-Jewish girls. But if every Jew married a non-Jewish girl, then all Jews would assimilate and disappear.

        “Normal for countries at war to inter or expel possible traitors.”

        Are justifying an ethnic cleansing? I’m glad Israel does not think like you. If did then all Arabs would have been expelled from Israel.

        “Israeli law 1948 (still current) forbade Israeli citizens and residents from entering the territory of hostile states, thereby preventing Jewish refugees from returning to Arab states and BTW from praying in Jordanian territory (the West bank)”

        It’s those countries that don’t allow Israeli passport holders to enter their territory, nor Jordan did between 1948 and 1967.

        “NB: People who take up citizenship in countries other than those of return are no longer refugees = there are no 1948 Jewish refugees.”

        Then could you tell me why do you guys consider “refugees” “Palestinians” who got the citizenship of other country? Also the UNRWA does.

        There is a real apartheid against “Palestinian” refugees in Arab countries aimed at perpetrating their refugee status.

      • Hostage
        May 20, 2014, 6:13 pm

        It’s those countries that don’t allow Israeli passport holders to enter their territory, nor Jordan did between 1948 and 1967.

        An armistice agreement is not a peace treaty. It does not terminate a state of war. They and the terms of the UN Security Council resolutions supplement the customary rules annexed to the Hague Convention of 1907 on the subject. Israel, Jordan, and the UN Security Council agreed that:

        Article IV . . . 3. Rules and regulations of the armed forces of the Parties, which prohibit civilians from crossing the fighting lines or entering the area between the lines, shall remain in effect after the signing of this Agreement with application to the Armistice Demarcation Lines defined in articles V and VI.

        — Jordanian-Israeli General Armistice Agreement, April 3, 1949 link to avalon.law.yale.edu

      • Hostage
        May 20, 2014, 6:19 pm

        P.S. That means Israel didn’t allow Jordanian Christians to visit the Room of the Last Supper and the Tomb of David, on Mount Zion, which were located on its side of the Green Line.

      • Woody Tanaka
        May 20, 2014, 6:30 pm

        “Yes, and? I’ve been in love with non-Jewish girls. But if every Jew married a non-Jewish girl, then all Jews would assimilate and disappear.”

        Except for the offspring of the Jewish girls, whose children would be Jews, thus defeating you’re fear of assimilation and disappearance.

        “If did then all Arabs would have been expelled from Israel.”

        Yeah, it was enough for you people to hold the Palestinians under martial law for a generation, based on nothing but their ethnoreligious background, steal their property from them and install a political system where they are second-class citizens, at best, and vote-less serfs at worst.

        “Then could you tell me why do you guys consider “refugees” “Palestinians” who got the citizenship of other country?”

        For the same reason a refugee from Germany like Albert Einstein was still considered a German Jew even when he became an American citizen.

      • James Canning
        May 20, 2014, 7:09 pm

        American male Jews who marry non-Jews often raise their children as “Jews”.

      • James Canning
        May 20, 2014, 6:55 pm

        If all male Jews married non-Jews, Jews would disappear? Nonsense.

      • eljay
        May 20, 2014, 7:19 pm

        >> But if every Jew married a non-Jewish girl, then all Jews would assimilate and disappear.

        So what? If the class of people known as Jews were eventually to disappear naturally – because love, life and family mattered more than being Jewish – the disappearance would be entirely voluntary, and it wouldn’t affect any of the Jews living today who don’t want the class of people known as Jews to disappear.

        That said, non-Jews could still convert to Judaism and become Jews. Also, the rules could be changed so that Jewishness could be acquired from a male parent as well as a female parent.

        So, no, all Jews would not necessarily disappear.

      • Citizen
        May 20, 2014, 8:24 pm

        What if all female Jews married non-Jews? My Jewish girlfriend married me. According to a Jewish tradition and law, that makes my son Jewish, right?

      • talknic
        May 20, 2014, 8:31 pm

        @ Palikari “But if every Jew married a non-Jewish girl, then all Jews would assimilate and disappear”

        No conversions? Oh well, that’d be self determination …. where’s the problem? Is it gonna kill anyone? Do you think a G-d who didn’t even bother to show up for the Holocaust will care?

        //“Normal for countries at war to inter or expel possible traitors.”//

        “Are justifying an ethnic cleansing?”

        No. You didn’t cite the sentence in context. YOU’RE cherry picking in the typical dishonest manner one can expect of a person who supports Israel’s illegal activities outside the state of Israel. Quite pathetic really.

        “I’m glad Israel does not think like you.”

        1st you cherry pick. Then you make a false accusation. So cute! So expected! So against the basic tenets of Judaism. That you resort to breaking the basic tenets of Judaism on behalf of the Jewish state is really quite bizarre. Are there no depths to which you and your kind will not lower yourselves?

        “If did then all Arabs would have been expelled from Israel”

        What are you babbling about ‘Arabs’? Are there no Arab Jews in Israel anymore? Have they all been wiped out? link to wp.me
        Go whine to Lieberman and his fellow proponents of ethnic cleansing.

        “It’s those countries that don’t allow Israeli passport holders to enter their territory, nor Jordan did between 1948 and 1967″

        NORMAL war time relations and it doesn’t change the fact that Israeli law 1948 (still current) forbade and still forbids Israeli citizens and residents from entering the territory of hostile states.

        “Then could you tell me why do you guys consider “refugees” “Palestinians” who got the citizenship of other country?”

        The UNHCR statute applies equally .. keep making stupid assumptions in order to have an argument. It’s fun to watch

        “Also the UNRWA does”

        Claims for RoR to what became Israel are made under UNGA res 194 of 1948
        UNRWA wasn’t formed until 1949
        The UNRWA definition is only to ascertain who qualifies for Works and Assistance while they are refugees
        UNRWA’s mandate does not extend to final status

        (Q) “Is UNRWA involved in the Middle East peace negotiations and in the discussions on a solution to the refugee issue?”
        (A)No. UNRWA is a humanitarian agency and its mandate defines its role as one of providing services to the refugees. However, UNRWA highlights the international community’s obligation to provide a just and durable solution for Palestine refugees.”

        “There is a real apartheid against “Palestinian” refugees in Arab countries aimed at perpetrating their refugee status”

        What ever ziopoop you need to believe. The only thing perpetuating refugee status is the refusal of Israel to recognize RoR for non-Jewish people who had a LEGAL right to be Israeli citizens!

    • Shingo
      May 19, 2014, 4:40 pm

      Without Israel the Jewish people would be about to disappear trough assimilation, intermarriage

      Sounds like something a the neo Nazis in the Ukraine would say about maintaining blood purity. Imagine what Jews like you would say if a white spremacist argued that the white race was threatened by mixed marriages?

      and genocide in Islamic countries

      There has been no genocide or threat of genocide against Jews in Islamic countries.

      And remember 1948 Arab refugees that Israel expelled before there were any Jewish refugees?

      Oh that’s right, Arabs don’t count because they are less human than your tribe. But of course, saying so is anti semtic isn’t it?

      • Palikari
        May 20, 2014, 11:37 am

        “Sounds like something a the neo Nazis in the Ukraine would say about maintaining blood purity. Imagine what Jews like you would say if a white spremacist argued that the white race was threatened by mixed marriages?”

        The whites are a race, not a nation or a religion. We Jews are a nation, an ethnic group and have our own religion (Judaism), and this has nothing to do with “blood purity”. So there is A LOT of difference.

        If there were only 14 million whites on Earth, without a country and assimilation and intermarriage rates were alarming (up to 70%), then yes, the whites would be in existential danger.

        “There has been no genocide or threat of genocide against Jews in Islamic countries.”

        Hahahaha! You’re very funny. Please keep these jokes for April Fools’ Day.

      • Hostage
        May 20, 2014, 6:03 pm

        this has nothing to do with “blood purity”. So there is A LOT of difference.

        If there were only 14 million whites on Earth, without a country and assimilation and intermarriage rates were alarming (up to 70%), then yes, the whites would be in existential danger.

        Hey Bozo, if you think your offspring no longer count as continuing existence, just because of an intermarriage, then you damn sure are talking about blood purity.

        The whites are a race, not a nation or a religion.

        In the 17th century, the Anglo-Saxon Protestants would have begged to differ and could have given you a pointer or two on how to go about establishing a few settler colonial states. More than a few people have applied the old maxim to Israel that “A nation is just a group of people united by a common error about their ancestry and a dislike of their neighbors.”

        Millions of assimilated Jews down through the ages guarantee that most westerners have one or more Jewish ancestors and most western Jews (Askenazi and Sephardi) have one or more Gentile ancestors. There’s no biological basis for this racist claptrap about intermarriage posing an existential threat.

      • LeaNder
        May 20, 2014, 6:51 pm

        May I remind you of this “award-worthy” contribution from our dear old Richard Witty meditating about, who is a Jew and who isn’t?

        According to halacha, there are two ways to be a Jew legally. One is by virtue of one’s birth. Jewish racial identity is passed matrilineally, if one’s mother was Jewish, then you are Jewish. That applies to both self-identifying and distinct Jewish children of Jewish mothers, AND to assimilated or even converted children of Jewish mothers.

        To my mind, the Jewish mission, the covenant of Jewish obligation to cultivate the sensitivity and skillsets to make whole what is disparate is critical to continue. I will and do “teach my children”, both racially through mother’s genes and culturally through pragmatic compassion, prayer and good deeds.

        Maybe some Jews would profit too from a less superficial Holocaust eduction?

      • RoHa
        May 20, 2014, 7:33 pm

        ” We Jews are a nation, an ethnic group and have our own religion (Judaism)”

        What do you mean by “nation”. Jews are certainly not a nation in the sense that Australia is a nation. They are certainly not a nation in the nineteenth century “common language concentrated in a single territory” sense. So what do you mean by “Jews are a nation”, and why is it important?*

        “If there were only 14 million whites on Earth, without a country and assimilation and intermarriage rates were alarming (up to 70%), then yes, the whites would be in existential danger.”

        How would the existence of any white person be endangered by intermarriage? I am a white man, and my wife is East Asian. (Japanese.) I still exist.** I know a lot of other white men and women whose spouses are of a different race. They still exist. There is no danger.

        And “alarming” intermarriage rates? What is alarming about high intermarriage rates?

        (*Anyone out there think I’ll get proper answers?)
        (** Of course, I am now reduced to a mere husband, and a shadow of my former self, but that happens to all men who marry, even if they marry a white woman.)

      • Citizen
        May 21, 2014, 10:39 am

        Just guessing, if you married a Jewish woman, by old Jewish tradition, your kids are assumed to be Jewish, no matter what they think about being so identified. I don’t know if Asian woman are brought up to think the same way.

      • Hostage
        May 21, 2014, 2:34 pm

        They are certainly not a nation in the nineteenth century “common language concentrated in a single territory” sense.

        There’s an old saying that says a language is just a dialect with an army.

      • pjdude
        May 21, 2014, 10:27 am

        Jews aren’t an ethnic group though. All the connections are religion based. He’ll I don’t believe a lot of jews even plurality of middle eastern genes

      • Citizen
        May 21, 2014, 10:41 am

        @ pjdude
        The debate about whether or not a Jew classification is based on ethnic, religious, or other criteria has been going on for centuries. Amazing you never explored it.

      • eljay
        May 21, 2014, 10:44 am

        >> If there were only 14 million whites on Earth, without a country and assimilation and intermarriage rates were alarming (up to 70%), then yes, the whites would be in existential danger.

        14 million? Jeezus, man, there is only ONE of my eljay nation on Earth and I have no offspring! I am in existential danger!! I must have a country!!!

      • talknic
        May 21, 2014, 11:42 am

        @ Palikari “If there were only 14 million whites on Earth, without a country and assimilation and intermarriage rates were alarming (up to 70%), then yes, the whites would be in existential danger”

        …of becoming less white. Big deal. As any Anglo Chinese if they’re worth any less link to webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk

      • Citizen
        May 21, 2014, 1:29 pm

        About 10% of the world’s population today is white. And they have a comparatively low rate of new births compared to the rest of the respective populations, including in EU and USA & UK, etc. In all majority white populated states, the criteria for full civil rights citizenship is non-racist. And the rest of the world? Check it out.

      • Shingo
        May 21, 2014, 4:58 pm

        If there were only 14 million whites on Earth, without a country and assimilation and intermarriage rates were alarming (up to 70%), then yes, the whites would be in existential danger.

        In other words, the Nazis in 1939 weren’t wrong, their problem was that their population was too large.

        BTW. Jews do have a country. And is assimilation and intermarriage rates are at 70%, then that should tell you that most Jews obviously prefer to assimilate and intermarry. The fact that you consider this an existential danger and think you know what’s best for Jews suggests you are quite the fascist authoritarian.

        Hahahaha! You’re very funny. Please keep these jokes for April Fools’ Day.

        Translation: Palikari has no facts to refute the comment, therefore opts for plan B – juvenile snark.

    • The JillyBeans
      May 19, 2014, 5:18 pm

      The dislike of Jews(ie Israelis) by the ME neighbors has to do with a regional conflict. What do you think the “anti-semitism” meter would be at if Israel did not exist? It has nothing to do with Islam or their culture, and everything to do with anger over the formation of Israel. Which puts it at a political conflict not a religious/social one. The relationship of Judaism to Islam and the middle east states was vastly different pre-1948.

      Both Jews/Israeli’s and the Islamic states have a healthy propoganda machine going 24/7 to foment hate toward the other. Yet the ADL takes no responsibility to measure that, nor to take responsibility or quash the likes of Pamella Geller, Debbie Schlussel or any number of anti-muslim organization strongly backed by or headed by pro-Israel groups.

      Your indignation is overwrought.

    • Giles
      May 19, 2014, 7:22 pm

      Where are all the polls on anti-Irishism, anti-Germanic, anti-Polish, and so on?

      • tokyobk
        May 20, 2014, 2:21 am

        “Where are all the polls on anti-Irishism, anti-Germanic, anti-Polish, and so on?”

        Go make one. or fund one or ask the appropriate groups to do so.

        If you have the problem with the methodology of the survey, join the criticism, but if your problem is that a Jewish group wants to study or publicise their concerns about anti-semitism, well that is a different order of concern, though one shared by Joseph Kennedy Sr. and others who wanted the Jews to quit griping about their problems, decades before Israel existed.

      • Ecru
        May 20, 2014, 3:31 am

        @ tokyobk

        Why even bother with a survey, it’s obvious you see “anti-semitism” (boo! hiss!) absolutely EVERYWHERE.

      • Woody Tanaka
        May 20, 2014, 6:44 am

        ” but if your problem is that a Jewish group wants to study or publicise their concerns about anti-semitism,”

        The ADL didn’t do that here. They commissioned a survey whose methodology was so faulty that the statements they drew from it concerning the state of anti-Jewish prejudice among the people of the world amounts to slander.

        And Giles’ point is well founded, because a competent poll would have tested more than anti-Jewish prejudice, because otherwise you have no context for the finding (as well invalidating the accuracy of your results).

        To pretend that criticism of this poll makes one akin to Jos. Kennedy is cheap, disgusting propaganda.

    • Donald
      May 20, 2014, 12:01 am

      “G-d chosen us because ALL other peoples on Earth refused G-d’s offer to be chosen, not because we’re better than other people.”

      So you’re not better–everyone else is worse. Reminds me of in a vague sort of way of the Gore Vidal dictum–“It’s not enough to succeed. Others must fail.”

      Seriously, you realize that by that logic you outlined (I hadn’t heard of this tradition before), Jews would be better, because everyone else turned God down. But there’s a similar kind of reasoning in some versions of Christianity, complete with false humility. It’s probably like some other religions too, but I can’t say, not being much of a student of other religions. As Samel points out, it’s similar to the thinking of many Americans, who do think America and Americans are better than others. It’s probably the same with various others whose brains are addicted to other forms of nationalism (now I’m thinking of Mooser’s ziocaine analogy).

      • yonah fredman
        May 20, 2014, 4:00 am

        Abraham chose God and God chose Abraham and his offspring. God freed the slaves of Egypt, offspring of Abraham and by the act of freeing them he acquired them to be his followers. God gave the Torah and created a contract with the people he gave the Torah to, I will be your god and you will be my people.

        Although the concept of chosenness doesn’t work and it is appropriate for modern man to devise ethical bases for behavior that have nothing to do with tribes or chosenness, there can be no denying that the textual (Genesis and Exodus primarily) basis for the existence of a book of laws and for a people devoted to the one god, involved the ideas above that infer choosing and a special relationship.

        As conceived in Genesis and Exodus the idea of seeking converts does not seem uppermost, although in fact the myths of Abraham making converts and creating a god seeking group, the inclusion of non heirs of Abraham among those who were taken out of Egypt, both contain the seeds for conversion and thus the chosen aspect loses its racial/tribal overtones.

        In creating a better future one would not look to the old testament or to Judaism regarding membership requirements. It may be useful for other purposes: (some laws, some words of prophecy and ethics, but mostly dynamite stories with complicated characters, gripping plots and the troubling relationship between god and man), but the membership aspect of Judaism is nothing that would be used in trying to create a unified set of rules for the future of the human species. But in fact there are groups that set themselves aside to accomplish things that are not for everyone, that a select group can make their cause their own and not universalize it and anyone of this sort might study Genesis and Exodus and the rest of the Tanach, plus the Midrash, plus the Talmud, for they contain many useful hints on how to create a select group. Is the word “select” as bad as “chosen”? I think not. but let me know.

      • Ecru
        May 20, 2014, 4:21 am

        @ Yonah

        Actually yes, “The Select” IS as bad as “The Chosen.” Take a look at the Reformation theology of Calvin (although what Hobbes made of it was lost in a particularly energetic game of Calvinball)

      • Woody Tanaka
        May 20, 2014, 6:27 am

        Believe what you want about theological matters, but I think culturally and historically, chosenness developed (along with much else) as a response of a nothing little hill tribe to the power of their vastly more powerful and more important neighbors.

      • MRW
        May 20, 2014, 7:28 pm

        God didn’t choose or select anything. Someone wrote a book of laws and peddled it as rules defining ‘truth’.

      • Citizen
        May 21, 2014, 10:45 am

        @ yonah fredman

        Yeah, let’s all use the Talmud to decide ethics and morality.

      • LeaNder
        May 20, 2014, 1:50 pm

        But there’s a similar kind of reasoning in some versions of Christianity, complete with false humility.

        I would assume similar ideas in whatever variations in all of them. I cannot imagine a single one that could do without a special bond to the Almighty. That’s why I am usually slightly impatient concerning the larger topic. At least, as long as there is nothing new to learn. ;)

        I am surely not familiar with all the American branches of Christianity, or Mormonism for that matter, but they must all use whatever variations of the New Covenant theme or Supersessionism, if you like. At least historically.

    • ziusudra
      May 20, 2014, 2:05 am

      Giasou Palikari,
      …W/o Israel the jewish People would….disappear through assimilation……

      Kalos Kalgatos, (good & beautiful), but wrong.
      ME Semite Sephardi migrated to Europe in 200BC. According to Dr. Eran Elhaik,
      they are & have beeen roughly 70% Euro & 30% Khazarian DNA, even those,
      who ne’er left the ME or No. Africa.
      It’s the Religion that keeps them together not ethnicity.
      The 6 mn in the US are also miscegenizing as 1 in 4 today, but remain cemented
      in Judaism.
      Eucharisto poly, ( much tks)
      ziusudra
      PS Religion, even for the majority who don’t practice, have a sense of togetherness in hanging out with those who do. It’s a state of mind. If there’s such a thing as Jewishness, there’s also Timbuktuness; everybody has a ‘ness’.

      • Citizen
        May 21, 2014, 10:47 am

        Really, what’s my “ness”?

      • German Lefty
        May 21, 2014, 1:42 pm

        Really, what’s my “ness”?

        Americanness?

    • RudyM
      May 20, 2014, 1:07 pm

      I do resent even feeling obliged to make some of these caveats, considering I’m not the one posting with an avatar depicting the flag of an ethnically cleansed apartheid ethnocracy.

    • The Hasbara Buster
      May 20, 2014, 2:07 pm

      @Palikari

      Some Jews think they are better than other people of course, but to generalize saying that “Jews think they are better than other people” is anti-Semitic, just like to generalize saying that “Americans think they are better than other people” is anti-American. Do you get the difference?

      Groups are usually judged by what their leadership, their media and their intellectuals say and do. Jewish leaders and media make frequent references to the high numbers of Jewish Nobel laureates, violinists, judges, businessmen, writers, senators and other achievers, often making favorable comparisons with the figures for other ethnic or religious groups. Celebrated Jewish authors like Scholem Aleichem or Leon Uris paint the Jews as good, smart and superior and the Others (e.g. Russians, Arabs) as evil, dumb, brutal and inferior.

      I mean, you can’t boast of being better than other people and then feign outrage when someone tells you that you think you’re better than other people. Of course, this behavior from the Jewish leadership does not extend to all and any Jews, but making generalizations from what the people who claim to represent a group say and do is an instance of bad sociology, not of prejudice.

    • yesspam
      May 20, 2014, 6:04 pm

      Being chosen by G-d has nothing to do with being better than other people. G-d chosen us because ALL other peoples on Earth refused G-d’s offer to be chosen, not because we’re better than other people.

      Got any evidence for that statement? Can you explain why all other peoples on earth did not record this event?

      • Citizen
        May 21, 2014, 10:49 am

        @ yesspam

        Gee, I don’t remember refusing G-d’s offer to be chosen. Please refresh my memory. Thanks.

    • talknic
      May 20, 2014, 9:02 pm

      @ Palikari “G-d chosen us because ALL other peoples on Earth refused G-d’s offer to be chosen, not because we’re better than other people”

      Lemme see now. How and when did this G-d of a tiny minority of the world’s population confined to a tiny area of the earths surface advertise this offer to ALL other peoples on Earth? Before the scriptures were written or while the scriptures were being written? Were clay tablets sent out to every continent? Who collated the return mail?

      If ALL the other peoples on earth hadn’t even heard of this mythical god invented by some hallucinating megalomaniacal schmuck stuck in the middle of the desert with a disgruntled tribe he was trying to control, how can it be said they refused the offer?

    • Yossarian22
      May 21, 2014, 12:20 pm

      Syriza is not an anti-semitic party. Yes, they nominated one candidate who held anti-semitic views but once those views were discovered, he was kicked out of the party and disowned by it. Insufficiently vetting a single candidate does not an anti-semitic party make.

  3. Sycamores
    May 19, 2014, 10:50 am

    David Samel,

    suggestion create a petition on change.org or any site of your choosing.

    to challenge

    the ADL’s worldwide survey of anti-Semitism and its eleven supposedly anti-Semitic statements which are misleading at best and are open to criticism.

    with one statement

    Do you believe that Jewish and non-Jewish citizens of every country in the world, including yours, should be guaranteed fully equal rights under the law?

    double the respondents to 100,000 or higher.

    • Shingo
      May 19, 2014, 4:42 pm

      Do you believe that Jewish and non-Jewish citizens of every country in the world, including yours, should be guaranteed fully equal rights under the law?

      In Canada, that would be considered anti Semitic and incitement to genocide as it threatens Israel’s Jewish character.

  4. German Lefty
    May 19, 2014, 11:02 am

    Thanks a lot for the article, David. I love it, particularly the last paragraph. Your proposed poll question is probably the only poll that does NOT result in smearing me as an anti-Semite.

  5. German Lefty
    May 19, 2014, 11:09 am

    By the way, there’s a little typo in your bio.
    “David Samel is am attorney in New York City.”

  6. German Lefty
    May 19, 2014, 11:16 am

    Since a large number of respondents reported never having met a Jew, and no doubt many others have had very limited interactions with Jews, it stands to reason that many respondents based their views of Jews on Israeli behavior.

    Around 50% of world Jewry are Israelis and 75% of Israelis are Jews. Therefore, it is totally logical that Israel’s behaviour has a significant impact on people’s perception of Jews.

  7. Ellen
    May 19, 2014, 11:31 am

    Bloomberg Viee published a sage comment piece to this “How to Paint the World as Anti-Semitic” by Noah Feldman:

    Anti-Defamation League, which has released a poll claiming to study anti-Semitism globally, didn’t quite do that. Instead of designing a neutral questionnaire that would compare anti-Jewish attitudes to negative attitudes about other religions or ethnicities, it asked a series of 11 questions that stacked the deck in favor of anti-Semitic answers. It then defined you as an anti-Semite if you answered yes to six of the 11 questions….

    link to bloombergview.com

  8. Kay24
    May 19, 2014, 12:01 pm

    “Finally, the ADL makes no secret of its own pro-Israel agenda. Israel, like the ADL itself, feeds off the perception of worldwide anti-Semitism, which serves to portray the country as a necessary refuge for Jews from the threat of persecution.”

    Most zionist controlled polls should be taken with a pinch of kosher salt. This poll seems so skewed, and it’s conclusions rather dubious, considering who conducted these polls, and their devious intent, to keep justifying Israel’s crimes, the occupation, and the thefts of lands, and other resources. Their definition of “anti-semitic” should also be doubted, as we know anyone who calls them an apartheid nation, or calls for boycotts, are also labelled “anti-semitic” Israel is one of the most disliked nations in the world (for good reason), and it has more to do with it’s crimes, and human rights violations, than for what religion they follow. According to a BBC poll, Pakistan, North Korea, and Iran, are also in the same disliked category as Israel – and it is not because of their religions either. To keep the occupation going, they have to whine about being hated and having to “defend” itself. The ADL does not pretend it is concerned about defense for other religions, or people. They are blatantly doing the bidding of an alien nation, and only one nation.

    • Citizen
      May 19, 2014, 12:43 pm

      Yep. To any aware American, the ADL is part of the 5th column in the USA, a Trojan horse if there ever was one. After the US fights Iran for Israel, all this will be popular history. We will be dead of course. History will show how Israel and its fifth column in the USA took down the USA from its privileged perch. It might also show how the USA finally had to take down Israel for its own survival as at least a modestly powerful nation. In Jewish History, this will go down as the USA being like Ancient Egypt, Alamak. And remainder Jews will create a new holiday for it around the world. So what’s new?

      • tokyobk
        May 20, 2014, 2:38 am

        Its Amalek.

        But I guess “Remember the Almak” would be a more catchy phrase in your dystopic future.

        At least your posts are always consistent though: The eternal (so what’s new?) and interloping Jew, a cancer on the host body, ever regrouping to further menace the (otherwise peaceful and moral) world.

      • tree
        May 20, 2014, 5:51 am

        TBK, haven’t you got anything better to do than call everyone here an anti-semite? Is that what you consider your primary function here? (Besides putting words in other people’s mouths, of course?) Inquiring minds want to know.

      • Citizen
        May 20, 2014, 7:42 am

        @ tokyobk
        Have fun putting nasty words in my mouth? Anyone here can track my comments since 2007 on this blog. People here can decide for themselves whether or not there’s a fifth column now in the USA. If interested, they can even start here: http://www.israelshamir.net/shamirReaders/english/Gates–Israels-Fifth-Column.php

    • ckg
      May 19, 2014, 5:45 pm

      @Kay24. I’m glad you mentioned that 2013 BBC poll of world opinion, which put Israel in the same pariah class as North Korea, Pakistan, and pre-Rouhani Iran. What I find striking is the timing. The BBC’s annual poll was released 52 weeks ago this week. Did the ADL time its poll’s release to create context for the soon-to-be-released 2014 BBC poll?

      • Kay24
        May 19, 2014, 5:55 pm

        It is highly possible. I have seen this BBC poll state the same thing for a few years, and some hasbara types have even ridiculed the BBC (the usual attack on those who highlight facts), but BBC seems undaunted.
        They can dish out, but totally incapable of taking it. There is no doubt Israel is now a pariah state, and this last fiasco concerning refusal of accepting peace, will turn even more nations against it.
        The US is ready to work with a united Palestinian government, according to WH officials, and Germany and France are ready too. I hope it is the beginning of Israel’s isolation. Perhaps that is why they are desperate to kiss Modi in India.

      • German Lefty
        May 19, 2014, 6:10 pm

        I’m glad you mentioned that 2013 BBC poll of world opinion

        Here’s the 2013 result for Israel again: link to intifadagr.files.wordpress.com
        I am curious about this year’s result. Can Germany beat its all-time low of 8% positive views?

  9. W.Jones
    May 19, 2014, 12:31 pm

    David,

    You wrote:

    Take “Jews think they are better than other people.” (QUESTION FOUR) But even more basically, some might have agreed with that question because they believe that almost every group thinks they are better than other people. Don’t Americans generally feel superior to other people? Don’t many people think the French think they are better than other people? What if someone concludes that all groups of people, including Jews, think they’re special? There is plenty of evidence of this universal tendency of self-promotion.

    Yes, especially when you consider that Christians, Muslims, Jews, even atheists, have a major religious, philosophical, or moralistic component that very often inclines them to think of their community as better.

    Perhaps most problematical is the statement “People hate Jews because of the way Jews behave.” (Question 9) …In fact, even one who is generally pro-Israel but believes that other people unfairly hate Jews because of Israel’s behavior would agree with the statement as crafted by the ADL!

    I think that the survey is implying that the “good” answer is that people are either intolerant because of inherent traits or that the behavior is so blameless that you cannot say that it is the behavior that caused the intolerance. But in any case, you are basically correct. Even if a behavior is blameless, narrow minded people frequently become intolerant because of the behavior.

    Consequently, Questions 4 and 9 can by definition be said to describe many groups, (eg. atheists and Christians’ self-perceptions and reactions to their behavior), and are at least “Probably True” statements.

    So my guess is that if you asked a poll “Do Muslims, Christians, and Jews each think that their religious community is better than others”, or “Intolerant people don’t like others out of intolerance for their customs or actions”, then you would receive very many positive responses. The statement “Does Group X think that they are better?” can connote that it is singling Group X out, and people may instinctively react against that kind of question, even if it is not really an illogical question.

    • W.Jones
      May 19, 2014, 12:49 pm

      Do you believe that Jewish and non-Jewish citizens of every country in the world, including yours, should be guaranteed fully equal rights under the law?
      My guess is that some theocratic nations would have trouble with this one, but it’s an excellent question that an international organization must ask people.

    • W.Jones
      May 19, 2014, 1:08 pm

      I couldn’t vote Yes or No for some other questions because I can’t generalize about Jews, which is what the questions want you to do. I can’t generalize based on whether someone is Jewish if they do or do not have a certain “loyalty”, etc. I could not even pick “Don’t Recognize”, because I do recognize the question, but it is asking people to make a stereotype one way or the other.

      • German Lefty
        May 19, 2014, 3:49 pm

        it is asking people to make a stereotype one way or the other.

        Exactly! What upsets me is that the ADL and other groups who conduct this kind of surveys have a double standard when it comes to stereotyping. They demonise negative stereotyping, i.e. when the respondents agree with the statements. However, they totally approve of positive stereotyping, i.e. when the respondents disagree with the statements.

    • German Lefty
      May 19, 2014, 4:03 pm

      Christians, Muslims, Jews, even atheists, have a major religious, philosophical, or moralistic component that very often inclines them to think of their community as better.

      I agree with that. As an atheist, I think that atheists are “better” than people who worship imaginary beings and/or fear being punished by imaginary beings. By “better” I mean more enlightened and rational. However, just because I don’t think highly of god botherers doesn’t mean that I want to deny them equal rights.

      • Daniel Rich
        May 20, 2014, 4:54 am

        @ German Lefty

        Q: By “better” I mean more enlightened and rational.

        R: I think it makes life a lot easier, because you don’t have to worry about an invisible deity with a distinct liking for certain primates.

      • W.Jones
        May 20, 2014, 10:12 am

        Hi German Lefty,

        That is an interesting discussion I would be happy to have with you elsewhere. For example, it was quite surprising that the Armenian genocide (1/5 million, half of all Armenians killed) was inflicted not by the Islamic, traditional religious Ottoman Sultans, but the secularist Young Turks. Hitler’s ideology was actually not Christian either and in fact he called Christianity “Bolshevik”. And not to say that Stalin was all bad (he instituted racial equality), but he shot about 2 million people and had a GULAG. And then you have Pol Pot, etc. Consequently, I am quite doubtful whether atheists are really better, instead of having a religion that teaches positive moral behavior, even if religious folks have lots of hypocrisy about this.

        But in any case, Yes, you have proved that Statement Four can easily be a correct statement. And maybe I have too, if I implied that Religious people were better. Haha.

        But I would not put “True” for this question, but only “Probably true”.

      • Woody Tanaka
        May 20, 2014, 12:21 pm

        “Hitler’s ideology was actually not Christian either and in fact he called Christianity ‘Bolshevik’.”

        Actually, there is quite a bit of dispute about that and the exact nature of his religious views and his views on Christianity. At the very least, it is very clear that he was not atheist.

        “Consequently, I am quite doubtful whether atheists are really better, instead of having a religion that teaches positive moral behavior, even if religious folks have lots of hypocrisy about this.”

        This is a common, nonsensical mistake on your part. “Atheism” is about whether there is a god or gods and does not speak to morality. In fact, these are separate spheres which are mistakenly believed to be intertwined. In none of the examples you is atheism the catalyst for the offense. Rather, they were caused by things like nationalism, politicial ideology, personal greed and ambition and the like. In other words, irrationality. And while religion is irrational, it is not the only source of irrationality.

        So all you did was demonstrate that good government must be based on rationality and not irrationality. And, again, while atheists have removed one source of irrationality, it is foolish to suggest that there could be no others.

        “Consequently, I am quite doubtful whether atheists are really better, instead of having a religion that teaches positive moral behavior, even if religious folks have lots of hypocrisy about this.”

        This is a logical fallacy. You are conflating the question of theism with the issue of morality. (Would it not, then, be best to have an atheist be taugh positive moral behavior?) They are separate. You are also assuming that religion, in fact, teaches a postive moral behavior, which is questionable at best.

      • W.Jones
        May 20, 2014, 7:35 pm

        Hello, Woody.
        You are still agreeing with my larger point, that Q. Four is “probably correct” because even semi-religious-based communities, like that surrounding Judaism, have at least a slight tendency to see themselves as better.

        In fact, your view is not that Atheism is an exception, but rather that it includes Atheists, but that you happen to think that in the case of Atheists it is true. Thus, we do not disagree about the larger point. About the lesser point of whether Atheists generally are better, I would be glad to have this discussion on another place online (may we post such a link?)

      • W.Jones
        May 20, 2014, 8:06 pm

        Hello again.

        As to the question of whether Atheists actually are better, my guess is that as a general rule they are no better than religious people. Religious people have in common a belief in a higher power or powers, while Atheists do not. A person who believes in the higher power can believe that they have someone to answer to, and this can instill a sense of accountability.

        The idea of a God is probably a bit like thinking about an afterlife, UFOs, or life on other planets. Rational arguments can be made, fleeting evidence for or against it can be found, etc. Since rational arguments can be made by intelligent philosophers like Descartes, it does not mean that a religious person is not a competent thinker. At worst, he or an atheist has a weak spot in this regard. But perhaps a weakness in one area creates a strength in another. Studies have been done showing strengths or weaknesses related to religion.

        One objection you made is that Stalin and others were not motivated by Atheism, but by some other factor, like another ideology. The latter may be true, but perhaps religion could have played a role in preventing it, by, say, giving Stalin a sense of accountability.

        I find it remarkable that the Young Turks were such secularists and yet committed such a high scale of genocide of Armenians, unusual for even the last several centuries of Turkish history under the Sultans, when my presumption would have been that conservative Muslims would have done this.

        If people every week hear or give lectures on morality and being good to people, my sense is that it acts like at least some form of small pressure against them constantly performing wickedness and said, even though the world is rife with both, along with hypocrisy. I think that if people are to think that such systems are just garbage, it increases the likelihood that they will also throw out positive morality. If they are working in a prison and beating people, then if they stop hearing and thinking about kindness for at least that brief time because they turn Atheist, I don’t see how it will help, and expect that the weekly lessons will be just one less positive pressure for them to think about.

        Another objection you make is that if a person is Atheist they may not be any less likely to hear about morality than a person with religion. It’s true that some cults or religious groups might not focus on morality, but my sense is that generally if someone is religious it is statistically much more likely that they will belong to a religion that includes a positive moral code.

        In conclusion, my impression is that Atheism is a bit like nihilism, while Theism has more of a sense of accountibility and a sense of a collective, so I am more doubtful of a generalization that Atheists are better. Atheists might think that Atheists are better, but I don’t agree with making such a generalization.

        By the way, I am Christian, and while I think Christians think that they are better, I am not certain if this is really the case. My guess is that I would “probably” agree that being Christian is generally better than otherwise because it includes what I find to be a preferable moral code.

        Does that make me a Christian supremacist? Well, I also think that a frightening number of Christians don’t follow the positive moral code and that many people of other religions and Atheists do a better job of morality, including a better job than me!

      • Keith
        May 20, 2014, 8:22 pm

        WOODY TANAKA- “So all you did was demonstrate that good government must be based on rationality and not irrationality.”

        Your comment touches upon an aspect of political economy that is complicated and difficult to discuss, but I am going to attempt it. First of all, prior to the industrial revolution and the rise of capitalism, virtually all governments were justified by religious mythology, the divine right of kings, etc. The separation of church and state was a necessary condition for the replacement of royalty by the economic elites as the de facto rulers of society, justified both by economic ideology and by democratic mythology. I say democratic mythology because while we claim adherence to democratic rule, we are, in fact, a plutocracy ruled by the economic elites who manufacture consent. And while the rule of the pre-capitalist royalty was based to a significant degree upon adherence to religious mythology, capitalism depends less upon ideological fealty than it does upon money power and an all-encompassing market. In fact, the genius behind capitalism as a system of social control is its unique ability to monetize power.

        Government, now as then, is based upon power and elite power-seeking. Essential voluntary compliance of the citizenry/subjects is achieved through the use of ideology/mythology which misrepresents reality in such a way as to facilitate elite goal seeking. Modern capitalism also makes use of market mechanisms along with the promise of power attainment through capital accumulation.

        The bottom line to all of this is that the correlation of rationality to good governance is somewhat problematic. The fact is, most of us are not as rational as we think ourselves to be, there are deeper forces at work easily exploited by those with the power to do so.

      • Citizen
        May 21, 2014, 1:45 pm

        Hitler made sure the race laws he implemented left out himself and Jesus Christ. There’s documented evidence he sometimes viewed himself as Christ in the temple with a whip, when he visited Weimar Berlin, etc.

      • Woody Tanaka
        May 21, 2014, 3:09 pm

        “You are still agreeing with my larger point, that Q. Four is “probably correct” because even semi-religious-based communities, like that surrounding Judaism, have at least a slight tendency to see themselves as better.”

        I wouldn’t go that far. I understand your larger point, and I believe that the question is awful, but I don’t think that any particular group is more or less likely to believe that. If you want to say that humans have a tendency to view the groups they belong to as being better than other groups, then I would agree, but only in a very, very general sense.

        “In fact, your view is not that Atheism is an exception, but rather that it includes Atheists”

        I wouldn’t dispute that Atheists, as much as anyone, have this same tendency.

        My only point was that the issue isn’t one of religion v. atheism, but, rather, of irrationality v. rationality. I don’t think that Atheists are better or worse. Some are more rational than the average religious person, some believe in completely nonsense but simply don’t believe god exists.

      • Woody Tanaka
        May 21, 2014, 3:14 pm

        @W. Jones,

        I’m sure that for some people, a weekly discussion of morality is beneficial to their behavior, but I would be willing to bet that for many, the reverse is true, that they’re getting a weekly dose of irrationality that they would otherwise not imbibe. How many people are against people who happen to be gay because of religious indoctrination? If they’re getting weekly lessons in anti-gay attitude, that’s not good.

        Moreover, I don’t believe that your statement regarding Stalin and accountability are well founded. I think those people who rely on such things would simply find another in the absence of religion (such as an obligation to society or fear of the law or more personal bases), and I also don’t believe that someone with a personality like a Stalin or Hitler would find the notion of accountability to be a barrier at all. Indeed, Hitler believed that Providence set him on his mission.

      • Woody Tanaka
        May 21, 2014, 3:17 pm

        @Citizen,
        “Hitler made sure the race laws he implemented left out himself and Jesus Christ.”

        How did he leave himself out? My understanding is that he considered himself to be of pure Aryan stock.

        My understanding is that Hitler subscribed to an “Aryan Jesus” variant, whereby Jesus was actually a European born in a garrison town in the Gallilee who fought against the Jewish officials and that it was Saul/St. Paul who infused Jewishness into him.

      • Woody Tanaka
        May 21, 2014, 3:20 pm

        Keith,

        I could quibble with some parts (e.g., pre-modern government was a bit more diverse than you let on, with divine right of kings not being accepted anywhere near a universal fashion, such as in Rome where during the Republic and even into the Imperial period, they believed that governmental legitimacy stemmed from the people), but I agree about the use and presence of mythology, dogma, belief, etc., as it is used and abused by the ruling class. Modern governments are not exempt. Indeed, the US has one of the worst set of founding myths to shield the powerful from the gaze of the people onto the reality of powerful’s rule.

      • German Lefty
        May 20, 2014, 3:12 pm

        I am quite doubtful whether atheists are really better

        The examples that you mentioned are exceptions. And as we all know, exceptions prove the rule ;-)
        There is only one feature that all atheists have in common. And that’s the lack of a belief in imaginary beings. In this respect, we are indeed “better” than god botherers.
        Except for our irreligion, atheists don’t necessarily have anything in common. Unlike religious groups, atheists are not a community with common values. We are individuals with individual views, because each of us thinks for himself/herself. So, if some other atheist violates human rights, then this has nothing to do with me and doesn’t harm my reputation.

        having a religion that teaches positive moral behavior

        Since when do things like homophobia, misogyny, and genital mutilation of defenceless children count as positive moral behaviour?
        Here’s my favourite Steven Weinberg quote:
        “Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.”

      • Daniel Rich
        May 20, 2014, 7:01 pm

        @ German Lefty,

        Q: ‘But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion’ – Steven Weinberg

        R: No matter how much of an anti-christ I might be, that notion is absolutely wrong.

        Psychology of torture.

        No need for religion, only the willingness to obtain the ‘truth’ at any cost/s, via any means at one’s disposal.

        We can call it [euphorically] ‘rendition flights,’ but I see them as flights to hell, instigated by those who pretend to defend ‘democracy’ and who don’t give a ‘F’ about whatever ‘overlord’ might be out there.

      • tree
        May 20, 2014, 7:11 pm

        But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.

        Or, more often lately, bureaucracy.

        Eichmann didn’t do what he did out of religious fervor. Nor did those who enforced the starvation of Ukrainian “kulaks” rely on religious thought. In both cases immoral acts were done out of ideological fervor and the overarching institutional power that allowed the dehumanization of other people. Religion was not and is not a necessary element. Weinberg was wrong in this case.

        And I can give you numerous personal examples of atheists exhibiting homophobia and misogyny. It isn’t just a religious failing.

      • tree
        May 20, 2014, 7:28 pm

        Full disclosure on my part: I’m an atheist.

      • Elisabeth
        May 20, 2014, 10:19 pm

        There is a much better saying:
        ” Religion makes good people better and bad people worse.”

      • Donald
        May 21, 2014, 12:47 am

        “Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.”

        Tree and Daniel did a good job refuting this. A friend of mine loves that Weinberg quote. But it’s false.

      • Woody Tanaka
        May 21, 2014, 3:24 pm

        @tree

        I think you misread Weinberg, because you took out the word “good.” I think one would be hard pressed to find someone who would claim that Eichmann or those who enforced the starvation in Ukrain were “good people.”

        That being said, I don’t quite agree with Weinberg because he ignores other sources of such evil.

      • German Lefty
        May 21, 2014, 4:42 pm

        @ tree & Woody

        I think you misread Weinberg, because you took out the word “good.” I think one would be hard pressed to find someone who would claim that Eichmann or those who enforced the starvation in Ukrain were “good people.”

        I was just going to write the same in less good English.

        I can give you numerous personal examples of atheists exhibiting homophobia and misogyny.

        So what? This does not refute my statement that religion teaches homophobia and misogyny. I have NEVER claimed that religion is the ONLY cause of homophobia and misogyny. However, it is clearly the most frequent cause.

        I don’t quite agree with Weinberg because he ignores other sources of such evil.

        I don’t think that he ignores other sources of evil. The other sources of evil are implied in the expression “evil people”.
        Weinberg said: “Without [religion], you would have [...] evil people doing evil things.”
        How could there be irreligious “evil people” if there are no other sources of evil?
        The Weinberg quote is perfectly accurate.

      • German Lefty
        May 21, 2014, 4:50 pm

        @ Elisabeth

        “Religion makes good people better and bad people worse.”

        I disagree with that saying. How does starting to believe in an imaginary being make me a better person?

  10. Baldur
    May 19, 2014, 12:58 pm

    David: You are completely correct in your conclusions. The only necessary and sufficient criterion should be whether you think all people should be equal under law. If you think some group of people (in this case Jews specifically) should have more rights, or that some people should have less rights (which essentially is the same thing), you are a racist.

    I believe that in order to see what is a just resolution to the I/P conflict we must stop framing it as a conflict between two peoples, and start using the perspective of equal rights. Currently, a lot of people see it as “Israelis versus Palestinians – who do you support?” when it really should be “racism versus equal rights” – the right of equal treatment under the law and the right to not be ethnically cleansed from where you live. Further adherence to the so-called peace process will only result in more land theft and other injustices – supporting a two-state solution might seem like the right thing, but in reality you are just prolonging Palestinian suffering.

    There is no people on earth which has an inherent right to an “own nation” (whatever that would mean). On the other hand, all people have the right to be equal under the law and free from discrimination. Currently, Palestinians languish under a military occupation in the West Bank where Israeli Jews are given land and protection by the occupying state. Jews who want to immigrate to Israel can do so, however Palestinians who have historically lived there are forbidden from even entering. We must stop focusing on the fix idea that Palestinians must have a nation of their own (which is about as odd as the idea that Jews must have a nation of their own).

    I would look at the struggle in South Africa for a precedent to this change of mind. Some native South Africans might have wanted the whites out of “their” country – this was obviously a vain struggle. Others might have wanted a nation of their own, but it became obvious this approach was a dead end with the farcical proposed Bantustan solutions. Only at this point was it crystal clear that the only worthwhile struggle can be for equal rights. This is because neither the SA whites nor the natives have any inherent birthright at all to any piece of land on this earth. In the future, people will scoff at crazy notions about a country belonging to a people, just like we now find ridiculous the idea that a person – a king, or a baron – could have birthright to the ownership of land in times past. The only thing which will always remain worth fighting for is the universal principle of equality.

    With the recently failed peace talks, I hope the younger generation draws the same conclusions, that the best offer for a Palestinian nation there will ever be will be one of a tiny pseudo-independent Bantustan bound to Israeli control, that the struggle for equal rights is the true and only viable one. Only then can they win the peace and freedom they deserve, just like the native South Africans won theirs.

    • LeaNder
      May 19, 2014, 7:03 pm

      Baldur, David*’s is brilliant, but I have read quite a few good critiques over the years.

      Foxman no doubt supports the efforts to frame criticism of Israel generally as a sign of antisemitism.

      Yes, this was associatively on my mind: Jews sans frontiers, collection on the EU working definition of antisemitism. Which was initially supposed to become a basis for law enforcement in Europe dealing with complaints of antisemitic e.g. harassment. It no doubt has been dropped by now and the whole EU database related to the efforts have gone. But as far as I know quite a few members of the EU parliament have demanded that the “working definition” is put back to work. ;)

      But to pick up on your line of thought obliquely:
      Considering the EU has a partnership with Israel for much longer now, which, by the way, includes an annual seminars with Israel on how to best fight (no idea if I can link this really) Antisemitism, Racism and Xenophobia. One wonders does this have to remain a one way road? What about Palestinian sentiments and fears of discrimination?

      • Daniel Rich
        May 20, 2014, 7:05 pm

        @ LeaNder,

        Q: One wonders does this have to remain a one way road? What about Palestinian sentiments and fears of discrimination?

        R: Nailed it.

    • RoHa
      May 19, 2014, 7:04 pm

      Right!

  11. ThorsteinVeblen2012
    May 19, 2014, 1:15 pm

    When the question is framed in “Jews” as opposed to “Some Jews” or “Many Jews” how are you expected to get a response that doesn’t stereotype?

    When the LA Times runs a article about Jews being genetically predisposed to being smarter on the front page as they did a few years ago (without any scientific proof) and the piece becomes one of the most shared stories, is it fair to respond that some Jews believe this stuff?

    When the question is “Do Jews think they are superior?” Certainly some do, but the question offers no quantification. If it as if all Jews shared the same negative characteristics you would have a clear basis for measuring antisemitism.

    The nature of the questions promotes stereotypes.

    • seafoid
      May 20, 2014, 10:40 am

      I think it helps to look at Judaism as an elite offshoot of Christianity.
      Much of what Judaism does is defined by Christianity.

      • Citizen
        May 21, 2014, 1:56 pm

        @ seafoid
        I bet many would say much of Christianity does is defined by Judaism. Doesn’t Christianity interpret the new Testament by pointing to the Old Testament? Why is Hagee always quoting the Old Testatment to explain the New Testament?

  12. DaBakr
    May 19, 2014, 2:02 pm

    “An ADL study on anti-Semitism should be greeted with the same skepticism as a tobacco industry study on the effects of second-hand smoke.”

    That is the same thing as saying the NAACP or SPLC studies on bigotry and racism should also be greeted with skepticism just like any study done by by big tobacco industry.

    Such a patently racist and bigoted comment that it defies reason and defiles the article out its outset and lays questions the motivations of the author. I can only imagine what hysteria would follow if someone had written that a Palestinian report on Israeli oppression should be taken in the same light as a report from Monsanto on the benefits of their GMO corn. Another case of sheer hypocrisy from annals of mw writers

    • Woody Tanaka
      May 19, 2014, 2:52 pm

      “Such a patently racist and bigoted comment…”

      Oh, baloney.

      The author is not calling for rejection of the study, but skepticism. And yes, all the things you discuss: the ADL release; a study on racism by the NAACP or SPLC; a tobacco industry report on second-hand smoke; Palestinian reports of Israeli attrocities; and a Monsanto report about thier GM corn, all should be greeted with skepticism and examined in detail. And when the ADL release is examined in detail, it’s flaws are laughingly obvious, making its value zero.

      Of course, this requires thinking and actual work and is harder than your suggested action, which is, I guess is simply ask somewhat what they want you to think and think that.

      • Citizen
        May 21, 2014, 2:00 pm

        Anybody remember Bernays propaganda for cigarettes? Remember that Goebbels studied Bernays? Remember Hitler’s views on marketing in Meine Kampf?

    • a blah chick
      May 19, 2014, 6:01 pm

      The NAACP is not dedicating its time, energy or money to defend the politics of a foreign nation. A foreign nation, in this case, that doses not treat all its citizens as equals. The study was poorly constructed. The fact that Palestinians topped the list as the worst of the worst was no happenstance.

    • RoHa
      May 19, 2014, 7:30 pm

      ‘”An ADL study on anti-Semitism should be greeted with the same skepticism as a tobacco industry study on the effects of second-hand smoke.”

      That is the same thing as saying the NAACP or SPLC studies on bigotry and racism should also be greeted with skepticism just like any study done by by big tobacco industry.’

      So they should be. All studies should be greeted with scepticism and examined carefully. Is the methodology sound? Does the data support the conclusions? Are there equally sound studies supporting opposite conclusions?

      If the answers to these questions are “yes”, “yes”, and “no”, we may tentatively, provisionally, accept the conclusion, though we should be very hesitant about basing any policy on it.

      And the answers to those questions do not depend on who produced the study, whether it be Monsanto, the ADL, or the MCC.

      Knowledge that a study was produced by an interested party may inspire us to examine it particularly closely, but (contrary to popular belief among the woolly-minded) it is not a reason for rejecting the study without examination, any more than the knowledge that a study was produced by a disinterested party would be a reason for accepting it without examination.

    • Daniel Rich
      May 19, 2014, 8:15 pm

      @ DEBKADaBakr,

      Q: I can only imagine what hysteria would follow if someone had written that a Palestinian report on Israeli oppression should be taken in the same light as a report from Monsanto on the benefits of their GMO corn.

      R: Too many dead people have to disagree with you.

    • JohnAdamTurnbull
      May 19, 2014, 8:42 pm

      This makes no sense to me. Of course any report that advocates its publisher’s political position must be examined for bias. That would include all of your examples.

      The question then is, having examined the report, do we believe its data supports the claim?

      These data do not — which might be the part of Samel’s argument you skipped.

  13. James Canning
    May 19, 2014, 2:30 pm

    A survey based on that question would be very interesting indeed. (Equal rights for all citizens of a country, whether Jewish or non-Jewish.)

  14. seafoid
    May 19, 2014, 3:02 pm

    The ADL is a waste of time. Just follow their website or Foxman’s agenda for a while.
    Full scale support for the settlers/IDF and their work oppressing the Palestinians and they are supposedly anti defamation. Purest hypocrisy.

    The “Defamation” film was a very good insight into their methods.

    • W.Jones
      May 19, 2014, 4:12 pm

      What about how the Museum of Tolerance is planned to be built on the site of the Mamilla massacre and cemetary, after the memorial for the Mamilla victims was bulldozed by the Israeli State, as I recall?

      Why should the Mamilla massacre not be a prime, top-level example of the need for tolerance, instead of being bulldozed and unmentioned?

      • Walid
        May 20, 2014, 8:00 am

        Not to take anything away from the Zionist plans to bulldoze the Mamilla and put up a yet another redundant memorial, it should be remembered that a while back, the Palestinians had plans to put up an commercial building on the site.

        The cemetery that contains the remains of Christian Crusaders and Muslims of all sects that dates back to pre-Islamic times was first hit on by the Mufti of Jerusalem in 1927 that wanted to put up a commercial building on the site. At the time, the Supreme Muslim Council blocked the project as it was a historic site. In 1929, the Mufti was back at again when he decided to put up the Palace Hotel on the outer perimeter of the cemetery. When the Jewish contractor reported to him that remains of the dead showed up during the digging, the Mufti told him to quickly remove the bones and bury them elsewhere.

        In 1944, the British officially declared the site as an antiquities site but the following year, the “Palestine Post” reported the the Supreme Muslim Council with the Government Town Planning Adviser decided to put up a commercial center on the site but the project for some reason failed to materialize.

        On the Israeli side of the borders of the Mamilla after 1948 and up to 1964, Israel did not waste any time bulldozing parts of the cemetery to turn them into a parking lot and public toilets. Since then, Independence Park and several government buildings have been built on the Israeli side of the Mamilla site. In 2005, Israel bulldozed more graves to make way for underground electric cables.

        And now with this bogus tolerance museum story, it’s simply more of the same desecration started a long time ago by both Palestinians and Israelis. In other words, nothing to be really shocked about.

      • Woody Tanaka
        May 20, 2014, 9:14 am

        I think your analysis is faulty. The facts regarding what occurred in 1929 and 1944 are irrelevant to the question of how the site is viewed by Muslims and Palestinians today. (Indeed, to bind someone’s opinion to that of another person simply because they are of the same religion and ethnicity is one of the hallmarks of prejudice.) The fact that they believe, today, that it is a notable of sacred space is sufficient to make the issue legitimate.

      • Walid
        May 20, 2014, 1:21 pm

        Woody, you worry about the cemetery and rightly so, but there are bigger problems to worry and write about such as the almost half of the real estate in Jerusalem proper being owned by the Greek Orthodox Church and has been either sold or rented on dark moonless nights on super long leases to the Zionists since over 5 decades. The Knesset is built on land leased from the church and so is the PM’s residence, the museum and most government buildings and multi-use projects built downtown. Most of those leases will come to term in 2023 and that’s not that far down the road while Israel keeps up its hanky-panky with the Greek Patriarch that it has approved for the position. I’d worry more about what’s about to happen with those leases than with the cemetery.

      • W.Jones
        May 20, 2014, 10:19 am

        En contraire. In terms of logic, A Museum of Tolerance that desecrates other religions’ grave and massacre memorial site over Palestinians’ objections is more “shocking” than the electric cables.

        The massacre of Christians I refer to, with the Byzantine memorial placed there for the martyrs, refers to the 7th century AD events. That is, the massacre of Christians who refused to convert was explicitly an act of intolerance, and for the Museum of Tolerance run by the religion of the perpetrators to build on the site after their memorial was removed (and destroyed?) against Palestinians’ wishes is intolerant.

        If the Mufti built the shopping center against the church’s objections, the shopping center would be insensitive, but at least a bit easier to stomach under the circumstances.

        By the way, may I ask what your religion is, out of friendly curiosity?

      • Walid
        May 20, 2014, 1:13 pm

        W. Jones. I seem to have given the wrong impression. I’m not condoning in any way the desecration of any cemetery of any religion, I was trying to make the point that now Palestinians are pointing a finger at the Jews for doing it while forgetting that Muslims too did it in the past, especially by the highest Muslim authority in the land, the Mufti of Jerusalem. Of course it’s very wrong whether by Jews or by Muslims.

        For your BTW, it’s Muslim, but I’m not averse to criticizing Muslims when I see them in the wrong. How many more museums do the Jews need to get the point across? I think they’re up to over a hundred worldwide and more are planned. Doesn’t anybody believe in diminishing returns any more? With many holocaust museums all over France, 75% of France’s Jews don’t feel at home there anymore. How many more museums are needed to make that number 100%?

      • Daniel Rich
        May 20, 2014, 7:11 pm

        @ Walid,

        But how about all those midnight phone calls to elderly Palestinians, encouraging them to ‘sell’ their property now and live in it till they die, by you know who?

      • Hostage
        May 20, 2014, 11:39 am

        In other words, nothing to be really shocked about.

        The Wiesenthal Center certainly complains when Jewish cemeteries are vandalized, whether or not its considered a standing tradition. The Lobby even helped get legislation adopted to help end the problem. The provisions of 18 U.S.C. § 956 regarding damage to religious or cultural property in a foreign country applies to the folks in the LA headquarters of The Simon Wiesenthal Center:

        (b) Whoever, within the jurisdiction of the United States, conspires with one or more persons, regardless of where such other person or persons are located, to damage or destroy specific property situated within a foreign country and belonging to a foreign government or to any political subdivision thereof with which the United States is at peace, or any railroad, canal, bridge, airport, airfield, or other public utility, public conveyance, or public structure, or any religious, educational, or cultural property so situated, shall, if any of the conspirators commits an act within the jurisdiction of the United States to effect any object of the conspiracy, be imprisoned not more than 25 years.

      • W.Jones
        May 20, 2014, 4:43 pm

        Hello, Walid.

        In the 7th century, the modern nationalists’ predecessors conquered the land in alliance with the Persians and massacred thousands of captured Christians at Mamilla when the latter would not accept conversion out of Christianity. It is a major massacre, persecution and martyrdom, and their cothinkers are recorded as killing huge numbers of Christians elsewhere in the Middle East. Afterwards the Byzantines made a memorial there, which the Israeli State removed or destroyed. It should be considered scandalous. of course, Armenians are having a hard enough time getting their own genocide recognized.

        I understand what you are saying about how Muslim leaders disregarded the cemetary, and I know in fact that Muslims have destroyed churches and I appreciate your objectivity about those things and your ability to criticize Muslim rulers.

        But for the nationalists to build a Museum of Tolerance on the site over the objections of their victims’ descendants’ objections is shocking and offensive nonetheless. The Muslim rulers you mention were not the perpetrators, nor were they insensitively and ironically proposing a Tolerance museum over the site that would presumably avoid paying much attention to it.

    • Walid
      May 20, 2014, 10:23 am

      It’s not just the ADL, seafoid, these polls are a great for spooking Jews by fanning their paranoia. A similar poll just released in France shows close to 75% of French Jews are thinking of leaving France. How’s that for spook effect?

      From JPost today link to jpost.com :

      Poll: Three out of four French Jews mull leaving France By JTA
      05/20/2014 09:09

      The survey results released Monday by the Siona organization of Sephardic French Jews, encompassed 3,833 respondents from the Jewish community of France.

      Nearly 75 percent of thousands of French Jews who participated in a recent survey said they are considering emigrating.

      The survey results released Monday by the Paris-based Siona organization of Sephardic French Jews, encompassed 3,833 respondents from the Jewish community of France, Siona said.

      Of the 74.2 percent of respondents who said they are considering leaving, 29.9 percent cited anti-Semitism.

      Another 24.4 cited their desire to “preserve their Judaism,” while 12.4 percent said they were attracted by other countries. “Economic considerations” was cited by 7.5 percent of the respondents.

      In total, 95.2 percent of all respondents to the online survey conducted by Siona from April 17 to May 16 said they viewed anti-Semitism as “very worrisome” or “worrisome.”

      Slightly more than half, or 57.5 percent, of respondents, said “Jews have no future in France,” while 30.6 percent said there is a future for Jews there.

      • Daniel Rich
        May 20, 2014, 7:28 pm

        @ Walid,

        Could it be that Europe’s suffering from a ‘post-colonial’ influx of non-European entities that arrived on its shores to fulfill those jobs most Europeans refused to do?

        It seems to me that, in quite a few countries on the old continent, far-right and anti-immigration parties are faring pretty darn well. When I was in Paris, one of the things that struck me was its multicultural aspect [a bit like LA/SF/NY]. Could it be [in this case] that France’s past is catching up with her?

        What do you make of articles like these;

        The Islamization of France in 2013

        French City with 40% Muslim Population is the Most Dangerous City in Europe

  15. Kay24
    May 19, 2014, 5:56 pm

    This may have been posted before, but if you want to see a biased zionist writer desperately trying to spin for Israel, this is it:
    link to washingtonpost.com

    • just
      May 19, 2014, 6:28 pm

      aaargh– Jennifer Rubin.

      • Kay24
        May 19, 2014, 10:17 pm

        I agree. Eeeew Jennifer Rubin. Heh.

  16. LeaNder
    May 19, 2014, 6:10 pm

    At that time, France had a modest score of 20% while neighboring Spain was more than double at 48%. In the new survey, Spain dropped to 29% while France now exceeds it at 37%. What happened over the last five years to cause these two countries to shift so dramatically in opposite directions?

    Good question. But if I recall it correctly in the survey of the European Agency for Fundamental Rights last year France showed the similar trend. Yes: Fact Sheet: Factsheet – Jewish people’s experience of discrimination and hate crime in European Union Member States That is the short version. See pdf page 2. 70 % fear to become victims of verbal abuse and harassment. While 60% fear physical attacks. There were no doubt some incidences that may have raised fear.

    On the other hand support for BDS is considered antisemitic by apparently quite a few of the respondents everwhere. So would the confrontation with a BDS supporter be judged as harassement too? I remember I would have liked to see more of the data, when I read the survey.

    And strictly, the strenght of the Front National in France wouldn’t make me feel too comfortable either. They were quite successful lately. On the other hand Marine Le Pen dropped antisemitism and took a strong anti-Immigration and law and order turn.

  17. Daniel Rich
    May 19, 2014, 8:11 pm

    The following might be of interest; Steven Pinker – Jews, Genes and Intelligence | 1 of 4.

  18. traintosiberia
    May 20, 2014, 9:59 am

    Every decade has its Jackie Mason or Bill Maher who brandish their ability to tap dance with the dominant zeitgeist of the decade – freedom of expression, poking fun at supposed mass idiocy ,berating people for failure to ignore what define them,attacking any racial hatred as long as it does not end up adding any positive points to Islam ,exercise limited to accepted model of public behavior as long as the comedian gets to spread sinister provocative ,potentially violent impulsivities against Muslim . He or she does it using the visibility of the public domain but controlled by private groups.

    Here is a critique of Maher – link to reason.com. – but a milder one. It is time to expose these so called Zionist hangers on who are selling themselves as atheist to cover the track of the facts that their anti muslim hatred emanate from allegiance to Zionism.

  19. American
    May 20, 2014, 12:38 pm

    Where is the poll on how many Jews dislike/blame/stereotype Gentiles and Christians?
    Where is the poll on how many Israelis hate Arabs?

  20. NickJOCW
    May 20, 2014, 9:15 pm

    The whole issue is irrational. There is a great deal of prejudice around, as most comment threads in popular media readily illustrate. It’s exacerbated by the assumption that we must all have opinions about everything and there is by extension something disturbing about those who might say they have no opinion. I know this myself because it’s my most frequent reply when asked for an opinion on things I haven’t studied or people I do not know. But you must have an opinion. Why? Head shaking bafflement.

    If people feel obliged to have opinions then it more or less follows they will fall broadly into being ‘pro’ or ‘anti’ and once that is determined they can become as passionate as supporters of this or that football team. The only realistic assessment of anti-Semitism seems to me the incidence of anti-Semitic actions, desecration;, virulent abuse. etc. And even then it can only be meaningfully judged when assessed against other forms of the same behaviour directed against other groups. Taking Jews alone while ignoring everyone else provides for obvious distortion and the fact that groups of Jews and some of their supporters do this quite deliberately is simply perverse. Much historical ‘anti-Semitism’ arose not because of what Jews were but what they were not. The expulsion of all non-Christians from Spain at the end of the fifteenth century is an obvious example and there are many others. We appear to be witnessing the latest version of the McCarthyism of the Fifties, but this time fostered by it’s supposed victims!

  21. Kay24
    May 21, 2014, 4:44 pm

    This is so hypocritical…the ADL denounces the horrible Geller anti Muslim poster, but says it is free speech. Now, since of late we have seen time and time again, people calling for boycotts, criticism of Israel, and even John Kerry, was chided by Foxman for suggesting Israel will become an apartheid nation, and they were all silenced.
    ADL Statement:
    “It is startling and deeply disappointing that a diplomat so knowledgeable and experienced about democratic Israel chose to use such an inaccurate and incendiary term….

    [I]t was undiplomatic, unwise and unfair. Such references are not seen as expressions of friendship and support.” – from Mondoweiss article.
    Huh? Free speech?
    link to haaretz.com

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