Living in Israel isn’t the solution to antisemitism

Middle East
on 98 Comments

“Europe will forever be tainted”, wrote Haaretz journalist Anshel Pfeffer in the wake of the terrorist attacks against Charlie Hebdo magazine and the kosher supermarket in Paris. “It will always be the continent of expulsion, blood libels, numerus clausus, ghettos and the Final Solution.” 

It was an ominous warning to European Jewry that it “may be too late” to save them from discrimination, hatred and violence. “Freedom of speech is shrinking in Europe”, Pfeffer concluded, “hemmed in on all sides by libel laws, political correctness, financial pressure and religious intimidation.” Jews would inevitably flee, he argued, if “freedom and tolerance” didn’t survive across Europe; instinctively Jews knew the history of pogroms, expulsions and death camps and never felt safe away from Israel. 

This is the debate that never goes away. It’s a discussion that lurks under the surface of almost all arguments on the future of the Jewish people and the Jewish state. Terror in France has unpicked a scab that never heals, unleashing insecurity over what it means to be a Jew in the 21st century and where to live it. Growing numbers of French Jews are moving to Israel, claiming they feel safer there than in their birth country, happy that they can openly wear a kippah [skullcap] and comforted with an army to protect them. There’s little comment about what that military actually does to the Palestinians, occupying and brutalising them daily.

It was a highly selective argument forcefully made recently by Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, telling French Jews that they were only secure under his nation’s protection, though he was slammed for shamelessly appropriating a tragedy for political gain. Israel even pressured one of the Jewish victim’s families to be buried there.

Too much of the discussion in the last weeks has revolved around a clash of civilisations narrative, with refined Europe, Israel and the west on the one side and barbaric extremism of the Muslim fanatic on the other. This is a gross insult to the truth. Moroccan-Dutch writer Abdelkader Benali explains that the reason so many European Muslims are disenfranchised, and a tiny minority are attracted to violent jihad, is because “Muslims are every bit as European as the Roma, gays, intellectuals, farmers and factory workers. We have been in Europe for centuries and politicians and the press must stop acting as if we arrived yesterday. We are here to stay.” Both Said and Cherif Kouachi, the Charlie Hebdo killers, had a long history of radicalisation against France, the US and Jews.

Increasing numbers of Muslims have argued that Islam itself needs to become far more capable of both tolerating and accepting blasphemy in a non-violent way and acknowledging that virulent antisemitism, not simply in response to Israeli violence in Gaza or the West Bank, is a rising problem. Not all anti-Jewish hatred is about Israeli crimes in Palestine (though it is one of many causes). The Jews of France have felt increasingly targeted for the act of being Jewish. Historical anti-Semitism was always about targeting the “otherness” of Jews, playing on stereotypes that today finds an expression in Islamist attacks on Jewish centres of learning. Muslims also face deep discrimination for their faith, practices and alleged association with terrorism. In fact, separatist groups are the largest majority of perpetrators of political violence in Europe, not Islamist jihadis. For example, in 2013 there were 152 terror attacks across Europe and only two were “religiously motivated”, according to Europol.

Israel is hardly a good model of tolerance and plurality; there’s a reason European boycotts are surging, more young Israelis are refusing to serve in an occupying military and prominent Zionist groups decry intermarriage as treason. It’s a delusion to believe that Jews are either safer in Israel than in Europe or more able to live peaceful lives. The narrative pushed by Netanyahu that all Jews of the world should move to Israel – 90% of his election funding comes from American Jews, proving that a Jewish diaspora remains an essential support base for maintaining Israeli policies – cynically expands the belief that Jews are the eternal victim (despite now having a country with nuclear weapons). Islam is framed as the enemy, an image recently tweeted by the Israeli embassy in Ireland.

Instead, Israeli writer Orly Noy explains, it’s easier to “promote a worldview in which there is no national conflict, no occupation, no Palestinian people and no blatant disregard for human rights. There are only Jews and Muslims. Turns out we look a lot better fighting a religious war than we do running an occupation.” Free speech is constantly under threat in Israel with a vocal and active far-right, Jewish fundamentalist movement. 

Hypocrisy over free speech principles defines this debate. Muslims are accused of having no sense of humour over depictions of the Prophet Mohammed and yet Israel and its backers routinely try to censor images critical of the Jewish state.

France, with its historical and ongoing record of colonial adventures in Africa and the Middle East, claims to believe in free speech but wants to silence those with whom it disagrees. The Charlie Hebdo massacre should enlighten us to the real power of satire and how it affects those with and without power. Is it a false comparison to say that if you can insult the prophet Muhammad, you should be able to poke fun at the Holocaust? Does British journalist Mehdi Hasan have a point when he says that “Muslims are expected to have thicker skins than their Christian and Jewish brethren”?

British political parties such as the UK Independence Party have mainstreamed anti-Muslim rhetoric of the type once experienced by Jews. “The cold truth is that organised suspicion and denigration of Islam is the new antisemitism”, argues historian John Keane. Islamophobia is a scourge despite the term being dismissed by the French prime minister.

So what are Jews to do from Australia to Europe to America? In a recent survey, a majority of British Jews said they couldn’t imagine a long-term future in England, concerned with rising anti-Semitism. This Jewish feeling of insecurity is real and can’t be easily dismissed. British police have recently stepped up patrolling Jewish communities and soldiers in Belgium are guarding Jewish sites. The threat exists.

The answer isn’t more state surveillance, as proposed by Australia, Britain, France and the US, nor mass emigration. The facts speak to a vibrant Jewish diaspora that has the right, in light of the 20th century, to settle and be safe wherever they want. Fleeing to Israel isn’t the answer. It would be a “blatant capitulation to terror”, suggested Israeli reporter Chemi Shalev.

Israel has framed itself since its inception as a “light unto the nations”. “There is no demographic or practical existence for the Jewish people without a Jewish state”, Netanyahu proclaimed in 2010. But the vast bulk of global Jewry feels secure in their own multicultural country with full rights and responsibilities, a transformation from 100 years ago when Jews were often ghettoised.

Living in Israel isn’t the solution to antisemitism, though many like the concept of a Jewish state despite its racial exclusivity. Modern Jewish identity isn’t about cowering in fear but should be about building decent communities that accept the diversity of human existence.

About Antony Loewenstein

Antony Loewenstein is an independent journalist currently based in Israel/Palestine and author of many books including Disaster Capitalism: Making A Killing Out Of Catastrophe (Verso, 2015)

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98 Responses

  1. just
    January 22, 2015, 11:24 am

    Thank you very much, Antony. Well done.

    (No surprise that you are acquainted with Ahmed Moor)

  2. pabelmont
    January 22, 2015, 11:48 am

    Of course, Jews in France (etc) will wish to remain and be safe.
    But Bibi’s horrible remark (invitation) is quite useful — it reminds Europeans that terrorism is coming to visit them at least in part because of Israel’s horrible treatment of the Palestinians.

    Let us hope that the French will see the utility (reducing terrorism) of getting out of what are not unreasonably seen as USA’s wars against Islam and also ending support for Israel-as-occupier-and-excluder of Palestinians.

    • Walid
      January 22, 2015, 1:23 pm

      “Let us hope that the French will see the utility (reducing terrorism) of getting out of what are not unreasonably… ” (Pabelmont)

      Today, Manuel Valls announced his intention of undoing the ghettos of France by relocating certain sectors of the polulation to avoid having the underprivileged all concentrated in same schools or same ghettos. The VAT tax was lowered to 5.5% in 1300 underprivileged neighbourhoods and is preparing incentive programs to help newly married young couples in HLMs to purchase homes in other parts of the city. The master plan should be ready by March.

      http://www.lefigaro.fr/politique/le-scan/citations/2015/01/22/25002-20150122ARTFIG00328-contre-la-ghettoisation-manuel-valls-veut-initier-une-politique-de-peuplement.php

      • OyVey00
        January 22, 2015, 1:57 pm

        Which will only lead to the middle and upper classes moving out of districts where their new neighbors are being resettled, thus creating new ghettos. See America for reference.

      • amigo
        January 22, 2015, 2:37 pm

        “Today, Manuel Valls announced his intention of undoing the ghettos of France by relocating certain sectors of the poplulation to avoid having the underprivileged all concentrated in same schools or same ghettos.”Walid.

        Amazing what a little push from the right people can achieve.

        “Maariv today published an astonishing story. Anyone reading this blog is used to the brutishness of the Shin Bet. But usually it’s reserved for Palestinians, Arab journalists, and air travelers with Arab “racial” profiles. We would never expect it to be meted out to the elected leader of a country that is an Israeli ally.

        On the day of the memorial service for those slain in the kosher supermarket attack, Prime Minister Manuel Valls sought to take his seat in the synagogue with the President, Francois Hollande and Israel’s leader, Bibi Netanyahu. As he approached his seat, his path was blocked by a Shin Bet agent who refused to allow him to pass until Netanyahu had taken his own seat. According to Valls, the agent grabbed his arm and forced him to wait until the Israeli had seated himself.

        Valls shouted at him in French and English:

        You don’t make the rules here. You provide security for the prime minister of Israel, that is all.” Valls.

        http://www.richardsilverstein.com/2015/01/18/shin-bet-manhandled-french-prime-minister-in-paris-grand-synagogue-bibi-insulted-french-jewish-leadership/

        I guess Valls showed who makes the rules in France, eh.

      • just
        January 22, 2015, 2:57 pm

        He made a wonderful speech on Tuesday:

        “PM Valls: France must address ‘territorial, social and ethnic apartheid’ – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/01/counter-confront-hypocrisy#comment-739767

        Looks like he meant it.

      • Krauss
        January 22, 2015, 5:15 pm

        The problem with Valls approach is that he essentially views it through monetary terms. Throw money on it and it will solve itself. I think that is very naive. This is a much deeper issue. A lot of white liberals think the whole world wants to be like them.

        Well, a lot of the rest of the world keep telling these white liberals: not really. But if you’re convinced that you lead the most moral lifestyle of all, there’s no real need to listen to anyone else.

        Folks in these gettoes are not always like those in America. Often these people live in these places out of religious reasons. They want to be surrounded by what they see as a properly Islamic lifestyle. Forcing them out, such a French solution. Everything can be solved by a government decree! And what if they refuse? And does lowering the VAT, will that really help?

        The problem on Valls’ hands is that he has a large population which is really not identifying with the French society for a variety of reasons, and lowering taxes won’t change that.

        And just moving the poor muslim population around; that’ll be really popular with the white middle class. Watch Le Pen win in 2017.

  3. DoubleStandard
    January 22, 2015, 11:50 am

    He’s right. The solution is after more than 1500 years of European anti semitism is continued fealty to Europe. Political correctness and 21st century tolerance will succeed where everything else has failed.

    • Mooser
      January 22, 2015, 7:37 pm

      “Political correctness and 21st century tolerance will succeed where everything else has failed.”

      And yet it seems to work for Jews in the US, even as the US has demonstrated its capacity for treating other people very badly. Gosh, I wonder what the difference for Jews between Europe and the US is?

  4. Krauss
    January 22, 2015, 12:50 pm

    Nicely written.

    I’d just cynically add that I’ve kept hearing how Europe is somehow this place of no return, yet I note that I don’t see Europeans(whether they are in Europe or of European ancestry in NA, ANZ) jumping to live with Jews. Most Europeans are fine with Jews these days, but it’s Jews who keep moving to European-majority countries.

    And even if we take France as an example, most of the French Jews that have left haven’t even gone to Israel. Only about a few thousand have. The vast majority go to other Western countries, and often in Europe itself.

    Even if we take Anshel himself as an example, he had amazing coverage of Ukraine when the conflict was around. He was there physically for months. He tweets obsessively about the debate in the House of Lords on Israel.

    Considering that the Middle East is blowing up, doesn’t he have to do more in his own neighbourhood than hawking over a debate in the British parliament?

    My point is that Anshel’s own rhetoric fails to match his deeds. It’s a fact that the Islamic world was more tolerant to Jews than Christian Europe yet how much of Islamic heritage has Israel embraced? You’re more likely to find a lot of knowledgable Jews on matters of Western philosophy than you are on Arab or even Islamic philosophy in general, which is crazy, considering that Israel is in the Middle East and not in Europe.

    I read his kind of commentary and I never fail to be amused by the amazing psychological dissonance. As for free speech, to be brutually frank, most of the stringest laws have usually been pushed by Jewish lobby groups under the umbrella of “hate speech”, which is a vague and ever-expanding definition. They’ve tried the same in the US but in America, they have something called the 1st amendment(something Europe desperately needs).

    It’s more than a little funny to read Ashel writing, unironically, about the slipping of free speech in Europe.

    • Antidote
      January 24, 2015, 3:46 am

      “they have something called the 1st amendment(something Europe desperately needs).”

      Europe hardly needs any fantasies, and that’s what the 1st amendment is in the US:

      “Now it is beyond dispute that what the media is doing in Ferguson is vitally important and that the arrest and incarceration of reporters is a scandal. And there is no denying that we learn something important about the scale of police lawlessness when they cross the line into arresting journalists, who are traditionally off-limits.”

      http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/jurisprudence/2014/08/ferguson_s_constitutional_crisis_first_amendment_violations_are_only_part.html

      And how did the 1st amendment work out for one of its staunch defenders, journalist Helen Thomas?

      Tejo Cole in a recent issue of the New Yorker:

      “Western societies are not, even now, the paradise of skepticism and rationalism that they believe themselves to be. The West is a variegated space, in which both freedom of thought and tightly regulated speech exist, and in which disavowals of deadly violence happen at the same time as clandestine torture. But, at moments when Western societies consider themselves under attack, the discourse is quickly dominated by an ahistorical fantasy of long-suffering serenity and fortitude in the face of provocation. Yet European and American history are so strongly marked by efforts to control speech that the persecution of rebellious thought must be considered among the foundational buttresses of these societies. Witch burnings, heresy trials, and the untiring work of the Inquisition shaped Europe, and these ideas extended into American history as well and took on American modes, from the breaking of slaves to the censuring of critics of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

      Rather than posit that the Paris attacks are the moment of crisis in free speech—as so many commentators have done—it is necessary to understand that free speech and other expressions of liberté are already in crisis in Western societies; the crisis was not precipitated by three deranged gunmen. The U.S., for example, has consolidated its traditional monopoly on extreme violence, and, in the era of big data, has also hoarded information about its deployment of that violence. There are harsh consequences for those who interrogate this monopoly. The only person in prison for the C.I.A.’s abominable torture regime is John Kiriakou, the whistle-blower. Edward Snowden is a hunted man for divulging information about mass surveillance. Chelsea Manning is serving a thirty-five-year sentence for her role in WikiLeaks. They, too, are blasphemers, but they have not been universally valorized, as have the cartoonists of Charlie Hebdo.”

      http://www.newyorker.com/culture/cultural-comment/unmournable-bodies

      • just
        January 24, 2015, 8:59 am

        Thanks Antidote.

  5. hophmi
    January 22, 2015, 1:37 pm

    “Is it a false comparison to say that if you can insult the prophet Muhammad, you should be able to poke fun at the Holocaust”

    Yes, for a number of reasons:

    1. It assumes that the problem is poking fun at Muhammed. The problem is depicting Muhammed in any fashion at all, which radical Islamists have made clear is forbidden.

    2. Poking fun at a religious figure is very different than poking fun at an historical event.

    3. The comparison assumes that European cartoons never poke fun at Jews. That’s simply untrue.

    4. The comparison omits the fact that the people calling for banning depiction of Muhammed regularly publish anti-Jewish cartoons in their newspapers.

    • Mooser
      January 22, 2015, 7:41 pm

      “2. Poking fun at a religious figure is very different than poking fun at an historical event.”

      That’s so true, Hophmi! Religious figures, especially those long dead, just strut around going “Yeah what do I care” but “an historical event” is sensitive! And you can make them “uncomfortable” and they say they “feel unsafe”. Historical events care what people say about them.

      • hophmi
        January 28, 2015, 11:19 am

        Yes, poking fun at the established facts of an historical event is different than poking fun at a religious belief. People who poke fun at the Holocaust tend to be antisemites, and antisemitic Europeans have a history of murdering Jews, and as much as the French preach this laicite nonsense, a couple more attacks like Charlie Hebdo, and the place will really turn on its Muslims. There won’t be another march. There will just be a lot of National Front supporters cutting down Muslims in the street. That’s why Europe has anti-Holocaust denial laws, much as I personally oppose them on principle as violative of free expression and as encouraging people to speak in euphemisms rather than in frank language. Europe understands on some basic level that it is prone to this brand of extremism like, frankly, the rest of the world is. We are seeing that play out again now; a radical left party in Greece has allied itself with an antisemitic rightist party to govern a country where an overtly neo-Nazi party polled at more than 10%. We all know this script. When Syriza inevitably fails to pull Greece out of its financial mess, what do you think will follow it? The same is happening in Spain. In France, more than a fifth of the population would make Marine Le Pen President. In every country on the continent, Muslims and Jews face some kind of discrimination. So, you’ll pardon me when I hear nonsense about how Europeans have moved on from their past mistakes. The cancer of hatred is still there. It’s just been in remission for awhile.

  6. Daniel Rich
    January 22, 2015, 1:50 pm

    Q: French philosopher Bernard-Henri Levy challenged the world at the first-ever U.N. General Assembly meeting devoted to antisemitism [all Arabs/Muslims/Palestinians fully excluded] to take action to counter the rising hatred of Jews, which he denounced as “radical inhumanity.”

    R: Act like a true human being and I will treat you like one.

    We’re all victims today, Henry…

    • Krauss
      January 22, 2015, 5:18 pm

      Oh yeah, Levy, that guy who is a neocon. Always wants intervention in the Middle East. He lives in France but his heart is in Israel(and in Likud Israel to be precise).

      If Le Pen came to power in 2017 and didn’t touch the Jews but threw out the muslims, he’d be officially pained but privately pleased.

    • RoHa
      January 22, 2015, 7:16 pm

      “French philosopher”

      You had to toss that in, didn’t you? Smearing by association.

      I’m sure there are some French philosophers who are not total frauds, pseuds, and pillocks.

      Somewhere.

      • Mooser
        January 24, 2015, 12:15 pm

        “I’m sure there are some French philosophers who are not total frauds, pseuds, and pillocks.”

        And many of them downright lascivious!

  7. OyVey00
    January 22, 2015, 1:54 pm

    We have been in Europe for centuries and politicians and the press must stop acting as if we arrived yesterday.

    You do? I don’t think there were many Moroccans in Europe 100 years ago.

    Anyways, the core cause for anti-semitism has always been that Jews live in gentile societies, but don’t assimilate. This causes ethnic friction, which is a completely normal process. The early Zionists recognized this problem and wanted to cure it by transforming Jewry into a “normal” nation with an own state and its own territory. So far, so good, but – Palestinians aside – the project has ultimately failed since most Jews apparently do not want to live in the Jewish state.

    So, in other words, if Jews leave Europe, the Anti-semitism here will probably decrease. Which is good for Jews if they want to spend their holidays in Europe in the future.

    • Laurent Weppe
      January 22, 2015, 7:19 pm

      You do? I don’t think there were many Moroccans in Europe 100 years ago.

      That’s because the descendants of Moroccans who had settled in Europe during the middle ages and intermarried with the locals had completely forgotten that who they were descended from.

      ***

      Anyways, the core cause for anti-semitism has always been that Jews live in gentile societies, but don’t assimilate

      On the contrary: it’s when Jews started to assimilate, left their ghettos and integrated the middle-class that antisemitism’s modern, virulent, and extremely murderous form took shape. The same thing is happening today with Muslims in western Europe: the greater the number of Muslims who cease to be impoverished newcomers to become full fledged competitors becomes, the more Islamophobia grows: this is no accident: at its core, racism is a desire to enforce a rigid social hierarchy when one’s ethnicity is institutionally privileged at the expense of everyone else.

      • OyVey00
        January 23, 2015, 3:07 am

        But those are neither Moroccans nor Muslims anymore (or have been 100 years ago). And I think invoking the memory of the Islamic conquest of Spain is not exactly helpful for this guy’s cause.

        And you’re missing my point. As a group they never assimilated, which is why they were seen as a foreign body in the first place.

    • Mooser
      January 22, 2015, 7:57 pm

      “You do? I don’t think there were many Moroccans in Europe 100 years ago.”

      Yes, it’s actually only since WW2 that Europe has really opened itself to the rest of the world. Even the countries and peoples of the Mediterranean basin (on the South and East side, of course) were unknown to them. A Moroccan in Europe? Would have caused a sensation on the street, maybe a riot.

      “Anyways, the core cause for anti-semitism has always been that Jews live in gentile societies, but don’t assimilate. This causes ethnic friction, which is a completely normal process.”

      And I’ve been wondering about that my whole life, and never really came up with an answer which integrated all the facts in such a unified and elegant manner, explaining the entire thing in two sentences. Well, I can stop wondering now! Maybe it is short, but look how much Albert Einstein explained with just a couple of letters, common mathematical symbols, and a number.

      • gamal
        January 22, 2015, 10:11 pm

        “it’s actually only since WW2 that Europe has really opened itself to the rest of the world”

        thats not really true, and “Europe” often had little say in the matter, you never hear Genes complaining “You never take me anywhere” :

        “he told the Edinburgh international book festival, despite a long-held belief that its ethnic make-up was largely Scots, Celtic, Viking and Irish, Scotland was in fact “one of the most diverse nations on earth”.

        “The explanation is simple. We are a people on the edge of beyond; on the end of a massive continent. Peoples were migrating northwest; and they couldn’t get any further. We have collected them.”

        He and his colleagues have found West African, Arabian, south-east Asian and Siberian ancestry in Scotland. “The West African ancestry mostly originates in the 18th century,”…..

        “One per cent of all Scottish men, said Moffat, have Berber ancestry – why, he says, remains a mystery, though he believes that the penetration of people from the medieval caliphate of Cordoba “must have been immensely important”.

        http://www.theguardian.com/uk/2012/aug/15/scotland-dna-study-project

      • Pixel
        January 23, 2015, 4:47 am

        Mooser, Mooser, Mooser…

        You DO have such a way with words. LOL

      • Mooser
        January 23, 2015, 12:35 pm

        a way with words. LOL

        I more often feel words are having their way with me.

        But now that you mention it, I do have just a little bit of trouble reconciling what I know of Jewish history, and world history, wars, persecutions, expulsions, secret practice, conversions, various second-class forms of citizenship or worse, converting back, emigration, immigration,and don’t forget we were a proselytizing, conquering (in our own little way, of course) and converting religion for a while, too, with tracing my ancestry back 3000 years. I don’t know why, but the two seem just a little incompatible.

    • ToivoS
      January 22, 2015, 8:32 pm

      oy vey opinions: I don’t think there were many Moroccans in Europe 100 years ago

      Well your thinking is wrong. Human haplotype studies show many genetic similarities between the peoples of Spain and NW Africa that indicate significant migrations (in both directions) going back many centuries. These signatures are independent of religious affiliation. Indeed, after the Spanish inquisition the only requirement to remain in Spain was conversion to Catholicism so it appears that many Moroccans at that time did so. This intermingling has been going on for many centuries if not millennia.

    • RoHa
      January 22, 2015, 9:06 pm

      Surely the “we” in “We have been in Europe for centuries” means Muslims in general.

      • Mooser
        January 23, 2015, 12:44 pm

        I went to have my haplotypes tested, and it came back, was analyzed, and the doctor said I was more the hapless type. So not everybody has them.

    • Antidote
      January 24, 2015, 11:37 am

      “I don’t think there were many Moroccans in Europe 100 years ago.”

      As a matter of fact, the first mass migration from Morocco to Europe happened almost exactly a century ago, coinciding, unsurprisingly, with France putting an end to a millennia of Moroccan independence and establishing a French “protectorate” (euphemism for colony). The “scramble for Africa” played a major role in the outbreak of WW I during which France was keen to import Moroccans as cheap and docile labourers and soldiers. About a third of the Moroccan diaspora (about 4 million) still lives in France, another third in other European countries. Most of them are Muslims, followed by Jews and Christians, in that order.

      Of course, there is nothing new about Africans serving in European Imperial armies:

      “Africans have been present in Europe from classical times. In the 2nd and 3rd centuries Roman soldiers of African origin served in Britain, and some stayed after their military service ended. According to the historians Fryer, Edwards and Walvin, in the 9th century Viking fleets raided North Africa and Spain, captured Black people, and took them to Britain and Ireland. From the end of the 15th century we begin to see more evidence for the presence of Black Moors in the accounts of the reign of King James IV of Scotland, and later in Elizabethan England.”

      http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/pathways/blackhistory/early_times/moors.htm

      You may also want to check out the origin of the “Moors” who ruled Spain, Portugal and Southern France for about 700 yrs, starting in the early 700s.

      Migration is nothing new in Europe. Contrary to popular belief, it is essential to European history.

      • OyVey00
        January 25, 2015, 7:52 am

        And basically all of these mass migrations were caused by war, famines and other disasters, with the invaders typically displacing the peoples who lived on the land before.

        Is that the case you want to make for mass immigration into Europe?

      • Mooser
        January 25, 2015, 2:43 pm

        “Is that the case you want to make for mass immigration into Europe?”

        Very good, “OIyVey00” you are starting to let people see what you are. Now, don’t be shy. Just speak directly and simply, and communication will be lots easier. If you have decided to air your views here, why not make them plain to all?

      • OyVey00
        January 25, 2015, 5:09 pm

        What am I then?

      • Mooser
        January 26, 2015, 5:33 pm

        “What am I then?”

        A jaded roue, I suspect, and frankly, no better than you should be.

  8. michelle
    January 22, 2015, 3:11 pm

    .
    seems like the aggression is better attributed to anti-‘Israelism’
    .
    G-d Bless
    .

  9. David Samel
    January 22, 2015, 4:22 pm

    Many liberal Zionists – even genuine ones, who make valuable contributions to the debate – defend their preference for the continued existence of a Jewish State by arguing that it is a necessary last refuge lest murderous or genocidal anti-Semitism rear its ugly head anywhere in the world. Let’s put aside for the moment the question of whether it is moral to have a state that distinguishes among its citizens based on ethnicity and ancestry because of the highly speculative fear of Holocaust II. There is an even more fundamental flaw in this liberal Zionist argument.

    If global anti-Semitism is the problem, is Israel truly the answer? What is more likely to exacerbate the problem of anti-Semitism than an aggressively militaristic state that purports to act on behalf of the Jewish people worldwide and actively enjoys the strong support of a large percentage of Jews living outside its borders? Anti-Semitism is not caused by Jews demanding full equality and security in the lands in which they live. It is heightened by a Jewish State that grants rights to Jews all over the world over people of the “wrong” ethnicity who were born in historic Palestine, and regularly goes on killing sprees of untermenschen to “defend” itself. In other words, Israel is the problem not the solution. An uptick in anti-Semitism does not enhance the necessity for the Jewish State, but should invite scrutiny of the jeopardy Israel poses to Jews throughout the world. Of course, this fits in nicely with the agenda of people like Netanyahu, who do not at all mind causing an upsurge in anti-Semitism in order to motivate Jews to “return” to their supposed homeland.

    As for Jews being able to protect themselves and not rely on anyone else to do it for them, that is not the case anyway. Israel relies extremely heavily on the world’s greatest superpower, a country that is 90+% of Christian background. Moreover, countries that have a significant Jewish population are extremely likely to protect their citizens from anti-Semitic attack, even to the extent of arresting people like Dieudonne.

    • just
      January 22, 2015, 4:33 pm

      Well said, indeed. Thank you.

      • hophmi
        January 22, 2015, 7:48 pm

        Yes, well said, if you like people who’ve internalized their persecution.

      • Mooser
        January 22, 2015, 8:17 pm

        “existence of a Jewish State by arguing that it is a necessary last refuge lest”

        And of course, Israel cannot promise that, as you point out.

        I’ve been wondering lately, speaking of “tribal unity”, how many of Israel’s founding promises, or announced intentions Israel has made good on? Has Zionism delivered on any of its promises to the Jewish peoples, or to the world at large?

      • Mooser
        January 26, 2015, 11:41 am

        “Yes, well said, if you like people who’ve internalized their persecution.”

        Hophmi, don’t you ever get tired of out-of-date cliches?

  10. eljay
    January 22, 2015, 5:21 pm

    The solution to acts of injustice and immorality committed against minorities – or any other group of people – is justice, accountability and equality, universally and consistently applied.

    The solution was not, is not and never should be a supremacist state.

    >> “There is no demographic or practical existence for the Jewish people without a Jewish state”, Netanyahu proclaimed in 2010.

    Bibi, like other Zio-supremacists, is full of sh*t. As long as people want to be Jewish, that is all the practical and demographic existence that is needed to keep Jewish and Judaism alive.

  11. RoHa
    January 22, 2015, 7:00 pm

    “Europe will forever be tainted”

    Forever? As the Devil said, that is a sod of a long time.

    http://www.inf.fu-berlin.de/lehre/WS06/pmo/eng/audio/Devil.pdf

  12. yonah fredman
    January 22, 2015, 8:59 pm

    Seems like an article with some depth of thought. But this paragraph jumped out at me:

    “Hypocrisy over free speech principles defines this debate. Muslims are accused of having no sense of humour over depictions of the Prophet Mohammed and yet Israel and its backers routinely try to censor images critical of the Jewish state.”

    What bushwa. Let a thousand pens and a thousand nonviolent protestors take to the streets in objection to depicting the prophet. Let the Muslims be as sensitive as they want. But nonviolent protests and murders, that is the problem. To draw a comparison between murder and letters to the editor: now that’s propaganda.

    • Walid
      January 22, 2015, 9:30 pm

      “Seems like an article with some depth of thought. But this paragraph jumped out at me:

      … What bushwa. Let a thousand pens and a thousand nonviolent protestors take to the streets in objection to depicting the prophet. Let the Muslims be as sensitive as they want… ” (Yonah)

      Seems like something or other is jumping out at you almost every day, Yonah, what do you say to having non-violent protests about people questioning the Holocaust or making fun of it like Dieudonné does rather than simply throwing a criminal charge at them? Or does your suggestion apply only to Moslems?

      • yonah fredman
        January 22, 2015, 9:42 pm

        Because of my American roots I am opposed to almost all limits on free speech, including those on Dieudonne. I think he’s a scumbag and possibly dangerous, but i would not limit his speech.

      • Walid
        January 22, 2015, 9:58 pm

        “but i would not limit his speech.”

        I would because it creates problems, same with the cartoonists at Charlie Hebdo that are doing it simply to create a stir and sell magazines, not because it’s a cultural statement. Your American roots gave you a false sense on what freedom of speech is about.

      • Mooser
        January 23, 2015, 12:48 pm

        “Because of my American roots I am opposed to almost all limits on free speech”

        Still, Yonah, you only needed to sign the petition demanding the reinstatement of Prof. Saliata once, not five times. Your signature won’t “go missing”. “Yonah Fredman, his fucking self” was a little over-dramatic, too, but everybody could read it without their spectacles on.

  13. ToivoS
    January 22, 2015, 9:28 pm

    This whole notion that European or American Jews will find safety in Israel is really bizarre. Maybe they will be safe there for a few decades but to think of it as a permanent solution is simply wrong.

    Here is why. Most of the Jews being asked to come to Israel are relatively well off citizens of their current countries enjoying a cultured bourgeois life. Where will they live? Obviously the West Bank is out being already settled by those uncouth fanatics and lower class immigrants from places like Peru, Ethiopia and Brooklyn. For the most part that leaves the Tel Aviv metropolitan area. Now how safe is that city?

    Israel was born in war with its neighboring states and have yet to find acceptance. They therefore decided 50 years ago to introduce nuclear weapons into their arsenal for protection. That might have made sense if they were the only ME power to ever posses such weapons. Can that monopoly in nuclear bombs be guaranteed into the future? If not, then it makes Tel Aviv an unsafe place to live if you want your children and grandchildren to be safe. Here is where the Israeli military and city planners failed to act in concert. It turns out that 80% of Israeli Jews now live in the Tel Aviv metropolitan area. That city might be considered a big but it should be noted that the city fits inside the blast radii of 4 Hiroshima sized atomic bombs.

    Who in their right mind believe they could build a family that would survive more than a few generations in that environment? So today, Israel is using the current hysteria in France to to encourage Jews to move to Israel. Talk about jumping out of the fire pan into the fire

  14. just
    January 22, 2015, 11:25 pm

    “The French Muslim ignored by Israel

    The African man who saved the lives of at least six Jews in Paris has gone largely unacknowledged by the Jewish state, which judges people not by their acts but by their color and religion.

    Lassana Bathily’s name probably does not mean very much to many people. He is a black Muslim immigrant, a 24-year-old Malian citizen who….

    You might have thought that the above sentence was going to continue with a verb, such as “murdered,” “raped” or, at the very least, “stole” — but no. Bathily, the 24-year-old black Muslim immigrant, is the man who saved at least six Jews from being murdered during the terror attack at the Hyper Cacher supermarket in Paris, where he worked, by hiding them in the walk-in freezer and turning off its power switch.

    Within a week, the French interior minister granted him the citizenship he had applied for six months earlier. This was after about 300,000 French citizens who regarded Bathily as a national hero signed a petition asking that the government do so.
    …..

    The Israeli media wrote about Bathily, even calling him a hero, for a single day only. And what about the prime minister, the government ministers in general, who dropped everything to go to Paris for the solidarity march, speak in the synagogue there and bring the four victims, who in their deaths seemingly bequeathed Zionism to themselves and to all Jews, to Jerusalem for burial? Did any one of them have a good word for Bathily? Did any one of them thank him, or anything of the kind?

    Perhaps Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu mentioned Bathily and his action during his visit to the scene of the crime in Paris, as was written on an obscure website. But nothing more than that, if that even happened at all. While it is true that Bathily, the black Muslim, is not one of the Righteous among the Nations by the canonical definitions customarily used in the Jewish state, does he not deserve at least thanks, praise, recognition and appreciation for his courageous act in saving Jews?

    It would seem that he does not. The prime minister made no speech lauding his act. The Israeli government issued no statement praising him. No Israeli minister went to visit him. No ambassador, not even an ambassador’s secretary, was sent to Bathily to convey gratitude, a gift, or anything at all. No Knesset member called to invite him to Israel for a trip to Masada or a vacation in Eilat. No Israeli citizen organized or signed any petition calling on our government to express gratitude to him in some form. Nothing.

    Because the truth is that we are a racist country, from the prime minister on down to the grassroots citizen. If the person who saved Jews at the Hyper Cacher supermarket had been a French white Christian instead of a black Muslim immigrant, we would have done for him, a thousand times over, what we did not do for Bathily. And if Bathily had immigrated to Israel by mistake instead of to France, we would not have allowed him to work in a supermarket, and we certainly would not have granted him citizenship. Instead, we would have locked him up in some awful “facility” in the desert. After all, we, government and citizens alike, regard and treat human beings not according to their actions, but solely according to their color, origin, nationality, religion and ethnicity.

    Every other language on earth calls this racism. We call it Zionism.”

    http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.638333?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

    Pretty disgraceful, eh? Ouch.

    • Walid
      January 23, 2015, 12:54 am

      Just, disgraceful is how today the Zionists tell lies about the Arab and Moslem treatment of Jews. During WW II, about 1500 French Jews were hidden by Moslems in the Paris Mosque, given fake Moslem IDs and smuggled out of the country by French Arabs. Also during the war, in Morocco, the king protected the 200,000 Jews from having to wear the yellow star as in France or from being deported by the Vichy government. In Beirut during its 1975 civil war, the Palestinian militia protected the Jewish neighbourhoods and provided the inhabitants with food.

      Kirsten Schulze in her book about the Jews of Lebanon wrote that 3 years after the the 1948 war between the Arabs and the Israelis:

      “… In 1951, during the Passover celebration, the president of the Jewish community Joseph Attie held a reception at Beirut’s Magen Avraham synagogue which was attended by Lebanese Prime Minister Sami as-Solh, Abdallah Yafi, Rachid Beydoun, Joseph Chader, Habib Abi Chahla, Charles Helou, Pierre Gemayel and the Maronite Archbishop of Beirut,”

      https://deensharp.wordpress.com/tag/jews-of-lebanon/

      That sure doesn’t sound like the Jews were not welcome in Beirut. In the list of names that attended the reception at the synagogue, all were Moslem and Christian VIPs of which 2 became prime ministers and one became President.

      • RoHa
        January 23, 2015, 1:20 am

        Not to mention (and they don’t) all the Muslim soldiers – Moroccans, Indians, Palestinians, Libyans, Nigerians, etc. – who fought against the Nazis. The Allied troops who swept into Paris weren’t New Zealanders.

    • aiman
      January 23, 2015, 4:43 am

      Israel judges people on how best they serve Zionism. This man’s actions contradicted the clash of civilizations meme Israel has been promoting in the west for ages. For eg. Paul Berman, an intellectualy dishonest Zionist, has even written a book on African-American-Jewish solidarity called Blacks and Jews. The answer is always: what’s good for Zionism which many Zionists even translate as what’s good for the Jews having conflated the two. Zionists have been exploiting many Indigenous and coloured people in arguments for equality etc. while supporting a fascist, apartheid state run by their co-ideologues. It’s always about what’s good for them. Even ethics is seen through a tribal lens.

  15. John Salisbury
    January 23, 2015, 12:19 am

    Very proud of our homegrown thinkers down here in the Antipodes i.e. … Antony
    p.s. Has a heart as well as a brain .

  16. German Lefty
    January 23, 2015, 4:56 am

    “It will always be the continent of expulsion, blood libels, numerus clausus, ghettos and the Final Solution.”
    -> Yeah, right! And Israel is totally different. Israel is pure perfection.

    “Freedom of speech is shrinking in Europe”, Pfeffer concluded, “hemmed in on all sides by libel laws, political correctness, financial pressure and religious intimidation.”
    -> And who is responsible for these laws? The law against the denial or trivialization of the Holocaust was passed at the behest of the Zionists. The law is used to silence people who say, “Never again to anyone!”

    “Muslims […] have been in Europe for centuries and politicians and the press must stop acting as if we arrived yesterday.”
    -> Sure, as soon as European Muslims stop acting as if they arrived yesterday. As long as they behave like unassimilated immigrants, they will be viewed as unassimilated immigrants.

    “We are here to stay.”
    -> That’s exactly what the Zionists say about the Jewish settlements in the West Bank too. Therefore, this statement sounds more like a threat by criminals.

    “Increasing numbers of Muslims have argued that Islam itself needs to become far more capable of both tolerating and accepting blasphemy in a non-violent way.”
    -> Yes! As long as Islam is that intolerant, asking us to tolerate Islam is tantamount to asking us to tolerate intolerance.

    “90% of his election funding comes from American Jews, proving that a Jewish diaspora remains an essential support base for maintaining Israeli policies.”
    -> OMG! That’s even worse than I thought!

    “This Jewish feeling of insecurity is real and can’t be easily dismissed.”
    -> But it should be dismissed, because it’s paranoia. This Jewish feeling of insecurity is mainly caused by Zionist propaganda. Also, I assume that most British Jews are Zionists themselves. And supporting settler-colonialism does NOT make you popular. If British Jews want to become more popular, they need to stop supporting the Zionist apartheid regime.

    “British police have recently stepped up patrolling Jewish communities and soldiers in Belgium are guarding Jewish sites. The threat exists.”
    -> The existence of security measures doesn’t prove the existence of a threat. Just because there are security measures doesn’t mean they are actually necessary. European states should not reinforce the paranoia of Jews by paying for their unnecessary security measures.

  17. German Lefty
    January 23, 2015, 5:18 am

    Dutch ex-minister: World peace if Israeli Jews move to US
    Herman Heinsbroek says it was ‘a historical error to give the Jews their own country’ in Islamic Middle East
    http://www.timesofisrael.com/dutch-ex-minister-world-peace-if-israeli-jews-move-to-us/

    • hophmi
      January 23, 2015, 11:30 am

      Really? Was it? Maybe it was a mistake to allow Germany to exist after World War II. Maybe your country should be carved up and ended. I mean, your country started two World Wars and murdered tens of millions of people in cold blood. What right does it have to exist, let alone style itself the richest and most powerful country in Europe?

      You’re a little too privileged to refer to other countries, least of all countries that came into existence partially because of the horrors past generations of your countrymen visited on others, as “a mistake.”

      • Mooser
        January 23, 2015, 1:06 pm

        Really? Was it? Maybe it was a mistake to allow Germany to exist after World War II. Maybe your country should be carved up and ended. I mean, your country started two World Wars and murdered tens of millions of people in cold blood. What right does it have to exist, let alone style itself the richest and most powerful country in Europe?”

        My, my, such improvident speech, Hophmi. Do you really want to discuss the brass-tacks differences which enabled Germany, whether you like it or not, to get past those debacles and defeats? The numbers, the land area, the longevity, the resources?

      • hophmi
        January 23, 2015, 1:14 pm

        Oh no. It is quite enough for me to point out the utter hypocrisy and moral cretinism of white people in ex-colonial power states referring to OTHER states as historical mistakes and calling for their peoples to leave. Ah yes. All from the safety of Christian Europe. It is disgusting.

      • eljay
        January 23, 2015, 1:33 pm

        >> hophmeee: Really? Was it? Maybe it was a mistake to allow Germany to exist after World War II. Maybe your country should be carved up and ended. I mean, your country started two World Wars and murdered tens of millions of people in cold blood. What right does it have to exist, let alone style itself the richest and most powerful country in Europe? You’re a little too privileged to refer to other countries, least of all countries that came into existence partially because of the horrors past generations of your countrymen visited on others, as “a mistake.”

        You’re quick to bluster but, as usual, you make little to no sense.

        1. Holland didn’t start two World Wars and murder tens of millions of people.
        2. Germany should not have been (and should not be) “carved up and ended” and neither should Israel. (Both states, however, should have been and should be held accountable for their crimes.)
        3. “Jewish State” is a religion-supremacist construct, not a legitimate state.
        4. The solution to acts of injustice and immorality is justice, accountability and equality, universally and consistently applied. The solution was not, is not and should never be a supremacist state of any kind.

      • Mooser
        January 23, 2015, 2:54 pm

        “Oh no. It is quite enough for me to point out the utter hypocrisy and moral cretinism of white people in ex-colonial power states referring to OTHER states as historical mistakes and calling for their peoples to leave.”

        But gee, isn’t that what you just did irt Germany?

        And nobody is calling on the Israelis to leave. If they just would stop, to begin with, some of the intransigence and illegal occupation. I’m sure that would do for a start.

        Or, if they want, they can find out why Germany survived, the hard way.

      • Keith
        January 23, 2015, 6:44 pm

        HOPHMI- “Maybe it was a mistake to allow Germany to exist after World War II.”

        You should be aware that after World War II, Russia wanted to pastoralize Germany, however, the US wanted a rebuilt Germany as an anti-communist instrument advancing US geostrategy. To this end, the US utilized the services of Reinhard Gehlen, the Nazi general in charge of intelligence on the Eastern Front, for post war intelligence. He had been removed from the list of war criminals by the US, as had so many other useful Nazis. Eventually, he became the first head of the German BND (CIA). He also played a significant role in the training of the Mossad. None of the US use of former Nazis (Klaus Barbie, operation paper clip, etc) was opposed by either Israel or the Zionists. No surprise there. Israel uber alles?

      • lysias
        January 23, 2015, 6:54 pm

        My understanding is that the one who wanted to pastoralize Germany in 1944-45 was U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Henry Morgenthau, a policy which he managed to get adopted briefly by FDR and Churchill, until people like Secretary of War Henry Stimson were able to persuade people how unwise such a policy was.

        Stalin wanted to exact heavy reparations from Germany (and removed a lot of industrial plant from the Soviet Zone of Occupation after he was unable to get the U.S. and Britain to allow plant to be removed from all the zones of occupation), but I am unaware that he wanted to pastoralize it. He certainly would have liked to communize it, or, failing that, to neutralize it.

        A great movie about Barbie, which interviews some of the U.S. Army officers involved in protecting Barbie, is Marcel Ophuls’s Hotel Terminus.

      • Whizdom
        January 23, 2015, 7:12 pm

        Generalplan Ost, was another post war plan for Poland. Armed and walled clusters and islands of ethnically homogenous victors located near natural resources and industrial centers, connected by modern roads and rail restricted for use by the victors. What remained of the former inhabitants would be allowed to live, barely, as unskilled labor, but not to organize into a political entity. Enforced by merciless discipline, fear and intimidation.

      • Keith
        January 23, 2015, 8:43 pm

        LYSIAS- “…I am unaware that he wanted to pastoralize it.”

        I based my comment on something I recall reading in one of Chomsky’s books, however, I can’t readily find it. What I did locate, however, was reference to Stalin’s note of 1952 proposing a united and neutralized Germany. To what degree neutralization would have meant certain curtailments of industry, particularly the armaments industry, I don’t know. It is also possible that I am confusing the Morgenthau call for pastoralization with Stalin’s call for neutralization. In any event, the US at the time opposed a demilitarized and reunified Germany, a fact not well known. The key point is that post war Germany developed in accordance with US objectives.

        “The Stalin Note, also known as the March Note, was a document delivered to the representatives of the Western allied powers (the United Kingdom, France, and the United States) from the Soviet Occupation in Germany on March 10, 1952. Soviet leader Stalin put forth a proposal for a reunification and neutralization of Germany, with no conditions on economic policies and with guarantees for “the rights of man and basic freedoms, including freedom of speech, press, religious persuasion, political conviction, and assembly” and free activity of democratic parties and organizations.”
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stalin_Note

      • Mooser
        January 25, 2015, 2:48 pm

        But wouldn’t it be fair to say that no matter what plans anybody had for Germany, the place was too big and had too many people in it to just dissolve, whatever their moral standing as a nation?

        If I were you, Hophmi, I’d get busy on the birth-rate. If Israel doesn’t want to be one of those innumerable countries and colonial project which went by the boards, into the ash-heap of history, no matter how high their moral standing.

    • Mooser
      January 23, 2015, 1:10 pm

      ” ‘a historical error to give the Jews their own country’”

      Hophmi, wouldn’t it be more accurate to say ‘certain Zionist agencies, land trusts and terrorist gangs’ rather than “the Jews” in that sentence?
      Who did sign for the place? Did they “style” themselves the representatives of the Jewish people?

    • ApolloSpeaks
      January 25, 2015, 12:17 am

      How could the most admirable nation in the Middle East, a model of freedom, progress, justice and peace to the region, be a historical error? Given the moral, intellectual and spiritual superiority of Israel over its primitive, dysfunctional, strife torn neighbors its existence would seem to be a historical necessity. No?

      • Annie Robbins
        January 25, 2015, 1:44 am

        the most admirable nation in the Middle East

        http://www.haaretz.com/news/world/bbc-poll-israel-among-world-s-least-popular-nations-1.525890

        BBC poll: Israel among world’s least popular nations

        The annual BBC World Service poll finds …only countries less popular than Israel are North Korea, Pakistan and Iran.

        its existence would seem to be a historical necessity. No?

        no.

      • oldgeezer
        January 25, 2015, 2:00 am

        @AppolloSpeaks
        “Given the moral, intellectual and spiritual superiority of Israel ”

        Your comments are as fictional as your chosen moniker.

        There is little to distinquish between JSIL and ISIL. Both kill and dispossess innocents in order to steal territory in which to establish their messianic states. Both are corrupt and murderous. Both place no value on life or human values. In both cases the end justifies the means. Both totally disregard human rights and international law. Both employ terrorist tactics.

        Both are contemptible.

      • RoHa
        January 25, 2015, 2:41 am

        C’mon, Apollo. You’re taking the piss, aren’t you?

      • ApolloSpeaks
        January 25, 2015, 8:16 am

        Annie Robbins notes above that Israel just bearly beats out North Korea in a BBC world popularity poll. I wasn’t aware of that. Then should Hollywood do a sequel to “The Interview” where Rogen and Franco assassinate Netanyahu? Maybe not. As Israel technologically is light years ahead of the Norks a cyber terror attack on Sony would be ten times as devastating./sarc

      • Annie Robbins
        January 25, 2015, 9:04 am

        I wasn’t aware of that. Then should Hollywood do a sequel to “The Interview” where Rogen and Franco assassinate Netanyahu?

        your comeback is outdated — so last year. everybody already thought of that immediately – and not just the blogs either.

        http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2014/12/16/why-north-korea-has-every-reason-to-be-upset-about-the-interview/

      • eljay
        January 25, 2015, 9:38 am

        >> ApolloSpeakseee: How could the most admirable nation in the Middle East, a model of freedom, progress, justice and peace to the region, be a historical error? Given the moral, intellectual and spiritual superiority of Israel over its primitive, dysfunctional, strife torn neighbors its existence would seem to be a historical necessity.

        Wow, there is so much wrong with that paragraph, starting with the usual Zio-supremacist “scraping the bottom of the barrel” comparison of the oppressive, colonialist, expansionist and religion-supremacist “Jewish State” of Israel not to the best nations in the world, but to some of its worst (Saudi Arabia, Mali and African “hell-holes”).

        1. The rapist is not “most admirable” to his victims or to supporters of his victims.
        2. One should not admire the rapist simply because murderers exist.
        3. The existence of murderers does not transform the rapist into a law-abiding citizen.
        4. There is no “historical necessity” to introduce a rapist into a neighbourhood plagued by murderers.

      • Marnie
        January 26, 2015, 3:20 am

        Nope, not at all.

  18. Whizdom
    January 23, 2015, 1:02 pm

    Psst. Hops, Heinsbroek is Dutch=The Netherlands, not Deutschland. Close though.

    • eljay
      January 23, 2015, 1:39 pm

      >> Whizdom: Psst. Hops, Heinsbroek is Dutch=The Netherlands, not Deutschland.

      I would appear that he saw German Lefty’s name, flipped out and launched into “anti-Nazi” mode.

      Very unfair to German Lefty, who did not make the statement that caused hophmeee to flip out, and who is not responsible for – and who wasn’t even around to “hold her nose” and support any of – Nazi Germany’s crimes.

      (Can’t say the same for ol’ hophmeee when it comes to “Jewish State” and its crimes, though.)

  19. yonah fredman
    January 23, 2015, 4:58 pm

    Lowenstein states: Not all anti-Jewish hatred is about Israeli crimes in Palestine (though it is one of many causes) .

    It’s hard to tell if the minimalism of this statement is honest. Israel’s existence or the Israel Palestine conflict is certainly the first topic of discussion in any serious attempt to understand Islamic Arab hatred of Jews in the year 2015 in Europe. The leap involved in attempting an alternate history: (“What would Islamic Arabs in Europe feel towards Jews if Israel had never been born?”) is quite daunting and so attempting to separate current physical threats posed to the Jewish communities of Western Europe without the question of Israel is frivolous.

    But Israel in fact is not the only cause of Jew hatred.

    Because of my personal familiarity with Jews who have been raised with the mixture of modernity and tradition and individuals who have rejected modernity and returned to “tradition” with a vengeance, I feel that I have special insight into the conflict within Islam today regarding the struggle between modernity and tradition. (By Islam I mean Islam global community rather than Islam the religion, Islam as a group rather than Islam as a belief system. Analogous to Christendom rather than Christianity.)

    Although I am sure there are individuals who feel no conflict between modernity and tradition, I feel that this conflict is natural. Modernity is focused on individualism (and though this atomization of the human race has its costs) and it seems natural to me that many individuals will feel the opposing pulls of individualism on the one hand and the group demands of faith on the other. That is the nature of a faith in modern times. There is nothing wrong with feeling pulled in different directions. Some though do not feel that they can keep both ideas (modernity and faith) in mind at the same time. Whereas some throw off faith as a result of the conflict, others reject modernity. There are large segments of the Islamic world whose ambivalence towards modernity is tinged with antipathy towards modernity. And those groups of Islam will end up hating Jews, independent of Zionism, because of the mere over representation of Jews in the culture of modernity of the late 19th and 20th centuries and also because people who hate modernity or are filled with resentment as a result of modernity somehow focus on Jews as part of their resentment.

    • Mooser
      January 25, 2015, 2:56 pm

      ” I feel that I have special insight into the conflict within Islam today regarding the struggle between modernity and tradition.”

      Oh, for sure, Yonah! Your knowledge, experience, and almost saint-like objectivity is questioned by nobody here, when it comes to Islam!

      Yes, sir, when I want well-informed, erudite and objective, disinterested comments on trends in the Muslim community, you are the first person I think of.

      Shall we go to your archive, and consult some of your former comments about Islam, so we can trace the development of this extraordinary learning and objectivity?

  20. Keith
    January 23, 2015, 5:57 pm

    “… 90% of his (Netanyahu’s) election funding comes from American Jews, proving that a Jewish diaspora remains an essential support base for maintaining Israeli policies….”

    A couple of comments. First of all, most of Netanyahu’s funding comes from American Jewish fat-cats, not some broadly based Jewish Diaspora. This is critically important because it indicates the great importance all Israeli politicians place upon pleasing the US Jewish power elite. In other words, the same elite that has significant influence over US politics has overwhelming influence over Israeli politics. This should be obvious to anyone who understands the nature of capitalism. It logically follows, therefore, that Israel’s policies reflect the input of the American Jewish elite who, in turn, support and defend these policies. Israel is more-or-less what the American Jewish Zionists want it to be. As to why this is so, I have touched upon this in the past and don’t feel like getting into it now.

  21. Mayhem
    January 23, 2015, 9:28 pm

    Is it a false comparison to say that if you can insult the prophet Muhammad, you should be able to poke fun at the Holocaust?

    Loewenstein writes with the pen of the appeasing apologist – drawing a false moral equivalence between anti-semitism and Islamophobia.

    Whereas Jews weather anti-semitism (as they have done for millenia) and take recourse through appropriate legal and media avenues; Mohammedans scream blue murder over the depiction of their prophet (even in plain vanilla terms) and go on murderous rampages when their precious sensibilities are challenged.

    Furthermore, cartoons of Mohammed are at most riling Muslims whose specious views contradict the cultural and social values of our own western, democratic society. You only have to listen to the anti-freedom rants of Hizb-ut-Tahrir in the back streets of Sydney yesterday to see views that oppose our society’s basic principles: e.g. “”We rejected freedom yesterday, we rejected freedom today and we reject your freedom tomorrow,”

    Cartoons of Mohammed don’t directly stir up Islamophobia as they generally tend to be humorous, satirical representations rather than inciteful, hateful portrayals of Jews that can inject more venom into the fangs of anti-semites and consequently lead to more hate crimes. Muslims, by maintaining a separatist position, not integrating like other minorities into the mainstream of multicultural society, stir up resentment from the rest of the community, who tend to feel that they are not sharing equally in the task of building a nation.

    If Muslims were to show due respect to the multicultural societies in which they live and not keep demeaning our Western democratic values then we might be more willing to accede to their wishes . In the meantime it is totally hypocritical for Muslims to complain about the way in which we speak about them, when they show scant contempt for our way of life, many proclaiming (as in Sydney yesterday) that we would be much better off under Sharia law.

    • Annie Robbins
      January 24, 2015, 9:46 am

      ”We rejected freedom yesterday, we rejected freedom today and we reject your freedom tomorrow,”

      Cartoons of Mohammed don’t directly stir up Islamophobia as they generally tend to be humorous, satirical representations rather than inciteful, hateful portrayals of Jews that can inject more venom into the fangs of anti-semites and consequently lead to more hate crimes.

      ok, thought experiment. if there was a cartoon republished all over the internet (as well as a popular magazine champion free speech) of moses bent over on his knees with his ass pushed up, balls hanging down and a cameraman with a lens stuck up his ass, would you republish it if someone dared you to as a reaffirmation of free speech? ‘Cartoons of Moses don’t directly stir up anti semitism as they generally tend to be humorous, satirical representations’ or would you call it an example of “inciteful, hateful portrayals of Jews that can inject more venom into the fangs of anti-semites and consequently lead to more hate crimes”

      or what if it was a cartoon or the pedophile George Finklestein subject of the 380 million dollar lawsuit filed by 34 former students against the Yeshiva University High School for Boys alleging that they had been physically and sexually abused by a teacher there during the 1970s… or Rabbi Norman Lamm, who provided cover for him?

      (local news only of course) http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/yeshiva-university-high-school-students-file-380-million-sex-abuse-lawsuit-article-1.1393327

      Nineteen former students at Yeshiva University High School have filed a bombshell $380 million lawsuit against the prestigious Jewish institution claiming horrific acts of sexual abuse that went unchecked for two decades at the Manhattan school.

      “Yeshiva University High School held itself out as an exemplary Jewish secondary school when in fact it was allowing known sexual predators to roam the school at will seeking other victims,” said attorney Kevin Mulhearn, who filed the suit on behalf of the 19 plaintiffs. “Childhood sexual abuse in the Orthodox Jewish community can no longer be condoned and excused.”

      One victim claims administrators ignored his protests when he told them a Judaic studies teacher sodomized him with a toothbrush. Other victims — the children of Holocaust survivors — say a former principal persuaded them not to tell their parents after he sexually assaulted them because their mothers and fathers had already suffered through so much.

      do you think this trial would have gotten more attention if the sexual predator has been a muslim? how about a comic book about the scandal? would you support it? do you think the JDL would stoop so low as to vandalize the publication, make death threats?

      instead of the holocaust, what if the comparison was poking fun at something as ubiquitous to major jewish orgs ( http://www.jpost.com/Jewish-World/Jewish-Features/Major-Jewish-organizations-silent-on-recent-Yeshiva-University-scandal-328732 ), providing cover and protection of child predators? would you laugh? appreciate the humor?

      just curious!

      • Mayhem
        January 24, 2015, 6:45 pm

        I am dismayed when I see anti-semitic depictions and I complain if I think it is necessary to do so. I have complained on occasions about the poor taste or wrongful misrepresentations of our ABC and had many of my complaints acknowledged and the matter rectified.

        On the other hand cartoons of Mohammed are not going to stir non-Muslims into Islamophobic rage  – they only really bother the insiders and they don’t just complain, they go out and KILL.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 25, 2015, 12:30 pm

        mayhem, you claimed Loewenstein drew “false moral equivalence between anti-semitism and Islamophobia.” you claimed “Cartoons of Mohammed don’t directly stir up Islamophobia as they generally tend to be humorous, satirical representations rather than inciteful, hateful portrayals of Jews”.

        but we all know by now someone got fired from that magazine for merely drawing a cartoon referencing the son of a politician marrying a rich jewish heiress and eluding it was for profit (or something like that). so while you may be “dismayed when I see anti-semitic depictions” i’m curious what “inciteful, hateful portrayals of Jews” possibly might compare to moses bent over on his knees with his ass pushed up, balls hanging down and a cameraman with a lens stuck up his ass? because i have not seen anything like this at all.

        stating mohammed bashing cartoons “generally tend to be humorous, satirical representations” completely avoids the fact that many are totally sexually degrading inciteful, hateful portrayals of muslims. everyone knows this. the iof soldiers even wear t-shirts about murdering pregnant women for heavens sakes. if these were isis with pregnant jewish women on their t shirts it would be on the front age of newspapers everywhere.

        so please do not pretend there’s “false moral equivalence between anti-semitism and Islamophobia” implying that some how it is worse for jews when in fact jews are legally protected against slander in france in a way muslims are not, and socially protected in the US the way muslims are not. there are not laws protecting muslims in france like there are for jews or the holocaust. that is partly because european governments and the US are complicit in the slaughter muslims. they have certainly killed more than isis has.

        so if you care to discuss and compare muslim rage vs jewish rage, where are those degrading inciting comparable sexualized cartoons? what about rabbis bending over screwing jewish children? that would be apropos under the circumstances, no? do you think the jdl would seek retribution for that? do you think there’d be some rage in the msm or would everyone be massing in support of these anti semitic cartoons?

        as greg greewald pointed out ..no western press would print them. https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2015/01/09/solidarity-charlie-hebdo-cartoons/

        But there are all kinds of pernicious taboos in the west that result in self-censorship or compelled suppression of political ideas, from prosecution and imprisonment to career destruction: why is violence by Muslims the most menacing one? (I’m not here talking about the question of whether media outlets should publish the cartoons because they’re newsworthy; my focus is on the demand they be published positively, with approval, as “solidarity”).

        When we originally discussed publishing this article to make these points, our intention was to commission two or three cartoonists to create cartoons that mock Judaism and malign sacred figures to Jews the way Charlie Hebdo did to Muslims. But that idea was thwarted by the fact that no mainstream western cartoonist would dare put their name on an anti-Jewish cartoon, even if done for satire purposes, because doing so would instantly and permanently destroy their career, at least. Anti-Islam and anti-Muslim commentary (and cartoons) are a dime a dozen in western media outlets; the taboo that is at least as strong, if not more so, are anti-Jewish images and words. Why aren’t Douthat, Chait, Yglesias and their like-minded free speech crusaders calling for publication of anti-Semitic material in solidarity, or as a means of standing up to this repression?

        the only false moral equivalence going on here is pretending there’s any kind of equivalence in the seeming acceptable prejudice against muslims in our society, and its propagated and funded by a mammoth well oiled machine that plays right into the hands of nefarious foreign policy goals of controlling the ME and controlling the resources and assets. it’s gross, a war machine.

      • Mooser
        January 25, 2015, 3:01 pm

        “ok, thought experiment. if there was a cartoon republished all over the internet (as well as a popular magazine champion free speech) of moses bent over on his knees with his ass pushed up, balls hanging down and a cameraman with a lens stuck up his ass”

        Annie, I keep on telling you, Mondoweiss owns the comment archives. If you wanted to make a cartoon, animated film, or graphic novel out of selected material from Mayhem’s archive, and featuring characters representing his mother, sister, father , Gods, if he has any, etc., I don’t think anybody could stop you. It’d be a hoot!

        I am certain we could full advantage of freedom of speech!

      • Annie Robbins
        January 25, 2015, 3:37 pm

        well, i’m not charlie so it would be hypocritical of me to do that nor am i advocating anyone do it. i just find it the height of obnoxiousness to be lauding the restraint of jews or others re anti semitism/satire when everyone and their brother knows there’s very little out there directed at jews, slim to none unless he can come up with something sardonic (he can’t) coming anywhere near the gruesome images i’ve seen portraying muslims or mohammed. and everyone knows how violent the violent zios can be and the sort of retributions people could expect from their militant or hasbara wing (who are provided cover it seems, legally and otherwise, and the state takes retributions for them).

        recently i was looking at the mainstream comics chastising the catholic church in the middle of their being busted for the pedophilia hayday, heck the stories of pedophilia in the jewish community never even make it out of the local papers much less national headlines or syndicated comics. it’s a total double standard and the reason for that is because of all the constant victimhood/anti semitism whining we’ve all become so accustomed to. there’s simply NOTHING we’re hearing or seeing attacking judaism or jews that compares with what the islamophobes shovel out day in an day out. sure, others are attacked by racists, but not like this sexualized assault on the muslim community. it should be called out for what it is. and the sadistic sexualized nature of the torture imposed on enemies of zionists (including US zionists) is disgusting.

      • Mooser
        January 26, 2015, 11:48 am

        ” everyone and their brother knows there’s very little out there”

        There will be. My “Adventures of Mayhem” (with text drawn from his own archive) will soon be available world-wide. It’s all anti-mimetic, there’s lots of “dialog”

      • Mooser
        January 26, 2015, 5:40 pm

        Oh, I’m sorry, can I get directions out of here? I thought I was at the thread where Hophmi was defending something he called Jewish Day Schools as powerful adjuncts in the fight against “assimilation”. I must have clicked the wrong one.

    • Brewer
      January 25, 2015, 3:01 am

      If the above post by Mayhem is not satire, it presents a superb example of the psychopathology of bigotry in general and, in particular, the self-absorption of those who believe their their Jewishness is primary, their membership of the human race, secondary.
      Please tell me its satire.

      • Mooser
        January 25, 2015, 3:07 pm

        Brewer, there seems to be a fervent belief, akin in intensity to some of the more observant cargo cults, among the Zionist posters here that Zionism can win everything it wants from the world by sheer obnoxiousness. They will just be so crappy, they will be left alone to do what they want, because they’re such machers.

      • eljay
        January 25, 2015, 3:11 pm

        >> Mayhemeee: Whereas Jews weather anti-semitism (as they have done for millenia) and take recourse through appropriate legal and media avenues; Mohammedans scream blue murder over the depiction of their prophet (even in plain vanilla terms) and go on murderous rampages when their precious sensibilities are challenged.

        Some “Mohammedans” scream blue murder and go on murderous rampages. I condemn their actions. Some Jews scream “anti-Semitism” on a whim and destroy people’s lives and careers. I condemn their actions as well.

        >> If Muslims were to … not keep demeaning our Western democratic values …

        Funny stuff, coming from a Zio-supremacist, part of a collective that favours Jewish supremacism in a supremacist “Jewish State” and in the territories that state illegally occupies and colonizes over the Western democratic values of justice, accountability and equality.

      • Brewer
        January 25, 2015, 5:53 pm

        Dear Mooser.
        You will probably have guessed my post had to go through several re-writes. My first impulse was simply to call Mayhem out for being a “Lloyd Bridges” !

      • RoHa
        January 25, 2015, 7:30 pm

        “that Zionism can win everything it wants from the world by sheer obnoxiousness. ”

        Seems to have worked up to now.

      • Mooser
        January 26, 2015, 5:37 pm

        “Seems to have worked up to now.”

        Even obnoxiousness, as I have discovered to my chagrin, has its limits.

    • just
      January 25, 2015, 3:42 pm

      Mayhem: “Mohammedans scream blue murder”

      Good grief~ I only read that archaic appellation in old (western) books, etc.

      Especially in the today’s context, I am quite sure that you meant to try another insult. You must know that it is considered offensive to many Muslims. I know that you don’t care.

      Good job!

  22. Walid
    January 25, 2015, 9:54 am

    Speaking of Israel, Manuel Valls is under attack today from all political sides including Sarkozy’s for what they say is his misuse of the word of “apartheid” to describe France’s ghettos. Valls is on a self-imposed mission to break up the racial, ethnic and socially apartheid ghettoes all over France as a means to counter the negative influences of fundy Islamism. Valls said he stood by his word “apartheid” because it describes the situation in France exactly and that he wants to see more blending of France’s social classes. 66% of those polled about it in France agree totally with what Valls is out to do. He appears to be on the right track to fix things, his popularity jumped 30% to reach 65% in the last 2 weeks and Hollande’s too shot up about 30% to reach about 45%.

    • just
      January 25, 2015, 11:00 am

      Good for Valls. He said what he meant, and he meant what he said.

      Rare for a politician. No finger in the wind for this gentleman. I can only hope that other places will follow his lead.

      • Elliot
        January 29, 2015, 8:46 am

        I’m watching Valls too and the response he is getting from the French public. His knee-jerk retort to Netanyahu’s bodyguard in the synagogue, not to mention his speech to the French assembly were just great.

  23. Mooser
    January 27, 2015, 11:15 am

    Anyway, I’m glad I live in The Goldenah Medina

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