US Senate quickly passed the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act

Activism
on 79 Comments

On Thursday, the US Senate quickly passed the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act, a bipartisan bill proposed by Senators Bob Casey (D-PA) and Tim Scott (R-SC), supported by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), which aims to “codify the definition as one adopted by the U.S. State Department’s Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism.”

The Special Envoy, a project of the Global Anti-Semitism Review Act of 2004, uses the controversial definition of anti-Semitism produced by the European Monitoring Center on Racism and Xenophobia which interprets anti-Semitism as “a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of anti-Semitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.” The examples of anti-Semitism published by the Special Envoy include “blaming Israel for all inter-religious or political tensions”, “…focusing on Israel only for peace or human rights investigations”, and efforts to delegitimize Israel by “denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, and denying Israel the right to exist”.

According to Jewish Voice For Peace, the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act, which requires the Department of Education to redefine violations of Title VI rules of alleged discrimination, “will enable a crackdown against activism for Palestinian human rights on college campuses.” Kumars Salehi, a graduate student and member of Students for Justice in Palestine at UC Berkeley, tells Mondoweiss that “adopting the State Department definition would mean that, according to the government, anti-Semitism would include not only attributing most of the responsibility for Palestinian suffering to Israel, but also even the act of questioning whether Israel is a “democratic state”. “That’s what the last two bullet points of the State Department guidelines say,” Salehi argues. “These are mainstream and empirically grounded critiques of Israel within Palestine solidarity as well as broader progressive and intellectual circles. If the government forces universities to label and punish such critiques as bigotry, it would have the effect of silencing the growing plurality of young and old minds who are, thanks to the critical discourse on college campuses, thinking outside of traditional US parameters on this issue.”

Gabi Kirk, graduate student at the University of California, Davis, rank-and-file member of UAW 2865, and an alum of University of California Santa Cruz where she also witnessed the repression of Palestine solidarity organizing her undergraduate years, tells Mondoweiss that the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act “will have a definitive chilling effect on campus organizing for Palestinian human rights around the country.” Kirk explains that the bill’s reliance on the US State Department’s definition of antisemitism, “known as the “3 D’s” for saying it is anti-Semitic to “demonize of Israel, apply a “double standard” to Israel, or “delegitimize” Israel”, can be used “to criminalize organizing for human rights and criticism of Israel and its government’s actions.” Additionally, Kirk says, “this definition conflates the state of Israel with Judaism and Zionism with Judaism, despite the fact that the political movement of Zionism is not the same as Judaism as a religion. At a time when President Elect Donald Trump has called for criminalization of flag burning and called criticism of Mike Pence at a theater show ‘harassment,’ we need more speech protections, not fewer.” Kirk expressed dismay “that some of these bill’s supporters, notably the Jewish Federations of North America, want to criminalize free speech in support of human rights, but declines to condemn Stephen Bannon, Trump’s appointee who has a track record of fostering bigotry, white nationalism, and antisemitism.” “It is beyond hypocritical,” Kirk says, “to turn college students into criminals for exercising our free speech rights in support of justice, while ignoring the Anti-Semitism growing in the highest halls of power in this country.”

If the bipartisan Anti-Semitism Awareness Act were to pass, and thereby become legally enforceable, it would join a growing list of US legislation which targets Palestine solidarity efforts, including Senate Bill S6086 and Assembly Bill 8220, both of which have the intent of penalising those boycotting Israel. The advocacy group Palestine Legal reports that anti-BDS legislation has already been enacted in 13 states—the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act compounds the threat against freedom of speech, and, whether it passes or not, it highlights the mounting struggle facing Palestine solidarity activists and organisers. But as we’ve seen before, organisers are resilient, creative, and will respond to any threats against their ability to assemble and protest freely, all while expressing solidarity with communities impacted by hate crimes.

According to the latest numbers from the FBI, of the 1,402 recorded victims of anti-religious hate crimes in 2015 “52.1 percent were victims of crimes motivated by their offender’s anti-Jewish bias”—a confronting number marking a larger trend in discrimination and violence directed at American Jews. Since the election of Donald Trump, the targeting of Jews has come in the form of swastikas drawn across doors, graffiti reading “Heil Trump”, and xenophobic rhetoric from white supremacists—who are attempting to rebrand themselves as “alt-right”—all of which is undoubtedly, and understandably, terrifying Jews and minority groups across the United States. The response to this rise in hate crimes has been creative, and it’s included the creation of solidarity networks like the anti-fascist group ‘MuJew Antifa’, a organization of Muslim and Jewish activists who recently drove Steve Bannon out of New York. The Anti-Semitism Awareness Act offers no resolution to those most impacted by anti-Jewish bias and violence, but instead will undoubtedly work to undermine protected speech and do further harm to pro-Palestine organisers.

About Roqayah Chamseddine

Roqayah Chamseddine is a Lebanese-American writer based in Sydney. She writes the Sharp Edges column at Shadowproof and politics at Paste Magazine. She tweets at @roqchams.

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79 Responses

  1. Maghlawatan
    December 3, 2016, 12:34 pm

    The examples of anti-Byzantinism published by the Special Envoy include “blaming Constantinople for all inter-religious or political tensions”, “…focusing on Byzantium only for peace or human rights investigations”, and efforts to delegitimize Byzantium by “denying the Byzatine people their right to self-determination, and denying Byzantium the right to exist”. –

    Sultan Mehmed then gave a speech about power.

  2. Maghlawatan
    December 3, 2016, 12:47 pm

    Israel was born in violence and will die in violence. The idea that it has a right to exist is laughable.

    • Mooser
      December 3, 2016, 1:26 pm

      “The idea that it has a right to exist is laughable.”

      Discussing Israel’s “right to exist” is simply a way of avoiding the much more relevant and much more answerable question “Does Israel have the resources (human and otherwise) to exist and keep existing.

      And even if Israel has an inalienable “right to exist” that doesn’t make Israel’s existence anybody’s problem but their own.

      Can Israel exist without non-Jewish superpowers supporting it?

      • Maghlawatan
        December 3, 2016, 1:39 pm

        No, of course it can’t.
        Israel is about as stable as a Liz Taylor marriage

      • JWalters
        December 4, 2016, 7:14 pm

        Israel has the same right to exist as any other organization, such as the Stanley Motor Carriage Company.

      • Maghlawatan
        December 5, 2016, 4:38 am

        Why is Israel the only country that whines 24/7 about the right to exist? I never hear Bulgaria moaning about it.

      • echinococcus
        December 5, 2016, 3:32 pm

        Watan,

        Bulgaria moaned about it all right for some 400 years and fought for it. Nobody denied its right to exist, not even its imperial overlords that it fought against. Bulgaria was on its own land.

      • catalan
        December 5, 2016, 4:23 pm

        “Why is Israel the only country that whines 24/7 about the right to exist? I never hear Bulgaria moaning about it.”

        My native land is your mind? So exciting! Let me know if you would like to learn something “from the inside”.
        But my two cents – there is a lot of “whining” going on everywhere, by the same types of people too. Bulgarians tend to whine about the same thing Americans too – minorities, being “poor”, and everybody is against us. Meanwhile the smart people study math.

  3. pabelmont
    December 3, 2016, 12:51 pm

    Th ASAA is stupid, all but beyond imagining in that it flies in the face of the USA’s constitution’s first amendment. Hard to imagine it deals with a “clear and present danger”.

    A lawsuit ought to begin today, in a well-chosen federal district court (NY?), alleging that ASAA is facially unconstitutional because it “chills” free-speech rights.

    • Maghlawatan
      December 3, 2016, 6:26 pm

      Zionism runs an apartheid system in Israel and manipulates the US political system to produce nonsense about discrimination . Why isn’t apartheid kosher in the US? Doesn’t the end justify the means for Zionists? The mixure of neediness and sadism must be unique in world politics.

      • JWalters
        December 4, 2016, 7:19 pm

        “Why isn’t apartheid kosher in the US?”

        That resolution will be coming up for a vote next.

    • JWalters
      December 4, 2016, 7:16 pm

      All those U.S. Senators are clearly extremely chilly.

  4. Annie Robbins
    December 3, 2016, 12:53 pm

    reminds me of

    https://thinkprogress.org/israeli-justice-minister-its-anti-semitic-to-ever-criticize-israel-2883a47b1634#.b774shqtw

    Israel’s notoriously militant Justice Minister, Ayelet Shaked, equated criticism of Israel to anti-Semitism on Wednesday, in light of rising European support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement (BDS).

    “In the past, we saw European leaders speaking against the Jews. Now, we see them speaking against Israel. It is the same anti-Semitism of blood libels, spreading lies, distorting reality and brainwashing people into hating Israel and the Jews,” Shaked told the Washington Post. “Today, it is not politically correct to be anti-Semitic but being anti-Israeli is acceptable. People who have such anti-Semitic views should not be allowed to hold central leadership positions.”

    Shaked’s view that criticism of Israel is akin to anti-Semitism is widely shared among right-wing supporters of Israeli policies.

    our senate taking their cues from israel’s radically racist justice minister.

    • Maghlawatan
      December 3, 2016, 1:43 pm

      Blood Libel live. Israel mows the lawn 2014

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_AN2KIp-Vtg

      Or 3 kids on the beach playing football

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OMG7Fze6sgQ

      Shaked’s view that criticism of Israel is akin to anti-Semitism is widely shared among right-wing supporters of Israeli policies. –

      GOP people belive climate change is a fake.
      Bullshit is bullshit.

    • JWalters
      December 4, 2016, 7:27 pm

      ” People who have such anti-Semitic views should not be allowed to hold central leadership positions.” – Ayelet Shaked

      Israel will not allow Keith Ellison to sit in Congress since Haim Saban has declared him “anti-Semetic”. Senate vote coming soon.

  5. eljay
    December 3, 2016, 1:13 pm

    … examples of anti-Semitism published by the Special Envoy include … “denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, and denying Israel the right to exist”. …

    People who choose to self-determine as Jewish should not be denied their choice. However, the right to self-determine as Jewish does not entitle Jewish people:
    – to an oppressive, colonialist, (war) criminal and/or religion-supremacist “Jewish State”;
    – to do unto others acts of injustice and immorality they would not have others do unto them.

  6. MHughes976
    December 3, 2016, 1:37 pm

    So what would happen to someone who says ‘I don’t think Israel’s all that democratic?”
    Whatever it is, I wouldn’t trust the politicised courts for protection.

    • JWalters
      December 4, 2016, 7:39 pm

      I wouldn’t either, given the power of Zionist money today. But I would love to see a court case with the publicity of the Scopes “monkey” trial. Ayelet Shaked and Haim Saban could testify for the prosecution.

      Or a play about such a court case. It could be called “Inherit the Wind”.

  7. Maghlawatan
    December 3, 2016, 1:44 pm

    Would love to know which borders the ADL deems to be legitimate.

  8. Citizen
    December 3, 2016, 3:45 pm

    Some day Dick & Jane will wake up?

  9. Maghlawatan
    December 3, 2016, 4:43 pm

    https://www.richardsilverstein.com/2011/01/11/amnon-dankner-im-ashamed-of-being-israeli/

    ” What adds to my sense of depression is the awareness that demographic processes are turning our society more and more religious, more and more racist and venomous, more and more withdrawn and violent.
    For a man of my age who wasted serious parts of his life writing in newspapers about these issues, to see that I did all this out of great hope that has come to naught and was based on illusions and naiveté; what happens now is a particular type of bitterness and disillusion. To see Israeli society change its nature so quickly, becoming something you never thought you’d see outside of nightmares, it breaks your heart. To begin to feel ashamed at being Israeli, and to know with not a small amount of confidence that such a feeling will grow, it depresses you utterly.”

    • Mooser
      December 3, 2016, 5:58 pm

      To begin to feel ashamed at being Israeli, and to know with not a small amount of confidence that such a feeling will grow, it depresses you utterly.”

      “Mag”, I was discussing the I-P issues with a non-Jewish friend, and he said something which chilled my heart and sent a shiver down my spine. He said “Gee, maybe you people aren’t that smart, after all, or all that good, either.” And he was looking at me with a completely different attitude, too. Like I was nobody special.
      I went home and cried my eyes out, and then I filed a suit.

      • JWalters
        December 4, 2016, 7:43 pm

        LOL!

      • Mooser
        December 6, 2016, 11:18 am

        “LOL”

        Are you laughing at me? Prepare to be mulcted for heavy pelf!

      • Annie Robbins
        December 6, 2016, 12:34 pm

        “you people” — ouch!

      • Mooser
        December 6, 2016, 1:38 pm

        “you people” — ouch!”

        Just wait til he sees what those words are gonna cost him!

  10. RoHa
    December 3, 2016, 7:54 pm

    I was going to wish all the Americans on MW a fond farewell as you were rounded up and sent off to the re-education camp, but then I saw “denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, and denying Israel the right to exist”.

    I have no doubt that the craven Australian government will agree to the extradition request, so I’ll see you all there.

    And I don’t think you’ll be too safe, either, eljay.

    • eljay
      December 3, 2016, 9:14 pm

      || RoHa: I was going to wish all the Americans on MW a fond farewell as you were rounded up and sent off to the re-education camp, but then I saw “denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, and denying Israel the right to exist”.

      I have no doubt that the craven Australian government will agree to the extradition request, so I’ll see you all there.

      And I don’t think you’ll be too safe, either, eljay. ||

      Dunno. echinococcus seems to think I have Zionist cred and/or I’m delusional. If “they” buy what he’s selling, I may get a free pass and/or be headed for a rubber room.

      :-P

      • echinococcus
        December 4, 2016, 9:45 am

        Eljay, if it came down to only “denying Israel the right to exist” or accepting it, in any shape or form, they cannot find fault with you.

      • eljay
        December 4, 2016, 1:00 pm

        || echinococcus: Eljay, if it came down to only “denying Israel the right to exist” or accepting it, in any shape or form, they cannot find fault with you. ||

        Sorry, RoHa, looks like I won’t be joining you after all.

        Then again, if by…
        – “Israel” they mean religion-supremacist “Jewish State”; and
        – “self-determination” they mean the right to establish and maintain an oppressive, colonialist, (war) criminal and religion-supremacist “Jewish State” in as much as possible of Palestine,
        …I look forward to seeing you. :-)

    • Philemon
      December 4, 2016, 7:37 pm

      Okay, but what are the penalties, really?

      I doubt they’re as much fun as re-education camp with Roha, eljay, and echi.

      Echi, I get what you’re saying. The agreements made by Quisling Palestinian government officials, especially when they cede important legitimacy and territory, are for the birds. But, I also get what eljay and talknic are saying, in that, even with those agreements, Israel is sooo history. As talknic keeps pointing out, Israel was fundamentally a pyramid scheme from the get-go based on the (more rather than less confiscated) land fund, and the mortgages, interest, taxes and fees to be milked out of that. Now, Israel gets largesse from the U.S. taxpayer, it has really seedy money laundering and not-even-legal weapons deals going on. Anything to make ends meet, you know. It’s not the poor Israelis’ fault, they’ve just inherited the whole mess.

      Mind you, I’m not just picking on Israel. The U.S. is really creepy, too. And from what Roha says, even Australia isn’t safe. So you know, I am not in violation of this Act!

      • eljay
        December 5, 2016, 8:58 am

        || Philemon: Okay, but what are the penalties, really? I doubt they’re as much fun as re-education camp with Roha, eljay, and echi. … ||

        echinococcus will be forced to state repeatedly that he accepts the existence of Israel within its / Partition borders.

        I will be lectured incessantly by a Zionist on how Jewish is more than just religion…except for when it’s not…which it always is…except for when it isn’t…

        RoHa will suffer the worst fate: He will be subjected, to countless misplaced comma’s and similar grammerical abuses.   :-(

      • echinococcus
        December 5, 2016, 10:13 am

        Philemon,

        Israel is sooo history

        Theoretically perhaps, I wouldn’t know.

        What I know is that the genocide is proceeding and the Palestinian people will soon enough be decimated to the same degree as the Seminole and the Apache. It’s the Palestinian people who will soon be history.

        Also, the US of A is still alive and very much kicking, and all this respecting of “Israel”s non-existent rights and attention to its wants and attending to invaders’ personal needs and such is not helping to inform enough Americans to turn the US around.

      • RoHa
        December 5, 2016, 7:02 pm

        Noooooooooo!

      • eljay
        December 6, 2016, 9:35 am

        || RoHa: Noooooooooo! ||

        Sorry, Darth. :-(

  11. Ismail
    December 3, 2016, 10:40 pm

    Israel neither HAS a right to exist nor LACKS a right to exist. The question itself is poorly formed.

    States are not the sorts of things to which rights apply. Humans have rights, some think that animals have rights…but how on earth can a civil/political entity like a state be said to have rights? Israel exists or it doesn’t exist. I suppose you could legitimately ask if it ought to exist or not. But appealing to the language of rights does nothing to clarify the issue.

    Most of us believe that people have certain rights; to have a say in who governs them, to be free from the intrusions of arbitrary power into their lives, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It’s nonsense, though, to apply similar notions to states.

    It’s reasonable to claim that the Zionist regime ruling Israelis and Palestinians is corrupt and to promote its change or downfall. That is not the same as saying Israel has no right to exist, anymore than saying that South Africa had no right to exist. We correctly said, in that case, that the apartheid regime was racist and undemocratic and needed to go. No one said anything about South Africa having no right to exist.

    It’s important to note that this linguistic mutation was engineered by the Zionists themselves, and a clever move it was. How can anyone assert that an entire country has no right to exist, a formulation that, given its wholesale and categorical nature, can’t help but bring the nazi holocaust to mind? And this, of course, is the point; another cynical and shameless manipulation of the memory of those who suffered so horribly.

    If you own the language, you own the argument. So, no more referring to “settlements”, with the cozy and domestic associations that term has for so many; they’re illegal colonial outposts. And no more being snookered into the senseless “right to exist” debate.

    • echinococcus
      December 4, 2016, 10:24 am

      The “right to exist” debate is not senseless at all.

      “States are not the sorts of things to which rights apply” is just a sentence a lot of people repeat without further thinking.

      In fact, you rightly corrected that somehow by saying “I suppose you could legitimately ask if it ought to exist or not”, which is exactly the same as asking if it has a right to exist. Language is a bitch.

      Establishing a state by colonial conquest, enslaving and expelling the owners of its sovereignty is totally illegal after the string of treaties that confirmed it from the 17th to the 20th centuries; most importantly of all it is an obscene, howling violation of the UN Charter. Add the similar violation of the right to self-determination of colonized peoples. This can only be expressed as no right to exist for any state so formed –at least after the UN Charter if not for international law prior to that.

      Still about language:

      How can anyone assert that an entire country has no right to exist, a formulation that, given its wholesale and categorical nature, can’t help but bring the nazi holocaust to mind?

      That would be playing kind of a silly game, replacing “state” by “country”, so as to introduce the weeping strings section, what with ‘categorical nature’ and ‘can’t hep but’ and, ohmygod, ‘holocaust’.

      But see, it’s not “country”. It is “state”, meaning in any kind of usage an organization, a machinery to keep the power in the hands of well-defined people, and to regulate the life of its inhabitants and neighbors (in the case of the US, to torment all of humanity.)

      The country remains, the dogs of state pass. Palestine is the country and has seen quite a number of states. No need for trademarked holocausts to make that state unexist (as opposed to the genocidal practice necessary to make it exist.)

      So, as per UN Charter as the last of many successive foundations of international law, so-called “Israel” has no right to exist. In any case not without formal and universally recognized assent by the owners of the country –the Palestinian people.

      • MHughes976
        December 4, 2016, 11:58 am

        If there are rights inherent in individual human beings because of their being human,, say not to be subject to massacre, marauding and enslavement, there must be certain moral rights and wrongs applying logically, other things being equal, to governments and states. (Not that states are human beings.). Israel was founded by violating rights because it excluded many people from their homes, which is really a form of marauding, and it has continued to exist in its current form by not setting right the results of that wrong. Israel exists but other relevant things are not equal in its case, so its legitimacy is seriously flawed until that correction occurs. On top of all that there is even more, the fact of sovereign power exercised over indefinite time on disfranchised subjects.. Israel has no right to maintain its existence as the agent of that wrongful power..
        But that doesn’t mean that it’s wrong for there to be a state with other Israeli characteristics, such as being called ‘Israel’, extending from river to sea or having an actual Jewish majority.

      • echinococcus
        December 5, 2016, 3:00 pm

        Hughes,

        But that doesn’t mean that it’s wrong for there to be a state with other Israeli characteristics, such as being called ‘Israel’, extending from river to sea or having an actual Jewish majority

        All three points directly violate all international norms, including the UN Charter ratified by all only 2 years earlier, but they are not wrong? I have trouble following.

    • Sibiriak
      December 4, 2016, 10:35 am

      Ismail: States are not the sorts of things to which rights apply.
      ——————–

      Actually, the idea that states have rights and duties is foundational to modern international law.

      For overview of the subject, please see:

      Oxford Public International Law, States, Fundamental Rights and Duties:

      Being the most prominent among the different subjects of international law, a State is by definition endowed with the capability of bearing rights and duties under international law.

      * * *

      Starting with the 17th century, the view was developed, especially by Hugo Grotius, of a natural legal order applying also to moral persons or collective entities such as States.

      * * *

      With regard to the development of written legal instruments dealing with fundamental rights and duties of States, several significant results were achieved during the 20th century.

      The Montevideo Convention of 1933 constituted one of the first examples of insertion of ‘rights and duties’ of States in a multilateral legally binding instrument.

      Whilst no express recognition was given on that occasion of their ‘fundamental’ character, rights recognized by the Montevideo Convention included the right to political existence, independence, self-preservation, jurisdiction, and equality. As to the duties, mention was made, inter alia, of non-intervention, respect for other States’ rights and the pacific settlement of disputes.

      [emphasis added]

      http://opil.ouplaw.com/view/10.1093/law:epil/9780199231690/law-9780199231690-e1112

      ———————

      Israel exists as an internationally recognized UN member state and has the same rights and duties as every other UN member state.

      Of course, there are disputes about the exact nature of those states’ rights and duties, just as there are disputes about individuals’ rights and duties.

      • Mooser
        December 4, 2016, 12:31 pm

        “Israel exists”

        And what are Israel’s borders? At what point does Israel’s flagrant violation of the duties of a state start to interfere with its “right to exist”? Usually, that “right to exist” gets a little questionable when a state spills over its own borders and decides it has a “right to exist” in another state. Or even sets itself up as an apartheid state.

        It is not a one way street. But it sure beats discussing how the colonial project of a dwindling religion is going to get the resources to keep on going. Or how it is going to coerce Jews into getting on or not leaving a sinking ship.

        Israel’s “right to exist” always translates into an obligation of unconditional support. That’s not what it is.

      • JWalters
        December 4, 2016, 7:52 pm

        “At what point does Israel’s flagrant violation of the duties of a state start to interfere with its “right to exist”?”

        Good question. Traditionally, a person’s right to exist has been forfeited for extremely egregious behavior, such as mass murder of innocent civilians.
        http://mondoweiss.net/2016/03/a-history-of-silencing-israeli-army-whistleblowers-from-1948-until-today/

      • Philemon
        December 4, 2016, 7:58 pm

        Sibiriak: “Israel exists as an internationally recognized UN member state and has the same rights and duties as every other UN member state.”

        And how it got to be one we will not inquire into, because it would be better not to, nor will we inquire into how it has failed in its duties “as a UN member state.” Yeah, it exists, for the nonce, like Vichy France, or the USSR, and lots of people in it have second passports.

        I will leave the rest to Mooser.

        Zionism equals Apartheid… Squared. Wait, is that against the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act?

      • Sibiriak
        December 4, 2016, 9:55 pm

        Mooser: “Israel exists” And what are Israel’s borders?
        ——————-

        According to international law: the pre-1967 “Green Line” is the dividing line between Israeli territory and occupied Palestinian territory. That border can only be changed via negotiations, and there is no requirement that such negotiations ever take place. This has been affirmed in numerous UN resolutions and made crystal clear by the International Court of Justice in the 2004 “Wall” opinion.

        Please search for “borders” or “armistice lines” in Hostage’s archives for 100’s of posts that prove this fact.

        Or see some of my posts on the topic:

        http://mondoweiss.net/2016/05/colonialism-historic-palestine/#comment-840709

        http://mondoweiss.net/2016/05/rabbi-judaism-blame/#comment-841221

        http://mondoweiss.net/2016/05/rabbi-judaism-blame/#comment-841182

        http://mondoweiss.net/2016/05/colonialism-historic-palestine/#comment-840863

        http://mondoweiss.net/2016/05/colonialism-historic-palestine/#comment-840860

        http://mondoweiss.net/2016/05/colonialism-historic-palestine/#comment-840720

        http://mondoweiss.net/2016/05/colonialism-historic-palestine/#comment-840709

        http://mondoweiss.net/2016/05/colonialism-historic-palestine/#comment-840705

        http://mondoweiss.net/2016/05/colonialism-historic-palestine/#comment-840702

        http://mondoweiss.net/2016/05/colonialism-historic-palestine/#comment-840396

        http://mondoweiss.net/2016/01/park-slope-food-coop-puts-up-firewall-against-boycott-of-israeli-goods/#comment-823369

        http://mondoweiss.net/2016/01/park-slope-food-coop-puts-up-firewall-against-boycott-of-israeli-goods/#comment-823390

        http://mondoweiss.net/2016/01/park-slope-food-coop-puts-up-firewall-against-boycott-of-israeli-goods/#comment-823080

        http://mondoweiss.net/2016/01/difference-between-occupation/#comment-821314

        http://mondoweiss.net/2016/01/difference-between-occupation/#comment-821139

        http://mondoweiss.net/2016/01/difference-between-occupation/#comment-821108

        http://mondoweiss.net/2015/12/israeli-doesnt-abandon/#comment-816984

        http://mondoweiss.net/2015/12/israel-should-golan/#comment-816915

        http://mondoweiss.net/2015/12/israel-should-golan/#comment-816918

        http://mondoweiss.net/2015/12/israel-should-golan/#comment-816913

        ————————–

        [mooser:]At what point does Israel’s flagrant violation of the duties of a state start to interfere with its “right to exist”?

        I didn’t say Israel had a “right to exist”; I say that Israel exists as a recognized UN member state and therefore, under international law, has rights.

        Those rights include the right not to have its territorial integrity violated. They include the right to sovereign control over the national territory; the right to make and apply laws with full civil jurisdiction, and to operate police and security forces etc.legally and unchallenged over the national territory. They include the right of access to international courts and other institutions of international governance; the right to make legally binding treaties with other states–and so on and so forth.

        On the other hand, according to international law, Israel has NO right to deny the Palestinian people their right to self-determination in Palestinian territory. Israel has NO right to set up an apartheid regime in the West Bank. Israel has NO right to build settlements on Palestinian territory or annex Palestinian territory. All this has been made crystal clear in numerous UN resolutions and by the ICJ.

        The UN et al. are free to sanction Israel for these violations of Palestinian rights. The BDS movement aims to make that happen.

      • Sibiriak
        December 4, 2016, 10:37 pm

        Philemon: Sibiriak: “Israel exists as an internationally recognized UN member state and has the same rights and duties as every other UN member state.” And how it got to be one we will not inquire into, because it would be better not to, nor will we inquire into how it has failed in its duties “as a UN member state”
        ——————

        Nonsense. Of course we shall inquire into Israel’s maleficent history, and of course we shall loudly proclaim that Israel has failed in its duties and that Israel continually violates Palestinian rights and commit crimes against humanity. And of course we shall take ACTION to stop those crimes.

        But rejecting international law, which is indeed quite flawed in many respects, is not going to help the Palestinian cause. One of the main reasons the BDS movement has been so successful is that it recognizes the great practical and moral power that comes from having international law on your side. It would be an incredibly unwise move to throw that away.

      • echinococcus
        December 5, 2016, 9:53 am

        Sibiriak,

        But rejecting international law, which is indeed quite flawed in many respects, is not going to help the Palestinian cause.

        Agreed. Never a truer word: the Partition is howlingly illegal; it is a flagrant violation of the US Charter by the colonial powers. It must be undone.

        Get a plebiscite of all Palestinians, without the invaders, and you’ll be closer to international legality.

      • Sibiriak
        December 5, 2016, 10:29 am

        echinococcus: Get a plebiscite of all Palestinians, without the invaders, and you’ll be closer to international legality.

        ———————–

        Wow! Great idea! A plebiscite of all the Palestinians– in Israel, the West Bank, Gaza, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and elsewhere around the world.

        Should be doable. (Putting aside the minor problem of getting rid of the Zionist invaders beforehand.)

        And what exactly are you suggesting the plebiscite question should be?

      • echinococcus
        December 5, 2016, 2:39 pm

        Sibiriak,

        It certainly looks like not doable before getting rid of the entire occupation, nohow.

        They should have thought of it when they started the partition nonsense. Now there is no stopping whatever will happen.

        Except perhaps turning around US policy entirely, and that means tackling the general US population instead of pandering to antisemitism-hunting liberals and tribals.

        The question is simple: Do you agree to the presence of Zionist invaders, as equals, anywhere on Palestinian soil?

      • echinococcus
        December 5, 2016, 2:52 pm

        Sibiriak,

        That border can only be changed via negotiations, and there is no requirement that such negotiations ever take place. This has been affirmed in numerous UN resolutions and made…

        Of course there is no requirement… by whoever wrote a vote proposal negotiated by some colonial powers. That’s totally irrelevant. The point is that it can be renegotiated. Hence it is not any country’s borders but just an armistice line maintained by naked force and a fake Oslo agreement.

        Also, of course, “negotiating” only means having credible and sufficient armed threat. Nothing else.

      • MHughes976
        December 5, 2016, 3:42 pm

        None of the three things, name, extent, Jewish majority are in themselves morally wrong. Imposing them by force was wrong and that needs to be set right. I don’t think you and I are that far apart.

      • MHughes976
        December 5, 2016, 3:51 pm

        International committees of kings, presidents and judges – calling themselves the United Nations or the Founts of Wisdom or whatever – have no true power to make what is bad good, any more than they have to make what is green blue. The events of 48 were bad, an outrage, a scandal.
        I hope one day to see a referendum in Israel and Palestine appeovong a genuine settlements that sets this wrong somewhat right and approves a new and fair arrangement, but the hope is vanishingly faint.

      • rosross
        December 5, 2016, 5:04 pm

        Israel exists on Palestine and beyond the UN mandate which remain the only arguable borders, exists not as a democracy but as a theocratic, brutal occupier, coloniser and apartheid State.

        Israel exists as a colonial enterprise founded on religious bigotry in ways which would never be tolerated in any other State and which will not be tolerated for much longer for Israel.

        The only just outcome is to give up the religious bigotry and establish one state where indigenous and coloniser share the land as full equals in a democratic system. It will happen anyway but if Israelis were smart enough, although smart is something they have never demonstrated, to initiate the process they would have some management of it.

      • eljay
        December 6, 2016, 9:43 am

        || Mooser: … Israel’s “right to exist” always translates into an obligation of unconditional support. … ||

        Of course. That’s because: (“world’s only Jewish state” + “moral beacon”) x (“Jewish and democratic” + “shared common values”) = “no light between”

        Negative values (oppressive, colonialist, belligerent, intransigent, (war) criminal, supremacist ) are not factored into the equation.

      • Sibiriak
        December 6, 2016, 11:13 pm

        echinococcus: [ a Palestinian plebiscite] certainly looks like not doable before getting rid of the entire occupation, nohow. They should have thought of it when they started the partition nonsense.
        ————–

        Indeed, but it’s too late now, as talknic correctly stated. Way, way, way too late.

        A plebiscite now to completely reverse history? “Not doable”, you say. No kidding. A total fantasy.
        ———————————–

        Except perhaps turning around US policy entirely…

        Greater pressure on Israel (including real international sanctions) to implement the international two-state consensus– that might be possible.

        But get the U.S. to support the demise of Israel and to support a Palestinian right to disenfranchise/expel all of Israel’s millions of Zionist Jews— More fantasizing. Moral purism run amok.

        ————–

        [echinococcus:] Get a plebiscite of all Palestinians, without the invaders, and you’ll be closer to international legality.

        * * * *

        The [Palestinian plebiscite] question is simple: Do you agree to the presence of Zionist invaders, as equals, anywhere on Palestinian soil?

        A plebiscite including a group of people OUTSIDE of a UN member state, not citizens of that state, to strip away the all the legal rights of citizens of that UN member state?

        Are you really so stupid as to think that wouldn’t be a complete repudiation of international legality?

        I don’t think so.

        So what’s the point then about banging on and on about such an unfeasible, impossible, fantasy-land, international-law repudiating plebiscite?

        Do you think merely invoking such a inane plebiscite idea constitutes some form of argument?

      • Sibiriak
        December 6, 2016, 11:34 pm

        echinococcus: The point is that [the pre-1967 “Green Line” border] can be renegotiated. Hence it is not any country’s borders […]
        —————-

        Inane argument. Any countries’ borders can be (re)negotiated at any time. Mutually agreed changes can be made at any time. The mere possibility of renegotiation does not make a border not a border.

        (Cf. just recently: http://www.newseveryday.com/articles/56690/20161201/belgium-netherlands-agree-peacefully-swap-lands-simplify-border-issues.htm )

        ——————
        but just an armistice line maintained by naked force

        No. That armistice line evolved into an internationally recognized border.
        Hostage has demonstrated this in dozens of posts. See links above (Sibiriak December 4, 2016, 9:55 pm).

        And no, Israel does not maintain the pre-1967 border by force–it rejects it and uses force to violate international law.

        The fact that Israel rejects international law, however, does not change the reality of its legal borders.

        and a fake Oslo agreement.

        No. Israel’s borders were legally established long before the fraudulent Oslo Agreements.

      • echinococcus
        December 7, 2016, 9:04 am

        Sibiriak,

        Exposing more and more how you guys are in fact helping Zionist propaganda in an effort to divinize UN illegality and compromises:

        Indeed, but it’s too late now, as talknic correctly stated. Way, way, way too late.

        A plebiscite now to completely reverse history? “Not doable”, you say. No kidding. A total fantasy.

        Of course it’s not doable under the current conditions, so the first thing is to *establish the right to it in the mind of the peoples across the world*.

        To replace the Zionist-fed general idea, currently established as (a) “the Zionists have a right to the country they are somewhat legitimately in but too aggressive” with the rights-based idea (b) “the invader bastards are there totally illegally, only by the grace of the English and Americans, so they should be begging the Palestinians to let some of them stay, not the other way ’round”.

        This is not a matter for lawyers but for public opinion. Are you lawyer-playing guys really so blind you refuse to understand the humongous difference between the two ideas above in mobilizing support and get a real boycott going (and later the intervention which will be absolutely necessary considering that these babies are divine-fanatic Zionists, not Afrikaners)?

        A plebiscite including a group of people OUTSIDE of a UN member state, not citizens of that state, to strip away the all the legal rights of citizens of that UN member state?

        To the cult of the US-dominated UN as a religion, it looks sacrilegious, of course. For whoever is not part of the unconditional religion, such a demand is the only way to establish the total illegality of a partition imposed by the colonial powers in violation of the UN Charter.

        Again, key word is “in the mind of the global public”, not in the despicable world of goddam lawyers and member nation rulers who wet their pants when the US farts. The Zionists have understood that more than a hundred years ago and you guys still don’t get it.

        Also, with an illegal foundation there are no “legal rights of citizens of that UN member state” but an a posteriori arrangement, and its legality must be denied every step of the way if you want to negotiate anything.

        In the absence of the Oslo abomination, a PLO that was not a US puppet did understand that this position, the universal appeal of right vs. might, was an effective negotiating tool. A Quisling committee living under occupation cannot even think of talking about rights, of course.

        When negotiating, the response to “it’s too late, it’s already happened” is “they should have thought of it when they started it; the right thing is to undo it and popular opinion across the world does support right over might –let’s see if there’s any room for you guys”.
        Not “Oh shucks, forget it then.”

        Not that I expect you to deviate from the theory of time limits for the right to exist of colonial invader states (already rejected by a huge decolonization movement), but you may want to stop grossly misrepresenting other people’s positions. Agreed, it is fun but it doesn’t help understanding.

      • echinococcus
        December 7, 2016, 9:21 am

        Sibiriak,

        So what’s the point then about banging on and on about such an unfeasible, impossible, fantasy-land, international-law repudiating plebiscite?

        How many thousand times do advocates for the legality of a genocidal colonial invader have to hear, without ever satisfactorily answering, that it’s the initial absence of a plebiscite (besides the alien invasion itself) that repudiates international law and deprives of legality its very existence?

        The point is world public opinion and mass support, not paragraph-chewing in a frenzied attempt to legalize colonial conquest and worse.

        Is the banging disturbing your normalization attempt?

      • Annie Robbins
        December 7, 2016, 10:18 am

        you answer with 2 questions and this:

        The point is world public opinion and mass support, not paragraph-chewing in a frenzied attempt to legalize colonial conquest and worse.

        isn’t that paragraph chewing?

  12. Kay24
    December 4, 2016, 6:36 am

    In the US you can insult the President, members of Congress, business leaders, celebrities, and even your neighbor, but no one can dare speak up against Israel, it’s crimes, or boycott what is made or produced in their illegal territories. It is utterly absurd that this is happening in the US and that people who we vote for is willing to go against the constitution to make sure a brutal occupier is able to continue war crimes and a decades long occupation. They are also deliberately (along with the media) keeping the American people ignorant about what goes on over there, the billions Israel mooches off us, along with deadly weapons, because those who are in dire straits in the US will not like tax dollars being sent to any nation while they suffer in many ways. Aliens control the powers that be here.

  13. Maghlawatan
    December 4, 2016, 6:46 am

    The ADL is all over the place, so left wing about anti Semitism and regarding Palestinians so fascist.
    Nurit Peled Elhanan’s book “Palestine in Israeli School books” explains why

    “The Israeli ethnic nation is comprised of people from all over the world with virtually nothing in common.”

    Their identity had to be constructed and “it is typical of ethnocratic regimes that construe historical narratives about the dominant ethno-nation as the rightful owner of the land while the other’s history, place and political aspirations are presented as a menacing project to be rejected throughly. ”

    They cannot accept Palestinian rights without blowing up their understanding of who they are.

    That is why in the US the ADL has 2 faces.
    The Zionists do not actually know who they are.

    Whereas the Palestinians do. Wallahi

    • bintbiba
      December 4, 2016, 12:29 pm

      !! Goose bumps galore, <3 , ya "ma aghlalwatan " !!

      Hearty greetings !

      " They cannot accept Palestinian rights without blowing up their understanding of who they are.

      That is why in the US the ADL has 2 faces.
      The Zionists do not actually know who they are.

      Whereas the Palestinians do. Wallahi "

      • Maghlawatan
        December 4, 2016, 2:07 pm

        Israel is fake. There is no history between ad70 and say 1900. There is no Israeli people. There are just groups at war with each other. There is no shared identity other than not Palestinian. Dumping 15 archaeological layers to find a sliver than fits the Zionist narrative needs to be called out for what it is. Bullshit.

        A fellah from Sinjil saying Cheef Haalich is more real than ten thousand IDF press releases. Because the fellahin around Sinjil have been saying Cheef Haalich since long before the Bal Shem Tov invented Hasidism. In Poland.

      • Sibiriak
        December 4, 2016, 11:24 pm

        Newt Gingrich declared that the Palestinians are an “invented” people who want to destroy Israel.

        Palestinians and their supporters should declare that the Jews are an “invented” people who want to destroy Palestine.

        Why not? Give them a shot of their own medicine.

        What could possibly go wrong?

  14. Ossinev
    December 4, 2016, 7:30 am

    I expect the Senate would vote to declare that the earth is flat if Israel asked them to because it is deemed Anti Semitic to say that it is round . What a fool America is making of itself. Still the good news is that American Zionists are obviously brain dead – their only strategy is attack attack attack and this strategy has the effect of expose expose expose the control which they have over the US and the shallowness of its elected representatives. At a time when swathes of US voters have turned the political landscape upside down largely because of a perception of a privileged few having all the power this will hopefully rebound very quickly. It will also quite naturally force the issue of the US /Israel relationship to centre stage where the Zionists really don,t want it to be.

  15. amigo
    December 4, 2016, 8:19 am

    The US senate will not concern itself with the theft of land “abandoned by Palestinians “.

    “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday that the state will ask the High Court of Justice to delay the evacuation of the illegal Amona outpost by 30 days.

    The High Court has ordered the outpost evacuated by December 25, ruling that it was built on privately owned Palestinian land.

    Netanyahu said in a meeting with Likud ministers that the delay is meant to allow the state to prepare alternative housing for the residents of the outpost on nearby land, which was abandoned by Palestinians.

    Israel’s Civil Administration in the West Bank said Friday that it intends to relocate the residents of Amona to land deemed abandoned by its Palestinian owners for a period of eight months until a permanent solution is found.

    Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit has recently asserted that the absentee property north of the outpost could be used to temporarily accommodate Amona’s 40 families.

    According to an initial estimate by the governing coalition, the temporary relocation will cost 50 million shekels ($13 million).

    Amona’s residents protested the move in a letter to Netanyahu. “It’s simply idiotic that the state would spend 50 million shekels on this, for eight months, after which Amona’s residents will be expelled yet again,” the letter said. “The State of Israel will have left behind people who have been expelled twice, wasted 50 million shekels and scarred a mountain.” haaretz

    One musn,t inconvenience Jewish Illegal squatters .It,s quite ok if the owners of the land are inconvenienced —they are not Jews .Abandoned is a euphemism for expelled at the point of a gun.Zionist self delusion sans frontiere.

    http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.756869

  16. Maghlawatan
    December 4, 2016, 2:20 pm

    2 very interesting trends are :
    1. increasing Palestinian confidence as exemplified in the arts and in activism
    2. Deterioration in the quality of social discourse in Israel as the orthodox, settlers and Russians take over. The ignorance trifecta. Shit politicians of the calibre of Bennett, Lieberman and Shakelet Nazi now represent the Israeli mainstream.

    Leibovitz predicted fascism would eventually emerge in Israel.
    It will be impossible for young American Jews to support Judeofascism unconditionally.

    The decision to indoctrinate rather than educate Israeli kids will have catastrophic economic consequences on top of the damage the Orthodox will do.

    • JWalters
      December 4, 2016, 8:01 pm

      “It will be impossible for young American Jews to support Judeofascism unconditionally.”

      And it will be impossible to keep them away from the facts forever. e.g. “War Profiteers and the Roots of the War on Terror”.

  17. AddictionMyth
    December 5, 2016, 9:47 am

    It’s horrible. I’ve been following free speech issues for the last few years, and there has been tremendous progress. This is a huge and uncharacteristic step backwards. The threat to Palestinians is one thing, but the threat to the Jews is even greater – the subjects of such laws inevitably end up as the victims. In fact, Weimar Germany also had such laws, which ended up radicalizing the top Nazi propagandists. Yes, this is well known. So what we have here is self-destruction. Not surprisingly both Schumer and Ellison support this witch hunt.

    • Mooser
      December 5, 2016, 12:11 pm

      “In fact, Weimar Germany also had such laws, which ended up radicalizing the top Nazi propagandists.”

      Ah, how the present changes the past.

  18. Theo
    December 5, 2016, 12:00 pm

    When something ist forbidden, then it becomes even more enticing, during the prohibition people wanted to show that they do what they want and drank all that cheap gin made in bathtubs.
    One could ask one question: why is Israel the only country on this globe that cannot be criticised, does it have to do with God picking them to be his/her/its favorits?
    Or another: why are we wasting all those billions of dollars when we know that it will never survive history?

  19. punterweger
    December 5, 2016, 1:05 pm

    “…the Global Anti-Semitism Review Act of 2004, uses the controversial definition of anti-Semitism produced by the European Monitoring Center on Racism and Xenophobia …” The article should mention that, although the EUMC did produce this “working” definition. Its successor organization the EU’s Fundamental Rights Agency disavowed the definition and removed it from its website. Several commentators including myself pointed this out in earlier comments to another article.

  20. Talkback
    December 5, 2016, 2:19 pm

    “and efforts to delegitimize Israel by “denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, and denying Israel the right to exist”.”

    What about delegitimizing a state, denying its people their rights to self determination, denying their state the right to exist AND expelling their majority AND occupying the rest for nearly half a century?

    Oh, I see, that’s not racism, that’s just support for Zionism.

    • Annie Robbins
      December 5, 2016, 2:51 pm

      besides, it’s not “the Jewish people” right to self-determination, because lots of jewish people are not interested in this zionist “self determination”. it’s an ideological political stance – zionism. it’s a “zionist peoples” self determination not a jewish peoples self determination.

      and on top of that, lots of those zionist people have no intention to ever seek self determination in israel, much less move there. the whole self determination argument is full of holes, aside from the illegality of ones so called self determination crushing the self determination of the indigenous people.

  21. rosross
    December 5, 2016, 5:14 pm

    It is morally wrong to demand a majority as a given for a particular religious group. It is unethical, bigoted, undemocratic, unenlightened and has no place in a civilized world.

    Jews are a religion and no more a people, beyond religious metaphor, whatever some might like to believe, than any other religion. Religions do not get homelands or land rights.

    And yes, I know that there is a strong belief within Judaism as well as Zionism that Jews constitute a people, a racial group etc., but that does not make it true or real. Religions contain many beliefs which are simply untrue and merely a part of the dogma and theology, originally meant as metaphor and not to be literalised. In fact orthodox Jews opposed the creation of a literal State of Israel on that basis – it was only ever meant to be metaphor.

    Jews, like most religions, comprise all races and dozens of nationalities and the only ethnicity which exists as a whole, is the same religious ethnicity which all other religions share. Jews are not ethnic in any real sense of the term and religious ethnicity for Judaism is no different than religious ethnicity for Hindus, Muslims, Christians etc.

    The Zionist propaganda that Jews are a people has fed and fuelled the atrocities committed against the Palestinians. Zionism entrenched the delusion that the conflict was about a group called Jews and a group called Arabs in order to deny the existence of the Palestinians.

    Jew is a religious label, Arab is a cultural label, the same as European, Asian etc. The irony is that anyone spending time in Israel can see that Israeli culture is Arabic, Jewish and non-Jewish. Israeli Jews are different to Jews from other nations in the same way Chinese or Indian Christians are different to American or British Christians. The religion does not create a universal culture even though rituals, traditions and religious dogma are shared.

    You cannot compare a religion with a culture. You cannot compare a Jew with an Arab anymore than you can compare a Hindu with a European. This issue is not about Jews or Judaism, or Arabic culture, it is purely a colonial war waged by Israeli (mostly European) Zionists and Jews against Palestinian non-Jews, the indigenous people of the land stolen by the colonists.

    On one side are Israelis, Zionists and Jews, and on the other are Palestinians, Muslim and Christian. It is time to stop propagating the Zionist lie that this is about Jews and Arabs.

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