Antisemitism and its useful idiots

Middle East
on 40 Comments

All over the world people who challenge Zionism are being accused of antisemitism. You might imagine the one group of dissidents who are safe from this kind of delegitimization is the Israeli Jews—we are not. This cruel irony, when exposed, may actually play a productive role in decoupling antisemitism and anti-Zionism. As actual antisemites take positions of power in the US government while maintaining a pro-Israel stance, the need to oppose the false accusations of antisemitism becomes ever more vital.

I was recently accused of antisemitism over an article I wrote about resistance to Israeli apartheid in the Jordan Valley. At first I was perplexed—could I have said something antisemitic? Surely I’m not immune to bigotry just because I am a Jew whose grandmother fled Nazi Germany to find refuge in Mandatory Palestine with her parents losing their entire livelihood in the process. But after a close reading of the accusations I found them a revealing example on the accusatory phenomenon as a whole. They cite as evidence of antisemitism my citation of reliable UN sources indicating that a process of ethnic cleansing has been occurring in the Jordan Valley since 1967, with no shred of compassion for the Palestinians whose situation I try to make visible. They see the Israeli soldiers and bureaucrats whose actions I condemn as representatives of the Jewish people en bloc, as if we Jews were all one likely-minded monolith. In this logic, however incoherently framed, anyone who criticizes Israel could be accused of antisemitism. This empties the word of meaning, which is a very dangerous prospect when the Nazi salute is being performed minutes away from the White House to celebrate an actual bigot’s presidency.

Zionism and antisemitism are long-time bedfellows, and not strange at that. They’ve been consistently sharing the cause of emptying Europe of Jews while transplanting them in Palestine. Theodore Herzl, the founder of colonial Zionism, stated very clearly in his Diaries: “The anti-Semites will become our most dependable friends, the anti-Semitic countries our allies.” This alliance continues to this day as the burgeoning extreme right aims to have a Jew-free white America while maintaining a staunch support for Israel. Trump’s friendship with Netanyahu is emblematic of this tendency.

Zionists like to think of themselves as the saviors of the Jews, as if Jews were compliant lambs until the Zionists came over and put pitchforks and guns in our hands. This way Zionism attempts to overshadow Judaism’s important contribution to legacies of struggle. In my own life, Judaism informs my resistance to the Israeli state (and to all states, for that matter). I lit candles on Hanukkah commemorating the Jewish rebellion against Hellenistic imperialism almost 2200 years ago. I cherish the legacy of the ZOB, who led the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising and wrote: “All people are equal brothers…. To separate peoples, colors, races – is but an act of cheating!”

If I felt anxiety at the site of my own picture flagging the word “antisemite,” and thought I may need to choose my words more carefully next time, I can imagine it being quite daunting for non-Jews who feel compelled to support the Palestinian call for equality. Indeed, international groups I speak to often say that fear of the “antisemitism accusation” is the biggest challenge they face as activists. We need to be crystal clear about the illegitimacy of this invocation: to support the Palestinian call for equality and freedom is not antisemitic. It is not a call against Jewish people, but against the dehumanizing policies of a state. Opposing Israel is not opposing Jewish people (on the contrary). Following are five reasons for which these accusations should be opposed and discredited:

  1. Jewish people are not a single monolithic group. Zionism and the State of Israel do not represent all Jews. To consider opposition to Israel as opposition to all Jews makes the assumption that Jews are all represented by the Israeli State – this is a racist assumption. (A similar argument is often made by Omar Barghouti)
  2. The Zionist idea that Jewish people have a birth-given right to colonize Palestine comes out of a nineteenth century white European notion that Ashkenazi Jews are not Europeans, that they are “strange Asiatics” who come from the Middle East and therefore must all “return” to it. This is an unfounded and antisemitic argument. (Authoritatively articulated by Joseph Massad and others)
  3. Accusing people who oppose the State of Israel of antisemitism is an equation that works both ways—it creates a false image of antisemites as people who uphold Palestinian rights. It is therefore an accusation which strengthens actual fascists, as it puts them in a positive light. (See an article by Michael Lesher)
  4. Zionists accuse people of antisemitism in order to silence resistance to Israeli crimes.
  5. At a time in which fascism strengthens globally, the groundless allegation of antisemitism drains the word itself of meaning, making it incoherent and irrelevant, allowing racists who support Israel, such as Donald Trump or his chief strategist Steve Bannon, to hide their antisemitism.

Profiling activists as antisemites, whether those with Holocaust survival in our family history or those without, is not only rhetorically dangerous, but may actually put people at risk. Right now Palestinian solidarity efforts are being criminalized the world over. But fearing these kinds of accusations and limiting ourselves to a false political correctness only leaves a void to be filled by authoritarian politics. It’s time we call antisemitism for what it is. The recuperation of anti-racist politics as a whole is at stake.

About Amitai Ben-Abba

Native of West Jerusalem, Amitai Ben-Abba runs a blog and takes part in protests and direct actions with Ta'ayush, Yasamba, and Anarchists Against the Wall.

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40 Responses

  1. eljay
    January 17, 2017, 10:36 am

    Zionists believe that Jews are entitled to do unto others acts of injustice and immorality they would not have others do unto them.

    Zionists routinely conflate Zionism and the religion-supremacist “Jewish State” project with all Jews (and vice-versa).

    Zionists are hypocrites.

    • rosross
      January 18, 2017, 9:37 pm

      Just as fanatical, fundamentalist offshoots of Christianity do not represent Christianity or Christians, neither does Zionism, a fanatical, fundamentalist, not even religious because it is atheist, represent Jews or Judaism.

      A non-religious group like Zionism cannot represent a religious movement like Judaism. That is the core insanity of it all. An atheist group which rejects religion and God, draws upon religious teaching that some God gifted a slab of the Middle East to Jews, to demand the right to colonise Palestine.

      • Mooser
        January 18, 2017, 10:24 pm

        “A non-religious group like Zionism cannot represent a religious movement like Judaism”

        It sure can, if Judaism lets it. In truth, Judaism has no way to prevent it.

  2. Atlantaiconoclast
    January 17, 2017, 12:30 pm

    As a Trump voter, and someone who knows many Trump supporters, please believe me when I tell you that not one of them wants a Jew free US. Steve Bannon doesn’t even want that. If anything, Trump supporters (I voted for him, but I can’t say I am a supporter on many issues) are largely philo-Semitic. Don’t believe me? Just visit theconservativetreehouse.com, and read the comments. Most there support Israel very strongly, and reserve their hatred for Muslims.

    It seems that many in this movement think that they can disarm the accusations of anti Semitism by accusing Trump supporters of it.

    • Citizen
      January 17, 2017, 2:53 pm

      I don’t think Trump, Kushner, Friedman, Bannon, other Likud-Style followers even recognize any racism inherent in their glorification of white nationalism here & Zionist nationalism there. They both ignore the concept of equal rights under law.

      • Mooser
        January 17, 2017, 3:09 pm

        Well said, “Citizen”. Thanks.

      • Atlantaiconoclast
        January 17, 2017, 11:52 pm

        What glorification of White nationalism? Trump has not called for immigration policy based on race. You guys are hurting your own cause by exaggerating about Trump. What is truly frightening is that someone as bold as Trump is nonetheless, just as craven as the next guy when it comes to Israel. But then again, maybe he is just ignorant about the matter, and trusts his Jewish daughter.

      • Sibiriak
        January 18, 2017, 5:09 am

        Amitai Ben-Abba: At a time in which fascism strengthens globally, the groundless allegation of antisemitism drains the word itself of meaning, making it incoherent and irrelevant, allowing racists who support Israel, such as Donald Trump or his chief strategist Steve Bannon, to hide their antisemitism. [emphasis added]
        —————————-

        Proof of Bannon’s antisemitism is apparently to be found at this link:

        http://forward.com/news/israel/354402/how-steve-bannon-and-breitbart-news-can-be-pro-israel-and-anti-semitic-at-t/

        How Steve Bannon and Breitbart News Can Be Pro-Israel — and Anti-Semitic at the Same Time

        […][Breitbart News] trafficked in anti-Semitic tropes. One article called Washington Post columnist Anne Applebaum a “political revisionist,” noting “hell hath no fury like a Polish, Jewish, American elitist scorned.” Another called The Weekly Standard’s Bill Kristol a “renegade Jew.”

        Bannon’s ex-wife branded him as an anti-Semite in 2007 court documents, in which she describes Bannon complaining about “whiny brat” Jews at their daughters’ school, according to the New York Daily News. Bannon denied that he made the comments, through a spokeswoman. [emphasis added]

        That’s the evidence –in total. And you know it’s been deeply and thoroughly investigated. Nothing else has been found.

        Sufficient proof? Or another case of a ” groundless allegation of antisemitism”?

    • Sibiriak
      January 18, 2017, 3:12 am

      Atlantaiconoclast: It seems that many in this movement think that they can disarm the accusations of anti Semitism by accusing Trump supporters of it.
      —————————

      Seems that way. Certainly Steve Bannon has been branded an anti-Semite–without any credible evidence.

      Even Tom Suarez ( who says, “[v]irtually all of the alleged anti-Semitism we hear about from the Zionists is a lie, smears…”) appears not to have been able to resist the temptation to anti-Semiticize Trump & co:

      [Tom Suarez:] …it is the simple fact that Zionism requires anti-Semitism, is addicted to it, and seeks to insure that it, or at least the appearance of it, never ends. One need look no further than the satisfaction among many Zionists today at the true anti-Semitism of the incoming US administration of Donald Trump … [italics in the original; bolding added]

      http://mondoweiss.net/2017/01/terrorism-israeli-state/

      The Trump administration is guilty of “true” anti-Semitism? Where’s the evidence?

      • Mooser
        January 18, 2017, 12:06 pm

        “The Trump administration is guilty of “true” anti-Semitism? Where’s the evidence?”

        Don’t worry, “Sib”. When America sees how much the Trump administration does for Israel, any accusations of “anti-semitism” will simply fade away.

      • Tom Suarez
        January 23, 2017, 4:35 pm

        Hello Sibiriak,
        Thanks for the comment regarding my reference to the Trump Administration and anti-Semitism. Rather than go into anti-Semitism among some Trump advisors (about which we could discuss and agree or disagree), I will point out that this is actually irrelevant to the issue at hand. All that matters for the argument I presented is that prominent Zionists BELIEVE the Trump Administration to be anti-Semitic, and that they believe this to be a good thing. THAT is the issue. Whether you or I or anyone else consider any individual in the Administration to be anti-Semitic does not change this.

    • Theo
      January 18, 2017, 12:49 pm

      Nobody in his right mind would want a jew free USA, this country benefited unproportionally from jewish scientists, artists and inventors, we would be a poorer country without them.
      However, what we want is american citizens who practise the jewish religion, (if they prefer to do so), and not zionists, who support Israel with all means at their disposal, even spying on their country that provides them a safe home, and always work against the interests of this country to further a zionist cause!!

    • Mooser
      January 18, 2017, 10:27 pm

      “Trump supporters (I voted for him, but I can’t say I am a supporter on many issues) are largely philo-Semitic.”

      Isn’t that nice! Please, don’t do me any favors.

  3. amigo
    January 17, 2017, 1:05 pm

    When I am accused of being an antisemite , I strengthen my resolve to put these liars and bigots out of business.I take insult , when false accusations are hurled at me ans especially by apologists for war crimes and Human rights abuses .

    I used to question my actions and statements –just in case.Not anymore.

    • Mooser
      January 17, 2017, 1:33 pm

      .” I lit candles on Hanukkah commemorating the Jewish rebellion against Hellenistic imperialism almost 2200 years ago.”

      “With [Greek historian Alfred] Zimmern’s guidance, Brandeis came to view Palestine as a society that could achieve the kind of small-scale Jeffersonian agrarian democracy that had reached its fullest expression in fifth-century Athens….” (Rosen’s book on Brandeis)

      • Citizen
        January 17, 2017, 2:56 pm

        Here, take this bowl of cherry tomatoes, and pile of hummus, be glad Zionists have always had a very green thumb! Here, some olives and an orange too! Also, didn’t you know Jews invented rocket science and Goethe and Wagner? Gutenberg was a Jew too! You need to pick up a book.

      • Mooser
        January 17, 2017, 3:12 pm

        “You need to pick up a book.”

        I picked up a book once, and laughed and cried until I put it down. Some day, I might read one.

      • rosross
        January 19, 2017, 1:37 am

        And yet it was the Greeks who brought education to the Hebrews. Judaism took much from the Greeks, just as it did from the Ancient Egyptians.

        There is nothing wrong with that. All religions have stolen from others, past and present. All religions are hybrid.

      • Mooser
        January 19, 2017, 5:08 pm

        “Judaism took much from the Greeks, just as it did from the Ancient Egyptians”

        Yes, and earlier from the Canaanites. Yup, while they were conquering and settling, they were syncreting a mile a minute. And before that, many of the religious ideas of the Israelite’s may be traced back to Iran.

  4. Eva Smagacz
    January 17, 2017, 3:22 pm

    When Jeremy Corbyn became a leader of UK Labour Party, I applied for the membership and, with thousands of others, was rejected.

    The internal Labour party opposition to Corbyn was incredulous about the number of new members that his leadership attracted.

    This coincided with a witch hunt for “anti-semitism in Corbyn’s Labour Party” that we now know was orchestrated by Israeli Embassy.

    So Corbyn’s opponents did a background check on all pro-Corbyn new potential members ( officially to keep rif-raf, anarchists, marxists, fundamentalists, and anti-semites out).

    This also was designed and allowed them to try and gerrymander leadership elections, when Corbyn was challenged for the top spot.

    Challenge did not work: His support between rank and file is solid and growing.
    But I found myself caught in a net, and joined “rif-raf, anarchists, marxists, fundamentalists and anti-semites” who didn’t get permission to join Labour Party.

    The reason were my tweets during attacks on Gaza (don’t remember which one).
    I still cannot find anything racist in my tweets, but they were hostile to Israel, and that was enough.

    • Annie Robbins
      January 17, 2017, 4:45 pm

      I found myself caught in a net, and joined “rif-raf, anarchists, marxists, fundamentalists and anti-semites” who didn’t get permission to join Labour Party.

      The reason were my tweets during attacks on Gaza

      eva, can you apply for membership again? i don’t understand how this works where you’re not allowed to register for a political party in the UK. i can understand putting a time limit on it directly prior to an election, but after an election you can’t try again? what reason could they give to deny registration permanently to a UK citizen, and based on what? tweets? is this for real? do you still get to vote in the national election without being registered to a party?

      • RoHa
        January 17, 2017, 6:58 pm

        Annie, people in the British and Australian systems don’t know what you mean by “registered”.

        Most of us are not members of any political party. We vote for whomever we want, and then grumble that it didn’t make anything better.

        Joining a party is like joining a club. The party can decide whether it wants you. You pay membership fees, and have some say in the running of the party.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 17, 2017, 7:06 pm

        here if you want to vote you have to register first, you can’t just show up with your ID and ask for a ballot. at the time you register, you have a choice to register with a party, or not with a party. every state has it’s own rules about who gets to vote in their primaries but the general election is open to everyone. i’ve never heard of someone not getting to choose a party, if it is there wish to do so, or a party rejecting someones membership, unless the state party has a deadline to register to be able to vote in a primary. the only advantage to being in a political party is being about to vote in the primaries or vote in the party’s election process, for their officials — which is different for each state. but the elections for the dem party coming up, for a leader like keith ellison, not everyone gets to vote in that party election, only dem party officials or dem delegates from each state.

        and it’s free, you don’t have to pay money to register with a party.

      • amigo
        January 17, 2017, 7:38 pm

        Annie /Roha , in Ireland we have to register one time only as a person entitled to vote , age/citizenship etc. Voting cards are sent out to each voter informing them of date and location of each election/referendum , and when you show up to vote with your card ,your name is checked against an official list in the possession of the officials at the voting station.They may ask for id but they will usually know most of the voters so only strangers will be asked.

        Joining a political party is optional and the truth is the majority of people are not members , at least in Ireland.

        .

      • oldgeezer
        January 17, 2017, 8:13 pm

        @RoHa

        Canadians do not need to register for a political party either. You do need to register to vote but that can be at the polling station with suitable id.

        I assume that your description of aussies is correct but my suspicion is that Canadians don’t join a party, vote for whomever they want to and spend the next four years claiming they didn’t vote for the government no matter which party wins.

        I don’t get registering for a party. Seems like info the gov doesn’t need or can get in alternate ways. It has nothing to do with your vote technically. It is not mandated you should vote party lines.

      • RoHa
        January 17, 2017, 8:54 pm

        We don’t have primaries. Members of the party in the electorate offer themselves as candidates. A selection committe of senior party members decide which one they hate least and will cause the least amount of spontaneous vomiting from the public, and declare him/her/it/whatever the candidate.

        You can declare yourself a candidate without being a member of any party, as well. You have to pay a deposit to the Electoral Commission, If you fail to get a certain percentage of votes, the deposit will not be refunded.

        Voting is compulsory. All citizens have to enroll in their district. The Electoral Commission keeps a list, and checks it twice. It then assumes everyone is naughty, and, just before the election, sends a letter, with a voting card, telling where, when, and how to vote. It doesn’t bother telling you whom to vote for, because, no matter whom you vote for, it won’t make any difference.

        On election day you turn up at the polling place, ignore all the party reps telling you how to vote for their candidate, buy a sausage from the sausage-sizzle (another of your civic duties), look at the display the local historian has set out, and, eventually, go in and present yourself to a nice lady who crosses your name off her copy of the list and gives you your ballot papers. You go to the booth, scan the papers to find the “hang the lot of them” option, fail to find it, and then despairingly put numbers at random next to names you have never seen before.

        Your votes then go into the Australian Preferential voting system. (This was, it is rumoured, fully understood by George Pennington, of Bendigo, in a moment of blinding insight on the 18th of March, 1976. Apparently he forgot it the next day.) This system counts, collates, and transfers your votes for an inordinately long time, and finally comes up with a result no-one wanted. This is then called the Government.

        The British system is similar, except that voting is not compulsory, votes are not transferable, and thus can be done with a single X, and it always rains on election day.

      • straightline
        January 17, 2017, 9:45 pm

        I agree with your summary, RoHa, of the voting system of Australia, with the exception of the “compulsory voting” and sausage sizzle. Many American friends regard the former as an infringement of my civil liberties and I argue strongly with them that it is not. As long as I pick up the ballot paper and deposit it in the box, what I use it for between is up to me. For instance, if I rank everyone number 1, it would be a spoiled ballot and not count. I could do even better things with the paper – except that I can only do it at the counter. which is a tad public. As to the sausage sizzle, it doesn’t cater for vegetarians – at least in my part of Oz. And I agree that it does not make a ha’p’orth of difference – especially not on Australian foreign policy. Instead the political parties invent some niche issue that divides them that ultimately has no bearing on our well-being. During the last election I was overseas so had a postal vote, this allowed me the luxury of reading about all of the 100 or so candidates for the Senate before voting.

      • Eva Smagacz
        January 17, 2017, 10:35 pm

        Hi Annie, I can re-apply to join Labour Party in one year.

        I was also allowed to challenge their ruling, but couldn’t be bothered. Appeal process is lengthy and by the time it were to be completed, it would have served its purpose to keep many pro-Corbin members out of leadership vote.

        It was a very crude attempt to reduce pro-Palestinian faction in “Corbin anti-Semitic Labour Party”.

      • RoHa
        January 18, 2017, 9:23 am

        “the luxury of reading about all of the 100 or so candidates for the Senate before voting. ”

        Luxury? Sounds like a cruel and unusual punishment to me.

        You are also unfortunate in your polling station. Quite a few do offer vegetarian options, in plain wrapper and without publicly questioning your patriotism.

    • RoHa
      January 17, 2017, 10:50 pm

      And a bit more essential information about Australian voting.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sausage_sizzle
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democracy_Sausage

      Drawing a rude picture will not invalidate your vote.

      http://mashable.com/2016/07/02/sausage-harambe-australian-election/#zaJqK1E4oqqr

      And on this site you can see the Australian coat of arms.

      http://democracysausage.org

  5. ritzl
    January 17, 2017, 7:31 pm

    “I can imagine it being quite daunting for non-Jews who feel compelled to support the Palestinian call for equality.”

    Why?

    I think you infer a power that either doesn’t exist or is greatly exaggerated. I’d sure like to see an exploration of the assumptions behind that inference.

    It’s probably true in “solidarity” groups where for some reason avoidance of even the accusation of “antisemitism” seems to take universal precedence over Palestinians in Palestine getting killed or deprived on a daily basis, but as amigo said upthread it (the control mechanism of the liberal use of the accusation) just generally doesn’t matter. The overwhelmingly top issue is the morality (or the psychopathic lack thereof) of the mechanical killing and deprivation of Palestinians in Palestine by Israel/Zionists over the span of generations. Everything else is a far distant second as a topic of conversation. IMO.

  6. RoHa
    January 18, 2017, 12:03 am

    “a revealing example on the accusatory phenomenon as a whole”

    Anti-Semite!
    Homophobe!
    Racist!
    Sexist!
    Climate Change Denier!
    Islamophobe!
    Populist!
    Xenophobe!

    So much easier than actually using reason and gaining enough knowledge to debate the issue.

  7. yonah fredman
    January 18, 2017, 3:29 am

    Because of the existence of zionism and the facts of certain Israeli excesses, it is really impossible to gauge antisemitism. Certainly the real barriers of 60 years ago in many aspects and corners of society have fallen. America has undergone a revolution of openness in many ways and openness to jews is one category. On the other hand, though it is difficult to gauge the numbers represented by the likes of bannon and spencer, the sewer lids have been lifted. On the other side of the tracks, there has been no black jew hater of the severity of farrakhan since farrakhan, and he’s an old man, but cancer didn’t kill him, but if the anger of a young malcolm x feels like a bolt of lightning, the anger of the old farrakhan is the smoldering stick creating a breathing hazard.

    This is to say: zionism in Europe was a reaction to antisemitism. The reality of that hatred can only be denied by ignorant people. The political dynamics of enlisting jew haters to promote zionism is a valid point, but to assert it without some cognizance of where zionism came from, and that is: it arose from a bad situation that eventually became even worse, much worse. To omit that is to distort history.

    • eljay
      January 18, 2017, 8:45 am

      || yonah fredman: Because of the existence of zionism and the facts of certain Israeli excesses, it is really impossible to gauge antisemitism. … ||

      It’s cute how you reduce/ trivialize to mere “Israeli excesses” decades’ worth of (past and on-going) oppression, military occupation, colonialism, belligerence, intransigence and sundry (war) crimes committed deliberately and unapologetically by supremacist Jews and/or their self-proclaimed, religion-supremacist “Jewish State” construct.

    • Mooser
      January 18, 2017, 12:09 pm

      “Because of the existence of zionism and the facts of certain Israeli excesses, it is really impossible to gauge antisemitism.”

      Like the fact that we have killed lots of people in the name of Judaism and Jewish desires? Well, yeah, after that “anti-semitism” does sort of lose its meaning, donnit, “Yonah”?
      And now, since Israel is reputed to have atomic arms, every Jew in the world is hostage to Israel, too. And “certain Israeli excesses.”

      “America has undergone a revolution of openness in many ways and openness to jews is one category.”

      There has been no change in the status of Jews in America since America was made. Jews are US citizens (if meeting all other requirements, of course). Yes, we are more accepted, even sought after, socially. Because we have had all our rights from the start and went through the same cultural assimilation as other ethnic or religious groups who were included in the rights.
      Oh, never mind, there’s no point in trying to explain it to you, “Yonah”

      • Mooser
        January 18, 2017, 12:29 pm

        Gee, you know, we’ve been discussing, interminably, the meaning of anti-semitism.
        And it just hit me, every definition of anti-semitism presumes, is predicated on the innocence of the Jew it is directed toward.

    • Annie Robbins
      January 18, 2017, 12:38 pm

      Because of the existence of zionism and the facts of certain Israeli excesses, it is really impossible to gauge antisemitism.

      attaching anti semitism to the bandwagon of criticism of what a state does and how it acts (yeah, certain war crimes and genocidal type “excesses”, kinda get in the way), although designed to enhance the specter of anti semitism, for many people (myself included) just waters down the accusation. it’s not impossible to gauge hatred of jewish people (which is grotesque but certainly no worse than the now rampant hatred of muslims now infesting our society, thanks in large part to fanatical rabid zionist operatives like david horowitz and his ilk) or hatred of any other group.

      what’s impossible to gauge is how protest against decades of oppression and advocating for human rights is deemed racist. 9/10 of what is claimed to be anti semitism, at least, is just cowardly denial used to defend a criminal state — and that’s a generous percentage. and given the circumstance that the vast majority of those making the false cowardly accusations are jewish themselves, unfortunately it actually raises the possibility/likelihood of antisemitism growing — like a virus.

      worrying about oppression and discrimination against one of the most, if not the most, privileged ethnic groups in our society is not on the top of my list of concerns.

      we need to be vigilant and call out racism when we see it. criticizing a racist state is not racism. nor is ‘singling’ it out, given palestinians are the longest running refugee population in the world, eradicating this “conflict” should be a top priority for the international community.

    • Mooser
      January 18, 2017, 1:31 pm

      “This is to say: zionism in Europe was a reaction to antisemitism.”

      So were a lot of things! The fact that ” zionism in Europe was a reaction to antisemitism” doesn’t make it a good or realistic reaction, nor a reaction which anybody is required to support.
      Nor does it make the Jews who took advantage of that anti-semitism to enable an absurd quasi-religious genocidal colonial scheme in Palestine any better than they were, or are.

      And no, “Yonah”, because “zionism in Europe was a reaction to antisemitism” doesn’t make Zionism ‘Jewish’. It just makes it a reaction.

    • Talkback
      January 18, 2017, 5:54 pm

      yonah fredman: “zionism in Europe was a reaction to antisemitism.”

      A racist reaction to racism.

  8. Ossinev
    January 19, 2017, 2:21 pm

    “People can be held accountable for the lies they tell. Exposing lies is an effective way of uncovering truths which may otherwise be hidden behind unaudited claims … or a misleading ideological consensus.On issue after issue , from history to politics to science to social protest , the real story of our age is about the battle between truth and lies ”

    Gandhi ? Martin Luther King ? Nelson Mandela. No believe it or not it is the UK`s ( or should I say Israel`s ) very own mad Melanie Phillips. In a godsend ( get it ?) to Melanie and other Israeli Firsters a new film about the Holocaust questioner / denier David Irving ( marginally madder than Melanie ) is about to be released in the UK. So anxious is she to jump on this golden opportunity to pontificate about ” anti – Jewish hatred,the prejudice that never dies ” that she came up with a perfect summary of Zionism and Zionists above. BTW as far as Melanie is concerned it would seem that all other forms of prejudice such as Islamophobia , hatred of Blacks,hatred of Asians , Homophobia , hatred of disabled people , mysogony etc etchave a shelf life whereas hatred of Jews aka Anti – Semitism by the grace of God no doubt is eternal. I expect that during her lifetime she has visited her “native” land Israel many times and no doubt has visited the Western Wall to wail about the hatred that never dies. She must have been upset by the fact that she along with others of her gender were restricted to a specific part of the wall but no doubt comforted by the knowledge that this blatant discrimination will in due course die – go on Melanie let us have your thoughts on that particular little Zioconundrum as a starter for 10.

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