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For criticizing Israel not Russia, Roger Waters reveals anti-Semitic ‘undercurrents’ — Foxman

Israel/Palestine
on 35 Comments

Abe Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League has responded to Roger Waters’s appeal to the rock and roll community to boycott Israel with an open letter smearing him as an anti-Semite because he’s focused on Israel rather than Myanmar, China, Russia and Turkey. (By this standard Martin Luther King Jr. would have had to focus on every problem in America to avoid being called anti-white.) The letter is filled with wild jabs and swings– Foxman is very concerned about the growing isolation of the Jewish state. Excerpts:

Dear Mr. Waters,

…In recent months, however, your relentless attacks against Israel and calls for a boycott of the Jewish State have caused us to reexamine your attitude towards Jews.

In your July 25th letter to your “Colleagues in Rock and Roll” you offered full-throated unambiguous support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, writing that their goal is “to bring international attention to these Israeli polices [of ‘occupation of the West Bank and violations of international law and Palestinian human rights’] and hopefully, to help bring them to an end,” and imploring other musicians to join you in refusing to perform in Israel.

Important details are omitted from your letter, which is a classic propaganda technique.  Why didn’t you point out that one of the stated objectives of the BDS movement, promoting a complete right of return for all Palestinians classified as refugees and the creation of a bi-national state, would result in the end of the Jewish character of the State of Israel and destroy Jewish national self-determination?…

You accuse the Israeli government of committing ethnic cleansing by physically evicting non-Jewish families from East Jerusalem to make way for Jewish occupants, yet provide zero evidence for this frivolous claim. You argue that Israel is akin to Apartheid South Africa, despite the complete and equal rights enjoyed by Arab citizens of Israel.

Most disturbing of all is your decision to single out Israel for a boycott, while ignoring real human rights abusing countries around the world.

Where is your voice calling for a boycott of China for their persecution of Buddhists, or the persecution of Muslims by Buddhists in Myanmar? Why not Russia for its ongoing suppression of government opposition figures, and recent enactment of homophobic legislation?..

Your single-minded obsession with trying to convince others to boycott the Jewish state, while ignoring the world’s true human rights violators, must be driven by something other than a guilty conscience. Taking all this into account, one must conclude that your views on Israel are in fact colored by offensive and dangerous undercurrents of anti-Jewish sentiment.

If you were truly interested in leading an honest human rights campaign, you could start by speaking out against policies of the above-mentioned countries, as well as many others that commit actual crimes against their citizens. And if you wanted to sincerely address the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, you could express your support for a two-state solution, and encourage your fellow musicians to embrace the notion of Israel living in peace and security with a Palestinian state….

As to propaganda and frivolous claims, Israel has revoked residency rights of 14,000 Palestinians in East Jerusalem since 1967– recently Suheir Azzouni’s family. Haaretz has said that Israel’s official policy is to “Judaize” Palestinian land.

And apartheid? Many have said that it is the political reality of conditions in the West Bank. Lately Roane Carey said as much. Jeffrey Goldberg says it’s “provisionally apartheid.” Longtime Israel supporter Stephen Robert called it apartheid on steroids.

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About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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35 Responses

  1. Abdul-Rahman
    Abdul-Rahman
    August 28, 2013, 11:43 am

    This completely bankrupt and moronic “argument style” yet again from the ziobots!

    For good analysis of this nonsense from the ziotrolls see these past writings for example:

    The (what about) China syndrome by Tom Suarez http://mondoweiss.net/2012/07/the-what-about-china-syndrome.html

    The China-Darfur distraction by David Samel http://mondoweiss.net/2009/12/the-china-darfur-distraction.html

    http://progressivealaska.blogspot.com/2010/01/saturday-alaska-progressive-blog_30.html

    An example excerpt from this good article:

    “We don’t send hundreds of billions of American tax dollars to the North Koreans so that they can drop or shoot white phosphorus onto schools and hospitals, where kids like the one at the upper left have to end up dead or looking like him.”

    • Philip Munger
      Philip Munger
      August 28, 2013, 5:06 pm

      Thanks for linking to my essay from early 2010, A-R. It needs an update, but holds up reasonably well over the succeeding 41 months or so.

  2. American
    American
    August 28, 2013, 11:47 am

    Same old, same old.
    Too bad Foxman doesnt deliver his rants in public where someone could throw a bucket of cold water on him to stop his hysterics.

  3. Taxi
    Taxi
    August 28, 2013, 11:49 am

    When is the ADL gonna invent a detector rod for antisemites? They can just run it over people’s heads and scan their brains for any antisemitic ‘activity’.

    • Bumblebye
      Bumblebye
      August 28, 2013, 12:18 pm

      He doesn’t need one Taxi, he *knows* it to be at least latent in all non-Jews.

  4. Bumblebye
    Bumblebye
    August 28, 2013, 12:15 pm

    Does Foxman really, truly believe this sh*t, or does he simply inhabit an alternative reality?
    “You accuse the Israeli government of committing ethnic cleansing by physically evicting non-Jewish families from East Jerusalem to make way for Jewish occupants, yet provide zero evidence for this frivolous claim. You argue that Israel is akin to Apartheid South Africa, despite the complete and equal rights enjoyed by Arab citizens of Israel.”

    Is he wilfully that ignorant? Does he have gatekeepers ensuring he never, ever sees an even vaguely negative (or truthful!) report about Israel?

    • amigo
      amigo
      August 28, 2013, 12:20 pm

      Bumblebye
      “Is he wilfully that ignorant? Does he have gatekeepers ensuring he never, ever sees an even vaguely negative (or truthful!) report about Israel?”

      He lives in a Zio cocoon , safely protected from reality and facts.

    • seafoid
      seafoid
      August 29, 2013, 4:27 am

      He’s writing to his base. “Jews wouldn’t do apartheid” is the meme.
      The older people may get the message but their grandkids aren’t listening.

    • markolopa
      markolopa
      August 29, 2013, 9:33 am

      Foxman is a professional propagandist, he certainly does not believe in what he says…

      Btw there is a very nice documentary about him, made by a young Israeli:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b8bG5NxQ66g‎

      Cheers,
      markolopa

  5. seafoid
    seafoid
    August 28, 2013, 12:16 pm

    “Why didn’t you point out that one of the stated objectives of the BDS movement, promoting a complete right of return for all Palestinians classified as refugees and the creation of a bi-national state, would result in the end of the Jewish character of the State of Israel and destroy Jewish national self-determination?…”

    Did Pink Floyd compel Israel to occupy the territories ?
    Surely if the ADL wanted to retain the “Jewish character” of Israel it wouldn’t support YESHA.

    “Jewish self determination” hasn’t really worked out, has it ?

  6. eljay
    eljay
    August 28, 2013, 12:36 pm

    >> Important details are omitted from your letter, which is a classic propaganda technique.

    So sayeth the master propagandist.

    >> Why didn’t you point out that one of the stated objectives of the BDS movement, promoting a complete right of return for all Palestinians classified as refugees and the creation of a bi-national state, would result in the end of the Jewish character of the State of Israel and destroy Jewish national self-determination?…

    1. Mr. Foxman is not concerned with “the Jewish character” of Israel, he is concerned with Jewish supremacism in Israel.
    2. “Jewish national self-determination” is religion-based supremacism. Religion-based supremacism is not something anyone should accept.

    >> Most disturbing of all is your decision to single out Israel for a boycott, while ignoring real human rights abusing countries around the world.

    IOW: Sure, we do bad things but – HEY! LOOK OVER THERE!!!

    >> Your single-minded obsession with trying to convince others to boycott the Jewish state, while ignoring the world’s true human rights violators, must be driven by something other than a guilty conscience.

    Mr. Foxman’s single-minded obsession with labelling everyone an anti-Semite must be driven by his hateful and immoral Zio-supremacism.

    >> And if you wanted to sincerely address the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, you could express your support for a two-state solution … Israel living in peace and security with a Palestinian state….

    Mr. Foxman does not want a strong and autonomous Israel living in peace and security with an equally strong and autonomous Palestine, he wants a strong, autonomous and supremacist (Greater) “Jewish State” living in peace and security next to a hobbled Palestine.

    • seafoid
      seafoid
      August 28, 2013, 3:52 pm

      I think foxman is aiming for a second career on the borscht belt with that nonsense.

  7. talknic
    talknic
    August 28, 2013, 1:38 pm

    “For criticizing Israel not Russia”

    Uh huh. Is this the same Russia http://israelseen.com/2010/07/30/fact-sheet-russia-israel-relations/ ?

  8. RudyM
    RudyM
    August 28, 2013, 2:11 pm

    . . . caused us to reexamine your attitude towards Jews.

    I find this hilarious somehow. What do you have to do to have an ADL file on your attitude towards Jews, and how often do they update these files?

  9. Clif Brown
    Clif Brown
    August 28, 2013, 2:21 pm

    What would Foxman have to say about Henry Herskovitz’ activities in Ann Arbor MI, recently related in the local media? I’ve met Henry and he is definitely not an anti-Semite, but he is resolute in his attempt to make The Jewish State into a state for all who live there, and all who were expelled.

    To be against what the Nazis did to the Jews was not anti-German, yet the Nazis were at pains to portray it as such, as they were to portray Germany as the victim of the Jews. This idea of “we are the sole judges of those who criticize us” should always be dismissed.

  10. Chu
    Chu
    August 28, 2013, 2:32 pm

    I can Abe and his goons at the midtown board room reviewing this letter and laughing at what a crock of dung it is. It reads like a common hasbara troll comment. This letter isn’t even slick.

  11. Danny_123
    Danny_123
    August 28, 2013, 2:33 pm

    Isn’t it time that Foxman and his defamation league were taken to task over his free-flowing slander of anyone who even says a peep about Israel and his egregious misuse of the “anti-Semite” card to silence all opponent of Israeli occupation?

    What I’d love to see happen is Roger Waters taking Foxman and his defamation league to court and suing them for slander not only of Waters, but pretty much every person who’s said a word against Israel in the last 20 years and had their mouths muzzled shut with threat of damage to both reputation and career.

    I call on Roger Waters to tear down the wall of silence about Israel, and start with that ugliest of bricks known as the ADL!

  12. yrn
    yrn
    August 28, 2013, 3:10 pm

    “By this standard Martin Luther King Jr. would have had to focus on every problem in America to avoid being called anti-white.”
    I gave some credit to Phil now I see that he is completely not wiess

  13. just
    just
    August 28, 2013, 4:07 pm

    Foxman and his Arab Defamation League.

    Another zionitwit exposed again……..born in what is now Belarus, raised by a Polish Catholic nanny, and baptized Catholic…..

    I guess he “found” his identity. He should be grateful.

  14. mijj
    mijj
    August 28, 2013, 4:44 pm

    just to get this straight ..

    is speaking out against injustice generally “anti-semitism”, or is speaking out against the injustices perpetrated by Israel “anti-semitism”?

    If the latter, i think it should be broadened to cover the general case.

    Either way, the message from the users of the term seems to be: “anti-semitism” is a term used to identify an admirable and moral stance.

    (in the real world, the meanings of words and phrases come from usage, not abstract definitions)

  15. justicewillprevail
    justicewillprevail
    August 28, 2013, 6:08 pm

    This is so bad, it is funny. It certainly exposes how bankrupt the zio geniuses are when it comes to deploying an argument. They have nothing to offer except some exceptionally tired and stale cliches, so old and withered that they are zombie arguments – raised from the extinct pile of hoary old myths to scare the gullible and credulous with tales of boogie men. I guess all cults thrive on superstition. Diversion, lies and smearing with anti-semitic charges based on nothing except a Stasi-like ‘we are examining your file’ – lol. So they have nothing of substance to say, and somehow imagine this will have any impact at all? What fools they make of themselves.

  16. giladg
    giladg
    August 28, 2013, 6:21 pm

    And many Black South African who actually lived through apartheid, who have spent significant time in Israel and not the week that Tutu or Allan Busak did, have said that it is in no way similar to apartheid and is nowhere as bad.

  17. RoHa
    RoHa
    August 28, 2013, 7:50 pm

    “destroy Jewish national self-determination”

    Of course, as I have demonstrated repeatedly on MW, Jews are not a nation in any normal sense, and Jews per se do not have a right to self determination.

  18. gingershot
    gingershot
    August 28, 2013, 9:13 pm

    Everybody hates Abe Foxman but it’s not because he’s Jewish – it’s because he’s an obvious A-H***

    ‘the end of the Jewish character of the State of Israel’ as conceptualized by Abe Foxman cannot come too soon

    Trying to destroy someone by labelling them an Anti-Semite should be a hate-crime. In Abe Foxman’s case he is a repeat offender

  19. Kathleen
    Kathleen
    August 28, 2013, 10:11 pm

    Foxman omitted all of Israel’s human rights violations, omits that Israel is in violation of more UN resolutions than any other country. Waters is an honorable person with a conscience

  20. FredCassis
    FredCassis
    August 29, 2013, 10:33 am

    For deflecting attention from their negative selfishness, zionists as foxman & the likes, are actively endeavoring to blind us quite deviously with all their abilities & time; what a waste.
    Other countries doing the same as is criticized here, is first not a license to do so, & 2nd, they ARE being criticized by many others as we can see plastered all over the news when it happens; so it’s not necessary to repeat it; only they don’t endeavor so cunningly to justify – therefore stay caught up in, their wrong actions…
    What a sad example to the children.
    It’s no wonder that Jews in America & all around the world are starting to doubt in, & seriously distancing themselves from the actual roads & preferences taken by the ruling junta in occupied Palestine/Israel.
    May those with Ears, to Listen.

  21. xanadou
    xanadou
    August 29, 2013, 11:53 am

    It looks like either foxman and/or the ADL have been put on notice by their paymasters. The inept desperation of this “response” is beyond embarrassing.

    “Where is your voice calling for a boycott of China for their persecution of Buddhists, or the persecution of Muslims by Buddhists in Myanmar? Why not Russia for its ongoing suppression of government opposition figures, and recent enactment of homophobic legislation?..”

    So the best Foxman could do is to equate Israel with Myanmar (a major faux pas) and China? China is not persecuting Buddhists, but leaders of Tibet who happen to be Buddhists; yes, Virginia, there is a difference. That conflict is about China’s greater territorial ambitions to annex Tibet. But then that would evoke Israel’s own greater territorial ambitions. Oops…

    So Foxman puts Russia’s homophobia on a par with Israel’s white phosphorus dropped on Gaza, or Palestinian children used as human shields, or wholesale destruction of Palestinians olive groves, or bulldozing of Palestinian properties? While pretending to ignore the petrified homophobia in his own backyard?
    Double oops.

    Israel’s pathetic PR and its quislings are losing their senile grip on reality. If Israel is to survive, it’s time to abandon the 19th century zionist agenda and get with the program that is the 21st century. The fading fogies have already saddled their own youngest generation with a terrible long-term burden. (Shades of post-war Germany.)

    The rags are off and the self-appointed emperor is revealed: a tattered scarecrow on chipping stilts.

    Sic transit gloria mundi.

  22. pipistro
    pipistro
    August 29, 2013, 12:19 pm

    Here is Roger Waters’ response to Foxman’s shameful initiative.

    • Chu
      Chu
      August 29, 2013, 12:47 pm

      Roger’s has a good response. Clear and reasonable, while Foxman seems to be slinging more mud than necessary. It eventually will backfire the more this debate sees the light of day.
      A lobby The ADL is like a night flower: It thrives in the dark and dies in the light’

    • just
      just
      August 29, 2013, 12:49 pm

      Thanks pipistro– you certainly have linked some great information on MW. That letter from foreignpolicy has made the rounds!

      • pipistro
        pipistro
        August 29, 2013, 1:20 pm

        Thank you, just.

    • markolopa
      markolopa
      August 29, 2013, 4:28 pm

      Wow, I’m very impressed by his text!

      The argument “you focus on Israel so you must be an anti-semite” is often used. Many people don’t find a good way to answer to it. I like Roger’s answer, but I also use another answer. I say that while other populations may be suffering similar injustice, the complicity of the Western world and the non-awareness of the public opinion of the Palestinian issue seems to me greater than for the case of other people, like in China or in Darfur. So I believe I can do more to improve the world we live in by focusing on this issue.

  23. Rusty Pipes
    Rusty Pipes
    August 29, 2013, 2:18 pm

    Speaking of “classic propaganda techniques,” Foxman utilizes several well-worn ones by bringing up Russia: diversion, Democracy-washing and pinkwashing:

    Where is your voice calling for a boycott of China for their persecution of Buddhists, or the persecution of Muslims by Buddhists in Myanmar? Why not Russia for its ongoing suppression of government opposition figures, and recent enactment of homophobic legislation? Not only have you never called for boycotts of those countries, you actually played concerts in both China and Russia during the past few years. You also seemed to have no qualms about performing earlier this month in Istanbul, despite Turkey’s questionable human rights record in dealing with its Kurdish population, as well as the previous month’s brutal government crackdown on protesters at Taksim Park.

    By the way, Freedom House’s country index ranks both China and Russia as “not free” and Turkey as “partly free.” Israel, by contrast, is ranked as “free.”

    Your single-minded obsession with trying to convince others to boycott the Jewish state, while ignoring the world’s true human rights violators, must be driven by something other than a guilty conscience. Taking all this into account, one must conclude that your views on Israel are in fact colored by offensive and dangerous undercurrents of anti-Jewish sentiment.

    1) Diversion: “Your single-minded obsession with trying to convince others to boycott the Jewish state, while ignoring the world’s true human rights violators.” We’ve seen this one so often by hasbarists, especially regarding Sudan (where someone like Charles Jacobs could move easily from heading the David Project to heading an anti-Sudan organization), that it’s surprising that they think it’s still an effective talking point.

    2) Democracy washing (AKA The Only Democracy in the Middle East): ‘Freedom House’s country index ranks both China and Russia as “not free” and Turkey as “partly free.” Israel, by contrast, is ranked as “free.”’ Using a hawkish conservative (neocon-dominated) organization as an authority makes it so. Using an assessment by an Israeli human rights organization, like Adalah, might give a different freedom index.

    3) Pinkwashing: “Why not Russia for its … recent enactment of homophobic legislation?” This looks like a passing “put a rainbow on it” form of pinkwashing, “the use of Israel’s “gay-friendly” image to distract from human rights abuses in Palestine.” Even so, the entire recent targeting of Russia’s Olympics in the context of Middle East foreign policy bears the mark of a pinkwashing campaign. Democratic Party-affiliated orgs are urging corporate sponsors of the Olympics to put economic pressure on Russia at the same time that the US, France and Britain have been trying to get Russia to drop its UNSC veto of an attack on Syria (a project that the Israeli right and Israel Lobby have been pushing for years).

  24. marc b.
    marc b.
    August 30, 2013, 8:28 am

    on the arts, apologize if this has been posted already, but if not see EI report of Israeli musician’s allegedly ‘jewish only’ public concert in SA. bizarre.

    http://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/recordings-suggest-racial-profiling-sponsors-israeli-musician-south-africa

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