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Anti-Semitism is considered a serious moral failing. But no one calls out anti-Palestinian bigotry

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When it comes to the Israel/Palestine subject, the elephant in the room is that the only form of bigotry that is ever noticed is antisemitism.

In the British argument over whether anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism, the pro-Israel side is lumping in defensible statements, dumb or insensitive statements, and actual antisemitic statements from the anti-Zionists into one big pot. And so the well-intentioned commentator, like Gaby Hinsliff, in this Guardian piece (“Antisemitism has rocked Labour’s self-belief”) is too lazy to try and make the distinctions and then screws up herself– when she says it’s anti-Semitic to deny “Israel’s right to exist” without seeming to realize that Israel wouldn’t exist as a Jewish state without ethnic cleansing and discrimination.

Because nobody cares about anti-Palestinian bigotry.

No other human rights movement I can think of is automatically accused of being racist. The underlying assumption is that Palestinians just don’t matter that much, so anyone who expresses moral outrage or uses the normal tools of protest, like boycotts, can’t possibly be motivated by human rights concerns. They must be antisemites or at least examined very closely for antisemitism before being given a clean bill of health.

Who examines the examiners for their bigotry? No one.

The lumping in of statements is crucial to the pro-Israel effort. People like me find it exhausting and dispiriting to go through line by line what people have said, making distinctions between what is defensible, what is stupid or insensitive and what is genuinely hateful, and so lazy liberals take the easy way out and follow the lead of the hasbarists.

It is the job of journalists and pundits to make these distinctions. (Okay, stop laughing.)

But nobody in the mainstream even notices the anti-Palestinian bigotry.

Hillary Clinton’s speech to AIPAC in March is the absolute gold standard in demonstrating this. You can see the pathological bigotry in the pro-Israel movement entailed by the fact that the presumptive liberal nominee for President takes for granted she can label a human rights movement as antisemitic and not be called out on it, and now the current outrage is all about some mostly obscure Labour politicians, the most prominent being former London Mayor Ken Livingstone, some of whom have apologized for what they said.

But listen to what Clinton said about the Palestinian solidarity movement. They’re a bunch of anti-Semites.

Many of the young people here today [at AIPAC] are on the front lines of the battle to oppose the alarming boycott, divestment and sanctions movement known as BDS.

Particularly at a time when anti-Semitism is on the rise across the world, especially in Europe, we must repudiate all efforts to malign, isolate and undermine Israel and the Jewish people.

I’ve been sounding the alarm for a while now. As I wrote last year in a letter to the heads of major American Jewish organizations, we have to be united in fighting back against BDS. Many of its proponents have demonized Israeli scientists and intellectuals, even students.

To all the college students who may have encountered this on campus, I hope you stay strong. Keep speaking out. Don’t let anyone silence you, bully you or try to shut down debate, especially in places of learning like colleges and universities.

Anti-Semitism has no place in any civilized society, not in America, not in Europe, not anywhere.

It’s not just that Clinton’s AIPAC speech unfairly equated BDS supporters with antisemites. It’s that in making that equation she herself was revealing anti-Palestinian bigotry. And nobody in the mainstream thinks about it that way. It wouldn’t cross their minds– even as the conventional wisdom on that speech was that she was “pandering.”

Which is another way of saying that anti-Palestinian racism is the widely accepted norm and people don’t even see it.

People need to read Jerry Haber’s post of a couple weeks back, on Anti-Palestinianism and Anti-Semitism. The only problem is that antiPalestinianism is such a tongue twister. But Haber puts his finger on it:

Anti-Semitism is considered a serious moral failing in Western society today, whereas anti-Palestinianism is not even recognized as a phenomenon to be studied.

He elaborates:

By “anti-Palestinianism” I understand prejudice against Palestinian Arabs based on perceived negative qualities of Palestinian cultural or natural identity. Views such as “Palestinian Arab culture is a culture of death and martyrdom,” “Palestinian Arabs hate Jews because of incitement,” “Palestinian Arab labor is inferior” are examples of this prejudice. Attempts to justify these prejudices are inevitably based on selective data, generalization, and bias.

Haber explains the ways that Zionists have captured the term anti-Semitism and maligned any support for Palestinian rights:

The so-called “New Anti-Semitism” was born of the increasing identification, shared by some Zionists and anti-Semites, of Israelism and Judaism… [A]fter Israel’s capture in 1967 of territories of historical significance for Jews, the growing acceptance of ethnic diversity in western societies, and the increasing prominence accorded to the Holocaust in popular culture, Israel became an important component in the identity for many Jews.

Especially for the generation of 1967, to oppose Zionism was in effect to oppose the self-determination of the Jewish people, which was to imply that Jews as a people have less rights to self-determination than other peoples. This purported “singling out” of the Jews was seen by some to motivated by, or identical with, anti-Semitism. And because anti-Semitism, like racism, had become a term of moral opprobrium in modern society, “anti-Semite” was applied to those who wished  ti replace the State of Israel with another political system, for whatever motivation, even if they thought it better for the Jews.

Today, if one rejects the claims of Jews to a state of their own in Palestine, i.e., if one rejects statist Zionism, one is considered by these people to be at best an unwitting or inadvertent anti-Semite. The same is true if one wishes to replace the Zionist state with a state that is predominantly a civic one – Muslim, Christian, and Jewish. The same is true if one thinks that founding the State of Israel in the way it was founded was bad for Jews and for Arabs.

It also follows that if one is a Palestinian and shares any of the aforementioned beliefs, one is, at best, an unwitting anti-Semite. And that conclusion is anti-Palestinianist because it says that Palestinians can have no other motive for opposing a Jewish state than implacable hatred of the Jews. And if that conclusion seems too bizarre even for those who are wont to find “anti-Semites” everywhere, it is less so when applied to Palestinian sympathizers. “After all ,why should a British Labourite be sympathetic to anti-Zionism if she is not herself related to a Palestinian – unless that sympathy is, perhaps, unconsciously, tinged by anti-Semitism.” But aside from trivializing anti-Semitism, that conclusion is also anti-Palestinianist – because it implies that the Palestinians have little justified claim to sympathy, either because their suffering has not been so great, or, worse, they have brought it upon themselves. And because the accusation of “anti-Semitism” carries with it a particular tone of moral opprobrium following the Holocaust, the accusation is hurtful in ways that “anti-Zionism” or “anti-Israelism” are not.

Haber’s conclusion:

All bigotry should be condemned, whether the target group is powerful or weak. But there should be special concern for the consequences of bigotry aimed at the weak, since those consequences will be more dire. Anti-Semitism can never be justified, and it should be called out when found. And the pro-Palestinian movement has done that. But insufficient sensitivity to anti-Palestinianism is, under present circumstances, a greater sin for those who care about the real consequences of bias and bigotry.

To be sure, those who care for the well-being and equal rights of the people living in Israel/Palestine will not agree on how to achieve those rights. One can oppose many forms of political resolutions without being bigoted, and one can oppose tactics as inappropriate or counter-productive without bias or prejudice. Particular tacics endorsed by  the Palestinian National Boycott committee have been criticized. But this opposition should be based on argument,  not on bigoted insensitivity, especially when directed against the weak and vulnerable. Boycott, divestment, and sanctions are generally legitimate tactics, the wisdom of which can be debated. But delegitimizing or demonizing, much less criminalizing, the BDS movement is, in most cases, the product of anti-Palestinianist bias and should be rejected by decent people on all sides.

Donald
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56 Responses

  1. TerryHeaton
    TerryHeaton
    May 5, 2016, 11:22 am

    As an outspoken observer and commentator on media and the Middle East, I, too, find this regularly in my work and via social media “discussions.” The problem with the Western press is that anti-Palestinianist bias falls within Daniel Hallin’s media “Sphere of Deviance” and therefore unworthy of even the smallest bit of coverage. This is due entirely to the success of hasbara and the eggshells upon which the press must walk in matters of regarding Israel. I don’t believe it will change anytime soon. My many media friends refuse to touch it, and meanwhile, the shell game of regional destruction provides ample opportunity for the press to talk about things other than the human rights violations against Palestinians. The matter almost moved into Hallin’s “Sphere of Legitimate Controversy” in the summer of 2014, but it quickly went back to the “Sphere of Deviance.” You’ll recall the first beheading by ISIS took place on July 24, 2014, as the world was clamoring for action against Israel over atrocities in Gaza. Due to its utterly deplorable nature, the behavior of ISIS drew press attention away from the bombings. The beheadings one-upped anything Israel was doing, and Gaza suddenly disappeared. It was a remarkable coincidence, eh?

    The dehumanization of an entire culture (those awful Arabs) has been one of the most remarkable examples of successful propaganda in human history, proving that even as advanced as we think we’ve become, we’re really just savages at heart. My only hope is the free web, where everyone is a media company and hands can reach across the bias and shake those of others who might be curious. Sadly, this is nobody’s strategy, and as long as the overall Palestinian community continues to play into the anti-semitic arms of awaiting Zionists through its own bad behavior, the narrative of “everybody hates the Jews” will continue on generations.

    I want to thank Mondoweiss once again for the window on the world that it provides and thanks to Mr. Johnson for this particular essay.

  2. David Doppler
    David Doppler
    May 5, 2016, 12:34 pm

    We see here two tools of manipulative sophistry: conflation and nuance. All criticism of Israeli oppression is conflated with Anti-Semitism, and with denial of Israel’s right to exist, and on those bases condemned. All efforts to defend or discuss criticism of Israel are drawn off into endlessly nuanced historical, definitional, etymological, cartographic, religious and philosophical digression. While, as you point out, flatly racist labeling of the victims of oppression – blaming them for their own suffering, denying their humanity or even their existence – are asserted as fact, not subject to debate, and all efforts to discuss or debate them are promptly rolled into the conflation ploy.

    It is somewhat more sophisticated than the techniques used in the South fifty years ago – “Oh, so you’re a N*****-lover??” the inevitable conversation stopper directed at anyone who sought to challenge Jim Crow oppression from within that society, coupled with actual lynchings, cross-burnings, beatings and arrests directed at those not within that society – but similar in its intent and effect: to intimidate and silence dissent from blatant racism justifying awful oppression.

    Enough sophistry. Stop the oppression.

    • Doubtom
      Doubtom
      May 8, 2016, 2:07 am

      Well articulated and should all be in Capital letters! You have the essence of the problem. Distortion and manipulation have long been favorite tools of the propagandists.

  3. Citizen
    Citizen
    May 5, 2016, 12:54 pm

    Politicians are opportunists. Hillary once stood up for Palestinians, but she changed her tune to anti-Palestinianism to get her senate seat in NY, and has doubled down ever since, as she did so cleary with her last AIPAC speech. Yes, the problem is nobody influential calls her on it, and the entire main media is complicit.

  4. Ossinev
    Ossinev
    May 5, 2016, 1:27 pm

    @TerryHeaton
    “the narrative of “everybody hates the Jews” will continue on generations”

    I think that with the educational content/prospectus in Jewish Israeli schools this will continue to largely to be the case. There is a strongly embedded cultural/religious “legal” system in Israel which is designed to counter assimilation and intermarriage and it is hugely successful. But you cannot in Israel ( yet – Shaked may have other plans ? ) block access to the Internet and foreign travel both of which will expose young Israeli Jews to the true reality of what is going on in their state and in the occupied and blockaded territories. So there is some hope there perhaps ?

    The real panic in this regard is within the Zionist/Israel Firsters and their associate “lobby” institutions in the US. These are generally older generation and generally non – assimilated and have no other narrative than the “Jews have always been hated” and “we are the only real victims in all of history” and they rely on these as a staple diet to get them through each 24 hours when faced with the alternative narrative of land theft,oppression,brutality and apartheid. They, as well as their puppet masters back in their “home country”, are seeing a high level of assimilation and intermarriage and a greater level of challenge to the “everybody hates ” narrative amongst the younger American Jews. Thus the Birthright freebies etc.

    In very basic terms a young Jewish American who is friendly with,enamoured with and eventually marries or becomes the partner of a non Jew will question the accusations of “everbody hates” coming from their parents and grandparents and once they question and reject this they will start to looking at the whole range of Hasbara which has been dumped on them by the older generations.

    • MHughes976
      MHughes976
      May 5, 2016, 4:07 pm

      One of the bad things is that if you insist that you are hated and will not relent whatever reassurances are offered you do in the end give people a reason maybe not to hate you but at least to fear you.

    • Doubtom
      Doubtom
      May 8, 2016, 2:11 am

      But how many generations must we go through before this enlightenment takes place Terry?

  5. Peter in SF
    Peter in SF
    May 5, 2016, 1:46 pm

    The word “Anti-Semitism” means the belief that Jews do not deserve to be treated as white people. This is how the word started being used in the 19th century, and it still means that today when someone is being accused of anti-Semitism. For some people, concern about anti-Semitism stems from concern about bigotry of all kinds. But for others, concern about anti-Semitism stems from concern about maintaining white privilege for Jews.

  6. hophmi
    hophmi
    May 5, 2016, 3:54 pm

    This is nonsense. The reason you don’t hear people talk specifically about anti-Palestinianism is because it’s usually called out as Islamophobia. On college campuses, anti-BDS students are often smeared as Islamophobia for not supporting the Palestinian narrative.

    • Donald
      Donald
      May 5, 2016, 6:49 pm

      Your usual kneejerk response. But if you actually thought about it you’d realize you are being self contradictory. College campuses are hardly representative of what one hears in the mainstream press or from politicians and normally you’d be the first to point this out– you would claim that what campus activists say is not representative of the larger society.

      And no, Islamophobia isn’t the same. Clinton calls out Trump’s Islamophobia. Most liberals and the remaining conservatives with some sense of decency do the same– that is, they do not approve of bigotry against American Muslims. That’s true of you too. But Palestinians are a different matter– Clinton just assumes she can make a blanket antisemitic accusation against pro Palestinian activists and not be condemned as a bigot.

      • hophmi
        hophmi
        May 6, 2016, 8:39 am

        No one is saying that Islamophobia is the same. But it’s a more powerful term than anti-Palestinianism.

        And it is not anti-Palestinian to condemn anti-Semitism in the BDS. Not in any way.

        What you really want to insulate the Palestinians from all criticism by defining all criticism of Palestinians as bigotry.

      • Donald
        Donald
        May 6, 2016, 2:30 pm

        Clinton characterized the entire BDS movement as antisemitic. Which is nonsense, except on the assumption that Palestinians are inferior beings and so the only motivation for boycotts must be antisemitism.

    • Peter in SF
      Peter in SF
      May 5, 2016, 6:57 pm

      Hophmi, when you use highfalutin language like “not supporting the Palestinian narrative”, we take it that you are being deliberately obfuscatory. Was this intended to mean “denying the Nakba”? If not, then please explain the difference.

    • Talkback
      Talkback
      May 5, 2016, 10:41 pm

      hophmi: “On college campuses, anti-BDS students are often smeared as Islamophobia for not supporting the Palestinian narrative.”

      Anti-BDS students are supremacists.

    • bryan
      bryan
      May 6, 2016, 4:38 am

      Hophmi – your’s is the “nonsense”. “Anti-Palestinianism” (whilst a mouthful) is an invaluable concept, as is the distinction between “old anti-Semitism” and “new anti-Semitism”.

      Old anti-Semitism is the traditional Christian-inspired bigotry directed at Jews because of religious and associated cultural differences. It’s precise equivalent is Islamaphobia, the modern bigotry directed at Moslems, by Christians and Jews (and a lot of non-believers influenced by Judeo-Christian culture).

      New anti-Semitism is a concept invented and constantly iterated by Zionism that claims that there is “bigotry” in the criticism of Israel by those who assert the necessity for human rights principles in the resolution of the issues facing the area that was Mandatory Palestine. This attempts to assert that there is an objective to destroy Israel masked in the motives of those who (1) draw attention to the plight of the victims of the Nakba and their just claims for resolution (recompense, recognition, right of return or some combination of these); (2) proclaim the illegitimacy of the legal, economic and social privileges that have been seized by the Jewish population within the area; (3) deny that a right of Jewish self-determination entitles Israel to seize all the land and dispossess all the non-Jewish inhabitants of the self-proclaimed “eretz Israel”; (4) point out the illegitimacy in international law of the various devices (occupation, settlement, constant war and war-mongering, killing of civilians) used to expand Israeli power; or (5) attempt to employ the peaceful and legitimate tools of BDS to promote change and to save Israel from its demons.

      Anti-Israelism (largely devoid of any of the characteristics of anti-Semitism) is exactly equivalent to Anti-Palestinianism largely devoid of the characteristics of Islamaphobia). Hilary’s AIPAC speech could be the basis for defining both: “we must repudiate all efforts to malign, isolate and undermine Israel and the Jewish [supporters of Israel]” Since long before the establishment of the SOI its proponents have assiduously sought to “malign, insolate and undermine” the right of Palestinians, initially to national self-determination within eretz Palestine, later to even a rump state outside the 1967 borders of Israel, to international recognition and membership of the UN and the community of nations.

    • Edward Q
      Edward Q
      May 6, 2016, 9:28 am

      They are not the same and not all Palestinians are Muslim. How often do discussions of Islamophobia mention Palestinians?

      • hoya saxa
        hoya saxa
        May 7, 2016, 11:50 am

        99% of palestinians in gaza are muslim. 98% of palestinians in the west bank are muslim. I like dealing in facts.

  7. Sweetling
    Sweetling
    May 5, 2016, 4:37 pm

    I was raised in the 70’s and 80’s in a classic American Jewish stew of perennial global victimhood, cultural and intellectual superiority, and deeply loving support and admiration for Israel. I still hear Jews calling Palestinians animals. My father would love to see all Arabs wiped off the planet. He’s not alone.

    To even consider the concept of being “Anti-Palestinian” you’d have to acknowledge their humanity, and the existence of anything that could be called “The Palestinian People” – which Jews routinely and gleefully deny.

    So if they’re not a People, and they’re not quite human and they clearly don’t love their children as much as they hate Jews, how could anyone be faulted for wishing they could be pushed into the sea?

    Add to this toxic brew the general ignorance among Jews of what really happened leading up to statehood, and the evils done in ’48 and since, and you’ve got the epic ongoing disaster of the U.S. propping up an ethnocratic client state, with the vicious ADL and AIPAC ensuring that anyone who dares to criticize Israel is painted a filthy, bigoted liar, or a self-hating Jew.

    Thank goodness for the internet and the intrepid historians and true journalists who insist that true history is not “revisionism” and who carry on despite the abuse from Zionists. We’ll win because BDS will work. It will work because the young people will not be fooled by the baseless accusations and histrionic doomsaying of their brainwashed elders.

    • hoya saxa
      hoya saxa
      May 6, 2016, 1:02 am

      BDS is losing in america and around the globe…thought you were good with that whole internet thing. BDS is losing in france and had to pay for boycotting stores and they are currently passing anti bds legislation across the states and across europe. They are closing bds bank accounts and people are lining up to transact with israel since they keep on inventing what we all want and need..nice try though. If israel was as useless as the palestinians you celebrate it would be easier to boycott them..they are not though. sigh.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        May 6, 2016, 9:43 pm

        You know, I keep on wanting to tell “hoya saxa” “Don’t insult our intelligence”.
        But then I realized there’s only one insulted intelligence around here.

        “Hoya saxa” let me tell you a secret about the Internet you may not know: When people write in to a website, the comments are “hits” and “UPVs” which mean people like the site. Not even Zionists can change that.

        Do you have a way around that? Gonna call Google and tell them not to count yours? I never have figured that out, if you Zionists dislike Mondo so much, why do you keep feeding it?

      • rosross
        rosross
        May 7, 2016, 10:50 pm

        BDS is not losing around the world, it is succeeding. I am sorry but you have become so used to Zionist propaganda you can no longer tell the difference, nor do your own objective research.

        I don’t think the Palestinians claim Israel is useless, although anyone who spends time there or with Israelis knows that it is more Third World than First, they simply claim the truth, that Israel is a violent, backward, barbaric and murderous occupier, coloniser and apartheid State.

        Israel could disappear tomorrow and have no impact on the world at large, despite the propaganda fed to Israelis and their followers.

        And in most countries in the world, they are still removing Israeli goods from shelves and most definitely are not passing anti-BDS legislation. The US might give that a try given the power of Jewish/Zionist lobby groups in that country, but it will also fail there.

        https://bdsmovement.net/2015/7-ways-our-movement-broke-new-ground-13634

      • kev
        kev
        May 10, 2016, 11:08 am

        “If israel was as useless as the palestinians you celebrate…”

        Great job, “hoya saxa”… You’ve just done an exemplary job of proving that you are a bigot. You are very much an example of the bigoted anti-Palestinianism that this article discusses.

    • Doubtom
      Doubtom
      May 8, 2016, 2:23 am

      Well said, Sweetling,,, a thought occurs while reading your comments—Has there ever been another example of a group of people who ‘self-hated’, or is that a peculiar Jewish creation?

      • gamal
        gamal
        May 8, 2016, 8:23 am

        ” ‘self-hated’, or is that a peculiar Jewish creation?”

        no no its appropriated

        “The oppressed will always believe the worst about themselves.”
        ― Frantz Fanon

        actually truth is we all loathe ourselves no need to make a fuss

        “The Negro enslaved by his inferiority, the white man enslaved by his superiority alike behave in accordance with a neurotic orientation.”
        ― Frantz Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks

        “Wretched of the Earth” is the manual.

        Naropa was the absolute master of self hatred didn’t he say “this I believing in a self deserves to be burnt”

        however he also says

        Homage to the state of great bliss!
        Concerning what is called Mahamudra
        All things are your own mind.

        Seeing objects as external is a mistaken concept;
        Like a dream, they are empty of concreteness.
        This mind, as well, is a mere movement of attention
        That has no self-nature, being merely a gust of wind.

        Empty of identity, like space.
        All things, like space, are equal.
        When speaking of ‘Mahamudra’
        It is not an entity that can be shown.
        There the mind’s suchness
        Is itself the state of Mahamudra.

        if you can find a self ignore it, if it irritates you burn the useless thing.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        May 8, 2016, 12:36 pm

        “Has there ever been another example of a group of people who ‘self-hated’, or is that a peculiar Jewish creation?”

        Let an outreach expert answer your question:

        “Self-hatred is a disease. It is a sad disease borne of many generations of persecution, but it is a disease. And Phil is afflicted with it, as many Jews have been in the past. And it is usually the self-haters who cause the worst damage to the Jewish community, precisely because of how small it is.” “Hophmi” – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/profile/hophmi/?keyword=fall+away#sthash.jr6Jm7Ja.dpuf

        There you go. A cogent, objective dispassionate and most important, compassionate explanation of the “disease.”
        And far fewer technical terms and statistics than the DSM entry on the subject.

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew
        May 8, 2016, 6:13 pm

        For film portraits of black self hatred see “Boyz in the hood” and “straight outta compton”. Both films portray black cops who hate uppity black youths. When j.j. walker is accused of minstrelsy it is also an accusation (fair or unfair) of black self hate.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        May 8, 2016, 9:15 pm

        “For film portraits of black self hatred see “Boyz in the hood” and “straight outta compton”.”

        So “Jewish self-hatred is from African-Americans? “Yonah”, you sure got good Poddy training.

      • rosross
        rosross
        May 8, 2016, 10:05 pm

        The thing about so-called Jewish self-hatred is that the label is only applied to those who criticise Israel’s behaviour or who condemn Zionism. Odd kind of self-hatred since neither Israel nor Zionism represent Jews or Judaism.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        May 8, 2016, 11:22 pm

        “The thing about so-called Jewish self-hatred is that the label is only applied to those who criticise Israel’s behaviour or who condemn Zionism.”

        And the label is almost exclusively applied by…?

  8. Kay24
    Kay24
    May 5, 2016, 5:44 pm

    When it comes to the Palestinians you can say just about anything, insult them, threaten them, and even call their children names, but that is fine, especially when it comes from the zionists.

    Imagine:

    Calling for Tel Aviv to be bombed to the stone age
    Calling Jews wild beasts or two legged beasts
    Calling Jewish children “Little snakes”
    Calling for the death of Jews

    Imagine the howls of outrage, victimization, anti-semitism, and the uproar in the US media.

    But hey, these were ugly vicious statements made by ISRAELI officials, and citizens marching
    through the streets of Tel Aviv holding their national flag, so that is okay, after all that was for Palestinians, and they do not matter.

  9. MHughes976
    MHughes976
    May 5, 2016, 5:53 pm

    The term ‘anti-Arabism’ has some currency, enough to generate some internet entries. It’s absolutely true that one could not treat the standard Western talk about the ME with any respect or even patience unless one treated the Palestinians as lacking most normal human rights.
    One problem is the different tone haphazardly acquired by different ‘anti’ words – anti-fascism is fine, anti-traditionalism is OK, anti-Semitism is bad.

    • bryan
      bryan
      May 6, 2016, 5:04 am

      The opprobrium heaped upon the crime of anti-Semitism (let me be absolutely clear – not the old-fashioned and utterly hateful bigotry directed at Jews, but its new designation directed at any criticism of Israel) is surely only possible because of two factors:

      (1) A numerous but poorly educated and poorly informed group of Christian fundamentalists have proclaimed fealty to a Jewish state with a capital in the city where their founder was executed. Somewhat ironic isn’t it?

      (2) A small but very powerful and wealthy group of (non-Christian) Zionists have come to exercise very considerable influence within academia, the media, and the echelons of government, most particularly in the USA but in many other states, and display a remarkable devotion to a foreign state whose interests often appear to run counter to the interests of their own state. Somewhat ironic isn’t it?

      • rosross
        rosross
        May 7, 2016, 10:43 pm

        Very well said. And of course the ‘shadow’ effect is that the bigotry claimed in regard to followers of Judaism, is now made manifest in egregious bigotry to non-Jews in general and Palestinians in particular by the Zionist State of Israel.

        As someone who has tracked Jewish ancestors back through seven generations in Australia and Britain, it is pretty clear that anti-Semitism was not an issue and is not an issue.

        I suspect that is because both in the UK and Australia, certainly in times past, most Jews did what everyone else did, Muslims, Hindus etc., and largely assimilated. The fundamentalists of course did not but there were fewer fundamentalists than there are now, a ‘side-effect’ no doubt of the political correctness of multi-culturalism and the creation of Israel.

        Where ‘pogroms’ took place the situation was more complicated and less united and each situation would have to be studied individually in order to understand why it happened. It is also worth remembering, that such violent discrimination happened to others and not just to Jews in centuries past.

        And of course, what is forgotten are the Jewish pogroms against others throughout the Middle East and Europe in centuries past.

        Not to mention forced conversions to Judaism, another part of Jewish history also forgotten. Needs must no doubt.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        May 8, 2016, 12:04 pm

        “Not to mention forced conversions to Judaism, another part of Jewish history also forgotten. “

        Ouch!

  10. pjdude
    pjdude
    May 5, 2016, 9:24 pm

    The biggest problem with the anti semitism claims is if you are accused of it you are automatically deemed guilty no defense is allowed thats it doesn’t matter how baseless it is your forever tainted. your anti palestinian no body really cares.

  11. Citizen
    Citizen
    May 6, 2016, 6:07 am

    Follow Hillary’s finger in the wind; it’s being whipsawed at tad by Bernie’s fans but Hillary’s so deep in Haim Saban’s pocket, and AIPAC’s, she stays totally coifed.

    • Doubtom
      Doubtom
      May 8, 2016, 2:31 am

      I wonder how many remember way, way, back when Hillary was a newly minted “first lady” and she had the temerity to express an honest opinion about Israel and how quickly she was made to realize the power of the Jewish presence in America? Hillary has had a few more changes in opinion since that time and they were all to suit the purpose at hand more than they were to express an honest opinion.

  12. Boo
    Boo
    May 6, 2016, 12:24 pm

    “No other human rights movement I can think of is automatically accused of being racist.”

    Black Lives Matter is frequently, though not automatically, accused of racism — particularly by those who twist the phrase into a bogus rebuttal: “All lives matter.”

    We’re starting to see a new term being used: “intersectionalism”. It describes the deliberate standing-in-solidarity of two or more distinct yet related justice movements. Every day the intersectional connection between BLM and the Palestinian struggle for justice grows more intertwined and hence stronger. A quick Google for “BDS Black Lives Matter” demonstrates this.

    Therefore, it’s no surprise that the detractors of both movements rely on the same old hackneyed and misapplied epithets.

    That only serves to spotlight a core organizing principle from the turbulent ’60s:

    “Five fingers. One hand.”

  13. genesto
    genesto
    May 6, 2016, 12:34 pm

    Isn’t anti-Palestinianism, as the author calls it, part of the larger problem of Arab racism and Islamophobia prevalent in the US and Israel, and the underlying cause of our wars of choice in the Middle East? It’s interesting to look at the Palestinian part of this problem, and give it this clever name. But I believe the solution will come when these countries recognize and address the overriding issue of Arab racism and Islamophobia inherent in these respective cultures .

  14. Kathleen
    Kathleen
    May 6, 2016, 9:29 pm

    Anti Palestinian equals anti semitism

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      May 6, 2016, 9:35 pm

      “Anti Palestinian equals anti semitism”

      That’s is correct. I personally have always been proud of being related to the Palestinians by way of Noah’s son, Shem. He was a doer, and unlike his brother, a subtle and restrained thespian.

  15. Vera Gottlieb
    Vera Gottlieb
    May 7, 2016, 12:04 pm

    It is bellicose Zionism that should be condemned, not Judaism.

    • echinococcus
      echinococcus
      May 7, 2016, 2:46 pm

      I’m not so sure of that. Religion, like also any monotheistic religion of the Big Three group, traditionally called “Semitic”, is sure to be a factor, too.

    • hoya saxa
      hoya saxa
      May 7, 2016, 3:05 pm

      does the violence from the i/p conflict even make it into the top 50 world conflicts?

      • kev
        kev
        May 10, 2016, 11:22 am

        Well, hoya, it certainly should, for at least one reason: it is one of the longest ongoing conflicts that is still unresolved.

      • MHughes976
        MHughes976
        May 10, 2016, 1:19 pm

        Unresolved and very dangerous. Paddy Ashdown, former Liberal Denocrat leader, calls it – well, more specifically the ‘occupation’ – the ‘burning coal’ at the centre of the ME problems. The sparks fly far and wide because of the importance of the region to everyone’s material interests and to so many religious traditions with so much moral influence.

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      May 7, 2016, 4:59 pm

      “It is bellicose Zionism that should be condemned, not Judaism.”

      Judaism bears some part of the responsibility. Might be beneficial if organized Judaism took a look at what part they played in it.

      • oldgeezer
        oldgeezer
        May 8, 2016, 12:06 am

        I’m not sure I agree with that. No more than Christians/Christianity bears any of the responsibility for the whacko fundamentalists found in western nations.

        There are always nutcases willing to hijack a religion and there are always the feeble minded tgat will follow

        Judaism has stood the test of time along with other religions. Those that need to take a look are all (and I do mean all) those that participated and assisted. They know who they are. And we know those who did so publicly.

        Regardless of other crimes in the world this is a human rights crime of immense proportions. And those that support it are criminals. The leaders arwe evil criminals.

  16. rosross
    rosross
    May 7, 2016, 10:13 pm

    Since Zionists consider Palestinians to be sub-human, one presumes that bigotry no more applies than it would to an animal.

    • oldgeezer
      oldgeezer
      May 8, 2016, 12:00 am

      Spot on. I have been busy but had intended to make a comment along the same lines. References to beasts, snakes, etc. None of which the vile GoI considers to be incitement while dirty feet is an extreme incitement. Millions of people who don’t qualify for the bare minimum of humam rights unless they please their overlords. The extent and dwpth of racism in Israeli society beggars belief. As Rivlin would say a very sick society. The disease is fatal for Palestinians.

      Is there any hope for reason, morality and decency in a state such as that.

      • rosross
        rosross
        May 8, 2016, 10:22 pm

        Anyone who spends time in Israel or works with or for Israelis, cannot help but be shocked by the levels of bigotry and racism, expressed, seemingly without any capacity to register that if the same things were said about them, or anyone else, there would be outrage.

        I guess if you grow up in a society which teaches children that the indigenous people of the land in which you live are sub-human, they have an option to decide how to treat these ‘animal-like’ creatures who are an inconvenience and a threat.

        The greatest tragedy is not in fact what Palestinians have experienced but the terrible debasement of Israelis and their awful State in the name of a twisted belief system, Zionism, and the most egregious bigotry.

        No wonder so many young Israelis are emigrating back to the countries their parents or grandparents left. One of the biggest communities is in Berlin which is a healing touch and says a great deal about what life is like in Israel for anyone of conscience and/or intelligence.

  17. Mooser
    Mooser
    May 8, 2016, 11:38 pm

    “The greatest tragedy is not in fact what Palestinians have experienced but the terrible debasement of Israelis”

    Oh, I see.

  18. Antidote
    Antidote
    May 10, 2016, 2:35 pm

    “nobody cares about anti-Palestinian bigotry.”

    “No other human rights movement I can think of is automatically accused of being racist.”

    I can think of at least one, but nobody cares about anti-German bigotry either.

    Here is a typical take on the issue, from a pro-Israel perspective. And lets remember that the Palestinian/German (Sudeten German) comparison goes way back to the 1930s, popularized by none other than Hitler. Which helps neither the Germans nor the Palestinians

    http://www.jcpa.org/phas/phas-urban-f04.htm

    • MHughes976
      MHughes976
      May 10, 2016, 3:41 pm

      Yes, there are nasty things of that kind in the Brexit campaign. And we have wiped from memory the post-Yalta German Nakba.

      • Antidote
        Antidote
        May 11, 2016, 5:46 pm

        MHughes, re: the “nasty things” – the British obsession with the Germans is interesting, I think, given the fact that extreme anti-German sentiment predates both WW II and I. But since I am travelling around Europe right now, I have to get back to you on this rather complicated issue.

        As for assigning the German Nakba to the memory hole: I am not sure this is even the case. Granted, many people have no knowledge of it but it has never been a secret either. Worse, I think, than denial, is toleration, if not outright support for what in either case/Nakba must be considered a major crime against humanity.

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