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Falsely accusing Palestinians of anti-Semitism is malicious

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Note: On May 18, Rabbi Jill Jacobs published an essay in the Washington Post purporting to distinguish between legitimate criticism of Israel and “anti-Semitism.”  In the essay, she posted two of my tweets to suggest that I am anti-Semitic [spoiler: I am not].  Since August, 2014, the Washington Post has run numerous articles similarly impugning my character.  The paper has never offered me space to write in my own voice, despite numerous inquiries.  I submitted an essay to the Post’s Outlook section responding to the issues raised in Jacobs’ piece, but the paper declined to run it.  That essay, as submitted, follows.

When Israeli soldiers open fire on unarmed demonstrators, as they have been doing for over a month in the Gaza Strip, Americans are implicated in the violence, for the United States arms and funds those soldiers.  Yet liberal supporters of Israel insist on complicating this straightforward proposition.

They often do so by accusing Israel’s critics of anti-Semitism.  On the one hand, Israel’s liberal champions brand themselves allies of Palestine; but on the other hand, they defame and sabotage Palestinians.  It is no longer tenable to have it both ways.

I was shocked to find myself implicated as anti-Semitic in a recent article by Rabbi Jill Jacobs—not the first time she’s made the claim.  A little history serves to illustrate why the accusation is so troublesome.

In 2014, I was fired from a tenured academic position because pro-Israel groups deemed some of my tweets deploring the bombing of Gaza to be anti-Semitic.  The case erupted into a national controversy, during which observers of various ideological leanings showed that claims of anti-Semitism were false and manipulative.  The problem is widespread.  Numerous Palestinians lose jobs or cannot find work because of outside pressure.  Accusations like Jacobs’s, then, have serious repercussions.  They deter inquiry and dissent.  At times, that seems to be their purpose.

Tone-policing Palestinians mortified by what is happening in their homeland is unethical.  It’s a classic form of punching down and ensures that criticism of Israel will be limited to clichés and platitudes.  It contributes to acrimony against people of Arab and Muslim origin.  And it relies on bad-faith interpretations that register opposition to Zionism as racial acrimony.  For those who profess an interest in justice, there’s nothing helpful about it.  The Israeli state is its only beneficiary.

Jacobs objects to the following tweet:  “Support for Israel . . . exists in sites of authority, often an omnipresent but invisible accoutrement to swivel chairs, mineral water, and mahogany tables.”  Only a person actively seeking a reason to complain will find it in this comment.

I was offering the simple observation that Zionism enjoys support among the powerful, which is obvious to the point of banality.  Jacobs, however, decided to read the triteness as sinister.  This happened, remember, just after Israel killed 58 demonstrators in a single day.  Old tweets from an unemployed academic somehow became our main priority, as opposed to concern for the people of Gaza.  The shift from Israeli war crimes to Arab incivility hardly seems accidental.

What does support of Zionism among the powerful look like?  It looks like the Senate (including Bernie Sanders) voting 90-0 to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.  It looks like increasing the $38 billion defense aid package to Israel.  It looks like enjoying bipartisan support no matter how aggressive the behavior.

And it looks like having enough social capital to falsely accuse blacklisted professors of anti-Semitism in a national publication, which in effect reinforces the blacklisting.  The self-denial and sanctimony would be amusing if they weren’t so harmful.

Let’s look at things a different way.  Support of Israel requires deference to legal discrimination, inequitable models of citizenship, and massive displacement based on ethnic background.  Can’t Zionists, then, rightly be accused of racism?  We never get to ask that question.  They occupy a normative position in American political discourses and so their civility is guaranteed.

Palestinians are tired of conversations about our barbarism and irrationality.  We’re trying to survive exclusion and privation.  We have no time to beg Zionists for approval.  And we have no desire to appease disingenuous anxieties.  We too have a right to live.  We too should enjoy the pleasures of dignity.  I cannot appeal to the conscience of my accusers because they refuse to listen, another benefit of power.  I can only hope that readers whose sense of humanity transcends the narrow interests of a nation-state will reject this culture of defamation.

Sloppy accusations of anti-Semitism betray visceral attachment to a country performing violence rather than empathy for those on its receiving end.  The sloppiness is therefore doubly toxic.  But it won’t deter us.  Indeed, it serves as fuel to work even harder so that we might one day enjoy the same freedom as those who appoint themselves chaperones of our anger.

Steven Salaita
About Steven Salaita

Steven Salaita's most recent book is Inter/Nationalism: Decolonizing Native America and Palestine.

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65 Responses

  1. Rob Roy
    Rob Roy
    May 23, 2018, 10:39 pm

    Beautifully stated, Prof. Salaita. It’s a crime that this rebuttal wasn’t accepted by the Washington Post, but not a surprise. The Post sometimes pretends to be superior to the NYT, but on Israel it’s just as venal as the Times or any other mainstream news outlet.

    • Citizen
      Citizen
      May 24, 2018, 6:41 am

      Yes, beautifully and succinctly stated by Prof. Salaita. I won’t hold my breath until he’s invited on MSNBC, CNBC, or Fox News shows, all of those channels a sea of Israeli spokes and American Jewish Zionist pundits on any issue remotely concerning Israel.

  2. Marnie
    Marnie
    May 24, 2018, 12:22 am

    I would say that calling someone antisemitic/antisemitism is as hateful as calling anybody an inflammatory, derogatory name. People like Alan Dershowitz and ‘rabbi’ schmuely b. should be made examples of and sued for defamation at least, but maybe it should be taken farther, as a zionist/zionist apologist most certainly would and label this as a hate crime. Jane Fonda went mute on the topic of palestinians when she showed she cared back in 2009 and received prompt derision for it and then backed away out of fear. It takes a lot of courage to say fuck it, I don’t care what happens, I’m not taking any of it back, etc., and these bastardes know it. I say give them back what they’ve been dishing out for years so they’ll think long and hard before casually slandering someone with the dreaded antisemitic accusation.

    • Keith
      Keith
      May 24, 2018, 4:34 pm

      MARNIE- “People like Alan Dershowitz and ‘rabbi’ schmuely b. should be made examples of and sued for defamation at least….”

      With all due respect, I think you have a rather naive view of our (or any) legal system. Our legal system primarily responds to power, not to justice. There is no way that Alan Dershowitz will ever be held to account. There is no way the CIA will ever be held to account. The US didn’t become an empire by scrupulously adhering to international law, or any law, or common decency, or Christian morality, etc. The legal system is primarily intended to safeguard existing power relations and to create the illusion that these power relations are fair and objectively rational rather than arbitrary and under elite control.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        May 24, 2018, 8:27 pm

        Nonetheless, since we have these evil “hate speech” laws imposed on us, it might be worthwhile to use them.

        When someone says “Arabs/Palestinians/MW contributors/BDS supporters are anti-Semites”, accuse that someone of hate speech.

        As far as I can tell (and I have not made a study of the laws in the various jurisdictions) accusation is sufficient for conviction, and truth is no defence. This latter point is important for those jurisdictions in which any criticism of Israel is officially deemed to be anti-Semitism.

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus
        May 24, 2018, 10:32 pm

        RoHa,

        As far as I can tell (and I have not made a study of the laws in the various jurisdictions) accusation is sufficient for conviction, and truth is no defence.

        I’m no lawyer but just enough of one to be able to say that you’re oversimplifying (as you are said to do to anything re Zionism), as a result of which you don’t “have a case”: see, a necessary condition for indictment and conviction is the relative racial status of accuser and accused.

      • Marnie
        Marnie
        May 25, 2018, 12:28 am

        Yep, I know I’m naive. There are laws in place but the only people they are routinely used against are the poor, people of color and people with the wrong religious affiliation.

      • Marnie
        Marnie
        May 25, 2018, 12:51 am

        “Nonetheless, since we have these evil “hate speech” laws imposed on us, it might be worthwhile to use them.”

        Yes indeed. And here’s my naivete at it again, but perhaps if enough people call out dershowitz, jacobs, boteach, posner, dannon, haley, and the putrid tools on facebook routinely posting ‘death to arabs’ for starters. WTF hasn’t facebook banned/blocked these idiots, be they muslim, christian or jew from using facebook when the post death threats? WTF does it take anyway, pictures of the crime scene?

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        May 25, 2018, 8:36 am

        “a necessary condition for indictment and conviction is the relative racial status of accuser and accused.”

        You are probably right. Still might be worth a try, though.

  3. andrew r
    andrew r
    May 24, 2018, 12:40 am

    I can’t read the wapo article because of the paywall, but tried to suss out Jill Jacobs’ views of the Gaza protests on twitter.

    Retweets:
    “Israel has right to defend itself. Every nation does. I pray the government will use non-fatal measures with protestors. Too much Israeli blood. Too much Palestinian blood. Too many grieving. Too many tears.”

    “More Naomi Paiss Retweeted Sarah Leah Whitson
    More specifically, shooting unarmed Hamas members is like saying it’s ok to murder settlers because they shouldn’t be there in the first place. Wrong, wrong, wrong.”

    Her own tweets:
    “On day on which 45 Palestinians have been killed & thousands injured & a day after right wing marchers reminded us how divided the city is, @netanyahu calls this a great day for peace.”

    “Between when this email went out less than an hour ago & now, death count in Gaza has gone from 7 to 16. Need response that avoids live fire, and ultimately, need to make Gaza liveable, including by easing siege.”

    It’s not that surprising she would draw a line in the sand for acceptable criticism of Israel by Palestinians. Note how she still accepts Israeli power over Palestinians as a given; she simply has a problem with the specific use of that power.

  4. maiselm
    maiselm
    May 24, 2018, 1:28 am

    I know Prof. Salaita. I have read his books. With a few exceptions, those who call him an anti-Semite do so disingenuously–they call anyone who criticizes Israeli policy an anti-Semite. The few exceptions include the people who, like Rabbi Jacobs, oppose Israeli policy but believe Israeli propaganda (hasbara) just enough to assume an ill will that ought not to be assumed in those who criticize Israeli policy but who aren’t Jewish. Steven Salaita is no anti-Semite. He is an excellent teacher of both logic and critical thought as well as history, It is a criminal waste of his talents to put him on a “blacklist” within the Academy, and the existence of such a list is of course an indictment of the Academy.

  5. Marnie
    Marnie
    May 24, 2018, 2:03 am

    Another thing – its this kind of rhetoric that the zionist state uses against palestinians to keep them from discussing their grievances and speaking to the world about their occupation. Dareen Tatour has been a prisoner in her home for over 2 years for a fucking poem about resistance. Go back to one of the worst eras in american history during reconstruction, jim crow, segregation and now and all it took was a white man or white woman or even a little white child to send a black man or woman to their death/mutilation/burning by a lynch mob because of some ridiculous slight (didn’t get off the sidewalk, didn’t say sir or ma’am, walking behind a white woman, looked at a white woman, etc.) that was real or imagined, mostly fabricated. This silly bitch throws out that word ‘antisemitic’ in amerikkka like she’s handing out tootsie rolls. This act will cause harm to Dr. Salaita and waste his time because he has to respond, he has to take his time and deal with this because it is deliberately intended to do that, and worse. Over here, that accusation can cause a palestinian their job, their home, their liberty and even their life. SHAME ON HER AND EVERYONE THAT DOES THE SAME.

    240. Red-Faced: The prohibition against embarrassing others
    Rabbi Jack Abramowitz

    “…and you shall not bear a sin because of him (Leviticus 19:17)

    As we said in the previous mitzvah, it is a responsibility on every Jew to correct the behavior of others wherever possible. But it is only a mitzvah to do so in the proper way! Shaming someone publicly is actually a sin!

    The Sefer HaChinuch cites the Sifra on this verse that we should repeatedly rebuke someone, even several times. It then asks, “But what about if the person’s face changes from embarrassment?” No, the Midrash answers, then we do not rebuke him because the verse concludes with “and not bear a sin because of him.”

    The Talmud (Baba Metzia 59a) tells us that it would be better for a person to allow himself to be tossed into a furnace than to willingly embarrass another person. (This is derived from Tamar, who was willing to be burned rather than shame Yehuda in Genesis chapter 38.) On the previous page (58b), the Talmud says that one who shames another in public, causing the blood to drain from his face, is comparable to a murderer.

    The reason for this mitzvah is obvious: nobody likes to be embarrassed. In the context of rebuke, it can also make a huge impact on the outcome. If properly corrected, a person might change his ways. This is good for the person and it’s good for society. But if someone is called out in public, he’ll be embarrassed, angry, and resentful. He’ll hate the one who rebuked him and probably become more stubborn in his ways out of spite. It’s a bad scene. But even outside the context of rebuke, we must be careful not to shame others.

    This mitzvah applies to both men and women in all times and places. In the Talmud, it is discussed in tractate Shabbos on pages 54b-55a, in Arachin on page 16b, and elsewhere. It is codified in the Mishneh Torah in the third chapter of Hilchos Choveil u’Mazik. This prohibition is #303 of the 365 negative mitzvos in the Rambam’s Sefer HaMitzvos and #79 of the 194 negative mitzvos that can be fulfilled today as listed in the Sefer HaMitzvos HaKatzar of the Chofetz Chaim.”

    Whoops – seems like all this only applies to jews embarrassing other jews, not other human beings.

  6. Kathleen
    Kathleen
    May 24, 2018, 3:47 am

    Rabbi Jill Jacobs busy trying to shut down the coverage, debate about Israel’s human rights crimes by using false accusations of anti semitism. Successful in that Washington Post would not print your well thought out response

    Jacobs examples were pathetic and clearly do not hold water. Another effort to distract from Israel’s crimes against humanity.

    Hope people share this piece all over net.

  7. Kathleen
    Kathleen
    May 24, 2018, 4:00 am

    Another professor who was slammed by those like Rabbi Jill Jacobs and Washington Post who are committed to shutting down the debate and response to Israel’s war crimes

    https://theintercept.com/2018/05/20/norman-finkelstein-gaza-iran-israel-jerusalem-embassy/ Start at 44:00

  8. Tuyzentfloot
    Tuyzentfloot
    May 24, 2018, 5:38 am

    Rightly accusing Palestinians of anti-Semitism is malicious too. I find it disgusting when people point the finger at those in Gaza who hates Jews. What do you expect an average person to do in these conditions, be a supermoral superintellectual? Norman Finkelstein once responded to this hypersensitivity about confusing Jews and Zionists with ‘Why so pious?’. His parents also often didn’t bother distinguishing between the Germans and the Nazis.

    A lot of this has to do with the calculus of reputation. Reputation is the elephant in the room. Everyone is using it all the time but never explicitly. Antisemitism is at the bottom of the ladder so the pro-Israel camp will use any possible link to antisemitism to hurt the reputation of antizionists, Antizionists use in part the same frame so they will keep as far away as possible from antisemitism, terrorism and violence, to the extent that they can paint themselves into a corner. One can argue for it but mostly it works through reputation. You instinctively know you have to avoid contamination from the people with bad reputation because it hurts your reputation. The mainstream knows antizionists don’t have enough of a reputation to take them in account , but there is a slim chance if you are very Jewish and very vocally antiviolence and very anti-antisemitic.
    Palestinians obviously don’t have a level of reputation which is worth taking them in account. Nobody ever asks them. The demonstrations in Gaza are about as Ghandilike as it can get but nope, not good enough for the mainstream.

    This I consider a great achievement of Phil Weiss, that he managed to let Palestinians speak in their own voices on this site.

    I’ve followed the antisemitism campaign against Corbyn a bit. Ken Livingstone just has quit Labour. My point of view is that Corbyn has to take in account how reputation works and therefore it’s a real dilemma to choose between supporting those accused of antisemitism and distancing yourself. Those accusing Corbyn of caving are generally disregarding the validity of reputation thinking, while constantly participating in the reputation game themselves.

    My general guideline is avoid the temptation of raising the bar for others, but I won’t go as far to advise people to disregard their reputation. Certainly not politicians. So I accept that people like Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbyn have to compromise a lot. I don’t like it though.

  9. Boomer
    Boomer
    May 24, 2018, 6:47 am

    Thanks to Mondoweiss for posting this; shame on WaPo for refusing to do so. It is disturbing to see this evidence of bias there. WaPo’s Neocon editorial page was second to none in urging the invasion of Iraq, but I thought there was reason for hope when Bezos bailed them out. WaPo does good reporting on many topics, making this failure doubly disturbing. WaPo, WSJ and NYT remain the big three of our print news world, despite good work elsewhere. It appears that our big three continue to be firmly aligned with the oppressors in Israel.

    Thanks in part to Mondoweiss, I understand the realpolitik of the matter. Yesterday Ronan Farrow was interviewed on FreshAir. Among other things, he alluded to the pressures on him to abort reporting on Harvey Weinstein. Ultimately, he lost his job at NBC as a result. If our big business “journalists” are willing to compromise their journalistic ethics for a single sleazy film producer, just imagine the pressures involved when dealing with Israel and its lobby. In the case of our media, of course, it’s not just a matter of outside pressure. The bias starts at the top at places like the NYT and, evidently still, WaPo.

    • Citizen
      Citizen
      May 24, 2018, 8:31 pm

      I can only imagine how the Establishment Jews are trying to abort the case against Harvey Weinstein. Looks like they are failing thanks to the Me Too movement. We need one of those to put the klieg lights on Sheldon Adelson, for one. I don’t see any influential takers, do you?

  10. JimMichie
    JimMichie
    May 24, 2018, 8:32 am

    Rabbi Jill Jacobs obviously is a true Zionist! The true Semites living in what little remains of Palestine and Zionist Israel are the Palestinians. The vast majority of Israelis are immigrant European/U.S. Zionists, either supporting or complicit in Zionist Israel’s brutality, racism, ethnic cleansing, land theft, fascism and terrorism in what little remains of Palestine!

    • Nathan
      Nathan
      May 24, 2018, 11:34 pm

      James Michie – The vast majority of the Israelis are native-born. Obviously, there is nothing wrong with being an immigrant, and there are plenty of immigrants in Israel. But I can’t imagine how you conclude that the majority of Israelis are immigrants.

      There are no “Semites”. There is a family of languages which are called Semitic languages (this includes Arabic, Hebrew, Amharic, Maltese and Aramaic). “Semitic people” is racist nonsense.

      Antisemitism is a 19th century term which refers to the hatred of Jews. The term is strange (there is no such thing as “semitism”, so “antisemitism” is really a weird choice of words) – but this is the term that has been in use since 1879 to describe animosity to the Jews.

      Is anti-Israel activism an expression of antisemitism? No, not necessarily, but in some cases it can be. The antisemites hate Jews of their imagination. They might strike out at real Jews (as in the case of Nazism), but the motivation to do so is a result of their totally imagined grievances. Sometimes (even quite often), you can hear a long list of imaginary grievances against Israel which serve as the basis of a deep and obsessive hatred for Israel. In such a case, the anti-Israel animosity is indeed a phenomenon very similar to classical antisemitism.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        May 25, 2018, 2:12 pm

        ” There is a family of languages which are called Semitic languages (this includes Arabic, Hebrew, Amharic, Maltese and Aramaic).”

        Yes, it is a purported, or hypothsized “proto-language” (or family of languages, who knows) called “Semitic”, which no trace of which was ever found.
        But it allowed linguists (such as they were then) to sync up their theories on the history of language with Biblical history (Flood, Noah, Shem and his bro’s repopulating the world)

        “Japheth is the father of the Japhetic race. Shem is the father of the Semitic race Ham, of course, was divided between Eggs and Swiss. ”

        BTW, Ham, Japheth and Shem were saved “along with their wives” on Noah’s Chris-Craft. I did not know that. It wasn’t like “they were chasing skirts before the skirts were dry” and I apologize for all the aspersions I have made heretofore on their character and morals.

      • annie
        annie
        May 27, 2018, 4:59 am

        “Semitic people” is racist nonsense.

        somebody should tell wikipedia! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semitic_people

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        May 27, 2018, 2:34 pm

        “somebody should tell wikipedia! “

        Looks like somebody did, from the article:

        “Semites, Semitic people or Semitic cultures (from the biblical “Shem”, Hebrew: שם‎) was a term for an ethnic, cultural or racial group who speak or spoke the Semitic languages.[2][3][4][5]

        First used in the 1770s by members of the Göttingen School of History, the terminology was derived from Shem, one of the three sons of Noah in the Book of Genesis,[6] together with the parallel terms Hamites and Japhetites.

        The terminology is now largely obsolete outside linguistics.[7][8][9] However, in archaeology, the term is sometimes used informally as “a kind of shorthand” for ancient Semitic-speaking peoples.[9]”

    • Marnie
      Marnie
      May 27, 2018, 12:29 am

      “But I can’t imagine how you conclude that the majority of Israelis are immigrants.”

      You can’t imagine because you’re feigning ignorance or deliberately obtuse, either way it’s irritating. The vast majority of israelis came from somewhere else, or their parents or grandparents did FFS.

      • Nathan
        Nathan
        May 27, 2018, 8:33 pm

        That’s right Marnie, the parents or grandparents of Israelis came from elsewhere (actually, most children born in Israel now are the great-grandchildren of immigrants). So the Israelis are not immigrants, as I claimed. The vast majority are native-born.

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus
        May 27, 2018, 10:22 pm

        Barefaced propaganda lies again. It’s all in the criminal word choice:

        People who come to a country not to submit to the current inhabitants’ laws and customs but with the express purpose of occupying it and subverting the sovereignty (not to mention the genocide of the legitimate inhabitants) are NOT “immigrants” but invaders.

        Invader offspring are illegally on the land and they are invader offspring, not “native” anything. A foreign body that is being rejected by the legitimate society of the land.

        Nathan isn’t even able to emulate Goebbels.

      • Marnie
        Marnie
        May 28, 2018, 8:40 am

        That’s pretty nitpicky Nathan. The vast majority of jews in israel came from somewhere else and their ‘history’ here is only some decades. Apparently you don’t know any immigrants because your ignorance is on full display. They have no claim to anything.

      • eljay
        eljay
        May 28, 2018, 8:51 am

        || Nathan: … the parents or grandparents of Israelis came from elsewhere (actually, most children born in Israel now are the great-grandchildren of immigrants). So the Israelis are not immigrants … ||

        And Jewish citizens of homelands all over the world are neither “exiles” from geographic Palestine nor Israelis.

      • Marnie
        Marnie
        May 28, 2018, 11:05 am

        “And Jewish citizens of homelands all over the world are neither “exiles” from geographic Palestine nor Israelis.”

        The truth shall set them free. Awesome point eljay!!!

        It’s so funny how that phrase “exiles” is used so often by propagandists and never ever challenged.

  11. Maghlawatan
    Maghlawatan
    May 24, 2018, 8:48 am

    A psychosis known as folie a deux is where a delusion is shared from one individual to another.

    Israel is a case of national psychosis where almost the whole Jewish society spends most of its time in a delusion.

    Since 1948 the problem has always been the same. The land was not empty. It does have a history. It does have a people.

    • Kathleen
      Kathleen
      May 24, 2018, 3:11 pm

      The majority of Jewish Israeli’s suffer from a “national psychosis” of delusion and denial in regard to Israel’s war crimes. Most American’s suffer from the same “national psychosis” when it comes to acknowledging the hundreds of thousands of people that our military has been fully or partially responsible for killing, injuring turning into refugees in Iraq, Libya, Syria.

      U.S. media surely helps the majority of Americans keep their heads up where the sun does not shine.

      As a teenager endlessly read about WWII. I would sob uncontrollably often calling out “why was it that people did not respond” to the millions of Jews, Poles etc etc were being murdered by the Hitler killing machine. During Vietnam many of us were outraged by the killing of innocent people our media reported about some of the atrocities. Now our media is basically silent about the result of U.S. military interventions.

      Yes both Israel and the U.S. are guilty of killing innocent people. Deeply disturbing..

      • Maghlawatan
        Maghlawatan
        May 24, 2018, 10:13 pm

        Maybe one of the saddest things is what kind of people Zionism turns people into.
        In the case of the US, war is part of the economic structure.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        May 24, 2018, 10:37 pm

        “As a teenager endlessly read about WWII. I would sob uncontrollably often calling out “why was it that people did not respond” to the millions of Jews, Poles etc etc were being murdered by the Hitler killing machine. ”

        That’s odd. The things I read about WW2 made it clear that people did respond, and gave detailed descriptions of the responses in the form of total war against the Hitler killing machine and resistance movements in the occupied areas.

      • Marnie
        Marnie
        May 25, 2018, 7:20 am

        Maybe zionism has only revealed it’s practioners and true believer’s real selves.

      • Kathleen
        Kathleen
        May 26, 2018, 10:17 am

        Roha…the response took far too long. Millions slaughtered before the U.S. responded

        Hundreds of thousands killed in Iraq, Libya, Syria as a direct consequence of U.S. actions. How many Americans appear outraged?

      • Kathleen
        Kathleen
        May 26, 2018, 10:31 am

        Roha..https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2001/feb/17/johnezard

        Americans are barely responding to the death and destruction our military caused in Iraq, Libya , US arms supplied to Syrian rebels. Silence is complicity.

        Germans cold and indifferent to the slaughter of Jews, Poles etc.

        Many Jews and others indifferent to the killing of Palestinians by Israel. Nightmare

      • Kathleen
        Kathleen
        May 26, 2018, 10:38 am

        https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/world-history/holocaust-allied-forces-knew-before-concentration-camp-discovery-us-uk-soviets-secret-documents-a7688036.html

        The Allied Powers were aware of the scale of the Jewish Holocaust two-and-a-half years earlier than is generally assumed, and had even prepared war crimes indictments against Adolf Hitler and his top Nazi commanders.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        May 26, 2018, 11:12 am

        Kathleen, millions of people in the British and French Empires responded pretty quickly. Do those millions not count as people? Or don’t their actions count as a response?

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        May 27, 2018, 2:33 am

        The article says “Despite this, the Allied Powers did very little to try and rescue or provide sanctuary to those in mortal danger.”

        Fighting hard against the Nazi regime counts as very little? The British Empire threw everything it had into the fight. Britain itself was just about bankrupt at the end*. The Soviet Union paid an enormous price in blood. Even the USA lost lives and treasure. What more were they supposed to do?

        “Viscount Cranborne, a minister in the war cabinet of Winston Churchill, said the Jews should not be considered a special case and that the British Empire was already too full of refugees to offer a safe haven to any more”

        And why should Jews be considered a special case? What reason is there for giving them preference over Gentile refugees from the Philippines or China or Greece?

        The article looks like another “wag the Holocaust to deflect criticism of Israel” production.

        (*Massive amounts of gold were sent to the USA to pay for material. British-owned companies in North America and piles of commercially valuable scientific and technological information were handed over the US ownership as further payment.)

      • Marnie
        Marnie
        May 29, 2018, 12:33 am

        Kathleen – do you think that americans, the descendants of people who came from another place and declared it theirs to conquer, inspite of the fact that it was well populated from ‘sea to shining sea’ with the indigenous tribes of it; whom they killed, poisoned with alcohol, traded smallpox infested blankets, raped, destroyed their buffalo and finally forced them into dead zones they called reservations; don’t you think those people and their progeny became quite comfortable with the deaths and destruction of nonwhite people on native soil, having been told for centuries it is their right and destiny to do so, would have absolutely no problem at all killing nonwhite people on different soil? I don’t think my family in the states is too different from other families in that they don’t seem to spend much thought on the hundreds of thousands and millions of people killed in their name, the killing that continues and the greater killing that is sure to arise from the current presidency.

  12. Ampro
    Ampro
    May 24, 2018, 9:04 am

    Natan Sharansky, chairman of the Jewish Agency, identifies the “three D’s of Anti-Semitism” as Demonization, Delegitimization, and Double-Standards.
    Demonization, as when members of the Knesset identify the Palestinian people as “savages” and “animals”.
    Delegitimization, as when Netanyahu constantly condemns Palestinian leadership as “no partner for peace”.
    Double-Standards, as when Israel maintains a separate military court system for Palestinians.

    • eljay
      eljay
      May 24, 2018, 10:10 am

      || Ampro: Natan Sharansky, chairman of the Jewish Agency, identifies the “three D’s of Anti-Semitism” as Demonization, Delegitimization, and Double-Standards. … ||

      Zionists believe that the religion-based identity of Jewish grants to those who choose to hold it the “right” to do unto others acts of injustice and immorality they would not have others do unto them.

      Like all Zionist hypocrites, Sharansky has no problem with that particular double-standard.

    • Maghlawatan
      Maghlawatan
      May 24, 2018, 10:15 pm

      Sharansky should never have been rescued frop the Soviet Union. The Soviets must have figured out that he was an ass hole.

  13. WebSkipper
    WebSkipper
    May 24, 2018, 10:00 am

    I just posted in the comments section of the WP article:

    Dr. Steven Salaita writes: On May 18, Rabbi Jill Jacobs published an essay in the Washington Post purporting to distinguish between legitimate criticism of Israel and “anti-Semitism.” In the essay, she posted two of my tweets to suggest that I am anti-Semitic [spoiler: I am not]. Since August, 2014, the Washington Post has run numerous articles similarly impugning my character. The paper has never offered me space to write in my own voice, despite numerous inquiries. I submitted an essay to the Post’s Outlook section responding to the issues raised in Jacobs’ piece, but the paper declined to run it.

    His response may be found at Mondoweiss (dot net) with the title “Falsely accusing Palestinians of anti-Semitism is malicious”. WP: It would have behooved you to have published Dr. Salaita’s response and given him “equal times” as well as an opportunity to defend himself, in his own words. A little fairness might be in order here.

  14. genesto
    genesto
    May 24, 2018, 12:08 pm

    People of the cloth, like Rabbi Jacobs, particularly rile me when they they take blatantly immoral positions like this. They strike out on two counts – against their religion and against humanity. To me, they are more despicable than the hard right Zionists who, at least, are not hypocrites, as is Ms. Jacobs.

  15. Maghlawatan
    Maghlawatan
    May 24, 2018, 1:49 pm

    I think that the key point is that Zionism brooks no criticism. It is a paranoid system. Instead, critics are slurred with the tag of anti Semitism. This is wrong. It is also destabilising over the medium term. Constructive criticism helps organisations to grow healthily.

    Zionism is a deeply flawed ideology. By covering this up the people who could help to reform it and secure its future are shunned. What ends up happening is that thugs with a sense of impunity take over. In history such systems have always collapsed.

    One of my favourite examples is the Mughal Empire under Aurangzeb.

  16. Maghlawatan
    Maghlawatan
    May 24, 2018, 4:16 pm

    I don’t see why Palestinians should be expected to have any respect for the Star of David given how Israel abuses it.

    Here’s a story starring Gwyneth Paltrow as Gaza and Weinstein as Israel (how perfect). . Unfortunately there is no Brad Pitt for Gaza at the moment.

    https://www.theguardian.com/film/2018/may/24/gwyneth-paltrow-brad-pitt-threatened-harvey-weinstein

    “I told him right away and I was very shaken by the whole thing,” said Paltrow. “We were at the opening of Hamlet on Broadway. Harvey was there and Brad Pitt – it was like the equivalent of throwing him against the wall, energetically.”

    “He said, ‘If you ever make her feel uncomfortable again, I’ll kill you.’ Or something like that. It was so fantastic. He leveraged his fame and power to protect me at a time when I didn’t have fame or power yet.”

    Paltrow first accused Weinstein of sexual harassment in the New York Times, where she said that after the alleged incident, he rang her and told her not to speak to anyone else about it. “I thought he was going to fire me,” she said. “He screamed at me for a long time. It was brutal.””

    • Citizen
      Citizen
      May 24, 2018, 9:18 pm

      Gee, sounds like a revised version of the Merchant of Venice. (Please don’t ban me)

      • Maghlawatan
        Maghlawatan
        May 25, 2018, 12:08 pm

        What a super connection

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        May 25, 2018, 2:23 pm

        Look like Weinstein turned himself in to the NYPD.

      • Maghlawatan
        Maghlawatan
        May 25, 2018, 2:40 pm

        His parents Mira and Max must be so disappointed. Our son the rapist.

  17. inbound39
    inbound39
    May 24, 2018, 8:58 pm

    As I understand it Arabs are semites also. On that basis given Israeli’s preoccupation with anti-semitism and all its manifestation ,why then, have they persisted in anti semitic acts against Palestinians for decades. Surely Israeli’s are being far too precious on this anti semitic bandwagon when they are ,for ALL to see ,the worst offenders.

    • Citizen
      Citizen
      May 24, 2018, 9:21 pm

      You are right, but In common Western parlance, since the latter part of the 19th Century in Germany, at least, “anti-Semitism” is exclusively applied to Jews–if memory serves, this unique view was originated by a German Gentile man named Marr.

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        May 24, 2018, 9:34 pm

        Marr rejected participation of Jewish and other non-German minorities as members, “unless they prove that they are anxious to develop within themselves a Christian-German spirit” (a decision of the “Burschenschaft Congress of 1818”). While they were opposed to the participation of Jews in their movement, like Heinrich von Treitschke later, they did allow the possibility of the Jewish (and other) minorities to participate in the German state if they were to abandon all signs of ethnic and religious distinctiveness and assimilate into the German Volk.

        Wikipedia

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      May 25, 2018, 1:09 pm

      “As I understand it Arabs are semites also.”

      The entire concept of “semitism” is spurious. Look into it, starting with Noah and you’ll see.

      • gamal
        gamal
        May 25, 2018, 6:33 pm

        “The entire concept of “semitism” is spurious”

        Lets all be Celts, and settle our disputes in the car park too drunk to fight, no harm but everyone gets to express themselves…even the spurned…lets all be Gaels from now on.

      • G. Seauton
        G. Seauton
        May 29, 2018, 2:59 am

        Mooser: The entire concept of “semitism” is spurious.

        Strictly speaking, yes. However, the Semitic languages constitute a specific branch of the languages of parts of North Africa and Southwestern Asia. By extension, speakers of Semitic languages could, to a certain extent, be considered “Semites.”

        The biblical use of the term, however, is, indeed, spurious.

        I would go further and say that “anti-Semitism” is a misnomer. It usually refers to Jew-hatred, which can roughly be subdivided into racist Jew-hatred on the one hand and religion-based anti-Judaism on the other. Any given individual may display both.

        Criticism of Israel fits into neither category and is no less valid than criticism of France or Russia.

  18. Xpat
    Xpat
    May 24, 2018, 11:26 pm

    Rabbi Jacobs:
    “One may even boycott Israel without stepping into anti-Semitism if it’s clear that the tactic aims to pressure Israel to change its policies,”

    and:
    “(I personally do not support boycotting Israel, partly because so much of the movement is rife with anti-Semitic undertones.)”

    Since the rabbi has a purely personal problem with the rifeness of BDS’ undertones not any other part of BDS, then it’s ok for others to endorse BDS if their motives are pure.

    This icon of liberal Zionist “tikkun clam” handwringing just has to have her Israel cake and eat it too. BDS is ok and not ok; Israel is ok and not ok; Palestinians are ok and not ok.

    Meanwhile, let’s target some Arabs with “anti-Semitism.”

  19. Peter in SF
    Peter in SF
    May 25, 2018, 2:07 am

    The overall slant of the comments on the WP website is heartening, at least when you select for “most liked”. Someone with the handle “fxowen” is particularly impressive, as he or she posts the exactly appropriate rebuttal to standard hasbara lines from other commenters. I wonder how long it’ll take before the professional hasbara army moves in and spoils the WP comments sections for everyone.

  20. Sulphurdunn
    Sulphurdunn
    May 25, 2018, 10:21 am

    Once the point that criticism of Israeli brutality towards Palestinians can be antisemitic has been conceded, any denial of the allegation only reinforces it.

  21. Qualtrough
    Qualtrough
    May 25, 2018, 12:37 pm

    On different forums I have more than once asked Zionists to link to examples of criticism of Israel or Israeli policies/behavior that they find acceptable. I have never had a response. Not once. I suspect that the reason for that is the obvious one. Namely, in their minds there is no acceptable criticism. Charges of antisemitism are just another Zionist weapon, albeit an increasingly ineffective one.

  22. TerryHeaton
    TerryHeaton
    May 26, 2018, 11:33 am

    I am neither Arab or Jew, so the simplicity of my questions often get bogged down in the slog of points of view, the disputation of facts, convenient and self-serving narratives, and, of course, propaganda. “It’s too complicated, Terry. You’d never understand.”

    I don’t claim knowledge that others possess. I just have my questions.

    1. Why does the Holocaust occupy a position of almost reverential worship in the Zionist narrative?

    2. What does the U.S. really gain for our $38 billion gift to the Zionists?

    3. Why are the Zionists so extraordinarily afraid of challenges to their narrative?

    4. How can a people so devastated by history then turn around and apply the same strategies and tactics to another people?

    5. Why is every threat existential?

    6. Why should we believe as if history began in 1948?

    7. How can Christians support behavior that is so foreign to the teachings of their Lord?

    8. Do civilized people want as an example a police state who destroys whole families of those suspected of or involved in crimes against them?

    9. Why are Israeli citizens in the West Bank permitted to kill Palestinians with impunity?

    10. Why is the Israeli government permitted to monitor and censor social media in the United States?

    I’d toss in one about why the press is so silent on all this, but I know the answer to that one, and it’s disgusting. I spend 45+ years in media and know lots of people.

    I have great respect for professor Salaita and believe that one day he will have his platform and that we will all be better off for it. Light has a funny way of overcoming darkness, and that’s what we’re witnessing today.

  23. Ossinev
    Ossinev
    May 26, 2018, 1:58 pm

    @Terry Heaton
    I too am neither Arab nor Jew but I do hope that I am a moral human being who believes in the basic tenet of Judaism,Christianity and Islam which is “do unto others”.

    Similarly I am not any form of expert or in possession of a wealth of knowledge with regards to the I/P conflict but I have spent a small period of time in Israel,Gaza and the Occupied West Bank. I have also read a considerable amount of books and material relating to the conflict.

    I will attempt to address your questions:

    1. Why does the Holocaust occupy a position of almost reverential worship in the Zionist narrative?

    Because in their brainwashed minds it gives them a carte blanche to ignore the basic tenet I referred to above and to act in many ways like the perpetrators of the Holocaust. They do not “revere” the Holocaust narrative. They exploit it.

    2. What does the U.S. really gain for our $38 billion gift to the Zionists?

    US military firms get to benefit from Zioland arms purchases funded by the US taxpayers $38 billion. In reality the US gains SFA as this $38 billion could be spent on health care,US Law Enforcement etc or even the US`s own defence forces.

    3. Why are the Zionists so extraordinarily afraid of challenges to their narrative?

    Cowards and bullies are always terrified when it comes to explaining their barbarities to civilised moral people.

    4. How can a people so devastated by history then turn around and apply the same strategies and tactics to another people?

    In their minds (remember the Hasbara/brainwashing from birth) they aren`t. They are simply “defending” themselves and the world is still so unfair and so Anti – Semitic towards them. Sob.

    5. Why is every threat existential?

    Go back to Q1 – they have to sell the idea of living under threat of a second Holocaust in order to justify their barbarities.

    6. Why should we believe as if history began in 1948?

    Because in the Zio mentality Zioland (Mark2) started then.Mark2 is based on the “historical rights” granted to them as the”Chosen” when Yahweh granted them Mark1.

    7. How can Christians support behavior that is so foreign to the teachings of their Lord?

    The vast majority of Germans were and continued to be “Christians” throughout the Nazi period. Plus ca change etc. As for the US Evangelicals,the second coming etc they are quite simply raving lunatics and lunatics as we all know can carry out,support and endorse genocidal behaviour.

    8. Do civilized people want as an example a police state who destroys whole families of those suspected of or involved in crimes against them?

    No but a lot of “otherwise civilised people” particularly in US Politics and the media are bought and bent by the Ziodollar.

    9. Why are Israeli citizens in the West Bank permitted to kill Palestinians with impunity?

    In their fevered brainwashed minds they are not “killing them with impunity” as they in the aforementioned mindset are the most moral people in the history of peoples and are simply defending themselves against the “existential threat” of a second Holocaust. Also shooting defenceless people can be great fun and very fulfilling if you are a borderline psychopath eg young heroic Master Elor Azaria.

    10. Why is the Israeli government permitted to monitor and censor social media in the United States?

    Follow the Ziodollar.

    • Maghlawatan
      Maghlawatan
      May 26, 2018, 4:48 pm

      3. Hasbara is their identity. Israel didnt exist pre 48 and the identity had to be invented.

      5 They have to kill all enemies because they can’t afford a long war. They have so many enemies because they are paranoid and vicious.

  24. edwardm
    edwardm
    May 27, 2018, 11:17 am

    Her Facebook page conflates critique of Israel with Naziism.

    https://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.washingtonpost.com%2Foutlook%2Fhow-to-tell-when-criticism-of-israel-is-actually-anti-semitism%2F2018%2F05%2F17%2Fcb58bf10-59eb-11e8-b656-a5f8c2a9295d_story.html&h=ATO8WWS4vjla2MURH8iiWTuh-O-yS97WMuDT3i-OIjb6ISMEp-kvsZbGqejv-LP-biBlRSHjfl8md45jsQnakVCvLJWP1bb9fZRTP5PNnP8Zgz9pi9_-XmZiQdM

    She is another “kinder gentler fascist” imo. More concerned with criticism than the brutality, the cruelty, the home-demolition, the child-killing etc etc that led to it in the first place. Perhaps there should be a piece on “how to tell when criticism of BDS is actually anti-arab racism/ethnosuprematism.

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