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Anti-Zionists are as dangerous as white nationalists who shoot up synagogues, Isaac Herzog says

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Israeli liberal Isaac Herzog says that harsh critics of Israel are just as dangerous as white nationalists who shoot up synagogues; they are two faces of anti-Semitism, which blames Jews for “the faults of the world”.

Addressing a pro-Israel conference last month in Florida, Herzog said that “white supremacists are active as ever…” and “Pittsburgh can recur God forbid.” His host Dana Weiss of the Israeli American Council pressed him: “There is an argument being made that anti-Israelism, anti-Zionism on the left is as dangerous as the ultra right traditional antisemitism.”

“Well in many quarters it’s true,” said Herzog, who ran against Benjamin Netanyahu from the left four years ago. He went on:

“The extreme voices like you see from antifa and Farrakhan all the way to the Corbynites in England are extremely disturbing, and it has nothing to do with political views and the State of Israel. I could have been the leader of the opposition, the leader of the center left camp In Israel, and I bet you had I been prime minister, Corbyn would have acted the same.

“It doesn’t come from a political debate, it comes from a very disturbing attitude towards Jews mixed with the same attitude towards Israelis. And we should understand that. There is a very interesting definition of anti-semitism that say that each generation– it’s blaming the Jews for the faults of the world. And we see it unfortunately when a guy walks into a synagogue in Pittsburgh and yells Kill all the Jews and believe me he had no clue whether somebody there is Reform, Conservative, Orthodox, Likud or Avodah [Labor].”

The former head of the center-left opposition “Zionist Camp” in Israeli politics, Herzog is the head of the Jewish Agency, which seeks to build solidarity throughout the global “Jewish nation,” and chiefly between US and Israeli Jews.

British Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn has been harshly critical of Israel, at times likening the occupation to the Nazi occupation of European countries. He once supported Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions, or BDS, and though he walked that support back, his party has given shelter to politicians who support BDS.

Adam Horowitz was the first to spot the equation Herzog made in the wake of the Pittsburgh massacre October 27, when Israeli ambassador Ron Dermer said we have to oppose anti-Semitism, whether it comes from the right or the left. “This is a disgusting lie,” Horowitz wrote. “But it is part and parcel with the recent push by the Israeli government and its supporters in the West to redefine the meaning of antisemitism to include criticism of Israel. When faced with the most blatant example of antisemitic violence imaginable, Dermer can’t bring himself to criticize the actual accomplices who made this violence possible.”

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10 Responses

  1. ErikEast
    ErikEast on January 27, 2019, 1:21 pm

    “British Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn has been harshly critical of Israel, at times likening the occupation to the Nazi occupation of European countries.”

    Actually, Corbyn didn’t make that comparison. As per the article linked in the text, it was Hajo Meyer who did. Moreover, his criticisms of Israel merely reflected Israel’s brutal actions and policies vis-vis the Palestinians. I wouldn’t say it was particularly harsh. Furthermore, and this is me being pedantic, it is the British Labour Party not the Labor Party.

    Come on, Phil!

    • RoHa
      RoHa on January 27, 2019, 8:47 pm

      The Australian Labor Party is – alas – just that.

      I find it difficult to persuade myself to vote for a party which cannot spell its own name.

      But I find all the other parties repugnant as well.

  2. Citizen
    Citizen on January 27, 2019, 1:42 pm

    Anybody who criticizes Israel is an anti-Semite–got it!

  3. echinococcus
    echinococcus on January 27, 2019, 1:55 pm

    “‘There is an argument being made that anti-Israelism, anti-Zionism on the left is as dangerous as the ultra right traditional antisemitism.’
    //
    ‘Well in many quarters it’s true,’ said Herzog”
    §
    While in the act of saying this, Herzog the genocidal invader is thinking: “Well, no! Antizionism is a direct threat to us invaders and genocidaires, while so-called Antisemitism is no danger at all; in fact we Zionists couldn’t survive a minute without it. If it is of the ‘ultra-right’ variety it will also help me against my rival contenders to leadership of the Zionist crime against humanity.”

  4. pabelmont
    pabelmont on January 27, 2019, 2:57 pm

    STMT: “We have to oppose anti-Semitism, whether it comes from the right or the left. ”

    STMT seems to me to be true. I mean, who cares where it’s from?

    But when principled anti-Zionism or anti-Israelism is CALLED A/S, that’s another thing entirely. Hence, I dare say: ‘ “This is a disgusting lie,” Horowitz wrote. ‘ (I don’t imagine Horowitz meant that STMT is a lie.) (Seems a bit of an editing problem above, no?)

  5. Hanna Kawas
    Hanna Kawas on January 27, 2019, 5:38 pm

    Blurring the lines between anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism serves only Zionism and promotes anti-Semitism…
    Following is a recent example: “Simon Wiesenthal Center names top 10 antisemitic incidents of 2018”
    https://www.jpost.com/Diaspora/Simon-Wiesenthal-Center-names-top-10-antisemitic-incidents-of-2018-578782

    • Misterioso
      Misterioso on January 28, 2019, 10:54 am

      @Hanna Kawas, et al

      Speaking of racism:

      https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-5451005,00.html

      “‘If you’re black in Israel, you’re scared to walk down the street'”

      Ynet News, Jan. 26/19 by Vered Goldman

      “Yosef Salmasa, Ilan Tefera Bhatta, Abraham Damati, all of Ethiopian descent, have died after tragic encounters with the Israel Police. Their relatives talk about the racism, their anger and the feeling of discrimination.”

      EXCERPT:
      “Most people we asked to be interviewed for this story refused to talk. They had a lot to say, but they are also concerned of the public exposure and fear police persecution. Some have lost hope and don’t believe that an article in the newspaper can make a difference. After all, there were protests with tear gas, and we heard the cries in the town square. In two days, they say, you will go back to staring at your screens and forget about that young man of Ethiopian descent who was shot in the head by a police officer. A death that likely could have been avoided.

      “Yehuda Biadga, 24, who was shot to death last Friday, joins a too-long list of young people of Ethiopian descent who were killed under controversial circumstances in incidents involving the police.

      “Yosef Salmasa has already become a symbol in the Ethiopian community in Israel. The young man, who died in 2014 under circumstances that have not been fully clarified to this day, put a spotlight on the problematic nature of the relationship between the police and the Ethiopian Jews in the country. His 36-year-old sister, Benzi, is one of the most prominent activists in the fight against police violence.

      “‘You can call me a mother who fears for her children’s lives,’ she says. ‘As long as you are black, you will walk down the street scared. I have girls and not boys, but I’m still scared. Girls from the community also find themselves becoming punching bags. The danger is more common for boys, but this fear for our lives exists for all of us.’

      “‘I have to expose my daughters to the Israeli reality, which is not simple. It’s true, there are good things in our country. But what isn’t good is being quickly swept under the rug,’ she says. ‘At our house, we don’t have such a rug, and I tell my girls the truth: there’s a good chance you won’t be liked because of the color of your skin. At the same time, I teach them not to judge others by their color, and not to panic the first them they are cursed at because they’re Ethiopian.'”

  6. Maximus Decimus Meridius
    Maximus Decimus Meridius on January 27, 2019, 6:02 pm

    Remember when this dude was the Great White Hope of ‘liberal Zionism’? I recall Jonathan Freedland practically having a nervous breakdown when he lost the elections 4 years ago.

    Now, who are the ‘liberal Zionists’ going to latch onto in their vain attempt to pretend that Israel is a nice place really? Nobody immediately springs to mind.

  7. JWalters
    JWalters on January 27, 2019, 6:47 pm

    I absolutely do not blame “the Jews” for the faults of the world. That would be absurd. But let’s agree that SOME Jews are not saints. Maybe Meyer Lansky? Murder Incorporated? Bernie Madoff? The Stern Gang? Deir Yassin? The Nakba?

  8. eljay
    eljay on January 28, 2019, 10:09 am

    … There is a very interesting definition of anti-semitism that say that each generation– it’s blaming the Jews for the faults of the world. …

    I do believe that it is anti-Semitic to blame “the Jews for the faults of the world”.

    Unlike Zionist JeffB, I also believe it is anti-Semitic to blame all Jews for the actions of some Jews.

    But it is not anti-Semitic to blame and to hold accountable those Jews who do and/or support evil for the evil that they do and/or support.

    Jewish is a religion-based identity, not an entitlement to do and/or support evil.

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