Thanks Talkback for that nuance. Nonetheless, I would say that with all this understanding of what the (working) definition was meant to be, it got taken as a one whole by various governments, with its examples.
Indeed, the framed “definition” was opening a door to all manner of interpretations, in its vagueness – as the source you provide notes:
“We suggest (see point 4 below) that this vagueness and obscurity of wording can only be seen as deliberate. It is of no value in identifying antisemitic acts or statements. But it does provide an apparent necessity to accompany the definition with an interpretative explanation, that is, an opportunity for introducing concepts that would otherwise be unconnected with the understanding of antisemitism.”
I agree with MHHughes976, that the horses have bolted here. The very reason for this definition being so popular amongst the Israel apologists is precisely its examples, which conflate critique or condemnation of Israel with anti-Semitism, that is, simply, hatred of Jews.
I have also linked to it in the article, in the first link, where my piece links to it in the second link. On the one hand, it’s important that people see it. On the other, it doesn’t make much of a difference in my view. The reason is, that this is one document titled “Working Definition of Antisemitism”. You can demand that all people only relate to that framed definition of 40 words, but in practice, the application of it is widely demanded to be the full page, for the mentioned reasons (and the example of Corbyn wanting to accept it with dissent on examples is a good one – dissent to some of the examples was itself considered an extension of the anti-Semitism allegations to support the witch-hunt).
And it’s not as if it matters what it’s called exactly. This is not based in international law anyway. It is something that has reportedly served as a working definition, an almost verbatim repeat of another working definition (so called EUMC) that was never actually adopted by the EUMC. The EUMC was replaced by the EUFRA which clarified that it was never adopted, and has removed the document from its website in 2013.
IHRA could be doing the same as EUFRA. In the meanwhile, this is having its own life.
This is not a discussion of what the law says, because this is not law. That it is sought to be incorporated into law, is another problem.
I believe that with the word “could”, my formulation was careful enough so as to skip upon this maze of considerations and appraisals of what is, and what is not, the IHRA definition.
Peter in SF, as to the single quotes title, that’s an editor prerogative. But I don’t have an issue with it – I’ve applied the term interchangeably in the piece, with double quotes and without. That might sound sloppy, but in the context of Trump’s words, their intended meaning and the points that are being made about them, I think it’s just fine.
Your comment seems to suggest that this is mistepresentative – as in ‘he didn’t really say that’ (see the quotes there? – they could be double too) – but I’m saying that this is what he was saying, really.
This is about translation of ideas. You could argue that calling someone an al-Qaeda supporter is not calling them a terrorist. I’m pushing that point through, yes. It’s our job as journalists to also point out what is inevitably hidden in a person’s words.
Brewer, I absolutely agree concerning Morris. I have written about his genocidal advocacies earlier this year https://mondoweiss.net/2019/01/historian-advocacy-cleasning/ , where he reaffirms what he said to Ari Shavit back in 2004. The second link in that piece is to an earlier piece I did in 2016 about his denial of ethnic cleansing, same theme. This is the Morris of the 21st century, there’s no doubt about it. To ascertain in what way the ‘new Morris’ was hiding inside the ‘old Morris’ is probably a complex task. He seems to frame it as a ‘political’ shift: “I tended rightward in the political context, not the historiographic one; I am still a historian and not a politician”. He lays the blame singularly on the Palestinians: “The change I underwent is related to one issue: the Palestinians’ readiness to accept the two-state solution and forgo part of the Land of Israel.” He appears to be subscribing to Ehud Barak’s myths of “generous offer” and “no one to talk to”, but who can expect “Morris the politician” to be as scientifically scrupulous about current affairs as “Morris the historian” is about history? Alas, Morris’s shift has also meant that he has had to contradict the nerve of his earlier work, and make lip-twisting efforts to present himself as a liberal genocider (and God forbid anyone call him that, despite his congratulation of the “annihilation of the Indians” for the sake of the “great American democracy”).
It was indeed a moral consideration, whether to bring all this up again in the context of this current piece. I chose to keep it out for the sake of brevity and focus on what Morris is pointing to.
Yep Annie, we have Lapid’s word for it. He was in the shower and tweeting. But he said he would never do it again. I think he will also never say “state of all its citizens” again. It’s one thing ruining your phone with water and steam – it’s another thing to ruin your credibility as a Zionist.
edthespark: “So j.ofir what was your idea of a “palestine”.Where is the better plan my man.Got some more un “mandate”.There are no coincidences.The deal is on.It will happen.”
My “idea” of a “Palestine” is either a compromise version on 22% of historical Palestine, that is relinquishing the Israeli 1967 occupation fully, a return of Palestinian refugees (or compensation if anyone chooses), and also equal rights to Palestinians in Israel. All this in accordance with international law and democratic norms.
And if Israel refuses, or deems this impossible – a one democratic state on all of historical Palestine, equal rights to all, return of refugees. The latter is the preferred solution, since Israel has proven utterly unwilling as to the first.
None of this will be arrived at through Israeli good will, so international pressure must be a vehicle towards it, through Boycotts, Divestments and Sanctions.
Thanks Just, I’ve noticed. I know I’ve already said this in the piece, but it needs to be reemphasized:
The thrust of these protest is NOT to defend democracy, but to defend “Jewish and Democratic” – and that is very different from democracy. It is all about Zionism, and it’s called, in more precise terms a “racial democracy”. As Richard Falk and Virginia Tilley wrote in their excellent UN commissioned report on Israeli Apartheid (2017:
In other words, the main motivator of these protests is racism, although it seems to be about democracy. Therefore, as Naama Katii also noted, it is not surprising that these protests bear the more explicitly racist odor.
Zionists know very well, how much their veil of ‘Democracy’ means. It lets the project continue with a false aura of liberalism. It is only sad, that so many hail this veil as if it was the real thing.
edthespark, it would appear to me that you are once again being ironic – am I right?
“George bisharat is a wonderful person and an inspiration for the down trodden.Just a pity there were not more people like him before 1948”.
But Bisharat wrote:
“Israeli Jews must recognize the equal rights of the Palestinians with whom they cohabit the land to secure a peaceful future. Doing so would certainly come with benefits for Israel, including regional acceptance.”
The problem, as it seems to me, is that there were not enough Zionists before 1948 who believed in that. There seemed to be some who did, but whatever political power they yielded was not enough to curtail the thrust of the eliminationist labor-Zionism of Ben Gurion, not to speak of Behin and Shamir’s Revisionism, and they were taken out of political influence from 1948.
The problem has not really been Palestinians, but Zionism.
Zionism was an is a colonialist enterprize. Whether any version of it could have been workable, I seriously doubt, in as far as I view settler-colonialism as inherently eliminationist.
But there is a way forward. It certainly involves abolishing Zionist Apartheid.
It will involve great belief and sincerity, and the privileged Zionist ironic cynics will be the least of help in this.
Nathan, the fact of projecting ‘final status’ agreements does not mean that international law disappears.
As you may know, the Oslo agreements were but an interim agreement, by which Israel would withdraw from occupied territories within 5 years, and a final agreement on outstanding issues would be made. But as you may also know, Israel did not follow through, and when Israel subsequently made its supposed ‘generous offers’ (which were never concessions from what it was entitled to, only from what it coveted), then the Palestinians have been blamed.
So that’s brought many Palestinians to the conclusions, that this talk is really a waste of time. And that’s basically why we have BDS. Because without a shift in power relations through external pressure, all this just gives Israel time for further dispossession.
And that’s really the only game in town. The rest is basically a waste of time.