Archive | May 31st, 2019

God and US foreign policy

Pompeo worshipping Jews

By Lawrence Davidson

Pompeo’s unoriginal assertion

Well, here we go again. God is back at work in support of the foreign policy of the United States. In fact, this time around God has apparently gone so far as to rig the 2016 US presidential election (and you thought it was the Russians!) in order to assure Donald Trump’s election. And why did the deity do so? To protect Israel from the bad guys in Tehran.

I know that many readers will find this scenario pretty far-fetched, but we do have it all on good authority – US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Pompeo’s revelation came in late March during an interview with the Christian Broadcast Network in Jerusalem. Asked if “it is possible God raised Donald Trump to be president in order to protect Israel from the Iranian menace”, Pompeo readily agreed. “As a Christian, I certainly believe that’s possible,” he said, and then transformed a possibility into a sure thing. He continued, “I am confident that the Lord is at work here when he sees the remarkable history of the faith in this place [Israel] and the work that our [US] administration’s done to make sure that this democracy in the Middle East, that this Jewish state, remains.”

Note the contradiction here – the bit about democracy and Jewish state. You can’t have a genuine democracy exclusively for one group (Jews) amid a sea of others (Palestinians). However, if as Pompeo suggests, his God favours democracy and, one might logically assume, was the same God who brought down the white apartheid regime in South Africa, one might ask why should that God let Israel get away with what earned His, Her or Its wrath in apartheid South Africa? Could it be that Pompeo believes that a combination of Protestant fundamentalists and Zionists lobby in God’s realm just like they do in Congress, and that makes the difference? I bet that’s it.

God-blessed foreign policy and its consequences

Historically, the secretary of state’s faith, expressed in language that claims divine guidance for American foreign affairs, is commonplace. Nonetheless, one can ask, has this faith been justified? That is, has Pompeo’s Protestant fundamentalist God been the unerring and blessed guide He, She or It is believed to be? Before we can answer that question, we have to establish the criteria upon which we can judge this. At this point I am taking things out of Pompeo’s hands and letting the reader know that I will simply judge the quality of God’s alleged guidance of US foreign policy by the resulting body bag count.

Let’s begin at the beginning, when foreign policy was really just new world colonial expansion by a bunch of European adventurers. There is an excellent, though unattributed essay that appears in Indian Country Today (10 September 2004) entitled “Manifest Destiny and American Indians.” It sums up the religious rationalisations that went along with the appropriation of Indian lands even before the founding of the US:

The English Crown’s charters to Cabot, Gilbert and Raleigh [late 15th and 16th centuries] were nearly identical to the Pope’s Bulls [15th century] in commissioning expeditions to “heathen and barbarous lands”. Pilgrim and Puritan [17th century] sermons were replete with references to God’s covenant with them, their divine mission, their “errand into the wilderness… and manifest destiny”.

That made the whole affair a religiously rationalised one. There is no accurate estimate of the death toll “God’s covenant” and “divine mission” helped bring about. However, it had to be in the millions.

This belief in a providential mission was picked up with enthusiasm by those who would lead the United States. Here is how Malcolm Magee, writing for the Oxford Research Encyclopedia, puts it:

The United States has been uniquely God-centred among Western nations, and that includes its foreign policy. From George Washington to the present, all presidents and policymakers have had to consider God in varying degrees either for their domestic audience or because they believed in a version of providential mission in the world. In time, the very idea of the United States became so entwined with the sense of the Divine that American civil religion dominated even the most secular acts of policymakers.

There are some infamous examples of this “providential mission” guiding policy. For instance, in 1899 President William McKinley, a Methodist, allegedly stayed up all night praying to his God to tell him what to do with the Philippines, which had been captured by the US during the Spanish-American War. It would seem that God told him “there was nothing left for us to do but to take them all, and to educate the Filipinos, and uplift and civilise and Christianise them, and by God’s grace do the very best we could by them, as our fellow-men for whom Christ also died.”

A couple points here: first, most of the Filipinos were already Christians by virtue of 350 years of Spanish imperial rule, and second, McKinley’s decision to follow his unerring and blessed divine guide and “do the very best we could” for the Filipinos cost the lives of 200,000 civilians, 20,000 native resistance fighters and 4,200 American soldiers.

On 2 April 1917 President Woodrow Wilson addressed Congress seeking a declaration of war that would take the US into World War I. He “closed with a statement reminiscent of the German Protestant reformer Martin Luther’s closing lines at the Diet of Worms: ‘God helping her [the US] she can do no other.’” Allegedly having no other choice but to follow divine guidance, 116,708 American soldiers proceeded to die on the battlefield.

At the end of World War II, Harry Truman was president. It was at this point that the US was led down the path of assisting in the transformation of Palestine into Israel. Soon American leaders came to believe that a Protestant fundamentalist God demanded that American lives and treasure be used to support a Zionist ideology that was, in practice, ethnically cleansing Palestine of its native population. Pompeo fits right in here. To date, that divine guidance has rationalised United States aid to Israel to the tune of $130 billion and enough modern weaponry to help kill and maim tens of thousands of Palestinians, Syrians, Egyptians, Jordanians and Lebanese.

One could go on with this history, taking in the Cold War notion that the US was a Christian nation at war with “Godless Communism”. That bit of good versus evil gave the world the (divinely inspired?) strategy of mutually assured destruction. And then there was George W. Bush, who claimed that God told him to invade Iraq, an alleged piece of advice that subsequently killed as many as 400,000 Iraqis.

Conclusion

Quite frankly, to judge from the behaviour of those leaders who, historically and also contemporaneously, claim to act with divine guidance, one must conclude that either they have radically misinterpreted the message from beyond, or that their gods are debased by an endless bloodlust. It is, of course, also possible that there are no gods and these leaders have conveniently duped themselves with a belief that allows them to act as barbarians.

Finally, it should be noted that this is not solely a Mike Pompeo, Protestant God problem. Yes, we know, ethically, what it means to be a Christian as represented by Mike Pompeo. It means, among other things, to glory in an alleged divinely sanctioned destruction of the Palestinian people. However, we also know what it means, ethically, to be a Jew as represented by Binyamin Netanyahu and, similarly, we know what it means, ethically, to be a Muslim as represented by Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman. If there were time and space we could observe what it ethically means to be a Buddhist as represented by the leadership of Sri Lanka and what it ethically means to be a Hindu according to the fundamentalist leadership of India. The problem addressed here is ubiquitous.

This is really a universal problem of delusion. Whether there is a God or gods or not, it is delusional to think that mass murder is a path to any sort of redemption. Of course, plenty of wholly secular leaders and governments have radically reduced the world’s population based on nothing other than their hatred, racism and paranoia – no gods needed. But here in the United States we do seem to need the alleged blessing of a God to do the mostly negative things that we do abroad. That means we will probably be indefinitely stuck with leaders who, despite appearing sane, claim insight to God’s will, and thereby the right to lead us down primrose paths to suffering and murder.

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Lobbies and the corruption of US elected representatives

By Lawrence Davidson

Lawrence Davidson analyses the distorting effect of political lobbies on the USA’s elected representatives and, using the example of the Israel lobby, shows how the lobbied politicians end up representing the lobby and not their constituents or the national interest.

Lobbification is a word I have just coined for the corruptive process that bends politicians to the will of special interests, that is, to the will of lobbies. The result of lobbification can be seen in the stilted and fawning behaviour of the lobbified political brain. Politicians with lobbified brains become the obedient instruments of the lobbies which have captured their political souls. Below are a few examples of the results of lobbification.

An example from the House of Representatives

The majority of the politicians who sit on the US House Foreign Affairs Committee are victims of lobbification. Among the major lobbies that have, over the decades, carried out this corrupting process are the Zionist organizations in their various Jewish and Christian manifestations. In their present state, the lobbified minds of these committee members, so influential in the foreign policy formulation process of our country, are utterly incapable of questioning, much less defying, the hypnotic power of either American Zionists or the Israelis. Here is just one illustration of the resulting mental paralysis.

…alas, the lobbified brain functions something like Israel’s apartheid wall. Meaningful questions about Israel and doubts about the real consequences of Zionism cannot easily get over or around the nine-metre-high conditioning that is lobbification

On Tuesday 5 April 2011 three Israelis appeared before the US House Foreign Affairs Committee. Two were retired Israeli armed forces generals and one was Dore Gold, the president of the Jerusalem Centre for Public Affairs. Gold is one of those transplanted Americans who have chosen careers as Israeli spokesmen. (As an aside, he is also an Inspector Clouseau look alike.) He served as Israeli ambassador to the United Nations and political advisor to former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. Among other dubious accomplishments, it was Gold who convinced the Clinton administration not to press Israel on the issue of the Golan Heights. The Saudi ambassador to the US, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, once described him as “simply hatred’s scribe”. Here is some of what Gold and his fellow Israelis told the Foreign Affairs Committee:

1. Israel is confronting a new diplomatic assault that could well strip it of territorial defences in the West Bank that have provided for its security for over 40 years…”

2. “The 1993 Oslo agreements envisioned a negotiated solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with borders to be decided by the parties themselves and not imposed by international coalitions or by unilateral acts.”

3. “Traditional US policy recognized that Israel is not expected to withdrew from all territories it captured in the 1967 Six Day War. This was enshrined in UN Security Council Resolution 242…”

4. “…the entire Middle East is engulfed in flames. Just as Israel faces complete strategic uncertainty … it is being asked to acquiesce to unprecedented concessions that could put its very future at risk.” Therefore, “…to agree to a full withdrawal from the West Bank and to acquiesce to the loss of defensible borders pose an unacceptable risk for the Jewish state.”

During this lament our Congressional Representatives sat there, in their collective lobbified frame of mind, and swallowed it all in as if it were gospel. This was completely predictable. The Foreign Affairs Committee is chaired by Florida Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, an ardent anti-Castro Cuban American who has spent her political life doing two things: first, distorting our foreign policy toward Cuba so that no vestige of national interest can be found therein, and second, promoting a tactical alliance between reactionary Cuban American groups and the Zionists. Ros-Lehtinen has recently confirmed her lobbified status by demanding that Congress “make it US policy to demand that the UN General Assembly revoke and repudiate the Goldstone Report“. She did this despite the fact that three of the four signatories of the report have avowed its accuracy and continued relevance. The senior Democratic Party member on the committee is Howard Berman who has never been able to figure out who he should represent more diligently, his California district constituents or Israel.

Both these leading committee members clearly suffer from lobbification and most of the other standing members also display this condition to one extent or another. As a result, when it came to the discussion that followed the Israelis’ presentation, all the possible probing questions remained unasked. Here are some of them, figuratively addressed to Ambassador Dore, and others:

1. What do you mean by “diplomatic assault”, “imposed by international coalitions”, and “unilateral acts”? Do you mean the rather feeble US and European suggestion that your country negotiate in good faith and cease its own series of illegal unilateral acts such as the ethnic cleansing of East Jerusalem?

2. And how is it that you are now telling us that, for the last 40 years, your “territorial defences” have made you secure? For the past 40 years you have been telling us how insecure you are! Are we to understand that your constant claim of insecurity was a gross exaggeration? Perhaps nothing more than an addictive frame of mind? Or has it been just a facade behind which you carry on expansion in violation of international law?

3. Why do you bring up the Oslo accords? For the last few decades you have been telling us that they are dead letters, irrelevant to current circumstances. You seem to trot them out when they serve your purposes and cast them into oblivion when they do not. Also, are you not aware that in the past your country has violated these accords at will?

4. Is Israel’s determined refusal to negotiate rational concessions really a function of the assertion that the “entire Middle East” is allegedly “engulfed in flames”? If we simply go back to a period when there was no “complete strategic uncertainty” we find that Israel’s position on compromise was exactly the same as it is today. So isn’t this new concern really a contrived excuse to justify your country’s refusal to come to just and fair settlement with the Palestinians?

5. Why are you bringing up the possibility of “full withdrawal” from the West Bank as if it was a spectre gazing over your shoulder? When is the last time the US government or the European Union demanded this of you? Is not the present understanding of the final character of borders based upon the 1967 Green Line one that includes mutually agreed upon and equitable land swaps? Is not this the recognized contemporary understanding of UN Resolution 242?

6. And what is this business of “defensible borders”? When was the last time your country’s borders proved indefensible to conventional military attack? Isn’t it true that, even without the West Bank, your borders have never been seriously crossed by such forces? Your vulnerability lies in your inability to counter guerrilla and terrorist attacks, and to prevent missile penetration. Ultimate security against these threats does not rest in a policy of colonial expansion but rather in an equitable peace agreement.

What a memorable and actually useful committee meeting it would have been if these or similar questions had been posed. But alas, the lobbified brain functions something like Israel’s apartheid wall. Meaningful questions about Israel and doubts about the real consequences of Zionism cannot easily get over or around the nine-metre-high conditioning that is lobbification.

An example from the US Senate

Only the thoroughly lobbified brain can advocate cutting 500 million   dollars  from federal programmes for health and nutrition for women, infants and children and simultaneously insist on continuing to give Israel 3 billion dollars a year…

The on-line magazine Politico tells usthat “even as they push for huge cuts, 11 freshman GOP [Grand Old Party – the US Republican Party] senators say the US must continue to provide foreign aid to its strongest ally in the Middle East: Israel”.

In a letter to Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) the security conscious 11 stated, “as we work to reduce wasteful government spending … we must continue to prioritize the safety of our nation and the security of our allies, including Israel”.

Only the thoroughly lobbified brain can advocate cutting 500 million dollars from federal programmes for health and nutrition for women, infants and children and simultaneously insist on continuing to give Israel 3 billion dollars a year – and, do so in the name of “prioritizing the safety of our nation”!

The senator who organized the letter to McConnell is Marco Rubio of Florida (a male version of Ros-Lehtinen) and he sits on what committee? The Senate Foreign Relations Committee, of course. His lobbified state apparently makes it impossible for him to see the connection between our open-ended support of Israel, Israel’s ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians and our nation’s insecurity. It should come as no surprise that Senator Rubio has said that the US must “stand with Israel without equivocation or hesitation” and cease pressuring Israel over its settlement policies.

Conclusion

As the approximately 206.8 million adult Americans go about their daily lives most probably do not realize that they, or at least the approximately 57 per cent who bother to vote in federal elections, have placed into positions of power individuals who have been corrupted by lobby power. This is due to the fact that most Americans do not understand and/or pay attention to how their own political system works. Few and far between are the school “civics” courses that, in theory, explain its intricacies. And, once the Republicans get done gutting the education budgets, those remaining courses will most likely disappear.

Ignorance is not bliss. It is often the prelude to sudden destruction. It is not bliss to be ignorant of the corruption that is undermining your government . Lobbification is synonymous with just that – a dangerous form of political corruption. Our political system is riddled with it. It has been so for a long time and the situation is not improving.

This condition has recently manifested itself in Wisconsin, Michigan, Maine, Ohio and a host of other states in the form of feverish acts of self-destruction. And, as we have seen, Congress has no immunity. Yet the citizenry goes blissfully about its business.

To quote the immortal Samuel Johnson, “Must helpless man, in ignorance sedate, roll darkling down the torrent of his fate? (Oxford Dictionary of Quotations, 2001, p. 411, No. 19).

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T spells trouble as Zionists claim Palestine alphabet book is ‘anti-Semitic’

NOVANEWS

A page from P is for Palestine [Trendolizer]

A page from P is for Palestine [Trendolizer]

A public reading of the first-ever alphabet story book in the English language about Palestine has caused outrage among some American library patrons who claim that its contents are anti-Semitic. Now a literary event featuring the children’s book P is for Palestine and its author has been shelved until at least next month when the library’s board of trustees will hold a public meeting to consider rescheduling the event for the book written by Golbarg Bashi.

Bashi was due to read P is for Palestine during a children’s event at the Highland Park Public Library in New Jersey, but several residents complained. They allege that the 2017 self-published book is anti-Semitic and promotes violence. One local resident complained: “I is for Intifada — encouraging children to rise up any way they see fit to resist. Far from peaceful and far from appropriate.” She added that the prospect of the book’s author visiting her community to host the reading made her “feel unsafe”.

According to US cable network Fox News, the main focus of the objections arises from the content of the section “I is for Intifada”. According to the Iranian-American author, intifada is the Arabic word for “resistance” and has a peaceful connotation. She likened it to the recent “Woman’s March”. The word’s literal definition is “tremor”, “shuddering” or “shaking off”, although “uprising” is in popular usage.

Each letter of the alphabet is illustrated and the illustration for “I is for Intifada” is of a little girl being held by her father with their arms raised in the “V for victory” position; they are standing next to a barbed wire fence. While most of the complaints were over the use of the word intifada, several also complained at the M-insert which shows an image of Palestinian women and children flying kites. Critics said that “kite bombs” are known to be used to fly over the nominal border from the Gaza Strip into Israel.

P is for Palestine: A Palestine Alphabet Book

An equally vocal lobby is expressing support for Bashi’s book, saying that it is aimed at dialogue and open-mindedness. Bashi is being defended by Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), which also supports the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel.

The author herself insists that her book is “about children who basically have no books written about them in English in this country.” She described the controversy around her book as an issue for the First Amendment concerning freedom of speech.

According to Rochelle Kipnis, people are not suggesting that the book should be banned. “We simply do not believe that the author’s attempted transformation of a word generally understood to mean the violent massacre of Jews as a morally acceptable concept for children should be presented at a public library,” explained the Somerset County Republican committeewoman and pro-Israel community advocate. “If the author truly wants ‘Intifada’ to take on a positive meaning, she should immediately denounce the murder of Jews during the First and Second Intifada.”

Maybe Ms Kipnis is not aware of what triggered the First Intifada or that both uprisings resulted in far many more deaths of innocent Palestinian civilians than Israelis. She should check the history section of her local library where she might discover that the First Intifada began on 9 December 1987 in the Jabaliya Refugee Camp in Gaza when an Israeli lorry crashed into two vans carrying Palestinian workers, killing four of them. The fatal crash served as a catalyst for protests which swept across the occupied Palestinian territories.

No single person or organisation was responsible for the uprising; it was a popular response to Israel’s brutal military occupation. Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians engaged in civil disobedience, including strikes, demonstrations, refusals to pay taxes and boycotts of Israeli products. Israel’s response was swift and harsh. Palestinian schools were closed down, and mass arrests followed other closures and curfews. In 1990, the then Israeli Defence Minister Yitzhak Rabin infamously ordered his soldiers to “break the bones” of the demonstrators; they did, and were caught in sickening television footage doing so. From 1987 to 1991, Israeli forces killed over 1,100 Palestinians, many of them children, and injured tens of thousands more.

Potential US presidential candidate accuses ‘racist’ Israel of committing ‘genocide’

UN Security Council Resolution 605 condemned Israel for the large number of Palestinian deaths, and pointed out that the Zionist state had violated the Geneva Conventions. Media coverage of the uprising – depicting stone-throwing Palestinian teenagers confronting armed soldiers – also generated new waves of international sympathy for the Palestinian cause.

The Second Intifada was far bloodier and was spawned out of the collapse of the peace process in 2000. Negotiations between Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat broke down, and soon-to-be-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon made an intentionally provocative visit to the Noble Sanctuary of Al-Aqsa in Jerusalem, known to Jews as the Temple Mount, accompanied by a considerable security presence. It sparked off a series of Palestinian demonstrations which were fired upon by Israeli soldiers. By the time that the uprising ended in 2005, around 1,000 Israelis and 3,200 Palestinians had lost their lives.

Perhaps Kipnis would, therefore, like to explain why she thinks the author “should immediately denounce the murder of Jews during the First and Second Intifada” while ignoring the much higher number of Palestinians who were killed. Does she believe that Palestinian lives don’t matter?

Since the book was first published in 2017, Bashi has received death threats and a small group of rabbis pressurised the independent New York chain Book Culture to issue an apology for advertising P is for Palestine. The owner of the chain, Chris Doeblin, admitted that the last time his store had faced such threats was after the Iranian fatwa issued against Salman Rushdie for The Satanic Verses thirty years ago.

Palestinians to shun US-led economic conference, prelude to Trump peace plan

Two years on and Bashi’s book, which is enjoying its second print run, is still riling the pro-Israel lobby and it’s still difficult to understand why when its content is nothing more than a celebration of the diversity of Palestine as well as a reminder that it is the birthplace of Christianity. This is illustrated by “B is for Bethlehem”; “C is for Christmas, cosiest in Jesus Christ’s country, with the crunchiest candy”; “J is for Jesus” (Jerusalem is referred to by its Arabic name, Al-Quds); and “N is for Nazareth”.

When it comes to Zionist-led censorship it seems that even an innocent book designed to help young people understand the alphabet through the eyes of a Palestinian child crosses a red line. Nothing, it seems, is off limits for the lobby to attack.

Last July, the Israeli parliament passed the “Nation-State Law”, which basically made apartheid official doctrine by defining Israel as the national homeland of the Jewish people and marginalising Palestinians, their history and language. That law was the culmination of decades-long efforts. Now, what we are witnessing unfold at a New Jersey library suggests that there is a systematic campaign underway to strip every item, no matter how small, of its Palestinian character and culture.

There are no alphabet letters, words and illustrations in Golbarg Bashi’s book for Israel’s blatant disregard and hatred for any and all expressions of Palestine and its rich culture. Today, though, T definitely spells Trouble as Z for Zionists attempt to D for Distort H for History in order to promote their P for Pernicious ideology. Get a life people, it’s a children’s book.

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Why do we need to define anti-Semitism?

NOVANEWS

The Political Uses of Anti-Semitism

There is an excellent article today (for once) in Tuesday’s ‘i’ – by Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, one of Britain’s few decent mainstream columnists. Defining Islamaphobia is dubious. (the online version is We need to be able to criticise Islam – any definition of Islamophobia must recognise that) argues against the adoption of an Islamic version of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of ‘anti-Semitism’. Following the debate on the IHRA a mixture of religious reactionaries, misguided liberals and Baroness Warsi have combined to demand that there should be an Islamic version of the IHRA hoping that it would curtail discussion of things like religious coercion.

For the past 2 years there has been a wholly artificial debate around the need to define anti-Semitism. This involved a concerted attempt by the mainstream press, the Zionist movement and the Labour Right (including Jon Lansman) to get the Labour Party to adopt a definition of anti-Semitism that could be used to attack supporters of the Palestinians and opponents of Zionism.

The IHRA definition has been around, in one guise or another, since 2005. The definition has been contested by academic researchers such as Brian KlugDavid Feldman, and Antony Lerman; jurists including Hugh Tomlinson QC,Stephen SedleyGeoffrey Bindman QC, and Geoffrey Robertson QC and even the original drafter of the IHRA,Kenneth S. Stern.

It is worth recalling these critiques had no effect whatsoever on the determination of the Right to push the IHRA because the IHRA was never about combating anti-Semitism. First adopted by Theresa May, Corbyn thought be was being clever in rushing to mimic her, oblivious to the consequences not least for himself.

 
Paul Besser of Britain First and a signed up Zionist is a dedicated supporter of the IHRA definition of antisemitism

Lerman, a former Director of the Institute of Jewish Policy Research stated that

‘Not only is there now overwhelming evidence that it’s not fit for purpose, but it also has the effect of making Jews more vulnerable to antisemitism, not less.’

Sir Geoffrey Bindman described the 38 word IHRA definition as

‘poorly drafted, misleading, and in practice has led to the suppression of legitimate debate and freedom of expression.

 
Being accused of ‘racism’ by racists is an occupational hazard on Twitter – it is the go to form of abuse for (usually non-Jewish) members of the Labour Right

Sedley, a Jewish former Court of Appeal Judge said the IHRA ‘fails the first test of any definition: it is indefinite. He also described it as restricting criticism of Israel and

placing the historical, political, military and humanitarian uniqueness of Israel’s occupation and colonisation of Palestine beyond permissible criticism.’

David Feldman, Director of the Pears Institute for the Study of Anti-Semitism described it as ‘bewilderingly imprecise” Hugh Tomlinson QC said the IHRA ‘lacks clarity and comprehensiveness’ and that it has ‘a potential chilling effect on public bodies’

 
There is a very simple definition of ‘anti-semitism’ it comprises all of 6 words

Geoffrey Robertson QC stated that it would ‘chill free speech’ and was  ‘not fit for purpose’  

Kenneth Stern, in testimony to Congress, said:

‘“The definition was not drafted, and was never intended, as a tool to target or chill speech on a college campus.,”. “It was never supposed to curtail speech on campus.”

What the proponents of the IHRA lacked in argument they made up for in political muscle. Britain’s delegate to the IHRA, an inter-governmental body consisting of 31 countries, was the right-wing ex-Conservative MP and government minister, Eric Pickles, a former Chairman of Conservative Friends of Israel.

We can gain some idea of Pickles’ devotion to anti-racism by the decision of the High Court, in 2015 to rule that Pickles had unlawfully discriminated against Romani Gypsies who wanted pitches in the Green Belt. When, in 2009 David Miliband condemned the Tory Party’s alliance with anti-Semitic parties in the European Parliament, it was Pickles who leapt to their defence. He denounced the attacks on Roberts Zile, a Latvian MEP who marched with veterans of the Latvian SS each March.  Apparently they had only been ‘following orders’ a defence which was thrown out at the Nuremburg Trials.

 
As befits most Islamaphobes, Katie Hopkins is also a dedicated Zionist

During the whole debate about the IHRA there was one question that was conspicuous by its absence.  Why the need for a definition of anti-Semitism at all?  For sure it satisfies a psychological need to define things on the basis that if you don’t define something then it doesn’t exist.

However there were already adequate definitions. The Oxford English Diction defines anti-Semitism as ‘hostility to or discrimination against Jews.’ Brian Klug, an Oxford academic, in his lecture at the Jewish museum in Berlin on the 75th anniversary of Kristalnacht proposed that anti-Semitism was

a form of hostility to Jews as Jews, where Jews are perceived as something other than what they are’ which for all its academic subtlety begs the question, what are the Jews? [1]but still the question that keeps knocking on the door.  Why a definition?

When my father and thousands of Jews like him demonstrated in Cable Street on October 4th 1936 against Oswald Moseley and the British Union of Fascists, in defiance of the Jewish establishment, they didn’t need a definition of anti-Semitism to know what they were fighting. Do you really need to define a brick hurtling towards you or a boot in the face because you are Jewish?

If the proponents of the IHRA were being honest then they would admit that the real reason for the definition is an attempt to redefine the traditional understanding of what anti-Semitism in order to substitute Israel for Jews. That they have been able to get away with this is a consequence of changes in the Jewish community itself.

When Moseley attempted to march through the Jewish East End of the 1930’s the Police and the Conservative establishment were hostile to what they saw as a communist infested, left-wing minority ethnic community. All sorts of revolutionary, anarchist and socialist groupings competed for support amongst the Jews of Whitechapel.

The elephant in the room of the debate over the IHRA and anti-Semitism is that the Jewish community has changed out of all recognition in the past 80 years. The Jews of the East End have migrated to Golders Green, Hendon or further out still.  They have also risen up the socio-economic ladder.

As William Rubinstein, a past President of the Jewish Historical Society, wrote [The Right, Left and the Jews, p. 51, 1982]:

the rise of Western Jewry to unparalleled affluence and high status has led to the near disappearance of a Jewish proletariat of any size: indeed the Jews may become the first ethnic group in history without a working class of any size.’

In short as the Jews changed so did anti-Semitism and this was exactly Rubinstein’s conclusion:

It has rendered obsolete (and rarely heard ) the type of anti-semitism which has its basis in fears of the swamping of the native population by a limitless horde of Yiddish speaking aliens, and it has made Marxism, and other radical doctrines, irrelevant to the socio-economic bases of Western Jewry, and increasingly unattractive to most Jews

Dr Geoffrey Alderman, a right-wing Jewish academic wrote that:

By 1961, over 40% of Anglo-Jewry was located in theupper 2 social classes, whereas these categories accounted for less than 20% of the general population.’ [Jewish Community in British Politics, p. 137]

In other words the fatuous argument of the Right that Jews are not voting for the Labour Party because of Israel simply has no basis. Jews began voting Conservative long before the issue of Israel even raised its head.  The reasons why Jews today vote overwhelmingly for the Conservative Party has everything to do with their own perceived economic interests.

Of course there will be some middle class Jews who may be put off voting Labour because of its perceived support for the Palestinians, the Maureen Lipman’s of this world, but they will be few and far between.

When Jonathan Freedland defines anti-Semitism as being in opposition to the perceived self-identity of today’s Jews with Israel then what he is saying is that anti-Semitism is no longer hatred of Jews as Jews but disagreement with their political views. It is this, more than anything, which explains the hypocrisy that lies at the heart of the debate over anti-Semitism today and also explains why anti-Semitism has been used as a crude weapon against the Left.

Below is a very interesting conversation from the Boston Review on What is and is not anti-Semitism.

Tony Greenstein

What Anti-Semitism Is—And What It Is Not

Boston Review – A Political and Literary Forum

Two Jewish activists discuss the place of anti-Semitism in contemporary movements for social justice.

Donna NevelMark Tseng-Putterman

As Jewish activists invested in antiracist and anti-colonial movements from the United States to Palestine, we have been following, with interest and concern, progressive Jewish discussions of anti-Semitism. These discussions have been brought on in part by the horrors of the Tree of Life synagogue massacre last October, and in part by larger concerns about the rise of racial violence in the Trump era.

We acknowledge the real causes for alarm behind these discussions, but we also find a great deal to be concerned about. It is now commonplace for slanderous accusations of anti-Semitism to be leveled against Palestinians and supporters of Palestine, especially against black leaders and other activists of color. Many progressives have criticized the conflation of anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism, but narratives about anti-Semitism persist that feed into the same rhetoric used to derail movements for justice in the United States and in Palestine. In questioning these progressive analyses of anti-Semitism, we look to the wider context of global systems of injustice. We are concerned that a lack of clarity about what anti-Semitism is—and isn’t—allows false equivalencies and elisions to be weaponized against movements for social justice.

We recognize that some will think that we are dismissing or minimizing anti-Semitism at a time when it is crucial to stand up to anti-Jewish ideologies. But of course we aren’t interested in dismissing the reality of anti-Semitism, past or present. Instead our goal is to contribute to a careful analysis of the threats of anti-Semitic ideology, without downplaying or minimizing the very tangible structures of racism, colonialism, and imperialism under which people of color live every day. Our back-and-forth has challenged our thinking about how we can be as effective and thoughtful as possible in our organizing and our work for justice. We hope that, in sharing our conversation, it will serve that purpose for others as well.

Donna Nevel: I’m troubled by a common refrain I see expressed by progressive Jews on social media, directed toward social justice communities. They say, in effect: those who aren’t Jewish need to believe us when we talk about anti-Semitism, when we say we’re vulnerable.

On the one hand, that makes perfect sense: we should listen to Jews who say they are the victims of anti-Semitism, just as we would listen to those impacted by other injustices. But we also need to look more deeply at this particular call and its consequences, given how routinely false accusations of anti-Semitism are hurled at Palestinians and those who support Palestinian rights, at Muslims and those perceived to be Muslim, and at others—most often people of color—involved in antiracist movements.

False accusations have done real harm to people’s lives and careers. The threat of such consequences has a pernicious chilling effect on what people say and do.

Many people hesitate to engage with these issues because of the well-substantiated fear that they will be falsely accused of anti-Semitism—and bullied and intimidated in the process. These false accusations generally get a lot of air time and have done real harm to people’s lives and careers. The threat of such consequences has a very real and pernicious chilling effect on what people say and do. We need to take this reality into account when statements are made regarding who is “entitled” to speak, and to be listened to.

We all have a lot to learn by engaging honestly and thoughtfully about anti-Semitism, both its history and its current manifestations. The rise in white nationalist anti-Semitism in this country should be addressed, but that reality should not be used to buttress overzealous, reckless accusations of anti-Semitism. We must acknowledge how deeply the conflation between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism has become normalized, including within some progressive Jewish circles.

Mark Tseng-Putterman: I also see this admonition—to trust Jews when we talk about anti-Semitism—as problematic. Of course we need to consider Jewish experiences and analyses. But there is a tendency in “social justice” spaces to defer to individual subjectivity over substantive institutional critique that becomes especially dangerous in the context of discussions of anti-Semitism. Is “trust” politically efficacious given that criticisms of the state of Israel or of U.S. Jewish institutions like the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) or the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) are so frequently shut down by Jews claiming anti-Semitism? In order to think critically about Zionism and white supremacy, we must all have the nuance to recognize and call out bad faith claims of anti-Semitism when we see them.

There is a tendency in “social justice” spaces to defer to individual subjectivity over substantive institutional critique.

Consider an example. The assertion that white Jews reap white privilege—and, like all white people, play a role in upholding white supremacy—is now being denounced by reactionaries wielding social justice language as anti-Semitic, Jewish erasure, and even gaslighting. I worry that a consequence of this “trust Jews on anti-Semitism” language is to silence the criticisms and analyses of people of color—including Jewish people of color—about racism and complicity in Jewish communities.

Many Jews do indeed refuse to accept, or even sit with, such criticisms. They also raise the specter of supposed “left anti-Semitism,” claiming that Jews are being excludedfrom progressive spaces. And many progressive Jews have been too quick to accept the premise that there exists a unique “left anti-Semitism” that must be engaged. The result, I worry, is a vacuum where Jewish communities and institutions can cover their ears and block out critical conversations about white supremacy and Zionism happening on the left.

Of course anti-Semitism exists in pockets of the left, as does ingrained racism, misogyny, and transphobia. But, to me, the way we talk about “left anti-Semitism” reeks of a smear campaign designed to block critiques of Zionism. These admonitions aren’t about seeking greater Jewish inclusion or participation in the left; they’re about delegitimizing some of the most important social justice movements of our time, from Black Lives Matter to the global call by Palestinian  civil society for Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS). As Jews on the left, we need to ask ourselves how our deference to the sensitivities of some Jews is enabling this rhetorical violence.

DN: I think we always need to ask whose voices are being promoted and why, whose voices are being silenced and why, whose interests are being served and whose aren’t. At this moment, particularly, we need to be welcoming critical, challenging conversations about these issues, not trying to shut them down.

The rise in white nationalist anti-Semitism in this country should be addressed. But that reality should not be used to buttress reckless accusations of anti-Semitism.

Take the ADL’s biased analysis of anti-Semitism. Their “research” and data reflect a broader anti-Arab, anti-Palestinian agenda. Yet, we see people uncritically citing the ADL as “the” expert on what constitutes anti-Semitism, and who is being anti-Semitic. And when their authority is challenged due to their troubling record, many claim it is further evidence of the left’s anti-Semitism. That was the accusation made, for example, when the ADL was droppedfrom a high-profile Starbucks “anti-bias training” following many substantive concerns expressed by leaders of the Women’s March and Black Lives Matter as well as by left Jewish activists.

Here’s another example. I read numerous accounts after the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute rescinded Angela Davis’s human rights award, arguing that Jews were being unfairly blamed for what happened to her—that it was unfair, even anti-Jewish, to focus on local Jewish organizations that had applied pressure on the Museum to rescind the award. They argued that it was white evangelicals, not Jews, in Birmingham, who have the power to make those things happen.

But Jewish organizations, including the Birmingham Holocaust Education Center and the Birmingham Jewish Federation, did play a key role in pressuring the museum to rescind the award. That doesn’t mean all Jews opposed her talk; they didn’t. And it is true that efforts to thwart supporters of the Palestinian movement for justice extend far beyond Jewish groups. It also true that sometimes the decision makers may not have consisted of many, if any, Jews, and that some Jewish groups oppose these kinds of actions when they happen.

To say that Jewish groups applied pressure on the museum—and were likely listened to—is consistent with what Jewish groups have done across the country to supporters of BDS applying for jobs, seeking tenure, and more. I just can’t see it as anti-Jewish to hold these organizations accountable. It’s not anti-Jewish to point out that many Jewish organizations have power to exert their influence in damaging ways.

It’s not anti-Jewish to point out that many Jewish organizations have power to exert their influence in damaging ways.

MTP: Absolutely. When activists, including many Jews, confront the bad politics of so-called “liberal” Jewish organizations like the ADL, they end up getting tarred as anti-Semitic. I’m thinking of the ridiculous allegations (many from leaders of left-of-center Jewish groups, includingT’ruah’s Jill Jacobs, who has also falsely accusedPalestinian activists of anti-Semitism) against the Deadly Exchange campaign by Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP). They claimed the campaign, which sought to end police exchanges between Israel and U.S. municipalities, was perpetuating an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory that Israel was responsible for racist policing in the United States. JVP and other activist groups exhibited very tangible evidence of the exchange of repressive policing tactics, and the links between racist state violence, in both nations. But this overzealous analysis of anti-Semitism distorted the campaign into a case of Jew-blaming.

Most recently, we’ve seen the attacks by both progressive and conservative Jews directed at Representative Ilhan Omar, denouncing as anti-Semitic her demonstrably trueassertion that AIPAC and the Israel lobby influence U.S. policy in the Middle East. What’s worse, the coordinated attack on Omar was catalyzed by Batya Ungar-Sargon, an editor at The Forward, a supposedly progressive Jewish platform with a rich socialist history. After Ungar-Sargon went so far as to write that Omar “won the approval of the KKK,” The Forward used the smear campaign as a fundraising email talking point.

A number of progressive Jews responded to the Omar smear by balking at the assertion that the Israel lobby has anything to do with Jews. Similarly to the troubling dynamic you saw in Birmingham, many were quick to excise Jewish agency from pro-Israel lobbying, instead pointing to Christian evangelical groups and claiming that AIPAC is not a Jewish organization—despite its U.S. Jewish base and participation in various Jewish institutional constituencies such as the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. We are seeing an impulse, often coming from progressive Jews, to deny the agency and influence of Jews and Jewish institutions, which I think really limits our capacity to foment effective antiracist change.

This hesitance to confront Jewish institutional complicity in structures of violence may be rooted in a particular analysis of anti-Semitism: the idea that Jews are perpetual “middlemen” caught between the masses and the power elite. I’ve written elsewhere—and Tallie Ben Daniel has a wonderful essay tackling similar questions from a Mizrahi perspective in JVP’s recent book On Anti-Semitism (2017)—about how this notion that Jews are “allowed success” in order to be made “useful” as scapegoats later inevitably freezes our ability to call out Jewish complicity. It has us seeking to absolve bad-acting Jewish institutions by looking for the “man behind the curtain.” By that logic, Jewish organizations can’t have the power and influence to blacklist Angela Davis or defame academics such as Steven Salaita; right-wing evangelicals must have done it. And yet we know very clearly that there are numerous influential Jewish groups that are successfully leading smear campaigns against pro-Palestine activists and funding anti-Muslim hate groups.

According to “middlemen” logic, Jewish organizations can’t be blamed; right-wing evangelicals must have done it.

As Ben Daniel implores, we need to understand the privileges and powers granted to white American Jews not as an inevitable symptom of anti-Semitism, but as a symptom of whiteness, white supremacy, and the ability (and willingness) of many white American Jews to align themselves with both a fundamental American anti-blackness, as well as an imagined “Judeo-Christian” West that serves the imperialist project of Western Islamophobia. We must confront head on how institutions that purport to speak in the name of U.S. Jews are so deeply implicated in perpetuating racism and Islamophobia.

DN: This is an issue of real concern for me and for many others. Elly Bulkin and I have been working with different groups for many years to challenge Islamophobia within our communities. We created Jews Against Anti-Muslim Racism(JAAMR) as a resource because we didn’t feel anti-Muslim racism, and particularly structural Islamophobia, the “war on terror,” and the Islamophobia-Israel connection, were being prioritized enough within Jewish communities, including within many progressive Jewish spaces. More recently, after you brought to our attention some research about the New York Jewish Communal Fund (JCF) and its complicity in funding virulently Islamophobic groups, we continued that research, and recently published a report, together with Jews Say No! and JVP-NYC, detailing this funding and calling on the JCF to defund Islamophobia now.

While there has been some outrage expressed within Jewish communities about the JCF’s funding of Islamophobia, vocal opposition to it—or making it a real priority—hasn’t been as widespread as it surely would be if grants and financial resources were going to support anti-Semitic, neo-Nazi groups.

Institutions that purport to speak in the name of U.S. Jews are deeply implicated in perpetuating Islamophobia.

MTP: Another thread here is that in the United States, the most visible forms of racism and other forms of oppression tend to be these spectacular iterations—hate violence, mass shootings, police brutality—and not the profound mundanity of everyday, structural state violence. While the terrors of the Tree of Life and Christchurch massacres have rightly inspired global outpourings of solidarity, I think it is important to recognize the underlying institutional Islamophobia (which doesn’t elicit the same kind of bipartisan condemnation anti-Semitism does). It doesn’t minimize the tragedy to acknowledge that the Tree of Life shooting is not an instance of routine state violence against American Jews. Indeed, admitting this is a prerequisite to building the sort of coalitions necessary to take on the forces we’re confronted with today.

It seems to me we suffer from a lack of clarity about the meaning of structural, state-sanctioned violence. This lack of clarity in turn muddies the waters when it comes to understanding anti-Semitism. Some Jewish progressive organizations argue that anti-Semitism is structural in the United States today. What are the structures and institutions that uphold it?

This is where I find the analysis murky. My sense is that many would respond along these lines: Anti-Semitism is different from other forms of oppression. Rather than depriving Jews of resources and power, anti-Semitism thrives by allowing Jews success so that they can be made scapegoats in the future.

My issue with this answer, which was perhaps most popularly encapsulated in April Rosenblum’s pamphlet The Past Didn’t Go Anywhere (2018), is that it exonerates, or at least overlooks, Jewish participation and relative success in racial capitalism. The strategy thus evades questions of Jewish complicity with state power and the global racial hierarchy and instead freezes us in a perpetual state ofvictimhood, or potential future​ victimhood. Besides chalking up American Jewish power and assimilation to anti-Semitism’s predetermined “middleman” role (rather than to whiteness, antiblackness, or Islamophobia), it also assumes a cyclicality to anti-Semitism that makes it impossible to take Jewish power or safety at face value—instead seeing these as symptoms of a future, inevitable scapegoating. Rosenblum’s ideas are being amplified in this political moment, in countless news articles, Twitter threads, and resources that lean heavily on her analysis, such as Jews for Racial and Economic Justice’s “Understanding Anti-Semitism.”

We suffer from a lack of clarity about the meaning of structural, state-sanctioned violence.

I also take issue with the claim that anti-Semitism doesn’t work like other systems of oppression, because anti-Semitism positions Jews as a powerful threat to be eradicated rather than a weak minority to be exploited. Anti-Semitism is certainly not unique in this regard. Take the Yellow Peril tropes that have galvanized anti-Asian racism—from immigration exclusion to U.S. military intervention—since at least the turn of the twentieth century. These mechanics also invoke Asians as a powerful, external threat. The same can be said for “clash of civilizations” rhetoric about Muslims and the so-called “East” that is central to the “War on Terror.”

I worry that the tendency to render anti-Semitism as abstract, cyclical, and permanent (language of anti-Semitism as a “virus” or an “ancient prejudice” abound) prevents us from looking closely at our current political conditions and from understanding anti-Semitism in relation to the escalation of racist state violence we are seeing in this moment.

DN: It is true that negative stereotypes of Jews differ qualitatively from those about some other groups. But that doesn’t speak to the structures at work, nor is it a reason to exceptionalize anti-Semitism or to assume nobody but Jews can possibly understand it or its seriousness. Promoting that view has real consequences: it distracts us from the impact of white supremacy on targeted communities.

At the same time, there is the entrenched narrative of Jews as the “chosen people.” Many progressive Jews have rejected it, but many have not as clearly rejected notions of Jewish exceptionalism with which we were inculcated in Hebrew school and in other Jewish spaces—that Jews have higher ethical standards and are smarter than others, and that nobody has suffered as much as we have. (For many of us, who have power and privilege as members of white, affluent communities in the United States, these claims of exceptionalism perhaps have greater potential to do harm today than in the past.)

Many progressive Jews still think that nobody has suffered as much as we have.

We must genuinely grapple with these beliefs. They impact how we treat communities we perceive as not “our own.” They foster our sense of entitlement. They shape how we move in social justice spaces and in the political worlds we inhabit, and how we may come to understand and center our own suffering. (This is not to assert that there is one fixed Jewish value system. There are many Jewish histories, experiences, and lived realities; we all navigate multiple identities.)

One way this entitlement shows up, for example, is public outrage when social justice movements are accused of failing to center anti-Semitism. Anti-Semitism needs to be included as an injustice we challenge, and, in my experience, I’ve not heard social justice groups claim otherwise. Many movements have been focused on challenging the dangerous structural, institutional, state-sanctioned racism, xenophobia, Islamophobia, and other injustices at the core of U.S. society. As we are seeing a marked rise in white nationalist anti-Semitic violence (as well as violence directed toward other communities) part of our commitment is to address and incorporate it meaningfully into our justice work. But that doesn’t mean that being sensitive and responsive to anti-Semitism requires centering it or believing that—in this country at this time—it is the same as communities targeted daily by the state and by a range of institutions.

MTP: I think this notion that the left, particularly people of color on the left, don’t give anti-Semitism enough air time sets up a problematic savior complex: white Jews swoop in as educators tasked with tackling the supposed ignorance of people of color. This, in turn, perpetuates this patronizingand paternalistic relationship between white Jews and particularly black activists that the often romanticized history of black-Jewish civil rights organizing hinges on. It’s not that activists of all backgrounds shouldn’t learn about anti-Semitism. But when activists of color do anything deemed anti-Semitic (including merely criticizing Israel), they are chastised by the press, forced to apologize, and required to commit to being “educated” on the issue—a ritual that I think receives undue airtime because it reinforces tropes about angry and ignorant people of color.

This sense of “finally people will believe we’re oppressed too” is echoed across the Jewish political spectrum.

Your point about how deep the ideology of the “chosen people” runs, even in liberal secular American Jewish circles, resonates here. Is twenty-first-century American Jewish identity—at least as it is popularly understood and circulated—even possible without anti-Semitism? Can we conceive of “Jewishness” in its modern, often class-privileged and white American manifestation, without a sense of victimization? Certain responses to the anti-Semitism of the Trump campaign, the “alt-right,” and even the Tree of Life shooting seem to indicate that these episodes resolve the crisis of modern white American Jewish identity—by confirming that anti-Semitism is indeed cyclical and permanent. Contemporary American Jewishness has thus become parasitic on victimhood. But retreating to these comfortable narratives about who “we” are is preventing us from building coalitions, challenging institutions, and engaging in self-criticism in effective ways.

This sense of “finally people will believe we’re oppressed too” is echoed across the Jewish political spectrum. This narrative was crystallized in a March 2017 piece in theTimes of Israel which described a “silver lining” to rising anti-Semitism: it proved a counter to “intersectional” campus movements that excluded Jews on the basis of their being “white and privileged.” Of course, this narrative of Jewish exclusion from the left conveniently conflates Jewishness and Zionism. But this concept of the “silver lining” speaks to a larger dynamic in which instances of anti-Jewish violence are seen as “useful” insofar as they confirm to Jews and “prove” to everyone else our oppressed status. This seems to me an incredibly cynical and troubling way of approaching anti-Semitism in our current moment.

Jews are implicated symbolically in this scheme, but not materially.

Perhaps one consequence of this ideology is the shifting in emphasis away from white supremacy and toward “white nationalism” when we talk about anti-Semitism in the United States. For instance, Eric Ward has argued to great acclaim in some parts of the Jewish left that anti-Semitism is the central “fuel” of white nationalism, and that white Jews must give up their “fantasy” of white privilege. Ward has writtenthat white nationalism is a “new competitor” to white supremacy, a social movement that is “stand[ing] up” as white supremacy “falls down.” Make no mistake: it is crucial to recognize the growing threat of white nationalism and the role of anti-Semitism within its ranks. But I worry that we are embracing a strand of post-racialism by saying, in effect, that white supremacy was defeated and that white nationalism is a new force rising to fill the void. This frame ignores the deep continuity in structural violence through both the Obama and Trump eras, and of course back even before the founding of the United States.

We need to talk about the white nationalist movement while recognizing that white supremacy—as a structure—remains in full force, one too often accepted as the status quo. If that’s the case, what are the implications of anti-Semitism supposedly being at the core of white nationalist ideology, if white supremacy remains hegemonic? And why should we restrict our analysis of anti-Semitism to its supposedly central role in white nationalist thought and not consider its more marginal role in systemic white supremacy?

The core of white nationalism is not anti-Semitism, but settler colonialism and antiblackness.

It also seems odd to position white nationalism’s pursuit of a white ethno-state as a new ideology rather than the founding doctrine of the United States. Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz has traced (in these very pages) the genealogy of white nationalist thought back to the so-called Indian Wars that founded the United States as a white nation-state. All of this is part and parcel with the liberal amnesia that has folks responding to, for instance, the state-sanctioned violence at the U.S.-Mexico border or the separation of asylum-seeking families with the ahistorical “this isn’t the America I know.” So while anti-Semitism may play an important role in contemporary white nationalist discourses, we need to keep in mind this longer history of white ethno-nationalism. Its core is not anti-Semitism, but settler colonialism and antiblackness.

DN: I had similar concerns reading a recent piece by Tim Wise as those you describe about Ward’s analysis. While Wise correctly rejects “the false equivalence some are trying to draw” between Minister Louis Farrakhan and far right, neo-Nazis, he then makes assertions about the role of anti-Semitism in white nationalism that I question.

“For neo-Nazis and modern white nationalists,” Wise writes, “anti-Jewish bigotry is literally the fuel of their movement, the glue that binds them.” He adds that “Jew-hatred is thething, bigger than racism against folks of color.” While I’m skeptical that neo-Nazis actually believe Jews are worse than black people or Muslims, I also don’t see that it’s a relevant or useful distinction to make. White nationalists, with great frequencytarget people of color, transgender and queer people, and others. At the 2017 Charlottesville march, anti-Semitic chants were indeed frightening, but they were also plainly a part of a broader call to uphold white supremacy and defend the legacy of the Confederacy, which goes well beyond the march, reflecting the day-to-day realities for communities of color. I am concerned that, while surely not his intention, Wise’s assertions about the role of anti-Semitism in the white nationalist movement end up diminishing both the consequences and impact of white nationalism on other communities and the central role of pervasive, structural forms of racism and of white supremacy—with its long and deep foundational history that continues until today.

I’ve also been reflecting upon what Lesley Williams wroteafter the Charlottesville march about the swastika and what it means for white Jews versus for Black people. “For Jews, Nazi symbols evoke a terrifying, traumatic past,” she wrote. “For African Americans, they evoke a terrifying, traumatic,unending present. White Jews may be shocked at this undeniable evidence of U.S. racism; African Americans merely see more of the same. Black people did not need to be reminded by hoods and swastikas that we live in a dangerously racist country.”

MTP: I agree. The language that Wise and Ward use about anti-Semitism as the “fuel” of white nationalism decenters the communities most tangibly targeted by the white nationalist agenda. Trump has alluded to anti-Semitic conspiracy theories that George Soros funded the Central American migrant caravan approaching the U.S.-Mexico border. Jewish progressives certainly need to confront that rhetoric. But the tangible impact remains the same: to militarize the border, separate families, and detain and deport asylum seekers, many of whom belong to Indigenous Maya groups. Jews are implicated symbolically in this scheme, but not materially. Clearly, that symbolism has consequences—the Tree of Life shooting being the most chilling example of late. Still, I think it is worth sitting with the distinction between being a symbol in the white nationalist imaginary versus being a target in the crosshairs of the state.

There is a difference between being a symbol in the white nationalist imaginary and being a target in the crosshairs of the state.

The same problem can be seen in responses to the Tree of Life shooting. The Forward ran a telling piece entitled “Is America Still Safe for Jews?” This phrasing—“still safe”—says so much. When has America ever been safe for black people? For Indigenous people? For those living under the boot of U.S. imperialism and militarism abroad? There are truths about this country—truths being exposed in new ways in this moment—that American Jews have not had to fully grapple with, as Jews, in recent U.S. history. So how do we sit with what for many white American Jews is a new, creeping feeling—that the promise of America is in fact built on violence—while recognizing that communities of color have been feeling that violence for centuries?

I think it starts with realizing we don’t need to be the center of attention in order to have a role to play in dismantling the structures of oppression that the contradictions of the Trump era continue to reveal.

Labour and Antisemitism

Eliane Glaser

I’m an opinionated Jew with a PhD in the history of antisemitism, but I find it daunting to weigh in on the debate about antisemitism in the Labour Party. To describe the accusations as disproportionate is to risk being branded an antisemite. But while genuine instances of antisemitism should be tackled, there is no more of it in Labour than in other parties. The sustained offensive by the Labour right and by Conservatives is not only unfairly damaging the party and the left in general, it also unthinkingly reinforces antisemitic motifs.

The populist right’s public enemy number one is the ‘liberal elite’. This phrase deliberately merges two very different entities: metropolitan intellectuals on the one hand, and global capitalism on the other. In her 2016 ‘citizens of nowhere’ speech, Theresa May declared that ‘liberalism and globalisation … have left people behind.’ The elision harnesses public anger at banks and multinational corporations and turns it onto members of the middle-class precariat: academics, journalists and left-wing MPs.

This scapegoating of a relatively powerless ‘elite’ echoes the antisemitic fantasy of the rootless cosmopolitan who is also part of an international financial network. The notionthat prejudice is festering among the ‘chattering classes’ of North London unwittingly invokes an antisemitic stereotype. It also undermines qualities that are both vital and under threat in an age of philistine oligopoly: intellectualism, expertise, rationality.

Allegations of antisemitism employ a hermeneutics of suspicion, often uncovering examples recorded in meetings, or buried on social media, even from years ago. This replicates the classic dynamics of conspiracy theory, a common feature of traditional antisemitism. The language of the accusations, too, echoes that of antisemitism – a ‘stain’ or ‘scourge’ that has ‘infected’ the party and must be ‘rooted out’. I’m not arguing that centre-right and right-wing critics of antisemitism are antisemitic, but their campaign has a ferocious hygiene about it that carries unpleasant and ironic resonances, and leads to irrational outcomes. Attempts to reveal hidden hatred are a central feature of the asymmetrical identification of antisemitism with the left. Right-wing antisemitism is assumed to be more blatant, and therefore attracts less scrutiny. The left is held to a higher standard, and ‘gotcha’ moments trump statistical evidence.

On Monday, the Labour MP Siobhain Mcdonagh said on theToday programme that ‘it’s very much part of their politics, of hard-left politics, to be against capitalist and to see Jewish people as the financers of capital, ergo you are anti-Jewish people.’ ‘In other words to be anti-capitalist you have to be antisemitic,’ John Humphrys interrupted. ‘Yes,’ Mcdonagh said. ‘Not everybody but there’s a certain strand of it.’ I could hardly believe my ears, but she is not alone. In theNew Statesman last year, Matt Bolton and Frederick Harry Pitts wrote about the ‘deep-seated theoretical underpinnings of left critiques of capitalism that have antisemitism as their logical consequence’.

Such commentators make associations that they would regard as antisemitic if articulated in reverse: the link between Jews and a version of capitalism that is about actors as well as systems. Similarly, they are keen to stress the distinction between Israel’s actions on the one hand and Jews on the other, yet at the same time frequently identifycriticism of Israel as at least latently antisemitic.

Unlike political opposition, and because of the Holocaust, the charge of antisemitism has an absolute, unarguable quality, which is exploited by Jeremy Corbyn’s critics for a political end. It’s true that Corbyn and some of his allies are digging their heels in, creating a vicious circle, but many of the accusations are implacable because their aim is to undermine the left. On quitting Labour last month, Joan Ryan MP said antisemitism was ‘never’ a problem before Corbyn became leader: fifteen years ago I reviewed a volume of essays on the perceived rise of ‘a new antisemitism’ on the left.

What is new is Corbyn’s indictment of the financial greed hollowing out our society. An analysis of broader social and economic power was missing from British politics through the decades of New Labour, and is still absent on the right of the Labour Party. Corbyn’s message has resonated profoundly with many people. But it is being muted and drowned out by the antisemitism row.

Some conspiracies – not involving the Rothschilds – are real: the networks of offshore tax havens and shell companies, and the links between Russian money, Facebook, Cambridge Analytica, Trump and the Brexit campaign. Bolton and Pitts criticise Corbyn’s portrayal of ‘a parasitical “1 per cent” draining the vitality from the “real economy”’ and a ‘global elite’ who ‘do not produce anything tangible but merely make money out of money’. But that portrayal rings true.

Viewing power in perspective lays bare the vast and widening wealth gap, and a left that is at a low ebb compared to the neoliberal hegemony and the resurgent populist right. The antisemitism furore is undermining the left still further at a time when we need more than ever to challenge the real financial elites that are wrecking our world. Critics should not feel bullied into silence.

 

[1]               What Do We Mean When We Say ‘Antisemitsm’? Echoes of shattering glass, 8-9 November 2013.

 

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The Jewish Pioneers of Sexual Degeneracy in 1920s Berlin

In 1919, Magnus Hirschfeld and Arthur Kronfeld, founded the “Institut für Sexualwissenschaft” (Institute for ‘Sexual Research’) in Berlin. Both were active in the German Communist Party and were prominent members of Berlin’s Jewish community.

A multitude of degenerate services were offered at the institute, including the first surgical sex changes in modern history, abortions, lectures and ‘sex counseling’, room rentals, a large library of pornography and erotic literature on every possible perversion (including bestiality and pedophilia), and a Museum of Sex featuring a wide array of homosexual fetish items, dildos, “masturbation machines”, etc.

Hirschfield 4

The institute hosted tens of thousands of visitors each year, including school class field trips. Hirschfeld was a notorious sodomite, popularly known in the Berlin gay scene by his cross-dresser name Tante Magnesia.

He also founded a committee for gay rights and wrote and published many degenerate books and journals, including Jahrbuch für Sexuelle Zwischenstufen (Yearbook for Intermediate Sexual Types). In fact, he’s the sinister figure that coined the term ‘transvestite’.  Hirschfeld campaigned to end the Berlin police department’s arrest of cross-dressers and prostitutes.

Book Burning 1

In 1921, Hirschfeld organized the First Congress for Sexual Reform, which led to the formation of the World League for Sexual Reform, with conventions held in Copenhagen [1928], London [1929], Vienna [1930], and Brno [1932].

In short, Hirschfeld was the quintessential Hebraic culture-killer who Adolf Hitler explained thus: “And in what mighty doses this poison was manufactured and distributed.  Naturally, the lower the moral and intellectual level of such an author of artistic products the more inexhaustible his fecundity.

magnus

“Sometimes it went so far that one of these fellows, acting like a sewage pump, would shoot his filth directly in the face of other members of the human race.  It was a terrible thought, and yet it could not be avoided, that the greater number of Jews seemed specially designed by Nature to play this shameful part.” ~ Mein Kampf. ibid. 42. Adolf Hitler referred to Hirschfeld as the most dangerous Jew in Germany.

Club

Hirschfeld’s institute was a monument to moral sickness and represented everything the NSDAP stood against. In May 1933, the Deutsche Studentenschaft (German Students Union) stormed this den of debauchery shouting Brenne Hirschfeld (Burn Hirschfeld) and began beating the staff and smashing the premises. The Institute was permanently closed and its extensive lists of names and addresses were seized.

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Li Shiu Tong* (李兆堂) and Magnus Hirschfeld

A few days later the entire library was famously burned in the streets, some 20,000 books and images, along with Marxist literature and other subversive material. Ever since, without background or explanation, corporate media and palace publishers have protested against the German students emptying their swamp.

Book Banin

At the time, Hirschfeld was on an international speaking tour lecturing on sexuality. He never returned to Germany and died in exile two years later. In October 1941, co-founder of the institute, Kronfeld, committed suicide in Moscow at the approach of German troops.

m-min


MICHAEL WALSH is a British born Irish journalist, author, and broadcaster. His 58 books include best-selling WITNESS TO HISTORYTESTIGO DE LA HISTORIA: HISTORIA SIN CENSURA (SPANISH EDITION),  REICH AND WRONG,  THE RED BRIGANDSRANSACKING THE REICH, TROTSKY’S WHITE NEGROES, and THE ALLIED INVASION. 

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Senator Schumer’s “divine” mission to serve I$raHell

Israel pimp Senator Charles Schumer

On a mission from God

By Lawrence Davidson

Back on 31 March 2019 I wrote an essay entitled “God and US foreign policy”.The central figure in that essay was Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Pompeo is a Christian fundamentalist who believes that God is at work when it comes to both sustaining Israeli society as well as the US foreign policies that underpin it. There are other Christian fundamentalists in the Trump White House who agree with Pompeo, significantly Vice-President Mike Pence. Both men also appear to believe a really bizarre backstory that predicts that Israel’s success is a prelude to the second coming of Christ and the subsequent end of the world. (Just as an aside, I have to confess that when I was around five or six I was convinced that Godzilla was real and attempting to crawl through my bedroom window at night. I grew out of this quickly.) Folks like Pompeo and Pence seem so attached to their point of view that, as regards Israel, they carry out the duties of their offices as if they were, as the Blues Brothers would put it, “on a mission from God”.

Such Christian fundamentalists have long had allies among Jewish fanatics – those who insist that Palestine is now the “land of Israel” and divinely reserved for Jews only. Here in the US, before the Civil Rights movement changed things in the public sphere, we used to have hotels that were restricted to white Christians only. No Jews, African-Americans, Mexicans, Chinese, etc. were allowed in. The Jewish fanatics currently supporting and running Israel are in the process of turning Palestine/Israel into a restricted hotel.

Schumer claims that his name derives from the Hebrew word shomer which means “guard”… [H]e goes on to claim that God gave him this name and set him the “role” of “guarding” Israel’s interests in the US Senate. It’s a task that he carries out with all his strength and determination.

Why some – though certainly not all – Jews, who are members of a group that has long been victimised by racism, would want to support widespread official discrimination in Israel is a psychological conundrum. But major Jewish American politicians certainly do support this unfortunate effort, and as pointed out above, this makes them allies of Pompeo, Pence and others like them. Take for instance, Charles “Chuck” Schumer, a Democratic Senator from New York, and the Senate minority leader. Schumer too is on a self-declared mission from God to defend Israel. Here is how he describes it:

You know, my name… comes from the word shomer, guardian, watcher… And I believe Hashem [Orthodox for God] actually gave me that name. One of my roles, very important in the United States Senate, is to be a shomer – to be a or the shomer Yisrael. And I will continue to be that with every bone in my body.

For those readers who might find this declaration a bit baffling, here is a translation: Schumer claims that his name derives from the Hebrew word shomer which means “guard”. It also means “watcher” or “observer”, but the senator likes “guardian” perhaps because it has a connotation of alleged historical significance. Anyway, he goes on to claim that God gave him this name and set him the “role” of “guarding” Israel’s interests in the US Senate. It’s a task that he carries out with all his strength and determination.

The unspoken assumption

Schumer’s unspoken assumption – and that of Pompeo and Pence as well – is that Israel’s interests are the same as those of the United States, and both are somehow hooked up to God’s interests. Therefore, he doesn’t have to worry about choosing between them. That is very convenient for Chuck the Guard, but is it true? Well, it depends if you want to take the low road definition of national interests or the high road one.

Let’s take a look at some of the traditional US policies in the Middle East, including those regarding Israel. These policies are supposed to reflect American national interest. Are they high road or low road in character?

Oil

The US has been importing less oil from the Middle East as time goes by. Today, most of the country’s imported oil comes from Canada. Nonetheless, the partnerships Washington established in the days when most imported oil came from the Middle East have persisted. As we will see below, this has left us with some undesirable friends. Some might argue that we remain interested in Middle East oil for the sake of our trading partners who still import large quantities from that region. However, our trading partners, for whom the Trump administration seems to care little or nothing, do not need US help in arranging their energy supplies. Europe, for instance, has multiple sources of oil and gas, including Iran and Russia. The US policies often seek to deter allies from utilising those resources – a utilisation that could have a pacifying influence all around.

Support for autocrats

This is particularly true of the US relationship with Saudi Arabia. Ties to the Saudi monarchy have also connected the US to other dubious regimes, such as those that now control the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. Why maintain the tradition of support for the Saudis, among others, when they are led by religious fanatics (who sometimes spawn terrorist groups) and murderers? It cannot be just because Donald Trump likes tough guys such as Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman or that fact that the Bush family had personal ties to the Saudi regime. Alternatively, one could point out that Saudi Arabia buys literally billions of dollars of weapons from the US. It does so not because it needs these weapons (it could kill all the people in Yemen without drawing on this armoury) but as an economic bribe to facilitate an advantageous relationship with the US. This can’t be healthy for America. Washington might reconsider its role as the largest exporter of weapons to the world and hitch its wagon to a less destructive way of creating jobs, such as rebuilding its infrastructure.

The maintenance of an illegal apartheid regime

This brings us to Israel, which, by the way, is also in bed with the Saudis. Israel is a racist state. This is not as outrageous an assertion as it sounds because, far from denying it, Israeli leaders loudly proclaim this fact. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has repeatedly said that the “land of Israel” is for only the “Jewish people”. The Israeli Knesset has even enshrined this bit of racist exclusivity into law. Thus, the Palestinians, whose legal right of return has been blocked, are not wanted in the restricted hotel that is Israel.

On the other hand, the US has domestically been fighting hard and long to rid itself of the curse of racism. So what are we doing arming and financing this particular bunch of racists in Israel? It certainly has something to do with the political influence of Jewish and Christian Zionists who pour a lot of money and political clout behind efforts to support Israel. They may think they are on a “mission from God”, but in truth this relationship is as detrimental to both US interests and ideals as the one that ties Washington to Saudi Arabia.

The three points above make up a partial list of what one finds along the low road of US interests in the Middle East.

What if Congress decided that the US should take a high road version of national interests in this area by turning its back on murderers, fanatics and racists, and by promoting racial equality and justice in Palestine/Israel, among other places? That would mean no more weapon sales to the Saudis, the Emirates, etc. Most of all it would mean no more weapons and billions of taxpayer dollars for Israel – a state that is demonstrably in violation of international law in more ways than their leaders have fingers and toes.

If the US found its “moral voice” and did the right thing, one result is surely predictable. Taking this higher, ethical road would trigger into action Senator Charles “Chuck” Schumer, “shomer Yisrael”, and his mission from God to protect sectarian Israel.

I will leave it to the reader to decide which road, that is, which approach to national interests, is preferable for United States and indeed the world. By extension, those readers with religious convictions might ask which approach to national interests best reflects the character of the deity they believe in.

The last refuge of a scoundrel

It was 244 years ago that Samuel Johnson, the English lexicographer, editor and moralist, told his friend and biographer James Boswell that “patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel”. Many a racist and many a xenophobe will tell you that their bigoted beliefs are rooted in patriotism. And, since both American and Israeli leaders seek to meld nationalist passions with religion, we must recognise that religion too can be a refuge for scoundrels. Of course, that does not mean that all religious folks are such. Rather, it means that scoundrels can find it quite useful to use religion, just like patriotism, as a cover for immoral and criminal behaviour. Unfortunately, this does not preclude the possibility that the scoundrels might truly believe in their “divine mission”, even if it libels a God that others wish to see as morally upright and good.

Whether one believes in missions from God or not, it is objectively the case that America’s experience has proven racism to be morally wrong and socially destructive – it is the equivalent of a social cancer. This is the case for more than just the United States. Racism’s pernicious nature constitutes a universal reality – as poisonous in Jerusalem as it is in Birmingham.

Because Senator Schumer has erroneously decided that the US and Israel are so connected that their interests are identical, he has painted himself into a nasty corner. He has tied himself, ostensively by divine command, to a society of increasing apartheid nature which, he suggests, all “patriotic” Americans must support and defend. This leads us to ask what sort of society does Senator Schumer, “shomer Yisrael,” really advocate for his constituents in New York, and Indeed, for the United States as a whole? Does he want it to be the same as the racist Israeli society he defends “with every bone in his body”? You see, you can’t have it both ways – you can’t really be a racist when it comes to Israel but not a racist in the United States. Regardless of who gave him his name, Senator Schumer is either a hypocrite or an advocate of apartheid. Either way, he is a scoundrel.

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Bolivia declares Nazi state of I$raHell a terrorist state

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Bolivian President Evo Morales attends the inauguration act of the Mercosur leaders summit in Caracas, Venezuela, Tuesday.
Miguel Gutierrez, epa

Bolivian President Evo Morales declared the Nazi state of I$raHell a “terrorist state,” Wednesday, because of the ongoing offensive in the Gaza Strip.

Zionist  citizens will now be required to obtain a visa before traveling to Bolivia. Previously, under a 1972 agreement, which Morales denounced for being signed under a dictatorial regime, Zionist could travel freely into Bolivia without having to obtain a visa, according to La Razón.

Zionist is now considered a “group 3” country, meaning visa applications must be reviewed by the National Migration Administration.

In other words we are declaring I$raHell a terrorist state, Página Siete reported Morales as saying.

“Israel does not respect the principles or purposes of the United Nations charter nor the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” Morales said, according to Página Siete.

Morales, an admirer of the late Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez’s Bolivarian socialism, broke off diplomatic relations with the Jewish state in 2009, and has renounced I$raHell’s treatment of Palestinians a genocide.

Other South American countries, including Brazil, Chile, Ecuador and Peru, have recalled their ambassadors from the Nazi state in protest over the fighting in Gaza.

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Palestine: The Nazi ‘Justice’ system

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The Israeli ‘Justice’ system demonstrates once again why it is institutionally racist as Lod’s District Court endorses plea bargain
In July 2015 18 month Ali Dawabshe and his parents, Saad and Reham were murdered in their beds when settlers threw petrol bombs inside their house. Only 4 year old Ahmad survived, albeit with 60% burns to his body.Weeks later Israel’s ‘hilltop youth’ ‘celebrated’ their deaths in a wedding where they were pictured stabbing at pictures of Ali Dawabsheh. 
Palestinian policeman investigates arson at Dawabshe’s home

A 19 year old Israeli was convicted at Lod District Court last week, not of murder  but arson.  In fact, because the murderer has already served 3 years on remand he will go free.  The prosecution agreed to a plea deal which allowed the crime to be reduced from murder to arson. Israel’s colonial court had to agree to the plea deal, which of course they did.

Nasr Dawabsheh, a spokesperson for the family, said that “This deal is unfair and encourages the settler gangs to commit more crimes,” The Court  threw out several of the accused’s confessions because of torture. If he had been a Palestinian then there is no doubt that his confession would be accepted.  Israel’s military courts in the West Bank have a 99.7% conviction rate because confessions are accepted without question

The 3 murdered Dawabshe family members

This comes on top of the decision of the Israeli authorities torefuse any ‘anti-terrorist’ compensation to the surviving child, Ahmad.  Only Jewish settlers, being citizens, receive such monies and as Ahmad is not Jewish and therefore not a citizen he is not entitled to any compensation for the appalling burns and torment that he suffered. Yoav Mordechai, the IDF coordinator of activities in the West Bank did however deny reports that Israel’s Health Ministry had served the family with a NIS 2 million bill for treatment. Mordechai apparently said that Israel would foot the bill.

Of course if this Israeli teenage killer had been an Arab all would have been different.  When Ahmad Manasra wasconvicted of attempted murder, he was held on remand until he was 14 years of age in order that he could receive a prison sentence. He was initially sentenced to 12 years,reduced to 9.5 years imprisonment. The two Israelis stabbed did not die and it was his cousin who had inflicted the wounds.

Ali Saad Dawabsheh

There is a surprisingly good article on the Times of Israel blog, Kill at Will. The Duma Dilemma by Esor Ben-Sorek, a retired professor of Hebrew and Biblical literature who describes himself as a follower of Trumpeldor, Jabotinsky and Begin – all symbols and leaders of Revisionist Zionism. the article is reprinted below.

The graffiti daubed on the walls of the Dawabsheh home

Kill at Will. The Duma Dilemma

The old saying “Justice is blind” was never more true than what now took place in the Lod District court.
A 19 year old Jewish Israeli had planned an attack on the village of Duma in July 2015 when he was still a minor.

His act took the lives of the Dawabshe family, a young husband, wife and a tiny infant son, Ali. Their house was set on fire and the three innocent Palestinian victims were burned alive.

The court dismissed the charges of imprisonment for the Jewish murderer on the accounts that he had been a minor at the time and that his confession was a result of torture which he received from our Shin Bet (Security Services).

But often, torture is the only way to elicit a true confession. And in this case, they succeeded in getting it.

The judges in the Lod court saw it differently. When the State Prosecutor asked for a five year conviction in prison, the terrorist’s lawyer reminded the court that his client had already served three years in remand. The killer who killed at will is free.

Let us look at another side. If it had been an Arab terrorist who burned to death a mother, father and infant because they were Jews, there is absolutely no doubt in my mind whatsoever that the criminal would not be found guilty and probably be given a life sentence (which in Israel is only 20 years).

No Arab terrorist who committed such an atrocity would see the light of day for many years.

There is something very very rotten with our justice system. It punishes Jews one way and Arabs another way. And the Arabs are always given the harsher sentence.

The Palestinian families in Duma and elsewhere have every right to condemn the trial and its procedures. They have every right to denounce the murder of one of their young families. They have every right to denounce the State of Israel’s courts for very unjust decisions.

I believe that every decent Israeli Jew, every Jewish parent of an infant child, should demonstrate in protest in front of the Lod court and at the same time, express heartfelt condolences to the family of the murdered Dawabshes.

I had always put my trust in the fair justice dispensed by Israeli judges in Israeli courts. Until now!!

Today, I stand on the side of the survivors of the Duma massacre in July 2015. Today I join with those who mourn the death of baby Ali who was still an infant in his parents’ arms, not yet able to walk or to talk, an innocent infant whose life came to a tragic end at the hand of a Jewish arsonist who will not go to prison for his crime.

Justice is not only blind. It is also prejudiced and never more so than in this tragic case.Our laws (on paper) rend equality to all…… all perhaps except for many innocent Palestinian Arabs.

Is it a wonder that we are so hated? Our courts have disgraced the biblical Jewish command..

“Tzedek Tzedek tirdof”…. Justice and Righteousnes shall you pursue.

The Lod District Court, to our Jewish shame, pursued neither.

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The Heroism of Olga Benario, a German Jewish Communist, Stands in Contrast to today’s Reactionary ‘Anti-Semitism’ Campaign

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A photo of German communist Olga Benario Prestes who was killed in a Nazi euthanasia centre in April 1942 , Image courtesy of Galeria Olga Benario in Berlin, Germany
Olga Benário Prestes died in Bernburg Euthanasia Centrein 1942 where she was gassed alongside hundreds of other women political prisoners. [“Olga Benário Prestes”. Jewish Women: A Comprehensive Historical Encyclopedia (Jewish Women’s Archive)]. She is relatively unknown and is an anti-fascist heroine.Although she was Jewish what counted for her was not her religion but her political commitment as a Communist to the fight for socialism. Her example contrasts with today’s racists who abuse and misuse the legacy of anti-Semitism in order to uphold the capitalist order. Because that is, of course, the purpose of people like Tom Watson and Chuka Ummuna for whom ‘anti-Semitism’ is a stick with which to beat genuine anti-racists.Olga’s heroism and dedication is an example to all of us in a time when fascism is rearing its ugly head, hand in hand with its partner-in-crime Zionism.Tony Greenstein

Olga Benario Prestes: the German Jew Who Fought Fascism to the Death

The daughter of the German communist killed by the Nazis discusses her legacy in the modern fight against the far right.February 3, 2019 Gouri Sharma Al Jazeera

“I fought for the just and the good, to make the world better. If I must now say goodbye, I promise I won’t give you any cause to be ashamed of me, not to my last breath.”

This is how German author Ruth Werner imagined Olga Benario Prestes’s final letter to her husband Luis Carlos Prestes and her daughter Anita before her death in 1942.Killed in a Nazi euthanasia centre shortly after turning 34, the German communist’s words would have alluded to her lifelong fight against fascism.Hers is a story of bravery and resistance that speaks to the various times in which it’s been told, and which has left a legacy in Germany, Brazil and beyond.

Olga Benário in 1928

For her daughter, Anita Leocadia Prestes, today a retired professor and historian living in Rio de Janeiro, it’s a legacy that needs to be remembered.The 82-year-old tells Al Jazeera:“It’s important to publicise fighters like [Olga] Benario so people understand it’s necessary to stop the rise of fascism and to prevent similar tragedies. Her example is inspiring to young people who want to fight against fascism, and for social justice and freedom.”

An early lesson in social justice

Born in 1908, Olga was the youngest of two siblings in a middle-class Jewish family from Munich. Her mother Eugenie was part of Bavarian high society, while her father Leo was a member of the German Social Democratic Party and a lawyer. He would often represent poor factory workers for free, and it was through him that Olga first learned about social justice.

Her relationship with her mother, however, was ‘tense’, as, from a young age, Olga questioned – and rejected – the comforts that came with her middle-class upbringing

Olga Benario was born in 1908 to middle-class Jewish family in Munich [Image courtesy of Galeria Olga Benario in Berlin, Germany
In 1923, the same year an Austrian named Adolf Hitler initiated the Beer Hall Putsch – a failed attempt to overthrow the Weimar Republic in Munich – 15-year-old Benario joined the underground Communist Youth Organisation (KJVD).

Her activities with the group, including putting up illegal revolutionary posters around town, led local police to register her as a ‘communist agitator’.

It’s important to publicise fighters like [Olga] Benario so people understand it’s necessary to stop the rise of fascism and to prevent similar tragedies. Her example is inspiring to young people who want to fight against fascism, and for social justice and freedom.

ANITA LEOCADIA PRESTES, OLGA BENARIO’S DAUGHTER

She soon got into a relationship with Otto Braun, a fellow communist seven years her senior. When Olga was 18, the pair left to join the larger communist movement in Berlin and she took on similar activities in her role as a leading KJVD member in the working class neighbourhood of Neukolln.

A police headshot of Olga Benario taken when she was arrested in Berlin in 1926 [Image courtesy of Galeria Olga Benario in Berlin, Germany
Her arrest on charges of ‘preparations for high-treason’, followed by her successful attempt to break Braun out of jail in 1928, made Olga a well-known figure across the city.

Katinka Krause, 64, is a bookshop owner who has volunteered at Galeria Olga Benario, a Berlin-based gallery, for more than 30 years.

“There were posters of her all over town and images shown before cinema screenings offering 10,000 marks to find her. Many workers gave her a home and doors were made in different places so she could escape at anytime,”

Now a target for the authorities, the pair headed to the Soviet Union, where Olga joined the Communist Youth International, a branch of the Communist International (Comintern)

Olga Benário Prestes during her imprisonment in Brazil in 1936. She was shortly afterwards deported to Germany and murdered by the Nazis in Ravensbrück.
Her relationship with Braun soon over, she underwent an intense period of military and strategic training, a skillset that included learning English, French and Russian, plus skydiving, horse-riding and piloting.She also proved herself with successful international missions to Western Europe, getting arrested in Paris and London for her part in protests.‘

A gift’ to Hitler

In 1934, back in Moscow, Olga was tasked with accompanying Brazilian communist leader Luis Carlos Prestes, then in exile in Moscow, back to Brazil.Olga was to be his bodyguard amid preparations to overthrow Brazilian leader Getulio Vargas, who looked to be sliding towards dictatorship. Disguised as a married Portuguese couple during their lengthy journey there, the pair reached the South American nation in love

 

In 1934, Olga Benario was charged with escorting Luis Carlos Prestes, who had been in exile in Moscow, back to Brazil [Image courtesy of Galeria Olga Benario in Berlin, Germany]
The revolution against Vargas failed in 1935, and Olga was eventually captured. Vargas shipped her back to Germany as ‘a gift’ to Hitler.

Swiss-German professor Robert Cohen has written three books on Olga Benario. The most recent, Der Vorgang Benario. Die Gestapo-Akte 1936-1942, (The Benario Process: The Gestapo File 1936-1942) examined the 2,000 Gestapo documents on her that came to light three years ago. According to Cohen, it’s likely to be the largest dossier of documents on any Holocaust victim.

Cohen describes Olga as physically and mentally tough, and says he has sought to represent her from a feminist perspective.

“She took on roles only men were supposed to do, and was as brave and knowledgeable. When Prestes was arrested, the Brazilian police had the order to shoot him. By that point, Benario was two or three months pregnant, but she stepped in front of him and the police didn’t know what to do. She didn’t do this just out of love, she did it because it was her job.”

Resistance in Ravensbruck

Shortly after her return to Germany in 1936, she gave birth to Anita in a Berlin prison. After 14 months, mother and daughter were separated and in 1939, Olga was transferred to the Ravensbruck concentration camp, situated 90km from Berlin in the north of the country.A concentration camp only for women, it was built to house inmates considered ‘deviants’. Up until its closure in 1945, more than 130,000 women and children, including aristocrats, political prisoners and spies were held there. Olga was among the first batch of women to arrive

A photograph of Olga Benario Prestes in the exhibit ‘Women of Ravensbruck – Portraits of Courage’, curated by Rochelle Saidel for the Florida Holocaust Museum. Artwork on the right by Julia Terwilliger
Rochelle Saidel is the founder and executive director of the Remember the Women Institute, an organisation based in New York that supports cultural and research projects that aim to include women in history.

“She was whipped, put in a punishment bunker and worked as a slave labourer in the Siemens factory, which was one of the main slave labour companies at the camp,” says Saidel.

“Plus, she was very broken when they took her baby away from her. For a year-and-a-half she didn’t know what had happened, for all she knew the baby could have been given to a Nazi family. Despite that, she continued helping other people and remained idealistic.”

ANITA LEOCADIA PRESTES, OLGA BENARIO’S DAUGHTER

Olga was named Blockalteste, or block elder. She made a small secret atlas to teach other prisoners about geography and war, collaborated on a clandestine newspaper and put together a detailed atlas which remains in archives today.Then in February 1942, she was taken to the Bernburg euthanasia clinic, where she was gassed to death in April

Olga Benario Prestes was 34 years old when she was killed by the Nazis [Image courtesy of Galeria Olga Benario in Berlin, Germany]
Her daughter says she maintained a firm stance towards her captors right up until the end.

“She never wavered before the enemy, stating that ‘if others became traitors, she would never be’. She paid with her life for such steadfastness, since if she were to deceive her comrades, she would have had the chance to take up asylum in Russia, Mexico or England.”

The politics of memory

Authors, filmmakers, curators and theatre directors have all sought to tell her story. Saidel says the various ways in which it has been narrated are a clear example of the politics of memory.

“It depends on who, on why and when they are remembering,” she says.

The Jewish part of her identity in particular has triggered much discussion. As a communist herself, Anita regards her mother more as a political prisoner than a Jewish victim of the Nazis.

Cohen says he sees both. “

Benario never insisted on her Jewishness, in fact as a communist she was very distant from it,” he says.

“When they captured her in 1936, the documents showed they treated her mostly as a communist and a member of the Comintern, from whom they could learn secrets about what the Soviet Union and other communists were up to. But from 1940 onwards, they refer to her almost exclusively as a Jew.”

ROBERT COHEN, SWISS-GERMAN PROFESSOR AND AUTHOR

Anita was saved by her paternal grandmother Leocadia Prestes and reunited with her father in 1945. She has since written about her parents extensively. Her latest book, Olga Benario Prestes: Uma comunista nos arquivos da Gestapo (Olga Benario Prestes: A Communist in the Gestapo Archives) was published last year in Portuguese, and alongside Gestapo documents, features letters between her parents

Anita Leocadia Prestes, Olga’s daughter, is a retired professor and historian who has written about her parents [Photo courtesy of the Sao Paulo-based Boitempo publishing house, which published Anita’s most recent book]
Anita says that in Brazil, her mother is seen as a “symbol of the struggle of freedom fighters and communists”. The 2004 Brazilian blockbuster film, Olga, was Brazil’s submission for the 77th Academy Awards in the Best Foreign Film category, although it was not accepted as a nominee.

In Germany, during the Cold War, she was considered a heroine in the east of the country, with schools, care homes, factories and streets named after her.

Being a communist heroine in the East meant that the West ignored her. Krause, the volunteer at the gallery in former West Berlin, says that’s now changing and more people are learning about her across the country.

For Cohen, Olga Benario’s legacy, particularly today, as far right movements grow in prominence across much of the world, is clear.

“Resist. We cannot accept what is going on. Olga Benario did it two ways. She fought fascism while she was free, and then she resisted the Nazis for six more years. That is almost unimaginable.”

Gouri Sharma is a freelance journalist based in Berlin. Previously, she spent five years working on the production desk for Al Jazeera’s media critique show, the Listening Post.

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More Fake Anti-Semitism Propaganda from the Jewish Goebbels

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The Jewish Chronicle conducts an Opinion Poll to test the effectiveness of its propaganda against Jeremy Corbyn!

Every week I get an Editor’s Letter from the Jewish Chronicle and this week is no exception. Usually there is only one story affecting the British Jewish community and that is the ‘anti-Semitism’ of Jeremy Corbyn or the Labour Party.

This week was no different except for the fact that there was nothing to report. There were no long erased murals, no exchanges with Jonathan Hoffman, Richard Millett orother Jewish fascists who lacked a sense of British irony, noancient book reviews, not even a Holocaust survivor who detected a similarity between Israel today and Nazi Germany yesterday.

But Stephen Pollard, the Jewish editor, is an enterprising fellow.  That’s why he was the founder of the Henry Jackson Society and a former editor of Richard Desmond’s Daily Express. Long forgotten is his eviscerating front page on Margaret Hodge who is now a friend in the fight against ‘anti-Semitism’. Those with long memories will remember that Desmond was Britain’s biggest pornographer with titles like Asian Babes.  But Desmond too was a Zionist as well as an EDL supporter.

Pollard as readers of my blog will know is only interested in ‘anti-Semitism’ of the Left, i.e. anti-Zionism.  He has nothing to say about anti-Semites on the Right as long as they are pro-Israel.  People like White Zionist Richard Spencer are of no concern to him. Indeed Pollard has a history of defending pro-Israel anti-Semites such as Poland’s Michal Kaminski .

 
Letter from the JC Editor

I digress however.  This week was a very lean news week. No reports of Labour anti-Semitism could be detected. Gnasher Jew was having a week off. No Black people to pillory or bully.

So Pollard decided to commission an opinion poll into Labour ‘Anti-Semitism’ to test how effective the non-stop propaganda of the past 3 years has been and surprise surprise they found that ‘80% of the public are aware of Labour’ anti-Semitism crisis’ and 59% don’t believe he will do anything about it this non-existent crisis.

However if this bogus and contrived poll had been objective then the second question, after asking people had they heard of Labour’s ‘anti-Semitism crisis’ would have been to ask them what exactly this crisis was about.  What was it that the press, not just the Jewish Chronicle had gone on about. What did this ‘antisemitism’ consist of?  Unfortunately Pollard’s bogus You Gov poll asked none of these searching questions.

Were Jews walking around in fear of their lives? Was violence against Jews as Jews increasing? Or was it that support for BDS and Palestinian rights were increasing?

I suspect that the number of people who could have described this ‘anti-Semitism’ would have been in single figures and most of those would have been mentioning Israel. Indeed I suspect that 95% of British Jews would have been mystified and muttered something about Israel.

So what the poll was asking was how many people had heard of and been taken in by the non-stop propaganda blitz about ‘Labour anti-Semitism’ the sole purpose of which is to remove Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party

 
This is the kind of bigotry that Desmond excelled in

In other words it was a poll about how effective at propaganda are the British press, the Jewish Chronicle and the BBC.

And this is how the media operates.  It campaigns around a lie and then asks how many people have heard of this lie. George Orwell once wrote a book about this kind of propaganda.  He called it 1984 and the process he was describing was doublethink, the ability to hold contradictory opinions in one’s head at the same time or fragmented consciousness in Marxist terms.  Because most people and communities who are the victims of racism also know that one of the fiercest campaigners against racism is Jeremy Corbyn.

Mr Pollard is rather good at doublethink. What he’s not good at is straight forward honest journalism.  But then that is a problem that is not confined to the Jewish Chronicle. It affects most of the media from the Guardian’s Jonathan Freedland to the Daily Mail and Telegraph.

by Tony Greenstein

Posted in ZIO-NAZI, UKComments Off on More Fake Anti-Semitism Propaganda from the Jewish Goebbels

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