Tag Archive | "Anti-Semitism"

Zionism is and always has been a Jewish form of Anti-Semitism

Steve Bannon to Speak at Annual Zionist Organization of America Gala: ‘He’s So pro-Israel’

Steve Bannon is Donald Trump’s former Strategic Advisor, once the most powerful man in the White House after Trump himself.  Having been fired he has gone back to edit the far-right Breitbart News, house magazine of America’s White Supremacist Alt-Right.  Bannon perhaps more than any other figure represented all that is toxic in Trump’s Administration – the racism, the misogyny and bigotry.


It is also clear that Trump was loathe to dismiss Bannon and he only did so only because his new Chief of Staff, General John Kelly, insisted on it as the ‘globalists’ (for which read military hawks and  imperialists) isolated the ‘economic nationalists’.

The disputes between one set of warmongers and another are unimportant.  Both  factions are equally despicable.  What is of note however is how Bannon has been adopted by the Zionists, in particular the Zionist Organisation of America headed by Mort Klein.

Last year the ZOA also invited Bannon but a large Jewish demonstration, led by Jewish Voices for Peace and IfNotNow, two left-wing anti-Zionist Jewish organisations, led him to stay away. Despite this ZOA have renewed their invitation to Bannon for thisyear’s gala dinner.

What one wonders are the attractions of Bannon and the movement he represents to the Zionists. It is barely in dispute that Breitbart is a sewer of racism, misogyny and bigotry with articles such as that by Milo Yiannopoulos, a former Associate Editor, Does Feminism Make Women Ugly?

Yiannopoulous, before he was forced to resign as a result of his advocacy of paedophilia was, despite his half-Jewish parentage, a died in the wool anti-Semite.  In an interview with David Rubin he explained how “Like the Jews run everything. Well we do. The Jews run all the banks. Well we do. The Jews run the media. Well we do. You know they’re right about all that stuff.” Yiannopoulos insisted that Jewish control over finance and the media is “not in debate,” explaining that “Jews completely dominate the media. Vastly disproportionately represented in all of these professions. That’s just a fact, it’s not anti-Semitic to point out statistics.”

Milo Yiannopoulous

It is quite understandable that Yiannopoulous was looked on favourably at Breitbart given the views of his Bannon himself.  Bannon’s former wife, Mary Louise Piccard, testified during her 2007 divorce proceedings that Bannon didn’t want his children going to school with ‘whiny Jews’ and complained that there were too many Jewish students at the elite Archer School for Girls.

The biggest problem he had with Archer is the number of Jews that attend,” Bannon’s ex-wife said.   The  comments were first reported by the New York Daily News.

“He said that he doesn’t like the way they raise their kids to be ‘whiny brats’ and that he didn’t want the girls going to school with Jews,” Piccard wrote.

Bannon complained that another elite school had too “many Hanukkah books” in its library. [Steve Bannon Didn’t Want Children Going to School With ‘Whiny’ Jews, Forward 14.11.16.]  See also Will Steve Bannon Be the Anti-Semitic Firebrand in Donald Trump’s Inner Circle?Forward StaffNovember 14, 2016

But if Bannon and Breitbart are anti-Semitic and supporters of White Supremacism they are also ardently pro-Zionist and pro-Israel.

Liberal Zionist papers like Forward found this hard to understand and there were articles, subsequent to Trump’s election asking how this could be.  Zionists who had spent the best part of their lives equating ‘anti-Semitism’ and anti-Zionism found it a shock that you could be ardently pro-Israel and Zionist  and still dislike Jews.

Naomi Zeveloff  almost seemed to be in shock as she explained that ‘though it would seem impossible to hate Jews but love the Jewish state, these two viewpoints are not as contradictory as they appear.’  She interviewed Steven M. Cohen, a sociologist at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, who explained to her that ‘There is actually “little correlation” between anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism, according To be sure, anti-Semitism is found among the anti-Zionist left. But it is also found among the Zionist right’ 

You could almost see the scales falling from Zeveloff’s eyes as Cohen told her that ‘many people who dislike Jews like Israel and many people who are critical toward Israel are affectionate toward Jews,”  This was clearly not what she had been brought up to believe.  [How Steve Bannon and Breitbart News Can Be Pro-Israel — and Anti-Semitic at the Same Time, Forward 15.11.16.]

Steve Bannon – racist, anti-Semitic but ardently pro-Zionist
To those of us who are longstanding anti-Zionists this is nothing new.  Historically Zionists and anti-Semites have got on like a house on fire, even if it was Jews who did the burning.  From Theodor Herzl, with his trip to see von-Plehve, the author of the Kishinev pogroms in Russia to Ze’ev  Jabotinsky, who allied with the White Russian leader, Petlyura who had up to ¼ million Jewish deaths on his hands, Zionists have always found a strategic ally in anti-Semites.  The collaboration between Zionism and Nazism was not an aberration.  On the contrary it was simply a continuation of this historic relationship.

Why is this the case?  Primarily because Zionism began as a separatist reaction to anti-Semitism which accepted the terms of debate that the anti-Semites set.  Zionis began from the premise that anti-Semitism couldn’t be fought, the non-Jews were inherently anti-Semitic and therefore you had to come to terms with them.  The anti-Semites said that the Jews didn’t belong and the Zionists agreed.

Mort Klein of the Zionist Organisation of America – has no problem working with neo-Nazis and anti-Semites as long as they are Zionists

The anti-Semites were more than happy to support Zionism.  Indeed they were often passionate about the fact that Jews should go to Palestine.  In Poland and elsewhere in Europe anti-Semites demonstrated with the chant ‘Jews to Palestine’ just as today Israeli Jews chant ‘Death to the Arabs.’  The belief that Jews belonged in Palestine, not the countries of their birth, was the fundamental basis of their agreement and sometimes, if you didn’t know who was speaking, it could either be a Zionist or an anti-Semite.

To take but 3 examples Israel’s first Justice Minister, Pinhas Rosenbluth described Palestine as ‘an institute for the fumigation of Jewish vermin’.[1] Chaim Weizmann, the longstanding President of the World Zionist Organisation and 1st President of Israel  described German Jewish refugees as ‘the germ-carriers of a new outbreak of anti-Semitism.’[2] Jacob Klatzkin, editor of Die Welt and co-founder of the Encyclopedia Judaica, held that Jews were ‘a people disfigured in both body and soul – in a word, of a horror… some sort of outlandish creature… in any case, not a pure national type…. some sort of oddity among the peoples going by the name of Jew.’ [3]

When Bannon was appointed, the Anti-Defamation League, a thoroughly Zionist group initially spoke out against the appointment but the major pro-Israel lobby group, AIPAC, kept quiet and refused to say anything.  The Zionist Organisation of America, which boasted Alan Dershowitz as a guest at its last dinner, has welcomed Bannon, despite (or maybe because of?) his anti-Semitism.

Sebastian Gorka

Their PR adviser, Arthur Schwartz, wrote “we’re honored to have him as a guest.”  His tweet was quoted by Sebastian Gorka, another former Trump adviser who was dismissed from the White House and like Bannon, is close to the American far right. “Can’t wait,” Gorka wrote. “Thank you to Mort Klein and all his team. Patriots, all.”

Gorka has been a life lmember and adviser to far-Right anti-Semitic and neo-Nazi Hungarian groups.  Other speakers at the ZOA dinner alongside Bannon will be American ambassador to Israel David Friedman and former Democratic Senator Joe Lieberman.

“Steve is one of the best friends that Israel has had in any administration,” claimed Schwartz.  Also on the guest list is Gorka.  Vanity Fair described how Gorka was a member of Vitézi Rend, a far-right Hungarian military organization that supported the Nazis during World War II and how he wore a medal honoring the group to an inauguration party.  Gorka defended the group as historically anti-Communist, which of course could be said for any neo-Nazi group. “First I am an Islamophobe, then I’m an anti-Semite, then I am a fascist. Next I am going to be a Martian, you know, subversive,” he said to The Telegraph, calling himself a political victim.

Although Bannon and Gorka are welcomed by Zionist organisations in the United States Jewish anti-Zionist and socialist groups can be expected to demonstrate outside the ZOA’s annual gala dinner come November.

Tony Greenstein

[1]           1. Joachim Doron, p.169, ‘Classic Zionism and modern anti-Semitism: parallels and influences’ (1883-1914), Studies in Zionism 8, Autumn 1983.

[2]           2.  Edwin Black, p.259, The Transfer Agreement, citing Palestine Post 5.7.33.

[3]           3.  Arthur Herzberg, The Zionist Idea, p. 322/323, Temple, Atheneum, New York 1981.

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Charlottesville Through a Glass Darkly


by Richard Falk

I suggest that Zionists fond of smearing critics of Israel as ‘anti-Semites’ take a sobering look at the VICE news clip of the white nationalist torch march through the campus of the University of Virginia the night before the lethal riot in Charlottesville. In this central regard, anti-Semitism, and its links to Naziism and Fascism, and now to Trumpism, are genuinely menacing, and should encourage rational minds to reconsider any willingness to being manipulated for polemic purposes by ultra Zionists. We can also only wonder about the moral, legal, and political compass of ardent Zionists who so irresponsibly label Israel’s critics and activist opponents as anti-Semites, and thus confuse and bewilder the public as to the true nature of anti-Semitism as racial hatred directed at Jews.

There must be less incendiary ways of fashioning responses to the mounting tide of criticism of Israel’s policies and practices than by deliberately distorting and confusing the nature of anti-Semitism. To charge supporters of BDS, however militant, with anti-Semitism dangerously muddies the waters, trivializing hatred of Jews by deploying ‘anti-Semitism’ as an Israeli tactic and propaganda tool of choice in a context of non-violent expressions of free speech and political advocacy, and thus challenging the rights so elemental that they have long been taken for granted by citizens in every funcitioning constitutional democracy. It is worth recalling that despite the criticisms of BDS during the South African anti-apartheid campaign, militant participants were never, ever smeared, despite being regarded as employing a controversial approach often derided as counterproductive in politically conservative circles.

And of course it is not only Zionists who have eaten of this poisonous fruit. As a result of Israel’s own willingness to encourage such tactics, as in organizing initiatives seeking to discredit, and even criminalize, the nonviolent BDS campaign, several leaders of important Western countries who should know better have swallowed this particular cool aid. A recent statement by the new and otherwise promising President of France, Emmanuel Macron: “Anti-Zionism…is the reinvented form of anti-Semitism,” and implicitly such a statement suggests that to be anti-Zionist is tantamount to criticism of Israel as a Jewish state.

After grasping this tortured reasoning, have a look at the compelling Open Letter to Macron, written in response by the famed Israeli historian, Shlomo Sand, author of an essential book, The Invention of the Jewish People. In his letter Sand explains why he cannot himself be a Zionist given the demographic realities, historical abuse of the majority population of historic Palestine, and the racist and colonialist overtones of proclaiming a Jewish state in a Palestine that a hundred years ago was a national space containing only 60,000 Jews half of whom were actually opposed to the Zionist project. This meant that the Jewish presence in Palestine represented only about 7% of the total population, the other 700,000 being mostly Muslims and Christian Arabs. The alternative to Zionism for an Israel that abandons apartheid is not collapse but a transformed reality based on the real equality of Jews and Palestinians. Shlomo Sand gives the following substance to this non-Zionist political future for Israel: “..an Israeli republic and not a Jewish communalist state.” This is not the only morally, politically, and legally acceptable solution. A variety of humane and just alternatives to the status quo exist that are capable of embodying the overlapping rights of self-determination of these two long embattled peoples.

To avoid the (mis)impression that Charlottesville was most disturbing because of its manifestations of hatred of Jews it is helpful to take a step backward. Charlottesville was assuredly an ugly display of anti-Semitism, but it only secondarily slammed Jews. Its primary hateful resonance was its exhibition of white supremacy, American nativism, and a virtual declaration of war against Black Lives Matter and the African American and immigrant struggle against racial injustice. Jews are doing better than all right in America by almost every indicator of economic, political, and social success. African Americans, Hispanics, and Muslims are not. Many of their lives are daily jeopardized by various forms of state terror, as well as by this surge of violent populism given sly, yet unmistakable, blessings by an enraged and unrepentant White House in the agonized aftermath of Charlottesville. Jews thankfully have no bereaved victims of excess uses of force by American police as have lethally victimized such African Americans as Treyvon Martin, Michael Brown, Freddie Gray, Eric Garner, and Tamir Rice. Jews in America do not fear or face pre-dawn home searches, cruel family disrupting deportations, and the mental anguish of devastating forms of uncertainty that now is the everyday reality for millions of Hispanic citizens and residents.

What Charlottesville now becomes is up to the American people, and to some lesser extent to the reactions and responses throughout the world. The Charlottesville saga has already auditioned Trump and Spence as high profile apprentices of white nationalism. Whether an array of Republican tweets of disgust and disapproval gain any political traction remains to be seen, or as in the past they dissolve as bubbles in the air and soon seem best regarded as empty tropes of political correctness. What counsels skepticism about this current cascade of self-righteous pronouncements is the awareness that many of these same individuals in the past quickly renewed their conniving habits behind closed doors, working overtime to deprive the racially vulnerable in America of affordable health insurance, neighborhood security, and residence rights. As is so often the case in the political domain these days disreputable actions speak far more loudly than pious words.

If the majority of Americans can watch the torch parade and urban riot of white nationalists shouting racist slogans, dressed for combat, and legally carrying assault weapons, in silence we are done for as a nation of decency and promise. If the mainstream does not scream ‘enough’ at the top of its lung it is time to admit ‘game over.’ This undoubtedly means that the political future of this country belongs to the likes of Trump/Spence, and it also means that a national stumble into some kind of fascist reality becomes more and more unavoidable. The prospect of a fascist America can no longer be dismissed as nothing more than a shrill and desperate ploy by the moribund left to gain a bit of attention on the national stage before giving up the ghost of revolutionary progressivism once and for all.

So we must each ask ourselves and each other is this the start of the Second Civil War or just one more bloody walk in the woods?

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Diverse groups push for ‘Anti-Semitism Envoy’ who monitors criticism of ‘Israel’


Former Antisemitism Envoy Hannah Rosenthal promoting a “Walk for Israel” event in Milwaukee in 2017 (video below). As envoy, Rosenthal adopted a new, Israel-centric definition for antisemitism, and then used it to train U.S. diplomats. Now groups from the ADL to the Southern Poverty Law Center are disturbed that Trump isn’t filling the position.

By Alison Weir | If Americans Knew 

The Trump administration has failed to appoint an antisemitism monitor or staff the State Department’s antisemitism monitoring office, drawing fire from diverse groups that range from the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and Israel lobbying organizations to Think Progress and the Southern Poverty Law Center.

But the State Department Office to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism, and the “antisemitism envoy” who heads it, haven’t just been keeping tabs on anti-Jewish bigotry around the world. In reality, they have been monitoring international pro-Palestinian activism and promoting a crackdown on such activism in various countries.

Congress created the antisemitism monitoring office and envoy in 2004. Since then, the office has adopted a definition of antisemitism that includes many forms of criticism of Israel and it has pushed for that definition to be used worldwide to crack down on criticism of Israel. (Read more about who else has adopted the definition and how it is being used to curtail criticism of Israel and pro-Palestinian activism.)

Allan C. Brownfeld of the American Council for Judaism is disturbed by this trend, commenting: “The redefinition of antisemitism to mean criticism of Israel is clearly an effort to end freedom of speech and discussion when it comes to Israel and its policies. It has nothing to do with real antisemitism, which this effort trivializes and which, fortunately, is in retreat.”*

In 2015 Brownfeld wrote “What they seek to silence are criticisms of Israeli policies and efforts to call attention to them through such things as campaigns for academic boycotts or BDS. Whether one agrees with such campaigns or not, they are legitimate criticisms of a foreign government and of U.S. aid to that government. Only by changing the meaning of words entirely can this be called ‘antisemitism.’”

The organization Palestine Legal has similarly objected to the new definition, pointing out that the redefinition of antisemitism allows “virtually any criticism of Israel to be labeled as antisemitic.” It states: “The effect of blurring antisemitism with criticism of Israel is to censor speech. It aims to silence those who wish to criticize Israel’s well-documented human rights violations by making it unacceptable and taboo to do so. It silences the everyday observer of Israel’s actions who may wish to comment and draw parallels with other experiences, or do anything at all to oppose it.”

Meanwhile, the antisemitism envoy position has proved a revolving door to Israel lobbying organizations and activities.

State Department Antisemitism Office Monitors Criticism of Israel

The monitoring office’s 2016 report on global antisemitism included monitoring of pro-Palestinian activism. Below are a few quotes from the report:

♦ “50 Palestinian students protested and boycotted a conference presentation by an Israeli professor who was a guest speaker at the Eastern Mediterranean University (EMU). Approximately 50 Palestinian students opened banners during the conference reading, ‘Free Palestine,’ ‘Terrorist Israel,’ and held photos of suffering Palestinian children.”

♦ “Following the September 28 death of former Israeli president Shimon Peres, the FPDC [Palestinian Federation of Chile] labeled him a ‘war criminal’ on its official Twitter account.”

♦ “activists of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel, spilled red paint on the facade of the restaurant and posted signs reading: ‘Free Palestine,’ ‘Avillez collaborates with Zionist occupation,’ and ‘Entree: A dose of white phosphorus.’ The attack followed picketing opposite the restaurant by BDS activists…”

In addition, the report cited statements that connected Israeli actions to all Jewish people, reporting, for example, that some Kuwaiti columnists “often conflated Israeli government actions or views with those of Jews more broadly,” and “Swedish Jews were at times blamed for Israeli policies.” While it is incorrect and unfair to associate Israeli actions with all Jewish people, the report entirely omitted reference to the many Israeli leaders and pro-Israel organizations who promote this view, claiming that Israel represents all the world’s Jewish people.

There were additional questionable listings of alleged antisemitism related to Israel, for example: “the RT channel’s June 27 airing of Palestinian allegations [by Palestinian Authority head Mahmoud Abbas in an address to the European Parliament] that an Israeli rabbi approved the poisoning of Palestinian wells.” Reporting allegations made by national leaders is what news media do, particularly when there is a context supporting the allegations. There is a documented record of Israeli settlers and, longer ago, the early Israeli military contaminating Palestinian water supplycisterns, and wells, and of some extremist Israeli rabbis approving – and even calling for – the killing of civilians of all ages.**

Antisemitism Office Promotes Crackdown on Palestine Activism

When Congress created the antisemitism monitoring office and envoy in 2004, the legislation included criticism of Israel among the “antisemitism” to monitor (although that inclusion was buried and not obvious in a quick read of the main legislation).

At that time, the State Department declared publicly that such an office was unnecessary and would be a “bureaucratic nuisance” that would actually hinder the Department’s ongoing work against antisemitism. A State Department press release opposing the new office described the many actions the department was already taking against antisemitism.

After the office was in place, the conflation of criticism of Israel with antisemitism grew incrementally, until it became part of the office’s official definition.

The first antisemitism envoy, Gregg Rickman, endorsed an Israel-centric definition originally proposed by an Israeli government minister and disseminated by Israel partisans in Europe. After his term of office, Rickman went to work for the pro-Israel lobbying organization AIPAC (the American Israel Public Affairs Committee).

The second antisemitism envoy, Hannah Rosenthal, officially adopted the new Israel-centric definition in 2010, making it “the State Department definition.” She then pushed through a training program about antisemitism for U.S. diplomats that used what she called the new “breakthrough definition.”

After she left the envoy position, Rosenthal headed up the Jewish Federation of Milwaukee, where she worked on numerous activities supporting Israel, including promoting a Stand with Israel event (see her promotional video for the event here and below).

The next envoy, Ira Foreman, also worked for AIPAC, and was instrumental in spreading the new Israel-centric definition to other nations. Indeed, Forman declared that “the United States pushed for a global definition of antisemitism” and that this “changed the global discourse on the issue” during an Anti-Defamation League press conference.

Pressure to Staff Antisemitism Monitoring Office

The administration has indicated it may not fill these positions as part of budget cutting; out of 13 Special Envoy positions in the State Department, 8 are currently vacant (there is no Special Envoy to monitor and combat other forms of racism, for example against African Americans)***. Trump’s failure to fill the antisemitism positions has provoked an escalating bipartisan outcry by Congressional representatives and advocacy groups, amplified by certain media coverage and commentary.

Among those pushing for Trump to fill the office are the Anti-Defamation League, the American Jewish Committee, various pro-Israel groups, diverse Congressional representatives supportive of Israel, and, more mildly, the liberal organizations Think Progress and the Southern Poverty Law Center.

♦ The Anti-Defamation League has long used an Israel-centric definition of antisemitism and is known for hardcore Israel advocacy that leans heavily towards blind promotion of the most extremist right-wing elements of Israel’s government. It has created apetition demanding that Trump fill the envoy position. Former ADL director Abe Foxman said: “The special Ambassador to combat antisemitism at the State Department is one of those things that ‘make America great.’”

♦ The American Jewish Committee says it engages in “pro-Israel advocacy at the highest levels.” It has also called for Trump to name an envoy and has created its own petition.

♦ Think Progress, a progressive organization close to the Democratic Party, featured an article critical of the failure to fill the post, announcing: “Attacks targeting Jews are at a record high at home, but the State Department doesn’t think special monitoring abroad is necessary.”

♦ The Southern Poverty Law Center then featured the Think Progress article about the State Department “abandoning the office” in its “Hate Watch Headlines.” The SPLC is often revered for its important work to oppose bigotry and hate, but it has praised Israel and been criticized for equating anti-zionism with antisemitism. Furthermore, its over $300 million operation has sometimes been brought into question as a cash cow that benefits from finding “hate” where it might not actually exist.

The various advocates, as well as the Think Progress article, have cited an Anti-Defamation League report that antisemitism is on the rise, and fast. On the face of it, this certainly should be disturbing to anyone who supports equality and human rights. However, a number of groups have questioned the ADL report, and an ADL official admits that it is “not a scientific study.” The ADL report does not include a spreadsheet of the incidents it has included for independent researchers to examine, and it is unknown how many of the incidents may have been actually pro-Palestinian activism, but we do know that the “rise” included 2,000 hoax threats made by a young Jewish Israeli reportedly suffering from mental problems.

♦ Members of the House of Representatives’ Bipartisan Task Force Against Anti-Semitism initiated a letter in March calling on Trump to fill the position, another bipartisan letter was sent in June, and Democratic Senator Ben Cardin implored Trump to fill the “critical” position. Legislation was introduced into both the Senate and the House that would elevate the envoy position to ambassadorial level and would require even more detailed reporting than it is already doing.

♦ Most recently, Katrina Lantos Swett, whose father Congressman Tom Lantos sponsored the legislation that created the position, sent a letter to Tillerson outraged that there hasn’t been “great eagerness to move swiftly to fill this post.” The Daily Caller reports her view that the special envoy is the “tip of the sword’ to focus on and combat antisemitism on a global scale.”

On June 26 the ADL organized a conference call with the media in which former envoys Hannah Rosenthal and Ira Forman called on Trump to fill the position, saying that “the envoy’s working definition of antisemitism helped U.S. personnel in foreign countries determine what is and is not antisemitism” — in other words, clarifying to them that they must consider various forms of criticism of Israel as antisemitism.

Rosenthal told NBC News: “This is another example of America losing its leadership role in the world.”

In arguing for the office, ADL head Jonathan Greenblatt pointed out: “These dedicated diplomats drove an exponential growth in U.S. reporting on antisemitism and mobilized a full arsenal of U.S. diplomatic tools and training.”


The next tactic may be for Congress to vote to fund the office. Since Israel lobby bills usually easily pass, often with overwhelmingly positive votes (most recently, 98-2), this will quite likely go through. The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism already has a petition telling Congress to “Fully Fund State Department Office for Monitoring and Combating Anti-Semitism.”

Both Forman and Rosenthal say they expect Congress to fund the envoy’s office in the coming budget, and expect this will succeed in pushing Trump to appoint someone to the post.

Unfortunately, given Trump’s failure to failure to reign in bigotry and antisemitism among some of his supporters, it may be unlikely that the new envoy will turn a focused attention to real cases of anti-Jewish bigotry. In fact, given Middle East advisor and son-in-law Jared Kushner’s support for rightwing Israeli settlers, as well as the Islamophobia embraced by elements of the Trump circle, the Trump administration could well move the office even more in the direction of suppressing support for Palestinian rights and criticism of Israel.

Meanwhile, on July 3rd alone, Israeli authorities forced a Palestinian family to demolish its own home, Israeli forces rounded up 18 Palestinians in predawn raids, prisoners in Israel’s notorious Ktziot prison faced life-threatening conditions (40 percent of Palestinian males have cycled through Israeli prisons), and the Israeli military invaded and bulldozed land in Gaza. A typical day in Palestine. But don’t let the special envoy hear you say that.

Alison Weir is executive director of If Americans Knew, president of the Council for the National Interest, and author of Against Our Better Judgment: The Hidden History of How the U.S. Was Used to Create Israel. Additional citations and information on this topic are in her recent report and timeline: “International campaign is criminalizing criticism of Israel as ‘antisemitism”.

* Allan C. Brownfeld, Publications Editor of the American Council for Judaism, provided the comment below for inclusion in discussing the expanded definition of antisemitism:

The meaning of the term “anti/Semitism” has undergone dramatic change in recent years.  It used to refer to hostility to Jews and Judaism.  It has been redefined by some to mean criticism of Israel. In recent days, establishment Jewish organizations from the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) to the Simon Wiesenthal Center have called the BDS movement “anti-Semitic”—despite the fact that it is supported by groups such as Jewish Voice for Peace and such international groups as Jews for Palestinian Right of Return and the Israeli activist organization Boycott from Within.

The effort to redefine anti-Semitism as criticism of Israel has been going on for more than  four decades.  In 1974, Benjamin Epstein, the national director of the ADL co-authored “The New Anti-Semitism,” a book whose argument was repeated in 1982 by his successor at ADL, Nathan Perlmutter, in a book entitled “The Real Anti-Semitism In America.”  After World War II, Epstein argued, guilt over the Holocaust kept anti-Semitism at bay, but as memories of the Holocaust faded, anti-Semitism had returned—this time in the form of hostility to Israel.  The reason:  Israel represented Jewish power.  Jews  are tolerable, acceptable in their particularity, only as victims,” wrote Epstein and  his ADL colleague Arnold Forster, “and when their situation changed so that they are either no longer victims, or appear not to be,the non-Jewish world finds this so hard to take that the effort is begun to render them victims anew.”

Jewish critics of Israel are as likely to be denounced as “anti-Semites” as non-Jews. For example, columnist Caroline Glick, writing in the International Jerusalem Post (Dec. 23-39, 2011) found New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman guilty of employing “traditional anti-Semitic slurs”  and “of channeling long-standing anti-Semitic charges.”  In a February 2012 Commentary article, Ben Cohen writes that, “The list of flagrant Jew-baiters  is growing;  those with Jewish names provide an additional frisson.”  Among those he names are M.J. Rosenberg, a former employee of AIPAC. Mondoweiss editor Philip Weiss, New Yorker correspondent Seymour Hersh, and Time Magazine columnist Joe Klein.

The redefinition of anti-Semitism to mean criticism of Israel is clearly an effort to end freedom of speech and discussion when it comes to Israel and its policies. It has nothing to do with real anti-Semitism, which this effort  trivializes and which, fortunately, is in retreat.

** Abbas later apologized for and retracted his allegation that the rabbi had approved contaminating wells, which numerous media had compared to Medieval “blood libels” of Jews. The Western media and the antisemitism report did not mention the extensive evidence that Israeli settlers have contaminated wells and that the state of Israel did the same during the conquest of Palestine. The suggestion that evidence of human rights violations cannot be discussed if similar accusations have been unfairly made against other people at another time in history enables current violations to continue.

*** State Department Special Envoys (as of June 30, 2017)

Climate Change (Special Envoy): Vacant

Closure of the Guantanamo Detention Facility (Special Envoy): Vacant

Energy Resources (Special Envoy and Coordinator): Mary Warlick (Acting)

Holocaust Issues (Special Envoy): Thomas K. Yazdgerdi

Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations (Special Envoy): Frank Lowenstein

Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism (Special Envoy): Vacant

North Korean Human Rights Issues (Special Envoy): Vacant

Organization of Islamic Cooperation (Special Envoy): Vacant

Six-Party Talks (Special Envoy): Vacant

Special Envoy and Coordinator of the Global Engagement Center: Vacant

Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan: Vacant

Special Envoy for Syria: Michael Ratney

Special Envoy for the Human Rights of LGBT Persons: Randy Berry

Special Ambassadors (A similar but higher position)

Global Criminal Justice (Ambassador): Todd F. Buchwald

Global Women’s Issues (Ambassador-at-Large): Vacant

Office of International Religious Freedom (Ambassador-at-Large): Vacant

Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking In Persons (Ambassador-at-Large): Susan Coppedge 

Below is a promotional video that the second anti-Semitism envoy, Hannah Rosenthal, made to promote a “Walk for Israel” event in Millwaukee in May, 2017 . The event was to celebrate the creation of Israel, “the world’s first Jewish state in 2,000 years.”

Posted in ZIO-NAZIComments Off on Diverse groups push for ‘Anti-Semitism Envoy’ who monitors criticism of ‘Israel’

International Campaign Is Criminalizing Criticism of ‘Israel’ As ‘Anti-Semitism’

For two decades, some Israeli officials and Israel partisans have worked to embed a new, Israel-focused definition of antisemitism in institutions around the world, from international bodies and national governments to small college campuses in heartland America. This effort is now snowballing rapidly. As a result, advocacy for Palestinian rights is well on the way to being curtailed and even criminalized as “hate.”

As the world has witnessed the oppression and ethnic cleansing of Palestinians, many people have risen in protest. In response, the Israeli government and certain of its advocates have conducted a campaign to crack down on this activism, running roughshod over civil liberties (and the English language) in the process.

The mechanism of this crackdown is the redefinition of “antisemitism”[1] to include criticism of Israel, and the insertion of this definition into the bodies of law of various countries.

Where most people would consider “antisemitism” to mean bigotry against Jewish people (and rightly consider it abhorrent), for two decades a campaign has been underway to replace that definition with an Israel-centric definition. That definition can then be used to block speech and activism in support of Palestinian human rights as “hate.” Various groups are applying this definition in law enforcement evaluations of possible crimes.

Proponents of this Israel-centric definition have promoted it step by step in various arenas, from the U.S. State Department and European governments to local governments around the U.S. and universities.

While this effort has taken place over the last two decades, it is snowballing rapidly at this time. The definition is increasingly being used to curtail free speech and academic freedom, as well as political activism.

Furthermore, such politicizing of an important word may reduce its effectiveness when real antisemitism occurs, doing a disservice to victims of true bigotry.

As of this writing, the U.S. Congress has endorsed the distorted definition, the governments of the UK and Austria have officially adopted it (in December and April, respectively), various U.S. State legislatures are considering it, and numerous universities are using it to delineate permissible discourse. Many representatives and heads of other states around the world have embraced the new meaning, even if they have yet to officially implement it.

This article will examine the often interconnected, incremental actions that got us where we are, the current state of affairs, and the public relations and lobbying efforts that are promoting this twisting of the definition of “antisemitism” — often under cover of misleadingly named “anti-racism” movements.

Claims of “Antisemitism” Used to Silence Support for Palestinians

For many years, numerous respected organizations have documented Israeli violations of Palestinian human rights, including killing of Palestinian civilians, abuse of Palestinian children, torture of Palestinian prisoners, confiscation of Palestinian land, and other cases of systematic violence and oppression. Detailed reports have been compiled by Defense for Children International, the International Red Cross, Amnesty International, Foreign Service Journal, Physicians for Human rights, Christian Aid, Human Rights Watch, the National Lawyers Guild, Israel’s Public Committee Against Torture, Israel’s B’Tselem and others.

Israel long claimed that its 1948 creation was on “a land without a people for a people without a land,” and many people may still believe this founding myth. The fact is, however, that the land was originally inhabited by an indigenous population that was approximately 80 percent Muslim, 15 percent Christian, and a little under 5 percent Jewish. The Jewish State of Israel was created through the ejection of approximately three-quarters of a million people.

Over the decades since Israel’s founding in 1948, accusations of antisemitism have been leveled against many people who criticized Israeli actions. Indeed, the accusation was used effectively to silence very prominent critics.[2]

However, for most of that time, the meaning of the term itself was not in question. The standard definitionwas, in Google’s terms, “hostility to or prejudice against Jews.”[3] Around the turn of this century, though, certain advocates began promoting official and even legal definitions of antisemitism that included various kinds of criticism of Israel.

Conflating Criticism of Israel with Antisemitism

Unsurprisingly, the new definitions appear to have originated from within the Israeli government, or at least with an Israeli government official.

Natan Sharansky, Israeli minister, in 2003: “The State of Israel has decided to take the gloves off and implement a coordinated counteroffensive against anti-Semitism.” Sharansky’s formulation formed the basis for the new Israel-centric definitions adopted around the world.

The definitions adhere to a pattern set by a man named Natan Sharansky, who was Israel’s Minister for Jerusalem and Diaspora Affairs and chair of the Jewish Agency for Israel. Sharansky founded a Global Forum against Anti-Semitism in 2003, stating:

“The State of Israel has decided to take the gloves off and implement a coordinated counteroffensive against anti-Semitism.”

But Sharansky apparently didn’t mean a counteroffensive against just anti-Jewish bigotry, but an offensive against criticism of Israel. The following year he wrote a position paper that declared:

“Whereas classical anti-Semitism is aimed at the Jewish people or the Jewish religion, ‘new anti-Semitism’ is aimed at the Jewish state.”

Sharansky’s paper laid out what he called the “3-D Test of Anti-Semitism.” Sharansky applied the term “antisemitic” to criticism of Israel in three cases. First, he argued that statements that “demonize” Israel are antisemitic — by being, in his mind, unfairly harsh. (Some of those allegedly guilty of “demonizing” Israel are Jimmy Carter, Desmond Tutu, Alice Walker, Human Rights Watch, Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme, French President François Mitterrand, and others.)

Second, Sharansky declared that it’s antisemitic to apply a “double standard” to Israel — in other words, to criticize Israel for actions that other states may also take. However, if one could never criticize, protest or boycott abuses without calling out every single other similar abuse, no one would ever be able to exercise political dissent at all.

Finally, Sharansky said it’s antisemitic to “delegitimize” Israel, or dispute its “right to exist” (a standard Israeli talking point for many years). In fact, insisting Israel has the “right” to exist amounts to saying it had the right to expel Muslim and Christian Palestinians in order to found a religiously exclusive state. (See “What ‘Israel’s right to exist’ means to Palestinians,” by John Whitbeck, published in the Christian Science Monitor.)[4]

Sharansky’s outline provided the pattern for a European agency to create a new definition of antisemitism the next year, 2005 — a definition that would then be adopted by a succession of organizations and governments, including the U.S. State Department.

There is a back story to how this all came about.

This European agency itself was founded and run by a man with important connections to Israel. It was called “The European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia,” under the Council of the European Union. A Frenchman named Jean Kahn had convinced European heads of state to create it in 1997.

Jean Kahn (R) with French President Francois Mitterand. Kahn initiated the creation of the European Monitoring Centre, which released an Israel-centric “working” definition of antisemitism.

Kahn had been a President of the European Jewish Congress, elected in a plenary session in Israel, and said the Congress “would demonstrate its solidarity with Israel” and that he hoped European countries would “coordinate their legislation outlawing racism, anti-Semitism or any form of exclusion.”

Kahn was chairman of the Monitoring Centre’s management board and called the “personification” of the agency. Within three years, the Centre issued a position paper calling for the definition of anti-Semitic offenses to be “improved.”

A few years later, Israeli professor Dina Porat took up the effort to create a new definition. Working with her were Kenneth Stern and Rabbi Andrew “Andy” Baker of the American Jewish Committee. Stern reports that when the Monitoring Centre’s then head, Beate Winkler, had failed to deliver the desired definition, Andy Baker “smartly developed a working relationship with her.” Stern and others[5] then created a draft for the Monitoring Centre to use.

Israeli Dina Porat, Kenneth Stern, Rabbi Andrew Baker worked to draft what became the European Monitoring Centre definition of antisemitism.

In 2005 the agency issued its “Working Definition of Anti-Semitism,” largely based on that draft. It included an array of negative statements about Israel as examples of antisemitic offenses. While standard dictionary definitions of antisemitism didn’t even mention Israel, fully half of the newly devised Monitoring Centre definition referred to Israel.

Once the Monitoring Centre had created its expanded definition, certain Israel partisans used it to promote similar definitions elsewhere. And while the Monitoring Centre itself continued to term it only a “working” definition and its replacement organization eventually withdrew the definition, in other countries and agencies the expanded definition became official.

In addition, quite frighteningly, proponents pushed successfully to begin applying the Israel-centric definition to law enforcement.

In the United States

The same year Sharansky created his “3-D” antisemitism test — a year after he founded the Global Forum against Anti-Semitism — the U.S. Congress passed a law establishing exceptional government monitoring of antisemitism. The law created a special State Department envoy and office for this monitoring, over objections of the State Department itself.

The law, called the “Global Anti-Semitism Review Act,” included a line that subverted its meaning by enshrining a new definition of antisemitism aligned with Sharansky’s:

“Anti-Semitism has at times taken the form of vilification of Zionism, the Jewish national movement, and incitement against Israel.”

The bill was introduced in April 2004. That June, a Congressional hearing was conducted about how to combat antisemitism. A major witness was Israeli minister Sharansky. In his testimony Sharansky proposed his “3-D” Israel-connected definition for anti-Semitism.[6]

State Department officials objected to the proposed legislation, saying the new office was unnecessary and would be a “bureaucratic nuisance” that would actually hinder the Department’s ongoing work. A State Department press release opposing the new office described the many actions that State was already taking against antisemitism.

Despite this opposition, the Senate bill acquired 24 cosponsors representing both parties, including Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, Diane Feinstein, Russ Feingold, Sam Brownback, Saxby Chambliss and Ted Stevens. Similar bills (here and here) were introduced in the House of Representatives, acquiring 35 cosponsors, again including both Republican and Democratic leaders. The legislation passed easily and quickly became law.

Gregg Rickman, first U.S. antisemitism envoy, later worked for AIPAC.

The first Special Envoy, Gregg Rickman, endorsed the European Monitoring Centre’s Working Definition in 2008. Rickman’s report called it a “useful framework” for identifying and understanding antisemitism. After Rickman left the State Department, he went to work for the American Israel Political Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the major Israel advocacy organization that lobbies Congress.

The next Special Envoy, Hannah Rosenthal, took this campaign a major step forward: In 2010 the office officially adopted the European Monitoring Centre’s definition.

Rosenthal was extremely proud of having achieved this “breakthrough” definition. She began making use of it quickly, establishing a 90-minute course on the new antisemitism at the Foreign Service Institute, the training school for diplomats.

“We have now a definition we can train people on,” she told the Times of Israel, “and we’ve been very aggressive in training foreign service officers.”

Hannah Rosenthal adopted the “breakthrough” Israel related definition and promptly used it in training U.S. diplomats.

Rosenthal announced that with the new definition including criticism of Israel, their reporting on antisemitism improved “300 percent,” even though, she said, that didn’t mean that antisemitism had actually increased in all the countries monitored.

The gloves were off. Now fully half of the official U.S. State Department definition of antisemitism had gone beyond the normal meaning of the world to focus on Israel.

Applying the New Definition to U.S. Citizens

The State Department uses the new definition to monitor activities overseas. But once the State Department definition was in place, efforts began to use it to crack down on political and academic discourse and activism within the U.S.

This past December (2016) the U.S. Senate passed a law to apply the State Department’s definition (i.e. the Sharansky-Stern-Rosenthal definition) of antisemitism to the Education Department, for use in investigating reports of religiously motivated campus crimes.

A companion bill for the House is supported by AIPAC, the ADL, the Jewish Federations of North America and the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

South Carolina’s House of Representatives recently passed legislation under which the State Department’s definition “would be used in probes of possible anti-Semitism at state colleges and universities.” The state senate will consider this in 2018. If passed, it will mean that the state will now probe criticism of Israel on state campuses.

Similar bills are being considered in Virginia and Tennessee.

Such efforts are also ongoing in California. In December Democrat Brad Sherman called on the California Secretary of Education to “expand its definition to include certain forms of anti-Israel behavior.” Pro-Israel organizations such as the Amcha Initiative have also been pushing the state legislature for several years to officially adopt the State Department definition. So far these have been defeated but continue to be promoted.

U.S. Campuses

A parallel effort has been occurring on U.S. campuses. In 2003 Sharansky said that college campuses were “one of the most important battlefields” for Israel.

In 2015 University of California President Janet Napolitano (head of 10 campuses) publicly supported adopting the state department definition, after 57 rabbis sent a letter to her and the University Board of Regents promoting the definition.

Student councils or other groups at various universities have passed resolutions adopting the State Department definition, which can then be used to block campus events about Palestine.

An ongoing campaign to ensure Israel partisans become influential in student government has supported these efforts. This campaign was announced by an AIPAC leader in 2010:

“We’re going to make certain that pro-Israel students take over the student government,” he said. “That is how AIPAC operates in our nation’s capitol. This is how AIPAC must operate on our nation’s campuses.” (Video here.)

Resolutions referencing the Israel-centric definitions have now been passed by student governments at UC Santa Barbara, UCLA, East Carolina UniversityIndiana University, Ohio’s Capital University, Ohio’s Kent State, Orange County’s Chapman University, San Diego State University, and other campuses around the country.[7]

An example of these resolutions is the 2015 bill at Indiana University. The resolution denounced anti-Semitism

“as defined by the United States State Department” and stated that the student government would not fund antisemitic activities or activities that “undermine the right of the Jewish people to self-determination.”

It also said that IUSA executives and Congress members would undergo diversity training on anti-Semitism.

According to the student newspaper, the bill was written by Rebekah Molasky, a fellow with the international pro-Israel organization Stand With Us. After the resolution was passed,

“the bill’s sponsors and outside supporters hugged and high-fived before gathering in the hallway to take a picture to commemorate the moment.”

As evidenced above, such resolutions can now be used to censor student events. The UC San Diego resolution largely replicated the Indiana format, announcing that the student government will not support activities that “promote anti-Semitism” under the new definition, including “denying Israel the right to exist.” Stand With Us applauded the resolution.

In 2012, an organization called the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under the Law was founded and immediately began promoting the new definition. Within a year it launched an initiative to establish student chapters at law schools throughout the U.S. to advance “the organization’s mandate to combat campus anti-Semitism through legal means.” The Center helped push the South Carolina legislation. It is one of numerous organizations promoting the new definition.

(Incidentally, former Supreme Court Justice Brandeis was a leader in the world Zionist movement and worked in public and covert ways to promote it — see here.)

“Thought Policing”

A number of analysts have pointed out some of the many significant flaws with such legislation.

Anthony L. Fisher at Reason.com writes of Congress’s December law applying the State Department definition to the Education Department:

“It gives the federal government the authority to investigate ideas, thoughts, and political positions as violations of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.”

Fisher continues:

“By specifically using the broad language of a 2010 State Department memo attempting to define anti-Semitism, the Senate bill wades into thought policing.”

Attorney Liz Jackson wrote in an opinion piece in the Los Angeles Times:

“Anyone who values the constitutional right to express political dissent should worry about this development.”

NY Times columnist Bret Stephens says Jewish Americans should “do all we can to assure the survival of the Jewish State.

On the other side of the debate is New York Times columnist Bret Stephens, formerly Wall Street Journal deputy editorial page editor and before that editor of an Israeli newspaper. Stephens, extremely hawkish on Israel, writes and speaks fervently against the movement to boycott Israel (BDS) and what he says is antisemitism on US campuses and elsewhere. In a Wall Street Journal editorial, he claimed that

“anti-Semitism is the disease of the Arab world.”

In 2014 Stephens spoke at the Tikvah Fund, a philanthropic foundation committed to supporting the “Jewish people and the Jewish State,” opining that it would be a scandal if Jewish people failed “to do all we can to assure the survival of the Jewish State.”

U.S. and European Lawmakers Pressure Governments to Ban Criticism of Israel

During all this time, parallel efforts to promote the new definition continued in Europe.

In 2009 an organization called the Inter-parliamentary Coalition for Combating Antisemitism (ICCA) took up the effort to spread the expanded definition. The group says it brings together parliamentarians from “around the world” to fight antisemitism and lists a steering committee of six European and U.S. legislators.

The group held a conference in London in 2009 at which it issued a “London Declaration on Combating Antisemitism,” which was signed by then British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and other heads of state and legislators. This declaration called on governments to use the European Monitoring Centre’s definition and to outlaw and prosecute such “antisemitism.”

It was couched in “anti-racism” terms, but when we look at the declaration’s recommendations combined with its definition of antisemitism, one thing becomes clear: In the declaration, numerous lawmakers of the Western world called on world governments to restrict political dissent.

Specifically, they called on governments to outlaw certain forms of criticism of Israel, including calls to boycott Israel; to regulate criticism of Israel in the media; to monitor criticism of Israel online and elsewhere; and to prosecute critics of Israel under “hate crimes” legislation.

Among numerous other demands, the lawmakers declared that governments:

  • “must expand the use of the EUMC [Monitoring Centre] ‘Working Definition of antisemitism’” including “as a basis for training material for use by Criminal Justice Agencies;”
  • should “isolate political actors” who “target the State of Israel;”
  • “should legislate ‘incitement to hatred’ offences and empower law enforcement agencies to convict;”
  • “should … establish inquiry scrutiny panels;”
  • “should utilise the EUMC [Monitoring Centre] ‘Working Definition of antisemitism’ to inform media standards;”
  • “should take appropriate and necessary action to prevent the broadcast of antisemitic programmes on satellite television channels, and to apply pressure on the host broadcast nation to take action to prevent the transmission of antisemitic programmes” (keeping in mind here that the declaration’s definition of “antisemitic” includes various criticism of Israel);
  • “should use domestic ‘hate crime’, ‘incitement to hatred’ and other legislation … to prosecute ‘Hate on the Internet’ where racist and antisemitic content is hosted, published and written” (again keeping in mind what is defined as “antisemitic”);
  • and that “education authorities should … protect students and staff from illegal antisemitic discourse and a hostile environment in whatever form it takes including calls for boycotts.”

In 2015 the European Commission created a special position to coordinate work on combating antisemitism and appointed German national Katharina von Schnurbein to the post. Schnurbein proceeded to promote the use of the Israel-centric definition.[8]

UK and Austria Adopt Definition

 In December 2016, the UK announced it would formally adopt the Israel-centric definition. It was quickly followed by Austria, which adopted the definition in April 2017. The Austrian justice minister had previously announced that the new definition would be used in the training of new judges and prosecutors.

British Prime Minister Theresa May announced the adoption of the Israel-centric definition at a Conservative Friends of Israel event.

UK Prime Minister Theresa May made the announcement during a talk before 800 guests at the Conservative Friends of Israel’s annual lunch.

UPI reported:

“The British police are already using this definition[9], which can now also be used by other groups, such as municipal councils and universities. The definition is not a law, but provides a formal interpretation of an illegal act that can serve as a guideline for criminal proceedings.”

Shortly afterward the UK’s higher education minister sent a letter informing universities that the government had adopted the IHRA definition and directing them to utilize it.

(The London council quickly followed suit with its own adoption of the definition, and other cities have now done the same. In May the Israel-Britain Alliance (IBA) began asking candidates for Parliament to sign a pledge that they would support the new definition.)

A number of groups objected to the definition, arguing that the definition “deliberately equates criticism of Israel with hatred of Jews.”

Opponents said it was

“vigorously promoted by pro-Israel lobbyists to local authorities, universities, Labour movement organisations and other public bodies.”

They stated that after its adoption there had been “an increase in bannings and restrictions imposed on pro-Palestinian activities, especially on campuses.” Some of the cancellations cited the IHRA definition. Oxford Professor Stephen Sedley wrote in the London Review of Books that the IHRA definition gives “respectability and encouragement to forms of intolerance which are themselves contrary to law.”

Professor Jonathan Rosenhead, recipient of the President’s Medal of the British Operational Research Society and Chair of the British Committee for the Universities of Palestine, said there were many examples of the definition creating a “chilling effect” on institutions’ willingness to permit lawful political activity, “even when the definition was not specifically cited.”

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), which represents all of Europe, Eurasia, the U.S., and Canada — a billion people — was also pushed to adopt the definition at its December 2016 conference.

The American Jewish Committee, which has offices in Berlin, Brussels, Paris, Rome, and Warsaw, reported that it had “met with senior European government officials to encourage OSCE adoption of the definition.” However, adoption of the definition has so far been blocked by one member: Russia.

AJC’s Rabbi Andrew “Andy” Baker helped create and disseminate the new definition throughout Europe, Eurasia, the U.S., and Canada.

AJC leader Rabbi Andrew Baker wrote that the AJC would now work “to foster its greater use by the individual states of the OSCE and members of the European Union.”

Inter-Parliamentary Coalition’s American Representatives

Two American Congressmen are among the six-member steering committee of the Inter-parliamentary Coalition for Combating Antisemitism (CCA).

One is Florida Congressman Ted Deutch. Deutch’s Congressional website highlights his support for Israel as well as his work against antisemitism.

According to the site, Deutch

“works closely with his colleagues in the House and Senate to… pass resolutions strongly opposing manifestations of anti-Semitism at home in South Florida, across the United States, and around the world.”

Florida Congressman Ted Deutch The website reports:

“Congressman Ted Deutch is a passionate supporter of Israel whose advocacy for a strong U.S.-Israel relationship stretches back to his youth. Ted spent his summers at Zionist summer camp, worked as a student activist in high school and college, and served in leadership roles on several local and national Jewish organizations throughout his professional career. Today, Ted serves as Ranking Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee’s influential Middle East and North Africa Subcommittee, where he continues to champion Israel’s security during a time of great volatility in the Middle East.”

Florida Congressman Ted Deutch has pushed the use of the Israel-centric definition to curtail academic freedom and campus political dissent within the United States. Deutch’s website declares him “a passionate supporter of Israel whose advocacy for a strong U.S.-Israel relationship stretches back to his youth.”

Deutch is also a member of the Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia, and Emerging Threats. His ICCA bio announces that he plans to use this position “to continue to publicly condemn anti-Semitism.”

Deutch receives considerable funding from the pro-Israel lobby.

In March Deutch led a bipartisan letter to Trump “Urging Forceful Action on Anti-Semitism.” It demanded ‘a comprehensive, inter-agency strategy that called for the Justice Department to investigate “anti-Semitic crimes” and “ensure the perpetrators are brought to justice.”

New Jersey Congressman Chris Smith, member of the Inter-Parliamentary Coalition, brought Sharansky to testify before Congress about his new definition.

Deutch was one of two Congresspeople who introduced the December law to apply the State Department definition to education.

The other U.S. Congressman on the steering committee of the ICCA is Republican Chris Smith of New Jersey. Smith is also a senior member on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. According to the website Open Secrets, a large proportion of his campaign donations are also from pro-Israel sources.

Natan Sharansky twice testified at hearings Smith chaired. In a speech at an event honoring Smith for his work against antisemitism, Smith remembered that Sharansky had

 “proposed what he called a simple test to help us distinguish legitimate criticism of Israel from anti-Semitism. He called it the three Ds: Demonization, double standard, and de-legitimization.”

Spreading the New Definition Under Cover of “Anti-Racism” Movement

UK universities have seen repression of pro-Palestinian activism on an epic scale. In 2007 the UK’s National Union of Students (NUS) adopted the new antisemitism definition at its national conference, when pro-Israel students introduced a motion entitled “AntiRacism: Challenging Racism on Campus and in Our Communities.” Some student unions at various UK universities then did the same.

This was a particularly ironic name for a pro-Israel motion, given that many people around the world consider Israel’s founding ideology, political Zionism, racist. In fact, in 1975 the UN General Assembly specifically passed a resolution that “Zionism is a form of racism.”

(The resolution was revoked In 1991, but not because the world body had changed its mind. In that year President Bush was pushing for the Madrid Peace Conference, which he hoped would end the “Arab-Israeli” conflict. When Israel said it would only participate in the conference if the UN revoked the resolution, the U.S. pressured member states to do just this.)

Through the years numerous entities have affirmed that Zionism is a type of racism, including conferences in South Africa and a recent UN commission which reported that Israel was practicing apartheid. (This report was then removed by the UN Director General, after Israeli and U.S. pressure.)

The UK student actions exemplify a trend that has pervaded this movement since the beginning: Efforts to shut down pro-Palestinian activism, curtail free speech and police thought both online and off are repeatedly packaged as “anti-racism” and sometimes “anti-fascism.”[10]

Campaign for New Definition Overcomes Hiccups

Taken together, these steps towards redefining “antisemitism” to include criticism of Israel, and then ban it, are effectively (and increasingly rapidly) producing significant results in terms of actual regulation and even law enforcement. Nevertheless, there apparently has been some resistance to the change.

In 2013, the successor organization to the European Monitoring Centre (called the European Fundamental Rights Agency) quietly dropped the working definition from its website. Without any public announcement, the definition was simply no longer on its site. When questioned about this, the agency’s director simply said that the organization had “no mandate to develop its own definitions.”

Proponents of the definition were outraged. Shimon Samuels of the Simon Wiesenthal Center complained that the agency’s “disowning of its own definition is astounding” and that “those who fight antisemitism have lost an important weapon.” (The Wiesenthal Center is a global organization that declares it “stands with Israel” with offices in Los Angeles, New York, Toronto, Miami, Chicago, Paris, Buenos Aires, and Jerusalem.)

However, the fact that the Monitoring Centre had never officially adopted the definition, and that its successor organization now had apparently discarded it, seems to have been ignored by those who had adopted it.

The U.S. State Department continues to use the discarded version. The only difference is that the PDF that gave its Monitoring Centre origins has been removed from State’s website.

The World Jewish Congress convention 2014, chaired by David de Rothschild, urged “all countries to adopt a binding definition of anti-Semitic crimes” based on the Israel-centric definition.

The following year, the World Jewish Congress, which represents Jewish umbrella bodies in 100 countries, called on “all countries to adopt a binding definition of anti-Semitic crimes based on the Working Definition of Anti-Semitism developed by the former European Union Monitoring Commission (EUMC) and used in a number of states’ law enforcement agencies.”

IHRA Picks Up the Ball

Other groups stepped into the vacuum and kept the definition alive. In 2016 The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) adopted the definition.

The IHRA consists of 31 Member Countries, ten Observer Countries, and seven international partner organizations. Its chair announced that the IHRA’s goal was to inspire “other international fora” to also adopt “a legally binding working definition.” It’s working: Britain and Austria almost immediately followed suit.

The U.S. Brandeis Center applauded the move, saying that “because the IHRA has adopted it, the definition has now officially been given the international status that it was previously lacking.”

The Brandeis Center reported that this was the

“culmination of a process initiated by Mark Weitzman, Director of Government Affairs at the Simon Wiesenthal Center, two years ago, with help from others including Ira Forman and Nicholas Dean of the U.S. Department of State.”

Ira Forman, antisemitism envoy under Obama and formerly of AIPAC, played a pivotal role in the IHRA adoption of the new definition.

Forman was the State Department Special Anti-Semitism Envoy under Obama, reportedly led Obama’s reelection campaign in the Jewish community, had worked for Bill Clinton, and had served as Political Director and Legislative Liaison for AIPAC, the pro-Israel lobbying organization. Nicholas Dean had been the State Department Special Envoy for the Holocaust.

The New York Jewish Week reported that Forman and Dean “played a pivotal role in diplomatic efforts that led to the recent adoption by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance of a Working Definition of Anti-Semitism.”

“This is the first-ever formal international definition of anti-Semitism, and a potentially crucial tool for forcing governments and international agencies to confront and take action against it,” the article continued.

Pressure On State Department to Continue Extra Monitoring

Among much budget slashing proposed by President Donald Trump were cuts to the State Department that would have ended funding for the antisemitism monitoring office and special envoy (though State Department monitoring of antisemitism would continue even after the cuts).

Various organizations are lobbying to keep the office and envoy, including the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), a U.S. organization whose mission is to “stop the defamation of the Jewish people” but which in effect seems to serve as an American extension of the most right-wing elements of Israel’s government. It has a long and infamous history of attacking critics of Israeli policy as “antisemites” and also uses an Israel-centric definition of antisemitism.

The ADL and allies pointed to a rash of bomb threats against Jewish institutions to strengthen their argument that this exceptional office must be funded. A letter with over a hundred signatories was sent to Trump demanding that he keep the dedicated State Department position, a bipartisan letter in support of retaining that special monitor was circulated in Congress, and over 100 Holocaust memorial groups and scholars urged Trump to keep the office.

As this political fight has raged, the ADL, which has a budget of over $56 million, sent out press releases to national and local media around the country reporting that antisemitic incidents have soared. The release was repeated almost verbatim in numerous national media and in individual states (as a random example, a Massachusetts headline declared: “Report: Anti-Semitism on the rise in Massachusetts.”)

However, it is impossible to know how many of the antisemitic incidents reported by the ADL were actually related to criticism of Israel, because the ADL didn’t release the data on which these results were based.

In addition, the ADL’s reported spike includes a spate of threats called in to Jewish organizations, schools and community centers that, thankfully, were hoaxes. The vast majority of threats (reportedly to over 2,000 institutions) apparently were perpetrated by an 18-year-old Jewish Israeli who reportedly suffers from medical and mental problems. (This alleged perpetrator is also accused of trying to extort a US Senator, threatening the children of a US official, and a range of other crimes.)

Israeli man arrested for over 2,000 bomb threats.

Another individual, an American in the U.S., apparently perpetrated eight hoax bomb threats in a bizarre campaign to get his former girlfriend in trouble.

A Jewish News Service article says the threats by the Israeli teen made up a significant percentage of the ADL’s spike and reported:

“The Anti-Defamation League’s (ADL) decision to count an Israeli teenager’s alleged recent bomb hoaxes as ‘anti-Semitic incidents’ is prompting criticism from some Jewish community officials.”

An ADL official admitted that the audit is an approximation, saying “the science on it is currently being written.” A regional ADL director said that “this is not a poll or a scientific study,” but rather “an effort to get a sense of ‘what’s going on in people’s hearts.’”

Regarding hard data, the report said that anti-Semitic assaults across the nation had “decreased by about 36 percent.”

The ADL blames various groups for antisemitism, pointing the finger at people of color with claims that Hispanic Americans and African Americans are “the most anti-Semitic cohorts,” at “white supremacists” and at Trump’s election — but not at the Israeli teen responsible for 2,000+ hoax threats that terrorized Jewish institutions, nor at its own distorted, Israel-connected definition.[11]

Claims of increased antisemitism are cited repeatedly in calls for the U.S. government to maintain funding for the special State Department monitoring.

Former US Ambassador to UN Samantha Power tweeted that the entire Trump administration should focus on antisemitism.

Former Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power and two Democratic congressional representatives, Reps. Nita Lowey of New York and Deutch of Florida, are among those demanding that Trump appoint a new antisemitism monitor and maintain this office at full strength, even while he cuts other federal spending.

Power tweeted: “Anti-semitism is surging in world. Entire Trump admin needs to focus on it & envoy position must be kept.”

Lowey demanded:

“The president must show he takes the rise of anti-Semitism seriously by immediately appointing a special envoy to monitor and combat anti-Semitism and fully staffing the Special Envoy’s office.”

In a May 2017 speech, World Jewish Congress leader Ronald Lauder said,

“Being anti-Israel is being anti-Semitic.” He announced that the congress “is creating a new communications department, or what you might call Hasborah” to counter this new “antisemitism.”

Dissenting Views

Many Jewish writers and activists dispute Lauder’s contention and oppose the campaign to conflate antisemitism with criticism of Israel. An article in Israel’s Ha’aretz newspaper points out that “were anti-Zionism a cover for the abuse of individual Jews, individual Jews would not join anti-Zionist groups. Yet many do. Jewish students are well represented in anti-Zionist groups like Students for Justice in Palestine.”

Rabbi Ahron Cohen of Naturei Kartei (“Guardians of the Faith”) writes that “Judaism and Zionism are incompatible and mutually exclusive.” Cohen states that antisemitism is “an illogical bigotry. Anti-Zionism, however, is a perfectly logical opposition, based on very sound reasoning, to a particular idea and aim.”

Cohen argues:

“According to the Torah and Jewish faith, the present Palestinian Arab claim to rule in Palestine is right and just. The Zionist claim is wrong and criminal. Our attitude to Israel is that the whole concept is flawed and illegitimate. So anti-Zionism is certainly not anti-Semitism.”


Recently Israel’s Ha’aretz newspaper published a column entitled, “An Israeli Soldier Shot a Palestinian in Front of Her Kids. Where’s Her Compensation?”

The article, by Israeli journalist Gideon Levy, begins:

“For three months, Dia Mansur was certain his mother was dead. He was 15 years old when he saw her collapse in the living room of their home, felled by a bullet fired by an Israel Defense Forces soldier that sliced into her face, tearing it apart. He saw his mother lying on the floor, blood oozing from her mouth…”

Gaza, 2014. Israel’s invasions and shelling of Gaza killed and injured thousands of children and left multitudes homeless.

Levy, citing a report by an Israeli human rights organization, writes that from September 2000 to through February 2017,

“Israel killed 4,868 noncombatant Palestinian civilians, more than one-third of them (1,793) were children and adolescents below the age of 18.” (More info here.)

He continued:

“Thousands of others, who were also not involved in fighting, have been wounded and permanently incapacitated.” (Photos here.)

Shifa Hospital, Gaza, 2014

A few weeks before that report, Ha’aretz published an article that described Israel’s month-long imprisonment of a 12-year-old Palestinian boy, one of over 200 Palestinian children taken by Israeli forces in a little over three months. The boy, accused of throwing stones against Israeli soldiers, would have been released from incarceration earlier, except that his impoverished family didn’t have enough money to pay the fine.

In the article, Israeli journalist Amira Haas reported that the boy’s father said that his son “wasn’t how he used to be before he was arrested.”

“He used to joke,” the father said, “and he stopped doing that. He talked a lot, and now he is silent.”

Haas wrote that UNICEF had issued a report four years ago that Israel was “extensively and systematically abusing detained Palestinian children and youth.” Today, she reported,

“The stories of physical violence, threats, painful plastic handcuffs and naked body searches remain almost identical.”

Sadly, every week there are similar stories.

To the multi-billion dollar network of lobbies advocating for conflating criticism of Israel with antisemitism, those who work to get such information to the American people – whose government gives Israel $10 million per day – are antisemitic.

Many others of all faiths and ethnicities have a different view.

Sixteen years ago I wrote:

“Equating the wrongdoing of Israel with Jewishness is the deepest and most insidious form of anti-Semitism of all.”

It is ironic that it is the Israel lobby that is today doing this equating, and that it has worked to invert the very meaning of antisemitism itself. Rather than denoting only abhorrent behavior, as it once did, today the term is often officially applied to what many consider courageous actions against oppression.

More troubling, still, these lobbying groups are working to outlaw conduct that numerous people (including many Israelis and Jewish Americans) consider morally obligatory.

It seems imperative for Americans who wish for justice and peace in the Middle East, and who oppose Orwellian distortions of language and law, to speak out against this campaign – while we can.

Alison Weir is executive director of If Americans Knew, president of the Council for the National Interest, and author of Against Our Better Judgment: The Hidden History of How the U.S. Was Used to Create Israel

*     *     *

Timeline for creating new Israel-centric definition of antisemitism

Following is a timeline of some of the key events in the creation, promotion and adoption of the Israel-focused definition of antisemitism. It provides an outline, but does not include every step of the process, all the key players, or every action.

1991 – Jean Kahn is elected president of the European Jewish Congress at its plenary session in Israel. He announces an ambitious agenda, including demonstrating solidarity with Israel and European countries coordinating legislation to outlaw antisemitism.

1997 – Kahn “convinces 15 heads of state” to create the The European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia to focus on “racism, xenophobia and antisemitism.”

2000 – The Monitoring Centre issues a position paper calling for the definition of antisemitic offenses to be “improved.”

2003 – Israel’s minister for diaspora affairs Natan Sharansky founds the Global Forum against Anti-Semitism, stating: “The State of Israel has decided to take the gloves off and implement a coordinated counteroffensive against anti-Semitism.”

2004 – Sharansky, who is also chair of the Jewish Agency for Israel, issues a position paper that lays out the “3-D Test of Anti-Semitism:” statements that “demonize” Israel, apply a “double standard” or “delegitimize” Israel are “antisemitic.” These will form the blueprint for new definitions adopted by lobbying organizations and finally governments.

2004 – US Congress passes law establishing special office and envoy in the State Department to monitor antisemitism that includes statements about Israel under this rubric. (Sharansky is witness at Congressional hearing.)

2004 – American Jewish Committee directors Kenneth Stern and Rabbi Andrew “ Andy” Baker work with Israeli professor Dina Porat to draft a new antisemitism definition and push the Monitoring Centre to adopt it, according to Stern. Their draft drew on Sharansky’s 3 D’s.

2005 – Monitoring Centre issues a “Working Definition of Anti-Semitism” that includes Sharansky’s 3 D’s, based on Stern et al’s draft. While standard dictionary definitions of antisemitism didn’t even mention Israel, fully half of the newly devised Monitoring Centre definition referred to Israel.

2007UK’s National Union of Students (NUS) adopts the new antisemitism definition focused on Israel, after pro-Israel students introduce a motion misleadingly entitled “AntiRacism: Challenging Racism on Campus and in Our Communities.” Some student unions at various UK universities then follow suit.

2008 – The first U.S. State Department Special Envoy on antisemitism, Greg Rickman, endorses the Monitoring Centre working definition in State Department report to Congress. (Rickman later went to work for AIPAC.)

2009 – The Inter-parliamentary Coalition for Combating Antisemitism (CCA), which brings together parliamentarians from around the world, issues the London Declaration signed by then British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and others. The Declaration calls on governments to use the Monitoring Centre definition and to outlaw and prosecute such “antisemitism.” US Congressmen Ted Deutch and Chris Smith are members of the CCA’s steering committee.

2010 – Second US State Department Special Envoy on antisemitism Hanna Rosenthal officially adopts European Monitoring Centre definition; this is subsequently referred to as the State Department definition of antisemitism. Rosenthal creates course on antisemitism using this definition to train Foreign Service Officers.

2012Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under the Law is founded and immediately begins promoting the new definition. Within a year it launches an initiative to establish student chapters at law schools throughout the U.S.

2013 – Successor organization to the European Monitoring Centre (called the European Fundamental Rights Agency) quietly drops the working definition from its website. When questioned about this, the agency’s director says the organization had “no mandate to develop its own definitions.” (Groups using the definition continue to use it.)

2014 – Mark Weitzman, Director of Government Affairs at the Simon Wiesenthal Center, with help from Ira Forman and Nicholas Dean of the U.S. Department of State, initiates efforts for another agency to adopt and promote the working definition of antisemitism.

2015 – European Commission creates a special position to coordinate work on combating antisemitism, appointing German Katharina von Schnurbein to the post. Schnurbein proceeds to promote use of the Israel-centric definition. 

2015 – Indiana University passes resolution denouncing “anti-Semitism as defined by the United States State Department and will not fund or participate in activities that promote anti-Semitism or that ‘undermine the right of the Jewish people to self-determination.’” University of California Santa Barbara and UCLA also pass such resolutions.

2016 – The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), consisting of 31 Member Countries, adopts the definition; the goal is to inspire others to also adopt “a legally binding working definition.” An analyst writes that the IHRA action is “a potentially crucial tool for forcing governments and international agencies to confront and take action.”

December 2016 – U.S. Senate passes law to apply the State Department’s definition of antisemitism to the Education Department, for use in investigating reports of religiously motivated campus crimes. Now the law defines actions connected to criticism of Israel as “religiously motivated.”

December 2016 – UK announces it will formally adopt the Israel-centric definition–the first country to do so besides Israel. UK Prime Minister Theresa May made the announcement during a talk before 800 guests at the Conservative Friends of Israel’s annual lunch.

December 2016 – Adoption of the definition by the 57-member Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), which had been heavily lobbied by the American Jewish Committee, is blocked by Russia. The AJC then says it will push for individual member states to adopt it.

March 2017 South Carolina House of Representatives passes legislation under which the State Department’s definition “would be used in probes of possible anti-Semitism at state colleges and universities.” The Senate version will be discussed in 2018. Similar bills are being considered in Virginia and Tennessee.

March – May 2017 – Resolutions adopting the Israel-centric definitions are passed by student governments at Ohio’s Capital University and Kent State, California’s San Diego State University and at other campuses around the U.S.

April 2017

  • Austria adopts the definition. (The Austrian justice minister previously announced that the new definition would be used in the training of new judges and prosecutors.)
  • The ADL, which uses Israel-centric definition of antisemitism, announces that antisemitism has risen by 86 percent in 2017, but includes questionable statistics. News organizations throughout the U.S. report the ADL claim.
  • Reports that Trump administration budget cuts might cause special antisemitism envoy position to remain vacant provokes outrage among Israel lobby groups and others. Samantha Power calls for entire Trump administration to focus on antisemitism. Soon, Trump administration says it will fill post.
  • All 100 US Senators send a letter to UN demanding it stop its actions on Israel and connects these to antisemitism.

May 2017 –

  • Israel-Britain Alliance begins asking candidates for Parliament to sign a pledge that they will support the new definition.


[1] I’m using the newer, unhyphenated spelling of this word, which seems to be growing in popularity. I feel it is a more appropriate spelling, since the hyphenated version suggests that it refers to all Semites, which is incorrect. The word was created in 1879 specifically to refer to anti-Jewish prejudice.

[2] Former Israeli parliament member Shulamit Aloni explained this in a 2002 interview with Amy Goodman on Democracy now. “It’s a trick. ” she said. “We always use it. When from Europe somebody is criticizing Israel, then we bring up the Holocaust. When in this country people are criticizing Israel, then they are ‘anti-Semitic’.

Aloni noted that the pro-Israel lobby in the United States “is strong, and has a lot of money.” She continued: “Ties between Israel and the American Jewish establishment are very strong … their attitude is ‘Israel, my country right or wrong.’”

“It’s very easy,” she said, “to blame people who criticize certain acts of the Israeli government as ‘anti-Semitic’ and use that claim to justify everything Israel does to the Palestinians.”

Examples abound of critics of Israel silenced in this way. One telling story is that of once-famous journalist Dorothy Thompson, who was virtually erased from history after writing about the Palestinian cause. Read about her here and here.

[3] Dictionaries all agreed on this meaning, with one exception that caused considerable outrage. This was Merriam-Webster’s mammoth unabridged dictionary, which included a second meaning: “opposition to Zionism: sympathy with opponents of the state of Israel.”

When some people discovered this extra, Israel-related meaning in 2004 and raised objections to it, there was a general outcry that the additional meaning was inaccurate and should be removed, including by New York Times columnist and linguistics arbiter Jeffrey Nunberg, who wrote that it “couldn’t be defended.”

Merriam-Webster responded by saying that the extra meaning would “probably be dropped when the company published a new unabridged version in a decade or so.” The company hasn’t published a new version yet, but it seems to have followed through with this decision. The online version of the unabridged dictionary, which says it is updated with the latest words and meanings, makes no mention of Israel or Zionism.

[4] An increasingly common Israeli talking point is the claim that it’s antisemitic to deny the Jewish people their “right to self-determination.” This is disingenuous: Self-determination is the right of people on a land to determine their own political status, not the right of some people to expel others in order to form an exclusive state on confiscated land. In reality, the principle of self-determination would have had the Muslim, Christian and Jewish residents of historic Palestine forming a government for all of them, and today would give Palestinians living under Israeli occupation the freedom to determine their own destiny.

[5] Michael Whine, Jeremy Jones, Israeli Roni Stauber, Felice Gaer, Israeli Yehuda Bauer, Michael Berenbaum and Andy Baker, and later on, AJC’s Deidre Berger, previously an NPR reporter.

[6] The other witnesses were representatives of the Orthodox Union of Jewish Congregations, American Jewish Committee, U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council, Anti-Defamation League, National Conference for Soviet Jewry, B’nai B’rith International, World Jewish Congress, Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, Simon Wiesenthal Center, Shai Franklin, and Jay Lefkowitz of Kirkland & Ellis, LLP.

[7] An organization called Students Supporting Israel (SSI) takes credit for most of these initiatives. Created in 2012 at the University of Minnesota by Israeli Ilan Sinelnikov and his sister, Valeria Chazin, SSI now has chapters on over 40 college campuses around the U.S., at least three high schools, and some campuses in Canada. In 2015 Israel’s Midwest Consulate chose SSI to receive the award for “Outstanding Pro Israel Activism.” Campus Hillels are also frequently involved.

The bill at Chapman University passed but was vetoed. Another vote will probably be proposed in in the fall.

[8] For information on additional Israel-centered campaigns, see the works of Israeli strategist Yehezkel Dror, such as his paper “Foundations of an Israeli Grand Strategy toward the European Union

[9] The AJC’s Andy Baker reported: “It is part of police-training materials in the UK.”

[10] An antifa group in France, for example, reportedly shut down a talk by an anti-Zionist intellectual.

[11] A number of analysts have also suggested that some antisemitism may at times be an (inappropriate) response to Israeli violence and oppression of Palestinians. Yale Chaplain Bruce Shipman pointed out in a letter to the New York Times that an earlier period of reported rising antisemitism in Europe paralleled “the carnage in Gaza over the last five years, not to mention the perpetually stalled peace talks and the continuing occupation of the West Bank.” Israel partisans were outraged and Shipman was soon required to resign.

Posted in ZIO-NAZIComments Off on International Campaign Is Criminalizing Criticism of ‘Israel’ As ‘Anti-Semitism’

“Defamation” – An Israeli’s examination of the ADL and anti-Semitism


Image result for anti-Semitism CARTOON

If Americans Knew

What is anti-Semitism today, two generations after the Holocaust? In his continuing exploration of modern Israeli life, director Yoav Shamir travels the world in search of the most modern manifestations of the “oldest hatred”, and comes up with some startling answers.

In this irreverent quest, he follows American Jewish leaders to the capitals of Europe, as they warn government officials of the growing threat of Antisemitism, and he tacks on to a class of Israeli high school students on a pilgrimage to Auschwitz.

On his way, Shamir meets controversial historian, Norman Finkelstein, who offers his views on the manner that anti-Semitism is being used by the Jewish community and especially Israel for political gain. He also joins scholars, Stephen M. Walt and John J. Mearsheimer, while they give a lecture in Israel following the release of their book “The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy”, about the disproportional influence the Israel lobby in Washington enjoys.

Yoav visits Yad Vashem, the Holocaust memorial museum in Jerusalem, the must stop for all world leaders on their visits to Israel. While in Jerusalem, he drops by the house of his grandmother that offers her insight on the issue and declares that she is the “real Jew”.

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Nazi Anti-Semitism Smears Backfire

Israel’s Anti-Semitism Smears Backfire
Image result for Anti-Semitism CARTOON
By Ann Wright | Consortium News 

An often-used tactic to squelch criticism of Israeli state policies toward the Palestinians is to call the criticism anti-Semitic. The sponsors of the event become afraid of the label, anti-Semitism, false as it is, and cancel the event to avoid any controversy. The tactic is used widely across Europe and the United States.

This week, the talk that I was to give in a room at the Rome City Hall about the Women’s Boat to Gaza and the conditions in Gaza was cancelled 24 hours before the event by the council member who had agreed to arrange for the room. His staff revealed that he had gotten intense pressure from the Israeli Embassy and Rome’s Jewish Community Association to stop the presentation.

But that was not the end of the story. In a fast-moving media blitz, organized by Italy’s Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions program, two of Rome’s newspapers wrote of the cancellation and several radio stations reported on it. BDS Italy scheduled a press conference about the cancellation in the plaza in front of the City Hall at the time the talk was scheduled. About 20 representatives of the news media attended, a much larger number than would have attended the talk itself.

Due to the number of media and the questions concerning the cancellation, Marcello de Vito, President of the Rome City Council, invited three of us to come into the City Hall to discuss the cancellation. This invitation provided us with the opportunity to discuss the conditions in Gaza and the West Bank and the nonviolent tactics such as BDS and Boats to Gaza to bring international attention to the harmful policies of the State of Israel.

From the questions, it was apparent that the President, another City Council member and their staff knew little about the Israeli blockade of Gaza, the illegal settlements, the apartheid wall, the numbers of Palestinian children and youth held in Israeli jails, and the theft of Palestinian resources by Israeli companies.

Something similar happened last year in Bayreuth, Germany, when the prize for Tolerance and Peace, which had been awarded to CODEPINK: Women for Peace, was cancelled by the Mayor after two reporters, known for writing spurious articles, alleged that CODEPINK was an anti-Semitic organization. Following an extensive letter-writing campaign from members of the German Parliament and others who know that CODEPINK’s actions challenging the policies of the State of Israel are not anti-Semitic, the Bayreuth City Council voted to reinstate the award amid much publicity.

Also, last year, a conference in which grandmothers who had been through World War II were to speak was cancelled because of similar allegations. Defenders of Israeli policies targeted 90-year old Hedie Esptein, a vocal critic of Israeli treatment of Palestinians, although her parents had been killed in the Holocaust and she had survived by being sent to England as a part of the Kindertransport,

Responding quickly to false allegations of anti-Semitism is key to blunting the Israeli government’s offensive toward those who challenge the illegal and inhumane policies toward Palestinians. In the case of the Rome cancellation, the pushback from BDS Italy created more publicity about the plight of the Palestinians than the event itself would have.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZIComments Off on Nazi Anti-Semitism Smears Backfire

EXCLUSIVE: The Campaign Against Anti-Semitism Accuses Jackie Walker of Holocaust Denial


Why?  Because they didn’t realise that she was quoting from David Ben-Gurion

The Campaign Against Anti-Semitism accuses Jackie Walker of Exonerating Hitler on the basis of a quote from David Ben-Gurion
Just some of the posts on the CAA web site.  Falter and friends have indulged in a continuous racist tirade against Jackie Walker – the trash that make up Labour’s Compliance Unit under Iain McNicol quote from this racist in disciplinary hearings against Jackie Walker

The CAA must have thought that it was Chanukah come early.  When they saw the Jackie Walker quote that the Palestinians had paid the price for the Holocaust, they had no hesitation in deciding that ‘Nazi’ and ‘Jackie Walker’ could only mean Holocaust denial, if not Holocaust justification.

Gideon Falter – the Campaign Against Anti-semitism’s master forger

You can imagine the atmosphere at the CAA after a long days work inventing anti-Semitism libels, distorting quotations and smearing all manner of opponents in and around the Left and the Labour Party.  People from John O’Groats to Lands End are all equally at risk of being targeted by the fiction writers of the CAA.  J K Rowling has nothing on the CAA’s Gideon Falter.  All this tedious work in order to persuade Britain’s Jewish community and gullible Jewish funders that Britain today is roughly at the same stage as Germany was in 1938 after Kristallnacht (yes they have actually said that).

Imagine the joy when news of a Jackie Walker quotation arrived.  What made it even more exciting was that she had mentioned the Nazis, Hitler and Auschwitz all in one go.  This was priceless, worth more than its weight in gold.  In the words of Margaret Thatcher, after the sinking of the Belgrano, ‘Gotcha’.

A typical Zionist troll repeats the libel whilst expressing fake outrage

On 7th February the CAA put up a post Jackie Walker has now posted a text on Facebook which asks whether Hitler can be blamed for the the (sic!) Holocaust, and leaves open the possibility that he was justified.

I hope you like those last few weasel words, ‘leaves open the possibility’ hint, hint, nudge, nudge.  She didn’t actually say it but we all know that she meant to say it!

Jackie Walker is the ideal target for Zionism’s masters of smear.  For one thing she is Black.  For another she is, in the words of the Jewish Labour Movement’s fragrant Director, Ella Rose tiny’.  And to make it even worse, she has the audacity to pretend that she is Jewish as well as Black when any half-decent racist and/or Zionist knows that that is impossible.  And the creme de la creme – she has been suspended from the Labour Party by Iain ‘Crooked’ McNicol on fake anti-Semitism charges.

No organisation has been more assiduous in making racist attacks on Jackie Walker than the Zionistcharity, the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism.  The CAA has put up no less than 19 articles on the web concerning the former Vice Chair and Black-Jewish member of Momentum.

You might think that the CAA would have difficulty with the following quote.  However that is to belittle the skills and brilliance of the CAA’s operatives.

Quoted by Nahum Goldmann in Le Paradoxe Juif (the Jewish Paradox) p.99.
The context in which Ben-Gurion made the statement he did

I know that standards of literacy are not what they were when I was at school.  Nonetheless I would still expect the average primary school child to understand that the above quote is neither trying to justify the Holocaust or exonerate Hitler.  However, that is to underestimate the ingenuity of Gideon Falter’s Campaign Against Antisemitism, who are to honest reporting what Bernie Madoff was to honest banking.  In short they are in a class of their own when it comes to distorting, twisting and inventing what people say.  The CAA puts the Sun to shame.  If they had covered the Hillsborough tragedy they would have described the death of nearly 100 Liverpool fans as an act of collective mass suicide.

Julius Streicher – Nazi gauleiter and editor of Der Sturmer provided a model that CAA have faithfully followed.  Streicher was hanged at Nuremburg after the war.

Although nothing in the quote remotely approximated to the suggestion that Hitler was not responsible for the Holocaust, still less that it was justified, people forget that words by themselves are irrelevant.  In the words of Humpty Dumpty, words mean what Gideon Falter wants them to mean.

Although those limp wristed pinkos at the Jewish Labour Movement had made all the running, it would be the true Zionists of the CAA who would drive the final nail into the coffin of Jackie Walker. Or perhaps the stake into her Black heart.

So on Tuesday 7th February the CAA put up yet another post attacking Jackie Walker for her evil anti-Semitism.  This one would without doubt finish her off.  Unfortunately there was just one small problem that even the collective genius of the CAA hadn’t foreseen.  The quote in question was not by Jackie Walker or one of her many anti-Semitic friends (because all friends of Jackie are anti-Semitic by definition).

It was a quote by David Ben Gurion, Israel’s first Prime Minister, explaining the reasons for Arab hostility to Israel and Zionism.  It wasn’t that they hated Jews or any of the nonsense that JAA come out with. It was because ‘we’ i.e. the Zionists had stolen their land.  And Ben Gurion recognised that it was no use justifying it with mention of Hitler, the Nazis or Auschwitz because that was not the doing of the Arabs either.

The JAA’s problem is that when you live in a permanent haze of Zionist propaganda and lies, nothing seems real after a while.  It all begins to feel like a wilderness of mirrors.  The idea that one of your own side might actually tell the truth for once is almost inconceivable.  However there can be no doubting the authenticity of the quote.  It appeared in the autobiography of Nahum Goldmann, The Jewish Paradox : A personal memoir (1978) p. 99.   Goldmann was the former President of the World Jewish Congress and the World Zionist Congress.   In it he describes a conversation at his home with Ben Gurion.

What could the CAA do to cover up having been caught in the act of fabrication?  Even the cry of ‘anti-Semitism’ might not sound altogether convincing!  Well the first thing was to delete the article.  The only problem was that people like me could still pick it up in the Google cache!   It’s gone now but not before I managed to capture a screen print.

Leaving aside the humorous side of this, what this shows is that the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism’s sole concern is to smear and besmirch any person, Jewish or otherwise, with the label ‘anti-Semite’ if they are opposed to Zionism or support the Palestinians.  The CAA are a classic McCarthyite organisation whose modus operandi is guilt by association.

The CAA are no more interested in eradicating genuine anti-Semitism than Stalin was in establishing workers’ control.  What they are in the business of doing is inventing evidence against anyone who is an opponent of Zionism using the weapon of anti-Semitism.

The CAA are the equivalent of what Michael Foot once called the Daily Mail in the wake of the Zinoviev letter – The Forger’s Gazette. They simply have no case for remaining a charity.  They provide absolutely no public benefit and nor are their purposes charitable.

What they have done is conned the Charity Commission into believing that they are genuinely interested in combating anti-Semitism and pursuing racial harmony whereas they are interested in the exact opposite.

Not surprisingly the CAA have tried to get Change.org to take down the petition To Get the Charity Commission to Deregister the Zionist Campaign Against Anti-Semitism which I put upIt now has 750 signatures and rising.  Please sign it and let change.org know that any attempt to remove it will be seen as an attack on freedom of speech.

Tony Greenstein

Posted in ZIO-NAZIComments Off on EXCLUSIVE: The Campaign Against Anti-Semitism Accuses Jackie Walker of Holocaust Denial

CAA is running scared that their ‘charitable’ status will be revoked


Campaign Against Anti-Semitism tries to intimidate Change.org to remove Petition criticising them





I’ve just found out that this was the original more racist infographic – now what do u think?  I think the silhouette is more racist but who cares, the CAA are racist scum regardless

The disgusting Islamaphobia of the CAA should be more than enough to debar them from human society let alone as a charity

I came home last night to an urgent email from Change.org.  Readers will know that I have sponsored a petition calling on the Charity Commission to deregister the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism because it is a nakedly political Zionist group.


Naturally a Black-Jewish woman who is an anti-Zionist is just too tempting a target for the CAA’s bile

Its letter to Change.org is clearly very rushed and shows every sign of panic.  They list 6 points and fail to number the first point.  They then repeat the first point in the 6th point.  They also can’t spell ‘documented’ and their grammar is extremely poor throughout.  It would seem that panic has set in among the arrogant threesome at CAA.  It has just dawned on them that vehement and persistent attacks on what they call ‘racist Labour’, their allegations that Jeremy Corbyn is personally anti-Semitic, their attacks on Jackie Walker, Shami Chakrabarti and Gerald Kaufman, have nothing whatsoever to do with charitable activities and are highly partisan.  Hence their panic attack.

Ludicrously they claim that they don’t libel opponents of Israel when that appears to be their main if not sole activity.

This was one of a number of threatening tweets sent to Becky Massey the day the CAA publicly attacked her as an anti-Semite – it doesn’t take a genius to work out what ‘an armed Jew’ means – the CAA refused as a matter of policy to condemn or even acknowledge the consequence of their McCarthyite tactics

The CAA say that their charitable activities are recognised by the Charity Commission which rather begs the question as to whether the Charity Commission actually know what the CAA are up to.  Either way they are going to find out!

The claim by the CAA that they are ‘scrupulously not partisan’ apart from being an example of their awkward English is laughable.  I have compiled just a few examples of their partisanship and bias.

The CAA is a vehemently anti-Muslim organisation – the above pamphlet clearly implies that Muslims support Hitler

They claim not to have elicited or provoked death threats.  There is no doubt that they have caused death threats.  Whether they have elicited them is a mute question.  Certainly they haven’t condemned them.

Jackie Walker merits 19 posts accusing her of being an anti-Semite.

Jeremy Corbyn merits no less than 73 posts!

Gerald Kaufman can only rack up 21 posts.

Steven Silverman – one of 3 CAA workers, their ‘enforcement officer’ and a loudmouthed bigot
Silverman’s words of wisdom

Silverman’s racist anti-Palestinian rhetoric
Theresa May also appears on the CAA’s site but there is a slight difference in the treatment of her and Corbyn

Theresa May also has 8 posts but unlike Corbyn they are complimentary for example CAA CONGRATULATES THERESA MAY and then they expect us to take seriously their claim that they are non-partisan.

When Netanyahu’s ex-adviser called America’s Jewish Ambassador, Daniel Shapira, a ‘Jew Boy’ – which is as anti-Semitic as it gets, I emailed the CAA asking for their reaction.  Judging by their non-response they didn’t have any!

You might say that the Tory Party today is not anti-Semitic.  But that is not true.  Eric Pickles, the Chairman of Conservative Friends of Israel is a good example of an anti-Semitic Zionist.  He was Tory Party Chairman when they decided to abandon their alliance in the European Parliament with the Christian Democrats and instead form the European Conservatives & Reform group with far Right parties, at least 2 of which were anti-Semitic.  The Chairman of the ECR was Michal Kaminski of the Polish Law & Justice Party.  He was an ex-neo-Nazi who had opposed a national apology for the burning alive of up to 900 Polish Jews in the war by fellow Poles.  Another member was Robert Ziles of the Latvian LNNK, who spent a Sunday every March marching with the veterans of the Latvian Waffen SS who helped guard concentration camps.

As even David Miliband observed:  “Eric Pickles, the Chairman of the Conservative Party, explained without a hint of shame that we should not condemn one of their new allies, the ‘For Fatherland and Freedom’ party, who every year celebrate the Latvian Waffen SS with a march past of SS veterans, because they were only following orders.’

You will not find even a cursory mention of this type of genuine anti-Semitism on CAA because their sole concern is anti-Zionism.

There are no less than 73 posts attacking  Corbyn as an anti-Semite

The latest ‘non-partisan’ post of the CAA PALESTINE SOLIDARITY CAMPAIGN SPEAKER CALLS ON JEWS TO “OVERCOME” SUFFERING OF THE HOLOCAUST is an attack on Bruce Kent, the former Catholic priest who spoke at the picket of Netanyahu on Monday.  The CAA are ‘appalled’ because Bruce Kent called on Jews to “overcome” the trauma of the Holocaust. Apparently ‘it cannot be overcome’.  Instead they should continue to suffer and non-Jews should understand that ‘one of its principal lessons is that Jews absolutely must have the right to self-determination, as embodied in the state of Israel’. I can’t think of anything more guaranteed to increase anti-Semitism than the pronouncements of the CAA.  The non-political CAA assert that ‘It is prejudiced to expect Jews to renounce all connection to Israel or be judged to be in some way deficient.’  On the contrary, it is a sign that Jewish communities outside are coming of age in rejecting the poisonous doctrines of Zionism.

There is nothing on the CAA site about the BNP, the main holocaust denying organisation in the UK

Below is the complaint that the CAA have made against the petition and beneath that is my response, which is lengthy.

This is what you can do

  1. Share the petition widely and get others to sign it.  It has just over 500 signatures now.  Let’s make it at least 1,000.
  2. Write to Change.org. at help@change.org and say  what you think about the attempt of this McCarthyite organisation to destroy freedom of speech.
  3. Make a formal complaint to the Charity Commission that the CAA breaches the stipulation on a charity being non-political and that its targeting of individuals is reprehensible and has no connection with public benefit or charitable purposes.  This is important because we need to put pressure on the powers that be to deregister this Zionist propaganda organisation.

The Campaign Against Anti-Semitism are the wild men of the Zionist Right.  They are widely disliked even amongst the more sane Zionists.  They tread on the turf of the CST, they are loud and  bombastic, they are dishonest in the surveys they run, they are overtly anti-Muslim.  There are numerous reasons to make a complaint and more to the point, this nasty little group is vulnerable because they haven’t taken any care over what they write or what they say.

Let’s sink them.

Tony Greenstein

CAA hate Jewish MP Gerald Kaufman, the Father of the House of Commons, because he supports the Palestinians.  Gerald used to be a strong Zionist but he became revolted by what he saw

Campaign Against Anti-Semitism’s Bogus Complaint


We do not libel opponents of Israel, we factually report the activities of antisemites. Claiming otherwise is severely damaging to our reputation.

  1. Our charitable activities are recognised by the Charity Commission and HM Revenue and Customs.  Claiming otherwise causes donors to doubt that our charity is legitimate and recognised by the relevant authorities.
  2. Our charity is scrupulously not partisan. Recently there has been a widely-docuemented rise of antisemitism on the left of British politics, particularly within the Labour Party. We report on anti-Semitism where it occurs, not according to a political bias. Charities are not permitted to be political organisations and the clear intention of this petition is to defame our charity to the Charity Commission.
  3. Our charity have not elicited or provoked death threats. If such threats have occurred they are by no action of our charity. Claiming otherwise is severely damaging to our reputation.
  4. Our charity is extensively engaged in fighting antisemitism from the far-right, including a private prosecution and judicial review being undertaken to secure prosecutions of fascists and Holocaust deniers.
  5. Our charity does not libel opponents of Israel, we factually report the activities of antisemites. Claiming otherwise is severely damaging to our reputation and the clear intention of this petition is to defame our charity to the Charity Commission.

All of the above statements are factually inaccurate for the reasons stated.

We cannot know the true identity of the person who created the petition.

We request that these details be withheld.

Response to Complaint of the Campaign Against Antisemitism

Thursday, 09 February 2017

Dear Change.org.,

Thank you for sending me a copy of a Notice of Complaint from the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism.  I reject, in its entirety, their assertion that the petition to which they object is, in any way, defamatory.  Truth is an absolute defence to a claim for defamation in the British libel courts.  I believe that the same is true for the American courts where the legal hurdles to obtaining judgment for the Claimant are even higher.

I have no objection to the Claimant having my name and email address.  I would, however, object to them having details of my address because of death threats that have already been made against their victims.  Sharing custody of a disabled boy it would jeopardise the safety of others besides myself.

The Claimant’s Notice of Complaint has clearly been drafted in a hurry because they forget to number point 1 of their NoC and then repeat the same point at number 6.  Coupled with their misspellings and poor English, this suggests that they have been seized by panic at the threat to their charitable status.

I will endeavour to explain in my response why our allegations are fully justified and part and parcel of free speech.  The CAA believes that they have license to attack people at will but they object to being the object of criticism themselves.

The purpose of the NoC is to get Change.org to take down a petition with which they politically disagree.  The truth often hurts.  There is nothing in it which is libellous and there is nothing in it which damages their reputation.  Any damage to their reputation stems solely from their own activities.

However this case will be a test of whether or not Change.org is willing to stand up for free speech against those forces which seek to destroy and undermine our basic liberties.  The petition is based solely on the activities of CAA as I will explain below.

My rebuttal of the CAA’s arguments should be read in conjunction with two blog posts which I have written concerning the activities of CAA.




The CAA state that they ‘PROMOTE RACIAL HARMONY FOR THE PUBLIC BENEFIT BETWEEN JEWISH PEOPLE WHEREVER IN THE WORLD AND OTHER MEMBERS OF SOCIETY BY THE ELIMINATION OF ANTISEMITISM’.  I disagree.  The CAA is a deeply racist organisation.  This is another reason why they should be deregistered as a charity.

The elimination of anti-Semitism and indeed all forms of racism is a noble enterprise and one to be lauded.  However the making of false accusations of racism and anti-Semitism against people who are not in the least anti-Semitic or racist is despicable.  To falsely accuse someone of anti-Semitism is not only wrong in itself but it lets those who are anti-Semites off the hook.  Genuine anti-Semites can easily point at the false allegations of anti-Semitism in order to disguise their racism.  This is not simply theoretical.  When Gilad Atzmon, an ex-Israeli jazz player who was indeed anti-Semitic, first appeared in Britain a decade ago, many people rejected the accusation that he was anti-Semitic, despite his using terms like the ‘Judaic code’ and alleging Jewish conspiracies to take over the Western world, precisely because people had become immunised by false accusations of anti-Semitism.  It was only after a long and hard campaign to convince people, in which I was heavily involved, that Atzmon was rejected by the Palestine solidarity movement and a statement was issued by Ali Abunmah and other leading Palestinians and Arabs, Granting no Quarter A Call for the Disavowal of the Racism and Antisemitism of Gilad Atzmon. You can read more about what I called the ‘boy cried wolf’ syndrome in an article I wrote for the Guardian newspaper, The Seamy Side of Solidarity.

The activities of the CAA, far from combating anti-Semitism are likely to lead to an increase in this form of racism.  As the CAA said in its Annual Anti-Semitism Barometer 2015 Full Report’ it was formed to tackle anti-Semitism of ‘both a classical ethno-religious nature and also a political nature related to Israel’. I suggest that the latter is their main concern.  I do not accept that opposition to Israel’s endemic and systematic racism has anything to do with anti-Semitism.  I oppose what Israel does to the Palestinians because of my opposition, as a British Jew, to racism.  It would be utterly hypocritical to oppose anti-Semitism and then condone racism against the Palestinians.

The CAA are a Zionist organisation which sees as one of its purposes the engendering of panic in the Jewish community by talking up ‘anti-Semitism’.  That is one reason why they search for anti-Semites where none are to be found.

The CAA has, through adept PR managed to generate headlines and publicity through the skewed use of opinion polls.  In its 2015 Report it claimed, through the use of distorted statistics, that an opinion poll showed that almost half(45%) of British adults believe at least one of the antisemitic statements shown to them to be true’. It asked questions such as ‘“Jews talk about the Holocaust too much in order to get sympathy.”  This is deemed anti-Semitism.  But this was a loaded question given that supporters of Israel repeatedly use the Holocaust as a shield to ward off criticism.  People see that Zionists talk about the Holocaust in a way that is seen to be politically manipulative.  Is a positive answer to this an indication of anti-Semitism? I think that is very doubtful with most people.

Apparently 1 in 5 people believed that “Jews’ loyalty to Israel makes them less loyal to Britain than other British people.”  Where can they have got this idea?  Possibly from Zionists?

Ha’aretz, Israel’s only liberal daily newspaper reported that on an Israeli Embassy survey Israel Asks U.S. Jews, Israelis: Where Do Your Loyalties Lie?  How many times have I been called a Jewish ‘traitor’ for not supporting Israel?    The whole basis of this accusation is that I owe a dual loyalty, indeed a higher loyalty, to Israel rather than the UK.

the Jewish Chronicle’s poll found, contrary to the CAA, that nearly 90% of British Jews had no intention of going to Israel

The CAA also conducted a thoroughly unscientific poll of British Jews in order to find ‘proof’ that most Jews were thinking about leaving Britain for Israel.  It found that:

58% of Jews believed that they had no future in Europe.

More than half of all British Jews feel that antisemitism now echoes the 1930s

1 in 4 British Jews has considered leaving the country in the past two years because of rising antisemitism. 

45% of Jews questioned feel their family is threatened by Islamist extremism.

77% of Jews questioned have witnessed antisemitism disguised as a political comment about Israel.

84% of Jews consider boycotts of businesses selling Israeli products to be intimidation &

82% say that media bias against Israel fuels persecution of Jews in Britain.

To say that these were loaded questions would be putting it mildly.  They were ideas put in the heads of people in order to gain an answer.  No attempt was made to put countervailing opinions to the audience.  For example it would have been equally possible to put a question such as ‘Is it legitimate to boycott settlement goods in order to pressurise Israel into a political settlement.’

Contrast this with a rigorously controlled, academic survey of the British Jewish community by the Department of Sociology at City University (November 2015).  This found that nearly a quarter, 24%, of British Jews supported sanctions to bring about a peace settlement.  Indeed there is what it calls a ‘sizeable minority’ supporting sanctions (34%-41%) among the young, the highly qualified academically, and those who are not affiliated to a synagogue; with much lower support (i.e. strong opposition) among older respondents, non-graduates and members of Orthodox synagogues11 (11% – 18% support).  The City University survey even more surprisingly found that whilst 59% identify as a Zionist nearly a third, 31% didn’t see themselves as Zionists.

Even the ardently pro-Zionist Jewish Chronicle poured cold water on the CAA’s findings’ with its own Survation poll.  Some 88% of British Jews in this poll stated that they had no intention of emigrating.  Jewish Chronicle 14.1.15. JC poll reveals 88 per cent of British Jews have not considered leaving UK 

The CAA poll was junk but it had served its purpose, which was to make Jewish people feel uneasy about their position in this country and whip up fears of anti-Semitism.  Zionist organisations see their goal as ‘helping’Jewish people to emigrate to Israel.  Using fears of anti-Semitism is one such method.

Under the title PROFILE OF BRITISH MUSLIM ANTISEMITISM (the CAA seem to love the use of capitals – which people normally take to be a form of shouting online)the CAA publish a highly racist and offensive cartoon of a typical Muslim male.  Far from introducing racial harmony, CAA seem determined to achieve the opposite.

To answer their points in the order that they made them:

  1. The Campaign Against Anti-Semitism’s state that ‘We do not libel opponents of Israel, we factually report the activities of antisemites.’

This statement can best be judged against the posting on the CAA’s site last Friday February 3rd 2017 entitledJUST ANOTHER DAY FOR RACIST LABOUR AS ANTISEMITIC TWEETS OF PARTY’S CHAIR IN HOVE, BRUNSWICK AND ADELAIDE REVEALED. This statement should be judged in the light of not only their first but their third point, viz. Our charity is scrupulously not partisan.’ 

This post appeared last Friday attacking Brighton Labour Party/Momentum and PSC member Becky Massey
– the ‘non partisan’ CAA routinely describes Labour as ‘racist Labour’
CAA’s attack on Israeli Marxist Professor Moshe Machover as a ‘terrorist supporter’

Not only does the above statement libel Becky Massey, who is not in any way anti-Semitic, but it also describes the Labour Party, the largest party in the UK, as ‘racist Labour’.  Another post to its side also refers to ‘racist Labour’.  If words mean anything then how can  CAA deny that they are a partisan group.  Do they call the Conservatives ‘racist’?  There is certainly much more evidence for this proposition, for example Boris Johnson, the Foreign Secretary’s reference to Black people’s as ‘piccaninnies’ and their ‘watermelon smiles’.

AIPAC the largest and wealthiest pro-Israel group in the USA openly calls itself the ‘Israel lobby’ yet Becky Massey’s references to the Lobby are a code for ‘Jewish Lobby’ according to the CAA

There isn’t a racist bone in Becky Massey’s body.  The idea that she believes Jews are racially inferior or that they should be subject to the same treatment in Britain as Palestinians in Israel is preposterous.  What is this allegation of anti-Semitism based on? Two tweets:

  1. That the Israel lobby manufactured the anti-Semitism crisis in the Labour Party.
  2. That Israel has the Tory and Labour parties under its control.

The first and most obvious point is that Becky refers to Israel, not Jews.  The only people who conflate Israel and Jews and hold the latter responsible for the former are anti-Semites!  There is a well founded belief that the Israel lobby in this country has indeed manufactured the false anti-Semitism crisis in the Labour Party.  That is not just my opinion.  It is for example the opinion of Professor Avi Shlaim, one of Israel’s foremost historians and Professor of International Relations at St. Anthony’s College Oxford.  In a recent interview, he stated that:

‘Anti-Semitism is not a real phenomenon within the Labour Party or any of the other major political parties.  There are anti-Semitic incidents, but they are usually related to Israel’s behaviour, to Israeli brutality… but I think that fundamentally that Israel, the Israeli propaganda machine and Israel’s friends in England, the Israel lobby in Britain deliberately confuse or conflate, and I stress they do it deliberately, anti-Semitism with anti-Zionism.’

There could be no clearer statement than this about the false anti-Semitism narrative that the CAA has devoted so much of its time and energy to perpetuating.  In their attack on Ms  Massey, the CAA state that:

According to the International Definition of Antisemitism, which was adopted by the British Government in December, prompting Labour to also claim that they adopt it, “Making…stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective — such as…Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions” is antisemitic.’

Ms Massey didn’t even mention Jews.  The CAA did!  The idea that the Israeli government somehow constitutes a ‘Jewish collective’ is in itself an anti-Semitic trope since it is based on the idea that all Jews, myself included, bear a responsibility for the actions of the Israeli government.

The ‘International Definition of Anti-Semitism’ that the CAA refer to is actually a reworking of the discredited EUMC Working Definition on Anti-Semitism which the European Union’s Fundamental Rights Agency discarded in 2013.  It was opposed by a large body of public opinion – including the University College (Lecturers) Union and the National Union of Students.  The CAA’s ‘international’ definition attempts to conflate criticism of Israel and Zionism with anti-Semitism.  See The EU has retired it’s ‘working definition’ of anti-Semitism – it’s about time

In their response to Becky’s assertion that the Israel lobby had manufactured the false anti-Semitism allegations against the Labour Party, the CAA alleged that ‘Since these allegations did not come from Israel but were from British Jews, the “Israel lobby” is a misnomer: she means a ‘Jewish lobby’.  This is an outrageous assertion.

Israel lobby’ is not a euphemism for a ‘Jewish lobby.’  It is how those groups campaigning for Israel in the West describe themselves.  The American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the most powerful and richest of the pro-Israel groups in the United States, says in its own press statement that ‘AMERICA’S PRO-ISRAEL LOBBY HOLDS ITS ANNUAL POLICY CONFERENCE IN WASHINGTON, D.C.’  Is AIPAC too anti-Semitic?  The CAA says:

That Massey she (sic) claims that Labour’s antisemitism crisis is a fabrication of the “Israel lobby” is truly ironic: for that antisemitism crisis rests squarely in the black hearts of individuals like her.’  The restrained language of the CAA when describing the ‘black heart’ of a woman they have never met and know nothing about proves that the CAA is an organisation out of control.

There is considerable evidence, e.g. in the recent Al Jazeera programmes, The Lobby, in which an undercover reporter spent six months gathering evidence from various pro-Israel groups, that the anti-Semitism controversy in the Labour Party has indeed been the subject of Israeli state interference.  Another example was a well researched article by Asa Winstanley How Israel lobby manufactured UK Labour Party’s anti-Semitism crisis.  It showed how the allegations of anti-Semitism in the Labour Party after Jeremy Corbyn was elected Leader were manufactured by the Israel lobby.

The CAA followed the allegations against Ms Massey up with more false allegation of anti-Semitism, this time against Emeritus Professor Moshe Machover, an Israeli Jewish Professor of Mathematical Logic at Kings College University in London.  Another restrained headline was ‘CAA lodges complaints over professor’s support for genocidal antisemitic terrorists’.  They alleged that ‘Professor Moshe Machover, who teaches philosophy at the University of London has been exposed for supporting Hamas, ‘a genocidal antisemitic terrorist organisation which is proscribed under the Terrorism Act.’ The CAA also alleged falsely that Machover said that Jewish students were under the control of the Israeli embassy.’

This is a thinly veiled attempt to use anti-terrorist legislation in order to inhibit and prevent freedom of speech and debate on university campuses.  CAA is fundamentally hostile to any notion of a free and democratic civil society.  Anti-terrorist legislation is designed to prevent terrorism not free speech.  If it does that then terrorism has won.

Machover gave a nuanced answer to a question about Hamas, which was clearly too complex and nuanced for CAA’s purposes.   The CAA said that ‘Universities have an obligation under the government’s Prevent counter-extremism strategy to ensure that speakers do not come onto their campuses to spread messages in support terrorism or hatred. Universities are obliged to stop such speakers from speaking on their campuses, not to leave students to “judge for themselves”.’  Again this is an outrageous accusation.  Machover was responding to a question about how and why Hamas exist.  Or is it not allowed to talk about such groups?

Moshe Machover is founder of the Socialist Organisation in Israel – Matzpen.  Moshe is also a personal friend.  As a Marxist Moshe certainly does not support Hamas politically, which he and I regard as a politically conservative and backward Islamic organisation.  However we recognise it and the Palestinian peoples’ right to resist Israel’s occupation.  A right all people living under occupation have under international law.

  1. The CAA state that their ‘charitable activities are recognised by the Charity Commission and HM Revenue and Customs.  Claiming otherwise causes donors to doubt that our charity is legitimate and recognised by the relevant authorities.’ 

Yes that is the whole point of the petition!  We are calling upon the Charity Commission to conduct an investigation into the CAA and reverse their decision to recognise it as a charity in the light of their uncharitable activities.  They are a McCarthyite organisation which targets and demonises individuals that they disagree with.  I realise that the CAA would like to be granted an immunity against criticism that they don’t accord to others, but we live in a democratic society.  I expect Change.org to support our right to make that criticism.

The CAA accuse people of ‘anti-Semitism’ at the drop of a hat but they have nothing to say about the high levels of racism in Israel,.  Since CAA see opposing ‘anti-Semitism’ of a ‘political nature related to Israel’ as their goal, then they have to face certain facts about Israel.  According to the Pew Research Centre’s Report Israel’s Religiously Divided Society a plurality, 48% of Israeli Jewish citizens support the physical expulsion of Israeli Arabs.

Anyone who dares to point out the staggeringly high level of racism in Israeli society is automatically pilloried as anti-Semitic by the CAA through a tendentious analysis of their speech and the making of quite unwarranted assumptions.  Only yesterday there was a report in the Israel’s Ha’aretz An Israeli Bar Put a Palestinian Beer on Tap. Then the Depressingly Expected Happened the subtitle is ‘Angry social media backlash and calls for a boycott followed the sale of Ramallah-made brew at a pub in Haifa.’  What kind of society is it in which an Arab beer causes a Boycott?  Yet this is standard in what is termed a Jewish state.  Because I oppose a Jewish state, which means Jews have privileges over non-Jews, I too according to the CAA am an ‘anti-Semite’.  Denying the collective right of Jews to a nation state, is also anti-Semitic.  100 years ago saying that Jews form one collective was an anti-Semitic proposition!

Far from combating anti-Semitism the CAA is responsible for increasing it by encouraging people to make the association between Israel’s racism and British Jews.

When the Charity Commission agreed to register the CAA they had no idea of what they were going to do.  I and a number of other people have made formal representations to the CC that the CAA are not a bona fide charity.  It is their fear of deregistration that is responsible for this bogus and patently false complaint to Change.org.

I expect Change.org to reject what used to be called a gagging writ, viz. an attempt to use the British libel laws to inhibit freedom of speech.  That great British crook, Robert Maxwell was well known for indulging in just this practice.  If Change.org bow to the CAA’s patently false complaint then they will irreparably damage their reputation in the United Kingdom.

  1. The CAA state that ‘Our charity is scrupulously not partisan. Recently there has been a widely-docuemented (sic!) rise of antisemitism on the left of British politics, particularly within the Labour Party. We report on anti-Semitism where it occurs, not according to a political bias. Charities are not permitted to be political organisations and the clear intention of this petition is to defame our charity to the Charity Commission.’

The misspelling, poor English and repetition of paragraphs demonstrate that this complaint is the result of panic.   They are well aware that their defaming of individuals, their partisan political attacks against public personalities and their hysterical McCarthyite language will not bear scrutiny.  Their logic chopping and attempts to confuse political concepts and social categories convince only themselves.  Their abuse of the term ‘anti-Semitism’ as a political weapon against anyone who criticises Israel is not a charitable activity.

The CAA accuse Shami Chakrabarti and Corbyn of Corruption

The statement that the CAA ‘is scrupulously not partisan’ demonstrates that at least the CAA possesses a sense of humour.  Every action of theirs is designed to be partisan.  I will give some examples, but they really are only a small selection:

  • In its attack on Rebecca Massey it states that ‘The Labour Party does not act on antisemitism. Even worse has been perpetrated by even more high-profile figures and yet has famously been dismissed after hearings in camera under the terms of the laughable Chakrabarti report.’  The Chakrabarti Report was a carefully considered report on the allegations of anti-Semitism in the Labour Party.  I disagree with much of it but I do so in measured not hysterical terms.  See Chakrabarti – A Missed Opportunity to Develop an Anti-Racist Policy for Labour

Baroness Chakrabarti, who is the highly regarded former Director of Liberty (the equivalent of the US’s ACLU) produced a Report on racism and anti-Semitism which found that:

The Labour Party is not overrun by antisemitism, Islamophobia or other forms of racism. Further, it is the party that initiated every single United Kingdom race equality law.

This conclusion was highly inconvenient to the CAA which is in the business of proving that anti-Semitism is everwhere in the Labour Party.  However this isn’t the experience of Labour Party members themselves. When Owen Smith, in a debate with Jeremy Corbyn, alleged that the Labour Party ‘had a shameful anti-Semitism problem’ members of the audience heckled him.  Why because no one treats this media manufactured story seriously.

Baroness Royal sat on the Chakrabarti tribunal.  She produced a Report into allegations of anti-Semitism at Oxford University Labour Club.  Royall found in her Report that I do not believe that that there is institutional antisemitism within OULC.’

The CAA however dismisses all such evidence as ‘laughable’ because it doesn’t fit into its preconceived narrative of widespread anti-Semitism in the Labour Party.

These are just a few samples of CAA’s naked political partisanship.  The suggestion that they are apolitical simply doesn’t stack up.

  1. The CAA states that ‘Our charity have not elicited or provoked death threats. If such threats have occurred they are by no action of our charity. Claiming otherwise is severely damaging to our reputation.’

I accept the fact that the allegations made may damage the reputation of the CAA, however it is a fact that the tweets making unabashed threats of violence against Becky Massey were a direct consequence of the false and defamatory article that CAA put up on its website.   They occurred the same day.  The CAA did not contact Ms Massey or  Professor Machover before pillorying them.  Their behaviour has been outrageous and has caused Ms Massey to fear for her physical safety since supporters of Israel are often extremely violent.

  1. Our charity is extensively engaged in fighting antisemitism from the far-right, including a private prosecution and judicial review being undertaken to secure prosecutions of fascists and Holocaust deniers.

The fact that there is no mention of the main fascist party in Britain, the British National Party or the English Defence League on their web site speaks volumes.  When searching for the EDL, it came up with 2 results – none of them to do with the EDL!  The above mentioned legal work is trivial.  Britain has tiny fascist organisations because organisations like the Anti-Nazi League and Anti-fascist Action made sure that their demonstrations never went unopposed.  The CAA are unknown in anti-fascist circles.

Tony Greenstein

E-mail from Change.org to Tony Greenstein concerning petition


Thank you for using Change.org. We’re writing to let you know that we received a ‘Notice of Complaint’ from the Campaign Against Antisemitism requesting to remove certain statements of the petition on the grounds that this content is defamatory of the organization. We are enclosing the formal Notice of Complaint for your review. At the request of the claimant, we have removed his/her name and contact information.

Change.org is an open platform and we care deeply about free speech and empowering our users to create the change they want to see. However, when you use Change.org, you agree to our Terms of Service and Community Guidelines, and this includes agreeing not to violate third party rights such as defaming others.

This Notice of Complaint compels Change.org to act within five days of receiving it, and therefore we require a response from you as soon as possible. We want to make sure you have the facts for your own protection and to give you the opportunity to amend or remove the petition.

Please let us know by February 13, 2017 if you:
consent to the removal of the allegedly defamatory statements as identified in the Notice of Complaint; or
alternatively, if you wish to maintain the petition
consent to Change.org sending your user name and email address to the claimant; or
alternatively, if you would like to provide other contact information so that you and the claimant can correspond directly about this claim.

Please be assured that if you do not consent to sharing your contact information with the claimant, we will not share this information unless instructed by a court order. We will also notify you of such a court order to give you a chance to oppose it.

If we do not hear from you by February 13, 2017 with all of the information listed above, we will be obliged to remove the petition per the Notice of Complaint.

We are sorry that your petition resulted in legal claims and we wish there was more that we could do to support you but, as mentioned, unfortunately we are legally compelled by this Notice of Complaint.

Please do let us know if you have any questions, and thank you again for using Change.org.

(From US Office/Help desk)

Posted in ZIO-NAZIComments Off on CAA is running scared that their ‘charitable’ status will be revoked

There is no anti-Semitism in Britain

Jerry Lewis of Hampstead Synagogue

Gilad Atzmon writes:

At the end of October 2016 we learned from the British Jewish media that the police were called to University College London (UCL)  amid claims of common assault and verbal intimidation by “pro-Palestinian protesters” at an event featuring an Israeli speaker.

We had to wait another three months for a single honest Jew, Jerry Lewis of Hampstead Synagogue, to admit in front of the notorious ultra-Zionist Board of Deputies of British Jews that the incident at UCL was actually instigated by Jewish groups that have nothing to do with the Jewish student community.

At least one of those Jewish groups is funded by Israel, according to Mr Lewis. These groups invoke “hatred” against Jews because this is how they justify their existence and sustain their funding, he added.

In the light of the recent Aljazeera exposé on how Israel uses the Zionist lobby to penetrate the British system, the Foreign Office expel the Israeli ambassador, Mark Regev.

Posted in ZIO-NAZIComments Off on There is no anti-Semitism in Britain

Cynically Using Anti-Semitism to Attack BDS

A BDS march held on May 15, 2010. A classic bait-and-switch operation is designed to whip up opposition to BDS and Palestine solidarity organizing on college campuses.

A BDS march held on May 15, 2010. A classic bait-and-switch operation is designed to whip up opposition to BDS and Palestine solidarity organizing on college campuses. (Photo: Stephanie Law / Flickr)

The election of Donald Trump has been accompanied by an alarming rise in anti-Semitism. Trump appointed Steve Bannon, an open anti-Semite, to be his senior counselor, and in the days after the election, there was a dramatic uptick in anti-Semitic incidents.

Given this, you might be tempted to regard the U.S. Senate’s passage, by unanimous consent, of a bill called the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act as a welcome measure in dark times.

Unfortunately, you would be mistaken.

Despite the bill’s title, it is actually part of the ongoing and intensifying effort by pro-Israel advocates to silence campus organizing in support of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement. The legislation is really directed at opposition to Israel’s apartheid system — being against Israel is synonymous with “anti-Semitism.”

The bill is a bipartisan effort sponsored by Sens. Bob Casey (D-Pennsylvania) and Tim Scott (R-South Carolina) to, they say, “combat increasing incidents of anti-Semitism on college campuses nationwide.” According to Casey’s press release, “The Senators joined together to ensure the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) has the necessary statutory tools at their disposal to investigate anti-Jewish incidents.”

The bill is backed by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), the Jewish Federations of North America and the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

But like a growing list of laws and legislation, the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act uses the code word of “anti-Semitism” to justify a crackdown on Palestine solidarity efforts, particularly on college campuses.

According to The Intercept, the bill:

encourages the Department of Education to use the State Department’s broad, widely criticized definition of anti-Semitism when investigating schools. That definition, from a 2010 memo, includes as examples of anti-Semitism “delegitimizing” Israel, “demonizing” Israel, “applying double standards” to Israel, and “focusing on Israel only for peace or human rights investigations.”

In other words, it encourages the labeling of legitimate political positions criticizing the policies of the Israeli government as “anti-Semitic.”

In case it weren’t clear enough what the bill is actually meant to do, the ADL confidently tweeted on December 2, the day after it passed the Senate: “Worried about anti-#Israel activity on campus? We drafted a law that will help show when it’s gone too far.”


Not only are bills like this not targeted at actual anti-Semitism, but they are dangerous because they conflate anti-Semitism and legitimate criticism of Zionism, thus mystifying what is and what is not an incident of anti-Semitism and making it harder to identify and fight this type of bigotry.

Labeling all criticism of Israel “anti-Semitic” weakens the fight against actual anti-Semitism by aiming the efforts of those genuinely seeking to oppose it at the wrong targets. In particular, it directs outrage at Palestinians who are the victims of Israel’s drive to colonize Palestinian land. That’s precisely what the architects of this bill want, but anyone who is a consistent anti-racist should reject this.

As someone who has been the target of anti-Semitism — for example, here and here — I think that everyone, but especially Jews, should speak out against this bill, which will do nothing to make it safer for Jews or any other oppressed groups living in Trumpian times. Jewish Voice for Peace has already begun to do this work, and I applaud them for it.

Instead of this counterproductive legislation, it is the continuation of protests by thousands of people — like the one that recently drove Steve Bannon out of New York — that will make it safer for Jews and other oppressed groups.

And when Zionists and university presidents try to use the rhetoric of “safety” to silence BDS activists, we must shine a spotlight on their hypocrisy. Such sanctimonious words ring hollow when university administrators arm campus police against the protestations of students and ignore student activists’ concern about armed right-wingers turning up at organizing meetings.

Since the advent of Israel, Zionists have tried to wed the question of Jewish liberation to the question of developing a Jewish state, an explicitly racist colonial project. But the construction of an apartheid state won’t secure Jewish liberation, but instead perpetuate the hold of racism and nationalism that will inevitably produce bouts of anti-Semitism as well — witness the incoming Trump administration.

Jewish liberation requires connecting the fight against anti-Semitism to the fight against racism of any sort, including the fight for Palestinian liberation from Zionists’ racist efforts to deny Palestinian rights.

Posted in ZIO-NAZI, CampaignsComments Off on Cynically Using Anti-Semitism to Attack BDS

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