So Shall You Reap

The distressing news that Israel’s Deputy Ambassador to the UK had been attacked by violent ‘pro-Palestinian’ protestors on April 28th at the University of Manchester came as no surprise to me: it is an event which has been in the making for a long time, the build-up to which I watched unfold with my own eyes during the time I worked on that campus.

Throughout Operation Cast Lead and for several weeks following it, the atmosphere on campus was one of aggression and menace as students staged demonstrations and occupied part of the university. Working in a building close to the Students Union, I found myself having to listen to hours of hostile chants through a megaphone and obliged to negotiate anti-Israeli posters, placards and demonstrations just to get out of the building and to the bus stop. On several occasions I was accosted by activists handing out of leaflets or soliciting donations. When I declined to contribute, a torrent of verbal abuse followed which became even uglier when the Star of David I wear was spotted. In February 2009 the Student Union newspaper reported that a Jewish SU leader had threatening graffiti scrawled on his door. Make no mistake; these protests were anti-Israeli, not pro-Palestinian.

Much of the activism at Manchester and other British universities is organised by a group called ‘Action Palestine’ which works together with organisations which will be familiar to many readers such as Jews for Justice for Palestinians, ICAHD UK, Friends of Al Aqsa, Machsom Watch, The Palestine Solidarity Campaign, BRICUP and the Stop the War Coalition. Among these organisations, Machsom Watch and ICAHD at least have received EU funding which they use to promote the delegitimisation of Israel. ICAHD UK advocates a boycott of Israeli goods based upon what it calls ‘the Manchester model’. In other words, the harassment of Israeli and Jewish students and staff at British universities is being aided by organizations receiving funding from British tax payers via the EU.

In December 2009, BRICUP organised a tour of several British universities including Manchester by the notorious South African trade union leader Bongani Masuku, together with Ronnie Kasrils and Omar Barghouti. At the time, my objections to the university hosting such promoters of hatred were dismissed on the basis of ‘academic freedom of expression’. In February 2010 an exhibition of Israeli science and technology at the Manchester Museum of Science and Industry was the target of a campaign by assorted pro-Palestinian groups whose letter of objection to the exhibition was published in the then Guardian Media Group owned Manchester Evening News as well as in the Guardian itself. Also in February, Ms. Lador–Fresher was forced to cancel her planned talk at the University of Manchester due to a campaign by Action Palestine which included demonstrations and the statement that “we are calling a Protest against Israeli War Crimes in Palestine at 2 pm outside the Students Union steps before the Pol Soc meeting on the 18th to show Mrs Talya Lador-Fresher that neither she or the state she represents are welcome on the premises of our democratically run Union that prides itself on being a student-run establishment which does not endorse nor fund apartheid regimes responsible for the deaths of thousands of innocent civilians. “

Despite this, Ms Lador-Fresher bravely tried once more to exercise her right to speak at the university’s Political Society this week. The intimidation she suffered as a result gives out a very clear message: the basic rights of Israelis to free speech and personal safety are being deliberately suppressed by these activists. There is to be no opportunity for debate, no exchange of ideas and no respect for differing points of view. This is a generation of students which is not only being raised to believe that Israel is an illegitimate, apartheid state, but which is being denied the opportunity to discover any differing point of view on the subject. This is also a generation which is being raised with warped ideas of democracy in which the rule of intimidation and menace prevents the expression of ideas and beliefs deemed unacceptable to those who promote their political agenda by shouting down others. It is a generation for whom the concept of the human rights of one minority group- Jews- to freedom of expression and self determination are already foreign, and it would be a mistake to believe that such disregard will begin and end with Jews. Worryingly, it is also the generation from which Britain’s future leaders will spring, and that should be cause for concern to every right-thinking person in British society today.

The BDS Golem

Certain comments on the CiF article of April 19th written by the President and founder of the American Task Force on Palestine, Dr. Ziyad Asali, provided yet another interesting insight into the manner in which the BDS movement is rapidly morphing into a golem over which its creators have no control.

Asali himself was careful to stress that his support for a PA-led boycott of goods produced in Judea & Samaria does not extend to a boycott of Israeli goods as a whole: “Palestinians should avoid counterproductive measures, such as calls for wide-ranging boycotts that target Israel itself, as opposed to the occupation”, but some commentators were quick to reject this call, implying that Asali’s approach indicates that he cannot speak for the Palestinian people.

weseire

19 Apr 2010, 11:46AM

I agree with everything, except the boycott strategy. All Israeli goods are fair game, as the state of Israel is responsible for the occupation, so a boycott of all there good is perfectly reasonable response to the occupation.

boblondon

19 Apr 2010, 12:05PM

Palestinians should avoid counterproductive measures, such as calls for wide-ranging boycotts that target Israel itself, as opposed to the occupation.

Fair enough, you entitled to your opionion, but the Palestinions Boycott, divestment and sanctions committee call for a complete boycott of Israel, and they represent the entire Palestinian grassroots, trade unions, popular comittees, ngos, and are more representative of palestinians than the American Task Force on Palestine, so ill take my instructions on what to boycott from them, which is the total boycott of Israel until’

a) the occupation is ended
b) the refuggees can go home
c) palestinians in israel receive full equal rights

Gabriel1234

19 Apr 2010, 1:19PM

Personally, I will boycott anything that comes out of Israel. The soldiers who bulldoze the homes, crack the skulls and look the other way while settlers uproot trees, beat on Palestinians and enforce checkpoints and Israeli-only roads are all Israelis.

How could it not make sense to also boycott Israel’s goods? They are the lifeline for the settlements, they promote them and arm them. The Israeli gov’t uses them to keep promoting instability amongst the Palestinians.

Of course I’ll boycott *all* Israeli goods.

I’ll also work to vote out all the cowardly politicians in America that bow to AIPAC’s demands and vote to send Israel military aid.

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How to Fight Delegitimization

This is a cross-post by Eran Shayson of an article published in JewishJournal.com. Eran is a senior analyst at the Reut Institute, which recently published its report “The Delegitimization Challenge: Creating a Political Firewall,” on the global campaign confronting Israel.

My team and I at the Reut Institute in Tel Aviv recently published a comprehensive report on the intensifying global campaign aimed at delegitimizing Israel. In the report, we emphasized the importance of distinguishing between criticism of Israeli policy on the one hand, and efforts to delegitimize Israel’s existence and undermine its right to exist on the other. Delegitimization is about negating Israel’s right to exist or the right of the Jewish people to self-determination. Thus, even unfair or biased criticism of Israeli policy is not necessarily equivalent to delegitimization.

Two distinct and independently operating forces drive Israel’s fundamental delegitimization. The first of these is the Middle East-based resistance network, comprising Iran, Hezbollah, Hamas and additional Palestinian and Islamic factions. The resistance network advances a strategy of implosion that aims to precipitate Israel’s internal collapse by undermining attempts to end its control over the Palestinian population, delegitimizing Israel and, at the same time, conducting asymmetric warfare on the battlefield and against Israel’s civilian population.

The second force driving Israel’s delegitimization is a Western-based delegitimization network, made up primarily of elements of the radical European left. A relatively small group of anti-Zionist Jews and Israelis amplifies their message, which then reverberates throughout Islamic communities in the West. These groups aim to challenge the State of Israel’s moral and judicial legitimacy and seek to turn Israel into a pariah state.

The concurrent ripeness of these two networks in the Middle East and the West may be coincidental, but the two dynamics create a predicament for the Israeli-Palestinian peace process that can be seen unfolding on the ground. While the Middle East-based resistance network sabotages every move aimed at separating Israel from the Palestinians on the basis of a two-state solution, the West-based delegitimization network seeks to isolate Israel and promote, tacitly or explicitly, a one-state solution. The feedback loop arising from these two separately emerging processes in the East and West poses a threat to Israel’s political and economic model and has gained strategic significance in recent years.

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Human Righteous Watch

Back in September of last year, we ran a piece about how Guardian Middle East Editor Brian Whitaker has come to the defense of Human Rights Watch when a poster mentioned their efforts at raising money from Saudi Arabia by emphasizing the organization’s critical positions on Israel.

Brian sprung to action by entering the thread defending against the attempted “smear” of HRW. Needless to say, he was proven wrong.

What has since emerged though is that we at CiF Watch may have been wrong also. Not about the Saudis, HRW or Whitaker but about Mark Garlasco. The Nazi memorabilia collecting military expert at the employ of HRW at the time. It turns out Mark is a collector of army memorabilia from a few nations along with Germany and it also seems that despite his fetish of having iron crosses on his T shirts, he was among the few actual defenders of the Jewish state’s military actions due to his military background himself and general familiarity with the Middle East and its complexities.

We stand corrected.

- Still, Mark, the Iron Cross T Shirt wasn’t the best wardrobe choice.

Of course having satisfaction at seeing Mark as the strongest defender of Israel at HRW is still a big pill to swallow. So for water lets read this next piece by Benjamin Birnbaum in the New Republic published yesterday, titled Minority Report Human Rights Watch fights a civil war over Israel.

Please read the whole thing as it not only sheds light on the increasing anti-Israel and anti-war (of any kind) bias of the organization but tells us about how some members of this organization, up to its founder and former chairman, have found themselves in a climate so biased against Israel that only through airing these dirty sheets in public would they have any chance at redressing them. A decision not taken lightly by any institution these days. The piece navigates the reader through the famous road marks of Goldstone, Gaza, phosphorous and Hamas tactics with the occasional view of the “Right of return” and other goodies guaranteed to satisfy any reader familiar with the Israel-Palestinian conflict and familiar with the workings of institutions built on noble callings only to become servants of the self righteous.

Vote for Idiotic Comment of the Day

As Clive63 pointed out yesterday before his comment was deleted, the Munnayer thread provided another veritable opportunity for more anti-Israel two-minute hate (actually eleven hours hate to be more precise).

But rather than focus on the vilest of comments, for a change I thought we would take a look a selection of some of the more idiotic comments on the thread and have you vote on what is the most idiotic of them all.

First up, we have our old friend Steve Hill, the wannabe terrorist.

From Kassam rockets to asteroids. Whatever next. What thoughtless disregard for human life.

For our second offering, we have this truly bizarre analogy from Arjan.

Hmm. This one leaves me stumped. Maybe I’ve been up too long anyway thoughts on what Arjan could possibly mean are welcome.

For our third comment, we have the topsy turvy world of orwellwasright with this.


You really have to wonder how far removed from reality certain posters are when there was a rocket attack as recently as a few days ago, that last month a Thai worker was tragically killed by a Kassam rocket and that according to the Sderot Media Center there have been 348 Kassams fired since the end of Operation Cast Lead. But heh its all a figment of our paranoid Zionist imaginations.

Fourth and final comment is by CiF’s acting production editor who appears to be the new kid on the block in the I/P threads.

Well Nick, all I can say is they don’t call it the Grauniad for nothing.

Anyway, cast your votes in the poll below and share with us the reason for your selection  in the comment thread. Polls close in two days.

Wishing Us Away

Aluf Benn’s recent article of April 6th was a strange one; I do sometimes wonder if he and I live in the same country. His opening statement concerning the proportion of Arab and ultra-Orthodox first graders compared to the secular Jewish population is unfortunately not backed up by any actual statistics, but one should of course take into account that today’s primary school children are the result of birth rates at least six years old and that more recent trends indicate that both the Muslim and Haredi birth rates are declining, whilst the overall Jewish birth rate is rising.

We have also seen in recent times both an increase in the number of Israeli Arabs volunteering for military service and the continued recruitment into units such as the Nahal Haredi – both very positive trends. Unfortunately, Benn does not provide us with the source of this following statement either: “the IDF chief of staff, warned that given the demographic trends, “within a decade or two, only few will be drafted”. It is impossible without the context to understand to which trends the Chief of Staff was referring, but one particularly worrying one –albeit political rather than demographic – is found among secular left-wing youth trying to avoid conscription with the encouragement of organizations, often foreign-funded, such as ‘New Profile’.

Benn’s claim that “the pool of new immigrants has dried,” is of course not strictly true; half the world’s Jews still live outside Israel and the rising tide of world-wide antisemitism is causing significant numbers of them to consider making their home in Israel, as well as bringing Israelis living abroad home. When I recently sought to arrange my return to Israel, I was delighted to be informed that my application for ‘returning citizen’ status may take longer than normal to process due to an unusually high volume of applications.

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Shlomo Sand’s Lies Don’t Go Away

This is a cross post from Emet m’Tsiyon

Shlomo Sand has become the Great White Hope of the anti-Zionists. Sand, a Communist, claims that the Jews of today are not descended from ancient Jews but from just about anybody but the ancient Jews. He needs this to sustain the anti-Zionist effort to delegitimize Zionism, which Communists, like himself, have opposed since the days of Lenin and Stalin. After all, Zionism is a liberation movement of the Jewish people. If there was no Jewish people, then what was the reason for Zionism? Well, the Jewish religion has always viewed the Jews, often called Israel or People of Israel in the ancient writings, as an ethnic or national group as well as a religion. The Biblical books are in part a history of the people of Israel. Later, after the deportation by the Assyrians of most of the population of the Ten northern Tribes, the history of the remainder of the people, the Jews, originally the inhabitants of the Kingdom of Judah, later called Iudaei by the Romans. The Jewish prayers too consider the Jews –also called Israel– as a people or nation. Hence, the belief in the existence of the Jewish people has existed for three thousand years at least, wherever the traditional prayers were recited and the Bible and other ancient Jewish literature was studied.

But anti-Zionists, who pretend to believe in national self-determination in principle, need the denial of a Jewish people, at least in modern times. At the same time, Sand, as a Communist or Communazi, needed to prove that there is no Jewish people today in order to justify not only his anti-Zionism but in order to vindicate Stalin. One of the scientific obstacles to arguing against the continuity of the ancient Jews with modern Jews is a series of some dozen to two dozen genetic studies that indicate such a continuity. Of course, no genetic scientist argues that the Jews are a pure race or that Arabs are a pure race and the like. What they can do is show the similarities in modal DNA for Jews from different geographic regions ranging from Morocco to Minsk, from Berlin to Baghdad, etc. Scientific genetic studies have shown this as well as Jewish DNA resemblances to Syrian and Lebanese Arabs, even to Palestinian Arabs, to Armenians, and –to a lesser extent– to Kurds, Greeks, Italians and Turks [the modern Turks of Turkey are actually mainly descended from peoples living in Anatolia before the Turkish conquest, including Greeks, Armenians, Kurds, Jews, etc., as well as from Arab and Turkish nomad invaders]. So Sand and his cohorts have to get over the obstacle of scientific genetic research.

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The Upside Down World

This is a guest post by AKUS

There are times when not only do I detest the Guardian’s “Comment is Free” website, I wonder about the intelligence of those who run it. Presumably they (Brian Whittaker and Matt Seaton, primarily) do not simply post the rubbish that so frequently appears there, but actually read it first and approve it. Yet, especially with regard to articles about Israel, there seems to be clear evidence of a total inability or unwillingness to try to separate fact from fiction, or to keep articles off their website that are far removed from reality.

Surely it is time that the Guardian realized that its attempt to legitimize its incessant criticism of Israel by employing contributors simply because they are Jewish, or, in Antony Lerman’s case, having once had some affiliation with Israel (via the Habonim youth movement), does not hide their obvious bias?

Thus it is with Lerman’s latest article, Im Tirtzu: delegitimising the ‘delegitimisers’ , April 22nd, which is an attempt to turn the very real issue of the campaign to delegitimize Israel on its head – and blame Israelis for the sort of articles that he himself writes and the Guardian loves to print. It is, in fact, a rewrite of a similar article that appeared on April 19th on Jnews – Incitement against human rights groups on Israeli Remembrance Day – a blog dedicated to thrusting every negative article it can find or write about Israel in front of British readers, where Lerman is listed as a “Trustee”. The Jnews article lists its sources as NIF (New Israel Fund), Ha’aretz, Im Tirtzu, Adalah, PHR (Physicians for Human Rights) -Israel . With the exception of Im Tirtzu, of course, these are organizations that consistently attack Israel in the foreign press. Then, like a snake swallowing its own tail, Jnews lists Lerman’s Guardian article under its “Commentary” section.

What caught my attention in the comments to Lerman’s thread in the Guardian was how many actually took issue with his one-sided attempt to protect one of “his” favored groups, the New Israel Fund (NIF) by refusing to accept the truth behind the complaint that there is, in fact, a broad attempt to attack the legitimacy of Israel’s existence, and its role as a Jewish state – an accusation of racism never directed at the many countries that are proud to claim that they are Islamic states.

Lerman first takes issue with the term “delegitimization” of Israel (I’ve just added it to the dictionary on my computer, by the way). He opens fire with the statement:

“The word “delegitimisation” has become the most significant weapon in the rhetorical arsenal of those defending Israel against external and internal enemies.”.

Lerman’s intention is clear – he regards this as a sort of “dirty trick” used by Israelis and their supporters, even though he offers no alternative way for them to defend Israel’s positions:

“Outside Israel, pro-Israel groups and Jewish defence organisations use it to attack those who protest when Israeli officials speak in public, promote boycott campaigns and accuse Israel of apartheid policies”.

The definition of “delegitimization” given in the Merriam Dictionary, dating back to usage from 1968, is:

: to diminish or destroy the legitimacy, prestige, or authority of

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Pure Evil

As many of you may know by now, the plight of Gilad Shalit is close to our hearts unlike that of the vast majority of contributors to and editors of a certain prominent blog that we track.

Hamas has just released a video that can be described as nothing short of pure evil:


Of course this is not the first time that Hamas has sunk to such levels:


So next time someone in the comment threads of CiF shills for Hamas, ask them what they think about these two videos.

h/t Elder of Ziyon

SPEAKING OUT AGAINST BIG LIES

It began, as it so often does in the Western media, with opinions, unverified and sometimes deliberately misleading information presented “authoritatively” as fact, about atrocities and human rights infringements allegedly perpetrated by the IDF against Palestinians in Gaza.

This tendency on the part of the western and world media is nothing new.  It is often enough for their stringers simply to feed the anti-Israel beast what it needs without thinking too much about the context or the truth of what they are reporting, and that beast has a distinctly unhealthy and ravenous appetite for distortions and untruths about Israel which it digests and then excretes as “fact.”

Therefore when, in March, 2009 several major Israeli and international media outlets published testimony from IDF soldiers claiming that the army had committed war crimes in Gaza, the world media had a feeding frenzy and of course the Guardian was in the vanguard in the shape of Rory McCarthy.

The soldiers from a group calling itself Shovrim Shtika (Breaking the Silence) had given anonymous verbal testimony in which they said they remembered witnessing soldiers causing damage to Arab property, or had heard rumours that Arab civilians were used as human shields.  A subsequent IDF investigation found that the two soldiers who had first reported the alleged incidents had not seen the incidents themselves, and had no personal knowledge or first-hand witness experience to support the allegations.

In spite of a formal statement from the IDF, which set out how its investigations had been subsequently conducted and pointed up the shortcomings of the soldiers’ testimonies, the Guardian, for one, persisted in promulgating its distortions here and here.   It was evident that the Guardian had made up its mind and did not want to be confused by facts.  Of course there was no attempt to correct McCarthy’s initial “misperceptions.”  After all, they fitted squarely within the Guardian World View of “Israel = bad.”

Belatedly (and therefore arguably less effectively, for Israel has never been renowned for putting forward its own case proactively) counter evidence was gathered in the shape of statements of IDF soldiers about their own first-hand experiences of Cast Lead and the last Lebanese war.  All were filmed or photographed and their first names given. It is probably safe to say that you will not find reference to or mention of these in the western media. The organisation which collects their testimonies is called Soldiers Speak Out. Its detractors may argue that it too shows bias, and presents only those accounts which display the IDF in a positive light.

That may or may not be the case, but the reader is invited to examine the testimonies and compare their emphasis and method of delivery with those of Shovrim Shtika. I believe they score more highly because they are without the hyperbole one finds in the accounts of pro-Palestinian NGOs. These soldiers simply present the facts as they themselves witnessed and experienced them rather than as second- or third-hand embellished rumour.  Those testimonies being true, they had no need to resort to anonymity for they had the courage of their convictions unlike the members of Shovrim Shtika. The latter might argue, as did the “official” resident ex-IDF soldier on CiF, that they were afraid of reprisals but there are no accounts that there have been or will be any.

The following are some of the testimonies from Soldiers Speak Out and I have selected recurring themes which present in many of them – that of Hamas’ and Hizballah’s deliberate use of non-combatants as human shields, their deliberate use of civilian homes to store munitions (which is against international law) and their use of civilian cars and even ambulances to transport arms and ammunition.  Again, I doubt that references to these can be found in the mainstream western media and particularly not in the Guardian which lionises Hamas and Hizballah as freedom fighters:

First is Inon’s testimony from the last Lebanese war.  This has resonances with the statement of Fathi Hamad from Hamas, who is so very proud that Palestinian civilians are useful as human shields.

Then comes  Ovadia’s testimony.   The first situation he describes, of arms and ammunition hidden among children in the hope that the vehicles will not be searched, is common enough but, again, is rarely if ever reported in the western media and particularly not in the Guardian or on Comment is Free.  He also recounts how Palestinian children are routinely encouraged by Hamas and Fatah to throw stones at Israeli soldiers and the results of one episode when he was shot by a gunman embedded among those children.

Following on from that, Yoni’s testimony points up a routine infringement of Palestinian human rights and of international law by Hamas, when it stores ordnance in civilian houses and fires on Israeli positions from them.

It seems from the few examples referred to here that Palestinian civilian lives and safety are more important to the IDF than they are to Hamas.  Given the infamous and chilling declaration by Fathi Hamad above, this is scarcely surprising  - Hamas will bend any situation to be grist to their mill to cause misery to their own people, in order to twist the truth and blame that misery upon Israel.   Palestinian lives are cheap to Hamas and wasted without hesitation to score propaganda points.  It should be very surprising that the world media swallows this without question and thereby heaps coals on the fires of hatred.

Unfortunately, it no longer is.

The War on “Anti-Semitism”

This is a cross post by Zach of the Brothers of Judea sharing his war stories from the HuffPo that are reminiscent of what we experience over at “Comment is Free”

In the short time that I have been watching the Huffington Post and it’s readership, the topic of anti-Semitism has been brought up many times. Sometimes people accuse other people of being anti-Semites. Sometimes they shouldn’t have done so. Sometimes there are articles about anti-Semitism or a famous Holocaust denier. Sometimes Huffington Posters rail against unspecified “Jews” about overusing the “anti-Semitism card,” such as it is. I have come to the conclusion that among the more extreme members of the Huffington Post (and the other communities from which they hail) there is a war against anti-Semitism.

And I don’t mean that in a good way: They are not fighting to end anti-Semitism in the way the War on Drugs was supposed to end illegal drug use or the War on Poverty was supposed to end poverty. What the anti-Zionists want to do is simply to destroy the term “anti-Semitism” so that it is never used again, or at least is rendered utterly meaningless. This effort takes many different forms, and at this point I have seen them all.

1. Claiming that Jews are the one watering down the term by conflating criticism of Israel with hatred of Jews. This might happen sometimes, but not often, at least not compared to the amount of times that this accusation has been made. Here is an example.
2. Claiming that there is no anti-Semitism, there are only paranoid, thin-skinned Jews who play the race card, usually for their own nefarious purposes or to silence criticism of their actions. Here is an example.
3. Claiming that anti-Jewish thoughts or actions is not based on bigotry toward Jews, it is only a “reaction” to bad things that Jews do, most notably Israel. In other words, there is no such thing as bigotry toward Jews, or more simply, “anti-Semitism.” In other words, if there is negative sentiment toward Jews, it is only because the Jews deserve it. Here is an example.
4. Claiming that the Jews are the ones who “create” anti-Semitism (or see it where it doesn’t exist) because otherwise they wouldn’t be able to play the victim card, among other selfish gains. Here is an example.
5. And probably the weakest argument of all, the etymology argument: That “Semites” means Semitic peoples, therefore “anti-Semitism” doesn’t mean hatred of Jews, in contrast with the fact that it has always meant that and always will. It is ultimately meaningless and pointless, but on every anti-Semitism thread and many Israel-related threads people will pull it out. Here is an example.

If none of the above strike you as particularly problematic, consider taking the Jews out of it: If someone told you that racism doesn’t exist, it is only black people who play the race card, would you take him seriously? At best, he is hopeless naive. What if he told you that black people just keep fabricating instances of racism (or seeing it where it doesn’t exist) to keep white people feeling guilty about slavery and segregation? Or that they accuse everyone who criticizes President Obama of racism and isn’t that awful? Funny how when Jews are removed from the equation, things become a lot simpler, eh?

One quick note before I go any further: As much as the above comments are often made, there is one accusation that overshadows them all. The accusation that is in fact Jews who are overusing the term “anti-Semitism” to the point where it is going to become meaningless. How are they doing this, you might ask? Oh, of course, by accusing anyone and everyone who doesn’t toe the party line on Israel of anti-Semitism. This is utter crap, of course. Accusations of anti-Semitism are made, sometimes fairly, sometimes unfairly. It is only in the minds of the anti-Zionists that everyone who criticizes Israel is slandered that way, and if they were at all honest, they would admit it. Meanwhile, their efforts to annihilate anti-Semitism continues.

Now at this point we must ask, “why?” What do the anti-Zionists have to gain from removing the term “anti-Semitism” from public discourse, whether by shaming anyone who brings it up, by claiming it isn’t real, or by trying to prove the term itself is meaningless? Assuming, of course, that they aren’t all in fact anti-Semites and don’t want to be called on it, which I personally don’t think is the case.

One possibility is that they simply don’t want to deal with accusations of anti-Semitism, whether real or false. I know that there are some users who play the card unfairly, though they don’t do it constantly, and I am sure that can get annoying. This would seem to be the most likely possibility, though many anti-Zionists take it too far and get into “the strawman” aka argument #1 above.

Another possibility is that anti-Zionists want the freedom to slander Israel in any form they choose, including those that cross the line into anti-Semitism. As discussed in this video, just because someone says something anti-Semitic doesn’t mean that they are an anti-Semite…but just because they aren’t an anti-Semite doesn’t mean that they can’t say something anti-Semitic. Anyway, the best example of this is comparing Israel and Nazi Germany, which under the EU’s definition is anti-Semitism. The anti-Zionists complain about this whenever it is brought up, saying that “the Jews” are trying to manipulate the definition of A-S to censor critics of Israel. Of course, they then go on to compare Israel with Nazi Germany, so I guess that censorship isn’t very effective.

The question must then be asked, though, if the anti-Zionists really just want to criticize Israel honestly and fairly, why do they feel the need to compare it with Nazi Germany? Surely they can criticize Israel just as strongly without resorting to what any reasonable person would agree is nothing more than slander? Is it because Nazi Germany is an emotional weak point for Jews, as I have discussed before?

The only thing that the definition of anti-Semitism prohibits is extreme or unfair attacks on Israel, including double standards and attacks on Israel’s existence. Maybe that is exactly what the anti-Zionists want to do, but they can’t as long as the term anti-Semitism, putting a clearly anti-Jewish agenda into black and white, exists. Therefore, it must be destroyed.

Where the heart is

Marc Goldberg’s article of March 29th struck a particular chord for me because, as regular readers already know, I too am returning home to Israel after a three and a half year absence. Like Marc, I am happily trading a higher income and standard of living in Britain for a quality of life that only Israel can provide. Of course it will be a relief to return to an environment free of antisemitism and the underlying sense of threat which Marc describes, but there’s actually more to it than that. Put simply, the freedom of not having to apologise for who you are is beyond all financial considerations.

Comment of the thread (and possibly the month) had to be this one:

harvey21

29 Mar 2010, 4:40PM

Marc

Don’t be shy mate. Just cut to the chase.

The fact is the women are simply mind blowingly hot. especially in uniform. They dont fall over pissed out of their heads on any night of the week and dont tend to tow around half a dozen kids by 5 different fathers.

Other commentators demonstrated less humour and the response to the fact that Marc Goldberg has served in the Israeli Defence Forces was predictably venomous, reminding me of some of the reactions my children encountered in British universities.

SAEED28

29 Mar 2010, 10:10AM

you served in the IDF?

Served in the occupied west bank?

If you did then you are a disgrace and a war criminal…

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True Colours

An article such as that written by Rachel Shabi on CiF on April 17th shows not only the true colours of its writer, but also those of some of the commentators below the line and the newspaper which agrees to publish such a piece. Certainly, Shabi appears to agree with the graffiti she quotes:

“Maybe that’s one of the reasons why the graffiti in Nablus urges resistance to the “fake, American-imposed government”. By opting to be the preferred government of the Middle East quartet and Israel, by complying with all those accompanying, belittling and disempowering demands, the PA is backed into a corner – and it will take more than small tactical shifts to clean up its contaminated image.”

The ‘makeover’ actions of the PA which Shabi cites with approval are no less curious. She praises the PA for sending officials to the weekly Bil’in and Na’alin demonstrations against the anti-terrorist barrier, which of course frequently descends into violence and criminal damage. She praises the increase in support for “some models of popular resistance” and the move to boycott goods produced in Judea and Samaria, the prevention of employment of Palestinians by Israelis in the same area, and even the ban on Israeli SIM. In fact for Shabi and those she chooses to quote as supposed authorities on the subject, these actions do not appear to be far reaching enough.

Unsurprisingly, Shabi’s article set the resident CiF btl advocates of BDS into action.

haikara

17 Apr 2010, 1:01PM

Meanwhile, the PA has launched a campaign to boycott settlement goods ? “Your Conscience, Your Choice

The PA may not be able to cook the stew, they haven’t got the pot. But Boycott is the one effective thing we can all do to bring things forward, because forward it must be, not this stagnation under an ever more aggressive Israel expansion.

Boycott means small things like the boycott of H&M and more important things like to stop Israel’s membership of the OECD.

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