Repulsive Guardian op-ed justifies Palestinian antisemitism

Yesterday we posted on the results of a new international antisemitism poll by ADL, which demonstrated that Palestinians are the most antisemitic people among the 100 countries surveyed. We noted that Palestinians are even more antisemitic than citizens in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Pakistan and Iran.  

Here are some of the highlights:

  • 88% of Palestinians believe Jews have too much control over global affairs.
  • 89% believe Jews have too much power over international financial markets
  • 88% of Palestinians believe that Jews have too much control over the global media
  • 78% of Palestinians believe that Jews are responsible for most of the world’s wars.
  • 87% of Palestinians believe that people hate Jews because of the way Jews behave.

It would seem that true anti-racists would have a pretty difficult time defending such views – as some of the tropes are indistinguishable from the notorious Czarist forgery, Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

To boot, a Guardian op-ed published today by pro-Palestinian activists  and  begins with this headline and photo:


The photo is surreal.  An op-ed about antisemitism doesn’t depict Jews, but Palestinians, who, we are told, are denied their basic human rights.

It gets worse, much worse.

Here’s the opening passage, employing a modified version of the Livingstone formula, in which it’s claimed that Jews try to silence and intimidate those who don’t share their views on Israel:

This week the Anti-Defamation League – an organization with a long history of trying to silence and intimidate those who don’t share their unwavering support for Israel and its policies – published a survey ringing the alarm about antisemitism.

So, to the authors of the op-ed, a poll demonstrating dangerous levels of antisemitism among Palestinians is itself an attempt to silence debate.

They continue:

Rather than advance our understanding of this serious issue, the survey seems predictably designed to stir up fear that Jew-hatred is a growing global phenomenon that puts the world’s Jews universally at risk, and that the biggest culprits are Muslims and Arabs, particularly Palestinians.

This is remarkable.  The ADL is evidently of guilty of ‘stirring up fear’ by demonstrating that Arabs and Muslims are the biggest culprits of antisemitism. Do the authors take issue with the methodology of the poll, or do they simply not fancy the results?

The following passage is even more astonishing:

The most striking example of a leading question undergirds the ADL’s claim that the highest percentage of anti-Semitism is among Palestinians who live in the occupied territories. The ADL asked a group of people for whom the movement of goods, money and labor is controlled by Israel, “Do Jews have too much power in the business world?. Were they really to be expected to answer anything but “yes”?

Evidently, according to Nevel and Kleinberg Neimark, Palestinians possess no moral agency and can’t be held accountable for standards of decency. It’s impossible not read that passage as a justification for Palestinian antisemitism.

The op-ed continues:

In its press release, the ADL states that “The most widely accepted anti-Semitic stereotype worldwide is: Jews are more loyal to Israel than to this country/the countries they live in.” It’s an odd indicator of anti-Semitism given that Israeli leaders consistently claim to speak for the global Jewish community and consider loyalty to Israel a precondition for being a good Jew. So it’s actually not surprising that this constant assertion has penetrated the consciousness of the rest of the world.

Again, the authors of the op-ed are justifying a historic antisemitic trope – the dual loyalty canard.  Do Guardian editors really find this morally defensible? Do they not know a thing about the injurious effects of questioning Jews’ loyalty to the state in which they’re citizens? The charge of dual loyalty could be seen in the Dreyfus Affair through the Nazi’s rise to power – and, yet, it’s as if the dark history of this idea doesn’t bother the authors of the piece, nor the Guardian editors who approved it.

Then there’s this amazing charge:

These questions, and many others in the ADL survey are designed to gin up paranoia.

Seventy-eight percent of Palestinians believe that Jews are responsible for most of the world’s wars, but ADL is the party stirring up paranoia!

We’ve been monitoring the Guardian and Comment is Free for over 4 and half years now, and this is arguably one of the most repulsive op-eds we’ve come across.  The media group’s inability to take Jew hatred seriously represents a shameful moral abdication and makes a mockery of their claim to be a leading liberal voice.


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What the UK media won’t report: Poll reveals Palestinians are most antisemitic people in the world (UPDATE)

How would you characterize someone who believes that Jews have too much power over the global media and global political affairs, that Jews are responsible for most of the world wars and that people only hate Jews because of the way Jews behave? 

Wouldn’t it be fair to label such a person an extreme anti-Semite? 

Ok, now let’s suppose that 93% of this person’s fellow citizens feel the same way?

Wouldn’t it be fair to say that such a place is plagued by endemic Jew hatred?

Well, no doubt the mainstream media would agree with these characterizations – if, of course, the country which holds such repulsive views were European.  But, as we have documented repeatedly, even the most extreme and often violent manifestations of such Judeophobia within the Arab world rarely pique the interest of putatively anti-racist news editors. 

The tendency of the UK media to bury news which paints an unflattering picture of groups deemed a priori to be ‘victims’ – not possessing “privilege‘ – will be illustrated by the dearth of MSM stories on the results from a new international survey commissioned by the Anti-Defamation League which gauged antisemitism in over 100 countries. As with previous polls conducted by ADL, respondents who believe that at least 6 out of the 11 antisemitic statements (below) are “probably true” are considered to hold antisemitic views. The Index Score for each country represents the percentage of citizens in that country who answered “probably true” to a majority of the statements.

Here are the statements:


So, how antisemitic are the Palestinians?

Well, 93% of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza surveyed answered “probably true” to a majority of these statements, the largest percentage of any country in the world which was surveyed.

new graph

Remarkably, Palestinians are not only dramatically more antisemitic than the citizens in every Western country surveyed (for instance only 8% of UK citizens, and 9% of Americans, are antisemitic) but are even more antisemitic than citizens in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Pakistan and Iran.

Here are some highlights:

  • 88% of Palestinians believe Jews have too much control over global affairs.
  • 89% believe Jews have too much power over international financial markets
  • 88% of Palestinians believe that Jews have too much control over the global media
  • 78% of Palestinians believe that Jews are responsible for most of the world’s wars.
  • 87% of Palestinians believe that people hate Jews because of the way Jews behave.

We decided to highlight these statements (and not the results of the other statements), because these especially represent antisemitic tropes which overlap perfectly with the ideas laid out in the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, and can’t be fairly characterized as anything other than the historical, conspiracy-driven racism which fueled pogroms, massacres, and even genocide throughout the long history of antisemitism.

Palestinian antisemitism is arguably one of the more under reported political pathologies of our day, and the failure of presumably sophisticated Middle East commentators to grapple and deal honestly with the injurious impact of this enduring hatred contributes to the public’s egregious misunderstanding of both the root cause of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict and the endemic backwardness and underdevelopment within Palestinian society.

The failure of the Guardian and other UK media sites to report on Palestinian antisemitism not only harms Jews – the object of their hatred – but, as Walter Russell Mead explained, such crippling irrational antipathies also do grave harm to Palestinians themselves.  “Attributing global events to the machinations of an all-conquering Jewish conspiracy”, argued Mead, “is the sign of profound mental and social failure—and a harbinger of more failures and errors to come”.  “Societies”, he continued, that are “in thrall to this kind of darkness…and whose intellectual leaders cannot understand how power works in the modern world…are unlikely to develop the vigorous, forward-looking and competent civil societies that can promote true democracy”. 

Even in the event a Palestinian state is created, it is difficult to imagine how such political sovereignty will result in the diminution of such medieval thinking about Jews and their alleged toxic impact on the world.

Those who advocate on behalf of Palestinian rights and yet don’t confront this crippling pathos occupying their collective consciousness are creating an environment whereby Palestinians have no incentive to embark on a path to real progress, and thus will almost certainly be consigned to generation after generation of political, social and economic failure.

UPDATE: The Guardian did in fact publish a datablog report on the ADL’s findings, here.

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The Economist’s extraordinarily misleading 12 words on why Hamas hates Israel

Sometimes when reading the British media’s coverage of the Middle East, it seems as if some ‘professional’ reporters either have little expertise on the issues they’re writing about or that their employer lacks such high-tech, super-sophisticated research tools as, say, Google.

The Economist’s recent article on Hamas’s continuing isolation (Lonely Hamas, Sept. 7), is a case in point.


First, in fairness, the report does paint a largely accurate picture of the pressure being placed on the Islamist group by Egypt’s new regime:

THE Gaza Strip, an enclave tucked between Egypt and Israel that is still ruled by Hamas, a branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, is once again caged in. Egypt’s ruling generals, fearful that what they see as an Islamist tumour on their north-eastern flank might grow back into a Brotherhood cancer, want to contain it, if not cut it out. So they have sent bulldozers to demolish the houses along the border with Gaza that covered the tunnels providing Gaza’s 1.8m people with half their basic needs and most of their fuel and building material.

Of some 300 tunnels that operated before Egypt’s army overthrew Muhammad Morsi, the Muslim Brother who had been president for a year, only ten are said now to function. 

Later, there’s also this fair assessment of why the ‘Zionist enemy’ (at least temporarily) no longer seems like Hamas’s greatest threat:

If it is to survive as Gaza’s ruler, Hamas will have to rely on its old foe, Israel. While Egypt has choked off access to Gaza, Israel has loosened it, with 400 lorries recently entering the strip from Israel via the Kerem Shalom crossing in a single day, the liveliest such traffic for many years. “If they increase demand, we’re ready to step up,” says an Israeli military spokeswoman.

At Friday prayers, some Hamas preachers curse Egypt more than Israel. 

Good so far. However, then, in the final paragraph, the author of the unsigned article attempts to provide readers with some context on the enmity between Israel and Hamas, and writes the following:

Yet Israelis still loathe Hamas, which carried out scores of suicide-bombings against Israelis in the early 2000s. Hamas, meanwhile, reviles Israel for its assaults on Gaza and its leaders.

That’s why Hamas hates Israel?!

Well, for starters, Hamas’s obsessive hatred, which manifests itself in explicit calls by their leaders to commit genocide against the Jews, likely has something to do with their founding charter, published in 1988.  The document cites the wisdom of the ‘Protocols of the Elders of Zion‘ to “prove” that Jews are trying to take over the world, and asserts its theological commitment to destroying the Jewish state – regardless of where its borders are drawn – through a long-term strategy of violent jihad. 

Here are a few excerpts from their charter:

Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.

There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors.

After Palestine, the Zionists aspire to expand from the Nile to the Euphrates. When they will have digested the region they overtook, they will aspire to further expansion, and so on. Their plan is embodied in the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion”, and their present conduct is the best proof of what we are saying.”

The Day of Judgement will not come about until Moslems fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Moslems, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him. Only the Gharkad tree, would not do that because it is one of the trees of the Jews.

Hamas rocket attacks and suicide bombings are merely the natural product of their eliminationist anti-Zionist, antisemitic ideology. 

Finally, it should be noted that this blog often cites political, historical and geographical facts about the Mid-East that should be obvious to even the casual observer, and the passage cited above in The Economist demonstrates the necessity of continuing to provide such basic information which, for some reason, often eludes ‘professionals’ tasked with contextualizing events in the region.

‘Comment is Free’ publishes an essay by a Hamas leader…again.

IDF strikes on Nov. 18 knocked out the Hamas television stations Al Aqsa and Al Quds in Gaza, but Hamas leaders were likely not too concerned, and knew they could always count on Plan B: Propagandizing at the Guardian.

In fact, later that same day, Nov. 18, a ‘Comment is Free’ essay by the deputy head of Hamas’s political bureau, Musa Abumarzuq, was published – one out of several members of the Islamist terror group who has been published by the paper which aspires to be the ‘world’s leading liberal voice’.

Other than Abumarzuq, who published a previous essay at CiF in 2011, the list includes Hamas ‘Prime Minister’ Ismail Haniyeh, their head of international relations Osama Hamdan, and their advisor‘, Azzam Tamimi.

Abumarzuq’s piece, ‘We in the Gaza Strip will not die in silence‘, is full of unserious, vitriolic claims befitting a group whose founding charter cites the antisemitic forgery ‘The Protocols of the Elders of Zion’ as “proof” that Jews indeed are trying to take over the world.

However, Abumarzuq also advances a narrative of Israeli villainy which had already found fertile ground within the Guardian coven of “journalists” and commentators.  Echoing the “analysis” of  Harriet SherwoodSimon Tisdall, Ahdaf Soueif, and Jonathan Freedland, on the “real reasons” for Israeli operation ‘Pillar of Defense’, the Hamas apparatchik writes the following:

“With the approach of the Israeli elections, the Israeli prime minister,Binyamin Netanyahu, wanted to trade with the blood of the Palestinians, especially after his alliance with the ultra-extremist Avigdor Lieberman failed to boost his popularity in the polls as he’d expected. This is not the first time the Israelis have launched a war for electoral gain. Shimon Peres did it to Lebanon in 1996 and the Olmert-Livni-Barak alliance did it to Gaza in 2008.”

Interestingly,  Abumarzuq’s rhetoric is restrained compared to Ahdaf Soueif (a frequent CiF contributor) who, in her piece, literally accused Israeli leaders of murdering Palestinian children for political gain.

Turning to the issue of supreme concern to the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, “human rights”, Abumarzuq complains thus:

“The human rights that Europe claims to defend all over the world are denied to the Palestinian people.”

Which freedoms are cruelly denied to Palestinians, per Abumarzuq?

“The right of people to resist occupation and confront aggression is guaranteed to all peoples; but if Palestinians seek to exercise this right it immediately becomes terrorism and for this they must be persecuted.”

Yes, of course. The Palestinians’ ‘universal’ right of “resistance”, murdering civilians with impunity, is stymied by their cruel Jewish oppressors.

Abumarzuq then adds the following:

“The Israeli military attacks on Gaza did not stop after the last Gaza war. Since 2009, 271 Palestinians have been killed, compared to three Israeli deaths.”

The numbers he cites about Israeli deaths are incorrect.

There have been 3 Israeli deaths since Nov. 14, when operation ‘Pillar of Defense’ began, but the Israeli death toll from Gaza terror attacks since 2009 is 13, not 3.

While you can contact the Guardian’s readers’ editor, Chris Elliott, at, to request that Abumarzuq’s lie be corrected, perhaps you should consider asking Mr. Elliott a more pertinent question:

How does he reconcile the ‘progressive’ politics he and the paper he works for evidently aspire to with their decision to continue providing a platform to violent religious extremists who represent ultra right-wing values on issues such as democracy, freedom of the press, the rights of women, gays, and religious minorities?

Though I don’t expect anything resembling an honest answer from Elliott, he and his colleagues need to be confronted with the mounting evidence of their supreme moral hypocrisy. 

Victory and defeat: The story about Arab rioting rarely told.

Anti-American (and anti-Israeli) riots throughout the Middle East, supposedly in reaction to a low-budget, obscure, 14 minute anti-Muslim film made by a Coptic Christian of Egyptian origin, have “spread” over the last several days from Libya and Egypt to Yemen, Tunisia, Gaza, Morocco, Kashmir, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Indonesia, and Sudan.

Rioters stormed U.S. embassies and missions, hurled stones at police, shouted ‘death to America’, death to Jews‘ and burned American and Israeli flags. Hundreds have been injured.

The “rage” which erupted is reminiscent of similar violent responses to the threat by a fringe U.S. pastor to burn a Koran in 2010, which resulted in riots and the death of at least 20 people. This incident is also reminiscent, of course, of the Muhammad cartoons controversy in 2005-2006 which resulted in over 200 dead worldwide.

A considerable amount of media coverage of the latest violence has focused not on the rioters themselves but on the film maker, now in hiding, whose clip is said to have “angered”, enraged, “incited” (even goaded“) the mobs into such behavior.

It’s difficult, however, not to view the reaction to one extremely low-budget racist anti-Muslim video in the context of the immense volume of often state-sponsored antisemitic incitement across the Middle East.

Al-Shatat (“The Diaspora”) is a $5.1 million, 30-part “mini-series” produced by state controlled Syrian television. It was broadcast during Ramadan in 2003 by Hezbollah’s satellite television network available to millions of viewers throughout the Middle East and was also shown in Iran in 2004 and in Jordan during 2005 on Al-Mamnou.

The film, based in part on The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, depicts a classic anti-Semitic blood libel. A Rabbi, played by an Arab actor, directs a member of his synagogue to help him:

1) kidnap the son of his Christian neighbor;
2) bring the boy to the synagogue;
3) slit the boy’s throat;
4) drain the boy’s blood into a basin;
5) use the blood to make Passover matzoh bread;
6) serve the matzoh to the members of the synagogue.

Here’s a clip

Another grossly antisemitic mini-series, “Horseman without a horse“, produced in Egypt and also based on ‘The Protocols’, which first aired in 2002, was re-broadcast during Ramadan in 2012, on Egyptian television.  

While there were condemnations by Jewish leaders, there was no rioting or any manner of violent reaction in response to either film.

However, these widely viewed shows represent merely two examples of the obscene portrayal of Jews and Judaism seen routinely in Arab and Muslim newspapers, magazines, caricatures, websites, TV news, radio, documentaries, films and educational materials.

While Jews and Zionists are often accused of “silencing debate” when they merely criticize their opponents in the media or engage in political lobbying to advance their interests, rarely is Islamist inspired rioting, in reaction to a mere insult, interpreted similarly as an effort – through the implicit threat of future violence – to silence their critics.

Moreover, since the riots have begun, American officials have bent over backwards to denounce the film, thus being fooled by the radicals’ trick.

Husain Haqqani argued the following today in the Wall Street Journal:

“Insults, real or hyped, are not the problem. At the heart of Muslim street violence is the frustration of the world’s Muslims over their steady decline for three centuries, a decline that has coincided with the rise and spread of the West’s military, economic and intellectual prowess.

During the 800 years of Muslim ascendancy beginning in the eighth century…Muslims did not riot to protest non-Muslim insults against Islam or its prophet. There is no historical record of random attacks against non-Muslim targets in retaliation for a non-Muslim insulting Prophet Muhammad.

…violent responses to perceived injury are not integral to Islam. A religion is what its followers make it, and Muslims opting for violence have chosen to paint their faith as one that is prone to anger. Frustration with their inability to succeed in the competition between nations also has led some Muslims to seek symbolic victories.

For Islamists, wrath against the West is the basis for their claim to the support of Muslim masses, taking attention away from societal political and economic failures. 

For example, the 57 member states of the Organization of Islamic Conference account for one-fifth of the world’s population but their combined gross domestic product is less than 7% of global output—a harsh reality for which Islamists offer no solution.

Even after recent developments that were labeled the Arab Spring, few Muslim-majority countries either fulfill—or look likely to—the criteria for freedom set by the independent group Freedom House. Mainstream discourse among Muslims blames everyone but themselves for this situation. The image of an ascendant West belittling Islam with the view to eliminate it serves as a convenient explanation for Muslim weakness.

Once the Muslim world embraces freedom of expression, it will be able to recognize the value of that freedom even for those who offend Muslim sensibilities. More important: Only in a free democratic environment will the world’s Muslims be able to debate the causes of their powerlessness, which stirs in them greater anger than any specific action on the part of Islam’s Western detractors.”

Those in the media and elsewhere who focus on the creator of one crudely made film – rather than on the behavior of those engaging in self-destructive, anti-democratic behaviour – are unwittingly emboldening those reactionary forces unable to reconcile themselves with the basic precepts of liberalism and modernity, thus consigning millions to continued underdevelopment and backwardness.  

Rioting and violence on the streets of  Benghazi, Cairo, Tunis, Sanaa and elsewhere over the most recent racist insult may indeed serve to make Western film makers, artists, journalists and others contemplating engaging in a critique of Islam, or creating a depiction of Muhammad, hesitant to proceed with their project.

However, such reticence on behalf of critics of Islam or Islamism will only grant greater impunity to the most radical forces within the faith, and will do absolutely nothing to bring true democracy, pluralism, tolerance and economic development to the Arab world.

The failure of our policy leaders and commentators to engage in critical scrutiny of the rioters, and especially the extremist movements which incited their destructiveness, will ensure only that yet another Pyrrhic victory for their faith has been secured. 

Islamophobia as the ‘new antisemitism': Guardian’s secular (Replacement) Theology of Victimhood

If arguments suggesting a dangerous post 9/11 increase in discrimination against Muslims and the abrogation of their human rights in the U.S. and Europe were treated with intellectual seriousness – if facts and reason drove the debate, rather than clichés, passions and ideology – such wild polemical ventures would be dismissed out of hand.

The nadir of such propositions – asserting that anti-Muslim bigotry has replaced antisemitism as the central challenge in the war against racism in the West – has become a banality among as-a-Jews who feel more comfortable chastising Jews and the West for all manner of sins rather than in shining their moral spotlight on the Muslim or Arab “other”.

However, any serious analysis of post 9/11 anti-Muslim bigotry and antisemitism in the U.S. would necessarily take into account the last decade of hate crime statistics which demonstrate that such acts of bias (including violence) against Muslims are extremely rare in the U.S. and that Jews are dramatically more likely to be targeted for such crimes than Muslims.  

Further, quite relevant are studies which indicate that Muslim Americans continue to enjoy social and economic success equal to that of non-Muslim citizens.

Additionally, polls in Europe indicate that antisemitic attitudes across the continent remain startlingly high, with a majority of those polled in ten European countries, for instance, questioning the loyalty of their Jewish citizens, nearly 40% believing that Jews have too much power in international finance and 22% still holding Jews, as a group, responsible for the death of Christ.

Yet ‘Comment is Free’ contributor Mya Guarnieri, in an essay titled “Islamophobia: the new antisemitism“, attempted to contextualize one marginal U.S. pastor’s burning of the Koran last year as “a mirror for the country” as a whole.  Of course, Guarnieri never tried to explain why the reprehensible behavior of one pastor was representative of the new national post 9/11 mores, nor what the connection was between individual acts of intolerance towards Islam and the broad phenomena of antisemitism.

Similarly, the Guardian’s Giles Fraser, in a piece titled “Martha Nussbaum and the new religious intolerance“, June 29th, in a review of Nussbaum’s book, “New Religious Intolerance: Overcoming the politics of fear in an anxious age”, writes:

“Her latest book, The New Religious Intolerance, is a vigorous defence of the religious freedom of minorities in the face of post-9/11 Islamophobia. And by minorities she mostly means Muslims.”

Giles Fraser quotes Nussbaum, a philosopher, who he interviewed for the piece, thus:

“I use the example of antisemitism because I think it is useful to look back to a historical example with some detachment, and we can all admit that mistakes were made. And we can see that the treatment of the Jews was inspired by a kind of concocted fear – so The Protocols of the Elders of Zion is my example – and it has many ingredients in common with fear of Muslims today. What is similar is the demand for a kind of assimilation that extends to dress [regarding the Burqa] and ways of life as the condition for full civic equality.”

What Nussbaum fails to explain is that the Protocols of the Elders of Zion didn’t merely inspire fear of Jews, but rather “concocted” the belief in generations of non-Jews that Jews were engaged a plot to take over the world.  

This enduring conspiracy theory (positing an immutably duplicitous, dangerous Jew) has motivated not just bigotry and systemic discrimination, but pogroms and mass murder – the lethal legacy of centuries of antisemitism which is without parallel.

Further, Nussbaum fails to note both that the Muslim Middle East continues to represent the most fertile ground for the Protocols of the Elders of Zion and data indicating that such Muslim racism towards Jews is endemic in that region of the world.

This malign Jewish obsession (evident in Muslim newspapers, magazines, caricatures, websites, radio and TV news, films, and educational materials) has been characterized by the most preeminent scholar on antisemitism, Robert Wistrich, as similar to what was seen in Nazi Germany at its worst.

 Wistrich wrote:

“[In the Muslim world we see] the pervasive use of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion with its perennial theme of the “Jewish conspiracy for world domination;” or the medieval blood-libel…or the vile stereotypical image of the Jews as a treacherous, rapacious, and bloodthirsty people engaged in a ceaseless plotting to undermine the world of Islam.

To these grotesque inventions one must add such more up-to-date libels like Holocaust denial which…is increasingly pervasive in the Arab world.”

Not only is the “new antisemitism” still very much the same old antisemitism, but the Muslim Middle East represents the central address for its modern mutation.

So how then to explain not only the failure of so many within the “enlightened” classes to explicitly condemn such hatred, but the related tendency to advance the proposition that 1.6 billion Muslims have replaced 13.5 million Jews as the persecuted minority which urgently demands the West’s sympathy and a rigorous moral accounting?

A clue can be found by briefly examining the most egregious antisemitic sin of the Guardian-style left; a perverse ethics which has nurtured a weariness with Jews’ claim to their sympathetic imagination and a related heightened concern over what is seen as the moral legacy of Western colonialism in the Mid-East.

A replacement theology of victimhood now prioritizes Muslim over Jewish suffering, informed by the idea that the relative affluence and confidence of Jews both in Israel and the West, juxtaposed with the underdevelopment within the Islamic world, must indicate a relationship between the former and the latter.  

In the zero-sum game of the far left, one’s poverty is necessarily related to another’s prosperity.

An ideology which assigns fixed roles to Westerners and non-Westerns – assigning complete responsibility to the former while denying moral agency to the latter – is what may explain, in part, how Guardian editors could characterize a decidedly reactionary Islamist leader named Raed Salah as the victim of anti-Muslim intolerance while failing to name or express sympathy towards the Jewish victims of a cold-blooded Islamist terror attack in Toulouse.

The Guardian’s Giles Fraser encapsulates the strategy of Nussbaum’s book on religious intolerance as follows:

“…to reveal the inconsistencies and double standards that we apply to minority religious positions and from there to plead for a more sympathetic hearing of those whose worldviews we do not share.”

Left un-examined, of course, is the question of why a rigorous commitment to the values of pluralism, diversity and anti-racism would demand that we should even be sympathetic to those who possess a worldview which is hateful, intolerant and non-inclusive.

Guardian scrubs reference to ‘Jewish political establishment’ with no explanation

This essay was written by Raheem Kassam & Harry Cole for The Commentator

[Note: CiF Watch recently published posts pertaining to Hugh Muir, the Guardian writer who’s the subject of the following Commentator essay, following Muir’s smear of Jewish Chronicle editor Stephen Pollard. (See here and here) – A.L.]

The original text in print. Something that editor’s can’t delete

It seems that ever-wrong British newspaper The Guardian has made yet another blunder in what can only be described as a serious and continued internal confusion over ‘the Jews’. The Guardianself-admittedly has form with ingrained anti-Semitism within the rank and file.

Following the Labour mayoral candidate Ken Livingstone’s loss to Boris Johnson last night, the print edition of The Guardian asserted that it was Ken’s own baggage that brought him down. We couldn’t agree more, but on a scan through the article and as highlighted by various people on Twitter this morning, we found this:

“How much damage did he [Ken] inflict by failing to make peace with the Jewish political establishment…”

This could be interpreted quite innocuously at first, or conversely, be read into as The Guardian tarring the entire British political establishment as Jewish run. But putting the quote in context regarding Ken’s Nazi insult to Jewish reporter Oliver Finegold and the ‘embrace of Muslim cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi’ we see further into what The Guardianis getting at.

This appears to be a case of foot-in-mouth disease once again, painting an image of a London Jewry led by a cabal of high-power, high-profile men and women pulling the strings over every Jew in London, and quite possibly non-Jews like us as well. “Vote as we say!” The Guardian might imagine, “Or you’ll lose our your invite to the annual London Jewish gathering where we all talk about Iran and read passages from The Protocols of the Elders of Zion!” The Guardian has adopted a tone in its writing about British Jewry that actually, unintentionally, lampoons their own approach to this small but diverse community.

Perhaps we jest too much though and this was a perfectly okay thing to say. Why then, did The Guardian choose to scrub the text ‘Jewish political establishment’ from the article on its website, without a hint of an admission, and replace it with the term ‘Jewish communal leadership’? Perhaps an editor at The Guardian took one look at the sentence, spat out his bagel and demanded a retraction? But there’s no such retraction on the website itself, and trying to erase from existence what found its way into the print edition is a faux pas more befitting Johann Hari than Alan Rusbridger. Or is it?

Read rest of the essay here.

How to most effectively advocate for Israel on campus

This is a guest post by Jonathan Hoffman.

On 31 October – over three weeks ago – I was invited to debate  the topic of “What is the best way to advocate for Israel on campus?” with Dan Sheldon, the Campaigns Director of the UK’s Union of Jewish Students.

I won the toss and spoke first. I sat down to listed to Dan Sheldon’s speech. I was expecting a reasoned response. What I was not expecting was what happened. I counted twelve falsehoods and/or defamations about me.

Eventually an apology was forthcoming, after the JC published an editorial calling for one and some 140 people signed a petition calling for the same thing.

The JC on Friday (p5) had an article by Jessica Elgot headed “Hoffman Gets UJS Apology”. It included the text of the apology which is on the UJS website under the somewhat odd heading “Dan Sheldon’s reflections on this week’s events”.

The text of the JC article follows. (It was not published online so cannot be linked to or seen by those who do not or cannot buy the paper copy of the JC).

UJS Campaigns Director Dan Sheldon has apologised for linking Zionist Federation co-vice-chair Jonathan Hoffman with the English Defence League. Mr Sheldon clashed with Mr Hoffman during a heated debate hosted by Leeds JSoc two weeks ago, over UJS’s “Liberation” campaign. Mr Sheldon claimed that Mr Hoffman was “happy to demonstrate side-by-side with members of the EDL Jewish Division” during counter-protests at the Ahava store in Covent Garden.

In emails seen by the JC, Mr Hoffman contacted the police in August 2010, stating he “did not welcome the EDL” who had been at the past two demonstrations outside Ahava. He requested a separate “third pen” for EDL supporters, but the police refused to provide this. On a JC blog Mr Hoffman said: “My record of fighting the far right is impeccable: witness my activism against Irving and Griffin when they were invited to the Oxford Union Society in 2007. Mostly the smears are from enemies of Israel and so they are in some sense a badge of honour … but for them to be repeated by those in positions of responsibility in the Jewish community is completely beyond the pale.” The full text of Mr Sheldon’s speech has been removed from the UJS website and Mr Sheldon has posted an apology which says: “I stated that Jonathan Hoffman was ‘happy to demonstrate, side by side, with members of the EDL’s Jewish Division’.

Jonathan has since voiced his clear opposition to the EDL. Therefore, I would like to offer a full apology to Jonathan for any hurt caused by my remarks.”

The wording of this apology was not agreed to by me. I had sent a draft of an apology to UJS but it was ignored.

The apology (“…. since voiced…”) makes it sound like I only voiced my opposition to the EDL after the debate on 31 October. That is demonstrably false and Dan Sheldon could have found that out if only he had done a modicum of research and not swallowed uncritically such defamations by the enemies of Israel.

For example I put out a clear statement in August 2010:

…..there was some crossover between the BNP and the EDL and that the EDL sometimes intimidated Muslims and that both these are reprehensible.

And there was not just one instance of defamation in Sheldon’s speech. There were twelve. Just one of them was that I “wear crash helmets to peaceful pro-Israel demonstrations”.  I racked my brain about that one, since I do not even own a crash helmet. Then I remembered. During Gilad Shalit’s captivity the ZF used to organise vigils at the Red Cross office in London. I remembered that I had cycled to the last one, on a Barclays Cycle Hire bicycle. And guess what …. I wore a cycle helmet and since there was nowhere to leave it safely at the vigil, I wore it.

That inadequate apology for such a smear sums up the standard of research on me carried for this speech. The “research” consisted of trawling the rankest depths of the internet and recycling age-old smears. And Dan Sheldon even had the chutzpah to preface this sordid attack by stressing how important it is “that we treat each other fairly, with the courtesy we’d extend to friends or family.” 

And the salvo of defamations was followed by a plea that:

“We must then aspire to the highest standards ourselves: honesty, politeness and willingness to listen as well as talk. The Chief Rabbi has called this the lost ‘culture of civility’, and I believe we need to get it back.”

Aside: Mr Sheldon told the audience, “This is a man who has called for a boycott of the Guardian”, as if such a proposal was a source of shame!

Well, I am happy to acknowledge that one as being true – and to say that the idea that this detracts from my credentials as an Israel Advocate is ludicrous.

Although the video and transcript of Dan Sheldon’s speech have now been removed from the UJS website they are still available elsewhere so, in the interest of balance, I post my speech below:

What is the best way to advocate for Israel on campus?

In asking this question we are in the realm of the social sciences.

In the physical sciences we can conduct experiments. Finding the best breaking system for an express train, or finding the best treatment for tetanus, are both possible through experiments. In the social sciences the nearest we can get to experimentation is to set up a focus group. To the best of my knowledge there has never been a focus group on Israel advocacy on campus. So one has to look at the evidence.

What I will argue is that the evidence suggests that campuses are a centre – if not the centre –  of the monstrous and remarkable inversion of reality whereby Israel has become a pariah state because of its determination to defend itself. (Of course they are ably assisted by some parts of the Press in particular The Guardian, Channel 4 and the BBC). I argue that by its failure to take on the delegitimisers on campus full-square, UJS has allowed them to gain much more traction.

The Reut Institute is a national security think-tank in Israel. In a report published last year it said that London was the ‘hub-of-hubs’ of the delegitimisation network. Much of the delegitimisation activity takes place on university premises. I know because a small group of us go to hostile meetings and we have been to many on London campuses. We hand out leaflets, make a fuss and then blog what happens at the meetings, on the basis that “sunlight is the best disinfectant”. (Some community leaders say “don’t give it the oxygen of publicity” but in my view that is a totally misguided line to take).

We have been to Israel-bashing meetings at Goldsmiths, LSE, UCL, Imperial College and SOAS. Only a week ago tonight we were at a meeting at SOAS to discuss boycotting Israel. Steve Hedley – Bob Crow’s right-hand man at the RMT trade union – told me at that meeting that I was one of the ‘Chosen People” (this phrase used in an abusive manner is a favourite of antisemites: of course the phrase “Chosen People” in the Bible clearly means chosen for responsibilities and not chosen for privilege). Then he referred to “your friends in the media” (the trope that Jews “control the media” is beloved of antisemites – it appears of course in that well-known antisemitic forgery “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion”).

But it’s not just London campuses where delegitimisation meetings under the auspices of Palestine Societies are taking place. It’s happening at most British Universities. I can give you plenty of examples.

Here’s one that’s coming up. This time next week Norman Finkelstein will be speaking on this campus in Leeds. The following day he moves to Manchester, on Wednesday to Nottingham, on Thursday to Birmingham and on Friday to Logan Hall, London. Norman Finkelstein is what I call a ‘renegade Jew’ –the phrase ‘self-hater’ – while probably true – is not one I use. Norman Finkelstein supports Iranian and Hizbolla terrorists and thinks that Jews exploit the Holocaust for financial gain and for propaganda reasons. He even exploits the Holocaust suffering of his parents to delegitimise Israel. He is invited here by one of the pro-Palestinian organisations.

Why do the PSC, the Islamists and the Left organise so many anti-Israel events on campuses? Simple. Because they want to recruit students. It’s not for nothing that Israel has been called “the recruiting sergeant of the Left” (by Robin Shepherd in his great book “A State Beyond the Pale”). The Palestinians have long been seen by the Left as an instrument of revolution in the Middle East.  Since the collapse of Communism, Israel as a whipping-boy has become even more important to the cause of the Left.

Demonisation of Israel is now the glue that holds the Left together. To persuade students of their cause, they lie through their teeth. They make false ‘apartheid’ analogies about Israel. They lie that those who defend Israel from their calumnies do it by accusing Israel’s detractors of antisemitism.

We could argue about the best way to advocate for Israel at these meetings. Should you stay silent and hope to be called on in the Q+A, or should you heckle and interrupt, in the knowledge that only people hostile to Israel will be called upon to ask a question? (My strong preference is to heckle and interrupt, because the chance of being called is very low).

One thing I hope we can agree on is that defenders of Israel should be outside the meetings before the start and after the end, handing out fliers which tell the truth. And that they should make themselves available when the meetings are over, to talk: sometimes there is just one person who mistrusts the certainty of what he has heard in the meeting and wants to know more. Some of my biggest successes have been in such 1-on-1 discussions after meetings.

Yes we could argue about the best way to advocate for Israel at these meetings. But we surely all agree that it is folly for Israel advocates to stay away from these meetings completely. Because that leaves the door wide open for a new generation to be indoctrinated by the delegitimisers.

But in many cases that is what UJS is doing – staying away and standing aloof. Not all cases. There have been some great victories and I have been the first to acknowledge them. Getting Birmingham students to vote to accept the EUMC Definition of Antisemitism in May 2010 was a great victory. So was the defeat in January 2008 of a motion at LSE calling for a boycott of Israel and calling Israel an apartheid state, raised at the student union general meeting.

But against this have been some horror stories. When Danny Ayalon spoke at the LSE in October 2009, we knew there would be a hostile demonstration so we organised a counter-demo, to support Ayalon. It was in Lincolns Inn Fields which is a public street. We asked Ben Grabiner – who was at that time head of the LSE I-Soc – if he would put the word round his members to join the counter-demo. We were horrified by the response.

He did not get back to us but the then UJS Campaigns Officer did. She was furious that we had dared organise a demo to support an Israeli Minister. She felt it would just be provocative! She tried to tell us it was an internal LSE matter and that UJS should handle it. It was not ‘internal’, Ayalon happened to be speaking at LSE but that was it. And our proposed demo was in the public street. So we held the line. She then called the Chairman of the ZF to try to get him to put pressure on me. Ben Grabiner sent a text to his members warning them not to join our counter-demo. He said – absurdly and slanderously – that it was being organised by a ‘right wing organisation’. I know because one of the LSE students joined our demo despite being warned off by Ben Grabiner, and showed me the text.

More horror stories. In February 2010 Cambridge Israel Society capitulated to pressure and cancelled a meeting with Benny Morris on the grounds that he is a racist. Benny Morris is no racist. In April 2010 under pressure from the Federation of Student Islamic Societies, UJS cancelled Douglas Murray at short notice, having invited him to speak in Gateshead. Douglas subsequently wrote a blog entitled “How to lose friends and alienate people. A lesson from Islamist-cowed Jewish students”.

Douglas wrote:

“But what of the UJS? If the Union of Jewish students wants to take dictation for their events from the Federation of Student Islamic Societies, one wonders what they think FOSIS will ever do in return. Does the favour get reciprocated do we think? Are they going to vet any speaker that Jewish students don’t like? Or are these students just going to have to learn the hard way that in this matter, as in so many others, “tolerance”, “openness” and a respect for free speech are currently very much a one-way street.”

And most recently there was UJS’s proposal to give out Palestinian flags.

No, no, no. The Hamas Charter urges the genocide of Jews, the Palestinian Authority does not recognise Israel’s right to exist as a state grounded in Judaism. Mahmoud Abbas, the President of the Palestinian Authority, wrote a doctoral thesis in which he described the Holocaust as “the Zionist fantasy, the fantastic lie that six million Jews were killed.” To have the Union of Jewish Students giving out the Palestinian flag is something that most Jews would regard as obscene.

And I have been to many hostile meetings on campus where there is no sign of Jewish students whatsoever.

The reticence to engage with the Israel-bashers is, I believe, a contributory factor to the rise in antisemitism on campus. Antisemitism includes the vilification of Israel – see the EUMC Definition – if it is expressed in certain ways. To say that Israel is a racist state is antisemitic. So is holding Israel to higher standards than other nations. So is making Nazi comparisons when speaking about Israel. So is holding Jews collectively responsible for Israel’s actions.

The recent JPR Report said that just over two out of five (42%) respondents had experienced an antisemitic incident since the beginning of the academic year (7 months at that time). Confining the sample to respondents who were ‘very positive’ about Israel takes the figure up to 48%.

Almost one in two?  – That is simply not acceptable.

And as an aside, the Report’s attempt to downplay the figure is a disgrace. We are told that students are half as likely to express any concern about

‘Anti-Israel sentiment at university’ (38%) as they are about ‘Passing exams’ (76%) – the obvious implication being that worries about antisemitism are minor.

Worrying about exams is natural. Worrying about antisemitism is not and must never become so.

So what kind of UJS do I want? I want a UJS that is proud, not cowed. I want to see Jewish students going in to hostile meetings and making their presence felt, heckling if necessary. I want to see them handing out fliers before and after a hostile meeting so that students who are new to the subject can get the truth – to offset the lies they are fed at the delegitimisation meetings.

Of course I want to see proactive events as well as reactive activities. Proactive events celebrating all aspects of Israel, from science through culture through food through openness and tolerance. The ZF can – and does – help, providing speakers like Khaled Abu Toameh – an Israeli Arab journalist – for campus meetings. And proactive events putting Israel’s case: explaining why the security fence is necessary and why Israel had to do ‘Operation Cast Lead’ in Gaza three years ago.

StandWithUs and Britain Israel Coalition are also great pro-Israel organizations that are active on campus. If any of you can get to London on Sunday 6th November, please go to the StandWithUs Conference with the Ambassador and Louise Mensch MP. Then on December 11th it’s the ZF Advocacy Day.

Every lie about Israel has a killer response founded in truth. If you want me to give examples, ask me in the Q+A. (I hope to soon publish a pamphlet of lies and how to respond to them).

Jewish students are intellectually inquisitive and seek the truth. Yet when it comes to rebutting lies about Israel they are strangely reticent. I don’t understand why.

Advocating for Israel is cool, very stimulating intellectually and can be incredibly rewarding personally. It has made me some great friends.

I think it’s the duty of Jewish students to be ambassadors for Israel on campus and to rebut the lies, but it’s a very pleasant duty – it’s fun, too.

I really don’t see why a Jewish student should not want to be an advocate for Israel. customers praise truths of ‘The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion’

Evidently, there’s a new edition of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the notorious antisemitic forgery which warns of a secret plot by Jews to take over the world, and is available at for under $15 (and may be eligible for super-saving free shipping).

While, in fairness, is a mega online shop which sells political books ranging from the extreme left to the extreme right, and is further protected by the U.S. First Amendment to continue doing so, some of the reviews (and publisher book description) are worth noting.

First, look at how the book cover incorporates Zionism into the equation, though the book was first translated into Russian, in its current form, in 1872, 25 years before the First Zionist Congress.


Amazon does includes, just below the product image, this message from the Anti-Defamation League:

The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, circulated by the Czarist secret police at the turn of the 20th century, is plainly and simply a plagiarized forgery. “The Protocols” has been a major weapon in the arsenals of anti-Semites around the world, republished and circulated by individuals, hate groups and governments to convince the gullible as well as the bigoted that Jews have schemed and plotted to take over the world.

But, following the ADL quote, there is this publisher synopsis:

When the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion were first discovered, Freemasons and Zionist Jews everywhere screamed and complained that these 24 Protocols are a hoax, a forgery, even a blood taint against the Jews. But then came the brutal and barbaric Communist Bolshevik Revolution in Russia and its captive republics, led by covert Masonic Jews Lenin, Trotsky, Kaganovich, and others. The cruel and sinister crimes of the crypto-Jew revolutionaries seemed to have jumped off the pages of the Protocols. The Red Terror, with its torturous massacres of innocent people, its monstrous gulag concentration camps, and the setting up of a Jewish dictatorship, also followed the agenda of the Protocols as did the persecution everywhere of Christians and churches. The entire world witnessed horrors that were a direct result of the heinous prescriptions laid out earlier in the Protocols. Find out how the Protocols are still being worked in our day and how our freedoms, even our very lives, are in jeopardy.

Then we get to the reader reviews, such as these contrasting view points. Note which one garners more favorable reviews.

First, there’s this comment which 10 of 13 people found helpful.

Click on image to read full review

This comment was critical of the book, and only garnered one positive remark.

As the positive reviews are thus far leading considerably over the negative reviews, we ask that you consider visiting this Amazon page and offering a negative review of the book.

+972’s Joseph Dana successfully freed himself from the “Zionist Indoctrination Program” (Updated)

I’m sad to say that, like most Jews who were once enrolled in the “Zionist Indoctrination Program” (ZIP), I have no recollection of the sessions.  

Perhaps the most insidious aspect of ZIP is that it evidently includes a memory erasing procedure which renders the subject unable to recall even a broad outline of what the experience was like.  

I mention this in the context of an event last night, sponsored by the Palestine Society of the University of London’s School of Oriental and Asian Studies (SOAS), called “Palestine: Resistance and Occupation”, which included Joseph Dana, an anti-Israel blogger for +972 Magazine.

Dana characterizes himself as an American Israeli Jew who was brought up in America in a Zionist Indoctrination Programme but who was able to free himself.

Per Richard Millet:

After completing a degree in Israel, also in Jewish history, [Dana] found that the “predominant nationalist rhetoric in Israel was at odds with the secular Judaism” he was trying to explore, specifically the idea of “life on the periphery, marginality and dispossesion”.

Instead, he said, he opened up to the Palestinian narrative and started to visit the West Bank and “observed the protests around the wall and settler violence”. To deal with the “emotional discharge” he started his blog.

He now lives and works in Ramallah reporting and tweeting full-time on the protests.

Of course there is no “predominant nationalist rhetoric” in Ramallah where they name streets after suicide bombers, where children are taught in school to hate Israel and where two Israeli soldiers were lynched, but Dana obviously feels more comfortable there than in Israel for some mystifying reason.

In the Q&A Dana was asked whether Zionism is “the work of the devil

So, Dana, the secular Jew, evidently nonplussed by such a pathological query predicated on the most intolerant, and religiously extreme, understanding of the world, answered as follows:

Dana, unlike me and countless other wretched souls, was able to free himself from Zionist Indoctrination Program, and develop his Jewish identity in an evidently philosemitic Palestinian culture which, to the untrained (ZIP graduate) eye, only seems pathologically antisemitic

Palestinian "Judeophiles" lynch Israeli Jews

When asked by Richard Millett about the Hamas charter which calls for the killing of Jews, and cites the Protocols of the Elders of Zion as “proof” that Jews indeed are trying to take over the world, Dana responded:

“Almost everything we can accuse Hamas of we can find the equal and sometimes worse situation inside of Israel.”

So, in summary, in the world according to +972’s Joseph Dana, a true free-thinker and liberal multiculturalist, unburden by the malevolent Zionist grip:

Most Jews are victims of a stealth community re-education program to indoctrinate them with Zionist values.

Palestinian culture is uniquely hospitable to those seeking to develop their Jewish identity.

Hamas Islamist ideology is morally equivalent, or superior, to Jewish nationalism. 

In fairness, though, the sober, thoughtful Dana is not yet prepared to characterize Zionism as “the work of the devil”.

UPDATE on Nov. 20: Dana questioned the veracity of Millett’s account of his answer about Hamas, during the Q&A at the SOAS event, (during a Twitter exchange today) so, here is a link to the audio proving the accuracy of Millett’s post.)

What the Guardian won’t report: Palestinian schools teach Protocols of Elders of Zion as fact

If you were a 10th-grade student in the Palestinian Authority (PA), you would learn that the Jewish Elders of Zion are conspiring to subjugate the entire world under a Jewish world government.

A high school textbook book, published by the Palestinian education ministry, teaches that among the foundations of Zionism, agreed upon at the First Zionist Congress in 1897:

“There is a group of confidential resolutions  adopted by the Congress and known by the name ‘The Protocols of the Elders of Zion’ the goal of which was world domination.”

As the report by Palestinian Media Watch noted.

The striking truth is that this depiction of Jews as conspiring against the world as a kind of conspiracy theory never went out of favor and has been actively espoused in PA society, whose political, religious and educational leaders have incorporated the Protocols – and the hate ideology it represents – as basic components of their world view.

The Protocols libel is critical for Palestinian society, especially while teaching children that it represents the First Zionist Congress, because it backs up the global ideology of delegitimization of Jews, Israel and especially of Zionism, which is the foundation of Palestinian Authority propaganda.

Defining the Zionist movement as one aspect of a global Jewish plot towards world domination leads to three important conclusions:

1- Zionism is inherently an illegitimate and sinister movement

2- Zionism is dangerous and threatening not merely to Arabs, but to the entire world.

3- Fighting Zionism is for Arabs and the world an act of self-defense and a service to all

As such, references to the Protocols appear regularly in the PA media, presented as authentic by academics, educators, political leaders and journalists.

A dominant preoccupation of PA academia is the repeated and varied denials of Israel’s historical right to exist.

These denials entail the erasure of Jewish history in the land, the creation of a Palestinian Islamic history in the land, and finally a motivation for Zionism to be established – other than its being an authentic national renaissance movement. Thus, a history is invented in which the Land of Israel has always been Arab Islamic “Palestine” with no Jewish roots, and Palestinian historians created reasons to explain Zionism’s occurrence.

The report continues:

Can there be co-existence on Palestinian land between ourselves and the Jews, in light of their mentality which stems from The Protocols of the Elders of Zion?”

The Protocols is being used as an excuse for fighting Israel, as there can be no peace with a movement which is evil in essence.

Official newspaper of the PA, Al Hayat Al Jadida, May 14, 2005

The PMW report concludes:

In spite of universal acceptance of the Protocols as an anti-Semitic forgery, the representation of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion as an authentic book representing a true Jewish conspiracy is part of Palestinian Authority ideology. The PA is using this libel the same way it was used by anti-Semites in the last century: Once it was documented by an “authentic” book that the Jews were part of an international conspiracy to dominate, control and conquer the world, then fighting them, persecuting them or even killing them could be
presented as legitimate self-defense.

The Protocols for the Palestinians serve the same purpose as the blood libels and the myths of the poisoned wells: If the Jews are scheming to kill others, then fighting them is legitimate self-defense and even admirable.

As such facts regarding endemic antisemitism in the PA are inconsistent with tales of Israeli villainy, and Palestinian victimhood, don’t expect to ever read about them on the Israel or Palestinian Territories pages of the Guardian. 

What the Guardian won’t report: Notorious anti-Semite, Gilad Atzmon, a featured speaker at flotilla fundraiser

H/T Engage

How anyone in the media can cover the latest Flotilla as a movement which represents progressive politics, in even the broadest sense of that word, is truly one of the mysteries of modern journalism. 

As I pointed out previously, one of the literary celebrities on board the U.S. vessel is Alice Walker – who is on record comparing Israel with Nazi Germany. You’d think that a movement affiliated with someone leveling such an ugly and hateful charge would diminish the progressive luster of the movement, but the Guardian, as with much of the mainstream media, has demonstrated a tremendous capacity at ignoring facts which contradict a preconceived narrative of immutable Palestinian victimhood and Israeli villainy. 

More recently, the U.S. Boat to Gaza, which is about to set sail in order to break Israel’s blockade of lethal weapons flowing into Hamas-controlled Gaza, is proudly advertising a benefit featuring Gilad Atzmon.


How anti-Semitic is this acclaimed jazz saxophonist?  

Here are a couple quotes which would seem rather, let’s say, unprogressive:

“They try to call me an anti-Semite, I’m not an anti-Semite. I’ve got nothing against the Semite people, I don’t have anything against people – I’m anti-Jewish, not anti-Jews.”

“I think Jewish ideology is driving our planet into a catastrophe and we must stop.”

“The Nazis were indeed . . . evil. They did things that were disastrously inhuman and unacceptable. But this doesn’t mean the Jewish ideology is correct, because in fact Jewish ideology and Nazi ideology were very similar.”

And, check out these gems:

“I’m not going to say whether its right or wrong to burn down a synagogue. I can see it as a rational act.”

“Jewish lobbies certainly do not hold back when it comes to pressuring states, world leaders, and even super powers.  AIPAC’s behavior reminded me of the Jewish declaration of war against Nazi Germany in 1933.”

“We must begin to take the accusation that the Jewish people are trying to control the world very seriously…American Jewry makes any debate on whether ‘The Protocols of the Elders of Zion’ are an authentic document or rather a forgery irrelevant. American Jews do try to control the world by proxy.”

This is more than mere bigotry against Jews. Its’ rhetorical evil that is simply indistinguishable from Nazi and other classic expressions of historical Jew-hatred. 

Yet, despite such odious associations, the flotilla movement will continue to be covered by the Guardian as a force of liberalism, and characterize its critics as Zionist apologists – further proof of the profound and stunning moral inversion which continually informs coverage of the Middle East by the “world’s leading liberal voice.” 

Alice Walker and the audacity of useful idiocy



Alice Walker, center, on a Code Pink "mission' to Gaza

To contextualize Alice Walker’s explanation for participating in the “Freedom Flotilla II” (Alice Walker: Why I’m joining the Freedom Flotilla to Gaza, Guardian, June 25) you need to read her moral reasoning here:

“I feel that the Israel that many Jews dreamed of having – that one is gone. That’s demolished. I think it’s time for people to accept that. Because what you have now is something that is so frightening. Israel is as frightening to many of us as Germany used to be.”

To equate the democratic Jewish state with Nazi Germany is more than stupid, its unimaginably cruel – a simply grotesque moral inversion of the worst order.

If Walker was part of a left who was loyal to liberal principles, who swore allegiance not to the post-colonialism of fools, nor the anti-imperialism of idiots, but, rather, to a progressive politics which took seriously moral distinctions between flawed liberal democracies and reactionary Islamic fundamentalism, she would have long ago been denounced as a hypocrite of the first order, someone ill-suited to the cause to which she claimed allegiance.

Asking Israel to defend itself from charges that it is like the Nazis who exterminated 6 million Jews is as reasonable as asking America to defend itself from charges, from Iran, that it is the “Great Satan”.  That is, nobody who’s morally or intellectually serious would deem such a hateful and grotesque invective as worth of a reply.

Walker explains that the boat she’s riding to Gaza, The Audacity of Hope, is “carrying letters to the people of Gaza. Letters expressing solidarity and love.”

She further, quite audaciously – and comically in the context of the violent, anti-Semitic, and fanatically illiberal Hamas regime she’s providing moral succor – conjures Ghandi and, covering her liberal Jewish flank, even has the gall to summon the moral example of “ the Jewish civil rights activists who faced death to come to the side of black people in the American south in our time of need”.

As a Jew, I don’t require Walker’s sanctimony; as a morally sober student of the civil rights movement, I’m simply aghast at the attempt to equate the quite moral struggles of African-Americans in the 50s and 60s with Hamas’ explicit genocidal designs on the Jewish state.  Walker demeans the movement to which she claims authority. Ismail Haniyeh as Martin Luther King mocks the latter and grotesquely elevates the former.

Walker, schooled in the art of compassion, liberalism, and liberation evidently fails to note that the regime she’s providing succor is beyond illiberal, is more than merely regressive.  Indeed, Hamas, the movement which runs Gaza, which imports arms from Iran, and which fires rockets at Israeli schoolchildren, resembles – indeed, wildly exceeds – the racist fervor of the  “‘good ol’ boys’ of Neshoba County”, the racists of Mississippi, Bull Conner, and Jim Crow.

Walker’s liberalism is a liberalism turned, morally, upside down.

She’s evidently blind to the explicit classical anti-Semitism of Hamas’ founding charter, which quotes directly from The Protocols of the Elders of Zion’ to “prove” that Jews are indeed trying to take over the world, unaware of their radical misogyny or their homophobia and religious supremacy.

Nick Cohen’s book, “What’s Left?”, dissects, with laser precision, the radical left’s moral blind spots, their tendency to overlook, in the name of multiculturalism!, the sins of “dark-skinned” despots, and obsess over the sins of the democratic West.

If there was a decent left, a left which elevated liberal principle over moral posturing, Alice Walker would be derided as the political traitor she is and excommunicated from the moral community she dares to claim allegiance. 

Let it be known that the cognitive war against the right of the Jewish state to live is being waged in the name of liberalism and civil rights – reactionary anti-Zionism in the name of progressive politics. 

“Audacious” doesn’t begin to describe it.

Hamas’s Karma

Karma Nabulsi has a lively imagination.

While this imagination is most haunted by a crude, ugly caricature of Israelis – who she has literally accused (in a CiF entry from 2006) of blowing Palestinian schoolchildren to bits while they play – it is also informed by a romanticized and sanitized vision of Palestinian “resistance“.

Nabulsi believes that current Palestinian divisions are “not political” but, merely, “geographic”.

Indeed, Karma Nabulsis latest plea for Palestinian elections seeks to include not only the several million living in Gaza and the West Bank, but the millions more living elsewhere in the Arab world. (The single demand that can unite the Palestinian people, CiF, March 29).

If this is indeed the case,  if the estimated 9 million Palestinians (included in Nabulsi’s expansive definition of this “community”), are an ideologically homogeneous bunch, then recent history would suggest that the likely results of such an election would likely move this greater Palestinian Moshav in a decidedly more illiberal direction – a scenario which is unlikely to trouble the former PLO representative and Oxford academic.

Of course, the reactionary forces which have previously served to sooth the Palestinian political soul is the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas).

In the January 25, 2006, not long after Israel withdrew every last remaining Jew from Gaza, Palestinians held parliamentary elections and, in a fair and free election which garnered a 77.7% voter turnout, a plurality of Palestinians voted for Hamas, the Iranian backed terrorist group dedicated to the destruction of Israel.

After a brief period of a Hamas-Fatah unity government, Hamas, between June 7 -15 2007, launched a bloody purge of Fatah officials, killing scores of political opponents, and which resulted in Hamas’ complete control of Gaza.

Since 1989 Hamas has carried out over 100 terrorist attacks, killing over 500, and has launched over 12,000 rockets and mortars into Israel since 2001.

The Hamas Charter includes:

  • Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.” (The Martyr, Imam Hassan al-Banna, of blessed memory).
  • “The Islamic Resistance Movement believes that the land of Palestine is an Islamic Waqf consecrated for future Muslim generations until Judgement Day. It, or any part of it, should not be squandered: it, or any part of it, should not be given up. “
  • “There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors.”
  • “After Palestine, the Zionists aspire to expand from the Nile to the Euphrates. When they will have digested the region they overtook, they will aspire to further expansion, and so on. Their plan is embodied in the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion”, and their present conduct is the best proof of what we are saying.”

One of the most ominous aspects of the Charter however, is this Hadith:

Moreover, if the links have been distant from each other and if obstacles, placed by those who are the lackeys of Zionism in the way of the fighters obstructed the continuation of the struggle, the Islamic Resistance Movement aspires to the realisation of Allah’s promise, no matter how long that should take. The Prophet, Allah bless him and grant him salvation, has said:

“The Day of Judgement will not come about until Muslims fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Muslims, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him. Only the Gharkad tree, would not do that because it is one of the trees of the Jews.”

The implication is that Allah promised that the Jews will be murdered, and Hamas “aspires to the realisation of Allah’s promise, no matter how long that should take.”

While anyone with a grasp of the history of anti-Semitism shouldn’t be surprised by the continued existence of movements who hate Jews and openly seek their destruction, the tendency of supposed progressive voices to legitimize, excuse and sanitize such naked malice towards such a historically persecuted religious minority is a more recent and uniquely dangerous political dynamic – one which this blog is dedicated to exposing.

Karma Nabulsi, much like the publication which grants her license, seems to possess an insatiable desire to glorify even the most explicitly reactionary and malicious Palestinian liberation movements and, in so doing, provides Hamas with their only source of true strength – soft power not deriving from their military might, or even the zealotry of the group’s adherents, but rather the moral legitimacy provided to them by a Western world increasingly rendered mute in the face of pure political malevolence.

This profound moral abdication is the gift to Hamas which the likes of Karma Nabulsi will likely continue to exploit.