‘The UN Has Inverted Right and Wrong’, Says Expert.(INN).
It’s time to re-think the United Nations, which turns Israel into a villain, says human rights scholar Anne Bayefsky.
The United Nations has been a “major disappointment” in the 21st Century and has “inverted right and wrong,” human rights scholar and activist Anne Bayefsky.
The UN “was founded in the middle of the 20th Century to offer a new world order based on peace and security and protection of human rights, and it has inverted right and wrong so that Israel becomes the villain and the victims become those who are some of the most intolerant people in the region,” said Bayefsky.
She said that a “re-thinking” about the organization is in order, adding, “I think there is some mistaken belief on the part of democracies that the UN is some kind of harmless talking shop and that the kind of anti-Semitic, anti-Zionist, anti-Americanism that goes on at the United Nations won’t have its effects. But it does.”
Two weeks ago, noted Bayefsky, “the major committee that’s been tasked with drafting a comprehensive convention on terrorism for the first time in history ended once again – as it has done year after year – in disarray, because they can’t agree to define terrorism. The Organization of Islamic Cooperation believes that there should be an exception clause for so-called ‘legitimate struggle.’”
She mentioned the remarks this week of Richard Falk, the United Nations Human Rights Council-appointed “Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967.” Falk implied that the Boston terror attack was a justified response to U.S. policies in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq.
“This isn’t harmless talking,” stressed Bayefsky. “When people don’t understand the difference between right and wrong it encourages terrorism to the detriment of both Israel and the United States.”
Elder of Ziyon: From the Wits (Johannesburg) Vuvuzela: Israeli-born pianist Yossi Reshef was escorted off stage by Wits Campus Control last night as students protested his presence on campus during Israel Apartheid Week.
“This guy coming here is trying to undermine Israel Apartheid week,” SRC vice-president (internal) Tokelo Nhlapo told Wits Vuvuzela. Members of the Wits Student Representative Council (SRC), Muslim Students Association (MSA), Palestinian Solidarity Committee (PSC) as well as Progressive Youth Alliance (PYA), called for the protest as they did not want the concert to happen during international Israel Apartheid week. Campus control had initially prevented the group of about 50 protesters from entering the Atrium Hall in the South West Engineering building where the concert was being held. Students chanted and banged on the doors. The protesters sang songs such as “Dubula ibhunu” a song that was previously under review due to what the AfriForum referred to as “hurtful lyrics”. Once Campus Control opened the doors students stormed into the hall. They disrupted the performance by jumping on stage as well as blowing their vuvuzelas. Student activist Mbuyiseni Ndlozi addressed the crowd after they stormed the hall. “Our visitors must understand that we are Wits students in good standing. They must understand that in this university Zionism will not enjoy (sic) anymore. They will not bring anything related, sponsored, corroborating with Israel and will expect it will be romantically accepted.”
Reshef does not even live in Israel – he lives in Berlin and spends most of his time in Europe and the US. (The concert was partly funded by the Israel Embassy. Horrible, I know. Although according to MyShtetl, the Israel embassy was not involved.)
The University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, deeply regrets that a concert held on its campus last night was disrupted by some members of the University community and representatives of external organisations. In light of this incident, the University takes this opportunity to issue a public apology to all those who attended the concert. The disruption of this event points to intolerance on the part of some members of the University community and goes against the core values espoused by the University. The University is investigating this matter and will take the necessary action based on its policies, processes and procedures. The University reiterates that the views and opinions expressed by the Students’ Representative Council or any other student groups on campus do not represent the official views of the University, nor are they necessarily an accurate reflection of the views of the majority of students, staff and alumni. (h/t Steven Z) UPDATE: Here is a description of the events: Eventually all the doors were closed and the concert was finally allowed to begin. However, as Mr Reshef began to play the protestors outside were blowing vuvuzelas and chanting loudly as a means of trying to disrupt the piano recital. During this time, the security remained outside to guard the main door. After some time, things became quiet. Suddenly, while Mr Reshef was in middle of playing Beethoven’s “Tempest” Sonata, another door within the concert hall burst open. The protestors started streaming into the venue whilst chanting and making loud noises as they attempted to sabotage the recital. It was later discovered that the protesters had actually broken into a fire exit and come in through that door. Security swiftly arrived on the scene and managed to push the protesters out of the hall for a time. Nevertheless, the protestors became so forceful that the security officers were actually pushed backward and once again they came into the main hall screaming, jumping and blowing vuvuzelas. Yossi Reshef was ushered out of the venue very quickly as chaos began to reign within the hall. An eyewitness who wished to remain anonymous even stated he saw the Vice-President of the Wits SRC, cheer one of the protestors who began to violently hit the piano keys of a Steinway Piano that was being used by Mr Reshef. One of the music professor’s, who was truly horrified by what was taking place quickly, ran over to close this very expensive piece of musical equipment. By this time, five members of the Wits SRC, including the President were present in the hall watching this all take place but were doing nothing to put a stop to it. The guests were all forced to leave as security was unable to get a handle on the pandemonium taking place within the venue. As the guests left in a hurry, the protesters began to shout in unison “down with Israel.” Eyewitnesses have described the protestors as “hooligans” who were purposefully trying to destroy a beautiful evening that was supposed to be memorable; unfortunately for the wrong reasons. It must be noted that Yossi Reshef resides in Berlin and is not in any way politically affiliated with Israel. This hate action against Mr Reshef and the guests was done purely because he was just born in Israel.
How Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez is Using Anti-Semitism to Maintain His Power—Against a Challenger Who Isn’t Even JewishJune 13, 2012
Venezuelan opposition leader Henrique Capriles delivers a speech in Caracas on June 10, 2012 (Leo Ramirez/AFP/Getty Images) The Dispossessed (Tablet/By Matthew Fishbane) Hugo Chávez is ramping up his assault on Venezuela’s upper class, and now a rare Jewish paradise is squarely in his sights. Can it be salvaged? Four days ago, Henrique Capriles, the youthful governor of Miranda state in Venezuela, launched his campaign to rid the country of Hugo Chávez at the presidential election scheduled for October this year. Joined by thousands of supporters, the newly minted candidate led a six-mile procession through the capital city, Caracas. Their final destination was the office of the national election board, where Capriles formally registered his candidacy. The march showcased Capriles, whose Jewish origins have been mercilessly attacked by the Chavistas, as the anti-Chávez—not just figuratively, but literally as well. By marching for a long distance over a short space of time, Capriles wanted his fellow Venezuelans to see him as the picture of health, in marked contrast to the ailing Chávez. For more than a year now, Chávez’s physical condition has been subjected to the sort of rolling speculation typically reserved for dictators. Until Saturday, Chávez had released virtually no information about the terminal cancer he is widely believed to be suffering from. Then, one day before the Capriles march, he summoned journalists to his presidential palace to tell them, “I feel very good.” The following day, Chávez held a buoyant election rally of his own.
The rally didn’t disguise the fact that Chávez, who is currently serving his third term as president, has never looked so vulnerable. His failing health is only part of the story; in the six years that have passed since the last election, the country has become mired in poverty, violent crime, and corruption. Fired by the high price of oil, Venezuela’s principle export, Chávez lavished cash on social spending, while the underlying economy suffered from inflation and capital flight. These days, Venezuela looks less like a socialist version of Singapore and more like the Latin American equivalent of Zimbabwe. According to Sammy Eppel, the head of the Human Rights Commission of the Venezuelan Bna’i Brith and a frequent commentator on Venezuelan affairs, not even the 8 million beneficiaries of Chávez’s grandiose social justice programs, who combined make up nearly half of the electorate, can be relied upon to cast their votes for the commandante. Capriles, a moderate leftist who leads a coalition of 30 opposition parties, plans to capitalize on this uncertainty.
Yet in a country like Venezuela, where infrequent elections are the only glimmer of democratic hope in the face of a regime that has acquired the core features of a dictatorship, no opposition candidate can be considered a shoo-in. Most polls show Chávez comfortably in front; nonetheless, the regime has several options up its sleeve in the event of a Capriles victory.
There is the prospect of Chavismo without Chávez, whereby a handpicked successor continues the path of the revolution; Chávez’s daughter and brother are spoken of as possible candidates, as is current Foreign Minister Nicolás Maduro. There is the constantly swirling talk of a military coup, a measure that the country’s generals, who are immersed in drug trafficking worth hundreds of millions of dollars, might decide is a preferable alternative to being arrested and imprisoned by a democratic government. In addition, Chávez could follow the example of his close ally Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and simply steal the election. “We do not have an electoral arbiter,” I was told by Diego Arria, a leading opposition figure and former Venezuelan U.N. ambassador. “We have what I call the ‘Ministry of Elections of Mr. Chávez.’ And they will do whatever they have to in order to prevent a defeat.”
Lastly, and arguably most importantly, Chávez can marshal his extraordinary media and propaganda resources to pound away at Capriles’ reputation. Central to that effort is the demonization of Capriles as an agent of capitalism, gringoism, imperialism, and—critically—a concoction of conspiratorial tropes that point to the greatest lurking danger of all: “Zionism,” which for many is interchangeable with “Judaism.” As a recent headline in the weekly pro-Chávez rag Kikiriki so elegantly put it, “We are fucked if the Jews come to power.”
Henrique Capriles may be a devout Catholic, but he comes from Jewish stock. His mother’s family, the Radonskis, were Jewish émigrés from Poland; his great-grandparents were exterminated in the Treblinka concentration camp; and his grandmother spent nearly two years in the beleaguered Warsaw Ghetto. His father, meanwhile, is descended from the long-established Sephardic community on the Caribbean island of Curaçao. Although Capriles has expressed pride in his background, his family never considered themselves part of Venezuela’s diminutive Jewish community. For the purposes of the regime’s propaganda operation, that brooks no difference.
“The best opposition candidate for Chávez is Capriles,” said Sammy Eppel. “Any other candidate, like Diego Arria, would be different—they couldn’t call him a Zionist. But Capriles fits the bill perfectly.” Eppel points out that the cartoons lampooning Capriles in the Chávez-controlled press invariably feature him wearing a Star of David. And because Capriles is unmarried, the Chavistas can’t resist a homophobic swipe either; in many of these same cartoons, he wears a pair of pink shorts.
“There is no anti-Semitic tradition in Venezuelan culture,” asserts Daniel Duquenal, one of the few dissident bloggers in Venezuela. “But Chávez has been systematically developing anti-Semitism in Venezuela.” All of which is eerily reminiscent of “anti-Semitism without Jews,” a phenomenon that emerged in the eastern bloc and in certain Arab countries following the Second World War. Absent a numerically significant Jewish community, anti-Semitism becomes a largely ideological weapon, designed to stoke fears of shadowy outside forces hatching conspiracies.
What, if any, are the potential gains of such a strategy for Chávez? Diego Arria is adamant that while the regime is unambiguously anti-Semitic, its deployment of anti-Semitic discourse will yield few concrete advantages. “Capriles says, ‘I am a mariano, a follower of the Virgin Mary,’ ” says Arria, who attended school with Capriles’ father. “People in Venezuela do not see him as a Jew. I don’t believe that an anti-Semitic campaign will have much impact on the Venezuelan population.”
Contrastingly, Duquenal argues that the value of anti-Semitism lies outside the domestic arena, pointing to Chávez’s geopolitical calculations. Chávez has actively promoted a close commercial and political relationship with the mullahs in Iran. He has established himself as a loyal ally of Syrian dictator Bashar al Assad going so far as to dispatch 300,000 tons of diesel, which arrived on a Venezuelan freighter, La Negra Hipolita, two days before the gruesome massacre in the town of Houla. Last week, Chávez ended another long period out of public view by publicly welcoming a delegation from Belarus sent by that country’s dictator, Alexander Lukashenko, who plans to visit Caracas personally in a few weeks from now.
“Anti-Semitism has been created artificially because Chávez wants to align himself with radical regimes against the United States,” Duquenal said. “That’s the only logical explanation I can find for why Chavismo has deliberately decided to become an anti-Semitic political movement.” Continue reading: ‘The Jewish Problem’Both Duquenal and Sammy Eppel point to the enduring influence over Chávez of Norberto Ceresole, the late Argentinian fascist intellectual with whom he struck up a friendship. “Ceresole was like the parrot on Chávez’s shoulder,” Eppel says. “He wanted bring the far left and the far right together, and he persuaded Chávez that he was the man to do that.” Once Chávez, following Ceresole, aligned the dregs of fascism with those of communism, anti-Semitism became the ideological glue binding the Chavismo model of government, in which the relationship between the leader and his people is central, unencumbered by pesky interferences like an independent judiciary. It is no accident, Eppel believes, that the first chapter of a book by Ceresole extolling this model was titled “The Jewish Problem.”
Occasionally, the vulgar rhetoric of Venezuelan anti-Semitism has strayed into physical attacks. In January 2009, an armed gang stormed the Tiferet Israel synagogue in Caracas, spraying choice slogans like “Damned Israel, Death!” on its walls. This particular theme echoed a speech that Chávez delivered in China in 2006, in which he claimed that Israel had “done something similar to what Hitler did, possibly worse, against half the world.”
In a monograph published in April, “Chávez, The Left and The Jews,” the academics Claudio Lomnitz and Rafael Sanchez contend that in Chávez’s Venezuela, “politics and political life represent a kind of hand-to-hand combat between the ‘people,’ united by ‘love,’ and its enemies, united by hatred—the ‘ire’ that Ceresole imputes to the Jews.” Such cloyingly emotional, anti-rational politics are the perfect breeding ground for the fantasies about Jewish power that Chávez has actively promoted and that will doubtless be wheeled out against Capriles as the election approaches.
For Venezuela’s remaining Jews, these anti-Semitic fantasies underline their own harsh reality. Diego Arria describes the community as having been “decimated”; under Chávez, its numbers have declined from a height of 30,000 to just 9,000. Moreover, the Chavista bureaucracy seemingly delights in placing obstacles in the community’s way. Just before Passover this year, the interior ministry announced that extra sanitary permits would be needed if the importation of matzo, the unleavened bread consumed during the festival, was to be approved. And when the Jewish community needs to make official representations, its leaders are directed to the Foreign Ministry—proof, Sammy Eppel asserts, that the regime fundamentally regards Jews as aliens, not Venezuelan citizens.
All the indicators are that Venezuelan Jews will continue to leave the country, heading for more benign destinations like Colombia, Mexico, and Miami. “They are an integrated Latin community, so they go where there is a Latin culture,” says Eppel. “This isn’t a Polish shtetl.” It is possible that a Capriles victory will stem the tide of emigration, but even then, the years of destruction wrought by Chávez will remain a powerful push factor for Jews and non-Jews alike.
The idea that only fascism is the cause of hate and that Communism stands apart from it is naive and ignorant. There are other reasons to hate someone other then their race. I could hate you because of the brand of shoes you wear and given power, your shoes could be the means of which I will attempt to divide you from a populist mob rampage or in the back rooms of a dictatorship. The great irony that we have accepted RACE as being the only prejudice humans can have… and yet it’s an artificial construct that can be taylor made for the elite. Of course you can change your shoes… or you can change your philosophy or religion… but what if you really liked those shoes?
…In the early 20th century, Eastern European Jews had two love affairs – with Communism and with Zionism. But the Communists betrayed them. The Hungarian intellectual, Arthur Koestler, compared his time as a Communist with the deception practised on Jacob when he slept with the ugly Leah instead of Rachel.
Early Communists didn’t want to be bothered with Jewish issues which, they thought, would be automatically resolved under socialism. By the 1920s, Stalin was using antisemitism to defeat his opponents in the party, many of whom were Jewish. One, Karl Radek, asked: “What’s the difference between Moses and Stalin? Moses took the Jews out of Egypt. Stalin takes them out of the Communist Party”.
By the 1930s, Stalin’s great opponent, Trotsky, had come to believe that Jews might well not assimilate after all. He began to speak of “the Jewish nation”. A socialist Zionist who met him in 1937 thought her words “penetrated deep into his heart, that he was glad to hear about a world from which he had dissociated himself”. She thought that “he was listening not like a man who placed himself above all nationality,” and that, “our great idea found an echo in his heart”. Trotsky’s biographer and disciple, Isaac Deutscher, a self-confessed “non-Jewish Jew”, later admitted that, had he urged Jews in the 1930s to go to Palestine, many, including his own family, would have been saved.
The non-Communist left was more sympathetic to Zionism. Ralph Miliband, father of Ed and David, insisted, in a long correspondence with a Belgian socialist, Marcel Liebman, that his kind of socialism did not preclude recognition of Jewish identity. “What right do the Jews have to be in Palestine… Their right stems from the fact that the world is what it is”. Perhaps there is no better answer.
(Simply Jews)stumbled across this, sort of, on the Standpoint website. It’s Nick Cohen’s review of Colin Shindler’s “Israel and the European Left”. Actually, (Simply Jews) was chasing down a link in a comments thread elsewhere, but what matters is that (Simply Jews) found it!(Nick Cohen, Colin Shindler and left antisemitism)
Cohen starts off with a set of general comments on the original ideological links between Communism and Zionism, before they became, in his own words, separated at birth. Then he comes to Shindler’s book. Almost his first direct comment on it is the following: “If [Colin Shindler] has not produced a secret history, then it is a history of a secret in plain view; an account of facts that are available but not discussed. After (Brian Goldfarb) interviewed him at Jewish Book Week, members of the audience said they had never before heard anyone examine the racist strain in left-wing thinking, even though it was there from the beginning.”
Of course, the readers of this and similar sites will not be at all surprised that this strain, as Cohen puts it, in left-wing thinking. If we weren’t aware, we wouldn’t be here in the first place. Anne’s opinions (another Israel based website, in English) was kind enough to post a longish article By (Brian Goldfarb) on the Jewish Book Week, including his reactions to the Shindler/Cohen session.(How the Left Turned Against the Jews | Standpoint)”You cry out against Jewish capital, gentlemen?” cried one. “You are against Jewish capital and want to eliminate the stock manipulators. Rightly so. Trample the Jewish capitalists under foot, hang them from the street lamps, stamp them out.”Ruth Fischer sounded like a Nazi. She used the same hate-filled language. She wanted to murder Jews. But Hitler would never have accepted her. Fischer was a leader of the German Communist Party. She made her small differences of opinion with the Nazis clear when she went on to say that her audience should not just trample Jewish capitalists to death, but all capitalists.Unconcerned by the contradiction, Hitler said the Jews were at once a “Judaeo-Bolshevik” conspiracy and a capitalist conspiracy. In Fischer’s case, he was half right. The rabble-rouser who wanted to hang Jewish capitalists was a Jewish Communist, the sister of Hanns Eisler, who wrote music for some of Brecht’s early plays. Eisler and Brecht fled the Nazis in 1933. A sense of self-preservation triumphed over ideology, and they found permanent sanctuary in America rather than in Stalin’s Soviet Union. Hanns could not have been surprised when the House Committee on Un-American Activities demanded his deportation. He was a prominent Communist composer who worked for Hollywood, which the American Right considered a nest of reds. Eisler was perhaps more surprised to discover that his own sister Ruth was a witness for the prosecution when the McCarthyites arraigned him in 1947. Supporters of Stalin had denounced her as a “Left oppositionist” Trotskyist. She responded by not only going over to the “capitalist camp” but by providing evidence against Hanns, and against a second brother, Gerhart, who was a leading agent in the Comintern.(MORE)
(How the Left Turned Against the Jews | Standpoint)Shindler is a properly impartial historian, but when his beliefs show through he reveals himself to be a social democrat rather than an Israel-firster or man of the Right. The left-wing press won’t like it for the same reason Caliban did not like the sight of his face in the mirror.(MORE)Beyond the ideological divide lies the almost taboo nature of Shindler’s subject. Conventional wisdom does not regard Communism with the same abhorrence as fascism, even though if you want to be an accountant about it and add up the skulls of the dead, you will find that the Communists murdered many more people than the fascists did, began murdering before fascists came to power and carried on murdering after the fascists had gone. Yet few can bring themselves to see fascism and Communism as moral equivalents. Even Robert Conquest, who mapped the crimes of Stalin, and had been mocked by the know-nothing Left of his day as a Cold War fantasist, said he thought the Nazis were worse than the Communists. He couldn’t explain why, they just felt worse.
(How the Left Turned Against the Jews | Standpoint)The movements for Jewish self-determination and Russian Communism were twins separated at birth. The First Zionist conference met on August 27, 1897, to discuss the escape from anti-Semitic Europe to Palestine. The General Jewish Labour Bund held its first conference in Vilnius on October 7, 1897, to organise the Russian Empire’s Jews in a united socialist party. The Russian Social Democratic Labour Party, from which the Bolsheviks split, held its first conference in March 1898. Naturally, the Bund sent delegates. For liberal and left-wing Europeans of the late 19th century, no regime was more repellent than Tsarist autocracy, and nothing better symbolised its reactionary nature than its anti-Semitic pogroms. Jews responded to the terror by keeping their Jewish identity and joining Jewish socialist movements, such as the Bund, or by becoming entirely assimilated Communists, as Trotsky and many others did.(MORE)
(How the Left Turned Against the Jews | Standpoint)The coincidences of history do not end there. On November 2, 1917, Arthur Balfour sent his declaration to Baron Rothschild that the British Empire would allow the Jewish people to find a home in Palestine “it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities”. On November 7, 1917, the Bolsheviks stormed the Winter Palace.(MORE)
(How the Left Turned Against the Jews | Standpoint)As so often the theory was one thing and the practice another. The belief that Communism was better than Nazism stops us seeing that the Bolshevik Revolution was an insane idea from its inception. A “vanguard” party, composed of a tiny band of professional revolutionaries, could hold on to power only by terrorising the subject population. The Bolsheviks had to crush independent Jewish organisations, as they had to crush all other independent organisations. Yet even before the Bolsheviks produced a left-wing variant of the Nazi conspiracy theory, the Jews were a special case in the old Soviet Union. The Bolsheviks recognised other minorities as minorities with homelands. They never said that there should be a Jewish homeland in their empire. Socialist Zionism was a particular threat to the new regime. If Jews succeeded in building a socialist state in Israel, it would be a rival. Lenin set a loyalty test. Before he came to power, he purged the Communist movement of supporters of the Bund. The only Jews he permitted to remain were Jews who were so thoroughly assimilated that they were barely Jews at all.(MORE)
(Trotsky: heartfelt echo By Colin Shindler, Continuum, £17.99 Review: Israel and the European Left | The Jewish Chronicle By Vernon Bogdanor) Unlike Lenin, Stalin was an anti-Semite and understood the uses of irrational hatred. His crimes took the forms of the sins of omission and commission. The omission was not to see Nazism for what it was, and ally with it in the Hitler-Stalin pact of August 1939. It remains one of the most hypocritical and stupid acts in the annals of diplomacy, where examples of hypocrisy and stupidity are not hard to find. Throughout the 1930s Communist writers, poets and propagandists had denounced fascism and urged a popular front against the Hitlerian menace. Then in August 1939 Stalin stood on his head and announced a Soviet reconciliation with Nazi Germany so they might partition Poland between them. Stalin believed in Hitler. Solzhenitsyn speculated in The First Circle that Hitler was the only man he ever really trusted. The complete surprise Hitler achieved when he invaded an unprepared Soviet Union in 1941 suggests that Solzhenitsyn was right. By signing the pact, the Soviet Union agreed to hand over the Jews of western Poland to the Nazis. Although conventional historians lazily say that the pact shocked a generation of leftists, Shindler points out that membership of the British Communist Party actually rose after the tyrants had cut a deal, and hardly anyone worried about the fate of Polish Jewry. Those who had shouted loudest about the dangers of fascism from 1933 to 1938 were as willing as Chamberlain and Halifax to appease it in 1939.(MORE)
It’s gotta be the shoes
(cifwatch.com) Beginning in 1937, during the Spanish Civil War, approximately 2800 Americans fought in Spain on behalf of the Republican cause, in the Abraham Lincoln Brigade and elsewhere. Most were members of the Communist Party or other leftist organizations. They served without the support of the U.S. government, were treated with suspicion after the war, and in some cases were even prosecuted by the Roosevelt Administration for recruiting volunteers into the Brigade. These volunteers into a foreign army are universally regarded with respect and even reverence by American liberals and the broader left. (image via alba-valb.org)(MORE)
Ambassador Howard Gutman explains
Obama policy to stunned Smurfs
(calev ben yefuneh) Fresnozionism.org
04 December ’11
Last week a conference was held in Brussels to develop a legal strategy to fight antisemitism :
Almost 100 people from 16 countries gathered in the capital of Europe to discuss means to confront growing anti-Semitism and its new forms, anti-Zionism and the delegitimization of the State of Israel, particularly in some European countries where the issue of Jew-hatred appears to be more acute and where legal weapons do not yet exist.
One of the speakers was Howard Gutman, the (Jewish) Ambassador of the US to to Belgium. His remarks reportedly ‘stunned’ attendees, who heard him blame the Jews and Israel for antisemitism:
He said “there is and has long been some amount of anti-Semitism, of hatred and violence against Jews, from a small sector of the population who hate others who may be different or perceived to be different, largely for the sake of hating.” “Those anti-Semites are people who hate not only Jews, but Muslims, gays, gypsies, and likely any who can be described as minorities or different. That hatred is of course pernicious and it must be combated…”
He sees growing intimidation and violence directed at Jews as a result of the continuing tensions between Israel and the Palestinian territories and other Arab neighbors in the Middle East.
Peace in the Middle East, he said would significantly reduce this form of anti-Semitism in Europe. “The solution for this second type of problem – too often lumped under a general banner of anti-Semitism – is in the hands of Israel, the Palestinians and Arab neighbors in the Middle East,” the ambassador declared.
In Gutman’s world, there are only two kinds of antisemites: those that also hate Muslims, gays, etc. — neo-Nazi xenophobes — and those who hate Jews and Israel because of the conflict with the Palestinians.
Note that this is in keeping with the Obama Administration’s rule book: it is forbidden to say anything bad about Islam or Muslim culture. You cannot say that it is imbued with antisemitism, which it is, and which in fact makes antisemites out of many Muslims. So Muslim antisemitism must be in some way justified.
Gutman seems to think that Muslim antisemitism sprang full-grown from the head of the Israeli-Arab conflict, in 1967 or perhaps as as early as 1948. If this conflict could be solved, he suggests, then suddenly Muslim and left-wing antisemitism would vanish, leaving us only the neo-Nazis to worry about.
He ignores Muslim Jew-hatred which goes back to the Quran and other teachings of Mohammad, and which, like the Christian variety, was often expressed quite brutally, long before there was an Israel, and indeed before Zionism was a gleam in the eye of Theodore Herzl.
Yes, there were times and places where Jews could accept a second-class dhimmi status and live alongside Muslims relatively unmolested. But the antisemitic teachings were always there, ready to explode in violence if the Sultan owed money to Jewish merchants or simply decided that there were too many of them.
Pogroms were not rare in the land of Israel, even before Zionist immigration. For example, in 1834 — the First Aliyah began in 1881 — there was a murderous pogrom in Tzfat, which went on for 33 days:
The forgotten pogrom in Tzfat was a regular pogrom, a dreadful yet familiar experience to Jews in both the Islamic world and in Christian Europe. Like all pogroms it was an act of senseless brutality, where the victims were totally helpless. It had no political agenda or motive behind it. There was no ‘Zionist entity’ whose existence served as an excuse to murder civilians; it was motivated by pure greed. The Palestinian Arabs of the Eastern Galilee took advantage of a regional crisis, the war between Egypt and Turkey, to attack their Jewish neighbors and strip them of everything they had, clothes, property, houses, and the like. In the process people were beaten in the streets, many times to death, synagogues destroyed and holy books desecrated.
– Dvar Dea, The Forgotten Pogrom of Tzfat
Later, Arab hate made it impossible for them to live together peacefully with the Jewish immigrants. Despite the fact that Zionist development of the land made it capable of supporting more and more inhabitants — and more Arabs came to enjoy the benefits of it — the Arab world fought diplomatically, and the Palestinian Arabs violently, in anti-Jewish riots in the 1920′s and 1930′s, to keep Jews out.
The WWII period was particularly fruitful for cross-fertilization of the Muslim and European streams of hate, with the Palestinian Arab leader al-Husseini visiting Hitler and laying plans for his own hoped-for Holocaust in the Middle East.
After the war, many Nazis found refuge in Egypt, Syria, Iraq, etc. where their ideology was congenial.
Today a good example of contemporary Muslim antisemitism can be found in the Hamas Covenant, which quotes the sayings of Mohammad as well as ideas from the European “Protocols of the Elders of Zion.”
If you read the Hamas Covenant, or pay attention to the statements of the PLO leadership (whose ideology comes from al-Husseini via Yasser Arafat), you can see that no possible withdrawals or other concessions could possibly mollify them.They will have no Jewish state of any size in what they consider “Arab (or Muslim) land.”
Gutman has it backwards. Antisemitism is not a result of the Israeli-Arab conflict. It is its cause.
The view that the Jews cause antisemitism by their actions is an old one. A 1942 article in Der Stürmer by one Ernst Hiemer begins thus:
Anti-Semitism is as old as Jewry itself. The Jew was a liar, a swindler, an exploiter, a troublemaker, a poisoner of the blood, and a murderer from the beginning. The non-Jewish peoples thus responded to this people of criminals throughout history with contempt and rejection.
Although Gutman suggests that the solution “is in the hands of Israel, the Palestinians and Arab neighbors in the Middle East,” the position of the Obama Administration that he represents is that the conflict continues because Israel refuses to meet Arab demands. For example, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta expressed this view last week.
Gutman, a Washington lawyer, raised at least $500,000 for the Obama campaign in 2008. He was appointed Ambassador in 2009 .