David Collier: Antisemitism and anti-Zionism. Performing the duck test
Is it antisemitism or anti-Zionism? Everyday, semantics are used to deflect what is obvious. When people argue over this it protects antisemitism. It does not matter whether in theory anti-Zionism and antisemitism are the same thing or not. It is a straw man argument. When you perform the duck test on anti-Zionist activity across the board, it soon becomes clear that antisemitism overflows in every corner of the anti-Israel movement. The duck test highlights just how seamlessly, blatant antisemitism has renamed itself.
I am in the middle of writing a large report that will hopefully meet my self-imposed end-of-February deadline. This particular post is not part of that and was never planned. It came about because in preparation for a talk I gave last night to students at KCL I needed to spend some time gathering examples of the similarity between anti-Zionism and classic antisemitism. This is what I found:
The duck test
What are examples of antisemitism? What are the tropes? I needed to work from a check-list, so turned to Wiki to find one. They have a page titled ‘antisemitic canards‘. It provides a list of different types of canards used to foster and legitimise hate against Jewish people throughout the ages. There are 20 classic types listed. They added the 9/11 conspiracy, which I ignored because I believe it captured in the essence of all the others.
Below are the results from the twenty I worked with. In those cases where the accusation predates Zionism (such as the killing of Christ), I have only used posts by people who ‘coincidentally’ are also anti-Israel activists:
PreOccupiedTerritory: Near-Total Overlap Of Antisemitism And Anti-Zionism Just A Coincidence (satire)
Researchers have determined that the uncanny correlation between hatred for Jews and opposition to Israel constitutes a statistical fluke, a recent study reports, cautioning that observers ought not to draw unwarranted conclusions from the close association that means nothing.
A comparative study of the rhetoric and behavior of people who claim only to oppose the Jewish State and of the rhetoric and behavior of outspoken antisemites revealed a 98% overlap in the composition and content of the two groups, which study authors warned does not indicate any inherent relationship between them, since, as every student of elementary statistics knows, correlation does not imply causation. Instead, the researchers advise the public to note the overlap as a curiosity and then return to the everyday work of explaining how opposing the existence of the world’s only Jewish country, established as a refuge from thousands of years of persecution, does not qualify as antisemitism.
“We can understand why a facile interpretation of these numbers would lead a person to the conclusion that the two phenomena are in some way related,” the authors wrote. “But that fails to take into account all the protestations by self-proclaimed anti-Zionists that they do not in fact harbor ill will toward Jews; they just want them to remain at the mercy of the world’s often-hostile majority, with a soupçon of human rights verbiage thrown in. We therefore urge people not to misinterpret the near-perfect correlation as anything but an interesting quirk.”
Jonathan S. Tobin: Who are the real racists in the Middle East?
But the difference here is that while genuine racism exists in Israel—as it does in any other society of imperfect human beings—to claim that the government promotes hate is a bold-faced lie. To the contrary, classic anti-Semitic tropes and blood libels are a staple of the Palestinian Authority’s official press, broadcast media and education system. The same is true of the Hamas government of Gaza. Moreover, the P.A. continues, despite threats of aid cutoffs from the United States, to pay salaries and pensions to imprisoned terrorists and their families.
This reflects a consensus within Palestinian society that those who commit acts of violence against Jews and Israelis are role models and heroes to be celebrated, rather than to be shunned.
Will it be any different for the murderer of Ori Ansbacher, a teenager from the settlement of Tekoa who was doing national service for her country? The Israeli media has reported that the murderer is affiliated with Hamas and said he wanted to be a “martyr.” Unfortunately, nothing that has happened up until now gives us much hope that most Palestinians will treat the death of a Jewish teenager as anything other than a victory for their cause, no matter how egregious the crime.
Neither Israel nor its citizens are perfect. But friends of Israel can be proud of the efforts of the Israel Defense Forces to spare innocent lives even when it means that sometimes terrorists might escape. Moreover, its political system, however flawed it might be, rests on democratic principles that ensure that Israeli Arabs are equal before the law and have rights to representation unknown elsewhere in the region.
Those who wish to talk about racism should point their barbs at Palestinian leaders who bear personal responsibility for creating an environment in which “nationalist” murders like that of Ansbacher are made possible, not at Israel.
Unlike other U.S. allies, Israel has never asked for a single American soldier to deploy to Israel and give their life for the Jewish state. Israel has always been committed to defending itself. That is an invaluable strategic asset.
More specifically, the United States benefits from its alliance with Israel in very practical ways. In 2012, Michael Eisenstadt and David Pollock, both fellows at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, produced a great report that details these benefits—from intelligence sharing and counterterrorism cooperation to cyber and water security. Israel’s remarkable technological innovation is critical for American businesses, and its expertise in homeland security and military tactics are critical for keeping Americans—both in and out of uniform—safe.
The number of benefits is too long to list here, but it is extensive. Even Richard Nixon, who peddled his share of anti-Semitic canards, recognized Israel’s strategic importance and ordered an essential arms airlift during the 1973 Yom Kippur War. The former president also recognized the remarkable character of the Israeli people, and became the first commander in chief to visit the Jewish state on the job. Critics may say the alliance is just a relic of the Cold War, but this is a dangerously myopic view. In such an interconnected world, where security is ever more difficult to guarantee and technology is the economy of the future, Israel is a necessary ally.
In sum, Americans support Israel for both moral and strategic reasons. The two cannot be separated. And together, they create a foundation for an alliance that can resist Omar’s corrosive, anti-Semitic charges, which are part of an effort to break apart an essential, mutually beneficial relationship. In defending Israel against the likes of Omar, Americans should remember that they not only have the moral high ground, but also the strategic high ground.
Across the literary, political, and cultural landscape, a phenomenon similar to Rushdie’s false profession of faith is occurring, as a tiresome conformity and herd-like mentality takes hold. In 1978, the Czech playwright and dissident Vaclav Havel published his seminal essay, “The Power of the Powerless.” To explain the stultifying effects of Communism on the individual, he relates a story of the greengrocer who puts a sign in his shop window proclaiming, “Workers of the World, Unite!” The grocer doesn’t believe the Marxist credo. Rather, he displays the sign “because everyone does it, and because that is the way it has to be. If he were to refuse, there could be trouble.” The sign, Havel writes, conveys the following message to passersby and society at large: “I, the greengrocer XY, live here and I know what I must do. I behave in the manner expected of me. I can be depended upon and am beyond reproach. I am obedient and therefore I have the right to be left in peace.”
So much of what passes for journalism and political conversation today mimics the pathetic self-abnegation of the greengrocer. People are constantly writing and saying things of highly dubious merit — “Hannah Gadsby is funny,” “Islam is the religion of peace,” “Trans Women are Women,” “’Black Panther’ deserves an Oscar nomination for Best Picture” — as if they were religious incantations. The whole lamentable phenomenon is utterly totalitarian in spirit and has been abetted by social media, where one can instantly and constantly display his or her correct opinions and righteous outrage in the hope of keeping the wolves at bay. Depart from the consensus, fail to display the correct slogans in the proverbial shop window, and “there could be trouble.”
A recent magazine profile of the actor Rami Malek offered a brief summation of his Twitter activity: “praised bisexual activist Emma Gonzales and the Parkland survivors-turned-antigun-crusaders; thanked Christine Blasey Ford for her ‘strength and bravery’ in front of Congress, and suggested people make donations to the ACLU.” All that was missing was a pensive selfie of the doe-eyed star holding up a sign imploring Boko Haram to #BringBackOurGirls. The display of personal pronouns in the social media profiles of people who are not transgender have become modern-day equivalents of the “Workers of the World, Unite” signs Havel lamented.
Asked why he was willing to risk everything over The Satanic Verses, Rushdie responded: “This issue is more important than my book or even my life.” A society in which we are cowed into silence regarding what we believe, or pressured into unthinkingly repeating the things we don’t, is not one worth living in. We owe it to ourselves to learn from Rushdie’s example and honor his courage in our everyday lives. The threat to free expression arrives not only in the form of murderous Valentines, but in what we’re doing to ourselves.
Bari Weiss and Deborah Lipstadt on anti-Semitism today
“Let’s talk about Ilhan Omar’s tweet, what she said, if it’s anti-Semitic, and what that whole episode signifies.” Bari Weiss talks with Deborah Lipstadt last night at 92Y.
Bari Weiss and Deborah Lipstadt discuss the rise of antisemitism at home and abroad
Deborah Lipstadt, sued for libel by a Holocaust revisionist, joins The New York Times’ Bari Weiss for a penetrating discussion about the horrifying, devastating rise of antisemitism at home and abroad in the past ten years, and about how we can, and must, address it.
Abigail Shrier (WSJ): Democrats and Anti-Semitism
Talk of “tropes” and “stereotypes” betrays the left’s understanding of prejudice, which recognizes no distinction between threats and thoughts. Ms. Omar’s statements require no sophisticated parsing, nor a deep understanding of historical prejudice; real hatred rarely does. Hers is repeated, focused, overt and jubilant. It is bookended with musical notes, as her “all about the Benjamins” tweet was; it ends in an exclamation mark or is stamped with an arm-flex emoji, as was her “apology,” which ran under the defiant heading “Listening and learning, but standing strong,” and read in part: “I unequivocally apologize. At the same time . . .”
There is an air of comeuppance in her persistent design to delegitimize Israel, as when she told Yahoo! News last month that “I almost chuckle” at the idea that Israel is a democracy. Or in her hair-raising proclamation on Twitter , in 2012: “Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel.”
Last month, she apologized for this “anti-semitic trope” she “unknowingly used”—as if Jews had a peculiar sensitivity to being accused of using mind control to disguise their evil. It is also unlikely that she meant “Israel” had “hypnotized the world”; Israel has famously few friends on the world stage.
She meant Jews—the people of Israel—a group that can credibly be claimed to hold some political influence in the West. That’s the power to which she objects. They are the people who irk her so much they are already a constant focus of her first weeks of congressional energies.
Abe Greenwald: Apology Unaccepted
Asking for an apology is an immoral response to anti-Semitism because it’s designed to allow the anti-Semite to move past her offense. In the public sphere, these apologies become a licensing fee paid by people like Omar every time they want to sound off about the evil Jews. She “apologizes,” people praise her willingness to learn and grow, and the headlines shift from her offense to the hysterics who won’t let her be. The only ones who benefit here are the bigots and their allies. In the case of Omar, those allies are either her fellow Democrats trying to do damage control or anti-Semites who are thrilled to see one of their own successfully playing the game.
Then there are those who aren’t her allies but still encourage and seem heartened by these apologies. These are good people, some of them Jews and conservatives, who want to believe that the real problem is Omar’s lack of knowledge and that it can be addressed through greater “dialogue.” They see in her semi-apologies evidence of an upright and amenable character. This is a nice thought but, as Martin Luther King wrote, “shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will.” These decent people make claims about Omar’s willingness to grow and change despite all evidence to the contrary.
The truth is, Omar is almost 40 years old, and she’s being handled like a child. Her anti-Semitism is in keeping with her worldview. It’s no more susceptible to dialogue than is Bernie Sanders’s socialism.
If Omar, or any anti-Semite, has a genuine epiphany and renounces her Jew-hatred, that’s a different story. In such cases, no one needs coercing to tweet out a fake apology. Repentant bigots tend to be very vocal about having changed their ways. You know them when you see them. That’s not Ilhan Omar. The only proper response to anti-Semites in public life is to expose them and get them out of power. Every requested apology strengthens their position. That’s what it’s supposed to do.
Vice President Mike Pence slammed anti-Semitic Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) on Tuesday night following her anti-Semitic tirade over the weekend, saying that her apology was “inadequate” and she should “face consequences.”
“.@IlhanMN tweets were a disgrace & her apology was inadequate,” Pence tweeted. “Anti-Semitism has no place in the United States Congress, much less the Foreign Affairs Committee. Those who engage in anti-Semitic tropes should not just be denounced, they should face consequences for their words.”
Pence’s call for action against Omar follows President Donald Trump’s call for her to either resign from Congress or at a minimum step down from the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
“Anti-Semitism has no place in the United States Congress,” Trump said on Tuesday. “And Congresswoman Omar is, terrible what she said, I think she should either resign from Congress or she should certainly resign from the House Foreign Affairs Committee.”
“What she said is so deep-seated in her heart, that her lame apology, and that’s what it was, it was lame, and she didn’t mean a word of it was just not appropriate,” Trump added. “I think she should resign from Congress, frankly.”
“But at a minimum, she shouldn’t be on committees, certainly that committee,” Trump concluded.
Although it might be tough for progressives to understand, many Americans still prefer Israel over Hamas, the PLO, and Iran for reasons other than money. For example, a shared understanding of liberalism, theological reasons, historic ties, political realities, and practical geopolitical reasons, although I concede that contemporary progressives might not embrace these values anymore. For many decades, however, polls showed widespread support for Israel. AIPAC’s success is predicated on that support.
Some of Omar’s defenders also engaged in a little whataboutism by pointing out that Republicans have had their own anti-Semitic problems. I’m sure they do. But I hate to break the news to people: being critical of billionaire activist George Soros, who happens to be Jewish but holds positions on Israel that are generally in line with Omar’s, is not automatically anti-Semitic—or no more than attacking Sheldon Adelson is anti-Semitic. Omar’s Jewish stereotypes were aimed at all defenders of Israel.
It will be interesting to see how the Democratic Party’s presidential hopefuls react to Omar’s comments, which has increasing currency in the activist wing of their party. On this issue, there is a big rift opening between young and old. That does not bode well for the establishment or Jews.
Congratulations! Pardon me for writing three of you simultaneously – you each legislated your own way and bring your own voice to Capitol Hill, of course. But you three have two important things in common: You’ve commanded more attention than your other rookie colleagues (combined!), and you’ve all telegraphed hostility toward Israel, the democratic Jewish state.
I’m asking you, no, I’m challenging you, as American leaders to reconsider your positions. Recognize the great pain your animus causes to millions of people. Intentionally or not, you’re echoing traditional Jew-hatred.
Anyone who belongs to minority groups, who has been hit by the poison dart of prejudice, understands that bigotry unleashes exponential anguish. When you’re bullied as women, or insulted as people of color, the punch lands extra hard, the blood rushes head-ward extra fast, the hands tremble much sooner, the wound takes that much longer to heal. That’s because the hurts are cumulative. Your ache echoes the agony of so many others’ while snowballing with generations of historic attacks.
For Jews, too.
Some find us hypersensitive. Unfortunately, like you and your various affiliate groups, a hard history made us hyper and sensitive. That doesn’t mean we or our state are beyond criticism. Neither people nor democracies can heal by squelching critical conversations. But if you can locate your own identity-aches horizontally and vertically – resonating with other communal suffering and linked in a chained of historical hurts – why are ours invisible to you?
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.) and U.S. special envoy to Venezuela Elliott Abrams got into a fiery exchange on Wednesday that began with her wondering why anything he said could be considered credible after his role in the Iran-Contra scandal.
Abrams testified in front of the House Foreign Affairs Committee about the U.S. response to the crisis in Venezuela, which has collapsed under far-left policies that have decimated its economy and caused hyperinflation, starvation and medical shortages. The Trump administration is supporting Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido and said authoritarian President Nicolas Maduro must step down and leave the country.
Omar opened her questioning by calling Abrams “Mr. Adams” and recounting Abrams’ misdemeanor guilty pleas for withholding information from Congress over the Iran-Contra scandal while he worked in the Reagan administration. He was later pardoned by President George H.W. Bush in 1992.
“I fail to understand why members of this committee or the American people should find any testimony that you give today to be truthful,” Omar said.
Abrams sought to respond, but Omar said it wasn’t a question as the two spoke over each other.
“It is not right that members of this committee can attack a witness who is not permitted to reply,” Abrams said.
Maybe Ilhan Omar had a point — it is all about the money.
After the freshman Congresswoman was called out by her own Democratic Party leadership for antisemitic tweets implying Jewish money controls the Congress, her ideological allies took to social media encouraging people to donate to Omar’s 2020 campaign.
Many of them linked to a fundraising page hosted by Act Blue, a self described “nonprofit, building fundraising technology for the left.”
Zahra Billoo, director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)’s San Francisco chapter, said that she made a donation to Omar’s reelection campaign on Monday, and urged her followers to do the same. “Tweets to support her are important,” Billoo wrote, “but let’s also ensure she can keep on doing the important work she’s doing.”
Billoo has a well-documented blind hate towards the Jewish state, comparing Israeli soldiers to ISIS terrorists; she also has no qualms saying that Israel has no right to exist. She was joined in her calls by fellow CAIR chapter director and rabid Israel hater Hussam Ayloush, and American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee policy director Abed Ayoub, who said that Omar “is speaking the truth.”
According to the records of the Federal Election Commission, last summer Omar received nearly $60,000 from PACs.
One PAC from which Omar received thousands of dollars in 2018 is the Council on American Islamic Relations. CAIR was named as an un-indicted co-conspirator in the 2009 Holy Land Foundation trial, the largest terrorism-financing trial in American history.
And CAIR not only has a PAC, it is a lobbying organization. On Jan.10, 2019, CAIR hosted the Community Congressional Reception at which Omar spoke.
In all, Omar received tens of thousands of dollars from lobbying groups. None of her money came from AIPAC or the NRA or the fossil fuel industry; That must be a coincidence.
Most Democrats, echoing @ACLU, claim they don’t support BDS, they just oppose anti-BDS efforts out of poorly defined constitutional concerns. But it now the head of ACLU praises @IlhanMN “support” of boycotting Israel. Maybe the constitutional arguments were just a facade? https://t.co/AVLisHlu27
— Eugene Kontorovich (@EVKontorovich) February 13, 2019
Ilhan Omar is a Problem for America, not just the Jews and not Just the Democrats
Usually, Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank’s satires of the real-and-imagined sins of President Trump are fun to read. But Milbank shot a dud in criticizing Ilhan Omar’s recent antisemitic outbursts.
Milbank elevated Nancy Pelosi and other Democratic House members to the status of “heroes” for waiting two months to criticize Omar for her latest tirades against Jews.
Note also that Omar repudiated only her use of “anti-Semitic tropes” — but not her vicious slanders of Israel, or her support for the BDS movement, which we now know is in league with terrorists.
Milbank piously concluded that, “Those who believe in a tolerant, multicultural America need to speak with one voice against the scapegoating of minorities by the likes of Trump and Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa).”
But that is is hardly a ringing moral condemnation of antisemitism.
A cutline on a Times video published along with that article helpfully explained, “When President Trump formally recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, one man who was probably smiling was the Republican mega-donor Sheldon Adelson.”
A front-page Times news article from April 2017 was headlined, “Trump Inaugural Drew Big Dollars From Donors With Vested Interests.” That article began, “The casino magnate and philanthropist Sheldon G. Adelson wants some big things from the Trump administration: banning the online poker sites that compete with his luxury casinos, for example, and moving the United States Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. And while President Trump was not Mr. Adelson’s first choice during the Republican primary season last year, he has been generous since: The billionaire donated $5 million to the committee organizing Mr. Trump’s inauguration festivities — the largest single contribution given to any president’s inaugural committee.”
The New York Times used to have a brand campaign promoting its help-wanted classified advertising, “I got my job through the New York Times.” In this case, Omar could have legitimately claimed, “I got my anti-Semitic tropes through the New York Times.” Perhaps if the Times news and opinion articles were greeted with the same waves of outrage that Omar’s tweet was, the newspaper would back off.
The different reaction may suggest that Omar is being singled out for severe criticism for some other reason. Or it may just be that the Times has been so bad on these issues for so long that at this point, no one other than perhaps me and my readers even expects the paper not to spread anti-Jewish myths. Perhaps, at this point, the Times has lost so much credibility that no one takes the paper at all seriously when it does spread such anti-Jewish myths. Either way, the Omar episode is an excellent opportunity for the pro-Israel community to consider revisiting its approach to the way the Times covers these issues.
The apex (or nadir) of anti-Semitism — the Holocaust — would be a matter of European history for a then-36-year-old Muslim native of Somalia. Did she know it? The trappings of anti-Semitism in Minneapolis — restricted hospitals, country clubs and property covenants — were American manifestations that vanished decades before Omar came to America. And the subtleties of language — the code words used to marginalize Jews — did she understand the nuance?
“We wanted to reach out to her,” Latz recalled. “We were a bit troubled about several things she had said.”
Among their concerns was a 2012 tweet in which Omar wrote: “Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel.” The language evokes an anti-Semitic trope of Jews as practicers of some type of sorcery that allows them to control others. It wasn’t until last month that Omar apologized, when the tweet gained national attention after she had taken office in Congress, but many in the local Jewish community were aware of it well before. As of Tuesday morning, Omar had not deleted the tweet.
In local political discourse during the Democratic Party’s endorsement process, Omar’s phrasing as she spoke of Middle East policy troubled some. But Latz — who has defended Omar’s predecessor, Keith Ellison, against accusations of anti-Semitism — emphasized that the problem wasn’t in the policy dispute, but the diction and tone.
“I don’t mind a policy disagreement. That’s fine,” Latz, who said he has qualms with some Israeli policies, said in an interview. “I accept that she comes from a different place and has a different policy, but those can be expressed in a matter that does not express anti-Semitism with it. She grew up in a refugee camp, and her perspective is different, but I would also respect a very serious attempt to understand the history of the Jewish people and the way that they have been demonized and murdered for their faith.”
In a cringe-worthy segment last month on “The View,” Mallory refused to condemn Farrakhan’s horrific remarks about Jews, such as calling them termites, but instead said “it’s not my language” and that she didn’t agree with some of his statements. She has previously called him the “GOAT,” or Greatest of All Time, although she said that was due to his work in the black community.
Omar also admitted last month she used “unfortunate” language in this 2012 tweet, still active on her account, where she wrote, “Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel.” She’s also compared Israel to Iran, the world’s largest state sponsor of terror, and said she’s amused at the idea Israel is a democracy—it is.
If only it stopped there.
Her fellow freshman Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D., Mich.) recently criticized a Republican-led bill allowing governments to not do business with pro-BDS companies by saying, “they forgot what country they represent.” An old anti-Semitic canard is accusing Jews of dual loyalties, although Tlaib claimed she was simply criticizing U.S. Senators who supported the legislation.
Omar and Tlaib both support the BDS movement against Israel, which has been condemned by the Anti-Defamation League and called anti-Semitic by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.).
There’s also Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.), who touted a phone call last week with U.K. Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn, a notorious anti-Semite.
As Elliot Kaufman noted in the Wall Street Journal following last month’s march, “The remaining supporters of the Women’s March, including the Democratic Party until last week, keep telling themselves they can compartmentalize the anti-Semitism and join, praise or even fund the march despite it. The implication is that it’s OK to be anti-Semitic as long you’re for the left. That was the message of this year’s Women’s March.”
A few days before this year’s march, Sarsour posted to Facebook an appearance of herself on CNN with the caption: “I have done many interviews in my lifetime but my clapback on Debbie The Election Rigger is everything.” The list of enemies of the March is growing and Debbie Wasserman Schultz is now on it. Sarsour ripped into Wasserman Schultz, saying no one was waiting for her opinion but then added that the focus should stay on the Trump administration, “the focus shouldn’t be about any one controversy.”
In her speech from the stage this year, Sarsour blamed the media for the Women’s March’s troubles. “If you’re not careful,” she warned, “the newspapers will have you hating the people who are oppressed and loving the people who are doing the oppressing.” She added another shot at critical coverage, saying, “the media can talk about whatever controversy they want, but the real controversy is in the White House.”
For all the women who marched despite the anti-Semitism because they wanted to oppose Trump, Sarsour still made it a point to mention boycotting, divestment, and sanction of Israel, the BDS movement, from the stage. For someone who wanted to keep the focus on the administration and not on “any one controversy,” this was a perplexing way to do that. It shows what she is really made of.
The march, for so many marchers, was always about opposing Trump. But for the march leadership, it’s about something else entirely.
Socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) came to the defense of anti-Semitic Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) on Tuesday, falsely promoting the idea that Omar is not an anti-Semite and saying that she is “proud” of Omar.
Ocasio-Cortez’s defense of Omar came after Omar’s latest anti-Semitic incident over the weekend when Omar “displayed her blatant anti-Semitism by tweeting that GOP support for Israel was ‘all about the Benjamins,’ and followed by accusing AIPAC of paying American politicians to support Israel,” The Daily Wire reported.
Ocasio-Cortez, who has a long history of walking lockstep with anti-Semites, waited a couple of days to weigh in on Omar’s anti-Semitic comments, which drew widespread condemnation from both sides of the aisle.
Ocasio-Cortez responded by falsely suggesting that President Donald Trump was the one who has a problem with anti-Semitism.
“Unlike this President, Rep. @IlhanMN demonstrated a capacity to acknowledge pain & apologize, use the opportunity to learn abt history of antisemitism,+grow from it while clarifying her stance,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted, later adding: “I’m proud @IlhanMN raised the issue of lobbyist in politics & equally proud of her sensitivity to communities.”
Yesterday, I joked on Twitter that, in light of her anti-Semitic remarks, it was amazing Rep. Ilhan Omar hadn’t been made a co-chair of the Women’s March. Since then two of the Women’s March co-chairs have spoken up in her defense. This is despite the fact that Rep. Omar apologized after Speaker Pelosi and a group of Democratic leaders issued a statement condemning her remarks. Linda Sarsour was the first to rush to Omar’s defense. She published a statement on Facebook which read in part:
It is absolutely outrageous for us not to see the hypocrisy of Kevin McCarthy and others like him who are targeting Ilhan who themselves have engaged in actual antisemitic tropes and some worse. Antisemites will not be held up as the moral authority on antisemitism.
I will not be silent in the face of attacks, harassment and targeted policing of speech from a Black Muslim woman elected official, our sister Ilhan Omar in the name of combatting antisemitism. We can stand up for Ilhan knowing her record and what she stands for and also combat antisemitism.
Notice she seems to be blaming this entirely on Kevin McCarthy. Today, Tamika Mallory, who has faced her own anti-Semitic controversy for her support of Louis Farrakhan, joined in the defense of Rep. Omar on Twitter:
No @independent @amyharvard_, Omar’s tweet didn’t criticize the Israel lobby, it drew upon an antisemitic trope to claim that US politicians support Israel because they are being paid to do so. Why have you re-framed the real story here? https://t.co/G32KosGTVV pic.twitter.com/bgJBsAFzKM
— HonestReporting (@HonestReporting) February 13, 2019
Also on Monday, Rep. Rashida Tlaib’s (D-MI) close associations with anti-Semites were once again revealed when it was discovered she wrote a column in 2006 for “the official communications organ of the Nation of Islam.”
In response to the discovery, a spokesman for the freshman Michigan Congresswoman told Business Insider‘s Joe Perticone that the piece “was not an endorsement of Farrakhan or anyone for that matter. The Congresswoman has not had any direct contact with Farrakhan and condemns his anti-Semitic and anti-LGBTQ views.”
Not having “any direct contact with Farrakhan” does not and should not absolve Tlaib – nor Omar, for that matter – of their well-known hostility towards Jewish people.
In seeming exasperation over the last two days of events, Tlaib took to the Twitter machine last night and pulled out the “Woman of Color” card:
PreOccupiedTerritory: Antisemites Pounce After Early Draft Of ‘Protocols’ Leaked (satire)
Opponents of Jews seized an opportunity to denounce the demographic group following the accidental publication of a book that allegedly shows how Jews plan to control the world economy and manipulate governments, but which Jewish activists insist contains a version of the text that does not represent the final product, which does not include such nefarious content.
Antisemites jumped at the opportunity to expose what they termed the “true face of global Jewry” this week as they shared a book called the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion on social media, which they claim contains passages with damning evidence of a Jewish conspiracy to control the world and make all non-Jews subject, and which some also claim to have downloaded from the Jews’ official website. Jewish representatives countered that the text in question is not authoritative, and does not demonstrate anything of the sort, and they accused their opponents of distorting it for libelous ideological ends.
“Here it is in the Jews’ own words,” gloated David Duke, a former Ku Klux Klan leader. “There’s no whitewashing this. They plan to subjugate everyone to their rule, and they make no bones about how to accomplish it. My colleagues and I have been warning the world for a hundred years, but the Jewish-controlled media always depicts that as some far-fetched conspiracy theory. They want to deprive you of everything – your houses, your cows, your air travel, everything! Well, far-fetch this, Jew-dogs!”
“I take back my apology for my tweets about AIPAC buying off member of congress,” stated Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (D-MN). “It turns out I was right all along.”
Democrat Virginia 86th district delegate candidate Ibraheem Samirah accepted campaign contributions from Osama Abuirshaid and Rafeeq Jaber. (READ: Samirah Apologizes For Anti-Semitic Posts; Said Israel Worse Than KKK, Wished For Ariel Sharon To ‘Burn’).
Osama Abuirshaid and Rafeeq Jaber are listed as donors to Samirah’s delegate campaign, according to the Virginia Department of Elections. Samirah is up for delegate on February 19th, running against Republican Air Force veteran Gregg Nelson. Samirah erased his state senator Jennifer Boysko’s endorsement after his anti-Semitic posts came to light.
Both of these men — Abuirshaid and Jaber — were named by the Israeli government in a February 3 report on the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement’s links to terrorism. Both of these men, Osama Abuirshad and Rafael Jaber, are top-ranking officials of the American Muslims for Palestine (AMP).
The AMP is spun off from a group that was found guilty by a federal court of providing financial aid to Hamas. Abuirshaid and Jaber were also part of that parent group.
— Ozraeli Dave (@Israellycool) February 12, 2019
A filmmaker who won a Spanish national film award for a documentary about Gaza called during his acceptance speech for a boycott of Israel, which he called an apartheid state.
Director Julio Perez del Campo’s “Gaza, a Look into the Eyes of Barbarism,” won the 2019 Goya Award for best documentary film, the equivalent of an Academy Award. Critics say the film is one-sided and inaccurate.
“No to Israel and the Eurovision, long live the fight of the Palestinian people,” he said in his speech Thursday.
Israel will host the Eurovision Song Contest in May after winning last year’s contest.
Del Campo also said “We should not legitimize countries that violate systematically human rights, we must not be complicit in Israeli apartheid.”
Israel’s embassy in Spain called the speech “a discourse of hate.”
Many German schoolbooks present Israel negatively
The more studies appear on anti-Semitism in Germany, the darker the picture becomes. This results from the many facets of hatemongering in the country against Jews and Israel. A new study addresses the structural elements of anti-Semitism in German schools. Its authors, are Samuel Salzborn of the Center for Research of anti-Semitism at the Technical University in Berlin and Alexandra Kurth from the Justus Liebig University in Giessen. The two universities published the study, which they call a ‘stocktaking’, jointly.
A prime conclusion of the study is that distorted schoolbooks are a crucial problem. Many of them are pro-Palestinian and anti-Israeli. These deficiencies are one of the key topics of the study. It often quotes a German-Israeli schoolbook commission which investigated between 2010 – 2015 schoolbooks on geography, history and politics in the two countries.
The part of the study concerning schoolbooks focuses on three issues. The first concerns the question of whether and how anti-Semitism is discussed. The authors state that in many schoolbooks the Shoah is mentioned as just one among a variety of aspects of national-socialism. By linking anti-Semitism exclusively to national-socialism, the connection with the long pre-history of hate mongering against the Jews as well as that of post-Holocaust anti-Semitism is diminished.
Dealing with the subject of the hate of Jews in this way leads to another misrepresentation. It gives the impression that anti-Semitism belongs exclusively to the political right. Even there it is seen mainly as a historic event. This conceals the anti-Semitism in the political left and in society’s mainstream. The authors stress that anti-Semitism is not a Jewish problem but that of antisemites. Such hatred cannot be explained from the history and culture of Judaism, but only from the projections of antisemites on the Jews.
A Dutch publisher that previously created school textbooks accusing Israelis of ethnic cleansing has released a new volume omitting Jerusalem’s significance to Jews.
The omission occurred in a textbook about social issues titled “Plein M” by Nordhoff Publishers for preparatory middle-level applied education level schools, including public schools. It states Jerusalem is holy to Muslims and Christians, but does not mention its holiness to Jews.
It also states that Jews and Christians were “mostly treated well” by Arabs throughout history. It does not mention capital taxes and many pogroms perpetrated against Jews in Arab countries before and during the flight of at least 800,000 Jews from those countries in the 20th century. Today, there are fewer than 7,000 Jews living in Arab countries.
Likoed Nederland, a pro-Israel group, called the book a form of “historical falsification” in a statement Sunday, adding it “reads like Palestinian propaganda.”
The Dutch government will allow people who are not Israeli citizens but were born in pre-state Israel before 1948 to register their place of birth as “Palestine” on official documents.
The move, which the government said does not constitute any recognition of Palestinian statehood, was announced last week by the Dutch state secretary for interior affairs, Raymond Knops, the Volkskrant daily reported.
The report said that the Dutch government decided on the move to prevent being sued at the European Court of Justice. It used to list “unknown country” as the place of birth for people who may now be registered as born in Palestine.
The ministry declined requests by people born in the British Mandate of Palestine before 1948 to list “the state of Palestine” as their place of birth, citing how the Netherlands and the rest of the European Union with the exception of Sweden do not recognize Palestine as a country.
The Mississippi House of Representatives passed a bill that would prevent the state from doing business with companies that boycott Israel.
Following the 88-10 last week in the lower house of the state Legislature, the measure moves to the Senate.
It prevents the state retirement system, treasury and any state government entity from investing in a company that boycotts Israel. The bill calls on the state to develop the list of boycotting companies.
Existing investments as of July 1, 2020, would have to be sold within 120 days after the list is published, though exceptions can be made for investments the state determines are necessary.
At least 27 states have legislation banning boycotts of Israel, though some are facing legal challenges.
Stephanie Convery, deputy culture editor of Guardian Australia, penned an article about efforts to boycott the upcoming Eurovision event in Tel Aviv (Australia’s Eurovision hopefuls and SBS face pressure to boycott event in Israel, Feb 7) which included the following accusation:
In May 2018, former senator Lee Rhiannon questioned SBS’s then managing director Michael Ebeid over planned coverage for the 2019 event, particularly in the wake of the massacre of Palestinian civilians in Gaza in May.
Such charges at the Guardian are nothing new, and in fact arguably reflects the official position of the media group as expressed in an editorial last month on the Gaza “protests” that included the simply risible accusation that the IDF has been “killing” unarmed slogan-shouting Palestinians who “posed no credible threat”.
However, based on the Guardian article embedded in the sentence where Convery makes her claim, it’s clear this ‘massacre of civilians’ took place during riots on May 14th, 2018. However, as we informed the journalist via a tweet, a Hamas official the following day acknowledged that 50 of the 62 Palestinians reported killed that day were in fact Hamas members.
With the programme makers’ views of the intelligence of the British public abundantly clear, Harford continued:
Harford: “It seems like there is a lot of ignorance out there and clearly Holocaust denial is a real thing and it would be worth trying to measure how prevalent it is. So do we know of any other, perhaps more reliable, research that can give us a better sense of the true numbers?”
Alexander went on to cite a study conducted twenty-five years ago in the United States (which obviously has no bearing on the issue of Holocaust denial in Britain) and to quote yet more anonymous experts on Holocaust denial in an equally unrelated location.
Alexander: “…it turned out that the correct number of Holocaust Deniers in the US was more like 2% of the population. And experts have told me that studies in Europe have tended to give lower numbers still.”
Apparently the ‘More or Less’ team would have the BBC’s domestic listeners conclude that a study conducted a quarter of a century ago in a country with a different culture, education system and population make up is more likely to reflect the percentage of people in their own country who do not believe that the Holocaust happened than a survey recently conducted in the UK.
The inflammatory website of a violent terrorist group responsible for killing hundreds of US and coalition soldiers in Iraq is currently being hosted by one of America’s biggest web companies, nine.com.au can exclusively reveal.
Kataib Hezbollah (KH), an Iranian-sponsored militia which targeted American soldiers and their allies, including the Australian Defence Force, during the insurgency in Iraq, was designated a Foreign Terrorist Group in 2009 by the US government.
But despite KH, also known as Hezbollah Brigades, being on the sanctions blacklist, which is meant to make international commerce more difficult, US internet goliath GoDaddy continues to host the anti-American terrorist group’s official website.
Counter Extremism Project (CEP), a Washington DC-based think tank which monitors terrorist and extremist groups, told nine.com.au that since 2016 it has repeatedly urged GoDaddy to shut down KH’s online presence, without success.
The KH website, which boasts it will “cut off the hand of America”, has a trove of hundreds of videos on a “jihadi operations” page, purportedly showing mortar and rocket attacks on US bases, massive IED explosions in Iraqi cities and towns and other combat footage. In June 2011, five US soldiers were killed in Baghdad when KH militia fired multiple rockets into the Camp Victory military base. A video on the KH website matches the date of the Camp Victory attack.
US military commanders are known to hold KH and Asaib Ahl al-Haq, another Shi’ite militia, responsible for IED attacks which killed as many as 500 US troops during the Iraq war.
The University of Liverpool in England has distanced itself from a former instructor who shared conspiracy theories about the Rothschild family while appearing on a talk show that has in the past hosted a bevy of controversial figures.
Alex Scott-Samuel, formerly a senior lecturer in public health and policy, “is no longer employed by the University,” a spokesperson told The Jewish Chronicle on Tuesday. He left the university in late 2015 but still held an honorary position, the spokesperson added.
The chair of the Liverpool Wavertree Constituency Labour Party and a member of the Jewish Voice for Labour group — which has extended support to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn as he faces accusations of tolerating and fomenting antisemitism — Scott-Samuel has in recent years repeatedly appeared on a show published on the website of David Icke, a conspiracy theorist who believes that reptilian humanoids secretly control the world.
The show’s host, Richie Allen — who has since broken away from Icke’s website — has in the past welcomed guests including ex-Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke, as well as self-described “Holocaust revisionist” Alison Chabloz.
In an April 2015 appearance, Scott-Samuel — who was identified by his association to the University of Liverpool — claimed that “the Rothschild family … are behind a lot of the neo-liberal influence in the UK and the US. I mean, you only have to Google them to look at this.”
Anti-Semitic offenses rose almost 10 percent in Germany last year, and violent attacks were up more than 60%, crime statistics showed Wednesday.
Police recorded 1,646 offenses motivated by hatred against Jews, said a government response to a request by far-left Die Linke party lawmaker Petra Pau.
Among these were 62 violent offenses that left 43 people injured, up from 37 physical attacks the previous year.
Germany, like other Western countries, has watched with alarm as anti-Semitic and other racist hate speech and violence have increased in recent years as the political climate has coarsened and grown more polarized.
A mass influx of mostly Muslim refugees and migrants to Germany from 2015 drove the rise of the far-right and anti-immigration Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, which since late 2017 is the biggest opposition group in parliament.
Leading AfD members, aside from railing against Islam and multiculturalism, have also made comments that play down the Holocaust.
French President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday condemned an “unacceptable increase” in anti-Semitic vandalism and hate speech, linking it to a wave of demonstrations against his government, according to spokesman Benjamin Griveaux.
“Anti-Semitism is a repudiation of the Republic, in the same way that attacking elected officials or institutions is a repudiation of the Republic,” Macron told ministers at a cabinet meeting, Griveaux said.
There has been widespread outrage over anti-Jewish graffiti and vandalism in and around Paris last weekend, including the desecration of a memorial to a young Jewish man who was tortured to death by an anti-Semitic gang in Paris in 2006.
A tree planted at the site where 23-year-old Ilan Halimi’s body was found had been chopped down, and a second tree was partly sawed through.
Around 300 people gathered at the Paris memorial site Wednesday in Sainte-Genevieve-des-Bois outside Paris to mark the anniversary of Halimi’s gruesome killing.
Officials, including the Israeli ambassador to France, planted trees to replace two cut down over the weekend.
After losing control of the movie studio that introduced audiences to Dracula and Frankenstein, Carl Laemmle had a vital final mission. Formerly the head of what is today Universal Pictures, Laemmle worked to save fellow Jews from Hitler in the 1930s, despite opposition from the US State Department.
By the time of his death in 1939, he had rescued over 300 Jewish families.
Laemmle’s life is the subject of a new documentary, “Carl Laemmle,” directed by James Freedman. It will be screened February 10 at both the San Diego International Jewish Film Festival and the Denver Jewish Film Festival before moving to Atlanta.
With its easily recognizable globe logo, the studio Laemmle founded has lived up to its name. (Its website lists it as the world’s fourth-oldest surviving studio.) But Laemmle is not as well remembered.
Calling Laemmle a “true American hero,” Freedman said, “I knew I just had to tell this great story and let the world know.”
A former Greek government minister has said that receiving a posthumous award on behalf of his father who saved Jews during the Nazi occupation of World War II was the “biggest satisfaction I have felt in my life.”
Tassos Giannitsis — an economics professor and former Greek foreign minister — was speaking on Monday following a ceremony at Athens College to mark the honorific title of “Righteous Among the Nations” bestowed on his late father, Constantine Giannitsis, by Israel’s national memorial to the Holocaust, Yad Vashem.
Constantine Giannitsis, a notary, arranged shelter for five members of the Moissis family in Athens — Asher, Miriam, Henriette, Miretta and Raphael — who came to him for help after learning of the deportation of Jews from the northern city of Salonika, now Thessaloniki, by the Nazi occupiers. He procured fake ID cards that identified the family as Christians, and the Moissis’s spent several months at his summer house in the suburb of Kifisia before being safely evacuated from Greece.
Tassos Giannitsis said that his father “did his duty based on the set of the values he held,” in comments reported by the Greek newspaper Ekathimerini.
“We viewed it the same way when he recounted it to us,” Tassos Giannitsis added.
“I want to say to all the young people to be fortunate, to learn from history and not to let others think and decide for them,” he told the students who attended the ceremony.
In the 80th anniversary year of legendary jazz label Blue Note Records, a new documentary reflects on the two German-Jewish immigrants who introduced the label to America: Alfred Lion and Francis Wolff.
Together they signed some of the greatest names in 20th century music history while striking a chord for racial equality. Now they are the subject of “It Must Schwing! The Blue Note Story,” directed by German filmmaker Eric Friedler in partnership with acclaimed executive producer Wim Wenders, who is also from Germany. The film will screen at the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival on February 12.
“I was always fascinated by the story of two young Germans who came to America in 1939 and started a record label that went on to become a legend,” Friedler told The Times of Israel. “[They] escaped Nazi Germany and with no money in their pockets tried to establish one of the most important jazz labels in world history.”
Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, John Coltrane, and Quincy Jones are among the greats who recorded with Blue Note at some point during the three-plus decades of Lion and Wolff’s tenure. Many of the still living musical greats share their thoughts in interviews during the film.
The title of “It Must Schwing!” stems from Lion’s requirement for success, delivered in his German accent.
When French architectural historian Joseph-Philibert Girault de Prangey left Paris in 1842, his luggage weighed over 100 pounds (45 kilograms) and his three-year itinerary was ambitious. He was mesmerized by photography — invented just a few years before by a fellow Frenchman — and headed to the eastern Mediterranean to document ancient buildings with his extraordinarily large-format camera.
There he produced over 1,000 daguerreotypes that now include the earliest surviving photographs of Jerusalem, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Anatolia and Turkey.
Twelve of his Jerusalem photographs are currently being shown as part of Monumental Journey: The Daguerreotypes of Girault de Prangey, an exhibition that opened January 30 at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art and constitutes the photographer’s first monographic show in the United States. Later this month, another one of Girault de Prangey’s pioneering images of Jerusalem will be shown at the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia as part of a group exhibition, From Today, Painting is Dead: Early Photography in Britain and France.
“No other photographer of the period embarked on such a long excursion and successfully made a quantity of [photographic] plates anywhere near Girault’s production,” writes Stephen Pinson, curator of photography at the Metropolitan Museum, in the Monumental Journey catalog. “His photographic campaign remains a feat without analogy.”
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