Douglas Murray: The Party of Left-Wing Anti-Semitism
Readers depressed at the state of U.S. politics can console themselves with the knowledge that however bad off their party might be, it’s not Britain’s Labour. The party of Clement Atlee, Harold Wilson, and Tony Blair now finds itself in the worst crisis in its 116-year history. It has not won a general election for a decade. Its advocacy of mass immigration and the European Union has alienated it from much of its voter base. And worse, it has lost whatever halo-advantage it once had by becoming irrevocably tainted with what was once one of the greatest sins of European civilization. Over the last 15 years, it became increasingly clear that anti-Semitism, which had previously been expected to surface only on the political right in Britain, had traveled around the political circle and snuck up behind the political left. And now it has taken over the Labour Party.
Surveying the horrifying news from September’s Labour Party conference, one would have been forgiven for thinking that the biggest question facing Britain is a Jewish one. The place of Jews in the party and in Great Britain altogether seemed to dominate the proceedings. Activists at a “Momentum” grassroots event—Momentum being the group created to promote the leadership of the radical back-bencher Jeremy Corbyn, who won Labour’s top slot in 2015—handed out leaflets calling for the Jewish Labour Movement to be disbanded because its members represented “a foreign power.” Ruth Smeeth, a Jewish member of parliament, found it necessary to bring a bodyguard to protect her from potentially violent anti-Semitic members of her own party. On the main stage of the conference, a Jewish Labour Movement member was heckled from the floor as he was describing how let down many Jews in the party feel. Lord Mitchell, a Jewish peer, resigned from the party. His co-religionists in Labour now find themselves debating whether to stay and fight or declare the party a lost cause. It is not an easy choice.
The story of the takeover of the Labour Party by forces aligned with naked anti-Semitism begins with the aftermath of September 11 and the run-up to the Iraq war. In September 2002, three Jewish leftists who marched in a Stop the War demonstration described in a letter to the Guardian how they became increasingly uncomfortable with the “anti-Israel and anti-Jewish imagery” of their comrades: “Where does that leave us,” the trio wrote, “as Jews who totally oppose the war in Iraq but felt hostility or indifference from many of our fellow marchers?” The open link between leftist politics and the defenders of anti-Semitic terror in the Middle East was made clear by the way that the Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament, a Cold War–era radical leftist group, allied itself with the Muslim Brotherhood to form the Stop the War coalition, one of whose leaders was Jeremy Corbyn.
Dave Rich is deputy director of communications at the Community Security Trust (CST), and is the author of a timely new book titled The Left’s Jewish Problem: Jeremy Corbyn, Israel and Antisemitism.
The following is a short clip from Rich’s talk at an Oct. 20th Fathom Forum on: Antisemitism and Labour: where has this crisis come from, how has it impacted the UK Jewish community, what must the party do now to put things right?
Dave Rich | ‘The Left’s Jewish problem’
David Collier: The story of a Jewish boy called Haim
Today Haim is a successful and happy adult. If we were to make a list of what constitutes success, Haim would score highly in almost every single one. Yet my word, this Jewish lad has enemies. In a sickening turn of events, some act as if Haim’s life is somehow up for debate. There are actually people who publicly suggest they want Haim killed.
Not the Chinese kid or the boy from Pakistan. Not the Russian or the South African, nor the Brit or the African. They see the little Jewish kid, and it is *only* him they want ‘removed’.
These people are the modern day anti-Zionists.
The Jewish umbrella
This letter in the Guardian is a classic example of twisted logic.
In 1903 the British government offered the early Zionist movement an isolated area of what is now Kenya for a national home for the Jews, a proposal that split the Zionists into opposing camps. One favoured acceptance, but the other insisted that a Jewish homeland, and future Jewish state, could only be in the historic homeland in Palestine. The second camp won, and the proposal was refused. I am one of those who regrets that rejection. Does this make me a Jewish antisemite?
Apparently, because some people opposed a theory in 1903, objecting to today’s reality somehow amounts to the same thing. The Independent are another that throw this false premise around at will.
Radical left and Islamic groups find and use Jewish people willing to promote the smear and elevate them to ‘guru’ status. Ilan Pappe, Max Blumenthal, Ronnie Barkan are a few examples. In the UK, people like Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi are readily sought out by radio stations and newspapers to push this insane idea. As about 90% of Jewish people in the UK see Israel as forming part of their Jewish identity, the tiny minority of ‘opposites’ are rolled out to provide an umbrella against arguments of antisemitism. As if a few Lord Haw Haw‘s could represent the people of Britain in 1940.
It is absurd of course. Whatever theoretical discussions one may have had 80 years ago, it is patently absurd to suggest that anti-Zionism of the 1930’s is the same as opposing Israel today. Israel is not a theoretical discussion; Israel is a vibrant democratic state with a population of over 8 million.
And anti-Zionism TODAY means destroying Israel. It means ignoring the democratic will of 8 million people. Anti-Zionism does not mean having issues with Israeli actions, with Israeli settlements, with Israeli policy. It means taking the only liberal democracy in the Middle East and destroying it.
Which leads to another chronic deception. The people who say criticism of Israel is not antisemitism Of course it isn’t. Criticism of Israel is legitimate, but these anti-Zionists do not want to criticise Israel, they wish to destroy the Jewish nation.
Tareq Baddar, a Kuwaiti writer and film producer for Nawras Media, published an article criticizing preachers who incite against Jews in mosques and speak at length about their lowliness and evil, while ignoring the acts of tyrannical Muslims throughout history, such as Arab leaders or members of ISIS. According to Baddar, these preachers earn a living by preaching submissiveness and passivity. He added that even if Israel was wiped from the map, Muslims would continue to fight each other.
The following are excerpts from the article:
“Our filming [of the piece we are currently working on] began last Friday at around 10 am, and by Friday evening prayers, we had finished half of our work… My colleagues and I went to the nearest mosque… I sat there for half an hour and listened to a sermon that originated in ancient history. Most of the sermon [was dedicated] to warning of the Jews – their evil, deceit, cunning, backwardness, and lowliness. [It claimed] that the world was in its current state because of the Jews – that the Jews undoubtedly played a part in all wars and disasters, big and small, and that Jews are behind every transgression, ever murder, and every act of corruption. Naturally, the sermon ended with [the phrase]: ‘Oh Allah, glorify Islam and the Muslims.’
“I left the sermon in a bad mood, and in order to rid myself of it, I must dissect this matter:
“The sheikh forgot that my religion – and his – permits marriage to a Jewish woman, which means a Jewish woman could be a wife, a maternal aunt, a paternal aunt, even a mother. How many Jews live in Yemen, Iraq, and Morocco? How nice for me to be in your mosque while my Jewish mother sits at home and hears me say ‘amen’ when you curse her.
Michael Lumish: Brief Note: Hillary’s Likely Middle East Foreign Policy
It’s always dicey, and usually quite foolish, to predict the future.
Nonetheless, this morning I intend to take a quick whack at it.
What we are likely to see going forward is a Hillary Middle East foreign policy that will be similar, in broad strokes, to Obama administration tendencies.
This will mean the continued erosion of US influence in that part of the world resulting in a power vacuum – as we are clearly already seeing for a number of years, now – that will be filled by Russia, Iran, and mutating rogue Jihadi forces like ISIS.
The Hillary administration, much like the Obama administration, will continue to support certain Islamist organizations, like the Brotherhood in Cairo, but not others.
If she follows Obama’s Middle East foreign policy then she will divide the Islamist world into three parts:
Good Jihadis (who we support, like the Brotherhood).
Bad Jihadis (who we sometimes kinda fight, like al-Qaeda).
Jihadi groups that the US is basically indifferent toward (such as Hamas in Gaza or Hezbollah in Lebanon).
Empress Trudy: A response to Hillary’s foreign policy
I believe that progressive’s dire threats that Hillary is a secret war hawk are nonsense.
First – that’s a political statement to set progressives apart. Second – there’s little history to suggest this is true. The US has been very reluctant to do more than window dressing foreign policy-wise. Oh they talk shit but it’s 10x louder than a real effect. And yes there’s 6,000 or so troops in Iraq and Syria (but don’t mention that, that’s a big secret!) as well as helicopters and strike drones and the random air strike but in the context of the whole region the US presence in the Mideast and North and Sub Saharan Africa is about the size of France’s involvement.
The Hillary regime will be no less neo-isolationist than Obama. We’re in a new era – an era of proxies with new customers and their new enemies. Western leaders of France, the UK and the US see their foreign policy role as arms dealers to local presidents, generals, wazirs, republican guards, rebel armies and the like. President Dear Leader Queen Hillary the Even Greater the Second will sell gear to them before she sends our people in droves. After all, that would require her to put women in harms’ way under the new rules of the DoD which opened almost all combat jobs to women. No one seriously believed they’d be called on to follow through on that.
Moreover, Hillary’s mutterings about overall budgets and funding puts the US on a path to have the smallest armed forces since the late 1920’s-early 1930’s. And ALL the western states are on the same path – Canada, the UK, Germany, France, and the minor NATO states. Even Turkey with its purges has no choice but to shrink its overall posture.
But leaving that aside, we’re left with ‘soft power’. That is, the power of transnational bodies like the UN, EU, NGO’s, ‘foundations’, unapproved treaties, international law and such. The people extolling the greatness of that plan are the same people who are relying on them. That’s not a reliable or accurate point of view to have. Maybe it’s effective but it’s probably not very effective for the same reason any cartel isn’t effective. Everyone makes grand pronouncements then violates their own deals and cuts secret side deals on their own.
Donald Trump and Mike Pence will make satellite video addresses at a Republican Party rally in Jerusalem next week that will stress the unity of the city, Republicans Overseas Israel announced Wednesday.
Several hundred people are expected to attend the October 26 rally, which will be held at an unspecified location near the Temple Mount under the headline of “strengthening Jerusalem,” the organizers said.
The group’s statement to announce the rally highlights this week’s approval of a controversial UNESCO resolution that effectively denies historic Jewish and Christian ties to the holy sites in Jerusalem.
The rally intends to send a message that the Republican Party “is united behind need to safeguard the unity of Jerusalem, and to prevent any political interference regarding the historic identity of the city,” the statement said.
Coalition Chairman and Likud MK David Bitan on Friday called for stripping B’Tselem Director Hagai El-Ad of his citizenship for appearing before the UN Security Council last week and calling for sanctions over West Bank settlements.
Bitan told Channel 2 Friday that he’s weighing the possibility of taking legal action against El-ad to strip him of his Israeli citizenship, saying his actions were “borderline flagrant breach of trust by an Israeli citizen against the state and therefore it’s appropriate for him to find other citizenship.”
El-Ad sparked fury in Israel last week, when he denounced the “invisible, bureaucratic daily violence” that dominates Palestinian life “from cradle to grave,” including Israeli control over entrance and exit from the territories, and farming rights.
The NGO director’s remarks drew fierce denunciations from Israeli politicians, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who vowed he would bar national service volunteers from working with the organization.
Apparently, Weiss is under the impression that without a giant neon sign shouting “JEW,” The Atlantic‘s new editor might be confused for one of the many Episcopalian Jeffrey Goldbergs in journalism.
But more seriously, the insistence on publicly labeling individuals with their religious background in order to darkly impugn their motives and delegitimize their standing is textbook bigotry, and the classic recourse of the anti-Semite. It is the same ugly impulse that fuels the far-right fever swamp’s attempt to slur top Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin as a Muslim Brotherhood conspirator. It is exactly the sort of anti-Semitism Trump mouthpiece Breitbart News stoked when it attacked a Washington Post columnist by citing her Jewish heritage. Normal people critique their political opponents on policy grounds. Racist people critique their political opponents based on their ethnic or religious backgrounds.
In other words, the reason The Atlantic did not mention that Goldberg is a Jew in its announcement of his appointment is the same reason it would not mention a Muslim writer’s faith in such a context: it is not a racist publication.
Mondoweiss, on the other hand, despite serving as a popular clearinghouse for anti-Israel content, has long had a checkered past when it comes to promulgating anti-Semitism. Its attack on Goldberg is a reminder that in this season of alt-right anti-Semitism, the far-left is no less culpable. Anti-Jewish bigotry has always been interspersed with the site’s anti-Zionist writing and calls to boycott the Jewish state. As George Mason University professor David Bernstein put it in the Washington Post in 2015, “whatever Mondoweiss’ value as a news aggregator, it is also a hate site.” At the time, Bernstein pointed to a Phil Weiss post titled “Forgiving the Anti-Semites,” which features this remarkable section:
Jewish students at the University of Montana (UM) refused to allow antisemitism to deter them from building a sukkah on campus, the independent student newspaper the Montana Kaimin reported on Wednesday.
“To be able to do this again, it feels very Jewish. People have tried to keep us down by destroying it in the past, but we have come back and made it again,” said former Hillel vice president Grace Johnson, referring to the second annual construction of the traditional temporary dwelling on campus after a five-year hiatus.
Daniel Harris, a UM Hillel member who sponsored the construction of the religious structure, told the Montana Kaimin, “Not a lot of students have landlords who will let them build this kind of facility and follow this important commandment. It gives you a sense of belonging.”
Jewish students gathered throughout the week to celebrate the holiday by eating and doing homework in the sukkah. Hillel encouraged all students to visit and explore the dwelling, the report said.
The presence of the sukkah on campus has a tumultuous 20-year history history. According to Johnson, nearly every one of the dwellings has been destroyed by drunkards or vandalized by antisemites.
In 2010, a sukkah on campus was torn down and reconstructed as a cross. In 2009, it was defaced with lewd graffiti of penises.
A syndicated political columnist from California recently blasted his state’s major universities for “doing little or nothing so far to curb their plague of antisemitic bigotry.”
In an op-ed last week in the Napa Valley Register, Thomas Elias wrote, “There’s little or no good news on the campuses…when it comes to officially tolerated antisemitism.”
Recent events at various California schools only serve to highlight the University of California system’s failure to put its stated policy of combating the phenomenon.
Referring to the controversy over an anti-Israel course at UC Berkeley — which, as The Algemeiner reported, was suspended and then reinstated without any major changes to its syllabus — Elias wrote that its “one-sided political orientation was clear and never denied. Like most of the movement to boycott Israel…this class is less about settlements…and more about the hate that’s spurred Palestinian terrorists attacks on Jews around the world and not only in Israel or the West Bank.”
The course syllabus defamed the Jewish state, which is in “clear violation” of UC Regents prohibition of the use of the classroom for political indoctrination, and of a six-month-old policy against bigotry, which “lacks teeth,” Elias wrote.
The outrage that has followed legitimate criticism over a failure to deal with antisemitism can only strengthen these feelings, and demonstrates the rank hypocrisy of a student movement which zealously claims to be anti-racist.
The lack of trust which has now developed between the NUS and UJS – two organisations which have historically shared a proud record in combatting racism – is a sad state of affairs, and I do not have the confidence that this relationship can be repaired while Malia Bouattia is NUS President.
While she refuses to accept any of her past comments have been problematic, her supporters seem blind to the problem, more intent on suggesting that highlighting incidents of antisemitism is done to demonise their leadership than dealing with the problem itself.
There is an age-old cliché that students are the leaders of tomorrow, yet too many student leaders are now part of a problem which has left thousands of Jewish students without any trust in the organisation which is supposed to represent them on a national level. When the seriousness of antisemitism is trivialised in this way by those at the top of a movement, we should worry about the direction in which our society is heading.
Swastikas were found at seven sites on and near the campus of Canada’s largest university in what appears to be two separate anti-Semitic incidents.
The first three swastikas near the University of Toronto’s downtown campus were discovered late last month. Just before Yom Kippur last week, two more were discovered on a mural. Two days later, another was found on a nearby sidewalk outside the anthropology building.
Similar graffiti were also discovered on the steps of the school’s mining building and on a city-owned road near the campus.
A University of Toronto spokesperson told The Canadian Jewish News that the university worked to remove the graffiti as quickly as possible.
Rob Nagus, director of the university’s Hillel, said his organization appreciated how quickly the university condemned the acts and removed the daubings.
PreOccupiedTerritory: World Health Organization Calls Clouds Of Glory A Pollution Hazard (satire)
In the midst of the Sukkot festival celebrating the divine protection manifest in the Clouds of Glory that surround the Israelites in their journey from servitude in Egypt to sovereignty in the Promised Land, at least one international body has expressed misgivings at the implications of those clouds for air quality in the region and the long-term effects of the phenomenon.
The World Health Organization issued a statement today warning that the various clouds accompanying the Israelites in their odyssey through the wilderness carry dangerous risks to the respiratory health of anyone in proximity to them, and that the Israelites would do well to minimize whatever activities were contributing to the presence of those clouds. Israelite leaders accused the organization of bias, saying no such criticism had ever been leveled at other contemporary peoples, such as the Babylonians, who notoriously embarked on the largest urbanization and construction project in history, with disastrous implications for the environment.
Deputy Director of the WHO Dr. Ama Lek informed reporters at a press conference today that the clouds, which surround and protect the Israelites from attack and the elements, may contain harmful particulate matter that adversely affects bronchial health. “We urge the Israelites to change their policies to reduce or eliminate the cloud, which may already be causing cancer,” she declared.
The Post has continued to whitewash Fatah’s support of anti-Jewish violence. In the paper’s October 10, 2016 dispatch on the terror attack by Sbeih, reporter Ruth Eglash omitted Fatah’s honors and praise for the murderer (“Two Israelis, one a police officer, killed in Jerusalem by Palestinian gunman”). The Post pointed out that the murders were “cheered by Hamas as ‘heroic,’” but failed to note similar praise from Fatah. Hamas, a U.S.-designated Palestinian terrorist group that rules the Gaza Strip, competes with Fatah for power and control.
Other major U.S. news outlets, such as The Baltimore Sun, failed to report either Hamas or Fatah celebrating the murder of a grandmother and a police officer (“Israeli police: Shooting spree in Jerusalem kills 2, wounds 5,” October 10). In its coverage, USA Today said that Hamas leaders “welcomed the attack in a statement,” but similar to The Post, USA Today readers were not informed of Fatah’s praise (“Palestinian man shoots, kills 2 near Israeli police HQ in Jerusalem,” Oct. 10). USA Today reporter Jim Michaels quoted U.S. State Department’s vague condemnations of “the [Palestinian] statements glorifying this reprehensive and cowardly act,” but failed to mention Fatah.
Fatah and Hamas weren’t the only ones expressing blood-soaked glee. Images broadcast on social media by the Israeli government showed Palestinians handing out candy and food in a macabre ritual that is frequently repeated after every terrorist attack. As the website Israellycool pointed out, footage taken by the Hamas-affiliated Shehab News televison shortly after the murders, showed Sbeih’s mother receiving crowds of “well-wishers” in front of the terrorists’ house in eastern Jerusalem.
In an otherwise excellent Washington Post story about neighboring Palestinian villagers visiting the mayor of Efrat’s succah for a holiday celebration, the text includes the following:
In fact, the US government does not consider Jewish settlements to be illegal. It considers them to be objectionable, calling them “obstacles to peace” and prejudicial to the outcome of final status talks and questions their legitimacy. It has not, however, called them illegal.
As recently as September, HonestReporting called out the Sunday Telegraph for erroneously stating that the US considers Jewish settlements to be illegal. The Telegraph subsequently amended its article.
Obviously media outlets should be factually accurate but on the issue of settlements, terming them “illegal” has serious implications relating to issues such as the recent US military aid package or how the US relates to its own citizens who live in settlements.
A German policeman died of injuries suffered in a shootout during a raid on the home of a neo-Nazi.
The death of the unnamed officer was announced Thursday, hours after the shootout the previous day.
The shooter — a 49-year-old member of the Reichsburger, a fringe group that believes Hitler’s Reich still exists — was arrested and lightly wounded in the raid. Another officer is recovering from a gunshot wound and two others were lightly wounded, The New York Times reported.
The unnamed man shot at police who entered his home in Georgensmund, in the Bavarian region, with the intention of confiscating his stash of at least 30 guns, the Times reported Wednesday.
According to authorities, the suspect had failed to pay taxes and vehicle fines for months. He had a hunting license but was declared unfit to own weapons after ignoring his summons. He could now face murder charges.
A policeman in Austria was sentenced Thursday for shouting “Heil Hitler” at a Hungarian driver during a traffic check at the border with Hungary in April.
A Vienna court handed the officer a nine-month suspended jail term after finding him guilty of “re-engagement with National Socialism” — a crime in Austria that has been punishable by up to 10 years in prison since 1947.
The 29-year-old was denounced by a colleague who had witnessed the incident at the Nickelsdorf border checkpoint in Burgenland state, on April 27.
The accused had stopped the Hungarian driver and greeted him with the phrase “Heil Hitler,” according to the prosecution.
The policeman denied the charge, insisting his colleague had misunderstood him.
The United Kingdom’s shock referendum decision earlier this year to leave the European Union creates a “real opportunity” for closer ties between Israel and the UK, Britain’s ambassador to Israel said Thursday.
At a Sukkot holiday party at the ambassador’s residence in Tel Aviv, Ambassador David Quarrey described the current global political climate as “uncertain.” He said the Brexit referendum result presents “challenges,” but also “creates a real opportunity for Israel and the UK to work even more closely together.”
Once the UK activates the clause allowing it to leave the EU — which newly appointed Prime Minister Theresa May has said will happen by March 2017 — negotiations on the terms of Britain’s departure would run for two years. In that time the UK will then have to renegotiate independent trade deals with dozens of countries around the world, including Israel.
Leaving the EU “will certainly present challenges,” Quarrey said. “But with Israel I see the opportunity for closer cooperation on trade, investment, technology, science and security,” he added.
Israel might be looking for a super hero savior, but it’s not going to be Wonder Woman.
Gal Gadot told US late-night talk-show host Jimmy Kimmel on Wednesday that she has absolutely no interest in being prime minister of Israel.
After the Israeli actress told Kimmel that this had been her first time watching US presidential debates, the conversation turned to her homeland.
“As Wonder Woman have you considered running for prime minister of Israel?” Kimmel asked.
“No,” was her emphatic reply.
Nevertheless, the former Miss Israel, who plays Wonder Woman in the film based on the DC Comics heroine, took the time to explain the intricacies of the Israeli political system to Kimmel.
The Israeli Tourism Ministry has stepped up marketing campaigns in India and China, hoping to increase the numbers of incoming travelers from these major emerging markets for tourism.
Some 40,000 Indians and 47,000 Chinese visited Israel during 2015. While still a drop in the pan in terms of potential—about 20 million Indians and 120 million Chinese vacationed overseas in 2015—the number of visitors from India and China is rising by 10-13% from year to year, according to the Tourism Ministry.
“Breaking into the large Asian market—in particular China and India—is one of the main objectives set by the Tourism Ministry,” said Tourism Minister Yariv Levin, who hopes to attract 100,000 visitors per year from each country by 2018.
In August, the Tourism Ministry launched its first major TV advertising campaign in India, under the slogan: “On most vacations, you take a trip. But in Israel, you take a journey.”
We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.