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The New Anti-Semitism

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    The New Anti-Semitism

    Today when the UN General Assembly voted 128-9 to declare US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital `null and void' with the 7 countries voting with the US and Israel are Guatemala, Honduras, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, and Togo. This is despite open threats from the US Ambassador to th UN that they will take names of those who voted against.

    More troubling were the countries who abstained, many with a historical reputation for anti-semitism and increasing evidence that they are actively hostile to their Jewish pouplation like Poland Hungary the Czech Republic, Latvia and Croatia. Romania is on the list, too. Thoughts adhoc?

    And Canada, what the fuck do you think you're doing?

    Anyway it's prompted me to post this great piece in the LRB

    Historically, the fight against anti-Semitism has sought to advance the equal rights and emancipation of Jews. Those who denounce the ‘new anti-Semitism’ seek to legitimate the discrimination against and subjugation of Palestinians. In the first case, someone who wishes to oppress, dominate and exterminate Jews is branded an anti-Semite; in the second, someone who wishes to take part in the struggle for liberation from colonial rule is branded an anti-Semite. In this way, Judith Butler has observed, ‘a passion for justice’ is ‘renamed as anti-Semitism
    The logic of the ‘new anti-Semitism’ can be formulated as a syllogism: i) anti-Semitism is hatred of Jews; ii) to be Jewish is to be Zionist; iii) therefore anti-Zionism is anti-Semitic. The error has to do with the second proposition. The claims that Zionism is identical to Jewishness, or that a seamless equation can be made between the State of Israel and the Jewish people, are false. Many Jews are not Zionists. And Zionism has numerous traits that are in no way embedded in or characteristic of Jewishness, but rather emerged from nationalist and settler colonial ideologies over the last three hundred years. Criticism of Zionism or of Israel is not necessarily the product of an animus towards Jews; conversely, hatred of Jews does not necessarily entail anti-Zionism.

    Not only that, but it is possible to be both a Zionist and an anti-Semite. Evidence of this is supplied by the statements of white supremacists in the US and extreme right-wing politicians across Europe. Richard Spencer, a leading figure in the American alt-right, has no trouble characterising himself as a ‘white Zionist’ (‘As an Israeli citizen,’ he explained to his interviewer on Israel’s Channel 2 News, ‘who has a sense of nationhood and peoplehood, and the history and experience of the Jewish people, you should respect someone like me, who has analogous feelings about whites … I want us to have a secure homeland for us and ourselves. Just like you want a secure homeland in Israel’), while also believing that ‘Jews are vastly over-represented in what you could call “the establishment”.’ Gianfranco Fini of the Italian National Alliance and Geert Wilders, leader of the Dutch Party for Freedom, have also professed their admiration of Zionism and the ‘white’ ethnocracy of the state of Israel, while on other occasions making their anti-Semitic views plain. Three things that draw these anti-Semites towards Israel are, first, the state’s ethnocratic character; second, an Islamophobia they assume Israel shares with them; and, third, Israel’s unapologetically harsh policies towards black migrants from Africa (in the latest of a series of measures designed to coerce Eritrean and Sudanese migrants to leave Israel, rules were introduced earlier this year requiring asylum seekers to deposit 20 per cent of their earnings in a fund, to be repaid to them only if, and when, they leave the country)
    Last edited by Nefertiti2; 21-12-2017, 18:51.

    That's a great piece Nef, thanks for that.

    Romania's vote (or rather non vote) has surprised me to be honest and I don't yet have an idea as to why they've gone down this road. It may be an attempt to join the visegrad alliance (at least as a satellite), and the PSD government is not that far in reality from Orban and FIDESZ in Hungary. I think the Neve Gordon piece is accurate in describing how and why countries like Hungary and Poland, with extreme right wing governments, have latched onto Israel. It's primarily an islamophobic and "white Europe" movement.


      Oh, that's you, Nef? Nice one.

      It explains it all in terms that even reflexive "but terrorism!!! errrr" idiots should get, but I doubt they'll bother reading anything like that.

      "This is despite open threats from the US Ambassador to th UN that they will take names of those who voted against."
      FFS. "Take names?" Are they going to threaten to "pull their card" too? How about "see them by the flag pole at 3:30?"


        And Canada, what the fuck do you think you're doing?

        The government walked away from the potentially explosive debate over Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, sustaining only limited damage: the United States said it was pleased, the Palestinians said they were fine too, and Canada's leading Jewish affairs organization expressed muted disappointment.

        Well-placed sources told The Canadian Press that the government's decision to abstain was the result of a painstaking two-week analysis that tried to balance two competing interests – Canada's support of the U.S.'s sovereign right to decide on the location of its embassy versus Ottawa's view that the status of Jerusalem has to be decided as part of a broader peace agreement.

        The vote placed Canada in a difficult situation because Trump had threatened to retaliate against countries that supported the resolution. And it came as Canada is in the midst of a tough renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement with a protectionist Trump administration that has threatened to tear up the deal.

        Sources, who were not authorized to speak publicly on the matter, said Canadian diplomats saw the political storm taking shape 10 days ago and started working on a plan. They analysed several factors – Middle East policy, international politics, and considerations closer to home: Canada-U.S. relations, and Canada's bid for a temporary seat on the UN's Security Council.

        Abstention was seen as the best option.


          The UK voted for. Which surprised me, mainly because for once it appears that we took a stand against the US.


            Not even the "Special Relationship" can survive the Trump administration, it seems.

            Great piece, as has been mentioned.


              It strikes me that Israel is one of the most anti-semitic countries out there. Not, clearly, in the sense that it hates and rejects Jews. But in its rhetoric and use of anti-semitic tropes, repurposed. That "Palestinian puppetmasters" thing yesterday was straight out of the anti-semitic conspiracy theory cupboard.

              One of the reasons that it's always been impossible to imagine an international far-right movement is because they all hate each other racially. But if they are starting to bond on the level of rhetoric and overlooking the mutual loathing (as Israel appears to have done in working with the anti-semitic Hungarian government), things start getting scarily joined up. (Can't see it being remotely sustainable though)


                But the Isreali movement has historically had some strange bedfellows in the past. Factions of the free Israeli movement attempted to align with Nazi Germany during WWII fighting the British in return for their own homeland after the war (Lehi). Put into that context, jumping into bed with Eastern European far-right parties isn't really surprising.


                  And Israel was a very good friend of South Africa's apartheid regime, most of whose members, not least PW Botha, had been members of the Nazi militia Ossewa Brandwag during World War 2.


                    Don't know which thread to use.

                    But this from the New York Time about the Tamini family, where a video of 16 year old Ahed Tamimi confronting Israeli soldiers after her cousin had been shot went viral.

                    She has since been arrested. As has her mother.

                    Ben Caspit, a journalist for the Maariv daily [owned by the Jerusalem Post], praised the soldiers for not reacting, but called for retaliation against the Tamimi family.

                    "In the case of the girls, we should exact a price at some other opportunity, in the dark, without witnesses and cameras," he wrote.


                      Oh Christ Israel is like a mirror of what the West will turn into when we stop giving a fuck at all. But but Democracy!


                        I confess to being slightly troubled by the fact that it's taken the arrest of a blue eyed blonde haired girl to get people to give a shit about Palestinians, but at the end of the day I guess it gets people to notice


                          Yes, the physical appearance of Ahed might be of some significance, but that should not detract from the sickening violence that is visited upon her and her family.

                          Incidentally, Germany's Focus news magazine, which is usually fairly liberal*, has a cover story on Jerusalem this week. It is relentlessly pro-Israel, opening with the trope that to protest against Israel is intrinsically anti-Semitic. And from there things just get worse. The stabbings in the Old City get highlighted, but not a word about the occupation or examination why Palestinians were stabbing people. Even the old lie that Palestinians want to annihilate Israel is uncritically repeated. Halfway through we learn that the author once visited Jerusalem. Once. He met very nice Israelis during his visit...

                          Now, it is understandable that Germans flinch at the sight of the Star of David on the Israeli flag burning. I flinch. It is good that Germans are awake to anti-Semitism. Protest against Israel must never take the form of anti-Semitism, and people who use such protests to express their anti-Semitism are the enemy.

                          But, as already alluded to in the article Nef posted, there is also a trend in Europe whereby anti-Muslim sentiments find expression in enthusiastic support for Israel. To that end, the charming AfD has called on Merkel's temporary government to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

                          * at least used to be liberal. Their cover page a couple of years ago to illustrate their report on "What happened in Cologne" showed a black handprint on a white women's body, which was unbelievably racist and inflammatory.
                          Last edited by G-Man; 24-12-2017, 07:56.


                            „Where I lost my Zionism“This is another very good piece from one of the founders of 972 Magazine

                            By the time I began going to Nabi Saleh, I had spent about four years reporting on what I saw in Gaza and the West Bank, and watching detachedly as my politics moved ever leftward from the liberal place in which they started, as a consequence of what I saw on the ground. But it was in Nabi Saleh that I lost the last remnants of what I would call — for lack of a word to describe my nostalgia for the idea of a state for the Jews — my Zionism.
                            972 is fundraising to publish in Arabic.
                            Last edited by Nefertiti2; 24-12-2017, 16:39.


                              Amira Hass


                                Guatemala becomes the second country to talk about moving their embassy to the occupied city of Jerusalem. No doubt Trump promised them all the death squads they wanted.

                                In Europe the Czech Republic is coming under a lot of pressure not to break the EU policy on this.

                                I'm sure that a few more little states will also recognise Jerusalem under US pressure or bribery.


                                  That fine piece is from the Nation, Nef.

                                  One wouldn’t find that kind of honesty on this subject in the Atlantic.


                                    Superb article.

                                    To my knowledge I've never read anything from The Atlantic. Should it be avoided at all costs?


                                      Bassed Tahimi on his daughter's arrest

                                      Ahed is one of many young women who in the coming years will lead the resistance to Israeli rule. She is not interested in the spotlight currently being aimed at her due to her arrest, but in genuine change. She is not the product of one of the old parties or movements, and in her actions she is sending a message: In order to survive, we must candidly face our weaknesses and vanquish our fears.

                                      In this situation, the greatest duty of me and my generation is to support her and to make way; to restrain ourselves and not to try to corrupt and imprison this young generation in the old culture and ideologies in which we grew up.
                                      Ana apologies for the Nation/Atlantic mix-up. I misremembered -a curiosity of the board is that you can't just post a quote, but have to put text there too.




                                          This is quite a good background piece from March 2013 (from the New York Times surprisingly enough) about the Tamimi family , their village Nabi Saleh and the theft of their water by a nearby settlement.

                                          I see now it's written by Ben Ehrenreich who wrote that piece in The Nation.
                                          Last edited by Nefertiti2; 29-12-2017, 12:51.


                                            Reginald, there’s no need to avoid the Atlantic. Some of their pieces are genuinely good. They just aren’t very open-minded in the subject of The Occupation (something they share with much of elite media here).


                                              Israel is now trying to ban the words "Occupied Territory".

                                              With a docility that will surprise no-one the NBA has agreed.


                                                Beat me to it, Nef.