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Wed Feb 13, 2013, 10:07 PM

We still need to speak up on ‘mainstream’ antisemitism

By Michael Dugher, February 7, 2013
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In 2006, the UK's All-Party Parliamentary Inquiry into Antisemitism warned that antisemitism was creeping into the mainstream with traditional antisemitic themes - dressed up as "anti-Zionism" - mounting a comeback. Sadly, this has not abated over the past few years.

Only two weeks ago, we saw the Sunday Times publish a cartoon that appeared to show Benjamin Netanyahu revelling in the blood of Palestinians. The image, reminiscent of antisemitic blood libels, clearly crossed a line and the newspaper rightly apologised.

Of course, criticism of Israel's policies is legitimate. Israel is a lively democracy. Unsurprisingly many of the voices who are the most critical of the Israeli government are Israelis themselves. Like many good friends of Israel, I have been frustrated by the lack of progress in recent years toward peace. But part of the problem is that the ongoing hostilities have resulted in moderate friends of both the Israelis and Palestinians becoming more subdued and marginalised.

This has provided space for harder-line voices to appear more mainstream. And, at worst, this has allowed some utterly distorted views of Israel to function as an alibi for antisemitism. Some antisemites seem to have embraced "anti-Zionism" as a cover to protect their fundamentally racist views. Together with old-fashioned prejudice, more and more we are seeing a rebranding of antisemitism as anti-Zionism.

A particularly depressing example has been the assault on Holocaust commemoration. Incredibly, Holocaust Memorial Day has come under attack in recent years as a Zionist plot to protect Israel from criticism. This year, activist Lee Jasper used HMD to mount an attack on Israel. He said: "Israel has failed to learn the lessons of its own tragic history having evolved into a racist oppressor."


http://www.thejc.com/comment-and-debate/comment/102246/we-still-need-speak-mainstream%E2%80%99-antisemitism

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Arrow 18 replies Author Time Post
Reply We still need to speak up on ‘mainstream’ antisemitism (Original post)
King_David Feb 2013 OP
King_David Feb 2013 #1
shira Feb 2013 #4
Deep13 Feb 2013 #2
Scootaloo Feb 2013 #3
shira Feb 2013 #5
Scootaloo Feb 2013 #6
shira Feb 2013 #17
LeftishBrit Feb 2013 #7
shira Feb 2013 #16
King_David Feb 2013 #8
Scootaloo Feb 2013 #9
King_David Feb 2013 #10
Scootaloo Feb 2013 #11
LeftishBrit Feb 2013 #12
Scootaloo Feb 2013 #15
shira Feb 2013 #18
King_David Feb 2013 #14
LeftishBrit Feb 2013 #13

Response to King_David (Original post)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 10:08 PM

1. Michael Dugher is Labour MP for Barnsley East and vice chair of the Labour Party

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Response to King_David (Reply #1)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 05:53 AM

4. Liberals cannot be Zionists, remember? n/t

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Response to King_David (Original post)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 10:29 PM

2. Well, that's unfortunate.

I intact with Jews, Muslims, Christians, and skeptics on a daily basis. I can do this because they are people and scholars first and whatever their religious identity is second. So the emergence of antisemitism in an age when we really know better is disturbing.

I don't use the term Zion at all because there seems to be some disagreement about what it means. I am anti-imperialist and I am critical of Israeli's efforts to occupy all land west of Jordan, especially when its inhabitants are not treated as full citizens. Of course, I'm also against mistreatment of Muslim and Spanish-speaking immigrants to the USA. I'm not, however, anti-Jew, nor do I believe anti-Jewish stereotypes, modern or medieval. Minority groups are always just too convenient for scapegoating. As a religious skeptic, I think all Abrahamic religions are equally valid in that they are all wrong.

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Response to King_David (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 02:40 AM

3. The "anti-zionism = antisemitism" argument is exceedingly stupid

If for no other reason than it explicitly states that all Jews are always Zionists, and thus opposition to Zionism is the same as opposition to - hatred of - Jews.

Only one group of people actually believes that all Jews everywhere are bound to a common political belief - they're called antisemites. You know, all these daffy fucks who accuse Jews of "dual loyalties," or accuse them of conspiring against their "host" nations for some big Jewish master plan? They believe Jews are transient interlopers with no national ties other than Israel? I would say it's weird how Zionists actively defend and perpetuate these exact claims... but it's not weird at all, once you figure out that Zionism benefits from antisemitism.

It also undercuts the importance of actual antisemitism - that is, hatred against Jewish people, remember them? - by equating such attacks and discrimination with shit like deciding to not buy Israeli products. I understand that the resident Zionist posters probably think I'm a little daffy on this, but I just can't equate walking out of a performance by an Israeli musician, to setting a synagogue on fire. I just can't stretch my credulity that far. Maybe you can, but I'm just not that mentally flexible.

And yes. Remember the people? As in, living, breathing human beings? "Zionism" is not people, it's a concept, an idea, a political construct. Telling me that my opposition to this nonhuman, adopted philosophy means I hate Jews is a lot like telling me my distaste for country music, Wal-Mart, and the republican party means I hate white people.

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Response to Scootaloo (Reply #3)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 06:30 AM

5. The anti-Zionist movement tends to almost always demonstrate it's antisemitic. n/t

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Response to shira (Reply #5)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 07:07 AM

6. You present a circular argument

Based on the notion that antizionism is inherently antisemitic.

Are you trying to say that there are people who are both anti-zionist and antisemitic? If so, we can agree on that, at least; of course there are; Gilad Atzmon, Greta Berlin, for two. The two notions don't cancel each other out, after all. For that matter, being a pro-Zionist doesn't mean you can't also be an antisemite; Rupert Murdoch and Alan Dershowitz are two examples off the top of my head, as is the English Defense League. And you an also be anti-zionist and pro-Jewish; Tony Greenstein for instance.

What this means is that it's an individual thing; it's not systemic or inherent. Antizionism does not equate antisemitism, just as Zionism does not equate pro-Jewish.

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Response to Scootaloo (Reply #6)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 07:39 AM

17. Are you against the self-determination & nationalism of any other people other than Jews?

And if so, how invested (in comparison to being anti-Israel) are you in denying another nation's right to exist?

If it's only Jewish self-determination and nationhood that you're actively against, your view is bigoted.

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Response to shira (Reply #5)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 07:22 AM

7. Not all anti-Zionists are antisemitic. But many antisemites use 'anti-Zionism' as a cover or excuse

It's not at all unknown to use the word 'Zionists' to mean Jews (or joooooos).

Also, it depends on why people are anti-Zionist. If they are generally anti-nationalist, or if they really think that a 'one-state solution' would work, or if they are ultra-Orthodox types who don't believe in establishing Israel before the coming of the Messiah, then they may be unrealistic but they are not antisemitic. If they think that Jews are the only people on the planet that shouldn't have their own state, then they generally are antisemitic.

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Response to LeftishBrit (Reply #7)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 06:52 PM

16. So who are these anti-zionists against all types of nationalisms?

AFAIK, they're only against the nationalism and self-determination of one people (Jews).

Good luck finding otherwise.

Show me where they actively work against other types of nationalism (other than Zionism).

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Response to Scootaloo (Reply #3)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 07:30 AM

8. You have made your views on Zionism crystal clear

NT

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Response to King_David (Reply #8)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 07:33 AM

9. And you have contributed to their development n/t

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Response to Scootaloo (Reply #9)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 07:40 AM

10. Proud of it.

Always have been a proud Zionist .

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Response to King_David (Reply #10)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 07:55 AM

11. I'm sure Milosevic was awfully proud of himself too.

Sure didn't seem to show any second doubts during his trial.

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Response to Scootaloo (Reply #11)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 08:14 AM

12. You really think that all Zionists are just like Milosevic?

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Response to LeftishBrit (Reply #12)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 02:58 PM

15. Not "just like," no.

But really, being a "proud Zionist" is like being one of these people:



Maybe you didn't pull on the rope, but you're still happy to be photographed with the corpse.

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Response to Scootaloo (Reply #15)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 07:43 AM

18. Using your argument, being for Palestinian nationalism is illiberal and regressive....

Take a look at the monstrous charters of both the PLO and Hamas. They're very clear as to what Palestinian nationalism is all about. Anyone for that cannot possibly be considered liberal or progressive.

Am I right, using your logic?

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Response to Scootaloo (Reply #11)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 08:23 AM

14. Do carry on,

Zionists are like Milosevic now?

Are you sure you are comfortable in a forum like DI that supports officers of the Democratic Party and Presidents of the same party whom are all openly Zionist?

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Response to Scootaloo (Reply #3)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 08:20 AM

13. I agree with much of what you say, but you can't have it both ways

You are quite right that one 'just can't equate walking out of a performance by an Israeli musician, to setting a synagogue on fire'.

But at the same time, one cannot equate support for Israel's continued existence, with support for the right-wing settlers. One cannot for example equate a Meretz voter who demonstrates against the Occupation, but refuses to engage in BDS for products made in Israel itself, with a Kahanist or even with a supporter of Avigdor Lieberman. The idea that one cannot be a left/ liberal Zionist is just like the idea that one cannot be an anti-Zionist without supporting antisemitism and the burning of synagogues. Both attitudes have a lot in common with the Bush mantra 'you are either with us or with the terrorists'.

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