Several recent articles that I came across addressed similar issues within an overriding theme: how the “new” politically correct anti-Zionism (or anti-Israelism if you wish) is simply the old-fashioned anti-Semitism in disguise.
First amongst these articles, in the Jewish Daily Forward, was an address by Judea Pearl, father of the journalist Daniel Pearl who was murdered by Al Qaeda terrorists, who spoke at the Simon Wiesenthal Center this week. (h/t Israel Matzav). Mr. Pearl stated that anti-Zionism is worse than anti-Semitism:
He called anti-Zionism, which he defined as the denial of Israel’s right to exist in the family of nations, as “the worst form of racism.” Unlike anti-Semitism, he said, it carries a measure of social acceptance, and it “hides itself in the cloak of political debate.”
Those who think anti-Semitism, especially as it colors debate about Israel in the United States, is the greater danger are mistaken, Pearl told the crowd in his opening address on Monday night. Jews, he said, have become experts at fighting anti-Semitism, likening it to a disease in which “the antibodies are known.”
“Anti-Zionism is worse. It is harder to fight. It comes in a camouflage that allows it to penetrate vital tissue undetected,” he said. Then he paused briefly and added, “Like at our universities.”
The elder Pearl said he believes his son “was murdered by anti-Zionists, not anti-Semitists.” While acknowledging he had not watched the videos taken by his son’s captors, Pearl said the photos hanging in the background had been described to him, and all were anti-Israel and anti-American.
Moderator Steve Kroft of CBS’s 60 Minutes sat on a stage with Pearl and asked if he thought his son had been targeted because he was Jewish, an American reporter or a combination of both.
“A combination of both,” Pearl answered. His son’s captors wanted to humiliate America, and they thought that because he was Jewish their actions would be forgiven, Pearl said.
Asked about those who criticized Israeli government’s policies, he answered that he thought anti-Zionism often was lurking beneath their words.
In his speech, Pearl called anti-Zionism “morally appalling and strategically harder to fight.
“Anti-Zionism targets the most vulnerable part of the Jewish people, the 6 million people of Israel. It condemns them to eternal statelessness in a very bad neighborhood,” he said.
He encouraged the use of the r-word, to call out as “racists” those who deny Israel’s right to exist.
“First, they are stunned. Then the debate shifts … into our core issue,” which is that they are denying the Jewish people that which is granted to other nations.
In a question handed up from the audience, Pearl was asked what he thought about Jews who say they are anti-Zionists. “That’s easy,” he responded. “It’s a ticket for social acceptance.”
Judea Pearl has hit the nail squarely on the head, and kol hakavod to him for standing up and stating his views so clearly in such a public forum. If only people would listen to him.
The next article is actually a series of two articles written by Hadar Sela in CiFWatch on the upcoming “Global March to Jerusalem”. The first article gives the background to this pro-Palestinian anti-Israel gimmick:
As spring approaches, so the annual season for publicity stunts aimed at undermining Israel’s legitimacy begins once more. This year several high-profile events are planned and, building on the success of last year’s thwarting of the ‘Freedom Flotilla 2′ by means of pre-emptive dissemination of information, this report (and those which will follow) aims to provide essential background about the aims and allegiances of the organisers which will be useful to those engaged in combatting the assault on Israel’s legitimacy, particularly in the media and social networks.
The first large-scale event planned this year is a ‘Global March to Jerusalem’ scheduled for March 30th 2012 – Land Day. The concept behind it is to have a million people marching on Israel’s borders from all the surrounding countries – Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Egypt.
Some idea of the mindset of the event’s organisers can be gleaned from statements made in the following e-mail exchangebetween two of them regarding a previous identical project. (All errors in the original text)
As I have written out in the report, the liberation of Jerusalem, of Palestine are at the core of all that we have done & will do. The point is that how do we build a movement that compells the governments of Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon & Syria to let us in (which is easy) & then let us march across the borders into Palestine, challenging the Israeli army (which is difficult). Thus the idea is to keep the idea simple – We are going to pray at the Wailing Wall, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre & the Masjid-i-Aqsa & the Qubattus Sakhra. We will not apply for visas or permissions from the Israeli’s obviously not, for reasons known to us all. But imagine a situation where we have more than a million people streaming in from four borders & israel fails to stop the human tide. Once we have broken this mental barrier, then its all over. next time we will have 5 million who will be marching in & it will ony grow from there. This is exactly the nightmare situation for Israel. How do you handle a million ordinary non-violent people who want to go back Home? – how do you handle a million non-violent people who just wish to pray in their Masjid in Jerusalem, which is under our Occupation? Thius will undermine the Israeli state, like no other strategy & then it will all begin to unravel & the Zionist edifice which is unraveeling as we speak, will soon fall. It’s a matter of time now, as we well know.
Revealingly, the following statement appears in the FAQ section of the website of the American chapter of the Global March to Jerusalem (GMJ-NA):
Q: Why is there a separate GMJ-NA organization?
A: Because of the laws governing citizens of the U.S. and Canada, legal advisers in these countries have determined that it is better for them to operate separately and not to participate in the decision-making of the international movement, but rather as an autonomous coalition. This is because some of the groups in the international coalition are subject to legal reprisals in these countries, and there is some risk that any joint decision-making might place citizens of those countries in legal jeopardy. The risk may be small, but this is an extra measure of safety for those concerned.
In other words, the leaders of GMJ-NA are very much aware of the march’s links to proscribed terrorist groups, and yet its endorsers include a rather predictable list of organisations and US and other nationals, including a UN employee and a former British MP.
Keep reading to learn more about the sorry lot of participants in this miserable exercise. Just make sure to do this on an empty stomach.
In part II of this series, Hadar Sela addresses the European contingent of the Global March to Jerusalem. Again, the participants represent extremist anti-Israel activists and terror-sympathisers:
As we saw in part one of this report on the ‘Global March on Jerusalem’ (GMJ) scheduled for March 30th 2012, the organisers are a conglomerate of people representing the ‘red-green alliance’ the world over. Radical Leftists, Muslim Brotherhood-connected Islamists and representatives of and sympathisers with the Iranian regime have once more come together with the aim of engineering an event which will result in PR disaster for Israel and advance their long-term assault on the legitimacy of the Jewish state.
The European chapter of the GMJ also represents a text-book example of what the Reut Institute termed the ‘red-green alliance’ in 2010 and in particular indicates that the naming of London as a hub of systematic assault on Israel’s right to exist in the Reut Institute’s report is still – two years on – very relevant indeed.
Read both articles in full for an excellent and incisive, if depressing, description of antisemitic anti-Zionists at work, and their persistent efforts to delegitimize Israel.
On a similar subject, Giulio Meotti in his Ynet Op-Ed article describes how the BDS-ers do not wish to improve life for the Palestinians, but in fact seek Israel’s destruction
The annual Israeli Apartheid Week, dubbed “anti-Semitic hatefest” by Canadian author Howard Rotberg, is approaching again. As every year the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign will play a key part in this eighth edition.
A large conference of the BDS was just held in Bologna, Italy. The forum selected three areas on which to concentrate efforts in 2012: Israel’s arms industry, pharmaceuticals industry and tourism.
The choice of companies to boycott reveals BDS’ extremism and hatred for the very existence of Israel within any borders. The targets are the Jewish people and nation, not merely the communities of Judea and Samaria. Indeed, BDS is boycotting companies that just say “Made in Israel.”
Western universities are a primary target of the BDS campaign. Over the last weekend, a BDS conference took place at the University of Pennsylvania, an Ivy League institution in the heart of Philadelphia, where some academics taught US students how to demonize Israel “in every classroom.”
Several weeks ago Israeli writer Moshe Sakal was booted from an academic conference in Marseilles at the request of Palestinian poet Najwan Darwish, a major BDS supporter. Last September, an Israeli professor from Ariel University, Ronen Cohen, was expelled from a German academic conference in Berlin (he was later reinstated after a protest.)
BDS has also gained a foothold in the most prominent US Churches. The United Methodist Church, the major mainline Christian denomination in the US, is slated to discuss divestment proposals targeting Motorola and Hewlett Packard during the church’s General Conference in late April in Florida.
Notably, the Methodists boycott no other country; only Israel.
BDS’ maximalist demand – the destruction of Israel as a Jewish state – is hidden, but apparent to a careful examiner of the latest Bologna’s forum. BDS targets Teva, a company established in Jerusalem 47 years before the re-establishment of Israel, only because it is one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies; L’Oreal, even though it is located in pre-1967 Israel; Delta Galil Industries, because it’s Israel’s largest textile manufacturer; and Sabra, because it is Israel’s second-largest food company and supplies food for the IDF.
As was the case with the Arab League, which used the boycott as a means for isolating Israel worldwide, BDS is not about Israel’s size – rather, it is about her very existence.
And finally I come to Nick Cohen’s article in the Spectator on the hypocrisy of the Human Rights “Industry“. Nick Cohen is from the “sane left” of British journalism and has written a book decrying the slide of the political left into extremism. (Despite his name Cohen is not Jewish).
In this article he writes about how the Human Rights movement has become so politically correct (or perhaps it always was) that it ignores severe human rights abuses committed by non-Western societies while focusing on Western abuses, imagined or real and although Israel is not mentioned in his article, the whole item is completely relevant to Israel’s situation as well since the Human Rights movement applies a specific microscopic focus on Israel.
Human rights campaigners need to follow a self-denying ordinance if they are not to become enemies of the values they espouse. Like a civil servant or judge, they must leave their passions at the office door, and oppose the oppressive, whoever they are and whatever the consequences. It is easy for me to say that, but the record of Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International tells you that it is hard for them to do so. To their politically committed workers impartiality can feel a thin and bloodless doctrine. It requires them to criticise people they regard as friends and provide inadvertent comfort to enemies.
The effort required in maintaining universal principles is too much for them, and explains why human rights organisations have gone off the rails. If you need convincing, look at the introduction to the Human Rights Watch’s World Report 2012 by Kenneth Roth, its ‘Executive Director’. is grandiose title is warning enough. It suggests that Roth sees himself more as a corporate leader than a liberal campaigner. The Executive Director’s analysis of the Middle East does nothing to dispel that suspicion.
The point to bear in mind is that wealthy westerners, who call themselves liberals and feminists, have become the least reliable defenders of liberals and feminists from the poor world, who need their support. Nowhere more so than in the Middle East.
‘The international community must come to terms with political Islam when it represents a majority preference,’ the Executive Director intones as he gives his views on the Arab Spring. Roth is leading a human rights organisation, but he talks as if he is a foreign minister or president setting strategic objectives. It does not occur to him that it is not his business to instruct the ‘international community’ on whom or what it must come to terms with. His business is to stick to the hard and necessary task of monitoring and condemning all those who abuse the rights of others without fear or favour. The pitfalls of pomposity are so obvious Roth that should not need me to point them out. For how can Human Rights Watch monitor and condemn political Islam when its executive director is issuing manifestos from his boardroom telling the international community to accept it?
… Gita Sahgal of the Centre for Secular Space is collecting signatures for an open letter to Roth…
As Sahgal, says: ‘It is simply not good enough to say we do not know what kind of Islamic law, if any, will result, when it is already clear that freedom of expression and freedom of religion — not to mention the choice not to veil — are under threat. And while it is true that the Muslim Brotherhood has not been in power for very long, we can get some idea of what to expect by looking at their track record.
It is also worth noting that until recently Gita Sahgal was the head of Amnesty International’s gender unit. When she said that Amnesty had to stop endorsing supporters of Islamist misogyny, the ‘human rights organisation’ responded to her defence of the rights of half the human race by forcing her out.
I apologize for such a depressing post but I feel that we will not be able to combat this anti-Semitism in disguise unless we understand exactly what we are dealing with.