As I have noted several times on this blog, the world has become a topsy-turvy place, and while certain Arabs are drawing closer to Israel, the West in many instances is moving in the opposite direction, not “just” into anti-Israel sentiment (which in itself is bad enough because there is no logical reason for Israel to be singled out) but into outright Jew-hatred (formerly known as antisemitism).
One of the top stories this week has been the banning, at the insistence of the BDS bigots, of the American-Jewish rap star Mattisyahu from a reggae festival in Spain – all for the “crime” of his support of Israel:
The Rototom Sunsplash Reggae Festival called off the formerly Hasidic rapper’s August 22 show, with organizers saying Matisyahu had refused to comply with their demand to pen a statement or a video message backing “the Palestinians’ right to a state.”
Festival organizers were driven by intense pressure from the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, the reports said. Artists scheduled to perform at the event threatened to cancel their appearances if Matisyahu were to perform because he was “seen to represent Israel.”
The organizers gave Matisyahu an ultimatum, telling him if he would “sign such a declaration [publicly affirming his support for the Palestinians, he] can perform,” according to Spanish daily, El Pais (Spanish Link).
Although not Israeli, Matisyahu has visited and performed in the Jewish state multiple times.
In a statement on Facebook, Rototom organizers said that the move was linked to “the festival’s sensitivity to Palestine, its people and the occupation of its territory by Israel.”
Mattisyahu responded very elegantly and classily (and much too politely for my taste) on his Facebook page to those revolting Jew-haters:
The festival kept insisting that I clarify my personal views; which felt like clear pressure to agree with the BDS political agenda. Honestly it was appalling and offensive, that as the one publicly Jewish-American artist scheduled for the festival they were trying to coerce me into political statements. Were any of the other artists scheduled to perform asked to make political statements in order to perform?
The Jew-hatred of the festival organizers becomes even more apparent as they have no qualms in inviting homophobes, as Mirabelle of Israellycool notes: Jews may not be welcome at Rototom but homophobes are.
Happily, both the Spanish government and the Spanish media were not so accepting of this anti-Jewish racism:
Summing up this anti-Jewish bias in the world of culture, Douglas Murray at the Gatestone Institute writes about The New Racists: Jew Hate:
They are singling out Jews — Jews and only Jews. And their singling out of Jews, wherever they are from, makes their racist motivation abundantly clear. If the Rototom Sunsplash festival wants to take part in this racist BDS fever then it is them — and not Jews — whom the world must make into global pariahs.
UPDATE: cba in the comments below informs us that the Rototom Festival have apologized to Matisyahu and have reinvited him. I wonder if he will accept their invitation. If it were me I would tell them to take a running jump but I suspect that Matisyahu is classier than me… 🙂
A much more significant turn of events has been taking place in Britain where an election contest for the new head of the Labour Party has been heating up. Out of nowhere, Jeremy Corbyn, an extreme-left Marxist candidate with very dubious views (to say the least) about Jews and Israel and even more dubious views about “his friends Hamas and Hezbollah” has taken the lead. The rhetoric and accusations have been flying in all directions and the Jew-hatred has been simmering just beneath the surface.
The Algemeiner has a summary of the situation and how Corbyn is leading the Opposition race:
The British Labour MP who infamously called members of terror groups Hamas and Hezbollah his “friends” is far ahead of his fellow candidates in the race for the party leadership, a YouGov poll has revealed.
Political analysts say Islington North MP Jeremy Corbyn has attracted voters with his far-left economic policy that includes renationalizing Britain’s railroads and energy industries, removing tuition at British universities and imposing rent control to address the U.K.’s housing issues.
But for some, including former prime minister Tony Blair, a Labour Party with Corbyn at the helm will undoubtedly split the party and make it electorally irrelevant in the future.
Especially concerning for many is Corbyn’s apparently convivial affiliation with proud antisemites, such as Hamas and Hezbollah — which seek the destruction of Israel and the slaughter of Jews — but also individuals such as Raed Saleh, a member of the northern branch of Israel’s Islamic Movement, who was charged with inciting to violence against Jews in Jerusalem and sentenced to eight months in prison.
Corbyn defended his friendship with Hamas and Hezbollah saying it was in the spirit of all elements must be party to the peace process with Israel, though Hamas and Hezbollah openly declare opposition to a diplomatic solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Corbyn has also appeared on Iran’s Press TV, a station banned by the U.K. communications regulator as a propagandizing mouthpiece for the Iranian regime — also unabashedly anti-Israel and antisemitic — and faced accusations that he donated money to self-proclaimed Holocaust denier Paul Eisen, though Corbyn offered a perfunctory denial of any association with him.
Here is a video clip of Corbyn talking about his terrorist friends:
Brian Goldfarb in the comments on another post provides us a link to the British Campaign Against Antisemitism and their article on Jeremy Corbyn and Antisemites. The list of his Jew-hating associates is frightening and depressing. As Brian writes:
Notice how he uses the so-called “Livingstone Formulation” in the third paragraph of the article when he defends Stephen Sizer, saying he was being victimised because he “dared to speak out against Zionism”, when the Church of England hierarchy specifically accused him of posting and/or linking to antisemitic on his website.
The Livingstone Formulation is the accusation by antisemites that Jews are ‘playing the antisemitism card’ and contesting the boundaries of antiracist discourse.
Richard Millett describes the surreal times in which British Jews are living due to Corbynmania:
British Jews are living in surreal times. We watched with dismay as the anti-Israel SNP won a landslide in Scotland at this May’s general election. Now anti-Israel Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn seems certain to become leader of the UK’s main opposition party according to all the polls and George Galloway is back on the airwaves of a national radio station.
And a Labour MP who heads up the All-Party Parliamentary Group Against Anti-Semitism is reportedly receiving anti-Semitic abuse from Corbyn supporters including tweets calling him “utter filth” and a “Zionist stooge”. John Mann isn’t even Jewish.
There’s no let up on Britain’s radio phone-in shows. A Corbyn supporter speaking on LBC Radio recently wanted to discuss the assassinations of Lord Moyne and Count Bernadotte and the blowing up of the King David Hotel, events carried out by Jews but which took place in the 1940s.
And another caller described Corbyn as “refreshing”. This despite Corbyn’s unanswered questions, outlined by this week’s Jewish Chronicle, relating to Corbyn’s perceived support for Hamas and Hezbollah, for Holocaust denier Paul Eisen, for Reverend Stephen Sizer who has posted anti-Semitic links to Facebook, and for homophobic preacher Raed Salah who has been accused of the blood libel against Jews.
The Jewish Chronicle was attacked by Jewish (!) anti-Israel activists for that article mentioned above daring to challenge Corbyn’s links to antisemites.
But Independent columnist Yasmin Alibhai-Brown topped the lot with a ludicrous, not to say nasty, column defending Corbyn from accusations of antisemitism – despite the fact that no one ever accused him of such. Richard Millett challenges her assertions at UK Media Watch:
Alibhai-Brown criticises those who accuse Jeremy Corbyn of being “an anti-Semite”, but she offers no evidence that Corbyn has been so accused by any serious commentators. She obliquely accuses “The Jewish Chronicle, some MPs and various sections of the media”. But the JC has merely reasonably asked Corbyn to answer for his dubious support for Hamas, Hezbollah, Stephen Sizer, Paul Eisen and Raed Salah,
In fact the opposite is often true. James Bloodworth has raised similar concerns to the JC about Corbyn but goes out of his way to write “I genuinely believe that Corbyn does not have an antisemitic bone in his body…”
And Alibhai-Brown continues her manner of parading Jews who reject Israel as “conscientious and ethical”. In yesterday’s article these two people are the late Mike Marqusee and Ken Loach. At a meeting she chaired in 2012, in which the ex-BBC journalist Tim Llewlynn claimed that “Zionists are scattered at strategic points throughout British business”, Alibhai-Brown told the audience that Professor Hugh Blaschko had complained to her that “Israel will bring the worst out in us Jewish people.”
It’s a shame that Alibhai-Brown attaches so much respect to the likes of Marqusee, Loach and Blaschko by dint of their Jewishness. Is she really saying that Jews supportive of Israel, the vast majority, are unethical? That’s the sad implication from someone who should be concerned with racial harmony considering her forced flight from her homeland of Uganda.
But the most telling part of her article is about Carlos Latuff. It seems that either she just doesn’t understand anti-Semitism or that she prefers to turn a blind eye to it.
True to form she looks for a Jew or a Jewish organisation that supports the view that Latuff’s cartoons are not anti-Semitic.
Honest Reporting too takes Alibhai-Brown to task for her “Straw men and Hard Zionists”:
Why would Alibhai-Brown claim that Jews are accusing Corbyn of being an anti-Semite himself even when this is not the case? It soon becomes clear that it is all about Alibhai-Brown’s pet hate when it comes to Israel:
So for Alibhai-Brown, it’s not about Jeremy Corbyn, but a vicious plot by Zionists to tarnish the candidacy of someone who is critical of Israel. Based on her previous form, this isn’t surprising.
Most depressing of all is the collusion between the powerful right and Zionists. They seem determined to crush all alternatives to neoliberal economics and Western hegemony.
What exactly does Alibhai-Brown mean by this? Having complained at being branded an anti-Semite, she then goes and indulges in conspiracy theories that appear more in tune with the Protocols of the Elders of Zion buttressed by a final claim that the “forces of darkness” have turned on Corbyn.
Richard Millett has it right when he calls these days surreal times for the Jews of Britain.
Over the ocean, in the USA, the Obama Administration has exceeded even its own very low threshold of tolerance for Muslim terrorists as they have interceded on behalf of the terrorists (!) in a court case of Jewish American victims of Palestinian terrorism suing the PLO: (emphases added):
Writing in Israel National News last week, Tova Dvorin tell us:
The Obama administration has asked a judge Monday to “carefully consider” the size of the bond demanded from the Palestinian Authority (PA) for its role orchestrating years of terror attacks against Israelis and Jews – directly interfering in a US court case.
In a document entitled “Statement of Interest of the United States of America,” the Obama administration expressed concerns over the payments hurting the PA’s basic government services.
Forcing the PLO to pay
“a significant portion of its revenues would likely severely compromise the P.A.’s ability to operate as a governmental authority,”
deputy Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken wrote.
It’s hard to imagine that at this late date I am still capable of being disgusted by the Obama administration. Yet there it is. Just when I think that they can’t sink even lower into the muck, we get stories like the one above.
Read the whole sickening post.
Who would have thought that the day would come when the West would turn on Israel and the Jews in such a fashion while the Arab world seems to be starting to rethink its old anti-Israel position?