Ethnic Minorities Have Just Cause to Fear Violence in America, Not Jews

By Stephen Lendman
Source

Gun violence in America happens with disturbing regularity – Jews targeted like Saturday in Pittsburgh an aberration, not a sign of worrisome anti-Semitism. 

Criticizing Zionism and Israel is unrelated to anti-Semitism and hate-mongering. One thing has nothing to do with the other.

Anti-Semitism reflects hostility or discrimination against Judaism as a religion. Israel is a nation-state. 

Criticizing its persecution of Palestinians, its wars of aggression, its terror-bombing of Syrian targets, its support for ISIS and other jihadists, and its neoliberal harshness is justifiable and essential.

Anti-Semitism in the West is a shadow of its pre-WW II level. Jews are safe from persecution, not endangered.

Except for street gang and related violence, Blacks, Latinos, other people of color, Muslims, and adherents of other non-Judeo-Christian religions in America and other Western countries have much to fear – most often victims of violence, not its perpetrators.

Police brutality in America is longstanding, notably against Black youths and other ethnic minorities. 

Blacks and Latinos comprise around two-thirds of the nation’s prison population, mostly for nonviolent offenses, including illicit drug possession.

Post-9/11, scores of Muslims were wrongfully accused of terrorist related offenses.

They’re unjustifiably perceived to be barbaric, violent, uncivilized, gun-toting terrorists – when charged automatically convicted in the court of public opinion, due process and judicial fairness rarely afforded them.

Trump’s banning Muslims from designated countries from traveling to America has nothing to do with protecting the country from Islamic extremists. 

It’s all about fear-mongering and unjustifiably equating Muslims with terrorism – hyping nonexistent threats to justify America’s imperial agenda, along with contempt for undocumented people of color and racial justice.

Chances of being struck by lightning are greater than becoming a terrorist attack victim in America. Death by auto accident, preventable diseases, domestic violence, alcoholism, or overuse of legal or illicit drugs is infinitely higher.

The only terrorist threat Americans or Europeans face is state-sponsored. Death or injury from ISIS or other terrorists domestically is virtually nil.

Yet most people are manipulated to believe otherwise. They’re easy marks to be fooled no matter how many previous times they were duped.

No terrorist attacks occurred on US soil in modern memory. Ones attributed to Muslims were state-sponsored false flags, including 9/11, the mother of them all.

America needs enemies to justify its imperial agenda. None exist, so they’re invented. Muslim Arabs are the nation’s enemy of choice, wrongfully portrayed as threats to national security.

Trump’s actions on border security and immigration enforcement wrongfully state undocumented “aliens…present a significant threat to national security and public safety.”

Earlier he claimed Muslims from designated nations and undocumented immigrants come at times to America “with evil intentions.” His actions reflect unacceptable Islamophobia and racist disdain for people of color.

From inception, America has been shamefully racist and unjust. Most Black youths can expect criminal injustice prosecution one or or times in their lives. 

Over 60% of Black men born since passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act without high school degrees have prison records.

Black and Latino inner cities are battlegrounds, their residents terrorized. Muslims are persecuted for their faith, ethnicity, prominence, activism and charity – innocent men and women falsely called terrorists, abused for political advantage.

Jews in America and the West are privileged by comparison. Islamophobia and racism produce increasing violence. Anti-Semitic rage rarely ever happens.

The FBI, CIA, Transportation Security Administration (TSA), Customs and Border Patrol, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and killer cops are mostly responsible for violence and persecution of Muslims, Blacks and Latinos in America.

A 2017 Stanford University study found most Jewish students experience little or no anti-Semitism on campus – “contrary to alarmist reports that describe colleges and universities as ‘hotspots of antisemitism.’ ” 

Ethnic minorities and Muslims have much to fear in America and the West, not Jews.

Advertisements

After 70 Years of Abuse, A Definition of Anti-Palestinian Racism

BY Stuart Littlewood
Source

photo_2018-10-08_13-18-04_6aafa.jpgIs this where the fight-back begins?

What is the matter with the Palestine solidarity movement? Since 1948 (and before that, even) the Palestinians have been viciously abused and dispossessed while the perpetrators and their supporters, including unprincipled politicians of the Western Powers, have continually played the anti-Semitism card.

Lately, bemused spectators were bored witless by the long and ludicrous propaganda campaign to vilify Jeremy Corbyn, bully the Labour Party into making the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism a cornerstone of their code of conduct and stifle discussion of Israel’s crimes against the Palestinian people. The expected riposte never came.

Jewish Voice For Labour, of all people, have now stepped in and struck back with a useful looking definition of Anti-Palestinian Racism which they decribe as “hatred towards or prejudice against Palestinians as Palestinians”. In a document faintly mocking the pronouncements on anti-Semitism they suggest that manifestations of anti-Palestinian racism might include the denial of Palestinian rights to a state of Palestine as recognised by over 130 member countries of the United Nations and blaming Palestinians themselves for their plight under brutal military occupation and lock-down. Here’s how they put it:

Contemporary examples of anti-Palestinian racism in public life, the media, schools, the workplace, and in the religious sphere could, taking into account the overall context, include, but are not limited to:

1. Denying the Palestinian people their right to self-determination and nationhood, or actively conspiring to prevent the exercise of this right.

2. Denial that Israel is in breach of international law in its continued occupation of Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

3. Denial that Israel is an apartheid state according to the definition of the International Convention on Apartheid.

4. Denial of the expulsion of 750,000 Palestinians during the 1948 Nakba and of their right, and the right of their descendants, to return to their homeland.

5. Denial that Palestinians have lived in what is now the land of Israel for hundreds of years and have their own distinctive national identity and culture.

6. Denial that the laws and policies which discriminate against Palestinian citizens of Israel (such as the recently passed Nation State Law) are inherently racist.

7. Denial that there is widespread discrimination against Palestinians in Israel and the Occupied Territories in matters of employment, housing, justice, education, water supply, etc, etc.

8. Tolerating the killing or harming of Palestinians by violent settlers in the name of an extremist view of religion.

9. Making mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Palestinians — such as, especially but not exclusively, the myth of a Palestinian conspiracy to wipe Israel off the map.

10. Justifying the collective punishment of Palestinians (prohibited under the Geneva Convention) in response to the acts of individuals or groups.

11. Accusing the Palestinians as a people, of encouraging the Holocaust.

I am not sure how Palestinians, as genuine Semites living there for thousands of years, will react to No.5 which claims their homeland is “now the land of Israel”. Despite being illegally occupied by an apartheid entity most of whose members have no ancestral links to the ancient “land of Israel” it is still Palestine.

For decades activists have been telling the Israel lobby to look in the mirror and address their own racial hatred towards the Palestinians. You must truly hate people to deny them their freedom and even their right to return to their homes and livelihoods. Why has it taken so long for such a simple and obvious weapon to be produced? Doesn’t it make you wonder about the true agenda of those in charge of Palestine solidarity? And why is it left to a group of Jews (bless ’em) to do it?

The question now is how best to deliver this somewhat delayed riposte. It might have been most effective while the iron was hot, at the height of the anti-Semitism witch-hunt and media onslaught. Many activists wanted Corbyn to turn on his tormentors and tell them to mend their own vile attitude towards Palestinian Arabs before daring to smear others with accusations of anti-Semitism.

On the other hand it will benefit from careful honing, cool planning and the massing of pro-Palestinian support to make the hit really count.

For reasons we know only too well our politicians won’t adopt it as eagerly as they embraced the IHRA’s definition of anti-Semitism. But it is at least a starting point in the fight-back especially if deployed by a coalition of genuine pro-Palestine groups and the BDS movement as the centrepiece of a new, high-octane strategy.

Lies, damned lies….

Meanwhile I hope all those who allowed themselves to be suckered by the Israel lobby will hang their heads in shame when they read this report by the Media Reform Coalition: Labour, Antisemitism and the News – A disinformation paradigm. The Executive summary says that an analysis of over 250 articles and news segments from the largest UK news providers (online and television) showed:

• 29 examples of false statements or claims, several of them made by anchors or correspondents themselves, six of them surfacing on BBC television news programmes, and eight on TheGuardian.com

• A further 66 clear instances of misleading or distorted coverage including misquotations, reliance on single source accounts, omission of essential facts or right of reply, and repeated assumptions made by broadcasters without evidence or qualification. In total, a quarter of the sample contained at least one documented inaccuracy or distortion.

• Overwhelming source imbalance, especially on television news where voices critical of Labour’s code of conduct were regularly given an unchallenged and exclusive platform, outnumbering those defending Labour by nearly 4 to 1.

In all, there were 95 clear-cut examples of misleading or inaccurate reporting on mainstream television and online news platforms, with a quarter of the total sample containing at least one such example. On TV two thirds of the news segments contained at least one reporting error or substantive distortion.

The report points to “a persistent subversion of conventional news values”. Furthermore, coverage of Labour’s revised code of conduct during the summer of 2018 often omitted critical discussion of the ‘working definition’ of anti-Semitism promoted by the IHRA and wrongly described it as universally adopted. “We established through background case research that although the IHRA is an international body with representatives from 31 countries, only six of those countries have, to date, formally adopted the definition themselves.

• In spite of a call for local authorities to adopt the definition by the UK’s central government in early 2017, less than a third of councils have responded and several of those have chosen not to include any of the controversial examples contained within the working definition.

• Several high-profile bodies have rejected or distanced themselves from the working definition, including the EU’s Fundamental Rights Agency (a successor to the body that drafted the original wording on which the definition is based) and academic institutions including the London School of Economics and the School of Oriental and African Studies.

• Mainstream academic and legal opinion has been overwhelmingly critical of the IHRA definition, including formal opinions produced by three senior UK barristers and one former appeals court judge. Virtually none of this essential context found its way into news reports of the controversy. Instead, the Labour Party was routinely portrayed by both sources and correspondents as beyond the pale of conventional thinking on the IHRA definition.”

Which all goes to show that Britain’s mainstream media has a hill to climb to get back its self-respect.

Imagine yourself Free to Conflate

October 01, 2018  /  Gilad Atzmon

find the odd one.jpg

By Gilad Atzmon

How many time have you heard the so-called ‘Jews in the movement’ warning others not to conflate Judaism and Zionism? How many times have the usual suspects attempted to absolve the ‘J word’ while blaming ‘Z’ related crimes?  How many times have you had to apologise or withdraw any comparison between these two apparently similar notions? What does ‘conflation’ mean in the Jewish-Zionist context?

To conflate is to combine two or more sets of information or ideas into one. When accused of conflation, we are blamed for bringing  (distinct) things together and fusing them into a single entity; of mixing together different elements and failing to ‘properly distinguish’ among them or of mistakenly treating such elements as equivalent.

Conflation might be unmerited if two completely remote concepts were fused without substantiating or justifying the correlation.  But this is not the case with Judaism and Zionism, nor is this the case for Jewishness and authoritarianism, nor for choseness and exceptionalism.

Although at its inception Zionism was openly hostile towards Judaism and Diaspora Jewish culture, the profound Zionist phantasy of a collective Jewish metamorphosis didn’t last long.

Early Zionists vowed to fight what they saw as a Jewish cultural malaise. They intended to eradicate Jewish ‘non proletarian’ inclinations as well as the Jewish sense of choseness and to make ‘Jews people like all other people.’ It didn’t take long before Jewishness, that deep sense of Jewish exceptionalism, hijacked the Zionist revolution. The notion that Jews were entitled to ‘self determine themselves’ on someone else’s land itself, in fact, entailed the end of the Zionist ‘revolutionary’ tale.

The wish to become ‘people like all other people’ confirmed that Zionists could never become people like all other people: no other people wish to become people like all other people.

From its formation, Zionism has been a racially oriented national liberation movement. The project has been an exclusively Jews-only movement  and not just anyone could join. In other words, as much as early Zionism was driven by animosity towards Jewish  exclusivity, it actually adopted the most problematic aspect of Jewish biological doctrine.*

I guess a possible explanation of this is that Zionism, like all other Jewish identitarian formations, is an attempt to furnish the Judaic moment with contemporaneous meaning and a nationalist dream. The ‘revolutionary’ Bund that was formed in the same year (1897) offered Jews a different solution, that of a ‘cosmopolitan’ socialist redemption. Jewish ‘anti’ Zionists are just another Jews-only club that convey the message that not all Jews are as bad as Bibi.

This is where conflation comes into play, transcending the literal and grasping at the essential. Conflation is a moment of epiphany, the moment of an abrupt realisation that things that seems remote or foreign to each other actually belong in the same category. To conflate is to exercise the human ability to synthesise, to think in abstract terms, to extend one’s view from the object to meaning. It is therefore disturbing  that our so-called ‘allies’ in the solidarity movement are upset by the rest of us exercising our human capacity to put things together and think in categorical and abstract terms.

To be sure, Judaism which is a religious precept and Zionism which is a political movement are distinct entities. We all know that some rabbinical Jews clash with Zionism and Israel. Yet when examined as aspects of Jewishness – the celebration of Jewish exceptionalism-  Zionism and Judaism have a lot in common. And it is hardly a secret that the vast majority of Judaic sects accept the inherent spiritual bond between Zionism and Judaism.

A crucial question is why the so called ‘Jews in the movement,’ who are largely secular, are offended by the conflation of Judaism and Zionism? What is it that they try to hide or suppress? Is it that they aren’t as ‘secular’ as they claim to be or is it because they are actually far more Zionist than they are willing to admit?

* This unique form of lack of self awareness isn’t only a Zionist symptom. In fact, Jewish so- called ‘anti Zionists’ are contaminated by the same symptom. Jewish Voice for Peace that opposes Zionist Jewish exclusivity is, in fact, more racially exclusive that the Jewish State; while in the Israeli Knesset the third biggest party is an Arab party, in Jewish anti Zionist organisations you won’t find a single gentile in a steering position. The British Jewish Corbyn support group (JVL) made it clear on it website that Goyim could join only as ‘solidarity members’ not as proper members. True membership is reserved for racially qualified members of the tribe.

Conflating Anti-Zionism with Anti-Semitism a Dangerous and Useful Ploy for Zionists

JERUSALEM — (Analysis) According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, anti-Semitism is defined as “hostility toward or discrimination against Jews as a religious, ethnic, or racial group.” This is also how anti-Semitism is understood by people in general. However, the state of Israel and Zionist organizations around the world do not want the term to be defined as only racism against Jewish people but also to include criticism and rejection of Zionism.

Jewish rejection of Zionism

The Zionist movement had no concern for God or Jewish law because the Zionist leaders were secular and their vision was to create a secular state. They claimed that Jews were a nation just like any other, even though clearly that is not the case. Jews in Yemen, in Iraq, in Poland or in the Holy Land itself had and continue to have their own distinct customs, clothing, culture and language. The only common thing that Jewish people around the world possess is their religion. This is true even today, when many Jewish people see themselves as secular. Jews in America have a distinct culture that is different from that of Jews in France or Iran or in occupied Palestine.

The Zionists secularized the Old Testament, treating it as though it was a historical document, which it very clearly is not; and, finally, the Zionists claimed that Palestine is the Land of Israel and that it is the land of the Jewish people and therefore they have a right to take it, even by force. They invented and spread the motto, “A Land without a People for a People without a Land,” even though clearly there were people on the land, the Palestinian Arabs. These people, in the eyes of Western colonizers, being non-European and not white, were just insignificant and invisible.

Jewish opposition to Zionism was swift and fierce and is well documented. The leading Rabbis of the Ultra-Orthodox community were very clear in their opposition and the points they made were as relevant in the early 20th century as they are today. According to Jewish law, the Jewish people are forbidden from claiming sovereignty in the Land of Israel. They were expelled by Divine decree as a result of their own rejection of God’s laws and are not permitted to return until such time as God sends His messenger to grant them permission to return. To claim, as many Zionist do, that God gave The Land of Israel to the Jewish people and therefore they are permitted to live there, and force another nation into exile in the process, contravenes the commands of the very God that they claim gave them the land.

AP_120304053909.jpg

God’s promise of the land to the Jewish people was conditioned upon their obedience to His laws. Having failed to so obey, they cannot simply claim it back. Furthermore, there is a prohibition on taking the land by force, dying for the land, or taking a life of another human being. Jewish law commands its followers to be loyal citizens in whatever country they happen to live.

Furthermore, in a book named Or Layesharim or Light for the Truthful, published in the year 1900, the rabbis of the early twentieth century warned of four major inevitable consequences should the Zionist movement be allowed to accomplish its goal of a so-called “Jewish state” in Palestine.

  1. Unprecedented violence to the Holy Land;
  2. Unprecedented tensions between Jews and the Palestinian Arabs;
  3. Jeopardizing the relations between Jews and Muslims;
  4. Casting doubt as to the loyalty of Jewish people in the countries in which they reside around the world.

Sadly, no one listened to the rabbis and, as things turned out, every one of their warnings became true.

Conflating anti-Semitism with rejection of Zionism

From early on, the Zionist movement and then the State of Israel have had a tense relationship with the Ultra-Orthodox community because of its clear anti-Zionist stance. Having grown up in Jerusalem I can recall how each year on particular days, including the Israeli Day of Independence, there would be processions at the Ultra-Orthodox neighbourhoods where the Israeli flag would be burned.

The Anti-Defamation League, or ADL, which claims to be a civil-rights organization but is in reality a Zionist watchdog, maintains that “Anti-Zionism is a prejudice against the Jewish movement for self-determination and the right of the Jewish people to a homeland in the State of Israel.” This is an interesting twist on Zionism and what it means to oppose it.

To begin with it is not prejudice to oppose Zionism. The Zionist movement has been around for over a century and has a clear track record of racism and extreme violence. Nor is it prejudice against the right of Jewish people to live in Palestine. The creation of the state of Israel came at an enormous cost and included genocide, ethnic cleansing, and the establishment of an apartheid regime. That is enough reason to oppose any movement.

The ADL also claim that BDS — the Palestinian call for a boycott, divestment, sanctions campaign against Israel — is anti-Semitic. On its website, it says that “ADL believes that the founding goals of the BDS movement and many of the strategies used by BDS campaigns are anti-Semitic.” It goes on to say that “the [BDS] campaign is founded on a rejection of Israel’s very existence as a Jewish state. It denies the Jewish people the right to self-determination.”

BDS-001

However, the proclaimed demands of the BDS call, as stated on their website, could not be more clear nor could they be farther from what the ADL claims they are. Namely:

  1. Ending the occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantling the Wall.
  2. Recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality.
  3. Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution 194.

These demands are all remedial and one can summarize them with three words: Freedom, Justice and Equality — three values that are perfectly congruent with Judaism and Jewish values and with which millions of Jewish people fully agree. Not one of these demands poses even the slightest danger to Jews anywhere. However, they are demands that the State of Israel opposes; and Zionist watchdogs like the ADL, which work in the service of Israel, falsely claim that such opposition to Israel constitutes anti-Semitism.

Unfortunately, many if not most people around the world are unaware that historically the Zionist movement and Zionist ideology have been at odds with world Jewry.

As it was then, so it is today: there are entire communities of Jewish people who reject Zionism. The anti-Zionist religious Jews are one such community and there are others, who are not religious and have rejected Zionism and live and thrive in countries around the world, as Jewish people have done throughout the vast majority of Jewish history.

Zionist concerns

It is safe to say that the Zionist establishment, concerned about its own legitimacy, decided to embark on this campaign to conflate anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism. Historically the secular, European Zionist establishment did succeed in convincing and applying pressure on governments and non-governmental organizations around the world to ignore the calls and opinions of traditional rabbis, and accept the Zionist state and consequently accept the claim that opposing Zionism is equivalent to anti-Semitism.

As a result of the growing support for the Palestinian cause and realization that Zionism as a movement is responsible for the inexcusable crimes committed by Israel towards the Palestinian people, consecutive Israeli governments felt the need to stop the growth of anti-Zionist sentiments around the world and began a campaign to conflate criticism and rejection of Zionism with racism and anti-Semitism.

This has reached ridiculous proportions, as when the self-appointed International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, or IHRA, took it upon itself to define anti-Semitism and began a campaign to have its definition accepted by governments and non-governmental organizations around the world. This is how we reach absurd situations like the one in the U.K., where the leader of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, who has fought racism his entire life, is accused of anti-Semitism.

If one wants to eradicate anti-Semitism, one should fight to end all forms of racism; supporting Israel is supporting racism. Claiming that opposition to Zionism is anti-Semitic is a false, shameless claim.

By Miko Peled
Source

How The British Zionist Brigade Almost Saved The BBC’s Reputation

September 05, 2018  /  Gilad Atzmon

we are bbc Jews_edited-1.jpg

By Gilad Atzmon

Two days ago I found out that the BBC was planning to air – We Are British Jews. No doubt the British Broadcaster needs to fill the open void between the news about Corbyn being an ‘existential threat’ and the ex chief Rabbi’s ‘message of hope.’ The BBC’s website offered the following description of its expedition into the mysterious world of contemporary Hebrew Brits.  “Eight British Jews with a broad range of opinions, beliefs and practices, go on a journey to explore what it means to be Jewish in Britain today.” Being an investigative character, I decided to launch a 24 hour online FB poll. I posted the following text on my Facebook page:

“Do you remember that once upon a time the BBC claimed to be ‘impartial’? How balanced do you expect BBC’s We Are British Jews to be?”

Since the Facebook poll template only offers a binary option, poll participants were asked to choose either ‘Totally impartial…’ or  ‘Zionist to the core.’

I genuinely expected the results to be somewhat balanced. After all, the BBC is our national broadcast. It once enjoyed a great reputation. Some of the BBC’s journalists are still superb inquisitive minds. But many think that, of late, the corporation has not been doing its job. It is lame, slow and as the poll revealed, isn’t trusted by the public.

The reaction to the poll came pretty quickly. One hour in, 86 had voted. About half were my FB friends, the rest were unknown to me. The results ought to embarrass the BBC. 99% of poll participants expected the BBC’s program to be ‘Zionist to the core.’ Apparently, 85 out of 86 didn’t think highly of our national broadcaster.

1:99.png

I went to bed hoping that by the time I opened my eyes in the morning someone would have been brave enough to protect the BBC’s reputation. After all, Britain has been my home for 25 years, the BBC is my national broadcaster and I even pay my TV license to this corporation just to make sure that it remains ‘impartial.’ But when I woke up yesterday the situation hadn’t changed much. 18 hours after I launched my poll, there were more than 150 participants and only 2% expected the BBC to produce a balanced documentary about the Jews. Sad yet revealing, I thought.

2 :98.png

But, you will be happy to learn, the BBC does not stand alone. The Zionist brigade, or more precisely, a Facebook page called ‘Israel Advocacy Movement” decided to resurrect the reputation of our national broadcaster. This is how they introduced my poll to their ultra Zionist crowd:

“Disgraced antisemite, Gilad Atzmon, has just made a poll claiming the BBC is ‘Zionist to the core’. Let’s vote on his bigoted poll then circulate it far and wide so that their hatred can be challenged.”

That a Hasbara page lied is no surprise, deception is kosher within the Hasbara milieu. The poll didn’t ‘claim’ that the BBC was ‘Zionist to the core.’ Instead it invited people to vote on whether they expected a particular BBC program about Jews to be ‘balanced’ or ‘Zionist to the core.’ None the less, I was delighted to see Israel’s advocates rallying for the BBC because this group often accuses the BBC of being biased against Israel. The Zionists in Britain seem to have changed their spots once again. They are now committed to the defence of our National Broadcaster; in an affair that seems like a honeymoon verging on biological symbiosis.

Israeli advocacy.png

But the truth of the matter is that although the Israel Advocacy Group has more than 37.000 followers it only managed to pull in around 170 of their supporters. Within an hour they had managed to boost support for the national broadcaster. At one point it seemed 38% of the poll participants expected the BBC to produce a balanced program about Jews.  Needless to mention, the list of the BBC supporters resembled my Bar Mitzvah’s guest-list. But truth can’t be denied, there is at least one ethnic minority in this country that is united in its support of our national broadcaster.

At 8.56 PM, just 4 minutes ahead of the BBC broadcast, I closed the poll. The result was still depressing for the BBC, despite the intervention by the Israeli advocacy group, seven out of ten (68%) expected the BBC’s documentary to be ‘Zionist to the core.’ We may have wondered what it takes for a national broadcaster to become FOX News? Not a lot as we can see.

final 32.68.png

Of course I watched ‘We are British Jews’ last night with two other ex-Israelis. It delivered a pretty accurate picture of British Jewry. Not a flattering image I am afraid: a lot of kosher food, a lot of talking and preaching and all while eating. Except for one young woman (out of eight) who desperately advocated for the oppressed while appealing for universal ethics, the group was rabidly Zionist without really understanding the meaning of the Zionist call. In the eyes of the British Jews depicted, Zionism meant ‘Jewish right to self determination on their historic land.’ But in fact, no one denies the Jews their right to ‘self determination.’ But determining who you are at the expense of others, is where Zionism meets opposition and for crucial reasons. The so-called ‘Jewish historical land’ has been called Palestine for the last 2000 years and has been the home of the Palestinian people.

The BBC tried to deliver: it tried to be accurate and impartial.  But, unfortunately, it can’t. It has lost the talent and the ability. It may even be possible that with the new impediments on freedom of speech, the BBC, like other British media, can’t deliver the truth anymore. One example was the completely ahistorical depiction of the Palestinian plight–Gaza, for instance, was, according to the BBC program, a narrative of resistance that began with the Israel’s 1967 occupation. The 1948 mass ethnic cleansing of Palestinians by the young Israel wasn’t even mentioned. The fact that Gaza is home to refugees from 1948 was never acknowledged. The Palestinian cause was depicted as merely a vague reaction to the IDF’s ‘tear gas and rubber bullets.’

So yes, as my Facebook poll clearly predicted, the first episode of We Are British Jews’ was ‘Zionist to the core.’ Whether it was consciously Zionist or not, is a different question.

 

Julia Salazar and Jewish Privilege

September 04, 2018  /  Gilad Atzmon

A few years ago in Portland, a pro Palestinian activist told me that he was a bit uneasy. A recent study of Portland’s demography had found that the number of Jews in the city had doubled overnight. This concerned my activist friend for the obvious reasons. Jewish migration is often attached to political and cultural transitions. He asked me, as an expert on Jewish affairs, what is it that brings so many Jews to his northern American city.  I thought about it for maybe 30 seconds and, even without examining the evidence, I offered a possible answer. “It is certainly easy to imagine that many Jews migrated to your city, but it is more likely that what happened is that many more people, Jews and gentiles, have chosen to identify themselves as Jews.”

Jewish identification in the 21st century is an obvious privilege, some might claim, the ultimate political privilege. As we know, Judeo-centric exceptionalist politics are protected from criticism by different legal and cultural instruments such as the bogus IHRA definition of antisemitism and the tyranny of correctness. If you are a Jew, you are perceived as a well-connected character, probably slightly more ‘sophisticated’ than the average American. Whether we like to admit it or not, a young law school graduate, may benefit from appearing to be Jewish as he interviews for his first job at a NY law firm.

Last year in San Diego, an astute Palestinian- American friend, loudly joked during the Q&A following my talk: “I really don’t understand my people. All we have to do is to convert en mass into Judaism and then make Aliya and take our land back.”

It is hardly a secret. In the world in which we live, the ultimate political privilege is reserved for Jewish ID politics. The Jewish Identitarian ethos goes far beyond Jewish political orientation. It is the piece that unites the Jewish right and left. The Zionists claim the right to live ‘in peace’ on someone else’s land. The so-called ‘anti’ Zionists insist that their Jewishness places them in the very special position to “kosher” the entire pro Palestinian movement.

N.Y. State Senate hopeful Julia Salazar is just 27 years old, but she has clearly grasped the universe around her. She wants to be elected and she understands that being a Jew is the quickest path to her goal. The Brooklyn candidate stated that her Jewishness is based largely on “family lore,” but to her great surprise, the Jews weren’t happy to take her in. Haaretz quickly pointed out that Salazar doesn’t belong to the chosen people.  A Jewish ex-friend told the Israeli paper Salazar had “admitted she couldn’t go on Birthright trip because she wasn’t Jewish.”

Apparently the ‘ex friend’ told the Israeli paper that “As someone who values and cherished my Jewish identity, I’m incensed at the idea of another person fabricating a similar identity for political gain, for the purposes of recognition and to get ahead in life.”  The message here is unambiguous although hardly news. Jewish identity is an exclusive tribal setting that is racially defined. Unless Salazar can show her mother’s Jewish racial purity, she is basically out of the Jewish club and can’t be a beneficiary of the Jewish privilege.

The Zionist outrage around Salazar is to be expected. For whatever political reasons, Salazar who runs in Brooklyn, decided to adopt the Jewish pro BDS position. In the eyes of Israel firsters she committed two crimes: she ‘pretends’ to be a Jew and then, if this were not enough, she actually pretends to be a ‘self hating’ one.

The good news for humanity, however, is that Salazar, like many others, can read the political transition in the west. She probably sees how popular Corbyn is in Britain despite the relentless and duplicitous campaign against him. Salazar may understand that many people see Israel as the ultimate evil.  She may even believe that Trump won the election because he was “dog whistling” by pointing at Soros, the Fed, Goldman Sachs, etc.  But it goes further. Salazar is living in NYC and she may well sense or even share her neighbours’ renewed anger every year when the list of “NYC 100 Worst Landlords” is published. Perhaps Salazar believes that the only chance to survive in American politics in the current climate is to become a Jew. To oppose Israel as a Jew, to oppose NYC slumlords as a Jew, to oppose AIPAC as a Jew. Perhaps Salazar believes that the only way to emancipate America from what may seem to some as Jewish hegemony, is to become a Jew. If you can’t beat them, join them.

Here is the bad news for Salazar, it is not going to work. The Jews have rejected the young Latina. Apparently she isn’t racially qualified.

The Jewishpress writes today. “There are, at least, three reasons why many of us (Jews) find her vaguely annoying. These are:1) Her apparently untrue claims to be Jewish. 2) Her antisemitic anti-Zionism. 3) Her anti-democratic socialism.”

But it isn’t only the Zionists who reject the young Latin Jewish candidate, the so-called ‘Jewish Progressives’ do not really want her either.  The Jewish ‘progressive’ Forward isn’t pleased with Salazar either. Mijal Bitton writes “… the Salazar dustup revealed a fundamental and seldom explored paradox in the liberal discourse on identity: the tension between essential and exclusive identity politics predicated on group experiences on the one hand, and notions of identity that validate choice and malleability in how individuals self-identify on the other.”

Not surprisingly, Bitton, like most Identitarians, doesn’t understand the crux of ID politics. The so called ‘paradox’ she refers to is actually inherent in the dialectic tension that forms the core of the Identitarian discourse.

Identitarianism doesn’t reveal ‘what people are,’ instead it tells what people ‘identify as.’ John identifying himself ‘as a gay’ doesn’t necessarily mean that John is a homosexual. It only reveals that John likes to see himself and to be seen by others ‘as gay.’ This essential understanding of the misleading nature of the Identitarianism was explored by the comic ‘Daffyd Thomas – The only Gay in the village.’ Thomas identifies as ‘a gay.’ He adopts gay symbolic identifiers, he speaks as one, he demands the attention and the privilege of one, but at the same time he is totally removed from the sexuality that has traditionally been the crux of ‘being’ gay.

In an attempt to resolve Salazar’s Jewish identity complex, Bitton argues that Salazar’s defenders have two arguments: “The first defends her on the grounds that she represents a hybrid identity distinctly Latin/Sephardi/non-white, and as such inaccessible and misunderstood by her white, Ashkenazi, American critics. The second defends her on the grounds that Jewish identity, like Salazar’s, is malleable and does not fit into one mold.”

Both arguments can be summed into a single intellectually duplicitous doctrine that is set to block criticism of any given Identitarian discourse. It attributes blindness to the Other.  But isn’t this exactly what Jewish institutions are doing routinely? Just a month ago, in a letter to the Labour Party ruling Body, British Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis wrote “It is astonishing that the Labour Party presumes that it is more qualified than…the Jewish community to define antisemitism.” Essentially, the Chief Rabbi is complaining that a bunch of Goyim in the Labour party see themselves as qualified to decide what antisemitsm is for the Labour party.

So, while the British Chief Rabbi claims that ‘antisemitsm’ is a Jew -protected discourse, Bitton complains that Salazar’s identity as Latina, Sephardi, or as a Jew of Color, intrudes on protected property; “it can only be understood, and interrogated, by the small number of those born into similar identities.”

In fact, Salazar has been copying Rabbi Mirvis’ tactics. This doesn’t only confirm that she is a Jew, it may qualify her to become Brooklyn’s chief Rabbi.

Bitton says of Salazar defenders that, “According to them, Salazar’s minority group identity confers upon her certain inalienable rights of representation inaccessible to others, but she can also legitimately choose to be Jewish in her own individual way.”

This may seem a contradiction to some. But this is exactly the primary rule of Jewish ID politics. Jewish identification is largely a racially exclusive club. But those who manage to fit in are totally free to choose their own way; they can be orthodox, conservative, reform, secular, atheist, self loving, self hating, Zionists, anti or even AZZ (anti Zionist Zionists). The members of the Jewish Identitarian club are welcome to select any combination of the above while knowing that any criticism from an outsider can be dismissed as a form of ‘antisemitsm.’ But candidate Salazar can’t take part in this Identitarian exercise. Why? Because she isn’t racially qualified.

Whether Bitton understands it or not, her futile attempt to deconstruct Salazar reveals that the Jewish Identitarian concept is, in practice, an exercise in Jewish racial classification. There is no difference between Salazar’s identitarian choice and JVP or other Jewish progressive schools of thought. None of the Jewish progressive schools is asked to clear its contradictions. The JVPs are not asked to source the so called ‘Jewish values’ that stand at the core of their ‘Jewish activism.’ The only difference is that Salazar isn’t racially Jewish. Her mother’s blood is not of the right kind. She is, accordingly, rejected.

Bitton herself seems to grasp that her attempt at deconstruction of Salazar achieves little.  Bitton ends her Forward article by admitting that “Salazar’s story demands that we (Jews, presumably) explore the way in which we approach identity. Is it malleable, individual and pro-choice, or it is essential, exclusive and inherited? And if it can be both, then those who choose a selective approach to identity must demonstrate moral consistency in their rhetoric.”

I guess that the answer is really simple. Jewish identity is both malleable and racially exclusive. It is elastic enough to fit different Jewish tribal interests. Salazar, I believe, would face no problem from whatsoever in becoming a ‘Jew’ if she were a supporter of Israel and an enemy of BDS. Israeli patriots are noticeably racially tolerant of Goyim who support the Jewish national project as many Russians immigrants to Israeli could happily attest.

books forsale .png

 

To understand ID politics and Jewish ID politics in particular read

The Wandering Who? & Being in Time

 

From Chaim Weitzman to Jeremy Corbyn

August 25, 2018  /  Gilad Atzmon

corbyn weizmann.jpg

By Gilad Atzmon

Every day, a few hours before dawn, the British Jewish leadership unleashes its daily smear against the Labour Party and its leader. Although this relentless operation tells us little about Corbyn and the Labour Party it is very revealing of the Jewish leadership and the Israeli propaganda project.

Jewish Labour MP Luciana Berger declared yesterday that she feels “unwelcome” in her party after a video emerged of Jeremy Corbyn remarking that British Zionists have, “no sense of English irony.”  In the clip, Mr Corbyn says, “British Zionists clearly have two problems. One is they don’t want to study history, and secondly, having lived in this country for a very long time, probably all their lives, they don’t understand English irony either.”

On Twitter, MP Berger responded: “The video released today of the leader of @UKLabour making inexcusable comments – defended by a party spokesman – makes me as a proud British Jew feel unwelcome in my own party.  I’ve lived in Britain all my life and I don’t need any lessons in history/irony.”

Either knowingly or not, Mrs. Berger managed to validate Chaim Weizmann’s*  essential observation: ‘there are no English, French, German or American Jews, but only Jews living in England, France, Germany or America.”** In Weizmann’s view, it doesn’t matter where Jews dwell, because wherever they are they remain primarily Jewish, and it is Jewishness that determines who they are: their politics, culture and national aspiration. If MP Berger knew something about irony she wouldn’t have fallen so easily  into this trap. She would have noticed that while Corbyn is pointing at “Zionists” in a polite sarcastic manner, she takes offense as a “British Jew.”

But surely, this is a welcome development. It shows once again that the good old ‘dichotomy’ between Jews and Zionists may not hold water. Like Weizmann, in Berger’s eyes, so t seems, Jews and Zionists are somehow the same. You may hold it against me, but I tend to believe that both Berger and Weizmann have a point. It is pretty much impossible to determine where exactly Zionism ends and ‘the Jew’ starts. Impossible because such a demarcation line doesn’t exist.  As we know, even the Jewish so-called ‘anti’ Zionists follow Weizmann’s mantra, they operate in racially exclusive Jewish political cells that are even more segregated than the Jewish state. Rather than acting as Palestinian supporters who happen to be of Jewish origin, members of JVP prefer to see themselves as Jewish voice for peace. And rather than being Labour Party members who happen to be of Jewish descent, members of the JVL adhere to Weizmann’s philosophy, they choose to operate within a Jews only political group.

The Jewish emancipation that began after the French Revolution promised to make Jews equal to their neighbours. With this, the emancipation had limited success. In France, America, Britain and other countries, Jewish political bodies act in defiance of the emancipation and its promise, they operate in the interests of the few and not the many.  In Britain, the Jewish leadership is openly acting against a national party and its leader. It pushes its definition of racism that applies to just one people instead of fighting racism (universally) against any people. It promotes the interests of a foreign criminal state with an horrendous record of war crimes and human rights abuses.

Weizmann was a visionary character.  Zionism, as he painted it, has, over time, won the minds and the hearts of the Jews. Luciana Berger confirmed this when she expressed her offense as a “British Jew” to a mild critique of ‘Zionists’ lack of irony’. The JVL website confirms Weizmann’s observation that they see themselves as Jews before anything else.

While many British Jews may be happy with their community leaders, some Jews might find these developments concerning, and for a good reason. Some Jews see themselves as British first. These Jews will never have a voice ‘as Jews’ because they grasp that it is this attitude that makes Jews into Weizmann’s Zionists. Their only option is to sneak out of the ghetto, alone. and in the wee small hours. They will have to depart from the tribe and the sooner the better.

To support Gilad’s legal costs

%d bloggers like this: