Smear and Shekels

October 04, 2018  /  Gilad Atzmon

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By Gilad Atzmon

Haaretz reveals today that Canary Mission a Hasbara defamation outlet that was established to  “spread fear among undergraduate activists, posting more than a thousand political dossiers on student supporters of Palestinian rights,” is funded by one of the largest Jewish charities in the U.S.

According to Haaretz; the Forward, an American Jewish outlet,  “has definitively identified a major donor to Canary Mission. It is a foundation controlled by the Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, a major Jewish charity with an annual budget of over $100 million.” We could have guessed the funding was from such an organisation. We somehow knew that it wasn’t the Iranian government or Hamas who sent shekels to the Zionist smear factory.  Haaretz continues, “for three years, a website called Canary Mission has spread fear among undergraduate activists, posting more than a thousand political dossiers on student supporters of Palestinian rights. The dossiers are meant to harm students’ job prospects, and have been used in interrogations by Israeli security officials.”

Canary Mission is indeed a nasty operation and far from unique. We have seen similar efforts within the Jewish institutional universe for some time. It might be reasonable to opine that smear has become a new Jewish industry. Consistent with the rules of economics, many new Jewish bodies have entered the profitable business, and these outlets have competed mercilessly with each other for donations and funds.

This is precisely a variation on the battle we have seen in Britain in the last few years. Almost every British Jewish institution joined the ‘Corbyn defamation’ contest, competing over who could toss the most dirt on the Labour party and its leader. The outcome was magnificent. Last week at Labour’s annual conference, the party unanimously expressed its firm opposition to Israel and took the Palestinian’s side.

Badmouthing is not really a ‘Zionist symptom.’ Unfortunately, it is a Jewish political obsession. In between its fund raisers, it seems that Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) invests a lot of energy in smearing some of the more dedicated truth tellers. Mondoweiss, another Jewish outlet, practices this game as well.

I, myself, have been subjected to hundreds of such smear campaigns by so called ‘anti’ Zionist Jews who were desperate to stop the circulation of my work on Jewish ID politics. But these frantic efforts only served to support my thesis that the issues to do with Israel and Palestine extend far beyond the Zionist/anti debate. We had better dig into the meaning of Jewishness and its contemporary political implications.

Once again the question is, why do self-identified Jewish activists use these ugly tactics? Why do they insist upon smearing and terrorising instead of engaging in a proper scholarly and/or political debate?

Choseness is one possible answer. People who are convinced of their own exceptional nature often lack an understanding of the ‘other.’ This deficiency may well interfere with the ability to evolve a code of universal ethics.

The other answer may have something to do with the battle for funds. As we learned from Haaretz, the Canary Mission is funded by one of the richest Jewish American funds. Badmouthing has value. ‘You defame, we send money.’  Unfortunately this holds for Zionists and ‘anti’ alike.

Crucially, in this battle, Jews often oppose each other.  Haaretz writes that the Canary Mission “has been controversial since it appeared in mid-2015, drawing comparisons to a McCarthyite blacklist.” And it seems that some Zionist Jews eventually gathered that the Canary smear factory gives Jews a bad name.

Tilly Shames, who runs the campus Hillel at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, told the Forward that  “the tactics of the organisation are troubling, both from a moral standpoint, but have also proven to be ineffective and counterproductive,”

Shames said that Canary Mission’s publication of dossiers on students on her campus had led to greater support for the targeted students and their beliefs, and had spread mistrust of pro-Israel students, who were suspected of spying for Canary Mission.

This dynamic can be explained. My study of Jewish controlled opposition postulates that self-identified Jewish activists always attempt to dominate both poles of any debate that is relevant to Jewish interests. Once it was accepted that Palestine was becoming a ‘Jewish problem,’ a number of Jewish bodies became increasingly involved in steering the Palestinian solidarity movement. We then saw that they diluted the call for the Palestinian Right of Return and replaced it with watery notions that, de facto, legitimise Israel.

When it was evident that the Neocon school was, in practice, a Ziocon war machine, we saw bodies on the Jewish Left steer the anti-war call. When some British Jews realised that the Jewish campaign against Corbyn might backfire, they were astonishingly quick to form Jews for Jeremy that rapidly evolved into Jewish Voice for Labour (JVL). The battle over the next British PM became an internal Jewish debate. The rule is simple: every public dispute that is somehow relevant to Jewish interests will quickly become an exclusive internal Jewish debate.

Hillel activists see that Canary Mission is starting to backfire. Together with Forward and Haaretz, they have quickly positioned themselves at the forefront of the opposition.

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Jewish Lesson on Racism

October 03, 2018  /  Gilad Atzmon

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Text analysis by Gilad Atzmon

The JVL (Jewish Voice for Labour), a pro Corbyn racially exclusive Jews-only cell that does not accept non Jews into its ranks, is attempting to teach us about racism and anti Semitism.

Instead of opposing all forms of racism and bigotry on a universal basis, the Jews only ‘left’ group has adopted the ‘anti Semitism’ cry. Together with FSoI (Free Speech on Israel), a ‘predominantly Jewish campaign group,’ it has published a disturbing document that confirms that their primary concern is Jewish suffering.

The document: https://freespeechonisrael.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/definitionBooklet.pdf

“We,” the Jewish bodies unanimously state,” believe that the following comments will be helpful to those drawing up Labour’s disciplinary code, and perhaps more widely.”

I will review each of the JVL/FSoI’s comments.

Implications of taking this view of antisemitism

1.  Stereotypes

Racism commonly stereotypes groups as inferior in ways that enable discrimination against them. Such stereotypes function by scapegoating a targeted group, deflecting blame for society’s problems from their real causes. Antisemitic stereotyping has historically been used to dehumanise Jewish people, giving license to treat them in ways not otherwise acceptable. Use of such stereotypes is unarguably antisemitic conduct.

Gilad: It has been a while since the Jews have been treated as an ‘inferior’ collective. On the contrary, it is the hegemony of Jews in certain domains that is often criticised.  Much has been written, for instance, about Jewish lobby groups dominating American and British foreign affairs. Jewish pressure groups have imposed the IHRA definition of antisemitism on governments, political parties and institutions. Prominent Jews such as Alan Dershowitz boast about “Jews contributing disproportionally..” raising the question of whether JVL would allow goyim to do the same: to point at the very power Jews often brag about.  

 

2.  Expressions of antisemitism

Certain words and phrases that refer to Jews in a derogatory way are unquestionably antisemitic. Terms which associate Jews with malevolent social forces clearly fall into this category. Extreme examples are the blood libel (that Jews kill Christian children to use their blood in religious ceremonies), and the claimed existence of a powerful but secret Jewish cabal that controls the world.
Seemingly neutral or positive terms can also be used in antisemitic ways. For example, assertions that Jews are unusually clever or especially ‘good with money’ make the unwarranted assumption that all Jews share similar characteristics. Commonly, there is a negative, antisemitic edge to such views.

 Gilad: Not surprisingly and consistent with their Zionist brethren, the JVL and the so called ‘Free’ Speech on Israel attempt to impose a Jerusalemite regime of correctness to suppress any attempt to look into Jews, their culture and their political settings. Is it racist to acknowledge that Blacks are great jazz musicians, or often superb at sports? If it isn’t, why is it anti-Semitic to discuss Jews as being powerful, clever or even influential? 

3.  Terminology

Jews, Israelis and Zionists are separate categories that are too frequently conflated by both supporters and critics of Israel. This conflation can be antisemitic. Holding all Jews responsible for the actions of the Israeli government is antisemitic. Many Jews are not Zionist. The majority of Zionists are not Jewish but fundamentalist Christian Zionists. Over 20 percent of Israeli citizens are not Jewish.

Gilad: Although not all Jews are Zionists, Israel defines itself as ‘The Jewish State’ and Israel is racist and abusive entity. Sadly, the racially exclusive JVL in accepting gentiles only as ‘solidarity members’ and not as full members, is actually more racist than Israel. In Israel, Arabs can be citizens and their politicians can be proper members of the Israeli Knesset. How many Arabs or Goyim are included in JVL’s steering body? Not one…

4.  Political discourse

Free speech is legally protected. Within these legal limits political discourse can be robust and may cause offence. There is no right not to be offended. The fact that some people or groups are offended does not in itself mean that a statement is antisemitic or racist. A statement is only antisemitic if it shows prejudice, hostility or hatred against Jews as Jews.
The terms ‘Zionism’ and ‘Zionist’ describe a political ideology and its adherents. They are key concepts in the discussion of Israel/Palestine. They are routinely used, approvingly, by supporters of Israel, but critically by campaigners for Palestinian rights, who identify Zionist ideology and the Zionist movement as responsible for Palestinian dispossession. Criticising Zionism or Israel as a state does not constitute criticising Jews as individuals or as a people and is not evidence of antisemitism.
There have been claims that any comparison between aspects of Israel and features of pre-war Nazi Germany is inherently antisemitic. Similar objections have been raised to likening Israel’s internal practices to those of apartheid South Africa. Drawing such parallels can undoubtedly cause offence; but potent historical events and experiences are always key reference points in political debate. Such comparisons are only antisemitic if they show prejudice, hostility or hatred against Jews as Jews.

Gilad: Here a Jewish group is dictating the terminology that may be used to criticise Jewish power, history or culture. This is a classic example of a Jewish controlled opposition in which the discourse of the oppressed is defined by the sensitivities of the oppressor. JVL & Co kindly allow us to compare Zionism and Nazism but may we dig into the Jewish nature of the self- defined “Jewish State”? What about comparing the Nazi Party and JVL?  Both are racially exclusive: the former Aryans–only, the latter Jews-only.   

5.  Boycott, divestment and sanctions

A common focus for allegations of antisemitism is the campaign for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) targeted on Israel. The three elements of BDS are internationally recognized as legitimate and non-violent strategies for securing political change. So, advocating for BDS would only be antisemitic if accompanied by evidence that it is motivated not by this purpose but by racially-based hostility towards Jews.

Gilad: it is predictable that the JVL is keen on BDS. While the Palestinians are primarily seeking the ‘Right of Return,’ the Jewish solidarity project is dedicated to replacing the right of return with the ‘right to BDS.’ This agenda is, practically, a back door legitimisation of the Jewish State with the 1967 borders.

6.  When Antisemitism Is Alleged

As with any allegations of racism, accusations of antisemitism must be taken seriously and investigated. But principles of natural justice and due process must be respected and applied: the person accused should be accorded the normal presumption of innocence until the case is resolved. Allegations do not constitute proof.
Antisemitic attitudes may be more or less intense.* Some people are deeply antisemitic, others less so. Yet others whom it would be unreasonable to class as antisemitic may nevertheless hold some attitudes, in dilute form, which will make some Jews uncomfortable. Following a finding of antisemitism there remains a decision to be made about whether discussion and education, rather than a formal disciplinary approach, is more appropriate.
Indirect discrimination could inadvertently occur, where actions have the effect of selectively disadvantaging Jewish people even though no hostile motive towards Jews is present.  Once a case of such discrimination comes to light, those responsible should take all reasonable steps possible to eliminate the problem.  Unwillingness to take such steps would be evidence of antisemitism.
The systematic murder of millions of Jews (and so many others) is exhaustively documented. It is therefore inconceivable that Holocaust denial or expressions of doubt over its scale could be motivated by genuine investigatory scepticism. The implication of antisemitic intent is, for practical purposes, inescapable.

* See Institute of Jewish Policy Research report Antisemitism in Contemporary Great Britain, 2017

 

Gilad: It took the JVL/FSoI only a few lines before they produced a blanket rejection of WWII historical revisionism. This is not a convincing definition of anti Semitism. I wonder if the JVL or FSoI could explain how exploring the past and drawing whatever conclusions, can be interpreted as ‘discrimination of the Jews for being Jews.’ As we can see, the ‘predominantly  Jewish’ Free Speech on Israel isn’t about freedom of speech in general. Quite the opposite It is actually set to define the boundaries of freedom.

 Overview

The understanding of antisemitism on which this analysis is based reaffirms the traditional meaning of the term. This is important in the light of attempts to extend its meaning to apply to criticisms often made of the state of Israel, or to non-violent campaigns such as BDS. A charge of antisemitism carries exceptional moral force because of the negative connotations rightly attaching to the term. It is illegitimate to make such claims to discredit or deter criticism, or to achieve sectional advantage. To do so is to devalue the term.

To be clear: conduct is antisemitic only if it manifests ‘prejudice, hostility or hatred against Jews as Jews’.

 Gilad: This removes any doubt that JVL/FSoI are not committed to a universal fight against bigotry. Racial bigotry is ‘hatred or discrimination against X for being X.’ The JVL/FSoI are committed to the fight against (alleged) Jew hatred. The JVL is an exclusive Jewish body focused on the primacy of Jewish suffering. As such, the difference between JVL and Zionist bodies is marginal. We are dealing with a crypto Zionist body.

Left open are questions of: 1. How does this racially driven body fit with Labour’s values? And, 2. How Labour’s leader, a man who genuinely opposes all forms of racism, agrees to count such a bluntly racist group amongst its supporters?

Imagine yourself Free to Conflate

October 01, 2018  /  Gilad Atzmon

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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.

‘Jews In The Movement’

September 26, 2018  /  Gilad Atzmon

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By Devon Nola

Thanks to Laura MacDonald for bringing to our attention the revealing thread that begins with Richard Silverstein lamenting over being suspended from Twitter and infringing on his freedom of speech.  This phenomenon of thought police is unfortunate, and we see this happening all over social media.  However, it doesn’t take long before we see Silverstein engages in this very same reprehensible practice, blocking anyone who challenges his opinion or who expresses a view point he doesn’t agree with.

Silverstein is hardly the only one who engages in this behavior. In fact, it’s rampant across social media and most prevalent in the Palestinian Solidarity Movement: it appears to be largely controlled by the so called ‘Jews in the movement,’ a bunch of self-proclaimed anti-Zionist Jews. This contingent seems to be involved, primarily, in keeping the discourse of the oppressed Palestinians free from ‘antisemitism.’ In practice it sets the boundaries of the Palestinian solidarity discussion, so it is compliant with Jewish sensitivities.

What is most ironic is while blocking pro-Palestinian activists or anyone who crosses his redline, Silverstein simultaneously has started another Twitter page, “Why Is Twitter Censoring Free Speech”.  His Twitter name on this page is ‘Tikun Olam Speaks’.  Tikun Olam in Hebrew translates to ‘fixing the world,’ an aspiration of mending the human landscape in an ethical and universal manner.  This may sound like a noble aspiration, yet, the intolerance performed by Silverstein and his acolytes isn’t necessarily the universe the rest of us like to dwell in.

Here are a few pearls from Mr. Silverstein: “…tonight, of all nights, Atzmon himself and a few acolytes decided they would take a dump here in the midst of my efforts to fight back against zio-suppression of free speech.”

“So, these assholes, happy to divert attention from what’s important to their petty ideological squabble, mess things up for all the rest of us.”

Based on these comments one may assume that Silverstein, despite his age, is still well within his anal phase. However, Silverstein continues, “I’ve almost never blocked anyone on the left….” I presume that Silverstein doesn’t see the irony in his supposed fight for free speech.

Maybe, Tikun Olam means fixing the world so it is constructive and beneficial to Jews only or Israelis, more specifically. Whatever the case, I would suggest that Silverstein and his company of ‘world fixers,’ may consider repairing themselves first.

For me, a female goy, self-reflection is the cornerstone of constructive universal ethical correction. Yet, my experience, with many of those who identify as the ‘Jews within the movement’ (including Liberal/Progressive, anti-Zionist, anti-racist, tolerant, peace-seeking, etc.) shows all evidence their agenda is somehow different. Rather than looking in the mirror, they engage in hideous smear campaigns, intense attempts to cancel talks and boycotts against anyone who doesn’t stay within the ‘safe boundaries’ of Palestinian discourse. Sadly, they operate much like the so-called hardcore, right-wing Zionists. This shouldn’t take us by complete surprise, the Zionists and the ‘Jews in the Movement’ self-identify as one people. They seem to disagree on some issues but they happen to adhere to one particular authoritarian political culture.  Truthfully, by now, I have less issue with the Zionists as there is no pretense about who they are.

Two such innocent people who’ve been subject to these attacks are Gilad Atzmon and Alison Weir. The campaigns against them are astounding, merely for not following orders put in place by the so-called ‘Jews in the movement.’  But here is the good news. Both Weir and Atzmon survived the vile onslaught. I believe this is due to people experiencing a change of heart.  It’s become clear to many of us that Atzmon and Weir are somewhat of a litmus test. If you hate them, you are most likely a ‘Jew in the movement.’

It may come as a surprise to some, but many television programs begin with a precursor stating the views in the program are not necessarily shared by the station.  This is how we American Goyim, the so called 98% understand freedom of speech. This is how we unchosen Americans comprehend the 1st Amendment and the American experience in general. We want to see platforms open to all viewpoints.  The notion of silencing dissent is what we Americans with just a single citizenship view as tyranny. If this is what the ‘Jews in the movement’ have to offer, they may be better off operating in isolation as they apparently do.

Watching Silverstein’s Thread is a lesson in Jewish self-ghettoization. You can see how Goyim and dissenters are pushed out one after the other. Within just a few hours a vivid discussion had been reduced into an isolated corner in a remote synagogue. Is it a coincidence that all of that happened just a few days before Yom Kippur when Jews, so we hear, are commanded to ‘self-reflect and amend their ways’?

The ‘Jews in the Movement’ seem to operate as a dedicated thought police force. For them speech is only free if you stick to their ‘script.’  Otherwise, be prepared to face their wrath.  It seems fitting to close with two very profound Atzmon quotes.

1) “Jewish power is the capacity to suppress discussion of Jewish power”.

2) “The discourse of the oppressed is dictated by the sensitivities of the oppressor.”  With friends like this, who needs enemies?

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

September 05, 2018  /  Gilad Atzmon

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

israel’s (apartheid state) racist lynch mobs are hunting Arabs. And they’re fueled by government incitement

Israel’s Lynch Mobs Hunting Arabs Are Fueled by Govt Incitement  by Noam Shuster Eliassi

I was assaulted in Tel Aviv for ‘looking Arab.’ My privilege – being a Jew of Mizrahi origin – spared me, but won’t protect millions of Israel’s Arab citizens, serially delegitimized by legislation, three of whom were viciously attacked last weekend

Noam Shuster Eliassi

I remember it very clearly.

A friend of mine and myself, both Jews of Mizrahi origin, were trying to split up a big dog fight in the center of Tel Aviv that had escalated quickly. People started screaming. One of the dogs was about to be eaten alive by the other. It was an unpleasant scene. Nearby, a political rally was being held, and there were undercover cops around.

Within seconds, some of those undercover cops surrounded us. They first took down my friend, holding him on the ground, choking and beating him. Next, it was my turn. I was thrown on to the police motorbike. The only thing that went through my head was the fear they would pull out a gun and shoot my friend. I started screaming.

I knew that if they heard our accents and understood that we were only “Arab-looking” and not actually Arabs they would leave us alone. It was true. The moment they understood they made a mistake and mistook us for Arabs they let us go – and disappeared back into the crowd. 

We were left with our emotional and physical bruises and went home beaten down inside and out. I remember the relief of knowing that I had the right accent and the right name on my identity card to save me in the Israel of today.

But “real” Arabs don’t have that privilege.

Last weekend, three Arab citizens of Israel went to the beach near Haifa. A group of right-wing vigilantes passed by and asked them if they were Arabs. When they confirmed their identity, the gang brutally attacked them with chains, sticks, and knives. The young Jews attacking them said they were “Arab dogs” and they should not be at that beach; they should go to their “own places.”

Passerby Yair Alaluf challenged and stopped the attackers, and called the police and an ambulance; he saved the victims from a complete lynching. 

 

The victims filed a police complaint, and the story was widely reported; Israel’s President Rivlin condemned the attack, saying: “We are all destined to live here together in this country, and are not doomed to live like this.”

President Rivlin has already proven himself as a lone voice on the political right who defends the equal rights of Israel’s minorities. Others, in the government, did not join his condemnation.

Just imagine if the roles were reversed: the degree of outrage, the responses from prominent politicians would be exponentially louder. If Arabs had attacked Jews for being Jews, then this Netanyahu government’s ministers would have declared war (again) on the Arabs citizens in the media. None has stood with the president to honor the passerby who stood up for his fellow citizens against a racist mob.

But was the big news here? Arabs attacked in a country that, thanks to the Nation-State Law, now considers them officially inferior to their Jewish fellow citizens.

We can’t be surprised that a violent fringe in Israel feels legitimized, when the government itself backs legislated racism.

Two years later, I still remember the horror of being assaulted myself. But I always knew I had the chance of finding shelter when my identity was revealed. I knew, in general, that the system was on my side and they can’t touch me.

That, despite the fact that we ourselves decided there was little point filing an official police complaint, not least because of the minimal chances of a satisfactory outcome from an investigation conducted by a police force that tends to protect its own and has a poor record of investigating police assaults on Mizrahi Jews as well.

How does it feel when you don’t have the right accent, the right ID card, if you’re not the “right” kind of citizen and you don’t have the full backing of a legal system to support you? These feelings – of abandonment, vilification, silencing and targeting for physical assault – should ring alarm bells from the darkest pages of Jewish history.

Vigilante attacks on Arabs in Israel, whether citizens or not, are hardly new, but the power of our current political leadership and its actions legitimize these incidents more and more.

Every act of  political incitement, every deliberate silence on violence against Arabs, is a threat to the safety, equality and legitimacy of millions of Israelis. For Israel’s Jewish right, “Arab” has become such a toxic characteristic it spills over into a hatred of anyone who even “looks” or “sounds” Arab.

If Israel is to have a future as a sustainable secure homeland for all its citizens, we have to hope that there are many more Alalufs out there.

Noam Shuster Eliassi is a peace activist, public speaker and comedian who has managed a range of peace-building initiatives. She is a Brandeis University graduate and was awarded the Davis Peace Prize for developing peacebuilding programs for HIV positive youth in Kigali, Rwanda. Twitter: @ShusterNoam 

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.

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