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Antisemitism Tag

The news of the week is that Sweden faces "collapse" from the unrestricted flow of migrants, as the Swedish foreign minister Margot Wallström recently acknowledged in an interview:
“I have to admit that there have been moments recently of very great disappointment. I have heard statements from member states that have been completely astonishing and very discouraging,” Wallström said in the interview which was published on Friday morning. An unprecedented number of people are expected to seek asylum in the Nordic nation in 2015 and while Prime Minister Stefan Löfven has widely praised his country's response to the crisis he has said that Sweden is "approaching the limit" of its reception capacity. “I think most people feel that we cannot maintain a system where perhaps 190,000 people will arrive every year – in the long run, our system will collapse. And that welcome is not going to receive popular support,” said Wallström, echoing her Social Democrat colleague's comments.
In Malmö, Sweden's third largest city, that migrant crisis resulted in a Roma shanty town that was just torn down by police. For the Jews of Sweden, and Malmö in particular, the collapse came many years ago, long before the current migration crisis.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made a controversial statement as he was leaving for Germany on the role of Haj Amin al-Husseini, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem. Netanyahu's statement suggesting that the idea of genocide against the Jews of Europe originated with the Mufti and not Hitler was overstatement, and quickly walked back by Netanyahu (but not before Netanyahu's political enemies had a field day with it). But there is a silver lining in Netanyahu's political gaffe -- people now are talking about the role of the Grand Mufti in the European genocide. We have discussed the Mufti's Nazi-sympathies and assistance here before, so it's not new to us. But given the current "Knife Intifada," in which the agitation to kill Jews is pervasive in Palestinian culture, it's clear that there is a direct line from the Mufti's Nazi-affiliation to the Jew hatred that motivates the current conflict. Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic tweeted out a link to this study from 2005, National Socialism and Anti-Semitism in the Arab World. It's very lengthy, so read the whole thing. Here is an excerpt:

As expected, Jeremy Corbyn was just elected Leader of the British Labour Party. To describe him as "far left" would be unfair ... to the far left. He's basically an economic and political lunatic. Even The NY Times described Corbyn in stark terms, With Jeremy Corbyn Elected as New Leader, Britain’s Labour Party Takes a Hard Left Turn:
Britain’s opposition Labour Party on Saturday took a remarkable leftward turn, electing as its leader Jeremy Corbyn, a longtime socialist committed to nationalizing key industries, scrapping Britain’s nuclear missile system and reversing the centrist policies of previous leaders such as Tony Blair. The result of the contest, announced on Saturday morning in London, gave stewardship of the Labour party to the hard left for the first time in more than three decades, a development seen here as one of the most surprising upsets in modern British politics.
This neat video from Sky News lists Corbyn's economic goals:

The title of this post is from a Facebook comment I saw about an article by Stephen Daisley at STV News (Scotland), Analysis: Jeremy Corbyn is not an anti-Semite. It’s so much worse than that. Jeremy Corbyn is the likely new leader of the British Labour Party, someone I addressed in Likely British Labour leader’s creepy associations. The Daisley article title addresses Corbyn, but the issue of how Israel hatred has become a polite-society way of expressing anti-Semitism is of much broader implication. It's why ostensibly "pro-Palestinian" rallies so often express blatant anti-Jewish verbiage, why Jews are harassed on the streets of Europe in the name of anti-Zionism, and why the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement was birthed at the anti-Semitic 2001 Durban conference as Nazi-like caricatures of Jews were passed around. It's also why American Jewish musician Matisyahu was, alone among dozens of musicians, singled out by the BDS movement for a special political litmus test. Here is an excerpt from the Daisley article, which explains much better than I can how centuries of Jew hatred now finds its expression and acceptance through the anti-Israel movement:

The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement has declared that American Jewish musician Matisyahu must be banned from public concerts because he is too pro-Israel. In a report at the anti-Zionist Mondoweiss website,  Benjamin Norton (who criticized the ban at his own website before the post was taken down), lays out the position of Omar Barghouti, leader of the BDS movement, that Matisyahu's support for Israel makes him a bigot who must be banned. Among Matisyahu's alleged sins was supporting the Israel Defense Forces. At the anti-Zionist Electronic Intifada, American BDS leader Ali Abunimah makes the same argument. When Matisyahu finally was permitted to appear on stage at the Rototom Sunsplash Reggae festival in Spain, over the objections of BDS, he was faced with Palestinian flags protesting his appearance.

Benjamin Norton is a leading author who favors the boycott movement (BDS) against Israel. Norton writes for the anti-Zionist Mondoweiss website, as well as a slew of other places on the topic of how bad Israel is. While I don't agree with most of what Norton says, he certainly is prolific and an upcoming opinion-leader in that sphere. So when I saw Norton pen a column severely criticizing the ban on American Jewish musician Matisyahu at the behest of a Spanish branch of the BDS movement, I was, well, surprised. All the more so because leading American BDS activists like Ali Abunimah and Max Blumenthal were seeking to justify the ban because Matisyahu was too pro-Israel. Norton wrote at his own website, Cancellation of Matisyahu’s Performance Blatantly Defies BDS [via Google cache] (emphasis added):

Matisyahu is the American Jewish musician who was banned by the Rototom Sunsplash Reggae Festival under pressure and threats from the Boycott, Divestments and Sanctions (BDS) movement. Leading American BDS activists support the ban. The ban created a strong reaction from the Spanish press and government, which called the ban blatant and illegal religious discrimination. The Festival organizers relented, apologized, and reinvited Matisyahu to appear. Matisyahu's appearance was greeted with joy by many at the festival, who didn't like the way BDS politicized Reggae music. His performance met with rave reviews, particularly his message of Peace (via El Mundo - Google Translate)

The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement suffered one of its worst public relations debacles when it pressured the Spanish Rototom SunSplash festival to ban American Jewish musician Matisyahu. At so many levels, the incident exposed BDS for what it is - anti-freedom, anti-Jewish, anti-just about everything we hold dear. Left twisting in the wind are leading American BDS activists like Ali Abunimah, Max Blumenthal and Joe Catron who supported the ban, even as BDS leader Omar Barghouti ran for political cover and BDS author Ben Norton condemned the ban. BDS defenders of the Matisyahu ban claim the ban was justified because Matisyahu is Zionist and pro-Israel. If being Zionist and pro-Israel were justification for a ban, then BDS would be justified in banning the vast majority of Jews from public appearances. So tell me again how BDS is not anti-Semitic? We mentioned yesterday that the festival organizers had apologized and reinvited Matisyahu to perform. Now the date is set, August 22, on the main stage:

American Jewish reggae singer Matisyahu was banned from the Spanish Rototom Sunsplash festival after intense pressure from supporters of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, who demanded that Matisyahu sign a pledge supporting a Palestinian state. Matisyahu was singled out because he was Jewish. He's not even Israeli. No other musician, regardless of his or her politics, was asked to take a political pledge. It was a huge victory for BDS, which routinely seeks to prevent Israeli musicians from appearing at festivals around the world for the crime of being Israeli and Jewish (the ban doesn't appear to be enforced as to non-Jewish Israelis.) When Matisyahu was first banned, there was much joy in BDS circles, particularly in the United States where BDS leaders like Max Blumenthal, Ali Abunimah and Joe Catron publicly supported the decision. (And apparently still do.) But then a funny thing happened on the way to this huge BDS victory. In fact, something quite unusual in the world of BDS bullying in Europe -- the world expressed outrage.

We wrote the other day about how the Boycott, Divestment and Movement pressured the Spanish Rototom Reggae festival to ban American Jewish musician Matisyahu because he refused to sign a pledge supporting a Palestinian state. Matishayu's position was that he's just a musician and shouldn't have to take a political pledge, particularly since he was singled out because he's Jewish. No non-Jewish musicians were pressured to sign any pledges. He wrote on his Facebook page:
"The festival organizers contacted me because they were getting pressure from the BDS movement. They wanted me to write a letter, or make a video, stating my positions on Zionism and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to pacify the BDS people. I support peace and compassion for all people. My music speaks for itself, and I do not insert politics into my music. Music has the power to transcend the intellect, ideas, and politics, and it can unite people in the process. 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? No artist deserves to be put in such a situation simply to perform his or her art. Regardless of race, creed, country, cultural background, etc, my goal is to play music for all people. As musicians that is what we seek. - Blessed Love, Matis"

For years we have been arguing that at most there is a thin line between the Israel hatred of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement and hatred of Jews. BDS was born at the anti-Semitic 2001 Durban conference, but was repackaged as a grassroots "civil society" movement in 2005, and now has duped many progressives into thinking BDS is just about Israel leaving the West Bank. Groups like Jewish Voice for Peace do BDS's bidding is perpetuating this charade. That thin line has all but disappeared in Europe, where BDS paves the was to anti-Semitism: So it is, in a sense, no surprise to hear the outrageous news that American Jewish musician Matisyahu has been banned at a Spanish Reggae music festival due to pressure from the BDS movement after he failed to sign a statement recognizing a Palestinian state. BDS has shifted from its practice of banning and attacking Israeli musicians, to Jewish musicians who fail to pledge allegiance to the BDS movement. It was a natural shift for the movement. The Times of Israel reports:

Jeremy Corbyn likely will be the next leader of the leftist British Labour Party. Elections are underway for party leadership. The Labour Party has fallen on hard times after being crushed by David Cameron's Conservative Party in the national elections in May 2015. The Conservative Party now holds an outright majority in parliament, but Labour still is the major political opposition in the country. Which is why there is so much concern over Corbyn's connection to so many of worst anti-Semitic and anti-Israel elements. The Jewish Chronicle in Britain gives the big picture view:
The JC rarely claims to speak for anyone other than ourselves. We are just a newspaper. But in this rare instance we are certain that we speak for the vast majority of British Jews in expressing deep foreboding at the prospect of Mr Corbyn’s election as Labour leader. Because, although there is no direct evidence that he has an issue himself with Jews, there is overwhelming evidence of his association with, support for — and even in one case, alleged funding of — Holocaust deniers, terrorists and some outright antisemites....

The Security Subcommittee of The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Committee held a hearing on July 28, 2015, on The Impact of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Movement. According to the House Advisory, the purpose was
  •  To better understand the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) Movement, and review the economic impact of the Movement on American and Israeli businesses. 
  • To review how the goals of BDS may or may not be affected by International Trade Law, U.S. federal law, and state law. 
  • To seek to establish the formal position of the Administration with regard to BDS.
  • To review potential actions by the Department of State to maintain free and open trade among the U.S., Europe, and Israel.
The Tower has a write up on the full scope of the hearing. In a later post we will focus on the testimony of Northwestern Univ. Law Professor Eugene Kontorovich, whose lecture on The Legal Case for Israel is a must watch. Today we focus on the testimony of Daniel Birnbaum, CEO of SodaStream International.

This is the third in our series revisiting our coverage of the 2014 Gaza conflict. In the first post, we reported how the war did not start the way the anti-Israel propagandists content, with an Israeli attack in retaliation for the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teens by a Hamas-affiliated cell in the West Bank. To the contrary, the kidnapping resulted in an Israeli crackdown in the West Bank, but it was relentless Hamas rocket fire from Gaza into Israel that precipitated Israeli air attacks on Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza, Gaza July 8, 2014 – Hamas Rockets Ignite War. Having debunked (again) the myth that Israel started the Gaza conflict, we debunked another myth, that the thousands of deaths and injuries were the result of Israel's desire to assault Gaza. In fact, after the first week of air attacks and Hamas rocket fire and infiltrations, Egypt proposed a ceasefire. Had both sides accepted that ceasefire, there would have been no Israeli ground invasion, and the deaths and casualties a small fraction of the ultimate total. Israel accepted the ceasefire, Hamas rejected it. The result was more Hamas rocket fire, and an Israeli ground invasion. Gaza July 18, 2014 – Ground War After Hamas Rejects Ceasefire. Now another myth busted -- that protests in Europe and elsewhere were merely anti-Zionist, not anti-Semitic, and in any event, isolated. In fact, virtually everywhere there was a major "pro-Palestinian" rally, there was blatant anti-Semitism accompanied by threats and violence. And not just overseas. In Miami, Boston and San Francisco as well. Here are the events we covered. It's not an exhaustive list, by any means.

In recent posts we have discussed Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), a U.S. based organization that has established itself as the “Jewish wing” of the Palestinian solidarity movement. JVP plays a critical role in numerous aspects of the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement in the United States by giving Jewish cover. In so presenting itself as the Jewish justification for BDS, JVP serves the role of washing away the stains of anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism which are central to the BDS movement's founding and conduct.

1. JVP - Not a Major Player in Jewish Life

Founded in 1996 by a small group of left-wing San Francisco Bay Area Jews, JVP worked in relative obscurity for years. Today it looks poised to break into the big leagues of American Jewish organizational life. According to its website and recent press releases, JVP currently has a youth wing and a Rabbinic Council, over 65 member-led chapters across the country, and 200,000+ online supporters. But looks can be deceiving. It’s difficult to pin these numbers down. According to Yitzhak Santis, Chief Programs Officer for the Jerusalem-based watchdog group NGO Monitor, “JVP provides no evidence” for its claim of tens of thousands of Jewish American followers. It doesn’t actually require that its members be Jewish or American.

Marie Brenner, writing in Vanity Fair, explores whether Jews should leave France. The French language version of the article is titled Paris En Flammes. With my distant recollection of high school french, that translates as Paris in Flames. But the English language version has a more descriptive title, The Troubling Question in the French Jewish Community: Is It Time to Leave?:
How can anyone be allowed to paint a swastika on the statue of Marianne, the goddess of French liberty, in the very center of the Place de la République?” That was what the chairman of one of France’s most celebrated luxury brands was thinking last July, when a tall man in a black shirt and a kaffiyeh leapt to the ledge of Marianne’s pedestal and scrawled a black swastika. All around him, thousands of angry demonstrators were swarming the square with fake rockets, Palestinian and Hamas flags, even the black-and-white banners of ISIS. Here, barely a mile and a half from the Galeries Lafayette, the heart of bourgeois Paris, the chants: “MORT AUX JUIFS! MORT AUX JUIFS!” Death to the Jews. It was Saturday, July 26, 2014, and a pro-Palestinian demonstration turned into a day of terror in one of the most fashionable neighborhoods of the city. We covered those riots last summer (some of the videos in the posts have gone bad):

When I visited The Times of Israel on July 8, 2015, there were four headlines about blatant anti-Semitism. In Korea, Argentina, Croatia, and the Palestinian Authority (through its Ambassador in Chile). Times of Israel AntiSemitism headlines July 8 2015 Here is the referenced speech by the Palestinian Authority Ambassador to Chile, in which he invokes the forged anti-Semitic Protocols of the Elders of Zion:

From physical attacks, to vandalism, to verbal attacks on those walking while Jewish, Europe has seen a rise in anti-Semitism in recent years. So much so, that a resolution condemning the rising tide of anti-Semitism in Europe passed the Senate by unanimous vote on Thursday.
The resolution, authored by Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and co-sponsored by 60 other senators encouraged “greater cooperation with the European governments, in the European Union, and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe in preventing and responding to antisemitism.” “In light of the rise of antisemitism in Europe, this resolution calls on European governments to not only stand against antisemitism, but to work to end it,” said Sen. Menendez, applauding the unanimous passage of the bill.
In the UK, former Prime Minister Tony Blair has been appointed to head the European Council on Tolerance and Reconciliation: Nicholas Watt of The Guardian reports:
Tony Blair is to take on a new role tackling antisemitism by assuming the chairmanship of a pan-European body that campaigns for stronger laws against extremism across the continent. The British former prime minister has been appointed as chairman of the European Council on Tolerance and Reconciliation a week after he announced that he would stand down as the envoy of the quartet on the Middle East. In an article for the Times, in which he sets out his plans for his new role, Blair says that he will campaign against the abuse of religions which has become a “mask behind which those bent on death and destruction all too often hide”.