Sunday, February 25, 2007

What's "new" about the New Anti-Semitism?

SENT ROUND BY AFIF: There is no New Anti-Semitism by Rabbi Michael Lerner

The N.Y. Times reported on January 31 about the most recent attempt by the American Jewish Community to conflate intense criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism. In a neat little example of slippery slope, the report on "Progressive Jewish Thought and the New Anti-Semitism" written by Alvin H. Rosenfeld moves from exposing the actual anti-Semitism of those who deny Israel's right to exist—and hence deny to the Jewish people the same right to national self-determination that they grant to every other people on the planet (the anti-war group International Answer is a good example of that, though Rosenfeld doesn't cite them)—to those who powerfully and consistently attack Israel's policies toward Palestinians, see Israel as racist the way that it treats Israeli-Arabs (or even Sephardic Jews), or who analogize Israel's policies to those of apartheid as instituted by South Africa.

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1 comment:

Davis said...

Much worse even than Michael Lerner are the self-righteous signatories of the 'Independent Jewish Voices' in the UK. Their claim that the Jewish mainstream won't let them have a voice falls on deaf ears since firstly, not a day goes by when one of them is given space in the mainstream media to attack Israel - nevermind their refusal to debate in the community - and second, their only identifiable Jewishness lies in their need to publicly slander our state.

These self-appointed 'repenters', Lerner included, are welcome to say what they want. I say, there is a new antisemitism, it is utterly unprecedented in its scope and conflagration, I worry for my and my people's safety - almost everywhere on the globe in fact - and I am writing an academic paper on it at the moment.

For now let me just say this: Last year, the little noted but widely distributed hard-left ‘Adbusters’, amongst other extremely problematic features, ran a piece by a Husband and wife team of former CIA analysts (the Christichens… I think, I have it on file…) who argued over 5 pages of conspiratorial drivel, how the Jews basically hijacked the US to invade Iraq for Israel. No doubt you are familiar with the countless variations on the theme, (not least, by any means, on the left).

Fact is, this month’s ‘Vanity Fair’ features an article on the US governments imminent invasion of Iran (as they see it). In a piece little better argued than the Adbusters one, the paragraph on the Iraq war starts:

Having been fought to provide better security for Israel….

Vanity Fair, no less.

Just ask our own award winning Jihad el-Khazen, to name one of countless examples I could cite about just how much power I wield on Capitol Hill...

These are not irrational fears of mine, nor am I censoriously dismissive of criticism of Israel, but once again, let spades be called spades here.

Michael Lerner, they will not spare you either. Antisemitism knows no nuance. In his article, he claims that congressmen tell him they are afraid to speak out about Israel 'being a threat to world peace', since even a man with the impeccable moral credentials such as Jimmy carter was not 'politically safe'...

REALLY? The Jews are that powerful, that they take down Carter?

Or should we be realistic and say that Carter's book was so one sided and factually incorrect, that the only person to defend it was America's favourite Jewish antisemite Norman Finkelstein and a litany of Arab apologist, such as Afif, who would jump on just about anything that stops short of including a swastika? Whilst a plethora of senior policymakers, academics and commentators - Jewish and not - lined up to demolish it.

To people who cannot bear that they are not being heeded, these claims - poor me I'm being censored in my righteousness - are comforting.

The vast - and silent - majority of Jews however, is fully aware of the complexity of our situation and debates it vigorously.

I can think of certain other religions who would positively thrive and bloom if they had an internal tradition of debate like us.

Michael Lerner remains, as ever, pathetic. I would have left the man in peace in his little world of righteousness, but he has (in a book released last week actually) begun to claim that 9/11 may have been an inside job. Bye Bye Mr Lerner. Not worth it. See the transcripts of the excellent NCF conference on Dissinformnation and Xenophobia for help.


And the PLO in Washington never ever misses a beat of this stuff. At least the Palestinians in Washington now have ATFP. Finally they are spending their intelligence and money on something that stays away from this rubbish and may actually bear fruit.

Let us hope that readers of this blog do so too. Given the seriousness of the situation, perhaps 'pray' is more like it...