Tag: anti-semitism

Republican lawmaker seeks to muzzle students critical of Israel | The Electronic Intifada

Doug Collins, a Republican lawmaker, has proposed a bill that conflates opposition to Israel’s racist policies with anti-Semitism. Stefani Reynolds SIPA

The misleadingly-named Anti-Semitism Awareness Act of 2019 has been introduced to the US House of Representatives shortly before its summer recess.

The so-called Anti-Semitism Awareness Act is a dangerous attempt by Congress to retroactively provide Marcus with the legal authority to justify his use of this controversial definition to further muzzle campus criticism of Israel.

via Republican lawmaker seeks to muzzle students critical of Israel | The Electronic Intifada

Let’s be honest about Britain’s obsession with “anti-Semitism” | The Electronic Intifada

There are many religious practices that are reactionary, medieval and barbaric. Opposition to them is not racist.

The same is true with the Jewish community. Although there is no doubt that most Jews in Britain are more liberal than the Jewish leaders and the Board of Deputies, there is no doubt that the majority are supporters of Zionism. It is also arguable that a majority of Jews do not realize the extent of Israeli racism and how Zionism mandates a form of apartheid.

However it is a fact that a Jewish ethno-nationalist state in Israel cannot be other than a racist apartheid state. The argument that it is anti-Semitic to oppose an identity that is itself based on support for racism is untenable.

If indeed the majority of Jews do support a Zionism that mandates the demolition of Palestinian villages such as Umm al-Hiran in order to build Jewish towns in their place, then that is clearly a racist identity. If the majority of British Jews support a state where the chief rabbi of Safed issues an edict that non-Jews cannot rent property from Jews, then how is that not racist?

The idea that opposition to religious identity is, in itself, a form of racism is a type of blackmail.

via Let’s be honest about Britain’s obsession with “anti-Semitism” | The Electronic Intifada

Netanyahu advisers hatched anti-Semitic conspiracy against George Soros | The Electronic Intifada

Yair Netanyahu, the son of the Israeli prime minister, shared this meme on Facebook depicting George Soros as a puppet master, an image reminiscent of classic anti-Semitic propaganda.

Israeli leaders helped birth today’s most notorious anti-Semitic conspiracy theory.

That’s the conclusion from recent reports about the origins of a right-wing plot against liberal Jewish billionaire George Soros.

The demonization of Soros – often in overtly anti-Semitic terms – has become a leading theme of the international right in recent years.

And two of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s key advisers were responsible for it.

via Netanyahu advisers hatched anti-Semitic conspiracy against George Soros | The Electronic Intifada

Critics accuse Fox of allowing language that fuels antisemitism | Media | The Guardian

Fox Business Network condemned comments by a guest on host Lou Dobbs’ show that critics saw as an antisemitic trope.

Fox Business Network condemned comments by a guest on host Lou Dobbs’s show that critics saw as an antisemitic trope.

Chris Farrell of the conservative group Judicial Watch said in an appearance on Lou Dobbs Tonight that the caravan of Central American migrants seeking to reach the United States is organized by groups whose affiliates “are getting money from the Soros-occupied state department”.

Soros is a financier and liberal donor and activist who is frequently the target of antisemitic vitriol. Last week, a pipe bomb was found in his mailbox, allegedly sent by a Florida man who promoted rightwing conspiracy theories about Soros.

The Dobbs segment originally aired on Thursday, but drew notice after it was rebroadcast Saturday, after the deadliest antisemitic attack in US history killed 11 people at a Pittsburgh synagogue.

Critics likened Farrell’s language to the term “Zionist-occupied government,” a trope used in white nationalist circles to suggest the US government is controlled by Jews.

via Critics accuse Fox of allowing language that fuels antisemitism | Media | The Guardian

Anti-Semitism on the rise in Europe along with racism in general

In Australia Murdoch media the largest media group in Australia happily allowed Andrew Bolt promote and give a platform to Southern, and Molyneus and News Corp did the same with Blair Cotteral why? The purpose is to increasingly fragment us culturally rather than allowing us to unite economically the difference between democratic equity and fascist constraint Internationalism and Nationalism  (ODT)

In Austria this year a state-level branch of the ruling far-right Freedom Party of Austria proposed a new law requiring Jews to register with the government if they wanted to buy kosher meat (the same rule would apply to Muslims buying halal meat). One of the party’s candidates in January’s national election had stood down after it was revealed he was a member of a fraternity whose songbook included lyrics about killing Jews, including “step on the gas, we’ll manage the seventh million”. He claimed not to have read all the pages.

In Germany, the increasingly popular far-right party AfD recently disciplined some of its local politicians for exchanging Nazi and anti-Semitic imagery and messages on WhatsApp. There are police guards outside Berlin synagogues and violent attacks on Jewish children in German schools.

via Anti-Semitism on the rise in Europe along with racism in general

Anti-Semitism vs. anti-colonialism | The Electronic Intifada

When Australian Conservatives conflate Australia with all Australians and then claim disagreeing with their prescribed laws,policies, actions and ideology amounts to being unpatriotic then the most unpatriotic and undemocratic claims are being made by Conservatives themselves.(ODT)

The ongoing fight in Britain is fundamentally not over those few marginal racists who still believe in some Jewish conspiracy to take over the world, but over whether labeling Israel as a colonial-settler state is anti-Semitic, or whether anti-colonial resistance to Israeli settler-colonialism and racist laws constitutes anti-Semitism, or whether questioning the legal and institutional religious, racial and colonial privileges accorded to Israeli Jews over the indigenous Palestinians constitutes anti-Semitism.In naming its state “the Jewish people,” the Zionist movement conflated and conflates its colonial project with all Jews, even when the majority of world Jewry did not support the movement and continues to refuse to live in, and become citizens of, Israel

This is a most perplexing debate for any political observer, as it is Israel that claims to be “the Jewish state,” and that it represents the Jews of the world, even though a majority of them are not Israeli citizens.

Supporters of Israel cannot have it both ways: They cannot claim that the Zionist movement has a right to colonize the land of the Palestinians in the name of Jews, and that the movement has the right to privilege Jews and to oppress and discriminate against the Palestinian people in the name of Jewish people, and that it has the right to pass racist laws in the name of Jews, and that it has a right to name its state “the Jewish people” for whom it speaks, and then after all that advance the claim that those who condemn Israel are condemning Jews.

via Anti-Semitism vs. anti-colonialism | The Electronic Intifada

South Carolina forces universities to violate free speech rights | The Electronic Intifada

Israel’s interferance with the domestic laws of the USA and it’s constitution (ODT)

South Carolina passed a law this week codifying a discredited definition of anti-Semitism that conflates criticism of Israel and Zionism with anti-Jewish bigotry.

“The law will inevitably violate students’ First Amendment rights if enforced to restrict or punish campus speech critical of Israel,” Dima Khalidi, director of the civil rights group Palestine Legal, told The Electronic Intifada.

Students now face increased scrutiny, investigations, censorship and possible punishment for their activities advocating for Palestinian rights on South Carolina campuses, Palestine Legal has warned.

The anti-Semitism definition, which has been pushed by Israel lobby groups in the US and Europe, is sometimes referred to as the “State Department Definition” because a version of it was adopted by the US State Department.

The measure was added as a rider on South Carolina’s 2018-2019 budget bill, which makes the law valid for only one year.

It will require state-funded institutions to use the definition when investigating alleged incidents of anti-Semitism on campuses.

via South Carolina forces universities to violate free speech rights | The Electronic Intifada

The rise of antisemitism in Australia has a distinctly American tone | Alex Ryvchin | Opinion | The Guardian

Australian far-right discourse, while also targeting other minorities, has maintained an obsessive focus on the ‘Jewish problem’

Source: The rise of antisemitism in Australia has a distinctly American tone | Alex Ryvchin | Opinion | The Guardian

Conservative Israel Advocacy Groups Pass On Bannon Criticism As J Street And Other Jewish Groups Condemn “Horrifying” Hiring

Conservative-leaning Israel advocacy groups are defending or refusing to condemn President-elect Donald Trump’s choice of Stephen Bannon for a senior White House role despite his history of promoting anti-Semitism. Their behavior is in stark contrast to leaders of other Jewish and civil rights groups, who are criticizing the move as

Source: Conservative Israel Advocacy Groups Pass On Bannon Criticism As J Street And Other Jewish Groups Condemn “Horrifying” Hiring

What actually is antisemitism? | Voices | The Independent

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Simmering tension within the British Labour Party over claims of antisemitism has boiled over. First MP Naz Shah was suspended; now theparty’s former London mayor, Ken Livingstone has joined her. It’s an ideal moment to consider what antisemitism actually is. Many probably – perhaps secretly – gave up puzzling over antisemitism long ago. They’ve moved on to some other issue, like battery hens, where the oppressors are shamefaced and the victims can’t speak.

Source: What actually is antisemitism? | Voices | The Independent

The anti-Muslim sentiment is sadly familiar for many Australian Jews – The Drum (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Muslim and Jewish refugees share a similar experience in Australia – you can’t assimilate when you’re constantly being reminded that you’re something other.

Source: The anti-Muslim sentiment is sadly familiar for many Australian Jews – The Drum (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Germany Isn’t Turning Backward

What Does Pegida Say About Germany?

very Monday. Since the terror attacks in Paris, the movement has grown: The police counted 25,000 demonstrators on Jan. 12, the Monday after the attacks, a 7,500 jump from the week before. (It canceled its Jan. 19 protest over security concerns.)

Known by its German acronym, Pegida, the group has inflicted great harm on the country’s international reputation. Our neighbors and allies are asking whether Germany is stumbling back into the darkness of xenophobia, and rightfully so. Many Germans are asking the same question these days.

There are two ways to look at the situation. The optimistic take is to note that, for all the attention Pegida gets inside of Germany and abroad, Germany has never been as liberal, culturally diverse and open toward minorities as it is today.

Last year a biennial poll conducted by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, a foundation associated with the left-wing Social Democrats (and thus unlikely to underestimate the problem), found that anti-foreigner attitudes were at a historic low. While its 2012 poll found that about a quarter of Germans reported hostile views toward foreigners, only 7.5 percent did in 2014. And anti-Semitism, which is on the rise elsewhere in Europe, has dropped significantly, to 4.1 percent from 8.6.

Apart from the polls, there is quite a bit of evidence for a new openness. On Jan. 12, 100,000 people went to the streets nationwide in counterdemonstrations against Pegida, showing their solidarity with German Muslims. In Leipzig, 4,800 pro-Pegida protesters were met by 30,000 counterprotesters.

Meanwhile, all over Germany, private initiatives are popping up to help refugees. In Duisburg, a local politician has collected 100 bicycles for refugee children. In Zirndorf, doctors are providing refugees with free medication. Even in Dresden, Pegida’s stronghold, groups are helping refugees with the hard tasks of getting settled, like providing translation services at appointments with authorities.

Still, the enormous support for Pegida requires us to consider another, darker reading of the situation, as evidence of troubling developments within German society.

One is the failure of mainstream politics. There is a tendency among the major parties to move toward the center of the political spectrum, creating an ideological void at its far right and left ends. The far right in particular has lacked political representation in the past years, which helps explain why a new populist party, Alternative für Deutschland, had such enormous success in European and state elections last year. While leaders of the Alternative, as it’s called, claim to be primarily anti-European Union, many have also expressed support for Pegida.

Another change revolves around the Internet. In this view, the Pegida people are just the usual frustrated lot looming at the edges of society. Now, emboldened by the reinforcement they find in like-minded communities online, they’re taking to the streets.

And a third is the persistence of regional differences. Though Pegida has drawn support in western Germany, it is strongest in the former East Germany. In the East, xenophobic attitudes are still more common than in the West, for a complex mix of reasons, including higher unemployment rates, but also because of feelings of inferiority.

We also have to ask what Pegida says about Germany, whatever its causes. It certainly indicates that the relative social peace we are experiencing right now is fragile. But it also shows how the country, still new to the multiethnic game, is struggling with its identity. It wasn’t until the 1950s that the first waves of immigrants arrived, the “Gastarbeiter” (guest workers) from Turkey and Italy who came to fill the labor gap in the country’s prospering postwar economy.

For decades, Germany was able to pretend that the guest workers were just that, guests. But the third generation of Turkish immigrants is now reaching adulthood. At the same time, immigration numbers are rising: Germany’s immigrant population grew by about 430,000 last year. Many came from the Southern European countries that still suffer from the euro crisis, but last year Germany also welcomed some 220,000 refugees, mostly from Syria, Eritrea, Serbia and Afghanistan.

The white face of German society is changing at a rapid pace. In this context, the Pegida protests are getting such attention because they act as a weekly checkup of German society. It’s as if every Monday, the news media are putting a trembling hand to the country’s forehead, checking its temperature, wondering whether our ugly, xenophobic past is taking over again. And we don’t have to look back to the 1930s to find that past; in the early 1990s, when the country last saw similar numbers of refugees, an irrational fear of foreigners taking the jobs of “real Germans” gripped the country, culminating in anti-immigrant riots in several cities, with several deaths, many wounded and thousands scared.

Last week, a 20-year-old refugee from Eritrea was found stabbed to death near his apartment in Dresden. Neighbors reported that swastikas had been painted onto the door of his apartment. Germans held their breath. Was this a neo-Nazi murder? Was there a connection to the Pegida rallies? Then, on Thursday, authorities arrested one of the victim’s roommates, another asylum seeker, who they say has admitted to the attack. Still, we don’t trust ourselves. Why should our neighbors? Why should you?

However the investigation turns out, I am an optimist, believing that we will not see history repeated. Germany has come a long way since even the early ’90s. And rather than causing violence, Pegida has set off a public debate on Germany’s national identity. This is long overdue. Prominent conservative politicians like Peter Tauber, the secretary general of the Christian Democratic Party, have demanded a new, clearer framework for immigration. Last week, Chancellor Angela Merkel declared that “Islam is part of Germany.” It was an assessment, rather than an ideological statement. It was the simple acknowledgment of a simple reality.