Tag: Leftwing antisemitism


What American Universities Can Learn From the UK: Mitchell Bard, Algemeiner, Feb. 28, 2017— Yesterday, I wrote about the outrageous decision by students at the University of London to deny Jewish students the right to define what constitutes hatred against their group — something that all other minority groups are allowed to do.

What Can Trump Do to Stop the BDS Movement?: Benjamin Weinthal & Asaf Romirowsky, Realclearworld, Feb. 6, 2017— In late December, with just weeks left in his administration, former U.S. President Barack Obama delivered a shot in the arm to the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement, or BDS.

There are Fascists on Campus. Protesters Don’t Realize it’s Them, Not Milo Yiannopoulos: Rex Murphy, National Post, Feb. 3, 2017— I suggest, as a corollary to Orwell’s prescient observation that (I’m paraphrasing) some things are so stupid that only an intellectual could believe them…

Welcome to the "Social Justice" University: Philip Carl Salzman, Gatestone Institute, Feb. 1, 2017— Universities used to be fonts of knowledge, charged with disseminating the known and seeking new knowledge…


On Topic Links


Rabbi Sacks on the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Campaign: Rabbi Sacks, Feb. 27, 2017

‘It’s About More Than Hummus,’ Says UC Riverside Rabbi Leading Fight Against Sabra Boycott: Rachel Frommer, Algemeiner, Feb. 1, 2017

Milo Yiannopoulos Resigns From Breitbart News: Lukas I. Alpert, Wall Street Journal, Feb. 21, 2017

Enter Milo Yiannopoulos, Progressivism’s Spawn and History’s Pendulum in Action: Barbara Kay, National Post, Feb. 14, 2017



WHAT AMERICAN UNIVERSITIES CAN LEARN FROM THE UK                                                                             Mitchell Bard

 Algemeiner, Feb. 28, 2017


Yesterday, I wrote about the outrageous decision by students at the University of London to deny Jewish students the right to define what constitutes hatred against their group — something that all other minority groups are allowed to do. Last week, in a long overdue blow to the antisemitic BDS movement, the University of Central Lancashire cancelled an event for violating the government’s definition of antisemitism.


In December 2016, the British government adopted the definition of antisemitism advanced during a conference of the Berlin-based International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance. The definition states:    Anti-Semitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of anti-Semitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.


Examples of antisemitism cited by the conference included: Accusing the Jews as a people, or Israel as a state, of inventing or exaggerating the Holocaust. Accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations. Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of the state of Israel is a racist endeavor. Applying double standards by requiring Israel to behave in a way not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation. Using the symbols and images associated with classic antisemitism (e.g., claims of Jews killing Jesus or the blood libel) to characterize Israel or Israelis. Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis. Holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the state of Israel.


The conference’s definition minimizes gray areas and confusion regarding the difference between legitimate criticism of Israel and Jew-hatred. A spokesman for the University of Central Lancashire said that the cancelled program, titled “Debunking Misconceptions on Palestine,” was called off because it contravened the government’s new definition of antisemitism, and was thus “unlawful.” Why is it so difficult for American universities to follow this example? In the US, Israel’s detractors objected to efforts to adopt the State Department’s definition of antisemitism as a means of evaluating campus activities; however, this is an international standard endorsed by the UK, a country that values free speech as much as the United States.


Based on this definition, it is clear that many activities that occur during anti-Israel weeks on college campuses — as well as many of the programs sponsored year-round by Students for Justice in Palestine — are unequivocally antisemitic. The BDS movement, for example, is antisemitic because it denies “the Jewish people their right to self-determination” and applies a double standard by requiring Israel to behave in a way that is “not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.” As I wrote yesterday, no university acknowledges a First Amendment right to bigotry — even though the Constitution protects offensive speech — except when it comes to discrimination against Jews.


UCLA communications professor Keith Fink was interviewed on TV last week and noted several examples of that school’s hypocritical interpretation of the right to free speech. In one case, top administrators condemned and took down posters connecting the anti-Israel hate group Students for Justice in Palestine with Hamas. In another, a fraternity was suspended for holding a “Kanye West” party, and the university sent a threatening letter to students warning that all lawful resources would be used against students who engaged in intimidation or harassment. Sadly, this is nothing new for UCLA, which punished a fraternity during my days on campus because it planned a “Viva Zapata” party that offended some students. UCLA is by no means unique; this is the norm across the country.


As I wrote in, “Why do antisemites get to define antisemitism?” if antisemitism is protected speech, then no university should be allowed to prevent other forms of offensive speech. But this will never happen because universities have conceded the First Amendment to pressure groups, and will not tolerate bigotry directed at the LBGTQ community, women, African Americans, Hispanics, Muslims or any other group willing to protest. Only Jews are denied protection, under the pretext that attacking Jews and Israel is permissible speech. Only Jews are denied the right to decide what constitutes hatred against the Jewish people. No more.


Administrators can no longer hide behind an arbitrary application of the First Amendment. The University of Central Lancashire has set the precedent American universities should follow. Activities that meet the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of antisemitism should be prohibited. Practically, that means universities should condemn all BDS campaigns and cancel any events on campus — especially those scheduled for the upcoming Israel hate weeks — which are antisemitic.                    





                                     Benjamin Weinthal & Asaf Romirowsky

                                                            Realclearworld, Feb. 6, 2017


In late December, with just weeks left in his administration, former U.S. President Barack Obama delivered a shot in the arm to the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement, or BDS. Obama instructed the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, to abstain instead of vetoing a U.N. Security Council resolution rebuking Israeli settlement activity. Resolution 2334 deems Israel's presence in disputed territories in the West Bank and East Jerusalem to be illicit. Combined five days later with a didactic anti-Israel speech from Secretary of State John Kerry, the resolution administered a body blow to Israel's brand.


The BDS movement, which also has an anti-American agenda, thrives on de-branding Israel as the Middle East's only free state and democracy. In short, BDS uses economic warfare in its effort to label Israel as a pariah state and to end its existence as the Jewish homeland. There are several policies that a Trump administration can pursue to retard the growth of BDS. First, the U.S. Congress should submit the Combating BDS Act of 2016 for President Trump's signature. The bipartisan legislation would permit state and local governments to penalize companies participating in BDS by pulling taxpayer money from those businesses.


Second, Trump can join other world leaders, especially those from BDS ground-zero countries in Western Europe, and declare BDS an anti-Semitic movement that runs counter to all peace efforts. Moreover, lawmakers should push through Congress The Anti-Semitism Awareness Act, introduced by Sens. Tim Scott (R-SC) and Bob Casey (D-PA). This legislation would give the U.S. Department of Education the statutory tools to examine anti-Semitic incidents in the broadest and most effective way possible. The Anti-Semitism Awareness Act mirror's the State Department's Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism definition of anti-Semitism that includes the critical language covering where anti-Israel conduct crosses the line into prejudice and discrimination. The act will enhance the Department of Education's ability to identify, investigate, and punish all forms of anti-Semitism, including anti-Zionism and anti-Israel harassment.


Third, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, can help to move the United States out of the den of the jackals and state that Resolution 2334 boosts BDS and should be discarded and disdained. Already, Rex Tillerson, the new secretary of state, was asked during his Senate nomination hearings how he would respond to BDS: He replied that he would change the relationship with countries that cooperated with the boycott movement, and that "those countries need to understand that it does shape our view of them."


Finally, U.S. ambassadors in countries where BDS is flourishing — countries such as Ireland, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Belgium — should deliver speeches in those countries condemning the movement. Moreover, the ambassadors should advocate that the European Union replicate anti-BDS legislation. France's anti-discrimination statute — the Lellouche Law — has been invoked to stop BDS activism based on its discrimination against national origin. The Lellouche Law can serve as a model for Brussels.


The BDS movement has been incorrectly viewed as exclusively anti-Israel. Take one telling example, Code Pink, an allegedly pro-peace U.S. group that is a main actor in the BDS network. Code Pink supports many of America's principal enemies — the Islamic Republic of Iran and communist North Korea, just to name a couple. There are clearly many unknowns regarding what the Trump administration will do. However, Donald Trump, speaking at last year's AIPAC Policy Conference, underscored that BDS is a real strategic threat.


Understanding the architecture of BDS and navigating universities where so such much of the BDS work is happening is not a simple task. Administrators and trustees are self-interested stakeholders devoted to seeing that peace and quiet prevail at their institutions. But faculty and students are the heart of the university. Only a small minority of both implacably opposes the existence of Israel. But this minority successfully shapes the larger university environment by playing to politically correct views on violence and supposed racism, hijacking other issues such as minority rights and fossil fuels, and cowing opponents with harassment and intimidation, false claims of persecution, and undertones of threatened violence.


The actions proposed above can help in providing concrete long-term solutions. Winning the war against BDS will require a playbook that understands the opposing players and their strengths and weaknesses.






Rex Murphy

National Post, Feb. 3, 2017


I suggest, as a corollary to Orwell’s prescient observation that (I’m paraphrasing) some things are so stupid that only an intellectual could believe them, that should you seek stupidity in depth and a full lock on all mental development, enroll in a prestige high-fee North American liberal university. Further, I hold that whatever debates may be underway about the targets of Orwell’s dystopian Nineteen Eighty-Four, the modern university is the only institution that has taken that noble work for use as a manual.


For where else are words turned quite upside down, flipped over to stand on their bruised heads and told to dance to the rigorous tunes of fanatics? For it is only on a university campus that simple, basic words are made by violence to take on their exact and opposite meanings: up is down, right is wrong, day is night, and anti-fascism is fascism.


A couple of nights ago the Twitter-banished, Trump supporter, Internet gadfly and author Milo Yiannopoulos was scheduled to give a talk at the (hilariously regarded) home of the Free Speech movement of the 1960s, Berkeley campus in Oceania, sorry, in California. If I were to characterize Yiannopoulos I’d put him down as a right-wing, more sophisticated version of Jon Stewart. He is certainly more clever. There is a relaxed quality to his goading of the politically correct hordes that Stewart’s more determined sneering never really achieved.


Milo doesn’t have a TV show (yet) but he gives talks and is on a campus tour. Naturally when he showed up at Berkeley a riot broke out. A little flavour of the evening may be gleaned from any number of sources: “Protesters armed with bricks and fireworks mounted an assault on the building hosting a speech by … Milo Yiannopoulos.”  Another: “Several injuries have been reported and at least four banks have been vandalized after demonstrators marched away from the scene of a violent protest at the cancelled speaking event by … speaker Yiannopoulos.” And just one more:  “As the gathered crowd got more agitated, masked ‘black bloc’ activists began hurling projectiles including bricks, lit fireworks and rocks at the building and police. Some used police barriers as battering rams to attack the doors of the venue, breaching at least one of the doors and entering the venue on the first floor.”


Now what do we call it when people in black uniforms and face masks storm a speaking venue, assault attendees, light fires and throw bricks at police with the express purpose of shutting down a speech? Would “fascist” work for you? In this context, and remembering it is a university campus where this outrage was perpetrated, I think fascist will serve quite nicely. And then we may advance to giving the name of the group that sponsored this giddy fit of intolerance and mayhem. They call themselves “AntiFa” which is the cute way campus blackshirts like to spell anti-fascist these days.


You see thereby what I mean by saying it is only in a university setting that words and descriptions are not only torn from their roots, mauled and variously abused, but put to service in the exact opposite of all their meaning.  For those who are little too fond of invoking an analogy with the Weimar Republic in these Trumpian days, it might be worth looking in a reverse direction at Trump’s more fanatic opponents for a more faithful deployment of the comparison. As between the well-coiffed, mild-mannered Yiannopoulos and a mob of black-clad mask-wearing brick-tossing rioters, I’d go with nominating the latter as the fascist crowd.


Righteousness staggers the angry mind. The rioters presented the “argument” that Yiannopoulos’s (aborted) talk was an act of violence, while ever so superciliously they maintained that their acts of violence were free speech.  One pureblood nitwit at the event whined that it wasn’t Milo’s talk, per se, that triggered her, but that she feared that in some future class she might unwittingly be sitting next to someone who had attended it. (Does Berkeley have an entrance exam? Does it require baying at the moon?)



More and more those who are, as it were, genetically opposed to the results of the presidential election, make the assumption that the Republican victory handed them a licence to violate all the codes of civil society and the understandings of democratic practice. That because their fellow citizens make a choice they find unpalatable they are thereby released to riot and violence and plaster their actions as heroic and noble. And of course the cringing authorities of the universities, instead of clarion denunciations of such actions, and absolute dissociation from all such charades, dance mildly down some imagined middle. Milo is a “provocateur” or he is “extreme” right wing, or that most feeble of all standbys, claiming the protest was “infiltrated” by “outsiders.”


The moral courage of some universities is at a low low ebb and their long and ancient reputation as havens of thought and intellectual regard is being travestied. There is only one real protest I would really like to see on a university campus these days: one that marched for more rigorous courses and more time in the libraries, reading. Meantime, I expect we’ll see a run on Mussolini bios.





Philip Carl Salzman

Gatestone Institute, Feb. 1, 2017


Universities used to be fonts of knowledge, charged with disseminating the known and seeking new knowledge. But progressives have brought great progress to the university: progressives know all the answers, and that the problem is not to understand the world, but to change it. Welcome to the "social justice" university. Its orientation is expressed by the School of Social Work, at Ryerson University in Toronto:


“School of Social Work is a leader in critical education, research and practice with culturally and socially diverse students and communities in the advancement of anti-oppression/anti-racism, anti-Black racism, anti- colonialism/ decolonization, Aboriginal reconciliation, feminism, anti-capitalism, queer and trans liberation struggles, issues in disability and Madness, among other social justice struggles.”


Many universities are not as candid as Ryerson, but often their positions are much the same. Many have established "equity and inclusiveness" committees to oversee "just practice," to disseminate "correct" views through literature, posters, and re-education workshops, in some cases mandatory. They also sanction faculty members who express unacceptable views. Schools of education ensure that their graduates will be inculcating their school pupils in the principles of "social justice," and in identifying the deplorable "multiphobes" in their families and communities. American schoolchildren have been taught by teachers determined to discredit America, that slavery was an American invention and existed exclusively in America — a staggeringly counter-factual account.


What do progressives intend under the label of "social justice"? What theories and policies have they made the central task of the university to advance? The first goal to be advanced is equality, by which they mean equality of result, as opposed to equality of opportunity — which is often inadequate and needs to be addressed. Thus, to advance economic equality, progressives advocate redistribution of wealth, taking money from those who have it and giving it to preferred others. ("The problem with socialism," as the late British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher pointed out, "is that sooner or later you run out of other people's money.")


Progressives also recognize that equality of result contradicts individual freedom, and that individual freedom will have to be suppressed supposedly for the collective good. Coercion is necessary to enforce social justice goals. A social justice friend recently argued that cars should be replaced by public transport, and that people should live in central cities rather than suburbs. When it was pointed out that housing and transport choices indicated North Americans seem to have a strong preference for suburbs, and that they prefer driving cars to taking public transport, he replied that they will have to be forced to live in cities and use public transport. This is an actual the plan of the United Nations, known as Agenda 21. Given the necessity of coercion to get people to do the "right" thing, progressives favour a strong central government to direct citizens' — or subjects' — lives.


Second, equality among individuals is "insufficient," and must be complemented by collective rights based on "category membership". Each category — of gender, sexual preference, national origin, culture, race, religion, and so on must be considered equal and receive equal benefits. All societal roles should therefore have an equal number of each category, either at the same time or in rotation. Equality of result also mandates that members of each category must have the same position and same benefits as all others: an equal number of men and women in government offices and in business administration. So too with members of different races, religions, sexual preferences, and so on. To balance ethnic representation in professions, Jews who want to become dentists must be forced to become police officers, while Irish men and women who wish to become police officers, must be forced to become dentists. Diversity becomes a moral end in itself.


If all variations of human beings are not present at an event or in an organization, it is seen as prejudiced and discriminating. But this does not apply to members of the majority, who are increasingly not welcome; only "diverse" members of minorities are now welcome. This applies even to history. The University of Pennsylvania English Department removed a portrait of Shakespeare, on the grounds that Shakespeare is not sufficiently diverse, and replaced it with a portrait of the black lesbian poet, Audre Lorde…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]


CIJR Wishes All Our Friends & Supporters: Shabbat Shalom!



On Topic Links


Rabbi Sacks on the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Campaign: Rabbi Sacks, Feb. 27, 2017—The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel is dangerously wrong because beneath the surface it's an attempt to delegtimize Israel as a prelude to its elimination.

‘It’s About More Than Hummus,’ Says UC Riverside Rabbi Leading Fight Against Sabra Boycott: Rachel Frommer, Algemeiner, Feb. 1, 2017—A proposed student resolution to ban Sabra company products from the dining hall of a California university “is about more than hummus,” the campus rabbi leading the opposition to the boycott told The Algemeiner.

Milo Yiannopoulos Resigns From Breitbart News: Lukas I. Alpert, Wall Street Journal, Feb. 21, 2017—Milo Yiannopoulos, a media provocateur who had become an outspoken voice in conservative politics, has resigned from the hard-right news site Breitbart News after a video surfaced in which he made remarks that appeared to condone sex between grown men and underage boys.

Enter Milo Yiannopoulos, Progressivism’s Spawn and History’s Pendulum in Action: Barbara Kay, National Post, Feb. 14, 2017—Freedom for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) is an organization that defends freedom of speech for students and academics at American universities. They’ve tracked disinvitations and speech disruptions on campus over the last 17 years and recently published their findings.












Download Today's Isranet Daily Briefing.pdf 




(Please Note: articles may have been shortened in the interest of space. Please click link for the complete article – Ed.)



Anti-Semitism in Europe: Guy Millière, Gatestone Institute, Jan. 31, 2013—Jews who can do so, leave Europe. Those who do not have the means to leave know they must be extremely careful: it is dangerous again to be a Jew in Europe. It is even more dangerous to be a Jew who supports Israel.


The European Left and Its Trouble With Jews: Colin Shindler, New York Times, Oct. 27, 2012— Today, a sizable section of the European left has been reluctant to take a clear stand when anti-Zionism spills over into anti-Semitism. Beginning in the 1990s, many on the European left began to view the growing Muslim minorities in their countries as a new proletariat and the Palestinian cause as a recruiting mechanism.

Israel Winning in Europe: Arsen Ostrovsky, Ynet News, Dec.14, 2012—Before the ink was even dry on the Palestinian vote at the UN last [November], headlines already started flooding in on how Israel 'lost Europe.' The reality however, could not be further from the truth, as Israel continues to make stunning headway in its trade and bilateral relations with the EU.


On Topic Links



'Darker Sides': The Vast Islamist Sanctuary of 'Sahelistan': Paul Hyacinthe Mben, Jan Puhl, Thilo Thielke, Der Spiegel, Jan 28, 2013

Connecting the Dots in Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya: Abukar Arman, The Commentator, Jan. 7 2013

The Mali Blowback: Patrick J. Buchanan, American Conservative, Jan. 18, 2013
Mali and the al-Qaeda Trap: Paul Rogers, Real Clear World, Jan. 25, 2013





Guy Millière

Gatestone Institute, Jan. 31, 2013


In 2012, the number of anti-Semitic crimes in France sharply increased. The six-month period that followed the March killings in a Jewish school in Toulouse were particularly harsh. The killer, Mohammed Merah, became a hero in many suburbs, his name on many graffiti. For some people, apparently, shooting children in the head just because they are Jewish is inspiring.


Although acts such as the killing in Toulouse had no equivalent elsewhere, France is not an exception: statistics show that insults, assaults, and cries of hatred against Jews multiply throughout Europe. Jewish schools, synagogues and Jewish cultural centers are everywhere threatened and urgently require more stringent security measures.


Political leaders say they are aware of the problem and are determined to act. In November, French President François Hollande said that "the struggle against anti-Semitism is a top priority." Angela Merkel used the same words a few weeks later in Germany. In the beginning of December, after a spike in verbal and physical anti-Semitic incidents in Britain, David Cameron said that he wanted to "tackle Antisemitism head on."


Words such as those were uttered many times in recent decades, but clearly had no effect. They did not reverse the trend. When European political leaders and commentators speak of anti-Semitism, they are vague and almost never give more detailed explanations. They never say why anti-Semitism is despicable and dangerous. They perform a sort of abstract ritual that seems more and more detached from reality.


On the other hand, when European political leaders and commentators are more precise, they generally refer only to a certain type of anti-Semitism: fascist anti-Semitism. Even if fascist anti-Semitism has not disappeared, it is not the most virulent anti-Semitism in Europe now, and no longer involved in much anti-Semitic crime. It is as if they are fighting a sickness by designating only one aspect of the sickness and sparing its most important dimensions.


European political leaders and commentators almost never speak of the most virulent strain of anti-Semitism in Europe today: Islamic anti-Semitism. They are afraid to combine the two words "Islamic" and "anti-Semitism." They know that if they do, they will be immediately accused of being "racist" and "Islamophobic." They know that Muslim organizations will start to say in the mainstream media that Muslims are being unfairly "stigmatized." They also know that the Muslim population in Europe is increasing quickly, and that some of its members may react with violence.


There is no fight against Islamic anti-Semitism in Europe today. If a non-Muslim bookseller wanted to sell The Protocols of the Elders of Zion in Paris, Berlin or Brussels, the police would intervene immediately, and he would be arrested and prosecuted. If a Muslim bookseller wants to do the same thing, he can, without risking anything. If a French or a German television station decided to broadcast anti-Semitic programs, it would be shut down, and it would cause a scandal. Islamic TV channels broadcast anti-Semitic programs that attract a wide audience in Europe, and nobody dares talk about it.


A further cause of anti-Semitism never evoked in Europe is the spread of "anti-Zionism." The "Palestinian cause" and the "suffering of the Palestinian People" have become the main concern of a growing number of Europeans who, strangely, are not interested in the suffering of any other people — Syrians for example. Israel has become the country that it is fashionable to hate. Widespread hatred of successive Israeli governments in Israel has led to hatred toward the Israeli population, and hatred toward the Jews in general, especially if they support Israel.


European political leaders and commentators do not fight "anti-Zionism" except when it becomes extreme and when its anti-Semitic dimension becomes impossible to hide. Many seem to have anti-Israel prejudices and consciously or unconsciously contribute to the spread of this hatred. Anti-Semitism in Europe today is like a complex dark nebula. It includes remnants of fascist anti-Semitism and increasing levels of Islamic anti-Semitism, with "Anti-Zionism" added to the mix. Fascist anti-Semites, to hide their anti-Semitism, often join "anti-Zionist" movements, where they work hand in hand with Islamic anti-Semites to organize protests against Israel. Islamic anti-Semites use elements of fascist propaganda and disseminate them without any barrier….


Jews who can do so, leave Europe. Those who do not have the means to leave know they must be extremely careful: it is dangerous again to be a Jew in Europe. It is even more dangerous to be a Jew who supports Israel.


Jews who publicly despise Israel, or who say that the Jewish people does not exist, are widely praised. What Theodor Lessing called "Jüdische Selbsthass" (Jewish self-hatred), in a book published in Germany in 1930, impregnates the atmosphere again.  Calling to mind the darkest period of the history of Europe may seem pessimistic. And those who say that history does not repeat itself are probably right, but certain forms of malevolence seem particularly able to find new clothing to survive and thrive again. In an interview in a French magazine a few years ago, a man who survived the death camp in Auschwitz said: "In the 1930s, the pessimists found ways to survive; it was the optimists who died."


Top of Page






Colin Shindler

New York Times, Oct. 27, 2012


Last week, Twitter shut down a popular account for posting anti-Semitic messages in France. This came soon after the firing of blanks at a synagogue near Paris, the discovery of a network of radical Islamists who had thrown a hand grenade into a kosher restaurant, and the killing of a teacher and young pupils at a Jewish school in Toulouse earlier this year. The attacks were part of an escalating campaign of violence against Jews in France.


Today, a sizable section of the European left has been reluctant to take a clear stand when anti-Zionism spills over into anti-Semitism. Beginning in the 1990s, many on the European left began to view the growing Muslim minorities in their countries as a new proletariat and the Palestinian cause as a recruiting mechanism. The issue of Palestine was particularly seductive for the children of immigrants, marooned between identities.


Capitalism was depicted as undermining a perfect Islamic society while cultural imperialism corrupted Islam. The tactic has a distinguished revolutionary pedigree. Indeed, the cry, “Long live Soviet power, long live the Shariah,” was heard in Central Asia during the 1920s after Lenin tried to cultivate Muslim nationalists in the Soviet East once his attempt to spread revolution to Europe had failed. But the question remains: why do today’s European socialists identify with Islamists whose worldview is light-years removed from their own?


In recent years, there has been an increased blurring of the distinction between Jew, Zionist and Israeli. Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of the militant group Hezbollah, famously commented: “If we searched the entire world for a person more cowardly, despicable, weak and feeble in psyche, mind, ideology and religion, we would not find anyone like the Jew. Notice I do not say the Israeli.”


Whereas historically Islam has often been benevolent toward Jews, compared to Christianity, many contemporary Islamists have evoked the idea of “the eternal Jew.” For example, the Battle of Khaybar in 629, fought by the Prophet Muhammad against the Jewish tribes, is recalled in victory chants at Hezbollah rallies: “Khaybar, Khaybar, O Jews, the army of Muhammad will return,” and the name Khaybar sometimes graces Hezbollah rockets aimed at Israel….


The old left in Europe was forged in the struggle against local fascists in the 1930s. Most of Europe experienced a brutal Nazi occupation and bore witness to the atrocities of the Holocaust. The European left strongly identified with Jewish suffering and therefore welcomed the birth of the state of Israel in 1948. Some viewed the struggle for Israel in the same light as the fight for freedom in the Spanish Civil War.


But the succeeding generation of the European left did not see things this way. Its frame of reference was the anticolonial struggle — in Vietnam, South Africa, Rhodesia and a host of other places. Its hallowed icon was not the soldier of the International Brigades who fought against Franco in Spain, but Che Guevara — whose image adorned countless student bedrooms. Anticolonialism further influenced myriad causes, from America’s Black Panthers in the 1960s to Hugo Chávez’s Bolivarian revolution in Venezuela today.


It began with Israel’s exclusion from the ranks of the nonaligned nations more than 50 years ago, when Arab states refused to attend a 1955 nonaligned conference in Indonesia if an Israeli delegate was present. The Jewish state was snubbed in favour of such feudal kingdoms as Saudi Arabia, Libya and Yemen. And Israel’s collusion with imperial powers like Britain and France during the Suez crisis the following year cemented its ostracism….


Amid this rising hostility toward Israel, the French philosopher and political activist Jean-Paul Sartre advocated a different way forward. He was scarred by the memory of what had happened to France’s Jews during World War II — the discrimination, betrayals, deportations and exterminations. He understood the legitimacy of Israel’s war for independence and later commented that the establishment of the state of Israel was one of the few events “that allows us to preserve hope.” Yet Sartre also strongly supported Algeria’s fight for independence from France.


This double legacy of supporting Israel and the Algerian struggle symbolized the predicament of the entire postwar European left. Sartre argued that the left shouldn’t choose between two moral causes and that it was up to the Jews and the Arabs to resolve their conflict through discussion and negotiation. Sartre tried to create a space for a dialogue, lending his name and prestige to private and public meetings between the two sides such as the Comité Israël-Palestine in the 1970s. His approach reached its apogee with the many quiet meetings between Israelis and Palestinians in Europe that eventually led to the Oslo accords.


But Sartre’s vision was stymied as Israeli settlements proliferated after 1977, strengthening the left’s caricature of Israel as an imperialist power and a settler-colonial enterprise. Some prominent voices on the European left have mouthed time-honoured anti-Semitic tropes in their desire to appear supportive of the Palestinian cause. Ken Livingstone, a former newspaper editor and mayor of London, has a long history of insensitive remarks about Jews — from publishing a cartoon in 1982 of Menachem Begin, then Israel’s prime minister, in Gestapo uniform atop a pile of Palestinian skulls to likening a known Jewish reporter to “a concentration camp guard” 20 years later. Today, he contributes to Press TV, the English-language outlet for the Iranian government.


Sometimes the left distinguishes between vulnerable European Jews who have been persecuted and latter-day “Prussians” in Israel. Yet it is often forgotten that a majority of Israelis just happen to be Jews, who fear therefore that what begins with the delegitimization of the state will end with the delegitimization of the people.


Such Israelophobia, enunciated by sections of the European left, dovetailed neatly with the rise of Islamism among Palestinians and throughout the Arab world. The Islamist obfuscation of “the Jew” mirrored the blindness of many a European Marxist. Despite the well-intentioned efforts of many Jews and Muslims to put aside their differing perspectives on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the offensive imagery of “the Jew” has persisted in many immigrant communities in Western Europe. Islamists were willing to share platforms with socialists and atheists, but not with Zionists.


The New Left’s profound opposition to American power, and the convergence of reactionary Islamists and unquestioning leftists was reflected in the million-strong London protest against the invasion of Iraq in 2003. It was organized by the Muslim Association of Britain, the Trotskyist Socialist Workers Party and the Stalinist Communist Party of Britain. When some Muslims voiced apprehension about participating in the protest with non-Muslims, the M.A.B. leadership decreed that it was religiously permissible if halal food was provided and men and women were given separate areas. Such displays of “reactionary clericalism,” as the early Bolsheviks would have called it, were happily glossed over.


Sartre understood that the conflict was not simply between Israelis and Palestinians, but between those advocating peace on both sides and their rejectionists. This conflict within the conflict is something that many on Europe’s left, as they ally themselves with unsavoury forces, still fail to comprehend.

Instead, the swallowing up of both the Israeli and Palestinian peace camps by political polarization has accelerated the closing of the progressive mind. And static fatalism has allowed the assailant of synagogue congregants and the killer of young children to fill the vacuum.


Colin Shindler is an emeritus professor at the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies.


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Arsen Ostrovsky

Ynet News, Dec.14, 2012

Before the ink was even dry on the Palestinian vote at the UN last [November], headlines already started flooding in on how Israel 'lost Europe.' The reality however, could not be further from the truth, as Israel continues to make stunning headway in its trade and bilateral relations with the EU….


Regrettably, when commentators lament how Israel has 'lost' Europe, they overlook the impressive list of achievements by this [Israeli] government in the past four years. For example, in May 2010 the OECD unanimously voted to invite Israel to join the organization. This was no small achievement, and came despite intensive lobbying by the Palestinians. Even countries like Norway, Spain and Ireland, traditionally the most hostile to Israel in Europe, voted in favor.


In September 2011 Israel became the first non-European member of CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, while in July this year the EU and Israel signed a memorandum of understanding to deepen their scientific cooperation in the fields of energy and water desalination, where Israel is a world leader.


Moreover, in October the European Parliament ratified the ACAA agreement (Agreement on Conformity Assessment and Acceptance of Industrial Products) with Israel. The agreement is unprecedented in that it recognizes Israel’s industrial standards as equivalent to those in Europe, especially in healthcare, and is a prime example of a 'win-win' situation for both Europe and Israel.


According to David Saranga, the head of European Parliament Liaison Department for the Israeli Mission to the EU:  "The ACAA protocol will eliminate technical barriers to trade by facilitating the mutual recognition of assessment procedures. This will in turn help lead to facilitating imports of high-quality, low-cost Israeli medicines into the EU, while at the same time increasing medicinal choice for European patients and healthcare professionals."


In the last few years, Israel has also held an increasing number of government-to-government meetings at the highest level of Cabinet with various European allies, including the Czechs, Italy, Poland, Bulgaria and Germany (with whom Israel is meeting in Berlin this week). As a result of these meetings, Israel has signed a number of significant bilateral agreements in areas of high-tech, green energy, culture and the sciences.

This year alone, Israel has signed multi-billion dollar gas deals with Cyprus and Greece; Israel’s Aerospace Industries has secured two contracts worth nearly $1 billion to provide Italy with air force military equipment; whilst the past year has also been Israel’s “best tourism year ever”, with more than 3.5 million visitors to the Holy Land – most of whom have come from European countries.


Importantly, in 2011 the EU was Israel's largest trading partner, with total trade amounting to approximately €29.4 billion for the year – an increase of 45% from 2009; and this came during the midst of an unprecedented financial crisis in Europe. Achievements like this do not come easily, nor do they occur overnight. Whilst the United States will always remain Israel's most important ally, the Foreign Ministry, under the present political leadership, has made a concerted effort to reach out to allies in Europe (and elsewhere) that had been neglected in the past.

Perhaps the key factor though behind Israel’s success in Europe has been its ability to successfully extricate 'the conflict' from their bilateral relations.  Previously, there had been a direct correlation between how the conflict was progressing and Israel's trade relations. Today, Israel has created an environment in which its bilateral agreements are increasingly judged on trade merits alone, while membership in international organizations is based on the same criteria as for every other nation – that is, what can Israel contribute by way of skills, experience and expertise. No, Israel has not 'lost' Europe. Rather, Israel is 'winning' in Europe.


 Arsen Ostrovsky is an International Human Rights Lawyer and freelance journalist.

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Neo-Fascism's Stunning Rise in Europe: Barry Strauss, Real Clear World, October 5, 2012—The past weighs heavily on us. That’s the message that I got during the first week of a sabbatical in southern Europe. Two incidents, one in Rome and the other outside Athens, showed this roving historian firsthand the real presence of neo-Fascism. 


Europe: The World’s New Superpower: Anne Applebaum, National Post, Jan 28, 2013—“A decade of war is now ending,” U.S. President Barack Obama declared Monday. Maybe that’s true in America, but it isn’t true anywhere else. Extremists are still plotting acts of terror. Authoritarian and autocratic regimes are still using violence to preserve their power. The United States can step back from international conflicts, but that won’t make them disappear.


Mali War Exposes Europe's Security Shortcomings: By Alexandra de Hoop Scheffer & Martin Michelot, Real Clear World, Jan. 18, 2013—Since the intervention in Libya in 2011, which highlighted strong dissensions between France and Germany in the conduct of military engagement, Europeans have been waiting for a new opportunity to prove they could unite around a common objective, away from Brussels and the near-constant series of crisis meetings.


The Weimar Union: Walter Laqueur, The New Republic, July 13, 2012—The public discussion of Europe’s economic crisis has carried a curious air of repression: When commentators have worried about worst-case scenarios—the scenarios that harken back to the dark moments in the Continent’s history—they have generally been dismissed as alarmist.


The Blood Libel That Won’t Quit: Nathalie Rothschild, Tablet Magazine, Dec. 3, 2012—In 2009, the Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet ran a story alleging that members of the Israel Defense Forces had stolen the organs of up to 69 Palestinians who died in their custody. Titled “Our sons are plundered of their organs” it accused the IDF of having conducted “macabre operations” in the Occupied Territories during the early 1990s.



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