Anshel Pfeffer welcomes the place the holocaust has gained in common knowledge. But the corollary of its being publicised as a human tragedy is that it has become a phenomenon that Jews can no longer hug to themselves as their own peculiar history.
President Hollande has offered a contract to French Jews: they stay at home in France, the state will crack-down on Islamist freedom of speech. This is not done in the name of curtailing hate-speech but in terms of security. But he snubbed Netanyahu’s opportunistic invitation to all French Jews to move to safe Israel by saying this would be a victory for terrorism. Plus the 2012 Palestinian statement against antisemitism and all forms of bigotry and racism.
PM Netanyahu has been doing all he can to make Israelis feel they are in danger – Hamas is like ruthless Islamic State, if Israel is a ‘beacon’, that can only be because it’s in a dark and barbarous region, no Israeli is safe from the ‘lone wolf’ attack etc. It is on these assumptions, spoken and implicit, that Bibi is basing his electoral campaign.
PM Netanyahu has decided that the best response to the decision by the ICC to open a ‘preliminary inquiry’ into Israel is to use all means to delegitimise the court to boost his standing before the election (also post below). Any next step by the ICC will make either the USA and allies, or Arab states angry.
In modern times, Jews are the favourite minority of the British government (getting extra money for security from successive Conservative Education Minister and Home Secretary. In earlier times, Jews’ questionable loyalty to states other than Israel and their insistence on separate education and living space primed the antisemitic charge.
We are sorry to be posting the obituary of Mike Marqusee, long-time signatory of JfJfP, even longer a socialist and a cricket lover since he settled in England. His political memoir, If I am not for myself: Journey of an Anti-Zionist Jew, has been widely praised, especially for his insight into those who are Progressive Except for Palestine.
Incidents of antisemitism in the UK are low. The spike in incidents last summer recorded by the CST meant they were still low. In whose interest is it to exaggerate the threat to the safety of Jews living here? 1) the pro-Israel establishment who insist Israel is the only safe haven; 2) those whose Jewish identity is as the persecuted. Of course there is antisemitism in Britain – but stereotypes (and every social / ethnic group has a stereotype attached) should not be conflated with hostility. And as Anshel Pfeffer points out, to claim that UK antisemitism today is like the 1930s is simply hysterical.
Nothing excuses mass – or individual – killings in the name of Islam, and this post is not intended to. But as regular readers know, the most provocative acts carried out in Israel are the acts of Jewish youth – ‘price-tag graffiti’ and desecration of mosques. In the USA, the usual killers of young white people are other young white people. What ideology is to blame? And, says Gideon Levy, it was not a Muslim who sent him a chilling (and pompous) death threat.
Of course, speech cannot be restricted so only words of wisdom are spoken. The jihadists themselves like ‘spectaculars’ and maximum publicity.. But as we know, there are already legal restrictions on what can be published in the name of civic courtesy. There is no consensus on how to bring about the rule of civic courtesy.
The headline should really read ‘neither Israeli nor Palestinian’ but the phrase is too long. It refers to the decision by the distinguished former Knesset speaker Avraham Burg to join Hadash – one of the few parties to include Arabs and Jews. (He has been duly reviled in Israel for his decision). Likud is spawning break-aways like an Arctic icefield – or a far-left group. Predictions are for more far-right successes.
In distinctive ironic style, Robert Fisk mocks the PNA for applying to the ICC and thus to be accountable to for any breaches of international law. The USA and Israel have both squealed effrontery at this effrontery – but as neither of these countries has signed up the ICC, it looks as though the Palestinians are occupying the higher moral ground.
Daoud Kuttab, writing here about the international ignorance about and lack of interest in the daily plight of Palestinians is more pessimistic than Ramzy Baroud below; but agrees it’s not the occasional sensational massacre that crushes Palestinians but the enormous , impenetrable bureaucracy of control .
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