Website policy


We provide links to articles we think will be of interest to our supporters, informing them of issues, events, debates and the wider context of the conflict. We are sympathetic to much of the content of what we post, but not to everything. The fact that something has been linked to here does not necessarily mean that we endorse the views expressed in it.
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Leon Rosselson, letter to the Guardian, 28 July 2014

“Before the current round of violence, the West Bank had been relatively quiet for years,” writes Jonathan Freedland (Israel’s fears are real, but this war is utterly self-defeating, 26 July). According to B’Tselem, the Israeli human rights centre, 90 West Bank Palestinians were killed, 16 of them children, by the IDF or by settlers between January 2009 and May 2014. According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, there have been 2,100 settler attacks since 2006, involving beatings, shootings, vandalising schools, homes, mosques, churches and destroying olive groves. According to Amnesty International, between January 2011 and December 2013, Israeli violence resulted in injuries to 1,500 Palestinian children. “Relatively quiet” for whom?
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Posts

The deaf and blind hawkers of the ‘anti-Israel is antisemitic’ myth

There seems to be an expectation that when Israel is on the warpath, hostility to all Jews will burst out. Of course it doesn’t help that the Jewish establishments in Europe and the USA identify with Israel – but in the Anglophone world at least there are scores of Jewish groups which shout loudly Not in My Name. This is heard by fellow demonstrators and the two writers here who insist opposing Israeli policy is not antisemitic.

Consider the effects of Israeli actions on diaspora Jews.

There is historic antisemitism based on punitive Christian fantasies; there is modern antisemitism which is more often a response to actuality – punitive measures against Arab muslims carried out in the name of the state of all Jews, viz Israel. One Israeli think-tank has been warning of the effects of Israeli policies on Jews outside Israel since 2002 but it has yet to be grasped by the Israeli government.

Neither side is distinguishing between Israel, Jews and Zionism

The distinguished French Moroccan writer Tahar ben Jelloun deplores a rise in antisemitism in France, deplores the failure amongst the young to distinguish between Jews and Israel, Jewish and Zionist. Israeli colonialism, arrogance and impunity makes it worse. Only a Palestinian state will bring security he says.

The effect of Gaza on attitudes towards Jews

antonylerman

There has been some hysteria in recent weeks about “a tide of antisemitism” engulfing Europe in the wake of the war on Gaza.
Here Tony Lerman republishes a piece by Stephen Belier which reflects on what is happening: “Let us call these protests ‘anti-Israeli’, ‘anti-Zionist’, or even, at a stretch, ‘anti-Jewish’, but I do not think they have the same causation as historic antisemitism, and it is misleading to continue dragging this term in here.”

How to criticise Israeli policies

An anonymous blog, written in 2011 or 2012, titled This is not Jewish has been trending – often retweeted – on Twitter this week reports a BBC department. It is not known whether that indicates anxiety or confidence about criticising Israeli policies. One of Germany’s best-known experts on antisemitism says panic about antisemitism should not be confused with any actual increase in its incidence.

Former ally Turkey blasts Israel for genocidal intention

Protesters burn Israeli flag outside consulate (Photo: AP)

Before the raid on the Mavi Marmara by the IDF (nine people killed) Turkey and Israel had cordial relations, with Turkey being a favourite tourist destination for Israelis. Since then, PM Erdogan has been establishing himself as a defender of moderate Islam in the Middle East. Anti-Israeli, pro-Palestinian feeling is still strong in Turkey, which tips over into antisemitism in some quarters. Can Erdogan keep the lid on it, or is he – or the Israeli press – stoking it?

European far-right seen as safer for Israel

Victories for the far-right in the EU elections, despite their antisemitic record, have caused little concern in Israel writes Ben Caspit. It might boost immigration to Israel – and the far-right shares Israeli hostility to all things Muslim, including/despite the Islamic antisemitic strain.

Test your antisemitism; no facts needed

Those of us who are concerned about actual cultures or incidences of antisemitism should be comforted by the findings of the ADL’s survey, trumpeted as a shocking finding of global antisemitism. With the help of the Wall Street Journal and Amira Hass we can find out what was skilfully omitted from the report.

Need to ‘prove’ global antisemitism meets contempt

The Anti-Defamation League’s new survey ‘proving’ antisemitism is thriving across the world makes ADL very happy; as Anshel Pfeffer said, many Jewish institutions exist only because they have the money to perpetuate the past. Antisemitism exists – but Jews are subjected to a different form of racism than eg, Native Americans, Mexicans, gypsies. ADL’s means of revealing global antisemitism are questioned. And which group does not have a stereotype?

Jewish Chronicle called out on charge of RIBA antisemitism

RIBA HQ

The vote by the RIBA council to call for the suspension of the Israeli architects’ association from the international body has rightly created much discussion. Only the Jewish Chronicle has interpreted the vote as evidence of antisemitism. As Richard Kuper points out for JfJfP, to misuse this grave charge is to undermine serious work against antisemitism. Letters, editorials, news. And are there no non-Jewish architects in Israel? If so, why not?

Security forces harm and frighten children? What a wicked lie!

In report after report legal, medical and welfare bodies have picked out the terrorising treatment of Palestinian children by the Israeli military. The Four Corners programme of the Australian Broadcasting Commission went to find out and came back with a report, broadcast in February , which provoked a furore. Here its truth is attested to by Breaking the Silence and the reporter, who is attacked by Conservatives & Jewish establishment.

Is antisemitism at play in Russia/Ukraine conflict?

The crisis between Russia and Ukraine has provoked much talk of antisemitism. But whether or not antisemitism is thought to be a factor splits along left/right lines. Thus Jewish agencies who are usually quick to cry ‘antisemitism’ dismiss the charge, while leftists, who remember the eager collaboration of Ukraine with the Nazis see antisemitism as a key to the conflict. Is this just a Jew-centric view of history or is antisemitism a live force in Ukraine?

How to become an antisemite – one easy move

‘It’s like drugs, this anti-Semitism stuff. You start with something small, like avoiding herbs from Gush Etzion, and before you know it you’re foaming at the mouth and mainlining Mein Kampf’. Jewish Israeli Roy Isacowitz discovers, to his surprise, that he’s an antisemite – according to his Leader (PM Netanyahu) that is. According to aforesaid PM, support for BDS is antisemitic. ‘The only democracy in the Middle East’ + proper home for all Jews, classifies all critics as antisemites.

BDS movement is manipulative, antisemitic and anti-peace says top Israeli minister

Seriously alarmed by the growing strength of the European BDS movement, Israeli politicians and their American supporters are pulling out every argument to ‘delegitimise’ the movement. Here Yosef Kuperwasser is on a tour to insist the movement is not only antisemitic and trying to delegitimise Israel but, by depending on popular ignorance about Israel’s occupation, is deliberately misleading the public.

Anti-Muslim and anti-Jewish racisms have become a global common sense

The idea that global events can be explained by prejudice against Jews or Muslims is alarming. Antisemitism is an accepted term, Islamophobia isn’t (that too can seem ‘common sense’). But how far these prejudices are alive in Britain is disputed. Participants in a conference on anti-Muslim/ anti-Jewish racisms raise the issues. One is the extent to which ‘western values’ of democracy, individual choice and rights can be used authentically to defend Muslim customs.

BDS supporter accused of antisemitism

The British-born director of Sydney’s Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies is being threatened with a prosecution for racial discrimination. His offence was to have refused to sponsor an application for a fellowship from an Israeli academic at the Hebrew University. As a supporter of BDS he did not believe there should be support for an institution that was implicated in the occupation. The complaint has been made by a strange Israeli law centre and taken up as an instance of antisemitism by The Australian, amongst others who like life to be simple.

Milking fear of the alien Jew to attack Labour

Paul Dacre did as Paul Dacre does – set his staff to hunt for anything that would destroy the leader of the Labour Party. If the best they can come up with is a diary entry from his teenage Dad on arriving in a strange and unwelcoming country they are scraping the bottom of the snake pit. Ralph Miliband’s critique of Britain was, and is shared, by millions on the left in Britain. His ‘evil legacy’ included a critique of the inherent limitations of parliamentary socialism and condemnation of Soviet-style rule. Evil? This is the sort of adjective that has been applied to other prominent Jews in Britain – Michael Howard had ‘something of the night about him’; Peter Mandelson was a ‘Prince of Darkness’. Such epithets are absorbed by, at the least, Daily Mail readers to make the Jewish subject of them fit an antisemitic stereotype of alien and untrustworthy.

Don’t tell us what to do – right wing draws its line against Miliband

There are some who wholly defend the Daily Mail’s attack on Ralph/Ed Miliband – it’s called, in the jargon, being ‘robust’. These include Alex Brummer, the Mail’s Jewish City editor and Michael Gove, (the right to be raucous). In a more nuanced piece, David Herman thinks the attack was vicious and inaccurate but not antisemitic. Miliband said the Mail had ‘crossed a line of common decency’ but did not call for press regulation.

Israeli actions fuel antisemitism – a tragic irony

It would be wrong to ‘excuse’ antisemitism by blaming Israel – everyone has a responsibility to distinguish between that state’s policy and Jewish people. But the unjust status quo, enforced by Israel and supported by the US doesn’t help. TA Ridout on how emotions cloud and distort efforts to get justice for Palestinians and any sort of peace.

Flawed birth and body of Declaration against antisemitism

One of the oddest groups to have come to life in recent years is the ICCA – the Inter-parliamentary Coalition for Combating Antisemitism. Little-known outside the world of Commonwealth parliaments (mainly Canada and Australia) and the Israeli foreign ministry, it seems to do little, and that little is to slap down criticisms of Israeli policy as the ‘new antisemitism’. Its Declaration has been signed by the Labour, LibDem and Conservative party leaders.