From Bret Stephens at WSJournal Online [via MK]:
When someone in Sweden feels they must take down an Israeli flag to reduce the risk of harm to their family and yet a neighbour there has no qualms about showing a Palestinian flag, it might not be anti-Semitism.
But it probably is.
Read this, about what happened when a Swedish journalist traveled with an Israeli flag sewn on her suitcase. After describing the vandalism of her suitcase and its contents, she adds,
I get the call a few days later. That tension I always have from looking over my shoulder has started to release, I’m on the beach sipping coffee and reading some book I was sure to forget the minute I put it down. The voice on the other end is damp with resignation. My friend tells me that Sweden ever so quickly has gone from so-called anti-Zionism to open anti-Semitism, and that no one seems to care. Every day it gets worse, every minute the tone shifts and the shadows grow more ominous. ...I just can’t live like this any longer. I can’t accept that life consists of long periods of fear and despair, interrupted by the short bursts of happiness I get when I come back to Israel. I can’t raise my kids to hide who they are, I can’t usher them into a society that teaches them they are the other and that being less of who they are is the key to survival....
I got back to Sweden yesterday and something has changed, the shift is so tangible. Within me, yes, but also in the world around me. I take down my Israeli flag that I so proudly hung from my balcony. I’m told it is no longer safe, and I have to make a choice between being open and keeping my children safe. The Palestinian flag hanging from my neighbor’s window is still visible across the courtyard. I notice the injustice, but the outrage is replaced with sadness and fatigue.
It isn't all just anti-Israel. It isn't all pro-Hamas. It isn't all Islamofascism. There has been a re-emergence of anti-Semitism in Europe [and elsewhere?] that is undeniable and undeniably wrong. From Slate,
A recent Anti-Defamation League survey found that 24 percent of the French population and 21 percent of the German population harbor some anti-Semitic attitudes. A recent study of anti-Semitic letters received by Germany’s main Jewish organization found that 60 percent of the hate mail came from well-educated Germans. So this isn’t just a problem with young, disaffected Muslim men.
After all, the two worst recent incidents of violence against Jews in Europe—the killing of three children and a teacher in a 2012 attack on a Jewish school in Toulouse and the shooting of three people at a Jewish museum in Brussels in May—took place during times when there wasn’t much news coming out of Israel. Continentwide statistics on anti-Semitic incidents leading up to the most recent uptick don’t show much of an overall trend—in Britain, anti-Semitic violence is becoming less common while online abuse is becoming more frequent—or a correlation with events in Israel and Palestine. ...
Europe’s anti-Semitism problem may be more open and obvious when Middle Easter violence in the news, then, but it’s not simply a reaction to whatever’s going on in Israel. Rather, it’s always just below the surface, threatening to bubble over.
Let me add to this list: now ask the same questions of journalists reporting from Israel about the Israel-Hamas war.
My bet about the results: there is one heck of a lot more freedom of the press and one heck of a lot less intimidation in Israel than there is in Gaza.
And, if that is the case, it should raise questions about the news reports about the war, especially those filed from Gaza.
I find #5 particularly worth considering:
5. Israel’s political leadership has done little in recent years to make their cause seem appealing. It is impossible to convince a Judeophobe that Israel can do anything good or useful, short of collective suicide. But there are millions of people of good will across the world who look at the decision-making of Israel’s government and ask themselves if this is a country doing all it can do to bring about peace and tranquility in its region. Hamas is a theocratic fascist cult committed to the obliteration of Israel. But it doesn’t represent all Palestinians. Polls suggest that it may very well not represent all of the Palestinians in Gaza. There is a spectrum of Palestinian opinion, just as there is a spectrum of Jewish opinion.
I don’t know if the majority of Palestinians would ultimately agree to a two-state solution. But I do know that Israel, while combating the extremists, could do a great deal more to buttress the moderates. This would mean, in practical terms, working as hard as possible to build wealth and hope on the West Bank. A moderate-minded Palestinian who watches Israel expand its settlements on lands that most of the world believes should fall within the borders of a future Palestinian state might legitimately come to doubt Israel’s intentions. Reversing the settlement project, and moving the West Bank toward eventual independence, would not only give Palestinians hope, but it would convince Israel’s sometimes-ambivalent friends that it truly seeks peace, and that it treats extremists differently than it treats moderates. And yes, I know that in the chaos of the Middle East, which is currently a vast swamp of extremism, the thought of a West Bank susceptible to the predations of Islamist extremists is a frightening one. But independence—in particular security independence—can be negotiated in stages. The Palestinians must go free, because there is no other way.
During an anti-Israel demonstration in Paris, mobs attacked synogogues chanting in French "Slaughter the Jews."
[L]ast Sunday in the French capital during a demonstration against Israel’s Operation Protective Edge [s]ome of the marchers broke off and made a beeline for two centrally located synagogues.
The worst incident occurred at the Don Isaac Abravanel Synagogue on Rue de la Roquette (in the heavily Jewish 11th arrondissement). A mob donning keffiyehs, waving jihadist flags and wielding clubs and chairs grabbed from nearby sidewalk cafés tried to storm the synagogue and harm the worshipers trapped inside. Police and Jewish security volunteers fought them. Some Jewish defenders and officers were wounded in the melee.
The attackers chanted “Death to the Jews” in French, along with the Arabic Itbach el-Yahud (“Slaughter the Jews”). The siege on the synagogue lasted for well over an hour.
That sure sounds like anti-Semitism to me.
Albania was the only European country whose Jewish population after the Holocaust was far larger than that before the Holocaust.
Although a predominantly Muslim country, Albania practices a tradition known as Besa, or faith, in which hospitality and taking care of the needs of others and ensuring their safety and security is paramount.
The first Jews came to Albania in the second century CE and, according to Ditmir, there has never been any history of anti-Semitism in the country.
“Nations that have suffered themselves understand the pain and suffering of others,” said Bushati, adding that Albania demonstrates the goodwill of one nation to another and serves as a model of tolerance and compassion.
Albania’s accession to the European Union will be reviewed this week, and if all goes well, the country will not only be a beneficiary but will also be able to influence European policy against the spread of anti-Semitism, Bushati said in response to a question.
When grade 8 students play games and taunt Jewish students with "get in the oven", that's anti-Semitism, not just bullying.
Apologies. I omitted a link to the article. I'm not sure if this is the one, but there were several.
Recently, Milos Zeman, President of the Czech Republic, made a very strong statement about Islam, Israel, and Anti-Semitism [via MA]. Here are some excerpts:
“The only holiday of independence which I can never leave out is the celebration of the independence of the Jewish State of Israel,” Zeman said.
“There are other nations with whom we share the same values, whether it’s free elections or a free market economy, but no one is threatening to delete those states from the map. No one shoots at their border towns and no one wants to see the citizens of those nations driven out of their country.”
“There is a term called political correctness and I consider it to be a euphemism for political cowardice. So I refuse to be cowardly.”
“It is necessary to name the enemy of human civilization and this enemy is international terrorism associated with religious fundamentalism and religious intolerance. ...
“I am not reassured by the claims that this is the work of only a small fringe group. Quite the contrary. I believe that xenophobia, racism and anti-Semitism stems from the essential ideology that these fanatical groups are based on.”
“And let me provide a proof of this assertion in a quote from one of its sacred texts. ‘The Jews will hide behind stones and trees. Then the tree will call out, ‘A Jew hides behind me, come and kill him.’ The stone will call out, ‘A Jew hides behind me, come and kill him.’
“I criticized those who call for the killing of the Arabs, but I don’t know of about any mass movement that calls for the mass murder of Arabs. I do however know of an anti-civilizational movement which calls for the mass murder of the Jews.”
“One of the articles in the Hamas Charter calls for killing Jews.”
“Do we really want to pretend that this is only a small group of extremists? Can we really be politically correct and insist that they are all good and that only a tiny number of the extremists and fundamentalists are committing these crimes?” [emphasis added]
Sir Nicholas Winton recently turned 105. He is credited with having saved the lives of over 600 children in 1938-39, most of them Jewish, by arranging trains to carry them out of Czechslovakia and arranging foster homes for them in England. From the Guardian [via MA]:
Whenever people accuse Israel of practicing apartheid, I am flabbergasted. What about all the serious discrimination that goes on in all the other countries of the middle east?
From this column [via MA]:
The dirty little secret is out. It is the Arab countries, not Israel, that have to be considered apartheid states. ...
It is easy to illustrate the general behavior of denial of rights by Arabs by specific reference to racial, ethnic, religious, and gender discrimination against black Africans, the Kurds, Christians and Jews, and women. It is more potent to illustrate it by actions or non-actions regarding the Palestinians, the very people regarded as being “oppressed” by Israel.
One telling feature is the frequent refusal, usually for financial reasons, of Arab hospitals to provide medical treatment for Palestinians, compared with the hospitality of Israeli hospitals that have treated thousands of Palestinians every year, even wounded would-be suicide bombers, from the West Bank and Gaza.
The policy of Arab apartheid was made clear by the Arab League's Resolution 1457 of 1959. Though there is supposed to be an “Arab nation,” the Arab countries would not grant citizenship to applicants of Palestinian origin deliberately in order to prevent their assimilation into the host countries.
A statement by Mahmoud Abbas, published in the official PLO journal in March 1976, complains of this policy. The Arab armies that invaded Israel “forced [the Palestinians] to leave their homeland, imposed on them a political and ideological blockade and threw them into prisons similar to the ghettos in which the Jews used to live in Eastern Europe.” [emphasis added]
In Syria, Palestinian refugees in 1954 were granted partial rights, though not political rights. For many years they were not allowed to hold property, and they have never been allowed to become citizens. The Assad regime, controlled by the Alawites, 14 percent of the population, are in charge not only of the government, but of a considerable part of business.
The Kurds have traditionally been excluded from the political, economic, and cultural life of the country and have been subjected to denial of basic human rights, to persecution, to mass murder, and to arbitrary police behavior. ...
Jordan has been the only Arab country to grant citizenship to Palestinians, but since 1988 it has arbitrarily withdrawn that nationality without notice from thousands. In 1983, Jordan introduced different color-coded travel cards for Palestinians to and from the West Bank.
This has created different levels of citizenship rights, in access to education at all levels, and in fees for drivers’ licenses. Above all, Palestinian non-nationals require a residency permit, thus suffering in the job market. They still are generally not allowed to practice some of the organized professions.
The claim that Israel is an apartheid state has always been a malicious falsehood.
From the National Post [via Jack]:
My own belief is that the BDS people and their fellow travellers, whatever their background, are anti-Semites. They do all they can to stigmatize the Jewish state and reduce its ability to defend itself. They know that Israel is surrounded by neighbours who will never recognize its existence, much less sign a treaty developed in a “peace process” quarterbacked by Washington. The Palestinians and the Arab states who claim to support them are not hoping for a more generous Israel or a BDS-approved Israel or an Israel willing to hand over the West Bank. They are working for a day when Israel will be gone forever.
In order to satisfy this generation’s anti-Semites, Israel must meet standards that no other country in the world has ever met or ever will. At the United Nations Israel is condemned more often than all other countries combined.
It is, of course, an imperfect democracy, like Canada and all other free countries, and its human rights record could certainly be improved. But its treatment of Palestinians has never been even remotely comparable to China’s oppression of Tibetans or Saudi Arabia’s treatment of women, two among many outrageous practices that apparently never trouble the students who direct their anger at Israel.
In devising their purposes the BDS campaigners have never shown even the beginning of a sense of proportion. It’s remarkable that the world needs a 29-year-old movie star to point this out.
Every once in awhile someone asks me why I am such a strong Israelphile and why I frequently raise the issue of anti-Semitism here on the blog. Things like this are one reason. From the article quoted there,
In another stage of the Passover celebrations, [the Jews] combined the preparation of matzas and the offering up of sacrifices with their enmity towards non-Jews, especially Christians, and mixed the blood of one of their victims into the matza [dough. This was done] especially on Passover, Purim and circumcision rituals. They also used blood in acts of sorcery and witchcraft...
...The draining of the victims' blood is done in [several ways. One method is] by means of a barrel lined with needles. This is a barrel the size of the victim's body, with sharp needles that stick into all his limbs when he is placed in it, so that his blood slowly trickles down from every part of his body. This entails excruciating torment, which gives pleasure to the Jews who become drunk with joy at the sight of the blood dripping from the victim's [body] to the bottom of the barrel and into a container placed there to collect it. [Another method] is to slaughter the victim like a sheep and collecting his blood in a vessel, or else slashing the victim's veins in numerous places so that the blood flows from the wounds into the vessels. Then the blood is handed to a rabbi who prepares a matza laced with human blood in order to please the Jewish god, Jehovah, who thirsts for blood. The Jews can rejoice in their holidays only if they eat matza laced with the blood of non-Jews. [emphasis added]
I once had a friend tell me all about the Protocols of the Elders of Zion as if that fabrication was factual. So I did some internet searches, discovered it was a fraud, printed off the results, and took them to him. His wife looked at him critically then as if to say, "See, I told you so."
The Elder of Ziyon makes some telling points about the recent attack on people (not all Jews, it turned out) at Jewish centres in Overland, Kansas.
In general, the US is a great place for Jews to live. Jews have little to fear in most of their communities. It is not at all like many places in Europe or in the Arab world.
But antisemitism exists, both from the right and the left, and it regularly manifests itself with extreme violence.
Yet when was the last time antisemitism merited a front page story in a major newspaper or magazine?
Time Magazine in 2010 had a cover story on Islamophobia. As I noted then, the number of antisemitic incidents in the US in 2010 dwarfed the number of anti-Muslim incidents.
Unless I am mistaken, there has not been a single Muslim fatality due to an anti-Muslim hate crime in the US since 9/11. (One Sikh was killed in an anti-Muslim attack and two other Sikhs were killed since 9/11 under unclear circumstances, plus a horrific murder of six Sikhs who were killed by a white supremacist.) .)
There is real hate out there in the US, and real people willing to kill people in service of that hate. And the objects of that deadly hate are not Muslims.
Outside of occasional stories like these, you wouldn't know that.
As most readers know, I am a gentile who strongly supports the continuing existence of Israel. And as many readers know, it can be difficult to distinguish anti-Israel arguments from anti-semitic statements. Robert Fine does a superb job of helping to distinguish the two here [via MA]. One of his key arguments, for me, is this:
The academic boycott fails to make a distinction crucial to all radical political thought: that between civil society and the state. The academic boycott punishes a segment of civil society, in this case Israeli universities and their members, for the deeds and misdeeds of the state. The occupation of Palestine [EE: the Palestine of the pre-1967 borders, I presume] and the human rights abuses that flow from the occupation are to my mind simply wrong, but there is something very troubling in holding Israeli universities and academics responsible for this wrong. Israeli academics doubtless hold many different political views, just as we academics do in the UK, but the principle of collective responsibility applied to Israeli academe as a whole sends us down a slippery path. ...
A selective academic boycott aimed only at Israeli academic institutions and not at universities and research institutes belonging to other countries with equally bad or far worse records of human rights abuse, is also discriminatory. I admit that the wrongs done by ‘my own people’, in this case fellow Jews, grieve me more than the wrongs done by other peoples, but this is a confession, not a principle of political action. An academic boycott directed exclusively at Israeli academic institutions generates a quite realistic sense that Israel is being picked on – not because it is different from other countries but because it is the same. Given the slaughter currently occurring in Syria, including that of Palestinian refugees, given the repression currently imposed by the military government in Egypt, given the slave-like conditions currently endured by migrant workers in Qatar, it is increasingly eccentric to select Israel alone for boycott.[EE: emphasis added]
Eccentric? Try anti-semitic.
This is both shocking and not-so-surprising. Shocking that smart, educated people can write things like this; not-so-surprising because I have seen so much on university campuses that is consistent with these results [via MA].
Prof. Monika Schwarz-Friesel of the Technical University of Berlin ... [studied] 10 years’ worth of hate mail–14,000 letters, emails, and faxes in all–sent to the Central Council of Jews in Germany and the Israeli embassy in Berlin. In an interview published in Haaretz yesterday, she said she fully expected to discover that most of it came from right-wing extremists. But in fact, right-wing extremists accounted for a mere 3 percent, while over 60 percent came from educated members of “the social mainstream – professors, Ph.Ds, lawyers, priests, university and high-school students,” she said. Nor were there any significant differences between right-wing extremists’ letters and those of the educated mainstream, Schwarz-Friesel said: “The difference is only in the style and the rhetoric, but the ideas are the same.”
To be clear, these letters weren’t just criticizing Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians; we’re talking about classic anti-Semitism–as evident from the samples Haaretz cited:
I don't always agree with Israeli policy, and I definitely have questions about the advisability of continued expansion of west-bank settlements. But to write things like those quoted above, or to blame Israel for "apartheid" when it is a far more open and democratic society than its Arab neighbours is incomprehensible.
At the centre-top of the Congressional emblem, above that eagle, is a Jewish Star of David. Now, this obviously plays to the theme, common among anti-Semites around the world, that the U.S. Congress is essentially a puppet of the Jewish people.
Obama is literally and figuratively chained back from properly reaching out to Iran by the Jews.
The Israeli flag has a Star of David in it, of course. But if the cartoonist, and the editorial team of The Economist that approved it, had wanted to emphasise Israel rather than the the broader global Jewish community, they could have easily had the cartoonist put in the image of the Israeli flag. No problem at all from a technical point of view.
That would still have been bigotry -- the notion that Israel runs American politics is an obvious form of neo-anti-Semitism.
But this is the old fashioned stuff. It's the kind of thing that appeared in The Protocols of Zion. It's the kind of thing the Nazis used. It's the kind of thing bigots -- including in the Western-funded Palestinian authority -- use all the time.
The Jews run the world: or at least its most powerful nation. That's the message The Economistconveys. Sometimes the term anti-Semitism is over-used. Sometimes it is under-used. This time there's no doubt at all what is going on.
One really wonders how they're going to get out of this. And one wonders even more what is going so badly wrong at The Economist that it was allowed to happen in the first place.
If you think the word "apartheid" applies to how Israelis treat non-Jews, Arabs, or Palestinians, take the quiz here. For each question also ask how you think it might have been answered under similar circumstances in apartheid South Africa. Also ask how you think the questions might be answered in Iran or Yemen or Saudi Arabia.
Say what you will about the Israeli occupation, but the South Africa analogy is false. The word "apartheid" isn't accurate, but it is emotional and inflammatory....[T]ry to imagine the condition of blacks in South Africa, the victims of apartheid, in each of the settings in the quiz.
Israel isn't a perfect country. Criticism of Israel is legitimate, and Israelis themselves do it every day. But as the quiz reveals... whatever Israel is, it isn't an apartheid state.
Take the “quenelle”, a gesture widely considered to be an inversion of the salute with which Germans once expressed devotion to their Führer, made popular today in France by the comedian Dieudonné M’bala M’bala and copied by many of his supporters including the West Bromwich Albion footballer Nicolas Anelka. ... – Anelka recently made a show of giving this salute while playing against West Ham, but was quick to deny that anti-Semitism had anything to do with it. He did it for Dieudonné, he said.
Why it was necessary to show solidarity with a French comedian at Upton Park, Anelka has yet to explain. Respect? The admiration that a person who uses his body feels for a person who uses his mind? I won many a game of ping-pong while reading English at Cambridge, but I have to tell you I never once felt the urge to touch my right shoulder with my left hand as a mark of my admiration for F R Leavis.
But more to the point,
As for the quenelle itself, both M’bala M’bala and Anelka have some explaining to do. If it isn’t anti-Semitic, then how come its adherents perform it grinning outside Jewish shops and museums, in front of synagogues, Jewish cemeteries and Holocaust memorials, outside Jewish schools including the Ozar Hatorah school in Toulouse where, in 2012, a gunman shot dead three Jewish children and a teacher, in front of posters of Anne Frank and, should there still be ambiguity, on the railway track leading into Auschwitz? Auschwitz, Mr Anelka. That’s not a football team.
Of those who allow themselves to be photographed being Nazis without uniforms, or are only too happy to post photographs they took themselves, some will doubtless be more foolish than malignant. I don’t mean foolish in the sense of having no idea what they’re doing – that excuse won’t wash for any of them: this isn’t just an expression of Jew-hating, it’s a celebration of Jew-hating’s history – but foolish in that they think expressing Nazi sympathies on a selfie isn’t all that big a deal.
The Elder of Ziyon has just posted a list of the US universities that have publicly rejected the American Studies Association [ASA] call for a boycott of Israeli academics. I am dismayed that my three alma maters are not on the list:
I am dismayed in part because I can readily imagine that too many students and faculty members at these institutions support the boycott. I hope they, too, will go on record opposing the boycott.
Here is the list:
Columbia now joins dozens of other universities who have denounced the ASA boycott.
The latest list from Avi Mayer:
The following is a list of institutions whose presidents or chancellors have publicly rejected the academic boycott of Israel in recent days. The Executive Committee of the Association of American Universities, which represents 62 top institutions in the U.S. and Canada, has also expressed its strong opposition to the boycott, as has the American Association of University Professors, which counts more than 48,000 members.
Guess who is valedictorian at a top Israeli medical school. via Steve Horwitz, who wrote:
Yeah boycott the Israeli universities. How DARE they allow a Muslim to be the valedictorian? The nerve of those tools of apartheid.
You go girl! "Rather than an academic boycott – which negatively impacts researchers who want to disseminate knowledge rather than restrict it – Ali-Selah suggests a more active stance: encouraging academic life within the Palestinian Authority, strengthening academic ties with Palestinian universities, and planning joint research projects with Palestinian scientists.
Furthermore, Ali-Selah says that those interested in advancing the cause of peace in the Middle East should focus their energies on supporting more of Israel’s success stories like her own, and pressuring Arab countries to emulate Israel’s academic freedoms and democracy."
When various organizations began calling for a boycott of Israeli universities and academics nearly a decade ago, I sought and received academic affiliation with two different Israeli universities. My email signature reads, in part,
Economics and old age have much in common: Both dwell on foregone opportunities... Member, Int'l Advisory Board for Academic Freedom, Bar-Ilan Univ
Affiliated Professor, University of Haifa
I am delighted to see that most of the major US universities have rejected the ASA call for a boycott and in some cases have cut ties with the American Studies Association. [ht Rebekah]:
Harvard and Yale, along with a host of other universities, public officials, and journalistic outlets, has condemned and rejected the American Studies Association’s academic boycott of Israel. “Academic boycotts subvert the academic freedoms and values necessary to the free flow of ideas, which is the lifeblood of the worldwide community of scholars,” Harvard President Drew Gilpin Faust said in a statement. “The recent resolution of the ASA proposing to boycott Israeli universities represents a direct threat to these ideals, ideals which universities and scholarly associations should be dedicated to defend.” Yale President Peter Salovey echoed these sentiments: “Any attempt to close off discussion or dialogue among scholars is antithetical to the fundamental values of scholarship and academic freedom. I stand with the Executive Committee of the Association of American Universities in my strong opposition to a boycott of Israeli academic institutions.”
Joining Harvard and Yale in condemning the boycott is a growing chorus of universities, including Princeton, Brown, Cornell, University of Chicago, Northwestern University and New York University. In total, 32 schools have thus far rejected the ASA boycott in the days following its passage. Additionally, four universities–Brandeis, Penn State Harrisburg, Kenyon College, and Indiana University–have cancelled their institutional membership in the organization, while others–Northwestern, Brown, Tufts, University of Alabama, Temple, Willamette and Hamilton–say they are not members, despite being listed as such by the ASA. Combined, these withdrawals reduce the ASA’s institutional membership from 83 universities to 72. (Several college presidents, while condemning the boycott, have emphasized that the decision to withdraw from the ASA is the prerogative of their American Studies department.)
[addendum] There's more here via the Daily Alert:
Dozens of U.S. Universities Reject Academic Boycott of Israel - Valerie Strauss
Dozens of American universities are rejecting an academic boycott of Israeli universities recently approved by the American Studies Association, and a few schools said they are withdrawing from the organization. Schools including Johns Hopkins, Harvard, Yale, Cornell, Princeton and Boston universities and the Universities of Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Texas at Austin and others have slammed the boycott, issuing statements similar to one by Harvard President Drew Faust that said that academic boycotts "subvert the academic freedoms and values necessary to the free flow of ideas, which is the lifeblood of the worldwide community of ! scholars." (Washington Post)
Regular readers of EclectEcon know that I am a strong opponent of the academic boycotts of Israel. Recently Lawrence Summers, once considered a leading candidate to be Chair of the Fed and former president of Harvard, said the following in an interview with Charlie Rose:
This particular academic boycott is much worse, it is much worse because the idea that of all the countries in the world that might be thought to have human rights abuses, that might be thought to have inappropriate foreign policies, that might be thought to be doing things wrong, the idea that there’s only one that is worthy of boycott, and that is Israel, one of the very few countries whose neighbors regularly vow its annihilation, that that would be the one chosen, is I think beyond outrageous as a suggestion….
Charlie, I said some time ago with respect to a similar set of efforts, that I regarded them as being anti-Semitic in their effect if not necessarily in their intent. And I think that’s the right thing to say about singling out Israel. [bold in linked source]
If there was an academic boycott against a whole set of countries that stunted their populations in some way, I would oppose that because I think academic boycotts are abhorrent, but the choice of only Israel at a moment when Israel faces this kind of existential threat I think takes how wrong this is to a different level.
My hope would be that responsible university leaders will become very reluctant to see their universities’ funds used to finance faculty membership and faculty travel to an association that is showing itself not to be a scholarly association but really more of a political tool.
I am revolted by it. [ht MA] Further, the denunciations are pathetically weak. I really hesitate to cite about it or quote about it, but here goes:
A Romanian public broadcaster distanced itself from a Christmas carol celebrating the Holocaust that aired on the new channel.
TVR3 Verde, a television channel for rural communities, presented the carol on December 5 during its maiden transmission.
Sung by the Dor Transilvan ensemble, it featured the lyrics: “The kikes, damn kikes, Holy God would not leave the kike alive, neither in heaven nor on earth, only in the chimney as smoke, this is what the kike is good for, to make kike smoke through the chimney on the street.”
That anyone believes any of these things, that anyone would think it remotely acceptable to write songs like this, that anyone would think it remotely acceptable to air such a song is truly despicable.
Update: The U.S. Embassy condemned it
The U.S. embassy in Romania on Thursday condemned the broadcast of an anti-Semitic Christmas carol by state television, joining a long list of critics.
Jewish groups, Romanian media and politicians, the Israeli embassy and other diplomatic missions have attacked the decision by channel TVR3 to air the song, which uses a pejorative word for Jews and celebrates violence against them.
The country's national council against discrimination is currently investigating the broadcast.
The U.S. embassy called it "an unacceptable display of anti-Semitism that must be condemned in the strongest, most unequivocal terms".
"Intolerance and hatred are unacceptable and should not be condoned, especially not through the medium of public broadcast."
State television said the carol was part of traditional folklore and that its selection for broadcast was made by the council of the northwestern Romanian county of Cluj.
Hundreds of thousands of Romanian and Ukrainian Jews were killed in Romania and areas it controlled during World War Two as an ally of Nazi Germany.
After Romania switched sides in the war in 1944, communist regimes did little to draw attention to the killings while nationalist governments after 1989 also kept them under wraps.
Only in the early 2000s did Romanian officials admit that death trains, mass deportations and pogroms took place in Romania during World War Two and that anti-Semitism was a state-sponsored ideology even before the war started in 1939.
A column by a former Canadian ambassador [Michael Bell] in the Globe and Mail (behind a pay wall, unfortunately, but see below) from a few days ago blames Jewish settlers for an attack on a Jewish visitor. The Elder of Ziyon summarizes and quotes the G&M article and then sets the record straight:
The only problem is that Seidemann was attacked by Arabs.
He was visiting a Palestinian friend in an Arab neighborhood of Jerusalem, Sur Bahir. He admits having been targeted previously for being a Jew in Arab neighborhoods. Representatives of the Arab community visited him and expressed regret. The Jewish doctors that treated him all pretty much asked what he was doing in a neighborhood where Jews are routinely attacked if they step foot.
There are no Jews there.
As far as I know, outside of "ultra" religious idiots in Mea Shearim who hate people driving in their neighborhood on Shabbat, there have been very few instances of Jews throwing rocks at moving cars.
There are certainly no "established patterns" of Jews throwing rocks at Arab cars (or cars driven by Israeli leftists.)
However, incidents of Arabs throwing rocks at Israeli cars happen virtually daily. This rock throwing has caused serious injuries and deaths.
Jews (and Arabs who look like Jews) who accidentally enter Arab neighborhoods in Jerusalem have been almost lynched and subjected to barrages of rocks thrown by dozens of Arabs, egged on by photographers.
One rock throwing was caught on video just yesterday.
Seidemann freely admits it was Arabs who threw the rock that injured him.
But Bell, a former ambassador to Israel apparently is so obtuse, so suffused in his righteous anger to blame "settlers" for everything wrong in the Middle East, that he seemingly only glanced at the news about his "friend" Seidemann and filled in the blanks in his incredibly biased professorial brain.
There is a double bias here shown by the professor. Not only is he willing to exaggerate events to blame Jews, he is willing to ignore Arab violence that happens every day in Jerusalem.
The charitable explanation is that Bell is a complete and utter moron who cannot be trusted to read simple English sentences. The alternative is that he purposely chose to twist Seidemenn's words to blame his favorite bogeyman, the "ultras."
Bell's grasp of basic facts about Israel are no more accurate:Such is the conundrum of Zionism today: The mainstream's goal being the establishment of a Jewish democratic national state; the religious nationalists' being the control of the land as the instrument of redemption, in some cases at whatever cost. The seed of defiance stems largely from the latter's drive to settle the densely Palestinian populated Samarian mountain ridge. Largely these high points but not only the ridge. [sic] Mr. Seideman has been most active respecting the Elad settlers' movement in Silwan, a Palestinian neighborhood just outside the Old City's walls, beneath which the earliest foundations of Jewish Jerusalem lie.
This is barely understandable English, further proving that The Globe and Mail's editor was asleep when this came in. Still, anyone who has driven in Judea and Samaria sees that Jewish settlements are generally not near "densely Palestinian populated" areas, the Arabs generally live in valleys while the settlers usually gravitate towards hilltops, and most of the area is quite empty. Well over 95% of Arabs live in Areas A and B where there are few if any Jews.
Also, Silwan was originally a Jewish neighborhood of Yemenite Jews The Jews were driven out, attacked in 1921 and again in 1929.
Who knows who attacked the Yemenites? Maybe Professor Bell can write an article blaming the settlers. I mean, who else could have attacked Jews when Arabs and Jews lived so peacefully together before "occupation" according to morons like Bell? It makes just as much sense as what he wrote here.
The idea that such an ignorant person was an ambassador - a job that requires a tiny bit of knowledge about the host country - is nothing less than astonishing.
I've seen a lot of media bias over the past decade, but this is off the charts.
(h/t Daniel, This Ongoing War)
UPDATE: Yisrael Medad tweeted Seidemann:@ymedad Of course I didn't. I just saw the article now, and immediately notified him of his error.
— Daniel Seidemann (@DanielSeidemann) December 3, 2013@DanielSeidemann It's not "an error" if it's predicated on an entirely bogus hypothesis blaming Jews based on "established patterns"
— ymedad (@ymedad) December 3, 2013
Also, a commenter writes:I actually was a student under Professor Bell when I attended the University of Windsor, and I will attest that it is more out of bias than it is ignorance. As being, quite possibly, the only pro-Israel student in a class that had 25-30% Arabs, he certainly puts a lot of blame of the conflict upon the religious Israelis, but he's fully aware that the Palestinians are not saints either.
November 9th was the 75th anniversary of Kristallnacht, the night that heralded the extreme anti-semitism of the Nazi regime. But really Kristallnacht was just a part of the well-co-ordinated events that took place that week.
Sadly, as more documents are released, it has become even clearer that other countries could and should have done more, much more, to chastise the Germans and to welcome Jewish refugees [ht MA].
The pogroms in November 1938 lasted several days, although history books often refer to the event merely as one "Night of the Broken Glass" (Kristallnacht) because Nazi propaganda chief Joseph Goebbels announced on the radio on Nov. 10 that the excesses had ended. Experts estimate that up to 1,500 people died in the days surrounding Nov. 9. It was the worst pogrom in Germany since the Middle Ages.
Gathering Contemporary Diplomatic Accounts
This week marks the 75th anniversary of what Leipzig-based historian Dan Diner has called the "catastrophe before the catastrophe." This prompted the German Foreign Ministry to take the unusual step of asking 48 countries that had diplomatic missions in Germany in 1938 to search their archives for reports on the November pogrom.
For months, the Foreign Ministry has been receiving copies of historical documents previously unknown to experts. Beginning next Monday, the Foreign Ministry and the Berlin Centrum Judaicum will display a selection of the documents at the New Synagogue on Oranienburger Strasse, in an exhibition titled "From the Inside to the Outside: The 1938 November Pogroms in Diplomatic Reports from Germany."
Despite the often-truncated form of the reports and the detached language of the diplomats, these are impressive documents with historical value. They attest to the fate of the Jewish orphanage in Esslingen, near Stuttgart, where a mob of Nazi sympathizers drove children out into the streets; of Jews who were forced to march in rows of two through Kehl, in southwestern Germany, and shout "We are traitors to Germany"; and of terrified people hiding in forests near Berlin.
What is also noteworthy about the documents is what they do not contain. In this respect, they point to the failure of the international community and its far-reaching consequences. The diplomats almost unanimously condemned the murders and acts of violence and destructions. The British described the pogrom as "Medieval barbarism," the Brazilians called it a "disgusting spectacle," and French diplomats wrote that the "scope of brutality" was only "exceeded by the massacres of the Armenians," referring to the Turkish genocide of 1915-1916.
and there is so much more in the full article. It is shocking and heartbreaking.
For more, see this.
Pope Francis commemorated Kristallnacht at a mass in front of thousands of people in St. Peter's Square on Sunday, describing the Jewish people as the "big brothers" of his Roman Catholic flock.
Riots organized by German authorities on November 9-10, 1938 killed 91 Jews and destroyed 267 synagogues. The rioting was followed by the deportation of 30,000 Jews to concentration camps.
The documents referred to in the first link indicate that the torture, degradation, destruction, and death was much more widespread and much greater than the numbers in the second link suggest.
According to Smallbones' account, after a few hours, the victims were taken to the Buchenwald concentration camp, where many were tortured and a few beaten to death. The prisoners were even forced to urinate into each other's mouths. This was one of the details Smallbones learned from a golfing partner, a German Jew, after the latter's release from Buchenwald.
... Experts estimate that up to 1,500 people died in the days surrounding Nov. 9. It was the worst pogrom in Germany since the Middle Ages.
... Despite the often-truncated form of the reports and the detached language of the diplomats, these are impressive documents with historical value. They attest to the fate of the Jewish orphanage in Esslingen, near Stuttgart, where a mob of Nazi sympathizers drove children out into the streets; of Jews who were forced to march in rows of two through Kehl, in southwestern Germany, and shout "We are traitors to Germany"; and of terrified people hiding in forests near Berlin.
Many synagogues in the Württemberg, Baden and Hohenzollern regions were "set on fire by well-disciplined and apparently well-equipped young men in civilian clothes," reported US Consul-General Honaker, noting that the process was "practically the same" in all cities. "The doors of the synagogues were forced open. Certain sections of the building and furnishing were drenched with petrol and set on fire. Bibles, prayer books and other sacred things were thrown into the flames," he wrote. A total of 1,406 synagogues were burned down.
Then they began smashing shop windows. The shops were easy to identify, especially in Berlin. A few months earlier, Nazis had forced Jewish shop owners in the capital city to write their names in white paint and large letters on the shop windows.
The second wave came during the course of the next day, as the Hungarian chargé d'affaires reported from the German capital: "In the afternoon, after school, 14- to 18-year-old teenagers, mostly members of the Hitler Youth, were unleashed on the shops. They forced their way into the businesses, where they turned things upside down, destroyed all furniture and everything made of glass, jumbled all the merchandise and then, while cheering for Hitler, left the scene to search for other places to ransack. In the city's eastern districts, the local populace also looted the devastated shops."
As instructed, the perpetrators were not wearing party uniforms. Goebbels wanted the public to believe that the pogrom was a reflection of "the justified and understandable outrage of the German people" over the death of Rath, the diplomat -- and that the police were powerless.
If it isn't a perfect analogy, the willingness to sell out principles is common to the two.
Apple defers to China to increase its profits.
Hollywood deferred to Hitler to increase profits.
Okay. I can see that to clarify the analogy, I should say "Germany" instead of "Hitler"; also, Apple is a single corporation, whereas Hollywood refers to many of the major film companies of the 1930s. However, all the film companies were forced to act together through the Hays Office by Germany and their consul in Los Angeles, Georg Gyssling:
Gyssling had the option of informing the Hays Office, a private group that represented the major Hollywood studios, that if the [distinctly anti-Nazi] film were made then his government might place a ban on all American movies in Germany. It is uncertain whether Gyssling actually did this – the evidence is inconclusive – but he probably did,