May 26, 2013

Meet Palestinian Soccer Star Mahmoud Sarsak at the Crossroads Women's Centre - later today

2-4pm Sunday, 26 May 2013
Crossroads Women’s Centre
25 Wolsey Mews, London NW5 2DX

We have just been given the precious opportunity to have the first UK public meetingwith Mahmoud Sarsak, Palestinian hunger-striker and footballer.

In 2009 Mahmoud, then age 22, was arrested and detained in Israel without charge or trial.  In 2012, after three years of torture and indefinite incarceration, he went on a heroic three-month hunger strike.  Israel denied him proper medical treatment and offered him release only if he agreed to exile, but he refused.

Mahmoud was part of a mass prisoners’ hunger strike (over 2,000 Palestinians), which forced Israel to promise an end to solitary confinement, the right to family visits from Gaza and that administrative detention would not be renewed without evidence brought before a court.  

Mahmoud continued even after the mass hunger strike ended as he was the only prisoner held under "Combatant Law" – even more notorious than administrative detention.  He was supported internationally, including by Eric Cantona and other footballers, and by Ken Loach, Noam Chomsky and many others.  He ended his hunger strike only when he won his right to stay in Palestine.
Yesterday, as part of the Red Card Israeli Racism protest (also known as Red Card Israeli Apartheid), Mahmoud and Alexei Sayle handed a letter to Michel Platini, president of the Union of European Football Associations, urging him to cancel the planned under-21 European football tournament in Israel.

Islington Friends of Yibna,  Payday men’s network
and the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network
For more information:  07816 251 377 or 07880 731 865

May 23, 2013

UEFA Protest London Friday 24 May, 2013

From Red Card Israeli Racism:


- Protest rally 11.00 – 16.00 FRIDAY MAY 24  Grosvenor House Hotel W1K7TN
- Ken Loach calls under21 finals in Israel “shocking” and “ill-advised”
- Author/comedian Alexei Sayle agrees with football stars: Israel staging finals gives the country unwarranted reward
- Campaigners charge UEFA with condoning entrenched discrimination
- Platini urged to meet Palestinian footballer and former political prisoner Mahmoud Sarsak
As England ‘s Under-21 team prepares for the UEFA Finals in Israel on June 5-18, campaign group Red Card Israeli Racism is charging European football’s governing body with condoning Israeli discrimination against Palestinians and has called a protest outside the UEFA Annual Congress in London on 24th May.
Filmmaker Ken Loach, who has supported the campaign for more than a year, said: “It is shocking that UEFA has ignored calls from the Palestinian Football Association and many football clubs, as well as anti-racist human rights campaigners across Europe , to reconsider its ill-advised decision. UEFA should recognise the plight of Palestinian footballers and the intolerable difficulties that are put in their way by the illegal Israeli Occupation.’”
Echoing many footballers, including Demba Ba and Eden Hazard from Europa League winners Chelsea, author and comedian Alexei Sayle said hosting the tournament was “a reward and honour” which Israel did not deserve because of “its cruel and harsh actions against the Palestinian people.”
Campaigners are calling on congress delegates to give a hearing to visiting Palestinian footballer Mahmoud Sarsak, who staged a prolonged hunger strike during his third year of detention without trial in Israel . His plight drew support from Sepp Blatter, Eric Cantona and others, leading to his eventual release last July.
Referring to the decision by renowned scientist Stephen Hawking not to join in an international conference in Israel because of its treatment of Palestinians, Red Card campaign coordinator Geoffrey Lee said: “UEFA should follow Hawking’s lead and refuse to be part of one of Israel ‘s window-dressing exercises. If we condemn racist chanting against black players in Europe , why do we condone a whole system of racism against Palestinians, created and enforced by successive Israeli governments?”
Red Card Israeli Racism is part of a coalition of groups modelling themselves on the campaign for a sporting boycott of South Africa during the apartheid era.
For further information contact:
Paul Collins – 07402 742593
Shamiul Joarder – 07813 882026
Notes for editors
*** Alexei Sayle is available for interviews via the above contacts ***
1. Protest about UEFA’s decision to hold the 2013 u-21 in Israel began soon after it was announced, with a letter to UEFA President Michel Platini from 42 Palestinian football clubs. An open letter from prominent Europeans soon followed.
2. Last June, as instances of racism and human rights abuses in Ukraine and Poland prompted UK government ministers to boycott some Euro 2012 matches, Mahmoud Sarsak’s hunger strike brought the case against Israel hosting an international tournament to world attention.
3. Last November saw an unprecedented public statement by international star Frédéric Kanouté and 51 fellow footballers, including Chelsea’s Eden Hazard and Demba Ba.  Prompted by an eight-day bombardment of Gaza during which Israeli forces killed more than 140 Palestinians included a number of boys playing football, and destroyed sports facilities, the players wrote that holding the Under-21 Finals in Israel “[would] be seen as a reward for actions contrary to sporting values.”
4. Israeli discrimination against Palestinian athletes is long standing and ongoing. Jibril Rajoub, President of the Palestinian Football Association, said during Sarsak’s hunger strike, “For athletes in Palestine , there is no real freedom of movement and the risks of being detained or even killed are always looming before their eyes.” He questioned the commitment of the  Israeli government to FIFA regulations and the international Olympic charter.  Israel ‘s extensive system of racist laws is thoroughly documented.
5. Teddy Stadium, where England ’s under 21s are scheduled to play in June, is home to Israeli team Beitar Jerusalem, whose hard-core supporters recently made news for their hostile reaction to the signing of its first ever Muslim players.Moshe Zimmermann, a sports historian at Hebrew University, said, “The fact is that the Israeli society on the whole is getting more racist, or at least more ethnocentric, and this is an expression.”
6. After a period of recovery from his ordeal, Mahmoud Sarsak has been touring Europe highlighting the difficulties facing Palestinian sports people such as imprisoned fellow footballers Omar Abu Rouis and Mohammed Nimr, and top 90′s player Zakaria Daoud Issa who recently died of cancer while in Israeli custody. Many Palestinian political prisoners are currently on hunger strike. Sarsak is expected in the UK from May 24 to June 30 on a tour supported by leading members of Show Racism the Red Card, Footballers Against Racism in Europe and FIFPro. Please address requests for interviews with Sarsak to the contacts above.
7. Red Card Israeli Racism is part of a Europe-wide network of groups committed to the Palestinian call for a campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel as long as it denies freedom, justice and equality to Palestinians.
8. Protesters outside the UEFA congress on Friday May 24 will include delegations from France, Italy and Belgium and will hand in petitions, letters and statements from across Europe.

May 21, 2013

Independent letters: Responses to Howard Jacobson's Negative Hasbara

These letters were published in yesterday's Independent online and in today's print edition in response to a load of tosh, indeed a pack of lies, by Howard Jacobson, published in print on Saturday:

Criticism of Israel or hatred of Jews?

First-rate writer and columnist though he is, Howard Jacobson cannot resist conflating anti-Semitism with anti-Israelism (18 May).
Yet the big question about Israel’s hopes to continue as a Jewish state depend not on boycotts or on motions passed by a university union, but on how Israel will in future govern a non-Jewish-majority population if it fails now to accept a two-state solution when there is still – perhaps – time.
Brian Beeley, Tunbridge Wells, Kent
Israel doesn’t “just happen to be Jewish”, Howard Jacobson. In fact the current demography of Israel results from its policy of replacing Palestinian society with people from a Jewish background.
The building and expansion of Jewish-only illegal settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory of the West Bank is a continuation of this policy.
Janet Green, London NW5
Howard Jacobson is absolutely right that the Palestinian movement has always had its anti-Semitic infiltrators. It is deeply dispiriting because it utterly contradicts the principal motive that drives the movement: the injustice implicit in the progressive dispossession and lockdown of a defenceless people.
A growing number of young Jews support the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign as a vehicle for getting Israel to disgorge the occupied territories, since the US and its allies are so disinclined to compel Israel to respect international humanitarian law.
They seem to do this for a number of reasons ranging from the pragmatic – Israel has swallowed more than it can digest – to the moral – the violation of Judaic morality in which, contrary to Mr Jacobson’s take, they identify the Palestinians as the persecuted party.
David McDowall, Richmond,  Surrey
And in the interests of balance:
Howard Jacobson has had the courage to expose the hypocritical anti-Semitism at the heart of the Israel boycott campaign of the University and College Union.
This will no doubt result in hate mail and worse, but may stimulate some academics to re-examine this highly selective boycott and instead support dialogue with Israeli counterparts, many of whom voice valid criticism of some Israeli government policies.
Ben Marshall, London N11
Not realising the Indie had already published these I wrote and sent this in the small hours of this morning:
Dear Sir

There are three major issues with Howard Jacobson's article, ostensibly condemning Stephen Hawking's decision to boycott an event taking place in Jerusalem.

First, he claims that the Employment Tribunal in the case of Fraser v University and College Union ruled on "a complaint that the Union was institutionally anti-Semitic" and that it "encountered not a trace of any such beast".  The case dealt with not "a complaint" of anything so vague as a "trace" of institutional antisemitism but ten very specific complaints that the UCU had racially harassed a Jewish Israel advocate on account of union activists' stance towards the State of Israel and various of Israel's illegal actions against the Palestinian people.  The tribunal decided that nothing the union had done amounted to harassment and anyway "support for the Zionist project....cannot amount to a protected characteristic.  It is not intrinsically a part of Jewishness.."

Second, having scoured the web for dirt on the presiding judge, Judge Anthony Snelson, Jacobson couldn't find anything and so he misrepresented the closest thing he could find (from 2009!) to suit his purpose: the case of a waitress complaining of sex discrimination on account of a dress she was being ordered to wear.  For Jacobson, the case hinged on the waitress being a Muslim and so he satisfied himself and sought to persuade his readers that Judge Snelson was pro-Muslim and anti-Jewish.  

This is how HR Magazine reported on the judgment:

They said of the dress: "Plainly, it related to her sex. It was gender-specific. The respondents did not introduce a summer uniform for male waiting staff. Unlike the women, the men were not required to switch to brightly coloured, figure-hugging garb."

Third, he makes a false assertion and a serious omission in the case of Stephen Hawking.  It's worth quoting Jacobson:

And now, with Stephen Hawking announcing, by means of an Israeli-made device, that he no longer wants to talk to the scientists who invented it, or to Israeli scientists who invented or might invent anything else, or indeed to Israeli historians, critics, biologists, physicists of any complexion, no matter what their relations to Palestinian scholars whom he does want to talk to, we are reminded that the cultural boycott with which he has suddenly decided to throw in his lot is entirely unJew-related, which is more good news. “Peace”, that is all Professor Hawking seeks, a word that was left out of his statement as reproduced on the Palestine Solidarity Campaign website, presumably on the grounds that everyone already knows that peace is all the PSC has ever wanted too.

But can PSC really be the only site Jacobson viewed to find Hawking's statement?  The following statement is all over the web and I copy it here from the Daily Beast:

“I accepted the invitation to the Presidential Conference with the intention that this would not only allow me to express my opinion on the prospects for a Peace Settlement but also because it would allow me to lecture on the West Bank,” wrote Hawking.

And the omission?  Having listed all those great and good people that Hawking was refusing to meet there were three words missing from Jacobson's article: "Presidential Conference" and "Peres".  This meeting, like the State of Israel itself, is being presided over by a war criminal.  Surely that was worth a mention.

Yours faithfully
I wouldn't normally publish a letter before the intended recipients have a chance to accept or reject it (bad manners and bad luck!) but I think I missed the boat with this one and they're not likely to let me call one of their celeb commentators a liar, are they?

Surprise admission that Zionism is indeed a form of Racism

And the surprise confessor is.....A B Yehoshua in Ha'aretz in an article titled, Defining Zionism: The belief that Israel belongs to the entire Jewish people.

There's so much I agree with in the article I ought to be worried about it.
First of all, we must remember that from a historical perspective, the concept emerged only at the end of the 19th century. It’s meaningless to try and describe Yehuda Halevi as a Zionist, or any other Jew who immigrated to the Holy Land in centuries past. 
Nothing wrong with that.  But saying what something isn't doesn't work as a definition.
Here is the definition: A Zionist is a person who desires or supports the establishment of a Jewish state in the Land of Israel, which in the future will become the state of the Jewish people. This is based on what Herzl said: “In Basel I founded the Jewish state.”
That seems to be it.  Zionism is about the establishment of a state specifically for the world's Jews.  Yes?  Yes.

And one in the eye for those obfuscators and filibusterers who say that a zionist is someone who thinks Jews should all go and live in Palestine:
A Zionist, therefore, is a Jew [or anyone else - levi9909] who supported the establishment of a Jewish state in the Land of Israel, and not necessarily one who actually settled in the land. Herzl himself and many Zionist leaders never settled in the land, yet you wouldn’t hesitate to call them Zionists. Even today, the members of Zionist federations worldwide are considered Zionists by us and by themselves, even though they don’t live in Israel. 
But there is stuff I I disagree with:
Zionism is not an ideology. If the definition of ideology, according to the Hebrew Encyclopedia, is as follows − “A cohesive, systematic combination of ideas, insights, principles and imperatives that finds expression in the particular worldview of a sect, a party or a social class” − then Zionism cannot be considered an ideology, but merely a very broad platform for various ideologies that may even contradict one another. 
Say what?  As it happens, the definition could have simply said "identity group" in place of its incomplete list of "a sect, a party or a social class" or we could fit Jews into sect or party and posit zionism, as Yehoshua does, as an ideology for Jews.  It cannot be a platform for various ideologies once we define zionism as being about a state for Jews.  Humanistic ideologies are excluded unless we take out their humanistic dimension and append the suffix zionism to, eg, liberal, socialist, etc.  It works the same if we use zionist as a prefix to those things.  However we render humanist ideological labels when appended to or by zionist, we are rendering them non-humanist or oxymoronic.  This is because, as Yehoshua himself says, zionism is about a state for Jews, not for citizens, not for non-Jews and certainly not for Palestinians.

The article drifts a bit at the point he denies the ideological nature of zionism and tries to place it among any and every ideology.  He asserts Israel's citizenship law as an immigration law.  This is wrong, immigration laws do not generally deny citizenship to native born people.  They don't generally accord automatic rights of citizenship to people on the grounds of which religion their maternal ancestors practised.

But he ends up on a point I do agree with:
Liberating the concept of Zionism from all the appendages and addenda that have adhered to it would not only clarify the ideological and political arguments we have among ourselves, and thus prevent these disputes from being mythologized, but it would also force critics abroad to clarify and focus their positions.
Hear hear! I like to make my position perfectly clear.  A zionist state is a state for the world's Jews, it can only be established and maintained on the basis of colonial settlement, ethnic cleansing and segregationist laws.  Therefore, there should be no state for the world's Jews.

Costs claim by University and College Union

From Friday's print edition of the Jewish Chronicle:
Costs claim


The University and College Union,
which was unsuccessfully sued by a
Jewish lecturer over its anti-Israel
policies, is trying to recover
its costs.
     Mishcon de Raya, the solicitors
which acted for Academic Friends
of Israel director Ronnie Fraser, con-
firmed that a cost order has
been sought.
    A UCU spokesman said it could not
comment as there were still "legal
That's how it appears in the JC.

May 20, 2013

Jacobson accuses FUCU Judge of pro-Muslim and anti-Jewish prejudice

I'm just revisiting this Howard Jacobson piece in The Independent slagging Stephen Hawking and the judge in the FUCU tribunal.  Jacobson took his time responding to that FUCU judgment which made him and his fellow band of zionist chancers look so ludicrous.  It might be because he wanted to dish some dirt on Judge Anthony Snelson and it took him some time to find nothing and a little more time to make something up.  Now look what he eventually came up with:
It was this same Judge Snelson, reader, who ruled in favour of a Muslim woman claiming the cocktail dress she was expected to wear, while working as a cocktail waitress in Mayfair, “violated her dignity”. Not for him the cheap shot of wondering what in that case she was doing working as a cocktail waitress in a cocktail bar in Mayfair. If she felt she was working in a “hostile environment”, then she was working in a “hostile environment”, which is not to be confused with a Jew feeling he is working in a hostile environment since with the abolition of anti-Semitism there is no such thing as an environment that’s hostile to a Jew. My point being that Judge Snelson’s credentials as a man who knows a bigot from a barmcake are impeccable.
Just a quick revisit of the FUCU case. The Jew in question was a man, Ronnie Fraser, who decided that his commitment to the zionist project is so much a part of his Jewish identity that campaigning against the State of Israel amounts to racially harassing him, even if many of the campaigners are Jewish. Now you might think, from what Jacobson is saying, that the outcome of the cocktail waitress case had to do with her being a Muslim.  So now look at how the case was reported in HR Magazine.  The headline is, Muslim cocktail waitress wins compensation in tight-fitting red dress sex discrimination case so you might think the whole discrimination thing was about her being a Muslim. But if you read the whole article you'll see this:
A panel led by employment judge Anthony Snelson found she held "views about modesty and decency which some might think unusual in Britain in the 21st century". But it upheld her claim that bar owners Spring and Greene had discriminated against her on the grounds of her gender.
They said of the dress: "Plainly, it related to her sex. It was gender-specific. The respondents did not introduce a summer uniform for male waiting staff. Unlike the women, the men were not required to switch to brightly coloured, figure-hugging garb."

Forcing her to wear the dress if she wanted to continue working at the bar "violated her dignity", the panel decided, and created a "humiliating" environment. It found: "Her perception was that wearing the dress would make her feel as if she was on show, as if she was being presented as one of the attractions that the Rocket Bar was offering its customers.

"In our view that perception was legitimate and not unreasonable. We are reinforced in this conclusion by the striking contrast between the dress and the dark, loose-fitting attire which would remain the men's uniform."
Now it doesn't get more cut and dried than that.  This was a case of gender discrimination.  Maybe her being a Muslim made her more culturally aware of the different way in which she was being treated from her male colleagues but that would be a complement to Muslims, not the put-down that Jacobson clearly intended.

May 19, 2013

Mix 'n' Match: Daily Beast on Obama's Child Kidnapping Problem

Well Daily Beast couldn't be expected to accuse Obama of child or any other kidnapping but look at these headlines from today's email:

The first:

Japan’s Child Kidnapping Problem

The second:
You just have to mix and match and you get to what Obama is going to say in his speech. Well, except he doesn't see the abduction of children as a problem and I'm guessing nor does the Beast when it's Obama doing the kidnapping.

Al Jazeera and the Disappearing Massad article on Zionist Antisemitism

This is a copy and paste of the cached version of Joseph Massad's article The Last of the Semites, which seems to have been taken down from al Jazeera:


The last of the Semites

It is Israel's claims that it represents and speaks for all Jews that are the most anti-Semitic claims of all.

Last Modified: 14 May 2013 14:49
Joseph Massad

Joseph Massad is Associate Professor of Modern Arab Politics and Intellectual History at Columbia University.

"The Jewish holocaust killed off the majority of Jews who fought and struggled against European anti-Semitism, including Zionism," writes Joseph Massad [AFP]

Jewish opponents of Zionism understood the movement since its early age as one that shared the precepts of anti-Semitism in its diagnosis of what gentile Europeans called the "Jewish Question". What galled anti-Zionist Jews the most, however, was that Zionism also shared the "solution" to the Jewish Question that anti-Semites had always advocated, namely the expulsion of Jews from Europe.

It was the Protestant Reformation with its revival of the Hebrew Bible that would link the modern Jews of Europe to the ancient Hebrews of Palestine, a link that the philologists of the 18th century would solidify through their discovery of the family of "Semitic" languages, including Hebrew and Arabic. Whereas Millenarian Protestants insisted that contemporary Jews, as descendants of the ancient Hebrews, must leave Europe to Palestine to expedite the second coming of Christ, philological discoveries led to the labelling of contemporary Jews as "Semites". The leap that the biological sciences of race and heredity would make in the 19th century of considering contemporary European Jews racial descendants of the ancient Hebrews would, as a result, not be a giant one. 

Basing themselves on the connections made by anti-Jewish Protestant Millenarians, secular European figures saw the political potential of "restoring" Jews to Palestine abounded in the 19th century. Less interested in expediting the second coming of Christ as were the Millenarians, these secular politicians, from Napoleon Bonaparte to British foreign secretary Lord Palmerston (1785-1865) to Ernest Laharanne, the private secretary of Napoleon III in the 1860s, sought to expel the Jews of Europe to Palestine in order to set them up as agents of European imperialism in Asia. Their call would be espoused by many "anti-Semites", a new label chosen by European anti-Jewish racists after its invention in 1879 by a minor Viennese journalist by the name of Wilhelm Marr, who issued a political programme titled The Victory of Judaism over Germanism. Marr was careful to decouple anti-Semitism from the history of Christian hatred of Jews on the basis of religion, emphasising, in line with Semitic philology and racial theories of the 19th century, that the distinction to be made between Jews and Aryans was strictly racial. 

Assimilating Jews into European culture

Scientific anti-Semitism insisted that the Jews were different from Christian Europeans. Indeed that the Jews were not European at all and that their very presence in Europe is what causes anti-Semitism. The reason why Jews caused so many problems for European Christians had to do with their alleged rootlessness, that they lacked a country, and hence country-based loyalty. In the Romantic age of European nationalisms, anti-Semites argued that Jews did not fit in the new national configurations, and disrupted national and racial purity essential to most European nationalisms. This is why if the Jews remained in Europe, the anti-Semites argued, they could only cause hostility among Christian Europeans. The only solution was for the Jews to exit from Europe and have their own country. 

Needless to say, religious and secular Jews opposed this horrific anti-Semitic line of thinking. Orthodox and Reform Jews, Socialist and Communist Jews, cosmopolitan and Yiddishkeit cultural Jews, all agreed that this was a dangerous ideology of hostility that sought the expulsion of Jews from their European homelands. 

The Jewish Haskalah, or Enlightenment, which emerged also in the 19th century, sought to assimilate Jews into European secular gentile culture and have them shed their Jewish culture. It was the Haskalah that sought to break the hegemony of Orthodox Jewish rabbis on the "Ostjuden" of the East European shtetl and to shed what it perceived as a "medieval" Jewish culture in favour of the modern secular culture of European Christians. Reform Judaism, as a Christian- and Protestant-like variant of Judaism, would emerge from the bosom of the Haskalah. This assimilationist programme, however, sought to integrate Jews in European modernity, not to expel them outside Europe's geography. 

When Zionism started a decade and a half after Marr's anti-Semitic programme was published, it would espouse all these anti-Jewish ideas, including scientific anti-Semitism as valid. For Zionism, Jews were "Semites", who were descendants of the ancient Hebrews. In his foundational pamphlet Der Judenstaat, Herzl explained that it was Jews, not their Christian enemies, who "cause" anti-Semitism and that "where it does not exist, [anti-Semitism] is carried by Jews in the course of their migrations", indeed that "the unfortunate Jews are now carrying the seeds of anti-Semitism into England; they have already introduced it into America"; that Jews were a "nation" that should leave Europe to restore their "nationhood" in Palestine or Argentina; that Jews must emulate European Christians culturally and abandon their living languages and traditions in favour of modern European languages or a restored ancient national language. Herzl preferred that all Jews adopt German, while the East European Zionists wanted Hebrew. Zionists after Herzl even agreed and affirmed that Jews were separate racially from Aryans. As for Yiddish, the living language of most European Jews, all Zionists agreed that it should be abandoned. 

The majority of Jews continued to resist Zionism and understood its precepts as those of anti-Semitism and as a continuation of the Haskalah quest to shed Jewish culture and assimilate Jews into European secular gentile culture, except that Zionism sought the latter not inside Europe but at a geographical remove following the expulsion of Jews from Europe. The Bund, or the General Jewish Labor Union in Lithuania, Poland, and Russia, which was founded in Vilna in early October 1897, a few weeks after the convening of the first Zionist Congress in Basel in late August 1897, would become Zionism's fiercest enemy. The Bund joined the existing anti-Zionist Jewish coalition of Orthodox and Reform rabbis who had combined forces a few months earlier to prevent Herzl from convening the first Zionist Congress in Munich, which forced him to move it to Basel. Jewish anti-Zionism across Europe and in the United States had the support of the majority of Jews who continued to view Zionism as an anti-Jewish movement well into the 1940s. 

Anti-Semitic chain of pro-Zionist enthusiasts

Realising that its plan for the future of European Jews was in line with those of anti-Semites, Herzl strategised early on an alliance with the latter. He declared in Der Judenstaat that:
"The Governments of all countries scourged by anti-Semitism will be keenly interested in assisting us to obtain [the] sovereignty we want."
He added that "not only poor Jews" would contribute to an immigration fund for European Jews, "but also Christians who wanted to get rid of them". Herzl unapologetically confided in his Diaries that:
"The anti-Semites will become our most dependable friends, the anti-Semitic countries our allies."
Thus when Herzl began to meet in 1903 with infamous anti-Semites like the Russian minister of the interior Vyacheslav von Plehve, who oversaw anti-Jewish pogroms in Russia, it was an alliance that he sought by design. That it would be the anti-Semitic Lord Balfour, who as Prime Minister of Britain in 1905 oversaw his government's Aliens Act, which prevented East European Jews fleeing Russian pogroms from entering Britain in order, as he put it, to save the country from the "undoubted evils" of "an immigration which was largely Jewish", was hardy coincidental. Balfour's infamous Declaration of 1917 to create in Palestine a "national home" for the "Jewish people", was designed, among other things, to curb Jewish support for the Russian Revolution and to stem the tide of further unwanted Jewish immigrants into Britain. 

The Nazis would not be an exception in this anti-Semitic chain of pro-Zionist enthusiasts. Indeed, the Zionists would strike a deal with the Nazis very early in their history. It was in 1933 that the infamous Transfer (Ha'avara) Agreement was signed between the Zionists and the Nazi government to facilitate the transfer of German Jews and their property to Palestine and which broke the international Jewish boycott of Nazi Germany started by American Jews. It was in this spirit that Nazi envoys were dispatched to Palestine to report on the successes of Jewish colonisation of the country. Adolf Eichmann returned from his 1937 trip to Palestine full of fantastic stories about the achievements of the racially-separatist Ashkenazi Kibbutz, one of which he visited on Mount Carmel as a guest of the Zionists. 

Despite the overwhelming opposition of most German Jews, it was the Zionist Federation of Germany that was the only Jewish group that supported the Nuremberg Laws of 1935, as they agreed with the Nazis that Jews and Aryans were separate and separable races. This was not a tactical support but one based on ideological similitude. The Nazis' Final Solution initially meant the expulsion of Germany's Jews to Madagascar. It is this shared goal of expelling Jews from Europe as a separate unassimilable race that created the affinity between Nazis and Zionists all along. 

While the majority of Jews continued to resist the anti-Semitic basis of Zionism and its alliances with anti-Semites, the Nazi genocide not only killed 90 percent of European Jews, but in the process also killed the majority of Jewish enemies of Zionism who died precisely because they refused to heed the Zionist call of abandoning their countries and homes. 

After the War, the horror at the Jewish holocaust did not stop European countries from supporting the anti-Semitic programme of Zionism. On the contrary, these countries shared with the Nazis a predilection for Zionism. They only opposed Nazism's genocidal programme. European countries, along with the United States, refused to take in hundreds of thousands of Jewish survivors of the holocaust. In fact, these countries voted against a UN resolution introduced by the Arab states in 1947 calling on them to take in the Jewish survivors, yet these same countries would be the ones who would support the United Nations Partition Plan of November 1947 to create a Jewish State in Palestine to which these unwanted Jewish refugees could be expelled. 

The pro-Zionist policies of the Nazis

The United States and European countries, including Germany, would continue the pro-Zionist policies of the Nazis. Post-War West German governments that presented themselves as opening a new page in their relationship with Jews in reality did no such thing. Since the establishment of the country after WWII, every West German government (and every German government since unification in1990) has continued the pro-Zionist Nazi policies unabated. There was never a break with Nazi pro-Zionism. The only break was with the genocidal and racial hatred of Jews that Nazism consecrated, but not with the desire to see Jews set up in a country in Asia, away from Europe. Indeed, the Germans would explain that much of the money they were sending to Israel was to help offset the costs of resettling European Jewish refugees in the country. 

After World War II, a new consensus emerged in the United States and Europe that Jews had to be integrated posthumously into white Europeanness, and that the horror of the Jewish holocaust was essentially a horror at the murder of white Europeans. Since the 1960s, Hollywood films about the holocaust began to depict Jewish victims of Nazism as white Christian-looking, middle class, educated and talented people not unlike contemporary European and American Christians who should and would identify with them. Presumably if the films were to depict the poor religious Jews of Eastern Europe (and most East European Jews who were killed by the Nazis were poor and many were religious), contemporary white Christians would not find commonality with them. Hence, the post-holocaust European Christian horror at the genocide of European Jews was not based on the horror of slaughtering people in the millions who weredifferent from European Christians, but rather a horror at the murder of millions of people who were thesame as European Christians. This explains why in a country like the United States, which had nothing to do with the slaughter of European Jews, there exists upwards of 40 holocaust memorials and a major museum for the murdered Jews of Europe, but not one for the holocaust of Native Americans or African Americans for which the US is responsible. 

Aimé Césaire understood this process very well. In his famous speech on colonialism, he affirmed that the retrospective view of European Christians about Nazism is that
it is barbarism, but the supreme barbarism, the crowning barbarism that sums up all the daily barbarisms; that it is Nazism, yes, but that before [Europeans] were its victims, they were its accomplices; and they tolerated that Nazism before it was inflicted on them, that they absolved it, shut their eyes to it, legitimised it, because, until then, it had been applied only to non-European peoples; that they have cultivated that Nazism, that they are responsible for it, and that before engulfing the whole of Western, Christian civilisation in its reddened waters, it oozes, seeps, and trickles from every crack. 
That for Césaire the Nazi wars and holocaust were European colonialism turned inwards is true enough. But since the rehabilitation of Nazism's victims as white people, Europe and its American accomplice would continue their Nazi policy of visiting horrors on non-white people around the world, on Korea, on Vietnam and Indochina, on Algeria, on Indonesia, on Central and South America, on Central and Southern Africa, on Palestine, on Iran, and on Iraq and Afghanistan. 

The rehabilitation of European Jews after WWII was a crucial part of US Cold War propaganda. As American social scientists and ideologues developed the theory of "totalitarianism", which posited Soviet Communism and Nazism as essentially the same type of regime, European Jews, as victims of one totalitarian regime, became part of the atrocity exhibition that American and West European propaganda claimed was like the atrocities that the Soviet regime was allegedly committing in the pre- and post-War periods. That Israel would jump on the bandwagon by accusing the Soviets of anti-Semitism for their refusal to allow Soviet Jewish citizens to self-expel and leave to Israel was part of the propaganda. 

Commitment to white supremacy

It was thus that the European and US commitment to white supremacy was preserved, except that it now included Jews as part of "white" people, and what came to be called "Judeo-Christian" civilisation. European and American policies after World War II, which continued to be inspired and dictated by racism against Native Americans, Africans, Asians, Arabs and Muslims, and continued to support Zionism's anti-Semitic programme of assimilating Jews into whiteness in a colonial settler state away from Europe, were a direct continuation of anti-Semitic policies prevalent before the War. It was just that much of the anti-Semitic racialist venom would now be directed at Arabs and Muslims (both, those who are immigrants and citizens in Europe and the United States and those who live in Asia and Africa) while the erstwhile anti-Semitic support for Zionism would continue unhindered. 

West Germany's alliance with Zionism and Israel after WWII, of supplying Israel with huge economic aid in the 1950s and of economic and military aid since the early 1960s, including tanks, which it used to kill Palestinians and other Arabs, is a continuation of the alliance that the Nazi government concluded with the Zionists in the 1930s. In the 1960s, West Germany even provided military training to Israeli soldiers and since the 1970s has provided Israel with nuclear-ready German-made submarines with which Israel hopes to kill more Arabs and Muslims. Israel has in recent years armed the most recent German-supplied submarines with nuclear tipped cruise missiles, a fact that is well known to the current German government. Israel's Defence Minister Ehud Barak told Der Spiegel in 2012 that Germans should be "proud" that they have secured the existence of the state of Israel "for many years". Berlin financed one-third of the cost of the submarines, around 135 million euros ($168 million) per submarine, and has allowed Israel to defer its payment until 2015. That this makes Germany an accomplice in the dispossession of the Palestinians is of no more concern to current German governments than it was in the 1960s to West German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer who affirmed that "the Federal Republic has neither the right nor the responsibility to take a position on the Palestinian refugees". 

This is to be added to the massive billions that Germany has paid to the Israeli government as compensation for the holocaust, as if Israel and Zionism were the victims of Nazism, when in reality it was anti-Zionist Jews who were killed by the Nazis. The current German government does not care about the fact that even those German Jews who fled the Nazis and ended up in Palestine hated Zionism and its project and were hated in turn by Zionist colonists in Palestine. As German refugees in 1930s and 1940s Palestine refused to learn Hebrew and published half a dozen German newspapers in the country, they were attacked by the Hebrew press, including by Haartez, which called for the closure of their newspapers in 1939 and again in 1941. Zionist colonists attacked a German-owned café in Tel Aviv because its Jewish owners refused to speak Hebrew, and the Tel Aviv municipality threatened in June 1944 some of its German Jewish residents for holding in their home on 21 Allenby street "parties and balls entirely in the German language, including programmes that are foreign to the spirit of our city" and that this would "not be tolerated in Tel Aviv". German Jews, or Yekkes as they were known in the Yishuv, would even organise a celebration of the Kaiser's birthday in 1941 (for these and more details about German Jewish refugees in Palestine, read Tom Segev's book The Seventh Million). 
Add to that Germany's support for Israeli policies against Palestinians at the United Nations, and the picture becomes complete. Even the new holocaust memorial built in Berlin that opened in 2005 maintains Nazi racial apartheid, as this "Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe" is only for Jewish victims of the Nazis who must still today be set apart, as Hitler mandated, from the other millions of non-Jews who also fell victim to Nazism. That a subsidiary of the German company Degussa, which collaborated with the Nazis and which produced the Zyklon B gas that was used to kill people in the gas chambers, was contracted to build the memorial was anything but surprising, as it simply confirms that those who killed Jews in Germany in the late 1930s and in the 1940s now regret what they had done because they now understand Jews to be white Europeans who must be commemorated and who should not have been killed in the first place on account of their whiteness. The German policy of abetting the killing of Arabs by Israel, however, is hardly unrelated to this commitment to anti-Semitism, which continues through the predominant contemporary anti-Muslim German racism that targets Muslim immigrants. 

Euro-American anti-Jewish tradition

The Jewish holocaust killed off the majority of Jews who fought and struggled against European anti-Semitism, including Zionism. With their death, the only remaining "Semites" who are fighting against Zionism and its anti-Semitism today are the Palestinian people. Whereas Israel insists that European Jews do not belong in Europe and must come to Palestine, the Palestinians have always insisted that the homelands of European Jews were their European countries and not Palestine, and that Zionist colonialism springs from its very anti-Semitism. Whereas Zionism insists that Jews are a race separate from European Christians, the Palestinians insist that European Jews are nothing if not European and have nothing to do with Palestine, its people, or its culture. What Israel and its American and European allies have sought to do in the last six and a half decades is to convince Palestinians that they too must become anti-Semites and believe as the Nazis, Israel, and its Western anti-Semitic allies do, that Jews are a race that is different from European races, that Palestine is their country, and that Israel speaks for all Jews. That the two largest American pro-Israel voting blocks today are Millenarian Protestants and secular imperialists continues the very same Euro-American anti-Jewish tradition that extends back to the Protestant Reformation and 19th century imperialism.  But the Palestinians have remained unconvinced and steadfast in their resistance to anti-Semitism. 

Israel and its anti-Semitic allies affirm that Israel is "the Jewish people", that its policies are "Jewish" policies, that its achievements are "Jewish" achievements, that its crimes are "Jewish" crimes, and that therefore anyone who dares to criticise Israel is criticising Jews and must be an anti-Semite. The Palestinian people have mounted a major struggle against this anti-Semitic incitement. They continue to affirm instead that the Israeli government does not speak for all Jews, that it does not represent all Jews, and that its colonial crimes against the Palestinian people are its own crimes and not the crimes of "the Jewish people", and that therefore it must be criticised, condemned and prosecuted for its ongoing war crimes against the Palestinian people. This is not a new Palestinian position, but one that was adopted since the turn of the 20th century and continued throughout the pre-WWII Palestinian struggle against Zionism. Yasser Arafat's speech at the United Nations in 1974 stressed all these points vehemently:
Just as colonialism heedlessly used the wretched, the poor, the exploited as mere inert matter with which to build and to carry out settler colonialism, so too were destitute, oppressed European Jews employed on behalf of world imperialism and of the Zionist leadership. European Jews were transformed into the instruments of aggression; they became the elements of settler colonialism intimately allied to racial discrimination…Zionist theology was utilised against our Palestinian people: the purpose was not only the establishment of Western-style settler colonialism but also the severing of Jews from their various homelands and subsequently their estrangement from their nations. Zionism… is united with anti-Semitism in its retrograde tenets and is, when all is said and done, another side of the same base coin. For when what is proposed is that adherents of the Jewish faith, regardless of their national residence, should neither owe allegiance to their national residence nor live on equal footing with its other, non-Jewish citizens -when that is proposed we hear anti-Semitism being proposed. When it is proposed that the only solution for the Jewish problem is that Jews must alienate themselves from communities or nations of which they have been a historical part, when it is proposed that Jews solve the Jewish problem by immigrating to and forcibly settling the land of another people - when this occurs, exactly the same position is being advocated as the one urged by anti-Semites against Jews. 
Israel's claim that its critics must be anti-Semites presupposes that its critics believe its claims that it represents "the Jewish people". But it is Israel's claims that it represents and speaks for all Jews that are the most anti-Semitic claims of all. 

Today, Israel and the Western powers want to elevate anti-Semitism to an international principle around which they seek to establish full consensus. They insist that for there to be peace in the Middle East, Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims must become, like the West, anti-Semites by espousing Zionism and recognising Israel's anti-Semitic claims. Except for dictatorial Arab regimes and the Palestinian Authority and its cronies, on this 65th anniversary of the anti-Semitic conquest of Palestine by the Zionists, known to Palestinians as the Nakba, the Palestinian people and the few surviving anti-Zionist Jews continue to refuse to heed this international call and incitement to anti-Semitism. They affirm that they are, as the last of the Semites, the heirs of the pre-WWII Jewish and Palestinian struggles against anti-Semitism and its Zionist colonial manifestation. It is their resistance that stands in the way of a complete victory for European anti-Semitism in the Middle East and the world at large.

Joseph Massad teaches Modern Arab Politics and Intellectual History at Columbia University in New York. He is the author of The Persistence of the Palestinian Question: Essays on Zionism and the Palestinians. 

You can follow the editor on Twitter: @nyktweets

The views expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera's editorial policy.
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May 18, 2013

FUCU Celebrity Witness Howard Jacobson Breaks His Silence

How many's that now?  I can't remember for sure. It might be five, maybe six with Howard Jacobson. Jacobson has taken his time getting round to denouncing the result of the FUCU case in this Independent piece.  And what has prompted his outpouring now appears to be the news that Stephen Hawking won't be attending an Israeli war criminal's birthday bash.

Anyway, here's Jacobson on the FUCU case:
 Judge Anthony Snelson who, investigating a complaint that the Union was institutionally anti-Semitic, encountered not a trace of any such beast, no suggestion it had lurked or was lurking, not the faintest rustle of its cerements, not so much as a frozen shadow on a wall. 
A complaint?  There were ten complaints, all of which were found to be without merit, utter tosh, all of them.  And they weren't asked to find any "trace" of antisemitism. They were presented with ten specific allegations that various events at the University and College Union amounted to the racial harassment of a Jewish supporter of the Zionist project.

And see what he says on Hawking:
And now, with Stephen Hawking announcing, by means of an Israeli-made device, that he no longer wants to talk to the scientists who invented it, or to Israeli scientists who invented or might invent anything else, or indeed to Israeli historians, critics, biologists, physicists of any complexion, no matter what their relations to Palestinian scholars whom he does want to talk to, we are reminded that the cultural boycott with which he has suddenly decided to throw in his lot is entirely unJew-related, which is more good news.  “Peace”, that is all Professor Hawking seeks, a word that was left out of his statement...
Here's a reminder from Hawking's statement [taken here from Daily Beast but all over the web]:
I accepted the invitation to the Presidential Conference with the intention that this would not only allow me to express my opinion on the prospects for a peace settlement 
It doesn't tell us much about Hawking. It does however tell us a lot about Howard Jacobson.

And do you know the word that was left out of Howard Jacobson's statement listing all those who Hawking doesn't want to associate with?  It's Peres.

Honing Those Four Hasbara Steps

I've mentioned this Discredited Andrew chap before.  He lurks at Harry's Place and devastates them all with casual observations that usually amount to pointing out that the premises of a given post are basically wrong or without substance.  Readers might have noticed a lengthy and detailed article by Joseph Massad on al Jazeera recently.

A nasty campaign by Zionists against Massad has been going for years now so anything he says is going to attract the ire of HP but here's a taste of Massad's article headed, The Last of the Semites:
Jewish opponents of Zionism understood the movement since its early age as one that shared the precepts of anti-Semitism in its diagnosis of what gentile Europeans called the "Jewish Question". What galled anti-Zionist Jews the most, however, was that Zionism also shared the "solution" to the Jewish Question that anti-Semites had always advocated, namely the expulsion of Jews from Europe.
Well, if you ever read HP there's no need to quote their responses.  So far I've noticed two posts on the article, the first by Sarah Annes Brown and the second by a Paul M. You can gather what both are saying from Andrew's comments beneath the second one:
Discredited Andrew  2 days ago
So Zionist responses to Massad's article take three forms:
1) Feign outrage at some of the excesses but ignore the meat of the argument. (The Sarah AB approach.)
2) Argue that although Massad appears to be saying X (because he is acutally saying X) he is "subtly" saying "essentially" Y and saying Y is a jolly bad thing indeed. (The Elder of Ziyon/Sarka approach)
3) Attempt to dismiss it as absurd and thus irrelevant while the Ziosphere produce article after article on it. (The Paul M approach.)
Given that it's pretty flawed article, just imagine the total panic if he'd cleaned it up a bit round the edges!
Actually I agree there were flaws to the article.  Massad is discussing/asserting the confluences and antagonisms between various ideologies influencing Jews in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and further discussing where they have led us to today.  He does not however discuss the material conditions or class interests that gave rise to these various ideologies.  But getting into what an HP target actually said is a serious digression from what HP and its followers say he said.

Here's Andrew again:
Discredited Andrew  Josh S  2 days ago

And the fourth response!

4) It's Jew hatred!
Took a while though, must be the Fraser UCU case slowly sinking in.
Yay!! Did you see that?  Bonus points for rubbing their noses in the FUCU case.

Obviously, some of Andrew's comments are responses to other comments that you don't need to read to know what they said, like this:

Discredited Andrew [replying to] Petra Marquardt-Bigman a day ago

From Stormfront:

"I would like to point out that if the U. Columbia prof behind this article is trying to make NS look bad for having a role in Zionism"
Indeed they're pretty dumb at Stormfront, but one of them's twigged that it's an anti-Nazi piece.
Wow. Andrew doesn't mind diving into the sewers so we don't have to.  First HP then Stormfront.

There was a comment by Andrew under the Sarah Annes Brown post that earns him even more bonus points:

SarahAB Mod  Discredited Andrew  5 hours ago

Although I think you flatten the facts here, it seems undeniable that many Palestinians were uprooted from the homes where their families had lived for generations. The fact they didn't have their own state either before hand doesn't change that. Of course lots of comparable things have happened which people forget about.

Wonderful and definitely better than me. I would have wasted time challenging her on what she meant by "flattening".  Of course, the bonus points arise for linking to Jews sans frontieres.

If you want to see the whole threads you have to hurry.  It's a curious paradox about Israel advocates that their only sign of decency is their dishonesty.  It shows that they are ashamed of themselves and well they should be.  That being the case, HP deletes its comments after a week.  Probably just as well.