More “non-existent” anti-Semitism in the news

These news clips, as usual, make us feel very lonely. We are constantly being told by “leftists” that anti-Semitism doesn’t really exist or is (at best) grossly exaggerated as a Zionist propaganda ploy—a demoralizing abdication of the supposed leftist value of opposing ethnic scapegoating as a distraction from class analysis. Exposing and denouncing anti-Semitism falls more and more to the pro-Zionist right (which does indeed seek to exploit it for propaganda purposes) and to the centrists, who increasingly seek to censor and even imprison those who espouse it—a demoralizing abdication of the supposed centrist value of “free speech.” Here, alas, is the latest litany…

First, from J-Wire, Jan. 31:

O’Connell: a wake-up call to anti-Israel “social-justice activists”
Last week Brendon Lee O’Connell was convicted on 6 counts of anti-Jewish harassment and vilification in the Western Australian District Court by a 12-person jury, after a 2-week trial in which the accused prominently exhibited his guilt by repeating his crime ad nauseum in the courtroom. On Monday he was sentenced to a total of 3 years imprisonment.

O’Connell was at a Friends of Palestine protest in May 2009, against the sale of Israeli oranges, when he harassed and taunted a Jewish student, shouting that Judaism is a “religion and race of hate” and the student is a “racist homicidal maniac”.

During the trial he compared Judaism to an organised crime syndicate, said he was proud to be associated with holocaust denier Fredrick Toben, and asserted that “Jews control the entire world”. He also referred repeatedly to a massive, well-worn volume entitled “Judaism Discovered” full of multicoloured stickers apparently marking his favourite “juicy bits”. This 1102-page antisemite’s textbook, which is banned from sale by Amazon, asserts that Judaism is a “Religion of Racism, Self-Worship, Superstition and Deceit…” His supporters claim that “Judaism is a horribly repugnant cult based on hatred of Christ, occultic doctrines, racial divisiveness, sexual barbarism, and voodoo rituals” and describe “Orthodox Judaism as the ideological survival of the most ossified traditions of Babylonian paganism, concealed beneath a complex system of dissimulation and misdirection”.

Throughout his trial O’Connell repeatedly referred to “occupied Palestine”. When the jury retired, he shouted from the dock that it would be “an honour” to be imprisoned “for Palestine and Iraq”. After the verdict was pronounced he shouted “Soon Benjamin Netanyahu will be in the dock… Free Palestine… Free Iraq!”

Now, how many different ways is this maddening and depressing? Let’s go with three. 1.) As we have pointed out in the case of the vile David Irving, locking up those who spew anti-Semitism is counter-productive stupidity that just makes them look like martyrs and paradoxically vindicates them. So shame on the Western Australian District Court. 2.) As we pointed out in a similar case concerning Barnes & Noble in New York, even idiots have the right to make their case to the public, and denying them that right again paradoxically vindicates them. So shame on Amazon. And, 3.) as we pointed out in a similar case concerning Al-Awda in San Francisco, Palestine activists have got to take responsibility for the real Jew-haters that will inevitably be attracted to their ranks. So has Australia Friends of Palestine forthrightly repudiated this thug O’Connell? If not, shame on them too.

Moving right along. From the Jerusalem Post, also Jan. 31:

Student leader suffers anti-Semitism over fee hikes
LONDON – A student leader was rescued by police at a protest in Manchester on Saturday after he was surrounded and subjected to anti-Semitic abuse by angry protesters.

Protesters screamed “Tory Jew” and “Tory Jew scum” at the president of the National Union of Students Aaron Porter during a protest against the rise in tuition fees, a decision made by the Conservative- Liberal Democrat coalition government that has led to a number of riots in central London in recent months.

What’s particularly bizarre is that the student in question, Aaron Porter, was (contrary to the implication of the headline) there to address the rally, as a supporter. Do those who accosted him think all Jews are fiscal conservative “Tories”? The account describes the accosters as a “minority” among the protesters. We sure hope so. But we concur with Aaron’s closing words: “Racism is something that student activists have been fighting to eliminate for decades and this was a sobering reminder that there was still work to do.”

Next. From the Hudson Institute’s Hudson New York blog:

Conspiracy Theories, Anti-Semitism and the Parable of the Shark
After a series of attacks in Egypt, one of which killed a German tourist, the Egyptian Governor of South Sinai, Muhammad Abdel Fadil Shousha, suggested, “What is being said about the Mossad throwing the deadly shark [in the sea] to hit tourism in Egypt is not out of the question, but it needs time to be confirmed.” Other explanations, such as overfishing forcing sharks into new waters, and dumping animal carcasses from freighters, have also been proposed; but Israeli sharks were the most extensively discussed…

Most observers dismissed the shark accusation as merely the latest in a seemingly endless stream of conspiracy theories that flow from, and appear to animate, the Arab and Muslim worlds.

Far deadlier than the shark attacks was the New Year’s bombing of a Coptic Church in Alexandria—resulting in a stream of accusations from Islamists that Israel, the United States and others were responsible. As Lebanon’s Grand Mufti, Sheikh Mohammad Rashid Qabbani put it: “This assault…is not an individual internal Egyptian act, but a criminal act with Zionist… finger prints that want to sow hatred among Muslims and Coptic Christians.”

Is is really beside the point to remind us that the Hudson Institute is an organ of neocons who have much invested in discrediting the Egyptian regime. If Egyptian figures were not spewing this ugliness, the neocons would not be able to flaunt their comments.

Then there’s one particularly egregious case that we missed when it happened. From AFP, Aug. 25, 2010:

Lithuanian Prime Minister condemns synagogue pig’s head attack
VILNIUS — Lithuania’s Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius on Wednesday condemned an apparent neo-Nazi attack in which a pig’s head was left at the entrance of a synagogue…

The pig’s head was found on Saturday—the Jewish holy day [Rosh Hashanah]—outside a synagogue in Lithuania’s second city of Kaunas…

Lithuanian-Jewish leaders had on Monday dubbed the act a “Nazi provocation”.

Must be more “legitimate criticism of Israel,” eh?

See our last posts on the politics of anti-Semitism and the idiot left.

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  1. hate to do this, but
    Could it not be argued that this editorial printed here from a few years ago also constitutes as a tiny bit of anti Semitic paranoia?:

    I don’t agree with Save Darfur’s call for military intervention by any means(Mia Farrow’s suggestion of Blackwater was particular mad) nor do I condone their misleading advertisements that were later revealed, however, it can’t be assumed that everyone who joined the group joined because they wanted to distract people from Israel. Anti defamation league? Sure, maybe considering they do jump down Israel critic’s throats too often, but surely there were some people with good intentions?

    1. The headline was “Save Darfur: Zionist Conspiracy?”
      Please note the question mark. That’s an important part of the headline. Our writer Ned Goldstein was exploring the charge, not making it. By no means were all the “Save Darfur” activists Zionists with ulterior motives, or even dupes thereof. However, pro-Israel neocons clearly sought to exploit the Darfur genocide for propaganda purposes.

      We will point out that World War 4 Report was covering the Darfur conflict long before it became “sexy” (our writer Wynde Priddy first raised the alarm in March 2004), and we have continued to cover it now that it has disappeared from the headlines.

  2. You said one troubling thing in this article.
    Hi, my name is Gary Anderson, and I support the existence of Israel and the right of all nations of the middle east to pursue peace. My natural father was Jewish and I was adopted at three months of age. I was raised by Gentiles. I would not qualify to emigrate to Israel, not having a Jewish mother, but I would have qualified for the holocaust, so I have a right to go on here. I must say that there is a lot of antisemitism but it is because people do not have the understanding to couch these arguments properly. There are legitimate arguments against many who are of Jewish descent. Let me give you some examples:

    1. Not all mafia figures were Italian. Some were of Jewish descent. That does not mean they were practicing Jews, just that they came from those who practiced Judaism.
    2. Some, a minority, of Bolsheviks were descendants of Jews, not practicing Jews, although their parents likely were.
    3. Alan Dershowitz once told me that the parents of Leo Strauss, father of the Neocons, were Jewish. The implication was that he was not. And of course, though he was a Zionist, he was not a practicing Jew.
    4. Many, though not all, banksters in the international banking cartel are descendants of Jews. However, it is incorrect to label these and all international banksters, Jewish. But it is true that the international bankers at Basel 2 allowed off balance sheet banking. This resulted in a massive shadow banking system that offered predatory and hateful loans to the mainstreet of America and to a lesser degree, other Western nations. Our government is not prosecuting these crimes and mainstreet is rightfully angry.
    5. Many people perceive the control of Palestine by Israel as being an occupation. It looks like an occupation. I realize it is a complicated occupation, with leaders of the other side calling for the destruction of Israel, but it is an occupation of a people. It needs to end. It looks bad coming from an ethnic group that received grievous persecution by occupiers. The world set up this tension in 1948, and the world needs to solve the issue, probably with a two state solution. For anyone to point blank say it isn’t an occupation of one people by another runs contrary to observation.

    So then, the issue is one of understanding who is who and who is at fault for what. An intelligent discussion can come from that and it is disingenuous for Jews or descendants of Jews to shun this discourse and merely cry out “antisemitism”.

    We have a mainstream press that does not want this conversation, that is tightly controlled, and that also continues false stereotypes. This website can contribute to the dialogue of understanding or can continue the war of words.

    1. “dialogue”? “discussion”? “conversation”?
      Nobody ever said all Jews were angels. Our opposition to anti-Semitism is based on the apparently very radical idea that Jews are just people. Not the Chosen People, not the Spawn of Satan. Just people.

      Now, what the hell is there to “discuss” or “dialogue” about in Brendon O’Connell’s assertion that Jews constitute a “race of hate”? In ganging up on Aaron Porter and taunting him as “Tory Jew scum”? In conspiracy-mongering about Mossad sharks eating tourists in Egypt? In leaving a pig’s head outside a synagogue?

      Your “comments” (if we may so flatter them) are a perfect non-sequitur. Not even skillful enough to count as sophistry.

      Go away.

      1. Your response, Bill.
        I agree with your radical idea. Why would you want me to go away as I agree with you. I am saying that people would be less likely to resort to racial slurs if the dialogue improved and if the arguments were better understood. When people have just part of the truth, they can use that to resort to racism. I am saying we need to clear up the stereotypes. If you want to keep them you aren’t exactly making much headway in discussing Jews just as people are you?

        Telling me to go away is NOT FAIR.

        1. You do not “agree” with me
          You appear to advocate “dialogue” with Jew-haters. That makes you an adversary (albeit, fortunately, not a particularly formidable one). That’s why I want you to go away. There is nothing “unfair” about this honest desire.

          1. I have argued with racists
            Bill, I already told you I argued with racists on the economics boards. I believe you can change the opinions of some of these racists by understanding and debate. You are saying they can’t be changed, so why even have this website? I cannot believe that none of them can be changed. Perhaps they can’t all b changed, but face it, what other choice do we have then to try?

            There is some nobility within the human spirit that can be reached, but evidently something has told you otherwise. Maybe you should get out of New York for awhile and see that things aren’t so black and white as you think.

            What sort of solution do you want? Race war? God forbid.

            1. Who said anything about a “race war”?
              Not me. You are the one who is loaning legitimacy to racist arguments by asserting that we shouldn’t call anti-Semitism “anti-Semitism” because this is somehow bottlenecking “dialogue.”

              1. You misunderstand me again Bill.
                Bill, there is an antisemitism that exists that is a deep hatred of all things Jewish. You could say that Hamas shares that view. And maybe this ranter is truly antisemitic and cannot be changed, I don’t know. But I have factual evidence that some ranters just don’t have the definitions down correctly and that they are capable of change. I am not your adversary for trying to change them.

                Why would you not want to win someone over from being racist and hateful to one who is not? I don’t understand that view. I told you before and I will tell you again, I have battled anti Semites on bulletin boards in more than one place. Instead of railing against the policies of the big bankers they railed at ethnicity. I shut them down. One even quit posting in that way.

                I have not listened to your radio program. I hope you would not be involved in hate radio. I know out west we have a lot of those guys, and it sells. But I don’t like it.

                1. Then maybe you should learn to write clearly
                  You have to have a modicum of common ground with someone before there can be “dialogue” or even “argument.” People such as those cited in the examples above fall well outside that category. Committed racists are to be resisted, not embraced with “dialogue.”

                  1. Then please excuse my poor choice of words
                    When you say dialogue means compromise I know see what you mean. I should have used the word debate. Of course we would and should stand our ground against these people. But peacefully, we can debate them and I have. Look at my comments on Seeking Alpha under Gary A and you will have proof of this. Sorry for the poor use of words here.

                    1. OK then, “debate”
                      What the hell is there to “debate” with people who leave pigs’ heads at synagogues?

                      Get outta here.

    2. I appreciate that you posted my views.
      I appreciate that you posted my views above. I have always argued that you cannot argue against the abuses of the bankster class in an ethnic way. I have gone on the boards of Seeking Alpha and Business Insider and have publically denounced any efforts to couch these economic battles as anything ethnic. We must understand that the banking crisis and attack on mainstreet hurt many Jews and descendants of Jews just like it hurt many Gentiles. That is why we cannot couch these arguments in an ethnic manner. It is wrong, it is destructive, and it ultimately will lead to the weakening of those who seek to wage a defense against the banksters.

      I plead with people to not take the low road. There is a high road, and once we realize that many Jews, such as those who live in Reno and have had their house prices decimated, are victims of this new economic system that grips the world. I have argued that the new economic system hurts the sovereignty of governments and thus is not as beneficial as many of it’s proponents would have you believe. Had there been no predatory housing bubble scheme, then perhaps they could have been believed, but there was and they are not believed.

    3. you do qualify for Israeli citizenship
      you are actually incorrect… you do qualify for Israeli citizenship… you are required to have only 1 Jewish grandparent on either side…

      crimes by Israel should be acknowledged 100%… anti-semitism should always be acknowledged when it occurs…

      1. I don’t think so
        How did we get onto this? It is my understanding that since my mother is not Jewish, I would have to “convert” if I wanted to make aliyah. (Which of course I don’t.)

  3. Read the Posting Policy!!!
    The above poster not only posted his worthless screed twice, but sent me e-mail to bait me for censoring him—while I was asleep. Why don’t you clowns ever read the Posting Policy? What part of the below text don’t you understand?

    We have an approval queue. If your post does not appear immediately, do not post it again. Just wait.

      1. You didn’t wake me up.
        E-mail is silent. Just don’t assume you are being “censored” if I don’t approve your post because I am asleep! Unless you say something outright barbarous, I will approve it when I wake up.