L.A.’s defenders of Israel , The L.A. battle for Israel’s survival
There is great racism against Jewish students on college campuses within the Muslim student organizations.
L.A.’s defenders of Israel
The L.A. battle for Israel’s survival
By Brad A. Greenberg, Senior Writer
A protester from the international pro-Israel group StandWithUs yells outside the Israeli consulate in Los Angeles during the conflict with Hezbollah in July 2006. Photo by Ringo Chiu/Zuma Press
The notice shocked Karen Klein, head of Students for Israel at Cal State Northridge: Norman Finkelstein, the much-maligned scholar who wrote “The Holocaust Industry” and has spoken glowingly of Hezbollah, had been invited by the provost to lecture for three days this week at her school.
Klein had grown up down the street from campus, followed her father and sister in attending CSUN, and she was concerned about the implications of inviting Finkelstein, whose lectures she assumed would include rants against the legitimacy of the State of Israel.
“The campus is very apathetic, and in the years I’ve been at CSUN, this is the first anti-Israel event that has happened,” said Klein, a senior who plans to move to Israel after she graduates. “I wanted to make sure I handled it in the right way, because I want this to be the first and last instance of anti-Semitic activity at our university.”
First she contacted Hillel, with which Students for Israel is affiliated, and the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). Then she called a group that since it began seven years ago in a Los Angeles living room has become an international leader in pro-Israel advocacy at colleges and universities.
StandWithUs national director Roz Rothstein jumped into action. She phoned Harry Hellenbrand, the provost and vice president who had invited Finkelstein, and explained the complaints her organization had. Hellenbrand wasn’t surprised, and he asked StandWithUs to recommend speakers with a contrary perspective for a future lecture, a gesture he also made in a meeting with Klein. A list of 15 names was drawn up, and the drama was defused.
“That is exactly what we would want to have happen,” said Hellenbrand, who said Finkelstein had been requested by faculty members who wanted to hear how his controversial scholarship had cost him tenure at DePaul University. “In a sense, our lives are made easier if we never have any controversial speakers at all. But that is not going to really happen. The ideal we have, but what rarely does happen, is that people come in and protest and write letters and ask us to support other speakers.”
StandWithUs was born from death, given life by the grisly discovery of two Israeli teens, Kobi Mandel and Yosef Ishran, in a cave outside of the West Bank settlement of Tekoa on May 9, 2001.
“A rock the size of a computer rested on Kobi’s smashed skull,” Time magazine reported. “Both bodies were covered with stones. Blood smeared the walls, and the dirt floor was muddy with it. When the searchers rolled the rocks away, they didn’t see faces but unrecognizable pulp.”
Two of the more than 1,000 Israeli deaths from the Second Intifada, then still in its infancy, the murders spurred a small group of Jews half a world away. A week and a half later, Roz and Jerry Rothstein convened at their home the first meeting of the Israel Emergency Alliance. The group of about 50 rabbis and Jewish leaders, across partisan and denominational lines, would soon take the name StandWithUs, centered around the Web site http://www.standwithus.com, and within a year would establish itself as a trailblazing grass-roots organization, one of a few redefining what it means to be pro-Israel.
The group’s ambitions started small: arranging a meeting with editors at the Los Angeles Times to discuss what they felt was the paper’s pro-Palestinian bias in covering the conflict. They then turned to education, focusing on how to inform college students and journalists about other views of Israel than what was being shown in American media and identifying anti-Israel rhetoric on college campuses.
“My mother, who was a survivor, always told me that the Holocaust, as she watched it grow, began in the schools and the colleges. The hatred took hold in the youth,” Roz Rothstein said in an interview last week. “We have a motto at this organization that education is the road to peace.”
StandWithUs has grown from a small group of volunteers meeting at the Rothsteins’ home to an international organization with offices in Los Angeles, New York and three other U.S. locales as well as Europe and Israel. With a staff of about 40, a budget of $3 million and a number of printed materials — including a 43-page glossy guide, “Israel 101,” and flyers comparing Walt and Mearsheimer’s book “The Israel Lobby” with “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion” — StandWithUs acts, as Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz said, as an “intellectual Delta Force.”
“StandWithUs may have started as a campus organization — and they are our go-to group — but their educational efforts have gone out to pre-university schools, to the community itself,” said Gilad Millo, spokesman for the Israeli consulate in Los Angeles sponsor of the organization’s annual conference, which this year included the Jerusalem Post’s Palestinian affairs reporter, Khaled Abu Toameh, and Palestinian Media Watch’s Itamar Marcus. “Their PR sense is brilliant.”
StandWithUs, of course, has its critics, too, from those who think it is fighting the wrong battle — hustling a pro-Israel information campaign instead of focusing on Jewish education — to those who disagree with the organization’s definition of “pro-Israel.”
“It becomes a zero-sum game: If Israel did good, the other side must have done bad,” said David N. Myers, a UCLA professor of Jewish history and director of its Center for Jewish Studies. “I would like to rethink the way we imagine pro-Israel to say it should also mean pro-Palestinian. The interests of Israelis and Palestinians meet at the point of freedom from occupation and self-determination for the Palestinians…. I find troubling the practice of defending every Israeli action. The fact of the matter is there is no country in the world whose every action is defensible. Robust practicing democracies undertake actions that merit scrutiny, Israel too. And that is not part of the mission of StandWithUs. What concerns me is the very polarized way they see the world, which is represented in the very name StandWithUs, which implies that anyone else is against us.”
Most of the organization’s resources are dedicated to providing materials and strategic support to college students, particularly at embattled campuses such as UC Irvine. But StandWithUs has received broad attention for two other efforts — joining Dershowitz and others in opposing Finkelstein’s bid for tenure at DePaul University and waging an ad war against a pro-Palestinian organization that placed posters in Washington’s subways showing Israeli tanks.
The subway ads were indicative of StandWithUs’ hard-line brand of truth telling. One of the posters showed an Arab toddler in the right arm of his father, who was wearing fatigues and a bandana and was resting an automatic rifle on his left shoulder. “This Child Could Grow Up to Be A” the poster stated, offering three options: doctor, teacher or terrorist. The terrorist box contained a checkmark.
Such pro-Israel advocacy didn’t exist in Los Angeles before StandWithUs came along, and the organized Jewish community has rallied around it. The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles has given a number of small grants along the order of the $10,000 gift for November’s “Israel in Focus” conference, and the Jewish Community Foundation has given $305,000, including a Cutting Edge grant of $210,000 in 2006 to provide “teaching tools and classroom materials for public high school teachers to use to effectively teach about Israel.”
“Through this breakthrough work, StandWithUs strengthens the fabric of our local Jewish communities by instilling knowledge and understanding of Zionism and Israel,” Marvin I. Schotland, president and CEO of The Foundation, said. “It’s tantamount to a two-for-one payoff for a supporting organization such as ours.”
But this support has also raised questions. While StandWithUs professes to be a non-partisan advocate on behalf of Israel — one whose board bears many shades of the political spectrum and refrains from commenting on the policies of the Israeli government — progressive Jewish leaders consider the organization to be their ideological inverse.
“A number of very good progressive Jewish organizations have applied, in some cases repeatedly, for funding from The Foundation, and they have been denied,” said Daniel Sokatch, executive director of the Progressive Jewish Alliance (PJA). “This would seem to suggest that there is particular support in the Jewish Community Foundation for the brand of Israel advocacy that is put forth by StandWithUs, which is a particularly hard-line, conservative version.”
The seminal moment in the transformation of pro-Israel advocacy occurred in the summer of 1993, when the Oslo accords were finalized, and then signed, on the White House lawn.
“The Jewish community essentially had trained itself in one direction and was being asked to turn around immediately,” said Michael Berenbaum, an adjunct professor of theology at American Jewish University. “It had advocated that the enemy was the PLO, and the question was, if all of the sudden [the PLO] are friends, they felt betrayed.”
It was at this moment that the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) broke a decades-old code and criticized the Israeli government. While most Jewish American organizations got behind the landmark peace agreement, ZOA President Morton A. Klein predicted the accords would not only fail, but that they would empower Yasser Arafat and endanger Israelis.
“They were completely wrong and we were completely right,” Klein said last week. “Peace is impossible.”
Seven years and 300 murdered Jews after Oslo, the Second Intifada broke out, rupturing the ground beneath American Jewry. Within one more year, 19 Muslim terrorists would hijack four American planes and inflict the worst domestic attack in U.S. history; Jews and the West found a common enemy in the Muslim world, and the crack in the Jewish community severed into two pieces — hawks and doves, hardliners and peaceniks, right and left.
In Los Angeles, the American Jewish Congress had dissolved its local office in 1998 and reformed the following year as the PJA, a liberal organization concerned mostly with domestic issues related to social justice. But the AJCongress reopened here in 2000, bearing little resemblance to its former self.
“People who believed that we could have peace with the Palestinians were shaken out of their misguided view and realized they had no desire for peace,” said Gary P. Ratner, the group’s western region executive director. “Their goal was what they stated openly: The destruction of Israel, whether through the violence of groups like Hamas or through negotiations, that will weaken Israel. I think some of us woke up to the fact that Oslo was a disaster and the peace process would only lead to the destruction of Israel.”
The Jewish state was under attack with no partner for peace; the old model of resolving conflict through compromise had failed. With climbing anti-Israel rhetoric on American campuses and the perception that international media had joined liberal Christians in taking up the Palestinian cause, the hardliners quickly captured the upper hand among Jewish groups in the debate on what it meant to be pro-Israel.
“It’s a painful moment in Jewish life, because there isn’t a place for honest and open discourse,” Gerald Bubis, founding director of the Irwin Daniels School of Jewish Communal Service at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, told this paper in a 2002 article titled “The Silencing of the Left?” “People can have very strong differences of opinion about where to go and how to resolve things, but that discourse does not have a place right now. Rather, there is a vituperative argumentation and excoriation.”
Amid this climate, major Jewish organizations slid into the shadows, abdicating their leadership.
“Whatever they said would upset somebody,” Jonathan D. Sarna, a professor of American Jewish history at Brandeis University, said. “As a result, Jews who were frustrated, who wanted to defend Israel and didn’t really know how or didn’t have the ability, they gravitated toward The David Project and its sort of counterpart in StandWithUs.”
The David Project first made headlines in 2004 with a documentary, “Columbia Unbecoming,” which alleged faculty intimidation of pro-Israel students at the Ivy League school.
“We have lost a generation. The Jewish leadership failed to understand the situation we were in. We thought that people who were our enemies would be thugs yelling ‘kike,’ instead of soft-spoken college professors saying Israel is an apartheid state,” Charles Jacobs, president of the Boston-based David Project, said. “In the West today, most people don’t hate the Jews because we are Christ-killers and we are racial vermin, but they hate Jews because they see us supporting what has been unfairly described as the cruelest of nations.”
Just how serious the crisis on college campuses is, how deeply Israel is being vilified, how under attack Jewish students feel, is a source of great debate. Many schools, including USC, UCLA and CSUN, seem mostly immune from the anti-Israel rhetoric 51 weeks of the year. But then Palestinian Awareness Week draws tension between Muslims and Jews at UCLA, or a controversial speaker is invited to any one of those universities and concern crests. More troubling are campuses plagued by frequent protests against Israel, like one at Concordia University in Montreal six years ago that resembled a pogrom.
“There isn’t as much happening on campuses as people think,” said Amanda Susskind, the ADL’s regional director. “But where it is happening, it is happening worse than people can imagine.”
Among the schools most afflicted by Israel-bashing has been UC Irvine, where students frequently march against Israel holding signs that say “Smash the Jewish State” and “Israel, the 4th Reich.” Several times a year since the outbreak of the Second Intifada, radicals like Muhammad Al-Asi and Amir Abdel Malik Ali have been invited by the Muslim Student Union to praise suicide bombers as “freedom fighters” and accuse “the Zionist-controlled media” of distorting the human-rights record of “the apartheid State of Israel,” a country that is “a monkey on the American back” and “a cancerous presence.”
“There is great racism against Jewish students on college campuses within the Muslim student organizations. The speakers, the programs, the handouts are all indicative of a deep hatred of Israel and, in my opinion, of a very deep racist ideology,” Rabbi Yonah Bookstein, associate rabbi of UC Irvine’s interfaith center, said. “I have been — just this last week actually — the victim of that racism by Muslim students at UC Irvine. I was heckled when I was trying to speak to a group of high school students about the Arab-Israeli conflict. It was on Thursday; it was on campus. There is just a wave of hatred and racism directed at Jewish students by Muslim students. It literally permeates everything they do.”
Anti-Israel attacks have appeared across the country, most often where unaffiliated speakers have been invited by pro-Palestinian campus groups. (A 44-minute StandWithUs documentary, “Tolerating Intolerance,” focuses on a handful of these speakers, including Al-Asi, Malik Ali and Finkelstein.) The crisis, however, is not endemic. And even at large universities where the problem seems to be acute — places like San Francisco State a few years ago — many Jewish students report no problems.
“Even at San Francisco State and even in the heat of this,” said Seth Brysk, who was the Hillel director there and is now executive director of the American Jewish Committee’s L.A. chapter, “I had Jewish students say to me, ‘Why are you making such a big deal about this? I’ve never had a problem with anti-Semitism.'”
Roz Rothstein doesn’t believe an unstoppable crisis is racing across academia. But she thinks a pro-Palestinian agenda in favor of the end of the Jewish state is simmering below the surface. And she wasn’t willing to wait until it was too late.
“We are not the victims, and we do not want to be the victims. We are strong enough to say ‘never again,'” Rothstein said. “I didn’t create bus bombings. I was minding my own business before 2000. I was raising a family; I wasn’t working for the Museum of Tolerance or the ADL. This isn’t about anti-Semitism. This is about radical Islam creating a society of little fundamentalists that have radical intentions.”
Rothstein, 55, sat in her undecorated L.A. office on the second-floor of an industrial building, a location the group doesn’t disclose for fear of violence. A handful of boxes were stacked on top of, and in front of, three large bookcases and a smaller one filled with multiple copies of “The Israelis” by Donna Rosenthal, “Exodus” by Leon Uris, “Myths & Facts: A Guide to the Arab-Israeli Conflict” by Mitchell Bard and “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Jewish History & Culture.” These aren’t part of Rothstein’s personal collection — that shelf includes Steven Emerson’s “American Jihad” and Jimmy Carter’s “Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid” — but are used to seed libraries with books that positively represent Israel — more than 3,500 locations so far.
Her focus is divided between disseminating pro-Israel information in the Western world and opposing what she called “the hate training of the Palestinian children.” Strongly influenced by the fact that both parents and her stepfather were survivors, Rothstein draws parallels between indoctrination of Arab children and the Hitler Youth.
“How did they do it? They did it with the same cartoons and hate training that we see today in Arab countries,” she said, using her computer to log onto standwithus.com. She pulled up a flyer comparing anti-Semitic cartoons in Nazi Germany with those found in Arab papers — a giant spider bearing the Magen David, a child being slaughtered in ritualistic baking, a grotesque Jew being kicked off a cliff.
“How do you get people to hate? Use things that were successful. The Nazis got Europe to hate the Jews,” she said. “So they use their model and they do it all over.”
Rothstein is not only the public face of StandWithUs, but its core energy. She started the organization with her husband and Esther Renzer, a like-minded woman who serves as the board president, and is widely credited with its meteoric rise, something admired by both critics and supporters.
“Their success, in no small part, is a testament to the dynamic leadership of Roz Rothstein, who is a creative and entrepreneurial executive, not to mention zealous in her love and advocacy of Israel,” said Schotland, of the Jewish Community Foundation.
She is motivated by a deep conviction that avoiding conflict is the worst strategy for the Jewish people. In summer 2006, Rothstein joined the campaign to strip an L.A. County Commission on Human Relations award from Maher Hathout, a founder of the Muslim Public Affairs Council, who had called Israel an “apartheid state” run by “butchers.” Though Hathout got to keep the award after a month of contentious public hearings and news articles probing the Egyptian immigrant’s past, Rothstein said she was proud of their efforts.
“If you Google him, then you will not see that he received an award he shouldn’t have, but that he was a controversial guy who attended Hezbollah rallies and told Muslims they should not communicate with Israel,” Rothstein said.
“Two years ago,” she said, “the Presbyterian Church nearly voted to pull $7 billion in investments out of Israel — $7 billion. Do you know why that happened? Neglect. Our neglect of the defamation of Jews or Israel will never amount to anything good.”
Stop perpetuating “Palestinian” Islamists’ orchestrated self made fake “victimhood”!
It’s not only unfair but it’s even dangerous to swallow their propaganda and “agree” with their: “we are the victims” culture.
It’s all routine to see each time the Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad “succeeding” in it’s devious tactics to appear as “victims”, be it by inflicting self misery on turning all aid and resources towards destructive hateful fascistic Jihad, or via using civilians as shields for terrorists, or any other cruel tricks they come up with to show the world how “bad” the Israelis are to them, because you know ‘all the troubles this self inflicted group of the Arab “Palestinians” always have is the “Zionists” fault of course.’
We should oppose any of their devilish propaganda that takes their civilians’ lives along with the ‘Oh, look how bad Israel is’, message, a “people” that is able to kill it’s own children (Hamas, Hezbollah and their massive followers) directly or indirectly only to damn (the good guy, anti terrorists defender) Israel’s image, never deserve any sympathy.
I know they prey, especially on Jews’ ultra conscience, but it’s a dangerous game, once we allow to have compassion on those that are about nothing but compassion and minimal values of humanity, we are replacing this love where it rather should go, to the real innocent people anywhere else outside the guilty “Palestinian” group, that are not pushing their leaders towards genocide ideology.
Once we allow our selves to cave in to their tactics and finally sing that “Palestinians are victims” dreadful song, the danger is enormous, if we take them as “victims”, this is exactly Islamic terrorists’ power all over the world, their slogan: ‘We are victims, so we can do what ever we want to”.
Well of course the Qassam attack on Israeli schoolchildren that caused the Israeli action was another well planned trick to “justify” the latest Islamic bombing on innocent Israelis.
It’s your life and mine or theirs, as simple as that, in the fascism of anti non-Muslims, or anti all that are not the right kind of Muslim in their evil eyes.
Kudos to [Jan. 2008] Obama, [though being such a liberal] who understood that, in writing to the [international Arab oil lobby hijacked] UN that he understands Israel’s being forced by Palestinian terrorists to close cigarettes and luxury items (starving? yea right! another Pallywood lie) channels to Gaza.
The bloody BBC’s hands in murdering the innocent in Israel
Feb. 4, 2008
What do you know, after weeks of mounting vicious anti Israel campaign, buying all Islamofascist Hamas’ tactics of causing self harm to their population: targeting Israeli children in Sderot to draw an Israeli anti terror operation in order to have the “victim-hood” being picked up.
The BBC as always (mainly since 1987), is on the front champions in this crime, not just ignoring the cynical game Islamic terrorists play (Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Hezbollah), but far worse, it actually plays a mouthpiece for them by portraying Israel as the “bad guy”, after all is set and done, the “Palestinian” fake “victims” (the leaders and the massive population that elect them) could now continue what they always want, to annihilate Israelis.
Holocaust Hypocrisy [Arab Muslim racism, fascism against Israel]
January 31, 2008 | From theTrumpet.com
Anti-Semitism destroyed 6 million Jews in World War II. Today, a subtler yet similarly dangerous anti-Semitism pervades the international community and threatens to end the Jewish state.
On Sunday, Western governments and institutions around the world held ceremonies to honor the memories of the 6 million Jews massacred during World War ii. International Holocaust Remembrance Day—January 27, the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest of the Nazi death camps—was created by the United Nations in 2005 as a yearly reminder of the Holocaust in an effort to ensure it never happens again.
Despising Hitler’s form of anti-Semitism is not difficult. It killed 6 million Jews. But centuries of history show that hatred for the Jews manifests itself in various shapes and shades. Anti-Semitism is arguably humanity’s ugliest, most persistent ideological wart.
Anti-Semitism is cyclical. It starts out small and unnoticeable; untouched, it grows, and as it does it takes on a distinct form and shape. When it becomes large, noticeable or painful, the host takes action and cuts it down to size. Down but not out; it does not disappear—it merely goes underground. And after a while, it begins to reemerge. And though it may look different—mutated, or darker, or shaped differently—it is the same old ugly, painful wart.
Venerating the Jewish victims of the Holocaust is an important and worthy gesture. But for world governments and the international media to solemnly condemn Hitler’s anti-Semitism, yet at the same time actively, to one degree or another, condone, even promote, the demise of Jewish statehood is to resurrect the same anti-Semitic wart.
It’s also rank hypocrisy.
Sixty-three years have passed since Hitler attempted to destroy the Jews as a race: Today that same anti-Semitic spirit is being directed, subtly, at the Jewish state. “What anti-Semitism once did to Jews as people, it now does to Jews as a people. First it wanted the Jewish religion, and then the Jews themselves, to disappear; now it wants the Jewish state to disappear,”wrote Melanie Phillips (City Journal, Autumn 2007; emphasis mine throughout).
Same wart, different mutation. And it’s making a mockery of the international community: Despite the tears, the pious speeches honoring the dead, promising the Holocaust will never be repeated and condemning Nazi Germany, the reality is that the international community, by diluting its support for Israel and throwing its weight behind the enemies of Israel, is condoning the systematic obliteration of the Jewish state.
Take the UN, for example. Beneath its goodly platitudes and rare and often benign bouts of pro-Israel rhetoric such as UN Resolution 60/7 (International Holocaust Remembrance Day) sits a long and sordid legacy of anti-Semitism, intolerance for Israeli actions, and inequality against the Jewish people and state.
For decades, and by its own admittance, the UN has consistently marginalized and persecuted Israel, while at the same time aiding and abetting the actions, often illegal, of Israel’s enemies, especially the Palestinians. Over a period of 40 years, 30 percent of resolutions condemning specific states adopted by the UN Human Rights Commission were directed against Israel. In 2006-07, all of the Human Rights Council’s condemnatory resolutions passed were against Israel.
In 2001, the UN sponsored the World Conference Against Racism (wcar), in Durban, South Africa. “Far from a forum promoting tolerance among peoples and nations,” reported the National Post, “wcar became a festival for hateful screeds against Israel and the West by some of the most repressive regimes in the world, cheered on by ngos from Europe and North America” (January 25).
Now the UN is planning the second wcar for 2009, and reports from planning meetings suggest Durban ii “will be worse than the first” (ibid.).
Fact is, UN leaders can decry rampant global anti-Semitism, pass a token resolution encouraging member states to commemorate the victims of the Holocaust and conduct conferences which on the surface appear to be designed to combat global racism, but as long as this organization maintains an obvious agenda of marginalizing Israel while abetting and legitimizing the actions of Israel’s enemies, it will remain one of the world’s foremost bastions of hypocrisy.
The same goes for Europe, the historical fountainhead of anti-Semitism. For many years after World War ii, it remained publicly circumspect in its treatment of Jews. But that time is over. Europeans today, despite the yearly memorial ceremonies and commensurate tears, speak openly about the diminishing sense of Holocaust remorse. Surveys conducted in June and September of 2002 by the Anti-Defamation League showed that 58 percent of Germans, 57 percent of Spaniards, 56 percent of Austrians and 52 percent of Swiss believe “Jews still talk too much about the Holocaust.”
“Europe is reawakening its old demons, but today there is a difference,” reported British parliamentarian Denis MacShane last September. “The old anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism have morphed into something more dangerous. Anti-Semitism today is officially sanctioned state ideology and is being turned into a mobilizing and organizing force to recruit thousands in a new crusade—the word is chosen deliberately—to eradicate Jewishness from the region whence it came and to weaken and undermine all the humanist values of rule of law, tolerance and respect for core rights such as free expression that Jews have fought for over time” (Washington Post, Sept. 4, 2007).
Same wart, new mutation.
One poll, conducted by the University of Bielefeld in 2004, showed that 51 percent of German respondents agreed with the statement, “What the State of Israel does today to the Palestinians is in principle not different from what the Nazis did in the Third Reich to the Jews.” In the Arab world, the portrayal of Israelis and Jews as modern-day Nazis is part of the everyday repertoire of anti-Semitic lies.
Now this insidious form of anti-Semitism, which Manfred Gerstenfeld labeled “Holocaust inversion” in the Wall Street Journal this week, has become worryingly popular in the West.
This distortion of history is particularly widespread in the Muslim world. But it is also gaining currency in the West, where it is no longer just the domain of the extreme left. Last year, a German bishop visiting Israel compared Ramallah to the Warsaw Ghetto. Portuguese Nobel laureate for literature José Saramago in 2002 compared Ramallah even to Auschwitz. …
Portraying Jews as Nazis, Israeli prime ministers as Hitler and the Star of David as equal to the swastika is almost routine in the Arab world. This trend has also reached Europe, where during the anti-Iraq war protests, for instance, many demonstrators held placards depicting similar images. In the Netherlands you can now buy T-shirts and greeting cards showing Anne Frank wearing a kaffiyeh, the traditional Palestinian headdress, wrapped around her neck like a scarf. In other words, the Palestinians are the new Jews, which makes the Israelis the new Nazis.
Political cartoons have emerged as malign vehicles of anti-Jewish sentiment. Gerstenfeld continues:
Holocaust-inversion caricatures appear also occasionally in Western mainstream papers. In July 2006, the Norwegian daily Dagbladet carried a drawing showing Prime Minister Ehud Olmert as SS Major Amon Göth, the commander of a Nazi death camp depicted in Steven Spielberg’s Schindler’s List. A 2002 cartoon in the Greek daily Ethnos showed two Jewish soldiers dressed as Nazis, with Stars of David on their helmets, thrusting knives into Arabs. Its caption reads: “Do not feel guilty, my brother. We were not in Auschwitz and Dachau to suffer, but to learn.”
Even the United States, Israel’s strongest ally, has embraced a foreign policy that dilutes its support of the Jewish state by appeasing and legitimizing Arab ambitions toward Jerusalem and Israel. Washington’s latent anti-Semitism was revealed in two major events last year: first, the Annapolis peace talks, and second, the release of the infamous National Intelligence Estimate (nie).
In the wake of the Annapolis peace talks, Caroline Glick wrote: “This week the Bush administration legitimized Arab anti-Semitism. In an effort to please the Saudis and their Arab brothers, the Bush administration agreed to physically separate the Jews from the Arabs at the Annapolis conference in a manner that aligns with the apartheid policies of the Arab world which prohibit Israelis from setting foot on Arab soil.”
Less than a week later, the U.S. released the nie, making the groundbreaking announcement denying the existence of an Iranian nuclear weapons program—which signaled a revolutionary change in America’s foreign policy in the Middle East. Yossi Klein Halevi responded in the New Republic:
America, even under George Bush, is hardly likely to go to war to stop a program many Americans now believe doesn’t exist.
Until now, pessimists here could console themselves that a last-resort Israeli attack on Iranian nuclear facilities would likely draw wide international sympathy and even gratitude—very different from the near-total condemnation that greeted Israel’s attack on Saddam’s reactor in 1981. Now, though, the nie will ensure that if Israel does attack, it will be widely branded a warmonger, and faulted for the inevitable fallout of rising oil prices and increased terror.
The sense of betrayal within the Israeli security system is deep. After all, Israel’s great achievement in its struggle against Iran was in convincing the international community that the nuclear threat was real; now that victory has been undone—not by Russia or the European Union, but by Israel’s closest ally.
The nie essentially amounted to America’s betrayal of Israeli statehood.
In Britain, anti-Semitism is exceedingly worse, and manifests itself in multiple ways. Jews in Britain are four times more likely to be attacked because of their religion than are Muslims; synagogues are regularly attacked; schoolchildren are routinely persecuted; rabbis are punched and knifed; and British Jews are forced to hire security guards for protection at weddings and community events.
In 2006 Denis MacShane chaired a committee of British parliamentarians to examine anti-Semitism in Britain. Their report showed that beyond the physical attacks and persecution there was also “what we described as anti-Jewish discourse, a mood and tone whenever Jews are discussed, whether in the media, at universities, among the liberal media elite or at dinner parties of modish London. To express any support for Israel or any feeling for the right of the Jewish state to exist produces denunciation, even contempt,” MacShane wrote (op. cit.).
Same wart, different mutation.
Over the past few days, Western politicians and the media have made plenty of worthy statements about the Holocaust, condemning Hitler’s actions and promising that history will never be repeated. History shows, however, that platitudes are no match for rank anti-Semitism. The proclivity of Western governments and the Western media to refrain from supporting Jewish statehood while at the same time throwing their weight behind Israel’s enemies, is indicative of an international community that is turning its back on the Jewish state.
Adolf Hitler despised the Jews as a race; today large swaths of the international community are against Israel as a state. Do we really believe the difference between these two forms of anti-Semitism is enough to prevent another Holocaust? •
Brad Macdonald’s column appears every Thursday.
To e-mail Brad Macdonald, click here.
Palestinian Authority under Mahmoud Abbas continues to portray the United States as the merciless enemy of the Palestinians. A cartoon in the PA official daily last week shows Gaza drowning in blood, while the US is cruelly stamping on the outstretched Arab arm trying to help Gaza.
The dude with a case of cigs talking on a cell phone. For someone with no job, wonder who’s paying for all this stuff? (hint: probably YOU!!!)
Peaceful Pali on an afternoon stroll through Gaza
A Palestinian smiles as he returns to Gaza with his new motorcycle, bought in Egypt, at the border between Egypt and Gaza, in Rafah, southern Gaza Strip, Friday, Jan. 25, 2008. Hamas-backed militants driving bulldozers knocked down more Egyptian border fortifications on Friday
MILLIONS of pounds of taxpayers’ money is being poured into financing terrorist propaganda, .
Some of the cash is even being used to fund school textbooks which teach children in Palestine to worship violence and hate all non-Muslims.
Hamas, Gaza, Iran – News Censorship By PR, Terror, Murder
By Joel Leyden
Israel News Agency
Jerusalem, Israel —– January 24, 2008 ……. Nowhere can one find democracy to be more alive, more vibrant than in the Fourth Estate. A few years after the French Revolution, Edmund Burke, looking up at the Press Gallery of the House of Commons, said, ‘Yonder sits the Fourth Estate, and they are more important than them all.’
The Fourth Estate are working journalists. Whether it be print journalism, broadcast journalism or Internet journalism, the Fourth Estate both informs and keeps in check the First Estate – clergy, the Second Estate – nobility, for the enlightenment and protection of the Third Estate – commoners.
It has always been the ultimate tool of checks and balances.
A recent historical example was the Watergate Affair where Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein through intensive investigative journalism brought down US President Richard Nixon, forcing him to resign in disgrace.
Today one can find the Fourth Estate in action in both Israel and Hamas occupied Gaza. But the distinction and size between working in Gaza and Israel is no different than the width of the Atlantic Ocean. In Israel, the Fourth Estate is allowed access to governmental, commercial and religious affairs. Israel’s government-appointed Winograd Commission of inquiry into the Second Lebanon War and its targeting of the IDF, the Israel Ministry of Security and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert releases its finding to both the domestic and global media without missing a heartbeat.
But the story is quite different in Hamas occupied Gaza. Hamas, a terror led and Iran fueled organization which qualifies as a First Estate entity does not allow free speech. If one cares to express themselves against Hamas, the penalty is either a bullet through the head, a beheading or a hanging.But where it really gets scary is when Hamas points their guns at journalists.
Now we have the Islamic First Estate attempting to control the Fourth Estate, not by blackmail, fraud or even public relations. But rather through the blatant use of terrorism – the murder or attempted murder of innocent civilians. Recently, a TV camera crew from Israel came under both sniper fire and Qassam rocket attacks by Hamas as they were investigating the Hamas sniper murder of a farm worker on the other side of Gaza.
The incident was fully documented and filmed.
Carlos Andres Chavez, a 20-year-old volunteer from Ecuador, was killed after he was shot by a Palestinian sniper from within the Gaza Strip as he was working in the fields of the Ein Hashlosha kibbutz located near the coastal territory.
The Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’ military wing, took responsibility for the murder.
The murder and beheading of American journalist and Wall Street reporter Daniel Pearl in Karachi, Pakistan by Islamic terrorists highlights another recent incident at intimidation by Islamic terrorists. It is believed that Al Qaeda was responsible for this murder.
Iran has also acknowledged that a Canada – Iran photojournalist was beaten to death after her arrest outside a prison in Tehran. Iran Vice President Ali Abtahi said Zahra Kazemi died “of a brain hemorrhage resulting from beatings”. Kazemi, 54, was detained on 23 June for taking pictures of Tehran’s Evin prison. She was later pronounced dead after falling into a coma
And according to Human Rights Watch, after testifying to a US presidential commission about their torture during detention, a group of Iran journalists have received death threats from judicial officials under Tehran chief prosecutor Saeed Mortazavi.
“We want the Iran government to know that the world is watching what happens to these young journalists. The Iranian government is responsible for their safety,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, executive director of Middle East and North Africa Division at Human Rights Watch. “The Iranian authorities should be protecting citizens who testify before presidential commissions instead of sending them death threats.”
Reporters Without Borders condemned the fatal shooting in Baghdad of Iraq TV journalist Liqaa Abdul-Razzaq in what “once again bears the hallmarks of an execution.” An interpreter and the driver of the taxi she was travelling in were also killed in the same shooting, while a woman friend was wounded.
“We are outraged by what appears to have been a targeted killing designed to intimidate the entire press and we call on the authorities to carry out a rapid and thorough investigation to identify those responsible and prevent this kind of tragedy continuing,” the organization said.
It also reiterated the principle that “journalists are neutral observers whose work must be protected and respected in order to ensure that news reporting is as free and thorough as possible.”
But Hamas has little if any respect for journalists. If anything, journalists are used solely as a PR tool and provided with misinformation with headlines that appear in such global newspapers as the Belfast Telegraph and The Independent: “The poor and the sick suffer as Israel cuts power to Gaza.”
Israel never cut power to Gaza. Hamas did. And the power which was severed was limited to Northern Gaza from where the Kassam rockets are launched daily slamming into the town of Sderot, Israel. As part of its propaganda machine Hamas shut down Gaza’s only power grid last week in protest of Israel’s blockade.
Hamas then broadcast images of children in a dark Gaza City, holding candles and portraying Israel as the aggressor.
How could Hamas broadcast pictures of children holding candles in Gaza if there was no electricity?
“We’re continuing to supply the people of Gaza with electricity despite the overload for electricity in Israel and despite the fact that Israel residents and Electric Company workers that are being sent to Gaza vicinity communities are under threat from Qassam rockets,” said Israeli Electric Company (IEC) workers’ committee chairman Miko Zarfati.
Several Israel electrical workers have been injured in rocket attacks in recent years and like farmers and others working near the Gaza fence, have been most recently threatened by sniper fire.
So as the democratic, free media in Israel attacks Ehud Olmert and others for their actions in Lebanon, as the democratic press in Israel takes the IDF to task for occasionally ignoring the needs of innocent Palestinians at defensive, security checkpoints, Hamas does not criticize it merely silences international reporters by bullets.
Just ask a group of international journalists at the Gaza – Israel border crossing of Erez, whose cars were sprayed by bullets two weeks ago by Hamas snipers.
If Israeli soldiers should ever hit and injure a journalist, it is never by intent. Either the journalist was not wearing clothing to identify himself as a journalist, did not inform the IDF that he or she was in the area or as in war time – the journalist was in the wrong place at the wrong time. It is a risk that journalists take to get the story out. The ultimate sacrifice by the Fourth Estate for the many in the Third Estate.But the murders and kidnappings of foreign journalists by Islamic terrorists, by Hamas, al Qaeda, Hezbollah, Syria and Iran and are well planned events to silence those who dare to speak up against Islam. Iran’s extreme Revolutionary Guards have maintained the death sentence on British author Salman Rushdie is still valid – 19 years after it was issued.
The military organization, loyal to Iran’s supreme leader, said the order was “irrevocable”, on the eve of the anniversary of the 1989 fatwa. The order was issued after publication of Rushdie’s novel “The Satanic Verses”, condemned as blasphemous.
This is just one of the many basic and fundamental differences between Hamas occupied Gaza and a small, democratic and free nation called Israel. But yet the Belfast Telegraph, the Independent, The LA Times, AFP, The Times and many other Western news media outlets chose to ignore these hard and documented facts as they continue to misinform and incite their readers against Israel. A nation which unilaterally left Gaza in a move for peace, but yet their innocent citizens and working journalists are still under attack by Hamas Kassam rockets and terror sniper fire.
The Fourth Estate has become a target in the Middle East and in distorting the news from time to time lends some credibility to those who target them. But yet another distinction between Hamas, Iran and Israel is that Israel may revoke a government issued press card, but Hamas will revoke one’s life.
For years, the U.N., led by Islamic and Arab nations and their sympathizers, has accused Israel of racism, but the world consistently turns a blind eye to open, seething anti-Semitism in Islamic society.
What are the facts?
In one of the most astonishing propaganda coups ever, a United Nations conference on racism, which took place in Durban South Africa in 2001, declared that Zionism is racism. No wonder the U.S. and Israel walked out of the meeting, which was dominated by representatives of Islamic and Arab states and other anti-Israel forces, and whose conclusions were predictable from the outset.
The supreme irony of this conference was that it accused no other nation of racism—only Israel. In truth, Israel is perhaps the most racially and ethnically diverse and tolerant country in the world. More than half of Israel’s Jewish population consists of people of color—blacks from Ethiopia and Yemen, as well as brown-skinned people from Morocco, Iran, Syria, Egypt and Israel itself. In addition, Israel’s population includes more than one million Arabs, who enjoy the same civil rights as Jewish Israelis. In Israel hate speech is banned, and it is against the law to discriminate based on race or religion.
In contrast, anti-Semitism—a poisonous form of racism directed specifically against the Jewish people—is rampant in most all Islamic societies. Not only is anti-Semitism commonplace in Muslim nations, but it is propagated shamelessly by their leaders, in state-sponsored media, and by Muslim clergy.
For example, former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamed declared in a 2003 speech to the Organization of Islamic Conference that, “today Jews rule the world by proxy. They get others to fight and die for them.” Imagine if an American president had made a similarly sweeping and bigoted statement about blacks, Latinos or any other race—what a justifiable uproar, perhaps even an impeachment, would ensue. Yet there was no condemnation by the Muslim world of Mr. Mohamed’s comments. Rather, virtually all of the conference’s Muslim leaders actually voiced their approval.
In response to a terrorist attack in Saudi Arabia in May 2004, Crown Prince Abdullah declared that “Zionism is behind [these] terrorist actions in the kingdom.” (Zionism is the code word often used by Islamic anti-Semites for Jews.) U.S. Congressman Tom Lantos called the Prince’s assertion “an outrage . . . blatant hypocrisy,” but Islamic leaders were silent. In fact, millions of Muslims still insist that Zionists were behind the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center.
Anti-Semitism is expressed so freely and ubiquitously in most Islamic societies that no citizen can escape it. During Ramadan in 2002, Egypt’s state-controlled TV aired “Horseman Without a Horse,” a program based on the notorious forgery, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, in which Jews allegedly use the blood of non-Jews to make Passover matzot. In Iran, a TV series, “Zahra’s Blue Eyes,” portrays “Zionists” kidnapping Palestinian children and harvesting their organs.
Perhaps nowhere is the hatred of Jews more virulent than among the Palestinians. Most perniciously, Palestinian children are taught in school that Jews are descended from apes and pigs and that the most noble thing they can do is to kill Jews. Muslim clerics like Imam Ibrahim Madiras, an employee of the Palestinian Authority, declared in a 2005 television sermon, “Jews are a cancer” and later that, “Muslims will kill the Jews . . . [and] rejoice in Allah’s victory.” No surprise, then, that the 1982 doctoral dissertation of Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas makes the astounding claim that “Zionists” collaborated with the Nazis to annihilate the Jewish people in order to drive the survivors to Palestine.
Anti-Semitism and the prospects for peace: Islamic anti-Semitism permeates the Arab Middle East and creates an atmosphere in which Jews are reviled and represented as subhuman. How can the Palestinian people embrace peace with a people represented by their religious and political leaders as dehumanized, evil beings? Even more importantly, how can Israel be expected to trust a so-called peace partner who expresses abject hatred and murderous intent toward Jews on a daily basis? Yet the U.S. and many European nations continue to demand that Israel make one-sided sacrifices for peace with a people steeped in racism and committed to its destruction.
Until Islamic leaders muster the integrity to relentlessly condemn anti-Semitism (and its evil twin, anti-Zionism), we can’t expect Israel to accept a forced peace with the Palestinians. Likewise, until moderate Muslims reject racism in all forms, they can’t expect Islam to enjoy full respect as a political and spiritual force among the world’s people.
“ Until Muslims reject racism in all forms, they can’t expect Islam to enjoy full respect as a political and spiritual force.”
‘CONFLICT IN THE MIDDLE EAST’ ARABS VS ISRAEL ANOTHER ARAB MUSLIM INTOLERANCE CASUALTY:Being a minority in a majority hostile middle east – [“Goliath”] Arab racism & Islamic bigotry against [“David”] Israel
Arabs VS Israel, The blatant intolerance that created the ‘conflict’, persecutes little Israel, isolates it, demonetizes it, and threatens it constantly since its re-establishment.
What does the cruel vicious racist giant want from the innocent little one?
Let’s face it, had Israel be just another Arab, Muslim country, nothing of – what’s now known as – an ‘Arab Israeli conflict’ would have existed at all.
The fate of a minority in a double sense, it is neither an Arab state, but a full democracy with Arabs as a major equal minority, nor is it a Muslim state, its system is like any western free secular society.
Would it be just about a strip of land, you would have expected that with [always the giver:] Israel’s gigantic gesture of its land Gaza give-away, a change [somewhat] of behavior will occur among Arab “Palestinians”, instead of genocidalrise of Hamas.
Can anyone point for me the exact “territory”, the callers for Genocide: Islamic Republic of Iran’s “case” in “dispute” is all about?
A typical Islamic hypocrisy, its name is Ahmadinejad, with all his Islamic intolerant regime’s anti-Arab racism, persecuting all his minorities especially his Arab ( The Plight of the Ahwazi Arab) population, can be the last (in the Middle east) to claim he just aches for Arab “Palestinians”.
Intolerant Arabia fact# 1: What kind of an excuse of re-appearing the State of Israel was there for one of the major crimes post WWII, to expel the 850.000 Jews from Arab Muslim countries in 1948 & confiscate their property?
DIVIDED ARABS: ‘UNITED WE STAND IN EVIL RACISM!’
Intolerant Arabia fact# 2: What united the (always divided) Arabs to attack the Jews in 1948, 1967, 1973?
(Iraqi example of Arab on Arab in the most beastly way type of slaughter, is rooted in old hatred among Arabs, Muslims, sectarian and otherwise, as are other Arab vs Arab massacres: Algerian, “Palestinian” and so on, in any case, even when in peace, still there is never any harmony among Arab leaders, never any unity in the Arab world on anything besides shear blind anti-Israelism).
Intolerant Arabia fact# 3: What kind of a world is it that they will cheer to “Palestinian” Intifadas & Hezbollah (- 2006) [usingabusing –] playing kids & women’s lives as a ping pong (as always, not caring about Arabs’ lives but turning only) against Israel?
If not for the unbelievable consistency of Arab racism, (which started to manifest itself in the 1800’s, up-scaled since 1929 [*, *, *, *, *] there wouldn’t have been a conflict nor the prolonged suffering of both sides, well, it’s all too bad that the [“Palestinian”] Arabs suffer from their own racism.
from the ‘Hebron Massacre’ 1929
NEVER PRO ARAB – “PALESTINIANS” BUT ALWAYS ‘ANTI – ISRAEL’
Had it been about Arab world being “preoccupied” with the Arab “Palestinians”, the Arabs wouldn’t have hated, oppressed, persecuted, massacred them (in Lebanon, Kuwait, Jordan, S. Arabia, Iraq, etc.).
Just a side note, Can anyone answer me this, How come it was rather the Arab filthy oil rich countries that were left so far behind at Europe’s pledge drive of billions of dollars to the “Palestinians” in 2007?
[GUESS WHAT] THE MIDDLE EAST DOES NOT “BELONG” TO ARABS
What historic human suffering done is done, the Arabization monster that has swept through the middle east crushing [eliminating, dwindling its population & wide oppression] in its way all other indigenous people in the middle east and in north Africa, its consequences are still resulting in minorities’ plight, but the Arab world have yet to grow up and realize the reality that neither the world nor the middle east belongs only to one race.
WHY NOT TALK ABOUT PRE ISRAEL’S RE-ESTABLISHING?
Why do you think the Arab propagandists always avoid the initiation milestone of Arab massacres on Jews by Hitler’s buddy the Arab Islamic leader the Mufti [*, *, *, *, *] (the inspirer of the butcher: Yasser Arafat) ? If not for it being the mark and typical exposed cause (which is plain hatred)?
As lamentably the UN, EU & its policies, and even US policy makers that push for an Arab- ‘Palestine’ state while pressing only Israel for more concessions, are entirely hijacked by the oil Arab bosses, who should [then] even care about a “Zionist” lobby in Washington?
DEHUMANIZATION OF ISRAELIS [INCLUDING ISRAELI VICTIMS]
When not busy hearing lessons, sermons by radical Islam’s animalistic teaching referring to Christians as “pigs” and to Jews as “apes” [*****], the “best” respect the Arab mainstream media and leaders can [let their audiences to] relate to Israelis is in a frame of “brutal soldiers”, Can somebody explain to me how come Israeli soldiers who are (among) the most humane in the world, knocking on door to door, in spite of booby traps awaiting them, risking their lives in every anti-terror operation trying so hard not to cause too many casualties on the aggressive Arab side. Inventing low range missiles maximum precision to minimize collateral damage, and these beautiful soldiers that are more compassionate on Arab kids then their proper Arab parents are [those that send them on the front line covering for coward adult terrorists, in the ‘Pallywood’ bloody theater of war to gain sympathy in international cameras when finally Arab kids are hurt, it’s the Israelis who are the last ones that want this to happen, which is exactly why the Arabs choose to use these inhumane tactics against Israelis’ humanity,] are called by any vile name in the book by Arab racists?
In fact, unlike in Israel that any incident is reported, no matter who’s side lost lives, there are hardly any Israeli victims of Arab attacks in Arab mainstream & “moderate” media, You don’t see Israelis as humans, never pictures of Israeli children who are victims, a cry a tear a laugh, you see only “occupation tanks“.
Ever wondered why is it that with each new offer from the kind Israelis, the Arabs always go backwards and nothing tangible of peace is really achieved?
You don’t need a medic to tell you that if you can’t define the disease a cure is impossible.
THE [TINY MINORITY] FEW COURAGEOUS ARABS THAT STAND UP AGAINST RACISM AND FOR ISRAEL’S RIGHT
Not all is lost in Arabia, the few heroes like Arabs for Israel, should be applauded, it shows that once you start recognizing the root of the “conflict” = bigotry, confront it & fight it, you can finally move on and coexist with people who are different in: race, religion, origin, culture, etc.
(See more rare moderates).
Replacing tolerance for bigotry, love for hatred, peace for war.
NO RACISM NO CONFLICT!
The only “conflict” applicable [in case you prefer to use rather the term “conflict”], is that it’s actually a conflict between Islamo Arab deadly intolerance and [clashing with] Israelis’ quest for life and tolerance.
Calling the “conflict” by its real name is important to “solve” it.