Spot the Difference

The following quote comes from a far-right antisemitic hate site,

“OUTRAGE TOWARDS ANYONE WHO PROFFERS VALID CRITICISM of Jewish affairs is the continual accepted response by world Jewry. But for a Gentile to be “outraged” by Jewish apartheid in Israel, Jewish genocide in Gaza, Jewry’s applause of Gazan genocide, & Jewish control of American & European political life, is to be slandered, vilified, and to have his or her job and life in jeopardy.”

The following quote comes from the liberal newspaper the Guardian, reviewing a book by Haaretz journalist Gideon Levy,

“And then there follows the even more depressing knowledge that anyone who raises any objections to Israel’s behaviour and policies is going to be slandered as an antisemite………….Well, I know what’s going to happen now. I and the blameless Review section of this newspaper will be denounced as either Hamas stooges, antisemites, or both.”

Now, spot the difference between the answer each gives to the question of what happens if you “dare” criticise Israel? (Please keep in mind one is a racist, the other a liberal)

98 Responses to “Spot the Difference”

  1. Brian Goldfarb Says:

    “The following quote comes from the liberal newspaper the Guardian…”

    When Israel comes up, shouldn’t there be inverted commas around “liberal”?

    “we don’t cherry-pick our conscience” (Elton John) – except, for The Guardian, when it’s Israel we’re talking about. And why so coy about the reviewer? Or are we expected to guess? That’s difficult, there are so many candidates…

  2. empress trudy Says:

    I wish you would specify which hate site that came from.

  3. Weekonly Says:

    I refuse to give publicity to a neo-nazi hate site. For those interested, I am sure it is easy enough to find thanks to search engines, etc..

  4. Karl Pfeifer Says:

    Both – the neo-nazi hate site and Guardian – say that you need great courage to criticise Israel.
    Of course you need no courage at all. Here in Austria we have a magazine distributed in all Austrian trains it is called eurocity and has 330.000 readers. In the actual issue I found on page 78-81 The article of Avraham Burg “The Shoa-Epidemic”, “The Israeli Avraham Burg explains, why his State must disengage itself from the Holocaust”
    So the great worry of the Chief Editor of this Austrian periodical is not the fact, that 29 percent of Austrians voted for an extreme right party.
    To say a word about this fact relating to Austria or to publish a 4 page article would cost him the job. To falsify reality of Israel is a very popular sport and some can make a good income by bashing Israel especially by writing about
    the Shoa-Epidemic.

  5. Brian Robinson Says:

    I’ve got two posts here on this:
    http://bit.ly/cW2yqJ

    (scroll down)
    Brian

  6. Brian Goldfarb Says:

    ““And then there follows the even more depressing knowledge that anyone who raises any objections to Israel’s behaviour and policies is going to be slandered as an antisemite…”

    Lezard may or not be antisemitic, I have no evidence either way, but this statement does appear to be a new appearance (possibly by a new user) of the Livingstone Formulation. On his usage, this makes D. Hirsh, M. Vogel, R. Gold and numerous of those who comment here antisemitic.

  7. Thomas Venner Says:

    It’s quite surprising how literate that neo-Nazi quote is. Normally, anything written on the internet by neo-Nazis is at about the same level of literacy as one of those I CAN HAS CHEEZBURGER things, and reading it becomes quite depressing after a while.

    This is why I love the “Socialist Unity” blog – it’s basically Stormfront for people who can read.

  8. robert hawke Says:

    What I read from this is that anyone – anytime – anywhere criticizes Israel they’re immediately an anti semite or a Holocaust denier, or a self-hating Jew etc. The accusations work well to shut down critics of Israel. It makes about as much sense as criticizing the Italian government and then labelled a “catholic hater”
    Israel is a lunatic state and gets away with it because “we dare not criticize its government” or we’ll be called some nasty things. This has nothing to do with Judaism. It has everything to do with Zionism. Some of the people labelled ant semites:
    Nelson Mandela
    Jimmy Carter
    Bishop Desmond Tutu
    Ghandi
    Albert Einstein
    Martin Luther King
    Hannah Arendt

  9. S Says:

    weekonly’s question cannot really be answered since the first author, the obvious antisemite, does not ask “the question of what happens if you “dare” criticise Israel?” He refers to
    “Jewish apartheid in Israel, Jewish genocide in Gaza, Jewry’s applause of Gazan genocide, & Jewish control of American & European political life”

    How astonishing that for weekonly, there is apparently no difference between antisemitic rants about “Jewish control of American and European political life” and a reference to “objections to Israel’s behaviour and policies”.

  10. Weekonly Says:

    There is a world of difference between an antisemitic rant and criticism of Israel (liberal or otherwise). However, that is not the point being made.

    The point being made here is that both the antisemite and the liberal agree that any “criticism of Israel” (the liberal) or of “Jewish affairs” (the antisemite) will give rise to the same response by Jews: both use the same word, “slandered”.

    In other words, both the liberal and the antisemite make the claim that Jews are acting in bad faith when they raise the issue of antisemitism, that the only reason they make such a claim is to “slander” critics. Indeed, it also gives to the claim of antisemitism a power that, as is evident, it does not possess – that the mere mention of the word stops all and everyone in its tracks; and that those who “stand up” to such claims are speaking truth to an omnipotent power.

    It’s a familiar trope.

    I am afraid I have absolutely no idea what Hawke is talking about.

    • S Says:

      The point being made here is that both the antisemite and the liberal agree that any “criticism of Israel” (the liberal) or of “Jewish affairs” (the antisemite) will give rise to the same response by Jews: both use the same word, “slandered”.

      No, that is not what was written before:

      spot the difference between the answer each gives to the question of what happens if you “dare” criticise Israel?

      Also, the antisemite seems to think that one’s life would be in jeopardy, a level of paranoia that seems entirely absent from the Guardian writer, which makes it somewhat odd to pretend that they are saying a critic would face “the same response by Jews”.

      But anyway, this:

      In other words, both the liberal and the antisemite make the claim that Jews are acting in bad faith when they raise the issue of antisemitism, that the only reason they make such a claim is to “slander” critics. Indeed, it also gives to the claim of antisemitism a power that, as is evident, it does not possess – that the mere mention of the word stops all and everyone in its tracks; and that those who “stand up” to such claims are speaking truth to an omnipotent power.

      is simply drawing conclusions about what the Guardian writer wrote that have no basis in anything he wrote. He did not say, or imply, and certainly did not “claim”, that “Jews are acting in bad faith”. This is entirely in your imagination, and the decent thing to do would be to apologize for this, yes, slander, to the Guardian writer.
      The rest of it is likewise a product of your imagination.

      • Brian Goldfarb Says:

        But, S, what Lezard actually says is that “anyone who raises any objections to Israel’s behaviour and policies is going to be slandered as an antisemite………….I and the blameless Review section of this newspaper will be denounced as either Hamas stooges, antisemites, or both.”

        So, given that so far no-one has actually accused Lezard of antisemitism (I stated that I had no evidence either way), the only slandering going on, at least in these columns, is Lezard’s, should anyone actually critique his review and suggest that he is other than fair to the book. He has already got his defence in place: “I’m being accused of being an antisemite, when all I’ve done is criticise Israel.

        As I’ve already noted (and so have numerous others here), this is a prime example of the Livingstone Formulation – claiming one is being accused of antisemitism (wrongly, note) in order to avoid having to argue out the criticism of Israel – criticism which may or not be valid, but should be open to reasoned debate. On that basis, most of those writing in these columns are antisemites, given that we frequently criticise Israeli government policy.

        _That’s_ what you should be responding to, S, not some straw man you’ve just erected.

    • Brian Goldfarb Says:

      “I am afraid I have absolutely no idea what Hawke is talking about.” Of course you do, Weekonly, he’s another one displaying the Livingstone Formulation. He’s also telling those of us here who both defend Israel’s right to exist in general and, AT THE SAME TIME!, criticise particular policies of the Israeli government of the day, that we are therefore accusing ourselves of being antisemites This is because, he says, if “anyone – anytime – anywhere criticizes Israel they’re immediately an anti semite or a Holocaust denier, or a self-hating Jew etc. The accusations work well to shut down critics of Israel.”

      So there you have it, Weekonly, we’re rumbled: we’re all secretly antisemites. And robert hawke needs to take lessons in logic and semantics.

  11. Absolute Observer Says:

    “How astonishing that for weekonly, there is apparently no difference between antisemitic rants about “Jewish control of American and European political life” and a reference to “objections to Israel’s behaviour and policies”.”

    No, the truly astonishing point is that Walt and Mearsheimer got a lead article in the LRB and a contract with Penguin books for “apparently no difference between “Jewish control of American………political life and Israel’s behaviour and policy”.

    One could also add a similar claim made by Tony Benn and Israel’s control of the BBC.

    That is what is “truly astonishing”.

  12. Thomas Venner Says:

    What’s also astonishing is how a country approximately half the size of Wales, with a population slightly larger than that of greater London composed predominantly of a small ethno-religious group who are without influence and almost universally hated throughout most of the rest of the world, no oil resources to bargain with, no military influence that extends more than a couple of dozen miles outside its borders, a government whose incompetence at the most basic elements of diplomacy and PR is legendary and effectively no presence in the UN can somehow wield political influence to a much greater degree than China, Russia, the USA or any of the other dozens of massively bigger, stronger, richer countries that make up the rest of the world.

    I mean, if they can do it, we should give the Welsh nationalists a call right now and tell them that with a bit of effort and the occasional letter of complaint to the Guardian, they can achieve heights of global power that the emperors of ancient Rome could never have dreamed of. Or maybe they do already? I mean, taking everything we know about Israel into account, it’s perfectly plausible. Where are all the people insisting that the nefarious tentacles of the Welsh lobby control the media and the government and will silence any criticism with false allegations of anti-Welsh racism?

    As always, it all comes back to the same old unavoidable fact that nobody would even consider these sorts of claims plausible if it was anyone other than the Jews we were talking about here.

    • robert hawke Says:

      I probably didn’t make my point well. Last effort: firstly, take the hateful extremist group out of my consideration. They hate everyone but white supremacists. I completely reject their disgusting philosophies. The Guardian review suggests that if anyone criticizes the government of Israel’s policies they’re a “Jew hater”. It’s an effective way to silence legitimate criticism. Whether you believe it or not, I have no problem with Jews or Judaism, but I have distinct problems with Zionism and Israel’s continuous violations of the law. I’m an anti semite? No, but I’m accused of being one. Very real, vile, antisemitism exists and must be unequivocally denounced. Did Gandhi hate Jews? I doubt it. Gandhi disapproved of Israeli policies. No one can convince me he was antisemitic. Now to the Guardian review. The thesis: Does it follow that criticism of the Israeli government = hating Jews? No, but rest assured that any criticism of Israel will stain you with the dreaded “A” word.

      • Duncan Says:

        Ghandi died Jan 30th 1948, Israel declared independence 14th May 1948. Did he criticise from beyond the grave?

        You can be highly critical of Zionism and Israel without employing anti semitic language, it’s easy, lots of people manage it. What this site exists to point out is that there are many times when people do not manage it. Just because criticism is valid, it does not excuse using racist tropes. Do you whince when you hear US propoganda from the war talking about heartless ‘Japs’ and their inhuman ways? Their sense of superiority? Was that excusable given the horrors of Imperial Japanese crimes? Or should someone have pointed out that it was racism?

        • Lynne T Says:

          Duncan:

          I suggest you find a copy of Christopher Hitchens’ “Why Orwell Matters”, where he discusses Ghandi’s advice to the Jews of central Europe, which was to quietly submit to extermination at the hands of the Nazis as a means of protest against their oppressors.

        • robert hawke Says:

          antisemitism is real. should be denounced. I whince when I hear the terms “Jap” “gook” “camel jockey” “lazy Indian” just as when I hear “kike” and other racist names.

    • robert hawke Says:

      These facts have nothing to do with being Jewish, Welsh, Canadian, or whatever: Israel is the world’s 4th largest superpower. Israel has hundreds of nuclear bombs (never inspected. never declared) ready to go. Israel has a highly trained army and navy equipped with the most sophisticated weapons available. Israel has nuclear subs. Israel has long-range missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads. Israel has an effective spy ring including a hit-squad. Israel has the unquestioned backing of the U.S., Canada and many other countries. Israel gets more aid $ from the U.S. than what the U.S. gives all the countries in the world combined. Israel wields tremendous power in the UN because the U.S. has veto power and uses it to veto almost all UN resolutions negative to Israel. Israel has a government run PR dept – operating with millions of government $ (Hasbara). They know what they’re doing.
      These are not inventions from my limited imagination. These are verifiable facts.
      Israel lives with no existential threat anytime soon.

      • Thomas Venner Says:

        Israel is the world’s 4th largest superpower and faces no existential threats?

        I don’t know what insane parallel universe you’re posting this stuff from, but I’d be fascinated to hear more about the state of global politics there.

      • Karl Pfeifer Says:

        @Robert Hawke@ Looks like Israel PR does not have all that money and all that influence.
        As far as I know not one book of Benny Morris, Yoav Gelber or Ephraim Karsh has been published in German language.
        But a lot of anti-Zionist writers have been published in German. So probably Israel is not as powerful as you say?
        A lot of the things you state are based on distortion of existing data or the fabrication of non-existent evidence. For example: Hundreds of nuclear bombs.
        Of course when countries like Iran, which is practicing stoning of women, is condemning Israel democratic countries are not saying yes.

      • Brian Goldfarb Says:

        “Israel lives with no existential threat anytime soon.”

        Robert, I suggest that you go away and sit down with the Charters of both Hamas and Hezbollah, and read, very carefully, the sections on Israel and Jews. Both demand the destruction of Israel and both demand an end to Jews anywhere in the world. The Charter/Constitution of the PLO hasn’t, still, been rewritten to remove the section demanding the elimination of Israel (but, unlike Hamas and Hezbollah, not the destruction of the Jews).

        Hamas still has rockets that can reach Sderot and Ashkelon, and despite Operation Cast Lead, still occasionally launches or allows to be launched rockets into Israel. Hezbollah still has rockets that can reach Haifa from just inside the Lebanon border with Israel.

        Iran, possibly developing a nuclear arsenal (possibly, I said), has a President who has stated publicly on numerous occasions that Israel should be destroyed.

        Israel has a border with Syria which, unlike Egypt and Jordan, has not signed a peace treaty with Israeland may also harbour the makings of nuclear weapons.

        “Israel lives with no existential threat anytime soon.”?

        If you are not aware or are prepared to dismiss out of hand these threats to Israel, then perhaps your imagination is limited. Not the conclusion you wish us to draw from your penultimate sentence above.

        • robert hawke Says:

          It’s not antisemitic to claim Israel is a formidable force that can effectively defend it self. I didn’t says Jews have the military might. I said Israel. Whether you accept it or even if it’s true or false, my point is, to say I’m antisemitic because I believe Israel is able to look after herself simply doesn’t add up

        • robert hawke Says:

          see my response to “Absolute Observer” post. because I say Israel can handle herself doesn’t make me a Jew hater. I don’t understand the vehemence to my responses.

      • Lynne T Says:

        Hawke:

        Please substantiate your claim that Israel receives more aid from the US than all other countries in the world combined.

      • Jonathan Romer Says:

        Robert,

        I’m interested in all your “verifiable facts” — Israel is the 4th largest superpower: Really? How is that quantified? Who are the first 3 and the 5th? How wide is the gap between no. 3 and no. 4, nos. 4 & 5? Is the word ‘superpower’ different from ‘power’, or is it being used only for rhetorical effect? — but the one that really intrigues me is that to be called ‘antisemite’ is seen as a stain and shuts down debate. Can you give any example from, say, the past decade, of anyone — left or right — who has been unable to raise his head in public or has been unable to make his points for shame after being unjustly called an antisemite? Or being called one justly, for that matter? You yourself seem immune to the danger, so can you tell me of a line of argument that can no longer be used, having been suppressed by the dreaded ‘antisemitism’ weapon?

        • robert hawke Says:

          Canadian MP Libby Davis criticized Israel, not Jews. She’s now stained as an antisemite. The entire government wants her fired. Statements like this are likely to encourage someone to shut up: ““As an extremely left-wing, outspoken, lesbian woman, there’s a very good chance that if she hadn’t been murdered already for everything she represents — either by the state or possibly her family — she’d long ago have been buried away in some dark cell, out of sight and mind, to prevent her ideas or example from spreading to others.”

        • Jonathan Romer Says:

          Try again, Robert.

          Libby Davis opened her mouth without using her politician’s brain to strain the effluent, and out fell words implying Israel has no right to exist, and others plainly stating that she supports BDS. She was the deputy leader of her party — all the time, not only when she felt like it — so she was jumped on by her opponents, as she, and you, would expect, and by her fellows in the NDP who did not think she should be associating them with such muck. None of them accused her of antisemitism. Davis herself was the one who dragged in that spectre, declaring that other MPs failed to support her because they were afraid of being so labeled — rather than, you know, because they didn’t agree with her.

          Her only mea culpa was the classic politician’s non-apology: “I didn’t mean it” and even that was vitiated by her implication that it was not her words that were inflammatory, but the media attention she drew. So much for being shamed. As for the stain, it’s not very apparent from here. Isn’t she still NDP Deputy Leader, House Leader, Spokesperson for Drug Policy Reform and Solicitation Laws, and Spokesperson for Housing and Homelessness? How bitter is her fate?

        • robert hawke Says:

          Nowhere did Davies state or imply Israel has no right to exist. You say her words are “effluent” and her colleagues should not be associated with “such muck” She did say “if you’re perceived critical of Israel and anti occupation then somehow you’re also perceived to be anti semitic” Any politicians seeing the attack on Davies are certainly going to shut their mouths about Israel. Please answer this. What, exactly, did Davies say that offends you? What, exactly, is wrong with what the Guardian writer said? Perhaps I’ve gotten the point of this discussion completely wrong (I’m not overly bright). Are we not all rejecting antisemitism? Even if Davies and the Guardian haven’t been called antisemitic what should they be called?

        • Jonathan Romer Says:

          Robert,

          You claim anyone who criticises Israel is called an antisemite, and that this is a smear that smothers criticism.

          I ask you for an instance.

          You come up with Libby Davis.

          I point out that she wasn’t called an antisemite, and she wasn’t punished, muzzled or shamed.

          You reply: Well, some people said some un-nice things about her.

          Are you really saying that to you, anything critical of an opponent of Israel is equivalent to a bad-faith accusation of antisemitism?

          Regarding this: What, exactly, did Davies say that offends you? You’ve caught me off-balance, a bit. Are you telling me that you brought Libby Davis as your example of an innocent wronged, without actually taking the trouble to listen to what she said; or that you know so little about the conflict that you don’t understand what was the matter with her words?

        • robert hawke Says:

          “you brought Libby Davis as your example of an innocent wronged, without actually taking the trouble to listen to what she said”
          Actually, I know every word Davis said – each and every word – I can’t interpret any that implies Israel has no right to exist. I’m hoping you tell me what she said other than criticizing the wall, the occupation, settlers etc. that suggests Israel has no right to exist? Sincerely, I may be missing something. What also interests me and is relevant to this discussion is she said “if you’re perceived critical of Israel or the occupation then somehow you’re also perceived to be antisemitic.” Respectfully, what did Davis say that indicates she wants Israel gone?

  13. weekonly Says:

    Lezard’s comment is that, “anyone who raises any objections to Israel’s behaviour and policies is going to be slandered as an antisemite…………:

    Let’s look at the words actually written.

    It is clear that Lezard is explcitly saying that Jews will “slander” (i.e. lie, not tell the truth, fabricate accusations of antisemitism) “anyone” who raises “any objections to Israel’s behaviour”.

    Note again the claim that –
    not “some people” but “anyone” (anyone!) who raises “”any (any!) objections to Israel’s behaviour” is going to be “slandered” as an “antisemite”

    Now, how one can imagine that the claim that “anyone” who “raises objections to Israel’s behaviour” will be “slandered” as an “antisemite” does not imply mal fide beggars belief.

    It is also to be noted that the antisemite makes a similar claim about what happens if one criticises “Jewish affairs” – that they will be “slandered” and “vilified”.

    As noted above, it is a familiar anti-Jew trope. The interesting and depressing thing is that it is a trope that is now being used by an avowedly non-antisemitic liberal.

    If anything indicates the way that antisemitic discourse taints and infects comments and criticism about Israel, this is it.

    Perhaps rather than shooting the messenger, those commenting here would be better to reflect on the message itself.

  14. Karl Pfeifer Says:

    robert hawke

    You are posting at Engage. Can you tell us who of the makers of Engage branded criticism of Israel free of Antisemitism – see the Antisemitism definition of EUMC – as antisemitic?

    I can say so much, if in Austria an employee of any state University would have suggested to boycott his own institution or Austria, he would have been fired at once.
    In Israel the situation is different. So come back to reality.

    And that is not all. I am listening frequently to the Hebrew Broadcast of state owned Radio Kol Israel and hear a lot of criticism and not only by Israelis but also by Palestinians.

    • robert hawke Says:

      Engage may not equate Israel criticism with antisemitism but look how I’m being jumped on for being critical. No matter what I say in regards to my feelings toward Jews you read something behind my words or that deep down, I hate Jews. Posters on this site make my point exactly. Criticism of Israel = antisemitism. Real or not.

      • David Says:

        Robert, you keep acting as though someone here has actually accused you of antisemitism. You keep on repeating that you’re being jumped on, that people are saying that deep down you hate Jews. You keep repeating this over and over. Where has someone said that? Please point it out.

  15. Absolute Observer Says:

    Gosh, Israel, not just a state, but an uber-state. A few square miles, sic million people, boycotted by most of the Arab world, and still the power – the Power – it exerts over anyone it chooses.

    Got the whole world in its hands.

    Has the US, the world’s (second?) most powerful state in the world to do its bidding. (Canada is a sweet touch, ah, bless).
    Dance, puppet, dance!

    An “effective” spy-ring? Yeah, right! Passport anyone?

    A PR department second to none (anyone told Toronto that? I mean what a success the TA film festival). Unison, Green Party………

    Go ask Alice, when she’s ten feet tall.

    • robert hawke Says:

      “U.S. military aid has helped transform Israel’s armed forces into one of the most technologically
      sophisticated militaries in the world.” “In 2008, Congress passed legislation (P.L. 110-429, the Naval Vessel Transfer
      Act of 2008) that defines QME [Qualitative Military Edge of Israel] “as: the ability to counter and defeat any credible conventional military threat from any individual
      state or possible coalition of states or from non-state actors, while sustaining minimal damage and casualties, through the use of superior military means, possessed in sufficient quantity, including weapons, command, control, communication, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities that in their technical characteristics are superior in capability to those of such other individual or possible coalition of states or non-state actors” Congressional Research Services http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/mideast/RL33222.pdf

      the subject of this Edge discussion is antisemitism. I don’t hate Jews because Israel is a powerful state

  16. Prairie skies Says:

    Canada??
    Now who was there before the French and the British?
    Who has just been congratulated for its HR record, despite past genocide of indigenous peoples, reneging on Treaties, and where the First Nations disproprtionately continue to suffer from more social ills (and wrongs) than any other group?

    Next time you go into Sears, here’s a game you can play. Count all those from First Nations who are behind the counter. Then, go to the warehouse and do the same. It really in enlightening.

    But, of course, Canada has gotten a away with it. We all love Canada now. They are so darn nice, eh.

    And Israel is said to be powerful!!

    • robert hawke Says:

      Canada has a disgusting history of genocide, ethnic cleansing, and racism. It’s absolutely wrong to hate the French or English because of government policies when those policies were implemented by the greedy rich. Not the ordinary people.

  17. NIMN Says:

    Note how Hawke has changed the subject from spurious accusation that Jews silence critics of Israel by crying antisemitism to a fantasy of Jewish power, this time, in the guise of Israel.
    Not the first time trols like this have appeared on Engage and sought to deflect the discussion from the antisemitic discourse that can attach to even the most liberal critics of Israel.

    • robert hawke Says:

      perhaps I didn’t make my point well. Because I suggest Israel is a formidable foe does not equate me with hating Jews. You’ve made my point exactly. I said nothing about Jews. You used “Jew” and “Jewish” in place of my use of “Israel” You see, whatever I say about Israel means I hate Jews. I criticize the Canadian government but it doesn’t mean I hate Canadians. Because of my opinions of Israel I’m now a troll? If this is a discussion I’m sure you want to hear different viewpoints.

    • David Says:

      Well Robert Hawke had to try really hard to find himself accused of antisemitism here, but NIMN managed it. Congratulations to both of you!!!

  18. Lawz Says:

    It’s interesting that the likes of the Guardian constantly bemoan Jewish ‘censorship’ of their criticism of Israel, and cynically expect to be called antisemites when they raise their voices on the issue.

    What they do not get is that the examples of antisemitism from their own camp are real and beyond doubt.

    Jenny Tonge would be a case in point: when she said Jews, she really meant Jews.

    The left would be far better off openly acknowledging the genuine antisemitism in their ranks rather than dismissing it is part of a right-wing Zionist plot – an idea which has antisemitic connotations of its own.

  19. vildechaye Says:

    Hi there: Many of you have already countered Bob Hawke’s ridiculous assertion that any “criticism of Israel” is automatically labelled as anti-semitic. He makes this claim repeatedly, but never backs it up, because, of course, it’s total nonsense.

    BUt here’s what he said that I liked, though I’m sure it won’t please him:

    RE: Israel has hundreds of nuclear bombs (never inspected. never declared) ready to go. GOOD IT NEEDS THEM.
    Israel has a highly trained army and navy equipped with the most sophisticated weapons available. DITTO
    Israel has nuclear subs. DITTOIsrael has long-range missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads. DITTO
    Israel has an effective spy ring including a hit-squad. WISH IT WERE MORE EFFECTIVE
    Israel has the unquestioned backing of the U.S., Canada and many other countries. AND WHY DO YOU THINK THAT IS?
    Israel gets more aid $ from the U.S. than what the U.S. gives all the countries in the world combined. NOT TRUE, BUT GLAD IT GETS LOTS OF AID (WHICH IS USED EXCLUSIVELY FOR DEFENCE, MORE GOOD)
    Israel wields tremendous power in the UN RIDICULOUS, I WISH
    because the U.S. has veto power and uses it to veto almost all UN resolutions negative to Israel. TRUE, THANKFULLY
    Israel has a government run PR dept – operating with millions of government $ (Hasbara). AS DOES EVERY GOVT, AND GOOD ON THEM.

    And idiot makes out these are BAD things?

    • robert hawke Says:

      Nowhere did I say “these are bad things” I criticize Israel. I use facts as I know them (maybe accurate. maybe not). Now I’m an “idiot” I don’t know where all the hate toward me comes from but I think it’s because everyone here thinks I secretly hate the Jewish people. Even if i don’t know it. My point exactly. The Guardian’s point exactly. The nasty responses to myself and the Guardian are difficult to understand and make me feel vigorously attacked.

  20. Karl Pfeifer Says:

    @vildechaye@ reminds the Berlin Jewish story. A Jew is reading in the Subway Nationalzeitung (an extreme right antisemitic weekly) a friend ask him: Are you crazy, to read that rag? No I am not crazy. What are the other papers writing about, earthquake floods war. Nationalzeitung writes about the Jewish world conspiracy how powerful and richt we are. I like that.

    The Jewish (or Zionist) conspiracy is a subject matter always to be found when antisemites write or talk.
    And the antisemites always pretend to be courageous.
    Read “Prophets of Deceit. A study of the Techniques of the American Agitator” published by Leo Löwenthal in 1949

  21. weekonly Says:

    For those who wonder what a critical analysis of Israel should look like (and something much of the British liberal-left seem incapable of doing) why not take a look at this piece.
    http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2010/jul/15/eyeless-gaza/
    Written by an Israeli and published in the USA.

    (Warning – you will read nothing about Lobbies, about Jewish silencing; about fantasies of Jewish power; so turn away now if you find these omissions offensive!)

  22. robert hawke Says:

    I don’t really have anything more to say on this subject. Please go back and review my comments and your responses. Any opinions negative to Israel are strictly off limits. It seems strange. I’m sure most, if not all, of you are critical of your government and other governments. I’m not sure why Israel gets special treatment unless you are convinced everyone that doesn’t like Israel hates Jews.

    My position is this entire antisemitism argument is either to protect Israel and her policies or to be determined to find antisemitism that may not be there. McCarthy would be proud and the Salem witch hunts could have used you.
    Thanks for the discussion. It’s given me more understanding of the issues.

    • David Says:

      There you go again. You have posted lots of opinions negative to Israel here. Have they been censored? No. Have they been criticized as off-limits? No. Have you been accused of antisemitism? No (well, barely by NIMN whose comment was hardly a direct accusation).

      To say that you have been witch-hunted here is about the most ridiculous thing I have ever read. The only person DETERMINED here is you – to find accusations of antisemitism made against you where they don’t exist. Almost every one of your many posts contains the claim that you have just been accused of antisemitism, yet you have not been.

      One person made a comment about antisemitic themes in liberal discourse. You jumped all over that like a cheap suit.

      I invite you to point out specifically where in this dialogue you have been called an antisemite, or your critcism of Israel has been shut down (let alone shut down by the accusation of antisemitism).

      • robert hawke Says:

        I’ve probably gotten the entire point of this discussion wrong. What is wrong with the compared quotes at the beginning of this post? I understand the white supremacist objection and I know who they hate. What did the Guardian writer say that is so offensive? Or, is it offensive?

        • modernityblog Says:

          robert hawke,

          Please, why don’t you address the points that have been put to you above?

  23. Absolute Observer. Says:

    Hawke begins by making a claim that critics of Israel are silenced by the claim of antisemitism.

    He was questioned about that, but chose not to answer.

    He then shifts to talk about the power of Israel and later implies that merely noting Israel’s power does not make him antisemitic. True. Noting Israel’s power does not make him an antisemite.

    He thinks that people will call him an antisemite, because, as we have seen in his original comment, that is what he believes will happen.

    He must be disappointed.

    Yet, if we look at his claim of Israel’s power, it is in fact nothing of the sort. It is, as noted, pure fantasy and, as I also noted, turns the relationship of the powerful and the powerless upside down; so that the less powerful of the relationship appear as the holder of all the power power, and the powerful, appear as the less powerful or powerless.

    As we know, this inversion of realty has often played a role in the presentation of the (alleged) power of Jews. ANd as we also know, the actuality of Jewish “power” appears no more substantial than a wisp of cloud.

    Let’s see how Hawkes inverts the “reality” that he believes his is presenting.
    1. The power Hawke alleges Israel has is, in fact, US power from which Israel benefits.
    2. It is US $s that finances Israel (see Hawke’s comment above).
    3. It is the US that “protects” or “defends” Israel in the UN (at the security council level anyway – elsewhere this would appear not to be the case).
    4. Israel’s military power is, in fact, largesse from the US.
    (we can dismiss as nonsense the ideas that “Brand Israel” is effective and the effectiveness of its secret services!)

    In other words, far from “Powerful”, Israel is, according to Hawke’s own views, totally dependent on the US (and maybe Canada!).

    Far from powerful, Hawkes view of the matter makes Israel very, very, vulnerable, since it is dependent more or less for its survival o the US.

    Perhaps the question that needs to be asked in the light of Hawke’s own comments, is why. since according to his own information, Israel is nothing more than a beneficiary of US power and largesse, why the US plays this role?

    Those (often not antisemitic) who may without reflection be willing to play with antisemitic imagery will talk about the power of the Lobby and the US being made to act against its own interests. More sophisticated thinkers will reject such superficialities.

    • robert hawke Says:

      After looking things over I realize I did invert the truth and argue from a false perspective. My apologies. I don’t believe in conspiracy theories and I guess I don’t fully understand the issues. When the topic starts with “spot the difference” I think I missed the point. Is the Guardian article as racist as the first quote? What does the comparison mean?

  24. Absolute Observer. Says:

    “My position is this entire antisemitism argument is either to protect Israel and her policies or to be determined to find antisemitism that may not be there. McCarthy would be proud and the Salem witch hunts could have used you.”

    My, he hid that well!!

    RH
    “Engage may not equate Israel criticism with antisemitism but look how I’m being jumped on for being critical. No matter what I say in regards to my feelings toward Jews you read something behind my words or that deep down, I hate Jews. Posters on this site make my point exactly. Criticism of Israel = antisemitism. Real or not.”

    He was asked,
    “I’m interested in all your “verifiable facts” — Israel is the 4th largest superpower: Really? How is that quantified? Who are the first 3 and the 5th? How wide is the gap between no. 3 and no. 4, nos. 4 & 5? Is the word ‘superpower’ different from ‘power’, or is it being used only for rhetorical effect? — but the one that really intrigues me is that to be called ‘antisemite’ is seen as a stain and shuts down debate. Can you give any example from, say, the past decade, of anyone — left or right — who has been unable to raise his head in public or has been unable to make his points for shame after being unjustly called an antisemite? Or being called one justly, for that matter? You yourself seem immune to the danger, so can you tell me of a line of argument that can no longer be used, having been suppressed by the dreaded ‘antisemitism’ weapon?”

    His only reply was the cite a case of a woman in the Canada being hassled by a horrible right-wing government (hardly the actions of Jews or Israel!)

    He did not make any other reply to the question asked of him.
    Instead he claims that he has been called antisemitic (although where this claim and accusation that Hawke is an antisemite or is antisemitic I cannot find. Perhaps, he can tell us where he has been called an antisemite (as far as I know, “idiot” is not an insult that implies the “idiot” in question is antisemitic.

    As myself noted, Hawke’s piss poor political analysis (quite in keeping with someone who speaks in terms of British and French colonialism in terms of “the greed of the rich”, replicates the inversion of real social and political relations that has played out in previous discussions of the Jews and their place in the world.

    But, as Hawkes notes of others, but as often the case, a more accurate self-presentation’ one only sees what one wants to see……….which, in Hawke’s blikered view,.anyone who is critical of Israel is labelled an antisemite; critics of Israel are subject to McCarthyism, etc. etc..

    Better to believe that than to realise that one’s political understanding is, how best to put it, superficial.

  25. NIMN Says:

    “I’m sure most, if not all, of you are critical of your government and other governments. I’m not sure why Israel gets special treatment unless you are convinced everyone that doesn’t like Israel hates Jews.

    My position is this entire antisemitism argument is either to protect Israel and her policies or to be determined to find antisemitism that may not be there. McCarthy would be proud and the Salem witch hunts could have used you.
    Thanks for the discussion. It’s given me more understanding of the issues.”

    Note the jump.

    Hawkes is critical of Israel (here, however, he speaks of the Israeli goverment (unlike earlier comments)).
    Some posters do not share that criticism. I think some are wrong, some not, but, hey, it’s ok to disagree; that what debate is.

    But for Hawkes, this is not the “real” reason. It is not debate, it is silencing.

    Rather, he jumps to the conclusion that all the posters here are critical of all goverments apart from Israel, and that can only be explained, by him anyway, that we all give Israel (or its government?) a special pass, because all these posters think that all criticism of Israel is antisemitic!!

    The sheer arrogance of the man!

    Maybe people disagree with Hawke because they think he is wrong on some things. But, for Hawkes, such disagreement is nothing more than “proof” that one cannot criticise Israel without being labelled antisemitic (a label no one has applied to Hawke).

    But, hey, it must be so comforting to know that one has THE TRUTH and that anyone who disagrees is acting in bad faith and silencing such truth.

  26. Brian Goldfarb Says:

    “McCarthy would be proud…” That’ll be Gene McCarthy, possibly the most intellectual contender not to have been elected President of the US (although he’s not the only high level intellectual to rty for that office).

    And where have you been accused of antisemitism and by whom, robert hawke? Name the names, and don’t plead the 5th.

  27. Weekonly Says:

    “My position is this entire antisemitism argument is either to protect Israel and her policies or to be determined to find antisemitism that may not be there. McCarthy would be proud and the Salem witch hunts could have used you.”

    Interesting thesis.
    Shame, of course, no one accused you of being an antisemite.

    He then continues,
    “I use facts as I know them (maybe accurate. maybe not).”
    So, hardly surprising that people ask for accuracy.
    And this asking for the accuracy of the facts and their verification becomes
    “it’s because everyone here thinks I secretly hate the Jewish people”

    Well, if asking for the veracity of facts is to be equated with an accusation of antisemitism, then it may well be the case that any critic of a critic of Israel is going to be slandered in precisely the manner adopted by the Guardian – that they will be accused of “crying antisemitism”.

    Robert, it is not Engage that is silencing debate. It is you.

    • robert hawke Says:

      It’s my fault I’ve taken this discussion in directions that confuse the issue. The heading of the post compares 2 statements. One from a group that hates anyone without a swastika tattooed on their forehead, the other from a journalist expecting to be called antisemitic. What, excluding the white supremacists, say that is so offensive? If I admit my facts and figures are wrong through ignorance or idiocy, why am I universally disliked from everyone here? Am I antisemitic?

      • Richard Gold Says:

        Hi Robert

        You might want to take a look at the following.

        This was written in 1982 and was re-published by Engage

        http://www.engageonline.org.uk/ressources/funny/thats_funny.pdf

        Also this by David Hirsh

        http://www.yale.edu/yiisa/workingpaper/hirsh/David%20Hirsh%20YIISA%20Working%20Paper1.pdf

        and take a look at this.

        https://engageonline.wordpress.com/2009/03/27/the-livingstone-formulation/

        Hope that helps to clarify things.

        • David Says:

          I think what’s missing here is the obvious logical statement that just because 2 people share an opinion on one matter that does not mean they share any other views they may hold.

          If the BNP (or whoever they are these days) make a statement supporting proportional representation, and you place it side by side with a similar statement from the Liberal Democrats, does that mean the Liberal Democrats (or their views on proportional representation) are racist? I should think not.

          If you want to argue against what you call the “Livingstone Formulation,” I suggest doing it on its own merits, which is not hard to do. Merely pointing out that a 3rd party who most people would find extremely unsavory also agrees with the “Livingstone Formulation” does little except prove one’s own faulty logic.

        • robert hawke Says:

          considering I can get confused and unable to understand academic papers, please break to issue down for me. I have no idea what the livingstone thing is. I just need to know why the Guardian writer is so offensive?

  28. Bialik Says:

    I thought Engage was one place where I wouldn’t encounter Hawkes. Ah well. As a former Israeli soldier equipped with the most sophisticated weapons available (ie a gun that weighed a ton and didn’t work when if it got sand up its nose) I am, of course, immune from existential threats. And while sticks and stones may hurt my bones, words will never hurt me, right?

    Wrong.

    Weekonly – you’re right. The two writers are making the same point. And they are dishonest and hurtful.

  29. Bialik Says:

    that should be ‘immune to…’

  30. robert hawke Says:

    I’ll admit to my ignorance of the facts, figures and world history. Please tell me why the 2 statements beginning this discussion are offensive (the first statement I consider offensive simply because of where it comes from). What did the Guardian writer say wrong? Is it untrue that criticism of Israel is sometimes responded to with the accusation of antisemitism? Help me out. I may have missed the entire point of this discussion.

    • Jonathan Romer Says:

      Robert,

      I’ll take a chance and assume your question is genuine. Perhaps that means I’m a fool. We’ll see.

      The first statement is offensive for a lot of reasons, almost the least of which is where it comes from. It is featured in this post of Weekonly’s for one particular reason: It pushes the idea (1) that any criticism of Israel (or Jews) will be attacked as antisemitic; (2) that the claims of antisemitism are made in bad faith and can be dismissed out of hand; and (3) that being attacked in this way endangers your career and even your life. Disregarding the fact that you can probably find a few fools who would see antisemitism in a comment about the weather, all these assertions are lies. They are lies with a purpose: They immunise the speaker or his friends from true charges of antisemitism, leaving them free to be as antisemitic as they wish, and they render real victims of antisemitism voiceless and defenceless.

      Weekonly puts the second quote alongside the first because it is a pretty typical representative of almost the same thing, as routinely trotted out from the Left. It makes exactly the same assertions as (1) & (2) above, and though (3) is missing, it too is easy enough to find in Left speech. Though people on the left may be less likely to be trying to protect obvious antisemitism, they do use the tactic to avoid ever having to confront the antisemitism that can and does arise from the left, or the rampant antisemitism in parts of the Muslim community with which much of the Left makes common cause, and to avoid having to confine their attacks on Israel to modes that are not tainted by antisemitism.

      It is not “untrue that criticism of Israel is sometimes responded to with the accusation of antisemitism”. It is true also that the accusation is sometimes made in bad faith, or in good faith but wrongly. But that has nothing to do with the fact that “anyone who raises any objections to Israel’s behaviour and policies is going to be slandered as an antisemite” is a lie told for dishonest advantage. Your own version: “anyone – anytime – anywhere criticizes Israel they’re immediately an anti semite or a Holocaust denier, or a self-hating Jew etc.” may have been said without thinking, but it fits the same mould and serves the same purpose.

      Higher up the thread you ask … why am I universally disliked from everyone here? Could it be because you dropped in with a boat-load of harsh judgements and opinions, only to admit later on that you’re ignorant of facts and history? You could have saved yourself a whole lot of grief if you’d educated yourself first, and waited to offer your opinions until after.

      • robert hawke Says:

        I realize I’m universally disliked. I introduced many disputed opinions that cannot be resolved in a few paragraphs. These issues had nothing to do with the point of discussion. Thanks for your direct response. I think my position has been too extreme. I’ll modify it. 1. SOME criticism of Israel brings the false charge of antisemitism as a way to shut down debate. Not all Israelis and not all critics of Israel are openly honest about their charges. 2. SOME claims of antisemitism are made in bad faith in order to stop legitimate criticisms. No claims of antisemitism should be dismissed out-of-hand. They need to be considered seriously before being deemed legitimate or bogus. 3. False claims of antisemitism have brought disrepute and sometimes career or reputation problems to the accusee. The death issue is ridiculous. Another problem is that free speech is endangered if anyone, on either side, whether their statement is legitimate or false, is afraid to speak their mind. Education is the answer to bigotry not censorship.

        Lastly, I don’t use the positions on the political spectrum “Left” or “Right”. Depending on your point of view either carries negative connotations. Polarization from the start invites animosity and muddies legitimate debate.

      • Jonathan Romer Says:

        Robert,

        I can only speak for myself, but I don’t dislike you. I don’t feel much about you either way. What I have come to dislike quite strongly is trying to debate with you. It’s an exercise in frustration, and here’s why:

        You show up here to express your strong, if contradictory, emotions about Israel — it’s a “lunatic state” but people “dare not criticise its government”. Next you tell us about your “distinct problems with Zionism”. Hardly an eye-blink after that you’re being forced to acknowledge that you really don’t know anything about Israel, Zionism or the conflict — but there’s little sign that you feel you should have waited to express your opinions until you knew more, or that you’re questioning why you would have such strong feelings about something you know so little of — or what it means when people feel licensed to express such unreasoned anger. There’s also no indication that you will put out any effort to fill in the gaps in your knowledge; you simply ask to be spoon fed answers, like “what the livingstone thing is” or “I’m hoping you tell me what she said … that suggests Israel has no right to exist?”

        This last is so basic — and has been the focus of so much of the criticism of Davis — that I swore I wouldn’t do your thinking for you by explaining. Here I am anyway, but after this I’m done: Libby Davis was asked when the occupation began. She answered 1948. 1948 was the year the UN’s partition resolution culminated in Israeli independence. The only thing Israel occupied in 1948 was Israel. If that’s the occupation that the Davises of the world think illegitimate and are still working to reverse, 62 years later, then they are advocating the destruction of Israel. Now do you get it?

        • robert hawke Says:

          Actually my knowledge of the Israel/Palestine problem is quite extensive. I know all the arguments and rebuttals so it’s senseless wading through them endlessly here. I stupidly brought some of the facts as I know them into this discussion which served only to cloud the original intent of the post. The only way I could see to get back on track is to wipe the table clear of the extraneous arguments.

          Libby Davies? It’s a leap of paranoia to suggest she advocates the destruction of Israel by saying the Occupation began in 1948. In the same interview Davies said the “Green Line” should be starting point for negotiations. Hardly a call for the destruction of Israel. It’s a starting point many in the world, including me, agree with. Even using the 1967 date as the start of the Occupation it’s the “longest Occupation existing in the world”

          1948? I can offer a solid argument why the date is the beginning of the Occupation. But why get into that?
          Also, The UN Resolution 181 was just that, a resolution. Since 1967 Israel leads the world for the number of UN Resolutions violated or ignored. Israel gets to pick and choose Resolutions. Israel loves to stand on Resolution 181 and kick off any other Resolutions she doesn’t like.

          That you can read such dire threats in Libby Davies’ advocacy for peace is sad.

  31. Brian Goldfarb Says:

    “I think what’s missing here is the obvious logical statement that just because 2 people share an opinion on one matter that does not mean they share any other views they may hold.” Maybe not, but what they _do_ share is the tendency to get their retaliation in first, in asserting that anyone who criticises _either_ Jews/Jewish affairs/Israel (in this case “Israeli apartheid, Gaza) _or Israel will be “slandered” (a word both use) as an antisemite.

    That, David, is a fine example of the Livingstone Formulation, alleging that anyone who criticises Israel (it could well be “Jewish affairs”, as the far right website uses this phrase) will be accused of antisemitism, when all the “accusers” (or many of them, anyway) are trying to do is engage in a debate: after all, many of us here _also_ criticise Israeli government policy, as you will have noticed.

    Lezard in The Guardian is arguably the worse offender, as he writes in and for an ostensibly liberal paper, and _still_ uses the Formulation, long before anyone has even opened their mouth, or put finger to keyboard.

    Funny that. Or it should be, but no longer is either funny ha ha or funny peculiar. Just, unfortunately, to be expected from that source.

  32. Brian Goldfarb Says:

    Another one for robert hawke (and all like him) who believe that Israel doea not face an existential threat (and, maybe, that Jews worldwide don’t face serious threats, period): in the article above this one, Mark Gardner of CST has this gem: “the Hizb ut Tahrir group that only last month stated:

    O Muslim Armies! Teach the Jews a lesson after which they will need no further lessons

    March forth to fight them, eradicate their entity and purify the earth of their filth”

    How about that for conflating Jews and Israelis? And I assume that robert will accept that this is, by definiton, antisemitic, and that Hizb ut Tahrir won’t be able to use the Livingstone Formulation to wriggle out of this one.

    Would someone like to remind me why Hizb hasn’t been banned under the RRAs yet?

  33. robert hawke Says:

    the comparison quote at the start seems to say that the Guardian has said something very bad. Maybe it means the Guardian is as racist as the white supremacists? Nobody has actually said, directly, what is wrong with the statements. I reject the nazis completely.
    I change my position on the threat to Israel. I’m wrong on my facts and figures. Perhaps Arabs do want to wipe out Israel. Removing my ignorance, what does that mean to the compared quotes?

    What am I missing? I may be out of my depth here.

  34. Absolute Observer. Says:

    “I think what’s missing here is the obvious logical statement that just because 2 people share an opinion on one matter that does not mean they share any other views they may hold.”

    Exactly right.

    But on the single question of the bad faith of Jews and ZIonists raising the false flag of antisemtism so as to silence criticism of Israel/Jewish Affairs is something they do appear to agree on.

    As those familiar with Engage are aware, its purpose is to illustrate those moments when the aura and discourses of antisemtism taint and undermine criticisms of Israel (consciously or not).

    As far as I see it, “weekonly’s” post illuminates this point in a clear manner……..that a liberal critic of Israel has fallen victim to an unreflective use of an antisemitic trope; a trope that, as “weekonly” has indicated, is common currency within far-right racist, and Jew-hating circles and would now appear to be shared by Lezard.

    Nothing more, nothing less.

    • robert hawke Says:

      Maybe I understand it now. The swastika crowd uses the antisemite charge as subtle, or not so subtle, way to stir up hate toward Jews. They use a statement some may consider valid but the posters on this discussion believe it has no truth. The Guardian writer picks up this opinion, either intentionally or subliminally, and repeats it. Then, it follows that if I believe the statement of the Guardian I’m one of those spreading what all here consider a lie?

  35. Karl Pfeifer Says:

    @robert hawke@
    according to you this statement is true:
    anyone who raises any objections to Israel’s behaviour and policies is going to be slandered as an antisemite…”
    However many of us have shown that it is untruth, that there is a possibility to raise objections to Israel without being “slandered”. The question is, are those objections free from antisemite stereotypes? Does the objector use a double standard? So what is your opinion is it O.K. to use antisemite stereotypes and double standards?
    How do you explain, that objections to Israel’s behaviour are often tinged with antisemitic stereotypes and that objectors use very often double standards when relating to Israel?

    • robert hawke Says:

      OK. I accept that some critics of Israel use that criticism as a technique to coat their antisemitism with a varnish of legitimacy. However, I think criticism of Israel can be separated from antisemitism. Perhaps I should revive my position to say: SOME of those critical of Israel can be justifiably labelled as antisemitic, not “anyone”. For example (I may have already stated this) if I’m critical of Italy (for whatever) it doesn’t follow that I hate Catholics. But if I hate Catholics I might use criticism of Italy to somehow promote hatred of Catholics. I reject the last statement because I think I can separate my criticism from bigotry. For this reason, in my mind, I don’t see a double standard toward Israel.

  36. Brian Goldfarb Says:

    I must apologise to David for my posting of July 7 at 9.23 pm which comes across as aimed at him. It isn’t, but was badly phrased; David is saying what many of us have been saying and this was supposed to be in support.

    Sorry David.

  37. Karl Pfeifer Says:

    @robert hawke@
    You do not see a double standard.

    But please explain why we almost don’t hear, see, read about the Turkish occupation of North Cyprus in contradiction to the fact, that from the legal point of view, the West Bank is disputed territory. Israel has occupied during the Six Day War a disputed territory, because except for the UK and Pakistan no other country recognised Jordan’s occupation of the West Bank (1948-1967) as legal.
    Now compare the amount of reports about Turkish occupation of North Cyprus with the amount of reports on the West Bank. I see here a double standard.

    And a few words about the Refugee Disaster in Darfur

    “According to the United Nations High Commissioner of Refugees (UNHCR) approximately 42 million people were forcibly displaced worldwide at the end of 2008. This includes 15.2 million refugees, 827.000 Asylum seekers and 26 million internally displaced persons (IDP) (UNCHCR, 2009c). IDPs are people who had to flee or to leave their homes but stayed within their country of origin without crossing any international state border (IDMC, 2009).
    Darfur is only one of many conflict areas in Sudan, the country with the single largest internally displaced population in the World (IDMC, 2009) […]
    almost 50% of Darfur’s total population of about 6 million people, were internally displaced by January 2009. An additional 250.000 people are living in refugee camps across the border in Chad (IDMC, 2009)[…]
    The management of refugee camps is of particular concern. Uncontrolled growth and arrival of new migrants, environmental pollution and degradation, water supply and sanitation, health and hygiene, plus security are only a few of the challenges facing the humanitarian community”.

    Source: Joint Board of Geospatial Information Societies, United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs, Geoinformation for Disaster and Risk Management, Examples and Best Practices, 2010, ISBN

    Compare the situation of the refugees in Darfur with the situation of
    Palestinian Refugees (most of them inherited the status of refugees, while no other refugee in the world can inherit the status) in Gaza.
    Compare the quantity of reports about Darfur and about Palestinian refugees in Gaza.

    I see a double standard, that only a fraction of the money spent per capita on a Palestinian refugee is spent on a refugee in Darfur.

    • robert hawke Says:

      Off topic. The double standard you claim is that criticisms of Israel are “tinged” with racism or bigotry. Many other states (or countries) are criticized. Sometimes that criticism is a thinly veiled bigotry directed at the citizens. I don’t see Israel singled out for this. I hate Americans. I realize when I criticize the U.S. government to my friends it’s a subtle way to slam Americans without coming right out and saying it. I call the U.S. government Neo Con warmongers, racists, rednecks, etc. knowing some of it is aimed at Americans. I can hate the people by being critical of the government. Israel is no different. Israel is not a special case.

      • Karl Pfeifer Says:

        @Robert Hawke@ When I bring concrete examples you just write “off topic”. I suspect you have no arguments and therefore you try to get rid of my questions with the remark “off topic”. The readers of Engage can form an opinion about such method of discussion.

        You show selective perception by negating that as far as Israel is concerned some politicians and some mainstream-media in Europe are using double standards and that antisemitc stereotypes are often used against Israel.
        How do you explain that nobody asks people of Turkish descent in Europe to condemn Turkish policy towards the Kurds, but Jews in Europe are constantly asked to condemn Israeli policy?
        Also the extreme high number of condemnations of Israel by the Human Rights Commission of United Nations and no condemnation of other States in the Middle East show that this Commission is using a double standard.
        You do not relate to my posting about North Cyprus and Sudan (Darfur) and you keep writing about your feelings. As far as this discussion is going your feelings are unimportant. You rather should relate to concrete questions.

        • Philip Says:

          Karl Pfeifer, Muslims in the UK are often instructed to speak out against terrorism both in the UK and other parts of the world. What does your average Muslim in Leicester, for example, have to do with what’s going on in Yemen, or the Occupied Territories? It’s wrong for Jews to be asked to condemn what Israel does (except in the broadest human compassionate terms, of course) but this is by no means unique.

  38. Absolute Observer Says:

    We need to be even more careful,
    “SOME of those critical of Israel can be justifiably labelled as antisemitic,”

    Not necessarily. Some (I would argue most) people who adopt antisemitic discourse are in no ways antisemitic (I would argue Lezard falls quite clearly nto this category). It is just that antisemitic such tropes can and do attach to some “criticism” of Israel and are used without thought and/or reflection. As such, use of such tropes does not make the person making the statement an antisemite or justifies “labelling them as antisemitic”.

    • Bill Says:

      But what about the internalization of antisemitism. It’s been around for ages. Do they mean overtly to be anti-semetic? Likely not. Internalization of bigotry can’t just apply to favored underrepresented groups if you want to take the idea seriously. Are there the same type of background processes that make you assess a non-white differently than a white? I find it hard to believe that that it doesn’t *not* work that way too when you’re talking about Jews (and the country that’s full of them that gets all the antisemetic memes tossed at it). As the song goes, “Everyone’s a little bit racist.”

      When people get all orgasmic in their Anti-zionism. When they globalize it, asking Jews everywhere to take responsibility for Israel while they’d never ask for a black to take ownership of an african despot. It’s not unfair to ask a) what’s wrong with that person, and b) why do I have to step on my foot to stop asking question (a).

      The fastest way to create an antisemite is to call someone one unfairly, there is no doubt about that. But we can’t keep pretending that you can have antisemitism without antisemites, and that you can toss about antisemetic memes like you never would with other racist ones and not be asked questions about your character.

  39. Brian Says:

    Absolute Observer,

    A small correction: You refer to Libby Davies “being hassled by a horrible right-wing government.”

    Davies was criticized first by a member of her own party, who correctly said that the deputy leader of the NDP should be supporting party policy, not freelancing – not making statements that imply Israel’s existence is illegitimate and in support of a boycott.

    She was also sharply criticized by the foreign affairs critic of the centre-left Liberal party and by the prime minister, who leads a pragmatic centre-right government.

    The leader of the NDP also distanced himself from Davies, going so far as to contact the Israeli ambassador to assure him that Davies’ remarks don’t reflect NDP policy.

    On the other hand, he didn’t demote Davies or insist that she withdraw her support for a boycott – because unfortunately, Davies blind hostility to Israel is shared by a large majority of NDP activists.

    • robert hawke Says:

      Davies was universally denounced by all parties. Politicians were tripping over themselves to get away from Davies because they know what happens when Israel is criticized:
      “The new McCarthyism”. Davies wants the Wall dismantled and settlements stopped, she wants a negotiated peace. She now has leprosy. Run away from Davies or you’ll catch leprosy too.

      That Davies was “making statements that imply Israel’s existence is illegitimate” is so absurd I don’t know if you people are paranoid or simply gullible. Whatever, it’s sad and does not bode well for a peaceful settlement when any promotion for settlement is claimed a “call for the destruction of Israel”

  40. Absolute Observer Says:

    Brian,
    Thanks, eh
    AO🙂

  41. robert hawke Says:

    from Theodor Herzl’s (you know who he is) diary:

    “It is essential that the sufferings of Jews.. . become worse. . . this will assist in realization of our plans. . .I have an excellent idea. . . I shall induce anti-Semites to liquidate Jewish wealth. . . The anti-Semites will assist us thereby in that they will strengthen the persecution and oppression of Jews. The anti-Semites shall be our best friends”. (From his Diary, Part I, pp. 16)

    Jewish historian Benny Morris (certainly not pro Palestine) says of Herzl’s intent:

    “”Herzl regarded Zionism’s triumph as inevitable, not only because life in Europe was ever more untenable for Jews, but also because it was in Europe’s interests to rid the Jews and relieved of anti-Semitism: The European political establishment would eventually be persuaded to promote Zionism. Herzl recognized that anti-Semitism would be HARNESSED to his own–Zionist-purposes.” (Righteous Victims, p. 21)

    Seems to me the power of antisemitism works both ways. Depending on what you want to use it for.

    • Richard Gold Says:

      Robert , this thread is about similarities between the liberal left and the far right in their approach towards denying antisemitism or accusing people of using antisemitism in bad faith. And right on cue you use The Livingstone Formulation. kindly keep on topic. If you want to argue about Herzl then i’m sure there are other sites that would be glad for you to do so. perhaps it would help if you addressed what people have been saying to you in the comments.

      • robert hawke Says:

        unfortunately, I’ve seen this thread for what it actually is: don’t criticize Israel or you’ll be defending yourself from phony charges of antisemitism. The “Goldstone” theory thing is a front. Herzl is absolutely relevant. He openly reveals the power inherent in the perversion of a hate term. Herzl knew the power and you people do as well.

        This thinly veiled Zionism promotion is disgusting. I’ll leave now. I feel contaminated.

        • Richard Gold Says:

          No need for anybody to reply to this, it speaks for itself.

        • zkharya Says:

          ‘Zionism’ is to Hawke what ‘Judaism’, ‘Jew’ and ‘Jewishness’ was to the conventional antisemite, long before any state of Israel existed to ‘justify’ his hatred.

          re. Herzl,

          a) he was central European Jew in the west, he was atypical of the movement as a whole

          b) his ‘collusion’ with antisemitism is simply the ‘collusion’ all victims have with their victimisers: the shared knowledge that the victiim would rather be elsewhere.

          c) only an antisemite would blame the victims thereby, or he who would help the victims or potential victims find a safer abode.

          Hawke is signal example of the evils of selective quotation, and the curse the antisemite inflicts on Jews when he forces a response:

          ‘Any quote with that many ellipses in in must be taken with a grain of salt, unless those doing the quoting provide the original source. With that much editing, you can make anyone say almost anything. ‘

          “It is essential that the sufferings of Jews..become worse’

          The difference between ‘essential’, ‘must/necessarily/inevitably’ is sufficiently slight to be easily exploited by the malicious.

          Herzl simply suspected that things must get worse before Jews more widely realised the necessity of a Jewish state:

          ‘I feel that with the publication of this pamphlet my task is done. I
          shall not again take up the pen, unless the attacks of noteworthy
          antagonists drive me to do so, or it becomes necessary to meet
          unforeseen objections and to remove errors.

          Am I stating what is not yet the case? Am I before my time? Are the
          sufferings of the Jews not yet grave enough? We shall see.

          It depends on the Jews themselves whether this political pamphlet
          remains for the present a political romance. If the present generation
          is too dull to understand it rightly, a future, finer and a better
          generation will arise to understand it. The Jews who wish for a State
          shall have it, and they will deserve to have it.’

          Introduction, The Jewish State

          ‘will assist in realization of our plans’

          How much evil contained in three dots: all Herzl meant is that it could take worse persecution before Jews feel impelled to found a Jewish state.

          ‘. . .I have an excellent idea . . . I shall induce anti-Semites to liquidate Jewish wealth’

          Again, the evil of Three Dots;

          Herzl was speaking of how the wealth of Jews who wished to emigrate might be transferred:

          ‘If a Jew cannot sell his business, or entrust it to a proxy or wish to
          give up its personal management, he may stay where he is. The Jews who
          stay will be none the worse off, for they will be relieved of the
          competition of those who leave, and will no longer hear the
          Anti-Semitic cry: “Don’t buy from Jews!”

          If the emigrating business proprietor wishes to carry on his old
          business in the new country, he can make his arrangements for it from
          the very commencement. An example will best illustrate my meaning. The
          firm X carries on a large business in dry goods. The head of the firm
          wishes to emigrate. He begins by setting up a branch establishment in
          his future place of residence, and sending out samples of his stock.
          The first poor settlers will be his first customers; these will be
          followed by emigrants of a higher class, who require superior goods. X
          then sends out newer goods, and eventually ships his newest. The
          branch establishment begins to pay while the principal one is still in
          existence, so that X ends by having two paying business-houses. He
          sells his original business or hands it over to his Christian
          representative to manage, and goes off to take charge of the new one.

          Another and greater example: Y and Son are large coal-traders, with
          mines and factories of their own. How is so huge and complex a
          property to be liquidated? The mines and everything connected with
          them might, in the first place, be bought up by the State, in which
          they are situated. In the second place, the Jewish Company might take
          them over, paying for them partly in land, partly in cash. A third
          method might be the conversion of “Y and Son” into a limited company.
          A fourth method might be the continued working of the business under
          the original proprietors, who would return at intervals to inspect
          their property, as foreigners, and as such, under the protection of
          law in every civilized State. All these suggestions are carried out
          daily. A fifth and excellent method, and one which might be
          particularly profitable, I shall merely indicate, because the existing
          examples of its working are at present few, however ready the modern
          consciousness may be to adopt them. Y and Son might sell their
          enterprise to the collective body of their employees, who would form a
          cooperative society, with limited liability, and might perhaps pay the
          requisite sum with the help of the State Treasury, which does not
          charge high interest.’

          ‘. . . The anti-Semites will assist us thereby in that they will strengthen the persecution and oppression of Jews.’

          i.e.. Zionism does not fear antisemitism, for it furnishes the refuge from antisemitism.

          ‘The anti-Semites shall be our best friends”.

          In a manner of speaking. Again he means that Zionists do not fear anti-Semites: the more they deal out, the more they can take.

          But Herzl did not reckon on antisemitism’s ability to mutate, or erase the historical and cultural memories of those in whom it incubated. Once old world Christendom and Islam had purged themselves of most of their Jews, Herzl naively believed Europeans or Arabs might have insufficient Jews to hate. He little reckoned on their ability to hate from afar.

          Only an antisemite would would turn a victim’s or potential victim’s ‘understanding’ that both he and vicitimiser share, that he would rather be somewhere else, against the vicitim.

          (From his Diary, Part I, pp. 16)

          Robert Hawke is a signal example of this evil, the turning of a terrible situation against the vicitim. It epitomises the hypocrisy of the ant-Israel and BDS movement, that it singles out for dissolution a state composed of the descendants of those whose state its predecessors similarly singled out for dissolution, long before such a nation state of Israel existed.

    • Richard Gold Says:

      Also Robert, as you don’t seem understand what people are talking about can i suggest again that you take a look at the following before commenting again.

      http://www.yale.edu/yiisa/workingpaper/hirsh/David%20Hirsh%20YIISA%20Working%20Paper1.pdf

      and take a look at this.

      https://engageonline.wordpress.com/2009/03/27/the-livingstone-formulation/

  42. Jonathan Romer Says:

    I’ve changed my mind about Robert Hawke — I’ve discovered that I do indeed dislike him. He runs the gamut from vehement anger at Israel, to pleas of ignorance, to claims of moderating his views, and back to fury and denial again, this time with an unashamed admission of another of his prejudices: “I hate Americans.” He shifts his position so often and so rapidly that there’s no “there” there, nothing to engage with and nothing driving his world view except that, along with Americans, he hates Israelis. How pathetic, how unoriginal. And how stupid of me to waste time trying to debate or explain to him.

  43. Karl Pfeifer Says:

    @Jonathan Romer@ of course you can’t convince a person like robert h., but one has to give such a person the answer he deserves. By patiently dealing with him, he himself informed us about his “Weltanschauung”.
    I doubt if robert h. will read the material Richard Gold suggested. But Richard was right to suggest it.
    So Jonathan I do not think that posting on Engage is a waste of time.

    • Jonathan Romer Says:

      Karl,

      After I wrote that post, I went to bed hoping the moderators would block it. It’s a fair reflection of what I think, but I made it too personal. I wrote in anger, and it wasn’t appropriate for Engage.

      Of course you’re right about having to keep challenging the hate and lies, though I see it as a need to voice the arguments so that people who want to know can find them. That’s why I ended up spelling out in short words the obvious logic and meaning of Libby Davis’ words. Hawke spectacularly conducting his own public hanging was an unexpected bonus for all our efforts in giving him rope, I think.

  44. Absolute Observer. Says:

    How so predictable, Typical of his ilk. Hawke, Confronted with refutations of every one of his arguments, he runs away, repeating precisely what has been disproved and then speaks about “you people” “contaminating” others; and, for good measure, refers to the disease of lerposy.

    As with so many critics [sic] of Israel; Hawke is impervious to reason and rational discussion and hears only the echo of his own imaginings.

    This,
    “Davies was criticized first by a member of her own party, who correctly said that the deputy leader of the NDP should be supporting party policy, not freelancing – not making statements that imply Israel’s existence is illegitimate and in support of a boycott.”
    becomes this,
    “Davies was universally denounced by all parties. Politicians were tripping over themselves to get away from Davies because they know what happens when Israel is criticized:”

    This,
    “Not necessarily. Some (I would argue most) people who adopt antisemitic discourse are in no ways antisemitic (I would argue Lezard falls quite clearly nto this category). It is just that antisemitic such tropes can and do attach to some “criticism” of Israel and are used without thought and/or reflection. As such, use of such tropes does not make the person making the statement an antisemite or justifies “labelling them as antisemitic”.”
    Becomes, this
    “unfortunately, I’ve seen this thread for what it actually is: don’t criticize Israel or you’ll be defending yourself from phony charges of antisemitism.”

    And, for good measure, Engage, who continue to have shown that antisemitism can or may attach to criticism of Israel
    becomes, this,
    “This thinly veiled Zionism promotiom.”

    One could not have asked for a clearer illustration of what Engage has been saying for years.
    Pure textbook. Thanks, Robert

  45. NIMN Says:

    “Well Robert Hawke had to try really hard to find himself accused of antisemitism here, but NIMN managed it. Congratulations to both of you!!!”

    Not at all. I assume this comment is being referred to.

    “Note how Hawke has changed the subject from spurious accusation that Jews silence critics of Israel by crying antisemitism to a fantasy of Jewish power, this time, in the guise of Israel.”

    This was a response to the comment that,

    “Israel wields tremendous power in the UN because the U.S. has veto power and uses it to veto almost all UN resolutions negative to Israel.”

    As someone else noted, this belief in Israel’s global power is an inversion of reality. It attributes to Jews the fantasy of power that in reality belongs elsewhere. Here, the US. (It also ignores the disproportionate number of resolutions in UN institutions that have Israel as their target. In other words, it is empirically incorrect as well as theoretically faulty). Hawke did not respond to this point, but changed the subject or some such.

    This particular line of argumentation is a staple of antisemitic thought; especially in the relations of Jews and capitalism.

    Again, let me be crystal clear. I have no idea whether Hawke is an antisemite or not.
    All I pointed out was the manner in which antisemitic discourse permeates discussions of Israel; and which Hawke, in this instance, repeats – here, in his belief Israel has “tremendous power” in the UN.

    As has been made clear on this thread. One does not have to be an antisemite to unreflectively use antisemitic imagery.

    Indeed, Hawke’s lastest – last – comment about McCarthyism – and Harris’ resignation/sacking is a further illustration of this phenomenon. It implies the power of “Zionists” to get what they want when they want. To point out the genealogy of that view is hardly to call Hawke an antisemite, but, again, illustrates the main these discussed here.

    Merely pointing out Hawke’s belief that Jewish power can get what it wants when it wants is a “fantasy of Jewish power” is not to call Hawke an antisemite, but, as I said, that he has fallen into antisemitic ways of expressing what he sees as criticism of Israel.


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