How not to criticise the CAA’s surveys on antisemitism.

There has been much press coverage recently of 2 surveys on antisemitism by the grass roots organisation set up last year, The  Campaign Against Antisemitsm. Various aspects of the methodology of the surveys and the interpretation of the data have been sensibly criticised, such as here and here. The media hype has been addressed here. This was important and needed to be done. However an article on Jews For Justice For Palestinians provided an example of how not to do so. It’s an horrific article written by Aaron Dover who runs their social media strategy. It now seems to have been taken down but you can read a cached version of it here. Here’s a taster from several different parts of the aticle:

Antisemitism is a danger not to the purported victims of said antisemitism, but to the actual victims; those accused of it. Everyone lives the antisemitism minefield. It is not neccesary for me to spell out the consequences for anyone who falls foul of the various bodies of antisemite-hunters that span the globe. Socially, professionally, step on an antsemitism mine, and you’re toast.

The world is tired of the Jewish victimhood song, and tired of this victimhood being used as a weapon, as a means to bully people into observing Zionist taboos.

Because otherwise, you know at this rate, we European Jews will all going to the gas soon. Yawn.

   

103 Responses to “How not to criticise the CAA’s surveys on antisemitism.”

  1. Liman Says:

    Among the many Palestinians who openly celebrated terrorist atrocity at a synagogue in Jerusalem, during which four worshippers and a police officer were brutally murdered, were several employees of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA.) UNRWA is a body devoted solely to Palestinian refugees from the 1948 war as well as their descendants who, unlike the children of refugees in other conflict situations, legally inherit refugee status.

  2. Responding Says:

    It is a fundamental mistake to think that the JJFP article is about Israel. It is not. They are desperate to claim that there is no antisemitism, but that it is all to do with criticism of Israel. They point to the increase of antisemitic attacks during the war in Gaza as ‘proof’ of that. It is nonsense. Antisemitism is not an automatic reflection of what happens in the ME. It is one particular response among many. If it were not, then it would follow that every single person on an demo about Israel is not only antisemitic but is about to do antisemitic harm. This is patently not the case. Some, however, do frame the conflict in the ME in antisemitic terms, some attack synagogues, some (see today’s Mirror) looks for Jews and attack them. They are antisemites pure and simple; they have made the political choice to adopt an antisemitic view of the world. They, the antisemites, are the problem for Jews, not Israel, not the action of other Jews, but the antisemites. Antisemitism has never been a Jewish problem, the problem has always been antisemites.

    In the past, antisemites have always argued that if the Jews behaved properly then they would not be antisemitic. It is a classic defence of all antisemites and racists. It is like saying that the antisemetic attacks on Jews in times of economic hardship is really nothing to do with antisemitism but everything to do we people’s frustration with capitalism and the (presumed) role of ‘Jewish capitalists’. If only the Jews behaved like other capitalists then there would be no need for us to be antisemites! Likewise, if only Israel acted like other nations (leaving aside the facts of the matter) then there would be no antisemitism! Such arguments have always been nothing more than empty justifications and legitimations for those who have decided to place Jews in the storm centre of events.

    Not only have JJFP fallen for such nonsense but they are now the among others pushing this line.

    JJFP are forever bleating on about how the dice is loaded against them when it comes to convincing the ‘mainstream’ Jewish community, how the ‘mainstream’ silences them. They believe this is the reason that they remain a meaningless marginal group as regards the ‘mainstream’. The reality is that they are not going to get very far in replicating the arguments and justifications of antisemites and antisemitism in what they claim is their primary goal of justice for Palestinians.

    Looking over their various postings, one can wonder if, indeed, a just solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict or, indeed, justice for Palestinians is actually their ultimate aim. Increasingly, it appears that such legitimate goal plays second fiddle to their obsession with ‘mainstream’ Jewry (or rather its caricature). How else can one account not only for their fight against those who raise the issue of antisemitism, but also, whose headline after the important, and in my mind, correct, recognition of a Palestinian state by Westminster with the words, ‘Pro-Israel Lobby defeated’?

    • Brian Goldfarb Says:

      It’s called blaming the victims and is a syndrome well-known to social scientists. Indeed, in a really sane and rational world, it would lead to appropriate treatment for the sufferers of the syndrome.

  3. aarondover Says:

    JFJFP is not a marginal group. On social media we have more than double the following of Jewish Chronicle for example, despite having launched ourselves only in June 2014. During Protective Edge we had 243 times as much engagement as them. We have had events covered in RT, we have been discussed in Ha’aretz, we’ve had ads and mentions in the Guardian, and on various TV and radio stations. Our signatories and supporters include celebrities such as Alexei Sayle and Stephen Fry. The days where we had to beg to JC to run one of our stories are in the past. Wake up.

  4. aarondover Says:

    Oh and I just noticed also that we are bigger than Engage on Twitter too, so who are you calling marginal with your tiny little voice?

  5. Louisa Says:

    True and well written article by an honest Jewish person who has the guts to speak up and step outside the ‘official line’ and to break useless destructive taboos. Life isn’t about following ‘official lines’ it’s about truth and honesty.

    • Brian Goldfarb Says:

      I think that “Louisa’s” claim needs just a tad more than factless assertion. If she is so convinced that the article does all that she claims, how about an argument, with evidence, to support her stance?

  6. soupyone Says:

    The “my twitter is bigger than yours” is tad juvenile for such an important discussion.

  7. aarondover Says:

    We did not exist on social media before the Summer. People flocked to our page because we were able to give a very unique news feed and perspective on the events and the broader Facebook community is very keen to hear a fresh voice. People have described us as a breath of fresh air; whether or not you agree with none, some, or all of what we do and say it is valuable to have a diversity of voices represented.

  8. aarondover Says:

    That diversity of views and openness is not shared by other community pages, for example StandWithUs and the UK page, and even Ha’aretz are prone to blocking people who post the wrong opinions, links and facts.

  9. soupyone Says:

    I might have missed it, but did jfjfp write anything moderately intelligent or empathetic about the killings in Paris?

    I am trying to determine if this is just a moment of stupidity or something else.

    • truegreta Says:

      The question really is, “Did any of the Zionist mouthpieces write ANYTHING intelligent about the murders in Gaza last summer, the 17 journalists killed by Netanyahoo, the over 2000 civilians blown apart, including over 500 children. You people are perennial whiners, more concerned about demonizing others than by looking internally at the genocidal state of Israel that you support.

      • Brian Goldfarb Says:

        Oh, what a sane response to the situation. Nothing about 4000+ rockets fired by Hamas into Israel (remember that Netanyahu said that “calm would be met by calm”); nothing about Hamas breaking 3 cease fires, and gaining nothing from the one they accepted that wasn’t on the table before; nothing about the overwhelming evidence that at least (note, at least) half of the “civilian” casualties were, in fact, militants, members of Hamas; nothing about the use of Gazan civilians as human shields – a crime against humanity/war crime in itself; nothing about the arguments as to what exactly is meant by “proportional response” in a war situation – including one of asymmetrical warfare.

        All in all, I’d say that failing to account for any of the above makes “trugreta” the whiner.

        And while she’s using the term “genocidal”, which of the combatants during “Protective Edge” is it that has a clause in its Charter/Constitution which calls for the destruction of the other? Hamas or Israel? And which is it that calls in the same Charter for the death of all Jews everywhere?

        I’d say that this makes Hamas the genocidal ones.

        truegreta, you really must learn to use language properly and not just sputter with incoherent rage. It’s not a good look.

        • Lloyd Kennedy Says:

          Hamas wouldn’t need to exist if their rightful land wasn’t occupied by a bunch of fanatical white Europeans purporting to have some claim on it . Which part of the Middle East do the names Mileikowsky and Bennett originate from then Brian ?

  10. Sai Brace Says:

    Absolutely, Louisa. Well said. The article is spot-on (well said also, Aaron). It’s absurd, how this charge of anti-Semitism, is banded about these days. Joel Kovel calls it “intellectual barbarism” (this false charge). As Shalomit Aloni told us (we knew already) “It’s a trick – we always use it.” Criticism of Israel, is quite clearly, not anti-Semitism. It’s time for folk to get real. Stop treating the public as if they were born yesterday. Israel is a lunatic – criminal – rogue state, and it’s abhorrent actions alone, are the prime cause for the spikes in and rise of any ‘genuine acts’ of anti-Semitism. The sooner the immoral apologists for Israel wake up to this fact, the better for all concerned.

  11. Mira Vogel Says:

    Louise, you don’t need guts to say what Aaron says . There aren’t any taboos left – just a bunch of Palestine activists who won’t stop talking about them. I can’t think of anything that can’t be said about Israel. Usually the worst stuff is said very loudly and freely by people who are complaining about not being able to say it. So it is in this case. I’m saying that Aaron’s piece is antisemitic. He’s saying, in his piece, that this makes the victim of antisemitism Aaron himself, and not the Jews who are physically menaced and attacked with Palestine as a pretext, while people like Aaron basically encourage us to excuse their attackers.

    My problems with the article are several. Most trivially, it’s unsubstantiated. What Aaron writes about Holocaust curricula flies in the face of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust web site which foregrounds Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia, &c as well as what happened in Europe. Nor does the HMD limit its focus to Jews. Only Aaron is doing that, presumably because it serves his argument that Jews are only investigating antisemitism to instrumentalise it in service of Israel. Out of all the other reasons to monitor antisemitism, this is the only one he is interested in engaging with.

    Most of the assertions in the piece are questionable. A standout one is that we are a fascist Western killing machine killing Muslims on a large scale. I wonder how he’d make sense of that in the light of the far larger-scale murder of Muslims by other Muslims. Another is that the fear-to-incident rate of antisemitism has never been higher. Who says? Not the Jewish Chronicle – they surveyed UK Jews and found that few had considered leaving in the light of the Paris events. The question the CAAS asked related to the past two years, which may explain why their results were higher. And Aaron is wrong about the closed questions – the CAAS asked a very open word-association question which I look forward to seeing analysed. In terms of the CAAS methods, it’s not clear to me that they are so awful. If nothing else, if the same questions are kept it will serve as an annual benchmark, shedding light on change over time. The comparison between secure British Jews and Muslims being gunned down by “our stormtroopers” makes no sense to me, because it isn’t happening. We aren’t waging war on Muslims. Within Britain, there is plenty of Islamophobia and plenty of antisemitism, and both are ‘charting’ and widely reported, with government attention and extra police protections. The reason the Holocaust is taught is that it is close to home, recent, and unprecedently industrialised, backed by an intellectual ideology of dehumanisation advanced by refined people much like ourselves. It is a very good, well-documented case study of programmatic racial hatred. Its place in the curriculum is well justified.

    At the end of the piece we are told again that antisemitism should be taken for granted, since it has been all around us throughout time. But the fact of Israel and Israel’s actions means that at this current time antisemitism is both justified, and will also be weaponised by Jews in service of Israel. So, Aaron argues, any attempt to draw attention to antisemitism as a consequence of bad Palestine campaigning should be treated with contempt, laughed at, ignored, diminished.

    This is a dire conclusion. Only today 4 teens pleaded guilty to Jew bashing. The pretext was Palestine. These kinds of antisemitic incidents are not freakish, and nobody is responsible for them except the perpetrators and instigators. Aaron’s piece is a big shrug about that. It’s extremely irresponsible to subordinate threats against Jews to his political campaign against Israel.

    Many people have said it a lot more eloquently than I have: you can’t help Palestinians by minimising, ignoring, laughing at or otherwise passing over harm to Jews.

    I don’t think Palestinians need that kind of help. And it doesn’t help. And it harms Jews.

    Aaron tells me on Twitter that the piece is personal. But it’s been posted on the JFJFP Facebook page. It is unsurprising that one of the top comments is from an Atzmon fan.

  12. Richard Gold Says:

    Hi Aaron. Perhaps you can expand on a few things.

    Firstly, why is your article no longer available on the JFJFP website (although it is available on the JFJFP facebook page as a cut and paste article) ?

    On your facebook page you have an image that says “Je Suis False Flag”. Who do you think really did it?

    Lastly you suggest here that maybe Mossad did it. Are you seriously suggesting this ?

  13. aarondover Says:

    I thought you wanted to discuss my article not to put my personal posts here, so I am not sure what to address first. Je Suis False Flag is a satirical meme which I found funny, and as for the question of the Paris incidents and all the ins and outs of it, the press has left a lot of unanswered questions so you have probably seen the same information and probably your guess is as good as mine. I wish I knew more.

    Would you like to discuss your concerns in respect of my article?

    • Richard Gold Says:

      Aaron, I’d like you to answer my questions.

      Why was this article withdrawn from the JFJFP website ?

      Do you think that the murders may have been a false flag operation ?

      Do you think <ossad may have been responsible ?

  14. David Hirsh Says:

    “Jews for Justice for Palestinians is a network of Jews who are British or live in Britain, practising and secular, Zionist and not.” http://jfjfp.com/?page_id=2

    Aaron, are you one of the “Zionists” in JFJFP? or one of the not?

  15. Les Philosophes Says:

    Voltaire — ‘Cherish those who seek the truth but beware of those who find it.’

  16. Les Philosophes Says:

    Louisa -‘True and well written article’

    Louisa -‘words that speak the truth’

    Louisa -‘Life isn’t about following ‘official lines’ it’s about truth and honesty’

    Voltaire — ‘Cherish those who seek the truth but beware of those who find it.’

  17. aarondover Says:

    Lots of things to respond to,

    @richard The article was posted without being edited, and I decided that I wished to retain it in unedited form and so moved it to publish on another site. All our web site articles go through an editing process and I felt this article needed to stay as intended without edits and clearly in my own name.

    @david I would not describe myself as Zionist however if you need a label for me then the most apt might be post-Zionist. I advocate for an end to the military occupation and equal rights in law for all citizens irrespective of ethnicity.

    @Les Philosophes Agreed.

    @mira “I’m saying that Aaron’s piece is antisemitic.” in which case you need to clarify your understanding of what that word means to you as it differs from what it means to me. I assume that you mean it crosses some kind of line by which it exposes that I hate Jews? Or do you mean that the existence of such articles could damage the Jewish cause or the welfare of Jews? Or that the article in itself brings antisemitic preconceptions of some sort? Please clarify because this is the crux of the matter.

    • Richard Gold Says:

      Aaron “@richard The article was posted without being edited, and I decided that I wished to retain it in unedited form and so moved it to publish on another site. All our web site articles go through an editing process and I felt this article needed to stay as intended without edits and clearly in my own name.”

      So as the person who runs JFJFP’s social and media strategy, which is you Aaron, had a piece pulled from the JFJFP website as unacceptable in its original form.
      Yet it’s still on the JFJFP’s official facebook page.

      And for the third time Aaron – Do you think that the recent murders in France were a false flag action? Do you think that Mossad (as you suggest on your facebook page) may have been responsible?

    • Mira Vogel Says:

      @Aaron – the piece undermines Jewish wellbeing and confidence by encouraging readers to treat antisemitism as a triviality around the time of Holocaust Memorial Day, and in the midst of an antisemitic surge as part of the fallout after the murders in Paris. That’s why I call it antisemitic.

      I’d prefer to talk about the piece rather than speculate about your own beliefs or motives. People are rarely straightforward coherent packages and in any case the piece stands independently of you the author.

      • aarondover Says:

        “the piece undermines Jewish wellbeing and confidence” how does an article do that exactly? Readers can make up their own minds. They have the whole media shouting at them that antisemitism is surging, I am not aware of any other articles challenging that. Readers can make up their own minds what to believe, as I do. I do not presume to have such influence, I am simply an individual expressing a view. Most of the people who are interested in this article are reminded every single day of the Holocaust through what they read and the interactions they have, as it is always so central to all these discussions.

        • Mira Vogel Says:

          Not the case that the whole media is shouting. Plenty within the organised Jewish establishment, if I may call it that, questioned the CAAS findings, and emphasised how good Jewish life is in the UK. The JC and the IJPR are only two examples. But the CAAS findings are not so far wide of what other surveys have found. If you want to say they’re wrong about antisemitism being a valid concern, you’d better show why they are wrong, rather than limiting yourself to fabricating motives for people to exaggerate or weaponise antisemitism, which can only serve to vindicate people who already want to take antisemitism less seriously.

          Group-based enmity isn’t rare at all – why would Jews not be affected? In fact you say you take it as a given that they are. In that case, shouldn’t you be trying to disrupt it rather than alternatively minimising its importance or justifying it?

          “How can an article do that?” You may be expressing a personal view, but you did it publicly on a jfjfp platform which, as you point out above – has a social media following. So your view is subject to scrutiny. It should trouble you that one of your Facebook commenters is recommending Gilad Atzmon to your readers. As well as being a Palestine liberation activist, his views are unambiguously antisemitic. Or would you question that?

          What you’ve written won’t have a dramatic or immediate effect. But it does make its little contribution to undermining societal defences against antisemitism.

  18. aarondover Says:

    I do not run all the social and media strategy. I am responsible for the Facebook and Twitter channels and the website content is overseen by two editors, the regular one and someone who covers. It’s my article and voices my own opinions not those of anyone else.

    I do not believe that the public version of events in respect of the Paris incidents is complete and accurate, there was not much in the way of public investigation or evidence beyond some videos, some of which had issues, some of which have been pulled from a number of places. i don’t think the media did a good job of covering the incidents themselves as they very quickly switched to the topic of freedom of speech issues and did not run stories to fill in the blanks that I could find.

    • Richard Gold Says:

      So it wasn’t deemed acceptable for the JFJFP’s website. I can see why and that’s good to know. But it’s worrying that it’s deemed acceptable for JFJFP’s official Facebook page.

      I’d still like an answer to the following. Do you think that the murders may have been a false flag operation and do you think (as per your own comments) that Mossad may have done it?

      • aarondover Says:

        I decide what is acceptable on the Facebook page and I thought our readers would find this an interesting article, and it received a lot of positive feedback and interest.

  19. aarondover Says:

    In respect of JfJfP here is a recent public statement, the JfJfP Submission to All-Party Parliamentary Group Against Antisemitism at http://jfjfp.com/?p=66611

  20. Richard Gold Says:

    Sorry Aaron. But I think it’s directly relevant it’s relevant that you are somebody who believes in a conspiracy theory – that the murders in Paris were part of a false flag operation and may have been carried out by Mossad. This isn’t personal, it’s your politics and your way of thinking.

  21. aarondover Says:

    Much of the media reported a conspiracy of militant Islamists funded by a sinister shadowy group in Yemen who after the attack released a video claiming that they had backed it, released on YouTube. Are you suggesting that is or is not a conspiracy theory and then; therefore should I or should I not believe it? It is hard to follow your line of attack. I came here to discuss my article.

    • Richard Gold Says:

      Aaron, just answer my questions. Do you think the murders were a false flag attack and that they may heve been carried out by Mossad. These are the things you have posted so i think that as somebody who writes on antisemitsm that people have a right to know where you are coming from. It’s part of your politics and your way of thinking.

      • Richard Gold Says:

        And i’d like to know why specifically why your article wasn’t deemed suitable for the JFJFP website.

        • aarondover Says:

          It was deemed suitable but required editing, and as I already said, I preferred it to remain unedited as I am a bit precious like that.

      • aarondover Says:

        “Aaron, just answer my questions.” Richard, I am finding you to be rather rude and hostile. We are here because you posted here calling my article “horrific” but now refuse to discuss it at all. I do not know who you are nor have I sought to dig around to find out about your personal life. I came here hoping that this site was, as described, a place to engage and that you would welcome the chance to discuss my article with me.

        • Brian Goldfarb Says:

          Isn’t it interesting that, as a latecomer to this comments column, I am as one with Richard in waiting for Aaron Dover to answer his questions. And waiting. And waiting…

          And, Aaron, while Richard and Mira have clearly done their homework, you, equally, have not. Richard Gold is one of the editors and moderators of this website and has been for some years. So, instead of traducing him, how about answering his question.

          Or perhaps you don’t have an answer? Woulrn’t be the first time someone in your position doesn’t have an answer to a frequently repeated and legitimate question.

  22. Mira Vogel Says:

    Well, I for one welcome that. I invited you here, and thank you for taking the time.

    I do share Richard’s questions. It seems very important to you to undermine confidence in any accounts which may lead us to think that antisemitism is a serious problem. That’s as baseless as me speculating that you’re a secret Mossad agent trying to undermine support for Palestine liberation by making the activism look nasty.

    • aarondover Says:

      Oh I wouldn’t worry about that, Mossad couldn’t afford my services.

      • Richard Gold Says:

        Aaron, there’s nothing rude in linking to what you have said on your open facebook page. I appreciate that you’d rather not be challenged on your views about the murders being a false flag operation that were possibly carried out by Mossad. But it’s neither rude or hostile to challenge you on what you post. It’s a shame though that you keep refusing to own what you posted.

        Do you have two sets of different views – one for when you are the social and media strategist of JFJFP and another when you are not?

        So let me ask you again, Do you think that the murders were a false flag operation and were possibly carried out by Mossad?

      • Mira Vogel Says:

        But hopefully you get my point. To suggest that it was Mossad who sacrificed French Jews when Islamist extremists have been inciting against Jews for years and were witnessed to carry out the crime is very perverse – these several baseless speculations of yours seem to be shoring up the same prejudice.

        • aarondover Says:

          I don’t really understand. Most of our media said it was a conspiracy of Muslims. You are suggesting that if the media said it was a conspiracy of Jews instead, that the media would be showing anti-Jewish prejudice? In that case is the media story about it being a conspiracy of Muslims not Islamophobic in some way by the same argument?

      • soupyone Says:

        Richard’s question is valid and straightforward:

        Do you think that the murders were a false flag operation and were possibly carried out by Mossad?

  23. Richard Gold Says:

    Anything to avoid answering the question Aaron. Do you think that the murders were a false flag operation and were possibly carried out by Mossad? Based on your facebook postings i can only conclude that this is what you think.

    It’s good that your article was deleted from the JFJFP’s website. It’s worrying though that it was posted on the website in the first place. Maybe the editors had a change of heart, maybe there were complaints. but for whatever reason it’s good that it was pulled.

    • aarondover Says:

      I have had only praise and no complaints about the article, apart from yours which you have refuse to discuss despite my generosity in giving you so much time for your right of reply. I can only assume from this post in the first place and your remarks that you seek to discredit me rather than engage.

      Have you considered rebranding as “Discredit”? It would be more honest.

      • Richard Gold Says:

        I see there are two comments after your piece on facebook and the second comment was “You should definitely read Gilad Atzmon. He has made this argument too and you would enjoy a lot of what he writes.”

    • Deborah Fink Says:

      Well, well, well… I see that Mira Vogel is still doing her apologist stuff… Last I heard about Mira was that she was still trying to cause trouble for the Green Party after she’d left. Dear Mira was obviously an infiltrator. I never saw her at meetings or heard of any positive contribution she made. All she did was get others to snoop, it seemed, then leak stuff into the public arena that was not meant to be there, bandying around her false allegations of anti-Semitism. Thankfully, Greens Engage, of which she seemed to be the silent ring leader, seems to have fizzled out.

      • Mira Vogel Says:

        Well, you put in a complaint to that effect. You had me taken to a Green Party tribunal. The tribunal found that your complaint had no merit. They reported that if the Green Party had acted on antisemitism sooner, the situation wouldn’t have arisen.

        What you subjected me to in the name of pro-Palestine campaigning was exhausting and frightening. My father was terminally ill at the time.

        So thanks Deborah. You’re a real hero for the Palestinians. You’re what it’s all about these days. Exemplary.

        • Deborah Fink Says:

          Poor Mira, playing the victim. Frightened indeed! My dear, after the time you wasted of the Green Party’s, & attempts to ruin its reputation, you deserved it. It’s simply a pity that that particular tribunal didn’t have the guts to take much action against you, though I think the problem is that it’s hard to prove if someone is an infiltrator.

          Well, that was all unfortunate but at least we managed to get GPRC to drop its misguided guidelines on anti-Semitism (which Greens Engage leaked) and defeated the Liverpool Green Party motion on having a Green Party definition of anti-Semitism, which was a watered down version of the discredited EUMC working definition. And Greens Engage seems to have fizzled out. Result!

          I never experienced anti-Semitism in the party. It’s pretty clear that your agenda was to discredit the party & weaken it’s position on Palestine as it had recently passed a motion on boycotting Israel.

          I’ve heard that you used to cause trouble & get quite nasty on the UCU activist list…. (Because they were pushing for boycotts). Same old agenda.

        • Mira Vogel Says:

          I see your interpersonal style and sensitivities are much the same. Your work will be judged on how it affects Palestinian, Israeli and Jewish lives. I think that Palestine solidarity should be about *building* solidarity with Palestinians, rather simply projecting your own eccentric interpretations.

          I should also point out that your lack of civility is falling foul of our comments policy. You’ve one more chance.

        • Deborah Fink Says:

          Mira, my so-called ‘eccentric interpretations’ are shared by many, both inside & outside the Green Party. But you seem to have strayed from the point. Taking you to a tribunal was not the main focus of my Palestine activism, but trying to stop you & others in Greens Engage from damaging the party’s reputation. (I wonder who went to Hugh Muir in the Guardian with false allegations of anti-Semitism…). Also, Greens Engage had wasted much of the party’s time with their allegations, internal & public, so now they have shut down, the party has more time to
          focus on Palestinisn rights & of course, winning seats in elections. Greens Engage did not have the party’s best interests at heart.

          As for my interpersonal style, it was not me who brought in personal matters to try to gain sympathy. For the record, I knew nothing about your father until months after the tribunal.

        • Mira Vogel Says:

          On this count, the Green Party’s reputation is in its own hands. I said this in my tribunal statement and it was not contested.

          You and the Green Party were prepared to drag somebody through the muck on the basis of an obviously flimsy complaint – which was the best you could muster. You resorted to the Green authorities because you thought it would shut me up. Whether I shut up or not about Green antisemitism mostly depends on the Greens.

          When I mention my dad, it’s to remind you that when you act aggressively towards somebody as you so frequently do, you also touch the people they are closest to, who may not be in a place to cope with it. This is obvious, and yes, you should develop some empathy.

          I’d prefer it if you didn’t comment on this thread any more.

        • Michael Allen Says:

          Funny how the sympathy card comes out rather than the fact relating to the situation which would be far more relevent.

        • Political Precedents Says:

          On the question of purging the Zionist enemy within the Party………

          ‘It’s pretty clear that your agenda was to discredit the party & weaken it’s position on Palestine as it had recently passed a motion on boycotting Israel.’
          Fink 2015
          ‘After Gomułka’s initiation of the anti-Israel…….propaganda, the security services began………. looking for ‘hidden Zionists’ in Polish institutions.’
          Poland 1968

        • zaccaerdydd Says:

          I’m so sorry to hear of that, Mira.

  24. aarondover Says:

    I am a scientist by training and an empiricist. That sets me apart from the media who rush to judgements without sufficient evidence. I look at all the evidence available and form opinions or reserve judgement depending on the information available and having assessed its reliability. In this case I have enough open questions that I think I would be jumping to conclusions if I said I knew for sure what happened in Paris. Some aspects remain a mystery.

    • Richard Gold Says:

      Is that what led you to the conclusion that it was a false flag operation and may have been carried out by the Mossad?

      • aarondover Says:

        In my private chat with my former friend which you linked above you have seen me joking around, so what use is it to pretend I was not joking around? I told him the number plate was J1HAD. It was not. That was a joke. A joke. Like this site being called “engage”. It’s satire.

    • Richard Gold Says:

      Aaron, do you think that 9/11 and 7/7 may also have been false flag operations ?

  25. soupyone Says:

    Odd, Aaron is full of opinions yet when you try to pin him down to specifics then the waffling starts.

    If I hadn’t seen similar stuff dozens and dozens of times before, I’d be surprised.

    Twitter is overflowing with such behaviour, but I’d have to question if such attitudes are common at JfJfp? Are they?

  26. Responding Says:

    ‘Or that the article in itself brings antisemitic preconceptions of some sort?’

    In fact, Dover’s article contains very little that does not repeat and allude to ‘antisemitic preconceptions of some sort’.
    1. That antisemitism can be explained as a response to acts done by Jews.
    2. That one cannot criticise Jews without being called an antisemite.
    3. That an allegation of antisemitism is a weapon that Jews use to silence all and any critics of their acts, real or imagined.
    4, That behind all catastrophic events can be traced the hidden hand the Jews (the Crimean War, the first and second world wars, the Wall Street Crash, and more recently, 9/11, the wars in Iraq and, most currently, the Norwegian massacre and the shootings in Paris).
    (These elements of antisemitism have been present from its embryonic formulations from the 1840’s through its ‘classic’ period beginning in the 1870’s to the present day.)
    5. That the Holocaust and modes of remembrance are the product of,or have, at the least, resulted in “Jewish privilege’.
    6. That such ‘privilege’ is used to further ‘Jewish interests’ and serve to both silence the genocides of other peoples as well as serving what are perceived to be these ‘Jewish interests’ in the contemporary world and of silencing any and all criticism of such interests.
    7. Chief among the beneficiaries of this ‘Jewish privilege’ is the State of Israel (early Holocaust denial explained the ‘hoax of the six million’ as a means by which to blackmail Germany (reparations) and other countries (financial, diplomatic and military support, etc.).
    (These latter three points are a staple of Holocaust denial literature that have gained a significance independent of the now discredited claim that the Holocaust itself did not occur. Indeed, it has gained even greater currency through acceptance of the Holocaust as an irrefutable fact. This staple of Holocaust denial/antisemitic literature can be found in the founding texts of this pernicious literature – see, for example the works of Faurisson among others. Most recently, it can be seen in the ‘comedy’ of the French comedian, Dieudonne.)

    (Dover’s article can be found here)
    http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache%3ATPfzcPq9UUUJ%3Ajfjfp.com%2F%3Fp%3D67749+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=uk

  27. aarondover Says:

    “That antisemitism can be explained as a response to acts done by Jews.” The horrors of Protective Edge were not carried out “by Jews” it was done by the IDF. Are you suggesting seeking any accountability for these actions is antisemitism? A lot of people have shifted to that position by now as they run out of options. It cannot be easy to be an apologist in this climate.

    You are saying Jews are above the law, so any group which happens to contain Jews, such as the IDF, is above all rule of law. Because holding them accountable in law is “antisemitic”? So then, why don’t you just say it more simply; Jews are above all laws including the laws of war… and even the most heinous crimes defined by society will not be an exception.

    Once particularly good comment I saw today was “Anti-Zionism is the micro-aggression of anti-Semitism.” I look forward to being sold that idea through increasingly convoluted means.

  28. aarondover Says:

    You could also be called “Jew haters”, setting upon those people who understand and try to uphold real Jewish values, such as myself. I am simply not a hypocritical faux-liberal Zionist. My values come from a liberal Jewish tradition that has no place for racial supremacy and ultranationalism.

    • soupyone Says:

      Hmm. Aaron has a solid view on every topic, but is unable or unwilling to comment on his own real conspiracy-inclined views on the murders in Paris.

      Small wonder JfJfp removed the article, even they saw its many faults.

  29. aarondover Says:

    It would be preferable if you could reproduce the whole article on this post as opposed to some sentences without their proper context, feel free to do so if you wish.

    • Richard Gold Says:

      There’s a link to your article in the piece Aaron. I’ve also linked in the comments to your conspiracy theory views about the murders in France being a false flag operation that you suggest may have been carried out by the Mossad.

      • Brian Goldfarb Says:

        As for reproducing the whole article, having read it, I found so many lacunae in it, let alone illogicalities and failures to cite anything even vaguely resembling evidence that I don’t think I’d want it reproduced in full yet again.

        • aarondover Says:

          I don’t recall asking you Brian I’m sorry you didn’t like my article or feel it worth commenting on.

        • Brian Goldfarb Says:

          Aaron, by commenting here, you don’t have a say in who says what – the moderators have the last word on that. If you can’t stand the heat, as Harry Truman said, stay out of the kitchen. As for “not worth commenting on”, I’ve been doing nothing but.

          Clearly, another of those who reads only what they wish others had actually written, or are prepared to interpret other’s words in a way clearly not meant by the original writer.

          Lots of those here.

          (meant to go after Aaron Dover’s comment to me, timed at Jan 29, 2.08 am)

  30. Responding Says:

    “That antisemitism can be explained as a response to acts done by Jews.” The horrors of Protective Edge were not carried out “by Jews” it was done by the IDF. Are you suggesting seeking any accountability for these actions is antisemitism? A lot of people have shifted to that position by now as they run out of options. It cannot be easy to be an apologist in this climate.’

    I have addressed that point above where I stated,
    ‘It is a fundamental mistake to think that the JJFP article is about Israel. It is not. They are desperate to claim that there is no antisemitism, but that it is all to do with criticism of Israel. They point to the increase of antisemitic attacks during the war in Gaza as ‘proof’ of that. It is nonsense. Antisemitism is not an automatic reflection of what happens in the ME. It is one particular response among many. If it were not, then it would follow that every single person on an demo about Israel is not only antisemitic but is about to do antisemitic harm. This is patently not the case. Some, however, do frame the conflict in the ME in antisemitic terms, some attack synagogues, some (see today’s Mirror) looks for Jews and attack them. They are antisemites pure and simple; they have made the political choice to adopt an antisemitic view of the world. They, the antisemites, are the problem for Jews, not Israel, not the action of other Jews, but the antisemites. Antisemitism has never been a Jewish problem, the problem has always been antisemites’.

    I am sorry if I was not clear enough, so I will clarify.
    One can call Israel, like any state, accountable for its actions. The IDF’s acts in Gaza over the summer are, as I am sure you know, to be legally challenged through recourse to the ICC. To call for that and to welcome that inquiry is in no way whatsoever antisemitic. However, those who attack Jews in Belgium, in France and in the UK, those who chant ‘Death to the Jews’ in France, those who hold sign saying ‘Hitler was right’ or ‘Hitler should have finished the job’ etc. are responding to events in the ME in antisemitic ways and as antisemites.
    As was evident in the court hearing today, the defence claim was that the attack on an orthodox Jew in, I believe, Gateshead, was in response to Israel’s actions in Gaza over the summer. It was this reaction, and similar acts of antisemitism, that I was referring to when I stated that antisemites explain ‘antisemitism…….as a response to acts done by Jews’. It is not I that make no distinction between the IDF and ‘the Jews’ it is antisemitism and antisemites. It is they, not I, that see the question of Israel’s accountability in antisemitic terms.

    Secondly, it is to be noted that your claim – a claim that you yourself have had recourse to above (‘an apologist’ and ‘a hypocritical faux-liberal Zionist-, to use your own expressions) – that those who raise the issue of antisemitism (e.g me) do so in bad faith as a ‘weapon that Jews use to silence all and any critics of their acts, real or imagined’ (which now includes, even prioritses, the acts of the Israeli state), was dealt with in point 3 above. A claim that, as noted, has been a staple element of antisemitism from its inception.

    Be that as it may, if you wish to turn the subject to Israel, I am sure there are plenty of people willing to engage with your views. However, in the present context, that is not really my particular concern. After all, as you quite rightly say your article ‘was on antisemitism and the Holocaust’. It was to that article that I offered my comments.

    • aarondover Says:

      It’s a mistake to think of people who belong to the Jewish anti-occupation movement as having any monolithic set of shared opinions beyond our core cause. That in the case of JFJFP is expressed in our statement which is anti-occupation and can be found on the website jfjfp.com. In no other respect is it true that all our signatories, or all our supporters or partners in this share common views. We are very diverse and you are on a hiding to nothing to try to presume I have views you’ve heard from others or vice versa. I have my own views, we all do. Ask any two of us for a view and you will get three opinions. We are Jews. Being opposed to military occupation and apartheid is a broad synagogue, if you like.

      I would take issue with some of the pre-assumed truths of your words above. To say there are “antisemites” is not the same as to say there is “antisemitism” and one must take care not to imagine a model which is based on an unproven assumption; that certain individuals are just dyed-in-the-wool Jew haters, that this is a personal trait or characteristic. In actual fact, to say a racial group are prone to antisemitism is arguably a racist remark. It is anyway an additional step beyond saying that there are views held by some people at certain times that constitute antisemitism.

  31. soupyone Says:

    I am making a copy of it permanent on my blog, as a public record.

    https://soupyone.wordpress.com

  32. JfJfP Thinking?? | Soupy One Says:

    […] to Engage for pointing out the misanthropic thinking at the heart of this sorry […]

  33. Responding Says:

    ‘To say a racial group are prone to antisemitism is arguably a racist remark’. First, I reject entirely the notion of a ‘racial group’; I think both science and politics has moved on since such language is used. However, as we know, one of the consequences of antisemitism is a corresponding racialization of national and other groups.

    To be frank, I am genuinely surprised that for someone committed to the principles of mathematics and empiricism, the number of straw men that appear in you comments through this thread is truly breathtaking. To take one example; at not point whatsoever have I said that one particular ‘racial group is prone to antisemitism’. In fact, I have said quite the opposite.

    Antisemitism is a political ideology not a genetic disposition. It claims an equality with liberalism, with conservatism, with communism, etc. (even if it is premised on sheer nonsense). Its alleged universal appeal is just that. No one ‘racial group’ [sic] is more ‘prone’ to it than any other. Antisemitism and antisemites (those who adopt an antisemitic worldview; just as a liberal is one who adopts liberalism as a guide to the world and who cease to be an antisemite when they reject antisemitism as a guide to the world)), has been present in nearly all countries of the world in various forms (to list them would take far too long. but let us say, from Poland to Japan; from France to Iran). Of course, this is not to sat that these countries are inherently or, to use your language ‘racially disposed’ to ‘antisemitism’ or populated by ‘antisemites’. Rather, it is to say that antisemitism is a recourse that, at various times, appears attractive to some of those countries’ citizens and, less often, to the states themselves.

    Again, you did say that your article ‘was on antisemitism and the Holocaust’. It was to that article that I offered my comments; more specifically, the ‘antisemitic preconceptions of some sort’ that I have shown to constitute the substance of your argument. As I said before, it you wish to change the subject, that is entirely up to you.

  34. aarondover Says:

    It is a breach of my copyright to publish my article anywhere without my prior consent. Soupyone please remove it from your blog. I gave permission to publish it in full on engage, however I do not permit the butchered version of it currently at the top of this page, which was intended to create a misleading representation of the article. I suggest that you should respect my rights with regard to my work and publish here in full, or not at all. You can of course freely link the full article which is published here: http://www.thezionion.com/2015/01/26/facebook-archaeologists-unearth-massive-hasbara-chamber/

    Thanks in advance.

  35. soupyone Says:

    I shall leave it up to show the thinking that passes for reason amongst JfJfp activists.

    • aarondover Says:

      I will send you a formal notice asking you to remove it. The copyright to my article is mine and it is bizarre that you brazenly violate my intellectual property rights but does perhaps reflect your own politics rather too well.

  36. aarondover Says:

    I can see where you have become confused. If you look at this paragraph from your “About” page.

    “Our focus is on this issue but our view of the world is one that opposes all racism equally. We oppose racism against black people or Muslims as strongly as we oppose racism against Jews. We oppose commonsense notions that demonize lesbians and gays as strongly as we oppose those that demonize Israel. We oppose damaging and dangerous myths about women as strongly as we oppose those about Jews. We oppose exclusions of Palestinians as strongly as we oppose those of Jews.”

    Only one object in the paragraph, namely Israel, is not a group of people. It is a nation state which is a contemporary political construct, especially recent in the case of Israel. This is an error in the description because what is implicit is that “Israel” is in fact a symbol synonymous with “the government of the State of Israel”. Were that to be in the description, of course, it would look as absurd as it is, hence the switch.

  37. soupyone Says:

    I duly note that some JfJfp activists would rather discuss anything, but their own irrational views.

    In turn how such attitudes brings the causes they claim to support into dispute (fixation with size of Twitter followers – a very “male” issue, conspiracy-lite thinking, straw-men littering the place and a belief that trying to intimidate people will work).

    It would be funny, if it weren’t so sad.

    • zaccaerdydd Says:

      While one can have all kinds of problems with Israeli policy towards Gazans and Palestinian in general.

      But Israelis are not working a Holocaust i.e. are not Nazis, nor are Palestinians in general in the position of diasporan Jews for most of the last 2000 years or so, let alone the 19th and 20th centuries: until recently, Jews never had the option of reforming their ancient state in any part of the land. They had to settle for the imperial Christian and Islamic mandate that they remain, for the most part, a people exiled and dispossessed, and accordingly humiliated, even in the lands of exile.

      And whichever way you cut it, the Palestinian Arab Muslim and Christian nationalism movement resisted Jews’ living in the land in above the tiny numbers imperial Christianity and Islam mandated as Jews’ proper lot for rejecting Jesus and the prophets, thence to seeking to subject, expel or eliminate the Jews of Palestine. These were the enemies Palestinian then Israeli Jews faced for most of the 20th century.

      It is understandable that Palestinian Arab Muslims and Christians so resisted. But it is equally understandable, in my view, why Palestinian then Israeli Jews resisted back.

      However, I happen to think the Palestinian Arab Muslim and Christian experience of dispossession, disenfranchisement and alienation analogous to the historical Jewish one: I think both Zionism, Jewish nationalism, and Palestinian Arab Muslim and Christian nationalism are both, essentially movements for national restoration, return and justice.

      But the solution is to work towards that mutual recognition, not demonize one side as a principle of absolute evil in contrast with the other.

      2 states, for 2 peoples, with 2 rights of return, division of Jerusalem, old and new, borders on the 1967 lines, or with 1:1 territorial compensation.

    • zaccaerdydd Says:

      Hamas still is such an enemy, whose goal is the end of any kind of Israel, as their leaders profess on a regular basis.

      That does not mean that Israeli policy towards Gaza has been wise, though I am not sure what alternative there is to sealing the border with the government of a de facto state that is sworn to your destruction, or effecting some kind of siege to prevent them acquiring the means to effect their professed intentions.

      However, I despise Netanyahu, and look forward to his replacement with a government that will treat the US government with respect, and make better, public effort to come to an equitable peace agreement with the PA.

  38. Avi in Jerusalem Says:

    I have read and reread the comments. Unfortunately, we are trying to use cool rational arguments in a discussion with someone who is a devout religious believer. Our existences and perceptions are in separate universes. Go convince a Chabad Hasid that the Rebbe is dead or the Pope that Jesus Christ was not the son of god by a virgin woman.

    My only additional comment is that we have seen this sort of behavior repeatedly through history. There were always Jews who were happy to play the role of accuser of their fellow Jews. Examples are legion; from the apostate Jews to the Christian Church in the Middle ages who were at the forefront of the religious and physical attacks on the Jews, through to the supporters of Communism, especially, but not only, in Soviet Russia. These renegades also never learnt their historical lesson. As soon as their usefulness ended, they were discarded into the dustbin of history or even worse. The only reason that there were not more Jewish supporters of the Nazis against other Jews is because the Nazis would not let them in.

    If Mr. Dover thinks that a knife or bomb wielding Islamist is going to let him go just because he acted as their agent in whitewashing and enabling their anti Jewish motives, then he has rude shock awaiting him. In the meantime, he is playing an ancient role as an enabler of evil.

    • aarondover Says:

      Actually I was taken hostage by Islamists whilst attempting foolishly to enter Birmingham, I should have listened to Fox News. They forced me to write the article after nobody would pay anything for me.

  39. Brian Goldfarb Says:

    “They are both arithmetic operations.” Some way above, this is Aaron Dover’s response to Richard Gold asking him whether he thought that 9/11 and 7/7 “may also have been false flag operations.” What on earth does Dover mean by this nonsensical phrase? It actually has, literally, no meaning. But expecting those without answers to legitimate questions to respond logically and rationally is clearly a vain hope, as we have learned on this site over the years.

    However, the purpose of this particular comment is to draw attention to Dover’s total lack of any historical perspective (his passing note that he has a scientific background is no defence: scientists need to know history too). He clearly (and possibly knowingly) ignores the fact that the term “antisemitism” (with or without a hyphen) was coined by an openly and viciously anti-Jewish German writer, one Wilhelm Marr, in the mid-19th Century to refer specifically and only to Jews. He meant by the term the hatred of and the wish of harm to Jews, wherever they may be found. It also encompasses the efforts (as in that notorious fabrication “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion”) to blame the Jews for any and every event that the blamer dislikes and or hates in the modern world.

    It is impossible to pretend that anything else is meant. It is also clear that any sane and rational person would be entirely aware that no change in behaviour by Jews, collectively or individually, short, possibly, of their sudden and complete disappearance, will change this situation: no amount of changing behaviour by the victim will ever satisfy the oppressor.

    So stop trying to suck up to our oppressors, Aaron Dover, and wake up to the realities in this less than satisfactory world. Oh, and the complete disappearance of the Jews only means that a new scapegoat would have to be found. A new racism, perhaps?

      • Brian Goldfarb Says:

        That is not an answer. You were asked a direct question by Richard as to whether you thought that 9/11 and 7/7 were both false flag operations, and you reply with, in effect a dictionary definition of what an “arithmetic operation” is. This is not an answer, its an obfuscation and has absolutely nothing to do with adding, etc.

        So, do you think the answer to Richard’s question is “yes”, “no” or “I don’t know”? Perhaps, if it’s “yes”, you might care to provide some proper evidence, you know, the sort that is expected in circles where rationality and logic prevail.

        You, so far, appear unfamiliar with those.

  40. zaccaerdydd Says:

    [I’m Jewish; It takes Jewish privilege to be able to say this. It should not. But to actually question the dogma around antisemitism itself, is one of the ultimate taboos. It’s at the very foundations of the Zionist enterprise.]

    Aaron, that is ignorant rubbish.

    The foundations of Zionism, are, in my view, the simple fact that, for most of Christian and Islamic history, most European, North African, Asian and, above all, Palestinian Christians and Muslims have not only regarded Jews as a distinct people or ethno-national group, they have regarded Jews as a distinct people or ethno-national group that God the Father or Allah has exiled and dispossessed for rejecting Jewish Christ God the Son or simply Jesus and the prophets generally.

    With a further consequence’s being, in the 19th and 20th centuries, most European, North African or Asian Jews were regarded less as nationally European or, say, Arab, rather as nationally Jewish, or Judaean, that is to say, ‘Palestinian’.

    With an even further consequence’s being their being effectively driven out or alienated, either from this world, or, before 1914, mostly to America; after 1914, mostly to Palestine or what became Israel.

    That is why America and Israel are the two largest Jewish communities today.

    And these are, in my view, the foundations of Zionism.

  41. zaccaerdydd Says:

    [Richard I am happy to discuss my article further, and not other subjects or personal items you just ambushed me with, in particular I am fascinated as to how an article on antisemitism can be antisemitic. ]

    Well, that’s just idiocy, Aaron, and you claim to be a scientist. It’s antisemitic because it effectively says antisemitism doesn’t exist, save as a pretextual ‘Zionist’ weapon.

    You should try being a Jewish Latin teacher in a Roman Catholic state school, where the antisemitism of the pupils, Catholic or Muslim, goes unchecked, while emanating from the very head of Classics.

    You should try being Alberto Nisman or a murdered Jewish shopper in Paris.

  42. Leave 'im, Tony, 'e ain't worth it Says:

    zaccaerdydd,
    I think there is a bit too much defence when it is denied that antisemitism is a significant component for the founding of modern Israel. There is little doubt that Herzl, when hearing the chants of ‘death to the Jews’ in the late 19th century believed the possibility that assimilation was at an end. Likewise, after 1945, many Jews felt the same. Two points are relevant here. First, antisemitism does not exhaust the reasons for Jews to seek national self-determination at that time; after all, it was common political currency from at least 1919 if not before. This is not to disagree with what you have written, merely to point out that anti-zionists tend to focus only on the antisemtism element (as if, trying to escape from pogroms, nascent fascist and, actually existing national socialism is a ‘bad thing’). Secondly, and it follows from the first, that since they reduce Zionism to the escape from antisemitism and nothing else; it follows that in their conspiracy fuelled minds that anyone who raises the question of antisemitism is, in fact, doing the bidding of what they tend to call ‘Zionists’. Those who discuss antisemitism, therefore, are ‘really’ in the service of Israel, since, for the conspiracists, that is the only justification of Israel. (Of course, Netanyahu plays into this narrative (see his comments following the murder of Jews in Paris. But, of course, while most (left) anti-Zionists never believe a word spoken by the right in their own countries, they endow Netanyahu, Bennett’s words with an aura of ‘the’ Truth).
    This reduction of Zionism to, one of its elements, antisemitism, as if it were the entire reason, also appears in the inversion of antisemitism into anti-zionism rhetoric. Antisemites in Europe, used to call Jews ‘orientals’ who should ‘go back to Palestine’. Antizionists in Europe today now call Israeli Jews ‘Europeans’ who should ‘go back to Europe’.
    Indeed, if anyone is caught within the narrowness and ahistrocial dilaectic of antisemitism and ZIonism today, it is, of course, not the vast majority of Jews of the diaspora, nor the vast majority of Israelis, but, rather, the Israeli and Zionist far right, antisemites and, last but not least, anti-zionists (indeed, for the latter, their rigid and blind stance against anti-antisemitism flows directly from their right and blind beliefs as to the nature of Zionism and Israel. But, in the kingdom of the blind, the blind are still blind).


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