The Unz Review: An Alternative Media Selection
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
 BlogviewJonathan Cook Archive
Antisemitism Has Been Used to Smear the Left, While the Right Targets Jews
🔊 Listen RSS
Email This Page to Someone

 Remember My Information



=>

Bookmark Toggle AllToCAdd to LibraryRemove from Library • BShow CommentNext New CommentNext New ReplyRead More
ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
AgreeDisagreeThanksLOLTroll
These buttons register your public Agreement, Disagreement, Thanks, LOL, or Troll with the selected comment. They are ONLY available to recent, frequent commenters who have saved their Name+Email using the 'Remember My Information' checkbox, and may also ONLY be used three times during any eight hour period.
Ignore Commenter Follow Commenter
Search Text Case Sensitive  Exact Words  Include Comments

The year ended with two terrible setbacks for those seeking justice for the Palestinian people.

One was the defeat in the British election of Jeremy Corbyn – a European leader with a unique record of solidarity with Palestinians. He had suffered four years of constant media abuse, recasting his activism as evidence of antisemitism.

The Labour Party’s electoral collapse was not directly attributable to the antisemitism smears. Rather, it was related chiefly to the party’s inability to formulate a convincing response to Brexit.

But the antisemitism allegations succeeded in stoking deep divisions within Corbyn’s party, making him look weak and, for the first time, evasive. Unfairly, it planted a seed of doubt, even among some supporters: if he was incapable of sorting out this particular mess in his party, how could he possibly run the country?

Any future political leader, in Britain or elsewhere, contemplating a pro-Palestinian position – or a radical economic programme opposed by the mainstream media – will have taken note. Antisemitism is a fearsomely difficult smear to overcome.

Defining antisemitism

The second setback was a new executive order issued by US President Donald Trump that embraces a controversial new definition of antisemitism. It seeks to conflate criticism of Israel, Palestinian activism and the upholding of international law with hatred of Jews.

The lesson of where this is intended to lead was underscored by Corbyn’s experience. Earlier, his party was forced to swallow this very same definition, formulated by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), in an attempt to placate his critics. Instead, he found that it gave them yet more ammunition with which to attack him.

Trump’s executive order is designed to chill speech on campuses, one of the few public spaces left in the US where Palestinian voices are still heard. It blatantly violates the First Amendment, which privileges free speech. The federal government is now aligned with 27 states where Israel lobbyists have managed to push through legislation penalising those who support Palestinian rights.

These moves have been replicated elsewhere. This month, the French parliament declared anti-Zionism – or opposition to Israel as a Jewish state that denies Palestinians equal rights – as equivalent to antisemitism.

And before it, the German parliament passed a resolution that deemed support for the growing international movement urging a boycott of Israel – modelled on moves to end apartheid in South Africa – as antisemitism. German MPs even compared the boycott movement’s slogans to Nazi propaganda.

Looming on the horizon are more such curbs on basic freedoms, all to assist Israel.

Shutting down criticism

Britain’s Conservative prime minister, Boris Johnson, has promised to ban local authorities from supporting a boycott of Israel, while John Mann, his so-called antisemitism czar, is threatening to shut down online media outlets critical of Israel, again on the pretext of antisemitism. Those are the very same media that were supportive of Corbyn, Johnson’s political opponent.

The irony is that all these laws, orders and resolutions – made supposedly in the name of human rights – are stifling the real work of human rights organisations. In the absence of a peace process, they have been grappling with Israel’s ideological character in ways not seen before.

While Trump, Johnson and others were busy redefining antisemitism to aid Israel, Human Rights Watch (HRW) issued a report this month revealing that Israel – a state claiming to represent all Jews – has used military orders for more than half a century to flout the most fundamental rights of Palestinians. In the occupied West Bank, Palestinians are denied “such basic freedoms as waving flags, peacefully protesting the occupation, joining all major political movements, and publishing political material”.

At the same time, the UN’s Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination broke new ground by berating Israel for its abuses towards all Palestinians under its rule without distinction, whether those under occupation or those with degraded citizenship inside Israel.

The panel of legal rights experts effectively acknowledged that Israel’s abuses of Palestinians were embedded in the Zionist ideology of the state, and were not specific to the occupation. It was a not-so-veiled way of declaring that a state structurally privileging Jews and systematically abusing Palestinians is a “racist endeavour” – wording now ludicrously decreed by the IHRA as evidence of antisemitism.

Egregious failures

Commenting on HRW’s latest report, Middle East director Sarah Leah Whitson observed: “Israel’s efforts to justify depriving Palestinians of basic civil rights protections for more than half a century based on the exigencies of its forever military occupation just don’t fly anymore.”

But that is precisely what the new wave of laws and executive orders is designed to ensure. By silencing criticism of Israeli abuses of Palestinian rights, under the pretext that such criticism is veiled antisemitism, Western governments can pretend those abuses are not occurring.

In fact, there are two very different political constituencies backing the current crackdown on Palestinian solidarity – and for very different reasons. Neither is concerned with protecting Jews.

One faction includes Western centrist parties that were supposed to have been overseeing a quarter-century of peacemaking in the Middle East. They wish to obstruct any criticism that dares to hold them to account for their egregious failures – failures only too visible now that Israel is no longer prepared to pretend it is interested in peace, and seeks instead to annex Palestinian territory.

Not only did the centrists’ highly circumscribed, Israel-centric version of peace fail, as it was bound to, but it achieved the precise opposite of its proclaimed goal. Israel exploited Western passivity and indulgence to entrench and expand the occupation, as well as to intensify racist laws inside Israel.

That was epitomised in the 2018 passage by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government of the nation-state law, which declares not just the state of Israel, but an undefined, expansive “Land of Israel” as the historical home of the entire Jewish people.

Exposing hypocrisy

Now, centrists are determined to crush those who wish to expose their hypocrisy and continuing alliance with an overtly racist state implacably opposed to self-determination for the Palestinian people.

ORDER IT NOW

So successfully have they weaponised antisemitism that human rights scholars this month accused the International Criminal Court in the Hague – the supposed upholder of international law – of endlessly dragging its feet to avoid conducting a proper war crimes investigation of Israel. ICC prosecutors appear to be fearful of coming under fire themselves.

The other faction behind the clampdown on criticism of Israel is the resurgent, racist right and far-right, who have been increasingly successful in vanquishing the discredited centrists of US and European politics.

They love Israel because it offers an alibi for their own white nationalism. In defending Israel from criticism – by characterising it as antisemitism – they seek a moral gloss for their own white supremacism.

If Jews are justified in laying claim to being the chosen people in Israel, why can’t whites make a similar claim for themselves in the US and Europe? If Israel treats Palestinians not as natives but as immigrants trespassing on Jewish land, why can’t Trump or Johnson similarly characterise non-whites as infiltrators or usurpers of white land?

The more the right whips up white nationalist, anti-immigrant fervour, they more it is able to undermine political solutions offered by its opponents on the centre and left.

Reckless miscalculation

Perhaps most astounding of all, much of the Jewish leadership in the US and Europe has been actively assisting the right in this political project, so blinded they are by their commitment to Israel as a Jewish state.

So where does this take Western politics? The centrists have let the antisemitism genie out of the bottle in order to damage the left, but it is the populist right that will now work to refine the weaponisation to further their own ends. They will stoke fear and hatred of minorities, including Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims, all to Israel’s ideological benefit.

Jews in the West will pay a price too, however. Trump’s speeches have repeatedly imputed nefarious motives, greed and dual loyalties to American Jews. Nonetheless, faced with Israel’s staunch backing of Trump, conservative Jewish leaders in the US have preferred to stay largely silent about the president stoking nativist sentiment.

That is a reckless miscalculation. The mock battle of fighting a supposed left-wing antisemitism has already diverted attention and energy away from the struggle against an all-too-real revival of right-wing antisemitism.

Israel may emerge stronger by playing politics with antisemitism, but Western Jews may as a result find themselves more exposed to hatred than at any time since the end of the Second World War.

(Republished from Middle East Eye by permission of author or representative)
 
Hide 26 CommentsLeave a Comment
Commenters to Ignore...to FollowEndorsed Only
Trim Comments?
    []
  1. Cowboy says:

    This was 2 different articles. Otoh the analysis of Trumps EO along with similar European actions was smart.
    Then we got the typical left wing phobia about white supremacists behind every corner.
    Here’s the deal bub. Americans are sick and tired of the collectivist notion that we need to be involved in the conflict of desert vermin.
    The Americans with true original intent just want to be left alone from neo bolshevik buullshit.

  2. vinteuil says:

    Trump’s speeches have repeatedly imputed nefarious motives, greed and dual loyalties to American Jews.

    If only.

    • Replies: @Bill Jones
  3. MBII says:

    Can everyone shut the hell up about “anti-semitism” already? Nobody cares, Jews can take criticism just like anybody else.

    • Replies: @artichoke
  4. The second setback was a new executive order issued by US President Donald Trump that embraces a controversial new definition of antisemitism. It seeks to conflate criticism of Israel, Palestinian activism and the upholding of international law with hatred of Jews.

    The lesson of where this is intended to lead was underscored by Corbyn’s experience. Earlier, his party was forced to swallow this very same definition, formulated by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), in an attempt to placate his critics.

    Let that sink in for a minute: Jeremy Corbyn, the Great White Hope of the Palestinians, actually adopted the IHRA’s gag-order before Trump did–and Trump, of course, is supposed to be the ultimate zio-muppet! Is it any wonder many of us had trouble taking Jezza seriously?

    German MPs even compared the boycott movement’s slogans to Nazi propaganda.

    Funny: in the 1930s, it was the Jews boycotting the Germans, rather than the other way around.

    If Israel treats Palestinians not as natives but as immigrants trespassing on Jewish land, why can’t Trump or Johnson similarly characterise non-whites as infiltrators or usurpers of white land?

    Why not? Among other reasons, because the Jews won’t allow it.

    Israel may emerge stronger by playing politics with antisemitism, but Western Jews may as a result find themselves more exposed to hatred than at any time since the end of the Second World War.

    Diaspora Jews, whether Zionist or not, are hardly blameless. All throughout the West, they have a near monopoly on usury, pornography and Cultural Marxism–including the desire to flood the White nations with darkees.

    • Agree: Kali, Rusty nail
    • Replies: @artichoke
  5. ld says:

    The more overt the controls Jews exert over the rest of the world the more people will resist them.
    Once the Zionist owned media becomes irrelevent it will become obvious they need to be removed from polite company. The comment threads denouncing Jews would never have existed ten years ago. That is why the are scrambling to criminalize criticsm.
    It cannot come soon enough

    • Agree: Digital Samizdat
  6. The folks on the dissident right and left just want Jews to be stripped of their un-earned privileges and (gasp) treated like ordinary citizens (the horror).

    If they are guilty of dual loyalty, they should be shut out of media, finance and government. They can still enjoy the fruits of Western civilization, but on a level playing field where they can no longer put a boot on anyone’s neck.

  7. The only time anyone or any group seeks to criminalize ideas is when it has become impossible for them to defend their ideas or their agenda from criticism or from being discredited as deceptions, misrepresentations or lies that seek to promote am agenda opposed to the interests of the community within which they live.

    Their reason for doing this is clear. Truth can always stand on its own two feet. It is only lies and liars who need the protection of criminal laws to sustain them.

    The more any group seeks to employ criminal laws to stamp out ideas that oppose their aims, the more clear they make it it’s time to stand up and denounce them for the liars they are and to inject a dose of truth that extinguishes their lies.

    • Agree: Digital Samizdat
  8. N30rebel says:

    I’m no anti-Semite, but fuck Israel!

  9. Anon[390] • Disclaimer says:

    That is a reckless miscalculation. The mock battle of fighting a supposed left-wing antisemitism has already diverted attention and energy away from the struggle against an all-too-real revival of right-wing antisemitism.

    Judaism is the slaver’s religion, per the revealing statement’s of Ovadia Yosef who was the greatest then-living Halachic authority, per the long-standing claims of those who have studied Judaism in-depth (one man studying under Orthodox Rabbis for 19 years) and then went on to print detailed analysis of its inner tenets, and its ultimate goal is worldwide slavery.

    The achievement of this goal will be marked by a declaration of the beginning of the Jewish Messianic period.

    Anyone fighting Judaism is fighting the explicitly declared slaving goals of Judaism. Anyone fighting for Judaism is fighting for a mass-implemented form of slavery.

    That seems to be you, Jonathan Cook.

    Israel may emerge stronger by playing politics with antisemitism, but Western Jews may as a result find themselves more exposed to hatred than at any time since the end of the Second World War.

    A minority with a primary slaver’s ambition will always find themselves in eventual trouble, through every fault of their own.

    Is it wrong to hate the aspirational slave master, or is it wrong to not abandon a slaver’s religion?

    Which is hate and which is righteousness?

    Is it wrong to be tolerant to the point that you allow the slave master’s religion to survive?

    Is it wrong to apologize for those who follow it?

  10. It baffles me. How can hundreds of millions of Americans and Europeans put up with this baloney?

    An executive order by the President of the United States muzzling free speech in schools and colleges? Laws in Europe that put people in prison who happen to say they do not believe in some aspect of the Holocaust? Public ridicule and rebuke against those concerned about Israel’s Shoot to Cripple policy, or pouring white phosphorus on civilians? Whoa. Who wants to lick those boots for ever and ever?

    End Judeo lese majeste, Worldwide.
    And, of course, BDS Israel, for its apartheid.

    p.s. Antisemitism may be a “contagion”. But what if it is simply moral outrage? That may be something to fear, but does that make it wrong?

  11. Sean says:

    The Labour Party’s electoral collapse was not directly attributable to the antisemitism smears. Rather, it was related chiefly to the party’s inability to formulate a convincing response to Brexit.

    He was going to let the well over 2 million EU citizens in Britain vote in another Brexit referendum.

    Perhaps most astounding of all, much of the Jewish leadership in the US and Europe has been actively assisting the right in this political project, so blinded they are by their commitment to Israel as a Jewish state.

    Organised Jewelry may be as pro Israel as you say, but it is intellectual humanist Jews who originated the BDS movement and they–not the hard Left or Muslims– are still key to it. Corbyn took a great interest in this argument between Jews, and as a result he wasted a lot of political capital.

    UNITED Nations General Assembly Resolution 46/86, adopted on 16 December 1991, revoked the determination in Resolution 3379, which had called Zionism a form of racism. Israel had made revocation of Resolution 3379 a condition of its participation in the Madrid Peace Conference, in progress in the last quarter of 1991.

    Smart move. All they had to do is turn up and they got a major concession. George HW Bush failed to win reelection as had Carter.

    I don’t know why they even bothered complaining about Corbyn, it is not like Britain has any influence in the Middle East. Destiny consists of minding one own’s business.

    • Replies: @artichoke
  12. Smith says:

    The left cannot win unless it solves the racial question.

    And the only solution to that is every “minorities” (actually majorities in the world) need to pack up and leave.

    “Anti-semitism” is a cope.

  13. @Cowboy

    Thanks Cowboy. You saved me some pixels. I can’t say it better than you did.

  14. @vinteuil

    It’s not, of course Anti-semitism. It’s Counter-semitism.

    And the main problem is that there’s not nearly enough of it.

  15. derer says:

    The American Christian weaklings are responsible for this ridiculous special favoritism of Israelites. Letting our values to be chip away by this small ethnic group of 2% – in no time Hahukkah will replace Christmas. Every minority group should sue the US Government for discrimination and should demand equal treatment.

    Russian people were enslaved for 75 years by Jewish communism.
    David R. Francis US ambassador to Russia sent a dispatch to Washington in Jan. 1918:
    “The Bolshevik leaders here, most of whom are Jews and 90% of whom are returned exiles, care little for Russia or any other country but are internationalists and they are trying to start a worldwide social revolution.”

  16. derer says:
    @Cowboy

    Trump schizophrenia should be addressed…He kisses their ar…s despite their fanatical attempt to remove him.

  17. artichoke says:
    @MBII

    Jews tend to get blamed for anything and everything, including what antisemites do. This has been going on for centuries.

    In America, I guess white men have been getting some of that treatment in this generation, how does it feel? As a white man who is Jewish, I can say neither one is good.

  18. artichoke says:
    @Sean

    George HW Bush lost because of Ross Perot’s weird involvement in that election, splitting the “conservative” vote even after he withdrew — GHWB’s candidacy had apparently already been ruined.

    Jimmah Carter lost because of the Iran hostage crisis, helped by Ronald Reagan’s “October Surprise”.

    Israel had little to do with either. I remember the above things clearly, and the thing you mentioned was not even on my radar screen. Who knew or cared what the UN General Assembly was doing? Who cares now?

    • Replies: @bjondo
  19. artichoke says:
    @Digital Samizdat

    The Anti-Nazi Boycott of 1933 was a Jewish led international boycott of German products in response to violence and harassment by members of Hitler’s Nazi Party against Jews following his appointment as Chancellor of Germany on January 30, 1933.

    Doesn’t sound unreasonable actually.

  20. @Cowboy

    Cowboy, thank you for saying it all. I am a sick of hearing “anti-Semite” as much as I’m of hearing about “white supremacists”. Let us not forget, the world’s most successful “white supremacist” was Cecil John Rhodes, who stole enough from southern Africa to bankroll the Zionist movement for centuries to come, and his Anglo-American corporation is continuing his “good work” with your taxes today still. I also wish someone will now decide whether I am White, or Jewish, because the “White middle-aged man” is being blamed for every deed of Zion, and I see zero benefit to me or mine, only more taxes and “laws agains anti-Semitic thought forms”.

    • Replies: @Cowboy
  21. Cowboy says:
    @paranoid goy

    Imperialism is the rot that destroys whether its communism, neoconservatism, or left wing wet dreams of pure democracy.
    The utopian pathology of busybodism that leads to the ingratiation of politics and the passive/aggressive use of coercive power to achieve some ideological ends.
    I could give a shit what some individual nanny cuck thinks about me. It’s when the nanny cucks collectivise and enjoin governmental coercion against me that I get pissed off.

  22. @Cowboy

    Americans are sick and tired of the collectivist notion that we need to be involved in the conflict of desert vermin.

    Well why don’t they show it, demonstrate it, like say by getting out of the Middle East, by not supporting any of the sides in the wars there, by not passing laws that favour one of those sides, by not vetoing almost every resolution condemning one side in the conflict there, and more? If you had written “some Americans”, “few Americans” or “very few Americans” I could agree, but “Americans” – no way – Americans live in Zion, they support Zion, they are Zion. Credit to the few, but come on …

    • Replies: @Cowboy
  23. Always remember that taking pride in group identity, and even exhibiting open in-group preference, are normal — even laudable — for any group except the indigenous peoples of Europe and their diaspora.

    For Whitey, of course, any form of group identity or in-group preference is wrong and evil, because reasons.

    The long-discredited semitic canard of so-called “anti-racism” is entirely based on this principle — that this “obligation” to renounce any form of group identity in favor of radical atomization, and even explicit out-group preference, is the White Man’s Burden, and devolves on him alone.

    It’s useful to keep this understanding in mind when evaluating incoherent, hate-filled screeds which attempt to adopt a moral supremacist tone based solely on the author’s blind, unreasoning faith in “anti-racism.”

  24. bjondo says:
    @artichoke

    Israel had little to do with either.

    Israeli illegal settlements/squatments.
    $10 billion loan/freebie hold up by Bush.

    William Safire/NYT/Jewry attacked HW Bush
    for holding up the money to Israel.

    They started pushing “the economy”
    and “vote for Clinton”. The chorus began.

    Which had greater effect on election,
    Jew or Perot?

    5ds

  25. Bobfrank says:

    Ugh, can we please stop with this “Palestinian people” nonsense?

    If Israel treats Palestinians not as natives but as immigrants trespassing on Jewish land

    They do it because that’s what they are: illegal immigrants occupying Israel.

    They weren’t there when the State of Israel was founded almost 100 years ago. They weren’t there for the 100 or so years prior, when Jews began gradually returning to an inhospitable desert country so hostile that nobody, even the other desert dwellers in the area, wanted to live there because it was such hostile land, for no reason other than because it was their rightful, ancestral homeland. Before WWII, there were a number of social organizations in the area with “Palestinian” in their name, all of them comprised of Jews, not Arabs, because with the exception of the city of Jerusalem itself, which Muhammad taught them they ought to take over to oppress the Jews, no one had any reason to want to live there except those whose homeland it was.

    But after gaining some recognition from the international community, suddenly everything changed. With legitimacy and whatever degree of protection that provides, Jewish immigrants began returning, not just the hardcore ideological Zionists of the past century, but ordinary run-of-the-mill Jewish people from all over the world, seeking a place where they were finally wanted and bringing valuable skills with them. With their hard work, they transformed a barren desert into a beautiful, inviting land, truly making Israel “blossom as a rose”. And then the Arabs looked at it and decided they’d like to take over. A bunch of Jordanians and Egyptians invaded, but with civilians as well as military. The military got their butts kicked, but the colonizers stayed because Israel didn’t want to commit mass murder against a bunch of unarmed civilians. It was the ultimate damned-if-you-do-damned-if-you-don’t trap: by letting the colonizers in and trying to appease them, they gave them undeserved legitimacy that’s proven all too difficult to take back now that they’re running around like they own the place and committing terrorist acts against the actual owners every other week.

    It’s gotten so bad that today, people are referring to the occupiers as “owners,” their victims as “occupiers,” and their perfectly-justified acts of self-defense as “atrocities” and “war crimes.” And this is a good object lesson for Americans, if we can only see it clearly by setting aside the lie of “Palestinian people”: this is what happens if you legitimize illegal immigrants! This is what will happen to our children and our grandchildren, if we don’t round them up and kick them out. If we don’t shut down “sanctuary” policies, if we don’t stop giving them free welfare and free health care and legal representation and birthright citizenship and higher education and all the rest of the crap that legitimizes them, in 40 years or so we’re gonna end up like Israel!

    • Troll: donut
  26. Cowboy says:
    @Commentator Mike

    I was using American in the spiritual sense which don’t include the reprobates and heretics.

Current Commenter
says:

Leave a Reply - Comments on articles more than two weeks old will be judged much more strictly on quality and tone


 Remember My InformationWhy?
 Email Replies to my Comment
Submitted comments have been licensed to The Unz Review and may be republished elsewhere at the sole discretion of the latter
Subscribe to This Comment Thread via RSS Subscribe to All Jonathan Cook Comments via RSS
PastClassics
Our Reigning Political Puppets, Dancing to Invisible Strings
The unspoken statistical reality of urban crime over the last quarter century.
Talk TV sensationalists and axe-grinding ideologues have fallen for a myth of immigrant lawlessness.