University of Westminster campus in Harrow, West London. 8th August 2016. Norman Finklestein is discussing the ‘Holocaust Industry’. This discussion, and the book authored by Finkelstein with the same title, is based on the premise that Zionism ‘milks’ the genocide experienced by the Jewish people.
I have history with this university. In May, I was at the Marylebone campus, where I had the ‘pleasure’ of hearing Haim Bresheeth declare that:
“everything in Israel currently has to go. Zionism has to go.….the JNF, the Jewish agency, every single authority, every single institution, is Zionist..”
I’ve seen Illan Pappe pushing his unique brand of ‘historical fiction’ there too. But it isn’t surprising. This particular university has form. In 2012 they welcomed Hizb-ut-Tahrir Member, Jamal Harwood, who at an event on campus refused to condemn a particular statement he was linked with:
“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”.
Haitham al-Haddad was invited to speak there too, raising protests from the LGBT community. An independent report on inclusion at the campus, found the Islamic Society at Westminster was ‘dominated by hard-line, ultra-conservative believers’. The same report found that officials do nothing for fear of accusations of Islamophobia. Jihadi John was radicalised there.
Zionism is the world’s only movement of self-determination that is not given freedom to speak inside the British campus. I personally have spoken to Israelis *currently studying* at the university, who hide their identity from their fellow students. Similarly, I have spoken to British Jews there who are scared to admit to their Jewishness. For Jews, the University of Westminster campus is a place where their identity is best left outside.
So it is no surprise then, that antisemitic rhetoric always feels at home there.
Communism on Westminster campus
Today’s event was part of the ‘Communist University 2016’, a full week of debate and discussion about all things that are important to communism today. At least that is the way I logically assume they create their programme.
I personally don’t have much time for communism. It isn’t that I do not appreciate the pretty picture that it paints. I do. But communism is a failure to grasp the inherent weakness of a theoretical utopia. My judgement: nice idea, but no thanks.
I imagine that communism today has many challenges. With the victory and expansion of ‘the market’, the world has moved on since the 1980’s. There is surely much to discuss in bringing about a ‘revolutionary transformation of society’ and ‘ending the existing capitalist system of exploitation’.
Which is why the programme for this 2016 ‘Communist University’ was so troubling.
Antisemitism on Westminster campus
They have decided that amidst all the challenges facing communism in 2016, one of the primary issues to be discussed is Zionism. And of course everything related to Zionism. To this end, they are hosting discussions on ‘anti-Zionism and antisemitism’, the ‘future of Palestine’ and of course ‘the Holocaust Industry’.
Jews make up 0.02% of the world’s population. In 2015, the Israel /Arab conflict was responsible for less than 0.02% of conflict deaths around the world. In essence, since 1948, the entire Arab Israeli conflict, which includes all of the fatalities in all of the wars, amongst all of the armies involved, is responsible for approximately 0.01% of war deaths globally.
Outside of Zionism and Israel, this conference only deals with one other military arena, with a single discussion on the conflicts in the wider Middle East. A conflict that has killed millions.
The issue here is that Zionism is seen as the ‘enemy’. The equating of Zionism with Neo-conservative thought, with money, with power. It is the way antisemitism works. Whichever group you are in, wherever you sit on the political map, people around you are blaming the Jews for being the unseen force standing behind the opposition. Jews are the communists, the capitalists, they are the divisive force, the troublemakers. Antisemitism in this sense is a distinct and particularly odious form of racism. It morphs and changes with the times.
So it has to be said that the agenda looks particularly skewed. Holding an event that calls on Jewish ‘outliers’, to disguise and ‘legitimise’ an attack on Jewish people worldwide is an antisemitic act.
You cannot use ‘those’ Jews
Why do I say ‘Jewish people’ worldwide, when some Jews are anti-Zionists? Because they are irrelevant. Recent studies have shown that 93% of British Jews believe that Israel forms some part of their identity as Jews. 90% support its right to exist as a ‘Jewish state’. These figures are not just an overwhelming majority, they border on the absolute. Somewhere around 93% of Jewish people in the UK are Zionist. Zionism and being Jewish are intimately related.
So 7% do not? Well not quite, this is a distortion. Even though we are dealing with a tiny minority, this is not a cohesive opposition. These are two separate and completely detached groups. One of which is ultra-orthodox and their non-Zionism (or anti-Zionism) is a religious based disagreement.
Which means the publicity seeking anti-Zionists such as Max Blumenthal, Tony Greenstein, Illan Pappe, Ronnie Barkan and Miko Peled all come from one side of an already tiny minority. If there were only one tail to this test, these people would fall into statistical insignificance.
So why is it antisemitism at Westminster?
The antisemitism doesn’t exist in the supply, it exists in the demand. In theory, for every speech given by an anti-Zionist Jew, there would be scores of Zionist Jews lining up to respond. All things being equal, we should never have heard of these Jewish anti-Zionists. They are insignificant outliers whose presence would only be recognised by sociologists and statisticians before being cast off into the bin titled ‘not to be taken into consideration’. Perhaps a study or two could analyse them to try to find correlating variables that could push forward a theory into their very presence. Bullying at school? The trauma of children of holocaust survivors? I am certain an innovative list could be created.
Yet where these people are selected, for the specific purpose of attacking what it means to be Jewish to the absolute majority, there exists a problem. You cannot hide behind a Jewish anti-Zionist to deflect accusations of antisemitism because the very act of turning the insignificant into a weapon against Jews is an antisemitic act.
I have heard people suggest people like Blumenthal are antisemites themselves. This is a mistake. People like Blumenthal are simply oddities. A handful of people displaying bizarre and obscure thought. When you see their name in print, you see antisemitism at work. When you hear them speak, when you see them listed in a programme, when you see them quoted, shared or retweeted – all antisemitism.
So someone in the States is so messed up he believes you can overstate the Holocaust. A child of holocaust survivors, he dates the rising awareness of his fictitious industry to 1967. Nothing of course to do with the Eichmann trial of 1962, where finally the world got to hear the true horror of events. Nothing to do either with the trauma of the genocide. It’s a money thing, a power thing, don’t forget after all, it’s the Jews we are talking about.
The antisemitism isn’t in his train of thought, it is in those that take the absurd and reward him, fund him and applaud him. Antisemitism is the adoring crowd of the village idiot.
So yes, the appearance of two of the anti-Zionist clowns in a single conference at the University of Westminster that spent so much time dealing with Zionism, Israel and Jews is an antisemitic act. It is about time everyone started realising this is the case.
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21 thoughts on “Norman Finkelstein, the University of Westminster and antisemitism”
Not just Blumenthal. These people belong in an asylum, and Norman Finkelstein most of all. I was married to a survivor of Auschwitz, who lost the rest of his family there, except for one sister who had emigrated to Israel before the Nazis marched into Czechoslovakia. My ex-husband is also frequently solicited by American-Jewish organizations who want to “show him off” and he politely refuses, but that is America. In Israel, that is definitely not the case. In fact, the late Professor Talmon did a study of Holocaust survivors in Israel in the 1960s and reported on how they were determined to show they were just like everyone else.
As you have probably seen, the Israeli government has *finally* woken up to the fact that Israel is swamped with visiting BDS supporters and hostile NGOs. That is because Israel is the safest place on earth in which to protest, do the same thing in Iran or Saudi Arabia and you will get your head chopped off and even in the West you could get hit by tear gas and rubber bullets. I know that groups of these disgusting people regularly turn up at Ben-Gurion Airport and take Route 90 straight into the West Bank where they side with the rest of the Jew-haters who want to wipe Israel off the map.
This is why they are called “Survivors” and refuse to be “victims.” This is why all I have had the privilege to meet and know declare that they are victorious because after the Shoah, they fell in love, married, had children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. The antisemites are like dust, but the survivors of the Shoah, who bless us with their presence, have created “worlds” and in turn, will procreate more Jewish worlds.
The Jewish people venerate life: the antisemites worship death and destruction. They are victims of their own antisemitic hatred and perversions.
However, as one survivor has mentioned more than once, Mala Tribitch: when the last survivor has died, we will see more Holocaust deniers and those who invert the Holocaust. What we are witnessing on the university campus is evil and it should be named as evil; and the university chancellors and vice-chancellors shamed.
A few observations if I may. I attend many pro-Palestine meetings as a Zionist to support Israel,where I am possibly only 1 of less than a handful of Zionists. This is not good enough. Zionists should show their support in person, not in cyberspace only.
Norman Finklestein has had an open invitation to meet me in London for some time. he has failed to arrange this.
Haim Brasheeth, believes that if Hamas were armed to the teeth in Op’ Protective Shield, the war would have ended differently. His solution is violence. So much for peaceful negotiations.
The Neturei Karta and ‘some’ members of the Satmar do not count. They are just meshuganas.
The Neturei Karta and ‘some’ members of the Satmar do not count. They are just meshuganas. And the rest of the Jewish Jew-haters are not meshuganas (as we psychiatrists say)? Not in my book.
Josephine – I appreciate your reply. My personal experience of the Chasidim is quite broad. You know and I know that some Chasidic sects still believe in the Moschiach. The Moshiach came on the 15th of May 1948 but these Chasidim did not recognise the face of the Messiah. hence my reference to their meshugas. However, hating Jews is not a madness, it is an evil manifestation.
Yes, of course they would not recognise the Messiah if he davened with them in synagogue. But not all Chasidim are Naturei Karta, although most refuse to admit being Zionists, even if they live in Israel.
Indeed. The task in hand is to separate beliefs from reality. The Chasidic children are brain-washed at a very early age. On the other end of the scale, the Jewish anti-Zionists are just as toxic because they are primarily Trotskyists. An up-hill climb
The Hasidim and even the Misnagdim may not proclaim their Zionism but in practice they are Zionists and contribute quite a lot to the Israel economy. For one thing, they use El Al like a shuttle bus! They may not serve in the army, but they contribute in other ways, including settling the so-called West Bank, which is the most integral part of Israel, since so much of it is mentioned in the Bible (so is Transjordan which was the home of some of the Ten Tribes, but that is a lost cause).
Josephine – I must agree with you. With the exception of the Neturei Karta, most of the Frumas I grew up with had quite a spiritual link with Israel….but didn’t always admit it.
Yet I think you may still need some self-examination as for intellectual honesty. Let’s look at the way you report about the Yachad-founded research, including a big picture showing “93%”, and you conclude that 93% of British Jews are Zionists.
The actual percentages reported in the research to the corresponding question are: 90% think Israel has a right to exist as a ‘Jewish state’, but only 59% of interviewees accept to call themselves ‘Zionists’.
This figure “59%” for some reasons disappears from your article. In fact you emphasize only the highest datum, “93%”, that is a vague questions (would obtain many positive answers from Palestinians as well, just by replacing the world “Jew” with “Palestinian”). You completely omit the answer “Zionist” question. This omission doesn’t bode well as for the honesty of your report.
But yet the most idiotic part is the way you intend to use the datum: your argument seems to be: a big majority to you implies you can say Zionism should be identified with Judaism. The number of followers or supporter of an ideology (Zionism) allows to “identify” that ideology with the identity of the group (Jews) itself (it’s also supposed to be a national ideology of a state, we there is a series of political goals, etc.).
But let’s point out the fallacy of the reasoning with an example. I am an Italian. In the city were I live there used to be a famous Jewish community (once was sizeable, but no longer after WWII). Jewish communities in Italy between the 20s and the 30s had a peculiarity: they were overwhelmingly supporters of Fascism. Italian fascist regime did gain a solid support by a majority of Italians by the half of the 30s. However the overall percentage of consensus is believed to have never been above 55-60% among the total population. There were parts of the countries that are known for having had a significantly lower rate of consensus and had large anti-fascist segments of population, they also expressed various anti-fascist intellectuals.
But the support of Fascism on the part of the Jews was much higher compared to that of the average population. In my city the percentage of Jews who would call themselves Fascists could have been in numbers that remind of Yachad research: 80-90%. That is, almost everybody.
The reason for this is not a mystery: it’s just because of demography and social background of the sample. The Jews did not belong to the “average” population sample, instead Jewish communities were living in few Italian cities, a number of Italian cities that happened to be in areas of the country that were strongholds of Fascism, and they belonged to that specific social group (small middle-class bourguaisie from city centres) that was the group or interest that supported Fascism. In other words Italian Jews belonged to the social elites that supported Fascism, that’s why they were Fascists, because they had the ethos of the groups they were from.
If one decided to be so idiotic to apply your reasoning to a poll made in 1930, they would have to conclude that being anti-Fascist would mean to be anti-Semitic.
You understand how stupid your argument is, don’t you?
Your fallacy is of the classical type “appeal to the crowd” (in the variant “appeal to percentage”). There are also other fallacious aspects but this idea that anti-Zionist is anti-semitic because a paercentage of Jews believe something stands out for its nonsense.
A great majority of Italians would say they feel Catholic religion has some place as part of their identity and culture as Italians. But ‘Italian’ means also many other things besides that, and to say that if one is anti-Catholic implies he is an anti-Italian prejudiced individual, would be absolute nonsense. There are proud Italians who hate Catholic religion. And those who hate Catholic religion, are not the enemies of the people who have an Italian passoport. It would be a lot more intelligent to just point out the totally different natures of the two things: the objective fact of having a nationality, and the opinions that the people in that group may have on one topic. They are on different levels and just have different meanings. The fact that we may be talking about feelings largely shared by the same people doesn’t change the fact that they are totally different and unrelated things in logic and in reality – even if they may be “related” in the feeling of many Italians about their identity, they are still unrelated: there is no logical or causal implication between one and another.
Firstly, the question regarding Zionism you seem so keen to imply discredits my report might seem useful to someone who wants to knock Zionism, but in reality remains entirely irrelevant. If someone who believes that Israel has a right to exist as a ‘Jewish state’, but refuses to identify himself as Zionist because he takes issues with the activity beyond the 67 lines (and has accepted a distortion of the word Zionism), he is still a Zionist. You are now hiding behind a confusion over a definition. 90%….90%!! believe Israel has a right to exist as a Jewish State… that is Zionism. So how can over a third of those possess the internal contradiction neccessary not to be zionist. Do you listen to yourself?
Secondly. I understand it is annoying that an expensive survey commissioned by yachad to prove a point, goes on to prove the opposite of what they wanted.
Thirdly. Given the incredible gaul of Yachad to imply that based on the survey, the majority of UK Jews support Yachad’s ideas, I hardly think you can come here and try to lecture me about playing to the gallery. You cannot take discomfort with settlement activity and imply from this a comfort with promoting 972 Mag anti-Zionists. Yachad’s use of headlines regarding this survey was pathetic, misleading and fundamentally deranged.
Finally. I am interested to hear you believe the equation of antizionism and antisemitism is ‘stupid’ (you’ll note, I do not absolutely equate them, but simply state the percentages involved render the outliers insignificant)..I have actually heard this equation made twice in 48 hours. Both times at Yachad events and both times from Prof. Bauer… He is adamant that BDS is antisemitic and antizionism is basically antisemitic too. So perhaps you should pay more attention to what is coming over the Yacahd platform. This duplicity is starting to make my head spin. Do you want to tell Hannah you think Prof. Bauer is stupid?
I maybe should have made one point clear, to avoid misunderstanding: I don’t know Yachad, and I don’t know what they do. It is very well possible that they are hypocrites – I concede that at least in the abstract, since I don’t know them.
I have only read the research, and something I couldn’t fail to notice is how you report about it, namely: 1. your omission of the 59% datum. The Yachad correctly point out that such datum shows a remarkable trend that “should be investigated” (possibly also because of the apparent contradiction with the 90% datum). But yet this is a datum. It implies 41% refusal to call themselves “Zionists”, whatever hypotheses you may have about the reasons, the point is that you omit to report it.
That you omit it, it is an objective fact.
That you believe that 90% are Zionists, such is your subjective deduction. But the subjective position of the sample is 59%, and you fail to report their position.
Hence, it stands out that your reporting is not an objective one.
2. The way you intend to “use” the survey, that goes far beyond Yachad, and we can all point out just the nonsense of the argument itself: you put forward the causal connection, you say that anti-Zionism equates to anti-Semitic prejudice *because* of a majority of Zionists among the group. Such argument is obviously fallacious and false. It is false in point of logic, because Zionism is a political belief whereas Judaism is not, they would two different things even if the sample was 100% overlapping. Simple examples show the obvious fallacy.
Not sure why you are sticking to the 59% as if it is important. It’s a dead end of little relevance.
Let us consider a survey that asks if people think they are vegetarian. 59% respond in the affirmative.
Other questions discuss their eating habits. It surfaces that 90% do not eat any meat products at all.
Now, I am sure there is room to discuss why only 59% responded affirmative to the vegetarian question, and I am sure you could find someone who wishes to invest time in trying to assess why so many vegetarians do not wish to describe themselves as such. From the survey I can assume that around 90% are indeed vegetarian however they may identify themselves. Perhaps there is a sub group where they call themselves ‘post vegetarians’, maybe some are actually vegan and hate the vegetarian label. maybe others eat fish and aren’t sure what to call themselves…. why on earth you would expect to engage me in such an enormous straw man argument is beyond me. How silly. I think it safe to use the 90% for the purposes of my study and perhaps send a research assistant to make a note that further research at a later stage regarding the anomoly of the 59% may be of interest to someone else.
Why do you think I want to engage you in a “straw-man” argument? But make a little effort. Try to have greater mind, try to look at the moon behind the finger. I am not “sticking to the 59%”. That’s not what I am defining or pointing to. I’m trying to draw your attention onto something that is behind that. It’s your method. There is a problem with your objectivity you seem to be *unaware* about.
It’s the fact that you seem to be unable to distinguish what is subjective from what is objective. You make the mistake of assuming that *your* subjective assessment (might be the “meaning” or reasons associated with words “vegetarian” or “Zionist”) is the one “objective”, the “truth”; you fail to see it’s subjectivity, while you somehow dismiss as “subjective” the subjectivity of others alone, you “postpone” it at a later stage. A good first step as scientific method, instead, should be to pick it up as an objective datum. The “later stage” would be not “investigating the anomaly of 59%” but rather investigating the meaning(s) of the co-exitence of the *two*, *equally* objective, and apparently contradictory (in some views) pieces of data.
They are equally objective insofar as they are both subjective responses, obviously.
If one wants to try just a fantasy open-mindness exercize can just imagine possible rationales, about what people “mean” or think about; what are the many possible caveats, nouances or else anyone could imagine; one may say: “I believe Israel has a right to exist as a Jewish state, but not as Jewish alone” or “but only if the non-Jews agree” or “but only if it is able to make peace” (answers could include “buts” or conditions or caveats); or one may say “I believe Israel has a right to exist as a Jewish state today, but only today or only because of established political realities, didn’t have that right 70 years ago”, or “it has the right to exist but didn’t have a right to conquer”, or “has a right only as a consequence of fait accompli, but not because of an inherent principle” (there could be dependings on things such as time, history or fundamental divergence about principles; this is also valid for vegetarians: “I am vegetarian only in practice as a habit, but not on principle; am I a vegetarian?”), or there could be politically programmatic ideas, such as: “it has a right, but may lose its right”, “it has a right, but it may be not worth/useful/good idea to exercise such right or may be good to fortait it”; or a historic interpretation of ideology “Zionism is an ideology that belongs to the past/other context, doesn’t exist any more or isn’t acceptable any more”.
Those were just some of the imagined answers, those that I just thought about were assuming that the respondents were consistent. Expressing a consistent thought. But people may just respond inconsistently, they may express the fact that their positions are just contradictory. So they may respond differently to the same question depending on how the question is asked, or from the moment, because depending from what they are associating in that moment they think about one implication rather than the other one.
People may accept some implications from their opinions and choices and refuse other implications, and may not like to see or be able to see both the apparent implications – thus they may apparently change their point when you draw them to see them. People might discover that some of their beliefs have implications that are dissonant with their cognition or that they themselves would find unacceptable, and feel utterly disturbed by it, unable to deal with the contradiction and thus unable to solve it.
This was just an exercise of open-mindness and imagination by which I was trying to “open your mind” a bit. Convey somehow the perception that reality could be much bigger. I am not talking about one datum: I am talking about a method. Make a step back before the unknown within reality, or a step out from the box in your mind.
My problem is that I can see how your method is systematic. I happen to see this confusion between subjective and facts is deeply inbuilt in the way Israelis put their “narrative”, and they seem to be unaware about it.
I’m afraid it may take a long time before start to grasp what I am talking you about.
I’ll pick a recent survey about the “two state solution” that was made among both Palestinians and Israelis by institutional research centers. You may know at least one very serious poll every year is made to fathom the consensus about key political issues of Palestinian and Israeli public. The latest one reports beliefs in the magnitude of the following figures: both the Palestinian and Israeli public opinions respond that they would be ok with a two state solution, Palestinian answer they don’t seek to conquer Israeli territory and the Israeli say they don’t seek to annex the West Bank. The answers in both camps have the absolute majority in each camp. However, both public opinions of the two camps have a radically different idea about what the other camp’s intentions are: something like 80 % or more of both Israeli or Palestinians think that the other side actually intends to annex the entire territory.
In other words, each side expresses a “moderate” goal, while at the same time attributes an extremist goal to the other side.
What is objective?
What is “subjectivity”?
I’d like people to think more about the potentially immense, staggering implication behind just a figure like this. It’s something so huge I can’t convey, just urge people to take their time and think a long time about it. There are so many things.
The peoples on both sides in the poll already know that the “other” will see themselves as the moderate one. Palestinians know that the Israeli political majority tends to be for a two state solution. Israeli governments and public already know that the majority of the Palestinian public opinion supports a two state solutions. Thos polls are already known, subjective answers from each side about itself are somehow predictable, not the exact percentage but the approximate percentage is known. In other words, each side knowns the “subjectivity” of the other side, its arguments.
But yet, the intention that each sides attributes to the other one, is radically different from the one each side attributes to itself.
The “subjective intention” of each side, the one each side perceives they want, apears as to be something radically different when seen and perceived from an external position or from the other side.
It’s just a hint, about a thought excercise, to try to tell subjective from objective. Find out that what one was thinking was objective was maybe only subjective. Or even that my perceived “intention” are not what I was thinking about.
The theme is huge and this was just a little cue.
Okay. I did “try a bit”, even though despite your consistent implications that your mind is “greater” than mine, I had thought long and hard about the entire ‘circus’ of the survey when it first came out.
Do you actually feel an internal reward when you make such weak attempts to employ intellectual snobbery?
Having read your entire piece 3 times, I can see you are still trying to engage me in straw man arguments. So as to highlight that I say this *even though* my mind is ‘great enough’ and ‘open enough’ to understand your points, I will pick up on your reference to the ‘two state solution’ survey.
You are right, the survey is entirely positioned on the landscape through which each side will view the other. But there are additional caveats you did not mention. However, I am neither going to berate your method or insult your intelligence, because I understand you have written a response to a blog post and not a thesis.
So I am still unsure why you wish to engage me in a straw man. The argument of subjective and objective can be carried over to the extreme to effectively denying the relevance of all studies in ‘pseudo-science’.
The study itself, compiled by at least one professor who identifies strongly with the ideologies of Yachad, is a case in point. The study was put together by people standing on a particular landscape. The ‘paradigm’ invades the very essence of the study itself. This was my central criticism about it. If some professors viewing the world through a staunchly right wing Zionist perspective had created the survey, they would probably have produced some radically different results (whilst maintaining academic standards).
So I entirely reject your assertions that somehow my understanding of objectivity and subjectivity is flawed and would argue that each of us performs our circus tricks from the landscape with which we identify. Nobody, even someone who has for some reason has assumed he is operating with a ‘presidential sized’ brain, can perform circus tricks during an earthquake (view something through different landscapes).
Now I had written a blog post, not an academic thesis, and in handling a survey that I would be happier to call absolute junk, and having read it from cover to cover several times, there were several figures that ‘stood out’. They ‘stood out’ because they were more indicative than others. Two of these were the 90% (Jewish state) and the 93% (Jewish identity).
On your landscape you might take issue with this. And you may wish to engage me in an argument as to why I wouldn’t mention the 59%. I didn’t mention it because I view it as irrelevant. I consider the word ‘Zionist’ to have become so polluted in modern discourse that it is *impossible* to ask the question and heed the answer. One would need to draw the inference from elsewhere.
I (yes, I) define Zionism with a broad brush. It is simply Jewish nationalism. This creates a pre-1948 state and a post 1948 state. Before 1948, you could be anti-Zionist and not antisemitic. Since 1948, Israel exists. Things have changed. Today, if you believe in Israel’s right to exist, you are probably a Zionist. If you add the rule “as a Jewish state”, then Zionist you are.
Against this, there are non-Zionists. People who don’t particularly like Israel, nor agree that Jews have to have a state of their own. But Israel exists. So where as pre 1948, they would have opposed the state, today they accept it de-facto.
Then there are modern anti-Zionists. Unlike the anti-Zionists of pre 1948, these people are actively pursuing a cause that will bring about the destruction of a liberal democracy on the basis that they reject the Jews right to self-determination.
The only way this will happen is through war. A nasty war, that may only come about if movements such as BDS weaken Israel to the point it becomes once more vulnerable to attack. Because of this, modern day anti-Zionists try to protect themselves by insisting their opposition is to a theoretical construct (the pre-1948 argument) rather than the actual Jewish State (post 1948 argument). It is absurd, considering Israel exists.
And then why Israel? So many lands exist, so many nationalities. So much strife in the world. Why Israel? Another absurdity.
How you can possibly posit that a modern day anti-Zionist doesn’t have to be really careful on the land he treads is beyond me. But then you are clearly far more interested in talking about a nonsensical 59% statistic.
Gabriel – I read your article with great interest. Yes, Mussolini was a Fascist, but not an anti-Semite. Political labels can be mis-leading so if we look at Zionist, the interpretation is a ‘desire to return to Jerusalem’. I am a Zionist but aware that Zionism has been labelled as right-wing only because the Palestinians have the support of the left-wing. However, Fatah and Hamas want their ‘independent homeland’ which is nationalist and therefore labelled right-wing. It’s all a nonsense.
Your comments about Jews supporting Fascism in the 1930’s may be indicative of previous governments showing an anti-Semitic streak.
As for Finklestiein, I have been in email contact with him. Initially, I put it to him that his disconnection with Israel and his detachment from his Jewish routes is possibly the result of being a child of Holocaust survivors. He did not understand the question. I believe that his parents, based upon what he told me was that they had no passion for Israel or Zionism and after the war went to America.. I believe that his parents carried a lot of emotional baggage as a result of their suffering and this was picked-up during his formative years. I have also noticed these symptoms through Prof. Shlomo Sand who lives in Israel, has just written a book about why he is no longer a Jew and yet gets homesick when he is travelling. He was born in Mauthausen KL.. So, it is not what opinionated people say, but why they say it. It is not their political colours that matter, but their compassion and soul.
Yachad are a minority of ‘Zionists’ who feel that Israel is not treating the Palestinians fairly. How they go about voicing this pinion is what is objectionable. I feel that although they are parading as humanitarian, their deeper motive is to promote a political agenda for Israel. They are a minority with a loud voice and my experience of them is that they try to gain recognition for the Palestinians to meet their own agenda of an anti-Nethanyahu government. Frankly, I do not trust them.
Gentleman (and ladies). Let’s get one thing clear. Anti-Zionist = anti-Semitism. I have heard all the b…s..t arguments that ‘my best friends are Jews so I am not an ant-Semite’. What we have at the moment is vastly different to the anti-Semitism of Mosely and Hitler. In 2016 anti-Semitism is camouflaged in anti-Israel rhetoric. If these people who support the PSC or the BDS or the Jews for the Justice of Palestine were genuine humanitarians, they would be heavily engrossed in Syria, Egypt and KSA where humanitarian issues are blatantly ignored. No, what we have are left-wing Jews enjoying a sense of freedom of expression, exemption from physical anti-Semitism and a mis-guided view that socialism is the answer to the world’s problems.
Finklestein is the perfect example of this. He has no passion, heart or spiritual connection with Zion. Israel goes entirely against his ethos that he should ever view Israel other than a racist state, which it certainly isn’t. He is a socialist which means that as communism is a dirty word, being a socialist implies that you can berate a democracy because it is not a socialist state. I put to it to all your readers that when Palestine becomes a sovereign state, their problems will really begin. Fatah will be warring with Hamas while Hezbollah will be at the gates of Ramallah to take the spoils. Finklestein (an anti-Semitic Jew) will blame Israel for this.
A brilliant analysis! But what are we to make of Jews, often of the ultra-left, who despise Israel and everything it stands for, not for batty religious reasons like the Neturei Karta but because they are Communists? There is a couple in my constituency who prominently display “I love Palestine” badges and try to sit at the front at every Labour Party meeting. They both look as if they are in their eighties. I think the wife is called Sybil something. The most dangerous anti-semites are the Jewish ones.
Josephine – there are basically three types of Jews.
1. The first is the Jew who is a Zionist
2. The second is a Jew who is not a Zionist
3. The third is the Jew who is bereft of a Jewish soul and does not connect to Yiddishkeit or Israel.
It is the the second type f Jew that worries me most. The Jew who says; ‘what about the Palestinians’. These Jews proclaim that they are proud to be Jews and have Jewish values. Richard Falk, Norman Finklestein, Lenni Brenner. These are the ‘not in my name’ Jews. It’s just the way things are and we Zionists have to manage them.
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