At almost every event I attend I see antisemites. But why are those that hate Jews given such legitimacy. Why is it so hard to extract even one rabid politician from a mainstream party? These are the defenders of the Jew haters. Sentinels of the antisemites. Academia is occupied, media is lost and the politicians will always sway to the demographic changes.
As I grew up in the UK, I viewed antisemitism as a minor, defeated issue. I knew it still existed, indeed I had my own run-in with local Nazis, but believed that it had been pushed out into the far-right shadows. I could also see it within Arab discourse about Israel, but wrongly assumed that it remained within the context of an ongoing conflict.
Back then, I never imagined for one moment I would witness rising antisemitism in the 21st century. Never thought for a day, that as an adult I would be ‘out there’, personally facing down Jew hatred on London’s streets just as my grandparents had done 80 years before.
But then in those days, the Holocaust was the one global event that for me was ‘beyond explanation’. I never thought I would ever understand how it happened. It has been a brutal awakening to realise how slippery the slide towards oblivion is.
Last week I spent three days in Cork, Ireland, attending a conference with about 150 people that hate Israel. I do it because if we are not there, we delegate the narrative, our narrative, to our enemies. Emotionally, I am still recovering. I go and witness, record and write, and I try as the atmosphere descends into mob driven Jew hatred, not to internalise the abuse. When I return to a safe space, I fall apart for a while.
It is difficult to describe the feeling to someone who does not witness this abuse first hand. It all comes at a cost. When they begin the tirade against the Zionist, the Jew, they are pointing the finger at me. The suggestion that was aired, that my mother deliberately deprived me of love to ensure I would be sufficiently inhumane, is a direct and personal attack. The conference at Cork is proving a particularly difficult episode to recover from.
The hate at Cork
The conference brought together a long list of those who say they hate Israel, and many of those clearly do have an issue with Jews. Jewish history was denied, the Jewish people had their identity stolen from them. Even the Hebrew language was appropriated. Israelis were turned into non-human monsters who deprive their children of love. We were compared to those who committed genocide against us.
I sat among a group of people who make up stories about Jews by using Israel as a proxy. Yet, it wasn’t the presence of the antisemites that scared me, it was the legitimacy this hatred is given by the others in the room, by the organisers, by the hosting venue.
2014 saw the loudest outpouring of blatant antisemitism in Europe since 1945. In 2017 hard-core anti-Jewish hatred is dished up on the university campus. 9/11 conspiracy theories are shared inside lecture halls. An academic at a conference can claim that European Jews are fake Jews and Hebrew is a Palestinian language. Each comment of this type receives applause. Antisemitism isn’t hiding in the dark anymore.
Livingstone and Zionism
This week of course, we also saw Ken Livingstone receive an extended ‘time-out’ from the labour party. This as several vocal labour groups fight against the punishment. What Ken Livingstone said was historically wrong and brutally insensitive. It follows a pattern of the former London Mayor making comments that appear to be both specifically directed towards Jews and designed to hurt.
The man appears to enjoy goading Jews. To make offensive comments about Jews and the Holocaust. If he baited women, he’d be a sexist, if he baited blacks, he’d be a racist, but he doesn’t, he baits Jews.
Let us swiftly deal with Livingstone’s remarks. Hitler saw Zionism through the same lens through which he saw all Jews. Some of his thoughts from ‘Mein Kampf’:
“They have no thought of building up a Jewish State in Palestine, so that they might perhaps inhabit it, but they only want a central organization of their international world cheating, endowed with prerogatives, withdrawn from the seizure of others: a refuge for convicted rascals and a high school for future rogues.”
Yet for a while Zionism and the Nazi’s existed within the same historical period and geographical locations. This means that even within the context of the Nazi’s genocidal hatred of Jews, the two ‘met’. This gives rise to all sorts of false accusations built on twisting facts and the removal of context.
Like most of the anti-Zionist narrative, truth becomes smeared through the distorting effects of a brutal antisemitic prism. Or put it another way, antisemites are scouring through the archives trying to find ways of using the way Jews reacted to genocide 70 years ago, to attack Jews today. Below, as evidence of this strategy, is an email recently sent out by UK anti-Zionist Tony Greenstein, calling for a translation of a 1935 newspaper:
Giving Jew hatred the airtime
Two days ago, LBC radio gave Ken Loach airtime to defend Ken Livingstone. Loach described Livingstone’s claims as “an interpretation”, this as Loach himself used half-truths and carefully selected quotations to protect the paradigm that both he and Livingstone exist within.
Over the past few days I have been exchanging comments on Twitter with Piaras Mac Éinrí, one of the ‘organisers’ of the Cork conference. He has suggested my account of what occurred was ‘false’, ‘misleading’, ‘mendacious’, and ‘inaccurate’.
Just yesterday, as evidence of the false paradigm that Piaras is now living in, he retweeted a post suggesting that ‘the most successful recent attacks on free speech have come from Zionist organizations seeking to suppress *any* criticism of Israel’.
Note use of the word ‘any’. This the classic straw man, and you will often see this false logic used against Jewish complaints of antisemitism. Nobody suggests every negative comment about Israel is antisemitic. Nobody. It is a ‘non-argument’ put up to create an environment where ALL criticism of Israel, however antisemitic, becomes allowed. You open the door without a filter and in the end, like Piaras, you need to suggest criticism against the environment you create is ‘false’, ‘misleading’, ‘mendacious’, and ‘inaccurate’. Whether aware of it or not, Piaras gave Jew hatred airtime and now apparently needs to deflect criticism of antisemites to protect his own reputation.
The sentinels of the antisemites
Cork, both City and University, became engaged in protecting antisemitism when agreeing to host the conference. Last month the LSE gave stage to an attack on British Jews by inadvertently squeezing them between Richard Falk and Gilad Atzmon.
With Labour, we see an entire political party willing to self-destruct over its inability to detach itself from antisemitism. The response to Livingstone’s remarks took far too long to unravel, and when it came, it merely highlighted how lost the Labour party is.
Exeter university, SOAS, UCL, the University of Kent. The Independent, the Guardian. The Labour Party, Momentum. The National Union of Teachers. All directly or indirectly protecting Jew hate. These just a few examples. Look at this disgraceful article from the BBC. ‘Chilling repression’? Blaming the victims for not suffering in silence. The list is a long one.
Jew hatred should not be up for discussion. There is no meeting antisemites half way. Had what occurred in Cork involved racist comments against blacks, it is doubtful the conference would have been allowed to continue beyond the first outrageous comment. It is certain the BBC would not refer to efforts to cancel it as ‘chilling repression’. Yet when it comes to attacks on Jews, through strategic use of the ‘Livingstone Formulation‘, racism against Jews is accommodated and protected in a way that no other racism is. It is not only argued that *all* criticism against Israel is legitimate, when that door is open, NO FILTERS are ever placed on what is acceptable and what is not. All Jewish discomfort is cast aside as being Israeli funded ‘hasbara’. The Israeli embassy pays us all to protest.
There are antisemites, and then hiding behind misquotes & decontextualised arguments there are the defenders of those that hate the Jews. Sentinels or gatekeepers of the antisemites.
The Dublin gambit
Nowhere can this be more clearly highlighted than in a recent call for papers from Trinity College, Dublin. An academic attempt to legitimise use of the Livingstone Formulation. This from the 2016 paper from David Hirsh:
“It (the Livingstone Formulation) is a means of refusing to engage with an accusation of antisemitism; instead it reflects back an indignant counter-accusation, that the accuser is taking part in a conspiracy to silence political speech. The Livingstone Formulation functions to de-legitimise scholarly or political analysis of antisemitism by treating analysis of antisemitism as an indicator of anti-progressive discourse.”
The absurdity of the proposed conference in Trinity College is an extreme example of psychological projection. In Chinese, they use the expression ‘做賊喊抓賊’ or ‘thieves calling someone a thief to deflect attention from their own thieving’. Projecting what you are doing wrong onto your opponent, has long been attributed to the hard left. Those seeking to understand this strategy should read ‘Rules for Radicals‘.
Those involved in the proposed conference, boycott Israeli academia, and stifle free speech. More worryingly, with regards to a proper academic conference, BDS activists, such as some of those putting together this event, work explicitly on a ‘no to normalisation’ platform. That means ‘no’ to providing a forum where the Israeli argument can be fairly heard.There is no way any university of any merit would possibly accommodate a conference when the organisers proudly suggest they will not provide a platform to substantive academic opposition.
However the proposed venue Trinity could not be more apt. Just recently, a talk by the Israeli ambassador at Trinity was cancelled following a protest. Trinity is not alone. UCC in Cork of course, just held their very own ‘hatefest’. And the video footage below from NUI Galway, shows the response to the appearance of Alan Johnson, widely recognised as someone who struggles for peace and is a solid supporter of the two state solution:
Ignorance, ignorance everywhere
The level of ignorance that can be witnessed on the campus both in the UK and US is frightening. The level of protection this ignorance provides Jew hatred makes it dangerous. And although the university is the very place that we would expect the hatred to be challenged through discussion and study, campus is where all dialogue is being closed down. ‘No to normalisation’!
But the protection provided to Jew hate isn’t only on campus. Political groups pushing nothing but utopian ideals stand alongside dark forces in a perverse strategic alliance. Thus we see the reluctance of elements within the Labour party to break up the union. Jewish protests will be cast aside if political expediency demands it. Not directly of course, excuses will be found, the Livingstone Formulation will be deployed.
We also have those who are either not part of the Jewish community, or sit at the fringes of it, used to suggest the problem is the Jewish community. Criticism is directed towards all the publicly identifiable representatives of the Jewish community; the Board of Deputies, Chief Rabbi, Jewish Chronicle, Holocaust Education Trust. Using fringe elements of Jewish society to blame the Jews. People who have never stepped inside a synagogue are called ‘real Jews’ because they detest Israel, whilst the vast majority of British Jews are given the label ‘fake Jews’, even on a university campus. To loud applause of course.
Academia is occupied, media is financially crippled and the politicians will sway to the demographics. This deteriorating situation demonstrates not just Israel’s ‘right’ to exist, but the underlying ‘need’ for Israel to exist. There is no greater advert for Israel, than the dark undercurrents currently pulling at us from under the surface of society. Come sit with me, witness the hate. You will never question Israel’s need to exist again.
No, it isn’t the early 1930’s, but then nor would it be. History doesn’t replicate, it merely presents familiar patterns. Segments of academia, mainstream media and major political parties have already become sentinels, gate-keepers, for antisemites. Jew hatred is clearly protected. It is time to be very concerned indeed.
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23 thoughts on “The sentinels of the antisemites, protecting Jew hatred”
It’s the willful ignorance that I find most baffling. I can understand racists and religious fanatics, but what kind of an idiot do you have to be to claim a document says the Jews welcomed the Nuremberg laws while also saying you can’t even read the freaking language it’s written in?
I find it harrowing just reading these articles here.
I worry that we are giving these people too much attention. We should find ways of ridiculing them, cleverly, comically and truthfully. Jews speak to much to themselves, whether on Face book, meetings or Twitter etcetera. We need to find a way to get it out there. If the campus won’t let us speak then speak elsewhere. We need to toughen up.
My worry is that there is little to support the ‘laugh at them’ strategy. Currently on a radio station near you, they are talking about whether Hitler supported Zionism. This is how far down the slope we have come by not attacking. For too long we simply shrugged and suggested these people were just a few lunatics.
History plays tricks. Hitler didn’t just come along, hypnotise everyone, and lead the world to catastrophe. It is an unfolding of events, a formula of converging pressures. Think of it like a mix in chemistry. You need several elements to come together. If they do, things spiral out of control. It isn’t 1930’s Germany, but as I said, it doesn’t have to be. Different chemicals are at play now. And there are worrying signs. I just do not believe that laughing or ridiculing one of the elements will work in our favour. Too many people take them seriously.
Have you seen the list of people who claim to be Jewish and who SUPPORT Ken Livingstone? They are the usual suspects of course (Rosenhead, Margolyes, etc.) who have now morphed from being anti-Israel into being antisemitic. As a historian myself, I find the Livingstone “interpretation” (to use the term adopted by his fellow antisemite Ken Loach, who is a neighbour of mine by the way, so I know where he lives) quite spine-chilling.
Agreed. The way this discourse is now an acceptable argument (Did Hitler support Zionism?), is spin-chilling. I see so many people defending that position now. It is given air-time in mainstream media. Unforgivable.
As for ‘Jews’ supporting Ken, it is disturbing but unsurprising. History (as you know) unfolds slowly sometimes. The Diaspora existed for 2000 years. At its core, the Diaspora existed because there was no Israel. 1948 was an earthquake in Jewish history. We have no evidence to suggest that the (secular) diaspora and Israel can live in harmony. 150 years ago, Jews who assimilated merely threw their toys out of the pram against the orthodox. Today they do so against Israel. These people are sailing towards irrelevance and I only wish they would do so quietly. The bottom line however remains that 100 years from now, it is unlikely the Diaspora will look the same. Israel is the home of the Jewish people, eventually this is the way it will play out regardless of what Jewish outliers might proclaim.
Josephine – Ken Loach is a cold fish. I have seen him on stage and he does not emanate any warmth. The challenge is dealing with left-wing Jews and the left-wing in general is to put over to them that they target Israel because none of them have the guts to face the atrocities of Yemen, KSA and Syria. They know we Jews are a soft touch. We must demonstrate that we are not and be equally vociferous (ref; Jonathan Hoffman) in shouting them down.
Berkas said ‘We need to find a way to get it out there’ and that is increasingly what a lot of us activists in support of Israel and against AntiSemitism are doing. The weekly pro Israel stand in Brighton a few years ago showed the way – but that was mostly responsive to the hateful activities of the anti Israel mob. Now we get out there with pro Israel stands talking to ordinary people on the street. We find that most people know almost nothing. They gawp at a map of Israel in the context of the Middle East. That’s where it is! With those neighbours! It’s so small! Yeah its a democracy and its neighbours are nasty! Yeah its ok to be Gay or Christian or Bahai! Oh Arabs have the vote! Believe me most people have no idea. We started these stands in Richmond and were so encouraged by the response that the approach is being promoted all over the country. Glasgow Friends of Israel are out on the main road of central Glasgow every week! We need to do more to get out there with our message. The clearest evidence of the success of the fight back is that the haters really hate us. But there is so much more to do. David you are doing a brilliant job in exposing what the haters are up to – now lets get out there and talk to the ordinary people.
Fellow readers, please do not feel despondent. There are a plethora of intellectual pro-Israel Jews that can stand up for us including David of course.
Ken Livingstone ‘obtained’ his knowledge of the Zionist/Nazi era from a second rate historian called Lenni Brenner. Lenni Brenner got his ‘information from the writings of one anti-Semitic Jew called Robert Schoenmann, now dead, who was also a left of left-winger.
This is how history can be distorted:
Lenni Brenner writes that the Nazis and the Zionists collaborated in 1933. Wrong. The Zionists ‘negotiated’ with the Nazis in 1933. In the first year of the Nazi era, the Zionists did everything they could to save the Jews of Germany but, neither Hitler or the Zionists would have ever collaborated with each other. One can only conclude that Ken Livingstone’s arrogance has blinded him to the facts. Had he read Martin Gilbert’s version of the Nazi era called The Holocaust he would have read a totally different version of events.
Finally, David’s 3 day nightmare in Cork reflects one very obvious feature of left-wing politics and that is it is no different from right-wing politics. Both are vehemently anti-Semitic.
Alan Johnson……….widely recognised as man who struggles for peace.
You just made that up. BICOM is founded on the millions made out of the arms industry. It is just a crude apologist fot Israeli atrocities.
…… a solid supporter of the two state delusion which is of course now nothing more than a time buying piece of crap. David being a supporter of the two state delusion is not a get out of the racist gaol card.
Oh and BTW the BoD rejects the two state delusion. Jonny Hoff can fill you in on the details.
jew-baiter hypocrisy, as jew-baiter rejects the two-state solution too, no doubt preferring the final solution..
Has anyone ever told you what a jerk you are? Why do you infest pro-Israel websites with your idiotic remarks?
There you go Rebecca
And this rejection of the said motion was led by Jonny Hoff
And a letter of outrage was sent by over 1000 young ” liberal Zionists” . Arkush and Wineman met with over 100 of them and made it clear the matter would not be revisited. Nor has it ever been.
Oh, Stephen. No, no, no, no, no.
Here you highlight your inability to step outside of the ideological prison you are caught within.
If we use UK or US politics. The majority of people within support the 1967 two state formula. It has no bearing on how I view it, or whether or not it is feasible. It simply is. Saying AJ is “widely recognised as a man who struggles for peace”, is most certainly an accurate description, directed towards the range of readers who might read this blog. If it was read by people in Saudi, they may believe it factually incorrect. Read by others, some pro-Israelis, who read this blog, he may also be viewed as dangerous, a fool and so on. Many of them think the 2SS has gone ‘bye bye’ too. By you he is labelled ‘a crude apologist’. But these are just natural positions in the spectrum. A few days after you argue with me about ‘extremism’, not necessarily being connected to something bad, today you throw a curve ball. You fight for a re-adjustment of your position as if it needs to be recognised as the centre. Sorry Stephen. It won’t work.
So as someone who takes much pride in accuracy, your comment, that “I just made it up” is highly offensive to me. I am simply capable of writing about AJ without expressing my own personal opinion of him (BTW, he likes to ‘bad mouth’ me). I would at least ask you to open your mind just a little.
I have no wish for any of my positions to be recognised as the centre. I merely maintain that ” extreme ” is not a pejorative.
For example if I were to give expression to the incontrovertible facts that I am extreme(ly) beautiful and extreme( ly) clever that wouldn’t be slagging myself off would it ?
maybe you could provide some evidence that Johnson is ” widely recognised as someone that struggles for peace”. After all it is said that the so called ” international definition of antisemitism ” is widely accepted when only 00000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000.1 per cent of English speakers have even heard of it never mind accepted it. ( if that)
I think I get why Johnson likes to bad mouth you. If is any consolation, and I am sure it must be, you pass my four hours in the pub test and he fails it miserably.
Apparently your definition of antisemitism is “whatever sh*t comes out of my mouth or pen.”
The jew-baiter feels compelled to make an appearance.
I have received a response to my FOI Request about the Falk meeting at LSE. The risk assessment done prior to the meeting says this:”
Richard Falk was UN Rapporteur for Human Rights in Palestine and, as a consequence, he has been attacked by the Israeli lobby. There may be challenge from pro-Israel groups at the event”.
This is an outrage. Nothing about Falk’s record of antisemitism. The antisemitic cartoon he posted; the multiple condemnations for antisemitism from the UK government and the UN Secretary-General; his endorsement of Atzmon’s book.
Thus do the victims of antisemitism become the bad guys ……………
An excellent summation David and naturally met with the customary and wholly predictable response from your obsessive follower. Had you met Coleridge when he wrote about an Albatross around the neck of the ancient mariner? He was clearly onto something. Notwithstanding his ongoing and presumably lucrative pursuit of paid media response, it is refreshing to find an opinion upon which he and I agree insofar as he discounts the 2SS. I imagine he understands this as the establishment of an Arab State in the middle of Israel when he characterises this position as “delusional” and “a time buying piece of crap”. With this level of wisdom he may find that he has fallen into line with a very large number of people here in the Jewish State. I’m sure he’ll be thrilled.
I guess they could have expanded on the assessment with…..
And Jonathan Hoffman will probably turn up and he has been thrown out of more places for hooliganism then any of us have had hot dinners, including the Albert Hall. And he will be doing his usual looning for Israel routine.
There goes the anonymous antisemite.
I stand up for Israel at antisemitic meetings. I resist immorality.
Nelson Mandela was thrown into prison for 27 years, also for resisting immorality.
Was he a hooligan?
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