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29 Adar II 5763 - April 2, 2003 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly
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Some of the Many Forms of Antisemitism Today

by M. Samsonowitz

Part II

Today, antisemitism has evolved into many strange, irrational forms which continue to confound the experts. Is antisemitism based on race? Religion? Political persuasion? Envy of the Jews' success? The need for a scapegoat? The Jews' bothersome presence among the nations? The Jews' nerve to establish their own country? One savant's elaborate theory after another explodes in the face of a new, virulent, original form of antisemitism.

It is tricky to pinpoint modern-day Hamans and "hamanitarian" organizations since they often disguise their antisemitism behind ostensibly legitimate agendas and concerns. They insist they are not -- perish the thought! -- antisemites. They just care about human rights/animal rights/suppressed minorities/Israelŭi occupation/usurpation of resources/environmental damage, etc. Rarely does it take more than a soft scratching under the surface to realize that only when it comes to the Jews or Israel do these modern-day hamanitarians suddenly become indignant about human or animal rights.

The first part of this article discussed the United Nations, and also surveyed Arab Hate Groups, Right- wing, Christian and White Supremacy Groups, and Black and Muslim Groups. This part discusses governmental and institutional antisemitism.

Government and Institutional Antisemitism

More insidious and dangerous than the white and black U.S. racist groups or Arab organizations is the latent institutional and governmental antisemitism which has gained respectability in Europe and America. Those who claim to be advocates of freedom, tolerance, and equality are suddenly propounding unabashedly antisemitic views. It is almost viewed as the new vogue, the de rigueur philosophy of today's high society and educated class.

In this category are European governments, animal rights groups, university administrations and student unions, the media and various medical and professional associations.

ANSWER Anti-War Coalition

The anti-war rallies of the past year were organized by the International ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism) Coalition. Originally created to protest the bombing of Afghanistan, ANSWER has since organized many rallies which included significant anti-Israel propaganda, including claims that Israel is guilty of "war crimes" against Palestinians and that Israel is a "racist state." The group was responsible for last year's largest anti-Israel rally, the "National March for Palestine Against War and Racism" in Washington on April 20, 2002, which served as a forum for supporting violence and terror organizations, and a proliferation of antisemitic expression.

ANSWER has played a key role in bringing Arab and Muslim groups into the anti-war and anti-racism movements, which has led to extreme invective against Israel during protests.

It completely ignores the documented Palestinian war crimes such as targeting civilians and using antipersonnel weapons (adding screws to bombs), as well as the very idea of targeting civilians which is the basis of the Palestinian suicide bomber campaign and is clearly criminal under international law. Israel never targets civilians.

European Anti-Jewish Legislation

Holland has initiated, and Switzerland has stiffened, anti- shechita legislation which prevents Jews from slaughtering meat according to Jewish law. Norway and Sweden have had anti-shechita legislation on their books for decades. (Sweden last year also passed a law forbidding circumcision practiced by a religious functionary who is not a doctor.)

While this anti-Jewish legislation was passed under the guise of concern about cruelty to animals, the historical record shows that anti-shechita laws often precede an antisemitic purge against local Jews. One of the first steps in the Nazi's antisemitic measures was instituting a ban on the kosher slaughter of animals.

"They simply don't want Jews," said Rabbi Michael Melchior, former chief rabbi of Norway. "I won't say this is the only motivation, but I know that during the original debate on this issue in Norway, where shechita has been banned since 1930, one of the parliamentarians said straight out, `If they don't like it, let them go live somewhere else.'"

The national director of the Anti-Defamation League in the US said that bans on kosher slaughter are the result of activism on the part of animal-rights extremists "aided and abetted" by antisemitic politicians. "The key is whether or not there is a history in that country. . . What other issues of animal rights have they engaged in to prohibit cruelty? When they begin and end with kosher slaughter, that's when I become suspect."

Even in those countries where anti-Jewish legislation was not passed, a huge rise in hundreds of percents of vandalism and attacks against Jews has been noted, with only a lukewarm response from law enforcement authorities. This is true in France, Germany, Belgium and Holland. Authorities refuse to admit that the Jews were specially targeted and claim that the violence was regular vandalism.

European Union

The European Union has had an agenda that pressures Israel to make continuous concessions to the PA at the same time that it supports the corrupt PA regime through regular lavish funding. No accountability or auditing is demanded from the PA. For years the EU funded terrorism-preaching school textbooks, while insisting it has no mechanism to critique the books. Amazingly, the lethargy vanishes when it comes to motions condemning Israel.

The EU has promoted and funded a host of left-wing associations which lobby to help shrink Israel's borders and promote a kid glove approach to PA violence whose terrorist arm has been active with deadly efficiency over more than two- and-a-half years.

EU High Commissioner Chris Patten refused to found a committee to investigate what the PA is doing with EU funding, despite being furnished proof by the IDF that the PA was funneling much of their money to acts of terrorism. A petition recently signed by EU parliamentarians at the initiative of French representative Francois Zimeray may force Patten to establish such a committee.

The EU has continually tried to interfere in Israel's private affairs by sending in international interlopers and coercing new variations of the failed Oslo agreement, such as the latest "Roadmap for Peace," on Israel. They have also funded nonprofit organizations that work within Israel for the political goals they advocate, and also reward the politicians who work towards their goals.

College Campuses

It's getting harder for even non-Orthodox Jews to study on college campuses in the light of the rabid antisemitic climate which pervades most college campuses today.

MESA

The Middle East Studies Association, the body which unites professors of Middle East Studies in universities throughout the U.S., is overwhelmingly pro- Palestinian and anti- Israel.

At a recent MESA convention in Washington D.C. attended by over 2,000 experts, U.S. representative David Satterfield was booed by an enraged audience when he said the Palestinians would have no future unless they renounce terrorism. The conference plenary session focused on Israel, as did a "special panel" earlier in the day featuring a speaker from the notorious anti- Zionist organization, International Solidarity Movement.

The Ottawa Citizen reports, "While there was hardly a peep about oppression of Arabs by Arabs in the Middle East, and whatever papers did touch on radical Islam were technical and heavy with jargon, the academic fog miraculously cleared when Israel came up. The professors were studiously detached, even dry, when discussing Osama bin Laden, but full of righteous passion on the subject of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon."

Covert Anti-Israel Bias in Campus Faculties

Many professors whose field of expertise is unrelated to the Middle East conflict or even history, flaunt their anti- Israel bias. A first year student from a traditional Jewish home studying in Berkeley University, was in a state of shock after the class in which he was studying calmly compared Israel with the Nazis. At Columbia University, lecturers have cancelled classes to participate in pro-Palestinian demonstrations.

Israeli academics who taught this past year at American universities were surprised at the strength of the anti- Israeli propaganda. Dr. Liora Brosh, who teaches comparative literature at a New York State University college, says that since September 11, the academic year was "a nightmare. An entire year of attacks, even in the corridors, even in staff meetings and conferences. There are posters hanging calling for action against Israel, courses on the `narrative' of the Palestinian struggle. There is an unquestioned assumption apparently that Israel and the Israelis are the bad guys and it is all presented in academic language that is supposed to be neutral and supposedly free of political positions."

Literature Professor Dan Meron also says that very harsh anti- Israeli propaganda is disseminated in academia. "This is propaganda that comes wrapped in an academic hue, as an intellectual attack against the state of Israel."

Professor Moshe Idel, a lecturer in Jewish thought at the Hebrew University, taught at a number of American universities during the past year. "In American academia there is a demonization of Israel. At lunch they would talk about the 500 killed in Jenin as if it were a fact. At least 50 percent of the people bought the Arab propaganda, and even when the facts became known, no one retracted anything he had said."

A vehemently anti-Israel five-day seminar whose purported purpose was to educate Connecticut public school teachers about the Middle East was hosted by Central Connecticut State University (CCSU) where anti- Israel rhetoric, false statements and propaganda were packaged as education to scores of public school teachers. Among the agenda taught by self-loathing Jew Dr. Norton Mezvinsky, an American history teacher, is that Judaism is a cult religion, the Jewish people have minimal historic connection with Israel, and the Hebrews were a collection of outlaws.

Student Antisemitism

Not surprisingly, the students are following the example of the professors and the administration, and have been promoting antisemitism and anti-Israel agendas in student publications.

For instance, Rutgers' Daily Targum quoted on April 5, 2002 an Arab student claiming that the Israeli government went into an all-female hospital and randomly selected 30 women, called them terrorists and executed them. Although it was obvious this was a pure fabrication, the Rutgers Daily Targum allowed the claim to stand unchallenged.

UCLA's Daily Bruin wrote (April 15, 2002) that Iraq and Israel equally violate international and humanitarian laws and both Prime Minister Sharon and President Hussein are accused of ordering the deaths of thousands of innocent people.

Boston University's Daily Free Press wrote in the same month that a group of student organizations used the occasion of Holocaust Remembrance Day to publicize what they considered to be Israeli aggression against its Arab population. "These students labeled Israel an oppressive apartheid state and even went so far as to justify the recent spate of suicide bombings."

Media Demonization

The demonization of Israel has been spearheaded by major world media, chief among them CNN and BBC. Not surprising, the head of CNN, Ted Turner, is closely affiliated with the UN.

CNN's anti-Israel bias in its approach to reporting on the Middle East is found at all levels, and contains numerous distortions and omissions. However it seems to be more pervasive in the field, and less so at the Atlanta headquarters.

The European media is no better. The collective British media was the winner of HonestReporting organization's "Dishonest Reporting Award for the Year 2002" for its hook, line and sinker acceptance of the Palestinian version of a "massacre" in Jenin this past April which was in keeping with its regular anti-Israel slant.

All those who investigated agreed that only about fifty were killed in the fight in Jenin (the IDF lost 23) and almost all of them were fighters. Even the final Palestinian Authority figure was 66 dead.

The London Independent compared Jenin to the Killing Fields of Pol Pot's Cambodia where between 1 million to 3 million people were slaughtered from 1975 to 1978. The story did not cite or quote a single Israeli source. An astonishing number of reports of alleged massacres and atrocities even in the "quality" newspapers of the British press cited the same single Palestinian eyewitness for their allegations, and did not solicit or report Israeli reactions to the charges.

The London Evening Standard accused the Israelis, without any credible evidence, of poisoning Palestinian water supplies. United Press International said that their article would have been at home in the pages of a Nazi propaganda sheet.

Others commented on the destruction that took place, and it was a devastation. However the reason is that the Palestinian fighters insist on staying in civilian areas, in violation of the international laws of warfare. A very significant amount of the destruction was caused by Palestinian bombs and booby traps. And, at the end, of the 1100 homes in the refugee camp near Jenin, 95 were destroyed. The town of Jenin was not disturbed except by the noise.

Despite the fact that even the United Nations and Human Rights Watch found that the IDF had carried out nothing near a massacre when fighting the terrorists in Jenin, British reporters made the following statements, among others:

- Israel's actions in Jenin were "every bit as repellent" as Osama bin Laden's attack on New York on September 11. -- The Guardian

- "We are talking here of massacre, and a cover-up, of genocide . . . " -- London Evening Standard

- "Rarely, in more than a decade of war reporting from Bosnia, Chechnya, Sierra Leone, Kosovo, have I seen such deliberate destruction, such disrespect for human life." -- The Times of London

- "Hundreds of victims 'were buried by bulldozer in a mass grave'." -- Daily Telegraph

The antisemitic invective continues to be subtly conveyed in the European newspapers' columns daily.

National Geographic

This monthly which purports to teach appreciation of the world and nature, has consistently shown an anti- Israel and pro-Palestinian bias when writing articles that concern Israel.

For instance, "Lines in the Sand: Deadly Times in the West Bank and Gaza," in its October 2002 edition was filled with blatant historical inaccuracies, distortions and anti-Israel dogma. Israel is depicted as either directly or indirectly guilty for the Arab- Israeli conflict, while Arab aggression is almost entirely omitted.

Human Rights Organizations

One might expect better from human rights' organizations, but it turns out they are very selective concerning which humans should get rights.

Amnesty International

This human rights watchdog has consistently criticized Israel for efforts it makes in self-defense. In its annual report last April, Amnesty International said Israel is guilty of war crimes and it accuses the Israel Defense Forces of causing "extensive damage to property with no apparent military necessity and serious violations including . . . extrajudicial executions." It bizarrely held up the fact that there were so few corpses during the Jenin massacre as proof that Israel had covered up its "war crimes."

World Medical Association

This world organization almost ousted its affiliate Israel Medical Association because of the ongoing political campaign against Israel. On the agenda of its annual meeting in Geneva last year, the WMA discussed charges against Israel. No other countries were singled out, though there is certainly plenty more that could be said about violations of human rights in other countries.

The WMA's member organizations represent millions of physicians around the world -- including those in Egypt, Syria, and other Moslem countries such as Indonesia and former Soviet republics -- whose home countries have a horrific human rights record.

The WMA's second-highest official and IMA chairman Dr. Yoram Blachar took a large amount of written and audiovisual material to defend Israel.

The antagonism towards Israel was clear at the meeting in Vienna of the European Forum of the European Medical Associations, part of the World Health Organization. Critical resolutions were introduced by the Swedish and British delegations, but they did not pass because they required unanimity.

IMA members and affiliated specialists' societies such as the Israel Pediatrics Society and the Israel Cardiology Society have regularly fielded criticism from counterparts abroad.

International Committee of the Red Cross

Since the early 1970s, the International Committee of the Red Cross has designated Israel's settlements as "war crimes" and this has constituted its basis for opposition to Israeli "occupation" and "settlement." The decisions of the ICRC's board are made in secret, without any due process.

The ICRC's history with relation to Jews is nothing to be proud of. During World War II, it was reluctant to investigate concentration camps, massacres, brutality and human-rights abuses against Jews. When it did visit some of the camps, its reports whitewashed Nazi atrocities. During the war, the Red Cross failed miserably to help POWs and inmates of concentration camps.

After the war, the ICRC was a major conduit for high- ranking Nazis to escape Europe. The Red Cross provided false passports, for example, to the commandants of Treblinka and Sobibor concentration camps, and enabled Alois Brunner, Eichmann's assistant, to escape to Damascus.

The ICRC refuses to authorize the Jewish star symbol of the Magen David Adom even though it qualifies in every other way. The ICRC did authorize a red lion especially for Iran. American Red Cross president Hernadine Healy was forced out of her job partly because of her withholding administrative dues from the international organization for not accepting Israel's symbol.

When Red Crescent facilities and vehicles are used in attacks against Jews, the ICRC is silent. On March 10, 2003, a Red Crescent ambulance driver was charged with using a Red Crescent ambulance to transport weapons to terrorists of the Fatah. He transported guns and an explosive belt. In order to disguise the weapons, including a volatile explosive belt, Jibril asked a doctor and his brother's wife and children to accompany him and masquerade as sick people, endangering them all. The ambulance was a vehicle of cruelty and not a vehicle of mercy.

YMCA

The World Alliance of YMCAs was established in 1855 and is headquartered in Geneva. This coordinating body that brings together 122 National YMCA movements from all over the world has passed numerous anti-Israel resolutions, replete with biased terminology like "Israeli Occupation Forces," "Liberated Palestinian Territories" and "Palestine." The 12th World Council attested to the fact that the World Alliance supports the Palestinians by "asking member movements to make representations to their governments on behalf of the Palestinian people." Further Councils have passed similar resolutions.

Distortions and falsehoods abound in reports and resolutions adopted following the outbreak of the current round of Palestinian violence in September 2000. For example, a report entitled "Responding to the Second Intifadah: Crisis in Palestine Deepens" notes that a YMCA facility was hit by Israeli gunfire but never mentions that it came in response to incessant Palestinian fire against Israeli residential apartments in the Jerusalem residential neighborhood of Gilo. Responding to attacks is legal under international law, but targeting noncombatant areas is not.

An International YMCA/YWCA observer charged "to investigate conditions in Palestine and Israel and report back" submitted 20 reports, none of which deal with the suffering inflicted by Palestinian terrorists on Israeli civilians. All the reports deal only with Palestinian hardship, and blame is assigned solely to Israel.

The East Jerusalem branch of the YMCA has launched a "Free Palestine" campaign to press for Israeli withdrawal and the Palestinian right of return. Advertisements for the campaign are carried in Palestinian publications such as the February 2003 issue of the EU-funded This Week in Palestine.

Recognizing the highly politicized and inaccurate positions of the World Alliance, the YMCA of the USA, YMCA Canada, and the Mexican Federation of YMCAs issued strongly worded protests prior to the World Council meeting in Mexico last July. However, the US, Canada, and Mexican Federation's statements are nowhere to be found on the World Alliance's site.

American Library Association

Since the 1980s a hard-core group of librarians within the American Library Association have been pushing for Israel's segregation and expulsion. These form the membership of the ALA's so-called "Social Responsibilities Round Table," the SRRT, who have written articles and passed resolutions censuring Israel and calling for its annihilation. Their proposals have been in the main passed by the ALA Council, which has condemned no other nation with anywhere near the frequency and vitriol it has reserved for Israel.

In the special resolution which they passed in their June 2002 convention, they deplored the destruction of "Palestinian computers, photocopiers, books, audio recordings, video recordings, data, institutional archives and records, and objects of historical, cultural, and artistic importance" since it "represents a significant loss for the Palestinian people and the world."

They ignored the fact that PA libraries are packed with Holocaust denial and calls for genocide, ethnic cleansing and Jihad against Jews.

An anti-Israel resolution passed in 1992 protested "the deportation of our colleague Omar al-Safi, a librarian at Bir Zeit University, in the Israeli-Occupied West Bank." Al-Safi is a convicted felon, with a long and violent criminal record. He is a member and recruiter for the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a terrorist group which perpetrated the Maalot school attack in which 22 Israeli children were slain. Al-Safi, by the way, was never deported by Israel.

The ALA also invited to its 1992 convention Khader Hamide, a member of and fundraiser for the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). The PFLP gained particular notoriety in the 1970s for gunning down civilians in airports and hijacking commercial passenger planes around the world, including the 1972 Japanese Red Army machine-gun rampage at Ben-Gurion (formerly Lod) Airport, which butchered over 25. Recently, it took credit for Tourism Minister Ze'evi's assassination.

*

Surveying this comprehensive list of antisemitic organizations should ready us for our national night of freedom on Pesach night. When we stand up and recite "In every generation they stand up to destroy us," we should stop a moment and reflect on this grim list to appreciate what we're saying, and this list is by no means exhaustive.

And after that, let us not forget to take a deep breath of gratitude and say with all our heart, "It is only Hakodosh Boruch Hu Who saves us from their hands!"

 

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