Wednesday, January 31, 2007
Several Essays on Jewish Anti-Semites
1. When Jews join the anti-Semitic Enemy, by Kenneth Levin
2. Defund Abbas and his Terrorhoids:
3. NYTimes Story about important essay on Jewish anti-Semites:
January 31, 2007
Essay Linking Liberal Jews and Anti-Semitism Sparks a Furor
By PATRICIA COHEN
The American Jewish Committee, an ardent defender of Israel, is known for
speaking out against anti-Semitism, but this conservative advocacy group
has recently stirred up a bitter and emotional debate with a new target:
An essay the committee features on its Web site, ajc.org, titled .
.Progressive. Jewish Thought and the New Anti-Semitism,. says a number of
Jews, through their speaking and writing, are feeding a rise in virulent
anti-Semitism by questioning whether Israel should even exist.
In an introduction to the essay, David A. Harris, the executive director
of the committee, writes, .Perhaps the most surprising . and distressing .
feature of this new trend is the very public participation of some Jews in
the verbal onslaught against Zionism and the Jewish State.. Those who
oppose Israel.s basic right to exist, he continues, .whether Jew or
gentile, must be confronted..
The essay comes at a time of high anxiety among many Jews, who are seeing
not only a surge in attacks from familiar antagonists, but also gloves-off
condemnations of Israel from onetime allies and respected figures, like
former President Jimmy Carter, who titled his new book on the Mideast
.Palestine Peace Not Apartheid.. By spotlighting the touchy issue of
whether Jews are contributing to anti-Semitism, both admirers and
detractors of the essay agree that it aggravates an already heated dispute
over where legitimate criticism of Israel and its defenders ends and
anti-Semitic statements begin.
The essay, written by Alvin H. Rosenfeld, an English professor and the
director of the Institute for Jewish Culture and the Arts at Indiana
University in Bloomington, castigates a number of people by name,
including the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Tony Kushner, the
historian Tony Judt, the poet Adrienne Rich and the Washington Post
columnist Richard Cohen, in addition to a number of academics.
Mr. Judt, whose views on Israel and the American Jewish lobby have
frequently drawn fire, is chastised for what Mr. Rosenfeld calls .a series
of increasingly bitter articles. that have .called Israel everything from
arrogant, aggressive, anachronistic, and infantile to dysfunctional,
immoral, and a primary cause of present-day anti-Semitism..
A historian at New York University, Mr. Judt said in a telephone interview
that he believed the real purpose of outspoken denunciations of him and
others was to stifle harsh criticism of Israel. .The link between
anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism is newly created,. he said, adding that he
fears .the two will have become so conflated in the minds of the world.
that references to anti-Semitism and the Holocaust will come to be seen as
.just a political defense of Israeli policy..
The essay also takes to task .Wrestling With Zion: Progressive
Jewish-American Responses to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. (Grove
Press), a 2003 collection of essays edited by Mr. Kushner and Alisa
Solomon. Mr. Kushner said that he and Ms. Solomon took great care to
include a wide range of voices in their collection, including those of Ms.
Rich, the playwright Arthur Miller and various rabbis.
.Most Jews like me find this a very painful subject,. Mr. Kushner said,
and are aware of the rise in vicious anti-Semitism around the world but
feel .it.s morally incumbent upon us to articulate questions and
Over the telephone, the dinner table and the Internet, people who follow
Jewish issues have been buzzing over Mr. Rosenfeld.s article. Alan Wolfe,
a political scientist and the director of the Boisi Center for Religion
and American Public Life at Boston College, said, .I.m almost in a state
of shock. at the verbal assaults directed at liberal Jews.
On H-Antisemitism (h-net.org), an Internet forum for scholarly discussions
of the subject, Michael Posluns, a political scientist at the University
of Toronto, wrote, .Sad and misbegotten missives of the sort below make me
wonder if it is not the purpose of mainstream Jewish organizations to
foster anti-Jewishness by calling down all who take from their Jewish
experience and Jewish thought a different ethos and different ways of
being as feeding anti-Semitism..
Others have praised Mr. Rosenfeld.s indictment and joined the fray.
Shulamit Reinharz, a sociologist who is also the wife of Jehuda Reinharz,
the president of Brandeis University, wrote in a column for The Jewish
Advocate in Boston: .Most would say that they are simply anti-Zionists,
not anti-Semites. But I disagree, because in a world where there is only
one Jewish state, to oppose it vehemently is to endanger Jews..
Although many of the responses to the essay have referred to its subject
as .Jewish anti-Semitism,. Mr. Rosenfeld said in a telephone interview
that he was very careful not to use that phrase. But whatever it is
called, he said, .I wanted to show that in an age when anti-Semitism is
resurgent, Jews thinking the way they.re thinking is feeding into a very
In his essay he says that .one of the most distressing features of the new
anti-Semitism. is .the participation of Jews alongside it.. Like others,
Mr. Cohen of The Washington Post complained that the essay cherry-picked
quotations. .He mischaracterized what I wrote,. he said. .I.ve been
critical of Israel at times, but I.ve always been a defender of Israel..
He did add, however, that a wide range of writers were named, some of whom
have written inflammatory words about Israel. .He has me in a very strange
neighborhood,. Mr. Cohen said.
The dispute goes beyond the familiar family squabbling among Jews that is
characterized by the old joke about two Jews having three opinions on a
single subject. Bitter debates over anti-Israel statements and
anti-Semitism have entangled government officials, academics,
opinion-makers and others over the past year, particularly since fervent
supporters and tough critics of Israel can be found on the right and the
Mr. Wolfe, who has written about a recent rise in what he calls .Jewish
illiberalism,. traces the heated language to increasing opposition to the
Iraq war and President Bush.s policy in the Middle East, which he said had
spurred liberal Jews to become more outspoken about Israel.
.Events in the world have sharpened a sense of what.s at stake,. he said.
.Israel is more isolated than ever,. causing American Jewish defenders of
Israel to become more aggressive.
On this point Mr. Rosenfeld and Mr. Wolfe are in agreement. .It.s going up
a notch or four or five,. Mr. Rosenfeld said in an interview. .One of the
things that is clear,. he said of anti-Semitic and anti-Israel attacks,
.is that what used to be on the margin and not very serious is becoming
more and more mainstream..
Mr. Rosenfeld, who has written and edited more than half a dozen books as
well as other publications for the committee, emphasized that policy
disagreements were natural and expected. Opposing Israel.s settlement of
the West Bank or treatment of Palestinians .is, in itself, not
anti-Semitic,. he writes; it is questioning Israel.s right to exist that
crosses the line.
But Mr. Judt said, .I don.t know anyone in a respectable range of opinion
who thinks Israel shouldn.t exist.. (Mr. Judt advocates a binational state
that is not exclusively Jewish, something that many Jews see as equivalent
to dissolving Israel). He contends that harsh complaints about Israel.s
treatment of Palestinians are the real target.
Last year Mr. Judt came to the defense of two prominent political
scientists, Stephen M. Walt at Harvard and John J. Mearsheimer of the
University of Chicago, after they were besieged for publishing a paper
that baldly stated (among other things) that anyone critical of Israel or
the American Jewish lobby .stands a good chance of being labeled an
David Singer, the committee.s director of research, said the attention Mr.
Rosenfeld.s essay had drawn was not unexpected. .We certainly thought that
it would raise eyebrows in some quarters,. he said.
.I think it.s an act of courage. on the part of the American Jewish
Committee and the author, he added. .It obviously deals with matters of
4. Subject: Memo to a Useful Idiot: Canadian Jewish News Column
CANADIAN JEWISH NEWS
1 February 2007
MEMO TO A USEFUL IDIOT
By Gil Troy
Dear Shulamit Aloni,
In early January, you supported former U.S. president Jimmy Carter's
inflammatory accusation that Israel is guilty of practising "apartheid."
must be pleased with yourself. Your article has been widely posted around
Internet. Googling "Shulamit Aloni" and "apartheid" generates 70,000 hits.
I am, however, appalled. Not only did you fail to make the case, but I
you to see how your article is being used. I do not believe that all
Israel are anti-Semites. Nor do all critics call for Israel's destruction.
wonder how many anti-Semites - how many people devoted to destroying
will post your article and lovingly quote your words before you take
responsibility for fanning the flames of hatred against your people and
country you served as education minister.
You repeated the term apartheid nine times in your nearly 1,100-word
yet only one paragraph discusses the term. Citing international law, you
apartheid "as an international crime that, among other things, includes
different legal instruments to rule over different racial groups, thus
people of their human rights." Having shown that Israeli soldiers disrupt
Palestinian travel you ask: "Isn't freedom of travel one of these rights?"
That's the wrong question. The relevant question is whether the
Israeli-Palestinian clash is a racial conflict and whether the State of
has imposed a systematic, racist South-African-type regime. You contradict
title when you say that "we, too, used very violent terror against foreign
because we wanted our own state." If Palestinians are fighting "foreign
then how is the apartheid label relevant? Apartheid, with its network of
separating black citizens from whites, institutionalized white supremacy.
Neither you nor Carter have justified that charge.
Unfortunately, this is more than a legalistic debate. By supporting
term, you are advancing a growing worldwide campaign to delegitimize
expel Israel from among the community of nations, which is the correct
punishment for an "apartheid" state. Your article - and your career -
demonstrate many other eloquent ways to condemn Israeli policies without
an incorrect, destructive analogy.
If you doubt how the apartheid accusation is being used against Israel, I
you to surf the web and meet your new allies.
When I appeared on the left-leaning American radio and television network
Democracy Now to condemn Carter's use of the term, I received a wave of
anti-Zionist and anti-Semitic e-mails. Most critics blamed Israel
for the entire Mideast mess, putting Israel's actions and "the Jews" at
centre of all the world's troubles.
I was told that the Jewish state should be in southern Germany, not on
Palestinian land, that we Jews thought we were better than everyone, and
a "Jewish New Yorker" I spoke "Yinglish" not English. Most critics
referenced your article or other similar articles from Israelis "proving"
Israel practises apartheid - as if it's impossible for an Israeli to be
You are, of course, free to believe what you wish and write what you wish.
That's your right. You live in a free county. But had you lived under
Africa's apartheid regime, you would have had to write such attacks from
the country or from inside a jail cell.
My question then, is, what is your responsibility? When your words,
consistently, are used by others to smear Israel, to delegitimize the
rationalize terrorism, and to peddle anti-Semitism, at what point do those
actions implicate you?
The time has come for you to stand up and say, "Yes, my anger about the
situation in the territories remains but, no, don't delegimitize my state,
libel my people, and don't use my heartfelt words to advance your
agenda." You and many of your comrades on the Israeli left seem to have
forgotten that in the Internet age, your words resonate, making you foot
soldiers in the "electronic intifadah" that seeks Israel's destruction. I
challenge you and your buddies to take responsibility for the anti-Semitic
effects of some of your rhetoric. You cannot deny your impact.
The old saw falsely attributed to Lenin still holds - you don't have to
recognize that you're a "useful idiot" to be one.
Gil Troy is Professor of History at McGill University and the author of
Am a Zionist: Israel, Jewish Identity and the Challenges of Today."
5. The Nazification of Greater Madrid:
6. Rubinstein knows treason when he sees it:
7. Letters to Editor:
Dreamer Vs. Realist
It is clear that Eli Chomsky (.For Israeli-Syrian Talks,. op-ed, Jan.
26) lives in America and Steven Plaut (.Israel Should Offer Syria
Nothing,. op-ed, Jan. 26) in Israel. Like so many in America, Mr. Chomsky
fails to understand the Arab mentality, and therefore he dreams. Professor
Plaut may also dream, but living in Israel forces him to be a realist.
The American grows up with the concepts of fairness, give and take,
live and let live. Would that everyone in the world incorporated those
noble traits. The Arabs are unencumbered by such values. They seek world
domination for Allah. They give nothing, but take (in stages) whatever
they can. They even have a precedent from Muhammad for abrogating treaties
If one considers the peace treaty with Egypt it quickly becomes
apparent that Israel gave up the entire Sinai, its oil fields and Taba,
and in return Egypt agreed not to go to war against Israel. But Egypt has
no trouble looking away as terrorists smuggle all manner of weapons into
Gaza to be used against Israel.
Dream on, Mr. Chomsky. I guess we can.t fault you for trying to hasten
the vision of our prophet Isaiah (Yeshayahu) who speaks of the lion
dwelling with the lamb. But until that glorious future arrives, let.s hope
the Almighty saves us from our shortsighted, misguided Israeli politicians
who don.t even know that the biblical borders of Israel include the Golan
New York, NY
Both Eli Chomsky and Steven Plaut made well-written, articulate cases
for their respective positions, but I must admit to being partial to Mr.
Plaut.s more hard-line approach. At any rate, putting their columns on
facing pages and allowing them to express their views was a great idea,
and I hope we can look forward to seeing more of these debates in future
issues of The Jewish Press.
8. Western Sycophants And Islamic Oppressors
By YOUSSEF IBRAHIM
January 29, 2007