Author Topic: Modern anti-semitism  (Read 1012 times)

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Offline Jo498

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Re: Modern anti-semitism
« Reply #20 on: November 14, 2017, 12:37:48 AM »
While I think that connections between anti-zionism and anti-semitism and also (both from the nationalist right and some leftist) between anti-semitism and anti-capitalism (or sometimes only/especially banking/WS/speculation) clearly exist, in my experience in Germany this often spurious association is far more frequently used to slander people who dare to criticize Israeli politics or rabid speculation as antisemites because this is about the worst thing one can tar an opponent with. (With the special history and demographics of Germany it is far more efficient a slander than mere racism.)
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Offline Tulse

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Re: Modern anti-semitism
« Reply #21 on: November 14, 2017, 04:01:27 AM »
While I think that connections between anti-zionism and anti-semitism and also (both from the nationalist right and some leftist) between anti-semitism and anti-capitalism (or sometimes only/especially banking/WS/speculation) clearly exist, in my experience in Germany this often spurious association is far more frequently used to slander people who dare to criticize Israeli politics or rabid speculation as antisemites because this is about the worst thing one can tar an opponent with. (With the special history and demographics of Germany it is far more efficient a slander than mere racism.)

I see that there is a thing called 'New Antisemitism'. To be an antisemite you no longer need to say or do anything antisemetic, it is sufficient that you are left wing and / or antiglobalisation. The idea is to label people who are against neoliberalism as antisemites. This is the worst kind of slander, not just in Germany. Neoliberals are adept at using language as a way to extend their groupthink, and this seems to be the latest strategy in this regard. It has been a very successful approach and one that went almost unchallenged until the GFC.

Offline Jo498

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Re: Modern anti-semitism
« Reply #22 on: November 14, 2017, 04:56:14 AM »
Yes this is obviously slander.

Most "traditional" antisemites are probably also antizionists although I think there are also some who don't really much care about Israel but rather about the supposedly too influential Jewish circles elsewhere. 

For typical leftists critizing Israeli politics this is basically only another case of suppression or "colonialism" but because of the suffering of Jews in the past Israel supposedly get a free pass today. (Both claims are gross simplifications at best, I think but they are not completely absurd either.) And it is true that it is the offical policy of both Germany and the US to support Israel in general and if in doubt. And in Germany this has nothing to do with Jews being in positions of power (because there are hardly any in such positions, no comparison at all with some fields in the US) so it does not have to combined with the claim of sinister influence of Diaspora Jews.
Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
(Bob Dylan)

Offline Florestan

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Re: Modern anti-semitism
« Reply #23 on: November 14, 2017, 05:35:17 AM »
AFAIK, there are (and have been ever since Theodor Herzl's time) Jewish anti-zionists, including some rabbis. Are they too anti-semite?

In my book, a true, genuine and authentic anti-semite is one who (1) consistently and indiscriminately holds and express negative and derogatory opinions about Jews both as individuals and as a group or (2) calls for, or supports, measures aiming at their expulsion / seggregation / physical annihilation. One can have (1) without (2) (the most famous case being Wagner; a more obscure case is a friend of mine who misses no opportunity to rail against Jews --- and masons, the NWO and such)  but not (2) without (1).

To the best of my knowledge, no GMG member is, or ever has been, an anti-semite.

Simply criticizing this or that Israeli policy, without questioning its right to exist or supporting Hamas, is not anti-semitism, not by any stretch of the imagination.

The problem is that there are some people and organizations who cry "Anti-semitism!" pretty much every time the state of Israel or an individual Jew is criticized, regardless whether the criticism is justified or not. This is neither rational nor reasonable.
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Offline Florestan

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Re: Modern anti-semitism
« Reply #24 on: November 14, 2017, 05:41:55 AM »
it is true that it is the offical policy of both Germany and the US to support Israel in general and if in doubt.

It is also true that Israel is the only functional liberal democracy in the Middle East (okay, maybe Liban comes as a distant second, but that's pretty much all there is in this respect in the region) --- and this is not, and has never been, due to any US or Germany or whatever support or free pass.
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Offline Tulse

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Re: Modern anti-semitism
« Reply #25 on: November 14, 2017, 05:58:44 AM »
Instead anti-Zionists tend to peddle outright anti-Semitism, as -abe- has done in this thread, and tend to approve of killing Jews in the name of Palestinian Independence. And killing Jews (btw, the stated goal of Hamas) is pretty much the end goal of anti-Semitism, after all.

According to Israeli figures nearly 10000 Palestinians have been killed in conflict since 1987 compared to 1600 Israelis. Perhaps we should talk more about who approves the killing of Arabs in the name of Israeli independence. Do you approve Jeffrey Smith?

Offline San Antonio

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Re: Modern anti-semitism
« Reply #26 on: November 14, 2017, 06:15:52 AM »
According to Israeli figures nearly 10000 Palestinians have been killed in conflict since 1987 compared to 1600 Israelis. Perhaps we should talk more about who approves the killing of Arabs in the name of Israeli independence. Do you approve Jeffrey Smith?

It is not like Israel is killing Arabs for no reason.  Really, are you completely ignorant of the context?  It is your reductionist kind of comment which I find so frustrating when a discussion of Israel and the Arabs comes up.  Many people are just too young to know the history and the history has been politicized for so long that it is virtually impossible for people on both sides to agree on the facts.  Because of this reality I have very little hope for any kind of peaceful settlement in the future.

Israel is certainly not perfect and the government has made some bad decisions over its 70 year existence.  Not many countries have been faced with the kind of hostility as had Israel; and I think while there have been some specific lapses, Israel has handled its response in a ethical and measured manner.  At least in Israel there is a significant segment of the society which seriously and candidly questions the government and its policies; it is hard to find a similar segment on the other side.

I have spent a good many years studying the history of Israel and the Zionist movement and used to debate people all the time about Israel and the Arabs. But I gave it up about 10 years ago when it became obvious that many people who attack Israel were impervious to a fact-based argument.  There is a psychological need on the part of some people to believe what they believe about Israel and, unfortunately, often it is because they have a problem with Jews.

Offline Florestan

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Re: Modern anti-semitism
« Reply #27 on: November 14, 2017, 06:19:39 AM »
the history has been politicized for so long that it is virtually impossible for people on both sides to agree on the facts.  Because of this reality I have very little hope for any kind of peaceful settlement in the future.

Israel is certainly not perfect and the government has made some bad decisions over its 70 year existence.  Not many countries have been faced with the kind of hostility as had Israel; and I think while there have been some specific lapses, Israel has handled its response in a ethical and measured manner.  At least in Israel there is a significant segment of the society which seriously and candidly questions the government and its policies; it is hard to find a similar segment on the other side.

My thoughts exactly.
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Offline Tulse

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Re: Modern anti-semitism
« Reply #28 on: November 14, 2017, 07:57:12 AM »
It is not like Israel is killing Arabs for no reason.  Really, are you completely ignorant of the context?  It is your reductionist kind of comment which I find so frustrating when a discussion of Israel and the Arabs comes up.  Many people are just too young to know the history and the history has been politicized for so long that it is virtually impossible for people on both sides to agree on the facts.  Because of this reality I have very little hope for any kind of peaceful settlement in the future.

Israel is certainly not perfect and the government has made some bad decisions over its 70 year existence.  Not many countries have been faced with the kind of hostility as had Israel; and I think while there have been some specific lapses, Israel has handled its response in a ethical and measured manner.  At least in Israel there is a significant segment of the society which seriously and candidly questions the government and its policies; it is hard to find a similar segment on the other side.

I have spent a good many years studying the history of Israel and the Zionist movement and used to debate people all the time about Israel and the Arabs. But I gave it up about 10 years ago when it became obvious that many people who attack Israel were impervious to a fact-based argument.  There is a psychological need on the part of some people to believe what they believe about Israel and, unfortunately, often it is because they have a problem with Jews.

Thank you for your response San Antonio. I take on board that this is a frustrating issue for you.

So from your point of view it is not permissible to state or imply approval of Arabs killing Israelis, whilst at the same time you approve, more or less, of the Israelis killing Arabs, lapses aside. Furthermore because I am questioning this apparent anomaly, you assert that I may have a problem with Jews.  You have encapsulated in a nutshell the concerns being raised on this thread about the debate being stifled because of the threat of being slandered antisemitic. 

Of greater concern is of this view becoming the de facto neo-liberal position and thereby being used to increase the enrichment of wealthy elites at the expense of the global population. Because now it appears that one can be branded as anti-semite if you are against the growing concentration of wealth in the hands of a few individuals.

Oxfam have produced figures highlighting the growing disparity between rich and poor since the GFC. According to them 8 individuals have the same combined wealth as the bottom 50% of the population. I would be interested to hear what you and Jeffrey Smith think about this. Specifically, do you think that those who raise concerns about the increased wealth of a small elite 'often have problems with Jews'?


Offline Jo498

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Re: Modern anti-semitism
« Reply #29 on: November 14, 2017, 08:53:36 AM »
I grew up in the 1980s reading stuff like Uris' "Exodus" and similar books and I was (and still am) full of admiration for what the founders of Israel achieved and how they survived against nasty and overwhelming enemies.
However, the Palestinians really got thrown under the bus from the very beginning and their current plight should be considered without bringing Egypt attacking Israel 50 years ago into the mix.
Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
(Bob Dylan)

Offline San Antonio

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Re: Modern anti-semitism
« Reply #30 on: November 14, 2017, 09:22:45 AM »
Thank you for your response San Antonio. I take on board that this is a frustrating issue for you.

So from your point of view it is not permissible to state or imply approval of Arabs killing Israelis, whilst at the same time you approve, more or less, of the Israelis killing Arabs, lapses aside. Furthermore because I am questioning this apparent anomaly, you assert that I may have a problem with Jews. 

Why do you think it is an anomaly?  What is you basis for comparison? 

I did not mean to imply that you "have a problem with Jews" only that you did not place the casualty numbers in any historical context.  While my comment was in response to your post, I was speaking generally.  You claim that ...

Quote
So from your point of view it is not permissible to state or imply approval of Arabs killing Israelis, whilst at the same time you approve, more or less, of the Israelis killing Arabs, lapses aside. Furthermore because I am questioning this apparent anomaly, you assert that I may have a problem with Jews.  You have encapsulated in a nutshell the concerns being raised on this thread about the debate being stifled because of the threat of being slandered antisemitic. 

I never stated or implied anything remotely like that.  But I ask you, how is the government of Israel (whose mandate is to protect its citizens) to respond when confronted by Palestinian Arab attacks against the civilian population?  I would hope that you would concede that in any response Palestinian Arabs will be killed.  If you think it is a reasonable expectation for Israel  to only kill them at the same rate that they kill Jews, I wonder how is that accomplished?   The violence would end tomorrow if the Palestinians ended their incitement and attacks and accepted Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state.

If you think Israel would continue to kill any Palestinian Arab if it were not acting in self-defense, you are very much deluded.  Israel does not wish to kill Arabs; it wishes to live in peace.

What has not been said yet, is the acknowledgement of a growing tendancy on the Left to move from criticizing Israel's policies vis a vis the Palestinians to questioning Israel legitimacy or right to exist as a Jewish majority state.  To the extent that line is crossed it becomes harder to avoid the charge of anti-Semitism.
« Last Edit: November 14, 2017, 09:25:47 AM by San Antonio »

Offline San Antonio

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Re: Modern anti-semitism
« Reply #31 on: November 14, 2017, 09:24:29 AM »
However, the Palestinians really got thrown under the bus from the very beginning and their current plight should be considered without bringing Egypt attacking Israel 50 years ago into the mix.

When was "the very beginning"?  I have found that people usually start their timeline at the place which supports their opinion.

Offline Jo498

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Re: Modern anti-semitism
« Reply #32 on: November 14, 2017, 09:39:50 AM »
The relevant beginning is roughly the founding of modern Israel in 1948 (or maybe the earlier return of European Jews in the first decades of the 20th century). Not Joshua fighting the Battle of Jericho...
Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
(Bob Dylan)

Offline San Antonio

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Re: Modern anti-semitism
« Reply #33 on: November 14, 2017, 09:50:27 AM »
The relevant beginning is roughly the founding of modern Israel in 1948 (or maybe the earlier return of European Jews in the first decades of the 20th century). Not Joshua fighting the Battle of Jericho...

The roots of this conflict predate the creation of the State of Israel.  One could consider the end of WWI and the dismantling of the Ottoman Empire and creation of the British Mandates in the region as a useful beginning of the conflict.  The British mishandling of the mandates, especially the Palestinian Mandate, helped to sow the seeds of the conflict.

It was not always the case that Arabs were opposed to a Jewish state in the region.  And the first Palestinians were not Arabs but Jews, at least that is what they were called in the 1930s (the Jerusalem Post was originally the Palestine Post; the Israel Philharmonic was originally the Palestinie Orchestra; etc.).  Arabs for decades claimed that Palestine did not exist, this land was southern Syria.  That idea persisted until the early 1970s.  The King of Jordan claimed sovereignty over the land and people untill the 1980s and did not recognize a Palestinian people, the PLO or Yassir Arafat.

This history is complicated and vastly more nuanced than what is commonly assumed.

Offline Turner

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Re: Modern anti-semitism
« Reply #34 on: November 14, 2017, 09:54:06 AM »
For studying the Israel-Palestinian problem in depth, one should divide one´s time exactly equally, 50-50%, between the views and living conditions of the two groups/parties.
This very rarely occurs.

Offline bwv 1080

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Re: Modern anti-semitism
« Reply #35 on: November 14, 2017, 10:18:11 AM »
Sort of cynical, but why should I care more about the Israeli / Palestinian conflict  than any other squalid backwater ethnic conflict around the world, such as Armenians / Azeris, Turks / Kurds etc?  Everyone has their national stories and identities and they are all more or less crap.  In hindsight, creating a Jewish national state in Muslim land was a mistake, but now that it exists both the refusal of the Palestinians to come to terms with its reality and the settler / colonial mentality of a decisive block of the Israeli electorate now drives the conflict.
Cogito cogito ergo cogito sum

Offline Tulse

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Re: Modern anti-semitism
« Reply #36 on: November 14, 2017, 11:29:17 AM »
Why do you think it is an anomaly?  What is you basis for comparison? 

I did not mean to imply that you "have a problem with Jews" only that you did not place the casualty numbers in any historical context.  While my comment was in response to your post, I was speaking generally.  You claim that ...

I never stated or implied anything remotely like that.  But I ask you, how is the government of Israel (whose mandate is to protect its citizens) to respond when confronted by Palestinian Arab attacks against the civilian population?  I would hope that you would concede that in any response Palestinian Arabs will be killed.  If you think it is a reasonable expectation for Israel  to only kill them at the same rate that they kill Jews, I wonder how is that accomplished?   The violence would end tomorrow if the Palestinians ended their incitement and attacks and accepted Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state.

If you think Israel would continue to kill any Palestinian Arab if it were not acting in self-defense, you are very much deluded.  Israel does not wish to kill Arabs; it wishes to live in peace.

What has not been said yet, is the acknowledgement of a growing tendancy on the Left to move from criticizing Israel's policies vis a vis the Palestinians to questioning Israel legitimacy or right to exist as a Jewish majority state.  To the extent that line is crossed it becomes harder to avoid the charge of anti-Semitism.

You are not taking on board my position. You can defend Israel until you are blue in the face but it still won't deal with the issues raised in the OP. I'm not talking about Arab good, Israel bad or vice versa. The issue is about whether or not a left wing position, anti-globalisation views, a conspiracy theory or an anti-Israeli view can be held without being labelled an antisemite. Clearly the journalist in the OP thinks not.

I'm not clear from your responses to what extent you agree with Andrew Neil's position.

Offline San Antonio

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Re: Modern anti-semitism
« Reply #37 on: November 14, 2017, 11:33:10 AM »
You are not taking on board my position. You can defend Israel until you are blue in the face but it still won't deal with the issues raised in the OP. I'm not talking about Arab good, Israel bad or vice versa. The issue is about whether or not a left wing position, anti-globalisation views, a conspiracy theory or an anti-Israeli view can be held without being labelled an antisemite. Clearly the journalist in the OP thinks not.

I'm not clear from your responses to what extent you agree with Andrew Neil's position.

I guess you did not read the last paragraph of my post where I wrote:

Quote
What has not been said yet, is the acknowledgement of a growing tendancy on the Left to move from criticizing Israel's policies vis a vis the Palestinians to questioning Israel's legitimacy or right to exist as a Jewish majority state.  To the extent that line is crossed it becomes harder to avoid the charge of anti-Semitism.

Offline San Antonio

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Re: Modern anti-semitism
« Reply #38 on: November 14, 2017, 11:39:01 AM »
Sort of cynical, but why should I care more about the Israeli / Palestinian conflict  than any other squalid backwater ethnic conflict around the world, such as Armenians / Azeris, Turks / Kurds etc?  Everyone has their national stories and identities and they are all more or less crap.  In hindsight, creating a Jewish national state in Muslim land was a mistake, but now that it exists both the refusal of the Palestinians to come to terms with its reality and the settler / colonial mentality of a decisive block of the Israeli electorate now drives the conflict.

It would be fantastic if the super powers, and the UN and EU did not care and left it to the parties to sort out.  However there is a myth that promotes the idea that the solving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is central to solving the problems with the entire Middle East.  Nothing could be farther from the truth.


Offline Tulse

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Re: Modern anti-semitism
« Reply #39 on: November 14, 2017, 11:44:35 AM »
why should I care more about the Israeli / Palestinian conflict  than any other squalid backwater ethnic conflict around the world, such as Armenians / Azeris, Turks / Kurds etc? 

Israel has nuclear weapons. It could start a nuclear war and we could all die.

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