“In addition, as Hasbarah Minister, Erdan will be given 100,000,000 shekels ($25.7M) in his first year of office exclusively for coordinating international events to counter the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel. ”
“While the global, Palestinian-led BDS movement for Palestinian rights has proven to be a truly tough challenge for Israel’s regime of occupation, settler-colonialism and apartheid, we think there is substantial exaggeration in the recent panic-driven, racist and patently propagandistic Israeli attack on the movement.”
Musician and self-professed propagandist for Israel, Idan Raichel is scheduled to play in New York at the World Music Institute on November 18. More than 4000 individuals and 50 groups have called on the WMI for Raichel’s concert to be cancelled due to his role as a ‘cultural ambassador for Israel who provides “uncritical support for the Israeli military and government.”’
‘Idan Raichel has publicly endorsed torture and explicitly describes his role as an artist in terms of uncritical support for the Israeli military and government. He wrote in the Jerusalem Post in June 2014 that “In creating this musical project we feel as if we are cultural ambassadors for Israel.” He added, “When I look back over the past few years, I see an Israel I am happy with … Raichel summarized his views in 2012, saying, “I believe that our role as artists is to enlist in the Israeli propaganda campaign [Hasbara]… I would like to encourage our soldiers, yes, who are so moral, and encourage the IDF, a more moral army you will not find in the entire world.”’
Palestinian Campaign for Cultural and Academic Boycott of Israel (PACBI) representative, Samia Botmeh commented:
‘PACBI calls for boycotting Idan Raichel’s performances because he is a cultural ambassador of Israel, as both he and the Israeli foreign ministry have boasted. Raichel is willingly lending his name to the Israeli government to re-brand itself and perform damage control after its latest massacre in Gaza. No matter how hard Raichel and other cultural, scientific and academic ambassadors of Israel try to whitewash Israel’s horrific crimes against humanity, people of conscience can see right through their propaganda.’
Usually it is proud Zionists and Israel right-or-wrong supporters who malign actions for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS). However, responding by email on 1 November 2014 to a request for support for a petition against Raichel’s culture-washing performance, the Deir Yassin Remembered Board labelled the Raichel boycott campaign as “gatekeeping”, ‘a tactic used often by Zionists and by people like Ali Abunimah. Hence we would oppose DYR gatekeeping anyone, including this fellow.‘
BDS, a Palestinian-led human rights-based movement with overwhelming support from Palestinian civil society, is aimed at applying pressure on the Israeli regime in order to achieve justice and rights for Palestinians living under Israeli rule, whether in Israel or in the territories it occupied in 1967, as well as the refugees scattered around the globe. Scurrilously, the DYR is attacking both the BDS tactic chosen by oppressed Palestinians themselves, in effect making Palestinians superfluous to their own liberation movement, and more specifically Ali Abunimah, well-known Palestinian journalist and activist.
The DYR organisation, a 501c3 tax-exempt, non-profit organization (EIN 20-2681812), has been described by one ex-Board member as a one man show, the work of Daniel McGowan, a retired professor of economics, who set it up in 1995. McGowan expressed his rightwing views on the boycott of apartheid South Africa in 1995.
“As a conservative professor of economics at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, New York, I disagreed with such prohibitions and political obstructions to the free flow of capital.“
In 2009, McGowan blatantly defends Holocaust denial and trumpets noxious pro-imperialist apologetics: ‘The Holocaust narrative of systematic, industrialized extermination was an important neo-conservative tool to drive the United States into Iraq.‘
“Overarching strategic doctrines issued by successive administrations articulate how the U.S. government conceives its long term maintenance and aggrandisement. It is here that one locates the basic imperatives driving U.S. foreign policy: containing rival imperial powers, advancing the powers of markets through pro-U.S. and pro-capitalist regimes and defeating indigenous and popular challenges to capitalism in general and to friendly regimes in particular. It is at this level that Israel fits in to U.S. foreign policy. Israel is part of a network of states under U.S. hegemony. It must be defended not only for what it does for the U.S., but primarily for what it is, namely, an element of the global assertion of western power. The strategic importance of the Middle East and Israel’s own lack of alternatives further make it one of the U.S.’s safest allies.”
“Although the main purpose of Deir Yassin Remembered is to build a suitable memorial, the organisation also has a broader, more humanitarian objective. It will work to eliminate prejudice against Palestinians and to promote the human side of a people who have been the victims of the Zionist colonisation of their land and of the apartheid conditions under which they now live.”
From its email dated 1 November 2014 above, however, it appears the current Board Directors believe DYR can fulfill its goals by attempting, as do Zionists, to tarnish the chosen BDS tactic of Palestinian civil society and dehumanise Palestinian activists like Ali Abunimah who critique white supremacist opportunism posturing as solidarity. This phenomenon demonstrates the nexus between white supremacism, zionism and imperialism.
While for a few years from 2007, the organisation began to provide educational scholarships for Palestinians, this was abandoned in 2011. Around 8 scholarships were delivered through donations received by the organisation.
The advisors of the DYR Board have changed over the years yet the names of people who have left often remain on the site for many years after their departure, despite requests to remove them. Human rights lawyer Lea Tsemel left the board in 2005 along with Michael Warschawski. Lea’s name remains on the board list to this day.
To the Directors of DYR
We have been supporters of DYR from its very first days, and identified fully with its goals and objectives. During a recent tour in the US, we discovered that Israel Shamir has been included in the advisory board of DYR.
There is no room for a racist in an institution aimed to fight for the memory of the Deir Yassin victims of Ethnic cleansing and massacre. We therefore ask you to clarify whether or not Israel Shamir is indeed part of DYR. If it is the case and you have no intention to exclude him in order to keep the moral integrity of DYR, we will have to disconect ourselves from it.
Please forward this letter to all the members of the Advisory board.
Lea Tsemel, Michael Warschawski
Norman Finkelstein, Marc Ellis, Neta Golan and Jeff Halper also resigned from DYR around that time. Neta’s name was not removed until 2008. As Gabriel Ash commented wryly, “The Deir Yassin Remembered board is like Hotel California, you can check in any time you like, but you can never leave).”
‘First, he deflects the discussion from the essentials of Deir Yassin onto the supposed characteristics of the perpetrators. To cast all “Jews” as perpetrators of such heinous crimes, which is exactly how the discussion has been going for the past number of months, is racist, absolutely unacceptable – and deflects entirely from the issue of Deir Yassin itself. Just look at his response to Uri Davis: “a Jew is called upon by his religious law to do utmost damage to one who accepted Christ …” Anyone who knows Uri Davis would know that such a statement is beyond absurd, but the bigger question is: Who in the hell is “a Jew”? Paul’s comment about “Jewish Power” is also outrageous. “THE Jews” is a construct just as false, simplistic, racist (biologically so, it seems) and unacceptable as any other ethnic label used to tar all members of that group with – inevitably negative – characteristics. (I know our “fully human” psychotherapist from Australia will read into this primordial “Jewish loyalty.”)
The inane discussion that has come to characterize the DYR discourse is not even sophisticated racism; its just plain old-fashioned stupid racism. That’s enough to get me to leave.
When I hear diatribes of non-Palestinians against the Palestinian Ali Abunimah because he raises concerns over Shamir’s racism and the entire tone of the DYR discussion, a red light goes off. Has Deir Yassin been hijacked by a cult more intent on pursuing hate campaigns against the fictive “Jews” than in searching for the humanistic, universal, critical and truly relevant elements of the Deir Yassin story? Is Deir Yassin’s memory being sullied by those who claim to honor it?
The resignation of any one of the people who left DYR, Jewish or not, should be a cause of soul-searching, especially among the non-Palestinian “gatekeepers” of Deir Yassin who may be finishing off the job – massacring the memory of Deir Yassin by making it synonymous with racism and anti-Semitism. ‘
Although he was never actually on the Board, Uri Davis’s name appears there as a consultant during 2005 and is removed by 2006. Our source relays that Davis said he would accept the invitation to the Board if he could then argue for the removal of Shamir.
Our sources tell us that in 2005, the late Hanna Braun complained that McGowan had placed her name on his list of “Righteous Jews” on his DYR partner website, without her consent although she made it clear that she found the whole concept racist and offensive. McGowan also placed Braun’s memoirs on the DYR site without asking her let alone her consent.
In 2005, Mark Elf at Jews Sans Frontieres relates that Holocaust denier and Board Director Paul Eisen: ‘has finally come out as, or at least gone over to, supporting a full-blown neo-nazi take on Hitler and the holocaust. … Shamir seems to take the view that Jews should renounce being Jewish or forever take the rap for killing Jesus. Jazz saxophonist, Gilad Atzmon, takes the view that if you do not renounce being Jewish then you are a crypto- or under-cover zionist.‘
Tony Greenstein recounted in 2012: “Over a decade ago, Ali Abunimah and Hussein Ibish issued a statement ‘Serious Concerns About Israel Shamir’ concerning the virulent anti-semitism of Shamir. Like Atzmon, Shamir too traded on his Israeli connections, yet his language about Jews as ‘a virus form of a human being’ set alarms bells ringing. His cause was not support of the Palestinians and anti-Zionism but anti-Semitism and holocaust denial. Yet in an e-mail to me (12th June 2005) Atzmon described Shamir as a ‘unique and advanced thinker’.“
In October 2012, Eisen published an antisemitic blog post which was later removed in which he attacked the Free Gaza Movement. After becoming aware of this article, Avigail Arbananel, a director of the Board since 2004, “resigned from DYR because of Paul Eisen”. On the Board since 2007, Palestinian writer Susan Abulhawa also left at this point.
Another name which remains on the Board despite having left is Ilan Pappé. Our source informs us that in 2012 during a visit to Sydney, Pappe was asked ‘if it is the case that they are a current member or whether DYR need to update their website’ and he replied that ‘DYR needs to update their website‘.
“I have seen her engage, accept, and encourage anti-Semitic rhetoric, and this is incredibly damaging to the Palestine solidarity movement. What she, and this group, represents is dangerous to our movement in solidarity with Palestinians: a complete disregard for the basic principles of anti-racism and anti-bigotry most of us hold dear.”
At that time, Professor As’ad Abukhalil emphasised: “Anti-Semites belong to the Zionist side, and not to our side.” Along with a declaration by leading Palestinians, the BDS movement has made a strong statement affirming its “rights-based approach and an anti-racist platform that rejects all forms of racism, including Islamophobia and anti-Semitism“. The 1 November 2014 DYR email represents a full frontal assault against human rights-based BDS, a principled Palestinian-led movement for justice which seeks to educate people away from racism, to end the human wrongs of colonialism and apartheid inflicted on Palestinians.
Toxic white supremacist ideology – including Zionism – underpins current and past colonial, imperial oppression. Palestinians require better than to have the 1948 genocide at Deir Yassin (perpetrated by Zionists and facilitated by imperial powers) hijacked as a front for DYR white supremacists, in the same manner as settler colonial Zionists appropriate and utilise the Holocaust.
DYR declared a hate group (2017): “Deir Yassin Remembered, a local group famous for its weekly protests outside Temple Beth Israel in Ann Arbor, has been placed on a list of hate groups compiled by the Southern Poverty Law Center under the subcategory of Holocaust denial.”
An acknowledgement that the impressive impact of the BDS campaign could not be ignored came in the form of another Facebook page, which is fake and seeking to disrupt and subvert. Unlike the official page, the fake Facebook page posts erroneous and racist material to discredit BDS, BDS activists, reliable sources of information about the campaign, like Electronic Intifada and even the Rolling Stones themselves. Though their identities are unknown, the creators of the false page are clearly using familiar Israeli propaganda techniques.
The Call to Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions is Worthy of Respect by The Rolling Stones
Aimed at pressuring the Israeli regime to end its crimes against humanity of settler colonialism and apartheid, to institute equal rights for all in Israel and recognise the right of Palestinian refugees driven from their homeland in 1948 to return to their homes, the BDS tactic is solidly grounded in international law and human rights. Consistently, the BDS movement and Palestinian civil society leaders reject all racism and bigotry. Thus, BDS seeks to achieve justice, freedom and equal rights for all, ending the unsustainable, undemocratic and oppressive impasse engendered and sustained by the racist, expansionist Israeli state and its enablers who provide it with impunity, in particular, the US.
Boycott Challenges Israel’s Apartheid and Settler Colonial Crimes
Recently, PM Netanyahu again increased the prominence of the BDS campaign at the annual AIPAC Conference in the US, reiterating that BDS is a core threat to Israel. Yet this perception of a BDS threat by Israel is not new. For several years, propaganda tacticians at the Israeli Reut Institute have sought to counteract BDS success by ‘delegitimising the delegitimisers’, attacking the BDS movement, its human rights and justice aims, Palestinians and BDS activists with false narrative redolent with seductive right entryist mythology, libel, and initiation of hasbara networks in strategically located ‘hubs’ around the world to proliferate anti-BDS agitprop, including employees in Israeli embassies paid to monitor and counter BDS. Israeli university and student union courses train recruits to join the battle to disguise Israel’s crimes. Israeli propaganda – hasbara – is coordinated from the top down – from Netanyahu’s office to a chain of formal and informal actors.
Hasbara Social Media Infiltration
Consequently, in response to global awareness and effective implementation of BDS, Israeli hasbara initiatives have mushroomed. On Facebook alone, there is a maze of groups and pages devoted to hasbara dissemination. Armed with lists of sloganistic ‘talking points’ and associated dogma, paid and unpaid ‘defenders of Israel’ are coordinated to post throughout social media, attacking BDS campaigns and BDS activists, attempting to obscure the truth about Israel’s criminal behaviour perpetrated against Palestinians, whose prior existence in the region as an Indigenous community and whose Nakba (catastrophic mass expulsion by settler colonial zionists in 1948) Israel denies. Israel has even passed a law to punish people in Israel who commemorate the Nakba.
“Israel has confiscated my land and has started to define me as the invader of the land. They call us in the Knesset, in the courts, in the media the invaders of the land … when they confiscate our land in the Galilee and the Negev, they said they are going to redeem the land, redeem, I don’t know this word, I ask about it – salvation from me, the indigenous people, there. It is not about stealing the land, it is about stealing my homeland, my relation with my homeland. They are trying to transmit, to rewrite history, they don’t like history, they don’t like to read history, what happened before 1948 and that means we were there, the Palestinian people … they like more to write history. And they say I am a risk, they must reserve the land. So the crime is not really just to steal my land, they are trying to redefine my relation with my homeland. It is not my homeland anymore. I cannot claim it. They rewrite history and I am the invader of the land.”
The falsehoods presented in Israeli hasbara form part of the duplicitous rewriting of history, relying upon repetitive saturation and intimidation to provide a transparent, shabby defence of the faltering “Brand Israel”.
Fake, Racist BDS Page
On the 10th February, 2014, a fake BDS page titled “Boycott Israel: Rolling Stones” appeared, which claimed that the page administrators had been in contact with the Rolling Stones and a few days later, that the Rolling Stones were going to cancel their gig. While some news sources were taken in by the hoax, Electronic Intifada exposed the page’s opportunistic sabotage on the 14th February. For its laudable journalistic endeavours, Electronic Intifada has been abused since by the hoax page administrators with ridiculous slurring jibes like the ‘Zionazis have infiltrated Electronic Intifada‘, Electronic Intifada has been ‘compromised‘ and then posting a graphic equating Nazis with Zionists, titled “Join the Electronic Intifada“. Israeli propaganda outfit, NGO Monitor has maintained an ongoing smear and attack campaign against Electronic Intifada for several years.
Posts on the fake BDS page seethe with racist memes, abuse, and threats, padding Zionist hasbara confections which wrongly accuse BDS of being ‘antisemitic’ and threatening performers. Racist comments on the page, posted predominantly by Zionists, are not moderated. Zionists are targeted extensively by the page admins as ‘Zionazis’ to give the false impression the page is against Zionism, whilst conflating Nazism with Zionism and Israel. In fact, as Israel perpetrates the crimes against humanity under international law of apartheid and colonialism, BDS acts directly to create accountability for these crimes. There is no ‘crime of Nazism’ for which to prosecute the Israeli regime, even if it was applicable. For sure hasbara agents know that BDS does not target individuals or Jews – BDS is squarely focused on the Israeli state and its institutions.
Attacks on the Rolling Stones
On the hoax page, the administrators post vile abuse and threats to the Rolling Stones like ‘Together we can convince this group of ailing rockers that supporting apartheid and genocide will not pay‘, ‘Return what is ours or you, and whichever shitty bands choose to tie their destiny with yours, will meet a horrible fate‘ and ‘cancel your performance in front of the Zionazis or live to regret it!‘
As one of their well-evidenced tactics, Zionist hasbara agents have propagandised that BDS advocates threaten performers. In the absence of real evidence of BDS threats against performers, the hoax page saboteurs have manufactured substitute data to confuse people without a background in the issue and to discredit the BDS campaign.
The hoax page has also posted the header image of the real BDS page in an apparent attempt to blur the distinction between the two.
The BDS movement persuades performers to support the boycott through ethical human rights education and campaigns. In contrast, the hoax page owners have now posted audaciously on the legitimate BDS page with comment designed to create a negative view of the BDS campaign, specifically accusing the Rolling Stones of having “declared themselves to be Nazis“. The legitimate BDS page moderates all racist and threatening comments as a matter of course and thus these saboteur comments were removed. It is the Palestinian people who pay for Israel’s crimes of apartheid and colonialism with ongoing daily calamities inflicted upon them, and it is Palestinians who suffer when performers break the boycott, which they are asked politely to respect.
This was not the only assault on the real Rolling Stones Boycott Israel page. An Israeli hasbara organisation called “Ambassadors Online” advertised itself there as ‘a page created to fight against the ‘New Antisemitism’ and also to ‘improve Israel’s global image’. ‘New Antisemitism’ is a hasbara newspeak term which intentionally and misleadingly conflates all Jews with Zionism, in order to protect the oppressive behaviour of the Israeli state and delegitimise BDS. Boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel are supported by many Jewish organisations and individuals. However, in Israel since July, 2011, advocacy of boycott invokes heavy financial sanctions. Elsewhere the Israeli Shurat HaDin legal apparatus has been attempting to conduct lawfare suits against individuals who advocate boycott in countries as distant as Australia. By ignoring, belittling and vanishing Jewish voices who dissent from Israel’s state policies and ideology, the hasbara marketeers are indulging in antisemitism themselves, debasing the problem of real antisemitism which the BDS movement and leading Palestinians who support BDS explicitly oppose.
The use of abusive terms like ‘Zionazis’, ‘Zionist suckers’ ‘baby-murder’, ‘Zionist dogs’ by the saboteurs diverts focus and plays into the ‘new antisemitism’ mythology and reinforcing hasbara that Israel and its nationalists are singled out for special approbrium. In fact, the Israeli regime singles itself out for impunity for its very real crimes of war, apartheid and settler colonialism and it is these state practices which BDS addresses, to achieve legally guaranteed rights, justice and freedom for the Palestinian people whom Israel has oppressed for the past 65 years.
Currently, the Palestinian Authority has applied to join 15 UN treaties including the Geneva Conventions. Former Israeli Ambassador to the US, Michael Oren points to the potential for the BDS campaign to gain additional strength from this move:
“Palestinians turning to UN institutions potentially exposes Israel to massive sanctions and Tel Aviv has to deal with all these threats seriously.”
The BDS campaign is now mainstream, both for the Israeli regime and in the media. No music, not even that of The Rolling Stones, can bridge Israel’s apartheid, a racist, cruel system of institutionalised inequality and oppression. Playing Israel’s Sun City and crossing the boycott picket line affects the image of performers, an impact which can only increase over time as the BDS movement for justice and freedom of Palestinians continues to grow.
Last week, Salif Keita announced his decision to cancel his performance at the Jerusalem Festival of Sacred Music, held at the Tower of David in Occupied East Jerusalem, and funded by the American Zionist Shusterman Foundation. That the festival was held at such a location where Occupied people are routinely imprisoned, tortured, killed and their homes demolished for resisting Israel’s brutal Occupation, made a mockery of any pretense of “peace and reconciliation” through music.
“Salif Keita canceled his participation in the Jerusalem Festival of Sacred Music. A few hours before his departure for Jerusalem the Malian musician Salif Keita decided to heed the demands of the cultural boycott of Israel and to cancel his participation in the closing concert of the festival.”
Several hours later, a statement withdrawing endorsement for the boycott call was released, blaming BDS for alleged “threats, blackmail attempts, intimidation, social media harrassment and slander”. Regardless of the statement in his name, Salif is thanked for his cancellation. One might speculate that such an announcement could act as cover for insurance purposes, or “a tactic that some artists resort to when they do not wish to violate the Palestinian call to boycott Israel, but do not have the courage to take a political stance”, or even to shield artists from real threats from angry Zionists in the future. The statement resembles a list of Israeli hasbara talking points. Is it coincidental that Adam Shay, program coordinator and researcher from the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, which participates in Israel’s hasbara strategy, recommended in May 2013 to
“focus on direct contact with the performers, their producers, agents, or anyone involved in the decision to play or not to play in a specific location. These efforts should not be carried out by the public at large, but rather by professional policy analysts familiar with BDS operations and methods, who can put BDS slander in perspective and present an unbiased picture of reality.”
The only concrete example given in the announcement is “slander stating that Mr Keita was to perform in Israel, not for peace, but for apartheid”. Yet this is not slander, but based firmly in fact. Since Israel deliberately and consistently uses all artist breaches of the boycott to spray whitewash over its very real apartheid and oppression, adding artists and quotes to the propaganda site Creative Community for Peace that shamelessly lobbies artists not to cancel, the example given is spurious.
‘Despite its best intentions, Israel has created a system of separation in the West Bank which fits the textbook definition of apartheid. According to Michael Ben-Yair, Attorney General of Israel throughout the nineties, “In effect, we established an apartheid regime in the Occupied Territories immediately following their capture. That oppressive regime exists to this day.” He is not alone in asserting this perspective. Many notable Israelis like Meron Benvenisti, Akiva Elder, and Shulamit Aloni, to mention a few, agree that Israeli style apartheid is a reality.’
“For those of us who live here, it is something we take for granted. But visitors from abroad cannot believe their eyes: segregated education, segregated businesses, separate entertainment venues, different languages, separate political parties … and of course, segregated housing. In many senses, this is the way members of both groups want things to be, but such separation only contributes to the growing mutual alienation of Jews and Arabs.”
Apartheid is wrong. This is not a threat.
Ethnic cleansing is wrong. This is not a threat.
War crimes are wrong. This is not a threat.
Asking you not to play in a state that does all the above to a people is not wrong. This is not a threat.
Asking you to listen to the Palestinian people and to simply not cross their picket line is not wrong. This is not a threat.
Asking you to set aside your privilege and activate your conscience is not wrong. This is not a threat. There are no threats. To you.
Whether or not artists insist they are playing for peace and not politics, the Israeli regime believes differently and uses all culture as a political instrument to conceal its oppression.
“We see culture as a propaganda tool of the first rank, and I do not differentiate between propaganda and culture.” (Ha’aretz; 21/09/05)
As Brecht said: “Thus for art to be ‘unpolitical’ means only to ally itself with the ‘ruling’ group“. Gil Ron Shama, producer of the Jerusalem festival and Goodwill Ambassador for the Israeli Foreign Ministry (which ministry plays a major role in hasbara dissemination) to Muslim countries and with whom Salif Keita was to perform admitted “Here everything is political, even art“. Artists cannot breach the Palestinian-led boycott, play in Israel and ignore the fact that by doing so, they assist the Zionist regime in its concerted efforts to obscure its crimes against humanity committed daily against Palestinians.
Previously, there have been reports about other artists – Eric Burdon, Arch Enemy, Joy Harjo and Joker – receiving threats yet no evidence has been ever produced. Significantly however, the use of mythical ‘threats’ by Zionists to attempt to smear BDS and price-tag activists has been documented.
Evidenced by Israel pumping another NIS3m investment into the use of paid ‘covert’ hasbara troops to spread its fictitious promotional material, BDS and its human rights advocates are regarded as a serious threat by the Zionist regime. The campaign to ‘delegitimize the delegitimizers’ was formulated by the propaganda strategy outfit, the Reut Institute. In January 2010, Reut Founder and President, Gidi Grinstein, said “Therefore, an extraordinary effort is required to respond to and isolate Israel’s delegitimizers. We must play offense and not just defense.”
Commanded from the top by the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office, the network of Israeli hasbara is immense, very well-funded and highly organised. In contrast, BDS is a broad-based, unfunded grassroots movement of conscientious individuals around the world who are in solidarity with the call of the oppressed Palestinian people for justice, freedom and rights denied to them by apartheid, settler colonial Israel. As with the global boycott called by the ANC against apartheid South Africa, BDS activists act spontaneously on an ethical basis, in accordance with guidelines affirmed by Palestinian civil society, solidly grounded in human rights and international law, with no formal hierachy of command.
Because the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement is based in human rights and has firm anti-racist principles, the type of behaviour which the announcement in Keita’s name states is not commensurate with the moral grounds underpinning BDS. However, it is standard behaviour for Zionists who harass, slander and threaten daily. Therefore it’s not beyond the realm of possibility that if threats have been made, their source could be from Israel’s hasbara machine as part of a co-ordinated dirty tricks campaign.
A brief foray around the net reveals Zionist racism against the artist.
On Salif Keita’s Facebook page wall, there’s more Zionist abuse against the artist:
Galit Levi: You speak about love and peace, but you act otherwise.
I think that you, who suffered ostracism yourself, about your color, you should be the first to call against this BDS, especially when they tell lies about the policy in Israel against Arabs who call themselves “Palastinians”.
Alon Idelson: You weren’t forced to cancel, you could come, but, you got chicken legs and afraid. Unlike many many other artists who got similar threats but gave the third finger to these threats & came to spread their message of peace & love to the people of Israel, which, as known, include jews, christians and muslims living together. Shame on you.
And bigoted Zionist attacks against Jews who support BDS:
TAAZ – The Anti Anti Zionist Haha, read Yael the bigot, by condemning the boycott he “did not breach the boycott”. It’s like telling Jews who escaped from Germany in 1933 that by leaving because the Nazis persecuted them, they supported the Nazis’ wishes. Oh wait – BDS says that too! https://sites.google.com/site/jewsagainstracistzionism/brenner-lenni-exposing-zionist-collaboration-and-complicity-with-the-nazis
TAAZ – The Anti Anti Zionist It’s always funny when professional anti-Israeli bigots blame those who fight their hateful messages for “being funded” by someone. Tsipi ___ is a professional activist in EU-funded organizations such as “Zochrot”. She’s getting her paycheck directly from associations that are dedicated to spread hatred, and then when she doesn’t like the fact that someone is exposing her lies, she uses terms like “Hasbara troll” and asks “who pays you”. But Tsipi is a professional hater not only against Israel – she will hate any group, as long as she is paid for it. On her blog you can read about her hatred of Israeli men, Israeli gays, and more – http://feminainvicta.com/
TAAZ – The Anti Anti Zionist You racist bigot, look at the threat on the left, it’s because of your bullying and harassment that he canceled. He rejects your hateful movement, and expresses his love for the people of Israel. Shame on you! You are on the verge of becoming a terrorist.
And Zionist attacks and threats against BDS activists:
TAAZ – The Anti Anti Zionist Falula, wherever you go, you will meet the Zionists who will name and shame you. We already understand that you and your gang have a problem with freedom of speech and think that they are the only ones who are allowed to spread their message. So no, in the real world, you will always find us defending against your lies.
With vile, genocidal Zionist racism:
Franco and Pepe Kalle Classic Round The reality is that Palestinians are no angels. They are the same people who use their kids and moms and girls as products to use. They are the ones who wanted to take over the Israel. Palestine should have not even existed. It is ashame that these guys cannot leave Israel and go to another country. Do not get me wrong, Israel has done some wrong but tell me what good Palestinian has done. Please some tell me. I am glad America is standing with Israel.
Perhaps the most ridiculously lurid and desperate Zionist accusation against BDS, which is a non-violent movement, is this one:
Adi Berger BDS is just like ansar al dine and the Al Qaeda groups who intimated and silenced artists in Mali.
Elsewhere on a Boycott Protest event wall, Israel’s anti-BDS Zionist propagandists also hate Jews who do not support their rightwing views.
Harvey Garfield: THE PROPHET ISAIAH WARNED THE JEWS that those seeking their destruction would emerge out of their own midst (Chapter 49, verse 17).
Jewish Leftists today serve as Jews-for-hire for every anti-Semitic and Israel-hating organization, magazine and web site on earth. These Jews who hate their own people are a tiny minority. Perhaps a mere five percent.
But they get around!
On another event wall for Tom Jones’ concert in Tel Aviv, there are serious, disturbing threats against BDS activists, and obscene photographs desecrating the Koran with human excreta which are unpublishable here, posted by proud Zionists:
Tim Collard: Won’t do any good. I have a photographic memory for these people’s names, and will happily pursue them all around the web.
Robert Whyte: LEBANON BEING BOMBED AS I TYPE,SYRIA CHEMICAL WEAPONS, EGYPT ETHNIC CLEANSING OF CHRISTIANS, GANG RAPES IN PAKISTAN, INDIA……ETC.ETC………………AND THE JEW HATERS ARE HERE BECAUSE OF THE NATURAL COURSE OF EVOLUTION IN A MOSTLY PEACEFUL ISRAEL. YOUR ALL NAZI’S AND IF I GET MY WAY……….BEFORE I DIE OF CANCER……..YOUR GOING PAY……………THAT WILL BE MY LAST ACT ON EARTH. HOW SWEET IT IS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Robert Whyte I SEE IN YOUR EYES……..YOU GOT ARAB BLOOD. NOW I GET IT. MAYBE YOUR GRANDMOTHER SUCKED DIRTY ARAB COCK………..ICH !!!!!!!!!!
Aviel Mesayev: Fuck Palestine …..nothing is apartheid here..i join IDF soon and you guys be very sad
Adam Shay of the JCPA specializes in battling the cultural boycott and hyping BDS ‘threats’. He provides the ‘professional’ Zionist hasbara perspective on combating BDS efforts to persuade artists to embrace the boycott of apartheid Israel online:
The aim of such efforts needs to be avoiding cancellation of concerts. A cancelled concert is a BDS victory. Every concert cancelled endangers future concerts, as it puts the burden of proof on the band/artists and requires them to justify and explain why they choose to play where others have chosen not to. Along the same logic, every concert that goes ahead eases future pressure on the next scheduled concert and the next boycott battle.
Clearly, the Israeli regime is threatened by boycott, divestment and sanctions, its propagandists are on the back foot, and with yet another performer cancelling their date with apartheid, BDS is winning!
When we contact artists, we do so in order to convince them, and to touch their minds and hearts. It would be totally against our principles to threaten them in any way whatsoever, and to do so would in fact be completely counter-productive. If indeed any artists should ever receive “threats”, we urge them to file a legal complaint. No allegations of threats have so far ever been substantiated in any way.
We are aware of the extremely strong pressure tactics applied by the State of Israel and its allies upon these artists, and we are therefore all the more grateful when they decide to cancel their performances in that country. However, we are saddened that, under the influence of other parties, and no doubt also for financial reasons, any artists who have refused to play in Israel, in a show of solidarity with the Palestinian people, should subsequently issue false statements inconsistent with the brave stance they took by boycotting Israel.
Artists who wish to boycott Israel can do so by cancelling a scheduled show and clearly explaining why, or by simply cancelling without providing a reason, if they so prefer. But they should not dishonour their brave act of solidarity by making violent and untruthful statements about our philosophy, our aims and our methods. The BDS campaign has never threatened anyone and will never do so. Our campaign is a peaceful, people’s campaign striving for the respect of international law and human rights.
Ali Abunimah exposes Al Jazeera’s political censorship of Professor Joseph Massad’s “The last of the Semites” article.
“Clearly, the normal editorial controls had been circumvented in order for Massad’s article to be removed. The breakdown in accountability demonstrated by this incident has caused soul-searching among Al Jazeera staffers.
Several journalists on several continents spoke of a widespread sense that the blunder damaged the reputation of the whole network, especially in light of persistent criticism that Al Jazeera’s legendary independence, particularly of its Arabic channel, has been sacrificed to the interests of Qatar’s foreign policy.
Al Shihabi, an unaccountable senior manager, ordering the deletion of an article without telling either the author or the editors who commissioned it, seemed to confirm the worst expectations.”
Azmi Bishara identifies perfectly the chilling impact of Al Jazeera’s capitulation:
In a statement on his Facebook page hours before Massad’s article was restored, Bishara said that the deletion of Massad’s article followed false accusations of anti-Semitism by “Zionist” and “racist” individuals.
Relating the move to the planned launch of Al Jazeera America, Bishara added, “If the price of Al Jazeera’s entry into the United States means its submission to Zionist dictates, then this means that America will be moving into Al Jazeera and not the reverse.”
Given that even Massad’s university, Columbia, had eventually stood up to similar false and disproven accusations and campaigns, Bishara noted that Al Jazeera had been “even less vigilant than Columbia in defending the rights of an Arab professor to express his opinion. Shame on you.”
Professor Massad’s statement in response to the restoration of his article is published in the Electronic Intifada article:
“I am heartened to know that there has been a huge and widespread upheaval among Al Jazeera journalists and staffers against this arbitrary decision, which flew in the face of professional journalistic standards and the freedom of expression. Their opposition along with the reaction and outrage expressed by the general public internationally in the last two days clearly tipped the balance against the peremptory power of the profit-seeking executives and has put the latter on notice.
While the restoration of my article is a triumph against the political commissars of Al Jazeera, the statement that Al Jazeera issued, which contained no apology, falls short of being a triumph for all those who insist on maintaining Al Jazeera’s independence and critical edge from American media restrictions. I am saddened that their principled stance has yet to fully triumph in this important fight.
It seems to me that the attempt to censor my article is the price that Al Jazeera, or at least Ehab Al Shihabi and other upper management executives, are willing to pay in order to enter the US media market. This means that Al Shihabi and other executives at Al Jazeera see no problem in sacrificing Al Jazeera’s freedom of expression and subjecting it to the severe restrictions of the American mainstream media on the question of US foreign policy in the Middle East and on the question of Israel, thus eliminating in the process Al Jazeera’s critical coverage of both. Clearly, American Zionist pressure, placed on Al Shihabi and on Al Jazeera, is intended to impart to Al Jazeera the mediocre standards of mainstream American journalism and its commitment to severe censorship of views critical of US policy and of Israeli colonialism. When Oscar Wilde was asked in 1882 upon entering the US if he had anything to declare to the customs authorities of New York, he responded: “I have nothing to declare but my genius;” Not only is Al Jazeera having to declare its journalistic independence as a foreign taxable commodity, but it is also surrendering it at the US border altogether.
As for the line that someone made a mistake and removed my article because it resembled the one I had published last December, this line was tried on me on the phone when the new Head of Al Jazeera online Imad Musa called me yesterday evening to discuss the matter. Mr. Musa used that line as an opening bid but I quickly disabused him of it, explaining that while “The Last of the Semites” was related to the article I published last December titled “Zionism, Anti-Semitism, and Colonialism,” it was a different article altogether and had a different frame and a different set of arguments and facts. I also informed him that I had a very good idea how this decision had been taken and that Al Shihabi was the man behind the ban. He offered to arrange a meeting in New York between Al Shihabi and me, but I quickly told him that we could not ponder any such meetings until after Al Jazeera restored my article and issued a public apology. I also informed him that I do not meet with people who coordinate with the likes of Rahm Emanuel.
After making a few phone calls, Mr. Musa called me back to assure me that I would be pleased with what Al Jazeera would do tomorrow (i.e. today). I explained that since he was the new Head of Al Jazeera Online (he told me that he had been appointed in this new position ten days ago), he could restore the article and issue the apology immediately and not have to wait till the next day. He explained that the matter was “more complicated than that.” I retorted: “Are you or are you not the Head of Al Jazeera Online?” He murmured embarrassingly that the matter was not in his hands. I responded by reaffirming to him that indeed it was not and that the matter was not up to him but to the higher ups who made the decision for political reasons.
At any rate, Mr. Musa never called back today, though he issued a statement on the Al Jazeera website this afternoon which does not contain an apology to the readers or to me. There are no expressions of regret either, or any acknowledgment of the motivations for the censorship. Musa repeats the shameful excuse that the reason why the article was pulled was due to its alleged similarity with the December article. I find this to be a damage control move that refuses to take responsibility for Al Jazeera’s submission to American Zionist dictates.”
Without any public explanation, Al Jazeera has censored Joseph Massad’s excellent article focussing on the relationship between zionism, antisemitism and white supremacism. As Ali Abunimah says in his article critiquing Al Jazeera’s disgraceful withdrawal of the article:
“Since its publication, the article generated intense criticism from Zionist extremists, including a columnist in the virulently anti-Palestinian Jerusalem Post, and condemnation on Twitter from President Barack Obama’s favorite Israel lobby gatekeeper and former Israeli prison guard Jeffrey Goldberg.
The backlash has been so intense precisely because Massad goes to the core of Israel’s claim to represent Jews and to cast its critics as anti-Semites by showing that indeed it is Israel and Zionism that partake of the same anti-Semitism that targeted European Jews.
In doing so, Massad pulls the rug from under Zionists and Israel lobbyists by demonstrating that they are the anti-Semites and taking away the most formidable weapon they wield against critics of Israel: the accusation that anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism.
By neutralizing this ideological weapon that Israel has used so effectively in the Western media to cover up its colonization of Palestine, Massad’s pro-Jewish position and strenuous attack on Zionist anti-Semitism is clearly understood by Israel lobby figures such as Goldberg as a complete obliteration of their ideological arsenal.”
Ironically, Al Jazeera’s act of censorship also demonstrates and confirms Massad’s thesis of collaboration between western and zionist elites.
Joseph Massad’s speech “The last of the Semites” was presented at the 2nd Stuttgart Conference 2013.
Massad’s article is republished below in an act of solidarity to assist the knowledge within to reach as wide an audience as possible.
The last of the Semites
Jewish opponents of Zionism understood the movement since its early age as one that shared the precepts of anti-Semitism in its diagnosis of what gentile Europeans called the “Jewish Question”. What galled anti-Zionist Jews the most, however, was that Zionism also shared the “solution” to the Jewish Question that anti-Semites had always advocated, namely the expulsion of Jews from Europe.
It was the Protestant Reformation with its revival of the Hebrew Bible that would link the modern Jews of Europe to the ancient Hebrews of Palestine, a link that the philologists of the 18th century would solidify through their discovery of the family of “Semitic” languages, including Hebrew and Arabic. Whereas Millenarian Protestants insisted that contemporary Jews, as descendants of the ancient Hebrews, must leave Europe to Palestine to expedite the second coming of Christ, philological discoveries led to the labelling of contemporary Jews as “Semites”. The leap that the biological sciences of race and heredity would make in the 19th century of considering contemporary European Jews racial descendants of the ancient Hebrews would, as a result, not be a giant one.
Basing themselves on the connections made by anti-Jewish Protestant Millenarians, secular European figures saw the political potential of “restoring” Jews to Palestine abounded in the 19th century. Less interested in expediting the second coming of Christ as were the Millenarians, these secular politicians, from Napoleon Bonaparte to British foreign secretary Lord Palmerston (1785-1865) to Ernest Laharanne, the private secretary of Napoleon III in the 1860s, sought to expel the Jews of Europe to Palestine in order to set them up as agents of European imperialism in Asia. Their call would be espoused by many “anti-Semites”, a new label chosen by European anti-Jewish racists after its invention in 1879 by a minor Viennese journalist by the name of Wilhelm Marr, who issued a political programme titled The Victory of Judaism over Germanism. Marr was careful to decouple anti-Semitism from the history of Christian hatred of Jews on the basis of religion, emphasising, in line with Semitic philology and racial theories of the 19th century, that the distinction to be made between Jews and Aryans was strictly racial.
Assimilating Jews into European culture
Scientific anti-Semitism insisted that the Jews were different from Christian Europeans. Indeed that the Jews were not European at all and that their very presence in Europe is what causes anti-Semitism. The reason why Jews caused so many problems for European Christians had to do with their alleged rootlessness, that they lacked a country, and hence country-based loyalty. In the Romantic age of European nationalisms, anti-Semites argued that Jews did not fit in the new national configurations, and disrupted national and racial purity essential to most European nationalisms. This is why if the Jews remained in Europe, the anti-Semites argued, they could only cause hostility among Christian Europeans. The only solution was for the Jews to exit from Europe and have their own country. Needless to say, religious and secular Jews opposed this horrific anti-Semitic line of thinking. Orthodox and Reform Jews, Socialist and Communist Jews, cosmopolitan and Yiddishkeit cultural Jews, all agreed that this was a dangerous ideology of hostility that sought the expulsion of Jews from their European homelands.
The Jewish Haskalah, or Enlightenment, which emerged also in the 19th century, sought to assimilate Jews into European secular gentile culture and have them shed their Jewish culture. It was the Haskalah that sought to break the hegemony of Orthodox Jewish rabbis on the “Ostjuden” of the East European shtetl and to shed what it perceived as a “medieval” Jewish culture in favour of the modern secular culture of European Christians. Reform Judaism, as a Christian- and Protestant-like variant of Judaism, would emerge from the bosom of the Haskalah. This assimilationist programme, however, sought to integrate Jews in European modernity, not to expel them outside Europe’s geography.
When Zionism started a decade and a half after Marr’s anti-Semitic programme was published, it would espouse all these anti-Jewish ideas, including scientific anti-Semitism as valid. For Zionism, Jews were “Semites”, who were descendants of the ancient Hebrews. In his foundational pamphlet Der Judenstaat, Herzl explained that it was Jews, not their Christian enemies, who “cause” anti-Semitism and that “where it does not exist, [anti-Semitism] is carried by Jews in the course of their migrations”, indeed that “the unfortunate Jews are now carrying the seeds of anti-Semitism into England; they have already introduced it into America”; that Jews were a “nation” that should leave Europe to restore their “nationhood” in Palestine or Argentina; that Jews must emulate European Christians culturally and abandon their living languages and traditions in favour of modern European languages or a restored ancient national language. Herzl preferred that all Jews adopt German, while the East European Zionists wanted Hebrew. Zionists after Herzl even agreed and affirmed that Jews were separate racially from Aryans. As for Yiddish, the living language of most European Jews, all Zionists agreed that it should be abandoned.
The majority of Jews continued to resist Zionism and understood its precepts as those of anti-Semitism and as a continuation of the Haskalah quest to shed Jewish culture and assimilate Jews into European secular gentile culture, except that Zionism sought the latter not inside Europe but at a geographical remove following the expulsion of Jews from Europe. The Bund, or the General Jewish Labor Union in Lithuania, Poland, and Russia, which was founded in Vilna in early October 1897, a few weeks after the convening of the first Zionist Congress in Basel in late August 1897, would become Zionism’s fiercest enemy. The Bund joined the existing anti-Zionist Jewish coalition of Orthodox and Reform rabbis who had combined forces a few months earlier to prevent Herzl from convening the first Zionist Congress in Munich, which forced him to move it to Basel. Jewish anti-Zionism across Europe and in the United States had the support of the majority of Jews who continued to view Zionism as an anti-Jewish movement well into the 1940s.
Anti-Semitic chain of pro-Zionist enthusiasts
Realising that its plan for the future of European Jews was in line with those of anti-Semites, Herzl strategised early on an alliance with the latter. He declared in Der Judenstaatthat:
“The Governments of all countries scourged by anti-Semitism will be keenly interested in assisting us to obtain [the] sovereignty we want.”
He added that “not only poor Jews” would contribute to an immigration fund for European Jews, “but also Christians who wanted to get rid of them”. Herzl unapologetically confided in his Diaries that:
“The anti-Semites will become our most dependable friends, the anti-Semitic countries our allies.”
Thus when Herzl began to meet in 1903 with infamous anti-Semites like the Russian minister of the interior Vyacheslav von Plehve, who oversaw anti-Jewish pogroms in Russia, it was an alliance that he sought by design. That it would be the anti-Semitic Lord Balfour, who as Prime Minister of Britain in 1905 oversaw his government’s Aliens Act, which prevented East European Jews fleeing Russian pogroms from entering Britain in order, as he put it, to save the country from the “undoubted evils” of “an immigration which was largely Jewish”, was hardy coincidental. Balfour’s infamous Declaration of 1917 to create in Palestine a “national home” for the “Jewish people”, was designed, among other things, to curb Jewish support for the Russian Revolution and to stem the tide of further unwanted Jewish immigrants into Britain.
The Nazis would not be an exception in this anti-Semitic chain of pro-Zionist enthusiasts. Indeed, the Zionists would strike a deal with the Nazis very early in their history. It was in 1933 that the infamous Transfer (Ha’avara) Agreement was signed between the Zionists and the Nazi government to facilitate the transfer of German Jews and their property to Palestine and which broke the international Jewish boycott of Nazi Germany started by American Jews. It was in this spirit that Zionist envoys were dispatched to Palestine to report on the successes of Jewish colonization of the country. Adolf Eichmann returned from his 1937 trip to Palestine full of fantastic stories about the achievements of the racially-separatist Ashkenazi Kibbutz, one of which he visited on Mount Carmel as a guest of the Zionists.
Despite the overwhelming opposition of most German Jews, it was the Zionist Federation of Germany that was the only Jewish group that supported the Nuremberg Laws of 1935, as they agreed with the Nazis that Jews and Aryans were separate and separable races. This was not a tactical support but one based on ideological similitude. The Nazis’ Final Solution initially meant the expulsion of Germany’s Jews to Madagascar. It is this shared goal of expelling Jews from Europe as a separate unassimilable race that created the affinity between Nazis and Zionists all along.
While the majority of Jews continued to resist the anti-Semitic basis of Zionism and its alliances with anti-Semites, the Nazi genocide not only killed 90 percent of European Jews, but in the process also killed the majority of Jewish enemies of Zionism who died precisely because they refused to heed the Zionist call of abandoning their countries and homes.
After the War, the horror at the Jewish holocaust did not stop European countries from supporting the anti-Semitic programme of Zionism. On the contrary, these countries shared with the Nazis a predilection for Zionism. They only opposed Nazism’s genocidal programme. European countries, along with the United States, refused to take in hundreds of thousands of Jewish survivors of the holocaust. In fact, these countries voted against a UN resolution introduced by the Arab states in 1947 calling on them to take in the Jewish survivors, yet these same countries would be the ones who would support the United Nations Partition Plan of November 1947 to create a Jewish State in Palestine to which these unwanted Jewish refugees could be expelled.
The pro-Zionist policies of the Nazis
The United States and European countries, including Germany, would continue the pro-Zionist policies of the Nazis. Post-War West German governments that presented themselves as opening a new page in their relationship with Jews in reality did no such thing. Since the establishment of the country after WWII, every West German government (and every German government since unification in1990) has continued the pro-Zionist Nazi policies unabated. There was never a break with Nazi pro-Zionism. The only break was with the genocidal and racial hatred of Jews that Nazism consecrated, but not with the desire to see Jews set up in a country in Asia, away from Europe. Indeed, the Germans would explain that much of the money they were sending to Israel was to help offset the costs of resettling European Jewish refugees in the country.
After World War II, a new consensus emerged in the United States and Europe that Jews had to be integrated posthumously into white Europeanness, and that the horror of the Jewish holocaust was essentially a horror at the murder of white Europeans. Since the 1960s, Hollywood films about the holocaust began to depict Jewish victims of Nazism as white Christian-looking, middle class, educated and talented people not unlike contemporary European and American Christians who should and would identify with them. Presumably if the films were to depict the poor religious Jews of Eastern Europe (and most East European Jews who were killed by the Nazis were poor and many were religious), contemporary white Christians would not find commonality with them. Hence, the post-holocaust European Christian horror at the genocide of European Jews was not based on the horror of slaughtering people in the millions who were different from European Christians, but rather a horror at the murder of millions of people who were the same as European Christians. This explains why in a country like the United States, which had nothing to do with the slaughter of European Jews, there exists upwards of 40 holocaust memorials and a major museum for the murdered Jews of Europe, but not one for the holocaust of Native Americans or African Americans for which the US is responsible.
Aimé Césaire understood this process very well. In his famous speech on colonialism, he affirmed that the retrospective view of European Christians about Nazism is that
it is barbarism, but the supreme barbarism, the crowning barbarism that sums up all the daily barbarisms; that it is Nazism, yes, but that before [Europeans] were its victims, they were its accomplices; and they tolerated that Nazism before it was inflicted on them, that they absolved it, shut their eyes to it, legitimised it, because, until then, it had been applied only to non-European peoples; that they have cultivated that Nazism, that they are responsible for it, and that before engulfing the whole of Western, Christian civilisation in its reddened waters, it oozes, seeps, and trickles from every crack.
That for Césaire the Nazi wars and holocaust were European colonialism turned inwards is true enough. But since the rehabilitation of Nazism’s victims as white people, Europe and its American accomplice would continue their Nazi policy of visiting horrors on non-white people around the world, on Korea, on Vietnam and Indochina, on Algeria, on Indonesia, on Central and South America, on Central and Southern Africa, on Palestine, on Iran, and on Iraq and Afghanistan.
The rehabilitation of European Jews after WWII was a crucial part of US Cold War propaganda. As American social scientists and ideologues developed the theory of “totalitarianism”, which posited Soviet Communism and Nazism as essentially the same type of regime, European Jews, as victims of one totalitarian regime, became part of the atrocity exhibition that American and West European propaganda claimed was like the atrocities that the Soviet regime was allegedly committing in the pre- and post-War periods. That Israel would jump on the bandwagon by accusing the Soviets of anti-Semitism for their refusal to allow Soviet Jewish citizens to self-expel and leave to Israel was part of the propaganda.
Commitment to white supremacy
It was thus that the European and US commitment to white supremacy was preserved, except that it now included Jews as part of “white” people, and what came to be called “Judeo-Christian” civilisation. European and American policies after World War II, which continued to be inspired and dictated by racism against Native Americans, Africans, Asians, Arabs and Muslims, and continued to support Zionism’s anti-Semitic programme of assimilating Jews into whiteness in a colonial settler state away from Europe, were a direct continuation of anti-Semitic policies prevalent before the War. It was just that much of the anti-Semitic racialist venom would now be directed at Arabs and Muslims (both, those who are immigrants and citizens in Europe and the United States and those who live in Asia and Africa) while the erstwhile anti-Semitic support for Zionism would continue unhindered.
West Germany’s alliance with Zionism and Israel after WWII, of supplying Israel with huge economic aid in the 1950s and of economic and military aid since the early 1960s, including tanks, which it used to kill Palestinians and other Arabs, is a continuation of the alliance that the Nazi government concluded with the Zionists in the 1930s. In the 1960s, West Germany even provided military training to Israeli soldiers and since the 1970s has provided Israel with nuclear-ready German-made submarines with which Israel hopes to kill more Arabs and Muslims. Israel has in recent years armed the most recent German-supplied submarines with nuclear tipped cruise missiles, a fact that is well known to the current German government. Israel’s Defence Minister Ehud Barak told Der SPIEGEL in 2012 that Germans should be “proud” that they have secured the existence of the state of Israel “for many years”. Berlin financed one-third of the cost of the submarines, around 135 million euros ($168 million) per submarine, and has allowed Israel to defer its payment until 2015. That this makes Germany an accomplice in the dispossession of the Palestinians is of no more concern to current German governments than it was in the 1960s to West German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer who affirmed that “the Federal Republic has neither the right nor the responsibility to take a position on the Palestinian refugees”.
This is to be added to the massive billions that Germany has paid to the Israeli government as compensation for the holocaust, as if Israel and Zionism were the victims of Nazism, when in reality it was anti-Zionist Jews who were killed by the Nazis. The current German government does not care about the fact that even those German Jews who fled the Nazis and ended up in Palestine hated Zionism and its project and were hated in turn by Zionist colonists in Palestine. As German refugees in 1930s and 1940s Palestine refused to learn Hebrew and published half a dozen German newspapers in the country, they were attacked by the Hebrew press, including by Haaretz, which called for the closure of their newspapers in 1939 and again in 1941. Zionist colonists attacked a German-owned café in Tel Aviv because its Jewish owners refused to speak Hebrew, and the Tel Aviv municipality threatened in June 1944 some of its German Jewish residents for holding in their home on 21 Allenby street “parties and balls entirely in the German language, including programmes that are foreign to the spirit of our city” and that this would “not be tolerated in Tel Aviv”. German Jews, or Yekkes as they were known in the Yishuv, would even organise a celebration of the Kaiser’s birthday in 1941 (for these and more details about German Jewish refugees in Palestine, read Tom Segev’s book The Seventh Million).
Add to that Germany’s support for Israeli policies against Palestinians at the United Nations, and the picture becomes complete. Even the new holocaust memorial built in Berlin that opened in 2005 maintains Nazi racial apartheid, as this “Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe” is only for Jewish victims of the Nazis who must still today be set apart, as Hitler mandated, from the other millions of non-Jews who also fell victim to Nazism. That a subsidiary of the German company Degussa, which collaborated with the Nazis and which produced the Zyklon B gas that was used to kill people in the gas chambers, was contracted to build the memorial was anything but surprising, as it simply confirms that those who killed Jews in Germany in the late 1930s and in the 1940s now regret what they had done because they now understand Jews to be white Europeans who must be commemorated and who should not have been killed in the first place on account of their whiteness. The German policy of abetting the killing of Arabs by Israel, however, is hardly unrelated to this commitment to anti-Semitism, which continues through the predominant contemporary anti-Muslim German racism that targets Muslim immigrants.
Euro-American anti-Jewish tradition
The Jewish holocaust killed off the majority of Jews who fought and struggled against European anti-Semitism, including Zionism. With their death, the only remaining “Semites” who are fighting against Zionism and its anti-Semitism today are the Palestinian people. Whereas Israel insists that European Jews do not belong in Europe and must come to Palestine, the Palestinians have always insisted that the homelands of European Jews were their European countries and not Palestine, and that Zionist colonialism springs from its very anti-Semitism. Whereas Zionism insists that Jews are a race separate from European Christians, the Palestinians insist that European Jews are nothing if not European and have nothing to do with Palestine, its people, or its culture. What Israel and its American and European allies have sought to do in the last six and a half decades is to convince Palestinians that they too must become anti-Semites and believe as the Nazis, Israel, and its Western anti-Semitic allies do, that Jews are a race that is different from European races, that Palestine is their country, and that Israel speaks for all Jews. That the two largest American pro-Israel voting blocks today are Millenarian Protestants and secular imperialists continues the very same Euro-American anti-Jewish tradition that extends back to the Protestant Reformation and 19th century imperialism. But the Palestinians have remained unconvinced and steadfast in their resistance to anti-Semitism.
Israel and its anti-Semitic allies affirm that Israel is “the Jewish people”, that its policies are “Jewish” policies, that its achievements are “Jewish” achievements, that its crimes are “Jewish” crimes, and that therefore anyone who dares to criticise Israel is criticising Jews and must be an anti-Semite. The Palestinian people have mounted a major struggle against this anti-Semitic incitement. They continue to affirm instead that the Israeli government does not speak for all Jews, that it does not represent all Jews, and that its colonial crimes against the Palestinian people are its own crimes and not the crimes of “the Jewish people”, and that therefore it must be criticised, condemned and prosecuted for its ongoing war crimes against the Palestinian people. This is not a new Palestinian position, but one that was adopted since the turn of the 20th century and continued throughout the pre-WWII Palestinian struggle against Zionism. Yasser Arafat’s speech at the United Nations in 1974 stressed all these points vehemently:
Just as colonialism heedlessly used the wretched, the poor, the exploited as mere inert matter with which to build and to carry out settler colonialism, so too were destitute, oppressed European Jews employed on behalf of world imperialism and of the Zionist leadership. European Jews were transformed into the instruments of aggression; they became the elements of settler colonialism intimately allied to racial discrimination…Zionist theology was utilised against our Palestinian people: the purpose was not only the establishment of Western-style settler colonialism but also the severing of Jews from their various homelands and subsequently their estrangement from their nations. Zionism… is united with anti-Semitism in its retrograde tenets and is, when all is said and done, another side of the same base coin. For when what is proposed is that adherents of the Jewish faith, regardless of their national residence, should neither owe allegiance to their national residence nor live on equal footing with its other, non-Jewish citizens -when that is proposed we hear anti-Semitism being proposed. When it is proposed that the only solution for the Jewish problem is that Jews must alienate themselves from communities or nations of which they have been a historical part, when it is proposed that Jews solve the Jewish problem by immigrating to and forcibly settling the land of another people – when this occurs, exactly the same position is being advocated as the one urged by anti-Semites against Jews.
Israel’s claim that its critics must be anti-Semites presupposes that its critics believe its claims that it represents “the Jewish people”. But it is Israel’s claims that it represents and speaks for all Jews that are the most anti-Semitic claims of all.
Today, Israel and the Western powers want to elevate anti-Semitism to an international principle around which they seek to establish full consensus. They insist that for there to be peace in the Middle East, Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims must become, like the West, anti-Semites by espousing Zionism and recognising Israel’s anti-Semitic claims. Except for dictatorial Arab regimes and the Palestinian Authority and its cronies, on this 65th anniversary of the anti-Semitic conquest of Palestine by the Zionists, known to Palestinians as the Nakba, the Palestinian people and the few surviving anti-Zionist Jews continue to refuse to heed this international call and incitement to anti-Semitism. They affirm that they are, as the last of the Semites, the heirs of the pre-WWII Jewish and Palestinian struggles against anti-Semitism and its Zionist colonial manifestation. It is their resistance that stands in the way of a complete victory for European anti-Semitism in the Middle East and the world at large.
Joseph Massad teaches Modern Arab Politics and Intellectual History at Columbia University in New York. He is the author of The Persistence of the Palestinian Question: Essays on Zionism and the Palestinians.
A similar conflation was also promoted by the now-defunct EU Monitoring Centre (EUMC) on Racism and Xenophobia.29 According to its so-called ‘working definition of antisemitism’, it could be antisemitic to deny ‘the Jewish people their right to self-determination, for example by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavour’.30 Since this definition was rejected by the UK’s Universities and Colleges Union (UCU), Zionists have campaigned for universities to de-recognise the union. This demonstrates once again that it is Zionists, not their critics, who continue to equate their colonial-settler project with all Jews. By claiming to be ‘the State of the Jews’, Israel implicates all Jews in Israel’s wars, occupation, land thefts, expulsions and other crimes.
Mirroring that equation, some misguided supporters of the Palestinians have attributed their oppression to an international Jewish conspiracy, to ‘Jewish power’, to ‘a Jewish spirit’, etc. The extreme-Right journalist Israel Shamir promotes those elements of traditional European antisemitism, ostensibly to support the Palestinians. These explanations obscure the source of Palestinian oppression. They perversely accept Zionist claims to represent all Jews and ‘Jewish values’.
Leading Palestinian commentators and activists reject such “support” as damaging the Palestinian cause. Ali Abunimah, Joseph Massad, Omar Barghouti and Rafeef Ziadeh were among dozens who denounced those who blame ‘Jewish’ characteristics for the oppression of Palestinians.31 As the Palestinian BDS National Committee has argued, ‘equating Israel and world Jewry… is itself antisemitic’. 32
The equation stereotypes Jews, threatens their civil rights and undermines their national identity in countries where they live. It originated from antisemites who saw Jews as an alien people not belonging in Europe and needing their own homeland. This equation is contradicted by the many people of Jewish origin who actively support Palestinian national rights and play central roles in the BDS campaign.
‘ Ben-Gurion was convinced that the refugee problem was primarily one of public image (hasbara). Israel, he believed, would be able to persuade the international community that the refugees had not been expelled, but had fled. ‘
More political censorship with the Church of Scotland paper “The Inheritance of Abraham”:
‘Church leaders from South Africa, following a visit to Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory in the autumn of 2012, observed similarities to the concluding years of the apartheid regime in South Africa. 13 There are many members of the Jewish community in Israel and abroad concerned with injustice in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory who would fundamentally disagree with that description 14 but it is challenging that those who remember the reality of apartheid first hand and the consequences of international campaigns on their own nation
concur with proposals to consider economic and political measures involving boycotts, disinvestment and sanctions against the state of Israel focused on illegal settlements, as the best way of convincing Israeli politicians and voters that what is happening is wrong. They argue that Christians around the world should not contribute in any way to the viability of illegal settlements. This raises particular questions for the Church of Scotland as we seek to respond to the question: “What does the Lord require of you…?”’
‘Church leaders from South Africa, following a visit to Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories in the autumn of 2012, observed similarities to the concluding years of the apartheid regime in South Africa.16 They concur with proposals to consider economic and political measures involving boycotts, disinvestmentand sanctions against the state of Israel focused on illegal settlements, as the best way of convincing Israelipoliticians and voters that what is happening is wrong, and that Christians around the world should notcontribute in any way to the viability of illegal settlements. This raises particular questions for the Church of Scotland as we seek to respond to the question: “What does the Lord require of you…?”’
Omar Barghouti: “Given his unparalleled standing among world academics, Stephen Hawking’s recent decision to support the boycott propelled the BDS once again to the centre of public opinion. It is one of the starkest indicators yet that the tide is changing, even in the western mainstream, against Israel’s occupation, colonisation and apartheid and that BDS is fast reaching its South Africa moment of maturity and impact.”
‘While the Palestinian Liberation Organization held a small procession in Ramallah to mark the Nakba on Wednesday, some 20 men and two women congregated in a hall in the El Bireh municipality to sign the document called “the popular movement project for one democratic state in historic Palestine.”
It states that “the racist Israeli policy of separation and segregation” has made the two-state solution (based on pre-1967 borders) unrealistic. Therefore, the most desirable option left for the Palestinian people and the one which will allow the right of return is: “a democratic state for all its citizens, which will be based on a democratic constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and will guarantee freedom and equal rights, without discrimination on the basis of ethnicity, religion, gender, skin color, language, nationality, political opinion, social origin and place of birth.” ‘
Latest hasbara strategy plans. Hasbaroids to lay off online debate against BDS activists? they haven’t got the message yet, judging on the plethora of attacks on some of the recent pages.
‘Also, the more talkbacks a comment receives online, the higher the rating that the site/webpage will have and therefore the greater the number of people who see it. Arguing with BDS operatives online merely generates more exposure for their cause and arguments. ‘
“An article about a Conference of Zionists published on July 20, 1899 in the New York Times expresses that the Zionists “will colonize Palestine.”
The article explains that the conference discussed a paper from the English Zionist Federation “proposing the re-establishment of Judea as an independent State, suggesting the purchase of the Maccabean sites in Palestine, and the beginning of the work by the establishment of a Jewish colony and a Jewish Agricultural College there.”