By Yossi Schwartz, Internationalist Socialist League (RCIT Section in Israel / Occupied Palestine), 1 June 2021, http://the-isleague.com/
In the last few weeks there are many reports of rising of Anti-Semitism. The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) says there is a 75% increase in anti-Semitism reports after the Israeli-Palestinian fighting began. The figure jumped from 127 incidents in the two weeks prior to fighting to 222 in the two weeks after the Zionist state’s war on Gaza. (1)
According to ADL more than 1 billion people in the world are Anti-Semites, 24% in Europe, 74% in the Middle East and North Africa, 34% in East Europe, 17% in America and 22% in Asia. (2)
Considering the definition of Anti-Semitism used by the ADL – which equates opposition to Israel war crimes with Anti-Semitism – it is obvious that the ADL reports are not only ridiculous and reflect its Islamophobia; they are used not only to shield the Zionist state crimes but are also used by the governments of the imperialist states to further attack democratic rights. It is similar and part of the imperialists and their servants plan to use the corona pandemic to enforce the Bonapartist regimes.
On 16 February 2019, a small group among France’s yellow vest protest movement shouted at Alain Finkielkraut, a racist Islamophobic Zionist philosopher: “Go back to Tel Aviv!”, “We are France!”, and “Zionist!” (3) The shouts against Alain Finkielkraut are a mixture of truths and some Anti-Semite prejudice. He is a right-wing French not an Israeli. However, he deserves condemnation for the filth he spread in the name of philosophy.
On 21 February 2019 the French president, Emmanuel Macron, after announcing that Europe was “facing a resurgence of Antisemitism unseen since WWII”, unveiled new measures allegedly to fight it. During the war crimes of the Zionist state, Macron banned pro-Palestinian demonstrations and the police used fired tear gas and water cannons against the thousands of protesters who defied the ban.
At the same time the mayor of Nice, France unveiled Israel’s flag at city hall after supporting a ban on pro-Palestinian demonstrations. “Faced with Hamas’ terrorism, all our thoughts and our support to Israel,” Mayor Christian Estrosi tweeted on Saturday, along with a photo of Israeli and French flags standing on the building’s balcony.” (4) No doubt that if pro-Israel demonstrations were held in France the police would protect them as it happened in 2014.
In April 2019, The New York Times’ international edition published this caricature by Portuguese cartoonist António Moreira Antunes. It shows Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a guide dog, wearing a Star of David on his collar and leading a blind U.S. President Donald Trump, who is wearing a skullcap. (5)
“Jonathan Greenblatt, the CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, said the cartoon exhibited “stereotypes that suggest Jewish control. “It wouldn’t surprise me if this was published out of Tehran or Damascus, but it does not belong in The New York Times or any credible media outlet,” he told CNN. Meanwhile, Israel’s ambassador to the United States Ron Dermer said that the paper had “become a cesspool of hostility towards Israel that goes well beyond any legitimate criticism of a fellow, imperfect democracy,” the Daily Mail reported.” (6)
“Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, of then Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party, slammed what he called “anti-Semitic caricature” published by the New York Times on Thursday and called for those responsible for its publication to be fired. The anti-Semitic caricature published by the New York Times is shocking and reminiscent of Nazi propaganda during the Holocaust,” Erdan said.” (7)
This is a legitimate political cartoon attacking Netanyahu and Trump, two ultra-reactionary politicians, not an Anti-Semite caricature against the Jews or the Jewish religion. The fact that the Israeli Zionists call every criticism of Israel Nazi propaganda, only rehabilitate the crimes of the Nazis. If criticism of a state committing war crimes is Nazism what is wrong with it?
It is of interest that the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten’s caricatures published on September 30, 2005, under the title “The Face of Muhammad, 12 caricatures” the worst of depicted the prophet with a bomb in his turban. Another showed the prophet in heaven, remonstrating suicide bombers with the words, “Stop, stop, we have run out of virgins!”
The same forces that claim that criticism of Israel and the support for the oppressed Palestinians is expression of Anti-Semitism defended the caricatures of Islam, supposedly against terrorism, saying that they defend the right of free expression.
For example, in October 2020 Macron, vowed that his country would not give up cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammed. During the war crime Israel committed in the last war on Gaza he said that Israel has the right to defend itself.
What a bunch of hypocrites! In the real-world political caricatures express a political world view. There exist two camps: on one side, reactionaries defending the settler-colonialist and imperialist state of Israel and, on the other side, those who defend the oppressed, oppose the Zionist state, an Apartheid regime from the river to the sea.
This does not mean to deny that real anti-Semitism is on the rise. Anti-Semitic incidents in the United States and in Europe included Synagogues that were vandalized with swastikas in England and with rocks in Germany, and Orthodox men were allegedly harassed in New York City by a group shouting “kill all the Jews”.
However, this form of racism is typical not of the Palestinians, the Arabs, the Muslims immigrants and refugees but of the far right. “Right-wing extremists were to blame for a large rise in anti-Semitic crimes in Germany last year, Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said Wednesday following the release of the country’s annual crime report. Jewish groups and politicians condemned the increase, which recorded 2,032 reports of anti-Semitic crimes in 2019 — up by 13 percent from 1,799 in 2018. The biggest threat is still the threat from the right,” Seehofer said, adding that crimes by right-wing extremists accounted for more than half of all politically motivated crimes. Right-wing extremists were responsible for more than 90 percent of the anti-Semitic crimes and a similar percentage of anti-Islamic crimes, he added.” (8)
The Zionist propaganda is that the rise of Anti-Semitism is related to the support for the Palestinians against Israel. Thus, the implication is that the Arab refugees from Syria and the Palestinians are the Anti-Semites. “Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, said that the number of anti-Semitic incidents in the U.S. was up nearly 65% in the two weeks since the start of the recent hostilities between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, as compared to the same period last year leading up to May 10.” (9)
The Zionist propaganda that smears the opposition to Israel war crimes is diverting the Jews from understanding that the real danger to the Jews is the different Nazis and other far right parties and groups. As a matter of fact, the Zionists cannot fight the real Anti-Semites because the Zionists are allies of these scums. As the popular saying goes “show me your friends…” “Christian Zionists are not alone in their support and admiration of Israel. Right-wing and far-right movements and political parties across the world also idolise Israel as they view the Zionist colonial project as a successful model of European domination over the indigenous populations of developing countries.” (10)
In 2017 Yair Netanyahu, the son of Benyamin Netanyahu – who is still Israel’s Prime Minister but might be replaced by another right-wing block very soon – stated that leftists are more dangerous than neo-Nazis. “Echoing Trump, the PM’s son claims ‘thugs of Antifa and Black Lives Matter are getting stronger’ while Nazis are a thing of the past.” (11)
Jews breaking with Zionism
Some Jews do understand that the alliance of Israel with the fascists is dangerous for the Jews. “Top European Rabbi urges Israel to end engagement with far-right parties. Pinchas Goldschmidt tells MKs that cozying up to populist groups, if even they espouse pro-Israel views, endangers local Jewish communities.” (12)
It is also true that there is a growing trend of American Jews that distance themselves from Israel and begin to free themselves from the poison of racist Zionism. Arielle Angel, an American Jew, participated in the protest movement during the 2014 war on Gaza. At that time, she reported, she felt alone as she was the only Jew at the protest in the Bay Ridge in Brooklyn. In the protests of May 2021 she felt very differently:
“I don’t feel alone any more. Though the years since 2014 have seen the growth of a small but committed Jewish anti-occupation movement, the last week and a half have brought an even larger circle of the community to a place of reckoning. We’ve seen Jewish politicians, celebrities, rabbinical students and others speak up loudly for Palestine. We’ve seen a powerful display of solidarity from Jewish Google employees, asking their company to sever ties with the IDF. At Jewish Currents, the leftwing magazine where I am now editor-in-chief, we asked for questions from readers struggling to understand the recent violence. We’ve been deluged. These questions taken in aggregate paint a striking portrait of a community at a turning point. Though many queries aim to understand specific aspects of the recent round of violence – the circumstances surrounding the expulsions of Palestinians from their homes in Sheikh Jarrah, for instance, or the affiliations of the Jewish revelers dancing ecstatically opposite a fire on the Temple Mount – many more are simply expressions of confusion, and a newfound willingness to confront it head on.” (13)
Zionism became the hegemonic ideology among the American Jews in the 1960’s. For more than 60 years the Zionists were able to conflate Jewishness with Zionism which puts Jews everywhere in danger. Jews were politically kidnapped by the Zionists and held as hostages in the Zionist offensive on the Palestinian people.
When this domination was achieved by the Zionists in the USA, it was very easy to paint all pro-Palestinian as anti-Semitic and to mobilize Jewish opinion around the Zionist institutions that claim to defend the Jews. For this reason, it is important for the Palestine solidarity movement to differentiate between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism and to kick out the few truly anti-Semitic provocateurs who infiltrate the pro Palestinians movement. For this reason, it was very important that Palestinian organizers denounced anti-Semite expressions and actions during the last war of Israel against Gaza.
The political conclusion is clear, to fight Anti-Semitism it is necessary to fight against Zionism.
Down with Zionism!
Down with Anti-Semitism!
Self-defense of the Palestinians on Naksa Day!
Democratic Red Palestine free from the river to the sea!
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We refer reader to a special sub-page on the RCIT website where we have compiled all our documents on the latest Gaza War and the Third Intifada: https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/collection-of-articles-on-fourth-gaza-war/