Is speech critical of Israel anti-Semitic? In a case that could redefine campus politics, Trump administration weighs in

Via:  johnrussell  •  2 weeks ago  •  72 comments

Is speech critical of Israel anti-Semitic? In a case that could redefine campus politics, Trump administration weighs in
How much is Jewish identity tied to the modern nation of Israel? Is there a point at which criticism of Israel turns into hatred of Jewish people? If so, when is that line crossed? What is the difference between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism?

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T


As protests against Israel and the U.S. government's alliance with it have roiled college campuses across the country -- with demonstrations in recent years shutting down speeches by pro-Israel speakers from the University of Minnesota to San Francisco State University -- a few questions have repeatedly come up.

How much is Jewish identity tied to the modern nation of Israel? Is there a point at which criticism of Israel turns into hatred of Jewish people? If so, when is that line crossed? What is the difference between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism?

Not surprisingly, pro-Palestinian activists and pro-Israeli ones often give contrasting answers to the questions.

In addition to conflicts between Israelis and Palestinians that have prevented peace in the Middle East, and a possible two-state solution, recent events have included the Trump administration's move of the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, which Palestinians considered a major slight, and this week's announcement by the State Department that it has ordered Palestinian leadership to close its office in Washington.

The Trump administration has now weighed in on the college issue, with the Department of Education's civil rights office reopening a 2011 complaint against a New Jersey university about alleged bias against Jewish students.

In a recent letter to the Zionist Organization of America, a conservative group that has for years fought what it believes is widespread bias against Israel at colleges, the office said it would relaunch an investigation about Rutgers that closed four years ago under the Obama administration.

In the letter, the department said it would examine reports of discrimination on campus against Jewish people as an ethnic group and for the first time defined what it counts as anti-Semitism.

The letter listed Holocaust denial -- a widely agreed upon sign of anti-Jewish beliefs -- alongside common pro-Palestinian activist refrains, such as saying that "the existence of a state of Israel is a racist endeavor." Calling Israel racist was listed under "denying the Jewish people the right to self-determination." Another example of anti-Semitism, according to the letter, included "applying double standards by requiring of [Israel] a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation."

The definition, taken from the State Department and the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, has alarmed student activists and pro-Palestinian groups that fear the Trump administration will launch more investigations on colleges for their students and professors' pro-Palestinian activities that criticize Israeli policies. Under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, the department can investigate colleges and universities that receive federal money for discrimination against race, color or national origin and revoke funding.

"This is an attack on the 1st Amendment," said Samer Alhato, a Palestinian American student at St. Xavier University in Chicago and member of Students for Justice in Palestine, a organization behind protests criticizing Israel that has chapters on dozens of college campuses.

The group has supported the BDS movement -- which pushes for boycotts, divestment and sanctions against companies deemed to have a role in Israeli human rights violations.

"It's an attack on organizers and socially aware students. We've had many presidents who dogmatically and materially support Israel with rhetoric or policies," Alhato said. "The Trump administration has taken it to another level."

In an interview, the director and chief executive of the Anti-Defamation League took issue with the argument that the administration was curtailing free speech.

"There is nothing wrong with being critical of any country," said Jonathan Greenblatt of the ADL, which is not part of the case. "But when there are campaigns that demonize and delegitimize the Jewish state, they often end up in actions that demonize and delegitimize Jewish people."

Morton Klein, the president of the New York-based Zionist Organization of America, called the Department of Education's move a "landmark decision that may bring some justice to the Jewish students who have been harassed and discriminated against at many universities." His group filed the Rutgers complaint and has also filed others against Brooklyn College and and UC Irvine.

The Rutgers complaint stems from a free 2011 pro-Palestinian event where Jewish students were allegedly charged admission as a way to keep them out -- an allegation disputed by the event's organizers.

The Education Department under President Obama said it found insufficient evidence to pursue the case. The Zionist group appealed in 2014 and, late last month, heard back from new leadership in the department that argued that previous lawyers who went over the case were wrong.

The letter was signed by Kenneth Marcus, the newly appointed assistant secretary for civil rights, who has long opposed pro-Palestinian activism. Marcus is the the former head of the of the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law, which its website says he founded in 2011 to "combat the resurgence of anti-Semitism in American higher education." He held the same civil rights post in President George W. Bush's administration for two years.

The Department of Education did not reply to requests seeking an interview about the case. Klein shared a copy of the letter with The Times.

In a statement, Rutgers officials said they were not notified of the new investigation but would cooperate. "There is no place for anti-Semitism or any form of religious intolerance at Rutgers," it said.

The fight over what constitutes anti-Semitism has caused controversy across major universities, including the University of Chicago, University of Michigan, Columbia University and the University of California. Many incidents have included protests attempting to block pro-Israel speakers on campus, such as a 2016 San Francisco State University speech by Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat. Other controversies have centered on student governments passing calls for universities to divest endowments from certain companies that do business with the Israeli government. One targeted company is Caterpillar, whose bulldozers have been used to demolish Palestinian homes.

In 2016, UC regents unanimously declared that anti-Semitism has "no place" on a college campus but rejected intense lobbying to call anti-Zionism a form of discrimination. Instead, regents approved a report on intolerance that decried only "anti-Semitic forms" of the political ideology, leaving it up for interpretation which forms of Zionism are anti-Semitic and which aren't. The move reflected the regents' struggle to balance their desire to combat intolerance with their commitment to protect free speech.

Some Israel supporters have organized to stamp out pro-Palestinian activities on campuses. Two years ago, casino tycoon Sheldon Adelson and others launched an effort to promote Israel on campuses and combat BDS. The Jewish Telegraphic Agency reports that it's set to expand to 80 campuses in the U.S. and Canada.

A 2016 Pew Research Center poll found that 27% of millennials sympathize more with Palestinians, up from 9% in 2006 -- while their generation's support for Israel has declined in the same period from 51% to 43%. African Americans and Latinos are supporting the Palestinian rights movements too, according to Pew. At the same time, the BDS movement has grown outside campuses, including in several historic Protestant church denominations that manage multimillion-dollar investment funds.

Despite the increased support for Palestinian rights movements, pro-Palestinian activists believe the Education Department's move will slow their groups' growth.

"This can and will cause people to not speak out the way they want to, even on views that are becoming more common across the board," said Rebecca Vilkomerson, the executive director of Jewish Voice for Peace, a left-wing group active on college campuses.

This discussion is locked

JohnRussell
1  JohnRussell    2 weeks ago
"There is nothing wrong with being critical of any country," said Jonathan Greenblatt of the ADL, which is not part of the case. "But when there are campaigns that demonize and delegitimize the Jewish state, they often end up in actions that demonize and delegitimize Jewish people."

This has become an age old issue - is it anti-semitic to criticize Israel?  There probably is no good answer to this question, because Israel proudly proclaims itself to be a Jewish state. How do you speak against Israel without seeming to, or in actuality, be speaking against Jews? 

 
 
Dismayed Patriot
1.1  Dismayed Patriot  replied to  JohnRussell @1    one week ago
This has become an age old issue - is it anti-semitic to criticize Israel?

The answer should be an easy "No, of course not". It is akin to criticizing the injection of Christian fundamentalism into our government. Saying "I don't want their religion injected into our government" should never be seen as an attack on Christianity, just like saying "I don't think we should be sending $10 billion a year to Israel" shouldn't be seen as anti-Semitic.

Sadly, however, certain groups, often religious in nature, feel that any rejection of their faith or their imagined plight is a direct attack on their faith. They couldn't be more wrong, but there it is.

There shouldn't be any difference between criticizing Muslim/Arab overreach, Christian overreach or Jewish overreach into world governments. It seems no one here in America cares about anti-Muslim or anti-Arab sentiment and rhetoric, but simply stating that you don't think we should be providing Israel with our weapons and technology has many screaming "Anti-Semite!".

 
 
JohnRussell
1.1.1  JohnRussell  replied to  Dismayed Patriot @1.1    one week ago

I don't mind helping Israel, but I want them to agree to and find a two state solution in the "stalemate" with the Palestinians. Right now it seems like Israel is moving away from that goal. 

 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
1.1.2  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  JohnRussell @1.1.1    one week ago

John,

The offer for a two state solution, has been given countless times. John Kerry tried and it was turned down flat by the PA even before it started. Who is to blame for that? The PA, for wanting language that Israel is a country removed. What does that tell you?

 
 
JohnRussell
1.1.3  JohnRussell  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @1.1.2    one week ago

Does Israel agree to give the Palestinians any land other than Gaza? Israel wants to keep all the land it has planted settlements on, some of which is , I believe. land that was intended to be Palestinian in a "two state solution". Netanyahu keeps building developments on that land and precluding any of it ever being given to the Palestinians. I'm sure that is a problem working against any agreement being reached now. 

 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
1.1.4  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  JohnRussell @1.1.3    one week ago

First of all a little history. 

The Palestinians had those lands in question from '48-'67 and then decided to try to wipe Israel off of the map. The world might have forgotten that, but I promise you, the Israelis did not. They lost. In war, the spoils go to the winner. 

Fast forward:

There have been several offers to go back to the pre-'67 borders, with two exceptions. East Jerusalem and the right of return. They have always been turned down by the PA. If the PA was really interested in what was good for their people, they would have taken those offers when they could. 

But moving on, Israel in good faith made an agreement with Egypt and gave back Gaza. They literally had to remove the settlers there bodily. They left everything they had built and gave it to the Palestinians. Did any good come of this? No. Instead, a string of bombings within Israel started. 

This made way for the hardliners. 

I am not sure what will happen from here. There must be two parties truly interested in peace, and I do see the West Bank as being problematic but not impossible. 

 
 
JohnRussell
1.1.5  JohnRussell  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @1.1.4    one week ago

In other words, Israel wants to set all the terms for peace now because they won a war 50 years ago. 

"To the victors go the spoils" is applicable in some situations. I don't think this is one of them. 

 
 
Bob Nelson
1.1.6  Bob Nelson  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @1.1.4    one week ago

Perrie,

The Palestinians had those lands in question from '48-'67...

No. The Palestinians never had those lands.

Before '47, Judea and Samaria were part of the British Palestinian Mandate. Before the Brits, the territory was under Ottoman sovereignty. Before the Turks... we could go back to the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem...

After '47, the territory was occupied by the Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan... which then took the name "Jordan".

The Kingdom of Jordan was violently anti-Palestinian, killing more of them in the Black September massacres than Israel has killed in all its wars.

Judea and Samaria were taken by Israel in the '67 Six Days War.

Jordan abandoned all claims to the area as part of its peace treaty with Israel, signed in '94.

Judea and Samaria have never been under Palestinian sovereignty.

 
 
kpr37
1.1.7  kpr37  replied to  Bob Nelson @1.1.6    one week ago

Very well said, It's so nice when we can agree 100% on an issue.

 
 
Buzz of the Orient
1.1.8  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Bob Nelson @1.1.6    one week ago

LOL.  Forget it, Bob.  It's time to re-post your 4-part actual history and tracing of the series of mandates, conferences and agreements that establish what you just said.  There are too many here who prefer to believe the Palestinian propaganda (I don't include Perrie as one of them) who need an education, although in most cases I believe they prefer to hate Israel and/or Jews rather than accept the truth.

 
 
Buzz of the Orient
1.1.9  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  JohnRussell @1.1.5    one week ago
"To the victors go the spoils" is applicable in some situations. I don't think this is one of them. 

Why not?  Israel won a defensive war, and in that case it complies with any convention.  Besides, see what Bob's research has indicated. The Palestinians NEVER had jurisdiction over Judea and Samaria, only Jordan did, and Jordan has abandoned their rights to it. 

 
 
Bob Nelson
2  Bob Nelson    one week ago

It's an important question.

Personally, I think that Ariel Sharon led Israel astray, and that Benjamin Netanyahu has been toxic for peace.

I think that we must take the interests of the Palestinian people in count - while trying to figure out how 750 000 in 1947 are now 7 500 000! While recognizing that the Palestinians have been misused, we must be clear that their abusers were their "Arab brothers" and not Israel.

We mus recognize that never in the history of the world has any country been as forebearant as Israel in Judea and Samaria.

That's a lot of contradictions... and that is the problem with the Middle East in general, and Israel/Palestine in particular: "It's complicated!"

Most people don't like "complicated"... and some Presidents just ignore it...

 
 
Buzz of the Orient
4  Buzz of the Orient    one week ago

I had not seen your seed and posted one myself, but now, having noticed yours, I deleted mine.  The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of antisemitism, which has been adopted by more than 50 countries, worded similarly to the Ottawa Protocol, was the impetus for the process now taking place.  That definition in its entirety is as follows, including the fact of its being adopted, with my bolding those clauses that refer to Israel specifically:

Working Definition of Antisemitism

In the spirit of the Stockholm Declaration that states: “With humanity still scarred by …antisemitism and xenophobia the international community shares a solemn responsibility to fight those evils” the committee on Antisemitism and Holocaust Denial called the IHRA Plenary in Budapest 2015 to adopt the following working definition of antisemitism. 
 
On 26 May 2016, the Plenary in Bucharest decided to:
 

Adopt the following non-legally binding working definition of antisemitism:

“Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.”

 
To guide IHRA in its work, the following examples may serve as illustrations:
 
Manifestations might include the targeting of the state of Israel, conceived as a Jewish collectivity. However, criticism of Israel similar to that leveled against any other country cannot be regarded as antisemitic. Antisemitism frequently charges Jews with conspiring to harm humanity, and it is often used to blame Jews for “why things go wrong.” It is expressed in speech, writing, visual forms and action, and employs sinister stereotypes and negative character traits.
 
Contemporary examples of antisemitism in public life, the media, schools, the workplace, and in the religious sphere could, taking into account the overall context, include, but are not limited to:

  • Calling for, aiding, or justifying the killing or harming of Jews in the name of a radical ideology or an extremist view of religion.
     
  • Making mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective — such as, especially but not exclusively, the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions.
     
  • Accusing Jews as a people of being responsible for real or imagined wrongdoing committed by a single Jewish person or group, or even for acts committed by non-Jews.
     
  • Denying the fact, scope, mechanisms (e.g. gas chambers) or intentionality of the genocide of the Jewish people at the hands of National Socialist Germany and its supporters and accomplices during World War II (the Holocaust).
     
  • Accusing the Jews as a people, or Israel as a state, of inventing or exaggerating the Holocaust.
     
  • Accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations.
     
  • Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.
     
  • Applying double standards by requiring of it a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.
     
  • Using the symbols and images associated with classic antisemitism (e.g., claims of Jews killing Jesus or blood libel) to characterize Israel or Israelis.
     
  • Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.
     
  • Holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the state of Israel.
     
Antisemitic acts are criminal when they are so defined by law (for example, denial of the Holocaust or distribution of antisemitic materials in some countries).
 
Criminal acts are antisemitic when the targets of attacks, whether they are people or property – such as buildings, schools, places of worship and cemeteries – are selected because they are, or are perceived to be, Jewish or linked to Jews.
 
Antisemitic discrimination is the denial to Jews of opportunities or services available to others and is illegal in many countries.
The member countries of the alliance are as follows:
Argentina  Austria  Belgium  Canada  Croatia  Czech Republic  Denmark  Estonia  Finland  France  Germany  Greece Hungary  Ireland  Israel  Italy  Latvia  Lithuania  Luxembourg  Netherlands  Norway  Poland  Romania  Serbia  Slovakia  Slovenia  Spain  Sweden  Switzerland  United Kingdom  United States of America

Liaison Countries are Australia and Bulgaria

Observer Countries are Albania  Bosnia and Herzegovina  El Salvador  Moldova  Monaco  Portugal  The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia  Turkey  Uruguay

The point, John, that you seem to always have had a problem with is that you have ignored this phrase:

However, criticism of Israel similar to that leveled against any other country cannot be regarded as antisemitic.

In over words, it is antisemitic to put Israel to a double standard, BUT FAIR CRITICISM IS NOT ANTISEMITIC.

The title of your article is biased in that the question suggests that ANY criticism of Israel is antisemitic, and that is NOT TRUE.

 
 
Dismayed Patriot
4.1  Dismayed Patriot  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @4    one week ago
The title of your article is biased in that the question

It appears as if the question is just that, not a statement. "Is speech critical of Israel Anti-Semitic?" to which you have responded and answered with a resounding "No". I can't see how the question "suggests" that the answer is "Yes" making the title biased.

 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
4.1.1  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  Dismayed Patriot @4.1    one week ago

Of course, people can criticize Israel. But it's also what that criticism says. I am not a fan of the hardliners and I would like to stop the settlements in the West Bank, but on the other hand, when people use the word genocide to talk about Gaza, that is ridiculous, especially since there is a true genocide of Muslims going on right now in Myanmar, and yet there is virtually no coverage of it. 

 
 
Buzz of the Orient
4.1.2  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Dismayed Patriot @4.1    one week ago

It's a matter of semantics and the correct use of the English language.  To just use the word "speech" means all or any speech, and that is misleading, and PRESUPPOSES that all or any speech critical of Israel is considered antisemitic - biased the same as the liberal newspaper article banner headlines that say:  ISRAEL BOMBS GAZA instead of HAMAS RAINS ROCKETS ON ISRAEL CIVILIAN AREAS, ISRAEL RETALIATES.  I say that the way the question is worded is biased.

 
 
JohnRussell
5  JohnRussell    one week ago

Buzz, the title is the headline from the seeded Los Angeles Times article. 

That is your problem, you tend to defend Israel in every instance and to every minute detail, and you present a list of criteria about anti-semitism and Israel that is hard for people who criticize Israel to meet. 

I don't think it's that hard to separate Israel from Jews when it comes to criticism. If you contain the criticism to policies of Israel it should not be anti-semitic. If you use language that refers to Jews then it may very well be anti-semitic. 

It's not that easy for some of these people, because Israel identifies itself as Jewish.  I'm surprised that you don't admit that would cause a problem for people who want to criticize Israel without seeming anti-Jewish. 

 
 
MUVA
5.1  MUVA  replied to  JohnRussell @5    one week ago

Israel is a dog whistle for antisemitic's jew haters in this day and age.

 
 
MrFrost
5.1.1  MrFrost  replied to  MUVA @5.1    one week ago
Israel is a dog whistle for antisemitic's jew haters in this day and age.

Fun fact. The vast majority of Jews vote democrat, mostly because they know who the real haters are. How many Jewish republicans are there in congress? 2? The last one I remember is Eric Cantor and he was thrown out of the nest by his own party. 

 
 
Buzz of the Orient
5.2  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  JohnRussell @5    one week ago
"Buzz, the title is the headline from the seeded Los Angeles Times article."

I know, I checked the link - my answer to the question? Some is and some isn't so don't generalize.

"That is your problem, you tend to defend Israel in every instance and to every minute detail, and you present a list of criteria about anti-semitism and Israel that is hard for people who criticize Israel to meet."

I have NO problem, the problem that is probably yours is that you forget (and I believe purposely just to aggravate me) that I have been critical of Israel's government, judiciary, IDF, settlers and Haradim myself on occasion. That "list" has been adopted by more than 50 countries, including yours.

"I don't think it's that hard to separate Israel from Jews when it comes to criticism. If you contain the criticism to policies of Israel it should not be anti-semitic. If you use language that refers to Jews then it may very well be anti-semitic." 

Israel is the homeland for the Jews - that is what it was designated to be.  It is The Jewish State, and according to a recent Israeli law, it is the Nation State of the Jews.  If the definition of antisemitism is contravened in criticism it is antisemitic, and if it is not, then it isn't. Simple.

"It's not that easy for some of these people, because Israel identifies itself as Jewish.  I'm surprised that you don't admit that would cause a problem for people who want to criticize Israel without seeming anti-Jewish."

Of course Israel identifies itself as Jewish - I just explained that.  And as I just said, it's no problem (unless a person really IS an antisemite and wants to find a way to vent his/her hatred in a way that he/she doesn't make it obvious)  - just don't contravene the definition.  There is nothing wrong with fair criticism - just don't put Israel to a double standard, or tell lies, such as calling it an apartheid state.

See? No problem - it's easy.

 
 
JohnRussell
5.2.1  JohnRussell  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @5.2    one week ago

Buzz, you have regularly accused people of being anti-semitic when all they have done is criticize Israel. 

 
 
Buzz of the Orient
5.2.2  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  JohnRussell @5.2.1    one week ago

I don't recall EVER calling an NT member an antisemite, although I recall that on NV there were a couple who flaunted what even YOU would admit was blatant antisemitism.  If someone made a comment that did contravene the definition of antisemitism in the Ottawa Protocol, I might well have pointed out to them that their comment had done that. I see nothing wrong with having done that.

 
 
Buzz of the Orient
5.2.3  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @5.2.2    one week ago

By the way, would you fault me if I called Farrakhan an anti-Semite?  How about David Duke, or the Stormfront website? 

 
 
JohnRussell
5.2.4  JohnRussell  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @5.2.3    one week ago

Of course I would not fault you regarding those people. 

 
 
WallyW
5.2.5  WallyW  replied to  JohnRussell @5.2.1    one week ago

To most people, the Jews and Israel and one and the same

 
 
Buzz of the Orient
5.2.6  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  WallyW @5.2.5    one week ago

I don't know any Jew who is 20% Muslim.  LOL

 
 
Buzz of the Orient
5.2.7  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  JohnRussell @5.2.1    one week ago

Why don't you or anyone who thumbed up that I have accused anyone of being anti-semitic, other than by pointing out that they had ACTUALLY violated the definition of antisemitism according to the Ottawa Protocol, the wording of which is much the same as the IHRA definition I posted here, prove that I have otherwise called them an antisemite.  Otherwise, apologize for the libel.

 
 
Buzz of the Orient
5.3  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  JohnRussell @5    one week ago
"...you present a list of criteria about anti-semitism and Israel that is hard for people who criticize Israel to meet."

That "list" was created by more than 50 civilized democratic countries (including your own) that agonized over a correct definition and arrived at and agreed to and adopted that list. Who are YOU to question it?  If you don't agree with it, you might as well not agree with any American law - like the Criminal Code or the Constitution and Amendments. Live with it, but if you don't, and prefer to violate it, then you might just get called an antisemite by someone. 

 
 
Colour Me Free
6  Colour Me Free    one week ago
In addition to conflicts between Israelis and Palestinians that have prevented peace in the Middle East, and a possible two-state solution, recent events have included the Trump administration's move of the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, which Palestinians considered a major slight, and this week's announcement by the State Department that it has ordered Palestinian leadership to close its office in Washington.

I agree with others that the question of criticism of Israel being anti Semitic is complicated - I believe some that are criticizing are being anti Semitic, some are not .. the lines get blurred … but this shouting down of peoples right to speak is crossing a line and seeming as though the actions are to redefine free speech into something along the lines of 'conditional free speech' ..if one does not agree, just shout them down instead of walking away .. sad...

Yet, the idea of the Israeli Palestinian conflicts are blocking the path to peace in the Middle East is a bit over the top.. 

Netanyahu is extremely pro Israel, as well as not seeming to be a man of compromise - which I can understand .. just do not have to completely agree with...  That being said, Hamas is in Palestine .. which in 1997 the United States recognized as a foreign terrorist group (has that changed and I missed it?)

US Embassy move to Jerusalem .. I do not know what to say about that .. for years I have heard that the Embassy belongs in Jerusalem, but there were conditions that needed to be met .. as long as Hamas is in Palestine there cannot be a solution so therefore the conditions are moot..    my interpretation

The remapping of the Middle East after the fall of the Ottoman Empire .. land given to the Jewish people in order to build their own state .. it is all complicated and there were many unhappy individuals that do not have control over their own 'states' just ask the Kurds.. there are 30 million Kurds without a state and only 5+ million Palestinians ...

Better quit before I go careening farther off topic

 

 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
7  Perrie Halpern R.A.    one week ago

Having recent college graduates I can explain this a bit better. 

First, you have to understand what BDS believes. It wants no Israel. It is not about Israel's policies, but about the very existence of the state. Part of that is calling the Holocaust a hoax. That is damn offensive. 

Student's hear a from their fellow students an alternative version of just about everything, that is semi based on fact. If you are not committed to looking into the facts (most are not), then it is easy to believe. 

They then do things like "Die Ins" around the campus. Hopkins had a "Die In". This is what it looks like:

Image result for palestinian die in

Image result for palestinian die in

Image result for palestinian die in

(note: these photos used to be all over the internet. Now they are not. Draw your own conclusions)

SJP (Students for Justice in Palestine), talk to their fellow students about Holocaust denial, BDS, etc and get a very sympathetic response. This is a link to how it was reported at Hopkins:

http://www.jhunewsletter.com/article/2014/10/sjp-members-use-their-bodies-to-protest-gaza-violence-29077/

Please note these quotes:

Throughout the past year and a half that the chapter has been active at Hopkins, SJP noticed that many people genuinely want to hear more about the history and realities of the conflict in an accessible and objective environment.

Nada spoke of the many people who she met through SJP who did not seem to have knowledge of the conflict.

“They tell us, ‘We don’t know much. We know that there is injustic... We just want to know what exactly is going on, and we want to learn more,” Nada said......

One particular controversy that will be addressed on Friday is a proposal for an Israeli Academic Boycott at Hopkins, among other academic institutions around the world. An intrinsic component of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement among Palestinian advocates, the boycott would attempt to pressure Israel to alter its policy and practices toward Palestine through the academic isolation of Israeli scholars and universities, who promote Israeli occupation and discrimination, according ot the the proponents of the boycott....

Having fellow classmates displayed in such a vivid manner made the thousands of deaths in Palestine much more personal and tangible, Kassiri said.

Not all observers shared Kassiri’s point of view on the die-in.

“It just irritates me, because a lot of people get the wrong idea,” freshman Jaszmin Gelbart said.

By depicting Israel as the aggressor, Gelbart said the protest didn’t promote the right image. Additionally, she said the die-in wasn’t effective in achieving its goal of promoting open discourse due to its disturbing and offensive nature.

“The way that they portrayed [the Israeli-Palestinian conflict], with everyone on the ground, made me really uncomfortable,” Gelbart said.

Conversely, Elsheikh praised the demonstration’s ability to incite reactions from witnesses.

“The purpose of [the die-in] was to be provocative... It does physically slow people down. You cannot just keep walking past and pay no attention to it,” Elsheikh said.

The reaction on campus was visceral. One can understand why. If students are ill-informed on the history, this brings out ill feelings about Jews. It is not truly about Israel's policies, which one can argue in recent years has been less than perfect (but there is blame on both sides). It is ultimately about destroying the actual history of the Jewish people and the dissolution of Israel. What better way then to indoctrinate the youth?

I believe in open honest discussion. I think that one can denounce policy of Israel, without demonizing Jews or denying the Holocaust. But once you have done those things, then it is anti-semitism. 

 
 
JohnRussell
7.1  JohnRussell  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @7    one week ago

I don't know if calling for an end to Israel is actually anti-semitic. 

I am inclined to think that denying the Holocaust is anti-semitic though. Let me change that, I am sure that I think that denying the Holocaust is anti-semitic. 

 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
7.1.1  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  JohnRussell @7.1    one week ago

The whole reason that Israel exists is because of the Holocaust. A two-state solution is not antisemitic. BDS denies the Holocaust and invalidates the UN resolution for a state of Israel. They also say that Israel commits genocide, which isn't true. Israel=Jews and to most, ergo, Jews are evil. 

But if you are not sure, maybe you can explain the uptick in antisemitic acts on campuses across the US.

 
 
Bob Nelson
7.1.2  Bob Nelson  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @7.1.1    one week ago

After reading your previous (excellent) post, I looked at the BDS site. It explicitly condemns anti-semitism, but only with a couple words, among many pages.

I found nothing about the Holocaust. Do you have a link? An denialist position would be illegal in France.

 
 
JohnRussell
7.1.3  JohnRussell  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @7.1.1    one week ago

Although I am well aware that the Holocaust was the final motivation to create a Jewish state, wasn't the desire for Jews to return to the biblical land of the Hebrews a goal for some people long before the Nazis began persecuting the Jews? 

I am not disagreeing with what you say except that I think one could say Israel usurped the land without being anti-semitic. Or maybe not. I don't know. Having Israel be an official Jewish state somewhat blurs the line between the country and the ethnicity/religion, which I think is one of the points of the article. 

 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
7.1.4  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  Bob Nelson @7.1.2    one week ago

Bob,

They are not going to put that in their platform, but their rhetoric on campus is different. 

And you might find this article interesting since it has to do with this subject and France:

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/210629

It's good to know that France is taking a hard line on this. 

 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
7.1.5  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  JohnRussell @7.1.3    one week ago
Although I am well aware that the Holocaust was the final motivation to create a Jewish state, wasn't the desire for Jews to return to the biblical land of the Hebrews a goal for some people long before the Nazis began persecuting the Jews? 

To be clear, there has always been a Jewish presence in what is now Israel. In fact, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem had talks with Hitler on how to get rid of the Jews from Isreal. There were also Jews who emigrated there at the turn of the last century that called themselves Zionist. Of course, this movement became much bigger during and after WWII. But the UN ultimately decided to make a Jewish state and therefore a legitimate country, and part of the bases for that was a constant Jewish presence there.

I am not disagreeing with what you say except that I think one could say Israel usurped the land without being anti-semitic.

Israel did not usurp the land. Brittian did, and Jordan thereafter. The tiny country that was given to the Jews, was given to them, not taken.

Having Israel be an official Jewish state somewhat blurs the line between the country and the ethnicity/religion, which I think is one of the points of the article. 

Maybe, kind of, but on campus, that line has been breached to the point of hate.

 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
7.1.6  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @7.1.4    one week ago

Bob, 

I have some interesting interviews with BDS that are somewhat long. I will post them if you are interested. 

 
 
Colour Me Free
7.1.7  Colour Me Free  replied to  Bob Nelson @7.1.2    one week ago
BDS is an inclusive, anti-racist human rights movement that is opposed on principle to all forms of discrimination, including anti-semitism and Islamophobia.

https://bdsmovement.net/

A disclaimer in order to remain a tax exempt organization?  I found nothing stating that the organization as a whole was anti-Semitic Holocaust deniers .. but I did find a couple articles along these lines.

In August 2014 the members of BDS France 34, the local branch in Hérault, posted on social media an image comparing the IDF to Nazi Germany along with a caption saying “The Nazis and Zionists are two sides of the same coin,” and that “What Hitler did to the Jews was done so that the world will sympathize with them and give them all the rights.”

http://izionist.org/eng/french-bds-activists-convicted-of-holocaust-denial/

 
 
Skrekk
7.1.8  Skrekk  replied to  Colour Me Free @7.1.7    one week ago
A disclaimer in order to remain a tax exempt organization?

I don't think that has anything to do with an organization's tax status, ie, many white supremacist groups are tax exempt.

However I'm having a hard time drawing a connection between anti-zionism and anti-semitism as Buzz and Perrie have done.

 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
7.1.9  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  Skrekk @7.1.8    one week ago

Skrekk,

Hypothetically, yes you can be anti-zionist (anti-Israel, which would mean the end of a legitimate country) and not be anti-Semitic. Yet, when dealing with groups like SJP and BDS, the rhetoric is very anti-Semitic. I can show you endless examples. And these groups do spread hate on college campuses. So while you individually might be anti-Zionist and not anti-Semitic, that is not what is happening worldwide. Europe is rampant with anti-Semitism and it all tied to Zionism. 

 
 
Colour Me Free
7.1.10  Colour Me Free  replied to  Skrekk @7.1.8    one week ago
I don't think that has anything to do with an organization's tax status,

tax exempt was probably the wrong thing to ask about .. I was reading about the various individual entities that are said to the support the BDS .. they [BDS] would have to 'denounce' hate most likely in order to keep various financial benefactors..

I do not know enough about SJP and BDS to be able to formula critical thought on the subject .. I have found various article and information that I have saved for later reading .. I am interested in learning more - my youngest starts college next fall..

 
 
Bob Nelson
7.1.11  Bob Nelson  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @7.1.4    one week ago

Perrie,

Good find.

Holocaust denial is legally a form of hate speech in France, which explains the court's decision.

 
 
Bob Nelson
7.1.12  Bob Nelson  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @7.1.6    one week ago

Perrie,

Yes, I'd be interested.

 
 
Bob Nelson
7.1.13  Bob Nelson  replied to  Colour Me Free @7.1.7    one week ago

Good find. It's the same case that Perrie found.

I'm kinda surprised that I didn't know the case. Hate speech condemnations are rare and usually get pretty heavy media coverage.

 
 
Colour Me Free
7.1.14  Colour Me Free  replied to  Bob Nelson @7.1.13    one week ago

Sorry I posted a duplicate, I hate that .. when I wrote my comment to you there were no other comments .. I saw a squirrel and forgot to post... : ) that is my story ….

Social media really does bite individuals in the ass quite often .. until your posted to Perrie, I had NO idea France had such a law...

 
 
Bob Nelson
7.1.15  Bob Nelson  replied to  Colour Me Free @7.1.14    one week ago

Most Europeans see "free speech" differently from Americans, who only put very restricted limits on what may be said. Most European countries have "hate speech" laws, and France has among the most potent.

Far-right leader Jean-Marie Le Pen has been fined several times for Holocaust denial.

 
 
Buzz of the Orient
7.1.16  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  JohnRussell @7.1.3    one week ago

The return of the Jews to the land of their forefathers was a desire long before The Holocaust.  Theodore Hertzl was an instigator, and have not Jews for who knows how long always finished the Passover Seder with the words "Next year in Jerusalem".  

Usurped the land?  Originally the Rothschilds BOUGHT land from the absentee landlords for the settlement of Kibbutzniks.  Are you implying that that there were not Jews in Israel throughout history?

 
 
Buzz of the Orient
7.1.17  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @7.1.9    one week ago

ABSOLUTELY!!!  Why don't poeple understand that?

 
 
JohnRussell
7.1.18  JohnRussell  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @7.1.1    one week ago
Israel=Jews and to most, ergo, Jews are evil. 

Most of who? 

In that sentence you seem to be saying that criticism of Israel is anri-semitic, because to the general public equates Israel=Jews. 

 
 
Colour Me Free
7.2  Colour Me Free  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @7    one week ago

Thank you for the information Perrie...

 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
7.2.1  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  Colour Me Free @7.2    one week ago

You're welcome :)

 
 
Colour Me Free
7.2.2  Colour Me Free  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @7.2.1    one week ago

Always good to get input from various sources .. helps to discover different aspect to research .. aiding in one being able to reach an informed opinion 

 
 
It Is ME
8  It Is ME    one week ago

is it anti-semitic to criticize Israel?

Yep !

If it's Islamophobic to Criticize Muslims, it only seems fair to say that criticizing Israelis is Anti-Semitic.

It just fits ! Big hugs

 
 
charger 383
8.1  charger 383  replied to  It Is ME @8    one week ago

that is a good point

 
 
Atheist יוחנן בן אברהם אבינו
8.1.1  Atheist יוחנן בן אברהם אבינו  replied to  charger 383 @8.1    one week ago
that is a good point

Ooo, sorry.  The answer was:  That's ridiculous

It's not the "criticism of Muslims" that Islamophobic.  It's the continuously repeated claim that all Muslims are terrorists and can't be trusted--i.e., the basis for Scumbag's attempt to bar all Muslims from entering the country.  

 
 
It Is ME
8.1.2  It Is ME  replied to  charger 383 @8.1    one week ago
that is a good point

As is ALWAYS lost on Liberal types.

They ALWAYS have this need to insert a "But" when they speak Pro Islam.

Why is it that Liberals ALWAYS seem to have this "Pro Islam/Muslim" Mantra going on ?

Does criticizing Islam "SCARE" them that much ?

if so....the "Radical Muslims" have done/Completed their jobs for sure !

 
 
Trout Giggles
8.1.3  Trout Giggles  replied to  Atheist יוחנן בן אברהם אבינו @8.1.1    one week ago
It's the continuously repeated claim that all Muslims are terrorists and can't be trusted-

That always goes right over his head.

 
 
Atheist יוחנן בן אברהם אבינו
8.1.4  Atheist יוחנן בן אברהם אבינו  replied to  Trout Giggles @8.1.3    one week ago
That always goes right over his head.

Well, it's partly that and it's partly their standard  dishonesty by constantly the straw-man argument.  But, it's understandable since they have no honest argument to offer. 

 
 
Buzz of the Orient
8.1.5  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  It Is ME @8.1.2    one week ago

No, the "Radical Muslims" have NOT completged their job - 9/11 will be considered a drop in the bucket when the 10-year deal expires and allows Iran to build its atomic bombs. All the children and grandchildren of the Iran-deal supportiers have that to look forward to. 

 
 
JohnRussell
8.1.6  JohnRussell  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @8.1.5    one week ago

Is your argument that if there was no "Iran deal"  Iran would not seek to have a nuclear weapon?  That is not logical. 

What the Iran deal did was buy time for the West to devise a coherent and workable position with which to confront Iran.  We are wasting a lot of that time. 

 
 
Atheist יוחנן בן אברהם אבינו
8.2  Atheist יוחנן בן אברהם אבינו  replied to  It Is ME @8    one week ago
it only seems fair to say that criticizing Israelis is Anti-Semitic.

It's not only unfair, it's simply false.  Because if that were true a very large portion of Jews, including Israeli Jews who constantly criticize their own government's policies would be "anti-semitic."  Making arguments like yours must be what it feels like to step into quicksand.  

 
 
It Is ME
8.2.1  It Is ME  replied to  Atheist יוחנן בן אברהם אבינו @8.2    one week ago

Such a "Doubting Thomas" you are.

 
 
Skrekk
8.2.2  Skrekk  replied to  Atheist יוחנן בן אברהם אבינו @8.2    one week ago
Because if that were true a very large portion of Jews, including Israeli Jews who constantly criticize their own government's policies would be "anti-semitic."

In fact at least one NT member has called J-Street "anti-semitic" despite that being a rather absurd claim.    What he really meant was that it doesn't support his Likudnik views.

 
 
epistte
8.3  epistte  replied to  It Is ME @8    one week ago
If it's Islamophobic to Criticize Muslims, it only seems fair to say that criticizing Israelis is Anti-Semitic.

The religion of Islam is not a government like Isreal is. I support equal religious rights of Muslims, but I also criticize the theocratic states of the middle east such as Iran and Saudi. 

Criticizing the policies of the political state of Israel is not the same as being an anti-semite because not all Jews are Israels and Israel is not a pure Jewish state. This argument is commonly used to attempt to shut down any criticism of Israel. 

 
 
JohnRussell
8.3.1  JohnRussell  replied to  epistte @8.3    one week ago
This argument is commonly used to attempt to shut down any criticism of Israel. 

It is, at times. 

 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
9  Perrie Halpern R.A.    one week ago
It's not the "criticism of Muslims" that Islamophobic.  It's the continuously repeated claim that all Muslims are terrorists and can't be trusted

That is true. 

 
 
Buzz of the Orient
9.1  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @9    one week ago

If that is so, then why is a person who is critical of FGM, honour killing, thowing gays off roofs, stoning women's heads while they are mostly buried in the ground for adultry when they've been raped and cannot find 4 men to say they WERE raped, is called an Islamophobe, or in the case of Ayaan Hirsi Ali, declared by SPLC to be a "hater"?

 
 
JohnRussell
9.1.1  JohnRussell  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @9.1    one week ago

Why do you talk so much about Muslims all the time, in this case when the topic is Israel and anti-semitism? You seem very anxious to work your dislike for Muslims into every topic. 

 
 
kpr37
10  kpr37    one week ago

Here is a Palestinian human rights activists personal opinion on BDS. He may surprise you with his beliefs on the topic.

Speaking at the EU Parliament in Brussels, the Jerusalem-based Palestinian human rights activist Bassem Eid criticized Europe for turning a blind eye, for centuries, to the economic plight of Gaza, saying that "dignity can be achieved only via economic prosperity." Accusing the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement of "trying to use the Palestinians in order to gain power and money," Eid said that if Europe cut its funding, like Trump was cutting the funding of UNRWA, the BDS movement would cease to exist within six months. Europe should give the money directly to the Palestinians, he said, adding that the slogans uttered by BDS members that short-term suffering was necessary in order to gain long-term benefits were similar to slogans uttered by Arab leaders in 1948. He also criticized the Palestinian Authority for preventing activists from participating in coexistence events.

https://www.memri.org/reports/palestinian-human-rights-activist-bassem-eid-eu-parliament-europe-should-cut-funding-bds

 
 
Atheist יוחנן בן אברהם אבינו
11  Atheist יוחנן בן אברהם אבינו    one week ago
Trump administration's move of the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, which Palestinians considered a major slight,

It's not just a "slight."  It's a violation of trust that the US government has tried desperately to maintain with the Palestinians for more than 40 years to keep Jerusalem which is considered "holy" (gotta "love" religious extremism of both sides for that designation) from becoming the center of government of either side--a political neutral zone in effect if it can't be a religious one.  IOW, Scumbag has managed to undo multiple of his predecessors' (R and D) efforts to be a fair referee in this process.  This undoes whatever trust was left from Palestinians and will give comfort and strength to ultra-religious Israeli zealots to continue  their quest to religiously cleanse Israel of any non-Jewish presence (yes, Christians--you are also on that list.  Say goodbye to an open Bethlehem if they get there way). 

I guarantee that for every deprecating radical Islamic statement about Israel or Jews we can find one from a Jewish radical against Muslims:

Sharp rise in attacks on Palestinians by Jewish Extremists

https://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/06/opinion/sunday/israeli-terrorists-born-in-the-usa.html

Even the Shin Bet (Israeli Security Agency) has criticized its own government for being too tolerant of religious extremism in the country -- note the Netanyahu government is a coalition that relies on far right religious parties for its majority):

Shin Bethas complained that the Israeli government is too lenient in dealing with religious extremism of Jewish extremists who want the creation of a Jewish land based on halacha, Jewish religious laws. Says Haaretz: "The Shin Bet complained that the courts are too lenient, particularly in enforcement against those who violate restraining orders distancing them from the West Bank or restricting their movement. The Shin Bet supports the position of Defense MinisterMoshe Ya’alon, who has called for limited use of administrative detention against Jewish terrorists."[45]Israeli agencies keeping tabs on the religious terrorist groups say they are "anarchist" and "anti-Zionist", motivated to bring down the government of Israel and create a new Israeli "kingdom" that would operate according tohalacha(Jewish law).[45]A week after the July 2015 attacks, administrative detention was approved for Jewish terror suspects.[7]

There's never been a coin made that didn't have at least two sides.  

 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
11.1  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  Atheist יוחנן בן אברהם אבינו @11    one week ago

Of course, there are two sides. No one is denying that. 

And what the press never discusses is how the mostly secular Israelis don't get along or agree with the policies far right religious groups. They even affect the Israelis, as they dictate what are "acceptable" religious practices with excludes every other denomination of Judaism. 

You are wrong about an open Bethlehem to Christians. The ultra right are in bed with the evangelical Christians so Bethlehem has and will remain open, no matter who has it. 

The Shin Bet has its own set of issues within Israel. For instance not recognizing marriages that are not orthodox. 

The problem is that within Israel, the secular Jews have grown tired of dealing with both, the orthodox and the Palestinians since they live under pressure from both of them, so they have grown rather burnt out and dispassionate. Until that changes.. nothing will change. 

 
 
Atheist יוחנן בן אברהם אבינו
11.1.1  Atheist יוחנן בן אברהם אבינו  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @11.1    one week ago
No one is denying that. 

Oh, I'm not at all sure that our rightwing die-hard Israel supporters would agree to there being two sides on this issue. At least, I've never read anything from any of them suggesting that the Palestinian cause had any merit.  I hope this comment may encourage them to do so but I won't hold my breath.

 
 
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