Israel & the US have a public relations catastrophe on their hands after tweets went round the world exposing ethnic cleansing in Gaza. It was certain their think tanks would work overtime to counter the images of Palestinian children. Anyone who’s ever tangled with a Zionist knows they’re a broken record of whining that anti-Zionism is anti-Jewish. Guilt-baiting is their stock-in-trade & often quite effective even though they wear it to death.
The Palestinian solidarity movement has made itself entirely clear: there is no room in this movement for anti-Semitism or racism of any kind. The political group who don’t seem to get that are libertarians. There are fifty different varieties of libertarians but the ones we’re speaking of are those who think David Duke, the white supremacist, anti-Semite, & former grand poobah of the KKK, has a place in our movement. Or the ones who get into the conspiracy of illuminati, Free Masons, & Rothschild bankers & think David Ickey-poo sincerely supports Palestinians.
We want to build an international movement where men & women of every hue are comfortable. Does anyone seriously think civil rights activists would be comfortable speaking on the same platform as David Duke who considers them inferior beings? You can say “enough with the harping on this question” but looking at media coverage of the Palestinian solidarity movement shows you cannot harp on this enough.
According to a 2005 report by the US State Department, anti-Semitic incidents have increased significantly since 2000, including harassment & intimidation; vandalism (graffiti, fire bombings of Jewish schools, desecration of synagogues & cemeteries); physical assaults. They noted the increase particularly in France, Germany, the UK, Belgium, & The Netherlands & they blamed it on far-right groups as well as “disadvantaged & disaffected Muslim youth”. It isn’t the most reliable report in the world because it confounds Palestinian solidarity with anti-Semitism but an increase of such incidents are a matter of grave concern. They did not report a rise of anti-Semitic incidents in the US.
One wonders if they did a comparative analysis of the rampant Islamophobia, persecution of Roma, & victimization of immigrants that prevail as state policy in some of those same countries–in particular France, Greece, & The Netherlands. Is the increase in anti-Semitism part of the general trend of political polarization & the rise of extreme right-wing goon squads or is it sui generis for some unexplained reason?
What’s emerging now among politicians & media are alarmist reports about the rise of anti-Semitism which they blatantly & shamefully link to Palestinian solidarity. The UN’s Ban Ki-moon, who couldn’t bring himself to condemn Israeli ethnic cleansing, issued one of the first volleys in this insidious campaign deploring anti-Semitic attacks in Europe since the genocide in Gaza began. Several media sources followed suit, denouncing anti-Semitism among Palestinian supporters, which they claim is evident & rampant on social media.
French politicians who are forcibly deporting Roma & attempting to ban Palestinian solidarity protests are up in arms about vandalizing & looting of Jewish businesses, burning of cars in Jewish neighborhoods, & clashes between Palestinian supporters & Jewish residents. They claim Palestinian supporters entered Jewish neighborhoods on more than one occasion chanting “Gas the Jews” & “Kill the Jews”.
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls, who has distinguished himself for xenophobia & forcible deportation of Roma says he was “profoundly shocked & revolted” by an incident in Paris which he claims turned violent when Palestinian supporters trapped Jews in a synagogue. One of those trapped later told Israeli TV that “the streets outside were “like an intifada”.”
Newsweek magazine, which has a history of inflammatory journalism, had an article titled ” “Exodus: Why Europe’s Jews Are Fleeing Once Again” about anti-Semitism in Europe & they described that incident at the Paris synagogue. The article began: “The mob howled for vengeance, the missiles raining down on the synagogue walls as the worshippers huddled inside.”–& went downhill from there. Even the French minister didn’t accuse Palestinian supporters of attacking the synagogue with missiles.
Newsweek drew on the most questionable sources for information about rising anti-Semitism: the Zionist Anti-Defamation League; Natan Sharansky, a Russian Zionist who administers settlers for Israel; & another schnook named Ben Cohen who says: “Saying that Jews are the only nation who don’t have the right to self-determination, smearing Israel as a modern incarnation of Nazi Germany or apartheid South Africa, asserting that the ‘Israel Lobby’ manipulates American foreign policy from the shadows is unmistakably anti-Semitism.” Who’s smearing who here!?
If these anti-Semitic incidents are real, that’s alarming; if Palestinian supporters are involved, that’s worse than reprehensible. But frankly, that’s highly doubtful & every attempt to smear Palestinian solidarity with this crap is slander intended to discredit justice. If there were “Palestinian supporters” harassing synagogues, let two words suffice: agents provocateurs.
It’s very likely there’s an increase of anti-Semitism in Europe as part of the political polarization in response to neoliberal austerity programs & the rise of neo-Nazi groups like Golden Dawn in Greece. We only wish such alarmism & concern included Roma & immigrants in France & elsewhere, & Palestinians under siege in Gaza.
This man in Beit Lahiya, northern Gaza sleeps al fresco outside his apartment which was bombed during a 72-hour ceasefire which Israel violated (Aug 11). Twitter this, Israel!
Respond to the slanders against Palestinians & the solidarity movement with larger rallies & evangelize for the economic boycott of all Israeli products (barcode beginning 729).
(Photo by Suhaib Salem/Reuters)