Antisemitism Amidst Bigotry, Racism, Islamic Supremacy and Political Correctness—CAEF Bulletin, June
Black Lives and Jewish Lives
There are many voices of hatred and antisemitism today, and all need to be countered. It’s a challenge to keep up. With every new human or natural disaster, there is likely a claim made by some that Jews are behind it. Now with the tragedy of the very public and horrible murder of George Floyd, calls for racial justice are often mixed with calls for acts against Jews or Israel, rather than equal justice for all. It’s a historic much replayed story; blame the Jews, and then punish them collectively, disregard facts and create fiction.
There are so many and various ways that antisemitism is expressed, from the virulent racist cartoons of the Iranian regime, to the not funny antisemitic comedy acts by France’s Dieudonne's M’bala M’bala, to the slurs and tweets of American rapper O’Shea Jackson, known as Ice Cube, to the recent destructive attacks on Jewish establishments in the pogrom-like events against synagogues in LA (which have gone mostly unreported), to the actual stabbing of a Jewish man this past week outside a London high street bank.
Many wonderful and knowledgeable speakers are presenting facts, history and analysis of antisemitism via webinars daily. We have unfettered access to great minds, a trove of information, documentation, scientific evidence and professorial presentations about this old and evil hatred, but where are the solutions???
The movement Black Lives Matter is not looking for apologies, sympathetic statements, promises and pledges, but Action. This time they have manifestos demanding change. I get that. But let’s not confuse the movement for Black justice with the Black Lives Matter organization whose 2016 manifesto includes outright lies about Israel, support for pro-Palestinian terrorism, and which conflates anti-black racism with Israelis defending their country from terrorism. Several things strike me as most important in response to the current situation:
Words are not enough, change is essential.
The cause of Black lives matter is not justification for any form of racism, antisemitism, or hatred of others.
Civil unrest yes, riots no.
Effective and compassionate policing yes, unfunded police no.
We need address the unjust “Black Lives Solidarity with Palestine,” a component of BLM. Jews need to demand the removal of the antisemitic planks in the BLM platform.
Society together needs to work on societal issues such as achieving equitable access to jobs, education, health care, justice, housing, and other areas within our democratic society. We need to do this in respectful, constructive, and collaborative ways, but not judge white/beige/pink people as all evil, unjust, racists. There is no oppressor race. All societies have inequities, some of which are systemic, some of which are meritocratic, some of which are economic, etc. Granting everyone equal access to the health and educational resources of society helps to level the playing field, but we have seen that outcomes are not equal, nor will they ever be. That doesn’t mean that we should not improve policies, practices and service delivery, make it culturally sensitive where appropriate, and help people to help themselves in establishing programs and services, and operating them.
Jewish Activist Lawyer Criticizes Black Lives Matter for Antisemitism
Civil rights lawyer, Harvard University professor emeritus, Alan Dershowitz recently wrote:
“Now is the time to protest the injustice against George Floyd and other African-American men and women who have been unjustly targeted by overzealous — and often racist — police. But now is also the time to speak out against those who would hijack this tragic history to manifest the oldest continuing prejudice known to mankind, namely antisemitism.”
Dershowitz has then been called out by Liberal Jews as “right wing” though he is a known Liberal, pro Democrat, two state solution supporter. He is being condemned because he has defended the position of the Zionist Organization of America in calling out the antisemitism in the 2016 platform of BLM, and he has also defended people he doesn’t like, such as President Trump and Prime Minster Netanyahu on the grounds that both have been subjected to political hypocrisy, falsely accused of non-existent crimes and misdemeanors entirely for the purpose of throwing them out of office, not for defense of justice. That he has defended Arab Palestinians against the state of Israel and served as an expert in civil rights internationally, seems to have no bearing on those who would discredit his view that not everything said by black people is true.
Here is the interview on Jewish Broadcasting Service (JBS TV) in which Dershowitz is clear that the cause of Black Lives Matter is just, but the organization is also spewing antisemitic/anti-Israel messages.
Black Activist Defends Israel and Counters Black Lives Matter
One of the most important young voices today in the Black and Christian world is that of Joshua Washington, Director of the Institute for Black Solidarity with Israel (IBSI), son of its founder, Rev. Dumisani Washington.
Here are excerpts from his article in the The Times of Israel, June 8, 2020
“Among the black civil rights leaders, those who are anti-Israel tend to see a similarity between their struggle and the Palestinian struggle. Beside the fact that the notion is absolutely false, it is intentional. Arab leaders have sought to hijack black narratives to legitimize their cause since the 60s. That is why Mahmoud Abbas refers to Israel as “racist,” and compares it to the Jim Crow laws America used to have. Such a propaganda campaign is only effective amongst the “color consumed.” If one is color consumed, all Israel’s enemies have to do is to get them to see Israel as a country of white Europeans. Virtually nothing else has to be done; the color consumed will fill in the blanks with that very bias. It’s why Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority, calls Israel an “apartheid state,” though nothing in Israel resembles apartheid. To the black South African with unresolved hurt and bitterness from apartheid, not much else needs to be said.
Fast-forward to the present day: the Movement for Black Lives (M4BL) is one of the major partners of Black Lives Matter. In their policy platforms, they have an “invest-divest” section which, under “cut military expenditures,” it mentions Israel as a apartheid, genocidal regime that routinely arrest 4 year-old Palestinians. All lies, but they have taken their cue straight out of the SNCC playbook; a playbook, if one remembers, of out of unresearched and unverified libels and antisemitic stereotypes written by someone who had previous personal ties to Palestinians. From its beginning, BLM had an anti-Israel bias. From their earliest moments, “From Ferguson to Palestine” was a slogan taken up immediately following Michael Brown’s killing by officer Darren Wilson. The slogan read “From Ferguson to Palestine – Occupation is a Crime.” This feigned support is nothing more than a calculated effort by Palestinian leaders to divert attention away from how they are oppressing their people. And we know now that this is nothing new.
What adds insult to injury is that BLM does seek allyship from the Jewish community, so long as they are diametrically opposed to the Jewish state. Jewish people should not be expected to check their Zionism at the door in order to join arms with BLM. Jews should not be expected to do that, no more than a Kenyan should be expected to denounce Kenya, or a Brazilian be expected to denounce South America. Can black Americans even imagine joining a Filipino justice movement only to be asked to voice our denunciation of the civil rights movement in order to join? No. We would not. Imagine a justice movement for black South Africans that, despite having good people on the ground who may be unaware of the movement’s national positions, posited that slavery was voluntary, and that West Africans got on ships because they were excited to come to America and be worked to death. There is no scenario where a black American, upon finding this out, would be a part of such movement. It is mind boggling to fathom why anyone would expect anyone else to do the same.”
Countering claims that black Americans and Jews are not together in common cause, Washington wrote in The Times of Israel on April 11, 2019 that Black Americans have always stood with Israel.
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Jewish Contributions to the World Need to be Recognized in Countering Antisemitism
In a well presented web program the co-founders of the European Coalition for Israel, soon to be the International Coalition for Israel, provided some insights into antisemitism.
Tomas Sandell (right) and Gregory Lafitte (left) explained as follows: "Many believe that antisemitism begins with hatred of the Jewish people. We believe it starts much earlier, when people no longer respect or appreciate their culture, sometimes even denying that the Jewish people have a history and a culture of their own.
The antidote to antisemitism is therefore not passive tolerance but rather the pro-active recognition, appreciation and even celebration of the Jewish culture. This should not be difficult in the case of Jewish culture the contributions of which to humanity have been so central, as illustrated for example by the introduction of moral law on Mount Sinai more than three thousand four hundred years ago.
The Forum for Cultural Diplomacy aims at raising awareness of Jewish contributions to humanity through the celebration of Jewish feasts at the United Nations in New York. Over the years these events have included the study of the universal messages of such Jewish holidays as Pesach, Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.
In 2014 FCD initiated a process which led to the UN recognition of Yom Kippur as an official UN holiday, hence becoming the first Jewish holiday to receive such an official status at the UN after almost 65 years of Israeli membership.
The State of Israel is absolutely central in this understanding of Jewish culture as it is the fulfilment of Jewish self-determination and the reconstitution of a national home in the ancestral land of the Jewish people.
By bringing together the nations to learn from the ways of the Jewish people (Isaiah 2), we have been able to create a unique community of member states which are eager to learn more about Jewish life and Jewish culture. This includes a greater appreciation for the only Jewish state in the world, the State of Israel.
To again quote the former Deputy Secretary-General, Jan Eliasson, 'Cultural Diplomacy is the way of the future'.”
A Canadian Scholar Speaks of Jewish Sovereignty Under International Law
One of the most important pieces of research documenting Jewish rights to Jerusalem and Israel has been produced by international legal expert and much acclaimed advocate for Israel, Dr. Jacques Gauthier. This past week he provided an incredible overview of Israel’s sovereign rights in less than an hour in a webcast with presented by ISGAP, the Institute for Studies in Global Antisemitism and Policy. It is absolutely worth watching so that one is equipped with information to defend Israel, and to best understand the battle over the extension of Israeli law to Judea and Samaria. The international community is failing to even refer to the law in judging Israel.
The Antisemitic Virus Throughout History and the Tolerist Ideology
A dynamic CAEF WebTalk was presented on June 9th, featuring authors Diane Bederman and Howard Rotberg. They each presented their analysis of the anti-establishment crusade against Jews, Israel and rational thought. They reference their publications which provide great insights supporting their respective theses. Both track antisemitism, from religion to culture to antiZionism, and to the current leftist form that tolerates intolerance, shuts down free speech, cancels voices it doesn’t wish to hear, bans people on social media for conservative views, sees civil discourse as disruptive to their ideological imperative, and thus discredits Israel as the sine qua non for social justice. However, the truth is that the Leftist-Islamist alliance, the pro-Palestinian-Anti-Zionist detractors are not interested in real social justice at all. Listen here: