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(Cross-posted at My Left Wing.)

This is just sad.

The Jerusalem Post is reporting that:

Israeli sources confirmed on Thursday Yemeni media reports that the overwhelming majority of the final remnant of Yemen's ancient Jewish community, numbering some 250 people, are looking to leave the country due to persecution and violence.

Wherever any one of us may fall along the exceedingly contentious I-P spectrum, I think that we can all agree that seeing the last remnants of this ancient Jewish community in flight from persecution is... well?... sad.

It's just sad.  

The history of the Jewish people is replete with such episodes and one would hope that we have come to a point in history where this kind of thing is over, but clearly that is not the case.

The article quoted Rabbi Yahya Yaish, chief rabbi of the Ridah and Amran districts, who said that "all Jews in the area are preparing to leave for Israel within the next [few] days."

Yaish is the brother of Moshe Yaish al-Nahari, a community leader who was murdered in December by a local man who demanded that he convert to Islam. Nahari's three daughters moved to Israel shortly after his murder, while his three sons made aliya in recent days with the help of the Jewish Agency, according to reports in the Yemeni media. His killer was sentenced to death in June.

Despite the rabbi's suggestion that all the Yemeni Jews intend to make aliyah, the Jerusalem Post article claims that of this last final fragment of a Jewish presence in Yemen, about 150 would like to make aliyah, that is, of course, move to Israel, whereas the other 100 would prefer to move to the United States which contains a small Yemeni Jewish community.

I first became aware of the plight of Yemen's remaining Jews when, some months ago, I noticed this article, entitled "Yemen’s Jews Flee Home of 2,500 Years Amid Threats."

This article notes:

About 7,000 Jews live in Arab countries, down from more than 750,000 before Israel was created in 1948. Yemen, with the third-largest community after Morocco and Tunisia, has become a more hostile place for Jews since Israel’s January invasion of the Gaza Strip.

7,000, down from 750,000 prior to the '48 war.

According to Wikipedia, the total world Jewish population is slightly over 13 million people.  A little over 5 million, just about 40%, reside in Israel and most of the rest, about 6 million, reside in North America.  This means, of course, that the vast majority of Jews have emptied out of everywhere except for Israel and the United States.

Europe still contains about 1.5 million Jews, about 1 million of whom reside in the European Union countries and less than half that number in Russia.

As anyone who follows this kind of thing knows, however difficult (if not impossible) it might be for Jews to reside in most Middle Eastern countries, things have gotten decidedly ugly in Europe, as well.

A study published last February by the Anti-Defamation League (pdf) concludes, among other things, the following:

The data indicate that Europeans continue to question the
loyalty of their Jewish citizens.

Overall, nearly half of those surveyed in the seven countries, 49
percent, believe that Jews are more loyal to Israel than to their
own country.

A majority of respondents in Germany, Poland and Spain
believe that this statement is "probably true."

Furthermore:

High levels of those surveyed across Europe continue to
believe in the traditional anti-Jewish canard that "Jews have too
much power in the business world."

Overall, 40 percent of all respondents believe this stereotype to
be true.

More than half of Hungarian, Spanish and Polish respondents
believe that "Jews have too much power in the business
world."

These attitudes are reflected in the fact that anti-Jewish violence is also rising in Europe.  While there is plenty of material confirming this for anyone interested, this Wall Street Journal article notes:

Jews around Europe are increasingly under attack since Israel decided two weeks ago to defend itself after years of rocket fire at its civilian population. There have been arson attempts on synagogues in Britain, Belgium and Germany. Police last week arrested Muslim protesters who wanted to enter the Jewish quarter in Antwerp. Several Danish schools with large Muslim student bodies say they won't enroll Jewish kids because they can't guarantee the children's safety. In France, a group of teenagers attacked a 14-year-old girl last week, calling her "dirty Jew" while kicking her.

Whatever latent anti-Semitism that may have existed in Europe prior to "Cast Lead" it was set free when Israel invaded Gaza.

In the mean time, those 250 Yemeni Jews are packing their bags and readying to head out.

Photobucket

And who can blame them?

Originally posted to Karmafish on Fri Aug 14, 2009 at 12:41 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

    •  From your Bloomberg link: (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JPhurst, Karmafish

      Judge Hamoud Abdul Hameed al-Hitar, Yemen’s religious- affairs minister, described Yemeni Jews as "Yemenis first, Jews second," with the same rights and duties.

      Funny that al-Hitar would say that...My Yemenite/Israeli brother-in-law just said to me, the other day, exactly the opposite.  He told me that the Yemenite Jews were "Yemenite Jews, not Jewish Yemenites" and that they were never treated the same as non-Jewish Yemenites in Yemen, and so their identity always remained distinct.

      One great memory I have of many visits to the Yemenite village (moshav)in Israel where my brother-in-law grew up:  His parents invited me to visit them so I could see a traditional henna ceremony and wedding.  I brought a friend who was very, very tall.  Although they live very modestly and have almost no furniture, my brother-in-law's parents insisted on giving my friend their bed.  As an American, this was astonishing to me -- imagine your parents insisting that a guest sleep in their bed!  They still talk and joke about how tall my friend was, many years later!

      In my experience, Yemenite Jews are some of the sweetest and most adorable people imaginable.

      Thanks for this diary.

      Consider adopting a homeless pet at PAWS.org (Progressive Animal Welfare Society)

      by hikerbiker on Fri Aug 14, 2009 at 06:37:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  My parents always do this! (4+ / 0-)

        As an American, this was astonishing to me -- imagine your parents insisting that a guest sleep in their bed!

         It's an Arab thing.

        The three hardest tasks in the world...: to return love for hate, to include the excluded, and to say, "I was wrong". Sydney J. Harris

        by soysauce on Sat Aug 15, 2009 at 06:32:14 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  So, so nice! (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Karmafish, soysauce, canadian gal

          Most Americans will have guest rooms, or pull-out sofas, or futons, or even inflatable mattresses.  But the idea of having a guest actually sleep in your personal bed would be considered way above and beyond!  

          Family is different.  I always slept in my grandparents' bed and then my Papa would carry me out to the sofabed in the middle of the night.  I always loved the smell of his pillow and I was famous for saying "it smells Papa".  The day he died, I slept in his place next to my grandmother.

          Consider adopting a homeless pet at PAWS.org (Progressive Animal Welfare Society)

          by hikerbiker on Sat Aug 15, 2009 at 07:38:51 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Interesting, thanks (8+ / 0-)

    A fascinating item about a small and beleagured group, placed in context.

    "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

    by lgmcp on Fri Aug 14, 2009 at 12:50:56 PM PDT

  •  Thank you for bringing this to attention (10+ / 0-)

    It is indeed sad.

    "In a democracy, dissent is an act of faith." -- J. William Fulbright

    by ninkasi23 on Fri Aug 14, 2009 at 12:51:45 PM PDT

  •  May they find peace in the more enlightened (7+ / 0-)

    countries where they are relocating.

  •  Helping isolated Jewish populations (15+ / 0-)

    One group I have donated to (and offered to write for but then realized I didn't have time) is Kulanu. Kulanu:

    ...connects with these dispersed groups and individuals through networking. We raise awareness and support for emerging communities through education, research, and publications about their histories and traditions. Our connections help all of us enrich our Jewish lives.

    I like what they do and am fascinated by the varied and unique Jewish populations they help out. You can learn more about the communities they help here. They have some beautiful Kippot from different communities around the world, some nice music CDs and other great products that are beautiful and help impoverished Jewish populations around the world.

  •  I hope the "one-state solution" proponents (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JPhurst, Doodad, ubertar, SciMathGuy, yaque

    take notice of this.

  •  This is Horrible (19+ / 0-)

    It's akin to the persecution of the Bahai in Iran, the Coptic Christians in Egypt, and the Nestorians in Iraq.

    An ancient and unique community about to disappear forever.  What a tragedy.

    This aggression will not stand, man.

    by kaleidescope on Fri Aug 14, 2009 at 01:01:13 PM PDT

    •  There was an even more dire situation (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      canadian gal

      in Iraq.  I recall reading about it during the first year or so of the war, there was an article in the NY Times about the last Jew in Baghdad, I think it was.

      In loving memory: Sophie, June 1, 1993-January 17, 2005. My huckleberry friend.

      by Paul in Berkeley on Fri Aug 14, 2009 at 05:30:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm honored... (7+ / 0-)

    ...to tip & rec this diary.  Thanks for informing us!

  •  Very sad (19+ / 0-)

    I thought I had read somewhere fairly recently that Yemen's Jews were determined to stay in Yemen and the Yemeni government was trying to protect them.  Maybe I got that wrong?  Or things have gotten worse.  Anyway, Karma, your link to "Yemen’s Jews Flee Home of 2,500 Years Amid Threats." isn't working and you forgot the link to the JP story, so I can't read up on it.

    "APN strongly opposes actions that change the status quo in Jerusalem." -- Ori Nir

    by sofia on Fri Aug 14, 2009 at 01:07:01 PM PDT

  •  This is so sad. Hatred is a bad thing. (5+ / 0-)
  •  Sound familiar? (10+ / 0-)

    The data indicate that Europeans continue to question the loyalty of their Jewish citizens.

    Birthers question Obama's nationhood, whether he's a real American or whether he's secret Muslim.  We are told that he's not one of us. The themes are similar.

    The plight of the Jews and the recent attacks on Obama, although differing in many respects, are connected to the same primal fear. It's a fear of the other especially when that 'other' achieves and moves forward in a society to which they are not considered part of the 'natural' or 'mainstream' race.

    I'm proud of the fact that 6 million Jews reside in North America because I would never want to see one race pushed into one country and have to defend itself continuously against hostile forces from all other sides.  

    It's sad to see Jews deciding that they have to pick up and leave a land they have dwelled in for so many years. When will we as a world ever grow up and stop acting out of our archaic nativist instincts?

  •  so sad. (4+ / 0-)

    but quick question.... where are you getting your world population numbers from? according to this, there is a larger jewish population in israel than in the US.

    "Democracy! Bah! When I hear that word I reach for my feather Boa!" - Allen Ginsberg

    by canadian gal on Fri Aug 14, 2009 at 01:36:25 PM PDT

  •  I've said it many times. (18+ / 0-)

    The Arab world is a poorer place with the loss of its Arab Jews. This is sad.

    The situation in Yemen is more complex than you describe.  I've traveled there and it is a failed state that is being dominated by radical elements.  The government can protect no one, and unfortunately all minorities are targeted in a situation like this.  I was not allowed to travel outside Sanaa' without armed government escort.  If offered the opportunity, I imagine a large number of Yemenis of all religious persuasions would take the opportunity to emigrate.

    We should also be aware that Yemeni civil society has been vocal on the need to protect Yemen's Jewish population.  

    The three hardest tasks in the world...: to return love for hate, to include the excluded, and to say, "I was wrong". Sydney J. Harris

    by soysauce on Fri Aug 14, 2009 at 02:15:19 PM PDT

  •  I don't know much about the situation for Jews in (7+ / 0-)

    Yemen, but it's clearly a disgrace and a tragedy that a whole community should feel forced to leave their country for fear of discrimination and persecution.

    That said, your description of antisemitism in Europe is profoundly misleading. It's true that antisemitism rose significantly after the Gaza massacre, as tends to happen following an escalation in Israeli violence, but antisemitism is by no means a mainstream phenomenon in Europe (certainly not Western Europe). Take Britain, for example, often portrayed by right-wing Jewish organisations as crawling with antisemitism. According to the Chief Rabbi,

    "If you were to ask me is Britain an antisemitic society, the answer is manifestly and obviously no. It is one of the least antisemitic societies in the world."

    Indeed as some of the expert witnesses to the 2006 All-Party Parliamentary Inquiry into Antisemitism pointed out, "the level of prejudice and discrimination experienced by Jews in Britain remains lower than that faced by members of other visible minorities".

    Even the head of the CST (the Jewish communal defence organisation in Britain) recently stressed the need to "maintain a sense of proportion":

    "Antisemitism is on the rise, and presents a very real and intensifying challenge: but it does not define the British Jewish experience...

    Most of the time, this is a very good place to be Jewish. Our community is, generally speaking, well integrated, highly educated and relatively prosperous. Jewish cultural activity is diverse, flourishing, and public (unless of course it dares to mention Israel, in which case venues will be hounded into cancelling the event, and protesters will scream "political" abuse at those daring to attend)"

    (That final parenthesis can be ignored as a conflation of antisemitism with political criticism of Israel).

    The fact is that in Western Europe Jews are generally well-integrated into society and are among the most prosperous minority groups. The only way to sustain the dire warnings about growing antisemitism at the heart of British/European society is to reach for the so-called "new antisemitism", a code-word for anti-Zionism or any criticism of Israel deemed by (supporters of Israeli crimes) to go 'too far'. This constant harping about the "new antisemitism" actually distracts from the (important and necessary) fight against the real thing, and actively forments antisemitism by encouraging the conflation of Israel/Zionism with Jews. There's more to be said on this, but that'll have to wait for another diary.

    •  heath (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      livosh1, unfounded, Doodad

      that is very misleading.  You try to debunk a claim about anti-semitism in Europe by focusing on one country.  You completely ignore the rest of Europe.

      You then go the usual route of reflexively claiming that there is no real anti-semitism but that it is all just people critisizing Israel and the too sensitive Jews are screaming anti-semitism.

      "He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that." - J.S. Mill

      by dmsarad on Fri Aug 14, 2009 at 02:27:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  asdf (8+ / 0-)

        "You try to debunk a claim about anti-semitism in Europe by focusing on one country"

        Well, I did specify Western Europe - the situation in France and Germany is not much different to in Britain. Where there's antisemitism it is almost all on the far-right and within some immigrant communities, but it's not a widespread problem within the mainstream, certainly not compared to racism against other minorities (most obviously Muslims).

        "You then go the usual route of reflexively claiming that there is no real anti-semitism"

        Firstly, nothing I said was "reflexive" - I've been writing a diary on this topic for the past week or so and I've considered these issues directly. Secondly, I didn't say that "there is no real anti-semitism" - I said precisely the opposite, repeatedly. What was that about "reflexive"?

        •  It is exactly what you are doing (6+ / 0-)

          rationalizing away anti-semitism is one place and then dismissing it in another.

          The strategy is to continously say that people who claim anti-semitism are really only reacting to anti-israelism.  In doing so, you gain more and more room for what used to be over the line.  It is a common right wing tactic:

          "They are going to call me a racist for this, but Black people do X."

          "You are a racist"

          "See, you can't even say facts anymore without being called a racist."

          By dismissing and rationalizing away anti-semitism, the goal is to provide more space for anti-semitic comments by pre-emptively negating a claim of anti-semitism.

          We see it ALL the time at this site.

          "He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that." - J.S. Mill

          by dmsarad on Fri Aug 14, 2009 at 02:44:02 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yup (7+ / 0-)

            and, as I've mentioned before, they even have a name for something very similar.

            The Livingstone Formulation.

            The Livingstone Formulation has become an absolutely standard response to a charge of antisemitism. It is a rhetorical device which enables the user to refuse to think about antisemitism. It is a mirror which bounces back an accusation, magnified, against anybody who makes it. It sends back a charge of dishonest Jewish conspiracy in answer to a concern about antisemitism.

            Ken Livingstone, the Mayor of London, wrote: ‘for far too long the accusation of antisemitism has been used against anyone who is critical of the policies of the Israeli government'.1 The Livingstone Formulation does two things.

            Firstly, it denies that there is a distinction between criticism of Israel and demonization of Israel. Criticism of Israeli human rights abuses is not only legitimate, it is entirely appropriate. Demonization, for example, which singles out Israel for unique loathing, or which claims that Israel is apartheid or Nazi or essentially racist, or which characterizes Israel as a child-killing state, or a state which is responsible for wars around the world, or a state which is central to global imperialism, is not the same thing as criticism of Israeli government policies.

            Secondly, the Livingstone Formulation does not simply accuse anyone who raises the issue of contemporary antisemitism of being wrong, but it also accuses them of bad faith: ‘the accusation of antisemitism has been used against anyone who is critical...' [my italics]. Not an honest mistake then, but a secret, common plan to try to de-legitimize criticism with an instrumental use of the charge of antisemitism. Crying wolf. Playing the antisemitism card. The Livingstone Formulation is both a straw-man argument and a charge of ‘Zionist' conspiracy. It is itself an antisemitic claim. Its regular appearance is also, in itself, evidence that antisemitic ways of thinking are becoming unexceptional in contemporary mainstream discourse.

            As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly. - Mr. Carlson

            by Karmafish on Fri Aug 14, 2009 at 02:49:42 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  asdf (6+ / 0-)

              From your link:

              In February 2005, Ken Livingstone became embroiled in an apparently trivial late night argument with a reporter, Oliver Finegold, after a party at City Hall. Finegold asked him how the party was. Livingstone became angry because he felt Finegold was intruding. After a little banter to and fro, he asked Finegold whether he had been a ‘German war criminal' before becoming a reporter. Finegold replied that he hadn't, and that he was Jewish, and that he was offended by the suggestion. Livingstone went on to insist that Finegold was behaving just like a ‘German war criminal', that his paper the Evening Standard ‘was a load of scumbags and reactionary bigots' and that it has a record of supporting Fascism.

              Instead of apologizing for his mildly offensive behaviour and moving on, Livingstone chose over the next few days to treat the publication of this exchange as a political opportunity rather than a gaffe. He wrote an article criticizing Ariel Sharon in which he included the following formulation: ‘For far too long the accusation of antisemitism has been used against anyone who is critical of the policies of the Israeli government, as I have been.'

              Even accepting all of this at face value, that's very different from what heathlander is doing.

              What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.

              by Alec82 on Fri Aug 14, 2009 at 02:56:20 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Probably true. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Alec82

                I was mainly just intending to note the Livingstone Formulation to dmsarad and making no claims, whatsoever, about anything that heathlander said.

                As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly. - Mr. Carlson

                by Karmafish on Fri Aug 14, 2009 at 03:00:46 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Yeah, that's bullshit though, (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  capelza, jon the antizionist jew

                  as your uprate of his comment shows. Not that it matters.

                  •  You're bullshit, read the poll #s (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    livosh1, Karmafish, Doodad

                    You publish diary after diary condemning Israel, this guy writes a diary about anti-semitism and you come on all, "Oh shut up, you jews don't have it so bad"

                    I mean at what point does this become less about Palestinians and more about Jews for Mr. Heathlander?

                    •  The poll results were disturbing (3+ / 0-)

                      but again, Karma's portrayal of Jewish life in Europe is simply fantastical. Read the comments I quoted from the Chief Rabbi in Britain, for example. The fact is Jews don't have it so bad (in Western Europe and the US, at any rate, they're doing very, very well), but the actions of the "new antisemitism"-mongers and, it must be said, the Israeli state are making it worse for them, in the ways I describe.

                      "I mean at what point does this become less about Palestinians and more about Jews for Mr. Heathlander?"

                      I don't think I've mentioned Palestinians once.

                    •  And just to be clear, (7+ / 0-)

                      judging from your uprate, you are in agreement with Karmafish and dmsarad that my "goal" is to create space for antisemitism, yes? (And similarly, just to clarify, by questioning this accusation I am breaching the sacred 'Livingstone Formulation', committing yet more antisemitism in the process?).

                      •  I'll let your comments speak for themselves (0+ / 0-)
                        •  that's not good enough in my book (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          heathlander

                          extreme inferences require a more direct response.

                          •  So? (0+ / 0-)

                            Look, if you want me to specifically say my opinion of heathlander, it's that he's made Israel his personal demon for so long that it's bled into his opinion of jews.  As evidence by him traipsing into this diary on anti-semitism with a bunch of frightening poll numbers and bringing an attitude of "oh shut up, you guys don't have it bad, and to the extent you do, you deserve it"

                          •  asdf (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            jon the antizionist jew

                            "it's that he's made Israel his personal demon for so long that it's bled into his opinion of jews"

                            And this is based on...?

                            "As evidence by him traipsing into this diary on anti-semitism with a bunch of frightening poll numbers and bringing an attitude of "oh shut up, you guys don't have it bad, and to the extent you do, you deserve it"

                            Ah, a pathetic misrepresentation of clearly stated and not all that complicated arguments. As usual.

                            You have as much right to call me an antisemite, or to imply that I somehow have negative opinions of Jews, as I do to call you a white supremacist. If you want to accuse me of racism either back it up properly or do it elsewhere. I think Meteor Blades has been quite clear on this.

                          •  I don't think you're particularly racist (0+ / 0-)

                            I just think you've been at your i-hate-israel hobby horse for so long that it's gone to your head and bled over into other concerns.  Only natural.

                          •  This isn't about what you think, (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            zannie

                            which I couldn't care less about. It's about what does and does not constitute acceptable debate on this site. Calling someone an antisemite or implying that they are prejudiced against Jews is, unless you have serious evidence to back those charges up, not considered to be part of legitimate discussion here. Meteor Blades has made that very clear. So either put up or shut up.

                          •  and p.s. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            zannie

                            it's not "[o]nly natural" for one's opposition to Israeli crimes to bleed over into antisemitism. That remark comes perilously close to justifying prejudice against Jews. Interesting that the only comment in this thread that approaches the territory of antisemitism or of rationalising antisemitism has come from you.

                          •  Look man, you storm onto this thread minimizing a (0+ / 0-)

                            and explaining away anti-semitism in europe, after reading those poll #s, you say well it's not that bad, and they wouldn't have it so bad if not for Israel's actions and the jerks playing the anti-semite card.

                            The first half is insensitive, the second half is basically a justification for anti-semitism.

                            Now, I'm not a particularly sensitive guy so I'm not offended.  But imagine if you were saying something like that about US blacks on the heels of a similar poll, that it's not that bad for them and anyways, people would think better of them if Africa wasn't such a basket case and we didn't have to hear about the race card all the time.  Would you defend that?

                          •  I minimised nothing (0+ / 0-)

                            unless quoting Britain's Chief Rabbi qualifies as 'minimizing', and I explained, rather than explained away. This:

                            "they wouldn't have it so bad if not for Israel's actions and the jerks playing the anti-semite card"

                            is just a fact, but it doesn't take away any responsibility from the bigots themselves. As I've repeatedly stated.

                            "the second half is basically a justification for anti-semitism."

                            It's no such thing, of course, and you've been repeatedly disabused of this notion already. Tell me, when the All-Party Parliamentary Inquiry into Antisemitism did in 2006 noted the "clear statistical relationship between events in the Middle East and the level of antisemitic incidents in the UK", was it justifying antisemitism? The only person making this implication is you.

                          •  Well hey just think about it nt (0+ / 0-)
                          •  extreme accusations (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            heathlander

                            require a copy/paste.

                            As evidence by him traipsing into this diary

                            no evidence of getting here any different that you did.

                            bunch of frightening poll numbers

                            frightening to you? this tells me nothing of heathlander.

                            bringing an attitude of "oh shut up

                            really. because excuse me for saying that seems a bit like your message. did he break up you anti semitism love fest?

                            you guys don't have it bad

                            relatively speaking dude, you don't. go ahead and tell me you'ld trade places w/ a pal any day.

                            to the extent you do, you deserve it"

                            .

                            bingo. like i said 'extreme accusations' require a copy/paste. so by all means cough it up. otherwise you sound like another whiner.

                            you can only squeeze so much blood out of this turnip and we are all turnips now. we have heard it over and over the 60's the 70' the 80's etc, and nothing you're are telling me matches the occupation. it is hard redeeming yourself when you are defending one of the most prolific human rights violators in modern day. the longest running occupation on the planet at this time.

                            now, your complaint besides 'he traipsed'
                            .

              •  the evening standard? (0+ / 0-)

                wiki

                Its headline writers have been accused of having a "doom-and-gloom" agenda,[10] and it is quick to boldly announce possible tube and train strikes, which in the event often do not happen as settlement is reached beforehand (which provides the opportunity for another headline).

                During the 2008 London mayoral election, the Evening Standard - and particularly its correspondent Andrew Gilligan - published reports in support of Conservative candidate Boris Johnson, including frequent frontpage headlines condemning Ken Livingstone. This famously included the notable (and arguably misleading) headline, "Suicide bomb backer runs Ken's campaign!

                consider the source of this 'recollection' is all i'm saying.

            •  The 'Livingstone Formulation' (6+ / 0-)

              is a terrible attempt at a forced meme and a perfect illustration of what I was talking about. The "new antisemitism"-mongers can go around accusing people (Mary Robinson, Desmond Tutu, Jimmy Carter, Human Rights Watch, Jewish Voice for Peace, Norman Finkelstein, fuck it, whoever they want) of being antisemitic, and according to the 'Livingstone Formulation' to even dispute such charges is itself antisemitic. It's just preposterous and, for the reasons stated above, deeply irresponsible.

          •  I don't think that is what... (7+ / 0-)

            ....he is doing:

            By dismissing and rationalizing away anti-semitism, the goal is to provide more space for anti-semitic comments by pre-emptively negating a claim of anti-semitism.

            He's saying that you cannot conflate criticism of Israel with antisemitism, and you can't.  He was speaking of Britain, and he wasn't specifically addressing Germany and France, but noted that in his estimation it wasn't much different there.  

            I don't think it is proper to assign a motivation like that to heath.

            What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.

            by Alec82 on Fri Aug 14, 2009 at 02:50:57 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Quite right. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Paul in Berkeley, canadian gal

              But no one here thinks that mere criticism of Israel is anti-Semitic, Alec.

              As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly. - Mr. Carlson

              by Karmafish on Fri Aug 14, 2009 at 03:01:25 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  According to that formulation, though ... (5+ / 0-)

                ....some historical comparisons are.  Setting aside the Nazi comparison, the comparisons to apartheid are deemed antisemitic.  That, I think, is inappropriate.  That formulation is also a little vague as to specifics.  

                Demonization, for example, which singles out Israel for unique loathing, or which claims that Israel is apartheid or Nazi or essentially racist, or which characterizes Israel as a child-killing state, or a state which is responsible for wars around the world, or a state which is central to global imperialism, is not the same thing as criticism of Israeli government policies.

                I don't want your diary to get bogged down in this, but I think it is disingenuous to use the Livingstone example, I think there are arguable points on comparisons to apartheid and I think "central to global imperialism" is just a shorthand way of dismissing leftist criticism.  I'm surprised colonialism wasn't listed as well.

                What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.

                by Alec82 on Fri Aug 14, 2009 at 03:08:30 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Well, I wouldn't call the apartheid (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  livosh1, Doodad

                  analogy anti-Semitic, but I would call it inaccurate.

                  As for "central to global imperialism," I'm just happy that this view (a view that I strenuously disagree with) is almost entirely the domain of the far, fringy left.

                  As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly. - Mr. Carlson

                  by Karmafish on Fri Aug 14, 2009 at 03:36:54 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  It's not just that formulation either (5+ / 0-)

                  if you take a look at the EUMC working definition of antisemitism, it suffers from similar problems.

                  What needs to be understood is that for people like Denis MacShane, Jonathan Hoffman, Abe Foxman, etc. the primary goal is not opposing antisemitism, it's silencing criticism of Israel.

                  Thus, for example, you get Denis MacShane describing extreme antisemitism as the "defining ideology of the 21st century", Richard Littlejohn proclaiming that across Britain it is "open season on the Jews", Abraham Foxman claiming that "[w]e currently face as great a threat to the safety and security of the Jewish people as the one we faced in the 1930s—if not a greater one", and so forth.

                  I mean just compare MacShane's description of life for British Jews today:

                  "Synagogues attacked. Jewish schoolboys jostled on public transportation. Rabbis punched and knifed. British Jews feeling compelled to raise millions to provide private security for their weddings and community events. On campuses, militant anti-Jewish students fueled by Islamist or far-left hate seeking to prevent Jewish students from expressing their opinions"

                  with the descriptions of the Chief Rabbi:

                  "If you were to ask me is Britain an antisemitic society, the answer is manifestly and obviously no. It is one of the least antisemitic societies in the world"

                  and head of the CST:

                  "Antisemitism is on the rise, and presents a very real and intensifying challenge: but it does not define the British Jewish experience...

                  Most of the time, this is a very good place to be Jewish. Our community is, generally speaking, well integrated, highly educated and relatively prosperous. Jewish cultural activity is diverse, flourishing, and public...".

                  He's just on lala land. Why? Because underlying it all is his belief (I'll be charitable and assume he's sincere) that "anti-Zionism is Jew-hatred by other linguistic means" (not just anti-Zionism either, but any criticism of Israel that is deemed to cross certain lines). That's why the "new antisemitism" crowd focuses its ire not on the Right but on the Left and even the liberal mainstream. That's why you get Nick Cohen claiming that "the Socialist Workers Party is more Jew-obsessed that the BNP" [.pdf], MacShane stating that "[a]nti-semitism is back in fashion and can be found on the streets of Islington, Aldershot and Bethnal Green" (Islington, as David Clarke notes, is "widely regarded as the spiritual home of Britain's leftwing intelligentsia"), John Mann MP arguing that "[o]ne aspect that is particularly frightening and unacceptable is the incipient growth of anti-semitism on the left under the cloak of anti-Zionism" and so on, ad nauseum. Thus Denis MacShane claims that "[m]ore worrisome" than overt violence against Jews was

                  "what we described as anti-Jewish discourse, a mood and tone whenever Jews are discussed, whether in the media, at universities, among the liberal media elite or at dinner parties of modish London".

                  His evidence? "To express any support for Israel or any feeling for the right of a Jewish state to exist produces denunciation, even contempt".

                  This charade has been going on since the 1960s (the one thing the "new antisemitism" isn't is 'new') and it's entirely connected with the desire to shield Israel from criticism. These people who go around posing as principled opponents of antisemitism in fact propagate it by relentlessly conflating Zionism and Israel with Jews and by recklessly devaluing the very concept of 'antisemitism', by using it as a political bludgeon. The whole thing is really beneath contempt.

                  •  And interestingly, the converse holds true (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    jon the antizionist jew, Alec82

                    as well. Thus, for example, we are treated to the spectacle of Stephen Pollard (editor of the Jewish Chronicle) defending Polish MEP (and antisemite) Michal Kaminski on the grounds that:

                    "Far from being an anti-Semite, Mr Kaminski is about as pro-Israeli an MEP as exists".

                  •  Anti-Zionism IS racism (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Karmafish

                    Criticism of specific policies or actions of Zionism are not...usually. It also reveals the double standard that Jews are not entitled to a homeland while all others are...especially Palestinians when anti-Zionism is used as a way to support Palestine.

                    A day without sunshine is like, you know, night.

                    by Doodad on Fri Aug 14, 2009 at 04:54:20 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  All others are entitled to a homeland? (5+ / 0-)

                      Every national group is entitled to their own nation-state? Every distinct ethnolinguistic or ethnoreligious group is entitled to a homeland?

                      You can oppose Israel's continuation as a Jewish state and still not be an anti-Semite.  Hell, you can support Israel's status as a Jewish state and be a raging ant-Semite.  

                      It doesn't even really make sense to speak of a single anti-Zionism, either.  Or a single variant of Zionism.  

                      What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.

                      by Alec82 on Fri Aug 14, 2009 at 05:25:18 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Look at it this way (4+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        livosh1, JPhurst, Doodad, canadian gal

                        To oppose Zionism, while not opposing any other form of nationalism, including Palestinian nationalism, singles Jews out from all other groups that have a state or seek a state.  How do you explain singling out Jews for the denial of their national aspirations?

                        Now, some anti-Zionists are that way within a broader context of opposing all forms of nationalism, but that's a different thing.

                        In loving memory: Sophie, June 1, 1993-January 17, 2005. My huckleberry friend.

                        by Paul in Berkeley on Fri Aug 14, 2009 at 05:45:19 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  mmm..... (6+ / 0-)

                          How do you explain singling out Jews for the denial of their national aspirations?

                          We're talking about one state advocates here, and they'd be better off explaining this for themselves, but I suppose it would go something like this: Israel is in a unique spot because it is occupying the territory of millions of Palestinians, and the one state solution is simply an alternative that would allow Palestinians genuine self-determination, along with Jewish Israelis.  

                          There are conflicting political dynamics at play here: The two state solution is the solution to the problem of millions of Palestinians living stateless and dependent on the whims of the government of Israel (am I the only one who finds the World Bank shorthand for it, GOI, really funny? But I digress).  

                          I suppose if that position is antisemitic, all opposition to other nationalist and separatist movements reflects animosity.  So if you oppose Tibetan aspirations, you're racist.  That seems rather juvenile, I'm afraid, and doesn't take any poltical considerations into account, which some anti-Zionists certainly do.

                          What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.

                          by Alec82 on Fri Aug 14, 2009 at 06:04:14 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                        •  Bizarre (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          capelza, jon the antizionist jew

                          "To oppose Zionism, while not opposing any other form of nationalism, including Palestinian nationalism, singles Jews out from all other groups that have a state or seek a state"

                          Surely one must judge each case on its merits? The continuation of Israel as a Jewish state necessitates preventing the Palestinian refugees from returning to their homes and maintaining the status of Israeli Arabs as effectively second-class citizens. Also, for those who believe that the window to achieve a two-state settlement is now over, a one-state settlement may be supported as the best of all alternatives.

                          It's plain from your comments that you haven't a clue about the various justifications for anti-Zionism, so how about you go read a bit and then come back here. Suffice to say, it's true that most people opposed to Zionism are not opposed to, say, the Palestinian desire for a state of their own, and that's due not to different standards but to different circumstances.

                          •  Stick it in your ear. Someone like you has little (0+ / 0-)

                            right to act superior to ANYONE.

                            lol

                            A day without sunshine is like, you know, night.

                            by Doodad on Sat Aug 15, 2009 at 04:37:58 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I am aware of the... (3+ / 0-)

                            ...various excuses (justification implies that there is some merit for the argument) for anti-Zionism.

                            In this day and age, "anti-Zionist" is anti-peace.  And the only credible peace advocate is one who acknowledges that Israel has a right to exist as a Jewish state, and that they will work to marginalize anyone who disagrees.

                            If missiles were falling where my two daughters sleep, I would do everything in order to stop that. -- President Barack Obama

                            by JPhurst on Sat Aug 15, 2009 at 08:20:25 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                        •  Jews are somehow "different," (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Paul in Berkeley, Karmafish

                          Seems to summarize that kind of thinking. And that of course is a version of old antisemitic tropes and fears about Jews.

                          Those opposed to all nationalism might not be antisemites depending on their words. They may simply be unrealistic.

                          A day without sunshine is like, you know, night.

                          by Doodad on Sat Aug 15, 2009 at 04:49:16 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

            •  You can if that criticism is (0+ / 0-)

              obviously antisemitic

              Criticizing Israel does not necessarily make someone anti-Semitic. The determining factor is the intent of the commentator. Legitimate critics accept Israel's right to exist, whereas anti-Semites do not. Anti-Semites use double standards when they criticize Israel, for example, denying Israelis the right to pursue their legitimate claims while encouraging the Palestinians to do so. Anti-Semites deny Israel the right to defend itself, and ignore Jewish victims, while blaming Israel for pursuing their murderers. Anti-Semites rarely, if ever, make positive statements about Israel. Anti-Semites describe Israelis using pejorative terms and hate-speech, suggesting, for example, that they are "racists" or "Nazis."

              Natan Sharansky has suggested a "3-D" test for differentiating legitimate criticism of Israel from anti-Semitism. The first "D" is the test of whether Israel or its leaders are being demonized or their actions blown out of proportion. Equating Israel with Nazi Germany is one example of demonization. The second "D" is the test of double standards. An example is when Israel is singled out for condemnation at the United Nations for perceived human rights abuses while nations that violate human rights on a massive scale, such as Iran, Syria, and Saudi Arabia, are not even mentioned. The third "D" is the test of delegitimization. Questioning Israel's legitimacy, that is, its right to exist is always anti-Semitic (Natan Sharansky, "Antisemitism in 3-D", Forward, January 21, 2005).

              No campaign exists to prevent people from expressing negative opinions about Israeli policy. In fact, the most vociferous critics of Israel are Israelis themselves who use their freedom of speech to express their concerns every day. A glance at any Israeli newspaper will reveal a surfeit of articles questioning particular government policies. Anti-Semites, however, do not share Israelis' interest in improving the society; their goal is to delegitimize the state in the short-run, and destroy it in the long-run. There is nothing Israel could do to satisfy these critics.

              http://www.ujc.org/...

              A day without sunshine is like, you know, night.

              by Doodad on Fri Aug 14, 2009 at 03:29:18 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  This... (6+ / 0-)

                Questioning Israel's legitimacy, that is, its right to exist is always anti-Semitic

                ....would make every last advocate of the one state solution anti-Semitic. Left wing advocates of that position may be many things, arguably utopian, idealistic, wrong-headed, etc., but that doesn't make them anti-Semitic.  

                That would be like conflating libertarians who oppose anti-discrimination laws in employment with racists.  

                What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.

                by Alec82 on Fri Aug 14, 2009 at 03:35:50 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Or I guess I should say... (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                capelza, jon the antizionist jew

                ...it could make every advocate of the one state solution anti-Semitic.  It isn't clear what "right to exist" means in that context.  

                What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.

                by Alec82 on Fri Aug 14, 2009 at 03:36:44 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Since the author is not a moron (0+ / 0-)

                  I suspect he means those who try to take it all back to the beginnings arguing Israel was a mistake; should never have happened, etc.

                  I don't see him saying anything about one-staters. Of course they,realizing the impact to the one single Jewish state in the world could be described as many things including antisemitic IF and only IF they showed a consistent pattern of antisemitic tropes or if they never showed their "one state" ideology by turning it on other states who are similiar.

                  A day without sunshine is like, you know, night.

                  by Doodad on Fri Aug 14, 2009 at 04:12:05 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Well since the one... (5+ / 0-)

                    ...who created the formulation, this "3D Test," is Natan Sharansky, it's entirely possible that the author of note in this case is in fact a propogandist, as he was a member of Likud and a right wing supporter of West Bank and Gaza colonization.  Since he has taken such extreme positions, it's fair to question whether that formulation was benign.  

                    What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.

                    by Alec82 on Fri Aug 14, 2009 at 04:22:29 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  You could be right but isn't a little (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Karmafish, canadian gal

                      paranoid to suggest a conspiracy just because his politics don't match yours? Antisemitism comes mainly from extremists on the right and left. This guy is simple proposing a test.

                      It seems to me that any person of goodwill would be against demonization, double standards and delegitimization; all of which, BTW are classic ploys against the Jews in history.

                      And may I state my view here that some truths transcend or should transcend petty politics especially in reasoned discussion.

                      A day without sunshine is like, you know, night.

                      by Doodad on Fri Aug 14, 2009 at 04:45:25 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Conspiracy? (6+ / 0-)

                        A conspiracy would require two or more people.  I'm suggesting that a right wing proponent of Israeli colonization would probably seek to deflect legitimate criticism of Israeli policy by conflating controversial political stances with antisemitism.  Similarly, Islamic fundamentalists have sought to hide behind false accusations of bigotry to attack the principle of free speech, as have Catholic traditionalists.  This is no different.  Associating a controversial political stance with hatred of Jews is no different from the false accusations of anti-Americanism, which tellingly is often directed at other Americans.  

                        Yes, some principles should transcend politics in reasoned discussion.  Including good faith.  Conflating advocacy of the one state solution with antisemitism is a sign of bad faith.  

                        What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.

                        by Alec82 on Fri Aug 14, 2009 at 04:58:29 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Look, either one thinks Jews have the same (0+ / 0-)

                          rights as others or they don't. The latter are definitely antisemitic ESPECIALLY in light of how Israel came to be. You can couch it in all the political or moral dogma you want but it still comes out the same. Holding personal beliefs above the well being of Jews OR Arabs is gross.

                          A day without sunshine is like, you know, night.

                          by Doodad on Sat Aug 15, 2009 at 04:54:59 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

            •  Ah but what about this? (6+ / 0-)

              "He's saying that you cannot conflate criticism of Israel with antisemitism, and you can't."

              As a general principle, I agree with that, but what about this statement from Heathlander in his original comment:

              "It's true that antisemitism rose significantly after the Gaza massacre, as tends to happen following an escalation in Israeli violence..."

              That indicates that the perpetrators of this anti-semitism are taking out on Jews their issues with Israeli policies and actions.  They are, in effect, criticizing Israel by engaging in anti-semitism directed towards European Jews, because they are Jews.

              In loving memory: Sophie, June 1, 1993-January 17, 2005. My huckleberry friend.

              by Paul in Berkeley on Fri Aug 14, 2009 at 05:38:30 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Or.... (6+ / 0-)

                ...legitimizing a pre-existing condition of anti-semitism by justifying it on the basis of Israel's actions.  But let's not confuse their anti-semitic attitudes with criticism of Israel.

                What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.

                by Alec82 on Fri Aug 14, 2009 at 05:42:32 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  bingo! (5+ / 0-)

                people can't have it both ways. either israel=jews or it doesn't.

                "Democracy! Bah! When I hear that word I reach for my feather Boa!" - Allen Ginsberg

                by canadian gal on Fri Aug 14, 2009 at 06:22:49 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Sometimes (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Doodad, Terra Mystica, canadian gal

                  Criticism of Israel really is just a mask for hatred of Jews.

                  In loving memory: Sophie, June 1, 1993-January 17, 2005. My huckleberry friend.

                  by Paul in Berkeley on Fri Aug 14, 2009 at 07:23:08 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Can't have it both ways for whatever purpose (8+ / 0-)

                  of argument.  Agree on that basis.

                  Equating Israel to Jews seems to me to be an act of intentional ambiguity given all the definitions of Zionism and the good faith debate on what is a Jew (religion, ethnicity, history, etc.).  The construct is almost never used in good faith, imho.  

                  For example the whole "Jewish state" contention (insistence in some political circles) is loaded with downsides.  It lends itself to the same type of broad brush labeling and attributions for individual Arabs/Muslims, that the bad acts of Arab/Muslim states get used to generate (Please forgive my grammar.)  We've all seen it.  It runs counter to combatting any underlying ugliness, simply because it is so easy to point to.  

                  Even in this diary (which I reccd) Karmafish presents an undertone of "look what an Arab state is doing to Jews."  My sense is that he did not mean that in an ugly way, but the subtext was there.  It took soysauce's comment to provide the actual underlying context/reality.  That requirement for a second clarifying comment highlights the danger, again, imho.  The second comment is lost to anyone not paying specific attention.

                  FWIW.

                  "Peace be the journey. Cool Runnings!"

                  by Terra Mystica on Fri Aug 14, 2009 at 08:14:27 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  i'm not sure... (4+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    arielle, Doodad, Terra Mystica, hikerbiker

                    i either fully understand (forgive my limited brain-power right now) or agree with everything that you have said.

                    first, israel is a jewish state that is not ambiguous to me at all. it was created as a safe-haven for jewish people, regardless of practice, nationality or culture in light of man's history of persecution of this group. to be sure israel as a country has had a complex relationship - both philosophically and practically with how the dichotomy of religion is to be processed and applied in this way.

                    this is also further complicated by israel's actions, as a country, as they do not necessarily represent all jewish (or other) people's views, quite like canada's actions do not necessarily represent all canadians views.

                    i also didn't get the same reading as you of karma's message as it applies to arab countries and i too recced this diary.

                    where i think we do agree is that good faith tends to get lost in much of the discussion surrounding israel and in those making distinctions of that kind. for example, would anyone on these boards ever dare to suggest that racism against hispanics is understandable because of the actions of mexico's government in dealing with the drug trade? do the actions of a person, country or something else create racism or anti-semitism? surely as progressives we can agree that is hogwash.

                    so while some make the argument that criticism of israel is not anti-semitic (and indeed i agree) then one cannot then turn around and justify (or contextualize) anti-semitic sentiment around israel's actions. (unless of course, they agree that criticism of israel is anti-semitic :)

                    "Democracy! Bah! When I hear that word I reach for my feather Boa!" - Allen Ginsberg

                    by canadian gal on Fri Aug 14, 2009 at 08:53:54 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  The exchange between soysauce and PiB (2+ / 0-)

                      below should have been my starting point.  There are haters and they will hate no matter what.  Not giving in to that is the first principle, no matter the terminology.

                      I think that actions of governments do reflect on the people that are identified with that government/country, and that is a general, and nasty, problem we all have to deal with.

                      "Peace be the journey. Cool Runnings!"

                      by Terra Mystica on Fri Aug 14, 2009 at 10:10:27 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  Certainly one cannot (5+ / 0-)

                      "then one cannot then turn around and justify (or contextualize) anti-semitic sentiment around israel's actions."

                      justify them, but we can of course "contextualize" them. As the All-Party Parliamentary Inquiry into Antisemitism pointed out [.pdf],

                      "There is a clear statistical relationship between events in the Middle East and the level of antisemitic incidents in the UK".

                      The 'context' is clearly there. Again, it clearly isn't justified to take out one's anger against Israel on Jews. But this is one of the reasons why the "new antisemitism" rhetoric is so irresponsible: it encourages the conflation of Israel and Zionism with Jews, making this kind of antisemitic reaction more likely.

                    •  Another way to look at the dangers is to look (5+ / 0-)

                      at it from the perspective of someone (Netanyahu) who might have the intention of including all Jews as party to the actions and efforts of Israel, willing or not.  I could see no better way of doing that than by insisting that Israel be called "the Jewish State."  To what degree of success any attempted broader involvement might meet is a separate question.

                      Israel is a unique country.  A haven for Jews, an aspiration, of Jewish character, yes.  But to equate Israel to Jews (where we began on this), whether that be anti-Zionism equals antisemitism or some similar construct, or nakedly antisemitic blather, is to wave a big red flag of disingenuousness.

                      Your last para is the heart of the issue, and what I was trying, unsuccessfully, to get at.  Namely that criticism of Israel is called antisemitic, and then in the same (hypothetical) paragraph/thread, the relationship between Israel and Jews is decoupled to proclaim that the actions of Israel don't reflect on all Jews.  That was my agreement on not having it both ways.  The relationship either is or isn't coupled.  Criticism of Israel's policies can't be both antisemitic and unrelated to Jews in general.

                      Now unless someone argues that Israel is defined as a Jewish State, then it could (and certainly would) be argued that criticism of Israel was criticism of some Jews and therefore antisemitic.  Which comes back to my first paragraph, and this becomes an unending argument of finer and finer granularity.

                      This is a rhetorical quagmire, and there are few discernible (to me anyway) rules.  I just look for signs of good faith argument and go from there.  Progress is being made on that front.  

                      Be well.

                      "Peace be the journey. Cool Runnings!"

                      by Terra Mystica on Sat Aug 15, 2009 at 01:29:38 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

              •  Paul you are making a very good argument (5+ / 0-)

                for Israel not being the Jewish state.  When the Israeli government insists on this distinction, it obviously causes lots of confusion and sometimes grief for Jews living outside the country.

                The three hardest tasks in the world...: to return love for hate, to include the excluded, and to say, "I was wrong". Sydney J. Harris

                by soysauce on Fri Aug 14, 2009 at 07:56:09 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Right... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                jon the antizionist jew

                "They are, in effect, criticizing Israel by engaging in anti-semitism directed towards European Jews, because they are Jew"

                so what's your point? No one here is defending people who do that - though again, by constantly conflating Israel and Zionism with Jews the State of Israel and many of its apologists deserve some of the blame.

                •  No, that's just wrong (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  arielle, Karmafish, canadian gal

                  That's like blaming the rape victim because she dressed sexy. Just lie back and enjoy it, hon.  

                  Nope, I reject that notion completely.  The blame for bigotry is always 100% on the bigots.

                  In loving memory: Sophie, June 1, 1993-January 17, 2005. My huckleberry friend.

                  by Paul in Berkeley on Sat Aug 15, 2009 at 07:40:16 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Well, I disagree (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    jon the antizionist jew

                    if people deliberately conflate Israel/Zionism with Jews, knowing full well that the kind of confusion this is likely to engender will increase the likelihood of antisemitism from occurring, then they absolutely deserve to condemned as formentors of antisemitism. That doesn't, by the way, deflect any responsibility from the antisemites themselves - 'blame' doesn't work that way.

                    •  Here's a related situation (0+ / 0-)

                      Let's say there's a Palestinian suicide bomber.  The IDF shows up at his family home with an armored bulldozer.  They are going to knock down that family home because someone in the family committed a terrorist attack.  Is it their fault, because they are related to him?

                      In loving memory: Sophie, June 1, 1993-January 17, 2005. My huckleberry friend.

                      by Paul in Berkeley on Sat Aug 15, 2009 at 06:40:20 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Nah, I don't like that example either (0+ / 0-)

                        In loving memory: Sophie, June 1, 1993-January 17, 2005. My huckleberry friend.

                        by Paul in Berkeley on Sat Aug 15, 2009 at 08:05:24 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Here's a better one (0+ / 0-)

                          Let's say a man rapes a woman and offers in his defence that she was wearing a short skirt. Obviously, in that situation, the rapist would deserve all of the blame and the woman none of it.

                          But let's say a prominent radio presenter had for months been suggesting that women who dress that way 'bring it on themselves', hinting that wearing a short skirt implies consent for sexual activity, trivialising the whole thing as a bit of a joke, etc. And let's say, to make the analogy fit, that his words did have an effect in making some people view rape, at least of skimpily-clad women, as more acceptable.

                          If there is a rise in rape of skimpily-clad women following his pronouncements, should he not also deserve some of the blame, without taking any away from the rapists themselves?

                          Or let's take another example. Bill O'Reilly was blamed by many for stoking the irrational anger and hatred that led to the murder of Dr. Tiller. Is that wrong? Does that take away any of the blame from the murderers themselves? I don't think so.

                          The same applies here. If people repeatedly conflate Israel/Zionism with Jews, knowing full well that the result is likely to be increased antisemitic responses to Israeli violence, then they absolutely deserve to be condemned as promoters of antisemitism, without taking any responsibility away from the antisemites themselves.

          •  asdf (6+ / 0-)

            "rationalizing away anti-semitism is one place"

            Where did I do that?

            "and then dismissing it in another"

            I dismissed the fraudulent "new antisemitism", not real antisemitism (and in fact my main criticism of the former was that it detracts from and undermines the "important and necessary" struggle against the latter).

            "The strategy is to continously say that people who claim anti-semitism are really only reacting to anti-israelism"

            I didn't say "people", though, I very specifically referred to the "new antisemitism"-mongers (I even named one of them specifically).

            "the goal is to provide more space for anti-semitic comments by pre-emptively negating a claim of anti-semitism"

            So now my goal is to provide succour for antisemites? Right. I don't think this discussion is worth continuing past this point.

    •  Did you read the polling #s? (0+ / 0-)

      Read them again

    •  nothing new (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      heathlander

      jonathan cook

      The trajectory of a long-running campaign that gave birth this month to the preposterous all-party British parliamentary report into anti-Semitism in the UK can be traced back to intensive lobbying by the Israeli government that began more than four years ago, in early 2002.

      At that time, as Ariel Sharon was shredding the tattered remains of the Oslo accords by reinvading West Bank towns handed over to the Palestinian Authority in his destructive rampage known as Operation Defensive Shield, he drafted the Israeli media into the fray. Local newspapers began endlessly highlighting concerns about the rise of a "new anti-Semitism", a theme that was rapidly and enthusiastically taken up by the muscular Zionist lobby in the US
      ....

      Such views were first aired by senior members of Sharon's cabinet. In an interview in the Jerusalem Post in November 2002, for example, Binyamin Netanyahu warned that latent anti-Semitism was again becoming active:

      "In my view, there are many in Europe who oppose anti-Semitism, and many governments and leaders who oppose anti-Semitism, but the strain exists there. It is ignoring reality to say that it is not present. It has now been wedded to and stimulated by the more potent and more overt force of anti-Semitism, which is Islamic anti-Semitism coming from some of the Islamic minorities in European countries. This is often disguised as anti-Zionism."

      Netanyahu proposed "lancing the boil" by beginning an aggressive public relations campaign of "self-defence". A month later Israel's president, Moshe Katsav, picked on the softest target of all, warning during a state visit that the fight against anti-Semitism must begin in Germany, where "voices of anti-Semitism can be heard".

      But, as ever, the main target of the new anti-Semitism campaign were audiences in the US, Israel's generous patron. There, members of the Israel lobby were turning into a chorus of doom.

      In the early stages of the campaign, the lobby's real motivation was not concealed: it wanted to smother a fledgling debate by American civil society, particularly the churches and universities, to divest -- withdraw their substantial investments -- from Israel in response to Operation Defensive Shield.

      In October 2002, after Israel had effectively reoccupied the West Bank, the ever-reliable Abraham Foxman, director of the Anti-Defamation League, lumped in critics who were calling for divestment from Israel with the new anti-Semites. He urged a new body established by the Israeli government called the Forum for Co-ordinating the Struggle against anti-Semitism to articulate clearly "what we know in our hearts and guts: when that line [to anti-Semitism] is crossed".

  •  I had a friend once (0+ / 0-)

    Who was a Yemeni jew. Avshalom, I only knew Avi's full name because I helped him fill out his visa paperwork when we worked together. His family moved to Israel when he was a boy, he told me he didn't like it there, something about him and his family being treated poorly, he prefered to stay here in America.

    If there is any justice in this world, there will never be an aircraft carrier named after George W. Bush.

    by Drewid on Fri Aug 14, 2009 at 03:07:28 PM PDT

  •  Terrible news, but thanks for relating it. n/t (7+ / 0-)
  •  See, now you've just reminded me (4+ / 0-)

    of this exquisite Yemeni girl I met in Israel in 1977.  She was dark-skinned, with glossy black curly hair, and the most delicious eyes.  Her name was Dahlia, and I stayed with her family for a weekend.  They spoke no English, but that was OK. I recall at dinner that first night, they spread this red paste on a piece of bread and offered it to me, every one of them grinning.  Well, that had to have been the hottest thing I've ever tasted, and they had a big laugh at how red my face turned, and the river of tears that gushed from my eyes.  As a matter of pride, I insisted on a second helping of that.  

    Dahlia had a rocking hot bod, too. I'm pretty sure I still have a couple of pics of her at home somewhere. I'll have to find those tonight.

    In loving memory: Sophie, June 1, 1993-January 17, 2005. My huckleberry friend.

    by Paul in Berkeley on Fri Aug 14, 2009 at 03:49:50 PM PDT

  •  How is it for others in Yemen? (5+ / 0-)

    Back in the late 90s, I went on a high school trip to DC to learn about government. We all went to different embassies, and my group ended up with Yemen's. We were briefed by a staffer with the most recent CIA info, and the main thing I recall is that the #1 source of employment there was a Coca-Cola factory, the second was, according to our staffer, "kidnapping Dutch tourists for ransom." We were asked to kindly refrain from asking about that, but it certainly made the embassy's appeal to get us to visit Yemen less successful.

    Has it gotten any better over there in the last decade or so? If not this news is not all that hard to believe. :\

  •  Thank you for this article... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Karmafish

    ...it is heartening to see some people who recognize this tragedy.  It is disheartening to see that the now completed ethnic cleansing of Yemen has resulted in hardly any outrage.

    At this time, the one thing that heartens me is that there are two havens for this community, the United States and Israel.  Both very different, both incredibly inspiring.  I am proud to be a citizen of the former, and a supporter of the latter even when it is not politically correct to do so.

    God Bless America!

    Am Yisrael Chai!

    If missiles were falling where my two daughters sleep, I would do everything in order to stop that. -- President Barack Obama

    by JPhurst on Sat Aug 15, 2009 at 08:23:39 AM PDT

    •  Be careful with the "ethnic cleansing" charge. (0+ / 0-)

      I think it is way overused, in general, and not appropriate here.

      Consider adopting a homeless pet at PAWS.org (Progressive Animal Welfare Society)

      by hikerbiker on Sat Aug 15, 2009 at 07:47:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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