Google, Facebook to help Israeli colonists combat “cyberhate”?

Maidhc Ó Cathail
Maidhc Ó Cathail

Maidhc Ó Cathail

Maidhc Ó Cathail
The Passionate Attachment
May 13, 2012

In a May 10 press release, the staunchly pro-Israel Anti-Defamation League (ADL) announced it “will convene a new working group on cyberhate that will bring together Internet industry leaders and others to probe the roots of the problem and develop new solutions to address it head-on.”

According to the ADL statement, the establishment of a “Anti-Cyberhate Working Group” was approved by the Task Force on Internet Hate at a May 7 meeting held at the Stanford Center for Internet and Society in Palo Alto, California. The task force was created by the Inter-parliamentary Coalition for Combating Anti-Semitism (ICCA).

Continue reading

Günter the Terrible

Uri Avnery

Uri Avnery

STOP ME if I have told you this joke before:

Somewhere in the US, a demonstration takes place. The police arrive and beat the protesters mercilessly.

“Don’t hit me,” someone shouts, “I am an anti-communist!”

“I couldn’t give a damn what kind of a communist you are!” a policeman answers as he raises his baton.

THE FIRST time I told this joke was when a German group visited the Knesset and met with German-born members, including me.

They went out of their way to praise Israel, lauding everything we had been doing, condemning every bit of criticism, however harmless it might be. It became downright embarrassing, since some of us in the Knesset were very critical of our government’s policy in the occupied territories. Continue reading

Steve Jobs, Palestinians’s steps and more

Mazin Qumsiyeh

In this week’s digest, further tree uprooting and destruction in Walaja, upcoming Friday Demonstrations, the death of Steve Jobs (co-founder of Apple and son of a Syrian immigrant to America), home demolitions increased five folds, Israel police turning a blind eye to lynching, “anti-Semitism” in the occupy Wall street movement, where did Palestine come from, and two opinion pieces (one on biology of religion and one on the Palestinians next move).


The media, the Palestinian political leadership, and the public is not rising to the challenge as life is destroyed.  A good example is the village of Al-Walaja: this week another 100 olive and other trees were uprooted by the Israeli apartheid system just before the olive harvest season begins next week.  See here some comparison pictures (pictures taken on 28.09 and then 03.10 of the same area):

more pictures can be seen here:


Another example is the lack of media attention to the thousands of political prisoners illegally held by Israel.  Many prisoners are engaged now in a hunger strike after Israel removed some of their basic rights. So join us for Friday gatherings, vigils and demonstrations in several villages with emphasis on the issue of Palestinian political prisoners and land destruction.  Gather after Friday Prayers 12:30 in front of mosques in Al-Walaja (Bethlehem District), Susya (Yatta area, Hebron District), Nebi Saleh, Ni’lin, Bil’in (Ramallah District) among others.  Join us also Saturday at 1 PM in Beit Ommar.


I used computers since 1979 at the University of Connecticut and I bought my first Apple IIe computer in 1984 shortly after Time Magazine declared the computer as machine of the year in place of its “person of the year”. Since then I have been an Apple computer fan.  The death yesterday of Steve Jobs, a cofounder of Apple was sad for me.  He was born in San Francisco to Abdulfattah Jandali, a Syrian immigrant and Joanne Schieble (Simposon).  His parents separated and he was put up for adoption by Paul and Clara Jobs (née Hagopian, Armenian). Unlike others who connect to tribalism, Jobs believed in humanity and wanted to show that he, an individual can achieve by shedding any cultural and religious baggage.  He stated that people should never stop learning and should voraciously open their minds to new ideas. Here is Steve telling stories about Connecting the Dots, Love and Loss, and Death:


Demolitions by Israel increase fivefold, says new UN report:  In the first six months of 2011, OCHA reports that the Israeli authorities demolished 342 Palestinian-owned structures in Area C, including 125 residential “structures,” displacing a total of 656 Palestinians, including 351 children — almost five times as many demolitions and people displaced as during the first half of 2010.


Israel police turned a blind eye to a lynching: What happened at the entrance to the settlement of Anatot was a pogrom, a lynching. Media outlets that don’t see fit to report a pogrom of this magnitude are partners in the policy, or the sins of omission, of abandonment.


On charges of anti-Semitism in the “Occupy Wall Street Movement”

Note: In my upcoming book about life and activism in the USA, I go in great detail about how Zionists tried (many times successfully) to infiltrate leftist and peace movements in the US to prevent any criticism of their beloved idols (Zionism and Israel).  To be with these movements, they can talk about repression everywhere in the world and about economic or other exploitation at home but Israel becomes a taboo subject.  And when logic cannot work for them, they hurl the change of anti-Semitism, the weapon of last resort (sometimes first resort) to try to scare good meaning activists. But the trend in history is now clear and this will no longer work because Zionism is the antithesis of universal humanism and basic human rights (as I discussed in detail in my 2004 book “Sharing the Land of Canaan”).


The Department of Corrections: Ben Hur, the LA Times and a place called Palestine


Opinion: Science and religion– God didn’t make man; man made god.  In recent years scientists specializing in the mind have begun to unravel religion’s “DNA.” J. Anderson Thomson and Clare Aukofer


Opinion: The Palestinians’ Next Move by Prof. Rashid Khalidi


Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD

An Ill Wind From Norway

Maidhc Ó Cathail

How Andrew Breivik Has Helped Assuage Abe Foxman’s Internet Nightmares

By Maidhc Ó Cathail
September 21, 2011

“‘Tis impossible to be sure of any thing but Death and Taxes,” wrote Christopher Bullock almost three centuries ago in his comedic farce, The Cobler of Preston. If he were writing today, however, the English playwright might consider adding a third certainty: No matter where or when an act of terrorism occurs, it won’t be long before Abe Foxman interprets it as a “reminder” of the dangers of not heeding the Anti-Defamation League’s relentless dire warnings about hate-inspired extremism.


Three days after the July 22 terror attacks in Norway, the self-described “world’s leading organization fighting anti-Semitism” issued a press release entitled “ADL: Norwegian Terrorist Motivated By Growing Extremist Ideology In Europe And The U.S.” Citing its national director, the ADL described the attacks in Norway as “a stark reminder of the broad range of violent terror threats” facing the world today. “These attacks underscore the serious and potent threat of violence posed by a variety of dangerous extremists from across the ideological spectrum,” said Foxman. “This includes the ‘lone-wolf’ extremists, who have access to extremist ideologies on the Internet from around the world.”

The ADL press release went on to point out, “The suspect in the July 22 attacks, Andrew [sic] Behring Breivik, published a 1,500-page manifesto quoting from the writings of European and American anti-Muslim writers, including Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller, who promote a conspiratorial anti-Muslim agenda under the pretext of fighting radical Islam.” In an interesting Freudian slip, Foxman’s supposedly reliable “fact-finding ” organisation confused the suspect’s given name, Anders, with that of his alleged online avatar, “Andrew Berwick” – said to be the Anglicised version of his name – the supposed author of the online manifesto.

“Breivik was clearly influenced by an ideological movement both in the United States and Europe that is rousing public fear by consistently vilifying the Islamic faith,” Foxman self-righteously proclaims, while neglecting to mention that movement’s source, which can easily be traced to the same foreign government
that the ADL works so hard to defend against even the most measured criticism. The self-congratulatory League may have, as its press release claims, “extensively reported on individuals who promote a conspiratorial anti-Muslim agenda in this country,” but it most certainly, and not surprisingly, has never probed too deeply into the apparent state-sponsored roots of that Islamophobic network.

As the ADL’s press release observes, the online manifesto attributed to Anders Behring Breivik owes much to Web sites such as Pamela Geller’s Atlas Shrugs and Robert Spencer’s Jihad Watch. In its extensive reporting on the likes of Geller and Spencer, however, Foxman’s fact-finders have shown little or no interest in the source of their funding. Over the past three years, for example, up to $1 million has been funneled to the Los Angeles-based Jihad Watch through David Horowitz’s Freedom Center by Joyce Chernick, whose husband, Aubrey, is a former trustee of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy – a think tank created by AIPAC, which lobbies Congress on behalf of the Israeli government. No doubt compounding the ADL’s lack of curiosity is the fact that the self-styled civil rights organisation is one of an ostensibly diverse range of pro-Israel groups that has received funding from the Chernicks’ Fairbrook Foundation.

Could it be that Foxman’s condemnation of Islamophobia is nothing more than a fig leaf to conceal his efforts to counter a more plausible source of anxiety: the growing awareness in the United States and around the world of Zionist criminality? Isn’t the spread of such so-called “anti-Semitism” a more likely cause of the ADL’s concern about “access to extremist ideologies on the Internet”?

A survey of ADL press releases and reports on alleged “lone wolf” extremist incidents over the past few years reveals such pointed titles as “White Supremacist Shooting at U.S. Holocaust Museum Shows Where Spread of Hatred Can Lead ,” “John Patrick Bedell and the Lethal Lure of Conspiracy Theories,” and “Arizona Shooter’s Online Footprint Shows Distrust Of Government, Interest In Conspiracy Theories.” In this context, the Norway terror attacks of Anders – or is it Andrew? – Behring Breivik that were seemingly inspired by the conspiracy theory of an Islamic takeover of Europe (created, significantly, by extremist Zionist “historian” Bat Ye’or) serve as an even more frightening reminder of the dangers posed by conspiracy-fueled extremism.

“The obvious danger to Americans and Europeans,” Foxman warns in a July 30 Washington Post op-ed, “is that as this movement grows and solidifies, more people may become motivated to violence by this hateful ideology.” To avert this alleged danger, the ADL’s national director suggests that “the polarization, vitriol and fear engendered by anti-Islamic activists must be replaced by reasoned and civil debate. We must rally the voices of reason to overcome the voices of intolerance before it is too late.”

However, as far as Abe Foxman is concerned, it’s pretty safe to assume that the primary “voices of intolerance” to be overcome include those who refuse to swallow the ADL’s “anti-conspiratorial” line that Israel’s premeditated attack on the USS Liberty was a tragic “error,” that applying the apartheid analogy to the “Jewish state” is a “big lie,” or that Mearsheimer and Walt’s measured critique of the Israel lobby is little more than an “anti-Jewish screed.” If that’s any indication of what Foxman has in mind by “reasoned and civil debate,” those who still talk of “Dancing Israelis” on 9/11 must surely be in Andrew Breivik territory – and will find themselves treated as such.

Maidhc Ó Cathail is an investigative journalist and Middle East analyst.

Israel and the Issue of Delegitimization

Dr. Lawrence Davidson

Dr. Lawrence Davidson, 1 July 2011

Part I

On 23 June 2011 MJ Rosenberg published an interesting piece in the Huffington Post entitled “Netanyahu Is the One ‘Delegitimizing’ Israel.” Deligitimization as used here is, according to Israel’s Haaretz newspaper, a “buzzword in the world of pro-Israel activism.” Rosenberg tries to turn the concept back on the Zionists by claiming it is their own actions that are actually eroding Israel’s legitimacy. He is correct but there is more to be said on this topic. First, some additional background information.

In 2010 the Zionists decided they would try to split the opposition by defining different categories of criticism of Israel. Those who are critical of just particulars, this or that Israel policy or tactic, were put in the category of acceptable critics. I would point out that this was a big concession on their part for, if you think back ten years or so, any public criticism of Israel was assumed to be inspired by anti-Semitism. In any case, that charge has now been narrowed down to those assigned to a second category–the “delegitimizers.” These are the ones who, allegedly, are critical in a way that calls into question the right of Israel to exist as a Jewish state. According to the Zionists, this delegitimizing approach is, so to speak, beyond the pale, or as the American Zionist leader William Daroff put it, a “cancerous growth.”

The Zionists have gone to a lot of trouble to make this process of categorization appear well thought out and researched. In March of 2010 the Tel Aviv based Reut Institute issued a 92 page report which defines delegitimizing criticism as that which “exhibits blatant double standards, singles out Israel, denies its right to exist as the embodiment of the self-determination of the Jewish people, or demonizes the state.”

Rosenberg says this effort on the part of the Zionists is a gambit “to change the subject from the existence of the occupation to the existence of Israel…That is why Prime Minister Netanyahu routinely invokes Israel’s ‘right of self-defense’ every time he tries to explain away some Israeli attack on Palestinians…If the whole Israeli-Palestinian discussion is about Israel’s right to defend itself, Israel wins the argument. But if it is about the occupation–which is, in fact, what the conflict has been about since 1993 when the PLO recognized Israel–it loses.” He concludes, “Israel [is] not being isolated because it is a Jewish state and hence illegitimate, but because of how it treat[s] the Palestinians.”

Part II

Rosenberg certainly has a point. However, one can draw a more general and troublesome message from the Zionist notion of delegitimizers. This more basic insight goes like this:

1. The distinction drawn by the Zionists between acceptable and unacceptable criticism works only if one assumes that the policies and tactics of the Israeli state leading to, on the one hand, expansion into the Occupied Territories (OT), and on the other, the segregation of its non-Jewish minorities, are not structural. Or, to put it another way, that Israel’s imperial and discriminatory policies are not a function of the ethno/religious definition of the state. But what happens if Israel’s tactics and polices are not just opportunistic, but indeed structural? What if the behavior of the government flows from the very nature of a country designed first and foremost for a specific group? If that is the case, you cannot separate out criticism of this or that policy from criticism of the very character of the Israeli polity. Policies and state ideology are all of one piece.

Please note that I am not singling out Israel in this regard (though, as we will see, I do single it out in other ways). Actually, it would not matter if Israel (or any other country) was Jewish, Catholic, Protestant, Muslim, White, Black, American, English, Russian, Chinese, or created by and for little green men from Mars. If any state:

a) is designed to first and foremost serve one specific group while
b) having in its midst minorities which it systematically segregates by
c) either structuring its laws in a discriminatory way, and/or purposely educating its citizenry to act in a discriminatory fashion
d) then from the standpoint of civilized, modern democratic principles, one can justly question not only its tactics and policies, but the legitimacy of the social/political structure that generates them.

This is so whether the country is expansionist or not. In other words, if Israel had never moved beyond its 1967 borders and never set up its wretched colonial regime in the OT, there would still be a problem because of the way it treats Israeli Arabs. Here is where I would take the Rosenberg argument one step further. It is not just the occupation, it is Zionism as a guiding socio-political ideology that is illegitimate.

2. Given the ideological insistence that Israel must be a “Jewish” state, how does one argue against Zionist Israel without opening oneself to the charge of anti-Semitism? The best way to do so is by generalizing out Rosenberg’s argument – by taking the general position that all governments that use their laws to discriminate against minority groups delegitimize themselves. In the case of Zionist Israel (which, we should keep in mind, does not represent all Jews) just ceasing to behave in an imperialist fashion may be necessary, but it is not a sufficient corrective. Israel must cease to structure its laws and social behavior in a discriminatory fashion and for that it has to get rid of its present Zionist governing ideology. If Israel wants to be both Jewish and a legitimate, civilized, modern democratic state, it has to find a non-discriminatory way to do it. As long as it stays a Zionist state, it will constantly be hoisting itself with its own petard.

3. Beyond Israel’s borders, it is the Zionist political and media efforts to convince world opinion that they must be considered both legitimate and be allowed to operate in a discriminatory fashion that are particularly corrupting. To explain this let us address the Zionist charge that deligitimizers “single out Israel” by using “blatant double standards.”

This assertion has become so common that when one ventures into a public forum to discuss Israeli behavior, one is almost assured the following question: Why are you singling out Israel? How about all those other countries doing horrible things to people? How about the Russians slaughtering Chechynians? How about the Chinese committing cultural genocide against Tibet? What about Darfur? If you think about it, the question is an unfortunate one from the point of view of those asking because, implicitly, it (quite accurately) puts Israel into the same category as all these other bad guys and that certainly is not what the questioner intends. In any case, there is a ready answer to the question and it goes like this:

The fact that Zionist influence spreads far beyond Israel’s area of dominion and has long influenced many of the policy making institutions of Western governments, and particularly that of the United States, makes it imperative that Israel’s oppressive behavior be singled out as a high priority case from among the many other oppressive regimes that may be candidates for pointed criticism and even boycott. In other words, unlike the Chinese, the Russians and other such governments, the Israelis and their supporters directly influence, in a corrupting fashion, the policy makers of our own countries and this often makes our governments accomplices in Israel’s abusive policies. This being so, singling out Israel is not hypocrisy, but rather necessity. William Daroff, the Zionist leader mentioned above who appears on the look out for “cancerous growths,” might find this pathology in the on-going corruptive nature of his own organization’s influence.

Part III

From the standpoint of intellectual debate it is not difficult to defeat Zionist arguments. I have been doing it for years both in writing and in public forums. I humbly admit that (where they have not turned into bedlam) I have never lost one of these encounters. However, international affairs and the fate of nations are not normally settled by intellectual debates. Nor, unfortunately, are they often settled by international law. Historically, they are settled by political intrigue and back room lobbying (at which level Zionist influence works) and/or brute force.

Is there a way around this historical roadblock? I think so. There is a growing, world-wide movement of civil society seeking the isolation of Israel at all levels. This is the same strategy that brought change to apartheid South Africa. And, toward the growth of this movement, intellectual debate is very useful and important. It is no accident that the Zionists point to those who advocate boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel as the number one enemies within their category of delegitimizers. I think they know, or at least sense, that the BDS movement is the very best long term strategy for those who wish to force Israel to rid itself of what makes it truly illegitimate– its Zionist ideology.


Dr. Lawrence Davidson

Dr. Lawrence Davidson

Dr. Lawrence Davidson is professor of history at West Chester University. He is the author of numerous books, including Islamic Fundamentalism and America’s Palestine: Popular and Official Perceptions from Balfour to Israeli Statehood.

The author is a regular contributor to articles can be found on, Logos Journal, and Dr. Davidson also maintains an online blog, you can find it at

Reasonable Conjecture on Israel’s Changing Demographics – An Analysis

Dr. Lawrence Davidson

Dr. Lawrence Davidson, 15 June 2011

Part I – Israeli Jews Are Voting With Their Feet

If the historical goal of the state of Israel is to provide the world’s Jews a secure national home, a place of refugee in a world of real or potential anti-Semitism, it seems to have failed. It has failed not because this writer says so, but because an increasing number of its own Jewish citizens say so. There have been studies originating both in Israel and abroad that show “as many as half of the Jews living in Israel will consider leaving …if in the next few years the current political and social trends continue.” This finding is in addition to the fact that yerida, or emigration out of Israel, has long been running at higher numbers than aliyah, or immigration into the country. “According to the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics, as of 2005, 650,000 Israelis have left the country for over one year and not returned.” The great majority of these were Jews. In addition, polls show that at least 60% and as high as 80% of remaining Israeli Jews “sympathize with those who leave the country.”

Among those who stay, there is the conviction that the safe thing is to have a second passport issued by the United States or a European country. As the Haaretz reporter Gideon Levy puts it, “if our forefathers dreamt of an Israeli passport, there are those among us who are now dreaming of a foreign passport.” At present the United States has issued over half a million passports to Israelis and a quarter million additional applications are pending. Germany runs second with 100,000 passports given to Israeli Jews and 7,000 new ones issued yearly. Why the scramble for foreign passports? Well, according to Levy, “the excuses are strange and diverse, but at the base of them all are unease and anxiety, both personal and national. The foreign passport has become an insurance policy against a rainy day. It turns out there are more and more Israelis who are thinking that day may eventually come.”

There are two prevailing explanations for this phenomenon. The first is that it reflects the conviction that the safe haven that Zionism was suppose to create is not safe at all. This is the position taken by the University of Pennsylvania political scientist Ian Lustick. “The danger for the Jewish state is that, given the choice between convincing Middle Easterners that Israel can be a good neighbor and leaving the neighborhood, more and more Israelis are attracted to the latter….The logically extreme expression of escape is, of course, emigration.” Lustick is supported by Stephen Walt, professor of international relations at Harvard University who suggests that “the Zionist ideal is losing hold within Israel itself” because the Israeli government “endlessly delays the [peace] process.” The second explanation is that suggested by the editors of the Jerusalem Post who cite interviews with “hundreds of Israeli expats in North America.” Their conclusion is that when Israelis go abroad and stay, it is due to economic, and not political or security reasons.

Actually, the explanation offered by the Jerusalem Post is suspect. If the desire to emigrate is motivated mainly by economics, the demand for second passports would not be necessary. Israelis travel freely in the United States and the economic interconnections between the two countries make it relatively easy for Israeli Jews to get “green cards” to stay and work. This is probably true in some other parts of the West as well, as long as you are not tagged as a war criminal. However, when you combine the growth in emigration with the desire for foreign passports you get a different sort of message. Planning to possibly emigrate on a foreign passport implies that there are a number of Israelis who foresee the demise of the state. In other words, they foresee a day when the Israeli passport will be worthless. Given the fact that emigration is something of an ideological sin for Zionists, it is no surprise that some of the emigrants tell pollsters their motivation is economic. It sounds better. But in the end it hardly matters, leaving for whatever reason is the equivalent of voting with your feet.

Part II – Not Without Its Costs

This trend is no doubt encouraging to the Palestinians and their supporters, but it is not without its costs. If we assume no change and project this development into the future, say twenty years or so, what will Jewish Israel look like?
First – The ratio of Jews to Israeli Arabs within the Green Line will certainly shrink. That is, the Arab population, which already has a higher birth rate than the Jewish one, will grow all the more rapidly, making up an increasing percentage of the population. Factor in the Occupied Territories and there will be more Palestinians than Jews. One can, of course, say that this is as it should be. The notion that Palestine must have a Jewish majority has always been a perverse one. Nonetheless, as a consequence of the changing demographics, it is almost certain that Palestinian-Jewish Israeli relations, which have never been good, will get rapidly and proportionately worse. Why so? The second point answers this question.

Second – Of the Jews who remain in Israel, an increasing percentage will be ideological fanatics. Take a look at the religiously motivated, armed and aggressive settlers on the West Bank and then imagine them, along with those in black hats and pa’ot (unshaven sideburns), as making up 60 or 70% of the Jewish population. That is a “Masada” majority who will be willing to “defend” their way of life in all of Palestine not due to patriotic propaganda, but out of real racial conviction and religious zeal.

Third – The other remaining Jews, the ones not necessarily fanatical, will be mostly docile. These are the ones who can not get the foreign passports, who have no relatives abroad to vouch for them, and not enough resources to bankroll a new start even if they could find another place to go. They will follow what orders they are given by their increasingly fanatical government for the sake of their jobs, their pensions, to put bread on the table, because their peers are doing so, etc.

Fourth – Ideological fanatics confronting their worse nightmare, in this case the “demographic holocaust,”are not going to be devotees of democracy and human rights. Israel’s government will become more and more dictatorial. We can already see this in today’s Israel where the Knesset, presently controlled by ideological parties, is in the process of passing anti-democratic laws. This is may be just the beginning. In a population shorn of its middle class, there will be no real political opposition and the right-wing parties will become ever more aggressive against what they regard as anti-Zionist elements within the Jewish population. Organizations such as B’tselem, Gush Shalom, Rabbis for Human Rights, the Committee Against Home Demolitions, and the like will be shut down. Supporters of these groups will become silent or go into exile, as will the small number of Israeli academics who now stand against government policy. If they do not, they will likely end up in jail.

Part III – Conclusion

This, of course, is just conjecture. However, it is reasonable conjecture. And so we really ought to think about this. In today’s Israel you can still tell the difference between those Jewish Israelis who want a just and humane settlement with the Palestinians and those who do not. If things keep going as they are now there will come a time when it will be much harder to make that distinction. In other words, when the everyday man and women just looking for economic or physical safety, just looking for a better place to raise their kids, packs up and leaves, the “neutral zone” of everyday life vanishes with them. Society becomes a place where, as George Bush once put it, you’re with us or against us. And, if to be with us means to be a racist, a supporter of the God chosen people and an active enemy of the inferior and doomed Amalekites, then that is how everyone still in residence will behave.

When and if that time comes, how are we on the outside, and especially those of us who are Jews, going to react to an Israel where those who seek a just peace are either silenced, imprisoned or exiled? What do you do with a society where everyone must support injustice or be themselves condemned as traitors or criminals? Under these circumstances how do you tell the difference between the innocent and the guilty?

This is not a potential scenario unique to Israel’s situation. It has been played out before. The difference is that before the Jews were among the victims and not victimizers. This is what happens when any group gives itself over to a doctrine, be it racial, religious or political, which destroys all notions of common humanity. That is what the prevailing ideology of Israel has done. And, if history remains consistent, as Zionism “purifies” itself, gets rid of all those who would question it or compromise it, it must take its remaining adherents into the realm of unadorned horror. We should all be afraid of this. Very afraid.

Dr. Lawrence Davidson

Dr. Lawrence Davidson

Dr. Lawrence Davidson is professor of history at West Chester University. He is the author of numerous books, including Islamic Fundamentalism and America’s Palestine: Popular and Official Perceptions from Balfour to Israeli Statehood.

The author is a regular contributor to articles can be found on, Logos Journal, and Dr. Davidson also maintains an online blog, you can find it at

Could pariah status spell the end for Zionism?

Alan Hart

Alan Hart, 8 March 2011

Definition: Pariah – a social outcast (Chambers Dictionary)

One eminent Israeli who apparently thinks the answer could be yes is Ilan Baruch, a veteran diplomat who resigned ahead of his retirement because, he said, he could no longer represent his government’s “wrong” policy. He also ridiculed Zionism’s assertion that global anti-Israeli sentiments generated by occupation are a manifestation of anti-Semitism.
While serving as a tank platoon commander on the Suez Canal front, Baruch lost and eye and, Dayan-like, he wears a black eye-patch. His 30 years of service with Israel’s foreign ministry included postings to Singapore, Copenhagen and London and he served as ambassador to the Philippines and South Africa. In September 1993 he travelled with Prime Minister Rabin to Washington for the ceremony on the White House lawn which ended with the historic handshake after the signing of an interim agreement. (Prior to that trip, Baruch would have known that the Zionist lobby in America was totally opposed to Rabin going there to do business with Arafat. That was why Rabin didn’t want to go and had to be persuaded by President Clinton at his smooth talking best on the telephone. While in Washington on that occasion, Baruch would have learned what the lobby’s post handshake strategy was going to be – to rebrand Arafat as a “terrorist”).

On his return to Israel, Baruch set up and headed the foreign ministry’s desk dealing with economic relations with the Arab world. His own main focus was on relations with the Palestinians and the international donor community.

According to the Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth, Baruch’s resignation was a diplomatic “earthquake” at the foreign ministry.

In a personal letter he sent to all foreign ministry employees explaining his decision to quit, Baruch wrote: “Identifying the objection expressed by global public opinion to the occupation policy as anti-Semitic is simplistic, provincial and artificial. Experience shows that this global trend won’t change until we normalize our relations with the Palestinians.”

And he gave this warning: “Should this trend continue, Israel will turn into a pariah state and face growing de-legitimization.”

Baruch has to be saluted for his stand and the courage it required but he’s not yet up to speed with events. So far as most peoples of the world are concerned, or so it seems, Israel is already a pariah state. And the fact that all the members of the UN Security Council minus only the U.S. voted for the resolution condemning continued, illegal Israeli settlement activities on the occupied West Bank is surely an indication that governments might be catching up with their peoples.

As Aluf Benn noted in an article for Ha-aretz, the message Netanyahu ought to have got from what happened in the Security Council is that “Israel has no more friends in the international community.” Benn qualified that by adding: “It was only the flick of Obama’s finger that prevented a huge diplomatic defeat for the prime minister, and the White House went out of its way to make it clear that it does in fact support the condemnation and was voting against it only for domestic political considerations.” (For which read Obama’s fear of a confrontation with the Zionist lobby and its stooges in Congress).

In the countdown to Obama’s veto, I wrote that good sources were telling me that behind closed doors most if not all European governments were fed up with Israel and were ready, if only America would give the lead, to resort to sanctions in an effort to oblige Israel to comply with international law and end its 1967 occupation in accordance with Security Council Resolution 242. An indication that even Germany really is fed up with Israel’s intransigence has been provided by Uri Avnery. In his latest post, he tells of a telephone conversation between Netanyahu and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Netanyahu called “to rebuke her for Germany’s vote in favour of the Security Council resolution condemning the settlements.” Avnery went on:

“I don’t know if our prime minister mentioned the Holocaust, but he certainly expressed his annoyance about Germany daring to vote against the ‘Jewish State’. He was shocked by the response. Instead of a contrite Frau Merkel apologizing abjectly, his ear was filled by a schoolmistress scolding him in no uncertain terms. She told him that he had broken all his promises and that not one of the world’s leaders believes a single word of his any more. She demanded that he make peace with the Palestinians.”

In Aluf Benn’s analysis, Netanyahu now has “to choose between the ideology he was raised on and which is part of his internal belief system, and the duties of the leader of a small country entirely dependent on international support.”

A short and fairly accurate description of the ideology Netanyahu was raised on is something like this. “The world will always hate Jews. Zionism must therefore do whatever is necessary to build and secure Israel as a refuge of last resort for Jews everywhere. And if that means telling the world to go to hell, so be it.” (That’s actually why David Ben-Gurion, Moshe Dayan and others insisted that Israel should possess nuclear weapons – to have the reinforced ability to tell the world, not just the Arabs, to go to hell if necessary).

At the time of writing Netanyahu is preparing a damage limitation strategy which he will launch shortly with an “historic speech” announcing a new peace initiative. According to the leaks it will propose negotiations to set up a Palestinian state with “provisional (meaning temporary) borders” on about half the West Bank. (Roughly the same as Sharon was prepared to offer). Presumably the other half, including East Jerusalem, will remain stuffed with illegal Jewish settlements which control the West Bank’s main water resources. (Sharon once said the 1967 war was really all about water).

Netanyahu knows that even a quisling Palestinian leadership would not be able to negotiate on that basis, but peace with an acceptable amount of justice for the Palestinians is not his game. With its verbal re-commitment to a Palestinian state, his new peace plan will be a marketing exercise to assist the Zionist lobby in America and supporters of Israel right or wrong everywhere to rebrand him – to have him perceived as a leader who is misunderstood and even wronged, and who really is committed to a negotiated peace with the Palestinians. It’s by no means impossible that he will make some token withdrawals from the West Bank, in order to provoke a containable clash with settlers, in order for him to be able to say to the world something like, “Look, I really am serious but you must appreciate my difficulties.”

As ever the bonus will be that Netanyahu can blame the Palestinians for the failure of another attempt to get negotiations going. This is, in fact, the oldest trick in Zionism’s book. It was Ben-Gurion who invented it. Offer the Arabs something you know they can’t accept and then blame them when they don’t. (Two days after announcing that he was formulating a new peace initiative, at a press conference after his meeting with Chilean President Sebastian Pinera in Jerusalem, Netanyahu rehearsed his blame the Palestinians intention. He that it was Israel which was willing to take “many steps to promote peace and make compromises.” He added: “The Palestinians are the ones refusing to take similar steps, instead preferring to take advantage of the international community’s Pavlovian reflex in their favour.”)

It’s possible that a marketing exercise by Netanyahu will buy him and the Zionist colonial enterprise time, but in the longer term it’s unlikely to halt and then reverse the rising tide of anti-Israelism. Beyond the short term it could even be counter-productive (as almost everything Zionism does is) and reinforce the notion of Israel as a pariah state.

What then?

Is it possible that a global perception of them as citizens of a pariah state and the possibility of real sanctions will alarm enough Israeli Jews to the point where they will take to the streets in significant numbers to demand that their leaders be serious about peace on terms virtually all Palestinians and most other Arabs and Muslims everywhere could accept? (Tunisia and Egypt – let’s not say Libya – on the streets of Israel?!)

I don’t pretend to know the answer to this question but for the sake of discussion I think it is worth asking.

Alan Hart

Alan Hart

Alan Hart has been engaged with events in the Middle East and their global consequences and terrifying implications – the possibility of a Clash of Civilisations, Judeo-Christian v Islamic, and, along the way, another great turning against the Jews – for nearly 40 years…

Alan maintains an online blog with a wealth of articles that can be found here

More Articles on RamallahOnline can be found here

How to anger the pro-Israel lobby

Stuart Littlewood

Stuart Littlewood, 9 Nov 2010

Tell how it really is in Gaza, especially if you’re an Archbishop
To their eternal shame, Western churchmen seem to care little about the plight of their brothers and sisters in the Holy Land or the fate of the holy places where Christianity was born.

There are, of course, honourable exceptions. One such is the Archbishop of Wales, the Most Rev Dr Barry Morgan, whose church has provided the Gazans with a mobile dental unit.

He is not best pleased that the Israelis make it difficult to obtain fuel and medical supplies for it, and he didn’t mince his words when recently reporting to the Church’s governing body how things really are in Gaza.

The truth of the matter seemed to annoy a certain Mr Simon McIlwaine, who complained that the Archbishop’s words put the state of Israel in an unduly harsh light and he was compelled to “provide some badly needed context”. Whereupon Mr McIlwaine launched into the familiar anti-Gaza, anti-Hamas rant we’re used to hearing from the pro-Israel lobby.

  • “The Archbishop raises a central issue of the Arab-Israeli conflict – anti-Semitism…”

The central issue is 62 years of criminal oppression. The charges include land theft, illegal occupation, ethnic cleansing, disregard for human rights, and war crimes such as those documented in the Goldstone Report. The action required is set out in international law, numerous UN resolutions and every code of human decency.

  • “Hamas is an explicitly anti-Semitic organization that at the very least seeks to exercise a veto over the Jewish right to self-determination.”

Israel is deeply anti-Arab and continues to dispossess and remove Arabs not only from Israel proper but also from areas of the West Bank and East Jerusalem that Israel has earmarked for permanent occupation.

Palestinians have been denied the right to self-determination for decades and Israel even refuses to recognise their perfectly satisfactory democratic process.

  • “Hamas’ anti-Semitic ideology pre-existed the blockade…”

Israel’s illegal occupation pre-dates the founding of Hamas.

  • “Hamas’ attacks against Israel are not merely motivated by a desire to end the blockade, but to deprive the Jewish people of their ability to enjoy a national life of their own.”

The irony of that remark is apparently lost on Mr McIlwaine.

  • “Clearly, anti-Semitism plays a significant role in fomenting violence against Israel in the Middle East.”

Playing the anti-Semitism card yet again. Israel is the violator. Hamas chief Khaled Mesh’al has explained that armed resistance against Israel is the result of Israeli occupation, injustice and oppression, not religious differences.

  • “The Archbishop describes the devastation in the Gaza Strip without acknowledging the role Hamas played in bringing the destruction about.”

Israel broke the ceasefire with a raid killing at least 6 Palestinians in order to provoke the sort of retaliation that could then be used as an excuse to launch Operation Cast Lead, the 3-week onslaught Israel had been preparing for months.

  • “History has shown that isolating tyrannical regimes such as Hamas results in civilian suffering.”

Israel was making Palestinians’ lives a misery long before Hamas appeared on the scene. What right has Israel or anyone else to isolate a democratically elected government and its people anyway?

Hamas is an Islamic party legitimately ruling a mainly Islamic country. It is the people’s choice. How can it be any more “tyrannical” than the Jewish State with its exclusivity laws and lethal attitude towards non-Jews?

  • “…Responsibility for the disruption of daily life in the Gaza Strip lies with Hamas. By way of comparison, daily life in the West Bank, which has not been the source of rocket attacks, is improving.”

As long as Israel occupies Gaza’s airspace, coastal waters and air-waves, controls all access points (except now the Egyptian border, although it still interferes there), maintains a sea blockade and attacks and even murders volunteers bringing humanitarian supplies, it is ridiculous to suggest that anyone else is responsible for disrupting daily life.

In 2007 when Israel tightened the siege on Gaza the prime minister’s adviser, Dov Weisglass, said “the idea is to put the Palestinians on a diet, but not to make them die of hunger”. According to documents just released under a Freedom of Information petition by Gisha, an Israeli law centre, Israel operated “a policy of deliberate reduction” of basic goods in the Gaza Strip. Gisha’s director accuses Israel of “paralyzing normal life in Gaza”, and adds: “I am sorry to say that major elements of this policy are still in place.”

The documents confirm that the siege was not for security reasons but aimed at keeping Gazans at near-starvation level. Since around half the population are growing children this act of collective punishment has meant that hundreds of thousands are undernourished.

Mr McIlwaine is right that no rockets have been fired from the West Bank. Why, then, are the shredded remains of that territory still under cruel occupation and tight restriction?

  • “Hamas has murdered its political opponents, threatened its critics and stolen humanitarian aid shipped in from outside.”

Another classic piece of irony for us to savour… Assassinations and extra-judicial executions are an Israeli speciality. So is thieving. They even steal British passports for their murder squads.

We never hear what happens to humanitarian aid seized in international waters by Israeli thugs who abduct passengers and crew and rob them of their possessions.  Remember how Israel kept stealing Gaza’s tax revenues? Did they ever give the money back?

Simon McIlwaine is co-director of Anglican Friends of Israel, an organization whose aims include:

  • Securing defensible borders for the State of Israel. (What borders… its ever-expanding illegal borders enclosing stolen lands or its internationally-recognised 1967 borders?)
  • Calling Anglicans to repentance for the wrongs inflicted by Christians on the Jewish people and the nation of Israel.
  • Protecting the Christian communities threatened by Islamic extremism in the Middle East (though not, it seems, against the crushing oppression of Israeli extremists).

The puzzle is why any Anglican would befriend a regime with so much blood on its hands and attack a bishop who speaks up for its wretched victims. St Augustine must be spinning in his grave.

At least Dr Morgan went to Gaza to see for himself. Did Mr McIlwaine?

What did the good Archbishop say that so rattled Mr McIlwaine’s cage?

Regarding Gaza, Dr Morgan observed: “Two-thirds of these people live in abject poverty, in refugee camps, after the confiscation of their homes and land by the Israeli Government.  The situation is worse now than when I visited in 2001…” He described how people lived in zinc shacks, without electricity or water and with open sewers running down the streets, and how Gaza City itself was like a bombsite.

“Only 32% of the industrial fuel needed in one week in August 2010 for Gaza’s power plant was allowed into Gaza.  The result was that the power plant shut down completely for two days after exhausting its reserves of fuel, triggering power cuts of 16 hours per day – affecting water supply, sewage treatment and removal, and the functioning of health services. 30% of households in Gaza have access to running water for only 4 to 8 hours per week; 40% receive water once every four days, and the other 30% obtain it once every two days.  Half of the normal level of need of cooking gas entered Gaza in August; no diesel or petrol has been delivered for weeks – hence diesel and petrol being taken through the tunnels at the risk of attack by the Israelis. Imports are limited, raw materials severely restricted, no building materials are allowed into Gaza, exports from Gaza are banned entirely.

“The blockade in Gaza has destroyed public service infrastructure and hospitals have power cuts for twelve hours a day, emergency medical treatment for residents of Gaza is denied, and 40 million litres of sewage is being discharged every day into the sea because of lack of fuel to pump or treat human waste.  Family members in Gaza have been separated from relatives living in the West Bank and elsewhere.”
All of which is confirmed by other sources.

Dr Morgan continued: “The United Nations, the Security Council and the European Union want crossings to Gaza to be permanently open to allow access for humanitarian and commercial aid and all of this was agreed between Israel and the Palestinian authorities in 2005.

He also referred to the Kairos document issued by Palestinian Church leaders a year ago and the report ‘Justice and Peace for Palestine’ discussed recently by the Methodist Church. “Both of those reports say that the key hindrance to security and a lasting peace for all in the region is the occupation of Palestinian territory by the State of Israel…”
For 43 long years. Who is foolish enough to believe there can be peace under the jackboot of occupation?

“Settlements by Israeli settlers are illegal under international law, and over one third have been built on Palestinian privately owned land.  The wall that has been built covering a distance of 702 kilometres…not only separates Israelis from Palestinians but Palestinians from family members and friends.  In rural areas, it effectively cuts them off from their olive trees and fruit and vegetable plantations.  In July 2004, the International Court of Justice declared the separation barrier illegal, and called on Israel to cease construction to dismantle constructed areas and provide reparation to those materially damaged by the construction.”
“Settlers” is too nice a word for my taste. It suggests peaceful pioneers wishing to integrate. Israeli “settlers” are anything but. They are squatters, half a million in over 100 illegal colonies – ugly blots on an otherwise lovely landscape. They include gangs of armed delinquents who terrorise local villagers, vandalise their crops, pollute their land and harass their children.

Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention clearly forbids an occupying power from transferring parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.

Next time, the Archbishop might question why the Separation Wall, if meant for security, wasn’t built within Israel’s internationally recognised borders. Its actual route bites deep into Palestinian territory and is designed to annex choice agricultural land and the Palestinians’ precious water supplies. Palestinians are now severely rationed and have to pay Israel inflated prices for a dribble of their own water while Israelis splash around in their swimming pools and wash their cars.

The Archbishop finished by saying: “Now we, as a Church, perhaps cannot do very much except that we ought to acquaint ourselves with what is going on, and fight against injustice, and demand that the rule of law be upheld wherever it is being flouted for whatever reason.  We have a duty to speak out.”
On an earlier occasion in 2009, after Israel’s blitz on Gaza, Dr Morgan was saying:

“Having visited Gaza twice over the past few years I have seen the appalling conditions in which the people there live… with no proper homes, sanitation or means of escape. Their lives are now unbearable as they come under daily fire and are too scared to even leave their homes. We have heard that it has now become too dangerous for our clinic, which was being used as a frontline hospital dealing with casualties, to continue its work.

“It is tragic that there is so much violence in an area known as the Holy Land…  It is time for the fighting to stop – enough children have died and enough homes have been destroyed and it is immoral for the world to stand by and do nothing.”
How very refreshing. Those other bishops who loaf around the House of Lords and never open their mouths when so much needs to be said and done, please note.

Stuart Littlewood

Stuart Littlewood

Stuart Littlewood is an industrial marketing specialist turned writer-photographer. In 2005 he was invited to write and shoot pictures for a book about the plight of the Palestinians under occupation. ‘Radio Free Palestine’ was published in 2007. For details please see

Murdoch drums up “war” where propaganda collides with truth

Stuart Littlewood

Stuart Littlewood, 3 Nov 2010

In his recent pep-talk to the Anti-Defamation League, media magnate Rupert Murdoch complains about “an ongoing war against the Jews”–15550.

He seems desperate to divert attention from the mounting resentment around the world towards Israel. But his threadbare argument collapses straightaway because no distinction is made between criminal Israelis and Jews generally. The one remains carefully hidden behind the other.

And the anti-Semitism label tends to get pinned on anyone and everyone in European society, “from its most élite politicians to its largely Muslim ghettoes”, who speaks against or as much as frowns at the racist regime.

The after-dinner audience he was addressing no doubt lapped it up, but unfortunately for Mr Murdoch people are better informed nowadays. I doubt if the wider audience buys it.

What they find unacceptable is Israel’s lawlessness and unrestrained killing. The much-hyped religious dimension is only relevant insofar as the perpetrators hide behind religion’s skirts and misinterpret religious texts to whitewash their crimes.

What also undermines Mr Murdoch’s case is the fact that not all Jews support the state of Israel or approve the dispossession and removal of its indigenous (Arab) population. An increasing number, to their credit, actively campaign against it.

And not all of Israel’s supporters are Jewish. They include battalions of Christian Zionists.

It is not surprising that the “Jewish state” has come under strong criticism. Any state, with or without tribal or religious underpinnings, would be roundly condemned if it misbehaved in the same way.

As for the speech, Mr Murdoch kicks off by telling the ADL:

“You have championed equal treatment for all races and creeds.”

If only that were true. As their website and mission statement show, the ADL are preoccupied with supporting Israel. They are not interested in combating Israeli hate groups or defending the security of (let’s say) the Palestinians.

He continues:

“My own perspective is simple: We live in a world where there is an ongoing war against the Jews… Now the war has entered a new phase. This is the soft war that seeks to isolate Israel by de-legitimizing it…  In this war, the aim is to make Israel a pariah.”

Israel has already made itself a pariah by its hateful attitude, disregard for international law and defiance of UN resolutions. A question mark hangs over its own legitimacy while it attempts to isolate and de-legitimize the democratically elected government of neighbouring Palestine, whose remaining lands it covets and illegally occupies or blockades.

“Often this new anti-Semitism dresses itself up as legitimate disagreement with Israel.”

Disagreeing with Israel is anti-Semitic? We laughed at the Germans for having no sense of humour. Must we now laugh at the Israelis?

Israel’s unwillingness to accept criticism is part of its undoing. Rejecting out of hand the Goldstone Report in relation to war crimes against the Gazans only magnifies the regime’s arrogance. Are deniers of Goldstone any better than deniers of the Holocaust?

“For me, this ongoing war is a fairly obvious fact of life. Every day, the citizens of the Jewish homeland defend themselves against armies of terrorists whose maps spell out the goal they have in mind: a Middle East without Israel.”

Armies of terrorists? Every day? Really?

The principle of homeland defence, of course, applies equally to Arabs. The high-tech terror they face is real and bristles with state-of-the-art weaponry. It is a hundred times worse than any terror faced by Israeli citizens. Check the death and destruction statistics.

In case Mr Murdoch hadn’t noticed, Israel itself is widely regarded as a terror state frequently resorting, as it does, to assassinations and extra-judicial executions, abductions and torture, massacres and starvation sieges, air-strikes, armed incursions, the use of prohibited weapons on civilians and massive violations of human rights? It must be galling for the regime’s well-wishers to see how perfectly Israel fits the terrorist definition used by the US to blacklist and squelch countries that get in its way.

Talking of maps, I hear the Israelis have already deleted Palestine (and Palestinian place-names) from theirs. And it’s well known that they demolished and obliterated hundreds of Palestinian villages after putting the inhabitants to flight.

“Israel becomes increasingly ostracized, while Iran – a nation that has made no secret of wishing Israel’s destruction – pursues nuclear weapons loudly, proudly, and without apparent fear of rebuke.”

No fear of rebuke for Israel either. It is the only state in the region not to have signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Given its 200 (or is it 400?) nuclear warheads and its freaky leadership, Israel poses a serious threat to its neighbours and far beyond. Moreover, it hasn’t signed the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention and hasn’t ratified the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty or the Chemical Weapons Convention.

Can Mr Murdoch, by any chance, show proof of Iran’s nuclear weapons programme? And since Israel has spoken of nuking Iran, what is the point of claiming Iran wishes Israel’s destruction?

“Some believe that if America wants to gain credibility in the Muslim world and advance the cause of peace, Washington needs to put some distance between itself and Israel.”

Now you’re making sense, Mr Murdoch…

“My view is the opposite. Far from making peace more possible, we are making hostilities

more certain.”

Now you’re not. Hostilities have been going on for years.

The latest panic in Western capitals over the “undetectable” printer cartridge bombs is a powerful warning that countries aligning themselves with the US-Israel axis are asking for trouble. Ordinary westerners are tired of being put in harm’s way by America’s coziness with Israel and by Britain’s sniffing around both of them like a bitch in heat.

Disengagement is what most people around here have long wanted.

“Far from making things better for the Palestinian people, sour relations between the United States and Israel guarantees that ordinary Palestinians will continue to suffer.”

Does this mean Israel would turn the screws on the helpless just for spite?

“The peace we all want will come when Israel feels secure.”

Peace will only come when EVERYONE feels secure. It is not a one-way street.

As Mr Murdoch surely knows, Hamas have said they will accept Israel within its internationally-recognised 1967 borders, which is the same position adopted by the United Nations. This, the most obvious avenue to peace, is studiously ignored by Israel.

“Right now we have war. There are many people waging this war. Some blow up cafes. Some fire rockets into civilian areas… Some are fighting the soft war, through international boycotts and resolutions condemning Israel.”

And some wage war on women and children and even target unarmed fishermen.

Some also commit acts of piracy and murder on the high seas against volunteers bringing humanitarian aid.

That’s war. And it’s dirty war, waged by Israel. But boycotting Israeli goods and tourism is not war. It’s exercising one’s freedom of choice. It’s registering one’s disgust. Israel’s tourism minister was this week doing the same thing, urging that “Turkey must be totally boycotted as a tourism destination”.

Face the truth, ask forgiveness

If Mr Murdoch, with all his persuasive powers, cannot put up a convincing defence of Israel, no-body can. He shows here that anyone attempting it is on a hiding to nothing.

The root of the problem is the fundamental evil of the Zionist Project and the fanatics in the US, Britain and elsewhere who backed it and still fan the flames.

I commend to Mr Murdoch the Jerusalem Declaration of 2006 by the Local Heads of Churches in Jerusalem, who daily have to operate amidst the disruption and devastation inflicted by Israel on Palestinian life. They reject Christian Zionist doctrines as “a false teaching that corrupts the biblical message of love, justice and reconciliation”, and they reject the alliance of Christian Zionist leaders with the governments of Israel and the United States that impose pre-emptive borders and domination over Palestine.

Christian Zionism supports these policies and “advances racial exclusivity and perpetual war”. The Declaration calls on everyone to “liberate themselves from ideologies of militarism and occupation”.

Perhaps Mr Murdoch is not yet ready for that kind of liberation. For the timebeing he talks up a “war against the Jews” when it is merely the flashpoint where propaganda lies finally collide with the sickening truth about Israel. It’s a slow motion train-crash that’s been waiting to happen.

So I haven’t given up on Mr Murdoch just yet. However you regard him he’s a remarkable man. Who knows – in the end he may decide there is no honour in Israel’s rogue schemes and it would be more sensible for the regime to stop the lies, face the truth, atone for its crimes, hand back what has been stolen, conform to international law, charter rules and normal codes of conduct, and respect neighbours’ rights.

That’s the way forward.

And it should not forget to ask forgiveness from God, from the US taxpayer and from those in the wider Jewish community who have winced with shame. Seeking a pardon from the Holy Land’s Arab communities – Muslim and Christian – for treating them so abominably for 60-odd years would be a hard road to take but is the only way to achieve reconciliation and ultimately find contentment.

Stuart Littlewood

Stuart Littlewood

Stuart Littlewood is an industrial marketing specialist turned writer-photographer. In 2005 he was invited to write and shoot pictures for a book about the plight of the Palestinians under occupation. ‘Radio Free Palestine’ was published in 2007. For details please see

Yale University’s Pro-Israeli, Anti-Islamic Conference

Stephen Lendman

Stephen Lendman, 29 August 2010

On August 25, Yale University ended a three day global anti-Semitism “crisis” conference promoting the notion that Israeli criticism is “anti-Semitic,” no matter how justified.

Boola boola, for shame, mighty Yale displaying the same type anti-Islamic hatred virulent throughout America, raging daily in headlines over the proposed New York City Islamic cultural center, falsely called a mosque, but does it matter?

What matters is racism, hate-mongering, and persecuting Muslims for political advantage – on display at Yale for a three day propaganda hate fest. Imagine what’s taught in its classrooms.

The Yale Initiative for the Interdisciplinary Study of Antisemitism (YIISA)

Calling itself “dedicated to the scholarly research of the origins and manifestations associated with antisemitism globally, as well as other forms of prejudice, including racisms, as it relates to policy,” YIISA presented its “Global Antisemitism: A Crisis of Modernity conference, at a time the supposed “crisis” is more rhetoric than reality.

Yet its mission statement states:

“Anti-Judaism (or) Antisemitism is one of the most complex and, at times, perplexing forms of hatred, (emerging) in numerous ideological(ly) based narratives and the constructed identities of belonging and otherness such as race and ethnicity, nationalisms, and anti-nationalisms.” In modern globalized times, “it appears that Antisemitism has taken on new complex and changing forms that need to be decoded, mapped and critiqued.”

What’s needed is debunking the relationship between legitimate Israeli criticism and anti-Semitism and notion of a serious anti-Jewish crisis when none, in fact, exists.

Last October 29, Reuters reported that:

“Anti-Semitic attitudes in the United States are at a historic low, with 12 percent of Americans prejudiced toward Jews, an Anti-Defamation League (ADL) survey found,” based on September 26 – October 4 polling with a plus or minus 2.8% margin of error.

ADL said its level matched 1998’s as the lowest in the poll’s 45-year history. Yet in his 2003 book, “Never Again? The Threat of the New Anti-Semitism,” national director, Abraham Foxman, said he’s:

“convinced we currently face as great a threat to the safety of the Jewish people as the one we faced in the 1930s – if not a greater one,” contradicted by Cato Institute research fellow Leon Hadar (in the January 2004 Chronicles), saying that public opinion polls “indicate (racial and religious forms of) anti-Semitism (have) been in steep decline in most of Western Europe.” The same holds for America, putting a lie to Yale’s “crisis” and need for a conference to hawk it.

Badly needed are efforts to expose and denounce anti-Islamic rhetoric, actions and persecutions of people for their religion and/or ethnicity, but don’t expect Yale to hold it or discuss it in classrooms.

YIISA stacked its conference with pro-Israeli zealots, omitting voices for sanity and the right of Palestinians to live free of occupation in their own land or in one state affording everyone equal rights, an apparent blasphemous notion at Yale and many other US and Canadian campuses, firing even distinguished tenured professors for supporting the wrong religion or people too vigorously.

Opening conference remarks were made by YIISA Director, Dr. Charles Small, Yale’s Deputy Provost, Frances Rosenbluth, Rabbi James Ponet, director of Yale’s Joseph Slifka Center for Jewish Life, and Aviva Raz Schechter, Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs Director for Combatting Antisemitism.

They all, of course, presented one-sided, pro-Israeli views, underscoring the notion that Israeli criticism is anti-Semetic, when, in fact, it’s principled, honest and more needed now than ever to expose and halt an Israeli/Washington partnership to conquer, divide and control the Middle East by force, stealth, deceit, intimidation, occupation, and political chicanery, common tools used by rogues and imperial marauders.

Hebrew University Professor Menahem Milson was the first of several keynote speakers. He’s also Chairman of the extremist Middle East Research Institute (MEMRI), whose board and advisors include a rogue’s gallery of pro-Israeli right-wing zealots, including:

— Oliver “Buck” Revell, former FBI Executive Assistant Director in charge of criminal investigative, counterterrorism and counterintelligence;

— Elliot Abrams, former Reagan and Bush administration official and convicted Iran-Contra felon, later pardoned by GHW Bush; and

— Steve Emerson, a notorious anti-Islamic bigot, well-known for using unscrupulous tactics to accuse innocent Muslims of terrorism and instill “Islamofascist” fear over the public airwaves.

Its board of advisors includes:

— Ehud Barak, former Israeli Prime Minister and current Minister of Defense and Deputy Prime Minister;

— Bernard Lewis, Princeton Professor Emeritus of near eastern studies, known for his anti-Islamic views;

— James Woolsey, neocon former CIA director;

— John Bolton, former neocon war hawk Bush administration UN ambassador, recess-appointed because Congress was too embarrassed to do it;

— Rabid Zionist Elie Wiesel, a man Professor Norman Finkelstein calls “vain, arrogant, gullible, naive about international affairs, (and defender of) the worst excesses of previous Israeli governments;”

— John Ashcroft, former Bush administration Attorney General, the man who indicted Lynne Stewart, famed human rights lawyer now imprisoned on bogus charges for doing her job honorably, what Ashcroft never did;

— Michael Mukasey, another Bush administration Attorney General, as bad as Ashcroft and Alberto Gonzales; and

— many other disreputable members, known for their pro-Israeli bias, including Richard Holbrooke, a proponent of imperial wars, who stepped down temporarily to become Obama administration Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Other YIISA presenters included (among others):

— Itamar Marcus, a West Bank settler movement leader, connected to the New York-based Central Fund of Israel, raising money for it in America out of a Sixth Avenue/36th Street fabric store near Times Square;

— Canadian politician Irwin Cotler, who attacked the Goldstone Commission report viciously and unfairly;

— Harvard Professor of Yiddish Literature and Comparative Literature Rush Wisse, a pro-Israeli zealot this writer once had the displeasure of debating briefly by email;

— Barak Seener, Greater Middle East Section Director for the UK-based Henry Jackson Society, who believes Israeli Arabs are a fifth column threat to the state;

— Anne Bayesfsky, right-wing pro-Israeli supporter, senior fellow at the neocon Hudson Institute, associated with UN Watch devoted to attacking anti-Israeli criticism, and member of the Israel-based Ariel Center for Policy Research, a Likud Party-affiliated group supporting hardline writers in the Middle East, North America and Europe;

— Mark Dubowitz, Executive Director of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, whose leaders and advisors include Newt Gingrich, former FBI Director Louis Freeh, James Woolsey, the senator from AIPAC, Joe Lieberman, neocon writer Charles Krauthammer, former Reagan assistant Defense Secretary Richard Perle, and Jeane Kirkpatrick, Reagan’s UN ambassador, among others;

— Anne Herzberg, NGO Monitor’s legal advisor, a notorious pro-Israeli group; and

— Samuel Edelman, board of director member of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East, another Israeli advocacy organization.

Noticeably absent were notable figures from the Palestinian community as well as US truth and justice scholars and analysts who base their views on facts YIISA wants suppressed. There was no James Petras, Ilan Pappe, Jeff Halper, Joel Kovel, Norman Finkelstein, Rashid Khalidi, Phyllis Bennis, Uri Avnery, Neve Gordon, Nurit Peled-Elhannan, Ramzy Baroud, or any of the thousands of equal justice advocates listed on a so-called “Shit List,” including this writer given three unsympathetic paragraphs.

Instead, numerous speakers discussed provocative topics, including:

— Radical Islam and Genocidal anti-Semitism;

— Christianity and anti-Semitism;

— The Islamization of Anti-Semitism;

— The Internet and the Proliferation of Anti-Semitism;

— Law, Modernity, and Anti-Semitism;

— the Central Role of Palestinian Anti-Semitism in Creating the Palestinian Identity;

— Islamism and the Construction of Jewish Identity;

— Global Anti-Semitism and the Crisis of Modernity;

–Genocidal Anti-Semitism: Ahmadinejad’s Regime as a Case Study;

— Contemporary Anti-Semitism and the Delegitimization of Israel;

— Discourse of Contemporary Anti-Semitism;

— Confronting and Combating Contemporary Anti-Semitism in the Academy;

— Anti-Semitism in the Aftermath of the Holocaust;

— Lawfare, Human Rights Organizations and the Demonization of Israel;

— The Islamist Islamization of Anti-Semitism;

— the Iranian Threat;

— Social Theory and Contemporary Anti-Semitism

— Discourses of Anti-Semitism in Relation to the Middle East;

— the Media and the Dissemination of Hatred;

— Global Anti-Semitism;

— An Uncertain Sisterhood: Women and Anti-Semitism;

— Hannah Arendt and Anti-Semitism: A Critical Appraisal;

— Approaches to Anti-Semitism;

— Models for Combating Anti-Semitism: The Case of the United Kingdom;

— Understanding the Impact of German Anti-Semitism and Nazism;

— 400 Years of Anti-Semitism: From the Holy Office to the Nuremberg Laws;

— Embracing the Nation: Anti-Semitism and Modernity

— Anti-Semitism and the United States;

— Variations of European Anti-Semitism;

— Anti-Semitic Propaganda in Europe;

— Self-Hatred and Contemporary Anti-Semitism;

— Discussions in the Study of Anti-Semitism; and

— YIISA Director Small’s concluding remarks.

Final Comments

On August 25, Mondoweiss co-founder Philip Weiss discussed the conference, quoting Charlotte Kates (writer, organizer, and National Lawyers Guild Middle East Subcommittee Co-Chair) saying:

the people invited “who attack Palestinian scholars’ academic freedom find conferences such as this to be perfectly acceptable and legitimate.”

Weiss added that it’s not “possible to understand this conference without understanding the prominence of Zionist donors in prestige institutional life.” He also quoted journalist/author Ben White, specializing in Israeli/Palestine issues, saying:

“What is the role of Yale/academia in this kind of exercise?” It’s particularly galling and hypocritical that “fighting anti-Semitism – an anti-racist struggle – is being openly appropriated by far-right Zionist groupings, the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, lobbyists like the NGO Monitor, and Orientalist ‘Arab/anti-terror experts.”

It’s especially disturbing that Yale lent its name to a three day hate fest, supporting:

— wrong over right;

— state terrorism over human rights and equal justice;

— colonizers over the colonized;

— what Edward Said called “the familiar (America, the West, us over) the strange (the Orient, East, them);” and

— Jewish “exceptionalism” over a “lesser malevolent” Islam.

Shamefully, presentations excluded discussions about:

Islam’s common roots with Judaism and Christianity, its tenets based on:

— love, not hate;

— peace, not violence;

— good over evil;

— charity, not exploitation; and

— a just and fair society for people of all faiths.

Also not addressed was the right of Palestinians to live freely like Jews. Yale apparently disagrees, why students against hate and bigotry should enroll elsewhere to be taught truths excluded from Yale’s curriculum.

Stephen Lendman

Stephen Lendman

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at Also visit his blog site at and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.