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August 26, 2014


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First, you have a fairly distorted recitation of Israel's supposed "atrocities" ...

" including his {as if this is the act of one man}

expansion of settlements in Palestinian areas {these areas must be Judenfrei, right?; in this you tacitly accept the ethnic cleansing of all countries surrounding Israel based on religious hatred and bigotry},

his cruel blockade (of rockets and other weapons) coming into Gaza,

his continuation of apartheid-type subjugation of the West Bank and Gaza (really? apartheid? subjugation?),

and his reckless response bordering on war crimes to the rocket attacks (this calumny is simply nonsense, and here, it is useful to compare the "war crimes" of those engaged in the conflict to determine who is truly motivated to commit and committing these crimes regularly).

For a great description of the failure of recent "peace negotiations" see, the recent heavily researched piece in the New Republic. Note, in particular, what was said to the parties by the American administration.

Unlike most of these sorts of comments, Anonymous, you are at least paying lip service to a balanced approach, but you don't "love Israel" and this is plain. You feel "disgust."

The atrocities against the Jews committed by the countries surrounding Israel started long before 1948, and continue to this day. Surrounded by barbaric bigots, who treat one another often as despicably as they treat Jews, Israel struggles to fend off their constant attacks. A substantial number of the persons in the countries surrounding Israel reject its very right to exist, and expect the area of Israel, like their own countries as a result of brutal ethnic cleansing, to be Judenfrei.

Despite recitation of the talking points from the anti Israel play book, the bottom line is that Israel cannot survive in that ocean of injustice and hate and medieval barbarity that surrounds it if it does not defend itself. Period.

Kevin Jon Heller

Not surprisingly, David B does not understand that the logic of the (flawed) arguments is exactly the same.


Kevin Jon Heller

If you believe that the bigoted barbarism that regularly occurs in the countries surrounding Israel - including the pre-1948 hatred of Jews in these countries that has led to the expulsion of nearly every Jew and now seeks to expel the Jews from Israel - does not play the most important role in Israel's policies, then you're an apologist for the bigoted barbarians in those countries.

I'd love also to hear your views about the conduct by the US and England during WWII: was that conduct more moral than Israel's today? If so, why?


An interesting history lesson about the objects of Israel hater's moralistic sympathy and concern:


David B

The only whites in America I have ever encountered making anti-Semitic statements (usually about Jews and money) have been evangelical whites. So maybe it was my ears and not my "gut" and maybe the sampling was not representative. And after all the souther Republican Right used to be the solid South Democrats - all of whom defected when the civil rights act was passed. The bed sheet wearers are now Republican - and still hate blacks and more privately Catlicks and Jews.

David B

Please, KJ Heller, post something at Opinio Juris explaining "America's policies in the Middle East play a role in anti-Americanism" is directly analogous to "Israel's policies play a role in anti-Jewish racism in Europe." Share your wisdom with a wider readership, it's wasted on the comments section here. Or may consider that while "Americans" are part of the polity of "America", "European Jews" are not "Israelis." Or just embarrass yourself further, whichever.

David B

MacK, I'm not an expert on the evolution of southern white attitudes toward Catholics and Jews, but all the objective evidence we have says that conservative evangelical Republicans are not any more anti-Jewish than Americans in general. The groups that are disproportionately anti-Semitic are blacks, Hispanics (especially those born abroad) and high school dropouts.

Joseph Ricardo

Aren't the Arabs Semites too?

Wait no, only behaviour against Jews can be called antisemitism in the narrative painted by Israel diehards.

Kevin Jon Heller is fortunate enough to not depend for his employment on academia in the United States. We all know what happens to people who have the courage to actually dare challenge Israeli positions. Think salaita

David B

Because, you ignoramus, that's the dictionary definition of anti-Semitism, a phrase made up by Germans who hated Jews specifically to refer to Jews. If you'd prefer to call it "anti-Jewish racism," that would work just as well if not better.

As for Salaita, Middle East Studies Departments throughout the U.S. are dominated by professors hostile to Israel. If it's actually your field, it's much harder to get a job if you're sympathetic to Israel than if you're not. For ever Salaita, there are many pro-Israel types who never got an academic job to begin with because their views are not acceptable in the modern pc university.

Alexander Tsesis

O.k., I was going to stay out of this string with Mr. Ricardo's post I think it necessary to join it. Here's the source of the term antisemitism, or anti-Semitism, or anti-semitism, however you want to write it. I'm taking chunks from my book /Destructive Messages: How Hate Speech Paves the Way for Harmful Social Movements/ (New York 2002):

Wilhelm Marr was the first to coin the word Antisemitismus (anti-Semitism) in his work, Der Sieg des Judentums uber das Germanentum (The Victory of Judaism over Germandom). The book quickly went through twelve editions and dispersed across the country the notion that Jews were innately “antisocial.” Marr used the term “anti-Semitism” rather than “anti-Judaism” to imply that Jewish evil traits were the result not of their religion or isolation from German society. Rather, Jews were inherently tarnished. As he saw it, Germany was at great peril from the Jews since they were at “war [against] all ideals” and sought “the transformation of everything to merchandise.” Marr jarred his readers by declaring that the enemy, whom he identified as the whole “demonic” Jewish race, had already conquered German civil and political institutions.

They ruled the world by manipulating the press and financial institutions. To curtail this imagined power, Marr advocated taking measures such as boycotting Jewish businesses. Marr’s dogma made discrimination more respectable among Germans, and was an important step on the road to the Final Solution.

Antisemitismus became an effectual rallying cry for gathering individuals and organizations into an ideological, racial, and political camp. “Anti-Semite” was an accolade, denoting someone who was self-sacrificing, nationalistic, and lacking capitalistic motives. Marr determined to take advantage of the social climate, which was permeated by anti-Jewish sentiments, to further his ambitions. As with any other successful demagoguery, Marr’s ideology had a provocative, activist component. He understood that an anti-Semitic platform could win support, even when it was not tied to other political issues. During the 1879 elections he won conservative financial backing to found a journal, Deutsche Wache (German Guard), for disseminating his anti-Semitic teachings. Marr called on fellow Germans to “Elect no Jews.

Deutsche Wache also provided Marr with a forum to gather support for the Antijüdischer Verein (Anti-Jewish Society) which soon changed jüdisch to semitisch, becoming the Antisemitenliga (Anti-Semitic League). Thus, the term anti-Semite, connoting someone who opposed Jewish world dominance and supported German ideological restoration, was set into motion. Marr refined ancient, anti-Jewish sentiments into a doctrine that regarded Jews as so unalterably evil that they had to be excluded from German society and politics.


Tsesis and David B, of course you are correct, and obviously Ricardo is hopelessly uninformed about both linguistics and academia, where anti-Israel sentiment is de rigeuor.


Ahh David B - I know of numerous institutions that had a no Jews or Catholics rule and few that also had Greeks too (e.g., Washington's Metropolitan Club.) For the Klu Klux Klan Jew-hating and hat in'-"Catlicks" was almost more important than hating blacks on occasion. One of the odder things I remember Robert Shoshinski finding out about restrictive covenants in deeds is that they targeted Jews and Catholics more than blacks in most places - he explained this by suggesting that for the people that wrote many of them, it was (a) either simply inconceivable that a black would ever aspire to live there - or alternately that many owners might have black servants (or slaves) which would make the rule impracticable. It is true that many of the biggest "white shoe" law firms in New York, Washington DC and elsewhere would not hire a Jew or a Catholic - in fact it was their abandonment of these policies that was the first death knell of Coudert Bros (traditionally Catholic, some Jews) and Strook, Strook (Jewish, some Catholics.) Washington DC ( very Southern town) in fact had three university systems, American (Methodist), GW (protestant), Georgetown (rich Catholics), Catholic (poorer catholics), Antioch and ... (don't remember) Black.

On the anti-semitism point - the main thing that Wilhelm Marr and his followers did was make Jew-hating intellectually respectable by putting it on a quasi-scientific (if utter bullshit) footing. Thus respectable people could spout Jew-hatred as if it was not driven by sectarian animus, bigotry and outright stupidity - but rather claim that it had some sort of substantive scientific basis and loftily call it "anti-Semitism." During this period almost every nationality in Europe was embracing racial theories in which their "race" was somehow the superior race and other somehow subordinate. It is astonishing who swallowed this bilge - the English, the French, the Hungarians, etc. On the anti-semitism point the weirdest aspect of urban central European, particularly Germans embracing this piffle was the very high proportion of Jewish ancestry that there was in central Europe (a place where people switched religions in the middle ages when they moved from one town to the other.) This was, inter alia, later to empower Himmler as he got into genealogy. A isolated Jewish ancestor might not have gotten a German sent to the camps, but it was still potentially catastrophic if it came out (there was a fair amount of blackmail involved.)

A sense of how widespread both the racist theories and the 'scientific" anti-Semitism became can be caught in late 19th centre novels, where writers saw no difficulty in describing characters in racial terms, (his semitic nose/features), his celtic ..., his saxon brow, swarthy Latin... etc. Even more cosmopolitan and assimilated Jews in France and Germany would express such views of Jewish immigrants from further into Eastern Europe - particularly in France and Germany. In a way, everyone embraced it because the version of the theory they listened to made the listener the superior race, going them a rational theory to support it. Such theories were also widespread in the US - and in many respects are widely accepted still.


Anon: "The countries surrounding Israel are pretty much Judenfrei, no?"

Have the fucking balls to say 'Nazi!'.


No, Barry, not the same.

Too many people in too many of the countries surrounding Israel hate too many of their own people because of what appears to outsiders as rather modest doctrinal differences in religion to liken them to the movement you mention.

The hate that leads to atrocity after atrocity in the counties surrounding Israel, including numerous instances of ethnic and religious cleansing, usually is not based on the notion that other humans are "sub human" - although I'd concede that that rhetoric is often used in the countries surrounding Israel to describe their numerous enemies and the objects of their seemingly endless reservoir of hatred and intolerance for other human beings.


"Without even a word of condemnation for the treatment of Jews, Shipman argued that the best “antidote to anti-Semitism” would be for “Israel’s patrons abroad to press the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for final-status resolution to the Palestinian question.” In other words, the Jews in Europe will not be safe until the Jews in Israel (and their “patrons”) start behaving themselves."

Nor do you acknowledge any truth to his claims. Every time explorequotes says "on behalf of the Jewish people," and then declares something along the lines of "we must destroy Hamas" resulting in a lot of civilian deaths (notably about 500 children so far!) he stains all European Jewry with the aggressive acts of the State of Israel.

Not everyone is so sophisticated to distinguish between the Israeli government and Jews, and in fact, The Israeli government deems itself to be the representative of all Jews. As such, it is reasonable that less sophisticated people will take to blaming "the Jews" for the acts of the State of Israel, which the State of Israel claims to be undertaken on behalf of "all Jews."



Do I think that Jew-haters use Israel's an an excuse for their antisemitism -well yes, but I think they'd be antisemitism anyway. It is possible to condemn Israel's conduct and antisemitism. Indeed a young Palestinian woman did an eloquent job of it in the Guardian not so long ago - criticizing Jewish jokes by a comedian and pointing out that the embrace of antisemitism by many of Israel's critics in the Arab world hurts the Palestinian cause.

The Palestinian issue should be treated as a pure civil rights issue - anytime religion comes into it, or race, it harms their cause.


I think they'd be antisemitic anyway.

Tania Vasquez

Israel deliberately murders children as they sleep (17 calls from the U.N.) in.order to spike anti-Semitism where they then can rely on theirllegion of apilogists to shriek about anti-Semitism so Israel can carry out The Fibal Solution it intends for the Palestinians. And, whining about Rwverend Shipman is particularly rich.since these same apologists BLAME THE.PALESTINIANS FOR THE MURDEROUSLY RACIST GENOCIDE ISRAEL PERPETRATES AGAINST THEM.


The comment above is truly impressive, isn't it?

That comment demonstrates what the Israel haters are truly saying. But, the Israel haters don't usually say what they mean so clearly. So many of the Israel haters try to dress up their comments in some sort veneer of rationality.

It is refreshing indeed to hear the Israel haters' arguments put so clearly and honestly! It is necessary to hear these arguments put so honestly.

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