Tag Archives: anti-Semitism

Sex Abuse? Pope Attacked? No Problem, Anti-Semitism!

My father escaped persecution in Russia at the turn of the 20th century and whenever anything adverse happened in his life, a bad week at the butcher shop, the stove went out, he would raise his eyes to the sky, and say firmly, “anti-Semitism.” Little did I know that one day the Vatican would employ a similar explanation in order to deal with sex abuse charges. Father Raniero Cantalamessa told a religious group, including Pope Benedict XVI, the alleged priest scandal dealing with sexual abuse reveals “the most shameful aspect of anti-Semitism!” He quoted from a letter received from a “Jewish friend”(who shall remain nameless) who “followed with disgust the violent and concentric attacks against the Church.” According to this Jewish person, “the use of stereotypes, the shifting of personal responsibility and guilt to a collective guilt remind me of the most shameful aspects of anti-Semitism.”

Numerous priests have been charged with sexual abuse, not by non-Catholics, but by members of the Church. How the hell did we get from point A to point Z? Does one get the feeling the Catholic Church has hired Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as their image consultant?

Once Again, Israel Condemns Goldstone Report

As the UN General Assembly debates the Goldstone Report, Gabriela Shalev, Israel’s Ambassador to the UN, charged the report was “irreparably tainted” and “bends both fact and law.” According to the Israeli, issuing a report which places blame on both Israel and Hamas for actions that violate international law will “damage any effort to revitalize negotiations in our region.” According to Shalev Goldstone ignored the reality of terror from thousands of rockets fired into Israel from Gaza. Of course, the Goldstone Report discusses this issue and condemns Hamas for its behavior in sending bombs directed at civilians. The Israel ambassador “launches yet another campaign against the victims of terrorism the people of Israel,” and she wants to know why he didn’t examine how to halt terrorism.

The ongoing problem with Israel foreign policy is an inability to assume an objective stance on any issue and reduce comments meant to address issues to the problem of anti-semitism. Robert Goldstone is Jewish, has been involved in numerous Jewish activities throughout his life, and insisted prior to undertaking this study that he be allowed to examine behavior and actions of Hamas!

When will the people of Israel be able to address issues of human rights without assuming the mantle of victim. Over a thousand innocent Palestinians also died in Gaza, an operation that resulted in the death of fewer than 10 Israelis. Is the death of an Arab child any less hurtful than the death of a Jewish child? Stop with the anti-semitism and act like Jews!

Chilly Wind Blows On Israel-Turkey Relations

Once the dogs of ignorance are unleashed there is no end to the stupidity and drivel that will emerge in the media and among people. In a recent interview with the Guardian, Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tyyip Erdogan, blurted out that Israel Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman told him of a threat to use nuclear weapons in Gaza during the recent invasion. This comment comes shortly after many Israelis were offended at Turkish TV program they regarded as anti-Semitic for portraying Israel soldiers as killers of the innocent. Israel newspaper, Haaretz, which is liberal and not always supportive of its government, noted, “Turkey’s prime minister has further inflamed simmering Israel-Turkey tensions.”

It is time for both Israel and Turkey to sit down and discuss issues. This would require from Israel a commitment to avoid war with militant groups as long as none attacked them . It would require Turkey to be more careful about what is on their TV, particular during these hectic days.

Is There Racism In Israel Society?

During the past two thousand years, people of the Jewish faith have continually encountered bigotry and prejudice because of their religious background. Under Muslim rule, Jews were always second class citizens who paid special taxes or wore special clothes or were denied certain entry into certain occupations. Under Christian rule, they were tortured, forced to convert and thousands were killed. One would logically assume that people who have suffered would avoid mistreating minorities, but such is not the case in Israel. Several Jewish children of Ethiopian heritage have been denied entry into schools as well as encountering daily prejudice.

Gideon Levy, writing in Haaretz, poses questions: “how many self righteous and tsking parents would have agreed to register their children in a class with a majority of children of Ethiopian origin? And how many would rent an apartment to an Arab student?” He points out that many “clubs” exclude Ethiopians, Arabs, Druze and foreigners whose skin is dark. Israel invests NIS 577 for the education of Arab children in east Jerusalem and NIS 2,372 in Jewish children in West Jerusalem.

How does a modern society like Israel explain why 70,000 Arab Israelis live in unrecognized villages, many of which lack electricity or running water? If anyone uses expressions such as “apartheid” or “racism” in reference to Israel, the usual response is to raise the battle cry of “anti-semitism.” Yes, there are anti-semites in the world. But, there are also Israel semites who are bigoted and anti-Muslim and anti-Arab. Any Jew who is bigoted against Muslims or Christians or non-Jews denies the heritage of the Jewish fight for social justice “FOR ALL HUMANITY.”

Muslims And Jews Fight Racism In Denmark

One of the ongoing false beliefs in the Middle East by both Israelis and Arabs is the inability of both groups to work in a cooperative manner to further the cause of peace. The Jewish Community in Denmark has forged an alliance with the United Council of Muslims (MFR) to campaign against all forms of racism in the country. It is not just a fight to bridge differences between the two religions, but to confront racism in any form. Finn Schwartz of the Jewish Community, emphasizes, “it is a collaboration on racism and deals with anti-Semitism and Islamophobia. For the Muslims the campaign is aimed at Danish society, while Jews want to address the genera prejudices and pre-conceptions in society as well as Muslims’ anti-Semitism.”

Both groups believe the media has focused too much on conflict between Muslims and Jews while ignoring all aspects of racism in society. To the extent that racism ends in a society, to that extent will prejudice against Muslims and Jews come to an end.

Israel Urges Venezuela Ruler To Tone Down Anti-Semitism

Hugo Chavez, the populist leader who drapes himself in the mantle of “socialism” advocates very un-socialist ideas by fostering the growth of anti-semitism in his nation. The Israel Foreign Ministry has sought the assistance of other nations which have close ties with Venezuela to urge Chavez that anti-semitism is the wrong tactic which might win a headline in a Muslim nation, but violates the principles he claims to advocate. There is scant doubt Chavez is courting Arab nations and what better way than to allow thugs to attack Jews in Venezuela. Two weeks ago a bomb was thrown at the Jewish Community Center in Caracas and several Jews have been assaulted.

When in doubt raising the banner of anti-semitism is the easiest way to come across to the ignorant as a fighter for their rights. Blame your problems on Jews is certainly the ever present weapon of the demagogue. When it comes to being a demagogue, there are few who can compare to Hugo Chavez.

Is Sweden An Anti-Semitic Country?

An article in the Jerusalem Post by Abraham Cooper and Harold Brackman argues the Swedish city of Malmo’s decision to hold the Davis Cup tennis match between Israel and Sweden behind closed doors was a blatant example of anti-semitism. They charge not allowing spectators to watch the match reflects bias and has “echoes in Nazi Europe’s anti-semitism.” They argue claiming security reasons was simply a ploy to hide the real truth that Israeli players were being “stigmatized. None of this is about sports. It’s about Jews.” Naturally, the Malmo city government argues they were concerned about the possibility of violence and noted protestors numbered over 6,000 and had there been spectators the result might have led to violence and injuries.

One can disagree with the decision not to allow spectators without getting into charges of anti-semitism. It is rather obvious if one follows demonstrations concerning abuse of human rights in Europe that more attention is paid to Israel than to any other nation in the world. Ironically, as the crowd gathered to protest the presence of Israel, the president of Sudan was expelling aid agencies from Darfur. The death of 300,000 people in Darfur apparently does not concern people in Sweden who want to protest against oppression.

We suspect the protest in Sweden and other such demonstrations reflect a latent anti-semitism that in no way can be compared to Nazi Germany. To compare these forms of protest with the horrors of Nazism is an insult to those who died in the Holocaust. The Swedish protestors know not what they do in terms of the hypocrisy in focusing on Israel and ignoring horrors in Congo, Uganda, Zimbabwe and elsewhere.

Is It Anti-Jewish To Protest Israel Actions?

Alaa Kullab, writing in the Swedish newspaper, The Local, challenges a recent article which argued that Swedish protests against Israel actions in Gaza were simply a manifestation of anti-Semitism. He points out that those who protest against Iran are not being anti-Muslim but merely expressing concern regarding abuses of human rights or those who protest against any form of political oppression are telling the world what they do not like about a specific government’s actions and this has nothing to do with religion. He quotes the words of Richard Falk, a Jew, who argues Israel’s treatment of the people of Gaza is “a Holocaust in the making” as an example of someone who is angry at the Israel government and not at Jews. Mr. Kullab points out that Israel has violated the Geneva Convention in the West Bank where people are being mistreated.

The arguments of Mr. Kullab can not be challenged because the examples cited are clear violations of human rights on the part of the Israel government. Protesting against Israel actions are justified, but there is another question to be posed. Why has there been no open protest in Sweden about the death of five million people in the Congo, surely a real example not of a “Holocaust in the making” but of a Holocaust? Why have there been no protests against the brutality in Zimbabwe which has left thousands dead? Why no protest against the death, not of 1,300, but of over 60,000 in Uganda where brutality runs rampant?

There is NO “Holocaust in the making” in Gaza. To compare Israel actions in Gaza with the Holocaust violates any sense of decency and human behavior. I protest Israel actions in Gaza but I consistently protest about actions in Zimbabwe or Uganda or the Congo. The real question to pose is– why when there are more brutal events occurring in the world such as Darfur, do people in Sweden single out Israel actions and ignore the more brutal forms of oppression? Perhaps, Mr. Kullab can answer that question?

Anti-Semitism Rises In Sweden

Many people in Sweden are opposed to Israel policies towards Palestinians and justifiably express concerns regarding the brutal attack on Gaza which resulted in the death of over a thousand Gazans. But,, Swedish politicians have resorted to far fetched comparisons between what is happening in Gaza and the Holocaust including making comparisons between the situation facing Palestinians and what the lives of Jews in Europe under Nazi domination. THERE IS NO HOLOCAUST IN GAZA. There is no Israel government plan to kill each and every Palestinian–the Nazi plan aimed at killing every single Jew, no exceptions.

Europeans forget that Israel EVACUATED Gaza and left it under Palestinian control. The government of President Abbas took control of the area and supplies were allowed to enter. Hamas took over Gaza and CANCELLED all agreements with Israel and vowed to exterminate Israel. Since gaining control Hamas has launched thousands of rockets into Israel and fortunately most have not resulted in death to anyone. I hate to tell Swedish or European opponents of Israel, but Jews in Europe lacked any arms to fight Germans.

I oppose Israel policy toward Palestinians and toward Gaza. I oppose them because as one who has worked in Holocaust education for over thirty years, the study of the Holocaust compels me to oppose any form of oppression. Israel is NOT Nazi Germany. Israel is led by those who resort to fear and hysteria for political reasons and, in many cases, due to bigotry and hatred toward Palestinians. But, I also understand, Palestinians have turned down every effort of Israel peace advocates for a resolution of the conflict. Arafat was an incompetent, corrupt bumbler.

Perhaps, Swedish and Europeans who are infuriated at Israel and protest and demand sanctions can explain why they never protest the death of FIVE MILLION PEOPLE IN THE CONGO?? Why no protests about the death of 200,000 in DARFUR! The bottom line is that most Europeans who protest exhibit latent anti-semitism. When Hamas stole goods from UN warehouses there was silence on the protest market.

I want restoration of the West Bank to Palestinians. I want equal rights for all Israeli Arabs and an end to discrimination. I also want Arab nations to recognize the existence of Israel and work together with Jews to ensure peace and prosperity to the region. Israel has committed many blunders and the fact that Palestinians have also blundered DOES NOT EXCUSE ISRAEL ACTIONS IN GAZA, BUT IT EXPLAINS THEM.

Cease anti-semitism and work with those in Israel who seek peace.

Venezuela Police Arrest Synagogue Attackers

The increasing anti-American and anti-Israel attitude of the government of Hugo Chavez has been translated into growing anti-semitism in a nation that historically has not been known to have such feelings. Seven Venezuelan police agents and four civilians have been arrested in connection with a serious attack on a synagogue which many Jews in the nation believe was encouraged by statements of their president. Originally, Chavez claimed the attack was an attempt by smear his name by members of opposition parties, but it is now clear the violence came from his supporters. Ironically, one of the policeman once worked as a bodyguard for a rabbi.

In one sense, the Jews of Venezuela are caught in the middle of growing hatred towards Israel which arose during the vicious attack on Gaza. If a right wing Israeli government takes power this month, we can expect further outbreaks of anti-semitism in the world.