Feb 16, 2009 12:06 pm


The precipitous rise in Anti-Semitism has been expected. That does not mean it is any less troubling. Denis MacShane, MP, a former Minister for Europe and the author of Globalising Hatred: the New Anti-Semitism reports:

The periodic crises that have shaken world capitalism in the century and a half since Marx wrote Das Kapital are marked by a common political phenomenon. It is the rise of political anti-Semitism. Attacks on Jews and Jewishness constitute the canary in the coal mine that tells us something is going seriously wrong.

Last month a 32-year-old IT worker, Michael Booksatz, was beaten up in the streets of north London by two hooded men shouting about Palestinians. Jewish students at the London School of Economics - home to many brilliant Jews who fled Hitler's Germany - are now frightened by anti-Jewish abuse from Islamist students. Graffiti such as “Kill the Jews” or “Jihad 4 Israel” appear close to synagogues in London.

The Metropolitan Police report four times as many anti-Jewish incidents in recent weeks as Islamaphobic events. The respected Community Security Trust, which records anti-Jewish attacks with scrupulous rigour, reports as many attacks on Jews - verbal, vandalism and some violent - in the first weeks of 2009 as in the first six months of last year.

As the world enters a new era of crisis, anti-Semitism is back. History, as ever, begins to repeat itself. The slumps and stock market fever expressed in Zola's novel, L'Argent, or the populist anger against Wall Street at the end of the 19th century gave rise to the virulent anti-Semitic politics witnessed in France in connection with the Dreyfus case or the takeover of Vienna by openly anti-Semitic politicians. The Great Depression gave rise to the worst expressions of anti-Semitism ever seen, namely the politics that led to the Holocaust. But even in Britain the Duke of Wellington of the time was leader of a secret anti-Jewish organisation which had the initials PJ - Perish Judah - on its letterhead.

The economic crises of the 1970s led to a marked increase in the vote for the National Front in Britain and the openly anti-Semitic BNP, its successor extreme party, is doing very well in local elections - below the radar of the national opinion polls.

The distress and upset over the terrible pictures of children killed in Israel's attacks on Hamas in Gaza have allowed anti-Israeli feelings to be more violently and vehemently expressed than ever before. Criticism of Israel is not anti-Semitic. But all anti-Semites hate the existence of a Jewish state and hiding behind code words such as anti-Zionism increases the density and viciousness of their anti-Jewish utterances.

In Italy, the streets of Milan are daubed with slogans urging Italians not to buy goods at Jewish shops - an echo of the Nazi slogan “Kauft Nicht Bei Juden”. In Germany, radio phone-ins are full of accusations that the bankers accused of being responsible for the current economic crisis are Jews. In anti-Israel demonstrations in Berlin, placards stating “It was a good idea to use gas” or “I'm anti-Semitic and that's a good thing” were carried. Thus every Jew is made to feel as if they do not fully belong in the countries where they were born or the societies that they participate in.

Terrible massacres of Muslims have taken place in different parts of the world so far this century, from Kashmir to Gujarat. In Iraq and Afghanistan, Nato soldiers are accused of brutality but the men with the most blood on their hands of fellow Muslims have been Islamist ideologues. Yet there is no outrage against the perpetrators of those attacks compared with the onslaught on Israel and on Jews.

Is it unreasonable to argue that the reason that there is worldwide anger against Israel but not against other regimes or religions that carry out massacres of Muslims is because the Israelis are Jews? Has legitimate criticism and anger against Israel allowed Jew hate to become almost acceptable politics again? Add to this a world economic crisis in which it is so easy to point at the names of the swindlers and banksters that happen to be Jewish, and a new perfect storm of anti-Semitism begins to take shape.

Today in London a conference of parliamentarians from different legislatures in Europe and around the world will gather to discuss what can be done. Michael Gove, for the Conservatives, will join Labour Cabinet ministers Hazel Blears and Jim Murphy in saying it is time for the Parliaments of the democractic world to take action against anti-Semitism - especially Islamist attacks against young Jewish students on university campuses.

The Pope embraces a Holocaust-denying Winchester and Cambridge-educated bishop; slogans such as “Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the gas” are chanted in Amsterdam;

Jews are again made to feel they are not full citizens of the countries of their birth because they refuse to support the right of Hamas and Hezbollah to use terror attacks against Israeli civilians. The canary in the coal mine seems in danger of its life once again.

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Arnold Shcherban - 3/14/2009

Mr Kislock,
Mr. Green and Mr.Hamilton are two of the several subjects on HNN site who occasionally do blame Israeli governments... for not "defending" Israeli people well enough, i.e. not killing enough Palestinians, while deliberately propagating IDF's BIG LIE (exposed to be so by many independent Human Rights organizations on multiple occasions, all of which of course, in their distorted view are left-wing Hamas and Hezbollah sympathizers) that all or virtually
all Palestinian or Lebanese victims of the IDF operations have to be blamed on Palestinian terrorists that used the civilians as human shields.
There is no way these dogmatic, hard-core Zionists ever admit any criminal action on the part of Israel and its army. They spit on world opinion, well-established facts, and everything else along it, if those ones are not in favor of Zionism and the state of Israel.
Plus, Mr. Green is the one who cowardly has hidden behind ridiculous
excuses to avoid loosing a material bet on Palestinian-Israeli issue I once offered to him.
I personally stopped reacting on those subjects' Israel-above-all-blame-Palestinians shovinistic vitriols long ago.

Joe Hamilton - 2/28/2009

"The hateful/illegal actions of the IDF, in the Gaza Ghetto, may explain a lot, of why there is an upsurge of antisemitism."

Have you been so upset over the hundreds of thousands murdered in Rwanda and Darfur? No, because you could not express your sick hatred of Jews in those cases.
Either you are a blatant lier, or the most ill-informed person in the world. Israel killed 100,000 civilians? To Jew haters like you , if a Jew defends themselves they are committing an atrocity.

Elliott Aron Green - 2/22/2009

Aren't Jewish civilians "innocent civilians" as much or more than the Arabs in Gaza? What about Jews in France and the UK who are harassed, attacked, even murdered by Muslims living in those countries? Kislock and Albert, do you mean to say that Jewish civilians are not innocent? Or not innocent if they support Israel? What about Arabs who support Hamas but are non-combatants? Are they more or less innocent than the Jews in France and UK, etc., who are often subject to Muslim and Leftist harassment and abuse, even murder [Ilan Halimi, Sebatien Sellam, etc]???

Elliott Aron Green - 2/22/2009

Kislock & Morelis live in their self-righteous, ignorant fantasies, Charles. They seem to have very limited, very tendentious sources of information. The fact that their sources of information are probably the American MSM plus "leftist" hate sheets and hate blogs, is not entirely their own fault. But before they complain they ought to learn more about the real world.

The Jerusalem Post [] and even HaAretz online could help inform them of some of what they don't know. Only a naive ignoramus takes stories in the MSM at face value.

Albert, you ought to know that the USA, EU, Japan and oil-rich Arab states finance the "palestinian authority" to the tune of a billion or so bucks per year. Now Gaza is not occupied by Israel or controlled by Israel. So attacks from there are not attacks on a supposedly "brutal occupation."

Albert, you also ought to know that for many years, if not still now, the US Treasury subsidized purchases of oil by US oil companies [like ARAMCO] from Arab states, thus helping to make them rich. So if you allow these subsidies to go on, then you are involved in the Arab-Israeli conflict on the Arab side.

Elliott Aron Green - 2/22/2009

Kislock, Israel was defending its population from rockets shot at civilian towns, cities, and villages from Gaza by the genocidal Hamas. If you don't know that the Hamas is genocidal against Jews, then read the Hamas charter, especially Article 7 which quotes the Nazi-like medieval Muslim fable about Muslims killing Jews at Judgement Day.

On the other hand, if you don't like genocide, as you seem to claim, as quoted below, then I will name a few countries, as you ask.

Name me one other country, that has that much blood on it's hands?

Let's start with the Sudan, which the UK wrongly made independent in 1956 as a unitary state with a Muslim, Arab govt that has massacred several MILLION black Africans since 1956, with periods of lull and truce off and on. Then there is another Arab land, Algeria, where an estimated 150,000 Muslim Arabs were massacred by other Muslim Arabs in the 15 years between 1991 and 2006. Then, there was the Lebanese civil war which killed an estimated 200,000 Lebanese, mainly Muslims against Christians and the reverse.

Then, you mention Iraq. Saddam Hussein was doing an effective job of slaughtering his own population, especially Kurds and Shi`ites, from when he took power circa 1969 up to 2003. The number of the slaughtered by Saddam's govt there is probably over a million. Whatever the numbers killed since 2003, most were killed by fellow Muslims, mainly Shi`ites against Sunnis and the reverse, while we would not want to forget the Assyrian Christians and Yazidis who have also been victims. The mass murder bombings in Iraq still are going on.

Kislock, could you please inform yourself better about what really is going in the world?

Stephen Kislock - 2/19/2009

If it were not Not for People of Conscience, Israel, would be getting away with Murder, more that it is!

I hope that No one in the Israeli government, can travel any here in the world, without Fear of Arrest for Crimes Against Humanity!

Writing on the Mosque Wall? How many Mosque are still standing in Gaza, after the latest Inhuman Bombing campaign?

Charles Lee Geshekter - 2/19/2009

Thanks for making my core points so effectively.

I got a good laugh out of your deliciously ironic self-defining term, "normally peaceful citizens like myself detest Israel." That was wonderfully revealing.

Do check out the recent scandalous events at UCLA over these same issues.

It is all there in The Jewish Journal of February 18, 2009, entitled, "Dust Over Campus Life: UCLA at a Crossroad," By Professor Judea Pearl. opinion/article/dust_over_campus_life_ucla_at_a_crossroad_20090218/

Try not to gnash your teeth, clench your fist and squint your eyes as your sense of "detesting" rises up again.

Ta ta

Albert Morelis - 2/19/2009

Two comments:

1) You toss the usual "rabid anti-Semitism" labels around, but you don't pose any ideas that are worth discussing. What's your point?

2) Until Jews are prepared to consider objectively why is it that normally peaceful citizens like myself detest Israel, they will continue with the self delusion that it is all because of "rabid anti-Semitism" that has always existed, and will always exist (and therefore nothing can be done about it), instead of because of specific actions by a specific state. The former, even if true (not true in America), I guess by definition can not be changed. The latter, though, could be changed, and pressure on Israel by Jews could help. But Jews need to accept first that our revulsion at the thousands of slaughtered Palestinians and Lebanese is not "anti-Semitism".

Charles Lee Geshekter - 2/19/2009

Klinghoffer is entirely correct and even understated in her remarks about the rabid and rancid hatred of anti-Semites that long preceded the establishment of Israel and would continue in perpetuity even if there were no Israel.

That well-researched anti-Semitic "nihilism of fools" is amply on display here with the feckless remarks by Morelis and Kislock, whose rank double standards emphatically confirm what Klinghoffer was getting at.

Maybe we will soon hear from notably fired academics like Joel Kovel and Norman Finklestein, to further validate what Klinghoffer has said.

Albert Morelis - 2/19/2009

"Jews are again made to feel they are not full citizens of the countries of their birth because they refuse to support the right of Hamas and Hezbollah to use terror attacks against Israeli civilians."

My God, what a hypocritical piece of nonsense! Many Jews - at least American Jews - seem to put the interests of Israel above the interests of the US. THAT is why Americans feel that they are not "full citizens".

And to claim that the only issue are the (puny) attacks on Israel, without mentioning that those attacks are a form of resistance to a brutal 40 year old occupation,really goes beyond the pale.

I don't think that Israel will reform. It has become a racist, brutal state and as opposed to dictatorships such as Iraq, where one can hope that once Saddam is gone the people will change course, Israel is a democracy. They WANT to be a brutal racist country. If anything, the last election seems to indicate that the most virulent and racist hawks (such as Lieberman) will be in power. So be it. Let the Israelis and the Arabs fight it out. What I'm asking for is for my country - America - to take this monkey off our backs. Israel, Darfur or Zimbabwe are not our responsibility.

Stephen Kislock - 2/19/2009

The hateful/illegal actions of the IDF, in the Gaza Ghetto, may explain a lot, of why there is an upsurge of antisemitism.

Israel and the United States, have killed, over a 100,000 Muslims civilians,in Iraq and Gaza. Name, me one other country, that has that much blood on it's hands?

Anti-Israeli, Anti-Semitism? What would the world's feeling be towards another country,that did the atrocities that Israel did in Gaza? It would be world outrage...

Tuesday, the Israeli government announced more Settlements on Palestinian land!

J.A. Klinghoffer, attack dog, for the aggressor nation of Israel!