In France, any public mention of Muslim anti-Semitism can lead you to court. In February 2017, the scholar Georges Bensoussan was sued for “incitement to racial hatred” because he mentioned in a radio debate how vastly widespread anti-Semitism is among French Muslim families.
Now, however, two types of Muslim anti-Semitism are being highlighted by the media. These two types could be called “hard anti-Semitism” and “soft anti-Semitism”.
Hard Muslim anti-Semitism is the anti-Semitism of murderers. Soft Muslim anti-Semitism is anti-Semitism of “anti-Zionists” and harrassers of various stripes.
The recently concluded trial of terrorist Abdelkader Merah is a clear and pathetic illustration of hard Muslim anti-Semitism. Abdelkader Merah is the brother of Mohamed Merah, a French Muslim extremist who murdered seven people, including three Jewish children and their teacher at a Jewish school, in Toulouse. Mohamed Merah was killed in a shoot-out with police on March 22, 2012. Abdelkader Merah, Mohamed’s brother, was on trial during the past few weeks. He was accused of being a member of a terrorist organization and to have closely monitored his brother during his murder spree. Abdelkader’s trial ended on November 2, 2017; he was convicted and sentenced to 20 years in prison.
Suburbs (“banlieues”) — distant from the affluent boulevards and bistros of Paris — form the “other France”. They are the “peripheral France”, (“La France Périphérique”) as the geographer Christophe Guilluy calls them in an important book. They are where “living together” between communities has really been tested.
In the last 20 years, these French suburbs have not only become “concentrations of poverty and social isolation”, but have gone from being some of France’s most densely-populated Jewish areas to “lost territories of the Republic”, according to the great historian Georges Bensoussan, in his book, Les territoires perdus de la République.
These suburbs have become transformed into one of the most visible signs of the Islamization of France.
Anti-Semitism has returned as one of Europe’s worst diseases. France hosts Europe’s largest Jewish community, and Jews have been fleeing the suburbs to either emigrate or move to gentrified districts of the cities, where they feel more protected. What happens to the Jews will have a seismic impact on the entire continent.
The former Mayor of London Ken Livingstone – long regarded as a foe of Britain’s Jewish community for his incendiary attacks on Zionism – was at the center of a new controversy on Tuesday after he was announced as the star of a political comedy show at a West End theater.
Livingstone, who is currently suspended from the opposition Labour party over allegations of antisemitism, will appear in the annual show hosted by Matt Forde, a comedy writer and radio broadcaster, at the Leicester Square Theater on December 7. Past guests on the show have included former British Prime Minister Tony Blair.
Britain’s Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAAS) condemned the invitation. “There is nothing remotely funny about Ken Livingstone’s unapologetic claim that ‘Hitler was supporting Zionism,’” the CAAS said in a statement. In April 2016, Livingstone was suspended from the Labour party after he claimed in a radio interview that the Nazi dictator was “supporting Zionism” before “he went mad and ended up killing six million Jews.”
Livingstone has not retracted or apologized for those remarks, leaving his adversaries furious that Labour’s far-left leader, Jeremy Corbyn, still refuses to expel him from the party. In the meantime, Livingstone has dug in even further, claiming before a Labour party tribunal last March that the Nazi SS – whose paramilitary units alone murdered more than one million Soviet Jews by 1943 – “set up training camps so that German Jews who were going to go (to Palestine) could be trained to cope with a very different sort of country when they got there.”
I was recently invited to present the liberal case for Israel at Berkeley. In my remarks I advocated the establishment of a Palestinian state and a negotiated end of the conflict. I encouraged hostile questions from protestors and answered all of them. The audience responded positively to the dialogue.
Then immediately after my address, a poster was plastered outside Berkeley Law School with a swastika drawn on my face.
The Dean of Berkeley Law School, Erwin Cherwinsky, sent a letter condemning the swastika: “Several of our students expressed their disagreement with him [Dershowitz] and did so in a completely appropriate way that led to discussion and dialogue. I was pleased to hear of how this went, but then shocked to learn of the swastika drawn on a flyer that someone had posted about him.”
Shortly after, The Daily Californian – Berkeley’s student newspaper – published an anti-Semitic cartoon, depicting an ugly caricature of me sticking my head through a cardboard cut-out. Behind the cardboard I am portrayed stomping on a Palestinian child with my foot, while holding in my hand an Israeli soldier who is shooting an unarmed Palestinian youth. Above the cardboard cut-out the title of my speech – The Liberal Case for Israel – is scrawled in capital letters.
“The abuse includes one Labour member describing Jews as a ‘corrupt master race’ controlling sex-trafficking, pornography and wars worldwide. Another wrote: ‘Every f****** Jew that died in the Holocaust was a blessing.’ One councillor suggested there was a worldwide Jewish conspiracy and that Israel wanted to commit atrocities across the whole world.
“…A message was shared from the online Labour Party Forum, showing a man with a large nose reading the BBC Six O’Clock News alongside the caption: ‘B***** BBC is Zionist propaganda puppet show.’Another message from an unknown Labour councillor contained ‘echoes of the blood libel’…The tweet showed an Israeli flag dripping with blood along with the words: ‘The genocidal murderers of innocent women and children: Moses must be proud of you.’ The message was headlined: ‘Israel is evil, long live Palestine.’
“A Labour forum discussed the ‘master race’ and included a picture of nine large-nosed people alleged to be in control of Wall Street, ‘internet spying’, Hollywood and TV, the law courts, the cancer industry, pornography, ‘wars for Israel’, sex-trafficking and ‘fake opposition’.
“One member wrote: ‘I see the corrupt “master race” side-stepped into this graphic,’ to which another replied: ‘Lol [laugh out loud] be careful you might get accused of being anti-semitic.’ This led to a discussion about ‘paid disinfo agents’ and Blairites ‘running to the MSM [mainstream media]’ with mention of the Zionism ‘problem’. ‘Just look at who owns what,’ one said. And another Labour member simply tweeted: ‘Every f****** Jew that died in the Holocaust was a blessing. Imagine how bad the world would be now if 6 million more of them had survived?’”
When the official newspaper of Berkeley published a color caricature of me as a spider-like creature with one leg stomping on a Palestinian child and another holding an IDF soldier spilling the blood of an unarmed Palestinian, there was universal condemnation of what was widely seen as a throwback to the antisemitic imagery of the Nazi era. The chancellor condemned the cartoon, stating that, “its antisemitic imagery connects directly to the centuries-old ‘blood libel’ that falsely accused Jews of engaging in ritual murder.”
Writing in the Daily Cal, students from a pro-Israel organization at Berkeley debunked the claim that the cartoonist and the student paper editors at the Daily Cal could not have known that this cartoon was seeped in traditional antisemitic stereotyping, when considering its deep roots in European, and even American, publications.
In the cartoon, Dershowitz is depicted with a hooked nose and a body of a large amorphous black sphere. His exaggerated head and contorted legs and hands evoke images of a spider. The rhetoric of Jews as ‘invasive’ insects in society, trying to take over resources and power, has long been used to justify violence, persecution and murder. The two elements of the cartoon, with Dershowitz’s face in the front and the black body in the back, plays into the antisemitic trope of Jews as shape-shifting, sub-human entities using deception and trickery in order to advance their own agendas. This rhetoric is nowhere more common than in Nazi propaganda, and can be traced far beyond WWII in European and American media.
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A wealthy Jordanian businessman who traffics openly in antisemitic conspiracy theories has been appointed as a “special ambassador” by the United Nations agency dealing with international tourism.
The UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) announced this week that it had named Talal Abu Ghazaleh as Special Ambassador of Tourism and the Sustainable Development Goals in advance of its summit in Russia in 2019. Abu Ghazaleh, a Palestinian who was born in Jaffa in 1938, is the founder of The Talal Abu-Ghazaleh Organization, an accounting and consulting company deemed by Forbes magazine to be a market leader in the Arab world. A keen supporter of the UN, Abu Ghazaleh has been rewarded by recent UN Secretary-Generals – including Kofi Annan and Ban Ki Moon – with top positions on several UN Task Forces.
Despite his access to some of the world’s top diplomats, Abu Ghazaleh has never hidden his antisemitic views. Interviewed by the BBC‘s Arabic TV in January of this year, he spoke at length of his “plan” to “transfer” the Jewish population of Israel to other countries.
“Just like the Jews believe in the Right of Return, we Palestinians believe in the Right of Return,” Abu Ghazaleh said in comments translated by media monitoring organization MEMRI. “Let every Palestinian return to Palestine and every Jew return to his own country.”
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