Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Jenny Tonge sacked from frontbench role

Tuesday, March 9th, 2010

The Guardian reports that Liberal Democrat leader, Nick Clegg, has sacked Baroness Jenny Tonge, the Lib Dem spokesperson in the Lords after she called for an inquiry into allegations that Israeli soldiers were involved in organ trafficking in Haiti.

While speaking to the Jewish Chronicle, she said the Israel Defence Forces were “to be commended for their fantastic response to the Haitian earthquake” but then added; “To prevent allegations such as these [of organ harvesting] — which have already been posted on YouTube — going any further, the IDF and the Israeli Medical Association should establish an independent inquiry immediately to clear the names of the team in Haiti.”

The allegations came in an article from the Palestine Telegraph (of which Tonge is a patron) titled Focus on Israel: Harvesting Haitian Organs by an American researcher, Stephen Lendman, who accused Israel of a “crime against humanity”.

As was pointed out by the guys over at CST blog when the stories about the IDF in Haiti started appearing (on Iranian state backed Press TV no less), the claims about “organ harvesting” take the form of a modern day blood libel – one of the most pervasive antisemitic tropes. This link with the blood libel has been discussed before on this blog.

Following discussions with the leader of the Liberal Democrats in the House of Lords, Lord McNally, Nick Clegg has decided that Jenny Tonge will stand down as Liberal Democrat health spokesperson in the Lords following what he called her “unacceptable comments suggesting an inquiry into highly offensive allegations against the IDF humanitarian operation in Haiti.”

“While I do not believe that Jenny Tonge is antisemitic or racist, I regard her comments as wholly unacceptable. Jenny Tonge apologises unreservedly for the offence she has caused.”

This is a welcome move from the Liberal Democrat leader. As some readers will remember, while giving the annual EISCA lecture in 2009, Nick Clegg was challenged on the position of Jenny Tonge as a spokesperson for the Liberal Democrats given her controversial views and statements on ‘the Israel lobby’ and expressing sympathy for suicide bombers. At the time he said that her statements had been condemned and dealt with by both Charles Kennedy and Sir Menzies Campbell when they were leaders of the party. It seems that this latest comment by Tonge has pushed Clegg to the limit.

Thankfully Tonge’s view is not one held widely by Liberal Democrats. Ed Fordham, the Lib Dem candidate for Hampstead and Kilburn, said: “It’s abhorrent that anyone should suggest that something as perverse and sick as this should be investigated.

UPDATE: Martin Bright at the Spectator and Harry’s Place have more.

The Legacy of Hope: Anti-Semitism, the Holocaust and Resistance, Yesterday and Today

Tuesday, March 9th, 2010

Cross-posted from David Hirsh at Engage

We have heard a lot about fighting antisemitism a long time ago and far away. I wish to turn to events closer to home.

Antisemitism within the UCU started to become a serious problem when people in the union began to support the campaign to boycott Israeli universities, but no other universities in the world. This campaign has dominated academic union Congresses in 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009.

Normally trade unionists aim to make links with other trade unionists across international boundaries. Normally academics make links with other academics in other countries. But in our union Israelis have been treated differently. Instead of seeking to work with Israeli colleagues for peace and against bigotry, the dominant faction in our union has tried again and again to exclude Israelis from our community.

Since 2003 it has become clear that antisemitic ways of thinking and antisemitic practices have been imported into our union alongside this campaign to punish Israeli academics.

September 2006

Report of the All Party Parliamentary Inquiry into Antisemitism (p 41):

“We conclude that calls to boycott contact with academics working in Israel are … anti-Jewish in practice.”

18 January 2007

The Union response to the Parliamenary Inquiry was

(1) to conflate the criticism that boycotts were anti Jewish in practice with a charge which was not made, that UCU members hate Jews.

(2) to declare that criticism of Israel is not antisemitic – although the charge was made in relation to the union setting up an institutional exclusion from British campuses on the basis of nationality – and was not made in relation to criticism of Israel.

(3) the union says that those who raise the issue of antisemitism do so in bad faith in order to silence criticism of Israeli human rights abuses. It produces no evidence regarding the bad faith of those who raise the issue.

(4) the union replies to a charge of institutional antisemitism in the union by saying that the inquiry ought to have looked into the issue of Islamophobia instead.

76 members of the UCU signed a letter in the Times Higher taking issue with UCU’s denials in the face of criticism by the parliamentary inquiry. The union did not respond to the disquiet articulated by these members. Silence.

UCU Congress 2007 passed the following clause as union policy:

“…Congress believes that … criticism of Israel cannot be construed as anti-semitic.”

This statement is an irresponsible denial of the possibility of antisemitism since ‘criticism of israel’ is evidently sometimes antisemitic and sometimes not antisemitic.

UCU Congress 2008 passed the following clause as union policy:

“Criticism of Israel or Israeli policy are not, as such, anti-semitic”

But nobody has ever heard criticism “as such”. They have only ever heard this or that particular criticism of Israel. Some of them are antisemitic and some of them are not. So again, UCU’s mode of denial was irresponsible for an antiracist union.

19 June 2007

Professor Shalom Lappin’s resignation letter to UCU:

“The boycott… attempts to impose a discriminatory sanction on Israeli academics that its advocates do not seek to apply to any other nation, even in situations of conflict where far greater human rights abuses are being committed. …it is a crude effort to delegitimize Israel as a country and express hostility for its people.”

August 2007

Gert Weisskirchen, a veteran German Social Democrat member of the Bundestag, antiracist, and official of the OSCE responsible for combatting antisemitism in Europe asked the UCU for a meeting about antisemitism in the Union. The union leadership could not find half an hour to sit and hear his concerns. Silence. 39 UCU members signed a letter in the Times Higher asking the union to meet with Weisskirchen. The Union did not respond.

September 2007

UCU was advised by its own lawyer, Lord Lester QC, one of the foremost human-rights lawyers in the UK, that making a call to boycott Israeli institutions would run a serious risk of infringing discrimination legislation, and that the call to boycott was considered to be outside the aims and objects of the UCU.

13 May 2008

“Stop the Boycott” published the legal opinion given to it by Michael J Beloff QC and Pushpinder Saini QC. Neither are glove puppets of “the Jews” or of “the Zionists” or any such thing. Both are senior QCs, specialists in employment and discrimination law, with reputations to safeguard.

1 “…It would be unlawful for the union to pass” a boycott motion at Congress.

The motion purports to be less than a boycott motion but is in fact a boycott motion.

The motion discriminates against Israelis on the basis of nationality and it discriminates against Jews in a number of indirect ways.

2 The motion is “ultra vires” because it is a breach of the union’s own fundamental and foundational commitment to equality.

The motion is therefore unlawful partly because it violates, in a profound way and not in a purely formal or technical way, UCU’s own law and its own core values. This problem cannot be addressed by fiddling with the wording of the union’s Aims and Objects. It could only be addressed by changing the commitment to equality which is at the heart of the UCU.

3 The motion would be a breach of the Race Relations Act because it would impose on Israeli academics (and potentially Jewish academics) the duty to explain their politics as a pre-condition to having normal academic contact.

4 Debating a motion of this kind is a further breach of the Race Relations Act because such a debate creates an environment which normalizes antisemitic rhetoric and which would create a hostile environment to Jewish and Israeli members and non-members of the union.

May 24 2008

Dov Stekel, Letter to Sally Hunt, General Secretary of UCU:

“…this is the only organization with which I have been involved in which I have been made to feel uncomfortable as a Jew… Repeated calls for boycott of Israeli institutions, the circulation of vitriolic, offensive and untrue allegations, the fact that Jewish members have either been excluded or bullied out of the activists list, have led to a culture in UCU that I have to describe as institutionally anti-semitic. …I am sure that the individuals involved do not themselves mean to be anti-semitic; but the net effect of these actions is to create a culture in the trade union in which Jews and Israelis feel alienated or excluded.”

May 30 2008

Robert Fine, Warwick University UCU:

“…Now for the third time our own union has chosen to go down the road of considering ‘the appropriateness of continued educational links with Israeli academic institutions’. The tones are mellow but they give me a shiver and make me feel my Jewishness in a new way.”

3 June 2008

Deborah Lynn Steinberg, UCU member, University of Warwick wrote:

“It is an infringement of my rights as a member to be co-opted into action that violates anti-discrimination policies and law and that compromises the mission of the Union…”

8 June 2008

Stephen Soskin President Buckinghamshire New University UCU, High Wycombe Branch:

“The lesson we have to draw from this Congress is that the majority of delegates and the leadership of UCU wish to pursue their biased policy against Israel, some of which is in my view racist and anti Semitic, with as little discussion as possible and with the widest possible anonymity. None of us should allow this to happen and we must continue to speak out, however uncomfortable this is.”

23 June 2008

Leslie Klaff, a lawyer from Sheffield Hallam University resigns from union:

“The UCU’s adoption of Motion 25 at Congress on May 28th 2008, and the NEC’s subsequent decision of June 13th to refer the question of its implementation to a Union committee, notwithstanding specialist legal advice that it breaches anti-discrimination legislation and Union rules, is further evidence of the UCU’s continuing and relentless obsession with the academic boycott of Israel…”

1 July 2008

Eve Garrard’s resignation letter from UCU:

“The discussion of the boycott project on the UCU activists’ list … There has been a constant deployment of some of the most traditional stereotypes of anti-Semitism, thinly concealed under the figleaf of anti-Zionism. Repeated (and demonstrably false) claims have been made that Israel is committing genocide, and is comparable to the Nazis. Those who have not shared the dominant hostility to Israel have been compared to members of an alien species. It has been explicitly asserted by Union activists that those members who resist this demonising of the Jewish state, and who are concerned about the double standards being deployed in the boycott project, are manipulatively trying to distract others from Israel’s crimes, and are indeed part of a conspiracy to do so. The Union has failed to protect its Jewish members from this constant vilifying of Jewish self-determination. Formal complaints about the creation of an atmosphere hostile to many Jews have been dismissed by the Union as groundless. Even more worryingly, complaints which have been made about the possibility of institutional anti-Semitism have not even been addressed by the Union. Silence.

The UCU’s obsessional determination to ostracise and punish Israel, and its persistent indifference to the concerns and fears of its Jewish members, have created an atmosphere within the Union which is hostile …. I, like many others, can no longer bear the shame and embarrassment of belonging to an institution which is willing to discriminate against Jews, and whose readiness to do so is supported by leading members of its Executive Committee. …This Union is no longer a fit place for those who think that Jews have the same rights of self-determination, self-defence, and national identity as other peoples do, and I hereby resign from it.

7 July 2008

Norman Geras, Political Philosopher, career-long AUT member:

“To be a Jew in UCU today is to be, in some sort, a supplicant, pleading with the would-be boycotters and those unmoved to oppose them …, pleading for Israeli academics to be accepted as having the same status as other academics …, pleading that Jewish supporters of the rights of academics in the Jewish state should not be made to feel isolated in their own union… . Well, not to put too fine a point on it, shove that. Not today, not tomorrow, and not any time.”

21 August 2008

UCU activist Jenna Delich posted a link to a piece of antisemitic conspiracy theory from the website of David Duke, former head of the Ku Klux Klan. Mike Cushman, one of the leaders within out union of the campaign to exclude Israelis, and only Israelis, from the global academic community, recommended Delich to take legal action against a website in order to keep this story out of the public domain.

October 2008

Physicist Raphaël Lévy resigns from UCU

The union has accepted without being moved the resignation of Jewish and antiracists union members, including philosopher Eve Garrard, philosopher Tim Crane, lawyer Eric Heinze, Professor of English Sarah Annes Brown, and Senior Lecturer in Biblical Studies & Judaism Jonathan Campbell. The union has excluded sociologist David Hirsh permanently from the UCU e-list. … I have considered the ethical implications of remaining a UCU member and I thereby resign.

20 February 2009

Mike Cushman posts an article on a public website which lists the number of Jewish people in parliament in order to construct an argument about how Tony Blair required Jewish “Zionist” money to run the New Labour project after he had cut Labour’s reliance on trade union funding.

May 27 2009

BRICUP, the British organisation behind the boycott of Israeli academics, held a fringe meeting at UCU Congress in 2009.

One question came from Sean Wallis, UCL UCU branch secretary. He wanted to speak about how UCU should debate a boycott, whether it’s legal or not. One of the threats he mentioned was from lawyers backed by those with “bank balances from Lehman Brothers that can’t be tracked down.” Sean Wallis never explained what he thought was the connection between anti boycott lawyers in Britain and allegedly stolen money from Lehman Brothers in New York.

December 2009

The Human Rights Commission is a national institution of post apartheid South Africa. It ruled last December that the statements of Mongani Masuku on the subject of Israel amounted to antisemitic hate speech. He was invited to the UK on a trip paid for by the University and College Union to promote the exclusion of Israelis, and only Israelis, from the global academic community.

The Human Rights Commission does not makes its judgments frivolously. The Human Rights Commission is aware of the distinction between criticism of Israel and antisemitism. The Human Rights Commission is not pro-Israel and is not concerned with defending the reputation of Israel. It is concerned with racism.

Masuku has openly and repeatedly stated that South African trade unions would target Jewish supporters of Israel in South Africa and “make their lives hell”. He urges that “every Zionist must be made to drink the bitter medicine they are feeding our brothers and sisters in Palestine”.

The Human Rights Commission recognized unequivocally that using anti-Israel rhetoric, Masuku has attempted to mobilize South African trade unionists against Jews in South Africa. Masuku believes that Jews who are not anti-Zionist are “agents of apartheid and friends of Hitler” and he proposes to relate to them as though they were both.

UCU has paid for this man to tour Britain’s campuses to make the argument for a boycott of Israeli universities.

Surely, when it was explained to UCU that Masuku was here to use antisemitic hate speech then it would have realised that it has made a mistake?

But no. The distinction between criticism of Israel and antisemitism has been explained to UCU countless times over the past decade but UCU is not interested and it continues to turn a blind eye to antisemitism.

A UCU spokesperson told a journalist from the Jerusalem Post that the sources of the evidence against Masuku were not credible.

The UCU spokesperson did not understand who the South African Human Rights Commission is or the significance of what it judged.

But there is nothing new about this. UCU has demonstrated repeatedly that it is simply not bothered by antisemitism if it comes packaged in the language of criticism of Israel.

Jews in UCU have been bullied, have resigned, have been pushed out and have been silenced. The situation is so serious that at the last UCU Congress there were no Jews left who were prepared to oppose the boycott campaign.

June 4, 2009

Jon Pike,

Resignation letter from UCU National Executive.

We have a union that has allowed the distribution of antisemitic material on its internal lists, and the peddling of antisemitic conspiracy theories by some of its members, whilst banning anti-racist and Jewish members who have objected to such material.

We have a union from which hundreds of members – many of them Jewish – have resigned in protest at the unwarranted exceptionalism of its attitude to Israel. I believe that many more will do so.

We have a union that entirely refuses to investigate concern about institutional antisemitism when raised through the proper channels, by members. The UCU is now the most complacent public institution in Britain with respect to the current rise in antisemitism.

Denis MacShane Named As New Chair of Think Tank on Antisemitism

Thursday, March 19th, 2009

New Broad Street House, New Broad Street London EC2M 1NH
Media Contact: Dr. Winston Pickett Tel: 07932 075 625

E-Mail: Web:



Anti-Jewish Motifs in the Public Debate on Israel: Sweden – A Case Study

Wednesday, March 4th, 2009

Bachner, Henrik (2002). Stephen Roth Institute for the Study of Contemporary Antisemitism and Racism.

The article explores evidence of antisemitic discourse in articles that appeared in the Swedish media during the 1982 Lebanon War. It explores how traditional Christian anti-Jewish themes and age-old antisemitic stereotypes of power, wealth and conspiracy  were evident in the language used to comment on Israel and her actions at the time.

View article

Holocaust Abuse, by Dave Rich

Wednesday, March 4th, 2009
The following is a guest blog that originally appeared in Harry’s Place. For full coverage of the feedback and debate that ensued, click here.

Opposition in Britain to Israel’s recent assault on Hamas in Gaza saw the allegation that Israel is in some way analogous to Nazi Germany become a central plank of anti-Zionist propaganda. Yet there is no serious similarity, in scale, intentions or outcome, between the Nazi destruction of European Jewry and Israeli policy in Gaza; which begs the question why it has become such a popular idea, when it causes deep offence to so many Jews.

The Nazi comparison wasn’t just something that appeared on the fringes of anti-Israel activity during this period. George Galloway MP, addressing the crowd at one anti-Israel demonstration in London, had this to say:

“In April and May of 1943, the Jews of the Warsaw Ghetto were surrounded by barbed wire fences, by the occupiers of Poland, and they faced a choice, in the words of the song of the partisans:

Parliamentarians combat Antisemitism by Gil Troy

Monday, February 23rd, 2009
Last week’s London Conference on Combating Antisemitism, held Feb. 16 and 17, drew more than 120 lawmakers from more than 40 countries to devise an effective framework and forge new strategies to confront antisemitism on a global scale. Launched by the new Inter-parliamentary Coalition for Combating Antisemitism, the conference was co-sponsored by the UK’s Foreign & Commonwealth Office and the Department of Communities and Local Government. For a comprehensive overview as reported in the news, see the coverage from the UK’s Jewish Chronicle. For a sampler of some of the most noteworthy commentaries, see below…
Originally published in The Jerusalem Post

I consider myself a “Daniel Pearl Jew.” Like that Wall Street Journal reporter Islamist terrorists kidnapped then beheaded in Pakistan – whom I never met – I was born in the early 1960s into the post-Auschwitz covenant. The world had sinned against our people, but now condemned anti-Semitism. We felt especially protected as Americans. Welcomed by America’s meritocratic openness, we were lucky enough to attend elite schools, I went to Harvard; he went to Stanford. Our final layer of protection came from working as professionals for world class institutions, me at McGill University, him at the Wall Street Journal. Pearl interviewed Islamic fundamentalists unafraid – he was a Wall Street Journal reporter in a post-Holocaust world, after all.

Pearl’s brutal beheading after being forced to say “I am a Jew,” symbolized the new surge of antisemitism from Islamist barbarians. This resurgence, fueled by genteel enablers on campuses and in the media, violated the post-Auschwitz covenant. Few of us have paid the price Daniel Pearl and his family did. Nevertheless, too many of us have experienced an unhappy step back toward our grandparents’ world, a world populated and marred by too many antisemites.

FOR THAT REASON, the London Conference on Combating Antisemitism held February 16 through 18, was so significant – and potentially healing. Watching 125 parliamentarians from 42 different countries devote two and a half days to discussing this curse, was sobering yet inspiring. The magnificent setting in the House of Parliament and historic palaces generated a mystical sense of historical tikun, repairing, as so many non-Jewish politicians denounced this old-new malady in halls of power that once helped perpetuate it. Cocktails at Lambeth Palace, the Archbishop of Canterbury’s majestic home adorned with severe portraits of pinched predecessors who detested Jews, felt particularly redemptive.

The words spoken were even more splendid than the buildings, evoking a collective power repudiating this hateful prejudice. John Mann, the member of Parliament who hosted the gathering, is an altruist with no Jewish connection, few Jewish constituents, but an aversion to injustice. “We have drawn a line,” he thundered in closing the conference, “and those who cross it – we will re-educate or we will knock down.”

Earlier, the Canadian MP Irwin Cotler, co-founder with Mann of the Inter-Parliamentary Coalition for Combating Antisemitism, explained the need for such a conference. He described the new antisemitism’s “globality and toxicity,” generated by a pathological Islamist ideology, fueling genocidal threats against Israel from Iran, spread by the Internet, echoed by useful idiots who overlook Islamist’s fascist tendencies in their zeal to tag Israel with the sins of Nazism and Apartheid. This demonization transforms the traditional hatred of the individual Jew into an unreasoning prejudice and unremitting campaign against Israel, the collective expression of the Jewish people.

Amid all these eloquent ministers and righteous legislators, a highlight was the appearance of that hero who showed that sometimes good men can triumph over evil systems, Natan Sharansky.

BEYOND THE RHETORIC and the ringing tones of the London Declaration the parliamentarians ratified, a parallel conference of experts analyzed strategies for combating antisemitism. The conference showed that:

  • It is possible to criticize Israel without degenerating into antisemitism; it becomes antisemitic when Israel is treated as individual Jews have been treated over the centuries, singled-out, disproportionately criticized, demonized.
  • Islamism is the enemy. Denis MacShane, Labour MP, writes in his important new book, Globalising Hatred: “Islamism the ideology … has unleashed new twenty-first century antisemitism and it is impossible to discuss the problem without dealing with Islamism.”
  • There are many ways to criticize Israel but those who call Israelis Nazis or invoke the historically inaccurate analogy of apartheid racism malevolently link Israel with the 20th century’s two great national sinners to justify Israel’s ostracism and destruction.
  • Thanks to the Internet, antisemitic material that marginal characters once peddled wrapped in brown paper can now be cited unwittingly by students who stumble onto information manipulated to appear at the top of the Google search engine.
  • In April the review of the infamous Durban conference will probably give modern antisemitism renewed respectability. Inviting other countries to join Canada in boycotting this farce, the Canadian Minister Jason Kenney challenged Europeans for waiting for the Americans or worrying about the UN’s sensibilities, saying: “I always thought Europe prided itself as having its own independent foreign policy aligned with its own values and interests.”

THE FIGHT against antisemitism must be proactive not just reactive. Smart coordinating strategies between Jewish institutions and local police forces in both England and Canada have improved community intelligence, increased police effectiveness, while empowering individuals. On the Internet, defensive strategies are insufficient. Educators must envision Citizenship 2.0, teaching students to avoid polluting on line-discourse themselves, to combat on-line hate, to be critical of sources on-line, and to use the net’s grassroots power to defend democratic values against purveyors of hate.

At the opening breakfast, England’s Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks praised the gathering’s cross-party and international nature. “I want to bless you for being here,” he said. “One of the worst things about being hated is the fear that you are alone. We are not alone.”

We are blessed. In the name of Daniel Pearl and other victims, in the name of the Holocaust martyrs who had no such conference to try saving them, in the name of Jewish students harassed on campuses, in the name of French Jews beaten by fresh converts to Islam forced by their new co-religionists to prove their loyalty, the 125 honorable parliamentarians proved this is not the 1930s. We cannot let the Islamists and their enablers Left and Right win. We should follow leaders like John Mann and Irwin Cotler, spearheading this army of righteous people to repair the post-Auschwitz covenant, and combat Jew hatred as part of the broader fight against bigotry worldwide.

The writer, a professor of history at McGill University, is the author of Why I Am a Zionist: Israel, Jewish Identity and the Challenges of Today. His latest book Leading from the Center: Why Moderates Make the Best Presidents, was recently published by Basic Books.

Naming prejudice, by Jeremy Newmark

Wednesday, February 18th, 2009

In today

Devising Unified Criteria And Methods Of Monitoring Anti-Semitism

Tuesday, February 17th, 2009

Michael Whine, Government and International Affairs Director of the Community Security Trust (CST), has written a timely report examining the recent international governmental record in meeting commitments on the monitoring and combating of antisemitism. The report is due to be published in the Spring 2009 edition of the Jewish Political Studies Review journal. However, to coincide with this week

Europe Reimports Jew Hatred, by Daniel Schwammenthal

Thursday, January 15th, 2009

The following article from the Wall Street Journal offers a succinct overview of what one of its editors sees as the ideological currents behind the spate of antisemitism in Europe in response to the conflict in Gaza.

Give Giancarlo Desiderati credit for his unintellectual honesty. While most left-wing detractors of Israel claim their animosity toward the Jewish state has nothing to do with anti-Semitism, the head of a small Italian union, Flaica-Uniti-Cub, wasted no time with such sophism. Having long called for a boycott of Israeli goods, Mr. Desiderati last week made the logical next step. “Do not buy anything from businesses run by the Jewish community,” his group’s Web site urged Italians.

Jews around Europe are increasingly under attack since Israel decided two weeks ago to defend itself after years of rocket fire at its civilian population. There have been arson attempts on synagogues in Britain, Belgium and Germany. Police last week arrested Muslim protesters who wanted to enter the Jewish quarter in Antwerp. Several Danish schools with large Muslim student bodies say they won’t enroll Jewish kids because they can’t guarantee the children’s safety. In France, a group of teenagers attacked a 14-year-old girl last week, calling her “dirty Jew” while kicking her.

At rallies in Germany and the Netherlands over the past two weeks, protesters shouted, “Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the Gas.” In Amsterdam, Socialist lawmaker Harry van Bommel and Greta Duisenberg, widow of the first European Central Bank president, marched at the front of one such “peace” demonstration. They didn’t join in the background chorus calling for another Holocaust. Instead, they chanted, “Intifada, Intifada, Free Palestine.” Mr. Van Bommel later insisted this wasn’t a call for Jewish blood but for “civil disobedience” — a laughable defense given that terrorists during the last intifada murdered more than 1,000 Israelis.

Most of the anti-Jewish violence and protests in Europe come from immigrants. In what may have been a Freudian recognition of the changing face of Europe, CNN two weeks ago used footage of anti-Israeli protesters in London in a report about the growing anger in the “Arab and Muslim world.” The mythical Arab Street now reaches deep into Paris, London, Berlin and Madrid.

After a burning car was rammed into a gate outside a synagogue in Toulouse last week, President Nicolas Sarkozy issued a statement that was as morally confused as his judgment of Israel’s Gaza offensive. Mr. Sarkozy, who condemned both Hamas terror and Israel’s attempt to stop it, also blurred the distinction between the victims and perpetrators of anti-Semitism in France.

His country “will not tolerate international tensions mutating into intercommunity violence,” he warned, suggesting that the violence in France comes not only from French Muslims but Jews as well. Mr. Sarkozy’s comments also suggest that the fighting in Gaza is the cause for attacks on Jews in France — that is, that the Mideast conflict is fueling anti-Semitism in Europe. It is exactly the other way around.

The rage against the Jews that is exploding in Europe has been carefully nurtured; it is not spontaneous sympathy for fellow Muslims in Gaza. How else to explain the silence when Muslims in other conflicts, from Darfur to Chechnya, are being killed?

The depth of anti-Semitic propaganda in Palestinian and other Muslim societies is one of the most underreported facts about the Middle East. It is this anti-Semitism that predisposes Muslims in Europe to attack Jews and fuels the Mideast conflict. The hatred predates Israel’s creation. To illustrate this point: The Palestinian leader during World War II, Hajj Amin al Husseini, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, conspired with Hitler to bring the Holocaust to Palestine. Luckily, the British stopped the German troops in Africa. The Mufti spent the war years in Berlin and was later indicted for war crimes but with the help of the Muslim Brotherhood escaped to Egypt. Hamas is the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Hamas and other Islamists continue what the Mufti had helped to start: a blend of European anti-Semitism and Islam-inspired Jew hatred. The rejection of Israel’s right to exist is what drives their attacks. The media, though, largely ignores Hamas’s ideology and its crimes of hiding its leaders and weapons among its own civilian population, and demonizes Israel’s attempt to protect its citizens.

Hamas and other Islamists are not even trying to hide their ideology. Just read the Hamas charter or check out Hamas TV, including children’s programs, for a nauseating dose of murderous anti-Semitism. Last week, the French broadcasting authorities banned Hamas TV for inciting violence and hatred. Unfortunately, just like Hezbollah TV, which is also banned in Europe for its anti-Semitic and jihadi content, audiences here can still receive these programs due to Saudi Arabia’s Arabsat and Egyptian satellite provider Nilesat.

The Islamist variation of Jew hatred is now being reimported to Europe. Muslims in Europe, watching Hamas and Hezbollah TV with their satellite dishes, are being fed the same diet of anti-Semitism and jihadi ideology that Palestinians and much of the Middle East consume.

This brings a unique challenge to the difficult integration of Muslims in Europe. When it comes to issues like Shariah law and terrorism, one can expect a true “clash of civilizations.” There is no Western tradition that would justify “honor killings.” Anti-Semitism, on the other hand, is not alien to Europe’s culture — to the contrary, the Continent once excelled at it and many still share the feeling.

A Pew study from September shows 25% of Germans and 20% of French are still affected by this virus. In Spain, 46% have unfavorable views of Jews. Is there really no connection between this statistic and the fact that the Spanish media and government are among Europe’s most hostile toward the Jewish state? Is it just a coincidence that Europe’s largest anti-Israel demonstration took place Sunday in Spain, with more than 100,000 protesters?

A 2006 study in the Journal of Conflict Resolution based on the survey in 10 European countries suggests otherwise. Yale University’s Edward H. Kaplan and Charles A. Small found “that anti-Israel sentiment consistently predicts the probability that an individual is anti-Semitic, with the likelihood of measured anti-Semitism increasing with the extent of anti-Israel sentiment observed.”

With little hope that the media coverage will become more balanced and the incitement of the growing Muslim community will abate, the Jews in Europe are facing uncertain times.

Antisemitism and Jewish interchangeability

Tuesday, January 6th, 2009

A key component of antisemitism is an inability – or refusal – to differentiate between Jews as a collective and Jews as individuals. This mental construct lumps all Jews together: Israeli Jews and Diaspora Jews. European Jews and American Jews. Jewish tourists in Mumbai and Jews going to synagogue. Or going about their business just about anywhere, for that matter.

Call it a form of antisemitic synecdoche, or use of the