Norman Finkelstein and Michael Rosen demolish the report of the All-Party Parlimentary Inquiry into Antisemitism...
The Dream Philosophy of Paranoids, Kill Arabs, Cry Anti-Semitism
By Norman Finkelstein
"A central thesis of my book Beyond Chutzpah is that whenever Israel faces a public relations debacle its apologists sound the alarm that a "new anti-Semitism" is upon us. So, predictably, just after Israel faced another image problem due to its murderous destruction of Lebanon, a British all-party parliamentary group led by notorious Israel-firster Denis MacShane MP (Labor) released yet another report alleging a resurgence of anti-Semitism (Report of the All-Party Parliamentary Inquiry Into Antisemitism, September 2006). To judge by the witnesses (David Cesarani, Lord Janner, Oona King, Emanuele Ottolenghi, Melanie Phillips) and sources (MEMRI, Holocaust Education Trust) cited in the body of the report, much time and money could have been saved had it just been contracted out to the Israel Foreign Ministry. (The report's statement that "we received no evidence of the accusation of anti-Semitism being misused by mainstream British Jewish community organizations and leaders" perhaps speaks more to the selection of the witnesses than the reality.)
The single novelty of the report, which mostly rehashes fatuous allegations already disposed of in Beyond Chutzpah, is the new thresholds in idiocy it breaks. Consider the methodology deployed for demonstrating a new anti-Semitism. The report defines an anti-Semitic incident as any occasion "perceived" to be anti-Semitic by the "Jewish community." This is the school of thought according to which it's raining even in the absence of any precipitation because I feel it's raining. It is the dream philosophy of paranoids, especially rational paranoids, for whom alleged victimhood is politically serviceable. The report includes under the rubric of anti-Semitic incidents not just violent acts and incendiary speech but "conversations, discussions, or pronouncements made in public or private, which cross the line of acceptability," as well as "the mood and tone when Jews are discussed." The wonder is that it didn't also tabulate repressed anti-Semitic libidinal fantasies. In the category of inherently anti-Semitic pronouncements the report includes "drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis" (only comparisons of contemporary Arab policy to that of the Nazis are permissible) and "theories about Jewish or Zionist influence on American foreign policy" (even if Jewish and Zionist organizations boast about this influence)."
Antisemitism accusations - an attempt to smear anti-Zionists into silence
Michael Rosen takes issue with a new report that labels anti-Zionism as antisemitic
"in one key area it has blurred the distinction between antisemitism and anti-Zionism. Here it is:
“Examples of the ways in which antisemitism manifests itself with regard to the state of Israel taking into account the overall context could include... denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, eg by claiming that the existence of a state of Israel is a racist endeavour.”
So if I should write that the Jews have every right to self-determination, but not if it is at the expense of others (as is the case with Israel), it would seem that now I, a Jew who is utterly opposed to antisemitism, am guilty of antisemitism.
Worryingly, this is part of a working definition of antisemitism proposed by the European Union Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia. The writers of this parliamentary report recommend that this definition is “adopted and promoted by the government and law enforcement agencies”.
The message is clear - anti-Zionists beware. Criticism of Israeli government policies will be permitted, but if you attack the core creed of Zionism, then we’ll call in the law."
and a classic bit of Galloway:
"We know that Brown, left to his own devices, will continue with all those aspects of Blairism that have created such bitterness among traditional Labour voters. We know this because he was the joint architect of New Labour. He and Blair are two cheeks of the same backside."
'Lenin' quips: "well, something has certainly come between them"
Galloway's enduring affection for Blair - the man who has made his reputation...
Also... a roundup of chaos in Bangladesh on my blog