Is Jewish Nationalism Synonymous with a Jewish State?

defamation

I wrote this blog as a response to the opinion piece in the Gazette “Jewish Nationalism is not synonymous with a nation state.”

The author, Sam Bick, bandies about words like “nation” “nation-state” “nationalism” “ethno racial identity” without defining these terms and then makes some statements which are simply false.

He writes:
This idea of Jewish people as a “nation” or “race” in need of a territory is a new conceptualization popularized in 19th-century Europe, one that neglects the diverse experiences, practices and identities of people who have practiced Judaism around the world for hundreds of years — particularly Arabic-speaking Jews.”

The Jewish journey is documented in the bible, (the “Torah” in Hebrew). Canaan, Israel, the homeland of the Jewish people has been integral to the history of the Jews chronicled in the torah from ancient times. The destruction of the first temple in Jerusalem, the destruction of the second Temple by the Romans in 70 AD and the dispersion of Jews from their homeland, Israel, and their longing to return  is documented in literature and poetry and historical writings over millenia.

A quick google of the name of the author, of this piece, Sam Bick, reveals that he has previously written for EI (Electronic Intifada) and Tadamon (which means allies in Arabic). Tadamon has an office in Montreal). Both of these organizations, EI (Electronic Intifada) and Tadamon are integral arms of the BDS (Boycott Divestment and Sanctions) movement against Israel and Israel alone. They sponsor the infamous Israel/apartheid week conferences on campuses all over North America. EI and Tadamon have both been exposed for propagating opinions about Israel and the Jewish people that are designed to demonize Jews and Israel and whose aim is not peace but only the destruction of Israel.

I myself, speak from experience, having attended several Israel/apartheid week conferences in Montreal. By the way the BDS  – Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement – was initiated at the first UN Human Rights conference in Durban in 2001, a conference that was billed as “The First UN World Conference on Racism”. This “conference” turned out to be a witch hunt directed at Jews and Israel and Israel alone. This has been well documented and continues to be available to anyone who wishes to inform himself on these issues. It was here at Durban that the slogan “Zionism is racism” was adopted by the UN Human Rights Council. Mercifully, this canard  was later retracted by the UN itself. However this fact seems to have gone above the heads of the EI and Israel Apartheid and BDS propaganda machines which actively continue to  libel Israel and Jews with this canard. For many, in our age, “truth” is an elusive thing subject to argument and debate. Most people are not aware of the background of the BDS movement or that they continue to propagate lies about Israel in order to advance their political agenda.

“Anti-israel haters should never have a free lunch” as Manfred Gerstenfeld so aptly put it when he spoke to this issue in Montreal several years ago.

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There must be a push-back on these issues by academics and others who are appalled at the re-cloaking of sheer antisemitism or Jew hatred into contemporary discourse.

Jews are a tiny minority, and it is for this reason, that we Jews and those who love truth must use our wits to fight this injustice.

 

Abigail Hirsch, CEO
AskAbigail Productions.com
filmmaker: Yiddish: a tale of survival

 

514-792-6065
askabigail@me.com

Why Were Copies of the Talmud Burned in Medieval Europe?

 

For those of you who are not aware of medieval theology and its imperial struggles, Talmudic books were burned in the public square from the early to the late middle Ages by Christian Papal authorities all over Europe. The Talmud was first condemned by Pope Gregory IX and burning Talmudic books were first burned at the stake in 1240 AD.

I quote from the Jewish Virtual Library: Christian Jewish Relations: Burning of the Talmud

  1. In 1236 a Jewish apostate, Nicholas Donin, submitted a memorandum to Pope Gregory IX listing 35 charges against the Talmud. These included allegations that it contained blasphemies of Jesus and Mary, attacks on the Church, pronouncements hostile to non-Jews, and foolish and revolting tales. They asserted that the Jews had elevated the Oral Law to the level of divinely inspired Scripture, and that this impeded the possibility of their conversion to Christianity. Gregory thereupon ordered a preliminary investigation, and in 1239 sent a circular letter to ecclesiastics in France summarizing the accusations and ordering the confiscation of Jewish books on the first Saturday of Lent (i.e., March 3, 1240), while the Jews were gathered in synagogue. Any other persons having Hebrew books in their possession who refused to give them up were to be excommunicated. He further ordered the heads of the Dominican and Franciscan Orders in Paris to ensure that “those books in which you find errors of this sort you shall cause to be burned at the stake.”…The last auto-da-fé of the Talmud took place in Poland, in Kamenets-Podolski in the fall of 1757. 

What do you make of the above quote Any other persons having Hebrew books in their possession who refused to give them up were to be excommunicated.“. Yes, non-Jews were reading and owning Hebrew texts in Hebrew at the time.

The question comes up “Why”. Why burn Talmudic books?

Christian dogma asserted that since Jews were the original Christians, their continuing practice of the Jewish religion negated Christianity as the superior religion. Moreover, it was posited that the Second coming of the Messiah could not arrive until the whole world, but especially the Jews were converted to Christianity. For as as long as Jews continued to practice their Jewish religion, this negated Paul’s idea that the Jewish religious law was no longer necessary and was superseded by the Christian faith which no longer required the performance of Jewish Torah Law known to Jews as “mitzvot”. “Mitzvot”  are what Jews think of as G-d’s direct behavioral demands first stated in the Torah, often translated as “laws”. These “mitzvot” were first written down in the “Torah” which is known to Christians as the Five books of Moses. These Torah laws were interpreted and elaborated on and discussed over the centuries by the rabbis and these discussions are known as the “oral law”.  “Jewish Law” that is referred to in the Christian New Testament is this oral law debated in rabbinic seminaries and Jewish courts of the 1- 3rd century AD. This Rabbinic Oral Law, was first compiled in written form 300 AD as six tractates of Talmud. It was written down because following the destruction of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem in 70 AD, the Rabbis feared that this lore would be lost. Jews believe that both the Torah and the Oral Law were handed down at Sinai. i.e. The written Torah and the Oral Law are not separable, but together comprise the understanding of the normative Jewish tradition that has survived over the last two thousand years since the destruction of the Temple. The first written Talmud was put together and written down in the land of Israel and is known as the Jerusalem Talmud. The second version of the Talmud was compiled in ancient Babylonia (currently know as Iraq) and is designated as the Babylonian Talmud. It was compiled in the 6th century AD. Both of these texts continue to form the groundwork of normative Jewish religious tradition.

Israel Truth Week and pro Israel activists

Israel Truth Week will be having its second conference this Sunday March 23rd, in Toronto. It is free and open to all. The roster of speakers includes Jews and non-Jews. It is heartening to see the lies, which were spread about Israel and the BDS movement last week during “Israel Apartheid Week” being actively confronted.

Just reviewing the roster of speakers I discovered several Israel supporters I had not been aware of: Chloe Valdary, a Black student interviewed about her pro zionist views  in Front Page magazine; Aleysha O’Hare & Dimitri Bazos, students at U of Toronto, Shobie Kapoor, Founder of the Canadian Patriotic Society: ‘A Hindu-Canadian’s Case For Israel’, Mark Vandermaas, Rule Of Law Activist, Founder of Caledonia Victims Project and Israel Truth Week. The organizers also list links to books, posters and booklets available on the web to anyone interested in these issues. I especially appreciated the Israel Truth Videos.

A group of Israeli Arabs have been speaking up about the truth about Israel. and  here you can read about an Irish filmmaker, Nikki Larkin, who went to Israel to report on the plight of the Palestinians and was prompted to change his mind about the Israeli position

Here is a passionate video response to the BDS vote at UCLA:
http://www.frequency.com/video/fighting-bds-at-ucla-via-rabbidovid/152468323/-/5-98573

I spoke about these issues myself at the FreedomTalk grassroots conservative conference on political correctness, because I have been so appalled by the rise of the lies of the Arab/Palestinian beligerance against Israel and antizionist academic left of the Israel/apartheid week and self righteous BDS supporters.

 

 

 

 

Jonathan Spyer: Anti-Semitism in Islam and the West

Jonathan Spyer

Prof. Jonathan Spyer is a Journalist and academic currently working out of Jerusalem. He recently made 2 trips into Syria and survived to tell the tale. Last week, he was in Montreal speaking at McGill University for the ISGAP (Institute for the Study of Global Antisemitism and Policy) lecture series, Antisemitism in Comparative Perspective. His talk was about Antisemitism in the Middle East (here is the full lecture Video), historically and in the present.

He reviewed the two theories re Islamic anti-semitism, the “modernist” and the “perennial” theories. The modernist theory, espousing the idea that Middle Eastern anti-semitism is imported from the West and related to the rise of Israel as a state. The perennial theory of Islamic anti-semitism that traces its origins to the beginnings of Islam in the 6th. century. In reviewing these theories he points out how they interweave to create the current ideas and attitudes in the Middle East and also how they compare with Western anti-semitic ideology.

Interestingly, the Jew could survive in Arab lands only if he was a defeated and weak figure of ridicule and contempt. It is for this reason that the rise of contemporary Israel is such an affront to Islamic ideology. It is also in this context, we can understand the terrible current affront to Islam when Jews, who are supposed to be weak, inferior, and ridiculous (monkeys etc.) are in possession of Jerusalem, a seminal Islamic holy site.

By contrast, the Jew, historically in western Christian mythology is a dangerous, powerful, and treacherous, figure who nevertheless must not be killed because his presence attests to the historical Jesus, and the second coming of Jesus is dependent on the conversion of all Jews to Christianity. With the relaxation of Christian ideology in the 19th century and the rise of secularism and science, 20th century western style antisemitism was born based on 19th century “scientific theories of race”. Here the picture of the “Jew as a treacherous, moneygrubbing figure” became etched in biology, leaving absolutely no exit for Jews living under Nazi ideology and sovereignty.

Spyer had an interesting response to the question of whether anti-zionism is the same as antisemitism. “Zionism” was a movement to advance the creation of a Jewish state and there were groups debating pro and con. However, once Israel was created, one can only speak about being for or against the abolishment of the existing State of Israel. Therefore, anti-zionism is not about criticizing the state of Israel but is a screen for the Arab wish to destroy the state of Israel.

Spyer also answered a question about his recent trips to Syria and in a few words conceptualized Obama’s Middle East foreign policy. He states that although Obama’s intentions regarding relations in the middle east were well meaning, they have unbalanced relationships that have held for years. Resulting in a situation that makes the US appear weak towards their enemies and endangers the countries with whom the States have typically been allies.

Spyer is able to concisely summarize Obama’s missteps in the Middle East.

He states that “Obama appears to have thought that by expressing Empathy and understanding of Middle Eastern cultures via his Cairo speech in 2009, he could open dialogue and repair the damage that he perceived had been caused to the American image in the Middle East by the Bush policies. He then proceeded to not back long standing allies of the US, Tunisia and Egypt and Libya, and also not to confront long standing enemies of the US in the Middle East, Iran and Syria. In this way he degraded the US strategic coin in the era. Those who had relied on the US are now dead or in jail and those who had relied on other patrons, were glad that they chose the “right” side – witness Bashar Al Assad who has waged a war against his own people with the support of Russia and China for over a year, and no interference from the US or Western Allies. And this is exactly the opposite of what is needed to have a voice in the Middle East, i.e. one must show that one’ allies can rely on you and that your enemies must fear you.  This is how Israel has managed to maintain some semblance of peace in a very dangerous area of the world. And this is how Obama has seriously devalued the American Strategic coin in the region.” (emphasis mine)

I invite your comments.

Anti-semitism Anyone?

Recently I received the following posts with anti-semetic, despicable comments. The first was a response to a Youtube video about the Delegitimation of Israel:

“Jews have been kicked out of EVERYWHERE THEY GO – BECAUSE of WHAT Jews DO. Jews create the hostility and fury in others. Jews have EVIL, vicious beliefs. Judaism is SICK and HATEFUL, and grotesquely racist. It’s not Gentiles that are the problem – it’s JEWS.”

– ThusSpakeDenise

The second, a facebook post which a friend sent me asking if I could comment on.

“I’m fed up with the jews constantly reminding us of what happend to them, like they are the only ones who have suffered. Look at what israel is doing now- trying to take control of the whole world through evil means like 911. as far as i am concerened they got there money back and more. they own the usa film industry and lie to us on a daily basis. slavery was worst and we still haven’t been compenstated for the crimes committed against us and still have to exist with this evil lie as being less human than white people. yet between 12 – 18th century we had black kings running europe- bet you dont know about that. i’m glad the west is falling because not one of you care or think about the lives of african people. the west’s wealth exist because of africa yet you still keep africa and its people imprisoned in poverty. shame on all of you- TIMES ARE CHANGING-WE KNOW THE TRUTH. bottom line you cant build a civilization on lies and expect something long lasting and good to come out of it. YOU ARE ALL RACIST…SO SHUT UP ABOUT THE JEWS- they do not walk on water and their claim to israel is false they are desendants of russians, who by the way are not part of this global debt…”

– Liz Ejuone

I share them with you because none of us are prepared for this vicious outbreak of Jew hating, anti-semitism by individuals, which at times is still being sanctioned by NGOs and governments.

January 27th has been declared International Holocaust Remembrance Day. It is the day the death camps in Europe were liberated by the allies 65 years ago.

This article in the Huffington Post details the rise of Anti-semitic events in countries all over the world, including Asia, Europe and the Middle East. The biggest reason to worry about this, is the silence of you and me, and at times the support offered by state authorities to anti-semitic policies. In another recently published article, In the Shadow of Wansee, we see the secret plan that the legitimate Nazi government devised to list every Jew in the world and to exterminate each one. The document was was marked Top Secret, and only 30 copies were ever produced. Most of the documents were destroyed but copy #16 of 30 of the Wansee protocol still survives. It is worth looking at. Interestingly, the author notes:

“All genocides have been couched in euphemism and their memory, after the fact, subject to political and mendacious assault. The victims are thus twice murdered, first physically and again as their name is erased from history – a phenomenon I have called memoricide.”

Apparently the perpetrators, although convinced of the rightness of their efforts, still want to hide their deeds, and maintain some shame about their efforts.

The Nazi engineered Holocaust exposed anti-semitism, Jew hatred for the dangerous racist creed that it is. Everyone now knows about anti-semitism. Its current rise and contemporary implications must be squarely addressed by individuals, institutions and governments. We all have to do our part, and we can only do this if our eyes and ears remain open.

I invite your comments regarding your experience, wherever you are, and what you are doing about it where you are.

Defamation: The Movie

A year ago I watched the 2009 documentary film by award-winning filmmaker Yoav Shamir, an Israeli Jew. The film examines antisemitism, and in particular the way perceptions of antisemitism affect Israeli and U.S. politics. The film won Best Documentary Feature Film at the 2009 Asia Pacific Screen Awards. Sadly, it is by an Israeli and makes light of anti-semitism as a phenomenon. This morning I noticed the following comment on one of my Youtube posts, in response to the recent CIJR Conference on Delegitimating Israel:
Jews have been kicked out of EVERYWHERE THEY GO – BECAUSE of WHAT Jews DO. Jews create the hostility and fury in others. Jews have EVIL, vicious beliefs. Judaism is SICK and HATEFUL, and grotesquely racist. It’s not Gentiles that are the problem – it’s JEWS.
ThusSpakeDenise
http://youtu.be/rPwnAmcbsRA
How do you respond to someone who call you a wifebeater? The filmmaker, Yoav Shamir, reports that he has never experienced anti-semitism himself and that the reports of it are vastly exaggerated. How lucky he is, having grown up in the protected cocoon of Israel, created in response to vicious genocidal anti-semitism which succeeded in murdering at least six million innocent Jews just because they were Jewish by birth during World War II.
Sadly, anti-semitism after years of somnolence is beginning to be emboldened to publicly express itself more and more.This morning I read this on the internet about Students at Oxford involved in an anti-semitic incident. Serious anti-semitic incidents have been reported at York University in Ontario, Columbia University, Berkley, USC Santa Cruz, and I have personally experienced such an incident here in Montreal at Concordia’s CUTV.
Fortunately, Canada has been one of the few countries who has spoken out forcefully on this issue and for this we must all, Jews and non-Jews be grateful.
“The government of Canada took a historic step yesterday by signing the Ottawa Protocol to Combat Anti-Semitism. (…)The protocol is a declaration that hatred of this nature will not be tolerated in this country. It sets out an action plan for supporting initiatives that combat anti-Semitism and provides a framework for other nations to follow….It also sets out a vibrant definition of anti-Semitism which, for the first time in history, links anti-Semitism to the denial of the right Jewish people have to their ancestral home land — the State of Israel. (…)The Inquiry Panel’s conclusion, unfortunately, is that the scourge of anti-Semitism is a growing threat in Canada, especially on the campuses of our universities… Every person of conscience should take note of the Ottawa Protocols and never forget the lessons of the Holocaust when the world was silent.
I invite your comments below.

American Radical or Anti-Semite?

american-radical-norman-finkelstein

 

I recently saw the film American Radical: The Trials of Norman Finkelstein (by filmmakers Nicolas Rossier and David Ridgen), at the documentary film festival in Montreal. I too am a filmmaker but I was appalled by the message of this film.

Film making can take a very narrow window on any issue and do it very convincingly.
Can we forget the films of Reifenshtahl, the Nazi propagandist filmmaker? Can we forget that it was the intelligentsia that believed in and promoted the Nazi ideology for many years prior to the Third Reich carrying out their extermination plan.

American Radical, the film about the life of Norman Finkelstein, claims that Finkelstein was not granted tenure at two different universities because of the “Jewish Lobby“. One of the reasons cited in the documentary is a letter from Allan Dershowitz. Dershowitz, a Harvard educated lawyer who is heavily maligned by the Left wing  lobby for being pro-Israel and pro-Jewish. He himself was discriminated against for being Jewish and has written about it in is book Chutzpah.

The Jewish Lobby is a loaded term. It is the name of a book written by Walt and Mearsheimer, that has been adopted by Middle Eastern Departments hostile to Israel all over North American Campuses. It  references  the fraudulent book: The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, which was also promoted and studied, as if factual, in German classrooms after the Nazi Party came to power in 1933, and in America as well, (despite having been exposed as fraudulent years before). In the opinion of historian Norman Cohn, the Protocols were Hitler’s primary justification for initiating the Holocaust — his “warrant for genocide”. The fraudulent book, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion has since the early 19th century been the chief source for the fraudulent claim that Jews form an International Lobby whose aim is to dominate the world.

Finkelstein is a Jewish son of Holocaust survivors, who is a brilliant but disturbed academic, as is exposed by this documentary. He has been the darling of the virulent anti-Israel campaign mounted by the Left, the same left that supports the Israel/apartheid week on campuses, promotes the Israel boycott movement all over the world and touts Israel as one of the worst human rights violators. Here, he is promoted as a “radical hero” speaking up for the Palestinian cause.

Anti-semitism is a dirty word: But not facing it is worse. Since Jews live all over the world, including in Israel, and have every political persuasion, it is not difficult to find Jews such as Finkelstein who espouse anti-semitic and anti-zionist positions. The film maker may be excused for misunderstanding the issues, that Finkelstein espouses. Finkelstien and the Pro-Palestinian left identify the Palestinians with Holocaust victims and this is just as inaccurate as identifying the Palestinian situation with apartheid in Africa. This demonization of Israel and the distortion of the facts needs to be exposed. This film embraces a view of the Palestinian situation through the distorted lens of Norman Finkelstein. It paints the Israel/Palestine situation through the perceptions of one man, and supports him using other left wing anti-semitic academics including Noam Chomsky, Walt, and Mearsheimer. It succeeds in promoting the anti-sematism that is currently thriving in the Muslim world, an anti-semitism that is shrouded in anti-Israel rhetoric.

I wrote this post a little while ago but I have updated it with more news from the front regarding current reports of anti-semitism and Holocaust denial as noted in this article: Why Anti-Semitism Is Moving Toward the Mainstream. Note the references to the usual suspects, Mearsheimer, Atzmon, and Noam Chomsky.

2/24/2011

I wrote the above a few months ago and now I am adding a link to an article about the most recent statements by Norman Finkelstein, which will surprise, you as it surprised the world. But at least it shows that Finkelsltein has not checked his integrity at the door of support for the Palestinian cause. He points out the Lie in the BDS movement.

Israel Seen