Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Sweden: Netanyahu refused to meet with Swedish Prime Minister in New York

Via European Jewish Press:
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has refused a request from his Swedish counterpart Stefan Löfven to meet at the United Nations General Assembly in New York because Sweden’s recognition of a Palestinian state, the Israeli media reported. 
It is the second year in a row that Netanyahu has turned down the Swedish Prime Minister’s invitation for a meeting. According to Israel’s Channel 2, the request was rejected as “not possible.’’ 
Relations between Israel and Sweden have been rather tense since the decision of the Swedish Prime Minister to recognize a Palestinian state shortly after his election in 2014.Sweden was the first European member to do so. 
Israel also protested comments made by Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom when she linked Palestinian frustration to the November 2015 terror attacks in Paris by the Islamic State.
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Denmark: Islamic rules and anti-semitism in Muslim schools

Via Gatestone Institute (Judith Bergman):
Some Muslim schools in Denmark appear to be employing anti-Semitic teachers, enforcing gender inequality, employing violence against students, offering poor education in general, and teaching jihad. (...)
The school leader at Al Quds School in Copenhagen, Waleed Houji, posted anti-Semitic images from the Muslim terrorist organization Hamas on his Facebook profile. A class teacher at that same school, Naji Dyndgaard, a convert, wrote anti-Semitic posts on Facebook. (...)
Two former teachers at the Nord-Vest school, Henriette Baden Hesselmann and Gitte Luttinen Ørnkow, described how the children at the school spoke of Danes in terms of "them and us". In a school poetry contest in 2008, several of the children composed poems that detailed their wish to beat up and break the legs and hands of the "Danish pigs". The former teachers described a school culture of intimidation and violence, with the head of the school board yelling at the students in Arabic and beating them. The former teachers added that all their students admitted that they were also beaten at home. The Jew-hatred was unmistakable, as the geography teacher discovered when he almost had to give up teaching a lesson about Israel due to the students' hostility. Another teacher was told not to draw stars in the children's books as a way of showing the children that they had done well, since the star was reminiscent of the Star of David. (...)
Following these revelations, several Danish opposition parties, including the Social Democrats, now wish to outlaw Muslim schools completely. According to Mette Frederiksen, leader of the Social Democratic party:
"...it's not a good idea with Muslim schools. When you are a child in Denmark, it is incredibly important that you grow up in Danish culture and Danish everyday life. No matter how you spin it, an independent school based on Islam is not part of the majority culture in Denmark... Nor do I like the lack of equality in schools and these very hateful words against our Jewish minorities. It emphasizes that we have parallel societies."
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France: Cities shut out hate speech comedian Dieudonné

As stated in an article by Guy Millière published on the Gatestone Institute: "Dieudonné, in a video posted on YouTube, and widely seen before being removed, expressed a longing to bring back the gas chambers in which the Nazis gassed the Jews. Everything he posts goes viral."

Via The Jerusalem Post:
Notorious French comedian Dieudonné, convicted of hate speech and condoning terrorism, will need to make alternative arrangements for his upcoming War tour after the mayors of Marseille and Grenoble barred his performances. 
The mayor of Marseille, Jean-Claude Gaudin, announced Wednesday that his city will no longer permit Dieudonné to perform at its largest municipality-affiliated venue, the Dome, in November on grounds of public safety.  
The Marseille mayor reached the decision following pressure from Jewish groups and local media to withdraw permission for the performance. 
Dieudonné, whose full name is Dieudonné M'bala M'bala, has a long list of convictions for antisemitism, inciting racial hatred, condoning terrorism and tax evasion in both French and Belgian courts. His shows often draw large, animated protests. 
Dieudonné is also known for his trademark "quenelle" gesture, an inverted Nazi salute which he insists is solely antiestablishment, and his offensive Holocaust-themed jokes. 
"A multicultural city such as Marseille cannot permit a show which is based on divisive and factious humor... and which is likely to lead to public disorder," said Gaudin in a statement. (...) 
In 2009 and 2011, the Grenoble municipality also issued orders banning Dieudonné from performing in the town. On both occasions, however, the decision was overturned by an administrative tribunal. 
Dieudonné responded to the ban on his official Twitter account Thursday saying: "I will indeed be in Grenoble and Marseille, despite what the media say." 
In May 2016, Dieudonné was banned from entering Canada after being convicted of breaking hate speech laws. In February 2014, the British government barred the comedian from entering Britain, issuing an "exclusion order" due to his prior convictions.  
Hong Kong also refused him entry, stating that it was "committed to upholding effective immigration control by denying the entry of undesirables." 
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UK: Woman with notorious history of anti-Semitic statements hired by trade union

Via Guido Fawkes:
A former Labour parliamentary candidate who was twice suspended from the party for anti-Semitic comments is now working for Unite as a regional officer. Guido can reveal that Vicki Kirby has been hired by Len McCluskey’s trade union despite her notorious history of anti-Semitic statements. In 2014 Kirby was ditched as a Labour PPC after a string of disturbing tweets where she suggested Hitler is the “Zionist God”:
Kirby was Vice Chair of Woking Labour Party, and refused to step down even as she was reported to the police by a fellow party official. She was suspended for a second time following another Guido story 
Now Kirby is understood to be working for Unite, based in the union’s South East regional office.
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Monday, September 18, 2017

Germany: Politicians in Einstein's hometown fund anti-Semitic lecture

Albert Einstein (1921)
The fact that this is happening in Ulm, Albert Einstein's hometown, is highly symbolic. Furthermore, The Jerusalem Post was told that Ulm has a large "Salafist scene".  Such are the realities of contemporary Germany (and Europe).  As the saying goes, one nail drives out another...


Via The Jerusalem Post (Benjamin Weinthal):
A municipally funded adult education center in Ulm – the birthplace of Albert Einstein – is slated to host next Wednesday a speaker accused of stoking anti-Semitism and hatred of Israel across Germany. 
The Ulm/Neu-Ulm chapter of the German-Israeli Society (DIG) launched its protest against the event, saying the lecture “is part of a series of anti-Israel events leading to the delegitimization of the Jewish state and its right to self-defense.” 
“We call for the end of this Israeli criticism disguised as a latent anti-Semitic position,” the German-Israeli friendship society wrote on Thursday. 
The planned talk from BDS (boycott, divestment, sanctions) activist Arn Strohmeyer at the Einstein House Academic Center, which is taking place in cooperation with the House of Encounter, prompted criticism because the city subsidizes the center and has steadfastly ignored citizen complaints about harsh anti-Israel events at the academic center. 
“Strohmeyer is known for his anti-Zionist position,” DIG said. “He speaks, among other things, of a ‘colonial settler state [Israel]’ that strives to completely replace the indigenous population through an immigrant population.” 
Strohmeyer’s BDS activities against Israel in Bremen have been compared in the German media to the “Don’t buy from Jews” Nazi boycott in the 1930s. 
“This event under the aegis of the director of politics for the academic center, Lothar Heusohn, and director of the House of Encounter, Michael Hauser, is financed by public money and that is scandalous. 
We call for a cancellation of the event and will in the future raise our voices,” said DIG.
Iris Mann, the politician responsible for education and culture in Ulm, told The Jerusalem Post, “We will not undertake anything” to stop the event because “to form political opinions stands in the tradition of the academic center and it lives from a discourse of different opinions.”
 
Mann defended the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement, saying “the concept of anti-Semitism is being misused because the statements of BDS do not address individual hostility or religious affiliation, rather it deals with criticism of state actions against violations of human rights conventions.” 
The EU and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have both rejected boycotts of the Jewish state. (...)
Grigori Pantijelew, the deputy representative of the Bremen Jewish community, told the Weser Kurier paper at the time: “Anti-Semitism is not banned in Germany but there is a consensus that it not be allowed to be conveyed in public facilities. If we all maintain that, it will help societal peace.”
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Bulgaria: Vandalism at Jewish cemetery in Sofia points towards anti-Semitic act

Via The Sofia Globe:

In what looks like an anti-Semitic act of violence, unknown individuals have damaged graves at the Jewish Cemetery in Sofia. The latter is located on the premises of the Bulgarian capital’s Central Cemetery, towards the North of the city center. 
Photos taken by concerned visitors of the cemetery show knocked down gravestones and broken grave slabs. One photo shows a grave stone, which seems to have broken into at least three pieces, after it was thrown on a neighbouring grave.
The visitors who noticed the damage contacted Shalom, Bulgaria’s largest Jewish organisation. Shalom’s President Dr. Alek Oskar turned to Deputy Mayor Todor Chobanov, who is in charge of Sofia’s cemeteries.
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Sunday, September 17, 2017

European arrogance costs lives

Via Honest Reporting (Daniel Pomerantz):
Last week I attended the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism conference in connection with Israel’s Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya (the “IDC Herzliya”).
Speakers and attendees included military, diplomats and experts from every region of the world. All echoed one similar theme: do not underestimate Islamic State (ISIS), nor its likely replacements. Finally we come to Europe. 
The same Europe that perennially “advises” Israel on how to achieve peace and security, while frequently condemning Israel for not adopting policies similar to Europe’s own disastrous strategies. 
Deputy Head of Mission from the UK to Israel Tony Kay exemplified the standard European talking points: 
We are doing quite a lot on… safeguarding people from becoming terrorists, or supporting terrorism… [using] a combination of soft power with hard power. We are… engaging communities [and producing] lots of successes that the UK has made on countering terrorism recently.
There is a dark irony in Kay’s statement, which came just three days before a devastating terror attack hit London’s Parsons Green, injuring 29 victims this past Friday. While Kay undoubtedly meant well, his statement served as just one more example of deadly European self-assurance, at a time when Europe desperately needs a measure of humility. 
In fact, Europe’s recent track record has been bloody: 
Just this past week Europe saw three separate attacks in London and Paris, in addition to recent attacks in Nice, Brussels, Stockholm, Berlin, Manchester, Barcelona and others. In just two years (2015-16) Islamic terror killed 288 Europeans and injured 739. Contrast with Israel, where 50 were killed during the same period. 

Israelis have suffered less than one fifth the number of terror related deaths as Europeans, a fact that may surprise news audiences who know Israel only through dramatic and misleading headlines. 
One might even say that Europe (and not Islamic State) is the real “JV team.” [Former president Barak Obama once referred to terror groups in Syria and Iraq (including Islamic State) as the “JV team,” a sports metaphor indicating that he did not feel they pose a serious threat.Consider that over 20% of Israel’s population is Arab, as are all of its neighboring countries, and the conclusion is obvious: for all its challenges, Israel understands how to live with Muslim neighbors and how to protect against Islamic terror. Europe, on the other hand, does not. 
Yet if the speakers at the ICT conference are any indication, European leaders have yet to face and accept this hard truth. 
And the people of Europe are paying for this mistake with their lives.
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UK: When ‘progressives’ excuse Nazi ideology: The case of Bella Caledonia

Via David Collier:
Just over a month ago, my report into hard-core antisemitism in the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign (SPSC) was published. Following its release, condemnation of the SPSC crossed the political divide, and was swift. Given what was uncovered, it seemed an obvious and natural response. Nobody wanted to be seen protecting hard-core Nazi ideology. 
After all, what had been uncovered was indefensible. It was shown that almost every time SPSC activists ran a stall or held a demonstration, 40-50% of those present had previously shared material that circulated in far-right white supremacy websites. At one demonstration alone, ten of the attendees had shared material on their social media pages denying the Holocaust. 
Consider this for a moment. Imagine a stall run by a right wing party. Then imagine that 40-50% of those people running it, shared *EXACTLY* the same material as the SPSC activists. How would civil rights campaigners view such a group? What excuses would be considered acceptable? As I said, indefensible. 
What also spoke volumes was the relative silence from the SPSC. Little in the way of apology, regret and introspection. The SPSC shrugged their shoulders, denied all responsibility, and chose to respond by calling me names. 
Sarah Glynn’s acrobaticsAnd that was all I heard. Until three days ago. When a blog called ‘Bella Caledonia’, published a piecewritten by anti-Israel activist Sarah Glynn. Sarah’s apparent problem with the SPSC report, wasn’t the fact so many racists are out on the streets handing out SPSC leaflets, oh no, Sarah’s problem with the report, was that I had written it.Of course, in the article, Sarah had to tell everyone she was speaking ‘as a Jew’. It took 40 words for Sarah Glynn to place her Jewish credentials before the reader. Although in the strictest sense, as the first 39 words of the article were a basic introduction, ‘as a Jew’, was how she began. 
Sarah chose to condemn a report exposing Nazi ideology as ‘a gross and politically motivated slur’. According to Sarah then, it doesn’t seem to be in the public interest to inform on those who share Holocaust denial material and stand outside malls boycotting a Jewish business. As the majority of articles I had found came from hard-core white supremacist sites, I wonder if Sarah has other examples where she doesn’t want such vile racism exposed publicly? 
You see, Sarah needed to write a piece that condemned those posts, but actually wanted to write one that cleansed the SPSC, and yes, even the activists of any real blame. 
Because here is the crunch. Those activists weren’t just SPSC ‘fringe material’ as Sarah Glynn would desperately want you to believe. These activists are the people who man the SPSC stalls, they are the ones who come out in the rain to demonstrate. These activists are the ones that call the SPSC HQ their ‘second home‘. Without these activists, the SPSC can’t move. 
And the report was flawless because its findings are so clearly evident. Don’t let me tell you these people are front line SPSC activists. Google SPSC, find images of them in action, and then cross-check with the names in the report. It is that easy. Which is why the SPSC, and now Sarah Glynn’s attempts, to suggest that this isn’t actually about the ‘SPSC’, are so laughable. 
Long winded excusesWhich is also why Glynn’s article engages in a rather long winded discussion excusing those who shared antisemitic material. As Glynn explains, ‘the internet has vastly outpaced development of our critical faculties’. She goes on to suggest that these ‘progressive activists’, are  just ‘sickened by official propaganda’ and are just on the ‘lookout for alternative sources of information’. Oh! That’s all right then. Now I get it, these people became posters of racist material by accident. When these activists saw the Jews blamed for all the evils in the world, when they came across Holocaust denial, these intelligent ‘progressive people’ just didn’t see racism. 
Never have I seen such a twisted excuse for blatant racism. ‘Sorry guv, it weren’t my fault I hit the black guy, that newspaper made me do it’. Is this really the line Bella Caledonia are pushing?
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Friday, September 15, 2017

German police: Antisemitism is possible cause for attacks on synagogue

Via The Jerusalem Post (Benjamin Weinthal):
A police spokesman for the city of Ulm said on Wednesday that the police are conducting a wide-ranging investigation into three attacks on the city's synagogue since late August and antisemitism may be the motive for the crimes. 
Uwe Krause, the police spokesman, told The Jerusalem Post that the authorities "can't rule out" antisemitism as the reason for the attacks on the synagogue, causing thousand of dollars in damage to the building's structure. Krause said shortly after the first attack in late August, the state's intelligence officials took command of the investigation. 
After the Post reported early Tuesday morning on a report in the Augsburger Allgemeinepaper stating “The authorities have at this time no indication of an antisemitic background” to the attacks, the German wire service dpa reported that the Ulm police included Jew-hatred as a possibility for the attack. 
Krause told the Post that Ulm has a large "Salafist scene." Sunni Salafists are radical Islamists who are widely known for their hardcore hatred of Jews and Israel. "The investigation was launched into all directions from the beginning," said Krause. He said security was increased in front of the synagogue after the first attack. Krause said the city does not have the resources to provide 24 hour security patrols for the synagogue. When asked about the police reversing its position on antisemitism as a motivating factor, Krause said the current view does not contradict the Augsburger Allgemeine paper's early September report. He added that police said from the start that "we are excluding" no background, which includes antisemitism, as the cause for the attacks on the synagogue.
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Related:
German authorities say multiple synagogue attacks are not antisemitism 
Germany redefines most anti-Semitism out of existence

Germany can’t admit where anti-Semitism comes from

Via Tablet Magazine:
According to a report recently released by Germany’s Ministry of the Interior, 92 percent of the anti-Semitic incidents in the country since January were the work of right-wing extremists. German authorities came to this conclusion because, by government fiat, any anti-Semitic crime is categorized as a “politically motivated right-wing extremist crime.” Evelyn Gordon explains why this approach is not only misleading but dangerous:
There are two good reasons for thinking the linguistic acrobatics, in this case, represent the rule rather than the exception. First, a 2014 study of 14,000 pieces of hate mail sent over a ten-year period to the Central Council of Jews in Germany and the Israeli embassy in Berlin found that only 3 percent came from far-right extremists. Over 60 percent came from the educated mainstream—professors, PhDs, lawyers, priests, [and] university and high-school students. And these letters were definitely anti-Semitic rather than merely anti-Israel; they included comments such as “It is possible that the murder of innocent children suits your long tradition?” . . .
[U]nless you want to make the dubious claim that Germany’s educated mainstream—unlike that of other Western countries—consists largely of far-right extremists, it’s clear that far-right extremists aren’t the only people actively committing anti-Semitic acts. 
Second, in other Western European countries, Islamic extremists are a major source of anti-Semitic crime. Thus it’s hard to believe that Germany—which, as several terror attacks over the last two years have shown, is hardly devoid of such extremists—would be the one exception to this rule. . . . 
Far-right anti-Semitism is, of course, real. But so are left-wing and Islamic anti-Semitism. And by pretending the latter two don’t exist, the German government has made it impossible to combat those types of anti-Semitism effectively, since you can’t fight something whose very existence you refuse to acknowledge.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

UK: Less than 10% Britons back BDS - levels of anti-Semitism among the lowest in the world

Via Times of Israel:
Nearly one in three Britons holds at least one anti-Semitic attitude and more than half endorse at least one hard-line anti-Israel statement, finds a major new study published today. 
It also establishes an “unambiguous” link between anti-Semitism and hostility towards Israel – suggesting that the stronger the level of anti-Israel feeling, the more likely it is to be accompanied by anti-Semitic attitudes – and probes the attitudes of those who support the far-left and the far-right, as well as British Muslims. 
But the report – the largest and most detailed survey of attitudes towards Jews and Israel ever conducted in Britain – also concludes that the proportion of what it terms “hardcore anti-Semites” in the population is small, while most Britons hold a favorable opinion of Jews and the vast majority do not harbor any anti-Semitic views. Moreover, it found that only 6% of Britons believe Israel has no right to exist, and less than 10% back the BDS movement. 
“Levels of anti-Semitism in Great Britain are among the lowest in the world. British Jews constitute a religious and ethnic group that is seen overwhelmingly positively by the absolute majority of the British population,” writes the report’s author, Dr. Daniel Staetsky, senior research fellow at the London-based Institute for Jewish Policy Research (JPR) which published the research. 
Almost 70 percent of Britons hold a favorable opinion of Jews, with a further 20 percent holding no view. The figures are in line with views towards some other religious minorities, such as Hindus, and rather more positive than attitudes towards Muslims. Moreover, 80% of those surveyed agreed with the statement: “A British Jew is just as British as any other British person,” while around 60% backed the view that “British Jews make a positive contribution to British society.”
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Russia: Firebomb hurled at Jewish group’s Moscow offices

Via JTA:
A firebombing at the Moscow offices of the largest Jewish organization in Russia caused minimal damage and no injuries. 
Footage from the incident Monday night at the offices of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia showed a person whose facial features are not clearly visible throwing the firebomb and fleeing as it bursts into flames, the online edition of the L’Chaim Jewish newspaper reported Wednesday. The offices are adjacent to the Marina Roscha Synagogue. 
Moscow Metropolitan Police shared the footage with the local media. 
The Marina Roschina Synagogue complex, which is also the seat of Berel Lazar, one of Russia’s two chief rabbis and the head emissary of the Chabad movement to the former Soviet Union, has blast-proof windows and doors and is guarded during the day by security personnel carrying automatic weapons. All visitors must pass through a metal detector. 
Last month, firebombs were hurled at the studio of a renowned Russian-Jewish film director who is reviled by some nationalists for his controversial depiction of the love affair between Russia’s last czar and a ballerina.
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Wednesday, September 13, 2017

UK: Eight-year-old boy 'viciously beaten' in Stamford Hill street

Via The Jewish Chronicle:
An eight-year-old Jewish boy had been left traumatised  after being “viciously beaten” in an unprovoked attack in north London.  
According to the Shomrim volunteer security group, the child was walking home from his school in Stamford Hill  on Monday when he was attacked in what the group called “a shocking incident” which left him with “swelling and marks near his chest, neck, shoulder and face.” 
In a series of tweets, Shomrim described how the boy escaped after two people came to his aid and chased away the attacker. The boy “ran home and up all the stairs before collapsing. He was crying and couldn't talk for the next [four and a half] hours.” 
When the boy was finally able to talk, he described how “a white man wearing gloves attacked him from behind, pushed him to the wall and beat him severely”. 
The boy was treated by the Hatzolah Jewish ambulance service, but was later taken to hospital.

Belgium: Catholic Brigitte Herremans is central figure in European demonisation of Israel, including the practice of exploiting tourist visas

Via Fathom (Gerald Steinberg):
Among Israeli politicians and pundits, the recognition of threats from the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement and demonisation, through labels such as ‘apartheid’ and ‘war criminal,’ dawned very slowly. When the response came, it took the form of an overreaction and a series of own-goals that, if anything, have made matters worse. 
The most damaging involves policies preventing the entry of BDS activists (actual and imagined) into Israel, first through the actions of overzealous officials in the Interior Ministry at Ben Gurion International Airport, and later through Knesset legislation. This led to intense criticism, and became another major source of friction between Jewish critics of Israel in the Diaspora and the government. (...) 
In this period, a number of ‘global BDS’ activists – particularly non-Jews leading major organisations, were denied entry, including Brigitte Herremans of the Catholic Belgian NGOs Broederlijk Delen and Pax Christi (both involved in BDS initiatives). Herremans is one of the central figures in European demonisation of Israel, including the practice of exploiting tourist visas for bringing groups to Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA). These familiarisation tours’ emphasise Palestinian victimhood and Israeli culpability, reinforcing support for political warfare, including BDS, among the participants. Afterwards, the group members are expected to participate in campaigns targeting Israel.

France: Diplomat said German Nazi occupation relatively inoffensive compared with 'occupation' of Palestine by Israelis

Via City Journal (Pascal Bruckner):
(...) In his 1978 book Orientalism, Edward Said observed that, after the 1973 Yom Kippur War, cartoons in the Western press sometimes depicted Arabs with hook noses and standing next to gas pumps—clearly Semites, he observed. Thus, Said maintained, the target of anti-Semitism passed from the Jew to the Arab. Did not Said call himself, in an interview in Haaretz in 2000, the last “Jew of the Middle East, a Palestinian Jew”? In short, for him, the Western Christian world’s hostility toward Islam represented the equivalent of anti-Semitism and flowed from the same source. The philosopher Enzo Traverso similarly contends that “Islamophobia plays the role for the new racism that was once played by anti-Semitism”: the rejection of the immigrant, perceived, since the colonial era, as the Other, the invader, the unassimilable foreign body in the national community; thus the specter of terrorism replaces that of Judeo-Bolshevism. (...)
On the view of Islamic fundamentalists and many progressives, the Muslim should replace the Jew for another reason: the Jew has dishonored his status and become in turn a colonizer, with the creation of the State of Israel. The idealization of the Jew after the war prepared the subsequent smear campaign; in other words, the Judaizing of the Muslims entailed the Nazification of the Israelis. There is the good Jew of yesterday, eternally persecuted, and the bad Israeli who has taken hold in the Middle East, imperious and racist. Traverso makes the formulation candidly: in the past, he argues, Jews and blacks fought together as antifascists and anticolonialists; then the Jews broke through the color line and became “white”—that is, oppressors. Today’s true Jew wears the headdress and speaks Arabic; the other is an imposter and usurper. To quote one statement among thousands, here’s former French diplomat Stéphane Hessel, speaking to the Frankfurter Allgemeine newspaper in 2011: “If we compare the German occupation with the present occupation of Palestine by the Israelis, then it was relatively inoffensive, apart from exceptional elements such as incarcerations, executions, internments, and the theft of works of art.”
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(Note: Stéphane Hessel was Jewish and spent the last years of his life bashing Israel.  He, along with "juror" Roger Waters, was actively involved as a "juror" in a kangaroo court, the self-styled Russell Tribunal for Palestine, the brainchild of the Belgian socialist Pierre Galand.  When he died in 2013, aged 95, Stéphane Hessel was given a state funeral attended by former President François Hollande and many other French dignitaries and Belgian former P.M. Elio di Rupo.)