November 29, 2011

Antisemitism: The world changes, the world remains the same.

At Daily Kos, there is a diary that speaks to the latest occurrences of Jew hatred in Brooklyn, USA.  Details can be found in this news report.  It gave opportunity to write a comment, which became this post.

The world changes, the world remains the same.  

There are around 13 MILLION Jews in the world today, out of a world population of about 7 BILLION people.

Historically, the two major purveyors of hate for Jews are Christians and Muslims, perhaps 3.5 BILLION people.  Thankfully, only a relative smattering hold the Christian variant of genocidal views epitomized by Hitler, mostly neo-Nazis, but not all. Significant numbers of Muslims, however, even some of their leaders, supplement their own hatred for Jews and say they want to finish the genocide that the Christians (Hitler) started

Sometimes I wonder about a fringe extreme on the Left, too, that conjoins with the other Jew haters while self-proclaiming to be "anti-racist" and "humanitarian." The first Durban NGO Conference in 2001 illustrates:
On the grounds of the U.N. conference itself, the Arab Lawyers Union distributed pamphlets filled with grotesque caricatures of hook-nosed Jews depicted as Nazis, spearing Palestinian children, dripping blood from their fangs, with missiles bulging from their eyes or with pots of money nearby. Attempts to have the group's U.N. accreditation revoked were refused.

Under the tent where the final NGO declaration was approved over the weekend -- a document that indicts Israel as a "racist, apartheid state" guilty of genocide and ethnic cleansing -- fliers were found with a photo of Hitler and the following question: "What if Hitler had won? There would be no Israel, and no Palestinian bloodshed."

In a Palestinian-led march with thousands of participants, a placard was held aloft that read "Hitler Should Have Finished the Job." Nearby, someone was selling the most notorious of anti-Jewish tracts, "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion."
It was a racist anti-racist gathering if there ever was one, perhaps even surpassing the infamous "Zionism is a form of racism and racial discrimination" resolution at the UN Security Council in 1975.

Tom Lantos was a liberal Congressman from California who served as an American delegate at Durban. He was the ranking Democratic Party member on the International Relations Committee of the House of Representatives and a founder of the Congressional Human Rights Caucus. In a chilling, must read article, The Durban Debacle, he said:
For me, having experienced the horrors of the Holocaust first hand, this was the most sickening and unabashed display of hate for Jews I have seen since the Nazi period.
Yes, I am generalizing. The truth is that it matters not the source. The point is that Jews everywhere live with being singled among humans for extinction, solely because they are Jewish. One who receives a threat to kill is a victim. Yet Jews are denied the status of victim despite the threat.

This applies by extension to Israel, the collective Jew among nation states. Overtly and uniquely threatened with extinction, yet denied victim status an international arena. Despite that the UN Charter expressly states:
All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force
Of course, antisemitism cannot be eradicated. A survey of the American people released on November 3 by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) found that that 15 percent of Americans – nearly 35 million adults – hold deeply anti-Semitic views. It is no better most places elsewhere, and likely much worse in many.

It is up to the state to respect this right and protect against violations, by itself and private parties. This is why they undertake obligations to implement domestic legislation through treaties such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD).  Even then, from their conduct, too many states could care less. Many of these states use a different interpretation of rights than we in the West. At least in America tends to take the matter of antisemitism seriously. I hope it remains so. It's not all bad here as some like to say.

I mean, when 5,000 people rally at Cairo’s most prominent mosque, the Al-Azhar mosque, chanting over and over passages from the Koran vowing that “one day we shall kill all the Jews,” how can that not put the matter into perspective?  This happened just days ago.

As with defining other victims of discrimination based on minority and/or religious status, the interpretation of antisemitism should be expansive, not narrow.  This is particularly so because there are new forms of antisemitism that may otherwise appear neutral on their face. Why is this so hard to understand, especially for so many that require political correctness in almost all other cases? There is that pesky double standard again!

If one fairly considers the demographics and what has happened to Jews at the hands of the majority - institutional persecution, pogroms, massacres, and genocide - then sees how disparate forces share common ground to stand in solidarity, using the Jew as a foil to incite hatred for an ideological agenda, it shows how we are drifting closer to Orwell's nightmare, as others sleep through helplessly without a peep.

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