Thursday, April 25, 2019
Text Size

Site Search powered by Ajax

Anti-Semitism and the silencing of debate

While militarily strong and facing no existential threats Zionism and Israel’s policies toward the Palestinians has been taking a beating in world opinion.


by Edward C. Corrigan

The UN passed six new resolutions against the Jewish state, including one denying Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem 151-6.

The United Nations General Assembly in New York passed six resolutions on [November 30, 2017] affirming Palestinian rights and condemning Israeli violations of international law, Middle East Monitor reported.

According to one resolution (‘Jerusalem’), “the Assembly reiterated that any actions by Israel, the occupying Power, to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration on the Holy City of Jerusalem were illegal and therefore null and void.”

This resolution was adopted by 151 votes in favor to 6 against (Canada, Federated States of Micronesia, Israel, Marshall Islands, Nauru, United States), with 9 abstentions (Australia, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Honduras, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, South Sudan, Togo), the Monitor said.

Israel’s delegate condemned the resolutions, claiming that the UN “continued to annually adopt biased resolutions and devote precious resources…to politicized bodies whose sole purpose was to attack and denounce Israel”. The US representative “echoed that opposition.”[1]

Even in North American public opinion, both Jewish and non-Jewish, Israel is losing support.[2] For example here is a quote from an article in Jewish Forward magazine: “Where Zionism used to be a given among American Jews, it is increasingly being viewed with skepticism by Jews who see where the political ideology has led us. Startlingly only 40% of American Jews age 18-34 said they were “comfortable with the idea of a Jewish State.”[3]

Israel has been resorting to lawfare in an attempt to hold back the tide of negative opinion building against the “Jewish State” for its treatment of the Palestinians and its 50 year illegal Occupation of the West Bank.

An Israeli legal group is suing two New Zealanders, one Jewish and one Palestinian, for allegedly convincing the pop singer Lorde to cancel her performance in Israel. This appears to be the first lawsuit filed under a contentious 2011 Israeli anti-boycott law. The Israeli law opens the door to civil lawsuits against anyone calling for a boycott against Israel, including of lands it has occupied, if that call could knowingly lead to a boycott. The law, which is part of Israel’s fight against a global movement calling for boycotts against the “Jewish State,” allows for courts to impose damages against defendants. Critics said the law would stifle free expression.[4]

Amnesty International has condemned the law in unequivocal terms:

Despite proponents’ claims to the contrary, this law is a blatant attempt to stifle peaceful dissent and campaigning by attacking the right to freedom of expression, which all governments must uphold,” said Philip Luther, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa. “The broad definition of boycott could apply to anyone seeking to use this non-violent means of dissent to criticize any individual or institution involved in human rights violations or violations of international law in Israel or the Occupied Palestinian Territories”, he added.[5]  

The Israeli anti-BDS law has not yet been tested in court. Even the Shurat Hadin leader Darshan-Leitner has said that the law poses a challenge, “because proving a link between a boycott and a call for one is difficult”. She said in this case the connection is clear, claiming that the first time Lorde brought up her reservations on the Tel Aviv performance was after the Sachs and Abu-Shanab’s open letter, and that the two women “took credit” for Lorde’s decision to cancel the concert on social media and elsewhere.[6]

Israel is now proposing to enforce its anti-BDS law against Amnesty International, after the human rights organization embarked on a campaign calling for a boycott of products from Judea and Samaria and a weapons embargo on Israel. Amnesty International has also accused Israel of committing war crimes.

Under its “Israel’s Occupation: 50 Years of Dispossession” campaign, Amnesty calls for “governments to stop enabling the economy that keeps these illegal settlements growing and fuels the suffering of Palestinians … and help put an end to the cycle of violations suffered by Palestinians living under Israel’s occupation.”

Israel Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon and Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan have proposed amendments to the anti-BDS law to enable the sanctions. They are going to have a public hearing at which Israeli citizens can voice their objections.

Before imposing sanctions on Amnesty International, Kahlon is expected to invite senior officials from the organization to a hearing. Amnesty International could also be sued for damages for violating the anti-BDS law.[7]

In what was described as "an unprecedented victory” for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, a federal judge has blocked Kansas from enforcing a state law which punishes those who express support or engage in the boycott of Israel. The anti-BDS law, required that all Kansas state employees sign a certification guaranteeing they do not participate in the boycott of Israel.

The Federal Judge, issued a preliminary injunction prohibiting the state from enforcing the law until resolution of a lawsuit filed in October 2017 by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on behalf of Esther Koontz, a public school teacher. The lawsuit is based on Koontz’s adherence to the Palestinian call for BDS. Following her fellow members of the Mennonite Church USA and in solidarity with Palestinians, she decided to boycott all consumer products from both Israeli companies and those that operate in Israel’s illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank.

In a statement, Micah Kubic, director of the ACLU of Kansas, called the judge’s ruling a “notable victory for the First Amendment” and protected speech. The ACLU Director said, “The government has no right telling people what they can and can’t support, and this preliminary injunction will protect other Kansans from enduring the First Amendment violation that Ms. Koontz has endured.” The ruling was the first of its kind on the judicial level to counter an escalation of anti-BDS measures passed by state lawmakers in twenty-four states with bipartisan support. Activists in several states have stopped similarly proposed legislation from becoming law. However, there are several federal anti-BDS bills that are before Congress.[8]

Another defeat for the Israeli anti-Boycott, Divest and Sanction (BDS) campaign occurred where an attempt to force state contractors in Massachusetts to prove that they were not boycotting Israel. To quote the Palestine Legal press release on this topic, “Though not on its face an anti-BDS bill, as the coalition stated, “a substantial public paper trail shows that its actual target was the Palestinian civil society movement for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS). As such, it was intended to inhibit the first amendment right to free speech through boycott action, a peaceful expression of dissent.”[9]

There also is a recent judgement of the Ontario Court of Appeal that approved a libel decision against Canadian journalist Ezra Levant for calling a young Muslim law student a terrorist and an anti-Semite. The award of $80,000 against Levant was upheld.[10]

Another public relations setback for Israel’s campaign against BDS is the nomination of the BDS Campaign for the Nobel Peace Prize.[11]

Israel’s policies toward the Palestinians are also being criticized by prominent Israeli politicians. The below comments are from the President of Israel Reuven Rivlin on systemic racism in Israeli society and published in The Times of Israel.[12]

Israel’s president fills a largely ceremonial role — meeting with foreign dignitaries, representing the government at state funerals and other official gatherings. But the office’s new occupant has embraced a challenge not inherent to the job: curbing what he sees as an epidemic of anti-Arab racism.

“Israeli society is sick, and it is our duty to treat this disease,” Reuven Rivlin, 75, told a group of Israeli academics this week.[13]

Here is another comment from the award winning Israeli journalist Gideon Levy.

Now Israel is discovering that it’s no longer the center of attention as it always was before, and that the fate of its kidnapping victims no longer stops the world in its tracks, not even in the United States. The world is sick of Israel and its insanities. Unfortunately, the world has also lost interest in what happens here. When Israel was a more just country, the world identified with its victims. It continued to do so even when Israel became less just. But now, when Israeli rejectionism is hitting new heights and its oppression of the Palestinians is returning to what it was during the very worst periods, the world has started getting tired of it all......[14]

President Rivlin is not the only senior Israeli politician that has spoken out about racism against Arabs in Israel. In 2008 Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is quoted in the largest circulation newspaper in Israel, at the time, as follows:

The prime minister said that over the years the State maintained a policy of discrimination, thereby creating a vicious cycle. On the one hand, the Arab community was unable to create management mechanisms, while on the other hand, Israeli governments deprived Arabs of rights that could help them improve their quality of life, he said.

"I feel great discomfort over the fact that the State conducted itself improperly for many years, and should have made a fundamental change," he said. "We have not yet overcome the obstacle of discrimination. This is deliberate discrimination, and the gap is intolerable. There is no arguing that some government ministries did not hire Arabs for years."[15]

There is lots of other evidence about racism and discriminatory views towards Muslims and Palestinians in Israel.[16]

The Palestinian Arabs also complain about laws in the “Jewish State” that discriminate against non-Jews. There is a Palestinian human rights organization called Adalah which documents Israel laws which are discriminatory. The following quote is taken from their website.

Adalah’s Discriminatory Laws Database (DLD) is an online resource comprising a list of over 65 Israeli laws that discriminate directly or indirectly against Palestinian citizens in Israel and/or Palestinian residents of the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) on the basis of their national belonging.  The discrimination in these laws is either explicit – “discrimination on its face” – or, more often, the laws are worded in a seemingly neutral manner, but have or will likely have a disparate impact on Palestinians in their implementation.

These laws limit the rights of Palestinians in all areas of life, from citizenship rights to the right to political participation, land and housing rights, education rights, cultural and language rights, religious rights, and due process rights during detention. Some of the laws also discriminate against other groups such as gays, non-religious Jews, and Palestinian refugees.[17]

There are many voices in Israel who are critical of Zionism and of Israel’s policies toward the Palestinians.[18] Here is one article written by a prominent Israeli academic on the rise of fascism in Israel.

Like every ideology, the Nazi race theory developed over the years. At first it only deprived Jews of their civil and human rights. It’s possible that without World War II the “Jewish problem” would have ended only with the “voluntary” expulsion of Jews from Reich lands. After all, most of Austria and Germany’s Jews made it out in time. It’s possible that this is the future facing Palestinians.

Indeed, Smotrich and Zohar [two members of the Israeli Knesset[19]] don’t wish to physically harm Palestinians, on condition that they don’t rise against their Jewish masters. They only wish to deprive them of their basic human rights, such as self-rule in their own state and freedom from oppression, or equal rights in case the territories are officially annexed to Israel. For these two representatives of the Knesset majority, the Palestinians are doomed to remain under occupation forever. It’s likely that the Likud’s Central Committee also thinks this way. The reasoning is simple: The Arabs aren’t Jews, so they cannot demand ownership over any part of the land that was promised to the Jewish people.

According to the concepts of Smotrich, Zohar and Shaked, a Jew from Brooklyn who has never set foot in this country is the legitimate owner of this land, while a Palestinian whose family has lived here for generations is a stranger, living here only by the grace of the Jews. “A Palestinian,” Zohar tells Hecht, “has no right to national self-determination since he doesn’t own the land in this country. Out of decency I want him here as a resident, since he was born here and lives here – I won’t tell him to leave. I’m sorry to say this but they have one major disadvantage – they weren’t born as Jews.”

From this one may assume that even if they all converted, grew side-curls and studied Torah, it would not help. This is the situation with regard to Sudanese and Eritrean asylum seekers and their children, who are Israeli for all intents and purposes. This is how it was with the Nazis. Later comes apartheid, which could apply under certain circumstances to Arabs who are citizens of Israel. Most Israelis don’t seem worried.[20]

Henry Siegman published a long article in the National Interest on the subject of Zionism and on US President Trump’s decision to move the American Embassy to Jerusalem.[21] It is important because he is a prominent Jewish leader and a Holocaust survivor now in his late 80s. He was a Zionist leader and former head of the World Jewish Congress and is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Siegman endorsed the struggle for equal rights for the Palestinians and the end of Zionism. He says it is the right choice, for their struggle for a state of their own is one Palestinians cannot win, while a struggle to maintain an apartheid regime is one Israel cannot win. He sheds no tears for Zionism and issues a warning to American Jews to abandon Zionism. Siegman wrote:

If after what undoubtedly would be a long and bitter anti-apartheid struggle Palestinians prevail, they will be in the clear majority. Having established the principle that the majority can impose on the minority the religious and cultural identity of the State, Israel will not be in a strong position to deny Palestinians that same right. That will lead in time to a significant exodus of Israel’s Jews.

If Palestinians do not prevail, then the undeniable apartheid character of the state and the cost of the ongoing struggle will lead to the same result—an exodus of Israel’s Jews over time, creating an even greater demographic imbalance between the country’s Jewish and Arab populations. Palestinians will not leave because they will have nowhere to go.

The outcome is therefore likely to be the end of Israel as a Jewish state. If so, it will be an outcome brought about not by BDS movements but by Israelis themselves, not only because of their rejection of the two-state solution, but because of their insistence on defining Israel’s national identity and territorial claims in religious terms. A state that fast-tracks citizenship through government-sponsored religious conversion to Judaism, as Israel’s government now does, cannot for long hide that it privileges its Jewish citizens—just as the United States could not have claimed to be a democracy if conversion to Christianity were a path to U.S. citizenship.[22]

On the issue of differential treatment for non-Jews in the “Jewish State” the Israeli Minister of Justice Aydet Shaked made the following statement in a speech to the Congress on Judaism and Democracy, The following is quoted from an article published in the Israeli daily Haaretz.

Shaked said, “I think that ‘Judaizing the Galilee’ is not an offensive term. We used to talk like that. In recent years we’ve stopped talking like that. I think it’s legitimate without violating the full rights of the Arab residents of Israel.”

The justice minister made the remarks in a wide-ranging speech on the controversy over the Jewish nation-state bill.

She further said, “There is place to maintain a Jewish majority even at the price of violation of rights.” She added, however, that maintaining a Jewish majority in Israel and acting democratically “must be parallel and one must not outweigh the other.”

Regarding the nation-state bill, Shaked said, “I was disturbed at both the position of the state and the reasoning of the justices. The state did not defend the law for national demographic reasons, it claimed only security reasons.” Shaked told the conference that “the state should say that there is place to maintain the Jewish majority even if it violates rights.”

Shaked said she believed Judaism and democracy are values that can coexist. “From a constitutional point of view there is an advantage to democracy and it must be balanced and the Supreme Court should be given another constitutional tool that will also give power to Judaism.”

The purpose of the nation-state bill, she said, was to prevent rulings interpreting the Entry to Israel Law, or a ruling like the one in the Ka’adan case in 2000 that banned discrimination against an Arab family who wanted to move to a small Jewish community that sought to bar them.[23]

Gideon Levy writing in Haaretz made the following comment about Israeli Justice Minister Shaked’s position on the Jewish Nation State Bill.

Thank you, Ayelet Shaked, for telling the truth. Thank you for speaking honestly. The justice minister has proved once again that Israel’s extreme right is better than the deceivers of the center-left: It speaks honestly.

If in 1975, Chaim Herzog dramatically tore up a copy of UN General Assembly Resolution 3379, equating Zionism with racism, the justice minister has now admitted the truthfulness of the resolution (which was later revoked). Shaked said, loud and clear: Zionism contradicts human rights, and thus is indeed an ultranationalist, colonialist and perhaps even racist movement, as proponents of justice worldwide maintain.[24]

At the core of this issue is the contradiction between a “Jewish State” and a democratic state that treats all of its citizens as equals. Here is how one Israeli Political Sociologist Lev Grinberg explains the problem.

Just like the story about the late Israeli politician Moshe Sneh, who raised the tone of his voice because his arguments were not persuasive, Professor Shlomo Avineri raises the tone in his reply to Salman Masalha, both of whose opinion pieces appeared on these pages earlier this month, and paints him as a racist. But Masalha did not claim that there is no Jewish people or that Jews do not have the right to self-determination. His argument is simple: If the state is defined by religion, it cannot treat all its citizens equally, as required of a democratic system of government.

Its true that from its inception, Zionism intended to turn the Jewish people from a religious community into a modern nation, but Avineri ignores the regrettable fact that the project of secularizing the Jewish people has failed. Israel has no legal definition for Judaism other than the religious definition, it does not recognize an Israeli national identity defined on the basis of citizenship, and it does not recognize a Hebrew nationality that is culturally defined.

The comparison to other countries where religion and nationality are linked is irrelevant, because those countries have a secular definition of the state and citizenship. You can be a Polish Jew or an Egyptian Jew, but you can't be a Jewish Muslim or a Jewish Christian.

In the attempt to make the Jewish people a nation like all others, Zionism strove to unite it through one language and concentrate it in one territory. There were arguments and struggles over this, and they were decided in favor of preserving the centrality of religion in the definition of the national collective. Instead of picking one of the languages that Jews spoke day in and day out, Hebrew, the holy tongue, was chosen.

Regarding territory as well, absolute secularists did indeed think that Jews could be settled in Uganda or Argentina, but the gravitational pull of the Land of Israel was decisive. The Bible was transformed from a religious text into Zionism's title deed, the justification for the demand for ownership of the territory. In other words, instead of bringing about the secularization of Judaism, Zionism turned religion into the central element of the definition of national identity, and turned the State of Israel into a tool of the religious redemption project, especially after the capture and settlement of biblical areas since 1967.

Defining the State of Israel solely as democratic and revoking the special privileges of Jews does not contradict Zionism, and certainly not Judaism. The connection to Judaism will remain in the calendar and the Hebrew language, in the name of the state and in the Jewish majority (if we manage to free ourselves from our rule over the Palestinians in the territories).

Democracy is based on universalist Jewish values, such as "Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself" and "Ye shall have one statute, both for the stranger, and for him that is born in the land." That requires separation of religion and state, something that will be good for both. Because in the current situation, not only does religion corrupt the state, but the state corrupts religion and pushes it toward nationalistic extremism.”[25]

The definition of what is a “Jewish State” and “what is a Jew” is a fundamental part of this debate. The “Jewish State” is like no other. It uses a concept of Jewish nationality which is like no other definition of nationality. It is the Jewish character of the State that is given preference to all other considerations and gives superior rights to Jews over the non-Jewish population in Israel.

The data on population in Israel for 2017 is that 74.7% is Jewish and 25.3% is non-Jewish.[26]  When you count the territories occupied or controlled by Israel there is already, or soon will be, a Palestinian majority.[27] This fact helps explain the Jewish State’s obsession over demographics.[28]

Here is how journalist Jonathan Cook, who resides in Nazareth, Israel, describes the issue and the implications of living in a Jewish State. He is reporting on a decision of the Israeli Supreme Court which refused to recognize an Israeli nationality as it would undermine the “Jewish” character of the State.

Israel officially defines itself as a Jewish state, and authorities classify Israelis by their ethnic group

Nazareth, Israel - A court decision this month that rejected Israelis' right to a shared nationality has highlighted serious problems caused by Israel's self-definition as a Jewish state, say lawyers and human rights activists.

A group of 21 Israelis had appealed to the Supreme Court to demand the state recognise their wish to be classified as "Israeli nationals".

Since Israel's founding in 1948, authorities have refused to recognize such a nationality, instead classifying Israelis according to the ethnic group to which each belongs. The overwhelming majority are registered as either "Jewish" or "Arab" nationals, though there are more than 130 such categories in total.

Critics say the system, while seemingly a technical matter, has far-reaching effects. The citizenship laws, they say, undergird a system of systematic discrimination against the one-fifth of Israel's population who are non-Jews - most of them belonging to Israel's Palestinian minority.[29]

Cook also quotes Uzi Ornan, a retired linguist from northern Israel, the leader of "I am an Israeli" movement, the group includes both Jewish and Palestinian citizens of Israel, and they argued that they should be allowed to change their nationality to "Israeli".  “This ruling is very dangerous," said Ornan. "It allows Israel to continue being a very peculiar country indeed, one that refuses to recognise the nationality of its own people. I don't know of another country that does such a thing. It is entirely anti-democratic."[30]

Ornan also is quoted as follows:

The "I am an Israeli" movement objects to Israel's system of laws that separate citizenship from nationality. While Israelis enjoy a common citizenship, they have separate nationalities based on their ethnic identity. Only the Jewish majority has been awarded national rights, meaning that Palestinian citizens face institutionalised discrimination, said Ornan.

Ornan added: "It tells the country's Arab citizens that they have no real recognition in their own country - that they will always be treated as foreigners and they will always face discrimination."[31]

Cook writes as follows on this issue.

Leading Israeli politicians - including a recent prime minister, Ehud Olmert - have admitted that discrimination against Palestinians exists. However, they have suggested that it is informal and similar to the discrimination faced by minorities in many democratic western countries.

Civil rights groups, on the other hand, claim that the discrimination is structural to Israel's definition as a Jewish state. One member of parliament, Ahmed Tibi, has pointedly commented: "This country is Jewish and democratic: Democratic towards Jews, and Jewish toward Arabs."[32]

There certainly has been a vigorous debate within the Jewish community over the question of political Zionism, which is a political ideology, and the creation of a “Jewish State.” The dark underbelly of Zionism is what to do with the Christian and Muslim Palestinian inhabitants of the land chosen to be the territory for the “Jewish State.” There are many questions about what rights Palestinians are to have in the “Jewish State” and the occupied territories that the “Jewish State” declares for itself and gives at best token lip service to the civil and national rights of the Palestinians.

Ben Ehrenreich, is a prominent Jewish American author of The Way to the Spring, the chronicle of heroic resistance to occupation in a Palestinian village. He spoke at Columbia’s Center for Palestine Studies and described Israel’s treatment of Palestinians as an “incremental genocide.” As reported by Philip Weiss a questioner asked about the Movement for Black Lives statement saying Palestinians are experiencing “genocide,” and asked Ehrenreich, would you agree? Ehrenrich said he agreed.

The question about genocide– yes, it’s an incremental genocide. And I think that’s a word that gives a lot of people pause and it certainly should. We don’t see the absolutely mass slaughters, although in Gaza I think we’ve seen something very much like it that we usually associate with genocide. But– the attempts to erase a people, to just erase them, to erase their history, I think follow a logic that can only be called genocidal. I mean, every time someone says– and people say it all the time, I get it on twitter all the time– “There’s no such thing as a Palestinian,” or “There was nobody there when the Zionists arrived”– these are genocidal statements, these are attempts to erase a culture, erase a history, decimate a people and I think they should be recognized as that.[33]

As a result of these questions that go to the heart of the Zionist project there are many criticisms over the treatment of the Palestinians in the “Jewish State” from Jews and many others who express concern over human rights violations. Palestinians, the victims of Zionism also have many criticism on how they are treated and the ethnic cleansing of Palestine, the massacres, the destruction of 531 villages and the theft of their land and property for which they hold the legal title to.[34]

One major study done in Israel reviewed all of the articles and books written on the Israeli War of Independence and examined the issue of the expulsion of the Palestinians:

…study showed that significant critical research on the Palestinian exodus was undertaken by Jewish scholars outside Israel in the 1950s, three decades before the emergence of the New Historians. In effect, this early use of the critical narrative led to the declassification of archival materials, the sources that were then used in books by Segev, Morris and others.

The study refutes the widespread claim that until the 1980s the Jewish-Israeli media were entirely beholden to the Zionist narrative. The paper shows that the vast majority of studies recognized that Israel had expelled Palestinians in 1948.[35]

Defenders of the Jewish State’s policies and treatment of the Palestinians do not want to discuss these questions and in an aggressive manner accuse Israel’s critics and critics of Zionism as being anti-Semites and try to silence any debate on these issues. The charge of anti-Semitism against critics is the preferred weapon, and perhaps the only weapon, as the evidence does not support the Zionist argument. Many prominent Israelis[36] and many others have raised the specter of Apartheid to describe Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians.[37]

Here is how Richard Falk describes the issue of Apartheid in relation to the Jewish State’s treatment of the Palestinians. Falk is professor emeritus of international law at Princeton University, where he taught for forty years. He is also the author of 20 books on International law and human rights. From 2008 to 2014 Falk served as United Nations special rapporteur on human rights in the occupied Palestinian territories

The following is taken from an article based on a talk given by Professor Falk.

…it is only correct to look at the Palestinians as a coherent people, wherever they live, and not provide tacit consent to the fragmentation both geographical and political to which Israel has subjected them. Viewed in those terms, ending the Occupation alone, without addressing the larger issue afflicting the Palestinian nation, is “a misunderstood pragmatism.”

That larger issue……is the structure of oppression itself, including physical displacement and all the policies and practices Israel promotes toward the Palestinian people. “The conflict is not purely territorial,” Falk says. The UN report that he co-authored with Virginia Tilley, professor of political science at Southern Illinois University, names that structure “apartheid,” meaning “separation” in Afrikaans.

The 1973 International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid does not speak only of South Africa. There the term is defined as “inhuman acts committed for the purpose of establishing and maintaining domination by one racial group of persons over any other racial group of persons and systematically oppressing them.”[38]

In his capacity of special rapporteur for the Palestinian occupied territories Falk co-authored a report on the question of Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians with Professor Virginia Tilley. The following is an excerpt from the article.

The Falk-Tilley report, “Israeli Practices towards the Palestinian People and the Question of Apartheid,” was released March 15, 2017, under the aegis of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA). Its release caused an immediate firestorm, raising accusations of anti-Semitism against the authors (Falk is Jewish incidentally), and providing space for more UN-bashing especially on the part of Israel and the United States. Although the ESCWA countries unanimously endorsed the report, and although the report was issued as representing the view of the authors alone and not the UN per se, it was removed from the UN website under threat of U.S. withdrawal of UN funding; however, it is otherwise available.

Defenders of Israel are particularly sensitive about the word “apartheid,” citing factors that existed in South Africa but which do not exist in Israel, such as separate park benches and Arab representation in the Knesset. But as anyone who follows Israeli politics knows, leading figures in Israeli life, including prime ministers, writers and journalists from both the left and the right, have consistently used this word in Hebrew, addressing fellow Israelis, warning of the consequences of a failure to make peace leading to permanent apartheid. It’s when the word gets uttered in public forums in English that Israelis and their supporters hear the whole Zionist project being attacked. Jimmy Carter and John Kerry are only

two American statesmen who have felt the brunt of Israel’s condemnation. In many other ways Israel has flouted the international community, for example, by referring to the occupied West Bank territories as “Judea and Samaria,” ancient Biblical terms which international law does not recognize as legitimate; and insisting on calling the Palestinians “Arabs,” as if to say they belong in other homelands, not in the Jewish state.[39]

Falk went on to say and is quoted in the article:

The problem of Israel,…is that the nationalism born in Europe in the 19th century made its way to the rest of the world by the mid-20th century and helped to create many newly independent countries in the wake of colonialism. But Israel, founded in 1948, came along at the end of the nationalist wave, and the global community had become skeptical of colonial projects in the underdeveloped world.

“The Palestinian people have been made to pay the price for the crimes of the Nazis,” ….

There is an inherent tension….between Israel’s self-definition as a Jewish state and its claim to be a democratic society. Especially as more and more Palestinians fall under direct or indirect Israeli control in the variously segmented entities between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean, the contradiction between these two professed ideals becomes ever sharper.

In almost every case…where an oppressed people, with inferior arms and weak social institutions, sets out to oppose their colonial or neocolonial masters, they eventually win. The Palestinians will continue to resist, “and they are right to resist,”…From the Israeli point of view, the resistance is a challenge to the established order and must be put down. The United States, more substantively than anyone else in the world, gives Israel this unconditional mandate.

“Until that mandate is lifted there will be no peace. It’s our struggle here to end this destructive policy.”[40] 

Most supporters of the Jewish State get incensed when the term “Apartheid” is used to describe the situation the Palestinians under the control of the “Jewish State.” They point to the absence of petty Apartheid structures like separate washrooms and benches for Jews and Palestinians and the fact that Arabs can vote in Israel and have members in the Knesset. They conveniently ignore the fact that Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza they cannot vote in the Israeli elections that control their lives and while Jewish Settlers living in the West Bank can vote in Israeli elections. Here is how one commentator describes the situation.

The irony is that the idea of evoking the term “apartheid” to describe Israel’s treatment of Palestinians was not invented by Israel’s enemies, let alone Arabs and Palestinians, but by Israel itself. For decades, Israeli officials have employed the Hebrew term Hafrada (“Separation” or “Segregation”) to describe Israel’s governing policy in the West Bank and Gaza, and its attempts to separate the Palestinian population from both the Israeli population and the Jewish settlers population in the occupied Palestinian territories. The so-called Israeli West Bank Barrier, known in Hebrew as “Gader Ha-Hafrada” (“Separation Fence”), was built on this Hafrada vision…..

The current Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shares his predecessors’ infatuation with the principle of Hafrada. In 2011, he told members of his cabinet: “The debate over how many Jews and how many Palestinians will be between the Jordan and the sea is irrelevant. It does not matter to me whether there are half a million more Palestinians or less because I have no wish to annex them into Israel. I want to separate from them so that they will not be Israeli citizens.”

While some Israelis tend to distinguish between “hard separation” (Rabin and Barak) and “soft separation” (Perez and Olmert) the result has been one and the same: A rigid form of physical separation where one ethnic group enjoys more freedom than the other.

This is not to suggest that Israel’s Hafrada is identical to South Africa’s apartheid, but that apartheid, or separateness, as a system of enforced segregation based on ethnicity and imposed by a sovereign and dominant group over an impoverished one, can take myriad forms.

The term “Hafrada” has rapidly dropped from official use, apparently to avoid association with the notorious term “apartheid.” In Israel’s public discourse, though, the term has lost none of its force. Today, “Hafrada” is used as a broad term to describe Israel’s treatment of Palestinians, be they in the West Bank, Gaza, exile, or even in Israel. Indeed, as the U.N. report put it, Hafrada is no longer limited to describing Israel’s policy towards Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, but also applies to its treatment of its own Palestinian citizens.

This form of internal Hafrada has its origins in the military regime period (1948-1966), when Israel imposed a formal military administration on the majority of its Arab citizenry, putting in place a repressive apparatus of ethnic and economic segregation, land appropriation, and restrictions on movement and political activity. While less visible, internal Hafrada persists today in various forms. In 2005, an art exhibition organized by an association of Israeli architects in the city of Jaffa, aptly titled “Hafrada” (“Separation”), featured images of a dozen separation sites inside Israel, not only between Jewish and Arab towns, but between Jewish and Arab neighborhoods within Israel’s so-called mixed cities, including Haifa, Jerusalem and Lod.

Hafrada, Israel’s equivalent for ethnic segregation, is a purely Israeli invention whose basic etymology was coined for want of a practical and descriptive term that would better account for Israel’s policy towards Palestinians on both sides of the border. In Israel, the term is evoked by supporters and opponents of segregation alike. While in official discourse the term has been cloaked in softer and gentler expressions–– such as “convergence” and “disengagement”––to the average Israeli, the term simply meant, and continues to mean, one thing: “Separation” and “segregation.” In other words, “apartheid.”[41]


On August 14, 2002, Amy Goodman interviewed on the radio and TV program Democracy Now the individual who has been described as “Israel’s First Lady of Human Rights” Shulamit Aloni. She is also a former Israeli Minister of Education.[42] The following is a partial transcript of the Interview.


Amy Goodman: Often when there is dissent expressed in the United States against policies of the Israeli government, people here are called anti-Semitic. What is your response to that as an Israeli Jew?

Shulamit Aloni: Well, it’s a trick, we always use it. When from Europe somebody is criticizing Israel, then we bring up the Holocaust. When in this country people are criticizing Israel, then they are anti-Semitic. And the organization is strong, and has a lot of money, and the ties between Israel and the American Jewish establishment are very strong and they are strong in this country, as you know. And they have power, which is okay. They are talented people and they have power and money, and the media and other things, and their attitude is “Israel, my country right or wrong,” identification. And they are not ready to hear criticism. And it’s very easy to blame people who criticize certain acts of the Israeli government as anti-Semitic, and to bring up the Holocaust, and the suffering of the Jewish people, and that is justify everything we do to the Palestinians.[43] 

Here is a comment from Stanford University History Professor Joel Beinin on the use of the accusation of anti-Semitism to silence criticism of Zionism and of Israel’s policies toward the Palestinians. Beinin is active in Jewish Voice for Peace and an editor of Jewish Peace News.

Why discredit, defame and silence those with opposing viewpoints? I believe it is because the Zionist lobby knows it cannot win based on facts. An honest discussion can only lead to one conclusion: The status quo in which Israel declares it alone has rights and intends to impose its will on the weaker Palestinians, stripping them permanently of their land, resources and rights, cannot lead to a lasting peace. We need an open debate and the freedom to discuss uncomfortable facts and explore the full range of policy options. Only then can we adopt a foreign policy that serves American interests and one that could actually bring a just peace to Palestinians and Israelis.[44]

Beinin is not alone in his criticism of using anti-Semitism as a weapon to smear opponents or critics of Zionism. Moshé Machover, is an author, a British-Israeli peace activist and member of the UK’s Labour Party. He prepared the following testimony in defense of Jewish peace activist Tony Greenstein. Machover was also the founder of the Israeli socialist political party Matzpen. He wrote:

Anti-Zionism conflated with anti-Semitism

As we have seen, Zionism is a political ideology-cum-project. The State of Israel – a product of the Zionist project as well as an instrument for its continuation and extension – is, like any state, a political entity.

Israel has been in military occupation of the West Bank and the besieged Gaza Strip for over 50 years and is exercising harsh oppression over millions of Palestinian Arabs who have no civil or national rights. It has been avidly stealing their land and colonising it with illegal, exclusively Jewish settlements. Israel may not be worse in this respect than other states that ruled over other nations and colonised their land – for example, Britain in its former colonies, such as Kenya. But Israel is also no better than other colonising states, nor is there any reason to expect it to be any better: colonisation has its own logic, and generally involves harsh racist oppression and occasional atrocities, justified by the ‘need to keep order among the natives’. Israeli officially inspired and fomented racism is by now widely known and condemned.

Opposition to Zionism and to the colonising regime and policies of Israel is therefore a legitimate political position. It only becomes illegitimate if it is motivated or accompanied by illegitimate motives or arguments, for example such as stem from generalised hatred or prejudice against Jews as Jews. But such illegitimate motives or arguments need to be proven before accusing an opponent of Zionism and Israel’s regime of ‘antisemitism’; they cannot simply be assumed or taken for granted. In the absence of proof, accusation or insinuation that anti-Zionist discourse and opposition to the Israeli regime are per se ‘anti-Semitic’ is a despicable calumny……

Jews in the diaspora, including this country, are deeply divided in their attitude to Zionism and Israel. Many have made attachment to Israel part of their Jewish identity, as a supplement – and in some cases as a surrogate to their religion. They support Israel ‘right or wrong’ and tend to assume that hostility to Zionism must be motivated by anti-Semitism.[45]

Here is another article which discusses the tactic of using the charge of anti-Semitism to attempt to silence critics of Israel.

It is titled, “Redefining Anti-Semitism: An Effort to Silence Criticism of Israel,” by Allan C. Brownfeld, and published in Issues, Winter 2018, the quarterly journal of the American Council for Judaism. Brownfeld is the editor of the ACJ Issues and Special Interest publications. He writes:

One need not agree with the BDS movement, the Presbyterian study, or other critics of Israel's occupation policies to recognize that false charges of "anti-Semitism" are simply a way to silence and intimidate criticism. Jewish and other critics of Zionism have shown that such false charges of "anti-Semitism" will hardly stop the growing debate.  As Professor Judith Butler of the University of California, Berkeley, an outspoken Jewish critic, explains:  "If one can't voice an objection to violence done by Israel without attracting a charge of anti-Semitism, then that charge Works to circumscribe the publicly acceptable domain of speech, and immunize Israeli violence against criticism.  One is threatened with the label 'anti-Semite' in the same way one is threatened with being called a 'traitor' if one opposed the most recent U.S. War (in Iraq). Such threats aim to define the limits of the public sphere by setting limits on the speakable. The world of public discourse would then be one from which critical perspective would be excluded, and the public would come to understand itself as one that does not speak out in the face of obvious and illegitimate violence.

To define "anti-Zionism" as "anti-Semitism" is completely ahistorical, since Zionism has been opposed by many---if not most---Jews from the beginning.  In 1885, Reform rabbis meeting in Pittsburgh wrote an eight point platform which emphasized that Reform Judaism rejected nationalism of any variety.  In 1897, the Central Conference of American Rabbis adopted a resolution disapproving of any attempt to establish a Jewish state. The resolution declared:  "Zion was a precious possession of the such it is a holy memory, but it is not our hope for the future.  America is our Zion."  In 1904, "The American Israelite" noted, "There is not one solitary prominent native Jewish American who is an advocate of Zionism."[46]

Here is another example where Richard Silverstein, a prominent Jewish American blogger and journalist, writes on the use of the charge of anti-Semitism to attack supporters of the BDS Campaign against Israel in an attempt to changes its policies towards the Palestinians. 

This week, Norway’s largest labor union endorsed BDS.  Before the vote, Israel’s ambassador, Raphael Schutz, posted a bizarre rant on Facebook which featured a picture of a banner at a Norwegian BDS rally.  The banner showed an Israeli orange dripping (presumably) Palestinian blood.  The clear implication of the protest banner was that Israeli Occupation leads to the shedding of Palestinian blood.  The truth of this statement cannot be in doubt.  Since 1948 approximately 40,000 Palestinians have died at the hands of Israeli forces.

Despite this almost self-evidence statement, Schutz determined to turn the banner into an outrageous claim of anti-Semitism.  He juxtaposed a medieval illustration of the supposed Jewish murder of a Christian child, known as a blood libel, in order to drain his blood to make matzah for Passover.  In doing so, Schutz exploited one of the foulest anti-Semitic tropes.  I displayed an image of the medieval illustration so readers could see exactly how repulsive it is (and how repulsive it is for anyone to exploit it for the wrong ends).  At the same time, Schutz insulted the suffering of millions of Jews who died at the hands of real anti-Semites from the days of Rome up to the Holocaust.

Outrageous propaganda of this sort is meant to induce tremendous guilt in the hearts of Christian Europe (including Norway), which did indeed cause massive suffering and the deaths of millions of Jews over the centuries.  No doubt, Europe has much to atone for in its historic treatment of Jews.  But it has nothing to atone for in its treatment of Israel, since the matters are not directly related.

A similar charge levelled by the True Believers against BDS is that it either is a terrorist group or supported by terrorist nations or groups.  Beats me, how a non-violent movement can be a terrorist group.  But I suppose if you believe BDS will destroy Israel (it’s not clear how it will do that), then that act of destruction could be construed as an act of terror.  You’d have to be fairly deranged to believe this.  But, like Trump, we’ve seen more than enough evidence that this Israeli government is quite deranged, at least politically, if not clinically.[47]

Glenn Greenwald is a rising star on the American and World media scene. He first arose to fame in helping bring the Edward Snowdon exposure of the National Security Agency (NSA) illegal spying to light. Greenwald is of Jewish background but has never been involved with Jewish organized religion.[48] He is an independent “progressive” and writes on many topics including Israel-Palestine and American foreign policy. Here is a sample of his views on anti-Semitism sent over Twitter: the "Idea that someone can't be an anti-Semite if they support Israeli Govt is just as corrupt as equating criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism."[49]

Greenwald wrote an article in defense of Andrew Sullivan who was a Senior Editor at The Atlantic magazine. Sullivan published an article critical of Israel and the pro-Israel lobby and was attacked by the Literary Editor of The New Republic, Leon Wieseltier. Wieseltier accused Andrew Sullivan of “being an anti-Semite, largely due to his critical (i.e., forbidden) comments about Israeli actions and American neoconservatives.  Particularly since the horrific Israeli assault on Gaza, Sullivan has become more critical of Israeli actions and more dubious of uncritical U.S. support.”[50] Here is Greenwald’s comment on the attack.

What's most striking about this attack is how inconsequential it is.  It was once the case, not all that long ago, that an accusation of "anti-Semitism" was the nuclear weapon of political debates, rendering most politicians and pundits (especially non-Jewish ones) petrified of being so accused.  A 4,300-word prosecution brief published by The New Republic, accusing a major political writer of being a Jew-hater, would have been taken quite seriously, generated all sorts of drama, introspection and debate, and seriously tarnished the reputation of the accused.

No longer. Neoconservatives have so abused and cynically exploited the "anti-Semitism" charge for rank political gain -- to bully those who would dare criticize Israeli actions or question U.S. policy towards Israel  -- that it has lost its impact.  Ironically, nobody has done more to trivialize and cheapen anti-Semitism accusations than those who anointed themselves its guardians and arbiters.  As Charles Freeman can attest, frivolous anti-Semitism accusations can still damage those seeking high-level political positions, but those accusations no longer pack any real punch in virtually any other realm.  As neoconservatives became discredited, so, too, did their central political weapon:  casually and promiscuously accusing political adversaries of anti-Semitism.

There's a clear benefit to this development (namely:  the threat of invalid anti-Semitism accusations no longer deters free political debate beyond the halls of Congress), but there's an obvious danger as well:  cheapening the charge of anti-Semitism through frivolous and politically manipulative uses weakens the ability to combat actual, real anti-Semitism, which does still exist.  If perfectly mainstream writers, expressing perfectly appropriate and reasonable arguments about Israel, are routinely condemned for "anti-Semitism," then it must not be a particularly bad thing to be, so this reasoning goes.  If The Atlantic's Andrew Sullivan, and Time's Joe Klein, and Foreign Policy's Stephen Walt, and the University of Chicago's John Mearsheimer, and Gen. Wes Clark (a TNR target), and Howard Dean, and former President Jimmy Carter, and a whole slew of others like them are "anti-Semites," then how terrible of an insult is it?  By tossing around the term cynically and to advance personal vendettas, neoconservatives are the authors not only of their own irrelevance but also, more significantly, of the growing irrelevance of the "anti-Semitism" charge.[51]

Here is a more recent comment by Greenwald on the use of the charge anti-Semitism to attack critics of Israel’s policies toward the Palestinians.

...When Palestinians fight against occupying troops on their soil, they are denounced — and often killed — as “terrorists.” Meanwhile, nonviolent campaigns to end the occupation through a South Africa-style boycott are demonized as “anti-Semitism” and officially barred — censored — in all sorts of ways, in numerous countries around the world.

If fighting Israeli occupying forces is barred as “terrorism,” and nonviolent boycotts against Israel are barred as “anti-Semitism,” then what is considered a legitimate means for Palestinians and their allies to resist and end the decades long, illegal Israeli occupation? The answer is: nothing. Palestinians are obliged to submit to Israeli occupation in a way that none of the people demanding that would ever themselves submit to occupation of their land. All forms of resistance to Israeli occupation are deemed illegitimate. That, manifestly, is the whole point of all of this.[52]

There are many more Jewish voices that are anti-Zionist, non-Zionist, Post-Zionist and even liberal Zionists that speak out against Israel’s policies towards the Palestinians and on the abuse of using anti-Semitism to attack those who defend Palestinian human rights.[53]   

Here is what Israel academic Neve Gordon writes on the question of anti-Semitism as a method of attacking and intimidating critics of Israel and Zionism. The article was published in the prestigious London Review of Books. The quote is lengthy but well worth reading on the use of anti-Semitism in an attempt to silence criticism of Israel’s policies toward the Palestinians.

The ‘new anti-Semitism’, we are told, takes the form of criticism of Zionism and of the actions and policies of Israel, and is often manifested in campaigns holding the Israeli government accountable to international law, a recent instance being the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. In this it is different from ‘traditional’ anti-Semitism, understood as hatred of Jews per se, the idea that Jews are naturally inferior, belief in a worldwide Jewish conspiracy or in the Jewish control of capitalism etc. The ‘new anti-Semitism’ also differs from the traditional form in the political affinities of its alleged culprits: where we are used to thinking that anti-Semites come from the political right, the new anti-Semites are, in the eyes of the accusers, primarily on the political left.

The logic of the ‘new anti-Semitism’ can be formulated as a syllogism: i) anti-Semitism is hatred of Jews; ii) to be Jewish is to be Zionist; iii) therefore anti-Zionism is anti-Semitic. The error has to do with the second proposition. The claims that Zionism is identical to Jewishness, or that a seamless equation can be made between the State of Israel and the Jewish people, are false. Many Jews are not Zionists. And Zionism has numerous traits that are in no way embedded in or characteristic of Jewishness, but rather emerged from nationalist and settler colonial ideologies over the last three hundred years. Criticism of Zionism or of Israel is not necessarily the product of an animus towards Jews; conversely, hatred of Jews does not necessarily entail anti-Zionism.

Not only that, but it is possible to be both a Zionist and an anti-Semite. Evidence of this is supplied by the statements of white supremacists in the US and extreme right-wing politicians across Europe. Richard Spencer, a leading figure in the American alt-right, has no trouble characterising himself as a ‘white Zionist’ (‘As an Israeli citizen,’ he explained to his interviewer on Israel’s Channel 2 News, ‘who has a sense of nationhood and peoplehood, and the history and experience of the Jewish people, you should respect someone like me, who has analogous feelings about whites … I want us to have a secure homeland for us and ourselves. Just like you want a secure homeland in Israel’), while also believing that ‘Jews are vastly over-represented in what you could call “the establishment”.’ Gianfranco Fini of the Italian National Alliance and Geert Wilders, leader of the Dutch Party for Freedom, have also professed their admiration of Zionism and the ‘white’ ethnocracy of the state of Israel, while on other occasions making their anti-Semitic views plain. Three things that draw these anti-Semites towards Israel are, first, the state’s ethnocratic character; second, an Islamophobia they assume Israel shares with them; and, third, Israel’s unapologetically harsh policies towards black migrants from Africa (in the latest of a series of measures designed to coerce Eritrean and Sudanese migrants to leave Israel, rules were introduced earlier this year requiring asylum seekers to deposit 20 per cent of their earnings in a fund, to be repaid to them only if, and when, they leave the country).

If Zionism and anti-Semitism can coincide, then – according to the law of contradiction – anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism are not reducible one to the other. Of course it’s true that in certain instances anti-Zionism can and does overlap with anti-Semitism, but this in itself doesn’t tell us much, since a variety of views and ideologies can coincide with anti-Semitism. You can be a capitalist, or a socialist or a libertarian, and still be an anti-Semite, but the fact that anti-Semitism can be aligned with such diverse ideologies as well as with anti-Zionism tells us practically nothing about it or them. Yet, despite the clear distinction between anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism, several governments, as well as think tanks and non-governmental organisations, now insist on the notion that anti-Zionism is necessarily a form of anti-Semitism. The definition adopted by the current UK government offers 11 examples of anti-Semitism, seven of which involve criticism of Israel – a concrete manifestation of the way in which the new understanding of anti-Semitism has become the accepted view. Any reproach directed towards the state of Israel now assumes the taint of anti-Semitism.

One idiosyncratic but telling instance of the ‘new anti-Semitism’ took place in 2005 during Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza. When soldiers came to evacuate the eight thousand Jewish settlers who lived in the region, some of the settlers protested by wearing yellow stars and insisting they would not ‘go like sheep to the slaughter’. Shaul Magid, the chair of Jewish Studies at Indiana University, points out that by doing so, the settlers cast the Israeli government and the Israeli military as anti-Semitic. In their eyes, the government and soldiers deserved to be called anti-Semites not because they hate Jews, but because they were implementing an anti-Zionist policy, undermining the project of settling the so-called greater Israel. This representation of decolonialisation as anti-Semitic is the key to a proper understanding of what is at stake when people are accused of the ‘new anti-Semitism’. When the professor from Haifa University branded me an anti-Semite, I wasn’t his real target. People like me are attacked on a regular basis, but we are considered human shields by the ‘new anti-Semitism’ machine. Its real target is the Palestinians.

There is an irony here. Historically, the fight against anti-Semitism has sought to advance the equal rights and emancipation of Jews. Those who denounce the ‘new anti-Semitism’ seek to legitimate the discrimination against and subjugation of Palestinians. In the first case, someone who wishes to oppress, dominate and exterminate Jews is branded an anti-Semite; in the second, someone who wishes to take part in the struggle for liberation from colonial rule is branded an anti-Semite. In this way, Judith Butler has observed, ‘a passion for justice’ is ‘renamed as anti-Semitism’.[54]

The Israeli government needs the ‘new anti-Semitism’ to justify its actions and to protect it from international and domestic condemnation. Anti-Semitism is effectively weaponised, not only to stifle speech – ‘It does not matter if the accusation is true,’ Butler writes; its purpose is ‘to cause pain, to produce shame, and to reduce the accused to silence’ – but also to suppress a politics of liberation. The non-violent BDS campaign against Israel’s colonial project and rights abuses is labelled anti-Semitic not because the proponents of BDS hate Jews, but because it denounces the subjugation of the Palestinian people. This highlights a further disturbing aspect of the ‘new anti-Semitism’. Conventionally, to call someone ‘anti-Semitic’ is to expose and condemn their racism; in the new case, the charge ‘anti-Semite’ is used to defend racism, and to sustain a regime that implements racist policies.[55]

The renowned prize-winning Peruvian writer Mario Llosa Vargas and a laureate of the prestigious Jerusalem Prize have made the following observation, "only the dissidents will save the State of Israel."[56]

Edward C. Corrigan is certified as a specialist by the Law Society of Upper Canada in Citizenship, Immigration and Immigration and Refugee Law.

  1. “UN votes 151-6 against Israel, an ‘occupying power’ with no rights to Jerusalem," United With Israel,
    Dec 1, 2017. Link at
  2. “Vast Numbers of Progressive California Jews Are Disengaging From Israel, Survey Finds: Only a minority of young Jews in San Francisco’s Bay Area believe a Jewish state is important and only a third sympathize more with Israel than the Palestinians,” by Judy Maltz, Haaretz, Feb 14, 2018. Link found at See also "Realization Is Growing That American Jews and Israel No Longer Share a Moral and Ethical Worldview," by Allan C. Brownfeld, Issues, Spring - Summer 2017. Link found at; See also "Netanyahu does not speak for all American Jews (COMMENTARY)," by Rebecca Vilkomerson, Washington Post, 25 February 2015 link at
  3. "American Jews Have Never Needed Israel," by Michael Robin , Forward, 21 February 2018. Link located at
  4. "Israelis sue New Zealanders over Lorde boycott," by Tia Goldenberg, Associated Press, Jan. 31, 2018.
  5. "Israel anti-boycott law an attack on freedom of expression," Amnesty International Release, 12 July 2011, 00:00 UTC. Link found at
  6. “Israel Anti-Boycott Law an Attack on Freedom of Expression,” Amnesty International Press Release, 12 July 2011. Link at
  7. “Israel to apply anti-BDS law to Amnesty International, by Sean Savage JNS, Cleveland Jewish News, February 16, 2018​. Link at
  8. "Federal judge blocks Kansas law punishing BDS supporters,” by Jesse Rubin, Mondoweiss, January 30, 2018. Link downloaded on February 12, 2018 found at
  9. Palestine Legal Press Release, February 08, 2018, Victory! Anti-Boycott Measure Defeated in Massachusetts.
  10. "Ontario Court of Appeal confirms $80,000 libel judgment against Ezra Levant: Saskatchewan lawyer brought suit in response to blog posts," by Alex Robinson, Canadian Lawyer, January 6, 2017.
  11. “BDS movement nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.” On February 8, 2018 .Norwegian parliamentarian Bjørnar Moxnes officially nominated the BDS movement for Palestinian rights for a Nobel Peace Prize. He did so with the support of his party, the progressive Rødt (Red) Party, explaining why BDS “should be supported without reservation by all democratically-minded people and states.” Mondoweiss, 8 February, 2018
  12. “New president seeks to cure ‘epidemic’ of racism:” 'Israeli society is sick, and it is our duty to treat this disease' and ease tensions between Arabs and Jews, Rivlin tells academics,” by Ben Sales, The Times of Israel, 24 October 2014, Link at
  13. Ibid.
  14. “The World Is Sick of Israel and Its Insanities,” by Gideon Levy, Haaretz, Jun 26, 2014. Link at
  15. "Olmert: Discrimination against Arabs deliberate, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert says longtime discrimination against Israeli Arabs seeking public service posts deliberate; PM says that complete absence of Arab employees at Bank of Israel 'terrible'," by Sharon Roffe-Ofir|, YNet News, 11/12.2008. Link found at,7340,L-3622276,00.html. See also "Olmert Decries 'Deliberate and Insufferable' Discrimination Against Arabs: PM says state acting improperly by denying Arabs civil service jobs, despite equal opportunity laws," by Yoav Stern and Haaretz Correspondent, Haaretz, Nov 12, 2008. Link found at
  16. For example see, "Israelis shocked by racist football chants bringing shame to a once proud team," by Harriet Sherwood, The Guardian, 10 Feb 2013. Link found at; see also "Israel’s discrimination against its Arab citizens," Middle East Monitor, May 11, 2014 link at; Also see, “ No Time to Wait: Economic Discrimination Against Arab Towns Must be Fixed,” by Ron Gerlitz and Rawnak Natour, Jerusalem Post, November 23, 2016. Link at; also see "In Israel's official portrait, only Jewish lives matter," by Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man, +972 Magazine, April 30, 2017. Link found at
  17. “The Discriminatory Laws Database,” Adalah, 25/09/2017. Link found at
  18. ”10 Percent of Israeli Academics Labeled 'anti-Zionist' by Campus Watchdogs: Survey comes up with the names of more than 1,000 Israelis, 800 of whom are academics but also including authors, journalists, public intellectuals, and past and present cabinet ministers.” by Talila Nesher, Haaretz, ,Jan 22, 2012 . Link found at See also "Israeli Criticism of Zionism and the Treatment of Palestinians: The Politicians," by Edward C. Corrigan, Dissident Voice, July 30, 2010 at; and "Israeli Criticism of Zionism and of Israel's Treatment of the Palestinians: The Academics and Activists," Dissident Voice, August 21st, 2010found at
  19. See, “The Face of Israel's Far Right Wants to 'Abort' Palestinian Hope and he thinks Netanyahu is a coward. Meet Knesset Member Bezalel Smotrich, who envisions a Greater Israel where the Palestinian Authority doesn't exist and who believes Reform Jews and LGBT people are living a lie,” by Ravit Hecht, Haaretz, Dec 03, 2016. Link at
  20.  “In Israel, Growing Fascism and a Racism Akin to Early Nazism: They don’t wish to physically harm Palestinians. They only wish to deprive them of their basic human rights, such as self-rule in their own state and freedom from oppression," by Zeev Sternhell, Haaretz, Jan 19, 2018. Link at
  21. "The Implications of President Trump’s Jerusalem Ploy,” by Henry Siegman, The National Interest, January 23, 2018; Link at Quotes taken from “Struggle for equal rights for Palestinians is ‘right choice,’ and will lead to ‘significant exodus of Jews’ — Henry Siegman,” by Philip Weiss, Mondoweiss, January 27, 2018. Link found at
  22. Ibid.​
  23. "Justice Minister: Israel Must Keep Jewish Majority Even at the Expense of Human Rights: Minister Ayelet Shaked addressed the proposed nation-state law, contending that Israel as a Jewish state must administer equal civil but not national rights," by Revital Hovel, Haaretz, Feb 13, 2018. Link at See also "Gideon Levy calls out Israel’s fundamental, racist religion: Zionism, Israel/Palestine," by Jonathan Ofir, Mondoweiss, September 2, 2017 Link at There is an excellent discussion of this issue “Israel’s Justice Minister endorses apartheid — the Jewish state ‘at the expense of equality’ by Jonathan Ofir,  Mondoweiss, February 13, 2018. Link at
  24. "Israel's Minister of Truth: Israel Justice Minister Shaked said the truth loud and clear: Zionism contradicts human rights, and thus is indeed an ultranationalist, colonialist and perhaps racist movement," by Gideon Levy, Haaretz.  September 01, 2017. Link at  
  25. “You Can't Be a Jewish Muslim: Instead of bringing about the secularization of Judaism, Zionism turned religion into the central element of the definition of national identity, and turned the State of Israel into a tool of the religious redemption project,” by Lev Grinberg, Haaretz, Aug 23, 2010 1:58 AM. Link found at
  26. See population figures for Israel at “Demographics of Israel: Jewish and Non-Jewish Population of Israel-Palestine 1517 to the Present,” at
  27.  "Palestinian Population To Pass Jews by 2017 in Israel and Territories," Haaretz, January 2, 2016 reprinted in Forward link found at
  28. "Israel's Demographic Time-Bomb: An Arab-Majority State?" by Palash Ghosh. International Business Times, 02/01/12 See link at
  29. "Court nixes push for 'Israeli nationality,' by Jonathan Cook, Al Jazeera, 18 Oct 2013. Link at
  30. Ibid.
  31. Ibid.
  32. Ibid.
  33.  “Israel’s efforts to erase Palestinian history reflect ‘incremental genocide,’ Ehrenreich says,” by Philip Weiss, Mondoweiss, February 9, 2017. For another example of his views see, “Zionism is the problem,” by Ben Ehrenreich, Los Angeles Times, Mar 15, 2009. Link found at
  34. The ethnic cleansing of Palestinians, as well as the massacres, rapes and illegal confiscation of Palestinian property, is well documented by Israeli historians. Books published on the expulsion of the Palestinians by Israelis include Tom Segev, 1949. The First Israelis, (New York: Free Press MacMillan, 1986); Simcha Flapan, The Birth of Israel: Myths and Realities (New York: Pantheon Books, 1987); Benny Morris, The birth of the Palestinian refugee problem 1947-1949, (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1987); Avi Schlaim, Collusion across the Jordan: King Abdullah, the Zionist Movement and the Partition of Palestine, (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1988); Nur Masalha, Expulsion of the Palestinians, (Washington D.C.: Institute for Palestine Studies, 1992); Benjamin Beit-Hallahmi, Original Sins, (New York: Olive Branch Press, 1993); and Ilan Pappe, The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, (Oxford: Oneworld Publications, 2006). There are many more Israeli authorities that confirm the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians in 1947-1949 and again in 1967. See for example Ran Greenstein, “Dispossession in Palestine during the British Mandate Period,” Genealogies of Conflict: Class, Identity and State in Palestine/Israel and South Africa (Wesleyan University Press, 1995); Dominique Vidal, “Ten Years of Research into the 1947-49 War: The Expulsion of the Palestinians Re-examined,” Le Monde diplomatique, December, 1997; see also Avi Shlaim, “The Debate About 1948” in Ilan Pappé (editor), The Israel/Palestine Question: Rewriting Histories (Routledge, 1999); Eitan Bronstein, “The Nakba — an Event that Did Not Occur (Although It Had to Occur),” 2004 posted by Nakba, In Hebrew, on December14, 2005,”; and also, Shlomo Ben-Ami, “A War to Start All Wars: Will Israel Ever Seal the Victory of 1948?” Foreign Affairs, September/October 2008. Shlomo Ben-Ami was Israel’s foreign minister in 2000-2001. He is vice president of the Toledo International Center for Peace, in Spain, and the author of Scars of War, Wounds of Peace: The Israeli-Arab Tragedy; “When Israel Expelled Palestinians,” Randall Kuhn, The Washington Times, January 14, 2009; and Carol Cook “The Nakba,” Haaretz, July 5, 2009.
  35. “A softer touch on the Nakba.” by Akiva Eldar, Haaretz, January 24, 2012. Link found at
  36. "Olmert Blasts Netanyahu's Foreign Policy Warns of Risk of Apartheid in Israel," Haaretz, Oct 02, 2015. See link at See also "Barak: make peace with Palestinians or face apartheid," by Rory McCarthy, The Guardian, 3 Feb 2010. Link found at https//
  37. See "Israel and Apartheid: Is It a Fair Comparison?," by Edward C. Corrigan, Dissident Voice, March 1, 2010 Link found at
  38. “Richard Falk speaks on Israel and the question of apartheid,” by Eric A. Gordon, Peoples World, February 9, 2018. Link found at
  39. Ibid.
  40. Ibid. The Report, “Israeli Practices towards the Palestinian People and the Question of Apartheid, was released March 15, 2017, under the aegis of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia. It can be found at the following link.
  41. “Is Israel an Apartheid State?” by Seraj Assi, Foreign Policy Journal, April 7, 2017. Link found at
  42. "Israel’s First Lady of Human Rights: A Conversation with Shulamit Aloni," Democracy Now, August 14, 2002. Link at’s.
  43. Transcript of interview with Shulamit Aloni found at
  44. Joel Beinin, “Silencing Critics Not Way to Middle East Peace,” San Francisco Chronicle, February 4, 2007. Link at
  45. Facing Serious Damage to its Image, Israel Must Smear its Critics as Anti-Semites," by Moshé Machover, Information Clearing House, January 18, 2018. See link at
  46. “Redefining Anti-Semitism: An Effort to Silence Criticism of Israel,” by Allan C. Brownfeld, Issues, Winter 2018. The American Council for Judaism web site is found at The site contains many interesting articles.
  47. “Israel’s Exploitation of Anti-Semitism in Combatting BDS," by Richard Silverstein, Tikun Olam, May 14, 2017. Link found at
  48. "Glenn Greenwald Was Never Bar Mitzvahed," Haaretz,, May 15, 2014 Link found at
  49.  Glenn Greenwald on Twitter: 6:43 AM - 17 Nov 2016 "The opposite of an anti-semite: he's a ... Link found at
  50. "TNR's ugly and reckless anti-semitism games," by Glenn Greenwald, Salon, February 9, 2010. Link found at's_ugly_and_reckless_anti-semitism_games.
  51. Ibid.
  52. "Fighting Israeli Occupying Forces Is “Terrorism.” Boycotting Is “Anti-Semitism.” What’s Allowed?” by Glenn Greenwald, The Intercept, April 3, 2016. Link located at
  53. For example see the collection of essays found in "On Antisemitism, Solidarity and the Struggle for Justice," by Jewish Voice for Peace, Foreword by Judith Butler, Introduction by Rebecca Vilkomerson, (Haymarket Books, March. 27, 2017). See link at
  54. The quote is taken from Judith Butler’s foreword to On Anti-Semitism: Solidarity and the Struggle for Justice, a collection of essays assembled by Jew­­ish Voices for Peace (Haymarket, 271 pp., April 2017). Butler also wrote about Criticism of Israel’s policies and anti-Semitism in "No, it’s not anti-semitic," by Judith Butler, The London Review of Books,  Vol. 25 No. 16 · 21 August 2003. The link is found at
  55. “The ‘New Anti-Semitism’: Conventionally, to call someone ‘anti-Semitic’ is to expose and condemn their racism; in the new case, the charge ‘anti-Semite’ is used to defend racism, and to sustain a regime that implements racist policies,” by Neve Gordon, London Review of Books,  Vol. 40 No. 01 · 4 January 2018. Link at neve-gordon/the-new-anti-semitism
  56. "A Writer's Reality: Prolific author Mario Llosa Vargas' next series of articles will focus on his harsh impressions during an almost-secret visit to the dark backyard of the Israeli occupation without an army spokesman, without the Foreign Ministry," by Gideon Levy, Haaretz, September 15, 2005.  Link can be found at

blog comments powered by Disqus

Subscribe via RSS or Email:

The Importance of the Separation of Religion and State

While underscoring the impor...

Read More

Birthright Citizenship – Just and Justified

“All persons born or natural...

Read More

Bolsonaro: A monster engineered by our media

This is now the default consen...

Read More

Let’s Stop the Merchants of Death

Imagine that back in the day...

Read More

The Insidious Wiles of Foreign Influence: Trump, Bin Salman, and Netanyahu

Even if the Saudi monarchy o...

Read More

Brett Kavanaugh and Mohammad bin Salman

I find it fascinating that P...

Read More

Most Read Articles

Most Read News


Thanks to all of our supporters for your generosity and your encouragement of an independent press!

Enter Amount:



Login reminder Forgot login?


Subscribe to MWC News Alert

Email Address

Subscribe in a reader Facebok page Twitter page

Israel pounds Gaza

India's Kerala state devastated

Capturing life under apartheid