Tony Greenstein | 21 January 2015 | Post Views:

Creating a Climate of Fear – the Invention
of anti-Semitism

No sooner than 3 reactionary lunatics had murdered 17
people in France, including journalists on Charlie Hebdo and 4 Jewish people in
a kosher supermarket, then Benjamin Netanyahu was on the scene.  What was Netanyahu’s message to the Jews of France?  To offer comfort, to encourage them to stand
up to anti-Semitism, to promise that Israel will in future make it clear that
its genocidal attacks on the Palestinians have nothing to do with diaspora Jewish

Coubillay –  supermarket killerPerish the thought. 
Like a parasitic leech, Netanyahu sought to complete the work of Amedy Coulibaly, who killed the shoppers in the
supermarket solely because they were Jewish. 
The true home of French Jews was Israel, a sentiment that every anti-Semite
will agree with.  Once again Zionism demonstrates
that it is the hand that fits into the anti-Semitic glove.
In fact the millions who demonstrated in Paris and
elsewhere in France proved the complete opposite.  That anti-Semitism has shallow roots today in
France.  It showed that this is equally
true of the Muslim community and the outpouring of praise for Lassana Bathily,
who hid Jewish shoppers in the freezers of the supermarket, demonstrates that
the mass condemnation of the 3 killers is not a condemnation of Muslims, despite
the attempts of politicians such as Nigel Farage, Marine Le Pen and David
Cameron to do exactly that.
Lassana-Bathily – hero of kosher supermarket

The official attempt to translate the
outpouring of public outrage for what has happened into a condemnation of ‘terrorism’
has been less than successful.  Reporters without Borders  condemned the hypocrisy of the world leaders:

“On what grounds are representatives of regimes that are
predators of press freedom coming to Paris to pay tribute to Charlie Hebdo, a
publication that has always defended the most radical concept of freedom of

“Reporters Without Borders is appalled by the presence
of leaders from countries where journalists and bloggers are systematically
persecuted such as Egypt (which is ranked 159th out of 180 countries in RWB’s
press freedom index), Russia (148th), Turkey (154th) and United Arab Emirates (118th).”

Countries like Egypt and Bahrain torture
journalists yet they were welcomed on a march in support of press freedom!  Equally hypocritical has been the French government which
has used the attack on Charlie Hebdo, not to defend freedom of speech but to
restrict it.  Palestinian marches have
been banned in France and those who attend them face a year or more
imprisonment.  Clearly the lessons learnt
by some in the West is that freedom of speech is only worth defending when you
agree with them.
I am confident that despite a spike in the emigration of French
Jews to Israel (it is estimated that 10,000 will go this year) that the vast
majority of them will stay.  After all,
there is no more dangerous place on Earth if you are Jewish than Israel.
The newly formed Zionist group, Campaign Against anti-Semitism, has been quick to exploit the situation, too quick.  It took to using a rigged poll, in which people were invited to say that today’s Britain reminded them of the 1930’s (it is doubtful that many of the respondents were around then or even know what it was like) and half agreed.  Likewise the finding that a quarter of British Jews are thinking of moving to Israel is another piece of invented nonsense.  The Jewish Chronicle opinion poll ‘JC poll reveals 88 per cent of British Jews have not considered leaving UK’ which was scientifically valid, shows that 88% of Jews have no intention of leaving the UK.  No doubt this is very disappointing to the Zionist fanatics of the CAA.  It is also no doubt disappointing to the rank opportunists and hypocrites of the Tory-Lib.Dem. government, not least our very own racist Home Secretary  Theresa May.  She took advantage of the CAA poll, knowing nothing about it or its defects, to suggest that she was shocked that Jews were considering leaving Britain because of anti-Semitism, just as her fellow Cabinet member, Eric Pickles, was asking Muslims to prove that being a Muslim was compatible with a British identity.

Once again ‘anti-Semitism’ is being used in pursuit of a racist agenda.

Tony Greenstein  
– Jim Cohen, Paris
Thursday 15 January 2015
Bureau National de l’UJFP – The
National Bureau of the French Jewish Union for Peace
In the past several days we have experienced the same repeated shocks as
all our fellow citizens. As Jews we were profoundly upset by the horrible attack
carried out on Jews only because they were Jews. This can only evoke memories
of the worst periods of Judaism in France. All we believe in as activists,
citizens, and human beings, and all that we struggle for – the value of life,
equality among human beings, and ta’ayush (living together) – was
trampled in the editorial office of a magazine and in a kosher market. We are
convinced that freedom of expression is a fundamental value of any democratic
society and that it must be defended at all costs against obscurantist
We are also conscious of the rise of a formidable anti-semitism in
France. But we seek to analyze it and understand its causes, because like all
racisms it breeds blindness, hatred and bloodshed. For years our association
has been denouncing the trap set for French Jews and it is important to
describe this trap again in the wake of this murderous attack.
This trap has been laid by several different instances, at several
different levels, yet not without coordination. It began with Ariel Sharon’s
provocations on the esplanade of the  al-Aqsa Mosque, which unleashed a
second Intifada in 2000. The Israeli government decided that France, which is
home to the largest Jewish community of Europe, was a necessary and
indispensable tool of its policies. The executive arms of these instances in
France was made of the Israeli embassy, the Jewish Agency and the CRIF, that
is, the so-called representative council of Jewish institutions in France.
Their aim is to embark all Jews of France in a current of unconditional support
to all actions of the Israeli government, including the worst. The CRIF seeks
to impose the image of a totally homogeneous Jewish community in full support
of a flawless Zionism and unequivocal support to the regime’s actions.
The same mission is then pursued within the network of secular Jewish
associations, from which our organization was bound quickly to be ejected
because the orthodoxy says there is no salvation outside Zionism. To imagine a
collectivity of nearly 600,000 French Jews speaking with a single voice is just
as stupid and insane as attributing a similar unanimity to five or six million
Muslims, among whom there are, obviously, religious observers, secular or
otherwise and in varying degrees, and even a few friends of Zionism! Such
reasoning promotes the assimilation, in everyone’s mind, between Jews and
support for Israeli policy whatever it may be. And this is policy which
occupies, colonizes and kills Palestinian Arabs every day. 
Israel’s successive governments have addressed themselves over the same
period of time to French Jews, urging them to leave France, with all its
supposedly anti-semitic Muslims, and make their aliyah to Israel.
To complete the picture, there is a family of French intellectuals who
espouse a “clash-of-civilizations” view of the world. Caroline Fourest,
Pierre-André Taguieff, Jacques Tarnéro, Alain Finkielkraut and others lead the
charge both against Islam and for Zionism. Successive French governments, for
their part, have continually confused legitimate criticism of Israel and
Zionism with anti-semitism and racism. Most French media have taken up the same
chorus. After the massacre of Toulouse in March 2012, one could even hear some
journalists who, when speaking of Israel to Jewish citizens of France in front
of the school targeted by the assassin, called it “your country”. And let us
not forget the Rufin report on racism and anti-semitism (2004), which called
for penalization of anti-Zionism, described as a new form of anti-semitism.  
Into this trap, many Jews have fallen, given their emotional and
familial ties and their identification with Israel, and given Israel’s history
as presented in Zionist mythology. Little by little they have become the
potential “representatives” in France of the Israeli soldier or the Israeli
settler, abandoning their critical judgment in the heat of increasingly
problematic confrontations. They have at the same time sacrificed their own
capacity for empathy with others, including occupied peoples, people deprived
of all their rights and subjected to massacres as in Gaza last summer. Their
only concern is to preserve at any cost this “small, fragile state surrounded
by enemies” and alone capable, they believe, of protecting them from
Any criticism of that state has thus been defined as an act of
anti-semitism; any meeting in solidarity with Palestine becomes a gathering of
fanatics who are seen as a threat to them personally. Local Jewish communities,
at the urging of the CRIF, have thus tried to prohibit such meetings, thereby
reinforcing the animosity against themselves. The vicious cycle is only
reinforced over time; each new attack on the occupied territories only worsens
the tensions and contributes to the syndrome of sectarian withdrawal.
In these same years, the social crisis has deepened in the working-class
districts where Jews, Arabs and Africans could often be found together in the
same public housing, confronting similar difficulties. In these ghettos of
poverty, the young French post-colonial citizen who undergoes job
discrimination and is prevented from entering certain night clubs because of
his physical appearance, tends to identify with that last non-decolonized
pocket of the Arab world – oppressed Palestine. Sometimes he wears the keffieh,
a symbol of resistance. Each time he seeks to express his solidarity, his free
speech is infringed upon and assimilated to anti-semitism.
His wish to take part in political debate is thereby negated, rejected
and likened to racism. He’s designated as the racist one, in addition to having
to undergo racism and social exclusion as a black or an Arab. Little by little
a resentment develops within him against that community which the government
claims to protect against him and the likes of him. (It may be noted in passing
that Jews are recognized as a legitimate community while the pejorative term “communautarisme”,
with strong connotations of “clannishness”, is reserved for others, Muslims in
And do not wearers of skullcaps also often bear the insignia of the
Israeli paratroopers? They can demonstrate without fear their support for the
Israeli army and its massacres in Gaza, and can even take part in those actions
– the French government and the national press will say the same nice things
about him as about “Operation Protective Edge”. They’re on the side of the good
guys’: they’re white and western and have the law of the strongest in their
favor. Violent groups such as the Jewish Defense League may insult Palestine
and Arabs, beat them up and commit acts of vandalism and never be brought to
justice; the police just watch them and remain silent, as we witnessed in July
2014 near the synagogue on Paris’ rue de la Roquette (there are plenty of
videos to prove what actually occurred).
At the same time young Arabs were not allowed to demonstrate for Gaza.
We cannot forget that young man who was arrested – like others, on the basis of
his appearance – while on the sidelines of a demonstration this past summer and
as he was leaving for home, simply because he was wearing a keffieh? He was
struck by a police office and was sent immediately to a hearing before a judge.
A journalist from Libération, witness to the scene, saw the young man
break into tears before a partial and inflexible judge and wrote an angry
article. The young man was sentenced to three months in prison and it still
today under house arrest with an electronic bracelet in his outlying suburb.
The French justice system operates with a double standard:
stigmatization for some to the dubious benefit of others, thanks to an official
discourse which depicts the Arab world as the backward, barbaric, terrorist
Axis of Evil, while Israel is a model of democracy; young Arabs and Africans
are painted as potential dangers to society while Jews are a protected
category, fully integrated into a West recently redefined as Judeo-Christian.
Here too is a source of anger.
The powerlessness of those unable to transcend their miserablecondition
has sent hundreds of youths of all horizons – even a handful of Jews it seems –
into the arms of IS and al-Qaeda. Thus the trap closes shut. Jews, reduced to a
homogenous body, will be taken to task for all these injustices, humiliations,
muzzlings, and all that arrogance displayed while under the protection of
successive French governments: don’t touch our Jews, you eternal foreigners,
you barbarians unassimilable into our republic. 
If you can’t harm Israel, some tell themselves, at least you can try to
harm its Jewish supporters. The festering wound of the Palestinian question,
unresolved because the powerful of the world refuse to resolve it, contributes
to the emergence of a desperate and suicidal terrorism.
A powerful mechanism for assigning people to their supposed identities
of origin has arisen in the context of the post-1989 world. The Jews of Europe,
and those of France in particular, have served as footsoldiers in this new
It is with a sense of gravity that we undertake to remind our fellow
Jews that we are French; we can live at home here and be “happy like Jews in
France” (according to an old saying transformed by historian Elie Barnavi), and
we can achieve this happiness with our fellow citizens of all origins. The
importation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is of your doing because you
have been manipulated into serving an unjust cause. The rising terrorism of IS
and al-Qaeda, against which we must all struggle because it is a murderous and
suicidal dead-end, will require us to wage struggles in common against all
forms of racism and exclusion and for the expression of opinions in all their
diversity – including those of Muslim and Jews – in a spirit of exchange and
dialogue. Freedom of expression cannot be limited to a single world view.
The National Bureau of the UJFP – France
Jewish Union for Peace – 15 January 2015
Date 14
Jan 2015
‘… the claim in the report, for example, that “more than
half of all British Jews feel that antisemitism now echoes the 1930s” verges
into irresponsible territory – it is an incendiary finding, and there is simply
no way to ascertain whether or not it is accurate. Moreover, the very inclusion
of such a question in the survey, which most credible scholars of the Holocaust
utterly refute, was a dubious decision in and of itself, and raises issues
about the organisers’ pre-existing hypotheses and assumptions. Professional
social researchers build credible surveys and analyse the data with an open
mind; the CAA survey falls short both in terms of its methodology and its
unfortunately, the organisation’s survey about antisemitism is littered with
flaws, and in the context of a clear need for accurate data on this topic, its
work may even be rather irresponsible.
report is based on two surveys – one of Jews living in the UK, exploring their
perceptions and experiences of antisemitism, and one of the general population
of the UK, exploring its attitudes towards Jews.
In the
first one, the data about Jewish attitudes are based on an open web survey that
had very limited capacity to assess whether respondents were in any way
representative of the British Jewish population. So the percentages quoted are
of survey respondents, not of Jews in the UK. The findings might be
representative of the Jewish community in some way, but it is at least equally
likely that they are not. Unfortunately, due to quite basic methodological
flaws and weaknesses, there is absolutely no way the researchers or any readers
of the report can really know.
second survey, conducted by YouGov, is much better – the results are certainly
broadly representative of the UK population. ….
A far
more accurate and honest read of the YouGov data would highlight the fact that
between 75% and 90% of people in Britain either do not hold antisemitic views
or have no particular view of Jews either way, and only about 4% to 5% of
people can be characterised as clearly antisemitic when looking at individual
measures of antisemitism. This figure is similar to Pew data gathered in 2009
and 2014 which estimated the level of antisemitic attitudes at somewhere
between 2% and 7%, and Anti-Defamation League data gathered in 2014 which,
while also flawed, put it at 8%, and, more robustly, identified the UK as among
the least antisemitic countries in the world. It is possible that the
proportion has risen in light of the summer’s events in Gaza (and those
interested should look out for the next results from the Pew Global Attitudes
Survey), but the notion that it has risen to such a significant degree seems to
be highly implausible.
15, 2015 Rabbi Janner-Klausner
British Jews, alongside their neighbours, defeated the Nazi-affiliated British
Union of Fascists, who wanted to free the country of foreigners “be they Hebrew
or any other form of alien”, dispersing their three thousand-strong rally.
Jewish workers ensured the “Blackshirts” were the only aliens on British turf.
The so-called Battle of Cable Street took place in 1936.
the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism claimed that more than half of
anti-Semitism in Britain now echoes that decade, the 1930s. The survey reported
that almost half of Jews fear they have no future in Britain, while a quarter
have thought about leaving the country.
The findings
depict a Jewish community of fear and fatalism, but they worried me for another
reason. They demonstrated a disconnect between a particular perception of
Jewish life — and the lived experiences of most British Jews. I was not alone.
Yesterday, British Jews publicly rejected the “Fortress Judaism” narrative and
the self-definition of Jewish life through perceived danger and discrimination.

77% of us have witnessed
antisemitism disguised as a political comment about Israel. 82% believe
antisemitism is fuelled by biased coverage of Israel. 84% find
boycotts of Israeli businesses intimidatory. Powerful statistics to add to a
press complaint or meeting with the local police about a boycott protest.
In the
summer of 2014, as Israel and Hamas battled, all over the UK antisemitic
chants were bellowed at protests, boycotters threw kosher goods out of
supermarkets, Jews were assaulted and intimidated in the streets
and social networks were used to regurgitate ancient antisemitic
prejudice. Antisemitic incidents in Britain reached their highest recorded
level. London alone saw its worst ever month for hate crime, 95% of it

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