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Seattle’s Israel Lobby Falls Prey to Anti-BDS Hysteria

seattle anti bds rally

Seattle’s anti-BDS pep rally

Tonight I had the privilege of hearing Maya Wind and Eran Efrati give an excellent talk about their activism in Anarchists Against the Wall.  I learned from a local JVP leader that the organized Jewish community of Seattle plans an event that betrays the level of hysteria and paranoia to which pro-Israel advocates are subject.  The sponsors are calling it: Anti-Israel BDS Campaign: Bad for Israel, A Threat to Jews in Seattle and Beyond.

The notion that BDS has any impact on Jews in Seattle (other than losing the privilege of buying nine Israeli products at the Olympia Food Coop), let alone is a threat to them, is highly debatable.  But this is part of the pandering style of the Israel Lobby.  Take an issue of marginal importance.  Blow it up into monumental significance and tell Jews that their very lives depend on fighting it.  Whether its intermarriage, anti-Semitism or BDS, the MO is always the same.

I’m frankly shocked that even J Street and the New Israel Fund, the purported left-wing of the Jewish community have sponsored this shrey-fest.  But one should be less and less surprised at the failings of the liberal Zionists.  They temporize on every major moral issue concerning Israel.

I found it instructive that the pro-Israel Jewish Council for Public Affairs endorsed J Street’s effort to join the Conference of Presidents of Jewish Organizations with this encomium:

Both Raffel and Gutow cited J Street’s cooperation with JCPA in lobbying left-leaning mainline Protestant churches to reject divestment campaigns targeting Israel. Raffel said the importance of J Street lay in part in building a “firewall” between the anti-Israel left and the left in general. “Who better to do that than the Zionist left?” he asked.

It’s the old divide and conquer technique on which so much of the success of the British empire was staked.  In this context, the Israel Lobby divides the left by identifying for us the good and bad left.  It’s like the Lobby trying to tell us who the good and bad Muslims are.  It’s shameful, but especially for liberal Zionists like J Street, New Israel Fund and many others like them to buy into it.

The keynote speaker will be Ari Shavit, one of Haaretz’s right-wing columnists.  Shavit has just written a book with the catchy title, My Promised Land, that is the darling the liberal American media including Charlie Rose and David Remnick’s New Yorker.  It’s what I call “shooting and crying” journalism.  In the book, Shavit bemoans the moral injustice of Nakba.  But in the end he finds it was necessary to ensure the birth and success of Israel.

In Israel, they’re less hoodwinked by his politics.  For example, even his publisher, Amos Schocken, grew exasperated with him and penned this critique: The Visible Rejectionism of Ari Shavit.  In it, he takes Shavit to task for endorsing the Likudist position that the Palestinians should publicly acknowledge that Israel is a Jewish state.

The flyer for Seattle event adds this largely fictional information about Shavit:

He is a leading voice from Israel’s political left. A frequent critic of Israel’s government, he is also one of Israel’s most vocal defenders.

Outside of Israel, however, Shavit faces increasingly ugly rhetoric, being called a “war criminal” and worse simply because he’s a Jewish Israeli. Shavit believes the BDS campaign vilifies not only Israel, but Jews and the Jewish community in general.

If Shavit was ever on Israel’s left, he hasn’t been for decades.  I know he used to be a Peace Now colleague of Avrum Burg, but that goes back to the 1980s.  To call someone a “leading voice of the left” because of views he held 35 years ago is preposterous.

As for the “ugly rhetoric” Shavit allegedly faces, the author of this flyer conveniently omits any source so we don’t know whether the claim is true.  And if it is, we don’t know whether David Duke, Ali Abunimah or the Dalai Lama called him a war criminal.  Further, the claim that he was attacked using these terms because he is a “Jewish Israeli” is nonsense.  Shavit ultimately justified Nakba and that is but one of the reasons he’s being excoriated.  These are political arguments and categories.  They have nothing to do with religion.  To confuse the two as the Israel Lobby does, is to play fast and loose with political reality.  If they want to fight against what they allege as Muslim hatred of Israel, they ought to stop using the same terms Islamists do.

Also addressing the event will be an African-American minister from Detroit who believes BDS is “anti-Jewish.”  Apparently the Israel Lobby cultivate African-Americans like Kenneth Flowers and Chloe Valdary who are experts on the subject of anti-Semitism.  They’re so learned that pro-Israel Jews look to them to tell them which Jews are anti-Semitic.  Had I not read Chloe Valdary calling distinguished UC Berkeley Prof. Judith Butler a Nazi, I’d never have known of the latter’s perfidy.

It never ceases to amaze me how much validation Israel advocates need from non-Jews for their racist ultra-nationalist views.  Because Jews have a liberal reputation, the organizers of this event apparently believe having an African-American minister confirm their prejudices make these views kosher.  It should be no surprise that Flowers is a darling of Aipac and spoke at its last national conference.  Valdary didn’t get to address the believers, though her pals at CAMERA and StandWithUs likely paid her way to attend.  She’s only playing Class A ball.  But she’s a promising prospect who can expect a promotion to the ‘Bigs’ if she keeps swinging the bat well against those nasty anti-Semites in the BDS movement.

The last time Seattle’s Jewish community organized one of these alarmist gatherings, they were trying to gin up hysteria about Iran’s threat to Israel.  In fact, they held that event in the same place they’re holding this one: Temple De Hirsh Sinai.  At that time, I organized an educational program that brought experts on Iran and Israel’s relations with it to discuss the issues with dispassion and moderation. This anti-BDS hysteria calls for a similar response.

As an aside, the Jewish Federation has applied the tag “anti-Semitism” to this page on its website.

{ 55 comments… add one }
  • Jackdaw April 25, 2014, 2:40 AM

    BDS does not want the State of Israel to exist. Period.
    Therefore, BDS is more a threat to the Jews of France, who are now making aliyah in record numbers. The religious Jews of France are coming to Israel ‘because they cannot live as Jews’ in France.
    Eventually, non-religious French Jews will become the targets in France, and they will have to make aliyah too.

    • Oui April 25, 2014, 4:09 AM

      Steinberg on the cheap, using a crow?

    • Aaron April 25, 2014, 6:40 AM

      Jackdaw, your incoherent brain fart claims on the one hand that BDS causes French Jews to immigrate yet at the same time you are implying that it’s a good thing because even non-religious French Jews will immigrate to Israel. Does that mean you support BDS? I have read many retarded comments by Zionists but yours seem to top them all.

      • Jackdaw April 25, 2014, 7:24 AM


        I never said that BDS is causing French Jews to leave.

        He who smelt it…..

      • Richard Silverstein April 25, 2014, 6:24 PM

        @Aaron: Amen to that brother.

    • Richard Silverstein April 25, 2014, 6:23 PM

      @ Jackdaw: Another comment rule: do NOT publish opinions that aren’t supported by evidence. You’ve made an absolutely false claim about BDS. Either you will provide credible support for this claim within 24 hours or you will withdraw it. Here. If you do not provide credible proof or withdraw the claim, you will be banned.

      BDS is more a threat to the Jews of France, who are now making aliyah in record numbers.

      Not only is this a non sequitur since there is no connection between BDS and the Jews of France, this is grossly OFF-TOPIC. Also the claim about aliyah in “record numbers” is misleading. There is an uptick in aliyah from France. The increase is incremental & not as dramatic as you attempt to make it out to be.

      Eventually, non-religious French Jews will become the targets in France, and they will have to make aliyah too.

      This is nothing but a steeping heap of bullshit served up as pro-Israel propaganda. I find you offensive. I don’t mind disagreements, but when arguments lose track of reality and travel into hasbara-bizarro-world, the whole enterprise becomes puerile.

  • Oui April 25, 2014, 4:26 AM
    • Davey April 26, 2014, 9:32 PM

      See Finkelstein’s dissection of “My Promised Land” entitled something about “same wine, different bottles”…?

  • Daniel April 25, 2014, 1:48 PM

    Errata:Please note that the Iran event referenced took place at Town Hall, not Temple De Hirsch Sinai

    • Richard Silverstein April 25, 2014, 3:14 PM

      The event I organized took place at Town Hall. The Jewish communal event took place at De Hirsch.

      • Daniel April 26, 2014, 12:32 PM

        Indeed you are correct …I misread

  • Elisabeth April 26, 2014, 4:47 AM

    I thought that it was perhaps this incident that took place in France in 2004 that inspired the story:
    I remember how Muslim-hater Sylvain Ephimenco was all over it for days in the newspaper Trouw, and when it turned out the girl had made the story up, he never apologised for all he had written.

  • Davey April 27, 2014, 12:58 PM

    @Richard I do not confuse “Jew” and “Israeli” at all. Israel created a citizenship to ape democratic values — i.e. government exists to serve the people of the geographic state, once those people were largely Jewish. But then Israel goes a step further and creates a “nationality” that exists outside the state’s borders and this nationality is “Jewish.” With the “Law of the Return”, the state was not simply an administrative utility for its citizens but a super entity created and served by “nationals” located anywhere. I do not confuse the two (Israeli and Jew) by conflating them for the purpose of making a point about Zionist enterprise.

    • Richard Silverstein April 27, 2014, 6:53 PM

      @ Davey: You conflate Jews, Judaism, Israel & Zionism regularly. Just because classical Zionists conflate Israel with Judaism does not mean you may assume that their doing so entitles you to do so. It doesn’t. Yet you do it regularly. If you feel you do not, then either you don’t read carefully or are confused.

      • Davey April 28, 2014, 1:37 AM

        I conflate Jewish and Israeli as per the actual framework in place in Israel, in order to to demonstrate the contradiction of pursuing a Jewish “nationality” in a “democratic” state. I attempt to show that :Jewish” is not a nationality like “French” for example. Now you say I’m not “entitled” to adopt this conflation for rhetorical purposes.

        It is perfectly plausible that some Jews felt relatively comfortable and safe in the ghettos but I cannot say so short of advanced academic work. I’d even go so far as to suggest that ghettos were neither good nor bad, but were an adaptation of the times. So I am not entitled and not credentialed and also borderline “anti-semitic,” the sum of the responses to my comments.

        But, I am not careless or stupid and it is beneath you (Richard) to avail yourself of such insults especially as I have never taken such a tact with anyone here, including yourself.

        • Richard Silverstein April 28, 2014, 2:31 AM

          It is perfectly plausible that some Jews felt relatively comfortable and safe in the ghettos but I cannot say so

          No, it isn’t plausible at all. It’s flies in the face of historical evidence and common sense. This idiotic statement is equivalent to Israelis arguing that Gazans have never had it so good under Israeli siege. This is a careless & stupid statement and that’s being charitable.

          You’re done in this thread. No more responses. You’re welcome to join other threads but I strongly urge you to avoid the gross generalizations and ahistorical claims you’ve made here.

  • Jackdaw April 25, 2014, 8:26 AM


    If BDS has it’s way, there will be no Israel and therefore no refuge for French Jews currently being persecuted by their Muslim countrymen.
    Therein lies the threat.

    If I came right out and said that French muslims are persecuting French Jews, than I’d run the risk that Richard would label me Islamophobic and start moderating my posts or ban me altogether.

  • Diane V. McLoughlin April 25, 2014, 11:06 AM

    Is Israel’s oppression of minorities a possible cause of strife in France? Israeli Muslims, and Christians, are persecuted by some Israeli Jews, aided and abetted by fringe Christian groups abroad. BDS is a peaceful movement for justice and human rights. Meanwhile, there are Jewish religious fanatics pushing it right to the wall, as it were, plotting to overtake Jerusalem’s Al Aqsa – Dome of the Rock, the third most holy site in Islam; Al Aqsa resides on shared ground with the Jewish most holy of sites, the Wailing Wall. The situation is explosive. I do not consider the region a safe haven for anybody. Every side has its share of fanatics – Jewish, Christian, Muslim. You will find Atheists, Agnostics, Jews, Christians and Muslims working in the BDS movement toward justice and peace for everybody based on human, civil and equal rights. It is a peaceful campaign to boycott Israeli goods produced in illegal Israeli settlements on stolen Palestinian property. End the illegal occupation. End all efforts to render the land ‘pure’. We should treat others as we would like to be treated ourselves. For anyone anywhere, that is the door most likely to lead to happiness.

  • Aaron April 25, 2014, 12:54 PM

    You should go to a doctor to check your brain flatulence. French Muslims are persecuting Jews? There is a Muslim President in France who confiscates Jews’ assets and lands like Israel is doing to Palestinians? Are Jews held as non-citizens in France under military rule like Israel is doing to Palestinians.
    I doubt a doctor could help you with your brain flatulence. You may need to see a therapist.

  • Richard Silverstein April 25, 2014, 6:28 PM

    @ Jackdaw:

    If BDS has it’s way, there will be no Israel

    Another steaming heap of bullshit. I’m waiting for that proof from you. The clock is ticking…

    French Jews currently being persecuted by their Muslim countrymen.

    Another false claim. Again, offer any credible proof of this false charge. No proof, you’re toast. And by “credible” I mean evidence from a source that is credible. Not hasbara or pro Israel propaganda.

    If I came right out and said that French muslims are persecuting French Jews,

    That’s precisely what you wrote in the paragraph preceding this one. Talk about a “brain fart.”

    You are about to be banned if you don’t clean up your act.

  • Davey April 25, 2014, 9:24 PM

    Jews persecuted in France? That’s rich — in France , Jews see to it that comedians have to tip toe around them, like everywhere in the Zionist West. French Jews like German Jews see to it that there are laws about what one can say about historical events. France is , in some important areas, controlled by its Jewish population, its FRENCH Jewish population. And, if these people are, as you seem to believe, also aliyah-prone Zionists, why are they in France in the first place? This is possible because they CAN be Jews and French nationals simultaneously, a legal courtesy Israeli Jews do NOT reciprocate to Frenchmen in general, do they? So much for “Jewish” as a “nationality.” A Jew can be a Frenchman, but a Frenchman can’t be a Jew, which is the “nationality” Israel claims for its real citizens, the ones living in Israel that Israeli laws do not discriminate against.

    BDS wants to change some Israeli policies, not the state or the population. BDS has a problem with Israeli Jews, not French Jews. BDS wants to help Israel become a state “like other states,” as Zionists always said they wanted, a place then, I guess, where a Frenchman CAN be a Jew etc. Just like other states, just like France.

    The “Jewish State” does not actually want to be “like other states.” Apparently, those founding fathers were just talking. Israel is the embodiment of separation from everyone else, the ultimate ghetto. Israel apparently wants to be special, the exception, because it believes Jews are special, a belief that probably accounts for the history of ghettos in Europe.

    “Jewish” is not a nationality and that’s what’s wrong with the whole Zionist project.

  • SimoHurtta April 26, 2014, 2:53 AM

    Jackdaw your “tribes” inbuilt ability to claim in your verbal output to be the victims in all possible situations is in a way “admirable”. This your linking BDS and aliayh is one of the most hilarious Israeli marketing ideas ever. So if for example less Jews liking Hungarian “nationalist” buy constantly Israeli and especially settlement products, then Hungary is empty of Jews in couple of months when they can make aliyah – or how should your strange theological marketing theory be interpreted?

    In France are 500,000 to 600,000 Jews. If 1,000 to 3,000 of them move yearly for a little while to Israel is hardly a mass exodus made in panic caused by these “terrible Muslims”. As you Jack know Israeli new citizens always want to save their old citizenship and most of them return in “silence” to their original home country. Real “men” would burn their old passport, like Conquistador Hernando Cortez his ships, after making their aliyah.

    1,129 French Jews made aliyah in 2009. How many Jack of them live still today permanently in Israel? 600, 300 or are they all already gone back to France, EU and USA? Israel has a strange gross amount calculation style with its Jewish population, immigration is widely published, emigration statistics are “unavailable”. Normally a developed country’s published population amount is the amount of people (citizens + non citizens = inhabitants) living in the country on a certain date. But in Israel …

  • Deïr Yassin April 26, 2014, 3:06 PM

    @ Jackdaw: “If I came right out and said that French muslims are persecuting French Jews”

    Well, here’s a just released +300 page report from La Commission Nationale Consultative des Droits de l’Homme [Human Rights] (CNCDH). Enjoy the reading (as you seem to ‘know’ about the situation of French Jews, you probably do read French)….
    If you want some facts: ‘racist’ violence is down from 2012 to 2013.
    Antisemitic acts (physical and verbal violence) is down by 31%, Islamophobic acts (first time the term is used in an official report, cf. the discussion on the use of the word in the introduction) is up for the third year in a row: 11,3% in 2013, 30% in 2011, 28% in 2012.
    There were 105 antisemitic acts including physical violence in 2013, nothing about the % by Muslims. Maybe YOU have some facts that this commission doesn’t have ?
    The rise in aliyah from France recently has nothing to do with Muslims but with the extreme right-wing group around Dieudonné and Alain Soral, both non-Muslims and formerly both linked to the Front National. So try sell your crap somewhere else !

  • Jackdaw April 25, 2014, 11:40 AM

    [comment deleted–Islamophobic comments are prohibited. You have been warned. Next infraction will lead to banning.]

  • Jackdaw April 25, 2014, 1:59 PM

    French Jew beaten by Arabs.


    French Jews making aliyah in record numbers.


  • Richard Silverstein April 25, 2014, 3:15 PM

    Do NOT violate the comment rules with off topic comnents. Stay on topic. Your entire series of comments here is off topic.

  • Richard Silverstein April 25, 2014, 6:36 PM

    One French Jew is beaten by one French Muslim and this means what? That the Holocaust is about to happen? That French Jews are boarding ships as we speak and abandoning France in droves? Gimme a break. Stop this idiocy before I have to stop it for you.

  • Deïr Yassin April 26, 2014, 4:07 PM

    @ Jackdaw
    That aggression happened in my neighbourhood, strangely the guy just ‘know’ that the 3 aggressors were Arabs, though they haven’t been caught yet…. Reminds me of the ‘aggression’ of Israeli film director Yariv Horowitz in Aubagne during the film festival last year. He also ‘knew’ that the aggressors were ‘Arabs’, till it turned out the story was a lie.
    And I’m sorry to say, but that swastika they apparently draw on his chest (that Friday night it happened to be cold, and they managed to open his coat on Rue Manin, a street with many cafés and restaurants, the Town Hall and a major bus stop) reminds me about the false aggression back in 2004 in a suburbian train: that young Jewish girl beaten up by ‘Arabes’ too who draw a swatika on her stomach. It turned out to be lies all the way through… there was no aggression and she wasn’t Jewish, just wanted her boyfriend to come back or whaever.

    Further down you write: “A Jewish DJ murdered in Paris apparently by a Muslim youth organization”.
    This is pure BS. Sebastien Selam was killed in 2003 by a childhood friend and neighbour who was declared “irresponsable pénalement” that is crazy !

    Concerning the bus belonging to a Jewish school in Strasbourg set on fire in January 2004, I find absolutely no informations outside the Jewish blogosphere. Nothing in the local media.
    Maybe you should start beating another horse.

  • Jackdaw April 25, 2014, 10:44 PM

    Richard said: “Again, offer any credible proof of this false charge.”

    “Dirty Jew, go home to Israel”.

    From Newsweek:

    “In 2012, there were 614 attacks; 389 the year before.”
    “Among the incidents: a Jewish DJ brutally murdered in Paris, apparently by a Muslim youth organization. A Jewish school bus set on fire in Strasbourg. A concert by an Israeli singer interrupted by shouts of “death to the Jews.” A 14-year-old boy wearing a kippa beaten near a Paris Metro station, with bystanders declining to intervene. A 12-year-old Jewish school girl beaten by two men who carved a swastika into her face with a box cutter. Synagogues torched, cemeteries desecrated, and Jewish institutions vandalized or destroyed.”

    As far as BDS goes, one requirement of BDS is full right of return, which leads to a demographic shift, coupled with one person one vote, and Israel would be voted out of existence.

    “It’s not an accidental and unwitting omission that BDS does not mention Israel. You know that and I know that. It’s not like they’re “oh we forgot to mention it.” They won’t mention it because they know it will split the movement. ‘Cause there’s a large segment of the movement that wants to eliminate Israel.”–Norman G. Finkelstein, author

    Lastly, BDS head, Barghouti, is a one-Stater.

  • Richard Silverstein April 26, 2014, 12:58 AM

    I said a “credible” source. Algemeiner, the darling of the Israel Lobby, is most decidedly NOT a credible source.

    The Newsweek article is pure sensationalism. It includes an ADL study “proving” anti-Semitism is rampant in France. And the report you included. I have no idea what the French Jewish body who produced this report is and whether its report has any credibility and the numbers mean anything. But at least one of the incidents, involving the concert, was a fraud. The claims of anti-Semitism could not be verified by those making them nor were they supported by others attending the concert.

    This is a case of you seeing what you want to see in France. French Jewry will continue its existence regardless of the blandishments of Bibi Netanyahu telling the French they have no future there. Somehow, despite the portents of doom offered by the hasbara brigade (you included), French Jews will go on in France. And life there for Jews will continue.

    As far as BDS goes, one requirement of BDS is full right of return, which leads to a demographic shift, coupled with one person one vote, and Israel would be voted out of existence.

    Nonsense, the right of return will not end Israel. It will change Israel. There’s a difference.

    Quoting Norman Finkelstein on the subject of BDS is like quoting a buggy whip dealer on the evils of automobiles. He’s simply not credible.

    This is really a shabby job of hasbara you’re doing. We’ve had so many like you here before. Tell your boss to send you on to another assignment. You’re just not making headway here.

    Omar Barghouti founded BDS, but he doesn’t run it. The principles of BDS are inscribed in the website and they in no way, no place say anything about one state. But even if they did, one state does not mean the destruction of Israel. UNless you define Israel as a Jewish state that tramples on the rights of non-Jewish citizens and accords Jews superior rights. So if you mean a supremacist Jewish state, then yes, that project will not survive BDS.

    You are officially DONE in this thread. Do not publish another comment in this thread. If you wish to comment again do so in another thread.

  • Oui April 26, 2014, 1:21 AM

    The Islamophobic violence per incidents in European nations is far greater than than registered anti-semitic attacks. European citizens of the Muslim faith face discrimination in daily life and on the job market. The Islam hatred propagated by well known Islamphobic organizations in the US and Europe, the media response and political cowardice since the 9/11 attacks are the main causes. Violence in the Middle-East, especially between Israelis and Palestinians is directly related to anti-semitic incidents as seen in France. Full report can be found here – Service de Protection de la Communauté Juive – SPCJ. The waste of time seen during the Obama administration for any resolve by parties to come to an agreement, is such a bloody shame.

    By International Law, Israel cannot build settlement outposts in the West Bank. The lobby groups and US Congress prevent any meaningfull sanctions to establish a more equal playing field for negotiations. All persons involved, all sides are to blame. The parties in a position of power carry the the heavy burden and responsibility. I fully support the BDS movement and the EU nations acting according to International Law to separate goods originating in OTP. I will always fight bigotry and racism under any and all circumstances. That is the reason I applaud Mr. Silverstein for his work in this regard, shining light in the shadows of Islamophobia.

  • Elisabeth April 26, 2014, 1:42 AM

    I have searched for that story of the girl who was carved in the face, as I had heard nothing of it. That is very strange as I am from Europe and a thing like that would have caused an uproar and not just in France. An English language site (the Jewish journal) mentions the same story you quote in 2004:
    “Also in Paris, a 12-year-old girl coming out of a Jewish school was attacked by two men. They beat her, held her down and slashed her face with a box cutter. They carved a swastika into her face and walked away. Her parents have filed a police report.”

    When I looked that up in French, all I could find on a list of anti-semitic incidents of that year was this, and it was the only thing that came close:

    “1/12/2004 / Paris Une jeune fille qui sortait d’une école juive a été victime d’insultes à caractère antisémite et menacée avec un tournevis par des enfants de 12/14 ans. Une plainte a été déposée.”

    (1/12/2004 / Paris A young girl who left a Jewish school has been the victim of insults of anti-semitic character and threatened with a screwdriver by children of 12 to 14 years old. A complaint has been filed.)

    I did not bother to look up the rest of the stuff you mentioned. It it equally trustworthy?

  • Oui April 26, 2014, 4:02 AM

    @Elisabeth, with some additional digging …

    Carole Raphaelle Davis (born 17 February 1958) is an actress, singer/songwriter and writer.

    Apart from singing and acting, Davis is also a writer. She wrote a series of articles on anti-Semitism in Europe for the Jewish Journal.

    Her writing is racist and pure fictional. Did Newsweek quote her about the 12-year old school girl? What a farce. The echo chamber lasts nearly a decade being regurged by a hasbarist in 2014.

    Newsweek: Are the French Anti-Semitic?
    By Brian Eads / February 6, 2014 2:09 PM EST

    The Jewish Community Protection Service says more than half the racist attacks in France are against Jews – and they have become more frequent. In 2012, there were 614 attacks; 389 the year before. [In 2013, the number of incidents dropped by 31% – Oui]

    Among the incidents: a Jewish DJ brutally murdered in Paris, apparently by a Muslim youth organization. A Jewish school bus set on fire in Strasbourg. A concert by an Israeli singer interrupted by shouts of “death to the Jews.” A 14-year-old boy wearing a kippa beaten near a Paris Metro station, with bystanders declining to intervene. A 12-year-old Jewish school girl beaten by two men who carved a swastika into her face with a box cutter. Synagogues torched, cemeteries desecrated, and Jewish institutions vandalized or destroyed.

    [Newsweek just repeated the hasbarist lie and placed the incident in 2012, not even getting the year of Ms Davis’ article correct – Oui]

    Also listed in:
    Jerusalem Post : Why are French Jews leaving France?
    By Carl Hoffman 09/12/2006 10:20

    Article repeated here:
    Jerusalem Post : Ra’anana’s French revolution
    By Carl Hoffman 09/07/2006 11:17

    The news item is repeated by a number of clearly Islamophobe websites, as news link in 2004:
    Limits to Growth (LTG) : How France Has Fallen – Muslim immigration has overwhelmed permissive French institutions – By Brenda Walker from Berkeley CA

    See her article in Vdare (2002) : Women, Immigration, And Multiculturalism’s Big Lie

  • Oui April 26, 2014, 4:17 AM

    Most likely source for the hasbarist lie of 2004 by Ms Carole Raphaelle Davis:

    In fact the whole story reminds me of the Jewish crippled girl in Germany who rang the police to tell them that she’d been attacked by skinheads who had carved a swastika into her face with a knife. The press and TV were full of it for days; headline news; a march in her town by thousands of anti-racists; a letter from the Pope to the girl saying he’d prayed for her and every politician and celebrity demanding action against racists and anti-semites. Then the girl was charged with wasting police time! Police investigations discovered she’d carved the swastika into her face herself and concocted the whole thing! That story got a few lines tucked away in the local paper next to the small ads and was never reported again of course.

    Report by the Secretary General: U.N. General Assembly – Sept.25, 1995

    In seven of the incidents mentioned it has been established that there was no xenophobic or racist motivation. The incident which occurred on 10 January 1994 at Halle also falls into this category. A 17-year-old handicapped girl in a wheelchair lodged a complaint that three skinheads had attacked her and carved a swastika into her cheek. In fact, the girl had invented the whole incident – as she later confessed – and had inflicted the wound herself. For this reason, the case against X was dropped on 18 January 1994. The incident and its motives were the subject of detailed reports in the German and international press.

  • Elisabeth April 26, 2014, 4:49 AM

    Sorry, this comment should have been here:
    I thought that it was perhaps this incident that took place in France in 2004 that inspired the story:
    I remember how Muslim-hater Sylvain Ephimenco was all over it for days in the newspaper Trouw, and when it turned out the girl had made the story up, he never apologised for all he had written.

  • Oui April 26, 2014, 5:47 AM

    @Elisabeth : doesn’t fit the timeline of her article:

    What’s New in Paris?
    By Carole Raphaelle Davis
    April 29, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    BBC News event took place in first week of July 2004.

  • Rain April 26, 2014, 11:31 AM

    i find it unbelievable that comments that are considered to have Israeli right-wing undertones are so quickly and mercifully dealt with on this blog, but Davey – who consistently writes posts with anti-semitic not-too-clever undertones, and get bolder each time he or her isn’t called out continues to post here on a regular basis. Last time I picked up on this in one of his posts, I think the response was that I should ignore it.

    I would hope that anti-semitic terminology and rhetoric like “Zionist West”; “Jews see to it that comedians have to tip toe around them”; and “it believes Jews are special, a belief that probably accounts for the history of ghettos in Europe” has no place on this blog. On the other hand I see no evidence of anyone else commenting that this type of language is unacceptable, so perhaps I’m wrong.

  • Davey April 26, 2014, 12:14 PM

    @rain – you are not responding to what I posted but characterizing the post as “anti-semitic”, the catchall flaw in every critical or incisive comment. My remarks made you uncomfortable …what is it in the remarks makes you uncomfortable? I have specific references for it all except my own speculation about the history of ghettos.

    I say again BDS is the effort to make Israel like other Western developed nations, a multicultural or maybe bi-national political reality. The people who live (or lived) in the region constitute the present polity of the region regardless of the aims of Zionism. This was true as nation-states came into being, hence “France,” and it is true today. Zionism is a historical dead-end, attempting to simulate a historical process which did not include Jewish nationalism. I think Jews may have once been a “nation” but they moved on and developed differently and became something else altogether, something despised by retrograde Zionists, but cherished by other Jews.

  • Davey April 26, 2014, 10:11 PM

    @Rain First of all, the “West” is supportive of Zionist ambitions. I don’t think anyone could argue the negative of this. Second — a French comedian was charged and had to pay fines for making fun of some gesture which some Jews consider “anti-semitic” but most folks do not. So a comedian has to tip toe around the sensitivities of some FRENCH Jews. I think everybody tip toes around the “J word.” If a comment commends “Jews” that’s ok but any reference to Jewish “power” or anything negative, well you know, then we hear about “anti-semitism” and the holocaust. Let’s be clear: Jews have interests like everyone else and they (Jews or some Jews) pursue those interests vigorously. Yet, people tell me how they can’t raise issues about Israel (a Jewish interest) with their Jewish associates or friends. It is precisely an interest of Zionists to stop conversation about Israel that is critical. Jewish “poiwer” makes some people afraid to complain about Israel, period. Lastly, specialness is a central theme of Jewish life, in case you don’t know, as is separation. Indeed, “separation” is official policy in Israel.

    @Rain — what is “anti-semitic” about “Zionist West?” It captures and characterizes a true situation. So, is stating this true circumstance “anti-semitic?” The truth is — you are uncomfortable with my saying this true thing so succinctly and clearly. You would prefer that your pleading of “anti-semitism” would be enough to silence me, even here on this blog. It’s a little exercise in Jewish power, i.e.can you silence me from saying something like “Zionist West” or making reference to the role of “special” in Jewish life and in Judaism. G*d forbid!

  • Elisabeth April 27, 2014, 1:38 AM

    Those remarks bothered me too Rain, such as the one about the reason behind the existence of ghetto’s. But I read on and was distracted by the horrible story of the girl who (supposedly) had a swastika carved in her face. It is good that you reacted. Being Jewish yourself does not make these comments less offensive Davey. And as to the ‘comedian’ Dieudonne: When I see pictures of laughing people making the quenell gesture in front of the gates of Auschwitz that is enough for me to know this guy started something that is not funny.

  • Richard Silverstein April 27, 2014, 1:49 AM

    @ Rain: There are 70,000 comments published in this blog (that doesn’t include the ones I’ve refused to publish). It’s hard for me to police everything. That’s why I rely on commenters to help me monitor the threads. I’ve written this before: if a comment offends you state very clearly why it does; quote the precise language; and provide a link. That will help me quickly find what bothers you & make a judgment about it. Complaining that I let anti-Semites flourish is an unhelpful statement that does nothing to help me figure out what you object to.

    At any rate, I thought Davey’s comment about the “Zionist West,” was a gross exaggeration and pretty stupid to boot. I was also troubled by this passage:

    France is , in some important areas, controlled by its Jewish population

    This too is a rather dumb, offensive statement. It does get into borderline anti-Semitic territory. I also agree that the comment about the history of ghettos in Europe was offensive & I’m troubled by it.

  • Sara April 26, 2014, 3:16 PM

    Why do you care so much about the Jews and their state, representing 0.2% of the world’s population?

  • Deïr Yassin April 26, 2014, 5:21 PM

    @ Oui
    I don’t get your point (that is if you have any…). You speak about Islamophobia, you’re applauding Richard’s work and then you link to a report by the “Service de Protection de la Communauté Juive”, created and financed by CRIF (Conseil Représentatif des Institutions Juives de France), officially representing various French Jewish organizations but in reality a Likudnik mouthpiece in France (among their leaders are people also representing Likud such as Habib Meyer). CRIF is not only behind much of the harassment of progressive French Jews who don’t share their views on Israel but are also promoting Islamophobia (such as posting the documentary on the Islamization of Europe by Zvi Yehezkely on their website, since withdrawn due to public critique by one of the Jews that they spent time harassing).
    The actual president Roger Cukierman, recently reelected, was also the president back in 2001. I quote him in: Akiva Eldar, 26 september 2001, Haaretz: “When Sharon came to France, I told him it was essential to create a ministry of propaganda like Goebbels. Money has to be invested in it and journalists have to be invited to fine hotels…”.
    Their reports have no value whatsoever.

  • Davey April 26, 2014, 9:13 PM

    I am Jewish.

  • Sara April 26, 2014, 9:32 PM

    [comment deleted–off topic]

  • Richard Silverstein April 27, 2014, 1:56 AM

    @ Davey: Saying the west is supportive of Zionist ambitions is, first of all a debatable generalization. Second, it’s far different than the term you actually used: the “Zionist west.” This is, as I wrote, wild hyperbole.

    a French comedian was charged and had to pay fines for making fun of some gesture which some Jews consider “anti-semitic” but most folks do not.

    This too is a gross generalization. Elizabeth, no defender of Israel, also finds the quenelle anti-Semitic. So you’ve persuaded no one with your statement.

    any reference to Jewish “power” or anything negative, well you know, then we hear about “anti-semitism”

    As well we should because you’ve confused the term “Jew” with “Israeli.” And I find such confusion offensive.

    If you publish similar comments in future you are violating the comment rules and risk being moderated.

  • Sara April 27, 2014, 4:03 AM

    [comment deleted–read comment rules. Complaints about editorial judgment & decisions are off-topic]

  • Davey April 27, 2014, 11:51 AM

    @Richard — The West generally supports democratic institutions and processes: Is the phrase “Democratic West” somehow wrong or misleading? It did not even occur to me until your comment the sense in which the “Zionist West” may be disturbing to someone! Now that I “get it,” it is worth examination. First, however, the notion that the West, meaning the US and it “allies,” support Zionism is hardly debatable. If it were not generally true, the “Jewish State” would not exist.

    “Zionist West” could mean precisely what I intended it to mean. However, it could also suggest the unfortunate “anti-semitic” notion that Jewish interests control the West or, more bluntly, Jews control the West. About this, three points: (1) this darker meaning exists in the mind of the interpreter where the “anti-semitic” alarm goes off and the interpreter is uncomfortable instructing me, alas, to be more careful (i.e. to tip toe) about what I write. I see no good reason to tip toe around somebody else’s imaginings and irrational fears. (2) insisting on a different phrase is an example of how discourse is controlled generally, not in this blog (RS has every right to control this.) And (3): Zionism is a Jewish interest and as the West generally supports this project, it is not far-fetched to suggest that, in pursuing this Jewish interest, Jews have been effective. With respect to Israel, Jewish interests are pursued in the West, a view that is rational and worth articulating. If somebody sees this view as tantamount to “Jews control everything,” an irrational formula, such interpreters need to examine their own reasoning rather than insulting me as an irrational speaker when I am not. In its policies and more so in its actions, the West is Zionist or strongly favors the Zionist project. How the West arrived at this point is clear as well: G*d forbid anyone should say so in polite company!

  • Davey April 27, 2014, 11:08 AM

    It may be bad taste and it may not be funny…so don’t laugh! It is not an actionable libel by any measure and that’s the problem.

  • Davey April 27, 2014, 11:09 AM

    Former remark for @Elizabeth.

  • Davey April 27, 2014, 12:29 PM

    @Richard I think that Israel can be interpreted as a continuation of the ghetto. It was the threat of assimilation as much as anti-semitism which gave birth to Zionism. Zionism may have claimed to be creating a new Jewish type but that type flourishes today behind the mother of all walls. I speculate that many Jews were most comfortable in their ghetto, among their own and, if this so, the ghetto wall was not necessarily a prison but a fortress keeping others out. What’s “offensive” in these speculations? Is this line of thinking offensive because it compromises to an extent the idea of pure Jewish victimhood? Is that offensive?

  • Richard Silverstein April 27, 2014, 6:47 PM

    @ Davey: When I tell you a statement is objectionable or borderline anti-Semitic, that isn’t a signal to you to defend or explain it. It means it’s beyond the Pale in this blog. It means you don’t use the comment again here or any wording like it. If you want to defend or explain the term you’ll have to do it somewhere else. I want you to understand this very clearly. I have little patience when people cross the line & insist on telling me why they haven’t.

  • Richard Silverstein April 27, 2014, 6:51 PM

    @ Davey: The problem in general with your comments is that you speak in slogans or shorthand, not in nuance. If you want to argue that Israel is an extension of the ghetto that is a valid subject if expanded upon in a careful, nuanced way. But you didn’t do that.

    No Jew “felt comfortable in their ghetto.” Even an implication of this is insulting & offensive. Only someone who knows nothing about European Jewish history could make such an ignorant comment.

    Asking me what’s offensive after I’ve told you something is offensive is not an appropriate response. I & others who do not share the political views of Rain feel this way. You should respect that and desist.

  • Davey April 28, 2014, 11:05 AM

    Ok –I’ve crossed the “line.” Good to know and it won’t happen again.

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