14 thoughts on “From Mumbai to Hebron, Hate Speaks the Same Language Regardless of Religion – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. Another evasion from Richard Silverstein. Some idiot Guardian readers may have objected to his correct appeal against Islamophobic responses to Mumbai, but he neglects to mention the reaction to his repugnant depiction of the Chabad murders as anti-Isarael rather than antisemitic.

    Even neo-Nazis now say they are anti-Zionist, not antisemitic. Would Richard Silverstein do his nodding donkey act if a gang of skinheads stomped his family to death? Would he call it an anti-Israel act? What a moral imbecile.

    Richard Silverstein should visit Buenos Aires and tell the Jewish community there that the Iranian attack on AMIA, 1994, 85 dead, wasn’t antisemitic. He should go preach this at the synagogues and Jewish schools that Jews are too afraid to attend or send their kids to.

    Interfaith is a vital necessity in today’s world, but surely it doesn’t require Richard Silverstein to grant sanction to “anti-Israel” excuses for the murder of Jews around the world.

    Shabat Shalom.

  2. Your photo caption also appears to be a bit skewed. I have read of this arson attacj in this morning’s UK press, The Independent, no firend of Israel. The paper says that settlers set fire to the family’s laundry and some of the olive trees. Disgraceful yes – but not as extreme as you are making out.

    Also, you say the onlookers are egging them on. Really? Their body language makes that seem unlikely. Most of them are clearly standing pretty still, arms folded or hands in pockets. I can only see two people in the photo who’s hands are even above waist height.

    And as for calling them pogromists, is it really necessary for you strip the meaning from the history of antisemitism in order for you to make your political point?

    I see Alex Stein asked you on the Guardian site if a Jew burning down a mosque in paris would be committing an anti-Palestinian act. That seems logical given your own posturing on the awful Mumbai tragedy. Your thoughts?

  3. That’s a slight simplification of how the article was received on Comment is Free. A shame that you couldn’t deal with some of the critiques offered. This was the best of them, btw: http://www.hurryupharry.org/2008/12/04/is-richard-silverstein-mad/

    More specifically this point: “Ok, how about I go out and murder a couple of Black people because I’m angry with Mugabe? or Congo? or Rwanda? Would that be racist? Does that help you to understand the idiocy of your moral bypass?”

  4. Try this posting from Dave Rich at Harrys Place
    5 December 2008, 10:41 am

    If killing random Jewish people in a random Jewish building in a random country is anti-Israeli, not antisemitic, then there really is no difference between the two; which I don’t think is what Silverstein is trying to demonstrate.

  5. @Mark Gardner: Did you bother to read Avi Issacharoff’s eyewitness piece in Haaretz linked right next to the image above? No, you didn’t. Go read it & then tell me you’d like to amend yr comment. I have no problem w. people disputing things I say. But the link if right there & you don’t bother to read it & then criticize me. If you’d read a bit more carefully you’d actually be on the same pg. as I am.

    Ehud Olmert called this a pogrom. I didn’t make up the term. If you have a problem w. the terminology take it up w the PM.

    Burning down a mosque is not what the Mumbai terrorists did at Chabad House. Chabad House is a facility that is known as a hangout for all the Israeli backpackers who come through Mumbai. It is seen, esp. by the terrorists, as a center for Israelis, not as a synagogue.

    Other Jews may see Chabad House differently. But I’m interested in how the terrorists saw the place. If you want to characterize the attack as anti-Semitic you have to have some idea of how they saw the target. Imposing yr own definition on the attack would be as if a Jew killed a Palestinian and Muslims claimed to be able to read the killer’s mind & claimed that he hated all Muslims. How would they know unless the killer said so explicitly (which the Mumbai killers did not)?

  6. @Alex Stein: Hardly, my response to my opponents is both published as a new comment in the CIF thread & expanded on in my latest post on Jewish Jihadism. I’m not going to rebut anyone specifically in this thread as my answer is pretty much entirely encompassed in the post I mentioned.

  7. @Mark Gardner: I’m going to let the “imbecile” comment go despite the fact that it violates my comment rules. But try it again & you’re toast. I don’t allow ad hominem attacks against me or other commenters here. Read the rules.

  8. Richard Silverstein – thanks for having taken the trouble to respond. Its your site, so if you find imbecile offensive then I’ll avoid such language.

    Did Olmert say pogrom? If so, I think that was stupid. Does he have a blog? If so, I’ll write to him. I recall Menachem Begin used to call the PLO (and many others) Nazis. Did that make it right for others to do so? No. Thought not.

    Was what happened in Hebron a pogrom? Maybe not in the full sense of the word. Would it have been if the settlers could have gotten away with it? Seems sadly likely. Should such behaviour be condemned? Of course.

    Should you be using CiF to assure CiF readers that its ok to kill Jews so long as you claim to be doing it in the name of Palestinian human rights? No. Was that the intention of your article? No. Was that what many CiF readers will take from it? Sadly yes.

    I think its very very dangerous to use CiF (as opposed to Tikun Olam website or Ha’Aretz etc) for the promotion of such views. I think it deserves ad hominem attacks, because it encourages an antisemitic mindset that is self-legitimised by the perpetrators as anti-Israel hate in the name of human rights. Anyway, enough, its Shabat, and I don’t like being angry at this time.

  9. Sorry Richard, one last thing – even if terrorists distinguished Chabad as an Israeli rather than Jewish target, they still killed in cold blood non-Israeli Jews who were inside the building.

    Doesn’t the act of antisemitic murder carry more importance than whatever targeting decisions you are assuming on their behalf? (And bear in mind that they could have hit Israeli diplomatic premises instead, you know, ones that actually are Israeli and are for all to see, rather than being buried in a non signposted block up an alley.)

  10. @Mark Gardner: No, they couldn’t have attacked Israeli diplomatic offices because, unlike Chabad, the Israeli government has hardened those targets. But the terrorists could’ve also targeted far more explicitly Jewish religious targets like an actual local synagogue. They didn’t do that. So there you go.

  11. @Mark Gardner: Olmert and many others have called this activity a pogrom & it is entirely apt. What do you think Cossacks did to Jews in the Ukraine or in Kishniev? They too surrounded Jewish homes & burned the inhabitants to death. That’s PRECISELY what the hooligans attempted to do yesterday. If Avi Issacharoff hadn’t broken into the home & faced them down they would have succeeded. Then we’d have 20 new shahids to continue the religious holy war-hate fest.

    I think the idea that anyone takes away fr. my article that it’s OK to kill Jews is ludicrous. Show me a single commenter or reader who sees that in what I wrote. Besides, even if they did–I will not cut the fabric of my views in order to avoid having lunatics misconstrue what I write. The words are plain & simple on the page. If someone is demented enough to twist it to suit their own pathology it’s wrong to impute blame to me.

  12. Well, I thought what Richard said was quite good. A love fest is a good idea, but let’s have specifics. The spirited discussion on his sie for the moment seems almost a little overwrought. Why do we need to go down track verging on hate? I don’t know the particulars of either case other than what I read/see in the news and what Richard has provided, but it would seem that whenever killing and murder takes place on Holy Land–and that’s wherever humans live–that it’s not representative of the best we can be as humans.

    We need love fests with all kinds of parties involved. Parties for peace are good. Celebrate humanité.

    One thing I don’t quite understand, are not both Arabs/Jews semitic peoples? While Jews have been the butt of Western anti-semitism since Roman times, have not the Arab peoples also been in the sights of the Great Powers, too, for a long time. Seems to me we need to work together for peace to confront the most profound source of antisemitism, certain misguided “Christians.” But that term is itself is rather unfortunate in itself with the lack of clarity in practice about “love.” Culturally, ethnically, even religiously, are we not all mongrels?: Christian, Muslim, Jew But mongrels are a mixture, but still the same creatures. Some of us hover on borders between each of these religions–and why not?

    Even misguided potentially rabid members of different faith communities need to be immunized as early on in their lives to avoid going around devouring others.

    Seems like this is a central call to humanity, cut out the churlishness, so why shouldn’t we avoid churlishness on this website.

    Smile and Paiz, Paz, Shalom, and Salaam to all this Holiday Season.

    I think Richard wants that, too, for all of us. Thus, his blog, so let’s take it easy on each other. Smile.

  13. Richard, spurred by James’ thoughts, in the spirit of trying to find a bit more common ground between us, would you acknowledge that other attacks against explicitly Jewish – ie indisputably non Israeli – buildings were antisemitic? I’m thinking here of Buenos Aires AMIA community centre truck bombing, and the truck bombings of the Istanbul synagogues (Nov 03 I think). Also, the attacks on Jewish targets within the Casablanca attacks (Spring 03?).

    If we can agree on that, then let me simply say that this is the context within which I see the Chabad attack – whereas you appear to see it more in the context of anti-Israel targeting such as the attempted attacks in Mombassa (2002?) against Israeli owned hotel and El Al jet. Can we shake on that?

    On CiF, I just think you underestimate the importance of Jewish voices such as your own in (inadvertently) legitimising some of the wilder anti-Israel hatreds that impact against Jews per se; and which I would therefore describe as antisemitic. I appreciate that you can’t be held responsible for the lunatics out there, but CiF is a seriously different environment to Tikun Olam or Ha’Aretz etc. I say this as a British Jew intimately involved in the struggle against UK antisemitism right now. I don’t know how well you know the UK situation, but that’s my perspective anyway.

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