It’s springtime for Jew-haters. This week Oscar winning conspiracy theorist
Oliver Stone joined Helen Thomas and Mel Gibson in the swelling ranks of
out-of-the-closet celebrity Jew-haters. In an interview with The Sunday Times,
Stone said that Adolf Hitler had been given a bum rap and that through “Jewish
domination of the media,” the Jews have inflated the importance of the Holocaust
and wrecked US foreign policy.
In the wake of criticism in Jewish
circles, on Wednesday Stone’s publicist issued a mealymouthed
Stone failed to retract or amend his statement that
“There’s a major lobby in the United States.
They are hard workers. They
stay on top of every comment, the most powerful lobby in
Israel has f---ed up United States foreign policy for
He also did not retract his view that Jews use the Holocaust to
control American foreign policy.
Stone simply referred to his claim that
Jews make too much of the Holocaust because the Germans killed more Russians
than Jews as “clumsy.”
He then broadened his initial allegation that Jews
make too much of the Holocaust by allowing that we are joined in our efforts by
And since non-Jews are involved also, he was wrong to criticize
As Stone put it, “The fact that the Holocaust is still a very
important, vivid and current matter today is, in fact, a great credit to the
very hard work of a broad coalition of people committed to the remembrance of
(Emphasis added.) Stone still believes that the rounding
up and exterminating of three-quarters of Europe’s Jews is really not as notable
or morally troubling as high Russian wartime casualties, but it’s not solely
Jews’ fault that people don’t share Stone’s views.
Arguably even more
despicable than Stone’s display of Jew-hatred was the manner in which it was
received. On the one hand, there was the thunderous silence of the media. And on
the other hand there were the insistent, repeated attempts to justify his
Readers’ talkbacks to write-ups of his remarks were rife with
assertions that Stone’s statements were not bigoted. Many agreed that Jews
dominate the media, and since they believe this is true, they argued that saying
so is not a bigoted act. Others claimed that while Stone’s statements were
inaccurate, there is no evidence that he hates Jews and therefore, his
statements weren’t bigoted. At any rate, Patrick Goldstein of the Los Angeles
Times and many others have argued, it would be wrong for Stone to be discredited
for his attacks against Jews.
It is difficult to imagine that if someone
trafficked in ethnic stereotypes about groups like blacks, and claimed that they
wreck US foreign policy to serve their own nefarious aims, Goldstein and the
talk-backers would defend him.
But then anti-Jewish bigotry has different
rules than other hatreds.
Stone and his defenders are not alone in either
their attitude towards Jews or their denial of their attitude towards Jews.
Indeed, they are part of a worldwide trend.
TAKE THE situation in Malmo,
Sweden. Last Friday, Jew-haters set off firecrackers outside a synagogue in
Malmo. The blasts came a day after Jew-haters posted a bomb threat on the wall
of the synagogue for the second time in two weeks.
Malmo is a hotbed of
anti-Jewish violence and the Jews of the city are fleeing in droves.
in the face of all this, Malmo’s non-Jews cannot bring themselves to acknowledge
that there is a problem with anti-Semitism in their city.
Even those who
are supposed to be responsible for combating anti-Semitism refuse to acknowledge
that Jews in Malmo are being attacked because they are Jews.
Lagerback is the man in Malmo who is supposed to care about anti-Semitic
Lagerback serves as the coordinator of the local forum in the
city charged with combating hate crimes. In an interview with Malmo’s The Local
cited by the World Jewish Congress, Lagerback tried to impress on the world that
the bombing was serious. Not because it was violence aimed at Jews, of
No, according to Lagerback, this bombing is serious because it
might hurt non-Jews. He said.
“We condemn this completely. Such an event
is not just directed against the synagogue, but also at other targets that could
be described as ethnic or religious.”
Forget about the fact that only
Malmo’s synagogues, and not its churches and mosques, require around the clock
security. If no other ethnic or religious groups were targeted, would bombing
synagogues no longer warrant condemnation? The acceptance of anti-Semitism has
reached epidemic proportions.
In Amsterdam, anti-Semites are making the
mundane act of walking around outside in broad daylight a dangerous prospect for
Jews are regularly attacked verbally and physically by anti-Semites
as they walk on the streets of the Dutch capital.
In an attempt to catch
and punish anti-Semitic thugs, the Amsterdam police force has dispatched
policemen dressed as Jews to pound the pavement. The hope is that these decoys
will be able to draw out the offenders and arrest them.
Dutch have a problem with punishing anti-Semitic attackers. As Paul Belien
reported in the Brussels Journal, “Evelien van Roemburg, an Amsterdam counselor
of the Green Left Party, says that using a decoy by the police amounts to
[entrapment], which is itself a criminal offence under Dutch law.”
other words, Van Roemburg thinks that people who walk around while appearing to
be Jewish are asking for it.
Van Roemburg no doubt also believes that
women in mini-skirts deserve to be raped.
ALL OF this brings us to a
discussion of the most endemic form of contemporary anti-Semitism: Anti-Zionism.
There is no reason for anyone to be surprised that anti-Semites deny that
anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism. After all, they deny that every other form of
anti-Semitism is anti-Semitism. Why should anti-Zionism receive special
treatment? It is self-evident that anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism.
after all is the national liberation movement of the Jewish people. To say that
Jews – uniquely among all the nations – have no right to freedom and
self-determination is obviously anti-Semitic.
Anti-Semites give a variety
of excuses to justify their rejection of the Jewish people’s right to freedom
and sovereignty in our homeland. Sometimes they say they have no problem with
Jewish nationalism per se. They are simply anti-nationalist generally. But
remarkably, these anti-nationalist anti-Zionists invariably just happen to be
outspoken supporters of Palestinian nationalism.
Moreover, it is curious
that universalist antinationalists only have a special term to describe their
opposition to Jewish nationalism. No one ever mentions being anti-Irishist, for
When someone says they oppose Irish nationalism, the obvious
conclusion is that they don’t like Irish people. Just so, people who are
anti-French tend not to like French people. And yet, the anti- Zionists would
have us believe that their opposition to the Jewish state has nothing to do with
their feelings about Jews.
Beyond their nonsensical attempts to deny the
fact that anti-Zionism is a specific rejection of a specific – that is Jewish –
type of nationalism, there is the fact that anti-Zionists tend inevitably to
drink from other anti-Jewish sewers as well.
Take former British
parliamentarian Clare Short for example.
During her just ended career in
the British Parliament, Short became known as an outspoken anti-Zionist. Short
rejected Israel’s right to exist and castigated it for its “bloody, brutal and
systematic annexation of land, destruction of homes and the deliberate creation
of an apartheid system.”
But Short’s Israel kick didn’t end with her
frequent condemnations of imaginary but lurid Israeli crimes. As time went by,
Short began channeling centuries of British Jew-hatred. Like her forefathers who
blamed Jews for rain, drought, plague and fire, Shore blamed Israel for global
As she put it in a speech at the European Parliament three years
ago, Israel “undermines the international community’s reaction to global
As Shore saw it, European leaders are properly obsessed with
attacking the Jewish state. But because Israel insists on existing and so
requires Europeans to condemn it, Israel prevents the Europeans from attending
to the threat of carbon that, if left unregulated, will “end the human
So if the world boils over, the cauldron will be made in
One of the most prominent anti-Zionists today is Prof. Juan Cole
from the University of Michigan.
Part of being a successful anti-Zionist
involves claiming that Jews have no right to the land of Israel. So to be a good
anti-Zionist, one needs to deny Jewish history.
To this end, in March
Cole published a piece of historical fiction in the Salon online
Titled “Ten reasons why East Jerusalem does not belong to
Israel,” Cole mixed half truths with flagrant lies to justify his denial of
Jewish history and belittlement of the Jewish rights.
“Jerusalem not only was not being built by the likely then non-existent ‘Jewish
people’ in 1000 BCE, but Jerusalem probably was not even inhabited at that point
in history. Jerusalem appears to have been abandoned between 1000 BCE and 900
BCE, the traditional dates for the united kingdom under David and
This assertion is so mendacious that it takes your breath away.
As anyone who has actually been in Jerusalem can attest, it is all but
impossible to be physically present in the oldest areas of the city and not bump
into relics dating from between 1000 and 900 BCE.
Cole’s allegation is
the academic equivalent of Louis Farakhan’s claim that white people are devils
planted on earth by aliens. As an anti-Zionist anti-Semite, it was just a matter
of time until Cole traveled into the fetid swamp of denying the historical
record to facilitate his false claim that Jews are not a people and therefore
are bereft of rights as a nation to our national homeland.
shouldn’t he cover himself in anti- Semitic muck? So far, the stench has brought
him great success. The very fact that I felt compelled to write an essay
explaining why anti- Semitism is anti-Semitism and why anti-Zionism is
anti-Semitism is depressing proof that anti- Semites have been wildly successful
in whitewashing their bigotry.
What makes contemporary anti-Semitism
unique is its purveyors’ great efforts to hide its very existence. Their
motivation is clear. Outside the openly genocidal anti-Semitic Muslim world,
most anti-Semites are self-described liberals who claim to oppose bigotry. For
these people, pretending away their prejudice is the key to their continued
claim to enlightenment.
And so the likes of Oliver Stone publish
And Cole invents history. And the Europeans blame Jews
and Israel and Zionism when Jews inside and outside Israel are assaulted and
And I am sorry I wrote this column.
Because an audience
that demands an explanation of why evil is evil is an audience that has already
sided with evil.
CORRECTION: In Tuesday’s column I wrote that the US’s
upgrade in the PLO’s Washington diplomatic mission gave added privileges to PLO
representatives in the US. In fact, the upgrade is a symbolic gesture of support
for the Palestinians. The representatives do not enjoy diplomatic