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Archive for the ‘Shoah’ Category

Open Hillel is promoting the film “70 Years Across the Sea: American Jews and 21st Century Zionism”, about the divide in the Jewish community over models of zionism and the current State of Israel.
 
But the film thesis is very problematic, ignoring the deeper issues of power, class and imperialism, and centering the discussion on Jews and not Palestinians.
 
Gratefully the film (trailer) didn’t repeat the tired old argument that this is a generational divide, which further obscures the power basis of Israeli hegemony. The thesis of this film, though, at least according to the trailer, is very dangerous, repeats stereotypes of Jewish power, obscures the power of U.S. empire and its appropriation of Jewish suffering and the Jewish narrative.
 
It repeats the false assertion and stereotype of diaspora Jews as weak and passive, and Israelis as strong and active. The resistance to the Nazis, to the pogroms, to injustice in general is a disapora narrative that is obscured by the zionist narrative. We cannot fight for a free Palestine, and justice for Jews in the diaspora if we perpetuate these harmful stereotypes that locates Jewish strength in occupation , assimilation and as agents (or worse, as the controlling operatives ) of U.S. empire and locates Jewish weakness in ethnic identity and resistance/passivity in the diaspora.
 
The Israeli occupation isn’t a liability, it’s genocide, and it didn’t start in 67, it started in 48. Calling it a liability assumes that there is a just zionist solution, and centers the occupation of Palestine, around a zionist and imperialist narrative and seeks a compromise with a fair and just society that grants equal civil and human rights to all and not within a neoliberal or neoconservative debt dependency structure of the U.S.
 
The “power” of UhMurikan Jews is a narrative of upper middle class and wealthy Jews, and white supremacist ideology, and doesn’t apply to all Jews in the U.S.. That power to the extent that it exists, is predicated on support for Israel, and support for U.S. empire in general. It’s also a delusion, a fragile membership of court Jews and house Jews.
 
The real power of U.S. support for Israel comes from the Christian zionists, who number in the tens of millions, which explains why organizations like the ADL and the Simon Weisenthal Center, and Stand With Us can ignore the Jewish community and support a zionism to the right of most Jews, including most zionist Jews.
 
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As published in Shifting Sands: Jewish Women Confront the Israeli Occupation

By Emma Rosenthal

I:  Year: 1969

Good Germans,” my father muttered as we walked from door to door petition in hand, collecting signatures, working for an end to the war in Vietnam.  Some yelled at us to “go back to Russia!” Others politely said they didn’t want to make waves, cause a problem.

“What do you mean Daddy, how do you know they are German?” I asked, only ten years old, not yet having learned the nuance of ethnicity (these matters must be taught.)

“They aren’t German, Em.”

“Why did you say they were Good Germans?”

“They,” my father explained, “are like the Germans who weren’t Nazis. They did not profit from slave labor, did not serve in the army, were just silent.  Good Germans did not attract the attention of the authorities, pretended not to know, did not worry about the smoke, the stench. Saw Jewish girls, outside the camp, singing on their way to  factory.

“Sieh da! Die Jüdinnen  sind froh.”

(“See! They are happy.”) They whispered.

Years later, claiming: “We had no idea.”

Good Germans;” Jew to Jew, this is not a compliment.

II: Year: 1977

I sit in a hotel lobby in Berlin waiting for my sister to come down from the room.  A day of walking, shopping, museums, the insipid kindness of strangers giving me directions.

Peaceful, calm. Bach, not Wagner playing over the lobby hush, a place for guests, tourists, businessmen. Niceties like a tourniquet around my neck. Every man in the lobby, my father’s age and German.

And I am surrounded.

Some hid Jews, falsified documents, killed one so hundreds could go free; unlikely, but perhaps one of these men was righteous.

In 1977 safety, I am caught in the possibility that perhaps, suddenly, I might find myself in 1942, surrounded.  My Polish skin not sufficiently hiding my history.  My foreign features betraying my identity, ancestry, difference.

The quiet peace of the hotel lobby covers the bones upon which we walk: The lives evaporated, bodies cooked to dust, skin stretched into lampshades, hair woven into rugs, ashes into the soap the Good Germans bathed in to wash away the stench, the soot that coated their nostrils, their skin, their cities, as they breathed in the dead cells of Jews they didn’t know.  The Jewish girls, dancing between the camps and the factory just relieved to be outside for the day.

“See, they are happy.”

III: Year 2000

Intifada! Uprising!

Intifada! Uprising!

Who are the Good Germans now?

Israeli generals admit to studying Nazi strategy against the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, the tactics  to bring down the ghetto of Jewish insurrectionists fighting to the death; the suicide missions of desperation by those who had nothing left to lose, holding back the Nazis longer than all of Poland.

I hear of Israeli soldiers marking numbers on the arms of Palestinian prisoners

rounding up all the men

torture

targeting children

house arrest

refugee camps

checkpoints

collective punishment

house demolitions

ex-judicial executions

high officials calling the people “vermin”

“a cancer

not enough chemotherapy”

“transfer”

(the final solution).

And the silence, the complicity.

I have met these people, all of them; the Good Germans and the generals, the soldiers who just want to get through the tour alive so they can get a job when they get out.  The Palestinian families who want to send the children off to school, pick the olives, turn the key in the door to the house that no longer stands in the village that no longer exists beyond the rubble covered in the pine trees planted by collections taken in Diaspora synagogues: the forestation of the desert. The hope of Europe’s refugees: the invisible destruction of a homeland.

This strange apartheid: the mythical connection to a land but not the people.

The imposition of dominion behind the veil of blood and myth.

Oppressed turned oppressor, consciousness obscured by this twist of history, this betrayal of memory, this strange apartheid, fought on the backs of children and the bellies of women.  An intricate labyrinth of  false distinctions,  of exclusive roads, checkpoints and confiscations.

Hidden by tanks, barricades, checkpoints and armor, we think we are different.

Guns poised, sights set on the image,

We look in the mirror: the distorted likeness.

Or are we the image shooting the reflection?

This is no ancient mythic battle.

No walls of Jerico.

No Midianite virgins

No skin of wine nor loaf of bread.

Just perhaps the two sons, Isaac and Ishmael sacrificed by the father, reunited upon his death

And the women, Sarah and Hagar, pitched  in voiceless struggle,  breast against breast

For land, bread, water and wombs.

Parched throats seek a hidden well. Tired hands plow a field from bitter dirt.  Oranges and olives provide a defiant harvest .

And I know this is not my home

and

it is not my war

and

if it were my war

I could not fight!

The land is not for sale or plunder.  Nothing can be gained from hegemony.  In this betrayal of our history, killing them is killing me.

We have broken the mirror of our own souls and we have broken it upon their backs.

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By Emma Rosenthal
 
AREN’T THERE BETTER, MORE DESERVING, MORE QUALIFIED WRITERS, WE CAN PROMOTE, TO DECONSTRUCT THE ASSUMPTIONS, ARROGANCE AND HUBRIS OF AMERICAN EMPIRE, ISRAELI SETTLER COLONIALISM AND GENOCIDE?

Roberts is a right wing white supremacist who has written repeatedly anti-disability, anti-jewish, anti-gay, anti-immigrant anti- people of color, rants for years. (and while attempting to be “pro-Islam, pro-Arab”, his assertions are rife with orientalist assumptions of Amerikan/western superiority.) His critique of U.S./Israeli policy is not part of a human rights, social justice, anti-imperialist movement for self-determination or liberation, but rather is simply an extension of his white supremacist fear that white people and Amerika are losing ground. Roberts has written for years for VDARE (a racist publication, named for Virginia Dare, the first “white” baby to be born in the “New World”), but recently he has been published, without criticism or reference to his racist, ableist, sexist anti-gay, anti-immigrant, anti-Jewish, anti-Arab trajectory by Counterpunch, ifamericansknew, antiwar.com, Democracy Now, Information Clearing House, Alternet and other “progressive” media. In his article “Why Does Israel Want to Initiate War Between theU.S.  and Iran?” (1) Roberts repeats what we’ve been hearing for years: that the U.S. government is a puppet regime of Israel. immediately contradicting himself with the refrain we’ve heard for 10 years, that Israel is trying  to drag the U.S. into war with IRan, or that Israel will bomb Iran on its own. We’ve heard this from the left, the right, and from two U.S. Vice Presidents. (Cheney and Biden) and yet– no war. (Sanctions, defamations, pressure, but no war!) Does this mean that the tail doesn’t wag the dog, as has been suggested? After all, if Israel has really wanted the U.S. to go to war, or if Israel really wants to bomb Iran, if Israel really did run the show, wouldn’t this have happened years ago? On the other hand, is it possible that Israel is less influential than we’ve been led to believe and that the threat of an Israeli caused war, is part of the illusion the U.S.  and Israel have been manufacturing for some time– the idea that Israel is responsible for U.S. foreign policy– taking the focus off of the U.S. and its global empire, while simultaneously making Israel seem much more powerful than it really is. – a mutually beneficial illusion. In his article “The End of Free Speech? Criminalizing Criticism of Israel”, (2) Roberts attacks a hate crimes bill that extends violent hate crimes protection to LGBT people and people with dis-abilities. He asserts that this new bill would make any criticism of Israel and the Holocaust, illegal, contrary to ANY reading of the bill, which says absolutely nothing about Israel and has no impact at all on speech. In his article ” Muslims Are Their Own Worst Enemy” (3) he repeats tired orientalist stereotypes, blames the victims of U.S. (and British and Russian Imperialism) for their own condition “Muslim disunity has made it possible for Israel to dispossess the Palestinians, for the U.S. to invade Iraq, and for the U.S. to rule much of the region…” In his memoriam to Milton Friedman, (4) the architect of some of the most deadly economic policies of the Twentieth Century, he calls Friedman the “great economist of our times.” In his article “That Buchanan Book” (5) he repeats and embellishes Buchanon’s attacks on immigrants, multiculturalism, people of color people with dis-abilities and the left. “Buchanan has strong opinions, but his opinions are based in facts, unlike his equally opinionated opponents, who have bought into the multiculturalist dogma of the evils of western civilization or taken refuge in neoconservative wishful thinking.” He states, “Whites are shrinking into a minority even within their own countries. massive uncontrolled legal and illegal immigration, together with collapsing fertility rates of whites everywhere, foretell a vanishing race.” as if it’s a bad thing. (Seriously though,  the disappearance of any culture or group is NEVER  a good thing, but the construct of whiteness –including his unstated inference to race mixing as further diluting this vanishing breed– isn’t about the preservation of a culture, but the total assimilation of several distinct and disparate languages, heritages, histories and legacies which are swallowed up into a homogenized (White) identity in the interest of empire and domination–for those who qualify, whiteness is the price of losing who you are.) He goes on to assert that the situation may be worse than Buchanan would have us think: “In the U.S., native-born whites already are second-class citizens in their own country. Unconstitutional group privileges have arisen based on race, gender, and disability. White males no longer have equal rights. “ He concludes this article; “Demonization of whites is the weapon used by multiculturalists to breakup western civilization… Demonization has already demoralized some whites, making them ashamed and fearful of their skin color.” “By the time whites become political minorities, decades of demonization will have prepared the ground for legislation prohibiting their propagation and, perhaps, assigning them to the gulag as a final solution … none of this is ordained. faculties could replace multicultural propagandists with real scholars, and legislation could halt or reduce immigration to assimilable numbers. Is western civilization worth the effort? Does anyone any longer know what western civilization is? “ So how come roberts is getting so much play among progressives, including the progressive press, given his history of bigotry and intolerance, as well as having “served” on Reagan’s cabinet as Treasury Secretary (making his essay “The Rich Have Stolen the Economy”, a bit absurd)? Could it be that his white supremacist positions, including the assertion of a Zionist occupied Amerikan government, run by foreign Israeli interlopers, tricksters, puppeteers, as well as an entire ethnic group of U.S. citizens with suspicious national allegiance, absolve (Christian) white (and otherwise privileged) Amerikans of their (real and mis-afilliated) guilt, allowing them to address injustices without ever having to examine the root causes, raise their class consciousness, or challenge their own nationalism, Amerikan hubris, entitlement and arrogance. When I ask why “we” are promoting Roberts, I am told that he has important points to make, that no one is all good or all bad, that his position in the Reagan Administration lends credibility to those more legitimate assertions “we all agree on”. But even though a broken clock is right twice a day, and Mussolini  made the trains run on time, do we really want, in giving credence to his “good points” to legitimize his racist, sexist, ableist bigotry and promote Roberts at the expense of other writers who, though lesser known, might better articulate a vision of anti-imperialism, anti-colonialism, infused justice, inclusion, diversity and self-determination?

1. http://www.thecanadiancharger.com/page.php?id=5&a=133

2. https://cafeintifada.wordpress.com/2009/05/08/654/

3. http://www.vdare.com/articles/muslims-are-their-own-worst-enemy

4. http://www.vdare.com/articles/milton-friedman-in-memoriam

5. http://www.vdare.com/articles/that-buchanan-book

http://vdare.com/roberts/west_future.htm

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A Cafe Intifada response to demands made by Stand With Us*

______________________________________________

This week, Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren spoke as a guest of the UC Irvine Law School.  Eleven students were arrested and may yet be EXPELLED because each uttered one sentence and then walking peacefully out of the hall.

Zionist, right wing organization, “Stand  With Us”   frequently  visiting upon events and demonstrations in Los Angeles, with provocative signs and disruptive tactics, including heckling and even acts of violence,  condemns these students for their outbursts, suggests shutting down the Muslim Student Union for its “obvious” leadership and demands disciplinary actions against the students.

The article asserts:

“The main lesson from Ambassador Oren is that we must stand up with dignity and eloquence for free speech.  If we do not, if speakers give up and walk off the stage, we risk sacrificing the civil dialogue essential to education and a bedrock of American values. ”

But what is the record of “Stand With Us” when it comes to free speech?

Some of their recent activities and advocacy  includes:

Blanket support for Israeli brutality including  Operation Cast Lead  -Israel’s invasion of Gaza last year- included in the devastation and death,  was the destruction of over 200 schools.  What disciplinary actions should be taken for that breech of free speech in an educational environment?  On this, Stand With Us stands with the Israeli military  and the Israeli government in shutting down and discrediting the Goldstone report.

Stand With Us  hosts a covert web page (Stand 4 Facts)  on activists and speakers to be used to contradict, disrupt and even prevent events from occurring on campus and to monitor those who would raise criticism of Israeli brutality.

(My dossier, the last time I had access, was 61 pages long! –with privatized espionage, there is NO freedom of information act!!!)

It uses this dossier to defame and discredit activists and educators.  Stand With Us was part of the contingent that DEMANDED that United Teachers Los Angeles President Duffy cancel a meeting hosted by the Human Rights Committee to DISCUSS boycott sanctions and divestiture from Israel.  That is, they felt that ANY discussion of this matter should not be allowed within a democratic union.  Along with the rest of the contingent that pressured the union, they demanded that the union disassociate from the groups sponsoring the event, INCLUDING UTLA MEMBERS!

Stand With Us shelters these demands by insisting that events be “balanced” and not “promote only one extreme view” But of course neither offiers nor demands any balance to a speech by the Ambassador from Israel, or the curricular materials and leaflets Stand with Us provides to educators and students.

Stand With Us was instrumental in the attacks against Professor Robinson at UCSB, stating “This case is a litmus test of whether professors can exploit their positions of authority to impose their political prejudices on students or whether the university truly will remain a place where all points of view can be comfortably and responsibly discussed.”

So– let get this straight!!!

When a law school sponsors a speaker who is the ambassador of a country, framed by security, police and University dignitaries, what HE has to say is protected speech, but when a university professor includes a photo essay in his supplemental material, it  “exploit(s) their positions of authority to impose their political prejudices on students.”

Stand With Us worked closely with Harvard Law Professor, and slime ball legal advocate for wealthy violent men who kill their wives,  Alan Dershowitz in convincing De Paul University to deny tenure to Norman Finklestein, and continues to  discredit Finkelstein, while collaborating with Dershowitz to pressure Hampshire College trustees to violate the college’s socially responsible investment policy that by definition, excludes companies complicit in Israeli human rights violations.

And they were front and center in the effort strip an L.A. County Commission on Human Relations award from Maher Hathout, a founder of the Muslim Public Affairs Council.

Not only does Stand With Us, NOT support free speech, open dialogue, respectful behavior or the free flow of ideas, but in addition to promoting the most brutal of Israeli policies, attempting to discredit ANY critics, attacking free speech and academic freedom, disrupting rallies and community events,  Stand With Us.  (along with their close affiliates- the ADL, the Simon Weisenthal Center, etc) in their effort to maintain the illusion of one Jewish voice, and the control of the narrative,  are actually more instrumental in silencing Jewish voices (of dissent) than any non-Jewish  organizations or entities within the United States.—so NOW who’s the anti-semite!!???

Groups like Stand With Us  set dangerous precedent, which is my main assertion—that these shills for Zion, actually have a more sinister role to play in the body politic closely aligned with privatization, attacks on democracy, U.S. empire, attacks on education, labor, the left and progressive efforts in general. They may wrap themselves in the memories and the fallout of the Shoah, manipulate with accusations of anti-Semitism,  and engage in and appeal to ethnic nationalism, but theirs is a much larger social agenda .  This isn’t JUST about Israel.

It’s about academic freedom.

It’s about free speech.

It’s about who controls dialogue and narrative.

It’s about democracy, hegemony and inevitably, U.S. Empire.

These eleven students, each, have been detained for simply shouting their opinions (not threats, not fire, just a point of view) in a public arena and walking out of the room!!!  While the collective impact may have been distressing for some of the event participants, the idea that a student in a university might be expelled or arrested for simply yelling briefly at an event should offend us all!

_______________________

Readers are encourage to contact the University and demand that these students experience no more violations of their rights, that all charges be dropped and that no disciplinary action taken.

REQUESTED ACTION:

Contact UCI Chancellor Michael Drake and the Dean of Students to voice your opposition to UCI’s treatment of students who practiced their First Amendment right and ensure they are not punished for peacefully voicing their opposition.

Chancellor Michael Drake
Telephone: (949)824-5011
Email: chancellor@uci.edu

Acting Dean of Students Rameen Talesh
Telephone: (949)824-5181
Email: deanstu@uci.edu

Read more: http://www.mpac.org/article.php?id=1027#ixzz0fM7r6O0m

References:

http://www.stand4facts.org/register.html

http://www.jewishjournal.com/thegodblog/item/standwithus_gets_signatures_for_ucsb_prof_investigation_20090501/

http://www.jewishjournal.com/israel/article/las_defenders_of_israel_20080215/

For the Stand With Us article referenced in this post:

http://www.standwithus.com/app/iNews/view_n.asp?ID=1329

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Marek Edelman, last surviving leader of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising

Marek Edelman, last surviving leader of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising

Dear Editor,

In your obituary, commemorating the life of Warsaw Ghetto Uprising Leader, Marek Edelman, you committed a very significant omission. As a member of the socialist Bund, Edelman rejected the ideology of Zionism, as well as the establishment of an exclusively Jewish state in Palestine. Like other Jewish socialists, Edelman believed that Jewish human rights could only be established in the context of universal human rights, within a society that provided for the needs of all of its members, regardless of cultural, ethnic or religious identity.

Emma Rosenthal
Los Angeles, CA

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/03/world/europe/03edelman.html?ref=obituaries

http://www.latimes.com/news/obituaries/la-me-marek-edelman3-2009oct03,0,7541372.story

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So glad UCSB stood down the bully tactics of the Simon Wiesenthal Ctr, the ADL and Stand With Us. But the impact of this investigation can not be underestimated. The  stress and trauma to Professor Robinson and the effect these campaigns have on education and public discourse is chilling. These are the new blacklists. support for israel, the new loyalty oath.

-Cafe Intifada

_____________________________________

UCSB teacher who sent Gaza e-mail cleared by panel

 

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

(06-24) 19:55 PDT Santa Barbara, Calif. (AP) —

An academic committee at University of California, Santa Barbara has found no reason to discipline a professor who sent an e-mail that compared Israel’s offensive in Gaza to the Holocaust.

University officials sent a letter to Sociology professor William I. Robinson Wednesday, saying the Academic Senate’s ad hoc committee has closed the matter.

In January, Robinson offended students at UCSB with an e-mail to his “Sociology of Globalization” class that juxtaposed grisly photos from the Nazi era and the Gaza offensive.

Jewish groups called the e-mail “hate spam” and claimed Robinson violated university policy that bars professors from intimidating students and using campus resources for political reasons unrelated to teaching.

 

http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2009/06/24/state/n195555D70.DTL

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The Counterpunch article below claims that the Hate Crime Bill of 2009 will result in criminalizing speech that is (specifically?) critical of Israel, Jews, Christianity, or that questions the Holocaust. The article follows my commentary.

1. The hate crime legislature is quiet specific.  It limits hate crimes to acts of violence, and simply extends the protections to LGBT people and people with disabilities.

2. The bill creates no new crimes.  It attaches a 10 yr penalty to already existing crimes in which acts of violence are “motivated by the actual or perceived race, color, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender, or disability of the victim” adding sexual orientation, gender and disability to the already protected categories of race, color, national origin and religion.

 

3. The bill says absolutely nothing about speech!!!!! nothing about the Holocaust, nothing about Israel, Palestine, Gaza, Christianity. There is no correlation between the Hate Crimes Bill and the scenarios the author describes.

 

4. The bill is quite simple and straight forward.  for the full bill:  http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c111:H.R.256:

 

5. Counterpunch magazine has been of the opinion that since Zionists condemn all criticism of Israel as anti-Semitic, nothing is.  I am of the opinion that Counterpunch often promotes positions, attitudes and stereotypes that are anti-Jewish, using the Zionist accusation as a smokescreen for their own bigotry. 

 

6. This bill would simply add as a protected class, LGBT people and people with disabilities, who are often the target of some of the most brutal hate crimes. Incidentally, the bill changes nothing regarding discrimination against or the alleged privilege of Jews and Christians (current law protects people against discrimination based on religion– any religion).  The people most directly hurt by this article and this agenda are not the people this article expects or wants the reader to fear.

 

7. By adding these groups to protected classes, data of incidents can be collected and categorized as hate crimes. 

 

8. The article is written by Paul Craig Roberts whose bio states “was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration. He is coauthor of The Tyranny of Good Intentions.”  He is a right wing Republican author of The New Color Line, How Quotas and Privilege Destroy Democracy, has written profusely against affirmative action and other compensations to deter discrimination.

9. Lest anyone think that I excuse or support Israeli brutality or U.S. support thereof, for the record, I am anti-Zionist and anti-imperialist. I support the right of return for all Palestinians and a fully democratic, secular state in historic Palestine, from the river to the sea.  I support and am part of the bds movement, have been targeted by Zionists and the Zionist establishment, placed on Zionist blacklists and hit lists and have been blacklisted from my union for expressing such views.  Often when I express concern and opposition to anti-Jewish sentiment within progressive movements I am falsely accused of being a crypto-Zionist, with a Zionist agenda. Those familiar with my writings know that I am highly critical of what I refer to as the Zionist campaign against academic freedom and free speech and that I have criticized the Simon Wiesenthal Center and the ADL of using the rhetoric of human rights to advance U.S. (global) and Israeli (regional) hegemony. I support free speech, which includes my right to counter what I don’t agree with.

 

I do agree with Noam Chomsky when he state:

 

“If we don’t believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don’t believe in it at all.”

 

Emma Rosenthal

Café Intifada

 

http://www.counterpunch.org/roberts05072009.html

May 7, 2009

The End of Free Speech?

Criminalizing Criticism of Israel

By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS

On October 16, 2004, President George W. Bush signed the Israel Lobby’s bill, the Global Anti-Semitism Review Act.  This legislation requires the US Department of State to monitor anti-semitism world wide.

To monitor anti-semitism, it has to be defined.  What is the definition?  Basically, as defined by the Israel Lobby and Abe Foxman, it boils down to any criticism of Israel or Jews. 

Rahm Israel Emanuel hasn’t been mopping floors at the White House. 
As soon as he gets the Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009 passed, it will become a crime for any American to tell the truth about Israel’s treatment of Palestinians and theft of their lands.  

It will be a crime for Christians to acknowledge the New Testament’s account of Jews demanding the crucifixion of Jesus.

It will be a crime to report the extraordinary influence of the Israel Lobby on the White House and Congress, such as the AIPAC-written resolutions praising Israel for its war crimes against the Palestinians in Gaza that were endorsed by 100 per cent  of the US Senate and 99 per cent  of the House of Representatives, while the rest of the world condemned Israel for its barbarity. 

It will be a crime to doubt the Holocaust.  

It will become a crime to note the disproportionate representation of Jews in the media, finance, and foreign policy.

In other words, it means the end of free speech, free inquiry, and the First Amendment to the Constitution. Any facts or truths that cast aspersion upon Israel will simply be banned. 

Given the hubris of the US government, which leads Washington to apply US law to every country and organization, what will happen to the International Red Cross, the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, and the various human rights organizations that have demanded investigations of Israel’s military assault on Gaza’s civilian population?  Will they all be arrested for the hate crime of “excessive” criticism of Israel?

This is a serious question. 

A recent UN report, which is yet to be released in its entirety, blames Israel for the deaths and injuries that occurred within the United Nations premises in Gaza.  The Israeli government has responded by charging that the UN report is “tendentious, patently biased,”  which puts the UN report into the State Department’s category of excessive criticism and strong anti-Israel sentiment.

Israel is getting away with its blatant use of the American government to silence its critics despite the fact that the Israeli press and Israeli soldiers have exposed the Israeli atrocities in Gaza and the premeditated murder of women and children urged upon the Israeli invaders by rabbis.  These acts are clearly war crimes.  

It was the Israeli press that published the pictures of the Israeli soldiers’ T-shirts that  indicate that the willful murder of women and children is now the culture of the Israeli army.  The T-shirts are horrific expressions of barbarity.  For example, one shows a pregnant Palestinian woman with a crosshairs over her stomach and the slogan, “One shot, two kills.”  These T-shirts are an indication that Israel’s policy toward the Palestinians is one of extermination.

It has been true for years that the most potent criticism of Israel’s mistreatment of the Palestinians comes from the Israeli press and Israeli peace groups.  For example, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz and Jeff Halper of ICAHD have shown a moral conscience that apparently does not exist in the Western democracies where Israel’s crimes are covered up and even praised.

Will the American hate crime bill be applied to Haaretz and Jeff Halper?  Will American commentators who say nothing themselves but simply report what Haaretz and Halper have said be arrested for “spreading hatred of Israel, an anti-semitic act”?

Many Americans have been brainwashed by the propaganda that Palestinians are terrorists who threaten innocent Israel.  These Americans will see the censorship as merely part of the necessary war on terror.  They will accept the demonization of fellow citizens who report unpalatable facts about Israel and agree that such people should be punished for aiding and abetting terrorists.

A massive push is underway to criminalize criticism of Israel.  American university professors have fallen victim to the well organized attempt to eliminate all criticism of Israel.  Norman Finkelstein was denied tenure at a Catholic university because of the power of the Israel Lobby.  Now the Israel Lobby is after University of California  (at Santa Barbara,) professor Wiliam Robinson.  Robinson’s crime:  his course on global affairs included some reading assignments critical of Israel’s invasion of Gaza.

The Israel Lobby apparently succeeded in convincing the Obama Justice (sic) Department that it is anti-semitic to accuse two Jewish AIPAC officials, Steven Rosen and Keith Weissman, of spying.  The Israel Lobby succeeded in getting their trial delayed for four years, and now Attorney General Eric Holder has dropped charges.  Yet, Larry Franklin, the DOD official accused of giving secret material to Rosen and Weissman, is serving 12 years and 7 months in prison.

The absurdity is extraordinary.  The two Israeli agents are not guilty of receiving secrets, but the American official is guilty of giving secrets to them!  If there is no spy in the story, how was Franklin convicted of giving secrets to a spy?

Criminalizing criticism of Israel destroys any hope of America having an independent foreign policy in the Middle East that serves American rather than Israeli interests.  It eliminates  any prospect of Americans escaping from their enculturation with Israeli propaganda. 

To keep American minds captive, the Lobby is working to ban as anti-semitic any truth or disagreeable fact that pertains to Israel.  It is permissible to criticize every other country in the world, but it is anti-semitic to criticize Israel, and anti-semitism will soon be a universal hate-crime in the Western world.

Most of Europe has already criminalized doubting the Holocaust.  It is a crime even to confirm that it happened but to conclude that less than 6 million Jews were murdered.  

Why is the Holocaust  a subject that is off limits to examination? How could a case buttressed by hard facts possibly be endangered by kooks and anti-semitics?  Surely the case doesn’t need to be protected by thought control.  

Imprisoning people for doubts is the antithesis of modernity.  

Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration. He is coauthor of The Tyranny of Good Intentions.  He can be reached at: PaulCraigRoberts@yahoo.com

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