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Daily Briefing: COMBATTING ANTISEMITISM (December 18,2020)

WW 2. German concentration camp prisoners’ cloth badges, Yellow Star of David Jude (Wikipedia)

Table Of Contents:

 

Anti-israelism Is Dying on Campus: Avi Benlolo and Richard. L. Cravatts, National Post, Dec. 11, 2020


Will the EU Develop a Serious Strategy to Combat Antisemitism?: Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld, BESA, Dec. 7, 2020

‘Proustian Uncertainties’: Where Memory Leads: Boyd Tonkin, WSJ, Dec. 4, 2020

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Anti-israelism Is Dying on Campus
Avi Benlolo and Richard. L. Cravatts
National Post, Dec. 11, 2020After spending 20 years in the trenches of campus warfare, we were delighted to hear that the University of Toronto has launched “an Anti- Semitism Working Group to examine and address anti- Semitism on campus.” Given the fact that U of T is the birthplace of the infamous Israeli Apartheid Week, it is about time that the university stepped up, as it says, to ensure it is “an inclusive and welcoming place for Jewish members of its community.”
 
Sadly, like many other universities, U of T has not been an inclusive and welcoming place for many years. Students, faculty and Jewish community members have been calling attention to anti-semitism on campus since the very first anti- Israel meeting was held on a Sunday morning in January 2002.
 
In order to enter the lecture hall on that fateful day, attendees were obligated to sign a declaration agreeing to “Palestinian resistance by any means.” To put this into context, “resistance” referred to the suicide attacks that were taking place in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem at the time, in a concerted attempt to murder Jews.
 
From there, radicalism spread to thousands of campuses around the world. Anti- Israel students and even faculty spread the biggest lie of this century: that Israel is an apartheid state that is treating Palestinians inhumanely; and like apartheid- era South Africa, Israel deserved to be criminalized, dismantled and destroyed.
 
Over time, that lie was so widely accepted on campus that openly calling for the genocide of the Jewish people became the rallying cry of the pro- Palestinian movement: “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” — effectively meaning the elimination of Israel.
 
Despite our calls for a task force to counter this incessant hate, for decades now, students have graduated with a mistaken view that Israel is singularly evil among nations. They have participated in slanderous campaigns and events designed to denigrate Israel. Some have been taught by professors that Jews are colonizers, despite the fact that they are indigenous to the land.
 
So what made the University of Toronto reverse course and state that its “aim is to see to it that the university not only responds when there are incidents or allegations of anti-semitism, but is also proactive in creating a culture of inclusion within which various forms of discrimination, including anti- Semitism, are better understood and tackled through education”?
 
It is not that this week happens to be the 72nd anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The answer is that the momentum against Israel and the Jewish people is shifting. Every generation of university students needs a cause to fight for. For a time, that cause was anti-israelism and anti- Semitism. But they are starting to fall out of fashion. … [To read the full article, click the following LINK – Ed.]
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Will the EU Develop a Serious Strategy to Combat Antisemitism?
Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld
BESA, Dec. 7, 2020The EU Commission has stated that in the coming year, it plans to tackle the issue of antisemitic incitement. Its program for 2021 states: “Given the rise in antisemitic violence and hate crime, the Commission will present a comprehensive strategy on combating antisemitism to complement and support member states’ efforts.” The EU also intends to adopt a declaration against antisemitism at its December summit.
 
Europe’s lengthy history of antisemitism, which has lasted well over a thousand years, had its origins even before the notion of Europe existed. No EU strategy against antisemitism can be effective without a detailed explication of the history of Europe’s millenarian antisemitism. This will require, first of all, a focus on the Roman Catholic Church, but will also have to involve attention to individual figures like Erasmus, Martin Luther, Voltaire, nineteenth century early French socialists, and Karl Marx.
 
The EU document will have to explain how vile and rabid Christian antisemitism laid part of the basis for the second major wave of this hatred, national ethnic antisemitism, and its most extreme genocidal expression: Nazism.
 
In the years since WWII, a third mode of antisemitism gradually took form: anti-Israelism. The EU and a number of its member states have participated in this version of antisemitism from time to time. All this has to be detailed and illustrated; otherwise, the ultimate document will be invalid.
 
An important milestone in the distortion of the EU reality of antisemitism occurred in 2003, when the Center for Research on Antisemitism (CRA) at the Technical University in Berlin was asked by the European Monitoring Center for Racism and Xenophobia (EUMC) to analyze the data and summarize the findings on antisemitism that the European organization had collected.
 
American scholar Amy Elman detailed this failure in her 2015 book, The European Union, Antisemitism and the Politics of Denial. In an interview she said:
 
The CRA completed its document in October 2003. It found that violent attacks against Jews often rose from virulent anti-Zionism across the political spectrum. Moreover, it specifically identified young Muslims of Arab descent as the main perpetrators of physical attacks against Jews and the desecration and destruction of synagogues. Many were victims of racism and social exclusion themselves.
 
The EUMC did not publish the study and insisted that the one month period covered in the CRA investigation was too short. It also claimed the report was never intended for publication. The CRA researchers commented that their focus on Muslim perpetrators of antisemitism and anti-Zionist attacks unsettled the EUMC. They stated that this EU Agency had repeatedly asked them to alter their ‘divisive’ findings. After the researchers refused this revisionism, the EUMC shelved their report in November 2003. … [To read the full article, click the following LINK – Ed.]
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A Mystery In Its Own Right: The ‘anti-Semitism’ of John le Carré
Melanie Phillips
JNS, Dec. 17, 2020John le Carré, the acclaimed grandmaster of the spy novel who died last weekend at the age of 89, was dogged for years by allegations of anti-Semitism.
 
The plot of his 1983 novel ‘The Little Drummer Girl,’ which involves the Mossad recruiting an English actress with radical sympathies to infiltrate a Palestinian terrorist faction, presents Israel and the Palestinian cause as morally equivalent. But the media watchdog CAMERA UK, which has criticized The Guardian for identifying le Carré’s Palestinian sympathies as the source of the anti-Semitism charge, notes correctly that the accusation was more broadly based.
 
In 1996, for example, The New York Times observed that the eponymous hero of le Carré’s novel ‘The Tailor of Panama, Harry Pendel,’ is a Jew who defames Panama’s “saintly” political leader and goes on “to implicate his own wife’s utterly innocent Christian study group to boot.” At one point, Pendel’s wife rebukes him thus: “… we would surely all prefer to live in reduced circumstances practicing Christian abstinence than try to keep pace with your rich, immoral friends.”
 
Moreover, during the 2003 Iraq war, le Carré tapped into the classic anti-Semitic trope of malign Jewish power. This was all too common among opponents of that war, who accused Jewish neo-conservatives of hijacking U.S. foreign policy in the interests of Israel.
 
As The Guardian itself reported, le Carré said his book ‘Absolute Friends’ aimed to show “what could happen if we allow present trends to continue to the point of absurdity where corporate media are absolutely at the beck and call in the United States of a neo-conservative group which is commanding the political high ground, calling the shots and appointing the State of Israel as the purpose of all Middle Eastern and practically all global policy.”
 
And yet, in a 1998 interview with Douglas Davis in Jewish World Review, le Carré emotionally identified with Diaspora Jews as disdained outsiders, revealed he was haunted by the “broken” Jewish Holocaust survivors he dealt with in Germany as a young intelligence officer and expressed admiration for Israel.
 
He called his conscience a Jewish one and spoke of “a spiritual kinship” with Jewish identity “that embraces what is creative in me, and forgives what is despicable, and shares with me the dignity and solitude and anger that are born of alienation.”
 
In Israel, he said he had found “the most extraordinary carnival of human variety that I have ever set eyes on, a nation in the process of re-assembling itself from the shards of its past, now oriental, now western, now secular, now religious, but always anxiously moralizing about itself, criticizing itself with Maoist ferocity, a nation crackling with debate, rediscovering its past while it fought for its future.”
 
“No nation on earth,” he told Davis, “was more deserving of peace—or more condemned to fight for it.”
 
So where lay the truth about John le Carré? Of course, he might simply have thought he needed to counter the damaging accusations of anti-Semitism that were swirling around. But maybe there was a more complex explanation. … [To read the full article, click the following LINK – Ed.]
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Proustian Uncertainties’: Where Memory Leads
Boyd Tonkin
WSJ, Dec. 4, 2020At the outset of this brief but haunting work, Saul Friedländer asks himself a question. Now 88, the eminent historian of the Holocaust wonders whether he felt the urge to reread Marcel Proust’s great multivolume novel “In Search of Lost Time” in response “to some need, to something in my personal life that called for delving into that book.” At the close, he will give us an answer. In the meantime, this lifelong student of the worst in human history and character finds relief from a dark vocation in the beauty and irony—and deep ambiguity—of an author he deems “the greatest painter in words in French literature.” This, though, is a shadowed portrait—and the shadows occasionally fall not only over Proust, but his champion as well.
 
Mr. Friedländer has always imbued his scholarship with an acute literary sensibility rooted in a multilingual, border-crossing background. Born in Prague to a nonreligious Jewish family, young Pavel moved to France when the Nazis invaded his Czech homeland. Separated from his parents (who would die in Auschwitz), he survived the war in occupied France as a pupil at a Catholic school but returned to his ancestral faith. Now an ardent Zionist, he left for Israel in 1948. There Pavel/Paul became Saul (reversing the path of his New Testament namesake). He worked for the future Israeli premier and president Shimon Peres, but turned sharply against the divisive nationalism of the Netanyahu era. As a historian, based in Geneva and then at UCLA, he integrated daily life and high policy into his panoramic study of the Third Reich as it descended from persecution to extermination.
 
In addition to the prize-winning volumes of his “Nazi Germany and the Jews, 1933-1945” he has written two luminous memoirs: “When Memory Comes” and “Where Memory Leads.” After a 2013 book on Franz Kafka’s shame and guilt, Mr. Friedländer confirms his late swerve toward literature in the incisive and quizzical essays of “Proustian Uncertainties.” Proust, the conflicted son of a doting Jewish mother and a distant Catholic father, speaks to the historian who mapped the shifting sands of identity in a period when tolerance and assimilation vied with bigotry and harassment.
 
He finds Proust “undecided to the end” about his Jewishness. The nameless narrator of “In Search of Lost Time”—who sometimes shares his creator’s views but often doesn’t—directs both warm sympathy and snobbish mockery toward Jewish characters. He even compares one inoffensive friend to a “hyena,” a spasm of disgust that reveals, for Mr. Friedländer, the “secret self-image” of Proust as a guilty parvenu. Behind this “constant seesaw” lie the bleeding wounds of the Dreyfus Affair, which tore France apart—and divides the novel’s characters—after the Jewish officer was wrongly convicted of treason in 1895. … [To read the full article, click the following LINK – Ed.]
______________________________________________________FOR FURTHER REFERENCE:

Rights Advocate Irwin Cotler Appointed Special Envoy For Holocaust Remembrance, Fighting anti-Semitism:  National Post, Nov. 25, 2020 — Irwin Cotler, a former Liberal cabinet minister and longtime advocate for human rights, has been appointed Canada’s first special envoy for Holocaust remembrance and combating anti-Semitism.
 
Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld: Western Incitement Against Israel Comes Mainly From The Left: Csere Ivett, NeoKohn, Nov. 2, 2020 — In one of your latest articles you highlighted the malicious language (with terms such as “apartheid” or “occupation”) as a tool against Israel that have been used and widely promoted in the past mostly by BDS activists in the Western world. How could this language be silenced?
 
WATCH:  Ancient Hatred, Modern Medium: Conference on Internet Anti-Semitism:  Office Of The Special Envoy To Monitor And Combat anti-Semitism, Oct. 21 – 22, 2020 — Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo hosted and delivered opening remarks during the first-ever U.S. Government conference focused on combatting online anti-Semitism.
 
YouTube Removes Nation of Islam Channel:  Aaron Bandler, Jewish Journal, Oct.5, 2020 — YouTube has taken down the Nation of Islam (NOI) channel from its platform.
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This week’s Communiqué Isranet is Communiqué: Pourquoi l’accord de paix avec le Maroc est-il différent de tous les autres? (Decembre 18, 2020)
 

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