IS 'STRONG' CRITICISM OF ISRAEL ANTI-SEMITIC?
By Rev. Ted Pike
24 Dec 09
Five hundred international lawmakers, diplomats and academics met
in Jerusalem Dec. 16-17 to consider the threat of “mushrooming” criticism
of Israel. “The Global Forum for Combating Global Anti-Semitism” was
hosted by the government of Israel. Its premise is that criticism of
Israel, her government, and military policies toward Palestinians is
anti-Semitic if it is “strong” or uses Nazi/apartheid imagery.
This criterion for anti-Semitism is shared by the Anti-Defamation
League and its Office of Global Anti-Semitism in the US State Department.
In fact, ADL head Abe Foxman and the State Department’s Hannah
Rosenthal (Special Envoy to Combat Anti-Semitism) were honored guests
at the conference.
Israel’s Foreign Minister, Avigdor Lieberman quoted Foxman
and said much of the world has “crossed the line” from
legitimate criticism to an epidemic of anti-Semitism. Diaspora Foreign
Minister Yuli Edelstein also spoke for Israel. He warned that global
anti-Semitism “has been able to gain endorsement from academics,
media outlets, and even political parties.” Edelstein went so
far as to say:
to be ‘anti-Israel’ is to be anti-Semitic. To boycott
Israel, Israeli professors and Israeli businesses, these are not political
acts, these are acts of hate, acts of anti-Semitism!...Look at the
reality Israelis face when traveling to international athletic, business
and academic events. More and more, when they arrive in Sweden, Turkey,
England, and even the United States, they must lecture and perform
before hostile or even violent crowds, requiring police protection.
We must not hesitate to expose this hatred for what it is. It is a
strong and vile form of xenophobia [fear of foreigners]. It expresses
itself through violence, mockery and exclusion. It is directed toward
the outside, toward that which is different, in appearance, speech
or prayer." "It is discrimination against Jews, because they
are Jews. In short, it is anti-Semitism." (Jerusalem Post,
Dec. 16, 2009, “Verbatim: Anti-Semites Have Warped Tiny Israel
In its 2008 report to Congress, the Office of Global Anti-Semitism
says "classic anti-Semitism" is the New Testament belief
that Jews masterminded the crucifixion of Christ 2000 years ago. (See U.S.
Government, Talmud Mock New Testament) ADL says anti-Semitism
is harsh criticism of Israel. ADL agrees with the State Department
and the government of Israel that anti-Semitism is visual or verbal
comparison of Israeli leaders or military to Nazis. Webster’s
New 20 th Century Dictionary defines anti-Semitism as “fearing
Jews or Jewish things.” Israel is a quintessentially Jewish thing.
Thus, fearing Israel, its leaders, or military is anti-Semitic.
Are beliefs of Christians and critics of Israel’s policies really an
ominous scourge which should be silenced by governments worldwide?
Lest We Forget
In 1982, largely in response to sporadic rocket attacks from the north,
Israel killed at least 19,500 in three days of saturation bombing of
refugee camps in southern Lebanon. ADL was Israel's PR bulldog then,
as it is today. ADL and the Israeli government downplayed the casualties
and damages at Sidon as well as Beirut.
Yet Stan Mooneyham—highly respected leader of World Vision International,
a Christian relief organization—managed to penetrate the area
much sooner than other Western observers. He reported:
If the Israeli figure of 165 killed in Sidon is accurate, I saw
all but 10 of those bodies in one school basement still unburied
three weeks after the invasion. That says nothing about the township
of Ein-el-Hillweh just outside of Sidon which had a normal population
of 60,000 and was obliterated by saturation bombing… There
is no Ein-el-Hillweh anymore. Never before have I seen such total
destruction, not even in Minagua, the earthquake-stricken capital
of Nicaragua. If the world's war-makers and peace-makers want to
see what saturation bombing looks like, they should look here. Israel,
a country skilled in making the desert blossom like a rose, knows
how to turn rose into desert. . .it's one of the major massacres
of modern times.
As the head of an international relief organization bringing $400,000
of medical and relief supplies to victims of this modern holocaust,
Mooneyham was astonished that Israel refused to allow distribution
of such necessities, even two weeks after fighting ended and the area
was secure! He explicitly described the smell of rotting bodies, the
pervasive wreckage and grief of large communities blitzed out of existence.
Mooneyham’s viewing of Lebanon prompted him to make an ominous
comparison: “The sheer magnitude of this one visible piece of
the Israeli war machine is incredible. David seems determined to
become Goliath.” (World Vision Magazine, September, October
Is this Christian observer’s account anti-Semitic? According
to Israel, ADL, the US State Dept., and Webster’s New 20
th Century Dictionary, it is. His articles harshly criticize Israeli
national policy, her leaders and military. He also expresses "fear
of Jews and Jewish things" - generals such as Ariel Sharon who
ordered the attack and the Israeli military's homicidal hatred of Arab
refugees and indifference to their sufferings. (Israeli General Rafael
Eitan described the refugees during the bombardment as "cockroaches
in a bottle.") Mooneyham did not compare Israel in 1982 to Nazis.
(He compared Israel to Goliath.) But he easily could have.
In 1982, ADL and Israel argued that, considering Israel's "right
to defend herself," her military response of saturation bombing
on southern Lebanon was necessary, just, and proportionate. Virtually
all politicians, big media, and all major Christian leaders
(except for Mooneyham) were either silent or defended Israel.
After “Operation Cast Lead” in Gaza last year, most evangelicals
similarly agreed with ADL and Israel that Israel's “right to
exist” was challenged by sporadic rocket fire from Gaza and her
response of bombardment and continuing blockade has been appropriate.
Ever Broadening Definition of Anti-Semitism
In contrast to the defective definitions we have considered, actual
anti-Semitism is the racist belief that all Jews are genetically subversive,
degenerate and corruptive. Hitler taught that to a generation of Germans.
But it is not anti-Semitic to protest what you sincerely
believe to be grievous injustice by Israel's leadership. All the Hebrew
prophets, including John the Baptist and Jesus Christ, did so. In fact,
it was always the false prophetic majority who blessed ungodly Jewish
leadership unconditionally. This perfectly describes the evangelical
position over the past century.
If you listen to critics of Israel today, you will virtually never
hear them criticize Jews according to racist criteria as Hitler did.
international and European humanitarian and human rights groups have
just released a report critical of Israel's "collective punishment" of
the Gazans. A similar report
by Amnesty International is typical of many.) Rather they complain
of human rights abuses by Israel. They say the Palestinians have been
driven to fanaticism and terrorism by Israeli oppression. Whether or
not you agree, such criticism can’t be properly termed anti-Semitism.
Yet more than a billion of such dissidents are now labeled as anti-Semitic
by Israel, ADL, and our US State Dept.
Israel's name-calling of critics during the recent Jerusalem conference
is dangerous and irresponsible. It ignores the possibility that many
(including Jews) use strong words out of love for Israel and
the Jewish people. They may employ “tough love” language
to bring Israel to what they believe is reality. They want Israeli
leaders and war makers to realize the extreme danger their policies
and actions might have on the future of Israel and the safety of all
Jews. Many Jews are concerned that Israel’s actions may cause
a massive backlash of actual violent and vulgar anti-Semitism worldwide.
Instead of softening, Israel gives concerned Jews and the world only
two options: "Don’t strongly criticize Israeli policies
and be our friend, or oppose our actions and be branded a hateful anti-Semite."
Israel’s two simplistic options threaten millions. Under ADL’s
hate crimes laws in countries such as Germany and Canada, the accusation
of anti-Semitism can easily embroil the victim in financially devastating
litigation, huge fines and even imprisonment if convicted. A year ago,
Australian Holocaust questioner Dr. Fredrick Toben narrowly avoided
a probable five years of imprisonment under a German-EU charge of anti-Semitism;
the charge was largely incurred because of his "anti-Semitic" doubts
that the six-million figure of Jewish Holocaust dead was accurate.
Evangelical Christians are also directly threatened by broad, incriminating
definitions of anti-Semitism. ADL's Dept. of Global Anti-Semitism accuses
hundreds of millions of evangelical, Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and
other Christians of being “classic anti-Semites” for believing
the New Testament account of Jewish complicity in the crucifixion.
Government, Talmud Mock New Testament) Tens of millions of
evangelicals still support Israel unconditionally and inherit a 20
th century pro-Zionist tradition to which Israel owes the bulk of its
nationhood and success. But they are now, incredibly, viewed by the
US State Department and Israel's public relations arm, ADL, as anti-Semitic.
They are already regarded by Canada as "anti-Semitic hate criminals" if
they speak their convictions publically.
Who remains free from possible suspicion of anti-Semitism? Only people
with no opinion at all or those too cowardly to open their mouths.
At the rate ADL and Israel are expanding the definition of anti-Semitism,
an "anti-Semitic hate criminal" could soon be anyone who
does not slavishly support whatever Israel does—even if it is
How will ADL respond if alleged anti-Semitism increases? I’ll
make a New Year’s prediction. Unless ADL is restrained through
worldwide exposure and criticism, it will introduce a new bill into
Congress, probably called The Global Anti-Semitism Prevention Act.
As an adjunct of ADL’s recently passed federal hate crimes law,
this law will make it a federal felony for any American to “strongly” criticize
matters Jewish, including the Jewish role in the crucifixion or present
Tragically, just as most evangelical "watchdog" groups allowed
ADL's federal and 45 state hate laws to pass over the past 20 years
(for fear of ADL reprisal against in-depth hate law education), they
will probably allow this bill to become law—still fearing being
labeled anti-Semitic. In one fell swoop, ADL, the U.S. government and
the state of Israel will possess a federal statute in America (also
to be passed in Canada, Europe, and Australia) making the greatest
lovers of Jews in human history—tens of millions of evangelical
Christians—into "anti-Semitic" enemies ripe for prosecution.
If that happens, Jesus foretells what comes next: "they will
lay their hands on you and will persecute you, delivering you to the
synagogues and prisons…for my name's sake." (Luke 21:12)
Let the Anti-Defamation League teach you how they have saddled 45 states
with hate laws capable of persecuting Christians, and spearhead attempts to pass
the federal hate crimes bill: http://www.adl.org/99hatecrime/intro.asp.
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