Monday, March 07, 2005

Playing the Anti-Semitic Card

The already noxious London IWPR (Institute for War and Peace Reporting) ventured yet again into criminal propaganda this week, making charges that Serbia is "anti-Semitic." To a nation that has the highest percentage of "righteous gentiles" recognized at Yad Vashem, and has suffered horribly right alongside the Jews in the death camps of WW2, this slur is as offensive as it is absurd.

To achieve the desired effect, the IWPR reporters make vague claims, engage in fanciful speculation, and falsify logic. "Many bookstores," they say, sell the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion, the anti-Jewish tract concocted by the Tsarist Russian secret police over a century ago. How many? Which ones? Would it be so hard to mention a specific example, so one may establish if they are fringe enterprises or mainstream booksellers? After all, there is most certainly a difference between, e.g. "Uncle Adolf's Racial Rack" and "Barnes & Noble." But the IWPR does not say, and does not care.

Then they mention a "list of Jews in Serbia" posted on the neo-Nazi site Stormfront, supposedly posted by someone in Serbia, "most Serbian commentators conclude." Again, who is "most"? There are all sorts of commentators in Serbia, dozens of whom would be delighted to accuse their country and people (both of which they loathe) of the vilest things. Just so I don't commit the same transgression I accuse IWPR of, I'll mention the roster of columnists for the daily Danas as an example. Any opinion can be had for the right price, and having many rich sponsors, IWPR certainly doesn't lack money.

Next, the IWPR hacks try an assumption:
"Other experts agree that Serbia is becoming a hotbed of extreme racist ideologies – partly a consequence of a decade of warfare under Slobodan Milosevic, when the media painted Croats, Muslims and Albanians as the demonic enemies of innocent Serbs."

Not only is this a brazen thesis reversal of the obvious truth (that Croats, Muslims, Albanians and the mainstream Western media demonized the Serbs as enemies of innocent whoever - and this article is part of that demonization legacy!) but further down in the article, they contradict themselves! According to the Serbian Jewish leader Aca Singer, "anti-Semitic incidents have increased since the fall of the Milosevic regime in October 2000," and that "In the past five years over a hundred anti-Semitic books have been published in Serbia." But if anti-Semitism supposedly exploded once Milosevic was gone, how could it be his fault?

Singer "believes this may be because the advent of democracy has released feelings about Jews that were previously well concealed." So, Serbs have always been evil, but the evil Milosevic held them in check?! Where does this nonsense come from?!

IWPR does quote one specific case of anti-Semitism, a small "Christian" publishing house called IHTUS, which has published the notorious "blood libel" and other anti-Semitic diatribes. Its owner is a former member of a pre-WW2 fascist movement, who recently returned from decades of living in - the United States. The above-mentioned Stormfront is hosted in - the United States. "Serbian Defence [sic] League," another site they mention, is also hosted in - the USA, and owned by a U.S. resident who claims to be a Serb. So far, all that these examples of "Serbian anti-Semitism" have in common is their American origin. But IWPR does not claim America is anti-Semitic, does it?

IWPR reporters also target Obraz, a conservative movement reviled by Serbia's Jacobins, claiming that since its website threatens "Zionists," it is anti-Semitic. But are "Zionist" and "Jew" one and the same? Can one be Jewish and not advocate the establishment of the Jewish State? I'd suggest asking the Hassidic Jews, and other Orthodox Jewish groups, who emphatically reject the esablishment of Israel as sinful. Are they anti-Semitic?

Finally, the IWPR brings out the Big Guns: "one taxi driver" and "another woman interviewed on the street," who both make anti-Semitic remarks. Well, congratulations, folks - you've just discovered the key to establishing the prevailing sentiments of a nation! Let's interview one New York cabbie, at random (not fishing for a story, like IWPR), and see what we can conclude about the U.S. public opinion...

The "woman on the street" dared question the sacred orthodoxy of victim politics: “Jews use anti-Semitism on purpose to gain privileges for themselves," she reportedly said. However, when Singer argues that “The penal code should include a provision on anti-Semitism as a criminal offence,” as he does just a few paragraphs away, does he not prove her right? Why should libeling Jews be a special criminal offfense, but libeling Serbs one of the most profitable enterprises in the news media today?

What's truly tragic about all this is that there is a campaign of anti-Semitism in Serbia, but conducted by a Hungarian nationalist organization "Youth movement of the 64 counties" (HVIM), which has been organizing projections of a Hungarian-made political documentary "Trianon." The film, which advocates the resurrection of the pre-1918 Hungary, is reportedly anti-Semitic (see the RFE/RL Newsline for January 11, 2005, Southeastern Europe, penultimate paragraph). The Serbian authorities are not going after HVIM, probably because they fear a campaign of accusations they are "persecuting Hungarians," like the one launched last summer.

But actual anti-Semitism and Hungarian irredentism don't interest the IWPR; they don't reflect badly on Serbs, so something must be made up that does. The Open Society Fund, the Foreign Office and the State Department should give their propagandists a raise. They are doing an excellent job.


Iz Juge said...

Чланак је и мене доста изнервирао, ал' само да те исправим, тај списак заиста постоји, ја сам га сам видио. Људи ладно постављали имена, адресе и телефонске бројеве јевреја ("Овај је професор мом рођаку на факсу, ево му адреса", у том фазону). За остатак чланка, све се слажем, good job!

CubuCoko said...

Хвала! Додуше, ја и нисам доводио у питање постојање самог списка, јер сам за њега чуо из новина и прије него што се појавио чланак IWPR. Моја критика је била упућена анонимним "коментаторима" које IWPR цитира. Оне који позивају на јавни линч Јевреја не морам ваљда да критикујем, њихово понашање је толико очигледно одвратно...

Jared Israel said...

The IWPR's article alleging antisemitism in Serbia is clearly an effort at divide and conquer. Why would they wish to divide Jews and Serbs? Because Serbs and Jews face the same enemies and have fought - and died - side by side in the past - and since the early 1990s it has been a project of the New World order, of which the IWPR is a mouthpiece, to divide these groups. In that regard, the April 22-24 Belgrade conference being organized by Dr. Milan Bulajic, the legendary scholar on Jasenovac, which I hope to have the honor of attending, is a counter-effort intended to strengthen ties between traditional targets of fascism - Serbs, Jews, Armenians and Greeks. (The conference will commemorate the rebellion at the end of WWII in Jasenovac death camp.)

Unfortunately, in replying to the IWPR, Nebojsa Malic, whom I have worked closely with and whom I esteem as my friend, seems to accept their false claim to represent a Jewish voice, and then refutes the IWPR in a manner that deepens the divide. Nebojsa falls right into the IWPR's trap.

First of all, Nebojsa might have noted that the IWPR is no friend of the Jewish state. In this regard, their list of sponsors, which Nebojsa links to, reflects the IWPR’s politics: anti-Serb and anti-Israel. Regarding Israel, for example the US State Department and even more, the Ford Foundation, are notoriously hostile; the European Commission is so anti-Jewish, it tried to suppress its own report on antisemitic violence in Europe;
and George Soros’ Serb-bashing is matched only by his hatred of Israel.

But as if accepting the IWPR’s claim to represent the Jews - and Israel?! - Nebojsa writes:

"IWPR reporters also target Obraz, a conservative movement reviled by Serbia's Jacobins, claiming that since its website threatens "Zionists," it is anti-Semitic. But are "Zionist" and "Jew" one and the same? Can one be Jewish and not advocate the establishment of the Jewish State? I'd suggest asking the Hassidic Jews, and other Orthodox Jewish groups, who emphatically reject the esablishment of Israel as sinful. Are they anti-Semitic?"

Nebojsa is defending Obraz?

Consider Nebojsa’s argument on its merit:

a) Of course “Zionist” does not itself mean “Jew”. Zionist means advocating the creation of and (*now*) the continued existence of a Jewish state.

Nebojsa says: can’t one be Jewish and not advocate *creating* such a state? This is sophistry because a Jewish state *already* exists. One can be Jewish and advocate anything - but *anybody* attacking Zionism today is attacking the *existence* of (*not* debating the establishment of) Israel. The DIS-establishment of Israel *in practice* means the seizure of Israel by the Arab extremists of the PLO, led by Fatah, whose goals, according to its own website, are:

"[The] Complete liberation of Palestine and eradication of Zionist economic, political, military and cultural existence."

Notice the term, “eradication of Zionist…cultural existence”. How does one “eradicate” a “Zionist…cultural existence” except by driving out or (perhaps more likely) killing the people embed with said culture? And that’s half the Jews in the world (or thereabouts.)

Making itself perfectly clear, Fatah
goes on to state that:

"Armed struggle [read: terrorism - JI] is a strategy and not a tactic… in the liberation fight and in uprooting the Zionist existence, and this struggle will not cease unless the Zionist state is demolished and Palestine is completely liberated."

THAT is the practical issue regarding Zionism - not some theoretical debate over whether or not it is best to “establish” a Jewish state, but a life and death decision over whether Israel will be allowed to “survive” - it and its Jewish and philo-semitic non-Jewish residents. One *might* in theory have all sorts of motives for wishing the destruction of Israel - or for that matter of Serbia or any other state - but the *meaning* of said destruction for the RESIDENTS of Israel (or Serbia) can only be: death and devastation, as Petar Makara and I have documented, regarding
the NATO takeover of Kosovo

b) Nebojsa performs a further and also disturbing sleight of hand. Obraz is attacked by the hypocrites at IWPR for “threatening” Zionists. In his comments, Nebojsa ignores this charge, quite serious despite its source, thus seeming to accept it as ok to “threaten” Zionists, i.e., people who want to see Israel continue to exist - and thrive. (This by the way includes people like me and Petar Makara and our fellow editor at Emperor’s Clothes, Prof. Francisco Gil-White, who is being fired from U. of Penn for defending Israel AND Serbia ). I hope that’s not what Nebojsa meant.…

c) Nebojsa ends his section on Israel with the argument that “I'd suggest asking the Hassidic Jews, and other Orthodox Jewish groups, who emphatically reject the esablishment of Israel as sinful. Are they anti-Semitic?" First of all, Nebojsa is misinformed: the main Hassidic organizations are the most staunchly pro-Israel of any Jewish groups. Secondly, the only group that Nebojsa actually cites is NETUREI KARTA, which, having an obscure religious reason for objecting to the creation of a Jewish state, is dutifully carted out by every Arab fascist as their living “Jewish” justification. The link that Nebojsa provides currently trumpets this *weird* group’s latest junket - as guests of the pro-Syrian, Hezbollah-backed president of the Lebanese Republic, General Emile Lahoud. Doesn’t Nebojsa know that General Lahoud is not only the bitter enemy of Israelis - and supporter of the most vicious terror against Israeli civilians - but also the enemy of Lebanese Christians? What is happening, Nebojsa?

Second, there *is* currently a big effort to foment antisemitism all over Europe (and the US) - including in Serbia and throughout the Slavic world. That effort is being conducted by precisely the political forces that sponsor the IWPR. The most obvious example: the grotesque Jew-baiting by the "orange revolution" people in Ukraine. The IWPR article *falsely* presents antisemitism as a supposedly special fault of the much-demonized Serbs (about whom see the website I edit, Emperor's Clothes )

In fact, forces sponsored openly and covertly by NATO secret services - which also back the IWPR! - are the ones fomenting antisemitism all over the West, including Western Europe and the US, as well as in the Slavic world, including Serbia, for the time-tested purpose of directing fury against this classic scapegoat, the Jewish people. I am surprised the Nebojsa has forgotten this - I say forgotten, because in our own correspondence about two years ago, he clearly stated this exact view (re: the Radical Party's endorsement of Saddam Hussein's grotesque anti-Jewish propaganda, its links to Le Pen, and so on.)

A more appropriate reply to the IWPR would argue that, a) their examples avoid and indeed trivialize the real problem of Western-fomented antisemitism b) their sponsors are the ones fomenting antisemitism, which is used to divert people from an attack on NATO and its various stooges and c) the Serbian people have a history of defeating Nazis and their antisemitic (and anti-Serb!) hate-propaganda, and will do so again. That does NOT mean that antisemitism is not a problem, even in Serbia!

Third, Nebojsa takes the IWPR's bait and supports the accusation that Jews play "victim politics." Ironically, a very similar false charge has been made against Serbs - e.g., by Mr. Korac.

Israel, Serbia, Macedonia, and India ARE all victimized - - they have the distinction of being under fierce terrorist attack by Western-financed "movements". The *ideological* attack is sharpest against Jews and Serbs, and they are also violently assaulted outside their countries. Israel and Serbia are alike in being mocked as having a victim complex when they complain about being slaughtered by these heirs to World War II Nazis - the Bosnian Islamists and the KLA and the PLO share the same grandfather, Hitler's favorite, the Arab leader, Hajj Amin Al Husseini.

The aggressive assertion of antisemitism is going on now world wide. Right now, one takes one's life in one's hands to wear a yarmulke (Jewish skull cap) or speak Hebrew on the streets of Paris. The leader of the German Christian Democratic Party recently said that the fact that his party shared common ideals with the Nationalists (pro-Nazi) was no cause for concern. In the US, Ralph Nader mimics Hitler's line in World War II - saying Israel is the "puppet master" with the US president and Congress its puppets. When Malaysian PM Mahathir said Jews told a meeting of all Muslim heads of state that Jews are trying to kill 1.3 billion Muslims there was no outcry among Western leaders. These are real facts, and what should be appalling is not that Jews protest loudly - but precisely that, as of yet, many millions of Jews do not.

Jared Israel
Editor, Emperor's Clothes

CubuCoko said...

First off, let me thank Jared - whom I likewise respect as a friend and colleague - for a detailed response. My reply will be much shorter, mostly because I agree with so many of Jared's points and therefore will not repeat them.
The ones I want to focus on are my "defense" of Obraz and "attack" on Jews for participating in victim politics.
I'm not defending the position of Obraz, which I actually disagree with, only their right to free speech without the censorship of IWPR Commissars. But the point of my answer was not whether Obraz was right or wrong to attack Zionists, but that IWPR was committing a drive-by smear of Obraz by equating "Zionist" and "Jew." Not all Jews are Zionists, and not all Zionists are Jews. I support the existence of Israel, so that makes me a Zionist. Yet - not Jewish. QED.
As for my "taking IWPR's bait" in regards to victim politics, I have to disagree, and strongly. Jared says that Jews are being victimized, and I agree with him entirely. But "victim politics" means using one's victimhood, real or perceived, to gain political favors and special treatment.
Aca Singer's comments about outlawing anti-Semitism are without a doubt an effort to criminalize speech and thought, and I cannot possibly ever agree with that.
Yes, Korac and other Jacobin quislings are accusing Serbs of having a "victim complex" and participating in "victim politics," but in addition to being wrong, they also don't oppose victim politics on principle. They see nothing wrong with shamelessly exploiting the Shoah or any other tragedy to advance their political goals. Surely one should oppose such perversion, if nothing for violating the victims all over again. The very worst instance of victim abuse I can think of in this particular context surely must be when the PR agencies in the service of Croatia and Bosnian Muslims pitched the fabrication of "Serb death camps" to American Jewish organizations, and they by and large took the bait, helping associate Serbs with Nazis even though the real, historical Nazi allies were precisely Croats and Muslims. Jared and Emperors-Clothes have done a lot of excellent work on this topic.
I never once said that IWPR was a competent judge of someone's anti-Semitism, or a legitimate voice of Jews, and I resent Jared's implication of that. What I tried to do is defend free speech and condemn IWPR's cheap smear tactics, duplicity and propaganda. If Jared thinks this is not "appropriate" somehow, I would kindly suggest that he writes an expose of IWPR himself. I'm sticking to mine.