Columns Jeffrey Salkin: Martini Judaism Opinion

Yes, Abbas is a Jew-hater

Remember that line from the classic film, “Casablanca”?

Captain Renault discovers that there is gambling in Casablanca — and he is “shocked! shocked!”

That is how many of us must have felt when we read the remarks of Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas, at the beginning of a meeting of the Palestinian National Council.

More precisely: his assessment of Jewish history.

First: It was the behavior of the Jews, and not anti-Semitism or Nazi racial theory, that led to the Holocaust.

From the 11th century until the Holocaust that took place in Germany, the Jews – who moved to Western and Eastern Europe – were subjected to a massacre every 10 to 15 years. But why did this happen? The Jewish issue that was widespread in all European countries… was not because of their religion, but rather their social role related to usury and banks.

Comment: No comment. This is beneath comment.

Second: The Jews do not originate in the land of Israel, but rather, in the eastern European empire of the Khazars.

Arthur Koestler, an American-Jewish Zionist, wrote a book about the 13th tribe… Where did you get the 13th from? They invented them. Where? In the Khazar Kingdom. When? In the ninth century. This kingdom was not religious and then it became Jewish… It later broke up, and all of its residents moved to Europe. These people are the Ashkenazi Jews. They have no relationship to Semitic culture, Abraham, Jacob and others.

Comment: First of all, Koestler was not an American.

Moreover, while it is would seem that the medieval Khazars (or, their ruling class) joined the Jewish people, this does not mean that all European Jews are descended from them.

Third: Israel is “a colonial project.” Jews did not support the building of a Jewish state in “historic Palestine.”

Now let’s talk about the homeland of the Jews. They say they are yearning for Zion… History says this is baseless. The proof is that the first person to call for a Jewish state was Cromwell, the British leader, in 1653… Napoleon Bonaparte came after him [and said the same thing]. And after [Napoleon], Churchill, the grandfather, came in 1840 [and said the same thing]… So everyone was calling for a Jewish state, but not the Jews… The story of building a national home didn’t come from the Jews, but rather the colonial states.

Comment: First of all, this is historically inaccurate. The Jewish longing for the Land of Israel is quite ancient; it is, in fact, the most ancient Jewish longing.

Abbas is pulling a swift and subtle move here. He is suggesting that the good people are the ones who never longed for Jewish sovereignty — and that list of good people, at least theoretically, includes those Jews who never longed for sovereignty.

Because, as he notes, the ones who were clamoring for a Jewish state were those nasty European colonialists.

With that slight of hand, Abbas concocts a narrative that would please Jewish anti-Zionists of both the left and the right, i.e., Neturei Karta, Satmar, and their ilk. It allows the anti-Zionists to claim the mantle of being the “good Jews” — at least, in the eyes of the world.

Let us go back Abbas’s first idea — that bad Jewish behavior created the Holocaust.

We should not be surprised.

Abbas has a long history of perpetrating anti-Semitic ideas. His CV has included Holocaust denial and the alleged relationship between Nazism and Zionism; in fact, that was the subject of his 1982 doctoral thesis.

If we are surprised — or, as in Renault’s “shocked! shocked!” — we should blame ourselves, not Abbas. He has always been open about what he believes, despite his occasional gestures of civility towards Jewish leaders.

If we are surprised, it is because many on the Left have willfully ignored this inconvenient truth: that many Palestinian leaders have been vilely anti-Semitic.

The most notorious was Haj Amin al-Husseini, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, considered by many to be the founder of Palestinian nationalism. (I recommend his biography, Icon of Evil: Hitler’s Mufti and the Rise of Radical Islam).

The Grand Mufti was not only responsible for fomenting anti-Jewish violence in the land of Israel. He was in open league with the Nazis. He spent the war years in Berlin. He persistently urged Himmler and other Nazi leaders to bomb Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. In the Balkans and North Africa, he recruited Muslims for the Waffen SS.

The plan: had the Germans won in North Africa, and then went on to conquer the land of Israel, those Muslim troops would have carried out a final solution against the yishuv (the Jewish settlement in Israel).

So, Abbas’ Jew-hatred has an ancestry, a pedigree, and a precedent.

Let us, at the very least, be clear on that.

What, then, might we still hope to hear from a Palestinian leader?

My fantasy speech:

There is an Israeli rock song that says: “Suddenly, a man wakes up in the morning, and he feels that he is a people. And he calls out shalom to all the people that he meets on the way.” (Shir Ba-Boker Ba-Boker).

We, the Palestinians, are a people. We have a deep, profound connection to the Land.

You, the Jews, are also a people. You have a deep, profound connection to the land.

We have heard the voices of the Jews who honor our connection to the Land.

Now, it is our turn — to honor yours as well. That connection emanates from God’s original promise to Abraham, peace be upon him, our mutual father.

No longer can Abraham’s sons, Ishmael and Isaac go their separate ways, in anger, into the wilderness.

It is time for us to mutually recognize each other — our dreams, our texts, our songs, our poems, our realities — and, from there, to build a future. That future will be, we pray, two states for two peoples — in which we live out our national dreams and destinies, in cooperation, and inshallah, in peace.

If you say that this speech is a vain dream, and an empty hope — well, what can I say?

As the ancient prophet said: We are prisoners of hope.


About the author

Jeffrey Salkin

Rabbi Jeffrey K. Salkin is the spiritual leader of Temple Solel in Hollywood, Fla., and the author of numerous books on Jewish spirituality and ethics, published by Jewish Lights Publishing and Jewish Publication Society.


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  • Abbas has little incentive towards governing the West Bank Palestinian people in a sane manner. He has enriched himself as a kleptocrat. Hostility with Israel gives an easy scapegoat and excuse to avoid the rigors of governance or responsibility to his people.

  • As they would say in old vaudeville!!! Yackety-yack, yackety-yack, yackety-yack, yadda, yadda, yadda

  • I love your fantasy speech. Those who say Zionism is a political ideology that has nothing to do with Judaism are wrong. I may be wrong, but don’t the Neturei Karta believe the Holocaust was God’s punishment for Jews behaving badly?

    I just wanted to add that Jews living in North Africa were murdered by the Nazis too. We need to remember them.

  • “It’s not the Jews who are the colonialists.”

    google, “Jabotinsky Iron Wall, pdf”

  • Remember first that there would be no Israel if it were not for the financial support of the Rothschilds. Secondly, land claims are bogus as the Jews were not the first to occupy the land. Ditto for the Muslims.

    And then there is the Great Kibosh to bring reality to this area of hate, discord and blood shedding:.

    Putting the Great Kibosh on all religion in less than ten seconds: Priceless !!!

    • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Abraham i.e. the foundations of Judaism, Christianity and Islam are non-existent.

    • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Moses i.e the pillars of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have no strength of purpose.

    • There was no Gabriel i.e. Islam fails as a religion. Christianity partially fails.

    • There was no Easter i.e. Christianity completely fails as a religion.

    • There was no Moroni i.e. Mormonism is nothing more than a business cult.

    • Sacred/revered cows, monkey gods, castes, reincarnations and therefore Hinduism fails as a religion.

    • Fat Buddhas here, skinny Buddhas there, reincarnated/reborn Buddhas everywhere makes for a no on Buddhism.

    • A constant cycle of reincarnation until enlightenment is reached and belief that various beings (angels?, tinkerbells? etc) exist that we, as mortals, cannot comprehend makes for a no on Sikhism.

    Added details available upon written request.

    A quick search will put the kibosh on any other groups calling themselves a religion.

    e.g. Taoism

    “The origins of Taoism are unclear. Traditionally, Lao-tzu who lived in the sixth century is regarded as its founder. Its early philosophic foundations and its later beliefs and rituals are two completely different ways of life. Today (1982) Taoism claims 31,286,000 followers.

    Legend says that Lao-tzu was immaculately conceived by a shooting star; carried in his mother’s womb for eighty-two years; and born a full grown wise old man. “

  • See the book, The Rothschilds – Virginia Cowles – 2016
    – Amazon Prime, very well researched and written with no hint of anti-Semitism.

  • Though I very much support equality for the Palestinians, preferably in a one-state solution, I fully disagree with Abbas and agree with Salkin here. But Salkin’s article misses a key point: Why is Abbas anti-Semitic and why does he believe what he does about the Holocaust. Likewise, why did the Grand Mufti align himself with the Nazis? The answers to those why questions are as important as the fact that Abbas is anti-Semitic.

    From my reading, I would have to disagree with Salkin on one point: the drive for Modern Day Zionism came as a result of almost two millennia of brutal anti-Semitism by European Christians. The thus, the popular longing for returning to Israel was not always there. Instead, it came about as a result of the realization by European Jews that they could never be fully at home in such a hostile environment.

    On the other hand, Salkin’s fantasy speech is almost exactly what the doctor ordered. The problems with his speech is that Israel would never allow for the emergence an equal Palestinian state. In addition, the two-state solution does not bring equality to Arab citizens of Israel.

  • I thought you were going to “put the kibosh on religion in less than ten seconds” yet now you’re telling me I have to read a book so you can prove you’re not racist?

  • The Great Kibosh required reading 50 plus books and many on-line references to assemble. One book is hardly too much of a requirement. But if you want to read more, some suggestions to bring you up to date: (as noted many times),

    Added suggested readings:

    1. Historical Jesus Theories, – the names of many of the
    contemporary historical Jesus scholars and the titles of their over 100 books
    on the subject.

    Early Christian Writings,

    – a list of early Christian documents to include the year of publication–

    30-60 CE Passion Narrative

    40-80 Lost Sayings Gospel Q

    50-60 1 Thessalonians

    50-60 Philippians

    50-60 Galatians

    50-60 1 Corinthians

    50-60 2 Corinthians

    50-60 Romans

    50-60 Philemon

    50-80 Colossians

    50-90 Signs Gospel

    50-95 Book of Hebrews

    50-120 Didache

    50-140 Gospel of Thomas

    50-140 Oxyrhynchus 1224 Gospel

    50-200 Sophia of Jesus Christ

    65-80 Gospel of Mark

    70-100 Epistle of James

    70-120 Egerton Gospel

    70-160 Gospel of Peter

    70-160 Secret Mark

    70-200 Fayyum Fragment

    70-200 Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs

    73-200 Mara Bar Serapion

    80-100 2 Thessalonians

    80-100 Ephesians

    80-100 Gospel of Matthew

    80-110 1 Peter

    80-120 Epistle of Barnabas

    80-130 Gospel of Luke

    80-130 Acts of the Apostles

    80-140 1 Clement

    80-150 Gospel of the Egyptians

    80-150 Gospel of the Hebrews

    80-250 Christian Sibyllines

    90-95 Apocalypse of John

    90-120 Gospel of John

    90-120 1 John

    90-120 2 John

    90-120 3 John

    90-120 Epistle of Jude

    93 Flavius Josephus

    100-150 1 Timothy

    100-150 2 Timothy

    100-150 T-itus

    100-150 Apocalypse of Peter

    100-150 Secret Book of James

    100-150 Preaching of Peter

    100-160 Gospel of the Ebionites

    100-160 Gospel of the Nazoreans

    100-160 Shepherd of Hermas

    100-160 2 Peter

    4. Jesus Database, –”The JESUS DATABASE is an
    online a-nnotated inventory of the traditions concerning the life and teachings
    of Jesus that have survived from the first three centuries of the Common Era.
    It includes both canonical and extra-canonical materials, and is not limited to
    the traditions found within the Christian New Testament.”

    5. Josephus on Jesus

    6. The Jesus Seminar,

    – books on the health and illness during the time of the NT

    8. Economics in First Century Palestine, K.C. Hanson and D. E. Oakman,
    Palestine in the Time of Jesus, Fortress Press, 1998.

    9.The Gnostic Jesus

    (Part One in a Two-Part Series on A-ncient and Modern G-nosticism)

    by Douglas Groothuis:
    http://www.equip.o-rg/articles/gnosticism-and-the-gnostic-jesus/10. The
    interpretation of the Bible in the Church, Pontifical Biblical Commission

    Presented on March 18, 1994

    11. The Jesus Database- newer site:

    12. Jesus Database with the example of Supper and Eucharist:

    13. Josephus on Jesus by Paul Maier:

    13. Historical Jesus Studies

    14. The Greek New Testament:

    15. D-iseases in the Bible:

    16. Religion on- Line (6000 articles on the
    h-story of religion, churches, theologies,

    theologians, ethics, etc.

    The New Testament Gateway – Internet NT

    Writing the New Testament- existing copies, oral tradition etc.

    19. JD Crossan’s conclusions about the authencity
    of most of the NT based on the above plus the c-onclusions of other NT exegetes
    in the last 200 years:


    20. Early Jewish Writings- Josephus and his books
    by title with the complete translated work in English

    21. Luke and Josephus- was there a connection?

    22. NT and beyond time line:

    23. St. Paul’s Time line with discussion of
    important events:

    24. See for a list of JD
    Crossan’s books and those of the other Jesus Seminarians: Reviews of said books
    are included and selected pages can now be viewed on Amazon. Some books can be
    found on-line at Google Books.

    25. Father Edward Schillebeeckx’s words of wisdom
    as found in his books.

    27. The books of the following : Professors Gerd
    Ludemann, Marcus Borg, Paula Fredriksen, Elaine Pagels, Karen Armstrong and
    Bishop NT Wright.

    28. Father Raymond Brown’s An Introduction to the New Testament, Doubleday, NY,
    1977, 878 pages, with Nihil obstat and Imprimatur.

    29. Luke Timothy Johnson’s book The Real Jesus

    30. , The Rothschilds – Virginia Cowles – 2016
    – Amazon Prime, very well researched and written with no hint of anti-Semitism
    Might still be free on Amazon Prime Free Books,

    “Did Jesus Exist?: The
    Historical Argument for Jesus of Nazareth [Hardcover]

    Bart D. Ehrman (Author)

    Large numbers of atheists, humanists, and conspiracy
    theorists are raising one of the most pressing questions in the history of
    religion: “Did Jesus exist at all?” Was he invented out of whole
    cloth for nefarious purposes by those seeking to control the masses? Or was Jesus
    such a shadowy figure—far removed from any credible historical evidence—that he
    bears no meaningful resemblance to the person described in the Bible?

    In Did Jesus Exist? historian and Bible
    expert Bart Ehrman confronts these questions, vigorously defends the
    historicity of Jesus, and provides a compelling portrait of the man from
    Nazareth. The Jesus you discover here may not be the Jesus you had hoped to
    meet—but he did exist, whether we like it or not.


    NY Times review and important enough to reiterate.

    New Torah For Modern Minds

    “Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, probably never existed. Nor did Moses. (prob·a·bly


    Almost certainly; as far
    as one knows or can tell).

    The entire Exodus story as recounted in the Bible probably never occurred. The same is true of the tumbling of the walls
    of Jericho. And David, far from being the fearless king who built Jerusalem
    into a mighty capital, was more likely a provincial leader whose reputation was
    later magnified to provide a rallying point for a fledgling nation.

    The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, which represents the 1.5 million
    Conservative Jews in the United States, has just issued a new Torah and
    commentary, the first for Conservatives in more than 60 years. Called ”Etz
    Hayim” (”Tree of Life” in Hebrew).


    Constantine’s Sword: The Church and the Jews — A HistoryApr 1, 2002

    by James Carroll

  • What does all your spam have to do with you pushing anti-Semitic conspiracies?

  • “No longer can Abraham’s sons, Ishmael and Isaac go their separate ways, in anger, into the wilderness.

    It is time for us to mutually recognize each other — our dreams, our texts, our songs, our poems, our realities — and, from there, to build a future…………”

    It is a beautiful aspiration but when Palestinians are being incarcerated and shot left, right and centre you guys would need to overcome the nightmare before the dream can materialise.

  • The Rothschilds were minor supporters of Jews settling in Israel very early on. They have nothing to do with the modern state state of Israel. I think that there being a state of Israel is a good thing. Jews need a sanctuary.

    There may not have been an Abraham, but there was a Jewish kingdom. America shouldn’t exist either. There isn’t a single country whose inhabitants were the first to occupy the land. The Jews are the only people that are still around. About half of all Israeli Jews are from Arab countries. The Great Kibosh doesn’t put the kibosh on anything really.

  • If you think Abbass is speaking the truth, you are a Jew hater. I won’t argue with you.

  • Antisemitic conspiracy theories come from Christian Europe, but the Arab and Muslim world had it’s own form of antisemitism. Jews were always second-class citizens. It was the Islamic world that first forced Jews to wear a Star of David badge. Jews were seen as being beneath contempt. The longing for Zion was always there. Some Jews were waiting for the Messiah to come, but the longing was always there.

    Palestinians and Jews have national aspirations. A single state would not satisfy anyone.

  • Abbass has issued a fake apology saying he is “sorry for offending people of the Jewish faith.” That is not a real apology. He only did it because he was being criticized by nearly everyone.

  • You might want to read the Sword of Constantine and Jews if you have not already done so.

  • Virgina Cowles disagrees with your assessment of the importance of the Rothschilds’ to modern Israel. Might want to read her well-researched book.

    And I believe the Hittites occupied Palestine before the Jews. And the first humans came out of today’s Kenya and those Egyptians predate Israel and still reside in said country.

    And the Great Kibosh of all religions is proper 21st century reality.

  • Arab politicians are by and large such fools. Make that, evil fools. Their hatred of Jews and Israel means they never bother to check their facts, or try to construct a rational argument.

    Part of the problem is that Muslim culture teaches that islam is the best of all religions. Of course, if this is true, then all others–especially those horrible, high-achieving Jews–must be second class. But if they are second class, how come they’ve achieved so much? This contradiction is one of the things that leads to silly, horrible ideas and talk from these folks.

    All those Arab countries and politicians would be so much better off if they stopped thinking of Israel–and Jews–as enemies, and tried to find ways to cooperate for their mutual good.

  • James Carroll’s book is (as I recall) Constantine’s Sword, and it’s an excellent one. If you think he cites the Rothschilds in it as contributing financially to the state of Israel, please post the quote and page number so we can check that out.

  • True.

    So often, the media, and Israel haters/critics, forget one of the crucial thing about Palestinians: they send children out with rocks to throw at soldiers, knowing full well that some of those kids are gonna be injured or even killed. Then they wring their hands publicly about how bad the Israelis are.

  • Definition of Semite –
    1 a : a member of any of a number of peoples of ancient southwestern Asia including the Akkadians, Phoenicians, Hebrews, and Arabs
    b : a descendant of these peoples
    2 : a member of a modern people speaking a Semitic language

    Meriam Webster online

    You make statements which appear to be that Jews alone are the semetic people of this world. Not so. Being anti-Jew would only be partially antisemetic. Being against the current State of Israel and everything that ball of wax entails isn’t being antisemetic at all, it is being anti-Israel.

    You are as guilty of jumping to conclusions and making assumptions as the folks you make those claims against.

    As to followers of Islam believing that their’s is the one true faith, they are not alone in that assertion. Folks who live in glass houses…

  • There isn’t a single country whose inhabitants were all the first to occupy the land.

    That claim is made in complete ignorance or wishful fantasy. The ancestors of today’s indigenous peoples of North & South America were the very first humans to occupy the land. There isn’t even any evidence of prior habitation of the Americas by ancestral hominid species. The only primates were the five species of New World monkeys. When Asian people crossed over to the Americas there was no one they needed to vanquish or drive out.

    As to Israel, a major claim of the Jewish National Myth, firmly established by the annals of the Hebrew Bible, is that they were usurpers of the land. They arrived after a long trek from Egypt and battled the prior inhabitants for possession. According to the narrative, the land was already occupied even when Abram left Ur and traveled to the area. Israel’s main claim is that it has stolen the land from prior inhabitants multiple times, with much bloodshed.

  • RC loves publishing his personal boilerplate. And then tells you that until you have read everything that he says to read, you aren’t educated enough to correspond with him or question his assertions. He is a whole pack of logical fallacies rolled into one.

  • You’re much like fundamentalist Christians, only you decide which boxes folks go into and anyone who disagrees with your way of thinking is automatically a Jew-hater.

  • How can anyone tell? Nobody has made much of an effort to try.

    A Palestinian “Gerry Adams” (a former “figher/terrorist” committed to peace and autonomy) could have created an independent state by now.

  • Carroll does not to my knowledge discuss the Rothschilds in his book. What he does review is the violence and discrimination against Jews throughout history.

  • Aaah….OK, I may have misunderstood your comment.

    To remind you, Carroll is a former Catholic priest, and a lot of the book is about the RCC spreading, encouraging, etc anti-Semitism…indeed, something that continues to this day, in some quarters–I’m thinking of that South American cardinal who not so long ago made some idiotic statement about Jews controlling media (and afaik was never disciplined or offered a chance to “educate” himself…)

  • Yes, they are the first to occupy the land, but they did come from some place else. I never said that Jews were the first people to occupy the land. That was my point. We almost all live all land that was occupied by others first.

  • You’re thinking is way behind the 21st century. We now think that myths are very important and do not just dismiss them as irrelevant.

  • No, I’m not. The Holocaust happened. No real historian denies that. Abbass did deny the Holocaust and anyone who thinks that Abbas was right is a Jew hater. Even Abbass’s non-apology apology for having “offending people of the Jewish faith” is uselss. Anyone sho thinks Abass is speaking the truth is a Jew-hater.

  • Akkadians, Phoenicians, Hebrews and Arabs are Semites because Semites are people who spoke or speak Semitic languages. Look up antisemitic in any dictionary and it will say having hatred or prejudice against Jews. That is the modern definition of antisemite. Your comment is often used to excuse antisemitism.

  • I’m not sure why that matters. I didn’t say they were modern secular Zionists. That doesn’t mean they weren’t Zionists. There are many kinds of Zionists and modern seculare Zionists is only one form of Zionism.

    I went to services yesterday and they are numerous references to prayers for God to retun Jews to Zion in the prayerbook. In some cases it assumed to be after the Mesisah comes and in some cases it’s not clear.

  • Akkadians, Phoenicians, Hebrews and Arabs are Semites because Semites are people who spoke or speak Semitic languages. Look up antisemitic in any dictionary and it will say having hatred or prejudice against Jews. That is the modern definition of antisemite.

  • As with the flat earth and geocentric myths, we have the irrelevant myths of Abraham, Moses, Santa Claus, Atlantis, Zeus, the Great Flood, Vampires, Zombies, the Garden of Eden, Dragons, Osiris, the Tower of Babel et. al. still occupying and wasting our time.

  • Susan,
    That is because the first case of anti-Semiitism had to do with the brutal treatment of Jews in Europe. But their suffering does not negate prejudice against other Semites so that we couldn’t call that prejudice anti-Semitism. The key problem with anti-Semitism is that it is an example of prejudice, not that the target has been the Jews. The same prejudice against Arabs is just as wrong as anti-Semitism exercised against Jews and it is exercised against Semites.

    My problem with many of your posts is that, despite some of your statements, you seem to want some preferential treatment for Jews rather than equality.

  • Susan,
    Didn’t you write the following:

    The longing for Zion was always there. Some Jews were waiting for the Messiah to come, but the longing was always there.

  • As Dr David Duke [PhD History] explains, Jewish radical Arthur Koestler, who wrote the book titled, “The Thirteenth Tribe,” which advanced the “Khazar theory,” more than any other, did so because he thought it would advance the interests of the Jewish people.

    Arthur Koestler’s official biography, written by Michael Scammell, specifically quotes him on why he wrote “The Thirteenth Tribe.”His argument was that if he could persuade people that a non-Jewish “Khazar” heritage formed the basis of modern Jews, then this would be a weapon against European racially based anti-Semitism. “Should this theory be confirmed, the term ‘anti-Semitism’ would become void of meaning,” he said. According to Scammell, Koestler told French biologist Pierre Debray-Ritzen he “was convinced that if he could prove that the bulk of Eastern European Jews were descended from the Khazars, the racial basis for anti-Semitism would be removed and anti-Semitism itself could disappear.” (Source: Scammell, Michael. Koestler: The Literary and Political Odyssey of a Twentieth-Century Skeptic, Random House, 2009, ISBN 978-0-394-57630-5, p. 546.)

    Arthur Koestler was a signed up member of the Communist Party of Germany prior to World War II, supported the Jewish Bolshevik mass murderer Bela Kuhn (Cohen) in Hungary, and also ran the Secretariat of Ze’ev Jabotinsky’s Zionist Revisionist Party in Berlin. He only left the Communist International after the Hitler-Stalin Pact of 1939 (as did many other Jewish Communists after the Jews lost power under Stalin).,7340,L-3342999,00.html

  • Arthur Koestler was not a geneticist. He had no ability to present such a case.

  • No, I don’t. I just ask for the truth. In any modern dictionaary antisemitism means hatred of Jews. Only anti-Zionists and antisemites argue about the definiation of antisemitism. I’m not saying there isnt’ prejudice against Arabs or Muslims, but it shouldn’t be called antisemitism. You didn’t even say against other Semites. It shouldn’t be used to excuse prejudice against Arabs or Muslims, but it shouldnt’ be used as an excuse for antisemitism either.

    It’s not true that prejudice against Jews didn’t exist in Arab and Muslim countries. They had their own form of prejudice against Jews. Jews were never to be equal to Muslims. They paid special taxes. Jews were considered to be beneath contempt. Muslims thought Jews were weak and feminine. They didn’t see Jews as being secretly powerful as Christians did. In Iran certain towns and villages forbade Jews to be outisde in the rain lest their Jewishness contaminate Muslims. Then in the 1800s Western colonialism brought Western Christian antisemitism with them. It now premeates the Muslim and Arab world. The two forms of prejudice have been conflated.

  • Yes, I did, but that has nothing to do with whether they agreed with modern Zionism or not. It was still a form of Zionism and longing for Zion.

  • Susan,
    Let me give you a past example. You complained that I didn’t think that I didn’t have faith in Jews because I said that Jewish dominant nation could produce equality for all its citizens. In reality, I said that because I don’t any ethnicity, when dominant, could produce equality for all its citizens.

    My other experience with you is that you aren’t this just honest person looking for the truth. For example, you wanted to label as an anti-Semite because I am against the current dominant form of Zionism. And in trying to label me that way, you neglected to look at why I oppose the current dominant form of Zionism: inequality. So you have pegged those who oppose Zionism because they see it as imposing inequality. You have those nice labels to throw around so you can peg people you disagree with.

    Here, you acknowledge prejudice against Arabs but you say it shouldn’t be called anti-Semitism even though Arabs are Semites. And this the problem I stated before, you want preferential treatment for Jews rather than equality. What I just cited in the previous paragraph and your objections to calling those who hate Arabs anti-Semites when both Jews and Arabs are Semites are examples of the preferential treatment you want for the Jews.

    And, btw, who said that there was no prejudice against Jews in Arab and Muslim countries? I didn’t say that. I simply referred to Europe only because that is where the term anti-Semitism originated. And this is an example of the games you play. You state that such-and-such is not true as if I stated it, but I didn’t. The term anti-Semitism originated in Europe. And there is no reason why prejudice against other Semite groups should not be called anti-Semitism unless the Jews are being given preferential treatment over other groups of Semites.

    Do you want to have a chance at effectively reducing anti-Semitism? Stop vying for preferential treatment for your group.

  • Susan,
    It has everything to do with it. Because what is Zionism? It is more than just the individual longing for the land.

  • I didn’t mean individual longing for the land. I meant the collective longing of the Jewish people for the land.

  • Susan,
    I wasn’t referring to individuals, I was referring to groups. The evolution of the Modern Zionist ventures shows that there were multiple collectives among Jews with some groups longing for a Jewish state and others weren’t. And of those who were longing and provided the most drive, that didn’t occur until the 1800s.

  • My chief difference with you would be that any of the Pentateuch narrative qualifies as myth. Personally I’m quite confident that the history recorded therein is indeed quite accurate. Beyond that I largely agree with the balance of your argument.

  • Well, it’s our time to waste, isn’t it? Not that I agree with your assessment, but rather that we are all free to spend our time as we will.

  • A point well made, though a few Jews were able to function as physicians, particularly in royal courts. I think that there is an irony in there somewhere.

  • Let us not put all Palestinians in one basket, any more than all Jews should be characterized in a static stereotypical way. There are a small but active number of Palestinians who abhor, and would never advocate, the heartless and wicked acts which you describe accurately enough.

  • Aren’t most of these self proclaimed leaders of “their” people, whom ever the people might be, typically kleptocrats? And, following that pattern, they usually find a scapegoat.

  • I’m not sure there is an equivalency in all respects between Ireland/Britain and Israel/Palestine, politically speaking. And that could make the efforts of a Palestinian “Gerry Adams” moot. Every witches’ brew has its own peculiar formulation.

  • No doubt. Did not mean to say “all”.

    The violent opposition to Israel by (some) Palestinians, and the govts of neighboring states, is sad; everyone would be better off if those stupid rulers turned their hatred into cooperation.

  • Some of it also came via WWII. See for example the pro-Nazi forces that killed 141 Jews in Baghdad in June, 1941.

  • It’s like co-opting the opposite for one’s own use.
    From your link –

    Although the term now has wide currency, it is a misnomer, since it implies a discrimination against all Semites. Arabs and other peoples are also Semites, and yet they are not the targets of anti-Semitism as it is usually understood. The term is especially inappropriate as a label for the anti-Jewish prejudices, statements, or actions of Arabs or other Semites.

    Human – a term including all Homo sapiens sapiens on the planet.
    Anti-human – a term coined only for referring to hatred of Homo sapiens sapiens of European descent.

  • Historically, it was coined by a German to refer specifically to anti-Jewish sentiments. That it was not the most accurate term they could use does not change the fact that it was used exclusively to refer to anti-Jewish sentiment.