Calling a yellow star a yellow star

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36 Responses to Calling a yellow star a yellow star

  1. C.L. says:

    In the The Weekend Australian:

    The apparent end of Benjamin Netanyahu’s 12-year reign as Prime Minister of Israel is a grand historical moment. So, sadly, is the recrudescence of one of the most putrid hatreds in history, the renewed rise of anti-Semitism.

    Are these two connected?

    Yes they are. Let me be absolutely clear. “Bibi” Netanyahu did not cause, and does not bear responsibility for, any speck of anti-Semitism. But the prolonged demonisation of Netanyahu is itself an element, and an enabler, of the new, foul, racist hatred of Jews, especially evident in the West.

    Netanyahu had an earlier term as PM, from 1996 to 1999, so in total he was Israel’s leader for 15 years. This is longer than anyone else, even the legendary David Ben-Gurion. And it means Netanyahu has been Israel’s leader for more than 20 per cent of its history, since its modern independence in 1948.

    He is to be replaced by an astonishing coalition to be led, initially, by Naftali Bennett.

    Israel’s eccentric electoral system has required four elections in the past two years. This is because Israel operates one of the most pure proportional-representation systems in the democratic world. A party only needs 3.25 per cent to get into the Israeli parliament, the Knessett.

    Every charismatic leader, and every identifiable interest group, is thus tempted to form its own political party and negotiate over its core issues, rather than being part of one of the big parties, of which Netanyahu’s Likud is the biggest.

    This interacts with a central feature of Israeli demography. About 20 per cent of Israeli citizens are Arabs. They are full citizens and vote in elections, but enjoy varying degrees of integration into Israeli society. In the past they haven’t wanted to form part of an Israeli government, and because their political parties bear at least some nominal allegiance to Palestinian causes the mainstream parties have not sought their endorsement.

    As a result, to form a government an Israeli coalition needs in effect not 50 per cent plus one, but rather 51 of the 80 per cent of the vote which is Jewish. That has made forming a coalition extremely difficult.

    Now, apart from his passionate supporters, the mood in Israeli politics is overwhelmingly that the Netanyahu period should end. This has enabled a coalition of astonishing ideological variety – one might say incoherence – to assemble. Three of the coalition party leaders – Bennett, Avigdor Liebermann and Gideon Saar – are to the right of Netanyahu on national security issues. I have interviewed all three at length and they are vastly more subtle and nuanced than any international caricature of them would suggest. Each has worked closely in government with Netanyahu in the past and would be natural coalition partners for Likud except for their desire to see Bibi gone.

    Bennett spent part of his youth in the US, like Netanyahu served in an elite military unit, then made a fortune as a hi-tech entrepreneur before going into politics. In the coalition’s centre is Yair Lapid, a former TV presenter and figure of some glamour. His party is centrist on national security but mainly concerned with standard-of-living issues, and removing some of the exceptions and privileges of the ultra-orthodox Jewish community. To the left within the coalition is the Israeli Labor Party, and the even more left-wing Meretz Party. But then, for the first time in Israeli history, an Arab Islamist party, Raam, is also to be part of the coalition. Bennett gets to be PM for two years then hands over to Lapid for the second half of a four-year term.

    That ideological spread guarantees no big moves regarding the Palestinian community, or Jewish settlements in the West Bank, or indeed many other issues. Who knows if it can possibly last four years? It will need to win a vote of confidence, probably as early as next week, and Netanyahu, 71, for the moment plans to be opposition leader.

    But if this is the end of the Netanyahu era it deserves to be assessed in the round. Netanyahu is one of the most consequential figures in Israeli and Middle East history. I first interviewed him in the mid-1980s when he was the prodigy superstar Israeli ambassador to the UN. I’ve had the good fortune to interview him repeatedly since, when he was in opposition, when he was foreign minister and several times as PM.

    He is as formidable an individual as I have met in international politics. Like most democratic leaders in most democratic nations, he was good and bad. On balance, his record is one of huge, nation-defining achievements, marred somewhat by the extreme messiness of his last couple of years.

    One thing I’ve learnt from many conversations with Netanyahu is that although he is certainly a national-security hawk, his real interest is economics, or more precisely, commerce. A typical conversation with Netanyahu involves him running through the security issues of the day, but then his eyes really light up when he tells you in detail what the comprehensive computerisation of motor vehicles means for Israeli hi-tech in providing software and systems for cars. Or he’ll go on endlessly about the application of Artificial Intelligence in civilian technology. He also told me once he thought his reputation as a fierce national-security hawk was itself an asset for Israel, as it meant in part that he didn’t have to use force so much. In this he was a little like Ronald Reagan, actually quite cautious and even parsimonious in his use of force, though he would use it decisively if necessary.

    This concentration on the Israeli economy is the key to everything else about Netanyahu. He has served at times as both foreign minister and finance minister. He is really the father of the modern Israeli economy. Israel began as a socialist, labour movement. The social solidarity represented in the kibbutz movement was the key not only to the ethos of Israel but its economic policies.

    Netanyahu was the first free-market leader Israel ever had. In his first stint as PM he created the modern Israeli economy, deregulating key sectors and going all-in for hi-tech.

    When he came back as PM in 2009 it was the same vision which propelled him. Although always a tough guy on security, he basically decided to ignore the Palestinian question. Instead he pioneered Israeli relationships with nations beyond the Middle East, for whom the Palestinian issue was not central. He especially took Israel into Asia, developing deep connections with India, Japan, China, Singapore and other nations. They wanted Israeli technology; he wanted their markets.

    He had also, right from the start, seen the danger of Iran, not a difficult thing for any Israeli. This gave him a platform for improving relations with Gulf Arab nations. They wanted Israeli help in resisting Iran. This culminated in four new peace treaties with Muslim nations: the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan.

    In some ways Netanyahu was less of a right-winger than he seemed. From 2009 he tried hard to form coalition governments with centrist and even left parties. He had coalitions with Labour, with the centrist Kadima party and with Yair Lapid’s party. He was not a particularly energetic builder of Jewish settlements in the West Bank. For all that, there was certainly a negative balance to the Netanyahu ledger. He is currently under indictment for three corruption charges. In truth, they look mostly pretty trivial – too many gifts of champagne and cigars, trying to influence the media.

    But over the past few years Netanyahu has courted voters in the settlements, which means he has stopped enforcing action against those settlements which are illegal under Israeli law. I don’t mean here the big settlement blocs, but what you might call wildcat settlements, which operate without authorisation and seek to become so established that ultimately Israeli law must accommodate them.

    In the past few years, Netanyahu just seemed to be too desperate to hang on to power. He drove almost all his potential successors out of the party. He has at times flirted with extremist personalities on the genuinely far right. He has demonised his domestic opponents, casting them as a grave threat to Israeli security and thus undermining the credibility of national security language. And at times he has made prejudiced comments about Israel’s Arab minority, talking of the dangers of too many of them voting. This has not stopped achievements, such as the Abraham accords. But Israeli politics has been wickedly polarised and savage over the past couple of years. In part it’s the power of social media, as with other Western societies. In part it’s Israel being influenced by the savagery of the regional environment in which it lives.

    How does this all interact with the truly hideous recrudescence of anti-Semitism in Western societies? Anti-Semitism long predates the existence of Israel. Its origin lies in one of the original sins of Christianity. It is no secret I regard Christianity as one of the greatest forces for good in the human experience over the past 2000 years. However, Christians have certainly done some bad things. Nothing was worse than the intermittent hostility to Jews and Judaism which punctuated Christianity for 2000 years.

    There were always pro-Jewish Christians. Thomas Aquinas, the greatest of the medieval theologians, was profoundly influenced by Moses Maimonides and his seminal Guide for the Perplexed. However, a faulty understanding of theology led too many Christians to conceive of Jews as the killers of Christ. This is wrong historically. Christ was executed by the Roman authorities. More than that, Christianity owes profound theological, philosophical and ethical debts to the Jewish tradition from which it grew. But it is the case that both Catholic and Protestant figures throughout the centuries propagated a range of anti-Jewish stereotypes that were profoundly destructive.

    All Christian denominations have comprehensively repudiated this past. But these traditional anti-Semitic tropes, which you can see in Shakespeare and Dickens and all through Western culture, where you can also see their repudiation, have left a deep deposit of anti-Semitic images and constructs which are frequently appropriated now by new and different groups.

    Nowadays the two main sources of anti-Semitism are Arab and Islamist politics, and radical left movements and even progressive politics in Western societies. Both these movements, sometimes unconsciously, draw on pre-existing anti-Jewish stereotypes.

    The demonisation of Israel, and in the past decade and a half the demonisation also of Netanyahu, plays a huge role in modern anti-Semitism. It goes without saying that it is perfectly legitimate to criticise Israel. However, the standards to which Israel is held are often insanely high. Thus, uniquely among modern nations, Israel’s very right to exist is frequently denied and contested. There is a strong campaign in the West to boycott Israel for its alleged human-rights violations. Yet even if everything alleged against Israel were true, even then Israel would be not remotely anywhere near the worst offenders against human rights.

    Turkey permanently and illegally occupies northern Cyprus, but there is no move to boycott Turkey, and so on.

    The anti-Israel criticism reaches extremes of moral depravity so the Jewish state is often directly compared with Nazi Germany, which was responsible for the extermination of six million Jews.

    In recent weeks we have witnessed sickening scenes. In Los Angeles and New York, Jews were attacked in the street by mobs of young men, mostly of Arab or Middle East origin. The same happened in Germany. In London, anti-Israel demonstrations have become overtly anti-Semitic. Carloads of young men drove through London screaming that they would “kill the Jews and rape their women”.

    One of the most astonishing features of this grotesque behaviour is that while it has been condemned by civilised people, it has generated no energy in the popular culture. Where is the Jewish Lives Matter movement in the West? Where is the trending hashtag I Stand with the Jews?

    The demonisation of Israel has effectively led to the demonisation of Jewish people in Western societies. Two contemporary dynamics are particularly powerful. One is so-called intersectionality on the left. Intersectionality means that you try to amalgamate all the grievances of identity politics that you can – race, gender, sexual orientation, et cetera – and use each one to magnify the other. Both its Arab opponents and its Western critics constantly criticise Israel in the terms of intersectionality campaigns – Israel is a colonial power, represents Western culture, is patriarchal and sexist, oppresses people of colour, promulgates a Western religion – and because of this, the politics of Palestinian protest has become part of the Black Lives Matter radical coalition.

    It’s not just Thomas Jefferson they hate, it’s Israel and Netanyahu and Jews who happen to live among them.

    The other relatively new dynamic is the power of social media. The dishonest editing of images, the wildly exaggerated misreporting of events in Israel, finds a ready audience on social media in the West. Add to this the paranoia of the Arab world view – we have such a supreme religion and culture, why are we not ruling the world? – and hostility to Western Jews becomes an easy part of the mix.

    Netanyahu was a great defender of his people and his country, but his language was sometimes overdone. But the battle against the infamous hatreds of anti-Semitism should now be waged by every civilised person.

  2. Docket62 says:

    But the battle against the infamous hatreds of anti-Semitism should now be waged by every civilised person.

    And the filth of the Greens here in Australia, and their supporters, should be treated with the same contempt, disdain and hatred that they themselves show to the Jews.

  3. FlyingPigs says:

    Docket62 says:
    June 6, 2021 at 3:11 pm

    It is beyond my comprehension.

  4. Bruce of Newcastle says:

    Certainly linked.

    State Department shuns the term ‘Abraham Accords’ (5 Jun)

    The Biden State Department discourages employees from referring to the peace agreements signed by Israel and its Arab neighbors by its official name, the Abraham Accords, the Washington Free Beacon reported on Friday.

    This is how far the Left has gone: that they now must disappear the greatest diplomatic feat in the Middle East for nearly fifty years. All because their hated figures of Netanyahu and Trump negotiated them.

    And antisemitic attacks are rising everywhere, in the US led by the rank and file of the Democrat Party.

  5. Rabbi Putin says:

    The anti-semites have been mostly on the left for the last few decades but are sadly now also finding renewal on the right.

    Luckily for the Jews they take self-defence a lot more seriously than they did prior to WW2. In St Kilda and Caulfield it’s fairly normal to see security out the front of synagogues during the sabbath. Something the Christians should’ve also taken up by now.

  6. Gorilla Dance Party says:

    I support Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish nation. I also support all other nations to exist with their respective ethnicities remaining a super-majority. As Jews support this for Israel, I am sure they wouldn’t object to my desire for Australia to preserve the majority of the population of British ancestry as our founders explicitly wanted.

  7. Lee says:

    The anti-semites have been mostly on the left for the last few decades but are sadly now also finding renewal on the right.

    They are arguably emboldened by the support of the Democrats in America, and Labour in Britain for anti-Semitism.

  8. Nob says:

    They have to support the ultra orthodox as they’re the only ones outbreeding the mlms.

    Demography is destiny.

  9. Gorilla Dance Party says:

    As Jews have been at the forefront in promoting mass immigration to Western nations, I now want the same for Israel. What could possibly go wrong letting all those Arabs in? All the diversity they’ve blessed us with has made Australia a much nicer, richer, wealthier and safer place, hasn’t it? You must hate Jews if you don’t want the same for them.

  10. Bruce of Newcastle says:

    Gorilla DP – You wouldn’t be a Dane by any chance?

    Danish Parliament Votes for Overseas Asylum Reception Proposal (5 Jun)

    A majority of politicians in the Danish parliament have voted for a proposal that could see Danish asylum claims processed in countries overseas by creating asylum reception centres abroad.

    In January, Prime Minister Frederiksen set a target of zero new asylum seekers, citing concerns with Danish social cohesion.

    I very much doubt our MSM will report this, especially not the ABC.

  11. Cassie of Sydney says:

    It’s a great piece from Sheridan…thanks C.L. for uploading it.

    As for GDP’s comment at 5.32…”As Jooos have been at the forefront in promoting mass immigration to Western nations, ” I understand your anger…however being Joooish myself and knowing my community here in Oz….it’s a generalisation. Some Jooos have been at the forefront in promoting mass immigration…not all Jooos. There has long been a problem with communal leadership in this country and the UK though strangely not France because French Joooos, most of whom are now Mizrachim from North Africa, know exactly what mass immigration from third world countries….particularly Muesli countries….does. Australian communal leadership is by and large progressive and left-wing however this doesn’t represent the bulk of the community…which is why David Adler set up the conservative Australian Joooish Association and for so that he has been smeared by left-wing Joooos as being “far-right”.

    If anyone wants to understand why I always call out that disgusting hypocrite from Toowoomba on the open thread it is because scum like him and others on the progressive left hide behind the lie of “oh…we’re not anti-Semitic….we’re just anti-Zionist”. That is a lie. The truth is that most anti-Semitism now comes from the progressive left and their ideological buddies….Mueslis. Whilst there remains a far-right threat……here in Australia it’s small…..the bottom line that is that they couldn’t organise a piss up in a brewery….whereas threats from adherents of the religion of pieces are growing day by day. In France it isn’t far-right extremists murdering Jooish children outside schools….it isn’t far-right extremists murdering Jooos in a kosher supermarket.

  12. Cassie of Sydney says:

    “They are arguably emboldened by the support of the Democrats in America, and Labour in Britain for anti-Semitism.”

    Correct…and here in Australia they’re emboldened by the ALP and Greens.

  13. Cassie of Sydney says:

    And I wouldn’t kiss Bibi goodbye.

  14. JC says:

    Bibi was freaking amazing. Before him Israel was really a socialist shithole of an economy. let’s not mince words. it was. It was. He make that economy resemble a Porsche engine by following market friendly policies. i love him as a heterosexual male could love another.

  15. Cassie of Sydney says:

    “Bibi was freaking amazing. Before him Israel was really a socialist shithole of an economy. let’s not mince words. it was. It was.”

    Yes…Bibi and Likud were great for the economy….but the reforms actually go back to Menachem Begin and Likud after they came to power back in 1977…after thirty years of socialist governance. It took a decade to kick in but the Israeli economy really started to roar back in the early 1990’s.

    In a popular vote Bibi would win easily…..the problem in Israel is their electoral system which is similar to what Tassie and NZ have. It’s a shocker.

  16. Cassie of Sydney says:

    I would also add that their ABC gives a platform to a nasty Australian Palli activist who wants Israel to disappear. Would they give a similar platform to a Indian Hindu extremist who desires the disappearance of Pakistan or Bangladesh? Doubt it.

  17. Nob says:

    PR always leads to unrepresentative, and unaccountable, swill.

  18. Nob says:

    They smear Modi as a Hindu extremist without substantial evidence.

    Any market friendly reforming leader gets the right wing smear.

  19. Cassie of Sydney says:

    “Nob says:
    June 6, 2021 at 6:17 pm
    They smear Modi as a Hindu extremist without substantial evidence.

    Any market friendly reforming leader gets the right wing smear.”

    Correct. And a lot of the India Covid hysteria over the last month has been deliberate by the MSM and progressive left….to undermine Modi and his government.

  20. Dot says:

    Did anyone catch Ben Shapiro say Americans had a patriotic duty to defend Israel as it is a democracy?

    I have no problem with Israel but this is not Ben’s best stuff.

  21. Nob says:

    Cassie,
    I did jobs in Gujarat, for their state petroleum company, when Modi was CM there.

    The difference between Gujarat and other Indian states was startling.
    Things worked.

    A bit like the difference between Israel and its neighbours.

    I thought Modi was a man to watch, then as soon as he started running for India PM, the smear machine went into overdrive.

    I’ve only been going to Israel last ten years so I didn’t see what it was like before. It’s pretty dynamic these days (not that I’ve been anywhere last 18 months 😠)

    But here’s a little detail:
    As you know they’ve found and are developing huge gas fields offshore.
    I spoke to a smaller player in that market and they have to factor in $400k a day to IDF for air and sea security for personnel movements.

    That’s not something you had to do elsewhere, even in Angola during the war.

  22. Cassie of Sydney says:

    “I spoke to a smaller player in that market and they have to factor in $400k a day to IDF for air and sea security for personnel movements.”

    Not surprised…..the bottom line is that Israel’s enemies want the end of Israel.

  23. Gorilla Dance Party says:

    I understand your anger…however being Joooish myself and knowing my community here in Oz….it’s a generalisation. Some Jooos have been at the forefront in promoting mass immigration…not all Jooos.

    Of course it is a generalisation. Not all leftists are fat, tattooed, mentally ill freaks either but it is not an unreasonable observation. Your best intentions aside, Australians have no interest in conflicts in the Middle East.

    I am also surprised nobody has any problem with the rhetoric used here. That if you aren’t supportive of Israel and its leader, you probably hate Jews. Don’t we often decry leftists for this sort of thing?

  24. C.L. says:

    Did anyone catch Ben Shapiro say Americans had a patriotic duty to defend Israel as it is a democracy?

    Always best to leave ‘patriotic’ out of your rhetoric when it comes to defending shared values, globally. Some good patriots are exceedingly reluctant to shift from isolationism when it comes to foreign military ventures and recent history suggests they should be invited to the conference table (as long as they’re not anti-American wolves in isolationists’ clothing).

  25. Cassie of Sydney says:

    “Always best to leave ‘patriotic’ out of your rhetoric when it comes to defending shared values, globally. “

    Agree.

  26. Captain Katzenjammer says:

    Is anyone sillier
    here than gorillia
    about Je*ws.

  27. Lee says:

    Cassie, any thoughts on Anthony Loewenstein?
    I am assuming you’ve heard of him.

  28. chrism says:

    Great piece
    undoubtedly Netanyahu is a colossus of Israeli politics

    the unenlightened hatred of the Joos is mirrored by a harshness to in the Israeli soul towards their many enemies, partly of necessity, in the surrounding lands

    the abiding difficulty is how to foster a pathway to personal & community psychological health in communities that are bound to magical views of the universe – to an extent the younger generations are throwing off the shackles of the past

    when I watched Fauda I was surprised how the issues on both sides could be seen despite this being an Israeli product

    fortunately the Israeli multiparty sharing of government doesn’t include Kevin 07 or our Greens but is likely to end the same way – perhaps we could send Julia to speed things along

  29. John A says:

    Gorilla Dance Party says: June 6, 2021, at 5:32 pm

    As Jews have been at the forefront in promoting mass immigration to Western nations, I now want the same for Israel. What could possibly go wrong letting all those Arabs in? All the diversity they’ve blessed us with has made Australia a much nicer, richer, wealthier and safer place, hasn’t it? You must hate Jews if you don’t want the same for them.

    Except it would never be the same because that kind of immigrant refuses to integrate. Therefore “da-duversitee” doesn’t happen. The objective is invasion and subjugation.

  30. Cassie of Sydney says:

    “Lee says:
    June 6, 2021 at 9:05 pm
    Cassie, any thoughts on Anthony Loewenstein?
    I am assuming you’ve heard of him.”

    He’s a Jooo hating Jooo…and there’s nothing worse….throughout history they’re enablers of people who wish to destroy us.

  31. Cassie of Sydney says:

    When I think of Loewenstein….I’m reminded of people like Stella Goldschlag.

  32. Beertruk says:

    Cassie of Sydney says:
    June 6, 2021 at 6:00 pm

    “oh…we’re not anti-Semitic….we’re just anti-Zionist”.

    Here you go, Cassie:

    Dr. Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr:
    Speaking at the annual convention of the Rabbinical Assembly in 1968, Dr. King said:

    The response of some of the so-called young militants does not represent the position of the vast majority of Negroes. There are some who are color-consumed and they see a kind of mystique in blackness or in being colored, and anything non-colored is condemned. We do not follow that course … Peace for Israel means security, and we must stand with all our might to protect her right to exist, its territorial integrity and the right to use whatever sea lanes it needs. Israel is one of the great outposts of democracy in the world, and a marvelous example of what can be done, how desert land can be transformed into an oasis of brotherhood and democracy. Peace for Israel means security, and that security must be a reality.
    He is also attributed with having said, “When people criticize Zionists, they mean Jews. You’re talking anti-Semitism,” in response to a student who had attacked Zionism during a dinner event with Dr. King in 1968.

  33. Beertruk says:

    Lee says:
    June 6, 2021 at 9:05 pm

    I have a good friend in Sydney.
    Her words to the effect about Loewenstein is that she ‘wouldn’t piss on him if he was on fire.’
    She did not actually say that, because she is too polite.
    Her husband was in Armoured Corps in the Brit Army and did a stint in Cyprus in the 1950s. Bloody hilarious couple of hours comparing 1950s notes to my 1980 – 2000 notes. What he was getting away with or in the shit for in 1950s, I was getting away with or getting in the shit with in the ADF.

  34. Indolent says:

    I just have to wonder which mental corner Netanyahu had to turn to come up with the idea of computer chipping children. That not the suggestion of someone who believes in freedom and individual rights.

  35. Lee says:

    Anthony Loewenstein is one of those (along with the likes of Mike Carlton and many other left wing extremists) who recently signed a statement demanding one-sided reporting (i.e. pro-Palestinian) of the Israel-Palestinian conflict.

  36. Rex Anger says:

    Her husband was in Armoured Corps in the Brit Army and did a stint in Cyprus in the 1950s. Bloody hilarious couple of hours comparing 1950s notes to my 1980 – 2000 notes. What he was getting away with or in the shit for in 1950s, I was getting away with or getting in the shit with in the ADF.

    The more things change… 😉

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