Friday, January 08, 2021

  • Friday, January 08, 2021
  • Elder of Ziyon

The EU just published an excellent guide to using the IHRA Working Definition of antisemitism. It includes detailed descriptions of when anti-Israel rhetoric is antisemitic:
In certain forms of antisemitic expression, Israel may be used as a substitute for a conceived Jewish collectivity. Rather than “criticising” Israel as one might any other state, some forms of antisemitism express direct hatred exclusively against Israel or seek to apply double standards in criticising that country.
It goes through each IHRA example and then shows specific incidents, both from the Right and the Left, that happened in Europe that were antisemitic even though they were ostensibly anti-Israel:

Antisemitic incidents:
Online (Denmark), May 2018: An individual sent an e-mail entitled “Holocaust is a giant lie!” to individual scholars and the entire Danish Parliament. The man, who had been expelled from a right-wing party due to racist statements, wrote: “Do you really believe in the grotesque history of the Holocaust?... [T]he truth is that it never happened... Israel and the Jews have completely occupied the United States and are completely draining it of money and other resources. The Jews are the eternal enemy of the white people.” 

Barcelona (Spain), May 2016: Addressing the Catalonian Parliament a politician called the head of the Barcelona Jewish Community a “foreign agent” from an alleged “Zionist lobby” that defines the Parliament’s agenda.

Paris (France), February 2019: A prominent French Jewish philosopher was verbally attacked as he walked past a protest on the Montparnasse Boulevard. Protesters shouted abuses at him, among them “dirty Zionist” and “go back to Tel Aviv”. The attack was condemned by the French President, and the Paris prosecutor’s office launched an investigation into the “public insult based on origin, ethnicity, nationality, race or religion.”

Berlin (Germany), July 2020: An antisemitic caricature of a Jew in a crossed-out red circle was printed on a laminated card. Additionally, Israel was demonised and delegitimised and Judaism was equated with racism: “Stop Israhell Apartheid! Judaism is Racism!”
London (UK), 6 September 2018: Following the adoption of the IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism by the UK Labour Party, advertisements claiming “Israel is a racist endeavour” appeared at bus stops around London. A spokesperson for the London mayor stated: “These offensive adverts are not authorized and are acts of vandalism which Transport for London and its advertising partner take extremely seriously. They have instructed their contractors to remove any posters found on their network immediately.”

London (UK), 4 August 2014: A Member of Parliament posted a cartoon online of Israel’s outline superimposed on a map of the US under the headline “Solution for Israel-Palestine Conflict – relocate Israel into United States”. To this, the MP appended the comment, “Problem solved”. She subsequently admitted her postings were antisemitic and apologised. 

Benicàssim (Spain), August 2015: After pressure from activists, a Spanish Reggae festival cancelled the performance of an American Jewish singer because he declined to make a declaration condemning actions of the State of Israel. No other artist was asked to condemn a countries’ policies in order to perform. After a public outcry, the decision was reversed. However, during his performance, the artist was the subject of verbal attacks.

Media (Germany), May 2018: A German newspaper published a cartoon that uses classic antisemitic clichés, such as oversized nose, ears and lips, to depict the prime minister of Israel. The cartoon showed the prime minister in the attire of the Israeli Eurovision song contest winner 2018, while holding a rocket with the Star of David on it. Germany’s commissioner on combatting antisemitism stated that the cartoon recalled “the intolerable depictions of Nazi propaganda.” The newspaper apologised for the cartoon’s use of antisemitic clichés, fired the cartoonist and reviewed its internal editorial procedures for the publication of caricatures. 

 Warsaw (Poland), November 2019: Manifesting multiple forms of antisemitism, autonomous nationalists carried a banner at a large march with the words “We want our country back now! This is Poland not ‘Polin (Jewish museum in Warsaw)’ – Polish Intifada – No more apologies. No more Zionism.” They chanted, “This is Poland, not Israel!” and “White Poland!”

Berlin (Germany), May 2020: Property damage was discovered at a Holocaust memorial on the Putlitz Bridge in Moabit. The memorial, which commemorates the deportation of Berlin Jews from the Moabit train station to the extermination camps in 1942, was covered with a homemade sticker that read: “Free Gaza” and “I support a free Palestine”. This created an antisemitic connection between the Holocaust and the situation in the Middle East.

Media (Belgium), January 2020: Released to coincide with the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, a Dutch-language daily published an article titled “How the Zionists ‘Discovered’ the Holocaust”. This piece argued that the millions of Jews exterminated by the Nazis cannot “protest if they are used to justify another injustice: a regime [Israel] that has imposed discrimination and apartheid in law.” 

Gothenburg (Sweden), December 2017: After the US government’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, individuals threw firebombs at the synagogue in Gothenburg. Three people were arrested and sentenced for hate crime violations, committing gross unlawful threats and attempting to damage property. 

 Graz (Austria), August 2020: The synagogue and a communal building of the Jewish community of Graz were vandalised with graffiti carrying the following slogans: “Palestinian is free” and “Our language and our country are red lines”.

The handbook emphasizes that the IHRA definition is not legally binding, but it also describes how the working definition can be used in the judiciary to help identify when a crime is antisemitic in nature:

The judiciary has a critical role in determining the antisemitic character of crimes as well as effectively trying and sanctioning them. Delivering justice is essential for the recovery of Jews, their families and the wider community from antisemitic attacks. 

Forms of antisemitism related to the Holocaust are more easily recognised than some contemporary forms, such as present-day conspiracy myths or Israel-related antisemitism. A challenge might occur when the perpetrator’s antisemitic motivation is neither explicit nor apparent but is expressed through antisemitic codes or otherwise camouflaged. 

Some ministries of justice have recommended that public prosecutors use the IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism to help identify antisemitism, alongside other indicators such as the victim’s perception, as well as the date and location of a crime. Recognition of antisemitic motivation at any stage of a trial (e.g. within the prosecutor’s indictment or the judges’ ruling) is important for the recovery of the victim and for the preventive effect it can have in society. While it is often difficult to identify motivation, the definition allows prosecutors and/or judges to assess the antisemitic character of particular statements or acts.
This is a very important document, not least because it is created by the liberal-leaning EU. The socialist Left who camouflage their antisemitism as liberal anti-Zionism would have a hard time dismissing this handbook that directly calls them out for their hate. 

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.


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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

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