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The Relocation of Anti-Semitism by Peter Berger

I think that one of the more interesting points here is the shift from right to left, both politically and religiously, in negative attitudes to both Jews in general and Israel in particular. In Jewish memory anti-Semitism is associated with conservative Christianity, epitomized by Torquemada and the Spanish Inquisition. Today’s American Evangelicals are hard to squeeze into this scenario. Also, anti-Semitism has been traditionally associated with conservative politics. It still is so allied in some places, but it is now more commonly to be found on the left.

 

• The Relocation of Anti-Semitism by Peter Berger http://t.co/Kza04eYr

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A professor [David Shulman] holds forth on Israeli paranoia by Petra Marquardt-Bigman

It’s really a pity that the readers of Shulman’s piece in the NYRB will not know that this fierce critic of Israel reacts with amusement – and even seems enchanted – when he meets Muslim village boys who “are into theology” and are absolutely certain that non-Muslims deserve to burn in hell. Outside the Ivory Tower, many understand that millions of Muslim youngsters are brought up with this certainty, and that this has grim implications for minorities in the Muslim world and the well-documented endemic Muslim hostility towards Jews.

 

• A professor [David Shulman] holds forth on Israeli paranoia by Petra Marquardt-Bigman http://bit.ly/KOaVHa

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New Book: From Ambivalence to Betrayal: The Left, the Jews, and Israel by Robert S. Wistrich

New Book: From Ambivalence to Betrayal: The Left, the Jews, and Israel by Robert S. Wistrich | Martin Kramer on the Middle East | Scoop.it

From Ambivalence to Betrayal is the first study to explore the transformation in attitudes on the Left toward the Jews, Zionism, and Israel since the origins of European socialism in the 1840s until the present. This pathbreaking synthesis reveals a striking continuity in negative stereotypes of Jews, contempt for Judaism, and negation of Jewish national self-determination from the days of Karl Marx to the current left-wing intellectual assault on Israel. World-renowned expert on the history of antisemitism Robert S. Wistrich provides not only a powerful analysis of how and why the Left emerged as a spearhead of anti-Israel sentiment but also new insights into the wider involvement of Jews in radical movements.

 

There are fascinating portraits of Marx, Moses Hess, Bernard Lazare, Rosa Luxemburg, Leon Trotsky, and other Jewish intellectuals, alongside analyses of the darker face of socialist and Communist antisemitism. The closing section eloquently exposes the degeneration of leftist anti-Zionist critiques into a novel form of “anti-racist” racism.

 

• New Book: From Ambivalence to Betrayal: The Left, the Jews, and Israel by Robert S. Wistrich http://amzn.to/JdmHLa

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Kramer on FB: Muslim Brotherhood tells us what it really thinks (about Israel)

Anyone who doesn’t see a looming clash between a Muslim Brotherhood-led Egypt and Israel is wearing blinders and earplugs. This is an election rally for the MB’s presidential candidate, Muhammad Mursi. It’s an anti-Israel hate fest. (Transcript: http://bit.ly/KCoqKY.) On Sunday, I heard Deputy National Security Adviser Denis McDonough sugarcoat the chaos in Egypt. He’s either disingenuous or a fool.

 

• Kramer on FB: Muslim Brotherhood tells us what it really thinks (about Israel) http://t.co/naPznK5g

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The European Anti-Semitism Sweepstakes by Bruce Bawer

The bad news is that Galtung, a man with a thoroughly clear and totally unambivalent record of partiality toward despotism and fierce hostility to freedom, was ever considered by anyone in a position of authority to be remotely respectable in the first place. Alas, for all the sound and fury that have greeted his latest horrific rant, one fears that when the hurly-burly’s done, Galtung will turn out to have lost little or none of the rénommé that he has enjoyed throughout his career, and that he will – until he or God puts an end to it all – continue to fill auditoriums, publish prominent op-eds, and bring audiences to their feet.

 

• The European Anti-Semitism Sweepstakes by Bruce Bawer http://bit.ly/JKfrCr

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The elephant of Jew hatred by Caroline Glick

The elephant of Jew hatred by Caroline Glick | Martin Kramer on the Middle East | Scoop.it

Hatred of Jews is the central animating feature of the political and strategic reality of the Middle East. It is hatred of Jews that dictates the legal regimes, foreign policies, military aspirations, cultural mores, educational themes and even public health policies of our neighbors from Ramallah to Tehran.

 

• The elephant of Jew hatred by Caroline Glick http://bit.ly/HVHu0d

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Persona Non Grass by Jonathan S. Tobin

Raising Grass to the status of a special case for exclusion merely allowed him to drag out the controversy and play the martyr. However, it bears mentioning that Israel actually has a valid reason to consider Grass ineligible for entry that has nothing to do with his views about the Iranian or Israeli nuclear programs because he is a veteran of the Waffen SS. Indeed, were Grass merely an ordinary person rather than a Novel Laureate for Literature — a bauble he received for his work critical of Nazi Germany before the world discovered that he was in fact a member of one of the organizations responsible for carrying out the Holocaust — such an entry in his biography might put him on a watch list that would prevent his entry into the United States and some other Western countries.

 

• Persona Non Grass by Jonathan S. Tobin http://t.co/C7KFYbuT

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In his Israel poem, Günter Grass chose the wrong side—again by David Stromberg

In his Israel poem, Günter Grass chose the wrong side—again by David Stromberg | Martin Kramer on the Middle East | Scoop.it

One can understand why Grass sees Israel as a threat: It endangers the peace of mind he only attained in recent years—having finally confessed, fairly late in life, to having been in the Waffen SS as a teenager. And while Grass has made public peace with his personal past, Israel keeps disrupting this apparent serenity by insisting to its allies and to its enemies that it will not stand by quietly against a looming existential threat. This not only disturbs Grass' peace of mind, but also challenges him to face a new historical contingency in which he has to choose sides—something of which he is clearly weary. And perhaps for good reason, since we know from his Nazi-era admission that he has a tendency to pick the wrong side. That time he had the excuse of being young. Now he can perhaps blame it on being old.

 

• In his Israel poem, Günter Grass chose the wrong side—again by David Stromberg http://t.co/NLCWIe7L

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Why Günter Grass should be persona non grata by Fresno Zionist

Rather than pique, the decision — which as far as I know is purely symbolic, with Grass showing no desire to visit Israel — is an expression of a more important principle, that of Jewish sovereignty. By shutting the door in Grass’ face, Israel is saying something like this: We can’t prevent people like Grass from making vicious and hateful statements, but we don’t have to let them in our house. Jews have been forced to listen to vicious libels and demonization from the mouths of those that hate them for hundreds of years, often trembling in fear at what they portend. Now we have our own house. Here we have the right — and the power — to demand respect.

 

• Why Günter Grass should be persona non grata by Fresno Zionist http://t.co/7hyIgHSL

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Grass: Ignorant or Calculating Cynic? by Daniel Jonah Goldhagen

Grass: Ignorant or Calculating Cynic? by Daniel Jonah Goldhagen | Martin Kramer on the Middle East | Scoop.it

Grass’s bald assertion that Israel threatens the preemptive annihilation of the Iranian people, which he cleverly presents as a fact and then argues that it must be resisted, is either an anti-Semitic fantasy or a grotesque cynical fabrication that plays on many Germans’ projections of Nazism onto Jews and Israel. There is not a shred of evidence, a whispered word, or any reason to believe that Israeli leaders have for one micromoment contemplated such an act. How absurd that I, or anyone else, would have to write these words! There is Grass’s underlying fabrication that many readers may not even think to catch, which is the fabricated justification for Grass to pen his poem in the first place.

 

• Grass: Ignorant or Calculating Cynic? by Daniel Jonah Goldhagen http://t.co/aYJRUZ5f

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Israeli Government Screws Up PR Again by Jewdar

Israeli Government Screws Up PR Again by Jewdar | Martin Kramer on the Middle East | Scoop.it

This should be been nothing with nothing, except that a few days later, the Israeli gov’t announced that Grass was banned from Israel. In other words, after being negatively compared to an autocratic theocracy that penalizes speech, the Interior Minister from Shas penalizes speech, and in the most moronic way possible–by banning a writer who wasn’t coming to Israel anyway. Now, of course, Israel’s less clever defenders will doubtless bristle and point out that while Iran issues death sentences against writers, Israel just bans them. But at the point at which your defense is that you are not as bad is Iran, haven’t you already lost?

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Günter Grass Shouldn't Be Barred From Israel by Alan Dershowitz

By misusing border controls to make a symbolic gesture of contempt against a writer, Israel's Minister of the Interior weakens his nation's otherwise strong case for excluding individuals who pose genuine threats. I hope that the decision will be quickly reversed by the Israeli government. It is too important a decision, and does too much damage to Israel, to be left to one minister. The entire nation suffers when a poet is barred from its land. That is not the democratic response to bad speech. Nor is it the response of the Jewish tradition, which thrives on debate and dissent. It should not be the Israeli response.

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MJ Rosenberg's Attempt To Save Face by Huffington Post Monitor

I legitimately don't understand why Mr. Rosenberg still doesn't realize that it's the way he expresses himself and not the views that he holds that got him into such hot water. I thought that he may have engaged in some rare self-reflection when he promised not to use "Israel firster" any more even though it didn't last, but that wasn't the case. Perhaps he'd rather believe himself to be a victim of the lobby than of his own actions. [This is Part One of post. Part Two at http://t.co/quuUasJ0

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Zionism and bigotry by Melanie Phillips

Zionism is no more nor less than the self-determination of the Jewish people -- as a people, and not just as adherents of the Jewish religion. Jews are in fact the only people – as a people -- for whom Israel (ancient Judea and Samaria) was ever their national homeland. Those who deny Zionism thus deny Jewish peoplehood and the fundamental right of Jews to live as a people in their own ancestral homeland, Israel.

 

• Zionism and bigotry by Melanie Phillips http://t.co/YA7LNKc1

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Sending Mein Kampf Back to School by Alex Joffe

Sending Mein Kampf Back to School by Alex Joffe | Martin Kramer on the Middle East | Scoop.it

Putting Mein Kampf back in the schools raises the question of evil, a question that schools, including Jewish ones, may be unequipped to address. They ask students to seek historical explanations rooted in politics, culture, economics, or the irrational. But if students were to look for evil in Mein Kampf, they would actually find it; and, in recognizing it, they might be persuaded to look for it elsewhere. That, perhaps, is the most compelling reason why the book should be taught.

 

• Sending Mein Kampf Back to School by Alex Joffe http://t.co/rNTtyXSD

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The BBC and “The Jews” by Walter Russell Mead

The BBC and “The Jews” by Walter Russell Mead | Martin Kramer on the Middle East | Scoop.it

To speak of “the Jews” in the aggregate, as though they form a monolithic super-entity with a single view and agenda, is exactly the kind of thinking that gutter anti-Semitism embraces in every age. To talk of an all-powerful “Jewish lobby” which controls American foreign policy is to embrace the paranoid fantasies of the infamous Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

 

• The BBC and “The Jews” by Walter Russell Mead http://bit.ly/JsLz2h

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Anti-Semitism: the Last Refuge of the Left by David Pryce-Jones

Anti-Semitism: the Last Refuge of the Left by David Pryce-Jones | Martin Kramer on the Middle East | Scoop.it

The enemies of Israel ascribe to it all the sins today associated with abstract nouns like imperialism, colonialism and the like. This defies rational explanation, Professor Curtis writes, but it is serviceable. People with nothing to say about North Korea or Zimbabwe willingly dream of reducing Tel Aviv to the ruined level of Homs. In the past Jews were singled out and condemned for reasons now obviously malicious fictions. Today’s liberals and leftists are making common cause with Islamists who share falsehoods and fantasies with them.

 

• Anti-Semitism: the Last Refuge of the Left by David Pryce-Jones http://bit.ly/K0QqXv

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What Gunter Grass Really Said by Abraham Foxman

What Gunter Grass Really Said by Abraham Foxman | Martin Kramer on the Middle East | Scoop.it

Grass converts an Israeli defensive option into one that he describes as a project to destroy the Iranian people. Whatever one thinks of an Israeli military attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities, to see that as trying to destroy Iran is an inversion so grotesque that it must be labeled as an effort to equate Israel with the Nazi regime. In other words, it is anti-Semitism.

 

• What Gunter Grass Really Said by Abraham Foxman http://bit.ly/JdgmhX

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Poison Pen [Günter Grass] by D.G. Myers

Poison Pen [Günter Grass] by D.G. Myers | Martin Kramer on the Middle East | Scoop.it

People can get away with anti-Semitism these days only by passing it off as anti-Zionism. Since Israel is the political expression of Jewish peoplehood, however, to call into question its right to exist is either to wish the Jews powerless to defend themselves again or to deny they are a people. The first may seem less vicious than the second, but for an ex-SS soldier like Günter Grass, the dream of Jewish powerlessness is deeply embedded in a history of exterminating destruction. And in either case, Grass is an articulate literary spokesman for a new European anti-Semitism that pretends it is merely anti-Zionism, although there is not a pinch of salt's difference between the two.

 

• Poison Pen [Günter Grass] by D.G. Myers http://bit.ly/HKEeF7

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Germany's National Debate Over Guilt, the Holocaust, Israel, and Günter Grass by Heather Horn

Germany's National Debate Over Guilt, the Holocaust, Israel, and Günter Grass by Heather Horn | Martin Kramer on the Middle East | Scoop.it

The question that Grass's German critics seem to be tackling is a tricky one: is Grass merely naïve and possibly careerist, or is there something more subconsciously sinister at work? Many of the critics seem to feel it's the latter, and that's why they find the poem so repellent. Grass, they argue, is attempting to will into reality a Freudian inversion of past German sins. His poem is an emotional rebalancing of the Holocaust, casting Israel, founded by 20th-century Jewish victims, as a 21st-century existential threat to Iranians. Germans have become adept at picking out undertones and recognizing exculpatory rhetoric. This poem, at this time, struck way too close to home.

 

• Germany's National Debate Over Guilt, the Holocaust, Israel, and Günter Grass by Heather Horn http://t.co/A1uShNcr

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The First Death of Günter Grass by Bernard-Henri Lévy

Here is a European writer, one of the greatest and most eminent, for he is Nobel prize laureate Günter Grass, who has nothing better to do than to publish a poem in which he explains that there is only one serious threat hanging over our heads, and that this threat comes from a tiny country, one of the smallest in the world, one of the most vulnerable as well and, by the by, a democracy: the State of Israel. Posture and imposture; a statue made of sand and a sideshow; the Commander was a Tartuffe, the teacher of morality the very incarnation of the immorality he assailed. Günter Grass, this big fish of letters, this turbot, frozen by 60 years of posing and lies, has finally decomposed. And that, to the letter, is what is called a debacle -- how sad.

 

• The First Death of Günter Grass by Bernard-Henri Lévy http://t.co/nYDcAMNj

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Mondoweiss: A Vipers' Nest of Antisemites by Yaacov Lozowick

Anyone who rejects the Jews' rights to define themselves and to insist on having a nation-state, is antisemitic (though I'm willing to quibble about the possibility of the Palestinians rejecting Israel without being antisemitic - but only they). Seen that way, Mondoweiss is clearly antisemitic, since its tone and over-arching theme is rejection of Zionism and Israel. The more one looks, however, the worse the picture becomes. Someday, a century or two from now, when someone sits down to write the history of Jew-hatred in the early 21st century, Mondoweiss will be a fine case study, worthy of a full section.

 

• Mondoweiss: A Vipers' Nest of Antisemites by Yaacov Lozowick http://t.co/rmNkdRC4

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Let Günter Grass visit Israel—and encounter democracy by Gil Troy

Let Günter Grass visit Israel—and encounter democracy by Gil Troy | Martin Kramer on the Middle East | Scoop.it

Beyond not wanting to deploy state power against an aging, irrelevant blowhard whose great achievement, The Tin Drum dates to 1959, before I was born, I believe Israel has nothing to hide. Grass should visit Israel now during Passover. Freedom thrives from exposure. Let Grass come visit Israel and learn. Then, let him make Tehran his next stop, if he dares.

 

• Let Günter Grass visit Israel—and encounter democracy by Gil Troy http://t.co/CH8y7jUD

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The Lies of Günter Grass by David Solway

The Lies of Günter Grass by David Solway | Martin Kramer on the Middle East | Scoop.it

Günter Grass is a pitiable specimen of bad faith and muddled thinking who sounds current, given that he parrots the Leftist line, but is actually superannuated. From the perspective of his actual writing, the Grass was greener in the far distant past; today, to quote a genuine poet, John Keats, it is withered sedge where “no birds sing.”

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Israel-Iran History, Holocaust Perverted in Grass’s Poem by Jeffrey Goldberg

Israel-Iran History, Holocaust Perverted in Grass’s Poem by Jeffrey Goldberg | Martin Kramer on the Middle East | Scoop.it

Grass’s thinking is clear. The short version of his message: Israel may one day soon commit nuclear genocide against the people of Iran. Israel, which in reality is contemplating targeting six to eight nuclear sites in Iran for conventional aerial bombardment, in fact wants to annihilate the Iranian people in a “first strike.” This is, of course, delusional.

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