Racisms in the New World Order Conference
6-7 December 2007
‘The New World Order is the Same Old Order for Jews’
Co-authors: Manny Waks & Geoffrey Winn(1)
Presenter: Manny Waks
Antisemitic motifs after 9/11
‘Since September 2001 we’ve been told over and over again that the world has changed. But some of the trends of the past two years are depressingly, frighteningly familiar.’(2) These are the words of Abraham Foxman, the United States’ Anti-Defamation League’s National Director.
Since the events of September 11, it has become customary for commentators to declare that the world will never be the same. Certainly there have been changes. The “war on terror” has entered the vernacular; the radicalisation of Islam is now openly discussed, not just in the West but in the Islamic world as well; globalisation is no longer purely an economic description; the world appears more dangerous - for many the era between the fall of the Berlin Wall and 9/11 is remembered as a hiatus; the identification of “global threats” – from terrorism to climate change – has become a dominant political discourse; populations in Western democracies, such as Britain and France, are now cognisant of alienated and radicalised home-grown sub-cultures; anti-Americanism is on the rise.
At the same time, some things have not changed. The existence of antisemitism is one of them. This paper expresses the concerns of the B'nai B'rith Anti-Defamation Commission (ADC). The ADC is the human rights arm of B'nai B'rith Australia/New Zealand. It is dedicated to eliminating the defamation of the Jewish people, combating racism, intolerance and prejudice and seeking to secure justice and fair treatment for all citizens alike.
During WWII U.S. Under-Secretary of State Sumner Welles said, "Our victory must bring in its train the liberation of all peoples. Discrimination between peoples because of their race, creed or colour must be abolished. The age of imperialism is ended.”(3) And so perhaps it seemed at this time just months after U.S. troops first landed in the British Isles. Of course in hindsight we know this address preceded by mere years the imminent rise of Soviet imperialism, ironically bartered by the U.S. at conferences in Casablanca, Tehran, Yalta and Potsdam.
For Jews there is another perspective. Sixty-five years after this declaration of hope, the global threat of antisemitism is now as great as the darkest days that preceded WWII, perhaps even greater because “forty percent of the Jewish people are centred in one geographic tiny location”.(4) As the U.K. Chief Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks said, “German fascism came and went. Soviet Communism came and went. Anti-Semitism came and stayed.”(5)
In the ages long history of antisemitism there have been landmark examples of institutionalised persecutions - the German Crusade of 1096(6), the Spanish Inquisition and evictions from Spain(7), Portugal, England(8), pogroms (too numerous to enumerate, and not limited to the common usage regarding the Russian Empire beginning in the early 19th Century) and of course the Holocaust. Each of these events had a putative cause, principally and perennially accusations of deicide in the collective responsibility for the death of Jesus(9), allied with occult-like allegations of demonic rituals (Jews as children of the Devil and possessed with sinister powers)(10), and Jewish domination of the globe through control of political parties, banks, the press and public opinion (as expressed in The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion).
The way in which these conspiracy theories evolve has been noted elsewhere. The ability of antisemites to make their conspiracy theories mutate to fit in with the upheavals of every age is remarkable. Just as children are not exactly like their parents, in a Darwinian sense antisemitism has adapted to the cataclysms of the day, but with common antecedents that can be traced back to timeworn antisemitic archetypes. It is therefore not too surprising that the psychic shockwaves of 9/11 would generate antisemitic conspiracy theories about the planning and execution of the attacks. For Jews, the primary antisemitic motif following 9/11 – a Mephistophelian engineering of world events – is entirely familiar. Of the many conspiracy theories about Jewish/Israeli involvement in the 9/11 attacks, none has received more attention than the "4,000 Israelis" who allegedly worked at the World Trade Centre and were warned by Israeli intelligence to stay home on 9/11, thus implying that Israel had foreknowledge of the attacks.(11)
Antisemitic incidents post 9/11
“Assaults on Jewish individuals (worldwide), including youth and children, constitute an increasing threat”.(12) This was the conclusion of The Stephen Roth Institute for the Study of Contemporary Antisemitism and Racism in its 2006 report.
In 2006, the Executive Council of Australian Jewry (ECAJ) recorded 442 antisemitic incidents in Australia, 47 per cent above the annual average. Serious or violent incidents were 74 per cent above average. Australia, Canada, the UK and France witnessed the greatest rise in (worldwide) antisemitic violence.(13)
More recently, last month the ECAJ released its 2007 report (covering the period between 1 October, 2006 and 30 September, 2007) and it is saddening and troubling to note that the highest number of antisemitic incidents have been reported in the one year since this reporting system has been introduced (1989). Over 630 anti-Jewish violence, vandalism, harassment and intimidation have been reported to various Jewish community institutions, including the ADC.(14) This figure is double the annual average. Just as troubling is the fact that in the last two years we have witnessed an unprecedented level of serious antisemitic incidents, which included the use of weapons such as knives and baseball bats.
Other examples include:
· In Melbourne, in October 2006, adult members of a rural football club on a visit to the city verbally and physically assaulted Mr. Menachem Vorcheimer, on clear racial and religious grounds. Since that attack a Magistrate handed down verdicts against three of the perpetrators, including two criminal convictions. Importantly, however, the identity of the person on the bus who physically (and cowardly) assaulted Mr. Vorcheimer has been concealed by the team. The Magistrate described the attack as “criminal, hurtful, insensitive, ignorant, at its base racist and antisemitic”.
In a recent article published in Melbourne’s Herald Sun, Christopher Bantick wrote: ‘By any measure, the actions of the footballers were unprovoked, unwarranted and appallingly racist. Moreover, Vorchheimer was physically assaulted by an unknown bus occupant. Vorchheimer's children, who witnessed the attack, were severely traumatised by what they saw. If Vorchheimer had not taken the issue further, a busload of boozy footballers would have got away with a bit of Jew baiting.’(15)
· On August 19th this year three young adults yelled antisemitic abuse and damaged cars parked outside a popular Jewish restaurant in Melbourne, prior to smashing part of the restaurant’s shopfront and then attacking one of the customers who was punched in the face. Approximately half an hour later another assault took place near the same restaurant, only this time the assailants were armed with baseball bats.
· An orthodox Jewish student was hit with the bats numerous times all over his body. While hitting their victim, the perpetrators were yelling antisemitic abuse (“f***ing Jew”).
· At the Cranbourne Golf Club in September this year, swastikas and the letters ‘KKK’ were etched into a green. The Club was founded by Jewish golfers who were at that time subjected to antisemitic exclusion from other golf clubs. The timing of the vandalism was pertinent. The perpetrators broke into the Golf Club and inflicted malicious damage to the green. The attack occurred on the first night of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year.
· In February 2006 a front-page article in the University of Western Sydney student newspaper described Jews as blood suckers, money grabbers and thieves. The piece was accompanied by cartoons, one of which depicted the Jewish people as a giant squid drawing blood as it envelopes the earth.(16)
These are but a few examples of many similar incidents. Ongoing organised antisemitic activities include:
· The Australian League of Rights (ALR), an antisemitic organisation that promotes Holocaust denial and publishes weekly newsletters, monthly magazines and a quarterly magazine, continues to conduct regular meetings and foment antisemitism and racism in Australia. Other main activities include the distribution of books, videos, cassette tapes and antisemitic publications such as The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion, which promote the League's conspiracy-driven agenda.
· The Holocaust-denying Adelaide Institute, features venomous and hateful material on its website. Last month, its founder Fredrick Toben apologised in the Federal Court for breaching an earlier order by the Court to desist from publishing Holocaust denial material. In the same breath, Toben continued to espouse his Holocaust denial views. Several days later he formally withdrew his apology. In December 2006, Toben travelled to Iran for a state-sponsored conference on Holocaust denial.
· The Citizens Electoral Council of Australia is the Australian arm of the U.S. based Lyndon LaRouche extremist political cult. The Melbourne based group has targeted Jewish organisations and individuals (e.g. using conspiracy theories), promotes the view that the world is headed for financial disaster, and has raised millions of dollars in Australia by preying on elderly and disempowered Australians.
· The Australian Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), was founded by lawyer John Bennett, following his expulsion from the Victorian Council for Civil Liberties (now Liberty Victoria) in 1980, after linking his Holocaust-denial views with the council, thereby making his position untenable. The ACLU is one of our nation's most antisemitic organisations, with a long history of espousing xenophobic views, Holocaust denial and with ties to notorious racist organisations, both locally and abroad.
· The ‘Mission Islam’ website purports to provide information and resources for the Muslim community and the general population(17), but abounds with antisemitic materials. Amongst numerous vicious slanders, it not only promotes the fraudulent The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion, but describes it as ‘a secret document which was written by the Zionists at the end of the 19th century.’ The entire document is reproduced on its website.
Michael Lipshutz, Chairman of the ADC, recently commented that “it is increasingly disturbing and worrisome that the level of antisemitism in Australia is rising especially so in a society that prides itself on its pluralism and multiculturalism and that this antisemitism is manifesting itself by physical attacks on both person and property.”
The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation official Hate Crimes Statistics indicates that on a per capita basis in the US, the rate of hate crimes against Jews is about 150 percent above the rate against Muslims.(18) Obviously this is not a “contest”, but it is instructive that in the U.S., and indeed Australia, where anti-Islamic racial prejudice has with justification been highlighted in the media since 9/11, Jews are victims of hate crimes to a far greater degree, with far less media scrutiny.
Sheikh Taj el-Din al-Hilaly, Sheikh Feiz Mohammed, and Free Speech
The antisemitic rhetoric of Islamic preachers is also a critical issue in Australia. Two of the more notorious recent examples are Sheikh Taj el-Din el-Hilaly, mufti of Lakemba Mosque, Sydney, and Sheikh Feiz Mohammed.
Although he has now departed from his official position, Hilaly was the holder of the preeminent clerical post in the Australian Muslim community.(19) Prior to becoming Mufti, at the University of Sydney in September 1988, he accused Jews of trying "to control the world through sex, then sexual perversion, then the promotion of espionage, treason and economic hoarding" and attacked Jews as "the underlying cause of all wars threatening with peace and security of the whole inhabited earth."(20) In 1988, in a public function at the University of Sydney, Hilaly called Jews the cause of all wars and accused Jews of using sex and deviancy to control the world.(21)
"September 11th is God's work against oppressors", he said in Lebanon.(22) Then there was the notorious comment that women who do not wear the hijab, or head-dress, are like uncovered meat, and another that appeared to excuse pack rape. Pru Goward, Australia's Sex Discrimination Commissioner accused Hilaly of inciting rape. On the Egyptian television show Cairo Today, Hilaly branded Australians inveterate liars and again excused convicted gang rapists. On women as victimisers – “When it comes to adultery, it’s 90 percent the woman’s responsibility. Why? Because a woman owns the weapon of seduction.”(23)
This catalogue of bigotry is not paramount for this occasion. What is worth noting here is that every defence of Hilaly relied on equivocation by apologists – yes, he was the Mufti of Australia but the position did not carry any authority; he had an enormous following but no one was forced to acknowledge his status as a religious leader; he may have spoken for some Muslims, but not the entire community (as though any religious leader speaks for all in even the most perfectly represented group); he may have appeared to label Jews a global threat, but much can be lost in the translation.
In a similar vein, the antisemitic “Death Series” DVD, featuring Sheikh Feiz Mohammed, was distributed in Australia. Feiz Mohammed was formerly the leader of the Global Islamic Youth Centre in Sydney, and is now residing in Lebanon. Feiz’s various diatribes in the Series have been published elsewhere, but it is enough to say that they are incendiary and demagogic. For instance, in the talk titled “The Gathering,” he refers to Jews as "the leader of pride or arrogance…They have got the most extreme racial pride in them … Their time will come like every other evil person's time will come."(24)
In response (then) Attorney General Phillip Ruddock, supported by the Leader of the Opposition, proposed to toughen the classification laws that allowed the DVD to be distributed, banning materials that ‘advocate’ terrorist acts. This proposal was passed by the Senate on 20 September, 2007. Undoubtedly this Bill would have offended the sensibilities of some at this Conference, and I accept that those concerns should not be dismissed. Certainly I acknowledge that outright censorship is a blunt weapon, to be used rarely and with caution. Yes, it infringes on absolute freedom of speech (as so many laws already do), but it hardly presages an Orwellian future as it is underpinned by two pillars of our criminal law, the deterrence of crime and the maintenance of a social order.
But like those who maintain a moral equivalence between acts of terrorism and legitimate national defence, supporters of an unfettered right of expression do not accept that there are absolute core values that must be protected in a multicultural society, where the challenges of ethnic diversity are ever present. Undeniably, ethnic minorities understand the need to champion free speech, but they also know first-hand the dangers of incitement. The tension between freedom of speech and control of incitement indeed presents a challenge, but it is manageable with an appropriate seriousness of purpose.
As a society we simply cannot accept the unregulated right to promote any ideology, certainly not one that advocates murder and genocide, for in doing so we must also permit the intellectual debate that inevitably follows. Do we really want to engage advocates of genocide in a contest of ideas, or canvass whether a “violent jihad” might be open to ambiguity and interpretation? Should Australians be obliged to not only listen to those who conspire to murder them in the name of a religious ideology, but also to go further and safeguard their right to do so?
Under the laws of every State, intimidation and harassment may constitute a crime. We know that domestic violence often begins with threats, and as the television commercials urge us, it is there that it should be recognised and stopped, before it escalates to physical assault. The ADC believes that Australians should not be expected to permit the sale and distribution of vile racist material that threatens our citizens and attacks not only our way of life, but also our right to draw breath in the Western secular tradition that we have chosen.
Anti-Zionism as antisemitism
According to UN International Conventions, racial discrimination relates to ‘any distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference based on race, colour, descent, or national or ethnic origin.’(25) Thus holding any race, ethnic group or nationality to a different standard than others is racial discrimination. This brings me to the issue of anti-Zionism, its relationship to antisemitism and the purported existence of a so-called “Zionist Lobby”.
Let me begin with a recent example. The denunciation of Israel for taking retaliatory measures against Gaza, a territory in which it has not had a presence since September 2005, is routinely reported as an aggressive militarist action. I invite the audience to name one other sovereign country that would not retaliate against daily (and often many times a day) rocket attacks from across its borders. The unilateral withdrawal from Gaza, hailed by the UN Middle East Special Coordinator Terje Roed-Larsen as “an unprecedented opportunity for progress towards peace” was soon followed by missile attacks from Gaza. Yet the Guardian, amongst many world media, accuses Israel of flouting international law in response to rocket attacks that are ‘an irritant.’(26)
Just as Holocaust deniers hide behind the euphemism of “historical research”, so “antiZionism” has become the alter ego of antisemitism, particularly attractive for influencing the gullible and politically naive. This year a British Labour MP, Denis MacShane, chaired a committee of parliamentarians and ex-ministers that investigated increasing instances of antisemitism in Britain.(27) MacShane warns that ‘the old anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism have morphed into something more dangerous.’(28)
Antisemitism masks as anti-Zionism when it is characterised by a demonisation of Israel, racist caricatures,(29) conspiratorial overtones and depictions of the Holocaust as both the precursor of the “Zionist entity” and a point of comparison (i.e. comparing Jews with Nazis). Those who make these claims, often with references to apartheid and ethnic cleansing, do not seek to criticise Israel but to demonise it as a fascist regime in order to justify its destruction.(30)
The Australia First Party (AFP) is a right-wing nationalist movement concerned with issues of immigration, multiculturalism and “Asianisation”. Sydney branch president Jim Saleam has stated that "the war on Zionism has just begun" and that peace can only be achieved by dismantling the Zionist “monstrosity.” He has accused Australian Zionists of hating "with all the venom of their Nazi-like souls," and labelled them as "essential agents of a foreign state" and "enemies of the idea of Australian independence." A popular speaker in far-right circles, Saleam described the Australian Jewish News as dripping anti-Arab and anti-Palestinian hate. In 2004 the AFP Sydney branch letterboxed material which requested ‘a Commission of Inquiry into the Zionists.’
On the far Left the Arab-Israeli conflict is often viewed as an expansion of the battle between Western colonialism and the Third World, rather than as a regional struggle between Arab and Jewish nationalism. There is also a notable absence of criticism regarding past and present Palestinian behaviour and acts of terrorism. Perversely the silence of the Left with regard to unequivocally racist regimes is odious. Prior to the NATO bombings, Slobodan Milosevic's genocidal attacks in Bosnia and Kosovo hardly raised a murmur; the plight of Muslim separatists in Chechnya does not rate on the Left agenda in this country; there is no recognition that Saudi Arabia and Iran are self-defined theocracies, but the Jewish State is regularly condemned (without factual basis) as breaching the Australian tradition of secularism.(31) In fact the founders of Israel were to a very large degree secularists. This has been true for the majority of their successors, and it is absurdly ironic that these allegations are directed at the only democracy in the Middle East.
As Walter Laquer has observed, in the past “the ‘Jewish question’ was not a central one for the Left, which was preoccupied with the worldwide struggle between oppressed and oppressors.”(32) Israel now appears to be swept up in the Left’s antagonism to globalisation, anti-Americanism, and a belief in the so-called Israel Lobby as a predominant determinant of U.S. foreign policy. The overtones are disturbing. Intimations of excessive Jewish influence in world affairs recall the antisemitic forgery of The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion, the prototype of conspiracy theorist literature. Some criticism of the “neocons” read as though it is a by-word for “Jewish conservatives”. Washington Post columnist Robert Kagan has written, “In London ... one finds Britain’s finest minds propounding, in sophisticated language and melodious Oxbridge accents, conspiracy theories …concerning the ‘neoconservative’ (read: Jewish) hijacking of American foreign policy.”
The focus of the Left is selective indeed. Where are the massive public campaigns to protest the Darfur genocide by Amnesty International Australia, or Human Rights Watch, which rushed to a false and mendacious judgement that Israeli soldiers massacred civilians in Jenin? In the six months following US Secretary of State Colin Powell’s declaration there were significant and credible eyewitness accounts of a genocide in Darfur, Amnesty International released thirty-nine reports on alleged Israeli human rights abuses, mentioning the horrors of Sudan in only seven reports. In Africa the ethnic militias in the Congo have killed over a million in the last ten years; Chad, Somalia, Sierra Leone, Angola, Mozambique and Ethiopia add to that continent’s lethal tally.
Yet a widely reported 2007 BBC World poll found that Israel is foremost amongst all nations as having a ‘mainly negative’ effect on the world. Sixty-eight percent of Australians polled for the survey agreed with this assessment.(33)
The Saudis fund international terrorism, and North Korea has tested a nuclear weapon, but apparently a good percentage of Australians do not believe they are as negative an influence on the world as the Israelis. The reappearance of enslavement in Africa, the slum children of Mauritania, the militias of the Congo and Guinea, the plight of the Tibetans and the Kurds, all are rarely mentioned, or even known by the bulk of Australians. As a nation, are we concerned about forced abortions and political prisoners in China, or the starving victims of totalitarianism in North Korea, or closer to home, the brutal dictatorship in Burma and the child soldiers of Sri Lanka? Many on the Left in Australia, who know little if anything of these and the numerous other human rights nightmares that blight our planet, will readily quote chapter and verse of Israel’s alleged crimes. One can only imagine what the several hundred refugees from Darfur who will soon be granted citizenship in Israel (after they sought asylum there), would think of this unspeakable and arrogant prejudice at the expense of the worst human rights abuses taking place in their African homeland.
In 2002 Harvard President Lawrence Summers spoke out against the selective censure of Israel at the expense of far greater human rights abuses. At the notorious U.N. World Conference Against Racism, held in Durban in 2001, the final declaration contained numerous references to Israel as an ‘apartheid State.’ The comparisons between a racist South Africa and a vibrantly democratic Israel are patently absurd. South Africa legislated against its (vast) majority population in its social contacts, employment, travel, education, freedom of speech and more. There are today in fact numerous examples of countries that discriminate against their ethnic minorities, but despite the justifiable complaints by its Arab citizens of selective discrimination, on any objective analysis Israel would not rate a larger mention than a great many other societies facing ethnic tensions (Australia would not escape this scrutiny either). Israeli Arabs have full access to education, health, social security and all governmental offices. They can stand for election and take their seats in the Parliament,(34) worship as they please and are totally equal before the law, backed up by a rigorous and scrupulous judiciary. The stain of apartheid in these circumstances is not only unjustified, it is a racist defamation. British sociologist Dr Paul Iganski wrote that for some, Israel has become the new cause celebre. "It used to be anti-apartheid, now it's anti-Israel,” he said.
At the UN Commission on Human Rights in Geneva, now superseded by the Human Rights Council, Israel was the only country to have its own permanent agenda item, and grotesquely over a quarter of resolutions passed were directed against it.(35)
In a lecture at the 2003 UN conference on antisemitism, Anne Bayefsky said:
“There has never been a single resolution about the decades-long repression of the civil and political rights of 1.3 billion people in China, or the more than a million female migrant workers in Saudi Arabia being kept as virtual slaves, or the virulent racism which has brought 600,000 people to the brink of starvation in Zimbabwe. Every year, UN bodies are required to produce at least 25 reports on alleged human rights violations by Israel, but not one on an Iranian criminal justice system which mandates punishments like crucifixion, stoning, and cross-amputation. This is not legitimate critique of states with equal or worse human rights records. It is demonisation of the Jewish state.”(36)
The new United Nations Human Rights Council passed twelve country-specific resolutions; nine censures of Israel and three non-condemnatory resolutions on Sudan.(37) In 2006 it voted to make its review of human rights abuses by Israel a permanent agenda item of every council session, the only country subject to this regimen.
Perhaps nowhere is the new antisemitism more trenchant than in the debased world of racist cartooning. A cartoon in 2003 in the UK daily newspaper The Independent(38) showed a grotesque Ariel Sharon biting the head off a Palestinian baby. Critics who claim that this is legitimate political comment, as is often asserted when acerbic condemnation is made of Israel, are at best disingenuous. The image, dripping blood, recalls the ancient canard that Jews drink the blood of Christian children in ritualised demonic rituals.(39) Remarkably, the cartoon won first prize in the British Political Cartoon Society’s annual competition for 2003.
Other examples of antisemitic cartoons in the western media include:
• In Dagbladet, Norway’s third largest newspaper, compared Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to the infamous Nazi commander SS Major Amon Goeth. Among other crimes, Goeth indiscriminately murdered Jews by firing at them from his balcony – as depicted by Ralph Fiennes in Steven Spielberg’s film Schindler’s List;
• In New Zealand’s Dominion Post, Tom Scott compared Israeli actions to those of alQaeda;
• The Daily Telegraph in Britain compared the bombing of Hezbollah positions in Tyre with the mass murders of the Warsaw ghetto;
• A Russian newspaper invoked antisemitic Jewish stereotypes to illustrate its message (hooked nose etc.);
• Australia’s ABC published on its website a Leunig cartoon which was refused publication in Melbourne’s The Age newspaper comparing Israeli actions to those of the Nazis;
• The Brisbane Courier Mail published a cartoon by Sean Leahy invoking antisemitic stereotypes (hooked nose etc.).
In Arab countries the manufacture of antisemitic cartoons is relentless. The recurring motifs are the demonic Jew; the post-9/11 conspiracy theories that the US conducts foreign policy at the behest of the Jews; and an old favourite, the “Jew as Nazi”. Some examples amongst hundreds:
• In Al Akhbar, a daily Arabic newspaper published in Beirut, shows Israeli PM Barak, dressed as Hitler, blood dripping from his hands;(40)
• In the Lebanese Daily Star, four consecutive cartoons show the transformation of Sharon to Hitler.(41) The cartoonist, Jabra Stavro, has been featured in Der Spiegel, Jeune Afrique, Punch, Le Monde, and Die Weltwoche amongst others;
• In Al-Ahram, founded in 1875 and one of the most widely circulated Egyptian daily newspapers, a cartoon showing an Arab’s blood drained by two Israeli soldiers - two Jews wearing yarmulkes and Stars of David on their shirts drink the blood in uproarious laughter;(42)
• A Kuwaiti cartoon shows an old Jew wearing a yarmulke pushing a child into a burning oven to bake unleavened Passover bread;(43)
• A cartoon of a railway leading to Auschwitz with Israeli flags flying from its turrets;(44)
• In an official daily newspaper of the Palestinian National Authority, a demonically deformed half-human Jew plots to destroy Arab holy sites;(45)
• In Al-Ittihad, an Arabic language newspaper published daily in the United Arab Emirates, a skull formed in the shape of Israel feeding a baby named “world terror.”(46)
Conference attendees are invited to examine a group of many more 250 antisemitic cartoons, all with attributions to Arab media sources, at: http://somebodyhelpme.info/cartoons/anti-Semitic/anti-Semitic.html.(47) Additional cartoons are available at: http://www.tomgrossmedia.com/Anti-IsraelCartoons2006.html.(48) For those with the fortitude to view them all, it is a sobering experience.
Recently the internecine warfare between Palestinian groups in the Gaza Strip has become a target of Arab media cartoonists.(49) To quote Mr Foxman again, "They dredge up vicious anti-Jewish images and stereotypes and perpetuate lies about Israel's role in the Gaza violence. Pure and simple this is incitement to bigotry, to hatred and to antisemitism."(50)
Few have noted this plague of antisemitic media, fewer would know of its existence. Contrast the reaction, both in the West and in the Arab world, to the Danish controversy which began after twelve cartoons, most of which depicted Muhammad, were published in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten on 30 September, 2005. Embassies were attacked and burned, and protests erupted across the Muslim world resulting in more than one hundred deaths.
America's State Department called the Danish cartoons unacceptable and an incitement to religious hatred. Jack Straw, Britain's Foreign Secretary, called their publication insensitive and disrespectful. Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, predictably claimed it was an Israeli conspiracy motivated by anger over Hamas’ win in the Palestinian elections.(51)
It is not my intention to defend the tenor of the Danish cartoons, which can justifiably be criticised. But depictions of Jews as Nazis, or the Israeli Prime Minister in a passionate embrace with Adolf Hitler, or hook-nosed caricatures that appear to be copied right out of Nazi publisher Julius Streicher's Der Stürmer – these images proliferate unabated and uncondemned.
Antisemitism has been a scourge for over two thousand years. That its re-emergence - after sixty years of scholarship into the gestation of the Holocaust, rafts of anti-racist legislation, and ever-increasing interfaith dialogue - is authentically shocking. More so that it appears to gain momentum in a liberal democracy where respect for freedom and dignity of the individual, together with ethnic tolerance, is ingrained in the fabric of the society.
The B'nai B'rith Anti-Defamation Commission vigorously supports cultural diversity, ethnic harmony and religious freedom in Australia. As we do by our participation in the Conference, we support education that promotes cultural diversity, ethnic harmony and religious freedom, and that encourages people to resist antisemitism and all other forms of racism.
1 We would like to acknowledge and thank Dr Paul Gardner for assisting in the editing of this paper.
2 Abraham H. Foxman, Never Again?, p. 39.
3 Memorial Day Address at The Arlington National Amphitheatre, 30 May, 1942.
4 Abraham H. Foxman, speech given to the US Anti-Defamation League's national executive committee 8 February, 2002.
5 Thoughts for the Day, 16 December, 2005, BBC.
6 Perhaps the first mass pogrom.
7 The Alhambra Decree, also known as the ‘Edict of Expulsion,’ was a ruling issued on 31 March, 1492, that ordered the expulsion of all Jews from the Kingdom of Spain, all its territories and possessions.
8 1290 but lasted for 350 years thereafter.
9 ‘As the dramatic story of the trial, crucifixion, and resurrection of Jesus, the passion play…(has) reflected negative images of Jews and the long-time church teaching that the Jewish people were collectively responsible for Jesus' death. Violence against Jews as "Christ-killers" often flared in their wake,’ Christian Science Monitor, 10 July, 2003.
10 In the Black Death in the 14th Century Jewish communities were destroyed following wild rumours of wellpoisoning.
11 See 4,000 Jews, 1 Lie, Slate Magazine, 5 October, 2001.
12 The Stephen Roth Institute for the Study of Contemporary Antisemitism and Racism 2006, General Analysis.
14 Executive Council of Australian Jewry, Report on Antisemitism in Australia, 2007.
15 Christopher Bantick, (Melbourne) Herald Sun, 22 November, 2007.
16 Stephen Roth Institute for the Study of Contemporary Antisemitism and Racism, op. cit.
17 ‘Mission Islam has been designed with the intention of providing information and resources for the Muslim community and to the general population…’ From the website www.missionislam.com.
18 Under the Hate Crime Statistics Act, the U.S. Attorney General is directed to collect data “about crimes that manifest evidence of prejudice based on race, religion, sexual orientation, or ethnicity. This authority has been delegated to the FBI.” See the FBI site http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/hc2006/table1.html.
19 1989 – 2007.
20 As reported in the Sydney Morning Herald, 9 March, 2004.
21 Australian Jewish News, 27 November, 2006.
22 This quote, from a transcript translation by the Australian Embassy in Beirut, was put to Hilaly by Geraldine Doogue on ABC Radio Sunday Profile, 7 March, 2004.
23 The Australian, 26 October, 2006.
24 As translated and reported in the Sydney Morning Herald, 19 January, 2007. “(In lectures) Sheik Feiz makes pig-like snorting noises when he refers to Jews.”
25 UN International Convention on the Elimination of All of Racial Discrimination, New York, March, 1966.
26 Deaths stand at more than a dozen; scores wounded; entire cities live in a shell-shocked daily terror.
27 The All-Party Parliamentary Inquiry into Antisemitism (http://thepcaa.org/Report.pdf).
28 Washington Post, 4 September, 2007.
29 Almost without exception anti-Zionist cartooning depicts Jews with “hooked noses” and often wearing Eastern European garb.
30 On the ABC Radio National Religion Report host Stephen Crittenden stated that “Jabotinsky (was) the spiritual father of the Likud, who many would say was frankly a Fascist” in a question to Prof Alvin Rosenfeld, 14 February, 2007.
31 In the recent Federal election ALP Wentworth candidate George Newhouse’s campaign manager stated in an email that ‘I oppose Zionism because it calls for the creation of a Jewish state, and I think all governments should be secular… I'm just opposed to theocracy.’
32 Walter Laquer, The Changing Face of Antisemitism, p. 172.
33 The GlobeScan survey polled 28,000 people in 27 countries, including Australia.
34 Currently there are three Arab parties, with a total of ten Knesset members (http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/Government/Branches+of+Government/Legislative/17th+Knesset+Members.htm).
35 The Struggle against Anti-Israel Bias at the UN Commission on Human Rights, Hillel C. Neuer, Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, 1 January, 2006.
36 Perspectives on Anti-Semitism Today, Anne Bayefsky, lecture at conference 'Confronting Anti-Semitism: Education for Tolerance and Understanding,' United Nations Department of Information, New York, 21 June 2004.
37 United Nations Watch, Dawn of a New Era?, 7 May, 2007 (http://www.unwatch.org/atf/cf/%7B6DEB65DABE5B-4CAE-8056-8BF0BEDF4D17%7D/DAWN_OF_A_NEW_ERA_HRC%20REPORT_FINAL.PDF).
38 National Newspaper of the Year at the 2004 British Press Awards.
39 Emanating from the “blood libels” of the Middle Ages.
40 3 October, 2000.
41 3 April, 2002.
42 21 April, 2001.
43 Al-Rai Al-Ram, 5 April, 1988.
44 Ad-Dustur (Jordan), 19 October, 2003.
45 Al Hayat Al Jadida, 9 May, 2005.
46 5 August, 2005.
47 Sourced from Palestinian Media Watch, the Middle East Media Research Institute and the Anti-Defamation League.
48 While some of the cartoons on this website are not antisemitic, there are many that unquestionable fall into this category.
49 See http://www.adl.org/Anti_semitism/arab/arab_media_jan_jul_07.pdf for examples of these depictions.
50 Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, 18 June, 2007.
51 Guardian, 6 February, 2006.