From outside one will always triumphantly impress theories upon the world and then fall straight into the ditch one has dug, but only from inside will one keep oneself and the world quiet and true. /FK (Contact: TBONotebooks at fastmail.fm. The Blue Octavo Notebooks welcomes mail, although we cannot guarantee a response. Your email may be posted in part on The Blue Octavo Notebooks unless otherwise requested.) Please enjoy the notebook entries, and thanks for reading.

Sunday, April 25, 2004

The following is an email from The Stephen Roth Institute for the Study of Contemporary Anti-Semitism and Racism at Tel Aviv University:

On 18 April, the eve of Holocaust Memorial Day, the Stephen Roth Institute presented its annual findings on antisemitism worldwide for the year 2003.
Following is an abstract of those findings.

The year 2003 witnessed an increase in the number and severity of violent incidents perpetrated against Jews, and an escalation in the anti-Jewish atmosphere and in the use of antisemitic expressions as part of campaigns against Israel and Zionism. In 2003 the Stephen Roth Institute recorded a total of 360 serious incidents worldwide, 30 major attacks (such as shootings, knifings, bombings and arson) and 330 major violent incidents (i.e., physical aggression without the use of a weapon and vandalism against Jewish institutions and property). That is a considerable increase compared to 2002, which witnessed 311 serious incidents. The five countries with the highest levels of antisemitic incidents were France, the United Kingdom, Russia, Germany and Canada. Most notable was the increase in physical aggression against Jews on the streets and in schools. Contrary to the conclusions published by the Vienna-based European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia sponsored by the EU, our findings indicate that the vast majority of violent events were perpetrated by young Muslim immigrants and that their activity was influenced by hostile propaganda and expressions of the radical left. At the same time, the extreme right continued to vandalize Jewish institutes and sites, especially cemeteries and Holocaust monuments.

For the full General Analysis (Overview and essay “When Anti-Israelism Becomes Antisemitism”), see http://www.tau.ac.il/Anti-Semitism/asw2003-4/general-analysis.htm.

Two excerpts:

The crucial issue emerging from most surveys, analyses and deliberations is the need to define when anti-Zionism and anti-Israelism is actually tainted with antisemitism, which is as follows:

• when the language, images, and character traits attributed to Israel are imbued with known antisemitic stereotypes;
• when Israelis and Jews are depicted as a cosmic evil, are blamed for world-wide disasters, and are compared to the Nazis, the ultimate evil;
• when Israelis and Jews supporting the State of Israel are singled out and attacked, and are treated in a disproportionate manner in relationship to the issue at hand and in comparison to the actions of other nations;
• when the very right of Israel to exist as a Jewish state is de-legitimized;
• when the Holocaust is distorted and made a political weapon, allegedly misused by the Jews to extort financial support and to make political capital.
The conference at Ohio State University reflected the trend in the anti-Israel movement to use Jews and Israelis as speakers, in order to prove that the movement is not antisemitic. “Many of the conference organizers are Jewish, so those claims [that the PSM conference in Ohio State University promoted antisemitism] are just absurd,” said Nahla Saleh. Indeed, two prominent anti-Zionist Jewish activists are associated with the CJP (Committee for Justice in Palestine), the group that hosted the conference: Joseph Levine, faculty adviser to the CJP, and Ora Wise of Jews against the Occupation.

Groups that endorsed the Ohio conference included: Al-Awda Chicago; AWARE, a NJ-NY activist forum which claims that support for Israel is support for “racism, apartheid and terror;” and SUSTAIN (Stop US Tax-Funded Aid to Israel Now), a coalition of student and non-student activists that sees the divestment campaign as part of a ”global intifada.” Yoshie Furuhashi, a CJP activist who feels that PSM should oppose suicide bombings, stated that Israel’s Law of Return, which allows Jews to immigrate to the country, is “the practice of Jewish supremacy, much like white supremacy in US and South African histories.”

If you’re wondering what the hell “Jewish supremacy” is supposed to mean, just ask David Duke or Henry Ford.

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