What Israel’s Actions Have Wrought

Israel’s repression of the Palestinians is often rationalized by the historical abuse of the Jews, but Israel’s misconduct is having the disturbing effect of stirring up new anti-Semitism, observes Lawrence Davidson.

By Lawrence Davidson

It has been 71 years since the end of the Holocaust. Initially, the world took that horror as a serious lesson, and the international community created laws against acts of genocide. Those who, even after the public revelation of the Nazi killing fields, still held anti-Semitic opinions kept them to themselves, and as time passed, this particular form of bigotry seemed to be fading away.

And, indeed, that might have been its fate if it weren’t for the strange fact that some of the victims of anti-Semitism, in this case a subset of the Jews known as Zionists (those devoted to the founding of a Jewish state), proved susceptible to catching the disease of their oppressors. The Zionists took up their own form of virulent bigotry against Palestinians, and in reaction, this encouraged a new round of anti-Semitism.

In 1948, some Palestinians, uprooted by Israel's claims to their lands, relocated to the Jaramana Refugee Camp in Damascus, Syria

In 1948, some Palestinians, uprooted by Israel’s claims to their lands, relocated to the Jaramana Refugee Camp in Damascus, Syria

It is a complicated history, but here are some of the particulars that stand out: Israel, created in 1948 in response to anti-Semitism in general and the Holocaust in particular, became the “Jewish state.” Its Zionist leaders were dedicated to the “ingathering” of all Jews into one national entity. And, before you knew it, they were attempting to ethnically cleanse Palestinians and other non-Jews from the land under Israel’s control so as to make room for this “ingathering.”

Such behavior on the part of Zionist Jews was much too reminiscent of their own historical victimization. It created a vigorous anti-Zionist reaction, not only among the Palestinians, but also among increasing numbers of enlightened Jews and others of good will. However, it also created fertile ground for isolated anti-Semites to come out of the closet, as it were, and again become publicly active.

Indeed, we now have the situation where the more anti-Palestinian the Israelis become, the more anti-Semitism they engender. Of course, the Zionists (mistaking longevity for permanence) have always claimed that anti-Semitism is an eternal quality of the Christian West, as if it were something genetic. This is nonsense, but it does allow them to maintain the claim that anti-Semitism would be an ever-growing and threatening reality regardless of their own bigoted behavior.

U.S.-Based Case Study

As an example of the kind of anti-Semitism popping up these days in the United States we can consider the case of the African-American assistant professor of rhetoric and composition Joy Karega at Oberlin College. Dr. Karega seems to be the type of personality prone to understanding the world in terms of conspiracy theories.

Unfortunately, those who understand a complex world in terms of oversimplified plots are not rare. If you are interested in learning how such a mindset can slip easily into bigotry I recommend Stephen Bronner’s The Bigot: Why Prejudice Persists (Yale University Press, 2014)

The gate into the Auschwitz death camp with the cruelly ironic motto: "Arbeit Macht Frei."

The gate into the Auschwitz death camp with the cruelly ironic motto: “Arbeit Macht Frei.”

As Joy Karega’s case makes clear, having a higher education is no guarantee against such distorted thinking. Dr. Karega has recently used Facebook and Twitter to make her theories publicly known. As it turns out, she sees Jews at the center of many such conspiracies.

For instance, according to Dr. Karega, “Rothschild”-inspired manipulators control banks, media and the U.S. government. She blames U.S.-Israeli conspiracies for the 9/11 attacks, the downing of the Malaysian airliner over the Ukraine, and terrorist attacks in France. Again, according to Dr. Karega, the “Rothschild-led banksters” are “staving off the coming global deflationary depression [by] implementing the World War III option.” While most would rightly dismiss these views as, to put it politely, less than well thought out, Dr. Karega claims they fall within the categories of “contested and controversial” knowledge.

Much of the debate resulting from these postings revolves around issues of free speech and academic freedom. Because Dr. Karega put forth her views on social media, she is covered by the First Amendment right of free speech. There is nothing illegal about what she said or how she said it. The First Amendment, however, is like an insurance policy that only partially covers you. It protects a person from government censorship. However, there are no First Amendment rights vis-a-vis nongovernmental institutions such as Oberlin College.

Yet there is still the issue of “academic freedom.” Initially, Oberlin College’s president, Marvin Krislov, characterized Dr. Karega’s statements as falling within the realm of “academic freedom” and therefore beyond the Oberlin’s ability to control. I am not sure that academic freedom is the correct category to use in this case. Apparently, Dr. Karega has made none of these conspiracy statements in Oberlin classrooms or within her published scholarly work or at academic conferences. So in what way are her social media posts “academic”?

Even if academic freedom is not applicable here, one can take the position that, as long as she maintains a strict division between these personal opinions and her academic work, Oberlin’s administration should not care about or act on what Dr. Karega says on Facebook or Twitter. That is probably President Krislov’s preferred position, but, alas, he and his school are being forced in a different direction.

In the West, including the U.S., the issue of anti-Semitism is still a highly sensitive one. For many it is seen as one of the worst examples of dangerous bigotry. That is certainly the case for those members of university and college boards of trustees – to say nothing of donors – who happen to be Jewish and/or Zionist. Oberlin is not immune to this fact.

And so, the college’s president has quickly come under pressure from the Oberlin’s trustees to get rid of Dr. Karega because she is an anti-Semitic embarrassment. On the other hand, she is popular with the college’s black student body, and they, sensitive to different African-American-centered issues, are pressuring not only for retaining her, but for her guaranteed tenure.

Bodies of Palestinian refugees at the Sabra camp in Lebanon, 1982. (Photo credit: U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees)

Bodies of Palestinian refugees at the Sabra camp in Lebanon, 1982. (Photo credit: U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees)

President Krislov, caught between these two forces, has placed Dr. Karega on paid leave (thus removing her from the classroom) and retreated to the position that Oberlin is “required to follow established academic procedures when addressing questions regarding an individual faculty member.” In the face of this move, Dr. Karega is “deferring to her lawyer.”

In the meantime, President Krislov asserts that “our community will address the issues raised in this situation by honoring the essence of liberal arts education at Oberlin by interrogating assertions with facts and deep, critical thinking from multiple viewpoints.”

This is a good idea, particularly when it comes to the allegations of fact inherent in Dr. Karega’s conspiracy theories. A campus-wide open debate that allows accurate knowledge to be brought to bear about how banking, media and government work, what happened on 9/11, and how the Malaysian airliner was shot down, etc. ought to be able to debunk Dr. Karega’s “controversial and contested” knowledge while also showing up the flaws, foibles and often the downright corrupt way many government and corporate officials can act.

In the end, Dr. Karega will probably be bought out of Oberlin and most probably not get another academic job. However, she may make a good living, at least for a while, on the speaker’s circuit. It is unlikely that her case will settle the debate over academic freedom, anti-Semitism, and opposition to Israel’s criminal behavior.

Institutional Bigotry

Putting Joy Karega’s fate aside, let us also ask about the state of mind of those Zionist Jews who are ever on the watch for anti-Semites and see in Joy Karega proof that the State of Israel is still necessary to Jewish survival.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the United Nations in 2012, drawing his own “red line” on how far he will let Iran go in refining nuclear fuel.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the United Nations in 2012, drawing his own “red line” on how far he will let Iran go in refining nuclear fuel.

Keep in mind that instances of anti-Semitism of the sort displayed in the Karega case are isolated and do not reflect the actions of organized or institutionalized forces. They are indeed offensive and deserve to be condemned, but they do not threaten the rights of Jews as citizens of the United States.

Also, in the opinion of this writer, the charge that such cases reflect a dangerous anti-Jewish atmosphere on college campuses is wildly exaggerated.

On the other hand, as noted at the beginning of this analysis, much of this sort of anti-Semitism has been encouraged by the actions of yet another sort of bigotry that is organized and institutionalized. That is the bigotry inherent in the ideology of Zionism and the practice of ethnic cleansing by the Israeli state. This sort of bigotry does threaten the rights, and often the lives, of Palestinians living under Israeli rule.

Zionists who decry the anti-Semitism of Dr. Karega should be called out for holding obvious double standards. The protections they demand from anti-Semitic bigotry are protections they should also demand for non-Jews against Israeli bigotry. But most do not do this. They find hypocrisy a necessary cover for their own biases.

Yet by dissembling in this fashion they actually create an environment that gives license to folks like Joy Karega while simultaneously undermining the foundation upon which a college like Oberlin is built – the principles of “interrogating assertions with facts and deep, critical thinking from multiple viewpoints.”

Lawrence Davidson is a history professor at West Chester University in Pennsylvania. He is the author of Foreign Policy Inc.: Privatizing America’s National Interest; America’s Palestine: Popular and Official Perceptions from Balfour to Israeli Statehood; and Islamic Fundamentalism.

40 comments for “What Israel’s Actions Have Wrought

  1. Fergus Hashimoto
    August 27, 2016 at 20:26

    “What Israel’s actions have wrought” is doubtless a very relevant and problematical issue. However, equally relevant and problematical is the issue of “What Arabs’ actions vis-à-vis Israel have wrought”. Nonetheless, in keeping with the time-honored Arabophile tradition of the left, this subject is rarely broached.
    Accordingly, there is little point in discussing the pros and cons of Dr Davidson’s essay. Even if every detail is true (which I think is quite likely) the overall impression that ensues is necessarily false, because essential context is missing.
    According to Dr. Davidson and his ideological companions, nothing the Arabs (whether Palestinian, Egyptian, Syrian, Jordanian, etc.) have ever done to the Jews merits the slightest comment. This historiographical approach is clearly biased and unscientific. Consequently any conclusions drawn from such an exercise are by simple logic void from the get-go and accordingly are not worth discussing.
    I cite merely as a sample of injustices Arabs have visited on Israelis:
    “The order to kill Israeli prisoners came from General Shazly, who, in a pamphlet distributed to Egyptian soldiers immediately before the war, advised his troops to kill Israeli soldiers even if they surrendered.[285]”
    “In a December 1973 address to the National Assembly, Syrian Defense Minister Mustafa Tlass stated that he had awarded one soldier the Medal of the [Syrian] Republic for killing 28 Israeli prisoners with an axe, decapitating three of them and eating the flesh of one of his victims.[276] “

    • Khalid Talaat
      September 1, 2016 at 07:44

      You forgot to mention the high ranking Israeli armored tank battalion Commander Asaf Yaguri who in 1967 during the six day war, when he had captured so many Egyptian soldiers, lined the prisoners and drove his tanks over them. Israel, as recently declassified documents tell us, knew Egypt’s Nasser had only 2 divisions in Sinai. Hardly enough to launch an attack but enough to tout Israel’s military genius instead of its treacherous first strike to capture more land. The bloody nose Israel got in 1973 was deserved, if you factor the attack on Egypt in 1952. If it was not for US satelite info, Israel would not have been able to exploit the gap between the 2nd and 3rd Egyptian Army. Israel is nothing more than a viscious air force as Gaza demonstrates. HizbuAllsh hss also demonstrated time and time again, that when it comes to eye ball to eye ball fighting, Israel’s “mighty” army cuts and runs while its soldiers weep like little girls. Nothing stays the same and one day Israel will be on a level fighting field with the Arabs and we will see who’s mystique survives. The lie called Israel needs to be humanely dismantled and everyone should go back where they came from.

  2. Tom Welsh
    August 27, 2016 at 17:16

    Some people might quite reasonably wonder why, despite such “aberrations” as the single-minded attempt to sink the USS “Liberty” and murder her entire crew, no US administration has ever been able to say “No” to Israel. To an outsider looking at the relationship between the two nations, it seems as if a very small and insignifican tail is wagging an enormous dinosaur.

    Why? There is absolutely no benefit for the USA as a nation in supporting Israel. So why do all US administrations do it?

    • DS
      August 27, 2016 at 18:29

      Why? Probably to amplify US power in the region via Israel. Kind of a one-two punch.

    • Fergus Hashimoto
      August 27, 2016 at 20:57

      In the 1980s, during the Iran-Iraq war, a very similar incident occurred. However the culprit was not Israel but Iraq, whose warplanes attacked an American warship in the Persian Gulf and likewise killed many American sailors. As in the case of the USS Liberty, Iraq — a US ally at that time — was absolved of all blame.
      I find it curious that Israel’s misdeed is constantly invoked, whereas the Iraqi attack has disappeared down the memory-hole. I think this shows irrational bias against Israel.

      • Khalid Talaat
        September 1, 2016 at 07:11

        Greetings Mr Hashimoto,
        I can’t answer you more eloquently than please give us a break. “Irration bias against Israel”? Are you for real? Let me just say this. Gaza.

  3. DS
    August 27, 2016 at 13:55

    You want to know what can turn allies into anti-semites on the micro-level? This:

  4. August 26, 2016 at 23:30

    G’Day Lawrence and Consortium Readers,

    For well over three decades, America’s interminable political meddling and military interventions in the Greater Middle East have created unprecedented fissures across the region and beyond. This has especially been the case since the events of September 11, 2001, the ensuing War on Terror, and the disastrous invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan. Although the U.S. is the principal curator of the prevailing chaos — a situation showing few signs of abating anytime soon — it seems increasingly more people are coming to terms with one simple, albeit hitherto broadly unmentionable, reality: Despite all their manufactured perceptions — accompanied by their strident protestations to the contrary — it is the region’s resident hegemon Israel that has been and remains the main driver of the instability, mayhem, and rampant violence that defines the region.

    For those folks who might not be convinced of such arguments or might like to inform themselves better in this regard, might I recommend they watch the following. In addition to providing us all a more realistic understanding of the reality of Israel’s role in the Middle East, more particularly, they are both timely, powerful and valid arguments for Israel to be called to account by the international community — especially so for its actions, conduct and behaviour in Palestine — in much the same way that the former South African government was over its apartheid policies.

    The first link below is a Youtube presentation by Miko Peled. Peled is from a famous and influential Israeli Zionist family and was born in Jerusalem. His father was a general in the Israeli army, in which he also served. When his niece was killed in a Palestinian suicide bomb attack, his family surprisingly placed the blame squarely on the state of Israel. They believed it was the torture, violence and forced eviction from their homes that was driving Palestinians to commit suicide to fight back.

    Here is an extract from the Youtube intro.

    ‘In this honest, groundbreaking talk Peled reveals the truth about the terror state of Israel. His talk is based on his father’s insider knowledge on the Israeli war of terror, coupled with his own research. Many Jews and Israel supporters will be deeply shaken by this expose. Some facts from his talk are that the returning Jews are not the original expelled Jews, nor their descendants. He also reveals that until 1947 when Israel launched their illegal terrorist attacks on the people of Palestine, there was no conflict. Peled is one of many modern day Jews standing up to the Zionist state of Israel. This talk is a ‘must watch’ for everybody, to clear their minds of the lies spread and supported by the Zionist owned mainstream media.’


    The second ‘must watch’ herein is the recently released documentary In the film Occupation of the American Mind — Israel’s Public Relations War in the United States. Narrated by Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters, this powerful and timely film provides a much needed ‘tonic of truth’ to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. After viewing this film, anyone with any illusions or uncertainties about who the good guys and who the bad guys are in this interminable standoff will — unless afflicted with an incurable case of cognitive dissonance — be disabused of all of the above in one fell swoop. (N.B.: The film can be streamed live simply by paying a small fee.)

    As the film’s title suggests, the narrative therein delivers an essential insight into the the self-serving duplicity, mendacity and unalloyed hypocrisy of the Israel Lobby, along with providing another exemplar of how America’s elected representatives so poorly serve their primary constituency, and we might say their country’s own national interest!

    Just as significantly, it serves as a no-punches-pulled indictment on the venality, irresponsibility and double standards of the corporate media establishment in the U.S., especially in the way it unfailingly caters to special-interest groups at the expense of truth, balance, and integrity in their reporting of the Big Issues. And to be sure, of all the “Big Issues”, they don’t come much bigger than the Palestine-Israeli conflict, and of all the so-called “special-interest groups”, few come much more “special” than the Israel Lobby.

    (In addition to the film itself, I recommend readers take time to watch an extended interview conducted by Paul Jay of the Real News Network with Roger Waters and the film’s producer Sut Jhally. (Third link below). It contains many of its own revealing moments, and is a superb complement to the film proper.)




  5. historicvs
    August 26, 2016 at 07:41

    Theodor Herzl (1860-1904), the founder of modern Zionism, maintained that anti-Semitism is not an aberration, but a natural and completely understandable response by non-Jews to alien Jewish behavior and attitudes. “The Jewish question exists wherever Jews live in noticeable numbers,” he wrote in his most influential work, The Jewish State. “Where it does not exist, it is brought in by arriving Jews … I believe I understand anti-Semitism, which is a very complex phenomenon. I consider this development as a Jew, without hate or fear.” The Jewish question, he maintained, is not social or religious. “It is a national question. To solve it we must, above all, make it an international political issue …” Regardless of their citizenship, Herzl insisted, Jews constitute not merely a religious community, but a nationality.

    Zionism was faltering before the Third Reich. Very few Jews were willing to abandon their homelands to live to a desert inhabited by people who swore to never to be dispossessed by foreign invaders. And from its inception, many rabbis warned of the potential dangers of Zionism and declared that god-fearing Jews should reject it. They argued that Jews lost control of their “holy” land because of their sins and god alone, not ambitious politicians or powerful armies, would authorize their return, that to try to reclaim the land themselves was apostasy.

    Today’s fundamentalist Zionist cult seeks essentially to turn back the clock to a time before Islam, a time before Christianity, a time even before the Roman, Macedonian, Persian, and Babylonian empires. As such it is ultimately doomed to failure, an isolated extremist regime propped up today mostly by American Jews, in the same way that Irish-Americans long funded the futile struggle of the IRA.

    • Cal
      August 28, 2016 at 20:04

      ” …” Regardless of their citizenship, Herzl insisted, Jews constitute not merely a religious community, but a nationality. ”

      That’s always been the problem.
      It was always the ‘Jew qua nation’ vr the ‘Jew qua individual’…..it being the Jew qua nation (tribe) that aroused resentment and didn’t fit into any nation.

      Good book that discusses this during the Enlightenment when nations were giving citizenship to the Jews. The nations insisted that the citizenship be based on rights for the ‘ Jew qua individual’….not the Jew qua nation.
      Interestingly it was the Rabbis who tried to argue for having it both ways, Jews as citizens but also with the right to follow their own laws, not the nations.


      The Jew in the Modern World: A Documentary History

      By Paul R. Mendes-Flohr, Jehuda Reinharz

      • Khalid Talaat
        September 1, 2016 at 06:59

        If you wish to understand the true history of the Jews look up the following books or lectures on youtube by E. Michael Jones PhD.:
        The revolutionary Spirit of the Jews, this large work over 700 pages chronicles how through revolution and the destruction of the welcoming host country, the Jews managed to destroy the host’s society through usury and lewdness.
        Another, is Barren Metal. This is also a huge work chronicling the history of usury and the destruction it has wrought on the labor through debt slavery throughout history.
        One more is Libido Dominate. This is another well documented work explaining how sexual freedom is used to control the masses.
        These works together may not prove a conspiracy but they chronicle a propensity of the Jews to always seek dominance and destruction of the welcoming society through usury and pornography.

  6. John
    August 25, 2016 at 22:38

    So much to do about nothing….The Israelis claim as fact “God” gave them the land of Palestine…..Simply subpoena Yahweh to the world court…if Yahweh doesn’t show up Israel must forfeit their claim…….Is Israel’s claim to Palestine a fabrication ? A myth ?

    • Gregory Kruse
      August 28, 2016 at 09:08

      Yahweh didn’t show up at the Holocaust either, at least not as an advocate for the Jews.

      • Khalid Talaat
        September 1, 2016 at 06:34

        The Talmud points out that the Rabbis debated God and God lost the debate.

  7. Lou
    August 25, 2016 at 22:31

    Well put NABNYC and Curious.

  8. Brad Benson
    August 25, 2016 at 21:43

    So I guess this author is okay with the official 9/11 Story. I suspect that Dr. Karega’s version would be no crazier.

  9. Zachary Smith
    August 25, 2016 at 21:26

    For instance, according to Dr. Karega, “Rothschild”-inspired manipulators control banks, media and the U.S. government. She blames U.S.-Israeli conspiracies for the 9/11 attacks, the downing of the Malaysian airliner over the Ukraine, and terrorist attacks in France.

    None of the “conspiracies” are obvious nonsense. That said, the young woman is either financially secure and can afford to lose her job, or she’s extraordinarily gullible and dumb. When I googled her name there was mention of her poking an 800-pound gorilla. That’s not a very bright thing to do unless she is independently wealthy.

  10. wobblie
    August 25, 2016 at 21:14

    Rather disappointed that Consortium News would print a story that labeled some “theories” as anti-semitism, when Israel’s Mosaad has been implicated in many world-wide events, including supporting ISIS.

    The Rothschilds are part of the big banking cartel. That’s pretty well known.

    It is the unprivileged individual that suffers.

  11. JWalters
    August 25, 2016 at 19:44

    “much of this sort of anti-Semitism has been encouraged by the actions of yet another sort of bigotry that is organized and institutionalized. That is the bigotry inherent in the ideology of Zionism and the practice of ethnic cleansing by the Israeli state. “

    This is an extremely important point which has been rigorously silenced in the American mainstream media. The blanket control that can accomplish this silencing is a menace to democracy, and it seems to me is appropriately called a “conspiracy”.

    Here is an excellent article by a Jewish author at a Jewish-run, anti-Zionist website that discusses this coordinated control openly.

  12. Curious
    August 25, 2016 at 18:54

    Thank you for the well written article Mr Davidson.

    It is a shame that there is not a better lexicon for anti Israeli policies than anti-semite in our English language. There are many policies from Israel one would consider totally against the ‘human rights’ agenda the US espouses. There are too many abuses to name, but a few would be the roads built which a Palestinian can’t use nor cross, the wall, and the huge blowback when an advert on Israeli television showed a kiss between a Jew and a Palestinian, Horror of horrors! This is even pre US civil war racialism. Most recently the courts have allowed the imprisonment of 12-14 year old children. The open air prison named Gaza is another one.

    Many prominent Zionists have written about the need for the purity of the race even before Israel was formed, and some Rabbis even today preach ethnic purity. Ring any bells? No longer an Arian methodology, but now a Jewish one.

    Another unfortunate part of our lexicon is the fact that many Jews in Israel are not even Semites if one follows the true meaning of the word. DNA test have proven this many times as the blood work shows more Eastern European origins than Middle Eastern ancestry. The Jewish Autonomous Oblast the USSR set up in 1934 has created some of its own DNA historical patterns.

    Simply put, to be against some policies of Israel does not make one an anti-Semite. Since Israel is becoming fascist, racist, and abusive to the very people who were/are in the way of their desired homeland deserves another word than anti-Semite since this word it too emotionally charged.

    But I think we can guarantee, as the living survivors of the Holocaust pass away, we will still see many Hollywood productions depicting Germans who were part of a militarized culture 70 years ago. Many producers won’t let it end, even while they cower behind their own militarized Israeli culture they offer to the Palestinians and the world. We will still see snippets from the propaganda film of Lena Riefenstahl with Hitler shouting in bad German (platt Deutsch) to rally the masses. How long will Israel play the victim card? It’s anyones guess as they dip further into the treasury of the US in order to take more land and weapons.

    • Rikhard Ravindra Tanskanen
      August 29, 2016 at 12:10

      Sorry, I meant “that”. Also, there was no need for me to have a few short sentences when three would do. Sorry about that.

  13. RR
    August 25, 2016 at 18:12

    Mr. Davidson,

    I really don’t understand the first half of your post. Can you please explain to us how it is anti-Semitic for someone to question the official Western news narratives regarding 9/11 and Ukraine?

    I didn’t see anything in your post stating that Dr. Karega accused Jewish people of being inherently evil or dangerous. Theorizing that the Israeli state and the Rothschild banking empire have been behind certain events isn’t racist. For all we know it might be true. And if these theories turned out to be true then there would be nothing “racist” about the theories.

    It appears to me that Dr. Karega is questioning the actions of powerful organizations, not the moral constitution of all Jewish people. As I’m sure you are aware Jewish people have a diverse range of political leanings just as all people do. Not all Jewish people are Zionists, bankers, etc.

    It appears to me that you are over simplifying by accusing Dr. Karega of being anti-Semitic. Mind you I had not heard of this person before today so she may be anti-Semitic. But the examples you listed do not prove that she is to me.

    • Jerry
      August 25, 2016 at 21:09

      Those are very good points you make. Thank you.

      We have too much political correctness. We must have complete tolerance of free speech. Those who would punish Prof. Karega in her employment for her personal expressions, made outside the context of her employment, advocate something that is unfair and will likely produce a backlash. It also threatens academic freedom indirectly if not directly.

      I am a Jew. I have lived my whole life in this country, nearly 60 years. I think that the policies of the Israeli government toward Palestinians bear an alarming resemblance to those of Nazis toward Jews. I fear that they are beginning to produce a backlash, e.g., in some European countries. All Jews should recognize the evils of persecuting a minority. Alas, some don’t. This is a human failing, one by no means limited to Jews.

      I also oppose the excessive, abusive, flaunting misuse of what financial and other clout some prominent Jews have. This does not help Jews; it hurts. Humility is a virtue. Hubris is a sin.

      Please see the works of Dr. Norman G. Finkelstein at normanfinkelstein.com, orbooks.com, and youtube.com on the topics I have mentioned.

      As for anti-semitism in the US, there is very little of it. It comes now and then from a few people that I write off as crackpots. If my being Jewish has caused me to suffer for it or benefit from it, I have no knowledge of any such thing.

      • RR
        August 28, 2016 at 20:43

        Hello Jerry,

        Thank you for your comment. Very insightful and I will check out those links. I agreed with everything you said. I have Jewish people in my family through marriage and I also worry that the actions of Israel are putting them at risk. I totally agree that we should always defend free speech. We should openly analyze and discuss policies we don’t agree with regardless of whether it is taboo to do so or not.


    • Cal
      August 28, 2016 at 19:31

      Excellent points. I agree

    • Rikhard Ravindra Tanskanen
      August 29, 2016 at 12:13

      It is anti-Semitic to say the Rothschilds are behind things, as the obvious reason why they are the subect of a conspiracy is because of their being Jews. Be stupid somewhere else.

  14. Zucco
    August 25, 2016 at 17:06

    Anti Semites used to be exclusively people who hate Jews. But nowadays it can include people the Jews hate for any number of reasons. Folks like Trump or anybody who argues that US aid to Israel should be cut.

    • Bart Gruzalski
      August 26, 2016 at 19:06

      Absolutely. Hillary Clinton gets the the active support of the AIPAC, and eternal damnation for supporting Israel at the U N. She’s damned herself for political gain.

  15. samgfromdc
    August 25, 2016 at 16:33

    Professor Davidson’s view that anti-Semitism doesn’t threaten the rights of Jews in this country is pretty iffy these days. He has apparently failed to read or even hear about the many virulent expressions of anti-Semitism against Jewish journalists who’ve written articles critical of Donald Trump. I suggest he and others who feel as he does might learn learn something by clicking on the link below or copying it to their address box:


  16. NABNYC
    August 25, 2016 at 14:57

    It certainly sounds like these comments by the professor are ignorant, based on paranoia and bigotry. However, we should keep in mind that if she made those same comments about Russia, for example (Russia backed the 9/11 attacks etc.), or about Muslims, she would not only keep her job, but her critics would be the ones under attack.

    Beyond that, the biggest problem in the claims that anti-semitism is on the rise is the truth, which is that anti-semitism is rare in this country. Show me the ghetto housing where Jews are forced to live without heat, with rats, in crime-ridden neighborhoods, with inadequate schools and food ghettos. Show me the list of good jobs and professions from which Jews are banned. Add to that list the universities from which they are excluded. Let’s compare income and wealth of the 2% of the population which is Jewish with some other group, say the black Americans, or hispanics, or Native Americans — or even anglo Christian Americans, so we can see how the Jewish citizens are kept in dire poverty compared to others. Of course none of this is true, which is the best evidence that there is no anti-semitism in the U.S. which represents more than some individual irrelevant bigotry with no effect whatsoever on any Jewish citizens.

    In addition, if people criticize prominent Jews for their role in the Wall Street plunder of this country, or their right-wing pro-war genocidal attitudes towards others (such as Henry Kissinger), or their use of billion-dollar fortunes to buy control of our government, that’s not anti-semitism, it’s just criticism of people for their bad conduct or bad behavior. To call it anti-semitism is to promote the view that it is never okay to criticize anyone who is Jewish, which is a ridiculous position.

    • tjoe
      August 30, 2016 at 05:31


    • Khalid Talaat
      September 1, 2016 at 06:23

      An Anti-semite used to be when someone didn’t like the Jews. Now an anti-semite is someone the Jews don ‘t like.

  17. Canadian
    August 25, 2016 at 13:44

    As soon as people join together to commit a crime or a string of crimes, that constitutes a “conspiracy” as per the legal term. AND most criminal conspiracies that involve many criminals are ethnically based.

    EXAMPLE: The Italian mafia has provably taken over the construction industry in Quebec, Canada, and succesfully monopolized all big govenment contracts. Prior to a huge lengthy government investigation that did prove a conspiracy, many people had “conspiracy theories” about the issue. Where those people Anti-Italian bigots? Curiously no one at all ever made that accusation.

    911: No one knows the whole truth about 911, however everyone knows that the US government lied, and refused to make an in depth investigation; many engineers pointed out some physical impossibilities regarding the crashing of the buildings, and all efforts to get to the bottom of this have been ignored or ridiculed. So while the part about the 19 Saudi terrorists is most likely true, THERE HAS BEEN NO INVESTIGATION WHATSOEVER regarding who set up the building demolitions (!)

  18. Annie
    August 25, 2016 at 13:02

    Personally I agree that Dr. Karega shouldn’t be using Facebook and twitter to express what does appear to be anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, and I know there are many who would argue that it’s a freedom of speech issue, but anyone who has ever taught knows there are certain things you don’t say, in the classroom, or on a public forum. However, more significant , and more important is how much you can’t say about Israel which is based on fact lest you be accused of anti-Semitism. I see this as the bigger problem in America rather then the one addressed here.

    • August 25, 2016 at 13:51

      criticizing zionism does not fit an accurate definition of “anti-semitism” … belief in the inferiority of anyone who speaks Arabic, Amharic, Chaldean, Akadian, Aramaic, Hebrew, Tigrinya, or any other Semitic language does.
      it is common knowledge that Europeans conquered the continents they then dubbed the Americas through genocide, iron, gunpowder and measles. we now look back on those events as something we would not approve of today. we cannot judge those who lived in the 18th century using modern morality.
      we can criticize zionists aim to cleanse an indigenous population for the purposes of settling on Palestinian land. it is criminal not to.

      • Annie
        August 25, 2016 at 19:52

        common tater

        I didn’t say, criticizing Zionism in any way equates with anti-Semitism. Zionism is a political movement, but anyone who expresses anti-Zionist sentiments are often attacked as being anti-Semitic. In fact anyone who is critical of Israel, especially as it relates to their treatment of Palestinians is often labeled as an anti-Semite.

  19. August 25, 2016 at 11:37

    Lawrence Davidson
    thanks for shining the light on Dr. Joy Karega, I had not heard of her before reading your article. i will be looking her up and taking in her work.
    prosecutors step into court rooms with theories about wrongdoings. if it involves multiple defendants those theories are “conspiracy theories.” more often than not, those “conspiracy theories” are proven “conspiracy facts,” following a sober trial. i would certainly welcome a thorough and public investigation of the events leading up to, and following “9/11.”

    • RR
      August 25, 2016 at 18:01

      I love the prosecutor comparison. Good work.

    • JWalters
      August 25, 2016 at 19:49

      I agree a more thorough investigation is most definitely needed.

  20. August 25, 2016 at 11:20

    a “semite” is a person who speaks any of the “semitic” languages which include Arabic, Amharic, Tigrinya, Aramaic, Hebrew and includes a long list of languages no longer spoken. to be “anti-semitic” one would have to be bigoted towards those who speak any of the above listed languages.
    to perpetuate the idea that any who oppose zionism are “jew-haters” is to condone the genocide of the Palestinian nation. people who adhere to the Jewish faith may do so anywhere on the globe, even in Palestine (as was before december of 1947). theocratic states breed death, and misery … Saudi Arabia is a perfect example.

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