"An anti-Semite used to be a person who disliked Jews. Now it is a person who Jews dislike."
– Hajo Meyer, Jewish German-born Dutch physicist and Auschwitz survivor.
"Antisemitism is a trick we always use."
– Shulamit Aloni, Jewish Israeli, former Israeli Minister of Education, longtime member of the Israeli parliament.
On Sunday, February 23 before a match at Yeshiva University, two brave young Muslim Brooklyn College volleyball players "took a knee" during the playing of Hatikvah, the Israeli national anthem. Omar Rezika (Soph.) and Hunnan Butt (Fr.) following the example of NFL football player, Colin Kaepernick, who protested the police brutality in the US African-American community, were protesting the brutality of the Israeli occupation and its apartheid policies toward its non-Jewish residents. The Nation sports journalist Dave Zirin wrote me that he learned this was the reason for the protest from sources close to the team.
Continue reading “The Brooklyn Yeshiva Anthem Protest and Why It Is Not Antisemitic”
My deepest sympathy for the family of Ezra Schwartz. My deepest sadness that some lives are more valued than others.
Dave Zirin, @edgeofsports tweet, Nov.23, 2015. The only tweet I found questioning the appropriateness of the Patriot’s moment of silence.
In a brazen attempt to conflate the struggle between Palestinians and Israeli Jews with random terrorist political violence in the consciousness of the American public, the New England Patriots recognized Ezra Schwartz in a brief ceremony before a Monday Night Football game. (See video here.) On November 23rd, a crowd of 70,000 stood in honor of Schwartz while they and millions of viewers were told that he was among
… the many who have recently lost their lives in senseless terrorist attacks abroad. Last Thursday, this reality struck close to home when 18-year-old Ezra Schwartz, a native of Sharon, Massachusetts and a huge Patriots fan, was gunned down nearly 5500 miles from home, while studying abroad. At this time, we would like to honor Ezra Schwartz and the hundreds of victims like him with a moment of silence.
The following day the ceremony was featured on Channel 2 News in Israel. (An article on the Channel 2 News website (Hebrew) and the video of the ceremony with Hebrew subtitles can be viewed here.)
Continue reading “Remembering Ezra Schwartz: A Hasbara Story”
Like the gleeful sound one makes upon hearing that a particularly obnoxious and troublesome relative will not be attending a family gathering, Washington officials probably issued a collective sigh of relief when hearing the news that Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has canceled his visit to Washington planned for next week. The Israeli Prime Minister has caused enough diplomatic problems for the Obama government recently and his appearance at an international summit on the spread of nuclear weapons could have further embarrassed both Israel and the United States.
Netanyahu will not attend the weapons conference because he is afraid to confront a group of representatives of Arab nations who plan to bring up the issue of Israelâ€™s non-participation in the Non-Proliferation Treaty. These nations want to force Israel to publicly acknowledge its nuclear capability and permit international inspection of its facilities.
The Jerusalem Post refers to the Israeli nuclear arsenal as â€œalleged,â€ maintaining the ludicrous Tel Aviv â€œpolicy of ambiguity.â€ The headline of the Hebrew version of Ynet says Netanyahu is afraid of an â€œambushâ€ by the Arab delegates to the conference. Israel will send Intelligence Minister Dan Meridor to the conference to be the flak-catcher for Netanyahu. The Israeli leaderâ€™s absence will deflect attention from the potential bad publicity that discussion of Israelâ€™s nuclear capability will generate.
Israel maintains an arsenal which is assumed to be between 100 and 300 warheads depending on the source of the data estimate. Mordechai Vanunu revealed details of Israelâ€™s nuclear arsenal to the British press in 1986. He served 18 years in an Israeli prison after being abducted from Italy by the Israeli intelligence service Mossad. Vanunu is prohibited from leaving Israel, where his freedom of speech, association and movement have been severely limited by authorities since his release. He has been designated as a prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International.
According to the Federation of American Scientists website, it has been reported that â€œfearing defeat in the October 1973 Yom Kippur War, the Israelis assembled 13 twenty-kiloton atomic bombs.â€ The fact that Israel may have seriously considered a nuclear strike in 1973 first became known to the general public in Seymour Hershâ€™s 1993 book, The Samson Option. If my memory serves me, Hersh claimed that Israel loaded the nukes on missiles and aimed them.
Surely the Americans must be ecstatic about Netanyahu not coming for another visit, although they are forced by their â€œvery special relationshipâ€ with Israel to explicitly deny the obvious. The dubious honor for the denial fell on the shoulders of General James Jones, who told reporters that â€œof course we wanted the Prime Minister [Netanyahu] to come [back for another visit].â€
Isnâ€™t the very special Israeli-American relationship getting more special all the time?