The Jewish New Year is a time of renewal and a time for
cherishing the ties between Israel and the Diaspora. But this
year, it is essential that Jews in all communities learn about
a growing menace, one that threatens from within Israel
and Jews everywhere.
Understanding this menace is particularly important in
the wake of the war with the Hezbollah this past summer.
Over the past decade or so, there has been a bizarre sort of
convergence between Israel and the North American Diaspora
in the emergence of a dangerous pathology. I refer to
Jewish anti-Semitism. That sounds like an oxymoron, and if
only it were so!
Jews who are themselves anti-Semites have long been an
unavoidable part of Diaspora existence. Indeed, anti-Semitic
Jews go back at least as far as the Hellenist collaborators
against the Maccabbees, and probably even before that.
What is new is the growth inside Israel of this pathology.
Let me be clear. People commonly refer to assimilationist
Jews as “self-hating Jews”, but the application of that term
to them is somewhat misleading. Assimilationist Jews are
simply indifferent to their own Jewishness, with little interest
in living as Jews.
Jewish anti-Semites, however, are people of Jewish extraction
who actually hate Jews and wish them harm. In most
cases, the main focus of their anti-Semitism is in their opposition
to Israel’s existence and their endorsements of the
barbarous forces warring against Israel and Zionism.
The Jewish community of North America has produced
quite a number of Jewish anti- Semites. In extreme cases
these include Jews promoting Holocaust Denial and neo-
Nazism. And in recent years, these self-hating Jews are being
joined by Jewish anti- Semites from the fringes of the
Israeli far Left and especially from Israeli academia. In the
US, there is Norman Finkelstein, a pseudo-scholar on the
faculty of DePaul University in Chicago, who has been declared
a Holocaust Denier by the Anti- Defamation League.
Finkelstein is often described as the Jewish David Irving,
and proudly proclaims that “We are all Hezbollah now!”
Noam Chomsky, Professor at MIT, certainly is a contender
for the most anti-Semitic Jew to emerge in the United
States. The only thing not clear is whether he hates America
more than he hates Israel. Chomsky, a Stalinist who served
as apologist for the Khmer Rouge while it was conducting
genocide, is himself a promoter and champion of Holocaust
Deniers and terrorists of all sorts.
Canada has also produced its share of anti-Semitic Jews.
While hardly the only one, probably the very worst is Michael
Neumann from Trent University, a pseudo-academic
basher of Israel and a regular Jew-baiter for the left wing
pro-terror web magazine Counterpunch, published by
Stalinist anti-Semite Alexander Cockburn. Like Cockburn,
Newmann regards America and Israel as barbarian states.
Perhaps his most memorable comment has been: “I think
we should almost never take anti-Semitism seriously, and
maybe we should have some fun with it.”
This was followed by: “Israel has committed war crimes.
It has implicated Jews generally in these crimes, and Jews
generally have hastened to implicate themselves. This has
provoked hatred against Jews. Why not?” The Canadian
Jewish Congress wrote a letter of complaint to Neumann’s
employer, Trent University, about his naked anti-Semitism.
Neumann proudly proclaims himself a follower of the
Swedish neo-Nazi “Israel Shamir.” Neumann, author of The
Case Against Israel, recently informed a neo-Nazi website
that he is “not interested in the truth, or justice, or understanding,”
unless it serves the Palestinian cause. Last year
Jonathan Kay from Canada’s National Post did a superb job
of “outing” the jihadnik from Trent.
Britain hosts an ex-Israeli neo-Nazi named Gilad Atzmon
who is so openly anti-Semitic that he has been repudiated
by British bash-Israel anti-Zionist groups. He has called for
the burning down of synagogues. North America Jewry
has begotten a cult of anti-Israel far-left paganism called
the “Tikkun Community” or “Renewal” or “Aleph”, led by
people like pseudo-rabbi Michael Lerner, editor of Tikkun
Magazine, who believes that anti- Semitism is caused by the
evil of Jews. These and other Jewish anti-Semites are the focus
of the recent book by Paul Bogdanor and Edward Alexander,
The Jewish Divide Over Israel (Transaction Publishers,
Israel in recent years has produced hundreds of Jewish
radical anti-Semites, and many of these hold faculty positions
at Israel’s tax-funded public universities. These are
people who justify and celebrate Arab terrorism, who help
initiate campaigns of boycott and “divestment” directed
against Israel, who collaborate with anti-Semites all over the
world, who attempt to get Israeli military officers indicted
as “war criminals” before courts outside Israel. Some of
them openly call for Israel to be annihilated. Some campaign
for and promote Holocaust deniers. Many of them
cheered as northern Israel was bathed by katyusha rockets
this summer. They are Israel’s version of “Taliban John”.
In-classroom anti-Israel indoctrination is becoming more
common at Israeli universities. Battling against Israel is becoming
the chief scholarly credential of a growing number
of Israeli academics.
Ilan Pappe from the University of Haifa was the driving
force behind recent attempts in the UK and Canada to boycott
Israel and Israeli universities. Scores of Israeli university
professors have been involved in organizing mutiny and
insurrection among Israeli soldiers, and some leftist professors
have been arrested for violently attacking police and
soldiers or for other forms of law breaking. Many make the
University of Colorado’s Ward Churchill look like a sane
moderate. The university authorities wink at such behavior.
Among the worst extremists in Israel is Neve Gordon
from Ben Gurion University, a “political science” fan of neo-
Nazi Norman Finkelstein, whom Gordon compared ethically
to the Prophets in the Bible. Gordon is so venomously
anti-Israel that his articles have been carried by the web
site of deported neo-Nazi Ernst Zundel. Gordon regularly
denounces Israel as a fascist, apartheid terrorist state. He
served as a human shield for wanted murderers being hidden
in Yassir Arafat’s headquarters in Ramallah and was
arrested when he interfered with Israeli anti-terror military
operations. Gordon launched an international campaign
of vilification against his own army commander, accusing
him on anti-Semitic web sites of being a “war criminal.”
Gordon and hundreds of other Israel-hating faculty
members in Israel continue to enjoy backing by the campus
authorities. At Ben Gurion University a policy is in place in
the political science department by which no Zionists nor
Israel supporters may teach. Israel-hating faculty members
are almost as common at Tel Aviv University and the University
of Haifa. Rigid anti-Israel uniformity is to be found
in many academic departments in Israeli universities, especially
in the humanities, the soft social sciences, and education.
Israeli leftist anti-Semites have been instrumental in fanning
the fires of anti-Semitism all over the world and in
leading the campaign to delegitimize Israel. Israeli traitors
with tenure continue to collaborate with the enemies of
their own country in time of war. To date, very little has
been done to stop them.
The activities of Israel’s anti-Semitic Jews is the focus of
Israel Academia Monitor, a group that monitors and exposes
the anti-Israel activities of Israel’s academic Fifth Column
Prof. Steven Plaut, University of Haifa