Voices for peace, Voices for fascism

I remember reading an article from a Palestinian blog some time ago, accusing some Jewish groups which are supposedly trying to work for peace, of in effect promoting the Israeli cause by pushing forward charges of anti-semitism. 

In a way this points out the modern dichotomy in the concept of activism for the Jewish people outside Israel, at least from my perspective. One side focuses solely on the concept of anti-semitism, and of support for Israel as the Jewish state – defining every attack on Israel, policies, or personalities as anti-semitic. The other focuses on very specifically attacking Israel as non-representative of the Jewish people, as creating anti-semitism, and as a state carrying out criminal acts in their name. And both groups seems incredibly passionate on what they do – each seeing a very personal connection to their cause in their own way.

I don’t think there’s any need to mention which point of view this society supports. Its not our intent now to analyze Jewish activism or specific Jewish groups. We merely wanted to pass along the following message from the group Jewish Voice for Peace attacking the Anti Defamation League. And given the contents of the message point out:

– The racist attitudes that are coming even more into the mainstream in Israel, as evidenced by the huge support for the proposal of the banning of Arabic parties in the elections (thankfully stuck down by the Israeli courts), and the new proposal for Israeli arabs to sign an ‘oath of allegiance’ to the Israeli state.

– The general shift to the -even more- extreme right in Israeli politics. This is a larger topic on which we may write later on.

In any case, below is the message from Jewish Voice for Peace


Dear ……….,

Abe Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League is defending one of Israel's most powerful
far-right extremists and his plan to strip "unfaithful" citizens, mostly Arab
Israelis, of their citizenship. The Anti-Defamation League is supposed to "secure
justice and fair treatment to all." Instead, they are supporting a dangerous
ideology that calls for taking citizenship away from Israelis for exercising their
right to free speech.

How can we expect the ADL to effectively defend the rights of Jews when they so
easily step on the rights of Arabs?

Avigdor Lieberman now heads Yisrael Beytenu, the third largest party in Israel, and
is likely to be a minister in a new Israeli government.

On February 10, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported that Abe Foxman defended
Lieberman's plan, despite the fact that "Some liberal Israeli and Jewish groups have
condemned Lieberman as a fascist - the left-wing Meretz Party even compared him to
the late far-right Austrian politician Joerg Haider - for his proposal to require
Israeli Arab citizens to sign an oath of allegiance to the Jewish state." (1)

Instead of defending Lieberman, the ADL should be condemning Lieberman.

Why should the Anti-Defamation League condemn Lieberman?

    * Avigdor Lieberman led the drive in Israel's Central Election Committee to have
Arab political parties banned from running in the most recent election, which
passed successfully and was overturned only by the Israeli Supreme Court. (2)
    * He has called for the expulsion of Arab Members of the Knesset, threatening
them that "a new administration will be established and then we will take care
of you." (3)
    * He has called for Arab citizens of Israel to sign an "oath of loyalty" to the
state or be stripped of their citizenship. (4)
    * His party has been very clear about what being "loyal" means: If you are an
Arab student and dare come to school wearing a kefiyah, you are "disloyal." (5)
    * Lieberman's party said that if you are a Muslim Israeli and collect money and
medicines for Gaza relief, you are "disloyal." (6)

If you do not meet his standards of loyalty, you lose all the rights of a citizen;
you lose the right to vote; and you lose the right to have a political party or to
run for office - that is, the right to participate in Israel's political process.
Is this what the ADL stands for?

It is ironic that ADL understands as anti-Semitic the accusations of dual loyalty
hurled against Jews in the US and elsewhere, but remains unconcerned about similar
accusations against Arab Israelis.

Remind Abe Foxman that his organization was founded "to stop the defamation of the
Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment to all" - and that all means
all, including Arab Israelis.

Click here to sign the letter to Abe Foxman.


(1) Back in 2006, the ADL condemned Lieberman's call to execute Arab legislators.
But today, Abe Foxman defends Lieberman's loyalty oath

(2) http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1054867.html

(3) http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/962767.html

(4) http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090204/ap_on_re_mi_ea/ml_israel_hard_line_hero

(5) in Hebrew: http://beytenu.org.il/126/2596/article.html

(6) in Hebrew: http://beytenu.org.il/126/2345/article.html

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