Category: OpEds

Where were you?

 

Where were you, the sane part of the world?

How many attacks need to happen until you wake up and join forces to fight for coexistence?

How is it that in the middle of Europe, the Jews of France must conceal their religious characteristics, knowing that otherwise they will “provoke” haters?

Why are you silent about this?

How come you are silent when rallies assemble, in the middle of Paris, calling for the death of Jews and the destruction of Israel? How can you stand by as protestors vandalize stores owned by Jews? How can you sit still as they leave behind graffiti of a Swastika?

How come people are not ashamed to use the anti-Semite, dripping with hatred hashtag:  “#UnBonJuif” (A good Jew), minutes after a horrifying terror attack? How come even after the vicious attacks of the past week, people still hold Jews responsible for Islamic terror?

Why are you silent about it?

After the last operation in Gaza in summer 2014, which led to a rise in Antisemitism, many Jews in Europe have felt that their governments are not doing enough to protect them, and decided to make Aliyah (immigrate to Israel.) One of these Jews, Doctor Claude Bloch, decided to write an open letter to the minister of Interior of France, Bernard Cazeneuve, just before he left his home for the last 30 years.

 

“You see, it’s about time for me and the other Jewish community to ask ourselves questions concerning our leaving.

We are leaving this country, a country that we used to call “sweet France” and others even called it “The country of our childhood”.

None of your explanations, neither calming nor persuading, will make me stay here, it is far too late.
Minister, enough is enough, I have no confidence in you, the government, nor the French Republic you are a part of. For all this, the subject is closed, I am leaving!!”

“So now you probably ask: why are you leaving?” The Jews in France should not be afraid” said your colleague, Laurent Fabius, Minister of foreign affairs.
Why leave? Because we must.

Can’t you see I have no other possibilities? Don’t you feel the hate, anger and the rise of the Antisemitic wave which grows every day and I am afraid that one day it will wash me off.”

“You will tell me (like some) that I am over reacting. That it is not that bad. That we are talking about “minor hates”, and small criminals. And I would have believed you; but when I see how fast these “small criminals” are released by the police. Only if I was blind, deaf or stupid, I would believe you.”

“You condoned the swastikas drawn on the mosque in Charité-sur-Loire and the
Antisemitic graffiti on the monument
to remember the Jewish children who were deported from Marseille.

You said, and I quote: “These actions are unacceptable and have no place in the Republic and require a harsh and determined action”. I totally agree with you sir, these actions are unacceptable and no, they do not have any place in our Republic, but please explain to me, Minister of Interior, your job is to be responsible for the police and the order in the Republic, how did you let actions like these occur in front of your cops, in front of the journalists and cameras from around the world, on Saturday the 26th of July 2014, at the Republic’s main square?

That day swastikas were drawn and people were performing the Nazi salute under the statue that represents the Republic and its mottoliberty, equality, fraternity.
Let me tell you what I saw, felt and thought on that crucial day at the Republic’s square, because I was there. 

“On Saturday the 26th the message was clear: The law has no value, no meaning and you can do whatever you want…everything is allowed even the worst things!!!

And here all the borders were shattered and… What now? Now you can climb the statue in the Republic’s square, draw swastikas, you can wave with flags of Hamas and the Islamic jihad, you can perform the Nazi salute in-front of everyone.”

 

This was written by Doctor Claude BLOCH in 25/08/2014

http://www.terrepromise.net/archives/10285

 

On January 9, 2015, an Islamic terrorist named Amedy Coulibaly entered a Jewish grocery store with the intention of killing Jews. Four customers, whose only crime was being Jewish, never made it back to their homes.

 

After the initial shock, one of the survivors said: “We were hiding in the refrigerator and kept quiet so that the killer won’t hear us.” Can you recall a time in history, one of the darkest this world has seen, when Jews had to hide to stay alive? When children were asked to keep quiet or death would find them?

 

And where was the sane part of the world then?

 

Lately, it seems as if France, which takes pride in proudly waving the flag of democracy and freedom, has lost these values. Terror takes over, but instead of fighting it, people turn to the easiest way out- blaming a minority for all their troubles. Sadly, the rest of Europe is not far behind.

 

Wake up.

Written by: Gilad Katz

 

 

 

 

 

David Duke and the New Antisemitism

For those who do not know him, former member of the Louisiana House of Representatives, David Duke may seem as a pretty lovable character; but, as a former member of the Ku-Klux-Klan, Duke may not be all he appears to be, or at least what he tries to present. Duke has a history in the U.S. local administration as a representative of the Republican Party between the years 1990-1992. After his official departure from office, Duke continued to promote his agenda in various methods.

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Is It Worth It?

IMG_1124I’ve been a pro-Israel blogger and activist for the past five years (although I’ve only recently started labeling myself an ‘activist’).
It has truly been a rollercoaster. In the beginning I was met with so much hate and ignorance and as I was still educating myself on Israel, its history and the region in general, I didn’t know exactly how to handle all the hate and ugly words that came my way.
At that time I also didn’t know anybody sharing this love for Israel and the Jewish people. In fact I didn’t even know a single Jew!
(Although I recently found out that there are Jews in my extended family. Oh, the joy!)
Needless to say, it was a very lonely period of time in my life.

For a few years I blogged about Israel on my then ‘personal blog’, but soon the Israel thing took over and I decided to do it properly. I made a lot of new, smart friends: Israelis, Swedish Jews and other people who had seen through the media bias and Israel-trashing and now were huge friends of the Jewish state.

Yes, I lost a few friends along the way. Friends who wanted to visit Israel with me but for whom it would have been impossible to tell other friends and people at work that they were actually travelling to the Holy Land on their vacation. (“I’ll just say I’m going to Turkey!”)
Well, who needs spineless friends like that?
Seriously.

Sure, a few times I have asked myself if it’s really worth it – if it’s worth the controversy and the drama. We all have our weak moments and during my rainy days I’ve wished I’d fallen in love with, say, Spain instead.
Then, as a little sign from above, I’ve received an email from someone telling me that he or she actually had a change of mind.
If I can change one person’s attitude towards Israel, then anything can happen. And then it really was and is worth it.
Just last week I received a message on Facebook, from someone “just waking up”, someone who “wanted to know more”. Moments like that are very emotional (After all, I am just a simple man and blogger.)

As I mentioned earlier, I nowadays see myself also as an ‘activist’. I think I came to the realization that I in fact am one, when I, together with some lovely friends of mine, organized a pro-Israel rally last month.
It was a joyous event with speeches, music and mingling and to our surprise no incidents occurred. We were protected of course, but not seeing a single anti-Israel person trying to sabotage the event was a surprise and a relief.
The sad part is that it is difficult to reach out to new people and passersby while being protected by both the police and a fence, but at least we always feel empowered afterwards. It makes it so much easier to continue being ‘activists’.

I have a feeling that every day someone realizes that Israel is neither The Big Bully, nor a criminal, hooligan state preventing peace in the Middle East.

Especially these days, with all the chaos and drama that goes on in the region. While Syrians and Egyptians are being killed, Israelis are enjoying the sunny beaches. And why shouldn’t they, after working so hard building up the amazing State of Israel.

 

Written by: Kim Milrell.

 

The Dangerous Game of Sports

It’s been known that sports fans tend to get emotional during games and that usually fans show loyalty and pride toward their teams. Antisemitism is no stranger for those among us who are sports fan, as many Jewish players have suffered from Antisemitic behavior of the rival team’s fans.

A recent example is Ryan Braun, an American baseball left fielder and third baseman for the Milwaukee Brewers of Major League Baseball, who was suspended for the rest of the 2013 MLB season due to an ongoing steroids scandal. Braun was previously caught with performance enhancing drugs in his system but had a ban lifted on a technicality.

Braun, who gained the fond nick name The Hebrew Hammer as his father is Jewish and mother is Catholic, received a tremendous amount of Antisemitic comments due to these latest events.

dangerousgamesofsports

This case of Ryan Braun is not the only recent example of such incidents. Last May, Chelsea F.C had to call in the police after Yossi Benayoun received an Antisemitic tweet. Benayoun retweeted the message, which contained expletives referring to him being Jewish. Benayoun claimed Chelsea fans used Antisemitic taunts against him when he first joined Liverpool.

Antisemitic sports fans have abused not only players but other fans as well. For Tottenham Hotspur’s corps of traveling fans Antisemitism is something they take into consideration while supporting their team.

When Tottenham played Lyon in a Europa League game 3 months ago, a group of neo-Nazis attacked the Tottenham fans, while three Spurs supporters ended up in the hospital. In November, two Roma fans were banned from all games and sport events for five years after being charged with a stab of a Spurs fan in the thigh. The North London team has been known as the “Jewish club” since the beginning of the early 1900’s, when it regularly attracted over 11,000 Yiddisher supporters to home games. In 1986, it was the first big team (and the last) to hire a British Jew, David Pleat, as a coach, and a Happy Yom Kippur message has made an annual appearance in the club’s official program since 1973.

When we look at the Antisemitism phenomenon in sports we cannot ignore the NBA. Just recently LeBron James, a notable NBA player for the Miami Heat, has been accused of making some Antisemitic remarks while playing a friendly game at the Mandel Jewish Community Center in Cleveland, OH.

After the game, James was verbally accosted by a man who worked at the kosher sandwich shop inside the center. The man claims he heard LeBron telling his friends ‘These Jews suck at basketball.’ Reports still remain unclear on this case and were reported only by gossip websites.

 James’ statement was not a surprising one to Tamir Goodman, who suffered from Antisemitism.  Known as “Jewish Jordan”, Goodman is an American-born Israeli and a retired Orthodox Jewish basketball player.

 In his book, “The Jewish Jordan’s Triple Threat”, Goodman describes how he dealt with Antisemitism, recalling an incident during a college game in the south when a large group of students “suddenly erupted with a provocative chant about my kippah (yarmulke)”. As a result of the verbal onslaught, his ego “started putting distracting thoughts into his mind” and made him wonder if his career “would go so much smoother if I just lost the kippah already.”

Sports and verbal abuse with violence have shared a long history for years now. Unfortunately, Antisemitic incidents are also included in these dangerous phenomena. To this day, sports associations, mangers and officials have been dealing with many incidents that led to suspension of players and canceling matches due to high risk of violence. We can only hope to see less of  violance on Antisemitic background and for Jewish sports players to feel safe playing the sport they love.

Written by: Ido Cohen.

From German Pro Palestinian Rally, to Stone Throwing.

Many people protested on Friday (07/18/2014) in Essen against the use of the military of Israel in the Gaza Strip. In addition, a demonstration against Antisemitism and terror took place. Even before the protests, the police foiled crimes against a synagogue.

Under the slogan “Peace Demonstration for the Middle East” the youth organization of the Left Party organized on Friday (07/18/2014) a march. Thousands of participants were expected in the center of Essen. In the early evening observers estimated the actual number of participants to around 1,000 to 1,500 demonstrators. Even Palestinian organizations and left factions had called for the demonstration. On banners and placards it said among other things “stop the genocide”, “Yesterday victim – now murderers” or “Stop the massacre”. Many protesters carried Palestinian towels while others were waving the Palestinian flag. At the same time demonstrated about 100 people “against Antisemitism and terrorism.” In both events, the police had a massive presence.

 

Confrontation in downtown

photo2essenAfter the demonstrations, the participants of the demonstrations stood in front of each other in downtown, reciting chants. Hostile anti-Israel slogans were shouted. Isolated stones flew from the set of anti-Israel demonstrators to the much smaller group of Israel supporters and a firecracker was also ignited. Preliminary reports indicate that no one was injured. The background of the protests is the escalating conflict in the Middle East. On Thursday evening (7/17/2014) Israel began a ground offensive in Gaza.

 

Arrests in Essen

Ahead of the demonstrations, Essen police took in several people who are suspected of having planned “serious crimes” against the Old Synagogue in the city. With the arrests of the persons who planned to commit offenses under the great anti-Israel rally, such incidents were prevented. The police did not provide data concerning the nature of the offenses feared. The homes of those persons suspected were searched. Overall, according to police there were 15 searches of apartments, of which 14 were in Essen and 1 in Unna. 14 people 17-41 years of age were taken into custody. In the searches no dangerous objects or weapons were seized according to the information given. The office is investigating the detained for conspiracy to commit a crime. Since Thursday, increased security precautions have been applied to the synagogues in the Ruhr area. Since the incident, before the Old Synagogue in Essen two policemen have been patrolling with bulletproof vests and machine guns. Normally this is done by “normal patrol officers”.

photo3essenThe Old Synagogue in Essen is no “active synagogue” but rather a cultural institute of the city with exhibitions and events on Jewish culture and history. In the building of the old synagogue on the edge of the center among other things, an exhibition of Jewish traditions and festivals is shown.

 

Offensive in the Gaza Strip

With the launched offensive on Thursday night (17/7/2014) Israel wants to stop the massive rocket fire from the Palestinian coastal region. This bombardment had been going on during the ten days of air strikes since July 8. As part of the ground offensive as of Friday noon 24 Palestinians were killed, including several civilians. On the Israeli side 37 soldiers and officers had been killed until today (26/7). Demonstrators had expressed their solidarity with Israel in Dusseldorf since Thursday (17/7). Middle East demonstrations are organized these days – for and against Israeli policy in many German cities.

 

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More stories on this topic

http://www.jta.org/2014/07/18/news-opinion/world/anti-semitic-pro-palestinian-rally-in-berlin-spurs-group-to-file-charges

http://www.juedische-allgemeine.de/article/view/id/19742

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/israelgaza-conflict-frankfurt-police-agree-to-let-antiisrael-protesters-use-their-megaphone-to-help-calm-down-crowds-9603239.html

http://www.haaretz.com/news/world/.premium-1.605977

http://www.timesofisrael.com/violent-berlin-protest-against-israel-broken-up-by-police/

Antisemitism through the Social Psychology Lens

anne frank ripped bookJust this week, on February 21st 2014, 265 copies of the diary of Anne Frank were vandalized in 36 libraries across Tokyo. While the motive is yet unclear, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a U.S.-based Jewish human rights organization, has issued a statement calling the vandalism a hate campaign. “The geographic scope of these incidents strongly suggest an organized effort to denigrate the memory of the most famous of the 1.5 million Jewish children murdered by the Nazis in the World War Two Holocaust,” associate dean Abraham Cooper said.

Antisemitism in Japan is “one of the greatest anomalies in the history of that prejudice”, as written by Jennifer Golub, a research analyst in the American Jewish Committee. “A country containing no more than 1,000 Jews, one that is neither a Christian nor Muslim society, should not — logically speaking — have Antisemitism”, she wrote in her 1992 work Japanese Attitudes toward Jews. Today, 22 years later, the Jewish population has grown and stands today at around 2000 people, which is said to be 0.0016% of the total Japanese population of 126,981,371 citizens, according to World Population Review. What, then, could explain such orchestrated actions, and could the answer be found in the field of Social Psychology?

Social Psychology is described as the bridge between Psychology and Sociology – While the former focuses on mental functions and behaviors, the latter focuses on the study of society, social institutions and social relationships. Social Psychology fills the gap between the two and is the study of people’s thoughts, feelings and behaviors which are influenced by the presence of others.

The study of Social Psychology does offer a comprehensive theory. Antisemitism is built on stereotypes: Stereotypes (“solid impression” in Greek) are general attributions that we give to a person based on his belonging to a group of people. For example, having the stereotype that Asians are smarter than others is basically generalizing several billion people. If we’ve never met an Asian then we might be going by pop culture references, but it is likely that once we meet a sufficient amount of Asians, we will be able to assess for ourselves if the stereotype is true or false.

However, if we are born into a cultural setting in which Asians are a minority group inside our own group, their stereotyped wits might play a role in making “us” afraid that “they” might steal “our” jobs. This is a competition on limited resources – A powerful reason for discrimination. It is very much this perceived threat that moved millions of Germans during the 1930’s to fear and hate Jews, especially after Germany lost War World I and suffered the ensuing economic crisis.

A common psychological phenomenon called The Ultimate Attribution Error is also responsible in part for alienation between groups of people. The Ultimate Attribution Error, a term coined by psychologist Thomas Pettigrew, says that we tend to categorize the world into groups and see our own group (the ingroup) as superior to the outgroup. We attribute perceived faults in the outgroup as intrinsic to its nature (poor upbringing, faulty character, genetics), while we tend to be far more forgiving toward perceived faults in our ingroup (extreme circumstances, an exception rather than the rule, etc.). This makes for a polarized world view, in which “us” are always better than “them”.

This categorization, in and of itself, allows us to understand the world “heuristically” – which means faster while not necessarily more accurately. We might be quite wrong saying that 4.29 billion Asians are smarter than the average person, but if it fills an important role in our social cognition (“us versus them”, a competition on resources), then this stereotype is likely to stick. However, it is unlikely that the Japanese and the Jews are in any sort of real competition for resources. A survey done in 1988 showed that only 1 percent of respondents personally knew or had ever had any contact with Jews.

What, then, could trigger prejudices and acts of violence toward minority groups, such as the recent incident in Tokyo? As it turns out, the very fact that there aren’t many Jews in Japan can contribute to such an event. In the words of Jennifer Golub, “the almost complete ignorance of Jews and Judaism creates an atmosphere in which Antisemitic images and stereotypes can grow.” In this atmosphere of complete ignorance, several best-sellers were written, urging the Japanese to “emulate Jewish techniques of ‘controlling the world'”. This is a classic conspiracy theory perpetrated by Japanese best-selling author, Masami Uno. So mainstream have his ideas become, that pro-Israeli Japanese businessmen once gave a very unusual present to Israeli professor Ben-Ami Shillony, as described by a journalist:

“(Shillony) recalled a recent visit to Israel by a group of Japanese businessmen. The Japanese, whom Shillony described as holding affection for the Jewish state, presented their Jewish hosts with a book they had read on the flight over. The volume, the Japanese guests said, ‘explained Israel best,’ Shillony recounted. The book: the Antisemitic tome, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. But the Japanese did not present the book to insult their Jewish hosts.”

It is possible that a more realistic and positive opinion on Jews could be achieved. Here are several principles that were delineated through the study of Social Psychology that, if followed, may reduce prejudices among individuals. First, Individuals from different groups, such as Japanese and Jews, are to be brought together. They ought to come from the same social economic status, such as a group of Japanese and Jewish lawyers or teachers, for example. Second, their joint cooperation is needed – they should be cooperating as a group in order to achieve a common goal. Furthermore, if they are able to get to know each other on a more personal level, individuals from each group can re-assess their stereotypes and understand that “not all Jews are alike” or vice versa.

While the perpetrators of these acts of violence have not yet discovered and the reason behind these acts is yet unknown, it is hoped that they do not represent a general escalation in Antisemitic sentiments among Japanese people. Further, the Japanese views regarding Jews are surely more intricate and complex that what I can elaborate on here, but if you are interested in reading more on the subject, Jennifer Golub’s excellent work can shed some light. http://www.ajcarchives.org/AJC_DATA/Files/889.pdf

Written by Yael Yadan, an Israeli translator and editor, currently working on her B.A. in Behavioral Sciences at Ruppin Academic Center.

 

A Walk in the Park

What can be more amazing than taking a short vacation in Europe? Finding out that even after more than 60 years, some things haven’t changed. Chen Bareket took a short Euro trip, and was alarmed by what he saw.

Summer time is a great opportunity to go traveling abroad, especially after being relieved of the burden of hard semester exams. This summer I decided to use my time to take a short vacation to Italy and Germany. The beautiful Colosseum in Rome is definitely a sight that every person should get to see in life. Going into the spectacular archaeological sites makes you feel like going back to times where emperors ruled the region and gladiators played in the most incredible reality show. But another thing that made me feel like going back in time was seeing swastika symbols around the city. Germany was not much different than Italy. In one of our short trips we visited Phantasialand theme park in Brühl. It was a beautiful sunny day in the gorgeous German green landscapes. The landscape changed on our way back to our hotel when we saw swastikas sprayed in various places. I remember thinking, how many Jews can possibly be living in this town (Less than 50,000) to have caused people to hate them?

sdFor most people, seeing swastikas sprayed on walls in European cities probably doesn’t say a lot. Some will think the people responsible are a minority who doesn’t really represent anything, or maybe even just a prank by kids. Unfortunately, the statistics show a different picture. According to the CFCA’s (The Coordination Forum for Countering Antisemitism) 2012 annual report Antisemitism in Europe hits new records. In fact, 2012 was one of the deadliest years with more than 170 acts of violence. The FRA (The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights) survey states that in 2013 every fourth Jew in Europe has suffered from Antisemitic harassment, every third in the past five years. The federal government in Germany counted 82 Antisemitic attacks on synagogues in Germany alone. Brå (The Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention) reports on the increase of Antisemitic acts in the city Malmö, which led to the fear of even wearing a Kippah (Yarmulke) in the streets. CNCDH’s (Commission Nationale Consultative Des Droits De L’homme) 2012 report on racism, Antisemitism and xenophobia shows a scary picture of how the French society is becoming much more vulnerable to impatience and racism. And the list just goes on and on.

 

For a holocaust survivor’s family descendant this is not an easy sight at all. All of my father’s family had gone through the horrors of the holocaust while fleeing from the Nazis in Poland. For a long time both of my grandparents didn’t have the mental strength to even talk about the horrors they’ve been through, not to mention the idea of visiting their hometown. After a lot of family pressure they finally agreed. My grandfather wrote three books about his family’s private journey, and my grandmother gave a video testimony to Yad Vashem – the official memorial to the Jewish victims of the Holocaust. In their testimonies, both of them describe how the Antisemitic acts of the polish people, who prior to the war were their friends, were much worse than the acts of the Nazis.

Growing up in a holocaust survivor’s family makes you think a lot about humanity, values and norms. I remember reading my grandfather’s books as a kid growing up in Israel and couldn’t believe the things my family has been through. At the same time I believed that while it is important to remember the past, it is also important to continue living in the present. Such things could never happen again in our free, democratic and progressive world I said, but boy was I wrong. The ongoing rise of Antisemitism is a concern that affects us all, not only Jews. We have to change the fundamental approach to how we see the ones who are different from us no matter if they are different in their religion, race, nationality or gender. We must educate on values such as tolerance and pluralism and not impatience and racism. This is the only way we can make this world a better place to live in.

Written by Chen Bareket

The UN Hypocrisy: The Zionism Nazism resolution.

In 1975 the UN General Assembly decided to compare Zionism and Nazism. Although this resolution was eventually scraped in 1991, it still serves as a base for many Antisemitic manifestations.

durban-conferenceThe UN General Assembly (UNGA) summit, as always, serves as an annual opportunity to recap ongoing trends in the international arena as the world leaders climb to the stage and share their agenda with the audience, virtually addressing millions worldwide, opponents and proponents alike. As in many past instances, it is the sidelines of the summit that draw sizeable attention, this time over the disputed interview CNN reporter Christian Amanpour held with fresh Iranian President, Hassan Rouhani, in which he did or did not acknowledge the holocaust – depending on which translation from his native tongue of Persian you would like to rely upon. Nonetheless, the leader of the Persian Islamic Republic refused to deviate from the traditional Iranian policy of blaming Israel and the Zionist movement for everything wrong in the world nowadays. It is the same mindset that once allowed comparing Zionism to Nazism. Hereby is the story of the only UN resolution that has ever been abolished.

The year was 1975, just two years after armies of Egypt and Syria surprised the Israeli military forces during Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement), the most sacred day in the Jewish calendar. In the aftermath of the Arabs’ offensive, Arabian crude oil producers imposed sanctions on every nation who held diplomatic ties with the Jewish state. Many countries that depend on crude oil imported from the Persian Gulf Countries severed their ties with Israel, while many African nations whom Israel provided technical aid and consults decided to cut their ties with Jerusalem. The diplomatic battle against Israel was partially orchestrated by a very powerful player at that time, the Soviet Union. Since the 1950s, Soviet propaganda argued that the Jewish Agency cooperated with Nazi Germany during World War II. After the overwhelming defeat faced by the Soviet-backed Arab nations in the Six-day War in 1967, Moscow’s strongman Leonid Brezhnev stated that the Israelis are looking to imitate Hitler’s actions. A second pillar in the Soviet propaganda argued that the Jewish peoplehood is false, as the ancient Jews allegedly assimilated into other ethnicities and the only linkage remaining between different Jewish communities is the Jewish religion. While the first argument, absurd and outrageous as it was, aimed to tarnish Israel, the second argument was crucial for the Kremlin in order to suppress growing national sentiment amongst Russian Jews, which opposed the core assent of the regime’s purportedly ultra-national Communist ideology. Hence, the Soviet leadership spread hatred against the state of Israel in multiple channels, including the UN’s stage. The most remembered comment on this trend was a quote by Israel’s iconic Foreign Minister Abba Eban: “Every resolution against Israel in the UN gets automatic majority. If Israel would offer a resolution to declare the world is round, the Soviets would convince the majority to vote against it.”

Back in 1975, the annual theme was declared a struggle against racism. Thereafter, Israel was targeted in three international summits during the summer of 1975, in lead-up to the annual UN summit in November. On November 10, exactly 37 years after the German pogrom against the Jews known as the Crystal Night, the UNGA voted in favor of resolution 3379 which determined “that Zionism is a form of racism and racial discrimination”. 72 nations voted for the resolution – these were countries that traditionally identified with the Soviets, the Arab and Muslim camp and the Non-Alignment Movement. 35 Western nations voted against and 32 nations abstained. It was the peak of the de-legitimation campaign against the Jewish state – the message of the resolution intended to shake the earth beneath the international recognition of Israel and the Jews’ right for self-determination just like any other human ethnic group. In response prior to the voting, the Israeli Ambassador to the UN at that time, Haim Hertzog, emphasized the racist agenda backdrop of the resolution by indicating that several Arab nations acknowledged the libel originating in 19th century Tsarist Russia “The Elders of Zion Protocols” and integrated it into their curriculums. At the end of his speech Hertzog tore down the resolution draft. It is essential to state that the UNGA has not made any other resolutions against racism to date, despite discrimination of tens of millions over race, religion or ethnicity in a vast variety of nations who are members of the organization, including of course, Arab nations who vehemently promoted the resolution.

The aftermath of the ‘Zionism=Nazism’ resolution was hiked in Antisemitism and endorsement of the false equation by many anti-Israel activists and anti-Semites worldwide. Resolution 3379 (XXX) was eventually revoked in 1991 by a unique UNGA resolution, 4686, which was one manifestation which heralded the onset of the post-Cold War era: “The General Assembly decides to revoke the determination contained in its resolution 3379 of November 10 1975”. To date, the UNGA had not abolished any other resolution. Notwithstanding, the de-legitimization campaign against the Jewish state persists even as these lines are written by various elements. As the UNGA convenes in New York and the likes of Iranian President call for the demolition of the Jewish state, even if in softer words, it is important to learn the lessons of the aforementioned facade.

Some readers may ask whether hatred of Israel is equivalent to Antisemitism. The answer is simple – does your criticism against Israel aim to undermine the Jewish people’s right for self-determination? Does your criticism against Israel fall in line with your general attitude against other entities that practice similar or resembling policies? After you compare – does your criticism demonize Israel? This simple test called the 3D Antisemitism test can help you receive an answer.

Written by Nimrod Assouline