Blogger at The Independent evokes Nazi analogy, arguing Israel is based on “superior race theory”

Is there something in the British air?

What precisely gives rise within that country’s public sphere to the malign hatred of the one majority Jewish nation in the world? What makes self-described “sensible”, “cultured”, “tolerant” and “sensitive souls” lose all sense of moral proportion when contemplating, obsessing over (and typically, wildly inflating) every conceivable Jewish sin?

Richard Sudan (a “writer, political campaigner and poet” who has contributed to ‘Comment is Free‘), blogs for The Independent and has warned in past posts there of the dangerous influence of the Israel lobby in the UK’s detainment of Sheikh Raed Salah, as well as what he characterizes as President Obama’s uncritical support for the Jewish state. 

Sudan, in a post at The Independent titled “Note to refugees from South Sudan: Israel is for the white man“, June 22nd, takes one comment from Israeli Interior Minister Eli Yishai (which appears racist, but is based on a quite egregious mistranslation from the original Hebrew) and uses it as the scare headline.

He introduces his post thus:

“[‘Israel is for the white man’] were the astonishing words uttered by Israel’s interior minister Eli Yishai in an interview recently in which he outlined the Israeli government’s view of African migrants.”

Sudan links to a piece at Electronic Intifada, which in turn links to a Ha’aretz piece, which references an interview Yishai gave in Hebrew in Maariv.

Here’s the Hebrew:

Here’s the translation of the first two sentences by CiF Watch’s Hadar Sela.

“Most of the people who come here are Muslims who think this country doesn’t belong to us, to the white man. Some of them have said so openly on television.”

It’s clear that – whatever Yishai’s broader point – he is talking about the way (according to his view) Muslims think of “whites”, and is certainly not saying that “Israel is for the white man”.

Also, a bit research would have led Sudan to discover another little nugget of information contradicting his predetermined anti-Zionist thesis: Yishai himself was born to Tunisian parents. That is, the white racist antagonist in Sudan’s tale is actually Sephardi rather than  “white”!

However, the moral nadir of Sudan’s article is yet to come.

Perhaps it is fair to ask whether the editor at The Independent who reviewed Sudan’s post so much as winced, let alone considered revising or deleting the following passage (in a piece critical of Israel’s handling of Sudanese migrants).

“The continual persecution of the Palestinians, politically and ideologically, the military court system, and now the emerging negative view of non-white people should outline clearly what the overriding Israeli government consensus is.  The superior race theory is one that we’ve seen in the past, and is the hallmark of theories centered on a perspective viewed through the prism of eugenics.  Those theories are dangerous and they need to be relegated to the past-along with Zionism.” [emphasis added]

The writer’s contempt for the Jewish state is palpable and he is quite clear in arguing that Zionism is a dangerous, supremacist ideology based on “eugenics” and, similar to other such ideologies based on racial purity in the 20th century, should be relegated to the dustbin of history.

Sudan, cognitively inebriated with Judeophobic inspired contempt, is evidently unburdened by the simple fact that – contrary to his working theory of Zionist white supremacism – over half of Israelis are non-white (making Israel a far more racially diverse nation than the UK). This supremely inconvenient fact is one which fellow adherents to the hideous charge of “Supremacism” against Jews and/or Israelis (such as David Duke and Gilad Atzmon) similarly fail to note.

However, Sudan’s morally grotesque screed on Jewish villainy need not be further fisked, scrutinized or analyzed.

Beyond Sudan’s prose, tropes and simply fantastical political musings, the larger question remains:

How is it that a “respectable” British newspaper saw fit to publish a commentary likening Jewish nationalism – a movement embraced by Israel’s six million Jewish inhabitants and the overwhelming majority of Jews in the diaspora – to a Nazi-style, racial supremacist menace whose eradication is nothing short of an ethical imperative?

The corollary of such political calculus would suggest that all Israeli Jews – insofar as they represent an organic and immutable obstacle to peace and progress – are fair game to all who seek, by means violent or otherwise, the end of the Jewish state.  

The Independent has crossed a dangerous line – the legitimization of extreme racist polemic hitherto assigned to the unserious fringes of the blogosphere – and it needs desperately to be held accountable for its acquiescence in the face of such visceral antisemitic malice.

46 replies »

  1. This is called superiority complex. See how Arabs treat people from Pakistan/Bangladesh not to mention Philipinos, Indonesians and anyone who is black. Nazism is well and alive in Arab countries.

    • Maybe you should talk to Ethiopians and ask whether they feel they’re treated like equals by most Israelis.

      • Most of nowadays Ethiopians I know and befreinded (going back to 1996 to present) had little bad to say about Israelis.
        In fact it was mainly north African Jews that had a problem with the Ethipians in the neighbourhood i lived in.

        Saying that, it is true that in the 80’s and even early 90’s Ethipians were placed in caravans and treated poorly by the Aliyah Dept.

        This has changed and many Ethipians succeed in schools and the Army.

        If I had to compare North Wembley’s black population to Israel’s Ethiopians I’d say Wembley’s black’s are by far born into a ghetto mentality.

        What do you think Nat?

      • My neighbors know they are. My neighborhood is a mix of Russian, Ethiopian, North African (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia), and Sabra (Israeli born) Jews. Even though there are some racist Jews, it is not a very widespread disease in Israel. Our kids go to school, military service, and universities together, we work together, we pray together (except for the Ultra-Orthodox Haredi who -by the way- are the only people referred to as “blacks” in Israel, because of the way they dress), we have neighborhood picnics together, we volunteer and participate in charity drives together, etc. Don’t try to give us your Western European complexes. We Jews are far from perfect, we know it. When we claim to be the chosen people, we always remember that we were chosen in spite of who we were, and not because of it.
        Most of us do not consider ourselves as “white”, since even the European Jews were never white enough in Europe, but the Arabs and African Muslims do consider us as “white strangers” and that’s what that minister was referring to.

      • ” talk to Ethiopians and ask whether they feel they’re treated like equals”
        Today Nat said that Ethiopia doesn’t treat its citizens as equals.

        Stop Ethiopian apartheid !

        • The Ethiopians “who do end up going to college face another problem: a resistance among some Israelis to hiring Ethiopians. Yitzhak Dessie, who runs a legal-aid organization for the community called Tebeka, says only about 15 percent of Ethiopian college graduates end up working in their fields, compared with 35 percent of immigrants from the former Soviet Union and 65 percent of veteran Israelis. Part of the problem, Dessie says, is the perception that many Israelis have of Ethiopians as underachievers. At his sparse office in Netanya, Dessie has seen hundreds of clients complaining about discrimination at work and in other areas. A few dozen cases have ended up in court, including one against a school that refused to enroll Ethiopian students and one involving a kindergarten that taught Ethiopians in one room and the rest of the class in another.”

          • Well done Nat. You have demonstrated that Israel is, in this sense, exactly like any other “Western”, developed, democratic country. You can point to “a few dozen cases” of alleged discrimination against Ethiopians in Israel that have ended up in court.

            Any idea how many cases of alleged discrimination against black people come to court in the UK? How about France? Germany? Italy?

            You also tell us that there is a “perception that many Israelis have of Ethiopians as underachievers.” Care to guess what image many Germans have of Turks? How about what many Americans have of Latinos? What do many Japanese people think of Koreans? What to the French think of people of North African descent?

    • The peculiarly Arab/Muslim version of the superiority complex is widespread and arises out of their unconscious awareness that they are far from superior, so they overcompensate in the ways we see

      They are like children whistling in the dark, trying to convince themselves that there is nothing to be afraid of.

  2. Israel’s interior minister did say that “Muslims that arrive here do not even believe that this country belongs to us, to the white man.”

    Trying to deny his words is childish and useless, since they have already been reproduced in newspapers the world over.

    These comments are deeply offensive for Ethiopian and Mizrahi Jews.
    I cannot imagine a minister in Europe or North American being alowed to keep his job after speaking such words.

    • No-one is trying to deny the minister’s statement, because there is nothing wrong with it. The article is pointing out that Richard Sudan got it spectacularly wrong.

      Many Muslims DO believe that they are superior, that they own Israel, and “white men” have no claim on it.

      I cannot see how the minister’s comments are offensive to Ethiopian and Mizrahi Jews.

      • Not only Muslims do.
        This is one of the main corner stone of the Anti Zionist’s argument.

      • Israel’s interior minister said that “Muslims that arrive here do not even believe that this country belongs to us, to the white man.”

        If you cannot see why these comments are offensive and racist towards Ethiopian or Mizrahi Jews, it’s a bit worrying.

        • Correct. If that is what he said. If, however, the meaning of the quote has got mangled in translation, then no.

    • I never liked Eli Yishai or his “whore of a party”.

      Never the less I doubt he can be classified as offensive to Mizrahi Jews since he is one.

    • You should read the article you are supposed to comment, caught liar.

      “Also, a bit research would have led Sudan to discover another little nugget of information contradicting his predetermined anti-Zionist thesis: Yishai himself was born to Tunisian parents. That is, the white racist antagonist in Sudan’s tale is actually Sephardi rather than ”white”!

    • Nope, the Haaretz cut a portion of the sentence, which changed the meaning. You don’t have to take my words for it: just consult the rest of the Israeli press.
      What the minister said was that the Arab and African Muslim immigrants consider the Jews as white foreigners, even as they come -most of the time illegally- to enjoy democracy and better economy in our own country.

    • “These comments are deeply offensive for Ethiopian and Mizrahi Jews.”

      It’s you’re embrace of, and willingness to further, an already exposed lie that is deeply offensive.

      • I agree. Did you read the Reuters U.K. “report,” i.e. an example of shrill and one-sided sensationalist tabloid journalism.

  3. When you think about it, not only is Eli Yishai not strictly white, but as an Ultra-Orthodox man he can hardly be described as a Zionist (at least in theory). His words cannot therefore be used to characterize Zionism. In any case, whatever he may have said, Yishai’s an idiot and his antics mean nothing save for other idiots.

    • Sanity: “Am I missing something?!”

      An opportunity to lecture the yids about their incorrigible nature and your innate moral superiority.

      • The use of the term ‘Yids’ is offensive. Please don’t use it again. Moderators, take note.

        • Actually it isn’t usually.

          The word Yid ( /ˈjiːd/; Yiddish: ייִד) is a slang Jewish ethnonym. It is not usually considered offensive.
          The earliest mention of the word Yid in print was in The Slang Dictionary published by John Camden Hotten in 1874. Hotten noted that “The Jews use these terms very frequently.”

          After World War II, most examples of the word Yid are found in the writing of Jewish authors. These occurrences are usually either attempts to accurately portray antisemitic speech, or self-deprecating Jewish humor. In his 1968 bestseller The Joys of Yiddish, Leo Rosten offers a number of anecdotes from the “Borscht Belt” to illustrate such usage.

            • Sanity. And what kind of person would use this word with malice? What kind of person would want to offend or harm Jews individually or collectively? I use this word exactly because of the malicious agenda underlying today’s trendy anti-semities, who are so particular about being offended by the slightest whiff of racism or bigotry, that they prefer to call themselves anti-Zionists.

              Yet again you expose what a shallow, self-righteous hyporcrite you really are.

              • What kind of person would use this word with malice or do harm? What planet are you from. How about the Inquisition, Pharaoh, Hitler, Idi Amin, Sadam Hussein, genteel British anti-Semitism, European anti-Semites, KKL, every single Arab state that you can think of and some that you can’t. Oh yes and some who comment on this blog.

                • Janet, that’s really my point, not that I think Sanity can be equated with the Inquisitors or the Nazis, but he/she personifies a moral malaise that shows a willful ignorance towards the anti-Semitism that motivates many of Israel’s enemies.

                  • @Groovy Times Phew that’s a relief. I think you are too generous with your description of personification of a moral malaise it is more sinister than that.

  4. “This belongs to us, not to you the white man”, is actually routinely said by North Sudanese illegal immigrants to the residents of Tel Aviv old bus station that they took over. Yishai was merely mocking the statement.

    But Beinart at the Daily Beast is the one that you should be correcting. He is one of the first who made the error.

    • Both Sudan and most of the comments miss the point. These are ILLEGAL immigrants. If 100,000 swedes suddenly arrived illegally they’d get the same treatment.

      That Israel is not racist is evident by the fact Israel is the only country in history to mass transport Africans not as slaves but to freedom. South Sudan is one of Israels closest allies, as are Kenya and Ethiopia.

      Many of the commentors are confusing illegal Africans with legal migrants. Illegals are expelled routinely from EVERY country. If you wan racism look at the treatment of blacks in Libya and Iraq.

      • Very, very true. This is symptomatic of the Ali G “Is it cos I is black?” complex. Any restriction on illegal immigration is seen as anti-black (not just in Israel – the moment you say anything about enforcement of border controls in the UK you are accused of racism), gentrification of Acco is seen as anti-Arab, protection from attacks from the Bethlehem area is seen as anti-Christian. These are all false. The reasons for these measures are not racist – they are (respectively) the application of reasonable immigration laws, economic progress and national security.

  5. No need to get too excited by every word uttered by every moron that lives in the UK.The more annoyed we get the more they will utter these dumb statements.

    There is no need to be humble,lets face it we ARE superior in many ways compared to these dumb Brits.

    We ARE better than them in so many ways,we are better looking smarter,healthier,happier……Let them eat their hearts out…………

  6. What a pathetic rant from Sudan.

    – The “emerging negative view of non-white people” in Israel? Based on a mistranslated of a minister’s remark?
    – The “superior race theory” in Israel exists only in the minds of a few crazed individuals.
    – And the reference to eugenics is appalling.

    Why aren’t I susprised R. Sudan has links to Electronic Intifada?

  7. I complained to the Press Complaints Commission. The article has been modified as a result. Here’s what the PCC said:

    Commission’s decision in the case of
    Hoffman v The Independent

    The complainant considered that the newspaper had reported comments made by Eli Yishai in an inaccurate, misleading and distorted manner, and had failed to remedy this breach in a sufficient manner.

    Under the terms of Clause 1 (Accuracy), “the press must take care not to publish inaccurate, misleading or distorted information” and, further, “the press, whilst free to be partisan, must distinguish clearly between comment, conjecture and fact”.

    The Commission noted that the article in question was not a news report, but rather a blog piece which was clearly marked at the top as being an “opinion” piece. The author of the blog was entitled to express his views and interpretation of the comments made by Eli Yishai, and readers of the piece would understand that the blog was reflective of the author’s opinions. Nonetheless, although the genre of the article was clearly distinguished as an opinion piece, the newspaper was still required to distinguish between fact and comment within the piece. In the original version of the article, the opening paragraph had served as a follow on to the headline, therefore suggesting that Eli Yishai had explicitly stated as his position “Israel is for the white man”. It had not included the longer quote or made clear that this was the author’s interpretation of the comment made by Israel’s interior minister. While the author was entitled to express his interpretation of the comment – that it revealed Mr Yishai’s own views on who Israel “belonged to” – it was incumbent on the newspaper to distinguish his interpretation as an opinion. In the view of the Commission, the newspaper had failed to do this, therefore potentially misleading readers. This raised a breach of Clause 1 (i) and (iii) of the Editors’ Code of Practice. The newspaper was accordingly required under Clause 1 (ii) to correct the misleading impression created, promptly and with due prominence.

    The newspaper had, before the complaint was made to the PCC, amended the opening paragraph to include the full sentence from which the author made his interpretation: “Most of the people [immigrants] coming here are Muslims who think the land doesn’t belong to us, to the white man”. It had then offered to publish a footnote recording this alteration. In the view of the Commission, the actions taken and offered would amount to sufficient compliance with Clause 1 (ii). It was appropriate for the newspaper to delay publication of the footnote pending possible agreement of its terms, but in order to avoid a breach of Clause 1(ii) it should now be published.

    The Commission acknowledged that the complainant did not consider that these actions were sufficient on the following grounds: the headline remained misleading; the end of the article would continue to mislead readers; and the quote was not full, as it failed to include the additional sentence “Some of them have said so openly on television”.

    As previously noted, the author was entitled to express his interpretation of the comment made by Eli Yishai, provided it was distinguished as such. While the complainant evidently strongly disagreed with the interpretation expressed in the blog – instead holding the view the comment just repeated the views of Muslim immigrants and did not reveal the minister’s own opinion – the author had a right to express his view. Given that the article now included the full sentence from which the author had taken his interpretation, the Commission could not agree that readers would be misled by the headline or final sentence. They would see the full sentence and be able to form their own view as to whether they agreed with the author’s interpretation. The Commission could not therefore agree that the headline and the final sentence of the amended article would significantly mislead readers so as to raise a breach of Clause 1 (Accuracy) of the Code.

    The complainant considered that the absence of the subsequent sentence “Some of them have said so openly on television” rendered the article inaccurate and misleading. The complainant said that this was central in distinguishing the comment as being an expression of the views held by others rather than an expression of the speaker’s own views. The Commission noted that the preceding sentence, which had already been added to the article, already reported his comment that he was repeating the view of the Muslim immigrants: “Most of the people [immigrants] coming here are Muslims who think the land doesn’t belong to us, to the white man”. The Commission could not agree that the absence of the following sentence rendered the article inaccurate, misleading, or distorted. There was no breach of the Code on this point.

    Finally, the complainant considered that it was inaccurate for the footnote to refer to the “full quote”. Given that the article had been amended to include the full sentence on which the author had based his interpretation and that the Commission did not consider that the absence of the second sentence was misleading, the Commission could not agree that the wording of the footnote was significantly inaccurate or misleading. There was no breach of Clause 1 (Accuracy) of the Code in this regard.

    Reference No. 122780