General Antisemitism

A quick note to British journalists on why you shouldn’t call Jews ‘Nazis’


One of the antisemitic tropes on display within the current Labour Party antisemitism row is some variation of the claim that Israeli policies are like those of Nazi Germany.  This simply repellent charge – which has resulted in the suspension of several Labour Party members – suggests that, as former MP David Ward put it a couple of years ago, Jews have not only failed to ‘learn the lessons’ from the Holocaust, but actually exhibit Nazi-like behavior towards the Palestinians today. 

Indeed, one of the few positive developments of the Labour scandal is that the British media – for the most part – has not even attempted to justify such views. Official editorials, op-eds and straight news stories that we’ve monitored have accepted the premise that such Nazi-Israel analogies – considered antisemitic per the EUMC Working Definition – are intellectually unserious and morally beyond the pale.

However, there have been grumblings on Twitter by some who seem to think it’s unfair that non-Jews ‘aren’t allowed’ to use the Nazi analogy, while some Jews (even some Israeli Jews) do just that. Typically, of course, the Jews they’re referring to are usually either of the anti-Zionist variety with little if any real connection to the Jewish community, or – in the case of Israeli Jews – figures representing the extreme left of Israeli society.  

In the case of comments made last night by Major General Yair Golan, the IDF Deputy Chief of Staff, while speaking at a Holocaust memorial event in Jerusalem, former New Statesman editor Medhi Hasan was quick to seize the moment to implicitly question why such Nazi analogies are antisemitic, in the following Tweet.

Of course, Hasan’s characterization of Golan’s comments was extremely misleading, as Golan himself made clear later in the day when he said, “I had no intention of making that comparison”.

Golan added: 

“It is an absurd and baseless comparison and I had no intention whatsoever of drawing any sort of parallel or to criticize the national leadership…The IDF is a moral army that respects the rules of engagement and protects human dignity.”

So, while Golan did not make the comparison, even if he had the larger point – as noted in a Tweet in response to Hasan by Guardian political columnist Rafael Behr – is that within minority communities there will be always be some discourse that is acceptable within the group but not as an “accusation from without”.  This is why – to use one example – in the US, while some African-Americans ‘playfully‘ call each other the N-word, whites who use the term are rightly considered to be racist.  You certainly don’t hear any non-extremist whites complaining that this represents an unfair double standard.

So, leaving aside how completely ahistorical the comparison is, non-Jews calling a Jew a Nazi – or even hinting at some moral equivalence between Jewish Israelis today and the Nazis who murdered six million Jews during WW2 – represents a Holocaust inversion and the ultimate insult, despite the fact that some Jews may implicitly (and quite irresponsibly) make such comparisons.  

When coming from non-Jews, it strikes Jewish Israeli ears as simply a horrific term of abuse, designed to inflict maximum pain within the context of the shared collective memory of the Jewish people – a point that self-described anti-racists, of all people, should surely understand.

92 replies »

  1. “Golan added:
    “It is an absurd and baseless comparison [comparing Israel to 1930s Germany] and I had no intention whatsoever of drawing any sort of parallel””

    Well here’s what he said in part:
    “If there is something that frightens me in the memory of the Holocaust, it is identifying horrifying processes that occurred in Europe…70, 80 and 90 years ago and finding evidence of their existence here in our midst, today, in 2016.”

    If that doesn’t mean he is drawing such a parallel then what does it mean? Certainly a string of right wing MKs assumed he was comparing Israel to 1930s Germany and called for a retraction.

    • You really are quite unbelievably stupid. Talking about a small part of X is not the same thing as talking about the whole of X.
      Just fuck off.

      • @John Kinory –

        RE: “Talking about a small part of X is not the same thing as talking about the whole of X.”

        How true. (Does your rebuke also apply to those talking about the tweets and speech snippets of Labour Party members, BTW?)

        Anyway … Here’s how the Times of Israel @ http://www.timesofisrael.com/deputy-idf-chief-israeli-societal-trends-akin-to-pre-holocaust-europe/ more fully reported Yair Golan’s address on May 5:

        ‘In a speech for Holocaust Remembrance Day on Wednesday, IDF Deputy Chief of Staff Maj. Gen. Yair Golan said that he identifies processes in Israel today that are similar to those that took place in Europe prior to the Holocaust.

        ‘In a strongly worded speech uncommon for a military commander, Golan warned against trends of growing callousness and indifference towards those outside of mainstream Israeli society.

        ‘He called for a “thorough consideration” of how society treats the disadvantaged and “the other” in its midst.

        ‘The Holocaust, he said, must bring Israelis to “a deep reflection” of the character of man but of their character as well. “It should bring us to deeply consider the responsibility of leadership, and the quality of a society.

        ‘ “If there is something that frightens me in the memory of the Holocaust, it is identifying horrifying processes that occurred in Europe…70, 80 and 90 years ago and finding evidence of their existence here in our midst, today, in 2016,” Golan said.

        ‘ “There is nothing easier than hating the other,” he said. “There is nothing easier than raising fears and sowing terror. There is nothing easier than becoming callous, morally corrupt and hypocritical.”

        ‘He called for society to make use of Holocaust remembrance to “nip the buds of intolerance, the buds of violence, the buds of self-destruction on the road to moral degradation.”

        ‘Just as the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur is a day for private self-examination and repentance, he said, Holocaust Remembrance Day should serve as a national day of reflection.

        ‘Israel must ask itself how it wants to fulfill its purpose as a light unto the nations, he said. “Only a memory of this kind will serve as a living, breathing memorial to our people… a fitting memorial, a true memorial.”

        ‘Golan specifically touched upon the issue of moral flaws within the army, saying the strength of the IDF was its ability to thoroughly investigate and punish wrongdoers “and take responsibility for the good and the bad,” without justifying their actions or attempting to cover them up.

        ‘ “We believe truly in the justness of our path, but not everything we do is just,” he said.

        ‘ “Our road has been and will be that of truth and of assuming responsibility, even if the truth is difficult and the responsibility heavy.” ‘

        The only bit of the speech (as far as I can see) that the Times “skimmed over” was the section about the IDF. Haaretz @ http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.717948 fills that gap with:

        ‘ “National atonement ought to include unsettling issues,” [Yolan] said. “A few weeks ago the public began to debate purity of arms, and I’d like to say a few words about that. The abnormal use of weapons and harm to purity of arms have occurred in the history of the IDF since its establishment. The IDF has always taken pride in its ability to investigate difficult events impartially and to take full responsibility for what is good but also for what is bad and unacceptable.”

        ‘ “We didn’t justify ourselves, cover up, smooth things over, dismiss with a wink or make excuses. Our path was always that of truth and taking responsibility, even when the truth is difficult and the responsibility weighty. We believe very much in the justice of our path, but not everything we do is just. We trust the IDF’s moral standards as an organization, but we do not ignore individual deviations.” ‘

        • “Does your rebuke also apply to those talking about the tweets and speech snippets of Labour Party members, BTW?”

          Anyone know what the spittle-flecked mad cow is screeching about this time?

    • So Germany = Europe sencar… Where did you get your GE certificate? Maybe you don’t have any at all?

  2. sencar General Yaron spoke about worrying negative tendencies in Israeli society and their speech has nothing to do with the Zionism = Nazism farce. You know he is the best example of Israelis who will say their opinion irrespective of the potential abuse of their thoughts by Jew hating assholes. (Yes I’m speaking about you and Parteigenosse Margraine…) Probably because they consider your kind completely irrelevant from an Israeli viewpoint.

  3. “a point that self-described anti-racists, of all people, should surely understand” – except that a great many self-described anti-racists are, in fact, deeply racist. Several of them infest this blog.

  4. It’s also antisemitic when it comes from left wing Jews as it demonizes, and applies double standards to Israel that are applied to no other country on earth.

      • Another misdiagnosis from Dr. Strangelove.

        I’ll spell it out for you:

        Never again, Ken. Never again.

        • “Never again”, unless it’s the Palestinian’s because Zionist scum like you regard them as Untermensch. Ain’t that right, Jeffrey?

          • No Margrain you consider them untermensch who are disposable – because of this simple fact are you sending them to fight your fight against the Jews. They suffer, they die – but in your eyes they are just some kind of gun-food.

              • Ethnically cleansed in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon BY ARAB/MUSLIMS.

                250,000+ dead in Syria and military age men are flooding into Eurabia hoping to make Eurabia more like

                the lands they fled.

                Happy Eternal Nakba!

          • Margrain you are an illiterate in German as well as English.
            Is there any language you can communicate in properly?
            Or are you typical of your Brown shirted forebears so full of anti-Semitic hate and bile that all you can do is spew nonsense that would put a retard to shame?

              • Margrain British socialists did indeed fight against Mosley’s Blackshirts but Brown shirts when was that exactly?

                • British black shirts can’t get along with British brown shirts or British red shirts.

                  It’s like Socialists have a sunni/shiite war going on within Socialism.

                  Keep at it boys!

          • Margrain,
            1. My name is Jeff. Your use of “Jeffrey” to address me is contemptuous and disrespectful.
            2. You are projecting opinions and attitudes on to me for which you have absolutely no evidence. That’s the mark of a bigot. Your use of the term “Untermenschen” is a back door way of equating Israel, Zionism, and by extension Jews with Nazis. This is antisemitic. You are an antisemitic bigot.
            3. The Palestinian’s in their short history have never been victims of a genocide. No, Margrain, they haven’t, therefore the phrase “never again” doesn’t apply. (See #2.)
            4. I see you dropped the “neo” pretense, another sign your true passions are being revealed.
            5. Never again, Ken. Never again.

            • Nope, but if I were, I wouldn’t want a a paranoid, ‘antisemitosis’ sufferer on the jury.

          • “Please don’t participate in Jury service any time soon.”

            Daniel Margrain, this court finds you guilty of intellectual & moral malfeasance, repeated attempts at emotional blackmail, race baiting and commission of bad faith arguments in the 1st degree.

              • Your paranoid rambling will lead to your institutionalisation.

                Jews/Zionists aren’t hijacking passenger planes and after telling the passengers that they will be safe if they don’t resist, yet fly the planes into buildings. Your Islasmofascists are doing that, as well as bombing London transport on 7/7, attacking Brussels, Charlie Hebdo, Bataclan, …

  5. Nazi analogies, of course, are fine when used by Zionists in reference to pro Palestinian activists. For example a peaceful protest outside a shop selling illegal colony goods is Krystalnacht.

  6. “Within minority communities there will be always be some discourse that is acceptable within the group but not as an ‘accusation from without’. This is why – to use one example – in the US, while some African-Americans ‘playfully‘ call each other the N-word, whites who use the term are rightly considered to be racist. You certainly don’t hear any non-extremist whites complaining that this represents an unfair double standard.”

    No, Adam, you’ve got it all wrong (but I’m sure African-Americans appreciate you whitesplaining what’s acceptable and unacceptable to them). It’s all about tone and intention.

    Are you seriously arguing that what this IDF leader said in his speech is OK just because he’s Jewish, but if eg. Hillary Clinton had made the same speech with the same intentions it would have been anti-Semitic? That’s absolutely ludicrous and it is 100% a double standard.

    Jews have a hard enough time fighting for equality around the world as it is. Why make the task more difficult by demanding some sort of elevated status and immunity?

    PS: anyone who would like to reply to this comment is welcome to do so, though I will be considerably more impressed by those who use actual arguments and rational discourse, rather than calling me “Gabby”, swearing, telling me to go away, calling me an idiot, questioning my Judaism, questionining my personal life, calling me a Nazi (whether or not they’re Jewish), etc. etc. Thanks.

        • “Jews have a hard enough time fighting for equality around the world as it is. Why make the task more difficult by demanding some sort of elevated status and immunity?”

          How Ku Klux Klanian of you to John Birch Sociesplain our global Judaic concerns. And great timing, too!

          All your personalities come out to play with yourself on these boards. And you win! Way to go, Champ.

    • Every piece of shit in the grass is dreaming about being taken seriously and instead of cleaning them up someone speak to them. Naturally nobody pays any attention as in your case will demonstrate. You don’t know what Golan said, you don’t know how he explained his words later, you don’t know anything about Israel but you hate her. So dream on Webber….
      I’m not questioning your Judaism as I ‘m not questioning the Judaism of Naturei Karta or Tony Greenstein. Our history is full of Jews who thought that they are better than the other Jews and when realized that nobody pays any attention to them they turned their narcissistic rage against the community. You are only one among many – the only difference that you are even less talented and more stupid than their average. And I wouldn’t suggest you to go away – you are an excellent demonstration who are our enemies, how they operate and what are their intellectual and moral capabilities.

        • Dumb irrelevant nonsense. How surprising.
          Disagreements among government officials – and ex-officials – have nothing to do with demonising the whole nation. Nothing.
          And you are supposed to be a ‘researcher’? Where, your local chippy?

        • The first of your example is an Israeli who proved already his credentials – loyally serving the community.
          The second obviously belongs to the same category (where you belong to) – an enemy of Israel. But there is a difference – Ettinger is an extremist ideologue who puts his skin on the line – his fellow travelers like Naturei Karta (the same extremists as Ettinger), Jewish Voices for Peace, Jews for Justice for Palestinians and all of these organizations of volunteer kapos who simply vent their frustrations with Mommy and/or Pappy on the community – they are just pathetic losers who can’t digest the fact – they have the relevance in the Jewish world of a spit on an otherwise clean street.

          • Do anti-Zionist neturi karta live in Zionist Israel? If so, why don’t they move to anti-Zionist Gaza where they should be welcomed as fellow anti-Zionists, AND dhimmi Jews.

            Let’s see how tolerant Hamass are towards fellow anti-Zionists who happend to also be Jews..

            I’m guessing that Hamass will need to put the neturi karta ghetto under 24 hour protection from Gazans who will ignore their anti-Zionism and strike at dhimmi sons of pigs and dogs/monkeys/aardvarks.

                • Not at all. It was said in response to dumb Eddy’s racist neturi karta jibe.Basic comprehension is a problem for (neo)Zionist bigots. I get that.

                  • Fascist Migraine and neturi karta, together in Gaza.

                    I’d pay to see that – you under attack by the hornet nest of IslamoFascist Gaza.

                    • I’ll ask again, why don’t you move to your racist, cesspit, Israel, thicko, Eddy? After all, it is your “Homeland” is it not?

                    • Migraine, I must ask again, why don’t you move to your racist, cesspit, Pal-e-SWINE, ISISstan, Talibanistan, Fascist Iran or Syria, piglet? After all, it is your “Ummah;” is it not?

              • Migraine, Why don’t you go live in ISISstan, Gaza, Syria, Fascist Iran or your Turd Reich, jihadio?

                • I’m not the one who bangs on about how great Israel and the Zionists are, that’ll be you, dumb Eddy. If you think it’s so great, why don’t you move to your beloved “homeland”? Serious question. Why don’t you?

                  • Migraine, Since you LUV Pal-e-SWINE so much, why not move to your beloved Pal-e-SWINE? Hamass needs more Human Shield Useful Idiots. You certainly have all the qualifications for being an exemplary Useful Idiot. Why don’t you?

                    Maybe you can visit the LGBT center of Gaza?

                • No reason to.I’m happy in London. Again, I’m not the one praising your racist cesspit, Israel, that’ll be you. If you think it’s so great, why don’t you move to your “homeland”? Stop avoiding the question, thicko Eddy.

          • @peterthehungarian –

            RE: “The first of your example[s] is an Israeli who proved already his credentials – loyally serving the community…”

            The Israeli you’re referring to – ex-Shin Bet chief Yuval Diskin – wasn’t the “example” I offered @ http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4688640,00.html . It was those “many hundreds of youths supporting messianic and/or anarchistic, anti-state ideologies” Diskin was COMMENTING on.

            The person in the second story (@ http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4687342,00.html ) – Meir Ettinger – is an influential figure among that mob. To dismiss him and other like-minded activists merely as “volunteer kapos who simply vent their frustrations with Mommy and/or Pappy on the community” is to do exactly what Diskin was accusing the Israeli government and security services of doing for so many years.

            Along with Leah – who sneers at concern about these ideologues as “irrelevant nonsense” – you totally underestimate a problem which Israel’s leaders (and NB, Leah, I mean CURRENT leaders) are at long last beginning to view as a serious threat.

            • An other know nothing crap from Basner. Ettinger is in prison, the mob you are speaking about is simply a sect of assholes and extremists, their number is insignificant.and Diskin rightly said that we must take them more seriously because their actions start endanger lives. Every country have this kind of fringe, in the US and in the UK similar groups have much more power than in Israel. So try harder to find examples about “antisemites”. And as I said I include them in exactly the same group where you belong too – the other side of the same coin.

              • @peterthehungarian –

                “Every country have this kind of fringe, in the US and in the UK similar groups have much more power than in Israel.”

                I don’t know about the US, but can assure you that if any activist groups in Britain – however “fringe” – were freely rampaging around committing thousands of violent racial assaults, arson, and vandalism attacks, and with hardly any of these criminals being hunted, caught and punished, it would be considered a political scandal of tsunami proportions.

                Sure, Ettinger is now in jail. Owing to a couple of particularly heinous murders, there has finally been a government reckoning after DECADES of blind-eye turning to the spreading rot.

                • Like the BDS nazi thugs? They are not even prosecuted and if they are the judge let them go.
                  You should read your local paper Basner and sometimes you should go out, then you wouldn’t write this tsunami proportion bullshit.

                  • So you don’t know which country is this… Fantastic. Put the picture in the google search engine and it will tell you in two seconds – Muslim protest in London (and for your sake I will write it down – London is in the UK)… You must be very lucky Basner – stupidity doesn’t cause physical pain….

                • Mad Cow Miranda you claim that,”I don’t know about the US, but can assure you that if any activist groups in Britain….”
                  How very interesting.
                  Because in your post of May 4, 2016 at 1:49 pm on the “The problem of anti-Semitism…” thread, you claimed “I haven’t lived in Stow Hill, or Newport, or Britain, for around ten years.”
                  In the last ten years in Britain we have had Three Prime Ministers, Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and David Cameron. Three different Governments, Labour, Conservative-Lib Dem coalition and Conservative and different Home Secretaries, Justice Secretaries and numerous Chief Constables.

                  So how exactly can you give any assurance about what would happen after a ten year absence?

                  Another of your blatant lies.

                  • You must inhabit a very strange bubble, Gerald. Just because I don’t live in Britain doesn’t stop me from paying regular visits there, reading papers, watching TV news , using the internet, keeping in phone touch with people … not that ANY of this is ANY of your business or sheds ANY light on how much I do, or don’t, know about what’s happening in the world . So butt out.

                    • So you know Britain well but you don’t know about the atrocities in its capital and in other big cities…. File under: The world is too big to know for obsessive haters…..

                    • Mad Cow Miranda you are again avoiding the question

                      How can YOU give any assurance about what would happen after a ten year absence?

                      The question is not about what you might or might not know, or who you phone, or what papers you might read.
                      It is how can you give an ASSURANCE after a ten year absence?

                      Answer the question, your Bullshit and attempts at obfuscation do not work.

                    • ” not that ANY of this is ANY of your business or sheds ANY light on how much I do, or don’t, know about what’s happening in the world . So butt out.” – so why do you come here to constantly parade your stupidity, ignorance and bigotry, mad cow? Isn’t it in order to attract attention to your sorry ridiculous self?

                    • Mad Cow Miranda but it does shed light on your lack of credibility and why anything you write or claim should be regarded with a great deal of scepticism.
                      The near hysteria of. your reply, much the same as a cornered rat, is not surprising given that again you are making claims that are nonsense.

  7. I find myself in agreement with Gabriel Webber – which virtually never happens, Dishonest and unfounded allusions are equally unacceptable, whoever makes them and whatever the motive (virtue-signalling by the this second in command who reflects Eisenkot’s lack of solidarity with ordinary soldiers of the iDF). See Ruthie Blum’s two pieces – http://www.algemeiner.com/2016/05/05/a-shocking-mockery-of-holocaust-remembrance/ and http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Right-from-Wrong-Eisenkots-shameful-implications-445646