No, Guardian. There isn’t a right-wing US push to “ban criticism of Israel” (Update)

A Guardian article (New York: college volleyball players kneel during Israeli national anthem, Feb. 29) by Victoria Bekiempis began straightforwardly enough:

Two Brooklyn College volleyball players kneeled during playing of the Israeli national anthem at a game against Yeshiva University, a private Jewish educational institution in New York City, earlier this week.

In doing so the players, identified as Hunnan Butt and Omar Rezika, seemed to echo similar examples of athletes making political protests during the US anthem, most notably the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

However, then it threw in the following political ‘context’:

Reports of the incident surfaced amid a rightwing push to ban criticism of Israel and the occupation of Palestine at US public universities. Brooklyn College is a public institution.

This claim is also included in the strap line of the article.

If you open the link, the claim that there’s a “rigthwing push to ban criticism of Israel” takes you to a 2019 Guardian article “Revealed: right-wing push to ban criticism of Israel on US campuses”.  However, the article shows nothing of the sort.  The ‘shocking’ email in question obtained by the Guardian is merely an exchange between pro-Israel activists who pushed for a Florida bill known as HB 741.

Here’s a link to the full text of the bill.

As you can see, the bill merely makes clear that the state’s discrimination ban in their public education system should include antisemitism, and that antisemitism should be defined by the IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism. The IHRA definition states that “criticism of Israel similar to that leveled against any other country cannot be regarded as antisemitic”, and is so uncontroversial that even Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party eventually (albeit grudgingly) adopted it.  Moreover, there’s nothing whatsoever in the IHRA about criticism of the “occupation of Palestine”.

Further, far from representing a “right-wing” push, the bill actually passed the Florida legislature unanimously!

Quite simply, there is no push, by the right or any other political movement, to ban criticism of Israel.

We’ve complained to Guardian editors.

(Following communication with editors, the Guardian replaced the word “ban” with “suppress”, which we consider to be only a slight improvement which fails to substantively address the misleading nature of the sentence.)

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46 replies »

    • The only bad thing about that is the current Austrian streak of nationalism.

      Other people’s nationalism is not our friend. It was other people’s nationalism that murdered most of us during WWII.

      • No worries. I am no fan of the Ösis. Just wait until their Greens and Socialists are back in government ………

  1. You’ll have to pardon the Guardian. They’ve been conducting a ban on positive impressions of Israelis/Jews for the past 30 years. They’re a little out of the loop.

  2. This is what I call the “anti-Semitism-card” card. Yes, that double mentioning is intentional i.e., anti-Semites a priori claim that they are being stifled for anti-Semitism as a way of warding off criticism of anti-Semitism.

    • Exactly — compare this, from The Open Society and Its Enemies, by Karl Popper: “We should therefore claim, in the name of tolerance, the right not to tolerate the intolerant.” Search his biographical info for more about why Popper recognized the rise of fascism for the danger it posed very early on in the process.

      • Popper did not know about the rise of Islam(ofascism) back then. And here we are. I reject all totalitarian ideologies including Islam and the regressive left. I also reject your obscurantism Richard .
        Trump 2020 🇺🇸 🇮🇱
        Our friend Erdogan just sent the next ten thousand our way.

        • Reject away, that’s simply one more of your ipse dixit fallacies, enjoy the day!

            • Clowns enjoy the “paradox of tolerance” briefly outlined in Popper’s footnote to Chapter 4 of the one-volume edition, who knew?

                • Evidently a perennial philosophical argument dating back over 2400 years to Plato’s Republic evades your capacious comprehension…Can’t be helped, I suppose. You’ve at least staked out the extremely courageous stance of opposing totalitarianism, correct?
                  You and Thrasymachus make one bizarre couple, David —enjoy the obscurantism in that, if that’s your perspective, says I.

                  • As many people these days hold totalitarian views and these views recieve funding not only from the EU in the tens of millions of Euros annually peoples courage should not be taken for granted. It is your “educated” ilk that we must thank for the omnipresent miseducated academic who tells us every hour in the day that censorship is good and Islam is a religion of peace.
                    I know too many people who are in fear of their jobs in Western Europe should they object to the defense of our hard won freedoms. In my hipp city Jews and gays are beaten through the streets by the usual suspects. Suspects who do not care for Popper or a pussyfied western educated middle class. I fear your emphasis will ring hollow my good friend. But do go back to virtue signalling your education. If this floats your boat. 🤡

                    • I need a screenshot of this one, you’ve hit a treasure trove of the right wing talking points jackpot, thanks! Ludicrous caricatures, distortions, mindless, psychosexually bizarre loaded language, the works!
                      How on EARTH you connect this to Karl Popper is beyond me!
                      I’m not sure you even have any idea who Popper was or what he represented, much less what “virtue signalling your education” could possibly mean — apart from some weird attempt to claim that “My ignorance is as good as your knowledge,” a right-wingnut standby going back centuries.
                      Compare “Whenever I hear the word `culture,’ I reach for my revolver,” a loose translation of the original “Wenn ich Kulture hore…entsichere ich meinen Browning!”
                      I will let you have the last word, make it count!

                  • BTW Richard , Trump outraised the entire Democratic field put together. Trump brings people together like no other. Look up #walkaway .

                    • Trump is a psychotic neo-fascist gangster and a pathological liar, if you doubt that, try searching “Is Trump psychotic —what do mental health professionals say?” — continue with that template, switching to the terms “neo-fascist,” “gangster,” and “Trump’s lies now over 16,400” etc.
                      Trump is, however, a symptom of a much worse disease than any of that. Can you guess what that is? Try searching “Metanoia” and “Is the GOP morally bankrupt?”

                    • “Trump is a psychotic neo-fascist gangster ” , have a seat, the nurse will be with you soon.
                      The left has been sreaming “fascist” ever since I can remember. Yet the only fascists I can see are in the mosques. Those who criticize Islam in Europe are either dead or live under constant police protection.
                      And you virtue signalled again. 🤡

                    • The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump – Wikipedia
                      The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump is a 2017 book edited by Bandy X. Lee, a forensic psychiatrist, containing essays from 27 psychiatrists, psychologists, and other mental health professionals on the “clear and present danger” that US President Donald Trump’s mental health poses to the “nation and individual well being”.
                      Available from fine booksellers everywhere — and by the way, I have been condemning fascism including any and all variants and explicitly including “Islamo-fascism” online for over a decade. Your claim: “Yet the ONLY (my emphasis) fascists I can see are in the mosques,” really?
                      Yeah I didn’t let you have the last word, so sue me.

                    • The Popper connection is the “open society” ( paid for by Soros and others ) and the antisemtism in the form of Corbyn, Islam & Sons. Turns out people are not into “open society” when this means “open borders” and getting muzzled.
                      As a trained EU fund raiser I know where the money comes from, who gets it and why.
                      Further reading ( search Open Society Foundation or Soros ) and just to show how in the EU some “journalism” is “helped” and paid for by the Open Society Foundation 👉🏿 please note their “global partners” , scroll down…..
                      The European Journalism Centre makes sure particulare topics are covered in a particular manner in particular outlets, such as El Pais, Der Spiegel, Le Monde, El Pais etc. The articles are marked as having been “helped” by the Center.

                    • Smearing Soros — is that a classic anti-Semitic trope? From the ADL blog:

                      Hungarian Jewish billionaire, philanthropist and Holocaust survivor George Soros is widely recognized for funding progressive political and social causes, usually through grants made by his Open Society Foundations. As a result, Soros has become a lightning rod for conservative and right-wing groups who object to his funding of liberal causes.

                      In far-right circles worldwide, Soros’ philanthropy often is recast as fodder for outsized conspiracy theories, including claims that he masterminds specific global plots or manipulates particular events to further his goals. Many of those conspiracy theories employ longstanding anti-Semitic myths, particularly the notion that rich and powerful Jews work behind the scenes, plotting to control countries and manipulate global events.
                      Read the rest here, shalom!

                    • Richard,
                      you should at least follow the links I post here if you want to have an “educated” and “informed” discussion. Here are the relevant Soros search results from NGO Monitor.


                      I do not work with smears, everything I write and say is backed up by reputable sources. Or in plain site. Such as the Soros sponsored newspaper articles, as the are marked as such.

                      Regarding my critique of Kultur and education, I am a yuge fan of Professor Jonathan Haidt and his .

                      I am also a fan of Sam Harris, Gad Saad and Jordan Peterson, Hamed Abdel Samad and many more. All learned men I will have you know. But I share their critique of “education” and Kultur. I also follow SPME closely and enjoy going to their lectures in my city.
                      It has evidently escaped you but this is a Jewish blog which deals with antisemitism. So me “smearing” Soros in a antisemitic manner would make no sense. I have had the immense pleasure of having spent a year in Tel Aviv and nine months working on Kibbutz Samar in 2013. I will go to Israel again this October with my sister and her girlfriend to show them the country. I also enjoy going to synagogue every now and then in my city although I am not a Hebrew.

                      Further I do research for Israeli & US academics concerning left wing and Muslim antisemitism in Europe.

                    • None of those sources are “reputable,” they simply reinforce your tendentious assumptions about George Soros, which is a separate issue and completely disconnected from your worthy (I won’t say “virtue signalling”!) trips to the State of Israel, research you do , and especially research done in order to advance your risible smear that the so-called “regressive left” is “totalitarian,” etc.
                      Life and politics are not a Manichean cartoon, David.
                      You state that it would make no sense for you, personally, to engage in some kinds of smear tactics. Of course, no one other than a sociopath, or one who argues in bad faith in some way or other, is going to admit otherwise!
                      Not all rhetorical smears are perpetrated consciously, nor are all smear tactics entirely, completely, and without any trace, free of any other semantic content apart from being a “fallacy of abusive language.”
                      Which only makes them even more insidious.
                      Arguably, this entire blog runs up against that reality again and again, of course.
                      I could spend hours refuting just the cosmically absurd claim that the likes of Jordan Peterson and Sam Harris are remotely credible moral or political guides — but come on, you are a convinced cultist, encapsulated within the boundaries of the usual right-wing bilge. It would waste my time and you wouldn’t be open to the possibility that the arguments I would marshal are cogent and reasonable.
                      So “Good luck!” — you’ll need it, especially since the vile and odious Trump will betray Israel in a picosecond should it serve his interests, quite apart from his practically endless other drawbacks.
                      “We should therefore claim, in the name of tolerance, the right not to tolerate the intolerant.” — The Open Society and Its Enemies, by Karl Popper.
                      The fact you actually seem to think this thumbnail summary of Popper’s views on the “paradox of tolerance” can be fairly and reasonably turned into a kind of “proof” that I, or anyone else on the left, or anyone with a shred of political nous and a functioning moral compass, must be committed to supporting ISLAMO-FASCISM, would be hilariously funny, if it were not so pathetic.
                      By the way, you could locate and listen to Representative Ilhan Omar’s speeches in support of Senator Bernie Sanders, and realize that there is absolutely no way at all, especially given the history of her own family being driven from their homeland by Islamists, that the Islamists do not view her politics as a paradigm case of what they most bitterly oppose.
                      Here is a link:
                      Or you could do that thing, if you were willing to listen with an open mind, and willing to admit the possibility that, mirabile dictu, you might be wrong.

                    • Trump is supported by a billionaire class. Even with that support, Trump “won” the election by getting 3 million less votes than Hillary and that was with the aid of Russian intelligence.

                      Trump is the very worst thing to happen to our country. We used to be a democracy. We now are under a dictatorship. If you really want to have this conversation, then explain why Trump won’t release any information. Information, by the way, generated during his time as my idiotic president, i.e. sitting on my tax money while he golfs away my future.

                      How else to explain your points? Trump is a moronic piece of shit, and those who follow him blindly are dumber than the rocks in his head.

                    • I will further add that the only people who are bigger victims of their own GOP actions are the freaking Palestinian people.

                      Trump wants to blame an entire political party for a virus. Sounds a lot like Arabs blaming Jews for a virus.

                      Good times with RW morons.

                    • THIS reply is to Michael:

                      Michael, if you want to select a single argument, or a few arguments, which you believe make the most persuasive, fair, reasonable points showing that George Soros is posing some real danger to ANYONE, go ahead and post that — as opposed to directing me to some blog that will only do the same thing. but fail to explain why YOU think the arguments are sound and reasonable.
                      One thing all law students encounter in various forms is “The Battle of the Experts,” and I don’t have time to peer into your soul to discern what part of whatever you read on “ngo -monitor” is supposed to (1) Come as some kind of stunning revelation to me, or (2) Not recapitulate the right wing fears and hysteria I have been studying for DECADES.
                      Thanks in advance!

                    • Richard, what you fail to understand in all of this is the documentation involved. The reason that NGO Monitor is a credible sources is because they do document that activity, including the support for biased groups, so your comment doubting that credibility makes no sense.

                      Also, I’m puzzled about why you believe that criticizing Soros’ record is unfair, while Donald Trump is apparently fair game. This has to stretch beyond partisanship.

                    • You have yet to actually “criticize Soros’ record,” I just invited you to do exactly that; instead, you make the truly weird claim that somehow I am deploying a “double standard.”
                      Here is how it works: You can criticize, in my opinion, any text, creed, allegedly sacred text, allegedly secular text, any argument for the right to say or state allegedly “blasphemous” ideas or criticisms, as well as any notion, sentence fragment, work of art, literature, music, philosophy, metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, aesthetics; actions by moral agents, actions by amoral agents, actions by immoral agents, actions by non-moral agents, as well as groups of those; partisans of absurdity, partisans of justice, partisans of injustice, advocates of human rights, advocates for and against animal rights, no rights for anyone; you name it — make up your own examples — you can criticize scientific theories, hypotheses, legal theories, legal disputants, immigrants, non-immigrants…are you catching on now?
                      Attributing a belief to me (or anyone else) without in any way showing they do, in fact, hold that belief, is downright bizarre — in the example here, it is just a simple non sequitur: it does not in any way follow from my refusal to accept YOUR SOURCES that I believe or do not believe any other thing.
                      Re: “Blasphemy,” see Professor Levy’s magisterial book here:
                      From the article:
                      “….in the confused reaction of the British legal establishment to The Satanic Verses (unquestionably blasphemous under Islamic law). Levy concludes that “the feculent odor of persecution for the cause of conscience, which is the basic principle upon which blasphemy laws rest, has not yet dissipated.” While the criminal law of blasphemy may appear to be “in a persistent vegetative state,” Levy does a service in pointing out that prosecutions of people on religious grounds aren’t unthinkable—and indeed sometimes still occur.”

                    • The problem is that you don’t consider the source’s data, you have simply dismissed the source outright. And if you really believe that everything and everyone is subject to criticism, which I support, then why have you concluded that questioning Soros’ motives is driven by anti-Semitism? For that matter, what makes the ADL (which itself has been heavily criticized since Jonathan Greenblatt succeeded Abraham Foxman) credible and NGO Monitor not credible?

                    • Wait — (1) In what universe of discourse do YOU get to choose your interlocutor’s sources? I reject your sources: I also invite YOU to state an argument in your own words, that’s all. Are you simply admitting you cannot do that? Really? If necessary just steal THEIR putatively strongest slam on Soros and swing for the bleachers, have a ball, knock yourself out.

                      (2) I never in any way shape or form “{Concluded} that questioning Soros’ motives is driven by anti-Semitism” in each and every possible case in any possibly existing universe. You need to read more closely.

                      (3) You have YET to even “criticize Soros,” so I cannot be attributing any motives to you, and as for “David,” I refused to let him get away with posting links and failing to criticize Soros in the same way I ask you to do, that’s all. In any event, are you really claiming that this,

                      “In recent years, the far-right in both the U.S. and abroad has turned Soros into what some have described as a liberal bogeyman. In both the U.S. and Hungary, Jews are often portrayed as both insider and outsider. Soros is simultaneously portrayed by the far-right as a foreign investor, meddling somewhere where he doesn’t belong, and the local Jew, who is depicted as placing his loyalty to his people before his country.

                      One place where the intersection between these two perceived identities becomes more tangible is the allusion often made to Soros as a “billionaire globalist” or the leader of a “globalist movement.” The term “globalist” is used by anti-Semites as shorthand for the idea of a global Jewish conspiracy for power and control. This idea of a global conspiracy has its roots in the Middle Ages, where paranoia about wealthy Jews began to become more prevalent, and the continued thread of this harmful trope can be traced to the 20th century myth of Judeo-Bolshevism.

                      Another aspect of these conspiracies is the suggestion that Jews are conspiring to weaken the state where they reside in order to heighten their own influence. This, specifically, is a common assertion when it comes to Soros’s treatment in the U.S. and Hungary. Soros has been known to lobby for the humane treatment of refugees and asylum seekers, especially after Hungary’s controversial treatment of asylum seekers in 2014. This has lead the Right to cast Soros as radically pro-immigration, with some asserting that he is trying to destabilize Europe and the U.S. by allowing dangerous migrants to enter.”

                      from the ADL blog, is not accurate? Why? On what grounds? Cite specific examples.

                      Again, Michael: I am not going to revisit my law school torts classes vis-a-vis a “Battle of Experts,” in those days, about product liability, what causes cancer or what polluter is really liable, etc. Instead, YOU are either going to put some kind of cogent, plausible, allegedly factual criticism of Soros together IN YOUR OWN WORDS, or else I go back to blitz chess at while I get over this bad cold, ok? Thanks!

                    • This is where I don’t follow your reasoning. Regarding Points 1 and 3, you want me to state something in my own words. Ok, I believe that evidence shows that Soros’ foundation shows support for organizations that unjustly find fault with Israel. That is why I posted the evidence from NGO Monitor. So now I ask you, why do you reject those sources?

                      For Point 2, if I have misunderstood, then again, I apologize. My motive here is to debate the issue civilly and I do not intend to impute what is not there.

                      I said that ADL has been heavily criticized recently. For example,

                    • Ok somehow my explanation was inadvertently deleted in the process of posting — c’est la vie, Michael, you will just have to search “judicial notice” and work it out for yourself.

                    • Or maybe I have misunderstood from your first post about Soros. Do you believe that criticizing Soros, as referenced above, is anti-Semitic? If so, how can criticizing him not be construed as anti-Semitic?

                    • The correct first, provisional answer to all of these kinds of incredibly vague hypotheticals is, “It depends.”
                      Just criticize him however you like; then, it might or might not become clear that it is, or is not, completely, partially, or not at
                      all, driven by extremely dubious motives, or that the criticism seems driven by mixed-motives — including anti-Semitism.
                      It isn’t as if I am committed to any claim Soros is “beyond reproach.” But at least approach a reproach!
                      Nota bene: When you you appear before a judge, the judge doesn’t know if you can fly. Think about it.

                    • “all, driven by extremely dubious motives, or that the criticism seems driven by mixed-motives — including anti-Semitism.”

                      As an ardent Zionist, that is where my criticism lies.

                    • It’s not a huge thing, but yes, I think you mistook me for some kind of uncritical supporter of every last policy Soros or his charitable recipients have ever advocated — no way!
                      On the other hand, I am not interested in what someone, or some “ngo-monitor” blog you have cited might have concluded, per se, but instead in some allegedly conclusive refutation of a SPECIFIC policy recommendation from Soros, or from whoever else is entangled in this, put in your own words, even if you simply paraphrase it.

                    • Richard, you are a hysterical hack.
                      You use Right Wing Watch ( is that also Soros funded ? ) and dismiss NGO Monitor which uses open source information. NGO Monitor simply collects social media posts, research papers by the players and official budgets, follow the money. You further defend the antisemite Ilhan Omar and Sanders who has about five antisemitic surrogates. Yo are a waste of time.
                      🇺🇸 Trump 2020 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 1776 🇺🇸 🇺🇸

  3. As others have asked on other websites, are Jew haters going to refuse to take the virus vaccine developed in Israel when it’s available?

    Or will they display their inherent hypocrisy?

    How many people from the land called Palestine have been treated in Israeli hospitals and yet once recovered gone on to harm or try to harm those who have them help?

  4. “Nota bene: When you you appear before a judge, the judge doesn’t know if you can fly. Think about it.”

    Can you clarify on how this is related?

    In any case, I hope that you recover from your cold.

  5. Hallo! Mein Name ist Mikel, meine Frau hat mich schon eine ganze Weile betrogen, das habe ich erfahren, nachdem mir eazihacker bei gmail angekündigt hatte.