This week the Anti Defamation League released a survey – stunning in its scope – to “research attitudes and opinions toward Jews in over 100 countries around the world”. The survey interviewed over 50,000 people in more than 100 countries worldwide and asked them all sorts of questions that were designed to elicit whether or not they had any negative feelings towards Jews that could be difined as anti-semitic attitudes. I’m pretty sure you have already heard about the survey and some of its results, and if you haven’t done so already, you should go check out the website that they have created to present the results of the survey.
The survey’s results are not what I want to talk about. This morning, I came across an Op-Ed piece from The Guardian entitled “Anti-Semitism should not be waved around like a propaganda tool“. This Op Ed is a sterling example of what makes The Guardian one of the world’s most repulsive publications and I feel compelled to go through it line by line.
This week the Anti-Defamation League – an organization with a long history of trying to silence and intimidate those who don’t share their unwavering support for Israel and its policies – published a survey ringing the alarm about anti-Semitism.
The Op Ed gets straight into it. What they are saying here is basically “This week the lying Zionist propagandist bullies known as the ADL published a questionable, deceptive and totally exaggerated survey about anti-Semitism.” So, not really very biased at all, are they?
Rather than advance our understanding of this serious issue,….
This is the obligatory line designed to get them off the hook. In other words “don’t tell us we don’t take anti-Semitism seriously, we admitted its a problem”. Its a typical “some of my best friends are Jewish” statement.
….the survey seems predictably designed to stir up fear that Jew-hatred is a growing global phenomenon….
Is it a sin to point a mirror to the world’s people and show them that they are harbouring prejudiced attitudes towards a particular people? For goodness’ sake, there are still people alive today that witnessed what happened 70 years ago when anti-Semitism was left to fester and grow. It begs the question: what would the Guardian accept at a reasonable survey on this “serious issue”? Actually the answer to this comes later in the article.
…..that puts the world’s Jews universally at risk, and that the biggest culprits are Muslims and Arabs, particularly Palestinians.
The survey was GLOBAL. 100 countries. Results show that Arab and North African countries are BY FAR the biggest purveyors of anti-Semitic attitudes. So if the shoe fits……
While some responses to the survey may well be of legitimate concern, many of its questions are pointedly designed to skew the results because they have little to do with revealing actual anti-Semitism, as defined, for example, by the US Holocaust Museum. For example, one question asked whether Jews think more highly of themselves than of other groups, and answering yes tallies points in the anti-Semitic column. But common sense suggests that almost anyone in the world would likely answer affirmatively about any other ethnic or religious community.
So common sense suggests all people think any other ethnic group or religious group think of themselves as superior? If thats the case, common sense suggests that almost everyone in the world holds prejudiced attitudes, AND THAT IS OK!?!? This from Britain’s beacon of progressive and liberal values????
The most striking example of a leading question undergirds the ADL’s claim that the highest percentage of anti-Semitism is among Palestinians who live in the occupied territories.
The data suggests this is a fact. Its not surprising to anyone, but it is still a fact. And its not the ADL that claims it, it is the survey that they commissioned, its methodology openly published along with the survey.
The ADL asked a group of people for whom the movement of goods, money and labor is controlled by Israel, “Do Jews have too much power in the business world?”. Were they really to be expected to answer anything but “yes”?
So here we get down to it. The Guardian is saying “of course the Palestinians are anti-Semites, and understandably so”. Now lets just remind everyone that the survey is about attitudes towards Jews. Not Israelis. Not even Zionists. Jews. And the question asks about Jews having power in the business world, NOT Israelis having power over the economy of the West Bank and Gaza. It may not be SURPRISING that the Palestinians are anti-Semites, but does that make it OK? Does that mean it is of no concern? Because all I am reading here is that Jews deserve to be dehumanized by Palestinian media, clergy etc., its all the Jews fault and they should shut up about it.
The survey also labels as anti-Semitic any belief, including by Palestinians in the occupied territories, that Jews talk too much about what happened to them in the Holocaust – despite other responses that indicate that too many people in the world don’t know about the Holocaust at all.
The data suggests that in parts of the world people have never heard of the Holocaust. This should be alarming. In other parts of the world where people HAVE heard of the holocaust, large numbers consider it to be a myth, made up by Jews or at the very least an exaggeration of some kind of real events. The Guardian’s problem with this is? This is a total non-sequitur and its designed to throw the reader off. An a reader with no brain in his/her head might fall for it. (come to think of it that might account for a large proportion of their readership).
But Palestinians commonly hear the Holocaust used to justify the expulsion of 750,000 Palestinians from their homes in 1948, and as justification for the continued occupation under which Palestinians are subjected to daily denial of their basic human rights.
EXPULSION OF 750,000 Palestinians? Please The Guardian, point me to a reasonably balanced and accepted history book that flat out claims that Israel EXPELLED 750,000 Palestinians. Its nothing short of revisionist. And of course no mention of the nearly 1 million Jews in Arab countries that WERE expelled. And of course, unsurprisingly they making a moral equivalency between the Holocaust and the War of Independence. A war which came as the consequence of Israel ACCEPTING a UN resolution TO PARTITION Palestine into a Jewish and Palestinian homeland, a UN resolution that was of course rejected by the Arabs and the Palestinians.
In its press release, the ADL states that “The most widely accepted anti-Semitic stereotype worldwide is: Jews are more loyal to Israel than to this country/the countries they live in.” It’s an odd indicator of anti-Semitism given that Israeli leaders consistently claim to speak for the global Jewish community and consider loyalty to Israel a precondition for being a good Jew. So it’s actually not surprising that this constant assertion has penetrated the consciousness of the rest of the world.
As CIFWATCH puts it better than I can (and they did an excellent deconstruction of the Op-Ed themselves that I urge you to read):
Again, the authors of the op-ed are justifying a historic antisemitic trope – the dual loyalty canard. Do Guardian editors really find this morally defensible? Do they not know a thing about the injurious effects of questioning Jews’ loyalty to the state in which they’re citizens? The charge of dual loyalty could be seen in the Dreyfus Affair through the Nazi’s rise to power – and, yet, it’s as if the dark history of this idea doesn’t bother the authors of the piece, nor the Guardian editors who approved it.
In any case, once again the Guardian is just saying “it is entirely natural for people to have anti-Semitic attitudes, you Jews deserve it”. Goebbels could not write a more insulting piece of Propaganda.
Moving right a long….
These questions, and many others in the ADL survey are designed to gin up paranoia.
GIN UP PARANOIA? So after explaining that the survey’s results are completely understandable, they are now telling us that the shocking information that 8 out of 10 Muslims worldwide, and roughly half of Eastern Europe and South America think of Jews in the classical anti-Semitic manner of the dark days of the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion”, pogroms, and Mein Kampf, this is not information that should concern anyone? And if you wish to publish such information you clearly have an agenda that is worthy of scorn?
The ADL report comes out on the heels of a Pew research study showing that, for instance, bias against Roma and Muslim people exceeds that against Jews in Europe.
I’m confused. A second ago we were talking about anti-Semitic attitudes amongst Arabs and Palestinians, now all of a sudden we are being told that Roma and Muslims IN EUROPE are the victims of bias and prejudice? 90% of Arabs in Israel’s neighbouring countries are rabid anti-Semites, but we should focus on anti-Roma and Anti-Muslim sentiments in Europe? I should mention here that the report suggests that countries in Western Europe, the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand have surprisingly low level attitudes of Anti-Semitism, but the Guardian Op-Ed doesn’t even refer to this. Attitudes in the UK are STAGGERINGLY LOW – only 8% of those surveyed displaying anti-Semitic attitudes. I can only deduct that The Guardian is ashamed of this statistic and believes that the numbers should be higher.
We believe the goals of a group that calls itself the Anti-Defamation League would be better served if it allied itself with other targeted groups to combat all dangerous prejudices – instead of just using anti-Semitism as a propaganda tool to advance a decidedly political agenda.
So pointing out anti-Semitism is a propaganda tool, but combating all dangerous prejudice (presumably other than Anti-Semitism) is a worthy cause. And here, of course we see that The Guardian is not in the least bit concerned with Jews, only with anyone who is not a Jew. So the answer to the question “what would the Guardian accept at a reasonable survey on this “serious issue”?” is – any survey that shows that anti-Semitism is not really a big problem at all.
Look…. The results of the ADL’s survey are nothing if not predictable. In fact I was a little shocked that the numbers on Europe, the US, Canada, Australia etc. are suspiciously low. But what makes the survey useful is the fact that it IS so thorough and comprehensive. 100+ countries, 50000+ people is a major effort. And while all surveys can be taken with a little salt, there is no doubt that the data shows that Jew Hatred is horrifically prevalent EVERYWHERE. To be offended that such a survey about the prevalence of an attitude that is one of the world’s blackest stains – an attitude that has led to the murder of millions of innocents only a couple of generations ago – to be offended at that, and to call it out as “propaganda” is nothing if it is not anti-Semitism DEFINED itself.