When I was growing up the satirical news program Not the Nine O’Clock News once combined a popular TV advert for pipe tobacco which had the slogan “live in peace with your pipe” with the pictures of smoke emerging from a Vatican chimney denoting that the conclave to choose a new Pope was in progress. “Live in peace with your Pope” was their amended slogan.
I’m at peace with this Pope. He has now categorically corrected the erroneous quote spread around the world by the English news media relating to his meeting with Abu Mazen. It was probably ONLY because of the blogosphere and one sharp eyed observer who tipped a few of us of, that this was corrected.
Francis was also said to have backtracked on statements he was reportedly heard making earlier this month designating the visiting Abbas “a bit an angel of peace.”
I take strong issue with the use of the term “backtracked”. He did not backtrack: he never said Abbas was an Angel of Peace. He’s also directly disavowing the mendacious correction put out by the AP that enabled them to keep their lying headline and not issue a proper correction. They need to have their feet held to the fire for their nonsense translation of “you are a bit an angel of peace”.
It was a pure invention of the news wires which was then spread by nearly all outlets. To this moment most have not gone back and noted that their original reports were based on a complete fallacy. Here’s the live Times of Israel headline that carries no correction or link to the later stories reversing this serious misquote: Pope calls Abbas ‘angel of peace’ during Vatican visit. It is all the media who reported this lie that should be backtracking, not the Pope.
But he went even further and made a strong statement in an email to Portuguese-Israeli journalist, Henrique Cymerman (which was then quoted verbatim by Cymerman in a tweet):
In an email we got from Pope Francis:"Whoever does not recognize the Jewish People and the State of Israel falls in antisemitism"
— Henrique Cymerman (@Henrique_B_C) May 28, 2015
Now this is nothing new, heck Martin Luther King said it 45 years ago but it has rather fallen out of fashion and lets be honest, the current White House tenant is showing a rather staunch dislike of Zionism.
As Jonathan Tobin writes in Commentary, making the correct link between the quoted words of the Pope and anti-Zionism:
Those who would deny to Jews the same rights of self-determination and self-defense that they would never think to deny any other people on the planet are practicing a form of discrimination. Anti-Zionists assert that Jews are uniquely unworthy of a homeland or any of the other normal attributes of identity. While it is true that Judaism is a combination of faith and national identity, the fact remains that denying the Jews a right to a state that is specifically Jewish singles them out for treatment not given the practitioners of other faiths or peoples. Since the term by which we refer to acts of bias against Jews is anti-Semitism, the claim that anti-Zionism is not a form of prejudice is simply a great lie.
This is a vital point because anti-Zionists aren’t so much protesting specific Israeli actions or making a point about where they think its borders should be located. Rather, they seek to deny Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state, which is to say they want it to be destroyed.
If we weren’t jews, Zionism would just be a movement to re-establish a homeland for the indigenous people of Judea, Samaria and the area once known as Israel (before the Romans wiped the name off the map). We have the bible, we satisfy an overwhelming number of the tests for indigenousness (as Ryan Bellerose has ably demonstrated many times here).
Just this weekend I found myself climbing over the ruins at the harbour of Caesarea. The plaque giving the potted history starts with King Herod (building on a Phoenician town) and it’s all the way down the bottom by the time you reach the words “After the Moslems conquered the land in the seventh century, Caesarea’s status diminished”. Yet another reminder of who the imperial conquerers of this land are.
It’s long been my contention here at Israellycool that we need to end the use of the term “antisemitism”. It’s an anaesthetising euphemism for hatred of Jews, Judaism, the collective Jewish people and often individual Jews. I laid out my theory long ago in a post: I’m Giving Up Antisemitism And Anti-Semitism For The New Year. I stand by all: I believe that calling it Jew hatred would make the accusation carry a lot more weight and would deter people from throwing it around too easily.
Here is what I wrote back then:
I’m giving up antisemitism and anti-semitism for the New Year. It’s all Jew hatred for me from here on.
And if anyone in my presence says “Judeophobia”, I won’t be responsible for the hospital bill.
Here is a very dry article explaining where the term “antisemitism” came from:
Marr’s conception of antisemitism focused on the supposed racial, as opposed to religious, characteristics of the Jews. His organization, the League of Antisemites, introduced the word “antisemite” into the political lexicon and established the first popular political movement based entirely on anti-Jewish beliefs.
Update: OJ asks in the comments, what is the problem with Judeophobia? Here is my answer:
If you have an irrational fear of a Jew or Jews then you are phobic and yes, Judeophobic. A phobia is introverted and internal. As soon as you act on that irrational fear you are, in my eyes, a “hater”. So, whilst many Jew haters are also Judeophobic, it’s not their Judeophobia that causes me a problem.