Women’s Krav Maga in Australia
Exposed: Judeophobia in the Australian Pro-Palestinian Movement
Julie Nathan, research officer of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, has written a well-documented article headed “We’re not racist,we just hate Jews” in which she exposes antisemitism in the Australian pro-Palestinian movement.
It’s an important article, and because I feel it deserves to be seen outside Australia I’m taking the liberty of reproducing here, from J-Wire, the bulk of what she writes (but for the full article, including footnotes, go here ):
‘On a Students for Palestine (Melbourne) Facebook site, “EMERGENCY MEETING: Don’t let them stop pro-Palestine protests in Melbourne”, set up by “Vashti Jane” for Victorian Students for Palestine, advertising a meeting to “DISCUSS THE NEXT ACTION” including where to hold the next anti-Israel action, a Paul Duggan posted (on 12-7-2011) the comment: “protest in the major jewish suburb Windsor, near Prahran.” This comment shows that there are some who feel it is quite legitimate to direct anti-Israel protest against Jews, including in their suburban homes, regardless of their actual views.
On another Students for Palestine (Melbourne) Facebook site, “Protesting Max Brenner’s support for the Israeli military”, set up by “Vashti Jane” for Victorian Students for Palestine a Jason Phan posted (on 10-7-2011) the comment: “i dont give a fuck , jews are pricks!!!!!” Such language is clearly antisemitic, yet when such comments are not removed for days or weeks but are allowed to remain on the webpage this indicates at best a tolerance, at worst a support, for such antisemitic sentiment….
The posting of videos on pro-Palestinian Facebook pages is common. They range from the overtly anti-Jewish through to those pushing conspiracy theories or similar sinister insinuations about Jews. On the official Students for Palestine, Melbourne Facebook page is a video promoting a conspiracy theory about 9/11, titled 911 Loose Change (full-length) posted by Hassan Elgizawy (on 12-7-2011).
On the Facebook site of the Australians Friends of Palestine Association (AFOPA), based in Adelaide, Samah Manasra posted (on 9-7-2011) the video titled Zionists are a Satan worshipping Cult! The synopsis under the video states: “To help you understand the difference between the “true Israel” and the Synagogue of Satan.” This is the familiar terminology of traditional forms of antisemitism.
Another video posted (on 3-10-11) on the AFOPA Facebook site is Dangers Of A ‘Jewish’ State posted by Abbas Anti-Zionism . This video is highly antisemitic. It says that “Obama is touting the Jewish Lobby’s (of whom his re-election depends) dead end agenda… And the state of Israel, with its Jewish agents entrenched in American foreign-policy making via billions of dollars… Jewish elitism has permeated every aspect of our nation’s infrastructure: whether it’s policy, legislation, security, culture, economics, and finance. “All things Jewish” is now in, but “all things Christian” is now out. If this trend continues then a Judaic tyranny never before experienced in American life will dismantle all that Christianity has bequeathed to our once free and prosperous nation.” The video was produced by Brother Nathanael, a self-styled Orthodox Christian “Street Evangelist”. This video is linked to Nathanael’s antisemitic and conspiratorial websites: http://www.realzionistnews.com/ and http://thebrothernathanaelfoundation.org/
Also on the official AFOPA Facebook page is a link to a video titled “The Hitler Speech They Don’t Want You To Hear” posted (on 2-12-2011) by a prolific AFOPA poster, Haytham A. K Radwan. This video claims to be the English translation of a speech by Hitler which blames Roosevelt for WW2 and portrays Hitler and the Nazis as being innocent and peaceful. It is the type of propaganda neo-Nazis push. There is nothing antisemitic per se in the video. However, it is not just pro-Nazi, but aims to vindicate Nazism and its actions. AFOPA, a pro-Palestinian website, allows links to videos pushing Hitler as a man of peace….
Pro-Palestinian, anti-Israel, websites often reproduce articles from overseas. However, some of these articles contain antisemitic content and imagery. This is evidenced on the website of Australians For Palestine (AFP), based in Melbourne, where a recent article (19-4-2012), Thousands of Jewish settlers storm Qalqilia village to perform rituals was reproduced in full from The Palestinian Information Centre.
In this article, reproduced on an Australian website, the term “Talmudic rituals” is used, not just once, but twice. This is a popular term used on many Islamic websites such as IslamOnline and by Arab journalists such as Khalid Amayreh. The term “Talmudic rituals” is deliberately used as it conjures up something much more sinister than simply using more accurate terminology like “Jewish prayers” or “Jewish religious practices.” To explain further the language used in Arab or Islamic media to demonise Jews:
The term “Talmudic rituals” used by Amayreh (2009c) and IslamOnline (2009a) in reference to Jews near Al-Aqsa is a coded allusion to some sort of “sinister” Jewish rituals, given that historically the Christian authorities condemned and burned the Talmud as an allegedly sinister Jewish text in an effort to convert the Jews to Christianity (ADL 2003).”
AFOPA, based in Adelaide, also has the article on their homepage, showing the first paragraph and a half, which links to the full article on the AFP website.
In comparison, a minor and less active website, Palestine Solidarity Campaign Melbourne has the same story but from the Maan News website, where the article contains nothing inflammatory or antisemitic.
This shows two things. Firstly, that there are various ways to choose to tell a story. Secondly, that anti-Israel organizations like AFP and AFOPA choose to use and republish articles with anti-Jewish content rather than articles that are not antisemitic.
An overtly antisemitic cartoon was posted on at least three pro-Palestinian Facebook websites on 28 March 2012: “Social Justice Network”, “Vigil on the Palestinian Land Day and against the threats of war on the Middle East”, and “Australians Against the War on the Middle East”. This cartoon plays directly on the 2,000 year old accusation of the Jews as Christ-killers, an accusation which not only incited hatred of Jews but resulted in ongoing massacres of Jews. The cartoon character is explicitly an image of Jesus and his crucifixion, as denoted by the Star of David at the top (instead of “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews”), and a rocket (instead of a spear) into the side of the character.
The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (EUFRA) determined the Working Definition of Antisemitism which includes examples of antisemitism: “Examples of the ways in which antisemitism manifests itself with regard to the State of Israel taking into account the overall context could include:
- • Using the symbols and images associated with classic antisemitism (e.g., claims of Jews killing Jesus or blood libel) to characterize Israel or Israelis.”
The above cartoon clearly falls within the EUFRA’s definition of anti-Semitism….
Two pro-Palestinian, anti-Israel, organizations, Students for Palestine and Socialist Alternative, made a decision to protest outside a synagogue. Not only were they targeting a synagogue, but the protest was to be staged on a Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath. This protest, scheduled for 25 February 2012, was part of the “Open Shuhada Street” campaign, Protest the continued expansion of Israeli settlements in Hebron
The target was stated to be Joseph Gutnick for his alleged support for families living in settlements in Hebron. Yet Students for Palestine and Socialist Alternative decided not to target a commercial or business venue associated with Mr Gutnick, but instead chose a Jewish religious venue, which happened to have a hall named Adass Gutnick Hall. Mr Gutnick is not a member of the synagogue in question and does not attend services there. This decision shows the protest organizers do not distinguish between private places of worship and public business enterprises, nor between ordinary Australian Jews and Israel.
It was only when the media got hold of the story and interviewed the organizer, Vashti Kenway, about the venue being a synagogue, and the day being the Jewish Sabbath, that the organisers felt compelled to change the venue from the synagogue to an office of a business in which Mr Gutnick is a director. Ms Kenway, not admitting or seemingly understanding that protesting outside a synagogue is antisemitic, would presumably still consider it legitimate to protest outside a synagogue where the congregants were all either Zionist or non-Zionist Jews.
Despite the change of venue, on the Students for Palestine website the protest venue remained named as at the synagogue, and remained so until after the protest, and still remains there today. On the Students for Palestine Facebook site, which was set up by “Vashti Jane” for Victorian Students for Palestine, the venue address was changed, but the poster on that site, which showed the synagogue as the protest venue, was not removed or changed:
The Australian Jewish Democratic Society (AJDS), an organization often hostile to Israel, wrote “that their decision to cancel was largely driven by a realisation of the adverse reaction to such a protest in the wider community, not because of any twinge of conscience on their own part.” AJDS notes that Vashti Kenway and the other protest organizers had no objection to protesting at a synagogue, but were only concerned for their own image.
On the Students for Palestine Facebook page for this protest, there were several comments criticising Students for Palestine and Socialist Alternative for the protest venue. Even the militantly anti-Zionist, Michael Brull, commented: “You people are so fucking stupid. I cannot believe you would protest at a fucking synagogue.” On the same Facebook page, in reference to an earlier encounter, a Joshua Slonim posted (on 22-2-2012) a comment: “Vashti, you called my friend at Melbourne University a “murderer” simply because he was wearing a Kippah/Yarmulka.”….’