Writing Zionism out of the Pages of History – Antisemitism on the Sharon Thread

Jeremy Sharon, the token pro-Israel writer of the week, last week wrote an excellent article published on “Comment is Free” entitled “Writing Jews out of the history of Jerusalem”.
His ending paragraph summed up the message of his article.

“However politically expedient, Palestinian and Muslim leaders must desist from the incitement against Israel and the delegitimisation of the Jewish people’s connection to the land, if there is ever to be any political accommodation between the two sides. If the Palestinian public never appreciates the depth of feeling Jews have for their holy places and their historical homeland, then the state of Israel, within any borders, will forever be illegitimate in the eyes of the Palestinians and will remain a target for eventual removal. Such an attitude poses a tremendous obstacle to the future prospects of peace between the two peoples.”

In reading this, it struck me that the same could be said of the Guardian and its endless stream of articles that seek to delegitimize the state of Israel and that provide nourishment for the hordes on the I/P threads that day in day out deny Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state.
Of course the intolerable truth of what Jeremy Sharon said did not sit well with the Guardianistas and after a Saturday morning last week of mouth-frothing hate on the Melanie Phillips bashing-thread, they were out in full force to channel their hatred towards Israel and the Jews.
In facts things were so bad that Jeremy Sharon himself made this observation in the comment thread,

Ive now been called a racist and a Nazi in one afternoon for saying that Jews should have the same right to worship at a site they consider holy, as do Muslims who are free to worship at the place in question.
More importantly, as I tried to express in the article, as long as people are of the opinion that the State of Israel is illegitimate there will never be an end to the conflict. The incitement over the issue of the Temple Mount is symptomatic of the ongoing campaign to deligitimise the State of Israel which will simply perpetuate the conflict.

So lets take a look at some of the comments from the thread.
First off, we have a series of comments that predictably deny a Jewish connection to Jerusalem and Israel:

Moeran

01 Nov 09, 10:14am
Everything, Bass, is the Palestinians’ fault, including their existence.
It is Palestinians who are being cleansed from areas close to the Old City, not Israelis; Silwan, Al-Bustan, Sheikh Jarrah and many other areas are under daily attack from settlers who are protected by the police and IDF.
The Old City, as anyone who spends an hour there, will tell you is Palestinian. It’s not just Muslims who are under threat but Christians; the areas near the Church of the Holy Sepulchre are viewed with envy by the Israeli government and plans have already been announced to cleanse some of the Christians Palestinians living there.
Extremists have mad many threats to Al Aqsa and I’ve witnessed their attempts to terrify Old City residents and worshippers.

Keo2008

01 Nov 09, 10:43am
That Jerusalem was the home to the Jewish religion is not in dispute.
What is in dispute is whether the large Kingdom of Israel of David and Solomon ever existed. Certainly (other than the Bible story written hundreds of years later) there is not a shred of archaeological or historical evidence that any such kingdom ever existed.
Which all rather makes nonsense of the Israeli claim to the West Bank

221cBakerStreet

01 Nov 09, 10:28am
To me, this has always been obvious.
Israeli historian explains ‘invention of Jewish people’
Professor Shlomo Sand takes on thorny issue of Zionist myths at New York University
The chance that someone who lives in Hebron today and speaks Arabic is a direct descendant of a Jew in ancient times is 1000 times greater than the possibility that I am descended from a Jew, Shlomo Sand declared.
http://www.middle-east-online.com/english/culture/?id=35105

The last comment by 221cBakerStreet is particularly nefarious as it attempts to spread the lie that Jews are not a people based on the writings of Shlomo Sand. For those not familiar with Shlomo Sand, Hillel Halkin sums his writings up well here

Unfortunately, there are even larger numbers of non-Jews who will be happy to believe Sand’s nonsense. Once upon a time, antisemitism consisted of the belief that the Jews were an incorrigible and pernicious people who could never be absorbed by other peoples. Today, it is trendy to hold that they are a non-people masquerading as a people in order to justify stealing another people’s homeland.

And if that’s not bad enough, when monnie attempts to rebut 221cBakerStreet, poof, monnie’s comment was deleted, leaving 221cBakerStreet’s comment unchallenged.

monnie
01 Nov 09, 10:37am
221cBakerStreet:
To me, this has always been obvious.
Israeli historian explains ‘invention of Jewish people’
Well you’ve tried everything else.
Now you can wish them away….


So lets see what other gems we have on this thread. Well we have the “ethnic cleansing” meme, a top-ten CiF favorite,

thegreatfatsby

01 Nov 09, 10:19am
I’d suggest that the single biggest issue ”deleterious to the project of tolerance and coexistence in the region”, would be the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land and the forced removal of Palestinian citizens to make way for Israeli settlements. It’s not religious intolerance that’s at the root here, It’s the forced clearing out of one set of people to make way for those with more power. There is a word for it but on cif it dare not speak it’s name.

CaSeFaz

01 Nov 09, 10:25am
Since Israel stole every other piece of land they have taken an interest in, I think muslim hysterics over that hill is perhaps justified.
It takes nerve to appeal to other peoples concern over your religious sensitivities when you have shown no concern at all in trying to ethnically cleanse Jerusalem.

And then there is nothing like throwing in some Nazi analogies to stir the pot.

SELAVY

01 Nov 09, 11:06am
thegreatfatsby
***I’d suggest that the single biggest issue ”deleterious to the project of tolerance and coexistence in the region”, would be the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land and the forced removal of Palestinian citizens to make way for Israeli settlements. It’s not religious intolerance that’s at the root here, It’s the forced clearing out of one set of people to make way for those with more power. There is a word for it but on cif it dare not speak it’s name. ***
Quite so – that truth which cannot be said. What is this evil mirror of history?
And how tragically ironic given the treatment of Jewish populations in Europe 70 years ago .

I guess feeling encouraged by the depth of antisemitic discourse on the thread, Quest2008 feels bold enough to accuse Jeremy Sharon of holding dual loyalties. According to the EUMC Working Definition of Antisemitism, “[a]ccusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations” is one example of antisemitism.

Quest2008

01 Nov 09, 11:38am
As research and communications associate in The Israel Projects Jerusalem office, Jeremy Sharon is responsible for writing many of the press releases generated by the Israel office. He also produces other written material distributed to journalists in Israel ranging from booklets about areas of Israel under almost constant attack by Iran-backed Hamas in Gaza to guides for TIPs helicopter tours. To help ensure that TIP is always providing up-to-date and relevant information to journalists, Sharon compiles statistical information about the Israeli-Arab conflict that is sent to journalists and posted on TIPs Web site, such as data on Palestinian rocket fire and Israeli casualties. Sharon also helps journalists connect with Israel-based experts to get comment for their stories.
Sharon, a native of England

Jeremy, the above is your profile on the Israel project a Zionist sponsored organization established to defend the apartheid zionist state, how can your views be taken seriously on CIF. ?
Comments like.
“Palestinian and Muslim leaders must desist from the incitement against Israel and the delegitimisation of the Jewish people’s connection to the land”

Are a joke, inaffect your saying as a Jew, God gave you Palestine, even though you were born in England.
As a native of England, where do you loyalties lie, England or Israel ?

And if you’re surprised that Quest2008 would make such a disgustingly antisemitic comment don’t be because Georgina, Matt and Brian refuse to ban antisemitic posters. Here’s an example comment he made in the past,

Quest2008

18 Mar 09, 7:22am

Mr Freedland you seem to be jumping from one side of the fence to the other.
Where I disagree with you is the notion that criticm of Israel, Aipac, or the Zionist lobby is in any way antisemitic.
The notion that Israel represents world Jewry, is false. The only thing Israel represents is a Zionist Apartheid ideology.
The issue is’nt that the lobby dictates US foreign policy but has undue influence over US foreign policy.
Just look at the images of Presidential candidates including Obama lining up to speak at Aipac, all pledging their undying support of Isreal.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0cOJNC2EuJw
@ ambivabloke
Curiously, the U.K. behaves much like America in the Middle East, yet apparently doesn’t possess as vigorous a lobby (maybe just Saudi lobby- BAE). There must be a very powerful hypocrisy lobby in London.
There is a Israeli lobby in UK.
Its represented by organisation like.
Labour Friends of Israel
Conservative Friends of Israel
Liberal Democrat Friends of Israel Home Page
Friends of Israel Educational Foundation
Christian Friends of Israel – UK
Trade Union Friends of Israel
The Academic Friends of Israel

And there is nothing like equating Zionism with racism as well as generally delegitimizing  Zionism on an I/P thread.

Janissary

01 Nov 09, 2:05pm

JeremySharon
The fact that someone’s ancient ancestors or even co-religionists lived somewhere doesn’t entitle that someone to live somewhere.
The fact that some somewhere is important to someone’s religion doesn’t entitle that someone to live there.
Serbs don’t get to have Kosovo even though it is incredibly important to them in terms of their history and culture and even religion – Kosovo is referred to in Serbian Orthodox liturgy.
“Jews” as you put it have nor rights in particular to Jersusalem and how strongly they feel about Jerusalem is irrelevant. Nor do Muslims, Christians, Turks or anyone else. The only people who have rights to Jerusalem are the people who live there – be they Palestinians or Israelis or whatever else. People who live in a place have a right to self-determination in respect of the place. No-one else. That’s it. Races and religious groups have no rights.
What you have extolled is basically a theory of racial property rights – straight out of Hitler’s playbook. Civilised opinion belives individuals have rights – its called human rights. You appear to believe in individual human rights being trumped by racial rights.
This, if anything, indicates the inherently racist nature of Zionism and the Zionist project. Zionism is basically racial nationalism. The rest of the developed world has moved towards a concept of civic nationalism with civic states rather than racial states (Barack Obama is a vivid example). Except Israel which is proudly a racial state. Until Israel declares itself as a state belonging to its citizens (regardless of their ethnicity or religious denomination) as opposed to a state belonging to a race or a religion it is a fundamentally illegitimate state.

Janissary

1 Nov 2009, 3:49PM
JeremySharon
You’ve written a piece about why JEWS should have rights to worship based on how important someplace is to them. How important a place is to a group is irrelevant in my view – do you accept that or do you think groups or even some groups have “special” rights?
PEOPLE should have rights of free worship – regardless of their denomination.
There won’t be peace until 1. Israel accepts that Jews had no particular right to establish Israel itself in 1948 (though, now that it has been brought about, it has the right to exist) and hence apology and reparation (in my opinion compensation not return) is made to the victims of Israeli/Zionist expulsions in 1948 when Israel was established; and 2. Israeli expressly renounces its racist character and ensures equality between its citizens regardless of ethnicity or religious denomination.
Yes, people expelled from Iraq and Egypt should get compensation too – but that has nothing to do with the Palestinians and any failure of those states to provide compensation diminish the obligation on the Israelis.
An opposed by organisations like.
http://www.redress.cc/

milesian200
01 Nov 09, 5:57pm (about 2 hours ago)
The occupation which you hate so much is also hated by most Israelis and the Israeli government is committed to ending it wioth a two state solution.
If the Israeli government is so serious about ending the decades old illegal occupation, why does it consistently support the creation of illegal settlement on occupied land?
Is there some different standard that needs to be applied to the state of Israel ?
Should the believers in this particular sky god myth be afforded a particular dispensation because they incessantly play the victim card ?
It seems that Zionists, with their ancient mindset of bigoted religious nationalism, want to have their cake and eat it.
LaidBackFarmer
01 Nov 09, 2:46pm
the zionist are nothing more than an evil occupying gang of thieving, murdering thugs.
[recreated from Pretzelberg’s deleted 01 Nov 09 2.59pm response]

JumpingFrank

1 Nov 2009, 6:05PM
Err No one is trying to write Jews out of the story of Jerusalem, only Zionism. It has no place in this world.

Then recognizing that the antisemitic I/P threads are a good place to recruit activists, we have a call to join the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign and Jewish Voice for Peace. But where else!

JamesDickins

01 Nov 09, 10:52am
There is always massive support for the Palestinians on Guardian blogs.
Please turn this support into action by joining organisations which support Palestinian rights, such as the Palestine Solidarity Campaign:
http://www.palestinecampaign.org/index2b.asp
There are a number of Jewish organisations, such as the American-based ‘Jewish Voices for Peace’ which actively support Palestinian rights:
http://www.jewishvoiceforpeace.org/

And then we have the restless natives utterly incensed with the fact that the Guardian published even a token pro-Israel article.

jwa1313
01 Nov 09, 2:41pm

Why does The Guardian continue to publish this self-serving, whining Zionist crap? Israel OWNS and PATROLS the Temple Mount, and no Palestinian who wants to remain alive steps far out of line within those precincts.

jwa1313
curlyhair

01 Nov 09, 5:25pm
Why is this totally biased Israeli propoganda in the Guardian?
Mr Sharon this is not the Jerusalem Post – Guardian readers are tradionally fair minded people who do not support injustice and oppression.
The whole world knows how unfair the Palestinians are being treated. Shame on you for trying to justify this.

Yes curlyhair. Guardian readers are traditionally fair minded readers just like those in the selection of comments above. What a warped reality!
And talking about warped realities, here are some of the comments that got deleted from the thread because they failed to comport to the Guardian World View.

pretzelberg
01 Nov 09, 3:59pm

@ Jeremy
Well done for bothering to respond to the likes of Janissary – but frankly I don’t think their hate-filled views are worth it.
TomWonacott

01 Nov 09, 4:16pm
Prezelberg
Sorry. I didn’t see your post until after the thread closed yesterday, so I thought I would respond today.
“……Destroy? Why always such OTT language? Wasn’t 73 about recapturing the Sinai and the Golan?….”
The ’73 war was exactly as you said – and its a great point, so I should have qualified it by saying that if the Arabs had the power, there is no doubt (at least to me), they would have destroyed Israel in 1948 and 1967, with the exception being 1973 where they had a specific goal in mind (would the goal have changed if they had the military power? Probably, in my opinion). Thanks.
“….Nor did the hundreds of thousands of Arab civilians expelled do any similar thing….”
Yes, I agree, and I wasn’t implying that the Palestinians expelled weren’t innocent civilians. Quite the contrary. I fully believe most of the Palestinians expelled were non combatants. They may have opposed a Jewish state in principal, but were non violent civilians.
The point I was making is that the Palestinians were expelled because of the threat of the Arab invasion – for military reasons. As I’ve posted in the past, and according to Morris: “But the Haganah had little choice...”. This was not an action based on expanding the state, or retaliation (although some individual leaders within Haganah probably had their own agenda). There were, of course, militants within many, if not most of the villages that Haganah considered vital to prepare for the Arab invasion. However, most Arabs were civilians and were harassed, terrorized, or left because of an uncertain future.
The Jews in the Middle East were expelled (harassed, terrorized or left because of an uncertain future) only in retaliation for no other reason than they were Jews – and the Arab project continues even today (literally). According to the Jerusalem Post, October 31, 2009 (“US State Dept. Rescues 60 Yemeni Jews”):
“…..Amid a rise in anti-Semitic violence and terrorist activity in the country, the US State Department recently spirited nearly 60 Jews from Yemen and resettled them in the United States, The Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday.
According to the report, nearly 350 Yemenite Jews lived in the country before the operation. Those who have already moved to the US are likely to be joined by 100 more, while the remainder will most likely move to Israel.
“If we had not done anything, we feared there would be bloodshed,” Gregg Rickman, a former State Department special envoy to monitor and combat anti-Semitism, told the paper…..”

Thanks again, Prezelberg.

quirky


01 Nov 09, 5:35pm

A niece from America is staying with me this weekend. She’s a student of political science and currently writing a thesis on the Arab-Israel conflict. I suggested she look around CiF and she was astonished.
“I didn’t know there were so many Jewish and Muslim readers of the Guardian” – she said. Who else would be so engrossed in the Israel-Palestinian struggle? Who else gives a damn about Jerusalem?” – I think she’s right. So then, why is this subject always so popular among a certain group of readership who never get tired of repeating their stale old opinions? Is it something they’ve thought through or did they just jump on the political bandwaggon? If you support Israel, you’re deeply un-cool? If you don’t oppose Israel you’re not in with the in-crowd?
Sure, I’m aware that this conflict has become the greatest testing ground for socialist, democrats, politicos and anyone else in search of a cause, but I sometimes think that it’s all just hot air and hypocrisy which does great harm to the two main protagonists in the Arab-Israeli struggle.

I suppose it takes guts to challenge the prevailing orthodoxy and say that the Emperor has no clothes. Rabin was assassinated 14 years ago, and peace is still far away, but not necessarily because of what Israel has done.
peterNW1

01 Nov 09, 5:58pm

From the linked article …
“This summer, the Palestinian Authoritys chief Islamic judge, Sheikh Tayseer Rajab Tamimi, told The Jerusalem Post that there was no evidence that a Jewish Temple had ever existed in Jerusalem. Nor is he the only Palestinian cleric who feels this way. Two years earlier, Jerusalems former mufti, Ikrema Sabri, had insisted that there was never a Jewish temple on Al-Aqsa and said of the Western Wall: There is not a single stone with any relation at all to the history of the Hebrews. “
Ahistorical ignorance. Bring on the Islamic enlightenment!


Sabraguy

01 Nov 09, 1:09pm

ScepticMike
Quite right. The Arab record on Jewish holy sites in the ME is quite disgraceful, and characterized largely by disrespect and spite.
Until Jerusalem was liberated in 1967, Jordan denied Israelis access to the Western Wall and to the cemetery on the Mount of Olives, in violation of the 1949 Armistice agreement. Under Arab rule, the Jewish Quarter of the Old City was ravaged, 58 Jerusalem synagogues — some centuries old — were ruined and the Western Wall turned into a slum.
Israel on the other hand has been meticulous in safeguarding religious freedoms in the areas it controls. After the 1967 war, Israel abolished all the discriminatory laws against Christians introduced by Jordan, and entrusted administration of the holy places to their rightful religious authorities.
The Palestinians demonstrably have no respect for other religions, a characteristic which pre-dates, and cannot therefore be blamed on, the occupation. Jeremy’s superb article shows they have learned nothing.
TomWonacott

01 Nov 09, 7:02pm

Janissary
“…..No. I believe in the idea of an Israeli state…..”
This is exactly how the far left (and Islamists) has attacked the Jewish state. Its simply not fair, and its “racist”. So the apartheid model is traditionally been used to delegitimize Israel. A false comparison, to be sure, but that never stopped the far left from applying the model. The truth is not the goal.
Isn’t this the main reason that peace is nearly impossible in Palestine? The Arabs are not driven by a sense of injustice that comes from a state created on a religious or ethnic basis. In fact, just the opposite. Arab societies are intolerant and bigoted. Islamic law is applied in most. Its simply the idea of a Jewish state that was created in historic Palestine. It has nothing to do (what so ever) with the “ethno-religious supremacist” idea that the left promotes about a Jewish state. Arabs are as far removed from that idea as the earth is from Venus.
On another thread Silverstein thinks that Israel needs to be prodded to peace with sanctions, or an imposed boundary (forced to the ’67 boundary), but you cannot impose peace on people who simply will not accept a Jewish state in Palestine.

The evidence mounts.

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