As usual, what panelists say on Q&A often sorts the wheat from the chaff, particularly when the subject under discussion is Palestine/Israel. Monday's program only reconfirmed my contention. Herewith, a deconstruction in 3 parts:
Erin Gordon: After the Sydney siege, we were all heartened to see the #illridewithyou campaign...
However, I would like to ask the panel 'Who would ride with us, the Australian Jews, if we were to travel in particular areas of Sydney...
... in our religious clothing.
Heard the one about the ultra-orthodox rabbi walking down Haldon St, Lakemba?
Neither have I.
Anti-Semitic attacks have risen 35% in the past year and physical incidents 200%.
You are now entering the realm of 'lies, damn lies and statistics'. Gordon doesn't say so, but her figures are taken from the Executive Council of Australian Jewry's Report on Antisemitism in Australia 2014, which uses the EU Monitoring Centre on Racism's bogus 'working definition' of anti-Semitism, illegitimately incorporating anti-Israel criteria.
IOW, an Israel lobby report based on an Israel-friendly definition of anti-Semitism.
ECAJ's report is primarily concerned with alleged anti-Semitic comments ("increasingly open anti-Semitism associated with polemical attacks against Israel as part of the fallout of the Israel-Gaza war") arising out of perfectly valid commentary/analysis by journalists and politicians such as Peter Goers, John Lyons, Glen Le Lievre, Bob Carr and Malcolm Fraser. These comments are described as having increased by 35%, ie from 231 (2013) to 312 (2014).
As for "physical incidents" increasing by 200%, this is based on the same report's allegation that "physical attacks" have risen from 5 (2013) to 15 (2014). In the same part of the report, "abuse" is noted to have declined by 35% from 115 (2013) to 75 (2014), but as that doesn't buttress Gordon's argument, it's been conveniently left out.
(On the so-called new anti-Semitism, see my posts: The Tel Aviv Declaration on Combating Criticism of Israel (17/5/13); Criminalising Criticism of Israel (24/7/11); The Analogies That Got Away (25/4/09); Sheridan in Love 4 (17/5/09); Backman & the New Anti-Semitism (30/1/09).)
Why is there this precedent [sic] and yet we have received no widespread support from the general public?
Maybe because the public knows that the new anti-Semitism is really Islamophobia.
Is it not alarming to the public that the hashtag #Hitlerwasright trended worldwide last year?
Absolutely! But with apartheid Israel parading itself as the Jewish State what can you expect from the hoi polloi?
Tony Jones: Miriam Margolyes?
Miriam Margolyes (taking the above question at face value): People don't like Jews.
In retrospect I'm sure Miriam meant 'some' people. After all, such an assertion flies in the face of her testimony in last week's Good Weekend (Miss Margolyes Mysteries, Jane Cadzow, 21/2/15): "Everywhere I go in Australia... people come up to me in the street and say, 'I love you!'"
"It's not comfortable to say that and it's not comfortable to hear it. After the holocaust, it was not fashionable or possible to be anti-Semitic because of the horrors that Jews experienced during the holocaust. But because of the actions of the State of Israel and the appalling treatment of the Israelis towards the Palestinians, and the settlements that have been built in contravention of United Nations rulings and the support that has been given by American Jews and Australian Jews to what is going on in Israel, anti-Semitism has again reared its horrific, ugly head and anti-Semitism is as unacceptable as anti-Muslim feeling.
Tony Jones: I am just going to go back to our questioner. Do you accept that response? I mean their appears to be blame levelled at the state of Israel for the rise in anti-Semitism.
Appears to be...?
Erin Gordon: I mean, Israel and Judaism, they are interlinked, but they are separate things.
So who routinely conflates the two, Ms Gordon?
Not every Jew supports everything that Israel does, like, but why should we still face some anti-Semitism that's going on in Australia, not in Israel? Why is that an acceptable level whereas the #illridewithyou campaign, just because of the incidents of a group of people in another country?
Miriam Margolyes: I think you are right to be furious about it and I would be, as a Jew and as a non-Zionist Jew. I am shocked that there are anti-Semitic outbursts but it hasn't got to the level that it did in France where people were killed. Remember that. And we have to just keep fighting it and demand that we be given the respect that all citizens should enjoy and a sense of safety that all citizens should enjoy, but you asked me why, and I think that is the reason. I think it is because of Israel.
Tony Jones: Can I just ask you a logical follow-up question? Is the rise in Islamophobia related to what happens in Arab countries?
Miriam Margolyes: I have no doubt that it is because of these murderous bastards and the terrible things they are doing. Of course people are going to react in the way that they do, but just the same an ordinary person would be horrified if they saw what goes on in Gaza and Palestine. It is unacceptable, and when you know that something is morally unacceptable you have to do something about it. Not to the level of murder. That is not acceptable.
To be continued...