Trashing the Torah: Justice, Freedom and Israel’s Assault on Jewish Values
Precise definition is the keystone of liberty under law. A vaguely worded or imprecise law is an invitation to injustice, a judicial club that an overweening state can wield against its defenceless citizens. Laws should not be clubs but scalpels, used precisely and deftly to cut out only the malignancy of crime and corruption, not to harm the vital organs of a free society.
Right judgments and true laws (Neh. 9:13)
And no group should understand the importance of precise legal definition better than Jews. After all, they are a community whose religion and culture have, for millennia, centred on the meaning, application and extensibility of “statutes and judgments and laws, which the LORD made between him and the children of Israel” (Lev 26:46). Indeed, The Torah, as the oldest and most sacred part of the Jewish Bible is known, has the literal meaning of “The Law” (Ha-Tôrāh, הַתּוֹרָה, in Hebrew). This long history of legal argument and textual analysis has equipped Jews to flourish in those stereotypically Jewish professions of law and medicine, which demand mastery of complex, endlessly ramifying systems and skill in minute description, interpretation and diagnosis.
That’s why you would expect Jews to greet a certain new legal definition with horror and disbelief. The definition is vague, arbitrary and deplorably imprecise. Any law based on it truly will be an invitation to injustice and a club in the hand of the overweening state. The deplorable definition goes like this:
Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.
… It is expressed in speech, writing, visual forms and action, and employs sinister stereotypes and negative character traits. (What is Antisemitism?, The Campaign Against Antisemitism)
When I first read that definition, I found it hard to believe it wasn’t a joke. How could any intelligent adult, let alone any lawyer, take it seriously? But the definition isn’t a joke and it’s being taken seriously by more and more organizations and institutions. British citizens can find it laid out on the official government website under the title “A definition of antisemitism.” The website says that it is taken from “the UK’s College of Policing” (UKCoP), where it is used as “guidance to police forces in the UK.”
The Campaign Against Crimethink
And where did UKCoP take it from? From the “European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia (EUMC), now the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA),” where, according to UKCoP, it was “created … to help professionals understand” the “nature” of “antisemitism.” I don’t agree. I think it was created to help totalitarians end free discussion of Jewish behaviour and Jewish political activity. One thing is certain: Jews haven’t greeted this vague definition with horror. On the contrary, they’re eager to have it used as widely as possible to catch as many thought-criminals as possible. The British-based Campaign Against Antisemitism celebrates their success to date:
In 2005, the EU Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia (EUMC), now the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA), adopted a “working definition of antisemitism” which has become the standard definition used around the world, including by the European Parliament, the UK College of Policing, the US Department of State, the US Senate, and the 31 countries comprising the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance. In 2016, the powerful House of Commons Home Affairs Committee joined Campaign Against Antisemitism’s longstanding call for the British government and its agencies, as well as all political parties, to formally adopt the International Definition of Antisemitism, following which the British government formally adopted the definition. (What is Antisemitism?, The Campaign Against Antisemitism)
Anyone who believes in liberty under law should be very worried at the spread of this so-called “International Definition of Antisemitism,” which is clearly aimed at crushing free speech. In essence, the definition states that if Jews don’t like an opinion, it should be illegal to express it. The Campaign Against Antisemitism helpfully gives an example of such an opinion: “Accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations.”
Truth is no defence
In other words, truth will be no defence for anyone accused of “antisemitism.” It is undoubtedly and obviously true that many “Jewish citizens” are “more loyal to Israel” and to the “priorities of Jews worldwide” than than they are to “the interests of their own nations.” The Jewish “intelligence analyst” Jonathan Pollard was an American citizen who spied for Israel. Clearly, he was “more loyal to Israel” than to “his own nation.” Under the “International Definition of Antisemitism,” it was “antisemitic” to say so, let alone to prosecute and imprison him for his crimes.
Numerous other Jews who are American citizens have served in the Israeli Defence Force rather than in the US Army. Again, they are clearly “more loyal to Israel” than “to their own nations.” Jewish neoconservatives like Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, Elliott Abrams and Bill Kristol, all of whom are American citizens, promoted the disastrous and hugely expensive Iraq war against Third-World nation that posed no threat to the United States but was a regional enemy of Israel. Whose interests are these neo-cons really pursuing: America’s or Israel’s?
And then we have fervent Jewish support for mass immigration into Western nations, which has taken place decade after decade despite the opposition of the non-Jewish White majority in these nations. Support for mass immigration is clearly a “priority of Jews worldwide.” However, if it were good for Western nations, then Jews would also want it for Israel. They don’t: Israel rejects ethnic enrichment and maintains tight control of its borders. Discussion of all these facts, from Jonathan Pollard’s treachery to Barbara Roche’s xenophilia, would be strictly out of bounds by the “International Definition of Antisemitism.” After all, such discussion would, in the words of the Campaign Against Antisemitism, promote “sinister stereotypes” and ascribe “negative character traits” to Jews.
It’s a shame
The official definition of anti-Semitism includes “sinister stereotypes and negative character traits.” Whether intentionally or not, this leaves unclear whether one can be charged with anti-Semitism for describing individual Jews as conforming to negative Jewish stereotypes. But in any case, if you want to see “sinister [Jewish] stereotypes” and “negative [Jewish] character traits” ascribed to Jews, look no further than a British newspaper called The Jewish Chronicle. In March 2015, it hosted the Jewish playwright Jonathan Maitland as he argued that Margaret Thatcher had been Britain’s “greatest Jewish Prime Minister” (my emphasis).Why so? Because, Maitland said, she was a paranoid, arrogant, ruthless and self-centred outsider who brought about her own downfall by provoking the very betrayal she was paranoid about. In September 2017, the Jewish Chronicle was at it again, peddling the toxic antisemitic stereotype that Jews wield excessive political influence and “like to be close to power.”
By the International Definition of Antisemitism, these stories are clearly antisemitic and should render the editor of the Jewish Chronicle liable to prosecution and a stiff prison sentence. But it doesn’t end there. Look at how the Jewish Chronicle has treated Jeremy Newmark, national chair of the Jewish Labour Movement in Britain. He was once accused by gentiles of trying to “push” his way into a university meeting that he did not have the right to attend. He neither denied nor accepted the accusation; instead, he complained that he was being stereotyped as “a pushy Jew.” But guess what? The Jewish Chronicle recently stereotyped him as a tight-fisted and dishonest Jew:
A leading communal figure has been embroiled in a four-year dispute with an Israeli taxi driver over unpaid fares totalling £3,000. Jeremy Newmark, the chair of the Jewish Labour Movement (JLM), ran up the bill when he hired Yair Yatziv to drive him and his family during trips to Israel between 2013 and 2014. In a letter seen by the JC, dated February 2016, Mr Newmark agreed he owed £3,000, and promised to pay the debt in instalments. He claimed the delay had been due to health problems he had suffered.
However, until this week, Mr Yatziv had received no payment. When contacted by the JC on Monday [13 Nov 2017], Mr Newmark said it was unclear how much he owed and [he] had been waiting for invoices and receipts from Mr Yatziv. He also contended that he had already paid part of the bill, which had been unacknowledged by the driver. … Mr Yatziv said he had been hired by Mr Newmark when he visited Israel both in a professional capacity and for family holidays. Mr Newmark was employed by the Jewish Leadership Council at the time but resigned in October 2013, leaving Mr Yatziv unable to contact him. Mr Yatziv said: “One day I told him: ‘Listen, the account, it’s getting more and more’ and he told me that he would be travelling to the United States, and he would then transfer the money. After one month, two months, I called to the [JLC] office. They told me Jeremy Newmark had stopped working there. And that he was sick.”
The Jerusalem-based driver, who served for 30 years in the IDF, said he could not understand why Mr Newmark had failed to pay up for such a long period. “I don’t know why he did it. I gave him service, he used me — why didn’t he give me the money? You’re a big shot, running for Parliament in London. It’s a shame.” (Jeremy Newmark in row over £3,000 taxi fares, The Jewish Chronicle, 16th November 2017 / 27th Cheshvan 5778)
That story clearly promotes a classic antisemitic stereotype and the Jewish Chronicle should have been prosecuted for running it. Meanwhile, in the Middle East, the wife of a world-famous prime minister is being stereotyped as a “Jewish Israeli Princess”:
Sara Netanyahu in fresh lawsuit for allegedly treating staff like ‘slaves’
Sara Netanyahu, the wife of Israel’s prime minister, is facing a new lawsuit from a former employee accusing her of abusive and threatening behaviour and treating staff like “slaves”. The details of the latest case, which follows hard on the heels of two previous cases that found against Netanyahu for wrongful employment practices, also follows a warning that she faces potential prosecution allegations of fraudulent spending in the prime minister’s official residence. …
The legal claim adds Netanyahu regards employees as “slaves”, preferring highly religious women from the ultra-Orthodox community, whom it suggests she believes to be harder working, as well as more introverted and compliant. Describing a dress code related to Netanyahu’s alleged concern with extreme cleanliness (also alluded to in previous court cases brought by former employees) the suit alleges: “SR was required to pack each item [of clothing] separately in two sealed and sterile bags, and at the end of each work day was supposed to take them home, wash them (even if they had not been worn) and reseal them in new sterile bags.” …
According to SR’s deposition she was scolded by Netanyahu, who allegedly said: “I have just been to Argentina and suffered for the state of Israel. You have some nerve asking for breaks.” Matters allegedly came to a head at the beginning of October after Netanyahu allegedly became angry over a missing pair of shoes when — the claim continues — she appeared to raise her hand as if to hit the cleaner.
The Facebook page for Benjamin Netanyahu — who has habitually denied any allegations of wrongdoing in the household as persecution, even after the two successful lawsuits against his wife — once again [denied] the new allegations. (Sara Netanyahu in fresh lawsuit for allegedly treating staff like ‘slaves’, The Guardian, 17th October 2017)
Sara Netanyahu is clearly being stereotyped as an obsessive and authoritarian Jew. And look again at what she is alleged to have said: “I have just been to Argentina and suffered for the state of Israel. You have some nerve asking for breaks.” That is another classic hate-stereotype: the guilt-tripping, self-pitying Jew. Benjamin Netanyahu is also the target of a hate-stereotype: the hysterical and hyperbolic Jew. The Guardian claimed that he complained about “persecution,” “lies,” and “character assassination” despite his wife already having been twice found guilty of mistreating her staff.
Let’s return to the International Definition of Antisemitism, as set out at the Campaign Against Antisemitism. Are the stories about Jeremy Newmark and the Netanyahus full of “dehumanising, demonising, or stereotypical allegations about Jews”? They certainly are. Therefore all these stories should be illegal and the journalists responsible for them should be prosecuted and jailed. But it gets worse. In stories elsewhere, Benjamin Netanyahu is being stereotyped as a corrupt and manipulative Jew: he “has been questioned six times under caution by police looking into allegations he accepted gifts from businesspeople and colluded with newspaper publishers.”
As Netanyahu himself might ask: Is there no end to the persecution? And it’s entirely possible that Netanyahu, like the Labour prime minister Ehud Olmert before him, will be persecuted into jail. I myself would be sorry to see him go there. Netanyahu might well be a crook, but he’s also a patriot and racial realist — a model that Western leaders would be wise to emulate. When Black African migrants began entering Israel in large numbers at the beginning of the decade, he acted with commendable toughness and efficiency to end the problems they inevitably began to cause.
Israel’s borders are now lined with high-tech fences to protect it from “predators in the region,” as Netanyahu robustly put it. Israel’s laws against illegal immigration have been progressively toughened and now “infiltrators” can be deported against their will. Netanyahu himself has said: “The infiltrators have a clear choice — cooperate with us and leave voluntarily, respectably, humanely and legally, or we will have to use other tools at our disposal, which are also according to law. I hope that they will choose to cooperate with us.”
Walking in the law of the LORD
Note how Netanyahu stresses that Israel will be acting entirely within the law. As I described above, the Law, Ha-Tôrāh, and its analysis have been central to Jewish life for millennia.
Psalm 119: “Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD.” But what light does the Torah shed on migrants and asylum-seekers? Well, you could say it sheds a glaring light. Unlike the International Definition of Antisemitism, there is no vagueness or imprecision in the Torah’s definition of how Jews must behave towards migrants:
Exodus 22:21 Thou shalt neither vex a stranger, nor oppress him: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.
Leviticus 19:33 And if a stranger sojourn with thee in your land, ye shall not vex him. 19:34 But the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.
Deuteronomy 10:17 For the LORD your God is God of gods, and Lord of lords, a great God, a mighty, and a terrible, which regardeth not persons, nor taketh reward: 10:18 He doth execute the judgment of the fatherless and widow, and loveth the stranger, in giving him food and raiment. 10:19 Love ye therefore the stranger: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.
Quite clearly, Jews like Benjamin Netanyahu are trampling on the Torah when they treat “infiltrators” with such harshness. Many people defend Israel’s treatment of migrants on the ground that Israel was explicitly founded as a “Jewish state.” As we can see from the Torah, this is no defence whatsoever. As a Jewish state, Israel should welcome “strangers,” not reject them. Benjamin Netanyahu is trashing Jewish values and dishonouring the memory of those ancient Jews who “were strangers in the land of Egypt.”
But it gets worse. You would expect the fiercest opposition to Israel’s xenophobia to come from the most religious and conservative Jews, who still regard the Torah as the literal and irrevocable word of God. However, the only opposition to the xenophobia and the planned deportations is coming from a small minority of liberal and secular Jews. Shockingly, these xenophilic Jews say that they need to “wake up the Jewish world,” which is ever-ready to support mass immigration into non-Jewish nations like Britain and America but rejects all such immigration for Israel:
Israeli rabbis to hide African refugees facing deportation in ‘Anne Frank-inspired’ scheme
A group of Israeli rabbis have launched an “Anne Frank-inspired” activist programme to protect African asylum seekers facing forced expulsion from their homes. The sister of comedian Sarah Silverman is among those leading movement which hopes to help around 40,000 African asylum seekers, largely from Sudan and Eritrea. The Israeli government is intending to deport en masse from April and over the coming two years. …
As well sheltering asylum seekers, Rabbis for Human Rights said its members also intend to accompany asylum seekers on tours to the Garden of the Righteous Among the Nations at Yad Vashem — Israel’s Holocaust museum and memorial. The Righteous Among the Nations were non-Jews who risked their lives to save Jews during the Holocaust. The group hopes to “wake up the Jewish world” according to an internal memo. “People risked their lives to save Jews and we as a country are now saying we don’t want to risk the tiniest demographic shift,” Rabbi Silverman told Haaretz.
… The Rabbis for Human Rights group said it is also considering protesting the offices of airlines willing to transport deportees to Africa and also launch a large-scale social media campaign labelling Israel’s leaders and ministers as racists. (Israeli rabbis to hide African refugees facing deportation in ‘Anne Frank-inspired’ scheme, The Independent, 18th January 2018)
It is shameful that these liberal and secular Jews are having to take this action in defence of migrants. It is also deeply puzzling. After all, who is better-placed than Israel to turn Black Africans into law-abiding and productive citizens of a First-World state? For many years, Jews have been at the forefront of the battle for minority rights. Jewish biologists like Stephen Jay Gould have argued with great success that race does not exist and that “Human equality is a contingent fact of human history.” In twenty-first century Britain, the Jewish activist Rebecca Hilsenrath heads the Equality and Human Rights Commission, and has been described by the Jewish Chronicle as “The Woman with the Best Job in the World.” After all, she stands in a proud Jewish tradition, fighting to rescue minorities from the prejudice and oppression they face in what is still a White-majority nation.
A hierarchy built on hate
Why, then, is Israel not a paradise of equality and fairness for minorities? It doesn’t even get close. Instead, it reproduces the deplorable racial hierarchy that Jews like Stephen Jay Gould and Rebecca Hilsenrath have so tirelessly campaigned to overthrow in America and Britain. Ashkenazim, or light-skinned European Jews, are Israel’s intellectual and cultural elite, enjoying power, privilege and high incomes. Dark-skinned Mizrahim, or Jews from Arab countries, complain that they are second-class citizens and point out that David Ben-Gurion, the Ashkenazi founder of Israel, thought that they might reduce the nation to the level of “the Arabs.” Black Ethiopian Jews are at the bottom of society and have long complained of the racism and police brutality that they face. They are even alleged to have been the targets of state-sponsored attempts to restrict their numbers with a powerful contraceptive.
And now, in the second decade of the twenty-first century, the Jewish nation of Israel is planning not to “love the stranger,” as the Torah commands, but to deport strangers forcibly by the tens of thousands. Does this mean that Jews are guilty of double standards? Are they promoting pro-migration policies in gentile nations while scornfully rejecting them in their own nation?
These are questions that will be illegal if Jewish organizations like the Anti-Defamation League and the Community Security Trust have their way. See above.
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