The Jewish News: Stop Nazi comparisons, on APP supporting Max Brenner, and the best editorial it’s ever run (on the mosque burning)
Jewish News September 23 2011
The headline says “Strange bedellows”. It says “far-right fringe groups” are among those “standing up for Israel”. Page 3 quotes from Darrin Hodges seemingly interviewed for the article. The Australian Protection Party is described euphemistically:
The APP believes in a zero-net immigration policy – one in, one out – with migrants sourced from Europe, opposes mulitculturalism and calls for an end to emigration from developing and Muslim countries.
The opening paragraph says “GROUPS with hardline policies against multiculturalism and immigration or linked to fringe political ideologies have not traditionally aligned with the Jewish community on common causes.”
They then quote from David Goodrige of the Australian Tea Party, comparing the protesters to Nazis. For example, “Goodridge noted that the Nazi party were socialists” (!), “We feel Australians should be against what happened in the 1930s”, and another claim that the behind the scenes lobbying, as opposed to public campaigning against BDS will lead to extermination (that is paraphrased as “in reference to the gas chambers at Nazi concentration camps”).
Oh, and a small thing notes that ECAJ has criticised Nazi comparisons. Typically, only leftist Nazi comparisons are anti-Semitic. It concludes
Urging supports of Israel and opponents of BDS to refrain from “inappropriate use of analogies to the Nazis”, Wertheim added: “This is the right thing to do even if it is a vain hope that supporters of BDS will exercise a reciprocal responsibility to eliminate express or implicit anti-Semitism from their rhetoric.”
For more on this, see the article on Galus.
The editorial is notable for what it doesnt do: ie, condemn the APP etc. Instead, it calls its new friends with whom it’s “standing shoulder to shoulder… an eclectic band of activists in the battle agaisnt the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign.” It concludes these groups “have their own agenda”, “And while we may be grateful that there are many who speak out against it, we should also remember that those who do so aren’t necessarily fighting the same battle.”
Jewish News October 7 2011
Ok, so I’m not completely critical of this editorial. In fact, in many ways its very praiseworthy, as the first editorial I think I’ve ever read in the Jewish News saying anything of the sort. However, its very selective outrage in my view is problematic. I think it’s also noteable – they make a Nazi comparison. By their own logic, this is anti-Semitic. After their Goldstone editorial, they reversed themselves the next week without explanation- maybe they’ll do it again this time. I’ll write out the editorial, because I suspect it will never go online.
The same is not just that it happened, but that it has apparently taken until now for enough people to sit up and take notice of the problem.
The arson attack on a mosque in a Bedouin town in the Galilee should be an affront to every Jew during the most penitent period on the Hebrew calendar.
While as of press time the culprits have not been found, the graffiti left at the site has left a trial of suspicion too obvious to ignore.
A “price tag” is what the Jewish extremists call it.
A cowardly hate crime would be a better description. In the twisted minds of the perpetrator, it is justifiable to damage Palestinian or Muslim property in order to protest the actinos of the Israeli government.
Make no mistake – the criminals who act out on this vile logic are looking to shock the overwhelming majority of Jews who are repulsed by their acts.
How else can the burning of Muslim houses of prayer be seen if they have indeed been carried out by Jews, a people who once were subjected to Kristallnacht? After all, the slogan “never again” is not merely a mantra for the Jewish people to never allow a repeat of the Nazi-like behaviour against them, but also a promise to [sic – not] stand by as other minorities are persecuted and, certainly, never to practice those repugnant tactics ourselves against others.
If Israel would like the Palestinians to recognise it as a Jewish state, it must step up and take responsibility, taking the security of the country’s minorities as seriously as that of the Jewish majority.
The “price tag” violence must end, and it must end immediately – before others get hurt, or worse. The perpetrators must be pursued and brought to justice, which should include a lengthy jail sentence in order to deter others who might follow.
This sort of behaviour must be stamped out regardless of what side of the Green Line it is on and regardless of whatever perceived provocation may have precipitated it.
As for those who may know who is responsible or who may be harbouring such criminals – how often have we as a people protested the shame and guilt of those who are bystanders to evil?
At this time of the year when we reflect on our conduct and values as both human beings and as Jews, it is worthwhile to recall the immortal words of Rabbi Hillel when he was asked to distill the Torah’s teachings into its essence.
“What is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow. This is the entire Torah and the rest is commentary. Now go.”