Mission & Name
US Foreign Policy (Dr. El-Najjar's Articles)
Anti-Semitism – what is it?
By Jeff Gates
Redress, Al-Jazeerah, ccun.org, March 22, 2010
Jeff Gates considers how the definition of “anti-Semitism”
has been broadened to an extent where any questioning of Israel’s
relationship with or penetration of the United States political system, or
of anything pertaining to 9/11 or the US’s war on Iraq, is deemed
“anti-Semitic” and may pose a risk to the reputation or even the life of the
Several of us among the incurably curious asked
ourselves a simple question: what is anti-Semitism? The fact that it must be
written with a capital “S” says a lot.
Then we realized it also morphs. To that feature I can attest. In
November 2002, I met a “John Doe” in London who proposed a research
challenge. While meeting that challenge, I encountered various versions of
A colleague advised against this challenge. First, he
fretted at the criminal nature of what the research has since confirmed.
Then he inquired about my safety. That said a lot.
The colleague was
MIT Professor Noam Chomsky. For his criticism of Israeli policy, he was
attacked as a self-hating Jew. Were he not Jewish, doubtless he would have
been an anti-Semite. For critics of Israel, those are the only two options.
He cautioned me:
You’ll get the same thing: anti-Semitic, Holocaust denier, want to
kill all the Jews, etc. It doesn’t matter what the facts are. Bear in
mind that you are dealing with intellectuals, that is, what we call
“commissars” and “apparatchiks” in enemy states.
Is anti-Semitism a geopolitical strategy? If so, for what
purpose? Character assassination?
Ten months ago, I met
Professor William Robinson at the University of California Santa Barbara
campus. We met soon after he was attacked by the Anti-Defamation League
(ADL) and its smear team.
Robinson had read Guilt By Association,
the first release based on this research. His question mirrored Prof.
Chomsky’s concern: “Are they going to kill me?” he asked. They are those who
smear anyone critical of Israeli policy.
Anti-Semitism – A license to kill?
To his class on globalization, Robinson provided an email link to a photo
essay critical of Israeli policy that had been circulating online for weeks.
When two students complained to the ADL (Anti-Defamation League), its attack
troops insisted on Robinson’s removal while its national network urged
alumni to threaten the withholding of gifts and bequests to the university.
From top left: Tun Mahathir, Desmond
Tutu, Cynthia McKinney, James
Bottom left: Nelson
Mandela, Mearsheimer and Walt, William Robinson
Word quickly spread among academics nationwide. That time-critical ADL
strategy silenced on-campus criticism of the Israeli assault on Gaza. Is it
anti-Semitic to suggest that’s how anti-Semitism works?
When the ADL
intimidates on a national scale, does anti-Semitism morph into something
even more sinister? The Gaza assault killed 1,400, including 400 Palestinian
children. That slaughter was scheduled during America’s political and media
“down time” – between Christmas 2008 and the January 2009 inaugural of
Is it anti-Semitic to suggest a strategic
motive behind the timing of Israel’s latest barbarity?
there’s the motive for 9/11. Is it anti-Semitic to raise that taboo subject?
Ask those members of the 9/11 Commission who objected m—successfully – when
the chair and vice-chair proposed hearings on the motivation for that
Instead, Americans were left to cope with
the results of an overwrought reaction to an unexplained mass murder too
quickly blamed on “Islamo”-fascism. Only now can we see the full costs in
blood and treasure of a war waged on fixed intelligence and false pretences.
The fiscal tab alone is projected to top 3 trillion US dollars,
including the future costs of military pensions, disabilities, record-level
post-traumatic stress, suicides and so forth.
All of the money has
been borrowed, a first for an American war. The interest cost could reach
700 billion dollars. Is it anti-Semitic to point out that debt is always the
At the end of World War II, the victorious US was home to 50
per cent of the world’s productive power. Our bonds were guaranteed to be
gilt-edged for at least two generations. Now we are widely hated, our
credibility is shot, our credit rating is slipping and our economy teeters
on a meltdown.
Is it anti-Semitic to ask: “What happened?”
anti-Semitic to report that the so-called “mastermind” behind 9/11 cited as
his motive the US-Israeli relationship? Is it anti-Semitic to ask for an
accounting of the “but for” costs of this relationship?
But for this
“special relationship” what would be the current condition of the US –
financially, militarily, diplomatically, geopolitically? Would the
computation of those costs be an exercise in anti-Semitism?
Is it anti-Semitic to call for a new 9/11 commission?
America was misled to wage war on Iraq. Who had a relationship with us
that was privileged enough to succeed with such duplicity in plain sight?
Who had the means, motive, opportunity and – importantly – the stable
nation state intelligence to deceive us from inside our own government? Is
that question anti-Semitic?
From top left: Ilan Pappe, Mordechai
Centre: Norman Finkelstein, Richard
Goldstone, Ronnie Kasrils
Bottom: Kedy Epstein, Judity Weisman,
We were betrayed. Does that betrayal trace to those who befriended us? We
were defrauded. Does that treason trace to those we were induced to trust?
As counsel to the US Senate Finance Committee (1980-87), I crafted a
federal tax law that governs the bulk of funds under management. Those funds
surged from 800 billion dollars in 1980 to more than 17,000 billion dollars
by the spring of 2007.
The result created a vast pool of
“money-on-autopilot”. Today’s consensus belief can be simply put: money
should be allowed to pursue more of itself – freely.
assumption is that money is smarter than people. That’s the generally
accepted truth behind the finance-fixated obsession now known as
Legions of consensus-touting consultants insist that
this One True Faith must guide lawmaking worldwide. By law, financial
freedom has now become a proxy for personal freedom. Tribunals under the
World Trade Organization may yet enforce that worldview.
How did that
narrow perspective become a widely agreed-to mindset? How were we induced to
set America’s course by those values peculiar to money?
the civil rights refrain, “Let my people go”, the consensus refrain is “Let
my money go”. Were we induced by a subculture within a subculture... within
a subculture to freely embrace the very money-myopic mindset that now
endangers our freedom?
This mindset first surfaced as the “Chicago
model” before morphing over decades into the “Washington” consensus.
How were we as a nation induced to brand American democracy with a point of
view that, by law, displaces those values not denominated in money? Is it
anti-Semitic to pose that question?
Shutting down debate
Early on in this challenge, I included the noun “Jew” in a Google search.
I received in return an automated response from the ADL implying that I was
an anti-Semite. Why?
More importantly, how did a Google response
appear in my email inbox – automatically – from the ADL?
The ADL now
conducts trainings for law enforcement under recently enacted federal hate
crimes legislation. By my use of a common noun in an online search, am I now
identified in a database as wanting to kill all the Jews?
president of the University of California, could have intervened in the
on-campus events that caused Professor Robinson to fear for his life. He
declined. Richard Blum, chair of the state’s Board of Regents, could have
intervened. He too declined.
Judith Yudoff is the immediate past
international president of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism,
representing 760 synagogues. Blum’s wife, U S Senator Diane Feinstein,
chairs the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. Is it anti-Semitic to
report these facts?
My apologies. Clearly I don’t yet grasp what
anti-Semitism is. Thus I throw the challenge to you the reader: what is it?
Together perhaps we can sort this out.
Jeff Gates is a widely acclaimed author, attorney,
investment banker, educator and consultant to government, corporate and
union leaders worldwide. His latest book is Guilt By Association: How
Deception and Self-Deceit Took America to War (2008) – his first release
in the Criminal State series.
His previous books include Democracy at Risk: Rescuing Main Street From
Wall Street and The Ownership Solution: Toward a Shared Capitalism for
the 21st Century.
A version of this article also appears on
salem-news.com and on