Australia/Israel Review

The Last Word: Carnival of the Hypocrites

Jul 27, 2021 | Jeremy Jones

Even Mark Zuckerberg’s “Jewish” dog drew a torrent of online abuse and trolling (Source: Facebook)
Even Mark Zuckerberg’s “Jewish” dog drew a torrent of online abuse and trolling (Source: Facebook)

It should have surprised no one to see the Executive Director of an international “human rights” non-governmental organisation (NGO) recently tweet that Jews, not antisemites, are effectively responsible for antisemitism, with no apparent consequences.

Of course, if he had tweeted the equally ludicrous and morally offensive claim that women are responsible for rape, it is unlikely he would still be in office.

When the Pakistani Foreign Minister was called out by his interviewer on CNN for the antisemitic slur of claiming Jewish financial power runs US foreign policy, he was right to feel secure he could get away with it. Even in Australia, an academic would come to his defence.

Despite the comment not being directed at Israeli policies and the slur being a classic piece of anti-Jewish bigotry, the university teacher felt no compunction in writing that “If criticism of Israeli policies anti-Semitic (sic), then a criticism of Pakistani Foreign Minister would be Islamophobia. I hope you would agree that both are incorrect assertions…” She has since stood by this defence.

When Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg posted a photo of his pet dog wearing a skullcap and a Jewish prayer shawl, the trolling came thick and fast, mixing antisemitism and anti-Israel and pro-Palestinian sloganeering and graphics (although the post had nothing to do with Israel).

On AIJAC’s own social media accounts and elsewhere, the posting of Israel-related attacks on a photo with exclusively Jewish content was not just defended – those who took exception to such attacks were harangued.

It was 20 years ago this month that the United Nations convened the “World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance” in Durban, South Africa.

The motivation for convening the conference had been admirable – an alarming growth in racism in Europe, including antisemitism, after the fall of the Soviet Union; South Africa throwing off apartheid; and other geopolitical factors, had pushed racism and xenophobia to the forefront of public debate.

Yet what actually transpired demonstrated the hypocrisy, double standards and moral turpitude of a great many self-proclaimed anti-racists.

At the NGO forum preceding the main event, blatantly anti-Jewish material was distributed, including literature alleging international Jewish conspiracies and cartoons with extreme anti-Jewish caricatures.

Delegates from Jewish organisations (I was registered by the World Jewish Congress) endured verbal abuse and physical threats, both outside and inside the meeting tents.

A session I was due to address, on comparative legal and political responses to Holocaust denial, was cancelled – because the police could not guarantee the security of the presenters!

The session devoted to global antisemitism, at which I was able to present, was subject to a premeditated disruption, by a collection of far-leftists, Islamists and factotums of authoritarian regimes such as Syria. 

The fundamental dishonesty of the organisers came to the surface with the treatment meted out to the Jewish delegates when the Conference Declaration was being compiled.

It had been agreed that members of groups subjected to racism were the ones to authentically and uniquely articulate and define it. But when it came to the victims of antisemitism framing our definition, a different formula was arrived upon which misrepresented the thoughtful and heartfelt submission from our group.

When the NGO forum submitted its deeply problematic report to the inter-governmental Conference, the expected unanimous acceptance did not happen – because one country’s delegation had the courage to record an objection to the disgusting behaviour of the NGO forum – Australia.

At the government forum, once again the rules – and any sense of integrity – were thrown out the window when it came to Jews and Israel. There was pushback and there was compromise, but the end result was a conference which will go down in the annals of infamy.

The UN, true to its form, has planned a celebration of the 20th anniversary this September. Australia and numerous other democracies are staying away. No country with any self-respect should even consider participation. 


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