By Jim Miles
On Thursday, February 11, the Basis for Center East Peace held a webinar regarding the IHRA definition and ‘examples’ of antisemitism.
The individuals had been all progressive Jews from the US and Canada. Whereas the dialog touched on a number of matters – all associated – the core of the presentation might be summarized by a single phrase: racism.
Rebecca Pierce, Editor of Unruly, is a black United States Jew and is uncovered to the intersection of Jewish and black racism. There’s a robust historical past of id between black oppression and Palestinian oppression, most regularly cited as comparisons between apartheid South Africa and the remedy of Palestinians in apartheid Israel.
Her feedback targeted on the racial facet of Jews of shade within the US and assaults by right-wing racists assaults on her particularly but in addition on different black Jews utilizing lies and advert hominem innuendos.
Within the latest US elections, right-wing white supremacist teams who’re identified to be antisemitic had been utilizing antisemitism costs towards Jews of shade, a tactic clearly designed to stir the racial ingredient inside voting decisions.
It was a method of exploiting antisemitism for a special aim – to drive out Jews of shade. She referenced the black-Palestinian historic liaisons and the totally different therapies accorded the Mizrahi Jews (from the Center East and Africa), Sephardi Jews (descendants of the Spanish diaspora, primarily in Northern Africa and the Mediterranean area), and the Ashkenazi Jews (primarily of north and jap European areas) inside Israel itself.
The Ashkenazi Jews are the ‘most popular’ Jews in Israel, and as descendants of primarily jap European Jews, this concept was supported not directly by Barry Trachtenberg when he offered arguments regarding the IHRA definition and its instance of “Denying the Jewish folks their proper to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.”
He famous that there have been many variants of Jewish nationalism. Zionism was solely one in every of them and never a majority perspective, however the principle level was that proper from the outset the Zionist Jews knew there can be resistance to colonialism, to settling Jews in Palestine towards the needs of these already residing there.
From the start arguments had been made to push out the Arabs, an idea accepted fairly readily by European supporters, each Jewish and gentile, as Europe as an entire was (and is) extremely racist and white supremacist.
In Canada there’s a rising grassroots motion in assist of Palestinian rights and the boycott, divest, sanction (BDS) motion.
Canada has undergone some latest overseas coverage setbacks stemming partly from this activism. A great a part of the trouble to stop Canada from acquiring a UN Safety Council seat got here from activism associated to the federal government’s opposition to the BDS motion, its ongoing official place on the thought of a two-state answer, and several other latest polls indicating robust opposition to Canada’s stance towards the ICC and robust assist for Palestinian rights.
Corey Balsam, the Nationwide Coordinator of Unbiased Jewish Voices (Canada), expressed the IHRA definition in easy phrases as being an try to quash the BDS motion with out really saying so.
In fact, it serves many different providers as it’s vaguely worded and poorly outlined permitting it for use to permit the cost of antisemitism for use towards an array of political, media, and activist opposition.
On the identical time, he indicated that simply as BDS had elevated publicity and data regarding Israel’s unlawful actions with the settlements and its colonial-settler-military occupation, the IHRA definition is also used to extend data regarding Israel’s racist and apartheid insurance policies.
Sadly, the cost of antisemitism in white supremacist racist international locations akin to Canada and the US permits the definition for use primarily in advert hominem assaults (i.e. not addressing the problems however making an attempt to slander the particular person).
When the IHRA definition of antisemitism is examined critically, it falls aside fairly simply. The extra publicity that’s given to the IHRA and its poorly worded definition and examples, the extra the racist insurance policies of Israel (and Canada and the US) will be uncovered.
– Jim Miles is a Canadian educator and an everyday contributor/columnist of opinion items and guide evaluations to Palestine Chronicles. His curiosity on this matter stems initially from an environmental perspective, which encompasses the militarization and financial subjugation of the worldwide neighborhood and its commodification by company governance and by the American authorities.