An Outrageous Invasion
Of American Diplomacy

By Terrell E. Arnold
Last week, with little or no public discussion, Congress passed The Global Anti-Semitism Review Act of 2004. To dispel any doubt as to why this was done, President Bush immediately signed it and took his bragging rights on the campaign trail. This legislation requires the United States Department of State to monitor and combat anti-Semitism everywhere in the world (Anti-Semitism is not defined in the legislation). The legislation requires creation of a special office in the State Department to oversee such activities and to make an annual report to the Congress. State would also be expected in any country where alleged anti-Semitic acts occurred to "combat" those acts and to publish country "report cards" in a report that is additional to the annual human rights report State already is responsible for publishing.
The legislation was passed over State Department objections as contained in comments of the State Department Spokesman, and in reported memos to the Congress and the White House.
Why This Legislation Now?
This legislation comes at a time when a growing number of Jews take the position that anti-Semitism is not a global problem. The problems, these Jews state, are Zionist extremism and the behavior of the state of Israel. As stated in an article this week by Gilad Atzmon, an Israeli: "there is no anti-Semitism any more. In the devastating reality created by the Jewish state, anti-Semitism has been replaced by political reaction."
In a recent writing on the traditional Jewish view, Rabbi Joseph Dershowitz says that the Zionists have "created a pseudo-Judaism which views the essence of our (Jewish) identity to be a secular nationalism." The thrust of these arguments is that Jews and Judaism are not the same thing as the secular state of Israel, and the behavior of the secular state is the source of Jewish trouble in the world. Unfortunately the many Jews who disapprove of what Israel does take the heat along with others.
Below the radar, however, Israeli leadership, supporters of Israel, and pro Zionist lobbying groups in the United States have worked for years to build a wall around Israeli actions in Palestine. Their principal charge against people who object to Israeli actions is that the critics are "anti-Semitic". The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) makes a continuing effort through a nation-wide program that is reported on the Middle East Forum website called Campus Watch. This site regularly comes down hard on academics who take a critical view of Israel, Zionism or actions against the Palestinians.
The site makes it clear that one aim is to stifle faculty, students, speakers, or groups on campuses who are likely to criticize Israel, to favor the Palestinians, or to make disparaging remarks about Jews or Judaism. A recent example occurred at Duke University in the past few days where an attempt was made to cancel a conference on Palestine. All of those approaches have been aimed at making Israeli treatment of the Palestinian people absolutely disappear from American awareness.
Those efforts have been accompanied by assurances obtained by Ariel Sharon from George W. Bush, and by assurances obtained by US Jewish community leadership from John Kerry that as President either will totally support Israel.
What Is The Immediate Problem?
It is important to note that the current rise in attacks on Jews, Jewish symbols and Israel coincides in time with the current Palestinian uprising that began in 2000. That event was deliberately provoked by Ariel Sharon,s visit to the temple mount. The Israelis could not allow a peace process to go forward, and they needed more excuses for continuing to expel Palestinians. The solution was to make Palestinians angry enough to fight back, class those acts as terrorism, and pretend that they, the Israelis, are innocent victims.
Objections to Israeli behavior toward the Palestinians have been a major cause of anti-Jewish actions for more than fifty years. There are many countries where governments or private groups are sympathetic to the Palestinians, or where people simply object to Israeli violations of human rights. Objections to Israeli actions have increased in parallel with growing repression of the Palestinians through targeted assassinations, Israel Defense Force attacks on refugee camps and towns, wanton shootings of unarmed teenagers, conflicts between settlers and displaced Palestinians, destruction of Palestinian orchards and farms, construction of the so-called security fence"in reality a 24 foot high concrete wall the main effect of which is to destroy any territorial integrity that remained for a potential Palestinian state--and continued repression of Palestinians in Israeli prisons.
Why The Apparent Sense Of Urgency?
In light of their anticipated increase in expulsions and repression of the Palestinians, Israeli leadership and supporters have every reason to expect that retaliatory attacks of the kinds that already have occurred in various places around the world probably will increase in the future. Thus the likely purposes of the current legislative and intimidation drives are to head off future criticism by getting any and all complaints about Israeli behavior bundled under the heading: anti-Semitism. By this action the Israelis hope to retain a claim on the moral high ground that now belongs significantly, albeit not entirely to Palestinians. Moreover, they want to make every American diplomatic mission defend the high ground for Israel, regardless of who the true victims of repression in the reporting countries may be.
The act tells State to rate governments. The presumption is that any government that cannot account for an act of reported anti-Semitism, or cannot control the actions of a dissident group is itself responsible for such action. That is a severe yardstick, one that the Congress or any other American institution would not willingly apply to events in the United States.
How Severe Is The Problem?
How much comment on Middle East issues honestly can be defined as anti-Semitism, meaning as actions or statements against Jews or Judaism? The answer to this question is clouded. Blanket assertions by Jewish groups and defenders that all attacks against Jews or symbolic targets are anti-Semitic and unprovoked create an impossible analytical environment. That may indeed be the goal. It would certainly help the Zionists if no questions of Israeli culpability or provocation ever arise.
The reported rationale for the legislation is an asserted "alarming increase in anti-Semitism in several countries. The legislation cited several examples: (a) a speech of Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad of Malaysia; (b) car bombings outside synagogues in Instanbul, Turkey; (c) anti-Semitic slogans (unspecified) burned into the lawn of Parliament House in Tasmania; (d) desecration by vandals of gravestones in a Jewish cemetery in Russia; (e) attack on a Jewish school by vandals in Toronto, Canada; and (f) a fire of unknown origin at a synagogue in Toulon, France.
Those incidents are deplorable, but the comments of the Malaysian Prime Minister were on their face provoked by Israeli actions in Palestine, while there is no handy way to know whether the motive for the others were actually anti-Semitism, or political objections to Israeli actions. Nor is it possible to determine whether, in a world approaching 6.5 billion people, the present number of incidents is out of proportion with global incidents of vandalism and crimes against persons or property for other minorities or populations (emphasis intentional).
What Is Going On Here?
This legislation is only one piece of a comprehensive thought control process. Part one begins with the canard Zionist extremists have created about Jews who object to what Israel is doing to Palestinians or what extreme Zionism is actually doing to damage or destroy Judaism. Jews who contemplate or make such objections are called "self-hating" Jews. That is a perverse but no less artful way of killing the messenger: The basic charge is "None of the things you, the self-hater, worry about are true, and you only think them because you hate yourself, or maybe you actually hate Judaism." That charge aims to fixate the victim somewhere between terror and shame, and informed judgments are that it has silenced numerous potential Jewish critics of Israeli behavior.
The second thought control device concerns the Holocaust. No other event in history is exempt from scrutiny. In this case. however, there is only one version of the experience and to question any piece of the official version evokes a charge of "Holocaust denial. Coming out of the chaos of global war, many details of this experience are likely to be hard to know, but rigorous efforts have been made to keep investigators or interested historians from looking at it, even including laws against revisiting it in such countries as Germany and France.
In fact, in Canada one writer, Ernst Zundel, who was not satisfied with the official version of the Holocaust and, after extensive research said so, has been in prison for many months, and it is by no means clear that he will ever get a fair hearing. A French critic of the official version of the Holocaust appears on the verge of losing his position as number two in a French political party as well as his job as a university professor. That is pretty persuasive killing of the messenger.
The third element is thought control on university campuses. Through a combination of legislation - at least in process - and intimidation via Campus Watch, a variously successful effort has been made throughout the United States to prevent detached and scholarly examination or commentaries on the Palestine issues or any other that include criticism of Israel. The Santorum/Brownbeck amendment to Title IV of the Higher Education Act, as some critics see it, seeks to impose thought control through grant administration and other devices. The goal is to keep potential messengers nervous and silent on campuses country wide.
The fourth element is the charge of anti-Semitism. Here the effort is to include under the label any statement or action related to Israel, Judaism, Jewishness, or the Holocaust, and to make the entire set of subjects taboo at all levels of discourse. That is the unstated purpose of the legislation passed by Congress last week. The goal is to silence all criticism by anyone, anywhere, particularly of Israeli policy and actions toward Palestinians, through an elaborate construct of the shame sanction, in this case enforced by the United States through the State Department. That State already does a comprehensive global report on matters affecting freedon of religion obviously does not satisfy the Zionist extremist urge to kill the messenger. They want to enlist official harrassment by US diplomats in the kill.
What Is Wrong With Such A Law?
This law is an outrage because it forces the Department of State, perforce the US Government to bias its reporting of human rights violations by concentrating on alleged anti-Semitism--as State objected in its submission to the Congress--by forcing focus on a single set of events. Americans in general did not seek this law or even know about its consideration. Since the pressure from ADL and other Israel supporting lobbyists who got this law introduced and passed will be to make any attack on Jewish targets or symbols acts of anti-Semitism, there will be no honest reporting on possible violations of religious freedom or human rights. A blanket label of anti-Semitism will foreclose any examination of the reasons for the attacks.
The current Zionist effort is part of a long process going back more than 50 years. The problems actually began with the League of Nations Mandate that required the Jews to achieve a majority in Palestine before the State of Israel could come into being. The only way that could be achieved was to remove the Palestinians and bring in more Jews from outside, because the indigenous Jews numbered only about 50,000 while there were well over a million Palestinians. That process began in earnest with Jewish terrorists of the Stern and Irgun groups massacring the people of the village of Deir Yassin. Since that time over 400 Palestinian villages have been emptied, razed or occupied by incoming Jews who became the new Israelis, and the displaced Palestinians have ended up in Gaza or West Bank refugee camps or abroad.
The Zionist party line is that beginning in 1948, without provocation, the Arabs took the position that the Israelis should be driven into the sea, and all the Israelis have done since has been defend their rights. However, the expulsion of 750,000 Palestinians from their homes and villages in the late 40s early 50s began the Palestinian problem.
The Israelis now say that a two state solution is impossible, and one proof of that is the unwillingness of Israeli settlers - a quarter million strong - to give up their settlements in the West Bank. Settlers appear to be a growing political force in Israeli politics, and their settlements"promoted and subsidized by the Israeli government"are intended to scuttle the two state solution.
Many Palestinians, as well as many Jews, do not want a two state solution anyway. They want one state that is open to both. But that conflicts with the Zionist ambition to have an exclusively Jewish state. It is perhaps unfortunate that the idea of a mono-racist, mono-religious state is contrary to the needs of the case, out of step with the times as well as with the leading philosophies of modern states.
What Kind Of Reporting Now And In Future?
According to media reports, State took the position in its objections to the new law that the Department is already charged with providing an annual report to the Congress on human rights and religious freedom, and that report requires collecting data and reporting on such actions, no matter who might be the victims. The new law, says State, requires that the right of Jews who may be the subject of such violations in some countries will be given priority in reporting. The position the legislation presents is that Jews are the most important potential victims of human rights violations in any country. As a matter of policy, not only will the law require State to single out those incidents for special reporting, State officials will be expected to take action to assure that such incidents are not repeated and the perpetrators are punished.
In short, the actual working of the law, unstated of course, is that on behalf of the Zionists the United States will become the legal defender of Jews who may be the subjects of violent or offensive actions anywhere in the world for any reason. What the Zionists have done, it appears, is buy themselves the equivalent of an attaché in the US Embassy. By this action, the US Congress has given Zionists, Jews, or Israel supporters in any country a right to petition the United States for redress of grievances, and the State Department is legally required to respond.
In objecting to this outrageous invasion of American diplomacy, one is at risk of being accused of holocaust denial as well as anti-Semitism. That risk is part of the problem, because it is one of the accusations that supporters of this legislation will throw at objectors. On the one hand, one cannot and should not deny the massive human rights crimes that were committed by the Nazis against non-Aryan and non-supportive peoples of Central Europe during latter phases of World War II. But it is only a proper respect for humanity that we establish as accurately as possible the numbers as well as the racial, ethnic, religious, and national origins of the victims, as well as the perpetrators, and that we do an honest job of reporting on what we find. At this time, people of the world generally have neither an accurate nor a complete picture of Nazi crimes, and in the pervasive atmosphere of refusal to look at the entire experience, we are not likely to learn. The parallel of Palestine is more than metaphorical.
What Kind Of Distortions Will Occur?
In a world driven by the self-serving Zionist impulses behind the Global Anti-Semitism Review Act, we are likely to experience the same distortions of truth and perception that perturb history of the holocaust. Ours is a time when, thanks to the mindset of the Bush administration, our people are overly pre-occupied with terrorism and the people who commit acts of terror, and we are designing for ourselves a repeat of the holocaust distortions. Bush and the neo-cons, aided by supportive media, have singled out Muslims and through careless use of language have brought our people and our government to focus exclusively on Islamic terrorists.
In the process the Bush administration and cooperative media have committed a thought crime against the whole of Islam. They have simply ignored the fact that most terrorist groups and their causes are not Islamic. Most events are not in Islamic countries, and most of the victims are not Americans. That is a mirror image of holocaust distortion, and it is the kind of story telling that the law just signed by Bush wants the State Department to indulge in worldwide.
State rightly took the position that such a reporting requirement will take diplomatic eyes off the ball in several ways. First, the human rights problems of virtually all countries with dissident elements are caused by governments and elites, or by extremists who are tolerated by them, such as is now occurring in Darfur. Secondly, under this law, American diplomats will be required to use their assets, their experience, contacts and sources of influence to pursue charges of anti-Semitism that largely will relate to political objections to Israeli behavior. US diplomatic effectiveness worldwide will be impaired by this requirement, and countless peoples and causes will be done an injustice by it. The quality of American diplomacy, as well as the credibility and respect for American diplomats will be impaired by it.
State can and should add to its human rights reporting any conclusions, findings or official comments in reporting countries about how and why the climate for anti-Semitism has changed. That would include observations such as in the 2003 report on France that officials attribute much of the problem to the Israeli-Palestinian situation.
What Is A Balanced View?
It is important to make a distinction between sentiments or actions that are directed on the one hand against Jews as a matter of religion or ethnicity, and on the other hand against the visible manifestations, representatives and symbols of Israeli policies and actions. An attack on the Israeli Embassy should not be viewed as anti-Semitic any more than an attack on the American Embassy should be viewed as anti-Christian. Israeli policies and actions are a legitimate secular area of potential discussion and disagreement, and they should not be sheltered from public view or protected from the objections of people who are affected by them or who simply disapprove.
The actions of Palestinians, Iraqis or other peoples who seek to repel and eject invading armies cannot legitimately be classed as terrorism. At the same time though, kidnappings, beheadings, and suicide bombings obviously cross a human rights line no matter how just the cause of the perpetrators may be or who may be the victims.
The United States should not allow itself to remain in the position of defending the Israelis against the consequences of their aggressive and self-centered actions, while coming down hard on the Palestinians for defending themselves. While protective of Judaism, as we must be of any other religion, we should not allow ourselves to be a foil for irresponsible and repressive Israeli actions.
Protecting the Jews as Jews is not a problem for us. Protecting the Israelis as political actors whose treatment of the Palestinians is reprehensible is entirely another matter. In this light, both the White House and the Congress, as well as the Kerry campaign, are on the wrong side of the Israeli political issues, and that posture is enormously costly to the United States virtually everywhere in the world.
How Can State Cope?
As the State Department attempts to implement this law, officials can do the principle things required by continuing to report as they do on human rights in every country. Using France and Australia as examples, since they have been singled out as particular areas of anti-Semitism, the 2003 report is indicative of what properly can be done. Under the heading of freedom of religion, the report includes an enumeration of incidents as well as descriptions of the perpetrators where known and iindications of any actions taken by government to deal with the incidents.
US diplomatic approachs might be appropriate, on behalf of American Jews, to protest a genuinely anti-Semitic incident. However, our diplomats should not fall into the trap of protesting French or any other private reactions to Israeli policies and actions. To protect the integrity of US diplomacy, State therefore has to look behind the reasons for any incident to determine whether the motive of the perpetrator relates to Jewish religion or ethnicity or Israeli politics. If the root causes are politics, the human rights report should make that clear.
What Ultimately Is The Problem?
The root problem here is an improper Israeli/Zionist extremist drive to force the United States to provide political cover for Israeli actions against the Palestinians. This, however, is only a specific application of a much larger abuse of the American system. As stated by Alfred M. Lilienthal more than two decades ago, Americans really need to look at what is going on here. According to Lilienthal: QUOTE: Our system of representative government has been profoundly affected by the growing influence and affluence of minority pressure groups, whose strength invariably increases as presidential elections approach. This makes it virtually impossible to formulate foreign policy in the American national interest.
This explains why the politicians have been mesmerized by fear of the "Jewish vote" in a hotly contested state. The inordinate Israelist influence over the White House, the Congress and other elected officials, stems from this ability to pander bloc votes. Few Jews appreciate the methodology employed by the powerful Zionist lobby in Washington to keep the politicians in line. It's not exactly pretty, and even in the declining morality of our day, I am certain that many would be revolted by what is done in their name to help the Middle East's "bastion of democracy." UNQUOTE.
That appraisal is excerpted from a much broader critical statement made by Lilienthal in 1981. Zionist manipulation of our leadership and our policies are far worse and even more open than they were two decades ago. It is time that all Americans take to heart the words of this wise, honest, and widely respected Jew, and seriously fight back.
What Must Be Done?
Congress and the President have made it clear to the whole world that on any matters pertaining to the Middle East they are catering to Israel. They are prepared to buy votes and other political favors by protecting Israel from the consequences of continuing repression of the Palestinian people. In this instance they have made a law that provides American political cover for ongoing Israeli violations of human rights.
The law is an outrageous Zionist interference in American diplomacy and in the internal affairs of the United States. It should never have been enacted. It should not be applied. To protect our diplomats and our reputation abroad, The Global Anti-Semitism Review Act of 2004 should be repealed at the earliest possible moment.
For all reported cases, our diplomats should observe and report as requred for the annual report on human rights. Americans should be diligent about dealing with any actual cases of anti-Semitism in the United States. However, the Israelis have their own Embassies. Let them explain themselves and fight their own battles. Hopefully they will listen, learn, and moderate their own behavior.
The writer is a retired Senior Foreign Service Officer of the US Department of State. He will welcome comments at



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