Jewish Political Studies Review Abstracts
Volume 16, Numbers 3-4 (Fall 5765/2004)
FOUNDATIONS OF AN ISRAELI GRAND STRATEGY TOWARD
THE EUROPEAN UNION
Israel urgently needs a grand strategy toward the European Union. This
is all the more so because the two parties disagree profoundly on fundamental
issues and seriously misperceive each other. Israel has many
strategic assets that it can use to improve its political and security
relations with the European Union, but without a high-quality grand
strategy these cannot be employed effectively. A first step is to dispel
Israeli misperceptions about the European Union; more difficult is to
cope with the deep disagreements and with the European Union's misperceptions.
Seventeen principles can help Israel craft a grand strategy
toward the European Union, in conjunction with additional grand strategies
that Israel needs to formulate no less urgently.
ANTI-ZIONISM AND ANTI-SEMITISM
Anti-Zionism has become the most dangerous and effective form of anti-Semitism
in our time, through its systematic delegitimization, defamation,
and demonization of Israel. Although not a priori anti-Semitic,
the calls to dismantle the Jewish state, whether they come from Muslims,
the Left, or the radical Right, increasingly rely on an anti-Semitic stereotypization
of classic themes, such as the manipulative "Jewish lobby,"
the Jewish/Zionist "world conspiracy," and Jewish/Israeli "warmongers."
One major driving force of this anti-Zionism/anti-Semitism is the transformation
of the Palestinian cause into a "holy war"; another source is
anti-Americanism linked with fundamentalist Islamism. In the current
context, classic conspiracy theories, such as the Protocols of the Elders
of Zion, are enjoying a spectacular revival. The common denominator
of the new anti-Zionism has been the systematic effort to criminalize
Israeli and Jewish behavior, so as to place it beyond the pale of civilized
and acceptable conduct.
WATCHING THE PRO-ISRAELI MEDIA WATCHERS
Manfred Gerstenfeld And Ben Green
Several organizations and individuals, in Israel and abroad, monitor foreign media's reporting on Israeli-related matters. Most pro-Israeli media watches are in English but there also some in other languages such as French, Italian, German, Spanish, and Portuguese. There is evidence that pro-Israeli media watching does have an impact, both causing journalists to report more objectively and influencing policymakers.
Monitoring may make the media subject to certain checks and balances. As the criticism comes from many concerned people, it constitutes an important democratic process. Jewish organizations and individuals are among those in the forefront of the effort to make the media more accountable. Their actions have a social and political importance that goes far beyond public affairs aspects. As both the Middle East conflict and the disproportionate interest in it continue, media-watching activities are likely to grow further in the coming years.
ABUSING THE LEGACY OF THE HOLOCAUST: THE ROLE OF NGOS
IN EXPLOITING HUMAN RIGHTS TO DEMONIZE ISRAEL
Gerald M. Steinberg
In the wake of the Holocaust, as human rights norms have come to the
fore, NGOs have become major actors in international politics in general
and in the Arab-Israeli conflict in particular. These organizations and
their leaders form an extremely powerful "NGO community" that has
propelled the anti-Israeli agenda in international frameworks such as
the UN Human Rights Commission and the 2001 UN Conference against
Racism in Durban. Through their reports, press releases, and influence
among academics and diplomats, these NGOs propagated false charges
of "massacre" during the Israeli army's antiterror operation in Jenin
(Defensive Shield) and misrepresent Israel's separation barrier as an
This community has exploited the "halo effect" of human rights
rhetoric to promote highly particularistic goals. In most cases small
groups of individuals, with substantial funds obtained from nonprofit
foundations and governments (particularly European), use the
NGO frameworks to gain influence and pursue private political
agendas, without being accountable to any system of checks and
This process has been most salient in the framework of the
Arab-Israeli conflict. The ideology of anticolonialism (the precursor to
today's antiglobalization) and political correctness is dominant in the
NGO community. This ideology accepted the post-1967 pro-Palestinian
narrative and images of victimization, while labeling Israel as a neocolonialist
aggressor. Thus, behind the human rights rhetoric, these NGOs
are at the forefront of demonizing Israel and of the new anti-Semitism
that seeks to deny the Jewish people sovereign equality.
INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS: COMBATING ANTI-SEMITISM
This article describes the processes by which Jewish organizations, led
by the major American groups, have tried to alert international organizations
to the threat that anti-Semitism and anti-Semitic violence in Europe
again poses to Jewish communities and to democracy itself. At a series of
conferences of the OSCE and the European institutions, these Jewish
groups have overcome governments' reluctance to address the issue and
have focused attention particularly on the threats posed by the spillover
of Middle East tensions and the anti-Semitic messages promoted by
Arab states, their media, and Islamist bodies. The Jewish NGOs aim to
encourage the international organizations and European governments to
face up to their responsibilities to protect their Jewish citizens, accept
that anti-Semitism is different from other forms of discrimination, and
begin to monitor and combat the threat through governmental and police
CONFRONTING REALITY: ANTI-SEMITISM IN AUSTRALIA TODAY
Australia has a well-earned reputation as being not only accepting but
welcoming of Jews. Successive Australian governments have believed
Australia has a role in combating anti-Semitism internationally, and
acted accordingly. Anti-Semitism has often been spoken of as an illness
of the Old World and the Third World, with Australian opinion leaders
suggesting that the Australian national ethos of giving everyone a "fair
go" effectively renders their country immune from anti-Semitism. In
recent years, however, there has been a growing acknowledgment both
of the presence of anti-Semitism in Australia, and that it is the responsibility
of political and moral leadership to confront it.
ANTI-SEMITISM IN CANADA
Canada is characterized by a set of fundamental values that help
create a multicultural democracy and that are intended, among other
goals, to protect vulnerable minorities. This article examines how these
values, unfortunately, have not immunized Canada from anti-Semitism.
It traces Canadian anti-Semitism's domestic historical evolution
and puts the phenomenon in the context of its current worldwide
The article analyzes the last four years, identifies anti-Semitism's
Middle Eastern roots, and examines the nature and sources of its manifestations.
It focuses, furthermore, on the period between March and
July 2004. Analyzing individual anti-Semitic incidents, it finds that while
little if any pattern emerges, at least in certain quarters anti-Semitism
may have become almost systemic.
Using specific cases from the last four years as examples, the article
concludes by demonstrating how Canada uses a specially designed legislative
framework as one important way of combating anti-Semitism.
ANTI-SEMITISM IN GERMANY TODAY: ITS ROOTS AND TENDENCIES
The new millennium has witnessed a resurgence of anti-Semitism in the world, especially in Europe. Anti-Semitism certainly did not disappear in Germany after WW II. What is new is the blunt expression of anti-Semitism and the fraternization between left-wing and right-wing, liberal and conservative streams. Anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism continue to spread in German society and are more and more openly expressed.
Right-wing groups and neo-Nazis are no longer the only ones who agitate against Israel and Jews. Together with "traditional" anti-Semitism, Germany has seen a growth of leftist anti-Semitism along with anti-imperialist, antiglobalization, and anti-Zionist attitudes, all reinforcing the new German claim of having been victims in WW II.
There is a widespread animus against Israel, clearly not only toward Israeli policies, that often goes along with pro-Palestinian partisanship. This development is intensified by anti-Israeli media coverage in Germany, often accompanied by anti-Semitic language and images.
This "new" anti-Semitism in Germany correlates with changes in the nation's attitudes toward WW II and remembrance of the Shoah. Laying the blame for "immoral" conduct on Israel, and therefore "the Jews," makes clear that "they" did not learn the lessons of the Shoah; whereas Germans see themselves as having learned the lessons by being watchmen against "immoral" politics.
ICELAND, THE JEWS AND ANTI-SEMITISM, 1625-2004
Vilhjálmur Örn Vilhjálmsson
Jews were only occasional visitors in Iceland from the 17th century
onward. Until the 1930s, the Holy Scripture as well as the most recent
European trends in anti-Semitism constituted nearly the only knowledge
the Icelanders had about the Jews. Jews in the flesh materialized as
Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany in the 1930s. Most of the refugees
moved on to other countries, and some were even expelled or deported.
In the postwar period, Jews living in Iceland remained an isolated
group. They quickly realized that most Icelanders showed no concern
about the sufferings some of them had undergone during WW II.
Members of the prewar Icelandic Nazi Party became high-ranking
officials, war criminals found safe haven in Iceland, and an odd, social-democratic
politician even engaged in publishing an anti-Semitic journal
along with the Protocols of the Elders of Zion in Icelandic. Possibly
because of anti-Semitic sentiments, some Jews in Iceland tried to
conceal their Jewish background altogether. At present, the small Icelandic
Jewish community keeps a low profile amid rising anti-Semitism
centered on the Middle East.
THE PERSISTENCE OF ANTI-SEMITISM ON THE BRITISH LEFT
Much of the recent analysis of leftist anti-Semitism focuses on developments
since the outbreak of the second intifada in September 2000. This
article, which takes Britain as a case study, seeks to situate what is
commonly referred to as the "new" anti-Semitism in a historical context,
arguing that many of the anti-Semitic themes currently present in leftwing
and liberal discourse have been observable in the past. The article
analyzes the evolution of leftist anti-Semitism, concentrating in particular
on the motif of delegitimization that marks discussions of Zionism
and Israel. It concludes that the organizational alignment of leftist and
Islamist organizations, and the ongoing integration of Islamist and leftist
attitudes toward Jews, represents a qualitative shift in the nature of leftist
anti-Semitism in Britain.
SUING HITLER'S WILLING BUSINESS PARTNERS: AMERICAN JUSTICE
AND HOLOCAUST MORALITY
Michael J. Bazyler
The Holocaust restitution lawsuits, filed mostly as class actions in
American courts in the latter half of the 1990s, yielded billions of
dollars in settlements for Holocaust survivors and their heirs. The
American lawsuits, and the concomitant political campaign by American
Jewish leaders and American government officials, also unearthed
valuable historical data about the financial crimes of the Nazis and
their cohorts during WW II. This post-Holocaust restitution movement,
while viewed as a success, nevertheless created troubling moral issues,
and this article focuses on five of them. First, does the demand for
financial restitution demean the memory of the Holocaust? Second,
once the funds are collected, how are they to be fairly distributed? This
raises the provocative issue of who should be deemed a "Holocaust
survivor." Third, should some of these restitution funds be allocated for
Holocaust education and remembrance, or do they belong solely to
survivors? Fourth, while payments to individual survivors from these
settlements were in the thousands of dollars, the class-action attorneys
earned fees in the millions. Are these attorneys entitled to such fees,
even though the fees represent less than 2 percent of the total amounts
collected through the litigation? Fifth, many of the lawsuits were
defended by Jewish lawyers. Although European corporations accused
of wrongful conduct both during and after WW II are free to hire
Jewish lawyers to defend their interests, should lawyers who are Jewish
have taken on the defense of such suits?
By confronting these gray zones of post-Holocaust restitution, this
article aims to shed light on this latest and wholly unexpected legacy of
A CASE STUDY: MADISON, WISCONSIN, U.S.A.: A BATTLEGROUND
FOR ISRAEL'S LEGITIMACY
In spring 2004, a group of pro-Palestinian radicals initiated a proposal
that would have twinned Rafah in Gaza with Madison, Wisconsin.
This initiative was significant, because only a few American cities have
adopted Palestinian towns. Its acceptance would have meant a victory
for the Palestinian Authority and its supporters by advancing their
long-term objective of delegitimizing the State of Israel and by creating
a climate congenial to politically correct anti-Semitism. The City
Council of Madison met twice, on 6 July and 20 July 2004, to deliberate
this proposal. Because the local Jewish community and unaffiliated
Jews, some belonging to the "soft Left," acted effectively, the City
Council did not adopt the proposal. Although Madison may seem far
away from Israel, the decision reached there has considerable
AN ANALYTIC APPROACH TO CAMPUS PRO-ISRAELI ACTIVISM
CASE STUDY: JOHN HOPKINS UNIVERSITY
Anti-Israeli campus groups have made inroads at American universities by using the campus media, creating strategic partnerships with mainstream left-wing groups, and supporting certain members of the faculty and staff. Pro-Israeli activists who wish to combat this threat must respond to all three of these avenues by getting organized, utilizing the media, and maintaining relationships with organizations, campus influentials, and the Jewish community. The Coalition of Hopkins Activists for Israel (CHAI) was created in September 2000 to enact these steps in seeking to preempt potential anti-Israelism on the Johns Hopkins University's Homewood campus.