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22 December, 2009 By Rev. Ted Pike

On December 16-17, 500 lawmakers, diplomats and academics from over 50 nations met in Jerusalem to consider the threat of “mushrooming” criticism of Israel. The premise of “The Global Forum For Combating Global Anti-Semitism,” hosted by the government of Israel, is that mild criticism of Israel, her government, and military in their policies towards the Palestinians is permissible -- but if it becomes “strong” or emphasizes Nazi or apartheid imagery, it seeks the destruction of the Jewish state; it is anti-Semitic. This criterion is shared by the Anti-Defamation League and its Office of Global Anti-Semitism in the US State Department. Representatives of ADL (Abraham Foxman) and the State Department (Hannah Rosenthal, Special Envoy to Combat Anti-Semitism) were featured guests.

Israel’s Foreign Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, quoting ADL head Foxman, said much of the world has now “crossed the line” from legitimate criticism of Israel into an epidemic of anti-Semitism. Also speaking for the government of Israel was Diaspora Foreign Minister Yuli Edelstein who warned that global anti-Semitism “…has been able to gain endorsement from academics, media outlets, and even political parties.” Edelstein says, “…to be ‘anti-Israel’ is to be anti-Semitic. To boycott Israel, Israeli professors and Israeli businesses, these are not political acts, these are acts of hate, acts of anti-Semitism!” "Look at the reality Israelis face when traveling to international athletic, business and academic events. More and more, when they arrive in Sweden, Turkey, England, and even the United States, they must lecture and perform before hostile or even violent crowds, requiring police protection. We must not hesitate to expose this hatred for what it is. It is a strong and vile form of xenophobia [fear of foreigners]. It expresses itself through violence, mockery and exclusion. It is directed toward the outside, toward that which is different, in appearance, speech or prayer." "It is discrimination against Jews, because they are Jews. In short, it is anti-Semitism." (Jerusalem Post, December 16, 2009, “Verbatim: Anti-Semites Have Warped Tiny Israel Into Goliath”)

ADL, the US State Department and the government of Israel are now claiming that staggering numbers of the world’s inhabitants (particularly in Europe) hold anti-Semitic opinions. According to the Jerusalem Post, “Anti-Jewish and anti-Israel sentiments are mushrooming in Europe.” The Post cites a German study which found “41.2% of Europeans agreed with the anti-Semitic statement that Jews are exploiting the Holocaust to advance their own interest.” When asked “if Israel is conducting a war of extermination against the Palestinians, 45.7%...” agreed.

Israel's increasingly reckless name-calling and stereotyping of critics during its recent Jerusalem conference does not honor the possibility that many, including Jews, are speaking out of concern and love for the state of Israel and the Jewish people. These may employ “tough love” language in order to bring Israel to what they believe is reality. They want Israeli leaders and war makers to realize the extreme danger their policies and actions may have, not only on the future of Israel but on the safety of all Jews. Many Jews are concerned that a backlash of real, old-fashioned, violent and vulgar anti-Semitism may result from Israel’s cruel and repressive policies toward the Palestinians.

Israel gives such Jews and the world only two options: Do not effectively criticize Israel and be considered Israel’s friend. Or vocally oppose Israel’s self-defeating policies and become an enemy of the Jewish state – a hater and anti-Semite.

Israel’s provision of only two alternatives is both simplistic and threatening toward millions under ADL’s hate crimes laws in countries such as Germany and Canada. There, the accusation of anti-Semitism can easily embroil the accused in financially devastating litigation, huge fines and even imprisonment. A year ago, Australian Holocaust questioner Dr. Fredrick Toben narrowly missed a probable five-year prison sentence under a German/EU charge of anti-Semitism, largely incurred because of his skepticism that the six-million figure of Jewish dead was accurate.

How will ADL respond if alleged anti-Semitism increases? I’ll make a New Year’s prediction: Unless ADL is restrained through worldwide exposure and criticism, it will introduce a new bill into Congress, probably called “The Global Anti-Semitism Prevention Act.” As an adjunct of ADL’s recently passed federal hate crimes law, this law will make it a federal felony for any American to “strongly” criticize matters Jewish, including the Jewish role in the Crucifixion and policies of the state of Israel.

Tragically, just as evangelical watchdog groups very largely allowed the hate bill to pass Congress (out of 20 years of fear that they might offend ADL through timely, in-depth hate law education), they will probably allow this bill to become law, still afraid of being labeled "anti-Semitic." In one fell swoop, ADL, the U.S. government and the state of Israel will be in possession of a federal statute in America (also to be passed in Canada, Europe, and Australia) making the greatest lovers of Jews in human history, tens of millions of evangelical Christians, into "anti-Semitic" enemies – ripe for prosecution.

current Ted Pike photo
Ted, today - photo: John Pike, October 2019

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