Nobody bothered to check who created that “anti-Semitic” image Naz Shah retweeted, did they?

Naz Shah.

Naz Shah: Not as anti-Semitic as you might think?

You know that image that got Naz Shah suspended from the Labour Party?

The really offensive, anti-Semitic image that proposes relocating the nation of Israel from the Middle East to the American Midwest?

This one:


It seems nobody bothered to check on the person who originally published it.

So let me put you out of your misery.

The map was posted in Norman Finkelstein Solution for Israel-Palestine Conflict‏, on Monday, August 4, 2014, on his blog.

Professor Finkelstein is described by that hideously inaccurate Wikipedia as “an American political scientist, activist, professor, and author. His primary fields of research are the Israeli–Palestinian conflict and the politics of the Holocaust, an interest motivated by the experiences of his parents who were Jewish Holocaust survivors.”

That’s right – it was posted by a Jewish gentleman.

Not only that; he’s the son of two Jewish people who survived the Shoah.

It puts a different complexion on this whole issue, doesn’t it?

He’s currently working on a book – his 11th – with Palestinian political analyst Mouin Rabbani, entitled How to Solve the Israel-Palestine Conflict.

This Writer found out the above on a website called Jews For Justice For Palestinians, which has been running a fascinating series of articles on the “anti-Semitism” controversy here in the UK, under the headline Carnival of Ignorance.

Some of you may be particularly interested by this passage, about Ken Livingstone: “Ken Livingstone was quite right about Hitler’s plan for the Jews in 1932, which became law when Hitler became German Chancellor the following year.”

This Writer had to smile at the following footnote: “To Naz Shah and other posters: always give your sources. It’s respectful and allows the trail of transmission of authority to be known.”

If only she had! This whole silly affair could have been cleared up within minutes.

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105 thoughts on “Nobody bothered to check who created that “anti-Semitic” image Naz Shah retweeted, did they?

  1. beastrabban

    My guess is that when Professor Finkelstein created that image, he may also have been thinking of a particular episode in Jewish American history. I’ve forgotten the details, but during the 19th century there was a Jewish American, who wished to give the Jews a homeland in the US.

    It may also have been a response to a question on a poll of Israeli young people made in the 1990s. They were asked where they would rather be, in America, where they would have Christian neighbours who loved them, or in Israel, where they had neighbours, who were Muslim and hated them? About 80 per cent of the kids polled said they’d rather be in America. The polls discussed in the chapter on modern Israel in the book, The Modern Middle East, ed. by Albert Hourani.

      1. Mary Wolf

        If by ‘he’ you mean Dr Finkelstein, where did he re-post it from? If you mean Naz Shah – she’s a woman.

    1. aunty1960

      I contacted Prof Finkelstein direct myself and let him know the upset and chaos suspensions and accusations because of his post and the image being shared, he told me he was having a special interview published in the following day.

      He also said that the Israeli close relationships with USA is a topic for jokes and humour. One very common one being “Why does not Israel become the 51st state of American? ans because then they would only have two senators instead of the whole house.”

      It is a sad day when we cannot have a sense of humour and state atrocities of a country’s government without being called racist.

      1. John

        Why does the article say Norman Finkelstein ‘…breaks his silence’?
        That seems to imply that he has been hiding away somewhere, avoiding making any comments before now.
        That is a ridiculous implication to imply.
        I don’t suppose Finkelstein even knew about this hysteria till now.
        No one should blame him if the UK mass media gets it wrong.
        Of course, the real villain of the piece is zionist propaganda chief Mark Regev, with fellow sucking-up travelers in the Labour Party.

      2. Mike Sivier Post author

        Finkelstein knew about it because a Vox Political reader told him – and then told me.
        I got in touch after that. He’s an approachable guy.

  2. John

    The last time I saw Norman Finkelstein in London, he was expressing support for a two-state solution. Maybe this latest image related to him suggests he now realises that the zionists have made a two-state solution impossible? He is right.

    1. neptune's Aura Astrology

      Nt Zionist that have made a two state solution impossible, it is you and everybody else who misuses Zionism like Jihad is misused – Zionism is not the same as the State of Israel nor does anti semitism address the State of Israel’s war crimes just muddies the water makes a solution impossible. As a Scot if I say nasty racist stuff about Scots DOES NOT excuse you from being racist towards Scots!

  3. stevecheneysindieopinions4u

    It might be naive to think that the pro-Israel mob would not be able to call a Jewish person Anti-Semitic.

  4. hayfords

    I think the image was constructed by Norman Finkelstein more as a sort of joke. I have read several of his books and I think it is unlikely that he was being serious. He is Jewish and the son of Holocaust survivor parents but is very anti Israel. Israel is also very anti Norman Finkelstein. I am not sure what his current status is, but he was a prohibited person at one time and not allowed in Israel. He wrote a very interesting book called the Holocaust Industry. It discusses the ways that the Holocaust has been used by the American Jewish population to prevent criticism of Israel and to obtain unwarranted compensation. These ideas are not exactly welcomed by Israel.

    He used to write for the left wing newspaper Haaretz for a while (the online version is worth reading for a different view from that of Netanyahu). He is a strong supporter of Palestine and sympathetic to the problems that encourage Hamas. Hamas are misunderstood in some ways. Even they are not antisemitic, but are anti Israel. They do not want to see Jews destroyed, but Israel. They want a single state solution. That means the whole area of Israel being called Palestine. The Israelis can still live there and Palestinian refugees can return.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      The image wasn’t created by Norman Finkelstein – but he understood its satirical nature and posted it in the same spirit.
      I don’t think the answer is to change the name of the place from Israel to Palestine – that would just upset Jewish residents. A new name to reflect a single-state solution might be more diplomatic.

  5. eclectictaste18

    So, you agree with Ken Livingstone’s statement that Hitler supported Zionism?
    Say I were to support the creation of a Palestinian state (I do, as it happens), but my reasons was to deport every single Palestinian Arab from Israel and (indeed) Europe. Would that really make me a supporter of the Palestinian cause? Of course not.
    So although Hitler indeed wanted Jews to go to Palestine in the 30s, it was hardly because he supported Zionism (and what he thought of Jews is a matter of record). Ken obviously knew that, and was playing with words to defend the indefensible. Ken is about as much of a statesman as a certain Mr Powell and, in this instance, almost as reprehensible. That is who you support!
    For years I admired you Mike, I shared your posts, you saw behind the media, behind the propaganda put out by the Torys.
    Yet you and many of your subscribers/followers seem to simply believe the media distortions and propaganda put out over the centuries. Yes centuries, of taking words and statements out of context, twisting the truth for a better story. As time goes on more and more wild accusations are flying.
    Zionism simply means believing that Israel has a right to exist, the only pace the Jewish people can be safe from persecution (well in theory, in practice as always, Israel is attacked daily from every side of the world both by word and deed).
    If you are Anti Zionist, you disagree. Do you? That’s what Shah’s image infers as well, no matter that it was taken completely out of context and time. It also says there will be peace on the Middle East – Really? Isis will suddenly stop, will Assad?
    In 1948 the Jewish people then had very little actual choice, no country really wanted them in Europe even those who had seen the concentration camp photos.
    It was the BRITISH who finally decided the Jewish survivors of the WW2 holocaust should be dumped in tiny desert area surrounded by Arab lands, they thought little Israel would be annihilated as soon as they left taking their weapons with them.
    The then Arab leaders (not the Jewish ones) told their people to get out of Israel and go to the land they were allocated, they became the Palestinians. They were promised they would be able to return as soon as the Jewish people had been destroyed. They have been there ever since, subjugated by leaders who spend their money on weapons of terror, rather than infrastructure for their people. Interestingly, youth volunteers are told Palestine a safe place to go volunteer!
    Not everyone left, many Arabs stayed and worked side by side the Jewish people, as a result there are currently more Israeli Arabs than any other people in Israel. What would they do if all the Jewish people wear removed/ destroyed. What about the Christians and Druzw would they welcome in every Palestinian? What about all the beautiful infrastructure, would they want to share it. Anything Jewish would be destroyed etc. Etc
    Currently they all have the vote including women they and walk and live freely, go see for yourself, behind the media propaganda.
    You also don’t hear anything about the rockets raining down day after day, or the Jews (usually) daily risk of being stabbed in the street, whether, man, woman or child, or the bus bombs; well bombs in general are quite popular, and have been since the 1920’s. Way before 1967.
    Over the years the bombs have been left where they can kill and maim as many innocent men, women and children they can. Not just Jews, but Christians, Israeli Arabs, Druze, Tourists. The bombs and rockets are indiscriminate.
    So Israel has built very strong defences and occasionally fights back, for which they are immediately condemned in the western press (when bombing military arsenals, or soldier bases; they even drop paper warnings so people can get away, though the military often build them under residential houses, schools and hospitals because they know the Israelis won’t bomb there.) Families (mostly Christian families) are often forced to stay in their houses for just that reason. We know because some managed to escape!
    But when Israel fights back they are vilified because their defences are too effective and not enough of their people are killed!
    In fact it’s very rare that any attack gets reported honestly in the Western press.
    So many commenters have their facts wrong too.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Please do not try to attribute words to myself or Ken Livingstone falsely. I don’t think either of us should be misinterpreted as having said Hitler supported Zionism as a concept, or in any way other than one specific sense.
      Your first point fails, partly because of this misunderstanding, but also because you misunderstand the events of the 1930s. The Nazis supported German Zionists in their wish to remove Jews from Germany to British Mandate Palestine. They were not, as I have already stated, supporters of the Zionist cause.
      Ken Livingstone was not “playing with words to defend the indefensible”; he was stating what happened. He is not to blame if you have unilaterally and arbitrarily decided that he meant more than he did.
      It is ironic that you go on to mention people taking words out of context, because that is exactly what you are doing.
      The definition of Zionism is as I have repeatedly described it in the relevant articles. The fact that I disagree about the definition doesn’t make me an anti-Zionist. The actions of people who claim to be Zionists make me opposed to them. Do you understand the distinction?
      The image that Naz Shah retweeted has been discussed in detail. Perhaps you missed that discussion because you certainly misinterpret its point. Or do you agree with the Israelis who want all Palestinians moved – against their will – to Jordan or Saudi Arabia? You see, your comment about the image claiming there will be peace in the Middle East if Israel is moved to the middle of the USA demonstrates your misunderstanding of the context.
      Your comments on history since 1948 are coloured by your opinions, obviously.
      If you are saying Palestinians walk and live freely, do you mean they do this behind those huge walls the Israelis have put up to keep them segregated from people who aren’t Arabs like them, and from the land that has been stolen from them? That’s an interesting definition of “freely” that I don’t accept.
      Regarding the threats to Jewish people – these are not denied. But are you not denying the statistical evidence showing that Palestinians are under far greater threat from Israel?
      My concern in this issue isn’t about whether too few people are killed, on either side, but why any are killed at all. And it seems to me that Israel is by far the greater antagonist.
      If there is any dishonest reporting here, it is in your comment.

  6. Will harding

    Norman Finkelstein said he never made this meme I’ve been told. . . Have you spoke to the man him self?

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      I think subsequent events have overtaken this comment but for clarity, I have had email discussions with the gentleman concerned, yes.

  7. tony

    If the US can occupy Iraq and Afghanistan at the same time, they can occupy their own funded colony of Israel and make ONE secular state with protections for all. Call it the Mid-East union. No “Israel” or “Palestine”. No Jewish apartheid dictatorship and no Islamic totalitarianism. In twenty years, inter-marriage and business ties will produce bonds too strong to succumb to hate. Look at the business ties the US has with China. Each is too afraid to rattle the other…which would cause a massive down-turn in both economies.

  8. P C

    Jews can be criminally stupid too, even Jewish professors. so what’s the point there? I especially liked the bit about the Middle East turning peaceful once Israel’s gone. You should tell that to the Syrian, Egyptians, Afgans, Yamani, Libyans, Algerians.. I’m probably missing a few more countries that have bloody civil war going on, just next to the horribly aggressive, blood thirsty Jewish state. Although one would struggle to find the Israeli connection to the slaughter of hundreds of thousands if not millions of Arabs by their own people, I’m sure there are those who would try. Good luck!

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      You did understand that the image was never intended to be taken seriously but was satirising the “Jordan option”, which was a plan to force Palestinians to move into Jordan (or Saudi Arabia), didn’t you?

  9. Daniel J McGuire

    I also saw Norman Finkelstein in London relatively recently. Perhaps at the same talk? However, I doubt it was the same evening, as the one I attended he expressed no vocal support, as he barely addressed the subject – rather he ranted on aggressively and shouted down anyone who dared question him about his points. His myopic hatred of Israel is extraordinary, but was lapped up that evening by dozens of Finkelstein fanboys who stuck around for selfies and autographs. I also don’t see why his religion or parent’s suffering should make this meme ok, as this post seems to infer.

  10. Barney

    Did anyone else post this image to a blog on 4th of August 2012? Because that would be something to check, no?

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      One may expect many people to have posted it on the same day, after seeing it on one of the two websites I’ve mentioned.

  11. Paul Besterman

    Ffinkelstein is a known Israel hater. Quoting him and using him is equivalent to using the words of Enoch Powell or Moseley on India and Pakistan conflicts.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      When you write “hater”, do you simply mean “critic” – one whose opinions you yourself dislike?

  12. Adam Osen

    “That’s right – it was posted by a Jewish gentleman.

    Not only that; he’s the son of two Jewish people who survived the Shoah.

    It puts a different complexion on this whole issue, doesn’t it?”

    Well actually, no it doesn’t, Just because he’s Jewish doesn’t make him right, If only the world were that simple.

    I don’t think there is a single subject which unites all Jews, I don’t think there is a single subject which could unite a random selection of a dozen Jews, some would reduce that dozen to one, but if there were a candidate for the job it would be the love for a debate, the need to explore and perhaps express every possible shade of opinion. You’ve found a Jew who expressed an opinion with which many others, probably most others, would disagree, well done, for your next trick go and find a scorpion which will bite the fox.

    1. Support

      He’s a man of Jewish descent who doesn’t think the image is anti-Semitic. Not only that, but he’s a professor of Modern Politics and this is his specialist subject. It is an expert opinion.
      From your final comment, I’m prepared to say his opinion trumps yours.

      1. P C

        Still I would love you to address the issue of ‘Middle east will be again peaceful without foreign interference’ – How does that stand in relation to reality? I cannot take anyone who is that simplistic in their world view, no matter how many degrees they have or if they are direct descendent of Jesus himself. The guy obviously has an agenda and he’s got his blinders on. He wouldn’t let cold facts stand in his way.

      2. Mike Sivier Post author

        You are taking seriously an infographic that was not meant to be taken seriously. See my article today about its origins. It was a response to claims that Palestinians should be transported to Jordan or Saudi Arabia. I thought I had made that clear.

    2. Labenal

      Adam is correct. Most mainstream Jews (or at least those who have ever heard of him) consider Finklestein rather in the same way most moderate Labour members consider Corbyn – as a noisy and often dangerous embarrassment.

      I say dangerous precisely because his ahistorical perversion of facts carries all the more weight because he’s Jewish (as you evidently agree).

      Let me ask you this. If the Chief Rabbi, the Board of Deputies, the Community Security Trust and ALL other mainstream or cross – factional Jewish organisations say this IS antisemitic, why does one well-known extreme voice, even if he is Jewish and a “professor”, convince you otherwise?

      1. Mike Sivier Post author

        Most mainstream Labour members consider Corbyn a welcome return to real Labour values.
        If all those people said it is anti-Semitic, I’d be asking for their reasons, and why they never mentioned it before. The image has been around for nearly two years. What’s in it for them now?

      2. John

        The Chief Rabbi, the Board of Deputies and the Community Security Trust are zionist stooges who are heavily invested in creating a fake climate of so-called antisemitism in Britain.
        They are clearly working hand in glove with the Netanyahu fascist regime in Tel Aviv in seeking to promote aliyah or migration by Jews to Occupied Palestine, where many local Jews – especially young ones – are leaving in order to live in more liberal climes.
        Today, Germany has around 20,000 young Jews from Occupied Palestine living there. You almost could not make this up!
        The hasbara brigade are clearly losing their propaganda war against Palestinians and against the overall concept of freedom.
        It is a mark of their desperation that they sent Regev to London.

      3. Mike Sivier Post author

        While this is interesting, I am concerned that it is diverting away from the topic of discussion too much, and into territory that may be highly disputable.
        Fair enough, you have concerns about the political opinions of the Chief Rabbi, Board of Deputies and the Community Security Trust. But if we look into them, we are digressing from the main subject, to its detriment. You don’t support your claims with evidence, which means they are disputable – but, again, there is no room here for that discussion.
        Please stick to the point – and please do not make bald statements about the beliefs of other people.

  13. Charlie

    I don’t think the source matters as much as the intention of the person using it, ignorantly or otherwise. The world is full of misappropriated memes. Haven’t you heard of postmodernism?

  14. Robin Baldock

    The other point is why did Finklestein write it? Certainly as satire not as a serious proposition. Something to try and make US citizens think about what it must be like for Palestinians to have had a new country imposed on them. There is no intention by him or by naz or any other person to actually try and implement this, which is what is being touted by the commentators. Its satire.

    And this is being misused to try and win the London major elections for Goldsmith, the most racist underhanded campaign of recent times. and to undermine the Labour party, the best party to fight racism with Corbyn as leader. The mind boggles at the upsidedownness of it all!

    1. Support

      He didn’t write it – he just published it. That was as far as the trail led because he does not recall how he acquired it. I do mean to clarify that in the article text but can’t get onto the site at the moment due to the volume of traffic.
      He certainly does not consider it to be a serious suggestion. Your observations seem right on the button to me.

      1. Robin Baldock

        ok, thanks for clarification

        The motive for writing it is very relevant though and I don’t see how it is a serious proposition, if it were a serious non satirical attempt try and deport Israeli’s it would be suggesting the The US take in Israeli’s surely, rather than actually move Israel into the US.which is obviously not going to happen.

        It is not just saying the US should take them, it is not set up or designed to succeed as a real proposition..

  15. Paul Franks

    This misses the point profoundly. Whether an utterance is racist does not in general depend on the ethnicity of its utterer. If someone says that all African-American men are rapists, this is a racist remark, and it does not cease to be racist just because the utterer turns out to be an African-American. Similarly, the endorsement of the ethnic cleansing of the Middle East by means of the forced transportation of all Israeli Jews to the USA is anti-Semitic, whether it comes from Naz Shah or Norman Finkelstein or whoever. Unless the utterer is in favour of ethnic cleansing for everyone, not only for Jews. Then it is not necessarily anti-Semitic, just morally repugnant in the extreme.

    1. Support

      What utter hogwash. The intention must be considered – the context. Otherwise I’ve seen a political cartoon featuring Ken Livingstone today that should leave the perpetrator facing a major lawsuit.
      Additionally, look at Ms Shah’s words following her publication of the image. There’s no hatred for Jews there.
      Your comment would leave the intention entirely up to the interpretation of people like yourself. That’s a bit self-serving, isn’t it?

      1. Labenal

        “Look at Ms Shah’s words following her publication…”

        Personally, I agree that this image is merely satirical (or was intended as such originally) and I am willing to believe Shah’s sincere apology.

        But it was not just this image, ambiguous as it is, that brought about her suspension. She shared it in the context of other comments such as “the Jews are rallying” and others.

        In that context, there is clear evidence w of antisemitic intent (at least at the time).

      2. Mike Sivier Post author

        “The Jews are ralling” is an unfortunate choice of words. But, again, look at the context. It was in relation to a poll on whether Israel was committing war crimes, as I understand it. The weight of public feeling had been running against, but there was a sudden increase in votes in favour. That’s why she wrote that comment. It would have been more appropriate to say the pro-Israel camp is ralling, but she said what she did. It’s not anti-Semitic; it’s simply a statement of what she thought was going on.
        Did she say, “The Jews are rallying, damn them! Let’s go round their houses and do them in!” – no, she didn’t.
        Anti-Semitism implies a desire to harm Jewish people.
        Look at what else she wrote: “Click ‘Yes’ I agree with John Prescott that Israel is committing war crimes.” She passionately believed that the state of Israel was harming other people criminally.
        You are unreasonably and viciously attacking someone else because they chose a word poorly in the heat of the moment.

  16. Little Pleb (@LeaningLeft46)

    He didn’t create it and he doesn’t know who did. It was sent to him and he posted it. He does not recall who sent it to him. Is it really OK if a Jew shared this? Does that really make it OK in your minds? Seriously?

    Naz Shah has admitted anti semitism. She has apologised for it. You are doing her no favours here.

    1. Support

      And you are determined to deny her any. Who is more prejudiced?
      The point is that the son of two Jewish Shoah survivors, who happens to be a professor specialising in the subject, might just have a little expert knowledge about what constitutes anti-Semitism and what doesn’t. I’m sure readers of This Blog can form their own opinions of commenters like you who suggest otherwise. Did you miss the part where he’s co-writing a book on this very issue?
      As for Ms Shah: If you had hate-filled people constantly clamouring for you to admit an assumed guilt, how long would it be until you gave n, simply for a quiet life? Sure, some of the things she wrote may have been offensive, but they were written at a time when Israel had committed acts which some of us might call atrocities, and should be examined in that context. As Ken Livingstone tried to explain, an anti-Semite hates Jews all the time, in Israel, Stoke Newington or anywhere else. Naz Shah, whose local synagogue has come out in support of her with a glowing comment on her character, is not that kind of person.
      I have no love for her but I will not stand by and allow others to perpetrate an injustice on her because “she admitted it”. This is a witch hunt and I’m here to tell you, witchcraft doesn’t exist.
      But I suppose you’ll try to take that out of context, too.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      What a good thing the discussion isn’t about whether people are friends of Israel but about whether people are anti-Semitic or not. The two things are NOT the same.

      1. TwistedByKnaves

        “The two things are NOT the same.”

        This is the nub of the intellectual argument. Many people are seriously suggesting that Israel is so ingrained in the identity of all True Jews that an attack on Israel is in fact an attack on all Jews and therefore essentially anti-Semitic.

        Slightly more seriously, the egregious behaviour over Palestine has led to impassioned protest. And this impassioned protest has, as always led to the demonization of the opposition. Not so different from the other tribal issues (right to choose vs baby murder/ abdication of social responsibility to the state vs individual responsibility/ socialism vs robber capitalism/ godless atheism vs religious oppression/…the list is endless and familiar). I can see that this demonization will bleed over into something that looks very like anti-Semitism. And quacks like it, too.

        But that’s the nature of all discourse these days. Frankly, I despair.

    2. srsly

      Is it absolutely necessary to support Israel?

      Israel does not contain all the Jews in the world.

      Many Jews in other countries refuse to accept Israel as a Jewish state or a state ran by Jewish law.

      Why is it that criticizing a nation that is primarily Jewish, with laws influenced by Judaism, is seen as anti-Semitic in and of itself?

      If I criticize the South African government am I criticizing all Africans everywhere? Am I racist for that?

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Some would have us believe that. Look at the comment from CravenLee.

  17. CravenLee

    Again conclusive proof that racism in all its guises is pure ignorance. It doesn’t matter who says what even it they ‘say it’s a fact. What matters is what the context is and the emotion it’s likely to produce. Get it? so when Ken says I was stating fact – he’s either a total idiot for not knowing about context and the emotional response which means he should not be in politics and is dangerously ignorant OR he is well aware and he’s a bigot. He has previous ( context!) so I’m going for the latter. Will you all please just have a think about this stuff. It’s dangerous and its about the creation of hate against a tiny population of people that have been maligned for thousands of years. That’s why it’s so sensitive. Perhaps put yourselves in their position…just for a moment.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Context: When Livingstone was London Mayor he enacted policies to reduce anti-Semitic behaviour in the capital. Since Boris Johnson took over, anti-Semitism has risen. Right?
      The context to Livingstone’s remark about Hitler and Zionism was Vanessa Feltz’s question relating a false assumption that Naz Shah was advocating the forced removal of the nation of Israel to America with a false assumption that Naz Shah had suggested support for Hitler in what he did to Jews when he had power over them. His response was a factually-accurate answer, pointing out that Hitler’s original policy was to move Jews to what was then British Mandate Palestine and is now Israel. There is a huge difference between what Hitler did and what Naz Shah did (which was to RT a bad-taste satirical joke that Jewish people accept is not anti-Semitic), and I tend to the opinion that this is what Livingstone was trying to get across. If his comment produced any adverse emotion in some people, the problem probably lies with them, for assuming incorrectly that he was making an anti-Semitic remark. Why did Vanessa Feltz’s question not produce a backlash reaction? The “Israel-in-America” image had been published on a blog site belonging to a Professor of modern political history specialising in the Israel-Palestine issue whose parents were Jewish Shoah survivors, and after discussing the matter with him I can assure you that HE thinks it’s okay! As for the “Everything Hitler did in Germany was legal” image – that was by “that well-known anti-Semite, Martin Luther King” (as the website Jews For Justice For Palestinians has it). Context.
      Will YOU please just have a think about this?
      It IS about the creation of hate against a tiny population of people – not the Jews, but members of the Labour Party who dare to throw facts in the fact of media power.
      Perhaps YOU could put yourself in THEIR position…
      Just for a moment?

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      What is the connection between that and the subject under discussion? If you’re asking me to agree with that suggestion, I don’t.

  18. hayfords

    Finkelstein is not a professor. He was an assistant professor for a while but had his tenure refused quite a few years ago (2007 I think) due to his views on Israel. The whole concept of Hitler wanting to move Jews to Palestine seems bizzare as it was British Mandate Palestine at the time and Hitler would not have been able to do it.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      It was done. It is a historical fact that around 60,000 Jewish people made that journey under the Haavara agreement.
      As for Professor Finkelstein’s honorific: You show disrespect in your way, I’ll show respect in mine.

      1. P C

        The way this was presented is the issue here. It is true that Zionist Jews were doing the best they can to help German Jews that were repressed by the Nazi government, and for that, they would literally sign an agreement with the devil himself. It is not true that the Zionist and the Nazis were working together to create a Jewish state in Palestine, as it was implied by Livingstone. The context and intention are important. Ignoring that is stupid, not to say proves prejudice and an agenda. Half a lie is still a lie, not half the truth.

      2. Mike Sivier Post author

        When did Livingstone say the German Zionists and the Nazis were working together to create a Jewish state? I don’t think he said that at all. What he said corresponds with what happened, which wasn’t that.

      3. John

        The zionists in Palestine just wanted fit, young, healthy jews – with the money and know-how to pay for the importations of German-manufactured capital machinery (breaching the global boycott of the Nazis called by Rabbi Weiss) and to operate the machinery in new capital-intensive businesses in Palestine.
        They weren’t trying to help European jews; they were principally motivated by wanting to add more racially exclusive people to their own numbers in Palestine.
        They also wanted a cost-free (for them) means of building up Jewish-only jobs.
        The zionists in Palestine refused to admit very young and very old jews.
        There are numerous accounts of their opposing attempts to save jewish lives.
        The zionists then, as now, were and remain self-centred and selfish people.
        They hold “assimilateds” jews in particular contempt – as I am sure you must know?
        Stop deluding yourself about these extremist terrorists. They are not worth it.

      4. Mike Sivier Post author

        It’s an interesting point of view, but once you get into the motivations of the different parties to the Haavara agreement, you stray from the facts that we have been discussing and it becomes easy for someone to say, “It’s not what you think it is because their motivations were different.” The motivations were different, but that doesn’t change what actually happened and it isn’t for us to apply any subjective value judgement to it.

  19. Daniel J McGuire

    I must say I chuckled at your copy line below the photo: “Naz Shah: Not as anti-Semitic as you might think?”. I understand there are degrees of ignorance and prejudice, but is it ok if Naz is, for example, just “a little bit anti-Semitic”? As for who made it in the first instance, Jew or non-Jew, it’s irrelevant. Prejudice exists through its intent to harm, not based on who makes it.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      My word, what an example of nit-picking!
      It would be better for you, perhaps, to start questioning whether Ms Shah is anti-Semitic at all.
      Ask yourself, from which direction is the intent to harm coming?

      1. Daniel J McGuire

        Yes, she is. The intent to harm is coming from her of course, given that she posted this. Or am I missing something?

    2. srsly

      Here’s some food for thought: Antisemitism only exists because of white Colonialism and Eurocentrism/White Supremacy and the modern Nation State. The same is true for every other form of racism.

      That is not to say that the idea of the “other” was created by Colonialism. But without France, England, Spain, and the other nations imposing their ethnocentric worldview on everyone else, we would not have these high levels of antisemitism and other racisms around the world.

      For an example, look at the number of genocides against Jews in the Muslim lands prior to white Colonialism. There is but few examples of this. Look at the Middle East and North Africa after Colonialism and the frequency of Jewish genocides rise quite sharply.

      My point: If Naz is anti-Semitic, it is due to Colonialism and how Eurocentrism/White Supremacy have altered the way people view Jews through their many different lenses, the same way that the caste system also became much worse for Dalits et al after the British Empire had its influence over India and Hinduism.

      1. Mike Sivier Post author

        She’s not anti-Semitic, though. She has apologised for the words she used and the effect they had on some people, but she said she made a mistake, which isn’t admitting any deep-seated problem.
        That being said, I find your comment extremely interesting as context.

    3. Robin Baldock

      Missing something? well just a bit.

      This comes out a week before the London major elections where the racist campaign for Zac Goldsmith has been failing to make headway. That campaign is lead by Lynton Crosby’ss team who is famously effective for his “dead cat strategy”: and regional elections when the Tories have been having a disastrous time.:

      “Boris Johnson (who had previously employed Crosby as his campaign manager during the 2008 and 2012 London mayoral elections) had once described the strategy like this: “There is one thing that is absolutely certain about throwing a dead cat on the dining room table – and I don’t mean that people will be outraged, alarmed, disgusted. That is true, but irrelevant. The key point, says my Australian friend, is that everyone will shout, ‘Jeez, mate, there’s a dead cat on the table!’ In other words, they will be talking about the dead cat – the thing you want them to talk about – and they will not be talking about the issue that has been causing you so much grief.” “-

      Its a set up.

      The details of said has been misquoted continuously and repeatedly, intense articles written about what it means to have said something without noting that it was clarified in the following sentences, or was not said or with its context misrepresented. What was said has been twisted beyond belief in most cases.

      Example: press and people keep saying that Naz reposted a picture saying that Israeli’s should be moved to the US. She did not. She reposted an article saying that Israel, the country, lock stock and barrel, should be moved to the US. The former could conceivably be a serious recommendation, but the latter? Actually imposing another country on the USA is absurd as something to actually try and acheive.. It isn’t serious and there is no movement to do so. It is meant to point out to the relevant US zionists that they would not accept something they have no qualms about forcing Palestine to accept. Its satire.

      Now if you want to be cynical sure that still leaves open the suggestion that she may be racist against Jews, but it doesn’t provide evidence of it, and it does mean that the allegation that she recommended deportation is wrong.

      Likewise the twisted outrageously “Never forget that everything Hitler did was legal”, which is not a recommendation of Hitlers polices, but a damnation of people who follow laws that are against human rights! It is the complete opposite of what is being claimed.

      even the “Jews are rallying” which she should and has been censured for, is represented as something she posted rather than one line in a long explanation of a much more reasonable argument, made during the height of the last major attack on Gaza where people were being asked to poll against the war when there had been a concerted effort afoot to make it look like there was majority approval of Israel’s waging war. of course it was wrong to use the phrase, and as someone becoming involved in politics more wrong for her to repost it as it was but it was written in haste and the motivation and focus of the entire piece was Israel, not Jews.

      clearly she is against Israel oppressing Palestine but who isn’t. Also clearly she needs to realise what a mendacious world our politics is. Beyond that there is little to say that has not been apologized for. It just doesn’t add up to hatred of Jews so much as a desire to convince us that she hates Jews.

      1. Mike Sivier Post author

        What a well-argued comment!
        I find myself in complete agreement and wishing I had put some of the arguments in the terms you have used.

  20. donotwash

    Can somebody explain to me why the suggestion to relocate Israel in the US is a bad one? Seriously, it sounds good to me.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      It would be fine if the Israeli and US governments were proposing it. The critics are saying it isn’t because it was suggested (as a joke) by people who aren’t the Israeli and US governments. The critics are saying those who suggested it are guilty of wanting to impose their will on Jewish people, in the same way as Hitler and the Nazis.
      It all seems rather silly when it’s written down like that, doesn’t it?

      1. srsly

        So by comparison it is horrific that the Jewish settlers who created Israel by stealing land forced themselves and imposed their will on the Palestinian people and the Syrian people (by stealing Golan heights) and the Egyptian people (by temporarily occupying the Sinai peninsula) and the Lebanese people (by occupying their land)…….

        It all seems rather obvious when it’s written down like that, doesn’t it?

    2. Dave Hansell

      Considering the findings from this piece of research

      it is not inconceivable that large parts of the populations of the Middle East and North Africa may well be actively choosing to abandon land currently regarded as sacred and non negotiable for all time well within the liftime’s of many people alive right now.

      The refugees who are at present escaping wars of choice (by certain interests) in the region by fleeing to Europe are likely to seem modest in comparison with the likely exodus arising from the change in climate within that region. It would no doubt be interesting to say the least to be around when such an event occurs if only to witness the 180 degree about turns which will take place in the arguments of certain self serving and vested interests.

      1. Mike Sivier Post author

        That’s very interesting but a digression from the subject at hand, I think.

    3. liz3321

      Imposing Israel on the US would be likely to create huge resentment in the displaced American population especially as Israel is keen to maintain a majority Jewish population. Where would the current residents of that part of the US go? Would they become refugees, like the Palestinians? That was the point of the map published by Finkelstein and reproduced by Naz Shah – to get US people to put themselves in the shoes of the Palestinians who have been displaced, many of them several times in the creation and recurrent changes in Israel, and in the growth of settlements in the West Bank etc.

      1. Mike Sivier Post author

        Exactly. People aren’t asking (to paraphrase you): What about imposing Palestine on Jordan or Saudia Arabia, or both? Won’t that create huge resentment in the displaced populations of those countries? Or are we only bothered about the USA and Israel? Where would the current residents of those parts of Jordan and Saudi Arabia go? Would they become refugees?

  21. Martin.


    So if some members of the BNP are gleefully retelling an Alf Garnett rant about immigrants that isn’t racism because the show was originally intended as a parody of racists.

    Equally if a Corbyn supporter is banging on about the Rothschilds they ARE being anti-Semitic because conspiracy theories about Jewish bankers were originally spread by Anti-Semites.

    I think it was Marshal McLuhan who said “context? F*** it who cares”.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Nope. Context really is everything in these instances, so any rant would have been permissible (at the time) in Till Death Do Us Part, but not on its own. As for a Corbyn supporter criticising the Rothschilds, if this happens it would be because of something that had been done by the banking family (would it not)? Therefore any conspiracy theories about Jewish bankers would be irrelevant.
      I just ran a quick web search for the words you have attributed to Marshall McLuhan and couldn’t find them. Since he died in 1980, it seems unlikely I’ll be able to contact him and ask.

    2. John

      Does that mean you will not be supporting Margaret Hodge for Leader of the Labour Party against Jeremy Corbyn?

      1. Mike Sivier Post author

        Isn’t there a question mark over whether anybody told Margaret Hodge that she may be put up as a challenger?

  22. john cutts

    The dog that isn’t barking here is the US. There is obviously an element of black humour (remember this was created during the ‘conflict’ – three Israeli civilians and 66 IDF were killed compared to more than 2,100 Palestinians – in Gaza 2014) given that Israel would be no use to the US were it part of it physically. Israel has only survived in its present form because of the backing of its US sponsor whose interests it promotes and protects . The minute it outlived its use to the US, all econmomic, political, diplomatic and military aid would be withdrawn and then Israel would have to come to mutually beneficial arrangements with its neighbours. Amazingly, during all the ‘debate’, i have not heard the americans mentioned once!

  23. john cutts

    i should have added (to “whose interests it promotes and protects “) “in the Middle East” as Israel is no use to the US outside that region.

  24. NobodysaysBOO

    GREAT IDEA but do it in OKLAHOMA , a win /win for everyone, much less expensive than gifting Israel and saves all those war expenses in the ME, make them pay for their own stuff!

  25. Boris Vian

    With all due respect, it does not matter if Norman Finkelstein is or not Jewish – in fact he is not pro Israel, and some people judge him like an example of self-hating Jew -. Important are what people doing with his statements, and in this case, something is clear: Naz Shah wanted to do an anti-Semitic statement. But this not the point indeed.

    What the hell means that someone who proclaimed itself leftist could support anti-Semitic ideas? Although there were episodes in the past on the left that were themselves anti-Semites, traditionally was the right that put this stuff. But from some years this has changed. Why? This is an interesting point.

    Let me leave a remark: Today, there are people – and there are many – in the Labour Party and the leftist movement in general (or chooses you how to call it) who always denounce Barack Obama before Vladimir Putin, to Israel rather than Iran or Saudi Arabia or the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad, or ISIS itself.

    That is, those who set before the condemnation of “imperialism” instead of to defend basic values of laborism, like freedom of expression, equality of women, gay rights and repudiation of racism, which – I think we can agree – they are humanists and imperishable values of the left. At least it should be.

    Just today, NYT published an interesting column about that. Check it:

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      No, Naz Shah didn’t want to “do” an anti-Semitic statement. She was making a statement in opposition to what Israel was doing in August 2014. That much is clear to anyone with an ounce of common sense, I would have thought.

      Your second paragraph makes very little sense. Bear in mind that none of the Labour members who have been accused of anti-Semitism in the last week have been proved guilty of it. Not one.

      If your third paragraph is suggesting some sort of hierarchy of the unacceptable, then I don’t accept it. We all judge the actions of others on their own terms, according to our own values.

      It seems to me that you have accepted the nonsense that has been spoon-fed to the UK population by the media, lock, stock and barrel. Please try to engage your own critical faculties.

      I will read the article, though.

      1. Boris Vian

        Mike, Naz Shah, by the way, has recognized that she was wrong. Respect that there are not an anti-Semitic problem into Labour Party – that is a Left Party, remember-, is a fact, is not my opinion.

        If you read the column I send, you can check that.

        Of course, you can sustain your own values, but if for you freedom of expression, equality of women, gay rights and repudiation of racism are not the real roots of the left movement, I mean the human rights, as well, is not my problem; maybe is possible that you are not on the right side.

        Finally, I wonder why you have your own critical faculties and not me. Who decides that? For sure, you do not, neither me; in fact, to introduce in a discussion this kind of argument is not a good idea, because is no serious to affirm, “You do not know what you say.”

        You have your opinions, I have mine. The difference is how to prove it.

      2. Mike Sivier Post author

        Naz Shah’s apology doesn’t mean she was anti-Semitic – just that she was bullied into making an apology.
        I’m on the side of the facts. I wonder what side you’re on.
        As for why I have my own critical faculties and you don’t, and who decides that, I’m afraid you do. You have chosen not to criticise the haters, not to examine the facts and to accept the spin instead. It was your choice.
        I should add that any opinions I express are from the facts of the case.

    2. Robin Baldock

      ” Naz Shah wanted to do an anti-Semitic statement….” But she didn’t. That is the point of Finkelstein’s comments about her “What the hell means that someone who proclaimed itself leftist could support anti-Semitic ideas?” again she didn’t. Read Finkelsteins interview, its great to see a real thinker speaking in depth about his subject:

      “Today, there are people – and there are many – in the Labour Party and the leftist movement in general (or chooses you how to call it) who always denounce Barack Obama before Vladimir Putin, to Israel rather than Iran or Saudi Arabia or the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad, or ISIS itself.
      That is, those who set before the condemnation of “imperialism” instead of to defend basic values of laborism, like freedom of expression, equality of women, gay rights and repudiation of racism, which – I think we can agree – they are humanists and imperishable values of the left. At least it should be.” or you could say they criticise what is being done in their name and try and influence that because that is where the prime responsibility lies. But that is only to the extent that you statement is even true.

      1. Boris Vian

        Robin: About the statement:

        The title said: “Solution for…” I can imagine that you know whose used that word in reference to Jewish people. If not, google “final solution”.

        Another one: “The transportation cost will be…” Is necessary to remember what meant “transportation” for Jewish people during IIWW?

        Another points are so silly – specially the last three – that is no necessary to point out.

      2. Mike Sivier Post author

        You are proving the point of those of us who say the image is not to be taken seriously. Those keywords should make it clear to anybody with knowledge about such matters that it is not a practical suggestion but a response to one that is outrageous. Are those Israelis who propose packing Palestinians off to Jordan or Saudi Arabia not suggesting a solution of their own? What would the transportation costs be in that case?

      3. Mike Sivier Post author

        And what about the “final solution” being imposed on Palestinians in Israel at the moment? Those who do not learn from history are destined to repeat it, it seems.

      4. John

        Robin: Thank you for the link to the Finkelstein interview.
        Truly riveting content.
        I liked his statement ‘All these desiccated Labour apparatchiks, dragging the Nazi holocaust through the mud for the sake of their petty jostling for power and position. Have they no shame?’.
        What I did not see in the article was any reference to “transportation costs” – so where did that come from?
        Is it just another invention by Boris Vian?
        Incidentally, Boris Vian reportedly died 23 June 1959.
        Are his postings above proof of life after death?

      5. Robin Baldock

        Thanks John.

        On the picture Naz posted about moving Israel to the US one of the bullet points it makes for why it’s such a good idea is that “The transportation costs will be less than three years of defence spending” its a joke about how much the US spends on Israeli defence.

  26. John

    Do you think Crosby may have found a willing accomplice in Mark Regev, now in London?

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      I can’t comment on that. Put some evidence my way and we can see how it stacks up.

  27. John

    I resent the accusation that I am racist towards the Scots.
    Please withdraw it immediately!

      1. John

        My response was to the neptune’s Aura Astrology posting above, in which it was said – apparently in response to an earlier statement by me – ‘As a Scot if I say nasty racist stuff about Scots DOES NOT excuse you from being racist towards Scots!’
        Part of the problem with the layout here is that comments meant for one person sometimes end up seemingly being made to others!

      2. Mike Sivier Post author

        I know – it’s a WordPress thing and there’s nothing I can do about it.

  28. John

    ‘A 2003 study in The Harvard International Journal of Press/Politics concluded that The New York Times reporting was more favorable to Israelis than to Palestinians’ (Source:
    You still think it’s a good idea to read what the NYT have to say?
    The way in which the zionists are treating the Palestinians is disgraceful and disgusting. No one can justify the murder of more than 500 children in Gaza in 2014, using principally US weapons systems, backed up by a US $ 1 billion weapons stockpile inside the illegal zionist state.
    Can you?

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Oh, hey, I think it’s a good idea to read what anybody has to say!
      Know your enemy.
      And bear in mind that I was attacking the NYTimes article, not supporting it.
      The words “illegal Zionist state” are yours, not mine – I wish to clarify.

      1. John

        My comment about the NYT was meant for the dead-since-1959 Boris Vian, not you, Mike. You are definitely still alive and kicking!

  29. John

    ‘Antisemitism’ is one of those usefully absurd nonsense terms so beloved of hasbara propagandists and congenital fascist thugs like Netanyahu, Bennet, et. al.
    The conventional definition of a semite is someone who speaks a semitic language.
    The semitic languages includes Hebrew but also Arabic and another 18 languages.
    So, if one criticises the Tel Aviv regime for their latest atrocities is it because we are criticizing their language that we are motivated to do so?
    If we criticise the latest Saud inhuman conduct does that make us antisemitic?
    The world is rightly and largely disgusted by the appalling behaviour of politicians like Netanyahu, Bennett and others of their similar murderous ilk.
    We oppose them not because of their language or religion but because we oppose all forms of inhuman and inhumane behaviour and expression.
    Murdering 2,200 people in Gaza – including more than 500 children – is something that should rightly be condemned, regardless of the language the murderers speak.

  30. John

    I am not criticising Norman Finkelstein. He cannot be held responsible for the British media whipping up a storm of hysteria in the run up to local UK elections.
    Why – over in the USA – would he be expected to follow all the ludicrous twists and turns of local UK politics, let alone contrived spats inside the Labour Party?
    My guess is that Finkelstein has probably never heard of Mann or others of his type.
    Who would blame him?

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