This will be a Rorshach test for most, I think. Can't see how it will convince anyone, but I'll say this: I'm progressive, I'm a Jew, I criticize Israel harshly, and I'm neither anti-Semitic nor self-hating.
I think the reason this paper exists is because if a majority of American Jews (especially elite ones) start critiquing Israel's government, policies in the Occupied Territories, foreign policy, etc., then Israel is in serious trouble. Elite American Jewish organizations -- like the AJC, AIPAC, the ADL, et al -- do form a very powerful set of lobbies that have browbeaten elected officials into supporting a frankly self-destructive path for Israel and for the US.
After Walt and Mearsheimer, Tony Judt, Finkelstein, years and years of Chomsky, and now a former President with impeccable moral credentials (or seen as such; certainly his lapses had nothing to do with Israel!) and relevant experience...well, the elites are getting nervous.
Having just finished working on an LSAT project, my logical reasoning skills are honed, so I think I'll take a stab at this. In addition to the pseudo-Soviet iconography on the cover, here are some other things I noted in the piece:
- The quotes in the preface are unattributed. That's not a good thing. Who said this? What was the full context? And so forth. I'm referring to the stuff on page vi -- which leftist critic "challenge[d] not just Israel's policies, but 'it's legitimacy and right to an ongoing future.'"? Maybe later on I'll find the answer. As for the three folks mentioned on that page, I for one would like a full context for the quotes.
- The conflation of Jews and Israel's government and the State of Israel and Israeli society and culture -- all very different things -- is typical of, frankly, a racist, totalitarian outlook. America isn't Bush or Clinton or the government or Christians. (see bottom vi)
- Page 1: Sources: in the first four notes, we get the National Review, the Wall Street Journal, the chief rabbi of the UK on the BBC, and a book and an article that clearly support the author's thesis. Hmmm...
- The whole "wipe off the map" thing is a controversy I'd like to solve, but I don't read Persian. I've seen people claim that the usual translation is wrong, such as Juan Cole. Anyway, what does Ahmadinejad have to do with the real target of this paper: leftwing Jews? I mean, aside from guilt-by-association?
- I own a copy of Mein Kampf. Read it in my Cornell political theory course junior year. The professor was Isaac Kramnick. Is he an anti-Semite/self-hater? Am I? One can't assume why one buys a book. Some figures for sales would be nice; perhaps the Review provides it. Doubt it. I mean, why bother to do a survey, anyway?
- Again, what do anti-Semitic TV programs have to do with American and European leftwing Jews? (I'm assuming this information is accurate.)
- Page 3: It's not outside the realm of possibility that a nation that openly practices extrajudicial assassination could have had Arafat poisoned. Doesn't mean it happened, but considering the possibility is not beyond the pale, I should think. Ditto killing Hariri. The rest of the stuff, if true -- and I'll grant it, is just wacky. What does that have to do with leftwing EuroAmerican Jews?
- Ah, page 4: "A Conflation of Interests." In your opinion, bub. Note the qualifier: "While formal alliances among these otherwise disparate groups ["far right," "segments of the intellectual left," and "radical Islam"] are not readily apparent, they share one thing in common: a suspicion of Jews and, especially, an emphatic dislike of the Jewish state." Well, the second is not the same as the first -- some Israeli Jews have an emphatic dislike of the Israeli state. I have an emphatic dislike of our current American state and government. But the author would probably find that unpatriotic. Love it or leave it. Anyway, the first is as yet unsupported. Note the care that went into that modifier that hangs in front of "they" -- no formal alliances (informal, though?); not readily apparent (but with a little digging or the right goggles?). Nice work.
- Page 5: How is "anti-Semitic incident" defined? Let's take the number of physical assaults as read: 83 in 2004. Since the April, 2001 decennial government census in the UK reported 267,000 Jews in the UK, that means that if the population held at that number, then 0.03% of the population was assaulted, and only for being Jewish. I wonder how many assaults on Jews for, say, car keys or ATM cards occurred in that time? That number was essentially the same the next year (82). According to the National Safety Council, the chance of dying in 2003 from any cause was 0.06%. Assuming the NSC isn't anti-Semitic, and that life in the UK is roughly as safe, well...you do the math. Context helps here.
- Note that this horrific statistic of a 0.03% chance of being physically assaulted solely for being Jewish (thought Jewish? -- forget it; we'll go with these numbers) leads to a massively disproportionate fear (no doubt related to massively disproportionate news reports -- much like the fear of violent crime in the US has risen with media coverage, while actual rates of violent crime have fallen): it's now apparently "uncomfortable" to be a Jew in Britain. At times.
- If you actually go into the stats on anti-Semitism and assaults, you find a different, less hysteria-inducing picture.
- Following hard on the heels of this faux epidemic of violence, on page 6, comes sins of word, such as the wholly reasonable labelling of Israel's actions in the OTs as ethnic cleansing. This is par for the course in Israeli historical work and current journalism, and the only word for it. Furthermore, Sharon actually is a war criminal, as anyone familiar with not only the '82/'83 Lebanon war but also his previous military career would know.
- What do boycotts have to do with animosity against Jews, even Israeli Jews? Did everyone who supported boycotts against South Africa do so out of animosity toward the white ruling minority? Or just the awful social system of apartheid?
Ya know what? Given that the IPCC report is out, I see little need for amusing myself further with this yahoo propaganda. I think I've made my point; the rest of the paper pretty much repeats these "errors" throughout.