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Anti-Zionism, anti-Semitism and 'bad facts'

We've stated repeatedly: Ritual squawking that "anti-Zionism is not anti-Semitism" is just that—an empty ritual bereft of meaning—if we don't call out real anti-Semitism. Beyond that, the failure to call out real anti-Semitism only plays into the Israeli propaganda ploy that seeks to tar all anti-Zionism as anti-Semitism. A frustrating case in point is provided by Ben-Dror Yemini, who writes an opinion piece today on the Israeli news site YNet entitled flatly "Anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism." Certainly providing examples of anti-Zionists who are anti-Semitic does not in itself prove the thesis. But one of the examples he provides really is pretty damn disturbing. Yemini writes:

Is Anti-Zionism also anti-Semitism? Let's check. While the recent war raged, the medical journal, The Lancet, published an open letter against Israel's alleged war crimes – another example of academics being recruited into the Hamas propaganda machine.

Two of the people behind the initiative were Dr. Paola Manduca and Dr. Swee Ang. Concurrent with the letter came an additional petition, claiming acts of slaughter, published by Israeli academics, among them members of the nomadic band of every anti-Israeli petition, like Shlomo Sand, Yehouda Shenhav, Anat Matar, Udi Adiv and Adi Ophir – good souls.

On the other side of the political map, the racist-anti-Semitic right, one finds American David Duke. The Protocols of the Elders of Zion appears amateurish in comparison to the dark plots he attributes to the Jews.

In late 2013, Duke was expelled from Italy following an attempt to set up an all-European neo-Nazi movement. As part of his smear campaign, Duke released a horror film, CNN, Goldman Sachs & the Zio Matrix, about the threat of world domination posed by Zionism.

What's interesting is the fact, as revealed by NGO Monitor, that both Manduca and Ang, from the Lancet letter, spoke highly of Duke's film and warmly recommended it – at the same time they were launching their anti-Israel initiative.

Manduca wrote: "See this video before it is removed from circulation – Please do pass on to others who you think would be interested and would pass on. The whole world needs to know." Hurry, hurry, because the Zionists may take the video down. They control the global media after all. Their control is so absolute, so much so that the anti-Semitic video still remains on YouTube.

The radical left and extreme right are divided on numerous issues. Yet when it comes to one particular issue, they are remarkably united – hatred for Israel and support for Hamas. Some would call it anti-Zionism. Its true name, unmasked, is anti-Semitism.

OK, let's try to do some fact-checking here. Wikipedia informs us that  Swee Chai Ang is "an orthopaedic surgeon who worked with civilians during the Lebanese Civil War," who wrote a book that "details her eye-witness account of the Sabra and Shatila massacre," entitled From Beirut to Jerusalem: A Woman Surgeon with the Palestinians. The "film" (if we may so flatter it) "CNN, Goldman Sachs & the Zio Matrix," is indeed online at the David Duke websiteNGO Monitor is a right-wing pro-Zionist website mostly dedicated to accusing aid organizations and human rights groups of bias against Israel. A PDF online at NGO Monitor reproduces an e-mail apparently sent by Swee Ang (not Paola Manduca) to a list, slugged "Fwd: Fw: CNN Goldman Sachs & the Zio Matrix." She wrote in the e-mail: "Dear Friends, This is shocking video please watch. This is not about Palestine - it is about all of us!" The line "See this video before it is removed from circulation..." appears not to be Dr. Ang's own words, but was in the original e-mail that she presumably received from Duke's list and then cluelessly forwarded to her own list. The poor punctuation in her preface line indicates that she didn't give the matter much thought.

Additionally, the subject line of her e-mail indicates that it was forwarded twice—in other words, she received it as a forward, rather than receiving it directly from Duke's list. So, presumably, she got it second-hand, not realizing it was neo-Nazi propaganda, clicked on the link, was naively taken in by the Jews-control-the-world conspiranoia, and unthinkinlgy forwarded it to a list she is on. 

Does this make her an anti-Semite? Not necessarily, but it certainly makes her rather ingenuous, at the very least. Her faux pas haplessly provided propaganda fodder to Yemini, even if he distorted the facts a little. We hope that her friends on the e-mail list have already reprimanded her over this. But since the affair has now become public, we have no choice but to clear the air publicly.

You're welcome, Dr. Ang.