Thursday, October 30, 2014

Cotler explains new/old anti-Semitism

It was by far one of the most informative sessions at last weekend's the first-ever Limmud FSU Kultura conference to be held in Canada.

MP and former justice minister Irwin Cotler captivated the audience as he outlined the five indicators of the new/old anti-Semitism, which calls for the annihilation of the Jewish state and the Jewish People. These precepts are the basis for the Ottawa Protocol, the 2010 action plan to combat hostility and prejudice against the Jewish People.

The first of the five indicators is toxic genocide converging with genocidal anti-Semitism, as in the case of Hamas and Hezbollah, whose leader Hassan Nasrallah asserts that if all Jews return to Israel, as it is said will happen when the Messiah comes, it will be easier to wipe them out.

The religious fatwas conducted by the terror groups would see the extermination of a people and its ancestral home.

The second indicator is attributing all the world's evil to Israel, which the BDS movement labels an apartheid state, a move that launders anti-Semitism.

Cotler said the first and second indicators lead to the third, political anti-Semitism, but quite honestly, I think it leads more to the fourth, which he identified as acting in ways to mask the de-legitimization of Israel.

The fifth and final indicator of the new/old anti-Semitism is the role the United Nations continues to play as a willing conduit for such hatred.

On an annual basis, Cotler noted, the UN passes more resolutions against Israel than any other member state. Out of the 25 condemnations issued most years, Israel consistently receives 20 to 22 of them, he said.

Cotler believes its far worse for Israel to be demonized with allegations of criminality by international human rights groups and, more importantly, the UN, the supposed champions of human rights, than by extremists near and far.

"To single out one singles out others. If Israel is an apartheid state, what does that say of the countries that support the only recognized democracy in the Middle East?" he asked.

"Talmud Torah neged kulam," meaning we must learn our case in order to teach our case, Cotler urged the audience.

In other words, we must re-frame the narrative with points of fact that make it clear to all that the teachings that lead to extremism are the real root cause of the Middle East conflict.

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