Nouvelle agression du Hamas: A Paris et à New York comme à Gaza, la désinformation vaincra (My hobby is throwing stones: looking back at the New York Times’ romanticization of Palestinian rock throwing as a rite of passage and an honored act of defiance)

28 mai, 2021

Opinion | Black Voters Are Coming for Trump - The New York TimesThe Embarrassment of Democrats Wearing Kente-Cloth Stoles | The New YorkerPressley condemns Gaza bombardmentRashida Imágenes en stock o editoriales y fotos en stock | ShutterstockBiden's old playbook won't end Israeli-Palestinian violence – Ya Libnan

Ces femmes qui s’avancent, en tenant au bout de leurs bras, ces enfants qui lancent, des pierres vers les soldats, c’est perdu d’avance, les cailloux sur des casques lourds, tout ça pour des billets retour, d’amour, d’amour, d’amour, d’amour… Francis Cabrel (« Tout le monde y pense », 1989)
Alors, pour m’sentir appartenir A un peuple, à une patrie J’porte autour de mon cou sur mon cuir Le keffieh noir et blanc et gris Je m’suis inventé des frangins Des amis qui crèvent aussi. Renaud (1983)
Monsieur Dubois demanda à Madame Nozière quel était le jour le plus funeste de l’Histoire de France. Madame Nozière ne le savait pas. C’est, lui dit Monsieur Dubois, le jour de la bataille de Poitiers, quand, en 732, la science, l’art et la civilisation arabes reculèrent devant la barbarie franque. Anatole France (1922)
Si à Poitiers Charles Martel avait été battu, le monde aurait changé de face. Puisque le monde était déjà condamné à l’influence judaïque (et son sous-produit le christianisme est une chose si insipide !), il aurait mieux valu que l’islam triomphe. Cette religion récompense l’héroïsme, promet au guerrier les joies du septième ciel… Animé d’un esprit semblable, les Germains auraient conquis le monde. Ils en ont été empêchés par le christianisme. Hitler (1942)
Nous ne savons pas si Hitler est sur le point de fonder un nouvel islam. Il est d’ores et déjà sur la voie; il ressemble à Mahomet. L’émotion en Allemagne est islamique, guerrière et islamique. Ils sont tous ivres d’un dieu farouche. Jung (1939)
Mein Kamp (…) Tel était le nouveau Coran de la foi et de la guerre: emphatique, fastidieux, sans forme, mais empli de son propre message. Churchill
Les organisations humanitaires et une partie de la gauche occidentale, l’extrême gauche surtout, souffrent d’un complexe post-colonial. Les anciens colonisés sont perçus comme des victimes absolues, pour les uns, comme la force motrice de l’histoire, pour les autres. Ils jouissent d’un droit intangible à la bienveillance morale et au soutien politique, quoi qu’ils disent et quoi qu’ils fassent. Le fanatisme est permis, pourvu qu’il soit tiers-mondiste. La discrimination est justifiée, à condition qu’elle soit pratiquée dans un pays d’Afrique ou d’Asie. Le massacre est excusable, quand il est commis par des États non-européens. On a déjà assisté à cette même veulerie face aux haines, à cette même incapacité à voir le Mal, dans d’autres contextes historiques. Qu’on se souvienne de la complaisance des communistes européens, et notamment français, face à la terreur stalinienne et au goulag. Qu’on se souvienne aussi de l’indulgence de la gauche pacifiste française face à l’Allemagne nazie des années 1930. L’Allemagne était perçue comme victime du militarisme français et du traité de Versailles… Sous l’Occupation, de nombreux collaborateurs enthousiastes, et de très haut rang, proviendront de cette gauche pacifiste et humanitaire. La politique d’apaisement vis-à-vis de l’Iran d’Ahmadinejad est fondée sur la même incompréhension que celle qui fut menée face à Hitler à la fin des années 1930, par l’Angleterre et la France. Ce prétendu réalisme, au nom duquel il faut faire des concessions et pratiquer l’ouverture, procède certes d’un réflexe très humain. Mais il témoigne d’une méconnaissance profonde de l’adversaire. On est en face, dans les deux cas, d’une machine de guerre très habile et très bien organisée, qui connaît et qui exploite fort bien les faiblesses de l’Occident démocratique. (…) Il est des carnavals de rage et d’absurdité auxquels un pays démocratique se doit de rester étranger. Samuel Epstein
Si le Reich allemand s’impose comme protecteur de tous ceux dont le sang allemand coule dans les veines, et bien la foi musulmane impose à chaque Musulman de se considérer comme protecteur de toute personne ayant été imprégnée de l’apprentissage coranique. Hassan el Banna (fondateur des Frères musulmans et grand-père de Tariq et Hani Ramadan)
Depuis les premiers jours de l’islam, le monde musulman a toujours dû affronter des problèmes issus de complots juifs. (…) Leurs intrigues ont continué jusqu’à aujourd’hui et ils continuent à en ourdir de nouvelles. Sayd Qutb (membre des Frères musulmans, Notre combat contre les Juifs)
La libération de la Palestine a pour but de “purifier” le pays de toute présence sioniste. (…) Le partage de la Palestine en 1947 et la création de l’État d’Israël sont des événements nuls et non avenus. (…) La Charte ne peut être amendée que par une majorité des deux tiers de tous les membres du Conseil national de l’Organisation de libération de la Palestine réunis en session extraordinaire convoquée à cet effet. Charte de l’OLP (articles 15, 19 et 33, 1964)
Je mentirais si je vous disais que je vais l’abroger. Personne ne peut le faire. Yasser Arafat (Harvard, octobre 1995)
Nous devons combattre le Mal à sa source, et la principale racine du Mal c’est l’Amérique. (…) L’imam Khomeyni, notre chef, a assuré à maintes reprises que l’Amérique est la source de tous nos maux et qu’elle est la mère des intrigues. (…) Les enfants de la nation du Hezbollah au Liban sont en confrontation avec [leurs ennemis] afin d’atteindre les objectifs suivants : un retrait israélien définitif du Liban comme premier pas vers la destruction totale d’Israël et la libération de la Sainte Jérusalem de la souillure de l’occupation … Charte du Hezbollah (1985)
Les enfants de la nation du Hezbollah au Liban sont en confrontation avec [leurs ennemis] afin d’atteindre les objectifs suivants : un retrait israélien définitif du Liban comme premier pas vers la destruction totale d’Israël et la libération de la Sainte Jérusalem de la souillure de l’occupation … Charte du Hezbollah (1985)
Israël existe et continuera à exister jusqu’à ce que l’islam l’abroge comme il a abrogé ce qui l’a précédé.  (…) Le Mouvement de la Résistance Islamique est un mouvement palestinien honorable qui fait allégeance à Allah et à sa voie, l’islam. Il lutte pour hisser la bannière de l’islam sur chaque pouce de la Palestine. (…) Avec leur argent, ils ont mis la main sur les médias du monde entier : presse, maisons d’édition, stations de radio etc… Avec leur argent, ils ont soulevé des révolutions dans plusieurs parties du monde afin de servir leurs intérêts et réaliser leur objectif. Ils sont derrière la Révolution Française, la Révolution Communiste et toutes les révolutions dont nous avons entendu parler. (…) Il n’existe aucune guerre dans n’importe quelle partie du monde dont ils ne soient les instigateurs. Charte du Hamas (préambule, articles 6 et 22, 1988)
Obama (in whose administration I served) had in mind the United States’ extrication from what he considered the broader Middle Eastern quagmire (…) But Obama was a gradualist; he was persuaded that the United States could neither abruptly nor radically shift gears and imperil regional relationships that had been decades in the making. As he once put it to some of us working in the White House, conducting U.S. policy was akin to steering a large vessel: a course correction of a few degrees might not seem like much in the moment, but over time, the destination would differ drastically. What he did, he did in moderation. (…) In a sense, his administration was an experiment that got suspended halfway through. At least when it came to his approach to the Middle East, Obama’s presidency was premised on the belief that someone else would pick up where he left off. It was premised on his being succeeded by someone like him, maybe a Hillary Clinton, but certainly not a Donald Trump. Robert Malley (Nov. 2019)
A better approach requires clarity about U.S. interests and a plan for securing them, changing the United States’ role in a regional order it helped create without leaving behind yet more chaos, suffering, and insecurity. (…) A better strategy would be simultaneously less ambitious and more ambitious than traditional U.S. statecraft in the Middle East: less ambitious in terms of the military ends the United States seeks and in its efforts to remake nations from within, but more ambitious in using U.S. leverage and diplomacy to press for a de-escalation in tensions and eventually a new modus vivendi among the key regional actors. The United States has repeatedly tried using military means to produce unachievable outcomes in the Middle East. Now it’s time to try using aggressive diplomacy to produce more sustainable results. Daniel Benaim and Jake Sullivan (May 22, 2020)
On Sunday, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan phoned his Israeli counterpart and turned back the hands of time. (…) Sullivan called “to express the United States’ serious concerns” about (…) the pending eviction, by court order, of a number of Palestinian families from their homes in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of Jerusalem, and the weekend’s violent clashes on the Temple Mount between Israeli police and Palestinian rioters. (…) just as Hamas was sending rockets and incendiary devices into Israel with the same message (…) This (…) marked a clear return to the approach of President Barack Obama. (…) In a revealing Foreign Affairs article, written in 2019, Malley expressed regret that Obama failed to arrive at more such accommodations. The direction of Obama’s policy was praiseworthy (…) but his “moderation” was the enemy of his project. Being “a gradualist,” he presided over “an experiment that got suspended halfway through.” Malley, the article leads one to assume, is now advising Biden to go all the way—and fast. (…) The president’s “ultimate goal,” Malley wrote, was “to help the [Middle East] find a more stable balance of power that would make it less dependent on direct U.S. interference or protection.” (…) a roundabout way of saying that Obama dreamed of a new Middle Eastern order—one that relies more on partnership with Iran. (…) Obama, it seems clear, felt his project would advance best with stealth and misdirection, not aggressive salesmanship. Biden, while keeping Obama’s second-term foreign policy team nearly intact, is using the same playbook. He and his aides recognize that confusion about the “ultimate goal” makes achieving it easier. (…) The deceptions surrounding the JCPOA have a clear purpose: to make the administration appear supportive of containment when, in fact, it is ending it. (…) The presentation of the JCPOA as a narrow arms control agreement is the most important of these tactics, but two others are particularly noteworthy. The first is the bear hug: a squeeze that can be presented to the outside world as a gesture of love, but which immobilizes its recipient. (…) But if Iron Dome was the seemingly loving aspect of the bear hug, the immobilizing part was the strong discouragement of Israeli military and intelligence operations against Iran’s nuclear program and its regional military network. (…) The bear hug is also a tool for gaslighting critics who accurately claim that the Realignment guts the policy of containment. (…) The second tactic is the values feint. When Washington tilts toward Iran, it disguises its true motivations with pronouncements of high-minded humanitarianism—ceasing to be a superpower and instead becoming a Florence Nightingale among the nations, decrying human suffering (…) Domestic politics partially explains the hold that this empty theory exercises over otherwise bright minds. (…) Biden won the electoral college by only 45,000 votes spread over three states—a razor thin margin. (…) The political heft of the Realignment derives not just from Obama’s personal support but also from the support of progressives whose cosmology it affirms. It equates a policy of containing Iran with a path to endless war, and transforms a policy of accommodating Iran into the path to peace. It reduces the complexities of the Middle East to a Manichean morality tale that pits the progressives against their mythological foes—Evangelical Christians, “neoconservatives,” and Zionists. The Realignment depicts these foes as co-conspirators with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, plotting to keep America mired in the Middle East. (…) The same (…) toward Trump’s “maximum pressure” campaign, which it derides as reckless, incoherent, and ineffective. On Trump’s watch, the Iranian economy suffered catastrophic losses. Not only did anti-regime demonstrations break out in every major Iranian city in 2019, but corresponding protests erupted in Iraq, aimed directly or indirectly at Iran’s proxies there. (…) Trump ended the fiction, which had greatly benefited Iran, that its proxies were independent actors rather than direct arms of the IRGC (…) culminated in the killing of Qassem Soleimani, the head of the IRGC’s Quds Force and the second most powerful man in Iran. Meanwhile, (…) By penetrating Iran’s defenses, Israel—with the support of the Trump administration—shredded Obama’s major justification for the JCPOA by demonstrating that the United States can manage the Iran challenge, including its nuclear dimension, with a relatively light American military commitment. (…) “Maximum pressure” (…) a form of collective security (…) encouraged closer cooperation between American allies, and therefore played a major role in the Abraham Accords [with countries] close to Saudi Arabia. (…) the most powerful Arab country and, thanks to its guardianship of Mecca and Medina, one of the most influential countries in the entire Muslim world. (…) Yet the Biden administration has forbidden its officials from even using the term “Abraham Accords,” which, under the influence of the Realignment, it abhors. (…) [because] It refutes the dogma preached by the Obama administration that peace between Israel and the Arab world must begin with a Palestinian-Israeli agreement. More importantly, the accords are also a threat to the Realignment itself.(…) When Biden took office, he faced a fork in the road. On one path stood a multilateral alliance designed to contain Iran. It had a proven track record of success and plans of even better things to come, as the recent act of sabotage at Natanz demonstrated. (…) On the other path stood the Islamic Republic, hated by its own people and, indeed, by most people in the Middle East. It offered nothing but the same vile message it had always espoused. (…) Biden chose Iran, fracturing the U.S. alliance system and setting back the cause of peace. His choice also delivered a victory to China and Russia, who are working with Iran, each in its own way, toward America’s undoing. In a perverse effort to liberate itself from its allies, the United States is soiling its own nest. Michael Doran and Tony Badran
Israël a le droit de se défendre. » sont les mots que nous entendons des gouvernements démocrates et républicains chaque fois que le gouvernement israélien, avec son énorme puissance militaire, réagit aux tirs de roquette de Gaza. Soyons clairs. Personne ne soutient qu’Israël, ou aucun gouvernement, n’a pas le droit de se défendre ou de protéger son peuple. Alors pourquoi ces mots se répètent-ils année après année, guerre après guerre ? Et pourquoi la question n’est-elle presque jamais posée : ′′ Quels sont les droits du peuple palestinien ? ′′Et pourquoi semblons-nous prendre note de la violence en Israël et en Palestine uniquement lorsque des roquettes tombent sur Israël ? (…) même si le Hamas tire des roquettes sur les communautés israéliennes est absolument inacceptable, le conflit d’aujourd’hui n’a pas commencé avec ces roquettes. Les familles palestiniennes dans le quartier de Jérusalem de Sheikh Jarrah vivent sous la menace d’expulsion depuis de nombreuses années, naviguant dans un système juridique conçu pour faciliter leur déplacement forcé. Et au cours des dernières semaines, les colons extrémistes ont intensifié leurs efforts pour les expulser. Et, tragiquement, ces expulsions ne sont qu’une partie d’un système plus large d’oppression politique et économique. Depuis des années, nous avons assisté à une aggravation de l’occupation israélienne en Cisjordanie et à Jérusalem-Est et à un blocus continu sur Gaza qui rend la vie de plus en plus intolérable À Gaza, qui compte environ deux millions d’habitants, 70 % des jeunes sont au chômage et n’ont guère d’espoir pour l’avenir. En outre, nous avons vu le gouvernement de Benjamin Netanyahu travailler à marginaliser et diaboliser les citoyens palestiniens d’Israël, à mener des politiques de colonisation conçues pour exclure la possibilité d’une solution à deux États et adopter des lois qui engendrent les inégalités systémiques entre les citoyens juifs et palestiniens israéliens. (…) Israël reste la seule autorité souveraine au pays d’Israël et de Palestine, et plutôt que de se préparer à la paix et à la justice, il a enraciné son contrôle inégal et antidémocratique. Plus d’une décennie de sa règle de droite en Israël, M. Netanyahu a cultivé un nationalisme raciste de plus en plus intolérant et autoritaire. Dans son effort effréné pour rester au pouvoir et éviter les poursuites judiciaires pour corruption, M. Netanyahu a légitimé ces forces, dont Itamar Ben Gvir et son parti extrémiste du pouvoir juif, en les faisant entrer dans le gouvernement. C’est choquant et attristant que les mensonges racistes qui attaquent les Palestiniens dans les rues de Jérusalem soient maintenant représentés à la Knesset. Ces tendances dangereuses ne sont pas propres à Israël. Partout dans le monde, en Europe, en Asie, en Amérique du Sud et ici aux États-Unis, nous avons vu la montée de mouvements nationalistes autoritaires similaires. Ces mouvements exploitent la haine ethnique et raciale pour construire le pouvoir pour une minorité de corrompus plutôt que la prospérité, la justice et la paix pour le plus grand nombre. Ces quatre dernières années, ces mouvements avaient un ami à la Maison Blanche. En même temps, nous assistons à la montée d’une nouvelle génération d’activistes qui veulent construire des sociétés basées sur les besoins humains et l’égalité politique. Nous avons vu ces militants dans les rues américaines l’été dernier à la suite du meurtre de George Floyd. Nous les voyons en Israël. Nous les voyons dans les territoires palestiniens. Avec un nouveau président, les États-Unis ont maintenant la possibilité de développer une nouvelle approche du monde – fondée sur la justice et la démocratie. (…) Au Moyen-Orient, où nous fournissons une aide de près de 4 milliards de dollars par an à Israël, nous ne pouvons plus être des apologistes du gouvernement de droite de Netanyahu et son comportement antidémocratique et raciste. Nous devons changer de cap et adopter une approche impartiale, une approche qui respecte et renforce le droit international concernant la protection des civils, ainsi que la législation américaine actuelle en vigueur, selon laquelle la fourniture d’aide militaire américaine ne doit pas permettre de respecter les droits de l’homme. Cette approche doit reconnaître qu’Israël a le droit absolu de vivre dans la paix et la sécurité, tout comme les Palestiniens.(…) Nous devons reconnaître que les droits palestiniens sont importants. Les vies palestiniennes comptent. Bernie Sanders
Le combat pour la vie des noirs et le combat pour la libération palestinienne sont interconnectés. Nous nous opposons à ce que notre argent serve à financer la police militarisée, l’occupation et les systèmes d’oppression violente et de traumatisme. Nous sommes contre la guerre, nous sommes contre l’occupation et nous sommes contre l’apartheid. Un point, c’est tout. Congresswoman Cori Bush (Dem., Cal., May 12 2021)
Ce qu’ils font aux Palestiniens, c’est ce qu’ils font à nos frères et sœurs noirs ici. Rep. Rashida Tlaib (Dem., Mich., May 13 2021)
>Nous devons avoir le même niveau de responsabilité et de justice pour toutes les victimes de crimes contre l’humanité. Nous avons vu des atrocités impensables commises par les États-Unis, le Hamas, Israël, l’Afghanistan et les talibans. J’ai demandé à @SecBlinken où les gens sont censés aller pour demander justice. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (Dem., NY, May 13, 2021)
Nous apprécions les positions de Mme Ilhan Omar dans la défense de la justice et des droits des opprimés dans le monde, au premier rang desquels se trouvent les justes droits de notre peuple palestinien, mais nous déplorons cette combinaison injuste qui est contraire à la justice et au droit international. Dr. Basem Naim (Bureau des relations internationales du Hamas)
I rise today to recognize the deep trauma and loss of life perpetuated by systems of oppression here in the United States and globally. Many times I have stood at this dais and affirmed that our destinies are tied. That was clear when protestors took to the streets in the face of police murders, seeking to build a nation where Black Lives Matter. That was clear when our democracy and our lives were put at risk by violent white supremacists who shattered glass and broke doors, while wearing anti-Semitic phrases on their chest, carrying the confederate flag, erecting a noose on the west lawn. That was clear when students protesting to end poverty and oppression in the streets of Bogota were shot dead. That was clear when families kneeling during this holy month, at the third holiest site in Islam, were met with tear gas, rubber bullets and hand grenades. (…) Last summer, when Black Lives Matter protestors took to the streets to demand justice, they were met with force. They faced tear gas, rubber bullets, and a militarized police just as our Palestinian brothers and sisters are facing in Jerusalem today. Palestinians are being told the same thing as Black folks in America—there is no acceptable form of resistance. We are bearing witness to egregious human rights violations. The pain, trauma, and terror that Palestinians are facing is not just the result of this week’s escalation, but the consequence of years of military occupation. In Sheikh Jarrah, the Israeli government is violently dispossessing yet another neighborhood of Palestinian families from homes they have lived in for decades. We cannot stand idly and complicitly by and allow the occupation and oppression of the Palestinian people to continue. We cannot remain silent when our government sends $3.8 billion of military aid to Israel that is used to demolish Palestinian homes, imprison Palestinian children, and displace Palestinian families. (…) The question at hand is should our taxpayer dollars create conditions for justice, healing and repair, or should those dollars create conditions for oppression and apartheid? (…) Whose lives do we value? We have seen footage of Israeli and Palestinian children, huddled fearfully while rockets blanket their homeland. No child should live in fear. No child should grow up in the midst of a conflict that robs them of a childhood. And Palestinian children do not have the same protections afforded to them (…) Following forceful violence against the Palestinians simply seeking to remain in their family homes, militant groups in Gaza have launched rockets at Israeli cities, resulting in seven deaths, including a child. In response, the Israeli military has launched severe attacks on Gaza, killing 83 people, 17 of whom are children. This is devastating. (…) From Jerusalem to Boston. From Randolph to Gaza. From Colombia to Yemen, our destinies are tied. And everyone deserves to live free from fear and to know peace. Rep. Ayanna Pressley (Dem., Mass., May 13, 2021)
The shift is dramatic; it’s tectonic. There is a non-white population, particularly among Democrats, who are very sensitive to the treatment of fellow non-whites. They see Israel as an aggressor. They don’t know Israel’s early history and odds-defying triumph over adversity. They know post-Intifada; they know the various wars, the asymmetrical bombing that have taken place, the innocent civilians that have been killed. We’ve seen a steady growth in support for Palestinians, but it’s never really been a high-intensity issue. It’s becoming that. It’s becoming a major wedge issue, particularly among Democrats, driven by non-white voters and younger voters, by progressives in general. John Zogby
On May 10, after years of relative quiet between Israel and Gaza, the Hamas terrorists who rule that enclave exploited a long-running legal dispute in Jerusalem as a pretext to launch a barrage of rockets at Israel, unprecedented in its size. The Israel Defense Forces responded with air strikes to knock out terror targets, and one of those micro-wars that periodically spring up in this conflict ensued. As of Thursday night, May 20, a ceasefire had begun; the worst of the fighting is hopefully over. At least, it was in Israel and Gaza. But around the world, Jews were paying the price. (…) Synagogues across the country have been vandalized. Rallies in support of the Palestinian cause in Michigan, Florida, Washington, D.C., and elsewhere have turned anti-Semitic. (…) And almost as bad as the violence is the silence around it from major publications. The New York Times hasn’t deemed news of these attacks on New York Jews « fit to print, » though it did run a short story about the similarly horrific spate of attacks across Europe (…) While anti-Zionist gangs beat up Jews in her city, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was providing a quasi-intellectual basis for their actions, defaming Israel as an apartheid state employing indiscriminate force in what she seems to think is a capricious quest to murder as many Palestinian children as possible, instead of a highly restrained military operation tightly targeted on terrorists. Rep. Ocasio-Cortez didn’t call for violence, but she carved out an area of respectability for a certain type of anti-Semitism, and others were only too happy to rush in, fists flying. (…) Sen. Bernie Sanders published his own dangerous anti-Israel harangue in an Op-Ed which began, « No one is arguing that Israel… does not have the right to self-defense or to protect its people, » even as his own supporters were arguing just that on social media. Comedians John Oliver and Trevor Noah made the same case into their media megaphones, arguing that Israel was wrong to attack the terrorists aiming for Israeli civilians because Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system can prevent most (but not all) civilian deaths from Hamas rockets. (…) Rep. Mark Pocan and Rep. Betty McCollum are laser-focused on spreading the contemporary blood libel that Israel indiscriminately murders children. And in the same week that the Pew Research Center found that 80 percent of Jews believe caring about Israel to be an « important » or « essential » part of being Jewish, Rep. Ilhan Omar called support for Israel « disgusting and immoral. » Seffi Kogen
When the New York Times finally reported on the plague of nationwide street violence against Jews in the spring of 2021, more than a week after the attacks began in the wake of Hamas using rockets to strike Israel, the tone it took was less one of outrage than of bewilderment. “Until the latest surge,” read a May 26 story, “anti-Semitic violence in recent years was largely considered a right-wing phenomenon, driven by a white supremacist movement emboldened by rhetoric from former President Donald J. Trump, who often trafficked in stereotypes.” This was nonsense: The most common street violence against Jews took place in New York and New Jersey, and it had nothing at all to do with Trump or “right-wing” politics. Par for the course for the Gray Lady, perhaps, but far more concerning was where the reporters seemed to be getting the misinformation. “This is why Jews feel so terrified in this moment,” Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt told the paper. “For four years it seemed to be stimulated from the political right, with devastating consequences.” At the scenes of Jew-hunting that began in May, during the war between Israel and Hamas, Greenblatt lamented, “No one is wearing MAGA hats.” If there’s one organization whose responsibility it is to prepare not just the Jewish community but the wider United States public and its government for emerging anti-Semitic threats, it’s the ADL. Instead, the head of the ADL has been spreading a cynical left-wing myth about anti-Semitism while threats to the Jewish community fester. And it’s even worse than it looks, because while there’s long been a willful blindness toward anti-Semitism from the left, the ADL and other partisan groups aren’t the ones experiencing this blindness. They’re the blinders. The ADL (…) issued a list during the latest flare-up with Hamas on May 20 titled “Prominent Voices Demonize Israel Regarding the Conflict.” Demonizing rhetoric, the ADL warned, can “enable an environment whereby hateful actions against Jews and supporters of Israel are accepted more freely, and where anti-Jewish tropes may be normalized.” One category the list featured was of those “Accusing Israel of ‘Attacking al-Aqsa,’” a hoary libel falsely claiming that Jews want to destroy the central Mosque in Jerusalem. It has been used to incite anti-Jewish riots for a century. What was notable here was one name missing from the list, and arguably the worst offender. On May 12, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez had castigated President Joe Biden on Twitter for expressing Israel’s right to defend itself while noting what supposedly was to blame for the violence: “the expulsions of Palestinians and the attacks on Al Aqsa.” (…) A day later, on May 13, came a chilling session of the House of Representatives, with dark echoes of Jewish history. Several Democratic members of the House took turns standing next to blown-up photos of bloodied Palestinian children and gave fiery speeches denouncing Zionist perfidy—the sorts of words and charges that, since the age of the czars, have been followed by the spilling of Jewish blood. This time was no different, except it wasn’t a Russian backwater or a Munich beer hall. It was on the floor of the United States Congress. One by one, these members of Congress, Democrats all, sought to make the Jewish state the stand-in for “systems of oppression here in the United States and globally,” as Representative Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts put it. (…) In the days and weeks that followed, even after an Israel–Hamas cease-fire was in place, Jews in America were physically attacked with abandon—diners at restaurants in Los Angeles and Manhattan, Jews on the streets of New York, families in Florida attending synagogue services. The ADL saw a 75 percent uptick in reported incidents. (…) When called out for their silence, progressive Democratic lawmakers condemned “anti-Semitism and Islamophobia” as one, knowing that their audience would interpret any specific denunciation of anti-Semitism as a statement in support of Israel. (…) Throughout this whole affair, not a single congressional Democrat would criticize any of his colleagues by name. (…) Neither the ADL nor the JDCA uttered a peep. (…) On June 7, Omar tweeted a summary of a question she had for Secretary of State Antony Blinken: “We must have the same level of accountability and justice for all victims of crimes against humanity. We have seen unthinkable atrocities committed by the U.S., Hamas, Israel, Afghanistan, and the Taliban. I asked @SecBlinken where people are supposed to go for justice.” (…) The ADL was silent. JDCA was silent. The Democratic Party sided with the Squad. The Jewish community had been abandoned to the rise of the dominant left-of-center ideology according to which Jews are part of a white power structure of which Israel is a prime example. (…) The New Yorker’s Helen Rosner suggested it would be a good tactic not to beat up Jews, as part of an overall strategy to undermine Israel’s legitimacy. (This after the New Yorker’s union put out a statement of solidarity with the Palestinians that included the phrase “from the river to the sea.”) Michelle Goldberg of the New York Times wrote a column with a headline so instantly infamous that the Times eventually and quietly changed it: “Attacks on Jews Over Israel Are a Gift to the Right.” Meanwhile, the comedian Sarah Silverman objected to attacks on Jews in Los Angeles not on the grounds that they were evil acts of anti-Semitic violence but rather because “WE ARE NOT ISRAEL.” For his part, Kenneth Roth, the obsessively anti-Israel executive director of Human Rights Watch, declared, “It is WRONG to equate the Jewish people with the apartheid and deadly bombardment of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s government. » Seth Mandel
You can’t walk very far on an American or European university campus these days without encountering some version of the “Palestinian Land Loss” maps. This series of four—occasionally five—maps purports to show how rapacious Zionists have steadily encroached upon Palestinian land. (…) Taking each map in turn, it is easy to demonstrate that the first one is by far the most dishonest of the lot. (…) It deliberately conflates private property with political control. (…) The next map (…) represents the partition plan adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1947 as UN Resolution 181. It called for two independent states to be formed after the end of the British Mandate, one Jewish and one Arab. Needless to say, the resolution was never implemented. It was rejected by a Palestinian Arab leadership that just two years before had still been allied with Nazi Germany.  (…) At this point, with partition rejected by the Arabs and no help from the international community in sight, the Jews declared independence and formed what would become the Israel Defense Forces. The Arab states promptly launched a full-scale invasion, whose aims—depending on which Arab leader you choose to quote—ranged from expulsion to outright genocide. And the Arabs lost. At war’s end in 1949, the situation looked roughly like the third map in the series—the first of the lot that even comes close to describing the political reality on the ground. (…)  But (…) What it shows are the so-called “armistice lines,” i.e., the borders where the Israeli and Arab armies stopped fighting in 1949. These lines held more or less until 1967. (…) But (…) on the other side of the line, (…) the territories that are today called the West Bank and the Gaza Strip (…) were not—not before, during, or after 1967—“Palestinian” in the sense of being controlled by a Palestinian Arab political entity. Both territories were occupied by invading Arab armies when the armistice was declared in 1949, the Gaza Strip by Egypt and the West Bank by Jordan. The latter was soon annexed, while the former remained under Egyptian military administration. This status quo lasted until 1967, when both were captured by Israel. In the 1967 Six Day War, which was marked by Arab rhetoric that was sometimes even more genocidal than 1948, Israel also took the Golan Heights from Syria and the Sinai Peninsula from Egypt, more than trebling the amount of land under its control. Israel has since withdrawn from more than 90 percent of the land it occupied—mostly in the Sinai withdrawal that led to peace with Egypt. The first three maps, then, confuse ethnic and national categories (Jewish and Israeli, Arab and Palestinian), property and sovereignty, and the Palestinian national movement with Arab states that ruled over occupied territory for a generation. (…) As (…) to the fourth map (…) usually labeled either 2005 or “present,” purports to show the distribution of political control following the Oslo process and the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza. The patches of Palestinian land in the West Bank are areas handed over to the Palestinian Authority in the 1990s, mostly under the 1995 Oslo II agreement. Expanding upon the autonomy put in place after previous agreements in the Oslo process since 1993, this agreement created a complex patchwork of administrative and security zones, splitting the West Bank into areas of exclusive Palestinian control, joint control, and Israeli control. It was meant as a five-year interim arrangement, after which a final status agreement would be negotiated. (….) But no agreement was reached. As in 1947, the principal reason was Palestinian rejectionism. This time, the Palestinian leadership rejected a state on over 90 percent of the West Bank and 100 percent of the Gaza Strip. They then broke their pledge not to return to the “armed struggle” and embarked on a campaign of suicide bombings and other terrorist atrocities that were not only morally indefensible but lost them the trappings of sovereignty they had gained over the previous decade. After tamping down the worst of the violence, Israel decided to leave the areas of the Gaza Strip it had not evacuated a decade before. The withdrawal took place in 2005. Two years later, the Islamist group Hamas took over the Strip in a violent coup d’etat. Since then, there have been two Palestinian governments—the Hamas regime in Gaza and the Fatah-led regime in the West Bank. Both of these regimes are marked with the same color on this fourth map, thus failing to acknowledge the split between the two regimes, though it is the first map in the series to correctly label areas under Palestinian Arab political control. Nonetheless, it does not distinguish between the sovereign territory of the State of Israel—or, in the case of East Jerusalem, territory that Israel claims as sovereign without international recognition—and territories in the West Bank that, according to agreements endorsed by both sides, are under Israeli control until a final status agreement. Taken together, what we have is not four maps in a chronological series, but four different categories of territorial control presented with varying degrees of inaccuracy. Those categories are private property (“1946”), political control (“1967” and “2005”), and international partition plans (“1947”). They are presented in a fashion that is either tendentiously inaccurate (“2005”), essentially mendacious (“1947” and “1967”), or radically untrue (“1946”). (…) Perhaps the best way to illustrate the bankruptcy of the “Palestinian Land Loss” myth is to compare it to a similar situation elsewhere. An equally absurd set of maps could be drawn up of the Indian subcontinent before and after the end of British rule. It could start with a 1946 map of the entire subcontinent, labeling any private property owned by Hindus as “Indian” and the rest as “Pakistani.” Hindus, after all, are 80 percent of India’s population today, just as Jews are 80 percent of Israel’s. It is absurd to consider anything not privately owned by Hindus under British rule as “Pakistani” when the state of Pakistan did not yet exist, but that is roughly the same as labeling anything not privately owned by Jews under the Mandate as “Palestinian.” We could then put up a partition map from 1947, with West and East Pakistan next to a much larger India; as well as a post-partition map—perhaps from 1955—showing the land losses along the Radcliffe Line. Finally, we could draw a map from 1971 with East Pakistan shorn off into Bangladesh. A fervently dishonest person might call this series “Pakistani Land Loss,” but it would be such an obvious piece of fiction that no one could possibly take it seriously. Shany Mor
Pour la première fois, on a pu constater une conflictualité dans les localités israéliennes. Les communautés se sont affrontées. Le risque d’apartheid est fort si on continue à aller dans une logique à un État ou du statu quo. L’hypothèse commençait à disparaître. Il faut engager une politique de petits pas. Il faut faire en sorte qu’il y ait une logique de confiance qui puisse s’instaurer. L’Europe est puissante. Pendant cinq ans, l’Europe a dû assumer toute seule le multilatéralisme. Elle joue sa partition au Proche orient. Jean-Yves Le Drian (ministre français des affaires étrangères)
Le ministre a déclaré qu’Israël pourrait devenir un Etat d’apartheid – une affirmation éhontée, fausse et sans fondement. Nous n’accepterons aucune leçon de morale hypocrite et mensongère sur cette question. Dans l’État d’Israël, tous les citoyens sont égaux devant la loi, quelle que soit leur origine ethnique. Israël est un phare de la démocratie et des droits de l’homme dans notre région… Nous ne subirons aucune réprimande morale hypocrite et fausse sur cette question. Benjamin Netanyahu
For those who periodically tune in and tune out of the Israel-Palestine situation, the events of recent days and weeks might seem like a replay of a movie they have seen before: Palestinians are being forced from their homes; Israel drops bombs on Gaza; Palestinians fire rockets from Gaza; Israel destroys most of the rockets with an air defense system that is largely paid for by American taxpayers. All familiar. But the truth is, this moment is different. And it may prove a transformational one in the Palestinian struggle for freedom. Before the world’s attention shifted toward pushing for a cease-fire, Palestinians in Gaza, the West Bank, Jerusalem, inside Israel and in the diaspora had all mobilized simultaneously in a way unseen for decades. They are all working toward the same goal: breaking free from the shackles of Israel’s system of oppression. Reacting to growing Israeli restrictions in Jerusalem and the impending expulsion of Palestinians from their homes in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, Palestinians across the land who identified with the experience of being dispossessed by Israel rose up, together. Even now, as bombs fall on Gaza, they continue to do so. Palestinians are protesting in huge numbers in cities and towns throughout the land; hundreds of thousands took part in a general strike. With this unified movement, Palestinians have shown Israel that they cannot be ignored. (…) The energy of this moment represents an opportunity to wed Palestinian aspirations with a growing global consensus. According to a 2018 poll by the University of Maryland, 64 percent of Americans would support equal rights in a single state if the two-state solution fails. That number climbs to 78 percent among Democrats. Among scholars and experts on the Middle East, one recent poll found, 66 percent say there is a one-state reality. There is also a growing shift in mainstream organizations that have been hesitant to call for greater change: The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace recently released a report calling for a break from the two-state approach. Many diplomats and analysts around the world I have spoken to in recent years understand that the two-state solution is dead. Israel has killed it. When I ask why they don’t call for equal rights for Palestinians to end what is increasingly obviously a de facto apartheid system, they point out the official Palestinian position remains for a separate state. (…) The Palestinians have moved on, and many people in America and around the world are ready to do so, too. Yousef Munayyer (Arab Center Washington DC)
The fault lines in Israeli society have never been clearer and Jerusalem remains the tinder box that could ignite another catastrophic fire unless the underlying causes — Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories and its highly discriminatory policies — are dealt with. (…) The truth is that the Palestinian citizens of Israel and the Jewish majority of the country have never coexisted. We Palestinians living in Israel “sub-exist,” living under a system of discrimination and racism with laws that enshrine our second-class status and with policies that ensure we are never equals. This is not by accident but by design. The violence against Palestinians in Israel, with the backing of the Israeli state, that we witnessed in the past few weeks was only to be expected. Palestinian citizens make up about 20 percent of the Israel’s population. We are those who survived the “nakba,” the ethnic cleansing of Palestine in 1948, when more than 75 percent of the Palestinian population was expelled from their homes to make way for Jewish immigrants during the founding of Israel. (…) When military rule ended in 1966, Israel propagated the myth that Palestinian citizens of Israelis were now full citizens, noting that we can vote for members of the Knesset and that we have representatives there too. But since its establishment, Israel has enacted more than 60 laws entrenching our second-class status. One law makes it possible for Jewish Israelis in many towns to deny me and other Palestinians the right to live alongside them because we are not “socially suitable.” Courts routinely uphold such discriminatory laws and lawmakers have year after year blocked attempts to pass legislation enshrining the equality of Palestinians and Jews. The institutionalized racism and discrimination against Palestinian citizens have pushed almost half of us into poverty and our unemployment rate has soared to 25 percent. Racism against Palestinians is incited and exploited by virtually all major Israeli politicians and parties. (The Labor Party, which has a mere seven seats in the Knesset, is the only exception.) Even “moderates” like the Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid, who has been tasked with forming a government in the wake of inconclusive parliamentary elections in March, declared that he wants to be “rid of Arabs” and that his most important priority is “to maintain a Jewish majority in the land of Israel.” Politicians call for our citizenship to be revoked, or worse — like the former foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman, who said our heads should be chopped off, or the former education minister Naftali Bennett, who declared that he had killed many Palestinians and had no problem with it. Since 2019, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has twice made electoral pacts with the overtly racist Jewish Power party, which is made up of followers of the notorious Meir Kahane, whose Kach party and offshoots were labeled terrorist organizations by the United States. Jewish Power is led by Itamar Ben Gvir, who says his hero is Baruch Goldstein, who gunned down 29 Palestinians as they prayed in Hebron in 1994. All of this does not merely garner votes for Mr. Netanyahu, it also normalizes hatred of Palestinians. Young Jews are more radicalized than their parents, with polls showing that they do not want to live next to Palestinians and support revoking our citizenship. This prejudice, racism and violence directed at Palestinians is not limited to the fringe in society — it has become mainstream. In May alone, Mr. Netanyahu’s government allowed marches by violent Jewish supremacists through Palestinian neighborhoods of Jerusalem and into the Aqsa mosque compound. Israeli police officers and Jewish citizens have been offered de facto immunity for attacking Palestinians. Indeed, our mere existence nettles Israel’s ruling elites, who insist on preserving the Jewishness of the state. My father, who is 82, still waits for the day when he does not have to live in fear that we will be evicted from our homeland. To be a Palestinian in Israel is to wait for the day when Israel will decide to forever rid itself of you. How do I explain to my 7-year-old son what being a Palestinian citizen of Israel means? What future can he look toward, when the leaders of the government incite hatred against him? What audacious hope can he have when he is bound to face racism and discrimination in education, employment and housing? For now, I try to shield him from the images on television and on our phones, but there will soon come a time when I cannot shield him from the reality that he is surrounded by people who consider him a second-class citizen. Diana Buttu
En excluant ostensiblement le Hamas, l’administration Biden ne fait que perpétuer le mythe selon lequel le Hamas est le problème central (…) Nous savions que les roquettes décrépites tirées de Gaza étaient tout ce dont les Forces de défense israéliennes et le Premier ministre Benjamin Netanyahu avaient besoin pour rediriger l’attention du public sur la  légitime défense d’Israël et loin des préjudices infligés aux Palestiniens. (…) Le conflit concerne l’occupation israélienne. Se concentrer sur le Hamas, c’est aussi aseptiser le conflit, et ainsi en devenir complice. Cela permet aux gens d’exprimer leur sympathie pour les Palestiniens ordinaires tout en blâmant quelques personnes au sommet de la direction palestinienne. Mais le droit à la légitime défense contre l’agression continue d’Israël appartient à tous les Palestiniens; la résistance légitime ne peut être un droit que pour les Palestiniens qui croient exclusivement à la légitime défense non violente – pas face à la violence que nous endurons. (…) Qu’attendre d’une personne qui se fait tirer dessus alors qu’elle était enfant et qu’on ne lui donne qu’une prison ou un camp pour vivre en tant qu’adultes, plutôt que chez eux? C’est pas compliqué. Basma Ghalayini
There are two groups that attend anti-Israel rallies. One group styles themselves as being liberal, open-minded, very concerned about human rights, only wanting peace and so, so concerned over Palestinians who are killed during a war their side started. These people swear up and down that they are non-violent, against antisemitism and that they want Israel to go away quietly and peacefully as a result of world pressure and boycotts. The other are young Arab men who grew up with pure Jew-hatred. They are intolerant of women, of gays, they don’t care about the environment. They share none of the supposed principles of the kumbaya crowd, with the exception of wanting to see the Jewish state destroyed and of the role they take of eternal victims with no agency. The latter group is behind the torrent of antisemitic attacks we see happening every day in the West. They are the ones who are driving around in gangs, looking for Jews to intimidate or attack. They are directly threatening Jews on social media thousands of times a day. This is unprecedented. For decades, Jews have been able to walk around safely in most major cities without fear, without even considering hiding their kippot or Star of David necklaces. Jews used to be most afraid of being attacked by blacks, but over time that has become much less of an issue with the exception of the recent uptick of attacks in Brooklyn. Antisemitism has always been there but it definitely lessened. ADL statistics has seen it go down steadily since the 90s. But this is different than even the ’60s. Now Jews have to worry about gangs who are targeting them because they are Jews. Why have these Arab gangs suddenly become so emboldened to form posses to attack Jews? Because of the first group. The fine distinctions that Leftist Israel haters try to make between anti-Zionism and antisemitism are completely invisible to Arabs. They hate Israel because, not despite the fact, it is filled with Jews. Antisemitism is the entire source of the conflict. Their parents and preachers don’t teach them to hate Zionists but Jews. They look at their Jewish allies as tools and as dhimmis, not as role models. The attackers find strength in numbers, they see that they have the Left on their side, they are riled up by thousands of lies about Israel by speaker after speaker and tweet after tweet, they get validation from members of Congress and other liars and bigots who say that Israel is guilty of genocide and apartheid and ethnic cleansing, they are primed to violence from lurid and often faked photos of dead kids, they are whipped up into a frenzy from the hypnotic anti-Israel and antisemitic chants. And they are in large cities with lots of identifiable Jews all around, who must pay for these crimes. It is a recipe for violence. The Arab gangs are engaged in what they know best: terrorism. After all, the point of terrorism isn’t the attacks themselves but the feat that the attacks create among the targets. These Arabs are importing terror from their Middle Eastern cousins, doing everything they can to frighten Jews. They feel, correctly, that they have reached a critical mass with fellow Arabs in their respective Western countries. Crucially, they are being given cover by the secular Left, publishing articles that justify terror and the idea that Palestinians are justified in doing anything they want to Jews because all’s fair in « resistance. » Arabs are sensitive to being shamed. They have not acted like this before in America because the idea of wanton violence against Jews was shameful. Now, and their Leftist allies give them intellectual cover – and they will never, ever shame them. The Leftist anti-Zionists could shame them into stopping their attacks. They could make it clear that they want nothing to do with the antisemites. They could stand up and say that they will not be allies with Jew-haters and will not march with bigots. They could demand that mosques and Muslim leaders clearly denounce the attacks (they certainly will not do that on their own.) But these people who claim to speak truth to power will never, ever call out violence by Arabs They refuse to do that, because they are all about solidarity and allyship and, let’s face it, they don’t want to say anything negative about people of color who want to attack Jews. The Leftist enablers also know that the Arabs would turn on them next if they say anything negative about their antisemitism. Instead, the « progressives » issue weak statements against antisemitism and then return to their « From the river to the sea » chants to incite the next round of attacks. The only solution is to shame the attackers. The only people who can do that are tacitly condoning the attacks. This is a nearly perfect storm that is bringing up an entirely new class of Jew-hatred to America. Elder of zion
Aside from putting forward a peace proposal that was dead on arrival, we don’t think they did anything constructive, really, to bring an end to the longstanding conflict in the Middle East. Jen Psaki (Biden’s spokeswoman)
In the minds of the Iranian leadership and those of their Hamas proxies, the Abraham Accords represent the single greatest military and political threat to Iran’s nuclear and hegemonic ambitions. Destroying them is their strategic goal. The Abraham Accords provide a formal framework for the operational partnership that developed since 2006 between Israel and the Sunni Arab states that, like Israel, are threatened by Iran. In formalizing those ties, the Abraham Accords split the Arab/Islamic world into two camps. The first camp includes Iran and the states and terror groups Iran supports, controls and is allied with. Political forces hostile to Israel in the West support this camp. Members of the Iran camp and its supporters in the West insist the Jewish state is the greatest source of instability and the primary obstacle to peace in the Middle East. The second camp is comprised of Israel and the Arab states that understand that Iran is the greatest threat to peace and security in the Middle East. Arab members of this camp include Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, Egypt, Sudan and Morocco. These Arab states believe that in alliance with Israel they will be able to contain and eventually defeat the Iranian regime. Until the Abraham Accords were formalized, only the Iranian camp had an international presence. The anti-Israel, pro-Iran narrative, which claims that Israel is the greatest threat to regional and world peace, had the stage to itself from Tehran to California. Since the Abraham Accords were signed last September, the Iranian camp has been on the defensive. In a press briefing on Tuesday, President Joe Biden’s spokeswoman Jen Psaki indicated that the administration is just as unhappy with the Abraham Accords as the Iranians and Palestinians are. In response to a reporter’s question about the Trump administration’s peace efforts, Psaki pretended that the Abraham Accords don’t exist. “Aside from putting forward a peace proposal that was dead on arrival,” she said derisively, “we don’t think they did anything constructive, really, to bring an end to the longstanding conflict in the Middle East.” This asinine statement put paid the notion that Biden will ever opt for an alliance with the Abraham Accords member nations over the Iran/Hamas axis. Just as the administration refuses to even utter the term “Abraham Accords,” so it insists on ignoring their political significance for the states of the region and their military capacity to contain Iran. Despite the massive pressure that has been exerted against Abraham Accords member states to disavow their ties with Israel since Hamas opened its offensive last week, so far they have not wavered. The UAE, Bahrain and Morocco have put out mild statements on the Hamas war. Morocco sent humanitarian aid to Gaza. There have been no anti-Israel demonstrations in the streets of any of the Abraham Accords member states. Sudan’s leader, Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan discussed the issue in an interview with France 24 in Arabic earlier this week. (…) In his words, “The normalization [of relations between Sudan and Israel] has nothing to do with the Palestinians’ right to establish their own state. The normalization is reconciliation with the international community, and with Israel as part of the international community.” (…) Since it is clear that Israel made clear from the outset that it had no interest in conquering Gaza, Hamas will declare victory no matter how much damage it sustained from Israeli airstrikes. So too, after the Biden administration placed the threat of condemning Israel at the UN Security Council on the table in the first days of the conflict, it was clear that Israel wouldn’t dare defy Biden for long once he publicly demanded a ceasefire. Caroline Glick
Ce que nous voulons, nous autres Arabes, c’est être, or nous ne pouvons être que si l’autre n’est pas. S’il n’y a pas d’autre solution, alors que cette guerre nucléaire ait lieu et qu’on en finisse une fois pour toutes ! Ben Bella (ancien premier président de l’Algérie, 1982)
La révolution iranienne fut en quelque sorte la version islamique et tiers-mondiste de la contre-culture occidentale. Il serait intéressant de mettre en exergue les analogies et les ressemblances que l’on retrouve dans le discours anti-consommateur, anti-technologique et anti-moderne des dirigeants islamiques de celui que l’on découvre chez les protagonistes les plus exaltés de la contre-culture occidentale. Daryiush Shayegan (1992)
L’antisionisme est une incroyable aubaine pour les antisémites. L’antisionisme est l’antisémitisme justifié, mis enfin à la portée de tous. Il est permission d’être démocratiquement antisémite. Valdimir Jankélévitch
Nous imaginons, parce que la Guerre froide est finie en Europe, que toute la série de luttes qui ont commencé avec la Première guerre mondiale et qui sont passées par différents mouvements totalitaires — fasciste, nazi et communiste — était finalement terminée. (…) Hors de la Première guerre mondiale est venue une série de révoltes contre la civilisation libérale. Ces révoltes accusaient la civilisation libérale d’être non seulement hypocrite ou en faillite, mais d’être en fait la grande source du mal ou de la souffrance dans le monde. (…) [Avec] une fascination pathologique pour la mort de masse [qui] était elle-même le fait principal de la Première guerre mondiale, dans laquelle 9 ou 10 millions de personnes ont été tués sur une base industrielle. Et chacun des nouveaux mouvements s’est mis à reproduire cet événement au nom de leur opposition utopique aux complexités et aux incertitudes de la civilisation libérale. Les noms de ces mouvements ont changé comme les traits qu’ils ont manifestés – l’un s’est appelé bolchévisme, et un autre s’est appelé fascisme, un autre s’est appelé nazisme. (…) À un certain niveau très profond tous ces mouvements étaient les mêmes — ils partageaient tous certaines qualités mythologiques, une fascination pour la mort de masse et tous s’inspiraient du même type de paranoïa. (…) Mon argument est que l’islamisme et un certain genre de pan-arabisme dans les mondes arabe et musulman sont vraiment d’autres branches de la même impulsion. Mussolini a mis en scène sa marche sur Rome en 1922 afin de créer une société totalitaire parfaite qui allait être la résurrection de l’empire romain. En 1928, en Egypte, de l’autre côté de la Méditerranée, s’est créée la secte des Frères musulmans afin de ressusciter le Califat antique de l’empire arabe du 7ème siècle, de même avec l’idée de créer une société parfaite des temps modernes. Bien que ces deux mouvements aient été tout à fait différents, ils étaient d’une certaine manière semblables. (…) La doctrine islamiste est que l’Islam est la réponse aux problèmes du monde, mais que l’Islam a été la victime d’une conspiration cosmique géante pour la détruire, par les Croisés et les sionistes. (le sionisme dans la doctrine de Qutb n’est pas un mouvement politique moderne, c’est une doctrine cosmique se prolongeant tout au long des siècles.) L’Islam est la victime de cette conspiration, qui est également facilitée par les faux musulmans ou hypocrites, qui feignent d’être musulmans mais sont réellement les amis des ennemis de l’Islam. D’un point de vue islamiste, donc, la conspiration la plus honteuse est celle menée par les hypocrites musulmans pour annihiler l’Islam du dedans. Ces personnes sont surtout les libéraux musulmans qui veulent établir une société libérale, autrement dit la séparation de l’église et de l’état. (…) Les socialistes français des années 30 (…) ont voulu éviter un retour de la première guerre mondiale; ils ont refusé de croire que les millions de personnes en Allemagne avaient perdu la tête et avaient soutenu le mouvement nazi. Ils n’ont pas voulu croire qu’un mouvement pathologique de masse avait pris le pouvoir en Allemagne, ils ont voulu rester ouverts à ce que les Allemands disaient et aux revendications allemandes de la première guerre mondiale. Et les socialistes français, dans leur effort pour être ouverts et chaleureux afin d’éviter à tout prix le retour d’une guerre comme la première guerre mondiale, ont fait tout leur possible pour essayer de trouver ce qui était raisonnable et plausible dans les arguments d’Hitler. Ils ont vraiment fini par croire que le plus grand danger pour la paix du monde n’était pas posé par Hitler mais par les faucons de leur propre société, en France. Ces gens-là étaient les socialistes pacifistes de la France, c’était des gens biens. Pourtant, de fil en aiguille, ils se sont opposés à l’armée française contre Hitler, et bon nombre d’entre eux ont fini par soutenir le régime de Vichy et elles ont fini comme fascistes! Ils ont même dérapé vers l’anti-sémitisme pur, et personne ne peut douter qu’une partie de cela s’est reproduit récemment dans le mouvement pacifiste aux Etats-Unis et surtout en Europe. Paul Berman
L’administration Trump avait ouvert une nouvelle voie vers la paix au Moyen-Orient. Les principes étaient simples: punir les acteurs malveillants avec des sanctions, encourager financièrement la paix et résoudre le conflit au Moyen-Orient de l’extérieur vers l’intérieur. L’Iran avait été sanctionné plus durement que n’importe quelle nation dans l’histoire. L’Autorité palestinienne, ainsi que les agences des Nations Unies qui soutenaient leur programme, comme l’UNRWA, s’étaient vu couper les vivres. Et des accords de normalisation avaient été signés entre Israël et les Émirats arabes unis, le Bahreïn, le Soudan et le Maroc. L’approche avait fonctionné. Les quatre années de l’administration Trump ont été dans l’ensemble parmi les années les plus calmes de l’histoire moderne d’Israël. Pourtant, l’approche était une gifle à l’encontre de l’establishment du département d’État américain qui avait depuis longtemps postulé qu’il ne pouvait y avoir de paix nulle part dans la région tant que le conflit palestinien n’était pas résolu. La dernière flambée a remis la question israélo-palestinienne sur le devant de la scène et dans le territoire familier des auteurs et partisans des Accords d’Oslo, qui commencent à revenir sur le devant de la scène après un bref exil de quatre ans. Le secrétaire d’État américain Antony Blinken se rend maintenant en Israël, en partie pour renouer les liens avec les dirigeants palestiniens. La communauté internationale promet maintenant des fonds pour «reconstruire Gaza». Quand les acteurs malveillants comme l’Iran, le P.A. et le Hamas étaient privés de fonds et que les modérés étaient financièrement incités à la poursuite de la normalisation, un certain clame était revenu. Maintenant que le flux de fonds s’est inversé, le terrorisme est de retour. (…) L’Iran a joué un rôle clé dans le conflit actuel. Au cours des dernières années, mois et semaines, Israël a frappé secrètement l’infrastructure nucléaire iranienne, attaqué des navires commerciaux et frappé des armes de fabrication iranienne transférées en Syrie. L’Iran a tenté à plusieurs reprises de riposter, ciblant récemment les navires commerciaux israéliens en mer. Malgré les récentes frappes aériennes israéliennes, l’Iran a déjà réussi à stocker plus de 150 000 roquettes et missiles pointés sur Israël par le Hezbollah au sud du Liban. Et contrairement à l’arsenal de roquettes du Hamas à Gaza, nombre des missiles détenus par le Hezbollah sont à longue portée et de haute précision. Dans un «discours de victoire», le chef du Hamas Ismail Haniyeh a publiquement félicité l’Iran pour son soutien pendant le conflit, déclarant: «Je ne peux que remercier ceux qui ont apporté de l’argent et des armes à la vaillante résistance, la République islamique d’Iran; qui ne nous a pas ménagé son argent, ses armes et son soutien technique. Merci. » Un rapport récent du Wall Street Journal a noté que les roquettes du Hamas sont fabriquées à partir de plans iraniens et que les Iraniens ont fourni une assistance supplémentaire au Hamas. Presque toutes les activités malveillantes au Moyen-Orient ont aujourd’hui les empreintes de l’Iran. L’Iran tente de négocier un retour à l’accord nucléaire avec les États-Unis et les puissances occidentales. Ce conflit qui vient de se terminer devrait faire réfléchir l’Occident sur les ambitions iraniennes. Malheureusement, ce ne sera probablement pas le cas. (…) Les Israéliens regardaient de loin et avec étonnement les violentes émeutes qui ont envahi les villes américaines cette année sous le hashtag #BlackLivesMatter. La race est devenue la question la plus importante. Les membres de la communauté anti-israélienne aux États-Unis avaient depuis longtemps des liens avec les causes progressistes – ce qui ne manque pas d’ironie étant donné à quel point la société palestinienne progressiste en est éloignée. Il semble que les Palestiniens ont adopté avec succès la mentalité BLM et y sont accueillis à bras ouverts. Peu importe qu’Israël soit de loin le pays le plus progressiste du Moyen-Orient et l’un des plus progressistes du monde. Selon ce récit, les Israéliens sont les colonialistes blancs et oppressifs, indépendamment du fait que plus de 50% des Israéliens sont d’origine moyen-orientale (c’est-à-dire à la peau brune) dont les familles ont été expulsées de force de leurs maisons hors de presque tous les pays musulmans de la région après avoir vécu dans ces pays en tant que citoyens dhimmis de seconde zone. De plus, il y a un nombre important d’immigrants éthiopiens (à la peau noire), dont beaucoup sont arrivés en tant que réfugiés. Parmi les Israéliens d’origine européenne restants, une grande partie sont des descendants de survivants de l’Holocauste – un véritable génocide. Pourtant, tant que les Palestiniens réussiront à rester la demi-soeur de #BlackLivesMatter, Israël sera dans une période cahoteuse devant le tribunal de l’opinion publique. Alex Traiman
It is certainly true that in the past, conflagrations in the Middle East between Israeli and the Palestinians or its neighbors have created an — or catalyzed an uptick in anti-Semitism in America. But what we are seeing now is more drastic and, frankly, more dangerous. The ADL track between the two weeks of the conflict and the two weeks before a 63 percent increase. And that surge is far greater than what we have seen in prior incidents, like 2014, for example. But what I would also note is not just the quantitative, but the qualitative. The span of these attacks, they spread like wildfire across the country. You mentioned a few, California, Arizona, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, New York, New Jersey, South Carolina, Florida, acts of harassment and vandalism and violence. So, number one, the span is much greater than what we have seen, but secondly the tone, the brazenness, the audacity of these assaults in broad daylight. We have seen people basically say, if you are wearing a Jewish star, you must be a Zionist and you should be killed. We have seen people hurling bottles and objects at homes with mezuzot on the door that were identifiably Jewish. We have seen people driving cars or marauding through Jewish neighborhoods and yelling, « We’re going to rape your women, » right, or yelling things like « Allahu akbar, » and literally then wreaking physical violence on people. And one of the incidents that was captured was in broad daylight in Times Square, a group of people beating and bloodying a Jewish man whose only crime was he was wearing a kippah, to the point where he was left unconscious in the street while people kicked him, bloodied him with like crutches. It was really quite disgusting. And to think that this is happening in America is really unconscionable. The reality is, is, I do believe that political language can have real world consequences. But this is very different kind of political language. (…) today, we have unhinged, fictionalized conspiracies about Israel, that somehow the Jewish state is systematically slaughtering children or committing genocide. And then that leads to real-world attacks on Jewish people in the streets of America, on our campuses, in our communities. (…) And that’s why we think people, regardless of where you are on the spectrum, need to speak out clearly and firmly and forcefully and say, in an unambiguous way, that anti-Semitism is unacceptable, because, again, this isn’t activism. It’s hate, and it should be called out as such. (…) I have heard from Jewish people across the country, and they are feeling scared. They have extremists on the right. They have these, if you might say, radical voices from the left. And they are wondering, is it safe for me to go out wearing a kippah? Is it safe for me to walk to synagogue on a Saturday morning? Again, this is in America in 2021. So we think the leaders, not just President Biden, but members of Congress need to speak out and clearly and consistently call it anti-Semitism, without making equivalence or excuses for any other form of prejudice. You can have fierce debates about Middle East policy, but that is not an excuse to assault and victimize Jewish people in America, in Europe, anywhere. Jonathan Greenblatt (Anti-Defamation League)
Chaque fois que la France est menacée dans son existence et dans ses raisons d’être, il se forme dans ses marges un parti collabo. D’ordinaire, ce parti est d’extrême droite et se confond avec la réaction. Aujourd’hui, il est d’extrême gauche. Jacques Julliard
Sans doute, cette remarque de J. Julliard vaut-elle pour notre époque – disons qu’elle s’avère pertinente pour les années 2000-2020 ; pour autant, il me paraît risqué de soutenir que d’« ordinaire », le « parti collabo » était d’« extrême droite », dans la mesure où ladite extrême droite, si l’on pense à la période 39-45, se nourrissait de très nombreux transfuges de gauche, comme l’a démontré l’historien Simon Epstein dans Un paradoxe français. Pour ce qui est de la droite nationaliste, elle a su voir dans les Juifs des patriotes loyaux, je pense au Barrès des Familles spirituelles de la France, ou à l’engagement de son propre fils dans les rangs de la France libre. Le paradoxe dont rend compte S. Epstein c’est que les antisémites de l’Affaire Dreyfus ont été gaullistes et résistants pendant la Seconde Guerre, tandis que les partis de la collaboration se sont en grande partie recrutés parmi les dreyfusards et la gauche historique. Quant à la gauche demeurée à gauche, après la Seconde Guerre mondiale, elle n’avait pas grand-chose à envier à l’extrême droite sur le chapitre de l’antisémitisme, si l’on considère l’Union soviétique et ses satellites. (…) Il existe en effet une convergence significative entre l’islamisme et le gauchisme qui trouvent un véritable point d’entente sur le sujet de l’antisionisme. Cela paraît absurde, antinomique, et fondé sur un malentendu, puisque ce sont en principe des ennemis que doctrinalement tout oppose. Mais ils ont en commun la volonté d’en découdre avec la civilisation européenne, et communient aujourd’hui dans l’idéologie décoloniale. Leurs motivations initiales diffèrent du tout au tout : l’extrême gauche est antijuive par tradition voltairienne et marxiste, l’islamisme est antisioniste, en raison de la théologie politique de l’islam qui ne souffre pas de souveraineté non-musulmane sur le « dar al-islam ». L’extrême gauche est anticléricale et s’imagine que l’identité juive est « religieuse », tandis que l’islamisme reconduit le vieux débat de la théologie de la substitution en se proclament seule détenteur de la « vraie » révélation. Néanmoins la rencontre de ces deux souches allergiques aux Juifs pour ce qu’ils représentent, n’est somme toute pas récente. L’histoire de cette convergence, du point de vue des matrices doctrinales, remonte aux années 20 du XX siècle. C’est une partie d’échecs : il fallait mettre en échec la possibilité d’un sentiment de sympathie pour un Israël souverain. (…) le discours gaullien de 1967 marque un tournant dans les relations franco-israéliennes, le début d’un véritable renversement d’alliance. Les jeunes générations n’ont pas la moindre idée de la bonne entente qui régnait entre Paris et Jérusalem avant la Guerre des Six Jours. Ce renversement d’alliance a été largement expliqué par la situation géopolitique de la France par rapport au monde arabe : le Maghreb où elle a été longtemps présente, ainsi que le Proche- Orient. (…) Corrélativement, l’existence d’une immigration musulmane souvent peu éduquée, véhiculant le mépris du Juif (al yahoud), voilà qui fait subir une formidable involution à la mentalité issue de l’esprit des Lumières, quoique les Lumières soient elles-mêmes très divisées sur le chapitre de l’égale dignité de tous les hommes. Que de larges fractions de l’opinion soient désormais affectées par le prurit de l’antisémitisme n’a rien de surprenant, cela est le résultat d’une volonté politique, savamment distillée. En matière d’opinion, et de politique de l’opinion, il n’y a pas de génération spontanée. Les grands médias ont été chargés de diffuser la doxa antisioniste, depuis la fin des années 60 du XXe siècle, et trois générations de Français ont bu de ce lait. Cette nouvelle modalité de l’antisémitisme a été sciemment inculquée, et rares sont les esprits qui ont passé l’évidence antisioniste au tamis de l’esprit critique. L’expression antisioniste est d’autant plus désinhibée, qu’elle repose sur des motifs pleins de noblesse : l’antisionisme se présente comme un humaniste et un antiracisme. C’est au nom de l’humanisme et de l’antiracisme que l’on se dit antisioniste. (…) C’est dans la littérature nationale-socialiste que se trouve d’abord le point de mue de l’antisémitisme culturel de la fin du 19è siècle en antisémitisme racial et en antisionisme génocidaire. (…) cette littérature a été traduite en arabe et a trouvé de profonds échos, notamment dans le mouvement national palestinien, à l’époque du Mandat britannique sur la Palestine. C’est dans ce contexte que l’antisémitisme hitlérien entre en symbiose avec l’antijudaïsme des Frères Musulmans. Aujourd’hui la proximité des leaders du mouvement palestinien avec les Frères musulmans, ancêtre de l’OLP de Yasser Arafat, a été mise en exergue par de nombreux historiens (…) Au sortir de la Seconde Guerre mondiale, le mouvement palestinien, militairement vaincu, comme toute la coalition arabe qui s’était formée contre Israël, tombe dans l’escarcelle de l’Union Soviétique. À partir de ce moment, l’URSS écrit un nouveau chapitre de l’histoire de l’antisionisme. Ce n’est plus la conspiration juive que fustigent les staliniens, mais le sionisme allié de l’impérialisme américain, le sionisme incarnation du capital. Il s’agit d’une variante du même schéma. (…) L’antisionisme tel que nous le connaissons, et tel que les « progressistes » acquis à sa cause le pratiquent de nos jours, sort directement des officines du KGB. (…) À cela, il faut ajouter le rôle de vecteur de l’extrême gauche, notamment française, qui a battu des records de forgerie à partir de 1968. L’échec des révolutions prolétariennes, les désillusions du soviétisme ont entraîné dans ses rangs une radicalisation de la lutte anticapitaliste, et ses représentants ont joué un rôle considérable dans la promotion et la banalisation d’un antisionisme à visage humain, décorrélé de l’antisémitisme, devenu tabou en Europe, après la Shoah. Les Palestiniens en sont venus à occuper la place qu’occupait le prolétariat dans le marxisme classique. (…) L’extrême gauche a affiné, si je puis dire, le travail de mise en circulation de ce que j’ai appelé des « équation efficaces », destinées à présenter d’Israël une image répulsive. Ces équations idéologiques définissent une pseudo-logie : « sionisme = nazisme », « sionisme = apartheid », « sionisme= racisme », « sionisme=impérialisme », etc. Lorsque l’on connaît l’histoire, la réversibilité des termes sonne faux, et dénonce ces « équivalences » comme des aberrations, historiques aussi bien que sémantiques. Faut-il rappeler que les Sionismes sont nés en réponse à l’antisémitisme du 19è siècle: russe, allemand, français, et ottoman? (…) De plus, que veut dire « être antisioniste » après la Shoah ? Ces antisionistes au grand cœur, feignent d’oublier qu’il n’y avait plus de place sur terre pour le peuple juif. En somme, qu’est-ce que l’antisionisme propose aux Juifs ? Le retour à la situation d’exil, et d’exposition passive à toutes les formes de la persécution ? À quelle sorte de destin historique l’antisionisme promet-il les Juifs ? Au mieux, à leur disparition en tant que représentants d’une identité singulière, porteur d’un message universel, au pire à leur liquidation physique. (…) Pour autant, je ne confonds pas l’antisionisme islamo-gauchiste ou génocidaire avec l’asionisme de nombreux Juifs qui font le choix de l’intégration dans les sociétés démocratiques. Ceux-là ont affirmé un choix conséquent, en se détachant à titre individuel du destin collectif d’Israël. Pour moi, ils le font à leurs risques et périls. (…) Le fait est que l’État d’Israël représente un pôle identitaire affirmé, en tout cas dans les imaginaires collectifs. Et le signifiant « Israël » n’a jamais été compris, il a été combattu, mais pas compris. Le sionisme se trouve dans une situation paradoxale, du fait du caractère anormal ou atypique de l’histoire juive, au regard de la philosophie politique européenne. D’abord, le sionisme est la dernière expression du principe des nationalités, il s’est affirmé pour la première fois, avec un décalage de près d’une génération sur la dynamique d’auto-détermination née du printemps des peuples, en 1848. (…) Comment comprendre le sionisme, dans un contexte où l’idée de peuple suppose des critères précis : la base territoriale, la communauté de langue ? Or les Juifs ne sont nulle part chez eux, ils sont dispersés, n’ont plus de langue commune, et sont réduits depuis près de deux millénaires à supporter le carcan symbolique d’une entité théologique, ils sont « le peuple du Livre ». Voilà que sous la pression d’un mouvement antisémite international -pogromes en Russie, statut de dhimmi et violences antijuives dans l’empire ottoman, affaire Dreyfus en France, pétition des 200 000 en Allemagne, floraison des ligues et des partis antisémites, etc. – ils entendent reconstituer leur nation. (…) Il s’agit pour les penseurs sionistes de rendre au peuple juif sa dimension historico-politique, ni plus ni moins. Or ce n’est pas ainsi que l’entendent les nations, habituées, du fait de la polémique théologique contre le judaïsme, à considérer celui-ci comme une « religion ». (…) Le Judaïsme est une civilisation, qui a été déracinée par les empires. C’est à cette situation que le sionisme a entendu mettre fin. Le second paradoxe tient au fait que la souveraineté juive s’est surtout affirmée concomitamment à la fin de la Seconde Guerre mondiale, à une époque marquée par le reflux du nationalisme, et bientôt la critique de l’État Nation. Le reflux du nationalisme est forcément assimilé au refus du bellicisme et de la violence doctrinale dont ont fait preuve le national-socialisme et les fascismes. Quant à la critique de l’État-Nation, elle s’est peu à peu déduite de la formation de l’Europe supranationale, dans le contexte de la polarisation Est/Ouest, à l’époque de la guerre froide. Une nouvelle ère culturelle s’est épanouie, fortement favorisée par le développement du post-marxisme et du post-structuralisme, sous le rapport de ce que l’on appelle d’un terme assez vague la philosophie post-moderne. Or cette pensée post-moderne est paradoxalement très marquée par la philosophie de Heidegger, l’artisan de Abbau, la destruction/déconstruction de… l’humanisme européen. (…) Au-delà du champ philosophique, le principe de la déconstruction a fait souche dans le débat idéologique : l’idéologie décoloniale est une métastase du post-marxisme mâtiné de déconstruction. C’est là que les deux souches virulentes se rejoignent : d’un côté la mauvaise conscience de l’Occident, qui, pour s’exprimer, recycle follement les idées du plus grand penseur nazi du XXè siècle, d’autre part l’idéologie du djihad conquérant, qui révèle le principe historique de l’islam primitif. Ces deux souches culminent dans une posture inlassable de ressentiment, dont Max Scheler a explicité les mécanismes, il y a déjà un siècle. Néanmoins, la critique du néo-antisémitisme que représente sciemment l’antisionisme constitue un angle mort du débat public, comme s’il ne s’agissait que d’une « affaire juive ». Or c’est tout le contraire. Par leur complaisance et leur démagogie, les démocraties occidentales ont joué le jeu de la centrale palestinienne, elles l’ont financée, en relayant sa propagande anti-juive, depuis le milieu des années 60. Si des germes d’antisémitisme demeuraient vivaces en Europe, après la Libération, c’est à l’OLP que le monde actuel doit d’avoir été de nouveau submergé par cette vague d’antisémitisme. L’OLP (…) demeure le vecteur de propagation le plus virulent : elle a pris le relais de l’Église en matière de diffusion universelle de l’enseignement du mépris. Le discours canonique de l’antisionisme, sa charte internationale, c’est précisément celle de l’OLP. Par ce texte, l’OLP signe sa double filiation : d’abord nazie et stalinienne, mais aussi par sa tonalité tiers-mondiste qui lui a conféré sa « respectabilité », pendant des décennies, auprès des gauches européennes. A la souche totalitaire, l’OLP emprunte explicitement, le schème conspirationniste des Protocoles des Sages de Sion, au tiers-mondisme, l’OLP emprunte l’idéologie anticolonialiste et l’anti-américanisme. La charte du Hamas, plus récente, campe sur les mêmes positions. (…) De nos jours, dans les manifestations « pro-palestiniennes », les « antisionistes » exhibent de nouveau la croix gammée sur leurs banderoles aux couleurs de la Palestine, ce n’est pas l’expression d’un ‘’dérapage’’, mais la signature d’une authentique filiation…Il y a ensuite la connivence totalement inattendue, mais par un effet de conjoncture, du discours des grands médias et du discours de l’extrême gauche, qui ont servi de relais aux prétentions de l’OLP, en fabriquant un véritable catéchisme – en un mot une vulgate – à destination du grand public : les grands médias, en vertu de l’alignement pro-palestinien des gouvernements successifs, depuis 1967, l’extrême gauche par son action continue sur la société civile, et ses capacités d’entrisme à l’université notamment. (…) L’ensemble de ces paramètres, leur combinatoire historique, liée à des stratégies délibérées, gouvernementales mais aussi militantes – de niveau logique entièrement distinct- contribuent à définir l’espace massif de ce « point mort », de ce que j’appelle l’angle mort du débat public en France, mais pas seulement. (…) Vladimir Jankélévitch avait vu juste, en identifiant le principe génétique de l’antisionisme. L’antisionisme radical est une forgerie du nazisme et du stalinisme, reprise par le nationalisme islamiste des Palestiniens au début du Mandat britannique sur la Palestine, pour s’opposer à la progression du mouvement sioniste. (…) l’antisionisme est la dernière modalité historique connue de la judéophobie, après l’antijudaïsme théologique (chrétien puis musulman), et l’antisémitisme moderne (culturel, raciste et/ou nationaliste). Ces trois modalités sont liées par un même invariant : la criminalisation du fait juif, comme je l’ai écrit au début des années 2000 (…) À cet égard, l’antisionisme de Tarik Ramadan est congruent avec l’idéologie des Frères musulmans. Si nous savons généralement que son grand-père était le fondateur de la confrérie, l’on sait moins en revanche que son père était l’émissaire pour la Palestine du Grand Mufti de Jérusalem. Quant à Jean-Luc Mélenchon, son antisionisme est celui d’un communiste pro-soviétique reconverti dans le populisme islamo-gauchiste, rien que de très congruent là encore. (…) Ce sont des alliés objectifs du point de vue tactique, et des alliés subjectifs du point de vue de leurs convictions propres : l’islamisme radical du premier, le laïcardisme agressif et l’opportunisme électoraliste de l’autre. (…)  À côté de cela, il faut prendre en considération le cas de la gauche juive, critique du sionisme, modérée ou radicale, qui  s’explique autrement. Cette conception s’origine d’une part dans Marx lui-même, mais très certainement dans les élaborations ultérieures (…) On voit pointer là la perspective d’une résolution de la question juive dans le cadre d’un universalisme de sensibilité révolutionnaire. Un universitaire influent en son temps tel que Maxime Rodinson, a occupé une place central dans ce dispositif. Auteur de Question juive ou problème juif ?, il a fixé pour longtemps la norme de l’interprétation « coloniale » du sionisme, en donnant le ton par son article rédigé pour l’Encyclopaedia Universalis au début des années 70 du vingtième siècle. Simultanément, la descendance idéologique de communistes d’origine juive, tel que Henri Curiel, via Le Monde diplomatique, avec des vecteurs d’opinion comme son fils Alain Greisch, ou Dominique Vidal – tous deux passionnément antisionistes- a contribué et continue encore à brouiller les cartes sur la question de savoir qui est juif et surtout comment l’être. Ce sont ces intellectuels de gauche, « universalistes », qui ont contribué à ethniciser le sionisme, à le défigurer en présentant des versions controuvées de la révolution sioniste. Ces deux journalistes, experts auto-proclamés du Proche Orient ont consacré une bonne partie de leurs écrits et de leurs interventions à tâcher d’apporter la démonstration de l’indépendance de l’antisionisme et de l’antisémitisme. Au regard de la connaissance historique, ce sont des gesticulations sans pertinence, de pures théorisations polémiques qui servent des buts de conquête idéologique de l’espace public. Quant à leur collusion avec l’islamisme radical, elle est une caractéristique intrinsèque de leur engagement. En leur temps, cela ne les a pas empêchés de suggérer à l’OLP de se rapprocher de la gauche européenne, ni de s’aligner eux-mêmes sur le principe du « socialisme dans un seul pays », qui, après tout, est un ultra-nationalisme, un nationalisme impérial au sens obvie de ce terme. (…) Les communistes ont toujours hurlé avec les loups, au nom de l’anticolonialisme et de l’anti-impérialisme. Quant aux socialistes ils étaient divisés, ou ambivalents, ou dans le déni. On se souvient du retournement du Parti Socialiste, pour des motifs électoralistes, au début des années 2000 : il suffit de rappeler les positions d’un Pascal Boniface, auteur de : Est-il permis de critiquer Israël ?, mais aussi à l’attitude de Lionel Jospin, alors premier ministre, au moment de la deuxième intifada : il n’y avait pas d’antisémitisme dans les universités, et l’antisionisme était un non-sujet… Le cas des israéliens antisionistes est différent, même si leur discours entre en convergence avec celui des antisionistes radicaux, en leur conférant une précieuse justification (« si ce sont des Juifs qui le disent, alors il est illégitime de nous taxer d’antisémitisme », etc.). L’antisionisme israélien repose sur plusieurs composantes. Il a différentes sources : le Berit Chalom, le sionisme marxiste, le sionisme socialiste, pénétré de moralisme, les nouveaux historiens, et le post-sionisme, qui est la modalité israélienne du post-modernisme. Chez les militants du Berit Chalom, règne une certaine naïveté, qui se condense dans l’impératif d’une éthique sans politique, à l’heure des pogroms antijuifs déclenchés par le mouvement palestinien ! De cette posture, il reste l’essentiel chez les antisionistes israéliens, qui est un moralisme belliciste. Ainsi, le cas de Shlomo Sand est paradigmatique : il cumule la posture moraliste, le rejet de la tradition juive, comme prisme d’intelligibilité de la signification historique du sionisme, et l’adhésion crypto-communiste à la critique anticolonialiste, héritée du prisme de lecture marxiste. Quant à Elie Barnavi, ou à Abraham Bourg, ils sont représentatifs de l’élite du pays, installé, comme beaucoup d’intellectuels, dans la posture du donneur de leçon, également perméables au thème marxiste et post-marxiste de la prétendue culpabilité de l’Occident. Pour moi, ces esprits se leurrent, leur analyse est fausse, car elle prend pour référentiel les catégories de l’historiographie hégélienne : les Juifs ne sauraient avoir d’État, et s’ils en ont un, il ne faut surtout pas que celui-ci se distingue par des traits de caractère juifs. Mais le sionisme, c’est précisément cela. Il a été pensé par le peuple juif dans un moment de grand péril, pour rétablir la souveraineté juive, en assumant l’histoire juive. Le sionisme authentique n’est pas en rupture avec le messianisme juif, il le vivifie mais ne l’abolit pas. Les antisionistes juifs, on peut le présumer, expriment d’abord un besoin de normalisation, qui cache une demande d’amour : « ’Acceptez-nous, aimez-nous, nous ne sommes pas différents de vous, nous sommes comme vous ». (…) On serait tenté, dans le cas de Sand, d’arguer de la haine de soi, dont Théodore Lessing a fait l’analyse.. Mais je ne suis pas favorable à cette analyse psychologique. Il s’agit pour moi d’un problème idéologique qui a sans doute des conséquences psychiques. (…) L’antisionisme d’une partie des Israéliens n’a plus grand-chose à voir avec ce phénomène individuel. Il est le symptôme partiellement collectif d’une volonté de normalisation. (…) Il y a enfin le cas d’intellectuels dont on ne peut pas dire qu’ils soient antisionistes, mais qui du fait de leur adhésion au schéma de l’analyse marxiste de l’histoire tendent à ignorer la singularité de l’histoire juive, en projetant sur l’histoire du sionisme les mécanismes coloniaux. Il est symptomatique que lorsqu’ils sont francophones, ces intellectuels fourbissent leur critique en usant de références qui sont celles de la colonisation française. Ils seront ainsi enclins à analyser le conflit palestino-israélien dans les mêmes termes que des militants du F.L.N analysaient la nécessité de l’indépendance algérienne. (…) Voilà le fonds de commerce idéologique de la gauche israélienne, à l’heure du débat sur l’identité nationale… (…) À partir de ce schème, plusieurs générations d’Israéliens déculturés, ont été éduqués par de mauvais maîtres avec la conviction d’être issus d’une nation d’envahisseurs et de colons, au sens des impérialismes européens. Mais un Juif ne sera jamais un « colon » en Judée ! L’inculcation de ce même schéma dans les universités, et le développement de deux discours concomitants, à partir de grilles de lecture complètement inappropriées, à quoi se sont ajoutées les thèses analogues des « nouveaux historiens » (exception faite de Benny Morris) procède d’une erreur de jugement, qu’il est aisé de repérer. (…)  Ce sont moins les universités en tant que telles que certains universitaires, militants actifs de la cause palestinienne, qui ont considérablement pesé dans la politisation des universités. Au fil des décennies, celles-ci sont devenues des foyers significatifs de promotion de l’antisionisme. Une fois encore cela remonte à la fin des années soixante, lorsque l’extrême gauche a inventé de toute pièce la cause palestinienne, comme un motif clef de la mobilisation du monde étudiant. D’année en année, il s’est créé un profil type de l’universitaire progressiste, nécessairement hostile à Israël, précisément sur le thème anticolonialiste, ce qui en dit long sur l’ignorance ou la mauvaise foi partisane de ces individus. (…) Au début des années 2000, ces mêmes collègues ont été des acteurs actifs du BDS, et nous avions dû faire beaucoup d’efforts pour enrayer une première fois ce mouvement. (…) à bien considérer les positions politiques en jeu, ces mêmes universitaires-militants forment la 5e colonne de l’islam radical. Ils représentent un certain dévoiement de la gauche, puisque par la nature même de leurs actions, ils fédèrent la nouvelle internationale antisémite, en lui offrant une caution académique. (…) Comment des gens qui se prétendent démocrates peuvent cautionner un mouvement dont l’idéologie de référence est celle des Frères musulmans ? Il y a là une sorte de dissociation philosophique que je m’explique mal, puisqu’à tout prendre, ces fonctionnaires de la République cautionnent quand même un projet – si on peut encore user de ce terme – profondément rétrograde : le refus de la souveraineté juive, la diffusion de l’agenda politique du terrorisme, et bien entendu le rejet de la société ouverte. Le discours de cette clique est celui d’une nouvelle forme de  fascisme: désignation de l’ennemi (« l’entité sioniste », « les sionistes »), suivi de son essentialisation (« colons », « occupants », avec toutes les connotations inhérentes à ces termes en Europe), le simplisme idéologique, le révisionnisme historique, l’esprit de délation, etc. Il s’agit d’une véritable institutionnalisation de la délinquance, fondée sur la diffusion d’un nouvel enseignement du mépris qui fait lien avec le modus operandi de l’antisémitisme classique. La péjoration constante du sionisme, ainsi que la délégitimation morale de l’État d’Israël, les mensonges régulièrement distillés n’ont pas peu contribué à la subversion du débat public. En ce sens, le nouvel antisémitisme se trouve alimenté par le discours des ennemis d’Israël entré en convergence avec celui que véhicule, pour des raisons économiques ou électoralistes, les élites gouvernementales. Ce climat fait chorus avec la désinformation qui prévaut en France, si bien que ces enseignants portent une grande part de responsabilité dans l’effondrement du niveau culturel et le décervelage des étudiants dont ils ont la charge. Il y a enfin un paradoxe qui ne laisse de me faire méditer : l’antisionisme s’affirme au nom de l’amour de la paix, mais il faut bien dire qu’en tant que pacifisme de principe, il constitue la forme la plus sournoise du bellicisme. (….) Les intérêts géopolitiques de la France ont amené les régimes et les gouvernements successifs à considérer que le monde arabe était un débouché et un allié naturel : sous la  monarchie, l’empire, la République, c’est un invariant. Au sortir de la Seconde Guerre mondiale, nous savons que la France a offert l’asile au Mufti de Jérusalem, qu’elle a aussi permis sa fuite, sous une fausse identité, ce qui lui a permis d’échapper au Procès de Nuremberg. La France savait ce qu’elle faisait, mais elle l’a fait en songeant au bénéfice qu’elle pourrait un jour tirer de ce geste. Après le renversement d’alliance, le tournant anti-israélien pris par De Gaulle, la France a choisi de s’impliquer en faveur de la cause palestinienne : Arafat, qui avait été l’émule du Mufti (il comptait au nombre de ses proches à l’époque de l’alliance entre le mouvement national palestinien et la diplomatie nazie), est devenu un allié fiable et fidèle. Elle lui a témoigné son soutien, et l’a accueilli dans ses deniers jours à l’hôpital des armées du Val de Grâce, tout un poème. Mais c’est aussi la France, qui a offert l’hospitalité à l’imam Khomeini, en chemin vers Téhéran, au moment de la révolution islamique. C’est cela la realpolitik…C’est encore la France républicaine qui a doté l’Irak antisioniste de Saddam Hussein d’un réacteur nucléaire que l’aviation israélienne a détruit pour ne pas permettre qu’Israël vive sous la menace d’une extermination nucléaire. N’eusse-t-il pas été plus cohérent que la France des Lumières, persiste à s’affirmer l’alliée naturelle d’Israël, après Vichy, après des siècles de présence des communautés juives en France ? C’est aussi la France républicaine qui a délibérément pris le parti de désinformer les citoyens français, en distillant via l’AFP les contre-vérités les plus grossières. Realpolitik, une fois de plus. Selon la même ligne de cohérence diplomatique, c’est encore la France qui détient à l’ONU le record des condamnations d’Israël, aux côtés de la majorité automatique, traditionnellement hostile à Israël (en vertu de la théologie politique de l’islam). Ceci étant, j’attends le moment où les paix d’Abraham, récemment conclues entre Israël et ses principaux ennemis arabes, porteront de tels fruits, que certains secteurs de l’Europe seront les derniers tenants de l’antisionisme, tandis que l’antisionisme sera devenu minoritaire parmi ses principaux tenants historiques. Aujourd’hui le gouvernement de Khartoum demande la « normalisation » avec Israël, alors que c’est à Khartoum que fut proclamé par la Ligue Arabe, en 1967, le programme des « 3 non à Israël » : non à la reconnaissance, non à la négociation, non à la paix… La topologie internationale sera entièrement modifiée : il y aura d’un côté les anciens ennemis ligués dans des alliances de coopération, et de l’autre les antisionistes has been, décoloniaux et post-modernes, emmenés par la France, avec ses mantras du Quai d’Orsay (« la solution à deux États »…). La position intangible de la France participe d’une longue tradition de réalisme politique et de pusillanimité, très bien analysée par David Pryce-Jones (…) À mes yeux, cela est impardonnable, car la France – précisément en tant que puissance impériale et coloniale- a été présente dans le monde arabo-musulman pendant près d’un siècle et demi. N’a-t-elle rien retenu de cette si longue présence ? N’a-t-elle tiré aucune leçon du jusqu’auboutisme du FLN, dont les historiens admettent seulement aujourd’hui les racines islamistes ? En un sens nous avons là le même phénomène qu’avec l’OLP, qui est en réalité une émanation des Frères Musulmans palestiniens, mais qui a eu l’intelligence tactique de se couler dans le tiers-mondisme pour rendre acceptable son antisionisme. Le véritable point de mue se situe là, c’est cela la convergence des luttes… (…) La prétendue « solution à deux États » est la traduction diplomatique du narratif palestinien, de la contre-vérité selon laquelle « le » sionisme, et l’État d’Israël sont fondés sur l’exclusion et l’expulsion des Arabes de Palestine. (…) Lorsqu’ensuite, au sortir de la Seconde Guerre mondiale, l’ONU vote le partage de la Palestine, en deux États – l’un juif, l’autre arabe-, les Arabes palestiniens, ont la possibilité d’affirmer leur dignité nationale. Non seulement ils rejettent cette décision internationale, mais ils se lancent avec la Ligue Arabe, dans une guerre d’extermination contre l’État d’Israël, car le mouvement sioniste, quant à lui, a dit « oui » à ce partage, et s’en contente. La possibilité d’un État palestinien faisait donc partie de l’agenda international, et il a été refusé au mépris du droit international. Après la défaite militaire, les Arabes de Palestine, emmenés par le Fatah, ont inventé le terrorisme international, c’était leur alternative au droit international, précisément. Il faut encore rappeler, et cela ne choque personne et n’a jamais choqué personne, que les Britanniques ont créé la « Trans-Jordanie » (l’actuelle Jordanie) en …1922, pour trouver justement une solution nationale au « problème palestinien ». Tout cela est oublié. À la suite de la guerre d’indépendance, les portions territoriales allouées à l’État Arabe de Palestine, ont été annexées, respectivement par l’Égypte (la bande de Gaza) et la Jordanie (la Cisjordanie). Ce n’est qu’à la fin des années soixante-dix que l’Égypte et la Jordanie ont renoncé à leurs annexions, obligeant Israël à se débrouiller avec les populations de ces territoires. Il s’est produit dans l’intervalle deux autres guerres d’extermination – celle de 1967 et celle de 1973- que la Ligue arabe a encore perdues. Puis, l’État d’Israël a cru bon d’engager des négociations avec la centrale palestinienne (OLP), ce qui a conduit aux Accords d’Oslo, parce que depuis la création du Fatah et le ralliement international à « la cause palestinienne », la terre entière exigeait à l’unisson une « solution à deux États ». Nous connaissons la suite : aux termes des Accords de 1993 (Oslo), les « Palestiniens » ont obtenu l’autonomie politique graduelle. C’est la vague d’attentats des années suivantes qui a enrayé ce processus, et l’irrédentisme des mêmes « Palestiniens », bientôt rejoints par la faction plus radicale du Hamas. Depuis 2006, les « Palestiniens » sont gouvernés par deux entités politiques : le Hamas dans la Bande de Gaza, l’Autorité palestinienne en « Judée-Samarie », c’est-à-dire sur le territoire qui est le berceau historique du peuple juif. Voilà pourquoi le principe de « la solution à deux États » est un mantra hypnotique, parce qu’en vérité il existe déjà trois entités nationales palestiniennes : une monarchie (la Jordanie), un mini-État islamique (la Bande de Gaza), et une dictature tiers-mondiste (Jéricho et ses dépendances). En sorte que l’État palestinien que revendique l’antisionisme coïncide avec l’exigence inacceptable de la disparition de l’État d’Israël en tant qu’État du peuple juif. À cet égard, alors que les antisionistes et leurs émules moutonniers se sont fait une spécialité de dénoncer les « crimes de guerre » d’Israël, et les entorses au droit, ce sont eux en vérité qui incarnent le parangon du non- respect du droit international, et ceci depuis le début de l’histoire d’un conflit, dont ils sont les uniques responsables. Si l’antisionisme ainsi compris triomphait, la solution à « deux États », serait en vérité une solution à quatre États : l’État d’Israël, devenu binational, la Bande de Gaza, la Jordanie, et les territoires de l’Autorité palestinienne de M. Abbas. Le principe de la « solution à deux États » est une formule qui n’a qu’une portée et qu’une valeur idéologique, dans un monde désymbolisé. Il est le symptôme manifeste de ce que l’Europe, mais aussi une partie des États-Unis, et par extension tous les partisans de la « solution à deux Etats » ignorent avec l’histoire les rudiments du calcul mental, en se convertissant massivement au narratif palestinien, qui est la version laïque de la sha’ada – la formule religieuse de la conversion à l’Islam. (…) il suffit de ne pas être aveugle pour lire sans le moindre risque d’erreur la signification du logo de l’OLP, ou celui du Hamas. Le logo de l’OLP représente la géographie de l’actuel État d’Israël, couverte par deux fusils croisés, tandis que celui du Hamas, représente la Mosquée d’El Aqsa, auréolée de deux sabres : un beau mélange des deux versions de l’islam, radical avec les cimeterres  de l’expansion des premiers siècles, et « modéré » avec les fusils vendus par la Russie, et la Chine. On ne peut mieux établir le caractère substitutif de la « cause palestinienne », qui est le nouveau cri de ralliement des antisémites, pour toutes les raisons que j’ai dites. (…) Le narratif palestinien donne à reconnaître quelque chose qui ressemble à la passion du Christ. Les « Palestiniens » sont les nouveaux crucifiés… Leur propagande victimaire a su exploiter tous les ressorts de l’âme occidentale, et de la culpabilité européenne. Quoi de plus apaisant pour des nations qui ont été le théâtre de la Shoah de se convaincre, à l’unisson avec les faussaires du Hamas et les négationnistes de l’OLP que « les victimes d’hier, sont les bourreaux d’aujourd’hui », en faisant accroire qu’Israël a mis en œuvre « le génocide du Peuple palestinien » ? Le narratif palestinien reprend mot pour mot les éléments de langage de la mémoire juive : la clef de la maison que l’on a dû abandonner, le thème de l’exil et de la diaspora, celui de la spoliation, des massacres, de la résistance « héroïque » (des « combattants palestiniens »), analogue de celle du ghetto de Varsovie. (…) l’antisionisme a aussi su faire oublier qu’un million de Juifs ont été expulsés des pays arabes, entre 1948 et 1975, et qu’à ce jour il ne subsiste plus une seule communauté juive d’importance significative sous ces latitudes. (…) Quant aux comparaisons outrancières, elles sont des lieux communs bien connus de la presse de gauche et d’extrême gauche, depuis que l’AFP, s’est mise au service de la « cause palestinienne », et qu’elle diffuse journellement les contes et légendes de Palestine à l’intention de populations anesthésiées. On conçoit aisément la part de distorsion, de manipulation et de cynisme qui entre dans cette réécriture intégrale de l’histoire. (…)  pour la coalition islamo-gauchiste, la destruction de l’État-Nation, et le harcèlement d’Israël sont de bonnes et saintes causes. (…) [ aujourd’hui les propagateurs essentiels des idées anti-juives sont] tous ceux qui les diffusent, mais aussi tous ceux qui sont indifférents à leur diffusion et ne s’y opposent pas explicitement ni publiquement. (…) Cela me rappelle le mot du pasteur Niemöller : «  Quand les nazis sont venus chercher les communistes, je n’ai rien dit, je n’étais pas communiste ; Quand ils ont enfermé les sociaux-démocrates, je n’ai rien dit, je n’étais pas social-démocrate ; Quand ils sont venus chercher les syndicalistes, je n’ai rien dit, je n’étais pas syndicaliste ; Quand ils sont venus me chercher, il ne restait plus personne pour protester.  »  (…) En agissant comme elles le font, toutes ces personnalités [du néo-féminisme radical] ont la conviction de témoigner publiquement de leur engagement humaniste et universaliste. (…) elles ont intériorisé les équations efficaces dont je parlais tout à l’heure. Mais au fond de leur engagement, il se joue pour elles, un combat éthique de premier plan, très caractéristique de la post-modernité : c’est la lutte contre la civilisation patriarcale. Mieux, c’est la volonté d’en découdre avec le fantasme du patriarcat oppressif. De ce seul point de vue, le féminisme radical se déduit de l’antijudaïsme qui sous-tend l’antisionisme. Le signifiant Israël agrège toutes les figures de l’autorité : le père, le juge, le maître, le guerrier… Ce radicalisme est la marque de l’intolérance à ce que représente la figure archétype du juif. Il n’est donc pas étonnant que la convergence des luttes s’articulent également sur un substrat symbolique qu’il s’agit de contester à sa racine. (…) Il s’agit toujours de tuer le juif symbolique. C’est le principe même de la désymbolisation contemporaine, qui consiste à s’attaquer au cadre du moralisme judéo-chrétien présumé. (…) Le discours que tient J. Butler procède d’une posture typiquement juive, caractéristique de l’Amérique du Nord. N. Chomsky l’a précédée, au nom de la critique de l’impérialisme. Le propre de ces « intellectuels juifs » est précisément de ne plus se rallier au judaïsme au sens historique et culturel de ce terme. (…) Il s’agit d’intellectuels d’origine juive, entièrement déjudaisés. Ils ont été littéralement aspirés par la logique centrifuge du narratif victimaire, distinctif du palestinisme. Ils sont également très représentatifs, à ce titre, des effets clivants de la judéophobie : la culpabilisation des Juifs par la propagande palestinienne, a poussé nombre de bons esprits à se désolidariser du peuple juif et du destin national du peuple juif, en préférant un choix individualiste, plus fortement valorisé dans le contexte d’une culture académique-universaliste. Autrement dit, c’est un ethos. À cet égard, ils sont des incarnations de l’universalisme abstrait, sans se rendre compte qu’en tant qu’idéologie dominante de l’impérium Nord-américain, cette posture est un ethnocentrisme qui s’ignore. Il en résulte que toute identité singulière collective, devient la cible de leur péjoration. Dans la droite ligne de leur choix philosophique, ils naturalisent leur choix existentiel, qui est celui  d’une assimilation provocatrice qui les exonère de toute compromission avec l’Israël historique qu’ils appellent à discriminer. De manière tendancielle, ce sont des figures héroïques de l’identification à l’agresseur, de solides cautions de l’antisionisme, puisque si ce sont des Juifs qui le diffusent, alors c’est que ce doit être « vrai ». Cette façon de donner le change les installe comme des porte-parole de la justice, alors qu’ils pêchent contre l’esprit. Mais ces choix les protègent de l’hostilité d’ennemis inconciliables, puisqu’ils les devancent et les justifient. (…)  La plupart des adversaires doctrinaux d’Israël s’entêtent à critiquer son « particularisme », son « exclusivisme », etc. Notez-bien que cette objection est en phase avec une caractéristique originaire de la judéophobie historique, puisque l’Église, aussi bien que l’Islam visent justement le « séparatisme » juif, son entêtement à refuser de se fondre dans la majorité, en reconnaissant la vérité théologique des deux autres monothéismes. Cette même disposition a conditionné la conception de l’universalisme des sociétés sécularisées. (…) Les présupposés théologiques de la philosophie de l’histoire, ont fait apparaître que la modernité est en effet une sécularisation de la théologie de l’histoire : c’est le principe même de la généralisation d’un modèle de société qui se comprend lui-même comme impliquant l’uniformisation idéologique des membres qui la constituent, même lorsque ces sociétés se fondent sur la séparation des pouvoirs, et que de ce fait elle garantissent les libertés individuelles (de conscience, de religion, notamment). Il est également remarquable, que la plupart des penseurs postmodernistes ont appuyé leur critique socio-politique de la mondialisation capitaliste sur un retour à l’universalisme paulinien, dont l’allergie au « particularisme » juif est emblématique. D’autant qu’il s’agit d’un particularisme coupable (historiquement lié au rejet de la messianité de Jésus). Le thème théologique de la perfidie des Juifs – c’est-à-dire de leur « infidélité »- est constitutif de cette conception. Or, sans la moindre exception, les principaux théoriciens du postmodernisme professent une position antisioniste, en reconduisant à l’encontre d’Israël, l’objection de particularisme, et pour ce faire, ils articulent leur conception sur une référence explicite à l’universalisme de St Paul ! Le tournant altermondialiste des penseurs post-modernes Toni Negri, Alain Badiou, Giorgio Agamben, Slavoj Zižek, signe l’appartenance de leur vues à cette double dépendance matricielle : la promotion de ce que j’appelle « l’universalisme abstrait » coïncidant avec la dénonciation du « particularisme juif », qui s’exprime sous le rapport du « sionisme », notamment chez les trois premiers. Une fois de plus, sous la plume de ces auteurs, Israël s’est rendu coupable de déroger à cette conception d’un universalisme allergique à la différence, d’un universalisme assimilateur. Mais à notre époque, la critique du « particularisme sioniste » étaye une accusation sous-jacente : ce particularisme serait « raciste », et l’État d’Israël formerait une « ethno-démocratie ». Ces thèmes sont des invariants du postmodernisme politique : cette conception de l’universalisme sous-tend la péjoration de l’identité juive, depuis la plus haute antiquité. Le particularisme est toujours l’expression d’une dérogation, l’indice constant du refus d’adhérer à l’ordre de la majorité. Comme tel, il est ressenti comme un pôle d’adversité. Il y a là quelque chose d’un résidu de la mentalité primitive qui consiste à poser a priori que l’autre – du fait de sa différence- représente un danger, qu’il est aussi un ennemi. Le même ethos caractérise le grand nombre d’intellectuels juifs qui se sont éloignés de la culture juive, et qui au nom du post-sionisme font chorus avec leurs homologues non-juifs. Ils ne sont plus ni juifs, ni sionistes – ils dénoncent l’un et l’autre au nom de « l’universalisme », ce sont des « alter-juifs ». (…) En regard de cet activisme qui n’a de juif que le nom, depuis la plus haute antiquité, la tradition hébraïque a affirmé une conception fort différente de l’universalisme. La tradition biblique développe une vision originale qui tranche avec les mythologies des autres civilisations : la diversité humaine procède d’une même souche appelée à se différencier en peuples distincts, chacun ayant une vocation spécifique. Le thème hébraïque du particularisme est toujours l’indice d’un trait positif, puisque la différence est constitutive de l’identité humaine. (…) Dans cette perspective, l’universalisme hébraïque, qui continue d’informer à la fois le Judaïsme, la pensée et l’histoire du peuple juif est un universalisme différentialiste. Ce n’est ni le signe d’un exclusivisme, ni le signe d’une hostilité, mais au contraire la marque distinctive d’une distinction culturelle. La Bible hébraïque est de ce point de vue un modèle de tolérance et de respect des différences personnelles et collectives. Dans le narratif biblique, celui de la Torah (du Premier Testament), il n’existe qu’un peuple indigne, c’est Amalek. Amalek dont toute la spécificité est de haïr Israël et de rechercher sa destruction. Il n’a pas d’autre raison d’être. C’est littéralement un non-peuple, qui se nourrit d’une fausse identité, laquelle n’est que négative et négativité. L’antisionisme mime à s’y méprendre la dialectique du positionnement archétype d’Amalek : il ne dit pas ce qu’il est, il dit seulement qu’Israël ne doit pas être, il projette sur Israël sa propre négativité. Par ailleurs, l’ignorance de la conception hébraïque et juive de la forme différentialiste de l’universalisme ne saurait excuser cette charge permanente contre le sionisme, elle est aussi l’indice de ce que le concept de tolérance, si cher aux « universalistes éclairés » n’est qu’un slogan creux quand il s’agit des Juifs, et d’Israël. (…) Cette incompréhension fondamentale trouve sa principale origine dans ce que j’appelle la conception exogène de l’identité juive, qui est la conception commune, selon laquelle le judaïsme est une religion. J’oppose à cette conception ce que je nomme la conception endogène du fait juif, et qui désigne la manière dont les Juifs qui connaissent leur histoire se conçoivent eux-mêmes, et comprennent leur identité historique. Pour ces derniers – et j’y inclus les Juifs israéliens- ce qu’il est convenu de désigner du terme de « religion » n’est que l’un des paramètres de l’identité juive. C’est sous le coup de la polémique théologique – chrétienne et musulmane – contre le judaïsme, que la civilisation juive, dans une situation prolongée d’exil – c’est-à-dire de perte de souveraineté et de déterritorialisation- s’est trouvée réduite à sa dimension spirituelle et cultuelle. (…) Il s’agit d’une véritable assignation aux catégories théologiques dominantes, en sorte que pour assurer sa pérennité, le peuple juif a en effet tendanciellement intériorisé cette identification. (…) À partir du moment où s’affirme un sentiment national juif – à travers le sionisme, dès la fin du 19è siècle, un certain nombre de questions se posent, qui témoignent de la perturbation que fait naître cet éveil : comment une collectivité « religieuse » peut-elle prétendre à se constituer en État, et de surcroît en État-nation moderne ? L’idée d’un « État juif » n’est-elle pas une contradiction dans les termes ? L’existence d’un tel État n’est-il pas l’indice d’une affirmation théocratique ? Le sionisme est-il autre chose qu’un colonialisme ? Ces questions, qui expriment toutes le point de vue exogène, ignorent de fait la continuité effective du sentiment national juif, inhérent au messianisme juif. Tout l’enseignement du judaïsme repose sur la perspective du retour des enfants d’Israël sur la terre d’Israël, dont le centre se trouve à Sion/Jérusalem. Il faut tout ignorer de l’histoire juive, mais aussi de l’histoire universelle qui a imposé ses rythmes au peuple juif, pour tenir ces questions pour des questions pertinentes. Ce point de cécité est une caractéristique majeure d’une mentalité qui a été façonnée par une écriture de l’histoire universelle qui est celle des vainqueurs. C’est en effet le point de vue de l’empire Romain qui depuis deux millénaires commande aux catégories de l’analyse historique. À commencer par le nom de « Palestine », dont nous savons qu’il a été donné par l’empereur Hadrien en 135 de l’ère commune à la terre d’Israël, pour effacer le nom de la Judée. L’Europe chrétienne a hérité de cette vision, et à sa suite l’historiographie scientifique « laïque ». Cela est passé dans le catéchisme de l’Église de Rome, mais pas seulement, où l’on peut lire que « Jésus est né en Palestine », cela a été naturalisé par les chroniqueurs, les cartographes, les diplomates, les juristes, les biblistes (à commencer par la plupart des spécialistes de « l’Ancien Testament » (sic)), les analystes politiques, et bien entendu les journalistes, etc. (…) Qui sait en ce début du XXIème siècle que les premiers sionistes possédaient un passeport estampillé « Palestine », et qu’ils étaient avant la création de l’État d’Israël ceux auxquels s’appliquaient de manière exclusive, la désignation de « Palestiniens » ? Le sionisme dérange aussi parce qu’il fait voler en éclat les catégories théologico-politiques sur lesquelles se sont édifiées aussi bien le christianisme que l’islam, ainsi que la modernité séculière : le sionisme accomplit l’espérance du Retour à Sion, et de ce fait il met en échec le christianisme – et dans une moindre mesure l’islam-  dont toute la théologie politique s’est édifiée sur l’hypothèse de la disparition des Juifs de la scène de l’histoire. Le sionisme dérange d’autant plus dans un monde sécularisé, puisque dans le contexte de son émergence endogène, il déroge aux conditions de formation des États nations. L’idée d’un Israël national tranche avec l’idée d’un Israël entendu comme catégorie liturgique, « peuple du Livre », ou « peuple témoin », etc. Israël peuple historique de nouveau territorialisé et souverain, cela connote l’archaïsme et suscite une haine archaïque. (…) L’émergence, puis le développement du sionisme, et enfin sa concrétisation dans une réalisation nationale, cela s’apparente à un immense retour du refoulé. C’est l’histoire d’un spectre revenu à la vie, et cela est des plus dérangeants. L’ordre symbolique occidental mais aussi oriental procédait de ce refoulement. Rien n’y a fait, le peuple juif a survécu, non seulement il a survécu, mais de surcroît il a regagné son indépendance. Comment ne pas entrer en guerre contre cette présence que l’on croyait réduite, et sur laquelle nombre d’identité se sont construites ? (…) Le philosophe Eliezer Berkovits a écrit que la survie inexplicable d’Israël a inspiré les théories du complot, et notamment les deux versions les plus délétères : au Moyen Age, l’Église expliquait la persistance du Judaïsme par l’hypothèse théologique que ce dernier était une incarnation du Diable, avec l’essor de la modernité, c’est le mythe des Protocoles des Sages de Sion, qui s’est efforcé d’ « expliquer » par l’existence d’une « conspiration juive », les grandes mutations de l’histoire récente (la Révolution française, la Révolution bolchévique, la première et la seconde guerre mondiales, etc.) Si après tout ce qu’ils ont subi, les Juifs n’ont pas disparu, c’est qu’ils détiennent des pouvoirs occultes, qu’ils sont protégés par une puissance surnaturelle. L’antisionisme, comme les autres formes de la judéophobie, s’alimente à une haine métaphysique. Seule une haine métaphysique a pu inspirer le projet satanique de la Solution finale, et seule une haine métaphysique peut encore et toujours inspirer – après la Shoah- la reviviscence de l’antisémitisme. Cette dimension de l’antisionisme doit être soulignée, elle éclaire ce qu’il y a d’irrationnel et d’irrédentiste dans l’antisémitisme.  (…) L’agression du Hamas, et la réplique entièrement justifiée d’Israël s’inscrivent dans la droite ligne du refus palestinien de l’existence de l’État juif. Contrairement aux antisémites « classiques », habitués à bafouer les Juifs sans qu’ils aient les moyens de se défendre, les nouveaux antisémites que sont les « antisionistes » connaissent le prix de leur propre violence. Quant à ce qui s’est produit à l’intérieur même d’Israël, dans ce que la presse appelle les « villes mixtes », les violences entre Arabes et Juifs sont de précieux indicateurs de la persistance du refus de la souveraineté juive parmi les citoyens israéliens arabes. (…) À mon sens, après la fin de ces violences, il conviendra de mener une réflexion politique très sérieuse, et de tirer les leçons de la situation. Outre qu’elle est résolument révélatrice de l’attitude d’une partie de la population arabe à l’égard de l’État d’Israël, elle est aussi révélatrice de l’échec d’une classe politique qui s’est détournée depuis quelques années des principes du sionisme : un certain irénisme, un certain angélisme avait convaincu les gouvernements successifs – aussi bien de gauche, que de droite- de faire évoluer le pays vers une modèle européen. Les intellectuels post-sionistes ont leur part de responsabilité – la responsabilité des intellectuels est toujours significative, même si elle est discrète. Nous savons que les partisans du post-sionisme sont favorables à un État d’Israël déjudaïsé, un État d’Israël qui renoncerait à son caractère juif. L’expérience historique nous a enseigné à ne pas sous-estimer la virulence du refus palestinien ; et la naïveté de la classe politique et des intellectuels des post-sionistes a été de s’imaginer que leur option favoriserait l’émergence d’une harmonie définitive entre citoyens israéliens d’origine juive et d’origine arabe. Voilà des années que nous entendons parler de la nécessité de transformer Israël en « état de tous ses citoyens », encore l’un de ces mantras à l’efficience hypnotique. Comme si ce n’était pas déjà le cas depuis 1948. Seulement, dans la bouche de ceux qui utilisent cette formule, elle signifie de faire évoluer l’État d’Israël vers la forme d’un État binational, qui serait appelé de surcroît à coexister avec un État palestinien, qui lui, bien entendu, serait judenrein (vide de Juifs).  (…) Or, contrairement à ce que l’opinion majoritaire s’imagine – encore une fois sous les effets de discours du post-sionisme (Sand en est une bonne illustration)-, c’est le fait que l’État d’Israël soit déjà l’État de «tous ses citoyens » qui a permis à ceux qui n’en veulent pas de le faire savoir violemment, à l’occasion de l’agression du Hamas, en mai 2021. Il faudra en tirer les conséquences : condamner les émeutiers – y compris juifs- à de lourdes peines, et rappeler les citoyens arabes récalcitrants à la nature du contrat social du sionisme démocratique : « Vivez en paix et dans la pleine égalité de droits avec vos concitoyens juifs, ou bien quittez le pays, choisissez entre les trois entités nationales palestiniennes qui existent déjà : la Jordanie, depuis 1922, la Bande de Gaza, depuis le coup d’État du Hamas, en 2007, ou la Cisjordanie de l’Autorité palestinienne, consacrée par les Accords d’Oslo, depuis 1993, parce qu’ici vous êtes dans un État à caractère juif. »  Le vote de la « Loi Israël, État nation du peuple juif », adoptée par la Knesset le 19 Juillet 2018 va justement dans ce sens. Elle consiste à rappeler trois principes fondamentaux, et de ce point de vue, elle ne fait que réitérer les grandes thèmes de la Déclaration d’indépendance de 1948, proclamée par David Ben Gourion : (1) Israël est la patrie historique du peuple juif, dans laquelle l’État d’Israël a été établi ;(2) L’État d’Israël est le foyer national du peuple juif dans lequel il satisfait son droit naturel, culturel, religieux et historique à l’autodétermination ; (3) Le droit à exercer l’auto-détermination nationale dans l’État d’Israël est propre au peuple juif. D’aucuns – laminés par l’état d’esprit de l’antisionisme- pourraient m’objecter que c’est là un discours « raciste », et bien entendu « fasciste », mais je leur rappellerai une simple prémisse : l’État d’Israël a été fondé par le mouvement sioniste pour garantir la souveraineté et la sécurité du peuple juif, sur un territoire où jamais aucun état palestinien n’a existé, et l’État d’Israël a offert la citoyenneté, avec parité de droits, à tous ses citoyens, depuis sa création. Nous savons, par ailleurs, que pour rien au monde, la majorité des citoyens israéliens arabes ne voudraient vivre sous domination palestinienne. Il est donc aberrant de construire toute une rhétorique, fondée sur la criminalisation de l’État juif, au prétexte qu’il procède du sionisme, puisqu’ainsi conçu il est en effet le fruit du sionisme, et qu’il a été conçu pour les Juifs, avec l’assentiment de la majorité des Nations Unies, par voie de droit. La guerre a été la conséquence du refus arabe, et depuis 1948, la conséquence du refus persistant des « Palestiniens », qui se sont fait une spécialité de violer le droit international. Mais si l’on considère que le caractère juif de l’État d’Israël constitue une discrimination des non-Juifs, c’est que l’on n’a pas l’intelligence élémentaire d’en comprendre la raison d’être. L’originalité et la grandeur de l’État d’Israël réside en effet dans ceci : tout en étant l’État édifié pour garantir la souveraineté et la sécurité du peuple juif, ses lois fondamentales garantissent les droits individuels de tous ses citoyens, sans exception d’origine, de religion, de conviction, etc. C’est un État démocratique : la licence de la violence palestinienne aussi bien que la prospérité du discours post-sioniste en sont deux preuves éloquentes. Les troubles à l’ordre public sont les indices du refus de la loi d’Israël dans l’État d’Israël. Ce n’est pas tolérable. (…) Je crois pour ma part que la meilleure façon de combattre la judéophobie, quelle qu’elle soit, repose sur différentes formes d’enseignement et de processus éducatifs. Il faut commencer par l’enseignement de textes, ceux de la Bible hébraïque, qui ont enseigné au monde le principe de l’unité du genre humain, mais aussi l’égale dignité des êtres humains, et surtout l’idéal universaliste bien compris. L’ironie de l’histoire, c’est que les grands principes de la fonction critique qui sont forgés par l’hébraïsme sont instrumentalisés contre le peuple qui les porte ! (…) La République est un cadre vide si aucune transmission ne garantit la défense et l’inculcation philosophique, culturelle, et citoyenne de ses raisons d’être. Georges-Elia Sarfati
Ce que l’Allemagne nazie avait testé en Espagne en 1936, l’Iran vient de le tester à Gaza : expérimenter ses armes, mettre au point ses méthodes et sa tactique de guerre, autant qu’évaluer la riposte de son ennemi. Le grand allié du Hamas fonctionne à l’identique. L’Allemagne nazie avait aussi pris la mesure de la mollesse des démocraties à se mobiliser en faveur de la République espagnole. Malgré le décalage historique, malgré, les différences politiques, il reste une constante : les régimes totalitaires connaissent les couardises des démocraties, leur lenteur à comprendre l’enjeu pour elles-mêmes. Au conseil de sécurité de l’ONU, qualifier les termes du conflit, nommer l’agresseur a été impossible. À l’Assemblée nationale, le Premier ministre Jean Castex a prioritairement exprimé son souci pour les malheurs de Gaza. Des salves de roquettes tirées indistinctement sur Israël, il ne fit pas mention. Ici s’arrête la comparaison. À la différence de la République espagnole, Israël a non seulement su contenir son agresseur, il a aussi réussi à l’affaiblir durablement sans pour autant le détruire. Rien n’est donc réglé. Un autre ennemi bien plus redoutable fourbit ses armes qu’il espère définitives. La pluie de roquettes tirées indistinctement sur tout le territoire israélien témoignait d’un projet guerrier exterminateur : sans la protection du dôme de fer, il y aurait eu des milliers de victimes civiles en Israël. Ces attaques indistinctes du Hamas révèlent un modèle stratégique dont on peut tirer la leçon : l’Iran n’hésitera pas à utiliser l’arme nucléaire contre Israël, dès qu’il en aura la capacité. Le djihad nucléaire sera l’étape suivante de l’affrontement. Cette perspective ne procède en rien d’un souci quelconque pour la Palestine. Le sort du peuple palestinien est le dernier souci du pouvoir iranien et de ses créatures Hamas, Hezbollah et autre djihad islamique. Cette rente idéologique n’est que l’alibi de son projet. La vision apocalyptique iranienne obéit à un projet messianique que les ayatollahs au pouvoir n’ont jamais dissimulé : détruire cette enclave juive incrustée au cœur d’un espace tout entier supposé appartenir à la sphère de l’islam. Toutes les démocraties le savent, tous les dirigeants du monde occidental connaissent les données de l’enjeu. Ce qui vient de se dérouler à Gaza sert de test pour elles autant que pour le mentor du Hamas. Sont-elles prêtes à reconnaître que l’idéologie du Hamas est le variant islamisé d’un projet qui a sa source dans un nazisme oriental ? Sont-elles prêtes à l’affronter ? Ou bien estiment-elles au contraire que l’on peut négocier avec cette puissance et sacrifier Israël pour une paix illusoire ? En 1938, à Munich, la France et l’Angleterre estimèrent que sacrifier les Sudètes à l’Allemagne nazie allait sauver la paix. On connaît la suite et le mot de Churchill sur Daladier et Chamberlain : « Ils ont eu le choix entre le déshonneur et la guerre, ils ont choisi le déshonneur et ils auront la guerre ». Les négociations de Vienne sur le nucléaire iranien seront-elles de la même veine ? Ce conflit en annonce un autre qui ne saurait tarder entre Israël et un Iran nucléaire dont la Palestine est l’alibi. (…) Tandis qu’Israël protège sa population des roquettes du Hamas, à la fois par les abris et son système de défense anti-missiles, le Hamas se protège des frappes israéliennes en s’abritant derrière sa population civile pour tirer ses roquettes. Grace à un réseau de souterrains bétonné, le Hamas a enterré ses structures militaires au cœur des villes, au milieu des immeubles civils. Les millions de dollars de l’aide internationale récoltés depuis 2014 ont été utilisés pour bâtir ce « métro » abritant ses armes. (…) Au-delà de sa seule dimension locale, proche-orientale, la récurrence de cette affaire nous concerne, en Europe, en France particulièrement, parce que son écho déchaîne d’autres passions enfouies, nées d’un passé pas si lointain. Le poids de la Shoah d’une part, des culpabilités et d’autre part le poids des relations entre l’Occident et le monde arabo-musulman, entre la France et ses anciennes colonies surdéterminent le regard porté sur le conflit. C’est dans la trace de Vichy, de ses effets mémoriels, autant que dans le reflet de la guerre d’Algérie, de ce qu’elle implique des deux côtés de la Méditerranée, des affects nés de cette mémoire, de ses souffrances, qu’il faut fouiller pour se prémunir, ici, des guerres civiles à venir. Ce Proche-Orient par procuration nous oblige ici même. C’est peut-être en France, à Sarcelles, à Trappes, à Bondy, que pourraient s’imaginer d’autres constructions intellectuelles indispensables pour sortir de ces schizophrénies identitaires qui annoncent le pire. Pour le moment, nous en sommes très loin : ce sont des manifestations de fureur haineuse qui ont déferlé dans les rues de Londres, Montréal, New York, Paris. Cette ivresse répétée apparaît davantage relever d’une pathologie collective inscrite au cœur de l’imaginaire arabo-musulman. Ce ressentiment, cette frustration, vise aussi la France quand la pensée dite décoloniale perpétue ici une guerre d’Algérie jamais finie. Pourtant d’autres voix existent dans le monde arabo-musulman. En Algérie, le Hirak exprime un refus de cette fatalité. Ces voix sont minoritaires, mais elles osent dirent la vérité. Kamel Daoud, Riad Sattouf, Boualem Sansal osent briser cette pensée magique qui dit que son malheur vient d’Israël et des Juifs. « Israël est l’aphrodisiaque le plus puissant pour les arabes », aimait rappeler judicieusement Hassan II, l’ancien roi du Maroc. Ce pré-pensé idéologique qui enferme le monde arabe dans la régression, la gauche l’a entretenu, en Occident, en France, en particulier. Cette gauche porte une lourde responsabilité dans l’entretien de ce récit, car c’est encore et toujours à travers la grille de lecture de la guerre d’Algérie que s’interprète le conflit israélo-arabe. Dans une surenchère aveugle, la gauche de la gauche fait sienne la rhétorique indigéniste et décoloniale. Jacques Julliard a parfaitement résumé les choses : « Chaque fois que la France est menacée dans son existence et dans ses raisons d’être, il se forme dans ses marges un parti collabo. D’ordinaire, ce parti est d’extrême droite et se confond avec la réaction. Aujourd’hui, il est d’extrême gauche ». Bien pire, la nazification d’Israël permet simultanément de délégitimer le droit d’Israël à être : en renversant les termes de l’histoire, en identifiant les Palestiniens comme les nouveaux Juifs et Israël comme le nouveau nazi, le gauchisme retrouve en Palestine une cause exemplaire. Ces banderoles affichant un signe = entre la svastika et l’étoile de David, resteront pour la gauche de la gauche, comme une obscénité symbolique majeure. Jacques Tarnero
Israël emprisonne des enfants – Mohammed Kleib 14 ans, condamné à 15 ans de prison pour jets de pierres présumés. En prison depuis 8 ans. Affiche parisienne (Résistance Palestine, mai 2021)
Mon passe-temps, c’est de jeter des pierres: dans une culture du conflit en Cisjordanie, les garçons se défendent comme ils peuvent. Titre du New York Times (2013)
It was Muhammad’s fourth arrest in three years for throwing stones at Israeli soldiers and settlers. His five brothers — three older and two younger — have all faced similar charges. Last year, three Abu Hashem boys, and their father, were in prison at the same time. “Children have hobbies, and my hobby is throwing stones,” Muhammad explained weeks before his most recent arrest. “A day with a confrontation is better than a free day.” (…) Youths hurling stones has long been the indelible icon — some call it a caricature — of Palestinian pushback against Israel: a recent United Nations report said 7,000 minors, some as young as 9, had been detained between 2002 and 2012. Here in Beit Ommar, a village of 17,000 between Bethlehem and Hebron that is surrounded by Jewish settlements, rock throwing is a rite of passage and an honored act of defiance. The futility of stones bouncing off armored vehicles matters little: confrontation is what counts. (…) Beit Ommar, a farm town with roots in the Roman era, is a hot spot because of its perch off Road 60, the main thoroughfare from Jerusalem south to the settlements of Gush Etzion, which the Palestinians say have taken up to one-third of the village’s original 13 square miles. The military, which since May has been joined by a company of border police to crack down, focuses on 11 prime stone-throwing points along the village’s mile-long stretch of the road. There are “the duo,” two houses teenagers hide between; “the stage,” a raised area; “the triangle,” an open field; and “the Molotov bend.” And then there is the 200-year-old cemetery that slopes up from the road just north of the village entrance. On Thursday, after the burial of a 63-year-old retired teacher, a teenager hurled a rock at a passing car with yellow Israeli plates: whack. Another teenager, two more stones: another direct hit. The settlers stopped their car, got out, and began shouting at the small crowd. Soon, there were soldiers, rifles raised and tear gas at the ready, who eventually hauled a Palestinian taxi driver into a waiting army jeep. Menuha Shvat, who has lived in a settlement near here since 1984, long ago lost count of the stones that have hit her car’s reinforced windows. “It’s crazy: I’m going to get pizza, and I’m driving through a war zone,” said Ms. Shvat, who knew a man and his 1-year-old son who died when their car flipped in 2011 after being pelted with stones on Road 60. “It’s a game that can kill.” For as long as anyone here can remember, the cemetery has been a field for that game. Residents said it was often surrounded by soldiers and filled with tear gas, though the military commander said he stations his troops across the road and instructs them to unleash riot-control measures only if violence erupts. (…) The youths, and their parents, say they are provoked by the situation: soldiers stationed at the village entrance, settlers tending trees beyond. They throw because there is little else to do in Beit Ommar — no pool or cinema, no music lessons after school, no part-time jobs other than peddling produce along the road. The New York Times
Stones kill, maim, wound and change people’s lives forever. Israeli infants have been slain, toddlers critically wounded and adults too have been killed, sustained severe head injuries or were hospitalized with lighter injuries, all due to Palestinian stone throwers. But the story of Israeli victims is not the one the New York Times prefers to tell and is certainly not the one Middle East correspondent Jodi Rudoren chose to recount in her latest front page, above-fold article about Palestinian stone throwers, entitled “‘My Hobby Is Throwing Stones’: In a West Bank Culture of Conflict, Boys Wield the Weapon at Hand.” Quite the contrary, this was a story that romanticized and heroized the Palestinian perpetrators. It is they – not the Israeli dead and injured – who are presented as the victims, “provoked by the situation,” forced into this type of “futile” hobby, only to be arrested and incarcerated by fierce, powerful Israeli soldiers. According to Rudoren, Palestinian youths “throw [stones] because there is little else to do in [their village] – no pool or cinema, no music lessons after school, no part-time jobs other than peddling produce along the road.” Her article focuses on the perpetrators’ excuses, justifications for and pride in their actions, as well as the hardships they endure when arrested for their activities. (…) Here, stone throwing is glorified as “pushback against Israel,”  a “rite of passage,” and an  “honored act of defiance.” Its violent results are played down, whitewashed. According to Rudoren, “The futility of stones bouncing off armored vehicles matters little [to the stone throwers]: confrontation is what counts.” But stones do not merely “bounce off armored vehicles” futilely. What about 5-month old Yehuda Shoham whose skull was crushed by stones hurled at his car and who died after a six day struggle for life in 2001? What about 3-year-old Adele Biton who spent four months in the intensive care unit of a hospital fighting for her life and is now confined at a rehabilitation hospital, relearning how to eat, talk and walk after Palestinian rocks struck her mother’s car this past March? What about 1-year-old Yonatan Palmer and his 25-year old father who were killed in September 2011 when their car was struck in a Palestinian stone attack? Although Palestinians are almost never convicted of murder for hurling stones at Israeli vehicles, Palestinian security officer Walal al Araja, confessed to and was convicted of the Palmer murders, as well as a series of similar attempted murders involving stone throwing. In Rudoren’s telling, however, there is no place for the stories of the unfortunate infants and toddlers who are targets of the Palestinians’ “rite of passage” or “hobby,” as the perpetrators view their stone throwing. The article mentions the murder of the Palmers only in passing, without names, relaying it as hearsay about anonymous victims (…) Indeed, this brief comment is the only mention of Israeli children who have fallen victim to Palestinian stone-throwers. In a nearly 2000-word article, The New York Times can find no room to even mention Yehuda Shoham or Adele Biton, let alone tell their stories. (…) The photos and captions that accompany the article, too, hide the violence and danger of the Palestinian “hobby” and focus instead on youthful sport on the part of Palestinians and harsh punitive measures on the part of Israeli soldiers. Not everyone takes such a benign view of rock throwing teenagers and not everywhere is the harsh treatment of the perpetrators of such attacks criticized. In 1986, a U.S. teenager was sentenced to life in prison for throwing a stone from an overpass that killed a toddler in a car below.  In 2010, two South Carolina teenagers were indicted on first degree murder charges after killing a woman sitting in the front seat of a car with a stone hurled from an overpass.  And, in 2002, even when stone throwing resulted in no injuries, the teenaged perpetrators were charged with assault and battery with intent to kill and malicious injury to personal property.  (…) Yisrael Medad, on his blog, “My Right Word,”  provides a summary documenting the number of Palestinian stone throwing attacks from January-June of this year. In addition to 5,144 stonings, there were 611 molotov cocktail attacks, 8 shootings and 3 stabbings.  But the only statistics provided by Rudoren pertain to the number of Palestinian children (stone throwers) incarcerated by Israel. That  is the only part of the story The New York Times wants to tell. Camera

Condamné à 15 ans de prison pour jets de pierres présumés …

En ces temps de désinformation généralisée …

Où après l’assassinat politique du président Trump

Nos médias en sont à réécrire leurs articles passés

Et au lendemain d’une énième agression du Hamas contre les civils israéliens …

Qui profitant de la complaisance de la nouvelle administration américaine

Obsédée par sa nouvelle religion de  l’antiracisme anti-blanc et anti-occidental

Rien de  moins en fait qu’une véritable « blacklivesmatterisation » de ce conflit comme de tous les autres …

Avec la reprise, pour détricoter, en une sorte de troisième mandat Obama, l’avancée historique des Accords d’Abraham du Président Trump, du calamiteux accord nucléaire avec les génocidaires de Téhéran …

A vu comme d’habitude tant nos médias que nos responsables politiques

Dans des états par ailleurs incapables de protéger leur propre population ou même leurs forces de sécurité

Rivaliser, remettant une nouvelle pièce dans le jukebox antisémite, de désinformation et de remontrances aux autorités israéliennes pour réponse prétendument « disproportionnée » …

Fausses cartes, en une du New York Times, de la « Palestine » comprises…

Comme si une pluie de plus de 4 000 roquettes en 11 jours sur Paris ou New York …

Qui aurait fait 12 morts du côté parisien ou newyorkais …

Et peut-être de l’autre côté, une trentaine directement pour celles qui retombaient sur place …

Aurait pu se terminer autrement …

Sans compter les quelques 200 terroristes éliminés …

Que par la mort, certes regrettable et malheureuse, d’une dizaine de non-combattants utilisés par lesdits terroristes comme boucliers humains …

Retour sur une affiche placardée dans les rues de Paris et probablement de toute l’Ile de France et du reste du pays …

Où Israël n’est plus cette fois représenté comme un Etat tueur d’enfants …

Mais, pour de simples jets de pierres présumés, comme un Etat qui emprisonne les enfants …

Oubliant commodément au passage de préciser non seulement la taille desdites pierres …

Mais la réalité de leur lancement …

Quand on sait les dommages que celles-ci peuvent occasionner …

Lancées, en Israël comme aux Etats-unis ou en France, sur les pare-brises des véhicules passant sous un pont autoroutier …

Et surtout, dans le cas précis, la mort, deux ans plus tard, d’une petite fille alors âgée de 2 ans

Etrangement oubliée d’ailleurs, comme le rappelait alors le site de ré-information Camera

Par un article en une du New York Times de l’époque …

Chantant tranquillement les louanges de ladite pratique …

Sous le titre original quelque peu cavalier de « Mon passe-temps, c’est de jeter des pierres » …

Comme… « rite de passage » et « vénérable acte de défiance » !

The New York Times Romanticizes Palestinian Stone Throwers and Ignores Their Victims
Ricki Hollander
Camera
August 5, 2013

Stones kill, maim, wound and change people’s lives forever. Israeli infants have been slain, toddlers critically wounded and adults too have been killed, sustained severe head injuries or were hospitalized with lighter injuries, all due to Palestinian stone throwers.

But the story of Israeli victims is not the one the New York Times prefers to tell and is certainly not the one Middle East correspondent Jodi Rudoren chose to recount in her latest front page, above-fold article about Palestinian stone throwers, entitled “‘My Hobby Is Throwing Stones’: In a West Bank Culture of Conflict, Boys Wield the Weapon at Hand.”

Quite the contrary, this was a story that romanticized and heroized the Palestinian perpetrators. It is they – not the Israeli dead and injured – who are presented as the victims, “provoked by the situation,” forced into this type of “futile” hobby, only to be arrested and incarcerated by fierce, powerful Israeli soldiers.

According to Rudoren, Palestinian youths “throw [stones] because there is little else to do in [their village] – no pool or cinema, no music lessons after school, no part-time jobs other than peddling produce along the road.”

Her article focuses on the perpetrators’ excuses, justifications for and pride in their actions, as well as the hardships they endure when arrested for their activities. For example:

Youths hurling stones has long been the indelible icon – some call it a caricature – of Palestinian pushback against Israel: a recent United Nations report said 7,000 minors, some as young as 9, had been detained between 2002 and 2012.

Here, stone throwing is glorified as “pushback against Israel,”  a “rite of passage,” and an  “honored act of defiance.” Its violent results are played down, whitewashed. According to Rudoren, “The futility of stones bouncing off armored vehicles matters little [to the stone throwers]: confrontation is what counts.”

But stones do not merely “bounce off armored vehicles” futilely. What about 5-month old Yehuda Shoham whose skull was crushed by stones hurled at his car and who died after a six day struggle for life in 2001?

What about 3-year-old Adele Biton who spent four months in the intensive care unit of a hospital fighting for her life and is now confined at a rehabilitation hospital, relearning how to eat, talk and walk after Palestinian rocks struck her mother’s car this past March?

What about 1-year-old Yonatan Palmer and his 25-year old father who were killed in September 2011 when their car was struck in a Palestinian stone attack? Although Palestinians are almost never convicted of murder for hurling stones at Israeli vehicles, Palestinian security officer Walal al Araja, confessed to and was convicted of the Palmer murders, as well as a series of similar attempted murders involving stone throwing.

In Rudoren’s telling, however, there is no place for the stories of the unfortunate infants and toddlers who are targets of the Palestinians’ “rite of passage” or “hobby,” as the perpetrators view their stone throwing. The article mentions the murder of the Palmers only in passing, without names, relaying it as hearsay about anonymous victims:

“…I’m driving through a war zone,” said Ms. Shvat, who knew a man and his 1-year-old son who died when their car flipped in 2011 after being pelted with stones on Road 60.

Indeed, this brief comment is the only mention of Israeli children who have fallen victim to Palestinian stone-throwers. In a nearly 2000-word article, The New York Times can find no room to even mention Yehuda Shoham or Adele Biton, let alone tell their stories.

And while Israeli children’s funerals and hardship find no place in Rudoren’s article, the funeral of a Palestinian 2-year-old is presented as the event “that led to [Muhammed Abu Hashem’s] most recent arrest,” Abu Hashem being a 17-year-old Palestinian who is the main protagonist of the article, with some 20 paragraphs devoted to his story of self-justification and arrest.

Other elements of the picture are similarly missing. For example, Rudoren describes “Beit Ommar,” the town from which Abu Hashem and other Palestinian stone throwers she interviews are from as “a farm town with roots in the Roman era” that has become

a hot spot because of its perch off Road 60, the main thoroughfare from Jerusalem south to the settlements of Gush Etzion which the Palestinians say have taken up to one-third of the village’s original 13 square miles.

Beit Ummar is actually believed to be the site of the biblical town of Maarath, in the country of Judah, between Gedor and Beth-anoth (Joshua, 15:59).  Of course, the mention of biblical roots may suggest a Jewish history in a place where Rudoren is trying to convey a sense of encroachment by settlements. Accordingly, those “roots” are ignored as she fast-forwards to the village’s supposed roots “in the Roman era.”

Likewise, Rudoren conceals the fact that a red flag with a swastika, reminiscent of the Nazis and their plan to annihilate the Jewish people, was flown in Beit Omar just a couple of months ago. That might evoke the impression of anti-Semitic villagers and undermine the notion that stone throwing is merely a child’s sport or “hobby.”

Flag in Beit Omar flying flag adorned with a swastika. Photo: Shneior Nachum Sochat/ Tazpit News Agency. (From The Algemeiner)

 

The photos and captions that accompany the article, too, hide the violence and danger of the Palestinian “hobby” and focus instead on youthful sport on the part of Palestinians and harsh punitive measures on the part of Israeli soldiers.

1) First photograph: A large colored photo of a boy clutching a stone.

A smaller photo beneath it shows Palestinians teenagers lined up in the act of pitching.

The caption on the two photographs:
 Ready for a target. Below, Palestinian boys in Beit Ommar play Arabs and Army, re-enacting clashes with Israeli soldiers.

2) Third photograph:  A large colored photo of a teenager dressed in a black undershirt and jeans is shown being held by two armed Israeli soldiers.

Fourth photograph: A  large colored photo of a family with children citing on a sofa.

The caption on these photographs:

Recent Arrests in the Abu Hashem Family
The arrest of Ahmad Abu Hashem and his son Muhammad on July 8 was almost routine for a family in which few months have passed recently without at least one member behind bars. Mr. Abu Hashem, an activist in Beit Ommar, and all six of his sons have served time for throwing stones at Israeli soldiers and settlers.

Not everyone takes such a benign view of rock throwing teenagers and not everywhere is the harsh treatment of the perpetrators of such attacks criticized.

In 1986, a U.S. teenager was sentenced to life in prison for throwing a stone from an overpass that killed a toddler in a car below.  In 2010, two South Carolina teenagers were indicted on first degree murder charges after killing a woman sitting in the front seat of a car with a stone hurled from an overpass.  And, in 2002, even when stone throwing resulted in no injuries, the teenaged perpetrators were charged with assault and battery with intent to kill and malicious injury to personal property. As the Sheriff’s Department explained, throwing rocks “is not a prank. This is extremely dangerous. You could kill somebody doing this.”

Yisrael Medad, on his blog, “My Right Word,”  provides a summary documenting the number of Palestinian stone throwing attacks from January-June of this year. In addition to 5,144 stonings, there were 611 molotov cocktail attacks, 8 shootings and 3 stabbings.  But the only statistics provided by Rudoren pertain to the number of Palestinian children (stone throwers) incarcerated by Israel. That  is the only part of the story The New York Times wants to tell.

Last year, CAMERA criticized The New York Times for featuring two separate, front-page stories about Israeli teenagers who had beaten (but not killed) an Arab teenager, but never publishing a front-page story about deadly attacks by Arab teenagers against Jews.

And while the newspaper has now published a front-page article about Arab teenagers who throw stones, the story is completely reframed to remove Israeli victims,  romanticize the Palestinian perpetrators and implicitly criticize their arrests by Israeli police.

The stories last year about the criminal activities of Jewish teenagers focused on the general decline of morals among Israeli youth. The story about the Arab teenagers focuses on their self-declared heroism and victimhood. The disparate coverage provides yet another example of the type of misleading and biased reporting readers have come to expect from The New York Times.

Voir également:

The Death of Adele Biton and The New York Times’ Justification of Lopsided Reporting
Ricki Hollander
Camera
February 20, 2015

In March 2013, three-year-old Adele Biton was travelling with her two sisters in a car driven by their mother, when a Palestinian rock-throwing attack caused the car to slam into a truck ahead. Two of the girls suffered moderate wounds, while Adele was left in critical condition with serious neurological injuries. She underwent extensive treatment in acute and rehabilitation care facilities, but never fully recovered.

Nearly two years later, on Feb. 17, 2015, the pre-schooler died as a result of complications of pneumonia. Her mother told the Israeli newspaperYediot Aharonotthat there was no doubt that Adele’s illness was part of the progression of her neurological injuries “that complicated her ability to cope with medical issues.”

The following day, Voice of Israel’s Josh Hasten interviewed New York Times Jerusalem bureau chief Jodi Rudoren. Asked what she knew about Adele, Rudoren responded:

In any society, I suppose, and certainly here, there are certain individual cases among the victims who become somewhat iconic and I think Adele was one of those. She was two years old, critically injured, spent more than a year, maybe a year and a half, in rehab. Many, many articles were written about her. Her parents, her family, captured Israeli attention, so I was aware of that. Obviously, a two-year-old girl critically injured in the conflict is heart-tugging for any observer and because of that, she had become somewhat iconic. That’s why we wrote a brief item about her death.

But it was not until after Adele had succumbed to her illness that Jodi Rudoren referred to Adele and the stone throwing attack that had maimed her. The reporter wrote about Adele’s death in a 169-word “world briefing” that appeared only in the newspaper’s online edition.

Indeed, in a more than 1900-word feature article about Palestinian stone throwers that was published both online (“In a West Bank Culture of Conflict, Boys Wield the Weapon at Hand“) and prominently on the front page of the print edition (“My Hobby is Throwing Stones,” Aug. 5, 2013), Jodi found no room to mention the attack that had critically injured Adele. Nor did she mention an earlier stone throwing attack that had crushed the skull of 5-year-old Yehuda Shoham, an only child. And her only mention of a similar attack that resulted in the deaths of a young father and his infant son, Asher and Yonatan Palmer, was in passing, presented as hearsay about unnamed victims.

Instead the reporter devoted her feature piece to Palestinian stone throwers’ justifications for, and expressions of pride in, their actions, as well as their hardship in being arrested by Israeli police for these activities. At the time, CAMERA posted a sharp media critique about the article, entitled “The New York Times Romanticizes Palestinian Stone Throwers and Ignores Their Victims.” In it, Rudoren was criticized for explaining the stone throwing by Palestinians as “pushback against Israel,” a “rite of passage,” and an “honored act of defiance” while downplaying the impact of this Palestinian “hobby” on its Israeli victims. The critique pointed out that while the reporter emphasized “the futility of stones bouncing off armored vehicles,” and interviewed one Israeli who had been frightened but uninjured by stone-throwing attacks, she provided almost no information about the deadlier and more injurious results of such attacks.

In the Voice of Israel interview, host Josh Hasten brought up CAMERA’s criticism of Rudoren’s feature. The reporter defended and justified her treatment of the subject matter, dismissing her critics out of hand. According to Rudoren, CAMERA was “not criticizing or scrutinizing or reviewing coverage based on any journalistic values. They’re doing it based on a scorecard of what they think makes their side look good or bad. It’s not based on the kind of building blocks of mainstream journalism that is where our coverage comes from and that most of our vast global readership needs from us.”

But it should be obvious to anyone who claims to understand the “building blocks of journalism” that to downplay and give such short shrift to the catastrophic and sometimes fatal results of stone-throwing is to deprive readers of the context necessary to understand the conflict. Neither Rudoren nor The New York Times provided readers with a parallel feature story about the impact of Palestinian stone throwing on their Israeli victims. So what Rudoren left readers with — what she apparently felt they “needed” — was a one-sided piece about Palestinian victims “provoked by the situation,” and forced into a “futile” hobby (of throwing stones), only to be arrested and incarcerated by fierce Israeli soldiers.

Rudoren’s justification for this lopsided reporting was to claim she was on a “journalistic mission” whose agenda was “to unpack the caricature of Palestinian stone-throwers.” To that end, she asserted, the story “really wasn’t about their victims.”
“Not every story looks at everybody in equal depth because that’s just not how journalism works and it doesn’t need to be that way,” Rudoren declared. But how can a journalist tell the story about stone throwing without thoroughly exploring the consequences? Without any comparative story about the Israeli victims, those victims remained voiceless, their side of the story left untold. Even while she acknowledged that “it was important to make sure that it was clear that people did get killed and that there were victims,” Rudoren justified the virtual absence of this information from her article, apparently deeming her fleeting hearsay reference to two anonymous fatalities sufficient.

As to the article’s misleading implication that the “situation” that provokes Palestinian stone-throwers is one of Israel’s making, Rudoren ignored the fact that hate rhetoric and incitement against Israelis is also a significant factor in encouraging the stone throwers. Nowhere in the article does she even hint at the atmosphere of incitement by Palestinian leaders to attack Israelis by any means.

This type of reporting is characteristic of Rudoren’s “journalistic values.” She routinely conceals relevant information, selectively quotes or cites those whose perspective she agrees with, while downplaying, ignoring or misrepresenting the viewpoints of those with whom she disagrees. In news articles, she tends to cast aspersions on or use pejoratives to discredit those with whom she disagrees. (See, for example, “A Guide to NYT Advocacy Journalism: Focus on Jodi Rudoren.”) And she uses these same tactics in dealing with legitimate criticism of her reporting. Instead of directly addressing the specific complaints about her reporting, she dismisses her critics with wholesale contempt. Those cri
ticizing her articles, she argues, are just checking off a list “of who’s winning the story.” Here, too, Rudoren misrepresents. What CAMERA and many critics of The New York Times demand is that both sides’ perspectives be given voice — something the Society of Professional Journalists urges, but which Rudoren is apparently unwilling to do.

The Society of Professional Journalist’s code of ethics calls on journalists, among other things, to recognize their own cultural values and avoid imposing them on readers, to distinguish between advocacy and news reporting, and to give voice to the voiceless. In addition, it urges journalists to be accountable to their readers, clarify and explain news coverage, invite dialogue and encourage readers to voice their grievances about news reporting.

Many prominent and respected journalists adhere to this code, even when criticized. And they are better journalists for it. But as long as Rudoren continues to wear blinders, block her ears, and insist that it is not necessary to explore both sides of a conflict in equal depth, non-partisan readers who want to genuinely learn about the situation fully and fairly should continue to avoid the New York Times and its partisan Jerusalem bureau chief.

Voir de même:

In a West Bank Culture of Conflict, Boys Wield the Weapon at Hand

The rooftop of the home of Bilal Ayad Awad, 17, was decorated with flags for his release in June after 16 months in prison.

Credit…Rina Castelnuovo for The New York TimesJodi Rudoren
The New York Times
Aug. 4, 2013

BEIT OMMAR, West Bank — Muhammad Abu Hashem, 17, was sleeping in a sleeveless undershirt when the Israeli soldiers stormed into his home here at 4 a.m. on the second Monday in July. As they led him away moments later, Muhammad’s mother rushed after with a long-sleeved shirt: they both knew it would be cold in the interrogation room.

It was Muhammad’s fourth arrest in three years for throwing stones at Israeli soldiers and settlers. His five brothers — three older and two younger — have all faced similar charges. Last year, three Abu Hashem boys, and their father, were in prison at the same time.

“Children have hobbies, and my hobby is throwing stones,” Muhammad explained weeks before his most recent arrest. “A day with a confrontation is better than a free day.”

As Israeli and Palestinian negotiators resumed peace talks last week in Washington, the stone throwers of Beit Ommar are a reminder of the abiding tensions that animate relations between the two peoples that would populate the imagined two states living side by side.

Youths hurling stones has long been the indelible icon — some call it a caricature — of Palestinian pushback against Israel: a recent United Nations report said 7,000 minors, some as young as 9, had been detained between 2002 and 2012. Here in Beit Ommar, a village of 17,000 between Bethlehem and Hebron that is surrounded by Jewish settlements, rock throwing is a rite of passage and an honored act of defiance. The futility of stones bouncing off armored vehicles matters little: confrontation is what counts.

When they are not actually throwing stones, the children here play Arabs and Army, re-enacting the clashes and arrests. And when 17-year-old Bilal Ayad Awad was released in June after 16 months in prison, he was welcomed like a war hero with flags and fireworks, women in wedding finery lining the streets to cheer his motorcade.

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Credit…The New York Times

The Israeli Army commander in the area counts 5 to 15 stone-throwing incidents per week, and the July 8 arrest of Muhammad and his father, Ahmad, brought to 45 the number of Beit Ommar residents taken into custody since the beginning of 2013, 35 of them ages 13 to 19. A teacher at the local high school said 20 boys missed class while in prison last year. A few, including Muhammad, were out more than 60 days, forcing them to repeat a grade.

“Here, it is as if the intifada never stopped,” said Musa Abu Hashhash, a field worker for the Israeli human rights group B’tselem.

Beit Ommar, a farm town with roots in the Roman era, is a hot spot because of its perch off Road 60, the main thoroughfare from Jerusalem south to the settlements of Gush Etzion, which the Palestinians say have taken up to one-third of the village’s original 13 square miles.

The military, which since May has been joined by a company of border police to crack down, focuses on 11 prime stone-throwing points along the village’s mile-long stretch of the road. There are “the duo,” two houses teenagers hide between; “the stage,” a raised area; “the triangle,” an open field; and “the Molotov bend.” And then there is the 200-year-old cemetery that slopes up from the road just north of the village entrance.

On Thursday, after the burial of a 63-year-old retired teacher, a teenager hurled a rock at a passing car with yellow Israeli plates: whack. Another teenager, two more stones: another direct hit.

The settlers stopped their car, got out, and began shouting at the small crowd. Soon, there were soldiers, rifles raised and tear gas at the ready, who eventually hauled a Palestinian taxi driver into a waiting army jeep.

Menuha Shvat, who has lived in a settlement near here since 1984, long ago lost count of the stones that have hit her car’s reinforced windows. “It’s crazy: I’m going to get pizza, and I’m driving through a war zone,” said Ms. Shvat, who knew a man and his 1-year-old son who died when their car flipped in 2011 after being pelted with stones on Road 60. “It’s a game that can kill.”

For as long as anyone here can remember, the cemetery has been a field for that game. Residents said it was often surrounded by soldiers and filled with tear gas, though the military commander said he stations his troops across the road and instructs them to unleash riot-control measures only if violence erupts.

Muhammad sees it as his Islamic duty to help bury the dead, and he has his own funeral-preparation ritual. He pulls on boots. He sprays his hands with perfume to counteract the gas. He grabs a face mask, to protect his identity, and his muqlaa — a homemade slingshot.

It was the June funeral of a 2-year-old girl accidentally crushed by a relative’s bulldozer that led to his most recent arrest. “They were shooting gas, and I was with my mother in the car while the soldiers’ jeep was entering the town,” Muhammad admitted to a police officer after the arrest. “So I got out and threw stones at them.”

Musa Awad, a teacher at Beit Ommar’s high school, said that eight generations of his family are buried in the cemetery, but that he is one of many village residents who have stopped following funeral processions there because of the inevitable clashes. Two years ago, Mr. Awad said, he and his brothers offered to donate a patch of land for a new cemetery, far from the main road, but the Islamic authorities declined.

Mr. Awad, like many here, views the stone throwers with a mixture of pride at confronting Israel and fear for their safety. “Nobody dares to criticize them and say, ‘Why are you doing this?”

The youths, and their parents, say they are provoked by the situation: soldiers stationed at the village entrance, settlers tending trees beyond. They throw because there is little else to do in Beit Ommar — no pool or cinema, no music lessons after school, no part-time jobs other than peddling produce along the road. They do it because their brothers and fathers did.

Nasri Sabarna, an English professor who was Beit Ommar’s mayor for much of the past five years, remembers his first arrest vividly, despite the passage of four decades.

He was 14. Israeli soldiers had installed a plaque on his school saying it had been built under their supervision. He took the coins his mother had given him for food and bought black spray paint to cover the Hebrew letters.

A Rite of Passage, an Act of Defiance

Rina Castelnuovo for The New York Times

“When I saw their language, it is not easy to stay and do nothing,” Mr. Sabarna recalled. “When they came on the second day, we have nothing except stones. You revenge for yourself.”

Of Mr. Sabarna’s eight children, only Ahmad, a 21-year-old engineering student, has been arrested: he is serving a six-month sentence that started in May, his fourth prison stay. When the youngest boy, Abdullah, started skipping school and throwing stones at age 7, after a night raid on the family home, his parents took him to see a psychiatrist to work out the anger.

“I want him to go to school, to study and to look for his future, but they are pushing us in the corner,” Mr. Sabarna said, referring to the Israelis.

Now 10, Abdullah uses binoculars a relative bought him for bird watching to monitor military movement. “I feel happy when I throw stones on the soldiers,” he said. “They occupy us.”

One Friday in July, two soldiers stood sentry on a hilltop several hundred yards inside the village. Five border police officers were stationed under an olive tree near the wholesale fruit market. More soldiers were on nearby rooftops, army jeeps in the middle of a road.

Three young men with slingshots crouched between trees, sending a little brother out to scout. They whipped the woven-string contraptions over their shoulders one, two, three, four times, then the stones disappeared in the distance. Two stones, five, seven. The boy reported that soldiers were coming closer. The young men retreated to a lower ridge.

Two soldiers with riot helmets and rifles appeared on a rock wall a few feet from where the stone throwers had been. Too late.

Three people from Beit Ommar were arrested in the wee hours of the following Sunday. That night, Muhammad Abu Hashem slept, while his father and younger siblings sat a vigil on worn couches on their roof.

The patriarch, Ahmad Abu Hashem, is an activist who videotapes arrests and clashes for the Center for Freedom and Justice, an advocacy group. His cellphone rang at 3:45 a.m.: 13 jeeps were entering the village. He was heading out to follow them when the alley filled with shouts of “Soldiers, soldiers!” They were coming for him — and his son.

It had been only a few weeks before when a gaggle of neighborhood children were scurrying around the same alley playing Arabs and Army.

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Muhammad Abu Hashem participates in a role-playing game constructed around being arrested for throwing stones.CreditCredit…Rina Castelnuovo

Boys wearing fatigues and toting toy guns kicked on the front door and Mr. Abu Hashem opened it, smiling. While one of the “soldiers” checked his green ID card, another imitated a defensive military maneuver to secure the house. “It is a wrong ID,” a boy said in a mixture of Arabic and Hebrew. “Where is Muhammad Abu Hashem?”

Muhammad appeared at the doorway, and was blindfolded with a black sweatshirt. “Come with us,” the soldier-boy ordered. “You are under arrest.” Girls’ screams of mock horror were punctuated with giggles as Muhammad vanished into the midnight darkness.

“You are lucky if you meet Muhammad here next week,” his father said. “He can be arrested for real any moment.”

That was what Muhammad told the girl he talks to daily by telephone and sneaks glances at on evening ambles through the village: “ ‘Be careful, I am maybe one month outside and 10 months in prison.’ She said, ‘O.K., I am waiting for you.’ ” He did not tell the girl, in June, when his left leg was sprayed with five rubber-bullet fragments as his stones smacked an army jeep carting away a beloved cousin.

Muhammad captures the contradictions of growing up here. He was tickled at the first salon-slicking of his short hair for a relative’s recent wedding. But he shunned a snack of popcorn outside: prison food.

He recently sneaked into a settlement before dawn to steal apricots he finds especially delicious because they grow on land he sees as stolen from his people. One of his hobbies is rescuing abandoned bird eggs and nurturing them in cages warmed by light bulbs until they hatch.

“When they fly,” he said, “it’s like a person in prison, and he will take his freedom.”

Muhammad’s first arrest was in October 2010: his family paid a fine of about $1,400. He was jailed from April to June of 2012, then returned to prison that September for another seven months. Graffiti welcoming him back remained on the outer wall of the family home as a dozen soldiers arrived July 8.

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Excerpts from Muhammad Abu Hashem’s interrogation by the Israeli police along with photos of his arrest.

Two soldiers crouched in the driveway and 10 crowded the living room. Muhammad crammed on a couch with his two younger brothers and a cousin while the soldiers examined his father’s identification. Then they asked for his.

The whole operation took eight minutes. The jeeps had not left the alley when it erupted in stones.

Defense for Children International, an advocacy group that last year documented 360 cases of arrested Palestinian youths, found that many were blindfolded, beaten and threatened during interrogations. Most confessed, and 90 percent received jail sentences in Israel’s military system, according to the report, compared with 6.5 percent of arrested Israeli children, who are prosecuted in a civil system.

When Muhammad and his father appeared for their first hearing, they raised their wrists — handcuffed together — in something of a salute. The teenager’s face was a mixture of triumph and terror: he could face up to 10 months after a trial scheduled to start Aug. 18.

Their lawyer, Nery Ramati, soon discovered that Muhammad had already admitted throwing a stone during the girl’s funeral.

“I have nothing to do for him now,” Mr. Ramati sighed.

Voir de plus:

Letters

The New York Times
Aug. 5, 2013

To the Editor:

Re “ ‘My Hobby Is Throwing Stones’: In a West Bank Culture of Conflict, Boys Wield the Weapon at Hand” (front page, Aug. 5):

Stones are a lethal weapon, and stone throwers engage in what can be premeditated murder.

My perspective is that of a social worker who worked for 20 years with youths with violent tendencies.

What violent youths seek, more than anything else, are people who will reinforce their tendency to violence.

This article will be posted in Palestinian youth clubs as a badge of encouragement for Palestinian youths and as an incentive to continue their efforts to murder people on the roads. That is a tragedy.

I cannot fathom how and why The New York Times can describe the stoning of people on the roads as a “rite of passage.”

DAVID BEDEIN
Jerusalem, Aug. 5, 2013

The writer is director of the Israel Resource News Agency.

To the Editor:

Having personally been the uniformed target, during the first intifada, of Molotov cocktails and many, many stones, one of which produced a lifetime annuity for my dentist, I know that these clashes are hardly a game for either side.

As peace talks resume, reversing the poisonous effects of the “culture of conflict” is as important as any land compromises in achieving lasting peace.

DANIEL WOLF
Teaneck, N.J., Aug. 5, 2013

To the Editor:

Thank you for the excellent reporting and photography.

As someone who escaped the Holocaust as a child and who saw the conditions in the Palestinian territories more than 20 years ago, I think that it’s way past time to let American Jews especially know what is really going on there.

YVONNE BYRON
Oakland, Calif., Aug. 5, 2013

Voir encore:

Life sentence answers tears over I-75 death

The Associated press
March 31, 1999

An 18-year-old has been arrested and charged with second-degree murder in the death of a driver who was killed on Sunday by a rock that had been tossed from an overpass on Interstate 75 west of Tampa.

The teen-ager Juan G. Cardenas, was arrested on Monday by Highway Patrol officers after they received a tip from someone who told of overhearing him talk about the incident.

The driver, Julie Catherine Laible, 32, was hit in the head by the rock, about the size of a bowling ball, after it smashed the windshield of her Honda Civic, the authorities said.

Voir par ailleurs:

La guerre des dix jours
Jacques Tarnero
La Revue des deux mondes
Mai 26, 2021

Ce que l’Allemagne nazie avait testé en Espagne en 1936, l’Iran vient de le tester à Gaza : expérimenter ses armes, mettre au point ses méthodes et sa tactique de guerre, autant qu’évaluer la riposte de son ennemi. Le grand allié du Hamas fonctionne à l’identique. L’Allemagne nazie avait aussi pris la mesure de la mollesse des démocraties à se mobiliser en faveur de la République espagnole. Malgré le décalage historique, malgré, les différences politiques, il reste une constante : les régimes totalitaires connaissent les couardises des démocraties, leur lenteur à comprendre l’enjeu pour elles-mêmes. Au conseil de sécurité de l’ONU, qualifier les termes du conflit, nommer l’agresseur a été impossible. À l’Assemblée nationale, le Premier ministre Jean Castex a prioritairement exprimé son souci pour les malheurs de Gaza. Des salves de roquettes tirées indistinctement sur Israël, il ne fit pas mention.
Ici s’arrête la comparaison.

À la différence de la République espagnole, Israël a non seulement su contenir son agresseur, il a aussi réussi à l’affaiblir durablement sans pour autant le détruire. Rien n’est donc réglé. Un autre ennemi bien plus redoutable fourbit ses armes qu’il espère définitives. La pluie de roquettes tirées indistinctement sur tout le territoire israélien témoignait d’un projet guerrier exterminateur : sans la protection du dôme de fer, il y aurait eu des milliers de victimes civiles en Israël. Ces attaques indistinctes du Hamas révèlent un modèle stratégique dont on peut tirer la leçon : l’Iran n’hésitera pas à utiliser l’arme nucléaire contre Israël, dès qu’il en aura la capacité. Le djihad nucléaire sera l’étape suivante de l’affrontement.

Cette perspective ne procède en rien d’un souci quelconque pour la Palestine. Le sort du peuple palestinien est le dernier souci du pouvoir iranien et de ses créatures Hamas, Hezbollah et autre djihad islamique. Cette rente idéologique n’est que l’alibi de son projet. La vision apocalyptique iranienne obéit à un projet messianique que les ayatollahs au pouvoir n’ont jamais dissimulé : détruire cette enclave juive incrustée au cœur d’un espace tout entier supposé appartenir à la sphère de l’islam.

« Ce conflit en annonce un autre qui ne saurait tarder entre Israël et un Iran nucléaire dont la Palestine est l’alibi. »

Toutes les démocraties le savent, tous les dirigeants du monde occidental connaissent les données de l’enjeu. Ce qui vient de se dérouler à Gaza sert de test pour elles autant que pour le mentor du Hamas. Sont-elles prêtes à reconnaître que l’idéologie du Hamas est le variant islamisé d’un projet qui a sa source dans un nazisme oriental ? Sont-elles prêtes à l’affronter ? Ou bien estiment-elles au contraire que l’on peut négocier avec cette puissance et sacrifier Israël pour une paix illusoire ? En 1938, à Munich, la France et l’Angleterre estimèrent que sacrifier les Sudètes à l’Allemagne nazie allait sauver la paix. On connaît la suite et le mot de Churchill sur Daladier et Chamberlain : « Ils ont eu le choix entre le déshonneur et la guerre, ils ont choisi le déshonneur et ils auront la guerre ». Les négociations de Vienne sur le nucléaire iranien seront-elles de la même veine ? Ce conflit en annonce un autre qui ne saurait tarder entre Israël et un Iran nucléaire dont la Palestine est l’alibi.

Après dix jours d’intenses combats entre le Hamas et Israël, un cessez-le-feu a été imposé aux belligérants. Deux cent quarante-huit tués côté palestinien dont soixante-six enfants, dix-neuf morts dont un enfant, côté israélien. Comment interpréter ces chiffres si différents ? Tandis qu’Israël protège sa population des roquettes du Hamas, à la fois par les abris et son système de défense anti-missiles, le Hamas se protège des frappes israéliennes en s’abritant derrière sa population civile pour tirer ses roquettes. Grace à un réseau de souterrains bétonné, le Hamas a enterré ses structures militaires au cœur des villes, au milieu des immeubles civils. Les millions de dollars de l’aide internationale récoltés depuis 2014 ont été utilisés pour bâtir ce « métro » abritant ses armes.

Cet affrontement entre un mouvement islamiste et l’État juif ajoute un nouveau chapitre sanglant à l’histoire déjà longue de cette guerre de cent ans ou de mille ans selon qu’on lise cette histoire dans le registre de la rivalité entre Ismaël et Isaac ou dans celle de l’histoire du siècle dernier et de celui qui commence. Au-delà de sa seule dimension locale, proche-orientale, la récurrence de cette affaire nous concerne, en Europe, en France particulièrement, parce que son écho déchaîne d’autres passions enfouies, nées d’un passé pas si lointain. Le poids de la Shoah d’une part, des culpabilités et d’autre part le poids des relations entre l’Occident et le monde arabo-musulman, entre la France et ses anciennes colonies surdéterminent le regard porté sur le conflit. C’est dans la trace de Vichy, de ses effets mémoriels, autant que dans le reflet de la guerre d’Algérie, de ce qu’elle implique des deux côtés de la Méditerranée, des affects nés de cette mémoire, de ses souffrances, qu’il faut fouiller pour se prémunir, ici, des guerres civiles à venir.

« La nazification d’Israël permet simultanément de délégitimer le droit d’Israël à être : en renversant les termes de l’histoire, en identifiant les Palestiniens comme les nouveaux Juifs et Israël comme le nouveau nazi, le gauchisme retrouve en Palestine une cause exemplaire. »

Ce Proche-Orient par procuration nous oblige ici même. C’est peut-être en France, à Sarcelles, à Trappes, à Bondy, que pourraient s’imaginer d’autres constructions intellectuelles indispensables pour sortir de ces schizophrénies identitaires qui annoncent le pire. Pour le moment, nous en sommes très loin : ce sont des manifestations de fureur haineuse qui ont déferlé dans les rues de Londres, Montréal, New York, Paris. Cette ivresse répétée apparaît davantage relever d’une pathologie collective inscrite au cœur de l’imaginaire arabo-musulman. Ce ressentiment, cette frustration, vise aussi la France quand la pensée dite décoloniale perpétue ici une guerre d’Algérie jamais finie.

Pourtant d’autres voix existent dans le monde arabo-musulman. En Algérie, le Hirak exprime un refus de cette fatalité. Ces voix sont minoritaires, mais elles osent dirent la vérité. Kamel Daoud, Riad Sattouf, Boualem Sansal osent briser cette pensée magique qui dit que son malheur vient d’Israël et des Juifs. « Israël est l’aphrodisiaque le plus puissant pour les arabes », aimait rappeler judicieusement Hassan II, l’ancien roi du Maroc.

Ce pré-pensé idéologique qui enferme le monde arabe dans la régression, la gauche l’a entretenu, en Occident, en France, en particulier. Cette gauche porte une lourde responsabilité dans l’entretien de ce récit, car c’est encore et toujours à travers la grille de lecture de la guerre d’Algérie que s’interprète le conflit israélo-arabe. Dans une surenchère aveugle, la gauche de la gauche fait sienne la rhétorique indigéniste et décoloniale. Jacques Julliard a parfaitement résumé les choses : « Chaque fois que la France est menacée dans son existence et dans ses raisons d’être, il se forme dans ses marges un parti collabo. D’ordinaire, ce parti est d’extrême droite et se confond avec la réaction. Aujourd’hui, il est d’extrême gauche ». Bien pire, la nazification d’Israël permet simultanément de délégitimer le droit d’Israël à être : en renversant les termes de l’histoire, en identifiant les Palestiniens comme les nouveaux Juifs et Israël comme le nouveau nazi, le gauchisme retrouve en Palestine une cause exemplaire. Ces banderoles affichant un signe = entre la svastika et l’étoile de David, resteront pour la gauche de la gauche, comme une obscénité symbolique majeure.

« Depuis plus de vingt ans, la Palestine est sortie de ses frontières au profit du choix de la guerre sainte et du djihad dont se nourrit l’imaginaire arabe. Si ces fantasmes mortifères prennent le pas sur la raison, la guerre des dix jours durera encore mille ans. »

Le pouvoir israélien a ses responsabilités dans l’illusion d’un statu quo dont les effets n’annoncent rien de bon pour l’avenir ; mais ça n’est pas de la politique du gouvernement israélien dont il est question dans ce qui vient de se produire et les cris de victoire du Hamas annonçant sa victoire à venir du fleuve à la mer reprennent tous les slogans matriciels de la rhétorique arabe contre l’entité sioniste. Dans un entretien à Politique Internationale, l’été 1982, Ben Bella, ancien premier président de l’Algérie, signifiait l’importance symbolique de ce conflit pour le monde arabe : « Ce que nous voulons, nous autres Arabes, c’est être, or nous ne pouvons être que si l’autre n’est pas » et il précisait : « S’il n’y a pas d’autre solution, alors que cette guerre nucléaire ait lieu et qu’on en finisse une fois pour toutes ! »

Depuis la visite de Sadate en 1977, et assassiné pour cela en 1981, c’est toujours le pire qui a eu le dernier mot. Dans un symétrique effrayant, Yitzhak Rabin a aussi été assassiné par un fanatique juif et avec lui, le rêve de la paix d’Oslo. N’était-elle qu’une illusion ?

Le malheur palestinien est réel et il n’y a dans ces mots aucun misérabilisme compassionnel artificiel, mais il faut se poser une autre question : que préfèrent les Palestiniens ? Quel est leur désir majeur : détruire Israël ou avoir un État ? Depuis plus de vingt ans, des opportunités d’arriver à un accord avec l’OLP ont été refusées par le leadership palestinien qui a toujours choisi la surenchère. Depuis plus de vingt ans, la Palestine est sortie de ses frontières au profit du choix de la guerre sainte et du djihad dont se nourrit l’imaginaire arabe. Si ces fantasmes mortifères prennent le pas sur la raison, la guerre des dix jours durera encore mille ans. Tant que dans la sphère musulmane on n’aura pas eu le courage de rompre avec ses mythes régressifs, tant que sera considéré comme une trahison le fait d’oser regarder en face les raisons de l’incurie qui préside aux destinées de ces peuples, le malheur de ce monde deviendra le bien commun de tous.

Voir encore:

La gauche, la droite, l’islamisme et l’antisionisme : entretien avec Georges-Elia Sarfati

Présenté par Yana Grinshpun

La gauche, la droite, l’islamisme et l’antisionisme : entretien avec Georges-Elia Sarfati

Georges-Elia Sarfati est un philosophe, linguiste et psychanayste franco-israélien, auteur de nombreux ouvrages dans les domaines de l’analyse du discours, de l’éthique, de la pensée juive, de la critique sociale. Il est également traducteur de Viktor Frankl, et fondateur de l’EFRATE (École Française d’Analyse et de thérapies existentielles). G.-E. Sarfati est l’un des rares intellectuels français, avec Léon Poliakov, Pierre-André Taguieff et Shmuel Trigano à analyser les ressorts culturels, théologiques, historiques et politiques de ce qu’on appelle le « nouvel antisémitisme ». En tant que spécialiste du discours, Sarfati s’est très tôt intéressé à l’expression contemporaine de la  judéophobie. Pour lui, l’antisémitisme se nourrit surtout de ses enracinements dans l’histoire des mentalités et des discours et forme une sorte de sous-culture qui accompagne depuis quelques décennies le pseudo-progressisme se réclamant de la pensée post-moderniste. Georges-Elia Sarfati est l’auteur d’un ouvrage consacré à la rhétorique antisioniste, LAntisionisme. Israël Palestine : aux miroirs d’Occident (Berg, 2002), et de très nombreux articles sur la perception des Juifs dans l’espace occidental. Le philosophe et linguiste explique que l’essentiel de la rhétorique de la désinformation et de la propagande, qu’elle soit « totalitaire » ou « publicitaire », repose sur l’inversion des valeurs, l’inculcation des mensonges historiques et l’élaboration des mécanismes psycho-affectifs chez les cibles du discours idéologiques anti-juif. Il est aussi le co-fondateur de ce blog.

Dans cet entretien, il propose de revenir sur les jalons historiques et conceptuels essentiels qui ont structuré la nouvelle forme d’antisémitisme appelée « antisionisme », qui est brandie par une partie des membres de l’intelligentsia comme son « droit sacré à la liberté d’opinion et d’expression ». Cet entretien montre implacablement que le roi est toujours antisémite sous la robe antisioniste, même s’il prétend être démocrate et progressiste.

Y.G : En 2016, J. Julliard écrivait « Chaque fois que la France est menacée dans son existence et dans ses raisons d’être, il se forme dans ses marges un parti collabo. D’ordinaire, ce parti est d’extrême droite et se confond avec la réaction. Aujourd’hui, il est d’extrême gauche ».  Est-ce que vous êtes d’accord avec ce pronostic ?

GES : Sans doute cette remarque de J. Julliard vaut-elle pour notre époque – disons qu’elle s’avère pertinente pour les années 2000-2020 ; pour autant, il me paraît risqué de soutenir que d’ « ordinaire », le « parti collabo » était d’ « extrême droite », dans la mesure où ladite extrême droite, si l’on pense à la période 39-45, se nourrissait de très nombreux transfuges de gauche, comme l’a démontré l’historien Simon Epstein dans Un paradoxe français. Pour ce qui est de la droite nationaliste, elle a su voir dans les Juifs des patriotes loyaux, je pense au Barrès des Familles spirituelles de la France, ou à l’engagement de son propre fils dans les rangs de la France libre. Le paradoxe dont rend compte S. Epstein c’est que les antisémites de l’Affaire Dreyfus ont été gaullistes et résistants pendant la Seconde Guerre, tandis que les partis de la collaboration se sont en grande partie recrutés parmi les dreyfusards et la gauche historique. Quant à la gauche demeurée à gauche, après la Seconde Guerre mondiale, elle n’avait pas grand-chose à envier à l’extrême droite sur le chapitre de l’antisémitisme, si l’on considère l’Union soviétique et ses satellites.

YG : Depuis le début des années 2000, l’année de la deuxième Intifada, on observe une montée d’antisémitisme décomplexé qui n’a pas de précédent depuis la deuxième guerre mondiale. Cet antisémitisme est corrélatif à l’antisionisme affiché de l’extrême gauche pour qui l’existence de l’État d’Israël constitue une offense suprême. Ce qui est aussi le cas pour les islamistes qui prônent ouvertement sa destruction. De quand date la rencontre de ces deux idéologies haineuses ?

GES : Il existe en effet une convergence significative entre l’islamisme et le gauchisme qui trouvent un véritable point d’entente sur le sujet de l’antisionisme. Cela paraît absurde, antinomique, et fondé sur un malentendu, puisque ce sont en principe des ennemis que doctrinalement tout oppose. Mais ils ont en commun la volonté d’en découdre avec la civilisation européenne, et communient aujourd’hui dans l’idéologie décoloniale. Leurs motivations initiales diffèrent du tout au tout : l’extrême gauche est antijuive par tradition voltairienne et marxiste, l’islamisme est antisioniste, en raison de la théologie politique de l’islam qui ne souffre pas de souveraineté non-musulmane sur le « dar al-islam ». L’extrême gauche est anticléricale et s’imagine que l’identité juive est « religieuse », tandis que l’islamisme reconduit le vieux débat de la théologie de la substitution en se proclament seule détenteur de la « vraie » révélation. Néanmoins la rencontre de ces deux souches allergiques aux Juifs pour ce qu’ils représentent, n’est somme toute pas récente. L’histoire de cette convergence, du point de vue des matrices doctrinales, remonte aux années 20 du XX siècle . C’est une partie d’échecs : il fallait mettre en échec la possibilité d’un sentiment de sympathie pour un Israël souverain. Aussi, je serai réservé à l’idée de mêler les sentiments à tout cela. Parler d’idéologie haineuse porte à psychologiser les affaires politiques. Or en politique, il n’entre que des calculs, et des intérêts bien compris. Au niveau des élites politiques, en tout cas. Le reste en effet sera une affaire de sentiment où les propagandes prennent le relais pour forger une opinion passionnée ainsi qu’un sens commun sur mesure.

Y.G : Raymond Aron appelle la période qui a suivi la fameuse allocution de De Gaulle après la victoire dans la guerre de 6 jours (1967), où il parle des Juifs comme « d’un peuple d’élite, sûr de lui-même et dominateur », l’ère de soupçon. Or, depuis quelques années, on entend lors des manifestations « anti-racistes » : « Mort aux Juifs », on entend aussi des appels à la haine d’Israël sur les réseaux sociaux, des discours antisémites assumés du PIR et de la gauche radicale (je pense à la fameuse phrase de Mélenchon sur la crucifixion de Jésus)[1]. Comment expliquer cette disparition de limites et cette prolifération de discours antijuifs ?

GES : Comme vous le rappelez en évoquant les mots de Raymond Aron, le discours gaullien de 1967 marque un tournant dans les relations franco-israéliennes, le début d’un véritable renversement d’alliance. Les jeunes générations n’ont pas la moindre idée de la bonne entente qui régnait entre Paris et Jérusalem avant la Guerre des Six Jours. Ce renversement d’alliance a été largement expliqué par la situation géopolitique de la France par rapport au monde arabe : le Maghreb où elle a été longtemps présente, ainsi que le Proche- Orient. Cet intérêt proprement français, lié à la position de la France, avait déjà été affirmé, aussi bien par François 1er que Napoléon III. François Ier a fondé le Collège de France, introduisant la connaissance de l’arabe, dans un contexte de rivalité avec le monde ottoman. Napoléon III rêvait de faire jouer à la France un rôle de premier plan dans le monde arabo-musulman. Aujourd’hui, l’existence de l’État d’Israël change la donne. Corrélativement, l’existence d’une immigration musulmane souvent peu éduquée, véhiculant le mépris du Juif (al yahoud), voilà qui fait subir une formidable involution à la mentalité issue de l’esprit des Lumières, quoique les Lumières soient elles-mêmes très divisées sur le chapitre de l’égale dignité de tous les hommes. Que de larges fractions de l’opinion soient désormais affectées par le prurit de l’antisémitisme n’a rien de surprenant, cela est le résultat d’une volonté politique, savamment distillée. En matière d’opinion, et de politique de l’opinion, il n’y a pas de génération spontanée. Les grands médias ont été chargés de diffuser la doxa antisioniste, depuis la fin des années 60 du XXe siècle, et trois générations de Français ont bu de ce lait. Cette nouvelle modalité de l’antisémitisme a été sciemment inculquée, et rares sont les esprits qui ont passé l’évidence antisioniste au tamis de l’esprit critique. L’expression antisioniste est d’autant plus désinhibée, qu’elle repose sur des motifs pleins de noblesse : l’antisionisme se présente comme un humaniste et un antiracisme. C’est au nom de l’humanisme et de l’antiracisme que l’on se dit antisioniste.

YG : Pourquoi, dans le discours commun, le « sionisme » est-il présenté comme une idéologie criminelle ?

GES : Votre question me donne l’occasion de faire retour sur la genèse de ce phénomène idéologique. Je viens d’éclairer le versant français de cette affaire. Il faut maintenant éclairer le rôle des principaux vecteurs de cette péjoration. À proprement parler, l’antisionisme est une forgerie des propagandes totalitaires. C’est dans la littérature nationale-socialiste que se trouve d’abord le point de mue de l’antisémitisme culturel de la fin du 19è siècle en antisémitisme racial et en antisionisme génocidaire. Cela est exprimé en toutes lettres dans Mein Kampf. Hitler appuie son « raisonnement » sur l’argumentaire des Protocoles des Sages de Sion ; tout en appelant au gazage des Juifs (dès 1924), il fustige le mouvement sioniste, l’accusant de vouloir susciter un État juif qui sera la tête de pont de la conspiration juive mondiale. Comme nous le savons, cette littérature a été traduite en arabe et a trouvé de profonds échos, notamment dans le mouvement national palestinien, à l’époque du Mandat britannique sur la Palestine. C’est dans ce contexte que l’antisémitisme hitlérien entre en symbiose avec l’antijudaïsme des Frères Musulmans. Aujourd’hui la proximité des leaders du mouvement palestinien avec les Frères musulmans, ancêtre de l’OLP de Yasser Arafat, a été mise en exergue par de nombreux historiens, notamment par Cuppers et Mallmann dans leur étude Croissant fertile et croix gammée[2]. Cette part significative, et toujours vivace, de l’archive judéophobe, ne peut plus être refoulée.

Au sortir de la Seconde Guerre mondiale, le mouvement palestinien, militairement vaincu, comme toute la coalition arabe qui s’était formée contre Israël, tombe dans l’escarcelle de l’Union Soviétique. À partir de ce moment, l’URSS écrit un nouveau chapitre de l’histoire de l’antisionisme. Ce n’est plus la conspiration juive que fustigent les staliniens, mais le sionisme allié de l’impérialisme américain, le sionisme incarnation du capital. Il s’agit d’une variante du même schéma. Léon Poliakov, qui fut mon maître en matière d’analyse des figures de discours de la judéophobie, a été sans doute le premier intellectuel de langue française à souligner cette évolution : De l’antisionisme à l’antisémitisme, ainsi que De Moscou à Beyrouth demeurent des petits chefs-d’oeuvre,  des livres pionniers[3]. Poliakov montre aussi la manière dont la propagande stalinienne reprend purement et simplement les caricatures du Sturmer pour « nazifier » Israël. Comble de l’ironie, Poliakov montre aussi comment les services de la propagande communiste ont utilisé les compétences d’anciens nazis. L’antisionisme tel que nous le connaissons, et tel que les « progressistes » acquis à sa cause le pratiquent de nos jours, sort directement des officines du KGB. Le savent-ils ? Connaissent-ils les différentes étapes de cette évolution ? Peut-être que la plupart l’ignorent. Souhaitons-le ! Ils auraient alors le bénéfice du doute, celui que l’on peut accorder à l’ignorance, qui n’est pas forcément une fatalité… À cela, il faut ajouter le rôle de vecteur de l’extrême gauche, notamment française, qui a battu des records de forgerie à partir de 1968. L’échec des révolutions prolétariennes, les désillusions du soviétisme ont entraîné dans ses rangs une radicalisation de la lutte anticapitaliste, et ses représentants ont joué un rôle considérable dans la promotion et la banalisation d’un antisionisme à visage humain, décorrélé de l’antisémitisme, devenu tabou en Europe, après la Shoah. Les Palestiniens en sont venus à occuper la place qu’occupait le prolétariat dans le marxisme classique. C’est de la part de la gauche un phénomène que l’on pourrait qualifier de colonisation des territoires de l’imaginaire politique européen. L’extrême gauche a affiné, si je puis dire, le travail de mise en circulation de ce que j’ai appelé des « équation efficaces », destinées à présenter d’Israël une image répulsive. Ces équations idéologiques définissent une pseudo-logie : « sionisme = nazisme », « sionisme = apartheid », « sionisme= racisme », « sionisme=impérialisme », etc. Lorsque l’on connaît l’histoire, la réversibilité des termes sonne faux, et dénonce ces « équivalences » comme des aberrations, historiques aussi bien que sémantiques. Faut-il rappeler que les Sionismes sont nés en réponse à l’antisémitisme du 19è siècle: russe, allemand, français, et ottoman?

YG : Qu’en déduisez-vous sur la nature de cet antisionisme, qui se porte si bien aujourd’hui ?

GES : Une compréhension très accessible : lorsque quelqu’un fait profession de foi d’antisionisme, il ne peut s’agir que d’un ignorant, ou d’un crypto-antisémite. D’un ignorant parce que son antisionisme sincère témoigne de sa méconnaissance complète de sa propre histoire, celle de l’Europe – d’Est en Ouest-, et plus grave de son incompréhension foncière de la raison d’être du sionisme, qui fut unanimement conçu par les Juifs qui s’y sont ralliés, comme une issue à l’antisémitisme. De plus, que veut dire « être antisioniste » après la Shoah ? Ces antisionistes au grand cœur, feignent d’oublier qu’il n’y avait plus de place sur terre pour le peuple juif. En somme, qu’est-ce que l’antisionisme propose aux Juifs ? Le retour à la situation d’exil, et d’exposition passive à toutes les formes de la persécution ? À quelle sorte de destin historique l’antisionisme promet-il les Juifs ? Au mieux, à leur disparition en tant que représentants d’une identité singulière, porteur d’un message universel, au pire à leur liquidation physique. L’antisionisme est la nostalgie d’une société où l’on pouvait poursuivre un Juif au cri de Hip ! Hip ! Hip ! (Hieroslima est perdita !/Jérusalem est perdue !), l’humilier et le tuer impunément. Voilà le programme de l’antisionisme. Pour autant, je ne confonds pas l’antisionisme islamo-gauchiste ou génocidaire avec l’asionisme de nombreux Juifs qui font le choix de l’intégration dans les sociétés démocratiques. Ceux-là ont affirmé un choix conséquent, en se détachant à titre individuel du destin collectif d’Israël. Pour moi, ils le font à leurs risques et périls.

YG : La popularisation du terme « islamo-gauchisme » qui désigne la convergence entre certains mouvements de gauche et de l’islam politique permet, pour la première fois depuis des décennies, d’aborder le problème de la désintégration de l’État-Nation à laquelle aspirent les islamistes, les décoloniaux et la gauche radicale. Le sionisme a un statut spécial dans cette constellation. Pourquoi ? Pourquoi n’en parle-t-on pas ou si peu ? Cela semble être le point mort des discussions dans les médias ou entre intellectuels, quand il ne s’agit pas de Pierre-André Taguieff ou de Shmuel Trigano.

GES : Vous avez entièrement raison. Le fait est que l’État d’Israël représente un pôle identitaire affirmé, en tout cas dans les imaginaires collectifs. Et le signifiant « Israël » n’a jamais été compris, il a été combattu, mais pas compris. Le sionisme se trouve dans une situation paradoxale, du fait du caractère anormal ou atypique de l’histoire juive, au regard de la philosophie politique européenne. D’abord, le sionisme est la dernière expression du principe des nationalités, il s’est affirmé pour la première fois, avec un décalage de près d’une génération sur la dynamique d’auto-détermination née du printemps des peuples, en 1848. C’est du reste ainsi que son premier théoricien, Moses Hess, dans Rome et Jérusalem, explicite le titre de son livre en 1862: la dernière question des nationalités. Hess est le premier théoricien du sionisme, en ce sens qu’il renoue avec l’idée du caractère national du peuple juif, idée qui s’est perdue en terre chrétienne. Comment comprendre le sionisme, dans un contexte où l’idée de peuple suppose des critères précis : la base territoriale, la communauté de langue ? Or les Juifs ne sont nulle part chez eux, ils sont dispersés, n’ont plus de langue commune, et sont réduits depuis près de deux millénaires à supporter le carcan symbolique d’une entité théologique, ils sont « le peuple du Livre ». Voilà que sous la pression d’un mouvement antisémite international -pogromes en Russie, statut de dhimmi et violences antijuives dans l’empire ottoman, affaire Dreyfus en France, pétition des 200000 en Allemagne, floraison des ligues et des partis antisémites, etc. – ils entendent reconstituer leur nation. En Allemagne notamment 200000 signataires réclament que les Juifs soient déchus de leurs droits, récemment acquis ; cela se passe plus d’un siècle avant la Shoah, c’est déjà un évènement annonciateur…La dynamique du sionisme est à cet égard constante, depuis Moses Hess, jusqu’à Théodore Herzl, en passant par Léo Pinsker. Il s’agit pour les penseurs sionistes de rendre au peuple juif sa dimension historico-politique, ni plus ni moins.

Or ce n’est pas ainsi que l’entendent les nations, habituées, du fait de la polémique théologique contre le judaïsme, à considérer celui-ci comme une « religion ». Récemment, les travaux de Philippe Borgeaud – en particulier son étude : L’histoire des religions[4], a bien mis en évidence que cette notion de « religion » ne saurait s’appliquer à quelque culture que ce soit, en dehors du christianisme, parce que celui-ci va faire corps avec la « religion impériale » de Rome, et s’en approprier les formes symboliques, en tant que « religion d’État ». Le Judaïsme est une civilisation, qui a été déracinée par les empires. C’est à cette situation que le sionisme a entendu mettre fin. Le second paradoxe tient au fait que la souveraineté juive s’est surtout affirmée concomitamment à la fin de la Seconde Guerre mondiale, à une époque marquée par le reflux du nationalisme, et bientôt la critique de l’État Nation. Le reflux du nationalisme est forcément assimilé au refus du bellicisme et de la violence doctrinale dont ont fait preuve le national-socialisme et les fascismes. Quant à la critique de l’État-Nation, elle s’est peu à peu déduite de la formation de l’Europe supranationale, dans le contexte de la polarisation Est/Ouest, à l’époque de la guerre froide. Une nouvelle ère culturelle s’est épanouie, fortement favorisée par le développement du post-marxisme et du post-structuralisme, sous le rapport de ce que l’on appelle d’un terme assez vague la philosophie post-moderne. Or cette pensée post-moderne est paradoxalement très marquée par la philosophie de Heidegger, l’artisan de Abbau, la destruction/déconstruction de… l’humanisme européen. À cet égard, les analyses de Jean-Pierre Faye (Le Piège[5], mais aussi la Lettre sur Derrida[6]) et celles de son fils Emmanuel Faye (L’introduction du nazisme dans la philosophie[7]) gagnent à être mieux connues. Au-delà du champ philosophique, le principe de la déconstruction a fait souche dans le débat idéologique : l’idéologie décoloniale est une métastase du post-marxisme mâtiné de déconstruction. C’est là que les deux souches virulentes se rejoignent : d’un côté la mauvaise conscience de l’Occident, qui, pour s’exprimer, recycle follement les idées du plus grand penseur nazi du XXè siècle, d’autre part l’idéologie du djihad conquérant, qui révèle le principe historique de l’islam primitif. Ces deux souches culminent dans une posture inlassable de ressentiment, dont Max Scheler a explicité les mécanismes, il y a déjà un siècle[8]. Néanmoins, la critique du néo-antisémitisme que représente sciemment l’antisionisme constitue un angle mort du débat public, comme s’il ne s’agissait que d’une « affaire juive ». Or c’est tout le contraire. Par leur complaisance et leur démagogie, les démocraties occidentales ont joué le jeu de la centrale palestinienne, elles l’ont financée, en relayant sa propagande anti-juive, depuis le milieu des années 60. Si des germes d’antisémitisme demeuraient vivaces en Europe, après la Libération, c’est à l’OLP que le monde actuel doit d’avoir été de nouveau submergé par cette vague d’antisémitisme. L’OLP dont j’ai naguère analysé la Charte[9], demeure le vecteur de propagation le plus virulent : elle a pris le relais de l’Église en matière de diffusion universelle de l’enseignement du mépris. Le discours canoniquede l’antisionisme, sa charte internationale, c’est précisément celle de l’OLP. Par ce texte, l’OLP signe sa double filiation : d’abord nazie et stalinienne, mais aussi par sa tonalité tiers-mondiste qui lui a conféré sa « respectabilité », pendant des décennies, auprès des gauches européennes. A la souche totalitaire, l’OLP emprunte explicitement, le schème conspirationniste des Protocoles des Sages de Sion, au tiers-mondisme, l’OLP emprunte l’idéologie anticolonialiste et l’anti-américanisme.

La charte du Hamas, plus récente, campe sur les mêmes positions. Voilà comment Y. Arafat, le jeune loup du Mufti, a refait surface, dans les années soixante, sous la guise de l’agnus dei au moment de la création du Fatah. Les anciennes connivences se sont manifestées ouvertement au moment du massacre des athlètes israéliens aux jeux olympiques de Munich : cet attentat avait été rendu possible grâce à la caution logistique d’anciens nazis. De nos jours, dans les manifestations « pro-palestiniennes », les « antisionistes » exhibent de nouveau la croix gammée sur leurs banderoles aux couleurs de la Palestine, ce n’est pas l’expression d’un ‘’dérapage’’, mais la signature d’une authentique filiation…Il y a ensuite la connivence totalement inattendue, mais par un effet de conjoncture, du discours des grands médias et du discours de l’extrême gauche, qui ont servi de relais aux prétentions de l’OLP, en fabriquant un véritable catéchisme – en un mot un vulgate– à destination du grand public : les grands médias, en vertu de l’alignement pro-palestinien des gouvernements successifs, depuis 1967, l’extrême gauche par son action continue sur la société civile, et ses capacités d’entrisme à l’université notamment. Voilà très précisément l’origine de la doxa antisioniste. Ceci tisse une trame très complexe, que l’absence totale de connaissance historique rend difficile à dénouer. D’où l’existence d’un phénomène idéologique globalement très structuré, qui constitue du point de vue cognitif une structure de piège, à laquelle il est presque impossible d’échapper. Lorsque la répétition s’en mêle, cela donne un mécanisme psycho-affectif qui court-circuite la possibilité même de la pensée, et impose au tout venant des conduites-réflexes. Cette doxa crée les conditions d’une véritable inhibition cognitive. L’ensemble de ces paramètres, leur combinatoire historique, liée à des stratégies délibérées, gouvernementales mais aussi militantes – de niveau logique entièrement distinct- contribuent à définir l’espace massif de ce « point mort », de ce que j’appelle l’angle mort du débat public en France, mais pas seulement.

YG : Nous savons depuis l’heureuse formule de Jankélévitch que « l’antisionisme est une incroyable aubaine pour les antisémites. L’antisionisme est l’antisémitisme justifié, mis enfin à la portée de tous. Il est permission d’être démocratiquement antisémite ». Nous avons Tariq Ramadan ou encore  Jean-Luc Mélenchon comme exemples d’antisionisme radical. Mais il existe aussi des Juifs antisionistes en France, et des Israéliens antisionistes aussi : cela va de Shlomo Sand jusqu’à Elie Barnavi. Pourriez-vous faire la distinction entre ces formes d’antisionisme ? Qu’est-ce que c’est d’être antisioniste ?

GES : Vladimir Jankélévitch avait vu juste, en identifiant le principe génétique de l’antisionisme. L’antisionisme radical est une forgerie du nazisme et du stalinisme, reprise par le nationalisme islamiste des Palestiniens au début du Mandat britannique sur la Palestine, pour s’opposer à la progression du mouvement sioniste. Jankélévitch, tout comme Poliakov, qui avaient la mémoire des choses, appartiennent à cette génération qui a été témoin de la mue de la judéophobie traditionnelle. Selon moi, l’antisionisme est la dernière modalité historique connue de la judéophobie, après l’antijudaïsme théologique (chrétien puis musulman), et l’antisémitisme moderne (culturel, raciste et/ou nationaliste). Ces trois modalités sont liées par un même invariant : la criminalisation du fait juif, comme je l’ai écrit au début des années 2000 dans mon essai L’antisionisme. Israël/Palestine aux miroirs d’Occident, que Pierre-André Taguieff avait accueilli dans la collection qu’il dirigeait alors aux éditions Berg. À cet égard, l’antisionisme de Tarik Ramadan est congruent avec l’idéologie des Frères musulmans. Si nous savons généralement que son grand-père était le fondateur de la confrérie, l’on sait moins en revanche que son père était l’émissaire pour la Palestine du Grand Mufti de Jérusalem. Quant à Jean-Luc Mélenchon, son antisionisme est celui d’un communiste pro-soviétique reconverti dans le populisme islamo-gauchiste, rien que de très congruent là encore. Il existe donc bien ce que j’appelle une archive judéophobe, très étayée, dont la matrice est recyclée au gré des conjonctures. Sous ce rapport, l’antisionisme est un phénomène idéologique très structuré, qui permet de donner le change, sous le prétexte de faire valoir un point de vue anticolonialiste, aujourd’hui « décolonial ».T. Ramadan et J.-L. Mélenchon, sont des incarnations des souches idéologiques que je viens d’évoquer et de situer l’une par rapport à l’autre. Ce sont des alliés objectifs du point de vue tactique, et des alliés subjectifs du point de vue de leurs convictions propres : l’islamisme radical du premier, le laïcardisme agressif et l’opportunisme électoraliste de l’autre. Il existe aussi une genèse intellectuelle de gauche de l’antisionisme français, qui est lié à certaines lectures juives du marxisme, dans le contexte de l’après-guerre mais aussi de la décolonisation. Je vous propose d’examiner cet éventail de positons. Indépendamment d’une affiliation marxiste, pour beaucoup, le sionisme a été vécu comme une assignation, et la réponse élémentaire a consisté à opposer un refus, en cherchant à théoriser une alternative.

Ce fut le cas d’un intellectuel comme Richard Marienstrass, l’auteur d’Etre un peuple en diaspora (1977), qui reconduisait les conceptions diasporistes de l’historien Simon Dubnov, assassiné au moment de la liquidation du ghetto de Riga. À côté de cela, il faut prendre en considération le cas de la gauche juive, critique du sionisme, modérée ou radicale, qui  s’explique autrement. Cette conception s’origine d’une part dans Marx lui-même, mais très certainement dans les élaborations ultérieures – notamment autonomistes (le Bund) spécifiquement juives, ou internationalistes (trotskystes). L’opusculed’Abraham Léon : La conception matérialiste de ma question juive[10], a exercé une influence notable dans de nombreux milieux juifs détachés du judaïsme traditionnel. On voit pointer là la perspective d’une résolution de la question juive dans le cadre d’un universalisme de sensibilité révolutionnaire. Un universitaire influent en son temps tel que Maxime Rodinson, a occupé une place central dans ce dispositif. Auteur de Question juive ou problème juif ? ,il a fixé pour longtemps la norme de l’interprétation « coloniale » du sionisme, en donnant le ton par son article rédigé pour l’Encyclopaedia Universalis au début des années 70 du vingtième siècle. Simultanément, la descendance idéologique de communistes d’origine juive, tel que Henri Curiel, via Le Monde diplomatique, avec des vecteurs d’opinion comme son fils Alain Greisch, ou Dominique Vidal – tous deux passionnément antisionistes- a contribué et continue encore à brouiller les cartes sur la question de savoir qui est juif et surtout comment l’être. Ce sont ces intellectuels de gauche, « universalistes », qui ont contribué à ethniciser le sionisme, à le défigurer en présentant des versions controuvées de la révolution sioniste. Ces deux journalistes, experts auto-proclamés du Proche Orient ont consacré une bonne partie de leurs écrits et de leurs interventions à tâcher d’apporter la démonstration de l’indépendance de l’antisionisme et de l’antisémitisme.

Au regard de la connaissance historiques, ce sont des gesticulations sans pertinence, de pures théorisations polémiques qui servent des buts de conquête idéologique de l’espace public. Quant à leur collusion avec l’islamisme radical, elle est une caractéristique intrinsèque de leur engagement[11]. En leur temps, cela ne les a pas empêchés de suggérer à l’OLP de se rapprocher de la gauche européenne, ni de s’aligner eux-mêmes sur le principe du « socialisme dans un seul pays », qui, après tout, est un ultra-nationalisme, un nationalisme impérial au sens obvie de ce terme. Quelque chose de cette fibre est passé dans la gauche française parlementaire, laquelle entre socialisme et communisme a longtemps balancé pour adopter une position claire sur ce sujet. Les communistes ont toujours hurlé avec les loups, au nom de l’anticolonialisme et de l’anti-impérialisme. Quant aux socialistes ils étaient divisés, ou ambivalents, ou dans le déni. On se souvient du retournement du Parti Socialiste, pour des motifs électoralistes, au début des années 2000 : il suffit de rappeler les positions d’un Pascal Boniface, auteur de : Est-il permis de critiquer Israël ?, mais aussi à l’attitude de Lionel Jospin, alors premier ministre, au moment de la deuxième intifada : il n’y avait pas d’antisémitisme dans les universités, et l’antisionisme était un non-sujet… Le cas des israéliens antisionistes est différent, même si leur discours entre en convergence avec celui des antisionistes radicaux, en leur conférant une précieuse justification (« si ce sont des Juifs qui le disent, alors il est illégitime de nous taxer d’antisémitisme », etc.). L’antisionisme israélien repose sur plusieurs composantes. Il a différentes sources : le Berit Chalom[12], le sionisme marxiste, le sionisme socialiste, pénétré de moralisme, les nouveaux historiens, et le post-sionisme, qui est la modalité israélienne du post-modernisme. Chez les militants du Berit Chalom, règne une certaine naïveté, qui se condense dans l’impératif d’une éthique sans politique, à l’heure des pogroms antijuifs déclenchés par le mouvement palestinien ! De cette posture, il reste l’essentiel chez les antionistes israéliens, qui est un moralisme belliciste. Ainsi, le cas de Shlomo Sand est paradigmatique : il cumule la posture moraliste, le rejet de la tradition juive, comme prisme d’intelligibilité de la signification historique du sionisme, et l’adhésion crypto-communiste à la critique anticolonialiste, héritée du prisme de lecture marxiste. Quant à Elie Barnavi, ou à Abraham Bourg, ils sont représentatifs de l’élite du pays, installé, comme beaucoup d’intellectuels, dans la posture du donneur de leçon, également perméables au thème marxiste et post-marxiste de la prétendue culpabilité de l’Occident. Pour moi, ces esprits se leurrent, leur analyse est fausse, car elle prend pour référentiel les catégories de l’historiographie hégélienne : les Juifs ne sauraient avoir d’État, et s’ils en ont un, il ne faut surtout pas que celui-ci se distingue par des traits de caractère juifs. Mais le sionisme c’est précisément cela. Il a été pensé par le peuple juif dans un moment de grand péril, pour rétablir la souveraineté juive, en assumant l’histoire juive. Le sionisme authentique n’est pas en rupture avec le messianisme juif, il le vivifie mais ne l’abolit pas.

Les antisionistes juifs, on peut le présumer, expriment d’abord un besoin de normalisation, qui cache une demande d’amour : « ’Acceptez-nous, aimez-nous, nous ne sommes pas différents de vous, nous sommes comme vous ». À ce compte, il était inutile de se défendre contre la judéophobie, ou de chercher à affirmer une indépendance nationale. Les nations avaient envisagé tout ce qui pouvait convenir à ces Juifs-malgré-eux : depuis l’universalisme-assimilationniste des Lumières, jusqu’à la solution finale des nazis. C’est ce malaise, ce refus d’être soi-même qui explique l’histrionisme pathétique d’un Shlomo Sand, et avant lui d’un Michel Warshawski.  Que l’ENS-Ulm accueille Sand en conférencier est un signe marquant de décadence culturelle. Je crois qu’étant donné le peu de rigueur intellectuel de Sand, même Louis Althusser ne l’aurait pas toléré … On serait tenté, dans le cas de Sand, d’arguer de la haine de soi, dont Théodore Lessing a fait l’analyse.. Mais je ne suis pas favorable à cette analyse psychologique. Il s’agit pour moi d’un problème idéologique qui a sans doute des conséquences psychiques. Lessing parlait pour une certaine catégorie de Juifs cruellement atteints par le malaise identitaire dans une société qui les rejetait, en dépit de leur volonté d’assimilation et de leur loyalisme. Tout cela c’était avant la Shoah, et avant la création de l’État d’Israël. L’antisionisme d’une partie des israéliens n’a plus grand-chose à voir avec ce phénomène individuel. Il est le symptôme partiellement collectif d’une volonté de normalisation. Volonté très marquée à gauche notamment : « Être un peuple comme les autres », mais sans la fierté patriotique des premiers sionistes. N’est-ce pas l’écrivain A. B. Yehoshua qui a publié un essai au titre éloquent : Pour une normalité juive. Selon cet auteur, la normalité juive, c’est la normalité des nations, mais dans un contexte historico-politique, où à l’heure des nations précisément, la judaïté cesserait d’être un point de reconnaissance identitaire. Cette tendance s’explique encore justement par le poids rétrospectif mais toujours pesant que représente le double héritage de l’histoire juive, sous son versant négatif avec la Shoah, dont il ne faut pas sous-estimer la gravité en matière de traumatisme collectif, et sous son versant biblique non pas « particulariste », mais singulier. Ce double héritage est très lourd à porter. Comme l’a montré E. Yakira dans : Sionisme, post-modernisme, Shoah[13], l’État d’Israël s’est en partie construit contre l’histoire du judaïsme diasporique. Les fondateurs ont voulu apurer les comptes, et bâtir une nation israélienne qui ne serait plus comptable de ce passé qui était aussi un passif. Ce sionisme déraciné de son historicité -positive (la tradition du judaïsme historique) et négative (la Shoah, rançon de la judéophobie diasporique)- c’est cela qui a fait le lit du post-sionisme. Il y a enfin le cas d’intellectuels dont on ne peut pas dire qu’ils soient antisionistes, mais qui du fait de leur adhésion au schéma de l’analyse marxiste de l’histoire tendent à ignorer la singularité de l’histoire juive, en projetant sur l’histoire du sionisme les mécanismes coloniaux. Il est symptomatique que lorsqu’ils sont francophones, ces intellectuels fourbissent leur critique en usant de références qui sont celles de la colonisation française. Ils seront ainsi enclins à analyser le conflit palestino-israélien dans les mêmes termes que des militants du F.L.N analysaient la nécessité de l’indépendance algérienne. Je me souviens ainsi d’une soirée thématique, au début des années 90, à la cinémathèque de Tel-Aviv, organisée par Denis Charbit et Elie Barnavi, autour de la projection du film : La bataille d’Alger. Voilà le fonds de commerce idéologique de la gauche israélienne, à l’heure du débat sur l’identité nationale… Après la projection, tout l’échange avec la salle a tourné autour de l’argumentaire selon lequel les Israéliens agissaient dans les « territoires » comme les bérets rouges de Bigeard avec le F.L.N. Ce jugement faux n’est pas de nature à enrichir la compréhension des véritables enjeux du refus palestinien. À partir de ce schème, plusieurs générations d’Israéliens déculturés, ont été éduqués par de mauvais maîtres avec la conviction d’être issus d’une nation d’envahisseurs et de colons, au sens des impérialismes européens. Mais un Juif ne sera jamais un « colon » en Judée ! L’inculcation de ce même schéma dans les universités, et le développement de deux discours concomitants, à partir de grilles de lecture complètement inappropriées, à quoi se sont ajoutées les thèses analogues des « nouveaux historiens » (exception faite de Benny Morris) procède d’une erreur de jugement, qu’il est aisé de repérer.

Y.G. : Vous avez fait allusion au climat qui règne dans les universités françaises. Quel rôle jouent-elles dans la diffusion de l’antisionisme ?

G.-E.S. : Ce sont moins les universités en tant que telles que certains universitaires, militants actifs de la cause palestinienne, qui ont considérablement pesé dans la politisation des universités. Au fil des décennies, celles-ci sont devenues des foyers significatifs de promotion de l’antisionisme. Une fois encore cela remonte à la fin des années soixante, lorsque l’extrême gauche a inventé de toute pièce la cause palestinienne, comme un motif clef de la mobilisation du monde étudiant. D’année en année, il s’est créé un profil type de l’universitaire progressiste, nécessairement hostile à Israël, précisément sur le thème anticolonialiste, ce qui en dit long sur l’ignorance ou la mauvaise foi partisane de ces individus. Ils n’ont aucune autonomie de pensée, puisqu’ils participent par leurs discours consensuel d’une culture du psittacisme qui leur donne forcément raison… Au début des années 2000, ces mêmes collègues ont été des acteurs actifs du BDS, et nous avions dû faire beaucoup d’efforts pour enrayer une première fois ce mouvement. Ce sont les mêmes qui ont érigé en spécialité professionnelle l’analyse du discours des candidats à la présidence de la République, ou bien l’analyse du discours du Front national, pensant ainsi faire acte de résistance. Comme si l’histoire se répétait. Mais voilà une conception bien pauvre de la fonction critique, aussi bien que de la résistance, puisqu’à bien considérer les positions politiques en jeu, ces mêmes universitaires-militants forment la 5è colonne de l’islam radical. Ils représentent un certain dévoiement de la gauche, puisque par la nature même de leurs actions, ils fédèrent la nouvelle internationale antisémite, en lui offrant une caution académique. En admettant qu’il y ait quelque chose de progressiste à défendre la cause palestinienne, je pense avoir rappelé ce que cette cause avait de sujette à caution à sa racine même. Comment des gens qui se prétendent démocrates peuvent cautionner un mouvement dont l’idéologie de référence est celle des Frères musulmans ? Il y a là une sorte de dissociation philosophique que je m’explique mal, puisqu’à tout prendre, ces fonctionnaires de la République cautionnent quand même un projet – si on peut encore user de ce terme – profondément rétrograde : le refus de la souveraineté juive, la diffusion de l’agenda politique du terrorisme, et bien entendu le rejet de la société ouverte. Le discours de cette clique est celui d’une nouvelle forme de  fascisme: désignation de l’ennemi (« l’entité sioniste », « les sionistes »), suivi de son essentialisation (« colons », « occupants », avec toutes les connotations inhérentes à ces termes en Europe), le simplisme idéologique, le révisionnisme historique, l’esprit de délation, etc. Il s’agit d’une véritable institutionnalisation de la délinquance, fondée sur la diffusion d’un nouvel enseignement du mépris qui fait lien avec le modus operandi de l’antisémitisme classique. La péjoration constante du sionisme, ainsi que la délégitimation morale de l’État d’Israël, les mensonges régulièrement distillés n’ont pas peu contribué à la subversion du débat public. En ce sens le nouvel antisémitisme se trouve alimenté par le discours des ennemis d’Israël entré en convergence avec celui que véhicule, pour des raisons économiques ou électoralistes, les élites gouvernementales. Ce climat fait chorus avec la désinformation qui prévaut en France, si bien que ces enseignants portent une grande part de responsabilité dans l’effondrement du niveau culturel et le décervelage des étudiants dont ils ont la charge. Il y a enfin un paradoxe qui ne laisse de me faire méditer : l’antisionisme s’affirme au nom de l’amour de la paix, mais il faut bien dire qu’en tant que pacifisme de principe, il constitue la forme la plus sournoise du bellicisme.

YG : La France soutient l’OLP, organisation terroriste dirigée aujourd’hui par un négationniste, Mahmoud Abbas, couronné par l’Académie des Science russe pour sa thèse qui met en doute la Shoah. Elle a aussi soutenu son prédécesseur, Arafat, auteur de nombreux actes terroristes, organisateur de massacres génocidaires au Liban dont peu de français ont entendu parler. Quel est l’intérêt de la France dans ce soutien ?

GES : Les intérêts géopolitiques de la France ont amené les régimes et les gouvernements successifs à considérer que le monde arabe était un débouché et un allié naturel : sous la  monarchie, l’empire, la République, c’est un invariant. Au sortir de la Seconde Guerre mondiale, nous savons que la France a offert l’asile au Mufti de Jérusalem, qu’elle a aussi permis sa fuite, sous une fausse identité, ce qui lui a permis d’échapper au Procès de Nuremberg. La France savait ce qu’elle faisait, mais elle l’a fait en songeant au bénéfice qu’elle pourrait un jour tirer de ce geste. Après le renversement d’alliance, le tournant anti-israélien pris par De Gaulle, la France a choisi de s’impliquer en faveur de la cause palestinienne : Arafat, qui avait été l’émule du Mufti (il comptait au nombre de ses proches à l’époque de l’alliance entre le mouvement national palestinien et la diplomatie nazie), est devenu un allié fiable et fidèle. Elle lui a témoigné son soutien, et l’a accueilli dans ses deniers jours à l’hôpital des armées du Val de Grâce, tout un poème. Mais c’est aussi la France, qui a offert l’hospitalité à l’imam Khomeini, en chemin vers Téhéran, au moment de la révolution islamique. C’est cela la realpolitik…C’est encore la France républicaine qui a doté l’Irak antisioniste de Saddam Hussein d’un réacteur nucléaire que l’aviation israélienne a détruit pour ne pas permettre qu’Israël vive sous la menace d’une extermination nucléaire. N’eusse-t-il pas été plus cohérent que la France des Lumières, persiste à s’affirmer l’alliée naturelle d’Israël, après Vichy, après des siècles de présence des communautés juives en France ? C’est aussi la France républicaine qui a délibérément pris le parti de désinformer les citoyens français, en distillant via l’AFP les contre-vérités les plus grossières. Realpolitik, une fois de plus. Selon la même ligne de cohérence diplomatique, c’est encore la France qui détient à l’ONU le record des condamnations d’Israël, aux côtés de la majorité automatique, traditionnellement hostile à Israël (en vertu de la théologie politique de l’islam). Ceci étant, j’attends le moment où les paix d’Abraham, récemment conclues entre Israël et ses principaux ennemis arabes, porteront de tels fruits, que certains secteurs de l’Europe seront les derniers tenants de l’antisionisme, tandis que l’antisionisme sera devenu minoritaire parmi ses principaux tenants historiques. Aujourd’hui le gouvernement de Khartoum demande la « normalisation » avec Israël, alors que c’est à Khartoum que fut proclamé par la Ligue Arabe, en 1967, le programme des « 3 non à Israël » : non à la reconnaissance, non à la négociation, non à la paix… La topologie internationale sera entièrement modifiée : il y aura d’un côté les anciens ennemis ligués dans des alliances de coopération, et de l’autre les antisionistes has been, décoloniaux et post-modernes, emmenés par la France, avec ses mantras du Quai d’Orsay (« la solution à deux États »…). La position intangible de la France participe d’une longue tradition de réalisme politique et de pusillanimité, très bien analysée par David Pryce-Jones, dans son ouvrage : Un siècle de trahison, la diplomatie française, les Juifs et Israël (1894-2007). À mes yeux, cela est impardonnable, car la France – précisément en tant que puissance impériale et coloniale- a été présente dans le monde arabo-musulman pendant près d’un siècle et demi. N’a-t-elle rien retenu de cette si longue présence ? N’a-t-elle tiré aucune leçon du jusqu’auboutisme du FLN, dont les historiens admettent seulement aujourd’hui les racines islamistes ? En un sens nous avons là le même phénomène qu’avec l’OLP, qui est en réalité une émanation des Frères Musulmans palestiniens, mais qui a eu l’intelligence tactique de se couler dans le tiers-mondisme pour rendre acceptable son antisionisme. Le véritable point de mue se situe là, c’est cela la convergence des luttes…

YG : Pourquoi qualifiez-vous de mantra la position française et européenne de « la solution à deux États » ?

GES : Pour plusieurs raisons. Tout d’abord, parce que cette formulation, aujourd’hui dotée d’une efficience quasi-hypnotique, n’est qu’un argument d’autorité, dans la mesure où elle fait écho avec les pseudo-arguments de la sous-culture antisioniste. La prétendue « solution à deux États » est la traduction diplomatique du narratif palestinien, de la contre-vérité selon laquelle « le » sionisme, et l’État d’Israël sont fondés sur l’exclusion et l’expulsion des Arabes de Palestine. Or il faut ici rappeler un certain nombre de faits, que la propagande et la Realpolitik méprisent sans reste. Tout d’abord la Palestine, qui est le cadre de référence géopolitique à l’intérieur duquel se sont développés les deux nationalismes – juif et arabe- n’a jamais été le cadre de la moindre entité nationale palestinienne. « La » Palestine fait alors partie de la grande Palestine, qui inclut alors la Syrie et le Liban. Du reste, les congrès nationalistes ne se tiennent pas en « Palestine » (ni à Gaza, ni à « Jérusalem-Est », ni à Jéricho), mais à Damas. Pendant la période du Mandat britannique sur la Palestine (une autre partie de la Palestine est confiée à l’administration française…), les « Palestiniens » du Mufti de Jérusalem n’auront pas le moindre respect pour les communautés juives religieuses, ce dont témoigne le massacre de Hébron, notamment. Lorsqu’ensuite, au sortir de la Seconde Guerre mondiale, l’ONU vote le partage de la Palestine, en deux États – l’un juif, l’autre arabe-, les Arabes palestiniens, ont la possibilité d’affirmer leur dignité nationale. Non seulement ils rejettent cette décision internationale, mais ils se lancent avec la Ligue Arabe, dans une guerre d’extermination contre l’État d’Israël, car le mouvement sioniste, quant à lui, a dit « oui » à ce partage, et s’en contente. La possibilité d’un État palestinien faisait donc partie de l’agenda international, et il a été refusé au mépris du droit international. Après la défaite militaire, les Arabes de Palestine, sous la emmenés par le Fatah, ont inventé le terrorisme international, c’était leur alternative au droit international, précisément. Il faut encore rappeler, et cela ne choque personne et n’a jamais choqué personne, que les Britanniques ont créé la « Trans-Jordanie » (l’actuelle Jordanie) en …1922, pour trouver justement une solution nationale au « problème palestinien ». Tout cela est oublié. À la suite de la guerre d’indépendance, les portions territoriales allouées à l’État Arabe de Palestine, ont été annexées, respectivement par l’Égypte (la bande de Gaza) et la Jordanie (la Cisjordanie). Ce n’est qu’à la fin des années soixante-dix que l’Égypte et la Jordanie ont renoncé à leurs annexions, obligeant Israël à se débrouiller avec les populations de ces territoires. Il s’est produit dans l’intervalle deux autres guerres d’extermination – celle de 1967 et celle de 1973- que la Ligue arabe a encore perdues. Puis, l’État d’Israël a cru bon d’engager des négociations avec la centrale palestinienne (OLP), ce qui a conduit aux Accords d’Oslo, parce que depuis la création du Fatah et le ralliement international à « la cause palestinienne », la terre entière exigeait à l’unisson une « solution à deux États ». Nous connaissons la suite : aux termes des Accords de 1993 (Oslo), les « Palestiniens » ont obtenu l’autonomie politique graduelle. C’est la vague d’attentats des années suivantes qui a enrayé ce processus, et l’irrédentisme des mêmes « Palestiniens », bientôt rejoints par la faction plus radicale du Hamas. Depuis 2006, les « Palestiniens » sont gouvernés par deux entités politiques : le Hamas dans la Bande de Gaza, l’Autorité palestinienne en « Judée-Samarie », c’est-à-dire sur le territoire qui est le berceau historique du peuple juif. Voilà pourquoi le principe de « la solution à deux États » est un mantra hypnotique, parce qu’en vérité il existe déjà trois entités nationales palestiniennes : une monarchie (la Jordanie), un mini-État islamique (la Bande de Gaza), et une dictature tiers-mondiste (Jéricho et ses dépendances). En sorte que l’État palestinien que revendique l’antisionisme coïncide avec l’exigence inacceptable de la disparition de l’État d’Israël en tant qu’État du peuple juif. À cet égard, alors que les antisionistes et leurs émules moutonniers se sont fait une spécialité de dénoncer les « crimes de guerre » d’Israël, et les entorses au droit, ce sont eux en vérité qui incarnent le parangon du non- respect du droit international, et ceci depuis le début de l’histoire d’un conflit, dont ils sont les uniques responsables.

Si l’antisionisme ainsi compris triomphait, la solution à « deux États », serait en vérité une solution à quatre États : l’État d’Israël, devenu binational, la Bande de Gaza, la Jordanie, et les territoires de l’Autorité palestinienne de M. Abbas. Le principe de la « solution à deux États » est une formule qui n’a qu’une portée et qu’une valeur idéologique, dans un monde désymbolisé. Il est le symptôme manifeste de ce que l’Europe, mais aussi une partie des États-Unis, et par extension tous les partisans de la « solution à deux Etats » ignorent avec l’histoire les rudiments du calcul mental, en se convertissant massivement au narratif palestinien, qui est la version laïque de la sha’ada – la formule religieuse de la conversion à l’Islam. Du reste si les analphabètes ne savent pas lire, ils ont à tout le moins la possibilité de s’informer par des supports visuels : il suffit de ne pas être aveugle pour lire sans le moindre risque d’erreur la signification du logo de l’OLP, ou celui du Hamas. Le logo de l’OLP représente la géographie de l’actuel État d’Israël, couverte par deux fusils croisés, tandis que celui du Hamas, représente la Mosquée d’El Aqsa, auréolée de deux sabres : un beau mélange des deux versions de l’islam, radical avec les cimeterres  de l’expansion des premiers siècles, et « modéré » avec les fusils vendus par la Russie, et la Chine. On ne peut mieux établir le caractère substitutif de la « cause palestinienne », qui est le nouveau cri de ralliement des antisémites, pour toutes les raisons que j’ai dites. À tous égards, c’est l’antisionisme qui est intrinsèquement hors la loi.

YG : Vous faites apparaître le caractère pervers de ce narratif, banalisé à l’extrême

GES: Pour le moins, puisque le narratif palestinien est un narratif de substitution du narratif de l’histoire juive. La différence entre les deux narratifs, c’est que le narratif juif articule une mémoire historique, alors que le narratif palestinien est un leurre idéologique, l’un des aspects du caractère spéculaire de toute idéologie. Le narratif palestinien donne à reconnaître quelque chose qui ressemble à la passion du Christ. Les « Palestiniens » sont les nouveaux crucifiés… Leur propagande victimaire a su exploiter tous les ressorts de l’âme occidentale, et de la culpabilité européenne. Quoi de plus apaisant pour des nations qui ont été le théâtre de la Shoah de se convaincre, à l’unisson avec les faussaires du Hamas et les négationnistes de l’OLP que « les victimes d’hier, sont les bourreaux d’aujourd’hui », en faisant accroire qu’Israël a mis en œuvre « le génocide du Peuple palestinien » ? Le narratif palestinien reprend mot pour mot les éléments de langage de la mémoire juive : la clef de la maison que l’on a dû abandonner, le thème de l’exil et de la diaspora, celui de la spoliation, des massacres, de la résistance « héroïque » (des « combattants palestiniens »), analogue de celle du ghetto de Varsovie. C’était la rhétorique du journal Libération, à l’issue de la première guerre du Liban, au moment où l’OLP a quitté Beyrouth, sous escorte internationale. En leur temps, les combattants du Ghetto de Varsovie, qui étaient sionistes, et qui ont livré leur combat dans l’indifférence générale, n’ont pas eu cette chance…

Le motif de « la clef de la maison », est un emprunt aux récits des Juifs sépharades et orientaux expulsés des pays arabes après les indépendances. De ce seul point de vue, l’antisionisme a aussi su faire oublier qu’un million de Juifs ont été expulsés des pays arabes, entre 1948 et 1975, et qu’à ce jour il ne subsiste plus une seule communauté juive d’importance significative sous ces latitudes. Je suis moi-même issue d’une famille sépharade, et à ma connaissance, aucun Juif issu de ces contrées n’a été élevé dans la haine de ses anciens voisins, ni envisagé de demander un statut de réfugié héréditaire…Quant aux comparaisons outrancières, elles sont des lieux communs bien connus de la presse de gauche et d’extrême gauche, depuis que l’AFP, s’est mise au service de la « cause palestinienne », et qu’elle diffuse journellement les contes et légende de Palestine à l’intention de populations anesthésiées. On conçoit aisément la part de distorsion, de manipulation et de cynisme qui entre dans cette réécriture intégrale de l’histoire. En vérité la progression de l’antisionisme, lorsque l’on évoque la profondeur de son arrière-plan historique, se confond avec l’histoire d’une catastrophe culturelle de très grande ampleur : déshistorisation, naturalisation de contre-vérités, standardisation des mentalités, dégradation de la vie politique, subversion militante des institutions, polarisation extrême des adversaires, langue de bois et langue de coton, nivellement des « élites »,  « rationalisme morbide », au sens de la psychopathologie.

YG : La cause palestinienne est la raison d’entente entre tous les mouvements destructeurs qu’on appelle depuis une vingtaine d’années « islamogauchistes ». Si la France et l’Europe soutiennent cette cause contre Israël, comment espérer venir à bout de la haine d’Israël et comment arrêter la destruction de l’État Nation dont Israël donne l’image exemplaire et si détestée par les décoloniaux ?

GES: Notez bien que pour la coalition islamo-gauchiste, la destruction de l’État-Nation, et le harcèlement d’Israël sont de bonnes et saintes causes. Il n’y a que ceux qui se reconnaissent dans la forme de l’État-Nation, ceux qui mesurent la vie politique à l’aune des prérogatives et des devoirs de l’État-Nation – notamment démocratique- qui se sentent affectés par ce que vous qualifiez de destructivité. Il y a également ceux pour lesquels la souveraineté d’Israël est indiscutable, qui ont encore conscience du danger que représente l’islamo-gauchisme, pas seulement sur le plan politique, mais également culturel et sociétale. Une Europe des nations, qui exprimerait formellement son attachement à la démocratie, aux principes de la société ouverte, sans rien concéder à ses ennemis, serait sans doute la première étape de ce nécessaire redressement. Ensuite, un sérieux examen de conscience de la classe politique, de la gauche en particulier, aujourd’hui éclatée et divisée. Les fractions de droite aussi doivent se poser des questions, tout particulièrement la droite mondialiste, qui n’a eu de cesse pour des motifs économistes de contribuer à l’affaiblissement des identités nationales. Un débat sérieux doit se mener en Europe sur l’identité et la raison d’être de ce que Husserl appelait le telos de l’humanité européenne. Mais le problème est que les États-Nations européens n’ont pas fait le choix de défendre l’État d’Israël, et cela apparaît finalement comme leur talon d’Achille : comment concilier l’universalisme abstrait avec l’engagement soutenu qu’exigerait la défense d’Israël, qui, après tout, se situe dans le même camp politique et culturel qu’eux-mêmes ? Les élites européennes doivent cesser de se montrer pusillanimes et d’encourager à l’abdication de tout patriotisme. Cela me paraît d’autant plus nécessaire que l’État-nation laïc et universaliste est une forme historique, comme telle susceptible de passer. Or du point de vue historique, les identités ont été contenues et justifiées par deux sortes d’ensembles : étatiques ou impériaux. À quoi ressemblerait l’Europe fondée sur le principe de l’État-nation, en cas de victoire de l’islamo-gauchisme ?

YG : Quel rôle jouent les intellectuels dans la propagation des idées antisémites et antisionistes ? Qui sont aujourd’hui les propagateurs essentiels des idées anti-juives ?

GES : Tous ceux qui les diffusent, mais aussi tous ceux qui sont indifférents à leur diffusion et ne s’y opposent pas explicitement ni publiquement. Le spectre est assez large, il peut inclure nombre de nos collègues pour lesquels l’antisionisme, sa banalisation, font partie des naturalités de la vie politique et civique française avec lesquelles il est possible de composer. Par leur inaction, ils y contribuent. Qui ne dit mot consent. Je crois discerner quelques sursauts en ce moment, mais ils se sont tus longtemps, optant pour la posture de la majorité silencieuse en temps de crise. En sorte que là comme naguère l’antisémitisme était une affaire juive, aujourd’hui l’antisionisme est-il l’affaire de ce que la propagande désigne comme les « sionistes », avec cette tonalité d’invective qui entache aujourd’hui l’usage de ce signe. Cela me rappelle le mot du pasteur Niemöller : «  Quand les nazis sont venus chercher les communistes, je n’ai rien dit, je n’étais pas communiste ; Quand ils ont enfermé les sociaux-démocrates, je n’ai rien dit, je n’étais pas social-démocrate ; Quand ils sont venus chercher les syndicalistes, je n’ai rien dit, je n’étais pas syndicaliste ; Quand ils sont venus me chercher, il ne restait plus personne pour protester.  » Puissent nos collègues n’avoir pas réagi trop tard. Mais c’est une loi toute humaine, démentie par un nombre infime d’intellectuels – je pense à François Rastier. Les gens ne réagissent, s’ils le peuvent encore, que lorsqu’ils se sentent inquiétés dans leurs intérêts immédiats, ce sont des mécanismes corporatistes. Les intellectuels anti-décolonialistes réagissent aujourd’hui, parce qu’ils ont fini par se sentir concernés par les attaques du décolonialisme. Comme la plupart sont aujourd’hui gênés pour faire leur travail – la grande majorité sont des professeurs d’universités, et mieux encore des professeurs en retraite, presque au sens militaire du mot ! – eh bien ils réagissent, et pour les plus âgés, ils se désolent de voir les outrages que l’on fait subir à leur Alma Mater. Où étaient-ils depuis les premiers coups de boutoir de l’islamo-gauchisme ? Étaient-ils sourds, ou aveugles, ou naïvement persuadés que ce mouvement ne sortirait pas des marges ? Quant à s’impliquer pour réfuter la xénophobie antisioniste, à ce jour, et depuis 20 ans je n’ai pas lu une ligne de l’un d’entre eux sur ce sujet. Cela doit faire partie de ce qui est supportable, et peut être normal, voire éthiquement acceptable. Ils sont aussi comptables d’un clivage que toute la gauche, disons respectable, de Mitterand à Hollande, mais aussi la droite – de De Gaulle à Macron- a fortement inculquée : il faut protéger les Juifs, sanctuariser les victimes de la Shoah- mais il est nécessaire de participer aux pogroms médiatiques et diplomatiques contre Israël. Au mieux, ils s’abstiennent. C’est proprement le fait d’une cécité, aussi bien en matière de connaissance historique que de façonnement du « citoyen français ». Mais à leur décharge, je dois admettre qu’il était peut-être difficile d’interpréter que l’antisionisme des années 2000 était le signe avant-coureur de l’idéologie décolonialiste protéiforme qu’ils combattent aujourd’hui. Ceux qui le font, tous les collègues qui se sont aujourd’hui fédérés dans l’Observatoire du décolonialisme ne manquent ni de courage ni d’acuité pour le combattre et le réfuter avec une belle intelligence, et l’engagement dont ils témoignent les honorent. À côté de cela, la naturalisation de l’antisionisme, radical puis distingué, sous couvert de critique de la politique israélienne, est un tropisme caractéristique de la mentalité européenne, l’une de ses figures obligées. Or tout est là, sur l’échelle du préjugé, où situer le degré d’acceptabilité d’un énoncé ? Par leur non-interventionnisme, par leur silence – embarrassé ou complice- les intellectuels jouent donc un rôle majeur, celui de vecteurs d’opinion, même quand ils ne font rien, du moment qu’ils ne s’y opposent pas. Tout dépend, au-delà de la sphère académique, ce que l’on entend par « intellectuel » : les journalistes qui sont aujourd’hui des militants pro-palestiniens, et qui ont contribué à désinformer la population sur Israël, en relayant le narratif de l’OLP sont-ils des intellectuels ? Qu’est-ce qu’un porte-parole alphabétisé mais entièrement ignorant, et entièrement conditionné par le Zeitgeist de son aire culturelle ?

YG : Des personnalités phares du néo-féminisme radical se distinguent par leur antisionisme affiché. Judith Butler soutient ouvertement le mouvement BDS et signe régulièrement les pétitions anti-israéliennes, elle n’hésite pas à déclarer que les Frères Musulmans sont une organisation démocratique et qu’Israël est un état colonisateur. Angela Davis est une illustre antisioniste, la très décoloniale Françoise Vergès n’hésite pas à parler de l’état colonial, militariste, machiste et indifférent à l’autre. Pourquoi ces féministes radicales se fixent sur Israël à l’instar des décoloniaux, de la gauche radicale et des islamistes ?

GES : En agissant comme elles le font, toutes ces personnalités ont la conviction de témoigner publiquement de leur engagement humaniste et universaliste. Autrement, elles ne le feraient pas. C’est donc qu’elles ont intériorisé les équations efficaces dont je parlais tout à l’heure. Mais au fond de leur engagement, il se joue pour elles, un combat éthique de premier plan, très caractéristique de la post-modernité : c’est la lutte contre la civilisation patriarcale. Mieux, c’est la volonté d’en découdre avec le fantasme du patriarcat oppressif. De ce seul point de vue, le féminisme radical se déduit de l’antijudaïsme qui sous-tend l’antisionisme. Le signifiant Israël agrège toutes les figures de l’autorité : le père, le juge, le maître, le guerrier… Ce radicalisme est la marque de l’intolérance à ce que représente la figure archétype du juif. Il n’est donc pas étonnant que la convergence des luttes s’articulent également sur un substrat symbolique qu’il s’agit de contester à sa racine. C’est une expression de ce que les psychanalystes Bella Grumberger et Jeanine Chasseguet-Smirgelont appelé L’univers contestationnaire. Il s’agit toujours de tuer le juif symbolique. C’est le principe même de la désymbolisation contemporaine, qui consiste à s’attaquer au cadre du moralisme judéo-chrétien présumé. Il y a au fond de cette posture un fantasme parricide. Les psychanalystes les plus avisés ont identifié et dénoncé le danger d’une telle geste : la contestation de la tradition est au cœur de la destruction des généalogies que garantit le nom du père. Or le monde d’après Auschwitz se distingue justement par ce que A. Mitscherlich a appelé « la société sans père », et Lacan après lui le « déclin de la fonction paternelle ». Le mal est profond, et ce même diagnostic reconduit par des auteurs plus récents : Charles Melman, Jean-Pierre Winter, etc. Il y a peut-être une corrélation entre la destruction des Juifs d’Europe et la poursuite du fantasme parricide. Ce même fantasme commande d’abord les polémiques théologiques, il s’agit toujours de détrôner le père, de le remplacer. L’antisionisme est une figure freudienne, la horde des fils lancés dans la reconduction inlassable du meurtre du père, et revendiquant pour eux une infinité de droit, une jouissance infinie.

YG : Y-a-t-il une particularité de l’antisionisme de certains intellectuels juifs, comme J. Butler que j’évoquais à l’instant, ou bien N. Chomsky ?

GES : Le discours que tient J. Butler procède d’une posture typiquement juive, caractéristique de l’Amérique du Nord. N. Chomsky l’a précédée, au nom de la critique de l’impérialisme. Le propre de ces « intellectuels juifs » est précisément de ne plus se rallier au judaïsme au sens historique et culturel de ce terme. Ce profil intellectuel s’analyse en termes très particuliers. Ces intellectuels appartiennent à la tradition du radicalisme américain, assez proche de la philosophie libertaire, quoique Butler ait évoluée vers la déconstruction, ce que n’a pas fait Chomsky, lequel campe sur des positions qui sont celles du paradigme anti-impérialiste « classique ». Il s’agit d’intellectuels d’origine juive, entièrement déjudaisés. Ils ont été littéralement aspirés par la logique centrifuge du narratif victimaire, distinctif du palestinisme. Ils sont également très représentatifs, à ce titre, des effets clivants de la judéophobie : la culpabilisation des Juifs par la propagande palestinienne, a poussé nombre de bons esprits à se désolidariser du peuple juif et du destin national du peuple juif, en préférant un choix individualiste, plus fortement valorisé dans le contexte d’une culture académique-universaliste. Autrement dit, c’est un ethos. À cet égard, ils sont des incarnations de l’universalisme abstrait, sans se rendre compte qu’en tant qu’idéologie dominante de l’impérium Nord-américain, cette posture est un ethnocentrisme qui s’ignore. Il en résulte que toute identité singulière collective, devient la cible de leur péjoration. Dans la droite ligne de leur choix philosophique, ils naturalisent leur choix existentiel, qui est celui  d’une assimilation provocatrice qui les exonère de toute compromission avec l’Israël historique qu’ils appellent à discriminer. De manière tendancielle, ce sont des figures héroïques de l’identification à l’agresseur, de solides cautions de l’antisionisme, puisque si ce sont des Juifs qui le diffusent, alors c’est que ce doit être « vrai ». Cette façon de donner le change les installe comme des porte-parole de la justice, alors qu’ils pêchent contre l’esprit. Mais ces choix les protègent de l’hostilité d’ennemis inconciliables, puisqu’ils les devancent et les justifient.

YG : Vous revenez souvent sur l’idée que l’hostilité vis-à-vis du principe de l’État juif trouve aussi sa source dans une conception abstraite de l’universalisme. Que voulez-vous dire ?

GES : Il s’agit en effet d’un point important. La plupart des adversaires doctrinaux d’Israël s’entêtent à critiquer son « particularisme », son « exclusivisme », etc. Notez-bien que cette objection est en phase avec une caractéristique originaire de la judéophobie historique, puisque l’Église, aussi bien que l’Islam visent justement le « séparatisme » juif, son entêtement à refuser de se fondre dans la majorité, en reconnaissant la vérité théologique des deux autres monothéismes. Cette même disposition a conditionné la conception de l’universalisme des sociétés sécularisées. Un certain nombre de penseurs, dont Karl Lowith dans Histoire et salut. Les présupposés théologiques de la philosophie de l’histoire, ont fait apparaître que la modernité est en effet une sécularisation de la théologie de l’histoire : c’est le principe même de la généralisation d’un modèle de société qui se comprend lui-même comme impliquant l’uniformisation idéologique des membres qui la constituent, même lorsque ces sociétés se fondent sur la séparation des pouvoirs, et que de ce fait elle garantissent les libertés individuelles (de conscience, de religion, notamment). Il est également remarquable, que la plupart des penseurs postmodernistes ont appuyé leur critique socio-politique de la mondialisation capitaliste sur un retour à l’universalisme paulinien, dont l’allergie au « particularisme » juif est emblématique. D’autant qu’il s’agit d’un particularisme coupable (historiquement lié au rejet de la messianité de Jésus). Le thème théologique de la perfidie des Juifs – c’est-à-dire de leur « infidélité »- est constitutif de cette conception. Or, sans la moindre exception, les principaux théoriciens du postmodernisme professent une position antisioniste, en reconduisant à l’encontre d’Israël, l’objection de particularisme, et pour ce faire, ils articulent leur conception sur une référence explicite à l’universalisme de St Paul ! Le tournant altermondialiste des penseurs post-modernes Toni Negri, Alain Badiou, Giorgio Agamben, Slavoj Zižek, signe l’appartenance de leur vues à cette double dépendance matricielle : la promotion de ce que j’appelle « l’universalisme abstrait » coïncidant avec la dénonciation du « particularisme juif », qui s’exprime sous le rapport du « sionisme », notamment chez les trois premiers. Une fois de plus, sous la plume de ces auteurs, Israël s’est rendu coupable de déroger à cette conception d’un universalisme allergique à la différence, d’un universalisme assimilateur. Mais à notre époque, la critique du « particularisme sioniste » étaye une accusation sous-jacente : ce particularisme serait « raciste », et l’État d’Israël formerait une « ethno-démocratie ».

Ces thèmes sont des invariants du postmodernisme politique : cette conception de l’universalisme sous-tend la péjoration de l’identité juive, depuis la plus haute antiquité. Le particularisme est toujours l’expression d’une dérogation, l’indice constant du refus d’adhérer à l’ordre de la majorité. Comme tel, il est ressenti comme un pôle d’adversité. Il y a là quelque chose d’un résidu de la mentalité primitive qui consiste à poser a priori que l’autre – du fait de sa différence- représente un danger, qu’il est aussi un ennemi. Le même ethos caractérise le grand nombre d’intellectuels juifs qui se sont éloignés de la culture juive, et qui au nom du post-sionisme font chorus avec leurs homologues non-juifs. Ils ne sont plus ni juifs, ni sionistes – ils dénoncent l’un et l’autre au nom de « l’universalisme », ce sont des « alter-juifs ». Aujourd’hui, le mouvement alter-juif forme une nébuleuse pro-active, sympathisante du lobby de Georges Sorros : The New Israël Found, qui a pour vocation de dévitaliser le caractère juif de l’État d’Israël, en menant des campagnes de diffamation, et en soutenant des politiques d’ingérence (JSreet, JCall). En Israël, c’est l’association Im Tirtzu qui a dévoilé la structure et les agissements de ce lobby. Dans de nombreux cas, leur accointance avec l’antisionisme et leur sympathie affichée pour « la cause palestinienne » est une figure obligée de leur propagande. En regard de cet activisme qui n’a de juif que le nom, depuis la plus haute antiquité, la tradition hébraïque a affirmé une conception fort différente de l’universalisme. La tradition biblique développe une vision originale qui tranche avec les mythologies des autres civilisations : la diversité humaine procède d’une même souche appelée à se différencier en peuples distincts, chacun ayant une vocation spécifique. Le thème hébraïque du particularisme est toujours l’indice d’un trait positif, puisque la différence est constitutive de l’identité humaine. Au 20è siècle, c’est à Elie Benamozheg – l’auteur de : Israël et l’humanité, que nous devons le plus bel exposé de cette conception. Dans cette perspective, l’universalisme hébraïque, qui continue d’informer à la fois le Judaïsme, la pensée et l’histoire du peuple juif est un universalisme différentialiste. Ce n’est ni le signe d’un exclusivisme, ni le signe d’une hostilité, mais au contraire la marque distinctive d’une distinction culturelle. La Bible hébraïque est de ce point de vue un modèle de tolérance et de respect des différences personnelles et collectives. Dans le narratif biblique, celui de la Torah (du Premier Testament), il n’existe qu’un peuple indigne, c’est Amalek. Amalek dont toute la spécificité est de haïr Israël et de rechercher sa destruction. Il n’a pas d’autre raison d’être. C’est littéralement un non-peuple, qui se nourrit d’une fausse identité, laquelle n’est que négative et négativité. L’antisionisme mime à s’y méprendre la dialectique du positionnement archétype d’Amalek : il ne dit pas ce qu’il est, il dit seulement qu’Israël ne doit pas être, il projette sur Israël sa propre négativité. Par ailleurs, l’ignorance de la conception hébraïque et juive de la forme différentialiste de l’universalisme ne saurait excuser cette charge permanente contre le sionisme, elle est aussi l’indice de ce que le concept de tolérance, si cher aux « universalistes éclairés » n’est qu’un slogan creux quand il s’agit des Juifs, et d’Israël.

YG : Vous disiez que le sionisme a été combattu, mais qu’il n’a jamais été compris. Qu’est-ce qui fait obstacle à sa compréhension ?

GES. : Cette incompréhension fondamentale trouve sa principale origine dans ce que j’appelle la conception exogène de l’identité juive, qui est la conception commune, selon laquelle le judaïsme est une religion. J’oppose à cette conception ce que je nomme la conception endogène du fait juif, et qui désigne la manière dont les Juifs qui connaissent leur histoire se conçoivent eux-mêmes, et comprennent leur identité historique. Pour ces derniers – et j’y inclus les Juifs israéliens- ce qu’il est convenu de désigner du terme de « religion » n’est que l’un des paramètres de l’identité juive. C’est sous le coup de la polémique théologique – chrétienne et musulmane – contre le judaïsme, que la civilisation juive, dans une situation prolongée d’exil – c’est-à-dire de perte de souveraineté et de déterritorialisation- s’est trouvée réduite à sa dimension spirituelle et cultuelle. J’ai naguère minutieusement analysé ce processus dans mon livre : Discours ordinaire et identité juive, dans lequel j’ai fait la démonstration des étapes successives de la « réduction cléricale » du judaïsme. Il s’agit d’une véritable assignation aux catégories théologiques dominantes, en sorte que pour assurer sa pérennité, le peuple juif a en effet tendanciellement intériorisé cette identification. Il en est résulté que l’identité juive s’est trouvée prise dans une série de partages, qui ont été fondateurs de la civilisation occidentale: l’opposition ancien/nouveau (à partir de la distinction chrétienne entre l’ancien et le nouveau testament) s’avère ici déterminante. À partir du moment où s’affirme un sentiment national juif – à travers le sionisme, dès la fin du 19è siècle, un certain nombre de questions se posent, qui témoignent de la perturbation que fait naître cet éveil : comment une collectivité « religieuse » peut-elle prétendre à se constituer en État, et de surcroît en État-nation moderne ? L’idée d’un « État juif » n’est-elle pas une contradiction dans les termes ? L’existence d’un tel État n’est-il pas l’indice d’une affirmation théocratique ? Le sionisme est-il autre chose qu’un colonialisme ? Ces questions, qui expriment toutes le point de vue exogène, ignorent de fait la continuité effective du sentiment national juif, inhérent au messianisme juif. Tout l’enseignement du judaïsme repose sur la perspective du retour des enfants d’Israël sur la terre d’Israël, dont le centre se trouve à Sion/Jérusalem. Il faut tout ignorer de l’histoire juive, mais aussi de l’histoire universelle qui a imposé ses rythmes au peuple juif, pour tenir ces questions pour des questions pertinentes. Ce point de cécité est une caractéristique majeure d’une mentalité qui a été façonnée par une écriture de l’histoire universelle qui est celle des vainqueurs. C’est en effet le point de vue de l’empire Romain qui depuis deux millénaires commande aux catégories de l’analyse historique. À commencer par le nom de « Palestine », dont nous savons qu’il a été donné par l’empereur Hadrien en 135 de l’ère commune à la terre d’Israël, pour effacer le nom de la Judée. L’Europe chrétienne a hérité de cette vision, et à sa suite l’historiographie scientifique « laïque ». Cela est passé dans le catéchisme de l’Église de Rome, mais pas seulement, où l’on peut lire que « Jésus est né en Palestine », cela a été naturalisé par les chroniqueurs, les cartographes, les diplomates, les juristes, les biblistes (à commencer par la plupart des spécialistes de « l’Ancien Testament » (sic)), les analystes politiques, et bien entendu les journalistes, etc. Sous ce rapport, l’histoire du peuple juif, à laquelle appartient l’histoire du sionisme, est dans la situation du sujet minoritaire : son existence n’est acceptée que s’il accepte de se soumettre, sa parole n’est entendue qu’à la condition qu’il parle la langue du maître, etc. C’est ce qu’a exigé l’Église triomphante pendant des siècles, c’est ce qu’exige toujours l’islam, religion d’État, partout où les Musulmans gouvernent. Qui sait en ce début du XXIème siècle que les premiers sionistes possédaient un passeport estampillé « Palestine », et qu’ils étaient avant la création de l’État d’Israël ceux auxquels s’appliquaient de manière exclusive, la désignation de « Palestiniens » ? Le sionisme dérange aussi parce qu’il fait voler en éclat les catégories théologico-politiques sur lesquelles se sont édifiées aussi bien le christianisme que l’islam, ainsi que la modernité séculière : le sionisme accomplit l’espérance du Retour à Sion, et de ce fait il met en échec le christianisme – et dans une moindre mesure l’islam-  dont toute la théologie politique s’est édifiée sur l’hypothèse de la disparition des Juifs de la scène de l’histoire. Le sionisme dérange d’autant plus dans un monde sécularisé, puisque dans le contexte de son émergence endogène, il déroge aux conditions de formation des États nations. L’idée d’un Israël national tranche avec l’idée d’un Israël entendu comme catégorie liturgique, « peuple du Livre », ou « peuple témoin », etc. Israël peuple historique de nouveau territorialisé et souverain, cela connote l’archaïsme et suscite une haine archaïque. Le philosophe israélien, Israël Eldad, dans son essai sur la souveraineté d’Israël  – intitulé : La révolution juive, décrit très bien ces réactions.

YG : Quel lien faites-vous entre cette hantise archaïque et la virulence de l’antisionisme ?

GES. : Le lien est direct. L’émergence, puis le développement du sionisme, et enfin sa concrétisation dans une réalisation nationale, cela s’apparente à un immense retour du refoulé. C’est l’histoire d’un spectre revenu à la vie, et cela est des plus dérangeants. L’ordre symbolique occidental mais aussi oriental procédait de ce refoulement. Rien n’y a fait, le peuple juif a survécu, non seulement il a survécu, mais de surcroît il a regagné son indépendance. Comment ne pas entrer en guerre contre cette présence que l’on croyait réduite, et sur laquelle nombre d’identité se sont construites ? C’est une vision spectrale. Cette surprise questionne la vérité de l’histoire. Le sionisme résonne comme une instance qui dément le « jugement de l’histoire », Israël semble juger l’histoire. Le philosophe Eliezer Berkovits a écrit que la survie inexplicable d’Israël a inspiré les théories du complot, et notamment les deux versions les plus délétères : au Moyen Age, l’Église expliquait la persistance du Judaïsme par l’hypothèse théologique que ce dernier était une incarnation du Diable, avec l’essor de la modernité, c’est le mythe des Protocoles des Sages de Sion, qui s’est efforcé d’ « expliquer » par l’existence d’une « conspiration juive », les grandes mutations de l’histoire récente (la Révolution française, la Révolution bolchévique, la première et la seconde guerre mondiales, etc.) Si après tout ce qu’ils ont subi, les Juifs n’ont pas disparu, c’est qu’ils détiennent des pouvoirs occultes, qu’ils sont protégés par une puissance surnaturelle. L’antisionisme, comme les autres formes de la judéophobie, s’alimente à une haine métaphysique. Seule une haine métaphysique a pu inspirer le projet satanique de la Solution finale, et seule une haine métaphysique peut encore et toujours inspirer – après la Shoah- la reviviscence de l’antisémitisme. Cette dimension de l’antisionisme doit être soulignée, elle éclaire ce qu’il y a d’irrationnel et d’irrédentiste dans l’antisémitisme. L’on voit aussi comment l’antisionisme qui est une formation du sens commun (de la « sagesse des nations »…) peut-aussi opérer comme un principe d’identité sur lequel s’articule cette violence.

YG : Comment interprétez-vous la situation de guerre qui prévaut entre le Hamas et l’État d’Israël, mais aussi les violences internes, entre Juifs et Arabes ? Et quelle solution entrevoyez-vous ?

GES. : L’agression du Hamas, et la réplique entièrement justifiée d’Israël s’inscrivent dans la droite ligne du refus palestinien de l’existence de l’État juif. Contrairement aux antisémites « classiques », habitués à bafouer les Juifs sans qu’ils aient les moyens de se défendre, les nouveaux antisémites que sont les « antisionistes » connaissent le prix de leur propre violence. Quant à ce qui s’est produit à l’intérieur même d’Israël, dans ce que la presse appelle les « villes mixtes », les violences entre Arabes et Juifs sont de précieux indicateurs de la persistance du refus de la souveraineté juive parmi les citoyens israéliens arabes. Je n’ai aucune disposition pour la mantique, mais je peux seulement vous donner mon avis. À mon sens, après la fin de ces violences, il conviendra de mener une réflexion politique très sérieuse, et de tirer les leçons de la situation. Outre qu’elle est résolument révélatrice de l’attitude d’une partie de la population arabe à l’égard de l’État d’Israël, elle est aussi révélatrice de l’échec d’une classe politique qui s’est détournée depuis quelques années des principes du sionisme : un certain irénisme, un certain angélisme avait convaincu les gouvernements successifs – aussi bien de gauche, que de droite- de faire évoluer le pays vers une modèle européen. Les intellectuels post-sionistes ont leur part de responsabilité – la responsabilité des intellectuels est toujours significative, même si elle est discrète. Nous savons que les partisans du post-sionisme sont favorables à un État d’Israël déjudaïsé, un État d’Israël qui renoncerait à son caractère juif. L’expérience historique nous a enseigné à ne pas sous-estimer la virulence du refus palestinien ; et la naïveté de la classe politique et des intellectuels des post-sionistes a été de s’imaginer que leur option favoriserait l’émergence d’une harmonie définitive entre citoyens israéliens d’origine juive et d’origine arabe. Voilà des années que nous entendons parler de la nécessité de transformer Israël en « état de tous ses citoyens », encore l’un de ces mantras à l’efficience hypnotique. Comme si ce n’était pas déjà le cas depuis 1948. Seulement, dans la bouche de ceux qui utilisent cette formule, elle signifie de faire évoluer l’État d’Israël vers la forme d’un État binational, qui serait appelé de surcroît à coexister avec un État palestinien, qui lui, bien entendu, serait judenrein (vide de Juifs). C’est déjà le cas de la Jordanie, et des territoires autonomes où l’existence juive est assimilée à un état de fait délictueux. Ceci est un effet pratique de la législation de ces entités, fondamentalement hétérophobes.

Or, contrairement à ce que l’opinion majoritaire s’imagine – encore une fois sous les effets de discours du post-sionisme (Sand en est une bonne illustration)-, c’est le fait que l’État d’Israël soit déjà l’État de «tous ses citoyens » qui a permis à ceux qui n’en veulent pas de le faire savoir violemment, à l’occasion de l’agression du Hamas, en mai 2021. Il faudra en tirer les conséquences : condamner les émeutiers – y compris juifs- à de lourdes peines, et rappeler les citoyens arabes récalcitrants à la nature du contrat social du sionisme démocratique : « Vivez en paix et dans la pleine égalité de droits avec vos concitoyens juifs, ou bien quittez le pays, choisissez entre les trois entités nationales palestiniennes qui existent déjà : la Jordanie, depuis 1922, la Bande de Gaza, depuis le coup d’État du Hamas, en 2007, ou la Cisjordanie de l’Autorité palestinienne, consacrée par les Accords d’Oslo, depuis 1993, parce qu’ici vous êtes dans un État à caractère juif. »  Le vote de la « Loi Israël, État nation du peuple juif », adoptée par la Knesset le 19 Juillet 2018 va justement dans ce sens. Elle consiste à rappeler trois principes fondamentaux, et de ce point de vue, elle ne fait que réitérer les grandes thèmes de la Déclaration d’indépendance de 1948, proclamée par David Ben Gourion : (1) Israël est la patrie historique du peuple juif, dans laquelle l’État d’Israël a été établi ;(2) L’État d’Israël est le foyer national du peuple juif dans lequel il satisfait son droit naturel, culturel, religieux et historique à l’autodétermination ; (3) Le droit à exercer l’auto-détermination nationale dans l’État d’Israël est propre au peuple juif. D’aucuns – laminés par l’état d’esprit de l’antisionisme- pourraient m’objecter que c’est là un discours « raciste », et bien entendu « fasciste », mais je leur rappellerai une simple prémisse : l’État d’Israël a été fondé par le mouvement sioniste pour garantir la souveraineté et la sécurité du peuple juif, sur un territoire où jamais aucun état palestinien n’a existé, et l’État d’Israël a offert la citoyenneté, avec parité de droits, à tous ses citoyens, depuis sa création. Nous savons, par ailleurs, que pour rien au monde, la majorité des citoyens israéliens arabes ne voudraient vivre sous domination palestinienne. Il est donc aberrant de construire toute une rhétorique, fondée sur la criminalisation de l’État juif, au prétexte qu’il procède du sionisme, puisqu’ainsi conçu il est en effet le fruit du sionisme, et qu’il a été conçu pour les Juifs, avec l’assentiment de la majorité des Nations Unies, par voie de droit. La guerre a été la conséquence du refus arabe, et depuis 1948, la conséquence du refus persistant des « Palestiniens », qui se sont fait une spécialité de violer le droit international. Mais si l’on considère que le caractère juif de l’État d’Israël constitue une discrimination des non-Juifs, c’est que l’on n’a pas l’intelligence élémentaire d’en comprendre la raison d’être. L’originalité et la grandeur de l’État d’Israël réside en effet dans ceci : tout en étant l’État édifié pour garantir la souveraineté et la sécurité du peuple juif, ses lois fondamentales garantissent les droits individuels de tous ses citoyens, sans exception d’origine, de religion, de conviction, etc. C’est un État démocratique : la licence de la violence palestinienne aussi bien que la prospérité du discours post-sioniste en sont deux preuves éloquentes. Les troubles à l’ordre public sont les indices du refus de la loi d’Israël dans l’État d’Israël. Ce n’est pas tolérable.

YG : Est-il possible de lutter contre l’antisionisme ?

GES : Après avoir consacré sa vie à écrire une Histoire de l’antisémitisme, Léon Poliakov me disait qu’on ne lutte pas contre la judéophobie avec des arguments rationnels. C’est cependant une nécessité politique, culturelle et civique de s’impliquer dans cette lutte. Mais elle ne fait pas tout ; cet engagement doit s’affirmer comme le corrélat d’initiatives éducatives. Je crois pour ma part que la meilleure façon de combattre la judéophobie, quelle qu’elle soit, repose sur différentes formes d’enseignement et de processus éducatifs. Il faut commencer par l’enseignement de textes, ceux de la Bible hébraïque, qui ont enseigné au monde le principe de l’unité du genre humain, mais aussi l’égale dignité des êtres humains, et surtout l’idéal universaliste bien compris. L’ironie de l’histoire, c’est que les grands principes de la fonction critique qui sont forgés par l’hébraïsme sont instrumentalisés contre le peuple qui les porte ! Voilà pourquoi, selon moi, la transmission est ici le maître-mot, celle de l’histoire et des systèmes de pensée, mais aussi l’exercice de la psychanalyse, car analyser c’est aussi questionner le préjugé, stimuler le désir de savoir… Aujourd’hui, la lutte contre la judéophobie s’inscrit dans le cadre de la réfutation sans concession des thèses « décolonialistes ». Il convient aussi d’enseigner et de défendre les valeurs de la République, pas seulement en polémiquant contre les décoloniaux, mais également en en faisant une priorité de l’Éducation nationale, qui est l’un des lieux de cette guerre psycho-idéologique, avant qu’elle ne bascule entièrement dans la liste des territoires perdus de la République.  Pour ma part, après avoir consacré ¼ de siècle à « lutter contre l’antisionisme », je me suis résolu à développer ma théorie du sens commun, tout en enseignant les études bibliques et la pensée juive, ce qui est une autre forme de don quichotisme, pas moins nécessaire cependant. Si l’état des mentalités sur le chapitre des Juifs n’étaient pas aujourd’hui ce qu’il était sans doute au Moyen Age, peut-être que l’antisionisme serait hors la loi…Quand notre ami et collègue Xavier-Laurent Salvador déclare que : « Notre attachement, c’est la lutte contre la justification de l’antisémitisme et du racisme par la pseudoscience, et la défense des institutions de la République qui dépendent de nous en tant qu’enseignants (la langue, l’école, ses enseignants, la laïcité) », je ne peux que lui donner entièrement raison. Cependant, c’est l’immense majorité des cadres enseignants de la République, et de ses représentants élus, qui a laissé s’installer la situation délétère que nous connaissons. La République est un cadre vide si aucune transmission ne garantit la défense et l’inculcation philosophique, culturelle, et citoyenne de ses raisons d’être.


[1] « Je ne sais pas si Jésus était sur La Croix, je sais qui l’y a mis, paraît-il, ce sont ses propres compatriotes »   (15 juillet BFMtélé)

[2] M. Cuppers et K.-M.  Mallmann (2009), Croissant fertile et croix gammée, éd. Verdier, Paris. Traduit de l’allemand par Barbara Fontaine

[3] Poliakov, L. De l’antisémitisme à l’antisionisme,  (1969), Calmann-Levy, Paris ; De Moscou à Beyrouth. Essai sur la désinformation, 1983), Calman-Lévy.

[4]Ph. Borgeaud, L’histoire des religions, (2013), Paris, Infolio.

[5] Faye, J.P. (1994) Le piège, Balland, Paris.

[6] Faye, J .P.(2013) Lettre sur Derrida. Combat au-dessus du vide, éd. Germinia, Paris.

[7] Faye, E. (2005) , L’introduction du nazisme dans la philosophie, Albin Michel, Paris.

[8] Scheler, M.(1933/1970) L’Homme du ressentiment, Gallimard, Paris.

[9] Sarfati, G. E. (1997), « La charte de l’OLP en instance d’abrogation » in Mot. Les langages du politique, n°50, pp. 23-39.

[10] Leon, A. (1942),La conception matérialiste de la question juive. Consultable ici https://www.marxists.org/francais/leon/CMQJ00.htm

[11]Par exemple : D. Vidal : Antisionisme= Antisémitisme. Réponse à Emmanuel Macron, Libertalia, 2018 ; A. Gresh-T. Ramadan, L’islam en question, Actes Sud, 2000, ou encore : De quoi la Palestine est-elle le nom ? , Les liens qui libèrent, 2010.

[12] En hébreu : « Association pour la paix », fondée en 1925 par un groupe d’intellectuels juifs fraîchement établis en Palestine mandataire. Son but était de  « promouvoir la compréhension entre Juifs et Arabes, en vue d’une vie commune sur la Terre d’Israël, et ce dans un esprit de complète égalité des droits politiques des deux entités. »

[13] Yakira, E.  (2010) ost-sionisme, post-shoah, PUF.

Voir enfin:

The Mendacious Maps of Palestinian “Loss”

Anti-Israel activists often use doctored maps to show Israel’s supposed malfeasance over the past century. Such claims are made by people who, in the best case, have no knowledge of the facts, and in the worst case, have no moral compass.

Shany Mor

Writer based in Paris; former director for foreign policy, Israeli National Security Council

January 2015

You can’t walk very far on an American or European university campus these days without encountering some version of the “Palestinian Land Loss” maps. This series of four—occasionally five—maps purports to show how rapacious Zionists have steadily encroached upon Palestinian land. Postcards of it can be purchased for distribution, and it has featured in paid advertisements on the sides of buses in Vancouver as well as train stations in New York. Anti-Israel bloggers Andrew Sullivan and Juan Cole have both posted versions of it, and it occasionally creeps into supposedly reputable media sources, like Al Jazeera English.

Indeed, it recently appeared as a “Chart of the Day” in the UK’s respected magazine New Statesman. Beneath it was a tiny line of text listing its sources as the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and a CIA atlas from 1973. Given that the maps included information far more recent than 1973, the source struck me as slightly dubious. I contacted the staff writer who created the feature and asked him about it. He was very reluctant to admit that he had lifted it from anti-Israel propaganda sources, so he directed me to the 1973 CIA atlas. Unfortunately, nothing like the series appears in the CIA World Factbook and nothing like it could have appeared in an atlas published decades before several of the events it claims to portray. The writer then apologized for not being able to track down his sources any further and explained that he no longer works at New Statesman. He has moved on to The Guardian, and given that particular publication’s attitude toward Israel, he should have no trouble fitting in.

There is a reason why those who make use of these maps avoid examining their provenance or proving their accuracy: The maps are egregiously, almost childishly dishonest. But they have become so ubiquitous that it is worth taking the time to examine them, and what their dishonesty can teach us about the Palestinian cause and its supporters.

In whatever form they take, the “Land Loss” maps show very little variation. The standard version looks something like this:

001_Shany_Mor_Palestinian_Propoganda_Map

Sometimes, a fifth map is added, this one dated 1920, showing the entirety of what was once British Mandatory Palestine in a single solid color, labeled “Palestinian.” This accomplishes the seemingly impossible and makes the series of maps even more dishonest than before.

Whether made up of four or five maps, the message of the series is clear: The Jews of Palestine have been assiduously gobbling up more and more “Palestinian land,” spreading like some sort of fungal infection that eventually devours its host.

There are some outright lies in these maps, to be sure. But the most egregious falsehoods transcend mere lies. They emerge from a more general and quite deliberate refusal to differentiate between private property and sovereign land, as well as a total erasure of any political context.

This final point is especially crucial. It goes to the question of whether the Palestinians actually “lost” this land and the context of that alleged “loss.” We could quite easily, for example, make a panel of maps showing German “land loss” in the first half of the 20th century. It would be geographically accurate but, without the political context, it would tell a completely misleading story amounting to a flat-out lie. And that is precisely what these maps are: A lie.

Taking each map in turn, it is easy to demonstrate that the first one is by far the most dishonest of the lot. As far as I have been able to determine, it is based on a map of Jewish National Fund (JNF) land purchases dating roughly from the 1920s. The JNF was founded to purchase land for Jewish residents and immigrants in then-Palestine, and was partly funded through charity boxes that were once found in almost every Jewish school and organization in the West. Ironically, this map often adorned those ubiquitous boxes.

The dishonesty of using an out-of-date map for pre-1948 Jewish land purchases is actually relatively minor. So is not omitting the political context: After 1939, Jews were forbidden from making any further land purchases by British authorities, a measure taken as a sop to Arab terrorism. Even the deceptive use of JNF land and only JNF land as a proxy for the entire Palestinian Jewish presence is but a trifle compared to the epic lie represented by this map: It deliberately conflates private property with political control.

They are not at all the same thing. The simple fact is that none of pre-1948 Palestine was under the political authority of Arabs or Jews. It was ruled by the British Mandatory government, established by the League of Nations for the express purpose of creating a “Jewish National Home.” It was also—contrary to the claims of innumerable pro-Palestinian activists—the first time a discrete political entity called “Palestine” existed in modern history. And this entity was established in order to fulfill a goal that was essentially Zionist in nature.

But this lie is compounded by another that is even more epic in scope: Labeling every single patch of land not owned by the JNF as Arab or Palestinian. This was quite simply not the case. We have incomplete data on land ownership in modern Palestine, and even less on Arab property than Jewish property, partly due to the very complicated nature of property law in Ottoman times. But anyone’s map of private property in Mandatory Palestine from this period would be mostly empty—half the country is, after all, desert. It would show small patches of private Jewish land—as this map does—alongside small patches of private Arab land, as this map shamelessly does not.

The next map is labeled 1947. This is inaccurate, as any other date would be, because the map does not represent the situation on the ground in 1947 or at any other time. Instead, it represents the partition plan adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1947 as UN Resolution 181. It called for two independent states to be formed after the end of the British Mandate, one Jewish and one Arab.

Needless to say, the resolution was never implemented. It was rejected by a Palestinian Arab leadership that just two years before had still been allied with Nazi Germany. The day after its passage, Arab rioting began against Jewish businesses, followed by deadly Arab attacks against Jewish civilians. Events quickly escalated into all-out war, with Arabs laying siege to major Jewish population centers—cutting off all supplies, including food and water. In some places, the siege worked, but for the most part, it was resisted successfully.

At this point, with partition rejected by the Arabs and no help from the international community in sight, the Jews declared independence and formed what would become the Israel Defense Forces. The Arab states promptly launched a full-scale invasion, whose aims—depending on which Arab leader you choose to quote—ranged from expulsion to outright genocide. And the Arabs lost. At war’s end in 1949, the situation looked roughly like the third map in the series—the first of the lot that even comes close to describing the political reality on the ground.

I say “close” because it too is remarkably dishonest. It is only because one’s standards of dishonesty have been stretched so far by its predecessors that it almost seems true. But, alas, it is not. The map is dated 1967. What it shows are the so-called “armistice lines,” i.e., the borders where the Israeli and Arab armies stopped fighting in 1949. These lines held more or less until 1967. As far as Israel’s borders are concerned, then, the map accurately presents the situation over those 19 years.

But what lies on the other side of the line, in the territories that are today called the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, is again presented in radically dishonest fashion. These lands were not—not before, during, or after 1967—“Palestinian” in the sense of being controlled by a Palestinian Arab political entity. Both territories were occupied by invading Arab armies when the armistice was declared in 1949, the Gaza Strip by Egypt and the West Bank by Jordan. The latter was soon annexed, while the former remained under Egyptian military administration. This status quo lasted until 1967, when both were captured by Israel.

In the 1967 Six Day War, which was marked by Arab rhetoric that was sometimes even more genocidal than 1948, Israel also took the Golan Heights from Syria and the Sinai Peninsula from Egypt, more than trebling the amount of land under its control. Israel has since withdrawn from more than 90 percent of the land it occupied—mostly in the Sinai withdrawal that led to peace with Egypt. Unsurprisingly, there are no heartfelt “Israeli Land Loss” maps representing this.

The first three maps, then, confuse ethnic and national categories (Jewish and Israeli, Arab and Palestinian), property and sovereignty, and the Palestinian national movement with Arab states that ruled over occupied territory for a generation. They are a masterpiece of shameless deception.

As we move to the fourth map, shameless deception is the only thing that remains consistent. This map, usually labeled either 2005 or “present,” purports to show the distribution of political control following the Oslo process and the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza. The patches of Palestinian land in the West Bank are areas handed over to the Palestinian Authority in the 1990s, mostly under the 1995 Oslo II agreement. Expanding upon the autonomy put in place after previous agreements in the Oslo process since 1993, this agreement created a complex patchwork of administrative and security zones, splitting the West Bank into areas of exclusive Palestinian control, joint control, and Israeli control. It was meant as a five-year interim arrangement, after which a final status agreement would be negotiated.

Final status talks did indeed take place. But no agreement was reached. As in 1947, the principal reason was Palestinian rejectionism. This time, the Palestinian leadership rejected a state on over 90 percent of the West Bank and 100 percent of the Gaza Strip. They then broke their pledge not to return to the “armed struggle” and embarked on a campaign of suicide bombings and other terrorist atrocities that were not only morally indefensible but lost them the trappings of sovereignty they had gained over the previous decade.

After tamping down the worst of the violence, Israel decided to leave the areas of the Gaza Strip it had not evacuated a decade before. The withdrawal took place in 2005. Two years later, the Islamist group Hamas took over the Strip in a violent coup d’etat. Since then, there have been two Palestinian governments—the Hamas regime in Gaza and the Fatah-led regime in the West Bank.

Both of these regimes are marked with the same color on this fourth map, thus failing to acknowledge the split between the two regimes, though it is the first map in the series to correctly label areas under Palestinian Arab political control. Nonetheless, it does not distinguish between the sovereign territory of the State of Israel—or, in the case of East Jerusalem, territory that Israel claims as sovereign without international recognition—and territories in the West Bank that, according to agreements endorsed by both sides, are under Israeli control until a final status agreement.

Taken together, what we have is not four maps in a chronological series, but four different categories of territorial control presented with varying degrees of inaccuracy. Those categories are private property (“1946”), political control (“1967” and “2005”), and international partition plans (“1947”). They are presented in a fashion that is either tendentiously inaccurate (“2005”), essentially mendacious (“1947” and “1967”), or radically untrue (“1946”).

An honest approach would look very different. It would take each of these categories and depict how they developed over time. For example, basing ourselves on the most blatantly deceitful map, 1946, we might want to show the chronological development of private property distribution. But we’d first have to adjust the original series’ 1946 map by labeling only Arab property as Arab, rather than simply filling in the entire country with the desired color. It would be a lot of data to collect, and then we’d then have to repeat the effort for other years appropriate to the discussion: Perhaps 1950, after Israel and Jordan both instituted Absentee Property Laws; 1993, just before Palestinian self-rule began; or 2005, just after the disengagement from Gaza and the northern West Bank. The maps would have to be consistent as well, showing Arab property inside Israel as well as Jewish property in the West Bank and Gaza. I don’t know if anyone has bothered to collect all this data, and I’m not sure what it would show in any case. What argument would it advance? That Jews and Arabs should be forbidden to buy land from each other?

On the other hand, the categories of political control and international partition plans are quite easy to map out over time. Since the concern of those publicizing the maps above is Palestinian control of land, we can illustrate this with a more honest series of maps showing areas of political control, using the same years as the original—adding one for clarity.

002_Shany_Mor_Political_Control_Map

As seen above, 1946 has exactly zero land under Palestinian Arab control—not autonomous, not sovereign, not anything—as it was all under British authority. We could go further back in time, to the Ottoman era, for example, and the map wouldn’t change in the slightest. 1947 sees no changes to the map, as Palestine was still under British control. Before the war in June 1967, control is divided between three states, and none of them is Palestinian. The 2005 map would be exactly as it is presented in the original series, showing the very first lands ever be ruled by Palestinian Arabs qua Palestinian Arabs. To clarify this a bit more, I have added a map from 1995, showing the withdrawals undertaken during the first two years of the Oslo process, just up to but not including the 1997 Hebron Protocol.

In fact, if we zoomed in a bit more, we would see how the peace process of the 1990s resulted in the first time a Palestinian Arab regime ruled over any piece of land. This occurred in 1994 with the establishment of the Palestinian Authority in Gaza and Jericho. That control steadily expanded over more and more land during the years leading up to the failed final status talks. Much of it was then lost during the second intifada, but eventually regained as violence died down, and the Gaza disengagement even expanded it slightly. All of these Palestinian land gains have taken place in the last 20 years and every square meter of it came not from Turkey or Britain or Jordan or Egypt, but from Israel alone; and nearly all of it through peace negotiations.

It is true that this is a smaller amount of land than that controlled by Israel—which is nonetheless an extremely small country by global standards. More importantly, however, it is small compared to what could have been ruled by a Palestinian state had the Palestinians not rejected partition and peace in 1947 and again in 2000. That is, had the Palestinians been motivated by the interests of their own people rather than the wish to destroy another people.

One could very easily create a theoretical series of maps that would begin in 1947 and show the distribution of political control, not as it existed, but as it could have existed. In contrast to the previous series charting political control over the years, this series would map out the international proposals to partition the country. It would begin with the Peel Commission’s 1937 partition plan, through the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine (UNSCOP) partition resolution, and end with the Clinton Parameters of 2000—which were very close to the rejected offers made by Israeli Prime Ministers Ehud Barak earlier that same year at Camp David and Ehud Olmert eight years later. But these international efforts to partition the land would be incomplete without a word or two about each side’s reaction to the proposal.

003_Shany_Mor_Intl_Proposals_Map

Here too there is a continuing trend of losses for the Palestinian side. Not loss of land, but loss of potential. Each successive rejection left the Palestinians with less and less to bargain with. Surely, there is a lesson in this. But it seems that, if the Palestinians are ever to learn it, it will not be with the help of their Western supporters.

We could also make a set of maps that would present a story of Jewish “land loss.” It would begin with the first iteration of the British Mandate, before Transjordan was split off and Jewish land purchases and immigration banned. We are forever being reminded that the Palestinians have supposedly conceded 77 percent of their historic claims already, implicitly saying that all of Israel proper somehow belongs to them. But territorial maximalists on the Israeli side are not wrong when they use the same standards to claim that they have given up 73 percent of what was promised to them, including Transjordan. It is the business of pro-Palestinian activists to privilege one of these claims over the other; but in fact, both are equally wrong: The idea that the Israeli “concession” of Transjordan entitles Israel to 100 percent of the West Bank is as absurd as the Palestinians’ claim that their “concession” of Haifa entitles them to the same.

A series of actual Israeli withdrawals, however, could fill a rather long series of maps. It would include the 1957 withdrawal from Sinai, the Disengagement of Forces agreements in 1974 and 1975, the staged withdrawals stemming from the Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty in 1979 and 1982, the withdrawal from most of Lebanon in 1985, the staged withdrawals undertaken according to the Oslo Accords from 1994 to 1997, the unilateral withdrawal from southern Lebanon in 2000, and the complete withdrawal from Gaza in 2005. These maps, unlike those used by pro-Palestinian activists, have the benefit of being accurate, but I am not sure the case for “Israeli Land Loss” would convince anyone but the most partisan and ignorant of Israel’s supporters.

Perhaps the best way to illustrate the bankruptcy of the “Palestinian Land Loss” myth is to compare it to a similar situation elsewhere.

An equally absurd set of maps could be drawn up of the Indian subcontinent before and after the end of British rule. It could start with a 1946 map of the entire subcontinent, labeling any private property owned by Hindus as “Indian” and the rest as “Pakistani.” Hindus, after all, are 80 percent of India’s population today, just as Jews are 80 percent of Israel’s. It is absurd to consider anything not privately owned by Hindus under British rule as “Pakistani” when the state of Pakistan did not yet exist, but that is roughly the same as labeling anything not privately owned by Jews under the Mandate as “Palestinian.”

We could then put up a partition map from 1947, with West and East Pakistan next to a much larger India; as well as a post-partition map—perhaps from 1955—showing the land losses along the Radcliffe Line. Finally, we could draw a map from 1971 with East Pakistan shorn off into Bangladesh. A fervently dishonest person might call this series “Pakistani Land Loss,” but it would be such an obvious piece of fiction that no one could possibly take it seriously.

And no thinking person can take “Palestinian Land Loss” seriously. It is just as absurd and just as much a fiction. But it is also, in its own way, extremely destructive. Because these maps and the lies they propagate only encourage Palestinian rejectionism and violence; and as illustrated above, these have always left the Palestinians with less than they had before.

Voir par ailleurs:

Mr. Sanders is a senator from Vermont.

“Israel has the right to defend itself.”These are the words we hear from both Democratic and Republican administrations whenever the government of Israel, with its enormous military power, responds to rocket attacks from Gaza.

Let’s be clear. No one is arguing that Israel, or any government, does not have the right to self-defense or to protect its people. So why are these words repeated year after year, war after war? And why is the question almost never asked: “What are the rights of the Palestinian people?”

And why do we seem to take notice of the violence in Israel and Palestine only when rockets are falling on Israel?

In this moment of crisis, the United States should be urging an immediate cease-fire. We should also understand that, while Hamas firing rockets into Israeli communities is absolutely unacceptable, today’s conflict did not begin with those rockets.

Palestinian families in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah have been living under the threat of eviction for many years, navigating a legal system designed to facilitate their forced displacement. And over the past weeks, extremist settlers have intensified their efforts to evict them.

And, tragically, those evictions are just one part of a broader system of political and economic oppression. For years we have seen a deepening Israeli occupation in the West Bank and East Jerusalem and a continuing blockade on Gaza that make life increasingly intolerable for Palestinians. In Gaza, which has about two million inhabitants, 70 percent of young people are unemployed and have little hope for the future.

Further, we have seen Benjamin Netanyahu’s government work to marginalize and demonize Palestinian citizens of Israel, pursue settlement policies designed to foreclose the possibility of a two-state solution and pass laws that entrench systemic inequality between Jewish and Palestinian citizens of Israel.

None of this excuses the attacks by Hamas, which were an attempt to exploit the unrest in Jerusalem, or the failures of the corrupt and ineffective Palestinian Authority, which recently postponed long-overdue elections. But the fact of the matter is that Israel remains the one sovereign authority in the land of Israel and Palestine, and rather than preparing for peace and justice, it has been entrenching its unequal and undemocratic control.

Over more than a decade of his right-wing rule in Israel, Mr. Netanyahu has cultivated an increasingly intolerant and authoritarian type of racist nationalism. In his frantic effort to stay in power and avoid prosecution for corruption, Mr. Netanyahu has legitimized these forces, including Itamar Ben Gvir and his extremist Jewish Power party, by bringing them into the government. It is shocking and saddening that racist mobs that attack Palestinians on the streets of Jerusalem now have representation in its Knesset.

These dangerous trends are not unique to Israel. Around the world, in Europe, in Asia, in South America and here in the United States, we have seen the rise of similar authoritarian nationalist movements. These movements exploit ethnic and racial hatreds in order to build power for a corrupt few rather than prosperity, justice and peace for the many. For the last four years, these movements had a friend in the White House.

At the same time, we are seeing the rise of a new generation of activists who want to build societies based on human needs and political equality. We saw these activists in American streets last summer in the wake of the murder of George Floyd. We see them in Israel. We see them in the Palestinian territories.

With a new president, the United States now has the opportunity to develop a new approach to the world — one based on justice and democracy. Whether it is helping poor countries get the vaccines they need, leading the world to combat climate change or fighting for democracy and human rights around the globe, the United States must lead by promoting cooperation over conflict.

In the Middle East, where we provide nearly $4 billion a year in aid to Israel, we can no longer be apologists for the right-wing Netanyahu government and its undemocratic and racist behavior. We must change course and adopt an evenhanded approach, one that upholds and strengthens international law regarding the protection of civilians, as well as existing U.S. law holding that the provision of U.S. military aid must not enable human rights abuses.

This approach must recognize that Israel has the absolute right to live in peace and security, but so do the Palestinians. I strongly believe that the United States has a major role to play in helping Israelis and Palestinians to build that future. But if the United States is going to be a credible voice on human rights on the global stage, we must uphold international standards of human rights consistently, even when it’s politically difficult. We must recognize that Palestinian rights matter. Palestinian lives matter.

Voir la traduction:

Israël a le droit de se défendre. » sont les mots que nous entendons des gouvernements démocrates et républicains chaque fois que le gouvernement israélien, avec son énorme puissance militaire, réagit aux tirs de roquette de Gaza.
Soyons clairs. Personne ne soutient qu’Israël, ou aucun gouvernement, n’a pas le droit de se défendre ou de protéger son peuple. Alors pourquoi ces mots se répètent-ils année après année, guerre après guerre ? Et pourquoi la question n’est-elle presque jamais posée : ′′ Quels sont les droits du peuple palestinien ? ′′Et pourquoi semblons-nous prendre note de la violence en Israël et en Palestine uniquement lorsque des roquettes tombent sur Israël ?
En ce moment de crise, les États-Unis devraient demander instamment un cessez-le-feu immédiat. Nous devrions également comprendre que, même si le Hamas tire des roquettes sur les communautés israéliennes est absolument inacceptable, le conflit d’aujourd’hui n’a pas commencé avec ces roquettes.
Les familles palestiniennes dans le quartier de Jérusalem de Sheikh Jarrah vivent sous la menace d’expulsion depuis de nombreuses années, naviguant dans un système juridique conçu pour faciliter leur déplacement forcé. Et au cours des dernières semaines, les colons extrémistes ont intensifié leurs efforts pour les expulser.
Et, tragiquement, ces expulsions ne sont qu’une partie d’un système plus large d’oppression politique et économique.
Depuis des années, nous avons assisté à une aggravation de l’occupation israélienne en Cisjordanie et à Jérusalem-Est et à un blocus continu sur Gaza qui rend la vie de plus en plus intolérable À Gaza, qui compte environ deux millions d’habitants, 70 % des jeunes sont au chômage et n’ont guère d’espoir pour l’avenir.
En outre, nous avons vu le gouvernement de Benjamin Netanyahu travailler à marginaliser et diaboliser les citoyens palestiniens d’Israël, à mener des politiques de colonisation conçues pour exclure la possibilité d’une solution à deux États et adopter des lois qui engendrent les inégalités systémiques entre les citoyens juifs et palestiniens israéliens.
Rien de tout cela n’excuse les attaques du Hamas, qui ont été une tentative d’exploiter les troubles à Jérusalem, ou les échecs de l’Autorité palestinienne corrompue et inefficace, qui a récemment reporté les élections en retard depuis longtemps. Mais le fait est qu’Israël reste la seule autorité souveraine au pays d’Israël et de Palestine, et plutôt que de se préparer à la paix et à la justice, il a été enraciné son contrôle inégal et antidémocratique.
Plus d’une décennie de sa règle de droite en Israël, M. Netanyahu a cultivé un nationalisme raciste de plus en plus intolérant et autoritaire. Dans son effort effréné pour rester au pouvoir et éviter les poursuites judiciaires pour corruption, M. Netanyahu a légitimé ces forces, dont Itamar Ben Gvir et son parti extrémiste du pouvoir juif, en les faisant entrer dans le gouvernement. C’est choquant et attristant que les mensonges racistes qui attaquent les Palestiniens dans les rues de Jérusalem soient maintenant représentés à la Knesset.
Ces tendances dangereuses ne sont pas propres à Israël. Partout dans le monde, en Europe, en Asie, en Amérique du Sud et ici aux États-Unis, nous avons vu la montée de mouvements nationalistes autoritaires similaires. Ces mouvements exploitent la haine ethnique et raciale pour construire le pouvoir pour un peu de corrompus plutôt que la prospérité, la justice et la paix pour les plus nombreux. Ces quatre dernières années, ces mouvements avaient un ami à la Maison Blanche.
En même temps, nous assistons à la montée d’une nouvelle génération d’activistes qui veulent construire des sociétés basées sur les besoins humains et l’égalité politique. Nous avons vu ces militants dans les rues américaines l’été dernier à la suite du meurtre de George Floyd. Nous les voyons en Israël. Nous les voyons dans les territoires palestiniens.
Avec un nouveau président, les États-Unis ont maintenant la possibilité de développer une nouvelle approche du monde – fondée sur la justice et la démocratie. Qu’ils aident les pays pauvres à obtenir les vaccins dont ils ont besoin, conduisent le monde à lutter contre le changement climatique ou à lutter pour la démocratie et les droits de l’homme partout dans le monde, les États-Unis doivent montrer l’exemple et favoriser la coopération en cas de conflit.
Au Moyen-Orient, où nous fournissons une aide de près de 4 milliards de dollars par an à Israël, nous ne pouvons plus être des apologistes du gouvernement de droite de Netanyahu et son comportement antidémocratique et raciste.
Nous devons changer de cap et adopter une approche impartiale, une approche qui respecte et renforce le droit international concernant la protection des civils, ainsi que la législation américaine actuelle en vigueur, selon laquelle la fourniture d’aide militaire américaine ne doit pas permettre de respecter les droits de l’homme.
Cette approche doit reconnaître qu’Israël a le droit absolu de vivre dans la paix et la sécurité, tout comme les Palestiniens.
Je suis fermement convaincu que les États-Unis ont un rôle important à jouer pour aider les Israéliens et les Palestiniens à construire cet avenir. Mais si les États-Unis veulent être une voix crédible sur les droits de l’homme sur la scène mondiale, nous devons respecter les normes internationales en matière de droits de l’homme de manière cohérente, même lorsque c’est politiquement difficile. Nous devons reconnaître que les droits palestiniens sont importants. La vie palestinienne compte.
Le sénateur Bernie Sanders est un sénateur du Vermont.

Voir aussi:

Israel-Gaza: The Democrats’ ‘tectonic’ shift on the conflict
Anthony Zurcher
BBC
21 May 2021

The latest clashes between Israel and the Palestinians have revealed exactly how much the political centre of gravity in the Democratic Party has moved on the conflict in recent years.
« The shift is dramatic; it’s tectonic, » says pollster John Zogby, who has tracked US views on the Middle East for decades. In particular, younger generations are considerably more sympathetic to the Palestinians – and that age gap has been on full display with the Democratic Party.
While President Joe Biden has expressed a more traditional view, repeatedly emphasising that Israel has the right to defend itself against Hamas rocket attacks, he’s finding himself out of step in a party that is now at least as concerned with the conditions on the ground for the Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank – and Israeli policies viewed as contributing to their plight.
Democratic diversity in Congress
To track the shift within the Democratic Party on Israel and the Palestinians, one can start by looking at that most representative US political institution, Congress. In the national legislature, US foreign policy sympathies have tended to tilt historically toward Israel’s perspective in Middle East conflicts – in part because of the preferences of both Jewish voters (a key Democratic constituency) and evangelicals (important for Republicans).
As the US Congress has become an increasingly diverse body, however, that has had some serious consequences for US policy toward Israel. In 2021, a record 23% of members of the House and Senate were people of black, Hispanic, Asian/Pacific Islander or Native American heritage, according to a Pew Foundation study.
Two decades earlier, that number was 11%. In 1945, it was 1%.

A diversity of backgrounds has led to a wider diversity of viewpoints and a diffusion of power. The influential group of young liberal congresswomen, known informally as « The Squad », includes Palestinian-American Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Somalian refugee Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, for instance.
image copyrightCQ Roll Call via Getty Images
image captionReps Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Rashida Tlaib are members of ‘The Squad’
The most prominent member of this group, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, won her congressional seat by ousting a senior member of the Democratic congressional leadership, Joe Crowley, who consistently sided with Israel in past conflicts in the occupied territories.
How social media is fuelling US Israel-Gaza debate
The Israel-Palestinian conflict explained
Overall, the party – and its voters – look a lot more like the Puerto Rican descended 31-year-old Ocasio-Cortez than the 59-year-old Crowley – and that is making a difference.
« There is a non-white population, particularly among Democrats, who are very sensitive to the treatment of fellow non-whites, » Zogby said during a recording of the BBC podcast Americast. « They see Israel as an aggressor. »
They don’t know Israel’s early history and odds-defying triumph over adversity, he says.
« They know post-Intifada; they know the various wars, the asymmetrical bombing that have taken place, the innocent civilians that have been killed. »

The Bernie factor
If the growing diversity in Congress is in part the result of the left-wing progressive movement that elected politicians like Ocasio-Cortez, that progressive movement owes a considerable debt to one man, Vermont democratic socialist Bernie Sanders.
Early in his career, Sanders – who was raised Jewish and spent time in Israel in the 1960s – was generally sympathetic toward Israel’s policies. By the time he first ran for president in 2016, however, he was expressing more support for Palestinian concerns – a view that set him apart from the rest of the Democratic field.
In a primary debate with Hillary Clinton, held during a March 2016 outbreak of Hamas rocket attacks on Israel, Sanders spoke directly about the plight of Palestinians – their high unemployment, « decimated houses, decimated healthcare, decimated schools ».
As noted by the Guardian’s Ed Pilkington at the time, this broke an « unwritten rule » that talking about Palestinian suffering was a losing issue for politicians seeking higher office.
image copyrightPool via Getty Images
Sanders lost both his presidential bids, of course. The popularity of his expressed views, however, opened the door for down-ballot Democrats to take up the issue – as they also took up other parts of his progressive platform, including expanded healthcare, free college education, a higher minimum wage and environmental reform.
Since then, Sanders has hardened his condemnations of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whom he called a « desperate, racist authoritarian ». And last week, he penned an opinion column in the New York times that, while pulling no punches, no longer seems a fringe Democratic view.

« The fact of the matter is that Israel remains the one sovereign authority in the land of Israel and Palestine, » Sanders wrote, « and rather than preparing for peace and justice, it has been entrenching its unequal and undemocratic control. »
Palestinian lives matter
In that Times column, Sanders concludes by heralding the rise of « a new generation of activists » in the US.
« We saw these activists in American streets last summer in the wake of the murder of George Floyd, » he writes. « We see them in Israel. We see them in the Palestinian territories. »
A major foreign policy headache for Biden
The child victims of the Israel-Gaza conflict
His final words lift a direct line from the Black Lives Matter movement: « Palestinian lives matter ».
Sanders is noting what has become obvious during clashes between Israel forces and Palestinians over the past two weeks. Americans who found their political voice during last summer’s activism in US cities are now turning their focus, and their rhetoric, on what they see as similar unchecked oppression in the Middle East.

media captionWatch: Biden accelerates away when asked about Israel
« St Louis sent me here to save lives, » Congresswoman Cori Bush of St Louis – who unseated a long-time Democratic politician in a primary last year – said on the floor of the House on Thursday.
« That means we oppose our money going to fund militarised policing, occupation and systems of violent oppression and trauma. We are anti-war, we are anti-occupation, and we are anti-apartheid. Period. »
That has translated into growing calls to cut off US military aid to Israel – or at least use the threat of doing so to pressure Netanyahu to move away from his aggressive policies in the occupied territories.
The « defund the police » slogan now has a foreign policy companion: « defund the Israeli military ».
Donald and Bibi
Complicating matters for Israel’s traditional backers in the Democratic Party is that US policy toward the Jewish state, like almost everything in national politics, has become increasingly polarised on partisan lines.
image copyrightPool via Getty Images
That, in no small part, has been helped along by long-time Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, who has forged closer ties with the American right over recent years. Obama-era Democrats have not forgotten Netanyahu’s address to a joint session of Congress in 2015 at the invitation of Republicans, during which he made an unsuccessful attempt to torpedo congressional approval of the administration’s signature diplomatic initiative, the Iran nuclear agreement.
Meanwhile, Donald Trump spent four years trumpeting his close relationship with Netanyahu and Israel’s political right. He cut off humanitarian aid to the Palestinian authority, moved the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, and bypassed the Palestinians in his Middle East diplomatic negotiations.
That one-two political punch from Trump and Netanyahu was more than enough to have even some centrist Democrats rethinking their views on the Palestinian situation.
That trend could continue, in part because, Zogby says, Trump’s efforts to cater to Israeli interests haven’t translated into shifting support among Jewish voters for Republican candidates.
« That is wishful thinking on their part, » Zogby says. « American Jews are fundamentally a liberal to progressive voting entity. »
If Democrats can satisfy their progressive base without alienating their traditional Jewish voters, it becomes a much more comfortable political move.
Old-school Biden
If the Israel debate among Democrats in Washington is changing, the direction from the White House has only just begun to reflect that.
Biden and his top officials were slow to call for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas – lagging behind even traditional Israel backers like Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.
image copyrightAnadolu Agency via Getty Images
image captionSmoke rises over Gaza City
They repeatedly blocked a UN Security Council resolution that also endorsed a ceasefire. The readouts of Biden’s calls with Netanyahu have repeatedly noted that the president has emphasised Israel’s right to self-defence, with little hint of criticism.
There’s been no talk of putting conditions on US military aid to Israel – and, in fact, before the most recent outbreak of violence, Biden authorised the sale of $735m (£518m) in arms to the Jewish state, much to the dismay of his party’s progressives. During the 2020 presidential primary, he said calls to add conditions to US aid to Israel by Sanders and others were « bizarre ».
The risk for Biden on this issue is clear, however. The president needs the backing of left-wing progressives in his coalition if he wants to pass his legislative agenda, including an ambitious infrastructure and social safety-net package.
Up until now, that support has been there. But if the Democratic left believes Biden is turning his back on what they view as Israel’s gross human rights abuses, they could abandon him.
« We’ve seen a steady growth in support for Palestinians, but it’s never really been a high-intensity issue, » Zogby says. « It’s becoming that. It’s becoming a major wedge issue, particularly among Democrats, driven by non-white voters and younger voters, by progressives in general. »
That this might happen in a foreign policy area, the Middle East, that has been a low priority for Biden so far in his presidency would be particularly stinging – and it’s one of the reasons why Israel’s advocates in the Democratic Party are concerned that Biden’s support, which has been largely unwavering over decades of public service, may end up shaky.
Politicians can only stay out of step with their political base for so long.

Voir encore:

The Realignment
In the Middle East, Biden is finishing what Obama started. And his top advisers are all on board.
Michael Doran and Tony Badran
Tablet magazine
May 11, 2021

On Sunday, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan phoned his Israeli counterpart and turned back the hands of time. According to the American readout of the conversation, Sullivan called “to express the United States’ serious concerns” about two things: the pending eviction, by court order, of a number of Palestinian families from their homes in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of Jerusalem, and the weekend’s violent clashes on the Temple Mount between Israeli police and Palestinian rioters. The Biden administration, in other words, publicly asserted an American national interest in preventing the Sheikh Jarrah evictions, regardless of the dictates of Israeli law—just as Hamas was sending rockets and incendiary devices into Israel with the same message. This conscious effort to put “daylight” between the United States and Israel marked a clear return to the approach of President Barack Obama.

Sullivan’s call invites us to reopen an unresolved debate that began even before President Joe Biden took the oath of office. Is the new president forging his own path in the Middle East, or is he following in the footsteps of Obama? Until now, those who feared that his presidency might become the third term of Obama fixed their wary eyes on Robert Malley, the president’s choice as Iran envoy. When serving in the Obama White House, Malley helped negotiate the Iran nuclear deal, which sought accommodations with Tehran that came at the expense of America’s allies in the Middle East. In a revealing Foreign Affairs article, written in 2019, Malley expressed regret that Obama failed to arrive at more such accommodations. The direction of Obama’s policy was praiseworthy, Malley wrote, but his “moderation” was the enemy of his project. Being “a gradualist,” he presided over “an experiment that got suspended halfway through.”

Malley, the article leads one to assume, is now advising Biden to go all the way—and fast. But surely it is the president, not his Iran envoy, who determines the direction and pace of policy. Over the course of a career in Washington spanning nearly half a century, Biden has never cut a radical profile. Nor have Sullivan or Secretary of State Antony Blinken. The presence of this pair at Biden’s side signaled to many that Malley would not drive Iran policy. Shortly after the election, a veteran Washington insider noted to a journalist that “Blinken and Sullivan are certainly from the more moderate wing of the party, and that is reassuring.”

At his Senate confirmation hearing in January, Blinken continued to reassure by expressing his intention to fix the defects of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), as the Iran nuclear deal is known. The following month, Foreign Policy reported that a split had opened up inside the government, with Sullivan and Blinken fulfilling the hopes placed on them. When Malley argued in favor of giving “inducements” to Iran to convince it to return quickly to the JCPOA, Sullivan and Blinken “dominated the discussion” by “toeing a harder line.”

Over the past month, that line became even harder—as in harder to see. On April 2, Malley gave an interview to PBS that raised eyebrows in Jerusalem, Riyadh, and in Congress. Ahead of nuclear talks in Vienna, where the Europeans were about to host indirect negotiations between Biden officials and Iranian representatives about resurrecting the JCPOA, Malley expressed an eagerness to lift American sanctions on Iran and ensure “that Iran enjoys the benefits that it was supposed to enjoy under the deal.” About the interview, an anonymous senior Israeli official said, “If this is American policy, we are concerned.”

Israeli intelligence operatives put an exclamation point on that sentence when they (it seems clear) sabotaged a power generator at the Iranian nuclear enrichment facility in Natanz. While damaging Iran’s nuclear program, the operation also signaled Israeli opposition to the American position in the Vienna talks, now underway.

The alarm in Jerusalem is justified, if the May 1 statement by Abbas Araghchi, Iran’s lead negotiator in Vienna, is anything to go by. The American negotiators, he claimed, had already agreed in principle to remove sanctions on Iran’s energy sector, automotive industry, financial services, banking industry, and ports—to eliminate, in other words, all of the most significant economic sanctions ever imposed on Iran. Recent statements from Biden administration officials give us no reason to disbelieve Araghchi, and the smart money is now on a full resurrection of the JCPOA in relatively short order.

But even the Israelis have yet to absorb the full scope and magnitude of Biden’s accommodation of Iran. The problem is not that Sullivan and Blinken are failing to restrain Malley, but that they are marching in lockstep with him. A consensus reigns inside the administration, not just on the JCPOA but on every big question of Middle East strategy: Everyone from the president on down agrees about the need to complete what Obama started—which means that the worst is yet to come.

If the control that Obama’s project exercises over every mind in the Biden administration is not already obvious, it is because confusion still reigns about the project’s true nature. Doubt us? Then take the following one-question quiz: To what, precisely, was Robert Malley referring when he spoke of Obama’s half-completed “experiment”?

If you answered “the JCPOA,” you got it wrong.

If you said “improving relations with Iran,” you scored much higher, but you still failed.

The president’s “ultimate goal,” Malley wrote, was “to help the [Middle East] find a more stable balance of power that would make it less dependent on direct U.S. interference or protection.” That is a roundabout way of saying that Obama dreamed of a new Middle Eastern order—one that relies more on partnership with Iran.

And the dream lives on. In May 2020, six months after Malley penned his Foreign Affairs essay, Jake Sullivan, writing as an adviser to Biden’s presidential campaign, co-authored his own article laying out a Middle East strategy. The goal, he explained, is to be “less ambitious” militarily, “but more ambitious in using U.S. leverage and diplomacy to press for a de-escalation in tensions and eventually a new modus vivendi among the key regional actors.” If we substitute the word “balance” for “modus vivendi,” and if we recognize that “de-escalation” and “diplomacy” require cooperation with Iran, then Sullivan’s vision is identical to Obama’s “ultimate goal” as described by Malley. Sullivan emphasized that equivalence when he defined the objective of his plan as “changing the United States’ role in a regional order it helped create.”

This project to create a new Middle Eastern order, which now spans two presidential administrations, deserves a name. The “Obama-Biden-Malley-Blinken-Sullivan initiative” is quite a mouthful. Instead, we hereby dub it “the Realignment.” That it should fall to us, and at this late date, to name a project on which many talented people have been working for the better part of a decade is more than a little odd. Typically, presidents launch initiatives as grand as this one with a major address, and they further embroider their vision with dozens of smaller speeches and interviews. One searches in vain for Obama’s speech, “A New Order in the Middle East.”

Obama, it seems clear, felt his project would advance best with stealth and misdirection, not aggressive salesmanship. Biden, while keeping Obama’s second-term foreign policy team nearly intact, is using the same playbook. He and his aides recognize that confusion about the “ultimate goal” makes achieving it easier. Indeed, confusion is the Realignment’s best friend.

“Calculated to confuse” would make a fitting epitaph for the JCPOA—if ever it were to shuffle off this mortal coil. At 159 pages, containing five annexes, and replete with secret side deals, it packed into one binder enough smoke and mirrors to keep the American public confused for the past six years. Although the JCPOA is only one component of Obama’s grand project, its role is indispensable.

Let’s start with what the JCPOA does not do. Contrary to what its architects have claimed since 2015, the JCPOA does not block all the pathways to an Iranian nuclear weapon. How could it? The deal’s so-called “sunset provisions”—the clauses that eliminate all meaningful restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program—will all have taken effect in less than a decade; some of the most significant restrictions will disappear by 2025. By 2031, the Islamic Republic will have, with international protection and assistance, an unfettered nuclear weapons program resting on an industrial-scale enrichment capability. On the basis of this fact alone, the best one can possibly say about the deal is that it buys a decade of freedom from Iranian nuclear extortion.

But even that modest claim does not withstand scrutiny. The deal permits a robust research and development program, and it does not destroy facilities (such as the fortified bunker in the mountains at Fordow) that are indisputably part of a military, not a civilian, nuclear program. In other words, Iran is pursuing its nuclear weapons ambitions even during this period of supposed restrictions, and its program is continuing, as any newspaper reader can see, to serve as a tool of extortion.

So blatant are the deal’s failings that Biden officials do not deny the problem. Instead, they pretend to have a fix. Their plan? A “follow-on accord.” The JCPOA, they claim, is stage one in a multistage process, like a Silicon Valley product awaiting an upgrade.

It was Sullivan, in his Foreign Affairs article, who first floated the “follow-on” idea. Blinken then promised, at both his Senate confirmation hearing in January and a press conference on his first day on the job, to work for a “longer and stronger agreement.”

“Lengthen and Strengthen with Sullivan and Blinken!” would make for a catchy slogan if JCPOA 2.0 actually had a chance in reality. But the Biden administration insists it will not raise the idea of a longer and stronger agreement until after the full restoration of JCPOA 1.0. However, as we noted, JCPOA 1.0 quickly expunges all significant limitations on Iran’s nuclear program—permanently, and with an international seal of approval. By giving Tehran everything it ever wanted up front, JCPOA 1.0 obviates JCPOA 2.0.

Sullivan and Blinken profess to recognize the hideous flaws of the JCPOA, even as they sweat and toil to resurrect it from the tomb where Trump had buried it. The comfort they offered worried minds only increased when, according to the February Foreign Policy report, they overruled Malley, refusing Iran’s demand that the United States lift all sanctions as a precondition for returning to the JCPOA. The men of understanding, we were led to believe, were also men with backbone.

But that report merely deflected watchful eyes from the real story: the bargaining between Washington and Tehran that started the minute the administration took office. Even before the Vienna negotiations began in April, messages were winging their way from Tehran to Washington, through intermediaries who interceded with ideas about how the United States could relax sanctions without formally lifting them.

As a result, Sullivan and Blinken delivered inducements to Tehran—and lots of them. To give just a few examples: The Biden administration dropped American objections to a $5 billion International Monetary Fund loan to Iran. It rescinded the Trump-era policy at the United Nations, which had triggered the so-called snapback mechanism—a move to reimpose international sanctions on Iran for its violation of the deal. It released frozen Iranian oil funds in South Korea, Iraq, and Oman. These steps portended the imminent end of the sanctions regime, thus encouraging the Chinese to buy Iranian oil at a much higher rate than at any time since 2017. Against this background came Malley’s April 2 interview on PBS, in which he expressed an eagerness to lift all sanctions as quickly as possible.

The administration’s enthusiasm for maximum accommodation of Iran came as a shock to many observers, among them Sen. James Inhofe of Oklahoma, the ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, who released a statement accusing the administration of breaking its word. Inhofe, the Israelis, and countless others had mistaken Blinken’s rhetoric for an actual plan to use the leverage built up by Trump to “fix” the nuclear deal.

To be fair, Blinken always said the administration intended to return to the JCPOA. About that, neither he nor Sullivan nor any other administration official ever lied. But they did strategically encourage people to believe things they knew were not, and never would be, true.

Their deceptions have gone far beyond narrow nuclear questions. Contrary to the claims of the administration, the JCPOA ends all of the most damaging sanctions on Iran—nuclear and nonnuclear alike. Thanks to one of its early sunset clauses, the JCPOA already ended an international ban on conventional arms sales to Iran, thus offering Tehran avenues for expanding its defense cooperation with Russia and China. As the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) will grow richer from oil sales, its international partnerships will also grow stronger. The network of militias surrounding Israel and America’s Arab allies will expand, and their sting, delivered by precision-guided weaponry, will become more venomous. Compounded by the backing of powerful friends like Russia and China, the difficulty of containing Iran’s regional project will increase. This analysis is not a theory; it is common sense.

The deceptions surrounding the JCPOA have a clear purpose: to make the administration appear supportive of containment when, in fact, it is ending it. But why are officials like Blinken and Sullivan so comfortable with such duplicity? Answering this question requires entering the Realignment mentality. The Foreign Affairs articles certainly offer one way in, but the most direct route is through the mind of Barack Obama, the author of the policy that Blinken and Sullivan are glossing.

The deceptions surrounding the JCPOA have a clear purpose: to make the administration appear supportive of containment when, in fact, it is ending it.

The Realignment mentality fully crystalized on Aug. 31, 2013, the day Obama erased his red line on Syria’s use of chemical weapons. Obama first drew the red line for U.S. military action in the summer of 2012, after receiving reports indicating that Syrian dictator Bashar Assad was either using or preparing to use chemical weapons against civilians. Some of Obama’s advisers urged him, in response, to increase support for the rebels seeking to overthrow Assad. Instead, Obama drew his red line, hoping that Moscow and Tehran would restrain Assad and the White House would not be forced to take action. But almost exactly one year later, Assad dashed Obama’s hopes with a sarin gas attack that killed hundreds of civilians, perhaps over a thousand.

Nevertheless, Obama was as determined as ever to prevent American intervention in Syria—still with the assistance of Moscow and Tehran. What if, he asked himself, the United States were able to work in greater partnership with Russia and Iran to stabilize not just Syria but other trouble spots too? After all, a tacit U.S. arrangement with Iran already existed in Iraq, based on a supposed mutual hostility to Sunni jihadism. Couldn’t that model be expanded to cover the entire Middle East? A partnership with Russia and Iran could stabilize this vexed region. An attack on Syria, however, would alienate both Moscow and Tehran, damaging Obama’s dream of a new regional order.

As the American military readied a strike on Assad, Obama searched for a pretext to call it off. He found it by suddenly remembering his constitutional duty to seek congressional authorization for military operations. Republicans in Congress, Obama knew, would refuse to authorize military action, making them responsible for erasing his red line. The Republicans’ refusal to strike, Obama told Ben Rhodes, an aide and member of his inner circle, “will drive a stake through the heart of neoconservatism—everyone will see they have no votes.”

Obama had zero interest in weakening the Russian-Iranian entente. Instead, he sought to hobble the “correlation of forces” (to use the Soviet terminology) that he believed was boxing him in. Those forces included, in addition to a variety of groups in American domestic politics, traditional allies in the Middle East—Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey—all of whom were alarmed, each for its own reasons, by the rising power of the Russian-Iranian entente.

For his part, Russian leader Vladimir Putin understood Obama’s dilemma. He quickly offered a fig leaf that Obama readily accepted. Together, the two pretended to strip Assad of his chemical weapons. We say “pretended,” because the joint Russian-American initiative was a Potemkin facade designed to put an honorable face on Obama’s retreat. In return for the prize of American abstention from Syria, Putin was more than happy to destroy some of Assad’s chemical weapons.

But only some. The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, the group that carried out the joint American-Russian policy, only destroyed the chemical weapons that Assad officially declared. Of course, he didn’t declare everything, a fact that became irrefutable in April 2017, when Assad conducted another sarin gas attack, this time killing almost 100 people.

For Obama, however, deterring Assad was always a secondary concern. He had now achieved what he saw as the biggest prize of all, namely, opening a path to a strategic accommodation with Iran, Russia’s ally in Syria. “If the U.S. had intervened more forcefully in Syria,” Rhodes told a reporter at the end of the Obama presidency, “it would have dominated Obama’s second term and the JCPOA would have been impossible to achieve.”

With the Syria example fixed in our minds, we are finally in a position to define what the JCPOA truly is rather than what it is not. As understood by its architects, the deal is two things at once. First, it is a vehicle for towing Iran’s nuclear program out of the main lanes of U.S.-Iranian relations and parking it off to one side, thereby creating political and diplomatic space for greater interaction between Washington and Tehran—a fundamental condition for building the new regional order to which the Realignment aspires.

Second, it is a tool for erasing the containment option in American foreign policy. Many analysts have interpreted the elimination of nonnuclear sanctions by the JCPOA as the product of inept bargaining. Wily Iranian negotiators, we have frequently been told, hoodwinked the naïve Obama, who, poor man, just can’t seem to get his head around the concept of leverage in negotiations.

On the contrary, a savvy Obama fooled the analysts by disguising the JCPOA as a nonproliferation agreement. In reality, the deal was a sneak attack on a traditional American foreign policy. It was and remains a Trojan horse designed to recast America’s position and role in the Middle East. Sullivan and Blinken’s task is to wheel the Trojan horse into the central square of American foreign policy and, by brandishing their “centrist” political credentials, sell it as an imperfect but valuable vehicle of containment.

The doctrine of Realignment builds on the erroneous assumption that Iran is a status quo power, one that shares a number of major interests with the United States. According to this doctrine, conservative Americans and supporters of Israel fixate on Iran’s ideology—which is steeped in bigotry toward non-Muslims in general, and which advertises its annihilationist aspirations toward the Jewish state in particular—but it is not useful as a practical guide to Tehran’s behavior. That’s what professor Obama taught us in a 2014 interview, when he claimed that Iran’s leaders “are strategic,” rational people who “respond to costs and benefits” and “to incentives.”

U.S. allies needed to learn “to share the neighborhood” with Iran, he said in another interview. Their hostility was preventing Washington from gaining access to the more pragmatic dimensions of the Iranian government’s character. Israel, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia nurture paranoid fears, outsize ambitions, and grubby sectarian agendas that draw them into shadow wars with Iran. Out of excessive loyalty to its allies, America has allowed itself to be dragged into supporting their wars, needlessly embittering U.S.-Iranian relations while simultaneously exacerbating local conflicts.

According to the Realignment doctrine, America will help its allies protect their sovereign territory from Iranian or Iranian-backed attacks, but not compete with Iran beyond their borders. In the contested spaces of Syria, Yemen, and Iraq, the United States will force others to respect Iran’s “equities,” a term Obama once used to describe Iran’s positions of power. Thus, in practical terms, America will use its influence to elevate the interests of Iran over those of U.S. allies in key areas of the Middle East.

At home, this policy is controversial, to say the least, and necessitates the development of tactics to camouflage the tilt toward Tehran. The presentation of the JCPOA as a narrow arms control agreement is the most important of these tactics, but two others are particularly noteworthy.

The first is the bear hug: a squeeze that can be presented to the outside world as a gesture of love, but which immobilizes its recipient. The Obama administration perfected the move on Israel during JCPOA negotiations. American officials routinely bragged that they had raised military-to-military relations between the United States and Israel to glorious new heights. To be fair, the claim is not entirely baseless, thanks to joint projects such as the Iron Dome missile defense system, which allows Israel to protect its territory from Iranian-sponsored rocket attacks. But if Iron Dome was the seemingly loving aspect of the bear hug, the immobilizing part was the strong discouragement of Israeli military and intelligence operations against Iran’s nuclear program and its regional military network. Obama made both seem less necessary by continually pointing to Iron Dome, which became a U.S. device for forcing Israel into a more passive posture in the face of Iran’s rising power and continued aggression.

The bear hug is also a tool for gaslighting critics who accurately claim that the Realignment guts the policy of containment. The ongoing provision of American security assistance to allies allows the administration to plausibly claim that containment is alive and well—that the United States is indeed “pushing back” against Iran’s “destabilizing activities,” and that far from discarding its old allies, it is committed to their welfare.

The second tactic is the values feint. When Washington tilts toward Iran, it disguises its true motivations with pronouncements of high-minded humanitarianism—ceasing to be a superpower and instead becoming a Florence Nightingale among the nations, decrying human suffering and repeating mantras like “There is no military solution to this conflict.” The values feint exhorts allies, in public, not to retreat before Iran but to engage in the “three D’s”: diplomacy, dialogue, and de-escalation. This trio, first deployed by Obama in Syria, now routinely rolls off the tongues of Biden officials who, in keeping with a plan presented in Sullivan’s Foreign Affairs article, are busy encouraging America’s allies to sit down and negotiate with the Iranians.

“We support any Iranian dialogue with international, regional, or Arab powers,” Hassan Nasrallah said last week. “We consider it as helpful to calming tension in the region.” The leader of Lebanon’s Hezbollah, the most lethal Iranian-backed militia in the Arab world, strongly approves of the Sullivan plan. And why wouldn’t he? The three D’s transform Iran and its proxies into America’s partners in “peace” diplomacy, and those seeking to contain them into bloodthirsty enemies of peace.

Now that we can see past the cute tricks that hide the Realignment’s true goals, we can state its four strategic imperatives in plain English: First, allow Tehran an unfettered nuclear weapons program by 2031; second, end the sanctions on the Iranian economic and financial system; third, implement a policy of accommodation of Iran and its tentacles in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, and Lebanon; and fourth, force that policy on America’s closest allies. If the United States follows those commandments, then a kind of natural regional balance will fall into place. The United States, so the thinking goes, will then finally remove itself from the war footing that traditional allies, with their anti-Iran agenda, have forced on it. Thereafter, diplomatic engagement with Iran will be the primary tool needed to maintain regional stability. (If you doubt us on this, give Malley’s and Sullivan’s Foreign Affairs articles a closer read.)

The Realignment rests on, to put it mildly, a hollow theory. It misstates the nature of the Islamic Republic and the scope of its ambitions. A regime that has led “Death to America” chants for the last 40 years is an inveterately revisionist regime. The Islamic Republic sees itself as a global power, the leader of the Muslim world, and it covets hegemony over the Persian Gulf—indeed, the entire Middle East. But the only instrument it has ever had to achieve its objectives is regional subversion.

Ayatollah Khamenei, the head of this colossal project, is a lord of chaos. After oil, the Islamic Republic’s major export item is the IRGC-commanded terrorist militia—the only export that Iran consistently produces at a peerless level. Malley and Sullivan got it exactly wrong when they argued, in effect, that allies are suckering the United States into conflict with Iran. It is not the allies but the Islamic Republic that is blanketing the Arab world with terrorist militias, arming them with precision-guided weapons, and styling the alliance it leads as “the Resistance Axis.” It does so for one simple reason: It is out to destroy the American order in the Middle East.

Iran’s militia network and nuclear program have made it strong enough to be a major factor in every troubled corner of the Middle East, but not strong enough to build an alternative order. Herein lies a curious contradiction in Khamenei’s project. Iran cannot actually hold or stabilize contested areas without a helpful American posture.

Iran is strong enough to be a major factor in every troubled corner of the Middle East, but not strong enough to build an alternative order.

This same contradiction bedevils the Realignment, whose architects think that partnership with Iran is the ticket to ending American military interventions in the Middle East. But the experiences of both Iraq and Syria proved the fallacy of this vision. On Obama’s watch, when the U.S. withdrew its troops from Iraq, Iran’s influence increased exponentially. And what happened? Iran-backed militias sprouted like weeds across the landscape. The ensuing chaos created the vacuum which the Islamic State filled, forcing Obama to re-intervene militarily—but now with the American military serving, in effect, as the air force of Iran’s militias. Obama didn’t end military interventions; he just switched sides.

An analogous process took place in Syria. In order to save the Assad regime, Iran needed not just the intervention of the Russian military to shore up its position against the Syrian opposition forces, but the assistance of the United States. Obama kept both Turkey and Israel at bay while the Russians, Iranians, and Iran’s militias slaughtered over 500,000 people and uprooted 10 million more from their homes.

Obama and his staffers, who are now Biden’s staffers, already tested the potential of Realignment. It brought only suffering and death, not to mention a general weakening of the American position.

Domestic politics partially explains the hold that this empty theory exercises over otherwise bright minds. The Realignment was the signature initiative of Barack Obama, who remains either the most powerful man in Democratic politics or a very close second. By winning the presidency, Biden is the leader of the party today, but he owes much of his personal popularity as well as his victory itself to his former boss.

The organizational chart of the State Department says that Malley reports to the secretary of state. What the chart does not reveal is that Malley, as the keeper of Obama’s Iran flame, reports to Blinken, in effect, through Obama. As for Sullivan, he reports to Biden directly, but his ability to deviate from Obama’s agenda is limited by a simple fact of life. As Sullivan himself observed in a December interview, “We’ve reached a point where foreign policy is domestic policy, and domestic policy is foreign policy.”

Biden won the electoral college by only 45,000 votes spread over three states—a razor thin margin. He still desperately needs the support of Obama, who alone can bridge the Democratic Party’s progressive and Clintonian wings. Moreover, if power is the ability to convince people that their success in the future requires keeping you happy in the present, then Obama has a lot of direct power over Sullivan. If Sullivan aspires to one day serve as secretary of state or secretary of defense, he knows that Obama will remain a power broker in Democratic politics long after Biden has left the scene.

The political heft of the Realignment derives not just from Obama’s personal support but also from the support of progressives whose cosmology it affirms. It equates a policy of containing Iran with a path to endless war, and transforms a policy of accommodating Iran into the path to peace. It reduces the complexities of the Middle East to a Manichean morality tale that pits the progressives against their mythological foes—Evangelical Christians, “neoconservatives,” and Zionists. The Realignment depicts these foes as co-conspirators with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, plotting to keep America mired in the Middle East.

The role that the Realignment casts for Israel bears close scrutiny. Jake Sullivan’s Foreign Affairs article called for preventing U.S. allies from holding American policy “hostage to maximalist regional demands” regarding the JCPOA. Yet Sullivan all but abstained from mentioning Israel, the country that has been most vocal and effective at making such demands. This omission is, of course, no accident.

Contemporary progressivism is, shall we say, less than enthusiastic about Zionism. One of its cherished goals is to reduce American support for Israel, and the Realignment helps it realize that ambition—but it does so slyly. It refrains from making its anti-Zionism explicit for fear of stirring up opposition to the project among the largely pro-Israel American people. But by upgrading relations with Iran, the Realignment perforce downgrades the Jewish state.

How Israel responds to this downgrading will depend on how its prolonged domestic crisis, marked by four national elections in two years’ time, finally gets resolved. Netanyahu haters in the Biden administration will be sure to delight if he is toppled from power and succeeded by someone with less foreign policy experience, such as Yair Lapid, the chairman of the Yesh Atid party. The White House believes that a post-Netanyahu Israel will work to accommodate its main demands. If, however, Netanyahu remains in power (or if he is succeeded by someone with a similar disposition on Iran), then the Israelis will not readily accept the diminished role assigned to them by the Realignment.

As Biden moves swiftly to put Netanyahu (or a like-minded successor) in a bear hug, the Israeli prime minister will bend, twist, squirm, and occasionally throw a sharp elbow and kick a shin. Both Biden and Netanyahu, each for his own domestic reasons, will deny the depth of the conflict. Broad smiles, professions of friendship, and much fancy footwork, all produced for the benefit of the cameras, will turn this wrestling match into a contorted tango.

Their dance will move through five flashpoints—the five irresolvable tensions between Jerusalem and Washington that the Realignment creates. The first is, of course, the JCPOA. The Israelis, for their part, will try to prevent the quarrel from poisoning cooperation in general, but will not refrain from exposing the defects of the deal to the world, and especially to Congress. The JCPOA breathes an air of distrust into U.S.-Israel relations, which will thicken as Israel continues to conduct covert actions inside Iran. The Biden team’s response, as we have already seen, will be to urge restraint on Jerusalem, thus generating the second flashpoint.

The primary goal of Israeli covert operations has historically been to sabotage Iran’s nuclear program, but more recently, they have also served as a means to publicize the flaws of the JCPOA and to expose Iranian cheating. The covert Israeli campaign now also serves as propaganda by action, showcasing opposition to Biden’s Realignment. The recent sabotage of the Natanz nuclear facility’s power station, a case in point, coincided not just with the negotiations in Vienna over the JCPOA, but also with the visit of Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin to Jerusalem. The operation embarrassed Washington, not least by refuting its contention that the only way to prevent war is to legitimize Iran’s nuclear program. If diminutive Israel can sabotage Iran’s most secure facilities on its own without sparking a war, how much more could it accomplish with the active assistance of the United States?

For its part, the Biden administration responded to the embarrassment by issuing a private rebuke to Jerusalem, while calling for more coordination and an agreed policy of “no surprises.” A similar dynamic is playing out over the third flashpoint—namely, the clash between Washington and Jerusalem over Israeli attacks on Iranian military targets in Syria and elsewhere in the region. A meeting in April between Sullivan and his Israeli counterpart, Meir Ben-Shabbat, established “an interagency working group” to focus on the threat of Iranian-produced precision-guided missiles, which Tehran provides to its regional assets. The White House will spin the working group as a united effort to “push back” on Iran, but it is actually a tool for monitoring and restraining Israel.

As the pressure from Washington to support the three D’s mounts, Jerusalem will search for partners who can assist it, both in containing Iran and in persuading the United States to abandon the Realignment. Impediments to effective coordination between Riyadh and Jerusalem abound, but the Saudis remain the most likely candidate, as there is still a chance that shared circumstances will force closer coordination between the two. But the Biden team will monitor relations between Riyadh and Jerusalem and interdict when necessary—thus creating the fourth flash point.

It was, once again, the Obama administration that fashioned the template for such interdiction. In 2012, when Washington grew fearful that Israel might launch an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities, four senior U.S. diplomats and military intelligence officials briefed Foreign Policy on alleged cooperation between Azerbaijan and Israel in preparation for the attack. “The Israelis have bought an airfield,” one anonymous official said, “and the airfield is called Azerbaijan.” Officials in Baku categorically denied the report, which indeed was likely bogus. But the point was to intimidate Jerusalem and any of its potential anti-Iran partners, not to put out truthful information.

The final flashpoint will be the Palestinian question. As tensions with Jerusalem rise over Iran, the administration will execute its values feint, criticizing Israel for choosing the path of “war.” But it will be over the Palestinian issue that the Biden team will deliver the harshest public scolding. The issue helps camouflage American rage over Israel’s independent Iran policy, presenting it instead as a righteous fight over “values.”

The administration wasted no time in reviving this values conflict. On April 7, Blinken resumed U.S. funding for the Palestinian leadership that the Trump administration had cut, including for the controversial United Nations Relief and Works Agency, saying it “aligns with the values and interests of our allies” (as defined solely by the Biden administration, he neglected to add). Gilad Erdan, Israel’s ambassador to the United States and the United Nations, quickly clarified that “Israel is strongly opposed to the anti-Israel and antisemitic activity happening in UNRWA’s facilities.”

Elevating the Palestinian question to the top of U.S.-Israel relations will further reduce the chance of a bilateral Saudi-Israeli breakthrough. Any efforts to advance the Abraham Accords, or to thwart the White House’s Iran policy, will be met with rebukes that Israel is trying to detract from justice for the Palestinians. The launch of another round of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations might be one way for the Biden team to lend plausibility to this claim. Given the failure of previous rounds, however, Biden may instead choose to launch talks with Israelis and Palestinians about how to preserve the two-state solution in the absence of a peace process. From any such talks, demands on Israel to take impossible actions will flow like a gusher, allowing Washington to pose as the champion of Palestinian rights against the recalcitrant Israelis.

With the stage thus set, an echo chamber of “independent” voices in the media will deliver a harsh reproach to Israel, which the Biden team will have scripted but will prefer not to deliver directly. “The United States needs to tell Israeli leaders to cease provocative settlement construction and … oppressive security practices,” wrote Obama’s CIA director, John Brennan, in The New York Times on April 27. This was an early warning. As the tensions between Jerusalem and Washington mount, voices shriller than Brennan’s will decry the Israelis as corrupt and cruel warmongers, sabotaging not just peace diplomacy, but also mom and apple pie.

For the pro-Israel community, the Realignment represents both an intellectual and political challenge. Intellectually, it forces a rethinking of what constitutes a pro-Israel policy. Traditionally, a position passes this litmus test if it supports strong bilateral ties, including the provision of American military aid. But supporters of the Realignment—by guaranteeing Israel’s qualitative military edge and right to defend itself, and by verbally affirming the enduring strength of American-Israeli bonds—easily pass this test, even as they empower Iran across the Middle East and provide it with a pathway to a nuclear weapon. To give the term “pro-Israel” a definition that meets the challenge of the day requires advocating for the containment of Iran, not just the defense of Israel, and for a peace strategy that focuses on Saudi Arabia.

For Jewish Democrats especially, this definition poses a severe political challenge. Progressives and Biden surrogates will attack this definition of “pro-Israel” as the “Trumpist” version, which to them means repudiating American values, choosing war over diplomacy, whitewashing Saudi “crimes,” and helping Israeli settlers “colonize” the Palestinians.

Some supporters of the administration will not hesitate to accuse Jews of sending American men and women in uniform to die for Israel. In 2018, when the Mossad spirited the nuclear archive from Tehran, Colin Kahl, a Stanford professor and Biden’s former national security adviser, tweeted that the Israeli operation “sure has an eerie pre-2003 Iraq vibe to it.” In other words, the Israeli intelligence operation, a heroic feat straight out of a Hollywood movie, was a Jewish plot to sucker America into a war for Israel. Kahl is now Joe Biden’s undersecretary of defense for policy, the third most powerful person in the Pentagon. During his Senate confirmation process, Kahl’s supporters defended him against the accusation that he harbored an anti-Israel bias by noting that, under Obama, he helped advance American-Israeli cooperation on Iron Dome.

As the pro-Israel community debates what constitutes sensible policy, its right and left wings are gearing up for a fight. Enter: Sullivan and Blinken. They move between the bickering factions, holding up their arms in a plea for calm. The duo have exactly what it takes to forge a third way between Trump’s “maximum pressure” and Obama’s Realignment—a Clintonian way that will square the circle, thread the needle, and ride two horses at once. Don’t brawl with each other, they say. Don’t split your community. Rest assured, we have your back. We have no illusions about Iran. Our commitment to Israel’s security remains unyielding.

Wouldn’t it be nice to believe all that? Unfortunately, this third way is a myth—and a dangerous one at that. It is buying time and goodwill for an administration that, as it races hell-for-leather to finish what Obama started, deserves neither.

The Realignment is just clever enough to be stupid on a grand scale. When Malley refers to Obama’s presidency as a half-finished experiment, he means, more specifically, that the United States failed to compel its Middle Eastern allies to accommodate Iran. Washington, he explained in his Foreign Affairs article, must stop “giving its partners carte blanche” and “enabling their more bellicose actions” directed at Iran and its proxies. The ally who needs its blank check revoked most urgently, Malley explains, is Saudi Arabia, and the arena in which to start is Yemen. Washington, he wrote bluntly, must press Riyadh “to bring the conflict to an end.”

Sullivan’s Foreign Affairs article took this idea further, developing the plan for pressing Riyadh to end the war in Yemen. The United States, he explained, should tell the Saudis in no uncertain terms that a failure to end the intervention would put at risk the American security guarantee for Saudi Arabia. According to Sullivan, Washington must “insist on serious, good-faith Saudi diplomatic efforts to end the Yemen war and de-escalate with Iran as part of the terms under which it maintains a complement of U.S. troops deployed in Saudi Arabia.” To sustain this “de-escalation,” the U.S. must then press Riyadh to enter into “dialogue” with Tehran.

Clearly, the plan to give a rib-cracking bear hug to Saudi Arabia was in place long before the election of Biden. Once the new team took office, it lost no time in putting on the squeeze. On Jan. 27, the administration announced a freeze on arms sales. On Feb. 4, it declared an end to support for “offensive” operations in Yemen. On Feb. 5, it expressed its intentions to remove the Houthis, Iran’s proxy in Yemen, from the terrorism list, and on Feb. 16, it made good on its promise.

Taking a leaf from Obama’s Syria playbook, the Biden administration thus recognized Yemen as a de facto Iranian sphere of interest. However, the slogan of the Houthi movement—“Allah is Great, Death to America, Death to Israel, Curse on the Jews, Victory to Islam”—does not poll well among a majority of American voters. To disguise the fact that its policies are empowering the Houthis and the Iranians, the Biden administration deployed the values feint.

The Biden administration thus recognized Yemen as a de facto Iranian sphere of interest.

The goal of the decision to lift the terrorism designation on the Houthis, Blinken explained, was to alleviate “the dire humanitarian situation in Yemen.” The administration came to the decision, he said, because it listened to the United Nations, humanitarian groups, and bipartisan members of Congress, all of whom had warned that designating the Houthis as terrorists “could have a devastating impact on Yemenis’ access to basic commodities like food and fuel.”

The Yemen values feint is a full-spectrum affair, with America not just celebrating itself as Florence Nightingale, but disparaging Saudi Arabia as a malevolent beast. On Feb. 26, the Biden administration released a declassified intelligence report on the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, the columnist whom a team of Saudi operatives killed in Istanbul in 2018. The report, which concluded that the crown prince approved the assassination, came in response to no new developments. The administration dredged up the 2-year-old file purely in order to use it as fodder in a values barrage.

The crown prince, for his part, was in no doubt about the true reason for this salvo. “We are seeking to have good relations with Iran,” he said in a major television interview at the end of April. “We aim to see a prosperous Iran. We are working with our partners in the region to overcome our differences with Iran.”

But on March 7, two weeks after the release of the Khashoggi report, the administration’s values guns fell conspicuously silent. On that day, dozens of Ethiopian migrants in a detention center in Sanaa, Yemen, protested their unbearable living conditions. Their Houthi guards corralled the protesters into a hangar, told them to say their “final prayers,” and tossed explosive grenades into the structure. “[P]eople were roasted alive,” said one of the survivors. “I had to step on their dead bodies to escape.” Nary a peep was heard in Washington about this attack, let alone about the Houthi military campaign in Yemen which redoubled thanks to America’s green light.

By rewarding Iranian aggression, the Realignment’s faux humanitarianism only brings greater suffering to the people whose afflictions it pretends to alleviate. The sanctimonious policy simply ensures that Iran will enjoy a permanent Arabian base for launching strikes against America’s most important Arab ally, Saudi Arabia.

The tilt toward Iran in Yemen also has sinister implications for America’s rivalry with its greatest competitor in the world today. China and Iran recently signed a 25-year “strategic partnership” that funnels hundreds of millions of dollars into Iran, helping Tehran expand its nuclear power program, modernize its ports, and develop its energy sector. The deal also includes greater cooperation on defense and the transfer of Chinese military technology. Meanwhile, Beijing is upgrading its naval base in Djibouti, building a dock that can accommodate aircraft carriers 20 miles from Yemen across the Bab-el-Mandeb Strait, which controls the approaches to the Suez Canal from the Indian Ocean. With each passing day, the prospect of a Chinese-Iranian alliance capable of dominating the strait increases.

The expansion of Tehran’s strategic cooperation with Beijing immediately after the election of Biden mirrors the cooperation with Moscow that followed the completion of the JCPOA in 2015. Iran’s growing international partnerships, themselves a product of the Realignment, only strengthen Tehran’s resolve to destroy the American regional security system. The Islamic Republic is an unappeasable power. Khamenei will pocket every concession that America offers and then demand more—in blood.

Yet it is with supreme confidence that the supporters of Realignment present their policy. They make as if the superiority of their method has been proven—as if we can all see that their formula will take America off its war footing, and stabilize the Middle East, and protect America’s interests, and safeguard its closest allies. Not only is the claim too good to be true, but there is simply no evidentiary basis for it—zero. If any evidence did exist, the supporters of Realignment would make their argument honestly and forthrightly and stop hiding behind a high wall of cute deceptions.

The same supreme confidence also characterizes the Biden team’s attitude toward Trump’s “maximum pressure” campaign, which it derides as reckless, incoherent, and ineffective. On Trump’s watch, the Iranian economy suffered catastrophic losses. Not only did anti-regime demonstrations break out in every major Iranian city in 2019, but corresponding protests erupted in Iraq, aimed directly or indirectly at Iran’s proxies there. But Trump’s “maximum pressure” policy was much more than just the imposition of economic sanctions. It also included direct American military action, support for military action by allies, unilateral American covert operations, and support for the covert operations of allies—all of which the Realignment is bringing to an abrupt end.

Most impressive of all was the blow that Trump delivered to the IRGC, the most feared element in a regime that, increasingly, rules through fear alone. Trump ended the fiction, which had greatly benefited Iran, that its proxies were independent actors rather than direct arms of the IRGC. This policy of holding Iran directly responsible culminated in the killing of Qassem Soleimani, the head of the IRGC’s Quds Force and the second most powerful man in Iran.

Meanwhile, the Israelis (presumably) escalated their covert campaign of sabotage and intelligence collection against Iran’s nuclear program. Earlier in Trump’s presidency, they damaged dozens of sensitive Iranian facilities and captured its nuclear archive. In a dramatic operation, they killed Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the head of Iran’s nuclear program. To the best of our knowledge, Iran has apprehended no Israeli operatives, who apparently have the run of the entire country.

By penetrating Iran’s defenses, Israel—with the support of the Trump administration—shredded Obama’s major justification for the JCPOA by demonstrating that the United States can manage the Iran challenge, including its nuclear dimension, with a relatively light American military commitment. The networks inside Iran sabotaging the nuclear program are not American; they are Israeli. By supporting America’s ally, Trump did not get suckered into unwanted conflicts; he empowered others to do America’s work for it.

Trump followed the example of all U.S. presidents prior to Obama, who conceived of the Middle East as a rectangular table, with America and its traditional allies seated on one side, and America’s rivals, including Iran and Russia, on the other. The job of the United States, in this time-honored conception, is twofold: to mediate among the allies, who are a fractious lot, and to support them against the opposing side.

“Maximum pressure” was a form of collective security. It encouraged closer cooperation between American allies, and therefore played a major role in the Abraham Accords, the peace agreements leading to expanded cultural, economic, and military ties between Israel and Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Morocco, and Sudan—all of which are close to Saudi Arabia. None would have normalized relations with Israel if Riyadh had opposed the move. The next logical step in the process, and the strategic prize of the effort, was for the next U.S. president to advance the Israeli-Saudi rapprochement.

It is impossible to exaggerate the value to the United States of a full-blown Saudi-Israeli peace agreement or even of significant steps in that direction. The 9/11 attacks announced that a doctrine of radical intolerance had taken deeper root inside the Muslim world than we had realized—a doctrine that seeks to wall off Muslim societies from non-Muslim influences. The Emiratis, the lead players in the Abraham Accords, see peace with Israel as part of a multipronged effort to refute this intolerant view of Islam and Muslim history. Saudi Arabia is the most powerful Arab country and, thanks to its guardianship of Mecca and Medina, one of the most influential countries in the entire Muslim world. It has also long been the fortress of conservative Islamic jurisprudence and Quranic literalism. If the country toward which all Muslims pray five times a day, and to which some 2 million make annual pilgrimages, develops openly friendly relations with the Jewish state, the implications for relations between Muslims and non-Muslims everywhere would be profound.

Yet the Biden administration has forbidden its officials from even using the term “Abraham Accords,” which, under the influence of the Realignment, it abhors. Because the accords are politically popular, even in Democratic circles, the administration will refrain from expressing its abhorrence frankly, and will look for every opportunity to claim that it looks favorably on the normalization of relations between Saudi Arabia and Israel.

In reality, however, the Biden team has no intention to expand the Abraham Accords, whose very existence is a blot on the Democrats’ record. It refutes the dogma preached by the Obama administration that peace between Israel and the Arab world must begin with a Palestinian-Israeli agreement.

More importantly, the accords are also a threat to the Realignment itself. The Saudi-Israeli thaw resulted in part from the sense of threat they share about the rise of Iran, and the increasing unreliability of the American security guarantee. A strong partnership between Riyadh and Jerusalem would inevitably become the primary node of opposition to the Realignment from within the American alliance system. A desire to end any unsupervised discussion of expanding the Abraham Accords is probably an additional reason why the Biden administration devoted its first days in office to publicly disparaging Mohammed bin Salman and privately pressing him to kowtow to Tehran. “Do not dare assist Israel” was another implicit command that the Khashoggi values barrage delivered to Riyadh.

When Biden took office, he faced a fork in the road. On one path stood a multilateral alliance designed to contain Iran. It had a proven track record of success and plans of even better things to come, as the recent act of sabotage at Natanz demonstrated. The alliance’s leading members were beckoning Biden to work against a common foe, but also to promote greater cooperation and possibly even an official peace agreement between Saudi Arabia and Israel. On the other path stood the Islamic Republic, hated by its own people and, indeed, by most people in the Middle East. It offered nothing but the same vile message it had always espoused. Standing with it were all of the most malignant forces in the Middle East, who either look directly to Tehran for leadership or thrive on the chaos it sows.

Biden chose Iran, fracturing the U.S. alliance system and setting back the cause of peace. His choice also delivered a victory to China and Russia, who are working with Iran, each in its own way, toward America’s undoing. In a perverse effort to liberate itself from its allies, the United States is soiling its own nest.

Michael Doran is a Senior Fellow at the Hudson Institute in Washington, D.C.

Tony Badran is Tablet magazine’s Levant analyst and a research fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. He tweets @AcrossTheBay.

Voir enfin:

Why the Middle East Is More Combustible Than Ever
Robert Malley
Foreign Affairs Magazine
November/December 2019

The war that now looms largest is a war nobody apparently wants. During his presidential campaign, Donald Trump railed against the United States’ entanglement in Middle Eastern wars, and since assuming office, he has not changed his tune. Iran has no interest in a wide-ranging conflict that it knows it could not win. Israel is satisfied with calibrated operations in Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, and Gaza but fears a larger confrontation that could expose it to thousands of rockets. Saudi Arabia is determined to push back against Iran, but without confronting it militarily. Yet the conditions for an all-out war in the Middle East are riper than at any time in recent memory.

A conflict could break out in any one of a number of places for any one of a number of reasons. Consider the September 14 attack on Saudi oil facilities: it could theoretically have been perpetrated by the Houthis, a Yemeni rebel group, as part of their war with the kingdom; by Iran, as a response to debilitating U.S. sanctions; or by an Iranian-backed Shiite militia in Iraq. If Washington decided to take military action against Tehran, this could in turn prompt Iranian retaliation against the United States’ Gulf allies, an attack by Hezbollah on Israel, or a Shiite militia operation against U.S. personnel in Iraq. Likewise, Israeli operations against Iranian allies anywhere in the Middle East could trigger a regionwide chain reaction. Because any development anywhere in the region can have ripple effects everywhere, narrowly containing a crisis is fast becoming an exercise in futility.

When it comes to the Middle East, Tip O’Neill, the storied Democratic politician, had it backward: all politics—especially local politics—is international. In Yemen, a war pitting the Houthis, until not long ago a relatively unexceptional rebel group, against a debilitated central government in the region’s poorest nation, one whose prior internal conflicts barely caught the world’s notice, has become a focal point for the Iranian-Saudi rivalry. It has also become a possible trigger for deeper U.S. military involvement. The Syrian regime’s repression of a popular uprising, far more brutal than prior crackdowns but hardly the first in the region’s or even Syria’s modern history, morphed into an international confrontation drawing in a dozen countries. It has resulted in the largest number of Russians ever killed by the United States and has thrust both Russia and Turkey and Iran and Israel to the brink of war. Internal strife in Libya sucked in not just Egypt, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) but also Russia and the United States.

There is a principal explanation for such risks. The Middle East has become the world’s most polarized region and, paradoxically, its most integrated. That combination—along with weak state structures, powerful nonstate actors, and multiple transitions occurring almost simultaneously—also makes the Middle East the world’s most volatile region. It further means that as long as its regional posture remains as it is, the United States will be just one poorly timed or dangerously aimed Houthi drone strike, or one particularly effective Israeli operation against a Shiite militia, away from its next costly regional entanglement. Ultimately, the question is not chiefly whether the United States should disengage from the region. It is how it should choose to engage: diplomatically or militarily, by exacerbating divides or mitigating them, and by aligning

ACT LOCALLY, THINK REGIONALLY

The story of the contemporary Middle East is one of a succession of rifts, each new one sitting atop its precursors, some taking momentary precedence over others, none ever truly or fully resolved. Today, the three most important rifts—between Israel and its foes, between Iran and Saudi Arabia, and between competing Sunni blocs—intersect in dangerous and potentially explosive ways.

Israel’s current adversaries are chiefly represented by the so-called axis of resistance: Iran, Hezbollah, Hamas, and, although presently otherwise occupied, Syria. The struggle is playing out in the traditional arenas of the West Bank and Gaza but also in Syria, where Israel routinely strikes Iranian forces and Iranian-affiliated groups; in cyberspace; in Lebanon, where Israel faces the heavily armed, Iranian-backed Hezbollah; and even in Iraq, where Israel has reportedly begun to target Iranian allies. The absence of most Arab states from this frontline makes it less prominent but no less dangerous.

For those Arab states, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been nudged to the sidelines by the two other battles. Saudi Arabia prioritizes its rivalry with Iran. Both countries exploit the Shiite-Sunni rift to mobilize their respective constituencies but are in reality moved by power politics, a tug of war for regional influence unfolding in Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Yemen, and the Gulf states.

Finally, there is the Sunni-Sunni rift, with Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE vying with Qatar and Turkey. As Hussein Agha and I wrote in The New Yorker in March, this is the more momentous, if least covered, of the divides, with both supremacy over the Sunni world and the role of political Islam at stake. Whether in Egypt, Libya, Syria, Tunisia, or as far afield as Sudan, this competition will largely define the region’s future.

Together with the region’s polarization is a lack of effective communication, which makes things ever more perilous. There is no meaningful channel between Iran and Israel, no official one between Iran and Saudi Arabia, and little real diplomacy beyond rhetorical jousting between the rival Sunni blocs.

With these fault lines intersecting in complex ways, various groupings at times join forces and at other times compete. When it came to seeking to topple Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Saudi Arabia and the UAE were on the same side as Qatar and Turkey, backing Syrian rebels—albeit different ones, reflecting their divergent views on the Islamists’ proper role. But those states took opposite stances on Egypt, with Doha and Ankara investing heavily to shore up a Muslim Brotherhood–led government that Riyadh and Abu Dhabi were trying to help bring down (the government fell in 2013, to be replaced by the authoritarian rule of Abdel Fattah el-Sisi). Qatar and Turkey fear Iran but fear Saudi Arabia even more. Hamas stands with Syria in opposition to Israel but stood with the Syrian opposition and other Islamists against Assad. The geometry of the Middle East’s internal schisms may fluctuate, yet one struggles to think of another region whose dynamics are as thoroughly defined by a discrete number of identifiable and all-encompassing fault lines.

One also struggles to think of a region that is as integrated, which is the second source of its precarious status. This may strike many as odd. Economically, it ranks among the least integrated areas of the world; institutionally, the Arab League is less coherent than the European Union, less effective than the African Union, and more dysfunctional than the Organization of American States. Nor is there any regional entity to which Arab countries and the three most active non-Arab players (Iran, Israel, and Turkey) belong.

Yet in so many other ways, the Middle East functions as a unified space. Ideologies and movements spread across borders: in times past, Arabism and Nasserism; today, political Islam and jihadism. The Muslim Brotherhood has active branches in Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, the Palestinian territories, Syria, Turkey, the Gulf states, and North Africa. Jihadi movements such as al Qaeda and the Islamic State, or ISIS, espouse a transnational agenda that rejects the nation-state and national boundaries altogether. Iran’s Shiite coreligionists are present in varying numbers in the Levant and the Gulf, often organized as armed militias that look to Tehran for inspiration or support. Saudi Arabia has sought to export Wahhabism, a puritanical strain of Islam, and funds politicians and movements across the region. Media outlets backed by one side or another of the Sunni-Sunni rift—Qatar’s Al Jazeera, Saudi Arabia’s Al Arabiya—have regional reach. The Palestinian cause, damaged as it may now seem, still resonates across the region and can mobilize its citizens in a way that arguably has no equivalent worldwide. Even subnational movements, such as Kurdish nationalism, which spreads across four countries, promote transnational objectives.

Accordingly, local struggles quickly take on regional significance—and thus attract weapons, money, and political support from the outside. The Houthis may view their fight as being primarily about Yemen, Hezbollah may be focused on power and politics in Lebanon, Hamas may be a Palestinian movement advancing a Palestinian cause, and Syria’s various opposition groups may be pursuing national goals. But in a region that is both polarized and integrated, those local drivers inevitably become subsumed by larger forces.

The fate of the Arab uprisings that began in late 2010 illustrates the dynamic well, with Tunisia, where it all began, being the lone exception. The toppling of the regime there happened too swiftly, too unexpectedly, and in a country that was too much on the margins of regional politics for other states to react in time. But they soon found their bearings. Every subsequent rebellion almost instantaneously became a regional and then international affair. In Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood’s fortunes and the future of political Islam were at stake, and so Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and the UAE dove in. The same was true in Libya, where Egypt, once Sisi had prevailed and the Brotherhood had been pushed out, joined the fray. Likewise for Syria, where the civil war drew in all three regional battles: Israel’s confrontation with the “axis of resistance,” the Iranian-Saudi struggle, and the intra-Sunni competition. A similar scenario has played out in Yemen, too.

STATES OF CHAOS

Along with the Middle East’s polarization and integration, its dysfunctional state structures present another risk factor. Some states are more akin to nonstate actors: the central governments in Libya, Syria, and Yemen lack control over large swaths of their territories and populations. Conversely, several nonstate actors operate as virtual states, including Hamas, the Houthis, the Kurds, and the Islamic State before it was toppled. And these nonstate actors often must contend with nonstate spoilers of their own: in Gaza, Hamas vies with jihadi groups that sometimes behave in ways that undermine its rule or contradict its goals. Even in more functional states, it is not always clear where the ultimate policymaking authority lies. Shiite militias in Iraq and Hezbollah in Lebanon, for example, engage in activities that their titular sovereigns don’t control, let alone condone.

Weak states cohabiting with powerful nonstate actors creates the ideal circumstances for external interference. It’s a two-way street—foreign states exploit armed groups to advance their interests, and armed groups turn to foreign states to promote their own causes—that is all too open to misinterpretation. Iran almost certainly helps the Houthis and Iraqi Shiite militias, but does it control them? The People’s Protection Units, a movement of Kurdish fighters in Syria, are affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party in Turkey, but do they follow its command?

The fact that nonstate actors operate as both proxies and independent players makes it hard to establish accountability for violence or deter it in the first place. Iran might wrongly assume that it will not be held responsible for a Houthi drone attack on Saudi Arabia, a Palestinian Islamic Jihad attack on Israel, or an Iraqi Shiite militia strike on a U.S. target. Saudi Arabia might misguidedly blame Iran for every Houthi attack, just as Iran might blame Saudi Arabia for any violent incident on its soil perpetrated by internal dissident groups. The United States might be convinced that every Shiite militia is an Iranian proxy doing Tehran’s bidding. Israel might deem Hamas accountable for every attack emanating from Gaza, Iran for every attack emanating from Syria, the Lebanese state for every attack launched by Hezbollah. In each of these instances, the price of misattribution could be high.

This is no mere thought exercise: After the attack on Saudi oil facilities in September, the Houthis immediately claimed responsibility, possibly in the hope of enhancing their stature. Iran, likely seeking to avoid U.S. retaliation, denied any involvement. Who conducted the operation and who—if anyone—is punished could have wide-ranging implications.

Even in seemingly well-structured states, the locus of decision-making has become opaque. In Iran, the government and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, the branch of the military that answers directly to the country’s supreme leader, at times seem to go their separate ways. Whether this reflects a conscious division of labor or an actual tug of war is a matter of debate, as is the question of who exactly pulls the strings.

THREAT MULTIPLIERS

A series of global, regional, and local transitions has made these dynamics even more uncertain. The global transitions include a newly present China, a resurgent Russia, and a United States in relative decline. There are also the aftershocks of the recent Arab uprisings, notably the dismantling of the regional order and the propagation of failed states. These are exacerbated by domestic political changes: a new, unusually assertive leadership in Saudi Arabia and a new, unusual leadership in the United States. All these developments fuel the sense of a region in which everything is up for grabs and in which opportunities not grabbed quickly will be lost for good.

The United States’ key regional allies are simultaneously worried about the country’s staying power, heartened by the policies of the Trump administration, and anxious about them. The president made it a priority to repair relations with Egypt, Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE, all of which had frayed under his predecessor. But Trump’s reluctance to use force has been equally clear, as has his willingness to betray long-standing allies in other parts of the world.

That combination of encouragement and concern helps explain, for example, Saudi Arabia’s uncharacteristic risk-taking under the leadership of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, or MBS: its continuing war in Yemen, its blockade of Qatar, its kidnapping of the Lebanese prime minister, its killing of the dissident Jamal Khashoggi. MBS perceives the current alignment with Washington as a fleeting opportunity—because Trump might not win reelection, because he is capable of an abrupt policy swing that could see him reach a deal with Iran, and because the United States has a long-standing desire to extricate itself from Middle Eastern entanglements. The feeling in Israel is similar. The United States’ partners in the region are both seeking to take advantage of Trump’s tenure and hedging against one of his sudden pivots and the possibility of a one-term presidency, an attitude that makes the situation even more fluid and unpredictable.

Meanwhile, growing Chinese and Russian influence have given Iran some encouragement, but hardly real confidence. In the event of an escalation of tensions between Tehran and Washington, would Moscow stand with Iran or, hoping to benefit from regional disruption, stand on the sidelines? Will China ignore American threats of sanctions and buy Iranian oil or, in the wake of a potential trade deal with the United States, abide by Washington’s demands? Uncertainty about American intentions could be even more dangerous. Iran senses Trump’s distaste for war and is therefore tempted to push the envelope, pressuring Washington in the hope of securing some degree of sanctions relief. But because Tehran does not know where the line is, it runs the risk of going too far and paying the price.

TWO CAUTIONARY TALES

To understand how these dynamics could interact in the future, it is instructive to look at how similar dynamics have interacted in the recent past, in Syria. Saudi Arabia and others seized on a homegrown effort to topple the Assad regime as an opportunity to change the regional balance of power. They banked on the opposition prevailing and thereby ending Damascus’ longtime alliance with Tehran. Iran and Hezbollah, fearful of that outcome, poured resources into the fight on the regime’s behalf, at huge human cost. Israel also stepped in, seeking to roll back Iran’s growing presence at its borders. Qatar and Turkey backed one set of Islamist-leaning rebel groups, and Saudi Arabia and its allies backed others. Russia—concerned about a shift in Syria’s orientation and sensing American hesitation—saw a chance to reassert itself in the Middle East and also intervened, placing it directly at odds with the United States and, for a time, Turkey. And Turkey, alarmed at the prospect of U.S.-backed Kurdish forces enjoying a safe haven in northern Syria, intervened directly while also supporting Syrian Arab opposition groups that it hoped would fight the Kurds.

With Syria an arena for regional tensions, clashes there, even inadvertent ones, risk becoming flash points for larger confrontations. Turkey shot down one Russian fighter jet (Moscow blamed Israel for the downing of another), and U.S. forces killed hundreds of members of a private Russian paramilitary group in eastern Syria. Turkey has attacked U.S.-backed Kurds, raising the prospect of a U.S.-Turkish military collision. And Israel has struck Iranian or Iranian-linked targets in Syria hundreds of times.

Syria also illustrates why it is so difficult for the United States to circumscribe its involvement in Middle Eastern conflicts. During the Obama administration, Washington backed rebel groups fighting both the Assad regime and ISIS but claimed not to be pursuing regime change (despite supporting forces that wanted exactly that), not to be seeking a regional rebalance (despite the clear impact Assad’s downfall would have on Iran’s influence), not to be boosting Turkey’s foes (despite supporting a Kurdish movement affiliated with Turkey’s mortal enemy), and not to be seeking to weaken Russia (despite Moscow’s affinity for Assad). But the United States could not, of course, back rebel groups while distancing itself from their objectives, or claim purely local aims while everyone else involved saw the Syrian conflict in a broader context. Washington became a central player in a regional and international game that it purportedly wanted nothing to do with.

A similar scene has played out in Yemen. Since 2004, the north of the country had been the arena of recurring armed conflict between the Houthis and the central government. Government officials early on pointed to supposed Iranian financial and military aid to the rebels, just as Houthi leaders claimed Saudi interference. After the Houthis seized the capital and marched southward in 2014–15, Saudi Arabia—dreading the prospect of an Iranian-backed militia controlling its southern neighbor—responded. Its reaction was magnified by the rise of MBS, who was distrustful of the United States, determined to show Iran the days of old were over, and intent on making his mark at home. Faced with intense pushback, the Houthis increasingly turned to Iran for military assistance, and Iran, seeing a low-cost opportunity to enhance its influence and bog down Saudi Arabia, obliged. Washington, still in the midst of negotiations over a nuclear deal with Tehran, which Riyadh vehemently opposed, felt it could not afford to add another crisis to the brittle relations with its Gulf ally.

Despite its misgivings about the war, Washington thus threw its weight behind the Saudi-led coalition, sharing intelligence, providing weapons, and offering diplomatic support. As in Syria, the Obama administration looked to limit U.S. aims. It would help defend Saudi territorial integrity but not join Riyadh’s anti-Houthi fight or get sucked into an Iranian-Saudi battle. As in Syria, this effort largely was in vain. The United States could not cherry-pick one part of the war: if it was with Saudi Arabia, that meant it was against the Houthis, which meant it would be against Iran.

WASHINGTON ADRIFT

President Barack Obama’s largely fruitless attempt to confine U.S. involvement in the region reveals something about the unavoidable linkages that bind various Middle Eastern conflicts together. It also reveals something about the choices now facing the United States. Obama (in whose administration I served) had in mind the United States’ extrication from what he considered the broader Middle Eastern quagmire. He withdrew U.S. troops from Iraq, tried to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, expressed sympathy for Arab popular uprisings and for a time distanced himself from autocratic leaders, shunned direct military intervention in Syria, and pursued a deal with Iran to prevent its nuclear program from becoming a trigger for war. Libya doesn’t fit this pattern, although even there he apparently labored under the belief that the 2011 NATO-led intervention could be tightly limited; that this assumption proved wrong only reinforced his initial desire to keep his distance from regional conflicts. His ultimate goal was to help the region find a more stable balance of power that would make it less dependent on direct U.S. interference or protection. Much to the Saudis’ consternation, he spoke of Tehran and Riyadh needing to find a way to “share” the region.

But Obama was a gradualist; he was persuaded that the United States could neither abruptly nor radically shift gears and imperil regional relationships that had been decades in the making. As he once put it to some of us working in the White House, conducting U.S. policy was akin to steering a large vessel: a course correction of a few degrees might not seem like much in the moment, but over time, the destination would differ drastically. What he did, he did in moderation. Thus, while seeking to persuade Riyadh to open channels with Tehran, he did so gently, carefully balancing continuity and change in the United States’ Middle East policy. And although he wanted to avoid military entanglements, his presidency nonetheless was marked by several costly interventions: both direct, as in Libya, and indirect, as in Syria and Yemen.

In a sense, his administration was an experiment that got suspended halfway through. At least when it came to his approach to the Middle East, Obama’s presidency was premised on the belief that someone else would pick up where he left off. It was premised on his being succeeded by someone like him, maybe a Hillary Clinton, but certainly not a Donald Trump.

Trump has opted for a very different course (perhaps driven in part by a simple desire to do the opposite of what his predecessor did). Instead of striving for some kind of balance, Trump has tilted entirely to one side: doubling down on support for Israel; wholly aligning himself with MBS, Sisi, and other leaders who felt spurned by Obama; withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal and zealously joining up with the region’s anti-Iranian axis. Indeed, seeking to weaken Iran, Washington has chosen to confront it on all fronts across much of the region: in the nuclear and economic realms; in Syria, where U.S. officials have explicitly tied the continued U.S. presence to countering Iran; in Iraq, where the United States wants a fragile government that is now dependent on close ties to Tehran to cut those ties; in Yemen, where the administration, flouting Congress’ will, has increased support for the Saudi-led coalition; and in Lebanon, where it has added to sanctions on Hezbollah.

Iran has also chosen to treat the region as its canvas. Besides chipping away at its own compliance with the nuclear deal, it has seized tankers in the Gulf; shot down a U.S. drone; and, if U.S. claims are to be believed, used Shiite militias to threaten Americans in Iraq, attacked commercial vessels in the Strait of Hormuz, and struck Saudi oil fields. In June of this year, when the drone came down and Trump contemplated military retaliation, Iran was quick to warn Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE that they would be fair game if they played any role in enabling a U.S. attack. (There is no reason to trust that the domino effect would have ended there; Iraq, Israel, Lebanon, and Syria could well have been drawn into the ensuing hostilities.) And in Yemen, the Houthis have intensified their attacks on Saudi targets, which may or may not be at Iran’s instigation—although, at a minimum, it is almost certainly not over Tehran’s objections. Houthi leaders with whom I recently spoke in Sanaa, Yemen’s capital, denied acting at Iran’s behest yet added that they would undoubtedly join forces with Iran in a war against Saudi Arabia if their own conflict with the kingdom were still ongoing. In short, the Trump administration’s policies, which Washington claimed would moderate Iran’s behavior and achieve a more stringent nuclear deal, have prompted Tehran to intensify its regional activities and ignore some of the existing nuclear deal’s restraints. This gets to the contradiction at the heart of the president’s Middle East policies: they make likelier the very military confrontation he is determined to avoid.

WHAT MATTERS NOW

A regional conflagration is far from inevitable; none of the parties wants one, and so far, all have for the most part shown the ability to calibrate their actions so as to avoid an escalation. But even finely tuned action can have unintentional, outsize repercussions given the regional dynamics. Another Iranian attack in the Gulf. An Israeli strike in Iraq or Syria that crosses an unclear Iranian redline. A Houthi missile that kills too many Saudis or an American, and a reply that, this time, aims at the assumed Iranian source. A Shiite militia that kills an American soldier in Iraq. An Iranian nuclear program that, now unshackled from the nuclear deal’s constraints, exceeds Israel’s or the United States’ unidentified tolerance level. One can readily imagine how any of these incidents could spread across boundaries, each party searching for the arena in which its comparative advantage is greatest.

With such ongoing risks, the debate about the extent to which the United States should distance itself from the region and reduce its military footprint is important but somewhat beside the point. Should any of these scenarios unfold, the United States would almost certainly find itself dragged in, whether or not it had made the strategic choice of withdrawing from the Middle East.

The more consequential question, therefore, is what kind of Middle East the United States will remain engaged in or disengaged from. A polarized region with intersecting rifts, where local disputes invariably take on broader significance, will remain at constant risk of combusting and therefore of implicating the United States in ways that will prove wasteful and debilitating. De-escalating tensions is not something the country can do on its own. Yet at a minimum, it can stop aggravating those tensions and, without abandoning or shunning them, avoid giving its partners carte blanche or enabling their more bellicose actions. That would mean ending its support for the war in Yemen and pressing its allies to bring the conflict to an end. It would mean shelving its efforts to wreck Iran’s economy, rejoining the nuclear deal, and then negotiating a more comprehensive agreement. It would mean halting its punishing campaign against the Palestinians and considering new ways to end the Israeli occupation. In the case of Iraq, it would mean no longer forcing Baghdad to pick a side between Tehran and Washington. And as far as the Iranian-Saudi rivalry is concerned, the United States could encourage the two parties to work on modest confidence-building measures—on maritime security, environmental protection, nuclear safety, and transparency around military exercises—before moving on to the more ambitious task of establishing a new, inclusive regional architecture that would begin to address both countries’ security concerns.

An administration intent on pursuing this course won’t be starting from scratch. Recently, some Gulf states—the UAE chief among them—have taken tentative steps to reach out to Iran in an effort to reduce tensions. They saw the growing risks of the regional crisis spinning out of control and recognized its potential costs. Washington should, too, before it is too late.

Voir par ailleurs:

How Many Jews Need to Be Attacked in America Before Progressives Speak Up
Seffi Kogen, Global Director of Young Leadership at the American Jewish Committee
Newsweek
5/21/21

Perhaps it’s fitting that May is Jewish American Heritage Month. After all, despite our success in America and the richness and beauty of our faith and culture, there may be no more consistent part of our heritage as Jews than to be violently attacked, viciously demeaned, and utterly disregarded as we cry out for support. In that respect, some of our fellow Americans have been doing an excellent job marking the month.

On May 10, after years of relative quiet between Israel and Gaza, the Hamas terrorists who rule that enclave exploited a long-running legal dispute in Jerusalem as a pretext to launch a barrage of rockets at Israel, unprecedented in its size. The Israel Defense Forces responded with air strikes to knock out terror targets, and one of those micro-wars that periodically spring up in this conflict ensued. As of Thursday night, May 20, a ceasefire had begun; the worst of the fighting is hopefully over.

At least, it was in Israel and Gaza. But around the world, Jews were paying the price.

At a trendy sushi place on La Cienega in Los Angeles, a group of men whose faces were wrapped in kefiyyehs hopped out of a car flying a Palestinian flag, asked the diners who was Jewish, and then proceeded to physically assault them in what L.A. mayor Eric Garcetti called « an organized, antisemitic attack. »

Another such attack took place outside a bagel place (speaking of Jewish American heritage!) in Manhattan’s Midtown East. Video shows two men, one of whom is holding an Israeli flag, get clobbered in broad daylight by a mob of at least a dozen people wielding fists, Palestinian flags, and more than a couple glass bottles.

A different video from Manhattan shows Palestinian activists attacking Jews, again in midday, in the Diamond District, this time adding some kind of incendiary device to their arsenal of weapons.

Synagogues across the country have been vandalized. Rallies in support of the Palestinian cause in Michigan, Florida, Washington, D.C., and elsewhere have turned anti-Semitic. Attendees have waved signs with messages like « Jesus was Palestinian and you killed him too » or « one Holocaust doesn’t justify another, » indiscriminately turning ancient, blood-soaked religious canards and recent Jewish trauma into verbal weapons with which to bludgeon American Jews who are not, of course, responsible for the actions of another set of Jews 5,000 miles away.

And almost as bad as the violence is the silence around it from major publications. The New York Times hasn’t deemed news of these attacks on New York Jews « fit to print, » though it did run a short story about the similarly horrific spate of attacks across Europe, including one incident in London in which a caravan of cars draped in Palestinian flags drove through a Jewish neighborhood as its passengers chanted « rape Jewish daughters. »

But surely, you might be thinking, regardless of their opinion on how Israel prosecutes its defense war against Hamas terrorists, all political leaders in the U.S. can speak up against these attacks on Jews in American cities, right?

Alas, wrong.

While anti-Zionist gangs beat up Jews in her city, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was providing a quasi-intellectual basis for their actions, defaming Israel as an apartheid state employing indiscriminate force in what she seems to think is a capricious quest to murder as many Palestinian children as possible, instead of a highly restrained military operation tightly targeted on terrorists.

Rep. Ocasio-Cortez didn’t call for violence, but she carved out an area of respectability for a certain type of anti-Semitism, and others were only too happy to rush in, fists flying.

It turns out, if you ignore all evidence, turn Israel into the villain in your morality play, and insist that Americans have a « responsibility » to do something about Israel, the thing that they will do is beat up American Jews, throw rocks through the windows of American synagogues, and harass Jews who try to speak up on social media.

And it’s not like Rep. Ocasio-Cortez doesn’t know that anti-Semitism is out there. In the midst of her sustained anti-Israel Twitter diatribe, she found time to retweet CNN‘s Jake Tapper objecting to a right-wing Newsmax host’s anti-Semitic comment. She’s capable of seeing anti-Semitism—but only when she wants to.

She also knows that words matter. Ocasio-Cortez has correctly expressed concern in the past that political rhetoric could endanger her and her colleagues. Unfortunately, her view that overheated demagoguery puts people at risk doesn’t extend to Jews.

This puts me in danger every time.

Almost every time this uncalled for rhetoric gets blasted by conserv. grps, we get a spike in death threats to refer to Capitol Police.

Multiple ppl have been arrested trying to harm me, Ilhan, & others.@GOP, what’s it going to take to stop? https://t.co/vpous77RbT

— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) April 10, 2019

And AOC is not the only one struck blind by partisanship. Sen. Bernie Sanders published his own dangerous anti-Israel harangue in an Op-Ed which began, « No one is arguing that Israel… does not have the right to self-defense or to protect its people, » even as his own supporters were arguing just that on social media.

Comedians John Oliver and Trevor Noah made the same case into their media megaphones, arguing that Israel was wrong to attack the terrorists aiming for Israeli civilians because Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system can prevent most (but not all) civilian deaths from Hamas rockets.

There’s more: Rep. Mark Pocan and Rep. Betty McCollum are laser-focused on spreading the contemporary blood libel that Israel indiscriminately murders children. And in the same week that the Pew Research Center found that 80 percent of Jews believe caring about Israel to be an « important » or « essential » part of being Jewish, Rep. Ilhan Omar called support for Israel « disgusting and immoral. »

I have always been vocal about calling out anti-Semitism when it comes from the political right wing. But now I’m seeing it surge on the American left and I have to ask: Where is the outrage?

Palestinian mobs attack Jews
Twitter Screenshot

People like Rep. Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Sanders (and too many other progressive members of Congress, unfortunately) are greatly concerned about whether Israel’s response to Palestinian terror meets a standard of acceptable « proportionality. » But what are the acceptable numbers in America of Jews assaulted and synagogues vandalized? How many Jewish victims before these progressive leaders see the error of their incitement and speak up against anti-Jewish hate?

And why is it that now, every time I hear loud noises from the street outside my apartment on Manhattan’s extremely Jewish Upper West Side, I have to wonder whether there’s an anti-Semitic mob gathered below, attacking my neighbors?

Happy Jewish American Heritage Month, I guess.

Seffi Kogen is the Global Director of Young Leadership at the American Jewish Committee.

When the New York Times finally reported on the plague of nationwide street vio-lence against Jews in the spring of 2021, more than a week after the attacks began in the wake of Hamas using rockets to strike Israel, the tone it took was less one of outrage than of bewilderment. “Until the latest surge,” read a May 26 story, “anti-Semitic violence in recent years was largely considered a right-wing phenomenon, driven by a white supremacist movement emboldened by rhetoric from former President Donald J. Trump, who often trafficked in stereotypes.” This was nonsense: The most common street violence against Jews took place in New York and New Jersey, and it had nothing at all to do with Trump or “right-wing” politics. Par for the course for the Gray Lady, perhaps, but far more concerning was where the reporters seemed to be getting the misinformation. “This is why Jews feel so terrified in this moment,” Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt told the paper. “For four years it seemed to be stimulated from the political right, with devastating consequences.” At the scenes of Jew-hunting that began in May, during the war between Israel and Hamas, Greenblatt lamented, “No one is wearing MAGA hats.”

If there’s one organization whose responsibility it is to prepare not just the Jewish community but the wider United States public and its government for emerging anti-Semitic threats, it’s the ADL. Instead, the head of the ADL has been spreading a cynical left-wing myth about anti-Semitism while threats to the Jewish community fester.

And it’s even worse than it looks, because while there’s long been a willful blindness toward anti-Semitism from the left, the ADL and other partisan groups aren’t the ones experiencing this blindness. They’re the blinders.

_____________

THE ADL TRACKS various kinds of anti-Israel extremism when Israel is at war. It issued a list during the latest flare-up with Hamas on May 20 titled “Prominent Voices Demonize Israel Regarding the Conflict.” Demonizing rhetoric, the ADL warned, can “enable an environment whereby hateful actions against Jews and supporters of Israel are accepted more freely, and where anti-Jewish tropes may be normalized.” One category the list featured was of those “Accusing Israel of ‘Attacking al-Aqsa,’” a hoary libel falsely claiming that Jews want to destroy the central Mosque in Jerusalem. It has been used to incite anti-Jewish riots for a century. What was notable here was one name missing from the list, and arguably the worst offender.

 

On May 12, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez had castigated President Joe Biden on Twitter for expressing Israel’s right to defend itself while noting what supposedly was to blame for the violence: “the expulsions of Palestinians and the attacks on Al Aqsa.” Her name and her statement were missing from the ADL’s list of slanders and slanderers. (…) A day later, on May 13, came a chilling session of the House of Representatives, with dark echoes of Jewish history. Several Democratic members of the House took turns standing next to blown-up photos of bloodied Palestinian children and gave fiery speeches denouncing Zionist perfidy—the sorts of words and charges that, since the age of the czars, have been followed by the spilling of Jewish blood. This time was no different, except it wasn’t a Russian backwater or a Munich beer hall. It was on the floor of the United States Congress. One by one, these members of Congress, Democrats all, sought to make the Jewish state the stand-in for “systems of oppression here in the United States and globally,” as Representative Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts put it. (…) In the days and weeks that followed, even after an Israel–Hamas cease-fire was in place, Jews in America were physically attacked with abandon—diners at restaurants in Los Angeles and Manhattan, Jews on the streets of New York, families in Florida attending synagogue services. The ADL saw a 75 percent uptick in reported incidents. In one typical attack, a group of men reportedly drove around Brooklyn assaulting Jews in the open while yelling, “Free Palestine!” When called out for their silence, progressive Democratic lawmakers condemned “anti-Semitism and Islamophobia” as one, knowing that their audience would interpret any specific denunciation of anti-Semitism as a statement in support of Israel. (…) Throughout this whole affair, not a single congressional Democrat would criticize any of his colleagues by name. (…) Neither the ADL nor the JDCA uttered a peep. As usual, one exceptional voice in all this was that of the American Jewish Committee, whose young leadership director, Seffi Kogen, noted in Newsweek that “while anti-Zionist gangs beat up Jews in her city, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was providing a quasi-intellectual basis for their actions.” But for a large part of the organized Jewish community, the outburst of violence was met with inexcusable surprise.

 

Events in early June then gave the dwindling band of Democratic anti-Corbynistas one more bite at the apple. On June 7, Omar tweeted a summary of a question she had for Secretary of State Antony Blinken: “We must have the same level of accountability and justice for all victims of crimes against humanity. We have seen unthinkable atrocities committed by the U.S., Hamas, Israel, Afghanistan, and the Taliban. I asked @SecBlinken where people are supposed to go for justice.”

 

 

What happened in between the release of the letter and Pelosi’s public declaration of Omar’s righteousness was instructive: The Squad went nuclear. Ocasio-Cortez accused her Jewish colleagues of “targeting” Omar and putting her in “danger.” Cori Bush said her Jewish colleagues were motivated by “anti-Blackness and Islamophobia.” Jamaal Bowman, who ousted the pro-Israel stalwart Eliot Engel in a 2020 primary and who represents a New York district with a large Jewish contingent, likewise suggested that the complaints from his colleagues were due to Omar’s being a Muslim black woman. Omar herself complained of the “constant harassment and silencing” by her Jewish colleagues and the “Islamophobic tropes” they supposedly used.

 

It was an astonishingly vile and aggressive coordinated attack against the Jewish group. The ADL was silent. JDCA was silent. The Democratic Party sided with the Squad. The Jewish community had been abandoned to the rise of the dominant left-of-center ideology according to which Jews are part of a white power structure of which Israel is a prime example. (…) The New Yorker’s Helen Rosner suggested it would be a good tactic not to beat up Jews, as part of an overall strategy to undermine Israel’s legitimacy. (This after the New Yorker’s union put out a statement of solidarity with the Palestinians that included the phrase “from the river to the sea.”) Michelle Goldberg of the New York Times wrote a column with a headline so instantly infamous that the Times eventually and quietly changed it: “Attacks on Jews Over Israel Are a Gift to the Right.” Meanwhile, the comedian Sarah Silverman objected to attacks on Jews in Los Angeles not on the grounds that they were evil acts of anti-Semitic violence but rather because “WE ARE NOT ISRAEL.” For his part, Kenneth Roth, the obsessively anti-Israel executive director of Human Rights Watch, declared, “It is WRONG to equate the Jewish people with the apartheid and deadly bombardment of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s government.”

 

Throwing fellow Jews to the wolves is abominable moral behavior. Delicately excising the name and words of a chic Democratic politician from a list of anti-Semitic statements to protect her—or to protect the organization you run from her wrath—constitutes an act of complicity in the violence that ensued in whatever small measure from her remarks. And the man who was thus complicit—Jonathan Greenblatt—had the nerve to act surprised. The anti-Semitic street violence in America is “literally happening from coast to coast, and spreading like wildfire,” Greenblatt told the Times. “The sheer audacity of these attacks feels very different.”

 

It feels different because it feels so familiar. And if the American Jewish community is to survive, it must start acting like it. And we must start by cleaning our own corrupted house.

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE ADL TRACKS various kinds of anti-Israel extremism when Israel is at war. It issued a list during the latest flare-up with Hamas on May 20 titled “Prominent Voices Demonize Israel Regarding the Conflict.” Demonizing rhetoric, the ADL warned, can “enable an environment whereby hateful actions against Jews and supporters of Israel are accepted more freely, and where anti-Jewish tropes may be normalized.” One category the list featured was of those “Accusing Israel of ‘Attacking al-Aqsa,’” a hoary libel falsely claiming that Jews want to destroy the central Mosque in Jerusalem. It has been used to incite anti-Jewish riots for a century. What was notable here was one name missing from the list, and arguably the worst offender.

 

On May 12, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez had castigated President Joe Biden on Twitter for expressing Israel’s right to defend itself while noting what supposedly was to blame for the violence: “the expulsions of Palestinians and the attacks on Al Aqsa.” Her name and her statement were missing from the ADL’s list of slanders and slanderers. The Jerusalem Post’s Lahav Harkov asked Greenblatt why.

 

He answered: “We’ve been speaking out pretty regularly, calling out individuals and examples of these crazed—the things I’m talking about right now.”

 

“Any members of Congress, lately?” Harkov responded.

 

“I’ll have to go back and look,” Greenblatt said.

 

He didn’t have to go back and look. It’s likely that the omission was at his explicit direction. He came to the ADL after serving in the Obama administration. His fellow ex-Obama official, Halie Soifer, who served as a national-security adviser to Kamala Harris before she became vice president, took over the flagship Democratic Jewish organization, the Jewish Democratic Council of America. The JDCA’s executive committee is loaded up with current or former presidents and executives of such mainstream Jewish groups as AIPAC, the Jewish Federations, and the American-Jewish Joint Distribution Committee. After pressure built to respond to AOC’s tweet and the others like it, Soifer wrote: “Proud to be a Democrat in this moment when leaders recognize there is no binary choice to be made between Israel’s security & right to self-defense, and Palestinian rights & safety. We can do both at the same time, while rejecting the forced false dichotomy & narrative of divide.” Thus did Soifer give a seal of approval to the effort to dress up hateful anti-Zionism as merely legitimate criticism of Israel’s government.

 

As Harkov noted, “the ADL’s voice hasn’t been heard on some of these members of Congress who have been calling Israel an apartheid state, who have claimed that Israel has raided al Aqsa, who have also said that Israel is killing too many children, implying that it’s intentional.” Indeed, Ocasio-Cortez’s tweet was just the opening salvo. A day later, on May 13, came a chilling session of the House of Representatives, with dark echoes of Jewish history.

 

Several Democratic members of the House took turns standing next to blown-up photos of bloodied Palestinian children and gave fiery speeches denouncing Zionist perfidy—the sorts of words and charges that, since the age of the czars, have been followed by the spilling of Jewish blood. This time was no different, except it wasn’t a Russian backwater or a Munich beer hall. It was on the floor of the United States Congress.

 

One by one, these members of Congress, Democrats all, sought to make the Jewish state the stand-in for “systems of oppression here in the United States and globally,” as Representative Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts put it. Everyone in the world, according to these diatribes, had something to fear from Jerusalem. Ocasio-Cortez, whose family is from Puerto Rico, talked about the U.S. naval exercises held on the Puerto Rican island of Vieques for decades until the Navy left in 2003. The Navy stands accused of testing bombs and other weapons using napalm, depleted uranium, and Agent Orange, sickening the local population. Ocasio-Cortez offered a bizarre conspiratorial accusation: “When I saw those [Israeli] airstrikes that are supported with U.S. funds, I could not help but wonder if our communities were practice for this.”

 

Pressley equated crowd dispersal conducted by Israeli police at a riot on the Temple Mount to “students protesting to end poverty and oppression in the streets of Bogota [being] shot dead,” white supremacists storming the U.S. Capitol, and “police brutality and state-sanctioned violence” against black Americans.

 

Missouri Representative Cori Bush made a point of referring to the holy city as “Jerusalem, Palestine,” and suggested that the U.S. was following an Israeli playbook when it “brutalized” black protesters.

 

Minnesota Representative Ilhan Omar, who has in the past accused American Jews of disloyalty and shared anti-Semitic content on social media, insisted that the source of the conflict was Jewish settlers uprooting Palestinian Arabs and taking nearly all their land—in 1948, in the “Nakba.”

 

Rashida Tlaib, the Michigan-born congresswoman of Palestinian descent who has also relentlessly targeted Jews during her few years in the House, spoke that day, but she had laid the groundwork for it at an anti-Israel protest two days earlier. “What they are doing to the Palestinians is what they are doing to our black brothers and sisters here,” Tlaib told the crowd May 11. As she left the stage, the crowd chanted, “Long live Palestine, down down Israel.”

 

In the days and weeks that followed, even after an Israel–Hamas cease-fire was in place, Jews in America were physically attacked with abandon—diners at restaurants in Los Angeles and Manhattan, Jews on the streets of New York, families in Florida attending synagogue services. The ADL saw a 75 percent uptick in reported incidents. In one typical attack, a group of men reportedly drove around Brooklyn assaulting Jews in the open while yelling, “Free Palestine!”

 

When called out for their silence, progressive Democratic lawmakers condemned “anti-Semitism and Islamophobia” as one, knowing that their audience would interpret any specific denunciation of anti-Semitism as a statement in support of Israel. That’s what happened at Rutgers University, the school with the largest Jewish undergraduate population in the country. Its provost and chancellor put out a statement decrying anti-Semitism and then were bullied into apologizing for it by a pro-Palestinian group on campus that claimed the statement was insensitive to Palestinians.

 

Throughout this whole affair, not a single congressional Democrat would criticize any of his colleagues by name. That includes Chuck Schumer, now the Senate majority leader (whose former top aide is also on the executive committee of the National Jewish Democratic Council), who couldn’t be roused from his cowardly torpor even when explosive devices were thrown at Jews in his own city.

 

The closest anyone came was Representative Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey. He and three other Jewish Democrats wrote a public letter to their leadership referencing the types of hateful comments made by their progressive colleagues—without naming them—in an attempt to get support from Democratic Party leadership. The bid failed. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi stuck with the purveyors of anti-Semitism in her caucus and threw the Jewish Democrats under the bus. Neither the ADL nor the JDCA uttered a peep.

 

As usual, one exceptional voice in all this was that of the American Jewish Committee, whose young leadership director, Seffi Kogen, noted in Newsweek that “while anti-Zionist gangs beat up Jews in her city, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was providing a quasi-intellectual basis for their actions.” But for a large part of the organized Jewish community, the outburst of violence was met with inexcusable surprise.

 

As I wrote in these pages in March 2020, after watching mainstream Jewish organizations and political figures bash President Donald Trump’s peace proposal because they deemed it too biased in favor of Israel’s security: “What’s happening here is more than a skirmish over a peace plan, or a distressing glimpse into the way American Jewry’s leaders privilege their partisan leanings over the fact that their leadership roles in American society are due to their Judaism and not their Democratic Party membership. What we are seeing is the way American Jewish leaders fail to take seriously the rising tide of anti-Semitism that masquerades as ‘anti-Zionism’—and even the way progressive groups enable it.”1

 

Ocasio-Cortez and Tlaib, I explained, elevated leftist Jewish groups such as IfNotNow to new prominence by using them to shield the Squad from accusations of anti-Semitism. With their endorsements, in turn, IfNotNow and the New Israel Fund launched a frontal assault on the Jewish Federations because the latter wouldn’t accept a donation earmarked for IfNotNow. The Jewish establishment was trying to hold the line on support for the Jewish state even as progressive politicians were helping foment a rebellion against these very basic Jewish values. The Squad entered a similar alliance with Jewish Voice for Peace, which had pushed one of the anti-Zionist conspiracy theories that reportedly motivated the perpetrators of the 2019 shooting at a Jewish shop in Jersey City.

 

Nothing has changed. In May 2021, IfNotNow used the occasion of the outbreak of anti-Jewish street violence to launch an invitation to a seminar on “Zionism and Apartheid.” Jewish Democrats in Congress who made general statements against anti-Semitism were accused by Jewish Voice for Peace of “using anti-Semitism as a political weapon to shield the Israeli government from accountability.”

 

Last year, Sean Cooper of Tablet exposed how the Jewish organization Bend the Arc deliberately turned the group’s work away from the Jewish community and toward various liberal and Democratic Party causes, shaping the activism of its member synagogues along the way. Rabbi David Saperstein, who for years led the Reform movement’s political arm, was listed as a Bend the Arc board member and served as President Obama’s religious-freedom ambassador. During the recent spate of violence, Bend the Arc’s political arm took the time to oppose police protection at synagogues on racial grounds, while also blaming the increase in anti-Semitism during the conflict on “white nationalists.”

 

Perhaps the most consequential of the progressive left’s alliances has been with Bernie Sanders, the senator from Vermont and former presidential candidate who arguably has achieved more political success and visibility than any American Jewish politician other than near-miss vice-presidential candidate Joseph Lieberman. Sanders is a mentor and trailblazer for young progressives in Congress, and he made a point of putting the Squad and other anti-Israel activists in visible roles on his 2020 presidential campaign. His moves have scrambled the Jewish community’s response to Sanders’s politics and those of his protégés. That is a feature, not a bug, of this alliance, as far as Sanders and the Squad see it.

 

“What does it look like when a national Jewish community understands what’s at stake?” I asked here last year. My answer then was the united front the UK Jewish community put up to oppose Jeremy Corbyn, the since-deposed Labour leader who had turned his party into a thoroughly anti-Semitic organization that harassed the Jews in its ranks and incited London’s streets against its Jewish community. Nearly nine of out ten UK Jews agreed that Corbyn was an anti-Semite, and before the election that finally sealed Corbyn’s doom, the country’s chief rabbi was moved to speak out against him.

 

Sanders and Corbyn were mutual admirers. Ocasio-Cortez backed Corbyn in his election. The warnings that Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez were openly modeling the future of their party on Corbyn’s Labour went ignored or dismissed. The events of May have made the Democratic Party’s Corbynization indisputable.

 

Events in early June then gave the dwindling band of Democratic anti-Corbynistas one more bite at the apple. On June 7, Omar tweeted a summary of a question she had for Secretary of State Antony Blinken: “We must have the same level of accountability and justice for all victims of crimes against humanity. We have seen unthinkable atrocities committed by the U.S., Hamas, Israel, Afghanistan, and the Taliban. I asked @SecBlinken where people are supposed to go for justice.”

 

The comparison of the U.S. and Israel to Hamas and the Taliban seemed a typically gratuitous demonstration of Omar’s untouchable status. Twelve Jewish Democrats wrote a letter finally naming her while refraining from calling her an anti-Semite.

 

The response to the letter revealed the depressing reality at the core of American Jewish life: the complete abandonment of the Jews by their own supposed watchdogs and the merger of those groups into semiofficial arms of the very political party now enabling their torment. Greenblatt merely retweeted one of the signatories’ tweets of the letter, adding his own comment: “Well said.” His me-tooing of the statement added insult to injury: Not only were the congressmen given no cover by the ADL, but once they ventured into the breach they were given no reinforcement by it. The following morning, the JDCA tweeted: “Jewish Dems will be meeting with Rep. Omar during our Week of Action to discuss her recent comments on Israel, as well as other priorities of Jewish Dems in Minnesota. There is no equivalence between Israel and terrorist organizations such as Hamas.” The organization sounded more annoyed at having to say something than outraged by what Omar had said.

 

The final blow came from Pelosi, who told CNN days later: “We did not rebuke her. We thanked—acknowledged that she made a clarification… Congresswoman Omar is a valued member of our caucus.”

 

What happened in between the release of the letter and Pelosi’s public declaration of Omar’s righteousness was instructive: The Squad went nuclear. Ocasio-Cortez accused her Jewish colleagues of “targeting” Omar and putting her in “danger.” Cori Bush said her Jewish colleagues were motivated by “anti-Blackness and Islamophobia.” Jamaal Bowman, who ousted the pro-Israel stalwart Eliot Engel in a 2020 primary and who represents a New York district with a large Jewish contingent, likewise suggested that the complaints from his colleagues were due to Omar’s being a Muslim black woman. Omar herself complained of the “constant harassment and silencing” by her Jewish colleagues and the “Islamophobic tropes” they supposedly used.

 

It was an astonishingly vile and aggressive coordinated attack against the Jewish group. The ADL was silent. JDCA was silent. The Democratic Party sided with the Squad. The Jewish community had been abandoned to the rise of the dominant left-of-center ideology according to which Jews are part of a white power structure of which Israel is a prime example.

 

Corbyn’s attempt to separate the Jews from the Jewish state in the UK failed miserably. But the Squad’s efforts to do the same here are not failing. And it’s not just in the halls of Congress. The New Yorker’s Helen Rosner suggested it would be a good tactic not to beat up Jews, as part of an overall strategy to undermine Israel’s legitimacy. (This after the New Yorker’s union put out a statement of solidarity with the Palestinians that included the phrase “from the river to the sea.”) Michelle Goldberg of the New York Times wrote a column with a headline so instantly infamous that the Times eventually and quietly changed it: “Attacks on Jews Over Israel Are a Gift to the Right.”

 

Meanwhile, the comedian Sarah Silverman objected to attacks on Jews in Los Angeles not on the grounds that they were evil acts of anti-Semitic violence but rather because “WE ARE NOT ISRAEL.” For his part, Kenneth Roth, the obsessively anti-Israel executive director of Human Rights Watch, declared, “It is WRONG to equate the Jewish people with the apartheid and deadly bombardment of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s government.”

 

Throwing fellow Jews to the wolves is abominable moral behavior. Delicately excising the name and words of a chic Democratic politician from a list of anti-Semitic statements to protect her—or to protect the organization you run from her wrath—constitutes an act of complicity in the violence that ensued in whatever small measure from her remarks. And the man who was thus complicit—Jonathan Greenblatt—had the nerve to act surprised. The anti-Semitic street violence in America is “literally happening from coast to coast, and spreading like wildfire,” Greenblatt told the Times. “The sheer audacity of these attacks feels very different.”

 

It feels different because it feels so familiar. And if the American Jewish community is to survive, it must start acting like it. And we must start by cleaning our own corrupted house.

 

1 “The Rot Inside American Jewish Organizations,” March 2020

 


Affaire Enderlin/20e: Montrez-moi le pays et je vous trouve le crime (Looking back at the fake news of the century)

30 septembre, 2020

https://i1.wp.com/www.theaugeanstables.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/ghetto-boy-2.jpg

Montrez-moi l’homme et je vous trouve le crime. Lavrenti Beria (chef de la police secrète de Staline)
L’image correspondait à la réalité de la situation, non seulement à Gaza, mais en Cisjordanie. Charles Enderlin (Le Figaro, 27/01/05)
The narrative tension of our podcast ‘Caliphate’ is the question of whether his account is true. Rukimini Callimachi (NYT)
If you look at the whole series, we did make it clear in the series that there were questions about his story, but given what happened in Canada, given the allegation he made everything up, we are going to re-report it. Dean Baquet (NYT executive editor)
We are going to look for the truth of his story and inevitably we are going to also ask the question about how we presented him so we are going to put together a group of reporters and take a new look at the story, his story and inevitably how we presented his story. Dean Baquet (NYT executive editor)
In May 2018, Rukmini Callimachi, a star reporter for the New York Times, faced some questions about her reporting. Her podcast series, “Caliphate,” focused on a young Pakistani-Canadian man who claimed that he’d traveled to Syria in 2014 and joined forces with the Islamic State. “Abu Huzayfah” — the man’s nom de guerre — told Callimachi he had executed two men. Trouble was, he told a Canadian interviewer that he’d killed no one. Pressed on the discrepancy, Callimachi told CBC News, “We were able to get to both before any other media had gotten to him, but crucially before law enforcement had gotten to him.… He was speaking to us in this window of time when he essentially thought he had slipped through the cracks.” But last week, as reported previously in this space, Abu Huzayfah was charged with fabricating his life as a terrorist. Scrutiny of this sort occasionally lands on Callimachi’s work. Her reporting has won numerous prizes, but it has also raised questions, including from her own colleagues, about how she gathers and verifies her scoops. Since joining the Times in 2014 from the Associated Press, Callimachi has become the most famous terrorism reporter in the world, in part because of her enterprise on Twitter, where she posted marathon threads about developments on her beat. She sought information everywhere, from chat rooms where terrorists lurked to hot spots like Mosul. Wired in 2016 wrote that she was “arguably the best reporter on the most impor­tant beat in the world.” Poynter in 2017 called her an “unrelenting and insightful observer of terrorism.” A fine collection of plaques commemorates Callimachi’s hard work. She is a four-time finalist for the Pulitzer Prize: first in 2009 for an AP project on the exploitation of children in Africa; next in 2014 for a stunning investigation of al-Qaeda relying on the terrorist network’s own documents; and finally in 2019, for both an exposé on the Islamic State — also driven by documents — and the “Caliphate” podcast. She made history by winning two Overseas Press Club awards for that al-Qaeda investigation. Like the awards, the journalistic stumbles of Callimachi have played out in public, right in the pages of the Times. They have prompted Times reporters to raise concerns with their bosses about her work and the reliability of her sources. Those concerns mix with an awkward and anguished institutional culture: Her critics worry that their complaints are interpreted as professional envy toward a multiplatform star of the Times. “There is some internal and external griping about certain elements of Rukmini’s reporting style,” one source told the Erik Wemple Blog in 2018. “She’s a classic giant personality.… She’s very good at describing her work and taking credit for it and living the risk. There are some people on staff who don’t like that.” Last October, Callimachi published a scoop on an unorthodox situation in which the Islamic State was allegedly paying a rival group — Hurras al-Din — to provide security for late leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. The basis for the story was a series of receipts secured by Callimachi, who had turned terrorist document-hunting into her niche.  (…) Then the story crumbled. An expert quoted in the story as endorsing the receipts’ authenticity wrote a post reviewing the whole situation. Whereas Callimachi indicated in her article that the expert — Aymenn Jawad al-Tamimi — reviewed eight receipts, he had originally been given only four receipts, as a subsequent Times correction made clear. After reviewing all eight, he concluded that they were “not authentic.” (…) Questions were raised, too, over a February 2018 story on the deaths of four U.S. soldiers killed in a fight with militants in the Niger desert. Callimachi spearheaded the paper’s efforts to secure footage shedding light on the incident, and the newspaper issued this disclosure on the video (…) The Times’s decision to purchase the video rights was particularly controversial. To Callimachi’s credit, the story — for which she was the lead byline — made clear the paper’s actions in pursuing the footage. Yet some Times journalists chafed: Why was the paper arranging to procure terrorist propaganda? In particular, the “news agency” from which the video was purchased was not exactly an objective, professional organization. A 2017 story co-authored by Callimachi noted that “Agence Nouakchott d’Information, or ANI, is associated with Al Qaeda’s branches in Africa.” (…) Video was also at the center of a 2016 Callimachi dust-up that embarrassed the Times. In August of that year, Callimachi published an investigative piece about Islamic State efforts to export terrorism around the globe. The narrative tissue for the piece was an interview with Harry Sarfo, a former Islamic State terrorist who fled the territory and returned to Germany, where he was arrested and sentenced to prison. It was such a coup that the newspaper did a “Times Insider” piece — titled “Talking to Terrorists” — in which Callimachi described coming “face to face with a former terrorist whose proof of identity and affiliation were solid enough that she could quote him in a story.” The story that Sarfo told Callimachi — and other outlets as well — was that he was turned off by the bloodlust of the Islamic State and didn’t partake in any such violence. Then The Post dug up some footage that challenged Sarfo’s version of events: “Previously unreleased video shows Sarfo moving doomed hostages into position for a public execution in Palmyra last year, and then apparently firing his own weapon at one of the fallen men. » (…) After Callimachi’s December 2014 story about paying ransom for Islamic State hostages, the Times assigned one of its journalists to vet the story. Tim Arango, then an overseas reporter for the paper, looked into a source who provided the narrative bookends for the story, a man identified as Louai Abo Aljoud, a Syrian journalist who was reported to have glimpsed U.S. hostages of the Islamic State in confinement. Arango’s assignment came after voices both within and outside of the Times raised objections to the reporting. More than a month after the story’s publication, this correction was added: An article on Dec. 28 about the consequences of the United States’ refusal to pay kidnappers to free American hostages referred imprecisely to a Syrian journalist who had been held by the Islamic State terrorist group and said American officials did not pursue information he gave them about Americans being held by the group. The surname of the journalist, Louai Abo Aljoud, is an assumed one that he has been using for several years to protect family members still in Syria; Aljoud is not his real family name. This correction was delayed to verify Mr. Abo Aljoud’s information. The Times told this blog, “After questions were raised, we sent reporters to do a follow up in person interview with the source and did not learn anything that called for further action. We added a correction to the story [nytimes.com] that addressed the source’s name.” (…) Terrorism reporting is one of the toughest beats in journalism. The field is strewn with liars and murderers who are keen on manipulating the world’s most prominent outlets. So occasional screw-ups will happen. But Callimachi has shown a reluctance to reckon with the scrutiny that comes with her standing as journalism’s No. 1 terrorist correspondent. (…) In the immediate aftermath of the Abu Huzayfah news last Friday, the Times supported Callimachi, stating that “uncertainty about Abu Huzayfah’s story is central to every episode of Caliphate that featured him.” It also called the series “responsible journalism that helped listeners understand the power and pull of extremism.” On Wednesday, however, the Times sent a new statement with a different tone: “While the uncertainty about Abu Huzayfah’s story was explored directly in episodes of Caliphate that featured him, his arrest and the allegations surrounding it have raised new and important questions about him and his motivations. We’re undertaking a fresh examination of his history and the way we presented him in our series. We will have more to say when we complete that effort.” Here’s one major New York Times project on the Islamic State that’ll have to proceed without the input of Rukmini Callimachi. Erik Wemple
En répondant à Denis Jeambar et à Daniel Leconte dans le Figaro du 23 janvier 2005 que « l’image correspondait à la réalité de la situation, non seulement à Gaza, mais en Cisjordanie », alors que la diffusion d’un reportage s’entend comme le témoignage de ce que le journaliste a vu et entendu, Charles Enderlin a reconnu que le film qui a fait le tour du monde en entrainant des violences sans précédent dans toute la région ne correspondait peut-être pas au commentaire qu’il avait donné. Laurence Trébucq (Présidente de la Cour d’appel de Paris, 21.05.08)
This is not staging, it’s playing for the camera. When they threw stones and Molotov cocktails, it was in part for the camera. That doesn’t mean it’s not true. They wanted to be filmed throwing stones and being hit by rubber bullets. All of us — the ARD too — did reports on kids confronting the Israeli army, in order to be filmed in Ramallah, in Gaza. That’s not staging, that’s reality. Charles Enderlin
La mort de Mohammed annule, efface celle de l’enfant juif, les mains en l’air devant les SS, dans le Ghetto de Varsovie. Catherine Nay (Europe 1)
Enderlin (Charles) : Scénariste et producteur de fictions. Capable de transformer le vivant en mort ; de faire apparaître et disparaître les cicatrices ; d’empêcher les blessures par balles de guerre de saigner. Journaliste à l’objectivité sans faille. Modèle professionnel de Jacques Chirac et des journalistes français. Détenteur de rushes invisibles, mais néanmoins accablants. Les montrera le jour suivant la Saint-GlinGlin 2019, à cause d’une clause signée avec les acteurs, MM. Al-Dura père et fils. Laurent Murawiec
Ce reportage de 27 secondes a été une « source d’inspiration » et a servi à justifier le terrorisme, l’antisémitisme, et la délégitimation de l’Etat juif. L’image choc a été diffusée et rediffusée sur toutes les chaînes de la planète et a déclenché dans les territoires et en Israël des vagues de protestation, de haine et de violence. Depuis lors, « les soldats de Tsahal sont désormais des tueurs à gage et des assassins d’enfants innocents. » « Les soldats juifs se comportent comme des nazis… » Et l’enfant palestinien devient martyr et comparé à la célèbre photo de l’enfant juif du ghetto de Varsovie, levant les bras devant un soldat allemand… Dans les pays arabes, la mort du petit Mohammed est sur toutes les lèvres. Des milliers de photos sont affichées sur les murs des rues et dans les appartements. Les nouveau-nés prennent le nom de Mohammed al-Doura. Des timbres nationaux et des places publiques aussi. L’enfant tué « avec préméditation » devient le symbole de la lutte des Palestiniens contre l’occupation israélienne dans les territoires et dans les pays islamiques. Freddy Eytan
Ce reportage est devenu une « affaire » parce qu’il a été monté de toutes pièces, semblable à « l’affaire Dreyfus » dans lequel on retrouve désinformation, manipulation et mensonge, Charles Enderlin n’était même pas présent sur le lieu du « crime » qu’il décrivait. Avec une différence, la France de Dreyfus était divisée, alors que la France d’Enderlin est unie dans son antisionisme, il y a même un parti politique antisioniste, le PAS. (…) Charles Enderlin est coupable d’avoir oublié ses certitudes et d’avoir fait siennes les convictions d’une France majoritairement antisioniste, anti-israélienne. Charles Enderlin est coupable d’avoir choisi l’autre côté, l’autre coté, c’est le chemin de tout le monde, c’est le chemin de la majorité. La France veut des reportages anti-israéliens, Charles Enderlin va les lui fournir, avec zèle. (…) Charles Enderlin s’est condamné lui-même, il est condamné à être l’ami de tous les anti-sionistes, les anti-Israéliens, les antijuifs, du premier tristement célèbre d’entre eux, Pascal Boniface. Lui le juif, le sioniste, va servir d’alibi à Dieudonné et à ses amis, il va devenir leur exemple, leur modèle. Raphaël Kalfon
Il est maintenant établi, grâce au travail d’investigation de personnes issues de pays et de professions très variées (journalistes, documentaristes, universitaires, experts médicaux et balistiques) que le reportage diffusé le 30 septembre 2000 au JT de France 2, où Charles Enderlin affirme, sur la foi d’images tournées à Gaza par son cameraman palestinien Talal Abou Rahma qu’un enfant, Mohammed Al Dura, a été tué et son père Jamal grièvement blessé par des tirs venus d’une position militaire israélienne, était une mise en scène. Depuis douze ans, Charles Enderlin s’est enfermé dans un déni le contraignant à enchaîner mensonges sur mensonges pour sauver sa peau de journaliste vedette de la chaîne publique française. Depuis douze ans tous les moyens ont été mis en œuvre pour faire obstacle au surgissement de cette vérité maintenant admise presque partout, sauf en France. France Télévisions a d’abord prétexté de la protection des sources pour ne pas livrer à la justice les « rushes », c’est-à-dire les images tournées par Talal Abou Rahma, mais non diffusées dans le sujet du JT. Lorsqu’elles furent rendues publiques sur l’injonction de la présidente de la Cour d’appel de Paris, il apparut de manière éclatante que la version servie jusque-là par Enderlin et France 2 ne tenait pas la route : les images invalidaient tous les récits du drame dont ses protagonistes ne s’étaient pas montrés avares dans les médias du monde entier. L’affirmation répétée moult fois par Enderlin qu’il avait coupé au montage celles montrant l’agonie de l’enfant, car elles étaient trop horribles, s’est révélée totalement mensongère. D’autres éléments mis en lumière par ces rushes sont tout aussi accablants pour la thèse défendue par France 2 : absence de sang sur les vêtements de Mohammed et Jamal Al Dura, incompatibilité des cicatrices présentes sur le corps du père avec des blessures par balles, etc. Une journaliste allemande de premier plan, Esther Schapira, aujourd’hui chef du service documentaire de la principale chaîne de télévision d’Outre-Rhin a réuni, dans un film impressionnant « L’enfant, la mort et la vérité » (http://vimeo.com/59475901) une série de témoignages accablants pour Charles Enderlin et Talal Abou Rahma. Leurs mensonges successifs, leurs faux fuyants ne résistent pas une seconde aux « vérités de faits » collectés sur le terrain, à Gaza et en Israël. Les téléspectateurs français ont été privés de la possibilité de se faire une opinion sur le travail d’Esther Schapira : France 2 a exercé des pressions sur toutes les chaînes diffusées en France, y compris ARTE, pourtant franco-allemande, pour empêcher de programmer ce documentaire. Pire, elle a menacé l’ARD de dénoncer les accords de coopération entre les deux chaînes si l’ARD vendait ce programme à l’étranger. Fort heureusement, les dirigeants de cette dernière ne se sont pas laissé intimider par France 2 et le documentaire a été diffusé en Israël et de nombreux pays. Luc Rosenzweig
La tâche sacrée des journalistes musulmans est, d’une part, de protéger la Umma des « dangers imminents », et donc, à cette fin, de « censurer tous les matériaux » et, d’autre part, « de combattre le sionisme et sa politique colonialiste de création d’implantations, ainsi que son anéantissement impitoyable du peuple palestinien ». Charte des médias islamiques de grande diffusion (Jakarta, 1980)
Il s’agit de formes d’expression artistique, mais tout cela sert à exprimer la vérité… Nous n’oublions jamais nos principes journalistiques les plus élevés auxquels nous nous sommes engagés, de dire la vérité et rien que la vérité. Haut responsable de la Télévision de l’Autorité palestinienne
Karsenty est donc si choqué que des images truquées soient utilisées et éditées à Gaza ? Mais cela a lieu partout à la télévision, et aucun journaliste de télévision de terrain, aucun monteur de film, ne seraient choqués. Clément Weill-Raynal (France 3)
Nous avons toujours respecté (et continuerons à respecter) les procédures journalistiques de l’Autorité palestinienne en matière d’exercice de la profession de journaliste en Palestine… (Roberto Cristiano, représentant de la « chaîne de télévision officielle RAI, Lettre à l’Autorité palestinienne)
Je suis venu au journalisme afin de poursuivre la lutte en faveur de mon peuple. Talal Abu Rahma (lors de la réception d’un prix, au Maroc, en 2001, pour sa vidéo sur al-Dura)

Montrez-moi le pays et je vous trouve le crime !

En ce triste 20e anniversaire …

Du faux du siècle …

Et d’un reportage de 27 secondes qui, diffusé et rediffusé sur la planète entière et entre posters, timbres et noms de rue …

A inspiré et servi à justifier les pires exactions terroristes comme l’antisémitisme et la délégitimation de l’Etat d’Israël …

Alors que le New York Times ajoute une nouvelle recrue à sa déjà longue liste de faussaires

Et à l’heure où complètement discrédités – Accord du siècle de Trump oblige – par leurs anciens soutiens au sein même du Monde arabe …

Les dirigeants, de l’Autorité palestinienne au Hamas et au Hezbollah, des divers mouvements terroristes palestiniens …

N’auront bientôt plus comme raison d’être pour continuer à martyriser leur peuple et assassiner des innocents …

Que la perversité de leurs commanditaires iraniens, turcs et qataris …

Ou, Macron et Biden en tête, l’ignorance et la naïveté de leurs idiots utiles occidentaux …

Quelle meilleure et plus révélatrice preuve de l’infâmie …

Que cette phrase de celui par qui, avec l’aide du correspondant de France 2 Charles Enderlin, le scandale est arrivé …

Et que célèbre aujourd’hui 20 ans après la notoire chaine boute-feu qatarie Al Jazeera

Le preneur de vue palestinien lui-même, Tala Abou Rahma, lors de la réception d’un prix un an plus tard au Maroc:

« Je suis venu au journalisme afin de poursuivre la lutte en faveur de mon peuple » ?

Behind the lens: Remembering Muhammad al-Durrah, 20 years on

Twenty years ago, a video of a 12-year-old boy being killed in Gaza reverberated around the world. Talal Abu Rahma, the cameraman who shot the video, remembers that day.

On September 30, 2000, a Palestinian cameraman from Gaza, Talal Abu Rahma, shot a video of a father and his 12-year-old son under fire on the Saladin Road, south of Gaza City. The boy, Muhammad al-Durrah, was mortally wounded and died soon after.

The video of Jamal al-Durrah trying to shield his son as bullets rained down on them was aired by France 2, the news channel Abu Rahma was working for. It became one of the most powerful images of the Second Intifada.

The Israeli government tried to challenge the veracity of the video, with the Israeli military denying that its soldiers had been responsible.

It took until 2013 for a French court to vindicate France 2 and Abu Rahma, ultimately upholding their defamation case against Philippe Karsenty, a French media commentator who had accused them of staging the video, and fining him 7,000 euros.

Abu Rahma, who has won numerous awards for his work, including the Rory Peck Award in 2001, is now based in Greece, where he, his wife and six-year-old son are residents. He works between there and Amman, Jordan. He has been banned from returning to Gaza since 2017.

Twenty years on, he recalls the events of that day:

The day before, I was in Jerusalem working at the France 2 office. Charles Enderlin, the France 2 bureau chief in Jerusalem, called me at 10am and said “I am sending you the car, you have to go back quickly to Gaza because the situation in the West Bank is getting very, very bad.”

So I went back. Charles called me when I arrived and asked about the situation in Gaza. I said: “Gaza, it’s quiet, nothing in Gaza.” “OK,” he replied, “well keep your eyes on it, if anything happens, just let me know and go and film.”

At 3pm, 4pm, there was nothing happening. It was a Friday, you know. The West Bank was on fire, but Gaza was really quiet. I knew why it was quiet – because the schools were closed and it was the holy day.

We were watching the situation and I knew, as a journalist, that on Saturday morning there would be a demonstration in Gaza. At that time there were three very sensitive points in Gaza – one at Erez, one north of Gaza City, and the third in the middle, on Saladin Road.

Many people have asked why I went to Saladin Road. It was because it was in the middle. If something happened in Erez or elsewhere I could quickly move there. Like me, all the journalists knew what would happen on Saturday morning. I went down at about 7am because that is the time the students go to school and I knew there would be lots of people around.

They started throwing stones. And hour by hour it increased. I was in contact with my colleagues at Erez, to know what was going on over there – as that was the real hot point.

I stayed where I was until about 1pm. At this point it was tear gas, it was rubber bullets, it was stone-throwing; you know, it was normal. But there were a lot of people throwing stones. Not hundreds. Thousands.

I called the office and told them that about 40 people had been injured by rubber bullets and tear gas. Charles told me “OK, try to make interviews and send it in by satellite.”

‘It was raining bullets’

As I was conducting my second interview, the shooting started. I took my camera off its stand and put it on my shoulder. I started moving left and right to see who was shooting – shooting like crazy. Who was shooting at whom and why, I really didn’t know. I tried to hide myself because there were a lot of bullets flying around.

There was a van to my left, so I hid behind it. Then a few children came and hid there, too. At that point, I hadn’t seen the man and the boy. Ambulances were arriving and taking the injured away.

I could not hear anybody over the sound of the bullets. It just kept getting worse. There was a lot of shooting, many injured. I was really scared. There was blood on the ground. People were running, falling down; they didn’t know where the bullets were coming from, they were just trying to hide. I was confused about what to do to – whether to continue filming or to run away. But I’m a stubborn journalist.

At that moment, Charles called and asked me, “Talal, do you have your helmet on, do you have your jacket on?” Because he knows me, I don’t put the helmet and flak jacket on – it’s too heavy. But he was screaming at me, “Put it on, please, Talal.” I got really mad because I didn’t want to hear it. I told him, “I am in danger. Please, Charles, if something happens to me, take care of my family.” Then I hung up the phone.

In that moment, I was thinking about my family: about my girls, about my boy, about my wife, and about myself. I could smell death. Every second I was checking myself to see if I had been injured.

Then one of the children who was hiding beside me said: “They are shooting at them.” I asked: “Shooting at who?” That was when I saw the man and the boy against the wall. They were hiding and the man was moving his hand and saying something. The bullets were coming right at them. But I couldn’t tell where they were coming from.

In the corner on the right side of the man, there were Israeli soldiers and Palestinian security forces. In front of that point was the Israeli base. What could I do? I couldn’t cross the street. It was too busy and very wide, and the shooting was like rain. I couldn’t do anything.

The children beside me were scared and screaming and, in that moment, I saw through my camera that the boy had been injured. Then the man was injured, but he was still waving and shouting, asking for help, asking for the shooting to stop. The boys with me were really going crazy. I was trying to calm them down. I was scared about taking care of myself and them. But I had to film. This is my career. This is my work. I was not there just to take care of myself. There is a rule: a picture is not more valuable than a life. But, believe me, I tried to protect myself and I tried to save this boy and the father, but the shooting was too much.

France 2 TV footage shows Muhammad al-Durrah after he was fatally struck in the abdomen; his seriously wounded father, Jamal, shook with convulsions and lost consciousness, and was later hospitalised in Gaza [Photo by France 2/AFP]

It was too dangerous to cross the street. It was raining bullets. Then, I heard a boom and the picture was filled with white smoke.

Before the boom, the boy was alive but injured. I think the first injury was to his leg. But after the smoke moved, the next time I saw the boy, he was laying down on his father’s lap and his father was against the wall, not moving. The boy was bleeding from his stomach.

The ambulances tried to get in many times. I saw them. But they couldn’t because it was too dangerous. Eventually, one ambulance came in and picked up the boy and the man. I whistled to the driver, he saw me clearly and slowed down. I asked if we could go with him. He said, “No, no, no, I have very serious cases” and then he drove off.

When the shooting stopped, the boys near me started running, left and right. I stayed by myself and then decided to walk away. I walked for about five to seven minutes towards my car. I was trying to call the office in Jerusalem – it took a while to get a signal back then when mobile phones were still quite new. As I was walking, I saw a colleague from another news agency.

I asked him, “How many injured, how many killed?” He told me about three. I said, “Look, if you are talking about the three dead, add another two. I think there are another two, they were killed against the wall.” I showed him what I had filmed and he started screaming, “Oh no! Oh no! This is Jamal, this is his son, Muhammad, they were in the market. Oh my God, oh my God!”

I asked him, “Do you know them?” He replied, “Yes, I am married to his sister.”

The office was silent

I called Charles and he asked me, “Where have you been?” I said, “Don’t talk to me, I am very tired.” He said, “OK, you’ve got until 5pm, go feed it right now.”

When I fed the footage, everyone in my office in Gaza and in the France 2 office in Jerusalem went quiet. You couldn’t hear any noise. Everyone was astonished; even the journalists around me.

Charles spoke first. He said, “OK, Talal, I think you need to rest because this is unbelievable. But are you sure no one else filmed it?”

I said, “I was on my own, you can write exclusive for France 2.”

He said, “OK, go rest” and I went back home.

‘The camera doesn’t lie’

Then Charles called me back and asked me some questions: the angles of my footage, my position, how, who – a lot of questions. It aired at 8pm that day but Charles had to deal with a lot of questions. High-level people in Paris and Israel, he called the Israeli army, as he was obliged to, according to the law. These were strong pictures.

High-level people in Paris started asking me questions. I answered it all, knowing that Charles trusts me and knows who I am. I am not biased. From the beginning, before I started working for France 2, Charles told me, “Talal, don’t be biased.” And up until now I have taken him at his word, not to be biased.

There was a lot of talk about this video, claims that it was fake. But the people saying this didn’t even know the area. There were a lot of calls and investigations with me about how true the images were. I had one answer for them. The camera doesn’t lie. Whatever they say about these pictures, it can’t hurt me, except in one way – my career. They hurt what I am working for – journalism. To me journalism is my religion, my language, there are no borders for journalism.

I received a lot of awards for that video. I was honoured in Dubai, in Qatar, even in London twice. I received awards from America and France. I really don’t know how these people think we could have staged it.

The day after the shooting, I went to the hospital to see Jamal. I could not talk to him too much. I took a few pictures and spoke to a doctor who told me that Jamal’s condition was very bad, that there were a lot of bullets in his body.

A few people asked me how much we sold the pictures for. But France 2 told me the images would be distributed for free and I was in agreement with them. They said, “We will not make money from the blood of children.”

The court case in Paris went on until 2013. We won. We didn’t receive any money at all from the case. It was the dignity of our job that pushed us to fight the case.

This account has been edited for clarity and brevity.

Voir aussi:


Caricatures: Un antisémite est caché dans ce dessin, sauras-tu le retrouver ? (Looking back with Plantu at Le Monde’s long tradition of antisemitic cartoons)

3 novembre, 2019

Image result for Plantu est caché dans ce dessin, sauras-tu le retrouverImage result for Plantu antisemitic cartoonsRelated imageRelated imageRelated imageImage result for Plantu antisemitic cartoons

PALESTINE-550MUR-BERLIN-PALESTINE-550Related image
Image result for Plantu antisemitic cartoons
Related imageRelated imageImage result for Plantu caricatures antisémites 29 juillet 2015L’antisémitisme, c’est de prendre l’exemple d’une caractéristique ou d’une action qui est répandue, sinon universelle, et de n’en accuser que les Juifs. Alan Dershowitz
Le Monde should be mindful that what started as cartoons in the 1930’s ultimately led to violence and unspeakable tragedy. French Jewry has seen enough in the way of terror and violence and anti-Semitic vitriol, undoubtedly fueled by hateful cartoons like these. It’s not only libelous, it’s reckless and dangerous in light of the terror attacks earlier this year. There is an ignorance and prejudice buried in the image itself. It says more about the preconception in the mind of the illustrator than the reality on the ground. Joe Hyams (HonestReporting)
A political cartoon is one of the most effective tools of communication. People see an image and remember it longer than an article or an essay. Unfortunately, it’s also an extremely effective way of passing misinformation. And that’s the problem with a recent cartoon in Le Monde, France’s paper of record. The cartoon shows an IDF soldier firing his gun at Palestinian civilians, who appear to be dying in the rubble in front of him. The soldier is joined by a stereotypical religious Jew, depicted with a long beard, hat and coat, and even a rifle on his shoulder. The religious Jew is also holding a suitcase labeled New Settlements, and he’s telling the soldier: “Can’t you shoot any quicker? I’m in a hurry to move in!” In the background, an Israeli helicopter is firing on Palestinian buildings. The meaning of the cartoon is unmistakable: Israel is intentionally killing Palestinians in order to steal the land for its own use. The cartoon, by veteran cartoonist Jean Plantureux (known as Plantu), is shocking not only because of its false and gruesome depiction of Israeli soldiers and its caricature of the religious but also because it comes at a time of deep soul searching in Israel over the death of a Palestinian baby, who was killed in a house fire widely believed to have been set by Jewish extremists. The incident was widely condemned across Israeli society and led to stricter security measures against Israeli extremists. To present Israeli soldiers as wanton killers and religious Jews as promoters of genocide is a crass distortion of Israel that will breed more hate towards Jews and less understanding of the complex reality in the region. The death of the baby does not appear to be referenced in the cartoon. Instead, it may have been triggered by an announcement of plans for 300 new units in the settlements, which took place as Israeli security forces grappled with the removal of Jewish homes in Beit El. Honest reporting

Un antisémite est caché dans ces dessins, sauras-tu le retrouver ?

Suite à l’invitation de Plantu lui-même sur sa page Facebook

Avec la reproduction de son dessin faussement didactique de l’Express de 2015 …

Intitulé « Un Etat palestinien est caché dans ce dessin, sauras-tu le retrouver ? » …

Et dénonçant les nouvelles implantations (pardon: « colonies » israéliennes) dans les territoires occupés (pardon: « palestiniens ») …

Petit retour en images …

Les quelques exceptions qui confirment la règle mises à part …

Sur la longue tradition à laquelle …

Entre deux caricatures anti-américaines

Il a largement contribué avec Le Monde

Israel Accused of Genocide in Outrageous Cartoon

A political cartoon is one of the most effective tools of communication. People see an image and remember it longer than an article or an essay. Unfortunately, it’s also an extremely effective way of passing misinformation. And that’s the problem with a recent cartoon in Le Monde, France’s paper of record.

The cartoon shows an IDF soldier firing his gun at Palestinian civilians, who appear to be dying in the rubble in front of him. The soldier is joined by a stereotypical religious Jew, depicted with a long beard, hat and coat, and even a rifle on his shoulder. The religious Jew is also holding a suitcase labeled New Settlements, and he’s telling the soldier: “Can’t you shoot any quicker? I’m in a hurry to move in!” In the background, an Israeli helicopter is firing on Palestinian buildings.

The meaning of the cartoon is unmistakable: Israel is intentionally killing Palestinians in order to steal the land for its own use.

The cartoon, by veteran cartoonist Jean Plantureux (known as Plantu), is shocking not only because of its false and gruesome depiction of Israeli soldiers and its caricature of the religious but also because it comes at a time of deep soul searching in Israel over the death of a Palestinian baby, who was killed in a house fire widely believed to have been set by Jewish extremists.

The incident was widely condemned across Israeli society and led to stricter security measures against Israeli extremists. To present Israeli soldiers as wanton killers and religious Jews as promoters of genocide is a crass distortion of Israel that will breed more hate towards Jews and less understanding of the complex reality in the region.

The death of the baby does not appear to be referenced in the cartoon. Instead, it may have been triggered by an announcement of plans for 300 new units in the settlements, which took place as Israeli security forces grappled with the removal of Jewish homes in Beit El.

It’s actually the third straight cartoon by Plantu on the settlement issue, but the first directly accusing Israel of genocide.

HonestReporting CEO Joe Hyams condemned Le Monde for spreading hateful propaganda that reinforces a false narrative.

“Le Monde should be mindful that what started as cartoons in the 1930’s ultimately led to violence and unspeakable tragedy,” Mr Hyams said. “French Jewry has seen enough in the way of terror and violence and anti-Semitic vitriol, undoubtedly fueled by hateful cartoons like these.

“It’s not only libelous, it’s reckless and dangerous in light of the terror attacks earlier this year. There is an ignorance and prejudice buried in the image itself. It says more about the preconception in the mind of the illustrator than the reality on the ground,” he added.

CALL TO ACTION:

We call on Le Monde to remove the cartoon and acknowledge the damage to the Jewish community. Let the editors know what you think on their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/lemonde.fr

This is not the first time Israel has been demonized through political cartoons. The slidshow below looks at some of the recent examples.


Fake news: Haro sur le Daily Mail ! (After the Wikipedia ban of the British conservative Daily Mail as a reliable source, is the antisemitic cartoon-peddling NYT next in the post-truth firing line ?)

31 mai, 2019
https://jcdurbant.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/efe2c-daily2bmail2bdishonest2b2017.pngMail Online
https://twitter.com/Harry1T6/status/1122140959968350209?ref_src=twsrc^tfw
https://attachment.outlook.live.net/owa/jcdurbant@hotmail.com/service.svc/s/GetAttachmentThumbnail?id=AQMkADAwATY3ZmYAZS05MDAAZi1mMDI2LTAwAi0wMAoARgAAAwf26UruuHpNgPESRMt0rWQHADannVklcqRNqU0NZSec%2BtQAAAIBDAAAADannVklcqRNqU0NZSec%2BtQAAqovLkoAAAABEgAQAEOQyK65KvxJqZKslJr0tXI%3D&thumbnailType=2&owa=outlook.live.com&scriptVer=2019062302.04&isc=1&X-OWA-CANARY=hdnPcLD_JU2v4t7toGQ4gUDipXQI_dYYkx-t-ELpQcZKSPljavd084kMKR0AzGXbNUTy5L46iUg.&token=eyJhbGciOiJSUzI1NiIsImtpZCI6IjA2MDBGOUY2NzQ2MjA3MzdFNzM0MDRFMjg3QzQ1QTgxOENCN0NFQjgiLCJ4NXQiOiJCZ0Q1OW5SaUJ6Zm5OQVRpaDhSYWdZeTN6cmciLCJ0eXAiOiJKV1QifQ.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.KUnb_BwnBFbX-Yndt6elF8uQlxCuz0P2ry67Fo_ZeZke0fMjyos1Ka5gw8mg6xaBLugLbZfyqf0WB9qe_QCgmtCBOAwFOD66cGsF8cnz5TUl2-Kmbye-bjJTJ7DeRyx3LtOAqaqS4OiMv8y61Baqb8UADZ4Tywtk0ffzMyWIbXLJcg8_pV5pmSSaobq_TYzNNhQ_VFTXag48QJp1d0kJ7PUtnA1UdX2angUzi6j07CHfUHOSiKl-zN8WI71h3Xy1NcUr7r9NNTLo7bRxjQ6oQ_k3WWn1rxKfGhoHChxChMjNkvnOy-1iK6Pp5-mR6zeFmwjNXVDWCbKs61eM3E51Cg&animation=trueLife is a continual story of shattered dreams. (…) Now not only is that struggle structured out somewhere in the external forces of the universe, it’s structured in our own lives. Psychologists have tried to grapple with it in their way, and so they say various things. (…) There’s a civil war going on. There is a schizophrenia, as the psychologists or the psychiatrists would call it, going on within all of us. And there are times that all of us know somehow that there is a Mr. Hyde and a Dr. Jekyll in us. (…) sometimes we even have to end up crying out with Saint Augustine as he said in his Confessions, « Lord, make me pure, but not yet. » We end up crying out with the Apostle Paul, « The good that I would I do not: And the evil that I would not, that I do. » Or we end up having to say with Goethe that « there’s enough stuff in me to make both a gentleman and a rogue. » There’s a tension at the heart of human nature. And whenever we set out to dream our dreams and to build our temples, we must be honest enough to recognize it. And this brings me to the basic point of the text. In the final analysis, God does not judge us by the separate incidents or the separate mistakes that we make, but by the total bent of our lives. In the final analysis, God knows that his children are weak and they are frail. In the final analysis, what God requires is that your heart is right. Salvation isn’t reaching the destination of absolute morality, but it’s being in the process and on the right road. Martin Luther King (Ebenezer Baptist Church, Atlanta, Georgia, March 3, 1968)
L’image correspondait à la réalité de la situation, non seulement à Gaza, mais en Cisjordanie. Charles Enderlin (Le Figaro, 27/01/05)
Look, you read it, right? You liked it? You had fun? Well, what’s the problem? Armisen-as-Wolff
The Israelis say they’re actually trying to restrict our access to these areas and they say it’s too dangerous for you to be there and my response to that is that it wouldn’t be nearly as dangerous if you didn’t shoot at us when we’re clearly labelled as CNN crews and journalists. And so this must stop, this targeting of the news media both literally and figuratively must come to an end immediately. Eason Jordan
Over the last dozen years I made 13 trips to Baghdad to lobby the government to keep CNN’s Baghdad bureau open and to arrange interviews with Iraqi leaders. Each time I visited, I became more distressed by what I saw and heard — awful things that could not be reported because doing so would have jeopardized the lives of Iraqis, particularly those on our Baghdad staff. For example, in the mid-1990’s one of our Iraqi cameramen was abducted. For weeks he was beaten and subjected to electroshock torture in the basement of a secret police headquarters because he refused to confirm the government’s ludicrous suspicion that I was the Central Intelligence Agency’s Iraq station chief. CNN had been in Baghdad long enough to know that telling the world about the torture of one of its employees would almost certainly have gotten him killed and put his family and co-workers at grave risk. Working for a foreign news organization provided Iraqi citizens no protection. The secret police terrorized Iraqis working for international press services who were courageous enough to try to provide accurate reporting. Some vanished, never to be heard from again. Others disappeared and then surfaced later with whispered tales of being hauled off and tortured in unimaginable ways. Obviously, other news organizations were in the same bind we were when it came to reporting on their own workers. We also had to worry that our reporting might endanger Iraqis not on our payroll. I knew that CNN could not report that Saddam Hussein’s eldest son, Uday, told me in 1995 that he intended to assassinate two of his brothers-in-law who had defected and also the man giving them asylum, King Hussein of Jordan. If we had gone with the story, I was sure he would have responded by killing the Iraqi translator who was the only other participant in the meeting. After all, secret police thugs brutalized even senior officials of the Information Ministry, just to keep them in line (one such official has long been missing all his fingernails). Still, I felt I had a moral obligation to warn Jordan’s monarch, and I did so the next day. King Hussein dismissed the threat as a madman’s rant. A few months later Uday lured the brothers-in-law back to Baghdad; they were soon killed. I came to know several Iraqi officials well enough that they confided in me that Saddam Hussein was a maniac who had to be removed. One Foreign Ministry officer told me of a colleague who, finding out his brother had been executed by the regime, was forced, as a test of loyalty, to write a letter of congratulations on the act to Saddam Hussein. An aide to Uday once told me why he had no front teeth: henchmen had ripped them out with pliers and told him never to wear dentures, so he would always remember the price to be paid for upsetting his boss. Again, we could not broadcast anything these men said to us. (…) Then there were the events that were not unreported but that nonetheless still haunt me. A 31-year-old Kuwaiti woman, Asrar Qabandi, was captured by Iraqi secret police occupying her country in 1990 for  »crimes, » one of which included speaking with CNN on the phone. They beat her daily for two months, forcing her father to watch. In January 1991, on the eve of the American-led offensive, they smashed her skull and tore her body apart limb by limb. A plastic bag containing her body parts was left on the doorstep of her family’s home. I felt awful having these stories bottled up inside me. Now that Saddam Hussein’s regime is gone, I suspect we will hear many, many more gut-wrenching tales from Iraqis about the decades of torment. At last, these stories can be told freely. Eason Jordan (2003)
The only CNN journalist wounded in that region was Ben Wedeman, who got shot when he wandered into a crossfire. [Jordan’s] own producer, Bruce Conover, told CNN that no one could tell who shot him, as the bullets and mortars were flying in from all directions. Ed Morrisey
[Eason Jordan] made a mistake. I did not think he deserved to lose his job over it. A little context is important. He had just come back from Baghdad, 16th trip. We were on the eve of the elections there. He was extremely tense, because he thought a CNN journalist as well as other journalists were in great danger there, and he was — he praised U.S. troops for protecting CNN journalists and others, but he said, look, this is a place where we lost 63 journalists on all sides, and journalists on all sides are being — are getting killed often carelessly — and he used the word targeting. And certainly left the impression that U.S. troops were targeting journalists on the other side — Al Jazeera, for example — just as insurgents were clearly targeting American journalists. And it was a startling charge, and I think everybody in the room sort of, you know, their head swerved. But as soon as he said it, it was clear he knew he had made a mistake. He had gone too far. Used — he’d been — his emotions I think just got the better of him. And he tried to walk it back. And he tried to be — clarify it. But soon it was on the blog, and frankly, the — it just — the story just built up. David Gergen
As prejudices go, anti-Semitism can sometimes be hard to pin down, but on Thursday the opinion pages of The New York Times international edition provided a textbook illustration of it. Except that The Times wasn’t explaining anti-Semitism. It was purveying it. It did so in the form of a cartoon, provided to the newspaper by a wire service and published directly above an unrelated column by Tom Friedman, in which a guide dog with a prideful countenance and the face of Benjamin Netanyahu leads a blind, fat Donald Trump wearing dark glasses and a black yarmulke. Lest there be any doubt as to the identity of the dog-man, it wears a collar from which hangs a Star of David. Here was an image that, in another age, might have been published in the pages of Der Stürmer. The Jew in the form of a dog. The small but wily Jew leading the dumb and trusting American. The hated Trump being Judaized with a skullcap. The nominal servant acting as the true master. The cartoon checked so many anti-Semitic boxes that the only thing missing was a dollar sign. (…) The Times has a longstanding Jewish problem, dating back to World War II, when it mostly buried news about the Holocaust, and continuing into the present day in the form of intensely adversarial coverage of Israel. The criticism goes double when it comes to the editorial pages, whose overall approach toward the Jewish state tends to range, with some notable exceptions, from tut-tutting disappointment to thunderous condemnation. (…) The problem with the cartoon isn’t that its publication was a willful act of anti-Semitism. It wasn’t. The problem is that its publication was an astonishing act of ignorance of anti-Semitism — and that, at a publication that is otherwise hyper-alert to nearly every conceivable expression of prejudice, from mansplaining to racial microaggressions to transphobia. Imagine, for instance, if the dog on a leash in the image hadn’t been the Israeli prime minister but instead a prominent woman such as Nancy Pelosi, a person of color such as John Lewis, or a Muslim such as Ilhan Omar. Would that have gone unnoticed by either the wire service that provides the Times with images or the editor who, even if he were working in haste, selected it? The question answers itself. And it raises a follow-on: How have even the most blatant expressions of anti-Semitism become almost undetectable to editors who think it’s part of their job to stand up to bigotry? The reason is the almost torrential criticism of Israel and the mainstreaming of anti-Zionism, including by this paper, which has become so common that people have been desensitized to its inherent bigotry. So long as anti-Semitic arguments or images are framed, however speciously, as commentary about Israel, there will be a tendency to view them as a form of political opinion, not ethnic prejudice. But as I noted in a Sunday Review essay in February, anti-Zionism is all but indistinguishable from anti-Semitism in practice and often in intent, however much progressives try to deny this. Add to the mix the media’s routine demonization of Netanyahu, and it is easy to see how the cartoon came to be drawn and published: Already depicted as a malevolent Jewish leader, it’s just a short step to depict him as a malevolent Jew. The paper (…) owes itself some serious reflection as to how its publication came, to many longtime readers, as a shock but not a surprise. Bret L. Stephens
The past several days have left many Jews in the United States feeling shell-shocked. Attacks against them seem to be coming from all quarters. First, on Thursday, the New York Times’ International Edition published a stunningly antisemitic cartoon on its op-ed page. It portrayed a blind President Donald Trump wearing the garb of an ultra-Orthodox Jew, replete with a black suit and a black yarmulke, with the blackened sunglasses of a blind man being led by a seeing-eye dog with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s face. If the message – that Jewish dogs are leading the blind American by the nose — wasn’t clear enough, the Netanyahu dog was wearing a collar with a Star of David medallion, just to make the point unmistakable. Under a torrent of criticism, after first refusing to apologize for the cartoon, which it removed from its online edition, the Times issued an acknowledment on Sunday, but has taken no action against the editors responsible. Two days after the Times published its hateful cartoon, Jews at the Chabad House synagogue in Poway, outside San Diego, were attacked by a rifle-bearing white supremacist as they prayed. (…) On the face of things, there is no meaningful connection between the Times’ cartoon and the Poway attack. In his online manifesto, Earnest presented himself as a Nazi in the mold of Robert Bowers, the white supremacist who massacred 11 Jews at the Tree of Life Synagogue last October. The New York Times, on the other hand, is outspoken in its hatred of white supremacists whom it associates with President Donald Trump, the paper’s archenemy. On the surface, the two schools of Jew hatred share no common ground. But a serious consideration of the Times’ anti-Jewish propaganda leads to the opposite conclusion. The New York Times — as an institution that propagates anti-Jewish messages, narratives, and demonizations — is deeply tied to the rise in white supremacist violence against Jews. This is the case for several reasons. First, as Seth Franzman of the Jerusalem Post pointed out, Bowers and Earnest share two hatreds – for Jews and for Trump. Both men hate Trump, whom they view as a friend of the Jews. Earnest referred to Trump as “That Zionist, Jew-loving, anti-White, traitorous c**ks****er.” Bowers wrote that he opposed Trump because he is supposedly surrounded by Jews, whom Bowers called an “infestation” in the White House. The New York Times also hates Trump. And like Bowers and Earnest, it promotes the notion in both news stories and editorials that Trump’s support for Israel harms U.S. interests to benefit avaricious Jews. In 2017, just as the Russia collusion narrative was taking hold, Politico spun an antisemitic conspiracy theory that placed Chabad at the center of the nefarious scheme in which Russian President Vladimir Putin connived with Trump to steal the election from Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. (…) The story, titled “The Happy-Go-Lucky Jewish Group that Connects Trump and Putin,” claimed that Russia’s Chief Rabbi Berel Lazar, who is Chabad’s senior representative there, served as an intermediary between Putin and Trum-p. He did this, Politico alleged, through his close ties to Chabad rabbis in the United States who have longstanding ties to Trump. (…) In other words, the antisemitic Chabad conspiracy theory laid out by Politico, which slanderously placed Chabad at the center of a nefarious plot to steal the U.S. presidency for Trump, was first proposed by the New York Times. The Times is well known for its hostility towards Israel. But that hostility is never limited to Israel itself. It also encompasses Jewish Americans who support Israel. For instance, in a 11,000 word “analysis” of the antisemitic “boycott, divestment, sanctions” (BDS) movement published in late March, the Times effectively delegitimized all Jewish support for Israel. (…) Last week the Times erroneously claimed that Jesus was a Palestinian. The falsehood was picked up by antisemitic Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN). The Times waited a week to issue a correction. (…) In an op-ed following the cartoon’s publication, the Times’ in-house NeverTrump pro-Israel columnist Bret Stephens at once condemned the cartoon and the paper’s easy-breezy relationship with antisemitism, and minimized the role that antisemitism plays at the New York Times. Stephens attributed the decision to publish the cartoon in the New York Times international edition to the small staff in the paper’s Paris office and insisted that “the charge that the institution [i.e., the Times] is in any way antisemitic is a calumny.” (…) Stephens tried to minimize the Times’ power to influence the public discourse in the U.S. by placing its antisemitic reporting in the context of a larger phenomenon. But the fact is that while the New York Times has long since ceased serving as the “paper of record” for anyone not on the political left in America, it is still the most powerful news organization in the United States, and arguably in the world. The Times has the power to set the terms of the discourse on every subject it touches. Politico felt it was reasonable to allege a Jewish world conspiracy run by Chabad that linked Putin with Trump because, as Haberman suggested, the Times had invented the preposterous, bigoted theory three weeks earlier. New York University felt comfortable giving a prestigious award to the Hamas-linked antisemitic group Students for Justice in Palestine last week because the Times promotes its harassment campaign against Jewish students. (…) It has co-opted of the discourse on antisemitism in a manner that sanitizes the paper and its followers from allegations of being part of the problem. It has led the charge in reducing the acceptable discourse on antisemitism to a discussion of right wing antisemitism. Led by reporter Jonathan Weisman, with able assists from Weiss and Stephens, the Times has pushed the view that the most dangerous antisemites in America are Trump supporters. The basis of this slander is the false claim that Trump referred to the neo-Nazis who protested in Charlottesville in August 2017 as “very fine people.” As Breitbart’s Joel Pollak noted, Trump specifically singled out the neo-Nazis for condemnation and said merely that the protesters at the scene who simply wanted the statue of Robert E. Lee preserved (and those who peacefully opposed them) were decent people. The Times has used this falsehood as a means to project the view that hatred of Jews begins with Trump – arguably the most pro-Jewish president in U.S. history, goes through the Republican Party, which has actively defended Jews in the face of Democratic bigotry, and ends with his supporters. By attributing an imaginary hostility against Jews to Trump, Republicans, and Trump supporters, the Times has effectively given carte blanche to itself, the Democrats, and its fellow Trump-hating antisemites to promote Jew-hatred. John Earnest and Robert Bowers were not ordered to enter synagogues and massacre Jews by the editors of the New York Times. But their decisions to do so was made in an environment of hatred for Jews that the Times promotes every day. Following the Bowers massacre of Jewish worshippers at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, the New York Times and its Trump-hating columnists blamed Trump for Bowers’s action. Not only was this a slander. It was also pure projection. Caroline Glick
Avec la multiplication de ces auditions à la DGSI, on a l’impression que c’est une logique antiterroriste qui est appliquée aux journalistes. (…) On parle de l’affaire Benalla, une affaire d’État. On parle des armes françaises au Yémen, un mensonge d’État. Et là, on n’est pas dans le cadre traditionnel du droit de la presse, devant les tribunaux devant lesquels on peut se défendre. (…) le journaliste a une fonction sociale, il n’est pas là uniquement pour publier passivement des communiqués officiels du gouvernement. Dans le cas des ventes d’armes de la France utilisées au Yémen, on parle quand même de la pire catastrophe humanitaire depuis la Deuxième Guerre Mondiale : on entend que les journalistes ne sont pas au-dessus des lois, mais l’État non plus ! La France ne respecte pas les traités sur le commerce des armes qu’elle a signés. Benoît Collombat (Radio France)
Des entraîneurs et des stratégistes du Hezbollah ainsi que des Iraniens ont travaillé avec les houthis et les ont supervisés, ce qui les a aidés à prendre Sanaa. L’Iran a également aidé les houthis à développer la technologie de fabrication d’armes, y compris des missiles. Nadwa Dawsari (Center for Civilians in Conflict in Yemen)
Nous sommes d’accord avec la conclusion du Groupe d’experts, selon laquelle les missiles tirés par les houthistes – d’origine iranienne et fournis après l’imposition de l’embargo sur les armes – signifient que l’Iran a agi en violation du paragraphe 14 de la résolution 2216 (2015). Nous demandons à l’Iran de cesser toutes les activités qui alimentent le conflit au Yémen. Stephen Hickey (représentant britannique à l’ONU)
L’offensive des houthistes, avec le soutien de l’Iran, menace la stabilité de la région, et les groupes terroristes comme Daech et Al-Qaida profitent de cette situation pour promouvoir leurs visées malsaines. (…) Ainsi que le rapport du Groupe d’experts (S/2018/68) l’indique clairement, l’Iran viole l’embargo ciblé sur les armes mis en place par la résolution 2216 (2015). Plus précisément, le Groupe a conclu que les missiles tirés par les rebelles houthistes contre l’Arabie saoudite l’année dernière étaient d’origine iranienne et avaient été introduits au Yémen après l’imposition de l’embargo ciblé sur les armes. Hier, nous avons vu la délégation russe user de son droit de veto afin d’éviter que la résolution assortie de sanctions sur le Yémen ne mentionne les activités de l’Iran dans ce pays. Cependant, les preuves montrent clairement que les missiles balistiques étaient d’origine iranienne. Le mois dernier à Washington, les membres du Conseil ont vu de leurs propres yeux certaines des preuves impliquant l’Iran. Onze membres du Conseil ont convenu avec nous que ces préoccupations méritaient d’être mentionnées dans la résolution assorties de sanctions, et seuls deux membres du Conseil ont voté contre.Nous continuerons de parler haut et fort pour rap-peler au Conseil que nous avons l’obligation de dénoncer tous les comportements dangereux et déstabilisateurs chaque fois que nous les constaterons. L’Iran ne peut pas violer les sanctions du Conseil de sécurité en toute impunité. Le Conseil doit faire en sorte que ceux qui, comme l’Iran, enfreignent le régime de sanctions répondent de leurs actes. Il doit également veiller à ce que les tech-nologies militaires, les missiles balistiques, les engins explosifs aquatiques improvisés, les mines marines, les drones militaires et autres armes iraniennes ne parviennent aux personnes et entités désignées au Yémen. Kelley Eckels-Currie (représentante américaine à l’ONU)
Nous avons dit notre préoccupation face aux conclusions du rapport du Groupe d’experts sur le Yémen publié le 15 février, et condamné à plusieurs reprises les tirs de missiles balistiques effectués par les houthistes, en particulier contre l’Arabie saoudite. Comme nous l’avons dit hier, la France continuera d’être mobilisée sur la question des transferts de technologies et biens balistiques dans la région dans les mois à venir. C’est un sujet que le Ministre de l’Europe et des affaires étrangères, M. Jean-Yves Le Drian, abordera à Téhéran à l’occasion de son déplacement, le 5 mars. François Delattre (représentant français à l’ONU)
NewsGuard has made changes to the dailymail.co.uk Nutrition Label shown above, which reflect the discussions we have had with a senior Daily Mail news executive who insisted that we not use his name… The senior Daily Mail news executive wrote NewsGuard a long, point by point letter summarising the complaints and the views that he expressed in the discussions we had with him. However, he declined to allow us to publish the letter, which is what we would have preferred. Thus, what follows is a review of the points he made in our discussions and in the letter, followed by our reaction to them… The senior Daily Mail news executive complained that we had overstated and relied too heavily on the number of complaints against the Daily Mail, MailOnline, and Mail on Sunday that had been verified by the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO), and, in fact, that the newsrooms’ voluntary participation in IPSO’s process was evidence of its dedication to high standards. After reflecting on his comments — and following discussions with some of the U.K.-based journalists whom we are consulting as we prepare to launch in the United Kingdom — we agree. We have changed this rating to green… …the senior Daily Mail news executive also stated that dailymail.co.uk published 144,000 articles over the last year. While we do not believe measuring a set percentage of “false” articles is appropriate, some consideration of volume is appropriate when considering whether a website repeatedly publishes content that is clearly and significantly false. Because the content on a website is also cumulative — it does not disappear daily — consideration should also be given to whether the website corrects and/or takes down content discovered to be false. In other words, because NewsGuard is attempting to inform online users of the overall reliability of a website, the best measure of “repeatedly” should include how likely is it that on any given day a reader will see false content. Therefore, NewsGuard has now determined that dailymail.co.uk does not repeatedly publish content that is clearly and significantly false… The senior Daily Mail news executive maintained that the website’s headlines are not deceptive — and that they accurately reflect what is in the ensuing story. After undertaking a new review of the website and considering also the argument that a few arguably deceptive headlines (or at least headlines that overstate the importance of the story) need to be considered against the volume of stories published on dailymail.co.uk, we agree. We made a mistake and have changed the rating. Newsguard
My tweet yesterday about Trump preferring Kim Jong Un to Biden as President was meant in jest. The President correctly quoted me as saying it was a “completely ludicrous” statement. I should have been clearer. My apologies. Ian Bremmer
Bon nombre de récits de ce qui s’est passé à la Maison-Blanche sous Trump se contredisent ; beaucoup, à l’image de ceux de Trump, sont tout bonnement faux. Ces conflits, et ce flou avec la vérité, sinon avec la réalité elle-même, sont un fil conducteur élémentaire du livre. Parfois, j’ai laissé les acteurs offrir leurs versions, à tour de rôle, permettant au lecteur de les juger. Dans d’autres cas, grâce à la cohérence des récits et aux sources auxquelles j’ai fait confiance, je suis parvenu à une version des faits que je crois vraie. Michael Wolff
Even if some things are inaccurate/flat-out false, there’s enough notionally accurate that people have difficulty knocking it down. Maggie Haberman (NYT)
There are two issues here. One is Michael Wolff himself. In my view, I don’t know what to believe in the book because I don’t think he practices the kind of journalism that we practice. He doesn’t practice the kind that could allow you to work in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, PBS. Many of the things he reports are true, and many of the things he reports are fictionalized. And a lot of things all throughout his career — this is not a new thing with him. Some of the things in the book are factually completely inaccurate. Some of the things ring false to me. Maybe somebody told him, so he put it in the book without checking it out. When I started my career in journalism at the City News Bureau of Chicago, we had a phrase- If your mom tells you she loves you, check it out. And I’m not sure he does a lot of that. So, that’s one fact. So, I’m very dubious about accepting everything. (…) Nonetheless, the general picture confirms what we already knew. And I think there is a general sense the president is unfit. They treat — they do treat him like a child. It’s too simplistic, though, to say it’s like the madness of King George. I certainly have talked to many people over the last several months who said, yes, I went into a meeting, he was surprisingly well-informed, surprisingly ran a good meeting. I have certainly had that experience. And he’s running a White House that, whether you approve of the policies or not, has done this Pakistan deal, or the change in Pakistan policy, which is defensible — they did pass a tax bill. They are doing this regulatory stuff, this judicial stuff. It’s not completely dysfunctional. They are getting stuff done. And so I think that he has severe mental flaws. But the picture that’s coming out that he’s completely off his rocker, I think that’s overly simplistic and underestimates this… David Brooks
I don’t think there’s any question that the explosive in this book, as far as Donald Trump is concerned, were the charges about the meeting that Donald Trump Jr. hosted with Paul Manafort and others at the Trump Tower with the Russians, and that he called it traitorous. (…) Steve Bannon, whatever his shortcomings are — and I think they are manifest — is somebody who has worn the uniform of his country, did serve at the Pentagon, and has a gravitas on these matters that nobody in that meeting had or understood. Mark Shields (PBS)
Trump was vulnerable because for 40 years he had run what increasingly seemed to resemble a semi-criminal enterprise. I think we can drop the ‘semi’ part. (…) This is where it isn’t a witch hunt – even for the hard core, this is where he turns into just a crooked business guy, and one worth $50m instead of $10bn. Not the billionaire he said he was, just another scumbag. Steve Bannon (cité par Michael Wolff)
It’s a distinction between journalists who are institutionally wedded and those who are not. I’m not. You make those pro forma calls to protect yourself, to protect the institution. It’s what the institution demands. I’m talking about those calls where you absolutely know what the response is going to be. They put you in the position in which you’re potentially having to negotiate what you know. In some curious way, that’s what much journalism is about. It’s about a negotiated truth. For someone else, a book writer, I don’t have to do that. When I know something is true, I don’t have to go back and establish some kind of middle ground with whoever I’m writing about, which will allow me at some point to go back to them… As a journalist — or as a writer — my obligation is to come as close to the truth as I possibly can. And that’s not as close to someone else’s truth, but the truth as I see it. Remember, it’s a difference between a book and something else — you don’t have to read my book, you don’t have to agree with my book. But at the end of the day, what you are going to know is that it is my book. It is my vision. It is my report on my experience. It’s not put together by a committee. What you do is a committee project at some point. What I do is not. And I’m not saying one is better than the other, they’re just different functions. Michael Wolff
“Fire and Fury,” which portrayed a president with a strained relationship to the truth, raised questions about Mr. Wolff’s own adherence to the facts. Minor errors cropped up; anecdotes were denied. (…) The new book’s claims range from the intriguing — Mr. Wolff writes that Alan Dershowitz asked for a million-dollar retainer to defend Mr. Trump, a claim Mr. Dershowitz said on Wednesday was “completely, categorically false”— to the lurid, including a description based on a secondhand source of a supposed encounter between Mr. Trump and an unnamed woman aboard his private jet before his presidency. In an interview at his Manhattan townhouse on Tuesday — his first public comments about “Siege” — Mr. Wolff, 65, praised his reporting, defended his reliance on Mr. Bannon as a source and explained why he had little use for the usual fact-checking procedures valued by reporters at mainstream news outlets. He was trending on Twitter at the time of the interview. A spokesman for the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, had issued a rare statement denying a central claim of “Siege,” which had just leaked out: that Mr. Mueller’s team had drafted an indictment of Mr. Trump on obstruction charges that was never used. NYT
I would only say my source is impeccable, and I have no doubt about the authenticity and the significance of the documents. (…) When “Fire and Fury” came out, I thought Steve Bannon would certainly never speak to me again, and the truth is, he never stopped speaking. But the other element of this is — I think a key one — is I’m a New York guy. Donald Trump is a New York guy. In the end, we know a lot of the same people. There is this conversation among these people about Donald Trump. And I am fortunate to be in that loop. (…) I have not been in the White House for this book, no. But a very large percentage of the people who spoke to me for the first book have continued to speak to me for the second book. Partly because they can’t stop talking about Donald Trump, and I’m a good listener. But also because I think the portrait in the first book worked for them. (…) I think that would be a fool’s errand, to invite the president of the United States to come down on you. (…) If the president of the United States comes after you, you feel concerned. (…) I’ve said many times: I’m not a Washington reporter. And Washington reporters, they do a great job. They do their job. I approached this as, that the more significant factor here, beyond policy, was buffoonery, psychopathology, random and ad hominem cruelties. In a way, my thesis is that this administration, this character, needed a different kind of writer. (…) I’ve been sorting this now for actually close to three years, so I think I have a fairly good sense of the reality quotient at any given point. But then I think you have to look to Bannon’s insights. When he says something, in my experience, he can often get right to the kernel, into the hub of the situation, where you say, ‘Damn, of course that’s it.’ Among the hundreds of people I have spoken to, he is the most insightful person about Donald Trump, about what makes him tick. (…) As I say, I didn’t contact Donald Trump at all. But why would you? Literally, this is not a man who is going to suddenly at this point of his life ’fess up to being a sexual harasser. (…) it’s a difference between an institutional reporter and a non-institutional reporter. I don’t have to ask the silly questions. (…) because can you imagine a circumstance under the sun in which Fox would come clean on that? (…) I actually don’t believe, if you know the answer, it is necessary to go through the motions of getting an answer that you are absolutely certain of. (…) It’s a distinction between journalists who are institutionally wedded and those who are not. I’m not. You make those pro forma calls to protect yourself, to protect the institution. It’s what the institution demands. I’m talking about those calls where you absolutely know what the response is going to be. They put you in the position in which you’re potentially having to negotiate what you know. In some curious way, that’s what much journalism is about. It’s about a negotiated truth. For someone else, a book writer, I don’t have to do that. When I know something is true, I don’t have to go back and establish some kind of middle ground with whoever I’m writing about, which will allow me at some point to go back to them. (…) As a journalist — or as a writer — my obligation is to come as close to the truth as I possibly can. And that’s not as close to someone else’s truth, but the truth as I see it. Remember, it’s a difference between a book and something else — you don’t have to read my book, you don’t have to agree with my book. But at the end of the day, what you are going to know is that it is my book. It is my vision. It is my report on my experience. It’s not put together by a committee. What you do is a committee project at some point. What I do is not. And I’m not saying one is better than the other, they’re just different functions. Michael Wolff
Bannon has been driven out of the White House by Trump and dumped by his financial patrons, the Mercers, and has set up shop in a shabby Capitol Hill townhouse, theatrically known as the Embassy, which, it slowly becomes clear, might as well be Hoth. It takes 193 pages, but we eventually learn that Bannon hasn’t talked to Trump since he was fired. That doesn’t prevent Wolff from centering the entire narrative on the president’s former aide. So the new Wolff book is much like the last one: a sail through the Trump diaspora and inside the president’s head with Bannon as the cruise director. But also like the last book, “Siege” is ultimately crippled by three flaws: Wolff’s overreliance on a single character, and one who is now more distant from the action; factual errors that mar the author’s credibility; and sourcing that is so opaque it renders the scoops highly suspicious and unreliable. For long stretches of “Siege,” Trump and the White House staff disappear and the reader is subjected to a tedious ticktock of Bannon’s travels and his plotting from the Embassy, where he pontificates throughout 2018 about how the Republicans will win the midterms (they didn’t), how his nationalist project is still ascendant in the GOP (it isn’t), how Robert Mueller will destroy the Trump presidency (he didn’t), and how Bannon himself may have to replace Trump and run for president in 2020, with Sean Hannity as his running mate (we’ll have to wait for Episode III). In the acknowledgments, Bannon is the only named source whom Wolff thanks, praising him effusively and, in an allusion to Dante’s “Divine Comedy,” calling him “the Virgil anyone might be lucky enough to have as a guide for a descent into Trumpworld.” In reality Bannon is more like Wolff’s Farinata, the former Florentine political leader whom Dante portrays as banished to the circle of hell for heretics, where, alone in his tomb, he still obsesses about his own era in politics but has no access to current events unless one of the dead brings him a snippet of news from the center of power. In “Siege,” the dead arrive at Bannon’s doorstep in the form of former Trump aides such as Corey Lewandowski, David Bossie, Sam Nunberg and Jason Miller, and Wolff, like many other Washington reporters, absorbs a mix of gossip, misinformation and occasional insight that the outer rings of Trump advisers are famous for circulating. This rogues’ gallery of Trump hangers-on that Wolff seems to depend on is sometimes presented as a group of devoted ideological rebels trying to keep the flame of true MAGA alive. According to Wolff, several of them, usually working through Hannity, who has better access to the president, press Trump on issues like building the border wall or declaring a national emergency over immigration. Bossie and Lewandowski “weren’t operatives, they were believers,” Wolff credulously reports, a statement that will generate guffaws among Republicans. But mostly, Bannon’s knitting circle is involved in low-level score-settling — often against then-White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner — and making money off their association with Trump. Lewandowski and Bossie hawk a conspiracy book about the “deep state” even though, according to Wolff, Bannon tells their ghostwriter that “none of this is true.” (…) Wolff’s broad conceptual error — that the real heart of Trumpism is heroically being kept alive by Bannon’s band of true-believing outsiders — would be forgivable if the book wasn’t marred by two more strikes: some cringeworthy errors, and sourcing that is so opaque it renders the extremely fun and juicy quotes sprinkled across every chapter as — sadly — difficult to trust. Wolff reports that he had two fact-checkers assigned to the book, but they apparently weren’t enough. He writes that after Ty Cobb left the White House, Trump’s only lawyers were Jay Sekulow and Rudy Giuliani (whom he describes as “drunk on a bid for further attention, or just drunk”). Wolff seems not to know that Trump hired Jane and Martin Raskin, whose names do not appear in the book, to deal with the Mueller probe. He writes that Russians hacked the email account of John Podesta and servers at the Democratic National Committee after July 27, 2016, the day Trump famously called on Russia to find Hillary Clinton’s missing emails. That’s wrong. The Podesta hack happened in March, the DNC hack happened in April, and the fruits of those hacks had already been released, which is why Trump made the comment. (…) Dramatic scoops are plopped down on the page with no sourcing whatsoever. Would-be newsmaking quotes are often attributed to Trump and senior officials without any context about when or to whom they were made. Wolff clearly relies on the work of dozens of other reporters on the Trump beat, but because he rarely uses any attributions, the reader never knows whether a fact he’s relaying comes from him or elsewhere. For example, he writes that Kushner was briefed by intelligence officials that his friend Wendi Deng might be a Chinese spy. The reader would be forgiven for thinking this was another Wolff scoop, rather than a major exclusive reported by the Wall Street Journal in early 2018. The cutting comments Wolff attributes to Trump certainly sound like the president: “the stupidest man in Congress” and a “religious nut” (Mike Pence); “gives me the creeps” (Karen Pence); “feeble” (John Kelly); “a girl” (Kushner); “looks like a mental patient” (Giuliani); “a pretty stupid boy” who “has too many f—ing kids” (Donald Trump Jr.); “men’s shop salesmen” (Republican House candidates); “ignoramuses” (Trump’s communications team); “the only stupid Jew” (Michael Cohen); “a dirty rat” (former White House counsel Donald McGahn); a “virgin crybaby” who was “probably molested by a priest” (Brett Kavanaugh); “the poor man’s Ann Coulter” (Kellyanne Conway); “sweaty” (Stephen Miller). But the lack of sourcing transparency and footnotes does not inspire confidence. By far the biggest scoop in the book is a document that Wolff alleges is a draft indictment, eventually ignored, of the president from inside the special counsel’s office. In addition to the alleged indictment, Wolff reports on several interesting and newsworthy memos outlining Mueller’s legal strategy for what to do if Trump pardoned Michael Flynn or tried to shut down the investigation. These documents, if verified, would rescue the book, because they offer the first real glimpse inside the nearly airtight Mueller operation. On Tuesday, the special counsel’s office issued a rare on-the-record statement insisting that the “documents described do not exist.” Ryan Lizza (senior political analyst for CNN)
Several news outlets published excerpts of Michael Wolff’s new book about the Trump campaign and the White House. And almost every word of it is unbelievable. Some of it, literally so. In one passage from “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House,” Wolff recounts how Roger Ailes recommended former House speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) to serve as Trump’s chief of staff. Trump’s response, according to Wolff: “Who’s that?” Never mind that Trump had golfed with Boehner in 2013 and mentioned him several times on the 2016 campaign trail. Using the Donald Trump Factbase, I found Trump mentioning Boehner on the campaign trail at least four times: April 10, 2016; Nov. 30, 2015; Oct. 14, 2015; and Sept. 25, 2015. He also tweeted about him on Oct. 8, 2015, and Sept. 25, 2015 — that last date being when Boehner resigned as speaker during the 2016 campaign. Is it possible Trump misheard the name or momentarily forgot who Boehner was? Sure. He may have even meant the “Who’s that?” as a slight to Boehner. But the impression Wolff seeks to leave is that Trump is a novice completely out of his element in the Oval Office. This was an anecdote meant to serve that narrative. (…) Then there is the apparent re-created conversation between Stephen K. Bannon and Ailes, the New York Times’s Nick Confessore points out, which raises questions about accuracy. As for the other claims, many are of the kind that has been whispered about but never reported on with any authority or certainty. Wolff has taken some of the most gossiped-about aspects of the Trump White House and put them forward as fact — often plainly stated fact without even anonymous sources cited. In his introduction, Wolff acknowledges this is an imperfect exercise and often a daunting challenge. Here’s a key excerpt pulled by Benjy Sarlin: Many of the accounts of what has happened in the Trump White House are in conflict with one another; many, in Trumpian fashion, are baldly untrue. Those conflicts, and that looseness with the truth, if not with reality itself, are an elemental thread of the book. Sometimes I have let the players offer their versions, in turn allowing the reader to judge them. In other instances I have, through a consistency in accounts and through sources I have come to trust, settled on a version of events I believe to be true. In some ways, this is the tell-all that Trump’s post-truth presidency deserves. Trump’s own version of the truth is often subject to his own fantastic impulses and changes at a moment’s notice. The leaks from his administration have followed that pattern, often painting credulity-straining images of an American president. As the New York Times’s Maggie Haberman notes, that makes claims in Wolff’s book that would ordinarily seem implausible suddenly plausible. But just because the administration doesn’t seem to have much regard for the truth and because there are all kinds of insane things happening behind closed doors doesn’t mean the truth isn’t a goal worth attaining. And in an environment in which the press is widely distrusted by a large swath of the American people — and overwhelmingly by Trump’s base — the onus is even more on accounts of his presidency to try to filter out the tabloid stuff. Part of Trump’s mission statement is fomenting distrust of the press. Oftentimes the wild leaks that come from the White House seem to further that goal by giving the media juicy stories that will ring false to people who doubt reporters’ anonymous sources. Wolff even writes that it’s often Trump himself doing the gossiping about White House staff — which seems about right. For whatever reason, Wolff seems to have arrived at a stunning amount of incredible conclusions that hundreds of dogged reporters from major newspapers haven’t. Whether that’s because he had unprecedented access — Wolff says he had “something like a semi-permanent seat on a couch in the West Wing” — or because his filter was just more relaxed than others, it’s worth evaluating each claim individually and not just taking every scandalous thing said about the White House as gospel. Aaron Blake (NYT)
Le Feu et la Fureur : Trump à la Maison-Blanche (Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House) est un livre de Michael Wolff qui décrit en détail le quotidien du président américain Donald Trump, ainsi que celui de son équipe de campagne en 2016 et de ses collaborateurs à la Maison-Blanche. L’ouvrage dresse un portrait peu flatteur de Trump, décrit comme un homme au comportement chaotique, et de ses relations avec son équipe. Il fait notamment une large place à l’ancien conseiller stratégique Steve Bannon, qui livre entre autres des commentaires désobligeants sur la famille Trump. Donald Trump apparaît dans ce livre comme un chef d’État tenu en piètre estime par son entourage à la Maison-Blanche, ce qui conduit Wolff à postuler que « 100 % des gens autour de lui » pensent que le président des États-Unis n’est pas capable de remplir sa fonction. (…) L’ouvrage fait l’objet d’un accueil très contrasté, la validité de son contenu étant totalement niée par Donald Trump et Sarah Huckabee Sanders, la porte-parole de la Maison-Blanche. Des critiques mettent en doute les sources d’une partie du livre, mais estiment néanmoins qu’il constitue un travail majeur sur la présidence de Trump, et que le tableau qu’il en dresse est globalement exact. (…) La plupart des citations le plus controversées du livre proviennent de Steve Bannon, directeur de la campagne de Trump dans ses derniers mois et chef stratège de la Maison Blanche de janvier à août 2017. (…) Un biographe de Trump, Michael D’Antonio, déclare à CNN que le portrait de Trump dressé par Wolff est globalement conforme à sa propre compréhension, comme à celle d’autres biographes de celui-ci, notamment en ce qu’il attire l’attention sur des aspects qui ont fait polémique, tels sa misogynie et son suprémacisme blanc allégués, ainsi que son opinion sur la « surestimation de l’expertise ». Il ajoute que les descriptions par Wolff de l’entourage de Trump forment aussi « un tableau crédible ». Bien qu’il critique la « prose [de] tabloïd » de Wolff et recommande au lecteur de lire le livre avec un certain scepticisme, D’Antonio conclut qu’il s’agit d’une « lecture essentielle » qui fournit un cadre sur lequel les futurs écrivains pourront s’appuyer. David Brooks, s’exprimant sur la chaîne PBS NewsHour, déclare que, parce que dans le passé Wolff s’est fait connaitre pour ne pas vérifier les faits, il est « très dubitatif sur l’acceptation de tout ce qui est » dans le livre. « Néanmoins, de manière générale, cela confirme ce que nous savions déjà. Et je pense qu’il y a un sens général, le président est inapte. Ils le traitent — ils le font traiter comme un enfant ». Wikipedia
Un biographe de Trump, Michael D’Antonio, déclare à CNN que le portrait de Trump dressé par Wolff est globalement conforme à sa propre compréhension, comme à celle d’autres biographes de celui-ci, notamment en ce qu’il attire l’attention sur des aspects qui ont fait polémique, tels sa misogynie et son suprémacisme blanc allégués, ainsi que son opinion sur la « surestimation de l’expertise ». Il ajoute que les descriptions par Wolff de l’entourage de Trump forment aussi « un tableau crédible ». Bien qu’il critique la « prose [de] tabloïd » de Wolff et recommande au lecteur de lire le livre avec un certain scepticisme, D’Antonio conclut qu’il s’agit d’une « lecture essentielle » qui fournit un cadre sur lequel les futurs écrivains pourront s’appuyer. David Brooks, s’exprimant sur la chaîne PBS NewsHour, déclare que, parce que dans le passé Wolff s’est fait connaitre pour ne pas vérifier les faits, il est « très dubitatif sur l’acceptation de tout ce qui est » dans le livre. « Néanmoins, de manière générale, cela confirme ce que nous savions déjà. Et je pense qu’il y a un sens général, le président est inapte. Ils le traitent — ils le font traiter comme un enfant Les journalistes d’Axios, Jim VandeHei et Mike Allen, estiment qu’il y a des parties de l’ouvrage qui ont été « mal [enregistrées], bâclées, ou qui trahissent la confidentialité de l’enregistrement, mais [que] deux choses sont tout à fait vraies » : la description de Trump comme un « président émotionnellement erratique » et celle de la « mauvaise opinion » qu’ont de lui certains membres de la Maison-Blanche. Andrew Prokop écrit dans Vox que « nous devons interpréter le livre comme un recueil de ragots que Wolff a entendu. Une bonne quantité de ceux-ci ne semblent manifestement pas précis ». Aaron Blake écrit pour The Washington Post que « Wolff semble être arrivé à une quantité superbe et incroyable de conclusions que des centaines de journalistes tenaces de grands quotidiens n’ont pas trouvées… il faut évaluer chaque déclaration individuellement et non pas seulement prendre chaque chose scandaleuse dite au sujet de la Maison-Blanche comme vérité d’évangile ». Mick Brown dans The Daily Telegraph décrit un livre à sensation, à la fois emphatique et tout à fait fidèle à son sujet. Pour David Sexton, de l’Evening Standard, le livre est un reportage politique qui vaut la peine d’être lu et qui est « destiné à devenir le principal compte-rendu des neuf premiers mois de présidence de Trump ». Lloyd Green, dans The Guardian parle d’un livre « à lire absolument », qui dévoile tout sur la Maison-Blanche de Trump en donnant la parole à ceux qui connaissent le mieux le président des États-Unis. Dans The Independent, Andrew Griffin écrit que « pour un livre qui a pour but de raconter l’histoire de l’homme le plus important dans la construction du monde, le nouveau travail explosif de Michael Wolff consiste à se battre, pas à penser ; c’est un livre qui a en son centre un vide géant – celui qui est à l’intérieur de la tête de Trump. Ce n’est pas vraiment un livre sur Trump, mais sur les gens qui essaient de combler ce trou noir ». Il note également que le livre est surtout concentré sur Bannon. Dans l’Irish Independent, Darragh McManus note que Fire and Fury « semble être le livre révélateur d’autres livres parlant du “Commandant Suprême”, avant d’énumérer « une douzaine de déclarations parmi les plus explosives ». Wikipedia
Michael Wolff, né le 27 août 1953, est un écrivain et journaliste américain. Il écrit régulièrement pour USA Today, The Hollywood Reporter, et l’édition britannique de GQ. Il a reçu deux National Magazine Award, un Mirror Award, et il a publié sept livres dont Burn Rate (1998) qui parle de sa propre entreprise internet, et The Man Who Owns the News (2008), une biographie de Rupert Murdoch. Pour ce dernier livre, il réussit à initialement gagner la confiance du magnat de la presse en critiquant le travail de ses confrères journalistes à son égard et en prenant la défense de son interlocuteur ; il réussit ainsi à obtenir des confidences faisant regretter par la suite à Rupert Murdoch d’avoir accepté de le rencontrer, l’ouvrage le présentant sous un jour négatif. (…) En janvier 2018, après avoir réutilisé qu’avec Rupert Murdoch la même tactique pour approcher le président, il publie le livre Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, consacré à la première année de présidence de Donald Trump. L’ouvrage contient des descriptions peu flatteuses du comportement de Trump et du fonctionnement chaotique de son équipe, ainsi des commentaires désobligeants sur la famille Trump émis par l’ancien stratège en chef de la Maison Blanche, Steve Bannon. Wikipedia
The Daily Mail’s front page had helped to open the story up. In fact the press had always been interested, but that report was said to have “touched Middle England”, the feelings of white people who don’t normally care much what happens to black youths in inner cities. Baroness Lawrence
Quite simply, I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that if it hadn’t been for the Mail’s headline in 1997 – “Murderers: The Mail accuses these men of killing” – and our years of campaigning, none of this would have happened: Britain’s police might not have undergone the huge internal reform that was so necessary; race relations might not have taken the significant step forward that they have;  and an 18-year-old A-Level student who dreamed of being an architect would have been denied justice. Paul Dacre
When David Cameron gave evidence to the Leveson Inquiry he wanted to give an example of newspaper campaigning that had benefited society. With the entire modern output of the national press to pick from, he chose the Daily Mail’s work on the Stephen Lawrence murder. This, he informed the judge, had been ‘extremely important’. No doubt many others would have made the same choice. Even the Mail’s rivals sometimes hold up its coverage of the infamous 1993 race murder as a high point for British journalism and as proof of the essential role of the press. As for the Mail’s critics, they find the case a stumbling block. If the Mail really played a heroic part in achieving justice for a black family that had been failed by the white establishment, it becomes harder for them to classify the paper as simply intolerant or racist. (…) Most famously, in February 1997, at a moment when the police and the justice system appeared to have failed the Lawrence family, it published a front page accusing five young men of the murder and defying them to sue for libel. A stroke of editorial brilliance, this caused a sensation, raising the profile of this troubling case and stirring debate about trial by media. Over the years that followed, the Mail would return many times to the Lawrence case in front pages, inside spreads and editorials, and the paper has made some bold claims about the difference it made. (…) The Mail has also claimed that its reporting brought about the 1998-99 Macpherson Inquiry into the murder and that its campaigning led to the reform of the double jeopardy rule that made possible one of the 2012 convictions. Dacre has also asserted that he risked jail by publishing the 1997 front page. These claims have rarely been examined closely, but in an article just published in the journal Political Quarterly I have tested them against the historical record. I found that, while the paper’s actions involved editorial brilliance and probably had positive consequences, its principal claims are at best exaggerated and at worst unsupported by evidence. Even where it can be argued that the paper did help bring about changes for the better, they were not the changes it actually sought. One example is the assertion that the Mail’s reporting ‘prompted Home Secretary Jack Straw to initiate a major inquiry’, as the paper put it in February 1999. That claim has been made on a number of occasions but it is problematic and at the very least needs careful qualification – chiefly because in the relevant months of 1997 the Mail never once called for a public inquiry. Even when the Lawrence family demanded one, the Mail conspicuously did not give its support. And once it became clear, in the early summer of 1997, that there would be an inquiry, the Mail publicly opposed the kind of inquiry – into police failures – that Doreen (now Baroness) Lawrence was arguing for and that the government of the time ultimately set up. In short, the paper has been claiming credit for the establishment of an inquiry which the record shows it didn’t seek and which took a form it actually opposed. Of course this is not a simple matter. While Jack Straw, in his autobiography, gave credit for the establishment of the inquiry ‘above all’ to Baroness Lawrence, he also wrote that the Mail helped give him political ‘space’ to make his decision. No doubt this is correct: that a conservative paper was conspicuously involved will have made a difference, but again the context must be considered. Straw made his decision in July 1997. It is conceivable that, had he not had the ‘space’ created by the Mail, he might have said no. But the events of 1997 show that six months later, no matter what the position of the Daily Mail, he would have had no choice but to order an inquiry anyway. When, that December, a report by the Police Complaints Authority (PCA) revealed wholesale incompetence and worse in the original police investigation of Stephen Lawrence’s murder, all arguments against a public inquiry would have fallen away. In other words, insofar as the Mail’s involvement might have made a difference by giving Straw more room to act, the difference was between the announcement of an inquiry in July 1997 and the same announcement five months later. The Mail’s claim – repeated as recently as June this year during an angry spat with the Guardian – that its campaign to bring the Stephen Lawrence murderers to justice “did more to improve race relations in this country than anything the Guardian has achieved” is a claim which, at best, requires considerable qualification, not least because throughout the whole history of the Lawrence case the Mail’s understanding of the role of race has been a very particular one. In its reporting just after the murder in 1993 its principal interest was in challenging mostly black ‘race militants’ whom it accused of ‘hijacking a tragedy’. The paper was happy to quote the Lawrences when they expressed concern about ‘militants’, but it conspicuously failed to quote them on the subject of racism in British law enforcement and justice and its role in their plight. Even in 1997 the Mail still refused to accept that the Lawrences’ colour might have made a difference. An editorial published on the same day as the famous ‘Murderers’ front page declared bluntly: ‘But suggestions made by his grief-stricken mother that that police were less than assiduous because of Stephen’s colour are misplaced.’ In the eyes of the Mail, in other words, Doreen Lawrence was simply wrong to see racism in the British establishment as a factor in her family’s tragedy. Why did the Mail get involved at all, if it took that view? Look at the record and the answer is clear. Dacre was outraged by what he called the swaggering conduct of the five suspects at the inquest (which had just ended when the front page was published). He was appalled that they appeared to be getting away with murder, as his own crime reporters and senior police officers told him they were. His focus and that of his paper was on five white ‘thugs’ from southeast London, and accusations about racism in the police or the justice system or in wider British society were wrong, and worse, were damaging distractions. It was for that reason that the Mail did not want a public inquiry into police failure and instead looked to the Macpherson inquiry (in vain) to hold the five suspects to account. When the inquiry report declared that the police service suffered from ‘institutional racism’, and when the Tony Blair government asserted that the whole country had lessons to learn from this, the Mail was openly disgusted. This was, it said, ‘a kind of politically correct McCarthyism’, and it asked: ‘Should the majority in this fundamentally decent and tolerant nation be tainted by collective guilt?’ The only racism the Mail would ever acknowledge in the case was the racism of the attackers (who were heard to use the word ‘n****r’) and conceivably of a few ‘bad apple’ police officers who, it said, should be driven out of the police service. Against this background, assertions by the Mail that it was instrumental in improvements in race relations and also in reforms of the police that flowed from the Macpherson inquiry must ring hollow. Not only did it not want the inquiry in the first place, but it was also broadly dismissive of the inquiry’s eventual findings. There is, however, one significant way in which the Mail probably helped bring positive change. The Stephen Lawrence affair was the first occasion when the white majority in this country came to understand and identify with the grief and anger of a black British family. They saw past angry black faces and recognised human suffering and a case of injustice. Those chiefly responsible for that change are the Lawrences themselves, but the Mail also deserves some credit. Baroness Lawrence wrote in her autobiography, And Still I Rise: ‘The Daily Mail’s front page had helped to open the story up. In fact the press had always been interested, but that report was said to have “touched Middle England”, the feelings of white people who don’t normally care much what happens to black youths in inner cities.’ It may well be that the public inquiry would have done this anyway, with its months of shocking testimony vindicating the family’s position, but it is clear that the Mail’s sensational intervention in February 1997 accelerated the process and it seems likely that many who would not otherwise have given consideration to the Lawrences’ grievances were induced to do so as a result. My article in Political Quarterly looks at all of this in some detail, and also at the other claims made by the Mail. For example, I found no evidence in the historical record to support the suggestion that the Mail campaigned in any sustained way for reform of the double jeopardy rule, nor for the suggestion that the editor of the Mail risked jail when he accused the five suspects of murder. Dacre’s assertion that if it had not been for the Mail Stephen Lawrence would have been denied justice is particularly hard to credit since there is nothing to support it in the known narrative of the police investigation that led to the two convictions. Even a general proposition that the Mail helped bring about convictions by continuing to highlight the issue does not withstand scrutiny. Brian Cathart
«Meurtriers», titrait hier le Daily Mail, ajoutant en une, photos et identités à l’appui: «le Mail accuse ces cinq hommes d’un meurtre raciste. Si nous avons tort, qu’ils nous fassent un procès.» Il n’est pas dans les habitudes du tabloïd conservateur de prendre ainsi parti dans un crime raciste. Mais son rédacteur en chef expliquait hier soir que l’assassinat jusqu’ici impuni d’un adolescent noir, il y a quatre ans, était devenu le symbole d’une justice à deux vitesses, efficace pour les Blancs, déficiente pour les sujets de couleur de Sa Majesté. Avant d’ajouter que le Daily Mail entendait faire pression sur le gouvernement. Jeudi soir, les parents de Stephen Lawrence, qui mènent combat depuis quatre ans pour que justice soit faite, ont finalement obtenu qu’un tribunal reconnaisse que leur fils a été tué «au cours d’une attaque raciste, non provoquée, par cinq jeunes Blancs». Une victoire certes, mais limitée: les cinq jeunes dénoncés par le Daily Mail et meurtriers présumés de l’adolescent restent libres, après une enquête de police bâclée et une instruction maladroite. Stephen Lawrence a été poignardé à mort en avril 1993 par un groupe de cinq jeunes Blancs alors qu’il attendait le bus à Eltham, dans le sud-est de Londres. Stephen avait dix-huit ans et a été tué parce qu’il était noir. «Prends-ça, sale Nègre», avait crié l’un des meurtriers, le perçant de coups de couteau. Sa famille était arrivée de Jamaïque, sa mère est institutrice, son père maçon, et Stephen, étudiant brillant, voulait devenir architecte. Les soupçons de la police se portent immédiatement sur un groupe de cinq jeunes, membres d’un club, «The Firm», ouvertement raciste et supporters du National Front (un minuscule parti raciste britannique ), qui vivent dans une cité voisine. Ils ont déjà injurié et agressé les quelques Noirs vivant dans le quartier. Entre mai et juin 1993, ils sont tous arrêtés mais nient avoir tué Stephen; faute de preuves suffisantes présentées par la police, le procureur les libère. La famille persévère et, à ses frais, monte en avril 1996 une private prosecution, un «procès privé», comme l’autorise une procédure rarement usitée du droit anglais, devant des magistrats publics de l’Old Bailey de Londres (l’équivalent de la Cour de cassation). Personne ne veut se présenter à l’audience pour témoigner contre les cinq assassins présumés. Par peur, selon la police; parce que l’enquête a été mal faite, selon la famille. Les enquêteurs peuvent seulement présenter des enregistrements effectués par la police de conversations ouvertement racistes des cinq jeunes. On entend l’un d’entre eux dire: «Il faut couper les bras et les jambes des Noirs pour qu’ils n’aient plus que des putains de moignons.» On voit un autre, sur un film vidéo, donner des coups de couteau dans l’air en criant: «Sale Nègre, sale Nègre.» Des éléments à charge certes, mais pas de preuves, témoignages ou aveux suffisants pour assurer une condamnation. Ce nouveau procès s’effondre. Entre-temps, Stephen est devenu une cause célèbre: Nelson Mandela, lors de sa visite en Grande-Bretagne, rencontrera même les parents de l’adolescent assassiné. Jeudi soir, le ministre de l’Intérieur a finalement décidé d’ouvrir une enquête sur le travail de la police. Sinon, reconnaissait l’avocat de la famille, Imran Khan, «les Britanniques de couleur finiront pas croire qu’ils doivent eux-mêmes se faire justice». Libération
L’affaire Stephen Lawrence fait suite au meurtre d’un adolescent noir britannique, tué le 22 avril 1993 à l’âge de 18 ans lors d’une agression pendant qu’il attendait un autobus. Cet homicide devint une cause célèbre et l’un des meurtres raciaux les plus en vue dans l’histoire du Royaume-Uni. Il a amené de profonds changements culturels dans l’attitude vis-à-vis du racisme, notamment dans les forces de police, et des modifications importantes de la législation et des pratiques policières ; ainsi de la révocation partielle des lois appelées double jeopardy (dérivées du Non bis in idem et par lesquelles une personne ne peut être jugée deux fois pour la même chose). Deux des meurtriers furent finalement condamnés presque vingt ans plus tard en 2012. Après sa journée du jeudi 22 avril 1993 à son école la Blackheath Bluecoat School, Stephen Lawrence visite quelques magasins à Lewisham puis passe la soirée chez l’un de ses oncles à jouer à des jeux vidéo en compagnie de son ami Duwayne Brooksnote. Quittant la maison vers 22h00, les deux amis décident de revenir chez eux par l’un ou l’autre des bus 161 ou 122 sur Well Hall Road (faisant partie de la South Circular road), au lieu du bus 286 qui passe dans une rue proche mais les ramènerait chez eux plus tard. Ils arrivent à l’arrêt de bus sur Well Hall Road à 22h25. Lawrence marche jusqu’à la jonction de Dickson Road pour voir si un bus est sur le point d’arriver ; puis il revient vers l’arrêt de bus. (…) À ce stade, Brooks voit un groupe de 5 ou 6 jeunes blancs en train de traverser Rochester Way de l’autre côté de la route (par rapport à l’arrêt de bus), vers le passage pour piétons, et venant dans leur direction. À 22h38 ou juste après, il appelle Lawrence pour lui demander s’il voit un bus venir. Brooks affirme que l’un du groupe dit alors : « What, what, nigger? » (« Quoi, quoi, nègre ? »), pendant que le groupe traverse la rue et submerge Lawrence. Lawrence est poussé à terre et est poignardé deux fois : à la clavicule droite et à l’épaule gauche, à une profondeur d’environ 13 cm, sur l’avant du corps. Chacune des deux blessures coupe en deux endroits les artères axillaires pour chaque bras, et un poumon est également percé. Son bras droit perd toute sensation, et sa respiration est perturbée. Brooks, qui a commencé à courir pour fuir les assaillants, crie à Lawrence de courir aussi. Pendant que les assaillants s’enfuient par Dickson Road, Brooks et Lawrence courent vers Shooters Hill ; mais Lawrence tombe après avoir couru 120 mètres, et perd son sang jusqu’à en mourir. (…) Lawrence a été tué seulement 9 mois après que Rohit Duggal, un garçon d’origine asiatique, a été poignardé à mort à Eltham dans une autre attaque raciste non provoquée. Une première enquête a lieu. Les trois témoins à l’arrêt de bus font état d’une attaque rapide et courte ; aucun ne peut identifier les suspects3. Dès le lendemain du meurtre cinq suspects sont identifiés : les frères Neil et Jamie Acourt, David Norris, Gary Dobson et Luke Knight, dont les quatre premiers nommés dans une lettre anonyme. Cependant, très rapidement l’enquête est publiquement taxée de biais ; vue par beaucoup comme un crime haineux, la mort de Lawrence est généralement perçue comme étant due à son origine ethnique et les policiers chargés de l’enquête comme racistes ainsi que les employés du Crown Prosecution Service concernés. Les parents de Stephen tiennent une conférence de presse le 04 mai, soutenant que la police ne traite pas le cas assez activement, et rencontrent Nelson Mandela le 06 mai. Entre le 7 mai et le 23 juin 1993, les cinq sont arrêtés et Neil Acourt et Luke Knight sont mis en accusation ; mais le Crown Prosecution Service tient pour non fiable la déposition de Duwayne Brooks en regard de l’identification de Neil Acourt et Luke Knight. Les charges envers Acourt et Knight sont annulées le 29 juillet, et les trois autres sont acquittés. Quelques mois plus tard l’avocat de la famille Lawrence annonce de nouvelles données, mais le coroner fait cesser l’enquête le 22 décembre 1993, et en avril 1994 le Crown Prosecution Service refuse de poursuivre l’accusation malgré de nouvelles preuves de l’identification des suspects. Le ministère public ayant refusé d’instruire l’affaire, les parents de Stephen lancent des poursuites judiciaires à titre privé contre Gary Dobson, Luke Knight et Neil Acourt en septembre 1994. En décembre – trois mois plus tard – des caméras cachées installées par la police montrent les trois, ainsi que Norris, usant de langage violent et raciste. Les poursuites sont présentées en tribunal du 18 au 25 avril 1996, mais les plaignants sont déboutés sur la même base que précédemment : les preuves d’identification fournies par Brooks sont refusées comme peu fiables. Les trois accusés sont de nouveau acquittés. Le 13 février 1997 l’enquête recommence. Les cinq accusés refusent de répondre aux questions. Verdict : meurtre au cours d’une attaque entièrement non provoquée perpétrée par cinq jeunes. Le lendemain 14 février, le Daily Mail consacre sa première page aux photos des cinq accusés surmontées d’un titre-choc : « Meurtriers – Le Mail accuse ces hommes de tuerie. Si c’est faux, qu’ils nous mènent en justice. » — Daily Mail, 14 février Cette intervention vigoureuse du Daily Mail modifie profondément la perception du public concernant l’affaire Lawrence. Cinq semaines plus tard, le 20 mars 1997 la Commission indépendante des plaintes contre la police pour le Kent lance une investigation sur le comportement de la police dans l’affaire Lawrence. Neuf mois plus tard cette enquête conclut à des « faiblesses significatives, oublis et opportunités manquées», mais sans reconnaître de conduite raciste. En juillet 1997 Jack Straw, Home Secretary (ministre de l’Intérieur) à l’époque, ordonne une enquête publique sur le meurtre et sur son investigation réalisée par le Metropolitan Police Service (MPS, couramment abrégé en « Met »). L’enquête est présidée par Sir William Macpherson, juge retraité de la Haute Cour de justice d’Angleterre et du pays de Galles, avec l’aide notamment de trois conseillers : Tom Cook (président du Runnymede Trust), John Sentamu (évêque de Stepne et Richard Stone (officier de police). L’enquête publique est ouverte le 20 mars 19982,15,16. En juillet 1998 la famille Lawrence demande la démission du chef de la Met Sir Paul Condon, qui en octobre 1998 présente des excuses publiques et admet que des erreurs ont été commises. Le rapport de l’enquête publique, couramment appelé rapport Macpherson (Macpherson report), est publié en février 1999. Il conclut que la force policière est « institutionnellement raciste » et contient 70 recommandations destinées à améliorer l’attitude de la police concernant le racisme, ainsi que des propositions de changements dans la loi pour renforcer le Race Relations Act qui vise à promouvoir l’égalité entre les races ; il propose notoirement que la règle non bis in idem soit abrogée dans le cas de meurtres, ceci en vue de permettre la tenue d’un nouveau procès sur présentation de nouvelles preuves convaincantes. C’est ce que permet le Criminal Justice Act (2003) britannique entré en vigueur en 2005. La publication en 1999 du Macpherson Report est qualifiée « d’un des plus importants moments de l’histoire moderne de la justice criminelle en Grande Bretagne». Dès 2004 son remarquable impact sur le débat des relations raciales s’est étendu non seulement sur l’appareil de justice criminelle, avec entre autres de nombreux changements à Scotland Yard pour éliminer le racisme, mais sur toutes les institutions publiques qui sont dès lors elles aussi tenues par la loi de promouvoir l’égalité et d’éliminer la discrimination en regard des diverses minorités. (…) Le 5 mai 2004 un nouveau passage au tribunal est bloqué : le Crown Prosecution Service annonce que suite à une revue du cas les preuves sont insuffisantes pour accuser quiconque dans l’affaire Lawrence. Mais en avril 2005 le principe légal de double jeopardy est amendé, rendant possible une deuxième mise en accusation après un acquittement préalable pour le même cas. 26 July 2006 – un documentaire de la BBC examine l’affaire Lawrence et émet de nouvelles questions quant aux principaux suspects. Subséquemment, la Met doit revoir ses preuves ; en octobre 2007 la Commission indépendante des plaintes contre la police affirme que contrairement à ce qu’affirme le documentaire elle n’a pas trouvé de preuve d’exactions par un officier. Mais le 8 novembre 2007 la police confirme qu’après cette revue du cas par une équipe de 32 officiers l’été précédent, la médecine légale examine de nouvelles preuves. La revue s’est penchée sur les données réunies à l’époque du meurtre, utilisant de nouvelles techniques d’examen pour les objets. Trois mois plus tard, le 07 février 2008 Doreen Lawrence, mère de Stephen, inaugure le centre éducatif Stephen Lawrence à Deptford2 ; ce dernier est attaqué plusieurs fois peu après18. En février 2009, 10 ans après le rapport Macpherson, Richard Stone – conseiller pour l’investigation et la rédaction de ce rapport – affirme que la police a fait des progrès notables dans le sens de sa propre réforme mais que le racisme y persiste. Jack Straw, alors ministre de la Justice, dit que la police n’est plus institutionnellement raciste ; mais la mère de Stephen Lawrence dit pour sa part que la police manque encore à son devoir vis-à-vis des Britanniques de couleur. En 2010, le meurtre est cité comme « l’un des plus évidents meurtres raciaux n’ayant pas été résolus». Toutefois, suite à la revue des preuves commencée en été 2006 Dobson (qui a été emprisonné pour 5 ans le 9 juillet 2010 pour fourniture de drogue de classe B) et Norris sont de nouveau accusés du meurtre en septembre 2010 ; et la cour d’appel décide en mai 2011 que les nouvelles données recueillies sont suffisantes pour les ramener au tribunal. L’acquittement de Dobson en juillet 1993 est donc supprimé, ce qui n’était pas possible avant l’amendement du double jeopardy act de 2005. Les deux accusés font face au tribunal le 14 novembre 20112. De l’ADN provenant de Stephen Lawrence a été trouvé dans les vêtements des accusés. Une minuscule tache de sang sur la veste de Dobson ne pouvait provenir que de Lawrence, ainsi qu’un cheveu sur les jeans de Norris, et des fibres des vêtements de Stephen ont été retrouvées sur les vêtements des accusés20. Les deux accusés sont déclarés coupables le 03 janvier 2012 et condamnés à vie, avec Dobson emprisonné pour un minimum de 15 ans et 2 mois, et Norris pour un minimum de 14 ans et 3 mois. Le 24 juin 2013 The Guardian présente les révélations de Peter Francis alias Pete Black, ancien officier de police ayant appartenu à la Special Demonstration Squad spécialiste de l’infiltration de groupes de protestations. Peter Francis aurait avec trois autres officiers participé à une opération en vue d’espionner et de tenter de vilipender la famille Lawrence, son ami Duwaine Brooks témoin du crime et les groupes de campagne et de soutien à la famille en colère de l’absence de condamnation des coupables. Il aurait infiltré ces groupes dès 1993, à la recherche de « désinformation » à utiliser contre ceux qui critiquaient la police. Il aurait également avec un autre officier cherché parmi les films pris de la manifestation de mai 1993 du matériel afin d’incriminer Duwaine Brooks, qui fut subséquemment arrêté et accusé de dégâts criminels ; mais cette affaire fut rejetée par le juge responsable qui considéra qu’il y avait là un abus de la procédure légale. Peter Francis affirme que cette démarche faisait partie d’un plan plus général visant à endommager le mouvement de campagne grandissant autour de la mort de Lawrence et tenter de stopper la campagne. La mère de Stephen signale qu’en 1993 la famille avait été très surprise de ce que la police prit les noms de toutes les personnes entrant et sortant de la maison, et qu’ils en arrivèrent rapidement à soupçonner la police de chercher des preuves pour discréditer la famille ; cette dernière n’avait à l’époque aucun rapport avec les groupes de soutien naissants, et n’était pas politisée. Francis confirme que malgré toutes leurs recherches pour du matériel de désinformation, aucun des quatre officiers n’a trouvé quoi que ce soit de concret. En 1997, lors de l’enquête publique dans le cadre du rapport Macpherson, Peter Francis souhaite que la Special Demonstration Squad fasse connaître l’opération sous couverture auquel il avait participé concernant l’affaire Lawrence. Mais ses supérieurs, fixés sur la mémoire du passage à tabac deux ans auparavant du citoyen noir Rodney King par la police de Los Angeles et des subséquentes émeutes sans précédent à Los Angeles, disent craindre des émeutes si cette opération devient publique, et la taisent. La Special Demonstration Squad, très controversée, a été démantelée en 2008 et partiellement remplacée par la National Domestic Extremism Unit. Wikipedia
Before the usual suspects start bouncing up and down, squealing ‘homophobia’, don’t bother. I supported civil partnerships long before it was fashionable and I’d rather children were fostered by loving gay couples than condemned to rot in state-run institutions, where they face a better-than-average chance of being abused. That said, and despite the fact that countless single parents do a fantastic job, I still cling to the belief that children benefit most from being brought up by a man and a woman. Which is precisely what worries me most about the Daley publicity stunt. Here we have two men drawing attention to the fact that ‘they’ are having a baby. But where’s the mum, the possessor of the womb which features in this photograph? She appears to have been written out of the script entirely. We are not told her identity, where she lives, or even when the baby is due. She is merely the anonymous incubator. My best guess is that she lives in America, since it is still illegal in Britain to pay surrogate mothers other than modest expenses. That’s why wealthy gay couples, such as Elton John and David Furnish, turn to the States when they want to start a family. Good luck to them. No one is suggesting that homosexual couples can’t make excellent parents. But nor is everyone comfortable with the trend towards treating women as mere breeding machines and babies as commodities. I’ve written before about the modern tendency in some quarters to regard children as fashion accessories, like those preposterous designer handbag dogs. (…) What I also find slightly disconcerting is that this story was reported virtually everywhere without so much as a raised eyebrow, as if it would be impolite even to ask any questions about the parentage. The Daily Mail
En novembre 2016, le groupe Lego décide de ne plus promouvoir ses jouets dans le Daily Mail à la suite des campagnes menées par celui-ci concernant le Brexit et la crise des migrants, campagnes jugées « haineuses » par le fabricant de jouets. En février 2018, Center Parcs cesse toute annonce publicitaire dans le Daily Mail à la suite d’un éditorial jugé homophobe. Ce journal est parfois critiqué pour son manque de vérification, et accusé de sensationnalisme. Son utilisation comme source a d’ailleurs été rejetée par la communauté de Wikipédia en anglais en février 2017. Ainsi, le navigateur Internet de Microsoft avertit les utilisateurs de ne pas faire confiance au journalisme du Daily Mail dans le cadre d’une fonctionnalité conçue pour lutter contre les fausses informations. Le message, qui est produit par une startup tierce appelée NewsGuard, invite le lecteur à agir avec prudence, sachant que « le site publie régulièrement des contenus qui ont porté atteinte à la réputation, provoqué une alarme répandue ou qui constituent du harcèlement ou une atteinte à la vie privée ». Le Daily Mail est également accusé par The Guardian de tenir des propos racistes, homophobes et islamophobes. Wikipedia
The Daily Telegraph has had the highest number of complaints upheld against it by the Independent Press Standards Organisation since the regulator was set up two years ago. According to adjudications posted to the IPSO website, the IPSO Complaints’ Committee found the national daily to have breached the Editor’s Code of Conduct nine times. The Times and Daily Express have each committed seven breaches, with the regulator having upheld five complaints against The Sun (including The Scottish Sun). The Sunday Times, Daily Mail and Mail Online have each had four complaints upheld over the two years of regulation under IPSO, which replaced the Press Complaints Commission in September 2014. Press Gazette
As a historian who wrote the first major biography of King and a separate book The FBI and Martin Luther King,Jr., Garrow’s new revelations must be taken seriously. His article appears in a distinguished British newspaper, not a Murdoch British rag or a tabloid such as our country’s National Enquirer. Undoubtedly, people like Roy Moore, Richard Spencer, David Duke, and various alt-right hangers-on will revel in this news and argue that it demolishes Martin Luther King Jr.’s standing as an American hero. That would be the wrong conclusion to take. King was a man who risked his own life by practicing non-violence and who publicly rejected the two primary alternatives to the civil rights movement: black nationalism and racial separatism. He rejected the use of guns in the fight against the oppressors, especially the police. Because of this, the more radical groups were not fond of King and called him the Uncle Tom of the movement. Let me not mince words. King’s behavior toward women should not be buried or excused. They should be condemned. But does acknowledging these truths mean that we can no longer recognize King’s accomplishments as a civil rights leader? Does it mean we have to ignore what he said in his powerful sermons and writings? Does it diminish his “Letter from a Birmingham Jail”? It was there that King wrote that citizens had “not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws,” and at the same time “to disobey unjust laws.” Remember, King led an entire community to risk everything on behalf of freedom, fighting off Bull Connor’s police dogs and fire hoses as they were unleashed on unarmed citizens protesting for their rights as American citizens. Our leaders are human. King was deeply flawed in his view of women and his sexual proclivities. It is obvious, reading Garrow’s quotation from King’s sermon on March 3, 1968, that he was alluding to himself when he said “There is a schizophrenia . . . going on in all of us. There are times that all of us know somehow that there is a Mr. Hyde and a Dr. Jekyll in us.” God, King said, “does not judge us by the separate incidents or the separate mistakes that we make, but by the total bent of our lives.” The word “mistake” does not begin to cover King’s behavior toward women. But King is yet another reminder that good men can do bad things, and even bad men can sometimes accomplish great goods. How do we balance those ledgers in a final accounting? It’s hard. It’s messy. And there are no neat or obvious answers. Some thought Garrow should keep his discoveries under wraps, but it is the job of the historian to tell the truth. This is especially true for a historian who has already devoted a good chunk of his career to chronicling the man’s life. It would not be too much to say that Garrow had almost a unique duty to write this piece. It is unfortunate that the racists among us will cheer this news. But that is not an excuse to keep the truth hidden. If Garrow is right that a “profoundly painful historical reckoning and reconsideration” is upon us, then so be it. We are better off confronting the truth than living with a comfortable lie. Ronald Radosh
Should we prohibit the use of The Daily Mail as a source? I envisage something just short of blacklisting, whereby its introduction to an article could be accepted only upon there being a demonstrable need to use it instead of other sources. —Hillbillyholidaytalk 13:44, 7 January 2017 (UTC)
Consensus has determined that the Daily Mail (including its online version, dailymail.co.uk) is generally unreliable, and its use as a reference is to be generally prohibited, especially when other more reliable sources exist. As a result, the Daily Mail should not be used for determining notability, nor should it be used as a source in articles. An edit filter should be put in place going forward to warn editors attempting to use the Daily Mail as a reference. The general themes of the support votes centred on the Daily Mail’s reputation for poor fact checking, sensationalism, and flat-out fabrication. Examples were provided to back up these claims. Wikipedia
There is no justification for the blanket banning of a mass-circulation newspaper as a source. There will be cases where it is a suitable rs source. The problem with the « Mail-related arguments » mentioned, if the latest example here [2] is typical, is just with editors not knowing what appropriate sources to use. Should the Daily Mail be used to support a claim related to astronomy? Well duh, obviously not! The proposer seems to have a longterm pov agenda here, in an earlier comment he actually compared the Daily Mail to Völkischer Beobachter and has been busy compiling [3]. Tiptoethrutheminefield (talk) 14:16, 7 January 2017 (UTC)
It is hard to know whether to laugh or cry at this move by Wikipedia – a website that is notorious for its own inaccuracy and false truths, and which was co-founded by a man who doctored his own biographical entry. For the record the Daily Mail, in common with most reputable academic institutions, banned all its journalists from using Wikipedia as a sole source in 2014 because of its unreliability. Last year, the Daily Mail and Mail Online together published more than half a million stories and yet received just two upheld adjudications each for inaccuracy from the UK Industry’s regulator IPSO. This so-called ban by Wikipedia came at the end of a month-long ‘debate’ – triggered by a clearly obsessive newspaper-hater who hides behind the pseudonym ‘Hillbillyholiday’ – which attracted just 75 votes from Wikipedia’s 30 million anonymous registered editors. The debate makes it abundantly plain that the majority of those calling for the Mail to be banned were driven primarily by political motives. The so-called ‘vote’ was then endorsed by five anonymous administrators after a secret email exchange and then deliberately leaked to the media. All those people who believe in freedom of expression should be profoundly concerned at this cynical politically motivated attempt to stifle the free press. Spokesperson for Mail Newspapers
Cockram is a regular editor of the online encyclopedia Wikipedia, where (according to multiple posts on his Facebook feed) he operates under the alias ‘Hillbillyholiday’. Last month, ‘Hillbillyholiday’ was the architect of a cynical PR stunt which saw this newspaper publicly smeared by damning its journalism ‘unreliable’. He and 52 like-minded anti-Press zealots, almost all of whom remain anonymous, collaborated in a vote which persuaded Wikipedia, the sixth most popular website in the world, that it ought to ban the Daily Mail. The move by the online encyclopedia — which was founded in 2001 and has in a few short years become a hugely influential source of information — was revealed in the pages of the Left-wing Guardian newspaper. It reported that Wikipedia’s editors had decided, in a democratic ballot, that the Mail’s journalism cannot be trusted. No statistics were offered in support of this claim, which, incidentally, came days before the Mail won Sports Newspaper Of The Year for an unprecedented fourth straight time, and was shortlisted for 15 awards at the British Press Awards, the news industry’s Oscars. (Indeed, as we shall see, the Mail has an enviable record on accuracy.) Neither did Wikipedia, nor The Guardian, bother to shed much light on how this decision was reached. If they had, then it would have become apparent to readers that this supposed exercise in democracy took place in virtual secrecy, and that Wikipedia’s decision to censor the Mail — the only major news outlet on the face of the Earth to be so censored — was supported by a mere 53 of its editors, or 0.00018 per cent of the site’s 30 million total, plus five ‘administrators’. Curiously, though it has now placed a ban on this paper, the website remains happy to use the state propaganda outlets of many of the world’s most repressive and autocratic Left-wing dictatorships as a source for information. Wikipedia has not, for example, banned the Chinese government’s Xinhua news agency, Iran’s Press TV or the Kremlin mouthpiece Russia Today. Neither does it place a black mark against Kim Jong-un’s in-house propaganda outlet, the Korean Central News Agency, which in 2012 published a report claiming that archaeologists in the country’s capital, Pyongyang, had discovered the remains of a 1,000-year-old unicorn lair. Wikipedia even heralds Exaro, the now-defunct British website notorious for making false claims about an establishment paedophile ring which saw a number of innocent people arrested, as a valid ‘investigative news source’. And yet, it has declared that the Daily Mail — one of the most popular mainstream newspapers published in any Western democracy — is somehow too ‘unreliable’ to be included on its site. In an era where the term ‘fake news’ is increasingly used as a desperate slur, with Donald Trump applying it to CNN, the BBC and any major outlet that tends to disgruntle him, it’s tempting to suggest that both Wikipedia and The Guardian are guilty, in this deeply disturbing saga, of creating what might be regarded as false news. More worrying, this ban has set a dangerous precedent, raising profoundly troubling questions about free speech and censorship in the online era. And ultimately it provides an object lesson in the way well-organised campaigners from extremes of the political spectrum are now seeking to impose their prejudices on society by seizing control of the most valuable resource of the internet age: information. (…) Tasked for evidence to support this claim, ‘Hillbillyholiday’ simply claimed that this newspaper had more of press regulator IPSO’s sanctions against it than his favourite title, The Guardian. He failed to state that The Guardian is not regulated by IPSO, so can’t possibly have been sanctioned by it. In other words, this opponent of the popular Press was using a deeply misleading claim to accuse someone else of inaccuracy. As it happens, like every newspaper in the land, the Mail does of course sometimes make mistakes. In common with most titles, we correct all significant factual errors pointed out to us, via the Corrections and Clarifications column. According to IPSO’s own report, the regulator’s figures suggest the Mail’s record is better, not worse, than our peers. In 2015, with our sister website MailOnline, the Mail published more than half a million stories; IPSO upheld complaints against two of them. By way of comparison, five articles in The Times had complaints of one kind or another upheld against them, along with four in the Daily Express, and ten published by the Telegraph group. This would tend to suggest that Wikipedia’s decision to ‘ban’ the Mail was based on naked prejudice rather than any empirical evidence. It should be noted here that, ironically enough, the Mail wrote to all its writers and reporters three years ago instructing them never to rely on Wikipedia as a single source, such were the concerns about its accuracy. Of course, the Wikipedia ban would never have made headlines if news of the website’s debate result had not promptly been leaked to The Guardian which — surprise surprise — has Jimmy Wales on its board. (…) It’s a perverse state of affairs, and one which must, surely, rile Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales. Only last month, he wrote in The Guardian on the subject of fake news, arguing: ‘None of us is comfortable with the social media giants deciding what’s valid or not.’ Yet here is Wikipedia, a social media giant whose pages are riddled with inaccuracies, unilaterally deciding, at the request of a handful of people, that a major newspaper is somehow not valid. (…) financial papers filed by the Foundation show that, for an organisation that calls itself a ‘small non-profit’ business and begs users for donations (‘the price of a cup of coffee’) to keep it afloat, it enjoys bulging cash reserves. The Foundation’s accounts show it has assets of more than $90 million (£73 million), and spent $31 million (£25 million) in salaries last year, up from $26 million (£21 million) the year before. Since the same documents state that it employs 280 members of staff and contractors, their average salary appears to be more than $110,000 (£90,000). Meanwhile, the Foundation’s last tax return showed that its former executive director, Lila Tretikov, earned $308,149 (£251,000), plus another $18,213 (£15,000) in ‘other’ compensation, while former boss Sue Gardner was on roughly the same. The Daily Mail
Editors are supposed to always use judgment when choosing sources. Usually the broadsheets are better than the tabloids but there are circumstances when tabloids provide better coverage such as sports and crime. And if we exclude the Mail, there are a lot of other publications of lower quality that would still be considered reliable. TFD (talk) 12:18, 8 January 2017 (UTC)
there are some things for which it’s useful, despite all that’s been said above. Occasionally it accurately rakes muck that nobody else has turned over. If the proposer could be a little clearer about how we might demonstrate need to use it in those rare cases where the DM can be considered reliable, I might well change my mind. Richard Keatinge (talk) 17:10, 10 January 2017 (UTC)
Noting that this has been discussed a few dozen times now. Neither the DM nor any other news source is absolutely reliable on articles concerning celebrities. IMO, Wikipedia would be best off declining to republish « celebrity gossip » in the first place. More to the point, the DM has not been shown to be unreliable in other matters, although its headlines may misstate the content of articles, this is also true of every single newspaper known to man. I suggest, in fact, that « headlines » not be allowed as a source for what an article states, and only be allowed to illustrate what the headline stated and cited as such. Collect (talk) 14:27, 11 January 2017 (UTC)
The reliability of a Daily Mail should be judged on a case-by-case basis. Most material is uncontroversial and mistakes occur no more often than in other publications. A user should not have to hunt around for the same fact to be found in a different source because the Daily Mail is disliked by certain editors. ¡Bozzio! 05:37, 15 January 2017 (UTC)<h5 style= »text-align: justify; »><em>
Daily Mail gives coverage to many international news outside Europe and America. Daily Mail is not a good source in content dispute. But Daily Mail is good to prove notability of a subject. Daily Mail covers news stories which are not getting coverage in other English Media. We can use Daily Mail to establish notability of a politician, celebrity from Eastern Europe, Asia. Sometimes Daily Mail gives coverage to very ordinary things, but due to this they give coverage to many important Asian news, North African news and East-European news (where English is not official language). Marvellous Spider-Man 03:03, 16 January 2017 (UTC)
The Daily Mail, as hated as it is, is a very mixed bag. It can contain wonderful information such as accurate and informative interviews of highly respected people like Lord Puttnam (yes, I’ve seen that; can find the link if you need it), informative and detailed film and television articles, detailed information on various openings, galas, and so on. Many of these items are exclusives, so we can’t blacklist the publication. It also has an excellent (theatre, film, etc.) review team. We just have to keep in mind that it often stoops to tabloid scandal-mongering (and ridiculous political opinions). I think any intelligent editor can tell the difference. So with this publication it has to always be on a case-by-case basis. It’s a middle-market newspaper, so we cannot avoid it or blacklist it. I’d say it’s not to be used as a source for politics, science, medicine. But as a source for entertainment updates it is often helpful and often contains accurate information that is not available anywhere else. If it is contradicted by a more reliable source, it should not be used. Nothing negative, contentious, or potentially libelous or in any way scandalous should be sourced to the DM (unless it is a direct quote from an interview). Softlavender (talk) 06:26, 16 January 2017 (UTC)
The DM falls on a spectrum of news quality and it is far from the worst; singling it out for prohibition is not the solution here. It is hard not to suspect that it is being singled out because it combines a strong right-wing bias with a very large circulation. I see several editors above citing statistics regarding complaints and corrections as though this was a reason for prohibiting its use; but WP:NEWSORG gives the very fact that a complaints process exists and corrections are published as a reason to consider the source reliable. It should certainly be considered WP:BIASED, but then so should every news organisation that takes an editorial stance. This is already policy. Outright banning established, regulated, large-circulation newspapers from use on enwiki would be a terrible precedent to set, especially for having « ridiculous political opinions, » as one editor has put it a few lines above. GoldenRing (talk) 10:56, 16 January 2017 (UTC)
Awful and biased as the Mail often is, there is also much that may be uncontentious. For example, take e.g. an article that I did some editing on a long time ago, on Mary Marquis, a Scottish newsreader of the ’70s and ’80s, who is still a much cherished and remembered figure in Scotland. The article contains multiple citations to an 1998 interview / profile piece from the Mail — all of which, I would submit, are entirely uncontroversial; and (I submit) contribute valuably to giving a rounded-out account of her. Of course there are reasons why one should very often be cautious of the Mail, but IMO a blanket ban is not the way. I would add that, although people like to throw around the word « Tabloid », there can be a distinction between the connotations of that word on different sides of the Atlantic, and I wouldn’t throw the Record or the Mirror or the Standard or Metro into the same class as eg the National Enquirer. Jheald (talk) 20:03, 16 January 2017 (UTC)
The paper has been around since 1896. Its bad reputation in the first few years of the 21st century speak nothing about the reliability of more than a hundred years of volumes. Clearly a blanket ban is unjustified (per Thincat). – Finnusertop (talkcontribs) 03:17, 17 January 2017 (UTC)
Existing policy is enough. If it is worth adding to a Wikipedia article, it will have appeared in better sources than the Mail and other red top British tabloids. I am not an anti-tabloid snob like some of the people here, and the broadsheets are not perfect either. However, the Mail should be off limits for anything BLP related. This discussion is reminiscent of this tweet by Gavin Each case has to be judged on its merits because all sources are prone to error. The Daily Mail seems fairly average as journalism goes and should not be singled out when there are many worse sources. The following specific points demonstrate this. Andrew D. (talk) 13:50, 18 January 2017 (UTC)
The Daily Mail is somewhat unusual for a UK paper as it was the first newspaper specifically aimed at women and is read by more women than men. For example, the word suffragette was first coined in the pages of the Daily Mail and so is naturally cited by the Oxford English Dictionary. When the singer Lynsey de Paul died, there was some confusion about her exact age. The Daily Mail was one of the few news sources which got this right. I started our article about churnalism and this can be found in most news media now. One interesting case was a project which deliberately planted fake stories to see whether they would be circulated. The Daily Mail didn’t fall for this when many other news media did. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Andrew Davidson (talkcontribs)
This is ridiculous that you even consider to ban such a large newspaper. It reminds me of a witch hunt or collective responsibility (good articles banned by default, because someone else did something wrong earlier). Someone reverted DM as a source, even though DM was the only source, which actually bothered to interview the authors of the paper, therefore it was a better source than all other sources. There was nothing wrong with that DM article the only reason for removal was actually this discussion here. That can’t be right. Musashi miyamoto (talk) 17:18, 24 January 2017 (UTC)

Quel deux poids deux mesures ?

A l’heure où …

Après les faux notoires des Walter Duranty (NYT), Dan Rather (NBC), Eason Jordan (CNN) ou Scott Beauchamp (NYT) …

Où  sans parler, comme avec les toutes récentes révélations d’un spécialiste de Martin Luther King rejetées par tant le Guardian que l’Atlantic, de la rétention active d’information

Des usages de faux, plus près de chez nous, des Patrice De Beer et Jean-Claude Pomonti, PPDA, Charles Enderlin, Sara Daniel, Pascal Riché, Eric Laurent, Alain Ménargues (RFI) ou Michel Foucault

Le journal de référence américain lui-même se permet, hystérie anti-Trump oblige, un dessin antisémite

Ou un professeur de journalisme de NYU, parce que c’est « plausible », un faux tweet du président américain …

Où un journaliste qui présente explicitement son travail sur la présidence Trump comme …

Pour « beaucoup » « à l’image de ceux de Trump tout bonnement faux » …

Le « flou avec la vérité, sinon avec la réalité elle-même » comme  « fil conducteur élémentaire » de ses livres …

La vérité comme « une version des faits que je crois vraie » …

Son non-rappel des personnes incriminées pour vérification comme non nécessaire puisque l’on « sait à l’avance ce que la réponse sera »

Son obligation d’arriver à « la vérité telle que je la vois » comme plus importante que la vérification des faits …

Et sa principale source comme les dires d’un ancien conseiller du président américain …

Non seulement ouvertement déterminé à régler ses comptes avec celui qui l’a éconduit …

Mais considéré justement par tous comme l’âme damnée et le principal inspirateur du rapport controversé de l’hôte de la Maison Blanche à la vérité …

Ne va pas manquer, comme avec son premier livre, de remplir les colonnes de nos valeureux journalistes avec son irresistible flot d’ « anecdotes croustillantes, risibles et parfois invraisemblables sur Donald Trump » …

Et où, de ce côté-ci de l’Atlantique, les mêmes journalistes qui n’hésitent pas à balancer en une des notes classées secret défense pour dénoncer les ventes d’armes à l’Arabie saoudite ou à compromettre l’identité d’un membre des forces spéciales pour alimenter leur feuilleton Benalla

Multiplient les précautions oratoires quand ils ne mettent pas systématiquent en doute les informations des services secrets américains ou israéliens, voire de l’ONU même sur les activités explicitement terroristes, livraisons d’armes aux Houtis du Yemen comprises, des mollahs et de leurs affidés au Moyen-Orient …

Comment voir …

Non seulement la qualification de « haineux » pour avoir osé soulever …

Entre deux campagnes pour dénoncer un crime raciste ou une condamnation injuste

Les questions qui fâchent comme le problèmes de l’immigration sauvage ou la tentative par les juges de la Cour suprême britannique de remettre en cause le vote populaire du Brexit …

Ou d’ « homophobe » pour, dans les cas de parenté homosexuelle, avoir osé rappeler l’intérêt des enfants ou des mères porteuses …

Mais le rejet comme source fiable il y a deux ans du seul Daily Mail …

Par un Wikipédia qui a pourtant ses propres problèmes  …

Alors que, prenant notamment en compte l’important volume d’articles du premier site de presse britannique (144 000 articles par jour), l’extension pour navigateur Newsguard vient de lui redonner son label vert

Pour autre chose que ce qu’il n’est vraiment …

A savoir, comme le dit bien le Daily Mail lui-même, une « tentative cynique et politiquement motivée d’étouffer la presse libre » ?

Wikipedia ban condemned by Daily Mail as ‘cynical politically motivated attempt to stifle the free press’
The Daily Mail has said a decision by Wikipedia editors to ban references to its articles for sourcing entries is a “politically motivated attempt to stifle the free press”.
Freddy Mayhew
Press Gazette
February 10, 2017

The Daily Mail and Mail Online publications were the subject of a debate this week among a section of the self-regulating community of voluntary Wikipedia editors, most of whom post under pseudonyms.

It began when one editor, called Hillbillyholiday, proposed a “request for comment” from the editorial community on whether it should “prohibit the use of the Daily Mail as a source”.

They said: “I envisage something just short of blacklisting, whereby its introduction to an article could be accepted only upon there being a demonstrable need to use it instead of other sources.”

The motion passed within 24 hours, supported by 58 out of 84 editors.

It stated: “Consensus has determined that the Daily Mail (including its online version, dailymail.co.uk) is generally unreliable, and its use as a reference is to be generally prohibited, especially when other more reliable sources exist.

“As a result, the Daily Mail should not be used for determining notability, nor should it be used as a source in articles. An edit filter should be put in place going forward to warn editors attempting to use the Daily Mail as a reference.”

Editors said support for the ban “centred on the Daily Mail’s reputation for poor fact checking, sensationalism, and flat-out fabrication” and encouraged volunteers to “review” and “remove/replace” the many thousands of existing citations on Wikipedia referencing Mail stories.

The ban was opposed by some members, with one stating: “There is no justification for the blanket banning of a mass-circulation newspaper as a source. There will be cases where it is a suitable [as a] source.

“The problem with the ‘Mail-related arguments’ mentioned… is just with editors not knowing what appropriate sources to use.”

Mail Online publishes around half a million stories a year. According to Press Gazette analysis the Daily Mail and Mail Online had four adjudications upheld against them each under the first two years of press regulator IPSO (to September 2016).

Anyone can edit a Wikipedia page by simply clicking on the “edit” button along the top of an article and signing up for free. There is no vetting process and only deliberate “vandalism” will invoke arbitration.

A spokesperson for Mail Newspapers said: “It is hard to know whether to laugh or cry at this move by Wikipedia – a website that is notorious for its own inaccuracy and false truths, and which was co-founded by a man who doctored his own biographical entry.

“For the record the Daily Mail, in common with most reputable academic institutions, banned all its journalists from using Wikipedia as a sole source in 2014 because of its unreliability.

“Last year, the Daily Mail and Mail Online together published more than half a million stories and yet received just two upheld adjudications each for inaccuracy from the UK Industry’s regulator IPSO.

“This so-called ban by Wikipedia came at the end of a month-long ‘debate’ – triggered by a clearly obsessive newspaper-hater who hides behind the pseudonym ‘Hillbillyholiday’ – which attracted just 75 votes from Wikipedia’s 30 million anonymous registered editors.

“The debate makes it abundantly plain that the majority of those calling for the Mail to be banned were driven primarily by political motives.

“The so-called ‘vote’ was then endorsed by five anonymous administrators after a secret email exchange and then deliberately leaked to the media.

“All those people who believe in freedom of expression should be profoundly concerned at this cynical politically motivated attempt to stifle the free press.”

The editor behind the motion to ban the Daily Mail as a Wikipedia source, Hillbillyholiday, has since left Wikipedia. A sign on their page, which reveals next to no detail about the individual, states: “Hillbillyholiday is taking a short wikibreak and will be back on Wikipedia soon.”

In one public message from an editor called Bounder, Hillbillyholiday is awarded a merit badge for their “excellent work in opening the RfC on the Daily Mail”. Bounder added of the Mail: “Its presence on what is supposed to be an encyclopaedia is a constant source of embarrassment.”

In response, Hillbillyholiday said: “Thanks, Bounder… really didn’t expect the RfC [Request for Coment] to pass and was beginning to regret using Mail-style tactics of blatant sensationalization [sic] and flagrant misrepresentation of sources; it seemed rather ‘poetic’ at the time.

“Anyway, job’s a good’un, I’m off to hide somewhere where [Daily Mail editor Paul] Dacre won’t find me.”

In a leader column today, the Times said Wikipedia’s ban on the Daily Mail was evidence of a “promiscuous extension of the phrase ‘fake news’ to cover stories and publications that the complainer happens merely to dislike”.

“Newspapers make errors and have the responsibility to correct them. Wikipedia editors’ fastidiousness, however, appears to reflect less a concern for accuracy than dislike of the Daily Mail’s opinions,” the paper said, adding: “It is the duty of legitimate news organisations to reveal real news.”

On the Daily Mail ban, Juliet Barbara, director of communications at the Wikimedia Foundation, said in a statement: “Editors have discussed the reliability of the Daily Mail since at least early 2015.

“In January 2017, an RfC (Request for Comment) discussion was proposed to evaluate the use of the Daily Mail as a reliable source on English Wikipedia. This is one of many community discussions that take place every day about a broad range of issues, including reliable sources.

“In this case, volunteer editors seem to have come to a consensus that the Daily Mail is ‘generally unreliable and its use as a reference is to be generally prohibited, especially when other more reliable sources exist’.

“This means that there is a general recommendation according to this discussion that the Daily Mail not be referenced as a ‘reliable source’ on English Wikipedia or used to demonstrate an article subject’s notability.

“That said, I encourage you to read the comments in the RfC itself. You will find considerable discussion on the topic, including views both for and against the proposal. Wikipedia is a living, breathing ecosystem where volunteers regularly discuss and evolve the norms that guide the encyclopaedia.

“Among Wikipedia’s many policies and guidelines, there is even a policy to ignore all rules. It captures the open spirit of the community: ‘If a rule prevents you from improving or maintaining Wikipedia, ignore it.’

“As a general guide to reliable sources, articles on Wikipedia should be based on reliable, third-party, published sources with a reputation for fact-checking and accuracy. Editors assess the reliability of a source at these levels:

  • The piece of work itself (the article, book)
  • The creator of the work (the writer, journalist)
  • The publisher of the work (for example, Random House or Cambridge University Press)

“They also use a variety of criteria to evaluate reliability within each of these levels. For example, one signal that a news organization engages in fact-checking and has a reputation for accuracy is the publication of corrections.”

Voir aussi:

The making of a Wiki-Lie: Chilling story of one twisted oddball and a handful of anonymous activists who appointed themselves as censors to promote their own warped agenda on a website that’s a byword for inaccuracy 

    • Wikipedia’s editors decided that the Mail’s journalism cannot be trusted
    • The ban was supported by just 0.00018 per cent of site’s ‘administrators’
    • The Mail is the only major news outlet on the face of the Earth to be so censored
    • Ban sets a dangerous precedent, raising troubling questions about free speech

Guy Adams
The Daily Mail
4 March 2017

Here, you will learn that he’s ‘single’, is a fan of graffiti and folk music, and has worked variously as an ‘artist’ and ‘education management professional’.

Cockram boasts 153 online friends, and claims to live in Angoisse, a village in the Dordogne in south-western France. He also appears to take great pleasure in regularly circulating obscene images and racist sentiments via the social network.

His Facebook page includes an image of two gay men performing a sex act in public, a photograph of a naked, dark-haired man having oral sex with himself, and a painting that depicts bestiality between a man and a sheep.

Three years ago, Cockram wrote on his timeline that ‘all Muslim men admitted to Paradise will have an ever-erect penis and they will each marry 70 wives, all with appetising vaginas’.

Around the same time, he declared: ‘If you gently lick the outside of a Kinder Egg, you can slowly recreate the changing skin tones of Michael Jackson.’

It’s lubricious, utterly unedifying stuff. Indeed, a casual observer could be forgiven for pigeon-holing Cockram as a bigoted oddball who spends rather too much of his life in darker corners of the internet.

Yet in the modern world, bigoted oddballs who are over-familiar with the internet can wield tremendous power — and this potty-mouthed man is a case in point. For when he’s not posting obscene images or racist sentiments, Cockram is a regular editor of the online encyclopedia Wikipedia, where (according to multiple posts on his Facebook feed) he operates under the alias ‘Hillbillyholiday’.

Last month, ‘Hillbillyholiday’ was the architect of a cynical PR stunt which saw this newspaper publicly smeared by damning its journalism ‘unreliable’.

He and 52 like-minded anti-Press zealots, almost all of whom remain anonymous, collaborated in a vote which persuaded Wikipedia, the sixth most popular website in the world, that it ought to ban the Daily Mail.

The move by the online encyclopedia — which was founded in 2001 and has in a few short years become a hugely influential source of information — was revealed in the pages of the Left-wing Guardian newspaper.

It reported that Wikipedia’s editors had decided, in a democratic ballot, that the Mail’s journalism cannot be trusted.

No statistics were offered in support of this claim, which, incidentally, came days before the Mail won Sports Newspaper Of The Year for an unprecedented fourth straight time, and was shortlisted for 15 awards at the British Press Awards, the news industry’s Oscars. (Indeed, as we shall see, the Mail has an enviable record on accuracy.)

Neither did Wikipedia, nor The Guardian, bother to shed much light on how this decision was reached.

If they had, then it would have become apparent to readers that this supposed exercise in democracy took place in virtual secrecy, and that Wikipedia’s decision to censor the Mail — the only major news outlet on the face of the Earth to be so censored — was supported by a mere 53 of its editors, or 0.00018 per cent of the site’s 30 million total, plus five ‘administrators’.

Curiously, though it has now placed a ban on this paper, the website remains happy to use the state propaganda outlets of many of the world’s most repressive and autocratic Left-wing dictatorships as a source for information.

Wikipedia has not, for example, banned the Chinese government’s Xinhua news agency, Iran’s Press TV or the Kremlin mouthpiece Russia Today.

Neither does it place a black mark against Kim Jong-un’s in-house propaganda outlet, the Korean Central News Agency, which in 2012 published a report claiming that archaeologists in the country’s capital, Pyongyang, had discovered the remains of a 1,000-year-old unicorn lair.

Wikipedia even heralds Exaro, the now-defunct British website notorious for making false claims about an establishment paedophile ring which saw a number of innocent people arrested, as a valid ‘investigative news source’.

And yet, it has declared that the Daily Mail — one of the most popular mainstream newspapers published in any Western democracy — is somehow too ‘unreliable’ to be included on its site.

In an era where the term ‘fake news’ is increasingly used as a desperate slur, with Donald Trump applying it to CNN, the BBC and any major outlet that tends to disgruntle him, it’s tempting to suggest that both Wikipedia and The Guardian are guilty, in this deeply disturbing saga, of creating what might be regarded as false news.

More worrying, this ban has set a dangerous precedent, raising profoundly troubling questions about free speech and censorship in the online era.

And ultimately it provides an object lesson in the way well-organised campaigners from extremes of the political spectrum are now seeking to impose their prejudices on society by seizing control of the most valuable resource of the internet age: information.

To understand how, you must first understand Wikipedia and the manner in which it works. Founded in 2001 by Jimmy Wales, husband of Tony Blair’s former diary secretary Kate Garvey (Alastair Campbell played bagpipes at their wedding), the site is an encyclopedia whose pages can be written and edited by anyone in the world.

Wales has said he wants it to contain ‘the sum of all human knowledge available to all in their own language’.

Over time, the theory goes, successive contributors, or ‘editors’, will gradually improve and update every Wikipedia article. Thanks to the so-called ‘wisdom of crowds’, they will slowly but surely create an ever-more-valuable repository of facts.

Today, Wikipedia has more than five million pages in English, and is visited about 269 million times a day, making it more popular than the sales site Amazon.

Thirty million people have now registered as ‘editors’, of whom around 130,000 have been active in the past six months.

Since it’s easily accessed online by Google, billions more use its pages as a key source of what they assume is accurate and unbiased information.

That’s the theory, at least. However in practice, the site — so quick to smear the Mail as ‘unreliable’ — has itself become a byword for inaccuracy.

Banned as source material by many universities, Wikipedia’s reputation for carrying fake news has seen it claim (among other things) that Robbie Williams eats domestic pets, that the Greek philosopher Plato was a Hawaiian surfer who discovered Florida, and that the TV news presenter Jon Snow has been patron of the British Conifer Society. (For the record, Mr Snow himself has said: ‘I hate conifers and I’m not the society’s patron.’)

Victims of ‘Wiki-lies’ have over recent years included some of the loftiest figures in the land.

Take Lord Justice Leveson, whose vast report on the Press informed readers that the Independent newspaper had been founded by a man called Brett Straub.

In fact, Mr Straub is a Californian student whose name had been uploaded to Wikipedia by way of a prank. Leveson’s team had simply cut-and-pasted it from the online encyclopedia into the report without checking: quite a boob for a man who lectured the Press for sometimes getting facts wrong.

Behind the scenes, Wikipedia is supposed to be run along broadly democratic lines, with groups of users making key decisions and founder Jimmy Wales describing himself as its ‘constitutional monarch, like the Queen’.

He doesn’t wield executive power, and, indeed, has occasionally fallen out spectacularly with users of the site.

In 2005, they discovered that Wales had edited his own Wikipedia entry to remove references to the pornographic nature of a search engine he once ran called Bomis Babes (which contained images of ‘lesbian strip poker threesomes’ among other things). The references were soon re-added. In 2010, he deleted 1,000 pornographic images from Wikipedia only for furious users to restore 900 of them.

As a result of its devolved structure, major policy decisions that affect the online encyclopedia are supposed to be vigorously discussed in chat-rooms and then put to a vote.

That’s the idea, at least. Yet as the recent censorship of the Daily Mail shows, the website’s version of democracy does not always work perfectly in practice.

For this momentous decision was made not by a large proportion of the site’s billions of users, or even by many of its 30 million editors, but instead as the result of an online debate in which just a few dozen people participated, despite the fact that it took place over a month.

There was then an election, in which a mere 77 of them voted, with 53 endorsing a ‘ban’ on the Mail. As elections go, it’s hardly a popular landslide.

No further steps were taken to gauge the opinion of Wikipedia’s wider user base, or to establish if there was any evidence to support the contention that this paper is somehow ‘unreliable’.

The wheels of this stunt were set in motion on January 7 by ‘Hillbillyholiday’, whose attitude towards the popular Press is evident in the fact that he also uses the alias ‘Tabloid Terminator’ and who has included an image of himself burning a copy of the Mail on his profile page.

In the past, he has declared: ‘If the Daily Mail were a person, I would kick them square in the nut.’ He’s also said he ‘hates The Sun and thinks anyone who treats it as a reliable source is stark raving mad’.

Using an obscure chatroom browsed by some Wikipedia editors, he kicked things off by saying: ‘Should we prohibit the use of the Daily Mail as a source?’ He continued: ‘I envisage something just short of blacklisting.’

Blacklisting is a term which in its modern context was popularised by the Nazis, who drew up a ‘Black Book’ of 2,820 Britons, including the philosopher Bertrand Russell and Winston Churchill, who would be sent to concentration camps if Hitler won the war.

Discussion was then joined by a number of other Wikipedia editors with either Left-wing political leanings or wider anti-Press agendas. Steven Slater, a fortysomething science fiction fan from Essex, declared this newspaper a ‘fake news’ outlet.

Another regular contributor was an American called Guy Macon who has said: ‘Kill it. Kill it with fire. Under NO circumstances should the Daily Mail be used for anything, ever.’

All of them were apparently of the view that the Mail is far more inaccurate than any other news organisation on the face of the Earth. Yet they failed to cite any data to back up their contention.

Indeed, asked for evidence to support this claim, ‘Hillbillyholiday’ simply claimed that this newspaper had more of press regulator IPSO’s sanctions against it than his favourite title, The Guardian. He failed to state that The Guardian is not regulated by IPSO, so can’t possibly have been sanctioned by it.

In other words, this opponent of the popular Press was using a deeply misleading claim to accuse someone else of inaccuracy.

As it happens, like every newspaper in the land, the Mail does of course sometimes make mistakes. In common with most titles, we correct all significant factual errors pointed out to us, via the Corrections and Clarifications column.

According to IPSO’s own report, the regulator’s figures suggest the Mail’s record is better, not worse, than our peers.

In 2015, with our sister website MailOnline, the Mail published more than half a million stories; IPSO upheld complaints against two of them. By way of comparison, five articles in The Times had complaints of one kind or another upheld against them, along with four in the Daily Express, and ten published by the Telegraph group.

This would tend to suggest that Wikipedia’s decision to ‘ban’ the Mail was based on naked prejudice rather than any empirical evidence.

It should be noted here that, ironically enough, the Mail wrote to all its writers and reporters three years ago instructing them never to rely on Wikipedia as a single source, such were the concerns about its accuracy.

Of course, the Wikipedia ban would never have made headlines if news of the website’s debate result had not promptly been leaked to The Guardian which — surprise surprise — has Jimmy Wales on its board.

The Left-wing newspaper carried a short report of the Daily Mail ban in its print edition, and a longer one online. Each was originally published before this newspaper was in a position to comment.

Its online report was then re-published, with a quotation from a spokesman for this newspaper describing Wikipedia’s ban as ‘a politically motivated attempt to stifle the free Press’.

Amazingly, that comment was edited by The Guardian prior to publication to remove criticism of Jimmy Wales for editing his own Wikipedia page. Disgracefully, it was also altered to remove the crucial information about just how few of Wikipedia’s 30 million editors had been responsible for the ban.

This was only subsequently added into the online story after further representations by the Mail. Even then, The Guardian did not include the fact that the ‘vote’ had been endorsed by just five anonymous administrators.

Talk about fake news! Because, of course, by now this misleading story had been validated by its publication in a well-known national newspaper, and was being repeated verbatim by other news outlets, particularly from the Left — showing just how corruptible information has become in the online age.

To this end, it’s worth noting that while the number of articles in English-language pages of Wikipedia has more than doubled in seven years, the number of people editing the site has declined by a quarter — thus concentrating editorial power in a small number of hands, and creating a narrow nexus of obsessive meddlers.

Today, around 90 per cent of these editors are men, and most are white. Only a tiny proportion come from outside the developed world. Most are under the age of 40 and have a liberal world view. Some could be accurately described as cranks.

Such a man is Michael Cockram, whose Facebook page (in between the obscenity and racist bile) also celebrates juvenile acts of vandalism that appear to have been carried out on Wikipedia entries.

‘The common tadpole, also known as a polliwog, is in fact not from frog eggs, but from goose poo,’ reads one. ‘Tadpoles can sing at a frequency higher than what humans can hear.’

This, then is the bizarre individual who, with a self-selecting handful of other zealots, has managed to ban a major popular newspaper from the world’s sixth largest website.

It’s a perverse state of affairs, and one which must, surely, rile Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales. Only last month, he wrote in The Guardian on the subject of fake news, arguing: ‘None of us is comfortable with the social media giants deciding what’s valid or not.’

Yet here is Wikipedia, a social media giant whose pages are riddled with inaccuracies, unilaterally deciding, at the request of a handful of people, that a major newspaper is somehow not valid.

I asked the website’s parent organisation, the Wikimedia Foundation, how it squares Wales’s ethos with recent events. It refused to answer.

Perhaps it has something to hide. After all, financial papers filed by the Foundation show that, for an organisation that calls itself a ‘small non-profit’ business and begs users for donations (‘the price of a cup of coffee’) to keep it afloat, it enjoys bulging cash reserves.

The Foundation’s accounts show it has assets of more than $90 million (£73 million), and spent $31 million (£25 million) in salaries last year, up from $26 million (£21 million) the year before.

Since the same documents state that it employs 280 members of staff and contractors, their average salary appears to be more than $110,000 (£90,000).

Meanwhile, the Foundation’s last tax return showed that its former executive director, Lila Tretikov, earned $308,149 (£251,000), plus another $18,213 (£15,000) in ‘other’ compensation, while former boss Sue Gardner was on roughly the same.

Are these amounts not excessive? Again the Foundation refused to answer my questions about the subject.

Perhaps they feel no need. For theirs is a world where it has become troublingly easy to ignore awkward questions, or indeed everything, from a newspaper which an infinitesimally small number of their members happen to dislike.

Voir également:

‘We were wrong’: US news rating tool boosts Mail Online trust ranking after talks with unnamed Daily Mail exec
James Walker
Press Gazette
January 31, 2019

US news website rating tool Newsguard has changed its verdict on Mail Online after originally declaring the UK’s most-read news website failed to uphold “basic standards of accuracy or accountability”.

Newsguard now says the website “generally maintains basic standards of accuracy and accountability”. The start-up said the changes had been made following “discussions” with an unnamed Daily Mail executive

New York-based Newsguard runs a free extension for the Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge browsers that dishes out “red” and “green” ratings to news websites based on its judgement of their trustworthiness.

It was revealed last week that the ranking tool, which is included as an opt-in extension on Microsoft Edge’s mobile web app, handed Mail Online a red rating that put it on par with Kremlin-backed newsbrands RT and Sputnik.

When the browser extension is installed, red or green shields appear to give Newsguard’s appraisal of the website, which it calls “nutrition labels”.

In its previous “red” rating for Mail Online, Newsguard claimed it failed on six counts:

  • To gather and present information responsibly
  • Handle the difference between news and opinion responsibly
  • Avoid deceptive headlines
  • Reveal who is in charge and potential conflicts of interest
  • Provide the names of content creators with contact information
  • Repeatedly published false content.

In its new “green” label for the website, Newsguard has rowed back on its previous claims about deceptive headlines, publishing false content and the failure to reveal who is in charge along with conflicts of interest.

It still regards Mail Online as failing to gather and present information responsibility, handle the difference between news and opinion responsibly and provide the names of content creators with contact information.

In its editor’s note on the updated “nutrition label” for Mail Online, Newsguard said: “This label now has the benefit of the dailymail.co.uk’s input and our view is that in some important respects their objections are right and we were wrong, which we think demonstrates the value of the transparency and accountability that imbues what we do.”

Newsguard said the Daily Mail executive pointed out that it had relied too heavily on complaints filed with watchdog the Independent Press Standards Organisation when making a judgement on whether or not the site repeatedly published fake news.

Newsguard accepted that point and said it “should not be over-relying on IPSO’s process for our judgement on this criterion” and also needed to consider the number of IPSO complaints levelled at a publication against how much content it publishes.

Mail Online publishes some 1,500 stories per day – well over half-a-million per year. It has 12m average daily unique browsers, according to circulation auditor ABC.

The “red” ratings for deceptive headlines was reversed after Newsguard similarly considered the number of Mail Online stories that carried misleading headlines versus those that did not.

The Mail executive also challenged the media start-up’s claim that it failed to handle the difference between news and opinion responsibly, pointing out that UK newspapers “have long-held politically oriented viewpoints … and that this is a widely accepted practice in British journalism”.

Newsguard said it would not change Mail Online’s “red” rating on that criteria because there was no “disclosure of its conservative orientation” on its website.

The start-up said the Mail executive agreed with its point on revealing who was in charge and possible conflicts of interest and has put more information about editorial leadership on its website.

Newsguard has claimed more than 500 online news outlets have “improved their journalism practices” based on its nine trustworthiness factors, which are:

  • Not repeatedly publishing false content
  • Gathering and presenting information responsibly
  • Regular corrections and clarifications (where necessary)
  • Handling the difference between news and opinion responsibly
  • Avoiding deceptive headlines
  • Disclosing ownership and source(s) of financing
  • Clearly labels advertising
  • Reveals who is in charge and any conflicts of interest
  • Provides name of content creators with either contact or biographical information.

It said that Mail Online, Reuters and Yahoo News are among those that have improved practices as a result of its browser extension.

Newsguard co-chief executive Steven Brill said: “We created Newsguard because we believe strongly that when news organizations are held to a high standard of accuracy and accountability, the result is good for both those news organizations and their readers.

“Our results thus far show that this is indeed the case. The most common side effect of what we do is for news organisations to improve their journalistic practices.”

Newsguard ratings are calculated by a leadership and analyst team that includes alumnus from The Week, the Wall Street Journal and the Associated Press.

Microsoft partnered with the firm in August last year as part of its Defending Democracy Program.

Brill told Press Gazette that Newsguard has so far rated the 2,000 most read news and information websites in the US – and that some UK publications happened to appear in that bracket.

It rates website on a 0 to 100 points scale, with 60 being the threshold between “green” and “red” rankings.

Each of the nine trustworthiness factors are weighted differently, with reporting true and accurate stories gaining the most points at 22 and providing information on “content creators”, such as journalist bios, the least at 5 points.

Voir de même:

The Daily Mail is an amoral cash cow, and the most effective way to reject the bile it prints is to never read it

Shortly after the Olympics opening ceremony, the Daily Mail published a great steaming turd of an article by a « journalist » called Rick Dewsbury. I won’t reproduce the whole sorry thing here, but suffice to say it was an unpleasant mix of contempt, misanthropy and thinly disguised racism. As he complained bitterly of the ceremony’s « politically driven multiculturalism », Dewsbury observed: « This was supposed to be a representation of modern life in England but it is likely to be a challenge for the organisers to find an educated white middle-aged mother and black father living together with a happy family in such a set-up. »

Every now and then the Daily Mail will publish an article that, even by its own dubious standards, is offensive to the point of unacceptable. Rick Dewsbury’s journalistic offal is the latest in a long line of these: from Richard Littlejohn’s declaration that the deaths of five women was « no great loss », to Samantha « don’t hate me because I’m beautiful » Brick. But it’s not the articles themselves that spark my curiosity; it’s the liberal reaction to them, which judging by form seems to be: 1. Angrily share the article as much as possible. 2 ????? 3. Close the Daily Mail.

I’ve often wondered whether the Daily Mail’s critics realise that the sole consequence of their actions is to increase traffic to its website, and whether next time they might consider cutting out the middle man by simply emptying the contents of their wallets on to Paul Dacre’s desk. I posed this question to those responding to the Dewsbury article and the answer I got was that, despite increasing the paper’s hit rate, it is nonetheless important to « expose » the Daily Mail. To which I ask, expose what? That a paper which once supported the Blackshirts is occasionally racist?

The blogger John Walker gave a more detailed answer. In a widely praised and shared article, he wrote:

« I still meet many people who do not understand how the Daily Mail is not just another tabloid, not just as bad as the rest of them, but instead something far more despicable and dangerous. It’s one of the most popular papers in Britain, and when we say, ‘Just ignore it – they’re just trying to get hits,’ I shudder. We do not ignore evil – we challenge it and get angry about it. »

For me, this is where it all gets a bit ridiculous. The Daily Mail is not some kind of bigoted Sauron, casting a shadow over the citizens of middle England. There is no grand conspiracy; no ideological plan to make everyone that little bit worse. The Daily Mail is an amoral cash cow; one that knows its readers frighteningly well, and makes money by appealing to their very worst instincts. For all the sexism contained therein, as Kira Cochrane pointed out some months ago, the Daily Mail has more female bylines than any other newspaper – for the simple reason that the majority of its readers are female. In other words, this is a newspaper operating upon mercenary, not malevolent principles.

The editors of the Daily Mail don’t think their readers are nice people; they think they’re small-minded, curtain-twitching misers, largely because that’s what the editors are like as well. As a Daily Mail journalist once put it to me, « There is no conspiracy with the Mail. It’s just what you get when you have a newspaper run by [censored]. »

But don’t take my word for it: read Private Eye, which will tell you that the Mail’s morning editorial conference is nicknamed « The Vagina Monologues » by staff, because of the liberty with which Paul Dacre dispenses the c-word. Or a New Yorker piece on the Mail, where journalist Lauren Collins asked picture editor Martin Clarke why he was publishing a picture of an acne-ridden actress. His response was not that he wished to ensure women’s sexual and social oppression, but: « Well, we all just looked at the picture and went, ‘Yuck, look, she’s an actress in 90210, and she’s spotty.' »

Now I am not suggesting that angry liberals should attempt to peacefully co-exist with the Daily Mail – far from it. I am arguing that said liberals should know their enemy. See, the fact is: the Daily Mail doesn’t care that you’re angry. It only cares that you buy it. And if the Daily Mail lives for profit, then the most effective way to keep it in check is to hit it in the wallet.

How do we do that? I hear you cry. Well luckily, there are plenty of precedents. In 2008, the residents of Hackney persuaded the borough’s suppliers not to stock the Hackney Gazette unless it withdrew an advert in its pages for the BNP. The campaign worked and the Hackney Gazette agreed not to run the advert. And only last year, online activists persuaded advertisers in the News of the World to withdraw their custom after the hacking of Milly Dowler’s phone, which in part led to the newspaper’s closure.

So liberals, if you are serious about taking on the Daily Mail, stop clicking and start acting. And when you find yourselves getting fruitlessly angry the next time it publishes some swill, just remember the wisdom attributed to George Bernard Shaw: « I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig. You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it. »

Voir de plus:

The judgment is not about sabotaging Britain’s EU exit. It’s about respecting democracy and getting the best deal possible

It has become painfully clear since June’s vote to leave the European Union that Theresa May’s government and its supporters have little or no idea where the country is heading. Lacking a plan or a shared philosophy, they are united by an arbitrary and destructive rush to the exit. Their hysterical reaction to last week’s unanimous high court ruling that Britain cannot quit the EU without parliament’s consent also reveals extraordinary ignorance about where we, as a country, have come from. It is dismaying that those who campaigned so passionately to reclaim British sovereignty appear not to have the first idea about their country’s long-established constitutional arrangements.

It is a fundamental principle of British democracy that parliament is sovereign. Not the government. Not the executive or a self-selecting clique within it. Certainly not this prime minister, who lacks a personal mandate. Sovereign power resides with our elected, representative parliament. This state of affairs did not come about by chance. A power struggle between the crown and its subjects raged almost unceasingly in the centuries following Magna Carta. The proposition that the monarch cannot rule without parliament’s consent lay at the heart of England’s serial 17th-century civil wars. The question was settled by the parliamentarians’ victory at the battle of Worcester in 1651. Parliament’s ascendancy was legally established in the Glorious Revolution of 1688, which spawned the landmark Bill of Rights.

It is also a long-established fact of British constitutional life that the country’s senior judges do not make domestic law. Their independent role is to interpret laws agreed by parliament, say what they mean and how and if they may be legally implemented. When Britain joined what was then the EEC, the European Communities Act, passed by parliament in 1972, incorporated many European laws into domestic law. Thus it is both illogical and ignorant to castigate the high court for doing its job and stating the constitutionally obvious: that having passed the act, only parliament can override it by consenting to activate article 50 of the Lisbon treaty.

Yet castigating the judges and by extension, anybody who has the effrontery to agree with them, is exactly what the hard Tory Brexiters and their accomplices in the lie factories of Fleet Street have resorted to with a venom, vindictiveness and vituperation remarkable even by their standards. The will of the people has been thwarted by an “activist” judiciary. These bewigged, closet Remainers, members of the fabled “well-heeled liberal metropolitan elite”, are “enemies of the people”, they shriek. Some of these sleaze-peddlers even dipped into homophobia, highlighting the sexual orientation of one of the judges. Inexcusable.

This is mendacious bile. It wilfully misunderstands the relationship between parliament, government and the judiciary. Partisanship is understandable, but this level of stupidity is unforgivable. It misleads and distorts – either deliberately or out of ignorance. As Hilary Benn pointed out yesterday, the high court judgment has nothing to do with defying the “will of the people”. As he explained, “the judgment is not to do with the fact that we will be leaving the European Union. It was a ruling on who starts the process, who fires the starting gun and in upholding the principle of parliamentary sovereignty… the judges said that since it was legislation that took us in, it should be parliament that takes the decision to start that process and not the government.”

Or here is Conservative MP and ex-attorney general Dominic Grieve speaking on Newsnight on Friday: “I was horrified at the newspaper coverage, which reminded me of Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe. The judges did exactly what was asked of them – they highlighted that our constitution does not allow you to overturn statute law by decree.”

The judiciary are at the heart of our commitment to the rule of law and those who question their legitimacy (because they disagree with their view) threaten to undermine a critical institution vital to our democracy. Yesterday, the Bar Council took the extraordinary step of asking the lord chancellor, Liz Truss, to condemn the “serious and unjustified” attacks on senior judges over the Brexit court ruling. Senior judges having to appeal to the lord chancellor to defend them from unjustified attacks, in Britain, in 2016?

Since 23 June, the country has loosed itself from tolerant, civil discourse – on both sides. The world has often looked to Britain as an example of a pluralist, inclusive democracy and a cultured, ordered and civil society. But that is changing. As the world looked at the response of politicians and the popular press to last week’s court judgment, many will have concluded that it had more in common with Sisi’s Egypt or Erdoğan’s Turkey than the Britain they thought they knew. A country that hounds, demonises and implicitly threatens its independent judiciary is one that toys menacingly with the very tenets of democracy.

We noted in these columns some weeks ago that Theresa May, who coined the phrase the “nasty party” to describe the Conservatives some years ago, was threatening to turn Britain into the nasty country. That is increasingly the message being sent across the world. It is also the message being sent to foreigners living here, including long-resident EU nationals now afraid to speak openly for fear of rebuke or worse.

Many more reasonable Brexit supporters have rightly distanced themselves from campaign to demonise the judges responsible for last week’s ruling. But the government’s ill-advised decision to appeal to the supreme court means judges sitting on England’s highest bench, who will consider the matter next month, may now also be subject to overt political pressure and similarly contemptuous, intimidatory invective. In Turkey or Burundi, such tactics by the state and its surrogates might not be considered surprising. But here?

What sort of country is Britain becoming that this sort of menacing behaviour is not only tolerated but implicitly encouraged by senior government ministers who fear, correctly, they are losing the argument? As has been repeated ad nauseam, the issue is not about reversing or somehow sabotaging the referendum result. It is about ensuring proper democratic scrutiny of the government’s negotiating positions, about ascertaining whether its approach advances the national interest rather than sectional, business and City interests. It is about getting the best deal for Britain.

The concerted assault on the judiciary comes in the context of wider institutional vandalism indulged by the hard Tory Brexiters and their international sympathisers and emulators. They would recklessly tear up nearly 45 years of carefully navigated British relationships with our European neighbours. The resulting damage to the economy and living standards is mounting fast.

Much worse is to come. In America, Donald Trump runs a presidential campaign based on fear, prejudice, ignorance and xenophobia, which he claims represents change, not abject regression, and threatens to reject the election outcome if it goes against him. The dire cost of Trumpism to America’s national unity and cohesion is already plain.

Across Europe, iconoclastic extremist and nationalist parties compete to demonstrate who is most intolerant, most hateful and best at scaring people. In France, their vile message may be working as presidential elections approach and the Front National gains ground. But hard Tory Brexiters do not see the link, deny any crossover, cannot understand how their institutional dumpster fire stokes nihilism and chauvinism. They dwell in their Little England bubble, detached from the real world or, as the high court said of their article 50 arguments, “divorced from reality”. Anybody who disturbs their narrative, such as Stephen Phillips, who resigned as a Conservative MP on Friday, is shunned as a blood foe. Nick Clegg, for daring to add his voice to the democratic debate over Brexit, is ridiculed. Will these people who hound reasonable public figures ever understand what a mature democracy involves? Formidable, robust, intelligent and reasoned debate.

As Dominic Grieve said: “Debate helps outcomes, suppressing it destroys it.” Would they rather our public discourse – and hence, public life – be characterised by childish slurs, homophobia, distortions and vicious rhetoric? That is where Britain is being driven by a new hard Brexit elite.

It behoves any sensible, reasonable public figure to recognise that a 52-48 referendum result is one where national cohesiveness matters. And while it delivered a mandate to exit the European Union, it did not give sweeping powers to brush aside challenges on the nature, timing and texture of that exit. There is a lack of reason on both sides of this debate and there is a danger that the public fissures that have opened up since June 23rd become wider still. We all have a responsibility to ensure that does not happen. As Iain Martin says elsewhere on these pages, “Neither set of extremists is representative of, nor has a majority in, parliament or the country. What becomes ever more apparent over Brexit is that there is a need for an alliance between moderate (of which there are many) Leavers and moderate Remainers, those who regret the result on 23 June but accept it.”

The truth is, hard Tory Brexiters are fearful of losing the argument. The truth is there is little confidence that May can keep her head and rein in the irresponsible fantasies of her more wild-eyed colleagues. The truth is, May has already shown a talent for wrong-headedness, an instinct for the bad call, as seen with Hinkley Point, grammar schools, child obesity and Nissan subsidies. She appears unable to grasp the EU’s blunt insistence that access to the single market cannot be divorced from freedom of movement.

The disdain, scepticism and bewilderment of Britain’s EU partners is wounding. At last month’s Brussels summit, her first, May was kept waiting until the early morning before being allowed to deliver a short statement on Brexit. She was listened to in silence. Nobody deigned to respond. On Friday, her calls to Germany’s Angela Merkel and the commission president, Jean-Claude Juncker, when she tried to persuade them, implausibly, that her March deadline for article 50 still stood, were embarrassingly brief. Few in Europe now believe Britain’s government has a roadmap.

In such circumstances, it is imperative that parliament, now given its chance – and reminded of its duty – to shape Britain’s future course by the high court, steps up to the mark. For too long, too many MPs who support continued EU membership (a majority overall) have been cowering in silence, fearful that any expression of unease over the Brexit process will be misrepresented as a bid to overturn the referendum result. No one disputes the result of the referendum, or the social, cultural and political tensions that delivered it, but it is right that the manner of our exit are properly scrutinised. That has yet to be decided. And parliament, rightly, has a role to play.

To be worthy of its sovereign status, both Houses of Parliament should now inject themselves into the Brexit process. This means cross-examining ministers and demanding a green paper on the government’s plans. It means proposing alternative strategies. It means amending and, if need be, discarding wrong-headed approaches. And it means the holding of binding votes not only on when article 50 should be triggered but also on the final terms of any eventual exit agreement.

In short, parliament must be ready to exercise veto power over any Brexit deal that does not ultimately serve the national interest – because this government simply cannot be trusted not to deliver serious economic self-harm on the altar of blind ideology. It is a tall order. The growing prospect of an early general election, should May continue to trip, fumble and flop, presents many MPs with an existential dilemma: whether to vote with their conscience and uphold the democratic rights of parliament and their constituents or be pushed and pulled along by a populist tide, propelled by lies. Most Labour MPs, for example, represent constituencies where a majority voted Leave. It is still likely that last week’s ruling proves a pyrrhic victory, by provoking an early election that, with the current dire state of the Labour party, will give May an enhanced majority. Thus, we will have a parliament with fewer teeth and providing less scrutiny or push-back than is required.

Perhaps prodded by the shadow Brexit minister, Keir Starmer, the Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, could be stirred from his lethargic ambivalence over Europe. If the Liberal Democrats and Scottish Nationalists add their voice, as Nicola Sturgeon suggests they will, in opposition to any hasty Brexit “plan”, and if the House of Lords finds the courage, as it has in the past, to challenge unwise and overweening executive power, it is possible a sensible path forward acceptable to the country as a whole – and to Europe – can yet be found.

Last week, independent judges courageously stood up for constitutional governance in Britain and, defying the bullies, did their job. Now parliament must follow suit.

Voir par ailleurs:

Michael Wolff Talks ‘Siege,’ Trump, Journalism and His Definition of Truth
“I’m a New York guy,” the author says. “Trump is a New York guy. In the end, we know a lot of the same people.”
Michael M. Grynbaum
The New York Times
May 30, 2019

“Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House,” Michael Wolff’s account of President Trump’s early tenure, sold more than four million copies, spawned a TV deal, prompted the president to threaten legal action and led to the ouster of Stephen K. Bannon from the White House and Breitbart News.

On Tuesday, Mr. Wolff returns with a sequel, “Siege: Trump Under Fire.” Author and subject seem well-matched: A pair of acid-tongued gossipmongers fixated on the foibles of New York’s elite, Mr. Wolff and Mr. Trump are gifted storytellers who are unafraid to punch back.

But the similarities extend in less flattering ways. “Fire and Fury,” which portrayed a president with a strained relationship to the truth, raised questions about Mr. Wolff’s own adherence to the facts. Minor errors cropped up; anecdotes were denied. On “Saturday Night Live,” Fred Armisen, in Mr. Wolff’s thick glasses and bald pate, dismissed questions about the book’s accuracy.

“Look, you read it, right?” Armisen-as-Wolff said. “You liked it? You had fun? Well, what’s the problem?”

The new book’s claims range from the intriguing — Mr. Wolff writes that Alan Dershowitz asked for a million-dollar retainer to defend Mr. Trump, a claim Mr. Dershowitz said on Wednesday was “completely, categorically false”— to the lurid, including a description based on a secondhand source of a supposed encounter between Mr. Trump and an unnamed woman aboard his private jet before his presidency.

In an interview at his Manhattan townhouse on Tuesday — his first public comments about “Siege” — Mr. Wolff, 65, praised his reporting, defended his reliance on Mr. Bannon as a source and explained why he had little use for the usual fact-checking procedures valued by reporters at mainstream news outlets.

He was trending on Twitter at the time of the interview. A spokesman for the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, had issued a rare statement denying a central claim of “Siege,” which had just leaked out: that Mr. Mueller’s team had drafted an indictment of Mr. Trump on obstruction charges that was never used. Edited and condensed excerpts from the conversation with Mr. Wolff follow.

I’m surprised you’re not fielding calls from your lawyer.

I fielded.

The special counsel denied that the documents you describe in “Siege” exist. Do you want to respond?

I would only say my source is impeccable, and I have no doubt about the authenticity and the significance of the documents.

How did you find all these sources? After “Fire and Fury,” weren’t you persona non grata in the West Wing?

Everybody continued to talk to me. When “Fire and Fury” came out, I thought Steve Bannon would certainly never speak to me again, and the truth is, he never stopped speaking. But the other element of this is — I think a key one — is I’m a New York guy. Donald Trump is a New York guy. In the end, we know a lot of the same people. There is this conversation among these people about Donald Trump. And I am fortunate to be in that loop.

You wrote “Fire and Fury” with physical access to the White House. Did you have that this time?

I have not been in the White House for this book, no. But a very large percentage of the people who spoke to me for the first book have continued to speak to me for the second book. Partly because they can’t stop talking about Donald Trump, and I’m a good listener. But also because I think the portrait in the first book worked for them.

Did you seek an interview with the president?

No.

Why not?

He tried to stop the publication last time. I think that would be a fool’s errand, to invite the president of the United States to come down on you.

Arguably, Trump’s anger was an accelerant for the sales of the book.

As it turned out. But at that moment, it didn’t feel like that was what it was going to be.

You felt concerned?

Yeah! If the president of the United States comes after you, you feel concerned.

In your author’s note, you write that “Siege” captures “an emotional state rather than a political state” of the presidency.

I’ve said many times: I’m not a Washington reporter. And Washington reporters, they do a great job. They do their job. I approached this as, that the more significant factor here, beyond policy, was buffoonery, psychopathology, random and ad hominem cruelties. In a way, my thesis is that this administration, this character, needed a different kind of writer.

Is there an argument you wanted to make in “Siege”?

The argument is, this was a wholly different kind of president, a wholly different kind of administration. And even beyond that, you have this figure that is strangely isolated. It’s really just Donald Trump. There really isn’t a government functioning here. I think the historical understanding is that the presidency changes the person who holds the office. I think the reverse is true here — he’s changed the White House into the Trump Organization.

Steve Bannon no longer works in the White House and has been cast out from Trump’s inner circle. How much should we trust in what Bannon has to say?

I’ve been sorting this now for actually close to three years, so I think I have a fairly good sense of the reality quotient at any given point. But then I think you have to look to Bannon’s insights. When he says something, in my experience, he can often get right to the kernel, into the hub of the situation, where you say, ‘Damn, of course that’s it.’ Among the hundreds of people I have spoken to, he is the most insightful person about Donald Trump, about what makes him tick.

How many sources did you talk to for “Siege”?

150 people.

Critics of “Fire & Fury” said you were fast and loose with facts.

I think every successive account has only confirmed what was in “Fire and Fury.” And often months, or years, later.

What did you make of Fred Armisen’s impression of you?

When you get portrayed on “Saturday Night Live,” you take it any way you can get it.

In some ways, that caricature captured the central skepticism around your book.

I would push back against that. Literally every book, every account since has either repeated “Fire and Fury” in many of its specifics, or confirmed virtually everything that I wrote about in that book.

Do you think you’ll get flak from other journalists for “Siege”?

I assume so.

In “Siege,” you quote a witness — a former sound engineer on “The Apprentice” named Erik Whitestone — who describes episodes of what could be construed as sexual misconduct by Trump before his taking office. Did you seek a response from Trump?

I did not. As I say, I didn’t contact Donald Trump at all. But why would you? Literally, this is not a man who is going to suddenly at this point of his life ’fess up to being a sexual harasser.

Were you able to speak with the women involved?

No. I’m just reporting this person’s account of his life with Donald Trump.

Whitestone struck you as credible?

Wholly.

You also write that Fox News provided questions ahead of time for its interview with Brett Kavanaugh during his Supreme Court nomination fight. Did you ask Fox for comment?

No, but, again — it’s a difference between an institutional reporter and a non-institutional reporter. I don’t have to ask the silly questions.

Are they silly if it’s a matter of fact in the book?

Yes, because can you imagine a circumstance under the sun in which Fox would come clean on that?

[Contacted on Wednesday, Fox News called Mr. Wolff’s claim “pure fiction.”]

But “Siege” went through a fact-checking period?

Of course.

And that did not include reaching out to —

I actually don’t believe, if you know the answer, it is necessary to go through the motions of getting an answer that you are absolutely certain of.

Just to be clear, by “answer,” you mean the response you would hear from the subject?

Yes.

I guess I’d press you again on fact-checking.

It’s a distinction between journalists who are institutionally wedded and those who are not. I’m not. You make those pro forma calls to protect yourself, to protect the institution. It’s what the institution demands. I’m talking about those calls where you absolutely know what the response is going to be. They put you in the position in which you’re potentially having to negotiate what you know. In some curious way, that’s what much journalism is about. It’s about a negotiated truth.

For someone else, a book writer, I don’t have to do that. When I know something is true, I don’t have to go back and establish some kind of middle ground with whoever I’m writing about, which will allow me at some point to go back to them.

As a journalist, is there a responsibility to seek out the subject’s side of the story? To gather as much information as you can?

As a journalist — or as a writer — my obligation is to come as close to the truth as I possibly can. And that’s not as close to someone else’s truth, but the truth as I see it. Remember, it’s a difference between a book and something else — you don’t have to read my book, you don’t have to agree with my book. But at the end of the day, what you are going to know is that it is my book. It is my vision. It is my report on my experience. It’s not put together by a committee. What you do is a committee project at some point. What I do is not. And I’m not saying one is better than the other, they’re just different functions.

Is “Siege” a work of journalism?

Of course.

Voir aussi:

Michael Wolff’s trip inside Trumpworld, and inside the president’s head, with Steve Bannon as guide
Ryan Lizza
The Washington Post
May 29 2019
Ryan Lizza is a senior political analyst for CNN and chief political correspondent for Esquire.

The author’s note that opens “Siege,” Michael Wolff’s sequel to “Fire and Fury” — which documented President Trump’s first year in office, much of it through the anonymous musings of Steve Bannon — reads like the scene-setting crawl at the start of a Star Wars movie. The reader learns that Wolff’s new account begins in February 2018, when the “president’s capricious furies have been met by an increasingly organized and methodical institutional response” and Trump’s “own government, even his own White House, has begun to turn on him.” Instead of cutting to Hoth, the distant ice planet in “The Empire Strikes Back” that’s home to the struggling rebellion, we soon cut to Bannon’s kitchen table.

Bannon has been driven out of the White House by Trump and dumped by his financial patrons, the Mercers, and has set up shop in a shabby Capitol Hill townhouse, theatrically known as the Embassy, which, it slowly becomes clear, might as well be Hoth. It takes 193 pages, but we eventually learn that Bannon hasn’t talked to Trump since he was fired.

That doesn’t prevent Wolff from centering the entire narrative on the president’s former aide. So the new Wolff book is much like the last one: a sail through the Trump diaspora and inside the president’s head with Bannon as the cruise director. But also like the last book, “Siege” is ultimately crippled by three flaws: Wolff’s overreliance on a single character, and one who is now more distant from the action; factual errors that mar the author’s credibility; and sourcing that is so opaque it renders the scoops highly suspicious and unreliable.

For long stretches of “Siege,” Trump and the White House staff disappear and the reader is subjected to a tedious ticktock of Bannon’s travels and his plotting from the Embassy, where he pontificates throughout 2018 about how the Republicans will win the midterms (they didn’t), how his nationalist project is still ascendant in the GOP (it isn’t), how Robert Mueller will destroy the Trump presidency (he didn’t), and how Bannon himself may have to replace Trump and run for president in 2020, with Sean Hannity as his running mate (we’ll have to wait for Episode III).

In the acknowledgments, Bannon is the only named source whom Wolff thanks, praising him effusively and, in an allusion to Dante’s “Divine Comedy,” calling him “the Virgil anyone might be lucky enough to have as a guide for a descent into Trumpworld.” In reality Bannon is more like Wolff’s Farinata, the former Florentine political leader whom Dante portrays as banished to the circle of hell for heretics, where, alone in his tomb, he still obsesses about his own era in politics but has no access to current events unless one of the dead brings him a snippet of news from the center of power.

In “Siege,” the dead arrive at Bannon’s doorstep in the form of former Trump aides such as Corey Lewandowski, David Bossie, Sam Nunberg and Jason Miller, and Wolff, like many other Washington reporters, absorbs a mix of gossip, misinformation and occasional insight that the outer rings of Trump advisers are famous for circulating.

This rogues’ gallery of Trump hangers-on that Wolff seems to depend on is sometimes presented as a group of devoted ideological rebels trying to keep the flame of true MAGA alive. According to Wolff, several of them, usually working through Hannity, who has better access to the president, press Trump on issues like building the border wall or declaring a national emergency over immigration. Bossie and Lewandowski “weren’t operatives, they were believers,” Wolff credulously reports, a statement that will generate guffaws among Republicans. But mostly, Bannon’s knitting circle is involved in low-level score-settling — often against then-White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner — and making money off their association with Trump. Lewandowski and Bossie hawk a conspiracy book about the “deep state” even though, according to Wolff, Bannon tells their ghostwriter that “none of this is true.”

Wolff’s rebels and Trump are co-dependent but clear-eyed about each other. Trump, Wolff writes, likes Lewandowski more than his own sons, even though he derides him as an “ass kisser.” Trump says Bossie, who unsuccessfully maneuvers to become chief of staff, is “shifty.” Nunberg is mocked by the president for living with his parents, and Wolff quotes Trump remarking of Miller, “I get the people who no one else wants.”

Likewise, they have no illusions about Trump. Wolff summarizes the view of the president from the ragtag Embassy team: Trump is a “clown,” an “idiot” and a “nutter.”

Bannon’s core political project of attaining power by stoking racial resentment is left uncriticized by Wolff. (In case there is any doubt about this, Bannon tells Wolff: “If you voted for Trump, every picture of a Mexican immigrant, a parent or a child, together or apart, reconfirms that vote.”) Wolff’s obsession with documenting Bannon’s every thought, while remaining uninterested in the reality of the racial politics unleashed by him and Trump, reaches peak hilarity when he earnestly quotes Bannon’s dissection of whether the president is an anti-Semite (probably not) or a racist (probably). While many who have studied Trump — for a fraction of the time that Wolff has — have easily made up their minds on the issue, Wolff, who quotes Trump making racist and anti-Semitic remarks and calling Mexicans “wetbacks,” writes that whether he is a racist or not is “a rosebud riddle.”

However, Bannon’s frequently shrewd observations make it clear why Wolff finds him irresistible. The author is mostly interested in Trump’s psychology. He is adept at documenting the president’s lunacy, and Bannon is frequently an able fellow shrink. For example, he credibly theorizes that Trump’s inevitable disgust with anyone who works for him is a natural outgrowth of his alleged self-hatred. “Hating himself, he of course comes to hate anyone who seems to love him,” Bannon tells Wolff. “If you seem to respect him, he thinks he’s put something over on you — therefore you’re a fool.”

But the idea that Wolff is documenting some larger ideological struggle in the Trump GOP is mostly familiar Bannon spin. According to Wolff, Lewandowski reports that “he had almost wet himself” during a White House confrontation with Kelly, a former Marine, who grabbed Lewandowski by the collar outside the Oval Office. What Wolff leaves out about this well-known episode, first reported by the New York Times, is that Kelly was yelling at Lewandowski for trying to profit off Trump’s presidency. Wolff also ignores, perhaps because of his publishing deadline, that Bossie was officially excommunicated from Trumpworld in May when the Trump campaign suggested he was running a “scam group” that was “interested in filling their own pockets with money from innocent Americans’ paychecks.” Believers indeed.

Wolff’s broad conceptual error — that the real heart of Trumpism is heroically being kept alive by Bannon’s band of true-believing outsiders — would be forgivable if the book wasn’t marred by two more strikes: some cringeworthy errors, and sourcing that is so opaque it renders the extremely fun and juicy quotes sprinkled across every chapter as — sadly — difficult to trust.

Wolff reports that he had two fact-checkers assigned to the book, but they apparently weren’t enough. He writes that after Ty Cobb left the White House, Trump’s only lawyers were Jay Sekulow and Rudy Giuliani (whom he describes as “drunk on a bid for further attention, or just drunk”). Wolff seems not to know that Trump hired Jane and Martin Raskin, whose names do not appear in the book, to deal with the Mueller probe. He writes that Russians hacked the email account of John Podesta and servers at the Democratic National Committee after July 27, 2016, the day Trump famously called on Russia to find Hillary Clinton’s missing emails. That’s wrong. The Podesta hack happened in March, the DNC hack happened in April, and the fruits of those hacks had already been released, which is why Trump made the comment.

Wolff observes that reporting on Trump is difficult because the president and many of the people who work for him or advise him lie indiscriminately. Other reporters have faced this dilemma by maximizing the number of sources needed to confirm the many rumors that swirl around Trump and by generally increasing transparency to retain reader trust in an environment where the president regularly attacks truthful reporting as fake.

Wolff takes a different approach. Dramatic scoops are plopped down on the page with no sourcing whatsoever. Would-be newsmaking quotes are often attributed to Trump and senior officials without any context about when or to whom they were made.

Wolff clearly relies on the work of dozens of other reporters on the Trump beat, but because he rarely uses any attributions, the reader never knows whether a fact he’s relaying comes from him or elsewhere. For example, he writes that Kushner was briefed by intelligence officials that his friend Wendi Deng might be a Chinese spy. The reader would be forgiven for thinking this was another Wolff scoop, rather than a major exclusive reported by the Wall Street Journal in early 2018.

The cutting comments Wolff attributes to Trump certainly sound like the president: “the stupidest man in Congress” and a “religious nut” (Mike Pence); “gives me the creeps” (Karen Pence); “feeble” (John Kelly); “a girl” (Kushner); “looks like a mental patient” (Giuliani); “a pretty stupid boy” who “has too many f—ing kids” (Donald Trump Jr.); “men’s shop salesmen” (Republican House candidates); “ignoramuses” (Trump’s communications team); “the only stupid Jew” (Michael Cohen); “a dirty rat” (former White House counsel Donald McGahn); a “virgin crybaby” who was “probably molested by a priest” (Brett Kavanaugh); “the poor man’s Ann Coulter” (Kellyanne Conway); “sweaty” (Stephen Miller). But the lack of sourcing transparency and footnotes does not inspire confidence.

By far the biggest scoop in the book is a document that Wolff alleges is a draft indictment, eventually ignored, of the president from inside the special counsel’s office. In addition to the alleged indictment, Wolff reports on several interesting and newsworthy memos outlining Mueller’s legal strategy for what to do if Trump pardoned Michael Flynn or tried to shut down the investigation. These documents, if verified, would rescue the book, because they offer the first real glimpse inside the nearly airtight Mueller operation.

On Tuesday, the special counsel’s office issued a rare on-the-record statement insisting that the “documents described do not exist.”

Siege
Trump Under Fire

By Michael Wolff

Henry Holt. 335 pp. $30

Voir de même:

Bannon described Trump Organization as ‘criminal enterprise’, Michael Wolff book claims
Former White House adviser says financial investigations will take down president in sequel to Fire and Fury
Edward Helmore
The Guardian
29 May 2019

The former White House adviser Steve Bannon has described the Trump Organization as a criminal entity and predicted that investigations into the president’s finances will lead to his political downfall, when he is revealed to be “not the billionaire he said he was, just another scumbag”.

The startling remarks are contained in Siege: Trump Under Fire, the author Michael Wolff’s forthcoming account of the second year of the Trump administration. The book, published on 4 June, is a sequel to Fire and Fury: Trump in the White House, which was a bestseller in 2018. The Guardian obtained a copy.

In a key passage, Bannon is reported as saying he believes investigations of Donald Trump’s financial history will provide proof of the underlying criminality of his eponymous company.

Assessing the president’s exposure to various investigations, many seeded by the special counsel Robert Mueller during his investigation of Russian election interference, Wolff writes: “Trump was vulnerable because for 40 years he had run what increasingly seemed to resemble a semi-criminal enterprise.”

He then quotes Bannon as saying: “I think we can drop the ‘semi’ part.”

Bannon, a leading promoter of far-right populism, was a White House adviser until August 2017, when he was removed. He was a major source for Fire and Fury, also first reported by the Guardian. Among other claims in that book, he labelled as “treasonous” an infamous Trump Tower meeting between Donald Trump Jr, Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, campaign manager Paul Manafort and a Russian lawyer.

Amid publicity surrounding Fire and Fury, Bannon was ejected from circles close to Trump and his position at Breitbart News.

In Siege, Wolff pays close attention to Trump’s financial affairs. Investigations into Trump’s business dealings, spearheaded by the southern district of New York, have shuttered the president’s charity and seen the Trump Organization chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg, receive immunity for testimony in investigations of Michael Cohen, the former Trump attorney and fixer who is now in jail in New York.

This month, the New York Times obtained tax information that showed Trump’s businesses lost more than $1bn from 1985 to 1994.

The newspaper subsequently reported that in 2016 and 2017, Deutsche Bank employees flagged concerns over possible money laundering through transactions involving legal entities controlled by the president and Kushner. Some of the transactions involved individuals in Russia.

The bank did not act but Congress and New York state are now investigating its relationship with Trump and his family. Deutsche Bank has lent billions to Trump and Kushner companies. Trump has attempted to block House subpoenas for his financial records sent to Deutsche Bank.

In Siege, Wolff quotes Bannon saying investigations into Trump’s finances will cut adrift even his most ardent supporters: “This is where it isn’t a witch hunt – even for the hard core, this is where he turns into just a crooked business guy, and one worth $50m instead of $10bn.

“Not the billionaire he said he was, just another scumbag.”

Wolff also details a 2004 Palm Beach property deal involving the now disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein and the Putin-friendly oligarch Dmitry Rybolovlev that, the author writes, earned Trump “$55m without putting up a dime”.

Epstein, he writes, invited Trump to see a $36m Palm Beach mansion he planned to buy. According to Wolff, Trump went behind Epstein’s back to buy the foreclosed property for around $40m, a sum Epstein had reason to believe Trump couldn’t raise in his own right, through an entity called Trump Properties LLC, which was entirely financed by Deutsche Bank.

Epstein, Wolff writes, knew Trump had been loaning out his name in real estate deals for a fee and suspected that in his case Trump was fronting for the property’s real owners. Epstein threatened to expose the deal. As the dispute increased, he found himself under investigation by the Palm Beach police.

According to Wolff, Trump made only minor improvements and put the house on the market for $125m. It was purchased for $96m by Rybolovlev, part of a circle of government-aligned industrialists in Russia, thereby earning Trump $55m without risking any of his own money.

Wolff presents two theories as to how the deal worked: first, perhaps “Trump merely earned a fee for hiding the real owner – a shadow owner quite possibly being funneled cash by Rybolovlev for other reasons beyond the value of the house”.

Second, he suggests the real owner of the house and the real buyer were one and the same. “Rybolovlev might have, in effect, paid himself for the house, thereby cleansing the additional $55m for the second purchase of the house.”

“This,” Wolff writes, “was Donald Trump’s world of real estate.”

Michael Wolff’s unbelievable — sometimes literally — tell-all about the Trump administration
Three takeaways from the new book on Trump
Aaron Blake
The Washington Post
January 3, 2018

Several news outlets published excerpts of Michael Wolff’s new book about the Trump campaign and the White House. And almost every word of it is unbelievable.

Some of it, literally so.

In one passage from “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House,” Wolff recounts how Roger Ailes recommended former House speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) to serve as Trump’s chief of staff. Trump’s response, according to Wolff: “Who’s that?”

Never mind that Trump had golfed with Boehner in 2013 and mentioned him several times on the 2016 campaign trail. Using the Donald Trump Factbase, I found Trump mentioning Boehner on the campaign trail at least four times: April 10, 2016; Nov. 30, 2015; Oct. 14, 2015; and Sept. 25, 2015. He also tweeted about him on Oct. 8, 2015, and Sept. 25, 2015 — that last date being when Boehner resigned as speaker during the 2016 campaign.

Is it possible Trump misheard the name or momentarily forgot who Boehner was? Sure. He may have even meant the “Who’s that?” as a slight to Boehner. But the impression Wolff seeks to leave is that Trump is a novice completely out of his element in the Oval Office. This was an anecdote meant to serve that narrative.

Other bold claims made in the book (New York magazine published a whole chapter) include a deal hatched by Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump for Ivanka to one day run for president, Ivanka making fun of her father’s “comb-over” in private, Rupert Murdoch calling Trump a “f—ing idiot,” and Trump and his wife, Melania, not actually wanting to win the presidency and basically being disappointed that they had.

In another anecdote, billionaire Robert Mercer — a former Ted Cruz backer and Breitbart investor — offers Trump’s campaign $5 million, and Trump is clueless as to why Mercer would invest in him. “This thing,” Trump reportedly told Mercer of his campaign, “is so f—ed up.”

But Mercer couldn’t give $5 million to Trump’s campaign — not legally, anyway. He spent his money on Trump through a super PAC, which is independent of the Trump campaign and is subject to plenty of rules preventing coordination between the two.

Is it possible this was shorthand — or even that Mercer represented the money as a campaign contribution rather than super PAC spending? Again, sure. But it seems a weird thing not to address in the text.

Then there is the apparent re-created conversation between Stephen K. Bannon and Ailes, the New York Times’s Nick Confessore points out, which raises questions about accuracy.

As for the other claims, many are of the kind that has been whispered about but never reported on with any authority or certainty. Wolff has taken some of the most gossiped-about aspects of the Trump White House and put them forward as fact — often plainly stated fact without even anonymous sources cited.

In his introduction, Wolff acknowledges this is an imperfect exercise and often a daunting challenge. Here’s a key excerpt pulled by Benjy Sarlin:

Many of the accounts of what has happened in the Trump White House are in conflict with one another; many, in Trumpian fashion, are baldly untrue. Those conflicts, and that looseness with the truth, if not with reality itself, are an elemental thread of the book. Sometimes I have let the players offer their versions, in turn allowing the reader to judge them. In other instances I have, through a consistency in accounts and through sources I have come to trust, settled on a version of events I believe to be true.

In some ways, this is the tell-all that Trump’s post-truth presidency deserves. Trump’s own version of the truth is often subject to his own fantastic impulses and changes at a moment’s notice. The leaks from his administration have followed that pattern, often painting credulity-straining images of an American president. As the New York Times’s Maggie Haberman notes, that makes claims in Wolff’s book that would ordinarily seem implausible suddenly plausible.

But just because the administration doesn’t seem to have much regard for the truth and because there are all kinds of insane things happening behind closed doors doesn’t mean the truth isn’t a goal worth attaining. And in an environment in which the press is widely distrusted by a large swath of the American people — and overwhelmingly by Trump’s base — the onus is even more on accounts of his presidency to try to filter out the tabloid stuff.

Part of Trump’s mission statement is fomenting distrust of the press. Oftentimes the wild leaks that come from the White House seem to further that goal by giving the media juicy stories that will ring false to people who doubt reporters’ anonymous sources. Wolff even writes that it’s often Trump himself doing the gossiping about White House staff — which seems about right.

For whatever reason, Wolff seems to have arrived at a stunning amount of incredible conclusions that hundreds of dogged reporters from major newspapers haven’t. Whether that’s because he had unprecedented access — Wolff says he had “something like a semi-permanent seat on a couch in the West Wing” — or because his filter was just more relaxed than others, it’s worth evaluating each claim individually and not just taking every scandalous thing said about the White House as gospel.

Voir encore:

Michael Wolff, l’auteur qui déclenche « le feu et la fureur » de Trump
Washington – Le journaliste américain Michael Wolff est un habitué des controverses et son livre « Le feu et la fureur: dans la Maison Blanche de Trump » provoque depuis mercredi une tempête politique à Washington.
>AFP/L’Express
04/01/2018

Washington – Le journaliste américain Michael Wolff est un habitué des controverses et son livre « Le feu et la fureur: dans la Maison Blanche de Trump » provoque depuis mercredi une tempête politique à Washington.

L’éditorialiste multicarte (Hollywood Reporter, Vanity Fair, New York Magazine…), âgé de 64 ans, affirme avoir gravité pendant 18 mois autour de la galaxie Trump, de la campagne présidentielle à la Maison Blanche, et interrogé « plus de 200 » personnes, du président à ses proches collaborateurs.

Après l’élection surprise du candidat républicain, qu’il avait interviewé en juin 2016, il demande à Donald Trump un accès à la Maison Blanche, que le président élu ne lui refuse pas. Le journaliste devient alors « une mouche sur le mur« , se fondant dans le décor. Il fait le trajet New York-Washington chaque semaine pour devenir un habitué de l’aile Ouest, compilant dans son livre confidences des conseillers de la présidence et anecdotes croustillantes.

L’une d’elles, publiée mercredi par le quotidien britannique The Guardian, a déclenché les foudres du président américain. Dans un communiqué vengeur, il a accusé son ancien conseiller Stephen Bannon d’avoir « perdu la raison » pour avoir estimé que son fils aîné Donald Trump Jr. avait commis une « trahison » en rencontrant une avocate russe offrant des informations compromettantes sur Hillary Clinton.

Natif du New Jersey mais installé de longue date à New York, Wolff est le double lauréat du prix National Magazine, section commentaire (2002 et 2004). Son livre le plus connu, sorti en 2008, est consacré à un autre magnat, Rupert Murdoch (« The man who owns the news« ).

– ‘Omniscience’ –

En 2004, un portrait dans le magazine New Republic évoque un personnage « en partie éditorialiste mondain, en partie psychothérapeute, en partie anthropologue social (qui) invite les lecteurs à être une mouche sur le mur du premier cercle des magnats« .

Mais sa narration, basée sur des conversations ou des informations obtenues de source indirecte, ont semé le trouble et provoqué des réactions furieuses.

« Historiquement, l’un des problèmes avec l’omniscience de Wolff est que même s’il peut tout savoir, il a parfois tout faux« , écrivait le critique littéraire David Carr dans le Washington Post en commentant le livre sur Murdoch.

La journaliste britannique Bella Mackie, ancienne du Guardian, a estimé sur Twitter que son nouveau livre sur la Maison Blanche était « très divertissant » avant toutefois de mettre en garde que « si vous connaissez bien MW vous l’apprécierez mais ne prendrez pas tout pour argent comptant« .

La porte-parole de la Maison Blanche, Sarah Sanders, a fustigé le contenu du livre, affirmant qu’il contenait « beaucoup de choses complètement fausses« , assurant que Michael Wolff n’avait eu qu’une « brève conversation » téléphonique de 5 à 7 minutes avec le président depuis son investiture et qui n’avait « rien à voir » avec la présidence.

M. Trump, par la voix de ses avocats personnels, a demandé jeudi à M. Wolff et au responsable des éditions Henry Holt et Cie la non-publication du livre, qui doit sortir le 9 janvier, menaçant de les poursuivre pour diffamation, atteinte à la vie privée et malveillance.

Ils se basent notamment sur l’introduction du livre, où Michael Wolff admet que « beaucoup d’informations sur ce qu’il s’est passé à la Maison Blanche de Trump sont contradictoires; beaucoup, dans le style trumpien, sont simplement fausses« . Ces contradictions ou cette prise de liberté avec la vérité constituent « le fil » du livre, dit-il, ajoutant avoir publié « la version des évènements que je croyais vraie« .

Voir par ailleurs:

The MLK tapes: Secret FBI recordings accuse Martin Luther King Jr of watching and laughing as a pastor raped a woman, having 40 extramarital affairs – and they are under lock in a U.S. archive, claims author

    • The shocking unearthed tapes have been analyzed by biographer David Garrow
    • Material shows the scale of King’s philandering and claims he fathered a child
    • It also show how King looked on while Logan Kearse raped a parishioner
    • Revelations could lead to a ‘painful historical reckoning’ for the civil rights hero

Jack Newman
The Daily Mail
26 May 2019

Secret FBI tapes that accuse Martin Luther King Jr of having extramarital affairs with ’40 to 45 women’ and even claim he ‘looked on and laughed’ as a pastor friend raped a parishioner exist, an author has claimed.

The civil rights hero was also heard allegedly joking he was the founder of the ‘International Association for the Advancement of P***y-Eaters’ on an agency recording that was obtained by bugging his room, according to the sensational claims made by biographer David Garrow – a Pulitzer prize-winning author and biographer of MLK.

Writing in British magazine Standpoint, Garrow says that the shocking files could lead to a ‘painful historical reckoning’ for the man who is celebrated across the world for his campaign against racial injustice.

Along with many US civil rights figures, King was subject to an FBI campaign of surveillance ordered by Director J Edgar Hoover in an effort to undermine his power amid fears he could have links to the Communist Party.

The FBI surveillance tapes detailing his indiscretions are being held in a vault at the U.S. National Archives and are not due for release until 2027.

How J. Edgar Hoover kept incriminating evidence against the great and the good of American society

The first FBI director was responsible for making the intelligence service what it is today but used tactics which many thought were unethical.

Hoover was mainly concerned about what he considered to be ‘subversion’ and tens of thousands of suspected radicals were interviewed under his directorship.

Some believe Hoover exaggerated the potential dangers of these subversive characters.

He has also been criticised for going too far and overstepping his brief.

Hoover founded a covert ‘dirty tricks’ program under the name COINTELPRO to disrupt the Communist Party.

He went after big-name stars such as Charlie Chaplin, Malcolm X, Ernest Hemingway, Muhammad Ali, Jane Fonda and John Lennon.

He spied on the celebrities using methods such as wire-tapping, infiltration, forging documents and spreading false rumours.

Some have even alleged COINTELPRO incited violence and arranged murders.

In one particularly controversial incident, a white civil rights worker was killed by a member of the Ku Klux Klan who happened to also be an FBI informant.

The FBI then spread rumours that she was a Communist and abandoned her children to have sex with black people involved in the civil rights movement.

FBI records later showed that Hoover personally communicated these rumours to President Johnson.

Even President Nixon said he did not fire Hoover because he feared he had too much dirt on him.

Hoover’s actions came to be seen as abuses of power and the tenure of the FBI director was later limited to ten years.

But David Garrow, a biographer of King who won a Pulitzer Prize for his 1987 book Bearing the Cross about the Baptist minister, has unearthed the FBI summaries of the various incidents.

In an article to be published in Standpoint, Garrow tells how the FBI planted transmitters in two lamps in hotel rooms booked by King in January 1964, according to The Sunday Times.

FBI director J Edgar Hoover ordered the surveillance of King in an effort to undermine his power amid fears he could have links to the Communist Party.

The intelligence service carried out surveillance on a number of civil rights figures and suspected communists and they had an interest in smearing their reputation.

The recording from the Willard Hotel near the White House shows how King was accompanied his friend Logan Kearse, the pastor of Baltimore’s Cornerstone Baptist church who died in 1991, along with several female parishioners of his church.

In King’s hotel room, the files claim they then ‘discussed which women among the parishioners would be suitable for natural and unnatural sex acts’.

The FBI document says: ‘When one of the women protested that she did not approve, the Baptist minister immediately and forcefully raped her’ as King watched.

He is alleged to have ‘looked on, laugh and offered advice’ during the encounter.

FBI agents were in the room next door but did not intervene.

The following day, King and a dozen others allegedly participated in a ‘sex orgy’ engaging in ‘acts of degeneracy and depravity’.

When one woman showed reluctance, King was allegedly heard saying that performing the act ‘would help your soul’.

Senior FBI officials later sent King a copy of the incriminating tape and called him an ‘evil abnormal beast’ and his sexual exploits would be ‘on record for all time’.

The letter also suggested he should commit suicide before his wrongs were revealed to the world.

King’s philandering has long been suspected, however Garrow, who spent several months digging through the archive material, said he had no idea of the scale or the ugliness of it and his apparent indifference to rape until he saw the files.

He said: ‘It poses so fundamental a challenge to his historical stature as to require the most complete and extensive historical review possible.’

Among the revelations is a claim by a prostitute who said she was involved in a threesome with King, which she described as the worst orgy she had ever experienced.

His wife Coretta often complained he was hardly with her and even said he would spend less than 10 hours a month at home.

Who is David Garrow?

David Garrow’s biography of King earned him a Pulitzer Prize

The American historian and author, 66, has frequently written about the civil rights movement in the US.

His 1986 biography about King, Bearing the Cross, won the Pulitzer Prize for biography.

He has taught history at a number of universities across the US and also written about Barack Obama and reproductive rights.

The distinguished researcher detailed some of King’s affairs in his original biography but he said he was not aware of its scale until now.

He also published The FBI and Martin Luther King, Jr, a work that analyses the relationship between the intelligence service and the civil rights leader.

According to one FBI report, King even said: ‘She should go out and have some sexual affairs of her own.’

There is even a suggestion in the files that King fathered a daughter with a secret girlfriend in Los Angeles.

Both the mother and child are alive but refused to talk to Garrow.

Dr King was assassinated in 1968 by James Earl Ray but many conspiracy theories suggest that the government was involved.

Small-time criminal Ray was caught trying to board a plane at London Heathrow on a fake Canadian passport. He pleaded guilty to the killing and quickly recanted, claiming he was set up.

The conviction stood and Ray died in prison at the age of 70 in 1998. He had been serving a 99-year jail term.

Marking the anniversary of Dr King’s assassination last year, President Donald Trump issued a proclamation in honour of Dr King, saying: ‘In remembrance of his profound and inspirational virtues, we look to do as Dr King did while this world was privileged enough to still have him.’

The president was heavily criticised by some speakers at MLK commemorations around the time of the anniversary as they complained of fraught race relations and other divisions since he was elected.

Thousands marched and sang civil rights songs to honour the fallen leader in April 2018.

Among the largest gatherings was a march through the Mississippi River city where the civil rights leader was shot dead on a motel balcony.

In the immediate aftermath of Dr King’s assassination there were race riots across the country, from Washington DC to Chicago and Baltimore.

A national day of mourning was later declared by then-President Lyndon B. Johnson following Dr King’s death.

From 1971 onwards Martin Luther King JR Day has been observed to remember him.

But it wasn’t until 2000 that all 50 states took part in the national holiday, the last three being Arizona, Utah and New Hampshire.

In 2016 the US Treasury Secretary announced that images from the iconic I Have A Dream speech would be among several to feature on the back of American bank notes from 2020.

Voir aussi:

The troubling legacy of Martin Luther King
Newly-revealed FBI documents portray the great civil rights leader as a sexual libertine who ‘laughed’ as a forcible rape took place
David J. Garrow
Standpoint
30/05/2019

Newly-released documents reveal the full extent of the FBI’s surveillance of the civil rights leader Dr Martin Luther King in the mid-1960s. They expose in graphic detail the FBI’s intense focus on King’s extensive extramarital sexual relationships with dozens of women, and also his presence in a Washington hotel room when a friend, a Baptist minister, allegedly raped one of his “parishioners”, while King “looked on, laughed and offered advice”. The FBI’s tape recording of that criminal assault still exists today, resting under court seal in a National Archives vault.

The FBI documents also reveal how its Director, J. Edgar Hoover, authorised top Bureau officials to send Dr King a tape-recording of his sexual activities along with an anonymous message encouraging him to take his own life.

The complete transcripts and surviving recordings are not due to be released until 2027 but when they are made fully available a painful historical reckoning concerning King’s personal conduct seems inevitable.

On January 31, 1977, US District Judge John Lewis Smith signed an extraordinary court order requiring the Federal Bureau of Investigation to surrender all the fruits of its extensive electronic surveillance of Martin Luther King, Jr to the National Archives. “Said tapes and documents,” Smith instructed, shall be “maintained by the Archivist of the United States under seal for a period of fifty years,” or until January 31, 2027.

However, in recent months, hundreds of never-before-seen FBI reports and surveillance summaries concerning King have silently slipped into public view on the Archives’ lightly-annotated and difficult-to-explore web site. This has occurred thanks to the provisions of The President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act, which mandated the public release of tens of thousands of government documents, many of which got swept up into congressional investigations of US intelligence agencies predating Judge Smith’s order. Winnowing the new King items from amidst the Archive’s 54,602 web-links, many of which lead to multi-document PDFs that are hundreds of pages long, entailed weeks of painstaking work.

The FBI began wiretapping King’s home and Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) office in Atlanta on November 8, 1963, pursuant to Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy’s written approval. For the previous 18 months, the FBI had insistently told Kennedy that King’s closest and most influential adviser, New York attorney Stanley D. Levison, was a “secret member” of the Communist Party USA (CPUSA). Kennedy’s aides, and finally his brother—the President of the United States—warned King to cease contact with Levison, but King’s promised compliance was dissembling: he and Levison communicated indirectly through another attorney, Clarence Jones, who, like Levison, was himself already being wiretapped by the FBI. Presented with evidence of King’s duplicity, plus FBI claims that King had told Levison that he was a Marxist, a reluctant Attorney General approved the FBI’s request to place King under direct surveillance too.

Unbeknownst to Kennedy, part of the FBI’s motivation in seeking to tap King stemmed from something it had learned just prior to the August 28 March on Washington, when King had stayed at Jones’s wiretapped Bronx home to work on his soon-to-be-famous “I Have a Dream” speech. As one internal FBI memo reported, “King, who is married, maintains intimate relationships with at least three women, one in Atlanta, one in Mt Vernon, New York, and one in Washington, DC . . . King’s extramarital affairs while posing as a minister of the gospel leave him highly susceptible to coercion and possible blackmail,” presumably by knowledgeable communists.

Within weeks, the FBI’s wiretap on King’s Atlanta home confirmed the Bureau’s expectations. On December 15 King “contacted a girlfriend by the name of Lizzie Bell,” and the FBI mobilised to “determine more background information regarding this girl”. Six days later, “King was in contact with a girlfriend in Los Angeles”, Dolores Evans, the wife of a black dentist. California agents were tasked to investigate Evans “in connection with counter-intelligence program”, i.e. the Bureau’s subsequently notorious COINTELPRO dirty tricks playbook. That same day King was “in contact with another girlfriend, Barbara Meredith”, a member of his Ebenezer Baptist Church congregation, and “a file was opened on Barbara Meredith in order to determine more information regarding her background and activities in connection with counter-intelligence”.

Wiretap summaries like these were supposed to be sealed pursuant to Judge Smith’s 1977 order, but by then the Department of Justice had forced the FBI to share many of its King records with the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Activities, often called the Church Committee after the name of its chairman, Idaho Democrat Frank Church. In turn, all of the FBI’s documents relating to the Church Committee and the subsequent House Select Committee on Assassinations came to be covered by the 1992 Kennedy assassination records act.

In December 1963, the information from the Atlanta wiretaps about King’s expansive private life whetted the FBI’s appetite for recordings more intrusive and graphic than could be obtained via telephone lines. Knowing how frequently King travelled to major US cities, the FBI resolved to plant microphone bugs in his hotel rooms. In this endeavour the prime decision-maker was not long-time FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover but Assistant Director William C. Sullivan, head of the Domestic Intelligence Division. With Supreme Court oral arguments in a case from Alabama, New York Times Co v. Sullivan—in which four black clergy supporters of King, plus the newspaper, had been socked with a $500,000 state court judgment—scheduled for January 6 and 7, 1964, King and a variety of ministerial friends were scheduled to be in Washington, DC, for a three-night stay. Immediately after the new year, FBI Washington Field Office security supervisor Ludwig Oberndorf summoned the office’s senior “sound man”, Special Agent Wilfred L. Bergeron, as well as Special Agent William Welch, the office’s “hotel contact man”. Waiting in Oberndorf’s office was Assistant Director Sullivan, who told the assembled agents that “FBI interest in King was a national security matter” on account of his “communist contacts”, Bergeron told Church Committee interviewers in another newly-available document.

Welch had ascertained that King and his party would be staying at the historic Willard Hotel, on Pennsylvania Avenue just east of the White House, and Welch introduced Bergeron to a Willard manager who arranged for Bergeron to “survey” the rooms in question. Bergeron then “placed a transmitter in each of two lamps and then through the hotel contact, it was arranged to have the housekeeper change the lamps in two rooms which had been set aside for King and his party”. In two other nearby rooms Bergeron and fellow Special Agent William D. Campbell set up “radio receivers and tape recorders” prior to when King and his friends first checked in on January 5. Staying in one of the two targeted rooms was King’s friend Logan Kearse, the pastor of Baltimore’s Cornerstone Baptist Church and, like King, the holder of a PhD from the Boston University School of Theology. Kearse “had brought to Washington several women ‘parishioners’ of his church”, a newly-released summary document from Sullivan’s personal file on King relates, and Kearse invited King and his friends to come and meet the women. “The group met in his room and discussed which women among the parishioners would be suitable for natural or unnatural sex acts. When one of the women protested that she did not approve of this, the Baptist minister immediately and forcibly raped her,” the typed summary states, parenthetically citing a specific FBI document (100-3-116-762) as its source. “King looked on, laughed and offered advice,” Sullivan or one of his deputies then added in handwriting.

While that claim appears only as an annotation, other similar marginalia, e.g. “more on this” one page prior, suggest that Sullivan was seeking an expanded, more detailed indictment of King’s behaviour. The document’s recently-released final pages, narrating events until March 30, 1968, suggest that the unfinished revision was abandoned following King’s assassination on April 4. Without question Sullivan and his aides had both the microphone-transmitted tape-recording, and a subsequent full transcript at hand while they were annotating their existing typescript; in 1977 Justice Department investigators would publicly attest to how their own review of both the tapes and the transcripts showed them to be genuine and accurate. Throughout the 1960s, when no precedent for the public release of FBI documents existed or was even anticipated, Sullivan could not have imagined that his and his aides’ jottings would ever see the light of day. Similarly, they would not have had any apparent motive for their annotations to inaccurately embellish upon the actual recording and its full transcript, both of which remain under court seal and one day will confirm or disprove the FBI’s summary allegation.

At the Willard Hotel, King and his friends’ activities resumed the following evening as approximately 12 individuals “participated in a sex orgy” which the prudish Sullivan felt included “acts of degeneracy and depravity . . . When one of the women shied away from engaging in an unnatural act, King and several of the men discussed how she was to be taught and initiated in this respect. King told her that to perform such an act would help your soul.” Sometime later, in language that would reflect just how narrow Sullivan’s mindset was, “King announced that he preferred to perform unnatural acts on women and that he had started the ‘International Association for the Advancement of Pussy Eaters’.” Anyone familiar with King’s often-bawdy sense of humour would not doubt that quotation.

At FBI headquarters, an aide to the Bureau’s number three official, Alan H. Belmont, prepared a comprehensive summary of the Willard recordings: “We do not contemplate dissemination of this information at this time but will utilise it, together with results of additional future coverage, in our plan to expose King for what he is.” Hoover disagreed, instructing in his distinctive scrawl that White House liaison Cartha “Deke” DeLoach should show the summary memo to Walter Jenkins, President Lyndon Johnson’s top aide.

Within 24 hours of King’s return to Atlanta from the Willard, his wiretapped home phone gave the Bureau more raw material. King used a modest apartment at 3006 Delmar Lane NW, rented in the name of aide Fred Bennette, as a hideaway, and there on January 8 King met alone with the woman to whom he had become closest, SCLC citizenship education staffer Dorothy Cotton. Four days later “King was in contact with another girlfriend in New York by the name of Effie”, whom the FBI quickly identified. In early February agents listened in as “King’s wife became upset and berated King for not spending enough time at home with her. This happened at a time when King was at Fred Bennette’s apartment” and the wiretap indicated “he had Dorothy Cotton . . . in the apartment alone with him”.

Stanley Levison, a “secret” member of the Communist Party,  gave King $10,000 in cash in two years, the equivalent of $87,000 today, which was only discovered by an IRS probe

The Atlanta wiretaps kept the FBI fully apprised of King’s upcoming travels, and in mid-February King, SCLC aide Wyatt Walker and Baltimore’s Reverend Kearse all flew to Honolulu to rendezvous with Dolores Evans and at least one other woman. A sound squad from the Bureau’s San Francisco office, with microphones already in place, awaited them at the Hilton Hawaiian Village. But King’s party tired of Honolulu within 72 hours and flew to Los Angeles, where they spent one night at the Ambassador Hotel before moving to the Hyatt House near Los Angeles airport, where another squad of FBI agents quickly deployed in-room microphones while standing by to carry out photographic surveillance in public areas as well. On February 23 they snapped pictures of “Wyatt Walker, Dolores Sheffey, Dorothye Boswell and Martin Luther King, Jr and Dolores Evans”; the following day they filmed movie footage of King and Evans at the Hyatt House. Assistant Director Sullivan himself telephoned the Los Angeles office for updates, with the Special Agent in Charge (SAC) explaining that television noise plus jet planes made for less-than-ideal audio recordings. Los Angeles also notified Sullivan that Evans and her husband Theodore “are both scheduled to appear in court on March 4, 1964, concerning the granting of the interlocutory decree of divorce”.

Back in Atlanta, the SCLC office wiretap memorialised King’s friend Barbara Meredith recounting how at a small party “King got very drunk and made uncomplimentary remarks about some of the SCLC personnel”.  At FBI headquarters, desire for comprehensive scrutiny of King led to a tardy discovery that would have received far more attention had not executives become so preoccupied with King’s personal life. Supervisor Seymor Fred Phillips, who had direct charge of the King case, recommended to Sullivan that they obtain King’s tax returns from the Internal Revenue Service, and when King’s IRS file arrived in mid-March, it contained a previously unreported bombshell: in 1957 and 1958, Stanley Levison, who had first met King only at the very end of 1956, had arranged for King to receive a total of $10,000 in cash gifts—the equivalent of $87,000 in 2019 dollars—from himself and a close friend, 70-year-old Alice Rosenstein Loewi. In early 1961, the IRS had subjected King’s late 1950s’ returns to “investigative scrutiny” and determined that he owed an additional $1,556.02 but had had no fraudulent intent.

In April, 1961, King, Levison, and Chicago attorney Chauncey Eskridge, himself a former IRS agent, had met with an IRS investigator, but only in response to subsequent questions regarding “adjustments in King’s income” did King say that he had received $5,000 in each of those two calendar years. “This sounded like a complete fabrication,” the investigator opined in a December 12, 1961 memo, and seeing this information for the first time more than two years later, J. Edgar Hoover asked: “Doesn’t IRS intend to take some action?” No, a liaison agent reported, but “King’s current income tax return will be scrutinised very carefully to determine whether any violations appear.” Hoover responded: “What a farce!”

Phillips prepared an unremarkable memo to Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy reporting the new IRS information, but only in the fifth paragraph, on page two, was Levison’s responsibility for the $10,000 in gift income to King finally cited. In retrospect, the FBI’s failure to highlight Levison’s remarkable munificence towards his new friend is almost as startling as its failure to similarly emphasise to Kennedy how those gifts had taken place simultaneously with Levison’s ongoing contributions to the Communist Party. Levison’s substantial involvement in CPUSA fundraising through 1956, along with that of his twin brother Roy Bennett, has long been known, but FBI documents emphasised how “as of January, 1957, Stanley Levison and Roy Bennett were to become inactive in CP financial operations”. Although it previously has been known that Levison and Bennett continued making personal contributions to the CP until an explicit break in March, 1963, not until now have internal Bureau documents revealed the astonishing amounts involved: $25,000 in 1957, $12,000 in 1958, $13,000 in 1959, $12,000 in 1960, $12,000 in 1961 and at least $2,500 in early 1962. That total of $76,500 in 1960 dollars is the equivalent of more than $650,000 today.

The FBI’s failure ever to cite those figures in its warning memos to Kennedy, coupled in March 1964 with its failure to emphasise Levison’s simultaneous large gifts to King, inexplicably rendered its “secret member” allegation against Levison far less powerful than could have been the case. To have a reported “secret member” writing some of King’s speeches, as the FBI highlighted to Kennedy, was one thing, but the remarkable dollar amounts Levison was bandying about could have made for a much more striking portrayal than the FBI ever painted.

By March, 1964, when the FBI received the IRS information about King, it appears obvious in retrospect that Sullivan’s and Phillips’s intense fixation on King’s personal conduct had totally eclipsed their once-central concern over whether Levison was exerting subversive influence on King. The extent of that preoccupation was underscored in mid-May 1964, when the FBI’s Las Vegas office furnished headquarters with a detailed memo a Nevada Gaming Control Board agent had prepared after learning what had transpired when King, Wyatt Walker, and a Los Angeles minister friend had visited Las Vegas three weeks earlier.

Agent William H. Been had heard rumours that King had patronised a local prostitute and decided that given King’s “position as a God-fearing man of the cloth . . . perhaps a casual inquiry made to the prostitute in question might shed an interesting side light to King’s extra-curricular activities”. At 3 a.m. on May 16 Been met Gail LaRue, a married 28-year-old who had left four children from a prior marriage in Sheridan, Wyoming. Gail explained that at 2 a.m. on April 27, a hotel bellman had asked her to go to the New Frontier Hotel and see the well-known black gospel musician Clara Ward, whose Clara Ward Singers were performing there. In the lobby, Ward handed Gail $100 and told her: “I have a couple of friends in town that would like to meet you and have you take care of them.” Ward said “she was paying Gail . . . because these two men did not believe in paying a girl for her service and for Gail to keep quiet about receiving any money.”

Clara took Gail to the bar at the Sands Hotel and made a call on the house phone. Martin Luther King then appeared in the bar and took both women to his room, where all three began drinking. King phoned one of his colleagues and told him to “get your damned ass down here because I have a beautiful white broad here”. Then “both the Rev King and Clara Ward stripped naked and told Gail to do the same.” With Gail seated in a chair, “King went down on his knees and started nibbling on her right breast, while Clara Ward did the same with her left breast. Gail then stated, ‘I guess the Reverend got tired of that and put his head down between my legs and started nibbling on “that”.’ After a while he got up and told Clara Ward to try some of it, so Clara went down on Gail for a while. Gail stated, ‘I think Clara Ward is queer’.”

Then King had intercourse with Gail while Clara watched. “After what Gail stated seemed like hours, King rolled off and had another drink, then climbed back on for a second go around.” After King paused again, his friend showed up, had a drink, and had intercourse with Gail “while both Clara Ward and the Rev King watched the action from a close-by position”, with Clara sometimes stroking Gail as well. “Gail then stated that she was getting scared as they were pretty drunk and all using filthy language and at last she told Clara Ward she would have to go.” Clara informed King, who “then whispered in Gail’s ear, ‘I would like to try you sometime again if I could get you away from Clara’.”

Been wrote that “Gail stated to this investigator that ‘that was the worst orgy I’ve ever gone through’,” and added that she had declined a subsequent request from Clara Ward to get together again. Been’s three-page memo made its way to the FBI’s Las Vegas SAC, who had it retyped and labelled “Secret” for direct transmission to J. Edgar Hoover. On May 23, Been conducted a follow-up interview with Gail, and passed the additional information to Bureau agents two days later. Gail volunteered that both King and his friend had each asked her to perform oral sex on them with the words “Here—eat this,” which she claimed not to have done, but Been was dubious, telling the FBI that Gail “was not too emphatic in her denial”. In yet another direct report to Hoover, this one labelled “Top Secret”, Las Vegas agents reported that “a paramour of King’s from Los Angeles, Dolores Castillo”, was “known to have spent some time in King’s suite around midnight, April 26”, prior to King’s early-morning assignation with Gail LaRue and Clara Ward.

Unsurprisingly, in late May the wiretap on King’s home telephone overheard a conversation in which “King and his wife had an argument and information was brought out concerning King’s extra-marital activities”. At headquarters, Supervisor Phillips expressed displeasure that Atlanta agents had waited 48 hours before reporting what they had heard and instructed them to “furnish the Bureau, by communication marked for the personal attention of Assistant Director William C. Sullivan, any tape available concerning the reported conversation” or “the most detailed transcript available”. Atlanta case agent Bob Nichols quickly sent the tape, explaining that “the pronouns ‘he’ and ‘she’ used by both parties” made it “impossible to know the identities of the individuals to whom they are making reference”. Sullivan himself later wrote that Coretta King had told her husband that he was “not fulfilling his marital ‘responsibilities’” and “that if he spent ten hours a month at home, this would be an exaggeration”. Sullivan added that King “told her she should go out and have some sexual affairs of her own”.

Three weeks later King called Dolores Evans and they agreed to meet in Los Angeles on July 8. Soon after Kingreturned to Atlanta, a Ms Ruby Hubert of Los Angeles called him on SCLC’s wiretapped lines “and berated him for not seeing her or calling her when he was in Los Angeles, Calif., recently. King gave the excuse that he was in a conference and could not talk to her.” That very same day King “contacted his ‘hideout’ and told Fred Bennette . . . that he was bringing Dorothy Cotton . . . out to the hideout in a few minutes”. The following month, shortly before leaving for the Democratic National Convention in Atlantic City, New Jersey, “King told Dorothy Cotton that he had contacted Fred Bennette and everything was OK for the night of 8/19/64.”

The “special squad” coverage that the FBI’s Deke DeLoach deployed against civil rights advocates during the Democratic convention at the behest of President Johnson has long been a well-known story in the annals of FBI abuses, but the newly-released documents add memorable details to this infamous tale. Special Agent Ben Hale was able to pose as NBC correspondent “Bill Peters” thanks to how Robert ‘Shad’ Northshield, a much-heralded television news executive from the 1950s until the 1990s “and a long-time, well-established contact of my office, furnished us NBC credentials”, DeLoach boasted to Bureau superiors. The Bureau also deployed two of its few black agents, John M. Cary and William P. Crawford, to Atlantic City in “undercover assignment roles”. One of the men “successfully established contact with Dick Gregory”, the entertainer and activist, “and maintained this relationship throughout the course of the entire convention. By midweek, he had become one of Gregory’s confidants.” The Johnson White House was highly impressed, and every agent involved received a financial reward.

That same month, in another newly-available document, Assistant Director Sullivan told his boss, Alan Belmont, that the Domestic Intelligence Division would “develop highly placed, quality informants in certain legitimate organisations whose activities generally relate to racial matters”, such as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), and King’s SCLC.

Whether pursuant to that plan, or simply by happenstance, late in the summer of 1964 a young black man with an accounting background who had already worked as an FBI informant in both San Francisco and Little Rock moved to Atlanta and began “spending a lot of his spare time working on the books of the SCLC”, Atlanta Special Agent Donald P. Burgess wrote. James A. Harrison’s role as the FBI’s sole human informant inside SCLC’s Atlanta headquarters was first revealed by this author in 1981, but only now do new documents, available on the web following a Freedom of Information Act request, reveal Harrison’s pre-existing role as an FBI informant. On October 2 Agent Burgess recounted how “Harrison has completely ingratiated himself in the SCLC and is considered a staff member at present . . . Harrison has met and been in the home of Martin Luther King, Jr, and apparently meets with the approval of King.” At least weekly, Harrison informed Atlanta agents what was happening at SCLC, but his early reports featured only mundane office gossip.

On Wednesday, November 18, J. Edgar Hoover told a group of women reporters that King was “the most notorious liar” in the US, ostensibly because of how King had criticised southern FBI agents two years earlier. Hoover added “off the record” that King “is one of the lowest characters in the country”, but the “notorious liar” characterisation generated widespread headlines. King responded with a telegram telling Hoover that he was “appalled and surprised at your reported statement maligning my integrity” and with a public statement asserting that the 69-year-old Hoover “has apparently faltered under the awesome burden, complexities and responsibilities of his office”.

King professed “nothing but sympathy for this man who has served his country so well,” but in wiretapped phone conversations that were quickly passed to FBI headquarters, King instructed aides to ask civil rights allies to speak out so that Hoover would be “hit from all sides.” Hoover complained to his own aides that “I can’t understand why we are unable to get the true facts before the public” and that “we are never taking the aggressive.”

Now, more newly-available documents offer a far more detailed account of what then transpired on Saturday November 21 in what would become the most notorious episode in the FBI’s pursuit of King. At the Domestic Intelligence Division’s offices on the eighth floor of the Riddell Building at 1730 K Street, Washington, Supervisor Seymor Phillips had possession of all the reel-to-reel tapes from the hotel room microphone surveillances on King. Early that morning Assistant Director Sullivan instructed FBI Laboratory supervisor John M. Matter to prepare multiple composite copies containing what Matter called “highlights” from the Willard Hotel and Los Angeles Hyatt House recordings. Soon thereafter, as Phillips recalled in a lengthy, never before cited recollection of that day’s events, Sullivan, whose office “was directly across the hall” from his, “came into my office and asked me for some unwatermarked stationery”. Then, “later that morning”, Sullivan “telephoned me for the address of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference headquarters in Atlanta”. Phillips jotted it down and took it to Sullivan, who was busy typing and again sought assurance that the stationery Phillips had given him was unwatermarked.

Phillips went on: “Around noon, Sullivan called me into his office and handed me a sealed manila envelope which appeared to contain something other than written matter as it was a solid package. He gave me a sum of money and asked that I have one of the men working with me immediately take the package by cab to the Justice Building and hand it over to Al Belmont,” whose office was at “Main Justice” on Pennsylvania Avenue.

From there, the day’s events shift to a second narrator, whose April 1975 interview with Church Committee investigators is also among the newly-disclosed documents. Supervisor Lish Whitson, one of the Domestic Intelligence Division’s most senior agents, recounted how on that Saturday Sullivan had called him at home and told him that Hoover wanted him to take a package to Miami, one that only Sullivan, Deputy Director Clyde Tolson, Hoover, and Assistant to the Director Belmont knew about. Sullivan told him to go to National Airport, and “Whitson said that when he arrived at the North terminal of National Airport, following Sullivan’s telephonic instructions, a young man who was unknown to Whitson but who addressed him as ‘Mr Whitson’ turned a package over to him which was wrapped in brown paper and sealed with sealing tape” and approximately eight inches by eight inches and one inch thick.

Upon landing in Miami, Whitson telephoned Sullivan for further instructions and was told to address it to Martin Luther King in Atlanta, with no return address. At a post office, Whitson had it weighed and affixed stamps. On Sunday Whitson flew back to Washington, and upon reporting in on Monday morning, Sullivan remarked, “Someday I will tell you about that.” About a week later, “Sullivan commented to Whitson that the package had not yet been received by Martin Luther King,” and only come January 5, 1965, more than six weeks later, did agents listening in on the Atlanta wiretaps hear King and his aides discussing a troubling and embarrassing tape-recording he had received. At FBI headquarters, Seymor Phillips mentioned that news to John Matter, who said nothing in response “but rather smiled ‘knowingly,’” Phillips later wrote.

As history has long known, at SCLC headquarters the package containing the tape was presumed to be of one of King’s speeches and was put aside for delivery to his wife. When King learned of the contents, he became distraught, telling one aide over the wiretapped phone lines that the FBI was “out to get me, harass me, break my spirit”. King went to the apartment of an SCLC secretary, Edwina Smith, to try to rest and get some sleep, only to be awakened by firemen responding to a false fire alarm instigated by Atlanta FBI agents. Ralph Abernathy and Andrew Young, two of King’s closest aides, sought a meeting with the FBI’s Deke DeLoach to ask whether the Bureau was investigating King’s personal life, but the duplicitous DeLoach denied any such thing.

In reality, throughout late November and early December, even following a highly-publicised but completely banal face-to-face meeting between King and Hoover, FBI officials followed Hoover’s instructions to have all of the hotel room recordings transcribed in full and prepared new summary reports for agents to use in privately spreading the word about King’s personal conduct. “THIS MEMORANDUM IS NOT TO BE DISSEMINATED OUTSIDE THE BUREAU AND IS TO BE USED ONLY FOR ORAL BRIEFING PURPOSES,” one newly-available document describing King as “a moral degenerate” forcefully warns.

The FBI’s anonymous letter sent with the tape warned King that you will find on the record for all time audio evidence of  your adulterous acts, your sexual orgies involving various evil playmates

Almost exactly one decade later, when the FBI had chosen none other than Seymor Fred Phillips to be its principal liaison with the Church Committee, a committee request that the Bureau survey the personal files that William Sullivan had left behind when Hoover forced him into sudden retirement in 1971 led Phillips to make an historic discovery. On Sunday morning January 26, 1975, Phillips was asked to “inventory a drawer full of folders pertaining to King” among Sullivan’s papers. Therein he found “a document which I considered at the time of extreme significance”, the original of an anonymous, unsigned letter ostensibly written by one of “us Negroes” and addressed simply “King”. A heavily-redacted version of that letter was later publicly released, and in time a fully unredacted copy would become available too. But writing in early 1975, soon after discovering the original of that missive, Phillips explained in his newly-released memo how he had realised that back on November 21, 1964, Sullivan had no doubt employed carbon paper when typing on that unwatermarked stationery Phillips had given him, thereby creating an untraceable carbon copy with “that copy used as the cover communication” in the package that then made its way first to Al Belmont and then to Lish Whitson. Phillips insisted that in November 1964, “I didn’t at that time conceive of any communication being sent with the tape” that he knew Sullivan had had dispatched, and only upon studying the text of the letter did Sullivan’s intent become clear.

After telling King to “lend your sexually psychotic ear to the enclosure”, the letter warned that “you will find on the record for all time” audio evidence of “your adulterous acts, your sexual orgies” involving “various evil playmates” including “Dolores Evans”. Calling him “an evil, abnormal beast”, the letter instructed: “King, there is only one thing left for you to do. You know what it is. You have just 34 days in which to do (this exact number has been selected for a specific reason . . . There is but one way out for you. You better take it before your filthy, abnormal fraudulent self is bared to the nation.” As Phillips realised in 1975 after seeing the text, 34 days from November 21 was December 25, Christmas Day—with Sullivan’s clear but unspoken implication being that King had better take his own life by that date.

Notwithstanding how privately distraught King was upon realising the extent of the FBI’s efforts to destroy him, no word of what was taking place in Washington and Atlanta broke into public view in 1965 or in the years immediately following. When King’s family moved from the house they had rented since 1960 to a newly-purchased home in April 1965, Atlanta agents sought headquarters’ approval to continue wiretapping King’s phone at the new address. In the three months leading up to the move, the home tap had revealed “18 contacts of King by individuals having CP connections”, such as Clarence Jones and singer Harry Belafonte, that were all decades old, “and 11 contacts by King of females relating to extra-marital activity on his part”. With Hoover seeking to minimise the FBI’s overall number of active wiretaps, Atlanta’s request was denied.

At SCLC headquarters, Jim Harrison continued filing regular informant reports, but when he told Atlanta agents that he had met Stanley Levison at SCLC’s August convention in Birmingham, their lack of interest revealed once again how “communist influence” was now a very small figleaf indeed in the Bureau’s ongoing surveillance of King. They evinced more interest in second-hand gossip that some Atlanta radio station employee supposedly possessed “blackmail type of information on King”. Similarly, several months later Phillips and Sullivan eagerly welcomed Atlanta news—whether from the office wiretap or Harrison is unclear—“that King is reported to have gone to the apartment of one of his female employees on 11/4/65 and to have torn her clothes off of her in an apparent attempt to attack her”. Whatever the truth of that rumour, throughout early 1966 King became closer and closer to his “constant paramour” Dorothy Cotton, ostensibly running up more than $600 in international telephone charges to call Cotton in Atlanta during a spring speaking trip to France.

In June 1966, Attorney General Nicholas Katzenbach instructed the FBI to end its wiretapping of SCLC’s office phones because the Justice Department was considering charging one of King’s aides in an interstate car theft case, but Jim Harrison remained in place. When a meeting that included Stanley Levison and Clarence Jones discussed how SCLC’s payroll might be trimmed, Harrison told Atlanta agents that the possibility of firing receptionist Xernona Clayton, the wife of SCLC’s former public relations director, had foundered in part because of the fact that Clayton “has engaged in promiscuous relations with Martin Luther King, Jr”. Atlanta’s suggestion that COINTELPRO possibilities involving Clayton be considered was turned down by FBI headquarters.

Not to be outdone, the Chicago FBI office energetically followed up on a lead that an additional King girlfriend was 33-year-old Barbara Moore, a secretary at Sears-Roebuck & Co headquarters who had been introduced to King two or three years earlier by his attorney friend Chauncey Eskridge, who was himself involved with Moore’s sister Judy. Chicago agents had a criminal informant, CG 6732-C, who “has been intimately acquainted for a number of years” with Moore and who claimed that “King sees Barbara Moore every time he comes to Chicago,” which in 1965-66 was quite often. Moore was reportedly competing for King’s Chicago affections with another woman, Rosemary Mitchell, who owned Rosemary Mitchell Interiors in Hyde Park and was formerly the common-law partner of a South Side crime figure. The informant told the agents that according to Moore, on one occasion King “became involved in a fist fight” over Moore with an unknown attorney, and the agents’ own investigation of Moore’s background established that under several previous names she “was reportedly a prostitute” at the age of 18.

Even with no further electronic surveillance sources reporting on King’s private life, information continued to flow in, whether from Jim Harrison or from other human sources. By late 1967 the Bureau was reporting King’s dependence upon sleeping pills and how he “frequently flew into a rage over relatively insignificant matters”, a claim later confirmed by King’s aides. Then, in December 1967, the King case took its most curious turn of all when Don Newcombe, a famous African-American former major league baseball pitcher, became worried about King’s newly-announced plan to mount an aggressively disruptive “Poor People’s Campaign” in Washington in 1968.

Writing to President Lyndon B. Johnson just before Christmas, Newcombe explained that “I have information I consider highly classified” which “would be of great value to your Administration” but which he would furnish only to the president himself. Top Johnson aides Harry McPherson, Clifford Alexander, and Marvin Watson puzzled with great seriousness over Newcombe’s curious missive before Watson wrote back to say that the president was very busy but that Watson himself would welcome receiving Newcombe’s information. In early January Newcombe reached Watson by phone, and while Newcombe made clear that his information concerned Martin Luther King, he declined Watson’s request that he submit a fully detailed letter: “There are so many people involved and so many people that could possibly be hurt by this information that I find myself unable to put it down in writing.”

The FBI reported that an intoxicated King had threatened to jump out of a New York hotel window if Dolores Evans would not say she loved him, and that they believed he had fathered a baby girl born to her

Newcombe soon found his way to the FBI, and by February 20 an FBI report went to the White House detailing Newcombe’s information. Newcombe was an in-law of Dolores Evans, King’s long-time Los Angeles girlfriend, whom Newcombe said had been involved with King since 1962. Once when Evans was with King in a New York hotel room, Newcombe related, an intoxicated King had threatened to jump out a window if Evans would not say she loved him. The FBI quickly updated its existing summary report, “Martin Luther King, Jr, A Current Analysis,” to incorporate all of Newcombe’s information. Most shockingly, Newcombe “believes King fathered a baby girl born to this woman inasmuch as her husband is allegedly sterile. The child resembles King to a great degree and King contributes to the support of this child. He calls this woman every Wednesday and frequently meets her in various cities throughout the country.”

Following King’s death, a White House aide shared the Newcombe information with syndicated columnist Jack Anderson, who travelled to Los Angeles for what he described as “an emotional interview” with Dolores Evans, who insisted that her relationship with King had been “merely a friendship”. She told Anderson, “I didn’t call him. He called me,” and steadfastly “denied any intimacies”. When Evans’s daughter Chrystal, who had been born on October 30, 1964, married in 2003, her New York Times wedding announcement listed “the late Dr Theodore L. Evans, Jr,” as her father. The ceremony itself was performed by Martin Luther King’s closest surviving associate, Reverend Andrew J. Young. In a brief 2007 essay about fathers and daughters, Dr Chrystal Evans-Bowman, an only child, wrote that her parents separated in 1976-77 and reported that her father died in 1994. Dr Evans-Bowman, with whom the now 82-year-old Dolores Evans lives, has not responded to multiple requests for an interview with her mother.

Don Newcombe’s involvement in the FBI’s pursuit of King exemplifies the single most important truth about J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI: its domestic intelligence investigations relied far more on human informants than on costly and time-consuming electronic surveillance. Typical of the FBI’s late 1960s’ onslaught against a wide range of political groups was the Bureau’s early 1968 recruitment of a second SCLC staff member, Chicago-based Ralph Henry, as a paid informant, the new documents reveal. A significant if little-known SCLC organiser, Henry not only attended a February 12 conference with King and all his top aides in Atlanta, but when Fred Bennette, King’s “hideaway” facilitator, was “assigned to be in charge of security for Martin Luther King”, Chicago agents reported, “Ralph Henry was assigned to be Reverend Bennette’s assistant.” More than three years later, Henry was still on SCLC’s payroll, and also still on the FBI’s. John Furfey, a Chicago-based CIA agent, conducted a long November 18, 1971 interview with Henry. “Subject earns about $600 clear from the SCLC each month and this is supplemented by money from the FBI,” Furfey reported to his CIA superiors.

But Ralph Henry was far from alone. Jim Harrison left SCLC in February 1970 yet remained an FBI informant until 1974, the newly-released documents reveal. In addition, the Bureau also deployed an important, heretofore unknown informant from Cincinnati, known only as CI 652-R, to cover Martin Luther King’s funeral. In a long, newly-available written report, CI 652-R detailed how he and his family flew to Atlanta on April 9, 1968, and drove fellow Hilton Hotel guests Myrlie and Charles Evers to the funeral service at Ebenezer Baptist Church. The following morning CI 652-R had a long face-to-face conversation at SCLC headquarters with Andrew Young before SCLC leaders held a press conference. “My wife and I left after the press conference and went to visit Coretta King and later Rev M. L. King, Sr.,” CI 652-R wrote to Special Agent John T. Pryor. (The likelihood is that the informant was Reverend L. V. Booth, a longtime friend of the King family and the pastor of Cincinnati’s Zion Baptist Church from 1952. He died in 2002 aged 83.)

But Martin Luther King and his aides and family were far from alone in drawing the attention of multiple FBI informants. In 1963, the Communist Party USA had a grand total of 4,453 members, new Bureau documents reveal, and as of two years later no fewer than 336 of them were FBI informants. Even in 1971, the Bureau was boasting privately of how 11 of its informants were members of the CPUSA’s National Committee, and early that year the FBI dispatched WF (as in Washington Field) 1777-S to a Soviet-backed World Council for Peace conference in Stockholm where “she” proved to be “of exceptional value”.

Yet the scale of the FBI’s penetration of the CPUSA paled next to its success against a far more iconic political group. By 1971 the Black Panther Party was weaker than it had been several years earlier, but its membership decline had not attenuated the FBI’s presence in its ranks. “The present membership is 710,” a newly-available August 1971 Domestic Intelligence Division document reports, “and we have 156 informants . . . which represents 21.7 percent of the membership.” The Division eagerly boasted that all told “we are operating 7,477 extremist informants”, more than 6,500 of whom were low-import “ghetto informants who provide general information”, but the Bureau’s targeting was not limited solely to leftists and African-Americans. Nationwide, “353 informants report on white extremist organisations”, and when in late 1967 the United Klans of America, by far the largest Ku Klux Klan group in the United States, elected an Imperial Board at its National Klonvocation, “four of the ten newly-elected members of this Board are FBI informants,” the Division crowed. What’s more, “in the early stages of Klan growth in the State of Tennessee, we were able to develop as a Bureau informant the Grand Dragon of the United Klans of America, Realm of Tennessee. Through this high-level source we were able to control the expansion of the Klan” and “discourage violence throughout the state”. Across Tennessee, the Klan’s “lack of success can be attributed to our highly-placed informant”, ME 313-E (as in Extremist), who was handled by Special Agent M. E. McCloughan. (The evidence points to ME 313-E being former UKA Grand Dragon V. Doyle Ellington, now aged 80, who lives in Brownsville and is on Facebook.)

The new hoard of largely-unredacted, previously unreleased FBI documents raises more questions than can presently be answered. Irrespective of whether or not Martin Luther King actually has an additional, never-acknowledged daughter, the scores and scores of informant identities that can be pried out of the new material will primarily interest only a small handful of historians and journalists. But many other nuggets await discovery. For example “Ironclad”, a Soviet “defector-in-place” who “has identified hundreds of SIS [Soviet Intelligence Service] officers and furnished information concerning approximately 250 intelligence operations”, appears never before to have come into public view. “The value of information he has furnished and has a potential to furnish is beyond estimate,” the Domestic Intelligence Division wrote in August 1971.

Yet without any doubt the uppermost issue raised by the new documents concerns just how fundamental a reconsideration of Martin Luther King’s historical reputation will take place when the complete trove of still-sealed FBI tape recordings and attendant transcripts is released for public review. Until now, some voices in 2027 might have called for the physical destruction of all those historical records, notwithstanding how the FBI’s electronic surveillance of King was not, under the regrettably relaxed standards of that time, in any way illegal.

But the FBI’s allegation that King “looked on, laughed and offered advice” as a forcible rape took place right in front of him makes that stance unsupportable by anyone. Dorothy Cotton, the most important woman in King’s life, went to her grave without ever giving an interview in which she explicitly discussed their relationship, and how many of the additional 40 or more women, such as Dolores Evans, Barbara Meredith and Barbara Moore, whom the now-public documents identify as King’s more occasional partners, might have something of value to offer the historical record?

King’s far-from monogamous lifestyle, like his binge-drinking, may fit albeit uncomfortably within his existing life story, but the suggestion—actually more than one—that he either actively tolerated or personally employed violence against any woman, even while drunk, poses so fundamental a challenge to his historical stature as to require the most complete and extensive historical review possible.

In retrospect, it now seems certain that Martin Luther King knew himself better and more fully than we have over the past 50 years. As he told his Ebenezer congregation on March 3, 1968, “There is a schizophrenia, as the psychologists or the psychiatrists would call it, going on within all of us. There are times that all of us know somehow that there is a Mr Hyde and a Dr Jekyll in us.” But he nonetheless insisted that “God does not judge us by the separate incidents or the separate mistakes that we make, but by the total bent of our lives.” Some of us now-ageing King scholars “may not get there with you” come 2027, but there is no question that a profoundly painful historical reckoning and reconsideration inescapably awaits. 

Voir également:

The British newsmagazine Standpoint hit newsstands in England today featuring an article titled “The Troubling Legacy of Martin Luther King” with the subtitle “Newly revealed documents portray the great civil rights leader as a sexual libertine who ‘laughed’ as a forcible rape took place.” The article is written by historian David J. Garrow, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for his 1986 biography, Bearing the Cross: Martin Luther King Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

The story of how the article came to be is striking. Garrow claims to have learned of new information after hearing that King-related materials had been “dumped” on the National Archives website.

Garrow claims that as he went through these materials what he found were never-before-seen documents from FBI files and surveillance summaries, that he writes “silently slipped into public view on the Archives’ lightly-annotated and difficult-to-explore website.” According to his account, many of these came from tens of thousands of government documents from congressional investigations of U.S. intelligence agencies. They are among over 54,000 web links that led to multi-document PDFs, that took him many weeks to go through.

According to an editorial in the same issue, Garrow came to publish this extraordinary piece at Standpoint after it had been accepted by, and then killed at, the Guardian and subsequently rejected by the Atlantic.

Those in the civil rights movement and close to it knew of King’s reputation as a womanizer who cheated on his wife regularly. They thought, as Garrow himself told the U.K. newspaper, the Sunday Times, that he had perhaps about 10 or 12 other women—not the 40 to 45 alleged in the newly discovered FBI files. The charges are so serious and troubling that Garrow reached the conclusion that King’s indifference to, or approval of, a rape he witnessed and encouraged, “poses so fundamental a challenge to the historical stature as to require the most complete and extensive historical review possible.”

Here is a rough summation of Garrow’s new findings:

  1. King had scores of extramarital affairs. When his wife complained that he was hardly ever home, he advised her, the FBI said, to “go out and have some sexual affairs of her own.”
  2. The FBI bugged the various hotel rooms he was booked to stay in as he traveled the country, recording everything that took place. Sometimes they were in the room next door to King’s, as was the case in the Willard Hotel when King stayed there in 1964.
  3. King used his position as the pastor of his church to pick out women from his own parish to sleep with, and pressure them into going along.
  4. King witnessed and egged on the rape of a parishioner by his friend Logan Kearse, pastor of a Baltimore Baptist church.
  5. King may well have had a daughter from his serious relationship with Dolores Evans, a Los Angeles girlfriend. He is alleged to have regularly paid Evans for child support, although he never acknowledged being father of her baby. Evans is alive, as is the daughter who might have been sired by King, Dr. Chrystal Evans-Bowman. Neither have talked to the press, despite many requests for an interview.

There is another aspect of the revelations that do not relate to King’s sexual life and which are very important. After J. Edgar Hoover spoke to Robert F. Kennedy, King was advised to break his contact with Stanley Levison, a man who advised King, gave his movement money, and was a secret member of the American Communist Party. The history of the civil rights movement has always assumed that King took this advice to heart.

The new documents suggest, however, that King secretly both kept up his contact with Levison and continued to take large amounts of money from him. These funds came essentially from the CPUSA, and thus from the Soviet Union. From 1957 through 1962, Levison gave what Garrow calls “the astonishing amounts” of a total of $76,500; the equivalent of $650,000 today. Levison was in charge of handling all CPUSA funds, including those secretly coming from the Soviet Union, which helped finance the American Communist Party. At a time when segregationist Mississippi Senator James Eastland was accusing the civil rights movement of being run by Communists, such knowledge, had it come out, could have had damaging effects on it.


As a historian who wrote the first major biography of King and a separate book The FBI and Martin Luther King,Jr., Garrow’s new revelations must be taken seriously. His article appears in a distinguished British newspaper, not a Murdoch British rag or a tabloid such as our country’s National Enquirer.

Undoubtedly, people like Roy Moore, Richard Spencer, David Duke, and various alt-right hangers-on will revel in this news and argue that it demolishes Martin Luther King Jr.’s standing as an American hero.

That would be the wrong conclusion to take.

King was a man who risked his own life by practicing non-violence and who publicly rejected the two primary alternatives to the civil rights movement: black nationalism and racial separatism. He rejected the use of guns in the fight against the oppressors, especially the police. Because of this, the more radical groups were not fond of King and called him the Uncle Tom of the movement.

Let me not mince words. King’s behavior toward women should not be buried or excused. They should be condemned.

But does acknowledging these truths mean that we can no longer recognize King’s accomplishments as a civil rights leader? Does it mean we have to ignore what he said in his powerful sermons and writings? Does it diminish his “Letter from a Birmingham Jail”? It was there that King wrote that citizens had “not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws,” and at the same time “to disobey unjust laws.”

Remember, King led an entire community to risk everything on behalf of freedom, fighting off Bull Connor’s police dogs and fire hoses as they were unleashed on unarmed citizens protesting for their rights as American citizens.

Our leaders are human. King was deeply flawed in his view of women and his sexual proclivities. It is obvious, reading Garrow’s quotation from King’s sermon on March 3, 1968, that he was alluding to himself when he said “There is a schizophrenia . . . going on in all of us. There are times that all of us know somehow that there is a Mr. Hyde and a Dr. Jekyll in us.” God, King said, “does not judge us by the separate incidents or the separate mistakes that we make, but by the total bent of our lives.”

The word “mistake” does not begin to cover King’s behavior toward women. But King is yet another reminder that good men can do bad things, and even bad men can sometimes accomplish great goods. How do we balance those ledgers in a final accounting? It’s hard. It’s messy. And there are no neat or obvious answers.

Some thought Garrow should keep his discoveries under wraps, but it is the job of the historian to tell the truth. This is especially true for a historian who has already devoted a good chunk of his career to chronicling the man’s life. It would not be too much to say that Garrow had almost a unique duty to write this piece.

It is unfortunate that the racists among us will cheer this news. But that is not an excuse to keep the truth hidden.

If Garrow is right that a “profoundly painful historical reckoning and reconsideration” is upon us, then so be it. We are better off confronting the truth than living with a comfortable lie.

Ronald Radosh is a contributing opinion columnist for The Daily Beast, professor emeritus of history at CUNY, and co-author of A Safe Haven: Harry S. Truman and the Founding of Israel.

‘Adults are pretending to be children’: Now even aid workers admit ‘Calais kids’ are LYING about their age as vulnerable nine-year-old African boy is refused UK entry in ‘shambolic’ selection process 

  • Migrant ‘children’ arriving in Britain on coaches from Calais Jungle camp
  • But critics argue they look much older than the 14 to 17 they claim to be 
  • Aid workers said some are lying about their age to get entry to Britain
  • They claim those arriving in the UK are ‘adults pretending to be children’
  • Daniel Gadi, nine, from Eritrea is among those still stranded in France

Aid workers in Calais have warned the most vulnerable children face being stranded in the Jungle camp because adults are lying about their age to gain entry to Britain.

Volunteers working in the migrant camp said the process for registering those with family members was ‘chaotic’ and warned vulnerable children are being left behind.

Critics have claimed that migrants arriving into Britain over the last two days appear to look older than the 14 to 17 years the Government claims they are.

The Home Office has come under fire for not carrying out routine tests such as dental checks to determine their age because they are deemed ‘too intrusive’.

The second wave of ‘child’ migrants from the Jungle Camp arrived in Britain at lunchtime today with up to 300 more expected to follow in their footsteps in the coming week – although the Home Office has not yet confirmed the exact number.

Some 14 children arrived in the first wave yesterday, but the Home Office also refused to confirm how many came to the UK today.

After photographs of the refugees arriving were published, Conservative MP David Davies wrote on Twitter: ‘These don’t look like ‘children’ to me. I hope British hospitality is not being abused.’

Officials insist the migrants have undergone rigorous interviews and document checks to establish they are aged under 18.

But it has emerged that this is simply a screening process where they are verified as a child based on their ‘physical appearance’ and ‘demeanour’, with social workers signing off an ‘age assessment’.

A Whitehall source added that the migrants may simply look older because fleeing war zones had ‘probably toughened them up so they’ve grown up a bit quicker’.

Daniel Gadi, a nine-year-old boy, from Eritrea, in Africa, whose mother is dead, is among those still stranded in France.

WHY IS HOME OFFICE NOT DOING MEDICAL CHECKS?

On background checks, the Home Office states:

We work closely with the French Authorities to ensure that the cases applying to come to the UK qualify under Dublin.

Initial interviews are conducted to gather information on identity, medical conditions and age among other criteria.

On age we use a number of determining factors:

– That the individual has provided credible and clear documentary evidence proving their claimed age;

– That the individual has a physical appearance/demeanour which does not strongly suggest they are significantly over 18 years of age

– That the individual has been subject to a Merton compliant age assessment by a local authority and been assessed to be 18 years of age or over, which must be signed off by two social workers.

His father Abaye said he wants his son to be looked after by his late wife’s sister in London, but was refused entry to Britain as he is not an unaccompanied child.

‘My son is nine,’ Abaye said. ‘I want him to go to London to be with his mother’s sister. We have been here for three months, I do not want my son to be here.

‘I have two sons aged 12 and 16 who are already in London with their aunt. Their mother is dead.’

The first child migrants began arriving in Britain from Calais on Monday, while the second wave got to the UK Visas and Immigration office in Croydon, south London, this afternoon.

They being transferred from the Jungle before it is demolished later this month.

Some waved to the waiting cameras as they stepped off the packed bus before being escorted into the main building by UK border enforcement officers.

Between 200 and 300 youngsters with family already in the UK will be brought across the Channel by the end of the week, according to French police.

But as the transfers began, volunteers working in the Jungle camp raised concerns that those most in need would be left behind because adults are taking their places.

One unnamed aid worker in Calais raised concerns that adults may be lying about their age to gain entry into Britain.

The worker said: ‘It is a complete mess. Those at the front of the queue are not the most needy and vulnerable – they are adults pretending to be children.’

Another volunteer, Neha, added: ‘I know there are vulnerable kids, kids with epilepsy, who are still here that have family in the UK they could be with right now.

‘It’s a shambles. Children are not being told what they are queuing up for, they are not being given information, there is complete confusion.’

Up to 1,200 children are stranded in the sprawling Jungle camp in the French Port town, which is due to be demolished this month.

A Home Office spokesman admitted that routine medical tests, such as checking dental records, have not been carried out because it could be ‘intrusive’. Pictured: Arrivals in Croydon – There is no suggestion that those pictured are lying about being under 17

Migrant ‘children’ arriving in Britain from Calais to critics claiming they look ‘old enough to be adults’ may look older ‘because war has toughened them up’, a Whitehall source claims. Pictured: An Afghani migrant waves as he leaves Saint Omer, France, for Britain today

One British volunteer said: ‘It’s a shambles. Children are not being told what they are queuing up for, they are not being given information, there is complete confusion.’ Pictured: Migrants in the Calais jungle, which is due to be bulldozed later this month

Home Office staff have gone out to Calais to ensure a smooth transition. Pictured here is a UK official (centre, black coat) and a camp volunteer (hat and beige coat) assisting a group of migrant children aged 12-16 ahead of their departure

Around half say they have family in the UK, giving them the right to move here.

Under the system, the children have to apply for asylum in France with their claims transferred to Britain once they show they have family links already in the country.

A team of Home Office officials has been dispatched to Calais to work with the French authorities to screen applicants before they are granted entry.

Part of the vetting process will include attempting to determine their ages.

CHILD ARRIVALS SPARK HUGE DEBATE ON SOCIAL MEDIA

The arrival of the migrant children has caused a huge stir on social media, with everyone from politicians to television presenters weighing in.

UKIP temporary leader Nigel Farage said the pictures of the refugees proved the need to ‘verify who was coming into our country’.

But ex-England footballer and Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker hit out at those accusing the migrants of lying about their ages.

He wrote on Twitter: ‘The treatment by some towards these young refugees is hideously racist and utterly heartless. What’s happening to our country?’

Many people were unswayed by his comments though, taking aim at the Home Office over the process and questioning the ages of those arriving.

Owen Gibbs replied: ‘@GaryLineker i think it has a lot to do with the fact that we were told it would be refugee children but we’re seeing migrant men.’ 

Tony Pearce tweeted: ‘@AmberRudd_MP we wanted a strong home secretary who will keep our country safe, but you want to import migrant men posing as children.’

Laird Glencaird added: ‘Errrrrr, when are the first migrant children from Calais due. Lots of Migrants coming over but haven’t seen any kids yet. Please Help??’ 

Many made light of the situation, joking about what the ‘children’ will do when they arrive in the UK.

‘Dukesy’ tweeted: ‘The Calais migrant children have all been offered places at a local junior school but have decided 2 go straight into labouring for brickies.’

And another Twitter user known only as ‘Lee’ added: ‘These Calais migrant children aren’t aging well, are they?!’ 

The Government said it has ‘worked closely with the French Authorities to ensure that the cases applying to come to the UK qualify’, but admitted tests are based on ‘physical appearance’ and ‘demeanour’, with social workers signing off an ‘age assessment’.

A Home Office spokesman admitted medical tests, such as checking dental records, were not carried out because it could be ‘intrusive’.

The first group of children from war-torn countries including Syria and Sudan, arrived yesterday by coach at Lunar House, followed by a second batch today.

As part of the process, family members will also have been grilled by a team of screening officers trained to spot inconsistencies in their stories.

As doubts were raised about the new arrivals’ ages, Tory MP David Davies tweeted: ‘These don’t look like ‘children’ to me. I hope British hospitality is not being abused.’

Meanwhile, Twitter user Iain McGregor wrote: ‘Does the British Foreign Office think we are stupid? I was expecting kids under the age of 16, not over the age of 21.’

Another, writing under the name Dot, added: ‘When I read child migrants I thought it was youngsters. These are young men!!’

And David Moore said: ‘Lie about your age and you get a ride into the land of milk and honey. Don’t think they will be asked for ID at the pub.’

Others commented that some of the ‘children’ had managed to grow facial hair, while Mr Davies questioned why no girls or women had been brought to Britain.

He told The Telegraph: ‘These young men don’t look like minors to me. They are hulking teenagers who look older than 18. I’m all for helping the genuine children but the well of goodwill is rapidly being exhausted here.

‘I’m also curious that there are no young women – I would have thought they would be much more vulnerable. I worry that once again British hospitality is being abused.

‘There is no way of knowing if someone is a child. We could end up causing even more misery if we are not careful. We should invite anyone who wants to come to the UK to take dental tests.’

However, a Whitehall source said the child migrants may look older because fleeing war zones had ‘probably toughened them up so they’ve grown up a bit quicker’.

The youngsters now face further screening by the Home Office before they are reunited with family members. Some might be housed in specialist accommodation while these safeguarding checks take place, the spokesman said.

A Home Office spokesman said: ‘This is the start of the process to transfer as many eligible children as possible before the start of the clearance, as the Home Secretary set out in Parliament.

‘The transfer process is not straightforward. We need to make sure the essential checks have been made for their safety and the safety of others.’

Earlier, campaigners and faith leaders warned there are many more children left behind at the Jungle camp who also deserve Britain’s help.

WHAT THE LAW SAYS

The law which governs EU asylum claims states migrants should claim asylum in the first EU country reached. 

However there is a clause which allows minors to apply for asylum in another European country if they already have family living there.  

Lord Dubs, who came to Britain on the Kindertransport programme for Jewish children fleeing Nazi Germany, brought an amendment to the Immigration Act which was passed in May. 

This states the UK will take ‘vulnerable unaccompanied child refugees’ who arrived in the EU before March 20. 

These child refugees must be travelling on their own and fleeing conflict in their home country. Exceptions also apply to children under 13, girls and orphans. 

More than 80 unaccompanied children have so far been accepted to Britain under EU asylum law this year, according to the Home Office. 

It is not yet clear how many children will be accepted from Calais this week, although some figures suggest it will be around 100. 

‘We know that at least three children have died trying to get into Britain. Three children who actually had a legal right to be with their families,’ said former archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams.

Speaking to reporters in Croydon in south London, where the teenagers were being processed, he said yesterday: ‘I really hope it will be the beginning of some kind of new life experience with none of the horrors they’ve endured.’

Charities estimate up to 10,000 migrants from Africa, the Middle East and Asia have settled in the ‘Jungle’ in the hope of reaching Britain, but French authorities are expected to close it down by the end of the year.

‘No child must be left behind in the chaos of demolition,’ said Lord Alf Dubs, who fled the Nazis for Britain in 1939 and helped force the change in the law on child refugees.

A Home Office spokeswoman said Britain had agreed to transfer ‘as many minors as possible’ under EU asylum law before the Calais camp is closed.

She said that those eligible under British law must be looked after while their cases were assessed, adding: ‘Work is continuing on both sides of the Channel to ensure this happens as a matter of urgency.’

Meanwhile a French court today rejected a request by aid groups to delay the closure of the migrant camp in Calais, allowing authorities to clear out its thousands of residents in the coming weeks.

French authorities are gradually relocating or deporting the 6,000 to 10,000 migrants from the camp.

No date has been set for a large-scale clear-out operation, but the government has promised to shut it down by the start of winter.

Several aid groups filed an emergency request last week to postpone the closure, arguing that authorities aren’t ready to relocate its residents.

A Lille court rejected the request Tuesday, according to Pierre Henry of aid group Terre d’Asile.

Charity groups have warned that many of the migrants don’t want to stay in France and may set up camp elsewhere to continue trying to cross the English Channel to Britain.

‘Please don’t pretend two dads is the new normal’: RICHARD LITTLEJOHN says children benefit most from being raised by a man and woman

The Daily Mail

Call me old-fashioned, but I’ve never understood why so many pregnant women these days insist on flaunting the ultrasound scans of their unborn children.

Then again, I come from a generation reluctant even to discover the sex of their baby in advance, because it would spoil the surprise.

Anyway, surely making a song-and-dance at such an early stage of pregnancy is tempting fate. Why not wait until the child is actually born?

More to the point, who outside the immediate family is remotely interested?

You wouldn’t share the X-ray of your duodenal ulcer or triple heart bypass on the internet. Would you?

Ask a silly question. There are probably hundreds, if not thousands, of websites dedicated to displaying intimate snapshots of surgical procedures.

Come to think of it, I’ve got a picture of my last colonoscopy somewhere, if anyone’s interested. It looks like the menu board at Dunkin’ Donuts. Not that I’d dream of subjecting you to it here, in place of one of Gary’s brilliant cartoons. I wouldn’t want to put you off your breakfast.

So what makes diver Tom Daley and his husband think we want to look at the ultrasound of their yet-to-be-born baby? For a start, one foetus looks pretty much like all the others, just as all babies look like Winston Churchill.

Yet there they were this week, all over the newspapers and on social media, posing proudly with the grainy image taken inside a womb. Daley posted it on Instagram on Valentine’s Day, complete with emojis of two men, a child and love hearts.

As John Junor, late of this parish, used to remark: Pass the sick bag, Alice.

Before the usual suspects start bouncing up and down, squealing ‘homophobia’, don’t bother.

 Here we have two men drawing attention to the fact that ‘they’ are having a baby. But where’s the mum, the possessor of the womb which features in this photograph? She appears to have been written out of the script entirely

I supported civil partnerships long before it was fashionable and I’d rather children were fostered by loving gay couples than condemned to rot in state-run institutions, where they face a better-than-average chance of being abused.

That said, and despite the fact that countless single parents do a fantastic job, I still cling to the belief that children benefit most from being brought up by a man and a woman.

Which is precisely what worries me most about the Daley publicity stunt. Here we have two men drawing attention to the fact that ‘they’ are having a baby.

But where’s the mum, the possessor of the womb which features in this photograph? She appears to have been written out of the script entirely.

We are not told her identity, where she lives, or even when the baby is due. She is merely the anonymous incubator.

My best guess is that she lives in America, since it is still illegal in Britain to pay surrogate mothers other than modest expenses.

That’s why wealthy gay couples, such as Elton John and David Furnish, turn to the States when they want to start a family. Good luck to them. No one is suggesting that homosexual couples can’t make excellent parents. But nor is everyone comfortable with the trend towards treating women as mere breeding machines and babies as commodities.

I’ve written before about the modern tendency in some quarters to regard children as fashion accessories, like those preposterous designer handbag dogs.

This week’s photos of a beaming Tom Daley, his husband and their ultrasound scan are all about the parents (except the birth mother). Look at us, we’re having a bay-bee!

What I also find slightly disconcerting is that this story was reported virtually everywhere without so much as a raised eyebrow, as if it would be impolite even to ask any questions about the parentage.

For instance, is Daley or his husband the father? Was it Bill, or was it Ben? Or neither of them? More pertinently, never mind Who’s The Daddy? Who’s The Mummy? Which brings me to the Number One ‘Oi, Doris!’ news story of the week, headlined: ‘Woman born a man is first to breastfeed’.

Apparently, a 30-year-old transgender woman has successfully breastfed ‘her’ baby after being given hormone therapy to encourage milk production. It’s probably easiest if I quote directly from one of the reports:

‘The woman, who has not been named, approached doctors in New York after her partner became pregnant. She had received no surgery to transition from a man, but had been undergoing hormone therapy for some years and had already developed fully-grown breasts.

‘She explained that her partner was pregnant but not interested in breastfeeding, and that she hoped to take on the role of being the primary food source for her infant.’ There goes another couple of paragraphs I thought I’d never read, let alone write. Or, rather, reproduce. In the perceptive words of reggae star Johnny Nash, there are more questions than answers.

For a start, this person is described as a woman, but has had no surgery to transition from a man. Sorry, but I’m with Germaine Greer — someone in possession of a full set of wedding tackle is a man, not a woman.

Secondly, if this is his/her baby, did he/she fertilise the egg in the traditional fashion? On third thoughts, let’s not go there.

Fourthly, of about 40 other questions, has anyone considered what could be the long-term effects of feeding a baby breast milk manufactured artificially in the body of someone who was born — and remains biologically — a man?

Of course not. This is the most extreme example yet of the demands of selfish adults being given priority over the best interests of the unborn child.

No doubt scientists are already working on a way of ensuring that someone born a man can both father a baby and give birth to it, cutting out the middle-woman altogether. Stand by for the coming Hermaphrodites’ Rights movement.

Look, I don’t want to ban anything, within reason, but there are limits. Depressingly, this bizarre breastfeeding story was also given credulous coverage everywhere, as if it was the most natural thing in the world.

Why are so many of my fellow journalists taking stuff like this at face value? Are they all afraid of asking awkward questions, lest they are monstered by the deranged diversity bigots on Twitter?

Can they please grow a pair — if that’s not too ‘transphobic’ — and stop pretending this is the new normal. Not in our house, it isn’t. Nor, I suspect, in yours or 99.99 per cent of the rest of the world, either.

Still, I’m looking forward to the photos of Tom Daley breastfeeding his new baby.

Britain may have voted 52-48 to quit the EU, but the world of the arts and showbiz was over-whelmingly pro-EU.

Ninety-six per cent of those in the so-called ‘creative’ industries backed Remain. Now the four per cent have formed their own support group, after suffering online abuse and worse from Remoaners.

Brexiteers say they are being refused work by EU fanatics determined to punish them for voting Leave. They had their first meeting at a Wetherspoon’s pub in North London recently.

Sounds like my idea of a good night out. Who would you rather go drinking with — Leavers John Cleese, Michael Caine and Roger Daltrey?

Or luvvie Remoaners like Steve Coogan, Benedict Cumberbatch and Bob Geldof?

Basil Fawlty versus Alan Partridge? Get Carter v Sherlock? The Who v The Boomtown Rats?

No contest. We won’t get fooled again!

The BBC is in trouble for referring to female competitors at the Winter Olympics as ‘girls’. Only ‘ladies’ or ‘women’ will do. No one ever complains when football managers on Match Of The Day talk about ‘the boys done good’.

But the England women’s football team gets very grumpy if you call them ‘ladies’ or ‘women’. So they have to be described simply as ‘England’.

Confused? You’re supposed to be. It’s difficult keeping up. Now that ‘girls’ is verboten, can we expect Posh, Baby, Scary, Ginger and the Other One to bill their reunion tour as the Spice Women?

London City Airport was closed for 48 hours while a World War II bomb in the nearby River Thames was defused. If the UXB teams had taken that long during the Blitz in 1940/41, most of London would still have been off-limits come VE Day.

For years, we’ve been told that we mustn’t call prostitutes ‘prostitutes’. Apparently, it’s demeaning. The only acceptable term is ‘sex workers’.

Yet ever since the Oxfam sex-for-aid scandal broke, all we hear about is child ‘prostitutes’.

Obviously, when the prostitutes in question are Haitian children, not British women, it’s OK. And why is anyone remotely surprised that aid workers at Oxfam and the UN have been abusing vulnerable children?

The notorious American gangster Willie Sutton said he robbed banks ‘because that’s where the money is’.

Predatory paedophiles join international aid organisations because that’s where the kids are.

Now baby food and biscuits are linked to cancer: Food watchdog issues alerts for 25 big brands after claiming that crunchy roast potatoes and toast could cause the disease

  • Crisps, biscuits and baby food have ‘raised levels of cancer-linked chemicals’
  • Food Standards Agency says 25 products have higher amount of ‘acrylamide’
  • Studies on animals suggests the chemical can trigger DNA mutations
  • Products including Kettle Chips, McVitie’s and Hovis are on the danger list 

Tests on best-selling crisps, biscuits and baby food showed raised levels of a chemical linked to cancer.

The health alert comes just 24 hours after an official watchdog warned of the risks of eating burnt toast and roast potatoes.

The latest products on the danger list include Kettle Chips, Burts crisps, Hovis, Fox’s biscuits, Kenco coffee, McVitie’s and products from Cow & Gate.

A number of big name brand products contain raised levels of acrylamide, a chemical linked to cancer, according to the Food Standards Agency

According to the Food Standards Agency, 25 products have raised levels of acrylamide.

Animal studies suggest the chemical can trigger DNA mutations and cancer.

The link to acrylamide was also behind the warning over fried, roasted and toasted foods such as potatoes and bread.

The agency cautioned that any risk to humans related to lifetime consumption and not occasional eating.

However a renowned statistician yesterday insisted the link to cancer in humans from acrylamide was extremely weak.

‘There is no good evidence of harm from humans consuming acrylamide in their diet,’ said Professor David Spiegelhalter.

The FSA and other watchdogs in Europe test supermarket food to assess whether acrylamide levels are above a suggested limit – IV, for indicative value.

Of 526 products in targeted tests in 2014 and 2015, 25 had raised levels. Although the agency is not advising consumers to stop eating the products, the manufacturers have been told to cut the levels.

The FSA said: ‘For all of these samples we followed up with the manufacturers or brand owners via local authority inspectors.

‘They alerted them to the findings and requested information about what is being done to control acrylamide in those products.

‘We would emphasise though that the indicative values are not legal maximum limits nor are they safety levels.

‘They are performance indicators and designed to promote best practice in controlling acrylamide levels, Helen Munday of the Food and Drink Federation, which speaks for the manufacturers, said: ‘Food companies have been lowering acrylamide in UK-made products for years.

‘The FSA report provides a useful snapshot of acrylamide levels in a wide range of foods.

‘At the time of surveying these products, up to three years ago in some cases, any individual foods found to contain levels of acrylamide above indicative values would have prompted a review by both FSA and the brand owner.

‘UK food manufacturers have been working with supply chain partners, regulators and other bodies, at home and abroad, to lower acrylamide levels for years.

‘To continue to make progress, the food and drink industry, in partnership with the European Commission, has developed detailed codes of practice.’

Cow & Gate said: ‘We take food safety extremely seriously and have been working hard to reduce acrylamide levels.

‘In fact, in 2015 we took the decision to discontinue Sunny Start Baby Wheat Flakes as we were unable to reduce the level sufficiently.’

The statement said a spaghetti bolognese failure was expected to be a ‘one-off result’.

M&S said all the products highlighted in the research had since been shown to have low levels of the chemical.

Acrylamide has been classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer as ‘probably carcinogenic in humans’ and the World Health Organisation has concluded that exposure to the chemical in food ‘indicates a human health concern’.

Professor Spiegelhalter said: ‘Adults with the highest consumption of acrylamide could consume 160 times as much and still only be at a level that toxicologists think unlikely to cause increased tumours in mice.

‘People may just consider this yet another scare story from scientists, and lead them to dismiss truly important warnings about, say, the harms from obesity.

‘To be honest, I am not convinced it is appropriate to launch a public campaign on this basis.’

However Steve Wearne, the FSA’s policy director, said: ‘All age groups have more acrylamide in their diet than we would ideally want.

‘As a general rule of thumb when roasting or toasting, people should aim for a golden yellow colour, possibly a bit lighter, when cooking starchy foods like potatoes.’

These are scare stories of an attention seeking quango, writes JOHN NAISH

Why is the Food Standards Agency so keen to frighten us off crispy roasties and toast that is well done?

Apparently because of a potential cancer risk from acrylamide, a chemical that is created by cooking starchy foods at high temperatures – the longer and hotter such foods are cooked the more acrylamide forms.

But hang on, what does potential risk mean here? All sorts of chemicals might potentially cause cancer, but the risks are so small and vague that no one can tell either way.

The experts at Cancer Research UK say that the evidence for any link between acrylamide from burnt food and cancer is at best only weak and inconsistent.

And here’s the clincher: the charity points out that: ‘Even food industry workers, who are exposed to twice as much acrylamide as other people, do not have higher rates of cancer.’

As a health correspondent of 25 years’ standing, that’s good enough for me and my toaster.

So why would the FSA apparently want to scare people unnecessarily? Well, it makes people think that the FSA is doing something useful to protect our health.

After its initial announcement, the FSA not-so-helpfully clarified that it wasn’t telling people to avoid roast potatoes altogether – just to make them aware of the risk and how to reduce it.

On a section of its website devoted to its latest campaign, it advised people to ‘check for cooking instructions on the pack and follow carefully when frying or oven-cooking packaged food products such as chips, roast potatoes and parsnips.

This ensures that you aren’t cooking starchy foods for too long or at temperatures which are too high’.

To call this mere window-dressing would be an insult to the nation’s window-dressers, as they do indeed perform a useful job.

For such pointless cancer scaremongering on the FSA’s part only distracts people from the real and preventable risks of cancer, such as smoking, being overweight and drinking heavily.

The agency is charged with protecting the nation from dangerous food. But offering worthless, patronising advice is a less challenging task than protecting the public against contaminated, diseased, fake or dirty foodstuffs.

It has past form on patronising warnings. Among them was its ‘Your Fridge is Your Friend’ campaign, which aimed to nudge us about food safety at home, yet treated us like a nation of dunderheads.

Before you go shopping, check what’s in the fridge or freezer,’ was one piece of advice. ‘Make a list of what you need to buy,’ said another.

This could be comical, but such stunts only mask the fact that the Food Standards Agency is sadly unfit for purpose.

The agency was set up by the Blair government in 2000, in the wake of the salmonella and BSE disasters.

It was supposed to be a tough watchdog that would make safety scares a thing of the past, by protecting us from food poisoning, ensuring we know what goes into the food we buy, and policing the hygiene standards of restaurants.

But in early 2013, its inability to perform this most basic public-protection task was exposed when the horsemeat scandal broke.

Safety tests conducted by the Irish government revealed widespread adulteration of beef burgers with horsemeat. It warned the FSA. Caught on the hop, the FSA then asked suppliers to conduct their own tests.

These revealed, among other things, that the ‘beef’ in frozen lasagne and spaghetti bolognese made for Tesco, Aldi and Findus was up to 100 per cent horse.

In the wake of the scandal, Christopher Elliott, the director of the Institute of Global Food Security, was asked to examine how the FSA should pull its socks up.

He recommended that the agency set up a food crime unit, with a special department dedicated to using investigative powers to punish offenders counterfeiting foods such as meat, honey and wine.

In 2015, Professor Elliott complained that the FSA had failed to create the special department. The FSA says it is still considering the matter.

As a result, the agency has a food crime unit – which costs £2million a year to run – but it does not have a department to investigate or convict offenders.

This might help to explain why its work has not resulted in any prosecutions.

The FSA says the unit has been fully operational only for the past nine months and is working on a number of criminal investigations.

‘In that time it has focused on building links with sources of information in order to better understand the nature and scale of the food crime threat,’ a spokesman told reporters last month.

Professor Elliott is unimpressed and told a parliamentary inquiry into food fraud that: ‘We are quite far behind a number of other European countries in relation to thinking about the scale of food crime and food fraud.’

Meanwhile, there is bafflement about the agency’s food protection policies. The most likely place you will see an FSA logo is on the food-hygiene ratings posted on a restaurant’s doors.

But in England, restaurants and takeaways with awful hygiene ratings – such as only one star or no stars at all (meaning urgent improvement is required to address dreadful cleanliness) – don’t actually have to put the sticker up.

They can just ignore the rating and trust you won’t notice. What’s more, a zero hygiene rating does not automatically mean public health officials will issue enforcement notices – or that the business will have to close down.

It’s hard not to conclude that the FSA apparently prefers to fret over toast, rather than enforcing hygiene measures that would improve our health – and potentially save lives.

Voir encore:

Ariane Chemin et Benoît Collombat : « Les journalistes ne sont pas au-dessus des lois, mais l’État non plus »

Les journalistes Ariane Chemin et Benoît Collombat sont les invités de Léa Salamé à 7h50. Ils reviennent sur les convocations à la DGSI de plusieurs journalistes enquêtant sur des scandales ou des mensonges d’État.

Léa Salamé

France inter

30 mai 2019

« On a l’impression d’une erreur de casting », raconte la journaliste du Monde Ariane Chemin sur sa convocation à la DGSI. « Ça ressemble un peu au Bureau des Légendes, on descend au quatrième sous-sol, c’est gris, il y a des néons, une paire de menottes qui pendouille… Vous êtes interrogé dans un cadre normalement réservé à des personnes accusées de terrorisme. » C’est d’ailleurs ce qui inquiète le plus les deux journalistes, qui s’alarment d’une forme de « criminalisation du travail journalistique ».

« Avec la multiplication de ces auditions à la DGSI, on a l’impression que c’est une logique antiterroriste qui est appliquée aux journalistes », explique Benoît Collombat, journaliste à la Cellule investigations de Radio France. « On parle de l’affaire Benalla, une affaire d’État. On parle des armes françaises au Yémen, un mensonge d’État. Et là, on n’est pas dans le cadre traditionnel du droit de la presse, devant les tribunaux devant lesquels on peut se défendre. »

Pour eux, quand Sibeth Ndiaye dit que les journalistes « sont des justiciables comme les autres », elle se trompe. « C’est vrai dans la vie quotidienne, mais pas dans l’exercice de leur métier », s’agace Ariane Chemin. Le principe du secret d’État et celui de la liberté de la presse « ne se valent donc pas ».

Benoît Collombat enfonce le clou : « le journaliste a une fonction sociale, il n’est pas là uniquement pour publier passivement des communiqués officiels du gouvernement ». « Dans le cas des ventes d’armes de la France utilisées au Yémen, on parle quand même de la pire catastrophe humanitaire depuis la Deuxième Guerre Mondiale : on entend que les journalistes ne sont pas au-dessus des lois, mais l’État non plus ! La France ne respecte pas les traités sur le commerce des armes qu’elle a signés. »

Bref les deux journalistes sont inquiets sur la liberté des journalistes dans le pays, notamment avec la crise des gilets jaunes. « Il y a une accumulation de faits qui devient inquiétante », assure Ariane Chemin. « C’est pas en cassant le thermomètre (les journalistes) qu’on fait baisser la fièvre », conclut Benoît Collombat.

Voir enfin:

L’Iran fournit aux Houthis des armes sophistiquées internationalement prohibées, entre autres des missiles destinés à frapper l’Arabie saoudite et des drones de type « tempête »
la Référence
21/décembre/2018

Depuis le coup d’Etat des houthis, de nombreux rapports internationaux prouvent sans équivoque que l’Iran a fourni des armes aux milices putschistes. Certaines de ces armes sont prohibées sur le plan international. Le dernier rapport en date a été annoncé par le secrétaire général de l’ONU, Antonio Gueterrs le 12 décembre. De nouvelles armes que l’on croit fabriquées en Iran, ont été trouvées au Yémen.

Selon le rapport, le Secrétariat des Nations Unies a « examiné deux lance-missiles anti-char saisis par la coalition arabe dirigée par l’Arabie saoudite au Yémen, et a constaté qu’ils avaient des caractéristiques iraniennes. Ces lance-missiles ont été fabriqués en 2016 et 2017 ».

Le rapport indique que l’enquête en cours déterminera l’origine de ces armes. L’Iran a toujours nié livrer des armes aux rebelles Houthis, affirmant qu’il les soutient politiquement uniquement. Le rapport onusien porte sur le respect par l’Iran de l’accord nucléaire signé en 2015 avec six grandes puissances. Les Etats-Unis s’en sont retirés en mai dernier rétablissant les sanctions à l’encontre de Téhéran.

Accusations américaines

Washington avait par le passé accusé l’Iran de violer ses obligations en ce qui a trait à l’accord nucléaire, en fabriquant notamment des missiles balistiques. L’administration américaine affirme que les missiles testés par Téhéran sont capables de transporter des ogives nucléaires. Un fait nié par l’Iran, qui affirme que son programme d’armement est « défensif» et « traditionnel ».

Les Nations Unies ont constaté le lancement, par les rebelles  Houthis, de roquettes iraniennes sur l’Arabie saoudite. Fin novembre, les Etats-unis ont révélé la présence de nouvelles armes qui constituent une preuve que des missiles iraniens sont diffusés au Moyen-Orient. Parmi ces armes se trouve un missile sol-air Hunter-2C. Il y a un an, le gouvernement américain avait montré les restes d’un missile iranien tiré par les rebelles Houthis sur l’Arabie saoudite.

Ce n’est pas tout. De nombreuses armes iraniennes ont été saisies ces dernières années, notamment aux mains des Houthis dont des missiles balistiques à longue portée et des missiles anti-char. L’Iran fournit également aux Houthis des drones de fabrication iranienne de type « Qasif » utilisés pour attaquer les systèmes de défense aérienne, et d’autres de type « Ababil » utilisés pour attaquer les radars.

Le Liban, zone de transit

Téhéran a également collaboré avec ses agents régionaux comme le Hezbollah pour approvisionner les Houthis en armes par le biais de la contrebande. Le navire iranien Ceyhan 1, saisi en janvier 2013, contenait de grandes quantités d’armes, d’explosifs cet de missiles sol-air.

En février 2013, le navire Jihan 2, a été saisi près de Bab Al-Mandab, alors qu’en février 2016, la marine australienne a intercepté un voilier transportant des milliers de Kalachnikov, de grenades et de lance-roquettes. Il venait d’Iran et se dirigeant vers les rebelles Houthis. En juillet 2016, la résistance populaire a saisi un bateau de pêche qui avait réussi à transporter, en l’espace d’une semaine, six cargaisons d’armes vers les Houthis. « L’Iran a l’intention de fabriquer et de moderniser jusqu’à 800 chars », a déclaré le vice-ministre iranien de la Défense, cité par l’agence Tasnim. Il n’a pas indiqué le type de chars ni leur nombre dans chaque catégorie. « Notre programme prévoit la production de 50 à 60 chars par an. Le budget nécessaire à cette production a été alloué en raison des besoins urgents de l’armée et des gardiens de la révolution », a indiqué le ministre iranien.

Rapport britannique

Un rapport britannique sur l’armement confirme l’implication du régime iranien dans la livraison de mines aux milices houthies au Yémen, ainsi que la formation de plusieurs de leurs éléments pour construire un grand nombre de mines localement.

L’expert international Jonah Leif, directeur des opérations à l’Arms Research Foundation britannique, affirme que Téhéran est directement impliqué dans la livraison de mines aux milices houthies. Ces mines n’étaient pas en possession de l’armée yéménite avant le coup d’Etat contre la légitimité. Dans un rapport intitulé « Les mines et les explosifs utilisées par les militants houthis sur la côte ouest », le chercheur souligne l’importance d’élaborer des cartes pour le déminage. Le rapport donne un aperçu des mines et des engins explosifs improvisés utilisés par les milices houthies sur la côte ouest du Yémen.

Le rapport souligne les dispositifs électroniques utilisés par les Houthis sur la côte ouest et permettant d’actionner les engins explosifs à distance comme les capteurs et les transmetteurs. Le document affirme que la conception de ces dispositifs est « identique à ceux fabriqués en Iran en 2008 ». Le rapport souligne également que les mines utilisées par les houthis sur la côte ouest du Yémen, sont identiques à ceux saisis aux avec Da’ech à la ville yéménite d’Aden, ce qui révèle que l’Iran soutient cette organisation terroriste et pas seulement les Houthis.

Rapports de renseignement

D’autre part, selon un rapport des renseignements américains publié mi 2018, les flottes occidentales ont intercepté trois voiliers en mer d’Oman, certaines armes trouvées sur ces voiliers étaient identiques à celles confisquées au Yémen et qui étaient en possession des combattants Houthis. Le rapport, citant des sources officielles iraniennes, affirme que deux de ces bateaux non immatriculés étaient fabriqués par la société de construction navale iranienne, Mansur, dont le bassin est situé à proximité d’une base des Gardiens de la révolution.

« Depuis 2012, les bateaux de la compagnie Mansour sont impliqués dans de nombreuses opérations de contrebande d’héroïne, de cannabis et, plus récemment, d’armes », déclare l’Arms Research Institute basée en Grande-Bretagne. Et d’ajouter : « L’analyse des armes indique qu’au moins deux des trois cargaisons ont été envoyées avec la complicité des forces de sécurité iraniennes »

Selon le rapport, certaines armes confisquées lors de l’interception des bateaux portaient des numéros de série nouveaux, ce qui indique qu’elles proviennent du stock de l’un des pays. Les numéros d’identification des armes antichars découverts dans l’un des bateaux correspondaient aux numéros de production d’armes similaires qui, selon les Emirats Arabes Unis, avaient été confisquées aux Houthis.

Le rapport souligne enfin le rôle des ports somaliens en tant que zones de transit : « Les navires de guerre HMA S Darwin, FS Provence et USS Sirocco ont saisi plus de 4 500 fusils, obus de mortiers et de lance-roquettes en l’espace de 4 semaines entre février et mars 2016 », affirme le rapport.

Voir par ailleurs:

Londres, de notre correspondant

«Meurtriers», titrait hier le Daily Mail, ajoutant en une, photos et identités à l’appui: «le Mail accuse ces cinq hommes d’un meurtre raciste. Si nous avons tort, qu’ils nous fassent un procès.» Il n’est pas dans les habitudes du tabloïd conservateur de prendre ainsi parti dans un crime raciste. Mais son rédacteur en chef expliquait hier soir que l’assassinat jusqu’ici impuni d’un adolescent noir, il y a quatre ans, était devenu le symbole d’une justice à deux vitesses, efficace pour les Blancs, déficiente pour les sujets de couleur de Sa Majesté. Avant d’ajouter que le Daily Mail entendait faire pression sur le gouvernement.

Jeudi soir, les parents de Stephen Lawrence, qui mènent combat depuis quatre ans pour que justice soit faite, ont finalement obtenu qu’un tribunal reconnaisse que leur fils a été tué «au cours d’une attaque raciste, non provoquée, par cinq jeunes Blancs». Une victoire certes, mais limitée: les cinq jeunes dénoncés par le Daily Mail et meurtriers présumés de l’adolescent restent libres, après une enquête de police bâclée et une instruction maladroite.

Stephen Lawrence a été poignardé à mort en avril 1993 par un groupe de cinq jeunes Blancs alors qu’il attendait le bus à Eltham, dans le sud-est de Londres. Stephen avait dix-huit ans et a été tué parce qu’il était noir. «Prends-ça, sale Nègre», avait crié l’un des meurtriers, le perçant de coups de couteau. Sa famille était arrivée de Jamaïque, sa mère est institutrice, son père maçon, et Stephen, étudiant brillant, voulait devenir architecte. Les soupçons de la police se portent immédiatement sur un groupe de cinq jeunes, membres d’un club, «The Firm», ouvertement raciste et supporters du National Front (un minuscule parti raciste britannique ), qui vivent dans une cité voisine. Ils ont déjà injurié et agressé les quelques Noirs vivant dans le quartier. Entre mai et juin 1993, ils sont tous arrêtés mais nient avoir tué Stephen; faute de preuves suffisantes présentées par la police, le procureur les libère. La famille persévère et, à ses frais, monte en avril 1996 une private prosecution, un «procès privé», comme l’autorise une procédure rarement usitée du droit anglais, devant des magistrats publics de l’Old Bailey de Londres (l’équi- valent de la Cour de cassation). Personne ne veut se présenter à l’audience pour témoigner contre les cinq assassins présumés. Par peur, selon la police; parce que l’enquête a été mal faite, selon la famille. Les enquêteurs peuvent seulement présenter des enregistrements effectués par la police de conversations ouvertement racistes des cinq jeunes. On entend l’un d’entre eux dire: «Il faut couper les bras et les jambes des Noirs pour qu’ils n’aient plus que des putains de moignons.» On voit un autre, sur un film vidéo, donner des coups de couteau dans l’air en criant: «Sale Nègre, sale Nègre.» Des éléments à charge certes, mais pas de preuves, témoignages ou aveux suffisants pour assurer une condamnation. Ce nouveau procès s’effondre. Entre-temps, Stephen est devenu une cause célèbre: Nelson Mandela, lors de sa visite en Grande-Bretagne, rencontrera même les parents de l’adolescent assassiné. Jeudi soir, le ministre de l’Intérieur a finalement décidé d’ouvrir une enquête sur le travail de la police. Sinon, reconnaissait l’avocat de la famille, Imran Khan, «les Britanniques de couleur finiront pas croire qu’ils doivent eux-mêmes se faire justice».

Voir aussi:

Some of Paul Dacre’s most memorable Daily Mail front pages

During 26 years at the helm of the Daily Mail, editor Paul Dacre has published some striking and memorable front pages.

His strong pro-Brexit stance, and anti-Labour sentiment, has been unabashed, while he has spearheaded a number of successful campaigns including calling for justice for murdered teenager Stephen Lawrence.

Dacre announced yesterday that he will leave his role as Daily Mail editor to become chairman and editor-in-chief of Associated Newspapers later this year, stepping back from day-to-day editorial responsibilities.

In a statement to staff, Dacre described them as “Fleet Street’s greatest team of journalists”, who had been behind the paper’s “countless successful campaigns” that often made the front page.

Here are some of Dacre’s most memorable splashes through the years.

Stephen Lawrence

Dacre recently revealed he caused a “deathly silence” on the Daily Mail back bench when he proposed the now famous splash accusing the five suspects in the Stephen Lawrence murder case of killing him.

Dacre had been moved to run the front page after watching the suspects repeatedly refused to answer questions at Lawrence’s inquest, which returned a verdict of “unlawful killing”.

Under the headline “Murderers”, Dacre wrote: “The Mail accuses these men of killing. If we are wrong, let them sue us.”

In 2012, after David Norris and Gary Dobson were convicted of Lawrence’s murder 19 years on, Dacre wrote that the newspaper had taken a “monumental risk” with the front page but that he believed “as a result we did a huge amount of good and made a little bit of history that day”.

Daily Mail ‘Murderers’ front page from 14 February, 1997.

Marine A

The Daily Mail led a campaign for the release of Royal Marine Sergeant Alexander Blackman after he was jailed for shooting a Taliban fighter.

Mail readers raised £810,000 to go towards a legal challenge against his life sentence after the campaign launched in September 2015 with the headline: “A shameful injustice”.

The battle lasted two years before Blackman’s release from jail in April last year. The newspaper put the news of his release on the front, giving it equal billing with Theresa May’s signing the letter to begin Brexit.

Gary McKinnon

In 2009 the Daily Mail threw its weight behind Gary McKinnon, a British Asperger’s sufferer accused of hacking into Pentagon and NASA computers.

The newspaper campaigned to stop McKinnon being extradited to the US, calling it an “Affront to British justice” in a splash headline. McKinnon was eventually told he would not be extradited, and then that he would face no further criminal action, in 2012.

Plastic

In 2008 the Daily Mail launched a “Banish The Bags” campaign with the striking image of a turtle entangled by plastic.

The campaign resulted in the introduction of a 5p charge for plastic bags at supermarkets and other large retailers.

This year, the newspaper has stepped up its anti-plastic crusade again with its “let’s turn the tide on plastic” message.

Brexit

Some of the Mail’s most famous front pages of recent times relate to Brexit, for which it campaigned fervently and has been credited with perhaps tipping the balance in Britain’s decision to leave the European Union.

When a panel of judges ruled that Brexit could not be triggered without a Westminster vote in November 2016, Dacre didn’t hold back, calling them “Enemies of the people” in a move that drew criticism and even comparisons with a Nazi newspaper headline.

When peers voted to give Parliament the power to force ministers to reopen talks if MPs rejected the Prime Minister’s Brexit deal with Brussels, the newspaper took aim once again, calling the House of Lords the a “House of unelected wreckers” and writing that the “Remainer elite” was “fighting a guerilla war against Brexit using any weapon it can” in a leader column.

In February 2016, as David Cameron negotiated with Brussels ahead of the EU referendum, the newspaper dedicated its front page to a leader comment asking: “Who will speak for England?”

The Daily Mail supported Theresa May’s call for a snap General Election in 2017, saying it was a chance for her to “crush the saboteurs” of Brexit. The outcome didn’t quite go as planned for May or the Mail.

In December, the Daily Mail asked Tory Remainers “Proud of yourselves?” after siding with Labour in a Brexit vote, picturing each of those “accused of treachery”.

In June 2017, the front page was dedicated to accusing Jeremy Corbyn, John McDonnell and Diane Abbott of being “apologists of terror”.

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The murder of Stephen Lawrence, an 18 year old young black student stabbed to death in a racist attack in 1993, was one of the defining moments in the British 20th Century.

A public inquiry later concluded that « institutional racism » from London’s Metropolitan Police bungled the case and let the men suspected of killing Lawrence walk free.

Today, 18 years later, two men were finally convicted of the murder. And one man played a huge role in that eventual result. The Daily Mail’s editor in chief, Paul Dacre.

It was Dacre’s decision to put the photos of those accused of murder on the front page in 1997, possibly in contempt of court, under the headline « MURDERERS:The Mail accuses these men of killing. If we are wrong, let them sue us ».

Not one of the men ever sued, and public opinion swung wildly against the accused and the police who had mishandled the case. Eventually, in 2007, police began re-investigating the case, and in 2011 charges were brought against two men.

It was certainly out of character for Dacre, often characterized as a right wing populist with little time for concerns of racism — in his book Flat Earth News, Nick Davies writes that the group changed its coverage after a personal link to the family was suggested (reports suggest that Lawrence’s father had at one time worked on Dacre’s house). But even Dacre’s detractors have to accept his huge role in getting the case reopened and an eventual guilty verdict.

Voir de plus:

Stephen Lawrence’s parents thank Daily Mail for ‘going out on a limb’
Newspaper’s ‘Murderers’ headline in 1997 put the case at heart of public consciousness, say David Cameron and Ed Miliband
Lisa O’Carroll
The Guardian
4 Jan 2012

Stephen Lawrence have praised the Daily Mail for « going out on a limb » and branding suspects in the death of their son as « murderers » 15 years ago.

They led the tributes to the paper that campaigned for justice ever since. David Cameron said the Lawrences were helped enormously by the paper while Labour leader Ed Miliband said it played an « honourable role » in helping to bring the killers to heel.

Neville Lawrence, the teenager’s father, said that along with the intervention of Nelson Mandela, the Daily Mail’s campaign was the crucial turning point in the case.

And Doreen Lawrence, Stephen’s mother said the landmark front page of the Daily Mail on 14 February 1997 branding five suspects as « Murderers » made the case matter to the whole country.

Her former husband said he was in Jamaica when the paper ran that highly risky story inviting the suspects to sue if they were not the killers.

He told the Mail today: « I was very pleased, but I admit I was very frightened, too, because I realised the implications. If you name people as murderers you have to be pretty sure you have the proof or you’ll be in trouble. »

He added: « The fact that the Mail – which is a very influential newspaper – went out on a limb for us showed how committed you were to the case. Not a lot of editors would have done that. Not a lot would have chanced it. »

Ms Lawrence said: « When the Mail first published their faces, up until that point nobody – apart from those in their local neighbourhood – really knew what those boys looked like.

« Then the whole country knew. They were no longer faceless people …

« [The Mail’s front page] definitely surprised me; that a newspaper would go out on a limb because at the time, even though we suspected they were guilty, there was nothing to prove that they were murderers.

« It makes a big difference to have that s