In a lecture recently held at the Bait Jewish Center, the poet, essayist and writer Nelson Ascher focused on a theme that is often banned or superficially addressed: is anti- Zionism anti-Semitism? The blog News Tale gave an overview of his remarks and added reflections that also involved the problem of reliability of the news and the fake news , the political turmoil in Europe, the role of mass immigration and Islamo -fascismo, who is not left is right or maybe just “non-left”?

Ascher started by using an absolutely synthetic statement to answer his own question

“Why does anti-Semitism exist and endure?”

“Because it always worked”

How does it work and what is the past and contemporary meaning of its effectiveness?

In stating that Zionism was a kind of “second-degree nationalism ” and that there are other “Zionisms” being gestated in Europe due to a lack of identification between the social democracy practiced by the European parliament and the countries it governs. It follows that “second-degree nationalism” can be understood as a reactivity of peoples to attempts to interfere with their customs beyond territorial and financial unity. In this sense, is Europe soon to be threatened by several movements similar to Brexit ?  

In 2018 we had a disturbing record for the number of anti-Semitic attacks in Germany, France and more recently in the United States. If there is no European unlink the current status quo of the refugee crisis that allowed the entry of nearly 2 million people (countries of immigrants from North Africa – the vast majority, frise- are not refugees) coming from intolerant cultures violently anti-Semitic. The problem therefore is more in immigration policy, which seems to have no clear criteria than immigrants themselves. 

The debate has been banned by the systematic evocation of terms prohibited by a censoring euphemism better known as “politically correct”. Any mention of the wild immigration flow has been labeled ” Islamophobic “. It is also self-evident because the expression ” Judeophobia ” is not given the same treatment . The insistence of a large part of the media to condemn Israel a prioristically, in the headlines and in the declarations, attests to this. In the recent crises with the Gaza Strip ruled by the terrorist organization Hamas – and its Iranian proxies – the headlines show the nonsense and prejudiced bias of a significant part of the news media. “Israel attacks Gaza” is the most common call, this after Israel received almost 500 rockets against civilian populations in less than 48 hours. Importantly, as has been emphasized more than once that such terrorist organizations have nothing to do with the the official government of the Palestinians and its president. They are illegal fronts, which actually oppress and hold the people of Gaza hostage. 

According to Ascher, there is a particularity in the case of European anti-Semitism, which often uses the justificationism of the anti-Zionist alibi. It is essential to analyze the role – direct or indirect – played by Angela Merkel and other leaders on that continent. 

Still according to his analysis, some of these self-titled governments of social democracies, regularly pay tribute to Jews killed in the Shoah (Holocaust) and in fact publicly condemn anti-Semitism, which has been outlawed. However, while giving funeral speeches under self-lashes, they neglect the dramatic and explicit aggressive climate against Jewish communities. While other countries seem to do the reverse. In the case of Hungary – a country that you follow the policy with particular attention – we have an example of this apparent paradox: there we have a government classified as extreme right (sic), but it is, at the same time, one of the places where contemporary Jews they seem to be safer when compared to the situation in other European countries. The paradox is only apparent: while a significant part of the left-wing parties chooses to cluster around old anti – Jewish conspiracy theories – formerly the monopoly of the extreme right – there is now a new and incendiary component to be accounted for: as defined by Umberto Eco , it is the Islamo -fascismo.

How can it be explained then that nations that even make the mea culpa frequent for their responsibilities in the genocide practiced by the Nazis with the participation of several other countries, but remain inert in the face of the epidemic of anti-Jewish intolerance that today sweeps Europe, if not with impunity, counting with the omissiveness of governments.

Ascher then recommends the following inflection: what is the “Democratic Rule of Law”. The former president Mubarak for example was directly undermined by Obama’s foreign policy and sequence the Muslim Brotherhood won the elections in Egypt. As we know, the “Brotherhood” is one of the oldest radical Islamic associations. A strategic ally of the Nazi party is today an admittedly jihadist entity . He won by a large margin defeating all moderate parties in what would be one of the first elections in the Arab country in decades. Shortly afterwards, the population itself understood the error and took to the streets – in an event that was wrongly classified as “Arab Spring” – asking for the deposition of the newly elected, which effectively ended up through a military coup led by General Sissi. 

At the time, several analysts attributed the phenomenon of the election of Morsi – recently killed by a heart attack – to an error in the timing of the democratic process: IM was the only organization to keep its structure intact during the subsequent dictatorships that lasted and, therefore, the only one able to compete in the election as an almost exclusive option in that suffrage of a plebiscitary character. Considering the episode, what is the Democratic Rule of Law anyway?

If only an understanding of the historical-political context can define it, what is its consistency?

Right and left have their wild vices and classifications. In turn, those who do not fit the postulates of the left are liable to be labeled right or extreme right. Only “not left” or “not right” is not allowed. Many members of the North American Democratic Party and the English Labor Party – centered on the figure of Corbyn – have instrumented the discourse of the struggle for Palestinian rights by sacrificing historical principles by openly defending anti-Zionist and anti-Semitic stances. This includes standing in defense of the aitolás theocratic regime and defending jihadist organizations – officially recognized by the European Parliament as terrorist entities – such as Hamas and Hezbollah. These are complaints that come from within the English labor party itself.

What would be the ideological and tactical significance of this political tour?

It is disturbing to know that many journalists have started to act in a militant manner. Selecting news according to more ideological standards than reporting facts. It seems obvious that the hermeneutic bias has taken on a much more powerful form than the facts. Even if neutrality is an idealized function, wouldn’t the original role of journalism be closer to encouraging the reader to make his own decisions than to doctrine it ? Not nowadays, when the fake news that comes from official sources are much more compromising – because they are supposedly unsuspected or less suspicious – than those advertised on social networks – always subject to double checking by the most careful users.

After the episode of the accusations of the defeated candidate for the presidency of the Republic, Ciro Gomes, who externalized his prejudice when he evoked “corrupts of the Jewish community”, the most recent Brazilian case of a statement accusing the Jews fell to the magazine “Isto É”. The broadsheet published unfortunate article explicitly anti-Semitic – with the pretext to accuse the current government communications secretary – using the motto compares it to the propaganda chief, Josef Goebbels’s infamous, marquetólogo the fuhrer . The magazine also used the accusatory term to fabulate and identify the enemy, again, “the Jewish community”. The title of the libelo would dispense with further explanations “O Goebbels do Planalto”.

In this sense, the attempt to sabotage the right of any subject of a certain ethnic group to work or act politically for a government that the columnist and the editorial direction of the pamphlet considers inappropriate is evident. In the absence of consistent arguments, the accusation will always fall on the ethnic condition that is most at hand. It sounds more often against Jews.

It is at this moment that we are very close to the impeachment of citizenship. And the suspension of the idea of ​​the secular state by those who should defend it . And so it was possible once again to evoke the myth, this one clearly neo-Nazi, that there would be a “Jewish plot”. Now, there are Jews of all political currents and nuances and the ethnic- religious condition could never be used as an alibi to generalize anything. Unless it is clear that the journalist or writer is already in the fragile intellectual condition of post-analysis . That is, what matters in any story is your personal beliefs and the starting point is already the ending point. Groundless generalizations such as those that routinely appear always start from an ideological, devotional, that is to say, fanatic bias. 

Is there not one of the roots of the discredit today attributed to regulated media in general? The manufacture of disinformation – increasingly identified by the speed and expansion of access to the diversity of information media – is not the very genealogy of false news? News that is now spreading with the magic of the web with frightening resourcefulness? Does this occur while it is possible to observe paradoxically a considerable advance of confidence in what is transmitted through social networks?

After all, what are ” fake news “? And what is its impact on the national and international political scene? Especially in the case of Israel that suffers a considerable number of attacks with financed media and paid blogs to spread, for example, hate speech and intolerance.

In this sense, it can be said that modern anti-Semitism has dressed up as an occasion for anti – Zionism . However , it is an improvised outfit. Under the demountable cloak that deserves to be demystified by serious journalism, there is selective respect for freedom of expression.

Just over 74 years after the end of World War II and the death of more than 60 million people, including 6 million and 250 thousand Jews (these dead after the end of the war when they tried to return to their European homes), the reality only reaffirms the vital importance of the existence of the State of Israel for the Jewish people and their security in the current historical moment. And despite the threats and the revival of the virulent wave of intolerance against the Hebrews, there has never been a time in human history when so few Jews died in massacres. The anti-Zionism then finally is revealed as just another veiled face of one of the most primitive archetypes and recurrent humanity.

Perhaps the great frustration of preachers of hate is that this time the scapegoat has a way of defending itself.