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PAGE 24 HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, JUNE 20, 2003 Anti-Semitism taking new form as 'Judeophobia,' new book find By Richard Alien Greene LONDON (JTA)--British Jews are facing a new form of anti-Semitism so unlike its past incarnations that it should be known by a new name, Judeophobia, according to a new study by a leading Jewish think tank. Coming after conferences on anti-Semitism in New York, Amsterdam, Paris and Vienna, the book, A New anti- Semitism? Debating Judeophobia in 21st-century Britain, is something of a sym- posium unto itself. It includes essays by 17 writ- ers ranging from Britain's Orthodox chief rabbi, Jonathan Sacks, to journal- ists, lawyers, novelists, trade unionists, academics and fi- nancial professionals. Put together by the Insti- tute for Jewish Policy Re- search, the book contains a wide range of views. But a clos- fng essay by editors Barry Kosmin, the institute's direc- tot, and criminologist Paul Iganski teases out themes on which many of the essayists agree. Despite a few high-profile incidents of synagogue and cemetery vandalism, and oc- casional attacks on Jews, "the new anti-Semitism" does not aim at the physical harm or elimination of Jews, the edi- tors argue. For the most part, the new threat comes not from the far right but from the intellectual left, and focuses heavily on criticism of Israel - a distinc- tion the British Jewish com- munity has failed to address, they say. "This is a different kind of anti-Semitism from Auschwitz, and the Jewish community has to learn that," Kosmin told JTA. "Jews are looking for Nazis when the problem is Stalinists." The book suggests that academia, the trade-union movement and leading media outlets - such as the BBC and the For all the cards, & for all the calls, & for all the contributions, my beloved mother Ruth F. Lopin would have been so touched. Thank You. --Gail Oppenheimer Guardian and Independent newspapers- are guilty of what the institute calls "institution- alized Judeophob!a." A con- cept adapted from the Ameri- can black-power activist Stokeley Carmichael, institutioned Judeophobia re- suits in hostility to Jews - es- pecially as personified by the State of Israel - even if no indi- vidual within the organization is necessarily anti-Semitic. A New anti-Semitism? has an entire section on the me- dia, with a number of authors taking the liberal media to task for its coverage of Israel - and for the way many journalists have gone on the counterat- tack against Jewish criticism of such reporting. '"Criticize Israel and you are an anti-Semite, just as surely as if you were throwing a pot of paint at a synagogue in Paris,' the diplomatic editor of the Observer wrote in a par- ticularly offensive article that helped to set the debate go- ing," academic Peter Pulzer writes in one essay. Pulzer sets out a number of criteria to determine when criticism of Israel crosses the line into anti-Semitism. These include comparing Israel to the Nazis and attack- ing anonymous collectives such as "the Jewish commu- nity," "the Jewish lobby" or "the Jewish vote." Jonathan Freedland, a columnist for the Guardian, considers whether anti-Zionism is inherently anti-Semitic. "Some anti-Zionists are anti-Semites and should be fought like enemies," Freedland concludes. But, he adds, "others are presenting us with a cogent challenge to our core values," and it's nec- essary to respond to them with intellectual honesty. "There is no more Zionist project than that," he says. Not all the essayists paint gloomy pictures. Antony Lerman, editor of the Anti-Semitism World Re- port, says that "to see anti- Semitism as the determining factor in Jewish life is to ig- nore the broader context. "There is no mass discrimi- nation against Jews, no state- sponsored anti-Semitism, no suppression of Jewish culture in the communist bloc, no anti-Semitism encouraged by the hierarchies of either the Protestant or the Catholic churches," he writes. "Jews are experiencing unprecedented freedom and success." The re- building of Jewish monuments and culture - not the desecra- tion of cemeteries - is the de- fining feature of Jewish life in Europe today, Lerman says. Lawyer Anthony Julius takes a similar position: Wor- ries that Jews today face un- precedented threat are com- pletely ahistorical, he argues. "If the situation is indeed a little more troubling than it was at some time before, then it is also the case that Jews are also better prepared than ever before to deal with these men- aces to their security and their morale," Julius writes. Such arguments are a far cry from those of academic Robert Wistrich, who looks at militant Islam and concludes, "This is a grim picture and these are dark days." Sacks - who initially was reluctant even to discuss anti-Semitism - testified before Parliament that "we are witnessing the second great mutation of anti- Semitism in modern times, from racial anti-Semitism to religious anti-Zionism, with the added premise that all Jews are Zionists." At least one Jew- ish campaigner against rac- ism, Edie Friedman, is deeply suspicious of the editors' the- sis. The director of the Jewish Council for Racial Equality, Friedman did not contribute to the book and has read only excerpts - but those excerpts concerned her, she told JTA. "The danger of coining phrases like 'Judeophobia' is that you could make people more reluctant to participate in society," she said. "I think we have to see the evidence before inventing new terms. And the evidence is based on 'this dinner party I went to,' and that's not good enough." Any discrimination Jews may face in Britain today is far less severe than that suffered by blacks and Asians, Friedman said. She is especially worried about Jews promoting the idea that anti-Semitism is more prevalent or dangerous than it really is, she said. "There are a number of people who are on a band- wagon, and I think it's impor- tant to say, 'Halt,'" Friedman said. Daniel Finkelstein, an asso- ciate editor of The Times of London, criticized the book on different grounds. "I am extremely suspicious of the concept of institutional racism," he told JTA. "Each in- dividual has to take responsibil- ity for his or her own action. But, he added, agreeingwith many of the book's contribu- tors, "on the center-left, they have the issue of Israel totally out of proportion and lack an understandingofhistory."The center-left intelligentsia in- deed is the greatest source of "institutional Judeophobia," the book's editors say. That presents a challenge for a Jewish community that long has focused on physical security rather than on what Kosmin calls a "Judeophobia about ideas." "It is far easier to get heated or engaged with broken tombstones," Kosmin said. "But the problem is much more complex and subtle in our more complex, compli- cated society." OFFICE O U T l J E T Central Florida's Largest Selection of Office Furniture 70,000 square ft. showroom 2300 South Orange Avenue 407-316-0101 "Before Your Final Decision" Formerly Macy's Between Kaley and Michigan By Joe Berkofsky NEW YORK (JTA)---Soon after the Monica Lewinsky scandal erupted, Hillary Rodham Clinton encountered Elie Wiesel in Davos, Switzer- land. The Nobel laureate em- braced the first lady and asked, "What is wrong with America? Why are they doing this?" Clinton said she did not know, and Wiesel replied that he and his wife, Marion, were her friends and 'Want to help you." Wiesel's "experience as a Holocaust survivor has given Elie a kind of genius for empa- thy. He never flinches from anyone else's suffering, and his heart is big enough to ab- sorb a friend's pain without a second thought," Clinton writes in her new autobiogra- phy, "Living History," which hit bookstores with a huge media splash Monday. While the Lewinsky affair may be dominating the media REPAIRS ON ALL MAKES & MODELS Refrigerators Washers Freezers Dryers Ice Makers Dishwashers Ft0n ,K 25 Years of Experience Serving Central Florida Since 1986 Over 35,000 Satisfied Customers Member of BBB 1 Year Guarantees Family Owned & Operated Licensed & Insured No Service Charge with Repair (407) 788-2590 Ranges Disposals Ovens Water Heaters Microwaves OUR COMPANY FEATURES DEALER SERVICE ADVANTAGE An affordable plan to protect you from unexpected repair costs on your Appliances Air Conditioning Heating Plumbing Electrical Systems Please Ask Us for Details swirl around the launch of Clinton's hotly selling title, Jews and events in the Jewish world play roles big and small in Hillary's story. Among Jewish footnotes to Hillary's history is a phone conversation she had with Steve Rabinowitz, a former campaign figure and later White House staffer for Bill Clinton. The former first lady de- scribes how she called the campaign's Little Rock, Ark headquarters one day. Rabinowitz, the director of design and production for Clinton's first presidential election, picked up the phone and "for no particular reason, blurted out, 'Hillaryland!'" "He was embarrassed to hear my voice, but I thought he had come up with a great nickname," Clinton writes. "The name stuck." When he learned he had made it into Clinton's index, Rabinowitz said, "I am flat- tered that she would even re- member that, and beyond grateful that is the only story she would tell." Rabinowitz later traveled with the president to Israel several times and orchestrated the logistics for the Septem- ber 1993 peace treaty signing ceremony on the White House lawn in which then-Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Palestinian Authority Presi- dent Yasser Arafat shook hands. The former first-lady- turned-U.S.-senator refers admiringly and affectionately to the late Rabin and his wife, Leah, and writes that the Is- raeli leader only agreed to the Arafat handshake "as long as there would be no kissing, a common Arab custom." "Before the ceremony, Bill and Yitzhak engaged in a hi- 'Living History,'by Hillary Rodham Clinton. iarious rehearsal of the hand- shake, with Bill pretending to be Arafat as they practiced a complicated maneuver that would prevent the Palestinian leader from drawing too close," Clinton recalls. Clinton, the junior Demo- cratic senator from New York and a potential presidential candidate in 2008, is far less complimentary about Arafat, at one point blasting the Pal- estinian leader for the failed 2000 peace talks with then- Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak. "Unfortunately, while Barak dame to Camp David to make peace, Arafat did not," she says bluntly. "The tragic events of the last few years show what a ter- rible mistake Arafat made." Clinton also calls a now- infamous 1999 encounter with Arafat's wife, Suha, the "worst instance" of mistakes she made during her campaign for the Senate, which she launched even before she left the White House. During an official trip to Israel and the West Bank, Clinton attended an event where Suha spoke before her in Arabic and made an "outra- geous remark suggesting that Israel had used poison gas to: control Palestinians," Clinton writes. Arafat's r~mark was not translated into English, Clinton says, and when the first lady stepped to the po- dium to speak, the two women embraced - and the New York tabloids played the story big. "Had I been aware of her hateful words, I would have denounced them on the spot," she says, repeating assertions she made at the time. In her book, Clinton re* calls several trips to Poland in the late 1990s that took her to Nazi death camps and the Warsaw Jewish communitY. The visit, she writes, prompted memories of meet* ing a survivor with numbers tattooed on his arm when she was a child in Illinois, and to think of her maternal grandmother's second huS" band, Max Rosenberg. "I was horrified that some" one like him could have bee murdered just because of his religion," she says. t Clinton, who spends a lot o~ time explaining - in the boOk and in interviews - why she stayed married to her husband, writes that it was a Iongtirne Jewish friend and mentor, Sar~ Ehrman, to whom she long ago turned for advice abot~t Bill. Ehrman, a WashingtoO roommate of Clinton in the early 1970s during the Watergate era - and later the Clinton White House liaiso to the Jewish community" tried to persuade Hillary not to move to Arkansas to be witla Bill. "Are you out of your mind?" Clinton recalls Ehrman ask" ing. "Why on earth would you throw away your future?"