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Three capitals, three countries, three tales of Jews maligned. At the same time.

Mania for 'anti-anti-semitism' hit all-time highs in the US recently thanks to uproar over comments made by freshman congresswoman Ilhan Omar suggesting that pro-Israel lobby groups exert undue influence on American politics. Whether contrived or spontaneous, public debate led to a concerted effort - for now canned - to legally conflate anti-semitism with criticism of Israel.

It's remarkable enough that proscribed speech may be instituted in the USA, but what's even more remarkable is that the French government just last month announced its intention to likewise broaden the legal definition anti-semitism to include criticism of Israel, and that it did so in response to the 5-month-long Yellow Vest anti-government protest movement.

Finally, politics and media coverage in the UK has of late been all but saturated by endless claims that opposition party leader Jeremy Corbyn is an anti-semite because he does not specifically condemn Israel's Middle East foes Hamas and Hezbollah. Remarkably, this occurs at a time when the UK is undergoing a profound constitutional crisis due to 'Brexit' and its ramifications for the unity of the UK as such.

In this NewsReal, Joe & Niall discuss the highly dangerous strategy Western governments are taking in pushing Jews front and center of fractious national debates.

Running Time: 01:14:03

Download: MP3 - 67.9 MB

Here's the transcript of the show:

Niall: Hello and welcome back to NewsReal with Joe and Niall.

Joe: I'm Joe.

Niall: I'm Niall and this week anti-Semitism. It's a thing, in case you didn't know. It's been a crazy couple of weeks. In the United States US media, politics is swarming around this issue of a new congresswoman's anti-Semitism. This shouldn't really be newsworthy but there you go, it is. Another reason for discussing this today is because it's hard to miss the fact that this is now the concurrent issue in three major western countries - the United States, the United Kingdom and France, pretty much simultaneously but for entirely different reasons this thing has emerged, the issue of anti-Semitism. It's remarkable.

But that's basically the only thing we want to say about it, for people to take notice of the fact that simultaneously in three countries for three different reasons. It isn't like there's one scandal and it has connecting fibers, say there's a corruption scandal involving a politician and a corporation and they both have links in two or three different countries. No, it erupted internally for its own reasons separately at the same time in three countries. And it just happens that those three countries together form the basic troika, the core of the western NATO/banking/western empire/western system. Is that a coincidence? Probably not, because what impacts one pretty much will impact the other.

But ostensibly, as the media stories go, these are three very separate issues and there's nothing to see here as far as the coincidence of timing is concerned.

Joe: There's nothing to see here?

Niall: Well no one is making that link. That's not true. I found one article that has actually noticed and passed comment on the fact that simultaneously it's happening in three different countries. That was the Haaretz editorial and they said something to the effect, just in passing, at the end of their editorial condemning anti-Semitism that this was proof to Jews generally and Israelis in particular, that 'it's a real issue, it's a real phenomenon, most people out there hate you because you're Jewish and look how it just flew across the Atlantic from the United Kingdom recently to the United States.' That was it. That was the end of any discussion about why it might be happening in three places at the same time.

Joe: Well let's ask some basic questions and see if we can define some basic truths here. Is it true to say that major western government have, for quite a long time, been extremely sensitive to Jewish interests or the interests of Jewish people and by extension the state of Israel?

Niall: True.

Joe: Next question is why.

Niall: Because the holocaust, I suppose is the abbreviated answer.

Joe: Yeah. Their narrative...

Niall: The boilerplate answer.

Joe: ...what would their answer be, yeah. Their answer would be...

Niall: Because the holocaust karma, and thus never again.

Joe: Right. But is there more to it than that? Obviously if you go to the geopolitical perspective there would be more to it in the sense of Israel and the creation of the state of Israel in the Middle East just after the First World War and the role that Israel has played, from the geopolitical perspective, in service to western interests in the Middle Eastern region.

Niall: Right. It's important to it.

Joe: It's important to it because Israel as a country in the Middle East is obviously fully aligned with the west and the western interests in the Middle East and therefore it's like an outpost of western interests in that part of the world, strategically important part of the world. Which is on first? You take a cynical view and you would say that western politicians, being interested in their own power and positions, would be more concerned about the geopolitical aspects of support for Israel rather than any supposed threat to Jewish people from anti-Semitism.

Niall: True.

Joe: You'd be cynical and say that that's probably what motivates them. Of course they talk almost only about anti-Semitism, the holocaust and 'never again' because that is more appealing to people. It tugs at people's heart strings and makes them look like good, sensitive, caring anti-racist or anti-anti-Semitic type people.

Niall: Yeah.

Joe: So if you're going to choose one you're going to push to the public you're going to choose the angle of "I care about anti-Semitism and making sure the holocaust, etc. never happens again. That's why I'm all for Israel. That's the source of my support for Israel or our support for Israel". But realpolitik and all that, it's probably got nothing to do with any concern about a rise in anti-Semitism or concern for the welfare of the Jewish people.

It's a really difficult problem.

Niall: Right there, there's already a paradox, the first one in a whole series of them. In defending one's self, if one is being accused of such anti-Semitism, one points out that "Well hang on a second. I specifically said this" and it's nearly always, invariably, unless they actually genuinely hate Jews and really do believe Jews are the fount of all evil, it's nearly always a comment they made about Israel and specifically Israel's policies, vis-à-vis the Palestinians. We've just gone through the third night of bombing Gaza. You are allowed to say, quite reasonably without deserving accusations of being a vile scum of the earth racist. "Hang on a second. That's not on." Or even just to mention the fact that it's happening. It's quietly happening all the time but it usually doesn't get any media attention.

So right there that's the first paradox. Their defence against being called an anti-Semite is "I'm not against the Jews but I'm against what the Israeli government does in general or even just this in specific.

Joe: Right. Well that goes to the heart of the current issue right now where the US congresswomen made those kind of statements, basically that it's okay that she should be allowed to be critical of the State of Israel. She went a bit further. This is what's-her-face, Ilhan...

Niall: Ilhan Omar.

Joe: Omar, yeah. She's a new Muslim congresswoman and she questioned why she should be required as a congresswoman and a US politician to be overly favourable to the State of Israel where she's not allowed to criticize a foreign power. Why should she show undue allegiance to them.

Niall: That sort of timeline - if I've got my head around it, thanks to a thousand summaries out there and they're all pretty much in agreement - it actually began with a kind of oblique attack against her from a republican. I'm not even sure if he's a senator himself, Kevin McCarthy. Maybe he's just an organizer. Anyway, he threatened Ilhan Omar and another new, young, female Muslim democratic congresswoman I think for Michigan - I forget her name - said specifically that he will be seeking to punish them for their critical views of Israel. This was February 11th. He tweets "If they (the democrats in general party) do not take action I think you'll see action from myself. This criticism of Israel cannot sustain itself. It's unacceptable in this country."

He wasn't referring specifically to anything she had just said but to her known support for the BDS, the Boycott Divest and Sanctions movement mostly on campuses in the United States. She didn't even respond to that, not yet. Glenn Greenwald gave this tweet some legs to a wider audience by tweeting in response, again obliquely. He's not counter-attacking against this Kevin McCarthy. He says "It's stunning how much time US political leaders spend defending a foreign nation even if it means attacking the free speech of Americans." Such a simple general truth you can perfectly well say in response. Then Greenwald is of course himself Jewish.

Omar then tweets in response to Glenn Greenwald with just a one-liner. "It's all about the Benjamins baby!" Then all hell breaks loose and everyone freaks out and loses their minds.

Joe: That's an anti-Semitic trope.

Niall: No!

Joe: That's Jews and money.

Niall: This is where it gets weird. Until February 11, 2019, that wasn't. That is a line from a rap song.

Joe: No, but it is an anti-Semitic trope to make that reference "It's all about the Benjamins" in the context of talking about support for Israel.

Niall: Why?

Joe: Because an anti-Semitic trope is Jews and money.

Niall: Okay.

Joe: Of course that's the red flag. That's the thing that set people off. "You're talking about Jews and money here, Jews loving money. The covetous Jew and his love for money." That by definition, her saying that...

Niall: Oh, because she chose to use that. But that song itself has never been considered in connection with Jews.

Joe: No, but it doesn't matter. She can use any reference she wants to money but if she refers to money in the context of a discussion about Jews, that's it, you're done. Bye-bye. You're an anti-Semite.

Niall: Right.

Joe: "You're saying Jews love money? Is that what you're saying? It seems like it. It's all about the Benjamins." "What's all about the Benjamins? Jews? The Jewish lobby? Is it all about Benjamins? All about $100 bills? Is that what you're saying?" "Apparently." "Oh, so you're an anti-Semite then. Let's throw you out of Congress and move on."

So that's the red flag. The next worst thing would be some kind of blood libel or something or talk about circumcision.

Niall: Well that's interesting. You need to explain that to me for that to be clear in my head. But these people - I don't want to say it's Jews in particular because it's not just. There's a lot of people out there who got it right away.

Joe: Well yeah!

Niall: Maybe I'm dumb and y'all are super smart because I had to think it through. Think about it. It's a double-double negative, the whole case. It's an anti-anti-Semitism. Then you've got to work out what is anti-Semitism and then you've got to work out what exactly are the references to Jews? The tropes they're called, right? It's a freakin complex task and yet there are some people who seem to be so exquisitely in tune with it, they instinctively know in anticipation. "Oh! Hang on! The words are coming out of someone's mouth. Yes, there they are!" How did you know to anticipate that?!

Joe: Well because they're so common. When you think of criticism of Jews, what do you think of historically?

Niall: Right. Money and influence.

Joe: Right. There's cartoons made not just under the Nazis in Germany but in other European countries at the beginning of the last century and before that when it was quite kosher - if you'll excuse the pun - to describe Jews in that way amongst western politicians. Before that, in the 1800s Disraeli, the British Prime Minister was well-known for his anti-Semitic views. Henry Ford, the maker of Ford automobiles, as called today was a known anti-Semite. So there was a point in time when anti-Semitism was quite okay. I think Winston Churchill as well was known to say the odd bad thing about Jews.

At that time when it was more acceptable in civil society to say those kind of things and it was being said by politicians, that's what gave rise to cartoons and different things like that, that portrayed Jews in this light and it persisted. Of course you had the holocaust and all of the negative stereotypes that were presented by the Nazis about Jews to justify the holocaust and that kind of thing. It's part of the western psyche at this point.

Niall: Yeah.

Joe: Most people, at least that are half clued in, know that there are certain things that you really can't say. It's a very clear taboo.

Niall: This is the question. Is it nobody can say what everybody knows or nobody can say what actually isn't true and it's only producing harm?

Joe: Well the bizarre thing, one of the things that Jews historically are accused of and that is called anti-Semitic today is keeping themselves apart from the society within which they live. They keep themselves apart and have in the past been suspected of or accused of working in some way or another against a society. Whether or not that was true, the very mere fact of them keeping themselves apart could give rise to suspicions from all the people in the society that "there's something suspicious about those Jews".

There's no point in going into whether or not there's any truth to that or whatever but there is truth to the fact that they kept themselves apart and do tend to keep themselves apart because of their cultural and religious background and beliefs, that they are a people apart. It's in their religious books and stuff that they're a people apart and there are all sorts of references that people probably know, that the Jews themselves ascribe to themselves.

So what's bizarre is the fact that they have done that very often throughout history, kept themselves apart and that in their religious texts they do make claim to being a "special" people or god's chosen people type thing then to disallow or forbid ordinary people from taking those - I think - objective facts and just repeating them. Of course they shouldn't be used to persecute Jewish people or engage in racism or anti-Semitism or whatever you want to call it, against Jews, but there is clearly a truth about that Jewish cultural and religious mind set that does tend to set them apart. But that isn't necessarily a bad thing. It shouldn't be a bad thing unless they're doing something bad on the basis of it, unless they're using it to gain influence and power that is in some way nefarious.

This is where we get back to the Palestinian situation where people believe that that kind of setting themselves apart and gaining power and then using anti-Semitism to protect themselves from any reproachment, allows them to do things - here I'm talking about the State of Israel because it benefits from that protection as well - allows them to get away with doing things that other countries wouldn't be allowed to get away with. For example, you're not allowed in the US - and this is part of the reason we're talking about this - you're not allowed to criticize Israel's actions against Palestinians. You're not allowed to call them brutal or inhumane or war crimes because that means you hate Jews. You're immediately thrown back into Nazi Germany.

It means that if criticize actions of the State of Israel you're shut down by being accused of hating Jews and wanting to kill all the Jews which is what many people repeatedly, over and over again - this is not something new - have said "That's ridiculous! It's absolutely ridiculous to make that accusation against me when I see the Israeli military indiscriminately bombing Gaza and killing hundreds of children. When I say 'Hey Israel, that's a bit excessive. You're being a bit blood-thirsty and brutal there' the response is 'How dare you dirty anti-Semite! You want to kill all the Jews, don't you?!'"

Niall: This is fairly new in that it's being articulated officially at government levels now. We heard it from Macron. We discussed it briefly on this show a few weeks ago. It was shocking even for the French public discourse, that the government was seriously considering equivocating making no distinction between going 'Oh god Israel! Can you please stop bombing people" and "Oh you hate the Jews." They were going to actually expand the definition of anti-Semitism to include criticism of Israel.

So that's the only kind of new thing in that it's at this kind of level of policy where it seems to be being taken seriously by western governments and western policy-makers.

Joe: But again, that then brings up the question of what influence do Jewish lobby groups have over western politicians that they would be able to push them to enact those kinds of policies and pass those kind of laws to be so protective of Israel that then get you back into the Jewish conspiracy trope, that there are Jews conspiring to gain control over western politicians and they're achieving it and they're doing it.

But then again at the same time, like we said at the beginning of the show, there's a convergence of interest there where non-western Jewish politicians don't need to have their arms twisted so much because they have a vested interest in protecting the State of Israel themselves because the State of Israel in the Middle East is an outpost of western powers, of Anglo-America, let's say, of western Europe and particularly the USA. It's an outpost of that power centre or you could even call it an American outpost. It's the 51st state.

So when Glenn Greenwald says how US politicians aren't allowed to criticize a foreign government, that's not exactly true in reality in the real politic world because Israel isn't really a foreign country. It's not a foreign nation. It's part of America.

Niall: Yeah. Which was very well articulated by Nancy Pelosi. That was an old video that was dug up recently where in a Q&A somewhere in DC, to an audience she said, "You know, if the capital of DC were to collapse into the dust, into the ground, we would still be loyal to Israel". She didn't use the word loyal. I think she used something even stronger. She was basically trying to say, "Yeah, it's one and the same country".

Joe: Yeah.

Niall: You get an answer to the Israeli influence immediately by the way. Nancy Pelosi condemns Ilhan Omar. Ilhan Omar apologies unequivocally having now been, in her own words, "educated to those tropes one must avoid" which apparently I need some of too, this education. Then late last week the democrats lead a resolution in congress. Is that a law? I'm not sure. Everyone agrees with it. It has passed.

Joe: A proposed bill.

Niall: Condemning...

Joe: It didn't get passed. It got thrown out. Here's the thing. It was an expansive definition of anti-Semitism the same way as the French government proposed that includes anti-Semitism adopted by the State Department in 2010 and drafted by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance. "It's a four-page resolution that denounces accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel or to the allegedly priority of Jews worldwide than to the interests of their own nations." One line praises Jewish enlistment in the US military.

So that was an expanding 2010 resolution, expanded to denouncing the accusation against Jewish citizens of the USA obviously, of being more loyal to Israel or the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide than to the interests of their own nations, which is obviously America. It says you cannot accuse American Jews, no matter what they do, of being more loyal to Israel even if what they're doing clearly could be construed or could be seen as a valid opinion that what Jewish activist groups in the US peopled by US citizens, pushing for policies that are not in the interests of America.

But then the question is - and we keep coming back to this question - how can you say they're not in the interests of America if everything that Jewish activist groups run by US Jewish citizens in the US do furthers the protection afforded to Israel and secures Israel's position in the Middle East and its survival in the Middle East? Surely that is by definition, from a geopolitical point of view, in the American interests. But when you're talking about American interests, whose interests? What interests are you talking about? Are you talking about the political interests? The political class? The Washington elite? Are you talking about the interests of the ordinary American people? What sections of the ordinary American people? It's not so simple.

Niall: Yeah.

Joe: But as a general rule, if America today is the US political elite class then everything that Jewish interest groups do to protect Israel is in the interests of US known Jewish political elite class because it's in their interests to have Israel as a strong ally in the Middle East to keep back Iran and in that way secure the existing order that has existed for many decades in the Middle East that supports American hegemony in the world.

Niall: Yeah, it's a mind job and it's no wonder that people freak out over it. You mentioned at the beginning, the key thing being that historically Jews have seen themselves as a people apart. It seems as though they're reaching to merge while keeping themselves apart, the best parts, the advantages of keeping themselves apart. Look at how up front and centre they and their issues are in these three major capitals right now. "We're apart but we're all over the place." Their own choice of way of living is coming under threat.

Joe: Well yeah. Not really. I don't think it's got anything to do with ordinary Jewish people. The vast majority of ordinary Jewish people in western countries, in America or western Europe have got nothing to do with them. It's got nothing to do with their interests. A lot of them can be co-opted through emotional hooks and appeals to the homeland and Israel and their religious sentiments. A lot of them can be pulled into serving an agenda. But you get a very clear example of how there's no space between the western geopolitical agenda in the world and Israel's interests and the Israeli lobby. They're all working for exactly the same thing which is the continuation of western hegemony and dominance in the world and the Middle East is a big aspect of that hegemony.

The example where you see that those two things are exactly the same, that they're working for exactly the agenda is when you see in the UK - and it's been going on for several years - you talk about anti-Jewish tropes, anti-Semitism itself has become a trope, or the accusation or using the accusation of anti-Semitism against someone, is a trope at this point because it's been used against Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the labour party in the UK. He poses a direct threat to the western dominant established order in the UK which is seen within the conservative party and above the conservative party. It's a kind of deep state or a British establishment elite that is mainly focused on the conservative party but also incorporates some members who are nominally labour or leftist.

Niall: Yeah.

Joe: But they're part of the establishment. They're above that left/right divide in the same way they are in the US. Those people see Jeremy Corbyn as the leader of the labour party and the prospective possible next Prime Minister of the UK as a direct threat to the western order because of his policies and the main way they have attacked him over the past few years has been to call him an anti-Semite and to try to create evidence of anti-Semitism within the liberal party under him and almost all of it is effectively false. It's made-up accusations about him being an anti-Semite and him being surrounded by anti-Semitism.

What there is within the labour movement and the left movement in the UK is a long-standing pro-Palestinian agenda or support for Palestinians and also for the BDS, Boycott Divest Sanctions to put pressure on Israel to stop them stealing Palestinian land. That's the extent of anti-Semitism in the UK labour party which is not anti-Semitism at all but they use that and then expand and exaggerate it to accuse him and defame the labour party and particularly Jeremy Corbyn as an anti-Semite and it's almost as bad as being called a paedophile. It's only one step away from being called a paedophile in terms of the smear that is effected and the damage that it can do to your reputation.

So the fact that when the British establishment wants to get rid of a potentially - in their eyes - dangerous to their agenda leader, their first port of call is anti-Semitism, tells you it's not only the non-Jewish British elite who are using this anti-Semitism accusation against Jeremy Corbyn, it's being backed up by Jewish lobby groups. So there you see a direct connection between Jewish lobby groups and Jewish interest groups. What you should really say is Israeli lobby and Israeli interest groups and the interests of the Anglo-American establishment or the British establishment and what their geopolitical world agenda is. There's no difference.

Niall: In that respect then, when we open it up to this geopolitical level, can we understand then why they are conflating hatred of Jews specifically with criticism of Israel? Because once Corbyn is defending Hamas, Hezbollah, other Middle Eastern countries and their interests, he is going against the whole order, is there a logic to then why they say he is the vilest, he is against Jews? Do you see what I'm getting at? The conflation of the two in a way that is paralogical and it's pathological on the face of it and most people are condemning it and saying that's outrageous.

The French government has backed down. This bill in Congress hasn't passed for now. There is a kind of logic to why it has come to this point of actually legislating and therefore making synonymous hatred of Jews with criticism of Israel because in their eyes if you're criticizing the project, the greater agenda that we all share, the deep staters...

Joe: Western hegemony.

Niall: Is it simply manipulative real politic that they go "Okay, let's kill any kind of movement towards ending or revamping or regime changing that order we've been so used to now for two or three hundred years. How are we going to do it?" And someone sat down kind of thing and said "We'll go at it with this?" Do you know what I mean?

Joe: Yeah. I think it's evidence of there being no difference between the interests of the British establishment and the Israeli lobby interests. But it's evidence also of the extent of the power of the Israeli lobby within the political establishment in western countries, in the UK and France and particularly in the US. Because, essentially in terms of who makes the decision as to what will be used against Jeremy Corbyn or what will be used against Ilhan Omar or AOC or - who else criticized Israel?

Niall: AOC not so much.

Joe: Well she's listed as well.

Niall: Okay.

Joe: And the people who make the decision are the people who are either Jewish themselves or have strong pro-Israel leanings. So obviously for them, the first thing that would come to their minds is that this person is anti-Semitic. They feel it. These people are strongly identified with Israel, be they Jewish or not Jewish. When they see criticism of Israel, they feel that this person is anti-Semitic so they naturally will accuse a person of being an anti-Semite. The added bonus obviously, is that it's a very strong, harsh accusation, a damning accusation. Making it against someone can smear someone quite badly.

Niall: And down the road - we mentioned this before - it's not difficult to see where this would lead to. If you damage and smear a lot of essentially good or well-liked people over and over and over and maybe it dies down, but then you do it again to someone else and so on, sooner or later this new lingo they're talking about - Omar herself used it - "educated to these tropes" - I've seen it used in other articles and by commentators. It seems to be a big thing at the moment. One must be educated about them. "Oh, you didn't know that you crossed a red line here. Hang on. Sit down and I'll explain it to you."

Joe: Yeah.

Niall: What is the actual education process that's going to take place in the host countries? Isn't it really obvious that what will happen is the opposite of their psychological wish? It's going to have the reverse psychological effect. What people are going to take as a heuristic, as a basic, it's going to confirm the old trope...

Joe: Yes.

Niall: ...that the Jews are in control of all these things.

Joe: Of course. That's the problem. That's all it does. And they have to then up the...

Niall: They double down.

Joe: They have to increase their censorship of people and control over people to stop them from expressing what the Israeli lobby is giving them more evidence of, of being true.

Niall: The Guardian, by the way, said that the Israeli lobby was pushing for that thing they tried to pass on Congress.

Joe: Absolutely! Of course it was. The original draft in 2010 that they were expanding on was drafted by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance. Of course that's populated by Jews, you know. But it's interesting the way that idea of these people being unaware of these tropes, unaware that they can at any moment say something that is anti-Semitic and not even know about it themselves, but that then validates the claim that non-Jewish people are almost genetically anti-Semitic. They don't even know it. They don't even know that they don't like Jews or that they have a hatred or whatever for Jews, non-Jewish people. That's what some Jewish people claim. And it's held by a lot of people.

Niall: It's very similar to the thing that you have unconscious racism.

Joe: But you don't know and you need people who are the victims of racism then to train you and teach you about your inherent racism, kind of be a mentor to you. They should walk alongside you for a few months, spend all their time with you for a few months and watching you and then educate you when you open your mouth, listen to what you say and then point out where you're being racist in the words that you say so that you can then correct yourself.

The same could be, in theory, advocated for anti-Semitism, that everybody should have a Jewish person beside them to listen to everything you say and everything around you a person says at any given point and then to highlight. "See, there's a little bit of anti-Semitism creeping into what you said. When you said that word 'Oy vey', were you using it in a positive way or a negative way because that's a Yiddish word and maybe you shouldn't be using that'." You get this kind of instruction. You can have a Jewish mentor or a person of colour mentor maybe for white people who are unconsciously racist and unconsciously anti-Semitic.

Niall: That's for the unconscious masses. But even among "the tribe" Ben Shapiro is this close to saying it. He hasn't quite published an article or been on camera to say it but I think he's been tweeting about it. He's getting close to the point of accusing Bernie Sanders of being an anti-Semite because Sanders basically defended Omar's views, specifically with respect to her point about Israeli power and Israeli policy in the Middle East.

Let her say it. He basically defended her. Once you've said anything close to defending that view, in the new dynamic, that immediately puts you as an anti-Semite. Ben Shapiro will say that kind of thing about Bernie Sanders knowing - everyone knows in the United States - that Bernie Sanders' parents were killed or were in concentration camps.

Joe: Well you can be a self-hating Jew. That's been around for a long time so they have that covered as well.

Niall: Ben Shapiro. This is identity politics. Which came on first? The mania for identity politics in general or specifically the issue of Jewish identity? And it's funny how it's all caught up and accepted because here you have someone would ordinarily be feted, as she was by the left, Ilhan Omar and a few others but specifically her because she's the first Muslim Somali refugee. She ticks all the boxes for diversity and multiculturalism. Oop! She just crossed the red line. That's the one identity we don't question.

Joe: It's interesting that the reason this has come up as an issue right now in the democratic party is that they're a victim of the identity politics that the democrats and the left in the US have adopted over the past number of years because that's the reason why you have Ilhan Omar and the other one from Michigan, Rashida Tlaib and even AOC even though she's not Jewish but she's very much part of the identity politics brigade, got into power and become freshman congresswomen. The fact is that almost inevitably you're going to get some Muslims in there and if they're young Muslims ideologically driven, they're going to be, as we see particularly with Omar, in some way or other anti-Israel and pro-Palestinian.

And then they're going to be accused of being anti-Semitic and that you have a member of the democratic party who is making what are called anti-Semitic statements. The democratic party is historically very pro-Israel exactly like the republican party for a very long time. All of American politics have been super pro-Israel. So why didn't the democratic party get this resolution passed? Why was it rejected? Because there's a push-back from within the democratic party even within the upper echelons of it, not up to Nancy Pelosi and people like that because she's the die-hard pro-Israel, but even below that you have people who are not supporting this resolution and defending Ilhan Omar in the accusation that she's anti-Semitic because of Trump, because they see it...

Niall: Really a united front against Trump.

Joe: Right. The response is from a lot of the democrats and this is that this is distracting from our attacks on Trump for being anti-racist and sexist and anti-immigrant and blah, blah, blah. It's in-fighting within the democratic party. 'We shouldn't do it so we have to dismiss this accusation of anti-Semitism and refocus on getting Trump'. Also it's useful too because Trump is seen as very pro-Israel so if the democrats want to be anti-Trump, some of them anyway 'have to be anti-Israel because if we're anti-Trump and Trump is pro-Israel, we have to be anti-Israel. So Ilhan Omar is alright. Leave her alone.'

Niall: Right.

Joe: But that's coming away from the historic democratic party stance on Israel which is absolutely 100% pro-Israel because of the Israel lobby in the USA. There's a video here that we'll just segue into, with Ilhan Omar, a short little video. It's funny the way CNN, Christiane Amanpour of all people...

Niall: Oh Jesus!

Joe: ...who's very pro-Israel as well, but it's amazing what she actually says here because she asks her question - go ahead and play the video there.

"CA: Can I just move onto something that's generally sort of a right of passage for politicians in the United States and that is to sort of profess sort of fealty or at least pay homage to AIPAC, the pro-Israel pact that is very, very prominent? Should Jewish Americans be worried about congresswoman Ilhan Omar or Rashida Tlaib because of the BDS movement, because of one of the tweets you made a long time ago? You're part of a new wave of democrats not afraid to be critical of the government of Israel and during the 2012 military offensive in Gaza you tweeted "Israel has hypnotized the world. May Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil-doings of Israel". How do you put that into context now and what do you say to American Jews?

IO: I remember when that was happening."

Joe: Just stop it there Scottie. Just go back to the beginning and play the first 20 seconds again.

"CA: Can I just move onto something that's generally sort of a right of passage for politicians in the United States and that is to sort of profess sort of fealty or at least pay homage to AIPAC, the pro-Israel pact that is very, very prominent?"

Joe: Just stop there. This is CNN and this Christiane Amanpour who is very much an established politician, absolutely pro-US, pro-Washington establishment and pro-Israel by definition. The words she used there {sigh}. Play again Scottie will you?

"CA: Can I just move onto something that's generally sort of a right of passage for politicians in the United States...?"

Joe: Stop. A "right of passage for politicians in the USA".

Niall: Politicians just generally.

Joe: "All politicians in the USA". So Christiane Amanpour is just saying it as a matter of fact that a right of passage for new politicians in the USA and a right of passage is a passage from one group to another, from one organization, from one whatever, from one entity to another. So she's using that term and it's a very appropriate term because when you become a politician in the USA you go from being a politician in the USA to having to declare fealty or homage to AIPAC which is a very powerful - she was about to say lobby...

Niall: But she said pact.

Joe: Then she said "pack".

Niall: It's not actually a pact.

Joe: But it's a lobby.

Niall: It's a foreign lobby.

Joe: The first word was the correct one. It's lobby. So when American politicians become politicians, they have to go through a process of going from being a US politician to being someone who professes fealty and homage to the Israeli lobby in America. That's according to CNN.

Now how can anybody then come out and say that there's no lobby that exercises disproportionate influence on American political life like the Israeli lobby? How can anybody criticize anybody for saying that?! That's the problem here.

Niall: A mind job.

Joe: CNN just told all of its viewers that this is an objective truth basically.

Niall: Yes.

Joe: That American politicians have to pay fealty and loyalty...

Niall: She wasn't using...

Joe: ...profess their loyalty to an Israeli lobby!

Niall: She wasn't using it ironically either.

Joe: No!

Niall: It was matter of fact.

Joe: The thing she was saying was that this is what happens and how do you reconcile that, given your statements against Israel. How can you justify the fact that you're critical of Israel when all US politicians have to pay homage and declare their undying loyalty to Israel as an American politician? And nobody has a problem with that. That's bizarre.

Niall: It's as if Amanpour has a licence to speak an anti-Semitic trope - which is what it's called in another context - she has perfect licence to say that to the newbie and only depending on the newbie's response to it, will that trope be cashed in and used as such, as a trope. It's totally in your face! It's public! It's a public kind of test of that fealty and homage and 'depending on your response now, we'll decide whether or not you're in the club.'

Joe: Yeah! So it's kind of gas-lighting, that for so many years the Israeli lobby and Israeli activist groups who are Jewish essentially - members of the Jewish American community who are driven ideologically partly by their religious beliefs, a lot of them, others with more awareness do it for considerations of their own personal power and influence, that's what a lot of things come down to obviously - what motivates a lot of human beings is influence, power and money.

That has existed in the US for a very, very long time and it's a no-brainer. It's public knowledge. They don't really represent Jews. It's not about Jews. It's about the State of Israel and it's about a group of people who are maybe nominally Jewish but at the upper levels don't really care about their religion at all but have in some way or another, through very well-known and obvious means, insinuated themselves into positions of power or persons of influence within American politics and they use that in service to the State of Israel, I suppose.

That doesn't really cover it. At this point we get into a very grey, murky area and I'm not really sure what the point is anymore other than power itself. At this point, the interests of Israel as a country in the Middle East and its particular interests in the Middle East that are unique to it and the interests of America having Israel as an ally to further its American interests in the Middle East and around the world converge.

Niall: You can no longer separate them.

Joe: You can't separate the two. I think religion is dispensed with. These Jewish activists that go around lobbying...

Niall: Even Jewish nationalism is dispensed with.

Joe: Yeah, it's all dispensed with. It's more about control over as much of the world as possible. You have this merging of the American elite and the American empire and the American hegemony around the world, those interests converging with nominally Israel interests only to the extent that Israel is quite an important piece of the puzzle in terms of securing American hegemony. I don't think it's true that most Jews in the world live in America, is it?

Niall: I was looking at this earlier. Six point three million in Israel, 5.7 million - nearly the same live in the United States.

Joe: Okay.

Niall: After that it drops way off.

Joe: So then it's true what I'm saying. I would leave out Israel because obviously it's going to be a large number of Jews in Israel but in terms of the rest of the world, that's why so many Jews are in America, because that is the seat of global empire. America is the seat of the global empire and it's where you can exercise the most power, let's say, in terms of global affairs.

Niall: And most money-making. Sorry to say that but that is just what it is!

Joe: But that's not anti-Semitic to say that Jews...

Niall: As soon as I've articulated in the context of our discussion it's like 'Oh, he's making association with Jews'.

Joe: As if Jews are the only ones who are interested in money. "I like money" you know. There's a lot of people who like money obviously, including Donald Trump.

Niall: And Saudi princes.

Joe: And Saudi princes, yeah. But the interesting thing is that, just as a possible answer to why this is happening in these three countries that you mentioned, at the same time, USA, France and UK where they're all pushing or hyping the threat of anti-Semitism and needing to clamp down on anti-Semitism, etc. There was a Gallup poll released just recently showing that 38% of liberal democrats sympathize more with Palestinians compared to 41% who sympathize more with Israel. The survey found that national support for Israel and American national support for Israel is at an all-time low since 2009, down 5% from last year alone.

So that's one reason to stop the rot type of thing. When you have an Israel lobby, let's say, an interest group like that wields a lot of power within American politics and has done for quite a long time and has increased itself in power, when it sees public opinion - because you have to keep public opinion onside as well to secure that power within the country, you have to keep people on song and in support of Israel and aware of anti-Semitism so that's why you promote the idea of anti-Semitism on the rise, to get people to essentially be supportive of Jews and of Jewish interests, which by extension is the State of Israel because that's ultimately their homeland.

Niall: 'Support' being a strange word. It's more like to get them afraid of...

Joe: Right. Well afraid of not supporting, let's say. Afraid of saying anything that is not in support of it. In the bill proposal that the democrats put forward, the resolution 'denounced accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide'. Well I don't think there are any priorities of Jews worldwide necessarily, but accusing Jewish citizens in the US of being more loyal to Israel. I don't know. A lot of them probably don't care about Israel.

The Jews who live in America see themselves as American. They're Jewish-American. 'Big deal. Judaism is just my religion.' But there are I think a lot of people, certainly the people who are activists for different political activist committees and stuff, who are themselves Jewish and see Israel as ultimately their homeland; if not their physical homeland, their spiritual homeland.

So how do you tease out one for those people? Where ultimately do your allegiances lie? If it came down to it and you had to choose between something that was in the interests of America but not in the interests of Israel, or vice-versa, which would you choose? Difficult, difficult question for anybody, any diaspora who retains strong ties to their homeland or the home of their parents - or in the case of Israel - their created homeland for them as a people etc. It's a difficult question for anybody. So to say that you it's an anti-Semitic trope and you're an evil, dirty person for saying that some Jews who live in other countries and were born in other countries may have a stronger allegiance to Israel than to their home countries, why is that anti-Semitic?! It could be true of any other people. It's just a part of the human condition. The problem is that because the reasons they're not allowed to say that is that it opens the door, points upwards to the existence of a powerful political Jewish lobby within American politics and that exerts an awful lot of influence over American affairs. Now whether that influence is against American interests or for American interests, like we talked about earlier on, it depends on what your definition of American interests are and whose interests.

Obviously Israeli interests and the interests of the Israeli lobby are exactly the same as the interests of the American political elite because it relates to Israel and it relates to securing America's hegemony in the world through it's maintenance of the order in the Middle East for which Israel plays an important role.

Niall: Yeah.

Joe: But in the interests of the ordinary American people? No, to the extent that Israel and Israeli lobby and activist groups in the US have lobbied strongly for the invasion of Iraq, the American bombing or near bombing of Libya and of Syria, that sends US troops into harm's way. No, it's not in the interests of the ordinary Americans whose sons and daughters go to fight and die in wars that this lobbyist group has a part in advocating for.

Niall: Yeah. Of that 40% or so, is it 40% of Americans who do support Israel, come what may? A huge tranche of that is informed by religious beliefs, specifically that Israel must be brought to the point of utter destruction because the end times are coming, at which time they'll convert and be welcomed into our tribe proper as Christians, as us. So it's a tightly bound alliance we have with them because they're about to be a part of this. It's a weird narrative, I know, but that is actually what informs the brotherhood or that's what they're told anyway and that's what they believe to some extent or another in the United States about "Why we must be tightly bound and come what may. The capitol may fall but we'll still have Israel."

Joe: For the Eschaton.

Niall: For the Eschaton. It's a completely bonkers mix.

Joe: There's an article here on this story from the New York Times there Scottie if you can pull it up. It has a rather cynical or coy title to it. Ilhan Omar's criticism raises the question "Is AIPAC too powerful?" Well maybe you should have asked that question 30 or 40 years ago and asked it every single year since then because obviously it is. But there's a guy in this whose name is Stephen Fisk. He's an American citizen and a long-time activist with the American-Israeli Public Affairs Committee and so he's involved in activism for Israel. If you scroll down a little bit there Scottie to the title picture down below, is a picture of him at his home in Florida. He's a long-time activist with AIPAC and praying at his home in Florida.

He's obviously a very religious Jew and down at the bottom, way past all the pictures to more or less the second last paragraph, it says "In Florida Mr. Fisk who you just saw in the image said it was time for pro-Jewish voices to speak up about Miss Omar and two other republican freshmen who have been critical of Israel" - that's Tlaib and AOC - "and he offered a prediction. There are three people who, in my opinion, will not be around in several years."

So this guy's fairly high up but he's an example of these religious-driven individuals who have been active in pro-Israel, pro-Jewish groups for many years and he is the one who sounded the alarm about and started activism against these three women for their "anti-Semitism". But it's interesting that he makes a prediction that they won't be around in a few years. That right there says "Well how does he have the conviction to be able to say that three just recently elected new congresswomen will be gone in a number of years?

Niall: I suspect because he's speaking from experience, Cynthia McKinney. Cynthia McKinney feted in the '90s, first black woman representative for Georgia, won six terms in a row. 911 happens. She questions that maybe the government had foreknowledge and then criticizes Israeli bombings of Palestinians and boom! The next one up in 2002 in the democratic primaries, this woman comes out of nowhere, Cynthia lays claim that this woman is actually a creature of AIPAC. Subsequently that's proven to be true. She was put in there to kick her off the platform. McKinney of course has since gone on to be an activist in any number of things but she was dead right on that. AIPAC actually came in and said "She's a problem. You're out."

Joe: And she was gone, yeah. There's an interview from a few years ago with Press TV with Cynthia McKinney where she explains a few thing. We won't play it all but you'll get the general gist here from a few minutes.

"CM: Not allowed to do that because I did not toe the line on US policy for Israel.

PressTV: What line is that that they wanted? Were you told directly that you had to toe a line? Or explain that to me.

CM: Well every candidate for Congress at that time, had a pledge. They were given a pledge to sign and I was new on the scene so the pledge had Jerusalem as the capital city, the military superiority of Israel.

PressTV: American congress people have to sign this pledge?

CM: Yes. You sign the pledge. If you don't sign the pledge you don't get money. So for example, it was almost like water torture for me. My parents observed this. I would get a call and the person on the other end of the phone would say "I want to do a fundraiser for you" and then we would get into the planning. I would get really excited because of course you have to have money in order to run a campaign. Then two weeks, three weeks into the planning, they would say "Did you sign the pledge?" And then I would say "No I didn't sign the pledge." And then my fundraiser would go kaput.

PressTV: I just want to get into this pledge a little bit more. So this is basically something that is mandatory, that every congress person has to sign saying what? You said Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and what else?

CM: You make a commitment that you will vote to support the military superiority of Israel, that the economic assistance that Israel wants, that you would vote to provide that.

PressTV: This isn't a question for the congress people serving or they're supposed to be representing the people of the United States, not a foreign country and yet they have to pledge allegiance to a foreign state.

CM: Yes.

PressTV: No one questions this.

CM: That's what I was asked to do. I made it public. Probably nobody had said anything about it. But I made it public and then the excuse was "Well those were just over-zealous advocates for Israel." So then the tactic changed. But this is what is done for 535 members of the United States Congress. One hundred senators, 435 members of the House of Representatives have to now write a paragraph which basically says the same thing. So it's not a pledge but it's a paragraph and you post it and there are these forms you have to go to at the synagogue or whatever and then if you don't perform appropriately, then you don't get money to run your campaign.

The problem is that it requires an awful lot of money to run a campaign and whether it's a women's organization, an environmental organization, people can read about this on the internet if they're interested. If you go to that is the official United States Congress website and if you put in the name Gus Savage, because Gus Savage was a black member of Congress who was targeted by the pro-Israel lobby and he had the foresight to use his position as an incumbent in the House of Representatives to put his experience on the congressional record. For the entire existence of the United States Congress now, people will be able to access his experience. And what he wrote was that it was the Garden Club of New Jersey that gave his opponent $5,000, but it wasn't really the Garden Club of New Jersey. It was the activists who were associated with AIPAC, the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee.

Niall: That's it in black and white really.

Joe: Yeah, and that woman, Marie Shamey is an Iranian interviewer. She was arrested and imprisoned for 10 days for espionage.

Niall: She tried to return to see her family in the States.

Joe: Yeah. She was released after 10 days but she was officially arrested and imprisoned for espionage. She was an Iranian Press TV interviewer and reporter.

Niall: Again, diversity is awesome except if you say certain things.

Joe: Yeah.

Niall: That's pretty much what Omar's going through now. It's bizarre but they've made such a wide, massive issue out of it but the comparison isn't really the same because it's a series of tweets versus Cynthia McKinney's talking about more of a legal situation. It's paralegal. It's not literally in-law the senators must, but it's expected and if you don't...

Joe: No money and no money, bye-bye. So that's the state of affairs. The fact of the matter is that it's true. There's really a lobby in the US and when people are accused of being anti-Semitic because they point out the influence of the Israeli lobby in the US or they point out the mistreatment of Palestinians by Israel, it's obviously not anti-Semitic on the face of it. You have to look at each specific situation to see if the person has any actual hatred for Jews. But the vast majority of ordinary people who simply look at the mistreatment of Palestinians and say "That's bad! Israel is bad for doing that!" are obviously not anti-Semitic. They don't care about Jews. That's maybe the problem for these people. They don't care that much about Jews.

It's kind of 'you care for Jews because you hate them so much' and it's no, "Did you not hear what I said? My focus is on Palestinians. I care about them. I don't really care about Jews. Jews aren't an issue for me because Jews aren't doing so badly. Jews are doing quite well. Why would I be concerned about them? Why would I focus on them at all? They're doing very well on their own, especially in most of the world where they live. They're all doing very well. So why are you focusing on Jews? Jews isn't the issue in this situation. Palestinians is the issue." That's what brought up this issue and the reason we're talking about it now is because essentially Ilhan Omar made comments that included criticism of Israeli treatment of Palestinians. So the focus is on Palestinians, not Jews.

The whole situation is bizarre and like you said earlier on, it's a dangerous situation for ordinary Jews around the world where whatever western governments and Israeli high-level activists within those governments engage in activism towards them and pushing an Israeli agenda are actually creating a situation where those old tropes about ordinary Jews are being pushed to the fore again and they're likely to create a resurgence of actual anti-Semitism because of what they're doing! If they would just stop, anti-Semitism would continue to decline, but they seem determined through their own actions and their desire to increase their own power and influence, to actually hurt the ordinary Jewish people of the world and putting them in a dangerous position where whatever latent anti-Semitism might be there, will find a new impetus or force in society.

Niall: Yeah.

Joe: If I say something publicly that is heartfelt, does not target anybody negatively but seeks to support people who are suffering, engage in some genuine humanitarian, honourable, noble speech in support of something positive and a bunch of people all come out and shut me down and tell me to shut the hell up and I'm not allowed to say that in quite a cruel abusive way, and they say that they're doing it in the name of the Jews, if you repeat that, how ultimately am I going to feel about Jews in general? If I'm being told that I'm being censored and shut up and denied by civil rights essentially, in the name of the Jews, is that in the interest of ordinary Jews? And who's doing that? And who's using the name of the Jews to shut me up? Well it's their purported leaders and not only the purported leaders but their non-Jewish buddies in power in western governments.

Niall: Yeah.

Joe: So they're actually creating a situation that is potentially very negative for the Jews by discriminating against and censoring the speech of non-Jewish people in the name of the Jews, invoking the name of the Jews. "We're doing this to protect the Jews. You have to shut the hell up and not say anything, regardless of what it is, about Israel unless it's positive. But you cannot say anything negative about Israel. You cannot support the Palestinians or you will be slandered and defamed in the name of the Jews." That's just such a bad idea.

Niall: And it has been broadened in many other venues too. If you use the term globalist, if you talk about banks and banking, the banking crisis of 2008. Donald Trump in his later speeches probably written by Bannon as he came close to the election in 2016, was being accused of anti-Semitism, of bringing up the old tropes when he talked about globalist banks and so on.

Funnily, the origins of how Jeremy Corbyn got to this point of being the vile anti-Semite are interesting as well. He had just put forward his name in July 2015, when one of the first hints of it came. The Channel 4 BBC put him to the question and the question was over his past support for Hezbollah and Hamas. They didn't mention Jews, Israel or anti-Semitism yet but laid the groundwork for a month later during the actual election itself of labour party candidates, the Jewish Chronicle, which is a London-based newspaper whose readership is tiny, primarily Jews and has been a printed paper in London since 1840 or something, it's old, that first accused Jeremy Corbyn of anti-Semitism and it has completely snowballed from there.

Maybe not quite snowballed but it's come in waves. But it's a mania in the UK at the moment where it's daily, non-stop. You're not supposed to talk about it. You're not supposed to think about it. What they'd like you to do is what Meghan McCain did last week - just...

Joe: Cry about it.

Niall: ...yield to pure emotional thinking and just start blubbering.

Joe: That was fake basically and she did it for her own personal interests. She has no concern for the Jews or about anti-Semitism. She's an example of the power of the Israeli lobby where she expects to get some support or privileges from doing that, from abasing herself at the altar of the Israeli lobby.

Niall: What about Donald Trump then?

Joe: Well he's doing the same thing. Sheldon Adelson, super uber Jewish or pro-Israeli, due to give him $25 million for his campaign.

I think we'll leave it there for this folks. I think that's about all we can say really, about the Israeli lobby and the current brouhaha over anti-Semitism and the democratic party. I don't think there's much more to say about it that would make much sense. It is what it is. It's a will to personal power and influence within the west at a time when things are faltering, I suppose, on the global stage on a global scale. It's kind of like musical chairs I suppose, people grasping for as much power as they possibly can desperately as they feel it slipping away from their grasp.

Niall: And everyone's narratives, as you said to me earlier, everyone's getting hoisted on their own petards by getting caught up.

Joe: Right.

Niall: "Now you're infringing diversity. Now you're infringing anti-Semitism."

Joe: Absolutely.

Niall: Mayhem.

Joe: And it will probably only get worse and more confusing and more of a farce really and we'll try to continue making sense of it as we go ahead. If you like this video, like, subscribe and hit the notification bell. We'll be back next week or soon enough with another video on another topic. Until then, have a good evening.

Niall: Thanks for watching. Bye.