Friday, January 23, 2015

Keynote Address at UN Conference on Antisemitism

The French philosopher Bernard Henry-Levy gives the keynote speech at the UN Conference on Antisemitism. It is important to note that Henry-Levy's family fled Algeria at the outset of that country's civil war due to the egregious outbreak of virulent anti-semitism.





Transcript of Henry-Levy's statement:

Against the New Anti-Semitism: Remembering the Holocaust Protects Us All
      Even if the Palestinians were granted a state, antisemitism would not dissipate one iota.

In Europe and elsewhere, faulting the Jews is once again becoming the rallying cry of a new order of assassins. The United Nations was founded to fight this plague. This assembly was given the sacred task of preventing those terrible spirits from reawakening. But they have returned - and that is why we are here.
 

It is not accurate to say that the policy of a particular state - I am referring, obviously, to the State of Israel - generates anti-Semitism. I have seen European capitals in which the destruction of the Jews was nearly total, yet where anti-Semitism still thrives. I have seen others, farther away, where no Jews have ever lived - yet where the word "Jew" is a synonym for the devil.
 

Even if Israel's conduct were exemplary, even if Israel were a nation of angels, even if the Palestinians were granted the state that is their right, even then, alas, this old, enigmatic hatred would not dissipate one iota.

Today's anti-Semitism offers three shameful new propositions:
1) The Jews are detestable because they are assumed to support an evil, illegitimate, murderous state. This is the anti-Zionist delirium of the merciless adversaries of the re-establishment of the Jews in their historical homeland.
2) The Jews are all the more detestable because they are believed to base their beloved Israel on imaginary suffering, or suffering that at the very least has been outrageously exaggerated. This is the shabby and infamous denial of the Holocaust.
3) In so doing, the Jews impose on us the memory of their dead, to completely stifle other peoples' memories, and to overshadow other martyrs whose deaths have plunged parts of today's world, most emblematically that of the Palestinians, into mourning. And here we come face to face with the modern-day scourge, the stupidity, that is competitive victimhood.
 

Let us imagine a UN General Assembly in which Israel would have its place, its full place, one country among others, no more and no less flawed than others, bound by the same responsibilities but enjoying the same rights - and let us imagine, while we are at it, that you unanimously acknowledge it to be what it truly is: an authentic, solid, and rare democracy.
 

A world in which the Jews once again became the scapegoats for all people's fears and frustrations would be a world in which free people could not breathe easy and the enslaved would be even more enslaved.


A world without Jews indeed would not be a world. A world in which the Jews once again would become scapegoats for all people's fears and frustrations would be a world in which free people could not breathe easy, and where the enslaved would be even more enslaved.

*****


U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power:

"Rising anti-Semitism is rarely the lone or the last manifestation of intolerance. When the human rights of Jews are repressed, the rights of other religious and ethnic groups are often not far behind."

Her entire speech to the UN Conference HERE.

France's Secretary of State for European Affairs Harlem Desir:

"It is our responsibility, in the face of this resurgent evil, to denounce it, to call it clearly by its name, but most important, to act with the utmost firmness, wherever anti-Semitism rears its head in the world. ... Whenever someone attacks a Jew because of what he is, he is attacking all of us, the community of nations."


*****

So why is this speech on my autism blog? As I continually remind everyone, hatred of Jews is the canary in the coal mine of a society devoid of respect for those that are different, either in dress, speech, or ability. Whether it was the Nazis, who started their mass slaughter of the untermenschen by killing off the disabled, or in today's world where antisemitism abounds in societies that deny human dignity across the board, it is important to remember, as we saw so recently in Paris, that fascism, hatred and sheer evil, always starts with the Jews but it never ends with the Jews.

Social Justice, Humanity and Autism


UPDATE: I just found this article discussing the speech by the ambassador from Saudi Arabia. After Bernard Henry-Levy gave his impassioned address above, particularly how using Israeli issues with the Palestinians as an excuse for antisemitism is a vile assault on civil society, the Saudi Ambassador had the chutzpah to say that it is Israel's fault and its relationship with the Palestinians as to why antisemitism is growing worldwide. That a man who represents Saudi Arabia, a nation with one of the worst human rights records on the planet, should even be discussing how other nations should behave is quite the devaluation of common sense, but then again, at the UN, Saudi Arabia sits on the Human Rights Council, as well. So sadly in the end, even at the Conference on Antisemitism, there was unabashed antisemitism. You simply cannot make something that Orwellian up. HERE.

Moreover, apparently the Ambassador from Lebanon, reiterated the myth that Jews lived a free and happy life under Moslem rule, and that it was not until Zionism that things went bad between Moslems and Jews. Again raising one of the antisemitic canards that Henry-Levy had warned about.  I suppose someone should have handed the Lebanese ambassador MrGS' senior thesis on the history of Arab and Moslem antisemitism. The man obviously needs a good history lesson.