Monday, January 30, 2017

896 US Intel Vets say Hillary emails Leaked, not Hacked. If hacking were involved, NSA would have records of it

US Intel Vets say Hillary emails Leaked, not Hacked. If hacking were
involved, NSA would have records of it

Newsletter published on 16 December 2016

(1) US Intel Vets say Hillary emails Leaked, not Hacked. If hacking were
involved, NSA would have records of it
(2) After election debacle, Democrats debate identity politics
(3) Fake News on Gay Science?
(4) The Trump Cabinet gets rid of the Nanny State
(5) Standing up to the new school of anti-Semitism - Frank Furedi in Spiked

(1) US Intel Vets say Hillary emails Leaked, not Hacked. If hacking were
involved, NSA would have records of it


From: chris lancenet <chrislancenet@gmail.com> Subject: US Intel Vets
Dispute Russia Hacking Claims – Consortiumnews Date: Fri, 16 Dec 2016
15:47:19 +0900

https://consortiumnews.com/2016/12/12/us-intel-vets-dispute-russia-hacking-claims/

US Intel Vets Dispute Russia Hacking Claims

December 12, 2016

As the hysteria about Russia’s alleged interference in the U.S. election
grows, a key mystery is why U.S. intelligence would rely on
"circumstantial evidence" when it has the capability for hard evidence,
say U.S. intelligence veterans.

Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity

MEMORANDUM

Allegations of Hacking Election Are Baseless

A New York Times report on Monday alluding to "overwhelming
circumstantial evidence" leading the CIA to believe that Russian
President Vladimir Putin "deployed computer hackers with the goal of
tipping the election to Donald J. Trump" is, sadly, evidence-free. This
is no surprise, because harder evidence of a technical nature points to
an inside leak, not hacking – by Russians or anyone else.

Monday’s Washington Post reports that Sen. James Lankford, R-Oklahoma, a
member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, has joined other senators
in calling for a bipartisan investigation of suspected cyber-intrusion
by Russia. Reading our short memo could save the Senate from endemic
partisanship, expense and unnecessary delay.

In what follows, we draw on decades of senior-level experience – with
emphasis on cyber-intelligence and security – to cut through uninformed,
largely partisan fog. Far from hiding behind anonymity, we are proud to
speak out with the hope of gaining an audience appropriate to what we
merit – given our long labors in government and other areas of
technology. And corny though it may sound these days, our ethos as
intelligence professionals remains, simply, to tell it like it is –
without fear or favor.

We have gone through the various claims about hacking. For us, it is
child’s play to dismiss them. The email disclosures in question are the
result of a leak, not a hack. Here’s the difference between leaking and
hacking:

Leak: When someone physically takes data out of an organization and
gives it to some other person or organization, as Edward Snowden and
Chelsea Manning did.

Hack: When someone in a remote location electronically penetrates
operating systems, firewalls or any other cyber-protection system and
then extracts data.

All signs point to leaking, not hacking. If hacking were involved, the
National Security Agency would know it – and know both sender and recipient.

In short, since leaking requires physically removing data – on a thumb
drive, for example – the only way such data can be copied and removed,
with no electronic trace of what has left the server, is via a physical
storage device.

Awesome Technical Capabilities

Again, NSA is able to identify both the sender and recipient when
hacking is involved. Thanks largely to the material released by Edward
Snowden, we can provide a full picture of NSA’s extensive domestic
data-collection network including Upstream programs like Fairview,
Stormbrew and Blarney. These include at least 30 companies in the U.S.
operating the fiber networks that carry the Public Switched Telephone
Network as well as the World Wide Web. This gives NSA unparalleled
access to data flowing within the U.S. and data going out to the rest of
the world, as well as data transiting the U.S.

In other words, any data that is passed from the servers of the
Democratic National Committee (DNC) or of Hillary Rodham Clinton (HRC) –
or any other server in the U.S. – is collected by the NSA.  These data
transfers carry destination addresses in what are called packets, which
enable the transfer to be traced and followed through the network.

Packets: Emails being passed across the World Wide Web are broken down
into smaller segments called packets. These packets are passed into the
network to be delivered to a recipient. This means the packets need to
be reassembled at the receiving end.

To accomplish this, all the packets that form a message are assigned an
identifying number that enables the receiving end to collect them for
reassembly. Moreover, each packet carries the originator and ultimate
receiver Internet protocol number (either IPV4 or IPV6) that enables the
network to route data.

When email packets leave the U.S., the other "Five Eyes" countries (the
U.K., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand) and the seven or eight
additional countries participating with the U.S. in bulk-collection of
everything on the planet would also have a record of where those email
packets went after leaving the U.S.

These collection resources are extensive; they include hundreds of trace
route programs that trace the path of packets going across the network
and tens of thousands of hardware and software implants in switches and
servers that manage the network. Any emails being extracted from one
server going to another would be, at least in part, recognizable and
traceable by all these resources.

The bottom line is that the NSA would know where and how any "hacked"
emails from the DNC, HRC or any other servers were routed through the
network. This process can sometimes require a closer look into the
routing to sort out intermediate clients, but in the end sender and
recipient can be traced across the network.

The various ways in which usually anonymous spokespeople for U.S.
intelligence agencies are equivocating – saying things like "our best
guess" or "our opinion" or "our estimate" etc. – shows that the emails
alleged to have been "hacked" cannot be traced across the network. Given
NSA’s extensive trace capability, we conclude that DNC and HRC servers
alleged to have been hacked were, in fact, not hacked.

The evidence that should be there is absent; otherwise, it would surely
be brought forward, since this could be done without any danger to
sources and methods. Thus, we conclude that the emails were leaked by an
insider – as was the case with Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning. Such
an insider could be anyone in a government department or agency with
access to NSA databases, or perhaps someone within the DNC.

As for the comments to the media as to what the CIA believes, the
reality is that CIA is almost totally dependent on NSA for ground truth
in the communications arena. Thus, it remains something of a mystery why
the media is being fed strange stories about hacking that have no basis
in fact. In sum, given what we know of NSA’s existing capabilities, it
beggars belief that NSA would be unable to identify anyone – Russian or
not – attempting to interfere in a U.S. election by hacking.

For the Steering Group, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)

William Binney, former Technical Director, World Geopolitical & Military
Analysis, NSA; co-founder, SIGINT Automation Research Center (ret.)

Mike Gravel, former Adjutant, top secret control officer, Communications
Intelligence Service; special agent of the Counter Intelligence Corps
and former United States Senator

Larry Johnson, former CIA Intelligence Officer & former State Department
Counter-Terrorism Official

Ray McGovern, former US Army infantry/intelligence officer & CIA analyst
(ret.)

Elizabeth Murray, Deputy National Intelligence Officer for Middle East,
CIA (ret.)

Kirk Wiebe, former Senior Analyst, SIGINT Automation Research Center,
NSA (ret.)

(2) After election debacle, Democrats debate identity politics
http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2016/12/15/iden-d15.html

By Niles Niemuth

15 December 2016

In the aftermath of the victory of Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton, a
heated debate has been raging in Democratic Party circles over the
efficacy of identity politics and its role in the party’s electoral debacle.

Some figures within the party and its periphery have raised concerns
that the overriding focus on racial and gender politics has prevented
the Democrats from making an effective appeal to broader segments of
society beyond those in better-off and more privileged layers of the
middle class.

In a November 18 New York Times op-ed column titled "The End of Identity
Liberalism," Columbia University humanities professor Mark Lilla,
seeking to draw the lessons of Clinton’s loss to Trump, writes: "In
recent years American liberalism has slipped into a kind of moral panic
about racial, gender and sexual identity that has distorted liberalism’s
message and prevented it from becoming a unifying force capable of
governing."

While Clinton was "at her best and most uplifting when she spoke about
American interests in world affairs and how they related to our
understanding of democracy," he asserts, "when it came to life at home,
she tended on the campaign trail to lose that large vision and slip into
the rhetoric of diversity, calling out explicitly to African-American,
Latino, LGBT and women voters at every stop."

This focus on identity was a "strategic mistake," Lilla writes. He calls
instead for a "post-identity" liberalism that places a greater emphasis
on civic duty and a new nationalism, drawing inspiration, in part, from
Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal.

Lilla’s column corresponds to remarks made by Vermont Senator Bernie
Sanders following the election. Sanders campaigned for Clinton after
failing in his bid to win the Democratic nomination, but now he is
implicitly criticizing her focus on racial and gender politics. "It is
not good enough for somebody to say, ‘I’m a woman, vote for me!’" he
said in a recent speech. "What we need is a woman who has the guts to
stand up to Wall Street, to the insurance companies, to the drug
companies, to the fossil fuel industry."

The actual content of Sanders’ proposals is reactionary. In the name of
"taking on the corporations" he advocates an aggressive economic
nationalism that echoes the "America-first" trade war program of Trump.
Nor does Lilla propose any serious program to challenge the interests of
the corporate elite. In his commentary he makes a vague reference to the
Democrats’ long-abandoned policies of social reform, but he does so to
advocate not a struggle against the corporate elite, but rather a new,
"left" form of American nationalism. His "post-identity liberalism"
would "speak to the nation as a nation of citizens who are in this
together and must help one another."

What is most striking, however, is the hysterical response such muted
criticisms have evoked. The most vociferous attack on Lilla’s article
has come from Columbia University law professor Katherine M. Franke, who
equates Lilla with the former head of the Ku Klux Klan, David Duke, in a
blog post published by the Los Angeles Review of Books on November 21.

"In the new political climate we now inhabit, Duke and Lilla were
contributing to the same ideological project, the former cloaked in a
KKK hood, the latter in an academic gown," Franke writes. "Both men are
underwriting the whitening of American nationalism, and the re-centering
of white lives as lives that matter most in the US. Duke is happy to own
the white supremacy of his statements, while Lilla’s op-ed does the more
nefarious background work of making white supremacy respectable. Again."

For Franke, any move away from a politics based on racial and gender
identity is equivalent to the promotion of racism and misogyny. "Let me
be blunt: this kind of liberalism is a liberalism of white supremacy,"
she declares. "It is a liberalism that regards the efforts of people of
color and women to call out forms of power that sustain white supremacy
and patriarchy as a distraction. It is a liberalism that figures the
lives and interests of white men as the neutral, unmarked terrain around
which a politics of ‘common interest’ can and should be built."

These remarks are echoed by Guardian columnist Hadley Freeman, who
denounces criticism of identity politics as the "primal scream of the
straight white male." She argues that those who want to "emphasise what
we have in common instead of focusing on the differences" have a
"delightfully kumbaya view of the world."

Journalist Tasneem Raja, in a commentary published on National Public
Radio’s Code Switch blog, which is dedicated to racial and identity
politics, rejects Lilla’s criticisms as support for white supremacy. She
accuses Lilla of being "keen on pulling the plug on conversations about
multiculturalism and diversity" and thereby unconsciously playing "right
into the hands of the newly emboldened neo-Nazis who helped put Trump in
office…"

The unhinged response to Lilla’s column reflects entrenched social
interests. Franke speaks on behalf of a layer of American academics for
whom the politics of identity is a central mechanism for accessing
positions of affluence and privilege.

Identity politics has become an entrenched industry. Many of its
professional proponents have high-paying academic positions in black and
gender studies. Such institutions are funded to the tune of billions of
dollars and politically tied to the Democratic Party and corporate America.

According to her university biography, Franke’s research is focused on
feminist, queer and critical race theory. She is the director of
Columbia University’s Center for Gender and Sexuality Law, a member of
the Executive Committee for the Institute for Research on Women, Gender
and Sexuality, and a member of the Steering Committee for the Center for
the Study of Social Difference.

The relationship of the Democratic Party--and bourgeois politics as a
whole--to identity politics is not accidental or secondary. The fixation
on the politics of race and gender is inextricably bound up with the
protracted shift of the Democratic Party to the right, in line with the
drive by the ruling class to claw back all of the gains that workers won
through bitter struggle, particularly in the 1930s and the decades
following the Second World War.

For the past half century, as it abandoned any commitment to social
reform, the Democratic Party adopted identity politics and programs such
as Affirmative Action as its modus operandi, building up around it a
privileged layer of the upper-middle class on this basis. This period
has at the same time seen a historic growth in social inequality,
including, and especially, within minority groups and among women.

Between 2005 and 2013, black households earning more than $75,000 were
the fastest growing income group in the country, while the top one
percent possessed more than 200 percent the wealth of the average black
family. Despite the enrichment of this small but substantial and
influential layer, the vast majority of African Americans remain deeply
impoverished. Half of black households, nearly 7 million people, have
little to no household worth.

At the same time, large parts of the country populated by supposedly
privileged white workers, particularly in the so called Rust Belt states
where Trump defeated Clinton, have been devastated economically by
deindustrialization.

Identity politics found its consummate expression in the Clinton
campaign, which was based on an alliance of Wall Street, the
military-intelligence apparatus and the right-wing purveyors of racial
and gender politics.

The proponents of identity politics such as Franke are opposed to
economic and social equality. They regard any orientation to working
people on a class basis as a threat to their own racial- or gender-based
privileges. They are deeply hostile to the working class—black and
Latino as well as white.

The anger that these forces direct toward Lilla will be turned with even
greater intensity against a politically independent movement of the
working class.

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/442691/social-science-gay-study-doesnt-add

(3) Fake News on Gay Science?

by MAGGIE GALLAGHER December 2, 2016 1:58 PM

A widely reported study on longevity of homosexuals appears to have been
faked.

When social justice displaces truth as the core value of academics, bad
things happen to science.

Professor Jonathan Haidt of NYU has taken the lead in pointing out that
freedom of thought, freedom of speech, and viewpoint diversity are
particularly necessary if universities are going to fulfill their
once-core mission of serving the cause of truth. He founded
Heterodoxacademy.org to help organize resistance from within the world
of scholars.

One thing that happens when social justice displaces truth in the
internal scientific community is that less than ordinary care is taken
with scientific results that are pleasing to social-justice warriors.

We saw that in 2015, when a major study published in Science, which
purported to show that personal canvassing by LGBT people had an
amazingly large effect on people’s opinions, was revealed to have been
entirely faked, and in ways that one lone grad student, David Broockman,
found easy to debunk. (The "scholar" had even created easily checked
fake grants from real foundations, thanking them publicly for grants
they had never made.)

"In fact, throughout the entire process, until the very last moment when
multiple ‘smoking guns’ finally appeared, Broockman was consistently
told by friends and advisers to keep quiet about his concerns lest he
earn a reputation as a troublemaker," New York magazine reported.

Now Social Science & Medicine has demonstrated its own scientific
integrity by publishing what amounts to a repudiation of another widely
reported LGBT study, by Mark Hatzenbuehler, which concluded that
"minority stress" was knocking an amazing twelve years off the lives of
gay people. The roughly half of American people who don’t believe in gay
marriage were killing gay people, the press more or less concluded. "Can
Prejudice Kill You? Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual Life Expectancy Drops 12
Years in Anti-Gay Communities," blared Medical Daily. The press was only
echoing the study’s authors: "The results of this study suggest a
broadening of the consequences of prejudice to include premature death,"
Hatzenbuehler said in the press release announcing the study’s publication.

But in mid November, Social Science & Medicine published an attempt to
replicate the authors’ data, which not only failed to replicate the
results but could find no legitimate way of interpreting the data that
would explain how the authors reached their conclusion:

Efforts to replicate Hatzenbuehler et al.’s (2014) key finding on
structural stigma’s notable influence on the premature mortality of
sexual minorities, including a more refined imputation strategy than
described in the original study, failed. No data imputation approach
yielded parameters that supported the original study’s conclusions.
Alternative hypotheses, which originally motivated the present study,
revealed little new information.

In conclusion, the authors note that "ten different approaches to
multiple imputation of missing data yielded none in which the effect of
structural stigma on the mortality of sexual minorities was
statistically significant."

To heighten the drama, the author of this new study is none other than
University of Texas sociologist Mark Regnerus, who was subjected to
public abuse for daring to publish, in a peer-reviewed journal, the
results of a groundbreaking study suggesting that children raised by gay
people fare about as well as children in other, alternative family forms
but not as well as children in intact married biological families.

(Regnerus was unable to compare children raised from birth by gay
couples in an intact relationship because he could find only two
examples of such children in his data set, a finding he freely
acknowledged in his own published study.)

In the weeks since the publication of Regnerus’s study attempting to
replicate his work, Hatzenbuehler has yet to respond.

(4) The Trump Cabinet gets rid of the Nanny State

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/443101/donald-trump-cabinet-challenging-bureaucracy

The Trump Cabinet: Bonfire of the Agencies

Trump’s nominees challenge the out-of-control administrative state.

by CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER December 15, 2016 8:00 PM

Democrats spent the first two decades of the post–Cold War era rather
relaxed about Russian provocations and revanchism. President Obama
famously mocked Mitt Romney in 2012 for suggesting that Russia was our
principal geopolitical adversary. Yet today the Dems are in high dudgeon
over the closeness of the secretary-of-state nominee, Rex Tillerson, to
Vladimir Putin.

Hypocrisy aside, it is true that, as head of ExxonMobil, Tillerson made
major deals with Russia, received Russia’s Order of Friendship, and
opposed U.S. sanctions. That’s troubling but not necessarily
disqualifying. At the time, after all, Tillerson was acting as an agent
of ExxonMobil, whose interest it is to extract oil and make money.

These interests do not necessarily overlap with those of the United
States. The relevant question is whether and how Tillerson distinguishes
between the two and whether as agent of the United States he would adopt
a tougher Russia policy than he did as agent of ExxonMobil.

We don’t know. We shall soon find out. That’s what confirmation hearings
are for.

The Left has been in equally high dudgeon that other Cabinet picks
appear not to share the mission of the agencies they have been nominated
to head. The horror! As if these agency missions were somehow divinely
ordained. Why, they aren’t even constitutionally ordained. The
Department of Education, for example, was created by President Carter in
1979 as a payoff to the teachers’ unions for their political support.

Now, teachers are wonderful. But teachers’ unions are there to protect
benefits and privileges, not necessarily to improve schooling. Which is
why they zealously defend tenure, protect their public-school monopoly,
and reflexively oppose school choice.

Conservatives have the odd view that the purpose of schooling — and
therefore of the Department of Education — is to provide students with
the best possible education. Hence Trump’s nominee, Betsy DeVos, is a
longtime and passionate proponent of school choice, under whom the
department will no longer be an arm of the teachers’unions.

She is also less likely to allow the department’s Office for Civil
Rights to continue appropriating to itself the role of arbiter of social
justice, micromanaging everything from campus sexual mores to the proper
bathroom assignment for transgender students. If the mission of this
department has been to dictate policy best left to the states and
localities, it’s about time the mission was changed.

The most incendiary nomination by far, however, is that of Scott Pruitt
to head the Environmental Protection Agency. As attorney general of
Oklahoma, he has joined or led a series of lawsuits to curtail EPA
power. And has been upheld more than once by the courts.

Pruitt’s nomination is a direct attack on the insidious growth of the
administrative state.

Pruitt has been deemed unfit to serve because he fails liberalism’s
modern-day religious test: belief in anthropogenic climate change. They
would love to turn his confirmation hearing into a Scopes monkey trial.
Republicans should decline the invitation. It doesn’t matter whether the
man believes the moon is made of green cheese. The challenges to EPA
actions are based not on meteorology or theology, but on the
Constitution. The issue is that the EPA has egregiously exceeded its
authority and acted as a rogue agency unilaterally creating rules
unmoored from legislation.

Pruitt’s is the most important nomination because it is a direct attack
on the insidious growth of the administrative state. We have reached the
point where EPA bureaucrats interpret the Waters of the United States
rule — meant to protect American waterways — to mean that when a hard
rain leaves behind a pond on your property, the feds may take over and
tell you what you can and cannot do with it. (The final rule excluded
puddles — magnanimity from the Leviathan.)

On a larger scale, President Obama’s Clean Power Plan essentially
federalizes power generation and regulation, not coincidentally killing
coal along the way. This is the administration’s end run around
Congress’s rejection of Obama’s proposed 2009–10 cap-and-trade
legislation. And that was a Democratic Congress, mind you.

(5) Standing up to the new school of anti-Semitism - Frank Furedi in Spiked

http://www.spiked-online.com/newsite/article/standing-up-to-the-new-school-of-anti-semitism/19101

Standing up to the new school of anti-Semitism

Hatred for Jews is now expressed in underhand ways.

Frank Furedi

13 December 2016

The British government’s announcement that it has agreed to adopt an
international definition of anti-Semitism looks like another pointless
exercise in ‘sending out a message’. Borrowed from the International
Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, the definition says anti-Semitism is ‘a
certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred towards
Jews’. If you’re still confused as to what anti-Semitism is, the
definition helpfully explains that ‘rhetorical and physical
manifestations of anti-Semitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish
individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions
and religious facilities’.

The stated aim of adopting this definition is to help tackle hatred
towards Jewish people. But it’s far from evident how a mere definition
could be used to curb hatred of any sort. Worse, this definition of
anti-Semitism bears little relation to the context and situations in
which such prejudice is expressed today, and to how anti-Semitism has
changed.

The newly adopted definition fails to engage with the fact that, in
2016, anti-Jewish sentiment is rarely expressed explicitly. Consider
this example. Recently, following one of my public lectures, a member of
the audience came up to me to rail against ‘the Goldman Sachs of this
world and the people who control all the banks’. In the old days,
someone like this would probably have expressed his prejudices about
Jewish world domination in unambiguously anti-Semitic language. Today,
however, a wink and a nod and a reference to Goldman Sachs come to serve
the same purpose. How can a new definition of anti-Semitism deal with
the new culture of wink-and-nod prejudice?

The current culture of anti-Semitism bears only a passing resemblance to
its old-school predecessor. Yes, this new-school anti-Semitism that has
emerged in recent decades draws upon the conspiratorial imagination of
old-school anti-Semitism, but otherwise it expresses itself in a very
different way. In Western Europe, people, especially those on the left,
who have a problem with Jews rarely use the vocabulary of anti-Semitism.
Instead they use the language of bad faith. People express bad faith
when they feel under pressure to adopt values that go against their own
inclinations. So when people say something like ‘I don’t hate the Jews,
but these cliquey people are far too powerful’, they are opting to
self-censor, to express their prejudices in a somewhat disguised,
guarded way.

New-school anti-Semitism often expresses its distrust of ‘those people’
through the language of anti-Zionism. Anti-Zionism is not anti-Semitism;
it is perfectly legitimate to criticise Israel and to call into question
every aspect of its history and its current political and military
approaches. The problem is not attitudes to Zionism as such, but the way
that some express their hostility to Jews through a hostility to
Zionism. In recent years, hatred of Israel has come, among certain
groups, to embody a venom towards Jews. So when British Labour Party
councillors post images on Facebook calling on Israelis, or even Jews,
to ‘stop drinking Gaza blood’, it is pretty clear that their target is
not really Zionism. No, through resurrecting the infamous blood libel of
the medieval anti-Semites, they have adopted the old outlook of the
pogrom in what appears to be a new, politicised way.

The former Labour mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, shows us how
anti-Zionist rhetoric can casually mutate into hatred towards a group of
people. He tried to explain the difference between a ‘real anti-Semite’
and a mere critic of Israel in the following way: ‘A real anti-Semite
doesn’t just hate the Jews of Israel; they hate their Jewish neighbour
in Golders Green or in Stoke Newington.’ This attempt to explain what
kind of Jews it is okay to hate, and which ones we might spare from our
hostility, actually demonstrated how easily discussions of Israel can
tip over into animosity towards Jews.

It is likely that Livingstone and his allies on the British Labour left
do not perceive of themselves as anti-Semitic. However, they must be
aware of the growing tendency for anti-Israeli views to serve as a
vehicle for anti-Jewish views. A few years ago, one of my friends, who
is from a Labour family, told me to ‘look out for the word "they"’. She
had been caught off-guard when, during a family row about Palestine, her
father kept repeating the word ‘they’. She was shocked and surprised.
‘In the recent past, it would have been unthinkable for him to describe
Jews as "they"’, she said. How can a government definition of
anti-Semitism deal with the word ‘they’?

The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) tries to deal
with the problem of Israel being used as a proxy for Jews by providing
guidelines on what constitutes legitimate, as opposed to anti-Semitic,
criticism of this nation. Its guidelines say that ‘criticism of Israel
similar to that levelled against any other country cannot be regarded as
anti-Semitic’. Its examples of anti-Semitic attacks on Israel include
the now often stated accusation that Jews around the world are more
loyal to Israel than they are to their own nations, or that the
existence of Israel is intrinsically racist.

Fortunately, the UK government has not yet adopted the IHRA’s views on
what should and should not be said about Israel. It is not the business
of government to determine what is a legitimate way to criticise Israel.
Not every radical criticism of Israel is inherently anti-Semitic. There
is no reason why someone who accuses the state of Israel of being
inherently racist is necessarily an anti-Semite. It all depends on the
context in which such statements are made. And in an open society,
critics of Israel ought to have the right to decide for themselves what
points they want to make.

Unfortunately, the official codification of anti-Semitism distracts us
from actively engaging with this evil. This definition will not defend
Jewish people from hatred and prejudice. Doing that requires an active
commitment to challenging the climate in which references to ‘those
people’ have become tragically commonplace.


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