Campaign Against Antisemitism’s analysis is that Mr Scheimann’s actions and statements amount to breaches of the International Definition of Antisemitism and qualify as antisemitic discourse according to our methodology.
By sharing an image on his Facebook page comparing Israel to Nazi Germany ; and by sharing a post in which the actions of the Nazis are compared to those of “Zionists” [7a], Mr Scheimann was “drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.”
The allegation of drinking or using the blood of non-Jews (especially that of children) has been part of antisemitic discourse since medieval times, including imagery of Jews as vampires, but was also absorbed into Nazi-era propaganda. By sharing an image in which Israeli Prime Minister is shown as a vampire dousing himself in blood, and by commenting that “Water is better than blood, it’s time they learnt that”, in which “they” can easily be interpreted as referring to Israeli Jews , Mr Scheimann was “using the symbols and images associated with classic antisemitism (e.g. claims of Jews killing Jesus or blood libel) to characterise Israel or Israelis.”
The coffee chain Starbucks has been the subject of various long-running antisemitic conspiracy theories, falsely alleging, inter alia, that the company secretly diverts profits to the Israeli military, and that the woman on Starbucks’ logo is Esther, a biblical Jewish prophet. Likewise, the retailer Marks and Spencer has been subject to a conspiracy theory that it is a ‘Jewish’ or ‘Zionist’ company acting in the interests of the Israeli government, as exemplified by statements made by Libyan government officials in 2010. Thus, by sharing a post claiming that Marks and Spencer and Starbucks are part of the “Zionist Lobby” (itself a trope regarding the hidden power of diaspora Jews or Israel which originated in the antisemitic propaganda of 1970s Soviet Russia) ; by sharing a statement in which Israeli (Jews) are described as “[killers]” who have abused and “bastardized” their religion as an excuse for colonisation [4b]; by approving the belief in antisemitic conspiracy theories relating to Israel and further asserting that such tropes are not antisemitic ; and by sharing an image which alleged Israeli involvement in a so-called “false-flag” operation , he was “making mendacious, dehumanising, demonising, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective — such as, especially but not exclusively, the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions.”
The assertion that Jews are ‘white’ or ‘European’ is an inaccurate narrative designed to cast them as alien ‘colonialists’ in Israel without a true connection to the land, and the Israel-Palestine conflict as based on racial oppression, whereas the majority of Jews in Israel are actually of Middle Eastern or North African descent and Jews of every racial group, including sub-Saharan Africans, are numbered among its citizens. By sharing a post in which Israeli (Jews) are described as “foreigners gathering in a land that does not belong to them because they believe that their ‘god’ told them to do so” [4a], Mr Scheimann was “denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination.”
By sharing and defending an image in which “Zionist” was being deployed in relation to an individual Jew in a context unrelated to Zionism as an expression of national self-determination for Jews ; by ‘liking’ an obscene post which abused Zionists as “scum” ; by sharing a post in which Zionists were characterised as “thieving genocidal skanks” [7b]; and by endorsing a comment in which a Jewish MP was disparagingly described as a “Zionist” who should be thrown out of the Labour Party for being such , Mr Scheimann was both using the term pejoratively and endorsing such use. The demonisation of Zionism started on the far-right in the early 20th Century: in Mein Kampf, Hitler reviled Zionists and the notion of Jewish self-determination, with the British far-right equally viewing Zionism as an aspect of their imagined Jewish goal of world domination, and that demonisation enduring, for example, with British far-right groups calling for “Zionists” to be subject to the death penalty in 1947. On the left, the allegation that Zionism is an inherently racist ideology was first promulgated by the Soviet Union as part of a deliberate and explicitly antisemitic campaign to persecute Jewish citizens who wished to practise their religion and/or leave the Soviet Union — especially to emigrate to Israel — as well as to demonise and undermine Israel on the foreign stage. A singular purpose of this propaganda was to drive a false distinction between “Jews” and “Zionists”, in which the latter is the enemy of the former. By making such accusations, therefore, Mr Scheimann was both using the term and endorsing its use to demonise specific Jewish individuals, Zionist Jews generally and Jewish self-determination. As such, he was further “denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination.”
By signing a statement which accused Campaign Against Antisemitism of being a “politically motivated external campaign” enacting an “anti-Palestinian agenda” by “systematically [making] accusations of antisemitism against pro-Palestine activists” , he was deploying the so-called ‘Livingstone Formulation’, by accusing Jews who cite evidence of antisemitism of lying, conspiring or having deceitful motives in doing so, when there is clear evidence that there have been breaches of the International Definition of Antisemitism. This further constitutes “making mendacious, dehumanising, demonising, or stereotypical allegations about Jews…”