Monday, 4 March 2013

David Meyer, an Israel-bashing rabbi testified in Congress on European anti-Semitism

Times of Israel: "Twelve experts of varying religions and homelands urged the US Congress to speak out against hate speech and anti-Semitism throughout the world, notably Europe. The human rights subcommittee of the US House Foreign Affairs Committee held a two-hour hearing on Wednesday in which experts testified that anti-Semitism is resurgent, particularly in Europe."

It is indeed odd that David Meyer, a French rabbi who lives in Belgium and who is a relentless and harsh critic of Israel who advocates a bi-national State was invited as an "expert" on anti-Semitism to the United States Congress.  Rabbi Meyer is more known for his criticism of Israel on the European media than for his fight against anti-Semitism.  Pity that in his exposé before the Committee he didn't elaborate on his unbelievable views on Israel.

In 2010, he gave an interview titled "It is more than time for Israel to wake up" to the French communist paper L'Humanité. This is how he was introduced: "Rabbi David Meyer holds dual French and Israeli citizenship. He is the author of several books and now lives in Belgium. He has been a committed militant for years and has unrelentlessly denounced the colonization [settlements] which he considers a fault on the part of the Israeli leadership. He has also been a critic of the blockade imposed by Tel Aviv [the capital of Israel!] on the Gaza Strip. He strongly condemns the attack against the peace flotilla off the strip of Palestinian land and calls on the Israeli leadership to "open their eyes" and to come out of their "messianic bubble".

"What is your reaction to last week's tragic events [Turkish flotilla]?
David Meyer: "I find them appalling. And I think that in such circumstances the role of religion is to show to those in one's own camp [the Jews] that they are no longer able to see [i.e. that they are blind]. There in the Jewish world and in Israel an inability to see what it means to put hundreds of thousands of people in prison for years just because they voted for Hamas. This is what Israel is doing in the Gaza strip. It is a sign of absolute failure of Israel vis-à-vis the Palestinian issue. This is very serious. Israeli leaders have no excuses, no mitigating circumstances. You do not kill civilians, especially when you are responsible for the situation created by the blockade. If the Jewish world does not wake up, nothing Jewish will be left in the State of Israel and it will of no interest. Jewish tradition teaches us that man must be able to surpass himself and see the human side even in his enemy and in the friend of his enemy. If the Jews of Israel are no longer capable of this, Israel will not survive. This is my fight and I am determined to continue."

When asked about a European movement JCALL inspired by J Street, Meyer boasts that over the previous decade he has gone much further and said things much harsher about Israel than those contained in the "call" and that he "even said before the last election that one has to become a dissendent on the face of what the State of Israel is becoming. We must call a spade a spade and say that there are moral faults when creating an injustice that is not necessary for one's survival. The colonization [settlements] is not necessary. I signed the petition to express that while showing my commitment to Israel". He complains that religion in Israel has "infected the secular world". And how will the future of Israel unfold? " I have always thought that long-term solution will be a federal and bi-national State, but it should go through a temporary phase of two States, Israel and Palestine. My model is Belgium, where we live together even if we do not like one other. Obviously, what is happening in Belgium is worrying, because if the federal model no longer works here, there is little change it will succeed there." He praises Jimmy Carter and criticises Barack Obama: "An outside power - the United States have the capacity - must force Israel out of its isolation and say, as Carter did in his time: "Enough is enough". I was hoping that Obama would do it, and I do not understand his procrastination."

In 2012 he wrote in a Belgian newspaper, La Libre Belgique that a bi-national State, would be, by its very nature, a major opportunity for Judaim in the future, that such a State would in no way diminish the attachment of the Jewish people to their historic land and would have the advantage of rendering difficult [not impossible] the slide into "the catastrophic idolatries and fanatical excesses of today".  He added that the confrontation of the Jewish people with the reality of the other [the Palestians] in  "a bi-national state of Israel would preserve the ethics of a true relationship towards the land in line with biblical wisdom" and "Maintaining a Jewish majority will become incompatible with the traditional spirit of Judaism."

In 2006, Béatrice Spranghers, a French protestant theologian, criticised David Meyer's far-fetched positions. Here.

In 2002, Meyer, who was at the time a rabbi at the Brighton and Hove New Synagogue, compared, "audaciously" as he put it, Ariel Sharon to Samson and Yassir Arafat to King David.

He also condemned Israel military operation on the Mavi Marmara on radio Al Manar (Brussels, 6 June 2010). He was interviewed by Farid El Asri - Title: Condemnation and ethical commitment: "The use of force has to be condemned in circumstances where you have an army confronting people who are unarmed, even if it has been said that they had sticks and little things like that. The use of force is obviously problematic".

In yet another interview he said: "I believe that the Church should play a fundamental role in the Jewish-Muslim dialogue because it has shown to have a capacity for self-criticism that neither Judaism nor Islam are capable of having today."

Menahem Macina has also commented on David Meyer's controversial, and for most people unacceptable, view.  HERE.

List of speakers: Zudhi Jasser, president of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, Elisa Massimino of Human Rights First; Katrina Lantos Swett of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom; Rabbi Andrew Baker of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe; Andrew Srulevitch of the Anti-Defamation League; Rabbi Yaakov Bleich, chief rabbi of Kiev and Ukraine; John Garvey, president of Catholic University in Washington; author Eric Metaxas; Tasas Fellegi, a former minister in the Hungarian government; Rabbi David Meyer, a professor [lecturer] at Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome; and Willy Silberstein, chair of the Swedish Committee Against Anti-Semitism.


Justquoting said...

Based on this article in Haaretz about Mayer's testimony, it doesn't seem like he has the ideology of the Rabbi David Mayer you wrote about.

Is there a reason for the discrepancy?

Philosemite said...


Just check out what he has been saying in French.

At Congress he didn't elaborate on his more 'controversial' views.

Journalists can be trusted for not asking certain questions.