Bush`s New Anti-Semitism Law May Criminalize Thought


A tip of the hat to the Department
of State, which had the guts and good sense to express
its opposition (sort of) to congressional legislation
creating an office for monitoring "anti-Semitism."

The bill passed both houses of
Congress by voice vote and was signed into law by
President Bush last week.

It`s a very silly and dangerous
measure.

"We opposed creation of a
separate office for the purpose and opposed the
mandating of a separate annual report,"
a State
Department spokesman told the press. "We expressed
the view that separate reports on different religions or
ethnicities were not warranted, given that we already
prepare

human rights reports
and

religious freedom reports
on 190 countries."
[Anti-Semitism
office planned at State Department
,
By Nicholas
Kralev, Washington Times, October 14, 2004]

But the Department isn`t dumb.
Having seen how easily it passed, the spokesman
explained also why the

law
really wasn`t a problem after all:

"It´s
more of a bureaucratic nuisance than a real problem. We
are not going to fight a bill that has gained such
political momentum."

You bet your

pension
you`re not.

The bill did not, of course, pass
Congress because there was such a massive groundswell of
grassroots support for it. It passed because Jewish
organizations

demanded
it, and no sitting politician

wants to get
on the wrong side of these groups.

That`s why the bill passed the
Senate by agreement and the House by voice vote—there`s
no debate and no record of how anyone voted.

Pushed by the

Anti-Defamation League
of B`nai B`rith and most
other major Jewish organizations, the bill requires the
Department to record acts of physical violence against
Jews, their property, cemeteries and places of worship
abroad, and the response of local governments to them.

As the Department notes, it already
issues reports on "human rights" abuses, and
there`s no special reason why attacks on Jews should be
recorded separately.

Why not reports about attacks on
other groups—black
people
,

white people,


women
,

Christians
?

If the lobbies that represent such
categories can make enough noise for it, there would

be such reports.
The State Department could then
spend all its time recording what should be the concern
of local police departments.

The Department was right the first
time that the bill requires a duplication of what it
already does, but that`s not what`s really wrong with
the law.

What`s wrong with it is that it

opens one more door
to the criminalization of
thought and expression.

The bill requires only that acts of
physical violence against Jews be recorded, not
expressions of anti-Semitism, but you can bet the bill`s
promoters will soon be pushing to include what they
claim are "anti-Semitic" expressions to be
reported as well. As press reports noted, "among the
attacks that prompted passage of the bill"
was
"the recent

claim
by former Malaysian prime minister

Mahathir Mohamad
that Jews `rule the world by
proxy.`"

That`s the sort of stuff the State
Department will now have to record and report about?

Last year the British Parliament
debated a bill that would have allowed British citizens
to be extradited to European Union countries to stand
trial for expressing "xenophobia and racism" if
the expressions were broadcast into countries where they
are illegal, as in several European countries they are.
It didn`t pass, and the law just enacted doesn`t do
that, but all of it is part of the same pattern.

The pattern is the criminalization
of thought—for "xenophobia,"
"racism,"
"white
supremacy,
" "homophobia,"
"anti-Semitism,"
"patriarchalism,"
and any number of other isms, manias and phobias
unknown to any language a few years ago.

What really drives the crusade to
criminalize thought and expression is not any legitimate
revulsion against real violence (which is already
illegal) but the compulsion of powerful and
well-organized lobbies to muzzle criticism.


Neoconservatives
are already claiming that criticism
of them is really "anti-Semitism," which is what
they also said about the
recent FBI investigation
of the American Israel
Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) for espionage for
Israel, and what the

Anti-Defamation League
and

many other Jewish spokesmen
said about Mel Gibson`s
movie,

"The Passion of the Christ,"
and what the same
groups say about criticism of Israel or of U.S. policies
toward Israel.

It might be a lot simpler if the
State Department had to report on what isn`t
anti-Semitism.

The list would be a lot shorter.

What is worrisome about the new law
is not that the Department will have to duplicate what
it already does but that what is not anti-Semitism at
all, let alone violence, but merely criticism and
dissent will be demonized and curbed.

Maybe in some minds that was the
real purpose of the law all along. 

And maybe, before the congressmen
and senators all shouted their approval of the measure,
they should have talked and thought about it a little
more than they did.

COPYRIGHT

CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.

Sam Francis [email
him] is a nationally syndicated columnist. A selection
of his columns,

America Extinguished: Mass Immigration And The
Disintegration Of American Culture
, is now available
from

Americans For Immigration Control.

Click here
for Sam Francis` website. Click

here
to order his monograph
,
Ethnopolitics: Immigration, Race, and the American
Political Future.