European Pro-Palestinian Activists Have anti-Semitic Spokesman, Mazin Qumsiyeh

Hundreds of European pro-Palestinian activists are converging on Israel, creating a security (and potentially a p.r.) headache for Israel. Tellingly, the spokesman for this “Welcome to Palestine” provocation is one Mazin Qumsiyeh.

Given all the attention the media is providing these activists, it seems worth repeating the following from post of mine from a few years ago, “Who is Mazin Qumsiyeh?”

He is an American scientist of Palestinian origin who is a leading propagandist for the Palestinian cause. There’s plenty of information out there about his anti-Israel views (he frequently likens the Israelis to Nazis), but a little digging shows something more disturbing.

Despite his own vigorous denials that he has anti-Semitic intent, Qumsiyeh’s advocacy for the Palestinians and criticism of “Zionism” shades, as it all too often does, into rather obvious prejudice against Jews. In particular, he appears so one-sidedly devoted to his (fantastical) interpretation of the Arab-Israeli conflict that he invokes conspiracy theories about nefarious Zionist plots to suppress the Palestinian cause, perhaps because he can’t imagine that other informed people might simply disagree with his perspective. And, as is not uncommon among rabid “anti-Zionists,” he manages to often lose sight of his own asserted distinction between Zionists and Jews. In short, unlike traditional right-wing anti-Semites who start with hatred of Jews and a belief in Jewish conspiracies, and naturally go from that to hatred of Israel, Qumsiyeh seems to start with a hatred of Israel that he assumes all reasonable people should share, and then progresses (or regresses, really), to a belief in conspiracy theories reflecting longstanding anti-Semitic themes, and implicitly, strong prejudice against Jews.

(1) Qumsiyeh believes that “Zionists in Israel and the US” control U.S. presidential elections, and that the reason that Dennis Kucinich, Ron Paul, and Mike Gravel were “marginalized” was because they were unfriendly to Israel. Charitably, such nonsense would reflect a complete ignorance of the self-marginalizing character of these campaign, but there is further evidence that it is actually part of a larger conspiratorial worldview in which “Jewish Zionists” are pulling the strings. In the same paragraph, he switches from “Zionists” to “Jews,” focusing on Jewish influence in American politics, just in case there was a doubt that he conflates the two groups. “Establishment Jews”, according Qumsiyeh, have also supported and funded Barack Obama’s candidacy to serve the greater interest of the Jews, especially Zionism.

(2)Qumsiyeh suggests that “Zionists” somehow have the power to suppress genetic research that allegedly shows that Jews of European and Middle Eastern origin do not have common genetic origins (arrant nonsense, by the way), and to disseminate bogus research that shows the opposite. Thus, he writes: “Valid scientific research must not be shunned by political pressure groups intent on preventing any rational discussion and stifling apparent conflict with the aims of Zionism. Similarly, scientists should not be allowed to publish statements and conclusions not supported by the data simply because they appear ‘politically correct’ at the moment or do not generate an outcry. A statement such as that by Amir et al. that ‘We have shown that Jews share common features, a fact that points to a common ancestry’ should not be allowed to stand.” Once again, Qumsiyeh himself sometimes refers only to “Zionists,” but other times conflates Jews with Zionists, as when he states that “It seems odd though that authors who are accepting of Zionist claims or are Jewish make conclusions not even supported by their own data while authors from other backgrounds based on similar data (showing clear links of Ashkenazim to Turkic populations) make differing conclusions.” In other words, he is accusing Jewish geneticists of manipulating their findings to serve a large Jewish interest in Zionism. (Ironically, it is Qumsiyeh himself who manipulates genetic and ethnographic research to propound the long-discredited notion that Ashkenazic (European) Jews are primarily the descendants of Khazar converts, and thus have no historic ties to the Land of Israel).

(3) Here is Qumsiyeh’s website. He links to just a few articles not written by him, including one entitled “Jewish Power” by one Paul Eisen [update: a Holocaust denier, who even extreme anti-Israel, pro-Palestinian activists properly find beyond the pale], which he hosts on his own site. This article is full of statements reflecting obvious invidious prejudice against Jews.

UPDATE: Here is a page recounting some of Qumsiyeh’s “greatest hits.” You’ll learn, among other thigns, that Qumsiyeh believes that “Zionists” “bilked” Germany, that American foreign policy is controlled by “Zionists” (including major Jewish organizations), and that Zionism reflects Jewish chauvinism against Gentiles.