February 24, 2010
Avraham Reiss 24 2 2010
Avraham – criticism can often be constructive. I tell you why we need to have say re Israel. Firstly, the UK is an uncritical ally of the Jewish state, I am a citizen of the UK, and I do not agree with the position of the UK in this matter. It is claimed that Israel is a strategic ally of the UK (war on terror and all that nonsense…..) In point of fact, Israel is a strategic liability. Its actions complicate our ability to engage positively with its Arab neighbours, and put us at increased risk of terrorism. Secondly, why should any state in the world today be ringfenced from criticism – from whatever source? I have strong opinions on Zimbabwe, China, Iran, the USA, and a host of other countries – why am I disqualified from questioning their actions, simply because I do not live in those places. Come on Avraham – we are all global citizens, and one of the consequences of globalization is that we are connected.
Anti Semitism is disgusting, as is racism, and many other isms’. Criticism of the Israeli state is not anti-Semitism, and is not de facto criticism of Jews. And if people continue to debase the term, it devalues the power of opposition to genuine anti-Semitism.
As for foreign minister Lieberman – this is a guy who argues for the transfer of Palestinians out of the west bank, and even out of Israel proper. Not a fit person to to be a nightclub bouncer, let alone Israeli foreign minister. Do you remember Kurt Waldheim - president of Austria, and exposed to be a national disgrace because of his Nazi past. It is a tragedy that Lieberman sullies the name of Israel in a similar fashion.
You need to have a more open and inclusive attitude. Israel claims to be a part of the western tradition, with emphasis on freedom, democracy, and small case liberalism. Let’s encourage the Israeli state to be something better than it has become. Something to light up the Middle Eastern sea of dictatorships, something for all its citizens to be proud of, something for the other peoples in the region to aspire to emulate.