By Jewish American...
July 14, 2011
Not every criticism of nor opposition to Israel, be it policy, legislation, or act is anti-Semitic. Hiding behind that guise impedes the introspection the State of Israel needs, to develop into the western style democracy it so wants to become. The extreme right's zealous cry of "wolf" (upon its own people and supporters) is doing more to thwart Israel's progress in taking its place among the modern democracies of the world, than any outside enemy it could face. Citing the holocaust and anti-Semitism as justification for immature and/or immoral behavior only inspires contempt...the very emotion that brings on discrimination.
"A house divided against itself cannot stand."
Abraham Lincoln, 1858
While the subject at hand was slavery, the fact remains that it was about the moral conscience of a country divided. Israel's continued descent into totalitarianism will eventually bring it to the brink of war, if not with an outside enemy, within itself. While the zealous right think they're the only protector of Israel and her interests, the very methodology used (fear, threats, opinion control), threatens to polarize the nation. Claiming that every complaint, criticism, or opposition to Israel's actions is anti-Semitic, usurps the very foundation upon which every democracy is built....freedom. Out of introspection comes growth....and yes, change...hopefully for the better. Claiming anti-Semitism at every turn, threatens to polarize the world.
Painting a picture that free market enterprise is more important than free speech or that a boycott, which is nothing more than popular opinion expressed in an organized fashion, is a violation of freedom of association or expression, has to be the most idiotic if not immature statement I've seen on this blog site in quite a while. A boycott is exactly that...an association of individuals who agree that something isn't acceptable to them and the expression of that is the withholding of their collectively hard earned cash from enriching the offensive business. The natural consequence is that the offensive business has to change. It's used in high schools all over this country to effect behavior change...we call it positive peer pressure. The offending youth doesn't get the approval and attention he seeks through his negative behavior from his peers, and is force to change to gain group acceptance. It's that elementary, folks. Israel has to change.
Here in America, we have a saying that certainly applies to Israel and these right wing zealots who currently dominate it. "If you can't do the time (meaning if you can't take the criticism or consequences), don't do the crime (not always translated literally). It's all about accountability. Dodging responsibility through blame, projection, and a host of other mechanisms the rabid right uses in these blogs, only serves to make it more clear, the narcissistic, immature, single minded places in their psyches, they type from. There's another American saying that comes to mind that I happen to like too, even though it is Christian based, and that is "Hate the sin, love the sinner". This applies to Israel. The(Western)world is coming to hate the acts of an (relatively) infant nation it loves.
Someone in the Middle East has to be the bigger person...the adult...the one to "rise above" and be accountable. I certainly hope it's Israel...but it doesn't look like it.