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Ignorance or Naivety

November 24, 2016 22:51

THIS WEEK`S POLL
Are the anti-Zionists really antisemites?
Yes 45%

No 55%

Total votes: 473

It beggars belief if this poll reflects the JC readerships understanding. I am furious!!

There is a direct link between the way Israel's case is presented in the media and anti-semitism - statement of fact. Read the Guardian, look at the BBC web site, watch Press TV and Al Jazeera etc etc.
Behind criticism of Israel there is a more sinister agenda, that of anti-semitism. Those Jews who defend Israel are then depicted by their critics as seeking an excuse to justify Israel, projecting Jewish paranoia and displaying a "typical" Jewish trait of "sticking together", listen to the rantings of George Galloway, Jeremy Corbyn, Vanessa Redgrave, Glenda Jackson, Ken Livingstone - the list goes on.

It is obvious to a blindman that recent anti-semitism is linked to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict; ask the CST about the increase in anti-semitic attacks since December 2008 and cpmapre the figures with last year. What have attacks on Jewish property and persons in the UK got to do with Israeli policies vs the Palestinians? Just that we are Jewish and Israel is the Jewish State.

This anal debate - with its insistence that there is a distinction between anti-semitism and anti-Zionism - misses the crucial point of contention. Israel's advocates do not want to gag critics by brandishing the bogeyman of anti-semitism: rather, they are concerned about the form the criticism takes.

If Israel's critics are truly opposed to anti-semitism, they should not repeat traditional anti-semitic themes under the anti-Israel banner. When such themes - the Jewish conspiracy to rule the world, linking Jews with money and media, the hooked-nose stingy Jew, the anti Sharon cartoons, the blood libel, disparaging use of Jewish symbols, or traditional Christian anti-Jewish imagery - are used to describe Israel's actions, concern should be voiced. Ex-Labour MP Tam Dalyell decried the influence of "a Jewish cabal" on British foreign policy-making; an Italian cartoonist depicted the Israeli siege of the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem as an attempt to kill Jesus "again". Is it necessary to evoke the Jewish conspiracy or depict Israelis as Christ-killers to denounce Israeli policies?

The fact that accusations of anti-semitism are dismissed as paranoia, even when anti-semitic imagery is at work, is a subterfuge. Israel deserves to be judged by the same standards adopted for others, not by the standards of utopia. Singling out Israel for an impossibly high standard not applied to any other country begs the question: why such different treatment?

Many of Israel's critics use traditional anti-semitic stereotypes. In fact, their denials attempt to give respectability to otherwise socially unacceptable anti-semitism. Equating Israel to Nazism, claiming that "yesterday's victims are today's perpetrators": This equation between victims and murderers denies the Holocaust. Worse still, it provides its retroactive justification: if Jews turned out to be so evil, perhaps they deserved what they got. Others speak of Zionist conspiracies to dominate the media, manipulate American foreign policy, rule the world and oppress the Arabs. By describing Israel as the root of all evil, they provide the linguistic mandate and the moral justification to destroy it. And by using anti-semitic instruments to achieve this goal, they give away their true anti-semitic face.

It could be suggested that nationalism is a pernicious force. In which case one should oppose Palestinian nationalism as well. It could even be argued that though both claims are true and noble, it would have been better to pursue Jewish national rights elsewhere. But negating Zionism, by claiming that Zionism equals racism, goes further and denies the Jews the right to identify, understand and imagine themselves - and consequently behave as - a nation. Anti-Zionists deny Jews a right that they all too readily bestow on others, first of all Palestinians.

Were you outraged all those years ago when Golda Meir claimed there were no Palestinians? I wasn't I agree, historically there has never been a palestinian people, entity or state, the whole idea is a relatively recenet phenomena dreamt up by Israels enemies. Further for your information, in my lifetime there never will be "Palestinian State" - (I am 51 so have a few years left).

The argument that it is Israel's behaviour, and Jewish support for it, that invite prejudice sounds hollow at best and sinister at worst. That argument means that sympathy for Jews is conditional on the political views they espouse. This is hardly an expression of tolerance. It singles Jews out. It is anti-semitism.

Zionism reversed Jewish historical passivity to persecution and asserted the Jewish right to self-determination and independent survival and for Jews to stand up for themselves. This is why anti-Zionists see it as a perversion of Jewish humanism. Zionism entails the difficulty of dealing with sometimes impossible moral dilemmas, which traditional Jewish passivity in the wake of historical persecution had never faced. By negating Zionism, the anti-semite is arguing that the Jew must always be the victim, for victims do no wrong and deserve our sympathy and support.

I have had over 30 years experience of anti-zionist politicos every one of them I have ever met or come across WITHOUT exception is an anti-semite - be under no illusion anti-zionism IS anti-semitism, anyone who thinks otherwise is simply naive.

November 24, 2016 22:51

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