Obsessive anti-Israelism IS racism (and why it's incumbent upon the Media which fomented it to now stem-the-tide to save their societies from it).

British Parliamentarian, Denis MacShane writes in the Washington Post, The New Anti-Semitism:

"Hatred of Jews has reached new heights in Europe and many points south and east of the old continent. Last year I chaired a blue-ribbon committee of British parliamentarians, including former ministers and a party leader, that examined the problem of
anti-Semitism in Britain. None of us are Jewish or active in the unending debates on the Israeli-Palestinian question.

report showed a pattern of fear among a small number of British citizens -- there are around 300,000 Jews in Britain, of whom about a third are observant -- that is not acceptable in a modern democracy. Synagogues attacked. Jewish schoolboys jostled on public transportation. Rabbis punched and knifed. British Jews feeling compelled to raise millions to provide private security for their weddings and community events. On campuses, militant anti-Jewish students fueled by Islamist or far-left hate seeking to prevent Jewish students from expressing their opinions.

More worrisome was what we described as anti-Jewish discourse, a mood and tone whenever Jews are discussed, whether in the media, at universities, among the liberal media elite or at dinner parties of modish
London. To express any support for Israel or any feeling for the right of a Jewish state to exist produces denunciation, even contempt.

Europe is reawakening its old demons, but today there is a difference. The old anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism have morphed into something more dangerous. Anti-Semitism today is officially sanctioned state ideology and is being turned into a mobilizing and organizing force to recruit thousands in a new crusade -- the word is chosen deliberately -- to eradicate Jewishness from the region whence it came and to weaken and undermine all the humanist values of rule of law, tolerance and respect for core rights such as free expression that Jews have fought for over time.

Today there is still denial about the universal ideology of the new anti-Semitism. It has power and reach, and it enters into the soft underbelly of the Western mind-set that does not like Jews or what Israel does to defend its right to exist.

We are at the beginning of a long intellectual and ideological struggle. It is not about Jews or Israel. It is about everything democrats have long fought for: the truth without fear, no matter one's religion or political beliefs. The new anti-Semitism threatens all of humanity. The Jew-haters must not pass.

The Israeli newspaper,
Ha'aretz, published journalist Anshel Pfeffer's exploration into the reasoning of Mr. Robin Shepherd, a senior research-fellow at the Chatham House think-tank in London in "The Objective Anti-Semites."

"Mr. Shepherd has no significant connection to the Jewish people, and his visit to Israel last week was only his second. But he still believes his decision to spend a year researching the new European anti-Semitism is perfectly relevant for any serious observer of international affairs. When asked about his interest in the subject, he first answers on a philosophical level by quoting the polemicist Christopher Hitchens, who has said that "only a moral cretin thinks that anti-Semitism is a threat only to Jews."

He then offers an academic explanation: "The Israel-Palestine conflict is one of the key issues in international relations, and there are very few people in this field without a position on it." His last work was on the wave of anti-Americanism sweeping Europe, and this led him to believe that a new form of anti-Semitism was also at the root of the increasingly critical attitude toward Israel there. (...)

"A much bigger problem is the objective anti-Semitism, the hatred of the State of Israel," he says. "Since Israel is a Jewish state, and if you use false analogies between Israel and Apartheid South Africa and Nazi Germany, you are comparing them with Jews and you are therefore engaged in anti-Semitism."

That doesn't mean that everyone who uses the comparison is an actual anti-Semite, says Shepherd. "That depends on how central [this comparison] is for you. When it becomes an obsession and this is one of the things you find increasingly in Europe - then at this point it becomes a new form of anti-Semitism."

This is Shepherd's answer to the standard response by Israel's detractors in the West, that "not every criticism of Israel is anti-Semitism."

"Of course one can criticize Israel, but there is a litmus test, and that is when the critics begin using constant key references to South Africa and the Nazis, using terms such as 'bantustans.' None of these people, of course, will admit to being racist, but this kind of anti-Semitisim is a much more sophisticated form of racism, and the kind of hate-filled rhetoric and imagery are on the same moral level as racism, so gross and distorted that they are defaming an entire people, since Israel is an essentially Jewish project."

To explain this distinction, he cites Zimbabwe as an example. "A lot of people will defend themselves by saying that their motivation is the cause of the Palestinians. Well, if you wanted to express your disapproval of Robert Mugabe's regime by highlighting his violation of human rights and the way he's destroying the country, then you could say your motivation is human rights, but if you expressed your objection with a cartoon of Mugabe as a gorilla jumping up and down on blood-soaked bananas, that kind of imagery of black people is pure racist. But it's the kind of imagery being used against Israel."

Mr. Pfeffer also relates Mr. Shepherd's explanations for anti-Israelism/anti-Semitism among the media and the far-left, even among Jews themselves. Referring to Noam Chomsky, Shepherd explains, "He is not a self-hating Jew, but his political standing in the left is more important for him than his Jewish identity. That's why the extreme Jewish critics of Israel almost always come from the far left - for them, politics is the most important part of their identity. It might be personally painful for them, but the ideological left is a secular religion, more than any other political group, and for them this religion comes before being Jewish,"


No comments:

Post a Comment