Unfortunately, today’s ever less justified vitriolic criticism of Israel necessitates bringing back this late-19th century term of indictment. It is time to retire the largely politically correct yet fallacious mantra that most criticism of Israel is not anti-semitic. Because it is! Whether through ignorance or malevolence, most average everyday critics of Israel are anti-semitic by virtue of that criticism.
The Jewish community in particular has been careful not to levy unjustified charges of anti-semitism. But now it is clear that anti-semitism is flourishing, masquerading in the form of anti-Zionism and hatred of Israel. It is time to call it what it is.
As with anti-semitism over the eons, masses are led to it through ignorance. Perversely, anti-semitism may have become more widespread in recent years as misinformation rooted in an anti-Jewish and anti-Israel bias has been spread more widely and rapidly, courtesy of the information revolution, including, most notably, the internet.
Many eminent and articulate authors have written many eloquent and trenchant words exposing and documenting beyond doubt the double standards, hypocrisy, and mendacity – good indicators of anti-semitism – that are so common when it comes to many, but not all, discussions of Israel. These authors have also demonstrably shown that Natan Sharansky’s test of Israel-related anti-semitism – double standards, demonization, and delegitimization – has readily been met. Sadly, these are staples of criticism of Israel today.
One of the anti-semites’ buzzwords of criticism is that Israel’s military actions in Gaza were “disproportionate.” Yet Hamas was not stopped by Israel’s actions and continued to fire rockets at Israel. Nor did it release its captive Israeli Gilad Shalit. Further, it even claimed “victory.” So if Israel’s actions were in any way inappropriately “disproportionate”, it was that they were inadequate and insufficient to do the job – the opposite of what her detractors were saying in their anti-semitic accusations.
But all these defenses and explications documenting the anti-semitism in the world’s attacks on Israel should not even be necessary – open manifestations of anti-semitism are staring in the face anybody willing to see them. For one obvious example, why else in the eyes of both Palestinian Arabs and those of most of the world must be all lands over which the Palestinian Arabs have sovereignty be Judenrein?
Further examples include Saudi, Jordanian, Egyptian, and Syrian textbooks that include overt anti-Jewish indoctrination. And of course, the terrorist (“militant” or “activist” to the news media) group Hamas that rules Gaza has an openly anti-semitic charter. For example, Article 7:
“The Day of Judgment will not come about until Muslims fight Jews and kill them. Then, the Jews will hide behind rocks and trees, and the rocks and the trees will cry out: ‘O Muslim, there is a Jew hiding behind me, come and kill him.’ “
Also, both of Gaza’s neighboring states, Israel and Egypt, restrict crossing activity at their borders with it, a grievance of Hamas. While Hamas has fired thousands of rockets at Israel (the Jews), how many has it fired at Egypt (the Muslims) to “resist” its blockade? None, of course. Why not? Answer: Because Egypt is not a Jewish state.
While Hamas and its terrorist brethren take issue with Arab governments as well as Israel, the reason that Israel ranks highest among their targets is simply that it is a Jewish, not a Muslim, state. That’s anti-semitism.
Israel’s numerous Jewish hyper-critics must also be mentioned, but only to point out the context of the long history of this plague of self-loathing Jews. While obviously the ease of fitting in throughout most parts of the world is greatly facilitated by standing against Israel, I leave it to psychologists to further analyze the etiology of these individuals.
A major factor contributing to the prevalence of today’s anti-semitism is that the very Palestinian Arabs who elected their terrorist leaders have managed to ingratiate themselves with much of the world. How they have done so is another story, but for here, chalk it up to fortuitous timing and tactics (for them), and a world with latent anti-semitic tendencies eager to adopt their anti-semitic narrative. How else to explain that simply being the enemies of the Jews would endear them to the world, above the cause of other desperate and more deserving peoples in Africa and Asia? (The Palestinian Arabs have won more per capita international aid, by far, than any other group. And, further, they have done so while incurring virtually no obligation to do anything in return.)
It is especially remarkable how they have been embraced in the West with such affection and with so little genuine rationale – despite the stated aspirations of Hamas, its fellow terrorist organizations, and its Iranian sponsors to subjugate to their Islamist rule not just Israel and the Jews, but the western world.
And then the West would hardly be in a position to worry about “disproportionate” Israeli actions. That is a remarkable irony. Love may not conquer all, but perhaps anti-semitism does?