Monday, 13 August 2007

Anti-Semitism For Dummies

Superb article fully referenced in the way that all internet article should be, who needs footnotes when you can use hyperlinks!! Be sure to read the full article!

"Criticism of Israel is not antisemitism. Even denial of Israel's right to exist - obscene though that is - is anti-Zionism, not antisemitism, despite the fact that the route from the one to the other is slippery and steep. We do not serve the fight against prejudice by blurring these distinctions."

These are the words of Chief Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth - Britain's main body of Orthodox synagogues. Credit is due to the Chief Rabbi for making a clear and unambiguous distinction between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism. But as anti-Zionists already know, our opponents never miss an opportunity to conflate the two. In their perception, criticism of Zionism is an act of anti-Semitism, anti-Semitism 'masquerades' as anti-Zionism. Some go further and consider criticism of the state of Israel itself to be an act of anti-Semitism.

There are others who go further still, and extend the definition of anti-Semitism to include criticism of the Israel lobby in Britain, the United States and Poland. It's simply not kosher to speak of a Zionist lobby in Britain. Odd then, that it is considered anti-Semitic to speak of things that do not exist. Ditto support for the Palestinian people. Never imply or state the primary cause of the Arab-Israeli conflict to be Israel's occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, for that too is considered anti-Semitic. Don't ever dare criticise Israel for dropping in excess of one hundred thousand cluster bombs on Lebanese soil unless you are comfortable with being labelled anti-Semitic. Anti-war? Pro-peace? If so, you are anti-semitic. Caught with your fingers in the till? No need to worry - just cry anti-Semitism and soon you'll be celebrating.

There are those who take the meaning of anti-semitism to absurd levels. The New Testament is anti-Semitic, and so too is Mel Gibson's cinematographic masterpiece, The Passion of the Christ. Petitions that call upon American universities to divest in Israel, boycotts of Israeli universities by British academics, and anti-globalisation rallies at which criticisms of Israel are expressed are also considered to be anti-Semitic activity. While any proposal of divestment in Iran is perfectly acceptable, to enquire whether a product might be of Israeli manufacture certainly is not. Israelis citizens may openly boast of the Jewish state's nuclear capability and of how European capital cities can be destroyed by Israel's weapons of mass destruction yet Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is mischaracterised and demonised for pursuing a domestic nuclear energy programme.

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