A Jewish woman, deriding protesters at a UK rally on Sunday in support of charging former Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni with war crimes, declared loudly into a TV camera that being anti-Israel and anti-Zionist is the “new anti-Semitism.”
Such licentious language. Meant primarily, I might add, to inflame passions and mislead public opinion by invoking a word – anti-Semitism – that we have been well-conditioned to condemn above all other forms of racism or prejudice.
I am sorry the woman fears anti-Semitism, pogroms and hatred around every corner. It’s not my problem, frankly. Let her get therapy. Does that sound harsh? Sorry, again. But I for one get pretty irritated hearing false cries of anti-Semitism against anyone who criticizes Israel, its human rights crimes, its crazy settler movement, its unique brand of crypto-racism against non-Jews living within the state and its occupied territories.
These targets include Jews as well. Like Richard Goldstone – a man who served the international community honestly and fairly by rooting out the perpetrators of real evil and putting them on trial for the most despicable of human rights violations in Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia. A Jewish man, a Zionist too. “Anti-Semite,” they roared when he charged Israel with war crimes in his UN report on the 2009 Gaza War.
Or Harvard scholar Stephen Walt and the University of Chicago’s John Mearsheimer, whose paper The Israel Lobby And US Foreign Policy was skewered in a Washington Post column as anti-Semitic. Writer Eliot Cohen says:
If by anti-Semitism one means obsessive and irrationally hostile beliefs about Jews; if one accuses them of disloyalty, subversion or treachery, of having occult powers and of participating in secret combinations that manipulate institutions and governments; if one systematically selects everything unfair, ugly or wrong about Jews as individuals or a group and equally systematically suppresses any exculpatory information — why, yes, this paper is anti-Semitic.
I read this paper, and it is well researched, fair and thought-provoking. Cohen’s claim is far and away the most emotionally muddled interpretation by an academic I have yet to encounter.
Yet other targets of this convoluted connection between criticism of Israel and anti-Semitism are – well – entire countries. Like Norway, Sweden, Finland and Denmark, for instance. Yup, anti-Semites, one and all. “Norway is the most anti-Semitic country in Scandinavia,” said Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld, a scholar of Western European anti-Semitism from the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, who spoke last year at a gathering of Israeli scholars highlighting anti-Semitism in Scandanavia. Read full article