by MARK SILVERBERG:
In the aftermath of World War II, with the hideous revelation that two-thirds of European Jews had been systematically exterminated by the Nazis, anti-Semitism became unfashionable. But that is no longer the case. As the memory of the Holocaust fades into history, as we continue to transfer petro-wealth to our enemies; as Europe morphs into Eurabia; as Islamists take control over the UN and an increasing number of Middle East and North African countries, and as our universities become hotbeds for virulent anti-Israel teachings and rhetoric – logic fades, facts become confused with fictions, distinctions between democracies and tyrannies become irrelevant, history becomes unimportant, and anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism become indistinguishable.
Natan Sharansky uses what he terms “the 3D test” to distinguish legitimate criticism of Israel from anti-Semitism, and he identifies the three categories as de-legitimization, demonization and the double standard. Taking these three factors into account, one can discern that the new anti-Semitism manifests itself in many different forms and in many different forums – through divestment campaigns, international boycotts of Israeli products and entertainers (as Norway has done recently), boycotts of Israeli academics by European universities, holding Israel to standards no other nations in the world are required to meet – not nearly, and through “Israel Apartheid Week” on Canadian and American college campuses where Israel is assigned the role of “Jew” among the nations of the world to be singled-out, cursed, harassed and defamed.
As Richard Cohen wrote in the Washington Post: “Google ‘Israel and Apartheid’, you will see that the two are linked in cyberspace despite the fact that Israeli Arabs, about one-fifth of Israel’s population, have the same civil and political rights as do Israeli Jews, and even sit in the Knesset.” Israel’s Ambassador to Greece is an Israeli Arab. In May 2004, Salim Jubran, an Israeli Arab was appointed to the Supreme Court of Israel. Arabic is an official language in Israel and is posted on all road signs. In 1948, there was only one Arab high school in Israel. Today there are hundreds. The fact that these anti-Israeli boycott campaigners on our campuses attack Israel as an apartheid state not only demonstrates their ignorance of what apartheid was in South Africa*, but raises the issue of why they do not propose boycotts of states that truly merit international disgust and censure.
These protests aren’t just against Israel. They are also against the Jewish People. Israel’s Operation Cast Lead at the close of 2008 – a legitimate act of self-defense by any and all international standards – evoked universal resentment and hatred. Around the world, synagogues and Jewish graves were desecrated and anti-Semitic chants were shouted at protests. In April 2009, a swastika was found painted on a Jewish fraternity house at the University of Florida and on American campuses, and comparisons continue to be made between Israelis and Nazis, and between Palestinian refugee camps and Auschwitz.
In all this, it is quite clear that distinctions between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism are increasingly blurred. Taken in its totality, Israel not only has no right to defend itself in response to terrorist attacks, but it has no right to exist – which suggests that missile attacks on Israel’s civilian population are not only justified, but desirable.
The lies perpetrated by otherwise respectable international religious, educational and political bodies against the only democracy in the Middle East are most notable in the double standards that are applied to Israel as opposed to states that have slaughtered their own peoples for decades with absolute immunity from international censure.
It is true, of course, that criticizing Israel does not make one an anti-Semite any more than criticizing the government of France makes one anti-French. But it’s one thing to criticize France, and something else to declare the French nation illegitimate and to advocate its destruction. Martin Luther King, Jr. once referred to Israel as “one of great outposts of democracy in the world,” with an “incontestable right to exist,” but that is no longer the case.
Funny how these campus activists never seem to mention the Syrian de jure occupation of Lebanon, or Saudi funding of global jihad, or the treatment of Saudi women, or the crushing of all democratic dissent in Egypt and Iran. They have no difficulty bemoaning capital punishment in the United States, but say nothing when the Palestinians routinely execute suspected Israeli collaborators including the mothers of young children, or when Hamas throws Fatah supporters to their deaths off 15-story buildings.
It is shameful that pro-Palestinian professors and students on American and European campuses pretend that the only reason for the problems in the Middle East is because of Israeli obstinacy as if it is the fault of the Israelis and not the rejectionist Arab world. Not only has every Israeli concession and every act of goodwill and compassion not changed the way Israel is portrayed – but each concession, each accommodation, each withdrawal first from Lebanon, then from Gaza has only fed the furious hatred that Islam and the international community feels for it.
Borders have nothing to do with peace in the Middle East. It is the existence of Israel as a Jewish state that offends the Arabs and their supporters. It is the history of Jews in that land stretching back over 4,000 years that offends them which accounts for their threats against Israel when it declares its intention to make the Cave of the Patriarchs and Rachel’s Tomb national historic sites with the aim of restoring them and opening them to the world. The fact that all religions will have freedom of access to such sites is irrelevant to the Palestinians who have spent millions of U.S. and European dollars teaching their children that Jews came to the Land as usurpers less than a century ago, and that Abraham was a Muslim albeit the fact that he lived almost three thousand years before Islam was born!
Israel could grant its enemies ever possible concession (and has), but that would not bring peace. Nothing short of Israel’s destruction will suffice.
Truth is – anti-Zionism becomes anti-Semitism when it reaches a certain pitch, and singling out Israel for condemnation and international sanction – out of all proportion to any other parties in the Middle East – is anti-Semitic, and not saying so is intellectually dishonest.
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