Anti-semitism, real and false

Submitted by Anon on 16 April, 2004 - 8:37

Zvi Shtauber, the outgoing Israeli ambassador to Britain, has denounced the "anti-semitism" of the British left and its alliance with Islamists in Britain (Observer, 4 April).

The Sharon government has denounced BBC reporter Orla Guerin for her supposed "anti-semitic" bias.

In a report on the capture by the Israeli army of a reluctant 16-year-old Palestinian suicide bomber, Guerin questioned whether the Israeli account of the boy's capture and of his intentions could be believed.
She was speaking on camera, against a background of the boy divesting himself of the explosives strapped to him.

Certainly she established that her attitude to the Israeli authorities is one of sceptical hostility. But what other attitude could be expected from someone who daily sees the savagery with which the Israelis treat the Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza?

The obscene killings of Israeli civilians by Palestinian suicide bombers can justify neither the trigger-happy brutality of the soldiers under Sharon's command, nor the occupation itself.

One of the consequences of the cheap misuse of the charge of "anti-semitism" to discredit criticism of Israeli policy is to make it harder to distinguish between that justified criticism and the real anti-semitism which, as Solidarity has long maintained, is indeed a big factor on the pseudo-left.

Denial of the right of the pre-Israeli Jewish community in Palestine to exist, to defend itself, to receive refugees fleeing from their lives from the Nazis, and to exercise the right to self-determination, has led the pseudo-left over decades to adopt an Arab nationalist or even Islamic chauvinist attitude to Israel.

The comprehensive hostility of the pseudo-left - not to speak of its allies like the Muslim Brotherhood (MAB) - to all Jews who refused to endorse the idea that Israel should be destroyed is a form of anti-semitism.

Their easy answer is to quibble about the meaning of words. "Anti-semitic - us? How dare you call us racist?"

In its own way it is as cheap, evasive, and self-serving as the charge of "anti-semitism" used by Sharon to silence critics of his policy and the deeds of the armed forces he controls.

The anti-semitic left is not racist. The racist ravings of the Hitlerites were an exception in the long parade of anti-semitism, which stretches back into the centuries and was rooted in the Biblical account of the killing of Christ.

Today many left-wingers endorse comprehensive hostility to almost all Jews by translating it into the jargon of "anti-imperialism".

We need to face that fact and do something about it. Every honest socialist and democrat needs to understand that the only policy for justice for the Palestinians which does not have anti-semitic implications is that of two states, Israel and Palestine, for the two peoples.

Add new comment

This website uses cookies, you can find out more and set your preferences here.
By continuing to use this website, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms & Conditions.