Israel, the Apartheid State. The government that is persecuting Palestinians. The regime committing genocide against the people of Palestine. Really? Does this sound like a country that would be taking care of the wife of the leader of the Palestinian authority? Well that is exactly what happened this past weekend as the wife of Mahmoud Abbas had leg surgery in a hospital near Tel-Aviv. But did the fair-minded speak out about this? Did they ever stop to consider what would have happened if three Palestinian students had been kidnapped and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s wife would need surgery in most Arab nations? Or even closer to home in the West Bank or Gaza? As three Yeshiva students remain missing, likely kidnapped by Hamas or another similar terrorist organization, the Israeli government welcomed in and allowed the wife of Abbas to be cared for. Does this strike you as the behavior of a state motivated to wipe the Palestinians off the planet. Does it look like a government lacking in ethical human rights behavior?
We all know the answer. Roger Waters knows the answer. Emma Thompson knows the answer. Alice Walker knows the answer. But these phonies, Anti-Semites masquerading as humanitarians would never utter the words of truth that are so evident from the events taking place. The worldwide movements to discredit Zionists, a smokescreen for decreasingly less subtle attacks on Jews, would never declare the truth about Israel, that it is a true democracy with true freedom and the highest level of human rights. To do that would result in elevating the status of Jews worldwide, which in reality is why it is not done. If you doubt this to be true just look at what it is happening in France on a regular basis to people because they are Jews, not because they are Zionists. And look at the recent murders in Brussels and wake up to the truth. And that truth is that there are people who want to wipe the Jewish people from the planet, regardless of where they live.
We all say Never Again to something that on some very frightening levels has begun to happen again. Did we ever know what we would do to stop it if it did? Maybe not. But it starts by seeing the reality of the situation and not closing our eyes, pretending it is not there and hoping it will go away. That never worked and never will.
I write this as a follow-up to the post I wrote about how being a Liberal doesn’t mean tolerating anti-Semitism. In this post, CLICK HERE TO READ, I make the statement that anti-Israel sentiment nowadays is, for the most part, rooted in anti-Semitism. As I expected would happen, the following question was put to me by a fellow Jew and old friend.
“What about Jews who are not Zionists?”
Here is the answer I gave him:
I anticipated this question might be asked when I wrote the article. If one is opposed to the policies of the Israeli government and as a Jew is genuine, unless they are self hating Jews they are not the problem. As a Jew, should one ever tolerate the murder of another Jew? If their view is that Israeli policy is the murder of Palestinians, my question to them is the one I stated in the article. Is the intolerance balanced? And even if there is evidence and statistics to back up their stance, do they look at the whole picture? Do they recognize the threats Jews have always faced? Do they recognize the fact that Israel had war waged against it just for existing? Did they get at least as angry at this? http://mfa.gov.il/…/Suicide%20bombing%20at%20the…And do they recognize that someone such as Roger Waters making it his life’s mission to go after Israel and ignore countries guilty of much greater human right’s violations is motivated by a hatred of Jews not the love of people?
Where I personally hit a disconnect with like-minded people is that I often feel there is more going on than meets the eye. It sometimes becomes fashionable to call someone anti-Semitic when their overall actions don’t necessarily confirm the assertion. I rather go after those who leave no doubt, such as Roger Waters and Alice Walker. There are many Jews who are not Zionists. Most of them are ultra-Orthodox. By no means does that mean that all ultra-Orthodox are anti-Zionist, instead it means that the majority of the time a Jew opposes the State of Israel it is rooted in religious belief rather than political belief. Either way, they are not the people looking to see the end of the Jewish people, and in my opinion, they are not the enemy. I wish they were, for that would mean there would be no one out there openly trying to bring about our death and destruction, and our biggest foe would be fellow Jews with an anti-Israeli government approach. It would be a problem, but one we’d all rather be fighting.
The other day I was having a conversation with a relative about the concept of anti-Zionism and how it relates to anti-Semitism. I hold the position that they are one in the same, while my relative felt that although anti-Zionism often is modern-day institutionalized anti-Semitism, it is not always the case. This whole conversation began when I mentioned how I had just heard of Pink Floyd boycotting Israel and how it had impacted my life knowing that a band I had once considered one of my favorites had no gone to the increasing pile of celebrities I had no use for based on them being anti-Semitic. The argument was presented, by others on the table as well, that there are plenty of Israelis who are opposed to the government, and they of course are not anti-Semites. So I spent some time thinking about this, considered their argument, and came to this conclusion. They’re wrong.
First of all, opposition to the current government or any government in Israel is not anti-Zionism. Although I don’t always appreciate the way people oppose a sitting President or government policies in the United States, I don’t accuse someone of being anti-American or unpatriotic when doing so. The foundation of all modern civilized countries is freedom. Freedom does not mean always liking what your leaders do and it does not mean you need to be quiet about how you feel. So opposition to government policy is not anti-Zionism. Anti-Zionism is at best a misrepresentation of Israeli policy in order to smear Israel’s image, and at worst a refusal to recognize the rights of the Jewish people to have their own state. The latter is the key to my argument. Israel was formed, and still is a Jewish state. It is a state that allows other religions to live freely, despite the claims of the likes of Roger Waters and most recently Alice Walker, and it is a country that does not sponsor, support, or fund terrorist organizations. Israel is a democracy. Not the kind where the military will limit the results of power provided by the people in an election, and not the kind that elects fundamentally racist, bigoted and violent governments. It is the kind of democracy where people can live freely and with basic human rights.
The Palestinians in the West Bank were not even wanted by King Hussein’s Jordan in 1967, so when Israel captured the territory where they resided after the 6 Day War, the conditions of the people living there actually improved. Yasser Arafat plundered the funds of the Palestinians and took much of what was earmarked for their betterment and built his own little financial empire which consisted of among other things hotels in places like the Swiss Alps. An argument can be made that he did more to harm the Palestinians than any Israeli government ever could.
So when people proudly stand up and declare themselves anti-Israel or anti-Zionist, I hear the words Final Solution all over again. You want to criticize the government or its leadership, go ahead. But if you are going to oppose its very core I am going to call you what you are, a hater of Jews, also known as an anti-Semite.