Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Anti-Zionism Does Equal Anti-Semitism

From Little Green Footballs comes a must read:

Because They Are Jews:
Enemies of Israel insist their hatred has nothing to do with Israel being a Jewish state. Can this be true?

In BeliefNet online, Rabbi David Wolpe clearly and concisely outlines the reasons why those who claim to be Anti-Israel / Anti-Zionist but not Anti-Semitic are deluded at best, amoral at worst. One could call this essay "The LLL Alternate Universe for Dummies". The Rabbi tells it like it is. During the darker moments where I consider what it means to be an American and what it means to be an Isreali (and in the 21st Century they mean exactly the same thing - the alchemy of envy, hatred and intolerance made terrifyingly whole in terrorism), I really do think that God is testing the world. Not Jews and Americans, specifically, but those who would target and murder them.

"It may be happenstance that people who live in countries where Jews were hated for millennia are saying that only Jews should not have a country, or criticize that country exclusively, or ignore atrocities perpetrated by other countries, or have deep understanding of those who are moved to murder Jews. It may shows nothing but a sensitivity bordering on paranoia to be troubled at the juncture of ancient, enduring hatreds with modern censure. Criticism of Israel across Europe surely has nothing to do with the searing observation by David Cesarani in London's Guardian that "Indeed, the 'final solution of the Jewish question' was probably the only genuine pan-European enterprise of the 20th century." The last thing all Europe agreed upon was the elimination of Jews, and now it agrees on the unredeemable savagery of Israel. To assume a relation between the hatred that was and the vilification that is risks being called "a Zionist propagandist" one of those phrases designed not to describe, but to strangle discussion.

I know people in Israel whose children have been killed. Not because someone else was the intended target, not because of clumsiness or the heedless use of great force, but because the children were deliberately targeted. After all, the murderers last month of the Hatuel family stopped a pregnant woman and four children in a Jeep, and systematically shot each of them. Neither the mother nor the little children were armed. They were merely Jews. Imagine if it were done on the streets of a major American city. Here such a person is called Charles Manson; in the halls of the Hague, they are fighters for freedom.

Are Jews always the victims? Certainly not. Israel is in a grip of mutual despair with Palestinians who have suffered much, and their plight is intolerable. That is why more than 150,000 people showed up to demonstrate in Israel on May 15 in favor of a Gaza pullout, the only country in the area where such a demonstration could peaceably take place."

Read it all, and emerge with enough intellectual arms and armor to debunk any and all who would attempt to spew anti-semitic hatred as anything but.

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