Wednesday, June 15, 2016

The Viral New Anti-Semitism

"A new organization called American Muslims for Palestine is the leading driver of BDS, through its sponsorship of Students for Justice in Palestine, which is the most visible arm of the BDS campaign on campuses in the United States."
"At least seven individuals who work for American Muslims for Palestine have previously worked for organizations shut down in the United States for providing financial support to Hamas. Among them [is] the Holy Land Foundation, which before being dissolved, transferred $12.4-million to Hamas."
"One of the officers of this Holy Land Foundation is an individual called Mohammed El-Mezain, identified as the Hamas leader for the United States."
Jonathan Schanzer, Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, subcommittee on terrorism

"The two-state solution for the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is really dead. Good riddance!"
"We are witnessing the rapid demise of Zionism and nothing can be done to save it."
"I, for one, support euthanasia."
Omar Barghouti, founding member, BDS movement

"I was born in Hungary. Before the Holocaust, Hungarian Jews took pride in being the most assimilated in all of Europe. They were convinced that their social status, their distinctions and achievements and Hungarianized names like my own made them untouchable. Yet, the majority of Hungary's Jewish population was murdered in a few months."
"It began with words. The words set the stage, which then legitimized the violence that followed. Words are powerful weapons."
Robert Lantos, Hungarian-Canadian filmmaker

And nor was it any different for German Jews, who thought of themselves as the elite of Europe's Jews, culturally, academically, socially; in any way that mattered. German Jews simply could not conceive of themselves -- being loyal and proud Germans -- that their lives and those of their children would be vulnerable to a plan of genocidal extermination. But the Nazi propaganda machine did its work well, opening a social chasm and a cultural schism that breached the earned legacy of Jews in Germany. As it did throughout Europe.

That lesson, that despite integration, despite a willingness to become more German, more Hungarian, more French, more Italian than the non-Jewish populations of European countries, Jews would always be set apart from others and seen as strangers, interlopers, viewed with suspicion, accused of malice toward the state and its inhabitants. Which made it possible for latent anti-Semitism to be launched into full-blown acceptance of a concept to deprive Jews of citizenship, of normalcy within society, and ultimately state-organized death.

The re-creation of a Jewish state in a landscape whose heritage was their own and which was never void of the presence of Jews, in the creation of the State of Israel seemed to Jews -- haunted by the annihilation process that completely hollowed out the presence of Jews in Europe -- to be the solution. In a land of their own, the nation dedicated to world Jewry would look after its own. And in the years since Israel declared itself in the wake of the United Nations' agreement and Partition Plan of Palestine, this is just what the state has done against great odds to its survival.

But the campaign to delegitimize Israel and to slander Judaism and Jews has resurged. That latent hatred of Jews has been re-ignited, the message emanating from the determinedly malicious sources in the Arab/Muslim world discrediting the Jewish democratic state as an apartheid state when in reality it is a nation of pluralism and equality, surrounded by apartheid states, has found a ready and eager audience in Europe and in North America. First the words, then the violence; stealth no longer required.

Palestinians walk past a sign painted on a wall in the West Bank town of Bethlehem last year calling for a boycott of Israeli products coming from Jewish settlements. (Thomas Coex/Agence France-Presse via Getty Images)

The European countries whose left-leaning governments bleed tears for the underdog, view those elements in the Middle East whose purpose for existence is to attack Israel, sympathize with the cries of oppression from the Palestinian Authority and Hamas, two entities which excel in oppressing their own people. The standards expected of Israel in reflection of its traditions, culture and democratic and humanitarian values force it to walk a tightrope, while no standards of civilized decency are imposed by international opinion on its enemies determined to destroy it.

From Britain's Labour Party's representatives' opinions and recommendations for Israel's destruction, to professional, union and academic units in Europe and North America, it has become fashionable to distort and to slander Israeli legitimacy in a landscape of unbridled tyranny, oppression, conflict and atrocities. The same critics who enjoy the right to describe their criticism of Israel as having nothing whatever to do with anti-Semitism, seem to find nothing particularly offensive about Syria's slaughter of hundreds of thousands of its own citizens.

The country whose laws respect all citizens irrespective of gender, ethnicity, religion, or sexual orientation, is the one country that garners condemnation in the hallowed corridors and theatres of the United Nations where human rights bodies are regularly represented by the very countries whose abuses of human rights are most egregious. This is a bleak, black story written in blood and tears.

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