Thursday, February 5, 2009

Anti-Zionism, Antisemitism, Guardianistas

Jonathat Freedland, a Jewish columnist at the Guardian, writes that he's disappointed in his fellow Lefties who are allowing harsh criticism of Israel to spill over into violence against the Jews of the UK.

It's an interesting article, but the comments (there are 632 of them as I write) seem mostly to disagree: Israel is abominable, Jonathan, and you're worrying about some local Jews who's feelings are hurt?

I especially liked this comment:
I have seen very, very few anti Jewish remarks on CiF but hundreds of accusations of being anti Jewish. In this climate, where genuine criticism is deliberately confused with racist criticism the accusation of antisemitism loses all meaning.

So I completely agree with Jonathan Freedland's sentiments, however the instances of antisemitism are a tiny fraction of the instances where people are called antisemitic just because calling the other guy names can be used to justify Israeli murder.


Anonymous said...

and here are the most "beautiful" pictures from the height of the hyprocrisy - Richard Branson doing a reguee runner at Davos

Philo-Semite said...

Yaacov, why do you have separate labels for "Guardian" and "Anti-Semitism"?

adam d. said...

You've probably seen this before, but:
contains arguments that I think are relevant here.

If I may summarize, Yehoshua is saying that Jews have mastered the unique ability to adapt themselves to host societies without losing their own identity, though the source and form of that identity is mysterious even to them. This allows them to do what no other "other" can do, take leading roles in the host society, all without losing what will always be assumed to be their dual allegiance.

I would add that only America is somewhat immune to this, for reasons that have everything to do with America and nothing to do with the Jews of America.

Individuals from these host countries who are individually insecure, for whatever reason, then come to fear the Jews and ultimately hate them.

That seems to be it in a nutshell. Where I think its relevant to the subject if this post is that, post WWII, Europeans have been bludgeoned and bullied into a passive acceptance of the "other", as some kind of penance for the crimes of that war.

So while the Jews, who assimilated in order to join the life of western societies and to live, were feared, the jihadis of today who really do threaten those societies and assimilate only to destroy, have become difficult to appose. The Nazis have become the boy who cried wolf, and now that the real wolf is at the door, nobody wants to hear it.

It all seems so odd. Unfair criticism of Israel, which seems like antisemitism, is also quite evidently a knee-jerk anti-westernism in which the Jews are finally accepted as part of western society, if only as a symbol of everything that is presumed to be wrong with it, while the critics urge Israel to adopt the same passivity they have adopted for themselves.