The Chairman's Message
The Politicization of 'Anti-Semitism'
A Salute To Lebanon
Islamic Finance
Wake Up America! Israel Is Not Your Friend
Aston Martin
Freya Stark
From Cane To Sugar
Othman, The Third Muslim Caliph
Woman of Distinction
Another World Cup Encore Beckons Dubai
Habtoor News
About Us
Back Issues

Contact Us



By Linda S. Heard

  A recent target of this slur was the Spanish Prime Minister José Luis Rodriguez Zapatero. In response to his wearing a checkered Palestinian scarf and his criticism of Israel for using excessive force against Lebanon, the Israeli ambassador to Spain called him an “anti-Semite”.

  It wasn’t long before Abraham Fox of the Anti-Defamation League, got in the act saying, “The Spanish Prime Minister wears his anti-Israel bias on his sleeve”. A columnist with the Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronot wrote “nobody expected such a virulent explosion of anti-Semitism in Spain, not even under a Leftist government.”

  These orchestrated harangues against the Spanish leader sound like the ranting of madmen, except, in this case, there is a well-thought out method in their madness.

  God forbid world opinion should understand that as a result of the kidnapping of two Israeli soldiers, more than 1,200 Lebanese civilians were killed, over one million displaced, and 15,000 Lebanese homes destroyed. If this wasn’t “excessive force” on Israel’s part then it’s hard to imagine what would be classified as such.

  Yet for having the courage to say it like it is Prime Minister Zapatero is automatically labeled an ‘anti-Semite” rather than a lover of humanity sickened at seeing so many ashen toddlers still clutching on to their dead mothers as they were pulled out from under concrete.

  In this case, those of us who looked upon the devastation of Lebanon with revulsion and refrained from playing deaf dumb and blind must all be anti-Semites.

What is “anti-Semitism”?

  The Merriam-Webster dictionary says “anti-Semitism” is “hostility toward or discrimination against Jews as a religious, ethnic or racial group”.

  This description is certainly not relevant to the Spanish Prime Minister’s statement, which had nothing to do with religion, ethnicity or race. So for Israeli and pro-Israeli figures to pin this label upon him was disingenuous at best and libelous at worst.

  It isn’t the first time that prominent figures critical of Israeli policies or sympathetic towards Palestinians have been libeled such or leant on to apologize for expressing their genuine opinions.

  In 2002, the wife of the British Prime Minister Cherie Blair came under pressure from the Israeli ambassador to apologize for saying young Palestinians felt they had “no hope” but to blow themselves up.

  The British MP George Galloway, and the well-known author and journalist Robert Fisk, both champions of the Palestinian cause - are frequently called anti-Semitic for their outspoken views, as was the Mayor of London Ken Livingstone when he referred to the former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon as a “a war criminal”.

  Sharon was censored by the Israeli Kahane Commission for his part in the 1982 orgy of slaughter perpetrated against Palestinian residents of Lebanon’s Sabra and Shatila camps, so Livingstone’s description was solidly based in fact. 

  Fact, unfortunately, plays little part in the Zionist’s lexicon in which the term “anti-Semitism” has morphed into a tool to quash global dissenting voices.

  This isn’t to say that anti-Semitism doesn’t exist. It does and has done throughout history and was particularly prevalent during the Crusades, Spanish Inquisition, Soviet Union and Nazi Germany culminating in the Holocaust during which six million Jews are said to have died.  

  Its roots are in Medieval Christianity, which promulgated the view that Jews were responsible for the death sentence passed on Jesus Christ. The Vatican has apologized for this in recent years.  

  Vilified as “Christ killers”, Jews were marginalized in Europe for centuries, ostracized and forbidden from pursuing certain professions. Continued persecution meant Jewish people stuck together and were determined to pull through against all odds. Such was their success in certain fields that they became envied by poverty stricken majorities who invented the old canard of Jews planning to take over the world.

  There is no doubt that the scattered Jewish race suffered terribly and no one should deny that or seek to minimize the crimes perpetrated upon it. However, like an abused child the Jewish state has today grown up to behave like a psychopath on the rampage, without morality or conscience, especially in the way that it deals with Palestinians and its neighbor Lebanon.

  Jewish commentators are fond of claiming that today’s anti-Semites are Arabs, while conveniently burying the fact Jews lived contentedly throughout the Arab world until 1948 when the Zionist state was violently born on Palestinian land.

  "We must use terror, assassination, intimidation, land confiscation and the cutting of all social services to rid the Galilee of its Arab population," said David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s first Prime Minister. But little did he know that decades on Israel would turn terror into an art form and the Palestinians would craft resistance into a science.

What is “Zionism”?

  Zionism is a blanket term for Israel’s political ideology, and according to Merriam-Webster it’s the name of “an international movement originally for the establishment of a Jewish national or religious community in Palestine and later for the support of modern Israel”.

  The term “Zionism” was first coined in 1892 by Nathan Birnbaum, an Austrian Jew. But it was Theodore Herzl, author of “The Jewish State” who is today considered the ‘Father of Zionism”. Ze’ev Jabotinsky is known for spearheading Zionism’s militant branch.

  The Zionist dream eventually came into fruition as a result of the Holocaust which led to a mass exodus of Jews from Europe. Prior to this European Jews had little appetite to reject their comfortable existences so to pursue someone else’s vision on some foreign soil.  

  This is why Israel’s Zionist rulers seek to keep the Holocaust’s memory alive and still use these tragic memories as Israel’s raison d'être. Instead of the powerful militarized state it now is, Israel needs to be viewed as an underdog, its very existence at threat.   

  During the 2001 World Conference on Racism held in Durban South Africa Israel’s then Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Rabbi Michael Melchior wrote this under the title of “The New Anti-Semitism”:

  “A radical change has occurred in the nature of the political conflict between Israel and her Arab neighbors. A dispute over land and historic justice is now being transformed by many on the Arab side into an existential battle of identity, with the complete denial of the legitimacy of Jewish existence as a central component of this campaign.”

  Melchior has it the wrong way around. In 1969, former Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir told The Sunday Times “There is no such thing as a Palestinian people…It is not as if we came and threw them out and took their country. They didn’t exist”. Saying a people doesn’t even exist and never did is just about as racist as anyone can get.

  Her successor Menachem Begin went a step further referring to Palestinians as “beasts on two legs” and a former Israeli Chief of Staff Rafael Eytan likened Palestinians to “cockroaches in a glass jar”.

  Such misleading and degrading comments are typical of the way Israeli government figures seek to give Israel legitimacy while dehumanizing the true sons of the soil, whose ancestors still preserve yellowing deeds to homes built by their great-grandfathers.  

Arabs are “Semites” too

  Indeed, if any side can rightly be accused of anti-Semitism in the logical sense of the word it is Israel, as we shouldn’t forget that that Arabs are Semites too.

  Returning to Merriam-Webster, a “Semite” is “a member of any of a number of peoples of ancient southwestern Asia including the Akkadians, Phoenicians, Hebrews and Arabs” or “a member of a modern people speaking a Semitic language”. It’s unfortunate that the term ‘anti-Semite’ has been hijacked to refer only to racism against Jews.

  Other Jewish thinkers and writers have attempted to portray anti-Zionism as exactly the same as anti-Semitism. They say whoever seeks to paint the State of Israel as illegitimate is a Jew hater because without the state Jews would cease to exist as a people”.

The aggressor portrayed as victim

  This argument plays well to American ears as according to polls few even know that Israel occupies Palestine and not the other way around. Whereas most Europeans have received this truth loud and clear the American media is so layered with filters that the essence of this dispute Israel’s ongoing occupation escapes American audiences.

  For instance, CNN’s anchors and reporters were sent a memo to the effect Israel’s illegal West Bank colonies must be referred to as “Jewish neighborhoods”.

  When US networks broadcast scenes of stone-throwing Palestinian children being shot by Israeli soldiers, they rarely mention Israel’s occupation and the right of the Palestinians to resist. In this way Americans are given to believe Palestinian protestors are nothing more than rabblerousing members of a troublemaking minority group within Israel proper.

  Media owners keen not to upset any group which could adversely impact their business interests, concerns voiced by the pro-Israel lobby, Israel’s Hasbara propaganda machine and Jewish media monitors together ensure that the heart and soul of the issue is deliberately fudged.

  Unlike the Palestinians, the Israeli government has become an expert on public relations using the doctrine of the more you tell a lie the more it will be believed as fact. This is how it has persuaded Americans into believing Arabs are inherently anti-Semitic and are salivating over Jewish deaths.

  The US President reinforced this message following the cessation of hostilities between Israel and Hezbollah when to the amazement of just about everybody including Israelis he proclaimed an Israeli victory. 

  “What’s really interesting is a mind-set,” said Bush. “Israel, when they aimed at a target and killed innocent citizens, were upset. Society was aggrieved. When Hezbollah’s rockets killed innocent Israelis, they celebrated.”

  George Bush’s speech was designed to send this message: Israel killed over 1,000 civilians but didn’t mean to do it. Hezbollah on the other hand deliberately murdered 40 and callously threw a party.  In other words there is no moral equivalence between Lebanese and Israeli deaths, according to Bush, because once again Israel must always be handed the moral high ground and perceived to be the prime victim. It is this unremitting US bias which is a source of great frustration and resentment for most Arabs.

  Congress is more supportive of controversial Israeli policy than even the Israeli Knesset. Voices raised against Israel are rarely heard in Congress whereas the Knesset is a centre of lively debate with outraged members often escorted out by burly minders.

  When Israeli-Arab MKs attack Israeli policies during wartime they risk losing not only their careers but also their passports.  On the other hand, many Arab-American politicians prefer to vote against their consciences rather than jeopardizing their careers.

  During the recent conflict 22 US senators flew to Israel and only one, Rep. Darrell Issa, to Lebanon. For that ‘transgression’ an American right-wing radio commentator dubbed him “Jihad Darrell”. But even Issa wasn’t brave enough to be a lone dissenter against the passing of a House resolution in July supporting Israel against its enemies.

  If Issa was called a “Jihadi” for traveling to his ancestral homeland what vicious slurs would have greeted him if he had refused to stand shoulder to shoulder with the Jewish state along with his fellow Congressmen.

Arabs hate policies not people

  From the Arab perspective the conflict has nothing to do with religion or race but all to do with Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestinian land post-1967 in violation of UNSC Resolution 242.  

  Another myth with which Americans have been indoctrinated must be busted. Palestinians do not hate Jews in the way that Europe’s neo-Nazis, Austria’s Freedom Party, France’s National Front or the UK’s British National Party (BNP) clearly do.

  Unlike died-in-the-wool racists, who shave their heads, burn crosses and brandish Swastikas, Palestinians are understandably angry at Israel solely due to its governments’ aggressive and expansionist policies. They are also able to separate their feelings towards Jews as opposed to Zionists, who support the Jewish state in its crimes out of an ingrained ideology. 

  An article by the Soviet dissident Nathan Sharansky on anti-Semitism published on the World Zionist Organization’s website supports the argument that the so-called new anti-Semitism is a reaction to the Israeli state.  

  “The notion that Israel is one of the primary causes of anti-Semitism, if not the primary cause, has gained much wider currency,” writes Sharansky. “The world, we are told by friend and foe alike, increasingly hates Jews because it increasingly hates Israel.”

  “Surely, this is what the Belgian ambassador had in mind when he informed me during his visit that anti-Semitism in his country would cease once Belgians no longer had to watch pictures on television of Israeli Jews oppressing Palestinian Arabs”, he says.  

  But instead of Israeli leaders trying to reverse this growing global perception that Israel is the bad guy by sitting down at the peace table to formulate a Palestinian state based on just and fair principles, they would prefer to flex their military muscles, continue with a land grab and shriek anti-Semitism when taken to task.

  Unfortunately for Israel, though, this tactic has a shelf-life. Holocaust survivors are dying from old age. Within a few years younger generations will hardly have heard of Kristallnacht and will not be able to identify with Jewish suffering the way their fathers and grandfathers did. As memories fade, Western guilt will lessen and when that day comes, Israel will no longer be proffered a special status or a home free card.

  In the long term Israel will be judged like any other nation and will certainly be found wanting. Then its feeble accusations of anti-Semitism against the good and the honest will ring hollow. For the Palestinian people whose desperate plight is deliberately kept out of the spotlight for fear of offending “poor little Israel” that day can’t come soon enough!


| Top | Home | Al Habtoor Group | Habtoor Hotels | Al Habtoor Automobiles |
Diamond Leasing | Emirates International School |