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
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
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.
dictionary says “anti-Semitism” is “hostility toward or
discrimination against Jews as a religious, ethnic or
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
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.
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
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.
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
"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
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
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.”
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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.
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!