Playing the Antisemitic Card...
I found this blog calling itself "Hitchens Watch" which purports to counter the Hitchens-worshipping bloggers of "Drunk Trotskyites" (no longer operational, I believe. Something happened to it during the heat of August).
As the blog is a "Watch", I thougt it was a serious and thoughtful attempt to provide indeed an antithesis to Hitchens' assertive, eloquent and often persuasive positions. Those who embark on rebutting Hitchens should at the very least exhibit some of the characteristics which make him so readable and controversial, such as brilliance, intelligence, awesome literary and historical knowledge, pithy language, etc. So I was tempted to leave a comment on one of their posts in which it is claimed, with supreme confidence, that pro-Israel advocates routinely use the antisemitic card in order to silence "legitimate criticism of Israel". They even provide a youtube of an interview with Shulamit Aloni, repeating the mantra.
I've written often and much about these false accusations, which in themselves constitute a variety of anti-semitic intimidation. But I made the effort to respond to the post on Hitchens Watch with this comment:
Certainly, to criticize certain policies Israel undertakes is not necessarily antisemitic. It is absolutely correct and even desirable that Israel should be viewed as any other normal country, with its interests and its self-serving policies. Any government that does not take its own citizens' security and well-being as a priority betrays the people who elected it. This does not mean that these interests cannot be discussed or criticized.
The problem arises when Israel is treated as if it were different from any other country. When the expectation is that it should care more about its enemies' comfort levels than it does about the life of its own children. This is when the alarm goes on: what does it mean, when Israel is perceived as a criminal entity, not deserving to enjoy the same human rights that are freely and generously allowed to Palestinians? What do you call this singling out of Israel from any other country on earth? If it is not rooted in antisemitism, what is it rooted in?
People who call for Israel to put aside the security of its own men women and children, what do they mean? What is their ultimate goal? What is their final vision for Israel? Does anyone care to enlighten me?
You can see from the development of the "conversation" that it was extremely difficult to get any coherent or even relevant answers to my questions. Mostly it is some sort of pretend-autism from some of the blog's participants. However, finally, one poster managed to come up with an answer to the main query:
"People who call for Israel to put aside the security of its own men women and children, what do they mean? What is their ultimate goal? What is their final vision for Israel?"
Here it is:
"Just thought I'd chime in... Israel would not have a security issue if it had not appropriated the land ( through terror) that had a majority Palestinian Arab population on it. Furthermore it continues to supress the rights and aspirations of the Palestinian people and this is why it's security is still "threatened."Also , mentioning the Holocaust in the context of Palestine is misleading. The Palestinian people had nothing to do with those horrific crimes. Based on what I've read, most Jewish survivors of the Holocaust opted to move to the U.S. and not Israel at the conclusion of WW2(as most indeed did). As for the vision of what should exist: a shared homeland for both people with a majority Palestinian govt reflecting the real demographic make-up of the area's population and a return of property to those Palestinian families who lost theirs during the creation of Israel." (Omar)
In other words, the destruction of the Jewish state, the subjection of its Jewish population to Palestinian (Arab-Muslim) rule and whim, the expulsion of Jewish from their homes, etc etc. The author of this solution does not specify where the expelled Jews are to go. If it sounds familar, it should. A mythic tale of Jewish perfidy, repeated and indoctrinated until it becomes an instinctive, irrefutable truth, and the proposed (natural and normalized) solution for its ending.
And this, gentle reader, is not antisemitism but a "legitimate criticism of Israeli policies".
But there should be no surprise that these are the kinds of ideas promoted by this self-righteous blog, if you understand how the Holocaust is defined by one of its founders:
"I've heard the name, and I expect you are referring to the genocides that took place in Europe during WW2, but I'm not very familiar with the plot. There have been so many holocausts in history, not to mention in fiction, and so many versions of different holocaust tales, that unless you're an enthusiast it's hard to keep up with it all. And being an old fart who got his formative education in the UK in the sixties, the subject never came up in school.
What I do know about the holocaust with a capital "H" is that in many countries you can be put in prison for denying it happened. " (greywolf)
If you are shocked by the callousness of this dismissive "definition" (coming, as it does, from one who pretends to speak for international law and universal human rights) , you might find it less shocking if you notice that greywolf's next comment relies on a quote from the antisemitic blog "Rense".
What is "rense"?
"Rense's radio program and website, Rense.com, cover subjects such as 9/11 conspiracy theories, UFO reporting, paranormal phenomena, Holocaust denial, Zionism, tracking of new diseases and possible resultant pandemics, environmental concerns (see chemtrails), animal rights, possible evidence of advanced ancient technology, geopolitical developments and emergent energy technologies, complementary and alternative medicine among other subjects." (Wiki)
Well then, so much for " "legitimate criticism of Israel" ..
"Civilization is not self-supporting. It is artificial. If you are not prepared to concern yourself with the upholding of civilization -- you are done." (Ortega y Gasset)
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Playing the Antisemitic Card...