The Missing Link
At what point does legitimate criticism of Israel's policies become anti-Zionist?
At what point does anti-Zionism become antisemitism?
I. Rabbi David F. Nesenoff finds the missing link:
"Where before I saw a foggy anti-Israel, anti-Jewish link, it's now clear. This feeling is not about statehood. It's about an ingrown, organic hate. It's a sentiment that bears no connection to history, dates, passages or verses. Erase the facts, the dates and the lore. Erase the Jew. Incredibly, even the Nazis said to the Jews, "Go home to Palestine." But Thomas and a babbling stream in our world and country dictate to Jewish people to "go home to Poland and Germany." Yeah, I said "oooh."
The celebrated author wrote that:
Human vocabulary is still not capable, and probably never will be, of knowing, recognizing, and communicating everything that can be humanly experienced and felt.
And then he confirmed that his "secret" was that:
I do not just write, I write what I am.
And what he was, he explained:
Inside us there is something that has no name, that something is what we are.
Language, says Saramago, is an imperfect tool, vessel, for revealing our innermost being . A thoughtful observation though hardly an original one. Yet do we really want to have the perfect language that would define exactly what the man who wrote the following words intended to say, was longing for, was striving toward?
“[C]ontaminated by the monstrous and rooted ‘certitude’ that in this catastrophic and absurd world there exists a people chosen by God … the Jews endlessly scratch their own wound to keep it bleeding, to make it incurable, and they show it to the world as if it were a banner. Israel seizes hold of the terrible words of God in Deuteronomy: ‘Vengeance is mine, and I will be repaid.’"
"… those experts in cruelty with doctorates in disdain, who look down on the world from the heights of the insolence which is the basis of their education. We can better understand their biblical god when we know his followers. Jehovah or Yaweh or whatever he is called, is a fierce and spiteful god, whom the Israelis always live up to."
A man who so lacking in self-awareness that he did not realize how what he was articulating seemed quite unconstrained by any seeming impediment from language or knowledge, or basic decency. He was trembling with a primitive wrath against those insolent Israeli Jews. What was their mortal sin? They did not learn what they should have learned from Auschwitz. Unlike him, who, having " visited Ramallah... shortly after the Passover 2002 suicide bombing at the Park Hotel in Netanya, Israel that killed 30 people and wounded 140 more... expressed no grief for these murdered innocents. Instead, he toured areas damaged during fighting between Israeli and Palestinian armed forces and pronounced to a Portuguese radio interviewer:
“[I]n Palestine, there is a crime which we can stop. We may compare it with what happened at Auschwitz.”
So, Saramago, who confidently stated that he does not just write, but writes what he is, did not recognize any line that separates anti-Zionism from antisemitism. A proud Jew hater pretending to care for Palestinians.
III. Shock and Dismay at Vienna City Council (Wiener Gemeinderat) :
Therefore it was a surprise to the Jewish community when the Vienna City Council (Wiener Gemeinderat) voted unanimously on an anti-Israel resolution initiated by Omar al Rawi, a Social Democratic member of city council.
Erwin Javor and Peter Menasse of the Jewish periodical “Nu” sent three letters to Godwin Schuster, the Social Democratic President of the Council. They received no answer.
The first letter:
We call upon the Vienna city council in continuation of its foreign policy activities and in line with its unanimous Resolution of May 31, 2010 condemning Israel to consider the following resolution:
“The world has learnt with shock and horror about the massacre of the Uzbek Minority in Kyrgyzstan in which at least 124 victims lost their lives. The Viennese city council condemns this brutal behaviour against peaceful people.”
Kindly transmit this demand to the members of Vienna city council
With best regards
Erwin Javor, Publisher NU
Peter Menasse, editor NU