How can criticism of Israel be stopped? By labelling it as anti-Semitism, or so supporters of Israel right or wrong believe. This has always been Zionism’s game but now the U.S. State Department, no doubt under immense pressure from the Zionist lobby and its Christian fundamentalist allies, is playing it, too. In my view the State Department’s 94-page study, Contemporary Global Anti-Semitism,is a disengenuous and dangerous document which might well make all Jews everywhere more not less vulnerable.
In his report of the study, Ron Kampeas of the JTA (“The Global News Service of the Jewish People”) says: “U.S. diplomats and other officials will be expected to take their cues from this forceful language in how they deal with political groups and individuals overseas.”
The “forceful” language of the State Department study includes the following two paragraphs (my emphasis added for comment below):
“Anti-Semitism has proven to be an adaptive phenomenon. New forms of anti-Semitism have evolved. They often incorporate elements of traditional anti-Semitism. However, the distinguishing feature of the new anti-Semitism is criticism of Zionism or Israeli policy – whether intentionally or unintentionally – has the effect of promoting prejudice against all Jews by demonizing Israel and Israelis and attributing Israel’s perceived faults to its Jewish character.
“Regardless of the intent, disproportionate criticism of Israel as barbaric and unprincipled, and correspondingly discriminatory measures adopted by the UN against Israel, have the effect of causing audiences to associate negative attributes with Jews in general, thus fuelling anti-Semitism.”
I am very much aware that telling the truth of history as it relates to the making and sustaining of conflict in and over Palestinecould provoke classical anti-Semitism, this because the truth of history includes the fact that Israel was created, mainly, by Zionist terrorism and ethnic cleaning. Though the two crimes against humanity were different in scale, the denial by supporters of Israel right or wrong of Zionism’s ethnic cleansing in Palestineis as obscene as the denial of the Nazi holocaust.
The question is… How can the truth of history be told, and Israel be criticised, without provoking classical anti-Semitism? The short answer is that the context must explain the difference between Judaism and Zionism. As I never tire of writing and saying, knowledge of this difference is the key to understanding why it is perfectly possible to be passionately anti-Zionist(opposed to Zionism’s colonial enterprise) without being in any way shape or form anti-Semitic; and, also, why it is wrong to blame all Jews everywhere for the crimes of the hardest core Zionist few in Israel.
If citizens of all faiths and none in the nations of the mainly Gentile Judeo-Christian world were aware of the differencies between Judiasm and Zionism, and how Zionism has made a mockery of and has contempt for the moral values and ethical principles of Judaism, there would be no danger of the truth of history and criticism of Israel provoking anti-Semitism.
As it relates to those of us who, with our books and public speaking, are on the frontline of the war for the truth of history and are by definition anti-Zionist, the State Department’s assertion (emphasised above) that we attribute Israel’s “perceived faults” to it’s “Jewish character” is libellous nonsense. We say the very opposite – that Israel is a Zionist state, nota Jewish state.
In conversation with me for a forthcoming television production, Professor Ilan Pappe, Israel’s leading “revisionist” or honest historian, offered a most penetrating observation. He was talking about the principle of the OneStatesolution and he said:
“The OneStatewould replace the racist and apartheid state with a shared democracy, a state for all of its citizens. This would create a state that was far more Jewish than the Zionist statebecause the Zionist state is not a Jewish state and abuses the principles of Judaism.” (My emphasis added).
As emphasised above, the State Department’s study also asserts that regardless of intention, “disproportionate criticism of Israel” (what the hell is that?) has the effect of “causing audiences to associate negative attributes with Jews in general.” This could not happen if audiences were aware of the difference between Judaism and Zionism.
Memo to the State Department: If you really want to play a part in stopping the monster of classical anti-Semitism going on the rampage again, take the lead in explaining the difference between Judaism and Zionism. (And read my two-volume book, Zionism: The Real Enemy of the Jews).