Thoughts and concerns regarding yesterday's article by Suzanne Weiss regarding how to fight anti-Semitism...
Dear Ms. Weiss,
This is in reply to your article posted in rabble.ca. Your introduction and your general comments on racism are accurate and thoughtful. But by the middle of your first section, you started piling distortion upon falsehood in a continuous crescendo till the very end.
You say (my emphasis):
This is particularly evident in the Middle East, where there is no historic tradition of anti-Semitism.
Really? Evidently, you never lived in a Muslim country. But you could have learned about the long history of Islamic animosity against Jews, even during the so-called “golden age” of Al-Andalus; the supremacist attitude of Islam against Jews and Christians, entrenched in Koranic injunctions; the segregation of non-Muslims, firmly established in the “Dhimma” covenant, as researched extensively by Bat Yeor in her book Islam and Dhimmitude: Where Civilizations Collide; the importation to the Middle East of the anti-Jewish Nazi ideology by Hassan al-Banna of the Muslim Brotherhood and by the Mufti of Jerusalem, Hajj Amin el-Husseini, who admired Hitler, actively supported his genocidal views, and was eager to start his own program of extermination had it not been for the Nazi defeat at El-Alamein in 1942; the glee with which Arabs massacred Jews in Iraq (the “Farhud” in 1941) and elsewhere with the rallying cry of Yitbah-al-Yahud (“Behead the Jews!”); and the present manifestations of anti-Jewish rage overtly voiced in the Palestinian media, mosques, schools and Charters. Sure, Islamic anti-Semitism never reached the horrors of the Holocaust. But is that a reason why it should be whitewashed so clumsily?
The Israeli government insists that its wars and its oppression of the Palestinians are actions of the Jewish people as a whole, defending their interests as Jews. The world media repeat this lie. It is not surprising that many victims of Israel’s crimes blame the Jews. The Israeli government’s actions create a hearing for anti-Semitism.
If you really attach meaning to your words – rather than “repeating the lies” hammered day and night by Palestinian Arabs, and conveniently projecting them on Israel in a well known psychological mechanism of self-defense to cleanse the atrocities of the people you defend – you would have to define “Israel’s crimes” and its “oppression of the Palestinians”, and do so factually, rather than stupidly parroting the tiresome resolutions of the UN Human Rights Council, which has turned into a laughable circus since its inception.
The most effective response for progressive Jews is to insist, loud and clear, “Not In Our Name” – and for all of us to work for an end to Israel’s wars and oppression.
I would have been surprised if the baseless cliché of “oppression” did not appear at least twice in rapid succession! The NION crowd of brainless puppets believe that repetition of nonsense makes it believable, which is probably true when they address crowds of their same intellectual calibre.
Today, the Canadian government condemns the campaign to defend Palestine.
The Canadian government is absolutely right – not because it “condemns the campaign to defend ‘Palestine’” (whatever ‘Palestine’ means) – but because it is a campaign aimed at denigrating, delegitimizing and demonizing Israel without any shred of evidence.
There is nothing anti-Jewish in Israeli Apartheid Week: it is an educational event on political issues of concern to us all. They say my homeland is Israel. And here I thought it my homeland was Canada!
When Palestinians and their hapless supporters target the ‘collective Jew’ that Israel represents, and they focus their condemnation exclusively and selectively on Israel (while ignoring the unspeakable atrocities inflicted by the Palestinians themselves on both Jews and their Arab brethren), it is without a doubt anti-Jewish. If only a fraction of this slander were directed against, say, Italy, then the Italian-Canadians would feel the same outrage at having their homeland denigrated, even though they are as Canadian as anyone. But if you find this slander “educational” you must be by now irredeemably brainwashed, to the credit of the Palestinian propaganda peddlers and their masterfully conducted campaign.
The Canadian government says that to criticize Israel is an attack on the Jewish people. This is absurd. Criticism of Israel is not prejudice.
The real absurdity is in failing to distinguish criticism of policies from denial of the national Jewish character of Israel. The latter is called anti-Zionism and this is exactly what the Palestinians regularly engage into and what you seem too blind to recognize.
As for singling out Israel, the Palestinian solidarity movement simply applies to Israel the same standards used for any other country. It is Israel that singles itself out, by carrying out crimes, like the siege of Gaza, with no parallel elsewhere in the world.
Fiction here reaches new heights! Let’s review recent events and observe how even-handedly the “Palestinian solidarity movement” reacted: every week, there are scores of Muslims killed by other Muslims in Iraq; the Saudis built a wall inside Yemeni territory and along its Iraqi border to prevent infiltration; Muslim Pakistanis kills Muslim Taliban by the hundreds with the assistance of the U.S. Air Force; China represses the Uighur Muslims, killing hundreds of them; the Lebanese Army attacks a Palestinian refugee camp in Nahr-al-Bared, displacing 30,000 people. But did we hear any semblance of a protest from any “progressive” group that is solely focused on the putative “Israeli crimes” against the Palestinians? And what are those “crimes”, actually? Nothing more than a protracted military action of self-defence against thousands of Hamas rockets hitting Israel for the past four years, a Palestinian aggression that has, indeed, “no parallel elsewhere in the world.” How could you invert reality in such a grotesque fashion? The answer is simple: in the realm of pure fiction, there is no need to account for reality.
It is argued that we in the Palestinian solidarity movement do not accept the existence of Israel. So let us be clear. Israel exists … That does not mean that this country must be ethnically exclusive. What we do not accept is Israeli apartheid -- that is, a state based on the oppression of a subject people.
So, “Israel exists”, but it should not exist as an “ethnically exclusive” country, which means it should not be a Jewish nation-state, as it was intended from the beginning and recognized as such in international law back in 1920.
Ms. Weiss, your indignation would be more credible had you extended the same opposition to ethnically-exclusive Japan, Poland, Iceland and many other nation-states which never expressed any desire to be multicultural states. But I suppose you must direct your wrath at Israel exclusively, to keep your “solidarity” with the “Palestinian movement” and to include, for the third time, the notion of “oppression” and the red herring of “apartheid.”
When Arabs constitute 20% of the current Israeli population and these Arabs find their place in the Knesset, in the judiciary, in the Foreign Service, in hospitals, in universities and, in some cases, in the Army, no one other than the maliciously obtuse would call Israel an “apartheid” society. On the other hand, when the Palestinian Arabs insist on dismantling all Jewish settlements in the “West Bank” to make it Judenrein, I wonder why the term “apartheid” no longer comes to your mind.
And then you propose three measures to end “Israeli apartheid”:
1. Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands, dismantling the Wall and freeing all Palestinian and Arab political prisoners;
Here, you show your sheer ignorance of law, history and current events, not to mention semantics. How do you define those “Arab lands” which Israel should cease to “occupy”? If these “Arab lands” – wherever they may be – are indeed “occupied”, perhaps you could enlighten us by responding to the following questions:
1) Occupied from whom? Every occupation presupposes the prior existence of a legitimate sovereign power, as when Germany occupied sovereign France. So, which legitimate power held these lands prior to the so-called Israeli “occupation”?
2) When did these “Arab lands” become Palestinian?
3) When was such a “Palestinian nation” born and when did it disappear, now that everyone is eager to have it reborn?
But of course, Ms. Weiss, no one is holding his/her breath waiting for a coherent explanation from you. Because the minute you realize that the answer to those questions throws your crafted fiction into utter disarray, you would experience that most unpleasant feeling of having been used as the proverbial useful idiot.
As to the “Palestinian and Arab political prisoners” who should be “freed”, let me remind you: a) that Israel has freed thousands of Arabs from its jails in a most lopsided exchange that should have shamed any Arab leader conscious of such undignified balance sheet; and b) that none of those convicts were “political prisoners” but hardened criminals, a third of whom resumed their murderous activities soon after being released.
2. Recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality;
You should understand that citizenship is not a right but a privilege bestowed by the sovereign according to laws it freely adopts. Israeli Basic Laws granted citizenship to its Arab residents. Citizenship provided Arabs with the right to vote, to elect their deputies and to enjoy basically all the same rights as their Jewish fellow citizens. But with citizenship also come obligations, the most important of which is the respect of the state and its laws. So, when Sheikh Raed Salah, an Israeli citizen and the head of the Northern Islamic Movement, gathered 30,000 followers three years ago in the stadium of Kfar Kana (an Israeli Arab town in lower Galilee) and, to raucous applause, the Sheikh urged the crowd to "save Jerusalem from the hands of the Jews" and assured them that "Jerusalem will soon be the capital of the world Islamic nation, and it will be governed by a caliph", one should pause and question the loyalty of a substantial part of the Arab citizenry. And this, from only a small portion of the Israeli Arab population, in a small village of Galilee.
3. Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in U.N. General Assembly resolution 194.
There couldn’t be a complete account of Palestinian grievances without the mandatory mention of the “right of return of the refugees” because this is the cornerstone of the Palestinian agenda: the eradication of the Jewish state of Israel. And to buttress this non-right, Palestinians and their supporters do not hesitate to rehash the UNGA Resolution 194, as many leftist scholars did (with a straight face, I must add, even though I wonder whether they have read the full Resolution) at the recent “Israel/Palestine” conference held at York University last June.
Let me show you the vacuity of your argument:
- General Assembly Resolutions are not binding and do not constitute international law.
- Resolution 194 was rejected by all Arab countries. It is then preposterous for them, 60 years later, to hail this document as essential.
- The article which refers to the refugees (Art. 11) is just one among 15 which deal primarily with a "Conciliation Commission" aimed at resolving all the issues pending between Arabs and Israelis, something the Arabs were obviously not prepared to do then and probably not now, with some rare exceptions.
- Article 11 does not specifically mention the "Palestinian Arab” refugees. If the question of Jewish refugees is included (at it should normally be), then the "responsible Governments" that Art. 11 refers to would be at a far greater disadvantage for any "compensation for loss of property", given the much larger assets that the Jews left behind when they were expelled from Arab countries.
- Restricting the return to those “who wish to live at peace with their neighbours" (Art. 11) evidently bars the majority of the Palestinian Arabs who were actively hostile to Israel even before May 14, 1948, and still are today according to most polls.
- Article 11 not only mentions the “return" but also the "resettlement and economic rehabilitation" of the refugees wherever their present location may be, something the Arab states (with the exception of Jordan) have been reluctant to do to this day. The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) has opposed any termination of the "refugee status" of the Palestinian Arabs even after the third or fourth generation of refugees, contrary to the usual practice of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) which applies to all other refugee groups in the world.
And this is your assessment of the three measures you proposed:
None of these measures is in any way prejudicial to the rights of Jewish people in Israel or elsewhere. Indeed, these demands are in the best interests of Israeli Jews as well as Palestinians.
This is way beyond fiction; it is nothing short of insanity. Free thousands of Arab criminals with blood in their hands; acquiesce to the seditious calls of Israeli Arab citizens; let millions of Palestinians swamp the land of Israel. But we should all trust your comforting thoughts: it is not “prejudicial” to the Jews of Israel; it is even in their “best interests”! I would not expect such rhetoric coming from the most hopeless asylum.
Finally you conclude with this pearl of doublespeak:
The struggle to liberate the Palestinians goes hand in hand with opposition to anti-Semitism. In a broader sense, the movement against Israeli apartheid is directed against the fountainhead of anti-Semitism: the racist ideology that still permeates our society.
That’s it! Why didn’t we think of this before? Destroy the Jews and their State to eliminate anti-Semitism at its source. Long live George Orwell!
With my best wishes for a prompt recovery,
SB, Toronto Ontario, Canada