As enlightened as I believe Warren Kinsella is on most issues his anti-semitism bent has always thoroughly confused me. He recently went on another rant, accusing an entire political party of being anti-semitic, and posted a link to this: The New Anti-Semitism.
Extreme anti-semitism-phobes (yes, I believe I may have just created that term) like himself are almost as bad as Scientologists when they see their name used and not immediately followed by (excellent|wonderful|best|the chosen ones). They claim people’s ideas are irrational yet they never take the time themselves to read the ideas. Again, it seems if it’s not a glowing review of Israel it must be hatred.
Let’s take a look at some of the arguments put forth in the article linked above:
Soviet Russia stepped up the propaganda and alliance with Arabs and over a period of 55 years literally indoctrinated/educated Arabs and Western intellectuals both on the Left, in the academy, and in the media to see despotic Arabs (and suicide bombers) as “victims,” Israelis as “victimizers.” What is “new” about anti-Semitism is that it is now “politically correct” on the presumably anti-racist and feminist Left to hate Jews and especially the Jewish state.
Wow. Where to start?
- Where are the people who think suicide bombers are victims? The Palestinians are normally considered victims, to some extent, but the media has done a bang-up job classifying the bombers as terrorists. If anyone reading this equates all Palestinians with the terrorists then you may as well stop now, or else you must also equate all Jews with the one who walked into a crowded mosque with a gun and murdered tons of people.
- Who hates the Jews? Aside from true anti-semites and Israels enemies in the region I don’t think anyone does. This is a purposeful misinterpretation of dislike for the actions of the state and the people. I sure don’t like a lot of what the American government is doing these days but that doesn’t mean I dislike the people. I think it’s harder for some people to separate the two since Israel is purposefully homogeneous, but that still doesn’t make it true.
- It is correct that Israel has been labeled a victimizer. The Palestinians have been as well, although less so because of their inherently smaller capability to create victims. But, let’s give this a “fair” trial. Does a victimizer hold hundreds of thousands of people in internment camps? Shoot missiles into crowded squares of protestors? Bomb buildings full of civilians? Assassinate leaders? Walk into a mosque and start spraying gunfire? Yes on all counts.
- To continue the fairness, on the side of the Palestinians, does a victimizer send suicide bombers onto buses full of school children? Assassinate leaders? Kidnap citizens and military personel? Yes on all counts again.
- Based on the above there is no logical reason that either side shouldn’t be labeled victimizers, so let’s move past that.
The more interesting question, in my mind, is why these people think it’s so one-sided? The cynic in me thinks it’s because they see there’s no other way to justify a lot of what Isreal is doing to the Palestinians, so they devolve to attempts at invoking guilt. I’m not a cynic, so don’t think that is representative, but it’s probably mostly caused by the sheer emotion of the issue. Emotion often makes people blind to reason and logic.
The Israel/Panestine issue is super complicated and needs to be treated as such, not simply by trying to change the argument. Both sides are very much in the “wrong.” Both sides have multiple ways they could end it, but don’t, and are still too mad at each other to give on up the killing.