Let's See the "Criticism" of Israel for the Anti-Semitism It Really Is

[Independent-UK] Howard Jacobson - The hatred of Israel expressed in our streets, campuses, newspapers, radios and televisions is a discriminatory, over-and-above hatred, inexplicable in its hysteria and virulence whatever justification is adduced for it; an unreasoning, deranged revulsion that is poisoning everything we are supposed to believe in - the free exchange of opinions, the clear-headedness of thinkers and teachers, modernity of outlook, tolerance, and truth. You can taste the toxins on your tongue. But I am not allowed to ascribe any of this to anti-Semitism. In the matter of Israel and the Palestinians, England has been heading towards a dictatorship of the one-minded for a long time; we seem now to have attained it. What do we think we are doing when we call the Israelis Nazis and liken Gaza to the Warsaw Ghetto? In the early 1940s some 100,000 Jews and Romanis died of engineered starvation and disease in the Warsaw Ghetto, another quarter of a million were transported to the death camps. Don't mistake me: every Palestinian killed in Gaza is a Palestinian too many, but there is not the remotest similarity, either in intention or in deed, between Gaza and Warsaw. Berating Jews with their own history is the latest species of Holocaust denial. Anyone with scant knowledge of the history of Israeli-Palestinian relations would assume that Jews descended on the country as from a clear blue sky; that they had no prior association with the land other than in religious fantasy and through some scarce remembered genealogical affiliation. They make little or nothing of the Jews' unbroken connection with the country going back to the Arab conquest more than a thousand years before, the piety felt for the land, or the waves of idealistic immigration which long predated the post-Holocaust influx.

2009-02-18 06:00:00

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