In the aftermath of World War II, with the hideous revelation that two-thirds of European Jews had been systematically exterminated by the Nazis, anti-Semitism became unfashionable. But that is no longer the case. Only a few days ago, a Jewish man was stabbed in Ukraine for no other reason than being Jewish, and in January, pig heads were sent to Jewish institutions in Rome. A Poll recently held in Poland found that 63% of its people believe that there is a Jewish conspiracy to control the international media and banking systems, and 13% of Poles still believe that Jews use Christian blood for personal ritual purposes. As Dan Margalit wrote recently in Israel Hayom: "The world's Left and Right may be at odds over every possible issue, but when it comes to hating Jews they find common ground."
As the memory of the Holocaust fades into history, as we continue to transfer petro-wealth to our enemies; as Europe morphs into Eurabia; as Islamists take control over the UN and an increasing number of Middle East and North African countries, and as our universities become hotbeds for virulent anti-Israel teachings and rhetoric – logic fades, fictions become facts, distinctions between democracies and tyrannies become irrelevant, history becomes unimportant, and anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism become indistinguishable.
Natan Sharansky uses what he terms “the 3D test” to distinguish legitimate criticism of Israel from anti-Semitism, and he identifies the three categories as delegitimization, demonization and the double standard. Taking these three factors into account, one can discern that the new anti-Semitism manifests itself in many different forms and in many different forums – through divestment campaigns, international boycotts of Israeli products, entertainers and academics, holding Israel to standards no other nations in the world are required to meet, and through “Israel Apartheid Week” on Canadian and American college campuses where Israel is assigned the role of “Jew” among the nations of the world to be singled-out, cursed, harassed and defamed.
As Richard Cohen wrote in the Washington Post: “Google ‘Israel and Apartheid’, you will see that the two are linked in cyberspace despite the fact that Israeli Arabs, about one-fifth of Israel’s population, have the same civil and political rights as do Israeli Jews, and even sit in the Knesset."
Consider this. Under apartheid in South Africa, whites and non-whites lived in separate regions of the country. Non-whites were prohibited from running businesses or professional practices in the white areas without permits. They had separate amenities (i.e. beaches, buses, schools, benches, drinking fountains, restrooms), received inferior education, medical care, and other public services, and although they were the overwhelming majority of the population, they could not vote or become citizens.
In contrast, Israel is a democracy in which Jews and Arabs have equal rights under the law, live where they choose, and benefit from the same health, welfare and infrastructure policies and programs. Israeli Arabs also enjoy the highest standard of living, the highest rates of longevity and literacy, and the lowest rate of infant mortality of any Arab-Muslim population in the Middle East! Israel also has an open political system in which Israeli Arabs vote, run for office, and serve in government. Moreover, Israel allows freedom of speech to a degree not tolerated in the Arab-Muslim world, and in fact does not even employ the same kinds of safeguards against sedition and treason that are taken for granted in the United States and other Western democracies.
Given all this, it should come as no surprise that Salim Jubran, an Israeli Arab, sits on the Supreme Court of Israel, and Arabic is an official language in Israel and is posted on all road signs. In 1948, there was only one Arab high school in Israel. Today there are hundreds.
And this. The valedictorian of the most recent graduating class at the medical school at Israel's MIT - Technion - was a Muslim woman. Israel is also the only country in the region in which the Christian population isn't falling precipitously. Israel's Arab Christians in fact make up one-third of Israel's pharmacists and have a higher rate of success on their graduation exams than Israeli Jewish students. The Golani Brigade, an elite Israeli army unit, recently appointed Col. Rassan Alian, a Druze, as its commander and Alian joins other members of the Druze community who have served or are currently serving as Israeli ambassadors to Brazil, Norway and the Dominican Republic.
Moreover, in February 2013, a new Miss Israel was named. She was Yityish Aynaw, a 21-year old Ethiopian-born Israeli. And she is not the first Ethiopian-born Israeli to be honored. In 2011, Hagit Yaso was the first Ethiopian-born winner of the Israeli version of "American Idol." In 2012, Belaynesh Zevadia was appointed Israel's first Ethiopian-born ambassador - to Ethiopia, and in January 2013, Pnina Tamano-Shata (of the Yesh Atid party) became the first Ethiopian woman to be elected to the Knesset, not to mention Ahmad Tibi, an Arab Israeli, who is deputy speaker of the Israeli Knesset and leader of the Arab Movement for Change, or Ta'al. In fact, in the whole Middle East, only 1.6 million Arabs have complete political and religious freedom.......and all of them live in Israel. Some apartheid!
The fact that these anti-Israeli boycott campaigners on our campuses attack Israel as an apartheid state not only demonstrates their ignorance of what apartheid was in South Africa, but raises the issue of why they do not propose boycotts of states that truly merit international disgust and censure.
These protests aren’t just against Israel. They are also against the Jewish People. Israel’s Operation Cast Lead at the close of 2008 – a legitimate act of self-defense by any and all international standards – evoked universal resentment and hatred. Around the world, synagogues and Jewish graves were desecrated and anti-Semitic chants were shouted at protests. In April 2009, a swastika was found painted on a Jewish fraternity house at the University of Florida and on American campuses, and comparisons continue to be made between Israelis and Nazis, and between Palestinian refugee camps and Auschwitz.
In all this, it is quite clear that distinctions between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism are increasingly blurred. Taken in its totality, Israel not only has no right to defend itself in response to terrorist attacks, but it has no right to exist – which suggests that missile attacks on Israel’s civilian population are not only justified, but desirable.
The lies perpetrated by otherwise respectable international religious, educational and political bodies not to mention much of the Western media against the only democracy in the Middle East are most notable in the double standards that are applied to Israel as opposed to states that have slaughtered their own peoples for decades with absolute immunity from international censure.
It is true, of course, that criticizing Israel does not make one an anti-Semite any more than criticizing the government of France makes one anti-French. But it's one thing to criticize France, and something else to declare the French nation illegitimate and to advocate its destruction. Martin Luther King, Jr. once referred to Israel as "one of the great outposts of democracy in the world," with an "incontestable right to exist,” but on Canadian and U.S. campuses today, he would be a pariah.
Funny how these campus activists never seem to mention the Syrian de jure occupation of Lebanon, or Saudi funding of global jihad, or the treatment of Saudi women, or the crushing of all democratic dissent in Iran. They have no difficulty bemoaning capital punishment in the United States, but say nothing when the Palestinians routinely execute suspected Israeli collaborators including the mothers of young children, or when Hamas throws Fatah supporters to their deaths off 15-story buildings. These demonstrators have no problem with the anti-democratic regimes that govern the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the Islamic Republic of Mauritania or the Islamic Republic of Iran, but they are incensed at the idea of a Jewish state of Israel despite such a state being the only true democracy in the Middle East.
It is shameful that pro-Palestinian professors and students on American, Canadian and European campuses pretend that the only reason for the problems in the Middle East is because of Israeli obstinacy as if it is the fault of the Israelis and not the rejectionist Arab world. Not only has every Israeli concession and every act of goodwill and compassion not changed the way Israel is portrayed – but each concession, each accommodation, each withdrawal first from Lebanon, then from Gaza has only fed the furious hatred that Islam and the international community feels for it.
Borders have nothing to do with peace in the Middle East. It is the existence of Israel as a Jewish state, the nation manifestation of the Jewish people, in the midst of the Muslim umma that offends the Arabs and their supporters. For the Israelis, recognizing Israel as a Jewish state is another way of having everyone in the region accept the legitimacy of Israel's presence which the Arabs are not prepared to do. Even if the Jews were to redraw their borders along the lines proposed by the Peel Commission in 1937 hatred towards them would not have been affected. The Palestinians have never been willing to make do with a small state of their own which they have been offered on numerous occasions. They want "justice", revenge, recognition as victims, and above all else - the "right of return." For that reason they are unwilling to declare an end to the conflict nor are they prepared to promise to make no further demands in future.
In short, they will never recognize Israel as a Jewish state. In fact, it is the history of Jews in that land stretching back 3,500 years that offends them which accounts for their threats against Israel when it declares its intention to make the Cave of the Patriarchs and Rachel’s Tomb national historic sites (the latter of which is attacked daily by the Palestinians with stones and Molotov cocktails) with the aim of restoring them and opening them to the world. The fact that all religions will have freedom of access to such sites is irrelevant to the Palestinians who have spent millions of U.S. and European dollars teaching their children that Jews are "the descendants of pigs and monkeys" who came to the Land as usurpers less than a century ago, that the biblical Canaanites were Arabs, Jesus was a Palestinian, and Abraham was a Muslim, albeit the fact that he lived almost three thousand years before Islam was born!
The short of it is this. Israel could grant its enemies every possible concession (and has), but that would not bring peace. Nothing short of Israel’s destruction will suffice. Truth is - anti-Zionism becomes anti-Semitism when it reaches a certain pitch, and singling out Israel for condemnation and international sanctions - out of all proportion to any other parties in the Middle East - is anti-Semitic, and not saying so is intellectually dishonest.
In May 2010, a Turkish Islamist "charity" with close ties to terrorist organizations as well as Turkey's ruling party sponsored a flotilla which it claimed was designed to “relieve suffering” in Gaza, but whose real intention was to support Hamas and demonize Israel. Yet, these same “human rights” organizations are silent in the face of atrocities being committed in Syria today, and have offered nothing to alleviate the suffering of the Syrian people.
So, why is all this passion, all this anger and rage, directed at this one country? Why not at Hezbollah which has effectively orchestrated an Iranian-backed coup in Lebanon? Or at those who continue to persecute Christians in Libya, Syria and Iran?
Let's call it what it is for those who arrogantly hold Israel to a standard of conduct to which no other nation in this world is held. Half a million men, women and children are slaughtered in Rwanda, and there is silence. The Chinese annihilate Tibetan culture, and there is silence. Tens of thousands of civilians are slaughtered in Chechnya, and there is silence. When the Muslim Brotherhood under Mohamed Morsi ruled Egypt and imprisoned the leading democracy advocate in the Arab world after a phony trial, and imprisoned U.S.-funded pro-democracy American workers, not a single student group in America called for divestiture from Egypt or rallied for the release of the imprisoned workers. Even Congress was incensed. But where were the student rallies?
Syria occupied Lebanon for a quarter century, choked the life out of its democracy, assassinated its political leaders, effected a coup d'etat through its Hezbollah proxy, sent Islamic terrorists over its borders to kill Americans and Iraqis, and has slaughtered thousands of its own people, and not one single student organization on our campuses rallied against the Assad regime or called for divestiture from Syria.
Iran uses its paramilitary Basij thugs to beat up student demonstrators in the streets of Tehran and squeezes the life out of that county’s embryonic democratic movement, and there is silence. Saudi Arabia denies its women the most basic human rights, and bans any other religion from being practiced publicly on its soil. So when is Saudi Apartheid Week?
These human rights violations and tragedies dwarf anything done by the Israelis, yet they fail to elicit the same degree of moral outrage that Israel evokes among its campus critics.
Three years ago, Israel’s Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren was shouted down by Hamas supporters and radical Leftists, and forced to leave the podium at the University of California Irvine, but when the university pressed charges against the students, they argued that their right to free speech was being infringed! Apparently, Ambassador Oren was not entitled to that right as well.
In Jenin, in April 2002, Israel was painted as the world's pariah: "Nazis," "butchers," "conducting war crimes," "surrounding the infant Jesus with Israeli tanks," claims of 3,000 Palestinians being massacred, claims that Israelis poisoned the Palestinian water supply, and claims that Israel dumped Palestinian corpses into secret mass graves. A bishop in Copenhagen compared former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to King Herod. Newspapers across Europe, especially the BBC, "substantiated" these lies with reports of grisly deeds by Israeli soldiers. Palestinians went on international media networks with the active complicity of those networks in accusing Israel of murdering Palestinians for their body parts - lies later reinforced by respectable European newspapers, and even by a member of the British House of Lords in February 2010. The problem with all this is that no massacre occurred in Jenin! Less than a hundred armed terrorists were killed in Operation Defensive Shield, and almost as many Israeli soldiers were killed because they were ordered to go from house-to-house to avoid civilian casualties wherever possible. But that was of little consequence to those in the media and on our college campuses who condemned Israel for "unspeakable war crimes."
In Lebanon in 2006, Israel was condemned for violating Lebanese sovereignty with scant mention made of the hundreds of Hezbollah missiles falling onto Israel's civilian population centers, and its use of Lebanese civilians as human shields.
The same hypocrisy held true in the conclusions reached by the Goldstone Report on Operation Cast Lead which accepted the lies of Hamas as fact, disregarded Israeli commission findings, denied Israel’s right to defend itself, and condemned Israel for having conducted war crimes in Gaza. The Report made little mention of the 8,000 missiles fired at southern Israel, and minimized reports that Hamas had used civilians as human shields, and mosques, schools and houses in residential areas to conceal its weapons – not to mention the millions of leaflets dropped and cell phone calls made in Arabic by the Israeli military to provide warnings to Palestinians in targeted areas.
When the UN hosted the Third World Conference Against Racism in Durban, the nations of the world had an opportunity to address the hatred that afflicts hundreds of millions of people, but they only found time to dwell on Israel accusing it of genocide, ethnic cleansing, racism, and apartheid while the genocides in Bosnia and the Sudan were barely mentioned.
In the name of "human rights" and "justice," these advocates and self-proclaimed "protectors of the Free World" decry any and every Israeli action and seek to punish it by conducting academic and cultural boycotts of Israel while Palestinian clerics call for the murder of Jews without eliciting any protest whatsoever.
The Saudi and Egyptian media report on Jewish conspiracies causing 9/11, and run TV programs on Ramadan alleging blood libels, but there is no international outcry.
And the Western media isn't much better. The recent death of Nelson Mandela triggered a media avalanche which inaccurately singled out Israel for its trade with apartheid South Africa. The South African Institute for Race Relations estimates that in 1986, trade with Israel was about $214 million, with arms sales a further $272 million. In contrast, two-way trade with the U.S. at that time was $3.32 billion - repeat, billion - with Japan at $3.27 billion and Britain $2.52 billion. The Soviet Union cooperated to ensure that South Africa's De Beers company could maintain its world hold on the price of diamonds and thus helped to keep apartheid in place. Moreover, apartheid was able to survive because South Africa received all the oil it needed from Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq and other oil states. As for arms, South Africa also bought from Britain, France, Spain and the U.S., and enjoyed nuclear cooperation with France, the U.S., and West Germany.
The bitter reality is that for Israel, neither the mainstream media nor international legal frameworks provide any protection or any hope for justice. Instead, these frameworks are used to exploit the rhetoric of human rights and morality to attack Israel.
Today, even as Israel absorbs missiles fired indiscriminately at its civilian population by terrorists, one continues to hear the howls and hatred voiced about "The Wall" particularly those “innocent” suicide bombers who are being kept from their religious duty of self-detonating amid crowds of Jews. In that regard, I was asked in a lecture to explain why Israel was “ghettoizing” the Palestinians by constructing a security fence in areas that served as transit points for terrorists entering the country. The questioner noted that, as a Jew, I should be more sensitive to the concept of a ghetto, and its dehumanizing effects on human beings. I responded that the security fence was neither built for reasons of discrimination nor motivated by racism, but as a deterrent to protect the lives of Israelis from Palestinian suicide bombers and, in fact, it continues to accomplish its purpose.
But the suggestion that Israel may have had racist motivations in constructing the fence disturbed me because it is a recurring theme among major international bodies and on college campuses, so I asked the questioner why she had decided to sort Israel out for “special treatment?” After all, the security fence that Israel has constructed to keep Palestinian suicide bombers out of its country is not unlike the security fence constructed by the Saudis to keep the Yemeni jihadists out of their country; or the one that India has constructed along its borders with Pakistan, Kashmir and Bangladesh for the same reason; or the one that the Thais have constructed to keep the Malaysian jihadists out of their country, or the one that the U.S. is constructing to keep Mexican illegals out of our country, although I couldn't recall the last time a Mexican self-detonated in Albuquerque or fired missiles into Dallas or Houston.
Anti-Semitism has evolved from an irrational hatred or jealousy of Jews to an irrational hatred or jealousy of the Jewish State – Israel.
When did the European Union last call in the Palestinian "ambassadors" to complain about the incitement that calls for Israel's destruction and the establishment of a “Jew-free” state of Palestine? Why are European companies suggesting its unethical to do business with Israelis, while so many of their colleagues are flocking to Iran in search of new deals - the land of public stonings of adulterers and the hanging of gays? Why do EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and the U.S. State Department swiftly condemn each and every Israeli building announcement beyond the 1967 lines but never condemn Palestinian incitement or violence? Why aren’t there demonstrations against the enslavement of millions of women who live without any legal protection? Why aren’t there demonstrations against the use of children as human bombs by jihadists? Why has there been no leadership in support of the victims of the Islamic dictatorship in Sudan? Why is there never any outrage against the acts of terrorism committed against Israel? Why is there no outcry by the Europeans against jihadism? Why don’t they defend Israel’s right to exist? Where are the flotillas heading to Syrian shores? Where are the student demonstrations against female genital mutilation to which 90% of Egyptian females are subjected according to the World Health Organization? Where are the student demonstrations against the continuing persecution of Christians by Islamists in Egypt, Syria and Pakistan? Where is the condemnation of the genocidal anti-Semitism that governs Hamas and Hezbollah who treat the murderers of Israeli men, women and children as heroes? And finally, why are the Europeans so obsessed with one of the most stable democracies on earth (Israel), rather than with the world’s worst dictatorships?
So many stupid and irresponsible comments have been made and written about Israel, that there aren’t any accusations left to level against her.
At the same time, the press never discusses Syrian and Iranian interference in propagating violence against Israel; the indoctrination of children or the corruption of the Palestinian leadership, and the millions of dollars in international foreign aid that has been transferred into their private bank accounts, as was exposed by a former Palestinian leader in February 2010. And when reporting about victims, why is every Palestinian casualty reported as a tragedy while every Israeli victim is reported with disdain, if at all?
This obsession with Israel represents a callous disregard for fundamental justice, and anti-Semitism cloaked as righteous indignation. For example, with the start of Ramadan (the Islamic month of fasting) in early September, Israeli forces manning West Bank check-points were instructed to avoid eating or smoking in front of Palestinians as a sign of respect, even as the Palestinians continue to use the Tomb of Joseph as a garbage dump and have urinated next to the Torah scrolls in the Cave of the Patriarchs.
And there’s more. Israel is constantly confronted with the demand that it must return Gaza and the West Bank to the Palestinians and the Golan Heights to Syria – areas seized during the 1967 Six-Day War waged against it by the Arab world. Why then do we never hear that same argument being raised against other nations? After World War II, Poland annexed 10% of historic Germany (East Prussia); Morocco controls the Western Sahara; Armenia has controlled 15% of neighboring Azerbaijan since 1994; Turkey has controlled half of Cyprus since its 1974 invasion; Russia has controlled the Kurile Islands off northern Japan since the end of World War II, and China has occupied Tibet since 1950. One can only imagine the fury of the British government if Israel were to question the British occupation of the Falkland Islands off the coast of Argentina. So, where is the international outcry demanding that these countries return lands they seized in war? Why is it that only Israel's control over the West Bank - territory it seized in a war of aggression against it no less - merits international censure?
And what of the demand that the Palestinians be allowed a “right of return” to Israel proper or at least fair compensation for having been displaced as a result of Israel’s War of Independence in 1948? Some 850,000 Jews left behind $300 billion in assets when they were forced to flee for their lives from Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Yemen and Iraq - communities in which they had lived for centuries prior to the rise of Islam in the 7th century? So why are similar demands not being made of these countries who displaced (or more specifically expelled) their Jews? I don’t recall any demands being made of any nation for compensation or allowing a right of return to any refugees displaced after any wars in modern times – except of course for those being made of Israel.
Czechoslovakia expelled its Sudetenland Germans from their homes after World War II. The Poles expelled millions of Germans from East Prussia and absorbed that territory into Poland in 1945. Thousands of Turkish Cypriots were displaced by Greek military forces in the 1960s and early 70s while Turkish forces displaced thousands of Greek Cypriots from Northern Cyprus after their 1974-1976 war. 450,000 ethnic Chinese were expelled from Vietnam between 1978-1979. The Bangladeshis expelled over three million Hindus in 1974. 250,000 Georgians were displaced from Abkhazia between 1993 and 1998. 500,000 ethnic Russians in Chechnya were displaced during the First Chechen War in 1994-1996, and more than 800,000 Kosovar Albanians were expelled from Kosovo during the Kosovo War in 1998-1999. Somehow, I must have missed offers of a right of return or any compensation package being offered to these millions upon millions of persons displaced by wars – except in the case of Israel.
Then there’s the issue relating to Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians in Gaza. Lauren Booth, sister-in-law of former British premier Tony Blair, entered Gaza aboard a protest boat and told Ynet News in Israel that Gaza was "the largest concentration camp in the world today" and a "humanitarian crisis on the scale of Darfur." She was later photographed at a seemingly well-stocked grocery store in the so-called "concentration camp."
So, let’s consider how these Israeli “monsters” have behaved. Hamas has declared its intention to destroy Israel and murder every Jew residing there, and has fired over 8,000 missiles at southern Israel. In return, Israel is providing 70% of Gaza’s electrical power and, each week sends tons of food, fuel and humanitarian aid to an enemy whose entire rationale for existence is the extermination or subjugation of every Jew in Israel. During World War II, the Allies firebombed Dresden, obliterated German cities, and dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Talk about “proportional response!” Israel feeds its enemies!
And finally, Israel has been condemned for retaliating against Hamas and Hezbollah for their missile attacks on Israel’s southern and northern civilian populations because, it is said, Israel is (and this is a direct quote from Human Rights Watch) “endangering non-combatants, using disproportionate force, and committing crimes against humanity.” If Israel fired missiles into Gaza City, Sidon or Tyre, the world would be enraged, the UN Security Council would be called into Special Session, the U.S. and EU would be threatening Jerusalem, and the media would be having a field-day.
So why is it that when the Palestinians in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon fire missiles at Israeli civilians as their primary target, it is barely mentioned in the media, but when Israel retaliates against those missile sites in targeted bombings, it’s considered “disproportionate force” – all which leads to the real issue lurking behind the scenes here – our enemies’ tactical use of human shields. Why is criticism never leveled at Hamas or Hezbollah who regularly use children as human shields to protect their leaders, and schools, private homes and mosques to protect their weapons?
In all the condemnation being heaped on Israel by the media and the Goldstone Report for Israel’s retaliatory strikes in Gaza, and before that in Lebanon during the Second Lebanon War (and indeed any future conflict should a regional war erupt over Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons), no one ever asks how any democracy can expect to win a war without “endangering civilians” especially when the enemy uses human shields as a tactical weapon to insulate itself from military strikes? Are we not handing our enemies an enormous tactical advantage? How can any free nation ever hope to win a future war against enemies who use human shields if it is condemned for “endangering civilians”?
It is this absence of balance, this flagrant unforgivable deceit that is most troubling. In all this, one can only conclude that Israel is inferior and must not enjoy the same rights accorded other peoples.
So, for those who argue that their right to "fair criticism" of Israel is being infringed, let them understand what "fair criticism" is not.
It is not "fair criticism" to portray Israel's presence on the West Bank as an illegal occupation (which it is not, according to UN Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338), yet never utter a word of objection about Chinese, Serbian, Syrian, Turkish or Russian ethnic cleansing.
It is not "fair criticism" to place the blame for Middle East violence at Israel's doorstep while ignoring 14 centuries of Sunni-Shiite hatred, the damage done to Arab society through decades of misrule by dictators, despots and Islamists, the Koranic-inspired hatred of a Jewish state existing in the midst of the Islamic umma, and the immense risks that Israel took in withdrawing from Lebanon in 2000 and Gaza in 2005 not to mention the sacrifices that it continues to make in its quest for peace with the Palestinians.
It is not "fair criticism" to accuse Israel of apartheid or to support international boycotts, divestment and sanctions against Israel when it is the Arab world that preaches "Death to the Jews," spreads anti-Semitic hatred from its mosques, teaches "martyrdom" in its schools and summer camps, uses international foreign aid to pay terrorists tens of millions of dollars as salaries and other payments, demands that any Palestinian state established on the West Bank be Judenrein (Jew-free), and dances in the streets when jihadists succeed in murdering Israelis in their homes (as in the case of the Fogel family), pizza parlors, marketplaces, during their Passover Seders, and most notably in celebration of the 9/11 attacks.
As David Bernstein writes in the Washington Post: "What if Nelson Mandela, while speaking of peace and reconciliation in English to Western audiences, gave speeches in African languages promising that he would fight to drive whites out of South Africa until blacks won a total victory? What if a rival black group, opposed to negotiations, began a bombing campaign against South African whites in Johannesburg and Capetown, specializing in blowing up civilian buses? What if South Africa's president offered a settlement well within the parameters of the result the international community expected, but Mandela refused the offer, and failed to make a counter-offer? What if Mandela then unleashed terrorist forces against white South Africa, targeting buses, wedding halls, bars, and cafes, resulting in the deaths of hundreds of white South Africans?"
The short of it is this. Demanding that good German Aryans boycott Jewish shops in Nazi Germany in 1935 is no different in its essence from demanding that good Western universities and businesses boycott and divest from the Jewish state today. Injustice in any language is still injustice. It's all part of the same poison that feeds on the fabric of human decency. If a 5-year-old child can understand that slaughtering innocent people is wrong, then why can't these campus student organizations, religious establishments like the United Methodist Church, the UN, the international media, the Europeans, and the academics on American and British college campuses see it and voice their dissent?
If we cannot tell the difference between a democratic Israel and an apartheid South Africa, or a jihadist from a peacemaker, then we are all parties to the greatest moral failure of our time - the inability to distinguish between those who defend basic moral values and respect the sanctity of a single human life, and those who are the enemies of such values by justifying the murder of the innocent in the name of some religious or ideological cause.
We have every right to expect more from those who teach our children on the campuses of America or who preach to the faithful from their pews. Their positions of authority do not entitle them to foster anti-Semitism in the name of “justice” and “moral decency.” Until there is universal condemnation of the discriminatory double-standards applied to Israel, claims by self-righteous international organizations such as Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, the UN General Assembly, Oxfam, UNRWA and the UN Human Rights Commission are more than meaningless. They are offensive and deceitful. As Wesley Pruden wrote recently in the Washington Times: "The Israelis have this unreasonable itch to survive. Self-preservation is the strongest human urge, but only the Israelis, alone in the world, are expected to suppress the urge and die without making a lot of unseemly fuss and noise about it. You don't have to be Jewish to share the outrage."
Putting all this in its proper context, if one expects nothing of the Palestinians then they will be forgiven for everything. If one expects everything of Israel, then it will be forgiven for nothing, putting the country to a perpetual moral test it will always somehow fail and that can only energize the boycott enthusiasts. Israel's willingness to make peace with the scorpions' den that surrounds it has made it a target by an international community that blames Israel for Muslim violence around the world. As their thinking goes, if Israel would just do whatever it takes to make peace, then Muslim violence would stop not just in Israel, but in Burgas, Paris, Toulouse, Marseilles, Lyons, London, Malmo, Brussels, Mumbai, Bangkok, Manchester, Basra and Kabul. That is, in the eyes of international public opinion, progress is only measured in terms of Israeli concessions. Anyone with any understanding of world events knows that this is pure, unadulterated garbage.
In short, if we do not, as a collective, take a firm stand against these defamations; if we do not stand behind Israeli democracy in its just and moral struggle against expanding jihadism; if we do not prevent this widening witch-hunt, the international arrest warrants for Israeli diplomats, the indictments against Israelis for war crimes in the Hague, the erosion in the UN, and the incitement against Israel; if we sit quietly and allow this insidious evil to flourish in our midst, then the legitimacy of the Free World’s own struggle against jihadism will most assuredly be undermined.
1. Great Article
This piece should be required reading before someone offers another "opinion" about Israel. Thank you.
Kansaw, Kansas City
2. Really great article, sums it all up nicely
This is such a great, comprehensive article, puts it all together in a well organized readable manner, fantastic, it should be widely distributed.
Israel Zwick, NYC
3. Too stupid to exist?
When Israel feeds its enemies, saves its enemies children in its hospitals, & drops leaflets before bombing, there are those that might think that Israel is too stupid to exist.
4. What a brilliantly written article
Dear Mark -- this is the best article I have ever read in Arutz Sheva, a brilliant summary of the crucial lies cast by anti-israel "humanitarians". These new anti-semites are skillfull in their deceit; to properly counter them with logic (assuming they won't silence you or kill you -- their only resort when faced with the truth), I encourage everyone to read about the countries and historical facts you mention. Thank you very much, and do write many more articles like this one!
Dan Reznik, Rio de Janeiro
5. This is one of the best articles I've ever read on this subject
It covers all the many major points that need to be made in countering the deceitful barbs forever being thrown at Israel, and handles them with clear-cut facts and in ample detail as well. Jews everywhere should read it, and forward it to everyone they know, Jew or Gentile, especially now.
Chaim, New York
6. BDS is used uniquely for Israel
I blogged on a UK site "Where is the BDS against Syria?" after its last murder-fest against its own people: it was removed - because I don't live in a free society but a dictatorship run by those who are shoe-horning BDS into all subjects at university, here: http://elderofziyon.blogspot.com/2012/02/bds-professor-at-penn-explains-how-to.html#disqus_thread
Kate B, UK
7. The Tyranny of Deceit
This is the most succinct and helpful correlation of factual information, the essential tool for all those - Jews and Christian Friends of Israel - alike. I am more grateful than I can express and commit to forwarding it to all those casual anti-Semites I confront on a regular basis. I am a Northern Irish (British citizen) presently resident in the most ignorant and anti-Semitic state in Europe - the Roman Catholic Republic of Ireland.
Kate, Cork, Irish Rep
8. Kudos for a great article
Mr. Silverberg, your article is not only dead on, it renews my faith that others will take up the cause and begin to speak against the unjustice and the double standard that is being perpetrated against the nation of Israel and its people. The Lord Bless You.
Jaime Rodriguez, Lakeland, FL
9. You should ask the National Review to publish this.
I think they would.
Susan, Kfar Saba
10. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Dear Mark….Your article was the BEST and most COMPREHENSIVE treatment of Israel I have ever seen. The straightforward facts and apropos comparisons you presented make this piece a priceless keeper and a gift to activists and defenders of Israel everywhere. I'm afraid the worst is yet to come as Obama and company prepare for the fight against Jewish communities in the Shomron and Jerusalem. (Meanwhile, the government of his "best friend" - Turkey - is guilty of genocide and ethnic cleansings of Christians (Armenians, Assyrians, Greeks, Kurds, Greek Cypriots, Alevis and Romas). Stupendous job! I can't thank you enough. Obviously, I've sent your article far and wide (to Christians and Jews alike).
Janet Levy, Los Angeles
11. Thank you and God bless you
I wish every American would read and understand these grave concerns and injustices. I will continue to bless Israel and Jerusalem as long as I live. God promises to bless those who do. You are a great writer and make your case clearly and passionately. Please keep faith in God.
Mark Silverberg is a former member of the Canadian Justice Department, a past Director of the Canadian Jewish Congress (Western Office) based in Vancouver, and served as a Consultant to the Secretary General of the Jewish Agency in Jerusalem during the first Palestinian intifada.
The new anti-Semitism manifests itself in many different forms and in many different forums – through divestment campaigns, international boycotts of Israeli products, entertainers and academics, holding Israel to standards no other nations in the world are required to meet, and through “Israel Apartheid Week” on Canadian and American college campuses where Israel is assigned the role of “Jew” among the nations of the world to be singled-out, cursed, harassed and defamed. As a result, Israel not only has no right to defend itself, but it has no right to exist – which suggests that missile attacks on Israel’s civilian population are not only justified, but desirable. The bitter reality for Israel is that international legal frameworks provide no protection and no hope for justice but are used to exploit the rhetoric of human rights and morality to demonize the only true democracy in the Middle East.
The U.S.-European effort to have the Arab/Muslim world recognize "two states for two peoples" in the Middle East is sheer fantasy.
Anti-Semitism never really died after the Holocaust, it just became unfashionable. That is no longer the case. In the wake of the Gaza War, and with the global economy in a tailspin, disturbing events have been occurring in Britain - events that do not bode well either for the future of British Jewry or for the future of British democracy.
If the anti-Semites of the world believe that by murdering Jews and denying their heritage, they can destroy their ideas, they are wrong. Ideas are the engines of history, and the ideas the Jews have shared with mankind - penitence, redemption, charity, education, justice and freedom to name only a few, have formed the core values of Western civilization. Jews are hated by the the Arab world not because of who they are, but because of what they have achieved and continue to achieve.