When Cries of Antisemitism Go Too Far

Ariel Sharon has sparked controversy by dismissing criticism of Israel’s use of force against Palestinians as “a new form of anti-Semitism”.

Speaking to Canadian Jewish activists in Jerusalem, the Israeli Prime Minister brushed aside international concerns over his Government’s policies to quell the three-year Palestinian intifada by saying that opponents who denied Israel’s right to defend itself also denied its “birthright to exist”.

You’re not gonna get off that easy ya douchebag! Criticizing Israeli governmental policies is not antisemitic. I repeat, criticizing Israeli governmental policies is not antisemitic. Particularly criticizng Sharon’s policies! Otherwise the last four directors of the Shin Bet as well as the IDF’s Chief of Staff would fall under the definition of antisemite as well, which is patently absurd.

However, I will cede that saying that Israel is unjustified in defending itself from terrorists is in fact antisemitic. You can certainly criticize Israel for excessive use of force under certain circumstances, as well as its internal policies towards Palestinians and Israeli-Arab citizens. You can not, however, reject the country’s overall right to defend itself, nor its right to exist. That would be antisemitic. (That is, unless you also rejected those rights for all nations across the board, indiscriminately. Then you’d just be an idiot, and not an antisemite.)

2 thoughts on “When Cries of Antisemitism Go Too Far

  1. The cliche “everyone who criticizes Israeli policy is call an anti-semite” has been around since at least the 1960s. It’s an effective rhetorical device intended to silence criticism of Israel’s opponents and has been embraced by the post-Zionist Jewish left since the 1970s. Of course it’s bullshit because Zionist politics has always been fractious and full of critics from all sides.
    Sharon didn’t say that criticizing Israeli governent policy is necessarily anti-semitic. Sometimes, even paranoids have enemies.
    This is my standard: If you criticize Israel for some alleged abuse and do not acknowledge that similar or worse abuses exist in other countries, you are expressing Jew hatred because you are holding Jews to a double standard.
    Add the fact that many of Israel’s critics routinely evoke themes and images from classical anti-semitism (the Jews cheating people, the Jews conspiring to pull the world’s strings, the Jew murdering gentile children) one cannot escape the fact that many of Israel’s critics are motivated by animus towards Jews.
    We are witnessing a worldwide (except for in the US) surge of Jew hatred. Try to persuade me otherwise.

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