Thursday, March 09, 2006

So in class today, I and my group gave a presentation about American Jews. After the presentation, the class was opened to questions. Our teacher asked me a question regarding the term "Political anti-Semitism." Her question to me was if political anti-Semitism was really a wild card term for opposition to Israel's policies, under the guise of anti-Semitism. I brought up two points. The first point was that, like all other forms of anti-Semitism from the past (religious and racial) that proponents of anti-Semitism always had a logical and rational reason to hold that view. The second point was that proponents of the anti-Israel view never isolate Israel's policies for rejection, rather, they isolate all of Israel and the very fact that it exists - since Jews live there, and since Israel is a Jewish endeavour, this is anti-Semitism.

Then a man in the back asked me a question about the Jewish nature of the State of Israel. He asked what "Jewish nature" means, and I answered that it means having a Jewish government, Jewish majority, and Jewish laws. "Jewish nature" means the same thing as Jordan's Muslim nature and Denmark's Christian nature. After the class, we continued the conversation outside when he told me that he wasn't entirely convinced. I told him that every country in the world has a dominant cultural, social, or religious group, and if someone attacks Israel on the basis of it having a Jewish majority, then that it is racism, and since racism towards Jews is anti-Semitism, being anti-Israel is being anti-Semitic.

Understanding this more deeply, anti-Israelism has its own name; "Anti-Israelism." There are people that have problems with country's policies, but they never call for their active dissasembly. There are people that loathe Jordanians and can't stand Danish people, but that doesn't make them "anti-Jordanian" or "anti-Danish," it just makes them racist, and they don't wish the state to be dissasembled to cure their hateful itch. With Israel it's different; hatred of Jews allows for calls to dismantle the State of Israel. In normal cases, even racists understand that their hatred of a particular people does not require them to call for the dismantling of a country, but with Israel it's a unique case; hatred of Jews is not enough, Jews should also should be stripped of their right to sovereignty. Israel's case is truly unique because the Jews' case is truly unique.

Racism against anybody is essentially the same, but here we see that there is a particularly disturbing component to anti-Semitism that perhaps other forms of racism do not contain. Your "normal racist" simply wants the subject of his loathing to be far away from him; he does not care if the hated people go somewhere else and "disappear." A Jew-hater, however, does not feel it enough that Jews relocate, he wants to see them fail, he actually is inspired to follow their movements, like a snake, wherever they go. It is for this reason that Israel is targeted; it was not enough that the Jews left Europe and the Arab countries, where they were not wanted, now there are people that want them to be terrorized in the country that they live, most ironically, Europeans and Arabs make up the crux of those people -- their "descendants."

The arguments that some people bring up about Israel reject its sovereignty, not its policies. Like all other forms of hate and racism, those who hate Israel find rationalistic ways to reject Israel through rejection of its policies. This manifests itself in their advocacy of policies that will work to undermind Israel's security and sovereignty. For example, if someone calls for the "right of return" of all Arabs forced to leave Israel in its war of inception, they are calling for a policy that will topple the Jewish demography of Israel and will create an Arab majority. In other words, it will destroy Israel. Either they are aware of the consequences and wish to see them occur, or they are painfully ignorant and blindly latching onto a cause of hate. Most ironically, this will turn Israel into an Arab state, and why should an Arab state have the right to exist and not a Jewish state? This becomes an even sillier question when we look at a map of one Jewish state and twenty three Muslim states; why should it be a ration of twenty four to zero?

Furthermore, Eritreans and Ethiopians, for example, who are locked in a battle of land ownership and ethnic and linguistic differnces, do not demand the dismantling of the neighboring country, rather, their deep divides are based on where the proper borders should be - they can't stand each other, and they even reject the way into the other country came into existence, but they do not believe that it should cease to exist. To contrast this, the Palestinians, the Arabs, and all those who latch on to "their cause," usually in a painfully ignorant manner, don't refer to where Israel's borders should be, rather, they proudly raise the question as to if Israel should have any borders, because a country that should not exist should have no borders. As it is, Israel is an illegal state and so was its formation; this is their argument.

1 comment:

Antonio said...

Yeah its ridiculous. There is an Arab kid at my school who refused to fill in "Israel" in the blank on the geography quiz corresponding to that country because he refused to recognize its existence.