19 November 2008

The University as a home for racism: the last acceptable form.

Here is a good article on the open anti-Semitism that passes as debate in the US. The saddest part is reading the comments. Dare I hope that the majority of these commenters are not US citizens? Or are they part of the minority that voted for McCain not because they agreed with his views but because they agreed with Sarah Palin's?

It nauseates me when I hear someone call Israel's policies analogous to those of apartheid South Africa (because of the lack or any truth or meaning) but when they equate them with Hitler's, then I know that they would love to put me up against a wall and they are practicing the Great Lie concept.


Adam said...


not to start a tempest in a teapot, but I find it highly objectionable whenever somebody objects to Israeli policies that they are immediately labeled anti-Semitic. This is a huge problem that inhibits a lot of debate in the United States.

Personally, I do object to many Israeli policies and actions--to me the government and its citizens have often deliberately provoked trouble with the Palestinian minority.

The fact that I think that, doesn't mean that I am anti-Semitic nor does it mean that I am anti-Israeli, just like disagreeing with the policies of George W Bush doesn't make me anti-patriotic or anti-American.

(Nor, might I add, does this comment imply that I agree with any of the comments on the Rocky Mt. News' website.)

G in Berlin said...

Adam, unfortunately it appears to me that whenever some sort of symposia is convened on Israel and it's inhumanity to the Palestinians it is exactly that: a thinly cloaked forum for anti-semitism. I haven't seen anything that does not devolve into that. And whether you agree or disagree with Israel's position, I am personally offended and call it a huge falsehood to in any way call those policies Hitlerian. That acts both to denigrate the reality of the Shoah, to whitewash the actions of the world at that time, and to demonize Israel while at the same time minimizing the importance and basis of its existence.

honeypiehorse said...

As a non-Jewish person with Jewish friends, I find that I can disapprove of some Israeli policies without hating Jews in general. Hitler was evil but according according to the books I've read on the topic he believed he was acting in the interests of his own race. To that extent, any group that attacks another group to elimiate a preceived future threat (i.e., offensively rather than defensively) has some inner Hitler. Calling all criticism of Israel 'anti-Semitic' is like calling all criticism of US foreign policy 'unpatriotic', or my personal favorite from a few years back, 'against freedom'. Having said that, I agree it would be more constructive to have the debate with less emomtionally charged wording because it kills the discussion people ought to be having.

G in Berlin said...

Honeypiehorse, I have to disagree. Hitler's activities were not rational- most authorities believe that he lost the war because of the diversion of resources and logistics to move human beings to crematoria rather than to supply his troops on the Russian front, who starved and froze. So, using Hitlerian as an adjective is, and has been defined, as anti-Semitic. We aren't discussing here any real problems with Israel's policies. THat's not a topic I want to go into on my blog. But I feel quite confident in discussing anti-semitism and the real difference between disagreeing with a country's actions (and that of its gvernment) and the attitude toward a religion and its adherents, particularly when the speakers define the group they hate by blood, rather than actions.