22 February 2009

Antisemitism in the News 2/13-21/09

These are from Norm Geras' blog- always well worth reading:

2/13/09 Increase in antisemitism in Britain, and 1/3 Europeans say that Jews are responsible for world financial crisis. Back to the vile lies of The Protocols of Zion and the common rants of the Arab world.

2/16/09 Antisemitism conference in London
Yes, it is time. It is also time for the organized left, such as it still is, to take action against anti-Semitism. It has recently been most vocal in its condemnation of Israel's actions in Gaza. Relative to anti-Semitism in Britain and Europe, that is far away; relative to Gaza, anti-Semitism in Britain and Europe is right on the doorstep of the British and European left. These are not good reasons not to care, or to speak or demonstrate, about Gaza, if that is what you believe needs to be done. But they are good reasons for caring, speaking, demonstrating, about the upsurge in anti-Semitism in your own country. They are particularly so in light of the anti-racist traditions and avowals of the left. And they do rather bring the discourse of 'far and near' into focus.
2/18/09 You don't have to be an antisemite (op ed by Howard Jacobson in The Independent)
Wow. How well written. And how many of the comments allowed to follow this piece (which should be read in full, not in excerpt) go to fully prove his very points.

....I was once in Melbourne when bush fires were raging 20 or 30 miles north of the city. Even from that distance you could smell the burning. Fine fragments of ash, like slivers of charcoal confetti, covered the pavements. The very air was charred. It has been the same here these past couple of months with the fighting in Gaza. Only the air has been charred not with devastation but with hatred. And I don’t mean the hatred of the warring parties for each other. I mean the hatred of Israel expressed in our streets, on our campuses, in our newspapers, on our radios and televisions, and now in our theatres.

A discriminatory, over-and-above hatred, inexplicable in its hysteria and virulence whatever justification is adduced for it; an unreasoning, deranged and as far as I can see irreversible revulsion that is poisoning everything we are supposed to believe in here – the free exchange of opinions, the clear-headedness of thinkers and teachers, the fine tracery of social interdependence we call community relations, modernity of outlook, tolerance, truth. You can taste the toxins on your tongue.

But I am not allowed to ascribe any of this to anti-Semitism. It is, I am assured, “criticism” of Israel, pure and simple. In the matter of Israel and the Palestinians this country has been heading towards a dictatorship of the one-minded for a long time; we seem now to have attained it. Deviate a fraction of a moral millimetre from the prevailing othodoxy and you are either not listened to or you are jeered at and abused, your reading of history trashed, your humanity itself called into question.....
2/21/09 Statement combatting antisemitism
[S]hould... guard against equivocation, hesitation and justification in the face of expressions of hatred.

3/1/09 America examines Durban, discovers irredeemably flawed with antisemitism.

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