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On the matter of Anti-Semitism

Posted by Henric C. Jensen on May 11, 2007


The matter of if some people are Anti-Semites or not – that issue originally came up in HRN after one poster repeatedly expressed himself in a manner that was clearly Anti-Semitic, and it got progressively worse as this was pointed out. For me the Issue of Israel/Palestine, as a matter of discussion doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with Anti-Semitism per se. But when Anti-Semitic sentiments, expressions and ideas are laid open in such discussions, I again see it as my human duty to object. Unfortunately for some, there are strong elements of Anti-Semitism in what is generally called Anti-Zionism. When such elements surface, I again see it as my human duty to point this out and object.

It is rather easy to see why there would be Anti-Semitic sentiments incorporated in Anti-Zionism. It is rather logical – Zionism in its simplest form is the political, and for some religious, struggle to create and maintain a National Homeland for the Jewish people. To be against this, i.e to be Anti-Zionist, ultimately means that one is against the rights of the Jewish People to have a Homeland, a Nationality, something that is clearly stated in UDHR Article 15 “Everyone has the right to a nationality.” Thus one is ultimately against the Jewish People, because one wants to deny them their human rights.

It is regrettable that the Left, which has traditionally stood for equal rights for all, has in so many ways become allies with the Right on the issue of the Jewish People. I am fully aware that this is not true for most people on the Left, but it is certainly true for the Radical Far Left. In its endeavor to bring justice to the Palestinians and make sure they got their Homeland, the Far Left forgot that on both sides are People with the same basic rights.

While one can justifiably and rightly bring criticism against the Israeli Government and those that command the IDF – and believe it or not, Israelis are usually the first to do so, which can be seen in the current National Criticism of Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Defence Minister Amir Peretz, holding ALL Israelis, ALL Jews and ANYONE who choose to support the idea of a Jewish National Home responsible for the actions of a few can hardly be called justifiable or right. It is this that makes the Anti-Zionism embraced by the Radical Far Left Anti-Semitic, and those holding to those ideas Anti-Semites.

As is often the case with Radical Movements, the Radical Far Left uses bigger words, harsher tones, extreme hyperbole, inaccurate comparisons and one-sided arguments when they want to bring the issue of Israel/Palestine to the fore. In doing so they risk stepping over a line that, whether they intend to or not put them in the same boat with the Extreme Far Right on the issue of the Jewish People. It is not uncommon that information is collected from Web Sites and Literature that is used by both Movements. Nor is it uncommon that information is collected from Web Sites that, without being directly connected to the Far Right, use the same Anti-Semitic jargong as those. One such examlpe of similarities in argumentation and sentiments is Jewwatch.com and Ziopedia.org – the former is decidely Extreme Far Right, the latter is decidedly Extreme Far Left – and both contain similar lists of Anti-Semitic documents, such as the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

By allying itself with the Extreme Far Right in this manner, the Radical Far Left looses not just its credibility as a voice for Human Rights for ALL, but it also in many ways become that which its claims to be objecting to. There really was no difference between The Dictatorship of General Franco and the Dictatorship of Chaiman Mao, in terms of Anti-Semitism and Human Rights.

It is ironic that many of the first Leftists were Jewish, because if they were alive today I doubt they would recognize very much of their ideas in what has become the Radical Far Left.

Shalom!

Next in this series: On the matter of Anti- Semitism II

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