Between criticism and anti-Semitism
The map that Naz Shah shared on Facebook, and had the political nous to back away from, still shows up on social media. The question is whether this is just BS or is it evil BS. Calling for the ethnic cleansing of 7 million people strikes me as erring on the evil side. Do the posters actually believe that they have posted something wise or do they think they are being funny?
About a month ago Rachel Smalley. of the NZ Herald used it as a hook to lay a charge that Israel is beyond criticism. Ms. Smalley didn’t introduce any new ideas. So in a sense this is the response I should have written, analysing the graphic and the larger argument wherever it is raised.
Thank you Rabbi Sacks
A few days ago Rabbi Sacks, former Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth, produced a simple rule-of-thumb for distinguishing criticism of Israel from antisemitism. For that we owe a debt of gratitude.
“I said, ‘Tell me, hands up, which of you believes it’s legitimate to criticize the British government?’ They all put their hands up.
“I said, ‘Which of you believes that Britain has no right to exist?’ Nobody put their hands up.
“I said, ‘Now you know the difference between (legitimate) criticism of the State of Israel and anti-Semitism.”
Ms. Smalley. if calling for the ethnic cleansing of 7 million Jewish people isn’t antisemitic what possibly could be?
About that graphic
Sacks made an additional and important point. Criticism should be legitimate. Not one assertion in the graphic stands examination.
- Israelis are most loved by Americans.
Did you mean most Americans love Israel? With cause.
- Americans will welcome Israelis with open arms into their homes.
What all 6,335,000 Israeli Jews? Presumably the Arabs can stay put.
- America has plenty of land to accommodate Israel as its 51st state.
But not one state that will be willing to do it. Certainly not on land that would be possible to live on.
- America would no longer have to pay $3 billion tax payer money per year for Israel’s defence.
No, they would have to pay much more for Europe’s defence to prevent the Islamic State or Al Qaeda attacking from East Mediterranean ports. Anyway, defence analysts see the money America spends on Israel as a bargain for American defence. (Time to reread Good for America).
- The transportation cost would be less than 3 years of defence spending.
Where did anyone get those figures? Besides it takes for granted Israel’s Jews would happily cooperate with their ethnic cleansing.
- Palestinians would get their land and life back.
With plenty of time to enjoy the civil war between Hamas and Fateh.
- Middle East would again be peaceful without foreign interference. When was the Middle East peaceful? The removal of Israel would do nothing to resolve the wars in Syria and Iraq, or elsewhere.
- Oil prices will go down, inflation would go down, the whole world will be happy.
Oil prices are tumbling, inflation in many countries is less than zero and Israel still hasn’t been transported to the Nevada desert.
What I said was that the IDF was wrong to bomb a school because children had died in Gaza.
What she didn’t say now when she engages in this moral flagging, if not then, under the fog of war, was that the United Nations had condemned Hamas, twice, for using schools for the placement of rockets. Nor did she note Israel’s claim that IDF was returning fire after coming under attack; that its shells did not hit the school compound, and that Israel’s count of the dead and the combatants among them differ widely from the Hamas figures (even if repeated by UNRWA). Most importantly I don’t recall the criticism of Hamas for firing at the israelis so close to a school.
What would the New Zealand Armed Forces do if attacked from a school? One would expect they would turn to the Geneva Conventions – and do exactly as Israel did, return fire.
Art. 28. However, the Parties to the conflict may take such measures of control and security in regard to protected persons as may be necessary as a result of the war.
Art. 28. The presence of a protected person may not be used to render certain points or areas immune from military operations.
It’s true the failure to address facts that contradict you demonstrating your superior morality don’t necessarily make you an antisemite, even if you exclusively do it against the Jewish State and no other.
Did I miss the protest outside the Saudi embassy in Auckland over war crimes in Yemen or the BDS movement against Syria for, just about everything?
- Anti-Zionism is the new anti-Semitism (Rabbi Sacks writes for Newsweek), Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, Rabbi Sacks website, 4 April 2016
- Anti-Israel Rant or Anti-Semitic Smear?, Yarden Frankl, Honest Reporting, 2 May 2016
- Is Rachel Smalley Above Criticism?, SHALOM.KIWI 29 April 2016
- Why BDS is antisemitic, David Hirsh, Engage, 1 June 2016