Editor Against Rampant Anti-Semitism
Tashbih Sayyed, editor of the weekly Pakistan Today, expressed support
for Israel and his belief that anti-Semitism presents the greatest challenge
for the Muslim world today to overcome.
is editor-in-chief of two California-based weekly newspapers, Pakistan
Today and Moslem World Today; in addition he is the President of the Council
for Tolerance and an adjunct fellow at the Hudson Institute. Dr. Sayyed's
analyses as a respected historian and a current affairs expert have been
instrumental in shaping policy in the Middle East today. Full
second great mutation of
anti-Semitism in modern times"
we are witnessing today is the second great mutation of anti Semitism
in modern times, from racial anti Semitism to religious anti-Zionism with
the added premise that all Jews are Zionists. It uses all the medieval
myths… The mutation is this; that the worst crimes of anti-Semites
in the past-racism, ethnic cleansing, attempted genocide, crimes against
humanity-are now attributed to the Jews and the state of Israel”
- The Chief Rabbi of the United
Kingdom, Jonathan Sacks
perpetrators of this “ new “ anti-Semitism
perpetrators of this “ new “ anti-Semitism are the Palestinian
and Arab political leadership, Islamic fundamentalists, political opportunists,
neo –Nazis, extreme fascists, parts of the media, Arab influenced
international institutions and self hating Jews.” - Manfred
attacks on Israel by Israelis and Jews are frequently indistinguishable
from those by gentiles. Among the specific aspects in the anti-Israel
writings of some Jews are the use of their family's Holocaust experiences,
their references to being Jewish or an association of some kind with Israel.
- Manfred Gerstenfeld
MORAL ATTITUDES TOWARD THE HOLOCAUST IN LIGHT OF THE CURRENT DEFAMATION
Weimar to Durban
The moral aspects of Western attitudes toward the Jews and the Holocaust
since World War II have not yet been analyzed systematically. However,
the current campaign of hatred against Israel and the Jewish people --
unprecedented since the end of the war -- recalls many elements of the
prewar decades. Yet it is too easy to generalize and describe this as
one more outburst of the ancient illness of anti-Semitism.
- Manfred Gerstenfeld
defending Israel in the Diaspora, a major concern is that criticism of
Israeli policies can either lead to, or be motivated by, Anti-Semitism.
Anti-Jewish sentiment, and particularly action, must be understood, exposed,
and vigorously defended against by all.
around the world have been surprised by a rise in Antisemitic incidents
since the start of the second intifada. This has led to an increased need
to defend against Anti-Semitism; at the same time, much Anti-Semitism
has been tied to anti-Israel sentiment, which in turn has led Jewish people
to increasingly defend Israel whilst denouncing the outpouring of violent
Anti-Semitic sentiment on Diaspora Jews as racist.
to which Israel has come under attack since the rise of Palestinian violence
in September 2000 has been deeply worrying. While dozens of countries
are involved in conflicts, suffer from terrorism, and have been forced
to use the military to maintain order, Israel consistently leads the news
and is at the centre of public debate.
It is possible
to explain some of this interest by considering the importance of Middle
East stability to oil prices, Israel's location at a civilizational fault
line between Islam and the West, and the importance of Israel to the three
great monotheistic religions - yet, a suspicion remains that Israel is
still uniquely interesting for reasons that focus on her Jewish character.
Myths persist, particularly on the left and Fundamental Islam, about Jewish
power, and the Jewish role in capitalism (which has been significant,
but not unique), and these lead to resentment.
Not everybody who attacks Israel is Antisemitic. It is legitimate for
those who oppose Israeli policies to express this opposition in public,
just as it is legitimate for Israel activists to defend Israel. It is
important to defend the right of those who disagree with Israeli policies
to express their opinions, and to be clear that this is a legitimate part
of public debate.
many who attack Israel are motivated by, or express, Anti-Semitism. No
form of racism, Anti-Semitism included, has a part in public life. Expressions
that, on the surface, appear to be attacking Israel often actually attack
Jews. With Anti-Semitism so ingrained into Western society, it is possible
to inadvertently express Antisemitic views.
Israel is a state with some Jewish character, and Jews around the world
have the right to live there. However, not every Israeli is Jewish, not
every supporter of Israel is Jewish, and not every Jew supports Israel.
Conflating the terms 'Israeli' and 'Jew' is often done to express an Antisemitic
position, as in "the Jews are brutal occupiers", or "we
must fight the Jewish oppressors". For this reason, it is important
that Israel activists keep the terms separate, and don't forget that many
Israelis are not Jewish.
Jews for Israel's Actions
There is a level at which it is obvious that attacks on Jews as a result
of opposition to Israel are unacceptable - violent or abusive attacks
as part of political exchanges are always wrong. After all, Jews in the
Diaspora aren't responsible for Israeli government policy, and punishing
them for the actions of a country that (a) they aren't a citizen of (b)
they might not support (c) is ethnically mixed, is deeply problematic.
Double Standards for Israel
Like other countries, Israel does some things that are well received in
the international community, and others that aren't. It is legitimate
to criticise Israel, but when this is done using significantly different
standards from those applied to other countries in similar situations,
this can be a cause for concern. It is hard to demonstrate that the application
of unusually critical standards to evaluate Israeli policy is motivated
by Anti-Semitism - very often it will stem from support for the 'underdog',
or from Arabist sentiment - but when it does seem to be racially motivated,
this needs to be pointed out and opposed.
Where an act might have been motivated by Anti-Semitism, but this is unclear,
it is often worth expressing some form of disapproval, but refraining
from levelling public charges of Anti-Semitism. Depending upon the local
situation, it is often worth expressing personal upset, saying that one
was "hurt, as a Jew" by the controversial act. Wrongly accusing
people of Anti-Semitism can cheapen the charge, as well as being quite
unfair. Expressing public disapproval helps to let people know that Jews
care about what is said in pubic, and serves to maintain a red line of
clear Anti-Semitism that respectable public figures know not to cross.
is no difference whatever between Anti-Semitism and the denial of Israel's
Anti-Semitism denies the equal right of Jews as citizens within society.
denies the equal rights of the Jewish people its lawful sovereignty
within the community of nations.
common principle in the two cases is discrimination."
Eban, New York Times, November 3, 1975
/ Racism / Anti-Semitism