With anti-Semitism on the rise again in countries around the world, a book written more than a decade ago seems to provide the reason.
Entitled Zionism: The Real Enemy of the Jews, BBC and ITN reporter Alan Hart’s book was published in 2005, and suggests that anti-Semitism is on the rise because of the abhorrent behaviour of aggressive – or, as he describes it, nationalist – Zionists in Israel.
This Writer reckons it is worth reminding people of this, on the day Holocaust denier Kevin Myers was sacked as an Irish Sunday Times columnist for anti-Semitic and misogynist comments.
And at a time when Israel has risked “religious war” with Muslims after trying to install metal detectors and CCTV cameras outside the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, recognised as Islam’s third most holy site, the book’s message seems entirely up-to-date.
According to the Independent: “The new security measures were introduced after two Israeli policemen were shot dead by three Arab-Israeli gunmen on July 14. Then 113 people were injured outside the Al-Aqsa mosque on Thursday after Muslims returned to prayers, having initially boycotted services because of the new security measures. The site’s religious authority encouraged worshippers to attend after saying Israel had removed the controversial new security measures.
“Violent clashes broke out as crowds flocked back to afternoon services, and security forces used stun grenades, tear gas and rubber bullets in attempting to control the crowd.”
This was an attempt by the Israeli government to stop innocent people from attending their place of worship – on the flimsy pretext that some of them might be carrying weapons. Would you carry a gun into a church? For what purpose?
Mr Hart’s book shines a light over similar behaviour by Israel. In a review on his own site, Beastrabban states: “Hart is outraged at the bullying and intimidation of decent, non-racist people, by the Zionists, who use false accusations of anti-Semitism to silence their critics.”
There’s an implied accusation against the peaceful worshippers at Al-Aqsa, isn’t there? And doesn’t it appear to be false, if the aggressors were all Israeli security forces?
It is incidents like this that resonate around the world. Remember the 2014 Israel-Gaza conflict, often known as Operation Protective Edge?
That fight led to the deaths of 67 Israeli soldiers, with 468 wounded, while six Israeli civilians were killed and 36 wounded. Compare that with United Nations figures that show 789 Palestinian militants killed, along with 1,462 Palestinian civilians. The Gaza Health Minister suggested that 10,626 militants and civilians were wounded.
These figures are completely disproportionate. While nobody should condone violence carried out by anybody, because armed conflict of any kind is a failure, when one side suffers 577 casualties while the other suffers 12,877 – 25 times as many – outrage seems more than justifiable.
And – unfortunately – that outrage seem to find its expression, not in Israel where it could be used to fuel efforts to find a peaceful end to such conflicts, but in Europe and America, where most Jews live as spiritual Zionists, looking on Jerusalem as the centre of their religion and spiritual capital, but with no further ambition towards that part of the world.
That is the thesis of Mr Hart’s book – “that the behavior of political Zionism’s child, Israel, where only a minority of the world’s Jews live giving substance to Jewish nationalism in action, is the prime cause of the re-awakening of the sleeping giant of anti-Semitism” [from the book’s dust-jacket].
The author was heartened by the result of a debate on the subject “Zionism is today the real enemy of the Jews”, when the motion was carried. For him, it meant “the silence of mainstream diaspora Jews on the matter of the Zionist state’s behavior had been broken”.
But, after reaching out to Jewish groups and organisations, he had to admit that he was facing a long struggle, as he “learned that most Jews, because of the past, are so fearful of the future – unspeakably terrified – not just frightened – that they are frozen in silence, unable more than unwilling to criticize Israel”.
The Beast adds: “This passage therefore shows just how immensely courageous Jewish critics of Zionism… are, in defying this fear. And it also shows just as clearly how utterly wretched and despicable [are] those would try to silence Israel’s critics by denouncing them as anti-Semites, when they are nothing of the sort, and constantly trying to invoke fears of a renewed holocaust. These are the tactics used by the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism and the Jewish Labour Movement.”
I should not have to remind anybody reading this of the names of people who have been denounced as anti-Semites for criticising the behaviour of the Israeli state – or of the fact that I was denounced as one, simply for trying to uncover the facts behind the defamation of some of those people.
A definition of anti-Semitism that includes criticism of Israel among its criteria has been approved by the UK government for no very good reason. What other definition of racism refers to a specific country in such a manner?
So we can see that good people are being terrorised by the threat of being labelled as anti-Semites (or “self-hating Jews”, which is another term directed at Jews who criticise the Israeli political regime).
And organisations like the Campaign Against Antisemitism legitimise their behaviour by joining those who accuse genuine anti-Semites like Kevin Myers.
His abhorrent behaviour has nothing to do with criticism of Israel and everything to do with historic stereotypes that have no place in society – any society. But the CAA can use him to justify its campaign to silence critics of Israel.
That is why most of the fight against anti-Semitism in the modern world is a struggle against those who would abuse the term, applying it to those who don’t deserve it, in order to silence a vast majority of others.
You all know that This Writer is taking part in that struggle. I have been trying to get my local police force to investigate the false statements that were made against me when I was standing as a candidate in the county council elections last May.
The police have been sluggish, to say the least. I had to lodge an official complaint against a wrong decision not to investigate the crime. I was told a week ago that a decision had been made by the force’s legal department but have not been contacted by the Professional Standards Department, which handles complaints, with the details of that decision.
If it comes down against me, I have further legal arguments to put forward. I will have justice.
And I know it will take time. It seems I am trying to change an entire culture that is standing against me, solely to perpetuate a lie.
It would be easy to give up, but I won’t.
If I don’t go through with this, how can I expect anybody else to?
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