Let’s be clear: The Charlottesville rally involved neo-Nazis trying to revive their culture of hatred towards anybody who does not follow their twisted creed.
Congregants at a nearby synagogue were put in fear for their safety because people in what is believed to be the uniform of a Nazi organisation were seen outside.
One person died and many more were injured when, it is believed, one of the neo-Nazis rammed his car into a group of counter-protesters who wanted to stop the rally from taking place.
And Donald Trump, the President of the United States, defended the Nazis. He said there were “fine people” on both sides. He defended people who were protesting the removal of a statue of Robert E Lee, the Confederate general in the US Civl War, who therefore represented racists and slavers.
Nazis are not, and can never be, “fine people”. Supporters of racism and slavery are not, and can never be, “fine people”. Anti-Semites are not, and never can be, “fine people”.
So why is Israel’s communications minister trying to brush Trump’s support of the racists, slavers, Nazis and particularly anti-Semites under the carpet?
If it’s because it is politically expedient to support Trump, because Trump has good relations with Israel as a political entity, then that isn’t good enough. Millions of Jews died at the hands of Nazis in World War II, and Jews all over the world need to be able to go about their business free of the fear that they will ever be treated in that way again – the same as everybody else does.
But Mr Kara made it clear that he said those words exactly because it is politically expedient to support Trump: “Trump is the best US leader Israel has ever had. His relations with the prime minister of Israel are wonderful.”
That is a betrayal of the Jewish people, it seems to This Writer.
And I think others saw it the same way.
Zionist Union MK Erel Margalit is quoted as saying: “Kara, Netanyahu and their government lost their way. Israel has to condemn Nazis, period, and it should insist that the US president and the administration should condemn Nazis and any form of antisemitism categorically and unequivocally. Let us lead with moral conviction, not follow those who supported the racist!”
And Meretz chairwoman Zehava Gal-On said: “Because Trump paid lip service to the settlement enterprise, Netanyahu has made him into the messiah and has forgiven him for even the most shocking, homophobic, racist, and even antisemitic statements.”
Of course Twitter had a few things to say, and they weren’t nice [STRONG LANGUAGE FOLLOWS]:
— David Simon (@AoDespair) August 20, 2017
Few areas of life are black and white. But this one is.
You're either a fascist or an anti-fascist.
Fence-sitting on Nazism is complicity.
— Kerry-Anne Mendoza (@TheMendozaWoman) August 20, 2017
Here in the UK, we have seen spurious accusations of anti-Semitism levelled at supporters of Jeremy Corbyn (including This Writer) in a bid to undermine confidence in a Labour leader who supports a peaceful solution to conflicts between Israelis and Palestinians.
There is also the matter of Israeli interference in UK political decisions, as revealed by former Israeli Embassy staffer Shai Masot, who discussed removing pro-Palestine minister Alan Duncan from office while being filmed by a hidden camera.
It seems the Israeli government has some explaining to do. Does it only oppose anti-Semitism when it sees political advantage in doing so?
Israel must condemn Nazis but relations with US President Donald Trump are more important, Communications Minister Ayoub Kara, who lately has been one of the ministers closest to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday.
Netanyahu has faced criticism for not saying anything about what police said was a deliberate car-ramming into a group of people engaged in a counterprotest to a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, until Tuesday, when he tweeted that he was “outraged by expressions of antisemitism, neo-Nazism and racism” and that “everyone should oppose this hatred.”
But Kara, who sat next to Netanyahu at last week’s mass Likud rally at the Tel Aviv Fairgrounds, said Israel must defend Trump.
“Due to the terrific relations with the US, we need to put the declarations about the Nazis in the proper proportion,” Kara said. “We need to condemn antisemitism and any trace of Nazism, and I will do what I can as a minister to stop its spread. But Trump is the best US leader Israel has ever had. His relations with the prime minister of Israel are wonderful, and after enduring the terrible years of Obama, Trump is the unquestioned leader of the free world, and we must not accept anyone harming him.”
The statements by Kara, who made similar comments on the Knesset Channel, were immediately condemned by Knesset members.
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