Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Anti-Semitism, racism and double standards

In an article by Professor Saul Landau called "Israeli Policy Gives Jews a Bad Name" Landau says, „Most Jews I know get little pleasure from the existence of Israel; just the opposite. They feel disgusted by the behavior of their tribal kin toward Palestinians.‰

Later in the article, referring to Abe Foxman of the Anti Defamation League, he writes, „Ironically, in the name of all Jews, Foxman and colleagues in AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) and other Israeli lobby groups along with right wing and centrist political parties in Israel invoke the Holocaust to justify the very behavior embodied by Holocaust initiators.‰

In the last two weeks there have been no less than 5 responses, including my own, to a letter by CJ Mellor in the Woodstock Times. The Holocaust was invoked and Mellor and/or the original letter were referred to as something Joesph Gobbels „would be very proud of‰, „no nazi could have said it better‰, „pro-nazi propaganda‰, and the kind of „spewing‰ that if not challenged, „will grow just as it did in Nazi Germany.‰ In referring to Mellor‚s letter I said „ I don‚t think CJ Mellor meant it to be so, but the last statement more or less placing collective blame on the shoulders of U.S. Jews is exactly what anti-Semitism feeds upon.‰

Apparently, it is also fed a number of the same knee jerk reactions and cries of anti-Semitism and/or self-hating Jew one experiences, resultant of the slightest criticism of Israeli aggression and U.S support for the same.

It clearly seems as if we have, not only a double standard at work here, but a very virulent form of racism as well.

Quite often we see the terms Islamic terrorism, Arab terrorism or Palestinian terrorism. How would it be if the term Jewish terrorism were used? The cries of anti-Semitism and even Nazi would again ring out load and clear.

Are not bombs and white phosphorus dropped from planes on civilians terror? Is not being driven from your ancestral land and homes terrible? Are not bulldozers and tanks demolishing Palestinian homes a form of terror? Are not thousands of Palestinians of both sexes and all ages rotting in Israeli jails and often submitted to torture, terror?

Why is it that only suicide bombers or primitive rockets constitute terror? Why is it only the Palestinians that are terrorists when Israelis commit immeasurably (by their own account) more destruction and bloodshed? Why do we not call it „Jewish terrorism‰? Why are Palestinians allowed to be labeled terrorists and not Jewish people? Is this not racism?

It is an international war crime and a crime against humanity to collectively punish a civilian population, such as happened in Gaza. Is that not terrorism?

Women, school children, babies were trapped and slaughtered during the invasion and before that were being starved to death by the blockade. Where was the outrage of those who scream anti-Semite and Nazi about mere letters to the editor? Where was their righteous outrage then?

Self-defense you say? The invasion of Gaza was planned at least six months ahead. Even before the rockets began screaming into Sderot, let us not forget the November 4th assassinations of six Hamas leaders in Gaza by the Israeli military. Where was your outrage then?

In my previous letter, I said I didn‚t agree with Mellor‚s assertion that the blame falls on the shoulders of US Jews for not speaking out. I don‚t think collective blame on any population is right and beside many Jews have spoken out and will continue to do so regardless of name calling from those who blindly support Israel or the U.S.

I don‚t condone real anti-Semitism or any form of ethnic or racial prejudice and to be sure it does exist. But criticism of Israeli policies and/or a (wrongly) perceived failure of American Jews to speak out, does not constitute anti-Semitism or Nazism. The Nazis were far more virulent, vicious and hateful, lest we forget.

Tarak Kauff 4 Broadview Rd. Woodstock, NY 679-3299

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