Sunday, February 11, 2007

You Know You're an Anti-Semite When...

Recently, on some of my favorite blogs, I see a lot of defensiveness about being seen as anti-Semitic for their disagreement (understatement) with Israel's policies and politics.

So, as both a Jew and a liberal blogger, I have the unique perspective on anti-Semitism and its link to Israel.

I will begin with the following statement: No, you are not anti-Semitic for disagreeing with the Israeli government. However, anti-Semitism is breeding in the liberal community. My example is the following. A man asked another man during the war with Hezbollah: "I saw an orthodox Jew in the street the other day, walking in his little black hat and black robes. I wanted to run over there and punch him in the face. Is that anti-Semitic?"

Yes. That is anti-Semitic. That is singling out a person based on their appearance, stereotyping them, associating them with a country thousands of miles away and threatening violence on them because of it. If the preceding questioned seemed stupid, like it was some random guy on the street, it was actually a statement made on "Air America" to the co-host, and it was not considered a joke.

Understand that most Jewish people are angry with Israel over their military action. The Jewish community is roughly 85% liberal, and votes overwhelmingly Democratic. We are not idle to the actions of the country simply because it is the only country the Jewish people have in the world.

However, there are two things that are predominant in the liberal/progressive community that are either anti-Semitic or so biasly anti-Israel to the point that it is almost like watching Fox News (except, you know... intelligent and anti-war). Hence the lists below. If you fall into either of these categories, you may not necessarily be anti-Semitic or biasly anti-Israel, but you probably need to tone in down some.

Anyway, to the checklist:

You know you're an anti-Semite when...:

  • You blame the Jews for Israel
  • You create more than one post explaining how not anti-Semitic you are, yet claiming that the Jews are telling you that you are anti-Semitic (again, we don't agree with Israel either, so if you group all the Jews together claiming "We" - as in, all the Jews - are calling you anti-Semitic, you're stereotyping. I don't think you're anti-Semitic, so you should stop assuming I do by grouping us together with the one angry guy on your blog). Also, remember, you don't create posts saying "I'm not a racist because..." you should expect that if you're constantly defending something that didn't necessarily happen, you should probably look at yourself and figure out why you do that.
  • You think Lieberman is an accurate representation of a Jewish Politician. That's partially a joke, but let me assure you: He's not.
  • You think Jews don't like Palestinians because they're Muslims. See below for more explanation.
You know you're biasly anti-Israel when...:
  • You support Hezbollah
  • You support the Palestinian Government (NOTE: The Palestinian Government is run by known terrorists. You can be mad at Israel for their actions, but the Palestinians purposely elected a militant group responsible for suicide bombing Israeli civilians on a daily basis.)
  • You think Israelis chose their Country, rather than the British handing giving it to them.
  • You assume the war in Iraq had something to do with Israel, even though Iraq is not even close to the greatest threat to Israel, and Hussein was barely a blip on the radar of danger in Jerusalem.
  • You see the army in Israel as cruel and inhuman, even though in Reality they are only high school graduates, both men and women because the army is mandatory after high school since the country is too small to sustain itself from the constant threats from the surrounding Muslim nations.
  • You think Israeli's don't want peace, even though they have never, in this history of their fledging, 50 year old country, ever been the first to break a peace treaty. Ever. Not once. Never.
I don't write this to spark controversy. As I stated numerous times, Israel makes poor, dangerous and sometimes deadly military decisions that are inhumane and stupid. But if you fall either of the two groups above, you may have crossed the line from objectivity and may be blinding yourself to the truths of the situation. 1 week before I went to Israel, Hamas militants stuck a bomb in a briefcase filled with nails in the middle of a crowded shopping center. It exploded, and those that were not immediately killed by the bomb were wounded by the hundreds by the nails flying into their legs, sides, and neck. These individuals are now in charge of the Palestinian government.

It is okay to strongly disagree with Israel, as well you should since they are making stupid decisions every day. But be sure you are looking at the situation before you make bias judgements of the country, or worse, the people they unfortunately represent.

I'll give one final example, given to me by a professor of Jewish studies who is also an outspoken opponent of Israel's actions:

"There is a difference here of morals. Remember during the war [with Hezbollah] one of the Israeli rockets hit an apartment building, killing over 30 people including numerous children. This was a horrible event, and the Israeli government should be held accountable. But before Israel bombed they sent two warnings to the residents of the apartment, telling them they needed to evacuate because they were going to bomb it. The Lebanese civilians refused. Also, after searching through the rubble, underneath the school was the stronghold of a Hezbollah leader who was using the school as a human shield. And the Lebanese people knew they were there, and refused to kick them out. On the opposite side, Hezbollah sent rockets into Israel that were not aimed at anyone, shot with no specific target without warning, killing whoever happened to be near it. Israel's actions are horrible and arrests should be made, but theirs was a failed military action, while Hezbollah's was destruction and death. There is a difference of morals."


Anonymous said...

Bravo, well said, and true. Thank you for this, now make sure it goes around the internet and especially on the blogs of the "so called" peaceniks and terrorist supporters, like Cindy Sheehan and Goerge Soros.

Norway said...

Great points all the way through. There's a definite skewing of perspective here where the wrong arguments are being made. Just look at what people are doing and judge them accordingly. Being defensive of statements that don't make sense is beyond me. Definitely spread this one around.

Librocrat said...

Neither George Soros nor Cindy Sheehan are anti-semetic. George Soros is Jewish.

From Wikipedia:

At a Jewish forum in New York City, Soros partially attributed a recent resurgence of anti-Semitism to the policies of Israel and the United States, and to successful Jews such as himself:

"There is a resurgence of anti-Semitism in Europe. The policies of the Bush administration and the Sharon administration contribute to that. It's not specifically anti-Semitism, but it does manifest itself in anti-Semitism as well. I'm critical of those policies... If we change that direction, then anti-Semitism also will diminish. I can't see how one could confront it directly... I'm also very concerned about my own role because the new anti-Semitism holds that the Jews rule the world... As an unintended consequence of my actions ... I also contribute to that image."


So, anonymous, I assume you were being sarcastic. But your sarcasm doesn't really work, since Soros publically agrees with me. And the defensiveness is somewhat my point.

But thanks for commenting.