We need to examine the reasons why we equate criticism of Israel with antisemitism

When approaching the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, one should stick to ruthless and cold standards, suspending the urge to try to ‘understand’ the situation

The ongoing attacks on the Labour Party for the alleged antisemitism of some of its prominent members is not only extremely biased and in the long term, it also obfuscates the true danger of antisemitism today.

Such a danger was perfectly illustrated by a caricature published back in July 2008 in the Viennese daily Die Presse: two stocky Nazi-looking Austrians sit at a table, and one of them holding in his hands a newspaper and commenting to his friend: “Here you can see again how a totally justified antisemitism is being misused for a cheap critique of Israel!”

This joke turns around the standard argument against critics of the policies of the state of Israel: like every other state, Israel can and should be judged and eventually criticised, but some critics of Israel misuse the justified critique of Israeli policy for antisemitic purposes. When today’s Christian fundamentalist supporters of Israeli politics reject leftist critiques of Israeli policies, is their implicit line of argument not uncannily close to the caricature from Die Presse?



1 reply

Leave a Reply