Thursday, May 17, 2012

There Must Be Something About Israel Worth Criticizing!

Benjamin Weinthal describes how modern Jew-hatred and loathing of Israel is restrained in the US and Canada in way that it is not in Europe:
After my over 10 year presence in Europe, I appreciate that I may be stating the obvious for folks who have experienced the anti-Israel mini-movements that punctuate Europe. However, for those that thankfully lack this experience, it is worth stating very clearly: in the US and Canada, there are major countervailing forces that help stymie the kind of modern Jew-hatred—namely, the loathing of Israel—that contaminate broad swaths of Europe's populations.
Weinthal has a number of interesting insights into the difference between pro-Israel advocacy in Europe as opposed to how it manifests itself on the other side of the Atlantic in the US and Canada.

One particularly relevant, and enduring insight, is quoted from the Jewish social philosopher Theodor W. Adorno, who did research on anti-Semitism following WWII.

He noted that, "A particularly disingenuous argument is: 'You can't criticize Jews today.'

"The public taboo on anti-Semitism is turned into an argument for anti-Semitism, as it were: if you can't criticize the Jews, the associative logic continues, there must be something to the things people could be criticizing.

"This is an effective projection mechanism: those who were, and potentially still could be, the persecutors, act as though they were the victims."
The truth of Adorno's statement today is obvious, whether in regards to Holocaust denial on the one hand, or the virulent attacks of the Israel-bashers.

Today, we have seen this faux-victimization taken a step further, where those who criticize Israel believe that they deserve recognition as heroes for speaking out against Israel.

Taken on its face, the Hall of Fame for those who bravely stand alone in criticizing Israel is getting awfully full.

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