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News and views on Israel, Zionism and the war on terrorism.

December 20, 2002

A Thought On Israel Bashers In Israel
By Steven Plaut

For many years, it has been obvious to us that anti-Israel propaganda and Israel bashing around the world are little more than disguised anti-Semitism. No one on earth really cares about the Palestinians, least of all Palestinian leaders. People pretend to care about the Palestinians because this helps them delegitimize Israel.

When King Hussein of Jordan murdered 10,000 Palestinians in September 1970, no one cared about the Palestinians, no one noticed they were having their "rights violated" no one thought they needed "self-determination". More generally, the world does not care about Arabs being killed unless it is Israel doing the killing in self-defense. When 100,000 Algerian civilians are murdered, no one notices. When far more are murdered in Sudan, no one notices. When Saddam Hussein gasses his own people, when Asad massacres 10,000 in Hama in Syria, no one cares or notices. But when Israel kills 20 people in Jenin while hunting down mass murderers who have murdered hundreds of Jews (many of them children), that is genocide and a war crime. And when Palestinians murder 1200 Israelis after signing the Oslo accords, that is protest against occupation.

Israel-bashing is naked anti-Semitism. The bulk of Israeli "critics" are motivated not by a desire to see this or that specific policy of Israel altered, a camp to which I myself would belong in spades, but rather who seek to see Israel destroyed. They object to Israeli military actions because they do not think Israel should employ its military to defend itself at all. They believe that the only legitimate response to Arab atrocities is Israeli capitulation and self-annihilation.

Now none of this is particularly new. What is new is the following. Why on earth should we consider people in Israel who espouse the same anti-Israel rhetoric as any different from these overseas anti-Semites? Why should we believe that people whose every waking hour is devoted to "defending Palestinian rights" are anti-Semites when they are overseas, but simply caring liberals when they are in Israel? Why should we regard those who insist that Israel must never use its military to defend itself to be anti-Semites when they are in Europe but compassionate peace seekers when they are in Israel? We regard those people who insist that the only permissible response by Israel to terrorist atrocities is capitulation to be in reality those seeking Israel's destruction when they are NOT in Israel. Why should we regard them otherwise when they happen to be Israelis?