Ken Loach, the British film director, has claimed that it is “‘understandable” that there should be a rise in anti-Semitism since the Gaza conflict, the Jerusalem posts reports.
If there has been a rise I am not surprised. In fact, it is perfectly understandable because Israel feeds feelings of anti-Semitism.
He goes on:
When history comes to be written, I think this will be seen as one of the great crimes of the past decades because of the cold blooded massacre that we witnessed. Unless we take a stand against it, we are complicit.
And all this at the Russell Tribunal on Palestine – a “a symbolic citizens’ initiative that claims to reaffirm the importance of international law in conflict resolution”.
What Loach and other are “complicit” in is the usual one-sided demonisation and singling out of one state whilst ignoring the crimes of those seeking to annihilate it. By ‘understanding’ that Israel’s perceived crimes are responsible for anti-Semitism he is saying that it is “understandable” that all Jews are responsible for Israel’s actions. He makes no condemnation of this linkage. By expressing this belief he himself is complicit in the rise of anti-Semitism because he makes no stand against such a belief. Even Muslim leaders in the UK told their co-religionists NOT to blame Jews for the actions of Israel.
Did Mr Loach “understand” the huge rise in attacks on Muslims as a result of 9/11 or 7/7? No. Because there were very few attacks on Muslims in the UK whose citizens did not perpetrate a blood-libel against them. But in the wake of Operation Cast Lead anti-Semitic incidents in the UK and Europe went through the roof. Only Jews are responsible for the actions of other Jews in Mr Loach’s perverted logic.
I would also ask Mr Loach if he has taken a stand against President Bashir of Sudan, Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, the Taleban, the Russians for Chechnya (seeing as he is a supporter of Chechen independence) and South Ossetia.
But most importantly I would ask him if his kangaroo court of concerned citizens (which not only makes the accusation but then becomes judge and jury in a mockery of justice) is even going to look at Hamas’s actions and condemn them or does he “understand” Hamas’s motives as well.
And I would ask him why the Russell Tribunal does not even follow – vis-a-vis Hamas – some of its own aims as expressed when “trying” the United States for war crimes in Vietnam:
1. Has the United States Government (and the Governments of Australia, New Zealand and South Korea) committed acts of aggression according to international law?
3. Has there been bombardment of targets of a purely civilian character, for example hospitals, schools, sanatoria, dams, etc., and on what scale has this occurred?
4. Have Vietnamese prisoners been subjected to inhuman treatment forbidden by the laws of war and, in particular, to torture or mutilation? Have there been unjustified reprisals against the civilian population, in particular, execution of hostages?
Replace “United States” with “Hamas”.
On item 1: Hamas were and still carry out daily rocket attacks aimed specifically at the civilian population of Israel which is an “aggression according to international law”.
On item 3: as per item 1 the targets are “purely civilian (in) character” and are indiscriminate. As for scale: over 6000 such attacks since 2001.
On item 4: Gilad Shalit has been held since 2006 without access to the Red Cross contrary to international law. We do not know if he has been tortured. After Operation Cast Lead Hamas was widely reported as taking reprisals against anyone it deemed as being complicit of collaboration especially its political enemy Fatah. It carried out summary executions and woundings against civilians.
This is not Loach’s first attack on Israel. In 2007 at the San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival he called for “international boycott of Israeli political and cultural institutions”. In 2008 he condemned the celebrating of Israel’s 69th anniversary as “tantamount to dancing on Palestinian graves to the haunting tune of lingering dispossession and multi-faceted injustice”.
I believe even in the world of the self-appointed, self-righteous and self-lefteous Ken Loach and the Russell Tribunal there are clear grounds for an “indictment” and “prosecution” of Hamas.
I am sure the entire world is watching with baited breath.