I’d like to bring your attention to an article recently published by Denis MacEoin on his blog entitled ‘Lies, lies, and lies about lies.
As Denis MacEoin is not a Jew and as he is a lecturer in Islamic studies and editor of the Middle East Quarterly and as he has written and studied and, indeed, earned a PhD on Islamic and Middle East subjects, I think that the neutral observer should give considerable respect to his views on a related subject: anti-Semitism.
In his article MacEoin does not mince his words:
I’m going to start this by talking about anti-Semitism. You’re probably all aware that anti-Israel activists, when told they are anti-Semites, hotly deny the charge, saying they are just opposed to Israel and its policies. I don’t believe them, any of them.
Strong stuff. Even though the staunchest Zionist is prepared to give the benefit of the doubt, when it comes to the ‘A’ word, to those who criticise Israel or the policies of its government, anti-Israel ‘activism’ is MacEoin’s subtle point here.
MacEoin continues by describing how, after the Holocaust, anti-Semitism became unfashionable and how, initially, the Left was pro-Jewish and pro-Israeli.
Then it all changed. Why? His theory is that the Left requires a a cause, someone to ‘pity’ as he defines it. As the Jews in the shape of Israel were no longer ‘pitiable’. Suddenly some atavistic European Jew-hatred rematerialised in anti-Israel or anti-Zionist polemic. MacEoin seems to say that there is a psychological aberration in the thinking of these Europeans which makes them dislike strong, even arrogant, unrepentant, assertive Jews/Israelis.
For some reason, a lot of people don’t like this. But they still don’t like to be called anti-Semites, because anti-Semitism is a form of racism, and they aren’t racists. They think they aren’t racists because anti-racism is the keystone of modern right-on politics. But they are racists, so they have a problem. They have a lot of circles to square, and to do that they have employed a range of lies that cast a spell on the media and most of the general public. It goes something like this. The Jews are no longer suffering, but someone must be suffering in order to deserve our pity, and the obvious candidates for victimhood are the Palestinians, because those nice Arabs I met at our conference tell me they are. This must mean that the Jews are… A hard think here, I suppose, then the obvious answer. The Jews, sorry, the Israelis are Nazis. Not ‘like the Nazis’. They are Nazis.
In other words, so aghast are these people at their own racism and historical guilt that they have to cleanse their Socialist souls by imprinting their own self-hate on the objects of this guilt. The only way they can justify this strange irrational hatred is by moral inversion and by transferring the historical crimes against Jews to crimes against Palestinians by Jews.
if there’s to be some sort of equivalence, there has to be a Holocaust. What? you say. What? But it’s obvious, they reply. There has been a Holocaust of the Palestinians. If this makes you feel nauseated, I don’t blame you. You ask, when, how many, where? They sneer and talk about Jenin (51 dead) and say it’s worse than gas chambers. And to make this worse, a lot of them deny the real Holocaust, aided and abetted by a UN member state, Iran.
So Israel is always referred to in terms of the darkest possible aspects of human behaviour: Holocaust, massacre, apartheid, racism, Nazism.
They hate Israel with a viciousness that can only originate in dark psychological problems with Jews. I don’t know why that is, and I don’t know how to solve it, but it’s the most dangerous single thing in the world today. I mean it.
MacEoin does not really explore why so many on the Left are so enamoured with people and regimes that should be inimical to their core beliefs. Why does George Galloway, for example, so love Hamas which represses women, kills gays and indoctrinates young minds to hate and martyrdom? Why did he appear to idolise Saddam who gassed his own people amongst his many other crimes. Why does Chavez love Ahmadinejad. Why does the IRA feel fellowship with Hamas and Hizbullah?
MacEoin has the answer – anti-Semitism. But that is almost too simple. The Leftists see a successful, highly technological, democratic, free society in Israel, yet a society that is basically capitalist and supported by the great bogeyman of the Left – the United States. Is it, perhaps, envy. Envy that their politics does not work, that they have based their political life on a system that does not produce wealth, freedom, humanity. And to make things worse, it’s those damned Jews who are showing them the error of their thinking.
But let me add a rider, as I always do. Israel is not perfect. There are many things to criticise about Israel as there are in other western democracies. Israel’s perceived injustices in the West Bank, its wars in Lebanon and Gaza can all be subjected to scrutiny and criticism.
But the debate, when it comes to Israel, whether from the Left or from Muslims and Islamists is always so hysterical, so hate-ridden, so genocidal, so shrill, so irrational and so vile that it does not leave any room for valid criticism. No other country in the world is treated in the press or at the UN like Israel. And if you think that is because Israel is the nastiest country in the world, then go there and take a look. Go to the West Bank. Go to Gaza. Then go to Sudan and Saudi Arabia, Syria and Iran; go to Tibet and North Korea. Then tell me Israel deserves this level of vilification and demonisation.
You may then come to the conclusion that, essentially, MacEoin is right.
With people like Denis MacEoin around there is still hope, at least, that hordes of irrational Jew-haters and enemies of civilisation can yet be defeated.