End the Pre-Occupation
I have a simple question for those who support "BDS" (the movement which advocates boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel). Of all of the countries in the world, why single out just one to be the object of your indignation? You will most likely take offense if I suggest there is an element of anti-Semitism at work here. But I think there is a compelling case to suggest this. Please read on.
Yes, criticism of Israel isn't the same as anti-Semitism -- but the sort of obsessive, disproportionate attacks and double standards that have commonplace ARE anti-Semitic. If there is another plausible explanation for this inconsistency, I'd like to hear it.
Governments should be criticized. I criticize Israel all the time and nobody has ever accused me of being an anti-Semite. I would like to have believed that the World's oldest hatred is dead, but it is alive and well.
In the old days one expected anti-Semitism from the political right. These days one sees very real and deep bigotry also coming from the left -- from people who have the self perception of being free of prejudice. Leftist organizations will deny prejudice because they have associations with various Jewish "outlier" groups and individuals.
Activists! Check the websites of your own organizations. In so many cases there are pages and pages of "constructive" suggestions of what you can do vis a vis the occupation, etc. Some of these criticisms might be right and some wrong. For arguments sake, I will assume they are all correct. Now look again at the website. Are there criticisms of anything Palestinian? ANYTHING?
If not, ask yourself if that is credible.
Credibility is what you should be seeking. If you aspire to be a genuine peacemaker and if peace is to be something more than a slogan, you and your organization need to be a fair witness. Time for an overhaul.
The daily, intense and rabid anti-Semitism --in some cases open calls for genocide against Jews--is a regular staple in the media in much of the Muslim world. But western human rights organizations all but ignore this crime against humanity -- a moral failing which might have catastrophic implications. I can assure you that this is hardly "confidence building" and nothing Jews or Israelis have done merits this. Side stepping this issue doesn't contribute to peace.
If your group is genuinely interested in peace, you will need to build relations with the Jewish mainstream -- and not find solace in the Jewish outliers. By all means talk to the dissident groups, but don't delude yourselves that you are speaking "truth to power." Don't tell us that some of your best friends are Jewish. As far as the Jewish mainstream is concerned -- the people who matter -- you are speaking "truth" to quislings. You can do better.
End the pre-occupation.