Friday, August 28, 2015

The Game is Up: How BDS is the Face of Modern Anti-Semitism

From Arutz Sheva:

To understand how BDS embodies modern-day anti-Semitism in the West (the Arab/Muslim world is another kettle of fish), we must first consider the very nature of this peculiar subspecies of bigotry. Like a virus, anti-Semitism tends to morph and evolve by tapping into the prevailing fashions and discourses in society, to remain resistant to the kind of "progress" which inevitably ejects other forms of bigotry from the mainstream discourse.

So, when Christian fundamentalism was all the rage, Jews were "Christ-killers." When theories of racial supremacy were considered mainstream, Jews were "polluting/subverting/working against the white race." In the context of communism, Jews are part of the "bourgeois/elite/global bankers" - in contrast to in fascist regimes, where we work hand-in-hand with the communists.

It can be dizzying to follow such a confusing mix of often diametrically-opposed accusations - but such is the nature of anti-Semitism.

It, like other forms of bigotry, is irrational. Like other forms of bigotry, there will always be those who subscribe to it, and even commit heinous crimes in its name. But unlike other forms of bigotry, it is resistant to "progress"; its proponents will always find a way to not only justify it for themselves but, crucially, to keep it "acceptable" and "justified" even within the mainstream discourse.
To even recognize contemporary anti-Semitism then, it is crucial to first step outside of the previous paradigms within which it once operated but has since abandoned. Operating within such outdated paradigms - looking for evidence of race- or religious-based bigotry for example - actually empowers contemporary anti-Semites to promote their new version of hatred, by noting the genuine differences between them and their predecessors as proof that they are "not like them." And yet, it's a mistake we make over and over again.
BDS and other anti-Israel groups in the west do not, as a movement, believe that all Jews should be killed or converted (though many individuals within the movement may hold such beliefs, and while the movement itself does openly support other genocidal groups such as Hamas). That is not the specific form of anti-Semitism to which they subscribe. They are, however, very open about the version of anti-Semitism they do subscribe to, though they typically deny it is such: anti-Zionism.

While it comes in many hues, Zionism in its most basic sense is simply the belief in the Jewish people's right to freedom and political independence in their ancient, historic, ancestral homeland, Eretz Israel. Anti-Zionism or being "anti-Israel", then, is the belief that - whereas every other nation has that right - we Jews do not, or should at the very least be held to a different standard once we attain it, scrutinized and hounded mercilessly, with our every flaw (whether real or imagined) placed under a microscope.

Deeper still, this belief is based on the perverse notion of the Jew as a "noble victim."
That is why so many anti-Israel types stress that they condemn the holocaust (very gracious of them, of course), or go out of their way to say that they feel great sympathy for the experience of the Jews who went through it. In most cases they genuinely do - because holocaust victims are precisely the kind of tragically beautiful, "pure," persecuted Jew they can live with. Jewish weakness is "attractive" to contemporary anti-Semites, whereas any manifestation of Jewish strength whatsoever is automatically deemed a "provocation."


Whereas other nations are free, even encouraged and supported, to struggle for their national rights, Jews are actively discouraged and maligned for doing so. Whereas in any other context, an indigenous people seeking to both physically liberate its ancestral homeland while reclaiming place-names changed by conquering imperialist powers - no matter how long after it was taken from them and colonized - would garner sympathy, Jews who do so are ridiculed and condemned, accused of "harping on about ancient history."

Astonishingly enough, we Jews are simultaneously accused of oppressing the "ancient" Palestinian nation - whose supposedly "ancient" history is inexplicably more relevant and less absurd to evoke than our own - via our modern nation-state. This bare-faced logical inconsistency serves as a graphic illustration of the slipperiness of anti-Semitism, and its ability to change its stripes even within a contemporary context - sometimes even the same breath.

That is why boycotting Matisyahu was entirely in-line with BDS's positions. It doesn't matter that he isn't Israeli, the point is he is a Jewish "troublemaker," because - while never making political statements on stage - he is clearly pro-Israel, and not ashamed of it.  more

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