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A recent case in point was the reaction – or lack of it – when Ron Prosor, the Israeli ambassador to Britain, put his head above the parapet. Writing in The Daily Telegraph, he told the candid truth that in Britain, the most extreme elements of the debate on the Israel/­Palestine conflict have been allowed to “hijack the mainstream”. He accused the anti-Israel forces of mounting a campaign of “delegitimisation, demonisation and double standards”. Their call for a “one-state solution”, he maintained, was “a euphemistic name for a movement advocating Israel’s destruction”.

The ambassador is right on all counts. Jews, who should know better, say to me that as Hamas will never agree to a two-state solution, the only possibility for peace is one state. When I explain that this would mean that Jews will no longer be in the majority, and so it would cease to be Israel, and that furthermore Jewish Israelis would leave their country en masse in fear for their lives, the response is, “Well, then there will never be a solution!” They look at me in disbelief when I explain to them that not finding a solution to this conflict is better than self-destruction.

However, I find it embarrassing that when the Israeli ambassador is outspoken about the prejudice against Israel in Britain, the leadership of British Jewry remains silent. It is not that they don’t agree with him – they do. Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks has written eloquently and passionately on the demonisation of Israel. As long ago as February 2002, while dismissing the claim that all criticism of Israel is anti-semitism, he created a fictional scenario that is worth quoting in full:

“Suppose someone were to claim that there is a form of prejudice called anti-Kiwism, an irrational hatred of New Zealanders,” the Chief Rabbi wrote. “What might convince us he was right? Criticism of the New Zealand government? No. A denial of New Zealand’s right to exist? Maybe. Seven thousand terrorist attacks on New Zealand’s citizens in the past year? Possibly. A series of claims at the UN Conference Against Racism in Durban that New Zealand, because of its treatment of the Maori, is uniquely guilty of apartheid, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity, accompanied by grotesque Nazi-style posters? Perhaps. A call to murder all those with New Zealand loyalties although they were born and live elsewhere? A suggestion that New Zealanders control the world’s economy? That they are responsible for Aids and poisoning water supplies? That they arranged the September 11 attack on the World Trade Center? That they are a satanic force of evil against whom a holy war must be fought?”

The Chief Rabbi tells us then to “delete ‘New Zealand’ and insert ‘Israel’ and ‘Jews’, and all these things have happened in the past year. “What more has to happen before an impartial observer concludes that anti-semitism is alive and well and dangerous?” A lot more has happened since. What Rabbi Sacks was describing then was attributed to Islamic extremism. But today it is the British chattering classes, the intellectuals of the Left in particular, who have bought into this vile propaganda, agreeing that Israel is comparable to apartheid South ­Africa and even Nazi Germany.

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Joop Kruisselbrink
January 13th, 2009
2:01 PM
Someone who calls for a one state solution might be wrong because he/she doesn'n know enough or can't see the implementations and might even be an antisemite but to call everyone an antisemite is very wrong because you're accusing people of wanting to eleminate all jews which obviously is not the case. Calling everyone whith the slightest of critic to some of Israels deeds an antisemite is killing for the debate,maybe thats just what you want?

Ciderlout
September 18th, 2008
9:09 AM
To Richard: No, they are all bad. Personally I think the UN should just step in, removing religion and ethnicity from the equation - and in any other situation that seems unable to be resolved.

Richard
August 26th, 2008
9:08 AM
To Ciderlout. To call for a one-state solution and attack the principle of self-determination is either ignorant or anti-semitic in the case applied to Israel. The Arabs and especially the Palestinian Arabs do not want peace with Israel, they want to destroy it. Go to MEMRI (google it) and read what is published everyday in Arab print and media and spoken in their mosques. Go to Palestinian Media Watch and do the same for the "Palestinians". If you are against states constructed purely on religious or ethnic grounds, then will you oppose Jordan, whose constitution forbids any Jew from citizenship there? Or will you condemn most Islamic countries for enshrining religious law at the heart of the state? No? If you won't for them but will for Israel, you are acting from a prejudiced position.

Ben Ullmann
August 25th, 2008
8:08 AM
An interesting article Sidney. I found Dr Brian Robinson's comments iteresting and helpful and I think the tone of the argument between Dan Judelson et al is perhaps a case in point concerning Brian's comment that the viciousness of some accusations seems slightly baffling without suspecting a touch of anti-semitism, Dan's comments being phrased in such an inflamatory way produced almost as strong reactions in others leading to an argument rather than discussion. Perhaps this can partly be explained by passion on both sides in these types of discussion where everyone has seen/read deeply distressing things. Another possibility is the contrast between a well armed army and poverty stricken youngsters throwing stones is what makes Israel such a villified force, I guess there are few other constant conflicts which look from a certain perspective so unfair and David vs Goliath-esque. While I am relatively ignorant and have no solutions what concerns me is why does this contrast remain, why doesn't Palestine seem to improve? Surely that is not all Israel's fault? If Palestine's government and its oil-rich Arab neighbours were to spend more time and money improving Palestinian infra-structure and the quality of life of Palestinians then surely that would be of more value to Palestinians right now than sorting out Israeli/Palestinian relationships? Improved living conditions, education, infra-structure in Palestine I believe would produce happier, more moderate and less radicalised Palestinians and then from that base perhaps negotiations with Israel might proceed much more smoothly and also reduce the "big vs little" image. I think my writing is probably very confused here, please excuse this, but essentially what I am saying is - whenever I think about Israel/Palestine I'm always left wondering why people don't choose to focus on how to improve Palestine for Palestinians first with the intention of then returning to the question of Israel once this has been achieved.

Dan Wright
August 19th, 2008
5:08 PM
I wish this would recieve wide circulation in the UK: God doesn't exist. Judaism is, like Islam and Christianity, Hindusim et al a man made cult. Will the moderators allow my "non-pc" comment to be shown?

Jack Lynes.
August 18th, 2008
3:08 PM
This article should receive the widest possible circulation amongst all Jews in the UK. Pulling no punches it is a timely reminder of the 'enemy within'. It gives in very simple terms the responses to those Jews who would see Israel 'put to sleep' rather than speak up for the Marvel that is Israel. The anti-semitic Jew (for kid us not, it is they who we are fighting, has the cheek to suggest that only they seek peace) "Peace Now"- a title that infers we do not all wish for, pray for, and will work towards a Just Peace, has his /her answer in this article. Practical suggestion: Do we have any moles who can discover when they will next take space in the Press? We could afford an ad. which boldly suggests that they and readers take note of this article by inviting readers either to look it up on a designated website or sending for a Copy. It could also be reprinted and distributed widely in synagogue magazines or distributed at HHDays.

Ciderlout
August 15th, 2008
11:08 AM
Quite interesting article from this site: http://www.standpointmag.co.uk/elie-kedourie-august "He was in no doubt, for example, that the idea of national self-determination, launched upon the world by Woodrow Wilson after 1918, was not only absurd, but also destructive and immoral." This was a Jewish Scholar. Rabbi Brichto's article was an interesting read, and certainly anti-semetism is not dissapearing as quickly as it (or any other irrational and destructive phobia) should. But I find his defence of Israel troubling - in this day and age is it really constructive to insist that a state exist based purely on religious and ethnic grounds? At the end of World War II Europe created what became the EU to help break down the borders betweeen states: to prevent the possibility of future war. Rabbi Brichto seems to think peace will instead come from a strict maintenance of divison between Jew and Arab; people A from people B. (NB: that may only be my interpretation of his ideas; he actually seems to offer no path to peace himself in the above article) And this I think is hugely troubling, and will be a disaster for future generations of both Israelis and their Arab neighbours/countrymen.

Lawrence
August 12th, 2008
12:08 PM
of course Judelson is anti-semitic. His demonisation of the IDF is a case in point, while at the same time he is so very deafening in his silence of the very real barbarity and fascist violence of Israel's numerous enemies from Hezbollah and Hamas to Syria and others in the Middle-East. Such blatant double standards can only be accounted for by anti-semitism.

szeni
August 8th, 2008
3:08 PM
Why is it important whether Judelson is or isn't anti-Semitic? Clearly, he is obsessed with Israel and busy smearing the country and its people at every opportunity. In the Middle Ages Jews were accused of ritual killings of children ; according to Judelson, the IDF is a bunch of child murderers. He doesn't understand the basics of the Law of Return or even the difference between Jews and Israelis. Try and read a decent text-book on Israeli history, Mr Judelson, and most of what you want 'explained' would become clear.

Dan Judelson
August 7th, 2008
8:08 PM
Szeni and now Sidney have attributed to me references I am not making. For the record, the Nazi behaviour i was referring to was when Israeli police busted an ring of self avowed Israeli Nazis in Petah Tikvah earlier this year. there was quite a fuss about it, with MKs demanding changes to the Law of Return. The story is here: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3448276,00.html Debate is great. It happens when issues are dealt with, instead of erroneous accusations.

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