April 29th, 2003

flavored with age

Springtime, and a young man's heart turns to thoughts of Jew-hating

This is a long one, so some of it gets hidden behind the cut-tag. Please feel free to skip...it's all dreary, defensive politics.

On the political mailing list I'm on (the one that doesn't contain any mention of little green footballs), Israel has been a hot topic again of late. The Palestinians are selecting a reform cabinet; the IDF is stepping up the tank attacks; and the Sharon government is enforcing a USA-PATRIOT-style raft of antiterror legislation with a vengeance, so there's been a lot of talk about the future and the past of Israel.

And, of course, I've been right there at the vanguard, sticking up for the home team. This has led, for what is now the third time in three weeks, to a veiled accusation of anti-Semitism being hurled at me by one of the most vociferously pro-Zionist people on the group. (Interestingly, he is not himself a Jew, but a Christian minister. The implications of this are for another post, and one not written by me.) Most recently, he has suggested that because of my partially Arab heritage, I am "naturally" inclined towards a dislike of Jews (as if anti-Semitism was bred in the bone, or hatred of the Jews was a genetic component of the Arab ethnos), and that my sources of criticism of the behavior and activities of the Israeli government relied to heavily on reports and writings by other Arabs, who "can not be trusted" because of their own anti-Jew bias.

Now, I'm an old hand at being called a racist. It doesn't even bother me anymore. And I've said "anti-Zionism/criticism of the Israeli government is not the same as anti-Semitism" so many times that the phrase has become rote (not that it ever changes anyone's mind). However, I still am driven absolutely insane by the suggestion that attacking the oppressive, brutal nationalism of Israel can only be motivated by some sort of deep hatred of the Jewish people. It's just so blinkered and willfully ignorant that it makes me crazy.

So, Collapse )

I'm positive -- absolutely positive -- that he will simply claim that these are the words of "self-hating Jews" or the product of "internalized anti-Semitism". His mind won't be changed unless God himself comes down and tells him otherwise, and since that's obviously not going to happen, it's pretty hopeless. But at least I'll have satisfied myself by saying my piece.