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Summer 2004 cover

National Observer Home > No. 59 - Summer 2004 > Editorial Comment

Israel and "Anti-Semitism"

Israel is a state that was created by Jewish terrorist activity which involved the murder of civilians and British soldiers and the driving out of Arabs. It has acted to defend its unlawfully acquired territory, but has also assumed the deliberate practice of creating settlements in adjoining Palestinian territory.

These deliberate and carefully planned appropriations of Palestinian lands are indefensible. Not only do they involve oppression of the unfortunate Palestinians, but they also demonstrate Israel's bad faith.

Israeli propaganda attempts to persuade that the Palestinians are irrational and that their resort to terrorism is entirely unjustified. This propaganda recounts how Israeli citizens, including women and children, are being killed by Palestinian suicide bombers. But this Israeli propaganda is silent in regard to Palestinian complaints that the Israelis have killed many more Palestinians, including women and children, than the Palestinians have killed Israelis. The dishonesty of the Israeli position is found in the inconsistency in Israeli complaints about Palestinian actions and the subtle but persistent continued appropriation of Palestinian territory. Although terrorist acts are per se undesirable, in the present case the Palestinians should not be blamed unless equal or greater blame is allotted to the Israelis.

The Jewish writer, Tanya Reinhart, a Professor of Linguistics and Cultural Studies at Tel Aviv University, has commented:5

"Sharon, now Israel's Prime Minister, describes its present war against the Palestinians as ‘the second half of 1948’ . . . By now there can be little doubt that what they mean by that analogy is that the work of ethnic cleansing was only half completed in 1948, leaving too much land to Palestinians. Although the majority of Israelis are tired of wars and of the occupation, Israel's political and military leadership is still driven by the greed for land, water resources and power. From that perspective, the war of 1948 was just the first step in a more ambitious and more far-reaching strategy."

It is for such reasons that in a recent European opinion poll Israel was regarded as a greater threat to peace than Iraq and other such countries. This perception is well based, in so far as intense resentment amongst Arabs of Israeli oppression has fuelled radical Islamic groups and continues to do so. The United States has been an obstacle in these regards. At the instance of the wealthy and powerful New York Jewish lobby successive American governments have vetoed United Nations’ resolutions censoring Israel and have provided money and support for oppressive Israel policies.

The response to these unpleasant facts by many Jewish supporters of accusing their critics of being "anti-Semitic"6 represents an important attempt to blackmail and to preclude the proper discussion of Israeli actions.

5. Israel/Palestine, 2002, Allen & Unwin, pages 10-11. This important book, by a conscientious Jewish observer, merits careful reading. It contains a careful analysis of Israeli policy over the past decade, from which it is evident that Israeli governments have dissembled their intention to increase their occupation of Palestinian lands and that they have been working steadily towards this objective.

6. And in any event, many Palestinians are also Semitic, as well as Jews.

National Observer No. 59 - Summer 2004