Commentators on Jewish matters have noted a paradox: a surprising number of Israel-bashers – including some who call for the elimination of Israel as a specifically Jewish state – are themselves Jewish. Consider Noam Chomsky, George Soros, Michael Lerner, Marc H. Ellis, Eli Pariser, Tony Judt, Ilan Pappe and Norman Finkelstein...
I did not write the above paragraph; rather, it was lifted verbatim from the introduction of an article written by David Gutmann, a Jewish-American Psychologist, about the Jews who oppose Israeli policies against the Palestinians. Although the article’s writer attempted to analyze these individuals’ psyche, concluding that they are self-hating Jews, this is incorrect or inaccurate as there are among the Jews, like any other people on this planet, good seeds and bad. The racist Zionists, warmongers, neo-conservatives and the despicable settlers however, accuse anyone who dares criticize Israel of being anti-Semitic, and if the critic should be a Semitic Jew, then they accuse him of self-hate.
It is impossible that this enormous number of Jews who oppose occupation and seek peace with the Palestinians and the entire world is suffering from psychological complexes. The more likely explanation is that they are noble and honourable; in fact, those who are accusing them of being otherwise are committing a double crime: on one hand they are fascistic extremists, and on the other hand, they reject that other Jews can be advocates of peace and justice.
Of course, the list of people mentioned above is only a small example put forward by the article’s writer. However, if we wish to be fair to all the Jews who oppose occupation, murder and destruction, this newspaper would have all been filled to the last letter with the names of these individuals, even before getting to the second or third letter of the alphabet in sorting their names.
I read about the campaign against Professor Tony Judt, a reputable British professor of history who currently teaches at the New York University. His only sin is that he was a friend of the late Professor Edward Said, and that he stood in defence of Norman Finkelstein, author of the book “The Holocaust Industry”. He then dared to write that “Today [Israel] presents a ghastly image: a place where sneering 18-year-olds with M-16s taunt helpless old men, where bulldozers regularly flatten whole apartment blocks, where helicopters fire rockets into residential streets”.
I also read about another campaign against Professor Marc Ellis, a Jewish professor of theology at a Baptist University in Waco, which also included attacks against Finkelstein and the Deir Yassin Remembered Organization, which includes members such as the Swedish Israel Shamir, and the Israeli Mordecai Vanunu, the man who exposed Israel’s nuclear program and was imprisoned, and who then continued his criticisms of Israel following his release.
The extremists also organized personal attacks against Sondra Hale, a university professor whose only crime is her full commitment to the Palestinian cause, and her demands for the boycott of Israel as she is also influenced by Professor Edward Said; there was also a campaign against Naomi Wolf, because she criticizes the United States but fails to criticize “the Islamo-Fascist enemy”. (I must mention here as well Naomi Klein, the fair intellectual who is worthy of respect).
Every action has a reaction: Israel today is the only remaining fascistic, or neo-Nazi state in the world, and the crimes it commits are all documented and firmly established as facts. Its government includes cabinet members who are terrorists in a “country” where many prime ministers were convicted terrorists.
Perhaps I should add Jeff Halper to the list of fair-minded Jews, the director of the Israeli Committee against House Demolitions. While I did not read any attacks against him by the gang of evil, his work is as important as the other issues which angered the extremists against the activists mentioned above.
I recently read an article he had written, entitled “Dismantling the Matrix of Control”. In this article, Halper says that stopping the settlements is not the issue, and that the effective approach to ending the conflict, as opposed to shop-worn posturing, rests on at least six elements: national expression for both peoples; economic viability for Palestine; a genuine addressing of the refugee issue; a regional approach; security guarantees; and conformity with human rights norms, international law and UN resolutions.
Perhaps the Arab reader is unaware of the size of the opposition against Israel and the calls for its boycott in American universities. For instance, the gang of evil attacked Yale University because the latter refused to publish a book that contained the offensive cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed (Peace be Upon Him).
However, this campaign against universities then expanded to include other institutions and students. For instance, the “Students for Justice in Palestine” was established in the University of California in 2001, and now has chapters on 25 major campuses throughout the United States, including Yale, Princeton, Columbia, Georgetown, and the Universities of Michigan and Maryland.
The boycott of Israel is then a response to its crimes, calls for which having even arrived to the film festival in Toronto; there are always fair-minded Jews who voice their positions against Israel, and not every Jew is like Sharon, Lieberman and Dagan, God forbid.
*Published in the London-based AL-HAYAT on Sept. 30.