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From the European Frying Pan into the Israeli Fire (IS THERE A NEW “NEW ANTI-SEMITISM”? PART 5)

Norman G. Finkelstein photo
Norman G. FinkelsteinBrooklyn, NY
From the European Frying Pan into the Israeli Fire (IS THERE A NEW “NEW ANTI-SEMITISM”? PART 5)
An analysis of the available data points ineluctably to the conclusion that, if Israel wants to put a stop to anti-Semitic incidents, it should stop killing Palestinians

Former Israeli Foreign Minister Shlomo Ben-Ami denies a causal nexus between spikes in Israeli violence against Palestinians and upticks in anti-Semitic violence. But that’s what all the data collected over many years demonstrates.[1] Each time Israel launches another of its murderous assaults, anti-Semitic incidents peak in Europe, often perpetrated by disaffected, angry Muslim youths. (Far-rightists/neo-Nazis also perpetrate a significant portion—in some countries, such as Germany, a majority—of the anti-Semitic violence.) Even the authoritative Tel Aviv University report on anti-Semitism concedes in passing: “Experience shows that as soon as the situation between Israel and the Palestinians, or some of the Arab neighbor states, turn[s] violent, the number of antisemitic incidents increase[s]”; one of the “‘trigger events’ that caused the number of recorded incidents to temporarily increase, or ‘spike’” in Britain was “an escalation in fighting between Israel and Hamas in Gaza and southern Israel in November 2012.”If in recent times, a larger fraction of these incidents is violent, it’s the blowback from the brutish fanaticism currently plaguing the Arab-Muslim world. If the goal is to contain these spurts of anti-Semitism, the prudent thing would be for Israel to cease carrying out massacres or just stop calling itself a Jewish state, or for official Jewish organizations in the diaspora to cease defending Israel’s criminal actions. It surely hasn’t helped matters that Netanyahu has now donned the mantle of “representative of the entire Jewish people.”[2] When Muslim youths in Europe take him at his word, and exact revenge on those whom he claims to represent, it is not right, but it’s not surprising either. Meanwhile, in the face of the alleged “new anti-Semitism” scourge, Netanyahu has been prodding Europe’s endangered Jewish species to migrate to the safe shores of their homeland in Israel. But it’s hard to make out the sense of this counsel if, also according to him, the Jewish state confronts the imminent prospect of a “second Holocaust” from Iran.

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[1] Norman G. Finkelstein, Beyond Chutzpah: On the misuse of anti-Semitism and the abuse of history (Berkeley: 2008), pp. 77-85; for updated data, see Zack Beauchamp, “It’s Not Just Paris and Copenhagen,” Vox (16 February 2015).

[2] Barak Ravid, “Netanyahu: I will go to Congress like I went to Paris—to speak for all Jews,” Haaretz (9 February 2015).


#Norman Finkelstein, #Anti-semitism, #Palestine, #Israel

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