Sunday, December 31, 2017

The New Anti-Semitism

As someone who has been accused of being anti-Semitic for wondering out loud why so many young and beautiful Israelis come to Central America, specifically to the Riviera Maya in order to throw such excellent rave parties, I suppose I can sympathise with some of the sentiments expressed in this article.

The "It is possible to be both a Zionist and an anti-Semite" claim is indeed an interesting one. 

Guatemala's recent decision to move its own embassy to Jerusalem has been seen by some commentators as straightforwardly indicative of the kind of shameless sucking up to the Donald that even Theresa May would baulk at. But there is a bit more to it than that.

Jimmy Morales is the front man for a party founded by retired military men of the nationalistic bent, many of whom benefitted from the United States' use of Israel as a proxy at a time when the gringos themselves were not allowed by their own congress to supply military equipment and know-how to the men gaily committing atrocities in this country.

The President is also a Pentacostalist Protestant of the fervent variety, and I have mentioned here before how many evangelical churches in Guatemala fly the flag of Israel either outside, or occasionally even inside behind the preacher's podium. So Zionism has deeper roots in this country than contemporary political expedience or indeed, Guatemala's oft-mentioned role in the formation of the state of Israel.

Yet one is indeed left wondering which particular reading of the New Testament precludes any sort of connection between this rather strange species of non-Jewish Zionism and anti-Semitic sentiment in the broader sense.

But the real essence of Neve Gordon's article here is the notion that one can be anti-Zionist without any concommitant animus towards Jews, one's only offence being a 'passion for justice'. She thus concludes firmly "The equation between anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism must first be rejected". 

Sorry, but no. The familiar symbol of Justice is the set of scales i.e. balance, and there is an imbalance here that still needs to be addressed. e.g. Why do certain people of the Left appear to care more about the injustice in that part of the world than in almost any other? 

And why do individuals with almost no natural tribal stake in the situation in the Middle East focus almost all their anti-colonialist angst on the government of Israel?

I cannot claim for sure that there is always a form of anti-semtism lurking behind this apparent geopolitical bias, but the possibility cannot simply be shut down just because we've pinpointed the existence of a bunch of aberrant zionists who might not have the best interests of the Jewish people at heart.

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