Wednesday, 12 December 2007
"Anti-Semitism, just like any other form of prejudice, cannot breathe the air of truth", Bernard Harrison
Extracts from an article in Jewish Exponent by Bernard Harrison author of The Resurgence of Anti-Semitism, Jews, Israel and Liberal Opionion
“Plenty of Jews, and others, have protested against the current climate of demonization not merely of Israel, but also of the large majority of Jews and others who support Israel.
But furious denial is the usual response to any suggestion that there is anything anti-Semitic either about grotesquely hyperbolic defamation of Israel ("a Nazi state," "the apartheid wall"), or about attacks on the "Israel lobby" that patently revive and reanimate the hoary myth of Jewish conspiracy.
Denial is buttressed by the claim that these accusations of anti-Semitism are themselves evidence of a Jewish conspiracy to silence critics of Israel and close down debate on the Middle East. That charge, of course, reanimates another traditional anti-Semitic theme - that of the Jew who whines about his sufferings less because he is really injured than because he hopes to draw some hidden advantage from complaining.
That, however, is beside the point. The point, as ever in the diagnosis of prejudice, concerns not disrespect but truth. How, in reality, could accusations of anti-Semitism hope to stem the tide of defamation now running so strongly, let alone "close down debate"?
What factual basis, if any, supports accusations that Israel is a "Nazi state" or that Israelis are planning - or executing - a Nazi-style genocide against Palestinians?
Anti-Semitism, just like any other form of prejudice, cannot breathe the air of truth. It thrives on luridly colored falsehood.”