JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: THE FOOLISH USE OF AN UGLY EPITHET   Leave a comment

JOHN CHUCKMAN
 
POSTED RESPONSE TO A COLUMN BY DANIEL FINKELSTEIN IN THE TIMES

“Now it should never – never – be the case that arguing against the policy of the Israeli Government is regarded as proof of anti-Semitism.”

Thank you, Daniel.

Unfortunately, your open mind does not characterize a good many defenders of Israel’s excesses, including some well-known people.

It has become common to hurl the epithet “anti-Semite” at anyone criticizing Israel.

This foolish use of an epithet has two effects, at least.

First, it immediately sends the debate over Israel’s foreign policies into the gutter, when there is indeed a large and important set of issues to debate.

Two, in the long term, the term “anti-Semite” will lose all genuine meaning.

This is already becoming the case with some other hideously over-used words, including “genocide” and “terrorist.”

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