John Chuckman


“’Leftist Anti-Semitism’ Is Much in the News, But It’s Not True Anti-Semitism’

Israel and its supporters have long promoted the association of “the Left” with anti-Semitism.

It is an absurd claim to anyone who knows some history, but Israel’s establishment has its own reasons for doing so.

The genuine anti-Semites have pretty much always been on the Right. That’s where you find people like Henry Ford, who wrote a terrible book and was much admired by Hitler, or the other great robber baron types with their long history of unfairness to Jews, excluding them from clubs and schools and partnerships, etc.

Israel dislikes liberals simply because the essence of liberalism is regard for human rights and democratic values.

Israel’s entire history pretty much is in violation of these principles, and Israelis do not like being reminded of the fact.

Yes, Israeli politicians always blubber about “the Middle East’s only democracy,” but that is an empty advertising slogan, much like America’s hot air about being the land of liberty and justice.

What kind of democracy allows as immigrants people of only one religious background?

What kind of democracy has roughly half those under its governance people with no rights and no citizenship? People, moreover, who clearly do not want to be ruled by Israel?

Many do not understand the fact that “democracies” also can be tyrannical. A majority anywhere, with bad intentions, perpetually can keep the minority, even a huge one, in oppression. Power is power, no matter how it is conferred, and those with power make the rules and laws and enforce them.

That is the purpose of a Bill or Charter of Rights, to protect basic freedoms for everyone from a tyrannical majority. As America’s own history amply proves, the concept doesn’t always work – again, there is the matter of enforcement of the law by a majority with bad intentions, something which extends to the realities of the courts where judicial appointments are loaded with politics – but I think most would agree it is better than not having such protections.

But Israel has no Bill of Rights, nor can it ever have one, given its founding principles. You can’t write a Bill of Rights for Some.

Israel’s situation in many ways closely parallels those of the old American Confederacy or the government of Nationalist South Africa. The ruling group in both cases held elections and maintained all appearances of democratic process.

It was just that a very large group of people living in both those places, by law, could not vote or enjoy the privileges of citizenship. Indeed, it wasn’t just a large group, in both cases, it was an actual majority, a majority stripped of rights by law.

Israel – which clearly suppresses a huge minority – is in fact rapidly approaching exactly the same situation as those two historical states since the Palestinians will, before too long, be an actual majority, if they are not so already. Palestinian birth rates are much higher than those found among most Jewish people in Israel. This is universally the case for poorer groups versus more prosperous ones.

Israel’s situation is, long term, completely unsustainable, and we can be sure that most Israelis don’t like being reminded of that either. Everything that true liberals say is unwelcome.

The great liberal voices of the past were always critics of injustice, lack of civil liberties, and the absence of the proper rule of law, and that basic identifying characteristic of liberals is much resented in Israel.

As for Israel’s own political parties, in the matters with which we are concerned, it hasn’t mattered at all which one ruled. The results always were pretty much the same, the pressures of the county’s strange situation pushing against any leader.

It is much like what we see in the United States where the two major parties – despite some social welfare differences – both completely support America’s empire and gigantic military and all of its many imperial wars. There is virtual unanimity when it comes to those matters.

Indeed, anyone who questions them in public will be branded, at best, a kook. Charges of being unpatriotic or even treasonous are ready to be hurled at a moment’s notice, and those charges are taken very seriously in both places.

There is no true Left, always excepting a few outliers, when it comes to America’s empire. And it is just the same in Israel. After all, Israel really is a colony, a colony in the Middle east of people who are mainly European in origin, people whose native tongue is neither Arabic nor Hebrew. People whose native culture is European, not Middle Eastern. And it is a very aggressive colony, spreading its control and influence as much as possible through many wars and interventions and dark operations.

It is a curious position in which America finds itself with regard to Israel. America simply had no history of helping Jews. It rejected them by the boatload when Hitler sent them as migrants. American society was widely affected by the kind of thinking we find in Henry Ford and others of his class.

America latched onto becoming “the mother country” for Israel because in the beginning it cost America nothing in terms of its own social comfort. The price was all paid by poor people with no voice in world affairs. America’s support promoted American colonialism in an important part of the world. It also earned the domestic political support of a relatively large and successful American Jewish population.

America’s support did all of that while allowing it to pose as a defender of victims, much as Israel today poses as a defender of democracy. They both ridiculous claims, but the truth is that so many people never pause to think critically, they just repeat the slogans they hear, much like people humming an advertising jingle.

America’s role was also able to appeal to American Christian fundamentalists – a very large group at least at the time of modern Israel’s founding – on the basis of sentiments about Biblical Israel, sentiments which of course have nothing to do with the reality of contemporary Israel and which never should play a role in geopolitics or foreign affairs.

Liberals speaking to any of these matters are not welcome in either country. They are widely disliked and discouraged, and even hated, in both places because they speak of matters the ruling establishment does not want to hear, including the glaring fact that all its major acts and policies violate every principle to which it is always paying lip service in speeches.

The charge of “anti-Semitism” has literally become a kind of mantra for defenders of Israel and its many appalling acts. We have the unhealthy growth and promotion of the idea that criticism of Israel is anti-Semitism, deliberately blurring the immense difference between criticism of injustice by an armed state and an irrational prejudice. It gains its motive force, of course, from the Holocaust, an event which actually has no more to do with the Middle East than does the War of the Spanish Succession.

Posted July 3, 2018 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

Tagged with , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,