The New Anti-Semitism: Using Israel as Proxy

by JANET LEVY August 23, 2014

Israel's recent defensive war against Hamas and other Islamist factions in Gaza has generated a wave of criticism against Israel, which, in truth, is simply old-fashioned and persistent, anti-Semitism disguised as political argument. A means to determine the difference was actually created more than a decade ago by Israeli political leader Natan Sharansky, who dubbed his method, the "3D Test."  

A co-founder of the Soviet refusenik movement in the mid-1970s - mostly Soviet Jews denied permission to emigrate to escape the USSR's institutionalized anti-Semitism - Sharansky was no stranger to anti-Semitic persecution himself. He spent nine years in a Soviet gulag before he was released thanks to the efforts of President Ronald Reagan. 

Thus attuned to blatant anti-Semitism, Sharansky observed that, with the existence of modern-day Israel, hostility against Jews was masked and projected onto the Jewish state.  He called it the "new anti-Semitism" and created his "3D" conceptual tool to differentiate prejudice against the Jewish people from valid disapproval of Israeli policies and actions.

The 3Ds are demonization, delegitimization, and double standards.  The tool has been accepted by the European Union's Fundamental Rights Agency and the U.S. Department of State.   Applied against past and current events, all three elements, or "Ds," clearly show anti-Semitism in play on the world stage. 

Demonization

Israel's most recent response to over 12,000 rockets and missiles fired on Israeli civilians by Hamas and others for the past 14 years since the beginning of the Second Intifada in 2000 has been met with global condemnation.  Israel is portrayed as the aggressor and demonized, despite uprooting from the territory in 2005, 11,000 of its own citizens from communities of three decades duration and turning the land over to the Arab-Palestinians.

The continued bombing of Israel is not surprising, given that Hamas, the popularly elected government of Gaza, is a U.S. State Department-designated terrorist group and subsidiary of the Muslim Brotherhood. The Brotherhood charter calls for the annihilation of the Jews as well as the Jewish state from "the river to the sea" and for "raising the banner of Allah over every inch of Palestine."  According to a 2013 Pew Research survey, two-thirds of Arab-Palestinians support an "armed struggle" with Israel over negotiations or non-violent resistance. 

Furthermore, Hamas has long taught hatred of Jews in its schools. Hamas summer camps for tens of thousands of Gazan children, from 5th grade to high schoolers, provide military-style training by Hamas terrorists, replete with weapons and explosives training and instruction in kidnapping and terror attacks.

Despite the constant rain of Hamas rockets fired from civilian areas, Hamas' use of Gaza civilians as human shields, the suppression and subversion of the press, and terrorist activities and indoctrination in Gaza, most media reports feature fallacious descriptions of "poor Arab victims of Israel's aggression."  Meanwhile, fewer in number are sympathetic profiles of Israeli families devastated by suicide bombing attacks, reports on the massacres of innocent Israeli civilians, or stories about children who have lived their entire lives incorporating 30 second mad dashes to bomb shelters into their daily routines since birth. It's an obvious imbalance that serves the purpose of demonization. 

Immediately after Israel acts to protect its citizens, world leaders clamor for "restraint" and trot out charges of "war crimes," asserting disproportionate Israeli military response.  False reports generated from Arab-Palestinian sources, often using clips from other conflicts or manufactured scenes, are accepted at face value without legitimate investigative journalism.

In this way the media generates global criticism of the defensive actions of the most humane military in history.   Israel's military forewarns civilians in enemy territory of impending attacks against terrorists and terrorist infrastructure, putting its own soldiers at great risk.  The enemy's injured citizens are treated in Israeli hospitals.  Such actions were never undertaken during World War II.  It would have been considered foolhardy to notify civilians of coming carpet bombing or insane to expect that Americans would treat German and Japanese victims of Allied fire.  No requirement to limit casualties or cease fighting short of victory ever existed!

Delegitimization

Delegitimization of Israel, the ancestral land where Jews lived continuously for over 3,000 years, is characterized by labeling Jewish self-determination and statehood as racist and apartheid.  Zionism - the Jewish national movement for rebirth and renewal in the land of Israel - is equated with Nazism. 

Yet, Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East that guarantees freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and full human rights to all citizens.  Arab-Israelis are free to participate in all aspects of Israeli society and serve in the Knesset, including those with anti-government and anti-Jewish views, and even those supporting the enemies of the Jewish state. 

The same cannot be said to exist in the 22 Muslim countries surrounding Israel, many of which expelled and persecuted their Jewish and Christian populations, as well as other minorities.  Despite their Muslim majorities, Muslim supremacist policies, and inhumane treatment of non-Muslims, the right of existence of these countries is never challenged and they escape global censure.  A prime example is Saudi Arabia, where non-Muslims arriving at Riyadh airport are forced to part with non-Muslim religious symbols and Bibles. They are prohibited from traveling on the road to Mecca, a holy city reserved exclusively for Muslims.  Additionally, non-Muslims in the Kingdom are denied citizenship and the right to freely practice their religions.

Israel is also delegitimized by the lie that Israel stole land that belonged to Arab-Palestinians when Israel was created, like Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and Iraq, out of the former Ottoman Empire ruled by the Turks.  Palestine has never been a territory or independent Arab state on the land.  In fact, in 1948, King Abdullah of Jordan stated, "Palestine and Jordan are one..." PLO leader Yasser Arafat repeated it in a 1974 interview in The New Republic, "What you call Jordan is actually Palestine."  Seven years later, Jordanian King Hussein affirmed, "The truth is that Jordan is Palestine and Palestine is Jordan."  Even when the U.N. partition plan after Jordan was established mandated creation of two states - a Jewish state and an Arab state - on the remaining land of the Palestine Mandate, Arab Muslims themselves rejected the plan, objecting to a non-Arab state smaller than El Salvador in the region.

Double Standards

The 3rd "D" in Sharansky's anti-Semitism test is the use of double standards when assessing equivalent situations.  Israel is selectively criticized and singled out when it takes actions which, when committed by other nations, are ignored or permitted.  Condemnation of Israel's security barrier, false claims of "occupation," and hate-filled protests lodged exclusively against the Jewish state exemplify double standards that expose anti-Semitism as the root.

Security Fence

The security fence, which Israel completed during the Second Intifada (2000-2005) to protect its citizens from Islamic terrorist attacks, is typically mischaracterized as an apartheid wall.  Arab-Palestinians have entered Israel and killed more than 1,000 innocents and seriously wounded thousands more in attacks on buses, businesses, restaurants, in abductions, mortar fire and drive-by shootings.  Since Israel erected the barrier and checkpoints, terrorist attacks and casualties have greatly diminished. 

It is not unusual or unreasonable for countries to build a fence for security purposes.  In fact, most nations have fences to protect their borders and several use barriers in political disputes.  Spain built a fence on its border with Morocco that was financed by the European Union to prevent migrants from sub-Saharan Africa from entering Europe.  India constructed a 460-mile barrier in Kashmir to halt Islamic infiltrations supported by Pakistan.  Saudi Arabia built a 60-mile barrier along an undefined border zone with Yemen to halt arms smuggling. 

Essentially, Israel is being condemned and singled out for protecting the lives of its citizens where other nations are free to do so without criticism or charges of racism. Examples include the following:

Charges of "Occupation"

Israel is often accused of being an "occupier" state when the land in question, should be properly designated as "disputed territory" captured in defensive wars.  Since its inception, neighboring Arab-Muslim countries have continuously attacked Israel.  Capturing land from surrounding countries is a common and accepted occurrence in all wars.

From 1948-1967, Syria attacked Israeli citizens from the Golan Heights.  Despite repeated protests to the United Nations, which was charged with monitoring the border, absolutely nothing was done and the onslaughts continued.  During the Six-Day War, Israel captured the Golan, which eventually led to a disengagement agreement by Syria leaving the territory in Israeli hands.

Some of these captured lands have been given back, yet attacks against Israel persist.  In two unprecedented moves to "trade land for peace," Israel returned the Sinai to Egypt in 1979, evacuating 7,000 Israelis, and abandoned Gaza, uprooting 11,000 citizens, in 2005.  A cold peace ensued at great cost with the Egyptians, but the Gaza exit was followed by nine years of continual rocket and missile attacks against Israel.

Other lands were received under agreements such as Judea, Samaria and all of Jerusalem, which are part of Jewish ancestral land.  In 1994, as part of a peace agreement with Jordan, the lands within these three areas were legally given to Israel. 

Furthermore, a sovereign Palestinian state has never existed.

Yet, Israel continues to be called an "occupier," while many other true occupations in the world are ignored. For example, in 1950 Communist China bombed monasteries, tortured and slaughtered monks, destroyed precious Buddhist artifacts, resettled Mainland Chinese, caused mass starvation, and replaced the Tibetan government with Chinese officials. In the many years following the Chinese conquest of Tibet, only three resolutions raising human rights concerns were issued by the U.N. General Assembly, the last one in 1965, nearly 50 years ago.  No action has been taken against China to date.

In 1974, Turkey invaded and illegally occupied Northern Cyprus, expelling 200,000 Greeks and installing as many as 70,000 Turkish troops.  No sanctions, international pressure, boycotts or worldwide demonstrations occurred in response.  The European Union, which freely acts on issues related to Israel's sovereignty and defensive actions, has considered Turkey, a NATO member in good standing, for EU membership.

Kashmir is part of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir.  Following Kashmiri independence in 1947, Islamic militants from Pakistan invaded the area which has been under illegitimate Pakistani control ever since.  India unsuccessfully turned to the United Nations to put an end to aggression and chose to resolve the sovereignty issue through a subsequent ballot measure in which citizens of the state freely pledged allegiance to India.  But Pakistani aggression and occupation of the territory has persisted along with gross human rights violations against Hindus, including the ethnic cleansing of several hundred thousand Kashmiri Hindu Pandits.

In contrast to these situations in which U.N. action has been negligible, in 2013 alone, the U.N. General Assembly adopted 25 resolutions, 21 of them criticizing Israel.  A mere four resolutions were issued - one each - against Syria, Iran, North Korea, and Myanmar. 

Global Demonstrations and Calls for Genocide

Despite the fact that Hamas, the elected government of Gaza, has committed untold war crimes, the world clamors for the historically anti-Semitic, U.N. Human Rights Council (UNHRC) to investigate Israel for human rights violations.

Record numbers of anti-Jewish demonstrations and violent acts against Jews have recently occurred in Europe, the United States, Canada, and Australia.  In Paris, reminiscent of Nazi Germany's Kristallnacht, hundreds of rioters armed with iron bars, axes, and firebombs, ransacked Jewish-owned businesses. They targeted synagogues, accosted Jewish citizens and yelled, "Gas the Jews."  At The Hague, hundreds of masked ISIS supporters shouted, "Death to all Jews."  In Belgium, a shop owner displayed a sign in his window that read, "Dogs are allowed in this establishment but Jews are not under any circumstances."  In Berlin, demonstrators chanted, "Jew, Jew, cowardly pig - come out and fight alone" - at the Israeli Embassy.  Rome's Jewish Quarter, reputed to be the oldest Jewish community in Europe, was vandalized with Nazi graffiti and hate messages.  Jewish children in Sydney were threatened by eight males who boarded their school bus and vowed to cut their throats.

Remarkably, all of these events are going on with the backdrop of an actual horrific genocide in Iraq and Syria where the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham or ISIS is expelling, massacring, crucifying, genitally mutilating, enslaving, beheading, raping, hanging, and burying alive Christians, Yazidis, and other minority populations.  Yet no demonstrations exist about these atrocities, only silence about the beheading of children with their heads displayed on sticks around a park in Mosul!

The United States and Europe continue to fund Hamas, have pledged support for the reconstruction of Gaza, and have entertained the idea of constructing a Gaza seaport.  Although she was forewarned about allowing more construction materials into Gaza and how Hamas would misuse them, then-Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, pressured Israel to ease up on its military blockade and allow the transports, thus enabling Hamas to build terror tunnels.

The Western media have created negative, hateful spin against the Jewish state, portraying Israel's national defense as a crime, generating calls for Israelis to stop defending themselves, and placing targets on the backs of Jews worldwide.  The United States, Europe, Canada, and Australia fail to adequately protect their Jewish populations from violence at home, relying on inadequate or nonexistent law enforcement measures and maligning Jewish defense groups as "terrorists."  Withholding military sales to Israel as punishment while expediting sales to Hamas and funding and supporting the Islamic shariah states of Qatar and Turkey are yet other manifestations of anti-Jewish sentiment and the use of double standards against Israel,

This is truly a "through the looking-glass" reversal of reality. The use of "3D" tactics portrays Israel as the guilty party while the country is fighting for its very survival. It ignores facts and audaciously blames defensive actions by the Jewish state for the resurgence of worldwide anti-Semitism.  Perhaps this perception is best understood by the words of Canadian member of Parliament, Irwin Cotler, who explains the new anti-Semitism as "the discrimination against the right of the Jewish people to live as an equal member of the family of nations - the denial of and assault upon the Jewish people's right even to live - with Israel as the ‘collective Jew among nations'."

Janet Levy, MBA, MSW, is an activist, world traveler, and freelance journalist who has contributed to American Thinker, Pajamas Media, Full Disclosure Network, FrontPage Magazine, Family Security Matters and other publications. She blogs at www.womenagainstshariah.com


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