When is Anti-Zionism Anti-Semitism? When it is OTT. Jeremy Corbyn’s Banana Skin?

The UK is not anti-Semitic. Once maybe. Some maybe.

There is a record of anti-Semitism in the UK chronicled in Trials of the Diaspora – A History of Anti-Semitism in England by Anthony Julius running to 811 pages, but since the end of War – so many then seeing the aftermath of  the Holocaust with their own eyes, many soldiers seeing Belsen Concentration camp when it was liberated and many others including school children visiting Auschwitz, since the trial of Eichmann, and with TV reportage of State bestiality organised from Wannsee –   most Jews have not experienced anti-Semitism at all; the reverse in fact, they have been made to feel welcome. The virus absent.

European secularism has probably helped. No worry to atheists or agnostics whether it was Jews or Romans who killed Christ 2,000 years ago, whether he was a freedom fighter or “Son of God”. And no big deal whether God promised Israel to the Jews. Simply a concern for peace in a war-torn region.

No profound annoyance that the survival of Jews challenged their exclusive right of access to God in Christian Europe or to Allah in the Muslim world. Hating their parents underpinned centuries old prejudice and persecution, wishing Jews weren’t there at all.

Their rationality an antidote to prejudice. In simple terms, seeing why Jews, like everyone else, defend themselves as best they can, at lowest personal cost, when their existence is threatened. Survival in their DNA. Understanding that

Then in the 20th Century the Jews finally get their country back. And in 1948 and to this day Arab countries, seeing it, correctly from their own narrow point of view, as an existential threat to their centuries-old feudal theocracy, fight an on-going war to remove it, making the Jews a scapegoat for their own out-dated ways it threatened.

 This is why criticism of Israel goes way over the top with the virus of anti-Semitism infecting it. Name a country that doesn’t think of its own best interests.

While Sunnis and Shiites slog it out in a maelstrom of death and destruction, when poison gas is used, when beheading and stoning are current modes of public execution for apostasy and adultery, when homosexuality is seen as a crime and any criticism of Allah a blasphemy, and throat-slitting in the name of Allah totally legitimate, no public demonstrations against any of that barbarity, none, but only when more Palestinians than Israelis die in the latest skirmish, or when Israel builds a wall to keep out terrorists. There is no proportionality here. Only prejudice.

How many civilians and their children have Western countries bombed in wars to defend their existence? Remember 1,000 bomber raids in World War II. Remember Hiroshima.  I repeat:

There is no proportionality here either.

 There is no realisation that Israel does not want Tel Aviv and Haifa to look like the ruins of Aleppo and Mosul. Having taken 2,000 years to get back to Israel, no wish to be driven back to the diaspora. There is no realisation why there is a reluctance on the part of Israel to go to bed with Palestinians when they still keep a knife in their pyjamas.

 By the way if you support BDS <Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions> you wear the same striped pyjamas.

This is the message preached by 52-year-old Dr.Haltham al-Haddad, Salafist with a doctorate in Islamic Law: “Israel is one of the worst terrorist states in history…We should pay the price for victory from our blood…. Allah wants to see people who die as martyrs. Jerusalem belongs to all the world’s Muslims. We should focus on its liberation and forget any possibility of reconciliation with the brutal, racist, despotic Zionist occupation…. My solution for the Israelis is to leave Palestine and to go back to their own countries…. Palestine will never belong to them.” <The Times, 8 October, 2018>.

You are intelligent. Do you think Israel would want Dr. al-Haddad to be their next-door neighbour?

You should read Uprooted: How 3000 Years of Jewish Civilization in the Arab World Vanished Overnight by Lyn Julius. Israel has absorbed up to 850,000 Jews made unwelcome in Arab countries where for years NAZI racial, anti-Semitic ideology drip-fed into their culture. Those immigrants to Israel, for certain, have no wish to go back. Nor those whose families were murdered in the Holocaust. Tears of sadness. It was not enough.

Such a pity that Islam is not a harbinger of hope with Arab countries opting for an unambiguous peace not war during the last seventy years; with oil riches at their disposal they could have offered a good future to the Palestinians now penned up in Gaza. Muslims of the world deserve better.

It is of course so easy to think that if Israel was not there, peace would reign in the Middle East. And so crazily wrong too. So easy to dream up solutions from the comfort of your own armchair without visiting Yad Vashem, a necessary pre-requisite if you want Israelis to listen to anything you say. Instead recognise that Israel is a huge gift to the world.

 There is an answer. It may be difficult for secularists to see it. Make God Inclusive. And it is there in the 2002 Alexandria Declaration by the leaders of the world’s three great faiths Islam, Christianity and Judaism. Unpick 2,000 years of faith-based, internecine tribal rivalries.

In the name of God or Allah, Shalom Aleichem (שָׁלוֹם עֲלֵיכֶם)- As-salāmu ʿalaykum (و علیکم السلام.) Peace be with you. It is such a simple message.

You need an idea to beat a dogma not a gun.

Please copy to your friends and colleagues

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