Friday, June 4, 2010

Criticism of Israel

I broadcast this commentary via WFIU in 2003. Sadly, it is still pertinent today.

Can you criticize Israel and not be an anti-Semite? Of course you can. Sometimes, though, anti-Semitism does hide behind such criticism. Israel's critics say "We act only from compassion for the Palestinians!" That's great. We all need compassion.

Saddam Hussein committed an environmental and cultural genocide of the 5,000 year-old Marsh Arab culture. In Iran, thousands of homosexuals have been executed. In Syria, torture is commonplace. Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Algeria, Sudan – all have human rights records much worse than Israel's. And yet Israel's critics hear, speak, and see no evil when it comes to these countries.

Israel's critics talk as if Israel alone has power, and is if Jews rule the world: If only Israel were nicer to the Palestinians, everything would be hunky dory. But that's just not true. Palestinians have power as well. They often use it to blow up civilians. Why don't Israel's critics mourn when Israelis are murdered? Also, from the terrorists who planned the Bali bombing to Pakistanis who forced Daniel Pearl to admit to being Jewish before beheading him on camera to thugs in France who beat up Jewish kids on the street, Palestinians have formidable self-declared allies, and all Jews must always watch their step. Why don't Israel's critics acknowledge Jewish vulnerability?

Muslim countries have been generating the kind of anti-Semitic propaganda that the Nazis produced. Egyptian television, Saudi newspapers, and Palestinian schoolbooks contain materials honed to inculcate their audience with a genocidal hatred of Jews. Why don't Israel's "honest" critics talk about that?

When confronted with these facts, some argue, "Zionism is to blame!" In other words, Muslims never bear any responsibility for anything they do – it's always some Jew's fault. And that's just morally wrong.

Anti-Semitism is a poison that plunged the world into one of its most destructive cataclysms. It should always be denounced.


  1. Very well said.--Vlady Rozenbaum

  2. I agree with you completely,and thank you for injecting a dose of common sense into the relentless criticism of Israel.How such a small group of people can provoke such hatred and constant media attention?
    I am a holocaust survivor from Poland and do volunteer work at the Holocaust Museum library. I recommended that they take a look at your new book and they seem to be interested. Stay tuned.
    In meantime, thank you again for your unbiased look at Israel-----Ania Drimer

  3. Vlady, thank you for your comment.

    Ania, thank you as well. I'm very touched by your comment.

    I'm anxious about what's going on right now in the US vis-a-vis Israel. I really wonder about our president's course. I would like to make my support for Israel more apparent, but am not sure how to do that. And, like so many people, I feel powerless. I write letters, etc, but who knows if that has any impact.

    the double standards and selective outrage re: Israel are similar to any other ethnic hatred, and I have no patience for this stuff, in any form, whether it be prejudice against Poles or Catholics or Jews or anyone.

    Ania, i wonder if you've run into Jude Richter at the USHMM. An old grad school buddy of mine.

  4. Enough said.... the typical jewish mechanism of self defense.

  5. Anonymous, your comment is unclear. Please clarify, and also please sign your comment. Thank you.


Bieganski the Blog exists to further explore the themes of the book Bieganski the Brute Polak Stereotype, Its Role in Polish-Jewish Relations and American Popular Culture.
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