Op-Ed: Did We Hurt Your Feelings, Israel Bashers? Too Bad
Dr. Harold GoldmeierThe writer is a former Research and Teaching Fellow at Harvard University...
There is an old expression that says “Don’t spit on me, and tell me it’s raining.” That is exactly what some Jewish critics of Israeli policy toward the Palestinians and Arabs do when they cry about being called anti-Semitic for their activities and policy positions.
Professor Eva Illouz of the Hebrew University is the latest to take up the cudgel offended at the reaction she is getting from supporters of Israel. In a recent article in The Forward, she lumps herself in with Peter Beinart, Noam Chomsky, Judith Butler, Avi Shlaim, and Shlomo Sand, for doing “nothing more than (exercising) the right to think and evaluate critically the accomplishments and failures of the state of Israel.”
There is too little space here to document the depths of depraved criticism her fellow travellers heap on Israel, the one-sided blame they cast, and their calls for actions against Israel that can only lead to Israel’s defeat and disappearance. This is the group that the distinguished Professor proudly claims to be her like-minded colleagues.
I am not being facetious in calling her distinguished. Professor Illouz won the Best Book Award prize, and her works on emotions, culture, and communication are translated into 15 different languages. In fact, all of the people in her clique are recognized experts in their fields of study. They are international award-winning intellectuals, and, in other circumstances, Jews over which we "kvell". However, they put their talents and energies into exoteric diatribes against the Jewish State without a scintilla of sweat for her sworn enemies and their murderous agenda.
Chomsky, son of Hebrew teachers and a former kibbutznik, wages war for decades against Israel with vile and scurrilous claims. His recurring theme is that the creation of Israel was “wrong and disastrous.” He regularly compares Israel’s actions to those of the Nazis.
Butler preceded Beinart in the boycott, disinvestment, and sanctions campaign against Israel. She coined the colorful and sympathetic attributions of Hamas and Hizbullah as progressive and social movements. She is an executive member of a freedom theatre in Jenin. Its most famous playwright and director was Juliano Mer-Khanis, gunned down by Palestinian nationalists. He was driving with his one year old son in the car when Mafia-like gunmen carried out their death sentence for his crime of being an Israeli-Palestinian bringing culture and messages of peace through art to his people (see my comments, Life In Israel, April, 2011).
Butler can only visit an “Israeli institution or an Israeli cultural event,” she has said, “in order to use the occasion to…” bring attention to the brutality Israel wreaks on the Palestinians. All this despite Israel’s love and guarantees for freedom of speech where people are not murdered for their views or their sexual orientation.
The noxious exhalations of this liege of miserable intelligentsia are reflections, not of their dutiful commitment to the sustenance of Israel or the Jewish people, nor the exercising of their right and obligation to honestly criticize the democratic state when they believe it wrongheaded, misguided, or worse. Their opinions do not come from a place of true concern for the fate of the Jews.
Theirs is not guilt of anti-Semitism by association, but guilt by collaboration with those who solely wish for the utter destruction of Israel and the Jews.
The good Professor Illouz self-identifies with the anti-Semitic Chomsky, et al. These anti-Israel, anti-Zionist, euthanasic haters, give gravitas to the BDS movement, the Holocaust deniers, the no acceptance ever of Israel’s right to exist crazies; they swirl around those with a Jewish identity, accomplishments, and world renown acclaim, like bees on honey exuberating in the pother of one-sided anger and hate.
Supporters and legitimate critics of Israel’s policies and actions through the democratic process must never stop exposing these people for what they believe.
On the other hand, I want to adopt as an action plan the Daniel Gordis manifesto that claims
“ It doesn’t matter if they are in Israel or outside, or if they are Jewish or not. If they are working to end Israel, or to end it as a Jewish and democratic State, then they are our enemies, plain and simple. There are enemies who cannot be loved or compromised into submission, and you need to recognize that…. you need to show us that you care about Israel more than you care about dialogue with Israel's enemies.(emphasis added).” I would love to be able to just ignore you.
o paraphrase President Kennedy, I will apologize for calling your kind anti-Semitic if you will apologize for being so.