Noam RotemThe writer has a BSc. in Computer Science from Ben-Gurion University, and MSc. in Marketing from Baruch College, The City University of New York. Noam works in the Israeli hi-tech sector as a Sr. Product/UX Manager and Marketing Consultant. In his spare time he does political blogging, media analysis, Israel advocacy/PR and consulting.
At the annual foreign press meeting, on Jan 14, organized by the Israeli Government Press Office, a foreign press reporter, asked PM Netanyahu, regarding the anti-Semitic accusation, that one of Netanyahu's cabinet ministers made, about the Swedish FM, who singled out Israel, for using so called "extrajudicial killings", in response to the wave of stabbing attacks by Palestinian terrorists, and called for an international investigation. This same reporter, in the same breath, asked the PM a follow-up question, as to how does he answer those who accuse Israel of being above criticism.
Netanyahu answered emphatically and poignantly that Israel is not above criticism, but it should be held to the same standards that everyone else is being held to. The PM went on to say, that the Swedish FM's comments are outrageous, immoral, and unjust. People are defending themselves against assailants wielding knives, who are about to stab them to death, and they shoot the terrorist, and that's extra judicial killings? Netanyahu asked the reporter.
The exchange went on, but in the end, PM Netanyahu, correctly refused to be pushed by the reporter, to label the Swedish FM, Margot Wallström, anti-Semitic.
But here is how I'd answer that unanswered question. Natan Sharansky, one of the great human rights activists, and democratic thinkers of our times, devised a widely accepted 3D litmus test for modern anti-Semitism: Demonization, Double Standards and Delegitimization and is a set of criteria intended to distinguish legitimate criticism of Israel from antisemitism.
It's clear that on the double standard test, the Swedish FM passes with flying colors, especially when one looks around the mideast, at the horrifying levels of rampant murderous violence and persecutions going on, not to mention medieval judicial systems that execute punishments by heinous means of beheadings, stonings and amputations. By not mentioning these, and singling out Israel, the Swedish FM's accusation also serves to demonize the State of Israel. So labels aside, the facts are she fulfills at least 50% of this 3D criteria. That being the case, the Swedish FM needs to seriously check her blatantly biased statements, if she sincerely wants to avoid aligning herself with anti-Semites.
Moreover, since this biased statement of hers against Israel, two horrifying Palestinian terrorist attacks on innocent Israeli civilians took place. In one, a 38-year-old mother of six was murdered in a stabbing attack, at the entrance to her house, as her 17-year-old daughter, who heard her screams, ran to her aid, only to see the terrorist stab her mother again and again. In the second, a pregnant Israeli woman in her 30s, was seriously wounded in her lung after being stabbed in clothing store, but, luckily in this case, both mother and fetus are doing well.
The Swedish FM's silence about these heinous attacks on innocent Israeli civilian women, in contrast to her deriding criticism of Israel responding in self-defense to murderous terrorists attacks, demonstrates prejudice and bias against the Jewish state of Israel.