The Irish Teachers Union members are oblivious of the symbolic week they had picked to adopt an academic boycott on Israel. One may argue the justice behind this move; I’d argue it has nothing to do with justice. Even the grimmest Apartheid reality the Irish teachers may imagine to be going on in Israel would leave them with much more evil candidates for a boycott. But the Irish teachers would not boycott China for the unchallenged annihilation of Tibet and Tibetan culture, would not seek academic retaliation on Iraq and Egypt for a tsunami of fleeing Christians, they have no issues with Syria for the horrors we all know about -- it’s a gruesome, long list.
This sort of unfounded singling-out is primitive, vicious and disconnected from reality as Antisemitism has always been. You won’t find “justice” among it’s motivations.
Venezuelan front runner and Chavez lackey Nicolas Maduro goes antisemitic on his opponent Enrique Capriles, who had a Jewish grandparent. Capriles is, therefore, a Zionistic agent - and that’s that. Maduro also told thousands of supporters that his late master Hugo Chavez had tweeted him - an analog tweet that is, through a beak of a bird. Antisemitism has always been ridiculous, psychotic.
On the occasion of Holocaust Memorial Day (and that’s where the Irish teachers had struck symbolism), Israeli Ha’aretz reports a rise of 30% in antisemitic incidents in 2012. Antisemitism is doing well, thank you. Professor Krzysztof Jasiewicz, an esteemed Polish historian, said this week that the Holocaust was the work of the Jews. No typo here. The head of Rome’s Jewish community Riccardo Pacifici warned of “The end of the good days”, saying that Jews should “get ready to leave”. The good days, turns out, lasted less than 70 years.
Antisemitism is rising. And while Western governments take some measures, the reaction of the world this time around is not yielding very good results.
Jews leave Malmö, Sweden, because of violent attacks by Muslim immigrants, and mayor Ilmar Reepalu says that “If Jews want to leave that is not a concern for Malmö.” The mayor believes that the right-wing Democrats party had “infiltrated” Malmö’s Jewish community in order to turn it against Muslims. In reaction to the very un-European violence against a group of Jewish demonstrators during the last Gaza fighting (“Hitler Hitler!” chants, home made bombs, evacuation and all), Mayor Reepalu blamed the Jewish crowd for supporting Israel’s position. You probably think: Where is freedom of speech? Not in Malmö, Sweden I’m afraid. The Jewish demonstrators were merely expressing sympathy for “all civilian victims” in Gaza and Israel - they’d already not dare to say anything more pro-Israeli than that in Malmö. Jews attacked? Authorities blame the attacked? That’s too closely familiar.
What had civilization learnt from the Holocaust? One of the important lessons is to protect minorities from hatred, harassment and violence. Under this very protection, ironically, Islamic antisemitism thrives and it’s irrational, dogmatic and paranoid. Is this a correct turn of events? These are the same Jews, after all. Political correctness cannot be the right answer to Nazi horrors if it allows for rhetoric and intentions equally horrifying as the Nazi’s.
I’m afraid there’s no place for Holocaust-fatigue. A message heard so many times may become old and tiring, especially when the world we live in today is so different. Unfortunately we see that antisemitism persists through cultures and political systems - god knows why. It hides behind political excuses that are no more credible than the 19th century libel.
But through all its reincarnations it retains its language, the language of hatred. This is the sign that we cannot afford to miss.
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