Posted by Ariel Blumenthal
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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April 5, 2013 | 2:09 pm
Posted by Ariel Blumenthal
Malek Nasr A-din entered Caffit Cafe in Jerusalem, gun at hand, suicide belt ready to go. But something happened to Malek: He decided not to blow himself up. He turned around and hurried out of the coffee shop. The patrons finished their cups and went on with their lives.
One of the people sending Malek on his suicide mission that Sunday in 2002 was Maisara Abu Hamdiyeh. Hamdiyeh was arrested, convicted and imprisoned; on Wednesday he died of cancer in a hospital in Israel, at 64. His death triggered a series of prison riots.
It’s only natural that Palestinians held in Israeli jails are the pinnacle of Palestinian mythology of heroism and sacrifice. The fact that these heros are the likes of Hamdiyeh, who was doing time for putting together a hair-raising orgy of blood and religious fantasies, is an indication of a deep cultural malaise.
Hundreds riot in the West Bank immediately after Mr. Hamdiyeh’s death. Two men are killed - both healthy and much younger than Hamdiyeh was. It’s unclear how much of a leader or a follower the Palestinian Authority is in this; Whatever the balance may be, the Authority seems happy to participate in an reckless escalation, and death from cancer, so it seems, is a reason to recklessly escalate.
Even more frustrating is the Authority’s choice to reject the civilized alternative at hand: Dr. El-Alul, the top Palestinian pathologist, conducts the autopsy together with his Israeli counterpart Dr. Liss. Reason of death: Cancer, the kind common with heavy smokers like Hamdiyeh. President Abbas, nevertheless, announces through his spokesperson that “The Palestinian presidency holds the government of Netanyahu responsible for the martyrdom” (echoing the well-nurtured myth that Israel killed Yasser Arafat), and Secretary of Prisoners Issa Kara’ke tells the mourning family that “It’s time to turn to the International Court in Hague in regards to the prisoners”. Inversion complete: Terrorists don’t go to Hague, those who put them in prison do.
The prospects of political exploitation of the legal procedure is precisely why both the United States and Israel refuse to be states parties to the Statute of the International Criminal Court. The Palestinians have been throwing fervent glances at the international legal system that the UN nod last November made available to them, with two targets in mind: Delegitimization of Israel, and impunity for their own foul acts. Both goals are as contradictory to the reason this court was established as they are to justice itself. Abuses of progressive legal systems in Belgium, Spain and the UK by pro-Palestinian activists had already led to some restrictions in Universal Jurisdiction legislation - Damage inflicted under the Palestinian banner, and goes unnoticed by a civilization that holds the ideas of Universal Jurisdiction dear.
There’s a constant campaign going on in (and by) the Palestinian Authority to glorify the prisoners and their violence - It’s only natural. Generation after generation, indiscriminate killing - terrorism - is further cemented as the glorious, honorable Palestinian way. [see many examples from Itamar Marcus and PMW here] Fire fed, rage nurtured, fantasies encouraged - any day is a good day for an Intifada, be it because of death of cancer, or any other occasion.
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