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Jewish Journal

Anti-Semites and Israel’s assault on Gaza

by Brad A. Greenberg

December 29, 2008 | 12:39 pm

And I thought Bernard Madoff brought out the worst in anti-Semites. Don’t be fooled. Nothing can compare to the virulence espoused when Israel retaliates against its attackers.

The latest comment moderated by The Web Guy starts: “Jews are a filthy self-centred - bigoted and arrogant circumsized anthropoids who still beleive they are the chosen one.” And that’s the complimentary part.

Commenter Kirk, whose email address begins with KKK, goes on to promote a modern-day Kristallnacht. That leads me to believe Kirk and this Greek politician, who is comparing Israel’s airstrikes on Hamas compounds in Gaza to Hitler, would get along just swell:

The statements Monday by George Karatzaferis, the leader of the far right LAOS party, come a day after a daily newspaper in Greece blamed Jews for the world financial crisis and the Israeli operation in Gaza.

Karatzaferis released a statement that read, in part, “Someone has to pull the ear of the darling child of the West, Israel. Its aggressiveness and malice against non-combatants, whose only precedent can be found during Hitler’s time, cannot leave the international community indifferent.”

Israeli Ambassador to Greece Ali Yahya said in response to the statement, “Racism is not in Greece’s culture. I’m saddened by the pathetic statement made by Mr. Karatzaferis; it shows, if nothing else, complete historic ignorance. It is the Jewish people that were the prey of racism.”

Meanwhile, the Avriani newspaper led its front page with anti-Semitic accusations for the second time in several weeks. Sunday’s headline read: “After the American Jews acquired once again the world’s wealth and plunged the planet into an unprecedented financial crisis, they started rehearsing for WWIII.”

Midway through the paper’s story on Israel’s operation in Gaza, the story, under the heading “The Plan,” explains that a Jewish plutocracy, having made the “wealth of the century at the expense of the economies of the world,” is preparing to put in motion “war machines” in various hot spots around the world in order to control the price of oil, redistribute the world’s natural resources and start a new cycle of weapons production.

Avriani is the same Greek paper that on Nov. 4 ran on its front page this headline: ““The anticipated victory of Obama in the U.S. elections signals the end of Jewish domination. Everything changes in the USA and we hope that it will be more democratic and humane.“

There is no question that the loss of life in Gaza is a tragedy. And Israel’s military has before been too careless when operating in civilian areas—human shields or not. But Israel’s weekend assault on Gaza needs to be understood as an attack on Hamas militants that for years have been shelling the border towns. Not Jewish settlements, but communities well within the Green Line of 1948. Those actions, by operatives of the government, should be seen as hundreds of acts of war.

Regardless, no one is “winning”—or stands to. As Ruth Wisse says, the Palestinian refugee crisis—60 years later—is still about the political power of the Palestinians’ neighbors. The question is what should the Israeli response be.

Many are calling now for a ceasefire; Egypt is trying to broker one. Here’s what the Jewish Alliance for Peace & Justice had to say:

Though some Israeli action is an understandable response to continued rocket fire from Hamas, and the idea of contained surgical strikes may be compelling, these airstrikes represent a huge escalation of the conflict—a crisis that may end in a wider war in which many more Palestinians and Israelis die in the weeks to come.

The now familiar sequence of escalating mutual hostility, invasion, and withdrawal without security arrangements has never worked—in Lebanon, the West Bank, or in Gaza itself. The United States and the entire world community must intercede to help reestablish a ceasefire, put an end to rocket attacks on Israel, and facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid to Gaza.

Brit Tzedek calls on President Bush to initiate an international effort aimed at negotiating an immediate ceasefire. Such a ceasefire must halt all attacks from both sides and allow humanitarian assistance into Gaza.

Further, we call on President-elect Obama to make clear that he will, as President, urgently assert US leadership to achieve a comprehensive diplomatic resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian and Arab-Israeli conflicts.

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