By Barry Shaw
People with strategic antennae can detect a throwback to the Soviet-inspired canard of “Zionism is racism.” This radical left-wing anti-Israel trope raised its ugly head way back in 2001 at the U.N. World Conference Against Racism in South Africa, where thousands of anti-Israel demonstrators and groups hijacked the event to target the Jewish state with phony propaganda, including apartheid accusations. Sadly, despite being beaten down in the United Nations, this same anti-Zionism has breathed new life and is active today on the campuses and streets of America and Britain, and morphing into support for Hamas and Hezbollah.
As it was then, it is dressed up as a universal human rights issue. The same tiresome aspersions are trotted out, and soft vacant minds of the impressionable young are hooked on a cause to which they are physically detached but to which they have been seduced to dedicate their energies. It fits their progressive upbringing. Sadly, a growing number of the newly deceived are Jewish.
In America, many have been raised by parents from the anti-war, hippie, flower power era who, from a distance, frowned on Israel for not bringing peace to the Palestinians and, from their distant armchair, encourage their kids to become activists in an anti-Israel cause. And they do it, they claim, for the benefit of an Israel that is too dumb and too aggressive to see the error of its ways.
What they have yet to realize is that firstly, they are wrong, and secondly, their kids have gone from being liberal to becoming the most illiberal, closed-minded and intolerant people in the community. They exist, you see, on a higher moral plane than the rest of us. They know better.
In Britain, a diminishing Jewish population is losing control over their country. Some of them doggedly cling to a Labour Party that is riddled with anti-Semitism. Some of the new generation go to Israel not to support it but to visit European NGO-funded Palestinian activists or, at home, participate in public displays of mourning for dead Palestinians.
Recently, both American and British anti-Israel Jewish fringe groups have used deception (some would say fraud) by taking advantage of organized and subsidized group trips to Israel to advance their pro-Palestinian propaganda. A small group of them were caught trying to spread their “Israel is occupying Palestine” garbage in Jerusalem’s Mahane Yehuda market.
Ari Fuld, a noted Israel advocate, videoed one of them with a simple question, “When did Israel occupy Palestine?” The Jewish propagandist couldn’t answer the question to the slogan printed on his T-shirt. Instead, he accused Fuld of harassment.
These are the hashtag activists. Question their hashtag soundbites and slogans and they fall apart.
Harassment? Harassment is something that pro-Israel spokespeople know very well. Try bringing the truth about Israel and the Palestinians, let alone expose the fraudulent messaging of the BDS movement, to campuses in America and Britain.
The anti-Israel views of the increasingly radical left of the Democratic Party in America and within the British Labour Party, led by a leader who considers Hamas and Hezbollah as his friends, could be a disaster in the making both for Israel and for the Jews of those nations. Israeli voices are stifled at public events. Should a pro-Israel event take place in Britain, the venue must be kept a closely-guarded secret due to fear of a violent disruptive backlash. Yet, it is perfectly acceptable for thousands of flag-waving Israel-haters to take to the streets of London in support of Hezbollah and Hamas.
In America, there is no intersectionality for Zionist Jews. It is acceptable to be a feminist or gay and a supporter of the Palestinian cause. If, however, you are a feminist or gay and support Israel, you are beyond the pale and banished.
Unfortunately, this mode of politics has become so trendy to impressionable youngsters that too many Jewish kids are being seduced and sucked into the swill of this dangerous nonsense. Too many of the unhinged and hate-mongering radical left look on Israel as “white supremacists.” The Black Lives Matter folk look on Arab Palestinians as their “brown brothers.” Their stunted, sloganistic thinking leaves them blinded to the fact that the majority of Israelis originate from Arab and Muslim countries with thousands of black Africans from Ethiopia, and that Israel is the most diverse country in the whole of the Middle East and Africa.
If the Black Lives Matter people really cared about their brethren beyond their American shores they should be made aware that, today, slavery is being practiced on a massive scale in Africa. This is where they share the crime of hypocrisy with the pro-Palestinian intersectionality pretenders. Those who profess to champion the Palestinian cause do so solely to hit on Israel, but are silent when abuses, oppression and slaughter are heaped on Palestinian Arabs by other Arabs. Examples include ethnic cleansing perpetrated by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, the 70-year-old apartheid inflicted on stateless refugees in Jordan and the blockade of Gaza imposed by Egypt. All go unchallenged by those who profess to champion Palestinian human rights.
So goes the “outrage” of Black Lives Matter advocates who have adopted the Palestinian movement into their revolutionary cause. They rage about Israeli “white supremacists” in their slogans, but shockingly turn their backs on the suffering and slavery of their African brethren. Do they not know that the current plague of slavery in Africa is perpetrated by the Muslim Arabs they support and the victims are their fellow blacks? Why doesn’t this appear in their intersectionality activism?
Two questions should be answered of the naive young Jews who have lost their bearings. Can you still call yourself a proud Jew when you associate and partner with those that boo whenever G-d and Israel is mentioned? Don’t you have a feeling of betrayal to your own people, to yourself? These are signs for you to walk away from a false and hateful cause that will benefit neither Palestinians, nor Israelis, nor you.
Work your way through the delusion. Eventually, with moral clarity, you will arrive at the reality and core belief in the survival and protection, indeed the legitimate right of the Jewish people, to exist in peace in their own nation, Israel. Allow us that at least.
Once you arrive at that point you may be able to better sympathize with our young men and women, those of your own age, who are prepared to fight and die to protect us and our right to live in our own land.
Barry Shaw is the senior associate for public diplomacy at the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies.