Through The Eyes Of A Holocaust Survivor: Smokescreen From Israelis And Their Sympathisers
19 June 2015
By Tariq A. Al Maeena
The independent news media is often silenced into submission with howls of
‘anti-Semitism' whenever a writer criticises policies or tactics of the Israeli
government. Such howls have increased in tempo and volume recently, given that
the aggression by Israeli forces against the Palestinians and the illegal
building of colonies have multiplied.
The leading cheerleader for wailing away these charges is none other than the
Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, himself. He recently rejected United
Nations' critical view of his country's aggressive conduct against helpless
children during last summer's conflict in Gaza by bleating out that the UN was
two-faced when it came to Israel. ''It turns out there's no limit to hypocrisy,''
Such retorts from Israelis and their sympathisers is proving to be nothing more
than a smokescreen to thwart any real investigations into the illegal activities
of the Netanyahu government against Palestinians. It has also successfully
silenced or coerced into submission many activists whose conscience saw through
Last month, more than 250 members of the Jewish Voice for Peace (JWP) Academic
Advisory Council demanded that the US State Department revise its definition of
anti-Semitism in order to prevent the charge of anti-Semitism from being misused
to silence critics of Israel. JWP is a national, grassroots organisation
inspired by Jewish tradition to work for a just and lasting peace according to
principles of human rights, equality and international law for all the people of
Israel and Palestine.
The letter to the US State Department was addressing rising Israeli tactics to
silence debates on US university campuses over Israel politics with charges of
rising anti-Semitism. It also asserted the crucial need to distinguish criticism
of the state of Israel from real anti-Semitism and takes issue with provisions
in the US State Department's definition of anti-Semitism that refer to
''demonising'', ''delegitimising'' and ''applying a double-standard to the state of
Simona Sharoni, an Israeli-American professor of Gender and Women's Studies at
Suny Plattsburgh, says that ''Such prohibitions that are so vague that they could
be, and have been, construed to silence any criticism of Israeli policies.''
Sixty such incidents have taken place in US to silence activists for Palestinian
rights in the first four months of 2015 alone! Jewish Voice for Peace flatly
states that criticism of Israel is not anti-Semitism.
This month, a noted American author and icon Noam Chomsky added his own thoughts
to the subject. An 86-year-old Jew and an individual who lived through the
holocaust of the Second World War, Chomsky said: ''I thought 40 years ago and I
think today that people who call themselves supporters of Israel are, in fact,
supporting its moral degeneration, its increased international isolation and
possibly its ultimate destruction,'' he said. ''I think these policies are
suicidal and immoral.''
Chomsky rejected the notion that Israel's security was threatened by its Arab
neighbours. ''To the extent that Israel is threatened, it is Israel's own choice.
For the past 40 years, Israel has pursued a policy very consciously of
preferring expansion rather than security,'' he asserted.
Sifting back through time, Chomsky insisted Israel could have had almost
complete security 40 years ago, if it had the desire for peace.
''In 1971, Egypt offered Israel a full peace treaty, just in return for the
occupied Egyptian territories. Israel refused, preferring to expand,'' he said.
Five years later, Egypt and Syria tabled a resolution to the UN Security
Council, calling for the establishment of two states using the internationally
recognised border, the so-called ‘Green Line'. Chomsky elaborated that the
resolution would place guarantees for the right of an Israeli and a Palestinian
state to exist within secure and recognised borders.
''Accepting that would have radically reduced the security problem,'' he asserted.
''The US vetoed it. Israel was furious, refused even to attend the session.
Didn't want to hear about it. And it continues like that. As long as Israel
continues to take over the occupied territories, we're not going to have peace.''
Noam Chomsky, who in a 2005 poll was voted as the ‘world's top intellectual', is
no lightweight critic of Israeli policies. With his background and credentials,
he cannot be accused of being unfair or ‘anti-Semitic.' He is a Semite himself
and he is not the only one who sees through Israeli deception. What he and
others say is what the Israelis desperately camouflage under thundering charges
The collective guilt of holocaust has been used successfully for more than 60
years to condone the ongoing human misery of a new holocaust, which is the
gradual subjugation and extermination of the Palestinian people. Most political
pundits including many intellectual Jews believe that the current Israeli
policies will eventually spell their own doom.
The world is getting increasing weary of this country that is becoming a pariah
Tariq A. Al Maeena is a Saudi socio-political commentator. He lives in
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. You can follow him on www.twitter.com/@talmaeena