Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Anti-Israel "Atmosphere" on American Campuses is Not Due to Ignorance

Tonight there was a news clip on Israeli television about the terrible anti-Israel atmosphere and worse on American campuses. It was blamed on ignorance, but that is not the cause.

The anti-Israel "atmosphere," I can't think of a better word, is not do to ignorance. It's due to something much more insidious. It's due to antisemitism, which goes hand and hand with the pro-Arab and pro-Palestine ideology that pervades international academia.

At an anti-Israel protest in Boston, July 2014, pro-Palestinian activists surrounded several Israel supporters, hurling insults and allegedly physically assaulting pro-Israel students (photo credit: Elan Kawesch/The Times of Israel) Read more at: | SPME

As part of the typical wishful thinking of many Israelis, like the fact that the government keeps on trying to negotiate with the Arab terrorists for a "peace treaty."

Considering that it's impossible to convince an antisemite to change his stripes. I think that the only thing is to call a spade a spade, tell the antisemite that he/seh is one. Tell him/her that antisemitism is the epitome of racism, totally immoral and therefore you have no respect for such a person.


L. King said...

You're right, but unfortunately it will be often be dismissed under the rubric of your labeling any criticism of Israel as anti-Semitic, which they will use as a preemptive shield to marginalize any response.

To turn it back point out that their "criticism" of Israel in many ways maps on to the same anti-Semitic tropes applied to Jews, and that in either case it reflects an unrealistic demonization and bigotry. The same tropes that were (and still are) applied to Jews are now applied to the Jewish State.

Another example is comparing the Israeli action to Nazis - a deliberate and specifically hurtful lie. My suggestion here is to point out that Israeli jurisprudence is based on British and Turkish law, discuss what the British did to combat terrorism in the Mandate, or the Turks when they were in charge, and then offer that the Israeli response is less harsh.

Of course if your speaker believes that Israelis are hook nosed money grubbers who control all the media, poison wells, drink the blood of children and are after world domination then there's no point in arguing with them directly, simply play to other listeners and ask for an explanation as to how it is different from anti-semitism.

Nothing works all the time - there's no magic answer. Anti-semitism will continue to evolve. I'm just suggesting some flexibility in tactics to meet the current challenge.

Batya said...

L. King, thanks for your comments, appreciated. So true.

Yocheved Golani said...

Some folks are so intellectually lazy that they refuse to use their brain cells to even distinguish between mere water and pure poison. Laziness and CYA behavior get my votes for this on-campus "Hate Israel" phenom.

Batya said...

Yocheved, good comparison, thanks