Opinion

Hate: An Israeli Love Story

For anti-Semitism hunters, preserving paranoia and blurring the line between Judaism and Zionism is the best way to handle criticism of the country's abominations

File photo: Vandalized tombs with tagged swastikas are pictured in the Jewish cemetery of Quatzenheim, eastern France, February 19, 2019.
Jean-Francois Badias/AP

Israel’s relations with global anti-Semitism (both the real and the fake) long ago turned into a farce, but only recently have they become truly and absurdly grotesque. A ludicrous imbroglio of demagoguery and exploitation, deceit and victimization, disgust and attraction, loud condemnation and silent cooperation.

Israeli anti-Semitism hunters are like the truffle hunters in the forest. Sniffing, searching, scratching, digging and never stopping until they find the longed-for fungus. And then, crying with joy, they rush to their master, place their treasure at his feet and earn a flattering caress. The fresh flakes of anti-Semitism are brought in a flash to the studios and that very same evening they are served to the audience, garnished with a befitting shocked tone of voice and an agitated facial expression.

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As far as they are concerned, it is unimportant to the anti-Semitism hunters whether it is a march of SS veterans saluting with the upraised hand and singing a Nazi anthem, or a stupid bully who wants to take out his frustrations by spray painting a swastika on a Jewish headstone. As far as they are concerned, both are the works of living Nazis. Both are worthy of bombastic marketing, as part of the effort to preserve the paranoia and blur the line between Judaism and Zionism.

It is not hard to understand why this blurring is so important. After all, there is no better way to handle the criticisms of Zionism or protests against Israel’s abominations. But from the moment that the label of anti-Semitism is attached to the critic’s lapel, it is possible to attack him with all the tested clichés: Nazi, Auschwitz, ghetto, crematoria, Schindler, Eichmann, mufti – and the adversary will immediately shrink in panic into his corner and shut up. Tried and trusted.

This is how those who curse a professor with the insulting term “Zionist” are anti-Semites. And those who hate the Jews because they control the global wealth and are conspiring in the shadows – they are Righteous Gentiles and guests of honor at the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial center in Jerusalem.

By the way, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cast a bit of a shadow on this public relations achievement. By embracing a few of the polyps that grew from within the Kahanist tumor, he actually conducted a kind of illuminating colonoscopy on the Zionism he espouses. If people can be found who will now hold their noses and mutter: “If that’s Zionism, we are against it,” Netanyahu will be able to blame no one but himself.

The serious-sounding claims by Israel against the “racist anti-Semitism” in France, the United States, Sweden, Britain and Australia are also hollow and hypocritical. All this comes from the mouth of the most racist country in the democratic and democracy-like world. Here there is no need to “suckle racism from their mother’s breast.” Here it is not the legacy of the uneducated and evil. Here it is planted deep in legislation, tradition, education, values, daily life and heritage. Here it is official, nurtured and handed down from on high.

So this is how after thousands of years of strict anti-Semitism, this indecent measure has been reduced to just the test of support for Israel’s tricks and crimes. This is to teach us how true the new and updated definition of anti-Semitism is: Once, an “anti-Semite” was someone who hated Jews. Today, an “anti-Semite” is someone the Jews hate.