Sunday, October 27, 2013
The Last Straw
Every so often,the question gets asked....is anti-Zionism the same as anti-semitism?
'Anti-Zionism' itself is anti-semitic because it seeks to undermine the right to self-determination for Jews by subjecting Israel to rules, standards and conditions that no other country is subjected to.
It is anti-semitic because it promotes the idea of 'restricted neighborhoods', places where Jews should not be allowed to live simply because they're Jews.
And finally, it is anti-semitic because nearly every 'anti-Zionist' you'll run into is a Jew hater at heart, and usually you don't have to dig too deeply to find it.
British Labour MP Jack Straw, who served as both Home Secretary and Foreign Secretary under Tony Blair has never been accused of being a friend of Israel, and in that he's in accord with the majority view in Britain's Labour Party. Straw's stance on Israel is also understandable when you realize that his constituency, Blackburn, has a significant Muslim population, approximately 25%.
But MP Straw has always simply portrayed himself as an anti-Zionist, and kept his real feelings about Jews pretty quiet, until now.
In a roundtable discussion in Parliament on the Middle East, Straw (who's already said he won't stand for re-election next time out) decided to open up with some fairly typical anti-semitic tropes. The biggest obstacle to peace in the Middle East, he said, was 'unlimited Jewish money' is used to control foreign policy in America. Oh, and that Germany's 'obsession with defending Israel' was another huge obstacle.
This is pretty much standard 'Protocols of the Elders of Zion' stuff...the image of the scheming, moneyed Jews plotting to take advantage of the helpless gentiles.
This sort of thing is actually part of the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia's (EUMC) Working Definition on anti-semitism, which states: “[Anti-Semitism is]… Making mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective — such as, especially but not exclusively, the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions.”
Also in attendance were former Israeli Knesset Member Einat Wilf and the Palestinian ambassador to London who accused Israel of "cultural genocide" and "ethnic cleansing."
"It was appalling to listen to Britain's former foreign secretary," Dr. Wilf said. "His remarks reflect prejudice of the worst kind. We're used to hearing groundless accusations from Palestinian envoys but I thought British diplomats, including former ones, were still capable of a measure of rational thought.
"Throughout the debate I reiterated that the origin of the conflict was the Arab and Palestinian unwillingness to accept the Jewish people's legitimate right to a state of their own, and that as long as that willingness is absent there will be no true solution."
Speaking of solutions, MP Straw also made the news this week speaking about Iran and Iranian president Hassan Rouhani. He said, “You could do business with him, and we were able to do business with him. I very profoundly believe that [this] is a new chance for proper negotiations.”
Former British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain used almost those exact words in 1938 to describe Adolf Hitler, who had his own ideas about solutions, especially when it came to Jews.
That kind of pro-appeasement language is actually not so startling coming from Jack Straw, but a case of the apple not falling too far from the tree.While he has said publicly that he considers himself a Christian, Straw's mother was of Eastern European Jewish stock, and of the far Left, secular type. She met his non-Jewish father when both were members of the Peace Pledge Union. a group that favored appeasement of Hitler at all costs. In 1938, they even campaigned against legislation introduced by Parliament for air raid precautions, and against legislation for military conscription. Straw's father, Walter Straw, along with several other members of the PPU was even arrested during the war for passing out leaflets and erecting posters urging British troops to refuse to fight.
There's not much more to be said about Jack Straw. I repeat his personal history merely as background, and because inevitably someone will claim he's not anti-semitic because of his mother's ethnicity, saying 'but he's Jewish, you know!'
Undoubtedly Mr. Straw has always had these sentiments on Jews, Israel and appeasement. I'm actually glad he finally decided to come clean, and I wish more 'anti-Zionists' would do the same.