August 13, 2014

It's Anti-Semitism, Stupid

Let's admit it: Israel can never win the media war against Hamas. No matter what it does, no matter how hard it tries.

Not because the Islamist terror group that is raining missiles on its cities and villages and using its own hapless subjects as human shields is the underdog in this conflict, but because the sight of Arabs killing Jews (or other Arabs for that matter) is hardly news; while the sight of Jews killing Arabs is a man-bites-dog anomaly that cannot be tolerated.

Imagine the following scenario: Thousands of foaming-at-the-mouth Jews rampaging through the streets of London and Paris to protest the blitz bombing of their co-religionists by a murderous al-Qaida/ISIS clone. They carry banners urging the killing of all Muslims wherever they are, hurl rocks and petrol bombs at the police, set fire to mosques, destroy Muslim properties and establishments, and attack all Muslims and Arabs coming their way.

Sound incredible? No doubt. For Jews in western (and Muslim) societies are be expected to know their place: to act maturely, responsibly and compassionately, to never fight fire with fire, to always understand the "other," to ever be ready to please, appease, and whenever necessary – turn the other cheek.

Not so Israel's enemies. With a sickening unanimity that has become all too familiar over the past decades, whenever the Jewish state responded in strength to Palestinian terrorism – be it rocket attacks from Lebanon; West Bank-originated suicide bombing campaigns (euphemized as the Aqsa intifada); or rocket, missile and mortar attacks from the Gaza Strip – hordes of hateful, violent demonstrators flocked onto the streets of western cities throughout the world, not to call for peace or an end of violence on all sides but to demonize a sovereign democracy for daring to protect its citizens and to vilify and assault their own Jewish compatriots for no reason other than their different religious and/or ethnic identity.

"Today, non-Israeli Jews feel themselves once again exposed to criticism and vulnerable to attack for things they didn't do," the late New York University professor Tony Judt lamented amid the growing number of hate fests in the early 2000s. "The increased incidence of attacks on Jews in Europe and elsewhere is primarily attributable to misdirected efforts, often by young Muslims, to get back at Israel."

Anti-Semites, of course, have never been short of excuses for assaulting and killing Jews, and infinitely larger numbers of Jews were exterminated shortly before the founding of the State of Israel than in the 66 years of its existence, not to mention the millions massacred in Europe and the Middle East since antiquity.

Neither did European Jew-haters await Israel's establishment to unleash on the remnants of the Holocaust.

Anti-Semitic sentiments remained as pronounced as ever, especially in Eastern Europe, which witnessed a few vicious pogroms shortly after the end of World War II. Even in Germany, Jews found themselves attacked and abused in public with 60 percent of Germans condoning overt anti-Jewish acts of violence.

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