antisemitism,  Europe

BBC World Service on European antisemitism

BBC World Service has broadcast an excellent program presented by Wendy Robbins (part one of a two-part series) about modern European antisemitism and its connection to demonization of Israel.

You can listen to it here.

Robbins makes one or two questionable assertions, such as “Some Jews mistake criticism of Israel for antisemitism.” (Whenever people say this, I wish they would provide specific examples of what they mean.)

But there are some powerful and spot-on interview segments, including this from Howard Jacobson, describing the response by some of Israel’s opponents to the Gaza war:

“There is such a thing as intellectual violence. And intellectual violence was in the air. And it made me, and many other Jews that I know, and many gentiles too, ill to hear it– to hear it pounding out of the newspapers all the time. It was not simply news. It was that word that always tells you that something other than the event itself is being described. Everything was always a ‘massacre.’ Everything was always a ‘slaughter.’ There was never a fight. There was no understanding of what the provocation might have been. Any provocation was minimized. How many so-called massacres turned out not to be massacres, and have gone un-apologized for? You call it a massacre on Tuesday, it turns out not to be a massacre on Friday and it’s forgotten about the following week. Except that word ‘massacre’ still dins in the head.”

And this from Anthony Julius:

“Given that the principle of the Jewish state would be defended to the death by most if not all Jewish Israelis, to call for the dismantling of the Jewish state is to encompass the possibility of the wholesale death of its Jewish population. And if one can contemplate that with equanimity, one’s cold-heartedness puts one in the company of antisemites even if it doesn’t qualify one as an antisemite.”

(Hat tip: Engage)