In the comments to this recent piece several commenters suggested that bigoted language against Arabs/Palestinians, as well as being inherently objectionable, actualy made it more difficult for people with concerns about antisemtism and attitudes towards Israel to make their case. So I was fascinated to read this article linked to in the comments to the recent post about Hamas.) It begins:
The concept of the “evil Jew” has made a well-disguised comeback: Criticizing Israel and Zionists, is now deemed a legitimate option to cursing Jews and Judaism. Not only is it open, socially acceptable and legal, but it can actually bring prosperity and popularity. This new form of anti-Semitism 2.0 is well-covered-up, harder to trace and poses a much deeper danger to the modern way of life of the civilized world than the earlier crude form of it, as it slowly and gradually works on delegitimizing Jews to the point where it eventually becomes acceptable to target Jews, first verbally, then physically — all done in a cosmopolitan style where the anti-Semites are well-groomed speakers and headline writers in jackets and ties; and not just Arab, but American and European, from “sanitized” news coverage of the most bloodthirsty radicals, to charges against Israel in which facts are distorted, selectively omitted or simply untrue, as in former President Jimmy Carter’s book on Israel.
Here’s another interesting observation:
Further, amid recent protests in Arab countries, most global media outlets refrained from taking a position on the power-contested Arab dictators; but they have never failed to present pre-packaged anti-Israeli positions when they cover Palestinian uprisings. This extends to perplexing twists: when the protests in Libya started, for example, Sheikh Al-Qaradawi, a leading Muslim scholar and no friend of Israel,, appeared on Al-Jazeera, saying, “Qaddafi has done to his people what the Zionists would never do to the Palestinians,” yet this strong statement from an unlikely source never made it to the Western media.
But this paragraph (which comes earlier on in fact) is perhaps still more interesting – and surprising:
Why would a Palestinian be writing this? The answer is simple: The Palestinians have been used as fuel for the new form of anti-Semitism; this has hurt the Palestinians and exposed them to unprecedented and purposely media-ignored abuse by Arab governments, including some of those who claim love for the Palestinians, yet in fact only bear hatred to Jews. This has resulted in Palestinian cries for justice, equality, freedom and even basic human rights being ignored while the world getting consumed with delegitimizing Israel from either ignorance or malice.
The writer is Mudar Zahran, and you can read the whole piece here. I wouldn’t say that this was a typical voice, nor that all Palestinians should have to sign up to every aspect of the analysis – but it’s an interesting perspective and the mirror image of some of the arguments being articulated on the Melanie Phillips thread.
Hat Tip: Lynne T in the comments