Sunday, April 15, 2007
Nahida Izzat - About Anti-Semitism
People talk with liberty about Muslim extremists, and Christian fundamentalists; but they stop short of uttering the forbidden word "Jewish extremists".
We as people who desire justice, and long for peace; and we as human race can never achieve equality without applying the same criteria and standards for ALL; and that should also include any other ideology, not only religious one, but also we must acknowledge that there are secular extremists, and atheists fundamentalists, Marxist extremists… etc.
The other important point that should be recognized is the way the holocaust was "hijacked" by the Zionists, and became almost like an exclusive Jewish property, which we all know is not a true presentation of history or the truth of WW2.
Not only that it became exclusively Jewish, but there is an aura of holiness and sacredness that surrounds the whole subject, and shrouded it with reverence.
This can lead to some serious problematic issues; as it might appear to a non-Jewish observer as favouritism: "Jewish people get a special treatment, as they insist on demanding that the world must acknowledge their suffering as being unique, sacred, and special".
All humanity had suffered through history, recent, past, and ancient times.
No one could claim that the suffering of one group is more special, unique, or sacred than the suffering of others.
If Jewish people keep insisting that the world must see their suffering as "special", "unique" and "above the suffering of all others", It can only confirm the views of some people who perceive the Jewish people view themselves as "special", "unique" or "chosen".
You see, my dear friend; people could freely criticise and disapprove of Islam and the Muslims, and that is their right. People could pass judgment on Christianity and Christians without fear of any allegation, and that is their right. People could freely disapprove of Communists, Marxists, and Anarchists… etc, and that is their right. But if you try to voice the faintest criticism of Jewish people or Judaism you are in deep deep trouble. The label "anti-Semitic" would haunt you forever.
People could also say –without fear of any accusation, blame, or criminalisation- that they don't like Islamic extremists, or Hamas, Hezbollah or Christian fundamentalists. But if you dare say that about Jewish fundamentalists, you risk being charged with anti-Semitism.
The Jewish left don't mind criticising Zionism, but they would have fits if you referred to Zionists as Jewish fundamentalists, Jewish terrorist, Jewish fascists, Jewish extremists – which, unfortunately - they are.
Why is that so?
What is it that makes people so extra sensitive, with a real blind spot when it comes to this issue? Why can't people feel free to examine and disagree with some aspect of Jewish life or Judaism like they do with all other ideologies? (Of course, as long as it is all done in an intellectual, academic mannerism, not in an abusive, insulting or ridiculing way).
Making these issues a taboo would force people to start questioning: With freedom of thought people doubt/question God, which for many is the Most Holy of all.
Why is it then that Judaism, the Jewish people and the holocaust –unlike anything else in the world- are so sacred and holy that no one is allowed to doubt, examine, or criticise? If people try to include the suffering of other groups during holocaust memorials, or if they attempted to compare the suffering of other groups to the suffering of Jewish people there would be uproar.
Can you see, dear friend, that there is so much hypocrisy and double standards in this?
My worry is that ignoring these issues by the Jewish left are very counter productive, and it would only raise other people's suspicion and discomfort –to say the least- with the special treatment that the Jewish people are demanding for themselves.
If Jewish people want to eradicate / minimize anti Semitism, they must firstly accept to be treated equally like the rest of humanity:
1) They must accept with tolerance any intellectual criticism of Israel as a Jewish state, to Zionism as a Jewish extremist ideology, to Judaism as religion. For this is what freedom of expression is all about, and all should be included; as long as this freedom is not used to abuse, insult, lie about, slander, or ridicule the other.
2) They must stop the claim of the exclusiveness of their "suffering" whether historical or more recent (the holocaust); for all humanity suffered through the ages and during WW2.
3) They must stop divining the holocaust making it exclusively Jewish, untouchable and beyond any scholarly studies, converting it into a sacred religion.
4) They must accept to live under the same umbrella of principles that apply to the rest of humanity.
Double standards and hypocrisy makes people angry. Having a set of rules for the world and another for Jewish people makes people suspicious and paranoid, for why don't Jewish people refuse to be treated like the rest of the world.
The Jewish extremists (Zionists) believe/want the world to believe that the Jewish people are chosen, special, unique, light onto the nations.
The people of the world have the right to not believe that the Jewish people are chosen, unique, or light onto the nations, for ALL PEOPLE ARE EQUAL.
The Jewish left believe / wants the world to believe that the suffering of, and the racism against the Jewish people is unique; but all people suffered and still are, all people face racism and still are. The people of the world have the right to believe that the suffering of the Jewish people is not unique. Acknowledging the fact that anti-Semitism is one form of racism, and not a unique form of racism is very important too.
Therefore it is vital that the progressive Jewish voices do acknowledge that Jewish people are no better or worse than other humans, and that their suffering is no better or worse than the suffering of others.
The sooner the Jewish people acknowledge these issues, the better. The sooner they accept to be treated exactly like everyone else, and not as a unique case in everything, the better; for the Jewish people first and for our world.
With all my love
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