In response to a few comments that have been left to a post in the Tundra Tabloid’s comment section, I find it necessary to include an article by Matthias Küntzel.
“Israel is not a haven of virtue as is generally known. On one hand, Israel’s government deserves to be criticized just like every other democratically elected government in the world. On the other hand, European thinking has been influenced by anti-Semitic patterns for centuries—in this regard, no criticism of Jews or Israel is a priori immune from anti-Semitic stereotypes.
At least an EU working definition has helped us establish a framework to evaluate where legitimate criticism stops and anti-Semitism begins:
- When Israeli policy is equated with Nazi practices or when symbols and images of long-established anti-Semitism are assigned to Israel;
- When Israel’s right to existence is denied; and
- When a double standard applies and demands are made of Israel that would never be expected or demanded of another democratic state.
The comments I am referring to were left by a blogger that goes by the name of Egan, in response to a post I made concerning the tenure that was denied “Holocaust trivializer” and anti-Semite, Norman Finklestein, by the Catholic University of DePaul. Egan states in the comment section that:
“I know this guy criticised Israel, and he was sacked for it. That you enjoy this event is all I need to know really. “
Egan errs badly. The sole reasons as to why Finklestein was denied his tenure wasn’t due to any justifiable criticism of Israel, on the contrary, it was due to his sloppy, unprofessional scholarship, “the intellectual character of his work and his persona as a public intellectual”, as well as his completely empty record of academic publication.
The reason why Finklestein is trumpeted as “the definitive voice” by the anti-Israel advocacy crowd (those who hate the Jewish state) is due not only to his position as an academic, but that he is also a very vocal “Jewish” anti-Israel baiter, thereby giving his claims and accusations (no matter how bizarre) a measure of legitimacy.
The fact that Finklestein criticizes Israel is not an issue, nor should it be, anyone with legitimate concerns have the right to voice those concerns. The fact that Finklestein is Jewish however, does not shield him from being labeled an anti-Semite when his criticisms cross the line of valid critical thought, into the demonization of the Jewish state.
Like Grosser, Finklestein spreads the incitement of Israel with wild claims of “Apartheid” and “genocide” of the Palestinians by Israel, who in the minds of both men act out their atrocities not unlike the goose stepping German National Socialists of the former Third Reich. Matthias Küntzel’s response to Alfred Grosser’s unbalanced criticism of Israel , especially by those who are Jewish are right on target, especially in conjunction with the Norman Finklestein debate currently raging in the comment section of the Tundra Tabloids.
Those who breach this code (The EU’s working definition of anti-Semitism) are not necessarily supporters of Nazi anti-Semitism. They nevertheless pave the way for those who are prepared to wage a nuclear war against Israel. Hostilities against Israel appear today in the form of a pincer movement.
On one side, we have anti-Semites such as Ahmadinejad or Hamas who draw their “knowledge” about Jews from the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion.”
On the other side, we have non-Jewish and Jewish “fellow travellers of anti-Semitism” in progressive Western movements and governments who take up and proliferate, albeit in muted form, Iran’s attempts to delegitimize Israel. Can Alfred Grosser be located in the second camp? I will leave the answer to the discretion of the readers.
I’ll leave it up to my readers whether to place Finklestein in the second camp as well. For me, I know rather well where I would place him. *L* KGS