Thanks for publishing the text of Jason Kenney's speech to the anti-Semitism forum in Jerusalem. Its dissimulating and low-minded character have been much-noted.My response:
By conflating Israel with Judaism, Kenney turns the whole world anti-Semitic. Even Irwin Cotler, his Liberal ally on the Canadian Parliamentary Coalition to Combat Anti-Semitism, is anti-Semitic, or so Kenney alleges when he is plotting election strategy. By tagging KAIROS and the Canadian Arab Federation with the same smear, he attacks the human rights observer. It's a handy epithet, this "new anti-Semitism."
It's also anti-Semitic. It hides real anti-Semitism and offers a profound insult to victims and survivors of the Holocaust. The racialization of Israel to protect it from criticism denies Israel the right to be treated as an equal among nations; it conceives Israel as a nation or "people apart." Essentialized and separated in this way, why wouldn't Israel engage in separation practices (racism, apartheid) itself?
Using the "new anti-Semitism," the CPCCA's intent is political: to demonize Iran, censor or criminalize campus debates, and shield Israel from legitimate human rights observation. Colombia's Alvaro Uribe or Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe should be so lucky.
But how tragic that the politicization of anti-Semitism now divides and renders vulnerable Jewish communities worldwide. Jason Kenney and his supporters need to take a hard look at themselves.
Roger Langen contends that “the politicization of anti-Semitism” is “tragic.” I completely agree with him--but not in the way he means. It was tragic when Czarist police fabricated a document called “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion” which offered “proof” that Jews were conspiring to control the world--a “politicization” intended to boost support for the Czar. And it was also tragic when Adolf Hitler gave credence to this ridiculous screed, and used it to justify his megalomania and the extermination of the Jewish people--another clear “politicization” of anti-Semitism. By the same token, when those who, for “political”/ideological reasons single out the world’s lone Jewish state for opprobrium, slander it as being an “apartheid” regime, hold it to standards which aren’t required of other nations, and do so under the banner of “human rights” even as they ignore and/or minimize the egregious human rights abridgments occurring in other parts of the world--that, too, is tragic.
While is true that not all criticism of Israel is “anti-Semitic,” it is also true that throughout history “the Longest Hatred” has always adapted--or, more accurately, mutated, since Jew-hatred appears to be encoded in humanity’s DNA--to the changing circumstances of the Jewish people. Thus, the obsessive, irrational hatred which, in the past would have affixed itself to the “wandering” Jewish people, today gloms onto the “settled” Jewish state. Were Israel to disappear tomorrow (God forbid), Jew-hate would no doubt mutate once again, another variation on the same old, ugly theme.
Let’s hope it never comes to that, but with all the eager beavers--some well-meaning, others clearly malign--working so hard to “save” the world from Israel, it remains a distinct possibility.