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Friday, July 28, 2006


How to fight anti-Semitism

A lot of the people who unquestioningly defend anything Israel does, do so because they think in doing so they are somehow fighting anti-Semitism. The truth as, as I wrote recently, it is Israel's behavior which is probably doing the most to sustain and increase anti-Semitism in the world, as this tragic event demonstrates:
A man walked into a Jewish organization Friday afternoon and opened fire, killing one person and injuring at least five others before he was arrested, officials said.

Staff members said they overheard him saying "'I am a Muslim American, angry at Israel,' before opening fire on everyone."
Did this man have anti-Semitic attitudes before the most recent Israeli actions? I have no idea. But there can be no question that Israel's actions have immeasurably increased the liklihood of people acting on anti-Semitic attitudes in such a horrible way.

It might also be argued that it is the repeated insistence of Israel's defenders that criticism of Israel is anti-Semitism that caused this man to act not against Israel, but against Jews (I am assuming the people working at the Jewish Federation were Jewish; that generally seems to be the way these things go). For all we know, these particular Jews may well have been critical of Israel. But since Israel's defenders have repeatedly told the world that Israel=Jews and Jews=Israel, this man may be excused for thinking that was so.

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