October 14, 2005

Jews against Cohen's "anti-semitism"

The New Statesman has published some letters, mostly critical, on Nick Cohen's absurd rant on "anti-semitism." These are my faves because I agree with what they're saying:
While it becomes increasingly impossible to defend Israel's policies, a new front has been opened by propagandists, namely Israel is singled out for criticism because of ongoing anti-Semitism. Nick Cohen fails to see that a country he lauds as a democracy is all the more culpable of human rights abuses, precisely because the inhabitants of that country, through the ballot box, are able to make the choice to oppress another people. He says that there is a free press, so Israelis do not have even the consolation of saying "we never knew", as often happens under dictatorships.

It is indeed true that Israel is treated differently from other countries. It is allowed to occupy another people's land, confiscate their resources and build walls to imprison the population.

Diana Neslen
Ilford, Essex

To suggest that Hamas is at the centre of a multiheaded, anti-Semitic hydra is political paranoia. Israeli soldiers and settlers, with fists, boots and bullets, bulldoze the houses and crops of poor peasants, steal their water and land, kill their children and humiliate their elders, all in the name of the Jews. It is, after all, a Jewish state. Nick Cohen wonders why the illiterates of Hamas echo the absurdities of European anti-Semites? He muddles cause and effect and persists in looking down the telescope the wrong way.

Tony Greenstein
Secretary, Jews Against Zionism, Brighton
This use of the anti-semitism smear has now been widened to cover not just criticism of Israel but also any criticism of American foreign policy. It's bizarre isn't it? These war party hacks are close to suggesting that imperialism is a Jewish thing.


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