Sunday, September 24, 2006

An article every American should read

Counterpunch has an article by Jonathan Cook that every American, at least those who consider themselves somewhat left of center, should read. Here's a sample:
The fresh claims about a new anti-Semitism began life in the spring of 2002, with the English-language website of Israel's respected liberal daily newspaper, Haaretz, flagging for many months a special online supplement of articles on the "New anti-Semitism", warning that the "age-old hatred" was being revived in Europe and America. The refrain was soon taken up the Jerusalem Post, a rightwing English-language newspaper regularly used by the Israeli establishment to shore up support for its policies among Diaspora Jews.

But, as ever, the main target of the new anti-Semitism campaign were audiences in the US, Israel's generous patron. There, members of the Israel lobby were turning into a chorus of doom.

The third goal, however, had not seen before. It tied the rise of a new anti-Semitism with the increase of Islamic fundamentalism in the West, implying that Muslim extremists were asserting an ideological control over Western thinking. It chimed well with the post 9-11 atmosphere.

This final goal of the proponents of "the new anti-Semitism" was so successful because it could be easily conflated with other ideas associated with America's war on terror, such as the clash of civilisations. If it was "us" versus "them", then the new anti-Semitism posited from the outset that the Jews were on the side of the angels. It fell to the Christian West to decide whether to make a pact with good (Judaism, Israel, civilisation) or evil (Islam, Osama bin Laden, Londonistan).
The Holocaust is real. It happened. On the implied orders of Adolf Hitler six million European Jews were exterminated, this is fact no one can deny. That being said, however, since the end of World War II the American Israel Political Action Public Affairs Committee and the Israeli government, be it Labor or Likud, has used the Holocaust as a tool to manipulate American public opinion. No public person, be they politician or actor or journalist, in this country dares critisize any action by the Israeli government without running the risk of being labeld an anti-Semite.

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