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    « Perceptions | Main | On not understanding Israeli politics »



    This phrase of yours:
    "... down to Brighton at the time of the Labour Party Conference to hear John Mann, the MP who chairs the currently Parliamentary committee investigating anti-semitism in Britain, ..."

    permits me to ask if you have read normblog recently?

    He reports this meeting:
    "Tuesday 31 January 2006, 5-6.30pm
    Committee Room 6, House of Commons

    Baroness Jenny Tonge and I are writing to invite you to a meeting to hear a presentation by Alan Hart of his new book "Zionism: The Real Enemy of the Jews"."

    and says this:
    "Guess who has the major responsibility for justice and peace? Why, mainstream Jews. Vis-à-vis those Jews, Alan sees himself as 'a concerned and caring goy'. With concern and care so fondly expressed, who needs a pie in the face? "


    I am fascinated by this phenomenon of non-Jews being so interested in Jewish studies. But I shouldn't be - I considered going for a masters in Asian Studies at one point...


    Judy, millions of Christians world wide are deeply committed to the State of Israel and to the Jewish people.

    We actively inform ourselves about Jewish history and politics in the Middle East.

    Some of us campaign against the misrepresentation of Israel in the media and we try to correct the misinformation we encounter in conversations about the Middle East we have with friends.

    I am grieved that so many Jewish people feel that the Christian Church continues to be the enemy of the Jewish people and of the State of Israel in particular. Grieved but unsurprised given the holier-than-thou statements which pour from Christian leaders such as Rowan Williams, who ought to know better. The truth is that the stance of much established church leadership is still stuck in the overt anti-semitism of the past but without recognising it.

    This makes them deeply vulnerable to the words of those who cloak their consciously hate-filled attitudes with a spurious "concern" for the Palestinians.

    However, the voices of Christians who recognise our debt to the Jewish people and the command of our Scriptures to respect the "olive tree" onto which we have been grafted, are growing louder and more insistent. We are no longer prepared to allow the anti-Israel lobby to dominate Church thinking on the subject without protesting in whatever way we can.

    The nature of the reporting of such issues means that our contributions to the debate are seldom recorded.

    But we are here. And we are speaking out.


    Since 2000 i have spoken with a number of French, both Jewish and not, who, when they defend Israel against the onslaught of criticism that members of "polite" society now indulge in as frequently as they have pastries, received the same reply: "Oh, I didn't know you were Jewish."

    This response reflects the pervasive attitude in France that anyone who defends Israel must do so for partisan reasons because why else would someone either a) defend so disgusting a country? or b) risk opprobrium by contradicting the broad public consensus? when i mentioned this to the (Jewish) French consul of New England a while back (as an illustration of how bad things are in France) he responded, "yes, well, Israel is not very popular these days. I'm sure you can understand that, no?"

    What these attitudes really reveal is a) how much the French/Europeans have been seized by groupthink; b) how cowardly they are and assume everyone else to be in terms of opposing groupthink -- only Jews would be that crazy; c) how much they are in the grip of a world-view in which they sympathize with the very forces that want to destroy them and attack their natural allies in that battle, and anyone who tries to point out the problems with this self-destructive attitude (like Nick Cohen ) gets dismissed at best, or assaulted.

    i have an essay where i argue that anti-zionism operates now as a form of cultural AIDS, making it impossible for those in its grip to identify the real enemies of their society and of their liberal/progressive values.


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