Saturday, January 29, 2011

Anti Semitism's Victims

Here's a brilliant article by Nick Cohen in the Jewish Chronicle - Tunisia, and our black and white mentality.

This newspaper normally looks at how the Jew-obsession of journalists and politicians topples over into antisemitism, and worries about the consequences for Israel and the diaspora. As the case of Tunisia shows, the consequences for Arabs, Berbers and Kurds are worth thinking about, too. Antisemitism is unique among religious hatreds. It is a racist conspiracy theory fashioned for the needs of messianic and brutal rulers, as dictators from the Tsars to the Islamists via the Nazis have shown. Many other alleged religious "hatreds" are not hatreds in the true sense. If I criticise Islamic, Orthodox Jewish or Catholic attitudes towards women, for instance, and I'm accused of being a bigot, I shrug and say it is not bigoted to oppose bigotry.

By contrast, the antisemitic conspiracy theories the Middle East took from fascist Europe, and the immigrant Muslim far right is now pumping back home again, have nothing to do with the religious practices of Jews. I do not have to tell readers that a cabal of bankers and revolutionaries do not seek world domination and that the "Israel Lobby" did not gull Yankee goys into fighting the Iraq war.

Antisemitism's first victims are not always Jews either. In the Middle East, dictators use antisemitic discourse to tell their wretched populations that Jewish conspiracies cause their countries' ills, and insist that on no account should they demand democracy and human rights because these are Jewish frauds: facades behind which the secret rulers of the world jerk the strings of power.
By the way, Cohen is not Jewish.

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