All About Some 'Best Of British' Jews
For far too long (as far as we and many others are concerned), fear of falling foul of finger pointing fanatics shrieking accusations of anti-Semitism has stifled almost all sensible attempts at civilised and intelligent, Israel related discussion.
However, thanks to growing numbers of brave British Jews it seems things are finally beginning to change -- and change for the better.
This header from today's UK Observer (the Sunday version of the Guardian), should help those still 'in the dark' to get the general gist (in ultra-short-order-time), as to what is and has been, happening.
The new Jewish questionHere's a clip that's typical of this piece's thrust and content.
A furious row has been raging in the international Jewish community over the rights and wrongs of criticising Israel.
At its centre is a British historian who accuses his fellow Jews in the US of stifling any debate about Israel.
His opponents say his views give succour to anti-Semites. One thing's for sure: any appearance of consensus over the Middle East has been shattered.
Sunday February 11,
Erm, excuse us? Anti-Semitic Semites?
In the past two weeks, the Judt Affair has entered an entirely new gear. In an essay written by the Holocaust scholar Alvin Rosenfeld and published by the American Jewish Committee, Judt's views - and those of other 'progressive Jews' such as the American playwright Tony Kushner and the British academic Jacqueline Rose - were expressly linked to anti-Semitism.
That row was reported in the New York Times, giving it an unprecedented prominence, and since then the story has opened the floodgates of a debate that until now has been shrouded in fear.
Americans have long been in the grip of a cultural taboo that is characterised by Judt as follows: 'All Jews are silenced by the requirement to be supportive of Israel, and all non-Jews are silenced by the fear of being thought anti-Semitic, and there is no conversation on the subject.'
Isn't that about as barmy as labeling This Old Brit as anti-British? Or, Richard as an anti-radical?
Well, whatever. Examine another extract from the piece we're placing before you.
Judt tells a story about an Israeli journalist who was in Washington in the 1960s. 'The Israeli ambassador was retiring, and the journalist asked him what he thought was his biggest achievement. The ambassador said: "I've succeeded in beginning to convince Americans that anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism."
There has been a progressive emergence of a conflation,' Judt explains. 'It didn't just happen naturally. And it was pushed quite actively in the Seventies and Eighties, to the point at which it became so normal in this country that it was for a while the default assumption. It's really only in the last five to eight years that it's started to be questioned.'
The actions of very pro-Israel Jewish organisations - for instance, making carefully placed phone calls relating to certain public speakers - are, Judt believes, now born of panic rather than confidence.
'They've lost control of the debate,' he says. 'For a long time all they had to deal with were people like Norman Finkelstein or Noam Chomsky, who they could dismiss as loonies of the left.
Now they're having to face, for want of a better cliché, the mainstream: people like me who have a fairly long established record of being Social Democrats (in the European sense) and certainly not on the crazy left on most issues, saying very
critical things about Israel.
They're not used to that, so their initial response has been to silence people if they could, and their second response has been to ratchet up the anti-Semitic charge.' Judt thinks it's telling that the New York Times 'is willing to report these issues and let reporters quote both sides. In the past, you would have had silence.'
We could not agree more wholeheartedly.
Moreover, we'd remind every honourable, honest man and woman - regardless of race, religion, creed or colour - that silence is the greatest sedition.
Read the rest of this awesome article and please, please, please pass this piece on.
Since suddenly it seems that at long last, there's a brilliant bright light appearing at the end of a long dark tunnel.
Therefore, it is imperative to see to it that none of those who have for so long been blinded by bigotry (be it by accident or by design), can any longer connive to convince any others otherwise.