teleSUR, 26 March 2015 **** Front Page

Benjamin Netanyahu's Anti-Semitic Rhetoric

By Bruno Jäntti

Israelis level of obnoxiousness is causing EU to reconsider its position toward the Jewish state.

The internal Israeli election debate and election result corroborate what has been the case for some time: Israel reigns supreme in fomenting anti-Semitism as well as anti-Arab and anti-Muslim racism. The way Israel carries on is reaching such levels of obnoxiousness that even the EU seems to be reassessing its position toward Israeli conduct.

In 2012, Ha'aretz published the results of a poll mapping Israeli public opinion. The results cast aside any doubts some still might harbor on where the self-proclaimed Jewish state stands on support for apartheid and racism.

Over two-thirds of Jewish Israelis were of the opinion that 2.5 million Palestinians living in the West Bank should not be eligible to vote if the West Bank was illegally annexed by Israel. In plain English, more than two-thirds of Israeli Jews would give a stamp of approval to a certifiable and permanent apartheid regime if Israel were to formally annex the whole of the West Bank.

Majority of Israelis believe apartheid agains Palestinians is already in place. 66% are in favor of segregation.

Three out of four were in favor of the segregated roads system that Israel has built in the West Bank. 58% of Israeli Jews believed Israel already practices apartheid against Palestinians. A third want Arab citizens of Israel to be denied the right to vote in the country's parliamentary elections. Almost 60% say Jews should be given preference to Arabs in government jobs. 49% of Jewish Israelis say Jewish citizens should be treated better than Arabs. 42% would not want to live in the same building as Arabs nor that their children would go to school with Arabs.

Perhaps this public opinion climate was what Shimon Peres had in mind when he professed at Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony at Yad Vashem that “[e]very citizen of Israel, regardless of religion or race knows that Israel is, and will be the most anti-racist country in the world.”

Already in 2002, the Israeli human rights group B'Tselem which tends to be overly soft on Israeli conduct, stated the obvious:

“Israel has created in the Occupied Territories a regime of separation based on discrimination, applying two separate systems of law in the same area and basing the rights of individuals on their nationality. This regime is the only one of its kind in the world, and is reminiscent of distasteful regimes from the past, such as the Apartheid regime in South Africa.” (my Italics)

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter is one of many who has clarified that comparing Israel to South Africa under apartheid is, in some respects, an unfair analogy for South Africa. Carter has asserted that "Israel... perpetuates even worse instances of apartness, or apartheid, than we witnessed even in South Africa."

Israel ... perpetuates even worse instances of apartnes, or apartheid, than we witnessed in South Africa, said Jimmy Carter.

Given that the modus operandi of Israeli politik constitutes one of the most exorbitant manifestations of state-initiated, institutionalized discrimination to be found anywhere in the world, and that Israeli foreign policy is continuously risking a regional war, some elaboration should be devoted to pondering the implications of virulent claims that Israel and its leadership represents Jews as a whole.

Netanyahu, for example, proclaimed that “I went to Paris not just as the prime minister of Israel but as a representative of the entire Jewish people.” So what are we looking at?

Such formulations should not be understood merely as inaccurate and even more predictable hasbara - although this is a fair characterization - but also as statements which foment anti-Semitism. When those who are responsible for acts of brutality and crimes against humanity (think of tactics employed by the Islamic State and Al-Qaeda) or occupation-powered apartheid (the self-appointed Jewish state) claim they represent an entire religion or ethnic grouping, there will be those who believe them.

Any attempts to equalize Israeli criminal conduct with the Jewish faith and culture in all of its diversity and richness is an anti-Semitic slur which should not be tolerated in the slightest.

War criminals like Netanyahu do not represent the world Jewry, who did not vote for him and never will.

When looking at the tsunami of Islamophobia rampant in the EU, one cannot but notice how some of the rabid anti-Muslim bigots seem to be, beyond reasonable doubt, authentically and genuinely terrified at what they think is Islam. There are people who don't know better and take Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and Ayman al-Zawahiri at their word when they claim they are representing the Muslim faith. This is obviously but one of the many impetuses for racism, and it is possible that it is not the major one. But it is a factor nonetheless.

To counter anti-Semitism, all of us need to make it absolutely clear that Israeli war criminals like Netanyahu do not, by any stretch of the imagination, represent the world Jewry. He is the prime minister of the State of Israel. World Jewry did not vote for him and never will.

The archive: Bruno Jäntti, Middle East, Ramzy Baroud, Noam Chomsky, Robert Fisk, Moshé Machover


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