Dealing with Accusations of Anti-Semitism


Canada is in the midst of yet another debate on anti-Semitism. This time, the uproar was spurred by statements made by David Ahenakew a native leader and recipient of the Order of Canada. Mr. Ahenakew’s statement that Hitler was right “to fry 6 million of those guys because they were taking over” is disgusting and his membership in the Order of Canada should be withdrawn immediately. However, I can no longer contain my resentment over the endless superficial and pointless discussions, interviews and opinions on “growing anti-Semitism”.

One particular dialogue on CBC radio left me steaming for days. Upon sitting down and analysing the reason for my anger I concluded that it is not so much what was said as what was not said that disturbed me. The idea put forward by one of the participants that since most Jews are Zionists, one cannot claim to be anti-Zionist without being anti-Semitic. Neither the host nor the other two participants in the discussion saw fit to challenge this opinion. This idea must be challenged in the strongest terms each and every time it is put forth. IT IS NOT RACIST TO OPPOSE A RACIST IDEOLOGY. If it is true that most Jews are Zionists they must be re-educated to abandon this ideology. It is not up to the rest of the country to accept it.

As usual in this type of discussion one is made to feel that Jews are more victimized than other groups or that anti-Semitism is somehow more abhorrent than other forms of racism. Although reference was made to bomb threats against Synagogues and Jewish Schools, there was not one reference to threats made to Mosques and the current hate literature being published on Muslims and Arabs by the Zionist controlled media.

Typically, only one participant touched upon what he referred to as “the situation in the Middle East in regards to Palestinians”. I suppose this vague statement was intended to raise the issue of a possible link between rising anti-Semitism and the Israeli policies in the West Bank and Gaza. Policies that include 24 hour curfews for months, home demolitions, destruction of ancient olive groves, roadblocks that prevent access to education, jobs and healthcare and total disregard for over 65 United Nations Resolutions. The rank hypocrisy of talking about offensive WORDS, no-matter how stupid, racist and ignorant, in regards to Jews and the Holocaust while ignoring what is actually HAPPENING to Palestinians right NOW must surely be offensive to any intelligent listener.

The Zionists supporters will argue that Israel is held to higher standards that other nations. But Israel proclaims itself to be a bastion of freedom, democracy and justice. Nations like Israel, Canada, the United States and Britain, should be held to higher standards than developing countries with undemocratic governments and large uneducated populations.

There can be no discussion regarding growing anti-Semitism without consideration of the Israeli apartheid system imposed on Palestinians. Although I am not of Arab background, my anger at this injustice in intense. Fortunately it is tempered by age and experience. My parents often repeated to me that there are good and bad in every race: time has proven them right. I have also had the good fortune of becoming acquainted with Jews who see the injustices being perpetrated on Palestinians. Since a young age I have turned to writing when I am sad or angry.

What of the children of people of Arab descent? Both Canada and the U.S. have a substantial Arab and Muslim populations whose sympathies clearly lie with Palestinians. How is the testosterone charged teenager of Arab descent going to react to news that 8 year old children of a group he identifies with, are being shot for throwing rocks at tanks or sometimes just shot in the back? What is this kid going to do when he hears lengthy discussions about anti-Semitism on radio and television and nothing about the crimes committed against his own kind? I can bet it will not be to write. Talk of anti-Semitism without looking at the context may be a way to fill air time without generating the ire of B’nai B’rith but in no way contributes to reducing anti-Semitism. Real solutions come as a result of discussion by an informed public. There is no winning through suppression of information and discussion. You can only keep the lid on the pressure cooker for so long before it blows up.

Since my early teens I have heard in reference to the Holocaust that “It must not happen again”. This is a wise statement that has become part of our moral fibre. But “It” is happening again – to Palestinians. Sympathy for Jews and revulsion for Hitler and the Holocaust must not be carried beyond the bonds of logic. It must end when the victim becomes the oppressor, otherwise we have learned nothing.

The pro-Israeli camp is quick to point out that Arabs are not sufficiently critical of Palestinian suicide attacks on Israeli’s but how often does one hear Jews condemning the Israeli policies of aggression on the entire Palestinian population. I blame the media for this as much as Jews because I know that there are Jews who passionately condemn and actively oppose Israeli apartheid. By giving air time to the whining Zionists with their preposterous precepts and not the to “left-wing” Jews who oppose the policies of the war criminal Ariel Sharon and his ilk , the media is contributing to anti-Semitism AND condoning the racist Zionist policies which are completely irreconcilable with our values of freedom and equality.

LINDA BELANGER can be reached at: Belalin54@hotmail.com


Weekend Edition
November 27-29, 2015
Andrew Levine
The Real Trouble With Bernie
Gary Leupp
Ben Carson, Joseph in Egypt, and the Attack on Rational Thought
John Whitbeck
Who’s Afraid of ISIS?
Michael Brenner
Europe’s Crisis: Terror, Refugees and Impotence
Ramzy Baroud
Forget ISIS: Humanity is at Stake
Pepe Escobar
Will Chess, Not Battleship, Be the Game of the Future in Eurasia?
Vijay Prashad
Showdown on the Syrian Border
Dave Lindorff
Gen. John Campbell, Commander in Afghanistan and Serial Liar
Colin Todhunter
Class, War and David Cameron
Jean Bricmont
The Ideology of Humanitarian Imperialism
Dan Glazebrook
Deadliest Terror in the World: the West’s Latest Gift to Africa
Mark Hand
Escape From New York: the Emancipation of Activist Cecily McMillan
Karl Grossman
Our Solar Bonanza!
Mats Svensson
Madness in Hebron: Hashem Had No Enemies, Yet Hashem Was Hated
Walter Brasch
Terrorism on American Soil
Louisa Willcox
Grizzly Bears, Dreaming and the Frontier of Wonder
Michael Welton
Yahweh is Not Exactly Politically Correct
Joseph Natoli
A Politics of Stupid and How to Leave It Behind
John Cox
You Should Fear Racism and Xenophobia, Not Syrian Refugees or Muslims
Barrie Gilbert
Sacrificing the Grizzlies of Katmai: the Plan to Turn Brooks Camp Into a Theme
Rev. William Alberts
The Church of “Something Else” in “an Ecclesiastical Desert”
Andrew Gavin Marshall
Bank Crimes Pay
Elliot Murphy
Cameron’s Syrian Strategy
Thomas S. Harrington
Jeff Jacoby of the Boston Globe and the Death of Ezra Schwartz
Gareth Porter
How Terror in Paris Calls for Revising US Syria Policy
Michael Perino
The Arc of Instability
Yves Engler
Justin Trudeau and Canada’s Mining Industry
Tom H. Hastings
ISIS and Changing the Game
Lars Jørgensen
Vive la Résistance
John Halle
A Yale Education as a Tool of Power and Privilege
Norman Pollack
Syrian “Civil War”?: No, A Proxy War of Global Confrontation
Sheldon Richman
Let the Refugees In
James Anderson
Reframing Black Friday: an Imperative for Déclassé Intellectuals
Simon Bowring
UN Climate Talks 2009: a Merger of Interest and Indifference
Ron Jacobs
Rosa Luxemburg–From Street Organizer to Street Name
Aidan O'Brien
Same-Sex Sellout in Ireland
David Stocker
Report from the Frontline of Resistance in America
Patrick Bond
China Sucked Deeper Into World Financial Vortex and Vice Versa, as BRICS Sink Fast
Majd Isreb
America’s Spirit, Syrian Connection
James A Haught
The Values of Jesus
Binoy Kampmark
British Austerity: Cutting One’s Own Backyard
Ed Rampell
45 Years: A Rumination on Aging
Charles R. Larson
Chronicle of Sex Reassignment Surgery: Juliet Jacques’s “Trans: a Memoir”
Jeffrey St. Clair - Alexander Cockburn
CounterPunch’s Favorite Films
November 26, 2015
Ashley Nicole McCray – Lawrence Ware
Decolonizing the History of Thanksgiving