Why I’m not blogging on the Middle East


I have Jewish and Palestinian friends. None of them have any burn­ing desire to exterm­in­ate the oth­ers, it’s a shame the opin­ion doesn’t seem to be spread­ing. Contrary to received wis­dom in some quar­ters it is pos­sible to cri­ti­cise the Israeli offens­ive without being anti-semitic. Borrowing from Savage Minds, cri­ti­cism of Israel’s actions in the Occupied Territories and Lebanon is only auto­mat­ic­ally anti-semitic if you think:

  • Current Israeli policy is the only pos­sible policy the state of Israel can hold.
  • The cur­rent state of Israel is the only pos­sible form of Zionism.
  • Zionism is the only pos­sible form of Judaism.

If you don’t accept all three steps, for instance if you have the view that Jews can live out­side of Israel then it is pos­sible to cri­ti­cise without auto­mat­ic­ally being a neo-nazi.

But, as Jeremy Stangroom poin­ted out the dif­fi­culty in cri­ti­cising Israeli policy is this kind of thing.

(pic­ture of a protestor’s plac­ard with photo of a dead child and a remark­ably stu­pid cap­tion below the fold)
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