Monday, January 31, 2011

Does hating Israel make one Anti-Semitic?

[More linked articles added on February 2, 2011]

From Haartz Newspaper (read the full article here):

Israel urges world to curb criticism of Egypt's Mubarak

Jerusalem seeks to convince its allies that it is in the West's interest to maintain the stability of the Egyptian regime.

By Barak Ravid
Israel called on the United States and a number of European countries over the weekend to curb their criticism of President Hosni Mubarak to preserve stability in the region.

Jerusalem seeks to convince its allies that it is in the West's interest to maintain the stability of the Egyptian regime. The diplomatic measures came after statements in Western capitals implying that the United States and European Union supported Mubarak's ouster.
So, if an Egyptian knows this, and hates Israel, does that make them anti-Semites?

Let me word that differently.

If I were a country that claimed to represent Jews, and I tried to stop others from not-supporting the government that tortured you, killed you children, stole your money and incited sectarian violence within your community, then you hated me: does that make you anti-Semite?

And if protesters who think that Mubarak is an Israeli agent (as they suggest in the photo) are correct, would Mubarak hater be anti-Semitic too?

Can't wait to hear how the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) answers that question, although I have a pretty good idea what their answer would be.


Also see:
More recently added articles more Israel Lobby efforts to discredit pro-democracy efforts in Egypt:


  1. To heck with postmodern revision and deconstruction in definition. By 'hating' you mean opposed; and yes that is anti-semetic. Opposing Jews is anti-semetic...plain and simple.

  2. Mubarak must go and Israel must be ready because he is an agent of Israel. He helps in the suffering of the Palestinians. Time for peace and we now know that the bully is now scared.

  3. Israel is just interested in maintaining the peace of agreement with Egypt. Its in a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" situation. If Israel supported the protests and they overthrow Mubarak, the new government would probably renege on the peace treaty. Are you really surprised that a nation cares after its interests? The Egyptian government oppressed its own people for decades before it made peace with Israel and it would have continued to do so even if it didn't.

    I think you are overestimating Israel's ability to influence what the West says to Egypt.

  4. There is an article by Noam Sheizaf at +972 blog and quote that more accurately describes how Israeli thinks of Mubarak: "Mubarak was simply the person you do business with."

  5. Michael W:
    I am not sure whether it is conscious or sub-conscious, but you are simply making Hasbara talking point statements (for those who do not, Hasbara is the 'official' pro-Israel explanations and justifications - i.e., propaganda - that many pro-Israel individuals and groups resort to in order to maintain pro-Israel tone in the media.

    I am not saying you intentionally are doing that, but this is how it looks.

    I do not want to prolong this, but for your own sake, let me re-re-word my questions: If Israel's 'stability and well fare' is promoted by Israel at the expense and well being of my people and their freedom, would hating Israel make one anti-Semitic?

    I hope you realize that it is a rhetorical question. I do not expect you to answer it. I just hope that you may see it from the point of view of non-Israeli.

    Also, that if the stability of the Middle East people in the future comes at the expense of Israeli freedom and security or even existence), I hope you will be equally 'understanding' of their position. They just want stability in the region for themselves, right?

  6. Khaled,

    I'm quoting someone from +972 blog. They are the hard Left Israeli activists. This isn't Hasbara.

    I don't think the current Egyptian protesters are concerned about what Israeli is doing diplomatically right now. You are confusing long held anti-Israel and anti-Jewish views among the Egyptian populace with your own reasonable (but irrelevant to Egyptian current events) criticism of an insignificant diplomatic action by Israel.

    Israel's recent diplomatic action doesn't jeopardizes Egyptian security or existence. It is on the other hand, a minor hinder to the protesters campaign for freedom.

    You include a picture of Mubarak with a Magen David on it. It's not really an anti-Israel poster. The Jewish symbol has long been a symbol of negative sentiment in the Arab world. Domestic issues are on the Egyptian minds right now, not Israel.

    You are misrepresenting the debate of whether any or some criticism of Israel can be considered antisemitic. You present one reasonable criticism of a minor and temporary Israeli action without actually presenting a criticism of Israel that some "Hasbarists" have an issue with. Israelis aren't really offended by your current criticism of Israel's diplomatic move. Just don't connect it to a debate that it doesn't belong to.

    Thanks for letting me voice my opinion.

  7. One thing I know (and every friend and relative in Egypt and from Egypt expresses): the uprising is not about Israel or US. I never said that, and I do not know where you got that. I think I know enough about Egypt - current and past - to let me know that.

    The whole point of the posting (that you insist on missing altogether) was to show the negative contribution of Israel to what happens in the Arab world. Responding to subversive Israeli efforts (this and others over the years, without going on tangents) is a good enough reason to have strong negative feelings about Israel for good reasons, and not out of antisemitism.
    One last note: One knows Hasbara by the content, not by the political label of those who say it - right wing or left wing.

    Defacing Mubarak's face with the star of David (as a symbol of Israel, not of Judaism) was meant in the few instances to express how much those demonstrators think that the dictator - like an agent of a foreign county - never cared about Egypt. I think you and I seem to agree on that interpretation.

  8. Khaled,

    You should really visit the +972 blog. I would estimate that 90% of Likudniks (and other right wing party members) would characterize that blog as anti-Israel, therefore not Hasbarist, but a nuanced commentary on all things Israeli.

    "Negative feelings" didn't start with the Israeli action in question. I agree with you that this is a reasonable grievance, but not a significant one. Isolated, this is not something one should feel strongly about.

    Has anyone ever claimed that it was antisemitic to criticize Israel's recent back-room diplomatic move? That's the false premise I was bothered about.

    You may be right about the Star of David (Magen David actually means - Shield of David), but a common conspiracy in Egypt and other Arab countries is that the Jews (or Israel) control the US, and much of the world.

    I agree with you that Mubarak doesn't care about Egypt. But who was the last Egyptian leader that did? Nasser perhaps? You know better than me on this so please educate. I do know this, Egypt had dictators before Mubarak became an "agent" of Israel and it wasn't Israel that put him in power. Also, Israel isn't the one keeping him in power so there is no need to act up on Israel. Even the well armed Egyptian army isn't the one keeping him in power because they aren't cracking down on the protests like in Iran.

  9. Michael W:
    I think we need to bring this to a conclusion.
    The +972Mag looks interesting and I added it to my regular follow up list.

    The disproportionate influence of Israel and its lobby in the US is not an Arab conspiracy, and if you cannot see it, you may need to re-adjust to perspective.

    For 20 years I have been i North America, pro-Israel forces (some Jewish and some is not) have exerted their major successes by many tools and that is a testimony to their skill and understanding of the culture and the political system: Networking, political campaign financing, media savviness, etc. I do not blame them for any of that. These are options that are available to many groups.

    One thing I will not forgive them for, is the dirty game of scaring people of Arabs and Muslims by planting irrational fears for decades using every tool possible: Hollywood movies, hand picked news from the middle east, sponsoring shady and criminal figures of the so-called ex-terrorists and fake 'islamic' reformer that suddenly become experts of Arab and Islamic culture, anti-academic freedom campaign (a la Pipes and Deshowitz) that destroyed the careers and lives of many American 'middle east' academics that disagreed with the prevalent pro-Israel interpretation of the world.

    Another dirty game was their unlimited support of dictators on the middle east after spreading fear that their fall will mean rampant terrorism and apocalyptic anti-civilization societies, while in most cases they were exclusively worried about a less convenient existence for the nuclear equipped and highly militarized Israel.

    I will never forgive them for the kind of systematic Arab-phobia and Islamophobia they encouraged and propagated in the US. It affected lives of Arabs and Muslims in the US (like myself) extensively, and made it very difficult to promote democracy in the middle east under the guise of "the dictator we know is better than democracy for those 'inherently evil hateful' people over there".

    If you do not see that, then we will have to agree to disagree. More and more people in the US and the West are seeing it.

    Arabs and Muslims everywhere know that their dictators may have not been planted by Israel and the US, but pro-Israel propaganda for decades and American material support for dictators for similar decades have contribute a lot to the difficulty of getting Arab and Muslim societies to evolve in a natural way, and has directly been a factor in development in extreme and fringe group that became the only way to resist repressive police regimes.

    I think that should be the end of this discourse for now. I enjoy 'debating' with you, even thought we frequently seem to singing to different tunes.

  10. Khaled,

    Have you been to an airport lately? Just kidding.

    Have you seen the FBI hate crime statistics based on religion? Jews are still target number one.

    That was my last comment. Thanks.