Jewish blogger Suzanne Aabel slams anti-Semitic attitudes in Norway
lifted from vg.no
Anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism are two very different things, according to many critics of Israel. I’m not sure this holds true.
Suzanne Aabel, blogger and social commentator
In the wake of last few weeks war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza an old recognizable whiff of hatred, contempt and good old-fashioned anti-Semitism has flared up throughout Europe. Norway is by no means an exception.
I have tried to explain this in different forums with carefully chosen words and to the best of my abilities, but despite that I emphatically state that being critical of Israel is not synonymous with being a Jew hater, there are indications that some of the critics suffer of a more or less conscious or unconscious contempt for the Jewish people – and not just the Israeli government or army. Had this been the case, the Israelis wound not consistently be referred to as “Jews”. I have not heard the Palestinians being referred to as “Muslims”.
Israel is, despite those who might think otherwise the only democracy in the Middle East. And with democracy comes freedom of religion. Israel is the world’s only Jewish state, but the country is also populated by Christians, Muslims, Scientologists, Buddhists, New Agers and the list is long. The ability to practice other religions than Islam in neighboring countries is slowly but surely becoming impossible. If Hamas got what they wanted, Israel had never existed and Palestine had been the world’s first “judenfreie” country.
My point is that this means that the Israeli army is not a pure Jewish army. Christians, Muslims and Jews fight together against Hamas. Conscription in Israel is not reserved for Jews. The rest of the world Jewish population is not responsible for the fighting Israel now is conducting in Gaza.
The result of the fighting is unfortunately once again an overwhelming number of civilian deaths, and a media coverage that forgets the rest of the world immediately and publishes head lines upon head lines on bloody Palestinian children and grieving women and men left in ruins without anything left. Israel has done this before, and the result is always the same. A fruitless, merciless and grotesque tactic. The world is going crazy and the civilian population in Gaza has once again drawn the shortest straw.
So thus it is confirmed. Any person with soul and empathy is sickened by the pictures from Gaza. And since we ignore what goes on in the rest of the world when Israel and Hamas are at war, we are sickened by watching what the Israelis do to the Palestinians this summer.
Not losing the balance.
It is not impossible for me to understand that many may find it difficult to distinguish a Jew from an Israeli. Many Jews are Zionists and feel that Israel is their home and heart even though they do not live there. All Jews in the world have the opportunity to obtain Israeli citizenship. Judaism is not just a religion, but Jews are also a people. Yes, there’s a lot to keep track of. Therefore, one should also watch your step when you try describe this conflict.
In France there is a large Arab population. The protests against the war in Gaza has gone off its hinges in that country, to put it mildly. A few days ago, two Jewish shops were torched and destroyed during a protest against Israel. A group of Jews who had been in the synagogue for worship, were surrounded and trapped by radical Islamists who stood outside and burned Israeli flags and threatened with violence. This happened just outside Paris.
In Brussels, three people were killed in a Jewish museum. In New York, a Jewish man killed and stuffed in a container by “anti-Zionists”. In Norway, friends who don a kippah, receive well-meaning advice to use caps instead of the Jewish head covering as it may provoke others. One man has been called a “Jewpig” . Another has received threats on the phone from strangers. The children of friends of mine have been beaten with sticks in the classroom, Swastikas have been drawn on the black board while others have wrapped toilet paper around the arms, while marching around the classroom with the right arm stretched out. As the mother of this child said: “The Sixth graders do not do that by themselves. They have been taught at home. ”
So what is it that triggers this anger in people? It is totally exhausting to think about. Every time I have hinted in social media that the burning commitment for precisely this conflict and not others larger and more deadly wars around the world is illogical to me, it does not take long before someone gets all angry. They demand to know what I am suggesting.
Well, now I’ve said it out loud. There is not one, but ten huge pink elephants in the room and they are not anti-Zionist. They are anti-Semitic.
And I’ll say it once again: No sane Jew suspects someone who is critical of what goes on in Israel’s extreme right side, and now too in Gaza to be an anti-Semite. But it’s in the cards: It’s going on in Europe now is not just about taking distance from Israel’s war. Fascism in Eastern Europe is advancing at full speedl and pro-Palestinian groups struggle at times to distinguish between religion and politics. A very important distinction, at such.
And once you’re talking about card: My opponents have two, three favorite arguments when I upset them; according to some people I pull the Jew card, the anti-Semitism card not to mention the most forbidden card of all: the Holocaust card.
I’d really like to know what the heck these “cards” are?
As a Jewish woman in Oslo supporting Israel, but who also is against war, occupation and bloodshed I reject accusations of abusing the fact that ninety percent of my mother’s family died in Auschwitz. Six million Jews died in Europe just over 70 years ago and Norway let it happen. To accuse Jews who feel they are being harassed in 2014 of exploiting this in order to glean sympathy is in itself is anti-Semitic.
Contempt of Jews sits looser than one might have thought was possible taking into consideration what European history has to show. If you would not recognise, or see what I describe happening around you you, I can assure you that non-Jews as s rule do not experience anti-Semitism.
This perpetual tumor, we have the great honor of having to carry around. Completely on our own.