By Philip Weiss
Maybe you saw that a top minister in Israel's government accused John Kerry, the US secretary of state, of anti-Semitism?‘ John Kerry made the mistake of saying that if only Israel made peace with the Palestinians, that would out down on extremism in the region. From Haaretz:
Economy Minister Naftali Bennett attacked U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry over his comments Friday connecting the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and extremism in the Middle East.
“It turns out that even when a British Muslim decapitates a British Christian, there will always be someone to blame the Jew," he said.
Here are Kerry's original remarks, on Thursday:
As I went around and met with people in the course of our discussions about the ISIL coalition, the truth is we — there wasn't a leader I met with in the region who didn’t raise with me spontaneously the need to try to get peace between Israel and the Palestinians, because it was a cause of recruitment and of street anger and agitation that they felt — and I see a lot of heads nodding — they had to respond to. And people need to understand the connection of that. And it has something to do with humiliation and denial and absence of dignity
Bennett's accusation is not singular. As Israel grows more isolated in world opinion in the Wake of the Gaza slaughter, the anti-Semitism charge is being thrown around in a new way, at a new crowd. It’s now slung whenever westerners are too critical of Israel.
Ari Shavit, the writer who's a darling of liberal Zionists, accused westerners of anti-Semitism at the end of the Gaza onslaught:
“In the ﬁnal week of the war in Gaza this summer that took the lives of 72 Israelis and more than 2100 Palestinians, Shavit wrote that strong objection to Israeli conduct was illegitimate and amounted to anti-Semitic bigotry: ‘We're a tiny minority nation under attack, and sweeping criticism of this nation is like sweeping criticism of the black, gay or Yazidi minority.” —Nathan Thrall in the London Review of Books.
A very similar charge was made by Matti Friedman, a former AP reporter in Jerusalem,
who accused international media, including American outlets, of anti-Semitism for the way they told the story of the Gaza onslaught, as being Israel’s fault, when the real story was that Israel was taking on Hamas just as the US is taking on ISIS. At On the Media [minute 5):
What were seeing is extremely critical coverage of the actions of the Israeli government, and I would argue that this [alleged media] interest in the holy land — I think that there’s a very thin line between that and development of a hostile obsession with the moral failings off Jews, which as we know is a very deep thought pattern in the west.