Criticising Israel does not make you anti semitic

By Ben Cohen

The Hebrew poet Aharon Shabtai wrote:

And when it’s all over,

My dear, dear reader,

On which benches will we have to sit,

Those of us who shouted ‘Death to the Arabs!’

And those who claimed they ‘didn’t know’?

Half of my heritage is Jewish, and I am extremely proud of that fact. However, I am not proud of the state of Israel, and am disgusted that it claims to act on behalf of all Jews. It’s barbaric treatment of the Palestinian people is racist beyond belief, and worthy of serious attention in mainstream debate.

There has been a consistent effort in the United States to suppress criticism of Israel, by labeling those who speak out as anti semitic. Pro Israel supporters often use the holocaust as an excuse to wage war against Palestinians, justifying the occupation as a necessity for their own survival. It is a dishonest and morally repugnant argument.

Here is Barry Lando on why Israel should not get a pass on its behaviour:

By Barry Lando


I was reading through several news items last week on the Internet

about the appalling situation in Gaza, I received an e-mail alert from

my wife. It had been forwarded to her by a Parisian friend who is an

expert in Orientalist art; she had received it from a well-known French

television actress.

According to the alert, courses in England about the Shoah

had just been withdrawn from British schools because they “shocked the

Muslim population which denies the existence of the Holocaust.”

The e-mail continued, “This is a frightening portent of the fear

that is gripping the world and how easily each country is giving into


“Now, more than ever, with Iran, among others, claiming the Holocaust

to be ‘a myth,’ it is imperative to make sure the world never forgets.

This e-mail is intended to reach 40 million people worldwide!

“Join us and be a link in the memorial chain and help us distribute it around the world.”

My attention was now torn from the plight of the Palestinians in Gaza

and shifted to the charge that British schools had just stopped

teaching the Holocaust.

My curiosity piqued—I hadn’t heard that news about Britain—I went to,

a Web site that examines such charges. The story, it turned out, first

appeared in April 2007, not last week; according to the site, the

report was also wildly inaccurate.

The truth was that “One history department in a northern UK city

stopped teaching about the Holocaust because it wished to avoid

confronting anti-Semitic sentiment and Holocaust denial among some

Muslim pupils.”

That fact was originally disseminated in a government-sponsored

study—a study which was then grossly misreported by a British newspaper

to indicate that, rather than in just one history department in the

northern UK, Holocaust studies had been terminated across the country.

That error was further magnified by a British group which launched a

worldwide alarm on the Internet with the headline: “Recently, this

week, UK removed The Holocaust from its school curriculum. … “

The group made an urgent plea for a global “chain of memory”—the

same plea that my wife had just forwarded to me. In other words, nine

months later it was still careening around the Internet.

To read the full article, click here.

Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.