Letter to the Editor

Re: Letter to the Editor (4/3/06)

Dear Editor:

Mr. Sim Prystowsky is entitled to his opinion and so are all publications, whether print or on-line, including Harvard Square Observer and its editors.
If anywhere in the world it had been a non-Jewish state, such as an Afrikaner one, that had recently originated in the recent movement to and takeover of a region of the Third World, such as in Palestine, including the displacement of its people and refusal of their return, history would have proceeded exactly as it already has, with the same western criticism, regional hostility, and Palestinian resistance, including even the same loathsome terrorism against what would have been the NON-Jews who had done it.

Therefore, moreover, the indigenous terrorism against Israel logically is not and cannot be against Jews, per se, but against people perceived as foreigners who are only happen to be Jewish, and which would happen against them just as much against them if they were Afrikaner.  "Terrorism against Jews" therefore is an inflammatory phrase that gets it wrong: It is loathsome terrorism against Israelis, loathsome terrorism against innocent civilians among the usurpers and occupiers of Palestine, whether they had been Evangelical, Afrikaner, American, Israeli or anyone else. So it is impossible to see the logic of the view that any of this could stem from  anti-Semitic prejudice.

In fact it would even seem to be the opposite: Criticism of Israel throughout the West has been softened and attenuated because of Israel's Jewishness, as can be seen in comparison of the West's boycott of South Africa with the West's complete bottom-line support for Israel and indeed America's famed "special relationship" with it.

In a decisively instructive contrast, if it had been  non-Jews, such as Afrikaners or Evangelicals, who had been the ones who had done what had been committed against historical Palestine, world criticism and action against such NON-Jews would be unconstrained and unlimited.

Apologists for South Africa's Western Apartheid made the same (basically four-step) argument that Mr. Prystowsky implicitly does now for Israel's -- that (1) Apartheid South Africa was "the only democracy in the Black African world"; that (2)  the Black African world consisted of failed and corrupt and authoritarian Third World societies; that (3) blacks in Apartheid South Africa lived better than blacks in the Black African World; -- and, therefore, (4) Hurrah for Western Apartheid South Africa. These apologetics were firmly and implacably rejected by the liberal West.
But Mr. Prystowsky now appears to make exactly the same rejected apologetics for Western Apartheid Israel.

The liberal west, antipodally from being prejudiced or anti-Semitic, considers Zionism's main tragedy to be that the theft of Palestine reversed what had become the post-World War II decline and loss of the "social acceptability" of anti-Semitism.  To liberalism the tragic high-handed way Zionism took over most of historical Palestine has regenerated anti-Semitism, in much the same way that apartheid in South Africa generated an anti-Afrikanerism against that people and  its language and culture.  The liberal west notes that anti-Afrikanerism nearly disappeared with the disappearance of the Afrikaner program of enforced displacement and apartheid

All this leads liberalism to believe that, with the disappearance of Israel's own broadly analogous system of ethnic- and religious- and refugee- and demographics- based social engineering, there would resume the long natural and wholesome course of decline of anti-Semitism, and so bring a hopeful future to all people of historical Palestine, and bring a newfound secure and hopeful future around the world to the Jewish people.

Now of course something may be found wanting about this liberal view.  But fact and logic show this view to be both opposing and at the opposite pole from anti-Semitism, and in fact vigorous opposition to all prejudice including anti-Semitism to stand firmly at the foundation and heart of it.

James Adler

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