Israel and Antisemitism
The following article, put up by user "koshersalaami" on the Salon forum, addresses an issue that has been bedeveling people for a long time.
To what extent does Israel’s conduct create antisemitism?
I think Israel exacerbates and magnifies anti-Semitism but I don’t think Israel actually creates much of it. Why do I think this?
Let’s get one thing out of the way first: I don’t like the current Israeli government at all. I think that the West Bank settlements are a terrible idea and should either be closed or other land should be traded for them. I think there is a big opportunity at the moment caused by unusual moderation on the West Bank while we’re seeing extremism out of Gaza from Hamas (where there are zero settlements); the best way to undermine Hamas is to play nice with Fatah on the West Bank so that the Gazans see that moderation has serious advantages and eventually throw Hamas out. As often happens, this is an opportunity ignored by Israel’s Likud leadership. I think that the Palestinian State must be given a corner of Jerusalem to put a capital in for the simple reason that a deal that isn’t good for both sides isn’t good for either in the long run because the disadvantaged party will perpetually undermine the agreement instead of supporting it. I think that the ultra-Orthodox have too much policy control in Israel and it is, in the long run, bad news. (The arrest of women for worshipping with a Torah at the Kotel – Western Wall – was a travesty.) I don’t think it’s appropriate any more for the Haredim (ultra-Orthodox) to be free of the obligation of military service on the grounds that they’re studying Torah – given how many of them there are now, we’ve gone from protecting a function to giving too many privileges to what has turned into a sizeable minority and encouraging both segregation and irresponsibility. I think that Muslims who are Israeli citizens are still treated less than equally – in terms of details like inferior trash collection in their neighborhoods – and that there is zero reason for this crap; also, Avigdor Lieberman’s suggestion that Israeli Muslims should be forced to make loyalty oaths is a fantastic idea if what you want to accomplish is to make their loyalty dependent on oaths. I think if the Israeli government can afford it, some reparations to Palestinians forced out in 1948 would be helpful in spite of the fact that no Arab nation has offered reparations to Jews forced out in the aftermath of Israel’s founding, just because such reparations to Palestinians is likely to help any agreement stick, which is in everyone’s best interests.
Neither the Israelis nor the Palestinians are going anywhere. A failure to acknowledge this doesn’t constitute good policy and can’t lead anywhere good but there are a few bad places it can lead, none of where Israel wants to be, like turning into a real apartheid state (as opposed to phony accusations of being there already) or losing its Jewish majority.