Fred Maroun
Fred Maroun

Still proud and safe in their antisemitism

“Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia) has dismissed reports that one of its planes had landed at Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv. A picture of the plane with the Saudia livery was circulated on social media to support the claim. However, Saudia Spokesman Abdul Rahman Al Tayeb said that the photo did not reflect the reality on the ground and the allegations were pure fabrications”, wrote Gulf News.

As my friend Nadiya Al-Noor wrote, “There is no pride in antisemitism”, but Arabs did not get the memo. Sixty nine years after Israel declared its independence, Arabs are still afraid to be seen as having anything to do with Israel, and that bigotry is deeply rooted in antisemitism.

Anti-Israel protests, including supposedly pro-LGBT marches, are rife with antisemitism. As Nadiya wrote, “in these protests, Jews are always targeted”. As if to prove her point, shortly after her article was published, organizers of the Chicago’s Dyke March kicked out Jews from the march for carrying a Jewish version of the pride flag (a Star of David over the rainbow flag). Apparently the flags “made people feel unsafe”…

But antisemitism at anti-Israel protests, and at protests infiltrated by anti-Israel mobs, is not surprising. It is not surprising because those people are defending anti-Zionism, an ideology born from antisemitism and anchored in the Arab world’s antisemitism.

According to an Anti-Defamation League global survey in 2014, the ten most antisemitic countries in the world are all part of the Arab world. The Arab world, which had almost a million Jews six decades ago, now has practically none. “From Egypt to Syria to Libya to Yemen, state-sanctioned pogroms descended on Jewish neighborhoods, killing innocents and destroying ancient synagogues and Jewish cemeteries”, wrote Ron Prosor.

Arabs who have any sense of morality are embarrassed by our record on antisemitism, and they are actively seeking to reform the Arab world. Sadly there are not many such Arabs. The vast majority of Arabs are either proud to be antisemitic or consider it too unimportant to require any attention. Much like Germans who knew what their Nazi government was doing to Jews but remained silent.

As Dan McMillan explained in his book “How Could This Happen: Explaining the Holocaust”, German indifference towards the fate of Jews developed for a number of reasons, one of them being that Jews were slowly separated from the rest of the German population. For non-Jewish Germans, Jews became dehumanized.

By getting rid of its Jews, the Arab world was better able to maintain and intensify its antisemitism. The vast majority of Arabs have never met a Jew in real life, but they have all seen many biased and fabricated reports that portray Israelis as monsters. To them, a Jew is an IDF soldier kicking a Palestinian child, never mind that the picture was either fabricated or out of context.

Even among Arabs and other anti-Zionists who live in the West, many do not meet real Jews but submissive Jews in the form of groups such Jewish Voice for Peace (“which is actually anything but”, as Nidiya wrote). They have convinced themselves that those Jews, i.e., Jews who hate being Jews, are the real Jews.

So when Arabs and other anti-Zionists encounter Jews who are proud to be Jews, such as the Jews who were kicked out of the Chicago Dyke March, they become angry and afraid that their carefully constructed web of self-delusion will come crumbling down. The reason they say that encountering proud Jews makes them “feel unsafe” is because their web of hatred is suddenly unsafe.

But no one should feel safe in being an antisemite. No one should be proud to be an antisemite. Most Arabs, however, are both, and so are their anti-Zionist acolytes.

The anti-Israel movement is an antisemitic mob whose single-minded aim is the denial of the Jewish right to self-determination, the denial of Jewish dignity, and the denial of any trace of Jewish pride.

The notion that the anti-Israel movement is concerned about the Palestinians is a sham. The movement’s aim is not the creation of a Palestinian state (which could have easily been achieved at any time since the withdrawal of the British in May 1948) but a “free Palestine” – a code word for the destruction of Israel and its replacement with a Palestine free of Jews other than the submissive kind.

About the Author
Fred Maroun is a Canadian of Arab origin who lived in Lebanon until 1984, including during 10 years of civil war. Fred supports Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state, and he supports the Palestinians' right to self-determination in their own state. Fred supports a liberal and democratic Middle East where all religions and nationalities, including Palestinians, can co-exist in peace with each other and with Israel, and where human rights are respected. Fred is an atheist, a social liberal, and an advocate of equal rights for LGBT people everywhere.
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