Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Is Israel responsible for anti-Semitism in other countries? 

Tony Judt promotes that idea in The Nation:
Zionists have always insisted that there is no distinction between the Jewish people and the Jewish state. The latter offers a right of citizenship to Jews anywhere in the world. Israel is not the state of all its citizens, much less all its residents; it is the state of (all) Jews. Its leaders purport to speak for Jews everywhere. They can hardly be surprised when their own behavior provokes a backlash against...Jews.

Andrew's guest blogger destroys him here.
But in its ethnic-national identity, Israel is like other nation-states. Jacques Chirac, for example, speaks routinely "on behalf of the French people." As one can see from this collection of statements by heads of state, that's the norm. Jiang Zemin purports to represent not only the Chinese government, but also the Chinese people. As Time has reported, Vicente Fox "has said that he intends to be President to 'all Mexicans' — at home and abroad."

But nobody thinks that their political disagreements with President Fox is a good reason to burn down a bodega in Chicago.

Judt's essay is a fairly shocking example of the degree to which Europe has become anti-Israeli and, in my opinion, anti-Semitic. Like almost all such tracts, it blames the victims.


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