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A Challenge to Israel's Critics

by Carlos

August 1, 2004 - Efforts are underway to present to the United Nations General Assembly a resolution condemning anti-Semitism. The resolution would also condemn acts of intolerance, incitement, and harassment, and call upon member nations to take action to prevent anti-Semitism.

The Arab states are bitterly opposing this resolution and threatening to prevent it from coming to a vote. Arab representatives also attacked the United Nations seminar on anti-Semitism held last month.

The Jordanian ambassador complained that a resolution against anti-Semitism would support the tendency to label any criticism of Israel anti-Semitic. This charge has become an increasingly popular propaganda tactic to silence Israel's supporters: even the most overt expressions of anti-Semitism cannot be labeled as such, because Jews are no longer allowed to call anything anti-Semitic. The proposed resolution is not about Israel. It is about anti-Semitism. If even anti-Semitism cannot be called anti-Semitism, then by Arab logic anti-Semitism must not exist - even though it is epidemic throughout the Arab world.

The Moroccan ambassador complained that a condemnation of anti-Semitism would only divide the U.N. But isn't that what any stand against racism is meant to do, separate the racists from the non-racists?

The ambassador from the Arab League warned that a resolution condemning anti-Semitism would have a negative impact on the Middle East. So does supporting anti-Semitism have a positive impact?

The Arab states could hardly be more blunt in their defense of anti-Jewish racism. Now will Israel's critics, those who also passionately claim to reject racism and who repeatedly accuse Israel of practicing "apartheid," just as passionately condemn Arab anti-Semitism?

Sometimes silence speaks louder than words.


Shamir, Shlomo. "Arabs Shock Europeans, Refuse to Condemn Anti-Semitism." Haaretz, July 28, 2004.

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