Israel will find it hard to prevail in the face of intellectual antisemitism - opinion

by Ben-Dror Yemini
April 8, 2022
Read the original post on the website ynetnews.

Just one day after the deadly terror attack in Be'er Sheva, where four civilians were killed and several others wounded, the Middle East Studies Association (MESA) announced their decision to ratify the Boycott Divest, Sanction (BDS) resolution.

If we seek to understand why antisemitic, jihadist terror is alive and kicking, we need only to remember that it has the support of integral parts of Western academia.

The BDS remains the propaganda wing and the intellectual arm of terrorism aimed against Israel.

Many terror groups operated in recent years all over the world. From the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia to the Irish Republican Army (IRA). Most of these groups are no longer active but Islamist terror is, and it is growing.

Upwards of a quarter of a million people have been murdered by jihadists in the past two decades.

Not all movements and groups among the jihadis are the same, but they all share the hope for an Islamic califate that must ultimately rule the world, and destroy of Israel, to be followed by subsequent annihilation of all Jews.

Prominent Sunni religious authority Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, in one of his recent sermons called for his flock to finish what "Hitler had started".

Iran-backed Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah said that it was good that Jews congregated in Israel because "there will be no need to chase them around the globe and in Israel, the final solution could be implemented to the end".

There is no argument that when some of these organizations are physically distant from the borders of Israel, their aim to destroy remains the same.

Nazi hate for Jews, just like that of the BDS, is not a logical process. After all, the Jews did anything to Germans and and most of the jihadists in the world, from Boko Haram to the Taliban, have never seen a Jew in a flesh. Those who incite hatred do it primarily for the purpose of cultivating their own identity. Hatred was and remains a unifying force. It is the same with white supremacists, but at the moment, the damage done by the Islamic radicals is much worse.

These groups do not exist in a vacuum. They are supported by those who often consider themselves progressive and enlightened.

No murderous call to arms will succeed without intellectuals backing it.

Italian philosopher Gianni Vattimo once wrote: “When [former Iranian President Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad calls to wipe Israel off the map, he merely expresses a demand that should be more explicitly shared by democratic countries that instead consider him an enemy”.

British philosopher Ted Honderich, meanwhile, went straight to the point in his use of academic jargon when he justified Palestinian terror as their "moral right".

This is neo-Nazism. Jews are demonized as they were under the Third Reich. The demonization of the State of Israel is a thinly-veiled attempt to disguise the desire to annihilate all Jews.

Any sane liberal, humanist should have joined the battle against this intellectual mutation of Nazi ideology, but we are witnessing the opposite.

Now MESA too has been infected. Support for the BDS is not support for peace or reconciliation, it is not support for a two-state solution, it is not just criticism of the settlement movement. It is support for Israel's destruction.

Vattimo and Hondreich and anyone who votes in favor of the BDS are the same. They are complicit in the campaign of hate and the horrendous propaganda - all to demonize the only Jewish state in the world.

In the past, MESA had repeatedly rejected the BDS as its members understood acceptance of that movement would constitute crossing a red line. But no more.

Now, Israel faces Iran and terror movements on the one side, and intellectual, racist and antisemitic "activism" on the other.

Israel will overcome the former, but may not prevail when faced with the latter.

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