The other day, while attending the regular BDS protest in Adelaide’s CBD, I was informed by an Israeli sympathizer that I was a “f…ing leftist”. I find it quite ironic that a Christian person like myself, who regularly gets labelled as a conservative because of my Christian beliefs about Jesus, would get such a comment. I’m a person who doesn’t really like to be pigeon holed into the left or the right. I like to hear a person’s view point and try and evaluate what is being said on its own merits. The irony only increases when others see my criticism of Israel as evidence of some type of latent Nazism within. So what am I…right wing Nazi or left wing Nazi? Fortunately I don’t look to the supporters of Zionism to discover my identity. I know what I believe and why I believe it and I do it with a clear conscience. I have found that the vast majority of the supporters of Israel that I encounter here in Adelaide have absolutely no interest in finding out anything about why I support the cause of the Palestinian people. They simply want to take the easy way out and call me names and move on. I guess it takes all kinds.
The labeling of supporters of Palestinian rights to justice and self determination as being Nazis, by those of us who support the state of Israel, is an issue that is well know to Jewish people who can’t seem to find any justification for the policies of the Zionist state of Israel. A Jewish person who doesn’t get on the Zionist bandwagon is considered to be a self-hating Jew or a traitor. An Arab who doesn’t support the Palestinian cause is deemed a prophet. Have you ever heard the term “self hating Arab”? The pressure on Jewish people to support Israel is immense. Just ask Antony Loewenstein. Philip Weiss, of Mondoweiss website fame, posted the following insightful article on the phenomenon of Jewish criticism of Israel on 4/08/2011.
Rightwing Jew can call leftwing Jew a Nazi, but if leftwinger turns the tables, he’s an anti-Semite
by Philip Weiss on August 4, 2011
At DailyKos, Assaf relates a story about being smeared by an Israeli academic as a “Tsorer” [a term used traditionally for someone persecuting Jews with a genocidal intent] because of his advocacy for Israeli-soldier-refuseniks. Assaf says this is an example of the “bigotry by mainstream Jews against dissident Jews who challenge the “Israel good, Arabs bad” dogma.” And goes on, “In the mainstream Israeli (and older generation Disapora-Jewish) psyche there is a red line, usually referred to in Israel as a social-mental ‘Fence’, separating, supposedly, “legitimate” criticism and activism – but really demarcating tribal solidarity – from crossing over to become one of ‘them'”. And he adds that the charge of anti-Semitism is used, too: “Here are the rules of ‘Nazi Gotcha’, as far as I’ve managed to understand them:”
1. Anyone, at any time, can compare Israel’s current and past enemies to the Nazis – and we are even encouraged to do so.
2. No one, at no time, can compare Israel’s current or past actions to the Nazis. This is an immediate red card.
3. It is completely okay for Jews criticizing other Jews from the right to the left (e.g., the right criticizing the centre, the centre criticizing the left, etc.), to compare their criticism’s target to the Nazis. For example, in 1995 during the Oslo process a centre-right commentator said to Foreign Minister Shimon Peres to his face on prime-time live broadcast, that he is a member of a “Judenrat Government”. That commentator, Tommy Lapid, later became a political star and even served under Sharon as a senior cabinet minister alongside Peres.
4. It is completely not okay, for Jews criticizing other Jews from the left towards the right, to use similar imagery. Never. Barring highly exceptional circumstances, this offense also carries an immediate and irrevocable red card.
5. In other cases, we will send the “jury” (composed always of centre and right nationalist Jews) out to deliberation, but in general if you are Jewish and not suspected of “anti-Israelism”, it is okay. For example, I don’t think Jerry Seinfeld paid any penalty for introducing the term “Soup Nazi” to English language and American pop-culture.
6. The meaning of a red card. If you were unfortunate to be issued a red card under rules 2, 4 and possibly 5 – then you are forever marked as someone “beyond the pale”, an “Antisemite”, a “self-hater”, or even worse. Pretty much nothing you will do can undo this verdict.
7. (almost) Finally…. any nationalist Jew is authorized to issue the red card to Jews on his left, or to non-Jews, upon witnessing an offense.