Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Poll Analyses
Share on Facebook 16 Share on Twitter 2 Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 1/13/20

Embracing Palestine: How to Combat Israel's Misuse of "Antisemitism"

By       (Page 1 of 2 pages) (View How Many People Read This)   7 comments
Author 1973
Message Ramzy Baroud
Become a Fan
  (6 fans)

From Telesur

Trump ends aid to UN agency for Palestinian refugees
Trump ends aid to UN agency for Palestinian refugees
(Image by YouTube, Channel: CBC News)
  Details   DMCA

I find it puzzling, indeed disturbing, that Israel, directly or otherwise, is able to determine the nature of any discussion on Palestine in the West, not only within typical mainstream platforms but within pro-Palestinian circles as well.

At a talk I delivered in Northern England in March 2018, I proposed that the best response to falsified accusations of antisemitism, which are often lobbed against pro-Palestinian communities and intellectuals everywhere, is to draw even closer to the Palestinian narrative.

In fact, my proposal was not meant to be a sentimental response in any way.

"Reclaiming the Palestinian narrative" has been the main theme in most of my public speeches and writings in recent years. All of my books and much of my academic studies and research have largely focused on positioning the Palestinian people -- their rights, history, culture, and political aspirations -- at the very core of any genuine understanding of the Palestinian struggle against Israeli colonialism and apartheid.

True, there was nothing particularly special about my talk in Northern England. I had already delivered a version of that speech in other parts of the U.K., Europe and elsewhere. But what made that event memorable is a conversation I had with a passionate activist, who introduced himself as an adviser to the office of the head of the British Labor Party, Jeremy Corbyn.

Although the activist agreed with me regarding the need to embrace the Palestinian narrative, he insisted that the best way for Corbyn to deflect anti-Semitic accusations, which have dogged his leadership since day one, is for Labor to issue a sweeping and decisive condemnation of antisemitism, so that Corbyn may silence his critics and he is finally able to focus on the pressing subject of Palestinian rights.

I was doubtful. I explained to the animated and self-assured activist that Zionist manipulation and misuse of antisemitism is a phenomenon that has preceded Corbyn by many decades, and will always be there as long as the Israeli government finds the need to distract from its war crimes against Palestinians and to crush pro-Palestinian solidarity worldwide.

I explained to him that while anti-Jewish racism is a real phenomenon that must be confronted, "antisemitism," as defined by Israel and its Zionist allies, is not a moral question that is meant to be solved by a press release, no matter how strongly-worded. Rather, it is a smokescreen, with the ultimate aim of distracting from the real conversation, that being the crimes of military occupation, racism, and apartheid in Palestine.

In other words, no amount of talking, debating or defending oneself can possibly convince the Zionists that demanding an end to the Israeli military occupation in Palestine or the dismantling of the Israeli apartheid regime, or any genuine criticism of the policies of Israel's right-wing government are not, in fact, acts of antisemitism.

Alas, the activist insisted that a strong statement that would clarify Labor's position on antisemitism would finally absolve Corbyn and protect his legacy against the undeserved smearing.

The rest is history. Labor went into a witch-hunt, to catch the "true" anti-Semites among its members. The unprecedented purge has reached many good people who have dedicated years to serving their communities and defending human rights in Palestine and elsewhere.

The statement to end all statements was followed by many others. Numerous articles and arguments were written and made in defense of Corbyn -- to no avail. Only a few days before Labor lost the general election in December, the Simon Wiesenthal Center named Corbyn -- one of Britain's most sincere and well-intentioned leaders in the modern era -- the "top anti-Semite of 2019." So much for engaging the Zionists.

Next Page  1  |  2

(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).

 

Must Read 2   Well Said 2   Supported 2  
Rate It | View Ratings

Ramzy Baroud Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Ramzy Baroud is the Managing Editor of Middle East Eye. He is an internationally-syndicated columnist, a media consultant, an author and the founder of PalestineChronicle.com. His latest book is My Father Was a Freedom Fighter: Gaza's Untold (more...)
 

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

STAY IN THE KNOW
If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
Name
Email
   (Opens new browser window)
 

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Obama's Peace Antics in Israel -- Four More Years of This?

What Trump Has Done: The Entire US-Middle East Political Framework Just Collapsed

70 Years of Broken Promises, The Untold Story of Israel's Partition Plan

The Collapse of the Obama Doctrine: Yemen War as an Opportunity?

The Native American, the Palestinian: A Spirited Fight for Justice

Stuck in Area A: How We Were Duped into Disowning the Palestinians

To View Comments or Join the Conversation: