Monday, February 22, 2021

Hurts their feelings

"We must resist Israel’s war on British universities" (Miller):

"Israel and its apologists internationally are particularly sensitive to their ideological Islamophobia coming under scrutiny now.

That’s because in recent years, they have shifted their strategy – from relying on dry diplomatic talking points about the delineation of Israel’s borders or defending the Zionist terrorism that led to Israel’s establishment to talking almost exclusively about feelings and identity.

Criticism of Zionism or Israel “hurts their feelings,” “makes them feel unsafe” or “uncomfortable in this space.” A newer fad is to dispute the idea that white European Jews are white at all.

And of course, there’s the time-honored tactic of smearing any critic of Israel or Zionism as an “anti-Semite” or a “self-hating Jew” on the basis that Zionism is somehow a facet of Jewish identity rather than a racist, modern political ideology with secular origins premised on ethnic cleansing and anti-Arab racism.

The purpose of all this is to give cover to Zionist activists, allowing them to present themselves as part of a benighted ethnic minority facing racism when criticized and to mobilize those who would never previously have “come out” as Zionists to do so, all the while feeling virtuous about it despite the bloodshed they would be advocating.

Given the size of Britain’s Israel lobby and the extent to which it has already penetrated public institutions, this naturally has the effect of minimizing and sidelining genuine concerns about anti-Black racism and Islamophobia as well as shouting down the ways in which the state of Israel is deeply engaged in promoting both of those types of racism.

That’s the point of the anti-Semitism smear tactic, not just an incidental consequence.

But the facts about Zionism’s endemic anti-Arab racism, which began with the ideology’s founders, or about the sheer scale and prominence of funding from Zionist movements for Islamophobic causes, sits ill at ease with the desire of Israel’s lobbyists to play identity politics." 
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