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January 19, 1989 - Image 5

Resource type:
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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1989-01-19

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PERSPECTIVES

The Michigan Daily

Thursday, January 19, 1989

Page 5

Israel and

the

world

of

BY JONATHAN SCOTT
The idea that anti-Zionism is a
mask for anti-Semitism has received
considerable attention on campus in
recent months. University Prof. Ali
Mazrui, for example, was quickly
labled an anti-Semite after delivering
a scathing review of Zionism and
current Israeli state policy. He was
publicly called an anti-Semite on
several occasions, once in his
classroom, several times in the
Michigan Daily, and another on the
steps of Rackham Auditorium just
before receiving an award for his
PBS television series.
Similarly, in November, the
Jewish News printed an article
highly critical of the Daily's
editorial position on various Israeli
actions and policies, pointing to
"anti-Semititic undertones" apparent
in these editorials. On Monday (1-
16-89), two University profs -
Joseph Weiler and Todd Endelman
- both tied this theme together in
separate talks exploring the nature of
.* anti-semitism and its frequent
disguise: anti-Zionism. Endelman,
in fact, referred to both Mazrui and
the Daily as two "local" examples of
this tactic in use and reflective of a
dangerous trend seeping into our
scholarship and media.
Endelman is quite correct in
recognizing an anti-Semitic trend,
although confused, I think, as to its
application and usage in the real
world. In the world of doublespeak,
anti-Semitism has become criticism
of Israel. Traditional anti-Semitism,
on the other hand, while clearly alive

in the real world, is of lesser
importance and frequently
downplayed or ignored while used
strategically to defame those who
voice criticism of Israel. It is in this
world of doublespeak where a
dangerous trend may be gaining
acceptance.
The consequences resulting from
acceptance of the first doublespeak
component - especially in light of
the increasing brutality of Israel's
military occupation and
uncompromising rejectionist
platform of both the Likud and
Labor parties - are rather clear, as
are the obvious dangers inherent in
the second.
Unfortunately for those interested
in rational debate regarding Israeli
state policy, the question of
Palestine, and an eventual political
settlement, the world of doublespeak
seems to have indeed seeped into our
scholarship and media. Several
examples provide a clear illustration
of this system of doublespeak at
work.
As the 1982 Israeli invasion of
Lebanon proceeded, the Anti-
Defamation League of B'nai Brith
compiled a rather lengthy list of
"real anti-Semites." Shortly after the
Sabra and Shatila massacre of 3,000
Palestinians in West Beirut - an
atrocity evoking angry condemnation
of Israel and its role in the massacres
- the list grew to include the
European press, much of the
American press and television, and
even the American International Red
Cross and other relief agencies.

Eliahu Ben-Elissar, chairman of the
Knesset's Committee on Foreign
Affairs, conveyed the general tone at
the 1982 October Convention of
B'nai Brith:
"We have been attacked,
criticized, dirtied, besmirched ... I
wouldn't want to accuse the whole
world of anti-Semitism, but how to
explain this violent outburst."
B'nai Brith, regarded in the U.S.
as a civil libertarian organization,
plays an obvious role in the system
of doublespeak.
Meanwhile, traditional anti-
Semitism is not only downplayed by
Israeli leaders and U.S. "supporters
of Israel," but actually condoned by
both respective parties. For example,
the Israeli journal Ma' arv reported
in March of 1985 that Israeli
officials, without a qualm, allowed
the U.S. to base a transmitter in
Israel that would beam Radio Free
Europe to the Soviet Union. At the
time, it was widely known in Israel,
reported by Israeli journalist Ya' kov
Erez, that Radio Free Europe had
broadcast blatantly anti-Semitic
programs, one of which described, in
a favorable light, an SS-unit of
Ukranian Nazis who had organized a
pogrom against Jews of Lembreg.
"Don't welcome us with flowers
said the Nazis before they entered the
city - prepare for us a reception

with Jewish heads," said the
broadcast.
Several other programs aired, one
blaming Jews for the Bolshevik
revolution and fall of Czarist Russia,
and another attempting to prove
Jews controlled the world's banks.
Israeli leaders and U.S. "supporters
of Israel" - the latter more
concerned with transmitting
propaganda and the former with
serving U.S. interests in the region
- raised no objections to the
endorsement of a Radio network in
the practice of broadcasting often
virulent anti-Semitic programs.
Likewise, Israeli scholar Mikhail
Agursky, an expert on the Soviet
Union at Hebrew University in
Jerusalem, openly endorsed
Alekasnder Solzhenitsyn - a Soviet
dissident whose most recent book,
August 1914, has been condemned
by scholar Lev Navrozov - a
Russian emigree who now writes for
the Yale Literary Magazine, as "A
new Protocols of the Elders of Zion"
(NY Times, 11-13-89).
According to Harvard Prof.
Richard Pipes, Solzhenitsyn is
"unquestionably in the grip of the
Russian Extreme Right Revolution"
- an avowed anti-Semitic faction.
Agursky, nonetheless, refers to
Solzhenitsyn as a "strong supporter
of Israel and always has been. If you

loublespeak
support Israel the way Solzhenitsyn resigned after being identified as anti-
does today, you are not an anti- Semites, Nazi collaborators, or
Semite" (NY Times 11-13-89). apologists of facism. Laszlo Pasztor,
Agursky's resignation was not for example, a key leader of Bush's
demanded by Israeli officials nor "ethnic outreach vehicle," began nis
U.S. "supporters of Israel." political career in the Hungarian pro-
Benjamin Beit-Hallahmi, in his Nazi Arrow Cross party and served
book, The Israeli Connection: Who in Berlin as a junior envoy from the
Israel Arms and Why (Pantheon, Nazi-installed Arrow Cross regime at
1987), reveals that the neo-Nazi the end of World War II. As before,
generals of Argentina "have been one no pressure from the American
of Israel's main arms customers, Jewish community was exerted on
especially since President Carter cut Bush to explain his Nazi ties nor
off military aid in 1977..." He was there pressure from Israel.
reports that Israel has sold Argentina The central issue is, while at a
nearly 100 jet fighters, 50 Gabriel time when Israel deserves intensive
missiles, and "large quanities" of scrutiny and pressure for its
spare parts and ammunition. continued barbarism in the occupied
Again, Israel's dealings with neo- territories and unwillingness to
Nazis goes unnoticed while Jesse negotiate with the Palestinians, the
Jackson's reference to Jewish areas equating of anti-Zionism to anti-
as "Hymie towns," for example, is semitism must clearly be seen for
serious anti-Semitism. In the world what it is: a way of silencing critics
of doublespeak all this is possible. of Israel and preventing critical
Another clear example of discussion of its policies. And
traditional anti-Semitism ignored by likewise, the trend to be cautious of,
Israel and U.S. "supporters of Israel" one quite visible in '82 and '83, is
occurred several months ago as part the charge of anti-Semitism used in
of George Bush's 1988 presidential proportion to the violence Israel
campaign. In October, seven inflicts daily on the Semitism
members of Bush's National population in the Occupied
Coalition of American Nationalites Territories and inside Israel itself.

I I

Cornerstone

I

r

-----T-

Eli Lilly and Company
(A Research Based Pharmaceutical Manufacturer)
Invites University of Michigan Students Interested in
Careers as System Analysts and Summer Internships
to a Reception and Presentation
Today, Thursday, January 19, 1988
Room 1311, EECS Building
5:15 - 7:15 P.M.
A strong computer background is desired with CS,
Engineering, Natural Sciences or Business degrees.

CHRISTIAN

FELLOWSHIP

(an interdenominational campus fellowship)
Students Dedicated to
Knowing and Communicating
Jesus Chist
Weekly Meetings: Thursdays : 7:00 pm
439 Mason Hall
John Neff - 747-8831
CLASSIFIED ADS! Call 764-0557

will be provided.

FRATERNITY

In

415

Days

-- --

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STAIRS

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1989 WINTER RUSH
MASS MEETING:
THURSDAY, JAN. 19
7:30 P.M.
MICHIGAN UNION BALLROOM

Our
Contract
Expires.
What's at stake:
Higher Pay
Smaller Class Size
Ten-Term Rule
Negotiate Now!
Attend the GEO Rally

OPEN RUSH:
SUNDAY-
THURSDAY

RUSEE(S)
1'

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