Israel boycott not anti-Semitic 2

June 1, 2007

Steven Weinberg says that he finds it hard to see any reason other than anti-Semitism for the focus by British left-wing intellectuals on Israeli misdeeds. On the contrary, it seems to me that the cause is pro-Semitism.

If Israeli Jews were seen as "alien", like Arabs, Africans, Chinese and so on, the actions of the Israeli state would be viewed from the same disapproving but generic stance as all the other oppressive regimes.

It is surely precisely because Israelis are perceived as "us" (white, European, civilised) by the intellectual Left that they are held to higher standards and receive more opprobrium for less oppression.

The same was true of apartheid South Africa, which, although distinguished (like Israel) by its de jure racialism, was less oppressive than many other regimes that practised de facto racialism and weren't run by white Europeans.

Julian Bradfield
Edinburgh University

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