Sunday, January 18, 2004

This is Anti-Semetic, How?I came accross this interesting storyon CNN's website about the Israeli ambassador's "protest" of an artist's exhibit. The ambassador disconnected the cables of a monuted spotlight causing the light to crash into the work. You'd think that this sort of action would send the ambassador packing, but instead recieved praise from Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon. Prime Minister Sharon thanked the ambassador for his stand against anti-Semitism. The art in question, is a boat floating in basin of red water with the words "snow white" written on the boat, and the piciture of a suicide bomber on the boat. The artist behind the piece is an Israeli living in Sweden who explained the work was not meant to glorify suicide bombers, but to show how "weak people when left alone can be capable of horrible things."

I really don't get how one could see this as being against the Jewish people. Art is meant to ask questions and I could hardly see how this was saying Jews are bad people or giving praise to a killer. Maybe it was meant to show how life just is.

The current Israeli government as well as neocons here in the States seem to think that if you dare criticize Israel or think that the Palestinians deserve a state of their own, you simply must hate Jews. This is just plain stupid. If I think that Israeli policies concerning the Palestinians are wrong or unjust, that does not make me an anti-Semite, that means I disagree with the government's policies. I'm not running around saying the Jews should go back to concerntration camps or anything; I am simply saying that I think their policies are wrong and should be changed.

Is there anti-Semitism? Yes. Recent vandalism of Jewish cemetraries in France must be dealt with swiftly. That should not be tolerated. But neither should anyone tolerate people wanting to shut down debate on a very important issue such as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

My own view is that those who cry "anti-Semitism" at the first glance of criticism are using the crimes of the past as cover to prevent any debate on the current situation. I feel that is a shameful way to use the past and it should stop. If you disagree with the critics, debate them, don't try to shut them up.


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