Between Criticism and Incitement

Ben-Dror Yemini

Op-ed: When Israel is repeatedly accused of committing genocide against Palestinians, it’s not criticism but a blood libel.

The Brussels attack has once again raised the discussion about the connection between incitement and action.

In the past, a committee on behalf of the European Union tried to come up with rules defining the difference between criticism and anti-Semitic incitement. The rules were adopted by different bodies, like the British Labor Party. There are indisputable rules there, like Holocaust denial and attributing plots to Jews. And there are other rules which make the document meaningful.

For example, when Israel is treated according to a different standard compared to other countries, Western ones, which are experiencing similar conflicts – it’s anti-Semitism. Denying the Jews’ right to self-determination and comparing the Israeli policy to that of the Nazis are also included in the definition of anti-Semitism.

There is no need to mention that the document clarifies that criticism against Israel’s policy is not anti-Semitism.

Yet the distinction between criticism and incitement is often the result of a political view. Some say that boycotting settlement products is an expression of anti-Semitism. That is, of course, sheer nonsense. There is no need to stretch the definition. On the contrary. It should be narrowed down, and there is no need to pull it out even in light of blatant and profound criticism. We have to fight anti-Semitism, we don’t have to expand it.

Nonetheless, there is no need for an EU document to conclude that blatant lies against Israel are not within the bounds of criticism – they are incitement. When Israel is accused, repeatedly, of committing a genocide against Palestinians – this is not criticism but rather a blood libel. When Israel is accused of being Hitler’s successor, like an academic from Israel said, or when the IDF becomes Nazi because of the killing of two Palestinians, this is not criticism but rather anti-Semitism.

Unbearable lightness of turning Israel into monster
The Kristallnacht riots were not the result of criticism against Jews. They were the result of incitement. “Price tag” attacks, on the other hand, because it’s not the same thing, are the result of the authors and supporters of the slanderous document “The King’s Torah.” A significant portion of the terror attacks, likely including the Brussels attack, are the result of brainwashing which turns foes into Satan’s representatives.

The “Durban Strategy,” named after a United Nations conference in the South African city of Durban, which was supposed to be against racism but turned into a march of hatred and incitement against one country – Israel, has been spreading in the West in general, and in Europe in particular, for more than a decade now. For years now, the real battlefield has been the academia, the media and the Internet. That is where the incitement is taking place. That is where many people are being brainwashed.

The combination of genocide, Palestinians and Israel yields more results in search engines than the combination of Sudan, Darfur and genocide. The result is obvious. Nearly 50% of the European Union’s residents believe that Israel has waged a war of destruction against the Palestinians. They have not been exposed to criticism, they have been exposed to an industry of lies.

When Peter Beinart, one of the stars of the Jewish left in the United States, wrote several days ago that Israelis committed a pogrom – it’s a blood libel. Beinart is neither a skin-headed racist nor a jihadist, but by doing so he legitimized countless publications about “crime wars,” precisely because he is a Jew who even poses as a Zionist.

Beinart published a retraction, but there is something scary about the unbearable lightness of turning Israel into a monster. There is no need for masses of hooligans to commit another Kristallnacht, there is a need for several individuals to take the mission upon themselves.

So yes, what happened in Brussels, and not only there, is the result of lies and incitement. And the responsibility for it also lies on people like Beinart.


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