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Jews Against Zionism
Should It Be Legal Under International Law to Criticize The State of Israel?(From the Anti-Empire report, by William Blum:)http://members.aol.com/bblum6/aer35.htm
Should it be legal under international law to criticize the state of Israel?
"On Faith", an Internet feature of the Washington Post and Newsweek magazine, poses questions each week to a panel of more than 50 persons from the world of religion. A recent question was "Can you be critical of Israel and not be anti-Semitic?"
Jonathan Sarna, professor of American Jewish history at Brandeis University replied: "Much depends on the motives of the critic. The unworthy critics today are easy to find. ... their shrill voices are neither moderated by love nor tinged with sadness. Their desire is to see the Jewish state destroyed. The worthy critics, by contrast, are more scarce. ... their words mingle praise along with reproof. They speak directly, sadly, and always in pain."
So there you have it. A question so ridiculous on its face that it should not even be raised by two media giants or anyone else with any intellectual pretensions, but is being raised because of the unrelenting pressure of the Israeli lobby in the United States and throughout the world. It then receives an appropriately ridiculous answer.
Can anyone express reservations about a papal decree and not be anti-Catholic? Can anyone be critical of the pilgrimages to Mecca, which often end in tragedy, and not be anti-Islam? Can anyone be critical of the African negligence on the AIDS crisis and not be racist?
For anyone in the world to criticize the US war in Iraq do they have to love the United States? To be taken seriously -- to be judged a "worthy critic" -- must they in the same breath offer some kind of praise for the US? Are we to judge that those who don't do so desire to see the American state destroyed? Can those in Palestine and Lebanon, upon whose heads and homes Israeli bombs fall, be worthy critics of Israeli policies? Are they not speaking "directly, sadly, and always in pain"?
And that is, I think it needs to be firmly established and accepted as well, as part of a simple and lesser right to simply "criticize" the State of Israel, were I a Palestinian suffering the loss of my country to the Zionists certainly, for example, though anyone else no less who has an understanding of the founding history of the State of Israel, that there is a right as well to question the very founding legitimacy of the Israeli State itself. This, to me, seems elementary, especially if the world, including such Jews themselves, as well as Palestinians, who question this founding legitimacy, are ever going to have the opportunity to have their critique and proposals heard and treated seriously, as well as their proposals for a viable and lasting solution to the problem of Palestine/Israel, such as increasingly threatens the peace and stability of the entire world.
It has gone on overly long already that the United States and Israel have been exclusively allowed to frame the issue, the discussion, what is and is not legitimate, and such solutions as may or may not be considered by the world community and its citizens. Meanwhile, the war danger, even a world war risk grows as a consequence.
It is time to move on from this repressive environment, such as we have seen even here, around the issue of my banishment from Tyee.