An anti-Semitic cartoon from an Arab newspaper:
How do we turn anti-Semitism into a positive idea?
The ad execs shake their heads and stare out of the window until one with real flair, the Donald Draper, suddenly speaks up. “We’ll simply re-name it ‘anti-racism’. No one could possibly be against [anti-]racism, right?”
Maybe, his colleagues wonder, Don has lost the plot. No one will ever fall for such a trick.
But, hey, they have. The third United Nations World Conference Against the Jews – sorry, Against Racism, has been scheduled for next September in New York, and will be an absolute must for any Third-World huckster looking to blame whitey for all his country’s problems.
The original conference, held in Durban back in 2001, was organised to deal with two absurd ideas, compensation for slavery and a resolution declaring that “Zionism is racism”. It turned into a massive anti-Israel hatefest, with copies of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion being handed out to delegates.
The US, meanwhile, was asked to acknowledge “the breadth and pervasiveness of institutional racism” that “permeates every institution at every level”, and to declare that “racial bias corrupts every stage of the [US] criminal justice process, from suspicion to investigation, arrest, prosecution, trial, and sentencing”.
That this conference was attended by the most corrupt, oppressive, murderous and racist regimes on earth did not matter. I would say “let he who is without sin cast the first stone,” but in countries where people really are stoned to death the irony might be lost.
A similar theme followed in Durban II, held last year in Switzerland, a country that has strong emotional significance for the Palestinian cause, being the last resting place of Yasser Arafat’s cash, and in which Iran’s Holocaust-denying president accused Israel of being racist. Huh?
How did this come about? The idea that Zionism is racism was cemented by United Nations General Assembly Resolution 3379, from 1975, which “determine[d] that Zionism is a form of racism and racial discrimination”. It rests on the idea that since Israel is a state for the Jews, and the Jews are an ethnic group (as well as a religion), it is an apartheid state and racist by definition. Among the 25 sponsors of this bill were the Libyan Arab Republic and the Syrian Arab Republic, nation-states defined by their ethnicity.
In fact most nations have, historically, been defined by ethnicity, so there is nothing odd in the idea that Israeliness might be defined by Jewishness, just as Britishness was defined by ethnic Britishness. This did not preclude others from living there, becoming citizens or even joining their ethnic group, but it did not mean that the nation was entirely separated from ethnicity, nor that a nation doesn’t have the right to defend its demographic integrity.
What marks Israel out is that its security is directly and immediately threatened by demographics: they don’t have the luxury of declaring, like academics in western Europe and the United States, that immigration restrictions are “discrimination” and “apartheid”, because without those restrictions their safety would be in danger. In contrast, the Third-World basket cases that criticise Israel for their apartheid are secure in their own demographic security because no one in their right mind is going to emigrate there, and even if they did, they can’t vote anyway (demographics matters far more in a democracy).
So to call Zionism “racism” is to say that the Jews, almost alone in this world, have no right to their own nation state and the security that brings. That is pure anti-Semitism, although, as Robin Shepherd has pointed out, it has more in common with older, religious anti-Semitism than the racial variety, in that Jews can escape it by denouncing Israel: where once they would accept baptism, today they write letters to the Guardian that begin “As a Jew…”.