The most potent weapon in the arsenal of the Arab and Islamist extremists seeking the destruction of Israel and the Jewish people has always been, not bombs, not guns, not missiles, not aircraft, not even the barbarism of suicide-homicide bombers,--but propaganda. Their massive and unrelenting propaganda campaign over the past sixty years has depicted Israel as a vicious, conspiratorial aggressor against, and oppressor of, the Arab people, and "world Jewry" as parties to and supporters of this conspiracy by "Zionism" and "the Zionist entity."
Most of the world has come to accept this big lie, as well as the thousands of smaller lies that have been used to construct it like the individual stones that form the Great Pyramid of Giza. Unfortunately, many Jews, including Israeli Jews, have come to accept it, too. Anti-Israel propaganda has been given so much credence within Israel itself that it has sapped the will of the Israeli government and sections of Israel's people to resist the incessant, murderous terrorist campaign waged against them. The acceptance of the Arab-Islamist "narrative" by many Israeli politicians, journalists, and scholars has been the principal cause of the endless, suicidal concessions that one Israeli government after another has made to the terrorists since 1993. Israel is dying a slow death by poisoning from this propaganda.
And within this arsenal of Arab-Islamist propaganda, by far the most devastating weapon has been those Jews who participate in manufacturing it. An article posted on the website of the American Jewish Committee for the past year, which has received renewed attention recently, documents the published rhetoric of a number of these Jewish anti-Israel propagandists (only a small fraction, unfortunately, of the total number of them). The language used by these American and Canadian Jewish college professors and other "intellectuals" to describe Israel and Jews, as documented by the author of this study, Professor Alvin F. Rosenfeld of Indiana University, includes the following: "belligerent," "bloody, "brutal," "cataclysmic," "corrupt," "cruel," "dangerous," "deadly," "militaristic," "apocalyptic," "blind," "demonic," "fanatical," "insane, " and "mad." (Jacqueline Rose). Israel is "amoral," "barbaric," "brutal," "destructive," "fascistic," "oppressive," "racist," "sordid," and "uncivilized," (from the volume Radicals, Rabbis and Peacemakers: Conversations with Jewish Critics of Israel, edited by Seth Farber).
Israel is guilty of "apartheid," "state terrorism," "ethnic cleansing," "crimes against humanity," and "pure genocide."(Radicals, Rabbis and Peacemakers).
"We take Zionism to be a form of collective insanity." (Rose)
"How did one of the most persecuted peoples of the world come to embody some of the worst cruelties of the modern nation-state?" (Rose).
"The soul of the nation [Israel] was forfeit from the day of its creation" (Rose).
"Zionist atrocities" are part of "a race war against the Palestinians," aimed at "the extinction of a people."(Michael Neumann, a professor of philosophy at Trent University in Canada).
The Palestinians "are being shot because Israel thinks all Palestinians should vanish or die" (Neumann).
"Most [Jews] support a state that commits war crimes" (Neumann).
"The case for Jewish complicity [in war crimes] seems much stronger than the case for German complicity" in the Holocaust (Neumann).
"...the real scandal today is not anti-Semitism but the importance it is given. Israel has committed war crimes. It has implicated Jews generally in these crimes, and Jews generally have hastened to implicate themselves. This has provoked hatred against Jews. Why not? Some of this hatred is racist, some isn't, but who cares?" (Neumann)
"What the Nazis had not succeeded in accomplishing, we as Jews have embarked upon." (Marc Ellis, a self-styled Jewish "theologian" and professor of Jewish Studies at Baylor University).
There is much, much more like this in the books and articles reviewed by Professor Rosenfeld, all of them published within the past few years; and still more in hundreds of similar writings by these and many other anti-Israel Jews that Professor Rosenfeld's essay does not mention-through no fault of his, since a complete digest of all of these scurrilous writings by "self-hating" Jews would require a several score volumes at a bare minimum; but these extracts will give us some idea of the mentality and bias of this faction of "progressive" Jewish "intellectuals".
In addition to producing this type of overheated rhetoric against Israel, some of these Jewish haters of Zion admit that they are not entirely opposed to anti-Semitism. And if anti-Semitism should lead to violence against Jews,
"Who cares?.... To regard any shedding of Jewish blood as a world-shattering calamity... is racism, pure and simple; the valuing of one's race's blood over all others" (Neumann).
"We should almost never take anti-Semitism seriously and maybe we should have some fun with it." (Neumann).
Many of the Jewish Zion-haters make it clear that they seek to "annihilate the Jewish state" itself (this phrase comes from Joel Kovel, a professor of philosophy at Bard College). And some are open about their support for terrorism against Jews. Steve Quester says (in (Radicals, Rabbis and Peacemakers) "[W]hen the suicide bombings started one after the other, I was like,' Okay, now everyone's got to understand how horrible the Israeli behavior is'. . . So, I just went out and bought myself a little Palestinian flag pin and wore it around all the time."
As Professor Rosenfeld puts it,
"no convincing evidence is offered to support any of these extreme charges. Rather... .it is an unquestioned assumption of [these Jewish "progressives"] collective thinking that Israel is an inherently racist, oppressive, and singularly brutal country and, ipso facto, stands guilty as charged."
In other words, for these "progressives," no evidence is needed to defame an entire nation and people. But the very fact that such extreme anti-Israel allegations and rhetoric originate with Jews give them a legitimacy and credibility in the eyes of world opinion that they would never have otherwise. Most people, naturally enough, cannot believe that Jews would make up vicious lies about their fellow Jews. Surely many readers of these books and articles by "progressive" Jews must ask themselves," how could any human beings be capable of inventing lies about their own people, their own ethnic group, or their own faith-community, or about the nation formed by their own people or faith-community?"
It is not unnatural for non-Jews to believe that what Jews say about each other or their own institutions must be true. And once these extreme allegations against Israel are accepted as fact, then the constant terrorism and armed aggression directed against Israel over the past sixty years, the suicide-homicide bombings directed at Jewish civilians, and perhaps even the complete annihilation of Israel openly threatened by President Mahmoud Ahmadinajad of Iran, by Hamas, and by so many others in the Arab and Islamic lands, have become morally acceptable to hundreds of millions of people throughout the world. Israel's six million Jews (yes, there are now nearly six million of them) have become isolated and extremely vulnerable to those who mean to do them harm.
As a consequence of their endorsing and actively disseminating these monstrous libels against Israel and their fellow Jews, and thereby giving them credibility in the eyes of the world, the "progressive" Zion-hating Jews have already got a lot of blood on their hands. And it is all too likely that in the future they will have dipped their hands in a lot more.
* John Landau contributed to this article