Sometimes a small incident shines a light on a huge issue. Before I look at the incident, we need to look at the background.
The standard defence of Israel claims that Israel is a democracy, Israel believes in minority rights, Israel has the right to defend itself, Israel is threatened by its neighbours.
These have weakened over the years. Israel won a war in 1967. Since then, Israel has become a regional super power. It is backed by the world’s only super power, the United States, and lesser powers like Germany and Britain. Israel fully uses its economic, military and diplomatic power. That solid base has enabled Israel to entrench its Apartheid practices.
The 280 pages of the Amnesty report show the mechanics and injustice of Israeli Apartheid, the land thefts, the ethnic cleansing, the theft of water, and so on.
To all of the key ideas that used to defend Israel, there are stronger counter arguments.
Israel is a democracy is counterposed by the fact that Israel is an Apartheid regime. There is no democracy where part of the population has no vote and is deprived of many civil rights, such as where and with whom they can enter into marriage.
Israel has the right to defend itself is countered with the comment ‘it is not Israel that needs defence, it is the Palestinians’. Was Israel defending itself when the Israeli military raided Jenin? Was it defending itself when the military killed Shireen Aby Akleh, a clearly identified journalist?
Israel gives its minorities full rights – is countered by page after page of evidence of land and water thefts and ethnic cleansing against the Palestinians. This evidence is in the Amnesty report, the Human Rights Watch report, and many others.
So Israel has to use other methods to hide the truth. Al Jazeera exposed how the Zionist lobby interferes with British Politics. Electronic Intifada and others have exposed how the Zionist lobby worked with right wing Labour and the media to sack Corbyn.
The key for Israeli apologists is to claim that everyone who is anti Zionist is anti Semitic.
Their problem is that the majority of Jews do not live in Israel, and many of them agree that Israel is an Apartheid state. There are even strong religious Jews who believe that Israel is a blasphemy. They believe that Israel will be established only when the messiah returns.
The easiest way to provide evidence is to create it. Take the case of Edward Sutherland. He is a prominent member of Confederation of Friends of Israel. He established a false persona as Stevie Harrison a pro Palestinian. He then used an antisemitic trope and hinted at a criminal act. His co-conspirator promptly blamed Scottish PSC (for an incident that had not happened).
These Zionists’ actions show that they could not find convincing evidence of antisemitism within the PSC. This is clear evidence that the two words are different because they have separate meaning. Objection to a racist State, Israel, one that practices Apartheid, is anti-Zionism. Hatred of an individual or group because they are Jews is Anti Semitism. As the slogan says Anti Semitism is a crime – anti Zionism is a duty.
Al Jazeera “the lobby” is here.