The Guardian should be congratulated for taking such a principled stand, Re: The Guardian view on Gaza and the rise of antisemitism, The Guardian, August 8, 2014

All over the Western world Jews are being vilified, demonized , threatened, attacked and killed ostensibly because of Israel’s actions in Gaza.

There have been huge demonstrations throughout the Western world against Israel’s actions in Gaza and in every single one of them there have been large numbers of people shouting ‘Death to Jews’ ‘Slit Jews throats’ ‘Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the gas’ and other such contemptible slogans. This incitement has led to ongoing and growing violence against Jews and Jewish institutions, including Jewish women, children and the elderly, not only in Britain and Europe but in Australia, Canada, the United States and the rest of the West as well.

The Guardian is one of Britain’s, and the world’s too for that matter, most influential newspapers. It has long been a loud and vocal critic of Israel and its policies and actions in Gaza and elsewhere but nevertheless in an editorial on August 8 it denounced and condemned these expressions of hatred and antisemitism, denounced and condemned this incitement and the violence it leads to.

To quote from the editorial;

It should not need saying, but it does: people can be as angry as they like at the Israeli government, but to attack a synagogue, threaten children at a Jewish school, or throw a brick through the window of a Jewish grocery store is vile and contemptible racism. It cannot be excused by reference to Israeli military behaviour. The two are and should be kept utterly distinct.

The Guardian is of course absolutely correct and should be congratulated for taking such a principled stand. Criticizing Israel and demonstrating against its policies and actions in Gaza or anywhere else is perfectly legitimate if one is so inclined. That doesn’t make a person racist or antisemitic However, inciting violence against Jews, carrying out violence against Jews, is not legitimate at all and anyone who uses Israel’s policies and actions in Gaza or anywhere else as an excuse to do so is racist and antisemitic. Inciting violence, carrying out violent acts, against Jews or anyone else, is simply not acceptable (not yet anyway) and the perpetrators should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law in whatever country they live in.

To use a personal example;

I have been very critical of Islam and the attitudes and behaviour of various Islamists. That is perfectly legitimate. However, I have never vilified, demonized or attacked Muslims as an entity or called for violent acts to be committed against them. That would not be legitimate. Criticizing Islam or Israel is one thing, Vilifying, demonizing, inciting violent acts or carrying out violent acts against Muslims or Jews is very different.

To use another example for my American friends;

President Obama is beyond doubt the worst, most incompetent, President in living memory, probably in the whole history of the country. He has caused enormous damage to America and Americans in every area anyone can think of. Criticizing him and calling for his impeachment or resignation is perfectly legitimate. That is one thing. Vilifying, demonizing, inciting violent acts or carrying out violent acts against black people because one disagrees with his policies and behaviour is not legitimate at all.

You’ll notice I used the word ostensible in the first paragraph. That is because anyone who uses Gaza as an excuse to vilify, demonize, threaten, attack or kill Jews as a race is racist, is antisemitic. Gaza is just the latest excuse for antisemitism to raise its ugly head, that’s all. It needs to be denounced, condemned and stamped out now through the use of the law. After all, Jews might be the first victims, but they would most certainly not be the last.

Christians anyone? .

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