Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Name Calling, again, does not address the issues

The trade of antisemitism
Published: Wednesday, January 6, 2010 11:15 AM CST

Elizabeth Mayfield’s Dec. 31 letter ostensibly addresses the problem Berlanty Assam has traveling between Gaza and the West Bank for her education. There is legitimate criticism of Israeli policies, and there is antisemitism. Mayfield offers little of the former and much of the latter.

The background of Assam’s case is the Hamas-Fatah war. Their war has stopped only because Hamas is isolated in Gaza and cannot infiltrate the West Bank. As the left-wing Haaretz noted in 2007, Hamas was brutal in seizing Gaza, “aside from assassinating Fatah officials, Hamas also killed innocent Palestinians, with the intention of deterring the large clans from confronting the organization.”

To prevent the spread of Hamas’ terror, Israel has imposed restrictions on movement between the Palestinian areas. This effort to protect Palestinians has had unfortunate consequences.

Among others, it has impeded Gaza resident Berlanty Assam from completing her studies in the West Bank in a normal fashion. Despite her apparent illegal entry into Israel, people such as Assam benefit from Israeli democracy. She has legal representation from a major human rights organization in Israel and has received review of her case by the Israeli Supreme Court.

Unfortunately, Mayfield seriously examined none of the important issues in Assam’s case. Instead, she trades in thinly veiled antisemitism.

Mayfield claims that a “family” of “chosen” people manipulate the U.S. Congress. She invokes Christmas imagery in describing how “chosen” Israel disrupted the peace of Bethlehem in arresting Assam. She claims “they” invoke some God-given right to “murder,” among other crimes. If the “they” who Mayfield calls “chosen” are not Jews, she should be clear. Any normal person knows she means Jews.

Myths of Jewish control, lies about Jewish defilement of Christianity and allegations that Jews claim divine right to commit evil crimes are the stock in trade of antisemitism.

James Eaves-Johnson
Coralville

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