Sunday, 15 December 2013

Pro-Palestinian Equals Antisemitic

Roger Waters, late of Pink Floyd, has provoked anger with his outspoken attack on Israeli treatment of Palestinians. What made people particularly angry was his comparison of Israeli policy towards Palestinians to Nazi policy towards Jews. The comparison seems to me a fair one: it is only too common, at personal, national, racial and cultural levels, for the oppressed to learn from their oppressors and then to use what they have learnt when they get the chance. The child who gets bullied at school grows up into the school bully; the sexually abused child becomes an abuser. In South Africa, blacks liberated from apartheid commit atrocities against whites. It would be surprising, though pleasing, if Israelis did not look around for a group to persecute, after centuries of persecution of Jews.

Accusing those who object to Israeli policy of anti-semitism  is a very nasty cynical tactic that is being used more and more to silence critics. The two things are entirely separate, as Roger Waters himself makes clear to those who take the trouble to read what he actually very calmly and articulately said.

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