February 9th, 2013 20:20 EST
Fast-Spreading Scourge of Anti-Semitism Now Sweeping Europe
"Many think Israel is a perpetrator of `Nazi-like` ethnic cleansing, view Zionism as a racist conspiracy rather than a Jewish response to anti-Semitism, and believe that Israel simply invaded the land in 1948"
This is a quotation from an article on `mainstream antisemitism` in this week`s Jewish Chronicle by Michael Dugher, Labour MP for Barnsley East and vice chair of the Labour Party.
It highlights two points of contention and misunderstanding that are germane to the fast-spreading scourge of anti-Semitism that is now sweeping Europe.
The first is that political Zionism as practiced by the extreme right-wing, Likud Party coalition is `a Jewish response to Anti-Semitism` and not the implementation of Likud`s agenda for a `Greater Israel` encompassing the entire former land of Palestine, ethnically cleansed of the largest indigenous people of the region, the Muslim Arabs.
Whilst it is true that Theodor Herzl`s vision was for a Jewish homeland, living in peace with its neighbours and free from European anti-Semitism as manifested in the trial of Capt Alfred Dreyfus, in Paris in 1894 - today`s Israel is a militaristic, Zionist state of a completely different character.
It is state that is the only undeclared nuclear-weapons power in the world with a secret arsenal estimated to contain up to 400 nuclear warheads - enough to destroy half the world. A state that has an official policy to dispossess and humiliate indigenous Arabs at every opportunity, and which treats with utter contempt international law and the will of the United Nations to cease illegal settlement activity that has to date induced 500,000 Israeli nationals to leave their homes to settle in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.
The second point is that `Israel simply invaded the land in 1948`. The facts of the matter are that the then newly-formed United Nations passed a resolution in 1947 that led to the establishment of the state of Israel the following year. However, that resolution to impose a Jewish state in the midst of the largest Muslim Arab region in the world was bitterly opposed by all those states that would be directly affected. They voted against the resolution and stated unequivocally that if it were implemented, they would declare war to protect their lands.
In the event, the resolution was implemented and the Arab states did attack but they failed to prevent the establishment of the new state with the result that nearly three quarters of a million Muslim Arabs were forced to flee their homes, businesses and lands. These were then, in the main, taken over by Israelis who were predominately refugees from post-WW2 Europe.
The current reality is that the policies of the Israeli government in illegally frustrating the establishment of a Palestinian state in a region where the Muslim Arabs have been the predominate indigenous people continuously for over a thousand years, is the root cause of increasing hostility to the Israeli state and a key driver of anti-Semitism that now poses a significant danger to Jewish communities, and others, throughout Europe.