Here's our latest smoking socks award winner from a neutral “humanist” praising the Sunday Independent for their bravery in speaking truth to power!
The letter writer makes a strange case justifying his right to be anti-Semitic. The Sunday Independant love it - in fact, it’s a fantastic follow-up to their previous smoking socks award for a letter they had the “courage” to publish entitled “Holocaust figure of 6 million is made up”.
Coverage of ME conflict is courageous
I HAVE followed with great interest the raging debate in the Sunday Independent about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The paper must be commended for admirably fulfilling its function of being the vital conduit of democratic freedom of expression. It is one of the few newspapers or electronic media not cowed into suppressing such topics, by the bullying from lobby groups with undemocratic motives.
As a humanist I won’t align with either camp. Whether it is a Palestinian bomb killing families in a supermarket, or an Israeli war crime using white phosphorus in a military assault on a civilian area, I am equally saddened by mankind’s inhumanity. I am perplexed by the Israeli supporters’ aversion to criticism which they demonise as anti-Semitic.
It seems to me that some Israelis are exploiting the world’s sympathy for their awful historic Holocaust. The major world powers are loath to countenance the slightest criticism of any Israeli wrongdoing or atrocity. If I am sickened by an American outrage like torture in Guantanamo, I can be anti-American. I can be similarly anti-Arab if I detest some of their unsavoury practices, and anti-British if I abhor their slavish lap-dog pandering to American war-mongering.
When I am disgusted by the mighty Israeli war machine reducing Beirut’s civilian areas to rubble in weeks of bombardment because two of their soldiers were captured, or see images of their bulldozers flattening homes in Jerusalem’s Arab ghetto, surely I could be justifiably “anti-Semitic.”
When the media suppresses such thorny comments, it actually helps to prolong the terrible strife. Hopefully, the more such topics are fully debated, hot heads on both sides might be embarrassed into genuine peace efforts which will give their families the security that can never be achieved on the battlefield.
The letter was so good, it was accompanied with an image that took up the same space that the letter was awarded.
No official organ of the South African Jewish community regards criticism of Israel as anti-Semitic. Yes, there are individual reactionaries who behave in this manner, but the same can be said of the Muslim community and the charge of Islamophobia - specifically omitted by this letter writer.
The problem is that very often, the criticism is anti-Semitic, often mocking our tragic past by painting us as the new Nazis, provoking a legitimate response which is then used by other "humanists" to allege that we regard any criticism as anti-Semitic. We can't win!