POSTED RESPONSES TO A COLUMN BY RONALD LAUDER IN THE TORONTO GLOBE AND MAIL
"Even a tolerant country such as Sweden must not tolerate those who preach intolerance."
Yes, indeed, but the author certainly is being extremely hypocritical in this matter, for the government of Sweden’s responsibility can no greater than that of the state of Israel: it surely is beyond question that anti-Semitic events like those in this story are stoked up by Israel's never-ending series of brutal behaviors.
The example of intolerance and violence against victims best known on the planet is the state of Israel: invasions, murder, illegal arrest, torture, apartheid practices, and ethnic-cleansing.
Right now, Israel, for the second time, is destroying the dwellings of hundreds of harmless Bedouin on the Negev Desert, and it arrests those who oppose its police-state activities to protect their homes.
Previously the government of Israel followed the ghastly practice of poisoning the crops of these people in order to drive them away.
At the same time, not a week goes by in which Israel does not commit a new injustice in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, throwing people off their property with the flimsiest excuse and stealing title to it.
The poor people of Gaza are into their fourth year of a brutal and unjustified blockade, denying them many of life’s ordinary requirements. Israel Post has recently announced that mail will not be delivered to Gaza, in violation of international conventions.
Israel killed with impunity nine human-rights workers on the high seas, and to this day neither the ships seized nor the personal effects Israeli soldiers grabbed from hundreds of innocent people – phones, computers, cameras, wallets – have been returned to their owners. God knows what happened to the cargo which included everything from donated wheelchairs and medicines to food.
Israel weekly makes provocative moves in Southern Lebanon, from cutting down trees on the Lebanese side of the border – yes, other people’s trees - to flying its jets threateningly overhead. It never assisted in locating the countless cluster bombs it dropped to kill and maim innocent people going about their business. It shouts, day after day, for war on Iran, a country which is attacking no one.
And millions go into their fifth decade of living under humiliating and illegal occupation.
Israel freely assassinates anyone it chooses to regard as an enemy, and that likely includes prominent figures like former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri or Palestine’s Yasser Arafat.
I just wonder whether there is even one Palestinian who would not gladly trade places with a Jewish person in Sweden, despite the unpleasantness of some minor vandalism?
"I stopped reading this article when it attempted to label attitudes about Israel as attitudes about Jews. Israel is a state, not a race or religion.
"Certainly Jews should feel free and comfortable to live in Sweden, and any other democracy. But that has nothing to do with Israel."
Israel's defenders never seem to grasp this essential truth.
When spokesmen like Ronald Lauder say otherwise, I always feel I'm being told I must drop all clear thinking and sense of fairness under threat of being labeled as anti-Semitic. How is such labeling different to people who use epithets and paint ugly graffiti?
In that sense, I am sorry to say, but I regard apologists for Israel like Ronald Lauder who call critics of Israel anti-Semitic as representing the same anti-democratic and anti-enlightenment values as the unthinking thugs who break windows in a synagogue.
You cannot demand special pleading here: either you are fair and consistent in your treatment of others or you are not.
The thugs in Sweden are unacceptable, but then so are Ronald Lauder’s prejudiced words.
As for Israel’s barbarism and injustice, the day everyone is browbeaten into accepting it is the day we will know Hitler’s ugly legacy to the world lives on.
"JOHN_CHUCKMAN_ if Sweden hates Israel for whatever reason, that does not give citizens of Sweden or Swedish government the right to abuse Swedish Jewish population that supports Israel because of their history."
I never said that it did.
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