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While Gaza Burns, Media Zionists Still Portray Israel as Victim

Niall McCrae 

21st Century Wire

In words often wrongly attributed to Voltaire, Kevin Alfred Strom asserted that ‘to learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticise’.

Since the Hamas attack on 7th October, this has been made very clear. Influential Zionist activists, who exert phenomenal influence on western politics, governments, and media, have ensured that only the one version of events, the Israeli version, is socially acceptable. This political reality was demonstrated in grave detail in Al Jazeera’s multi-part investigative documentary series, The Lobby -Britain and The Lobby – USA. Of course, a different truth is known by any objective observer, especially millions of Palestinian people, and also by the millions who march worldwide against the brutal military bombardment and massacre of civilians in Gaza. But the BBC and The Daily Mail still refuse to broadcast or publish the widespread and justified disgust at the actions of the Israeli government.

Disturbingly, the British mainstream media have been actively shilling for the Israeli government, as their Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu insists on continuing the annihilation of Gaza. A prime asset of the campaign to cast Israelis as the oppressed, and the Palestinians as the oppressor is British media pundit Douglas Murray. Writing in The Spectator, Why I’m considering a life of crime, Murray denounced posters at Heathrow Airport inviting travellers from the ‘Israel/Palestinian territories’ who have ‘witnessed or been a victim of terrorism, war crimes or crimes against humanity’ to report to it police, in potential pursuance of a case by the International Criminal Court. This call for international justice deeply offends Murray, who asserts that ‘there is no country called Palestine’. Why not, Douglas? My old atlas from the 1930s clearly shows a land of this name, on the eastern edge of the Mediterranean Sea and bordering on Trans-Jordan.

Curiously, Murray is not sure what status to give the remaining Palestinian area. As he explains, ‘there is the disputed territory of the West Bank and there is Gaza, which was handed over to the Palestinians in 2005 and which promptly became a ‘terror state’. Hold on, Douglas, don’t you deny such statehood? It seems that Murray wants Gaza to have responsibility without any sovereign recognition or power, and the inverse for Israel.

But their journalists and commentators are not only concerned with what’s happening in a narrow strip of land invaded by Israeli troops. They portray all Jews living in Britain as victims of hate, because supporters of the Palestinian cause are railing against the murderous exploits of a state that claims to represent Jewish people worldwide. Meanwhile our police and judiciary appear bent on protecting a foreign jurisdiction two thousand miles away; for example, arresting UK protestors with placards likening the Knesset to the Third Reich.

INFOGRAPHIC: Latest number in Israel’s ongoing genocide of the native Palestinian population in Gaza (Source: EuroMed)

The lead opinion piece in the Daily Express (4th January 2024), by the chairman of Glasgow Friends of Israel, shows the way that the wind is blowing. According to Sammy Stein, anti-Zionism is nothing but rebranded anti-Semitism. Although Stein acknowledges the right to criticise Israel and its leaders (as do many Israelis), he smears the regular large pro-Palestinian rallies in Glasgow as “anti-Semitic,” based on his experience in running a market stall in the city centre adorned with Israeli flags. He believes that flying a national flag (of a country that is clearly committing crimes against humanity) is somehow defending the rights of Jews. Within reasonable limits, criticism of his stall is an expected and justifiable act of free speech, a fundamental right in a free society.

Stein confines the concept of anti-Semitism to dislike of Jews, despite the broader meaning of Semitic peoples (including the Semitic Palestinian people, the targets of Israeli bombs and bullets). He claims that this ‘is a term established specifically for the hatred of the Jewish people and not, as some believe, hatred against people who can be described as Semites, such as Muslims’. The expanding scope of anti-Semitism, as determined by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), is now sufficiently wide enough to quell any opprobrium towards Israel, while there is no equivalent protection for the native Palestinian people and their diaspora. Shamefully, nearly all major Western political parties have signed up to this blatantly one-sided censorship.

Despite the efforts of these Western institutions to impose an arbitrary definition of what constitutes a ‘hate crime,’ the fact remains that Jews are not the same as the state of Israel, and both of which is not the same as the ideology known as Zionism. But the distinction between Zionists and the Israeli leadership is becoming blurred. As the Palestinians and their supporters chant of ‘From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free’, treated by many Western authorities as a potentially hateful message, Netanyahu’s administration seems to be aiming for that very same outcome – capturing the whole land for Israel and evicting the Palestinians from their homeland. Stein notes that ‘today, Zionism refers to support for the continued existence of Israel, in the face of regular calls for its dissolution’. The Israelis have a right to self-determination, Stein believes, but not the Palestinian inmates trapped in the world’s largest concentration camp.

Stein also reminds us that ‘Jesus was a Jew,’ who, ironically, was persecuted by the Jews, leading to his crucifixion under the aegis of Roman authority at the time. But for Stein and Zionists, the land of historic Palestine belongs to the Jews because some Jews have continuously inhabited the area for thousands of years, after having first established their presence thousands of years ago. Also, they believe that this homeland was supposedly promised to them as a fulfilment of God’s covenant with Abraham. This is a simplistic and convenient reading of history. There is no straightforward link between Judah of the Bible and present-day Zionists. Regardless, should Israel really be allowed to run an exclusionary ethno-nationalist and inhumane Apartheid state (as Western societies simultaneously promote multiculturalism, diversity, equity and inclusion)?

Stein regards anti-Zionism as ‘unique in demanding the dismantling of an existing state after over seventy years of independence.’ Palestinians would splutter over such hypocrisy. For Stein, anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism are now the same thing, being slightly different ‘ways of saying that Jews have no right to exist collectively as Jews with the same rights as other humans’. Perhaps Stein should spend a few days on the Gaza strip to learn whose hate is most powerful – that of desperate, bombed-out Palestinians or that of the American-backed Israeli branch of the military-industrial complex.

Niall McCrae is a researcher and educator, and author of ‘The Moon and Madness’ (Imprint Academic, 2011), and ‘Moralitis: a Cultural Virus’ (Bruges Group, 2018). See his 21WIRE archive here







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