Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Angry Arab, anti-Zionism, and anti-Semitism

I am sometimes asked in the comments why I take notice of Angry Arab at all. He is actually useful in some ways for thinking about the relationship of anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism. Case in point: a post with title "Disgrace unto the nations," a title which AA uses quite often. The body of the post, "How Israel stigmatizes and mistreats AIDS sufferers," is the title of a Ha'aretz article which is quite scathing on the subject of the care given to AIDS patients in Israel and their general place in society, exactly what you would guess from the title. People who call themselves "anti-Zionist" often complain that they are falsely accused of anti-Semitism as part of a ploy which Israel's supporters use to silence its critics. But the author of the AIDS article will never be called an anti-Semite although he is being harshly critical. Maybe he is overstating his case and maybe he isn't, but he writes as if he wants Israel to do something well which in his opinion it is currently doing badly. Angry Arab, by contrast, wants to harm Israel's interests in any way he can. People who would simply call him an "anti-Semite" are being a bit inarticulate, perhaps, but they are not trying to silence criticism of Israel. In the case of Angry Arab and others of his ilk, there is, in fact, no criticism (in the normal sense) to silence.

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