Israel Demolishes Homes as its Allies Weaponize Anti-Semitism


As published in the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, January/February 2021, p. 6

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) recently destroyed yet another Bedouin settlement in the illegally occupied Jordan Valley on the pretext that the land was needed for a “military firing zone.” It could be suggested that the regular assaults on Gaza’s captive population already provide a lethal form of target practice that renders so-called firing ranges redundant. This “firing range” tactic has been frequently employed as a handy excuse to displace both Bedouins and Palestinians.

Such actions are standard policy for a powerful nation that has declared itself the “Middle East's only democracy.” Unfortunately, the many benefits of Israeli “democracy” are mainly reserved for Israeli Jews, passive Israeli Arabs and senior members of the collaborationist Palestinian Authority.

The factual basis for my observations is apparently irrelevant to those who support the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) “working definition” of anti-Semitism, which is supposedly designed to reduce hate crimes against Jews. However, the breadth of the definition suggests different goals.

According to this expansive definition, those who dare offer a reasoned critique of Israeli policy are anti-Semitic, unless they simultaneously detail the sins of every other nation. This policy both excuses Israeli offenses and discourages dissent, creating a chilling effect on public discourse.

It is worth noting that Jews in every nation are increasingly critical of Israeli state policy toward those Palestinians and Bedouins living under martial law in illegally occupied territories. Those deploying the IHRA definition are well-aware of this uncomfortable reality and may be seeking to delegitimize Israeli critics by accusing even Jews of anti-Semitism.

Morgan Duchesney, Ottawa, Canada

For more on this important topic, we encourage you to read Jonathan Cook’s article, “lsrael Uses Closed Military Firing Zones to Drive More Palestinians From Their Land,” in the September 2014 issue of this publication. In the article, he noted that “18 percent of the West Bank has been declared as Israeli military training and firing zones.”