What kind of support is this?
Published in: Jewish Chronicle
Much anguish has been expended over Jews who detest Israel so virulently they are in the forefront of the delegitimisation campaign. Such people were devastatingly satirised by Howard Jacobson as ‘as a Jew’ Jews, who parade their identity solely to demonise Israel.
There is, however, another group which is having a devastating impact on the cause of bringing truth and reason to bear on the Arab war against Israel. These are the ‘as an Israel supporter’ Jews, who are creating even more confusion and damage.
These are, to all intents and purposes, supporters of Israel. They visit frequently, often have homes there and may even be significant philanthropic donors to the country.
Yet they can never bring themselves to speak about it except in the most bitter terms, and appear to see in it only the bad.
They dwell upon the racism of Israeli Jews towards African immigrants, or the Bedouin. ‘As an Israel supporter' they obsess about the Charedim [ultra-Orthodox] who spit on girls in the street.
For sure, racist violence towards immigrants, harsh treatment of the Bedouin or the attacks on women are disgusting and shameful. But why do these Jews exaggerate their importance, never acknowledging the complexity of the situation and creating the false impression that all Israelis or Charedim are racist, intolerant, violent bigots?
Why do they never express horror at the ill-treatment by Palestinians of Palestinian women, or the violence by Hamas against the people of Gaza, or the ethnic cleansing of Palestinian Christians by Muslims? Why do they not obsess about Arab attacks on Jews?
They parrot Arab propaganda. ‘As an Israel supporter’, they say it is the settlers and Netanyahu's intransigence that are preventing peace. They wail about the checkpoints, the humiliation of Palestinians, the shuttered Arab shops without ever acknowledging the sole reason for that hardship is that the Palestinians never cease attempting to murder Israelis.
If the ‘as an Israel supporter’ Jews had their way and Israel departed the disputed territories tomorrow, they would fall into the hands of Hamas or worse. How do they imagine Israel would then defend itself against bombs and rockets down the road?
Do they care? Indeed, do they support any Israeli military defence against attack? Because we never ever hear that from them.
Of course, with Abbas and co now stating regularly they will never accept Israel as a Jewish state, the fiction that the Palestinians will ever agree to a two-state solution becomes ever more absurd.
So now, the ‘as an Israel supporter’ Jews are moving the goalposts. Maybe, they murmur, one state is the answer. Maybe Israel should cease to be a Jewish state at all. Otherwise it might turn into apartheid South Africa. Or Iran. Or Syria. ‘As an Israel supporter’, you understand, they say this.
You hear such talk round the dinner tables of north-west London or in the pews of certain synagogues. Its behind the recent controversies over statements by certain individuals in leadership positions in the community.
So just what is the Israel they support? A fantasy land where the Palestinians yearn only to live peacefully alongside the Jews, where no-one wants to rule over anyone else, where Islam is a religion of purest peace, where the Charedim are jailed en masse, where Jews never have to get their hands dirty and where there is no prejudice or extremism of any kind. And if only it wasn’t for Bibi, that's what we could have!
Has there ever been another people in the history of this planet who are capable of quite such self-destructive stupidity?