This article is featured in the WIZO Lapid Newsletter
In today’s social media savvy and fast paced world it seems that the face of anti-Semitism as we traditionally know it is rapidly changing. Modern day anti-Semitism is no longer restricted to the desecration of Jewish graves or the barring of Jews from sports clubs as we used to see in the past. Today we see a shift from attacking the individual to the attack of the ultimate Jewish symbol, the State of Israel. The new anti-Semitism has reared its ugly head in the form of virulent anti-Zionism. On University campuses around the world and in calls for Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions against the Jewish State are increasing.
Attempts to equate Israel with pariah states like Apartheid South Africa and deal out the same treatment that brought the notorious African regime to its knees, seems to be the new modus operandi that forms part of the new assault on Israel’s legitimacy.
March brings with it perhaps the most nefarious event on the anti-Israel calendar, Israel = Apartheid Week. On university campuses across the world “activists” will be staging various forums to attack and vilify Israel. Drawing comparisons by alleging that Israel practices crimes of Apartheid anti-Israel activists are treated like visiting rock stars and Jewish students are feeling the heat as anti-Israel activists use intimidation tactics. Many feel too intimidated or that Universities are complicit in fostering climates of hatred.The other battlefield that is growing in momentum are the calls for cultural, academic and economic boycotts and divestment (BDS).
This attempted assault on Israel’s legitimacy is the new manifestation of anti-Semitism. It has become the cause du jour for actresses like Emma Thompson or musicians like Roger Waters. These so called human rights activists are also strangely silent when rockets rain down on Israel’s civilians but this just exposes the scary double standard at play. Last year, music icon Stevie Wonder, cancelled his scheduled appearance at the Friends of the IDF benefit after he was inundated with letters and petitions from activists. The sad reality is that the people who stand to lose the most in campaigns like this are the very people human rights activists purport to help.The new tool in the arsenal of hatred is Holocaust inversion or the accusations that the Jewish victims of the worst crime of atrocity known to mankind are now the perpetrators. This was evident in South Africa last week when at an event to commemorate International Holocaust Day (organised by the BDS Movement – oh the irony!), the CEO of the South African Human Rights Commission declared that “The Holocaust survivor has become the War criminal of today.” This nauseating and offensive statement that is meant to give these nefarious organisations the moral high ground only serve to expose their true intent.
Israel has become the favourite scapegoat much to the detriment of other conflicts around the world. Beating up on the Jewish State has become the sport of choice in the world media and in the hallowed halls of the United Nations. One has to wonder how victims of human rights atrocities and genocide in places like Syria or Darfur feel that their suffering is of little consequence when Israel is the focus of so much attention. Sadly when we needed the focus of the world it was lacking. But if the tyrants and terrorists of the world unite against us and use us as a scapegoat, perhaps we are doing something right?Rolene Marks is a member of the Media Team Israel, a voluntary body under the auspices of the South AfricanZionist Federation that counters bias against Israel in the media.
Rolene Marks has written numerous published opinion-editorials, addressed groups and has been featured on radio and television countering bias against Israel. Follow Rolemarks on Twitter or read her blog:www.rorosrantings.wordpress.com