by: David Harris-Gershon on October 24th, 2013 | 36 Comments »
The book in question chronicles my reconciliation with the Palestinian family of the bomber who perpetrated the 2002 Hebrew University attack – an attack which injured my wife and killed the two friends with whom she was sitting.
Clearly, my book is a work aimed at promoting the destruction of Israel. Clearly, it’s an anti-Semitic manifesto with one goal: the downfall of the Jewish state. After all, what else could a book about peace and reconciliation between Jews and Palestinians be trying to do, other than promote anti-Semitism?
Which is why a writer for the Times of Israel, upon the NY Post naming my book a ‘must-read,’ asked the following question:
It’s a good question. Is the New York Post promoting the end of Israel? The writer at TOI brought some compelling proof: a) people of ‘questionable character’ have praised my book on Amazon, b) I’ve criticized Israel in my political writings in the past, c) something about me being a self-hating Jew, which I didn’t quite understand, but obviously has legs given I humanize Palestinians, rather than view them as a caricature of evil.
Clearly, such bombastic charges mirror a predictable trope used by those who, viewing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as a zero-sum game, resort to the ‘anti-Semitism’ charge to shut down dialogue and debate.
It is a trope that appears all too often, for the anti-Semitism charge can be a powerful one. Unfortunately, it has become so diluted by those who use it as a political scare tactic that it has come to mean little more these days in political discourse as, I am scared by your politics.
That’s unfortunate, for anti-Semitism a very real danger which persists, and such usage dilutes its meaning. More importantly, though, such usage continues to be used as a way to leverage damaging accusations in the name of political ‘victory.’
It’s not so dissimilar from what the Tea Party did recently during the government shutdown: they were willing to damage the United States economy, as well as its scientific and social institutions, in order to promote their unsustainable and extremist political demands. In essence, it was a destructive tantrum.
So too, these days, are such charges of anti-Semitism: they are politically-motivated tantrums which are destructive. And in the end, like the Tea Party, they will be revealed for what they are: unpalatable perspectives that stand outside the mainstream.
David Harris-Gershon is author of the memoir What Do You Buy the Children of the Terrorist Who Tried to Kill Your Wife?, now out from Oneworld Publications.
Follow him on Twitter @David_EHG.