The Translators’ Network for Linguistic Diversity

SOUTH OF THE BORDER  (Latin America and the Caribbean)
IMPERIUM  (Global Issues)
THE LAND OF CANAAN  (Palestine, Israel)
UMMA  (Arab World, Islam)
IN THE BELLY OF THE WHALE  (Activism in the Imperialist Metropolis)
THE MOTHER CONTINENT  (Africa, Indian Ocean)

TYPHOON ZONE  (Asia, Pacific Basin)
WITH A K AS IN KALVELLIDO (Diary of a Proletarian Cartoonist)
STORMING BRAINS  (Culture, Communication)
TLAXCALA'S REFERENCE ZONE  (Glossaries, Dictionaries, Maps)

Español Français English Deutsch Português Italiano Català
عربي Svenska فارسی Ελληνικά русски TAMAZIGHT OTHER LANGUAGES
The First Word War - Palestine Think Tank and Tlaxcala declare war against disinformation

About anti-Semitism

AUTHOR:  Nahida IZZAT ناهدة عزة

Talking about anti-Semitism, and the accusation of anti-Semitism, is to many people a very sensitive issue, nevertheless, I feel the need to highlight some points: 

As a Palestinian and as a Muslim, with first hand experience of racism, whether here in UK or in occupied Palestine, I do understand what it means to be subjugated to it; thus, I deeply empathise with those who suffer from the menace of racism and discrimination, those who are abused verbally, physically, emotionally, or otherwise for no other reason than the fact that they are “different”. 

And I also do understand the awful feeling and dreadful sensation of being subjugated to subtle racist looks or remarks, only felt by you and not the people around you. 

However, I do see a huge difference between a racist remark directed at a person or a group for their beliefs, race, or whatever that which makes them different, and between a snarl, a sneer or sarcasm against an occupying criminal entity called “israel” and its people for their CRIMES. 

One must not fail to distinguish between the rage and fury caused by watching helplessly for decades the grim unstoppable crimes go unpunished year after year, and the racist blind hatred that might still exist among a tiny minority who, by nature, would be hating anything and anyone who is different anyway. 

Furthermore, this occupying entity called “israel” (a word that I myself detest to even pronounce and generally avoid to use) is not a theoretical being, nor does it operate in a vacuum; it’s neither an abstract concept nor a conjectural void.

It’s an entity run by PEOPLE 

PEOPLE who make decisions, 

PEOPLE who elect politicians 

PEOPLE who ALL serve in a barbaric army 

PEOPLE who foster racist beliefs, attitudes and actions 

PEOPLE who invaded others’ land, dispossessed them, and forcibly occupied it 

PEOPLE who imprison children and shoot babies hearts 

PEOPLE who destroy world heritage 

PEOPLE who steal water, land, sea and sky 

PEOPLE who kill hope, life, beauty and smiles 

PEOPLE who build their colonies on the blood and ruins of another people 

It is an entity of PEOPLE, 94% of whom voted for the attack on Gaza 

It is an entity of PEOPLE, 71% of whom want U.S. to strike Iran


It is an entity of PEOPLE who violated ALL neighbouring countries 

It is an entity of PEOPLE who live on a STOLEN land for over six decades, with no signs of shame, remorse, awakening of conscience, or willingness to neither admit nor right the wrongs they’ve committed. 

Every normal person with some compassion, would make a grimace of disgust and revulsion when hearing about such an entity or such a people who commit such despicable horrors

Now, I find it difficult to be persuaded that such a reaction to such horrific crimes -when hearing the name “israel” or “israeli”- is an act of racism (anti-Semitism).

On another note; we Palestinians do not have any responsibility whatsoever for the crime of the holocaust, nor do we carry the burden of European racism against Jewish people. 

 Furthermore, I do not see a difference between any kind of racism including racism directed against Jewish people known as anti-Semitism. If we accept racism against Jewish people as being different, then it implies that we accept the racist absurdity of “Jewish exceptionalism”. Racism is racism, many causes same consequences.

 Thus, I do not see the suffering of Jewish people (horrible as it was) as a unique kind of suffering which must be revered and viewed as essentially and fundamentally different from other human suffering; the same way that I do not see our suffering as Palestinians as unique or different from any other. 

 Questions come pounding:

Why is it that we Palestinians- are constantly reminded of the horrors of the holocaust, when we had nothing to do with it? 

Why is it that we Palestinians, are to suffer the same fate as the victims of the holocaust by the hands of those who brag worldwide to act for “never again”? 

Why would the UN want to enforce the study of the history of the oppressors and occupiers -holocaust- upon children languishing in refugee camps who themselves along with their parents, and grand parents were victims of ethnic cleansing, planed and executed by those whom they are supposed to feel sympathy with? 

Why is it that we are persistently bogged down by the fixation on anti-Semitism, while for sixty years (a century rather), we are the ones who are relentlessly suffering from a most vile evil racism (ethnic cleansing gradually becoming a form of “final solution”) perpetrated by a whole population of racist zionists?

(with all honesty, I must tell you that some times I imagine it would’ve been easier and less painful to us to be gassed and killed immediately rather than this policy of excruciating slow death that we have been going through for over a century). 

How could the world keep asking us to recognise the “humanity” of a settler, who comes with his wife and children armed to his teeth, and at gun point evicts a Palestinian family, throws their entire belongings out, and moves in? 

What kind of “humanity” is this?

And most importantly, why is it that we are continuously been asked to feel compassion towards our tormenters who relentlessly murder and humiliate us, who attempt to annihilate us and our history and why, to what purpose, are we asked to feel their “humanity”, while their knife still piercing deep in our hearts? 

Finally, I cannot speak on behalf of all the Palestinians, but as for myself, I must admit, the recent Gaza events was the last straw that broke the camel’s back; before that, I used to think that there is hope, those PEOPLE would wake up to their “humanity” one day, and regret the evil that they’ve done, unfortunately, the more I see of them, the more I realise that this hope and dream was an illusion. 

Over the past few years, I have been reading and debating with many of those “soft” zionists in the so called “peace camps”, all I found is an extremely arrogant groups of people, who are incapable of recognising, admitting, or willing to rectify the crimes they’ve done. 

 They are only interested in “peace” to protect their interests and to further secure their grip hold on the stolen land. 

Moreover, very recently, and by sheer accident, I stumbled across some honorific information that reveals the severity of decay of morality and lack of humanity amongst those RACIST zionists - whose ideological bigotry and chauvinism surpasses all other- that left me in a state of shock for days; crying, shaking, suffocating with palpitations and suffering from severe panic attacks. I hope and pray that I would be one day soon, able to write about the awful reality that caused so much anguish, distress, shocked my very foundation and traumatized my essence. 

Undoubtedly, the world community should leave it to the victims to decide how to deal with those criminals in the future. Only the victims can investigate the fragile alleys of forgiveness or punishment. The victims should have the last say irrespective of what their judgment might be, they should not be vilified, indicted or moralized with, for they have suffered more than enough. 

The emergence of forgiveness and reconciliation requires certain conditions:

1) Stopping the crime

2) admitting of guilt

3) asking for pardon

4) and rectifying the wrong

None of these conditions are ever considered as an option amongst that mighty sick racist society. 

As for me, I have no authority to talk in the name of all Palestinians, but I can state with all honesty, I DO NOT wish the zionist murderers, those of whom were directly or indirectly involved in massacres, theft of land, subjugation and oppression, to remain in Palestine after its liberation from the occupier. Except of course for the very few good people amongst them, as no soul should carry the liability of another- I do not wish the invader, occupier and criminal racists to stay in Palestine, the land that they incessantly raped, destroyed and disfigured, nor do I desire them to be my neighbours. 

They have shown no respect, no appreciation, and no love to this land or to her people 

They do not deserve to live there 

But these are only my own feelings, and I know that the decision is not mine.

More on anti-Semitism 

There are some more points that I would like to draw attention to: 

1) “israel” calls itself a Jewish state, and claims to be acting for all Jewish people, by Jewish people. It is still enjoying the moral and financial support of the majority of Jewish communities world wide. The absence of a huge uproar of denunciation and disassociation by the majority of world Jewry, makes it hard for people not to blame zionist Jews who live outside occupied Palestine for their guilt of complicity, active alliance or passive complacency by either silence or aiding and sustaining the criminals. 

 2) “israel” still enjoys the protection of the “Security Council” with its US vetoes on any UN resolution sanctioning “israel’s” endless list of ongoing crimes and infractions of international law, and the “israeli” criminals still roam with impunity, free from prosecution by any jurisdiction . This intolerable situation inevitably foments further rage and fury against the double standard and special treatment granted to the Jewish state. 

3) The excessive use of the term “anti Semitism”:

a) by zionist Jews, accusing all non zionist

b) by soft zionists Jews, accusing anti zionists Jews

c) by anti zionists Jews, accusing fellow anti zionists Jews and also non Jews of anti-Semitism as soon as they dare to examine Judaism with critical eye, criticising some aspects of it, some beliefs, attitudes or behaviours. 

 All this has participated in creating a sense of repression of freedom of expression, and undoubtedly also a sense of being subjected to what feels like intimidation and thought control. 

It has also diluted the meaning of the word Anti-Semitism, making it practically devoid of any signification. It is now used ad nauseam, ad absurdum, reduced to a simple rhetorical trick, slapped in the face of anything and anyone, as soon as there is the slightest inspection of facts. The word has lost its effectiveness to expose a form of racism, I am afraid. The more we hear it used inappropriately, the more indifference its further future usage will raise. Worse, it may even -God forbid- contribute to a form of blow-back ...the story of the boy who cried wolf is only too familiar. 

So, a sincere advice from a heart that cares, to all my Jewish friends who are really interested in preventing the re-emergence of real “anti Semitism”, and to those “israelis” with some humanity left; I would say: 

1) Instead of wasting time searching for the "humanity" within “israeli” criminals, focus your energy on fighting and revealing “israeli” crimes and exposing its inhumanity,

2) Disassociate your selves completely from such an entity and proclaim this annulment loud and clear,

3) Let go of the idea that anti Semitism is a “special” case of racism; treat all racism with the same degree of unambiguous condemnation,

4) Try to look at the situation from the standpoint of non Jewish people, who will not accept or understand the insistence on the uniqueness of the Jewish suffering, whereas the world has seen since the end of WW2 the massacres of millions and millions of non Jews. The world is inflamed by hatred against Muslims, not against Jews,

5) With love in my heart, with sincere and pure feelings, I would appeal to you to look inwards and search for reasons, as to why you feel that the world should accept racism against you as somehow worse or different, and as to why you feel that your suffering is unique and unlike others’, because this is not how the world sees it. All suffering has the same value to those who go through it, and all racism has the same consequences and must be ostracized with the same ferociousness,

6) Those of us who are involved in the support of Palestinian cause are inevitably going to be accused of anti Semitism, that does not make us in any shape or form anti-Semites, for we know very well that we are not; hence, false labels, and bogus allegations should not frighten or deter us, distract us or hinder our determination of doing what we think is right, 

7) And finally, please, do not freak out when people point out to certain aspects of Judaism and the Jewish culture that they might not like or find incompatible with humanity, equality, or fairness, after all this has always been accepted by other religions, belief-systems and cultures, and this is what freedom of thought and freedom of speech are all about, people have the right to look at different ideologies, scrutinize them, criticise them and sieve out what appears to be hindering the human moral development, as long as all this is done in a non offensive manner, without slander or abuse, but rather in a respectful, academic, genuine and good-intentional search for truth.

PS: I know that what I have said might appear too strong, unfamiliar, or painful to hear, but I can only speak of what’s in my heart, as I believe that only through openness and honesty that trust can be built. 

We have a saying in Arabic: “sadeequka man sadaqak, wassaddaqak”

 “Your true friend is that who is honest with you and who believes you

Arabic word for honesty: sidq

And for friend: sadeeq

Both friend and honesty share the same root: sa-da-qa= told the truth

My love as always



To see other entries of this First Word War please click here

The First Word War is an initiative by Palestine Think Tank and Tlaxcala.

The authors who wish to participate in this First Word War can send their texts to
contact@palestinethinktank.com and to tlaxcala@tlaxcala.es.

Palestine Think Tank

Original article published on 7 October 2009

About the author

Tlaxcala, the network of translators for linguistic diversity. This text may be reprinted as long as the content remains unaltered, and the source and author are cited.

URL of this article on Tlaxcala: