Friday, July 21, 2006

Mass communication: Criticizing Israel does not make you anti-Semitic

In her regular column in the Ottawa Citizen on July 20, " Quebec's ugly little bias," Brigitte Pellerin accuses Quebec pundits who are critical of Israel's actions in Lebanon of anti-Semitism.

While Israel does have the right to defend itself, and while Hezbollah is admittedly dedicated to the destruction of the Jewish state, Israel surely isn't above criticism. Even Kofi Annan criticized the level of Israel's reaction.

But criticizing Israel doesn't necessarily make one anti-Israeli or anti-Semitic, any more than criticizing the Bush administration makes you anti-American. Many, many loyal Americans criticize the White House regularly.

The American forces take a lot of flack over their behaviour, strategies and decisions in Afghanistan, in Iraq and around the world. And rightly so. Shouldn't we free, thinking people hold the government of Israel to the same standard?

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous5:57 PM

    This is an extremely important question today. Unfortunately, it is not easily answered. While I completely respect and support your reponse to Brigitte's op-ed piece that being against Israel's policies shouldn't make you anti-Semitic...the reality is something quite different. The lines are blurred. I'm not sure why or how it got to be that way...but the stigma part...because of influentials like Brigitte who believe, "if you are not for us, you are against us." The anti-Semitic label is potent. It keeps Members of Congress in line. I would encourage all of my Jewish friends and colleagues to take a strong stand against this pernicious form of Mccarthyism.