We can never excuse antisemitism
While taking a cursory glance at the Lenosphere I came across an odd looking post by The Angry Arab News Service, run by As’ad AbuKhalil, professor of political science at California State University.
The paragraph long post, called Zizek visits Israel: he is now an expert on the Middle East too, reads as follows:
“He proceeded to say that Zionism is not the worst evil in the world…After establishing the deep-rooted vitality of antisemitism, he mentioned that he has no patience for those who excuse Arab antisemitism; that even the most oppressed and poor Palestinian should not be tolerated for being antisemitic.” What do you suggest that we do with the most oppressed and poor Palestinians who express anti-Semitic views? Kill them? Occupy them again? Double occupy them? (thanks Wardeh)
I wanted so much to comment, but the ability to do so has been disabled. Instead I’ll state my very short reply here: Zizek states quite clearly what to do with antisemitism - refuse any patience with it, refuse to tolerate it. How do you do that? By not excusing it as common practice of poor Arabs (which it’s not).
What to some might appear like Zizek withholding sympathy for Palestinians, is in actual fact highlighting the paternalism and snobbery of some pro-Palestinians, who believe those who are lesser off than them should be pitied, left to their own devices, and if they express antisemitic views, well, who can blame them, ‘eh, after all they don’t know any better do they, they’re poor – and as all people know poor people are stupid and don’t deserve to be told they’re wrong to blame the Jews for their plight.
Implicit to this post is the justification that the anti-semite is excused of all hate crime on the grounds that the State of Israel exists. “ What do you suggest that we do with the most oppressed and poor Palestinians who express anti-Semitic views” AbuKhalil asks, giving exaggerated answers that Zizek has not alluded to. Well, I’ll tell you what to do: don’t treat people as though they’re not adult or sane enough to be told they’re wrong; don’t look down your nose at people you feel aren’t capable of properly analysing and addressing political situations; don’t snub the idea that antisemitism, in whatever form it comes and from whomever it comes from – should be rejected and fought under all circumstances, even from “the most oppressed and poor Palestinian”.
To typify Arabs in the way that AbuKhalil has done is racist.
No matter what anybody tells you, we can never excuse antisemitism!