Netanyahu’s Indulgence Of Anti-Semitism And Abandonment Of Democracy

Binyhamin Netanyahu and Viktor Orban in front of Israeli and Hungarian flags

Henry Siegman writes in Lobe Log,”The New York Times fully deserved the recent outpouring of public anger in reaction to a political cartoon that appeared in the April 25 international edition. The cartoon contained classic anti-Semitic tropes reminiscent of Nazi propaganda. It did not appear in The New York Times because the paper traffics in anti-Semitism, but because it was guilty of a scandalous failure of editorial oversight. The Times recognized its mistake and accepted the blame in its fulsome editorial apology for that failure.”

“But there’s been a more longstanding indulgence of anti-Semitism far more egregious than the anti-Semitic cartoon, and from a source far more shocking than The New York Times. Moreover, this indulgence of anti-Semitism, which has not provoked anything resembling the outrage that the Times’ failure of oversight triggered, has not been the result of negligence. It has been deliberate and with malice aforethought.”

A cartoon by Brazilian artist Aroeira published in January 2019 in the O Dia newspaper, featuring Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (L) and Brazil’s president, Jair Bolsonaro

“I refer to the embrace by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of authoritarian and racist heads of state and of political parties, including parties with deep anti-Semitic and fascist parentage. If Netanyahu, who so often reminds his critics that he heads “the world’s only Jewish state,” prefers collaborating with authoritarian leaders who are increasingly indistinguishable from racists, fascists, and anti-Semites, and treats democracies and democratic norms with contempt, what does a Jewish state add to the well-being of the Jewish people, or of the world?”

“How long do Israelis think it will take before these racist autocrats who now celebrate Netanyahu revert to their more accustomed right-wing demonologies in which Jews occupy pride of place? And what does it say about the state of Israel, its leaders, and its citizens, that Donald Trump, who is detested in nearly every democratic country in the world, and most especially by the overwhelming majority of American Jews, enjoys his greatest popularity in the Jewish state of Israel?” (more…)

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