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In the Heart of Israel, Jew Hatred Is on Full Display

A Jerusalem bookshop opens a window onto the West's disturbing support for Palestinian causes.

by
Jonathan Spyer

Bio

July 5, 2011 - 12:00 am
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Dr. Abuelaish’s book is a work by a Gaza physician whose three daughters were tragically killed during Operation Cast Lead. They died as IDF troops battled Hamas snipers and mortar teams in the area of Beit Lahiya. There is no reason to believe that Abuelaish shares any of the opinions contained in the other three volumes. But given the overall display, it is reasonable to assume that the store’s goal is to stress Israel as committing war crimes rather than Abuelaish favoring conciliation. Certainly, and unsurprisingly, one would search in vain for any volumes discussing similar losses of civilian life among Israeli Jews.

Here, then, is the display that greets European diplomats, salaried peace processors, and elegant locals meeting in the courtyard and coffee shop, passing or entering the bookshop of the beautiful and peaceful American Colony Hotel in Jerusalem.

Four volumes. One of which, though written by a man of conscience, serves the purpose of describing an instance of Israeli killing of civilians. The other three are united in calling for the destruction of Israel. One of them denies the Holocaust. All of them, in great detail, set about seeking to deny the most basic facts of Jewish history, to ridicule all Jewish concerns deriving from that history, and to make of the Jews a non-people, not to be included in the general mass of humanity but rather to be uniquely singled out in illegitimacy.

This is the ideology behind the flotillas, boycotts, and furious demonstrations against Israel in the year 2011, decades after the Palestinians supposedly accepted Israel’s existence and turned toward seeking a two-state solution. This is the idea behind which Islamists and “progressives” can happily unite. This is the channel through which the familiar and foul substance of antisemitism is going to flow right back into the Western mainstream. Unless it is prevented from doing so.

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Jonathan Spyer is a senior research fellow at the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center, and a fellow at the Middle East Forum. He is the author of The Transforming Fire: The Rise of the Israel-Islamist Conflict (Continuum, 2011).
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