Natan Sharansky is one of my heroes. One of the founders of the Refusenik movement, he was arrested on charges of spying for the United States and treason, and sentenced to 13 years of forced labor in the infamous Soviet Gulag. Intense international pressure resulted in his release in 1986, following which he immediately made aliyah. Despite the tremendous rigors of his life and incarceration in the former Soviet Union, he subsequently became a prolific author and a major participant in Israeli politics. He has been honored with both the Congressional Gold Medal (1986) and the Presidential Medal of Honor (2006), and currently serves as chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel.
One of Sharansky’s best-known writings may be one of his briefest. In a 2004 article published in the Jewish Political Studies Review, he proposed a “3D Test” to determine whether criticism of Israel is legitimate or simply antisemitism in disguise.
The 3D Test is a very useful tool for advocates of Israel, since those who hate Israel are capable of fiendish cleverness. I guess that when you have such animosity toward something, you will find any way to attack it, whether directly or indirectly. We see this all the time from such things as the BDS movement, the absurd pronouncements and rulings that frequently emanate from the United Nations and its bodies and agencies, and the annual fantasy week that makes the most specious allegations against Israel.
One of the newest tactics of those who hate Israel is to assert that while Israel has an enviable record (though they would never use that term) in a certain area (such as gay rights), it is all just a cover to “pinkwash” the underlying crimes of Israel against the Palestinians. Hence you get the utterly ridiculous notion of Queers Against Israel Apartheid.Think about that for a second and try not to shake your head so violently as to give yourself a neck injury.
Taking this extremely dubious method of “thinking” to new extreme frontiers, a few fringe anti-Israel activists in Atlantic Canada have criticized renowned Nova Scotia artist Tom Forrestall. The reason? Forrestall painted a series of watercolors while accompanying a 2010 mission to Israel organized by the Atlantic Jewish Council. The local anti-Israel crowd (really, just a handful of people) claimed that Mr. Forrestall’s works consist not only of watercolors but “whitewash,” and that the mission was simply an attempt by Israel to “change the channel” regarding Israel’s human rights abuses. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Radio station in Halifax was even somehow convinced that this was a story worthy of airtime.