Neo-Neocon posts a photo of an astonishing advertisement promoting a hate-filled anti-Semitic Middle Eastern “seminar” (Iran’s “World Without Zionism” conference) and writes:
Lovely [poster], isn’t it? I mean that sincerely. One of the more pernicious aspects of much modern propaganda is its slickness and polish, its ability to appeal to the most sophisticated among us. This aesthetically pleasing poster is no exception–in fact, it’s an excellent example of the genre.
Note how the conference and the poster focus on the word “Zionism,” not “Jews.” The old argument about whether one can be anti-Zionist and nevertheless not anti-Semitic keeps cropping up around the blogosphere and elsewhere. The comments section of the thread linked above at Gates of Vienna contains a good example of such a discussion.
I’m sure there truly are people who have objections to Zionism but honestly feel they have no objections to Jews themselves. But I’m just as sure that such people would have been hard-pressed to have explained where else the leftover Jews were supposed to go right after WWII, when Europe had killed so many of its Jews and was in the process of spitting out the exhausted survivors. Even the UN, that august body which in recent decades has been the very poster child for “anti-Zionism,” voted at that time to partition Palestine and give the Jews their own tiny piece of land.
In the years since Israel’s founding, the sophisticated propaganda which has over the last few decades managed to demonize it in the eyes of many has emboldened the Iranian mullahs. It is possible for them to speak quite openly of wiping Israel off the face of the earth, and trust that at least some will defend such a statement on the grounds that it’s not technically “anti-Semitic,” it’s merely “anti-Zionist” (see this).
Poor, poor Hitler, so ahead of his time! If only the state of Israel had already existed when he offered his Final Solution, he could have phrased it in terms so much more acceptable.
If Robert Harris had set Fatherland in 2004 instead of 1964, he’d probably have described advertisements much like the one illustrated in Neo’s post.