In a speech to the South African Board of Jewish Deputies last week, Denis MacShane, a Member of Parliament in Britain said that South Africa’s ban of Israeli products is similar to Nazi Germany’s boycott of Jewish products, and that criticism of Israel as an apartheid state is meant to bring about Israel’s demise.
“Criticism of Israel is perfectly legitimate, but we have to be clear that the new antisemitic trope is beyond the pale of legitimate criticism. The notion of Israel as an apartheid state is deliberately promoted because an apartheid state cannot exist,” he told the gathering.
MacShane, who authored Globalising Hatred: The New Anti-Semitism, was speaking just before the start of the 2012 Censor/tivity Conference in South Africa.
“There are things in the Occupied Territories that are certainly unacceptable, but when I came to South Africa 25 years ago, I couldn’t meet with black trade unionists. Arabs and Jews in Israel are enjoying the same sea. An Arab Supreme Court judge presided in the case against the Israeli president.”
Referring to the anti-Jewish Jobbik party in Hungary and the recent commemoration in Latvia of the Waffen SS Latvian Brigade, MacShane discussed his view of the current state of anti-Semitism in Europe, and his commitment to fighting it.
He also focused on Hamas, which he says does not receive the amount of criticism it deserves.
“There is absolutely no criticism of Hamas, whose charter has language straight out of Der Sturmer (a Nazi newspaper). There is language about the Jews emanating from Hamas that, if it was uttered about Muslims, would cause a huge outcry,” he stated.