Sunday, April 21st | 16 Nisan 5779

March 3, 2017 7:28 am

Dead Jews Matter, But So Do the Living

avatar by Shahar Azani

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'Israeli Apartheid Week,' an annual anti-Zionist initiative at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) campus. Photo: AMCHA Initiative.

‘Israeli Apartheid Week,’ an annual anti-Zionist initiative at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) campus. Photo: AMCHA Initiative.

Last week, more than 150 headstones were vandalized at the Chesed Shel Emeth Jewish Cemetery in University City, Missouri. Similar acts have been taking place all across the US — from bomb threats to Nazi graffiti, and so on. It is disgusting, outrageous and downright unacceptable. We must condemn these acts in all of their forms, and the Trump administration and law enforcement officials must apprehend the culprits, and make it clear that such un-American, uncivilized and inhumane behavior will not be tolerated.

But antisemitism doesn’t just take the shape of vandalism or bomb threats, which leads to a glaring question: Where is the public outrage about the abuse that Israel and the Jewish people face year-round?

First, Iran — a member state of the United Nations — proudly calls for the annihilation of another UN member state, Israel. Yet Iran finds itself welcome at negotiating tables and in Western capitals as a legitimate partner for trade and dialogue. Iran even holds an annual Holocaust cartoon competition, whose first-prize winner receives $50,000. Moreover, in a recent ballistic missile test — another breach of the nuclear agreement it signed — Iran inscribed on the missiles, in Hebrew, its promise to wipe the Jewish state off the map.

The response? Not a peep from the international community.

It doesn’t end there. During March and April of every year, an international anti-Israel campaign takes place globally — under the deceptive name of “Israeli Apartheid Week.” Yes, you read that correctly: The only beacon of democracy in the Middle East, which has Arabs serving in its military, supreme and district courts, and government posts, is somehow an apartheid state. But who really cares about the facts when Jews are involved?

This year is a special year for Israeli Apartheid Week, as it “mark[s] 100 years of Palestinian resistance against settler colonialism, since the inception of the Balfour Declaration.”

These movements are not interested in a peaceful solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, be that two states or one. Actually, I stand corrected: They will agree to one state of Palestine, as long as it’s wiped free of Jews. For them, it’s not about looking into maps or negotiating about “settlement blocs.” They oppose the very existence of the Jewish state. They negate the Jewish people’s natural right to self-determination, a right bestowed upon all other people.

Furthermore, to augment their hollow claims, they deny historical facts, such as the deep and profound connection between the Jewish people and their homeland. This approach represents nothing but a clear, unequivocal and blatant act of antisemitism. Yet we hear no criticism of this in Western capitals or the mass media.

Antisemitism must be fought in all of its forms — both at home and abroad.

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