Letter to editor - Apartheid and Antisemitism by Rodney Mazinter

Dear Sir

The desperate, hate-filled rise in world-wide antisemitism is linked seamlessly to the campaign to vilify Israel by making unsubstantiated accusations about its treatment of Palestinians. There is no accusation more egregiously false than the linking Israel to apartheid practices. This outrageous charge deserves to be consigned to the rubbish bin where such hatreds belong. The tactic is merely a pretext in the hands of activists who are determined to be anti-Israel regardless of the facts, and deserves absolutely no credibility whatsoever.

In his address to the House of Lords, Lord Jonathan Sacks said: ‘The greatest danger that any civilization faces is when it faces collective amnesia. We forget how small beginnings lead to truly terrible endings. … They happened because hate went unchecked. No one said stop. 

“… One of the enduring facts of history is that most antisemites do not think of themselves as antisemites. We don’t hate Jews they said in the middle ages, just their religion. We don’t hate Jews they said in the 19th Century, just their race. We don’t hate Jews, they say now, just their [apartheid] state.

“Antisemitism is the hardest of all hatreds to defeat because, like a virus, it mutates. But one thing stays the same. Jews as a religion, or a race, or as the state of Israel, are made the scapegoats for the problems of [the entire world]. That is how the road to tragedy begins.”

Antisemitism, or any hate, becomes dangerous when three things happen. First: when it moves from the fringes of politics to the mainstream. Second, when the accuser sees that its popularity with the general public is not harmed thereby. And, three, when those who stand up and protest are vilified and abused for doing so. …it is not only Jews who are at risk. So too is our humanity.

Rodney Mazinter


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