Friday 29th April 2005
Two wrongs don't make a right. That's a fairly elementary principle, one of those taken for granted in the operation of our day-to-day lifes. We all learned it young and although the revenge culture of eye-for-an-eye fundamentalists and hollywood blockbusters blurs the line with depressing regularity, you would be hard pressed to find a serious disagreement with the principle in the general populous.
It is not a simplification to say that "two wrongs don't make a right" is directly applicable to the problem of how to regard Israel, zionism and the struggle of Palestine. In no way do the appalling wrongs of the Nazi holocaust excuse the appalling treatment of Palestine by the Israeli state.
The Jews in Israel are not an oppressed minority — they are the constituency of a massive war machine and state apparatus funded by the US and others to pursue western foreign policy from the heart of the world's biggest oil region.
To say, as is routine in this context, that criticism of Israel equals antisemitism is to rehearse the level of rhetoric possessed by the average 5-year old.