Note to readers: In view of the appalling case of Belgian paedophile serial killer Marc Dutroux – replete with government cover-ups and allegations reaching as high as the Belgian King – together with evidence that Madeleine McCann was stolen to order for a Belgian paedophile ring, melchett mike will, until further notice, be dedicated to highlighting the plight of Belgian children.
Despite, in general, not wasting my energies on anti-Israel activity on the Web, checking out a friend’s blog recently – an excellent one, incidentally, for monitoring and analysis of anti-Zionist activity in the UK (though guess where he ‘stole’ the design from!) – I got sucked into a ‘discussion’ with a member of the “Boycott Israel” brigade: see here (I entered the fray on March 9).
On the front page of his own blog, Gert Meyers – a 48-year old former company director from Belgium, now residing in the East Yorkshire seaside town of Bridlington – states as follows:
“Since Gaza and until further notice this blog will be dedicated to the Palestinian people’s struggle for statehood.”
Now, what got me goading (I admit it!) Gert is my genuine belief that those who, without any connection to this Land or its peoples, dedicate all their energies to waging ‘war’ on Israel and Zionists to the exclusion of all else have in all probability – and even if they don’t know it – some issue with Jews too.
How else can one explain their overriding obsession? How many peoples on our planet are suffering oppression? And any reasonable person, with even the most rudimentary understanding of history, must surely see the complex factors at play in this most intractable of crises.
In the twisted world of the Israel-only bashers, however, there are only Palestinians.
Some of these Israel-only bashers, including the UK’s most infamous one, are anti-Semites. And they don’t need to say “We hate Jews” for us to know that. But they don’t interest me.
Goading now aside, what continues to intrigue me about Gert – and, indeed, many others, including the deeply distrusted (in Jewish circles at least) Independent journalist Robert Fisk and even the “concentration camp guard” jibing, former Mayor of London Ken Livingstone – is that I actually find myself believing his repeated exhortations that he is not an anti-Semite . . . or, at least, that he genuinely believes that he is not.
But the question remains: how does one explain Gert’s obsession with Israel and Zionists to the exclusion of all else?
In August 2005, five months after setting up his blog, Gert commenced his analysis of “the I/P conflict” (under the subheading Palestine and Israel):
“with hindsight, the creation of Israel can also be considered a historical mistake . . . It is important to recognise that prior to 1948 there was no such state of Israel and that its presence in an area called Palestine is in fact an artificial geographical construct.”
To my mind, anyone who denies the spiritual, historical and geographical centrality of Israel to Judaism and to the vast majority of Jews, together with the Jewish people’s claim to this Land, is – even if he claims not to hate individual Jews (and, therefore, not to be an anti-Semite) – in some meaningful sense, anti-Jewish.
“Today, no one seriously challenges the right to existence and independence of the state of Israel, and the Palestinian people don’t either . . . The conflict is not about Israel’s right to exist.”
A mere fortnight later (under The Israeli-Palestinian question), however, Gert describes:
“the extremist views of Hamas et al regarding the total destruction of the state of Israel”.
Gert rejected my claim, on Richard Millett’s blog, that he is obsessed with Israel and Zionists as:
“a gross and jingoistic inaccuracy . . . it was after the War on Gaza I shifted from critical supporter of Israel to anti-Zionist activist.”
“Critical supporter of Israel”?! As far back as September 2005, Gert was writing about “the Butcher in Tel-Aviv”, while his Zionist Niceties post two months later could, for balance and impartiality, just as easily have been titled The Protocols II.
I had read enough, and did not feel that there was any point in taking my research further (though, if any readers of melchett mike have the time or the inclination, search “Israel” in Gert’s monthly Archives and see if you agree with his contention that, prior to the War in Gaza, his blog was ‘only’ “some 25 % about the I/P conflict”).
What is certain, however, is that, post-Gaza, Gert’s obsession with Israel and Zionists has become all-consuming. And the last few words of his objectively-titled Sick Fuck Livni are, perhaps, rather revealing:
“What a shame in many respects that “the reality” of the Middle East has already “been changed”: when Israel was created, that is…”
Referring back to my opening paragraph, I don’t like paedophiles. Yet I haven’t devoted melchett mike to attacking Belgium and Belgians, for whom kiddy fiddling could arguably be listed as a national pastime.
If I had made Belgians my sole cause, however, I certainly wouldn’t become apoplectic with rage every time that someone suggested that I was obsessed with, or even that I didn’t like, Belgians.
But not the Israel-only bashers. One daren’t even question their obsession. And heaven forbid you should enquire as to whether they just might be anti-Semitic. Even if they are not, is it not a reasonable suspicion about someone who devotes all of their time to Israel and Zionists alone?
While Gert believes that it is fine for him to have dedicated his entire existence to attacking Israel and Zionists, when he discovered a single post that I wrote about the French (and, then, largely in jest), he had found the diversion he had been seeking . . . and milked it:
“Mike, you’re an imbecile, as well as a hypocrite and Zionist.”
Me, Gert? A “Zionist”? How very dare you!
Following Gert’s attempt to insult me with the badge that I wear more proudly than any other (including even my Leeds United one), he refers to one of the very pillars on which melchett mike is based (see About this Blog):
“I see you’ve got it in for ‘self-hating Jews’ as well, says it all really…”
Did you expect me to like them, Gert?!
Indeed, in order to attempt to obtain legitimacy for his obsession, Gert continually, and predictably, calls upon these self-hating Jews.
Sorry to have to inform you, Gert, but the views of such Jews – who represent Anglo-Jewry no more, thankfully, than you represent the Belgian community in Britain – are about as valid as yours. They are, in the main, an eccentric and spineless minority of accidents of birth who have little or no connection with Judaism, never mind Israel. And their motivation is purely to ease their discomfort as ‘Jews’ when Israel is embarrassing them in their PC left, Gentile circles. Moreover, the huge majority of British Jews take their signed letters in The Guardian and Independent about as seriously as your average Belgian would take criticism by fellow ex-pats who only “come out” at times of national adversity, in order to distance themselves even further from their roots. (See melchett mike‘s Self-Hating Jews category.)
Gert copied my Hating the French post to his blog, replacing – with a Steve Martin-like eye for spoof – my references to “Frenchmen in Tel Aviv” with “Jews in Paris”. He signed off with:
“I almost find myself wishing more British Jews of your particular racist inclination would make Aliyah but that would only be moving the problem.”
Rather rich, I thought, coming from a – to at least some extent, I believe – Jew-obsessed Belgian living in East Yorkshire!
So how does one explain Gert’s – and the Israel-only bashers’ – obsession with Israel and Zionists to the exclusion of all else?
In spite of my repeated requests for clarification, Gert preferred insults and repeated student union-like calls of “racist” (I was half expecting him to inform me that I was “out of order”!) Finally, however, some four days later, Gert did manage to come up with the following:
“Gaza really was the straw that broke the camel’s back”.
Miraculous how that “back” somehow managed to withstand eight years of Palestinian rocket attacks on Israeli civilians. And I have little doubt that had they, instead, been landing on Bridlington, Gert would soon have been scuttling back across the Channel.
Most Israelis, however, have nowhere else to go. Though let us not forget the unspoken premise of the Israel-only bashers: unlike the Palestinians, Israelis have no right to live in peace, or to defend themselves (see F*ck you, too).
You see, my problem with Gert and the Israel-only bashers is not that they might be anti-Semitic or racist (following my post on the French, how could it be?!) Whereas I profess, however, to not being wild about all things Gallic – and even my understanding of the growing appeal of the BNP (did you miss that one, Gert?) – Gert and the Israel-only bashers continually attempt to conceal their true motives from everyone. And perhaps even from themselves.
Why doesn’t the front page of Gert’s blog also feature a Burmese, North Korean, Zimbabwean, or – heaven forbid he risk upsetting Muslims – an Arab (take your pick) or Iranian flag between its bold capitalised “BOYCOTT” graphic?
Because Israel is a worse human rights offender than all of these countries? Because the Palestinians are more deserving of sympathy, or are just nicer, than other oppressed peoples?
I think not. Warts n’ all, Israel is clearly the only state in the entire Middle East that can claim, without causing unbridled hilarity, to be a democracy.
Israel has, however, over the past sixty years, made both extremely poor decisions and morally questionable ones, not the least of which was its long-term settling of the pre-1967 “territories”.
But the Palestinians and their leaders fare no better. Indeed, without their absolute rejection of any Jewish claim to Israel, and total refusal to share it, the last sixty years might have been very different.
I, and most people I know, are in favour of a Palestinian state. How many Palestinians, however, would accept – never mind be in favour of – a Jewish one? The Israel-only bashers just haven’t got a clue!
Of course one can legitimately criticise Israel and Zionists without being an anti-Semite – indeed, it is tolerance of criticism, especially from within, that sets Israel apart from all of its neighbours – but when such criticism becomes all-consuming, it reveals something else.
So what is that “else”? Or, in the language of our upcoming Passover festival, “What makes this criticism different from every other?”
The answer, I believe, is Jews. Whether individual Israel-only bashers are honest, or self-aware, enough to recognise it, we Jews are the ingredient that sets the Israeli/Palestinian issue apart for them, transforming it from one issue amongst many to an all-consuming obsession.
As I wrote above, anti-Semites – from the ideologically-driven, motivated by hatred and lies, to those who are ‘merely’ jealous of Jews – don’t interest me. Regarding the remainder, however, in spite of much soul-searching this past fortnight (explaining the lengthy gap between posts), I – perhaps appropriately for Passover – still have more questions than answers. Of course I can understand why the situation in Israel causes anger and activism, but I cannot adequately explain the obsession of Gert and the Israel-only bashers.
Bouncing ideas off fellow Jews and Israelis, it has become extremely clear that most agree that the Israel-only bashers are covering up for something “else”. Beyond my late father’s “Jews are news”, however, the only answer that I can come up with is that we are witnessing a post-Holocaust, ‘respectable’ alternative to anti-Semitism, facilitated by the (primarily left-wing) media’s disproportionate, unfair, even dishonest, treatment of the Jewish state.
This “alternative” is perfectly tailored to the PC era, and to the “sheep” that prefer bandwagons to facts. And those who, once upon a time, simply didn’t like Jews, broke glass, and bayed for blood now ‘merely’ say that they don’t like Zionists, go on protests, and devote all of their time to undermining Israel (some even questioning its right to exist).
I don’t say that Gert is necessarily a bad person, a George Galloway, or even an anti-Semite . . . though I am not certain that he and the Israel-only bashers are sufficiently self-aware to be fully cognisant of what they truly are.
Anyway, bollocks to the lot of ‘em.
Though, to all readers of melchett mike, a very happy Passover.
Next year in Jerusalem ! לשנה הבאה בירושלים