Allegations of antisemitism are being used as a ‘tool to stifle debate on Palestine’, says Israeli historian

Ilan Pappe
Mohamed Elmaazi

Israeli scholar Ilan Pappé has pushed-backed against what he characterises as the ‘weaponisation’ of antisemitism allegations. In a video clip doing the rounds on social media, the historian, known for his work on Zionism and the destruction of Palestine, says this is being done in order to suppress debate and discussion on Palestine.

Weaponising “the allegation of antisemitism”

Pappé says antisemitism allegations are:

a tool to stifle the debate on Palestine, but it also, it kind of weaponises the allegation of antisemitism against the promotion to positions of power of people that Israel and it’s supporters do not want to be in those positions.

Targeting possible pro-Palestinian politicians

He emphasised:

there is a connection between the election or the possible promotion, not only in this country, but everywhere in the West, when there is a possibility, there’s a potential for promoting a politician known for… his or her long-standing support for the Palestine question, that’s when these kind of accusations seem to pop up.

Labour Party was a ‘bit naive’ in dealing with allegations

Pappé also accused the Labour Party of failing to address the issue properly.

He explained that:

I think there was some naivety in the way the Labour Party dealt with the issue. I thought that it was sometimes caving in, or buying in, to the allegations, and trying to undermine them by apologising, by questioning their accuracy – which sometimes you have to do, I agree, but I think in general what you should do is explain the context of these allegations, not just confront the allegations themselves

Avoiding the issue of “the destruction of Palestine and the Palestinians”

He concluded his thoughts by saying that this is all being done:

in order to avoid discussing a real issue; the issue of the destruction of Palestine and the Palestinians.

This very point was also made by 84 UK-based Black, Asian, and minority ethnic community groups in 2018, as well as in the recent documentary WitchHunt.

The Canary has also reported that, in Germany, non-Jewish politicians smeared the organisation Jewish Voice, which includes families of holocaust survivors, for its criticism of Zionism and the state of Israel.

Antisemitism is real; don’t misuse allegations to target anti-racists

The ‘weaponisation’ of antisemitism is not new. But it is incredibly dangerous. Not only because it distracts from the discussion of Palestine, but also because it distracts from the scourge of actual antisemitism. One thing is clear: the push-back against the ‘weaponisation’ of antisemitism has only just begun.

Featured image via Twitter – Campaign for Chris Williamson

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  • Show Comments
    1. Dear Canary ,
      Looking for the ‘bones’ of the absurd ‘anti-Semitism’ smear campaign I wrote to both the BBC and my MP about the bias being shown . Hilariously enough a phrase which was repeatedly used is ‘stand by my journalism/reporter/man‘ . I’m a country and western fan and enjoyed Tammy Wynette’s hearfelt ‘Stand by your Man’ hit , especially poignant of course given the five marriages she had , but I’m inclined to muse about simultaneously having five divorces and singing to ‘Stand by your Man’ . It indicates a Southern thought-free attitude which has apparently infected the BBC , Guardian and neo-Liberals everywhere . Who knew racism/elitism was so prevalent and deep rooted ? Arabs and Jews are both Semites , and so anti-Semitism (which the Zionists wish to claim as their own unique brand of racism) and Islamophobia are the same thing , mere subsets of racism ,

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