Emma Teitel suggests that “Jews may hesitate to speak openly and critically about Israeli policy” because they fear anti-Semitism (“Why Jews don’t dare criticize Israel,” July 28). While her concerns are certainly founded, her assertion is not true. Gabor Maté, an infant survivor of the Holocaust, published an article entitled “Beautiful dream of Israel has become a nightmare” in the Toronto Star. Shira Herzog states in the Canadian Jewish News that: “Hypersolidarity [with Israel] can close down a conversation, because it can become a no-win, futile ideological debate.” Jews residing within Israel can be exceptionally critical. A column entitled “Israel does not want peace” was published in the left-leaning Haaretz. Even in the right-leaning Jerusalem Post, writer Gershon Baskin has suggested that Israel’s response to the Gaza conflict should not be purely military. The visible and virulent anti-Semitism that has arisen around the world and in Canada is not the by-product of Israel’s incursion in Gaza. The attacks on synagogues in France, “no Jews allowed” signs in Belgium, large crowds in Germany calling for Jews to be gassed, and the assault on Jews at a pro-Gaza rally in Calgary are anti-Semitic acts, plain and simple. Those who wish to criticize the policies of a state have the right to do so, but they must speak out and report to the authorities those among them who are committing hate crimes.
Original post here.