(August 20, 2018 / JNS) Allow me to make a conservative guess: MK Ahmad Tibi, who is behind an initiative to launch an annual protest against Israel dubbed “apartheid day,” will not be summoned for questioning or put on trial for inciting anti-Semitism.
We have grown so accustomed to an absolute prohibition on displays of hatred toward Arabs, but anti-Semitism, even when it is deeply entrenched, systematic and deeply ideological, consistently gets a pass.
Here is a reminder for the renowned legal scholars of Israel: There is a respected entity known as the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, which has issued an updated, modern working definition of anti-Semitism. This has been adopted by the European Parliament, the British government, and many other European governments. When U.K. Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn is attacked for his anti-Semitism, the attacks refer to things defined by the alliance.
Two articles included in the new definition of anti-Semitism are particularly relevant to us here: 1) denying the self-determination of the Jewish people, including through the argument that the existence of the state of Israel is racist, and 2) calling to murder Jews or hurt Jews or assisting or justifying acts of murder in the name of radical ideology or religious viewpoints.
The joint initiative by the Higher Arab Monitoring Committee and the PLO naming July 19 an official day of protest against “Israeli apartheid” is a thinly veiled display of deep-seated anti-Semitism, disguised as a fight for equality. It is yet another call to kill Jews.
After all, this so-called “apartheid day” is a response to Israel’s nation-state law, which legally defines Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people. At the heart of the nation-state law is the Jews’ right to self-determination. There is no real difference between the eel-like Tibi and any despicable terrorist.
Tibi’s fellow Joint Arab List MK Hanin Zoabi and her radical friends talk incessantly about how terrorism against Israel is justified in the name of the ideology of the Palestinian revolution. They also talk openly about their efforts to turn Israel from a Jewish state into a state where the Palestinians can realize their right to self-determination and enact their “right of return.”
It turns out that after years of enjoying lives of freedom and democracy in the Jewish state, Israel’s Arabs can’t manage to squeeze out an iota of good will toward it. The more obstinate they are in rejecting any display of Jewish nationalism, the more the Jewish side experiences a moral collapse (witness Ehud Barak’s, Amram Mitzna’s and Yuval Diskin’s remarks).
The Israeli national anthem, “Hatikvah,” offends them, so various university departments have scrambled to obscure it.
For a moment, I believed that Tibi and his friends were waging a legitimate protest, but I quickly realized that they are simply unwilling to accept the existence of a Jewish state, because of a policy from many years ago that held that the Arabs in the Land of Israel have their own right to self-determination. The nation-state law is an attempt to plug that hole, which could allow the enemy to undermine the existence of the state.