By: Renato Cristin
On one thing, the recent report by Human Rights Watch dedicated to Israel is right: “a threshold has been crossed”. Yes, one limit has been crossed, or rather two, but it is Human Rights Watch itself that has exceeded them: on the one hand, its report goes beyond the limits of the caricature and the grotesque (which is inadmissible for an organization accredited to the UN), presenting a political and social reality through the distorting lens of pro-Palestinian, pro-Islamic and anti-Zionist ideology; on the other hand, the border that divides criticism of the work of the State of Israel from antisemitism as the result of an action, an analysis or an opinion has been crossed. Yes, this relationship has introduced a new level: it cleared that form of anti-Israeli and anti-Jewish hatred that I call functional antisemitism.
We know that these organizations, protected by the UN, have no problem attacking any government not aligned with the Palace, tarnishing it with hallucinating and often spurious accusations. But towards Israel there has always been, in that Palace and in its ideologies, a special aversion, which can be explained above all by the resistance that Israel opposes to the tendency to annihilate the nations that the UN has always supported and with the refusal Israel to accept the warnings (or rather: the diktats) to behave according to criteria that the UN considers politically correct.
Today, with an apparently isolated but in reality concerted action at the highest level, because it is connected with the orientation of the UN and, as we will see, with the action of the International Criminal Court, this questionable NGO puts Israel in the dock for racism and crimes against humanity (but with what credibility, then?, with what historical heritage, with what spiritual mission, with what political authority, with what popular mandate, with what ideological neutrality?), as if it were Amin Dada’s Uganda or the Central African Republic of Bokassa. Absurd, as in a piece by Beckett or Ionesco.
Yes, the measure is really full; the insults have exceeded all limits. And yet it would not be worth commenting on the HRW report, so much is it false due to bias of the accusations and even ridiculous due to the groundlessness of the analyzes, as Fiamma Nirenstein has incontrovertibly shown in an article in the italian newspaper Il Giornale of 28 April, if it were not for three dense reasons of strategic implications: the NGO Human Rights Watch is highly rated among the UN leaders; it receives funding from institutions, organizations and personalities of considerable depth and a certain political orientation, such as, but not by chance, George Soros; HRW’s anti-Israel theses have far-reaching repercussions, which can range from the consolidation of a defamatory vulgate and, unfortunately, also of a boycott front against Israel (understood as a state and as a people), to the encouragement of acts of sabotage and, hopefully not, also of terrorism by that galaxy of acronyms that make up the anti-Israeli hatred in the Middle East, to the unleashing of isolated but very violent aggressions against symbols and people of Judaism in Europe, up to the indirect support of those state powers, Iran in the front row, which explicitly aim at the destruction of the State of Israel. For these reasons, maximum attention must be paid to pages that would otherwise be classified as junk.
After the UN resolution 3379 of 1975 which stated succinctly: “Zionism is a form of racism and racial discrimination”, although amended by the subsequent resolution 48/86 of 1991; after the unspeakable statements of the then UN Secretary General who in 2001, on the occasion of the World Conference against Racism held in Durban, had the impudence to warn Israel not to “use the Holocaust as an excuse for violence” against of the Palestinians and Arabs in general; and after the resolution of October 2016 by which Palestinians and Arabs in general; and after the resolution of October 2016 by which UNESCO sanctioned the membership of the Wailing Wall to Islamism, with the consequent exclusion of Jewish belonging and the removal, even linguistic, of the Jewish tradition; after dozens of minor resolutions all aimed at condemning Israel for any of its political acts of an internal or international nature; and after hundreds of acts of boycott, sabotage, denigration and defamation perpetrated by the countless anti-Israel organizations and associations scattered all over the world but especially in the West, it was foreseeable that this trend would continue and indeed worsen.
And the HRW report now confirms this, unfortunately yet again. This betrays a hidden will to see Israel at best as a UN protectorate and more realistically as a state and people to be kept under surveillance, a nation-state that should be harnessed. This arrogance, deriving from the sense of superiority and impunity that these supranational bodies possess, infringes the sovereignty of Israel, disqualifies its legitimacy and, above all, considers its people as a minor entity, in the personal sense, an entity that can be considered emancipated only if it conforms to the directives of the world government to which the UN, certainly with the highest ambition but probably also with equal illusion, aims. And this is – in fact, in reality, in the things themselves – a form of functional antisemitism, which differs from the organic one in form but not in effects, provided that one is able to understand that the effects can vary in quantitative intensity but be analogues for qualitative intensionality.
We know how the reports of international organizations are drafted in general and how, specifically, those concerning Israel, the Palestinians and the neighboring area (for example, Hezbollah disguised as a humanitarian organization) are drafted, and therefore we should not be surprised by this. ineffable relationship. We are not surprised and yet we worry, because here we speak explicitly of “crimes of apartheid and persecution”, of “Israel’s discriminatory domination of the Palestinians”, and we pass from the account of a situation, however distortedly presented, to the formal legal accusation, when, after menacingly declaring that “international criminal law has sanctioned two crimes against humanity for situations of systematic discrimination and repression: apartheid and persecution”, and after having accused both of them against Israel, it is cited the February 2021 document of the International Criminal Court, which “established that it was competent for serious international crimes committed in the entire OPT [Occupied Palestinian Territories], including East Jerusalem, which would include the crimes against humanity of apartheid and persecution committed in that territory”, concluding with undisguised satisfaction that “in March 2021, the Prosecutor’s Office of the International Criminal Court announced the opening of a formal investigation into the situation in Palestine”.
Now, since “crimes against humanity are among the most heinous crimes of international law”, and since Israel, according to this report and according to the International Criminal Court itself, would be guilty of these crimes, it is argued that Israel should be called to answer at the bar. All in this logic, in a lucid and, it seems, inexorable progression: the UN that equates Zionism and racism, Kofi Annan that rants saying that Israel uses the Shoah as a screen to persecute Palestinians and Arabs in general, HRW that supports the ICC in the delusional accuses Israel of “crimes against humanity”.
We are faced with a hellish cauldron in which ideological specters, political interests, economic resentments against Israel and the Jewish world in general, pro-Islamism, hatred of religion, immortal anti-Zionism and old and new antisemitism gather together with legal concepts and codes. This heterogeneous but powerful ideological front speciously attempts to argue that the attack on Israel is different from antisemitism, advocating the thesis of the difference between Jews as people and Israel as a state (hypocritical and absurd thesis, as if one could distinguish between Jews and Israelis), but the truth is now emerging: hatred of Israel is a variant of antisemitism, it is what Pierre-André Taguieff called “the new Judeophobia”, which feeds on the union between “Israelophobia” and “Palestinianphilia”.
One wonders why the Anti Defamation League does not denounce the functional, creeping but insinuating antisemitism, disguised as anti-Zionism, contained in the HRW report. Maybe because he doesn’t see it? Or doesn’t he want to see it? Today, definitions such as Israeli imperialism, Zionist conspiracy, Zionists such as Nazis and other similar nonsense, which pose a serious problem not only political but also cultural and which institutions should take as extremely disturbing signals, circulate undisturbed. Here the antisemitism of the communist left joins with the neo-Nazi one, in a spiral that causes vertigo, which hits the stomach precisely because it sinks into meanders that we would like to see finally pulverized. So much Israel and its people have managed to give historical, existential and even state substance to the “never again” that the whole free world has sincerely cried after Auschwitz, so much these ramshackle attacks and these ideological accusations against Israel give body to the Nazi-Communist monster and question that “never again”. A masterpiece of stupidity and wickedness, of hatred and blindness.
Monitoring human rights, as the acronym HRW states, is not only right but also a duty, because the object of this monitoring is of the utmost dignity and relevance, but when things and words are used for instrumental and ideological purposes, a double damage: on the one hand, a government, a state, a people are muddied, staining it with the infamous accusation such as that of racism; and on the other hand there is a concept, that of human rights, which would have the right to honest defenders and not ideologically prejudicial.