Space Invaders Against Antisemitism

Space Invaders Against Antisemitism
Space Invaders Against Antisemitism

Play retro games. Fight Antisemitism. Especially right now.

The recent round of escalation in the Middle East conflict in Israel/Palestine has unleashed a horrible outburst of antisemitic agitation and violent attacks against Jews in Europe and Germany.

I find this intolerable.

How to criticize Israel

If you want to criticize certain actions of the Israeli government and/or military, that is entirely possible without being antisemitic. I recommend this article on the subject matter. And just for the record, I would like to note that Hamas, which is not a rival sports club but a terrorist organization with the stated goal of destroying the state of Israel and Jews, which continues to shoot rockets against Israeli civilians, perhaps also deserves a tiny bit of criticism for that.

Free Gaza from Hamas

I truly hope that one day all people in Israel/Palestine can live in peace. Unlike insane people, I do not enjoy reading about dead civilians. In the long term, a project to ‘free the Palestinians’ that results in a peaceful coexistence with Israel should perhaps think about freeing Gaza from Hamas first.

Jew-Hatred at European Protests

Back to the protests in Europe. To my great horror, reasonable criticism is not what many of the ‘anti-Israel’ protesters in the past weeks have been up to. Here in Germany, an unholy alliance of right-wing extremists, Islamists, and the ‘anti-imperialist’ segment of the radical left has found common ground in their unabashed promotion of hatred of Jews. The slogans that have been yelled during those demonstrations and the violent attacks that followed them in some instances barely leave any room for a different interpretation.

This game is played out

So what can we do as individuals? First of all, speak out against all forms of Antisemitism. I am just a guy with a computer, and besides ranting about politics I like some retro games. But, straight outta Nerdistan, I am telling you that the 2014 remake of Antisemitism sucks just as much as all previous versions. It is never going to be cool. At least not in my corner of the universe.



Argumentum Ad Hitlerum: Erdogan On Israel

The Nazi comparisons seem to increase in the past couple of days. One of the latest perpetrators who cannot help himself: Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Argumentum ad Hitlerum
Argumentum ad Hitlerum

Commenting on Israel’s recent military offensive in Gaza, Erdogan said the following:

“They curse Hitler morning and night [. . .] however, now their barbarism has surpassed even Hitler’s.”

I cannot help but think that the ‘they’ used here implies not just the Israeli military but ‘the Jews’ in general, as is commonplace in the language of antisemitic Islamists everywhere. That sounds very ugly.

And when he claims that Israel’s military actions surpass the cruelties of Nazi Germany, we are clearly in the territory of Holocaust relativism.

I would like to emphasize that in my view, the civilian casualties on both the Israeli and Palestinian sides are a tragedy that I would rather not see happen. And yes, I, too, found the report about a few Israelis watching the spectacle of war from their garden chairs like in a movie theatre—aka ‘Sderot cinema’—somewhat disturbing. To be fair, in the article it says that similar things happened among Palestinians. Then again, Hamas’ rocket attacks aimed at random Israeli citizens are no joking matter either. One must also see these actions in light of the eliminatory antisemitic ideology in Hamas’ charter.

I think there is room for a sober critique of certain aspects of the current Israeli military offensive. This is also the position, for example, of the former head of the Israeli interior security service Shin Bet, Yuval Diskin.

But what Turkish PM Erdogan does here with his likening of the Israeli military to the Nazis betrays no interest in such a nuanced, rational discussion. To claim that the Israeli military acts not only like the Nazis, but worse than the Nazis—how could that be possible?—just reeks of pure antisemitism. Such outlandish hyperbole is unworthy of a head of state.