From the New "Anti-Semitism" to Nuclear Holocaust
By JONATHAN COOK
"It is now clear that Israel and its loyalists had three main goals in mind as they began their campaign. Two were familiar motives from previous attempts at highlighting a "new anti-Semitism". The third was new.
The first aim, and possibly the best understood, was to stifle all criticism of Israel, particularly in the US. During the course of 2003 it became increasingly apparent to journalists like myself that the American media, and soon much of the European media, was growing shy of printing even the mild criticism of Israel it usually allowed. By the time Israel began stepping up the pace of construction of its monstrous wall across the West Bank in spring 2003, editors were reluctant to touch the story.
As the fourth estate fell silent, so did many of the progressive voices in our universities and churches. Divestment was entirely removed from the agenda. McCarthyite organisations like CampusWatch helped enforce the reign of intimidation. Academics who stood their ground, like Columbia University's Joseph Massad, attracted the vindictive attention of new activist groups like the David Project.
A second, less noticed, goal was an urgent desire to prevent any slippage in the numbers of Jews inside Israel that might benefit the Palestinians as the two ethnic groups approached demographic parity in the area know to Israelis as Greater Israel and to Palestinians as historic Palestine.
By suggesting that Europe in particular had become a hotbed of Islamic fundamentalism, it was hoped that Israeli Jews, many of whom have more than one passport, would be afraid to leave.
The third goal, however, had not seen before. It tied the rise of a new anti-Semitism with the increase of Islamic fundamentalism in the West, implying that Muslim extremists were asserting an ideological control over Western thinking. It chimed well with the post 9-11 atmosphere.
"International terrorism is a mistaken term," Netanyahu added, "not because it doesn't exist, but because the problem is international militant Islam. That is the movement that operates terror on the international level, and that is the movement that is preparing the ultimate terror, nuclear terrorism."
Faced with the evil designs of the "Islamic fascists", such as those in Iran, Israel's nuclear arsenal -- and the nuclear Holocaust Israel can and appears prepared to unleash -- may be presented as the civilised world's salvation."