How Dare You, Israel
Hans Bastian Hauck
the Empire-al Imaginary: The Truth of Democracy as Class
AIDS and the Imperialist State: The Ends of Bourgeois Moralism
Mirroring Evil: Nazi Imagery/Recent Art
TEXT AND CLASS
and the Narcosis of Historical Consciousness
Butler's "Guantánamo Bay":
I am a German graduate student of political economy studying in Beirut. Having been brought up in constant consciousness of my nation's history, I am now living in this over-emotional region where people do not always differentiate between the Jewish religion and the state of Israel.
In a number of discussions and talks, it has been up to me to remind people of the necessity not to set equal the two—to remind people that criticizing Israeli politics does not imply being anti-Semitic and does not imply resentment or prejudice against the Jewish faith. Yet now it is you, Israel, who is doing just that, by calling everyone who is criticizing your policy anti-Semitic! How dare you!
So there is criticism about your policy toward the Palestinians—anti-Semitic!
So somebody says you are committing acts of state terrorism—anti-Semitic!
So they want a UN fact finding commission for Jenin—anti-Semitic!
It seems you found an effective, one-size-fits-all silencer to anything not in your favor. How dare you make use of history in such a fashion. How dare you conjure up the evil spirit of the Holocaust. How dare you abuse the fear it creates to shut people up.
It seems you are so powerful in your role of the eternal victim. It seems you are almighty, with your big brother at hand to support your will. It seems the whole world is playing along with you, talking peace while you are waging war, praising your so-called retreats, confusing terror with self defense, and self defense with terror, issuing criticism only when appropriate—while looking the other way as you are creating irreversible facts on the ground. If they wouldn't, what would you call them?
You must be blind not to see the direct consequences of your action. You must be deaf not to hear the suppressed answers to your accusations. Terrorize the Palestinians and terror is what you get. Radicalize your society and radicalism follows. Cry out against "The new anti-Semitism" across Europe and anti-Semitism is what you will reap. You scare me, Israel.
Letter to Editor, Ha'aretz, May