So alongside being the only country that pop stars refuse to play in, and the only country whose academics are boycotted on Western campuses, and the only country whose dancers and violinists cannot perform in cities like London without gangs of people screaming them down, now Israel is the only country that has been politically punished by holiday app cum conscience Airbnb. Why is it OK to rent a holiday apartment in Turkish-settled Northern Cyprus but not in Israeli-settled parts of the West Bank?
What’s more, you can still get Airbnb places in Turkey, the state that has repressed and murdered huge numbers of Kurds. It is only apartments being offered for rent by Jewish people who believe in the idea of Greater Israel that are delisted.
But we shouldn’t be surprised. It is always only those people. Israel is always singled out. That is why they boycott it, rage about it and take to the streets about it in a way they never do about Turkey, Saudi Arabia or anywhere else. They hate Israel more than any other place.
And then they wonder why some people think there is a whiff of anti-Semitism to this peculiarly passionate contempt for Israel. They wonder why some people think the line between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism is an increasingly thin one and that perhaps the special hatred for Israel might have echoes of the older special hatred for Those People.
We aren’t talking about straightforward criticism of Israel here. We are talking about the singling out of Israel above all nations for a ceaseless and intense program of boycotting, protesting and hysterical accusations. Show me the gathering of 100,000 people in London to criticize any other country and then I’ll buy the idea that Israel is just being criticized as all other states are criticized.
If you treat the Jewish State as nastier and more insane than any other state, then please do not feign surprise when anti-Jewish sentiment increases. If the Jewish State and Jewish settlers horrify you infinitely more than, say, the Turkish state and Turkish settlers, then please don’t cry crocodile tears over the return of anti-Semitism to Europe.