The Argentinians invaded the Falklands on 2 April 1982. Britain responded by sending a Task Force 8,000 miles to the South Atlantic to recapture them. A seven week naval, air and land campaign resulted in a British victory.
In a recent press release, the AARUK explained its decision:
In making explicit and unqualified reference to "the Argentinians," the IWM seems to forget that only a handful of soldiers invaded the Falklands/Malvinas; that not all Argentinians supported the invasion back then, or approve of it now in hindsight; and that the decision to invade was made by a military regime unrepresentative of the Argentinian people.
We can see no other reason behind the IWM's blanket generalization than a desire to create mistrust and hostility towards Argentinians and, in particular, towards those of us legally residing in the UK. The Association of Argentinian Residents in the United Kingdom will not tolerate this display of Argentinophobia, and will file suit for libel unless the Imperial War Museum corrects its webpage before Monday, 11 May.
There's no such entity as the AARUK, and even if it existed, the average Argentinian is not as paranoid as to find second, third and fiftieth meanings behind any printing of the word "Argentinian." More to the point, even if they suffered from that kind of persecution complex, they would be discouraged by their PR advisors from displaying it, lest they irreversibly ridicule themselves.
Not all people, however, show a comparable degree of sanity. Enter the Zionist critics of Caryl Churchill's play Seven Jewish Children, which, as we already discussed in our previous post, describes indoctrination as inflicted by Zionist parents on their children. According to such critics, SJC is antisemitic not only because it's a blood libel, a concentrate of Jew-hating tropes, a vicious assault on Israel's right to exist, etc., but also because it alludes to Jewish children. This, according to Zionist zealots, is the smoking gun. As the Irish Times reported:
The spokesman of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, Mark Frazier, told the Jewish Chronicle: “We knew the play was going to be horrifically anti-Israel because Caryl Churchill is a patron of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign.”
He added that the title – Seven Jewish Children, rather than Seven Israeli Children – “pushes it beyond the boundaries of reasonable political discourse”.
I would say "bullshit," if it were not that I'm lately liking better the British term "bollocks." Mr. Frazier tries to convince us that SJC is wrong, but he would be fine with SIC. That is not true, of course, and it's evident he would trash the play all the same if "Israeli" were substituted for "Jewish" in the title.
But does he have any kind of a point? Would the former be a better or more logical title than the latter, given the play's contents?
Hardly so. In the first place, the play does not depict all Israelis, but Israeli supporters of Israel's wars, which are Jewish, not Arab, Israelis.
In the second place, the brainwashing depicted in the play is not confined to Israel, but it's also vastly prevalent in the Diaspora. While it's true that a lot of very coherent and articulate Diaspora Jews oppose Zionism, they speak as individuals, not in the name of their communities. All representatives of Jewish communities around the world, by contrast, stand solidly behind Israel. It's not like the forces of anti-Zionism will take over the Board of Deputies of British Jews, the American Jewish Congress, the Conseil Représentatif des Institutions Juives de France or the Delegación de Asociaciones Israelitas Argentinas anytime soon.
Of course, even if all representatives of a group agree on something, it can be argued that one can't generalize because it's unfair to the contrarians within that group. But with all the generalizing on in the world, why are only generalizations about the Jews singled out as hateful? Why can one say "the Chinese invaded Tibet," or "the Americans tortured Abu Zubaydah," or "Kielce's murderers were Poles. Their language was Polish. Their hatred was Polish," but one can't say "the Jews uproot olive trees in the West Bank"? As if it were Israeli Druze or Samaritans who do the uprooting.
Are we antisemitic in making such a generalization? No, because we're not criticizing the Jewish representatives' Jewishness; we're criticizing their Zionism, and the crimes, felonies and misdemeanors that are part and parcel of it.
Dead-enders will insist that, in that case, the title of the play should have been "Seven Zionist Children." But it would be inaccurate, because the children are not born Zionist. That's precisely the reason why, in the play (as well as in real life), they're indoctrinated; only with time will they become Zionists. Or hopefully, if reason prevails, they will not.
(See here the first installment of this series.)