Yitzchak Goodman is easily the most civil blogger on the web. He is calm and mild-mannered and always finds a polite way to say even the most outrageous things. When you get angry at him, you know you can't tell him to do something to himself, because he'll never reciprocate.
Now Goodman has a strange obsession. A huge amount of his blogging is devoted to exposing North Korea's autocratic regime -- for instance, here, here and here, just from this last week. This fixation defies explanation. North Korea is not very much newsworthy, and while its human-rights record is dismal, it pales next to that of Congo, where 5.5 million were killed in the last war, and Pygmies were eaten.
Granted, he's not the only one with difficult-to-explain obsessions. My countryman Andrés Oppenheimer, for instance, specializes in trashing Cuba. He appears on TV, writes for newspapers in Spanish and English and has even authored a few books whose sole purpose is to highlight Cuba's failures and belittle its achievements. This, at a time when Cuba has become utterly irrelevant on the international scene.
So that I suppose you were right, my dear Zionist friend, to call Goodman an anti-North-Korean bigot, and Oppenheimer an anti-Cuban bigot.
What?? You didn't call them bigots?
Wait a minute. Your star argument all these years has been that I slam Israel and not Sudan, so I must have a special prejudice against Israel and, in fact, the Jewish people, which turns me into, well, an antisemite. But look at Goodman and Oppenheimer: they also talk too little about Sudan, and too much about North Korea and Cuba. They must also harbor hateful feelings, mustn't they?
Oh, I can see what your response to that is. It's not only that I devote a disproportionate fraction of my time to bashing Israel. It's also that there's a huge wealth of other bloggers, pundits, journalists and commenters who do the same: by contrast, Goodman and Oppenheimer are relatively isolated in their North Korean and Cuban obsessions. Such collective fury directed against a small country can only be dictated by deeply-ingrained hatred, probably the result of milennia of Jewish blood-libeling.
And know what? I'll agree that many, many critics of Israel are vicious antisemites. A majority, a minority? I don't know, but there are many. But what does this say about individual anti-Zionists? Nothing. Nothing at all.
See, Goodman's and Oppenheimer's cases illustrate the fact that, statistically, there will always be people who develop an interest, a negative interest, in a certain country for no reason at all. So how do you know that I'm not the guy that statistically must arise with a specialized interest in finding Israel's defects, just like others criticize Poland, Sri Lanka or Argentina? You don't know, and if you don't know you must give me the benefit of the doubt. Trust me: I am that guy. And I'm not an antisemite, and the proof is that -- I don't have a single Jewish friend! (i.e. I didn't befriend one only to deflect criticism. I do have a left-handed wife, however. Not the same, I know.)
The rest of anti-Zionists? I don't know. Some will hate Jews, some others won't. But here's a piece of advice for you: if you believe you can charge individual Israel critics with antisemitism, don't look at me, look at them.
El País (Der Stürmer)
14 years ago