Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Are the attacks on Israeli Consulate support of the Frameline film Festival anti-Semitic?

All human institutions are inherently flawed. Nation states- as human institutions, are also inherently flawed. But according to the hate Israel cru-only the nation-state of Israel and Israel alone has flaws so deep, so all encompassing, so born of original sin, that these flaws invalidate her very existence of 64 years. To these haters, everything Israel has ever done, everything Israel will ever do, must be looked at through the prism of those flaws.

Natan Sharansky's famous 3 D's definition of anti-Semitism summarizes it best.

The first "D" is the test of demonization. When the Jewish state is being demonized; when Israel's actions are blown out of all sensible proportion; when comparisons are made between Israelis and Nazis and between Palestinian refugee camps and Auschwitz -this is anti- Semitism, not legitimate criticism of Israel.
The second "D" is the test of double standards. When criticism of Israel is applied selectively; when Israel is singled out by the United Nations for human rights abuses while the behavior of known and major abusers, such as China, Iran, Cuba, and Syria, is ignored; when Israel's Magen David Adom, alone among the world's ambulance services, is denied admission to the International Red Cross - this is anti-Semitism.
The third "D" is the test of delegitimization: when Israel's fundamental right to exist is denied - alone among all peoples in the world - this too is anti-Semitism.

Are the attacks on the Israelis consulate support of the Frameline Film festival in San Francisco anti-Semitic? They certainly represent a Double standard.

After all, promoting a countries cultural resources is an accepted and expected role of Consular services:

From the French consulate
"French American Cultural Exchange (FACE) was created to strengthen cultural ties between France and U.S. in all areas of innovation, whether artistic or educational. Hosted by the Cultural Services of the Embassy of France in New York, FACE supports several initiatives and events in collaboration with other French agencies of the United States. Missions and objectives Support the efforts of Franco-American, as well as exchanges in the fields of creation, art or education, Develop and bring together professionals and artists with French or American institutions, Combine the mutual efforts of France and the United States to create a dynamic and joint projects between our two countries"

From the Switzerland Consulate
"The Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) has an annual budget of CHF 1.5 million available for the implementation of cultural projects abroad. The budget is administered by the Cultural Foreign Policy Centre (CCC), which functions as a link between the cultural milieu in Switzerland and the Swiss representations around the world... The FDFA’s cultural activities are meant to showcase the values of Swiss foreign policy. In this way, they promote Switzerland’s image abroad and form the basis of an ongoing dialogue with other countries. For the FDFA, culture is a fundamental tool in advocating the interests of Switzerland."

From the Belgium consulate
"The Consulate plays an active role in promoting Belgian films, in close co-operation with Flanders Image ( and Wallonie Bruxelles Images (".

No one calls this into question. No one questions the right of the Swiss or the French or the Flemish to promote their culture. But when Israel's consulate supports its cultural institutions by promoting them in America and throughout the world, it’s a symptom of some nefarious plot. Yes, it’s a double standard representing nothing more than a new look for a very old hatred.

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