Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Bernard-Henri Lévy and Susan Abulhawa.

On Sunday, December 5, 2010, El País published an opinion article by French intellectual Bernard-Henri Lévy under the title ¿Vuelve el antisemitismo? This is in fact a translation into Spanish from his article, published by The Huffington Post under the title The Antisemitism to Come two days before.
Lévy denounces French initiatives to boycott Israel, Susan Abulhawa's novel Mornings in Jenin and Vibeke Løkkeberg's film Tears of Gaza as signs of a resurgent anti-Semitism which seems to affect the world and especially Scandinavia.
On Tuesday, December 21, 2010, El País published an opinion article by Palestinian American author Susan Abulhawa under the title Respuesta a Bernard-Henri Lévy. This is in fact a translation into Spanish from her article, published by The Huffington Post under the title The Antisemitism to Come? Hardly one day before, as a response to Bernard-Henri Lévy's aforementioned article.
Abulhawa's answer seems to consist mainly of denying Lévy's statements without having read the reliable data he provides in order to denounce the aforementioned events. This reliable data provided by the French philosopher consists of:

a) French individuals and organizations want Israel to be boycotted, in spite of the fact that the Jewish State is the only democracy in the Middle East, whose population mainly accepts a two-State solution.
b) Israel's neighbours are not democracies and many of them still reject a two-State solution, but they're not subjected to boycott proposals.
c) Fathi Hamad, a senior Hamas official, stated recently that about 700 members of Hamas and other Palestinian armed factions died during the Operation Cast Lead, which almost match the number of Palestinian combatants provided by Israel (709).
d) Tears of Gaza, whose production team didn't actually go to the Gaza Strip in order to collect evidence, omitted that Hamas is directly responsible for the war itself, committed war crimes during the clash and rules the Gaza Strip in a despotic manner; all of this makes the film to be propagandistic in nature.
e) Mornings in Jenin is a compendium of anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic topics.
f) Israel's Embassy in Oslo had to be protected by installing a security fence.
g) A Swedish fascist party known as Sverigedemokraterna (i.e., Sweden Democrats) has gained access to the Riksdag (i.e., the Parliament) in the past elections.
h) Malmö, which is Sweden's third largest city and suffers from inter-ethnic violence, is ruled by a mayor who equates anti-Semitism and Zionism.

Abulhawa's answer mainly consists of:

a) She ignores the aforementioned eight points.
b) She supports the boycott campaign against Israel, in spite of the fact that the European Court of Human Rights of the Council of Europe sentenced against such a measure as a discriminatory action, and thus, a punishable offense.
c) She states the Palestinians are the only ones who can be considered the native population not only of Palestine, but also of Israel, thus implicitly denying Israel's right to exist as a Jewish State, when the Jews historically are a native population of Israel and Palestine.
d) She states that Lévy considers every single sort of criticism against Israel an act of anti-Semitism, something which is not true. Lévy only states that anti-Semitism is resurging in Europe.
e) Abulhawa accuses Israel of wiping Palestine of the map, expelling people from their homes, stealing their possessions and so on, while she ignores 1.5 million non-Jews living in Israel while enjoying democracy; that the Jewish State is not entirely and exclusively accountable for the Palestinian exodus, being the Arab countries also responsible for it, as well as for the living conditions of the Palestinian refugees living in their territories and the absence of a Palestinian State which they refused to build while occupying the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip; that the Palestinian Arabs themselves started the conflict and rejected a State of their own with the war when they were offered one; that Mahmoud Abbas waited almost until the end of Israel's moratorium on settlement building to resume negotiations, so when the moratorium came to an end almost inmediately, he had the excuse to stop negotiating again; as well as many other historical facts.
f) She accuses Israel of applying apartheid-style policies in spite of the fact that Israel grants equality for its population by law, regardless of ethnicity, religion and race, while the South African laws during apartheid granted the opposite.
g) She accuses Israel of deliberately targeting Palestinian schools, in spite of the fact that Hamas and other armed factions deliberately used schools with military purposes.
h) She accuses Israel of having expelled Palestinian Christians from Bethlehem, when the truth is that those Christians are subjected to threats and violence by Muslims.
i) She states about Lévy as somebody who thinks that he has more rights to the land of her grandparents than herself just because he is a Jew. This comes to be a false allegation after reading Lévy's arguments and demonstrates Abulhawa's predisposition to disqualify Jews, thus demonstrating Lévy's main argument: there is a clear resurgence of anti-Semitic attitudes.

No comments:

Post a Comment