The Zionist Circular Maze
By Gilad Atzmon
On Thursday Israel cheered as the EU called on its member states that have not yet done so “to endorse the non-legally binding working definition of antisemitism employed by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA).”
Israel called this move a “breakthrough,” the European Jewish Congress hailed the declaration as “unprecedented.” Both are correct: the Europeans ‘adoption of the IHRA definition of antisemitism is both a ‘breakthrough’ and ‘unprecedented.’ It confirms that Europe has explicitly abandoned its Athenian ethical ethos.
Rather than declaring its opposition to racism as a universal precept and denouncing all forms of discrimination and prejudice against any group or person of any X’ simply for being X’ (for example, a Jew for being a Jew, a Black person for being Black, a Gay person for being Gay, etc.), the EU has fallen into the most banal trap and subscribed to the primacy of Jewish suffering.
A lot has been written criticising the IHRA definition, how it stifles free speech and treats one particular group as exceptional but I think we have failed to address the most important question the IHRA raises. Why are Jewish institutions so enthusiastic about a definition that clearly extinguishes the Zionist promise to make ‘Jews people like all other people.’ The IHRA validates the vile antisemitic claim that Jews are somehow different than others, as no other people have advocated for nor benefit from an IHRA-like definition of prejudice directed solely against them. One should wonder why Jewish institutions see a need to impose such a definition on individuals, organisations, states and even continents.
The answer is circular. Jewish institutions need the IHRA definition simply because they have managed to impose such a definition -- since the acceptance of the IHRA definition points at boundless political power, the IHRA definition serves to target and suppress any exploration, discourse or even discussion of such power.
This reflexive reasoning recalls the old rude joke; ‘why does a dog lick its testicles? Because it can.’ Why does the Lobby impose the IHRA definition on us? Because it can.
I wish the effects were merely so simple. The dog joke is amusing because it hints that if men could indulge in a similar gratifying act, the world would be somehow calmer and friendly like the happy dog. The joke is basically a comical illustration of Freud’s pleasure principle. But the IHRA definition is neither funny nor pleasing. It is hardly gratifying for those who have endorsed it, and in some cases its adoption has involved a chain of abuse and harassment (in the British Labour Party, for instance). While the dog is thrilled or titillated by his own act, it is not clear whether Europeans and Americans are at all happy to have to endorse a ‘non legally binding definition’ imposed on them by a powerful foreign lobby. It is reasonable ask why the EU Council has adopted a non universal definition of racism. It has done so because it doesn’t have another option.
This state of affairs is far from simple, harmonious or peaceful. It is in fact, pretty much a situation that incites instability, fear and anger.