By BJ Bjornson
The U.S. ambassador to Belgium recently had the audacity to point out that some of the rising anti-Semitism in the Arab world may have something to do with Israeli policies vis a vis the Palestinians.
According to the prepared remarks of his speech, Gutman distinguished between �anti-Semitism, of hatred and violence against Jews, from a small sector of the population who hate others who may be different or perceived to be different, largely for the sake of hating� from what he perceived to be a different phenomenon tied to Israeli policies.
. . .
Gutman said that �throughout the Muslim communities that I visit, and indeed throughout Europe, there is significant anger and resentment and, yes, perhaps sometimes hatred and indeed sometimes and all too growing intimidation and violence directed at Jews generally as a result of the continuing tensions between Israel and the Palestinian territories and other Arab neighbors in the Middle East�every new settlement announced in Israel, every rocket shot over a border or suicide bomber on a bus, and every retaliatory military strike exacerbates the problem and provides a setback here in Europe for those fighting hatred and bigotry here in Europe.�
Israel�s policies may be the cause of resentment and hate? Heresy! Treason even! Well, treason if you discount the fact that he�s not an Israeli, but it is sometimes hard to tell with U.S. politicos regarding which country�s interests are supposed to come first. Definitely heresy, though. Israel could never do anything that might cause people to get angry at it. Anyone who doesn't like Israel just hates Jews, period.
It isn�t even that Gutman is trying to rationalize or otherwise discount the problem, but then for a lot of people, attempting to understand the motivations of the people who hate or commit crimes against Jews is the same as apologizing for them, rather than being part of an attempt to better counter them.
I think it�s safe to say that Mr. Gutman will be spending some more time with his family in the very near future.