Commentary: The Oldest Hatred Comes to Berkeley By Lawrence W. White

Friday August 05, 2005

I am surprised that the Berkeley Daily Planet, whose editor recently called for “communication” as the solution to the world’s ills, would publish two pieces in a recent issue (Aug. 2) that pull out all the old anti-Semitic shibboleths in order to beat up both selected individuals and Jews in general.  

Mark Ritchey crawled out from under his rock in Cotati to engage in an incoherent rant attacking the character of a Berkeley citizen. In the process, he uttered several anti-Jewish canards of the sort propagated by the Ku Klux Klan.  

As for Joanna Graham, does she really think that she can curry favor with her friends in the lunatic left by repeating age-old anti-Jewish myths? The concept of an international Jewish conspiracy is right out of the anti-Semitic forgery known as the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. And charges of dual loyalty are the oldest trick in the anti-Semitic playbook. Perhaps Ms. Graham is unaware that the thesis of a Jewish conspiracy to control the media, banks, and government, was standard fare in old Europe, and had the logical consequence of the murder of six million Jewish men, women and children.  

But as long as Ms. Graham is calling for a dialogue in 2006 regarding Israel and Palestine, perhaps she can start by answering some of these questions.  

Why have there been 40 years of airline hijackings, homicide bombers, and murder of children? Why have Jews been murdered, not only in Israel, but all over the world, precisely because they were Jews? 

How come Yassir Arafat, who kept his people in poverty and ignorance by diverting millions to his own bank account, who paid salaries to killers, was considered a “moderate” by Europeans and the United Nations? And why were Arafat’s millions never used to provide housing, education, or utilities for his people? 

If the occupation is the problem, how come the Arabs launched three wars (1948, 1956, 1967) before the occupation began? And how come the Palestine Liberation Organization was established before there was an occupation? What were they trying to liberate? 

How come Germans don’t send suicide bombers into Poland to get back land they lost during World War II? Ditto for Tibetans blowing up Chinese cities. 

Why is it that only the Palestinians claim a right of return? What about the million Jews forcibly expelled from Egypt, Libya, Iraq, and other Arab countries? Are they not entitled to a right of return, or compensation for the billions in property taken from them? 

How come one million Palestinians vote freely in Israel, but not one votes in any Arab country? 

How come, of the hundreds of security fences all over the world, only the security fence in Israel, designed for the sole purpose of saving lives, has been labeled an Apartheid wall? 

How come so many “progressives” in Berkeley favor a terrorist-run Palestine, controlled by a gang of thugs, over a liberal democracy in Israel? 

And how come the leaders of the anti-Israel cabal in Berkeley repeatedly claim threatening phone calls, but never once file a police report, or attempt to track down the source of the alleged threats? 

How come all nationalisms, including the Palestinian variety, are applauded by Berkeley “progressives,” yet Zionism, the movement for a Jewish national home, is treated as a dirty word? 

Joanna Graham expresses her dismay that her son read two books in high school about the Holocaust. She claims that this proves that the Zionists have been busy. Perhaps Ms. Graham can learn from the words of a truly great man, the Rev. Martin Luther King. Shortly before his death, Dr. King had the moral courage to confront hatred of Jews. During a 1968 appearance at Harvard University, he stated “When people criticize Zionists, they mean Jews. You are talking anti-Semitism.” 

In the great city of Berkeley, the need to extirpate this poison from our midst is long overdue.  


Berkeley resident Lawrence W. White is an author, physician and bioethicist.