ANTI-POLITICS AND THE POLITICS OF HATRED

Pandaemonium

bak ghetto

This is my latest column for the International New York Times,  published under the headline ‘Enough Hate for Everyone’.


A few years ago, I was a guest on Start the Week, a BBC radio discussion show. Among the other guests was the novelist Eva Figes, a Jewish refugee from Nazi Germany and a fierce critic of Israel. Israel, she suggested, would have built gas chambers to exterminate the Palestinians but for the fear it would ‘be found out’.

What astonished me was not simply Ms. Figes’ comment itself, but the fact that I was the only one who challenged her on it. The other guests may well have felt that a Holocaust survivor had some special license to speak harshly about Israel. I certainly don’t see them as anti-Semitic. But in suggesting without a speck of evidence that Israelis had a desire to build gas chambers, Ms. Figes…

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