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View Diary: Got AIDs? Your fault, says Ron Paul. Boss can't keep his hands off you? Switch jobs, says Ron Paul (254 comments)

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  •  For starters, I refute the proposition that (0+ / 0-)

    "anti-current Israel policies XYZ" = "anti-Israel".  There are plenty of Israeli Jews who oppose current policies -- are they anti-Israel, or anti-Semitic?

    Arundhati Roy had a brilliant take-down of this trope back in the early 2000s, when anyone who criticized Bush II's policies was being condemned as "anti-American."  

    Recently, those who have criticised the actions of the US government (myself included) have been called "anti-American". Anti-Americanism is in the process of being consecrated into an ideology. The term is usually used by the American establishment to discredit and, not falsely - but shall we say inaccurately - define its critics. Once someone is branded anti-American, the chances are that he or she will be judged before they're heard and the argument will be lost in the welter of bruised national pride.
    What does the term mean? That you're anti-jazz? Or that you're opposed to free speech? That you don't delight in Toni Morrison or John Updike? That you have a quarrel with giant sequoias? Does it mean you don't admire the hundreds of thousands of American citizens who marched against nuclear weapons, or the thousands of war resisters who forced their government to withdraw from Vietnam? Does it mean that you hate all Americans?

    This sly conflation of America's music, literature, the breathtaking physical beauty of the land, the ordinary pleasures of ordinary people with criticism of the US government's foreign policy is a deliberate and extremely effective strategy. It's like a retreating army taking cover in a heavily populated city, hoping that the prospect of hitting civilian targets will deter enemy fire.

    There are many Americans who would be mortified to be associated with their government's policies. The most scholarly, scathing, incisive, hilarious critiques of the hypocrisy and the contradictions in US government policy come from American citizens. (Similarly, in India, not hundreds, but millions of us would be ashamed and offended, if we were in any way implicated with the present Indian government's fascist policies.)

    I think this applies just as well to Israel.

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