While the notorious Israeli secret service Mossad led by its director for the last five years, Yossi Cohen is stealthily wheeling and dealing with Arab autocrats coercing them into normalising relations with Israel, it keeps assassinating civilians all over the world, that it considers a threat to the Jewish state.

On the other hand any criticism of Israel and its illegal internal and global activities specially with respect to the human rights of the Palestinian people in recent years, has been gagged by invoking antisemitism.

While we must all fight against racism, antisemitism as well as Islamophobia, these terms should not be invoked to justify oppression, abuse by the rich and the powerful and for raising voice against injustice.

Increasingly the definition of antisemitism by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), and the way this definition has been applied, interpreted and deployed in several countries of Europe and North America with laws being enacted accordingly has led to gagging of any criticism of Israel.

A letter, published in the Guardian on Monday 30 November 2020, 122 Palestinian and Arab academics, journalists and intellectuals have expressed their concerns about the IHRA definition of antisemitism to be highly problematic:

“In recent years, the fight against antisemitism has been increasingly instrumentalised by the Israeli government and its supporters in an effort to delegitimise the Palestinian cause and silence defenders of Palestinian rights,” the letter states.

“The fight against antisemitism must be deployed within the frame of international law and human rights. It should be part and parcel of the fight against all forms of racism and xenophobia, including Islamophobia, and anti-Arab and anti-Palestinian racism.”

“There is a huge difference between a condition where Jews are singled out, oppressed and suppressed as a minority by antisemitic regimes or groups, and a condition where the self-determination of a Jewish population in Palestine/Israel has been implemented in the form of an ethnic exclusivist and territorially expansionist state. As it currently exists, the state of Israel is based on uprooting the vast majority of the natives,Palestinians.”

“To level the charge of antisemitism against anyone who regards the existing state of Israel as racist, notwithstanding the actual institutional and constitutional discrimination upon which it is based, amounts to granting Israel absolute impunity. Israel can thus deport its Palestinian citizens, or revoke their citizenship or deny them the right to vote, and still be immune from the accusation of racism.”

Treatment of Israel, as the holy cow who can not be touched in spite of all its excesses and its secret service that can get away with murder, by the rich and powerful supporters of Israel in Western capitals is immoral, unjust and illegal and must be challenged.