Sago Boulevard

Thursday, July 21, 2005

More on Iraqis Hating Jews

Iraqis barring Israelis from citizenship can't simply be shrugged as "well, it's understandable". The normalization of antisemitism in the Arab world needs to stop if any semblance of peace is possible. Seth Chalmer, who has drawn attention to senseless Jew-hating more than once in the past, disagrees:
I mean, it had to happen. And even though (long before Saddam) a full third of Baghdad was Jewish, I can't imagine any modern-day Jews wanting to be citizens of Iraq. I hope in five years or so they change it, but I'll wait for a full Middle East peace agreement before I insist on that one. So no, the President shouldn't object... It might be nice if he said something about Iraqis ideally changing it in the future.

In a comment to Seth's post, Micah writes:
It is senseless antisemitism, but that doesn't mean that Bush should object. It's vitally important that Iraq's constitution be seen as coming from Iraqis, not the US government. If Bush were to shake his finger at Iraq and say "now now, don't be racist," it wouldn't do anything to change the well-entrenched fear and loathing of Jews that pervades their culture. It would just make it look we're trying to force Iraq's constitution to be just like America's. That's the last thing we need right now, and we'll have to put up with some senseless antisemitism to avoid it.

No, no, no! Antisemitism must not be politely excused as "well, it's understandable". Hate is not understandable. It's the primacy cause of the wars plaguing the Mideast for the last century. The Iraqi Constitution barring Israelis from citizenship makes a statement that has the effect of making Jew-hating fundamental to the newly formed government. That sounds like the beginning of a government willing to fund Hamas and Islamic Jihad. A government that will fight efforts to recognize Israel's right to exist. A government that will bring more instability to the already volatile Israeli-Palestinian mess. World leaders who don't object to this are part of the problem.