“In the Middle Ages, Jews were hated because of their religion. In the nineteenth and early twentieth century they were hated because of their race. Today they are hated because of their nation state, the state of Israel. It takes different forms but it remains the same thing: the view that Jews have no right to exist as free and equal human beings.”Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks
While the “virus” of antisemitism has mutated, the methods of attacking Jews have hardly changed over centuries. Demonisation, delegitimisation (dehumanisation) and applying double standards to Jews has led to physical attacks by individuals which states start to turn a blind eye to before joining the aggression.
In the Middle Ages, blood libels led to mob attacks and then expulsions and state-sanctioned pogroms. The early twentieth century saw Jews cast as subhuman, which emboldened widespread violence that transformed into systematic government-led genocide. And most recently Israel is demonised, delegitimised, and held to unique standards, which has led to Jewish facilities attacked in some diaspora countries as well as terror attacks within the Jewish state and attempts by neighbouring militaries to destroy the nation.
Israel has had to develop an advanced military and enviable security infrastructure as a result of having to defend her citizens. The need for security was evident even before the war of independence in 1947-8, and has continued during three other major military invasion attempts, as well as during multiple large-scale terror attacks and hundreds of “lone wolf” incidents. While terrorist organisations and Arab states still threaten war in rhetoric and in action (both through actual military advances and by rewarding or supporting terrorists), there is another war being waged in the media and in political circles.
The Anti-Israel Agenda exposes the front lines of this war of words with experts sharing their unique perspectives:
- Hillel Neuer of UNWatch has a chapter dedicated to anti-Israel actions at the United Nations;
- Prof. Gerald Steinberg of NGO Monitor writes about the disproportionate focus of non-government on Israel and the way in which they demonise the Jewish state;
- Col (ret) Richard Kemp also gives an insight into the more traditional wars that Israel has recently been forced to fight;
- and there are more, including Andrew Tucker (who is also part of THINC) and Prof. Alan Dershowitz, who recently gave a talk at the University of Auckland.
The editor of The Anti-Israel Agenda, Alex Ryvchin, moved with his family from Kiev in 1987 to Australia as a refugee. Ryvchin studied law and politics and has practiced as both a lawyer and a policy advisor. He now serves on the Executive Council of Australian Jewry as Director of Public Affairs and is a member of the Jewish Diplomatic Corps.
Ryvchin’s recent book is an extension of his public speaking and writing on the Arab-Israeli conflict. He contributed the introduction and the last essay, which is a case study of how extreme activists can hijack democratic mechanisms to introduce discriminatory legislation and how BDS was stopped in Marrickville (a suburb of Sydney, Australia).
The Anti-Israel Agenda is a must-read collection of essays that both describes and exposes the oldest hatred in its newest form, including its embedding in organisations where such discriminatory hate would otherwise be vehemently eschewed.