The minutiae of racism
AbstractThis article tackles the historical basis and development of the issue of anti-Semitism and examines its perception and impact in the Arab world. The author argues persuasively that anti-Semitism is specific to European racism against Jews. He does not attempt to deflect the term by arguing, as some have done, that Arabs are a Semitic people, but rather unequivocally condemns anti-Semitism and racism of any sort. The author debunks major myths or misconceptions about anti-Semitism and deals frankly with questions of its political utility with regard to Zionism, Israel and Palestine. In the present day, Holocaust denial is unconscionable and, in the end, is not only morally unacceptable, but in the words of the author 'just plain stupid'. The author castigates Arab and Muslim groups which may take such a stance, arguing that the correct response and Arab reaction to the Holocaust was the simple, straightforward and rational one - a European tragedy, but not one for which the Arabs should assume responsibility.