Israeli minister called accusation of “anti-Semitism” a “trick” to silence criticism of Israel [VIDEO]

Israeli minister called accusation of “anti-Semitism” a “trick” to silence criticism of Israel [VIDEO]

By Alison Weir

On August 14, 2002, Amy Goodman interviewed former Israeli Minister of Education Shulamit Aloni on the radio and television program Democracy Now. During the interview, Aloni said:

Often when there is dissent expressed in the United States against policies of the Israeli government, people here are called anti-Semitic. What is your response to that as an Israeli Jew?

Shulamit Aloni: Well, it’s a trick, we always use it. When from Europe somebody is criticizing Israel, then we bring up the Holocaust. When in this country people are criticizing Israel, then they are anti-Semitic. And the organization is strong, and has a lot of money, and the ties between Israel and the American Jewish establishment are very strong and they are strong in this country, as you know. And they have power…” (Video and full transcript below)

Aloni was a major figure in Israel. She had been Education Minister, served in the Israeli parliament for 28 years, authored six books and numerous articles, and produced a radio program.

Aloni was known as “the founding mother of civil rights in Israel.” For decades she worked for ethical humanism, against discrimination, and opposed the Israeli occupation. She was outspoken on a number of topics, including criticizing organized tours of Israeli high school students to Holocaust concentration camps on the ground that such visits were “turning Israeli youth into aggressive, nationalistic xenophobes.”

In 2000, Aloni was awarded the prestigious Israel Prize “for her struggle to right injustices and for raising the standard of equality.” In 2005 she was voted the 57th-greatest Israeli of all time.

Aloni passed away in 2014 at the age of 85.

For more information on Aloni go here and here. Prominent Israeli journalist Anat Saragusti made a documentary about Aloni in 2008, but this no longer appears to be available on the Internet.

Below is a video of Aloni’s statements on Democracy now:

TRANSCRIPT:

Amy Goodman: Often when there is dissent expressed in the United States against policies of the Israeli government, people here are called anti-Semitic. What is your response to that as an Israeli Jew?

Shulamit Aloni: Well, it’s a trick, we always use it. When from Europe somebody is criticizing Israel, then we bring up the Holocaust. When in this country people are criticizing Israel, then they are anti-Semitic. And the organization is strong, and has a lot of money, and the ties between Israel and the American Jewish establishment are very strong and they are strong in this country, as you know. And they have power, which is okay. They are talented people and they have power and money, and the media and other things, and their attitude is “Israel, my country right or wrong,” identification. And they are not ready to hear criticism. And it’s very easy to blame people who criticize certain acts of the Israeli government as anti-Semitic, and to bring up the Holocaust, and the suffering of the Jewish people, and that is justify everything we do to the Palestinians.


The full segment with Aloni on Democracy Now can be viewed here.