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Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Misoziony

While the irrational hatred of Israel and Zionism is often a good indicator of a hatred of Jews as well, use of "anti-semitism" is often a distraction from the argument being made, and overuse of that term waters it down over time.

Misoziony , although I'm not sure how it is pronounced, is a word that may solve this problem. Miso- is a prefix, based on the Greek misos, that means "hatred." Misoziony - the hatred of Israel and Zionism - is a fundamentally irrational loathing that is just as disgusting as anti-semitism but without the baggage.

Misozionists like to say, for example, that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is not anti-semitic because he allows a number of Jews to live in relative peace in Iran, as long as they keep in their place. Arguing that this is but a more subtle form of anti-semitism - which it is - takes away from the prime argument that Ahmadinejad singlemindedly wants to see the Israel utterly destroyed. Arab and Islamic anti-semitism is generally more subtle nowadays than their naked misoziony.

Hating Israel in grossly disproportionate ways compared to the behavior of any other nation is a sickness that is closely related to anti-semitism but it is not identical. Misoziony shows itself to be no less reprehensible than pure anti-semitism, because the desire to see the destruction of Israel is as disgusting as any bigotry.

Israel-bashers like to claim that Zionists use the term "anti-semitism" as a club to crush all criticism of Israel. The problem is, of course, that the same crowd uses the claim of Zionist use of anti-semitism as a means to avoid discussing real issues. The word misoziony can neatly solve that problem and can help re-focus the arguments back on their fundamentally untenable bases. Pointing out misoziony can help to sharpen the debate and point out the basic irrationality of the Israel-bashers.

It is also a much more convenient term when talking about the Jimmy Carters or Walt/Mearsheimers of the world. While they claim that they are not against the existence of Israel, there is no doubt that they suffer from misoziony, uniquely blaming Israel for a large number of world problems and simultaneously absolving everyone else. It is probably not accurate to call them anti-semites but they are firmly in the misozionist camp.

What do you think?