Saramago must have been ablaze, writing these lines.
Intoxicated mentally by the messianic dream of a Greater Israel which will finally achieve the expansionist dreams of the most radical Zionism; contaminated by the monstrous and rooted 'certitude' that in this catastrophic and absurd world there exists a people chosen by God and that, consequently, all the actions of an obsessive, psychological and pathologically exclusivist racism are justified; educated and trained in the idea that any suffering that has been inflicted, or is being inflicted, or will be inflicted on everyone else, especially the Palestinians, will always be inferior to that which they themselves suffered in the Holocaust, the Jews endlessly scratch their own wound to keep it bleeding, to make it incurable, and they show it to the world as if it were a banner. Israel seizes hold of the terrible words of God in Deuteronomy: 'Vengeance is mine, and I will be repaid.' Israel wants all of us to feel guilty, directly or indirectly, for the horrors of the Holocaust; Israel wants us to renounce the most elemental critical judgment and for us to transform ourselves into a docile echo of its will.
Israel, in short, is a racist state by virtue of Judaism's monstrous doctrines — racist not just against the Palestinians, but against the entire world, which it seeks to manipulate and abuse. Israel's struggles with its neighbors, seen in that light, do take on a unique and even metaphysical quality of genuine evil — the quality that distinguishes Israel's struggles from those of all other nations with disputed borders, no matter what the statistics of death and suffering might suggest.
Saramago, shrewder and more sophisticated than the crowds in the Washington streets or the panelist at the Socialist Scholars Conference, did condemn the suicide bombers. He did so in two throwaway sentences at the end of his essay, sneeringly, with his own expressive ellipsis:
Ah, yes, the horrendous massacres of civilians caused by the so-called suicide terrorists.... Horrendous, yes, doubtless; condemnable, yes, doubtless, but Israel still has a lot to learn if it is not capable of understanding the reasons that can bring a human being to turn himself into a bomb." And so, the deliberate act of murdering random crowds turns out to be the fault of the murdered — or, rather, of the monstrous and racist doctrines of their religion, which is Judaism.
Paul Berman, in an extraordinary essay deliniating the dialectics of Leftist anti-semitism. I sincerely hope to run into Saramago one of these days, so I can confirm all of his suspicions about Jews by pushing his teeth through the back of his head. Berman deserves serious praise for being one of the last decent Leftists (as in he doesn't call for a second genocide of the Jews and the overthrow of American democracy in favor of a totalitarian state) left in the world.