Dummies for Antisemitism
Posted by Henric C. Jensen on August 29, 2007
“Criticism of Israel is not antisemitism. Even denial of Israel’s right to exist – obscene though that is – is anti-Zionism, not antisemitism, despite the fact that the route from the one to the other is slippery and steep. We do not serve the fight against prejudice by blurring these distinctions.” Quote by Britain’s Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sachs
“Criticism of Israel is not antisemitic. Of course it isn’t. Millions of people have been saying that time after time after time, but some antisemites just won’t get it. But if you criticize Israel because it’s Jewish, then it’s antisemitic. (My emphasis)
Denial of Israel’s right to exist is not antisemitic. Not even denying the existence of Israel is antisemitic. It’s just stupid.” Ketutar on In Reply
The core of the problem with distinguishing antisemitism from antizionism is exactly this: What is the motivation?
I would say that a great many people who claim to be antizionists do not make the distinction between Jews and Zionists or Israel and the Jewish People. They really do live by the this creed:
“I never separated the Zionists and the Jews in this thread or anywhere.” (this is an actual quote from a man who vehemently claims that he is not an antisemite.) “Agreed, I did interchange Israel and Jews incorrectly sometimes, but you have to admit that Jews and Israel are most often interchangeable.” (this another actual quote from the same man.)
Antizionism becomes antisemitism the moment it mixes things like this, either in open speech like above or in thought.
These people – most often on the Radical Far Left – are so accustomed to this kind of thinking that they simply do not see their own thought patterns clearly. I have through my many discussions with the Pro-Palestinian Cadre on line only met TWO people whom I consider intelligent and astute enough to make this distinction, and one of them is a border-line case :-). The majority regurgitate the above mishmash in various forms, consciously or subconsciously.
They wish to criticize Israel or question its right to exist, but they invariably end up spouting antisemitic sentiments, and really don’t understand why they are met by opposition.
They also seem incapable of understanding that not all Israelis support the human rights violations committed by the Israeli Authorities, or that all zionism is not racist.
They like to make comparisons to South Africa and the Apartheid Regime. I was part of the movement against Apartheid – and let me tell you, not once did I hear anyone call for the obliteration of the white population of South Africa or a call to eradicate South Africa as a State – not once. But I do hear those cries from the Radical Far Left in regards to Jews and Israel.
This is what tells me that while a few do know how make the distinction, the majority does not, and that is the core problem.