The Dov Chronicles

Anti-Zionism is Anti-Semitism

“I thought in 1945 antisemitism died in Auschwitz, but I was wrong. Its victims perished, antisemitism did not. The antisemite hates the Jews before he or she was born, and therefore, you wonder what kind of mind is the mind of the antisemite who does not live in reality, who hates because he feels the need to hate, and for them it is so easy to hate a Jew because we have been the other, the stranger in so many places, and they simply could not understand why we were still around” – Elie Weisel
————————————————–
We Jews are hated in paradoxes: For being a lazy and inferior race – but also for dominating the economy and taking over the world. We are hated for stubbornly maintaining our separateness – and, when we do assimilate – for posing a threat to racial purity through intermarriages. We are seen as pacifists and as warmongers; as capitalist exploiters and as revolutionary communists; possessed of a Chosen-People mentality, as well as of an inferiority complex. It seems we just can’t win.
Denying the Jewish people the right to their own national movement is an aspect of anti-semitism because every nation in the world has the natural right to a national movement. If this right is denied to the Jewish people this is basic discrimination, which is anti-semitism. Propagandists of the new anti-semitism reject the state of Israel’s right to exist. They accuse it of Nazism and associate it with Nazi symbols. They demonize it and accuse the Jewish communities of treason in their countries because they support Israel. All these are anti-semitic motifs that appear under the pretext of anti-Zionism or opposition to Israel’s policy.
Any discrimination towards the state of Israel in comparison to other countries is a sign of anti-semitic stands. When one systematically judges Israel’s steps by different standards to those applying to other countries, this attitude is basically anti-semitic. Since the state of Israel was established as the Jewish state, it has encountered unbalanced criticism of its policy, out of all proportion to its actions, and ignoring the background to its policy and the far more serious measures taken against it than against other nations. The impression is that Israel is regarded as a state, in the same way that Jews in the past were regarded as individuals – that is, with discrimination and anti-semitic attitudes.
When Israel is accused of conducting a Nazi policy – without any factual basis for such a serious statement, and contrary to reality in which the state of Israel operates according to democratic laws and under the watchful eye of the Supreme Court (which is world renowned) – this is a case of anti-semitism. When there is one-sided criticism of the security fence and roadblocks to check Palestinian traffic, without presenting anti-Israel terrorism and Israel’s need for defensive measures, this is a discriminatory attitude.
When human rights organizations devote a great part of their time to criticizing the state of Israel but do not refer equally to blatant human rights violations elsewhere, such as the premeditated murder by Palestinian terrorist organizations for decades of thousands of innocent Israeli citizens including infants, children and old people, and even more since the intifada, to the mass murders and expulsions in other places for example, in Sudan, or to ignoring the denial of citizen rights to women and homosexuals as is common in many Arab and Muslim countries – this is a one-sided discriminatory attitude whose motives we should question. In quite a few cases the motives are anti-semitic.
“I thought in 1945 antisemitism died in Auschwitz, but I was wrong. Its victims perished, antisemitism did not. The antisemite hates the Jews before he or she was born, and therefore, you wonder what kind of mind is the mind of the antisemite who does not live in reality, who hates because he feels the need to hate, and for them it is so easy to hate a Jew because we have been the other, the stranger in so many places, and they simply could not understand why we were still around” – Elie Weisel
————————————————–
We Jews are hated in paradoxes: For being a lazy and inferior race – but also for dominating the economy and taking over the world. We are hated for stubbornly maintaining our separateness – and, when we do assimilate – for posing a threat to racial purity through intermarriages. We are seen as pacifists and as warmongers; as capitalist exploiters and as revolutionary communists; possessed of a Chosen-People mentality, as well as of an inferiority complex. It seems we just can’t win.
Denying the Jewish people the right to their own national movement is an aspect of anti-semitism because every nation in the world has the natural right to a national movement. If this right is denied to the Jewish people this is basic discrimination, which is anti-semitism. Propagandists of the new anti-semitism reject the state of Israel’s right to exist. They accuse it of Nazism and associate it with Nazi symbols. They demonize it and accuse the Jewish communities of treason in their countries because they support Israel. All these are anti-semitic motifs that appear under the pretext of anti-Zionism or opposition to Israel’s policy.
Any discrimination towards the state of Israel in comparison to other countries is a sign of anti-semitic stands. When one systematically judges Israel’s steps by different standards to those applying to other countries, this attitude is basically anti-semitic. Since the state of Israel was established as the Jewish state, it has encountered unbalanced criticism of its policy, out of all proportion to its actions, and ignoring the background to its policy and the far more serious measures taken against it than against other nations. The impression is that Israel is regarded as a state, in the same way that Jews in the past were regarded as individuals – that is, with discrimination and anti-semitic attitudes.
When Israel is accused of conducting a Nazi policy – without any factual basis for such a serious statement, and contrary to reality in which the state of Israel operates according to democratic laws and under the watchful eye of the Supreme Court (which is world renowned) – this is a case of anti-semitism. When there is one-sided criticism of the security fence and roadblocks to check Palestinian traffic, without presenting anti-Israel terrorism and Israel’s need for defensive measures, this is a discriminatory attitude.
When human rights organizations devote a great part of their time to criticizing the state of Israel but do not refer equally to blatant human rights violations elsewhere, such as the premeditated murder by Palestinian terrorist organizations for decades of thousands of innocent Israeli citizens including infants, children and old people, and even more since the intifada, to the mass murders and expulsions in other places for example, in Sudan, or to ignoring the denial of citizen rights to women and homosexuals as is common in many Arab and Muslim countries – this is a one-sided discriminatory attitude whose motives we should question. In quite a few cases the motives are anti-semitic.
Anti-Zionism has become the most dangerous and effective form of anti- Semitism in our time, through its systematic delegitimization, defamation, and demonization of Israel. Although not a priori anti-Semitic, the calls to dismantle the Jewish state, whether they come from Muslims, the Left, or the radical Right, increasingly rely on an anti-Semitic stereotype of classic themes, such as the manipulative “Jewish lobby,” the Jewish/Zionist “world conspiracy,” and Jewish/Israeli “warmongers.”
One major driving force of this is the transformation of the Palestinian cause into a “holy war”; another source is anti-Americanism linked with fundamentalist Islamism. In the current context, classic conspiracy theories, such as the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, are enjoying a spectacular revival. The common denominator of the new anti-Zionism has been the systematic effort to criminalize Israeli and Jewish behavior, so as to place it beyond the pale of civilized and acceptable conduct.
If Israel’s critics are truly opposed to anti-semitism, they should not repeat traditional anti-semitic themes. When such themes – the Jewish conspiracy to rule the world, linking Jews with money and media, the hooked-nose stingy Jew, the blood libel, or disparaging use of Jewish symbols – are used to describe Israel’s actions, concern should be voiced. Is it necessary to evoke the Jewish conspiracy or depict Israelis as Christ-killers to denounce Israeli policies?
The fact that accusations of anti-semitism are dismissed as paranoia, even when anti-semitic imagery is at work, is a subterfuge. Israel deserves to be judged by the same standards adopted for others, not by the standards of utopia. Singling out Israel for an impossibly high standard not applied to any other country begs the question: why such different treatment?
Despite piqued disclaimers, some of Israel’s critics use anti-semitic stereotypes. In fact, their disclaimers frequently offer a mask of respectability to otherwise socially unacceptable anti-semitism. Many equate Israel to Nazism, claiming that “yesterday’s victims are today’s perpetrators”: last year, Louis de Bernières wrote in the Independent that “Israel has been adopting tactics which are reminiscent of the Nazis”. This equation between victims and murderers denies the Holocaust.
Worse still, it provides its retroactive justification: if Jews turned out to be so evil, perhaps they deserved what they got. Others speak of Zionist conspiracies to dominate the media, manipulate American foreign policy, rule the world and oppress the Arabs. By describing Israel as the root of all evil, they provide the linguistic mandate and the moral justification to destroy it. And by using anti-semitic instruments to achieve this goal, they give away their true anti-Semitic face.
Were you outraged when Golda Meir claimed there were no Palestinians? You should be equally outraged at the insinuation that Jews are not a nation. Those who denounce Zionism sometimes explain Israel’s policies as a product of its Jewish essence. In their view, not only should Israel act differently, it should cease being a Jewish state. Anti-Zionists are prepared to treat Jews equally and fight anti-semitic prejudice only if Jews give up their distinctiveness as a nation.

Post Navigation