Anti-Zionism/Anti-Semitism – New face on an old hate


The new nature of anti-Semitic attacks

Israel has been established by Jews. As such, Israel and Jews are intrinsically linked – this to the great displeasure of a sizeable chunk of the population in question. Many Jews who are left wing liberals feel shamed at an association with Israel. Yet, no matter what he or she have done to distant themselves from Israel, anyone identifiable as a Jew today is open to an attack that is Anti-Zionist in content. The Anti-Defamation league reports that Anti-Semitic attacks are on the rise overall, but especially increase when Israel is in the news, such as during the 2014 “Tzuk Eitan”. 1

From the ADL (anti-defamation league) record of recent attacks:

Berkeley, CA: The phrase “Zionists should be sent to the gas chamber” was found in a campus restroom, not long after a swastika was found on a university owned building.

New York, NY: Anti-Semitic slogans were chanted at a protest at CUNY-Hunter College in Manhattan after organizers on Facebook called for participants to oppose the school’s “Zionist administration.” Protesters, who ostensibly gathered to fight for free tuition and other benefits, shouted, “Zionists out of CUNY! Zionists out of CUNY!”

Brussels – A Belgian municipal security officer posted an anti-Semitic rant on Facebook. He wrote: “The word Jew itself is dirty. If I were in Israel, frankly, I would do to the Jews what they do with the Palestinians — slaughter each and every one of them.”

October 20, 2015 – Malmo – Pro-Palestinian demonstrators chanted “slaughter the Jews, stab soldiers” during an anti-Israel rally. 2

Many incidents of Modern anti-Semitism are perpetuated by Muslims and include anti Zionistic language, even when aimed at targets not connect to Israel in any direct manner: Synagogues, cemeteries, random Jewish pedestrians. Anti-Zionist sermons are preached in mosques and Islamic bookshops sell the Mein Kampf. 3

Anti- Zionism’s fundamental premise

Pro-Palestinian sentiments are often expressed by targeting Jews – Jews who may or may not be Zionist and may have never even visited Israel. But have they been attacked because of Israel, or has Israel been attacked because of them? Is the Jew hated because of Zionism, or is Zionism hated because of the Jew?

Anti-Semitism dates back millennia and cumulated in the holocaust before the state of Israel was established, so the fact that “Chris slayer” or “zhid” has been swapped for “Zionist” does not mean Zionism is the cause, just like Jews at the times of Christianity’s founder were not the cause the true of medieval anti-Semitism.  Is there a basis for anti-Zionism that is not anti-Semitic? Can such a thing logically exist?

Israeli Historian Yehuda Bauer writes on this subject: “one can be, in theory at least, anti-Zionist without being anti-Semitic, but only if one says that all national movements are evil, and all national states should be abolished. But if one says that the Fijians have a right to independence, and so do the Malays or the Bolivians, but the Jews have no such right, then one is anti-Jewish, and as one singles out the Jews for nationalistic reasons, one is antisemitic, with an attendant strong suspicion of being racist” In short, you cannot moralize about the right of Palestinian self-determination while at the same breath denying it to Jews without being discriminatory. 4

Links to Nazism and the Holocaust  

The Pro Palestinian boycott of Israel (the BDS movement) in particular calls to mind the Nazi boycott of Jewish businesses, as recently called out by Chancellor Angela Merkel’s party. From today’s news:

Who today under the flag of the BDS movement calls to boycott Israeli goods and services speaks the same language in which people were called to not buy from Jews. That is nothing other than coarse antisemitism,” the CDU said.

The CDU likened BDS to the National Socialists who boycotted Jews in the 1930s. BDS dresses up antisemitism in the “new clothes of the 21st century” as anti-Zionism, the party said.

“The German CDU declares with this motion its disapproval and rejection of every form of BDS activity and condemns these activities as antisemitic. The CDU will decisively oppose every hostile action that Israel faces. The CDU professes its deep friendship toward Israel and continues to work toward a peaceful solution to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians,” the resolution read. 5

Furthermore, Israel came into being soon after WWII. To a large extent, the holocaust has justified the necessity of a Jewish State in the world’s eyes, or at least guilted European countries into acquiescing. It is no accident, therefore, that holocaust denial and anti-Zionism often go hand in hand. If Jews invented or inflated the holocaust so the world “gives” them a state, proving them wrong nullifies the entire basis of that state’s existence. For example, Iran’s leaders are notoriously perpetuating holocaust denial as part of their anti- Zionist rhetoric. 6

If not going with outright holocaust denial, a more sophisticate view is that the Jews are perpetrating genocide of their own on Palestinians, and therefore forfeited any moral high ground in the “oppression Olympics.” Let’s take a look at the numbers. Even the pro-Palestinian B’tselem highest estimates cannot claim more than several thousand civilian Palestinian casualties, and it is nearly impossible to tease out how many were indeed civilians and how many active in terror organizations. There are four million estimated Palestinians in the “Palestinian territories” and another million and a half within ’48 Israel.  This means that even if we assumed every single Palestinian casualty is a civilian, it does not approach even 1% of holocaust casualties (who were certainly all civilians) not in number and not as proportion of the population. 7

With the facts in mind, it seems that only a wish to continue hating Jews “guilt free” can account for the ludicrous comparison between Israel’s actions and genocide.

Israel singled out

Professor Irwin Cotler points out that Israel is the only state that saw terrorism against it officially sanctioned (as resistance to occupation). He points out that Israel has become a Pariah state among other states, like the Jew was among his neighbors all thorough history:

“The convening, in December 2001, of the Contracting Parties to the 1949 Geneva Conventions on international humanitarian law was a particularly egregious discriminatory act. For 52 years, the contracting parties had never met – notwithstanding the genocide in the Balkans, the unspeakable and preventable genocide in Rwanda and the killing fields in Sierra Leone. The first and to date only time that the contracting parties have ever come together to put a country in the docket was in the immediate aftermath of Durban. That country, again, was Israel, an offensive singling-out that undermined the whole regime of international humanitarian law” 8

Let us take China, for example. China occupied Tibet, a country that previously had enjoyed complete autonomy for centuries and had an identity and a leader. It has also been ignoring the most basic of human rights for decades. It keeps prisoners in labor camps, executes political dissenters and sells their organs, and many of its workers work in sweatshop sub-human conditions. It still draws no condemnation from the UN. Nor did Turkey ever draw ire for its war on Kurds, an ethnic group seeking self-determination. Nor Cambodia, where a genocide took place by the Khmer Rouge, killing two million. Nor did the genocides in Rwanda and Bosnia seem to ruffle any feathers.  Darfur, finally, did merit two condemnations.

But Israel? Israel can count no less than Sixty- Two condemnations. Not only has no other member state been singled out as much, but the rest of the world put together has less than Israel alone.  The rest of world – every atrocity ever committed since WWII – earned 55 condemnations to Israel’s 62 and counting. 9

Petty Examples

Some of the UN resolutions that point to its habit of micro-criticizing Israel to a ridiculous degree:

– The UN passed a resolution against Ariel Sharon visiting the Temple Mount (there has never been a resolution against a politician visiting a site)

-Resolution against the deportation of 413 Palestinians (we’ve yet to see one regarding the US treatment of Latin American immigration)

-Repeated resolutions against the status of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital (we don’t see proclamations regarding the status of Northern Ireland, Kashmir in India or other similar disputed areas)

-Resolution against a military parade in Jerusalem (no other parade has ever been censured in the UN)

-A resolution regarding living conditions of Palestinians in the “occupied territories” (no such resolution against living conditions in Indian slum, Native American reservations, or any other of the world’s many desperately poor areas. Incidentally, there is a good argument for Palestinian living conditions being far better in Israeli refugee camps than in Syria, Lebanon, or Jordan.)

-A resolution against archeological digs in Jerusalem (never has there been a resolution against scientists who are not engaged in building unconventional weapons) 10