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Trying to make sense of a meshuga planet

Michael Gerson on antisemitism

An excellent op-ed piece on this difficult subject links together a few important themes: antisemitism as a historical phenomenon, denial & hate in the age of internet, etc. A few excerpts, the emphasis is mine:

Why the Jews? by Michael Gerson (Wash Post)

That day, out of curiosity, I did something I rarely do. I read the comments on my column on a number of Web sites that publish it. In addition to the normal political vituperation, the level of anti-Jewish feeling was appalling. The European genocide, some contended, was exaggerated by Jews for political purposes. Jews were behind the Bolshevik Revolution, the rise of Hitler and the outbreak of World War II. They control the newspapers, radio, television and book publishing. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is right to expose the Holocaust myth, they wrote, and Israel is perpetrating the real holocaust against the Palestinians.

The Internet has helped to create communities of malice.

The anti-Semitic community is varied in background and ideology. It includes both Internet Nazis and campus leftists carrying signs that read, "Jews = Nazis." The Rev. Jeremiah Wright recently blamed "them Jews" for blocking his access to President Obama. A conservative Web site recently included a forum on Holocaust denial (before it was exposed and removed). One posting read: "The same blinded people that believe that the Germans intentionally killed Jews — also believe the myth of the Anne Frank Diary."


But these ideas are not harmless, because they can inspire an angry, obsessed bigot who sets out on a June morning to kill Jews — and murders an African American man who had a wife and young son.

The durability of anti-Semitism is a horrifying marvel of history. Sara Bloomfield, the director of the Holocaust Museum, observes: "Anti-Semitism has existed with and without Christianity. With and without the right wing. With and without the left wing. With and without democracy. With and without economic problems. With and without globalization. With and without a Jewish homeland."


David Berger, the editor of "History and Hate," writes, "We shall never fully understand anti-Semitism. Deep-rooted, complex, endlessly persistent, constantly changing yet remaining the same, it is a phenomenon that stands at the intersection of history, sociology, economics, political science, religion and psychology."

But we do know that anti-Semitism has always been a kind of test — a reliable measure of a nation’s moral and social health. When the rights of Jews are violated, all human rights are insecure. When Jews and Jewish institutions are targeted, all minorities have reason for fear. And by this standard, America has cause for introspection.

Not far from where von Brunn entered the museum, there is a black wall inscribed with a quotation: "All men are created equal . . . they are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights . . . among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."

This is what anti-Semitism ultimately must deny, and this is the reason anti-Semitism must always and everywhere be confronted.

RELATED

Deborah E. Lipstadt was there in the USHMM when the shooting took place: Commentary: Witness to history and horror (CNN)

Jeffrey Goldberg’s insightful one-liner: Rev. Wright Clarifies:

He meant "Zionists," not "Jews," he sez. In other words, he regrets speaking plainly instead of deploying a euphemism.

June 12, 2009 Posted by | Anti-Semitism, Antisemitism | , | Leave a comment

Antisemitism on campus: UC Irvine

Case study: psychological projection

Unfortunately, UC Jihad is back. StandWithUs reprints an article Protecting Hate at UC Irvine by Neelie Genya Milstein, a UCI student.

Imagine walking on a campus past buildings where you have taken numerous classes with many peers, past the Student Center where you have eaten lunch many times, past all the familiar places where you have felt safe and accepted. Now imagine walking by those same places and seeing blood-stained flags of a nation that is part of your identity. Posters with “anti-hate = anti-Israel” and “Stop Israeli Genocide” parade in front of you. Displays surround you with images of cruel IDF soldiers, dead Gazans, Anne Frank — a symbol of Jewish tragedy — wearing a kaffiyeh, and of Israel’s barrier to protect Jews from terrorism, labeled an “apartheid wall.” It is as if everything Israel and Jews ever stood for is racism, bloodshed and war. You are a Jew; a proud Jew, a proud supporter of Israel. Now you are seen as nothing but a racist murderer on your own campus.

When I first walked onto campus and saw the Israeli flag blowing in the wind, ripped and blood-stained, I was filled with anger, sadness, and helplessness. I wanted to scream at the top of my lungs, “These are lies. This is disgusting!” I didn’t scream, but I trembled with rage at the Muslim Student Union (MSU), and even more, at the UCI administration for standing by as their students are humiliated, chewed up and spit out, and depicted almost as animals.

Anyone who knows Israel’s history knows of its challenges, triumphs and mistakes. I refuse to accept vicious propaganda that demonizes Israel. I refuse to accept desecration of cherished symbols of Jewish identity. I recognize that freedom of speech entails freedom to preach hate, lies and prejudice, but I am repulsed. The MSU depicts the suffering caused by Israel’s recent war with Hamas, but it never acknowledges the reasons for Israel’s actions, the suffering of Israelis, Hamas’ goal to destroy Israel, or the tactics Hamas used, such as human shields, that raised the civilian toll. I, along with Israelis and the Jewish world, grieve for the innocent civilians who died. Why doesn’t the MSU show equal concern for Jewish fears and suffering? Could they share Hamas’ view that whenever an Israeli man, woman, or child is killed, it should be cause for celebration and passing out candy?

I have been told to censor myself so that potential students are not afraid to come to UCI, but I have had enough censorship. With truth comes power, not fear. The MSU’s hate is dangerous. I have been in Jewish private schools since second grade and I have always been taught that hatred is wrong. I know that Israelis are taught not to hate Arabs, and that Jewish national identity demands equal protection for Muslim religious identity. I know that UCI’s Jewish students never even thought of retaliating with a weeklong campaign of “The World Without Mecca” or “Palestinian Nationalism=Islamic Terrorism and Racism.” Then I came to UCI, and found that my fear of hatred was more than justified. At UCI, hate is a yearly event that lasts for a week. It isn’t just any hatred. It is hatred directed at me, my friends, my community and my history.

Georges-Elia Sarfati is Professor of Linguistics at the University of Clermont Ferrand in France. In his recent interview entitled Language as a Tool against Jews and Israel, he talks about Europe, but this universally applies to antisemites anywhere (the emphasis is mine):


“Europe created Nazism, totalitarianism, racism and colonialism. Linguistically, we see what we might call a ‘displacement,’ or in psychological terms, ‘projection.’ All these traumatizing elements in Europe’s history are redirected toward Israel.

“Theologically speaking, this recalls the mechanism of the scapegoat. The latter is loaded with everybody’s sins, and then expunged. This biblical gesture is taken over by anti-Zionism. With all its verbal violence it constructs a despicable image of the state of Israel.”

How to React?

When asked how Jews and their allies should relate to the discourse, Sarfati quotes from his book: “This Judeophobia…should be judged as a pornographic vision: the speakers, listeners and those who watch it, all enjoy it.” He points out that one should not fall into the trap by starting to respond to one’s enemies’ arguments.

“If the anti-Zionist says the Zionist state is a fascist or a Nazi state, it would be mistaken to answer ‘How could you say such a thing? Israel has been the victim of fascism.’ That will only lead to the anti-Zionist’s next slogan: ‘The victims have become perpetrators.’ Entering into such debates is useless.

“One can reply that by using the equation ‘Zionism is fascism’ the anti-Zionist has become a successor of Hitler’s tradition. His slogan says Zionism and Israel are the movers of the absolute evil. It recycles what the Nazis said about the Jews. Racism dehumanizes a certain segment of humanity in order to justify its expulsion before its destruction. The latter is then covered up as a goal of public health.” Sarfati explains: “In this way, language serves the perfect crime. That is why the anti-Zionist discourse hardly speaks about Zionism, but is very telling about anti-Zionists.”

RELATED:
Collective Psychological Processes in Anti-Semitism by Avner Falk

May 25, 2009 Posted by | Antisemitism | , , , | Leave a comment

How do you encourage a racist?

You give him a soapbox. You invite him to make a speech after speech. You provide him an audience after adoring audience. Everybody knew what Mahmoud-the-mad is going to say today – his speeches are all the same for years.
And while the UN demonstrates its increasing irrelevancy, I don’t think that boycott or walkout are the best that can be done against prima hatemonger and his regime.

We will remember those who still invite him and do business with Iran.
And we will remember those who applauded him today.

April 20, 2009 Posted by | Antisemitism | , , | Leave a comment

Imam who took part in Congress of Imams and Rabbis for Peace calls for extermination of Jews

Via IMRA: PMW Bulletin: Hamas Cleric Calls for Extermination of Jews
(includes transcript)

Bulletin Apr. 19, 2009 Palestinian Media Watch

A Hamas cleric who once participated in an international conference of “Imams and Rabbis for Peace” — whose delegates vowed to “condemn any negative representation” of each other’s religions — has wholeheartedly espoused Hamas’s racist ideology in a recent Friday sermon on Hamas TV.

Video:

My comments:
First, we should listen to what they say to their audience in Arabic, not to the West and in English.
Second, I do not think that mere “talking” will resolve all the problems, Mr. President.

April 19, 2009 Posted by | Islamism | , , | Leave a comment

UC Jihad

Plausible deniability?

Remember recent photos of a hateful retard holding sign “DEATH TO ALL JUICE”? Unfortunately, it is not as funny as it may seem.

On Campus Anti-Semitism, Pro-Terrorism by Joe Kaufman

The Muslim Students Association (MSA), the extremist group which began as an American component of the violent Muslim Brotherhood (MB), once again has found itself sponsoring anti-Semite and terrorist supporter Abdul Malik Ali. The event is taking place this weekend, from the 10th through the 12th, at the University of California, Riverside (UCR).

In February 2004 at UC-Irvine (UCI), Ali declared that Israelis staged the September 11th attacks “to give an excuse to wage war against Muslims around the world.” In March 2006 at UC-Santa Cruz, he referred to the U.S., Britain and Israel as an “axis of evil.” In May 2006 at UCI, he praised Hamas and Hezbollah, whilst warning Israel, “We will fight you until we are either martyred or we are victorious.”

In October 2006 at UCI, he again threatened Israel, stating, “If history is any indication, there’ll be peace when you’re gone and we are in control again.” In May 2007 at UCI, he described Hamas as “freedom fighters, not terrorists,” Hezbollah as “people with a higher moral character,” and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as “a nice guy” and “an honorable person.” All this, while calling for the destruction of Israel.

In addition to the offending speaker, much of the blame for these outrageous statements must be shouldered by the Muslim Students Association (MSA), the group who continues to organize these events.

… it was the MSA who was guilty of bringing Taliban senior advisor to Mullah Omar, Syed Rahmatullah Hashimi, to the University of Southern California (USC) to speak in March 2001. It was the MSA who was recently responsible for using a USC website to propagate Islamic religious statements calling for the murder of Jews. And it was the MSA at UC-Los Angeles (UCLA) who referred to Osama bin Laden, in its July 1999 edition of its publication Al-Talib, as a “freedom fighter,” “philanthropist” and “great Mujahid.”

In addition to Ali, also featured as a speaker at this weekend’s event will be the Civil Rights Coordinator of the Los Angeles office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Los Angeles), Affad Shaikh. Like his ‘keynote’ speaking counterpart, Shaikh has a history of antagonism against Jews, Israel and the United States.

In December 2008, Shaikh posted onto a blog, which he is affiliated with, a picture of an individual holding a sign with the words, “DEATH TO ALL JUICE” [read JUICE meaning JEWS]. This, whilst in the same post, he demeaned Israel and stated that Muslim groups should end their full participation in interfaith gatherings with Jews…

Ultimately it is the schools themselves who allow this environment of hate to enter their institutions and who provide absolutely no accountability towards violence-inducing infractions committed by their radical Muslim students.

However, who is there to hold the schools accountable?

April 10, 2009 Posted by | Anti-Semitism, Antisemitism, Education, Islamism, US | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Why do totalitarian regimes love to hate Jews?

Echoes of the ’30s in Caracas

CHAVEZ’S CAMPAIGN against the Jews has three principal components. The first is the systematic stigmatizing of Israel as a “bloodthirsty,” “oppressive,” “genocidal” and “monstrous” country (quoted from Chavez and his officials) that disregards basic human decency and arrogantly defies international law. The second is the objectification of Jews as Zionists, seamlessly tying the Jews to the imagined evils and horror of the Israeli state. Statements such as “Zionism is Nazism” abound, both on the streets and in parliament.

All of this takes place in the context of anti-capitalist class warfare, in which “enemies of the people” are labeled by the government-controlled media to provide both justification and an outlet for bitter frustration and anger. This strategy was used to great effect in the national socialist movements of the 20th century, where Jews were specifically targeted as “elitist” to subject them to the anger and resentment of collectivist masses.

Hugo Chavez continues to deny any involvement in these incidents and claims to have no antipathy toward the Jews. Instead, he cunningly offers them a Faustian deal by demanding their support in publicly denouncing Israel for its alleged misdeeds. Yet even these statements clearly promote a climate where anti-Semitism is not only tolerated, but is encouraged by his government.

This reminds me the Soviet Union a few decades ago. As a rule, totalitarian regimes need enemies, real or imaginable – in order to threaten and manipulate their own population – and Jews under such regimes are a predictable and usually defenseless target. Also, it is easy to whip up the hatred against them and there is no need to invent new accusations: simply recycle old antisemitic canards – they never seem to die off.

March 30, 2009 Posted by | Antisemitism, Venezuela | , | Leave a comment

Soviet (re)definition of Zionism

This is article “Zionism” from the Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition, 1969-1978. Translation from the original Russian is by yours truly. I think this piece of the Cold War deserves to be analyzed.

Zionism (term derived from the Mount Zion in Jerusalem), the most reactionary variety of Jewish bourgeois nationalism, which received significant propagation in the 20th century among Jewish population of capitalist countries. Contemporary Z. is a nationalist ideology, extensive system of organizations and politics expressing the interests of affluent Jewish bourgeoisie, closely related to the monopolist bourgeoisie of imperialistic countries. The main posits of the contemporary Z. are militant chauvinism, racism, anti-Communism and anti-Sovietism.

As a political movement, Z. arose in the end of the 19th century. It was designed to distract Jewish working masses from the revolutionary fight, to preserve the domination of the bourgeoisie over the workers. To implement these intents, the ideologists of Z. advanced their plans of resolving the “Jewish question” by creating a “Jewish state” with the aid of the Great Powers. This idea was presented, in particular, in the book of one of the ideologists of Z., an Austrian journalist Theodore Herzl Judenstaat (1896). In 1897, the first Zionist congress in Basel established the World Zionist Organization (WZO). The WZO proclaimed as the official goal of Z. “the creation of a home in Palestine for the Jewish people, secured by public law.”

Ideological doctrine of Z. is very eclectic. It actively uses many dogmas of Judaism, and also includes theories of bourgeois nationalism, social chauvinism, etc., adapted by ideologists of Z. Its basic positions may be reduced to the following:

  • Jews of various countries present an ex-territorial “united worldwide Jewish nation”;
  • Jews are “special”, “exclusive”, “chosen by god” people;
  • All peoples among which Jews live, in one way or another are antisemites;
  • Antisemitism is a phenomenon that is “eternal”;
  • Assimilation, i.e. the confluence of Jews with their surrounding peoples, “is unnatural and sinful”;
  • Jews have “historical rights” to the “lands of the biblical ancestors” (Palestine and adjacent areas), where they have to be concentrated in order to build a “purely Jewish” “egalitarian state”.

Ideologists of Z. attempt to prove the “unbreakable connection of Jews worldwide” with Z., to which they must subordinate their interests, no matter where they are. The politicized dogmas of Judaism about Jews “being chosen by god” and about their messianism, as well as mythical thesis about their “exclusivity” comprise one of the fundamentals of ultra-nationalism, chauvinism and racism, immanently inherent in the ideology and the practice of Z. The ideologists of Z. assert that the “Jewish question” is an “eternal”, “exceptional” and the above-class question. Zionists in every way possible propagandize the deceitful idea of the class peace between Jewish workers and Jewish bourgeoisie (“all Jews are brothers”). The ideologists of Z. declare all forms of the class struggle among Jews as national treason. With the aid of the demagogy and tactical trickery, the Zionists always strove and still attempt to disguise the anti-social reactionary essence of Z., posing it as the “national liberation movement of the Jewish people worldwide”.

After the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, by the UN resolution (on part of the territory of Palestine), Z. became the official state ideology of Israel. The main objectives of Z. are proclaimed as the unconditional support of this state by Jews of the entire world, concentration in Israel of the Jews from the entire world, persuasion of the Jewish population of various countries in the Zionist spirit. Z. poses the task of expanding this state to the boundaries of the so-called “greater Israel”. To solve this task, the Zionists use a thesis of the “eternal antisemitism”, while at the same time frequently inflaming it themselves.

Z. is the basis of the official state policy of Israel. Zionists declare the state of Israel the motherland of all Jews, no matter where they live and no matter how they relate to Zionism. The 28th congress of the WZO (took place in 1972 in Jerusalem) in violation of all norms of the international law accepted “the collective obligation of all national (in the form of Zionist and pro-Zionist) organizations to help the Jewish state under any circumstances and conditions, even in case if this runs against the authorities” of their corresponding countries.

The main line of Z. always was and still is the overt and covert fight against socialism, international Communist and national liberation movements, the Soviet Union and other socialist countries. Immediately after the victory of October Revolution of 1917 in Russia, Z. unfolded active fight against the young Soviet State. After the Second World War 1939-45, in conditions of further deepening of the general crisis of Capitalism, the anti-Communism, anti-Sovietism and international Z. took even wider scale. The complete change of the ratio of forces in the world in favor of Socialism, the successful resolution of national (including Jewish) question in the USSR, the successive support of the national liberation struggle of the Arab peoples by the Soviet Union – all this causes strengthening of anti-Soviet and anti-Communist Zionist propaganda and activity.

The international Z. attempts to destroy moral and political unity of the peoples of the Socialist countries, detach the citizens of Jewish ethnicity away from the participation in the building of Socialism and Communism, it conducts clandestine activities against the Détente, in particular against the ongoing normalization of Soviet-American relations. Serving as the front squad of Colonialism and neo-Colonialism, the international Z. actively participates in the fight against national liberation movements of the peoples of Africa, Asia and Latin America. In the Near East, the Zionist ruling circles of Israel carry out the policy of aggression and constant territorial expansion against the Arab peoples, and, first of all, the Arab people of Palestine. This policy turned Israel into the imperialistic gendarme in the Near East, and was the main reason for the Arab-Israeli military conflicts in 1948-49, 1956, 1967, 1973. Z. became one of the basic allies of imperialism in its global battle against the world liberation movement.

Ideological concepts and political plans of Z. are implemented by the widely distributed and strictly centralized system of Zionist and pro-Zionist organizations, whose leading centers are located in the US and Israel. The main leading and coordinating center of international Zionism is the WZO system, the Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI). The latter focuses mainly on questions of the immigration of Jews into Israel and represents WZO in the relations with the Israeli government. Legally, the supreme body of the WZO is world Zionist congress; the main role in the WZO plays the group having close connections with certain imperialistic circles in the US. Executive committee of the WZO consists of two branches: New York and Jerusalem. WZO directs and controls the activities of Zionist organizations in more than 60 capitalist countries. Largest: Women’s International Zionist Organization, World Union of General Zionists, World Labor Zionist Movement, Zionist Organization of America. Practically under the WZO’s control is the formally non-Zionist World Jewish Congress (WJC, created in 1936), whose organizations act in 67 capitalist countries. These centers directly or indirectly adjoin many local Zionist and pro-Zionist organizations, public committees, etc., which constitute the unified system of international Zionism. WZO possesses significant financial funds, provided mainly by Jewish monopolists; part of the funds is collected by requisitions, including forced, among the Jewish population.

The substantial part of the media is under control or influence of Zionist organizations: large number of publishing houses, radio- and television networks, motion picture companies (in the US, Western Europe, in a number of the countries of Latin America, Africa, in Australia) are in their hands.

International Z. always included and still includes a variety of ideological movements, political fractions and groupings: “socialist” Zionists, “political Zionists”, “spiritual Zionists”, “religious Zionists”, “general Zionists”, “Zionist-revisionists” (what is today Fascist party Herut and groups linked to it), etc., which only reflects specific interests of various groups of Jewish bourgeoisie and does not change, but only disguises its pro-imperialist essence.

In practice, the differences between various fractions in Z. do not cross the boundaries of disputes on tactical questions and frequently reflect the infights in the Zionist elite for the influential posts.

Marxists have always rejected and still reject both theory and practice of Zionism. V. I. Lenin revealed the reactionary essence of Z. by emphasizing that its dogmas were reactionary and fundamentally false, and contradict interests of the Jewish proletariat. He criticized the theses of Zionists regarding the special character of the Jewish people, the alleged absence of class distinctions in Jews and the imaginary commonality of their interests by explaining that the purpose of such assertions is to lead Jewish working masses away from global class struggle of the proletariat. The international Communist movement exposes the anti-social reactionary nature of Z. and activity of Zionists in all countries. The document accepted by the International Conference of Communist and Working Parties in 1969 contains the call “… to unroll the widest possible movement of protest… against racial and ethnic discrimination, Zionism and antisemitism, which capitalist reactionary forces inflame and use for political disorientation of the masses.” In particular, the Communist Party of Israel (CPI) carries on the consistent struggle against Z. It convincingly shows that Z. was always used by forces of extreme reaction and imperialism, that the ideology and practice of Z. contradict the interests of Jewish workers worldwide and the national interests of the people of Israel, that fight against Z. is vital for both the people of Israel and all progressive forces. The CPI exposes the allegedly “non-class” approach of Zionists to the “Jewish question” and proves that this question can be solved only on the condition of victory of democracy and Socialism, as evident from the experience of the USSR and other Socialist countries. The CPI speaks in favor of brotherhood and friendship of the workers worldwide, against anti-Soviet slanderous propaganda and diversionist activity of Zionist leaders and rulers of Israel.

As the general crisis of Capitalism deepens in the present stage, the crisis of ideology of Z. becomes ever more obvious, as well as the insolvency of all its concepts: the overwhelming majority of Jews rejects Zionist dogmas. The Jewish population of the USSR (with a rare exception), as all peoples of the Soviet Union and progressive forces of the world, decisively condemns the aggressive political course of the Zionist rulers of Israel.

The 30th session of the UN General Assembly (November 1975) qualified Z. as the form of racism and racial discrimination.

Worldwide, the steadfast and objective process of the assimilation of Jews is on the increase. The understanding grows not only among the Jewish communities of the Western countries, but also among the Israeli population, that Zionist politics of Israel’s ruling circles can lead its population to a genuine national catastrophe.

Lit.:

  1. Lenin V. I., ”Complete Works”, 5 ed., Vol. 7, p. 121; Vol. 8, p. 72;
  2. Lenin V. I., ”CPSU about Proletarian Internationalism”. Coll. of documents and materials, Vol. 1-2, of M., 1974;
  3. ”International conference of Communist and working parties”. Documents and materials, M., 1969;
  4. ”XVII congress of the Communist Party of Israel”, [ materials ], M., 1973;
  5. Ivanov Yu., ”Beware: Zionism!”, M., 1972;
  6. ”Zionism: Theory and Practice”, M., 1973;
  7. Braginsky I., ”The Class Entity of Zionism”, “Communist”, 1970 No. 9;
  8. Ehrlich V., ”Bankruptcy of a Reactionary Idea”, in “Problems of Peace and Socialism”, 1973 No. 3;
  9. Dadiani l., ”Against Ideology and Policy of Zionism”, “Communist”, 1975 No. 18;
  10. Vilner Meir, ”Fight Against Zionism is Class Struggle”, in “Problems of Peace and Socialism”, 1976 No. 1.

L. Drozdov.

March 23, 2009 Posted by | Anti-Semitism, Anti-Zionism, Antisemitism, USSR | , , , , | Leave a comment

Anti-Zionism vs. antisemitism

A very good op-ed by Judea Pearl in LAT: Is anti-Zionism hate?

Anti-Zionism rejects the very notion that Jews are a nation — a collective bonded by a common history — and, accordingly, denies Jews the right to self-determination in their historical birthplace. It seeks the dismantling of the Jewish nation-state: Israel.

Anti-Zionism earns its discriminatory character by denying the Jewish people what it grants to other historically bonded collectives (e.g. French, Spanish, Palestinians), namely, the right to nationhood, self-determination and legitimate coexistence with other indigenous claimants.

Anti-Semitism rejects Jews as equal members of the human race; anti-Zionism rejects Israel as an equal member in the family of nations. …

Given this understanding of Jewish nationhood, anti-Zionism is in many ways more dangerous than anti-Semitism.

First, anti-Zionism targets the most vulnerable part of the Jewish people, namely, the Jewish population of Israel, whose physical safety and personal dignity depend crucially on maintaining Israel’s sovereignty. Put bluntly, the anti-Zionist plan to do away with Israel condemns 5 1/2 million human beings, mostly refugees or children of refugees, to eternal defenselessness in a region where genocidal designs are not uncommon.

Secondly, modern society has developed antibodies against anti-Semitism but not against anti-Zionism. Today, anti-Semitic stereotypes evoke revulsion in most people of conscience, while anti-Zionist rhetoric has become a mark of academic sophistication and social acceptance in certain extreme yet vocal circles of U.S. academia and media elite. Anti-Zionism disguises itself in the cloak of political debate, exempt from sensitivities and rules of civility that govern inter-religious discourse, to attack the most cherished symbol of Jewish identity.

Finally, anti-Zionist rhetoric is a stab in the back to the Israeli peace camp, which overwhelmingly stands for a two-state solution. It also gives credence to enemies of coexistence who claim that the eventual elimination of Israel is the hidden agenda of every Palestinian.

It is anti-Zionism, then, not anti-Semitism that poses a more dangerous threat to lives, historical justice and the prospects of peace in the Middle East.

Of course, being LAT, they had to “balance” it with an anti-Zionist piece (linked from there). I don’t approve of competitions in victimhood and even if we omit arguments concerning equality and the right of self-determination, consider this: had Jews have a safe haven a decade before the founding of the Jewish State, perhaps millions could be spared.

As for the religious argument: typically, Haredi anti-Zionism is based upon the Three Oaths (Babylonian Talmud, Ketubot 111a): 1) not to ascend to Eretz Yisrael as a group using force; 2) not to rebel against the nations of the world; and 3) that the nations of the world would not persecute the nation of Israel excessively.

Of course, anyone is entitled to their own beliefs, but to my imperfect taste, the persecution was a little too excessive throughout the centuries.

March 23, 2009 Posted by | Anti-Zionism, Antisemitism | , | 2 Comments