Ronit Lentin is Jewish, a former Israeli, and a top activist at Anti-Racism Network Ireland.
Ronit Lentin is also an anti-Zionist. A longtime activist against Israel, she supports the antisemitic BDS movement and is a member of the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC).
In an interview she said as follows:
The other challenge supporters of the BDS face is accusations of anti-semitism, or, in the case of Jewish supporters, accusations of being a ‘self hating Jew’. This too is problematic as some argue that it is Israeli policies which foster antisemitism. However let me say that the blanket support for Palestine by some people in the west, where some supporters never mobilize to any other local causes such as the rights of migrants and asylum seekers, raises suspicions that perhaps they might be motivated by antisemitism. The IPSC is very careful about any displays of antisemitism, and I feel totally comfortable working with the group in this regard.
To her credit, Lentin thinks anti-Zionism 'might' be a cover for antisemitism. But that, of course, does not prevent her from blaming Israel for antisemitism. Because blaming Jews for antisemitism is not antisemitic at all.
She also thinks that the IPSC is "very careful" about displays of antisemitism.
I don't know of any pro-Palestinian group that does not deny the right of Jews to self-determination and that does not fight Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state. Both of those are considered antisemitism according to every official definition: according to the United States, according to the EU, according to every antisemitism watchdog, and according to a vast majority of Jews.
But I took Lentin at her word that the IPSC does not display any antisemitism, and I took a look at the IPSC site. Earlier this month, they had two main events going.
One was a lecture on how Israel is responsible for all repression worldwide, using the Palestinians as 'test subjects' for their weapons industry. That's right. If you didn't know: Israel is not just conducting a war against Palestinians, or Arabs, or Muslims, or the entire Middle East. Israel is conducting a war against 'the people'.
Not antisemitic at all.
The other was an "Israeli blood diamonds" protest. Try to follow, because the logic is convoluted: Beny Steinmetz is an Israeli Jew, currently living in Switzerland. He is also a French citizen. He owns a diamond company called Beny Steinmetz Group Resources (BSGR), which is registered in Switzerland. BSGR is is currently under investigation for corruption in Guinea.
He also established the "Agnes and Beny Steinmetz Foundation" which mostly supports children and youth causes in Israel. They also support a unit of the Givati Brigade.
According to anti-Zionists worldwide this makes BSGR (which is owned by the same Jew!) responsible for any 'war-crime' Givati commits. And this is why all Israeli diamonds are tainted and should be considered blood diamonds.
Not antisemitic at all.
Most antisemitism in Ireland is of the 'anti-Zionist' variety. Politicians who support murdering Israeli Jews; politicians who think Israel is the source of all problems in the Middle East; politicians who call for a new Intifada in Israel; businesses who boycott Israel, but have no problem buying actual slave labor; people who get death threats for supporting Israel; a ban on mentioning Israel at Holocaust memorials.
Does Lentin think that this 'raises suspicions that perhaps they might be motivated by antisemitism'?
But don't count on it. Because like most anti-racism activists today, Lentin does not recognize antisemitism when it's right in front of her. In fact, she proudly supports it.