Monday, November 16, 2015

Op-Ed: Why Anti-Zionists cannot really care about anti-Semitism

I was asked on Tumblr whether I was 'pro-Israel', as the questioner, who identified as Jewish, did not want to 'associate' further with a blog that was 'pro-Israel'.   Note that I wasn't asked whether I was against a Palestinian-state or anything of that sort.  Simply being a supporter of the existence of Israel was enough for them to not be interested in news of anti-Semitism.

A common refrain among anti-Zionists is that people who call them anti-Semites are actually diverting attention from "real" anti-Semitism.

Now, if that is the case, then surely anti-Zionists would be active in fighting 'real' anti-Semitism.  But the sad fact is that they are not active at all.  They just talk about it when they're accused of anti-Semitism.

This isn't just a fluke.  This isn't an issue of focusing on one topic (Palestinian freedom) to the exclusion of all others (caring about anti-Semitism).  Anti-Zionists - that is, the people who want to wipe out Israel as a Jewish state - cannot really care about anti-Semitism.

I started this blog with the express purpose of focusing on 'traditional' anti-Semitism.  I was concerned about the growing anti-Semitism in Europe and I did not want to bring news that would be dismissed as "not real anti-Semitism".  I figured that surely there's enough 'traditional' anti-Semitism I could report on.

But within a day or two, I realized that this was an impossible task.  Everybody would agree that a swastika on a Jewish cemetery is anti-Semitism.  But how do you categorize a Jewish cemetery that's desecrated with "Free Palestine" graffiti?

When the German Nazi party blames Jews for introducing genetically modified food that's anti-Semitism.  But is it just fine when a pro-Palestinian Russian journalist blames Israel for the same thing?

Is a conspiracy theory against Jews bad and a conspiracy theory against Israel acceptable?   If anti-Zionism is not anti-Semitism, why is it not acceptable to say that Israel is responsible for the ISIS attacks on Paris?  It's not anti-Semitism and no Jew would suffer from it, right?

Why is it anti-Semitism for the organizers of a Dutch Kristallnacht memorial to focus on allegations of Israeli racism?  A similar memorial ceremony in Sweden had no Jewish representatives because the organizers assumed Jews might feel uncomfortable and even unsafe.  Do Jews even have the right to feel uncomfortable?  How can Jews protest about an anti-Zionist Holocaust memorial if anti-Zionism has nothing to do with Jews? 

Every Muslim anti-Semitic crime can easily be categorized as 'anti-Zionism'.  The European media even likes to explain such crimes away, saying that Muslims simply 'confuse' between Jews and Zionists.  It's not okay to murder the former, but it's apparently quite acceptable to murder the latter.

Various courts in Europe have ruled that when Muslims post Nazi propaganda or attack synagogues, they're simply expressing their anti-Zionist viewpoint.  In fact, while the European courts haven't gone as far to say so, all the Muslim attacks on Jews in Europe were explained by the attackers as anti-Zionist crimes.

But that is nothing compared to what the media and politicians do to Jews.  When the media incites against Israel, Jews in Europe feel under attack.  When politicians accuse Israel of committing genocide, or support a Palestinian state while ignoring the constant anti-Semitic incitement of its leaders, Jews in Europe are put in danger.

Jews in Europe pay the price for this incitement.   They have paid it with Jewish blood.  There are soldiers guarding their synagogues and schools.  Not just because "some Muslims can't differentiate between Jews and Zionists", but because nobody can support the elimination of the Jewish State or support anti-Semitic regimes, and really care about Jews.  

Of course, anti-Zionists are usually shocked when they're accused of anti-Semitism.  What's the connection between not caring about the fate of six million Israeli Jews and anti-Semitism, they wonder?

Survey after survey has shown that the Jews of Europe see anti-Zionism as a threat.  If I want to report about what Jews are going through in Europe, how can I possibly ignore that?

How can anybody claim that they care about anti-Semitism and ignore such a major aspect of the daily persecution that Jews suffer from?

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