Conflating anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism

An Hasidic Jewish man, a member of Jews United Against Zionism, hoists a Palestinian flag as he protests at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) Policy Conference in Washington , Mar 4, 2012. (photo: Cliff Owen / AP)
If one wants to eradicate anti-Semitism, one should fight to end all forms of racism; claiming that opposition to Zionism is anti-Semitic is a false, shameless claim.

By Miko Peled | Mint Press News | Sep 13, 2018

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, anti-Semitism is defined as ‘hostility toward or discrimination against Jews as a religious, ethnic, or racial group.’ This is also how anti-Semitism is understood by people in general. However, the state of Israel and Zionist organizations around the world do not want the term to be defined as only racism against Jewish people but also to include criticism and rejection of Zionism.

. . . From early on, the Zionist movement and then the State of Israel have had a tense relationship with the Ultra-Orthodox community because of its clear anti-Zionist stance. Having grown up in Jerusalem I can recall how each year on particular days, including the Israeli Day of Independence, there would be processions at the Ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods where the Israeli flag would be burned.

The Anti-Defamation League, or ADL, which claims to be a civil-rights organization but is in reality a Zionist watchdog, maintains that “Anti-Zionism is a prejudice against the Jewish movement for self-determination and the right of the Jewish people to a homeland in the State of Israel.” This is an interesting twist on Zionism and what it means to oppose it.

To begin with it is not prejudice to oppose Zionism. The Zionist movement has been around for over a century and has a clear track record of racism and extreme violence. Nor is it prejudice against the right of Jewish people to live in Palestine. The creation of the state of Israel came at an enormous cost and included genocide, ethnic cleansing, and the establishment of an apartheid regime. That is enough reason to oppose any movement.

The ADL also claim that BDS — the Palestinian call for a boycott, divestment, sanctions campaign against Israel — is anti-Semitic. On its website, it says that “ADL believes that the founding goals of the BDS movement and many of the strategies used by BDS campaigns are anti-Semitic.” It goes on to say that “the [BDS] campaign is founded on a rejection of Israel’s very existence as a Jewish state. It denies the Jewish people the right to self-determination.”

Continue reading “Conflating anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism”