I have been hearing a lot about anti-semitism in the last couple of months with the criticism of those speaking against Israel in any form. Even saying what is widely known in American politics that American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC is lobbying Congress brought huge criticism. AIPAC obviously has a pro-Israel campaign – donors spent $22M in lobbying and contributions in 2018 to influence American politics. So why is any criticism of Jews, Israel and Netanyahu’s policies anti-semitic?
Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and the killing of Palestinians is in fact genocide! But is it acceptable that saying this behaviour is comparable with their history of the holocaust is anti-semitic? This is one of the 11 crisitims of the Jewish classed as anti-semitic under the the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA). The IHRA defines them as “contemporary examples of antisemitism” but there might be others:
- Calling for, aiding, or justifying the killing or harming of Jews in the name of a radical ideology or an extremist view of religion.
- Making mendacious, dehumanising, demonising, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective — such as, especially but not exclusively, the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions.
- Accusing Jews as a people of being responsible for real or imagined wrongdoing committed by a single Jewish person or group, or even for acts committed by non-Jews.
- Denying the fact, scope, mechanisms (e.g. gas chambers) or intentionality of the genocide of the Jewish people at the hands of National Socialist Germany and its supporters and accomplices during World War II (the Holocaust).
- Accusing the Jews as a people, or Israel as a state, of inventing or exaggerating the Holocaust.
- Accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations.
- Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.
- Applying double standards by requiring of it a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.
- Using the symbols and images associated with classic antisemitism (e.g., claims of Jews killing Jesus or blood libel) to characterise Israel or Israelis.
- Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.
- Holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the state of Israel.
No.1 – who defines what comes under “radical ideology” or an “extremist view of religion”? I will argue that if a person attacks a Jewish let’s say in the West Bank, it is a form of retaliation and defense against the occupation of their home which is infallibly justified.
No.2 is perhaps referring to the ideology of Zionism which is defined as a movement to create a Jewish state in the Middle East – basically what is happening in the West Bank today. Being called a Zionist is seen as an insult and some want to distinguish anti-Zionism and anti-semitism in order to criticise the Israeli government policy and treatment of the Palestinians (which falls under anti-Zionism). Also, it is obvious that there is an agenda of Jewish control especially with what I stated above regarding AIPAC’s influence in American politics. The only thing I will say is, the conspiracy does not involve all Jews collectively, in that, not all of them hold such ideologies.
I agree to not generalise the entire Jewish race as wrongdoers for the actions of the government and their aids as stated under No.3. The statement also makes me want to petition the government to bring about a codified document that dictates what is deemed as Islamophobia so that we can also have a clause that states: accusing Muslims as a whole or Islam for being responsible for the wrongdoings of a person or group of people calling themselves Muslims real or imagined is Islamophobia.
No.7 – what about the rights of the Palestinians? Taking their lands by uprooting them and killing them because they are not Jewish is a racist endeavour.
Standards are applied to Israel because of their actions (no.8). And actually, standards are applied to “democratic” nations accused of wrongdoings. Israel is the only nation claiming democracy but with obvious untouchable notions as crisitims are forbidden to everyone.
No.10 – “if the shoe fits” – the act of targeting a group of people for being different to you and forcing them out of their land is comparable to some extent to Nazi policies.
No.11 – as previously stated, not all Jews hold the same ideology as those of the Israeli government and as such, they should not be held accountable to them.
In the end, I find that most of the 11 stated examples by IHRA are anti-Zionistic which is permissible as it is our collective right to criticise a government and their policies. The remaining points mentioned for the protection of the Jewish as a race can be classed as anti-semitic.
Also, when it comes to double standards, anti-semitism in itself is a double standard. How is it that Islam, Muslims and nations can be criticised and yet, Israelites should be treated differently? Why are they in their own protected category?
Lastly, I believe anti-semitism and particularly the points made by the IHRA is a blanket cover to further Zionism. And as a disclaimer, I will like to make it clear that I am not condoning the hatred of every Jew, just those that condone Zionist ideology, the occupation of Israel in the West Bank and violence against Palestinians.