Criticizing Israel is not anti-Semitic

Is it fair to call someone that does not support American funding of Israel anti-Semite?


WASHINGTON, June 19, 2015 – Anti-Semitism, the hatred of Judaism and Jews, has a long and sordid history in many parts of the world. In many countries, Jews were confined to ghettoes and prohibited from working in many trades and professions. Jews were expelled from Spain in 1492 and suffered under the Inquisition.

There were pogroms in Russia, and in the 20th century we witnessed the Holocaust, the mass murder of six million Jews by the Nazis.  We have seen the evil which anti-Semitism has inflicted upon the world.

It is, therefore, very troubling to see many people now in the process of redefining anti-Semitism to mean criticism of Israel. Judaism is a religion of universal values. Men and women of every race and nationality can be found within its ranks. They are citizens of most of the countries of the world, with millions of Americans professing Judaism as their religion, just as other Americans are Catholic, Protestant or Muslim.

Israel, on the other hand, is a sovereign state.

Israel, like other states, has its critics. Its occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem is considered illegal under international law. This is  the position of the U.S. government under both Republican and Democratic administrations.

Many have expressed dismay about Israeli violations of human rights. For example, some are concerned about Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem and specifically about the limited rights of Palestinians in the occupied territories.

A movement has grown, BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions), which calls for a selective boycott of Israel and divestment from companies doing business in the occupied territories. Its advocates refer to it as a nonviolent effort to show opposition to the occupation, similar to the sanctions movement against South Africa to show opposition to apartheid. Hatred of Judaism and Jews, which is what constitutes anti-Semitism, appears to be absent from these boycott efforts.

Indeed, some of the most prominent leaders of this movement are themselves Jewish, arguing that they are promoting the highest Jewish values, that all men and women, of whatever race of nation, are created in God’s image and should be treated equally.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called the BDS movement “anti-Semitic.”  He has even compared it with Nazi Germany. He made the comparison to Nazi Germany at a June 15 meeting in Jerusalem with Poland’s Foreign Minister Grzegerz Schetyna.

Speaking of the defamation of Jews in Poland during the Nazi occupation of the country during World War II, he declared, “What was done to the Jewish people then is being done to the Jewish state now.” When one considers that Israel has the largest and most powerful army in the region, supplied by the U.S., and has a nuclear arsenal, the comparison with the helpless Jews of Poland during the Nazi era seems less than persuasive.

In June, Las Vegas casino mogul Sheldon Adelson called a meeting to raise money to fight the BDS movement. Adelson and others, such as billionaire Haim Saban, pledged tens of millions of dollars to the fight.  Adelson called the BDS effort and its supporters “anti-Semitic.” Adelson’s own views are clear. He once said that, while he served in the U.S. Army, he wishes it was the Israeli army instead. He has said that “the Palestinian people” do not exist and expressed his own indifference to whether Israel was a genuine democracy. “Democracy,” he pointed out, is not mentioned in the Bible.

Yair Lapid, the former Israeli finance minister, speaking at a Jerusalem Post conference in New York, said that the BDS campaign is a puppet of Hamas and described BDS leaders as “outright anti-Semites” and likened them to the “Palestinian mufti who collaborated with the Nazis.” In a speech to the Park Avenue Synagogue, Lapid said, “BDS is not about policies, or about the settlements, or about the peace process, this is classic anti-Semitism in a modern disguise…”

Rabbi Alissa Wise of Jewish Voice For Peace, which supports the BDS movement, responds:  “There is nothing anti-Semitic about criticizing Israel and there is nothing anti-Semitic in the BDS call by Palestinian Civil Society. It is a conditional call that will end when conditions of oppression end; that targets state policies, not the Jewish people. It is based on standards of universal human rights and international law that are specifically not reliant upon ethnicity or religion.”

In Rabbi Wise’s view, “For those of us who are Jewish in the movement, we strongly feel the obligation…to speak out when false charges of anti-Semitism are used to tar the movement…As a rabbi, I take my role seriously as a moral leader, as we are taught by the Babylonian Talmud: ‘Whoever has the ability to denounce (the sins of) their family members, but fails to denounce them, is held accountable for (the sins of) their family members; if (one has the influence over) the residents of his city (but fails to denounce their sins), he is held accountable for (the sins of) the residents of his city; if (he has influence) over the entire world (but fails to denounce their sins) he is held accountable for (the sins of) the entire world.’ (Shabbos 54a).

“We will be held accountable if we stay silent about the land theft, home demolitions, restrictions on movement, economic strangling and other human rights abuses that are daily realities of life under occupation for Palestinians.”

Many in Israel share the concern about calling critics of Israeli policies anti-Semitic rather than responding to their concerns about  particular Israeli policies.  Writing in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz (June 6, 2015), Gideon Levy notes, “It’s only to be expected when facing a worldwide campaign aimed at implementing justice and international law: the stage of denial, of repression and clinging to the false, nearly magical belief that if Israel will just explain its position better and invest the appropriate resources, everything will be fine.

“In other words, Israel continues to think that the world is dumb and Israel is smart. You can blame the Palestinians for  everything and obscure the simple fact that this brutal occupation is Israeli. You can tell the world that it all belongs to us because the Bible says so and believe that anyone will take you seriously. You can be sure that the memory of the Holocaust will serve us forever, and justify any injustice. Of course, it won’t work indefinitely…Justice triumphs in the end, even if belatedly. And justice says that Israel cannot continue to tyrannize another people forever, even if Haim Saban himself lends his support.”

Israel’s current government has rejected the creation of Palestinian state in the occupied territories. Prime Minister Netanyahu, in his re-election campaign, made this clear. Speaking recently at the Herzliya Conference, Israel’s premier security forum, Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely declared, “I negate the idea of a two-state solution.”

As a result, there is no longer a peace process, only the building of new settlements in the occupied territories and calls from members of Netanyahu’s cabinet for annexation. Netanyahu, Sheldon Adelson and Haim Saban may think it is “anti-Semitic” to point this out and to oppose this position, but few others share this view.

The use of the “anti-Semitic” label has a long history. Michael Oren, the former Israeli ambassador to the U.S., an American who abandoned his U.S. citizenship and emigrated to Israel, referred to the president of the American Studies Association, which voted to boycott Israeli academic institutions as “anti-Semitic.”

ASA president Curtis Marez declared in response, “Americans have a particular responsibility to answer the call for boycott because the U.S. is the largest supplier of military aid to the State of israel.”

Any evidence of bigotry on the part of professor Marez is non-existent.  Secretary of State John Kerry came under withering attack in Israel for pursuing the peace process. It was not only implied  that he was “anti-Semitic,” but a group of Orthodox rabbis suggested that he would suffer divine retribution.

Professor Judith Butler of the University of California, an outspoken Jewish critic of Israeli policy, declared, “If one can’t voice an objection to violence done by Israel without attracting a charge of anti-Semitism, then that charge works to circumscribe the publicly acceptable domain of speech, and immunize Israeli violence against criticism. One is threatened with the label ‘anti-Semite’ in the same way one is threatened with being called a ‘traitor’ if one opposes the most recent U.S. war (on Iraq).

“Such threats aim to define the limits of the public sphere by setting limits on the speakable. The world of public discourse would then be one from which critical perspectives would be excluded and the public would come to understand itself as one that does not speak out in the face of obvious and legitimate violence.”

Whether one agrees with the BDS movement or not, the charge that it is “anti-Semitic” is simply an effort to silence criticism. Only by redefining “anti-Semitism” to mean criticism of Israel can such a charge be sustained. Israel’s policies in the occupied territories should be debated on their merits, and defenders of the occupation should not hide behind false charges of “anti-Semitism.” Like the boy who cried wolf, in the event that real bigotry were to appear, the trivialization of the term “anti-Semitism” would make such bigotry much more difficult to combat.


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Allan C. Brownfeld
Received B.A. from the College of William and Mary, J.D. from the Marshall-Wythe School of Law of the College of William and Mary, and M.A. from the University of Maryland. Served as a member of the faculties of St. Stephen's Episcopal School, Alexandria, Virginia and the University College of the University of Maryland. The recipient of a Wall Street Journal Foundation Award, he has written for such newspapers as The Houston Press, The Washington Evening Star, The Richmond Times Dispatch, and The Cincinnati Enquirer. His column appeared for many years in Roll Call, the newspaper of Capitol Hill. His articles have appeared in The Yale Review, The Texas Quarterly, Orbis, Modern Age, The Michigan Quarterly, The Commonweal and The Christian Century. His essays have been reprinted in a number of text books for university courses in Government and Politics. For many years, his column appeared several times a week in papers such as The Washington Times, The Phoenix Gazette and the Orange County Register. He served as a member of the staff of the U.S. Senate Internal Security Subcommittee, as Assistant to the research director of the House Republican Conference and as a consultant to members of the U.S. Congress and to the Vice President. He is the author of five books and currently serves as Contributing Editor of The St. Croix Review, Associate Editor of The Lincoln Review and editor of Issues.
  • Efraim Perlmutter

    Criticism of Israel is too broad a subject. Some criticism of Israel is legitimate and some is nothing more than reworked anti-Semitism or traditional religious based anti-Judaism. The often expressed idea that Israel is the cause of all of the problems in the Middle East sounds quite similar to Hitler’s notions as expressed in Mein Kampf that the Jews were responsible for all of the failings of the Aryan Germans. The Hamas Charter’s statement that the Jews are responsible for all of the wars and revolutions since the French revolution is a borrowing from western traditional anti-Semitism. The PLO Charter’s statement that Jews do not have a right to an independent national identity combined with the Muslim based notion that Muslims must rule in the “World of Islam” echoes the anti-Jewish Christian supremacist and supersessionist ideas of the Church which led to much oppression of Jews by Christians.

    There is a good deal about which to criticize the Israeli government. and one needs only review the Israeli media or watch debates in the Israeli parliament to find legitimate examples. But when criticism is based on manufactured evidence and expressed in traditional anti-Semitic tropes then we are most likely dealing with something other than legitimate criticism.

  • beth

    I’m not going to read through all your sorted stuff. Criticism of Israel honestly at policies is normal. However, ALMOST all criticism is false.

    Based on false claims. Using different standards for Israel and other countries. Over and over in your own post — you make no effort to tease out the antisemitic garbage from your “criticisms” of Israel.

    Much of it is aimed at eliminating Israel. Much the same way Nazis aimed to eliminate Jews. For many many criticism, subsitute the word “jew” for “israel” and you could be reading a pamphlet from the Nazis. So much focuses on the classics that Israel’s are evil, expansionst, wrong when defending themselves, and overly controling and influencing in the media, with money, politics, and in the world. They may not sound like classics to you — but they are!!!!

    BDS is filled with antisemitic imagery that would make Hitler proud. The US’s policy is NOT that Israel’s existence on land it won defensively is “illegal” It’s policy is that it’s legal, as is the policy of a number of countries.

    I stopped reading at that point. A few paragraphs and it wasn’t worth more time…

    • DougDeGrave

      Cry me a river.

      • beth

        Nope. Just told the truth.

        You did cry a river of how you are “a victim.” Geeze spout hate, and you get labeled for it. Poor victim.

        • DougDeGrave

          The truth? It was real … your mind.

          • beth

            Once someone reduces their replies to “no, you did it”, they haven’t said anyting, and there’s nothing to reply to.

      • Kussit

        Like de_Nile ?

  • DougDeGrave

    Antisemitism is the belief by non-Jewish people that Jewish people can be held accountable for their actions and criticized just like everyone else. What’s so wrong about believing in equality?

    • Bruce Gold

      See my comment about the 3d test above. It is not criticizing Israel that is bad. It is criticising ONLY Israel, and demonizing and portraying the situation in Israel, which is not bad at all in the grand scheme of world affairs, as far more nefarious than it is. When people scream bloody murder about the children in Gaza and are silent about the children in Syria and Ukraine and Iraq and Libya and Lebanon and Myanmar and Tibet and China and Venezuela, and Chile, and Brazil, and everywhere else, even though more children are dying there, it IS anti-Semitic, and IF you don’t understand that, it is because you don’t WANT to, because YOU are anti-Semitic.

      • Kussit

        It is not criticizing Israel that is bad. It is criticising ONLY Israel

        Ok, Israel set aside. I’m critical of the over-representation in the media, banks, politics, etc. But most of all I critisize Anne Frank and her time traveling ball point pen.

        • Efraim Perlmutter

          But what happens if an examination of the facts indicates no over-representation in the media, banks or politics. Also, what do you mean by Anne Frank’s time traveling ball point pen?

          • Kussit

            But what happens if an examination of the facts indicates no
            over-representation in the media, banks or politics
            ………….. is ?
            Your statement is irrelevant and incomplete, if you can’t complete a sentence you cannot be a credible source, but these are:

            a proud Jew, I want America to know about our accomplishment. Yes, we
            control Hollywood. Without us, you’d be flipping between “The 700 Club”
            and “Davey and Goliath” on TV all day.”-JOEL STEIN “..

            Foxman said he is proud of the accomplishments of American Jews. “I think Jews are disproportionately represented in the creative industry.
            They’re disproportionate as lawyers and probably medicine here as well,”

            It’s also……Obvious.

            Well, the ballpoint pen
            hasn’t always existed. It had to be Invented. After it was Invented it had to be MASS-PRODUCED. They were not available until 1951, 6 years AFTER Anne Frank died of Typhus.

            Is that what you wanted to know ?

          • Efraim Perlmutter

            A column by Joel Stein is not proof of anything. Certainly when he wrote the sentence quoted it was not the result of a systematic survey of the controlling elements of Hollywood. Somehow I think that Sony is not a Jewish dominated corporation.

            Jews have also won a disproportionate number of Nobel prizes in the sciences and arts. Is that proof that the Swedish Academy is run by Jews?

            Finally, Anne Frank did not write her diaries with a ball point pen.

            Kussit, you seem to have a problem with Jews. Does that effect the way you judge the Arab-Israeli conflict?

          • Kussit


            Bruce Gold : ” It is not criticizing Israel that is bad. It is criticising ONLY Israel ”

            Kussit: Ok, Israel set aside. I’m critical of the over-representation in the media, banks, politics, etc.

            Efraim Perlmutte: ” But what happens if an examination of the facts indicates no over-representation in the media, banks or politics.”

            I’ll just leave this here:

            The Measure of Their Achievement© – By Steven L Pease

            There are, perhaps, thirteen to fifteen million Jews in a world of six billion people. Jews are so few in number that in a room of 1,000 people representing the world’s population, only two would be Jewish. A comparable sample from the United States would count only twenty-two Jews among 1,000 representative Americans.

            In the sciences, Jews have won 22 percent of all the Nobel Prizes ever awarded – 29 percent of the prizes since 1950, after the Holocaust destroyed a third of their numbers. Given their small population, Jews should have earned only one of the 502 Nobels awarded for physics, chemistry, medicine and physiology. They have won 123.

            The Fields Medal, awarded to the world’s brightest mathematicians under age 40, is the honor John Nash, of the book and movie A Beautiful Mind had hoped to win. Instead, he took a Nobel Prize in economics as a consolation prize. One-fourth of the Fields Medals winners are Jews.

            Encyclopedia Britannica provides its list of “Great Inventions.” Of the 267 individual inventors, more than 13 were Jews, including Zoll (the defibrillator and the pacemaker), Land (instant photography), Gabor (holography), and Ginsburg (videotape). Jews are represented on the list 22 times more than one would expect based on their population.

            They are disproportionately counted in most of the arts. Since their respective dates of inception, America’s leading symphony orchestras have been led by Jewish conductors one-third of the time. They have created nearly two-thirds of Broadway’s longest running musicals. Probably one-fourth of the greatest photographers of all time have been Jews, as have 10 percent of the world’s great master architects. Of movie directors who earned Oscars, 38 percent were Jews. In broad artistic recognition, nearly 30 percent of the Kennedy Center honors and 13 percent of the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Awards have gone to them.

            What a bunch of overachievers, especially for such a small minority, eh ?

        • beth

          Have you ever read a book about antisemitism or learned it’s history. Your comment “over-representation in the media, banks, politics,” is the type of lies Hitler used, that has deep antisemitic roots from long before him. It’s not “truth” any more than blacks are childlike, or Italians are all mafia connected.

          It implies a “control” that doesn’t exist. An evil that doesnt’ exist. An inablity of non-Jews who are majority, to think for themselves and control their own world. It’s rather insulting to YOURSELF and everyone like you.

          • DougDeGrave


          • beth

            “Have you ever read a book about antisemitism”

            Lol, your answer “Liar.”

            So you haven’t. So you can not, may not, and have no judgement to comment on what is or isn’t antisemitism. When you read one — get back to me.

            My suggestion “The Anguish of the Jews” because it’s written by a non-Jew.

          • Kussit

            So, in order to believe in this so called “anti-semitism”, one has to actually read a whole book ? Sounds like propaganda. Fug dat sheeiiitt.

          • beth

            Oh mind, I suggested reading as a way to be informed.

            Don’t read a book — read something else — but yes, it takes a book’s worth (several book’s worth) to know enough on this complex topic. As I already said, it’s not as simple as “don’t hate Jews” if one wants to be informed and actually spot antisemitism. Long history this hate has, so sure, it takes more than a pamphlet.

            And a book can be judged for quality and reputation. Online reading has tons of nonsense and hate (on every topic), and is often not very broad on any topic, so yes, a book is better.

            Especially one that changed the world’s view of antisemitism written by a non-Jew. Did you look up the book? See who the author is and what the consequence of it is? Curious at all?

          • Kussit

            Actually, I have done more than enough research on the subject and it’s all very clear. Truth fears no investigation and needs no defense, it doesn’t need books. blockbusters, and laws to protect it.

            Lies on the other hand constantly need to be promoted, it constantly need a movement and advisors. Lies started wars. Lies have spawned thousands of industries, millions of jobs, and trillions of dollars wasted.

            Lies constantly need repetition as your comments demonstrated, so keep going in circles, I’m done.

          • beth

            >”Lies on the other hand constantly need to be promoted”

            And that’s your goal in your posts.

            Otherwise, if you had REALLY done research (not reading hate sites but reading actual history and known facts about antisemitism) — you would have answered with a comment on that book. Anyone with a clue on the topic, would know the book, and not resist making a comment.

            Sorry buddy – you’re revealed yourself further.

          • beth

            Reading hate sites that post antisemitic claims that claim it doesn’t exist — isn’t research.

            Read real history facts. Then compare to your information.

            Truth doesn’t fear — which is why you are so fearful of reading anything that doesn’t support your hatreds.

          • Kussit

            Lies Hitler used ? The biggest lie in eons is 6 zogzillion.

            “It implies a “control” that doesn’t exist. An evil that doesnt’ exist”

            Ok, just as I thought “antisemitism” is also imaginary. Thanks for the clarification. Oyasuminasai

          • beth

            Yes, antisemitism is filled with imaginary claims. And you are imaginary too. Especially once you sink to posting stuff even you know is false.

          • beth

            Antisemtiism is real. It’s you that’s imaginary.

      • DougDeGrave

        Why are words like “antisemitism” and “holocaust™”, exclusive to Jεws and ONLY Jεws as the victims? Jews aren’t the only “Semites”, and not the first, nor last group of folks to suffer a little persecution.

        • Because anti-semitism is not opposition to any other Semites and the holocaust focused on Jews. Anti-semitism is a euphemism. A more useful term is Judeophobia, and that should remove any ambiguity.

        • beth

          Antisemitism was coined by an antisemite William something, who wanted the hate at Jews to sound more scientific. So he used “Semitism” instead of “Jew”. He did not mean other semitic groups nor that hate at them.

          Antisemitism is different than hate at Arabs. It involves a long history of religious references that hate at Arabs doesn’t. Such as “jews killed jesus” and “replacement theory means jews are expendable” (which extends to exterminating them.) “Jews are cheap” that started with the Judas story. Jews control media, and the world, and politics are more classics to antisemitism that doesn’t apply to other semitic groups.

          Bascially a word is not the sum of it’s parts. It can have a stand alone meaning. So a pineapple is not an apple with pine. And antisemite is not a hater of semites. It’s a hater of Jews.

          We need a work for hate at Arabs, because it too exists in this world. But it looks different. For instance, it considers them “barbarians” as one of it’s hate themes.

          • beth

            Look at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum — you will find info about non-Jewish victim groups. That museum was funded by plenty of Jewish-associated money. So your view of “only for Jewish victims” isn’t accurate.

            Furthermore the Holocaust was extensively focused at Jews more than other groups. The “final solution” applies only to Jews. Jews were gassed, most other groups were not or were only as trial runs to see how it would work on Jews. Jews at camps were alloted 400 calories a day rather than the already starvation level 800 a day alloted for non-Jews. And so on.

          • DougDeGrave

            Bull5h1t, Bull5h1t, Bull5h1t. Yada, yada, yada….

          • Kussit

            Yidda yidda …..

          • beth

            How long did it take you to come up with that blubbering?

            Sure sign that you understood. And realized. That you’re original hate accusation. Is false.

            My (sincere) question is — what do bigots do when they’re favorite comments are shown to be false? Here i have my answer. It tells me they don’t think they are telling the truth. Because they aren’t interested when something isn’t the truth. They are merely interested in their views for the feeling of power it gives them. Which is ironic because the only time someone is bigoted, is when they are afraid of their target group, which means they are reinforcing and gaining a LACK of power with their views.

          • beth

            Did it take you long to come up with that?

        • Efraim Perlmutter

          Why is Nakba and Naksa exclusive to Palestinians?

        • Bruce Gold

          Why the hell do you care? Seriously! Because Jews are at times considered a race, and at times considered only a religion, so you can’t call it “racist”. Again, why the hell do you care? Only an anti-Semite would split hairs about which words we Jews use to describe discrimination against us. We can’t do ANYTHING right in your eyes, huh? Is it because of our race, or religion that we can’t get anything right? This way I can figure out whether to call you a racist or a bigot for your treatment of everything Jewish.

          • DougDeGrave

            Is there ANYTHING that you people don’t whine, complain, and kvetch about incessantly? Is there ANYTHING that isn’t “antisemitic” ?

          • Bruce Gold

            There are a number of things that aren’t anti-Semitic, but most criticism of Israel is anti-Semitic. Deal with it. Most of it just is. It is. Why? Because Israel is a tiny little county, which really doesn’t have all that much conflict, death, destruction, or pain relative to the rest of the world. The vision of Israel/Palestine from those who complain about Israel is comically warped into a caricature of reality, in which billions of Palestinians die every second of every day, because the Israelis are slaughtering them to steal land. It is a joke! It is not grounded in reality. And yes, it is anti-Semitic.

  • AvShimmy

    To criticize Israel is not anti-Semitic, not necessarily. It’s just that so much Israel criticism today is in fact anti-Semitic, if it has to be a yes or no question (and often the format so requires) the answer has to be yes, following the overwhelming preponderance.

    Anti-Semitic Israel criticism can be distinguished by lies and distortions contained in it – such as this author’s false assertions that Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territories seized in 1967 is considered illegal by the US (it is not considered illegal by the US or any respected legal scholar in the world), and that the BDS activities are “selective” (they are not; BDS by its own statements is designed to isolate Israel as a whole economically and delegitimize it as a whole politically.

    Anti-Semitic Israel criticism can be distinguished by its holding of Israel to double standards, when far more egregious acts by Israel’s enemies are virtually ignored – such as happens with laughable regularity at the United Nations.

    Anti-Semitic Israel criticism can be identified by its cynicism, by which Israel’s right to self-defense in the same manner as all other nations is denied, the obvious extension of which is the denial of the Jew a secure homeland.

    Anti-Semitic Israel criticism can certainly be perpetuated by someone born a Jew, and often is, and a sure sign of anti-Semitic Israel criticism is when its defenders seek to insulate it from criticism by pointing out that a Jew (by birth) uttered it.

  • blackdreamhunk

    they critize black people all the time example mayor Bloomberg. Curse of myth anyone

  • Bruce Gold

    The author wrote all those words about anti-Semitism, without even once defining the term, or establishing a test to determine if it exists, and then he concludes that there is no anti-Semitism?!? How can you find it if you don’t know what to lok for? Let me help the author: There is a three part test for anti-Semitism. If BDS is guilty of any one of the three, it is anti-Semitic. Does BDS seek to de-legitimize, demonize, or single out Israel with double standards? If so, it fails the 3 d test and is anti-Semitic. Clearly, BDS demonizes Israel, and singles it out with double standards over EVERY conflict in the ENTIRE world. Therefore, it fails at least two of the 3 d’s, and is anti-Semitic. Damn, I did that in far less words than the author, and I got the conclusion right, unlike him, too! Go me!!!

  • If Israel is criticized for false or unproven allegations, it is anti-semitism.
    If one specifically criticizes Israel for that which it is no worse or even better than others, it is anti-semitism.
    If Israel is so criticized and others not by that same critic, it is anti-semitism.
    If Israel is criticized for matters unique to it and out of context, it is anti-semitism.

    It’s a pretty big world out there and Israel is in the forefront of the very best of all countries who mostly operate under better and easier conditions than Israel. Figuring out how to legitimately criticize Israel should not be high on anyone’s list, unless the real agenda is destructive criticism and not improvement.

  • t

    Bruce and others seem to be saying that because BDS “demonizes” Israel therefor any idea proposed by that group which others might use to effectively express their own personal disapproval of acts and apparent policies of Israel is unworthy of consideration by others. Furthermore since it probably originated from BDS the idea itself and or execution of it is inherently bigoted and anti-Judaism.

    I wonder if the idea is that we all need to “listen to officials” and obey, rather than think for ourselves. There seems to be a contention that there is only one interpretation, the correct one, and that naturally flows from the “story” as told by the Israeli government. All other “stories” told by anyone else, by their very nature of not being the one told by Israel, are “biased”, and because they are not the “correct” bias they are prejudiced anti-jew “stories”.

    Every body has a right to exercise the limited power they possess as demonstrated by how and where they spend their money. That is the essence of the idea behind BDS. The concept is empowering. Instead of being left feeling impotent and ineffectual, there really is something that can make a difference.

    Governments aren’t pleased with the idea of personal empowerment and have powerful resources to marginalize and ridicule the concept. It seems to me that this characterization by Israel and its apologists of anyone registering their disapproval for certain acts taken by Israel, saying such steps exhibits overt and closet anti-Jewish feelings and intent; is for that purpose exactly; demonization. The contention goes “if someone who is prejudiced is using this tactic then the tactic itself and anyone else that exercises it is prejudiced as well.”

    I neither accept as gospel the rhetoric of Israel nor accept the label of being anti-Jew. And I have every intent of “voting” with my money. An individual making this choice may be insignificant but when many others make a similar choice and are demonized for “putting their money where their mouth and heart is” then I have to feel that somebody is “getting the message” across… How that message is received I have no control over but I individually clearly do not have to support something I think is wrong. I refuse to delegate that judgement of what is right and wrong to anyone, especially not a Government anywhere.

    • beth

      BDS is singling out Israel unequally compared to other countries and their policies. It is mislabeling a conflict as something else that’s evil. BDS’s basic presumption is inheriently antisemitic, by using double standards.

      So the idea is not to listen to antisemitic agenda and instead to think for yourself. Surely if you find something within BDS’s commentary that you find valid, you can remove it from their antisemitism framework and work to address it in this world. Chances are 100% that it’s already part of the discussion of sraeli politicies printed in Israeli papers and part of the critism by some Israeli groups by those policies. The claim that this needs outside attention is itself a falsehood that ignores Israeli FACTs, and again works a double standard compared to all the other countries in the world.

  • blackdreamhunk

    Israeli Political ‘Twitter-Gate’ Over Racist Obama Joke

  • DougDeGrave

    An “antisemite” is really just a person that’s hated by the Jεws.

  • Kussit

    Israel needs antisemitism in order to justify its existence…