Don’t equate anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism

By | November 3, 2023

Adam Serwer writes:

On October 7, the Islamist militant group Hamas, which governs the Gaza Strip, killed more than 1,400 people in Israel. Israel responded with military operations that have killed several times that number of Palestinians in Gaza, a territory described by Human Rights Watch as an “open-air prison” as a result of an Israeli and Egyptian blockade. In both cases, most of the casualties are civilians. The conflict has reverberated into other areas of the world, including the United States, where anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim incidents have included the killing of a 6-year-old Palestinian American boy. The bloodshed has revived the perennial debates about anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism.

“Look, it’s clear that the hardened anti-Zionists from the far left are the photo inverse of the white supremacists from the far right,” Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt told CNN’s Dana Bash earlier this week. “There is no argument anymore that anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism, that is as plain as day. And to think that extremism only comes from one side of the spectrum is a joke.” Greenblatt’s sentiments were echoed among supporters of Israel, including in publications such as The Wall Street Journal and The Jerusalem Post, which editorialized that “to deny the Jewish people, and only the Jewish people, a right afforded to all nations—is to discriminate against Jews.”

The claim that “there is no argument anymore” is curious. Even within the ADL, staffers have objected to the argument that anti-Zionism is necessarily anti-Semitism, as Jewish Currents reported last year. [Continue reading…]

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