Anti-Zionism is Anti-Semitism

The title of this post is already controversial. None other than Franklin Foer, formerly of The New Republic, was unable to agree with the statement even as he lamented that, “The Golden Age of American Jewry has given way to a golden age of conspiracy, reckless hyperbole, and political violence” (The Atlantic, emphasis in original).

Nor do I believe that anti-Zionist is a term that should be considered axiomatically interchangeable with anti-Semite. The elimination of Israel, in my opinion, would be a profound catastrophe for the Jewish people. But I have read idealistic critics of Israel, such as the late historian Tony Judt, who imagined that it could be replaced by a binational state, where Jews and Palestinians live side by side under one democratic government. That strikes me as naive in the extreme—especially after the Hamas pogrom of October 7—and very likely the end of Jewish existence in the Levant. But not everything that is terrible for the Jews is anti-Semitic.

While I would agree that “not everything that is terrible for the Jews is anti-Semitic,” I would add that anything designed specifically to be “terrible for the Jews” and for no one else easily meets the definition of anti-Semitism. After years of resisting, I have no choice but to recognize that anti-Zionism, by definition, meets that test.

To some, that will seem (and has seemed) patently obvious. After all, this example of anti-Semitism as listed by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance is quite specific.

  • 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.

If anything, the description narrows the effect by implying that only specific criticisms of Israel are out of bounds. The question of Israel’s existence hangs over the example. Moreover, as much of the 20th century’s anti-Semitism came from the political right, “idealistic” examples of anti-Zionism from the left gets more of a pass. This is especially true of the “binational state” model which so many on the left endorse as “anti-colonial.”

Putting aside the bizarre irony of “anti-colonial” leftist taking a position last held by the British Empire, the question remains: why Israel? The World War II victors occupied and divided Nazi Germany but none of them tried to annex their parts of it. Even Stalin – yes, that Stalin – allowed that the Germans under his “influence” deserved their own state. Imperial Japan never even suffered division.

There are modern examples as well. India and Pakistan have warred against each other four times since partition brought them into existence. No one examining potential solutions proposed merging them into one state. Their former colonial power gets all sorts of bad historical press – much of it deserved. Not even England’s harshest critics are asking for it to be vanquished. Indeed, if Irish, Welsh, and Scottish nationalists had their way, England would be its own sovereign nation.

Ever since Woodrow Wilson put forth the concept of self-determination at the heart of his Fourteen Points peace plan, defenders and critics of the liberal order fashioned by his Democratic successor as president have claimed the idea as their own. Indeed, self-determination is the basis for the Palestinian people’s argument for their own state (and a much improved alternative to the racist Ba’athism that spread through the Arab world).

Anti-Zionists themselves usually insist on self-determination for all peoples – except for the Jews.

One can not support or tolerate self-determination for everyone except the Jewish people and escape the obvious conclusion. Singling out the Jews by refusing to allow them the right of self-determination is singling out the Jews. By any definition, that is anti-Semitism.

Israel does many things that deserve criticism; indeed, every nation on the planet does. None of them get the added burden of being told their mistakes or bad actions remove the justification for their existence – except Israel. Even Ukraine’s most ridiculous critics don’t say Ukrainians don’t deserve a state; they do claim Ukrainians as a people don’t exist, which is its own horror. Only Israel gets the you-should-kill-yourself treatment.

… and if the Jewish state is the only one targeted for erasure, than the impetus behind it is aimed squarely at Jews. Thus, whatever its proponents claim (even to themselves), Anti-Zionism is Anti-Semitism.

Сейчас уже никто не берёт классический кредит, приходя в отделение банка. Это уже в далёком прошлом. Одним из главных достижений прогресса является возможность получать кредиты онлайн, что очень удобно и практично, а также выгодно кредиторам, так как теперь они могут ссудить деньги даже тем, у кого рядом нет филиала их организации, но есть интернет. - это один из сайтов, где заёмщики могут заполнить заявку на получение кредита или микрозайма онлайн. Посетите его и оцените удобство взаимодействия с банками и мфо через сеть.