Last month’s pathetic “Matisyahu affair” conclusively demonstrated the obvious. BDS — or what some call, with a mischievous wink, and not inappropriately, “BDSM”: the sadistic Boycotts, Divestments, and Sanctions Movement to destroy Israel — is anti-Semitic. For this time — as everyone knows by now — the performer they tried to ban from singing at a music festival in Spain was Jewish-American, and not Israeli. Yet that didn’t stop these so-called “anti-Zionists.”

Far from it. Seamlessly conflating Jews with Israel, the anti-Jewish activists in this case demanded of a popular reggae artist that he alone — as the condition of being allowed to participate like anyone else — make a statement on the Arab-Israeli conflict, one in keeping with their ideology. Or else. When the young man refused to be bullied, he was dropped from the program. Fortunately, when the embarrassed Spanish government found out about it, he was reinstated.

But by then, the latest bit of self-lacerating damage to BDS’s already decidedly sketch reputation had been done. Once again — in an increasingly symptomatic pattern of dramatically self-destructive acting out — they’d revealed what they really want. To be punished.

As with the blatant discrimination faced on campus last year by Jewish undergraduate students Rachel Beyda (of UCLA) and Molly Horowitz (of Stanford University), what Matisyahu’s cruel singling out reminded the world of was plain: anti-Israel activists inevitably strike at not only the Jewish state but, by definition, Jews in general. If nothing else, they succeed at creating an environment where the idea of suspecting — even “testing” — Jews in particular concerning their level of “political correctness” becomes possible. Today’s anti-Zionism, in other words, is the “new anti-Semitism.”

Thus, as predicted by some for a while now, it becomes more and more apparent that the BDS movement will indeed soon disappear, because — always their own worst enemies — committed opponents of Israel continue to humiliate themselves. As incident after incident betrays for all to see, it simply is not possible to separate a “healthy” seething hatred of the State of Israel — where half the world’s Jewish population just happens to reside, exercising a hard-won collective sovereignty as the expression of their right to self-determination as a people — from a sick animus toward Jews. In both theory and practice, there manifestly just isn’t any firewall between the will to wipe a UN member state off the map and the willingness to see its citizens grievously injured.

To wit: the self-described “anti-Zionist” theorist, Italian philosopher Gianni Vattimo, last summer declared his own twisted desire to “shoot those Zionist bastards” himself, while offering to improve the situation further by helping to bring the Hamas terrorist organization the “better rockets” they manifestly required to more effectively target Israeli civilians. Perverse sentiments, surely. But surprising? Not really, when you recall what Vattimo had written only shortly before, in the anti-Israel/pro-BDS volume of 2013, Deconstructing Zionism:

For good reasons of international stability, one never dares — or almost never, except in the case of Islamic heads of state like Ahmadinejad — to question the very legitimacy of Israel’s existence….When Ahmadinejad invokes the end of the State of Israel, he merely expresses a demand that should be more explicitly shared by the democratic countries that instead consider him an enemy.

In that same edited volume, another proudly anti-Zionist thinker, Marc H. Ellis, also wrote bravely in order to openly challenge Israel’s existence per se — in practically the most lurid terms imaginable — as follows:

At least in the present the very announcement of a process of ending a Jewish State of Israel would probably precipitate a mass exodus of Jewish Israelis to Europe and the United States — if, that is, the borders of the various states would accept millions of Jewish Israelis.

And if not? It’s still okay with people like Ellis! While many of the ideologists of BDS don’t really care to comment on what “ending a Jewish State of Israel” [sic] would likely mean for the country’s six million or so Jewish inhabitants, he gives the game away by openly envisioning the worst and still pushing for it nonetheless. Or is it all the more? For this is what anti-Zionism as an ideology is really all about: sanctimoniously legitimizing the delegitimization of Israel at any price. While something so crazy might sound like it came straight from a Philip Roth novel — Roth’s 1993 satire, Operation Shylock, centers around the fictional ravings of a self-described “Diasporist” dreamer, who enjoins Jewish Israelis to imagine going “back to Europe” for their own good of course — it’s Ellis’s crass indifference to Jewish life that’s stranger than fiction.

In a similar vein, the political scientist/activist Corey Robin, of Brooklyn College (a “Sartre for the internet age,” according to Phoebe Maltz Bovy’s understated assessment), says he doesn’t really mind associating himself with outright genocidal maniacs. As Jonathan Marks catches Robin frankly confessing:

You say you’re a left-wing critic of Israel, so I presume you’ve supported some actions against the state. Well, guess what: I bet among those who also support those actions there are people who want the Jews to disappear.

I bet he’s right! Don’t you? But what the hey.

Par for the course, you say? Well, then: so it is. Because wanting the Jewish state to disappear and wanting Jews to disappear — guess what — are part and parcel of the same exact thing. “In effect if not in intent,” as Larry Summers would say, lending support to the agenda whose dogged adherents see themselves as acting to undermine the very existence of Israel is — as a matter of fact — guess what — lending support to the fantasy of a scenario likely to have a disproportionately negative impact on the Jewish people.

These unseemly, incongruous congruities start to suggest why someone like Robin finds it so natural to vigorously defend someone like Steven Salaita (the infamous twitterer), when the latter was accused of inappropriate (ab)use of (anti-)social media last summer. As Salaita himself put it memorably at the time, in a choice tweet (one of many that got him into trouble) celebrating anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism as equally respectable, “Zionists: transforming ‘anti-Semitism’ from something horrible into something honorable since 1948.” Note that he doesn’t say “since 1967,” by the way. For it is the founding of the Jewish state that justifies Jew-hatred in the eyes of the anti-Semitic anti-Zionists who understand what they call occupation — “from the river to the sea” — as synonymous with Israel’s very existence. But in any case, wherever he chooses to date it from, for Salaita anti-Semitism associated with Israel is nothing to be ashamed of. Since ’67, ’48, 2014 or whenever, the essential point would still have been the same — and no more justified.

Therefore, since for leading anti-Zionists themselves there can be no daylight between opposition to Israel (from its inception to today) and what’s conventionally referred to as “anti-Semitism” (in scare quotes!), is it not time that the rest of us caught up — and started honoring these people’s own preferred self-description? Or, as Salaita put it in another of his rancid haikus, “If it’s ‘anti-Semitic’ to deplore colonization, land theft, and child murder, then what choice does any person of conscience have?” Indeed, when BDS leaders own the label “anti-Semitism,” as the price to be cheerfully paid for their litany of racist slanders against Israel (child murder? to make matzoh you mean?), then what choice do any of us have, but to acknowledge: they’re right. The BDS(M) is anti-Semitic. Anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism.

If as the German historian, Matthias Küntzel, says, “Every denial of the Holocaust contains an appeal to repeat it,” then every rejection of Israel’s legal and moral right to exist contains an even more explicit appeal. Pretty kinky.