Sharon Klaff

Anti-Zionism = Antisemitism

In this generation antisemitism is again overt with its focus, surprisingly to some, on the Left, particularly within the Labour Party. It has been festering there for some considerable time, mostly ignored, in the disbelief that a political ideology based on universalism could ever single out one section of society for disparagement. Now it is out there, front page news, with all and sundry vying for a selfie to prove that although they might be anti-Zionist, they could never possibly be antisemitic. 

Whilst I can freely name the Left as one source of antisemitism, I have to whisper about the other source for fear of being targeted as Islamophobic. So I’ll quickly follow on and refer you to Mehdi Hasan who wrote about his community’s “dirty little secret” five years ago in 2013 and to Hardeep Singh who wrote this month that “We need to Talk about Muslim Antisemitism”. 

Yet at two demonstrations in London during March/April this year, organised by the UK Jewish establishment, the “dirty little secret” remained just that. Silence about this current most pernicious antisemitism since the Holocaust is deafening with those who speak about it labelled racist and removed from social media platforms. Also absent from these rallies were Israeli flags or any mention of Israel. Speeches avoided completely the link between anti-Zionism and antisemitism, Jew hatred and Israel, giving tacit credence to the erroneous given that it is possible to be anti-Zionist without being antisemitic, that criticism of the only Jewish state in the world is acceptable, as though these critiques spend their days talking about the ills of any other country in the world. And what does this criticism include? Lambasting the Jewish state for protecting its citizens, as though that is not the first call of duty of any government toward its citizens, as though Israel has never had to face existential threats from and wars with its neighbours.

As I write, Hamas is amassing on the Gaza border with Israel in what some say is the 3rd intifada, the Arab uprisings aimed at the destruction of Israel. Empathetic rallies across the globe are coinciding with this current action and the UK has not been left out.

You’d be forgiven if you didn’t know that the boycott Israel movement held a demonstration opposite Downing Street in London a week after the rally at Parliament Square against antisemitism in Corbyn’s Labour Party organised by the Jewish Board of Deputies (BoD)  and a day before the Campaign against Antisemitism (CAA) held their rally outside Labour’s headquarters. Here we heard the replacement narrative represented by this odd-ball union that is the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC), the boycott Israel movement of which Jeremy Corbyn remains a patron and the subject of Mehdi Hassan and Hardeep Singh’s articles. 

Campaign4Truth went along as we often do to such demos, to record and report. As we walked amongst the protestors who were calling for a boycott of Israel and a free Palestine, we moved them away from their narrative by simply asking: “Are you Jewish?”. Responses included “Good God no” and “of course not” with one man explaining the boycott movement’s latest handle that Judaism is not a race, but simply a religion, as though that excused his hatred toward Jews. A woman we came across, saying she definitely was not Jewish, held a poster calling for boycott of Israel in one hand and a mobile phone in the other. She was indignant that she had the device because she needed it, despite it operating on Israeli technology. These typify Corbyn’s diehard supporters, the inveterate Jew haters clothed in an air of respectability, choosing at random what part of Israel they might boycott so as to preserve the luxury they enjoy courtesy the Jews of the Jewish state. These are the supporters who were in raptures as Corbyn’s speech was read out by someone else. He did not appear. I guess now that he is the Leader, he has to be a little cautious about putting himself out there as was the habit of Corbyn the activist backbencher. 

One man I spotted had told me last summer at a demo that all non Muslims would burn in hellfire, me included. He said this repeatedly in the presence of a policeman and yet here he was again almost year later still parading freely in the company of his fellow Jew haters. Strangely, he wasn’t even bemused that I too am still here, my passage to hellfire seemingly dead-ended.

As we wandered through the crowds it was clear that Israel is now considered the pariah state across the globe. Gone are the times when Jews were revered because of miraculous achievements. Forgotten are miracles like the Entebbe rescue and the Six Day War, just as the miracle of Hanukah is lost now to all but we Jews. The lefts’ love affair with the kibbutz as the symbol of socialist endeavour in practice, has disappeared as Israel has grown into a fully fledged first world country, punching above her weight in every respect amongst the nations of the world. Contributing to this change of heart for the Holy Land Jews, are people like Corbyn who have been joining anti-Israel rallies for decades. This success draws out once more that illogical hatred for the Jew, dressed now as the kingpin Capitalist, greedily consuming the world as colonialist occupier, typified by the erased six year old mural that Corbyn had found to be inoffensive art. The image of the Jew embraced as socialist kibbutznik is long forgotten.

The media plays a key role in the creation of Israel as the sole pariah state deserving of sanction above all other. The 2018 land march in which thousands of Gazans are amassing daily on the border, burning rubber tyres and slinging rocks and Molotov cocktails into Israel, is repeatedly shown on TV screens with commentators accusing Israel of killing “peaceful” protestors, providing headlines for these on-street protestors spreading Jew hatred from behind a camouflage of anti-Zionism. No mention though of a Nazi swastika flag flapping in the wind across the border fields of Gaza and the fire bomb kites with swastika decorated tails being flown into Israel.

With a media focussing intently on the UK Labour Party in crisis over  institutional antisemitism amongst its ranks, the Gaza Nazi flag provocation so close to Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Memorial Day) is a poke at Jews who still have a collective memory of Nazi concentration camps where 6 million Jews were dehumanised, tattooed numbers replacing their names, stripped of their decency, paraded in the nude, shaved, raped, gassed and burned, their ashes scattered as fertiliser, their components shipped off to factories for recycling. This act alone is clear enough evidence of the Hamas intent to rid the area of Jews, not simply Israelis or Zionists.

This Nazi flag is a message out of Gaza that so too, given a chance, will they dehumanise Israel, strip it of its Jewish nationhood. As Yayha Sinwar, the head of Hamas in Gaza warned: “We will take down the border (with Israel) and we will tear out their hearts from their bodies”. And they can plan that in the full knowledge of a world conspiracy of silence as Jews are again the target for dehumanisation by an unmentionable enemy under the license of anti-Zionism.

Yayha Sinwar head of Hamas in Gaza

Attempts to settle this ongoing dispute, the red line between racism against Jews and legitimate criticism of the single Jewish state, have resulted in Jew hatred being defined as the IHRA (International Holocaust Remembrance) Working Definition of Antisemitism.

I am not a great fan of antisemitism, both the harbouring of it and the defining of it. Definitions by nature are established to provide the ground rules for argument, whilst hating or despising Jews is nothing new. Our eternal journey across the globe plots expulsions, genocides and forced conversions. That is our story and we carry it into the future upon our ghettoised shoulders. Even when we appear to have shrugged off that sense of alienating dhimmitude, that degrading servitude, it remains there dormant, camouflaged under the slumber of silence, always on the ready to resume its place. 

How is this millennial journey of the Jews through the hatred of time, stamped indelibly across generations, defined in any meaningful way? How can 3000 years of Jew hate with multifarious manifestations be catalogued in a way that can deliver justice to a defiled Jew? What does a prosecutor and a judge know of the deep crevices riven in the Jewish soul through the passage of millennia? How can such a deep seated injustice be nitpicked in a court in an attempt to ascertain whether the hatred is race hate aimed at the Jew or legitimate criticism aimed at the Zionist, as though Zionism has nothing to do with Jews, erroneously believed to be devoid of any connection to an ethnicity or a religion? 

In its determinations, the law is able to establish that words can be threatening, but at the same time fail to threaten. It can determine that threats can lack a target, as though fear can be suspended sans direction. And this is what the Crown Prosecution Service has done in declining to prosecute a water tight case sent to the supposedly independent judiciary in the UK by the Metropolitan Police. 

This lose-lose situation in which the law can hinge on an interpretation of a definition, in which prosecution can become impossible as Rabbis and Jewish genes can be interpreted as having nothing too do with Jews, creates a platform upon which Jews alone are expected to buy justice from an institutionally dishonourable and biased prosecution service. Delivering justice becomes a right denied to Jews in the UK reminiscent of the Dreyfus case in France described in Emile Zola’s J’Accuse.

Successful Jews have always been a target for antisemitism with Jewish power the accusation levelled by antisemites.  Israel, as personification of the Jew, is no exception. The more successful Jewish Israel, the greater the increase of Jew hatred across the globe. It is this correlation that not only feeds the antisemites, but it also recreates in some Jews the dhimmi status within, causing organisations like Yachad UK and Jewdas to openly propagate, arm in arm with PSC/BDS activists, against their own people. By the way, these are the Jews embraced by Corbyn and it is for this reason he took his “F—k capitalism” beetroot to the “wrong seder on the wrong night with the wrong people” referenced by Maureen Lipman in her CAA speech. So that, from hatred for our religion as we gifted the ethic of One God to a pagan world, through to despising our right to self-determination and the creation of the Jewish homeland as an unparalleled success, Israel is continually threatened with extinction by allocating our religion, our history, our land and our suffering to usurpers (Palestinianism) with whom these Jew haters form a nifty alliance, the link between the marxist Left and the fundamentalist right.

There can be no explanation why a woman who needs her mobile phone would call for the destruction of the place that creates it for her, unless she carries that illogical ancient hatred for the Jewish people deep inside her bosom. There is no reason why a man inciting racial hatred toward Jews on the streets of London is not brought to trial despite what the police term a water tight case, unless the judiciary is institutionally antisemitic, hiding behind a law that ignores concrete evidence together with a definition that blocks lateral thinking. 

Let us be clear: if Zionists were not Jews, there would be no anti-Zionism. If Israel were not a Jewish state, nobody would have paid it much attention, let alone elevate it as the number one target for closure as the world’s chief pariah state in a world full of of civil wars and terrorism, killing and hounding people out of their homes into refugee camps.

This idea that resolving the “Israel problem” will stop these eternal wars is a total nonsense, contrived to underpin that illogical hatred that is antisemitism. This idea that one can be anti-Zionist and not antisemitic is a smokescreen behind which inveterate Jew haters hide their dirty little secret.

About the Author
Sharon Klaff lives in London with her family where she is active in combating replacement ideology and antisemitism. She is a founder member of Campaign4Truth, the grassroots group established in 2009 and affiliated with Eye on Antisemitism monitoring anti-Semitism on social media.
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