Too often, I come across some rabid hater of Israel who claims that they have no problem with the Jewish people. Their problems are with just Zionists, Zionism, and Israel. In fact, some of these people claim they love and admire the Jewish people and that some of their closest friends are Jewish. And then they ask me “If my closest friends are Jewish, how can I be anti-semitic?”
These claims are superficial and lazy at best and outright dishonest at worst. Granted, there are many critics of Israel who would like to see a two state solution that sees Israel retaining both its Jewish majority and Jewish character. These people are not the subject of this article. This article is directed at the people who claim they have nothing against the Jews, yet call for the destruction of Israel as the world’s only Jewish state.
For starters, calling for Israel’s destruction is discriminatory against the Jewish people because you are quick to give the Palestinians their own country, yet deny the Jews their right to self-determination. Under their agenda, Israeli Jews would have to live as a minority under Palestinian Arabs. Considering how the Jews have fared as a minority throughout the centuries (including the Arab world), this would be a recipe for disaster.
And that was centuries ago. Today, the Arab world is by far the most anti-semitic place on the planet. Anti-semitism (including Holocaust denial) in the Arab world is extremely common and very deep rooted in public sentiment. The Anti-Defamation League’s largest study ever on anti-semitism showed the extent of anti-semitism in the Arab world. The lowest score an Arab country scored was 74% in Saudi Arabia. The West Bank and Gaza (whom Israel is supposed to make peace with) scored the highest of any country, a whopping 93%. Turkey and Iran, while not Arab countries, still scored dangerously high. The study estimates around 200,000,000 individuals who harbor anti-semitic beliefs in the countries surrounding Israel. That is more than 30 times the amount of Jews in Israel. There is no evidence that Arabs and Jews would get along in a one state solution that anti-Zionists dream of. However, there is an overwhelming amount of evidence to the contrary.
And this sentiment is not limited to the public. Many Arab news outlets publish anti-semitic cartoons and libels on a regular basis. Conspiracy theories about Jews are also common. In 2013, an Egyptian TV station aired a series that was full of anti-semitic beliefs, in a country that has full diplomatic relations with Israel. In Gaza, a children’s TV show encourages children to kill Jews. In addition, many Islamic religious leaders are on record of spreading anti-semitic messages. Even Mohammad Morsi, former President of Egypt, has a history of anti-semitism. If Jews were suddenly forced to live in an Arab majority country, it is hard to imagine how they would be treated as equals by their Arab peers.
Another major component of anti-semitism found among anti-Israel circles is the denial of the Jewish connection to Israel and Jerusalem. Many people who claim they have nothing against Judaism deny the very foundations of Judaism in an obvious attempt to undermine the rights and connection of the Jewish people to the land of Israel. Denying the credibility of the scriptures of Judaism because you genuinely don’t believe them (like any atheist would) is one thing, but the scriptures of Judaism are clear and claiming that they are actually say something else in order to confirm your political agenda is dishonest and anti-semitic. Claiming to be religious while denying what the Hebrew Bible says (which I’ve seen many Christians and Muslims do) is like a devout Star Wars fan claiming that Darth Vader isn’t really Luke Skywalker’s father.
Among these claims is that the Jewish Temples in Jerusalem never existed. Such a claim goes against the very teachings of Judaism, the same religion they say they have nothing against and its adherents. Anti-Zionists make this claim because they know if they can somehow undermine the Jewish connection to Israel and Jerusalem, the case for Zionism will fall like a house of cards. And they are absolutely right. But it is impossible to undermine this connection. Never mind the Bible, the Jewish connection to Israel and Jerusalem is backed up by overwhelming archaeological and biological evidence.
In recent news, the Arab nations are attempting to have UNESCO declare the Western Wall, the closest place to the Temple Mount where Jews can pray without being harassed, a part of the al-Aqsa mosque, the third holiest site in Islam. This is a blatant attempt by the Arabs to alter the status quo (which they always claim Israel intends to alter) and to further encroach on the rights of the Jews to their holy sites. This is in addition to the restrictions prohibiting Jews (and other non-Muslims) from praying atop the Temple Mount, the holiest site in Judaism, the same religion many anti-Zionists insist they have nothing against or its adherents.
Many Palestinians as well as non-Palestinian anti-Zionists proclaim that Jews have no right to Israel and therefore should be sent back to Europe once Israel is destroyed. Does this sound like anything that someone who is a true friend of the Jews would say? Others, justify the terrorist actions of some groups, including Hamas, whose charter calls for the death of all Jews. Would a real friend of the Jews support Hamas or other similar terrorist groups? Even some protesters in Sweden call for the death of Jews. Would a genuine friend of the Jews ally themselves with fellow protesters who call for the death of Jews?
While some anti-Zionists are friends with Jewish individuals, their cause is against the Jewish people. You can’t claim you love Jews when you support a people who deny the Jews’ connection to Israel, seek to at least ethnically cleanse them and at worst commit a second Holocaust, and spread numerous libels about them. You can say whatever you want about loving Jews, but the evidence says otherwise.