Loud and Clear
Some long running debates are being forced into the spotlight since the criminal Hamas invasion of Israel, begging the age old question – Can one criticize Israel and not be an anti-Semite?
Apparently, like so many other things, it depends on context.
With the Israelis at war there are bound to be criticisms. Many of those voicing their concerns have in the past consistently taken considered and fair positions on Israel. They typically express an understanding of why Israel is acting, and its right to do so, even as they share their criticisms. They do not question Israel’s right to exist or attempt to delegitimize Israel. They do not accuse Israel of various crimes against humanity. Their worries are never labelled as anti-Semitic.
Then there are the others.
Those people in the streets and on university campuses shouting, “From the River to the Sea, Palestine Will be Free”, and carrying signs declaring October 7 “legitimate resistance” and calling for “liberation” “by any means necessary.” These far-left “activists” accuse Israel of “apartheid”, “colonialism”, and “genocide.”
These folks are definitely anti-Semitic.
Their anti-Semitism is demonstrated by 4 key behaviors that make up their arguments and drive their violent attitudes.
Inconsistency – sometimes referred to as hypocrisy, the outsized focus of their so-called concern for Palestinians compared to their silence for other people in similar or worse circumstances (think Syria, Yemen, Iran, and Gaza under Hamas).
Their defenders argue that any effort to point out their hypocrisy is “whataboutism’, a bully term meant to avoid a conversation about what drives the inconsistency in their outrage.
Distortion – sometimes called lies, the use of misstatements, half-truths, and outright falsehoods about Israel, Israelis, Jews, and Zionism.
Those defending these actions point to “common values” shared by progressive people and their participation as a response to the call to support shared values.
Of course, this begs the question, which shared values? Democracy? Human Rights? Gay Rights? Women’s Rights? Which values dear to the “progressive” far left lead them to support the Palestinians against democratic Israel?
Exclusion – the marginalization and sometimes outright banning of Jewish participation, sometimes through the use of threats and intimidation.
Supporters explain away the exclusions by pointing to the disruption the Jewish presence may cause, ignoring the ugly reality behind this very notion.
Blood Libels – the willful belief of vulgar and vicious lies about Jewish committed atrocities.
Perhaps more than the other indications of anti-Semitism, the inclination to believe the worst of the Jews, and the willingness to act against them because of the accusations – which is what we are seeing on our streets and on our campuses – is the most conclusive.
These people are anti-Semites regardless of their motivations, and even if they do not realize it. Perhaps the most dangerous type of anti-Semite there is.