Dani Ishai Behan

Protesting Nazis Is Child’s Play

Last week’s “Unite the Right” protests in Charlottesville attracted significant mainstream attention, eventually culminating in a violent clash between radical left counter-demonstrators (most notably Antifa) and their “alt-right” antagonists. As usual, Jews were the primary target of these demonstrations, compelling certain quarters of the left (albeit far from all) to finally acknowledge our existence and half-heartedly profess an “opposition to antisemitism”. Some of us were grateful that our gentile “betters” finally deemed us worthy of their solidarity, while the rest dismissed them as over-eager opportunists desperate to bat away accusations of antisemitism. I throw my hat in with the latter camp. Here’s why…

Condemning Nazis is easy and painless, if not beneficial. It is a sure fire way to win political points without having to make real sacrifices, nor does it carry any risk of social alienation. Challenging anti-Zionism is another story, as that entails a willingness on the part of gentiles – especially white people and Arab-Muslims – to engage in introspection and actually listen to Jews. Worst of all, it requires them to give up their privilege.

Antisemitism was never the lone purview of skinheads and neo-Nazis. It is a society-wide problem, permeating all facets of Western culture and possessing an unparalleled ability to mutate and adapt itself to evolving cultural milieus. Anti-Zionism is just the latest mutation of this ancient disease, and those who can see through its humanitarian pretenses will find a movement that espouses everything it claims to oppose: racism, colonialism, fundamentalism, egoism, and hierarchy. In dissolving the Jewish state, anti-Zionism would undo the realized hopes and dreams of a dispossessed indigenous people and consign them to permanent exile. In its ruthless ambition to create an Arab state of Palestine “from the river to the sea”, anti-Zionism is a reaffirmation of the entitlement of one of the world’s most successful colonial powers. In its zeal to dispossess the Jews of their fundamental right to self-determination, anti-Zionism is a cold reminder that national autonomy is a privilege only for those who are not Jews.

No, anti-Zionism isn’t an anti-colonial cause, it isn’t anti-racist, and it sure as hell isn’t progressive. It merely appropriates that language as a conduit into the hearts and minds of naive but well-meaning human rights activists. Ultimately, the catalyst of the anti-Israel cause is not resistance to Jewish “colonialism” or some other form of malfeasance, it is the Arab world’s refusal to cede its power over Jews (which they acquired through – you guessed it – colonialism) and accept us as equals. This is why they will not accept Israel, even knowing that it would end the daily humiliations Palestinians endure under Israeli military rule. These humiliations are nothing compared to the far greater humiliation of Jewish national equality.

Unlike anti-Zionism, Nazism is in no way essential to preserving or reinstating Jewish subordination. It is very much a disposable part of the structure that keeps Jews at the bottom of society. Nazism is a credo that is openly genocidal in its aims and threatens *all* people of color – not just Jews (there would have been more silence from the left, if that were the case). Anti-Zionism, on the other hand, is the (white and Arab) non-Jew’s mechanism for restoring us to perpetual landlessness and degradation. These proclamations of solidarity are just their tacit admission that we don’t necessarily *need* to die, we just need to know our place.

Until our would-be “allies” are prepared to critically examine ALL of their own erroneous beliefs about Jews and Zionism, there is no reason for anyone – or most especially for Jews – to take their bloviations seriously.

About the Author
Half-Irish/half-Jewish American activist, musician, and writer.