Its that time of year again where Hamas shoots Israel with rockets, Israel responds, and the world comes up in arms, screaming of human rights violations, Israeli brutality, etc. Rallies and protests in cities across the world sprout almost instantly and more often than not violence isn’t too far away. Now most of the time this comes from Muslims living outside of their respective Islamic countries. But often time leftist Jews and other leftists in Europe and America join them in the condemnation of the Jewish state. All these people say that they do not hate Jews, they just hate Zionism and others join them in chanting that Zionism doesn’t equal Judaism nor does it represent all of Jewish people. These people do not hate Jews, oh no, they just hate Zionism. But where is the line where Anti-Zionism becomes antisemitism?
Answer: Its practically invisible and very quickly crossed. Anti-Zionism, is antisemitism. Its pretty much that simple and I will explain why.
So what is the supposed difference between Anti-Zionism and antisemitism. Well, according to those who believe there is one, antisemitism is hatred of Jews or Arabs. Anti-Zionism means you hate Zionism and everything it stands for, I.E. the Jewish state, i.e. Israel…or the Israeli government, there is some variation.
The recent attacks in France, where a Synagogue was firebombed and Jewish businesses were burned while people shouted “Fuck Israel” or similar show the very real face of the “anti-Zionist,” Pro-Palestinian movement.
What is Zionism? That is a very important thing to define. Zionism was a movement founded by a man named Theodore Hertzl who was a secular Jew, living in Europe. He came to this idea while bearing witness to French people shouting “Death to the Jews” and “Jews to the Oven,” during what is known as the Dreyfus affair. Yes, see how we come back to France? This was at the end of the 19th century, where a Jewish officer of the French army was accused of treason. Hertzl was what people call an “assimilated Jew” he spoke the language of the non-Jews, he wore the modern clothing and had integrated into the society around him in Austria and Europe. The Jewish Virtual Library writes:
Herzl concluded that anti-Semitism was a stable and immutable factor in human society, which assimilation did not solve. He mulled over the idea of Jewish sovereignty, and, despite ridicule from Jewish leaders, published Der Judenstaat (The Jewish State, 1896). Herzl argued that the essence of the Jewish problem was not individual but national. He declared that the Jews could gain acceptance in the world only if they ceased being a national anomaly. The Jews are one people, he said, and their plight could be transformed into a positive force by the establishment of a Jewish state with the consent of the great powers. He saw the Jewish question as an international political question to be dealt with in the arena of international politics.
Through his writings, and through other inspirations, he concluded that Jews should return to “Palestine” (then a part of the Ottoman Empire), where the new Jewish nation would be born. This movement was Zionism, a belief and desire that Jews had a right to return to their ancestral homeland of the ancient Israel and rebuild a nation. By that definition Zionism does not exist anymore as Jews already have a country. The movement changed and later Zionists became people who stand up for Israel and its right to defend itself against those who seek to destroy it.
As we can see France has come a long way from its years of persecuting Jews and screaming death upon them…and by a long way, I mean not even around the corner.
Today (and this has been going on for years) anti-Zionists say that Zionism means racism and that they hate what the Israeli
government is doing to the Palestinians in Gaza and the oppression of the poor Palestinians. But that line quickly goes dead when instead of picketing peacefully they stomp on the Israeli flag, scream death to Israel/to the Jews, and the ever popular “Jews to the oven” and similar tropes. These are attacks on Jewish people, there’s no way around that fact.
Belgium is also falling under this (like the rest of Europe) where apparently a doctor actually refused to treat a patient because they were Jewish and said to the son of the patient that he should “Send her to Gaza for a few hours, then she’ll get rid of the pain.” The poor woman had a broken rib, but her faith clearly disqualifies her from this doctor’s care. (Source)
The French Prime Minister stated that those who use Anti-Zionism are…”anti-Semites who hide [their] hatred of the Jew behind an appearance of anti-Zionism and the hatred of Israel.” He then said “the unacceptable excess…in Paris justifies all the more the decision to forbid [such demonstrations],” adding that, “France will not allow provocative minds to feed… conflict between communities.” France has banned Pro-Palestinian protests.
Generally it is only a matter of time before they start bashing Israel to where they start bashing Jews. The idea of anti-Zionism believes that Jews have no right to defend themselves or even exist as a nation. Recently a Turkish cafe in Belgium posted a “NO Jews allowed” sign. Dogs are, but not Jews. The escalating discrimination perpetrated by Muslims and liberals quickly removes the facade of Anti-Zionism to quickly becoming antisemitism to the point where the Knesset, the parliament of Israel, recently had an emergency meeting with representatives of Jewish communities from around the world. The Knesset’s Diaspora committee called for a meeting to discuss the rising antisemitism and anti-Israel acts. It pains a grim future for Jews of Europe.
Nathan Norman Gelbart, the head of Germany’s Keren Hayesod (United Jewish Appeal), reported that the German Jewish community is scared “because these are things that have not occurred since 1933.” He cited demonstrators shouting “death to the Jews” and other anti-Semitic slogans. (Source)
The Jews of the Diaspora should be very cautious and vigilant about the coming events. American Jews should be incredibly weary of these “Free Gaza” protests and anyone claiming to simply be anti-Zionist. As a conservative I would also recommend that families have at least one gun in the house, just in case. Better safe than sorry, stay strong, stay vigilant, and stay safe.