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Distorting the definition of antisemitism to shield Israel from all criticism

The IHRA initially sought to combat racism against Jews and Holocaust denialism, but its definition of antisemitism serves as a tool to silence all criticism of Israel, making it harder to identify actual forms of anti-Jewish hatred.

By Amos Goldberg and Raz Segal

Pro-Israel demonstrators in Times Square, New York City on October 18, 2015. (Amir Levy/Flash90)

Pro-Israel demonstrators in Times Square, New York City on October 18, 2015. (Amir Levy/Flash90)

There is a growing tendency among both Jews and non-Jews to label those with whom they have profound political differences, especially on the subject of Israel-Palestine, as antisemitic. The accusation is a severe one: in most countries in the West, antisemitism is considered a taboo, and the identification of a person or organization with antisemitism often renders them illegitimate in the public arena.

Two major techniques facilitate such allegations. The first relates one’s claim very illusively to some antisemitic imagery. The fact that 2,000 years of hostility and hatred toward Jews have created a storehouse of anti-Jewish imagery so rich – and at times contradictory – means that nearly any claim can be linked to at least one of those images.

Through manipulation of these images, along with a little imagination, one could identify any form of criticism as antisemitic. This kind of logic is deployed by supporters of Israel’s occupation and nationalistic government in order to delegitimize anyone who dares criticize Israeli policies.

The second technique draws on the definition of antisemitism formulated by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance. Founded in 1998 (under a different name), the IHRA is a political body with considerable political power, uniting government representatives and Holocaust scholars from 33 countries, nearly all of them in the West. The IHRA aims to spread and institutionalize teaching and research on the Holocaust, commemorate the Holocaust, and struggle against antisemitism.

The IHRA agreed on a definition of antisemitism in 2016, along with a list of examples, based on previous definitions. It has since become a kind of “soft law” that is binding in many institutions and even states across the world. The problem is that the IHRA definition deals obsessively — more than with any other topic — with the degree of antisemitism in criticism of Israel, making it far more difficult to identify real instances of antisemitism, while casting a cloud of suspicion over nearly all criticism of Israel. Meanwhile, the burden of proof lies with critics of Israel, who are constantly asked to prove that they are not anti-Semites.

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These two dubious techniques were recently displayed in an article published in Haaretz by Yehuda Bauer, which helps to identify some of the grave and fundamental distortions of the current discourse on antisemitism. Bauer claims that the demand for the Palestinian right of return—which is a consensus among Palestinians—is not only antisemitic but even proto-genocidal, no less. This, even though Bauer himself characterized some of the events of the 1948 War as “ethnic cleansing” in his book, “The Jews: A Contrary People.” Can the very demand that justice be done after “ethnic cleansing” – even if the writer thinks that it should not be realized – be considered antisemitic? Is this not a reversal of roles: the (real) victims become (imaginary) mass murderers within this warped discourse on antisemitism?

Bauer, however, went even further, accusing Israeli historian Daniel Blatman of adopting an antisemitic stance for daring to criticize sharply the IHRA, which Bauer helped establish and where he serves as honorary chairperson to this day. Blatman argues that the definition is dedicated to protecting Israel from any significant criticism. Yet in Bauer’s eyes, the argument that the IHRA definition exerts powerful and harmful influence is based on the antisemitic image of Jews as possessing disproportionate power and ruling the world. Here, too, Bauer’s claim is weak. Instead of engaging in a meaningful way with the critique of the definition, the accompanying examples, and its terrible consequences on the struggle against the oppression of Palestinians, supporters of the definition, Bauer included, prefer to associate criticism of it with antisemitic imagery.

Members of Jewish-American anti-occupation group IfNotNow protest Trump's decision to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, Washington D.C., May 14, 2018. (Gili Getz)

Members of Jewish-American anti-occupation group IfNotNow protest Trump’s decision to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, Washington D.C., May 14, 2018. (Gili Getz)

A similar accusation was also made recently against the German magazine Der Spiegel after it published an unflattering investigative article on the pro-Israel lobby in the country. The article sparked vehement backlash by Jews and non-Jews alike, including Felix Klein, Germany’s federal commissioner for the fight against antisemitism, who focuses mainly on defending the government of Israel. A clarification published by the editors of the magazine — which they did not publish following similar investigations — pointed out that in recent weeks they had carried out similar investigations into two non-Jewish lobby organizations in Germany with no links to Israel.

Defending the settlers, not the Jews

These two techniques are used very frequently and with dire consequences. Another example came in 2017, six years after a young scholar from England who had spent time at an academic institution in Israel published an article about her impressions from a tour of Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank came to light. Among other things, she wrote that the memory of the Holocaust should not give Israel moral dispensation for the occupation. Six years later, Sir Eric Pickles, a Conservative member of British Parliament, found the article and called it “one of the worst cases of Holocaust denial” he has seen in recent years.

Pickles, along with the Campaign Against Antisemitism, demanded that the scholar be dismissed immediately, relying not solely on the IHRA definition. The British university where she was teaching at the time convened a panel of experts to look into the matter. Although it found no indication of antisemitism in the article, the discussion continued and the scholar’s good name was tarnished. She eventually left the university and move to another institution.

The message to the public — and to scholars — was clear: it is better to forget about free speech and not criticize Israel. After all, doing so means you could be subject to a grave accusation.

Today the attempt to suppress criticism of Israel based on the IHRA definition also extends to the campaign against the European Union’s position that products made in Israeli settlement must be labeled as such (which the Simon Wiesenthal Institute listed this as the third most serious anti-Semitic incident in 2015). It appears, then, that the IHRA definition defends Israeli settlers more than it worries about the safety of Jews around the world.

An Israeli winemaker inspects the grapes in his vineyard in the West Bank settlement of Ofra, north of Ramallah (Kobi Gideon/Flash90).

An Israeli winemaker inspects the grapes in his vineyard in the West Bank settlement of Ofra, north of Ramallah (Kobi Gideon/Flash90).

Accordingly, at the end of June, a bill that would ban expressions of antisemitism in public schools and public universities was introduced in the New Jersey State Senate. There is certainly a need to fight against antisemitism in the United States, particularly in New Jersey, the state with the third highest reported antisemitic incidents in the United States in 2018, with approximately 200 reported antisemitic incidents.

It is unlikely, however, that the bill, which includes sections modeled on the IHRA definition, would aid in the struggle against antisemitism in the Garden State, as its main purpose seems to be the silencing of criticism of Israel (it forbids, for example, peace or human rights investigations that focus solely on Israel). But the idea that only Israel is the target of this kind of criticism is not only divorced from reality, it aims at creating a chilling effect. It suffices, for example, to take one look at the list of people charged by the International Criminal Court in The Hague, which includes not a single Israeli, to ask ourselves whether there is a need for such a provision in the bill, apart from the desire to suppress any criticism of Israel.

Yet the damage caused by the bill lies not only in the fact that it aims to defend a powerful state – Israel – more than it seeks to protect Jews in New Jersey. The more harmful damage is caused by the way in which the bill’s attempt to silence criticism of Israel’s 52-year-old military occupation (one of the longest running in the world), which includes dispossession, humiliation, expulsions, and daily violence against Palestinians, plays into the hands of avowed antisemites who hate Jews in the U.S. while admiring Israel.

Diverting attention from real antisemites

Richard Spencer, one of the prominent voices on the nationalist right in the United States, provided a prime example of this connection in July 2018  when he expressed fervent support for Israel’s Jewish Nation-State Law. This came a little over half a year after he called Israel an inspiration and a model of ethno-nationalism, while at the same time explaining that “Jews are vastly over-represented in what you would call ‘the establishment’ and white people are being dispossessed from this country.” The IHRA definition certainly aims to fight against such statements and people such as Spencer, but its obsession with silencing criticism of Israel diverts attention from real antisemites who may support Israel while simultaneously posing a serious threat to Jews in the United States.

Richard Spencer seen speaking at a public gathering in 2016. (Vas Panagiotopoulos/CC BY 2.0)

Richard Spencer seen speaking at a public gathering in 2016. (Vas Panagiotopoulos/CC BY 2.0)

Put differently, one does not need the IHRA definition to identify people like Spencer as antisemites, but once antisemitism becomes identical with criticism of Israel, people like Spencer are off the hook. After all, they are great supporters of Israel.

Indeed, the connection between Jews and the alleged dispossession of white people in the United States was the motivating factor for the white supremacist who carried out the massacre at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh mere months after Spencer’s remarks. In a statement published on social media a few minutes before he opened fire, the shooter wrote that Jews are helping refugees enter the U.S. and destroy it.

This fear of “white genocide” possesses the minds of white nationalists across the world. It is impossible to struggle against this grave danger to Jews, refugees, and others whom nationalists view as an existential danger to their ethno-nationalist vision by silencing criticism of Israel and its ethno-nationalist vision, which views Palestinians – residents of the occupied territories, refugees from the 1948 war, and citizens of Israel (as well as refugees from Africa) – as an existential danger. But the IHRA definition and its derivatives contribute precisely to that.

Palestinian citizens of Israel and Jewish supporters protest against the Jewish Nation-State Law in Rabin Square, Tel Aviv, August 11, 2018. (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)

Palestinian citizens of Israel and Jewish supporters protest against the Jewish Nation-State Law in Rabin Square, Tel Aviv, August 11, 2018. (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)

Right-wing politicians, including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israeli right-wing media, have understood that the focus of the fight against antisemitism has shifted from racist nationalists to criticism of Israel, and they use the catastrophic IHRA definition for their purposes. In contrast to Bauer’s apparent naivety, the right understands very well the powerful potential of the IHRA definition, not only for the purpose of shielding Zionism from any criticism, but also for defending the occupation itself.

The government of Israel and its representatives, as well as many pro-Israeli organizations all over the world, are remarkably successful in silencing criticism of Israel’s policies by playing this card. Using the IHRA’s poor definition of antisemitism, they have succeeded in completely changing the discourse: rather than talk about the occupation, the Nakba, or its violation of national, human and civil rights, the dominant public discourse now revolves around what is or is not forbidden when it comes to criticism of Israel, and to what extent said criticism is antisemitic. In this reality, Israel no longer needs to defend itself against allegation — it has a free hand to throw around accusations.

Professor Amos Goldberg teaches at the Department of the Jewish History and Contemporary Jewry at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. His research focuses on the Holocaust and its memory. Dr. Raz Segal is Assistant Professor of Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Stockton University, New Jersey. A version of this article was first published in Hebrew on Local Call. Read it here.

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    1. Talkback

      The IHRA did not adopt theses examples which are not part of the definition.
      This is the first deception. The IHRA only accepted: “Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.”

      The second deception is that this definition was intended to be so vague that example had to be added. And some of its examples have nothing to do with antisemitism but are just a Zionist wishlist to silence criticism. How could it be “antisemitic” if some Palestinans demand the restoration of the unity of the country under mandate? Is it racism, too, if Zionists and Israeli politicians demand the restoration of “Eretz Israel”? Or if they keep denying the Palestinian’s right to self determination and a souvereign state within 67 lines with East Jerusalem as its capital?

      Real antisemitism is based on the invention of a prototype Jew who is inherently bad. An antisemite doesn’t care what Jews actually do or don’t. In the antisemite’s eye they are just bad, simply because they are Jews. The antisemite hates Jews as such for simply being Jews. Without this core element even the most vile and dishonest criticism of Israel or Zionism it’s not antisemitism. Non- or Antizionism doesn’t target Jews for being Jews.

      Reply to Comment
    2. Lewis from Afula

      The so-called “Right of Return”
      = The Arabs’ Right to invade Israel & destroy it
      = Antisemitism.

      The IHRA has it right while these Marxist authors live in cloud-cuckooland.

      Reply to Comment
      • Some-one.

        Lewis think for a moment. Insisting that Zionism is an intrinsic part of what it means to be Jewish and that therefore arguing that attacks on Zionism are intrinsically anti-Semitic, given that Zionism very much believes in collective punishment and does not do much to hide the fact (I reject the principle of collective punishment as unethical), and further given that Zionism is on an extremely dark trajectory which is bound to prove not just destructive to others but to itself- do you really think it is wise pushing the line that anti-Zionism is intrinsically anti-Semitic?

        Reply to Comment
        • Lewis from Afula

          Zionsm this.
          Zionism that
          Zionism is on an extremely dark trajectory blah blah blah….

          What is zionism, exactly ?
          The state achieved independence in 1948.
          Its now 2019.
          Time to move on

          Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            Yes, let’s focus on the actual Zionism in the time before 1948, learn what that teaches us, disabuse ourselves of falsehoods, and move on with a corrected view of the present and future:

            ‘Those who suggested [at the time the Jewish Nation-State Law was passed in 2018] Israel become a state of all its citizens, or, God forbid, a bi-national state, were perceived as traitors undermining Israel and the Zionist project.
            In his book, Beyond the Nation-State, published last year by Yale University Press, Dr. Dmitry Shumsky, a historian of the Zionist movement at the Hebrew University, attempts to prove that this perception is historically incorrect.
            With extensive quotes by Zionism’s forefathers — Leon Pinsker, Ahad Ha’am, Theodore Herzl, Ze’ev Jabotinsy and David Ben-Gurion — he shows that over the course of Zionism’s first five decades, from the late 19th century until the early 20th century, the movement didn’t aim for establishing a “nation-state” the way it is commonly understood today, and as is reflected in the Jewish Nation-State Law. According to Shumsky, the Zionist leaders envisioned the Jewish state as a multi-national one, or even as an entity within a larger framework, similar to the federalist structure in the United States.
            “The future of Palestine must be founded, legally speaking, as a ‘bi-national state,’” Shumsky quotes from a 1926 article by Jabotinsky, the ideological leader of Revisionist Zionism. “And not just Palestine. Every land that has an ethnic minority, of even the smallest kind, would need, after all, according to our deeply held views, to adapt its legal regime to that fact and become a bi-tri-national or quadri-national state.”’

            Reply to Comment
          • Lewis from Afula

            Well, a fascinating history lesson there from Comrade Ben.
            But this stuff does not directly impact Israel in 2019.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            Of course it doesn’t, anymore than teachings on sobriety directly impact a deteriorated, far gone alcoholic. The first step is emergency measures, then detox, then rehab. It’s a long road to recovery. As the experts say, you’re “pre-contemplative.”

            Reply to Comment
          • Lewis from Afula

            Re: “The first step is emergency measures, then detox, then rehab.”

            Yes, Ben.
            That is the recommended treatment.
            First emergency measure is for you to stop listening to the ever-blinking mentor, G. Levy.
            Detox by avoiding Haaretz & other self-hating rags.
            Rehab by learning how the Arab World repeatedly tried to destroy Israel and failed.
            Final step is making Aliyah and joining the Likud Party.

            Reply to Comment
      • Bruce Gould

        More news from the ever-eventful town of Afula! No, you can’t prevent Israeli citizens from using your parks just because they’re not Jewish:


        “Under pressure from the Nazareth District Court, the attorney-general’s office and the NGO Adalah, Afula will reopen its parks within two days to nonresidents, including Arabs, it was announced on Sunday.”

        Reply to Comment
      • Talkback

        The right to return is part of the Declaration of Human Rights. It is also listed in the Crime of Apartheid as defined in international law so it is obviously enshrined in international law. According to this definition it is considered to be an inhumane acts committed for the purpose of establishing and maintaining domination by one racial group of persons over any other racial group of persons and systematically oppressing them.

        The IHRA did NOT accept the list of the examples that are given, which are only applicable TAKING INTO ACCOUNT THE OVERALL CONTEXT.

        It would be quite ludicrous to imply that a right to return could come near to antisemitism. It’s not international’s law problem if Israel’s “national character” can only be maintained by keeping Nonjews expelled which is not a right, but a crime against humanity. The real racism here is to keep people expelled, because of their faith and heritage.

        And to call the legal citizens of pre 48 Palestine that were expelled by Israel potentially “invaders” instead of those foreigners who immigrated or illegaly entered during mandate times under British gun to colonize and then take over the country is not only racist, but at outmost perversion of truth and legal reality.

        Reply to Comment
    3. Ben

      Peter Beinart is a voice of clarity and reason in these matters. This article examines the serious problems with the IHRA definition:

      Note Beinart’s distinction between ethnic nationalism and civic nationalism.
      Look at Beinart’s deconstruction of the arguments that anti-Zionism is inherently anti-Semitic. Note his descriptions of anti-Semitic Zionism (in its British, Polish, American, Hungarian, Austrian and German forms), non-anti-Semitic anti-Zionism, and anti-Semitic anti-Zionism. Antisemitism and anti-Zionism are conceptually different.

      “For years, Barack Obama and John Kerry warned that if Israel continued the settlement growth in the West Bank that made a Palestinian state impossible, Palestinians would stop demanding a Palestinian state alongside Israel and instead demand one state between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, neither Jewish nor Palestinian, that replaces Israel. Defining anti-Zionism as anti-Semitism reduces that threat. It means that if Palestinians and their supporters respond to the demise of the two state solution by demanding one equal state, some of the world’s most powerful governments will declare them bigots. Which leaves Israel free to entrench its own version of one state, which denies millions of Palestinians basic rights.”

      Reply to Comment
      • Lewis from Afula

        Beinart is one of these pathetic leftist “experts” who never really lived in Israel, does not hold israeli citizenship and does not speak Modern Hebrew either.

        It is obvious that Comrade Ben holds this non-entity in high regards.

        Reply to Comment
        • Ben

          To help someone overcome cocaine addiction one does not have to be a practicing cocaine addict or a recovered cocaine addict. It is probably best if one is neither.
          Having said that, Gideon Levy or Ilana Hammerman or Noam Sheizaf, for example, live in Israel, hold Israeli citizenship and speak modern Hebrew. I hold them in some esteem too. And so take heart, they are available to you.
          Your crude, purely ad hominem attack on Beinart is an implicit surrender, a tacit admission that you know he is right and you don’t have a compelling countermanding argument.

          Reply to Comment
          • Lewis from Afula

            Beinart is a whiny, spoilt joke of a man who spends most of his life in his affluent Manhattan home(s). The Beinart family has never faced prolonged terrorism, warfare or even military reserve duty. The guy pontificates about his “2 state solution” while he manages to ignore Gaza – where giving them land gave us rockets in return.

            Also, you need to be careful about watching Mr G. Levy’s videos. If you watch too much Gideon you might start to eternally blink like him. This nervous tic is a side effect of radical self-hate, degenerate thinking and suppressed leftist guilt.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            Beinart mentions Gaza four or five times in the article (you didn’t actually read it, I see) and there is in there also a link to a whole article on Gaza by one Peter Beinart. You’re in luck!:

            American Jews Have Abandoned Gaza — And The Truth
            Peter Beinart
            April 26, 2018

            ‘“In our time,” wrote George Orwell in 1946, “political speech and writing are largely the defense of the indefensible.” British colonialism, the Soviet gulag and America’s dropping of an atomic bomb, he argued, “can indeed be defended, but only by arguments which are too brutal for most people to face.” So how do people defend the indefensible? Through “euphemism, question-begging and sheer cloudy vagueness.” By obscuring the truth.
            So it is, more than 70 years later, with Israeli policy toward the Gaza Strip. The truth is too brutal to honestly defend.
            …a fog of euphemism and lies. The fog consists, above all, of three words — “withdrew,” “security” and “Hamas”…’

            Reply to Comment
        • itshak Gordine

          Ben is probably like Beinart..

          Reply to Comment
    4. Lewis from Afula

      Re: “Palestinians would stop demanding a Palestinian state alongside Israel and instead demand one state between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, neither Jewish nor Palestinian”

      It does not matter what the “fakestinyans” say or don’t say.
      Israel captured these areas from JORDAN in the 6 day war.
      What the JORDANIANS living there now call themselves is irrelevant to their intended victims (the Israelis).
      The 450,000 Israelis now living in these mountains will stay there forever.

      Thus, the only solution for the failed Invaders is to reclaim their JORDANIAN roots.
      This means casting away this rotten fakestinian nonsense.

      Reply to Comment
      • Bruce Gould

        @Lewis: “…The foreign minister, Shimon Peres, decided to promote a peace agreement in which Jordan was to play a key role. He met with King Hussein in London, and the two men agreed that Jordan would resume its control of the West Bank. In return, Jordan and Israel would sign a peace treaty….on returning to Israel, however, he realized that the prime minister, Yitzhak Shamir, had thwarted the agreement and blocked the action of the majority on the government, who supported the initiative. Hussein accordingly abandoned the idea, realizing that he had no real partner in Israel…had an agreement of this type been signed, it is very possible that the First Intifada would not have erupted in December 1987.” – page 173, “War Over Peace: One Hundred Years of Israel’s Militaristic Nationalism” by Uri Ben-Eliezer.

        Reply to Comment
      • Amir

        lewis, ancient hebrews also thought they would stay in Palestine forever

        Reply to Comment
        • Lewis from Afula

          Except the ancient Hebrews:
          1. did not increase in numbers at 100,000 per annum.
          2. did not have hundreds of nuclear missiles to deter all aggressors.

          Reply to Comment
        • Some-one.

          Most of the ancient Hebrews did remain. The idea of the Roman’s exiling Jews is a myth- though Jews were banned from Jerusalem until the proto-Islamic invasion.

          Reply to Comment
    5. Wesley Parish

      Speaking of the white supremacist antisemites being so very supportive of Israel, it struck me some time ago that the traditional Israeli kneejerk response to the Palestinian Right of Return, that that would destroy Israel, is so close to the reason that mass murderer gave for murdering US Jews worshipping in the Tree of Life synagog, it is’nt funny. Going into Godwin territory, one is also reminded of one of the German National Socialist (Nazi for those who are ignorant) Party’s prime propaganda points about the German Jews – that they were a demographic threat to the German ethnicity/majority.

      So how does the endless repetition of one of the Nazi Party’s key propaganda points qualify one as not being antisemitic? Or a self-hating Jew in the case of at least one of the commenters – Lewis From Afula, I believe?

      When I took the vow of “never again” as an teenager, I understood it to mean, never allowing the same set of propaganda points to predominate. It took till the Sabra and Shatilla massacres at the hands of Israel’s allies in the Lebanese Civil War, under the protection of the IDF then an invasion force, before I realized I’d have to apply it to everybody.

      Reply to Comment
      • JW500

        At the end of the day, there are still Jews who lack the proud heritage of the ancient Israelites and are still thinking as a ghetto Jew.. Such Jews are more concerned about the welfare of other people, even the enemies of their own people, than their own people. If all Jews were like the authors, there would be no Israel and “Palestine” would just be another failed Islamic state and Jewish returnees would be dead or exiled yet again. Until the Arabs surrender their nationalistic claims to “Liberate” Palestine,there is nothing to do but crush those claims. Such is the way of the world.

        Reply to Comment
        • Ben

          We see here a crude, militaristic, totalizing either/or–of “proud heritage of the ancient Israelites” versus “still thinking as a ghetto Jew.” And the fascist “traitor” vernacular of a world divided into “enemies” versus “our own.” (The infamous Yesha Council Herr Sturmer video trafficked these same crude anti-Semitic oppositions.)

          “Until the Arabs surrender their nationalistic claims to “Liberate” Palestine,there is nothing to do but crush those claims.”

          But of course this is merely hard right wing echo chamber rhetoric. Disinformation. False premise inserting. The Arabs long ago, and formally, put aside such totalizing nationalist claims. It is called the Arab Peace Initiative and it is also any number of statements made and efforts made by Abu Mazen and the PA. Apparently the Arabs evolved, and the Israeli Jews, not so much. (Because of the differential selection pressures on the radicals of each group. But selection pressures have a way of changing.)

          What I think you aim to “crush” is any Palestinian State whatsoever in favor of a long term apartheid arrangement. What I see going on here is an Israeli speciously accusing the other side of that which he himself is after: the nationalist extremist claim to “liberate” all of the territories including all of Jerusalem. There are any number of posts by settlers here admitting such “liberation” is Israel’s true aim.

          Reply to Comment
    6. Laura wyatt

      I find it interesting that the Anti Defamation League defines questioning Israel’s right to exist as an entirely Jewish state as antisemitism. The “One State Solution” is considered by the ADL as a threat to the Jewish identity. However I see the hypocrisy as Israel questions the right for Palestine to exist. Why does Israel deserve to exist but Palestine does not? And why is questioning needless deaths and spilt blood antisemitism? I do not see ANY group, race or religion as inferior and yet I cannot say without condemnation that two wrongs don’t make a right and that it is horrible that people are dying and starving? That firing a shot back in the 1950’s as a preemptive strike against what the opposition “was gonna do first” gives one group of people the right to displace another. That empathy towards the Palestinian people means I must hate the Jewish people? THAT mentality is what causes so much hate, strife and death in our world. THAT mentality is the true only evil that exists. Lack of empathy and love for our fellow man due to a sense of “otherness” has led to slavery, genocide, the holocaust and rise of Nazi Germany, the slaughter of the natives of the Americas, the rise of dictators, the rape of societies, the occupation of Africa, The Taliban, ISIS, the rise of Osama Bin Ladin… the list goes on and on. Until we can look at those different than us with empathy and acceptance this world will remain an ugly place and calling me an antisemite for saying “Gee, maybe Israel should let the Palestinians live and stop trying to marginalize them and exterminate their way of life” does not change that fact. The pointing of fingers, casting of blame and non-stop “he said she said” sickens me and it should sicken us all.

      Reply to Comment
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