That there’s a very strong strand of anti-zionism out there is obvious enough. Largely, but not exclusively, associated with the left – hard left perhaps – the association is that a capitalist and colonialist project should and cannot be allowed to operate in the Levant. This being, from observation, largely the view of people like Jeremy Corbyn. Given the alliance with the US, they’re anti-US, it all fits together. The friend of my enemy is my enemy.
That there’s a very strong strand of anti-semitism out there is obvious. There’re pinheads everywhere.
The two are not the same, obviously enough despite Jezza’s pinheadedness. To switch examples there’s much to like in warm beer, old maids cycling to communion and in Chesterton’s people of England who have not spoken yet. There’s much to be examined, some to like and some not, in the colonialist adventures that led to Empire. The two are simply not the same thing and one can critique either without necessarily upon the other.
At which point we get this:
It is a bewildering and alarming time to be a Jew, both because antisemitism is rising and because so many politicians are responding to it not by protecting Jews but by victimising Palestinians. On 16 February, members of France’s yellow vest protest movement hurled antisemitic insults at the distinguished French Jewish philosopher Alain Finkielkraut. On 19 February, swastikas were found on 80 gravestones in Alsace. Two days later, the French president, Emmanuel Macron, after announcing that Europe was “facing a resurgence of antisemitism unseen since World War II”, unveiled new measures to fight it. Among them was a new official definition of antisemitism. That definition, produced by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance in 2016, includes among its “contemporary examples” of antisemitism “denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination”. In other words, anti-Zionism is Jew hatred. In so doing, Macron joined Germany, Britain, the United States and roughly 30 other governments. And like them, he made a tragic mistake.
Anti-Zionism is not inherently antisemitic – and claiming it is uses Jewish suffering to erase the Palestinian experience.
Which is an excellent piece of straw man argument creation. Because the claim is not that to be anti-zionist is necessarily to be anti-semitic. One can critique Israel without the Establishment’s treatment of Sir Philip Green as a Jewboy schmutter hendler with ideas above his station.
The claim is something different. That some to many anti-semites hide behind the badge of anti-zionism. Meaning that the distinction being made above isn’t relevant in the slightest. It’s setting up the incorrect argument – that straw man – which is then refuted.
Well done there, well done Professor Beinart.