Anti-Zionism is not Anti-Semitism Say 63 Signatories to Guardian Letter
The Guardian has published a letter signed by 63 people, about half of whom are Jewish, condemning the ‘new’ IHRA definition of anti-Semitism [see The Government's new definition of ‘anti-Semitism’ is an attempt to criminalise support for the Palestinians and opposition to Zionism]. This was sent in response to an article that appeared on Monday 12th December UK adopts antisemitism definition to combat hate crime against Jews on the new definition of ‘anti-Semitism’ that the Government has decided to adopt.
It doesn’t take a genius to know what anti-Semitism or hatred of Jews is. It really is simple: ‘hatred of Jews as Jews’ and it is best expressed as hatred, violent and discrimination against Jews. That is it in a nutshell.
Of course you could have another sentence to elaborate that this includes a belief in the international Jewish conspiracy theory, which is a relatively unique feature of anti-Semitism and associated stereotypes (which are not unique to Jews).
In short you can define anti-Semitism quite satisfactorily in under 50 words. By my calculation the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism is 413 words! In other words a short essay.
Why the need for so many words? Because that is how many words it takes in order to try and conflate and confuse anti-Semitism with anti-Zionism. In order to try and pretend that anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism are really the same, a sentiment the British National Party and National Front will really concur with, it takes all these extra words in order to produce a multitude of spurious examples.!
But for most people, anti-Semitism will be someone shouting ‘dirty Jew’ ‘kike’ and ‘Jew boy’ or perhaps the Zionist favourites of ‘self-hater’ and ‘kapos’. A boot or a fist and a reference to circumcision will suffice in most circumstances.
Most people will also understand that criticism of Israel, just like criticism of all states, for their treatment of the Palestinians is not anti-Semitic and they will also understand that a criticism of the racist ideology, Zionism, that underpins Israel as the world’s only apartheid state is not anti-Semitic.
Instead we have a parade of reactionaries and racists, including those who have praised and justified real anti-Semites like Sir Eric Pickles and the Jewish Chronicle’s own Stephen Pollard going to town on the new definition of ‘anti-Semitism’.