Tag Archives: Anti-Zionism

Anti-Zionism 4D: Defining Demonization Double Standards and Delegitimization

The word “nutritious” defines a food quality that provides sustenance. I’ve no doubt as skepticism grows about the likely poisonous aspects of refined sugar and High Fructose Corn Syrup, the corporate sugar-water purveyors will append “satiates your subliminal impulses” to the meaning of nutritious. Who safeguards our dictionaries from authoritarians who profit from reweaving the fabric of knowledge we consider inviolate?

We expect facts to change, but it is unsettling to be robbed of the words which we count on to measure the change.

Did you think “anti-Semitic” meant prejudice against the Jews? It does, except the Zionists behind sustaining Israel want it to indemnify their unpopular endeavor too. Anti-Semitism now means opposing Israel, although the stigma implied is of course still “Jew Hater.” But the appropriation is unseemly. Crusading Evangelicals could tell you, if you oppose their bloody incursions into the lands of Islam, then you must be anti-Christian. But are you?

It would seem only fair that the victims of anti-Semitism should be entitled to define what oppresses them, but that’s not who’s wrapping themselves in its protection. Zionists (both Jewish and Christian) claim that an overwhelming percentage of World Jewry supports sustaining the US-Israel occupation of Palestine. Is it true? I wager that the far greater proportion of both Jews and non-Jews repudiate military aggression, occupation, ethnic cleansing and religious oppression. But if it were true, claims of suffering historical persecution are not grounds to be given license to persecute others.

Anti-Semitism describes real, tradition-rooted anti-Jewish sentiment. To expand its meaning disrespects the very tangible prejudice which Jews still face. Opposition to sustaining Israel is actually Anti-Zionism, which is neither for nor against Judaism. Anti-Zionism denounces another long-held prejudice: White European Man’s assertion that the Holy Land belongs to him.

Anti-Zionism is the opposition to sustaining an illegally invaded, illegally occupied, racist administration of Palestine in the name of “Zionism.” Anti-Zionism calls for “the destruction of Israel,” meaning the dissolution of the Western colonial theocracy imposed on the indigenous population of the Middle East. To oppose the sustaining of Israel is a call to exterminate Israeli apartheid. Anti-Zionism is no resurrection of the Final Solution. It means leave people be. White settlers should not assume to usurp the lands and water rights of the native Palestinians.

Zionism defender Nathan Sharansky has constructed a definition of anti-Semitism with an expanded breadth, he calls them the three Ds: Demonization, Double Standards and Delegitimization. It’s this 3D definition with which Zionists are branding UCSB professor William Robinson, himself a Jew, as an anti-Semite. Professor Robinson circulated an email among his sociology students, comparing Israel’s actions in Gaza to methods used by the Nazis, now US-Israeli lobby groups are calling for UCSB to censure him.

Sharansky’s three Ds are easily refuted because he offers no more than circular argument. Ipso Facto my eye. I reprint Sharansky’s explanation below, but first an abridgment:

Demonization: “…having [the Jewish state’s] actions blown out of all sensible proportion … can only be considered anti-Semitic.”

Double Standards: “It is anti-Semitism … when Israel is singled out by the United Nations for human rights abuses while tried and true abusers … are ignored.”

Delegitimization: “…the denial of Israel’s right to exist is always anti-Semitic.”

Thus, if Israel considers the criticisms leveled against it to be insensible, then the criticisms are anti-Semitic; also, so long as abusive regimes persist, Israel reserves its prerogative to abuse; and, the legitimacy of Israel’s biblically ordained Manifest Destiny is never to be questioned. These are self-rationalizations which beg ridicule, but doing so would appear anti-Semitic.

Sharansky finishes: “If other peoples have a right to live securely in their homelands, then the Jewish people have a right to live securely in their homeland.” To suggest that the right of the Palestinians to live in their homeland, have been usurped by the Jewish people, most of whom knew other homelands, is apparently anti-Semitic.

Here is Nathan Sharansky’s statement to support the 3-D formula for decrying “ANTI-SEMITISM!”

I propose the following test for differentiating legitimate criticism of Israel from anti-Semitism. The 3D test, as I call it, is not a new one. It merely applies to the new anti-Semitism the same criteria that for centuries identified the different dimensions of classical anti-Semitism.

DEMONIZATION
The first D is the test of demonization.

Whether it came in the theological form of a collective accusation of deicide or in the literary depiction of Shakespeare’s Shylock, Jews were demonized for centuries as the embodiment of evil. Therefore, today we must be wary of whether the Jewish state is being demonized by having its actions blown out of all sensible proportion.

For example, the comparisons of Israelis to Nazis and of the Palestinian refugee camps to Auschwitz — comparisons heard practically every day within the “enlightened” quarters of Europe — can only be considered anti-Semitic.

Those who draw such analogies either do not know anything about Nazi Germany or, more plausibly, are deliberately trying to paint modern-day Israel as the embodiment of evil.

DOUBLE STANDARDS
The second D is the test of double standards. For thousands of years a clear sign of anti-Semitism was treating Jews differently than other peoples, from the discriminatory laws many nations enacted against them to the tendency to judge their behavior by a different yardstick.

Similarly, today we must ask whether criticism of Israel is being applied selectively. In other words, do similar policies by other governments engender the same criticism, or is there a double standard at work?

It is anti-Semitism, for instance, when Israel is singled out by the United Nations for human rights abuses while tried and true abusers like China, Iran, Cuba, and Syria are ignored.

Likewise, it is anti-Semitism when Israel’s Magen David Adom, alone among the world’s ambulance services, is denied admission to the International Red Cross.

DELIGITIMIZATION
The third D is the test of deligitimization. In the past, anti-Semites tried to deny the legitimacy of the Jewish religion, the Jewish people, or both. Today, they are trying to deny the legitimacy of the Jewish state, presenting it, among other things, as the last vestige of colonialism.

While criticism of an Israeli policy may not be anti-Semitic, the denial of Israel’s right to exist is always anti-Semitic. If other peoples have a right to live securely in their homelands, then the Jewish people have a right to live securely in their homeland.

Zionists fire another Left American university professor, Joel Kovel

Joel Kovel - Overcoming ZionismNobody in the United States is safe when they speak out the Israeli killing machine. The Israeli Zionist Machine has just succeeded in firing yet another US Left professor, Joel Kovel, from his university position, this time at Bard College. The following is taken from the STATEMENT OF JOEL KOVEL REGARDING HIS TERMINATION BY BARD COLLEGE

Irregularities in the Evaluation Process

The evaluation committee included Professor Bruce Chilton, along with Professors Mark Lambert and Kyle Gann. Professor Chilton is a member of the Social Studies division, a distinguished theologian, and the campus’ Protestant chaplain. He is also active in Zionist circles, as chair of the Episcopal–Jewish Relations Committee in the Episcopal Diocese of New York, and a member of the Executive Committee of Christians for Fair Witness on the Middle East. In this capacity he campaigns vigorously against Protestant efforts to promote divestment and sanctions against the State of Israel.

Professor Chilton is particularly antagonistic to the Palestinian liberation theology movement, Sabeel, and its leader, Rev. Naim Ateek, also an Episcopal. This places him on the other side of the divide from myself, who attended a Sabeel Conference in Birmingham, MI, in October, 2008, as an invited speaker, where I met Rev. Ateek, and expressed admiration for his position. It should also be observed that Professor Chilton was active this past January in supporting Israeli aggression in Gaza. He may be heard on a national radio program on WABC, “Religion on the Line,” (January 11, 2009) arguing from the Doctrine of Just War and claiming that it is anti-Semitic to criticize Israel for human rights violations—this despite the fact that large numbers of Jews have been in the forefront of protesting Israeli crimes in Gaza.

Of course, Professor Chilton has the right to his opinion as an academic and a citizen. Nonetheless, the presence of such a voice on the committee whose conclusion was instrumental in the decision to remove me from the Bard faculty is highly dubious. Most definitely, Professor Chilton should have recused himself from this position. His failure to do so, combined with the fact that the decision as a whole was made in context of adversity between myself and the Bard administration, renders the process of my termination invalid as an instance of what the College’s Faculty Handbook calls a procedure “designed to evaluate each faculty member fairly and in good faith.”

Help Overcome Zionism and its negative influence in American politics. Support Joel Kovel and buy his book, Overcoming Zionism. Bard College should be ashamed of its anti-intellectual behavior and its policies of censorship.