Anti-Semitism and Anti-Zionism are Unrelated

The news has been full of charges of anti semitism lately.  In light of this, we feel it necessary to take a step back and examine the question of, what exactly is anti semitism.

The Oxford Dictionary definition of anti-Semitism is “hostility to or prejudice against Jews.”  You wouldn’t know that though, if you read the recent statements from various Zionist groups.  According to Zionists, anti-Semitism hinges on one’s views toward Israel. Oppose Israel: you’re an anti-Semite, Pro-Israel: you’re a friend of the Jewish people.  The Zionist definition of anti-Semitism is obviously inaccurate.

To determine whether one is an anti-Semite, we must take a look and see how that person treats Jews and views Jewish values.  Zionism is a political ideology, and one’s views toward Zionism or “Israel,” the embodiment of that ideology, has no bearing on the question of whether one is an anti-Semite.  

Let’s take a look at some clearly anti-Semitic statements.  Consider the following, “The Jewish people are a very nasty people.  Their neighbors hate them, and they’re right.”  Or, “If the tables were turned and others were the Jews, wouldn’t we have good cause to hate them as well?”  How about, “Those loathsome Jews are vomited out by any healthy collective and state, not because they are Jews, but because of their Jewish repulsiveness.”  And finally, “Sterile Jewish masses living parasitically off of the body of an alien economic body.”  Now, one doesn’t have to be an expert on anti-Semitism to recognize that each one of these statements is extremely anti-Semitic.  So who said these things?  None other than some of the founding fathers of Zionism. The first was said by Vladimir Jabotinsky, the second by Yosef Chaim Brenner, the third, Uri Zvi Greenberg, and finally David Ben-Gurion.  Ben-Gurion’s quote is eerily similar to a quote from perhaps the most famous anti-Semite of all time, Hitler!  In Mein Kampf, Hitler wrote, “never a nomad but always a parasite in the body of other peoples.”  That is what anti-Semitism really sounds like.  

And what about support for “Israel” or Zionism?  To the Zionists there is no greater indication of whether one is an anti-Semite than if one harbors a negative view toward Zionism and Israel.  And of course the contrary is true, a friend of Israel is clearly a friend of the Jewish people.  Presumably, Zionists would react with great favor toward a statement such as “had I been a Jew, I would have been a fanatical Zionist. I could not imagine being anything else. In fact, I would have been the most ardent Zionist imaginable.”  This statement clearly espouses a positive view toward Zionism, but is it’s declarant a friend or foe of the Jewish people?  A big foe.  It was said by Adolph Eichman, one of history's most virulent anti-Semites.  

The bottom line is, Zionists don’t get to determine who is or isn’t an anti-Semite.  Especially when the criteria they use to make that determination has nothing to do with Jewish values.  As Jews, we value life, safety, and peace.  We want people throughout the world to live in tranquility.  Zionists, on the other hand, have no such desire for Jews to live in peace.  In fact, in a recent column for Ynet, Yaron London said that “it would be good to have some anti-Semitism in America. Not serious anti-Semitism, not pogroms, not persecutions that will empty America from its Jews, as we need them there, but just a taste of this pungent stuff, so that we can restore our faith in Zionism.”  In their view, the Zionists need anti-Semitism in order to energize their base!

Let us be clear, we at True Torah Jews have no desire to search for and call out anti Semitism.  But we won’t allow Zionist leaders and organizations to speak in the name of world Jewry and call people out based on faulty standards.  And one thing is for certain, if Zionists really want to tackle anti semitism, they had better start by looking in the mirror.