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V. Judah Khaykin @VKhaykin
, 11 tweets, 4 min read Read on Twitter
Today’s @nytimes piece “Anti-Zionism is Not the Same as Anti-Semitism by @michelleinbklyn is rife with problematic assertions, framings, and omissions. And I say this as someone who doesn’t disagree with the premise of the title.
For one, in trying to disentangle antizionism from antisemitism, the author conflates antizionism with criticism of Israel. Criticism requires an object of which to be critical. Antizionism seeks the annihilation or dissolution of the would-be object of Israel criticism.
The fact of the matter is that most Zionists are themselves critical of Israel, as evidenced, for example, by the recent Mellman Research Group poll:
The other thing to note here is that fully 92% of Jews are Zionists. So when some say “I don’t hate Jews, just the >9/10 who are Zionists, but some I assume are good people” that’s not particularly compelling.
One of the most problematic parts of this piece is this line that comes dangerously close to promoting the antisemitic idea that Jews deceitfully pull the antisemitism card to silence criticism of Israel. This has been dubbed The Livingstone Formulation by sociologist @DavidHirsh
It traffics in the notion that Jews are manipulative and deceitful and cannot be trusted to mean what they say, because behind their words are simply means to advance some nefarious agenda (such as covering up Israeli misdeeds). This is ugly.
Moreover, this erases the experience of millions of Soviet Jewish refugees like myself for whom antisemitism as antizionism was official policy of the authoritarian regime we fled, a regime that criminalized teaching Hebrew as subversive Zionist activity.
And this anti-Zionist propaganda put out by the USSR - one of the most influential propaganda machines of the 20th century - which drew heavily on the antisemitic Protocols of the Elders of Zion, continues to shape discourse about Israel/Zionism on the Left & in MENA today.
While the heading may be true, arguing that two things are not necessarily the same in theory, elides the degree to which antisemitism and antizionism overlap in practice. Which is to an extensive degree.
If one is going to spill ink lamenting (the lamentable) courting of far-right regimes by Israel’s right wing administration, but ignores the extensive prevalence of anti-Zionism among far-right White Nationalists, this does a disservice to the debate on this question.
The reality is that anti-Zionism is pronounced among nearly all US leaders of White Nationalism from David Duke and Matt Heimbach to Andrew Anglin and Don Black (proprietors of Daily Stormer and Stormfront - the most visited White Supremacist sites on the net).
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