1/ People tell me it's possible to be anti-Zionist (AZ) and not antisemitic (AS). Ethical AZ would avoid any hint of AS.

Things you should know to avoid this hatred: (a) AS is a root conspiracy theory that demonizes Jews by attributing them superhuman evil power.
2/ Demonizing is more than "dehumanizing" - which itself leads to ignoring pain (see: racist treatment of Black patients in US health care). Rather, a "demon" is an unstoppable and uniquely evil enemy that requires extraordinary measures to bring them down by any means.
3/ AS is a seductive conspiracy theory because it becomes a simple answer to everything wrong with the world: people who can look like anybody yet, as demons, control everything in their favor.
See: scientificamerican.com/article/people… &
4/ Since antisemitism is so common, seductive and dangerous, it would behoove someone who opposes the Jewish country to not engage in conspiracy theories. Especially if one is motivated by compassion for oppressed people, it's hypocritical to embrace a demonizing ideology.
5/ (b) Related to that is the subconscious cultural belief that American Jews are rich, powerful, and have inordinate political power. [See: antisemitic conspiracy theory above]

I've heard people say that this makes Jews a legitimate target. Because they can take it, right?
6/ Cognitively, even though people seem to understand intersectionality, too often it seems there's an exception made for Jews, the world-historical victims.

And again, thinking Jews are not vulnerable because of a presumed level of power is classical AS.
7/ Lastly, (c) Zionism as a political philosophy was created by a belief that antisemitism was a dangerous, pervasive & unavoidable condition for Jews in the rest of the world. Then came the Holocaust. The UN established Israel soon after.
8/ So creating conditions in America & Europe that make Jews feel entirely unsafe - nearly every synagogue & school needs armed guards right now, and our danger spikes whenever Israel gets the world's focus - supports the logic of Zionism.

9/ I've heard that Zionism is colonialism and that there's no valid reason for a Jewish state. That's hard to argue when people attack non-Israeli Jews in order to repay Israeli sins, telling them that they deserve the attacks because of sins they're presumed to have done.
10/ One can oppose Israel without being antisemitic. But it's really hard to do so, as we've seen this month. This doesn't mean people should stop protesting actions of the Israeli gov't; but like our civil rights protests during COVID: to avoid a deathly result, take precautions
11/ I'll add: since many Jews, religious & secular, believe that Zionism is a defensive reaction to a history of brutal oppression, the State of Israel was created partially in response to the Holocaust, to be anti-Zionist will feel like dismissing or discounting that history.
12/ If you're anti-Israel or anti-Zionist, you will need to have an answer for the thousands of years of pogroms, blood-libel, and genocidal hate. Because that's why many people will think an anti-Z or anti-Israel ideology equates to erasing Jewish tragedy.
13/ I studied Critical Race Theory in grad school. It's a good & necessary heuristic to understand structural racism (in sociology we're all about structure)

Ironically, those who reject CRT end up showing why it's correct. That's at play now about Israel
14/ Israel has been run by Netanyahu for 12 yrs and he made himself synonymous with the GOP & especially Tr*mp. But blaming Israeli citizens for the sins of the Prime Minister elected with 30% of the population is like condemning liberals in red states for being powerless.
15/ The Israeli Left wing, the leaders behind Oslo, have lost popularity over the past 20-30 years. This has largely been attributed to how withdrawal of occupied territory by Labor (Barak) & Kadima (Sharon) was met with increased terrorism.
16/ Lebanon (Barak's withdrawal) is controlled by Hezbollah, Gaza (Sharon's withdrawal) by Hamas. Both organizations are funded by Iran. Israeli voters who supported giving land for peace were met with two implacable terrorist states on their borders.
17/ I oppose the occupation and the question is how to make it safe for Israel to withdraw from the West Bank without creating another Gaza.

Anyone who ignores or dismisses this concern is ignoring these recent facts. It's de-facto delegitimizing Israel's right to exist.
18/ When I hear someone argue that Israel doesn't have a right to exist, I don't know if it's from ignorance of the past 100 years or 2000?

(And yes, I support safe haven countries for all persecuted people, including Palestinians, I support the 2 state solution).
19/ I locked comments on the thread and you know why: because anything on this topic will be met with vile abuse.

You know, women face that every moment online, and hearing that made me very conscious about misogyny in the world & what I may be doing to create that environment.
20/ I've changed my behavior over the decades to make sure I don't add to hate and violence against women. Or anybody. It takes vigilance, compassion, & empathy.

That's what I ask conscientious anti-Zionists. Don't add to hate while you advocate for what you believe is ethical.
21/ Israel brings out insane, genocidal hatred. And the only advantage of having a small account is I may avoid the bile.

But anyone responding to me with the standard hate will actually be proving my point.
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More from @JoshuaCypess

28 May
1/ What to do if an individual from a disempowered/persecuted/minority group says something is offensive to them, but you have a friend from the same group that said it was OK?

Do you believe your friend/acquaintance or the other person?
2/ First, this is not about your need to be the final arbiter. Outside of certain socially-established professions (judge, political rep), you haven't been given the authority to declare whether someone is right or wrong.

To think otherwise is arrogant, no? Who elected *you*?
3/ But as an individual, you have the responsibility to make your own decisions about right and wrong. A friend is someone whose bona-fides you know; ostensibly they will be honest with you. It's reasonable to trust a friend over a stranger.
Read 24 tweets
23 May
1/ My "news bias" thread generated a relevant, footnote style, discussion. In it, I expand further on variation within bias. I'm putting the discussion into a thread for easier reading.

It started with this question:
3/ Picked up and responded to by Prof. Goldberg of Bar Ilan (who forwarded the thread, prompting the OP)

Read 24 tweets
23 May
45.01/ Week Forty-five, May 22-28 2021, begins here.

Week 44 below:
45.02/ Re-upping this thread from Friday about journalism and why the NYT can be seen as biased vs. Arabs & Israelis.

45.03/ I just wrote up a follow-up to the above thread that goes deeper into my social-scientific (data-poor, sorry) analysis of the American perception of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Read 43 tweets
21 May
1/ Thread on journalistic bias.

The linked thread by an MIT undergrad makes a data-rich claim that the NYT is biased in favor of Israel and against the Palestinians.

This intrigued me because it's axiomatic in Jewish circles to believe the opposite.
2/ I'm not going to comment on her work - her preferred framing for Israel is from <https://decolonizepalestine-com> which is both non-academic & reads like an opposite-day Arutz7 - because it's beside the point. Bottom line: her fellow partisans feel the NYT is against them.
3/ While I would decry any respectable journalist to sound like a universalized Arutz7/FoxNews, I would claim that journalism should be held to a similar standard I apply to social science: it should be seen as accurate to the subjects of the story.
Read 35 tweets
16 May
1/ #ReshetKeshet

I've been dwelling on the concept of 'fear' recently, specifically as it relates to my religious community and COVID, but it has application to all areas of morality as well as civic life.
2/ In Jewish ethics, we talk about being "Yirat Cheit" which translates into "Fearing Sin" and "Yirat Shamayim" which translates into "Fearing Heaven"

They are related but not equivalent. But fearing sin is the minimum to be considered reliably religious according to Jewish law.
3/ "Fear of Sin" generally means the lowest minimum acceptable level of religious observance because that kind of person doesn't buy into the ideology, doesn't understand the purpose of the system, but will still follow the rules before they fear the consequences.
Read 45 tweets

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