When Opposition to Israel is an Elegant Term for Antisemitism

April 21, 2002

As Israel has been swept by waves of terror attacks over the past two years, there has been a veritable explosion of virulent sentiments and violence against Jewish persons and institutions in the Diaspora. The activity in the US remains primarily media-based, with demonstrations - in Europe it is physical and targeted at Jewish communities and life.

Antisemitism does not just refer to hatred of Jews; it covers acts of persecution and violence against Jews. What we have been witnessing is the emergence of various xenophobic and antisemitic forces and movements from the closet. They are not alone, nor did they come out first: extremist Muslim groups, which are also anti-Israel, are taking a ride on materials from the classic antisemitic wagon - and all are having a field day.

Furthermore, they are getting away with it, simply because it is primarily going out as anti-Israel propaganda, and it has taken on the chicken and the egg paradigm.
Whether the origins are leftist, neo-fascist, white supremacy, Arab, fundamentalist Islamic or Black Muslim, either they enhance their anti-Israel hate campaigns with classical antisemitic propaganda (Soviet style) in the media; or they cloak their deep-rooted hatred of Jews in anti-Israel furniture.

Across the world, and especially in Europe, propaganda images are being broadcast, encouraging Muslims (including children) to bomb and blow up Israelis, or inciting hatred of Jews are a part of this phenomenon. They go on the air daily, as synagogues and clubs are being blown up, schools torched and graves desecrated.

We will be presenting a series of articles on these different presentations of Antisemitism today.

Points to Ponder 

  • The Durban debacle (at the 2001 UN Conference on the Elimination of Racism & Discrimination) has taken off big time.
    • Which democracies are complaining?
    • Which intellectual and public figures joined the 100,000 strong Jewish rally for Israel in Paris this April - or rather, who did not?!
  • France Today - Germany 1933-35:
    • What parallels do we find - and what differences?
    • Can you suggest other countries where incidents raise concern?
    • What concerns do we have about France and the implications for the future?
    • How should we voice them?
    • How can we stand together? (to quote Elie Wiesel)


Recommended Reading & Sites

  1. Behind the Headlines - new items!
  2. ADL website http://www.adl.org
  3. SWC Travel Advisories http://www.wiesenthal.com/
  4. Museum of Tolerance http://www.museumoftolerance.com/mot/index.cfm

Best Activity Links
Current Issues  http://www.jajz-ed.org.il/actual/index.html#antisem





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