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Anti Zionism and anti semitism

21 replies

helpawomanout · 25/08/2018 14:00

I am so confused here. I've just seen an article saying that Jewish people won't feel safe in labour until Jeremy Corbyn denounces anti-Zionism.

Reading the definitions I am most certainly an anti-Zionist. Not to the point where I'd go on protests or marches but I believe the creation of Israel has been nothing but trouble. Probably a very simplistic view, but that's my feelings on it.

The people of Israel have every right to exist in a state that is legal but the government appear to be awful.

Surely I can disagree with the actions of the government, disagree with the way in which it was created and not be an anti-Semite?

I know anti Zionism can be used to be anti Semitic. Is that not on the same lines as Brexit being used as a tool for racism? Not all Brexit voters are racist yet all racists are Brexit voters. Surely any political issues have extremes and people willing to use it to abuse certain groups?

I don't think I'm critical of the Israel government because I'm an anti-Semite. I'm also strongly critical of the British government, the Saudi regime and so on.

Happy to be educated on this subject as I'm just going off of basic knowledge and, not being Jewish myself, I may lack the emotional connections to the subject.

OP posts:
samG76 · 25/08/2018 23:09

OP - your post is confused. For example, you say the "people of Israel" are entitled to a legal state. An anti-Zionist would dispute that. And israel is a legal state, albeit with a govt that lots of people don't like. What about countries with nastier governments (e.g. Almost everyone in the Middle East and Asia)? Finally, you say that the creation of Israel has been nothing but trouble. So what should have been done with the hundreds of thousands of displaced persons after WW2, and the many who sought refuge from Arab countries and the FSU?

horsemadmom · 26/08/2018 18:02

Ok. I think we need to go back to the basics. I’m going to assume that OP is genuinely asking and not another sock puppet. First, Zionism is the belief that the Jewish people are entitled to a homeland in Israel . It is our only spiritual home and every synagogue service , no matter where in the world is conducted facing Jerusalem. Every other ethnic/nation has a home (except some groups like Kurds which is why Israel supports their ambition). Like the other UN mandated states created in 1948(India/Pakistan), the process was difficult and set off decades of territorial disputes and bloodshed. But nobody on the left cares about Kashmir. My theory- it’s brown people fighting other brown people so the left can’t frame it as a post colonial conflict. Anti Zionism is almost entirely antisemitism. It says that Jews aren’t entitled to the one thing almost every other group has. A place of safety and belonging. Antizionism is almost always antisemitism because it says that Jews are ok as long as we’re victims. A state which we can defend is too uncomfortable for antisemites. When I say ‘almost always ‘ I’m giving the benefit of the doubt to people who aren’t well versed in history in the region. I can’t stand the current Israeli government and I support a two state solution only once the Palestinians give up terrorism. For 70 years they have been ill-used by their own leaders and other middle eastern rulers to distract from a lack of democracy and other human rights abuses. Israel is a convienient enemy. And now Corbyn is using the British Jewish community as an object of hate for his cult members to direct their outrage towards. Any more questions?

helpawomanout · 26/08/2018 21:35

Very genuine, I think. Admittedly it's a topic that's completely beyond my usual areas of knowledge so thank you for all the information given.

If we put all of the Syrian refugees in the middle of France and declared that a nation it would be wrong. I think this is where I get a bit lost, was Israel meaningful before the Jewish people were placed there? My main feeling is that is this was done anywhere in the western world, well it just wouldn't be done. It seems to have been placed in the worst possible place for conflict and in a place where it's like "of well it's just brown people". So does having these feelings make me anti-Semitic? If I'm completely off the bat here please tell me.

I'd rather change my feelings than change the definition of anti-semitism and reading online is getting me nowhere hence this post

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horsemadmom · 27/08/2018 08:00

I’d recommend a book called Jerusalem by Simon Sebastian-Montefiore. Jews have lived in Israel for 3,000 years longer than Islam has existed. Over the course of those millennia, there have been expulsions and invasions by the Assyrian Greeks, Romans, Saladin, the crusaders and the omaiad empire. Jews have survived in varying numbers. The name Palestine is the Roman administrative designation. Whenever persecution in countries where Jews settled became to bad, we returned to Israel- example- the Spanish Inquisition. We didn’t just turn up one day and say ‘we’ll take this bit of desert’. You could also have a look at Simon schama’s the history of the Jews.

Helmetbymidnight · 27/08/2018 08:10

You are most certainly an anti-Zionist yet you believe the people of Israel have every right to exist in a state that is legal?


Helmetbymidnight · 27/08/2018 08:12

It seems to have been placed in the worst possible place for conflict and in a place where it's like "of well it's just brown people

You think people randomly put a pin on the map and said, ‘ooh that looks nice for the jews’?


helpawomanout · 27/08/2018 08:18

@horsemadmom thank you, I will do that. I'm kind of glad this has been such a big thing in the news, I stupidly saw it as a pretty black and white issue.

@Helmetbymidnight I did say I was confused! I think I mean to say that if international law allows a state to be a state then the people living there have every right to do so. However the creation of it was very messy and it has continued to be a problem. I questioned whether making it a legal state was an ok move which I believe makes me an anti-Zionist.

I'll definitely do some more focused reading and try to avoid opinion which is all I've found so far. As I've said, if my words are anti-Semitic then I'm not happy and would just like some more education as I like to think of myself as someone who would never be an anti Semite.

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helpawomanout · 27/08/2018 08:19

@Helmetbymidnight would you judge me if I said yes Blush

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helpawomanout · 27/08/2018 08:20

Actually judge away, I'm judging myself now!

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Helmetbymidnight · 27/08/2018 08:23

I would like you for your honesty Smile

I would always suggest reading more of anything before offering what are very controversial opinions.

WhyDidIEatThat · 27/08/2018 08:30

Criticism of Israel’s right to defend itself against terrorism almost always seems sort of handcuffed to antisemitism, media reporting often biased (highlights human rights violations which are common to many other democracies - less often held up to this kind of scrutiny) and doesn’t show happy mixed communities getting on with life.

helpawomanout · 27/08/2018 08:30

I've read bits as they've come up and all I've found is two extreme opinions and not many in the middle or any offering an actual explanation. I will definitely read the book suggested and until I feel clued up I won't consider myself an anti-Zionist. Thanks for the advice Smile

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horsemadmom · 27/08/2018 10:29

Glad to help OP. Israel is in a tough neighbourhood and a lot of stuff gets confused. It’s a huge irony that Jeremy corbyn’s antisemitism has made me even more Zionist. If we needed to leave the UK, we’ll always have a home there.

Ifailed · 27/08/2018 10:37

Every other ethnic/nation has a home. Try telling that to the original inhabitants of Australia, the US, Canada, Mexico, Brazil etc.

As far as I can see, an awful lot of the current press hysteria is nothing more than an attempt to label one lot of people as anti-Semitic because they disagree with some of the actions of the Israeli state, particularly when it comes to issues around settlements and the treatment of protestors.

People are being forced into a binary position, keep quiet about what's going on, or you'll be labelled as a racist.

horsemadmom · 27/08/2018 11:10

I don’t agree at all. I’m highly critical of the current Israeli government. Thousands marched in Israel against the New law which downgraded the status of non-Jewish Israelis. You can be as critical as you’d like about the policies of any government but what tips into antisemitism is saying that a nation whose policies you disagree with has no right to exist, should be wiped out, is behaving like the Nazis etc. Even comparisons to apartheid are really dodgy as Israel has Israeli Arab members of Parliament and 3/9 on the Supreme Court and no bar to any professional posts. So not like apartheid at all. There is discrimination in every society and it’s wrong in every society. But you can’t make an accurate judgment if all you read is the Guardian and see nothing but bad news about Israel. You won’t get the whole picture.

bananafish81 · 30/08/2018 12:17

OP this is quite an interesting piece of commentary by Jonathan Freedland

Part of the problem is that, for many, all this has seemed rather abstract: people keep referring to antisemitism on the left, but are rarely shown what it actually looks like. For them, the IHRA definition must seem like a weapon to be used against a hypothetical threat. But some of us see daily the tweets and Facebook posts, whether it’s the caricaturee^ of a hook-nosed, bloodthirsty Jew posted by a Labour councillor in Derbyshire, the overt Holocaust denial – “Holo-brainwashing”, in the words of a former Labour council candidatee^ in Kent – or the endless talk of Rothschilds, Jewish control of the media, money and all the old tunes played against Jews for centuries. We see it; we get used to it. But it’s not abstract.

The second level of^ incomprehension relates to Israel. Defenders of Labour’s code of conductt say it was necessary because the IHRA version conflates legitimate criticism of Israel with antisemitism. This makes plenty of Jews want to slam their heads on their desks in frustration, partly because the IHRA text explicitly says that if you criticise Israel the way you criticise other countries, it “cannot be regarded as antisemitic”, and partly because these Jews criticise Israel all the timee^ themselves – never more so than in the week after Israel passed an appalling nation-state laww^ which, in effect, officially confirms Arab-Israelis as second-class citizens.
Bragg worries that the IHRA will silence the pro-Palestinian voice. But the only pro-Palestinian who needs to fear the IHRA is the one who wants to say Jews are disloyal to their own countries, that Jews are Nazis and that the very idea of Jews having a homeland of their own is “a racist endeavour”. You can say all of those things more easily under Labour’s new code – the age-old accusation of disloyalty, for example, is no longer classifiedd^ as antisemitic – which is one reason why the vast bulk of the Jewish community opposes it.

But the IHRA itself, properly applied, allows plenty of scope. You can, if you want, say everything the state of Israel has done since its birth has been racist. All it prohibits is branding as a racist endeavour “a state of Israel” – the principle that Jews, like every other people on Earth, should have a home and refuge of their own. And if you want to make a serious analogy with the historic past, you can do that too, because the IHRA allows for context. Given all that, when Jews hear that the IHRA is not good enough, so that Labour had to draw up a code of its own, they wonder: what exactly is it that Labour wants to say about us?

MephistophelesApprentice · 30/08/2018 12:24

I'm not anti-black people, I'm anti-black activism.
I'm not anti-women's rights, I'm anti-feminism.
I'm not anti-semitic, I'm anti-zionist.

Sometimes it's true, 90% of the time it's the cloak of an acceptable prejudice hiding the real one.

Racecardriver · 30/08/2018 12:25

Well look. The issue is that Jewishness as a race, Judaism, is real and, zionism are all mangled in together. Arguably the whole point of Judaism is zionism. You can be anti is real and still a zionist. You can be Jewish but be antizionist. The problem with the labour party is that is hasn't made these disrinctions.

Helmetbymidnight · 30/08/2018 12:59

You can be anti is real and still a zionist.


Race car driver, you are really not an authority on ‘jewishness’ however much you bizarrely think you are.

samG76 · 30/08/2018 14:29

The other question is why should people be anti-Israel at all. Do people call themselves anti-Argentine, or anti-Malaysian, or anti-Australian? No, it's only Israel. I wonder why this could be?

Helmetbymidnight · 30/08/2018 14:36

Posters who are unable to even type the word 'Israel' - preferring 'is real' instead, have usually been accessing some pretty hard-core hate material.

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