Anti-Semitism and Jewish destiny – Opinion – Jerusalem Post

Posted By on May 24, 2015

On Sunday, Robert S. Wistrich the director of the Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of Anti-Semitism at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem emailed the following column to Jerusalem Post Editor-in-Chief Steve Linde, asking that it be published in the coming week. Wistrich died suddenly on Tuesday. We dedicate his last column to perpetuating his memory. May his words live on.

There are few topics of more pressing concern today to Jewish communities around the world than the current resurgence of anti-Semitism. Thus, there could have been no more appropriate time for the 5th Global Forum for Combating Antisemitism to meet than last week in Jerusalem. It was a large and impressive gathering of participants from all over the world, initiated by the Foreign Ministry, together with its Diaspora Affairs Department.

In my own remarks to the conference I emphasized the need to free ourselves from certain outdated myths. My first point was that even today, Jews in Israel and the Diaspora are fixated on the dangers of far-right traditional anti-Semitism whether racist, religious or nationalist. While neo-fascism has not altogether disappeared, it is in most cases a secondary threat.

Second, there is an illusory belief that more Holocaust education and memorialization can serve as an effective antidote to contemporary anti-Semitism. This notion, shared by many governments and well-meaning liberal gentiles, is quite unfounded. On the contrary, today Holocaust inversion (the perverse transformation of Jews into Nazis and Muslims into victimized Jews) all-too-often becomes a weapon with which to pillory Israel and denigrate the Jewish people. Hence the approach to this entire subject requires considerable rethinking, updating and fine-tuning.

Third, we must recognize much more clearly than before that since 1975 (with the passing of the scandalous UN resolution condemning Zionism as racism) hatred of Israel has increasingly mutated into the chief vector for the new anti-Semitism.

By libeling the Jewish state as racist, Nazi, apartheid and founded from its inception on ethnic cleansing, its enemies have turned Zionism into a synonym for criminality and a term of pure opprobrium.

Hence, every Jew (or non- Jew) who supports the totally illegitimate or immoral Zionist entity is thereby complicit in a cosmic evil.

Fourth, todays anti-Semitism is a product of a new civic religion that could be termed Palestinianism.

The official Palestinian narrative seeks to supplant Israel with a judenrein Palestine from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River. In the case of Hamas, this intent is absolutely explicit. With Fatah, it is partly veiled for tactical reasons.

But when it comes to the Palestinian ideology and the millions around the world who support it, virtually all actions of self-defense by Israel are instantly classified as genocide, demonized and treated as part of a sinister Jewish-imperialist conspiracy. Not surprisingly, then, pro-Palestine demonstrations, beginning in the summer of 2014, were often accompanied by ugly chants of Death to the Jews and anti-Semitic incidents.

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Anti-Semitism and Jewish destiny – Opinion – Jerusalem Post

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