8 Reasons Why Anti-Zionism Is Always Anti-Semitism | Justin Feldman | The Blogs – The Times of Israel

Posted By on June 20, 2020

Answers to a Burning Question

What does it take to distinguish Jew-hatred from mere political speech, academic research, or social justice? The dvar torah that your rabbi recently gave could tell you why the messiah hasnt come yet after all of the mess in the world, but not answer this aching question. For too long, weve argued over the degree to which Anti-Zionism is or can possibly be antisemitic. Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sackss popular animated lessons and Natan Sharanskys 3 Ds have found a special place in the content of Jewish organizations and their piles of advocacy literature. Yet, most scholars who have attempted to explain Anti-Zionism as the new antisemitism have only picked up certain concepts, failing to capture the full details that articulate the socio-cultural words and realities that Jewish youth currently experience.

Thus, a machloket remains for Jews in reaching basic consensus on defining this recycled, intellectualized form of an age-old hatred for the non-Jewish world. Today, with years of compiled anti-Israel propaganda unleashed in common institutions and news outlets, it is much easier to identify and categorize the psychological weapons of Anti-Zionists, beyond just Rav Sackss visual explanations and Sharanskys litmus test of demonization, delegitimization, and double standards. From my several years of engaging with a surplus of Anti-Zionist arguments and philosophical approaches, Ive come to realize that the rhetorical devices currently used in various platforms to justify alienating Jews from their indigenous homeland can be confidently dismantled into eight general categories. Im willing to argue that with the following eight Anti-Zionist Principles of Disenfranchisement, we can begin to put this dispute to rest:

A slide outlining Justin Feldmans 8 Principles from the original Students Supporting Israel National webinar (2020).

One might say that in theory alone Anti-Zionism is obsessive hostility disproportionately targeting simple notions of Jewish refuge and reclaimed freedom, which is de facto anti-Jewish (excluding leveled criticism of Israeli policies). However, I argue even setting that aside, the strength of these eight points lies in the empirical proof that its essentially impossible to find an Anti-Zionist argument that does not purport any of these inherently antisemitic aberrations, since the only way to package returning Jews to disenfranchisement, as a moral enterprise, is through misinformation.

Propaganda campaigns that have emerged from the Soviet-era playbook to our phones today these eight manipulative approaches are tools that have been expressed in Arabist documents dating, at least, to the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) 1964 Charter. Its rhetoric is suprisingly, but practically identical across decades in Palestinian Authority and Hamas broadcasts and can be read all the way from a New York Times news piece or cartoon or a Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) post or tweet.

A slide demonstrating various examples of appropriation in Justin Feldmans 8 Principles presentation, from the original Students Supporting Israel National webinar (2020). Sampled content made available from http://www.palwatch.org, ISGAP, and Zachor Legal Institute reports on BDS and antisemitism.

Many of us are already familiar with these approaches, we just hadnt connected all the dots. Now, lets not leave any more wiggle room for people who havent yet decided if theyre comfortable or not being transparent about their bigotry (or keen to admit their implicit bias). Young graduates espousing these trendy pseudo-intellectual alibis for hate, without education today, are bound to produce leaders who harm our future societies, without accountability tomorrow. Lets bring us all a brighter future and educate today. Sitting back as Jew-hatred becomes mainstream was never kosher.

To view more examples of the 8 Principles in action and support this research, please share this article and check out the online presentation + follow the official Instagram page @8principles.

Justin Feldman (Yitzchak Eishsadeh) is a research assistant at UCLA's Center for Middle East Development (CMED) and an Israeli-American professional speaker. In his college career, Justin engaged thousands on Israeli history, contemporary political issues, and advocacy strategy as a CAMERA Fellow on campus and the youngest staff speaker in North America for international non-profit, StandWithUs. Justin is also a StandWithUs High School Internship and Emerson Fellowship alum. In his spare time, Justin enjoys cooking, calligraphy, travel, and graphic design. He just graduated from UCLA in 2020 with a B.A. in Political Science & Middle Eastern Studies and continues to proudly serve on the Students Supporting Israel National Committee. You can follow Justin on Twitter @eishsadehy.

8 Reasons Why Anti-Zionism Is Always Anti-Semitism | Justin Feldman | The Blogs - The Times of Israel

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