It is perfectly legitimate to criticize Israel’s policies. Israelis do it all the time in blistering debates. But criticism crosses the line into classic anti-Semitism when it exhibits what Natan Sharansky called the “Three Ds.”
Delegitimization: The Jewish State has no right to exist. Israelis do not belong in the Middle East.
Double Standards: Israel is condemned harshly for self-defense measures and social problems that are seen as acceptable or inevitable in other nations.
Demonization: Through distortions and lies, Israel is depicted as the world’s most evil and dangerous country, and the claim is made that if the Jewish State ceased to exist, the Middle East’s—and the world’s—main problems would be solved.
The Link: Anti-Semitism is hatred for Jews, their communities and their way of life. It includes demonizing and dehumanizing Jews as a group. Anti-Zionism is hatred for Israel, the modern center of Jewish life and continuity. This is why many people claim that Anti-Zionism, or hatred for Israel, is a modern variation of classical anti-Semitism. “Anti-Semitic bigotry is no less morally deplorable when camouflaged as anti-Israelism or anti-Zionism,” according to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.1 People of goodwill must try to see through anti-Israel propaganda in order to foster reasonable dialogue.
1-“Findings and Recommendations of the United States Commission on Civil Rights Regarding Campus Anti-Semitism,” U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, April 3, 2006.
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