You have heard reports of an upswing in anti-Semitic (i.e., anti-Jewish) incidents lately, and in any case anti-Semitism was already a serious problem with over half of the religiously based hate crimes in the U.S. being directed against Jews. A concern has been expressed that at a time of rising opposition to Israeli aggression, the condemnation of attacks on Jews because of their religion or ethnicity has been muted.Â We appeal to all lovers of justice to rise to the occasion and oppose anti-Jewish bigotry in the strongest terms NOW. We invite you to join forces with us to condemn three groups of bigots who attack Jews out of confusion between or an attempt to sow confusion between protesting Zionism and hating Jews.
The first group is those who claim to support the Palestinians but don’t seem to understand that the problem bedeviling the Palestinians is rooted in the same sort of crude collectivism they themselves exhibit when they misdirect anger over Zionist violence against people who identify as Jewish for religious or ethnic reasons.Â A man is not a villain for wearing a yarmulke.Â Even if he does support the Israeli policies of settler colonialism and apartheid, it is for those things he must be criticized, not his yarmulke. If he engaged in a peaceful demonstration in support of Israel, you have no right to violently interfere with his right to peacefully demonstrate his bigotry in public. I do not know who you are, whether you are just sorelyÂ misguided or a cynical opportunist, but unless you can strip your support for Palestinian rights of gratuitous violence against Jews, your support is neither helpful nor desired.
The second group whose anti-Semitism we must condemn are those neo-Nazis who declare “Hitler was right.”Â Hitler was NOT right. His policies were the same collectivist nationalism we denounce in Zionism, taken to an even more vicious extreme. When you say “Hitler was right” you are saying Zionist nationalism doesn’t go far enough. Your views are the opposite of those of us who call for the defense of the rights of all human beings and oppose the dehumanization of any human beings. All people have basic human rights.Â Â Any friend of Hitler’s is an enemy of ours.
The third group whose anti-Semitism must be condemned are the Zionists themselves. Their attempts to conflate anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism fuel the passions of the anti-Semites in the other two groups. They also slur the many Jews who stand shoulder to shoulder with us in the demand for the end of apartheid and settler-colonialism. Zionists often conflate Judaism with Zionism, but progressive Jews like Jewish Voice for Peace know that Judaism stands for justice not oppression, and religious Jews like the Neturei Karta know that Zionism poses a threat not just to Palestinian rights but to the religion of Judaism itself. Like my dear late friend Murray Rothbard and so many others, all these good people are my allies. I understand that not all Zionists are intolerant of Jews who do not share of their support for the Israeli state, but of those who are I demand that you immediately cease your treacherous attacks on Jews who remain true to Micahâ€™s appeal, “He has told thee, man, what is good and what the L-rd requires of thee. Only to do justly, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with thy Gâ€‘d!”
I hope I have condemned anti-Semitism strongly enough. If so, please join me in condemning anti-Semitism in all its forms: the thinly disguised, the overt, and the treacherous.Â If I have not been clear enough, just say the word and I’ll condemn it in terms harsher yet.
Imad-ad-Dean Ahmad, Ph.D.
Minaret of Freedom Institute