Israel usually finds itself in the list of countries that attract a huge amount of criticism. A lot of studies show that Israel is usually among the most disliked nations in the world along with the likes of North Korea and Iran. But how much of this criticism is based on ground realities or comes from a place of genuine concern and how much of it originates from age-old hatred against the Jewish people? Naysayers of Zionism broadly present their views opposing the existence of a Jewish state but how much of that is stemmed in anti-Semitism?
Effect of anti-Zionism on Jewish communities
The enabling of Anti-Zionist sentiments and establishing it as a narrative against Israel has had a lot of consequences for the Jewish people living around the world. According to the working definition of Antisemitism by European Monitoring Centre (EUMC), criticizing Israel’s policies as a country can have direct consequences for the Jewish people and the organization gave several examples how anti-Zionism or anti-Israel sentiments ended up within the lines of anti-Semitism. Disguised as criticism of Israel as a state, anti-Zionism goes beyond the simple criticism of Israel’s policies and often takes the shape of demonization. It holds Israel to better moral standards that the world applies to other nations and even goes on to drawing baseless analogies between Israel and the Nazi Reich. Jews around the globe are often associated with Israel, being the only Jewish country, and these people are then targetedfor anti-Semitic attacks.
There have been a lot of demonstrations and protests in the West where things took a violent turn towards anti-Semitism, endangering the lives of Jews and inflicting damage to Jewish properties. Similarly, anti-Zionist slurs on university campuses often create a hostile environment for Jews and accompany the good-old anti-Semitic slurs. This leaves Jewish students isolated and threatened.
The world should see anti-Zionism as a fig leaf or continuation of anti-Semitism because it’s just a politically correct way of enabling hatred against the Jewish community. It may be possible to criticize Israel’s existence as a Zionist state without being an anti-Semite but more often than not, both of them go hand in hand. Israel is often held in higher standards than its neighboring Arab countries despite being the only functioning republic in the whole region. Anti-Zionist critics often single Israel out fanatically and employ old semantics like bringing up the “Israeli lobby” to establish some super-influential Jewish conspiracy theory.
Anti-Semitism and Israel’s history
Anti-Jewish rhetoric is rising at an alarming rate around the world, with many perpetrators and terrorists claiming that they’re reacting to Israel’s policies. In reality, this criticism of Israel’s policies as a country from Anti-Zionist circles often contribute as a driving factor. Anti-Zionists also talk about the impact of Israel’s inception on Palestinians but conveniently choose to ignore the fact that neighboring Arab countries almost wiped Israel off the map with a multi-pronged attack trying to annihilate the complete Jewish population. It’s important to criticize a democratic government’s policies but outright denying the right for Israel to exist is nothing more than anti-Semitic, something that comes out of pure hatred for the Jewish People to live freely in their own homeland, safe from past horrors like the Holocaust and modern threats like violent Islamism.