This is what I always wanted, an open conversation inside the American Jewish community in which attitudes are exposed. And when those attitudes are exposed, folks get to say, That’s stupid! Or reactionary in this case. Here is a sort of catechism on the question, Is criticizing Israel anti-semitic? by Benjamin Kerstein at Pajamas Media. “Any and all criticism of Israel not only can be but must be antisemitic.” Understood? No comment necessary….
Whether one wants to admit it or not, we are living in an age in which a global campaign exists for the sole and specific reason of legitimizing the destruction of Israel and the expulsion or annihilation of its Jewish population. Iran’s own president is straightforward about wiping Israel off the map. Islamists call for it every five minutes somewhere in the world. Western academics and activists regularly hint at it with such euphemisms as the “one-state solution” (an Arab state, in case you were wondering), and their constant apologetics on behalf of anti-Jewish terrorism. And as the recent atrocities in Toulouse have shown us, the Jews of the Diaspora are not and will not be spared the bloody consequences.
As a result of this campaign – which is antisemitic by any definition – any and all criticism of Israel not only can be but must be antisemitic. It is either subjectively antisemitic, in that it consciously and intentionally furthers the goals of the campaign; or it is objectively antisemitic, in that it unconsciously and unintentionally does the same thing. The distinction, if there ever was one, between the two, is now meaningless. Either way, the result is the same: Those who seek to slaughter the Jews en masse are brought a step closer to their goal.
It may be, of course, that some criticism of Israel will be deemed necessary in spite of the consequences, and the need for a public hearing will overwhelm the need to prevent a victory of sorts for antisemitism. If so, however, those doing the criticism ought to be honest enough to acknowledge the objective consequences of doing so.