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James North and Philip Weiss

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The New York Times published a splendid article today about young Jews walking off the free ten-day Birthright trips to Israel, rejecting them as propaganda, under the headline, “Birthright Trips, a Rite of Passage for Many Jews, Are Now a Target of Protests.” The article quotes young Jews saying they were fed lies about the occupation by the program, which has sent 700,000 young Jews to Israel.

Dismissing the idea of a two-state solution, Ron Dermer, Israel’s ambassador to the United States, says that the Israeli occupation of Palestine is like the U.S. occupation of Japan and Germany after World War II. The occupation was imposed at first, but the people came to understand that occupation was “good for them.” He doesn’t note that Americans did not seize lands in those countries and build exclusive roads and cities and move our population into colonies, as Israel has done.

Amitabh Bachchan as Meyer Wolfsheim in the 2013 movie version.

Anti-semitism used to mean job discrimination in universities and leading industries and stigmatization of Jews as “kikes.” Today Jews are socially included, and the definition has shifted to mean any strong criticism of Israel. That’s because Israel supporters must do anything they can to prevent support for BDS from entering the political mainstream.

Bret Stephens’s long opinion piece in the New York Times equating anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism is a boon to the anti-Zionist movement. His claims that it is anti-Semitic to see “wickedness” in unending occupation and that all American Jews are Zionists are debating points he will only lose. The piece makes anti-Zionism a topic for every dinner table and turns BDS into a household word.

A Netanyahu official once again shows contempt for American Jews in the wake of the Pittsburgh synagogue massacre. Israeli consul general Dani Dayan calls out British leader Jeremy Corbyn as an “anti-Semite” because he supports Palestinian rights and Iran as a “genocidal regime.” Dayan says not a word about Trump, though 3/4 of US Jews hold Trump responsible for Pittsburgh.