Larry Haiven shares more than two dozen recent examples of the pro-Israel lobby’s cancel culture playbook in action in Canada.
Scholar Achille Mbembe was booked to speak at a German festival, but he has been smeared as antisemitic for likening Israel to apartheid South Africa and supporting the boycott campaign. Israel lobbyists are also targeting the festival director, Stefanie Carp.
The witch-hunt against Jeremy Corbyn for supposed ‘anti-Semitism’ has been a consistent feature in British politics, orchestrated by Israel and its allies also in Jewish organizations. Chief UK rabbi Mirvis has just served a desperate incitement-blow in a Times article.
In recent weeks, the chancellors at the University of Illinois and University of Massachusetts have targeted pro-Palestinian voices on their respective campuses. The Illinois Student Government responded by passing a resolution titled “Condemning Ignorance of Racism and Equating Anti-Zionism with Anti-Semitism,” but the attacks come amidst a wider crackdown on such perspectives which is being fueled by the Trump administration’s Department of Education.
UMass Amherst Students for Justice in Palestine write an open letter to the university chancellor demanding a retraction on allegations against the BDS movement and demand that the university make a clear public statement explaining the difference between anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism.
Batya Ungar-Sargon asked students not to protest Ruth Wisse at Bard because she’s a Holocaust survivor, giving her a pass for anti-Arab racism. The panel she did want the students to protest featured Ungar-Sargon and a black Jew, Shahanna McKinney-Baldon, who now seeks an apology for Ungar-Sargon’s error-laden account of the event.
Bari Weiss has written a book about how to fight anti-Semitism, but during an interview with Bill Maher where he was telling anti-Semitic jokes non-stop she just laughed. Jonathan Ofir says this is because they agree on Israel and Zionism.
On the basis of alleged “anti-Semitic tropes,” numerous critics of Israel, many of them writers of color, have been accused of bigotry for their criticisms of Israel. The latest is Ali Abunimah, accused by Matt Seaton of NYRB. Meantime, you can say anything you like to dehumanize Palestinians and no one in the mainstream will call you out.
Bari Weiss’s book argues that if you embrace Zionism you will suffer ostracism and career reputational damage. But the last week she’s gotten treatment other authors only dream about, from cable networks to the 92d Street Y to a big-media party where everyone bewailed social media (because the leftwing dares to advocate for Palestinian human rights).
Should Zionism be protected from criticism because many Jews take Zionist doctrine to be essential to their own self-conception. No, Joseph Levine says, because it is reasonable in considering the history of the Zionist project to argue that it is unjust, without being written out of the discourse as a bigot.