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Mon Feb 11, 2019, 04:50 PM

antisemitism vs criticism of Israel

Last edited Mon Feb 11, 2019, 07:31 PM - Edit history (1)

Rep. Omar did the right thing by apologizing for what she said. It crossed the line from being critical of Israel to using antisemitic stereotypes.

That being said - the conflation of Israel and Judaism that Rep. Omar seems to have made is not unique to antisemites. Although I haven't encountered it here on DU, I've experienced it elsewhere from people who are otherwise very progressive.

I have been accused of antisemitism as recently as last week. My transgression? Expressing disagreement with Israel's policy of building settlements in the West Bank and sympathy with Palestinians who feel oppressed.

I find it offensive. I was raised Gentile, but my wife and daughter are Jewish.

Judaism is a vibrant, diverse group of communities bound by religious and cultural traditions dating back centuries or even millennia. It has tenaciously survived repeated attempts at extermination and genocide, and its gifts to the world - cultural, literary, philosophical, artistic, scientific, and (in my case, at least) personal - are tremendous and outsized compared with the size of the Jewish population worldwide.

Israel is a nation state founded in 1947. It has long been a staunch US ally, and (based in part on my own experiences in Israel) its people have built and defended a remarkable national infrastructure in a hostile region during its short existence. But that doesn't mean I have to agree with everything its government does.

I speak up frequently against US policy. That doesn't make me anti-American. Same principle.

I realize I'm probably speaking to the choir here, but I can't imagine I'm the only one here who feels trepidation when criticizing Israeli policy. Israel is not the same as Judaism.


Added on edit - I should have added "culinary" to the broad list of Jewish contributions. I've managed some success with my efforts to adopt them. Evidently, one or two of my in-laws called me "Latke Goy" over the holidays.

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Arrow 31 replies Author Time Post
Reply antisemitism vs criticism of Israel (Original post)
cab67 Feb 2019 OP
LovingA2andMI Feb 2019 #1
Harker Feb 2019 #2
saidsimplesimon Feb 2019 #3
theboss Feb 2019 #4
cab67 Feb 2019 #9
theboss Feb 2019 #18
cab67 Feb 2019 #22
Kurt V. Feb 2019 #26
Volaris Feb 2019 #31
NightWatcher Feb 2019 #5
tritsofme Feb 2019 #8
George II Feb 2019 #11
DemocratSinceBirth Feb 2019 #20
Shell_Seas Feb 2019 #6
LanternWaste Feb 2019 #7
George II Feb 2019 #10
Cryptoad Feb 2019 #12
wellst0nev0ter Feb 2019 #21
DemocratSinceBirth Feb 2019 #13
pecosbob Feb 2019 #14
Lonestarblue Feb 2019 #15
3_Limes Feb 2019 #16
SCVDem Feb 2019 #17
cab67 Feb 2019 #25
pecosbob Feb 2019 #19
Miigwech Feb 2019 #23
cab67 Feb 2019 #24
B Stieg Feb 2019 #27
Martin Eden Feb 2019 #28
Meowmee Feb 2019 #29
cab67 Feb 2019 #30

Response to cab67 (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2019, 04:58 PM

1. Thank You!!!!

n/t...

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Response to cab67 (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2019, 04:58 PM

2. You're not alone.

There are many subjects open for discussion on DU where it's difficult to share an opinion without offending someone.

Sometimes even a simple attempt to gain insight into a poster's frame of mind or intent might result in mistrust or acrimony.

I'm quietly assembling a list of topics of which to steer clear.

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Response to cab67 (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2019, 05:08 PM

3. thank you, cab67

I am sick and tired of accusations without evidence of prejudiced intent. "Don't cry for me Argentina"

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Response to cab67 (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2019, 05:12 PM

4. I don't think criticism of Isreal is anti-semitic in and of itself

 

But it's pretty easy to cross that line. (I also don't think it's a particularly innocent mistake in this particular new instance, but that's a discussion for another day).

Here is the problem Everyone who criticizes Israel is not Anti-Semitic. But all Anti-Semites criticize Israel.

I think it's pretty simple to avoid this. Don't compare Israel to Nazis. Don't accuse Israelis of buying people off. Don't accuse Jews of buying people off. Don't accuse American Jews of disloyalty. If you avoid those four things, you'll probably be ok.

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Response to theboss (Reply #4)

Mon Feb 11, 2019, 05:27 PM

9. It's not a simple thing.

Some antisemites are passionately pro-Israeli. Many evangelical Christians, for example.

I have never compared Israel with Nazis, and I never would. That's a whole lot of inappropriate. Some of my wife's living relatives are Holocaust survivors. That said, there are components of the Israeli population who vocally call for what can only be described as ethnic cleansing. Right now, about 75 percent of population of Israel (given the borders recognized by the UN) is Jewish. That would drop to a lot closer to 50 percent if Israel annexed the occupied territories. This would obviously impact the nature of Israel as a Jewish state. There are people in the Knesset who actively advocate annexation of these areas (and Israel already claims to have annexed the Golan Heights) and complain that Jordan isn't doing enough to absorb dislocated Palestinians. Am I comparing Israel with Nazi Germany by pointing out opinions held by Israeli politicians that would lead to forced migration? I don't think so, but some would see an implicit comparison.

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Response to cab67 (Reply #9)

Mon Feb 11, 2019, 06:36 PM

18. I would never call Israelis Nazis. Here is now Israelis are like Nazis.

 

When you say it's ethnic cleansing, you're coming in pretty damn strong.

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Response to theboss (Reply #18)

Mon Feb 11, 2019, 07:04 PM

22. you have a different term for it?

It's not Israeli policy (and none of the Israelis with whom I'm personally acquainted would support it), but some ultra-right members of the Knesset have called for it.

Some of these people really do want to see large numbers of Palestinian Muslims either deported or "encouraged" to relocate from the occupied territories. Ethnic cleansing does not specifically mean mass killing.

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Response to theboss (Reply #4)

Mon Feb 11, 2019, 07:25 PM

26. other than the Nazi comparison, what if someone actually does those things?

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Response to theboss (Reply #4)

Mon Feb 11, 2019, 09:36 PM

31. I would argue that anti semites don't criticize Israel so much as they criticize Jews,

And thats a very different (and revealing) animal.

The Palestinian people deserve their own national border. If the idiot-conservative, ultra- nationalist Likud government currently in power in Tel Aviv does not want to acknowledge that, then that government needs to be treated accordingly until the people of Democratic Israel vote for something different.

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Response to cab67 (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2019, 05:15 PM

5. If Israel played Mexico in soccer and you cheered for Mexico, some would call you an anti Semite

It's such touchy subject matter that any posts with Israel or Palestine in the subject, will get put in a separate forum here.

I'd bet this post even gets alerted on. If it does it only proves my point.

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Response to NightWatcher (Reply #5)

Mon Feb 11, 2019, 05:24 PM

8. Interesting and relevant analogy, given that Israel faces a raft of discrimination in international

sporting events.

Certain venues trying to ban Israeli athletes, certain teams forfeiting rather than facing an Israeli opponent.

But I’m sure this sentiment is rooted venerable “criticism of Israel”...not anti-Semitism.

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Response to tritsofme (Reply #8)

Mon Feb 11, 2019, 06:02 PM

11. The story behind Marty Glickman and the 1936 Olympics was a precursor to what you're saying.

Glickman eventually became a very prominent sportscaster in New York for a number of sports, including calling races at Yonkers Raceway.

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Response to NightWatcher (Reply #5)

Mon Feb 11, 2019, 06:39 PM

20. If the Miami Heat played Maccabi Tel Aviv in an exhibition game I would root for the former

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Response to cab67 (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2019, 05:16 PM

6. Thank you! I have also been perplexed by this.

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Response to cab67 (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2019, 05:17 PM

7. I never feel concern when criticizing particular actions/policies of the Israeli government on DU.

But realize this... using criticism of those actions is a useful tool appropriated by the anti-Semitic troll, whose pretense of concern is an effective mask for other, deeper agendas.

It's not terribly difficult to figure out which is which. Never has been, Never will be.

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Response to cab67 (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2019, 05:57 PM

10. Perhaps it wasn't the thought behind what was said, but it was what actually was said....

One must choose carefully the words one uses, otherwise the point behind the words get lost in the insensitivity of those very works.

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Response to cab67 (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2019, 06:08 PM

12. Does this mean that,,,,,

we are an anti-semite if we are critical of BeBe<<<?????

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Response to Cryptoad (Reply #12)

Mon Feb 11, 2019, 07:02 PM

21. If the antisemites are critical of BiBi

Then that means you're antisemitic by association.

This is how this game works. I refuse to play it.

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Response to cab67 (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2019, 06:12 PM

13. I feel the same way about Israel as I do the United States.

I support the nation. I oppose the regime that is leading it and its policies. Anyway the largest and loudest segment of support for Israel are evangelicals.

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Response to cab67 (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2019, 06:18 PM

14. Even the US Senate has taken up consideration of the bullshit anti-BDS clauses due to AIPAC lobbying

They were the reason for the comment in the first place but no one seems to want to talk about that. Unconstitutional discriminatory conditional employment clauses being pushed in every red state in the country and in Washington. Even Schumer has caved to this bullshit. It's freaking disgusting what AIPAC is getting away with - no different than ALEC or the Kochs.

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Response to cab67 (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2019, 06:21 PM

15. Completely agree with you!

Israel claims to be a democracy, not a theocracy. When we criticize government policies that deliberately hurt Palestinians by taking their land for expansion of the state of Israel, I do not see that as antisemitism. It is the same as criticizing our own government for things like forcing the Japanese into interment camps, forcing them to lose their homes and livelihoods. Our government’s treatment of people of color as well as Native Americans is just as bad as the treatment of Palestinians.

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Response to cab67 (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2019, 06:24 PM

16. Thanks!! n/m

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Response to cab67 (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2019, 06:24 PM

17. Now could we get an HONEST

Explanation of the USS Liberty massacre?

Let the anti semitic barbs fly.

One sided friends are not friends!

WTF!

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Response to SCVDem (Reply #17)

Mon Feb 11, 2019, 07:19 PM

25. That's never made sense to me.

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Response to cab67 (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2019, 06:37 PM

19. Israel and AIPAC know they would not survive for long if they were Magnitsky'd

and that's why the threat of a boycott terrifies them, enough so that they use their lobbyists to secure passage of some the most unconstitutional and discriminatory conditional work clauses bullshit ever seen in this nation in all the red states and in Washington DC. Even Schumer has signed on to this bullshit. The Congresswoman wasn't simply criticizing Israeli policy vis a vis the Palestinians, but specifically AIPAC's ginning up these bullshit work clauses all around the country. Remember the teacher fired in Texas for refusing to sign an agreement never to boycott Israel? How y'all going to feel about it when local Republicans start passing work requirements prohibiting you from supporting Black Lives Matter or NARAL or Planned Parenthood? Beyond belief that people can't see beyond the end of their own noses when AIPAC pulls out the anti-semitism card and plays it like a fiddle. I know some people won't like what I've said, but it's about your constitutional rights.

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Response to cab67 (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2019, 07:09 PM

23. As a kid growing up, my entire life has seen Middle East warring

For many years since, I always thought that Israel had the moral high ground. It was not until bush II became pres. , with his hands off policy for Israel, that I began to notice that Palestinians were a group of people being "occupied" by brutish Israeli forces. This made no sense to me at the time. It was very hard to accept. I still support the right of the nation of Israel to exist and I believe that the USA need to defend her. I understand that they must have gotten so sick of the bombings ... but they were not forced into extremest right wing policies. I want to see a change in the way Israel treats those that live in the occupied territories and find a two state agreement.

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Response to Miigwech (Reply #23)

Mon Feb 11, 2019, 07:18 PM

24. I don't think countries have "rights" the way human beings do.

I'm a firm believer in Realpolitik - Helmut Schmidt is my copilot and all that.

Israel exists. That is a fact. There are almost 7 million Jewish people living there, and they're not going anywhere. Whether Israel has a "right" to exist doesn't enter the equation - it exists, and that's that.

There are almost as many Palestinians living in Israel and the occupied territories. They're not going anywhere, either.

I agree that we should support Israel, but the rights go to the people.

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Response to cab67 (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2019, 07:25 PM

27. Balanced and well-said! nt

clap: :

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Response to cab67 (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2019, 07:31 PM

28. K&R

All too often criticism of Israeli policy is shut down by charges of anti-Semitism.

Just like criticism of US policy elicits YOU HATE AMERICA from RWers

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Response to cab67 (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2019, 08:55 PM

29. Her comments were anti semitic

I’m glad she has been strongly called out for this. But it is not enough imo, since she is saying this without a care and she has a history of this behavior. Unfortunately many who criticize Israel are antisemitic. The anti semitism which grew out of christianity, it existed with different origins long before that, has been adopted by many. I find many to be very hypocritical over this issue. Dems and those on the left need to abandon people who hold these hateful views which includes Farrakhan and others like him. I predict this is going to become a big problem for dems if they don’t do that.

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Response to Meowmee (Reply #29)

Mon Feb 11, 2019, 09:00 PM

30. Farrakhan doesn't get a lot of support from mainline Democrats.

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