To blunt increasing criticism of its brutal treatment of Palestinians Israel is trying to have opposition to Zionism, the doctrine on which its brutal policies are based, made synonymous with anti-Semitism, and so declared illegal.
Zionism is a geo-political ideology dedicated to the creation of an exclusive Jewish state in the historical land of Israel, which includes, but stretches far beyond, present day Palestine* And opposition to this geopolitical ideology, is anti-Zionism
The word Semite, from Shem, one of Noah’s three sons, distinguished Jews from those of other faiths in historical times, and it’s on that claimed three and half thousand year old historical lineage that Jews today base their identity. And opposition to Semites/Jews, as a people, is anti-Semitism.
By definition, anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism are clearly different. Anti-Semitism is the expression of racial bigotry, while anti-Zionism is opposition to a political ideology. And knowing full well the difference, Israel’s attempt to conflate the two is a cynical attempt to stifle mounting criticism.
In fact, it is due of the great care Israel’s critics take to ensure their concerns are clearly defined in terms of anti-Zionism, and not confused with anti-Semitism, that has made them so effective, and it’s that which now causes Israel to try and obfuscate the issue.
Notwithstanding, while many in the Jewish community support Zionism there are also many Jews who oppose it, so if anti-Zionism were ever to be legally equated with Anti-Semitism, Jews could be charged with being anti themselves
Seizure of land by conquest, for settlement or for exploitation of resources, or both, is not new and still being waged in the world today, but nothing goes to the very core of so many of those conflicts as Israel’s bloody suppression of the Palestinians.
Few of the conflicts being fought today in the Middle East would be being waged were it not for the fact that Israel’s very existence is made more stable by the ceaseless, engineered, instability those countries are made to endure.
And peace in those countries would solve so many other issues, not least anti-Muslim bigotry, the scourge of global terrorism and countless millions of refugees wandering the globe.
Zionism has been described as indistinguishable from Apartheid, a comparison amplified by Israel’s close association with and military support for South Africa during its Apartheid years, but Zionism has an even more terrible twin
The cruel irony that Zionism is nowhere more reflected than in “Lebensraum,” Nazi Germany’s claim to right of “living space” in other lands, based on its spurious claims of ethnic superiority and mythical historical entitlement, is not lost on Israelis, and so the comparison is banned in Israel.
Be that as it may, as BDS, the Boycott Sanction and Divestment campaign, increases in effectiveness, Israel is applying pressure on Governments, including our own, to declare anti-Zionism an illegal racist pejorative, and so spike the guns of those opposed to Israel’s Zionist policies.
Zionism, a criminal doctrine that views the salvation of Jews as achievable only through the decimation and destruction of the Palestinian people, and whatever else we do we must not allow Israel to stifle debate by conflating anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism.
*The biblical land of Israel, Eretz Yisrael, includes Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Kuwait, northern Saudi Arabia, northern Egypt and the islands of Crete and Cyprus, but that definition’s not mentioned, for now.
Malcolm Evans is one of NZs most important political cartoonists and was banned from the NZ Herald for the above Cartoon. He cartoons on TDB.