Anti-Semitism and Anti-Zionism (Part 1)







Anti–Semitism among the masses, as the socialist August Bebel put it, is the socialism of the fools. Today, Anti-Semitism in the world is on the rise. This ugly phenomenon is proof that the Jewish question will be solved only through a global socialist revolution. Zionism as we will show in this article is not the solution but merely part of the problem.


Anti-Semitism is not a new phenomenon; Jews have been victims of this form of racism in different periods of history. In its modern form it began in the 19th century as a pseudo-scientific theory that Jews are racially inferior. The term Anti-Semitism was coined in 1879 by the German writer Wilhelm Marr. The term, however, is a misnomer, because it implies a discrimination against all Semites. Arabs, for example, among others are also Semites. A better term would be Judeophobia. However, for the sake of clarity we will use the term Anti-Semitism in the context of Jew-hatred.


The modern form of Anti-Semitism draws its inspiration from centuries of Christian theology that blamed the Jews for the betrayal and execution of Jesus. The first historically documented pogrom against Jews took place in 1096 following an economic crisis and the first crusade. [1]


After the 11th century Jews were accused of the ritualistic use of Christian children’s blood for making Passover Matzo. Jews in the Middle Ages were restricted in Christian Europe in their choice of occupations and places of residence, being forced into money lending positions. As a result, they were perceived as usurers, forced to use special clothes and to live in ghettos.


During economic, social or political crisis, Jews were used as convenient scapegoats. Some rulers of Europe sometimes killed or expelled Jews in an effort to avoid paying debts. In the 19th century an Anti-Semitic political movement emerged in Europe which reached its peak in Nazi Germany. Following WWII Anti-Semitism was repressed but did not disappear. Many former Nazis tried to hide their Anti-Semitism, but in some cases they passed it on to their children.




Anti-Semitism Today




It surfaced again with the xenophobia following the September 11 and it became stronger with the economic crisis of 2008; that among other things strengthened far right parties that blamed immigrants and refugees for the suffering of the masses. Part of this hate has been directed against Jews.


The crimes of Israel against the Palestinians and other Arabs also fanned the flames of anti-Jewish sentiments as most Jews around the world identify with Israel. If in the past, Jews were perceived as outsiders in the US, they are perceived now as part of the establishment.


In this period of polarization and the lack of a strong revolutionary pole, a section of society is moving to the right blaming minority groups for their misery. In this context, the election of Trump as president shouldn’t be surprising. Under his presidency Anti-Semitism is once-again on the rise in the US.


Anti-Semitism in the USA is, also, not a new phenomenon. Virulent Anti-Semitism in the US began 50 years after the Civil war. It intertwined with white supremacy, the restrictive immigration laws of 1921 and 1924, written by eugenicists and cheered by white supremacists, came a decade before the Nazi Party took power in Germany. These laws were still on the books in the 1930s and 1940s, severely limiting the number of Jews who would be able to find refuge from Nazism. [2]


In action, Anti-Semitism takes the form of damage and desecration of property and grave sites, beating up Jews, Holocaust denial, swastikas smeared on Jewish homes, slogans against Jews like in the case of Charlottesville Virginia, where the racists shouted "Jews will not replace us" and even cases of killing Jews.


The latest tragic result of Anti-Semitic hatred has been the massacre in Pittsburgh on 27 October 2018. A right-wing fanatic supporter of Trump, who hates Jews as well as Muslims, opened fire inside a synagogue, killing 11 congregants.


A greater economic crisis is just around the corner and the polarization will grow and with it also Anti-Semitism.


Fighting all forms of racism is in the interest of the international working class. Joining this struggle is the interest of all minorities. Unfortunately for the Jews, the Israeli government and many Zionist leaders prefer to join the far right in the crusade against Muslims. Some Zionists went so far as forming their own group within the far-right German political party the AFD. The Zionist reports on the rise of Anti-Semitism are misleading as they include manifestation of Anti-Zionism directed against the crimes of the Israeli state against the Palestinians and not Jews in general.


An investigation by The Electronic Intifada in 2017 unveiled new links between far-right anti-Muslim group Britain First and the pro-Israel movement. Photos and video obtained by The Electronic Intifada show that Britain First’s leader in London, Paul Besser, picketed July’s Palestine Expo alongside other anti-Palestinian protesters, including former Zionist Federation vice chair Jonathan Hoffman. In the video, one of the organizers of the picket says the Zionist Federation printed their leaflets and gave them Israeli flags. [3] In a blog post, Hoffman thanked the group for their help: “the other good news was the resistance to the event, led by the StopPalExpo Coalition”. [4]


The Zionists are pushing for the acceptance of the IHRA document (International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance) as the standard test for Anti-Semitism. This document begins with correct definition: "Anti-Semitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of Anti Semitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities."


Yet the guide of this document includes the defense of Israel: "Manifestations might include the targeting of the state of Israel, conceived as a Jewish collectivity. However, criticism of Israel similar to that leveled against any other country cannot be regarded as anti-Semitic but denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor. Applying double standards by requiring of it a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation is Anti-Semitism."




The Three Ds of Natan Sharansky




It is not difficult to trace these definitions to the three Ds of Natan Sharansky. He immigrated to Israel after 13 years in a Stalinist prison after he was charged with spying for the US. He was considered in Israel a persecuted hero. He received in 1986, the United States Congressional Gold Medal and in 2006, US President George W. Bush awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom, medals which confirm the allegations against him.


In Israel he became a politician serving as a Minister of Industry and Trade (1996–1999). He resigned from the cabinet in April 2005 to protest plans to withdraw Israeli settlements from the Gaza Strip.


In a Haaretz interview, he stated: "Jews came here 3,000 years ago and this is the cradle of Jewish civilization. Jews are the only people in history who kept their loyalty to their identity and their land throughout the 2,000 years of exile, and no doubt that they have the right to have their place among nations—not only historically but also geographically. As to the Palestinians, who are the descendants of those Arabs who migrated in the last 200 years, they have the right, if they want, to have their own state ... but not at the expense of the state of Israel.” [5]


A statement of a truly right wing nationalist that among other things denied that Arabs have lived in this country for more than 1300 years.


His Three Ds are as follows:


The first "D" is the test of demonization. When the Jewish state is being demonized; when Israel's actions are blown out of all sensible proportion; when comparisons are made between Israelis and Nazis and between Palestinian refugee camps and Auschwitz - this is anti- Semitism, not legitimate criticism of Israel.


The second "D" is the test of double standards. When criticism of Israel is applied selectively; when Israel is singled out by the United Nations for human rights abuses while the behavior of known and major abusers, such as China, Iran, Cuba, and Syria, is ignored; when Israel's Magen David Adom, alone among the world's ambulance services, is denied admission to the International Red Cross - this is anti-Semitism.


The third "D" is the test of delegitimization: when Israel's fundamental right to exist is denied - alone among all peoples in the world - this too is anti-Semitism.


These 3 Ds are aimed at white wash the crimes of Israel against the Palestinians and not a scientific definition of Anti-Semitism:


As to the first D: "when Israel's actions are blown out of all sensible proportion?" According to Israel, the blockade of Gaza, the largest Ghetto in history, is reasonable. In reality the siege has left medical facilities struggling to operate due to severe lack of electricity and essential drugs, medical disposables, and equipment. This blockade is a crime, but calling the blockade a war crime would be considered by Israel and the Zionists around the world a form of Anti-Semitism.


Killing of more than 200 protesters and injuring many thousands in Gaza since march 30th who demand to return to their lands stolen from them during the Nakba are, according to Israel, proportional and reasonable, an act of self defense defending its national borders. Referring to Israeli forces’ repeated use of lethal force in the Gaza Strip since March 30th, 2018, against Palestinian demonstrators who posed no imminent threat to life, as war crimes, would be considered by this D test as Anti-Semitism.


According to this test the condemnation of the massacre of Sharpeville by the racist regime in South Africa was a form of racism against white people. Condemning the massacre of the Indians in Amritsar, India, a massacre that took place on April 13th 1919, will be considered as Anti-English. Condemning the massacres of the native nations in North America will be considered Anti-White. Comparing Israel's crime to the Nazi crimes is wrong, but comparing Israel's crimes to the crimes of the Apartheid regime of South Africa, the twin sister of Israel, is accurate. Comparing Palestinian refugee camps to Auschwitz is wrong, but comparing Gaza to the Ghettos is accurate.


As to the second D: "When Israel is singled out by the United Nations for human rights abuses while the behavior of known and major abusers, such as China, Iran, Cuba, and Syria, is ignored [...]"


This is simply a lie that Israel is singled out by the UN. The UN has condemned the abuse of human rights by many countries. To give a few examples: this September the U.N. Security Council condemned Iran. In August the U.N. accused the Nicaraguan government of widespread rights violations. In 2018, the UNHRC declared that six generals in Myanmar should be prosecuted for the genocide against the Rohingya Muslims. The UN Security Council resolution 1244 adopted on 10 June 1999, after recalling resolutions 1160 (1998), 1199(1998), 1203 (1998) and 1239 (1999), authorized an international civil and military presence in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and established the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo. The UN condemned Assad for killing civilians.


It is true that the UN is controlled by the imperialists so that their or their client states crimes are never condemned (Saudi Arabia for example), but Israel is the last country to complain about the UN, after all the UN partition allocated 55% of Palestine to the Zionist state at a time that Jews constituted 650,000 and 40% to the native Arabs that were 1,200,000, which was a gross injustice. Israel never complied with the resolution calling for the return of the Palestinians refugees and the UN has not enforced this resolution. Furthermore, any concrete action against Israelis has been blocked by the US. Should Israel not have been protected by the US and other imperialist states, its leaders would have been prosecuted by international criminal courts long ago. In the real world, those who were tried by said courts were leaders of semi-colonies that somehow offended the imperialists.


As to the third D - the test of delegitimization: "When Israel's fundamental right to exist is denied - alone among all peoples in the world is sheer hypocrisy."


The existence of the Israeli state is founded on the denial of the right of self determination of the native Palestinians, and it is impossible to support the Palestinian right of self determination and at the same time to support the existence of the Zionist state.


Israel is denying even a small Palestinian state in the lands occupied in 1967. Israel is in the process of becoming an openly apartheid state from the river to the sea. This has been proven lately by the new Nation Law. Thus, to support the existence of Israel is to accept the legitimacy of an Apartheid state.




The Campaign against the Left in the Labor Party




In the last two years, we have witnessed a campaign against the left wing of the Labor party with allegations of anti-Semitism directed at Jeremy Corbyn. We have seen widespread assumption that Anti-Semitism is a problem exclusive to the Labour Party. Alan Sugar, one of the most famous faces in British business, tweeted a photo of the Labour leader sitting next to Hitler. The Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, known for his equation of anti-Zionism with Anti Semitism has been held as an expert on the alleged Anti-Semitism of the left wing of the Labour Party.


The Labor Party has been called "anti-Semitic" because it has refused to adopt the entirety of a disputed definition of "anti-Semitism" - the code of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), that the capitalist media call "internationally recognized" definition. The IHRA code considers any description of the Israeli State as a "racist" to be anti-Semitic. The Labor Party that until recently rejected this clause has been portrayed as a party that rejects the UN bill of human rights, which is a blatant lie.


Not too many British are aware of how the Israeli state was formed. They do not know how, in 1948, three-quarters of a million Palestinian Arabs were forcibly evicted, with British backing, off their own land. To recognize this as racist, in the words of the IHRA code, would be "Anti-Semitic".


The mainstream media has won and the Labour party has to re-formulate its definition of anti-Semitism to fit the one currently used by the conservative government. This development is dangerous for the working class, the pro-Palestinian groups and for democratic Jews. It is dangerous for all Jews as it push them to ally themselves with their real enemies - the far right and the ruling class - instead of allying themselves with the working class and the struggle against racism.


The far right that today present themselves as the friends of Israel may one day come to power and the Jews who will be unprepared will find themselves in a similar situation they faced during WWII. In addition, this document identifies all Jews as Zionists. The quarter of a million British Jews are in no way accountable, nor should ever be held accountable, for the actions of the Israeli state. Nor should they all presumed to be supporters of Israel's crimes.


Anti Zionism can be a veiled anti-Jewish, for example the claim that the Zionists controlled the world or the US, but in most cases Anti-Zionism of the left expresses the opposition to the repression of the Palestinians by Israel, which is a form of anti- racism and not of Anti-Semitism. The Zionists and their supporters purposely confuse Anti-Semitism and Anti-Zionism in order to shield Israel's crimes against the Palestinians.






[1] Steven Beller, Anti-Semitism A Short Introduction (New York: Oxford UP, 2007), 15