Left-wing or right-wing antisemitism: A dangerous debate - opinion

Published date23 November 2022
Publication titleJerusalem Post, The: Web Edition Articles (Israel)
What exactly are we debating? Does it matter if an antisemite is white, black, Christian, Muslim, a Trump voter or a Squad supporter? If anyone attacks Jews, verbally or physically, they should be condemned. The only reason to debate which is worse is to try and minimize or justify the antisemitism coming from your side of the spectrum

An anti-Israel group on campus pushed to exclude Zionists from the public square. "But what about what Donald Trump said about Jews and Israel? The Right is the real problem, not my side."

Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene made an egregious comment about Jews. "But what about what Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib said? See, it's really the Left to worry about."

It shouldn't matter which party they vote for

If you care about the Jewish community, if you care about bigotry and hatred, there should be no ambiguity, there should be no debate and it shouldn't matter if the bigot in question votes for the same party as you.

In fact, you should be more offended by antisemitism coming from your side. You should be more disgusted that someone otherwise aligned with you is a racist than someone otherwise opposed to you. And you should make that clear, publicly, without reservation or qualification.

It is much more powerful when a progressive denounces a progressive's hate than when they condemn a conservative. Rather than minimize the antisemitism in your camp, call it out and eviscerate it.

Both the Right and the Left should make clear that antisemitism has no place in the conservative or progressive movements. Condemn the other side every chance you get, but if you don't also deny the hatred in your backyard even a drop of oxygen, you are doing nothing to fight antisemitism. You are encouraging it.

Israel is often used as an excuse for antisemitism, and it is just that, an excuse. Even if every wild lie told about Israel were true, why would that justify antisemitism? A Lubavitcher Hassid in Brooklyn and a Reform Jew in San Francisco have at least two things in common: 1. They are Jews; and 2. They have no control over the policy decisions of the Israeli government.

Antisemites will use whatever excuse they can to justify targeting Jews. If they can point to an Israeli policy, they might. If not, they'll make something up.

AFTER THE latest Israeli elections, there has been concern that the rise of far-right candidates, such as Itamar Ben-Gvir, will lead to a rise in antisemitism. There is no reason to believe this is true. I have no...

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