Anti-Israelism vs. Anti-Semitism: The Truth We Should All Know

It was Israel's policies that guaranteed that the sleeping giant would not die in its sleep. (Latuff)

By Alan Hart

Much is currently being written and broadcast about what a headline in the Wall Street Journal proclaimed to be The Return of Anti-Semitism (loathing and hatred of Jews). It was over an article by Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, the former chief rabbi of Britain. According to him “An ancient hatred has been reborn.” He went on:

“Some politicians around the world deny that what is happening in Europe is anti-Semitism. It is, they say, merely a reaction to the actions of the state of Israel, to the continuing conflict with the Palestinians. But the policies of the state of Israel are not made in kosher supermarkets in Paris or in Jewish cultural institutions in Brussels and Mumbai. The targets in these cities were not Israeli. They were Jewish.”

In an article for TIME under the headline: It’s Time To Stop Ignoring the New Wave of Anti-Semitism, Michigan born-and-based Rabbi Jason Miller quoted Sacks and was more explicit in his assertion that an ancient hatred has been reborn. (As well as being a rabbi Miller is the president of an IT and social media marketing company). He wrote:

“I certainly have the capacity and amplification to voice my concerns about the threat of anti-Semitism, this time around emanating not from Nazism, but from Islamism… As Rabbi Sacks makes perfectly clear, the rise of anti-Semitism in the 21st century is not about anti-Israel sentiment… Plain and simple, 21st-century anti-Semitism is the continuation of the same Jewish hatred that has raised its ugly head for centuries. It is the same anti-Semitism that we saw 70 years ago in Europe as 6 million Jewish men, women and children were exterminated.”

In my view Rabbis Sacks and Miller and all who think like them are in complete denial of the link between Israel’s actions which sometimes amount to state terrorism and the transformation of anti-Israelism into anti-Semitism.

What this link is was put into words more than a quarter of a century ago by Yehoshafat Harkabi, a long-serving Director of Israeli Military Intelligence. (I have quoted his warning in several of my previous posts but what he wrote bears repeating, again and again and again). In his book Israel’s Fateful Hour, which contained his call for Israel to withdraw from the occupied territories, and his statement that the biggest real threat to Israel is its self-righteousness, he wrote the following.

“We Israelis must be careful lest we become not a source of pride for Jews but a distressing burden. Israel is the criterion according to which all Jews will tend to be judged. Israel as a Jewish state is an example of the Jewish character, which finds free and concentrated expression within it. Anti-Semitism has deep and historical roots. Nevertheless, any flaw in Israeli conduct, which initially is cited as anti-Israelism, is likely to be transformed into empirical proof of the validity of anti-Semitism. It would be a tragic irony if the Jewish state, which was intended to solve the problem of anti-Semitism, was to become a factor in the rise of anti-Semitism. Israelis must be aware that the price of their misconduct is paid not only by them but also Jews throughout the world. In the struggle against anti-Semitism, the frontline begins in Israel.”

Another way of saying that an ancient hatred has been reborn is that what used to be called the “sleeping giant” of anti-Semitism is waking up. Putting it that way makes understanding possible and here’s why.

After the Nazi holocaust, and because of it, this giant went back to sleep and might well have died in its sleep if Zionism had not been allowed by the major powers to have its way and Israel had been required to be serious about peace on the basis of an acceptable amount of justice for the Palestinians and security for all.

To avoid being misunderstood I must qualify that statement.

There will always be some Jew haters and Nazi holocaust deniers. So what I mean when I say the sleeping giant of anti-Semitism might well have died in its sleep is that it would not have come back to life again as a force capable of seriously threatening the wellbeing and security of the Jews.

The evidence which gives great weight to that analysis can be obtained from just a few moments of reflection about the history of the whole of the second half of the 20th century and much if not all of the first decade of the 21st. What stands out with regard to the Jews is the wellbeing of those who were/are citizens of the Western nations. They were not only secure, they had influence in political, economic and many other spheres out of all proportion to their numbers. (Which is why, generally speaking, I have always regarded the Jews as the intellectual elite of the Western world. And that in turn is why I am amazed that most Jews allowed themselves to be brainwashed by Zionist propaganda and are beyond reason on the matter of justice for the Palestinians as a consequence).

It was Israel’s “misconduct” (what a charming Harkabi euphemism for defiance of international law, on-going colonization and ethnic cleansing by stealth!) that set in motion the rising, global tide of anti-Israelism which, as he warned, is showing signs of a creeping transformation into anti-Semitism.

Put another way, it was Israel’s policies and actions which guaranteed that the sleeping giant would not die in its sleep and would wake up to go on the prowl again.

In its recent report the Community Service Trust (CST) said the number of anti-Semitic incidents in the UK doubled in 2014 – up from 513 in 2013 to 1,168, of which 81 were violent. The non-violent ones included what the CST described as a widely shared image of Hitler with the caption “Yes man, you were right.”

What was the biggest factor behind the rise in the number of anti-Semitic incidents in the UK? In the CST’s own words it was “anti-Semitic reactions to the conflict in Israel and Gaza.” In its own way that finding is surely an indicator that Israel’s policies and actions are the prime cause of the transformation of anti-Israelism into anti-Semitism. It also underlines Harkabi’s point that Jews need to understand “that foreigners’ criticism of Israel stems not only from opportunism, hatred and anti-Semitism, but from what they may see as fair and moral considerations.”

My conclusions?

The only people who can stop the transformation of anti-Israelism into anti-Semitism gathering momentum are the Jews themselves, with those who are citizens of the European nations and America taking the lead.

How could they do it?

Short answer – by declaring that Israel does not speak for or represent them and that they condemn its defiance of international law and denial of justice for the Palestinians.

If they don’t do that there will most likely be a final Zionist ethnic cleansing of Palestine followed at some point by a wide awake giant of anti-Semitism going on the rampage again.

If it really is the case that the sleeping giant of anti-Semitism is waking up, it’s time for European and American Jews to wake up to the fact that the title of my book – Zionism: The Real Enemy of the Jews – is what Ilan Pappe described it as being… “THE truth in seven words.”

– Alan Hart is a former ITN and BBC Panorama foreign correspondent who has covered wars and conflicts wherever they were taking place in the world and specialized in the Middle East. He contributed this article to PalestineChronicle.com. He blogs on AlanHart.com.

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19 Comments

  1. Jews don’t cause anti-semitism. Anti-semitism is part and parcel of Christian and Islamic religion. Christian and Muslim anti-semites are forever on the prowl, in search of “objective” proof that they are correct in their Jew-hating.
    The most viciously anti-semitic places in the world are the places in which Islam or Christianity is a part of the state power structure. Not the places, that have any actual Jews in them.
    As for the centrality of the grievances of Arab Palestine, in the way in which most people see the world….really, I doubt it.

    • How is it, Izak Friend, that you walk right past Israel’s treatment of Palestine’s indigenous people, and not seem to see it as a problem that, if ignored, will have a negative fallout on Jews everywhere? Christianity may have its faults, but the fallout from Israel’s racist behavior belongs to Israel’s leaders. Left alone, it will likely destroy Israel.

    • My words, carefully chosen, are the product of the eighty one years of my living experience; yours are obviously biased and blinkered, irrationally defensive, born of the deep seated guilt sitting historically upon the shoulders of most Jewish people.
      This “thing” called anti semitism does indeed have a long standing entrenched presence in the World; it has persisted through the long eons of history.
      Understanding this means understanding two things, (1) It is the “nature”, “character” and “behaviours” of Jewish peoples, that exist at the heart of this cause and effect. (2) The hundreds of thousands of successive non jewish generations, over time,have experienced this anew for themselves.

      • You may be right, I have had to ask myself many tim es, and my jewish family memb ers, why the jews have been so hated for millenia..and I can come up with no answer except that they do not assimilate (the ones that do do not go to synagogue or talk of their jewishness) and tend to usury and bankin g and property theft (still ongoing in the West Bank) to cement their uniqueness, as they see it, their chosen status (by whom???) and their complete arrogance and denial of anybody in their midst who is not jewish..look at what they are trying to do in israel..it beggars belief..Palestine wil be free, that is th eonly certainty..and israel wil be no more..then antisemitism may decrease..

    • To continue.Anyone who considers themselves to be a fair and rational human being, cannot fail to recognise the horrendous punishments and deprivations that have rained down on the Palestinian peoples for some sixty years now. Please refresh my memory, who is responsible for all of that?; and do you think these hateful behaviours will endear Israel, and by extension the great Jewish diaspora, to the World at large? Israel is embedded amidst and encircled by the race and religion of the peoples they hate most, those Nations and peoples will not forget these great Israeli atrocities and injustices, the World will turn, politics and politicians will change, this day of reckoning will come.

    • Izak Friend is exactly the kind of jew who is so blinkered to the reality of israel and palestine that he cannot see beyond the reality he chooses to believe in his own silly head. Why does he think that antisemitic attacks doubled last year post the holocaust on Gaza..does he not make any conneciton whatsoever..we humanitarian pro palestine activists who have been there and seen what the brutal vile military zionist jewish occupation has done to this beloved people, cannot but make the connection, and when we speak to children in the West Bank, they hate the jews..not because they are jews, but because they are occupiers who have killed for pleasure their family members

    • Wow! This article was meant for people like you, but the message was hopeless because you failed to see the point he tried to make. Athough the religion may teach that jews are the ‘chosen ones’ it is not meant that we should be arrogant and accusative.

      Jews are not the only group to be discriminated against, but they have the ability, means and power to overcome this. The anti-semitism expressed now is out of frustration because Isrealis and their supporters seem to show no humanity and compassion or empathy for the plight of the less fortunate.

  2. Quote…….”There will always be Jew haters and Nazi Holocaust deniers.”
    Not ‘holocaust deniers’ but “Nazi” ‘holocaust deniers’. Hart abuses as he likes.
    As a non-anti-Semite Christian and committed truth seeker I believe that there were no human gas chambers in the Nazi camps and that the figure of 6 million is a mythical Torah-based magic number that was being bandied around by the Zionist leadership in the 1890’s and that this number bears no relation to WW2 reality.
    The evidence to support the non-existence of human gas chambers is material/scientific and overwhelming. Hart seems to think that if he puts his nose far enough up the liars backsides, some of them will listen to him.

    • You didn’t pay attention to what Alan Hart said. Were I Jewish, which I am not, I would be outraged at Israel’s behavior toward the Palestinians, which not only breaks every known human rights laws, but violates common decency toward others, to say nothing at all about Christian beliefs about loving one’s “enemy”. If anything, ThereisaGod, your comment in the final sentence is insulting, which violates not only your nom de plume, but cancels your argument as a simple rant.

    • >ThereisaGod
      ” … the figure of 6 million is a mythical Torah-based magic number that was being bandied around by the Zionist leadership in the 1890′s and that this number bears no relation to WW2 reality.”

      Those Torah-based magicians were something, and that just can’t be denied !
      They were “bandying around” those magic numbers in the 1890’s, 50 years BEFORE THE HOLOCAUST TOOK PLACE !

      Did you read this amazing fact somewhere ? Or did you get it directly from god ?

    • Wrong. The nazis kept meticulous records, and given that Fred leuchter was a pseudoscientific fraud (humans require less to kill than insects) it would have been very possible for the gas chambers to work. The Nazis also destroyed the chambers and the 6000000 never reappeared

  3. There is a big difference between anti Semitism and anti Israelism. As you mentioned there will always be some anti Semitism in minds of some but anti Israelism has to do mostly with the now and the political only. Netanyahu has made himself hated for his actions against Gaza and other Palestinians like Abbas. Even Roger Cohen, a Jewish commentator for International Times has complained about N’s appearance of being more Nazi than Israeli. Appearances may be deceiving but they are also first impressions on many. Those 50 days of bombing and now no assistance to re-build and also making it difficult to gain necessary goods causes hatred of Israel. This is anti Israelism.

  4. I couldn’t possibly agree more with you, Alan. i’ve said for some time that, were I Jewish, which i am not, I would have been on Israel’s back for its treatment of Palestine’s indigenous non-Jewish population from the beginning. Mr. Harkabi’s remarks are spot on. Sad for everyone concerned that the Zionists in Israel paid no attention to him, as Israel’s behavior toward Palestine’s indigenous population within Israel, the Occupied Territories and Gaza to resemble more and more the behavior of Hitler’s malignant government toward the Jews and other “unwanted” people.

  5. Looking at what Israel has long been doing it seems reasonable to wonder if it is that many Jews just cannot live as they wish without antisemitism.
    After all, without it they could soon be no different to all other people in that their children would filter away from an identity based more on sentiment than on reality but with it they are marked as special people. And then with it they are proven to be able to exterminate any other people they wish on the most insane of whims.
    It seems that antisemitism is insisted on by many Jews just as the hijab is by many moslems; both also for reasons of preventing drifting away. The yamulka also resonates here.

  6. I Believe that there was a Holocaust,but the Nazi holocaust is not the only one that has taken place in history.But the Zionist’s are masters of self publication and have taken every opportunity to justify their war crimes and genocide against the Palestinians by hiding behind the Nazi war crimes.
    The media films and T.V. are constantly pushing a diet of hard done by Jews and a pro Israel stance without giving any time to the real victims of the Holocaust the Palestinians!

  7. Anti-Semitism was useful to the authorities, religious or political. These days, Islam phobia has taken the place of anti-Semitism. We are not destined to hate but can be programmed by our elites who impose living conditions on one group that keep them apart from the rest of society. I am thinking of Black Americans, First Nations, Sinti and Roma, Muslim immigrants in Europe etc. I think the old anti-Semitism is dead but people hate Israel’s singular status as a state who’s criminal actions cannot be criticised.

  8. By using this logic, Islamopobia then is legitimate because of Islamic terrorism.

    You might argue however, that Islamic terrorism is the result of “Jewish”, meaning Israeli, terrorism.

    So easy to blame the victim, meaning blame the Jews, I mean blame Israel.

    You say, that since Yehoshafat Harkabi argued that occupation of the West Bank would promote anti-Semitism, it legitimizes your correlation. However, I doubt he would agree with you. This is where your argument falls apart. If you would ask Yehoshafat Harkabi if the reaction of anti-Semitism to the occupation is logical, he would most likely disagree with you. Like you probably did to my first sentence here.

  9. Robert you really misrepresent/misunderstand,writing “By using this logic, Islamopobia then is legitimate because of Islamic terrorism”

    But that’s not his “logic” because he never said that anti-Semitism is “legitimate”

    No where did I see him say that

    He suggested that Israeli policies have fueled it, contribute to it

    I add: brutality by Israeli-backing U.S. towards region also contributes, not just Israeli policies But did these things fuel/contribute to anti-Semistism?Yes. Not same as calling it legit

    Did WACO bombing contribute to McVeigh teror?Yes.Is that calling McVeigh legit?No

    Morality is MAIN reason for Israel to stop abuses. Not helping antiSem is 2nd,if YOU need 2nd reason

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