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Anti-Semitism Is Pissing on My Boots and Telling Me It's Anti-Zionism

Traditional anti-Semitism is the kindling; anti-Semitism 2.0—anti-Zionism—is the real fire. Naked hatred of all things Jewish is so last century. Naked hatred of all things Israel is the combustion engine of 21st century violence.

(Photo Credit: Suite 101)

Anti-Semitism is ancient and ubiquitous. From the Gospels to the Crusades to the Holocaust, the “Jewish Problem” has been with us.

Since World War II—specifically the creation of the Jewish state in 1948—anti-Semitism is also now modern and re-tooled, a kind of “Jewish Problem 2.0.”

Even before its recent spike, anti-Semitism out punched every other kind of religious hatred. Other religious groups routinely reported hate crimes a mere fraction of the number of anti-Jewish incidents.

[sharequote align="center"]We know where avoidance, denial, and silence leads. In a 21st century world, it's Holocaust 2.0.[/sharequote]

In 2014, what set a match to gunpowder was the abduction and murder of three Israeli teenagers in Gaza. The murders were committed by members of Hamas and defended by their political chief as “legitimate” acts against the state of Israel.

Israel responded by tightening control of the West Bank.

Hamas then retaliated by firing rockets into Israel; rockets that originated at least on some occasions “from or near residential areas or civilian facilities,” according to a senior Hamas official.

Before destroying the rocket launchers, Israeli forces dropped leaflets warning Palestinian civilians to move away from Hamas sites to avoid the air strikes.

Somehow, because it’s Israel, even humanitarian gestures are fodder for anti-Semitism.

In rather melodramatic protest later that summer, Students for Justice in Palestine dropped similar leaflets from the tops of buildings at San Diego State University to simulate an Israeli air strike. The leaflets announced, “The Israeli Defense Force intends to attack terrorists and terror infrastructures in the area east of [where the leaflets were dropped].”

France's Jewish community held a rally calling for the release of three kidnapped Israeli teens, but the protesters themselves were attacked. (Image source: YouTube) France's Jewish community held a rally calling for the release of three kidnapped Israeli teens, but the protesters themselves were attacked. (Image source: YouTube)

If SDSU “civilians” looked closely at the announcement, they saw a disclaimer that the attack was not real “but would be if [they] lived in Gaza.”

“Israel is currently attacking and will continue to attack, every area from which rockets are being launched at its territory,” proclaimed the leaflets.

What? Israel is attacking terrorists and terror infrastructure threatening its existence? And attempting to protect the safety of innocent civilians at the same time?

Only the bigotry of anti-Semitism can take a shockingly civil gesture and turn it into proof of savagery.

Traditional (for lack of a better word) anti-Semitism is accelerating: in Spain, a swastika on a bullring with the words, “Hitler was right;” in Norway, a cartoon making fun of circumcision; in Belgium, four tourists killed at the Jewish Museum; in Mumbai, the torture, mutilation, and murder of a young rabbi and his pregnant wife at an Orthodox Jewish center; and in France, damage to hundreds of graves in a Jewish cemetery, the murder of three children and a rabbi at a Jewish school, and the murder of four Jewish hostages in a kosher grocery store.

Germany, especially and ironically, has seen a virtual explosion of anti-Jewish crimes; a whopping 25 percent increase between 2013 and 2014.

Traditional anti-Semitism is the kindling; anti-Semitism 2.0—anti-Zionism—is the real fire. Naked hatred of all things Jewish is so last century. Naked hatred of all things Israel is the combustion engine of 21st century violence.

“Each conflict involving Israel now seems to provide a pretext or trigger for the practice of a dark and ancient hatred,” concludes the Jewish magazine Tablet in a five-part series on anti-Semitism in the United Kingdom.

Ground zero for this hatred in the U.S. is the college campus where 54 percent of Jewish students surveyed last year said they had experienced or witnessed an anti-Semitic incident. And this was before the match was set to gunpowder.

“Zionists should be sent to the gas chamber” was scrawled on a bathroom wall at UC Berkeley; large swastikas were spray-painted on a fraternity at UC Davis; a candidate for student government at UCLA was challenged on the basis of her Jewishness.

From Columbia to Loyola to Portland State, pro-Palestinian student government groups pass resolutions, so far largely unheeded, urging their administrations to divest from companies doing business in or with Israel. The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign aims to squeeze and punish Israel economically for its presence in the West Bank and its policies toward Palestinians.

[sharequote align="center"]“Never again” was bitter wisdom of Auschwitz. “Everything allowed again” is bitter truth of today.[/sharequote]

Characterized as a rejection of government policies, anti-Zionism goes down more easily than anti-Semitism, a clearly noxious rejection of human beings. Economic sanctions against the state of Israel aren’t anti-Semitic, are they?

It depends on how you define a Jew.

Jews, Israelis, and Jewish Israelis all recognize wide variation between and among their respective groups. The individuals in these groups, however, aren’t the problem; they aren’t the anti-Semites.

Anti-Semitism doesn’t distinguish between a Jew who eats kosher and one who does not; between a Jew who supports a two-state solution and one who does not; between a Jew who goes to synagogue and a Jew who identifies with the tradition only culturally. The anti-Semite hates them all.

Similarly, the anti-Semite makes no distinction between Jews and Israel and therefore no distinction between anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism. One is only a veil for the other.

Some anti-Semites veil excuses for violence in anti-Zionism, and some in the Jewish community veil themselves behind the poignant idea that a swastika is not always a swastika. Spray-painted on a synagogue door, their argument goes, a swastika is an affirmation of Nazi ideology, i.e., anti-Semitic. Depicted on an Israeli flag, however, a swastika is a repudiation of Nazi ideology, i.e., merely anti-Israel.

Novelist Howard Jacobson is willing to pierce the veil. “All the unsayable things, all the things they know they can’t say about Jews in a post-Holocaust liberal society, they can say again now. Israel has desacralized the subject. It’s a space in which everything is allowed again.”

“Never again” was the bitter wisdom of Auschwitz. “[E]verything allowed again” is the bitter truth of today.

Even if the smartest people on earth can find a distinction between anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism, the perpetrators of violence obviously cannot. A recent Wall Street Journal essay nailed it: “[T]he 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.”

We know where avoidance, denial, and silence will lead. In our 21st century world, it will be Holocaust 2.0.

It’s (still) a free country. People can exercise their First Amendment rights to speak and assemble. They just can’t piss on my boots and tell me it’s raining.

It’s time to call anti-Zionism what it is: anti-Semitism.

Donna Carol Voss is an author, blogger, speaker, and mom. A Berkeley grad, a former pagan, a Mormon on purpose, and an original thinker on 21st century living, she is the author of “One of Everything,” the story of how she got from where she was to where she is. Contact: donna@donnacarolvoss.com

Feature Photo Credit: Suite 101

TheBlaze contributor channel supports an open discourse on a range of views. The opinions expressed in this channel are solely those of each individual author.

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