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[We often hear things like this: “It’s impossible to criticize Israel without being accused of antisemitism”. Of course this is not true, and those who say it often blur the real distinction between criticism of policy, denial of legitimacy, and demonization.
Let’s distinguish between the following:
1) Criticism of Israel: the belief that some policies of the Jewish state are wrong or even reprehensible. For example, the statements that Israel is deliberately dragging its feet on elimination of ‘illegal outposts’, or that the reduction of fuel deliveries to Gaza constitutes ‘collective punishment’. Criticism may be unfriendly, but it is obviously not antisemitic. Indeed, even many Zionists are quite critical of Israeli policies.
2) Anti-Zionism: the belief that the Jewish state is illegitimate, and should not have been created (it is colonialist, the land really belongs to the Arabs, etc.). Belligerent Arab states and Palestinians are anti-Zionist; while this position is clearly wrong and unjustifiable from my point of view, by itself it isn’t antisemitic. However, it often is accompanied by…
3) Extreme anti-Zionism (Israel hatred): the belief that the Jewish state is not only illegitimate, but also the embodiment of evil. This point of view, I will argue is antisemitic.
People who take position 3) display certain related attitudes: for one, they see Israel’s alleged crimes as far more horrible than even worse evils committed by other nations.]
Last edited by maverick4; 09-28-2008 at 12:26 PM..
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