Apr. 29, 2019
All too often, those accused of anti-Semitism respond with the counteraccusation that their opponents are mistaking “legitimate criticism of Israel” for hatred of Jews. Yet, writes David Harsanyi, recent events only demonstrate how close anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism really are:
The [Poway] shooter’s manifesto makes clear that he didn’t kill because of Donald Trump or some alleged “dog whistle” or a New York Times cartoon. . . . Although we shouldn’t put too much thought into his vile rantings, the man was clearly a racist who detested Jews and “Zionists” because he saw them as the enemies of white people. . . .
The shooter’s rhetoric, thankfully, is already unacceptable in mainstream American discourse. The only anti-Semitism still widely used in public discourse is the kind masquerading as “anti-Zionism.” . . . The New York Times cartoon depicting Trump as a blind man being led by the Star of David-bedecked Benjamin Netanyahu was a pictorial interpretation of a paranoid grievance that many anti-Israel progressives and paleoconservatives have been peddling for years: that Jews control the U.S. government. . . .
When outlets like The New York Times spend decades normalizing the idea that Zionism is tantamount to fascism and apartheid, it is just a matter of time before some hapless editor at the newspaper—if that’s really what happened—has trouble differentiating between the supposedly “anti-Israel” cartoon and a demonstrably anti-Jewish one.
This position has driven them not only to embrace a decades-long bias but has opened them up to publishing all strands of ugly propaganda. Just one week before running the cartoon, the Times published an Easter op-ed identifying Jesus as “most likely a Palestinian man with dark skin.” Trying to strip a couple of thousand years of Jewish (and Christian) history to promote a comforting fantasy for progressives is arguably more anti-Semitic than any dumb cartoon.