Apr. 15, 2016
Addressing the recent events at Stanford University, where a student-council member suggested that discussion of Jewish control of the media, banks, and so forth is not anti-Semitic and perfectly “valid,” and at Oberlin, where a group of “pro-Palestinian” Jewish students defended a professor who was posting anti-Semitic conspiracy theories on her website, Liel Leibovitz suggests setting aside the tired conversation about if, and when, anti-Zionism is a form of anti-Semitism:
[I]t’s time to do away with the anti-Zionism/anti-Semitism debate. Whatever its intellectual merits are, or were, it’s largely irrelevant in an environment scorched by the flames of prejudice masquerading as thought. . . .
Hate has no patience for fine points. Those folks—earnest, no doubt—who argued that professing the Jewish faith did not necessarily entail supporting the Jewish state’s right to exist should look at the recent news as into a mirror. They could start by reading the editor’s note affixed to the Oberlin students’ letter, correcting the initial impression that the five who supported the hateful professor were members of Students for a Free Palestine, or SFP, a pro-Palestinian on-campus group. “SFP,” read the correction, “refrains from actions or letters on Jewish students’ behalf, given that it is a Palestine solidarity organization.”
In other words, SFP itself is admitting what its Jewish supporters will not, namely that the struggle isn’t between those who support Israel’s right to exist and those who, regardless of their faith, oppose it, but between Jews and those who find their existence as noxious in Ohio as they do in Or Yehuda. . . .
Those who believe Jews control the media and the banks, or that it’s OK to debate, respectfully, whether or not they do, make no distinction between the [putatively] good, enlightened Jews who wash their hands of Israel and the bad ones, who have the temerity of adhering to their faith and their nationality like any other normal people in the world. And those Jews who believe that their liberal sophistication will somehow save them from the wrath of bigotry should strongly reconsider.