Anti-Zionism Is Antisemitism
by Justin Amler
Martin Luther King once said, “When people criticize Zionists they mean Jews; you are talking antisemitism.”
Never has that insight proven more accurate than today, as we witness increasing antisemitism across the world — thinly veiled as a criticism of Zionism and the state of Israel, rather than against Jews themselves.
Today, among many groups who consider themselves liberal and progressive, it is an insult to call someone a Zionist — an insult akin to calling someone a racist. Yet the irony that is ignored by all these groups is that Zionism espouses the very values these groups claim to uphold. Zionism, for example, gives Muslims and Christians the freedom to practice all their beliefs and traditions without hindrance from the state. The same can’t be said of any Arab country. And it is another irony that on the beaches of France, French police had forced Muslim women to remove their burkinis, while in Israel, Muslims face no such demands.
True liberals who share progressive values should be at the forefront of supporting Israel, rather than leading the charge against it. But their minds are so clouded with hatred and antisemitism that they have lost all sense of what liberal values even mean.
Furthermore, even if we had to accept their premise — that they only oppose the State of Israel and not Jews themselves — anti-Zionists certainly aren’t questioning the legitimacy and leading boycotts against the United States, Australia, New Zealand, and many other countries who were actually colonizers.
Instead, the many groups that have sprung up in support of the “Palestinian cause” have no interest in anything other than bashing and destroying Israel.
These hate groups like to tell you that Zionism and Judaism are completely unrelated issues, but Zionism is as old as Judaism itself; Zionism dates back to when the first Jew, Abraham, made his way to what would become the Land of Israel. Not only are Zionism and Judaism related, they are completed intertwined with each other, so much so that the love and commitment to the Land of Israel is a core value of what being a Jew is all about.
Anti-Zionism is a movement of hatred, fuelled by the darkness of humanity, not the light. It brings out the worst in people, not the best. Its supporters are not driven by a sense of the lack of justice in the world, but rather by a sense of a reinforcement of long-standing injustice directed against only one particular group of people. They wave the banner of morality, while conveniently ignoring the absolute lack of morality of their own cause.
To give legitimacy to their cause is the same as saying that French people don’t belong in France, or English people don’t belong in England. To deny only the Jews these same rights as others is what makes anti-Zionism an antisemitic movement.
Zionism is simply the right of Jewish people to self-determination in their own land — the same land in which they became a people and a nation almost 4000 years ago.
When people criticize that, they are not talking about the state of Israel; they are talking about the Jewish people.