SJP’s Blunder Exposes Its Antisemitism
I recall reading a snappy exchange in Auntie Mame, where Mame says “‘Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive.’ That’s Shakespeare and it’s true.” Patrick replies: “That’s Scott, and it stinks.” Both were half right: it’s Scott and it’s true, something Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) has proved once more.
Normally anti-Israel lying is expertly done so as to avoid the perils of self-contradiction. It’s not hard. You make wild, false, general accusations like “apartheid,” and then you back them up with anecdotes which, even if false and refuted, still seem to represent an unseen multitude of likely true stories. As long as that is all you do, and you have a suitably gullible audience, or, in the case of Western progressives, an all too eager audience that wants to be deceived for the sake of its own moral vanity, you are on reasonably safe ground.
It is thus worthy of note that the latest slander against Israel gives the whole game away and in such a way that even the most idiotic of the useful idiots will likely find embarrassing. “Anti-Zionists” always say they aren’t Jew-haters or antisemites. And rarely is it simply provable that they are.
Individuals occasionally slip, say, by putting a movie on Facebook that blames the Rothschilds for the world’s problems, but the main institutions of anti-Zionism usually manage — at least in view of the ludicrously low standards of truthfulness expected of them — to get a pass.
This time though, as reported in Commentary by Jonathan Marks, the national SJP office has sent out a petition, as have some of its chapters, urging support for “the community of Xe’ Kuku’ Aab’aj as they resist colonial/Zionist land occupation & exploitation!” It turns out that in 2014 a Guatemalan village expelled an anti-Zionist sect, described as a “dangerous cult” by the government of Israel, called Lev Tahor. The reasons were unclear. Recently the mayor who did the expelling was himself jailed by the Guatemalan government, but SJP’s headline was: “Zionist settler-colonialism persecutes indigenous people.” Further, the petition goes on to explain that, despite being anti-Zionist and anathema to the government of Israel, “the community of Lev Tahor cannot be anti-Zionist, due to their threatening lack of respect for indigenous peoples.”
Think about it. On the one hand, they claim their anti-Zionism isn’t Jew-hatred. On the other, however, any Jew can be denounced as a “Zionist,” even if he or she actually isn’t one. So then, logically, “Zionist” just means “hated Jew.” The favored line, “I don’t hate Jews, I’m just an anti-Zionist,” ends up amounting to “I don’t hate Jews; I just — hate Jews.” That SJP realizes it’s given itself away may be inferred partly from the fact that they have since deleted their petition. We are not to look at the man behind the curtain. But it’s too late.
How did SJP make this blunder? It’s easy enough to guess. The one thing Israel-haters (and now let’s call them the Jew-haters they really are) have going for them right now is “intersectionality.” Above all, since Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s profoundly foolish tweet apparently supporting Trump’s Mexican border wall, the opportunity to enlist the Hispanic community in their cause was too good to pass up. However obscure and petty the issue they found, however tendentious their interpretation, this looked like a winner. And perhaps they thought, from past experience, that their main audience of Western progressives would swallow anything. Or maybe they guessed that their sympathizers are already far enough on the road to straightforward, unashamed Jew-hate, so that they could all drop the wearisome mask together and admit that, “Well, if you really make me say it, why yes: to hell with the Jews; they’re always causing trouble anyway, aren’t they?”
In any case, SJP is on the record now. SJP is an antisemitic organization. Not every member, not every chapter even perhaps, but the national office, whose conferences the individuals and their chapters attend, whose speakers they sponsor, whose materials they spread, now certifiably is. And it is up to those of us who oppose its real project, namely of destroying the Jewish state, to make it unmistakably clear to SJP’s “liberal” acolytes what they are doing by allying themselves with old-fashioned Jew-haters dressed up in today’s fashionable “anti-imperialist” garb.