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November 22, 2020 8:20 pm

Outrage Erupts Over Antisemitism Panel Featuring Noted Adversaries of Israel

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And advertisement for an upcoming panel co-sponsored by Jewish Voice for Peace. Photo: screenshot.

Outrage erupted on Twitter over the weekend after the far-left anti-Israel group Jewish Voice for Peace announced it will be co-sponsoring a panel on antisemitism featuring panelists who oppose the existence of Israel.

Denying that right is considered antisemitism under the working definition adopted by the US State Department and many nations and institutions around the world.

The panel, billed as “Dismantling Antisemitism, Winning Justice,” claims in the event description that, “Antisemitism is used to manufacture division and fear. While anyone can fuel it, antisemitism always benefits the politicians who rely on division and fear for their power.”

“We will explore how to fight back against antisemitism and against those that seek to wield charges of antisemitism to undermine progressive movements for justice,” it states.

Claims that Jews collaborate with the powerful to harm the underprivileged and enhance their power are extremely old, and were widely used to justify the brutal 19th century pogroms in eastern Europe.

Appearing on the panel will be Rep. Rashida Tlaib, who supports a “one-state solution” in which Israel is replaced by an Arab state; Peter Beinart, the only Jewish panelist, who has openly rejected the existence of Israel in its current form; Marc Lamont Hill, who has publicly recited the  slogan “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free”; and Barbara Ransby, an academic who supports the antisemitic BDS movement.

Abraham Cooper, Associate Dean and Director of Global Social Action for the Simon Wiesenthal Center, told the Algemeiner that the panel is an attempt to redefine antisemitism so as to exonerate antisemites in the progressive movement.

“The growing acceptance by the world, including by an Arab nation, of the IHRA definition of antisemitism, which includes anti-Zionism; and the declaration by Secretary of State Pompeo that anti-Zionism equals antisemitism and that BDS is antisemitic, are powerful blows to haters of the Jewish nation,” he said.

“So it should surprise no one that there is a concerted effort to decouple Israel from antisemitism so that the BDS campaigns, and the slanders to demonize and delegitimize Israel in Congress and elsewhere, can be stepped up without the inconvenient charge of antisemitism being raised,” Cooper said.

“So antisemites can continue to demand of progressive Jews to choose between Israel and the ‘progressive’ movement,” he added. “In this context, this panel makes perfect sense. Expect more such efforts, especially on our campuses.”

Dani Dayan, Israel’s former consul general in New York, said of the panel, “If you are non-Jews who like to tell Jews what is and what isn’t antisemitism, you are most probably antisemites. If you are a Jew collaborating with them, you are most probably their useful idiot.”

Hillel Neuer of the watchdog group UN Watch said, “Asking Rashida Tlaib to discuss how to fight antisemitism is like asking Nicolás Maduro to discuss how to fight narco-tyranny,” referring to the current dictator of Venezuela.

Roz Rothstein, the International CEO of the advocacy group StandWithUs said the purpose of the panel was, in fact, to “dismantle the opposition to antisemitism. Just let antisemitism continue to rise.”

The pro-Israel progressive group Zioness asked, “Why are these people, who claim to be progressive, promoting and covering up antisemitism in the progressive movement? Well-known antisemites have no place defining antisemitism.”

“It is inherently and egregiously antisemitic for you to claim to speak for American Jews,” they said to the panelists.

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