Human Rights Icon Natan Sharansky Calls Out Progressives Who View Jews as ‘Oppressors’
Renowned human rights activist Natan Sharansky called out on Wednesday progressives who viewed Jews as “oppressors,” saying such an outlook contradicted the concept of individual justice.
The former Soviet refusenik was a featured speaker at the “Dismantling Antisemitism: Jews Talk Justice” online event hosted by the Combat Anti-Semitism Movement (CAM), In collaboration with the Tel Aviv Institute.
The forum was organized as a response to a controversial Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) webinar on antisemitism held a day earlier that featured several participants, including US Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib and Professor Marc Lamont Hill, who have themselves perpetuated Jew-hatred.
“Today, there is an attempt to hijack the cause of human rights from Jews by so-called progressives,” Sharanksy remarked. “For the so-called progressives, all the world is the fight between ‘oppressors’ and ‘oppressed.’”
“’Oppressors; are always wrong and ‘oppressed’ are always right,” he continued. “There is no such thing as individual justice, it has to be for the group.”
Sharansky elaborated, “Jews are guilty of belonging to the wrong state, the State of Israel, the wrong group. Jews are accused as a group and Israel is accused as a Jewish State.”
“It is not the struggle for human rights, it is not the struggle for individual freedom,” he declared.
Also taking part in Wednesday’s event was US Assistant Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism Ellie Cohanim, who highlighted a “pernicious new form of anti-Semitism” that sought to negate the history of Jews from Arab countries and Iran.
“This erasure of history allows the accusation that Jews enjoy white privilege and are neo-colonialists,” she noted.
CAM Director Sacha Roytman-Dratwa stated, “Our event today was an opportunity to set the record straight. The likes of Rep. Tlaib and Prof. Hill have no right to attempt to define Jew hatred, especially given their track record of stoking anti-Semitism. Instead, they should listen to the many Jewish leaders and activists, like those we heard from today, who by definition truly understand anti-Semitism and have dedicated themselves to fighting for minority rights.”
Wednesday’s event can be viewed in full below: