The Not-So-Subtle Anti-Semitism of Today


Why Israel’s existence should be a concern for all Jews.



“It is language, after all, that’s at the heart of the ubiquitous slippage from anger at Israeli military action to hatred of Jews.” – Deborah Lipstadt, New York Times

At the beginning of March 2013, the Harvard Palestine Solidarity Committee made the decision to distribute notices to college students on campus that read, “We regret to inform you that your suite is scheduled for demolition in the next three days.” Although the PSC denied sending this eviction notice to only people with “Jewish-sounding” last names, some suites received the notice while others did not. It was meant to be a reference to the group’s views of how Israel is supposedly treating Palestinian citizens. In the “Dead-In” hosted by the PSC last week, one person held a poster that read, “It’s not about religion, it’s about humanity.” The event was meant to commemorate the victims in the Gaza-Israel conflict, and it is completely justified to commemorate these tragic deaths and the loss of innocent life. However, none of the Jewish/ Israeli victims’ names were read out loud, and if it is in fact about humanity, are the Jewish victims less human? Even if Israeli policy is to blame, are the Jewish victims guilty as well? The problem with these insensitive actions is that, although the PSC claims they do not aim to alienate Jews, Jews end up being targeted regardless of whether they unconditionally support or criticize Israel. This has not been an issue confined within Harvard but one facing Jews all across the world today.

Of course, anti-Semitism — hostility to or prejudice against Jews — and criticism of Israel are two completely different issues, but the fact of the matter is the two get intertwined far too often. Over the past year, Europe has been encroached by waves of anti-Semitism in which Europe’s Jews have been attacked for Israel’s conflict with Gaza. During a protest in Paris, a synagogue was attacked and there were chants of “Jews to the gas chambers.” In Sarcelles, a commune in the northern suburbs of Paris, “death to the Jews” was shouted as a kosher market was looted. In Brussels, a synagogue was bombed, and four civilians were murdered in a Jewish museum. This past July, pro-Gaza protesters on Kurfürstendamm, the legendary avenue in Berlin, chanted “Jews, Jews, cowardly swine.” Demonstrators in Dortmund and Frankfurt screamed, “Hamas, Hamas; Jews to the gas!” In Turkey, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has asked that Turkish Jews apologize for the actions of Israel. Unfortunately, the list of violence in the past year or even over the summer is far more extensive. In none of these cases was it solely Israeli officials or even Israeli-supporters who were criticized but rather Jews, who were attacked as a whole.

Aside from blatant physical attacks, people have made comparisons between Nazi Germany and Israel, equating the death of 12 million people, 6 million of whom were Jewish to the deaths in Gaza. Undoubtedly, innocent people died on both occasions, but making such a comparison is both ignorant and factually inaccurate. A genocide of millions cannot be paralleled to a war fought by two sides. There is no justification for it. Prior to the Holocaust, Israel did not exist, but pure unjustified hatred for the Jewish people led to a massacre of millions. Jews in Britain prior to World War II and the Holocaust would take a stance of appeasement when it came to the creation of the Jewish state. At that time, some Jews were diehard Zionists who wanted a safe state for Jews while others, usually more affluent ones, were against Zionism because they wanted to be seen as British Jews and not Jews that lived in Britain. I think a big part of that decision was that life was great for them in Britain. It was calm, and they were living well. They were worried that if they fought for Israel and it didn’t come to be, they would be seen as ungrateful to Britain. They would become outsiders in a country that already wasn’t their own because they were fighting for another place to live. So it was easier to say no to Israel. After all, if things were going well, why change them and risk losing everything? Unfortunately, history did not end up on their side. When push came to shove, Jews, wealthy and poor, were sent to the gas chambers, and whether they were for or against a Jewish state was not a concern of Nazis. Regardless of the country a Jew inhabits today, he/she cannot forget the importance of Israel, for it holds value for every Jew in the diaspora.

The Anti-Semitism we see now is nowhere near what we saw in the 1930s, thankfully. So why talk about it? In 2014, almost seventy years since the Holocaust, the Jews of Europe no longer feel safe. The Holocaust is not approaching, but the flames of anti-Semitism are far from being put out. Harvard’s Palestine Solidarity Committee reminded Jews of this last year in an attempt to incite feelings of guilt on what our state is doing.

The intention of this article is not to make all Jews diehard supporters of Israel because Israel, like any and every nation, is not a pillar of perfection. But it is important for Jews to realize that regardless of which part of the world they inhabit, the existence of Israel should be an issue of concern. Israel is a Jewish State. It will always remain one. Less than 0.2% of the world is Jewish. Whether safe or unsafe, Jews will always be outsiders in the Diaspora and should think strongly before deciding that Israel need not exist or that its well-being does not align with their own.


Anonymous is concerned with the situation and wants some sort of peaceful discourse to be started.

  • BigSticksWalkSoftly

    The problem here is that Israel does not stand for world Jewry.
    In fact, the current Israel government is led by a right wing settler party the Likud which is actually an embarrassment for for world Jewry.
    Criticizing the right wing Israeli government policies does not make someone an anti-Semite.
    In fact, Palestinians are the natives in the Holy Land and are real Semites.
    I’m pretty sure Whoopi Goldberg can renounce her Semitic status (and her right to return to Israel (even though she is not from Israel)).
    However, a Palestinian can’t just wake up and renounce their Semitic-ness.
    The facts remain: Palestinians have a right to defend themselves from colonial settler invaders and US taxpayers shouldn’t have to subside state-sponsored ethnic cleansing and terrorism

    • Stephanie

      There is no such thing as a “Palestinian”. But don’t let facts get in the way of your pretext for anti-semitism.

      • fxowen

        Palestinians are “the native population” or “the indigenous population” who are referred to as such in early Zionist literature. You not only know nothing about the history of the Palestinian people, you know nothing about the history of the movement you’re defending. See this quote from Ze’ev Jobotinsky’s famous 1923 essay “The Iron Wall (We and the Arabs)”: “Zionist colonization, even the most restricted, must either be terminated or carried out in defiance of the will of the native population. This colonization can, therefore, continue and develop only under the protection of a force independent of the local population – an iron wall which the native population cannot break through. This is, in toto, our policy towards the Arabs. To formulate it any other way would only be hypocrisy.”

        • Stephanie

          Both Arafat in 1993 and the PLO communications representative in the late ’70s said that the creation of the “Palestinian” were for marketing purposes to annihilate Israel. He gave the interview to the Dutch newspaper. The interview is online in English. You can read it. Recently a PLO representative saying the same thing on UAE television. It’s on utoob. They said there are no palestinians only Egyptians etc.
          Don’t let facts get in your way of your anti-semitism. By the way i am not a zionist. I am interested in facts though.

          • fxowen

            So whom I am to believe, some lying Hasbaro-bot who won’t even admit she’s a Zionist, or the founders of Zionism who constantly referred to the Palestinian Arabs as “the native population” or “the indigenous population”. Difficult choice.

          • Stephanie

            Wow. Not sure what to say to that. It might be time for you to sit down with your doctor to review your meds. You sound like you are having a real hard time.

    • Stephanie

      There are no “Palestinians”. It was made up for marketing purposes.

      Don’t believe me? Here is the interview with a PLO leader.

      “The Palestinian people does not exist. The creation of a
      Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle
      against the state of Israel for our Arab unity. In reality
      today there is no difference between Jordanians,
      Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. Only for political and
      tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of
      a Palestinian people, since Arab national interests demand
      that we posit the existence of a distinct ‘Palestinian
      people’ to oppose Zionism.

      “For tactical reasons, Jordan, which is a sovereign state
      with defined borders, cannot raise claims to Haifa and Jaffa.
      While as a Palestinian, I can undoubtedly demand Haifa,
      Jaffa, Beer-Sheva and Jerusalem. However, the moment we
      reclaim our right to all of Palestine, we will not wait even
      a minute to unite Palestine and Jordan.”

      (PLO executive committee member Zahir Muhsein, in a 1977
      interview with the Dutch newspaper Trouw.)

      BTW, Arafat said the same think in an interview to the Arab press in 1993. It’s online.

  • Dan

    Hatred of Jews and criticism of Israel are not two entirely different issues. The reason Israel is being criticized while it is acting in the utmost honor, and other places, and particularly their enemies, are not criticized when they act with utter dishonor, is precisely because a large Muslim lobby is trying to de-legitimize Israel BECAUSE it is a Jewish state. Pretending otherwise simply shows either a complete misunderstanding of the issue, or more sinister motives.

  • maliban al maliban

    google: crying wolf, hate
    crime hoaxes in america.

    israheili intel is running a worldwide propaganda op with its agents running
    stories about “rising tide of anti semitism”. but it is all a lie,
    just propaganda designed to get sympathy for the “poor jews, i.e. zionist
    thugs” who are committing mass murder in gaza. just google: rising tide of
    anti semitism…………you can see the operation for yourself.

    p.s. google also: robert maxwell israels superspy…………..learn how mossad
    controls media in the usa and europe.

    • Guest

      its not jews who control the media, just mossad right? its interesting how many of the “mass murder” victims in gaza reported as being civilians (using data provided solely by hamas) are being confirmed as terrorists.

    • Guest

      ts not jews who control the media, just mossad right? its interesting
      how many of the “mass murder” “victims” in gaza reported as being
      “civilians” (using data provided solely by hamas) have since been confirmed as

    • Jon Shapiro

      its not jews who control the media, just mossad right? its interesting
      how many of the “mass murder” “victims” in gaza reported as being
      “civilians” (using data provided solely by hamas) have since been confirmed as terrorists.

      • Jon Shapiro

        oh, never mind. i looked at your profile. you copy and paste the same message in any story related to jews. yeah, you’re not an anti-Semite at all

      • maliban al maliban

        you live a delusion. you make assertions that are false. google: chief rabbi obadia yosef goyim only purpose to serve jews their life is worth as much as a donkey. that should clear up any misconceptions you have.

  • fxowen

    So the author wants to commemorate the names of the innocent civilians killed by Hamas in this Summer’s conflict. Well, that would be a very short list: six Israelis and one Thai national. Everyone else killed by Hamas was an IDF soldier. By contrast, the overwhelming majority of Palestinians killed by Hamas were civilians, many of them children. So tell me again who the real terrorists are?

    • Stephanie

      The Israelis have better aim. Jewish people had worse aim in the 1940’s but they have had time to practice.

    • Jon Shapiro

      according to false Hamas figures reported worldwide they were overwhelmingly civilian. in fact, 3/4 were terrorists.

      • fxowen

        Since a quarter of the casualties were children, that means you’re claiming that every single adult, including 300 women, killed by the IDF were terrorists. Yeah, right. Care to cite a credible source for your claim?