Danzig served in the IDF and is a former constable with the New York Police Department. He is an attorney and an active member of StandWithUs, where he is the chairman of the local advisory board, and of Herut North American, where he is a member of the national board. He lives in Del Mar.
On October 26, the San Diego United School District Education Council passed a resolution condemning anti-Semitism, as defined by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), and as requested by every synagogue and traditional Jewish organization in San Diego. Since then, Israel’s enemies in San Diego have virtually wrung their hands over the daring of a school district to define anti-Semitism the way most Jews define it (in a state that, in the last five recent years has seen a 40 percent increase in anti-Semitic hate crimes, and in a country where Jews are the target of 60% of all faith-based hate crimes).
Recognizing that they cannot simply say that they oppose such resolutions because Israel haters want to exploit hatred of Jews in order to incite hatred against Israel (the only Jewish state in the world and home to nearly half of the world’s Jews), Israel haters become apoplectic about how the IHRA’s definition “cools free speech” because it allegedly makes legitimate criticism of Israel anti-Semitic, is a tool to “militarize anti-Semitism” and will somehow increase anti-Arab or anti-Muslim hatred.
I explained why these claims are specious and themselves anti-Semitic in an essay last month.
Probably because the definition of the IHRA in the relevant part provides that it is anti-Semitic to deny âthe Jewish people their right to self-determination, for example, by asserting that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist enterprise, âwe see claims thatâ anti-Zionist âis not anti-Semitic, as do claims by enemies of Israel that in fact compare Zionism to racist colonialist ideologies likeâ Manifest Destiny â(which has been used to justify the expansion of America to the west and the brutal conquest of the Amerindians).
These claims are false and also incredibly insulting to the vast majority of Jews, who are either Israelis or have a very strong attachment to Israel. Moreover, these claims go to the heart of why the Arab-Israeli conflict persists and why, despite at least eight different peace and partition offers since 1937 (to create the first independent Arab state west of the Jordan River), no such offer was ever accepted.
While the enemies of Israel try to redefine Zionism to somehow resemble colonialist ideologies like Manifest Destiny, the truth is that the definition of Zionism is quite simple: Zionism is belief. that the Jewish people, like all other peoples, have a right to self-determination and sovereignty over part of their indigenous homeland.
Not only is there nothing in the definition of Zionism that thinks Jews are superior to any other people or race, the idea that Jews are Zionists and even ready to fight for their right to be sovereign in their homeland predates the bogus European concept of breed by over 1,500 years. We have just finished celebrating Hanukkah. While many Americans may think of Chanukah as a Jewish version of Christmas, or just a fun, candle-lit, donut-eating holiday, that would be incorrect. Not that Chanukah isn’t fun (it is), but at its core, Chanukah is a celebration of a successful Jewish revolt in the Land of Israel and the reestablishment, after centuries of Greek colonial rule, of the Jewish sovereignty and self-determination in “Zion” (another Hebrew word for Jerusalem).
Almost 300 years after the successful Jewish revolt against the Greek / Selucid Empire, the Zionism of the Jewish people led to further Jewish revolts against colonial rule, this time against the Romans. From these ultimately unsuccessful revolts, archaeologists found many coins from Judea, including coins inscribed in ancient Hebrew with the words: “Freedom for Zion.” It is this desire for freedom in Zion, the more than 3,000 year history of the Land of Israel at the center of the faith, culture and conscience of the Jewish people, coupled with the sad reality that the people Jew was regularly subjected to deadly discrimination and oppression in almost every country in the Diaspora, which led to the 19th century political movement called Zionism. And when Israel gained independence in 1948, Zionism became the first indigenous movement in the world to succeed from a dispossessed and colonized people reclaiming sovereignty in their indigenous homeland.
Like many indigenous peoples around the world, Jews have been a constant victim of European oppression and violence for centuries precisely because they were seen as not being part of the “upper” European world – to begin with. by Greek colonization and the attempt to Hellenize the land of Israel and continuing into World War II – when over 6 million Jews were murdered. Throughout this period, the Jewish people’s dream of freedom in Zion and sovereignty over the Land of Israel (what the Romans called “Palestine”) never wavered. This is why at each Passover seder and countless other prayers, the Jewish people regularly prayed and sang in Hebrew of their desire to return to Zion.
It is this context that makes the arguments of the anti-Semites “I am only an anti-Zionist” so clearly hollow. Since Zionism simply defends the proposition that the Jewish people are entitled to sovereignty over part of their indigenous and historic homeland, to say that you are anti-Zionist, but not anti-Jewish, is to say that you are not anti-Maori, but that “only” want to deny the Maori any sovereignty over their native lands, or that you are not anti-Algonquin, Mississaugas, Odawa, Oji-Cree, Ojibwe or Potawatomi, you “just” hate the Anishinaabe movement for an Aboriginal sovereign US state called Anishinaabaki.
As for those who dishonestly compare Zionism to “manifest destiny” or other supremacist forms of colonialism, it should be noted that when the descendants of the English, French and Spanish conquered and colonized South America. North, they never discovered a single archaeological find written in Old English. , French or Spanish; but archaeological artifacts written in Hebrew and referencing Jewish kings, Jewish prayers (which Jews still say to this day), and even ancient winegrowers in the Land of Israel are ubiquitous.
What the “I’m just an anti-Zionist” anti-Semites also ignore (or more precisely seek to distract from) is how closely the anti-Zionist tropes follow the anti-Semitic tropes, which have been used for centuries. to incite discrimination and violence against Jews.
The 19th century anti-Semite demonized the Jews, among all the peoples of the Earth, as the main cause of the world’s problems. The anti-Zionists demonize Israel, the Jew among the nations, as the main cause of the world’s problems. For the 19th century anti-Semite, Jews were bloodthirsty baby killers. Anti-Zionists routinely demonize the Jewish state alone as a bloodthirsty baby killer. The 19th-century anti-Semite demonized Jews as nefariously controlling banks, media, and governments. Anti-Zionists routinely demonize Israel or Zionists as controlling banks, media, and foreign governments. The parallels are clear.
But the most anti-Semitic aspect of the anti-Zionist creed has to be the pervasive attempts to erase Jewish history and to tap into Zionism as a colonialist enterprise. George Orwell said: âThe most effective way to destroy people is to deny and erase their own understanding of their history. “
This erasure is at the heart of anti-Zionism. It is also at the heart of the Arab-Israeli conflict. Because at the end of the day, anti-Zionist claims about colonialism are what psychologists call a projection. In the 7th and 8th centuries, Arab armies from the Arabian Peninsula conquered and colonized the entire Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Since then, their descendants, like the descendants of Europeans in all lands conquered by Europeans, have generally resisted all indigenous rights and independence movements. This is why in the last millennia there has never been an independent state for the Kurds, Amazighs, Copts or any other indigenous people of the MENA region (other than the Jewish people).
Anti-Semitism is the oldest form of fanaticism. For over 2000 years. it has led to countless expulsions and murders of Jews. Today that includes anti-Zionism, a hatred of Jewish sovereignty and the ability of Jews to defend themselves in their own state. Many want to portray this hatred as somehow progressive, while the main motivation behind this hatred is a regressive desire to destroy the only successful indigenous rights movement in the MENA region and to make Jews stateless again. and defenseless. No one should get caught up in such counterfactual duplicity.