On confronting the haters in one’s own ranks

An editorial in the Jewish News Weekly of Northern California makes a telling point about anti-Zionist Jews and the company they sometimes keep.

At the Sunday, July 23 Israel Solidarity Rally in San Francisco, a few dozen anti-Zionist Jews — self-proclaimed anti-Zionist Jews with cardboard placards to prove it — were on the scene.

Jews criticizing the very existence of Jewish state are making a calculated statement. Their Jewishness is intended to provide some sort of moral authority.

Again, that is their right, even if we vehemently disagree with them. But at this rally, any cloak of moral authority the anti-Zionist Jews were wrapping themselves in unraveled in short order.

Just an arm’s length from the troupe of extreme Jewish critics of Israel, a group of youthful Arabs bedecked in kaffyehs and red, green and white Palestinian accoutrements chanted their support for Hezbollah and showered the pro-Israel crowd with Hitlerian salutes while shouting “Seig Heil,” cupping their hands to their faces to imitate hooknoses and shouting about how Jews supposedly smelled like excrement.

It’s a bit of a tautology, but anti-Semitic bigots do anti-Semitic, bigoted things. It’s sad, it’s maddening, but it’s no surprise.

What was surprising was that, as far as we could see, none of their Jewish brothers-in-arms stepped in and did a damn thing about it or made any effort to disassociate themselves from a textbook display of Jew hatred.

You can’t have it both ways.

If you’re going to flaunt your Judaism to swath yourself in credibility when you slam Israel, you’ve also got to step up when someone invokes or even praises Nazi behavior. Otherwise your Judaism is a charade, a hammer in the hands of anti-Israel extremists and you are nothing more than what Lenin apocryphally labeled a “useful idiot.”

I would disagree on one point: the failure of the anti-Zionist Jews to confront the antisemitism of their fellow anti-Zionists is all too unsurprising.

You don’t need to be a Jewish anti-Zionist to confront the Jew-hatred in your ranks. I have very little use for Sue Blackwell, for example. But at least she seems vaguely uncomfortable with the Holocaust denial and other signs of antisemitism she regularly encounters among her fellow anti-Zionists (while failing to draw some of the obvious conclusions).

I can’t help noticing how some of our Harry’s Place readers point out (correctly) the anti-Arab or anti-Muslim crap that sometimes appears in our comment boxes, but never seem as offended by the antisemitic remarks that appear at least as often. Have any of our anti-Zionist readers (Jewish or otherwise) ever told antisemites in their ranks to f–k off? Or do they consider antisemitism an inevitable byproduct of Israeli “aggression” and “colonialism,” to be shrugged off and ignored for the larger good of defeating the Zionist entity?

(Hat tip: Judeosphere.)