LETTER TO THE EDITOR |  Anti-Zionism is not Antisemitism 

Re “Why Anti-Zionism is Anti-Semitism in Disguise” (opinion, Feb. 2) 

The guest column by professors Saar, Strauss and Zax argues that anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism. The title, then, implies that all Jews are Zionists, when, for example, Jewish Voice for Peace, “working towards Palestinian freedom and Judaism beyond Zionism” notes on its website that “Tens of thousands have joined JVP.” Zionism is a late 19th century political ideology that seeks to solve the historic virulence of anti-Semitism in Europe by founding a Jewish state. Zionism, then, is not a part of Jewish tradition, either religiously or culturally. This tradition, beginning with the Old Testament prophets, is a tradition of social justice. The Zionist state of Israel has been violating this tradition since its inception in 1948, beginning with the ethnic cleansing of 750,000 Palestinians from their native land and continuing through the present moment with the genocide in Gaza. 

While Saar et al claim Jewish indigeneity as the foundation of Jewish rights to historic Palestine, they ignore the rights of the Palestinians who have at least equal claim as Indigenous people of the region. Israel is recognized by Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and B’Tselem (the principal Israeli human rights organization) as an apartheid state. The conservative International Court of Justice has just declared that the charge of genocide brought against Israel by South Africa is “plausible” and thus will continue to be investigated by the court.

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