On the Foolishness of Jewish Celebrities Wearing Yellow Stars

Sept. 5 2017

At a recent concert at New York’s Madison Square Garden, the musician Billy Joel appeared on stage wearing a six-pointed yellow star—apparently in response to the anti-Semitic demonstrations that had taken place in Charlottesville. Thereafter, the actor and producer Nev Schulman appeared at a Los Angeles awards ceremony wearing a similar star. Stephen Pollard finds this new trend among Jewish celebrities “crass, infantile, ignorant, stupid, [and] offensive”:

Presumably Joel was thinking that he was “reclaiming” [the star] in some way. . . But it’s not his to reclaim. It’s not mine. It’s not anyone’s, however much they might want the world to know they’re Jewish, or that they love Jews just so much. The only people [whose it is] to “reclaim” are Holocaust survivors. And I seem to have missed the pictures of survivors donning their yellow stars again as a fashion accessory.

[M]ake no mistake, . . . this is virtue signaling in the worst possible taste. . . .

[Y]ou do not express your pride in being Jewish, or your revulsion against hate, by donning the Nazi yellow star as a fashion statement of that supposed pride. All you do is insult those survivors who lived through the Shoah, and who did not wear their yellow stars to draw media attention to themselves but because they were forced to do by the Third Reich.

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More about: American Jewry, Anti-Semitism, Holocaust, Jewish World

 

For Israelis, Anti-Zionism Kills

Dec. 14 2018

This week alone, anti-Zionists have killed multiple Israelis in a series of attacks; these follow the revelations that Hizballah succeeded in digging multiple attack tunnels from Lebanon into northern Israel. Simultaneously, some recent news stories in the U.S. have occasioned pious reminders that anti-Zionism should not be conflated with anti-Semitism. Bret Stephens notes that it is anti-Zionists, not defenders of Israel, who do the most to blur that distinction:

Israelis experience anti-Zionism in a different way from, say, readers of the New York Review of Books: not as a bold sally in the world of ideas, but as a looming menace to their earthly existence, held at bay only through force of arms. . . . Anti-Zionism might have been a respectable point of view before 1948, when the question of Israel’s existence was in the future and up for debate. Today, anti-Zionism is a call for the elimination of a state—details to follow regarding the fate befalling those who currently live in it. . . .

Anti-Zionism is ideologically unique in insisting that one state, and one state only, doesn’t just have to change. It has to go. By a coincidence that its adherents insist is entirely innocent, this happens to be the Jewish state, making anti-Zionists either the most disingenuous of ideologues or the most obtuse. When then-CNN contributor Marc Lamont Hill called last month for a “free Palestine from the river to the sea” and later claimed to be ignorant of what the slogan really meant, it was hard to tell in which category he fell.

Does this make someone with Hill’s views an anti-Semite? It’s like asking whether a person who believes in [the principle of] separate-but-equal must necessarily be a racist. In theory, no. In reality, another story. The typical aim of the anti-Semite is legal or social discrimination against some set of Jews. The explicit aim of the anti-Zionist is political or physical dispossession.

What’s worse: to be denied membership in a country club because you’re Jewish, or driven from your ancestral homeland and sovereign state for the same reason? If anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism are meaningfully distinct (I think they are not), the human consequences of the latter are direr.

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More about: Anti-Semitism, Anti-Zionism, Hizballah, Israel & Zionism, Palestinian terror