It’s the Anti-Semites Who Conflate Criticism of Israel with Anti-Semitism

The Houthis’ official slogan contains the phrase “Death to Israel” alongside “Curse on the Jews,” lest anyone mistake them for mere critics of Benjamin Netanyahu’s policy decisions. The possibility of such confusion is very much on the minds of the “Jewish writers, artists, and activists” who signed an open letter, recently published in a New York-based literary magazine, complaining about the “widespread narrative that any criticism of Israel is inherently anti-Semitic”—which then went on to accuse the Jewish state of possessing “genocidal intent” and to defend Hamas apologetics. But, notes Phoebe Maltz Bovy, supporters of Israel are not advancing such a claim. Rather, the blurring of anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism begins elsewhere:

Anti-Zionism isn’t anti-Semitism, goes the mantra. The problem is, anti-Semites themselves aren’t in on this distinction. Somewhere along the way—in France, maybe?—they realized that they could tack on an “it’s because [of] Palestine” to any anti-Jewish act, however unrelated to the Middle East. It gave plausible deniability, and made it seem as if being mad at local Jews for existing was a humanitarian geopolitical gesture.

And every Jewish target turns out to be an Israeli one, if you look real hard. . . . Not all criticism of Israel is anti-Semitism, but all anti-Semitism these days calls itself criticism of Israel.

Perhaps this is made clearest, notes Bovy in another post, by the use of the word “settler.”

We’re living in a moment when much of the left has embraced the idea that social justice is the global struggle against “settlers,” [and] classifies everyone across the globe as either home, displaced from home, or invading someone else’s house.

In Israel, according to anti-Zionist understandings, all Jews are settlers. Not just Jews living in the settlements [in the West Bank]. An Israeli Jew in Tel Aviv is, by the understandings of those who think Israel itself it illegitimate, no matter its borders or leadership, a settler.

To test her analysis, Bovy asked her social-media following if there is some place Jews would not be considered settlers; she discovered that “a lot of people are stumped.”

Read more at Canadian Jewish News

More about: Anti-Semitism, Anti-Zionism, Settlements

Israel Just Sent Iran a Clear Message

Early Friday morning, Israel attacked military installations near the Iranian cities of Isfahan and nearby Natanz, the latter being one of the hubs of the country’s nuclear program. Jerusalem is not taking credit for the attack, and none of the details are too certain, but it seems that the attack involved multiple drones, likely launched from within Iran, as well as one or more missiles fired from Syrian or Iraqi airspace. Strikes on Syrian radar systems shortly beforehand probably helped make the attack possible, and there were reportedly strikes on Iraq as well.

Iran itself is downplaying the attack, but the S-300 air-defense batteries in Isfahan appear to have been destroyed or damaged. This is a sophisticated Russian-made system positioned to protect the Natanz nuclear installation. In other words, Israel has demonstrated that Iran’s best technology can’t protect the country’s skies from the IDF. As Yossi Kuperwasser puts it, the attack, combined with the response to the assault on April 13,

clarified to the Iranians that whereas we [Israelis] are not as vulnerable as they thought, they are more vulnerable than they thought. They have difficulty hitting us, but we have no difficulty hitting them.

Nobody knows exactly how the operation was carried out. . . . It is good that a question mark hovers over . . . what exactly Israel did. Let’s keep them wondering. It is good for deniability and good for keeping the enemy uncertain.

The fact that we chose targets that were in the vicinity of a major nuclear facility but were linked to the Iranian missile and air forces was a good message. It communicated that we can reach other targets as well but, as we don’t want escalation, we chose targets nearby that were involved in the attack against Israel. I think it sends the message that if we want to, we can send a stronger message. Israel is not seeking escalation at the moment.

Read more at Jewish Chronicle

More about: Iran, Israeli Security