I'd Rather Ask "How Do We Win the Struggle against Anti-Zionism?" Than "Is This Anti-Semitic?"

That’s why I signed the Jerusalem Declaration on Anti-Semitism.

Protesters outside the Israeli Embassy in Dublin on Saturday, 22 May 2021. Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images.

Protesters outside the Israeli Embassy in Dublin on Saturday, 22 May 2021. Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images.

Response
July 19 2021
About the author

One of America’s foremost political thinkers, Michael Walzer has written about a wide variety of topics in political theory and moral philosophy. His books include Just and Unjust Wars (1977) and Spheres of Justice (1983).

Joshua Muravchik’s essay is a very smart but strangely academic discussion of two definitions of anti-Semitism. He likes the one that is sponsored by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), and he strongly dislikes the other, the Jerusalem Declaration on Anti-Semitism (JDA). The IHRA definition identifies most statements of anti-Zionism as anti-Semitic; the JDA definition, by contrast, tries to establish a distance between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism, holding that some examples of the first are also examples of the second, but some are not. In his analysis of these two definitions, Muravchik quotes a goodly number of awful anti-Semitic sentences (many of which could be condemned by both definitions); he invokes history; he warns us against becoming complicit in the work of Jew-haters if we don’t endorse the IHRA definition.

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More about: Anti-Semitism, Israel & Zionism, Politics & Current Affairs