Op Ed: As Jews, we don’t accept that criticism of Israel’s government is antisemitic
Op Ed: We don't accept that Criticism of Israel's Government is Antisemitic
February 6, 2024

Today, talk about antisemitism is everywhere – in newspapers, conversations between friends, and especially on social media. Many Jews feel scared. They are told to see antisemitism in the scarves worn in solidarity with Palestine, in the words “Free Palestine” voiced at protests, and in the stickers calling for the boycott of Israeli products.

But while reports of antisemitism have increased in Australia since Hamas’ October 7 attack on Israel – as have those of anti-Palestinian racism and Islamophobia – none of these are examples of it. They are instead legitimate expressions of support for Palestinians who are facing overwhelming levels of violence and displacement.

When Australia’s pro-Israel lobby groups mischaracterise these expressions as antisemitic, they produce fear and demonise Palestinians and their supporters. These accusations rely on a conflation of Jews and Israel – that any criticism of the state of Israel is seen as an attack on all Jews. This conflation reflects the view, promoted by Israel, that Jewish identity and safety worldwide is inextricable from Israel and its “security”. Any criticism of Israel’s use of brute force against Palestinians in the name of this security is by default deemed antisemitic.

As proud Jews who are committed to combating real racism, we know these are not the same thing. Jewish people have identities separate from the state of Israel and our cultures and practices are far older than Zionism.

Read the full article here: https://www.theage.com.au/national/as-jews-we-don-t-accept-that-criticism-of-israel-s-government-is-antisemitic-20240201-p5f1o6.html

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