a simple lesson: how to tell the difference between hatred of a people and criticism of a nation's policies

All right, boys and girls, put your thinking caps on. There will be a quiz.

Jews are people.

Whether they are adherents to the religion of Judaism, or identify as ethnically Jewish, or both, Jews are people.

Advocating harm, discrimination, or the infringement of rights of Jewish people = anti-Semitism.

Hatred of people because they are Jews = anti-Semitism.

Pre-judging people because they are Jews = anti-Semitism.

Characterizing a person one does not know as having certain traits because he or she is Jewish = anti-Semitism.

Israel is a country, a modern nation-state.

That country is run by a government.

That government has policies.

Criticism of those policies is no different than criticism of the policies of the US, Canada, France, South Africa, the Netherlands, or any other country.

You see? It's actually very simple. Here's the quiz. Let's do it together.

"Death to Jews" ? Anti-Semitism.

"Jews are cheap and will try to swindle you." ? Anti-Semitism.

"Jews control the US government." ? Anti-Semitism.

"But you're OK, you're not one of those real Jew-y Jews." ? Anti-Semitism. (This has been said to me.)

"Palestinians deserve equal rights." ? Not anti-Semitism.

"I oppose Israel's policies towards Palestinians." ? Not anti-Semitism.

"I believe Israel's policies towards the Palestinian people constitute an apartheid regime." ? Not anti-Semitism.

"Boycott, divest, sanction against Israel to help the Palestinian people." ? Not anti-Semitism.

You may disagree with the characterization of Israel as an apartheid regime. But the belief that Israel is an apartheid regime is not anti-Semitism. Because Israel is a country. It is not "the Jews".

Why is that so hard to understand?

It's not.

The political posturing of various Canadian politicos is a self-serving crock of shit. They know perfectly well that opposing Israel's policies regarding the Palestinian people is not anti-Semitism. But they care infinitely more about their political careers than they do about justice. They won't go up against the US, the Israel lobby, and what is maddeningly, condescendingly called "the Jewish vote".

One day, when Israeli apartheid is dismantled the way South African apartheid was, this condemnation of anti- Israeli apartheid activity will be exposed, then forgotten.

Until then, we can only continue to speak out.

I am Jewish.

I condemn anti-Semitism.

I condemn Israel's apartheid policies.

I am not anti-Semitic.

I am pro-justice.

[Two excellent pieces linked above, by the way: Siddiqui and Dr. Dawg.]

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