They say anti-Semitism is a lot like alcoholism. Every recovering alcoholic knows their disease has no cure–that the seeds for its active return are always there, just below the surface of normalcy, requiring a constant lifelong vigilance to prevent. So, too, with anti-Semitism, sometimes called the world’s oldest hatred. No matter how long it may appear dormant, it never goes away. It is always there.
Just as a successful virus must mutate to survive changing immune systems, so too must anti-Semitism mutate to survive changing times. Today’s most virulent strain of anti-Semitism is that which focuses not on Jews as individuals but on the Jews as a nation. Today’s anti-Semitism doesn’t use language or race or religion to slander Jews; instead, it uses the language of human rights to delegitimize and discredit the state of the Jews.
Israel is the only country on earth actively targeted for annihilation–and not just by a few. An overwhelming majority of the world’s 1.5 billion Muslims support the destruction of Israel. Anti-Semitism in its crudest form has reappeared on the streets of France and Germany with cries of “Death to the Jews” and “Jews to the Gas.” In France, residents of the town called “Death to the Jews” are bitterly resisting efforts to change it.
The movement behind this goal never calls itself anti-Semitic. They are far too enlightened to endorse such crude bigotry. Instead, they insist they are anti-Zionist. One of the most successful lies of the left is that anti-Zionism is different than anti-Semitism. Whereas anti-Semites call for Jews to eliminated, so called “anti- Zionists” call for Israel to “eliminated.” Anti-Zionists don’t seek to change Israeli policies or tactics through legitimate criticism; they seek to delegitimize and destroy the Jewish State.
The newest twist on this oldest of games is to apply the term “anti-Semitism” to supporters of Israel. In this bizarro world, the only “true” friends of Israel are the ones who make their support for continued existence of the Jewish state contingent upon Israel adopting its positions. Thus, those who support Israel are her opponents and those who oppose Israel are her friends. If Israel does things its conditional supporters do not like, then that is reason to stop protecting Israel from its enemies. In short, the only true way to support Israel is not to support Israel. Get it?
How else to explain the recent explosion of left-wing (largely Jewish) attacks against conservative talk show host Mark Levin? Their charge: that Levin’s unabashed and passionate support for the Jewish state during its recent defensive fight against Hamas terrorism makes him not only anti-Israel–but maybe even an anti-Semite!
This recent row started when left-wing Jewish comedian Jon Stewart, real name Jon Leibowitz, accused Israel of veritable war crimes in its response to Hamas rocket and terror attacks against Israeli civilians. After Levin accused Stewart of siding with Hamas, which was precisely what Stewart had done, the Jewish left took to their prominently featured blogs at high-profile websites like the Huffington Post and the Times of Israel to explode in anger–not against Stewart, who was nightly accusing Israel of war crimes and genocide, but against Levin.
“In a world where Israel has too few real friends,” said Gary Bauer, the conservative activist and former presidential candidate of the attacks against Levin, “it is mind-boggling to hear that the true measure of friendship is a requirement that Israel’s friends use the language and adopt the positions of Israel’s enemies.” Bauer made his comments on Sirius/XM’s Bauer and Rose Show.
Throughout Jewish history, there has never been a shortage of Jews willing to serve the interests of their enemies. Today, Jewish voices are among the most loudly heard among the non-Muslim, anti-Zionist voices. These self proclaimed Jewish “anti-Zionists” have convinced themselves (and too many others) that being Jewish somehow prevents them from being anti-Semites themselves. Of course, such presumption is absurd. It is no more difficult for someone born a Jew to become an anti-Semite than it is for someone born in America to hate the United States. By such logic, no born American could ever be convicted of treason.
Commentary’s John Podhoretz calls this gaggle of Israel opponents “The But However Crowd.” Those, best personified by the anti-Israel group J Street, who say that Israelis themselves are best positioned to decide their own sovereign state’s policies through their open and participatory democracy are not the real supporters of Israel, because such people are leading Israel down the wrong path.
Of course, the irony that many of the same people who flaunt their moral superiority by condemning discrimination against homosexuals also loudly call for the destruction of the only nation between Greece and India where gays and lesbians are openly protected by law seems lost on them.