The smear of "anti-Semite" is leveled critics of the Israeli government's criminal policies in order to intimidate them into silence.
British Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, and many others in the UK and the US are attacked for being anti-Semitic if they criticize Israel. But John McCain had very friendly meetings, and posed for photos, with prominent neo-Nazis in Ukraine and the Middle East – without being accused of being anti-Semitic.
People involved in political activity on the left have to learn to ignore charges of anti-Semitism stemming from their criticism of Israel. These accusations are just thrown out as a tactic to gain political advantage – like with “anti-American” and “conspiracy theorist” – and do not deserve to be taken seriously. Whenever possible, such name-calling should be made fun of.
There’s an unwritten rule in right wing circles: It’s okay to be anti-Semitic as long as you’re pro-Israel. Evangelical preacher Pat Robertson is such an example.
While in the past an “anti-Semite” was someone who hates Jews, nowadays it is the other way around: An anti-Semite is someone the Jews hate.
“God appointed America to save the world in any way that suits America. God appointed Israel to be the nexus of America’s Middle Eastern policy and anyone who wants to mess with that idea is a) anti-Semitic, b) anti-American, c) with the enemy, and d) a terrorist.” – John LeCarré
George Bush, Sr.’s Secretary of State, James Baker, famously said to a colleague: “Fuck the Jews! They don’t vote for us anyway”.
Zbigniew Brzezinski, National Security Adviser under Jimmy Carter: “An anti-Israel bias is not the same as anti-Semitism. To argue as much is to claim an altogether unique immunity for Israel, untouchable by the kind of criticism that is normally directed at the conduct of states.”
This article is excerpted from The Anti-Empire Report #160, originally published at WilliamBlum.org.