Judea Pearl, who is a professor at UCLA and the president of the Daniel Pearl Foundation has written an article in “The Cutting Edge News” on March 30. It is a challenging and thought provoking article on the differences between Anti-Zionism and Anti-Semitism. following is a short excerpt:
“… anti-Zionism is in many ways more dangerous than anti-Semitism.
First, anti-Zionism targets the most vulnerable part of the Jewish people, namely, the Jewish population of Israel, whose physical safety and personal dignity depend crucially on maintaining Israel’s sovereignty. Put bluntly, the anti-Zionist plan to do away with Israel condemns five and a half million human beings, mostly refugees or children of refugees, to eternal defenselessness in a region where genocidal designs are not uncommon.
Secondly, modern society has developed antibodies against anti-Semitism but not against anti-Zionism. Today, anti-Semitic stereotypes evoke revulsion in most people of conscience, while anti-Zionist rhetoric has become a mark of academic sophistication and social acceptance in
certain extreme yet vocal circles of U.S. academia and media elite. Anti-Zionism disguises itself in the cloak of political debate, exempt from sensitivities and rules of civility that govern inter-religious discourse, to attack the most cherished symbol of Jewish identity.
Finally, anti-Zionist rhetoric is a stab in the back to the Israeli peace camp, which overwhelmingly stands for a two-state solution. It also gives credence to enemies of coexistence who claim that the eventual elimination of Israel is the hidden agenda of every Palestinian.
It is anti-Zionism, then, not anti-Semitism that poses a more dangerous threat to lives, historical justice and the prospects of peace in the Middle East.”
Full link to article (http://www.thecuttingedgenews.com/index.php?article=11224&pageid=16&pagename=Opinion)
In his article, Judea Pearl seems to clearly delineate several differences between the two AND claim that the most dangerous is Anti-Zionism. I am far from convinced that the two can be completely separated and additionally, I believe that Anti-Semitism is at the root of Anti-Zionism.
The complete destruction of Israel would not bring the rest of the Jewish people worldwide to a safe place, while the complete cessation of anti-semitic acts and sentiments would preserve Israel AND also the diaspora Jews.
So, to be sure, BOTH Anti-Semitism AND Anti-Zionism must be fought and defeated and BOTH will require us to stand up and speak against them.
Racism is man’s gravest threat to man – the maximum of hatred for a minimum of reason.
Abraham Joshua Heschel
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