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Conspiratorial white nationalism

Their version: Jews are a nefarious force working to diminish the status and position of white people in society. As foreign infiltrators and puppet masters secretly controlling the strings of power in the banking system, the media, Hollywood, and other institutions central to modern life, Jews are conspiring to undermine the white working class. 

The truth: Jews span the full socioeconomic continuum; come in all shapes, sizes, and colors; and hail from all over the world. Of course, there is no secret cabal to benefit Jews at the expense of others.

 
 

Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions

Their version: Individuals, organizations, universities, and businesses should be pressured to boycott, divest from, and sanction Israel in protest of their occupation of Arab lands and oppression of Palestinian people. Those who do not cooperate should be shamed for supporting an apartheid regime. Together, these tactics will pressure Israel to sue for peace, ultimately leading to Palestinian self-determination and a resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The truth: BDS is not about peace between two peoples. It is about denying the self-determination of one people, the Jewish people. The BDS movement defines all of Israel as “Arab lands” and all Israelis as colonialist, despite the fact that Jews lived there continuously for thousands of years, immigrated in large part to escape persecution, and later granted full citizenship and civil rights to a large Palestinian minority. Singling out Israel for boycott is not only unfair, it also makes peace less likely. It places all blame for the current impasse on the shoulders of only one party—granting terrorism a free pass, ignoring previous Israeli overtures for peace, and making it harder for Palestinian leadership to accept compromise. It robs Palestinians of jobs, effectively undermining efforts which are supposed to improve their lives. And it contributes to a vitriolic, counter-productive delegitimization campaign that gives fuel to those whose motives are truly antisemitic. 

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Blood libels

Their version: Jews are inherently evil. With a corrupt moral compass calibrated only to their own best interest, they willfully murder, maim, and torture non-Jews in pursuit of self-gain. Whether it is Jewish space lasers causing California wildfires, Jews spreading COVID, or Jewish fighter pilots intentionally bombing schools and hospitals, society must regard Jews with suspicion and expose them for their crimes.

The truth: This canard dates back millenia, when Jews were accused of ritually sacrificing Christian children to make matzah for Passover. It has continued and morphed to this day. The nature of the depraved crimes change, and so do the innocent victims, but the evil perpetrator — the Jew — remains the same. Outlandish and incendiary claims about Jews tell us more about the people who spread them than they do about Jews themselves.

 
 
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Anti-Jewish bias in the media

Their version: Hate crimes perpetrated against Jews are a response of complex racial tensions, gentrification, and socioeconomic grievance. Expanding Jewish populations in certain areas are an encroachment on the existing neighborhoods, and backlash to this is understandable. Jews are a privileged minority, not a victimized one, so we should reserve our outrage for crimes against truly marginalized communities.

The truth: According to the FBI, Jews are victimized by hate crimes more than any other religious or ethnic group in America. The people responsible for any hate crimes are the perpetrators, not the victims. The standard should be same regardless of the identity of those targeted ⁠— to condemn hatred full stop, point our fingers at the politicians and leaders who stoked it, and focus on the attacker's bigotry rather than dwell on their grievances.   

Anti-Israel bias in the media

Their version: The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is deserving of more air time, screen time, and column space than any other international conflict. The Palestinians are David and Israelis are Goliath; Israel controls its destiny and Palestinians have no control over their destiny. The media presents the volatile situation there as a co-equal cycle of violence, often tacitly condoning the behavior of Palestinians while judging the behavior of Israel as disproportionate.

The truth: Fewer people have been killed, displaced, or affected by the Arab-Israeli conflict than most other conflicts in the Middle East, let alone the rest of the world. The media draw a false equivalence between the legal actions of a nation-state defending its borders and citizens with the illegal actions of terrorists deliberately targeting those citizens. And they turn a blind eye when Palestinians are victimized by Hamas, the Palestinian Authority, or other Arab governments. Over the past 70+ years, Israel has repeatedly made and accepted offers for peace, whereas Palestinians have consistently rejected offers for peace. 

 
 

Israel at the United Nations

Their version: More resolutions are passed condemning Israel than all other nations combined. The bylaws of the United Nations Human Rights Council require addressing, at every meeting, only Israel’s alleged human rights infractions. This treatment makes Israel the world’s pariah state and premier violator of human rights. Palestinians, on the other hand, have earned non-member observer state status, unique refugee status, and a UN-observed “International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.”

The truth: Rather than embrace equal standards, the UN obsessively and disproportionately singles out the Jewish state for censure, while giving a free pass to countries who subjugate women, hang LGBTQ individuals, persecute religious minorities, torture dissidents, fund terrorism, and silence free speech. The UN denies the historical Jewish connection to Jerusalem while recognizing its connection to Islam. It never recognized the 800,000 Jewish refugees who were expelled from Arab countries in the wake of Israel's founding, but to this day maintains a separate refugee agency for Palestinians (UNRWA) apart from the UNHCR which caters to ever other refugee population. And while doing nothing to rehabilitate Palestinian refugee populations in Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, and elsewhere, the UNRWA has a well-documented history of allowing Hamas to store weapons in their facilities in Gaza.  

 

Anti-Zionism

Their version: Power is inherently evil, and powerlessness is inherently virtuous. Since Israel is a privileged and powerful white country that oppresses brown Palestinians, anyone genuinely committed to social and racial justice must protest not only specific Israeli policies, but the very existence of Israel. National identity should be universal and not based on ethnicity or religion.

The truth: Zionism is the national liberation movement of the Jewish people. Anti-Zionists decry Israel's Jewish identity as problematic, while taking no issue with the ethnic or religious identities of other countries. They cast the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in racial terms, despite the fact that most Israelis and Palestinians are the same color and share Middle Eastern descent. And anti-Zionism was never about social justice: they protest Israel, where women fly fighter jets and serve in all positions of government, instead of protesting gender policies in the Arab world, where women are subjugated and honor killings remain legal. They protest only Israel, which has progressive LGBTQ policies and every year hosts one of the world’s largest gay pride events, while ignoring oppressive LGBTQ policies in the Arab world, where there has never been even one gay pride event. The list goes on.

Israel on campus

Their version: Students on college campuses throughout the country are entitled to safe spaces, where they can be protected from micro-aggressions and ideas they find offensive. Israel is one such offensive idea, since it represents the subjugation and humiliation of Palestinians. University administrations should therefore restrict activities that present views in support of Israel.

The truth: The selective censorship of activities supportive of Israel, amidst silence in the face of activities demonizing Israel as a Jewish collective, is antisemitic. The First Amendment protects a right to free expression, not a right to feel safe from ideas one might consider offensive. And if students have any right to feel safe from being offended, certainly Jewish students have at least an equal right to feel safe from antisemitism, safe from bullying, and safe to express or listen to ideas supportive of their nation-state.

 

Holocaust denial

Their version: Many people were killed in World War II. Jews exaggerated their victimhood in order to win the world’s sympathy and manipulate Western powers into granting them a state. Israel is a country founded on lies, at the expense of Arabs who were living in Palestine.  

The truth: The systematic genocide of six million Jews during the Holocaust is the most well-documented crime in human history, and to deny or minimize this tragedy is antisemitic. To selectively question the legal and moral basis for Israel’s founding, while remaining silent about the legal or moral basis of any other modern state, is also antisemitic. The establishment of the State of Israel was the culmination of communal, legal, and diplomatic efforts that began in the late 19th century, long before World War II. Jews have lived in modern day Israel continuously for thousands of years, save periods of exile. Due to reasons that ranged from escaping persecution to pursuing religious destiny, the Jewish population began to grow rapidly first under Ottoman and later under British rule. The legal framework for Israel began with the lawful purchase of lands; continued through printed declarations, resolutions, and agreements with international powers; and concluded with an international vote of recognition. Arabs living in Palestine were also offered a state at that time, which they rejected.