Originally posted on National Post | Full Comment:
Re: Hating Israel, Each For Their Own Reasons, George Jonas, Nov. 3.
Though I agree with George Jonas that Natan Sharansky’s 2004 3D Test (Demonization, Double Standards, Delegitimization) test is not a hard and fast litmus test of an anti-Semite, I would argue that it misses the point. The point is not whether a silver-tongued anti-Semite is hiding behind legitimate criticisms of Israel. The point is to be able to correctly label and identify whether or not the arguments and accusations raised in events such as “Israel Apartheid Week” can be clearly identified as anti-Semitic, or whether they are staying grounded within the boundaries of legitimate debate.
In this regard, both Alan Dershowitz’ 2005 checklist of legitimate and illegitimate criticism of Israel is a much more useful and applicable tool for properly classifying arguments as anti-Semitic or not. Also, the European Union’s Agency for Fundamental Rights in 2005 put forth a multi-point working definition of anti-Semitism that we should use and build on for being able to single out the hate-based arguments from the genuine criticism.
Alan Herman, Toronto.
While I agree with George Jonas that “some are and some are not” with regard to Israel’s critics being anti-Semites, I think that anti-Semites are always non-trustworthy critics of Israel. As a student in Ryerson University over 20 years ago, I had the misfortune of having a sociology professor who was both an anti-Semite and a critic of Israel. He told us that the Jews were the chosen nation because they were chosen to die and he took pleasure in showing the class Palestinian propaganda films. Sadly, he was an academic and a Jew. Judging by his comments and course content he would have passed Sharansky’s “3D test” but the only D’s that I would use when referring to him and others of his kind are: despicable, delirious, devious and dangerous,
T. Cohen, Thornhill, Ont.
The most common reason to hate Israel is still anti-Semitism. So who is clearly anti-Semitic and not merely critical of this or that Israeli action? The United Nations is blatantly anti-Semitic in its persistent negative focus on Israel to the exclusion of the violent human rights abusers surrounding her. Islamic groups, such as the Muslim Brotherhood and their progeny — such as the Israel Apartheid Week and Boycott, Divest and Sanction groups that pollute our universities — clearly are passionately anti-Semitic. Terrorists like Hamas, Hezbollah, Fatah and their fellow-travellers like the Gaza flotilla folks are racists as well.
There are also numerous fringe Jewish groups bent on bringing Israel to its knees. That includes organizations such B’Tselem, J-Street and Peace Now, whose goal is not to support Israel, but to make Israel more acceptable to their left-wing, progressive ideologies. If some of these groups are not anti-Semitic, they are at best useful idiots.
Len Bennett, Montreal.