Is it Anti-Semitic to Criticize and Boycott Israel?

Israel is a country without borders in more ways than one. Its ideology ignores borders, affirming the existence of a state of the world’s Jews, while expressions such as ‘Jewish State’ or ‘Hebrew State,’ rather than Zionist state, are now widely used in the media. At the same time there occurs an increasingly overt transformation of Jewish organizations around the world into Israel’s vassals. In several countries, courses of Jewish advocacy have been imposed on students of Jewish schools, and Jewish youth are offered free trips to Israel, during which they are subjected to professional Zionist education.

Moreover, ever since its inception, the Zionist movement and later successive Israeli governments have taken great pains to avoid defining the borders they envisage for their state. In the meantime, the IDF pays borders no heed when striking targets in neighboring countries. Israel has thus placed itself above the constraints of International Law and, a fortiori, beyond the moral limitations of the Jewish tradition that the founders of the State expressly—and scornfully—rejected. Israeli leaders also ignore borders by intervening in the political process of other countries, namely in the United States where Israel often plays Congress against the White House. Israel, for all its trappings of modernity, remains bound by the Zionist ideology, which ensures that in spite of its respectable age, it remains a daring frontier experience rife with conflict. It is no wonder that Israel provokes criticism, which should not be dismissed as either anti-Semitic or a manifestation of the so-called ‘Jewish self-hatred.’ True, there are anti-Semites among critics of Israel, just as there are among cyclists or bankers. Rather, it is Zionism that bears resemblance to anti-Semitism, considering it eternal and accepting its basic postulate that Jewish citizens of other nations are flawed and incomplete, alien in their countries, and ultimately belonging to ‘the Jewish state.’

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