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With the UK's Labour Party, the French Parliament, and Congresswoman Ilhan Omar in the US all at the centre of rows over anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism, what is the relationship between the two concepts? Is either acceptable? Or are both words damaging and dangerous to Jewish communities across the globe?

Positions

Arguments supporting this position

Details

Context

The root of anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist arguments also highlight the differences between the concepts and demonstrate that one is bigoted while the other is political opposition to Israeli policy.

The Argument

Anti-Zionist arguments are rooted in International Law and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Many anti-Zionists oppose Israel's occupation of Palestinian lands on the grounds that it is illegal and nothing more. Anti-Zionist belief is rooted in equality and upholding the basic human rights of the Palestinian people. Anti-Zionist arguments are not borne from racial prejudices or resentment like anti-Semitism is. [1]

Counter arguments

Not all anti-Zionist arguments stem from international law and the respect for human rights. Some subscribe to anti-Zionist beliefs for religious reasons. For example, the American Presbyterian Church holds anti-Zionist beliefs not because of a respect for Palestinian human rights, but because it believes Jews "are condemned to suffer for their rejection of Jesus and complicity in his death". [2] These beliefs are clearly anti-Semitic. Consequently, those who hold anti-Zionist beliefs based on purely religious beliefs are expressing anti-Semitism in their anti-Zionist beliefs. This means that in some instances, anti-Zionism is equivalent to anti-Semitism and the two have a much closer relationship with some aligned goals.

Premises

[P1] Anti-Zionism is not rooted in bigotry. It is borne out of a respect for international law and human rights. [P2] Anti-Semitism is borne from prejudice and bigotry. [P3] Therefore, anti-Zionism is acceptable and distinct from anti-Semitism and anti-Semitism is bigotted and prejudiced and socially unacceptable.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P1] Anti-Zionism can also be rooted in bigotry and prejudice.

References

  1. https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/12/24/zionism-and-anti-semitism-argument-counter-argument/
  2. https://mosaicmagazine.com/picks/2019/03/the-ancient-christian-roots-of-some-modern-anti-zionism/

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This page was last edited on Thursday, 14 Mar 2019 at 15:09 UTC