by William Skink
There is an increasingly desperate effort across the pond and within American borders to conflate leftist criticism of Capitalism with Anti-Semitism. The enforced dogma of blind support for Israel from the Neoliberal establishment is being tested like never before, so mouthpieces for the ruling class, like the Financial Times, are just coming out and saying it:
Rhetoric about the 1 per cent and economic inequality has the same underlying theme–anti-capitalism masks and normalises anti-Semitism.
The discussion of wealth and power and how those who have it exert influence across the globe has been rendered a mine-field one must carefully navigate. Take a wrong step, use the wrong term, and BOOM! You are a hater of Jews trafficking anti-Semitic tropes and probably love Hitler.
I think push-back against anti-Semitic smear campaigns is getting more traction because the efforts to apply anti-Semitism are becoming so numerous and absurd. A good example is how isolated incidents in France were quickly exploited in an attempt to discredit the Yellow Vest movement. Here’s how Macron’s France reacted:
THE FRENCH GOVERNMENT will instruct police officers and magistrates to investigate critics of Israel who question its right to exist as a Jewish nation-state for possible violations of the law against anti-Semitic hate speech, President Emmanuel Macron said on Wednesday night.
“Anti-Semitism hides more and more behind the mask of anti-Zionism,” Macron said in an address to the Council of Jewish Institutions in France. “Anti-Zionism is one of the modern forms of anti-Semitism.”
The French president added that France would adopt a definition of anti-Semitism proposed by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance. That definition has been condemned by supporters of Palestinian rights for including as an example of anti-Semitism: “Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.”
While Macron also said that not all criticism of Israel is anti-Semitic, that distinction was quickly blurred by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, who released a statement welcoming the news that France had adopted a “definition which determines that anti-Zionism is a form of anti-Semitism.”
Since anti-Semitism is prohibited hate speech punishable by up to one year in prison under French law, critics of Israeli policies that discriminate against non-Jewish citizens and that deny basic civil rights to millions of Palestinians living under military rule could be at risk of prosecution. Supporters of a binational state, with equal rights for Arabs and Jews, and proponents of the right of Palestinian refugees to return to homes they were expelled from when Israel was founded could also be in legal jeopardy.
It’s hard to keep up with the ever-widening scope of anti-Semitism, so here’s a quick summary: The Yellow Vest movement is anti-Semitic, the Labour Party is anti-Semitic, criticizing Zionism is anti-Semitic, engaging in Constitutionally protected boycotts is anti-Semitic, using the word “globalist” is anti-Semitic, talking about the influence of billionaires is anti-Semitic (if it’s Soros or Rothschild, but not so much Sheldon Adelson for some reason) and saying anything about money and Israel in the same sentence is anti-Semitic.
Meanwhile, Netanyahu had this to say to Rotem Sela about who belongs to the nation-state of Israel:
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday that Israel “is not a country of all its citizens,” hitting back at criticism from an Israeli actress who said the government treats Arabs like they are less worthy.
“First of all,” Netanyahu wrote in a Facebook message Sunday morning addressed to actress Rotem Sela, “an important correction: Israel is not a country of all its citizens. According to the Nation-State Law that we passed, Israel is the nation-state of the Jewish nation – and its alone. As you wrote, there is no problem with Arab citizens – they have equal rights like everybody and the Likud government has invested in the Arab sector more than any other government.”
There is very little difference between what Netanyahu is saying here and what White Supremacists yearn for in America. Could I someday face jail time for making this comparison?