by Cameron Scott
Last week, Mother Jones linked to news that Alvin Rosenfeld of the American Jewish Committee called for a new policy of “confronting” Jews who challenge Israel. (Rosenfeld’s essay specifically calls for confronting only those who “oppose Israel’s basic right to exist,” but the list of suspects he also includes casts a much wider net.)
Now the Anti-Defamation League is jumping on the bandwagon. The group will host a conference (9 a.m. this Sunday at Jewish Community High, San Francisco) on how Jews can protect themselves from anti-Semitism from the liberal left. They give the example of protesters at a recent anti-war rally in San Francisco chanting in Arabic “Jews are our dogs.”
Oy vey and Jesus H. Christ. Whether that happened or not neither I nor anyone else at the rally who doesn’t speak Arabic could say—and as such I seriously question if the ADL has good information on it. If it did happen, anyone in their right mind would say it was anti-Semitic plain and simple. There’s nothing uniquely “progressive” or “left” about its hatred, and therefore there’s little need for a special conference.
Nasty stereotyping and anti-Semitism does occur among those who consider themselves politically pure, just as homophobia does. And for that, shame. But what the ADL really means by targeting anti-war protests is that many of them called for the end of all occupation, whether conducted by Jews or gentiles. (Many disagree with that approach, but rallies unite people with different views.) Strong-arm Zionists have been pulling that same trick for years—conflating anyone who challenges the policies of a nation with those who hate everyone who shares the most common religion of that country. Their tactics make it harder, not easier, to piece out and deal with real anti-Semitic incidents or comments.