Peter Beinart’s recent piece about anti-Zionism for The Forward
Bret Stephen’s column on this topic in The New York Times
Peter Beinart talks about Jews who are anti-Zionists. Specifically, the Satmar Hasidim
, an ultra-Orthodox Jewish sect that opposes the establishment of the state of Israel which they view as an anti-messianic act.
Jewish Voice for Peace
, another anti-Zionist Jewish group, is a left-wing activist organization which seeks to change US policy towards Israel. Their goal is to eliminate US economic, political, and military aid to Israel, and stop the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. Critics of JVA claim it is anti-Semitic and uses radical and questionable tactics to undermine public support for Israel. They have also been labelled as “self-hating Jews”
The PLO Charter
, referenced by Peter Beinart, was established in 1964 and does not recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the West Bank in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, or on the Gaza Strip.
Victor Orban, the far-right Prime Minister of Hungary, has been accused of promoting anti-Semitic tropes
to promote his vision of Hungarian Nationalism. He is a public supporter Israel and Benjamin Netanyahu, and has worked to maintain a good relationship between the two countries.
Ilhan Omar is a U.S. freshman congresswoman who has made controversial statements
about the political influence of AIPAC, the pro-Israel lobby in Washington. In July 2019, she introduced a pro-BDS resolution
in Congress, which was voted down by a margin of 398-17.
Peter references an Anti-Defamation League study on anti-Semitism. The 2015 poll
of 19 countries found that Turkey scored the highest: 71% of its citizens hold anti-Semitic beliefs, followed closely by Greece and Iran. 10% of Americans were found to harbour anti-Jewish sentiments.
Both Peter and Bret spoke about the BDS movement
. BDS stands for Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions. It is a Palestinian-led campaign promoting various forms of boycotts against Israel until the country agrees to meet their demands regarding Palestinian land, self-determination and return to property. The movement is predicated on the notion that Israel is an apartheid state. Critics of BDS say Israel is not an apartheid state, and they accuse the protest movement of being anti-Semitic and promoting the delegitimization of Israel.
BDS advocates for a range of different types of boycotts against Israel, including business (ie/ pension funds excluding Israeli banks in their investment portfolios), academic (ie/ banning Israeli professors from participating in university conferences), and cultural (ie/ preventing Israeli plays from performing abroad).
A recent study
from the Brookings Institution shows that the BDS movement has had little economic impact on Israel, yet there are concerns that is has altered liberal attitudes to be more critical of the Jewish state.
Peter Beinart references the American Jewish boycott of the Bolshoi ballet
in the 1970’s, which was enacted to protest the Soviet refusal to allow Jews to emigrate from the Soviet Union. The State Department opposed the boycott, believing that it would harm the already tense US relationship with the Soviet Union.