Photo Credit: wiki

{Originally posted to the author’s blog}

Is it antisemitism or anti-Zionism? Everyday, semantics are used to deflect what is obvious. When people argue over this it protects antisemitism. It does not matter whether in theory anti-Zionism and antisemitism are the same thing or not. It is a straw man argument. When you perform the duck test on anti-Zionist activity across the board, it soon becomes clear that antisemitism overflows in every corner of the anti-Israel movement. The duck test highlights just how seamlessly, blatant antisemitism has renamed itself.


I am in the middle of writing a large report that will hopefully meet my self-imposed end-of-February deadline. This particular post is not part of that and was never planned. It came about because in preparation for a talk I gave last night to students at KCL I needed to spend some time gathering examples of the similarity between anti-Zionism and classic antisemitism. This is what I found:

The duck test

What are examples of antisemitism? What are the tropes? I needed to work from a check-list, so turned to Wiki to find one. They have a page titled ‘antisemitic canards‘. It provides a list of different types of canards used to foster and legitimise hate against Jewish people throughout the ages. There are 20 classic types listed. They added the 9/11 conspiracy, which I ignored because I believe it captured in the essence of all the others.

Below are the results from the twenty I worked with. In those cases where the accusation predates Zionism (such as the killing of Christ), I have only used posts by people who ‘coincidentally’ are also anti-Israel activists:

Duck test 1 & 2

Guilt for the death of Jesus and host desecration. Both of these are active in anti-Zionism, with the idea of ‘host desecration’ transferable into desecration of the ‘Holy land’ and threats against Al Aqsa:

Duck test 3 & 4

Ritual murder, Blood libel and anti Christian bias. More common themes in anti-Zionist activism:

Duck test 5 & 6

Demonisation, impurity and accusations of well poisoning. Along with well poisoning, we can also add the well worn accusation that each year – Zionists’ open dams (that don’t exist) to flood Gaza. ‘Olive trees as water wells’ opens up another means of attack thats resembles accusations of poisoning and desecration:

Duck test 7 & 8

Plotting to control the world and causing wars and revolutions. The underlying logic behind all Rothschild Conspiracy:

Duck test 9 & 10

Accusations of causing antisemitism. Usury and profiteering:

Duck test 11 & 12

Kosher tax and accusations of a Pogrom against Native Americans. Clearly to contextualise, we turn it to accusations of a Pogrom against Palestinians. Given the general claims of Genocide, there was no need to refer to individual myths, like the false claim of a massacre in Jenin:

Duck test 13 & 14

Dual loyalty, cowardice and lack of patriotism. Very topical at the moment. Both in the United Kingdom and United States:

Duck test 15 & 16

Accusations of racism and Holocaust denial. Even the UN engaged in this one:

Duck test 17 & 18

Accusations of controlling the media and the world financial system.

Duck test 19 & 20

Accusations of playing a major role in the slave trade. Organ harvesting:

Every single canard on the list has been deployed in the demonization of Israel. Some of them, like accusations of racism and Genocide are at the forefront of anti-Zionist ideology, and banners that promote these myths are waved at every single demonstration. Not one canard failed to make the list. Not even ‘Kosher tax’. You have to be blind, or acting with deliberate sinister intent not to see it. It looks like a duck, it swims exactly like a duck and it sure quacks like a duck. It is time for everyone to stop pretending. We are dealing with an updated version of the oldest hatred.


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David Collier has been writing on the subject of Israel for years and is currently researching anti-Zionist forces on the university campus. During the Oslo years, he coordinated projects between the Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority and published his own newspaper which was printed in Ramallah.