On Tuesday, the French National Assembly voted to approve a resolution equating anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism. On the same day, Le Monde, which during the cold war was known to be the KGB’s key outlet for spreading anti-American and pro-Soviet disinformation to the French media, published an open letter from a group of 127 Israeli and Jewish intellectuals who claimed that “cette résolution est hautement problématique,” this resolution is highly problematic.
“We, Jewish scholars and intellectuals from Israel and elsewhere, including many scholars of anti-Semitism and the history of Judaism and the Holocaust, raise our voices against this motion for a resolution,” the letter authors argued.
“The rise of anti-Semitism in the world, including France, is of great concern to us. We regard anti-Semitism and all other forms of racism and xenophobia as a real threat against which we must fight with the utmost firmness, and urge the government and the French Parliament to do so,” they went on, and conceded that “there is no doubt that there are anti-Semites among people who oppose Zionism. But there are also many anti-Semites who support Zionism. It is therefore inappropriate and totally inaccurate to generally identify anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism.”
It should be noted at this point, that the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) committee on anti-Semitism and Holocaust Denial in 2015 adopted a universal working definition of anti-Semitism which includes 11 points, one of which says that anti-Semitism is “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,” and “applying double standards by requiring of it a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation,” and “drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.”
You can criticize any and all act of the Israeli government, but when you ignore the above three rules you are, in effect, an anti-Semite.
The 127 letter continued: “For Palestinians, Zionism represents dispossession, displacement, occupation and institutional inequalities. It is cynical to stigmatize them as anti-Semites because they oppose Zionism.”
Sounds rational – if one ignores thousands of incidents in which violent attacks on Jews were accompanied by the popular “Idbach el Yahud” – kill the Jew; thousands of Palestinian video clips in which Muslim scholars advocate the murder of Jews whom they compare to pigs and monkeys; and more than 100 years of history in which Jew hatred and the hatred of the Jewish newcomers to Israel were thoroughly integrated by politicians from Iran to Morocco.
The letter was signed by academics from Israel, the United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Canada, The Netherlands, and Belgium. 43 Israelis signed the petition – more than any country – including 16 from Hebrew University, 12 from Tel-Aviv University, 5 from Ben-Gurion University, and 3 from Haifa University and the Weizmann Institute – every last one of them fully funded by the State of Israel, you know, the Zionist one, with all the Jews.
Alon Schvartzer, Director of Policy for Im Tirtzu, which gets a big H/T for emailing us the story, said “it is sad to see that when members of France’s parliament are fighting against anti-Semitism, Israeli professors are fighting against them. … Israeli academics who live off public funds are taking advantage of their positions to promote anti-Israel activities.”
The most well known signators, according to Le Monde, belonged to Jean-Christophe Attias, Université de Paris Sciences Lettres; Jane Caplan, Oxford U.; Alon Confino, University of Massachusetts; Tamar Garb, Institute of Advanced Studies in Humanities and Social Sciences, University College, London; Sonia Dayan-Herzbrun, Université Paris-Diderot; Amos Goldberg, Hebrew University; David Harel, Institut Weizmann des sciences, Paris; Amnon Raz-Krakotzkin, Ben-Gourion University; Alice Shalvi, Hebrew U. and Ben-Gourion U.; Joan Wallach Scott, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton; David Shulman, Hebrew U.; Zeev Sternhell, Hebrew U.