The Guardian • Issue #2082

OP-ED

Anti-semitism and Israel

Israeli flag on Masada.

Israeli flag on Masada. Photo: Jeff Nyveen – flickr.com (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 Deed)

I think the reports in The West Australian that there has been a more than 500 per cent increase in anti-Semitism should be treated with some caution. Anti Semitism refers to hostility or hatred towards Jewish people, and this should not be confused with anti-Zionism which is opposition towards the creation of the Jewish state.

Another kind of hostility is hostility to the actions of the Israeli state including the actions of the Israeli Defence forces – the organisation responsible for the bombing of  thousands of Palestinian people and their homes and other civilian infrastructure in Gaza – especially the women and children of Gaza who carry no weapons. Protests and criticisms of the actions of the Israeli state and Israeli Defence Forces should not be viewed as anti-semitic criticisms of the Jewish people as a whole. This allows the Israeli state to escape criticism for their actions against the Palestinian people in their retaliation against Hamas. There are many Israeli people, both Jewish and Arab that are also critical of the actions of the Israeli state, the IDF and their Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the war against Hamas and the Palestinian people.

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