“Israel’s” weapon of choice: Anti-Semitism
Once and for all, let us settle the debate and put things into perspective… What is anti-Semitism? And how is it used to criminalize any act of solidarity with the Palestinians?
Between the corridors of political discourse in Hollywood, there is a reality that is seldom talked about and always intentionally ignored. It is a fact that is always whispered, spoken in secrecy, never fully vocalized, except by those who are brave enough to withstand the repercussions of supporting the Palestinian people.
Careers have been ruined, sidetracked, and completely ravaged, all under the pretext of anti-Semitism. But in reality, all what those public figures have done was stand on the right side of history.
10 points for Gryffindor
Emma Watson is one of the latest Hollywood stars that has faced hatred and social media trolling as a result of her political stances and rightful support for the oppressed.
Watson, an award-winning actress and activist, utilized her personal Instagram with over 64 million followers to post a message expressing solidarity with the Palestinian cause… However, her post seemed to upset and trigger pro-“Israel” online commentators, prompting them of course to accuse the British star of anti-Semitism.
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What happened with Watson is one of the latest controversies that reignited questions over the link between advocating Palestinian rights and randomly accusing people of being racist or anti-Semitic.
Some of the other celebrities and public figures that had been subjected to hate due to their support of the Palestinian cause are: Sally Rooney, Bella Hadid, Mark Ruffalo, Susan Sarandon, and many others.
So once and for all, let us settle the debate and put things into perspective… What is anti-Semitism?
The term anti-Semitism refers to any kind of hostility, prejudice, or discrimination against Jews. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, anti-Semitism is defined as [an act of] hostility toward or discrimination against Jews as a religious, ethnic, or racial group.
However, in 2016, a new definition of anti-Semitism has been reintroduced by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, which includes among its “contemporary examples” of anti-Semitism “denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination."
As such, it goes without saying that anti-Semitism should not be defined by Israelis.
Such re-definitions and endeavors to plagiarize terminologies express a systematic attempt to impose anti-Zionism as Jew-hatred in order to vilify and assume that “Israel” hatred is equivalent to Jews hatred.
But, is the criticism of “Israel” anti-Semitic?
To answer this question, we must first address the following:
Is every Jew Israeli?
Most Jews do not live in “Israel” and not every inhabitant of “Israel” is Jewish. Claiming the contrary is false and even insulting to a vast number of Jews, who neither are Israeli nor do they possess this “connection” or “attachment” to “Israel”.
And the best proof of that is the Jewish opposition to the Zionist movement long before the “state of Israel” was declared in 1948.
Thus, being a Zionist and being Jewish are not the same thing.
What is Zionism?
Zionism is a political and colonial movement, supported by plenty of non-Jews, including Western governments. It emerged in 19th Century Europe and was aimed at establishing a Jewish "homeland" in historic Palestine by any means necessary.
And what we mean by any means necessary includes, but is not limited to: waging wars and carrying out endless aggressions, killing Palestinians (the original rightful owners of the land), stealing properties from the original rightful owners of the land leading to their displacement, and the orphaning of thousands of children, as well as segregation and apartheid policies.
Thus, the implementation of the Zionist project necessitates the violent ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian population and the building of illegal settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories.
Thus, Zionism itself is a racist ideology, based on the horrific war crimes practiced each and every day against Palestinian people, and it can only be realized through a colonial-settler project.
Deliberately confusing ideological terms, symbols, and images has long been a tactic of propagandists whereby they manipulate the term "Zionist" to become a code word for "Jew”.
This is absolutely not a minor speech “slip-up”, rather it is a long-term systematic strategy that Zionists and “Israel” continue to deploy every day to this very day.
How can you win against your opponent in the ideological arena?
Simple: Manipulate the masses to reinforce the idea that criticizing you or the institution that you belong to is a “swearword” and it is an extremely discriminatory and bigotry act.
Year after year, Zionists understood that they could capitalize on anti-“Israel” sentiments and brand them as anti-Semitic, especially when addressing the Western public opinion. Thus, any call for the end of the Zionist colonization project would be confronted with the conjuring of the argument of anti-Semitism.
They are deliberately confusing anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism to discredit all attempts to attack apartheid “Israel”.
So let us make one thing clear: Just as anti-Zionism is in no way the equal of anti-Semitism, the legitimate opposition of the "existence" and actions of apartheid “Israel” in no way reflects anti-Jewish prejudice.
A camouflage to silence opposition
But, if we dig deeper to understand the reasoning behind this terminology usage in contemporary speech and in the present conflict in interpretation, in addition to the observation of the loosely related group of attitudes... we understand the motives behind it.
Defining anti-Zionism as anti-Semitism and using the two terms interchangeably reduces the threat of attacking and calling out Israeli policies, which leaves “Israel” free to entrench and impose its own agenda to further expand within historic Palestine and deny millions of Palestinians their most basic rights.
Accusations of anti-Semitism are deployed to establish an environment that intimidates all sorts of people and urges them to attack and delegitimize criticism of Israeli policies.
Debunking the myth
The brutal policies of the Israeli government, such as the systematic killing of Palestinians, denying Palestinians their basic rights, imprisonment of women and children, neglect of prisoners’ rights, and the building of settlements... to name a few, reflect the indignant and corrosive measures of Zionism, and Zionism only.
Anti-Semitism has become a means to intimidate individuals and prevent them from voicing their support and expressions of solidarity with the Palestinian people and standing against the many, many, many injustices the Palestinians are enduring each and every day.
So to get to the bottom line, is Emma Watson (along with the other pro-Palestinian celebrities) an anti-Semite just for voicing her support for the Palestinians?
Is amplifying the voice of an oppressed nation anti-Semitic?
Quite the contrary.
Because at the heart of it and taking all the facts and stories happening every day into consideration, the rhetoric that does not speak of the sufferings of the indigenous Palestinian people emerges as one of the crudest forms of anti-HUMANITY!