Is anti-Zionism necessarily Antisemitism?

“Israeli flags not welcome at London rally against antisemitism”

This above is the title of an article a few days ago  on the Times of Israel  which created quite a stir in discussion regarding anti-Zionism and antisemitism and really got me worked up.

Speaking at pluralistic Golders Green Together counter-protest, ahead of a planned neo-Nazi rally, local MP Mike Freer says Israeli flags ‘don’t help’

War Memorial Golders Green. credit:

For those who don’t follow English News, a neo-Nazi rally was scheduled to take place in Golders Green last Saturday, an area of London where one-fifth of the UK’s Jewish population live. The police eventually intervened and it was moved to an environment where it could be ‘contained’.

The Fascist groups had planned to protest the “Jewification of Britain” in Golders Green on shabbat (sabbath) by tearing apart Israel flags and burning copies of the Talmud.

Joshua Bonehill-Paine, one of the organizers behind the neo-Nazi event, described the march as a

“show of solidarity by English people who recognize that Israel is a corrupt state which is responsible for horrific war crimes.”

The self-styled “nationalist, fascist, theorist and supporter of white rights” said a private ceremony would be held where copies of the Talmud, a Jewish holy book, would be burned and Israeli flags would be torn apart “by hand.”

On Friday in Golders Green  under the slogan “Golders Green Together,” the rally was called to demonstrate opposition to a proposed neo-Nazi gathering that had been planned for the neighborhood, which is nicknamed London’s “Jewish heart.” But the display of Israeli flags at the largely good-natured event proved divisive.

On Friday morning two women carrying a huge Israeli flag  proceeded to decorate parts of the Golders Green war memorial in Israeli bunting and pennants.

A furious Israeli businessman accused them  of “disrespecting” the Israeli flag.

“People died for that flag,”

he said as he proceeded to remove the women’s flags from around the war memorial.

“You have no right to use this flag here,”

“You are doing great damage. This event is not about Israel, it is about antisemitism. Enough is enough.”

I agree with his sentiments and those of local MP Mike Freer said Israeli flags ‘don’t help’.

I grant you some of the individual followers of pro-Palestinian groups are antisemites. That I found out last year when I was on a Facebook page of one such group the night before attended a pro-Gaza rally but I personally do not think that anti-Zionism is necessarily antisemitism.

Rabbi Ahron Cohen of the repulsive Neturei Karta says that it is an error of assumption in the eyes of the world that Zionists are equated with Jews and Zionism is equated with Judaism.

The EU working definition states that

“when Israel is singled out for criticism above all other Middle East States, then that is antisemitism.”

Why?  Yes I know Israel is a Jewish State, but why antisemitism, not all Israelis are Jews.

Certainly not all Jews are Zionists.

Can you say that in York, England in 1190, when a wave of riots culminated in the massacre of an estimated 150 Jews – the entire Jewish community of York, that was Zionism?

No it was antisemitism – Judenhass.

Can you say that in 1290, when King Edward I issued an edict expelling all Jews from England that was Zionism?

No it was antisemitism – Judenhass.

Can you say that in the 1930s and 1940s when the Fascists tried to take over the East End of London and rid it of Jews that was Zionism?

No it was antisemitism – Judenhass.

Can you say that the ‘Blackshirt’ Fascist newspaper, complete with a photo of my father, I can still see sitting on the kitchen table, said he had to be eliminated because he was a Zionist (and a Communist)?

No it was antisemitism – Judenhass.

Can anyone say that down through the ages when Jews have been ravaged, raped, pillaged, forced into servitude and armed service, that was Zionism?

No it was antisemitism – Judenhass.

The term Judenhass was popular in Germany in the mid-1800s as a scientific-sounding term for  Jew-hatred, though it had been used for a fair while.

Wilhelm Marr  first used the word antisemitismus around 1880/81.

No Anti-Zionism.





Check Also

Antisemitic incidents in Australia up 35% in 2021

Each year, the Executive Council of Australian Jewry (ECAJ), the peak national body representing Australia’s …