Opinion: New Global Anti-Semitism Seen in Disproportionate Criticism of Israel

July 31, 2004

Source: The Age


On July 31, 2004 The Age ran an opinion piece by Pamela Bone, an associate editor of The Age, in which she argues that not only Jews should be worried about the "global phenomenon" of the "return" of anti-Semitism." She writes, "[I]n the West, suddenly a new anti-Semitism has become widespread, acceptable, even politically correct, it is argued in a new book of essays (Those Who Forget the Past, edited by Ron Rosenbaum). Anti-Israel violence erupts on American campuses, there are calls by academics in the US, Britain and Australia to boycott Israeli academics, in letters pages of respectable newspapers there are comparisons between Israelis and Nazis...In the West, anti-Semitism has migrated from the right to the left (which doesn't mean it has gone from the right). How does one define the difference between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism? It is of course possible to be pro-Palestinian without being anti-Semitic. It is absolutely possible to criticise the state of Israel without being anti-Jewish; Jews do it all the time. It's the one-sidedness that raises suspicions. Yes, what the Israelis are doing to the Palestinians is terrible. But what the Palestinians are doing to the Israelis is also terrible...There are many people who would never discriminate against individuals because they are Jewish, who nevertheless feel entitled to hate the Jewish state. Israel can be criticised, as any state can be. But when the world's only Jewish state - the collective Jew - is criticised disproportionately and unreasonably, Jews cannot be blamed for fearing the old hatred is back; or that it never really went away."