Last updated on: 11/17/2015 12:09:06 PM PST
Is Anti-Zionism a Form of Anti-Semitism?



PRO (yes)

Benjamin Weinthal, MPhil, Research Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, and Asaf Romirowsky, PhD, Executive Director at Scholars for Peace in the Middle East, in a Jan. 15, 2015 article for Philly.com titled "Are Jews Safe in Europe?" wrote:

"[H]atred of Israel can no longer be separated from loathing of Jews. Anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism are one and the same. The hard-core anti-Israel protests that engulfed Europe showed that the demonstrators aimed to dismantle the Jewish state because of its Jewishness."

Jan. 15, 2015 - Asaf Romirowsky, PhD 
Benjamin Weinthal, MPhil 



Avi Mayer, Spokesperson to the International Media for the Jewish Agency for Israel, in an Aug. 9, 2014 Tweet, wrote:

"The notion that one can be an anti-Zionist without being an anti-Semite is fallacious. Anti-Zionism is, by definition, anti-Semitic."

Aug. 9, 2014 - Avi Mayer 



The US Department of State's Office of the Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism, in a Mar. 2008 report titled "Contemporary Global Anti-Semitism: A Report Provided to the United States' Congress," available from the U.S. Department of State website, wrote:

"Traditional anti-Semitism, with its historic linkage to Nazism and fascism, tends to be overt and is considered unacceptable and illegitimate by much of the mainstream in Western Europe, North America, and beyond. In contrast, new anti-Semitism, characterized by anti-Zionist and anti-Israel criticism that is anti-Semitic in its effect - whether or not in its intent - is more subtle and thus frequently escapes condemnation…

[D]isproportionate criticism of the Jewish State and/or Israelis and demonizing them as barbaric, unprincipled, selfish, inhumane, etc. is anti-Semitic and has the effect of causing global audiences to associate those bad attributes with Jews in general."

Mar. 2008 - Office of the Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism 



The International Catholic-Jewish Liaison Committee (ICJLC), in its 18th Meeting in July 2004, released a declaration titled "The 18th International Catholic-Jewish Liaison Committee Meeting: Joint Declaration," available from the Vatican website, wrote:

"We draw encouragement from the fruits of our collective strivings which include the recognition of the unique and unbroken covenantal relationship between God and the Jewish People and the total rejection of anti-Semitism in all its forms, including anti-Zionism as a more recent manifestation of anti-Semitism."

July 2004 - International Catholic-Jewish Liaison Committee (ICJLC) 



Dennis Prager, radio talk show host, in a May 30, 2006 article titled "Explaining Jews Part VII: Why Anti-Zionism Is Anti-Semitism," available from The Dennis Prager Show website, wrote:

"Imagine someone saying that he seeks the destruction of Italy because he regards Italian national identity as racist. Further, imagine that this person constantly denies being anti-Italian, because he does not hate all Italians, only Italy and all those who believe Italy should exist.

Now substitute 'Jewish' for 'Italian' and 'Israel' for 'Italy' and you understand the absurdity of the argument that one can be anti-Zionist but not anti-Jewish.

Among the many lies that permeate the modern world, none is greater - or easier to refute - than the claim that Zionism is not an integral part of Judaism or the claim that anti-Zionism is unrelated to antisemitism…

When people isolate the one Jewish state in the world for sanctions, opprobrium and delegitimizing, they are doing so because it is the Jewish state. And that, quite simply, is why anti-Zionism is simply another form of Jew-hatred.

You can criticize Israel all you want. That does not make you an antisemite. But if you are an anti-Zionist or advocate the destruction of the Jewish state, then let’s be clear: You are an enemy of the Jews and of Judaism, and the word for such a person is antisemite."

May 30, 2006 - Dennis Prager 



Martin Luther King Jr., PhD, as quoted by U.S. Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) in his official website article entitled "'I Have a Dream' for Peace in the Middle East King's Special Bond with Israel," and also quoted by Seymour Martin Lipset, a Harvard sociologist, in a Dec. 1969 Encounter magazine article titled "The Socialism of Fools: The Left, the Jews and Israel," stated:

"When people criticize Zionists, they mean Jews, you are talking anti-Semitism."

[Editor's Note: The authenticity of this quote has been verified by the King family and the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA). The source of the quote remains in question. Some say it came from a letter that Dr. King wrote while others contend that it came from a March 1968 speech at Harvard University. The Harvard Crimson newspaper archives do not reference Dr. King's alleged appearance on campus in 1968. We contacted the MLK Archives at Stanford University and the MLK Center in Atlanta for clarification. As of Dec. 19, 2006 we have not received a response from either organization.]

Mar. 1968 - Martin Luther King, Jr., PhD 



CON (no)

Susan Landau, Founding Member of Philadelphia Jews for a Just Peace, in a Jan. 27, 2015 article for the Mondowess website, titled "Phila Inquirer Publishes a Lie: 'Anti-Zionism and Anti-Semitism Are One and the Same'," wrote:

"Anti-Semitism is a virulent systemic ideology of Jew-hatred resulting in destructive thoughts and actions perpetrated against people because they are Jews. Zionism as a national political movement was a nineteenth century response to European anti-Semitism by advocating a Jewish homeland in Israel...

[A]nti-Zionism and anti-Semitism are NOT 'one and the same'... Protests directed against present policies and practices of the government of the state of Israel for maintaining the illegal occupation of the Palestinians, denying their human rights, and violating international law are not inherently anti-Semitic. Attacking Jews because they are Jewish IS anti-Semitic.

Not all Jews are Zionists; nor are all Zionists Jewish. To conflate Judaism, an ancient religion with ideals of love and justice, with Zionism, a recent ideology now expressed in territorial expansion, power, and militarism, is to make an egregious error with tragic consequences for all."

Jan. 27, 2015 - Susan Landau 



Ahron Cohen, Rabbi, in a July 2, 2006 speech at the Against Zionism, Jewish Perspectives conference hosted at the University of London (UK) by the Islamic Human Rights Commission titled "Anti-Zionism Is Not Anti-Semitism," the transcript of which is available from www.ihrc.org, stated:

"Anti-Zionism is an opposition to a philosophy, an idea. The opposition is directed, at least initially, at the idea rather than at the people.

Anti-Semitism, which although it has existed for as long as the Jewish People have existed, is an illogical bigotry. Anti-Zionism, however, is a perfectly logical opposition, based on very sound reasoning, to a particular idea and aim…

Zionism is secularism, materialism, no particular religious belief, no particular moral or ethical obligation. Judaism is G-dliness, morality, ethical standards, religious belief. So obviously an opposition to Zionist secularism would have no logical connection with an opposition to people who adhere to or have a connection with Judaism…

[A]nti-Zionism, that is opposition to the Zionist aim of forming a State for Jews is certainly not anti-Semitism."

July 2, 2006 - Ahron Cohen 



Peter Beinart, MPhil, Associate Professor of Journalism and Political Science at the City University of New York, in a May 27, 2015 article for Haaretz titled "What Obama Got Wrong About Anti-Zionism and Anti-Semitism," wrote:

"Inside the United States, anti-Zionism, while still marginal, is growing… The American Jewish establishment has responded by calling this rising anti-Zionism anti-Semitic…

Yes, many anti-Semites are also anti-Zionists. But anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism are not the same…

Conceptually, anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism are clearly distinct. Virtually all Palestinians are anti-Zionists. After all, Zionism is a Jewish national liberation movement that, while a great blessing for the Jewish people, has caused Palestinians great suffering. But that doesn’t make all Palestinians anti-Semites...

In the United States in recent years, this pre-existing anti-Zionism has gained new momentum primarily because of the actions of Israel's government…

Are some of the people drawn to this new anti-Zionism anti-Semitic? Sure. But to conflate the two… requires overlooking the fact that a disproportionate percentage of the new anti-Zionists are Jews."

May 27, 2015 - Peter Beinart, MPhil 



Edward C. Corrigan, MA, LLB, citizenship and immigration lawyer, in a 2009 article for the Middle East Policy Council titled "Is Anti-Zionism Anti-Semitic? Jewish Critics Speak," available from www.mepc.org, wrote:

"There is no rational basis for the argument that criticism of the state of Israel and the political ideology of Zionism is anti Semitic, just as it makes no sense to consider criticizing apartheid South Africa's racist policies toward blacks as evidence of racism toward whites, or that criticism of Nazi policies toward the Jews should not be allowed because it is evidence of racism against Germans…

This argument is obviously absurd and should not even require a response."

2009 - Edward C. Corrigan, MA, LLB 



Noam Chomsky, PhD, Professor of Linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in an Oct. 2014 Q&A session at a conference sponsored by the United Nations Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, the transcript of which is available from the Democracy Now! website under the title "Noam Chomsky at United Nations: It Would Be Nice If the United States Lived up to International Law," stated:

"[Question] How Would You Respond to the Charge That Anti-Zionism is the New Anti-Semitism?...

[Chomsky]: There is no sensible charge. No sensible charge. There's nothing to respond to. It's not a form of anti-Semitism. It's simply criticism of the criminal actions of a state, period."

Oct. 2014 - Noam Chomsky, PhD