The Campus Anti-Israel Craze

(New York Times) Ammiel Hirsch and Joshua Davidson - As the senior rabbis of two major Reform synagogues, we are deeply worried about the effect that hatred of Israel has on students. Criticism of Israel is not necessarily anti-Semitic. It is often helpful and motivated by sound principles. But to describe Zionism as racism, to deny Israel's most basic right to exist, is anti-Semitic in effect, if not in intent. Why is Israel the only country in the world whose right to exist is not just questioned but actively campaigned against? Israel's enemies protest that they are simply anti-Zionist, not anti-Semitic, yet their view of justice requires eliminating the one and only Jewish state. And they attack it with such venom. Their hatred of Israel is a primal loathing. A hateful obsession with Israel too often descends into hatred of Jews, even if it doesn't start there. Hateful words lead to hateful deeds. This environment produces, teaches, accelerates and normalizes anti-Semitism. Anti-Israel activity on some college campuses has led to verbal and even physical assaults on Jewish students. And we must be honest with ourselves. It is happening in our space - in the heart of intellectual liberalism. Joshua Davidson is senior rabbi at Temple Emanu-El. Ammiel Hirsch is senior rabbi at Stephen Wise Free Synagogue.

2020-01-16 00:00:00

Full Article


Visit the Daily Alert Archive