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Anti-Zionism is Racism (An essay by Judea Pearl)


This essay was written by Judea Pearl, president of the Daniel Pearl Foundation, named after his son, who was kidnapped and murdered in Pakistan while investigating the case of a convicted shoe bomber. (It is being published here with the permission of Judea Pearl, via the site: Zionism on the Web)

In the past three months, I have visited four “troubled” campuses — Duke, York (Canada), Columbia and UC Irvine — where tensions between Jewish and anti-Zionist students and professors have attracted national attention.

In these visits, I have spoken to students, faculty and administrators, and I have obtained a fairly gloomy picture of the situation on those and other campuses.

Jewish students are currently subjected to an unprecedented assault on their identity as Jews.

And we, the Jewish faculty on campus, have let those students down.

We have failed to equip them with effective tools to fight back this assault.

We can reverse this trend.

Many condemn anti-Zionism for being a flimsy cover for anti-Semitism. I disagree. The order is wrong. I condemn anti-Semitism for being an instrument for a worse form of racism: anti-Zionism.

In other words, I submit that anti-Zionism is a form of racism more dangerous than classical anti-Semitism. Framing anti-Zionism as racism is precisely the weapon that our students need for survival on campus.

Anti-Zionism earns its racist character from denying the Jewish people what it grants to other collectives (e.g. Spanish, Palestinians), namely, the right to nationhood and self-determination.

Are Jews a nation? A collective is entitled to nationhood when its members identify with a common history and wish to share a common destiny. Palestinians have earned nationhood status by virtue of thinking like a nation, not by residing where their ancestors did (many of them are only three or four generations in Palestine). Jews, likewise, are bonded by nationhood (i.e., common history and destiny) more than they are bonded by religion.

The appeal to Jewish nationhood is necessary when we consider Israel’s insistence on remaining a “Jewish state.” By “Jewish state” Israelis mean, of course, “national Jewish state,” not “religious Jewish state” — theocratic states (like Pakistan and Iran) are incompatible with modern standards of democracy and pluralism. Anti-Zionist racists use this anti-theocracy argument repeatedly to delegitimize Israel, and I have found our students unable to defend their position with conventional ideology that views Jewishness as a religion.

Jewishness is more than just a religion. It is an intricate and intertwined mixture of ancestry, religion, history, country, culture, tradition, attitude, nationhood and ethnicity, and we need not apologize for not fitting neatly into the standard molds of textbook taxonomies — we did not choose our turbulent history.

As a form of racism, anti-Zionism is worse than anti-Semitism. It targets the most vulnerable part of the Jewish people, namely, the people of Israel, who rely on the sovereignty of their state for physical safety, national identity and personal dignity. To put it more bluntly, anti-Zionism condemns 5 million human beings, mostly refugees or children of refugees, to eternal statelessness, traumatized by historical images of persecution and genocide.

Anti-Zionism also attacks the pivotal component of our identity, the glue that bonds us together — our nationhood, our history. And while people of conscience reject anti-Semitism, anti-Zionist rhetoric has become a mark of academic sophistication and social acceptance in Europe and in some U.S. campuses.

Moreover, anti-Zionism disguises itself in the cloak of political debate, exempt from sensitivities and rules of civility that govern interreligious discourse. Religion is ferociously protected in our society — political views are not.

Just last month, a student organization on a UC campus hosted a meeting on “A World Without Israel.” Imagine the international furor that a meeting called, “A World Without Mecca,” would provoke.

So, in the name of “open political debate,” administrators would not think twice about inviting MIT linguist Noam Chomsky to speak on campus, though his anti-Zionist utterances offend the fabric of my Jewish identity deeper than any of the ugly religious insults currently shocking the media. He should be labeled for what he is: a racist.

Strategically, while accusations of anti-Semitism are worn out and have lost their punch, charging someone with racism makes people ask why anyone would deny people the right of self-determination in a sliver of land in the birthplace of their history. It shifts the frame of discourse from debating Israel’s policies to the root cause of the conflict — denying Israelis their basic rights as a nation.

Charges of “racism” highlight the inherent asymmetry between the Zionist and anti-Zionist positions. The former grants both Israelis and Palestinians the right for statehood, the latter denies that right to one, and only one side. This asymmetry is the most effective weapon our students should use in campus debates, for it puts them back on the high moral grounds of “fair and balanced” and forces their opponents to defend an ideology of one-sidedness.

For example, I have found it effective, when confronting an anti-Zionist speaker, to ask: “Are you willing to go on record and state that the Israel-Palestine conflict is a conflict between two legitimate national movements?” Western audiences adore even-handedness and abhor bias. The question above forces the racist to unveil and defend his uneven treatment of the two sides.

America prides itself on academic freedom, and academic freedom entails freedom to teach hatred and racism — we graciously accept this fact of life. However, academic freedom also entails the freedom of students to expose racism, be it white-supremacy, women-inferiority, Islamophobia or Zionophobia wherever it is spotted. Not to censor, but to expose — racists stew in their own words.

In summary, I believe the formula “Anti-Zionism = Racism” should give Jewish students the courage to both defend their identity and expose those who abuse it.


43 replies »

    • Sorry to disappoint. I might read the article later and respond. There’s an interesting article in Haaretz today that I’m looking at.

      http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/features/thanks-to-netanyahu-s-babble-an-attack-on-iran-will-inflame-global-anti-semitism-1.419645

      Of particular interest was this section summarising Herzl Shafir’s position paper:

      “* Even though the Iranian leadership makes no secret of its wish that Israel would disappear from the map, ***there has never been a direct Iranian threat to use force*** or nuclear weapons. Iran’s primary reasons for wanting nuclear weapons are to achieve regional military and diplomatic hegemony, to protect the regime against external threats, and to establish a balance of fear with other countries in the region that possess nuclear weapons.

      In July 2008, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad responded to the question of whether Iran would destroy Israel by saying, “Iran will not act militarily … The Zionist regime in Israel will bring itself down in the end.” When asked if he would support a two-state solution, he said, “If the Palestinians accept this, legally and of their own free choice, we will respect their decision.””

      Another puncture in the bag of hot air that is the continual threat of destruction from Iran.

      • How can you tell a liar?

        http://cifwatch.com/2012/03/14/guardian-readers-thinly-veiled-threat-against-jews-doesnt-result-in-suspension-of-user-privileges/

        When a liar is shown an article which says:

        “… the opportunity must not be lost to remove “this corrupting material. It is a “‘jurisprudential justification” to kill all the Jews and annihilate Israel, and in that, the Islamic government of Iran must take the helm.”

        And it is stated that:

        The article, written by Alireza Forghani, an analyst and a strategy specialist in Khamenei’s camp, now is being run on most state-owned sites, including the Revolutionary Guards’ Fars News Agency, showing that the regime endorses this doctrine.”

        A misquoting liar would say:

        “An article, written by some guy, published on a website, equates to a threat of military state violence against Israel/Jews?”

        When it is again pointed out that the article was on “most state-owned sites, including the Revolutionary Guards’ Fars News Agency, showing that the regime endorses this doctrine” – the misquoting liar disappears.

        A misquoting liar is someone who accuses Herzl of anti-semitism, but after it is proven that he uses a misquotation –

        cifwatch.com/2012/03/09/economist-blog-accuses-israelis-of-fearing-iran-due-to-auschwitz-complex/comment-page-1/#comment-69558

        … he just comes back again with his lies as if nothing happened.

        Bottom line:

        I wouldn’t shed a tear if useful idiots like Herzl Shafir and misquoting apologists for bloodthirsty dictators went to Iran in order to be human shields for nuclear installations.

        • “I wouldn’t shed a tear if useful idiots like Herzl Shafir…”

          Useful idiots like Shafir, who’ve done more in an average day at the office to defend Israel than people like you will achieve in a lifetime, and has forgotten more about defending Israel than you will ever know.

          It’s amazing how a departure from the herd mentality is so savagely attacked. Do you really fear independent thought so much?

          But you’re right. You’re better informed than Shafir. I mean, how could you not be…? 🙂

          • Another sign by which you can tell a misquoting liar is that he will never address the issues you mention.

              • “You mean in the same way that you failed to address Shafir’s puncturing of the Iranian phantom menace?”

                I rest my case. When one quotes an article justifying Israel’s destruction, an article picked up by “most state-owned sites, including the Revolutionary Guards’ Fars News Agency, showing that the regime endorses this doctrine” and shows the lies of an apologist for bloody Islamofascist dictators, first the misquoting liar will say:

                “An article, written by some guy, published on a website, equates to a threat of military state violence against Israel/Jews?”

                Then the misquoting liar will run away. Then he will return on another thread to keep spreading his lies, and then he will accuse others of not addressing the issue.

                • It’s really quite astonishing. Perhaps that isn’t the right word.

                  The best that you can muster, is that an article, written by some guy, appears on a website run directly or indirectly by the Iranian regime. And that in the view of the author of the article you cite, this means that “that the regime endorses this doctrine”.

                  Wholly unfounded non-sequiturs, Batman.

                  Come on, I KNOW you can do better. After all, the threats to destroy Israel are “continual”. Why are you finding it SO difficult to find even a single, isolated example of these continual, unequivocal threats of military aggression against Israel?

                  And when you see quotes of Ahmadinejad which read “Iran will not act militarily … The Zionist regime in Israel will bring itself down in the end.” and that “If the Palestinians accept [a two-state solution], legally and of their own free choice, we will respect their decision.” – I mean, what goes on in your head?

                  Have a think about the filtering process. I mean, you have Ahmadinejad unequivocally saying that Iran will not act militarily against Israel, and that Iran would respect a two state solution. And you have NOT A SINGLE example of the regime unequivocally threatening military aggression against Israel.

                  So in your head, try to follow the process that leads you to believe in these “continual” threats of destruction. And see if it exposes any prejudices.

                  • A misquoting liar will qoute one sentence and ignore the following:

                    Ahmadinejad: Destroy Israel, End Crisis
                    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/08/03/AR2006080300629.html

                    Ahmadinejad: Israel’s destruction near
                    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-%20%203327439,00.html

                    Iran’s Ahmadinejad says evil Israel will be annihilated
                    http://www.iranfocus.com/en/?option=com_content&task=view&id=7166

                    Ahmadinejad to Iranians:
                    Israel ‘will be removed’
                    http://www.wnd.com/2006/02/34781/

                    Ahmadinejad at Holocaust conference: Israel will ‘soon be wiped out’
                    http://www.haaretz.com/news/ahmadinejad-at-holocaust-conference-israel-will-soon-be-wiped-out-1.206977

                    Tehran’s Genocidal Incitement against Israel
                    http://www.meforum.org/2167/iran-genocidal-incitement-israel

                    Ahmadinejad: Iran is determined to eradicate Israel
                    http://www.haaretz.com/news/middle-east/ahmadinejad-iran-is-determined-to-eradicate-israel-1.380629

                  • A misquoting liar will cite one single sentence, and ignore loads of others:

                    Ahmadinejad: Destroy Israel, End Crisis
                    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/08/03/AR2006080300629.html

                    Ahmadinejad: Israel’s destruction near
                    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-%20%203327439,00.html

                    Irans Ahmadinejad says evil”Israel will be annihilated”

                    http://www.iranfocus.com/en/?option=com_content&task=view&id=7166

                    Ahmadinejad to Iranians:
                    Israel ‘will be removed’
                    http://www.wnd.com/2006/02/34781/

                    Ahmadinejad at Holocaust conference: Israel will ‘soon be wiped out’
                    http://www.haaretz.com/news/ahmadinejad-at-holocaust-conference-israel-will-soon-be-wiped-out-1.206977

                    Tehran’s Genocidal Incitement against Israel
                    http://www.meforum.org/2167/iran-genocidal-incitement-israel

                    Ahmadinejad: Iran is determined to eradicate Israel
                    http://www.haaretz.com/news/middle-east/ahmadinejad-iran-is-determined-to-eradicate-israel-1.380629

                    Still, the misquoting liar will insist that you it is “difficult to find even a single, isolated example of these continual, unequivocal threats of military aggression against Israel”

                    • Now, I haven’t opened any of your links yet, but I’ll wager a flagon of mead that not one of them contains an unequivocal threat of military aggression against Israel. Let us proceed.

                      “Ahmadinejad: Destroy Israel, End Crisis
                      http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/08/03/AR2006080300629.html

                      Title says “Destroy Israel, end crisis” – Actual quote says “”Although the main solution is for the elimination of the Zionist regime, at this stage an immediate cease-fire must be implemented,””

                      So he calls for regime change, and at no point does he threaten military aggression.

                      Strike 1.

                      “Ahmadinejad: Israel’s destruction near
                      http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-%20%203327439,00.html

                      Headline says “Israel’s destruction near”, actual quote says “This regime massacres Palestinians everyday, but since this regime is against nature, we will soon witness its disappearance and destruction”.

                      So, again, he speaks of the regime and at no point does he threaten military aggression.

                      Strike 2.

                      “Irans Ahmadinejad says evil”Israel will be annihilated”

                      http://www.iranfocus.com/en/?option=com_content&task=view&id=7166

                      There’s not actually a single quote on there, so you’re citing just a journalist.

                      Strike 3.

                      “Ahmadinejad to Iranians:
                      Israel ‘will be removed’
                      http://www.wnd.com/2006/02/34781/

                      Again, no actual quote, and even the article says “that Palestinians and “other nations” will remove Israel from the region”. So again, no unequivocal threat of state violence.

                      Strike 4 (I’m feeling generous)

                      “Ahmadinejad at Holocaust conference: Israel will ‘soon be wiped out’
                      http://www.haaretz.com/news/ahmadinejad-at-holocaust-conference-israel-will-soon-be-wiped-out-1.206977

                      Headline says “Ahmadinejad at Holocaust conference: Israel will ‘soon be wiped out'”. Actual quote – “”Just as the Soviet Union was wiped out and today does not exist, so will the Zionist regime soon be wiped out”

                      Referring explicitly to the natural collapse of the regime (a la Soviet Union), ruling out military aggression.

                      Strike 5 (Can you tell I don’t follow baseball?)

                      Let me know if you want me to carry on.

                      Now, as an exercise, think about how you were able to read those articles and come away thinking “unequivocal threat of military aggression”.

                      Then perhaps grab a dictionary, and look up the words propaganda, indoctrination and dishonesty.

                    • “I’ll wager a flagon of mead”.

                      Dubitante, you are such a parochial little Englander. A cultural mix of ignorance and arrogance.

                    • A misquoting liar would say:

                      “So he calls for regime change, and at no point does he threaten military aggression.”

                      http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/08/03/AR2006080300629.html

                      The first line in the article says: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Thursday the solution to the Middle East crisis is to destroy Israel.

                      I guess the Washington Post is just a nationalist Israeli newspaper. Any hamass-licking apologist for islamofascist will tell you that he just means a referendum.

                      Another article:

                      Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad today echoed his earlier threats to “wipe Israel off the map” by telling a mass demonstration in Tehran, commemorating the 27th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution, that Palestinians and “other nations” will remove Israel from the region.

                      No quote, although the same appears in Der Spiegel, no doubt another Zionist gang.

                      http://www.spiegel.de/international/0,1518,400603,00.html

                      Any hamass-licking apologist for islamofascists will tell you that this is just his usual call for a referendum.

                      Naturally, misquoting liars will find a way to explain all the quotes in the link which they ignored (coincidence?):

                      http://www.meforum.org/2167/iran-genocidal-incitement-israel

                      They will even find ways to white-wash the following call for referendum:

                      “Iran will support Hamas until the destruction of Israel” (Ahmedinajad Nov 26 2008)

                      http://www.genocidepreventionnow.org/Home/GPNISSUES/Issue2Spring2010/tabid/71/ctl/DisplayArticle/mid/482/aid/59/Default.aspx

                      Hamass-lickers will tell you:

                      ” Then perhaps grab a dictionary, and look up the words propaganda, indoctrination and dishonesty”

                      The truth is that one doesn’t need a dictionary. One only needs to look at the writings of these hamass-lickers.

                    • I’m going to assume that since you have STILL failed to point to a single unequivocal threat of military aggression against Israel, and have actually descended to…wait for it…name-calling, that we’re done?

                      I’m just going to go ahead and assume that a retraction would just be too much to bear for you.

                      Strike 6?

                    • Hamas-lickers often resort to lies like “you have STILL failed to point to a single unequivocal threat of military aggression against Israel” even after being confronted with explicit “calls for referendum” like “Iran will support Hamas until the destruction of Israel”. Then they resort to whining about name calling, the innocent angels…

                      http://cifwatch.com/2012/03/04/arthur-nelsons-occupied-mind-why-the-guardian-left-cant-take-arab-antisemitism-seriously/comment-page-1/#comment-69080

                      “Two choices:

                      1. You are a brain dead Palestinian.
                      2. You are a brain dead anti-Muslim racist pretending to be a brain dead Palestinian.

                      Given the distinctly western idiomatic translation of the Arabic, I suspect number 2.”

                      No surprise though, apologists for islamofascists are hypocrites.
                      They are the kind of scum who criticize Israel for anything, yet remain silent about their blood-thirsty friends’ deeds (Iran, Syria, etc.)

                    • You can’t tell, but I’m typing really slowly, in the hope it might help you understand.

                      “http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/08/03/AR2006080300629.html

                      The first line in the article says: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Thursday the solution to the Middle East crisis is to destroy Israel.”

                      This is a perfect, even textbook example of why you are so easily led by propaganda. And everyone should take note.

                      You’re placing your conclusions on the first line of the article. The first line of the article is written by the stenographer (Sean Yoong), not by Ahmadinejad. If you read what Ahmadinejad actually said, he said “Although the main solution is for the elimination of the Zionist regime, at this stage an immediate cease-fire must be implemented” – in other words, a ceasefire first, with regime change being the end goal. Nowhere does he even hint at military action.

                      “I guess the Washington Post is just a nationalist Israeli newspaper. ”

                      It doesn’t need to be. It’s an American corporate newspaper. It takes its lead from the militant US regime.

                      And on to the next:

                      “http://www.meforum.org/2167/iran-genocidal-incitement-israel

                      “Iran will support Hamas until the destruction of Israel” (Ahmedinajad Nov 26 2008)”

                      Want to talk to us all about misquotes my pathologically dishonest little friend? The first line of the article parrots probably the best known misquote in international politics, namely that Ahmadinejad “declared in Persian that Iran would “wipe Israel off the map.””

                      Now now, we know how you hate misquotes, especially really important ones, especially ones being used to form the basis for a war.

                      But, also, since you hate misquoting liars, prepare to issue a retraction. The quote that you cite, “Iran will support Hamas until the destruction of Israel”, is a misquote.

                      Note that the meforum.org article makes no citation. No reference, no way to verify the quote. So, a little digging leads you to the origin of the misquote:

                      http://israelbehindthenews.com/bin/content.cgi?ID=3663&q=1#_edn1

                      For which, they cite this article in Haaretz:

                      http://www.haaretz.com/news/ahmadinejad-iran-will-support-hamas-until-collapse-of-israel-1.253714

                      And the accurate quote is:

                      “Iran will support Hamas until collapse of Israel”

                      Note the use of the word collapse, not the word destruction.

                      Now, give me a second, I want to get sat down in a good spot to watch your dismount from your high horse.

                      We await your retraction with mirth.

                    • It also seems that they’re actually misquoting the headline of the article not Ahmadinejad.

                      It seems that Ahmadinejad said that Iran would support “the Palestinian nation”, not Hamas, until the “collapse of the Zionist regime”, not the collapse of Israel.

                      So it’s possibly even a misquote of a misquote. Still.

                    • Pathological hamass-lickers will argue that “although the main solution is for the elimination of the Zionist regime” is just another way to peacefully call for a democratic referendum.
                      According to pathological hamass-lickers, by “elimination” their blood-thirsty dictator friend means not “destruction” (a synonym for destruction), but a call for a democratic referendum.
                      Pathological hamass-lickers will speak about “the best known misquote in international politics”, although “wiping Israel out of the pages of history” is disputed only by other well-known hamass-licking apologists for dictators like Juan Cole.
                      When pathological hamass-lickers think about the quote “Iran will support Hamas until collapse of Israel” naturally they know that this means a peaceful call for a referendum. After all, we all know that Iran and Hamas are peaceful, democratic people, who would never think about attacking another country.
                      Pathological hamass-lickers claim that it is of extreme importance when their blood-thirsty dictator friends speak about “the Palestinian nation” and not Hamas (although Hamas was elected by the Palestinians), and that when their blood-thirsty dictator friends speak about “the Zionist regime”, they just mean the institutions of the state, although their blood-thirsty dictator friends said many times that Jews should relocate to Alaska/Germany/Austria.

                      Pathological hamass-lickers will speak about misquotes even after they insisted for ages on misquoting Herzl.

                      How nice it would be if those pathological hamass-lickers would go and be human shields for the nuclear installations of their blood-thirsty dictator friends.

                    • Another common trait among Hamass-lickers is ignoring stuff they can’t argue with, like the lie that “the main solution is for the elimination of the Zionist regime” is a peaceful call for a referendum, and so is “Iran will support Hamas until collapse of Israel” .

                      These same disgusting hypocrites keep talking about retraction/misquotations, even after insisting on a misquotation about Herzl for an entire thread, until being forced to retract it.

                      The same hamass-lickers will argue that “crush their legs”, from the following quote, is also a peaceful call for a referendum, or their favorite lie of mistranslation, which they parrot from similar hamass-lickers, like Juan Cole.
                      http://www.memritv.org/clip/en/2092.htm

                      “Don’t you know the nature of the Zionists? Don’t you know who the Zionists are? They came in order to take over our region in its entirety. At first, they said that they wanted [a country] from the Nile to the Euphrates. Once they got settled, they said that there had been a mistake, and that they wanted all the Islamic lands.
                      “Unless they are put in their place at the very beginning of their conspiracy and fitna, they will jeopardize the security of the whole world, they will jeopardize the security of the whole region – Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Iraq, and beyond Iraq. They will take over any place they can get their hands on. They want the entire world. At their very first step, you must crush their step, crush their leg, so that they do not dare to invade the Islamic lands.”

                      Still, those hamass-lickers just keep barking their lies, as if nothing happened.

                    • These same hamass-lickers will still chant their “Ahmedinajad continuously calls for a referendum” slogan, even after confronted with the opposite, from their master’s website:
                      “Resistance is the only way to defeat the Zionists and their masters,” said President Ahmadinejad.
                      http://www.president.ir/en/8883

                    • You don’t have the decency to admit you’ve misquoted Ahmadinejad several times, and continue to parrot the misquotes, without question, like the pliant and obedient little nationalist that you are.

                      After countless attempts, you have failed to produce a SINGLE example of a threat of Iranian military aggression. When your lies are exposed, when your pathological dishonesty is laid bare, you just move on to the next desperate attempt without even skipping a step, and without any discernible embarrassment.

                      It is testament to your training. Your government would be proud.

                    • Goebbels would be proud of today’s hamass-lickers: despite being presented with proof from their master’s website about what he means by his continuous calls for the destruction of Israel, they still present him as a democratic angel calling for a referendum.

                    • I’ve done my bit, I’ve exposed your pathological dishonesty.

                      The next bit is up to you. You can redeem yourself by admitting your multiple errors, or you can froth and spit and cling to your desperate lies.

                      Either way, I’m happy. Your argument is debunked. Shalom.

                    • Funny to see hamass-lickers talking about debunking, despite being presented with proof – even from their master’s website – about what he means by his continuous calls for the destruction of Israel.
                      The only thing one can hope is that these kind of hamass-lickers, when they run away from arguments after their obvious lies have been exposed, they head towards their master’s nuclear installations to serve as human shields.

                  • Dubi, Just go and visit Buenos Aires Synagogue.

                    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1994_AMIA_bombing
                    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1992_Israeli_Embassy_attack_in_Buenos_Aires
                    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quds_Force
                    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ahmad_Vahidi

                    Iran finger prints in our demise have always been present.

                    Even during the Shah they assisted the Arabs during the Yom Kippur war:

                    “Iran’s international ambitions, and rise to economic, technological, financial and military influence, were disquieting. Although an ally of Israel, Iran had not hesitated to bring decisive aid to Egypt, during the Yom Kippur War, the only conflict against the Arabs, which the Hebrew state was not able to win. President Sadat would not forget this, which was to his credit; but the Israelis would not forget it either. This switching of alliances, and the ambivalence of Iran – the only country in the region able to match itself against Israel – disquieted the leaders of the Hebrew state, especially those on the Right.”

                    http://www.studien-von-zeitfragen.net/Eurasien/Shah_of_Iran/shah_of_iran.html

                    Never the less Begin and Sharon were happy to show support for the new regime in the first year after the revolution even though the crowds were chanting death to America, death to Israel.

                    The Israelis have sent soldiers and turned the war against Iraq around in the crucial first years.
                    Had they not bombed Osiraq it would have been used against the Iranians first (assuming they would have managed to get it on their balistic missiles).

                    Still, the Ayatollas refused to admit and kept chanting against the Israelis always shifting their inner lies and problems to the Zionist “problem”.

                    And you are defending these people.
                    By doing so you legitmising the prisons in Irans and the abuse which is taking place in that country in the past 30 years.

                    As for the abuse in Israeli prisons, it is hardly comparable.

                    • “And you are defending these people.”

                      That’s a type of faulty thinking that is common amongst nationalists. I despise the Iranian regime, and would love to see it “vanish from the pages of time”.

                      But I would wish no harm to the Iranian people. It is our responsibility as human beings to challenge state doctrine, especially when it is aimed at engineering consent for war, and especially when it is based on a lie.

                      When “al-gharqad” posts his lies, it does Israel no good to blindly accept them. They should be challenged.

                      “By doing so you legitmising the prisons in Irans and the abuse which is taking place in that country in the past 30 years.”

                      Again, the Iranian regime is despicable, and clearly a danger to its own people. But it’s no threat to Israel. And it is dishonest to claim otherwise.

                  • dubi. You take the quote “the main solution is for the elimination of the Zionist regime”. What do you reaaaallllllly think Ahmedinejad means here.

                    Do you think he means “regime” as in the Likud-led government of Netanyahu? Or is it possible that he actually means the end of Israel as a Jewish state?

                    Do you think he means “elimination” means natural, democratic change? Or is it possible that he actually means violent end?

                    I adapt what I said in a discussion on CiF about Jenny “Poison” Tonge. If a rabbi says “Jews should not continue to live in arab countries” that has a totally different meaning than if an arab leader says it, though the words are identical.

                    In other words, you cannot divorce context and the nature of the speaker from the words when you are considering the meaning of a statement. Sometimes dictionary definitions just don’t cut it.

                    I know (and so do you, somewhere deep down in your shady soul) that Ahmedinejad will do all he can (and thinks he can get away with) to ensure that Israel ends in a bloodbath. His country has funded and armed its proxies in Gaza and Lebanon to that end for decades.

                    He knows, however, that if he comes out and unequivocally says so, he will lose any defence against the justified action Israel would take in its self-defence, so he couches his threats in ambiguity. And you buy into it.

                    • “Do you think he means “regime” as in the Likud-led government of Netanyahu? Or is it possible that he actually means the end of Israel as a Jewish state?”

                      Neither of us are mind readers. I can only go by what he says. So you ask me what he means, I would have to think that he means what he has repeatedly said, namely that he would like to see the end of a Jewish state via a referendum.

                      You know as well as I do that a one-state solution for him would be a wet dream come true, it would represent the end of the Jewish state and the end of the Zionist regime.

                      “Do you think he means “elimination” means natural, democratic change? Or is it possible that he actually means violent end?”

                      Given that he has openly called for the end of the Zionist regime via referendum, there is simply no basis in reality for thinking that he is threatening Israel with military aggression.

                      It might suit the pro-war crowd to manufacture a belief in the Iranian military threat, but you’re not stupid, you know that Ahmadinejad hasn’t threatened Israel, nor could it.

                      If Israel came to a sticky end, I’m sure he’d throw a party, but that’s simply not the same as threatening Israel with military aggression. You know it, and I know it.

                    • More mealy-mouthed excuses from dubi. If Cameron or Obama say “all options are on the table” or “no options have been ruled out” with regard to Iran, you (and I) would take that to mean that they are at least considering the option of a military strike against the regime. No?

                      But these statements don’t say that, do they? According to dubi-speak, they are probably referring to the option of persuading Ahmedinejad and the Ayattolahs to convert to rastafarianism by the flooding of their airwaves with Bob Marley music.

                      I repeat, any sane person knows exactly what Ahmedinejad means by the “elimination of the Zionist regime”. Clearly that does not include you, dubi.

                    • So we can add mind reading to your talents. Kudos.

                      What does it take to convince yourself that the Iranian regime would attack Israel, the region’s only nuclear superpower, backed by the strongest military on Earth?

                      Any attack on Israel would result in the complete destruction of Iran by both Israel and the US, and the capture or killing of its leaders.

                      So I’m genuinely curious, what possible arguments do you tell yourself? At some point, you’ve accepted an argument that the Iranian regime would commit suicide by attacking Israel, and you’ve internalised it, and it seems completely plausible to you.

                      Tell us about that process.

                    • “If Cameron or Obama say “all options are on the table” or “no options have been ruled out” with regard to Iran, you (and I) would take that to mean that they are at least considering the option of a military strike against the regime. No?”

                      It would be a valid point if Ahmadinejad hadn’t repeatedly ruled out the use of military aggression. You’re desperately trying to find some way to support a view you have already accepted is true.

                    • Gooner, it is useless to argue with hamass-lickers, who keep lying about “It would be a valid point if Ahmadinejad hadn’t repeatedly ruled out the use of military aggression.”, even after stuff like that (just to mention one of many).
                      “Resistance is the only way to defeat the Zionists and their masters,” said President Ahmadinejad.
                      http://www.president.ir/en/8883

  1. A strong essay from a courageous man who has lost his son in an unthinkable and unforgettable manner. He refocuses the meaning of Zionism which has by stealth been transformed into a dirty word, associated with oppression, power, and exploitation. He reclaims our vulnerability, which exists alongside our strengths.

  2. Well said Judea Pearl. We should reflect back at those who seek to delegitimise Zionism that they, and not we, are the racists.

    You are 100% right to say that we must not keep using the word anti-Semitism – the enemy use it against us and it has lost its meaning.

    Just call these people what they are, racists, and let them squirm to defend themselves.

  3. Magnificent.

    Beautifully and passionately argued. This is the way to fight the crude and ugly racism of the anti-Zionist cabal.

  4. Mr. Pearl has given voice to my thoughts better and more eloquently than I could have. Calling anti-Zionism a form of racism is correct. And no, that doesn’t mean all people who claim to be anti-Zionists are racists, but rather that their ignorance is a problem to be confronted and addressed.

  5. Often the most simple words and concepts are those that carry the most weight and meaning .
    You wonder why this simple concept , so eloquently put , has not been properly expressed and used before .
    We have the same problems here on the UK campuses . Instead of educating and preparing our students for what they are about to be subjected to on campus , our leading organisations do nothing . Without proper understanding and context relating to the history of the Israel Palestine conflict , our students take the line of least resistance especially in view of the onslaught of radical polemicists from the other side . The problem is exascerbated by the recent introduction of far left organisations such as Yachad who purport to be Zionist but provide a terribly misguided and diluted form of advocacy which works against Israels interests and provides succour to its enemies .
    This simple statement , Anti Zionism is rascist , provides a template to expand upon and regain the moral highground .
    It should become our mantra , our mission statement and used as the counter measure to the Palestine Solidarity mantra of ” River to the Sea ” etc .
    It’s time the centre right found its voice in order to counter the full on hate of the psc/bds movement and just as important negate the Trojan Horse effect of quisling organisations such as Yachad who indoctrinate Jewish students with concepts which are counter productive and undermine the state of Israel

  6. It would be racism if Jews were a race, but we’re not. We’re a nation, a people, tribes, but we are not a race. We’re made up of many races. A better word would’ve been bigot but it’s not as strong, I reckon.

    • Racism, peculiarly enough, is no longer just about biology. Discrimination surrounding ethnicity and religion is often bundled under the heading of racism.

      Zionism is a political ideology in the same way that Islamism is a political ideology. If it is indicative of anti-Jewish racism to be anti-Zionist, isn’t it then indicative of anti-Muslim racism to be anti-Islamist?

      I would consider myself as someone who has equally dim views of both ideologies. But the conflating of opposition to a political ideology and racism is a pretty weak attempt at shielding that ideology from criticism.

  7. Being that ant-Zionist (rightly or wrongly) is often a term used to describe people who disagree with (some of) the policies of the State of Israel, doesn’t this approach risk tarring legitimate critics of Israeli policy with with the term racist?

    Perhaps there needs to be a more clearly thought out approach to this issue than the scatter gun tactic posted here.