‘International public opinion about Israel is shifting. While it was once widely seen through the dominant, Zionist lens as a plucky, heroic little country that made the desert bloom, reality has increasingly forced a change in this perspective.
Driving this change has been the arrogant, aggressive behavior of Israel and its treatment of Palestinians: the endless spread of settler colonies on Palestinian land, the lacing of the West Bank with a matrix of checkpoints and Israeli-only roads, the imprisonment of Palestinian children by Israeli military courts and the episodic bombing of the people of Gaza.
The list is a long one.
Instead of responding to the concerns of those who are horrified by this behavior, defenders of Israel are promoting the notion that what is manifesting itself here is a new form of anti-Semitism, one which pretends to challenge the State of Israel for its behavior toward Palestinians but which is really nothing more than a new form of Jew hatred.
In recent years, a widely promoted campaign based on this defamatory practice has taken the form of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) “working definition” of anti-Semitism, which is being aggressively promoted by Israel as well as Zionist organizations around the world. Because it is neither particularly clear nor comprehensive, at first glance there appears to be no reason to take exception to this definition, aside from its vagueness.
“Anti-Semitism,” the definition asserts, “is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of anti-Semitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.”