Jonathan Greenblatt is the present CEO of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). This is a long established American Jewish organization (founded in 1913) that seeks to identify and discredit anti-Semitism (usually defined as disliking, or even hating, Jews just because they are Jews). In 1948 the state of Israel was founded. Zionism, which calls for a nationstate for Jews in the land of Palestine, was and is Israel’s official ideology. Soon after 1948 the ADL, along with most other “mainstream” American Jewish institutions, became dedicated to forwarding the interests of Zionist Israel. Today, Jonathan Greenblatt can be considered a lobbyist taking direction from the Israeli government.
In early October 2022, acting in this role, Greenblatt called for Jewish American organizations to do battle against anti-Zionists (that is, those who oppose the discriminatory nature and policies of the Israeli government). Because Zionists consider Israel a state representing world Jewry, being opposed to Israel, for whatever reason, seems to them to be anti-Semitic. Greenblatt has dutifully conformed to this position. He has declared that anti-Zionism is “obviously” anti-Semitism. Then he went a step further and said that “We must reckon with the fact that there are anti-Zionists within the Jewish community. The reality is that just because you are Jewish doesn’t exempt you from trafficking in anti-Zionism.”
Now Mr. Greenblatt may or may not have always been a thick-headed fellow but, as the leader of a Zionist organization, he is now led to think like one. He has committed the classic mistake of conflating two different things: anti-Semitism and standing against Zionist ideology. This may well be a purposeful attempt to set up a “red herring” argument—one that diverts attention from a central concern, for example, the bigoted practices of Zionist Israel, with the flawed claim that being against Zionism means you are against the Jews, even when asserted by Jews—a strange position to take.
Let’s unwrap Mr. Greenblatt’s argument that Jews who are anti-Zionist are also anti-Semitic, and see where it leads us.
Read More: The Invention of Anti-Semitic Jews