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The antisemitism double standard

The radical left will not view us as victims, so we will make them accept us as equals.

An anti-Israel protest in London in June 2021. Credit: Loredana Sangiuliano/Shutterstock.
An anti-Israel protest in London in June 2021. Credit: Loredana Sangiuliano/Shutterstock.
David Gemunder. Credit: Courtesy.
David Gemunder
David Gemunder has served on the boards of several national organizations that combat antisemitism, including Hillel International, the Secure Community Network and the Alpha Epsilon Pi Foundation.

Here’s a thought experiment: Imagine an Ivy League school hosting a forum on the positive aspects of Southern antebellum culture; or wistful musings on 1950s America, where a woman’s place was in the kitchen; or the medical and social benefits of conversion therapy for LGBTQ teens.

Of course, these scenarios are patently ridiculous. Students would riot, donors would tear up their pledges en masse and politicians would announce the imminent collapse of American society.

Why, then, has the response to the clear antisemitic underpinnings of the Palestine Writes literary festival at the University of Pennsylvania been so muted?

The answer is depressingly simple: To the radical left, Jews are not worthy of equal protection. Despite being hounded for millennia, blamed for every misfortune to befall mankind and repeatedly targeted for persecution and destruction, we are somehow too powerful and privileged to warrant the same respect afforded to every other racial, ethnic and religious minority. 

It is a pernicious double standard: Racism, misogyny and homophobia are filthy remnants of an uncultured past that must be eradicated. But to the radicals, antisemitism is a free speech issue that must be approached carefully, lest public debate be stifled.

The hypocrisy is rank, but undeniable. 

So be it. 

The time has come for us to realize that we can no longer simply ask the radical left to view Jews as worthy of acceptance and respect. Whether as a result of profound ignorance or outright bigotry, they are blind to our suffering.

The radical left will not view us as victims, so we will make them accept us as equals. We will not beg them for protection. We will stand upright and demand equality. To borrow the immortal phrase from generations past: We shall overcome. Amen.

The opinions and facts presented in this article are those of the author, and neither JNS nor its partners assume any responsibility for them.
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