Some Jewish groups across the United States have attempted to mainstream “anti-Zionism”—the rejection of Israel as the nation of the Jewish people. Jewish anti-Zionists see themselves as erasing the remaining “evil” of the last century following the collapse of fascism, Stalinism and South African apartheid.
These self-proclaimed “progressive” anti-Zionists distinguish “anti-Israel Jews” from their Arab and Islamic counterparts. However, Jewish anti-Zionist enmity for the Jewish state parallels the goals of Arab and PLO rejectionism of Israel, which in the latter case is rooted in Communist, Arab nationalist and radical Islamist manifestos.
Jewish anti-Zionists have avoided employing the terror tactics of the PLO and other Palestinian terror organizations. However, PLO and Arab anti-Zionist incitement and Jewish anti-Zionist condemnations reflect similar rhetoric, ideology and goals. Both reject the Jewish state’s existence as “the collective Jew,” following millennia of religious, ethnic and racial demonization and delegitimization of the individual Jew, rendering their shared crusade as demonstrably anti-Semitic.
Historically, the anti-Semitic dogma underlying Jewish anti-Zionist activity has roots in Soviet and PLO agitation in the United Nations. In 1965, the Soviet Union—the arch anti-Semitic power at the time in the U.N. General Assembly—refused to recognize anti-Semitism as a form of racism, such as apartheid or Nazism. The Soviets “set a precedent for linking Zionism and Nazism” as a vengeful move against United States-led counter moves, as historian Joel Fishman points out in his path-breaking article, “Disaster of Another Kind.”
The Soviets’ association of Zionism with Nazism as forms of racism—a mere two decades after the Holocaust exterminated 6x million Jews—paved the way for PLO leader and terrorist Yasser Arafat’s mendacious November 1974 “Zionism is Racism” speech, delivered from the podium of the U.N. General Assembly. Arafat’s anti-Semitic crusade resulted in the Soviet-aligned, and Arab and African state backing for UNGA Resolution 3379 approved in November 1975 (and annulled in 1991), affirming that “Zionism is a form of racism … ”
Chaim Herzog, Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations at the time, declared at the U.N. General Assembly: “[This resolution is] another manifestation of the bitter anti-Semitic, anti-Jewish hatred which animates Arab society. Who would have believed that in this year, 1975, the malicious falsehoods of The Elders of Zion would be distributed officially by Arab governments?”
U.S. Jewish leaders denounced Arafat’s speech and the U.N.’s assault against the legitimacy of the Jewish state a mere 24 months after Israel was threatened with annihilation by a coordinated Egyptian and Syrian attack in 1973. Just before the fateful U.N. vote, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, cautioned: “The United Nations is about to make anti-Semitism international law,” noting that “a great evil has been loosed upon the world.”
Arafat’s infamous 1974 “gun in holster” speech was delivered in full PLO military regalia. Arafat declared that “Zionism is an ideology that is imperialist, colonialist, racist; it is profoundly reactionary and discriminatory; it is united with anti-Semitism in its retrograde tenets and is, when all is said and done, another side of the same base coin.”
Dan Diker is a foreign-policy fellow at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs and a research fellow at the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism at IDC Herzliya.
Full report at JCPA.