OpinionAntisemitism

Opposing Israel’s just war is antisemitic

The "whole world" can definitely be wrong when it attacks Israel.

Mehdi Hasan and Jon Lovett speak onstage during a Crooked Media-Lovett or Leave It: Live on Tour event on April 25, 2024 in Washington, D.C. Credit: Paul Morigi/Getty Images.
Mehdi Hasan and Jon Lovett speak onstage during a Crooked Media-Lovett or Leave It: Live on Tour event on April 25, 2024 in Washington, D.C. Credit: Paul Morigi/Getty Images.
Farley Weiss
Farley Weiss is chairman of the Israel Heritage Foundation (IHF) and former president of the National Council of Young Israel.

On June 17 in Toronto, the Munk Debates pitted famous British journalist and author Douglas Murray and British barrister and international law expert Natasha Hausdorff against former MSNBC host Mehdi Hasan and Haaretz journalist Gideon Levy. They debated the issue of whether anti-Zionism is antisemitism.

At the end of the debate, over two-thirds of the audience voted that anti-Zionism is antisemitism. Most agreed even before the debate took place.

The debate offered an important glimpse into the antisemitism of those who oppose the right of the Jewish people to a state of their own in their ancestral homeland.  

Hasan repeatedly claimed that Zionism is a recent phenomenon dating from the last 150 years. He clearly lacks basic knowledge of Judaism and Jewish history.

Zionism is part and parcel of Judaism. The Chanukah holiday celebrates the restoration of Jewish sovereignty over Jerusalem and the Temple Mount. At the end of Yom Kippur and the Passover seder, Jews say, “Next year in Jerusalem.” Jews face Jerusalem when they pray. King David established Jerusalem as the capital of a Jewish state 3,000 years ago. Remnants of his palace can be viewed at Ir David in Jerusalem’s Old City.

The Jewish people never gave up their claim to Jerusalem despite being expelled from their homeland by the Romans 2,000 years ago.  According to Jewish history and Judaism, the Jewish people have a right to their own homeland in the Land of Israel.  

After World War I, the Allied powers considered the question of who had a rightful claim to the Land of Israel. At San Remo in 1920, Allied leaders heard from both Arabs and Jews. They decided to give the Arabs many nations, like Syria and Iraq. The Land of Israel was given to the Jews. 

In 1922, the League of Nations approved the establishment of a Jewish homeland in the Land of Israel. Since the U.S. was not part of the League of Nations, the British concluded a separate agreement with the U.S. known as the Anglo-American Treaty. It was ratified by the U.S. Senate and signed by President Calvin Coolidge in 1924. It granted legal legitimacy to the Jewish right to the Land of Israel.

The United Nations adopted the League of Nations’ decisions when the U.N. was established and the U.S. has never abrogated the Anglo-American Treaty. Accordingly, under international law, the Jewish people have the right to the State of Israel.  

Gideon Levy raised the argument that the entire world can’t be wrong in criticizing Israel. This implies that because the U.N. and others have criticized Israel, the criticism must be valid. 

When Hitler rose to power and decided to massacre six million Jews, the world abandoned the Jewish people. Would Gideon Levy claim that because the whole world decided not to admit Jews fleeing the Holocaust, the world made the right decision?

Only four years after the Holocaust conclusively demonstrated that the Jewish people needed their own state, the whole world refused to give arms to the Jewish people fighting for their independence. Czechoslovakia was the only exception. Did that make the whole world right?

In 1967, with several Arab nations poised to annihilate Israel, the whole world did nothing. Israel saved itself with a preemptive strike and a lightning-fast military offensive that destroyed the Arab armies. Was the world right to once again abandon Israel in its hour of existential need?

In other words, the whole world has repeatedly shown itself to be biased against the Jews and it continues to be biased today.  

Moreover, Hasan and Levy were essentially advocating an apartheid regime. The Jews are currently a majority of the people from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River. Advocating the replacement of Israel with a Palestinian Arab state inherently involves support for an apartheid minority regime.

Since Hamas makes clear in Article 7 of its founding charter that it supports murdering all Jews, it is obvious that supporting Hamas rule means you support the murder of seven million Jews, including two million Jewish children.

The Jewish people have a just claim to their own state in the Land of Israel. It is currently fighting a war against an evil and genocidal entity. Those who oppose that war, like Mehdi Hasan and even the Jewish Gideon Levy, are antisemites.

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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