Head of Israeli Peace Movement Discusses Anti-Semitism

January 27, 2004

Source: The International Herald Tribune


On January 27, 2004 The International Herald Tribune ran an opinion piece by Uri Avnery, head of the Israeli peace movement "Gush Shalom," in which he discusses "who is anti-Semitic and who is not." Avnery writes, "The anti-Semite hates the Jews because they are Jews, irrespective of their actions...The answers to all questions relating to anti-Semitism follow from this basic fact. For example: Is everybody who criticizes Israel an anti-Semite? Absolutely not. Somebody who criticizes Israel for certain of our actions cannot be accused of anti-Semitism for that. But somebody who hates Israel because it is a Jewish state...is an anti-Semite. It is not always easy to distinguish between the two kinds...But presenting all critics of Israel as anti-Semites is wrong and counterproductive; it damages the fight against anti-Semitism. Many deeply moral persons criticize our behavior in the occupied territories." The article goes on to address the questions: "Can a person be an anti-Zionist without being an anti-Semite?," "Can a person be an anti-Semite and a Zionist?," "Can a Jew be anti-Semitic?," "Has Europe become anti-Semitic again?," "What about the anti-Semitic manifestations in the Arab world?" and "Should we ignore anti-Semitism?"