December 12, 2018 — New York
This piece originally appeared in The New York Times.
To the Editor:
Re “Anti-Zionism Isn’t the Same as Antisemitism,” by Michelle Goldberg (column, nytimes.com, Dec. 7):
If anti-Zionism isn’t a form of antisemitism, what is? To deny the Jewish people, of all the peoples on earth, the right to self-determination surely is discriminatory, all the more so 71 years after the United Nations General Assembly voted to recommend the creation of a “Jewish” state. And if the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (B.D.S.) movement isn’t another form of antisemitism, what is?
To single out Israel, the only liberal democracy in the Middle East, for demonization and isolation, while ignoring egregious human rights violators aplenty, once again smacks of anti-Jewish hatred. After all, the very same B.D.S. movement does not even focus on the mistreatment of Palestinians in the Arab world, including the thousands killed and imprisoned in the Syrian carnage, the many professional fields closed to Palestinians in Lebanon, or the internecine wars between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority. If Israel is not involved, the B.D.S. movement has no interest.
Nor does it take into account the many efforts by Israel to forge a peace deal with the Palestinians, beginning 70 years ago, only to be spurned time and again.
Criticize Israeli policies? Sure. It’s done every day in Israel itself by the media, nongovernment groups, and in the Knesset. But that’s a far cry from treating Israel differently from any other country in the world, which is at the core of the anti-Zionist and B.D.S. outlook.
The writer is chief executive of the American Jewish Committee.