One of the most frustrating things about opposing BDS is that the people who support it see themselves as progressives. If you point out that their position is inherently anti-Semitic, they deny anti-Semitism saying "criticism of Israel is not anti-Semitic" and accuse you of trying to stifle debate. They truly don't see themselves as anti-Semitic and actually get quite irritated when you suggest anti-Semitism.
Even though the U.S. State Department has a definition of anti-Semitism, the editors of the Linewaiters' Gazette - the biweekly newspaper of the Park Slope Food Coop - seem to be unable to make the distinction, and recognize when their own editorial guidelines have been crossed. But it is hard to fault them. It is a volunteer job and they shouldn't be expected to be experts on the Middle East.
Fortunately, for the sake of anyone who doesn't want to be anti-Semitic, Adam Levick has created this handy guide of 10 common pseudo-progressive, hypocritical tropes that come from the left when discussing Israel. Here is his list, and I can illustrate an instance of every single one of these from either letters in the Linewaiters Gazette, statements on the PSFC-BDS website or things said in the Coop. Maybe I will even have the time to do it one day.
- You claim the mantle of human rights yet find yourself running interference for anti-Semitic world leaders and helping to spread the propaganda of Islamist extremists - and even terrorist leaders who openly call for the murder of Jews.
- You claim to condemn racism at every opportunity yet are strangely silent or seriously downplay even the most egregious examples of antisemitic violence.
- You claim to be a champion of progressive politics yet often use terms and advance tropes indistinguishable from classic right wing Judeophobia - such as the argument that Jews are too powerful, use their money to control politics, and are not loyal citizens.
- You support nationalism, and don’t have a problem with the existence of more than 50 Muslim states, yet you oppose the existence of the only Jewish state in the world.
- Even when putatively condemning antisemitism you can’t help but blame the Jews for causing antisemitism.
- You condemn the Holocaust yet also obsessively condemn living Jews for their alleged ‘inhumanity’ and even argue that Jews haven’t learned the proper lessons from the attempt to annihilate their co-religionists from the planet.
- You not only support Palestinian rights, but support their “right” to launch deadly terrorist attacks on Israeli Jews, under the mantle of anti-imperialist ”resistance”.
- You characterize extremist reactionary Islamist movements as “progressive“.
- You accuse Jews of cynically misusing the charge of antisemitism to “ stifle” debate about the Jewish state.
- You champion diversity and multiculturalism of all kinds, yet suggest that Jewish particularism represents an inherently tribal, ethnocentric and racist identity.
You should read the original article and comments at the CiF Watch blog.