Pamela Geller, with her usual restraint and nuance, calls her a “self loathing Jew (hater),” but I think Hannah Rosenthal, the US State Department’s Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism, delivered an excellent speech to the 2010 Conference on Combating Anti-Semitism in Ottawa.
And what I hear from our 194 posts around the world, and from our close relationship with NGOs in the US in other nations, opposition to a policy by the State of Israel morphs into anti-Semitism easily and often. We record huge increases in anti-Semitism whenever there is activity in the Middle East. This form of anti-Semitism is more difficult for many to identify – but if all Jews are held responsible for the decisions of the sovereign State of Israel, when governments call upon and intimidate their Jewish communities to condemn Israeli actions [see: Chavez, Hugo], when academics from Israel are boycotted – this is not objecting to a policy – this is anti-Semitism. Our State Department uses Natan Sharansky’s framework for identifying when someone or a government crosses the line – when Israel is demonized, when Israel is held to different standards than the rest of the countries, and when Israel is delegitimized. These cases are not disagreements with a policy of Israel, this is anti-Semitism. The US is often the only “no” vote in international bodies who seem to have an obsession with condemning Israel.
To combat the demonization, delegitimization of Israel and holding Israel to different standards than all other nations in the world, we consistently vote NO and offer explanations of our vote to international bodies as well as institutions obsessing on Israel.
It’s worth reading in full.
(Hat tip: Jeffrey Goldberg.)