WATCH: JVP Presents…Linda Sarsour Defining Antisemitism

Linda Sarsour is apparently a contributor to the Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) book: “On Antisemitism: Solidarity and the Struggle for Justice.” Here they have filmed her defining what is and what isn’t antisemitism.

Nope.

Firstly, people like Linda Sarsour do not get to dictate to us what Jew hatred is. End of story.

Secondly, those of us on the right often do accuse Israel haters of being antisemitic, mostly where it is justified. If you criticize Israel but not other countries who engage in real human rights abuses, chances are you hate Jews. If you speak of a group of Zionists who control the media/financial institutions/government, you are a Jew hater who just knows to use the Z-word instead of the J-word. If you spread blood libels about Israel, you are just adapting Jew hatred from the Middle Ages to modern times.

Thirdly, you cannot narrow down the definition of Jew haters to only those who also hate Muslims and LGBTQ people. Because let’s face it – a considerable amount of Muslims hate Jews.

As for her implying that Jew hatred is somehow not as insidious as how Muslims are treated, it is way worse. The examples she gave are the direct result of Islamic terrorism, not some ancient, irrational hatred.

What Sarsour is doing here is narrowing the definition of antisemitism to not encompass some of the worst offenders in modern days.

This is one of the most insulting things I have seen in a long time.

12 thoughts on “WATCH: JVP Presents…Linda Sarsour Defining Antisemitism”

    1. MorganCourtenay

      The crux of Linda’s argument is that because many Jewish Americans are white, they supposedly have it better. I live in Britain, where Jews can face racist insults for walking down the street wearing a kippah. As an ACTUAL anti-racist, I think that’s deplorable.

  1. Jews have the unalienable right to Palestine. Muslims have absolutely no right. Muslim occupiers were thrown out by the people of the land and the issue is now settled. British cannot come back and now claim that India belongs to them, just because there is a Queen Victoria Memorial Built in Calcutta.

  2. MorganCourtenay

    What a ridiculous “definition” by Linda Sarsour. Analysis as follows:

    1- “as we have anti-Semites basically in power in the White House…” I don’t like Donald Trump and I certainly don’t consider him a bastion of tolerance. However, I would not call him an anti-Semite. His daughter is an Orthodox Jew and most probably advises him on relations with Israel, a country that he supports.

    2- “…but being really critical about what anti- Semitism means, because oftentimes it’s used by the right-wing against Palestinians…” Why the focus on the Right Wing? Why not discuss the views of the Jewish community, who come in all political stripes? This division between the left-wing and the right-wing is not conducive to discussing Israel, Zionism or the Jewish community as a whole. Why doesn’t Linda examine Jewish sources for information on what counts as anti-Semitism, since it is the JEWS and not the right or left-wing that face anti-Semitism. The Anti-Defamation League, which surveys anti-Semitic views across the world has found that 93% of Palestinians hold anti-Semitic views: http://global100.adl.org/#country/west-bank-and-gaza/2014 Or perhaps if Linda takes the time to read the Jewish Virtual Library’s “Myths and Facts” section on the Israeli-Arab conflict, she will find a full refutation of the oft-repeated claim that anti-Semitism is used as a way to silence Israel’s enemies: http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/myths-and-facts-deligitimization

    3- “…because we are pro-Palestine, because we are pro-justice, that must mean we are anti-Semitic.” Linda has just made a generalization there already. In her recent comments, claiming that a Zionist cannot be a feminist, she continues her habit of assuming that those who are pro-Israel do not like or care about the Palestinian Arabs. This is a lie and a distortion. What she seems unable to grasp is that the pro-Israel community has the right to question and criticize the Palestinian narrative against Israel. The notion that the Palestinian cause supports “justice”, when the Palestinians are responsible for many deadly terrorist attacks against Israeli Jews is laughable. The notion that one can be pro-Palestine whilst presumably ignoring the many times when the Palestinians have been offered a path to their own sovereign nation is equally laughable. The Palestinian narrative, that diminishes and ignores the undeniable Jewish connection to the land of Israel, posits a false claim of ethnic cleansing, ignores everything the Arab leaders have done to frustrate peace (including launching unsuccessful military attacks on Israel) and apologizes/supports terrorism against Jewish citizens, is based on sand and should be questioned. And a cause founded upon the basis that Israel has no right to exist is fundamentally anti-Semitic, since such a premise is not applied to any other nation on earth.

    4- “I mean the same people that hate Jews hate Muslims, they hate LGBTQ people…” This may be true when considering white supremacists/neo-Nazi’s. But as the author of this article has pointed out, anti-Semitism is rife in the Muslim world, as is homophobia.

    5- “… they’re usually pretty anti-Black and unconditionally pro law enforcement…” Here we come to Linda’s consistent attempt to lump the Black community in with the Palestinian cause. What she ignores is the significant number of African-Americans (particularly those without a college education) who hold anti-Semitic views! And what does law enforcement have to do with a definition of anti-Semitism? Notice how she is using the intersectional tactic of dumping every form of oppression and the kitchen sink in order to convolute the argument here, which is directly about anti-Semitism.

    6- “So there’s a connection amongst these groups…” A connection that exists only in Linda’s head. 40 seconds into this video and she still hasn’t mentioned the very clear definition of anti-Semitism: hatred of the Jewish people.

    7- “But again I want to make the distinction that whilst antisemitism is something that impacts Jewish Americans…” Why has a Jewish organization invited someone who is so obviously ignorant of anti-Semitism?! For the avoidance of doubt, anti-Semitism affects ALL Jews across the globe. The ADL has some shocking statistics: around 1.09bn people in the world today hold anti-Semitic views, which they show on their website here: http://global100.adl.org/ Anti-Semitism is defined as hatred of Jews. And it’s not “something”. It’s a form of racial hatred, and also religious hatred. (Anti-Judaism). How can a “racial justice activist” like Linda Sarsour not understand this? More importantly, watch how she stridently ignores the reality of anti-Semitism in the Arab/Muslim world, which led to the expulsion of Jews from their lands across the Middle East and North Africa from 1948 onwards. No, apparently it’s only the Jewish Americans who are impacted.

    8- “…it’s different than anti-Black racism or Islamophobia…” And here we come to the pride of intersectionality, where “progressives” will let you know how much sympathy you should get for your oppression. Call it “more oppressed than thou.” As a black woman, obviously I DEPLORE anti-Black racism and indeed ALL racism. But have you noticed how Linda has spent more time discussing anti-Black racism, Islamophobia and the so-called Palestinian cause for justice than ACTUALLY discussing anti-Semitism (the subject for this video!) and it’s impact on Jewish communities both in history and in the present day. Notice that she has not mentioned even the Holocaust, the Nazi’s, the rise in attacks on Jewish synagogues, harassment of Jewish students, boycotts on Jewish businesses (she can’t mention this one, as she supports this, given that she belives BDS is moral) and the increasing fear that Jewish communities in Europe feel as a result. I think she actually can’t discuss any of this, given that THOSE Jews (not the hard-left, secular Jews that give her credibility points) recognize the essential value of Israel as their homeland, and would see through Linda’s double-speak within seconds.

    She has to bring in Islamophobia, which is a poorly-defined concept. The title of anti-Muslim bigotry is more accurate, as it refers to bigotry against Muslims as individuals. But the title of “Islamophobia” is problematic as it seems to imply that one cannot criticize Islam. Obviously, bigotry against Muslims is categorically wrong. But that is not the subject for this video! Why is it that many Muslims who are asked to discuss the unique nature of anti-Semitism (how many Muslims are accused of controlling the banks, media and government?) always hasten to add in Islamophobia? Is it because the high levels of opposition towards Israel within the global Muslim community as well as the significant anti-Semitism prevent them from showing any solidarity with the Jewish community?

    9- “…it’s not systemic. As a Jewish American, particularly as a white Jewish American, you can still get services at a government agency.” Are all the world’s Jews located in America? Notice at the guilt-tripping that Linda is using here. It is true that Jews in America have fared better than elsewhere. But Linda ignores WHY Jews came to America. In other words, she ignores the VAST MAJORITY of Jewish history, where the Jews HAVE faced systemic discrimination! She makes no mention of Europe where, for over 1000 years, the Jews were banned from: 1)- attending certain universities, 2)- travelling through certain areas, 3)- attending certain schools, 4)- having certain jobs. Where the Jews faced pogroms, persecution, forced conversions, confiscation of wealth and expulsion based on blood libels and the false accusation of having killed Jesus. She of course ignores the fate of Jews in the Arab/Muslim world. They fared better there than in Europe, but still faced systemic discrimination: 1)- dhimmi status (second-class status), 2)- jizya tax (higher taxation for submitting to Muslim authority), 3)- discrimination on places of work, 4)- social discrimination, like not being allowed to ride higher than a Muslim, or walk in the way of a Muslim, 5)- periodic attacks on synagogues and so on. She ignores the expulsion of Jews from Arab/North African Muslim lands, their wealth confiscated by the State. She ignores the horror of the Holocaust. She ignores the reality today, where walking with a kippah, REGARDLESS OF BEING WHITE, can result in racial insults, attacks and even fatal encounters. She ignores the number of Jews thinking of leaving traditionally friendly countries like Britain (where I live) because of a rise in anti-Semitic hate crime. She even ignores the fact that white supremacists like David Duke are well-known anti-Semites: the KKK in America also attacked Jews. She ignores the history of America, where anti-Semitism often DID pose a barrier to Jews. So what if it wasn’t the same as those posed to blacks and other minorities? Does that make anti-Semitism less important?

    This tactic of pitting groups against each other for persecution points is disgraceful and insulting.

    10- “You’re probably not getting spied on by any law enforcement agencies…” I have my reservations about State intelligence collection. But is Linda seriously asking us to basically ignore the radicalization threat within the Muslim American community? How many Jews have gone out an stabbed people in the name of the Hebrew Bible, or detonated suicide bombs in public places, or committed car ramming attacks in recent times? Because if these recent spate of attacks had been done by Jews, no doubt they would be facing the same monitoring.

    11- “…but of course you may experience vandalism or an attack on a synagogue…” You MAY? What about the bomb threats sent to Jewish schools and agencies? What about the harassment of Jewish students on university campuses, including violence, thanks to the aggressive contempt for freedom of speech shown by Palestinian organizations such as the SJP? What about the terrorist attacks against NON-American Jews, whom she conveniently ignores in this shameful persecution points narrative? Folks, she STILL hasn’t mentioned the Holocaust, or how many American Jews are descendants of refugees who fled that genocide in Europe!

    12- “But understanding that antisemitism is horrific, but it’s not systemic and we need to make that distinction.” In other words, the American Jews shouldn’t get as much sympathy or solidarity because they’re white and they’re not being spied on by law enforcement. And she is wrong: anti-Semitism IS systemic. Look at the Nazi example as a more recent case. Look at Jewish history in various parts of the world. Just because it isn’t happening to the American Jews in one particular way does not make anti-Semitism less of a problem than any other form of racism.

    Until Linda is willing to shelve her ignorance and actually do some reading, or speaking to Jews who don’t throw their heritage under the bus to please Palestinian activists, she should keep quiet.

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