Is Awakened Anti-Semitism Going Mainstream? – Australian Jewish News

What has come to be described as “awakened anti-Semitism” has increasingly excluded Jews from the progressive space to express their support for Israel.

I have seen Jewish students feel unwelcome on campus. It has led to Jewish groups not being invited to gay pride marches for “pinkwashing” and has even resulted in unwanted Jewish students in sexual assault survivor groups on US campuses.

This kind of anti-Semitism falsely brandishes Jews as “white and privileged” and “controlling” the media and government. It denounces the “one percent” as having all the wealth, and is often implied that the “one percent” are primarily Jewish. , reviving and mainstreaming Soviet propaganda.

“Awakened anti-Semitism” is often seen as a byproduct of Critical Race Theory (CRT), which has existed since the 1970s and opposed systemic racism. The CRT is an interdisciplinary intellectual and social movement of civil rights scholars who examine the intersections of race, society, and law and challenge liberal approaches to racial justice, including rejecting “colorblindness” as an ideal. It is believed that The CRT emphasizes “cross-reactivity”. This is how different forms of inequality and identity are affected by the interrelationships of race, class, gender and disability. Its influence was evident during the Black Lives Matter protests. There are also contemporary champions, such as Ibram X Kendy’s bestseller How To Be Antiracist. Kendy’s work has had a major impact on the debate about racism. Kendy argues that racial disparities are racist by definition, policies that maintain them are racist, and explanations for their existence are also racist.CRT has arguably become the zeitgeist of educated circles.

The CRT’s impact literally changed the definition of racism. The change comes in 2020 when the popular American dictionary Merriam-Webster updated its definition of “racism” after Kennedy Mitchum complained to the company that the definition did not include systemic racism. Mitchum reportedly told Merriam-Webster that his definition of racism included “racial prejudice or discrimination” and “race is the definition of human characteristics and abilities.” The main determinant is the belief that racial differences give rise to the inherent superiority of certain races.” , does not include systemic oppression.

The CRT could help combat racism broadly, but the way some proponents have applied it to Israel and Jews is troubling. Applied, for example, to the situation in Israel and Palestine, it looks at the conflict through the prism of racial power dynamics, removing nuances and instead focusing on who is in power and who is the victim. As a result, the crimes of Palestinian terrorism are often downplayed and forgiven, while Israeli security protocols are seen as instruments of repression. The result is seen as racial conflict between oppressors and oppressed, whites and browns, settlers and indigenous peoples. However, none of these concepts apply precisely to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. First, Israelis and Palestinians are not races, but ethnic conflicts over land, and Israelis and Palestinians include people of different skin colors, and many Israelis and Palestinians have ancestral ties to the land.

Moreover, as a result of the CRT’s focus on intersectionality, what is actually happening is that many progressives, without professing allegiance to the Palestinian cause, are embracing other causes, such as feminists, the environment, and queer. is arguing that it cannot be defended. At the same time, they ignore Hamas’ criminalization of homosexuality and the oppression of women.

It also influences what children are taught in schools. In the United States, a group of Jewish parents and teachers reportedly filed a federal lawsuit against the Los Angeles Unified School District earlier this year. It claims that the school curriculum contains material that misrepresents Jews as “colonialists” and Israel as a “settler state.” “genocide”.

While the CRT helps address systemic racism, it doesn’t always help define anti-Semitism and understand Israel. Zionism was born to create a safe haven for Jews on their ancestral lands and escape the racist policies that led to the Holocaust amidst rampant anti-Semitism. That is why Israel’s Declaration of Independence states that Israel “will maintain full social and political equality for all citizens without distinction of religion, race or sex.” That is why, in order to secure Israel’s democratic future, Israel will not only resolve the conflict with the Palestinians, but will do everything it can to address prejudice against minorities and improve their lives. I have to.

But if racism now means not only prejudiced behavior and racist policies, but also systemic problems, then Israel as a nation-state for Jews should Despite the double standards that apply to Muslim and Christian nations, it faces silence. If Hazaras, Yazidis or Rohingyas sought self-determination to establish safe havens, would progressives object?

In reality, Israel and Jews are too complex to fit nicely on the CRT. Many CRT proponents see no room for complexity.

That said, to effectively counter “awakened anti-Semitism,” we need to understand its context and undo its increasingly prevalent damage.

Sharyn Kolieb is the editor of: AJNMore.

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Is Awakened Anti-Semitism Going Mainstream? – Australian Jewish News

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