Is Anti-Zionism Anti-Semitism? At AIPAC, It Is.

The question is often raised:

Is Anti-Zionism Anti-Semitism?

Well, I think that question has been settled pretty solidly at AIPAC Policy Conference today.

AIPAC did not even set out to try and answer this question, but lucky me, it got answered anyway, as a sort of bonus, I suppose.

Every AIPAC Policy Conference plays host not only to its delegates, and many Members of Congress, but also to large Anti-Israel protests outside.

This morning’s Anti-Israel protest featuring large, prominent, and colorful signs, as usual.

A Protester Outside of the AIPAC Policy Conference Today

And what did the signs say? GOD HATES JEWS

Not Israelis, not Zionists, not AIPAC – JEWS.

So I think that should settle this question once and for all.

When asked to speak for themselves, these Anti-Israel protesters speak out loud and clear. And the ones they hate are the Jews. ALL the Jews.

I guess there’s nothing else to say.


About Jenna Mitelman

Jenna is a transplant to Minnesota from sunny California, where she graduated from UC Berkeley. She lives and works in Minneapolis, but secretly loves St. Paul. She is a former Human Rights Commissioner for the City of Plymouth and a regular speaker on the Arab-Israeli conflict with the JCRC Speakers' Bureau. She is also a big fan of Minnesota lakes and forests, and can regularly be found kayaking and snowshoeing up north, when she isn't rock climbing out west.

Comments. Add Yours!


  1. I don’t think it does. Shirley Phelps, Westboro Baptist, and other hatemongering bigots are not protesting “Israel” and labeling their object of hatred as “Jews”. They are protesting the existence and tradition of Judaism and using a high-powered political event to do it, an event which *includes* Israel as a concept.

    The only obvious conclusion here is that someone holding a sign saying “God Hates Jews” is clearly anti-Semitic. My conclusion is that one being anti-Zionist is a completely separate issue.

    Unless that’s what Jenna’s article today is suggesting? Maybe I’m just reiterating a point more concisely made… I guess I just don’t think the picture and text alone make a conclusive end to the idea.

  2. I don’t think it does either, April. Aren’t there some Orthodox Jews who reject the notion of a Jewish state outright? I don’t know believe I’d call them anti-Semitic.

  3. April, it always is, unless one is consistent in protesting Spain (Basque Country), England (Scotland/N. Ireland, Falkland Islands), Russia (Chechnya), China (Tibet), and the many other “occupations” across the world. I don’t recall all the protesters in Washington last time our good friend King Hussein of Jordan was in town, you know the nation which is 75% Palestinian. But of course that is Hashemite controlled, not Jewish. And who cares how Arabs treat other Arabs, right? It’s only the Jews that are guilty. (Sarcasm intended)

  4. April –

    You’re absolutely right to point out that not all anti-Zionists are personally Antisemites.
    However, we consistently see that the anti-Israel movement all over the world welcomes anti-Semites into their midst, and allows them to speak for the movement.
    I have never heard anyone in the anti-Israel movement speak out against this vile anti-Semitism, and say that it’s wrong, and this is not what we stand for, or stand with.
    I hear a lot of people who say that they would not be in a party with racists, or people who support this or that vile thing.
    There must come a point when you have to say that if you are willing to get into bed with certain kinds of people, and never speak out against it – and these are people who are very comfortable speaking out – there is a point where we have to question how much you really are against it.
    I’m sure that if these people thought anti-Semitism is wrong, they would be shouting it from the roof tops – so where are they? From what I can see, they are out there, standing hand in hand with people who would like to see all Jews killed, or worse. And that is a statement of moral character as loud as saying it yourself.


  5. Ah – I see. I guess I just wasn’t quite grasping your point initially.

    In that case, Yehoshua’s comment about true political consistency (“it always is, unless one is consistent in protesting Spain (Basque Country), England (Scotland/N. Ireland, Falkland Islands), Russia (Chechnya), China (Tibet), and the many other ‘occupations’ across the world”) is precisely accurate.

    People who would be genuinely politically consistent and international in focus wouldn’t be the type of protesters to “get into bed with” Anti-Semites and refuse to speak out. The reverse is also true; people who are okay with standing in line with WBC on Israel are rarely politically committed across the board.

    That being said, of course, a person who *IS* politically consistent and refuses to rub shoulders with hateful bigots is thus not necessarily anti-Semitic. It’s a shame that such folks appear so few and far between, apparently.

  6. April – I think you absolutely nailed it. There are people out there who honestly are consistent, and apply the same standards across the board to different countries, and who nevertheless are anti-Israel for various reasons. Some are general pacifists, some are against nation-states altogether, and many other reasons. Now, I don’t necessarily see eye-to-eye with these people, but I do respect their views and am always happy to discuss the issues with them, because we are all approaching the issues with honesty and fairness, just with different views. And you’re also right that none of these people would stand with anti-Semites, or any of their ilk. But sadly, very few of the people you meet in the ‘anti-Israel’ movement belong to this category. The rest are all too comfortable standing with slime and hate.

  7. Zionism is the national liberation movement of the Jews, it is for the re-establishment of our homeland and to provide sanctuary from a world that has never learned to leave us alone. Judaism has always held Jerusalem and Israel – and the return to Zion – as an important part of our faith. It is an inseparable part of what Judaism is.

    Among Jews, Zionism is not *if*, but *when* and *how*.

    Anti-Zionism *is* Anti-Semitism.