How to Spot an Israel Hater
Not all haters walk around in Nazi uniforms or white hoods. They don’t usually carry signs either. Most of the time people prefer to disguise their hate in more genteel subtle ways. That doesn’t make it less hateful.
“One that is opposed” is the Merriam Webster definition of anti. When one puts it in front of the word Israel the message is clear. It says that you are opposed to the country of Israel. Not a policy, but the whole teeny tiny lot of it.
Groups are easy to spot and frankly it doesn’t matter what their mission statement says. BDS is against the occupation. When they demonstrate and chants of “From the river to the sea” are shouted at more demonstrations and at more places than I can count on both hands, that’s agreement. When Code Pink meets and works with Hamas, that’s not social justice. When the Jewish Voice for Peace leadership thinks the world would be better off without Israel that’s a nice way of calling for ethnic cleansing.
Spotting an individual like Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is easy. He’s in the spotlight so often and I genuinely think he can’t help himself. But what of the regular joe shmoes like you and I? How do I differentiate between criticism and opposition to Israel’s existence? Social media often makes it harder. The tone I hear when reading someone’s words may not be the tone they were written in. When I see anti where it isn’t there is usually a correlation to how passionate I am about the issue. I have been wrong, but there are definite signs that indicate an anti Israel stance. You might call them dog whistles.
The dismissal of a factual point by calling it “hasbara” or “zionist distractions.”
Equating zionism with white supremacy. A newer version of zionism is racism.
The denial of Jewish history in the land of Israel.
Interchanging the words zionist and Jew. It smacks of antisemitism because anti zionism at its core is antisemitic. It’s not a stretch to get from hating Jews to hating the Jewish state.
Distributing fake memes, faked photos usually involving the IDF, and fake videos. And then there are the people who instantly believe everything and anything if it is against the state of Israel.
The use of Nazi/holocaust analogies. Claims of ethnic cleansing. Apartheid.
There are also the “yeah but” ers who when Israel is in the right, must remind people of when it was wrong. Those that justify terrorist attacks while claiming that they themselves don’t condone violence are a special breed. In a recent AJ+ video the spokesperson says that Gal Gadot can’t be a feminist. She was in the IDF. Yet they can support leadership that is corrupt and abuses the civil rights of their own people, aka the Palestinian Authority. Has the PA stopped honor killings? They demonize Israel where they see things so clearly yet they see nothing when it comes to anyone else. The noble professor who would not write a recommendation letter for a student who wanted to study in Israel fits this mold. If she wanted to study in China, Russia or Turkey for example he would have no problem. He is the double standard bearer of the anti Israel crowd
Hate comes in many forms. It’s clever and cunning. Sometimes you can feel it way before it actually shows itself. It wants you to fight it with anger. That’s how it feeds. I prefer different methods. Shine a light on it and call it by it’s name, Hate. Use facts. Fact check what Hate is trying to spread and shine the light on falsehoods. Love Israel. Really love it despite its flaws and love it by helping to change its flaws. Love it with the same conviction people hate. And do not buy the lie that if you love Israel you must therefore hate Palestinians. Then perhaps one day, the only Israel hater will be a fictional character in the latest JK Rowling novel.