With permission from Yoni Michanie, a campus adviser and strategic planner for the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA). He is a former IDF sergeant, and a speaker, writer, and pro-Israel activist. He holds an MA in Diplomacy from IDC Herzliya. Follow Yoni on twitter: @jmich019
Members of IfNotNow stage a protest outside Birthright Israel’s offices in New York City. Photo: IfNotNow/Twitter.
Amid the recent eviction of a Palestinian family from the neighborhood of Silwan, East Jerusalem, the radical left-wing organization IfNotNow pleaded with their community through Twitter to “…stand against the Judaization of East Jerusalem.”
Ignoring the particular history and presence of the Jewish people in that region, IfNotNow subconsciously invoked a term used by some of the vilest antisemitic figures and texts in modern history.
For example, one may easily find the following quotes while skimming through Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf:
The Judaization of our spiritual life and mammonization of our mating impulse sooner or later befouls our entire new generation, for instead of vigorous children of natural feeling, only the miserable specimens of financial expedience come forth.A few pages later:How far in this the inner Judaization of our people has progressed can be seen from the low respect, not to disdain, which is awarded the craftsman’s work in itself.That’s right. The same organization that has invited a type of comparison between the Holocaust and the current crisis at the US-Mexico border, is using the rhetoric of Adolf Hitler.
One may also find such language in Henry Ford’s infamous antisemitic tract,The International Jew — The World’s Foremost Problem. But in the grand scheme of things, the term represents a larger aspect of the rejectionist policies of the Palestinian leadership. This policy has deprived the Palestinian people of establishing a sovereign state next to a neighboring Jewish state.
Mahmoud Abbas, the autocratic leader of the Palestinian Authority and a prominent Holocaust denier, has based his policy of antisemitic indoctrination on phrases such as, “Israel is Judaizing the Temple Mount.”
Other Palestinian senior officials have offered us gems like: “the occupation’s attempts to take control of it and carry out its Judaization plots in the holy city.”
Why is this problematic?
Because despite whatever peace plan they are offered, the Palestinian leadership has repeatedly taken stands objecting to the presence of any Jews in a future sovereign Palestinian state. This is antisemitic, racist, and wrong.
While Jewish settlement in the West Bank may be controversial, the two fundamental questions remain: Why is it controversial in the first place? And why does the international community continue to hold Israel to a double-standard?
While 21 percent of Israel’s population is composed of Arab citizens, a 14 percent Jewish presence in the West Bank apparently constitutes a “Judaization” that must be resisted through violence and terror.
A political solution to the Mideast conflict is impossible if the international community continues to endorse the Palestinian demand that a future sovereign Palestinian state be ethnically cleansed of Jews. That is not peace. That is appeasement of institutionalized antisemitism, terrorism, and religious intolerance. Has the Western world forgotten the implications of the term “appeasement”?
More importantly, has the modern world forgotten about the consequences of religious intolerance against Jews in the Middle East?
Any peace between the parties must recall the historical injustices against the 850,000 Jewish refugees expelled from Arab countries after Israel’s founding. And all allusions to “Judaization” must be condemned.
Words matter. Perpetuating terminology that creates a platform for antisemitism and anti-Jewish violence is wrong and unacceptable. And any truly pro-Israel or pro-Jewish organization would never use that term.
Here is my message to the executives of IfNotNow: Either learn the beauty and tragedy of our people’s history, or steer clear of it. Do not use false pretenses in order to exploit your Judaism to gain political points. Your rhetoric is not just inconsistent, inaccurate, discriminatory, and offensive; it is also dangerous to whatever future Israelis and Palestinians may have.