Israel Gives Cover to Anti-Semites

by | Apr 2, 2024

Israel identifies itself as the Jewish state and claims to represent “the Jewish people” everywhere, not only Jewish Israelis. Thus Israel’s atrocious treatment of the Muslim and Christian Palestinians at least tacitly encourages the anti-Semites, who are eager to point to anything they can describe as bad acts committed by “the Jewish people.” The Jewish state equals the Jewish people — that’s what they’ve been told. (It’s not true.)

In other words, Israel’s own definition of itself and its own treatment of the Palestinians ratify the anti-Semites’ crazy ideas about the malevolence and collective guilt of all Jewish people. The anti-Semites are encouraged to ignore the super-large number of Jewish people outside of Israel who vociferously oppose both Israel’s self-identification and its oppression of the Palestinians.

Israel then makes matters worse by conflating the rotten but fringe anti-Semitism it encourages with sincere anti-Zionism (principled opposition to Israel and by implication any ethno-state). That in turn gives cover to the crazy anti-Semites, who can hide in plain sight among the anti-Zionists, Jews included.

Israel encourages and then protects the anti-Semites!

You’d think that would be a bad thing. And it is. So why do Israel’s leaders and supporters make it happen?

About Sheldon Richman

Sheldon Richman is the executive editor of The Libertarian Institute and a contributing editor at He is the former senior editor at the Cato Institute and Institute for Humane Studies; former editor of The Freeman, published by the Foundation for Economic Education; and former vice president at the Future of Freedom Foundation. His latest books are Coming to Palestine and What Social Animals Owe to Each Other.

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