3D Test of Anti-Semitism: Demonization, Double Standards, Delegitimization


3D Test of Anti-Semitism: Demonization, Double Standards, Delegitimization
Natan Sharansky
Jewish Political Studies Review 16:3-4 (Fall 2004)

Moreover, the so-called “new anti-Semitism” poses a unique challenge. Whereas classical anti-Semitism is aimed at the Jewish people or the Jewish religion, “new anti-Semitism” is aimed at the Jewish state. Since this anti-Semitism can hide behind the veneer of legitimate criticism of Israel, it is more difficult to expose. Making the task even harder is that this hatred is advanced in the name of values most of us would consider unimpeachable, such as human rights.

Nevertheless, we must be clear and outspoken in exposing the new anti-Semitism. I believe that we can apply a simple test - I call it the “3D” test - to help us distinguish legitimate criticism of Israel from anti-Semitism.

The first “D” is the test of demonization. When the Jewish state is being demonized; when Israel’s actions are blown out of all sensible proportion; when comparisons are made between Israelis and Nazis and between Palestinian refugee camps and Auschwitz - this is anti- Semitism, not legitimate criticism of Israel.

The second “D” is the test of double standards. When criticism of Israel is applied selectively; when Israel is singled out by the United Nations for human rights abuses while the behavior of known and major abusers, such as China, Iran, Cuba, and Syria, is ignored; when Israel’s Magen David Adom, alone among the world’s ambulance services, is denied admission to the International Red Cross - this is anti-Semitism.

The third “D” is the test of delegitimization: when Israel’s fundamental right to exist is denied - alone among all peoples in the world - this too is anti-Semitism.

I’m quite familiar with the dusty and tired line, "I’m not antisemitic, just anti-______ (fill in the blank … Zionist, Israeli oppression, yada, yada). Very often (maybe Usually) this line is a red herring, a distinction without any actual difference. The section of this Sharansky article I quoted shows how to differentiate between those who are willing to see the abuses either side may commit (and fight slanderous false accusations against either side) and those who simply hate Israel and Jews but want to hide their hatred behind a wispy smokescreen of words.

As indicated above, this was written in 2004. Sadly I don’t think the successor of the man who was POTUS in 2004 gives a @#$% about the current resurgence of antisemitism … putting it nicely and optimistically.


Calling it anti-Semitism is silly. People who disagree with Israel’s policies usually don’t do so simply because it is Israel and filled with Jews, they do so because they genuinely disagree with what they are doing. That isn’t anti-Semitism any more than not liking Obama’s policies is racist.

That’s not to say the 3-Ds are not a double standard, but it seems like the author just wants to call everyone who disagrees with Israel an anti-Semite, which is just as bad as calling everyone who doesn’t like Obama a racist.


Israel’s Canadian Critics Demonstrate the ’3D’ Anti-Semitism Formula
by Mark David


The 3D Test is a very useful tool for advocates of Israel, since those who hate Israel are capable of fiendish cleverness. I guess that when you have such animosity toward something, you will find any way to attack it, whether directly or indirectly. We see this all the time from such things as the BDS movement, the absurd pronouncements and rulings that frequently emanate from the United Nations and its bodies and agencies, and the annual fantasy week that makes the most specious allegations against Israel.

One of the newest tactics of those who hate Israel is to assert that while Israel has an enviable record (though they would never use that term) in a certain area (such as gay rights), it is all just a cover to “pinkwash” the underlying crimes of Israel against the Palestinians. …

So to bring things back to where I started, and with the utmost and sincere respect to Mr. Sharansky, I would like to propose a variation of the 3D Test to describe the people who propose such ridiculous rubbish.

The first “D” is disingenuous. They are neither candid nor sincere. So, for example, there is no ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from Jerusalem … and they know it.

The second “D” is deceitful. Not only are they disingenuous, they are deliberately so. They know full well that there is no ethnic cleansing in Jerusalem (where, by the way, the Arab population has only grown since 1967 — when the city was reunited under Israel sovereignty). But they assert so anyway.

The last “D” is devious. They are so desperate to attack Israel, that they will seize any opportunity to promote their warped agenda.

This article by Mark David is where I first heard of Sharansky’s article, posted above. David calls his 3-D test a variation of Sharansky’s test. I see them as complementary: Sharansky looked more toward the higher, strategy, level; David’s test analyzes the tactics used to further the strategies. Among these two tests are several characteristics I know I’ve used in considering the credibility and motivation of criticisms and attacks on Israel, and I suspect others here have done the same: disproportion; double standards (selective outrage); deceit; dis-ingenuity; deviousness.

Do not miss or dismiss Mark David’s article’s sub-title: Legitimate criticism of Israel is not disingenuous, devious, or deceitful.

And no, Trekky, it isn’t silly, it’s just cutting through and ignoring verbal @#$%, red herrings and transparent smokescreens. If the shoe fits, pondering why might be a good idea.


And what do you think of people who call Obama naysayers “racists”? Words mean things, and anti-Semitism means anti-Jew. It does not mean having a double standard regarding Israel or demonizing Israel, and trying to fit the term “anti-Semitism” to those things is just trying to stick a negative label on Israel criticism.


You’re quoting a guy that was part of a committee that approved the confiscation of East Jerusalem from West Bank Palestinians. This decision was reversed after international outcry. He was also Housing Minister which approved settlement of Palestinian land.

He seems like he may have a pretty obvious reason to write this. I agree with a few of his points but for the most part it was an attempt to demonize Israeli critics


The Dissident: An Interview With Natan Sharansky | Mother Jones


So you think you can demonize Israel without being anti-semitic?


If I demonize every other country and group that acts like Israel then yes. I can demonize Museveni and Uganda without being racist.


Uh, yeah. Demonizing Israel is not the same as demonizing Jews. I don’t like North Korea, that doesn’t mean I’m racist against Korean people. This is the same lack of separation between criticism against Israel and hating Jews that people seem to have.


What exactly is it that Israel has done wrong that you feel should be demonized?


Well, let’s hear some examples then of countries and groups that acts like Israel? Please?


I didn’t say I demonized them, did I? However, calling people who do “anti-Semites” is the EXACT SAME as calling people who demonize the president racists.


You dont have to your posts speak for themselves


I don’t demonize them, UNT. I just don’t hold them to a double standard.


If Israel acts against the interests of the USA I will be hard on them. Just as I will to any ally or enemy that acts against us or our interests. If that makes me a racist or anti Semite in the eyes of those who hold countries on some holy pedestal then so be it. All men are created equal and some need to remember that.


Sure: South Africa in Apartheid, US during Native American resettlement, US during WWII towards Japan, China and Tibet, those acts in Eastern Europe during the 90’s, and Sudan conflict.

Groups acting like Palestine: M23 in DRC, Chechen separatists, al shabaab, LRA, etc.

All of these are examples that I demonize. I’d say its fair. Obviously more can be put in each category.


Sorry, towards Japanese Americans


What “Jewish state” means is that Jews in Israel get more rights than members of other ethnicities. For example, all Jews automatically qualify for Israeli citizenship. So some of my relatives and friends would be given citizenship automatically by Israel, while others would not, because of their ancestry.

That has never sat well with me, because I am an American and the whole foundation of our state is that everyone should be equal before the law, and we are taught that is a good thing. It’s hard to justify why we should support a law in another country that we would never tolerate in our own.


when did I say it was, antisemitism includes demonization of the state of Israel



(n) hostility toward or discrimination against Jews as a religious, ethnic, or racial group

As many here are apt to say, words mean things. Demonizing or hating the state of Israel is not the same as hating Jews, especially when much of the criticism towards Israel has nothing to do with Judaism or the fact that the Jewish people live there.