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