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Julius states that "contemporary anti-Zionism" takes two forms: secular, leftist or post-leftist "new anti-Zionism," on the one hand, and Muslim, Jewish and Christian "confessional anti-Zionisms," on the other. The "new anti-Zionism" and the three confessional anti-Zionisms "are all compromised, though not to the same extent, by their adoption of anti-Semitic language and by their readiness to make common cause with unembarrassed anti-Semites." He then divides the new anti-Zionism into " 'Re-partition' anti-Zionism" and " 'Liquidation' anti-Zionism": the first, "also known as the 'two state solution' "; the second, "also known as the 'one state solution.' "

Trials of the Diaspora
A History of Anti-Semitism in England.

By Anthony Julius
Buy this book

About the Author

Antony Lerman
Antony Lerman is the former director of the Institute for Jewish Policy Research in London and former editor of...

The claim that the two-state solution is anti-Zionist is jaw-dropping. It would apply to the majority of Israeli Jews and the majority of Jews worldwide. Would anyone, other than those who believe that relinquishing even one barren hilltop of the Land of Israel negates Zionism, agree with Julius?

While Julius doesn't hesitate to speak of "anti-Semitic anti-Zionism," he is reluctant to say that all alleged anti-Zionists are actually anti-Semites. To describe the relationship between such people and anti-Semitism, he borrows the notion of the "fellow traveler," someone he defines as "the kind of person ready to overlook or excuse everything that is vicious in the cause he supports, the protagonists he admires." To enforce the point, he draws a direct parallel between fellow travelers of the Soviet Union and what he calls "anti-Semitism's fellow travellers (FTASs)."

There are two major problems with this parallel. First, Julius seems to have narrowed his definition of fellow traveler to suit his purpose. Such a person might indeed have overlooked communism's brutality and repression. But the Soviet or communist fellow traveler was usually someone who openly identified with communism's aims and objectives but was not a card-carrying member of the Communist Party. What, then, are the openly anti-Semitic organizations or movements with which FTASs have such a relationship? Julius doesn't name any, because there aren't any. Nevertheless, he has managed to plant the idea that only a paper-thin wall separates FTASs from outright anti-Semites.

Second, the parallel comes unstuck even more spectacularly when Julius names names. One argument made by FTASs is attributed to Jacqueline Rose, a professor of English literature at Queen Mary, University of London, and a British Jewish academic deeply concerned about Israel-Palestine. Rose writes critically about Zionism and Israeli policy toward the Palestinians, drawing on concepts from psychoanalysis and literary criticism, and is strongly opposed to Israel's presence and policies in the occupied Palestinian territories. After stating that FTASs "encourage a terror-apologism," Julius says FTASs "reject the proposition that setting out to destroy random members of a culture one finds unacceptable is an indefensible project." In other words, people like Rose defend suicide bombings. Julius's proof of this claim is a distorted paraphrase of a passage from The Last Resistance (2007), Rose's study of the role of literature in the Zionist imagination. But there is no defense of suicide bombers in the chapter Julius paraphrases (the chapter is an assessment of attempts by several writers to understand the motives of suicide bombers). Elsewhere in the same book, Rose describes suicide bombings as "unacceptable crimes." Moreover, at a public event in London on March 2, 2008, she reiterated her position, saying, "I condemn suicide bombings and do not condone them in any way." Julius also attacks Rose as representative of Jewish anti-Zionism, claiming that she "has written three books with an anti-Zionist perspective" and "affirms the Israel/Nazi analogy." But Rose's books are critical of Zionism, not anti-Zionist, and Julius's claim about her "affirmation" of the Israel/Nazi analogy is a misreading of her work.

 

Julius's attack on Rose reveals the extent to which he is exercised by Jewish anti-Zionism, despite the fact that he describes the two principal Jewish oppositionist bodies in England, which he alleges are anti-Zionist (Jews for Justice for Palestinians and Independent Jewish Voices), as "marginal to their community" and given to speaking "in sectarian tones." "Marginal" groups, perhaps, but Julius goes to extraordinary lengths to characterize what or who is a Jewish anti-Zionist in England today, but he's well wide of the mark. Independent Jewish Voices, launched in 2007 to "promote the expression of alternative Jewish voices, particularly in respect of the grave situation in the Middle East," which constitutes the proof text for Julius's disquisition on Jewish anti-Zionism, is not an anti-Zionist organization. Among the signatories to the IJV statement of principles (and I am one) are Zionists, non-Zionists and anti-Zionists. The statement neither affirms nor implies an anti-Zionist position. Julius cobbles together quotes and references to describe IJV's opposition to Zionism "in the name of justice," but they do no such thing.

Among the writings of IJV signatories quoted by Julius is an essay by Oxford University philosopher Brian Klug published in this magazine [see "The Myth of the New Anti-Semitism," February 2, 2004]. Julius says that Klug's remark that "Israel is one thing, Jewry another" arises from the "refusal to 'support' Israel." But the remark doesn't imply that. Julius has completely wrenched it out of its context, which is an argument about distinguishing between hostility to Israel and hostility to Jews. Klug writes: "To argue that hostility to Israel and hostility to Jews are one and the same thing is to conflate the Jewish state with the Jewish people. In fact, Israel is one thing, Jewry another. Accordingly, anti-Zionism is one thing, anti-Semitism another. They are separate. To say they are separate is not to say that they are never connected. But they are independent variables that can be connected in different ways." Julius's damning judgments of so-called Jewish anti-Zionists do not arise from evidence.

Julius goes on to say that Jewish anti-Zionists "struggle, mostly incompetently, against [anti-Semitism]; many are themselves susceptible to its tropes and turns of phrase. Their perspectives on anti-Semitism are defective; their contributions to anti-Semitism are significant." For a brief moment, Julius seems to want to see Jewish anti-Zionists as more distanced from the "plainly anti-Semitic" anti-Zionists. But he is instinctively drawn in the other direction. They are all in cahoots: "Such is the overlap, such are the affiliations, such is the extent of the replication," he writes, that the secular and confessional anti-Zionisms occasionally "have the appearance of a single project."

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