There was a time, back in the last century and before, when the phrase ‘anti-Semitism’ simply meant a hatred of Jewish peoples for no reason other than they were Jews. This unfounded hatred built up over centuries and culminated in the tragedy that occurred during the Second World War when Nazis, their sympathisers and fellow travellers, together with other Jew-haters throughout Europe, jumped on Hitler’s bandwagon of anti-Semitism in an attempt to wipe out European Jewry.
At the end of the war when the full extent of the attempted extermination of European Jewry became known, the world was horrified. But, despite the defeat of Nazism, the punishment of many of those responsible, and the universal condemnation of what had happened, a latent anti-Semitism lingered on into the post-war period not just among the peoples of the nations that carried out and assisted in the atrocities, but even among some peoples that were part of the nations that were Allies who eventually defeated Nazism and brought an end to the war and the atrocities that went with it. White-supremacist neo-Nazi groups flourished during the post-war years and the ‘anti-Semite’ label became synonymous with both those who had hated Jews and those that continued to do so.
To this day, there are still anti-Semites, mostly white-supremacists and neo-Nazis, who continue to hate Jews for no reason other than they are Jews.
However, there has evolved from this an opportunity for some to abuse the anti-Semitic label for nefarious propaganda purposes other than to identify true anti-Semites. It’s rather unfortunate that those that are now misusing the term are themselves Jewish.
Zionists, intent on creating a Greater Israel at the expense of the Arab people by building and farming on their lands, are now attempting to use the ‘anti-Semite’ label against anyone who condemns Israeli Zionists and their supporters for their actions against the Palestinian people as the Zionists attempt to create their Greater Israel. Zionists and their supporters, particularly neoconservatives, are especially adept at mis-using the term as part of their propaganda to demonise their critics and enemies.
The method they use is simple: Instead of identifying specific criticism against Zionism and addressing that criticism, Zionists and their neoconservative supporters simply condemn the criticism – any criticism – as being anti-Semitic, and those that are doing the criticising as being anti-Semitic ‘jew-haters’. In some cases, even other Jews that criticise Zionism are being labelled ‘anti-Semites’ though more often the term ‘self-hating Jew’ is used.
The objective of such mis-labelling by Zionists and their supporters is transparent; it is to paint those that criticise Zionism as the same kind of evil anti-Semites that attempted to destroy European Jewry during the last century. Fortunately, such propaganda devices are indeed transparent and, for the most part, such mis-use of the label has been exposed and dismissed simply as abusive propaganda by right-wing Zionist extremists and their neoconservative supporters.
But while it is easy for most to dismiss the mis-use of the ‘anti-Semite’ label as outrageous propaganda by extremists, it does have an extremely unfortunate side-effect inasmuch that its mis-use devalues the true meaning and use of the label. If the ‘anti-Semite’ label is bandied around inappropriately too often in the way it has been then there will come a time when its true and proper use will become ignored – until, once again, it is too late.
The ‘anti-Semite’ label was once a powerful tool that could be used against those that attempted to resurrect the age-old hatreds that were, and still are, levelled against Jews just because they are Jews. However, Zionists and neocons that abuse the ‘anti-Semite’ label for purely political and propaganda purposes diminish the memory of those that perished at the hands of those that really were anti-Semites.