It is Anti-Semitic to Claim that Jews are a Racial Group

Apartheid libels against Israel are based upon the idea that the Jewish people are a racial group. This is peculiar since Anti-Zionists also deny that Ashkenazi Jews are of Levantine origin. Apartheid according to international legal definitions is based upon one racial group institutionally oppressing one or more racial groups. But how can one claim that Jews are a single racial group when it is in most cases possible to visually identify whether a Jewish Israeli is Ashkenazi, Mizrahi/Sefardi, Yemenite, Ethiopian or South Asian? Israeli society in short is multiracial although Ashkenazim, Sefardim, Mizrahim and Yemenite Jews all in part have Israelite genetic origins. No one doubts the existence of racial groups in Israel but Israeli Jews are most certainly not a single racial group. 

What then about the argument that it is Apartheid also when a single ethnic group is oppressing one or more ethnic groups? The Jewish people in Israel are extremely multiethnic (e.g. there are many Mizrahi ethnic groups in Israel) and so this argument does not apply. Apartheid is a system of institutional racial domination under law, there is no such thing in multiracial and multiethnic Israel. Amnesty International claims that its Anti-Semitic report is not directed against the Jewish people, yet Amnesty explicitly espouses the Nazi idea that Jews are a racial group. Furthermore, they advance a conspiracy theory according to which the sum of all Israeli laws and government policies constitutes a strategy of racial domination on the part of a non-existent racial group. This is an Anti-Semitic conspiracy theory as based upon the Nazi ideas of Jews as oppressors and Jews engaged in covert conspiracies to attain racial domination.

Anyone who claims that Israel practices Apartheid, intentionally or inadvertently advances the three Nazi notions of 1) Jews constituting a single racial group, 2) Jews being oppressors and 3) Jews plotting to attain racial domination. Anyone who claims that Israel is an Apartheid state is thus an Anti-Semite. The Apartheid libel is furthermore based upon the age-old Anti-Semitic parallel tactics of Anti-Jewish racialization and Anti-Jewish criminalization. This is the face of contemporary Anti-Semitism.

Published by Daniella Bartfeld

Daniella Bartfeld is the founding director of the Aliyah Organization.

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