מפסיקים את הסטורי של האנטישמיות
מפסיקים את הסטורי של האנטישמיותEJC

We needn’t have waited 2,000 years for Wilhelm Marr to come up with what is now a buzz term scattered like confetti, and with equal utility.

A customer enters a toy shop to buy, ‘a plaything consisting of a child’s toy bear designed to be played with.’ In case of any misunderstanding he elaborates that the toy is normally plush and stuffed with soft materials. "You want a teddy," says the shopkeeper failing to keep a straight face.

What prompted this piece of foppery was yet another effort to fight shameless antisemitism by defining it ad nauseam until the concept resembles a farfetched marsupial created by AI at which the peaceniks crying genocide and death to Jews complain that the definition equates criticising Israel with antisemitism.

More means less. More elaboration blunts the weapon, so that when a popular blogger souped up an already cumbersome definition devised by a famed refusenik, adding an algorithm to make it ”a pretty good test” of antisemitism, he did not add gunpowder to the weapon but sawdust.

And if it was a “pretty good test,” to what use could it be put? Did Natan Sharansky’s so called 3Ds’ definition ever clinch a debate? Did it shut the muckraking mouth of one Jew-baiter? What it can do is bleep code red at targets which are neither Israel nor Jewish. MAGA supporters ffor instance, or critics of DEI, or pro-lifers. All manner of enemies of the Left get Delegitimized, Demonized and Double standard treatment, to an equal or greater extent than Zionists.

If the 3Ds don’t do the job whatabout that one in great demand and being made into law? IHRA, acronym for the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance – surely here’s a definition that lives up to its billing, providing examples which, “depending on the context could be antisemitic.” “Context”. “Could be”. Recall the Ivy League Presidents grilled by a House Committee? Those were the escape words they trotted out.

So Universities Face an Urgent Question: What Makes a Protest Antisemitic? Lara Friedman of the Foundation for Middle East Peace (yet another pro-Hamas lobby with Peace in its name) regards the IHRA definition that US lawmakers are hoping will crack down on campus antisemitism as, a “conflation of criticism of Israel/Zionism with antisemitism,” to censor speech “that doesn’t align with unconditional support for Israel.”

There is something in the IHRA definition for everyone not to like. Antisemitism, according to one example in it consists of, “using the symbols and images associated with classic antisemitism, e.g., claims of Jews killing Jesus and blood libels) to characterize Israel or Israelis.” It was now the turn of Tucker Carlson to be grossly offended. If that is what antisemitism is, Carlson said, the New Testament could be banned.

Observe all the red herrings bred by elaborate definitions of the oldest of all hatreds. Not even the man who fathered IHRA is at peace with the monster he gave life to. Kenneth Stern, Director of the Bard Centre for the Study of Hate is that true liberal who wants the most deplorable speech to be protected not punished. Making his definition into law, he fears, will be used to censor speech. Of course it will. Will it make Jews more popular or more hated?

“Antisemitism is often seen as a “canary in the coal mine,” warning of broader societal issues and human rights dangers. Times of emergency however lead to the worst type of legislation. A key example is the Antisemitism Awareness Act of 2023, a bill that the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed and is now pending before the Senate. People think they can use the government to stop hateful speech. But censorship does not stop bigotry. It often makes it worse.”

(Read: Silencing Antisemitism Is Wrong--More Speech Is the Answer)

For the real big whatabout, how was antisemitism identified before 1879 when it became a word? Did we really have to wait 2,000 years for a German agitator named Wilhelm Marr to come up with what’s now a buzz term scattered like confetti, with hardly more utility.

Neither term nor definition was needed for in-your-face Jew-hatred. And there weren’t Zionist proxies to take the brunt. Initially in the Old Testament there were Israelites. After the destruction of the 2nd Temple and their dispersion, Jews took the brunt of what Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks called, “the deadliest of human phenomena”. We shall find that ‘deadly’ and ‘destroy’ are the operative words. “More than hate destroys the hated,” added Rabbi Sacks for good measure, “it destroys the hater”. (But it also destroys the hated to a much greater numerical extent, as European Jews know well, ed.)

Where does all this leave careful academic definitions of what is simply deadly, destructive hate which in broad daylight advertises what it does or means to do? Defining a teddy bear has about the same utility. It is what it is, and the Passover Haggadah, compiled not long after Jesus lived, tells what it is, in sixteen everyday words.

In every generation there are those who rise up against us and seek to destroy us.”

Accurate prophecy or age old incontrovertible meaning, this unequivocal statement speaks to us: stop with 3Ds and IHRAs and curbing academic freedom and defining what people in a free society may and may not say. Even mentally challenged President Biden knows the beast when he sees the, “ferocious surge of antisemitism in America and around the world.” In the muddled brain of The George Costanza Presidency the pro-Hamas have risen up against the Jews and seek to destroy them.

If you like irony, it took a non-Jewish, in fact a French playwright who knew the Passover Haggadah as he knew kneidlach, to grasp the credo it set forth for all time. In a thin but seminal book, ‘Anti-Semite and Jew,’ Jean-Paul Sartre grasped the bedrock of the world’s most destructive hatred:

“The anti-Semite has murderous instincts but has found a means of sating them. His thunderous diatribes at the ‘Yids’ are really capital executions.. He is a murderer who represses and censures his tendency to murder without being able to hold it back, yet dares to kill only in effigy.”

What Sartre is saying is that in terms of human instinct there is zero difference between your Columbia professor and campus mob on one hand and Hamas butchers murdering their way through the Gaza envelope on the other hand.

The former are closet Jew killers, the latter put the identical killer instinct into practice. Every antisemite, mask on or off, drools at the prospect of dead Jews.

Don’t therefore let CNN anchors slip the hangman’s noose by mimicking “freedom of speech.” Kenneth Stern was plain silly to let himself be sidetracked by anchor women. All he needed were two statements of fact.

1. Hamas murders Jews. Yes or No?

2. Campus protestors glorifying Hamas therefore support the murder of Jews. Yes or no?

Carry a pocketbook inscribed with the oldest, the one and only definition of antisemitism, and you’ll clinch the debate every time. Q E D Quod erat demonstrandum

Steve Apfel is an authority on anti-Zionism and a prolific author in general published widely. Follow Steve at https://steveapfel.substack.com/ and at https://enemiesofzion.wordpress.com/