by Yakov M. Rabkin
Quite a few Jews feel offended when confronted with criticism of Israel. But when someone denounces Zionism and the Zionist nature of the Israeli state they cry antisemitism. Jewish students are particularly affected as they cannot separate Zionism from the Jewish identity the way it has been taught to them. This particular identity is centered on political support for the state of Israel, and they see advocacy for Israel, a designated course in the curriculum of many Jewish schools, as a key part of being Jewish. Leaving the bubble of Jewish schools for university campuses can be truly traumatic.
Teaching the centrality of Israel, a policy applied in most non-ultra-Orthodox Jewish schools for several decades has borne fruit. Their graduates feel that criticizing Israel’s treatment of Palestinians are manifestations of antisemitism. Their feelings are genuine. They need not be considered only as attempts at conscious manipulation of antisemitism for political purposes. Weiterlesen