In America, ignorance and anti-Semitism drive the animus against Israel

Samantha Mandeles, the senior researcher and outreach director at the Legal Insurrection Foundation, has regularly attended AIPAC conferences over the past several years.  This year, however, she opted not to attend the AIPAC conference itself, but, instead, to report on the anti-Israel protests that invariably take place outside the conference venue.

What Mandeles discovered after spending nearly four hours observing the protesters and interviewing them is that they are driven by historical ignorance and revisionism; baseless conspiracy theories; and, underlying it all, anti-Semitism.  This last point is noteworthy because one of the central claims the anti-Israel crowd makes to give itself legitimacy is that it's not anti-Semitic; it's merely "anti-Zionist."  Scratch an anti-Zionist, though, and you'll almost invariably find an anti-Semite.

Because Mandeles carefully documents her conclusions about the misinformation, conspiracy theories, and anti-Semitism powering the protests outside the AIPAC conference, her article is long and cannot easily be summarized.  However, several important points deserve to be mentioned here.

The most pivotal point is that the protesters cannot manage to separate "Israelis" from "Jews."  If they were honestly protesting only a colonial country that is occupying the land of the indigenous Palestinians (a significant piece of historical revisionism), they would rant against "Israelis."  But they never do.  Eventually, it's always about the Jews.

The most compelling example occurred when Mandeles spoke to two women, both wearing Arab keffiyehs, and one claiming Palestinian ancestry:

They were both vehement and emotional in their replies to my questions, and insisted that Israel was to blame for the sorry state of Palestinian affairs. Neither seemed to notice when the other accused "Jews" of barbarism, but both seemed utterly convinced of their own moral superiority.

During our conversation, I mostly listened quietly, but eventually did ask them both what they believed must be done to bring about peace.

At that, one of them let it slip. Calling Israel an "illegal country in the first place", she subsequently declared,

"the Jews should get on their knees and beg for forgiveness for what they've done to the Palestinians since 1948."

She continued:

"They've ethnically cleansed villages. They massacred 700,000 people."

Her compatriot (who had claimed Palestinian Arab ancestry) added,

"I think they feel bad. I think that's why they're so aggressive a lot of the time."

It did not seem to occur to either of these women that they had both condemned "the Jews" rather than "the Zionists" or "the Israelis". At no time did either of them amend the sentiment, though one of them later pointedly referred to "the Zionists" because "not all Jews are Zionists". 

One protester carried a sign repeating Ilhan Omar's anti-Semitic and conspiratorial tweet that Congress supports Israel because AIPAC is paying it "Benjamins."  Another protester contended that Jews are antithetical to "the entire white race" because "you stabbed us in the back, and you lied to us, and you fleeced us with your usury."  Other protesters told AIPAC attendees that "[t]he Holocaust will come back to you.  You're going to get burned if you don't give us the land."

There's much, much more at Legal Insurrection.  The post is a useful reminder that Israel-haters hate the so-called "occupation" not on its own terms.  If they were genuinely opposed to "colonial occupation," they would also be out protesting all sorts of "occupations" around the world, not the least of which is China's occupation of Tibet and its ongoing efforts to destroy the Tibetan culture and character.  Instead, the hostility to Israel is about the fact that Israel is not just any nation; it's the Jewish nation.

Samantha Mandeles, the senior researcher and outreach director at the Legal Insurrection Foundation, has regularly attended AIPAC conferences over the past several years.  This year, however, she opted not to attend the AIPAC conference itself, but, instead, to report on the anti-Israel protests that invariably take place outside the conference venue.

What Mandeles discovered after spending nearly four hours observing the protesters and interviewing them is that they are driven by historical ignorance and revisionism; baseless conspiracy theories; and, underlying it all, anti-Semitism.  This last point is noteworthy because one of the central claims the anti-Israel crowd makes to give itself legitimacy is that it's not anti-Semitic; it's merely "anti-Zionist."  Scratch an anti-Zionist, though, and you'll almost invariably find an anti-Semite.

Because Mandeles carefully documents her conclusions about the misinformation, conspiracy theories, and anti-Semitism powering the protests outside the AIPAC conference, her article is long and cannot easily be summarized.  However, several important points deserve to be mentioned here.

The most pivotal point is that the protesters cannot manage to separate "Israelis" from "Jews."  If they were honestly protesting only a colonial country that is occupying the land of the indigenous Palestinians (a significant piece of historical revisionism), they would rant against "Israelis."  But they never do.  Eventually, it's always about the Jews.

The most compelling example occurred when Mandeles spoke to two women, both wearing Arab keffiyehs, and one claiming Palestinian ancestry:

They were both vehement and emotional in their replies to my questions, and insisted that Israel was to blame for the sorry state of Palestinian affairs. Neither seemed to notice when the other accused "Jews" of barbarism, but both seemed utterly convinced of their own moral superiority.

During our conversation, I mostly listened quietly, but eventually did ask them both what they believed must be done to bring about peace.

At that, one of them let it slip. Calling Israel an "illegal country in the first place", she subsequently declared,

"the Jews should get on their knees and beg for forgiveness for what they've done to the Palestinians since 1948."

She continued:

"They've ethnically cleansed villages. They massacred 700,000 people."

Her compatriot (who had claimed Palestinian Arab ancestry) added,

"I think they feel bad. I think that's why they're so aggressive a lot of the time."

It did not seem to occur to either of these women that they had both condemned "the Jews" rather than "the Zionists" or "the Israelis". At no time did either of them amend the sentiment, though one of them later pointedly referred to "the Zionists" because "not all Jews are Zionists". 

One protester carried a sign repeating Ilhan Omar's anti-Semitic and conspiratorial tweet that Congress supports Israel because AIPAC is paying it "Benjamins."  Another protester contended that Jews are antithetical to "the entire white race" because "you stabbed us in the back, and you lied to us, and you fleeced us with your usury."  Other protesters told AIPAC attendees that "[t]he Holocaust will come back to you.  You're going to get burned if you don't give us the land."

There's much, much more at Legal Insurrection.  The post is a useful reminder that Israel-haters hate the so-called "occupation" not on its own terms.  If they were genuinely opposed to "colonial occupation," they would also be out protesting all sorts of "occupations" around the world, not the least of which is China's occupation of Tibet and its ongoing efforts to destroy the Tibetan culture and character.  Instead, the hostility to Israel is about the fact that Israel is not just any nation; it's the Jewish nation.