In arguments about Zionism, Israel and Palestine a standard refrain is along the lines of: "Jews have to have Israel as a refuge from antisemitism. It's everywhere, and can erupt into violent attacks against Jews..even a holocaust here in the United States or anywhere. Antisemitism is rampant in the world. Look what happened in Germany and throughout history."
Paranoia and an "us against the world" attitude is an integral part of zionism. I find that even fairly politically astute and realistic people can be swayed by fears of antisemitism in the US.
Is antisemitism a threat in the U.S? Is there an upsurge of Jew hating world wide?
One thing that has to be dismissed right away is the false and outright lying accusation that the growing support for basic human rights for Palestinians is "antisemitic." the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement is growing. More and more people are not buying into the lame excuses used by the media and our government to justify ethnic cleansing and outright murders committed by the Israeli occupation. Groups around the world are sponsoring boats to attempt to sail into port in Gaza to highlight the illegality and immorality of Israel's blockade.
This isn't anti Jewish. It's politics. It's defense of universal human rights. Apologists for Israel can't put together any coherent arguments in the face of undeniable facts, so their only recourse is name calling and intimidation.
Well, its been said: "in times of economic and/or social crisis people look around for a scapegoat. We're having really hard economic times and we've got right wing populism with the Tea Party and such...aren't conditions ripe?"
It's true that there are many demagogues who are railing against scapegoats to blame for our economic and other woes. We got Glen Beck, Fox's O'Reily and Hannity and the ever reliable windbag Rush Limburger among others.
Who are they scapegoating?
The pogrom in this country is being carried out against Muslims and immigrants (mainly Hispanic, do we have any Hispanic Muslim immigrants!? Fuggedaboutit!)
No Jews are in the crosshairs. Jews are among the inciters of anti-Islamic racism. Jews are secure members of the establishment and also beloved of the usually antisemitic crowd of right wing xenophobes, theocratic Christian lunatics and even pro fascist groups!
There was a rally recently in New York to support the right of Muslims to have a Mosque near the World Trade Center at "ground zero." At the counter-demonstration were a group of British nazi skinheads who normally spend their time in the UK "Paki bashing." At the NY rally they were waving the flag of St. George (beloved of UK racists) and the Israeli flag!
Does Michelle Bachman denounce Jews? Rush? The "grass roots" Tea Party (TM) (c) INC, LLC?
Are conditions the same here and now as they were in Europe in the 1920s and 30s when Nazis and Fascists were coming to power in some countries and gaining influence in others?
In Europe from the end of the 19th century up to Hitler's coming to power there were openly antisemitic mass circulation newspapers. There were antisemitic politicians elected to high office. Before there was a nazi party the banner of antisemitism was carried by anti-democratic, aristocratic, clerical and pro-monarchists groups that represented a significant part of society. There were big scandals and controversial accusations that shook the social order. The brutal pogroms in Russia in the 1880s, The Dreyfuss case in France in the 1890s.
Has anything like that been going on in the U.S. for the last 50 years? All the forces that could realistically be part of an anti-democratic fascist-like mass organization love Israel and have warm relations with zionist Jews.
Where is the threat? Are Palestinian students on U.S. campuses allied with diabolical groups like, say, Jewish Voice for Peace, or the Free Gaza Movement a dire existential threat to Jews in America?