Wed 06 Dec 2023 2:46 pm - Jerusalem Time

Jewish writers in an open letter: Anti-Israelism does not mean anti-Semitism

In an open letter to the international community published in the online literary magazine N+1 and signed by thousands of artists around the world, Jewish writers expressed their rejection of “the prevailing discourse that considers any criticism of Israel to be anti-Semitic.”

The Jewish writers pointed out in their letter that the concept of anti-Semitism has been used so far “to protect Israel from accountability, to hide the reality of the occupation, and to deny Palestinian sovereignty,” and that the same concept is used today “to justify Israel’s bombing of Gaza, and to silence criticism within the international community.”

Jewish writers stated that they were deeply saddened by Israel's use of "the war against anti-Semitism as an excuse to commit war crimes with the intent of genocide."

They described the Zionist "ideology" as "exploiting the suffering of the Jews in order to undermine the rights of the Palestinian people," stressing that "anti-Israelism does not mean anti-Semitism."

In the open letter, the Jewish writers said, “We defend the dignity and sovereignty of the Palestinian people, through the lessons we have drawn from our bitter history in confronting anti-Semitism.” The writers also affirmed their rejection of the trade-off between "the freedom of the Palestinians and the security of the Jews."

Jewish writers pointed out that the Israeli government is promoting propaganda internally and externally stating that "the struggle of the Palestinians is not directed to obtain rights to land and sovereignty, but rather is directed against the Jews."

The Jewish writers stressed that the United States describes its support for Israel as “protecting Jewish identity,” and said, “Our identity is not a weapon that states can use to impose their authority. We are against the exploitation of our pain.”

UN rapporteurs Alexandra Xanthaki, Farida Shahid, Clement Nyalitsosi Fule and Irene Khan say that the international community equates criticism of Israel with support for anti-Semitism.

They also rejected recent statements made by Israeli and other officials, in which they described criticism of Israel as a form of anti-Semitism.

In a written statement, the rapporteurs stated that “calls for a humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza, or criticism of the Israeli government’s policies and actions are misleadingly linked to support for terrorism or anti-Semitism.”

The statement noted that “a global wave of attacks, retaliation, criminalization and sanctions has targeted those who publicly express their solidarity with the victims of the conflict between Israel and Palestine,” stressing that “this situation constitutes a suppression of freedom of expression and creates an atmosphere of fear that prevents many individuals from participating in public life.” ".

The United Nations rapporteurs stated that artists, academics, journalists, activists and athletes who raise their voices in support of victims of human rights violations are today being subjected to harsh criticism.

Many Jewish organizations around the world oppose Zionism and its practices that led to the expulsion of more than 750,000 Palestinians from their lands in the 1948 war. Anti-Israel Jews defend the right of Palestinians to return to their land, and criticize Zionism, which considers itself “a guarantor of the security of the Jewish nation.”

Critics of Israel lose their jobs

Since last October 7, many well-known names in the world have been dismissed from their jobs on charges of “anti-Semitism.” Because of their criticism of the Israeli war on Gaza.

In this context, American actress Susan Sarandon, who expressed her support for Palestine in the United States, was suspended from working at a talent agency, while Mexican actress Melissa Barrera was excluded from the crew of one of the films being filmed.

While New York Times magazine writer Jazmine Hughes was forced to resign on the grounds of “violating editorial policies” after signing a statement in support of Palestine, and Palestinian photojournalist Hossam Salam was fired from the American newspaper “New York Times” because of his posts on social media sites that expressed Through it, he expressed his support for Palestine.

Canadian journalist of Palestinian origin, Zahraa Al-Akhras, was also dismissed from her work at the Canadian News Agency (Global News), against the backdrop of her publications in support of Palestine.

Many countries accused Israel of committing "genocide" during the war in Gaza (Anatolia)

David Velasco, editor-in-chief of the US-based magazine Art Forum, was fired after the magazine published an open letter rejecting the war on Gaza.

Michael Eisen, a Jew, was also dismissed from his position as editor-in-chief of the academic journal Science; Because of a post on social media in which he criticized the Israeli war on Gaza.

In this context, Jackson Frank, sports correspondent for the Philly Voice news website, based in Philadelphia, USA, was fired from his job after he shared a post on the X website showing solidarity with Palestine.

An investigation was also opened against 6 correspondents working for the Arabic news service affiliated with the British network “BBC”, under the pretext of “violating the institution’s strict impartiality rules” for allegedly “supporting Hamas” on social media, and then the reporters were dismissed from the institution.

For more than 60 days, the Israeli occupation army has launched an aggression against the Gaza Strip, which has claimed the lives of 16,000 Palestinians and more than 42,000 wounded, most of them children and women, in addition to massive destruction of infrastructure and an unprecedented humanitarian disaster, according to official Palestinian sources.

Source: Al Jazeera + Anatolia


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Jewish writers in an open letter: Anti-Israelism does not mean anti-Semitism