Israeli Affairs (Issue no. 78)

Anti-Semitism, Zionism and the Question of Palestine

  • Editor: Raif Zureik, Nabil al-Saleh, Honaida Ghanem
  • Preparation: Khaldoun Barghouthi, Mohanad Mustafa, Rebecca Gould, Amos Goldberg, Avraham Burg, Malek Samarah, Ashraf Bader, Nour ad-Din A’raj and Basel Rizqallah, Ian Lustick, Hurriyyah Ziyadah, Ali Zubeidat, Yair Wallach, Amira Abdel-Hafiz Amara
  • Number of Pages: 142
  • ISBN: 978-9950-03-030-5
  • Date of update: Wednesday, 05 August 2020
  • Price: $0.00

Anti-Semitism, Zionism and the Question of Palestine

Since the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) adopted a new definition of anti-Semitism, the question of Palestine has entered a new phase, both morally and politically. As applicable, the new definition transforms the whole Palestinian narrative into one that can be characterised as anti-Semitic. It is of the view that the right of return and demand for a state of citizens in Israel seek to abolish Jewish privileges over Palestinian citizens, making both anti-Semitic claims. So is the case of anyone who dreams of a binational state in Historic Palestine or of one secular, liberal and egalitarian state. This ushers in a new stage of the war on Palestine’s narrative and just claims. It is true that these claims could not be realised so far. From now on, however, these mere claims become unlawful and anti-Semitic.

This danger is not just hypothetical, but has also transformed into practice in many European countries and in America. These have adopted and acted in tandem with the IHRA definition. All the more so, in Germany, a parliamentary decision considered that the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement as anti-Semitic. Along this vein, the Palestinian narrative and claims associated with the question of Palestine are being targeted by a wide-ranging campaign of international delegitimisation and condemnation. Accordingly, the victim is turned into a convicted executioner simply because he rises to his feet and cries out for his rights. He seeks justice from a Euro-American community, which believes that the Palestinian people are an excess. As cries of distress emanating from Palestine disturb Euro-American peace, Palestinians have to be silenced. The unwavering voice of Palestine reminds Europe of its crime and liability for the Holocaust. In the name of victimisation, however, the victim cannot convert a whole people into a victim.

In this issue, we have addressed the issue of anti-Semitism, countering anti-Semitism, Zionism, and the nature of the relationship between these and the question of Palestine. We believe that this is a major – if not the greatest – challenge to the question of Palestine. Palestinians have lost many military and political battles, but have managed to keep their moral question alive. This is the last and most important stronghold for Palestinians. If it ceases to exist, so will Palestine and the question of Palestine. It is, therefore, a fate-determining battle for history in the first place, and for the future in the second place.

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Monday, September 27, 2021


The Palestinian Forum for Israeli Studies (MADAR) is an independent research centre specialising in Israeli affairs, based in Ramallah, Palestine. MADAR was established in 2000 by a group of Palestinian intellectuals and academics, including the late poet Mahmoud Darwish, Dr. Lily Feidy, Dr. Ali Jarbawi, Dr. Ahmad Harb, Mr. Walid Al-Ahmad and Mr. Akram Haniyyeh. The centre was registered as a not-for-profit organisation with the Palestinian Ministry of Interior, and obtained a research centre’s operational licensing from the Palestinian Ministry of Information.