On being ‘schooled’ on anti-Semitism


Last week I made the outrageous decision to tweet to someone who should know better, someone who was claiming that an article about the rising anti-Semitism on Twitter was conflating anti-Semitism with anti-Israel sentiment. I thought perhaps I was missing something. I thought that perhaps he was misunderstanding what is behind so many of the tweets and articles and protests that abound.

I was wrong. 

Obviously, what do I know about anti-Semitism? I’m only Jewish. 

But you see, he and I are both lucky. We live in cities that experience relatively little anti-Semitism. We live in a country where it is easy to pretend that the world is not racism and anti-Semitic. We travel in circles where we discuss world events rationally and where we are able to distinguish between the actions of a government vs. the actions of a people.

Where we differ is that he – and so many of those on the left, especially in Australia – sees the world at large as matching his world and as being the ideal, whereas I see the world for how it is.

The world is a fucked up place. Every day, Jews around Europe are suffering from rising levels of anti-Semitism that are not rational arguments against the Israeli government. Jews in Denmark are being told not to wear their kippot (skullcaps) in public in order to protect their children from attacks. Jewish businesses in France and Belgium are being firebombed and attacked. Protestors are shouting ‘Death to the Jews’ and ‘Gas the Jews’. Hashtags such as #Hitlerwasright are trending on Twitter.

I want to shout to the world ‘WAKE THE FUCK UP!’ This is happening. This is not your rational anti-Israel sentiment. This is anti-Semitism on a global scale. For all your believe about the Israeli government – and I’m not here to argue one way or the other, so don’t bother commenting if that’s where you’re going – this needs to be stopped. 

How does it work that the world stands up and proclaims concern for human rights but as soon as Jewish people need the attention, they are silent? Where was the world in the 1930s? Where is the world now? At what stage will they stand up with the Jewish people instead of against them? 

This situation makes me so angry because I never thought I would be living in a world that firebombed Jewish businesses, that conflated Jew with Israel and boycotted Jewish businesses and where doctors refuse to treat Jewish patients (no, I’m not making this shit up). And yet the world stays quiet because they have decided that Israel, and by extension, the Jews, are the villains once more. 

When will we have the guts to stand up and say NO MORE?

On questioning my political self, or ‘Does the the Left have an anti-Semitism problem?’


For as long as I’ve been able to hold political beliefs, I have been known as the lonely Leftie in my family. I’ve always liked to think of myself as more Centre Left than radical left but compared to my family, I’m as left-leaning as they get. Which has resulted in many a passionate discussion at the dining table when the whole family gathers, especially around election time – any election really. The last time my brother and I got into a ‘discussion’, my 9-year-old niece tearfully asked ‘why don’t you love each other anymore?’ and we had to laugh and explain that we still loved each other, we just thought the other was an idiot… in a loving way.

But now, as Israel is at war, my beliefs have started to waver. As I look at my left-leaning Twitter followers, I’ve noticed something disturbing. They all seem to be on the side of whoever they perceive to be the underdog, regardless of the situation. They also seem to only be aware and interested in trendy causes. Allow me to explain.

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