“For the last time: Criticizing the State of Israel and its cruel and violent system of legally-enshrined racism is NOT antisemitic.Those making the claim that it is have done so much damage they literally have blood on their hands.

First, Palestinians who have been ethnically cleansed, oppressed and murdered by the self-proclaimed “Jewish State” have to bend over backwards to prove that they’re not “antisemitic” and resisting or even public talking about their own dispossession and erasure is attacked as aimed at destroying the Jewish people. Oppressed groups have enough to worry about without having to cater to the hurt feelings of their oppressors.

Second, politicians and other public figures who dare to speak out for Palestinians as they do for other oppressed groups have been subjected to systematic campaigns to destroy them. Lifelong anti-racists and champions of such as Jeremy Corbyn, Ilhan Omar, Angela Davis and so many others have been viciously smeared in this way and, in the case of Corbyn, helping to smash a powerful social justice movement that could have transformed Britain. It is no accident that pro-Israel forces tend to be more tolerant of racism in general and even of anti-Jewish racism, while true anti-racists are being smeared as “antisemites” by those same intolerant and Right-wing forces. The “antisemitism” is this ironically targeting true anti-racists and empower empowering actual racists.

Third, Jews who speak in support of their Palestinian brothers and sisters are also being silenced and smeared. I’m constantly told by pro-Israel Jews that I’m not “really” Jewish and even that I’m an “antisemite,” among many other things. This attempt to control what it means to be Jewish and what Jews can and cannot think, is itself a form of oppression against Jews and the very idea that to be Jewish is to automatically support the State of Israel is a fundamentally racist. To propagate this falsehood is furthermore to inextricably associate all Jews with this Israel and its crimes. In this sense, Israel is literally using the Jews of the world as human shields in its racist colonialist project.

Finally, the weaponization of “antisemitism” to shut down legitimate criticism of Israel ironically hurts all Jews, both Zionist and non-Zionist, as it makes a mockery of the charge of “antisemitism” and thus discredits and undermines the fight against real anti-Jewish bigotry, prejudice and racism.

When anti-racism to becomes synonymous with “antisemitism,” what does that say about Jews?We need to stop having this conversation. It’s time to put to rest once and for all this cheap and destructive tactic designed to silence critics of one of the most brutal systems of organized racism on the planet.

So, if “antisemite” means a person who opposes the institutionalization of Jewish Supremacy in Palestine (which is ironically directed against actual Semites), it’s a badge I’ll wear proudly. What I oppose is racism, bigotry and prejudice, including against Jews. And that is exactly why I oppose Israel: not because it’s Jewish, but because it’s racist.”

From Peter Cohen on FB