Can I Oppose Israel Policies Without Being Anti-Jewish?

Israel Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman told a conference there was a world wide campaign to foster anti-Israel policies in hope of crushing the state of Israel. Lieberman argues, “classic anti-semitism, along with Iranian funding and Islamic anti-Semitism, is being used to inculcate hatred against Jews, and to delegitimize the state of Israel.” Several speakers at the conference stressed that it no longer was politically correct to attack Jews so anti-Semites have shifted their hatred toward the state of Israel. As Lieberman put it, “Modern anti-Semitism has taken the form of being anti-Israel, not to hate Jews.”

Inherent in these arguments is that opposing the state of Israel is equivalent to hating Jews. A central problem with this argument is the inability to distinguish between “opposing policies of the Israel government” rather than “opposing the existence of the state of Israel.” I am allowed to oppose policies of Ireland without being accused of being anti-Irish or anti-Catholic, and a similar standard should apply when discussing foreign policy and domestic initiatives of the Israel government. Hopefully, many in the world understand that not all Americans supported Bush policies.