Is it okay to hate Israel?

Is criticism of Israel anti-Semitic?

Protest actions against Israel or for the cause of the Palestinians are not by definition an expression of hatred of all Jews and therefore not necessarily a form of anti-Semitism. In theory, it should be possible to disagree on everything that is happening in and around the State of Israel. Opinions often differ widely among Jews too.

However, a real discussion about "Zionism" or a normal critical debate about Israel is becoming more and more difficult to have. The points of view have hardened. The emotions build up quickly. This can be seen on the internet and on social media. There Israel is regularly compared with Nazi Germany. Then you can read: What Israel is doing with the Palestinians today is the same as the systematic extermination of the Jews by the Nazis in World War II.

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This comparison is not only inappropriate, but also wrong and hurtful. There are victims in the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. But there is no talk of annihilation. If you make such comparisons, it is actually anti-Semitic.

Criticism of Israel is often linked to anti-Semitic myths and symbols. So one encounters hurtful, hateful caricatures that depict rich Jews or are supposed to show how Israel is behind the scenes all over the world. A criticism of Israel with such representations and symbols brings back memories of the persecutions in the past, of the Holocaust. That fits into the long history of anti-Semitism.

See also