(JTA) – At a panel on anti-Semitism, four speakers known for their infamous criticism of Israel – including Rep. Rashida Tlaib – said they themselves do not hate people.
“Tell everyone, I don’t hate you.” I love you, ”said Tlaib, a Palestinian-American and Democrat from Michigan who supports the move to boycott Israel. “If anyone comes through my doors or through any forum to try to push anti-Semitism forward you will hear me being loud with my bull to tell them to take the hell out.”
The panel had provoked widespread criticism from Jewish commentators and anti-Israel activists when it was announced, both for providing a platform for anti-Zionists to discuss anti-Semitism, and for being a non-Jewish majority. Bari Weiss, a former opinion writer and editor at the New York Times, added, “So ‘get rid of antisemitism’ is all about getting rid of * allegations * of antisemitism. ”
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An all-Jewish panel with a similar title called “Dismantling Anti-Semitism: People Talk Justice,” is being held the following night by the Combat Anti-Semitism Movement, a coalition of nearly 300 organizations, mostly -some Jewish.
Tuesday’s panel, hosted by the political and advocacy branch of the Jewish anti-Zionist group Voice for Peace, included, along with Tlaib, Mark Lamont Hill, a professor at Temple University; Barbara Ransby, professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago; and Peter Beinart, a Jewish essayist best known for his writing on Israel.
Hill and Ransby have also supported the move to boycott, move away from and take control of Israel, known as BDS. Beinart recently made waves for an essay calling for a single binational Israeli-Palestinian state to replace Israel, a strong departure from his decade of advocacy for a two-state solution. Tlaib also supports a binational state.
The panel, titled “Dismantling Antisemitism, Winning Justice,” was modeled by Rabbi Alissa Wise, longtime Jewish Voice director for Peace.
Panellists on Tuesday rejected the notion that a pro-Palestinian candidacy, including support for an Israeli boy, constitutes anti-Semitism. They all said that anti-Semitism came mostly from the right side, and agreed that it would be best to fight it by joining forces with other grieving groups in allegiance.
“Palestinians are not the enemy advocating for Palestinian rights, we are not the enemy advocating for BDS as a strategy to uphold the rights of Palestinians who are disenfranchised and promoted the exile, “Ransby said. “The enemy is the kind of people who enter a synagogue in California, north of San Diego, and open fire to do lethal damage,” the synagogue said in a Poway, California, last year.
“In a fundamental way, of course, we want a more just world for all,” she said.
The incident included considerable criticism of Israel’s treatment of Palestinians. At one time, Ransby was like the legacy of criticizing Israel while fighting Semitism with the dilemma of opposing African-American activists in criticizing Robert Mugabe, the a Zimbabwean anti-colonial activist who became a dictator.
“My side of the debate was arguing, no – that we had a duty to speak out because we had understood the struggle it came from,” she said. “Of course there are historical differences. , but I think that in terms of how we look at the silence around talking about Israel and who has a right to criticize and who has a duty to criticize. “
The panel included anti-Semitism recognition on the left. Hill, who was unable to attend the live event due to his father’s death, only shared pre-recorded responses, who had been working with him in campaign movements and said people must calling against Semitism in their own ideological camps.
“Not only did I become aware of anti-Semitism as an idea but I started hearing it and seeing it in practice,” he said. “There were times when I would be in motions or in meetings, I would read a book or a pamphlet or literature and I would hear how Jewish people were smearing.”
He said, “I have become acutely aware of the dangers of doing nothing to stand in solidarity against anti – Semitism, to stand in solidarity with the Jewish people as they fight for freedom, security, dignity and self-determination. “
Beinart, who has argued for years that the Jewish community must welcome anti-Zionists, said he believes that, by the same token, “Zionist should not be excluded” He also spoke of the need to fight against Semitism in the left.
“It is very important that we fight against the greatest threat to the Semitic, namely the threat of the white national right, that we also show great concern to ensure that there are no positive moves on. the corruption with anti – Semitism, “he said.
He defended the testimonies of his panel, which is accused of Semitism for their views on Israel.
“I know there may be a lot of people watching this who came to watch it because they don’t like the people on this panel,” he said. “Listen to the people on this panel and what they said. them. “Are they like people who hate you? Trust in your gut.” PJC