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Antisemitism has a direct connection with the rise of Islamism. Islamism is based on an ideology of hate and dehumanization so the Islamists have singled out Israel and Jews as their common enemy. Much of this fanned by the Middle East crisis while not acknowledging that Arabs are a very small part of the Muslim world. Since the creation of Israel, antisemitism in the Muslim world has run rife with Islamists mis-quoting and mis-using (time bound) Quranic passage to further their agenda.
Islamists often collate antisemitism with Islamophobia promoting their victim ideology. But Islamophobia and antisemitism are entirely different. This is why its important to keep the definition of antisemitism in mind.
In June 2019, the Government of Canada announced it adopted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) definition of antisemitism as part of Canada’s Anti-Racism Strategy. This is based upon the May 26, 2016, decision in which 31 member states of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), of which the United States is a member, adopted a non-legally binding “working definition” of anti-Semitism at its plenary in Bucharest:
“Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.”
The document also says that manifestations might include the targeting of the state of Israel, conceived as a Jewish collectivity. However, criticism of Israel similar to that leveled against any other country cannot be regarded as anti-Semitic.
However, it is anti-Semitic to “[apply] double standards by requiring of [Israel] a behavior not expected or demanded of by any other democratic nation.” For example, there are at least 100 land disputes across the globe that are not subject to “BDS” movements.
Anti-Semitism frequently charges Jews with conspiring to harm humanity, and it is often used to blame Jews for “why things go wrong.” It is expressed in speech, writing, visual forms and action, and employs sinister stereotypes and negative character traits.
As a Muslim living in Canada, I’m really concerned about the rise of antisemitism across the globe and especially in North America. I was raised in a Muslim country where no one spoke about Jews or Israel. But I was curious and intrigued after reading The Diary of Anne Frank and Exodus. So, when we came to Canada, the first chance I got, I went to Israel, and as the cliché goes, the rest is history. I fell in love.
Why? Because I found sanity in the madness surrounding this small country and saw true diversity there.
Of course, I can criticize Israel just as much as I criticize Canada and my native land of birth – the freedom to do so is what makes Israel great. But hatred against a people and a country is never acceptable.
There is unabated rise of the BDS movement across campuses in North America. The BDS movement has been deemed an anti-Semitic movement by the U.S. State Department’s definition of anti-Semitism. That definition has been adopted by 31 other countries. It is based on the “working definition” proposed by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), of which the United States is a member
We see blatant hatred of Jews and Israel being spouted from the mouths of some elected officials.
In Canada, according to the organization B’nai Brith, 2,041 incidents of anti-Semitism were recorded this past year, an increase of 16.5% from the previous year.
This is a dangerous trajectory. We have learned that hatred leads to dehumanization of “the other,” which leads to violence and eventual genocide. The Holocaust is a constant reminder of this.
We need to urgently question, “Why?” And we need to discuss this issue within all communities. This is not just a Jewish problem. It’s a humanitarian crisis of huge proportions.
Deborah Lipstadt, a world-renowned Holocaust historian and professor of history at Emory University, said it best in an interview with TVO’s Steve Paikin :
“If you’re going to fight anti-Semitism, don’t fight just because you have a Jewish neighbor or Jewish friends and you don’t want them to be hurt or to live in fear. That’s good, but that’s not the reason. Or, if you’re going to fight anti-Semitism just because you hate prejudice against all minorities, religious, ethnic or whatever it might be, that’s a good thing, but that’s not sufficient.
The reason to fight anti-Semitism is that it poses a danger to the democratic societies in which we live. No healthy democratic society can harbor that kind of animus, that kind of hatred and be called a healthy society.”
The reasons for the rise in anti-Semitism are many but rarely talked about due to political correctness.
There has been mass immigration to the West from countries that have institutionalised anti-Semitism and teach hatred for Jews even in their school curricula. So those who have grown up on a diet of hate and conspiracy theories bring this ideology with them. We are witnessing this from elected representatives south of the border in America.
With the rise of immigration patterns, the demographics have changed. Western politicians are not only ignoring the rise of anti-Semitism but siding with those who perpetuate it.
Adding insult to injury, the Left and Islamists have joined hands to weaponize anti-Semitism. Islamist organizations host the hateful Al Quds Day rally in major cities. Recently, there has been an increase of anti-Semitic attacks by neo-Nazis and white supremacists, who are now using the playbook of the Muslim Brotherhood. This gives the Islamists the daring excuse of, “It’s them – not us,” which is even more dangerous.
While the acts of neo-Nazi groups are appalling and horrific, they are localized and obviously being used by the Islamists to further their own subversive agendas.