Michael Medved: Does Hostility to Israel Reflect Anti-Semitism?

In the recent midterms, Democrats elected several new House members who express outspoken hostility to Israel, raising old questions about connections between antagonism to the Jewish state and hatred of the Jewish people—anti-Semitism. 

Criticism of Israeli policies isn’t automatically anti-Semitic; Israel’s vibrant democracy enables loyal citizens to oppose their elected leaders. But if hostility extends to the nation itself and challenges its very existence, that surely amounts to anti-Semitic bigotry.

Jewish claims to nationhood deserve the same respect as those of other peoples. Slovakia first became an independent state in 1993,  and has the same percentage of non-Slovak population—20 percent—as Israel’s percentage of non-Jews. But no one protests Slovakia’s existence, and if you did you’d be guilty of irrational, anti-Slovak prejudice. Obsessive hatred of the nation state of the Jews similarly equates to Jew hatred, an ancient, obvious form of bigotry.