POR: Tania Chen


Antisemitism zero tolerance

Anti-Semitism vs Anti-Israel: the origins of anti-Semitism can be traced back to the early middle ages in Europe, though studies suggest that they have roots even further back.

Pogroms took place in Europe during times of crisis, particularly economic regressions and famine conditions.

Jews would be divested of their wealth and assets, as well as their lives.

The normalization of anti-Semitism in Europe gave birth to one of the most horrific events in history: The Holocaust.

And despite the motto “never again”, worldwide there is still an alarmingly high amount of tacit ignorance with regards to anti-Semitism. 

Anti-Israel sentiments, on the other hand, have taken root since the creation of Israel at the end of the Second World War.

They have been exacerbated by the seizing of territory during the 1967 conflicts, when the displaced population of Palestinians found themselves losing their homes and rights.

Military occupation Palestine

What was ideally a temporary military occupation of this area has become a permanent one, with increasing violence and tensions.

The ongoing colonization of Israel of the West Bank has accelerated in the last few years, incentivized by policies granting citizenship to Jewish individuals around the world, while revoking citizenship of the Palestinian population.

A report published by the Israeli human rights organization Yesh Din in 2020[1], uncovered the systematic oppression and abuse of Palestinians.

It concluded that a crime against humanity of apartheid was being committed, not just in the West Bank but the entirety of Israel making Israel an apartheid state.

Another study, done by Human Rights Watch[2] concluded that while the government was systematically discriminating against Palestinian, it was only in the occupied territories where inhuman acts were committed.

In March 2021, the ICC (International Criminal Court) announced the opening of a formal investigation of the occupied Palestinian territories.

While anti-Semitism and anti-Israel should be mutually exclusive, it has become an increasingly alarming trend of anti-Semitic feelings being given voice in the criticism against Israel policies in Gaza.

It is important to separate criticism of Israel from anti-Semitism in order to put an end to the conflict, and social media[3] has proven to be a powerful ally in bringing to light the plight of Palestinians living in the region.

Unfortunately, this has also given extremist justification – in their minds – for their anti-Semitism.

antisemitism in Europe

Some countries have taken initiatives to curb anti-Semitism vs Anti-Israel.

For example, after World War Two, within Germany to consider the use of the swastika and Nazi salute as a criminal offence.

Old concentration camps like Auschwitz stand in memory of their victims, offering a sobering reality.

In different parts of the Western world museums that speak about the Holocaust have been constructed and have a steady visitor count, dedicated to preserving the memory of the Holocaust victims as well as educating visitors on themes of tolerance and the dangers of prejudice.

Yad Vashem, located in Israel, has been visited by heads of state throughout the years in a sign of acknowledgement and respect to the injustices suffered by the Jewish people during the Holocaust.

Mexico City has Museo Memoria y Tolerancia that seeks to educate its visitors not only on themes of genocide, but of violence, human rights and the importance of tolerance.

Museo de la Memoria y Tolerancia CDMX

Unfortunately, anti-Semitism is on the rise and tensions between Muslims and Jewish people have skyrocketed in the wake of the unrest in Gaza and the Palestinian Occupied Territories.

In Montreal, there have been reports from Jewish Canadians about being pelted with projectiles and demonstrations have ended in the arrests.

A synagogue in Chicago has been vandalized, two individuals breaking a window while carrying a “Freedom for Palestine” sign. Sadly, these are but two examples in a wider, growing trend.

So how can one navigate the complexity of anti-Semitism vs criticism of Israel’s policies? We should consider two things:

First, differentiate between criticising the government of Israel on the one hand and pursuing hatred of the Jews on the other.

There must be a zero tolerance when it comes to anti-Semitic rhetoric – as well as other racist rhetoric — not just in news but also in everyday discussions.

Additionally, acts against Jewish communities should be condemned and thoroughly investigated.

The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance defines anti-Semitism as, “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.”

This definition must be accepted and acknowledged worldwide, taken into consideration whenever the question and criticism of Israel is brought up.

Antisemitism Nazi

Second, considering the impact on those most vulnerable: the civilians living Gaza and occupied Palestinian territories; children and women who are caught between the violence, abuse and discrimination.

Protecting them should be the priority to bring stability to the region as a way to prevent extremist anti-Semitic conflated with anti-Israel positions from taking root.

Conflating Zionism with Judaism is unfortunately, an easy way to justify anti-Semitism in the eyes of many.

The media and our education systems should underscore the differences between the two and ensure that criticism of Israel the state is not confused with hatred of the Jews for their religion.

Anti-Semitism should never be tolerated under any guise.

Anti-Semitism vs Anti-Israel: while one may be against the policies of a state, hatred of a religious or national group is always to be condemned by civilized people.

Tania Chen is a historian, writer and political analyst. She is a graduate of Bristol University where she did a BA in History, followed by an MA in Historical Studies.

Her areas of specialization are China in the 20th century, International Multilateral Organizations, and the Holocaust and it’s representations in current media.

[1] https://www.yesh-din.org/en/the-occupation-of-the-west-bank-and-the-crime-of-apartheid-legal-opinion/

[2] https://www.hrw.org/report/2021/04/27/threshold-crossed/israeli-authorities-and-crimes-apartheid-and-persecution

[3] https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/israel-palestine-night-lynching-crackdowns-death

The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of CEIM. Any content provided by our bloggers or authors are of their opinion. The content on this site does not constitute endorsement of any political affiliation and does not reflect opinions from members of the staff and board.



junio 22, 2021


Curso Taller Egel PLUS Relaciones Internacionales

Curso Taller Egel PLUS Relaciones Internacionales

¿A quién va dirigido? Estudiantes de licenciatura en Relaciones Internacionales próximos al egreso. Área de conocimiento Relaciones Internacionales.   Objetivo Preparar al sustentante para el Examen General para el Egreso profundizando en los grandes temas de la...

leer más

¿Deseas contactarnos?




+52 1 999 133 5791


Llena este formulario y contacta a uno de nuestros asesores educativos

Conoce nuestros cursos y talleres

Curso Taller Egel PLUS Relaciones Internacionales

Curso Taller Egel PLUS Relaciones Internacionales

¿A quién va dirigido? Estudiantes de licenciatura en Relaciones Internacionales próximos al egreso. Área de conocimiento Relaciones Internacionales.   Objetivo Preparar al sustentante para el Examen General para el Egreso profundizando en los grandes temas de la...

leer más
¡Hola! ¿en qué podemos ayudarte hoy?
¡Hola! ¿en qué podemos ayudarte hoy?