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The Weaponisation of ‘Antisemitism’ to Silence Opposition to a Genocide

News:

On the 1st of May, the US House of Representatives overwhelmingly voted to pass the ‘Anti-Semitism Awareness Act’ that would expand the current federal definition of antisemitism that exists in the Civil Rights Act. The bill, which was introduced by a bipartisan group of Republican and Democrat law makers, and passed 320 to 91, is viewed by many as a reaction to the student protests which are sweeping across US college and university campuses against the Zionist entity’s attack on Gaza and mass slaughter of tens of thousands of innocents. The protests are calling for their university campuses to divest funds from the murderous Zionist entity and for their government to stop funding and arming it. The Act requires the Department of Education to use the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism when enforcing federal anti-discrimination laws, which includes denying Jewish people their right to self-determination by claiming that the ‘Entity of Israel’ is a racist state and banning any comparison between ‘contemporary Israeli policy’ and ‘that of the Nazis’. Adopting the IHRA definition to law would allow the federal Department of Education to restrict funding and other resources to colleges and universities viewed as tolerating antisemitism. Students protesting against the Zionist entity’s genocidal actions in Gaza, and calling for their colleges to divest funds from the occupation and for an end to the bloodbath, have been accused of antisemitism by various politicians, many of whom have pressured university administrators to clamp-down on the demonstrations.

Comment:

There is no doubt that the passing of this new antisemitism bill is aimed at silencing voices against the Zionist genocide in Gaza and the US government’s complicity in it. However, such accusations of antisemitism thrown at those calling for an end to this brutal occupation and apartheid entity does not wash anymore. The world, including many in the West, increasingly see it for what it is – nothing but a desperate attempt to clamp down on any opposition to the murderous acts of this colonial Zionist outpost in Palestine which serves the political and economic interests of western governments. It is also an attempt to distract from the genocide and the multitude of crimes against humanity perpetrated by the Zionist entity in Gaza and across the rest of Palestine, and how US public money has been used to sponsor it.

It can never be antisemitic to stand against mass slaughter or call for the end of the murderous occupation in Palestine, anymore than it is anti-Hindu to call for the end of the brutal occupation of Kashmir by the tyrannical Indian regime. Neither was it anti-white to call for the removal of the apartheid regime in South Africa, or an end to western colonialism of lands across the world. Furthermore, ‘Zionism’ is not based upon the beliefs of Judaism – as evidenced by the opposition of many Jews to the establishment, existence and actions of the Zionist entity. Zionism is a racist nationalistic political ideology based upon settler colonialism. In 1975, the UN General Assembly itself adopted a resolution stating that “Zionism is a form of racism and racial discrimination”. In fact, it is quite ironic that Lord Edwin Montagu, who was the only Jewish cabinet minister of the British government during the passing of the Balfour Declaration in 1917, which expressed the British government’s support of the establishment of a ‘Jewish state’ in Palestine, vehemently opposed Zionism. He called it “a mischievous political creed” and opposed the Balfour Declaration which he considered as ‘antisemitic’.

Furthermore, it is absurd how an occupation can ever play the victim. Do they think that throwing around labels such as ‘antisemitism’ will make people forget that this Zionist entity was established, strengthened and maintained upon acts of terror, the mass exile of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians and the robbing of their homes and lands?!! It is loathsome that labels such as ‘antisemitism’ are exploited to silence opposition to mass slaughter and oppression. Additionally, equating the removal of the occupation and slogans such as – ‘From the river to the sea’ with the complete annihilation of the Jewish people in Palestine is sensationalist nonsense aimed at maintaining this brutal occupation, justifying its mass slaughter and allowing the continuation of its mountain of crimes against the Palestinian people.

Calling for the removal of an occupation is not an attack on the religious beliefs of an occupier. Rather, it is taking a stand against the act of occupation regardless of the religious beliefs of the perpetrators. It is standing up for what is right – the removal of an apartheid oppressive entity; returning stolen land to its rightful owners, and establishing a system and rule under which those of all faiths can enjoy lives of dignity, peace and prosperity.

Islamic history under the Islamic rule of the Khilafah (Caliphate) is evidence enough of how Muslims, Christians and Jews lived in peace, security, dignity and prosperity in the Muslim lands, including in Palestine, enjoying the same rights of citizenship without discrimination. The following is an extract from a letter written by a Rabbi in 1453, urging Jews to travel to the lands of the Khilafah following their persecution in Europe, highlighting how they would enjoy economic prosperity under the state: “Here in the land of the Turks we have nothing to complain of. We possess great fortunes; much gold and silver are in our hands. We are not oppressed with heavy taxes and our commerce is free and unhindered. Rich are the fruits of the earth. Everything is cheap and every one of us lives in peace and freedom…” (Philip Mansel, “Constantinople: City of the World’s Desire”). Indeed, the guaranteeing of protection and a good life for those of all religious beliefs is an important principle of the Islamic ruling system, for Allah (swt) says:

[وَإِذَا حَكَمْتُم بَيْنَ النَّاسِ أَن تَحْكُمُواْ بِالْعَدْلِ]

“When you judge between people to judge with justice.” [TMQ 4: 58], and the Prophet (saw) said, «أَلَا مَنْ ظَلَمَ مُعَاهِدًا أَوْ انْتَقَصَهُ أَوْ كَلَّفَهُ فَوْقَ طَاقَتِهِ أَوْ أَخَذَ مِنْهُ شَيْئًا بِغَيْرِ طِيبِ نَفْسٍ فَأَنَا حَجِيجُهُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ»“If anyone wrongs a man with whom a covenant has been made, or curtails any right of his, or imposes on him more than he can bear, or takes anything from him without his ready agreement, I shall be his adversary on the day of resurrection.”

It is under Europe’s secular system that antisemitism and the persecution of Jews became industrialised. However, it was to the Khilafah, including Palestine, that many Jews fled to for protection and security, knowing that they would be afforded this under Islamic rule. Indeed, it is the Khilafah based upon the method of the Prophethood, Khilafah alone that can return peace and security for all in this region and across the Muslim lands.

Written for the Central Media Office of Hizb ut Tahrir by
Asma Siddiq
Member of the Central Media Office of Hizb ut Tahrir

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