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Are anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism the same thing? Show more Show less
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With the UK's Labour Party, the French Parliament, and Congresswoman Ilhan Omar in the US all at the centre of rows over anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism, what is the relationship between the two concepts? Is either acceptable? Or do both words describe damaging and dangerous prejudices against Jewish communities across the globe?

Anti-Zionism is acceptable; anti-Semitism is not. Show more Show less

Anti-Semitism is is bigotry and anti-Zionism is a political opinion.
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Anti-Zionist arguments are rooted in international law

Arguments against anti-Zionism are rooted in international law and human rights. Anti-Semitic arguments are rooted in bigotry and hate.


The root of anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist arguments also highlight the differences between the concepts and demonstrate that one is bigoted while the other is political opposition to Israeli policy.

The Argument

Anti-Zionist arguments are rooted in International Law and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Many anti-Zionists oppose Israel's occupation of Palestinian lands on the grounds that it is illegal and nothing more. Anti-Zionist belief is rooted in equality and upholding the basic human rights of the Palestinian people. Anti-Zionist arguments are not borne from racial prejudices or resentment like anti-Semitism is. [1]

Counter arguments

Not all anti-Zionist arguments stem from international law and the respect for human rights. Some subscribe to anti-Zionist beliefs for religious reasons. For example, the American Presbyterian Church holds anti-Zionist beliefs not because of a respect for Palestinian human rights, but because it believes Jews "are condemned to suffer for their rejection of Jesus and complicity in his death". [2] These beliefs are clearly anti-Semitic. Consequently, those who hold anti-Zionist beliefs based on purely religious beliefs are expressing anti-Semitism in their anti-Zionist beliefs. This means that in some instances, anti-Zionism is equivalent to anti-Semitism and the two have a much closer relationship with some aligned goals.



[P1] Anti-Zionism is not rooted in bigotry. It is borne out of a respect for international law and human rights. [P2] Anti-Semitism is borne from prejudice and bigotry. [P3] Therefore, anti-Zionism is acceptable and distinct from anti-Semitism and anti-Semitism is bigotted and prejudiced and socially unacceptable.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P1] Anti-Zionism can also be rooted in bigotry and prejudice.


This page was last edited on Thursday, 14 Mar 2019 at 15:09 UTC

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