Columbia Iranian Studies Professor Hamid Dabashi wrote in a March 17 op-ed for Al Jazeera that Zionists are “the beneficiaries of anti-Semitism.”
Dabashi began the op-ed by calling for Muslims and Jews to unite against anti-Semitism; however, he proceeded to accuse Zionists of using the anti-Semitism label “to silence, paralyze and neutralize their political opponents.”
“Today, anti-Semitism is real and Zionists are categorically unqualified even to detect, let alone to fight it. Jews are the victims, Zionists the beneficiaries of anti-Semitism,” Dabashi wrote. “The Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, freely and openly elected as the top political figure of the Zionists, is a rank racist with a widespread coalition with all other racists, including anti-Semites, chief among them the US President, Donald Trump.”
Dabashi added that Zionists don’t have the “moral authority” to combat anti-Semitism because they are “hardcore or liberal advocates of that ideology of land theft, occupation and incremental genocide of Palestinians.” He went onto write that anti-Semitism is a “deadly European disease” and cited a March 7 op-ed from Peter Beinart at The Forward arguing that anti-Zionism isn’t anti-Semitism.
“Jews and Muslims are natural allies in this battle against racism in the intertwined forms of entrenched anti-Semitism and widespread Islamophobia,” Dabashi concludes his op-ed. “Zionists and racist Europeans know this. The conflation of Zionism and Judaism, as recently staged by [French President Emmanuel] Macron, is a false flag to confuse the issue and prevent the active solidarity of these two main victims of their racism.”
Simon Wiesenthal Associate Center Associate Dean Rabbi Abraham Cooper told the Journal in an April 1 email, “The article is brilliantly constructed. At first blush, a call for solidarity between Muslims and Jews in the fight against hate. But the real goal emerges- denigrating, demonizing, and delegitimizing Zionism and decoupling it from anti-Semitism. Along the way, this academic cleverly ascribes anti-Semitism as an exclusively European phenomenon, but nothing about anti-Jewish animus and dhimmitude in the Arab and Muslim world.”
“Yes there are some Jews who are anti-Zionist, but they choose to be willfully blind to the fact that Democratic Israel in 2019 is home to the world’s largest Jewish community whose roots to their land is 3,000+ years old,” Cooper wrote. “And they willfully turn their back on every prayer uttered by millions of Jews for 2000 years. We reject anyone who talks of solidarity in the fight against anti-Semitism while simultaneously fueling it by delegitimizing the love and lovers of Zion .”
In May, Dabashi called Zionists “hyenas” on Facebook and blamed Israel for “every dirty treacherous ugly and pernicious happening in the world.”