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My grandmother recently emailed me a conversation between her and one of her cousins regarding the current situation in Israel and the growing anti-Semetism the world is seeing throughout Europe, Canada, and even the United States. She asked me my opinion which gave me the opportunity to organize what I feel to be some very important thoughts. I decided to share them.

CNN news segment on Europe's rising anti-semetism

First of all, we should clarify the terms "pro-Israel", "anti-Israel, and "anti-Semitism".

I always like to point out that being "pro-Israel" simply means you support the existence of a Jewish state and homeland for the Jewish people. It does not mean you have any obligation to support every one of it's policies. In fact, because Israel is a democracy it encourages you to be expressive when it comes to your thoughts and feelings about it! How beautiful is that? A second point I would like to make is that being "pro-Israel" does not mean being "anti-Palestinian". You can support Israel's right to exist and at the same time support a healthy livelihood for the Palestinian people and the establishment of their own state. I myself am both strongly "pro-Isreal" and "pro-Palestinian"; I fully support a peaceful two-state solution in which the Jews and Palestinians each have their own states with their citizens taking advantage of full democratic rights. This opinion sometimes puts me at odds with certain Israeli policies in areas such as settlement construction and the power of the Orthodox rabbinate in the government, but it does not make me any less "pro-Israel". The terms "pro-Israel", "pro-Palestinian", and even "pro-peace" are not mutually exclusive.

To be "anti-Israel", or more often referred to as "anti-Zionist", is to deny Jewish people their right to self-determination. This is a right promised to all peoples (Palestinians included) by the UN. If you take a look at your average anti-Israel or anti-zionist activist they are against the State of Israel, either in it's entirety or simply as a Jewish state, but they have no problem with the over 50 Islamic states throughout the world. Furthermore, they protest against what they will call Israel's "human rights violations" when Israel is the only state in the Middle East where populations of Christians, Muslims, and Jews are constantly growing, and there are equal rights for women, gays, and the like. However, they are silent about the ongoing persecution and targeted genocide against Christians throughout the Middle East, the violent civil wars in Syria, Sudan, etc, or a number of other atrocities being committed throughout the world.

This brings me to "anti-Semitism". "Anti-Semitism" is defined as hostility or prejudice against Jews. If you look at the current protests happening in Europe, Canada, and even the United States, they are dripping with anti-semitism. I'll begin with the protest I went to in Portland as an example (a small window into my personal experience). There I saw signs supporting Hamas - an organization whose literal existence, as outlined multiple times by it's charter, calls for the extermination of the Jews. One very popular sign and chant I saw and heard in Portland, and you are almost guaranteed to see/hear at any of these protests, is "from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free". This slogan is speaking of the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, calling for a Palestinian state to replace the currently existing Jewish state of Israel. This directly denies the Jewish right to self-determination while calling for the Palestinian right to self-determination. That is a prejudice against the Jews and that is anti-semitism.

Aside from any of the double-standards being expressed against Jews, the protests around the world have turned into violent gatherings targeted at synagogues, Jewish businesses and establishments. Who is to say that the Jews in each of those synagogues or businesses is related to Israel in any way? There are plenty of Jewish people (sadly, in my opinion) who do not support the existence of Israel, or Jews who are not happy with Jewish policies regarding the present situation and many others. Targeting them, especially in this violent way, just because they are Jewish is anti-semitism.

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