Consortium News:ㅤWhen Criticizing Israel Wasn’t Anti-Semitic

consortium-news:ㅤwhen-criticizing-israel-wasn’t-anti-semitic
Consortium News:ㅤWhen Criticizing Israel Wasn’t Anti-Semitic

22-03-24 04:00:00,

Just two decades ago the difference between anti-semitism and criticism of Israel was clear enough that even a U.S. secretary of state said so, writes Joe Lauria.

Sept. 20, 2001: President George W. Bush and U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell in the White House. (U.S. National Archives)

By Joe Lauria
Special to Consortium News

At a conference in Berlin about anti-semitism in 2004, then U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell said the following: “It is not antisemitic to criticize the policies of the state of Israel.” 

Nearly 20 years later, on Dec. 5, 2023 the U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution by 311 to 14 votes equating criticism of Israel with anti-semitism. 

The resolution says: “Resolved, That the House of Representatives … clearly and firmly states that anti-Zionism is antisemitism.”

The Republican-sponsored measure was backed by every Republican in the House except one, as well as by 95 Democrats. But 92 Democrats voted “Present.” 

They were urged to do so in a floor speech by Rep. Jerry Nadler of New York, who represents a Brooklyn district with many anti-Zionist Orthodox Jews.  The New York Times reported:

“Democrats questioning the resolution called such displays of anti-Jewish sentiment unacceptable,

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