The defining line for bigotry in general, or anti-Semitic bigotry specifically, is a set of attitudes. Widespread recognition of the obvious manifestation of anti-Semitism in anti-Zionist speech involves crossing a number of lines into classic racial and religious stereotypes.
And that keeps happening for very good reason.
The New York Times anti-Semitic cartoon with its blind Trump with a yarmulke on his head being led by a seeing eye dog with Netanyahu’s face, plus an elongated nose, wearing a Star of David, takes existing anti-Semitic tropes within anti-Zionism about Jewish control, and ads obvious visual anti-Semitic elements, the Jewish garb on Trump and Netanyahu’s nose.
The crossed lines and broken taboos led the New York Times to pull the cartoon. But the cartoon was published because it fit the larger anti-Semitic narratives of anti-Zionism. And despite the media’s insistence that the two are separate, they continue to be intermingled.
It wasn’t an error in judgment, as the New York Times argued. It’s narrative.
Cartoons like these test the Overton Window for mainstreaming anti-Semitism. Anti-Zionism has always been built on mainstreaming anti-Semitism by testing the waters for increasingly obvious displays of hatred.
There’s no downside to this game.
Step 1. Accuse Jews of running the world.
Step 2. Either the idea is successfully normalized by becoming accepted or the backlash is used to prove that the idea is real.
Either anti-Semitism gets mainstreamed as anti-Semitism. Or the backlash is used to prove that the trope about Jewish power is real. Either the anti-Semitic content goes public and mainstreams the idea of Jewish power. Or it gets erased and that erasure is used to argue that Jewish control leads to censorship. Heads you win, tails I lose.
The alt-left’s anti-Zionism uses the same tactics as the alt-right’s anti-Semitism. One coin. Two sides.
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