House of Representatives declares ‘Anti-Zionism Is Antisemitism’

Update 12/6: The resolution has passed. The chamber voted 311-14-92 on the measure.

Thirteen Democrats voted against the resolution: Reps. Bonnie Watson Coleman (N.J.), Rashida Tlaib (Mich.), Ayanna Pressley (Mass.), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.), Summer Lee (Pa.), Raúl Grijalva (Ariz.), Jesús “Chuy” García (Ill.), Jamaal Bowman (N.Y.), Gerry Connolly (Va.), Cori Bush (Mo.), Pramila Jayapal (Wash.), Delia Ramirez (Ill.) and Ilhan Omar (Minn.). Rep. Thomas Massie (Ky.) was the only Republican to oppose.

Washington DC – The US House of Representatives is gearing up for a vote this week to officially declare that anti-Zionism is antisemitism. The resolution—sponsored by two Jewish Republicans—seeks to put to bed any notion that the nation of Israel and Jewish Americans aren’t linked amid a rising tide of anti-Zionist sentiment across the globe.

While the resolution has been billed as damaging for “progressive Jews” seeking to distance themselves from Israel, Jewish Republican Representatives David Kustoff (R-TN) and Max Miller (R-OH), alongside the Republican Jewish Coalition, hope the move will help stem antisemitic blowback as a result of Israel’s links to war crimes and accusations of genocide grow.

Congressman David Kustoff (R-TN) is one of two Republican representatives co-sponsoring the resolution. Photo: Tennessee Star

At the heart of the resolution is a declaration that “anti-Zionism is antisemitic,” a position viewed by some as an attempt to curtail anti-Israel rhetoric, precisely that of anti-Zionist Jewish groups like the Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP). Last week, the House passed a resolution asserting that the denial of Israel’s right to exist is antisemitic and garnered little opposition. However, the current resolution’s broader language could trigger additional votes against it.

The legislation also appeared to endorse the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism, emphasizing it as a “critical tool” for identifying and comprehending various antisemitic so-called “manifestations.” Despite its nonbinding nature—which means the resolution won’t codify the IHRA definition or confer any legal authority—critics on the left have objected to the resolution’s emphasis on the IHRA definition.

“Only bold action will build real safety for all of our communities. Instead, our elected representatives are considering the controversial IHRA definition,” read a statement on the JVP website. “Make no mistake: Legislating the IHRA definition is not about Jewish safety. The only thing it secures is impunity for decades of violating international law and trampling on Palestinian human rights.”

Speaker of the House Mike Johnson (R-LA) approved a nearly $14.5 billion military aid package for Israel last month. The financial support has made it possible for Israel to continue its indiscriminate bombing campaign, which has so far killed over 15,000 people, according to reports. Photo: J. Scott Applewhite, Associated Press

Progressive House members, led by two Jewish representatives and the chair of the progressive caucus, once advocated in 2021 for the consideration of alternative definitions of antisemitism. The ongoing debate centers on the perceived “restrictiveness” of the IHRA definition in characterizing anti-Israel activity as inherently antisemitic, a contention that flared during the drafting of the Biden administration’s national antisemitism strategy.

Non-Jewish anti-Zionism groups have also criticized the IHRA, but for different reasons. One such group is the pro-White and anti-Zionist National Justice Party (NJP), an organization that agrees with the IHRA definition and its assessment of what is and isn’t antisemitic. Unlike the JVP, however, they view any legislation that protects what they call “Jewish power” from criticism at home or abroad as part of a systemic issue that can only be solved by drastic political upheaval and identifying Jews as the source.

“The same individuals who think they’re the boldest critics of Zionism and corporate media never question why they are allowed to exist and grow their social media presence on those platforms,” said NJP Founding Central Committee member Warren Balogh in a post to his official Telegram. “This is because they are utterly harmless to Zionism and are in fact gatekeepers helping to make the genocide happen, as long as they keep defaulting to voices in the same Jewish power structure for legitimacy.”

“Politicians don’t just back Israel because of money. They back Israel because of the full range of organized Jewish power in the United States, especially control over media and social media, including on the Left,” he continued.

Demonstrators for the Jewish Voice for Peace, an organization believed by some to act as a “gatekeeper” of anti-Zionist sentiment and key to pro-Jewish narrative control of the Gaza conflict in the United States. Photo: Inbal Palombo, Times of Israel.

Furthermore, the resolution identifies the slogan “from the River to the Sea” as a “rallying cry for the eradication of the state of Israel and the Jewish people.” Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) faced censure last month partly due to her use of the controversial phrase, with 22 House Democrats supporting the censure.

The resolution concludes by strongly condemning and denouncing all forms of antisemitism, reaffirming “unwavering support” for Jewish Americans, calling on elected officials and world leaders to condemn and combat antisemitism globally, and rejecting all forms of “terror, hate, discrimination, and harassment” which specifically targets Jews.

Antisemitic sentiment across the world has risen sharply as a result of Israel’s ongoing war on Gaza, a conflict that has levied outrage after a series of public relations mishaps, outright lies, and targeted mass killings of Palestinian civilians. So far, Israeli bombings of Gaza have resulted in the death of over 15,000 Palestinian people, many women and children, while the “official” death toll of Israelis has stood at an unwavering 1,200.

NJP Chairman Mike Peinovich speaks through a megaphone at a now-infamous rally conducted in front of the White House. The NJP has labeled Israel as complicit in genocide and has demanded the cessation of all US aid to the “illegitimate” state. Photo: Justice Report.

The resulting blowback against Israel appears to have placed American Jews in a precarious position, now forced to take up insidious means to repress negative public opinion. Such methods have included workplace termination, petty street harassment, and even mobile “doxing vans” of Israeli critics on college campuses. In November, Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt sounded the alarm over Gen-Z’s overwhelming rejection of Zionism, revealed in a now-leaked phone conversation with pro-Jewish functionaries.

The conflict in Gaza has even led to bloodshed in America, with many attributing it to Islamophobia drummed up as a result of heavy-handed attempts at Zionist narrative control. Just last month, three Palestinian men were shot on a Vermont college campus. The shooter, an anarchist libertarian, is believed to have shouted and harassed them before opening fire with a pistol after the men were observed speaking Arabic. In October, a 6-year-old Palestinian boy in Chicago died after being stabbed 26 times in a retaliatory attack that police believe was linked to the Gaza conflict.

While protests against the Jewish regime in Tel Aviv have flared across the Muslim and Western worlds, the NJP broke ground for its October White House rally. In a show of support for Palestine, NJP Supporters and Central Committee members marched to denounce Israel’s “genocidal” war and voiced demands for ending all US support to the “illegitimate” state. At the time of the protest, over 8,000 Palestinians had been killed, and a number of ancient holy sites were destroyed, sites which the Israeli regime merely handwaved as “terror targets.”

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