Melissa Parke: Let’s reserve the term ‘anti-Semitic’ for those who truly deserve it

Anti-Semitism is a growing problem internationally but to label those who call out Israel’s treatment of Palestinians as anti-Semites is wrong and insulting, writes Melissa Parke.

There are a number of deeply disturbing trends in the world, but two I want to highlight today. One is the rise in global anti-Semitism; that is, hostility to or prejudice against Jews, of which the Holocaust is the most extreme example.

The other disturbing trend is the rise in accusations of anti-Semitism levelled against people — including many brave Jews — who have criticised Israel for its treatment of the Palestinians.

Recently 240 Jewish and Israeli scholars expressed their concern about the misuse of allegations of anti-Semitism, noting that: “… The threat of anti-Semitism does not originate from Palestinian rights activists, but mainly from the extreme right and from Jihadist groups. Denying that could alienate Muslims and Arabs from the vital struggle against anti-Semitism and hamper the possibility of building true solidarity between Jews, Israelis, Muslims and Arabs in fighting anti-Semitism and other forms of racism.”

When the pro-Israel lobby spends much of its time in a relentless vendetta against critics of Israeli state policy, they debase the true meaning of the term “anti-Semitism” and they let real anti-Semites, mainly far-right white nationalists, off the hook.

This week saw the release by ASIO of its annual threat assessment, which noted the increasing danger to Australians from the rise in right-wing extremism. In Australia this includes neo-Nazi groups such as Antipodean Resistance.

Read the article by Melissa Parke in the Herald Sun.

[Read Former MP slammed over Israel ‘apartheid’ comments by Evan Zlatkis in the AJN where Anti-Defamation Commission chair Dvir Abramovich told The AJN that Parke’s “offensive and misguided” accusation “bears no resemblance to the realities of contemporary Israel”.]

Here is the cowardly apology issued by the Herald Sun where one can see the article by Melissa Parke bearing a different title in print to what it is online:

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Melissa Parke is suing Dave Sharma for defamation, demanding a full apology for remarks he made and payment of court costs. At this time the matter is proceeding to litigation.