I broadcast this commentary via WFIU in 2003. Sadly, it is still pertinent today.
Can you criticize Israel and not be an anti-Semite? Of course you can. Sometimes, though, anti-Semitism does hide behind such criticism. Israel's critics say "We act only from compassion for the Palestinians!" That's great. We all need compassion.
Saddam Hussein committed an environmental and cultural genocide of the 5,000 year-old Marsh Arab culture. In Iran, thousands of homosexuals have been executed. In Syria, torture is commonplace. Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Algeria, Sudan – all have human rights records much worse than Israel's. And yet Israel's critics hear, speak, and see no evil when it comes to these countries.
Israel's critics talk as if Israel alone has power, and is if Jews rule the world: If only Israel were nicer to the Palestinians, everything would be hunky dory. But that's just not true. Palestinians have power as well. They often use it to blow up civilians. Why don't Israel's critics mourn when Israelis are murdered? Also, from the terrorists who planned the Bali bombing to Pakistanis who forced Daniel Pearl to admit to being Jewish before beheading him on camera to thugs in France who beat up Jewish kids on the street, Palestinians have formidable self-declared allies, and all Jews must always watch their step. Why don't Israel's critics acknowledge Jewish vulnerability?
Muslim countries have been generating the kind of anti-Semitic propaganda that the Nazis produced. Egyptian television, Saudi newspapers, and Palestinian schoolbooks contain materials honed to inculcate their audience with a genocidal hatred of Jews. Why don't Israel's "honest" critics talk about that?
When confronted with these facts, some argue, "Zionism is to blame!" In other words, Muslims never bear any responsibility for anything they do – it's always some Jew's fault. And that's just morally wrong.
Anti-Semitism is a poison that plunged the world into one of its most destructive cataclysms. It should always be denounced.