We are Jewish feminists who are angered by the spread of anti-Semitism in the world at large and within the women’s movement. We are particularly concerned when anti-Semitism is expressed by some of those who struggle against sexism and racism. Anti-Semitism resulted in the murder of one-third of all Jews only one generation ago. It is a form of racist thinking. We, therefore, cannot pass over its resurgence in silence.
Like all forms of racism, anti-Semitism perpetuates negative stereotypes to justify hatred and persecution. Through the myth of the “world-wide Jewish conspiracy,” anti-Semites have blamed Jews for whatever phenomena they deplore; from capitalism to communism, from sexual licentiousness to the patriarchy. Moreover, just as sexism denies women the freedom to define ourselves, so anti-Semitism has always denied Jews the right to survive as a self-defined group within society.
Deeply rooted in Western culture, anti-Semitism has assumed many guises. Today when explicit anti-Semitism is no longer acceptable, it has surfaced as a virulent anti-Zionism which rejects the right of the Jewish State to exist. Zionism is the national liberation movement of the Jewish people. Criticism of Israeli governmental policy is not anti-Semitism, but vilifying Jews who support Zionism is anti-Semitism. It recalls Nazism which stripped Jews of our humanity and thereby legitimated our victimization.
Anti-Semitism pits women against women. It divides those of us who should be allied in our struggle for women’s liberation throughout the world.
For further information about the group:
Feminists Against Anti-Semitism, Suite 6A, 315 Riverside Drive, New York, NY 10025