Under the article published on June 1, 2023 titled “WH Spins Anti Semitism Strategy” Jonathan Tobin claims that the sole reason for the Nexus Document that is referred to in Pillar 1 of the U.S. National Strategy to Counter Antisemitism (“National Strategy”) “is to provide an intellectual platform for the bogus claim that anti Zionism is not antisemitic.”
The offensive section Tobin must be referring to is just one of four examples the Nexus document provides of what is NOT antisemitism and reads as follows:
“As a general rule, criticism of Zionism and Israel, opposition to Israel’s policies, or nonviolent political action directed at the State of Israel and/or its policies should not, as such, be deemed anti-Semitic.”
This does not directly contradict the working definition as espoused by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) which is “embraced” by the United States since the word “Zionism” does not appear anywhere. However, the IHRA is aligned with the Nexus Document’s declaration of what IS antisemitism, which includes among other points:
“It is antisemitic to advocate a political solution that denies Jews the right to define themselves as a people, thereby denying them – because they are Jews – the right to self-determination.”
“It is antisemitic to treat Israel differently solely because it is a Jewish state, using standards different than those applied to other countries.”
This alignment is a strong counterweight for any use of anti-Zionism to delegitimize Israel or for it not to be considered antisemitic. Therefore, Tobin’s main complaint against the Nexus Document is a poor reason to undermine support for the Biden’s Administration’s laudable effort to counter antisemitism.
Furthermore, the same issue of the Jewish Link in which Tobin criticizes the National Strategy, provides quotes in support of this initiative from the Anti-Defamation League, Deborah Lipstadt and Agudath Israel of America among others.
I am therefore grateful for this National Strategy which will benefit the Jewish community in the United States.Jonathan Franklin
Rye, New York