Standing for Palestinian lives, land, and liberation is not antisemitic. It’s part of the fight against racism.

To be anti-racist one must also be anti-Zionist

In 2023, the long-term lobbying efforts of Zionist organizations resulted in a U.S. House of Representatives resolution declaring that anti-Zionism means the same thing as antisemitism. Across the US, elected officials, government agencies, companies, universities, and other institutions increasingly use accusations of antisemitism to punish and vilify supporters of Palestinian liberation. False accusations of antisemitism against critics of Israel serve to shut down dissent and conversation.

Zionism is a belief, not a people. Opposing it does not imply prejudice against Jews. Nonetheless, people and institutions invested in the state of Israel have spent decades mislabeling anti-Zionist protests, movements, and individuals as antisemitic in order to quash dissent. Such false accusations are currently on the rise. As the violence inherent in maintaining a Jewish ethno-nationalist state in Palestine becomes more exposed, popular support for Anti-Zionism is surging. In response, Zionists are trying desperately to conflate Anti-Zionism and antisemitism in order to discredit Anti-Zionism and impede the movement for a Free Palestine. Recently, such efforts have included the enactment of new laws aimed at punishing pro-Palestine speech and conduct. These measures, which include the recent resolution by the U.S. House of Representatives, contribute to the already repressive environment facing advocates for Palestinian rights. 

These false accusations of antisemitism: 

  • Attempt to justify the repression of people who speak for Palestinian liberation and human rights
  • Undermine free speech 
  • Mislead people into believing that solidarity with Jews requires support for Zionism
  • Falsely imply that Zionism is intrinsic to being Jewish
  • Deflect and impede efforts to track and combat actual antisemitism
  • Reinforce antisemitic tropes that all Jewish people have shared political aims, agendas, and beliefs, and
  • Suppress criticism of the State of Israel and its Zionist practices, policies, and ideologies

Despite these cynical efforts and the repression they generate, the movement for Palestinian liberation is growing stronger every day. As Anti-Zionist Jews, we know that what keeps us safe is solidarity and standing together against oppression in all its forms. The repression of Palestinians and their allies is a threat to us all. 

Zionism, anti-Zionism, and antisemitism: why they’re different and why that matters


Zionism is Jewish nationalism.

Zionism was first formulated in Eastern Europe in the late 1800s in response to the persecution of Jewish communities. The originators of Zionism drew on the prevailing ideologies of racial dominance and colonial expansion prevalent in European society at the time. 

Zionism was the ideological underpinning of the Nakba wherein Zionists massacred, displaced, and dispossessed over 750,000 Palestinians as part of the founding of the State of Israel in 1948. Today, Zionism remains a driving force of Israel’s conduct, including its expansionism, its granting of privileged citizenship to Jews, and its mistreatment of Palestinians, namely its occupation, apartheid, ethnic cleansing, sieges, genocidal military campaigns, and other forms of extreme violence. Israel’s Law of Return makes citizenship available to any person with one-quarter Jewish ancestry, thereby relying on the same criteria for Jewishness used by the Nazis. At the same time, Israel refuses the return of Palestinian refugees despite UN recognition of this right. To this day, Zionism continues to drive Israel’s ongoing violence against Palestinians and its ruthless expansionism. 

Zionism is not and never has been the same as Judaism or Jewish identity. Many Jews are not Zionists. In fact, the number of anti-Zionist Jews is rapidly increasing. And many Zionists are not Jews. In the United States alone there are 30 million Christian Zionists, a figure four times larger than the entire Jewish population of the U.S. 


Anti-Zionism is opposition to the racism and nationalism at the heart of Zionism.

Jews have been around much longer than Zionism has been a political project  – by thousands of years. And as long as there has been Zionism, there has been opposition to it - among Jews, Palestinians, and many others. Opponents of Zionism object to its central aim: the preservation of a Jewish ethno-religious state on the historic territory of Palestine, between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, because it necessitates the dispossession of Palestinians and the use of extreme violence against them.

Anti-Zionists also object to Israel's worldwide role in repression. For decades, the State of Israel has strengthened repressive regimes around the world by supplying them with advanced weapons, strategies and surveillance technologies designed for repression and tested on Palestinians. 

Anti-Zionists also recognize the threat Zionism poses to Jewish safety. Israel’s alliances with repressive regimes, its brutal military campaigns, and its false conflation of being Jewish with support for Israel – a suggestion that all Jews have shared aims and agendas – has fanned the flames of antisemitism. Moreover, Zionism suggests that Jews can only achieve safety within the confines of an ethno-nationalist state, legitimizing the views of antisemitic rulers and regimes throughout history that have called for separating Jews from other populations. 

Anti-Zionists object to the Zionist effort to exceptionalize antisemitism and to separate it entirely from other forms of racial, religious, and ethnic persecution. Anti-Zionists recognize that Jewish history, which includes both persecution and fierce resistance to it, is connected to the histories of genocide and resistance embodied by other movements for liberation. Zionism obstructs efforts towards true Jewish safety by persuading many Jews that they lack common cause with international movements for racial justice, collective humanity, demilitarization and decolonization, when in fact solidarity with such movements is the surest path towards Jewish safety and the safety of all people.

Anti-Zionists object to Zionism because it is racist. Zionism privileges Jewish lives (particularly the lives of European and Ashkenazi Jews) above all others, especially over Palestinian lives. Opposing Zionism is thus an essential part of combating racism. One cannot be truly anti-racist without being anti-Zionist. 


Antisemitism is prejudice, hatred, or violence directed at Jews because they are Jewish. Antisemitism is a threat that must be countered by all who oppose racism, white supremacy, and religious discrimination. 

Ruling classes invoke antisemitism to maintain power by redirecting public anger and blame towards “the other.” Scapegoating Jews has proven particularly effective in periods of economic discontent and collective despair. Scapegoating disguises the cause of social problems and undermines popular resistance.  

People of any political perspective can be antisemitic, but the epicenter of antisemitism historically and today is the fascist and far-right, where white supremacy, Christian Nationalism, and Christian Zionism are dominant. To consolidate their power, antisemites attribute any opposition they encounter to Jewish influence.  

For Jews to be safe, all persecuted people must be safe. Antisemitism is a form of oppression advanced by the same forces that perpetuate racism, Islamophobia, and other forms of oppression and exploitation. It must be combatted as part of a joint, international struggle against all forms of religious discrimination, economic exploitation, and racial and ethnic oppression, including Islamophobia, anti-Arab narratives, and targeting of Palestinians. Zionism aims to separate Jews from such struggles and thus impedes the path towards ending antisemitism. 

Zionism is aligned with the same forces that fuel antisemitism.

Collective liberation and solidarity – not Zionism – is what will end antisemitism.

Anti-Zionism is part of the fight for collective liberation.





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