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  • An Israeli supporter of a soldier charged with shooting a wounded Palestinian holds a placard calling for the genocide of Palestinians

    An Israeli supporter of a soldier charged with shooting a wounded Palestinian holds a placard calling for the genocide of Palestinians | Photo: Reuters

Published 4 May 2016

The Israeli justice minister said in an interview that European leaders who criticize Israel are being anti-Semitic, just like their predecessors.

Criticizing the state of Israel and its government in any form is the new anti-Semitism, Israel’s Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked told The Washington Post in an interview Wednesday, accusing European leaders of replacing old anti-Semitic tendencies with a new format.

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“In the past, we saw European leaders speaking against the Jews. Now, we see them speaking against Israel. It is the same anti-Semitism of blood libels, spreading lies, distorting reality and brainwashing people into hating Israel and the Jews,” Shaked said in an interview with The Washington Post.

She told the U.S.-based newspaper that some European leaders have also expressed support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel, which according to her also constitutes anti-Semitism.

BDS supporters in Europe and elsewhere are “using the same kind of anti-Semitism but instead of saying they are against the Jews, they say they are against Israel.”

Speaking earlier at a ceremony in Krakow, Poland, on the eve of Israel’s Holocaust Remembrance Day, the Israeli minister, a member of the ultra-nationalist Jewish Home party, questioned whether Europe had really learned any lessons from the Holocaust.

“We can still witness anti-Semitism today. In fact, the anti-Semitic voices seem to get louder and stronger still,” she said.

“We witness anti-Semitic attacks in the heart of Europe. We hear anti-Semitic slanders in European media. We feel anti-Semitic hatred in the continent that should have learned the lesson.”

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After years of being led by conservative right-wing governments that support occupation and settlement expansion, Israel has been receiving criticism from many of its allies in the West, including the United States.

Pro-Palestinian activists, authors and intellectuals around the world have already warned that being critical of Israeli policies against Palestinians must not be confused or likened to hate speech or policies against Jewish people around the world.
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