Pro-Semitism and Take Back #Jewishprivilege - CAEF Bulletin July 24, 2020

How to be a Proud Jew and a Proud Zionist

The first step is to OWN the words, just as the feminist movement rallied to “take back the night,” to send the message that it must be safe for women, day or night, and the black power movement of the 60s noted that from colonial times, the words “negro” and “black” were both used pejoratively, so they initially claimed “Black Power” and made it a positive and proud reference. It was in the 80s that Jesse Jackson declared that Black Americans wanted to be known as African Americans, just as all other Americans are spoken of with reference to their lands of origin, ethnicity being more important than skin colour. My intent is not to explain the power of this change but to note that once again it is self-identifying organizations, like the Movement of Black Lives, that have imbued meaning and power in the word “Black,” used as a noun or adjective.

Today we know that our young Jewish adults are being subjected to hateful rhetoric that is attempting to again make the word “Jew” a verb and “Zionism” a derogatory term. Well these are NOT negative words, they are potent, powerful descriptors of who we are. Let us own the words, imbue them with meaning and empowerment, and encourage Jews of all ages and identities to stand proud.

CAEF initiated a Web Talk Series called Unapologetic Zionism, this week featuring Dr. Allen Hertz, an outstanding scholar who has researched deeply into Jewish history and international law. He presented on The Aboriginal Rights of the Jewish People, and we urge you to listen and share.

For more information on Dr. Hertz’s work, click here

View all Web Talks here

Two Lively Examples

Noah Goldman, in an article published on on July 21, 2020, presented a great argument for turning #Jewishprivilege on its head.

Here is an excerpt:

“A strange discussion involving Jews has emerged on Twitter. The hashtag #JewishPrivilege has emerged and was gaining steam from different voices, some of whom have a large platform. The idea is likely the result of old antisemitic canards which claim that Jews are in control of everything from Hollywood to government. It’s the same antisemitism but with a different mask.

The goal is, as usual, dehumanization of the Jewish people.

Many Jews on twitter, including myself, raised their voices and shared their #JewishPrivilege in the antisemitism that they and their families have had to go through. This was such a powerful pushback that now if you go on Twitter and search the #JewishPrivilege hashtag, you will find many saddening stories of antisemitism. You will have to dig a bit to find the original antisemitic intentions of the hashtag.

But perhaps the most powerful way to push back the antisemitic #JewishPrivilege is to flip the script and turn it into a positive one. Because indeed it is a privilege to be Jewish!

Here are examples from Goldman worth sharing:

#JewishPrivilege is returning to our homeland to defy history and rediscover who we are as a people with a homeland.

#JewishPrivilege is having the Torah to guide us through the ups and downs of life thrown our way.

#JewishPrivilege is striving to bring morality and wisdom into a broken world.

Read the full article here


Elan Carr, the US Special Envoy for Monitoring and Combating Antisemitism speaks often of the fact that Left, Right or Islamist generated Jew hatred is Jew hatred, and at no time should Jews feel they should hide their Jewish identify. Here is a quote from Carr from one year ago in